Burnout Girl

From DariaWiki
Burnout Girl
First appearance Sealed with a Kick (pilot)
Last appearance Is It College Yet?
Voiced by Unknown
Episode count 40 (Daria)
2 Daria TV movies
Gender Female
Age 15-18 (assumed)
Occupation Student at Lawndale High
Significant other(s)

Burnout Girl (also known as the Burnout Chick, Jennifer and Christy among other names) is one of the numerous backgrounders that appeared in Daria. She has long blonde hair which covers the right side of her face. Her typical outfit consists of a black t-shirt, a pendant necklace, a brown jacket with various patches on the back and upper arms, heavy black shoes or boots, and a pair of olive drab pants with a torn knee and an embroidered flower.

Burnout Girl's default facial expression is bland and disinterested. Despite the occasional outburst of shock, disgust or jeer (such as raising her arms and cheering for Bing and the Spatula Man), most of her emotional displays are subdued and she appears to be rather introverted.

Due to her strong visual design and recurring presence, Burnout Girl has become something of a cult favorite in the fandom and has been featured in a fair amount in fan fiction and fan art.

Character Overview[edit]

"Burnout Girl" appears frequently in the background of the series, showing up all the way in the unfinished 1996 pilot "Sealed with a Kick" where she is seen in shop class making a bong. This also marks her most notable speaking appearance, as she calls Kevin Thompson a "geek" after he interrupts the class to publicly declare his desire to date Daria, however, this episode is generally not considered canon.

Burnout is even noticeable from behind due to her striking red skull backpatch.
In the main show, she makes her first appearance in the premiere "Esteemsters" and her final appearance in "Is It College Yet?". She appears in 40 episodes in total, appearing the most in Season 4 (with ten episodes) and the least in Season 5 (with five episodes). Burnout Girl was one of the few students to attend O'Neill's self-esteem class with Daria and Jane. She is in several other classes with them as well, and is seen sitting next to Daria at their graduation ceremony in Is It College Yet?, indicating that she was in the same grade as them.

There's a nod to her in "Monster", when Stacy Rowe wears Burnout Girl's clothes to the club's 'Fashion Don't' costume gala.

"The New Kid" features what may be her most interesting and memorable appearance in the show, as it is the only time in the series in which her entire face can be seen and it is her only speaking part that can be heard clearly (though it is only a shriek) as she tumbles over the side of a trampoline and hits the floor due to her spotters, Daria and Jane, having been distracted by their conversation.

It also marks a rare occasion where a backgrounder is acknowledged by the primary cast, as Daria immediately photographs Burnout as she writhes on the floor. Ted DeWitt-Clinton later remarks on the photo stating that the image really captures her pain, to which Daria states that "She's fine, in fact she fell off the uneven bars today, so it was clearly her own fault". Burnout Girl's only other "speaking" appearances are her cheering in "Jake of Hearts" (muffled by other people cheering) and singing in "Daria!" (muffled by other people singing).

In "Pierce Me", to the side of Axl's shop at Dega Street, Burnout Girl can be sitting on stairs leading to a second floor door, leading many fans to speculate she may live at that address.

She is a smoker, as evidenced in "Jake of Hearts", where she smokes a cigarette in the high school parking lot while leaning against a blue car. She is also a regular at the The Zon and is present at the venue during it's appearances in "Ill" and "Jane's Addition".

In a number of episodes, she can be seen hanging out with or around Shaggy, Angel, Kelly and Bob typically either in the hallway or cafeteria. In fact, in "The Lost Girls", a scene in the cafeteria shows (based on their positioning) Bob seems to be holding her hand. Could the two be particularly close, or more than friends?

In "Legends of the Mall", during the Rattling Girl of Lawndale segment, a character representing her is shown to be of at least medium popularity within Lawndale High. It's possible that this may hold true within actual continuity, as well, given that the story was populated with direct analogues of Lawndale students.

One strange appearance is "Antisocial Climbers", where - unique among the other characters - she isn't wearing any special clothes for mountain hiking or winter weather for the field trip, despite the harsh conditions she'd be in. When we see the students shivering from a blizzard in a cabin, Burnout is casually leaning against the wall as if the cold doesn't bother her. Whoa.

Like many of the other NPCs in the room (including Jane), Burnout's color palate has curiously been swapped.
In the opening montage of "Is It Fall Yet?", Burnout is among the characters dancing on the beach. Likewise, during the ‘70s portion of "Is It College Yet?" montage, she is present at the fraternity beer keg alongside Brittany, cheering for Kevin as he crushes a beer can into his head.

