Quinn Morgendorffer

From DariaWiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

"Quinn" redirects here. For the fanfiction character, see Quinn Gilstad.

Quinn Morgendorffer
First appearance Esteemsters
Last appearance Is It College Yet?
Voiced by Wendy Hoopes
Episode count 65 (all)
2 TV movies
Gender Female
Age 14½-16½
Occupation Student at Lawndale High
Family Jake Morgendorffer (father)
Helen Morgendorffer (mother)
Daria Morgendorffer (sister)
Amy Barksdale (aunt)
Rita Barksdale (aunt)
Erin Chambers (cousin)
Ruth Morgendorffer (paternal grandmother)
"Mad Dog" Morgendorffer (paternal grandfather, deceased)
Grandma Barksdale (maternal grandmother, name unknown)
Significant other(s)

Quinn Morgendorffer is a fictional character on the MTV animated series Daria. She is the younger sister of Daria Morgendorffer and a freshman (later sophomore and junior) at Lawndale High School. At the age of 14½ years at the start of the show, Quinn was the chief nemesis for Daria for the bulk the series. The polar opposite of Daria, Quinn is perky, popular, and attractive in the eyes of her fellow classmates, much to Daria's horror and disgust. She was voiced by Wendy Hoopes.

I want to be a role model for all people, even the ones that need makeup really badly.

—Quinn, Monster,


Quinn Morgendorffer.

Quinn Morgendorffer is a stereotypical self-absorbed teenage girl who is concerned mainly by clothing, shopping, and being popular. Her interest beyond such trivial things are minimum save for getting into a "Party College" with her friends. Often, she seems unaware of basic facts since they don't have anything to do with looks or fashion. She has also become afraid when she thought her looks weren't good enough.

She shows a highly manipulative and mercenary personality, especially around boys: she'll grab any boy for a brief period to gain a material advantage and then dump him for another, while stringing along Jeffy, Jamie, and Joey so she can use them as regular tools. The idea of boys competing for or fighting over her leaves her visibly happy. She's also used this on her parents, and is often shown playing a knife-edge game of subtle undermining and reassurances with Sandi so she can keep her Fashion Club position, and once tried to outright lead a coup against Sandi before backing off when Stacy & Tiffany were happy with Sandi and getting nervous that this was now on record in the minutes. ("The Daria Diaries") She shares her manipulative and crafty tendencies with her sister, though neither of them ever noticed/admitted this on-screen.

Quinn realises she'll have to do work.

However, in spite of this Quinn does have some depth, though it's hidden by a great deal of low self-esteem in terms of her value. As she confesses to Daria in the season two episode "Monster", Quinn feels that looking pretty and being popular are the only things she is good at, hence why she focuses on them exclusively even though she sometimes feels disgusted that this is all her and her friends talk about. Also she does feel some ambition towards doing better, though her efforts almost always end up getting her in trouble with her friends, who all deride the notion of intellectually bettering oneself. In "Daria!", Quinn sings a duet where she admits that "it doesn't matter really what I do or wear", but she has a compulsion to be dressed perfectly to impress people, and has to be better than everyone else at it: being second isn't bad "as long as no one else was first". (As she realizes people would think this was mad, she never admits to it) Daria sums up her sister in "Psycho Therapy" as focusing on shallow things because she's afraid that she hasn't got any depth.

The later seasons of the series have Quinn reconsidering her priorities and coming to value her intelligence and her family in her own way, starting with "Is It Fall Yet?": Quinn discovers her grades are similar to the Fashion Club's, when she feels she should be able to beat them. She starts using a tutor, David Sorenson, who forcibly points out to her that she's bright enough to understand the subject but just isn't trying, and that she's a boring person who will only be popular while her looks last. Quinn, rattled, admits she wants to do well and ends up showing greater academic ability, as she's now putting in the effort. This continues into "Lucky Strike", where her better grades again clash with the Fashion Club; Daria would also tell Quinn in this episode that she's not stupid.

"Is It College Yet?" would test Quinn by having her befriend Lindy and then be faced with her alcoholism. Quinn ends up trying to make Lindy realize that she has a problem, even though she knows it may (and it does) cost her the friendship. In an earlier scene, she had also started to put down a college student for wearing an alternate dress, and was surprised (and a little ashamed) to find that Lindy assumed Quinn was in favour of it, as she didn't seem "the type" to put others down. This was the only time someone she'd viewed as a friend had told her this was considered distasteful.

Relationship with Daria

I was hoping that it wouldn't come to this and I'll deny that I ever said it but there's nothing wrong with you. Physically speaking.

