(opening theme song)
(in the car; Jake is driving, Helen is riding shotgun, Quinn and Daria are in back)
Jake - (singing) I've been working on the railroad... come on, guys, we know this one. (grumbles when no one joins in)
(car runs over road kill)
Quinn - Daddy!
Jake - It was dead already, sweetheart. Just like the others.
Quinn - How do you know?
Daria - You didn't hear any screaming, did you?
Quinn - I think people who run over animals should get run over themselves to see how they like it.
Daria - What about unpopular animals?
Quinn - Unpopular animals don't count.
Daria - What about the stupid ones?
Helen - Come on, girls. We'll be at Susan and Doug's soon.
Daria - Hooray.
Jake - It'll be fun. You can hang out with Ramona.
Daria - Ramona's three.
(at Susan and Doug's house)
(the Morgendorffers are sitting in Susan and Doug's living room; Ramona sniffles and walks over to the group)
Helen - Daria, on the other hand, is more of a late bloomer -- socially -- and there's nothing wrong with that. Right, honey?
Quinn - (to Ramona) Goo, goo, ga, ga. Goo-goo, ga-ga. Ramona. Ramona. Goo-goo, ga-ga. (Ramona blows nose on Quinn's leg) Ew!
(Ramona grabs a book and walks over to Helen)
Ramona - Read to me.
Helen - Isn't she darling? What is she reading now? (takes book, "My First S.A.T. Study Guide")
Susan - We have to think about college application time. (sighs) I mean, it's so hard to get into a good school now. What are you guys doing about it?
(in the car)
Daria - One more time: I am not taking a college prep course. Actually, I may just skip college and stay home. It'll save me the trouble of moving back in later.
(Jake swerves into traffic, barely avoiding another car before straightening out)
Helen - Watch the road! Daria, if you don't get into a decent school your life will be ruined. End of discussion.
Quinn - Way to go, Mom. She can't get her way all the time.
Helen - Actually, Quinn, it wouldn't hurt if you took the course too.
Quinn - Wait a minute!
Daria - Maybe we can sit together.
(most of the familiar faces are in the college prep class, including Daria and Quinn)
Instructor - Today's admission standards are more rigorous than ever, which is why...
Jane - Can we get on with this? I have someplace to go. (at Jodie's quizzical look) Television counts as a place.
Instructor - Okay, okay. Topic one: testing. You have to know how to take a test. Like, when you get a multiple-choice question, you can usually eliminate two of the answers right off.
Brittany - Excuse me, sir? Does that work with true/false?
Instructor - Okay, this is an informational sheet Push Comes to Love sends around to 600 leading colleges. It's called My Personal Goals and Aspirations. Let's all talk about college...
Kevin - Pssst. Daria, what did you get for number one?
Daria - The thing about who I really am?
Kevin - Yeah.
Daria - Try "cross-dresser."
Kevin - Thanks, man, I owe you one.
Instructor - ... the goal of the worksheet is to help you focus on what you want out of college. Okay, when you get a multiple choice...
(Kevin's daydream begins)
(Kevin walks through a college campus; the other football players are taller and more bulked-up than he is, which jolts Kevin out of his daydream)
Instructor - ...you focus on personal goals and aspirations...
(Kevin's daydream begins again; this time, he's as tall and built as the other players)
(a beautiful blonde woman approaches)
Blonde - Kevin... thank you for my beautiful roses. Where did you get them?
Kevin - Oh, it was nothing. My high-school girlfriend sent them to me.
Blonde - (laughs) What a child.
(Kevin's daydream ends)
Instructor - Okay, the goal of college...
(Brittany's daydream begins)
(Brittany, in a cap and gown, is strolling down a fashion runway)
Woman - Oh, Brittany.
Emcee - (singing) She's got a dark, threatened look. She never cracked no books. La-la-la...
Kevin - (shouts) Brittany, you're the only girl I ever loved! Will you marry me?
(crowd cheers as Kevin is hauled away and Brittany takes her bows)
(Brittany's daydream ends)
(Jane's daydream begins)
(Jane and an art critic are standing in a rather large loft)
Critic - This is all quite amazing. How could you afford such a space in New York?
