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.


When Daria and Quinn come home late, Helen comes up with a set of ground rules, which includes a strict curfew. Incensed by what she sees as a cruel restriction of her social life, Quinn schemes to break the "no dating on a school night" rule by convincing Helen and Jake that she'll be attending a study group. Her story falls apart the next morning, however, but rather than just mete out a punishment, Helen takes a cue from her profession and holds Family Court to decide the girls' punishments. Despite her claims of wanting to hold a fair hearing, Helen and Jake essentially railroad the girls into month-long groundings. As payback for what she considers an unjust punishment, Daria takes her revenge by beating Helen and Jake at board games and driving them crazy with loud and obnoxious harmonica playing. Quinn, however, is really in hell, as she's prevented from talking on the phone or essentially doing anything. Finally, Daria is unable to stand it, and plans to "bust out" so she and Jane can go to the high school's "DJs Versus Faculty" roller hocky game (most of the students have bets on how soon Mr. DeMartino -- who plans to get his revenge on one of the DJs for humiliating him in a previous game -- will collapse from a heart attack). Her elaborate plan to sneak out is rendered moot by the fact that both Helen and Jake have to work late, so she simply walks out the front door. The game itself is pretty much a bust until "Rock & Roll" Randy takes out Mr. DeMartino with a cheap shot to the knee, which earns him a butt-kicking by the man-hating Ms. Barch. When Daria comes home, she's confronted by a monumentally angry Helen, but before she can be punished further, she works out a plea bargain with Helen by reminding her of board games and harmonica playing. Upon learning that Daria got off on "parole," Quinn convinces Helen and Jake to do the same with her, essentially making the whole Family Court experiment a failure.

External Links

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