From DariaWiki
Production Number 412
Original Airdate July 26, 2000
Special Guest Voices
Written By Peggy Nicoll
Directed By Karen Disher
Patrick Smith
Ted Stearn

"Fire!" was the twelfth episode of the fourth season of the television series Daria. The title is often written without the exclamation mark.


Warning: The following may contain plot or ending details.

For further context, see Tomgate.

The action begins with Jake accidentally setting the house on fire when trying to warm up some milk, forcing the family to temporarily move to a hotel. In the course of this episode, Sandi Griffin becomes jealous (and suspicious) of the attention heaped upon Quinn by a bellboy, while Jake and Helen start to enjoy a blissful, relaxed relationship with a strong sex (offscreen) life. Daria is obviously having none of us and decides to temporarily move in with Jane.

Unfortunately, this means she exacerbates the growing rift between Jane and Tom, and soon Tom starts visiting Daria... and in order to see her before he sees Jane, he has to walk pass Jane's room; Daria argues Jane was drilling at the time & he he mustn't have wanted to disturb her work, but Jane is unsure. It's increasingly clear that Tom and Daria have a connection but when Jane confronts her friend, Daria denies anything is going on and that she has any interest. A seed of doubt is planted when Trent informs her that Tom is clearly interested and that, while nobody blames her for the situation, it's obvious she has feelings too.

Convinced by Sandi that the bellboy is a stalker, Quinn ends up in police car and finds out he is: he's been charging the Morgendorffers for money and then deleting the transactions from the computer. Quinn forgets the stalker thing: she almost dated a computer geek!

Daria mulls over her feelings about Tom.

This all leads to the Morgendorffers heading back to the hotel and Helen and Jake getting stressed and, once again, bickering viciously, and also reprimanding Daria for leaving the hotel without talking to them first. Daria stares into the distance, depressed and confused...

This is one of the few episodes that actually leads somewhere, setting up the romantic triangle between Daria, Tom, and Jane in "Dye! Dye! My Darling." Every other conflict and issue in the story is resolved except for the growing attraction between Daria and Tom, and Jane's recognition of the same, all of which was first seen in "I Loathe a Parade" and expanded upon here; Jane's growing issues with Tom had been turning up in other episodes as well, such as "Mart of Darkness" and "Psycho Therapy".

Daria's Reading Material[edit]

When Tom enters Penny's room the first time, Daria is reading Niccolò Machiavelli's The Prince.

When Trent talks to Daria, she's reading Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina (misspelt "Karena").


The title of this episode is one of the trademark phrases that Beavis often used in Beavis and Butt-head, the show from which Daria was derived.

The episode “Fire!” was available on the DVD of Is It Fall Yet?.

Le Grande Hotel is a client of Jake's, which is how the Morgendorffers get to stay there and not the crappier Dutchman Inn.

Daria refers to her Lawndale home as her childhood home, despite the Morgendorffers moving from Highland to Lawndale at the start of the show.

This is not the first time that Jake Morgendorffer has set the stove on fire. He did so previously in "Write Where It Hurts."

The symbolism of fire in the fourth season of Daria is interesting, as a fire (requiring fire trucks to put it out) occurred in "I Loathe a Parade," the episode in which the bond between Daria and Tom becomes apparent. Further, in the episode shown immediately prior to "Fire!" ("Groped by an Angel"), Quinn Morgendorffer remarks that she "just finished a story about a family whose house caught on fire."

Jake and Helen have a good laugh at the idea that Sandi can think.

The opening to "Spiders" by System of a Down is heard as Jane is finishing talking to Jodie and Daria appears.

As a pivotal episode in the series, there's a bunch of alternate universe ways things could have gone, as noted by TAG: the fire not happening at all or the family staying at the Dutchman Inn and thus Daria not fleeing to where she'd spend more time with Tom; the fire could have caused far more damage that meant the family had to move; or Trent could have better got through to Daria at the end

"Fire!" and Fanfic[edit]

The events in "Fire!" are rarely mentioned in fanfic except in passing, despite the fact that it directly leads into "Dye! Dye! My Darling." However, certain elements of the episode, such as Penny Lane's room and its contents, have indirectly contributed to a few stories (e.g., "Smoking Mirror," by TAG).

External Links[edit]

On “Fire!” the Episode[edit]

AU Versions of "Fire!"[edit]

Preceded by
Groped by an Angel (411)
Daria Episodes
"Fire!" season 4, episode 12
Succeeded by
Dye! Dye! My Darling (413)