Jane - I used the money my parents saved for college.
Critic - Brilliant! Just like your art.
(Jane's daydream ends)
Instructor - ... it's called "Focus on How to..."
(Quinn's daydream begins)
(Quinn walks up to a house and knocks on the door; it's answered by a muscular guy wearing nothing but a towel around his waist, a guy dressed like a preppie, and a guy in a cowboy outfit)
Muscle Guy - Hey, this must be the new roommate. Guys.
Preppie Guy - Excellent, the new roommate.
Cowboy Guy - Howdy, roomy.
Quinn - Hi.
Muscle Guy - All right, guys. Best man wins.
(guys start fighting each other)
(Quinn's daydream ends)
Instructor - ... like two of the answers are more rigorous than...
(Daria's daydream begins)
(Daria and a turtleneck-wearing professor are strolling along a college campus)
Professor - Daria, I know it's only the first week of freshmen year, but I wonder if you'd consider transferring to the graduate school.
Daria - I'm not really sure I want to be a professional student.
Professor - But I don't want you to study. I want you to teach.
Daria - Well...
Professor - Not here, of course. On our Paris campus.
Daria - Oh! Okay.
Professor - Superb! (gives Daria a shoulder hug) Now I can use your dorm room to carry on affairs with some of the more beautiful undergraduates. Thank you!
Daria - How come even in my fantasies everyone's a jerk?
(Daria's daydream ends)
(at Daria's house)
(the Morgendorffers are at the kitchen table)
Daria - Then we filled out this worksheet, and that was pretty much it. Money well spent, since it wasn't my money.
Quinn - You left out the best part.
Daria - Getting a date with the instructor is only the best part to you.
Quinn - It's not a date. We're meeting to discuss scholarship options.
Jake - Scholarship? Way to go, sweetie.
Daria - There's no such thing as a making-out scholarship.
Quinn - Uh, excuse me, but I think he would know better than you. Anyway, the best part, I meant, was the trip.
Jake - What trip?
Quinn - We have to visit a college of our choosing.
Helen - Great! We'll go to Middleton!
Jake - We'll all head up to the old alma mater this weekend!
Quinn - Wait! We get to pick the college, and no one said you could come.
Helen - But Quinn, your father and I would love it if you kids followed in our footsteps.
Quinn - We're walking? Ugh! (leaves)
Daria - Maybe we should visit your old nursery school first.
(at Middleton College)
(the Morgendorffers, in casual clothes, are strolling along the campus)
Jake - Gosh, the old place has hardly changed a bit. Hey, hey, my man. Toss me that disk, dude.
Student - Get a life.
Jake - Cool. Whatever. Maybe next time. (mutters) College punks.
(a girl in her late teens or early twenties approaches)
Heather - Hi, are you the Morgendorffers? I'm your tour guide, Heather. Welcome to Middleton.
Jake - Hey, Heather. What's up?
Heather - Uh... shall we get started? (they begin walking) These buildings date from when Middleton was a colonial religious college. Back then, the all-male student body attended chapel twice a day, and endured whippings as punishment for impure thoughts.
Jake - What a bunch of stiffs they must have been, eh, girls?
(water balloon drops on Jake's head)
Jake - Damn it! I'll kill you, college scum!
Heather - But, Middleton's time-honored tradition of tomfoolery continues.
Helen - Jake, honey, didn't that balloon just come out of your old dorm window?
Jake - What? Hey, I think you're right. Come on, let's go take a look at the old cell. We got time before we go see the Bursar.
Helen - Girls?
Daria - I'm sure we'd only get in the way.
(balloons and other objects drop to the ground just as Jake and Helen walk away)
Heather - Okay, next is the old bell tower in the center of campus -- the historical meeting place of...
Quinn - That sounds really interesting. Which historic street are all the fraternities on?
Daria - My sister wants to study group psychology.
Heather - Right.
(on fraternity row)
(Quinn drinks in the atmosphere as a female student approaches)
Quinn - At last... college.
