The Big House

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The Big House
Production Number 110
Original Airdate June 30, 1997
Special Guest Voices
Written By Sam Johnson
Chris Marcil
Directed By Karen Disher

“The Big House” was the tenth episode of the first season of Daria. It first aired on MTV on June 30, 1997.

"The Big House" was written by Sam Johnson and Chris Marcil.


Daria and Quinn are caught trying to sneak into the Morgendorffer home after staying out quite late. In response to these infractions (and the absence of any clearly defined curfew for her daughters), Helen devises a legal code for the family and institutes a micro-judicial system to deal with violations of the new rules. Family Court is convened shortly thereafter with Helen prosecuting and Jake presiding as judge; Quinn and Daria are found guilty and sentenced to be grounded for a month (although Quinn manages to evade her first evening of house arrest.) The next day at school, Daria learns of a hockey match between Lawndale High teachers and some local disc jockeys that has the potential to end with Mr. DeMartino in coronary arrest, and buys tickets even though the match falls on an evening during her sentence.

Daria's Reading Material

While grounded, Daria is shown reading Herman Melville's Moby-Dick in the living room. This may be commentary on Helen's Ahab-like mania for legal procedure. Later, when Quinn is frustrated with boredom, she breaks down and asks Daria for a book. Daria responds by offering her Homer's Iliad which provokes this exchange:

Daria: Try this. I think you'll get into it.

Quinn: Ha, ha, very funny. Now give me something that I can read.

Daria: No, I think you'll like it. It's about this girl who's so popular that everybody fights over her.

Quinn: Any horses in it?

Daria: As a matter of a fact, there's a great big one.

Quinn: This is a trick, isn't it.

Daria: Yes.


As related above, the episode begins with Daria being dropped off late in the evening from a car. Where she was and who she was with is never fully explained, though the interview link below has a possibility from the series creator himself. This is one of the comparatively few times we see Daria doing "normal" teenage things like coming home late. The event isn't specifically part of the episode's storyline, but rather just a part of the background.

The Iliad does not include the story about the Trojan Horse. We must assume Daria was either mistaken in thinking so or else was having fun at Quinn's expense.

“The Big House” and Fanfic

Events from this episode were included in "Morgendorffer Prison Blues," by Richard Lobinske. An Iron Chef on PPMB concerning the mysterious car that dropped Daria at her home at the episode's start spawned several fanfics, such as TAG's "Special Delivery" and "True Lies."

External Links

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Preceded by
Too Cute (109)
Daria Episodes
"The Big House," Season 1, Episode 10
Succeeded by
Road Worrier