Episode Guide

I Loathe a Parade
Episode #406
Written by Dan Vebber

(opening theme song)

(at the Morgendorffer house)

(Daria is watching television in the living room)

SSW Announcer - Can you teach an old dog to turn tricks? Ruff! Canine call girls, next on Sick, Sad World.

(Quinn enters living room)

Quinn - Daria, have you seen my new Teenage Superstars magazine?

Daria - I couldn't help myself. I've plastered my walls with its hot, sexy pinups.

Quinn - I'll ask Mom.

(Quinn walks towards kitchen as Helen enters living room)

Helen - Daria, have you seen your father?

Daria - Did you look under the Teenage Superstars magazine?

Helen - I'll ask Quinn.

(Helen heads into the kitchen; moments later, both she and Quinn walk past Daria; both are talking at once)

Quinn - ...need some money for new clothes for the standardized testing 'cause I hate filling in those little circles...

Helen - ...wasting time reading junk when you could be enjoying a good book. Now, did you see your father? When was the last time you saw him?...

(the door closes behind them, leaving Daria alone at last... until Jake's voice calls out)

Jake (O.S.) - Hello? Anybody? Please?

(Daria heads upstairs, and stops outside the upstairs bathroom)

Jake (O.S.) - Is anybody out there? Am I the only one left in the house?

Daria - If I help you with the first question, will you try to do the second one on your own?

Jake (O.S.) - Daria! Thank God! Your mother's at her work thing and Quinn's at her school thing and... I thought I'd be stuck in here forever.

Daria - Okay, listen closely. There's a knob on the door. Turn it counterclockwise.

Jake (O.S.) - We're all out of toilet paper, kiddo! Would you believe it?

Daria - Oh. Well, I'll go grab some from downstairs.

Jake (O.S.) - There isn't any downstairs. That's why I ran up here. Damn heart-smart chili!

Daria - I see. Walking away now with too much information.

Jake (O.S.) - Kiddo, could you hurry over to Drugs N' Stuff and pick up a few rolls?

Daria - I get stuck on the hurry part.

Jake (O.S.) - Damn it. How in hell would Helen handle this? How in hell would Helen... hey, I bet that's one of those backwards-and-forward things! No, I guess not.

Daria - I can hear you, you know. And she'd offer me a bribe.

Jake (O.S.) - Yeah! If you can make it back in 15 minutes, I'll give you five bucks.

Daria - A decent bribe.

Jake (O.S.) - Twenty!

Daria - You're on. See you in a few minutes. (leaves)

Jake (O.S.) - Hurry, kiddo! This Teenage Superstars magazine is only 64 pages!

(at Drugs N' Stuff)

(Daria is standing in line, holding a package of toilet paper)

Daria (thinking) - Ten minutes. I'll never make it home in time to get that 20. Of course, I could always turn back all the clocks in the house, but how will I get to his wristwatch? I wonder if they sell chloroform here.

Woman - Next. Can I help you, dear?

Daria - No, I just came to enjoy your reenactment of the fall of Saigon.

Woman - You mean the crowd? Well, what do you expect on homecoming night?

Daria - Homecoming night?

Woman - Everyone in town is lining up to see the parade.

(Daria goes outside, and indeed, a parade is going down the street; walking outside, she sees a group of kids, led by Ms. Defoe, painting Lawndale Lions slogans on the storefront)

Ms. Defoe - Now, really look inside your work, and ask: in focusing so intently on my subject, have I neglected my negative space? (turns and sees Daria) Daria! Have you seen Jane?

Daria - Not lately.

Ms. Defoe - I was hoping she might help us paint windows. We need her color sense.

(suddenly, two kids get into a paint fight)

Gary (O.S.) - CeCe, I'm going to throw paint on you!

CeCe (O.S.) - Now, Gary, don't you dare!

Ms. Defoe - No, people. Treasure you medium. (goes after the kids)

Daria - Must get home... must get home...

(squeezing through the crowd to stand at the curb, Daria looks on as a large float of a football player holding a penguin's head goes by; part of the head falls off, nearly crushing her as she stumbles back)

Daria - Ah!

(a camera flashes in her eyes; the picture is of Daria wincing at the bright light)

Jane - You'll pay through the nose for that shot, missy. Unless you can give me a plausible reason for your being here.

