|June 4th, 2001
|Special Guest Voices
"Aunt Nauseam" was the tenth episode of the fifth season of Daria (episode number 510). It first aired on MTV on June 4, 2001. This episode is frequently misspelled as "Aunt Nauseum."
"Aunt Nauseam" was written by Jacquelyn Reingold.
Just as Helen arrives home and announces that she's got some time off -- she and Eric Schrecter had just finished a big court case, and Eric is taking a month off -- her sister Rita calls and asks her to handle her daughter Erin's divorce. Helen tries to beg off, saying that divorce cases aren't her strong suit, but she finally accepts after being pressured into it by her mother.
Jake is dreading the situation, as Helen and Rita tend to fight like two wet cats in a burlap sack whenever they're together (as we saw at Erin and Brian's wedding), but he appears to be off the hook when Rita calls and tells them that she'll be in New York with her actor boyfriend while Helen handles the case with Erin... a plan that goes right out the window when Rita shows up at the Morgendorffer's instead of Erin (who's in Switzerland, courtesy of Grandma Barksdale). This causes Jake to basically go AWOL to avoid the inevitable arguing between Helen and Rita, a course of action that Daria and Quinn can hardly blame him for when the two women do start feuding. Daria and Quinn react to the situation differently: Daria starts avoiding Tom as a defense mechanism, while Quinn tries to smooth over a dispute in the Fashion Club (concerning Stacy and Tiffany wearing the same dress) every time things threaten to boil over. Strangely, Quinn also starts being extra nice to Daria, who can only figure that her sister wants something from her...
As relationships all around continue to crumble, Daria finally calls in the cavalry: Aunt Amy. When Amy arrives, Daria catches her up on the situation, and Amy in turn helps Daria realize that Tom wasn't trying to interfere; rather, Tom was trying to be supportive. Amy then wades into the middle of Helen and Rita's battle... and gets caught up in it herself. Fed up with the whole situation, Daria and Quinn start imitating their mom and aunts arguing with each other, which finally shows them just how silly they were acting, and they make up with a group hug (for which Amy blames Daria, of course). The same-dress situation between Stacy and Tiffany is also resolved, in a weird way: Stacy accidentally ruins Tiffany's dress by spilling grape juice on it, and offers to give Tiffany hers to show how sorry she is; Tiffany, overcome with emotion, hugs her friend, which in turn gets grape juice on Stacy's dress. Other situations are resolved as well: Daria and Quinn watch Gone With the Wind together and promise to never become like their mom and aunts, Daria apologizes to Tom for brushing him off all week, and Brian and Erin reconcile in Switzerland.
Only poor Jake gets the short end of the stick, as he continues to camp out in the garage because he's afraid that Rita is still there...
"Aunt Nauseam" and Fanfic
- Several alternate universe series, like John Lane and Finn Morgendorffer, and individual fics like TAG's "After the End" have included events similar to "Aunt Nauseum" in them.
- Daria mentions sarcastically that Amy came to "save the day" and showed herself to be no better than her sisters. Yet "I Don't" and "Through a Lens Darkly" gave no indication that the writers viewed Amy as a deux ex machina. However, many fanfics did, such as C.E. Forman's "Quinntet" (Kara Wild's "None in the Family" was one of the few exceptions). The show's writers might have learned indirectly of Amy's popularity and challenged it in the show itself.
- Fics like For Better or For Worse, For Richer or For Poorer by Kristen Bealer and Mr. and Mrs. Danielson by ticknart detail what Erin & Brian were going through in the background of the episode.
On “Aunt Nauseam” the Episode
Alternate-Universe Versions of “Aunt Nauseam”
Alternate Canon Versions of “Aunt Nauseam”
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