Season 2 Episode 1

Arts 'n' Crass

Aired Monday 10:00 PM Feb 16, 1998 on MTV - Music Television
out of 10
User Rating
54 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Ms. Defoe, the art instructor, asks the talented Jane to submit a poster about student life and submit it into a contest. Jane draws a pretty girl looking into a mirror, with Daria adding a very negative poem about bulimia. The poster does not go over well with the school principal, Ms. Li, who orders it changed and submitted against their will. Daria and Jane don't take this without a struggle.moreless

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  • Loved Daria's mother.

    I love how Daria's mother hardly pays attention to anyone but suddnely becomes this powerful protective mother once in a while that shows her love for her kids. It's so funny to see her actually doing something beneficial for her kids even though she cards more about them then their father does. It was also funny to see her stand up to the principal.
  • Ms. Li attempts to "gain glory for Lawndale High" with an poster contest, which, not too eagerly on her part, includes Jane. She drags Daria into the mess and their thought-provoking poster is messed with by Ms. Li. Do you honestly think this will fly?moreless

    This was so cool. Daria is helping Jane by writing a brief poem for Jane's entry in the school poster contest "Student Life at the Dawn of the New Millenium". They picture an attractive girl, then make it clear she suffers from an eating disorder. With the growing number of young people who suffer from eating disorders, that two teen girls can clearly spot and promote that the demands of image perfection places on young people is encouraging. But my favorite part is when Daria's mom Helen, a self-absorbed workaholic, comes to her daughter's defense, making it very clear that she will NOT tolerate any attempts to stifle her daughter's right to be, well, Daria. Helen may not always be there, but here you see she loves and is proud of her daughter.moreless
  • When Daria and Jane make a poster for the school's contest, Ms. Li takes it and alters it even though this violates the girl's rights. With a good mix of seriousness and humor, this is by far the best Daria episode.moreless

    The plot of this episode is fairly typical of a Daria episode. Daria and Jane enter a poster for an art contest at school. Ms. Li dosen't like it so she changes it and then displays it against the girl's wishes. The girls, who have run out of options, decide to vandilize the poster in an effort to keep people form seeing it. Ms. Li gets angry but when she trys to punish the girls, Helen steps in to save them.

    Out of all the Daria episodes, this one has to be my favorite. It focuses on deep and intresting characters like Daria and Jane, instead of simple characters like Kevin, Britteny, or the Fashion Club. The episode had a very common "fight the system" plot but did it in such a good way that I didn't even mind. It also had some great quotes including my favorite, the "big fat lawsuit" quote by Helen.

    All in all, it didn't do much in the way of character or plot devlopment, but it kept me entartained for thrity miunts, which is the whole reason I watch this series.moreless
Tracy Grandstaff

Tracy Grandstaff

Daria Morgendorffer

Wendy Hoopes

Wendy Hoopes

Jane Lane, Helen Morgendorffer, Quinn Morgendorffer

Julian Rebolledo

Julian Rebolledo

Jake Morgendorffer

Marc Thompson

Marc Thompson

Kevin Thompson, Anthony DeMartino, Timothy O'Neill, Charles "Upchuck" Ruttheimer, Jamie White

Jessica Cydnee Jackson

Jessica Cydnee Jackson

Jodie Landon

Nora Laudani

Nora Laudani

Ms. Angela Li

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (6)

    • The soda cups change color while Daria and Jane are eating during one scene at the pizza place. At 5 minutes in they change from blue with a yellow orange and red stripe to red with 2 yellow stripes.

    • This is the first episode that makes mention of the Lawndale High School mascot, the Lawndale Lion. The Lawndale Lion would be featured in season four's "I Loathe a Parade".

    • When Mr. O'Neill is talking on the phone, there are only 9 buttons on the phone when there should be at least 12.

    • In the first Pizza King scene (where they are coming up with ideas) at the beginning, Daria doesn't have a cup, then suddenly she does.

    • When Jane and Daria are in the principal's office for the second time, Jane's eyes are black instead of blue in one shot.

    • When Daria and Jane walk home after art class, they pass the same house and mailbox twice.

  • QUOTES (25)

    • (Daria and Jane are being counseled about the painting)
      Ms. Li: It's your decision to make. (they leave, door closes) Call their parents!

    • Jake: "Want you to be honest," he said. What the hell made me believe him?!

    • Helen: You came up with the idea of a girl with an eating disorder. Daria, that is so...so you.

    • Ms. Li: It will bring honor unto Lawndale High.
      Jane: "Unto"?
      Daria: Buckle my shoe.

    • Jane: I see. She's not going to throw-up anymore. But I might.
      Daria: Don't do that. It's downbeat.

    • Mr. O'Neill: I've captured the essence of your message, while softening the "rough edges".
      Daria: You stonewashed it?

    • Daria: It's not negative. It's supportive of students who don't want to be judged by their looks.
      Quinn: Oh, come on, Daria. People like that don't exist.

    • (upon seeing Brittany's painting)
      Ms. Defoe: Brittany, did you spill your paint?
      Brittany: Um...no?

    • Mr. O'Neill: Hello, Mrs. Morgenfoffer...uh, Morgendorffer. This is Timothy O'Neill at Lawndale High. I'm your daughter, Daria's, English teacher.
      Helen: Yes, is this about her essay on banning capital punishment and bringing back torture instead? Because that was obviously a joke.