Daria - I was having too much fun at home, so I thought I'd go out and get killed by an unstable parade float.

Jane - Yep, through the nose.

Daria - I'd stay and talk, but I've got 20 bucks riding on my quick escape. Join me?

Jane - Got a date... with a thoughtless delinquent.

Daria - You're meeting Tom here?

Jane - What better place than a high school homecoming to chronicle the anarchic death spiral of Western society?

Daria - So your date consists of making fun of people.

Jane - If you must be all simplistic about it. And you're here because...

Daria - My dad sent me on an emergency errand and I got stranded.

(Jane looks in the bag and sees the toilet paper)

Jane - I'm betting he's stranded, too. Oh, look! (sees the cheerleading squad walk past) Hope you have time for a cheer before you go.

Brittany - Okay, girls, let's pump up the spirit. (cheering) Who's the team that's number one? Lawndale! Lawndale! Who's the team that's lots of fun? Lawndale! Lawndale! (Lisa and Nikki grab Brittany and hoist her in the air) Go... football!

(as the crowd applauds, Brittany looks at the football team's float, where Kevin and Angie are standing on the platform; as the girls set her down on the ground, Kevin puts his arm around Angie's shoulders)

Brittany - Hmm!

Angie - Kevin, maybe we shouldn't be so friendly up here.

Kevin - Relax, babe. You're the football sweetheart and I'm the Q.B. I'm supposed to be touching you and stuff. It's the law.

Angie - But Brittany's my friend, and she's right there.

Kevin - Hey, we're elected officials. It's like manifold destiny.

Robert - Um, Kevin? We're all supposed to be throwing candy.

Kevin - Cool!

(the football players start hurling candy at the crowd at high velocity, causing people to duck and cry out in pain; among them are Sandi Griffin's brothers, Sam and Chris)

Chris - Check it out -- I'll catch it in my mouth. (a piece of candy hits him in the head and knocks him over) Ow!

Daria - That's it. When the candy reaches escape velocity, it's time to leave.

Jane - Where the hell is Tom? He was supposed to be here 15 minutes ago.

Daria - I wouldn't let it bother you. Just because he's a few minutes late doesn't mean he's an inconsiderate jerk who will ultimately bring you nothing but misery.

Jane - I'm glad you're starting to warm to him.

Daria - I need to cross this street now if I want to make it home before the next ice age. See you. (leaves)

Jane - Godspeed, Indiana Morgendorffer.

(Daria starts to cross, but is restrained by Ms. Li)

Ms. Li - Ms. Morgendorffer, where do you think you're going?

Daria - Slowly insane. But I need to pop in at home first.

Ms. Li - As principal of Lawndale High, I can't just permit spectators to cross a parade route.

Daria - Right. Isn't that how World War I started?

Ms. Li - If you were to get impaled on a float or sexually harassed by a clown, things could get ugly.

Daria - Things already have, but I don't have time to debate this right now. (leaves)

Ms. Li (into tape recorder) - Crowd control inadequate. Next year, consider electric fences.

Daria (thinking) - I can still make it back in time. All I need is a catapult and a good tailwind.

(suddenly, she runs into the Lawndale Lions mascot: a guy in a lion costume)

Mascot - Rah, rah, rah! We're number one!

Daria - Um, I think the roaring '20s are back that way.

Mascot - Let's do the Lawndale shuffle.

Daria - How about the "get the hell away from me" slide?

(the mascot starts to dance, then suddenly begins swaying on his feet)

Mascot - My head's too big.

Daria - That's because it's so full of dreams.

(the mascot falls to the ground)

Mascot - (weakly) Rah, rah, rah. Please help me up.

(several people start to help the mascot to his feet as Daria walks away, headed for the street once again)

Daria - Ms. Li's gone. I'm out of here.

(Daria then hears a child crying; looking over towards the sound, she sees a tearful Tad Gupty)

Daria - Tad?

Tad - Daria? Oh, Daria, I'm scared!

(Daria glances at the parade, where a cutesy kitty float is going past)

Daria - So am I. Where are your mom and dad?

Tad - I don't know. I saw a windmill in the toy store window so I went to look, because they're such a clean source of energy, and when I turned around, everyone was gone. Now I'm frightened I'll be stuck in this parade forever.