Girl - Aren't you a Theta pledge?
Quinn - Well, uh... yes. Yes, I am.
Girl - Then you'd better get over there and help clean the house steps, or the Council of Ancients will give you a noodle whipping you won't soon forget.
Daria - A whipping. It's nice that they keep some of the old traditions.
Quinn - Yes, ma'am. I was just directing these girls to the hair and nail salon. You know, community service.
Girl - You're excused. But make it quick. Do you have your scrub brush?
Quinn - No, ma'am.
Girl - (hands toothbrush to Quinn) Good luck, pledge. (leaves)
Daria - Quinn, you're in high school.
Quinn - Listen, Daria. I don't stop you from reading. Don't stop me from this. (leaves)
Heather - She's God's problem now, kid. Let's get out of here. This place gives me the creeps.
(in Jake's old dorm room)
(several students are lounging around and listening to music as Jake and Helen look on)
Helen - Well... it smells like your old room.
Jake - Hey, guys, what's going down? You know, I think this might have been my crib when I went here. It's "crib" now, right? (laughs, then stops when he realizes no one is paying attention to him) We're just going to have a quick look-see, okay? Okay.
(they approach a nerdy-looking boy working on a computer)
Helen - How refreshing to see someone doing school work.
Guy - Actually, I'm sending an erotic letter to a female inmate I met on the Internet. I think she's female.
(Helen walks over to the window and looks out over the campus)
Helen - Remember when I used to walk through the courtyard? You and all the other guys would lean out the window and shout obscene comments. (laughs) College men. Animals! (beat) Quinn! (runs out)
Jake - Don't worry, men. The situation is under control. Hey, can any of you dudes tell me how to get to the Bursar's office? (beat) Okay, no problem, I'll find it myself.
(in Heather's room)
(Daria, Heather, and her roommates are watching television)
Daria - So this is college?
Heather - Pretty much. There's also the part about working a stupid job and begging your parents for money.
Deliveryman - Heather? (hands paper to Heather)
Heather - My psych term paper. Finally. Nobody respects deadlines anymore.
(Daria reads the paper; her eyes go wide)
Daria - Uh, you paid somebody to write this for you?
Heather - It was a collaboration. My part was to say how long it should be and when it was due.
Daria - But the first paragraph doesn't even make sense. How much did you pay for this?
Heather - Fifty bucks.
Daria - I can fix this for you for ten bucks.
Heather - Really? Great.
Roommate #1 - Wow. You know anything about the English Civil War?
Roommate #2 - How about Renaissance painting?
Daria - What I don't know, I can fake. But cash only. I don't take checks from college students.
(Helen is talking to another student; he's rather nervous at being talked to by Helen)
Helen - Her name's Quinn, and she looks, well... a lot like me. Some people say sisters even. Of course, I was a young mother. Too young, really. How old do you think I am?
Guy - I don't really, um... I...
Helen - Forty-s... forty-three. That is, in five years I'll be 43. Seems like only yesterday I was partying with the best of them. I was pretty wild. Still am, when I feel like it. But you're a college man. You probably know all about that.
Guy - Um, I'm just a freshman and I... we're not really supposed to... I get headaches sometimes 'cause I'm allergic to things. And I... I sort of have to go now, bye. (runs away)
Helen - Well, if you see her, just tell her I'm looking for her. (mutters) College punk.
(in the Bursar's office)
Jake - I just can't figure out what all this is paying for.
Bursar - I understand your feelings, Mr. Morgendorffer. Many of our parents experience similar sticker shock, if I may. (laughs) That's why I refer a lot of our parents to this institution. It's not a bank, but a family business that understands families. They can set you up with a cash loan on very agreeable terms.
Jake - What's this address?
Bursar - It's a candy store. That's their business. They sell candy. And make loans. Oh, and haul trash. They got a variety of interests, actually. (slyly) You play the ponies, Jake?
