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Daria: Esteemsters

During their first day at Lawndale High, Daria and Quinn are required to take psychological exams. Quinn does fine, but Daria, disgusted with having to take the exam, answers the questions in her typical smart-alec remarks. However, her remarks lead the teacher to think Daria has esteem problems and recommends she take a special class. Meanwhile, Quinn instantly fits right in with the popular kids but Daria is outcasted until she meets Jane in her esteem class.


Episode Info


Episode number: 1x1
Production Number: 101
Airdate: Monday March 03rd, 1997



  • Currently 9.5/10
9.5/10 (2 Votes cast)
Guest Stars
Amy PalmerAmy Palmer
voiced Various
Recurring
Cindy E. BrolsmaCindy E. Brolsma
voiced Various
Recurring
Danielle CarinDanielle Carin
voiced Various
Recurring
Eric FogelEric Fogel
voiced Various
Recurring
Jessica ZainoJessica Zaino
voiced Various
Recurring
John W. Lynn, Jr. (1)John W. Lynn, Jr. (1)
voiced Sick, Sad World Announcer
Recurring
Merle BeckerMerle Becker
voiced Various
Recurring
Michelle TomasikMichelle Tomasik
voiced Various
Recurring
Nicole CarinNicole Carin
voiced Various
Recurring
Patrick FredericPatrick Frederic
voiced Various
Recurring
Sharon HoustonSharon Houston
voiced Various
Recurring

Recap

The episode opens in the car as Jake is driving Quinn and Daria to their first day at Lawndale High. Jake tries to give advice to Daria and Quinn about making new friends and how he knows it isn't easy for Daria to fit in right away. While Jake is talking, Quinn turns up the radio, and Jake quickly turns it back down, only for Daria to reach over and turn it back up. As the arrive at the school, Jake continues to shell out advice, telling the girls not to be upset if the other kids don't accept them right away. While Jake keeps on talking, Quinn gets out of the car and walks over to a group of popular kids and is immediately accepted into the group and asked out by a boy. Daria gets out of the car next to the crowd, which completely ignores her existence. ..

Read the full recap
Episode Notes
Non-Speaking Characters: Andrea, Coach Gibson



Music
ArtistSong TitlePlayed When
3 Doors DownKryptonite 
DishwallaCharlie Brown's Parents 
Fiona AppleShadowboxer 
The MavericksBlue Moon 
Nerf HerderVan Halen 
Ny LooseSpit 
The OffspringI Choose 
SplendoraYou're Standing On My Neck 
Tracy BonhamSharks Can't Sleep 


Episode Quotes
Daria: You know all the answers to the questions on the release test, right?
Jane: I've got them in my notebook.
Daria: Well, why don't we just take the test tomorrow and get out of the class once and for all?
Jane: How would I spend my afternoons?
Daria: U.F.O. conventions.
Jane: Now you're talking.

Jake: How's the old self-esteem coming, kiddo?
Daria: My self-esteem teacher says that being addressed all my life with childish epithets like "kiddo" is probably a key source of my problem.
Jake: Really?
Daria: No.

Mrs. Manson: Now, Dora, let's see if you can make up a story as vivid as your sister's.
Daria: It's Daria.
Mrs. Manson: I'm sorry ... Daria. What do you see in the picture, Dara?
Daria: Um ... a herd of beautiful wild ponies running free across the plains.
Mrs. Manson: Uh, there aren't any ponies. It's two people.
Daria: Last time I took one of these tests they told me they were clouds. They said they could be whatever I wanted.
Mrs. Manson: That's a different test, dear. In this test, they're people and you tell me what they're discussing.
Daria: Oh ... I see. All right, then. It's a guy and a girl and they're discussing ... a herd of beautiful wild ponies running free across the plains.

Mr. DeMartino: Daria, can you concisely and unemotionally sum up for us the doctrine of Manifest Destiny?
Daria: Manifest Destiny was a slogan popular in the 1840s. It was used by people who claimed it was God's will for the U.S. to expand all the way to the Pacific Ocean. (pause) These people did not include many Mexicans.

Daria: Mom? You feeling all right? It's not even 5:00 yet.
Helen: I'm taking the rest of the day off to work with you on your self-esteem.
Daria: Mom, I'm in the care of experts. Any meddling by an amateur could be dangerous.

Quinn: If he does want to go study, he has got to do a lot better than movie, burger, backseat, movie, burger, backseat because there are plenty of guys with bigger backseats waiting to take her some place nice.

Mr. DeMartino: Alright class, who can tell me which war Manifest Destiny was used to justify? Kevin you.
Kevin: Vietnam war?
Mr. DeMartino: That came a little later. A hundred years later. A lot of good men died in that conflict Kevin, I think we owe it to them to at least get the century right.
Kevin: Uhh, operation water-gate?



Episode Goofs
Daria talks about borrowing the car, but she doesn't get her license until season 3, episode 10 "Speedtrapped".

Correction: The parents also said no. They didn’t mention why, but that’s most likely the reason.

Jake's belt disappears and reappears during the opening scene.

The Rubik's Cube in front of Daria during the psychological exam changes colors throughout the scene.

While Jane and Daria are taking the esteem test, the bridge of Daria's glasses dissappears.



Cultural References
Pizza Forest

Pizza Forest is a parody of pizza restaurants such as Chuck E. Cheese, complete with the singing and dancing animals.

Helen: You don't want it to be Highland all over again.
Daria: Not much chance of that happening ... unless there's uranium in the drinking water here, too.

This is a reference to Beavis and Butt-head, in which Daria was a recurring character. This is also the only reference that is made to the show.

Episode Title: Esteemsters

The episode title is a possible reference to the Teamsters, one of the largest labor unions in the U.S.



Analysis
Parenting

The subtle theme of parenting throught the series begins with this episode. Quinn and Daria are seen not taking Jake's advice before their first day at Lawndale High, showing that Jake hasn't been the best parent to go to for advice in the past. Helen, trying to connect with Daria by doing some that "Daria wants to do", takes Daria to help her pick out business suits, and when told about Daria's esteem problem, Helen asks "can my assistant handle it?". The parents mean well, but seem to not know how to connect to either of their children.

Daria and Quinn's Relationship

The underlying theme of Quinn and Daria's shakey relationship is started with this episode. At school, Quinn avoids Daria, but Daria on the other hand doesn't hesistate to tell people that Quinn is her sister. Later at the assembly, Quinn is horrified when Daria tells the school that she's her sister, making it the first time that Daria takes pleasure in Quinn's humiliation.



Warning: Daria season 1 episode 1 guide may contain spoilers
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