Daria - I know the feeling. Let's find you a cop.

Tad - Oh, no. My dad says police officers too often utilize excessive force in their quest for efficient pacification.

Daria - And I'm sure your father has had more than his share of scrapes with John Law.

Tad - Won't you stay with me, Daria?

(Daria wants to get going, but she can't resist the tearful, pleading look on Tad's face)

Daria - (sighs) Come on. Much to my surprise, my conscience tells me I should help you find your parents. (grabs his hand and starts walking)

Tad - Hooray! With you along, this'll be an exciting adventure, like the travels of Babar.

Daria - Easy on the elephant comparisons, kid.

(both she and Tad are suddenly set upon by several kids spraying Silly String, and wind up liberally coated with the stuff)

Daria - Stupid conscience.

(at the parade)

(Daria and Tad are walking along the parade route)

Tad - What's your favorite part of the parade, Daria?

Daria - The thigh... no, wait, the drumstick.

Tad - Oh. I like the clowns.

Daria - Of course you do. Keep looking for your parents.

Tad - I also like it when they throw candy from the floats.

Daria - Since when do you eat candy? You told me it was poison.

Tad - Oh, it is, but every piece I catch is one cavity some other boy or girl will never get. That's what makes it so rewarding.

Daria - Tad, when you brush your teeth, do you ever scrub right through to your brain?

Tad - Oh, look! Do you think he'll be throwing candy from his car?

(Upchuck approaches in his garish "Love Machine" convertible; when he spots Daria, he honks the horn, which plays the opening notes of "Also Sprach Zarathustra")

Daria - No, that car has things thrown at it.

Upchuck - Do my eyes deceive me? The divine Ms. Mmm... and who may I ask is your young suitor?

Tad - I'm not supposed to give my name to strange people.

Daria - And they don't come any stranger than this.

Upchuck - So quick to dismiss. I like that... for a while. But you'll change your tune when you see what I've done with the back seat. Does the notion of satin upholstery get you excited?

Daria - Sure, if it's lining your coffin.

Upchuck - Grr, feisty! I'll be parked at the end of the parade route, gorgeous. So remember, if the Love Machine's rocking, by all means, come-a-knocking!

(Upchuck pulls away with another honk of his horn, and as Daria and Tad head for the sidewalk, they spot Tom standing in front of the pharmacy)

Tom - Daria?

Daria - (eyes narrow) Oh. Tom. Aren't you supposed to be with Jane? She was waiting for you in front of Drugs N' Stuff.

Tom - Oh. She just said to meet at the pharmacy. I thought she meant the other one. I guess it was just a big misunderstanding.

Daria - That's what Pol Pot said.

Tom - He didn't mean to kill two million people. He only wanted to scare them.

(in spite of herself, Daria manages a small smile)

Tom - Anyway, who's this?

Daria - Tad. Former baby-sitting job. He's lost, and we're looking for his parents.

Tom - (kneels) Hiya, Tad, I'm Tom. Mind if I tag along with you guys?

Daria - Actually, we'd be better off...

Tad - We're both headed back toward Drugs N' Stuff. We can help each other.

Daria - If you really want to walk with us, fine, but I don't think you'll find Jane. I've never seen this street so crowded before.

Tom - It is a stunning array of pod people. It's times like these I'm glad I don't go to your school.

Daria - Uh-huh. And I suppose your ivy-choked prep school is any better? (pause) Wait a minute. Was I just defending Lawndale?

Tom - You know, I think you were.

Daria - We never had this conversation.

Tom - What conversation?

(meanwhile, the Fashion Club float trundles down the parade route; the girls wave from atop the float)

Quinn - All this waving is making my arm tired. Isn't there something else we can do?

Sandi - There was, until someone handed out all our head shots at once.

Stacy - I didn't mean to. Oh, I should have paced myself better.

Tiffany - We should do something that showcases our, like, charity and stuff.

Sandi - Perhaps we could select a less fortunate girl from the audience and give her a makeover.

Quinn - That is such a good idea, Sandi.

(Daria, Tad, and Tom are still walking)

Tom - Maybe we should hop a float. We could see more people that way, and more people could see us.

Daria - One: I don't hop floats. Two: I don't hop.

Tom - Come on, Daria. You gotta embrace the nightmare. Don't you want to wave to the crowd?