In "Daria's Inferno", Burnout can be briefly glimpsed over Kevin's shoulder in the opening cutscene when the class dozes off. In game, she can be found in DeMartino's dungeon, having been strapped to a chair and being electrocuted with the rest of the class, her scream from "The New Kid" is reused here. Later, when the player enters O'Neill's classroom, a color-swapped variant of Burnout Girl can be seen sleeping face-down at her desk.


On the left, the initial Hartland sketch, on the right, the production sketch from the MTV flipbook

Initial designs for the character date back to 1995 in early pre-production sketches of Daria by Beavis and Butt-head animator Willy Hartland, where she was labeled: Burnout Chick— “Cristy”. However, to what extent she was meant to be a supporting character in these early days is unknown.

Karen Disher
The "Before They Were Daria Stars" flipbook says she "evolved into a different character" but doesn't further clarify. The "Oh, the Obscurity!" flipbook elaborates by stating "supervising director Karen Disher designed this character and based it upon her very own self. "Burnout Girl" appeared in the original Daria pilot and is often seen roaming the halls of Lawndale High, lost in thought, much like Karen."

What's In A Name?[edit]

Although nicknamed “Burnout Girl” by the production staff at MTV, she has nonetheless picked up several other names over the years, some more official than others.

"Jennifer" is a typical name given to her in fanon, based on a seating chart shown for Mr. O'Neill's second period Language Arts class in "Cafe Disaffecto". Per the MTV flipbook and Hartland sketch, "Christy" is also a common name, and she is sometimes named "Karen Disher", “K.D.” or "Karen" after her creator.

Other names include nicknames such as "Burnout Chick", "B.G.", "Jen", and "Jenny"; or most commonly and simply: "Burnout".

At least three fanfic authors (Jim North, NightGoblyn and ThePatchedVest) have given her the last name "Burns" in their stories.



Season One (1997): Season Two (1998): Season Three (1999): Season Four (2000): Season Five (2001):

Fan Works[edit]

Quite similarly to the show, Burnout Girl features quite prominently in most Lawndale High-set fanon as a minor background character, sometimes with dialogue, sometimes without.

In fanfics where she has a larger role, Burnout is often written as either a friend or love interest for Daria and/or Jane, she has even been portrayed as a friend of Quinn on more than one occasion. She is often written as coming from a broken home and is frequently portrayed as being a close friend of Andrea, despite the two not interacting in the show.

Stories and art pieces in which she features most prominently include:

Fan Fiction[edit]

Burn the Rain by ThePatchedVest

An AU series where Daria is a closeted lesbian who ends up in a polyamorous triad with Burnout and Jane. Eventual Buffy the Vampire Slayer crossover.

An AU fic where Daria befriends Burnout instead of Jane during "Esteemsters", with the story branching wildly from there.

A canon-compliant visual novel set from Burnout's POV against the events of the show, dealing with trauma, addiction, love and loss. Contains mature content.

Burnout pines for Daria's attention, and wants desperately to be with her but is too shy, reserved, and scared to approach her.

A bleak Iron Chef angstfic where Burnout resolves to end the physical and sexual abuse by her mother's boyfriend, Duane, once and for all. Contains mature content.

An AU fic where Quinn is a straight-edge skateboarder, befriending Burnout in the process (requires the PPMB "Rosetta Stone").

A round robin that touches upon the Lawndale of D-357 (otherwise known as Evil Daria's universe).

Burnout falls for Alexey Ulanow, a cybernetically-enhanced supersoldier who is on the run from an alternate universe.

A short AU fluff fic. The end of the world is nigh and Burnout intends to watch the end with her friends and boyfriend, Roger (requires the PPMB "Rosetta Stone").

A Teen Titans crossover, in which Burnout Girl is the reincarnation of Terra.

An AU fic where Daria befriends and is swooned by Burnout Girl after Jane leaves The Zon to hang out with Tom in "Jane's Addition".

A psychological horror fic, where Daria finds herself and her class, including Burnout, mysteriously trapped in a demented version of their school and attempt to survive the horrors within.

A fic where Daria and Quinn competitively swap their lifestyles and social groups for a week.

A minific in which Julia Carlyle and Burnout watch Sick, Sad World. Set in the Legion of Lawndale Heroes universe.

Fan Art[edit]

BurnoutGirl by S.C.

External Links[edit]