—Daria to Quinn in Too Cute, showing a rare moment of sibling love in the first season of the series,

Toddler Quinn annoys Daria with her very existence (Monster)

Quinn has a rather adversarial relationship with Daria; the two are very resentful of the other and that their differences regarding social standing and personalities drive a large amount of the conflict in the series. This goes back to infancy. Both sides love to antagonize the other (though Quinn is less open about admitting to do so) though in spite of these differences, there does exist a level of sibling love between the two, even if they refuse to openly admit it. When not openly annoying or insulting Daria, Quinn's dealings with her often resemble a business transaction such as laying out terms of requirements, expenses, exceptions, and final payment. A recurring joke involved Quinn refusing to even admit to being Daria's sister, and her friends thinking Daria was her cousin or some other vague relation, often referring to her as "that girl who lives with you."

On some rare occasions the two sisters have worked together to achieve some goal, usually to get out of trouble or to avoid it. Most often these instances are dealt with in a rather business like fashion, such as when Daria incites Quinn ("That Was Then, This Is Dumb"), with an offer of some form of payment or benefit, to gather scandalous blackmail information about their parents from the son of visiting family friends. Later, when Quinn begins to uncover such stories, her response is "These have got to be worth at least twenty bucks to Daria."

Despite their constant conflict, Quinn has turned to Daria for help or advice in multiple episodes, even over her parents: she calls out to Daria rather than her father in "The Teachings of Don Jake" (before knowing Jake was ill too), she seeks Daria's advice about serious relationships in "Is It Fall Yet?", she asks Daria's help with a moral dilemma in "Is It College Yet?", and so on. In these situations, Daria is often serious (in less serious - to Daria's mind - situations, her answers deliberately take the piss).

In a Daria-penned essay "Please Pass the Peace Pact", Daria talked about "the Morgendorffer Accords (also known as the "Kitchen Counter Talks")" being "signed" after fifteen years. Both girls agreed to respect bedrooms as sacrosanct and to have equal access to "essential resources" in the bathroom and kitchen ("the refrigerator and the bathroom. No one wants a replay of the bitter Cold Cream War of 1998").

By the final episodes, their relationship warms considerably. In "Lucky Strike", she even takes Daria's side against Sandi and finally admits she's her sister. In "Boxing Daria", Quinn is greatly concerned for her sister and even retrieves the cardboard box Daria had been sheltering in, in case she still needed it. In "Aunt Nauseum", she also expressed fear that she and Daria would be fighting into adulthood, like their mother and aunts did. In the final film, she actually gives words of comfort to Daria and tells her she'll find her place in college.

Quinn and her parents

Quinn tricks her dad into paying up.

Throughout the show, Helen and Jake are shown as supportive of and happy with Quinn, and cheerlead many of her actions; they seem (from ours and Daria's POV) to be ignoring or unaware of Quinn's shallowness. Jake particularly is easy for her to manipulate, and she often can get money out of him. Despite their approval of her, Quinn never introduces them to her friends ("Daria Dance Party") and at one point tried to pretend she didn't know who they were ("Fire!") out of embarrassment.

Helen has noted Quinn's shallower parts and has tried, usually gently, to steer her away: trying to get her more organized in "Pinch Sitter", trying to get her to not consider her value as coming from looks only in "This Year's Model", "Too Cute" et al. She's also bribed Daria to keep an eye out on Quinn before. Both parents also expect her to do well at school.

In "Psycho Therapy", Helen accidentally let slip that she considered Quinn to be a failure of hers: "[as for] Quinn...well, I can't even think about what happened there, not right now". She was horrified when she realized she'd said this out loud.

When Jake had his heart attack, Quinn was so rattled that she decided to become a heart doctor and genuinely became focused on this, putting studying over phone calls. (Admittedly, she seemed to consider the board game "Operation" as actual studying.) She went back to the status quo when Jake recovered, but her change is still notable.

Social life

Socially active, Quinn immediately became one of the most popular girls at Lawndale High, much to the horror of her fellow members of the Fashion Club, a clique of teenage girls with whom Quinn was friends. While she had many boyfriends (even going as far as to come up with a ranking system for the men she dated), her only consistent followers were three teenage "jocks" from her grade level: Joey, Jeffy, and Jamie, classmates who constantly followed her around and were being manipulated by Quinn for her own purposes.

