|“||I don't have low self esteem ... I have low esteem for everyone else.||”|
|Daria Irina Morgendorffer|
|Birth Date||April 25, 1978|
| Beavis and Butt-head|
|Portrayed by||Tracy Grandstaff|
|First Episode||"Sign Here" (Beavis and Butt-head, 1993)|
|Last Episode||Is It College Yet? (Daria, 2002)|
|Other Appearances||Beavis and Butt-head|
|Parents|| Jake Morgendorffer (father)|
Helen Morgendorffer (mother)
|Siblings||Quinn Morgendorffer (sister)|
|Romances|| Trent Lane (Crush)|
Ted DeWitt-Clinton (Crush)
Thomas Sloane (Ex Boyfriend)
Unknown current boyfriend
Daria Irina Morgendorffer is the series' titular protagonist. Originally a supporting character in Beavis and Butthead, she is the eldest child in the Morgendorffer family and a disaffected, misanthropic student of Lawndale High.
In stark contrast with all other female characters and despite being beautiful, Daria makes no attempt to dress attractively, never wearing any makeup or styling her long, reddish brown hair in any particular fashion. She typically sports a large dark green jacket, an orange shirt underneath, a black skirt and large lace-up boots, accompanied by her signature thick-rimmed circular glasses. She is relatively small in stature, standing at a mere 5'2" according to Jane, and most clothes don't fit her as a result, even including her usual outfit to an extent, as her coat and boots are clearly a bit large for her. Quinn the Brain is the only episode where her body type is actively showcased, and it seems to be fairly similar to Quinn's.
Daria primarily revolves around the main character's cynical outlook and how it evolves throughout the series. Daria's best known characteristic is her deadpan sarcasm; her usual reaction to almost anything and everyone being a dry, witty remark at their expense. This commonality is what united her with her best friend, Jane Lane, and the two often enjoy a sort of innate pride in seeing see high school life more objectively than their brain-dead classmates and condescending or self-focused teachers. Daria is naturally intelligent and known as a "brain" in school, earning average to high marks in all of her classes without much effort and spending much of her free time on intellectual pursuits such as reading and writing. However, she is also highly apathetic and somewhat lazy, showing no motivation to apply anything above the minimum required effort and never taking part in extracurricular activities by her own volition, entirely content to coast through high school with her inherent academic talents. Because of this lack of engagement with other students, in addition to her often bored or pessimistic expression and status as an outsider, she is commonly perceived as being very unhappy, although in The Misery Chick, she denies this and clarifies that her outlook is simply "realistic" rather than outright nihilistic, although she will occasionally appeal to nihilism and even consideration of suicide for the sake of an offhand joke. Another one of Daria's key traits is her staunchness, as she is often highly opinionated, sometimes harshly judgmental and even smug at points. Although she is ultimately fair, and will admit to being wrong after proven as such, she is typically opposed to or at least wary of generally accepted social norms and notions, as well as things such as superstition, and can be somewhat quick to anger in a divisive argument. Her sense of morality and unwillingness to conform often frustrates her family and the school faculty, but occasionally makes them proud when conformity would be unjust. She has admitted to having generally low opinions of others, but does occasionally socialize with Jodie Landon and Mack, and acknowledges them as two of the few decently intelligent and respectable students going to Lawndale. She once confided to Jodie that she knows her unaccepting and uninclusive attitude isn't the perfect way to go about seeing the world, but it's simply her most comfortable form of interaction. As Boxing Daria entails, this is rooted in poor childhood experiences of not relating to other kids and being mocked for it. This repeated result, compounded by her belief that she was becoming a burden to her parents, motivated her to stop trying to interact with people altogether and instead shield herself from possible rejection by isolating herself voluntarily. In her own words, she is highly defensive to the point of actively trying to make people dislike her so that she won't feel bad when they do. Although her stance on most things is unwavering, Daria is also highly self-aware, which is fairly evident given her sense of humor, but this means she is also willing to look at herself in the same critical light in order to learn from her mistakes. While her character is largely the same by the end of the series, she makes multiple strides to come out of her shell and reach out to people throughout it's run, often with mixed but ultimately enlightening results.
