Daria on DVD: In Praise of Misery Chicks


A smart, sarcastic teenage girl unhappily navigating her life in the suburbs, while quietly plotting her eventual escape. Back in the ’90s, we could have been talking about any number of fictional characters on TV, but in many ways, the queen of that archetype (and our personal hero at the time) was Daria Morgendoffer. To celebrate today’s release of

on DVD we’ve rounded up some of our favorite misery chicks from ’90s pop culture. Interestingly enough, they all seem to have something major in common with Daria.

Angela Chase What they have in common: Just like Angela has ill-fated feelings for Jordan Catalano, Daria pines for Trent Lane, her best friend Jane’s older brother. Like Jordan, Trent is an attractive, deadbeat musician in a crappy garage band — Mystik Spiral — who drives around in a car that he has dubbed the “Trentmobile.” (Jordan called his car “Red.”) He totally does not deserve her. Eventually Daria realizes this when Trent fails to help her and Jane out on a class project in Season 3.

Darlene Conner What they have in common: Moronic, fair-haired sisters with intense superiority complexes. While it was always hard to believe that Darlene and Becky shared any of the same DNA, Daria and Quinn, her popular younger sister, appeared to be from completely different planets. Remember how Quinn would tell her Fashion Club friends that she was an only child and that Daria was her cousin or a family employee? Sad.

Joey Potter What they have in common: While viewers know that both Joey and Daria are going to be knockouts in their ’20s, for now they suffer from a touch of high school ugly duckling syndrome. More often than not, this manifests itself in what we’ll call “caustic” behavior. Which is not to say they’re not both a teensy bit vain. Joey loved having her moment in the Miss Windjammer beauty pageant. On a similar note, remember when Daria gets contacts, and even though they irritate her eyes, she doesn’t want to give them up? Also: They both love writing.

Lindsay Weir What they have in common: Well for starters, a signature look that involves a green jacket. But beyond that we’d say that Lindsay’s dad Harold Weir and Daria’s dad Jake Morgendorffer are cut from the same cloth; they’re both small business owners who had issues with their own fathers and are prone to inordinate outbursts (read: burst blood vessels) over minor family mishaps. That said, it’s obvious that they both really love their families.

Lisa Simpson*What they have in common: While they’re both quick with a smartaleck quip, Lisa and Daria serve an important function, providing the only voice of reason in their respective families — and you could argue, their entire animated worlds. In fact, they’re almost like long lost cousins. Remember that episode where town legend Tommy Sherman dies and everyone in the school turns to Daria — who is dubbed “The Misery Chick” — for advice? That would totally happen to Lisa.

* OK, so Lisa Simpson is technically only 8 years old, but she’s been in elementary school since 1989. We think she still counts.