Sexuality and Conservatism

Even though Quinn refuses to be tied down to one guy (for reasons of wanting multiple men to serve as proverbial slaves to her every whim), and is perfectly comfortable flirting with other guys while on dates and stealing other girls' boyfriends, Quinn is rather conservative in terms of sex itself. She has on multiple occasions rejected the sexual advances of older men and was quite shocked when she believed that Daria had lost her virginity to her boyfriend Tom Sloane. Indeed, Quinn is extremely squeamish regarding anything overtly sexual, to the extent of refusing to participate in a lesson in sexually explicit posing with men during a modeling workshop class she was involved in ("This Year's Model" and freaking out at an attempt at dancing, saying she doesn't slow dance until "at least" the fifth date ("Daria Dance Party"). Pertinent comments about the show's creator's views on Quinn and sex appear in two fan-conducted interviews on DVDaria.

Quinn has also shown conservatism regarding other social activities of her peers. She does not drink ("Is It College Yet?"), though she has been around people who do and has been on dates to bars ("Speedtrapped").

Fashion Choices

Even with her well-known sense of fashion, Quinn has become known for (or has come to lament) several fashion choices made during the span of the series. in The Daria Database, Quinn is shown plotting to earn extra money to her allowance from Helen by wearing a red halter top to dinner. (It is insinuated that Quinn only keeps this article of clothing around for the purpose of eliciting a reaction from her mother, and would never consider wearing the halter top in public.) Of similar note is the 'micro-mini' skirt that Quinn wore to entice Kevin Thompson in 'The Lab Brat'. It is also of note that this incident is the only time in canon that Quinn tried to steal a boy from another girl, and that she felt that this was the type of appropriate attire to wear while doing so.

For a young woman who appears to exude such a feminine vibe, it is worth noting that the only time Quinn is seen wearing traditionally feminine clothing (dresses or skirts) is during formal events (the mother/daughter fashion show in 'Pierce Me', Erin's wedding in 'I Don't', the Lawndale High Homecoming parade in 'I Loathe a Parade') and, ironically enough, when she wore Daria's trademark outfit in 'Monster'.

Quinn also has shown a certain level of independence (or trendsetter ability) in her fashion choices; in 'Daria!', she chose to purchase a green jacket that Sandi Griffin commented 'made her look like a Hefty bag]].

The Pink Baby-T

An iconic image from the program that is as representative of the character (as the 'manstopper glasses' are representative of Daria herself) is Quinn's midriff-baring pink 'baby-T', adorned with a 'smiley-face' sporting a halo. Worn by Quinn in the first three seasons, Quinn changed from the baby-T in 'Is It Fall Yet?' to a pink sweater with a yellow butterfly.

Fanfic Stereotypes

Brainy Quinn

Quinn's vapidity in the TV series is forever played upon in Daria fanfic. However, certain personality quirks she reveals are elaborated upon at times. Most notable of these is "Brainy Quinn," so-called from the episode "Quinn the Brain," in which Quinn turns out to be smarter and more competent than anyone had ever guessed. This possibility was hinted at in the movie Is It Fall Yet? and the episode "Lucky Strike," but the extreme is reached, albeit through a logical and well-grounded process, in Kara Wild's Driven Wild Universe with the glasses-wearing math-genius Quinn, who thinks pi is "cute."

Sexually active Quinn

In Wouter's Party at Lindy's Quinn is seen starting a relationship with a boy she meets at a Party organized by Lindy. She overcomes her fear of physical contact.

Sexually Ambiguous Quinn

A slight variation on Quinn has been seen throughout Daria fan fiction; that being Quinn, even with her heavy dating schedule and many male admirers, somehow seems unable or unwilling to engage in an actual relationship with any young man, let alone have a sexual relationship. The reason for this, it seems, is that Quinn has same-sex leanings - and surprisingly, the fact that Quinn is interested in girls is not a surprising fact to the majority of individuals (except for the boys who have always worshipped her).

The subject has been explored in the following fics (incomplete list):

It is also suggested that the Quinn portrayed in Legion of Lawndale Heroes may have leanings in this fashion as well. This has been commented on by characters in the series, and in A Legion Halloween, Quinn and Danielle Todds share an intimate moment.

Action Quinn

A less common version of Quinn is that of Quinn who is more outgoing in a physical manner, in that she uses her fists (or other ways of causing physical harm) to settle problems. One current version of this variant can be seen evolving in Legion of Lawndale Heroes, where Quinn has always been the one out of the original three Legionnaires (Daria and Jane the others) to use her powers in a forward, aggressive manner. Since her visit to the United States Academy of Extranormal Studies, Quinn's level or power and her control of said power has grown, and she is becoming more assertive as a person. See also TAG's "Invisible Planet."

Alter Egos

An early Quinn design, from the Complete Animated Series DVD

External Links