|Air date:||March 24, 1997|
|Featured Character(s):|| Daria Morgendorffer |
|Previous Episode:||College Bored|
Cafe Disaffecto is the fourth episode of Season 1 of Daria and the fourth episode overall. It originally aired on MTV Mafch 24, 1997.
Daria, Jane, and Quinn are coerced into raising money for a new student coffee house, which involves Daria reading one of her stories on opening night.
A computer is stolen from "alt.lawndale.com", the student cybercafe in Lawndale. English teacher Timothy O'Neill mentions this in class for discussion, as a break from Romeo and Juliet. Kevin fails at expressing his feelings on the theft and vandalism...after first denying having anything to do with it. Jodie feels angry about the robbery, though she admits the cafe served a limited clientele. Daria mocks the teacher's statement about being cut off from the "virtual community", stating sitting in a room staring at a computer screen and not talking to anybody for hours doesn't constitute a community. Misunderstanding Daria's comments, O'Neill decides to reopen the establishment as a more traditional coffeehouse.
At Schloss Morgendorffer Daria, Helen and Jake talk about extracurricular activities. Helen insists that Daria do something outside of school, so that Daria can include it in future college applications. She ends up convincing Daria to look for an activity by threatening to send her to Music Camp (an activity Daria detests). Daria argues that colleges care more about whether prospective students can afford tuition (and Jake proves no help to Helen's argument) but Helen is not to be dissuaded. Daria ends up volunteering for the coffeehouse, choosing to raise funds instead of performing on stage. She convinces Jane to join her by finding a reason she would accept - namely, the chance to see inside houses and make fun of people's tastes.
Other students are also involved in fund-raising: Kevin and Brittany try to sell wrapping paper, magazine subscriptions, CD's/cassettes, and flower seeds to Anthony DeMartino, who refuses to buy anything on the general principle that he does not want to underwrite further student indolence. Quinn uses her feminine wiles to convince/ manipulate a guy named Danny into buying long-distance phone cards.
Daria and Jane sell chocolate bars door-to-door. Their first client is Mrs. Johansen, an obese woman who is short of breath and who faints while talking to them. When Mrs. Johansen insinuates that she is forbidden to eat chocolate by her doctor, Daria refuses to sell her any bars, despite the woman's pleas to buy their whole supply. Back at school, Principal Li reprimands the two students for not having sold anything and having refused to sell to a willing client, despite Daria's explanation of Mrs. Johansen's medical condition. Fortunately for them, the lack of money from the aborted chocolate sale is compensated by the huge success Quinn has in selling phone cards. Unfortunately, Daria still has no credit for the coffee house opening, so she agrees to read at opening night. After considering and passing over several of her old stories, she decides to write a brand new one.
The opening night comes, and the coffee house (called Café Lawndale) has several performers: a male rock musician sings some lines before destroying his own guitar on stage; Brittany and Kevin attempt to do Romeo and Juliet's balcony scene; Andrea reads some lines of her poetry. Finally, Daria reads her new story, a spy thriller presenting the female secret agent Melody Powers. The originally disinterested audience slowly warms up to Daria's story and bursts in applause and cheers at its concluding.
The following day, at breakfast, Jake reads in the newspaper the side effect to the success of Daria's story: some Lawndale Lions had formed an anti-communist rally and had attempted to stone the Russian embassy (despite the lack of one in Lawndale), forcing the closing of the Café Lawndale. Daria calmly notes that she's already got her extra-curricular credit and they can't take it away - now she just needs to keep an eye out for the next time her parents try to make her do one...
The episode concludes with the robbery of Café Lawndale that night.
Noteably Absent CharactersEdit
The Daria DiariesEdit
In this episode, Mr. O'Neill says that he identifies with Daria's essay about being "a misfit who everyone hates." This is further suplemented by the Daria Diaries, in which O'Neill says that Daria reminds him of himself as a child.
Cafe Disaffecto was a part of the Daria Sarcastathon 3000 marathon. In the intro to the episode, Jane makes a dig at one of Daria's sister shows on MTV, the once-popular Road Rules ("buried...underneath the maggot piles of Road Rules reruns").
- First appearance of Daria's created character, Melody Powers. The fictional-character-within-the-series would become popular with the Daria fandom.
- The first and only episode without a Sick, Sad World segment.
- Daria says she doesn't know CPR, but in an episode of Beavis and Butthead (Water Safety), Daria is shown performing CPR. This is due to either one of two possible reasons. The first reason might be that Glenn Eichler might not consider very much of Beavis and Butthead as canon to Daria, which could be supported by how Beavis and Butthead, and the events thereof, are only mentioned once in the series one time in passing (possible real world answer). The second reason might be that Daria was reluctant to perfrom CPR on Mrs. Johansen for some reason and lied to avoid it (possible in-verse answer).
- The original name of the school coffee house, alt.lawndale.com, was later used as the name of a Daria fandom website, but the site is no longer updated or maintained. It also claimed to be the third unofficial Daria website ever created.