    • Helen: All right, Ms. Li, let me make sure I have this straight. You took my daughter's poster from her, altered its content, exhibited it against her will, and are now threatening discipline because you claim she defaced her own property, which you admit to stealing?
      Ms. Li: (flustered) That's not what I said at all!
      Helen: Ms. Li, are you familiar with the phrase "violation of civil liberties"?
      Ms. Li: I...
      Helen: And the phrase "big fat lawsuit"?

    • Ms. Li: Did you really think you were going to get away with it?
      Jane: Well, it would be stupid to say "yes" now.

    • Trent: All right, here's the plan. I'll sit right here with my foot on the accelerator, ready to burn rubber.
      Jane: Trent, pull over here and make sure you turn off the car in case you fall asleep, okay?
      Trent: Alternate plan. Cool.

    • Trent: You did the right thing coming to me.
      Daria: Sorry we woke you up.
      Trent: Don't worry about it. It was bound to happen sooner or later.

    • Mr. O'Neill: You know what they say: a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.
      Jane: Not if you're diabetic.

    • Marianne: Helen? It's your daughter's teacher.
      Helen: Tell them I'll make sure Quinn turns in the assignment on Monday. Oh, and try to find out what the assignment is, and if you could get started making notes on it.
      Marianne: It's your other daughter, I think.
      Helen: Daria? Well, then, tell them I'll talk to her about her attitude, and try to find out who she insulted and what she said.

    • Jane: You're a real Joan of Arc, you know that?
      Daria: Yeah, and I think I just ordered a stake.

    • Ms. Li: Curiosity...inquiry...expression. These are the building blocks of education.
      (Brittany raises her hand)
      Brittany: Ma'am?
      Ms. Li: No questions!

    • Daria: (to Jake) If you're looking for a way to occupy yourself, there are plenty of chores that need doing around here.
      (Helen and Jake glare at Daria)
      Daria: What? You get to say it.

    • Helen: Jake, everyone slips up once in a while.
      Daria: He fired you for being honest?
      Jake: It was entrapment!
      Daria: So it's off to the sneaker sweatshop for me and Quinn?

    • Jodie: (walking up) What are you guys doing here?
      Daria: Observing.
      Jane: Innocently.
      Jodie: I can't believe what Ms. Li did to your poster. Wait a minute...what are you guys planning?
      Daria: Get lost Landon.
      Jane: It's for your own good.
      Daria: You got a bright future kid.
      Jane: You don't want to be here when what's going to go down goes down.

    • Daria: Okay, but quote Mary Poppins again, and the deal is off.

    • Jane: You gotta help me, you're the most negative person I know.
      Daria: Thanks.

    • Jane: What if we post a picture of Kevin and Brittany and call it "America's Future Leaders"?
      Daria: No...that's too depressing.

    • (Jane shows Ms. Defoe her painting)
      Ms.Defoe: Oh, Jane, she's beautiful!
      (Reading the poem)
      Ms.Defoe: She knows she's a winner. She couldn't be thinner. Now she goes to the bathroom and vomits up dinner..? Oh, Jane, I don't think that's funny.
      Jane: You don't?

    • Jane: (to Ms. Defoe) I get it. She's not going to throw up anymore...(to herself) but I might.

  • NOTES (3)

    • Music
      -Imani Coppola - "Legend of a Cowgirl" (closing credits)
      -Beck - "Dead Weight (A Life Less Ordinary)" (beginning of art class)
      -Morrissey - "Alma Matters" (end of art class)
      -Edwyn Collins - "The Magic of Piper Love" (Pizza King)
      -The Dandy Warhols - "Not If You Are the Last Junkie on Earth" (Daria & Jane eating pizza)
      -LL Cool J - "Phenomenon" (Jane's Mom's music)
      -The Misfits - "Dig Up Her Bones" (Trent's music)
      -Blink 182 - "Dammit" (Daria & Jane walk to school)
      -Portishead - "All Mine" (Ms. Li's office)
      -Sonic Youth - "Disappear" (Trent's car)
      -Atari Teenage Riot - "Atari Teenage Riot" (defaced poster)
      -LL Cool J - "4,3,2,1" (Jane's Mom's music)
      -Echo & the Bunnymen - "I Want to Be There When You Come" (Trent's music)
      -Bis - "Tell It to the Kids" (Daria & Jane at Pizza King)

    • This episode first aired as part of the first "Daria Day", an all-day marathon of the entire first season followed by the second season premiere and the premiere of Madonna's video "Frozen".

    • This episode won the "Best School Spirit" poll. The winners were shown after the premiere of Is It College Yet.


    • Daria: I don't really care what people do to themselves.

      Daria's comment refers to the Libertarism movement that believes that the State should not interfere with the common man's free will.

    • Jane: We had to destroy [the painting] in order to save it.

      This is a take off on a U.S. soldier's controversial statement during the Vietnam War, "We had to destroy the village in order to save it."

    • Jane: You're a real Joan of Arc.
      Daria: And I think I've just ordered a stake.

      Joan of Arc was a French woman who believed herself to be chosen by God to rally French resistance against English invaders. Word got around that she was hearing God's instructions as a voice in her head, leading people to believe her guilty of witchcraft and not divinity, and she ended up being burned at the stake by the church.

    • Title Pun: Arts 'n' Crafts

    • Mr. O' Neil: A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.

      This is a line from the 1964 Disney film Mary Poppins, starring Julie Andrews as a magical nanny who cares for the children of a cold-hearted London banker.

    • Daria: It's off to the sneaker sweatshop for me and Quinn.

      This is a reference to the scandals involving Nike's sneaker factories located in Third World countries. The factories were essentially sweatshops staffed with underpaid, underage children.

  • 10:00 pm