|Original Airdate||June 16, 1997|
|Special Guest Voices|
|Written By||Larry Doyle|
|Directed By||Eric Fogel|
“Too Cute” was the ninth episode of the first season of Daria. It first aired on MTV on June 16, 1997.
The episode was written by Larry Doyle.
The episode begins with Kevin on the street, wearing a strong ugly-looking makeup, trying to greet people, only to have everybody ignoring or avoiding him.
In Lawndale High, several students are awed when they see Brooke's operated nose, which is now 'the cutest'. Brooke informs the operation had been done by Dr. Shar and asks for an opinion, which quickly escalates into a heavy discussion about cuteness and fashion between Sandi and Quinn. Sandi even asks Daria's opinion on Brooke's nose, but the latter only offers a sarcastic reply.
Latter that evening, at the Morgendorffer's, Quinn retells the days events and the conversation evolves to cosmetic surgery, with Helen objecting for her daughters to use it while young. Quinn is depressed, feeling she isn't perfect, and later she obsessively analyses her nose in her mirror.
The next day, Kevin recounts the previous day events in science class, thus revealing the reason for his strange attire: Barch is making him wear ugly makeup and analysing people's behaviour when seeing him with and without it. The teacher uses the experiment to present the concept of perception of attractiveness (and, in a side effect, to humiliate the male student). The class is interrupted when Mrs. Li requests Daria to accompany Quinn in a medical emergency.
The Morgendorffer sisters leave school and ride the bus downtown, eventually getting to Dr. Shar's Swan Shoppe. Quinn reveals to her sister she faked the emergency because she needs her honest opinion.
Dr. Shar receives both sisters and they talk about looks. Though she comments there is nothing wrong with Quinn, she also makes suggestions of alleged imperfections on her face and ends up proposing to do a complete change on her look (into a face clearly looking like the doctor's). She also proposes to a complete redesign of Daria's face (into one that would be a mirror image of Quinn's). When parting, Shar compliments Quinn on her courage and gives Daria a box, asking to open it later.
During the bus ride back, Quinn laments on her looks, clearly having been affected by the doctor's advice and despite Daria's comments on the manipulative nature of Shar's work. Daria checks the box to find breast implants. Later the day, Daria tells Jane about the visit and both comment on the doctor's tactics and the lack of need for surgery for either Quinn or Daria.
The next day, at school, Quinn is angry when she finds the rest of the Fashion Club had had nose jobs without her. Sandi and Quinn fight over fashion and attire, resulting in an even more angry and frustrated Quinn. This is interrupted by Brooke's appearance, who by now has had a complete cosmetic surgery and is very attractive, eliciting awe from the whole Fashion Club. Her request to join them is seemingly considered by Sandi, who strongly hints that Quinn could be on her way out. In despair, Quinn goes to her sister with a plan to get the money for her operation (provided by Shar): Daria would ask it from their parents, pretending it would be for growth hormones for herself. Daria refuses, and Jane jokingly proposes that Quinn starts a collection, an idea Quinn happily adopts.
Quinn's feedback from her colleagues is less that helpful: female colleagues are sceptic; male colleagues expect something in return; and Mrs. Barch is sarcastic of the whole plan. When Quinn goes to complaint to her sister, stating she has to stay popular and attractive, the latter points out there is nothing wrong with her and no operation is needed, though this advice falls in deaf ears. In the end, Quinn's fears disappear when Stacy and Tiffany, anxiously holding their own noses, tell them of Brooke's nasal relapse.
The final scene shows Kevin still conducting Barch's experience. However, tired of being ignored by everybody, he uses Daria's (joking) advice and is paying people to talk to him: this results in a long line of people in live wanting to greet him…
- Tiffany's rate of speech is still normal, as shown in The Invitation.
- This is the first an only appearance of Dr. Shar in the series. She would be seen later as a background character in "I Loathe a Parade."
- This was the first episode which showed that Upchuck basically was all talk, with him being HORRIFIED by the implants.
- This is also the only episode in which Brooke speaks and makes a noteworthy appearance. Her desire to join the Fashion Club would be used later in some fanfiction.
- When speaking on the phone to Jane, Daria says that she has low-self esteem: "If I didn't have such low self-esteem, she could have gotten to me." This contrasts with her statement in Esteemsters that she doesn't have low self-esteem. But it could also be meant as a cynical joke.
- Quinn makes a comment about growth hormones to Daria, which is a meta reference to the fact that Daria is smaller than Quinn (despite being the older sister).
“Too Cute” and Fanfic
- Episode Transcript
- "Too Cute" Turns Eleven," on the Daria Fandom Blog II
- Episode Analysis by WellTemperedClavier