(in Heather's dorm room)
(Daria is sitting at a computer as a group of girls line up)
Daria - Okay, look, I'm not going to rewrite this paper for you, but I will give you a couple of tips that will help you rewrite it. First, the book title Sons and Lovers does not have an apostrophe in it... anywhere. Second, unless your ex-boyfriend is an authority on D.H. Lawrence, don't base your thesis on something he said while making out.
Girl - Mm. What about something he said when we broke up?
Daria - No.
Girl - Mmm. Okay, thanks. (hands Daria money and leaves)
Daria - Thank you, and good luck with the doctorate.
Heather - You seem pretty comfortable with the brain-dead. So, let's go to a party.
(Helen is taping a photo of Daria and Quinn on a bulletin board; as she bends down to pick up the tape, a rapid stapling of papers covers the photo)
Geek - Excuse me, ma'am. Could I trouble you for your underwear?
Helen - Say what?
Geek - (whispers) Your panties. May I have them?
Helen - Why, you little bastard! Oh, wait a minute, hold on here... are you in a fraternity?
Geek - Yes, ma'am. Sigma Stigmata, a.k.a., "Sigma Yo' Mama!" (chuckling)
Helen - This is a prank, isn't it?
Geek - Sort of, ma'am. See, it's a Stigmata tradition to fly a Middleton woman's panties from our flagpole.
Helen - You guys!
Geek - But since the house moved off-campus, we found that student panties aren't big enough to be seen from the quad. I've been observing you, ma'am. I think your underwear just might do the trick!
Helen - Do the trick?! I'll do the trick to you, you little twerp! And your brothers, too! Frat geek!
(she starts to chase the geek, but gives up as a breathless Jake runs up to her)
Jake - Helen! Helen! Terrible news.
Helen - Oh, my God, the girls!
Jake - No, no.
Helen - What's happened?
Jake - (panting) Tuition... crippling expense... maybe we can just... send... one of them... to college... Quinn... go... to beauty... school.
Helen - Jake... get a grip. Right now, we don't even know where they are!
Jake - (panting) Right. Then... let's go... campus police.
Helen - The fuzz?
Jake - (panting) We're... parents... now. Police... good. Missing daughters... bad.
Helen - You're right. Those poor kids are probably scared to death.
(at fraternity house)
(Quinn is talking to three fraternity guys, who are rather big and dumb-looking)
Quinn - Okay, look. I can't play the game for you, but I will give you a couple of tips so you can play. As you go around counting off, for every number that has a three in it or is a multiple of three, you say, "zoom." Every multiple of seven, or number with a seven in it, you say, "schwartz!"
Frat Guy #1 - Can't we just play the one with the quarter?
Quinn - But you look so cute when you say funny words. Besides, shouldn't you be saving your quarters for taking us out?
Frat Guy #1 - One...
Frat Guy #2 - Two...
Frat Guy #3 - Zoom.
Quinn - Good!
(outside fraternity house)
(Quinn is hoisted on the shoulders of several frat guys as others circle around them)
Frat Guys - (chanting) Keg... Queen. Keg... Queen. Keg... Queen.
(Daria and Heather approach)
Heather - Ah, they've chosen the Keg Queen. It's a huge honor. She gets to drive the kegs to and from the distributor.
(siren wails in the distance)
Daria - Wait a minute. That's no queen -- that's my sister. And she doesn't even have a learner's permit.
(campus police car pulls up; Jake and Helen emerge from the back seat as the frat guys set Quinn down on the ground)
Helen - Quinn! What did they do to you?!
Quinn - They made me their queen! Isn't it great?!
Daria - I think now would be a good time to teach Quinn about personal responsibility.
Helen - Young lady, as the elder sister I hold you partially to blame.
Daria - But... I stayed with the tour guide.
Heather - Hi! (waves)
Policeman - Are these your daughters, Mr. Morgendorffer?
Jake - Yes, officer. Thank you for your help.
Policeman - They appear to be underage, sir.
Jake - Well, of course they're...!
Quinn - Don't worry, Daddy, I have I.D.
Policeman - We have strict rules about minors at fraternity parties. I'm afraid I'm going to have to escort you all off the campus -- immediately.