Daria - Look, Tom, I know that you and Jane see this whole thing as a big joke, but that's not me. (she spots Quinn waving from the float) I stand corrected. This whole thing is a big joke.

Sandi - Um, Quinn? Isn't that your relative or whatever walking toward us?

(Sandi points to the street, where Daria, Tom, and Tad are following the float)

Quinn - Oh, no. (to the front of the float) Okay, we need to speed up now.

(at the front of the float, Joey, Jeffy, and Jamie -- who are pulling the float down the street -- start complaining rather strongly)

Tiffany - This is perfect. We can make her over.

Stacy - Wow! The crowd will be amazed.

(Tom and Tad hop onto the float)

Daria - Wait, not that float.

Tad - Daria! Come on! Don't leave me! (starts crying) Daria!

(irritated, Daria rushes over and is helped onto the float by Tom)

Daria - Okay, we looked. Now let's get down before...

(Sandi and Stacy yank her up to the top of the float)

Sandi - We'll need to apply some base. But first, some pre-base.

Stacy - Do you want to use my scrunchie? Please use my scrunchie.

Tiffany - I'll take the "before" picture.

(Tiffany snaps a photo, which shows a definitely unwilling Daria trapped in Fashion Club hell)

(Daria grabs Quinn and uses her as a shield)

Daria - Call them off... or I start hugging you.

Quinn - You wouldn't dare!

Daria - Try me.

(Quinn stares back at her Fashion Club friends, a look of pure horror on her face)

(elsewhere, Mack and Jodie are on the Homecoming King and Queen float)

Jodie - Isn't it great how they keep electing us Homecoming King and Queen every year?

Mack - Yes, it's such a generous and enlightened gesture. It completely makes up for the town's utter lack of diversity, in my mind.

Jodie - And we're playing into it.

Mack - Damn college applications.

Jodie - This is so humiliating.

(on the Fashion Club float)

Quinn - This is so humiliating! Let go of me!

Daria - Not until she holsters that hair spray.

Sandi - Um, Quinn's cousin or whatever? Could you just let us pull your hair back? It won't, like, hurt.

Tad - That product was tested on bunnies and kitties!

Quinn - It was?!

Sandi - Duh... that's why we use it. So those cute animals didn't suffer in vain.

Quinn - Oh.

Tad - You're a mean old witch.

Sandi - I am not old!

Tad - You're mean...

Sandi - I am not old...

Stacy - Quinn, your friend and her friends aren't getting into the spirit.

Quinn - They shouldn't even be up here.

Daria - There's a news flash. We're looking for Tad's parents. Have you seen them?

Quinn - No. Now get down.

Daria - Come on, Tad. Enough of this ivory tower. Back to the streets.

Tad - You don't respect other species' rights.

Sandi - Shove it, veggie boy. (sprays Tad as he jumps off the float)

Tiffany - That girl just doesn't know what's good for her.

Quinn - Tell me about it.

(on the sidewalk)

Tad - Wait till I tell my parents I was on a real live float and I met an animal abuser.

Daria - Uh-oh. The animals are about to exact their revenge.

(the Lawndale Lions mascot rushes towards them)

Mascot - Here we go, Lawndale, here we go!

Daria - Didn't I just leave you for dead a while ago? Beat it.

Mascot - Come on, let's have a cheer!

Tom - She said beat it, Leo! (shoves the mascot away)

Daria - Wow. That was the modern equivalent of laying your cape over a puddle of water for me.

Tom - Well, I don't know you well enough to wear my cape around you. (pause) Wait a minute, was that a smile I just saw?

Daria - A twitch... more of a tic, really.

Tom - I knew you were having fun. Why hide it? You need to learn how to laugh out loud at the ridiculous horror of all this. Look -- cheerleaders!

(Brittany is leading the squad in another cheer)

Brittany (cheering) - The Lions can't be beat! They're lightning on their feet! They're the best team on our street... or lots of other streets.

(on the football float, Kevin's hand wanders down to Angie's butt)

Brittany - He touched her butt. Did anyone else see? He touched her butt! Okay, Mr. Busy Hands. Let's see how your team does without cheerleaders to back you up!

(the squad starts walking away... right into the path of the unstable "kill the penguins" float)

Driver - Uh-oh!

