Beavis and Butt-head (TV series)

From DariaWiki
Beavis, Butt-head, and Daria in a class photo. This includes many of the background characters from the Highland High classroom scenes, and minor supporting characters Earl & Kimberly on the second row; and Gina, Cassandra, Martin (left of Daria), the other Kimberly (right of Daria) and Dean Zunker on the bottom row.

Beavis and Butt-head is a cartoon created by Mike Judge. Its original run was on MTV from March 8, 1993 to November 28, 1997, starring Judge as the voices of the eponymous Beavis and Butt-head. This first run consisted of two pilot episodes and seven seasons, and the character of Daria Morgendorffer was created for the series. The second run began fifteen years later, on October 28, 2011.

Like Daria, the show often took satirical aim at American society. The big difference, as with their leads, Daria did it in a 'smart' way (wordplay, cultured references, low-key jabs) and Beavis and Butt-head did it in a much cruder, raunchier, and vicious way: Daria was never going to do a tongue-in-cheek story about violence at schools by having guns fired in class and nobody caring. This makes it a lot easier to dismiss Beavis and Butt-head, in its extremes, as entirely farcical, and to some, worth the messages they present. Both shows also make it clear their characters are the product of a crass society: Beavis and Butt-head turn into mislead, ill-raised, destructive and amoral morons, while Daria cuts herself off socially as the result of her fellow students and environment around them becoming petty and ignorant.

The first season consisted of only three episodes; the following seasons were substantially longer. The episodes are generally 10 to 15 minutes long, including music video commentary, while the second run has also used commentary of other MTV shows like Jersey Shore; two episodes are usually shown in a thirty-minute block. Apart from the first season, the show was inked & painted onto cells by hand and then projected on film. Until the movie, it never had an art director (according to Judge).

From 1994 to 1996, there was a spin-off comic series by Marvel Comics, and there were books like "This Book Sucks" (1993) and "The Butt-Files" (1997).

Daria did not initially appear in the second run. In a music video "review" during the fourth episode, Butt-head mentions that Daria "moved away" (Beavis thought she'd committed suicide). However, at the 2011 NY Comic Con, Mike Judge said he liked the character a lot and that "maybe" he should do more with her; MTV's Daria Facebook said this was "met with overwhelming applause." He later told New York Magazine "boy, I keep getting asked that that [Daria]", including by Quentin Tarantino. "I didn’t expect the guy who made Reservoir Dogs to be a Daria fan... I should do more Daria, I guess."

The second run ended before Daria could come back to see Beavis and Butt-head again. Daria herself might prefer it that way.

A third run began on Paramount+ in 2022 with a movie. The mainline Daria has yet to substantially re-encounter the duo, but a Smart Daria would appear during the run.

Timeline headaches[edit]

This show used a 'sliding timescale' approach to continuity: whatever year it was in the real world, the characters remained the same age. This meant they could have two episodes set on different Christmas Day airing the same day and two consecutive Christmas comics, without it meaning they've actually gone forward four years; they could also have stories set during the summer without ever leaving ninth grade. Episodes could also have gone before or after their premiere over previously aired episodes; the best thing to do is to just use your imagination.

Daria, however, showed Daria going from (apparently) tenth grade to graduation in five years. This causes some major problems for continuity: if you just take stories where Daria spoke rather than the whole of Beavis and Butt-head as part of Daria continuity, it still barely works unless you:

a) Assume the stories aren't in chronological order

b) Ignore the problem and hope it goes away

In either instance, you have to ignore when Beavis and Butt-head states the year the story is set.

Luckily for nerds everywhere, Butt-head stated Daria "moved" in the fourth episode of the second run; this sets everything after Daria's ninth grade. The third run, however, screws with continuity even more. In the movie Beavis and Butt-head Do the Universe, Daria is present (in a non-speaking role with a character design closer to hers from Daria) at a court hearing where B&B are sentenced to be Highland High's representatives on a trip to NASA in 1998. As the duo later enter a black hole and come out in 2022, the 2011-set second run is potentially rendered an alternate universe (a concept which is dealt with in the film).

