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 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 "Antisocial 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 ("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 indefinite sabbatical, though despite no longer being a formal club, they continued to be friends. What happened beyond this was never revealed.
Sandi Griffin's less engaging behaviors often lead her to be pegged in fanfic as a four-star power-hungry bitch. Sympathetic portrayals of her are not common. Kara Wild's "Outvoted" and "Quinnicitis" are excellent examples.
Fanfiction occasionally depicts a Sandi Griffin who seeks redemption for her various sins. A "Redeemed Sandi" has usually passed through horrifying experiences, not always as a result of her own actions, and is at or near the bottom of her life, emotionally and spiritually. One fanfic writer who has embraced this concept is Brother Grimace; many of his fanfics, most notably "It's All About Respect" and "The Devil in Miss Morgendorffer," make extensive use of this plot device. Sandis who have been transformed by suffering, either self-caused or accidentally, appear in Kara Wild's Driven Wild Universe, Richard Lobinske's Falling Into College series, Canadibrit's The Look Alike Series, and TAG's "Winter in Hell," "Nine Point Oh," and "When the Torrent of That Time Comes Pouring Back." In recent episodes of Legion of Lawndale Heroes, events seem to indicate that Sandi seems to be taking a similiar turn for the better.
Troubled Homelife Sandi
Many fics depict Sandi's personality flaws as the result of a troubled home life. Generally, such fics show Sandi's mother Linda as a hard-driving women with a take-no-prisoners attitude who expects her daughter to live up to her example and Sandi's father as a henpecked nobody who bows to his wife's will in everything, including raising the children. In many cases, the Griffins are depicted as on the edge of divorced if not actually already divorced. Troubled Homelife Sandi is often portrayed sympathetically and sometimes crossed to Redeemed Sandi, with the collapse of her parents' married being the experience that molds her. Examples of Troubled Homelife Sandi include that do not cross over into Redeemed Sandi include GTS, especially GTS #4: Closets Are for Hang-ups, and Heartbeat in Iambic by Dennis.
- 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.
- Takes part in "power yoga".
- Has made her own set of car keys to circumvent her mother, Linda, hiding them.
- Sandi likes babies, saying "they're so cute when they smile at you."