Passenger - They're coming right for us! Turn, turn!

Driver - It's not designed to turn so fast!

(with a squeal of tires, the float narrowly avoids the cheerleaders and the crowd as it topples over; the driver and his buddy barely get out in time to avoid the car exploding)

Daria - Wow.

Tom - It's like the Hindenburg.

Daria - Oh, the lack of humanity.

(the crowd cheers and applauds as fire fighters arrive to put out the blaze)

Daria - This is magnificent. When Homecoming Parades Turn Hellish.

Tom - Now, aren't you glad you were here to see this?

Daria - Well, I definitely understand why you wanted to share this with Jane. Sorry you never hooked up.

Tom - It's okay. By now she'd be so busy snapping pictures she'd forget I was even here. You know how she is.

Daria - Yeah, I know how she is.

Tom - Thanks for getting lost in the moment with me.

Daria - Um, you're welcome?

Tom - What do you think of all this, Tad? (looks around) Tad? Tad?

Daria - Oh, no.

Tom - He couldn't have gone far.

Daria - Did we pass any windmills?

(at the parade)

(Daria and Tom are walking the parade route once again, this time in search of Tad; they wind up in front of Drugs N' Stuff)

Daria - Tad? Tad Gupty?

Tom - I was holding his hand last, Daria. I'll take responsibility.

(on the Homecoming King and Queen float)

(Mack and Jodie, disgusted with their "token African Americans" status, are sitting down rather than standing and waving)

Mack - Maybe we should start waving again.

Jodie - Why play into this stupid charade any more than we have to?

Mack - We don't have to do anything. Hell, we don't have to be up here.

Jodie - That's actually a good point. What's the worst they could do to us?

(Jodie looks over at the crowd and sees a young black girl waving at them, pride evident in her eyes; seeing this, Jodie softens, stands, and starts waving again)

Mack - What happened?

Jodie - Oh, what the hell. We may be tokens, but we're damn good-looking ones.

Mack - Can't argue with that. (he also stands and resumes waving) Hey... is that Daria?

Jodie - What's she doing at a homecoming parade?

Daria - Tad? Tad? I can't believe this.

Tom - Hey, it could be worse.

Daria - Let's see... in the past half-hour, I've lost the chance to make 20 bucks, lost my dignity on a float, and, oh, yeah... I lost a seven-year-old child.

Tom - Weren't you also carrying some toilet paper before?

Daria - Yeah. Okay, now I'm angry.

Tad (O.S.) - Daria! Tom! I found my parents! They were looking for me!

(the Gupty family approaches Daria and Tom; Lester is holding Tad in his arms)

Lauren - Of course we were looking for you, honey. We were so worried. Daria, Tad told us all about how you stayed with him.

Lester - How can we ever repay you?

Daria - I hear uncut diamonds are as good as cash on the open market.

(Lester and Lauren both laugh)

Lauren - Yes, well, thank you, Daria. The next time you baby-sit, we'll be sure to have some extra carrot sticks in the fridge, just for you!

Lester - Come on, honey, Daria here is a hero. I say we get her some dried fruit.

Daria - My cup runneth over.

Tricia - Mom! Dad! We're missing the parade!

Lauren - Well, I guess we'd better find a good spot. Thanks again, Daria. (they leave)

Daria - Um, this is where I saw Jane before, but she's not here now.

Tom - We've done what we can. I wouldn't stress about it. We're having a good time, right?

(suddenly, they're once again accosted by the Lawndale Lions mascot, who seems to be in some distress)

Mascot (muffled) - Help... me...

Daria - Not you again.

Tom - Remember us? We're the ones who don't enjoy your hilarious antics.

Mascot (muffled) - Can't... breathe...

Tom - What's he saying?

Daria - It's either "canned beef" or "can't breathe."

(the mascot collapses)

Daria - The latter.

(Daria and Tom pull the mascot's head off, revealing him to be Mr. O'Neill)

Mr. O'Neill (gasping) - Hello? Where am I? Oh...

Daria - I can't believe it. It's Mr. O'Neill.

Tom - And he would have gotten away with it if it weren't for us meddling kids.

Mr. O'Neill - Oh, my... whenever I cut loose, I always go overboard. Oh... (chuckles)

(meanwhile, the Fashion Club float has stopped)

Quinn - Get going!