Episodes with Daria in[edit]

The episodes listed here are the ones where Daria had a speaking part: she was in the background of other episodes, but we are not counting these. Two episodes where she does not have a speaking part but does appear in the background, "No Laughing" and the film Beavis and Butt-head Do America, have been used in Daria fanfiction because they introduced some interesting concepts: juvie school Hope High, Agent Flemming, arms runners Dallas and Muddy Grimes, and the X-5 supervirus.

Depending on one's source, episodes either had production numbers ending in either "a" or "b" (depending on whether the episode was the first or second shown in a thirty-minute block) or had no production numbers at all. The show premiered in 1993 before the obsessive record-keeping synonymous with internet fandom was in place, and one will find different lists of episodes placing the shows in different production order and even different air dates! As a result, three episodes have been credited with being the first appearance of Daria: Sign Here, Babes 'R' Us, and Scientific Stuff. In the Beavis and Butt-head: The Mike Judge Collection DVD feature Taint of Greatness, Judge and David Felton talk about Scientific Stuff as Daria's debut ep, so this wiki will go with their original intention.

Many of the below episodes have not been included in the Beavis and Butt-head: The Mike Judge Collection DVDs, and thus are unlikely to ever be collected. This includes important (for Daria fans) episodes like Scientific Stuff. Mike Judge has said that he dislikes many of the early episodes owing to the poor animation. In addition, the early episodes are somewhat sadistic and the DVD releases have edited some of the more controversial content (e.g. animal cruelty, solvent abuse) out. The episode Scientific Stuff is sometimes shown in slightly edited form, to remove references to fire that had generated controversy.

Ep no. Season Original US Airdate Title 6 2 1993 Scientific Stuff Daria is forced by science teacher Mrs. Dickie to work with Beavis and Butt-head on a science project.

25 2 June 23, 1993 Babes 'R' Us When the boys see a female mud-wrestling bar commercial, they train for their hoped-for visit to the establishment.

28 2 1993 Sign Here/Petitions Suck When a furrier comes to Highland, Beavis and Butt-head are asked to collect petition signatures by Mr. Van Driessen.

35 3 1993 Incognito Threatened at school, Beavis and Butt-head protect themselves with the art of disguise.

44 3 October 4, 1993 Sporting Goods Coach Buzzcut tells Beavis and Butt-head that they must purchase athletic supporters for gym class.

47, 48 3 October 18, 1993 Citizen Butt-head Two-parter. President Clinton is coming to visit Highland High, and Principal McVicker gives them a phony pass to keep them out of school.

71 4 April 7, 1994 Water Safety Beavis and Butt-head almost sink Coach Buzzcut's water safety class, until the class learns they can't swim.

80 4 May 9, 1994 Butt is it Art? The boys provide valuable improvements on a field trip to an art museum.

92 4 July 15, 1994 The Great Cornholio An infusion of sugary products transforms Beavis into the figure of menace known as "The Great Cornholio".

100 5 December 10, 1994 Walkathon When Daria participates in a walkathon, the boys pledge large amounts of money. But what happens when they can't pay?

104 5 December 16, 1994 Career Day During Mr. Van Driessen's "Career Day", the boys gain valuable experience as mall security guards.

112 5 January 29, 1995 Wet Behind the Rears Coach Buzzcut insists the boys take a shower for his phys ed class. Beavis and Butt-head struggle with the concept.

136 5 September 12, 1995 Spare Me Attractive girls ask Beavis and Butt-head to change a tire for them.

145 6 November 20, 1995 U. S. History Giving oral reports in history class, the boys just make shit up.

Special 6 December 19, 1995 It's a Miserable Life In a parody of It's a Wonderful Life, an angel shows the duo how Highland would be better off without them.

153 6 January 17, 1996 Sprout Mr. Van Driessen introduces the boys to the art of botany. Beavis and Butt-head try to grow nachos.

200 7 November 28, 1997 Beavis and Butt-head are Dead Final episode of the original run. While watching TV for three weeks, Beavis and Butt-head get Highland High School to stop calling by claiming that they're dead. The school celebrates, but for how long?

269 10 June 29, 2023 Abduction Smart Beavis and Smart Butt-head are sent to Earth where they abduct Tom Anderson for human experiments.