|“||I don't have low self esteem ... I have low esteem for everyone else.||”|
| 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 Morgendorffer is the 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, Daria makes no attempt to dress attractively, never wearing any makeup or styling her long, 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 5'3", 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 way of interacting with it. 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 she won't feel bad when they do.
Although her stance on most things is unwavering, Daria is also highly self-aware, which is a given since most of her jokes are based on critical analysis of everything around her, but she is also willing to look at herself in the same 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, often with mixed but ultimately enlightening results.