Relationship with Quinn
Sandi is the self-appointed ruler of small but influential clique, the Lawndale Fashion Club, and is the group's undisputed queen bee — until the arrival of Quinn Morgendorffer, that is. Sandi is intensely jealous of Quinn's greater popularity and cuteness, and is always trying to one-up her, usually with a thin smile and very unconvincing politeness. Sandi often bullies the members of the Fashion Club into doing things her way, and delights in pointing out "obvious" flaws in Quinn's dress, plans, lifestyle, or family, to which Quinn usually replies with a shaky, "Oh, Sandi! Of course not..." followed by a statement that she really meant to say or do something that agreed completely with what Sandi thinks.
Sandi frequently tries to deflate Quinn's popularity and often well-meaning suggestions. She recruits the remaining Fashion Club members to oppose Quinn's plans by playing against their insecurities and leaving them no choice but to follow suit. For the most part, Sandi's vengeance is usually quelled by Quinn's remarkable good fortune and incurable popularity. In the episode "Daria Dance Party," Sandi deliberately abandons Quinn when she volunteers the Fashion Club as the leaders of the school dance committee (due to a "traumatic" event in her preteens when she became overwhelmed with planning a dance; in response to this, her mother told her that "to volunteer is to say 'use me.'"). Instead, Sandi plans an unsupervised house party on the very same night, tempting guests to attend with promises of free pizza, a big screen television, and an outdoor hot tub. The plot is foiled, however, when the boys invited to Sandi's party make a hasty exit after discovering that Quinn will not be attending. Similarly, in the episode "Just Add Water," Sandi delights in the opportunity to publicly humiliate Quinn by speculating and gossiping about the possibility of Quinn being stood up by her date, Marco, "the talcum powder model." This plan, too, backfires, as Quinn feigns strength and independence and Sandi is eventually dumped by her date, Brent.
Although Sandi and Quinn are often at odds, there is a measure of sincerity in their friendship. When Sandi unexpectedly gains weight in "Fat Like Me," she withdraws from the Fashion Club out of embarrassment and shame. In an attempt to kill Quinn's chances of succeeding as Fashion Club President, Sandi manipulates Quinn into surrendering her position as Vice President, supposedly "out of respect for [their] friendship." Although flustered, Quinn continually visits and cares for Sandi, eventually encouraging her to follow a strict routine of diet and exercise so that she can return to her normal weight. Quinn's motives aren't entirely pure, however, as Daria Morgendorffer points out that Sandi's weight gain could place a depreciating value on Quinn's social status. Regardless of motive, Sandi is moved to tears by Quinn's kindness, and the two girls declare their love and appreciation of one another. At the end of the episode, however, Sandi has returned to her normal vindictive self, only slightly changed by her experience.
A running gag throughout the series is Sandi's consistent outing of Quinn's family in public places. Quinn, who is embarrassed and reluctant to admit any relation to her parents or older sister Daria, will often downplay their existence or their family ties.
Position Within the Fashion Club
While not an exceptionally bright student, Sandi is the most eloquent of all the Fashion Club members. She often voices the assumed collective opinion of all the girls using haughty speech and an occasionally impressive range of vocabulary. This is in stark contrast to fellow Fashion Club member Tiffany Blum-Deckler's slow and monotone Valspeak responses, which usually only echo either Sandi or Quinn's sentiments while using as few syllables as possible.
Sandi is a very deliberate, cautious leader, who is rarely indecisive and shows few weaknesses. As such, she sets the agenda for most of the Fashion Club's projects and weekly obsessions. Sandi enforces her control over the other girls by requiring their exclusive loyalty to the Club and Sandi herself. This loyalty is often challenged, especially in episodes "The Daria Hunter" and "Anti-Social Climbers," where the Fashion Club finds itself divided in support of either Sandi or Quinn.
Sandi's mother, Linda, a successful businesswoman, often clashes with Quinn's over-achieving and competitive mother, Helen. Linda and Helen's relationship mirrors that of their daughters, with each woman trying to out-do the other in terms of successes in work, family, or physical attraction, while feigning polite friendship (often through gritted teeth). While Helen would rather not deal with Linda's pretentious boasting, Linda takes every opportunity to ruffle Helen's feathers, even encouraging Sandi to do the same with Quinn.
Sandi has two younger brothers, Sam and Chris, who are infatuated with Quinn. When the boys' traditional sibling rivalry with Sandi contrasts with their love for Quinn, Sandi's envy is great enough for her to kick Quinn out of her home for the weekend. (Episode #208, "Gifted")
Status at Series End
As the series went on, however, Quinn began to challenge Sandi's authority in the group, and although Sandi still held the reins tightly at the end of the series, there were indications that Quinn no longer valued her Fashion Club membership, and she may have inspired the insecure Stacy Rowe to defect as well. The series ended the entire fashion club taking an indefinent sabatical, though despite no longer being a formal club, they continued to be friends. What happened beyond this was never revealed.
- Janie Mertz also provided the talent for characters Brittany Taylor, and Sandi's mother, Linda. Sandi speaks in a low, sonorous voice, while Brittany's speech is high pitched and squeaky. Both characters' voices have a similar amount of stress and intonation in their speech patterns.