Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
In Daria's first incarnation as an occasional character in Beavis and Butthead, she formed a female, intelligent foil to the two dunderheads.
In her eponymous series, Daria became more angsty; to some, she's the poster child for 'teen misfit.' Voiced, in all five seasons and both movies, by Tracy Grandstaff, Daria is a bespectacled, plain, highly intelligent, unfashionably dressed, and seemingly cynical teenage girl who is portrayed as an icon of sanity in an insane household, with her vacuous, fashion-obsessed sister Quinn and career-obsessed parents Helen and Jake.
While much of the show is a vehicle for Daria's droll deadpan monotone one-liners, a recurring plot element in early seasons is Daria standing up to misused authority, leading some fans to conclude that her apparent cynicism is only skin deep.
An oft-quoted line from Esteemsters, the first episode of Daria, sets the tone for Daria's attitude: “Don't worry, I don't have low self-esteem. It's a mistake. I have low esteem for everyone else.”
During the series, Daria attends Lawndale High School, where on her first day she meets Jane Lane, the artist and classmate who will be her first real friend and her best friend through the rest of her high school life. Their strong friendship and mutual endurance of gloomy adolescence was a leitmotif of the series.
By the time the finale movie Is it College Yet? arrives, Daria's character has undergone noticeable growth. She graduates from Lawndale High, winning the Dian Fossey Award “for dazzling academic achievements in face of near total misanthropy”, and crowning her acceptance speech with the assertion that “...[T]here is no aspect, no facet, no moment of life that can't be improved with pizza,” Daria prepares for her final summer before leaving for college.
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