Character Overview Edit
The character is a smart, snarky, sensitive teenage girl in an otherwise "normal" environment. This is to say that she doesn't fit in all that well, and was often subject to ridicule - and would ridicule back, poking at the idiocies of her peers, her elders, and herself. Though the outcast of her school, she appears to have earned a degree of grudging, nearly surprising respect from her fellow students. (Surprising because there's little evidence that they are capable of appreciating her.) She attempts to fly under the radar and blend into the background, but keeps getting drawn in to situations against her will, where she either restores sanity or causes things to descend into further chaos. A career aptitude test in "It Happened One Nut" said she'd do well as a mortician: "Your lack of interest in personal interaction makes you an ideal candidate for working with the dead." She was not happy with this result. She has described Jane Lane as basically the only real friend she's ever had. "The Daria Diaries" states she was "always invited to slumber parties" as a pre-teen, but only because she had an adult library card and could bring along sex-filled romance books. Her starsign is Scorpio ("Beavis and Butt-head: Chicken Soup for the Butt"). Daria has a high intelligence for her age group, knowing about a wide variety of subjects and noted to be both at the top of many classes and getting repeated A grades. Daria is also shown to be quite lazy and apathetic: she manages to get her high grades despite, as far as we can see, not working that hard. Her experience with romance appears to have been limited for most of her teenage life, until Tom Sloane consisting largely of a few dates and odd flirtations (see Robert, Ted DeWitt-Clinton, and Trent Lane). Her parents try repeatedly to make her more sociable and 'normal'. Although their intentions are well meant, these are usually in ways that are clearly unsuitable for Daria or outright idiotic; Daria attempts to get out of these at first opportunity, and more often than not, she usually ends up bringing out and showing why said ways don't work, on both her and those who are also dragged along with her.
Daria enjoys reading classic literature from a variety of eras and genres - including Catch-22 ("Quinn the Brain") and beatnik novel Howl ("The Old and the Beautiful") - and arty foreign films ("Monster"). She also enjoys incredibly trashy junk culture, including B-movies and Sick, Sad World, and is frequently attending Punk Rock and Alt. Rock concerts ("Road Worrier"), ("Ill"), ("Pierce Me") and playing incredibly violent video games ("The New Kid", "The Story of D"). She collects medical teaching supplies and replicas of medical oddities. ("The Daria Database", "Of Human Bonding") She is often viewed as miserable and gloomy by her peers and by adults, something she states annoys her in "The Misery Chick": "I'm not miserable! I'm just not like them."
Daria before high school Edit
Sources like "The Daria Diaries", "Cafe Disaffecto", and "Camp Fear" have established the following about Daria's pre-Highland High life:
- Daria was a very grumpy looking baby and toddler. ("Diaries")
- She and Quinn drove babysitter after babysitter to despair with their sibling warfare, causing one to have a heart attack. ("The Big House")
- When she was young, she was forced to play the flute: she stopped in third grade and her dad accidentally ran the flute over two years later. The tune of 'Pop Goes The Weasel' brings back bad memories. ("Cafe Disaffecto")
- Daria found it hard to fit in at school and early on decided to stop bothering. Her parents would be called in to school time and again over this. ("Boxing Daria")
- The Morgendorffers visited the Grand Canyon when Daria was around ten or so - Helen spent the visit on her cell phone to work. ("Diaries")
- She was sent to Camp Dragonfly and Camp Grizzly during the summer holidays. Grizzly in particular was hell for her, causing her to be trapped with the bullying Skip Stevens and sycophantic Amelia in close contact.
- Young Daria had an adult library card. This meant she was invited to a lot of slumber parties by other girls, because she could rent out books with sex scenes in them (including Sons and Lovers). ("Diaries")
- When she was twelve, she started using Shakespearian insults on teachers. ("Boxing Daria").
Beavis and Butt-Head Edit
In Daria's first incarnation as a recurring character on Beavis and Butt-head, she formed a female, intelligent foil to the two male dunderheads. (She was, a producer/writer for the show stated, "the smart girl who hung around with Beavis and Butt-head because it annoyed her parents.") Often, the two would openly mock her and refer to her as "Diarrhea." Daria was named by Mike Judge after a girl at his school who'd had that name... and also been nicknamed "Diarrhea". He cites David Felton as coming up with her look ("like Lynda Barry") and with the character, with producer John Andrewscreating the original design. Beavis and Butt-head took place in a small town called Highland in Texas, where Daria, Beavis, and Butt-head were in the ninth grade at Highland High. Tracy Grandstaff's voice for Daria starts off sounding normal and gradually become deeper and flatter, though the full monotone version from her own series would not be completed until "Esteemsters". Though she is not amused by their antics, she does not have the passionate hatred for them that Principal McVicker and Coach Buzzcut have nor does she really believe there is any hope for them either as Mr. Van Driessen had. At times, she would also make fun of the two for their stupidity. In the episode U. S. History, she turned around to talk to the duos and said they'll never graduate, and she told them that "to graduate" means to be all done with the final year of school.