Season 4 Episode 5

The 'F' Word

Aired Monday 10:00 PM Mar 31, 2000 on MTV - Music Television
out of 10
User Rating
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Episode Summary

Mr. O'Neill has his students each try something they are sure to fail at, so that they can achieve personal growth. Daria attempts to have her parents ground Quinn so that she can't attend a fashion expo; Jane tries to dress fashionably conformist in an attempt to fit in; Kevin tries to be a bad athlete; Brittany tries to be unpopular by constantly talking about social issues; Jodie tries to talk her parents into letting her kick back during the summer; and Mack tries to teach Kevin about the 3 branches of government. Though Daria, Jodie and Mack fail in their tasks (and therefore succeed in the assignment), the other three unexpectedly succeed in their attempts. Kevin gets kicked off the football team after losing a game, and Brittany alienates the cheerleading squad, who try to replace her with Jane. Since nobody's life changed for the better thanks to their attempts, Mr. O'Neill feels he has failed as a teacher--until Daria and Jane convince him that by doing so, he has succeeded in his own assignment.moreless

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    Amir Williams

    Amir Williams

    Michael Jordan "Mack" Mackenzie

    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, Jamie White

    Janie Mertz

    Janie Mertz

    Sandi Griffin, Brittany Taylor, Andrea

    Stefanie Layne

    Stefanie Layne


    Guest Star

    Laurine Towler

    Laurine Towler

    Michele Landon

    Recurring Role

    Bart Fasbender

    Bart Fasbender

    Andrew Landon

    Recurring Role

    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


    • TRIVIA (3)

      • The speaker from the teacher's conference going on about how failure is a good thing sounds a lot like most Progressive Theory practitioners. A lot of U.S. schools use the Progressive Theory now.

      • Hydrocephalus is basically "water on the brain" and leads to enlargement of the skull (along with brain damage, but that wouldn't show up in a skull replica).

      • The "Wild Pair" used to be a men's and women's clothing store, specializing in trendy shoes, as well.

    • QUOTES (17)

      • Sandi: I can't believe Quinn tried to pass Mr. O'Neill off as a professional fashion consultant.

      • Jane: Cheer, cheer, cheer. Yell, yell, yell. Who cares who wins? We're all going to hell.

      • Brittany: (to Kevin) Babe, you wouldn't believe the cheerleader who auditioned yesterday. She got scared and lost all her bouncity-bounce.
        Daria: You had bouncity-bounce?
        Jane: Drop it or I'll have to kill you.
        Daria: I'm taking Quinn to the Fashion Extravaganza tomorrow. What makes you think I don't want you to kill me?

      • Jane: They want me for the squad.
        Daria: I hope you mean the kind where you get a blindfold.

      • (Daria is giving Brittany tips on how to be unpopular)
        Daria: Or how people in Afghanistan are being stoned to death for wearing the wrong attire.
        (the Fashion Club walk by)
        Sandi: You hear that Stacy?

      • (Jane is wearing her new "conventional" clothing)
        Jane: Do you want to test out my new lip gloss? It's kiwi flavored.
        Tom: Well, I guess if I kissed you at least my eyes would be closed.

      • Angie: I feel bad about Brittany. It's like she's lost her way.
        Nikki: She does that all the time.
        Angie: No, I mean like she's forgotten who she is.
        Nikki: Like I said...

      • Jane: So, what are you going to fail at? Giving a damn?
        Daria: I could fail to see the merit of this assignment.
        Jane: Or succeed in finding it a waste of time.

      • (Brittany answered a question correctly)
        Brittany: I'm...right?
        Daria: It gets easier after the first time.

      • Jane: So, like, do I look conventional, or whatever?

      • Mr. O'Neill: Okay, then. Jodie?
        Jodie: I failed to convince my mother and father to let me have this summer off.
        Mr. O'Neill: Excellent! And see, you've learned that failure isn't so bad now, is it?
        Jodie: No, I've learned that my parents would rather I dropped from exhaustion than missed the opportunity to shred some congressman's incriminating phone bills.
        Daria: At least she'd be learning a marketable skill.

      • Kevin: I'm the QB...no more.

      • Jane: You could try failing at being sarcastic.
        Daria: (sarcastically) Yeah, like that'll work.

      • (picking something they will fail at)
        Jane: Now you gotta help me to pick something to fail at; something really impresive that doesn't required any effort of any kind.
        Daria: How about performing brain surgery on Kevin?
        Jane: I said "no effort". Finding that brain could take weeks.
        Daria: Then...how about being conventional: looking and acting like anybody else. It would take you no time to fail at that.
        Jane: What are you saying? That I'm some kind of freak of nature?
        Daria: Define "of nature".

      • Brittany: Did you know that, um, there are more biorhythmical weapons than ever in the rainforests of Afghanistan and they blow up if you wear the wrong clothes?

      • (At the football game)
        Mr. O'Neil: Gosh, Anthony, this is marvellous! It's nice to see our students so enthusiastic and excited!
        Mr. DeMartino: You mean instead of the way we usually see them? Wishing fervently for our deaths?

      • Mr. O'Neil: So, class, your assignment is to pick something you know you'll fail at, to prove that failing isn't the end of the world.
        Daria: There goes my motivation.
        Jane: Relax. At least he's not making us guess people's identities by feeling their hands.
        Daria: Again.

    • NOTES (2)

      • Music
        -Filter - "Miss Blue" (closing credits)
        -Buck Cherry - "Check Your Head" (teacher's conference)
        -Sisquo - "Got to Get It" (1st commercial bumper)
        -B.G. - "Bling Bling" (Daria & Jane at Pizza King)
        -The Bloodhound Gang - "The Bad Touch" (cheerleaders at Pizza King & 2nd commercial bumper)
        -Diana Ross - "Love Hangover" (Brittany & Kevin moping)
        -Eiffel 65 - "Blue (Da Ba Dee)" (Jane's dream of being a cheerleader)
        -Marcy Playground - "Sherry Fraiser" (Brittany is welcomed back to the squad)
        -Diana Ross - "Love Hangover" (Mack talks team into bringing Kevin back)
        -Morphine - "Super Sex" (Mr. O'Neill's apartment)
        -Cha Cha - "New Millenium (What Cha Wanna Do)" (Quinn & O'Neill at fashion show)

      • Even though Noggin changed the title of the episode to "Fail", on the Noggin site, it is still called "The 'F' Word".

    • ALLUSIONS (1)

      • The Bell Jar

        One of Mr. O'Neill's students is reading The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. It's a largely autobiographical novel about a gifted young woman's mental breakdown during an internship.

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