Jeffy - We can't.

Joey - The parade stopped moving again.

Sandi - We can't just stay here forever. The same people have been staring at us for too long.

Tiffany - It's like looking into the sun. It's like, really pretty? But if you do it for too long, you get wrinkles.

Stacy - Yeah. It kind of hurts, too.

Quinn - Move! Move, you big, ugly vehicles!

(the cars in front rev their engines, covering the Fashion Club with soot and engine exhaust)

All - Eww...! (start muttering angrily)

(up ahead, two female cops are flanking Upchuck, who is checking under the hood of his stalled "Love Machine")

Upchuck - I don't understand. Maybe the electric blanket is putting undue stress on the battery.

Cop #2 - I don't care what your excuse is, Don Guano. You need to roll this car out of the way right now.

Upchuck - That's the spirit. Let your blood boil.

Cop #1 - You're holding up the parade. Now get out of here, or we put on the cuffs.

Upchuck - Grr! Feisty.

(the cops grab Upchuck, who yells and moans as they start beating him with their nightsticks)

Tom - They're gonna kill him.

Daria - Let's not get our hopes up.

(Both laugh, then wince as Ted DeWitt-Clinton snaps a photo of them; the photo shows a surprised Daria and a bewildered Tom)

Ted - Thanks, Daria. It's for the yearbook. I'm getting some really great pictures of couples tonight. (leaves)

Daria - No, Ted, we're not a...

Tom - I don't even go to this school.

Jane (O.S.) - Well, it's about stinking time.

(Jane approaches)

Tom - We've been looking all over for you.

Jane - What do you mean, been looking?

Daria - Tom and I ran into each other. We've been up and down the entire parade route.

Jane - Together? And yet, no torn clothes? No blood? No missing organs?

Tom - No, we got along... pretty well. Right, Daria?

Daria - Right. I guess.

Jane - I said to meet at Drugs N' Stuff. Where were you, you big dope?

Tom - No, you said at the pharmacy.

Daria - He was at the other one waiting for you. That's where I met him... ran into him.

Jane - Mm-hmm. I tried there, too. You guys must have left before I got there, I guess,

Tom - I guess.

Jane - Well, come on. Let's get some pizza and compare battle scars. (grabs Tom's arm and starts walking) Come on, Daria!

(Daria hesitates, then starts to join them just as the paint-fighting Gary and CeCe arrive)

CeCe - Oh, my gosh! This is so much fun! (laughs)

(Daria is suddenly caught in the crossfire, and is splashed with blue and yellow paint)

CeCe - Oops, sorry.

Gary - We're having a paint fight. Whoo!

(Gary and CeCe run off, leaving behind a paint-splattered Daria)

Jane - Oh, no, civilian casualties. You look great, Daria.

Tom - I can't believe this? Are you okay?

Daria - I'm...

Tom - Here, take my jacket. Wish I'd worn my cape.

Jane - Huh?

Daria - No, I'm fine. Really, I've always wanted an amazing Technicolor dreamcoat.

Jane - I've trained her well. Never fear paint.

Tom - Come on, Daria. We'll stop by your house and you can shower and change before we head out.

Jane - No, come out like that, Daria. Shake up your image.

Daria - You know, why don't you two just go on ahead? I think I'll skip the pizza tonight. I need to go talk to Pharaoh about his dreams.

Jane - Aw, come on.

Tom - Yeah, come on, Daria.

Daria - I'm kind of beat.

Tom - Okay, see you around.

Jane - I'll call you later.

(Jane and Tom walk away, but Tom steals a look over his shoulder at Daria, who -- despite her protestations -- is a vision of misery and loneliness)

(Mr. O'Neill approaches, still in costume but with the helmet off)

Mr. O'Neill - Well, I never would have believed it. Look at you, Daria. All decked out in the Lawndale colors. I knew if you just gave school spirit a chance, you'd like it. Go, Lawndale! Right, Daria? See you in class. (leaves)

Daria (frowning) - Rah.

(at the Morgendorffer house)

(Jake is still sitting in the bathroom)

Jake (O.S.) - Daria? Daria?! Please come home, Daria. Come on, I've read this article about the Olsen twins five times! I knew I should've made it 30 bucks. Damn it!

(closing credits)