Jake - But...
Policeman - Don't make me use the cuffs, Mr. Morgendorffer.
Frat Guy - Can we keep her?
Helen - You certainly cannot!
Frat Guy - Then can we have your underwear?
Helen - You son of a...!
(the college prep class is in session again, this time to discuss the students' college experiences)
Instructor - Okay, okay... so, like, let's all talk about our college experiences. Uh...
Kevin - My big brothers stripped me naked and covered me with molasses, and left me in the middle of a field at night! It was awesome!
Brittany - I had a good time, too. I walked into the student center and these kids were reading poetry -- then they let me make up some of my own! And they were really interested in my feelings and thoughts and... stuff.
Kevin - Huh? That sounds stupid.
Brittany - Shut up, naked boy.
Instructor - (to Mack) How about you?
Mack - I learned about the first-string exemption. Turns out if you make the starting squad, you never have to take any exams.
Instructor - All right!
Mack - Yeah. I'm looking forward to a great education. May I please have my money back now?
Instructor - (chuckles and mutters) You little... oh, and you two. How did you like the famous Middleton College?
Quinn - Daria got us thrown out.
Daria - I got us thrown out? I beg to differ, Keg Queen.
Kevin - Keg Queen?! Can I have your autograph?
Quinn - Dream on, naked boy.
Instructor - Whoa, whoa, wait a minute! You got thrown out of Middleton? I, I just can't understand you kids sometimes. In my day, we had a little something called respect.
Kevin - Uh, are we going to need to know this, or is this, like, personal advice or something?
(instructor rolls his eyes)
(Daria and Jane are walking home)
Jane - Thrown out of college without enrolling first. I'm damn proud of you.
Daria - Thanks.
Jane - How's business?
Daria - Booming. I have two econ problem sets and a paper on Kerouac that I have to get to the delivery guy by 9:00 P.M.... and then, I quit.
Jane - But you're just getting started.
Daria - I already feel burned out on college and I'm still in high school.
(at Daria's house)
(Daria walks in the door and sees the rest of the family seated in the living room)
Jake - Hey, Daria, come on in!
Daria - Uh... what happened? (sits next to Quinn)
Quinn - Nothing -- only somebody in this family turned out to be college material.
Helen - Quinn was accepted to Manatee College in Florida!
Quinn - Remember those stupid worksheets we had to fill out for that course? Mine won.
Jake - I'm so proud of you, honey.
Quinn - Manatee... it sounds kind of European, don't you think?
Daria - Uh, did you guys read this letter?
Helen - Yes, and it says right there that she's in.
Daria - And here at the bottom it also says, "Manatee College has no classes, but offers beachfront accommodations at a cost of $10,000 per semester."
Quinn - That's even better than we thought, right, Dad?
Jake - Give me that! (grabs letter and reads, his good mood evaporating)
(Jake and Helen answer the door; the college geek is on the stoop, holding an envelope)
Geek - Hi, sir. This is something for your daughter, Daria. She wrote a paper for me.
Jake - And she made you pay in cash?
Geek - Yes, sir.
Jake - (to Helen) Good girl.
Helen - Jake!
Geek - Hi, ma'am! Remember me?
Helen - No! (slams door)
(at Pizza King)
(Daria and Jane are eating pizza by the window)
Daria - By the way, do you mind paying for this? I'm broke.
Jane - What happened to all your paper-writing money?
Daria - My mom wouldn't let me keep it. She said it was wrong to encourage cheaters and to profit from them.
Jane - So, she's giving up being a lawyer?
Daria - I asked her that, and I'm sure some day we'll once again be on speaking terms.
Jane - All in all, then, the whole college experience kind of sucked.
Daria - Pretty much.
Jane - Does that mean these are the best years of our lives?
Daria - I hope not.
Quinn - Uh!
(Daria and Jane glance over to find Quinn throwing a soda in the college class instructor's face)
Quinn - I should have known Daria was right about that making-out scholarship! (leaves)
Daria - But you've gotta admit, there are some pretty choice moments.