Veronica Morgendorffer, also called Ronnie or Ronni, is one of the more ubiquitous original characters in the past few years of Daria fanfiction. Veronica is the non-existent (or very forgettable, in some stories) third and last Morgendorffer sister, a being who exists only in alternate-universe (AU) Daria stories.
She is the likely the first fan-made character (as opposed to fan-made name for a backgrounder) to be a shared character allowed to be used by the whole fandom, rather than needing permission from the original author.
Fanfic author Robert Nowall was the original inventor of Veronica, the supposed youngest sister of Daria and Quinn, in a story begun as a story fragment in a PPMB post (2/5/2004: “Another story idea dumped here...”). Daria awakens one morning to hear her mother call for her, Quinn, and Veronica to come downstairs to breakfast. Daria stops what she’s doing and says, “Veronica?” Other story fragments detail Daria’s increasing astonishment, confusion, and annoyance that everyone, even Jane Lane, believes Veronica is her youngest sister. Veronica, who looks like a younger version of Quinn with Daria’s round-lens glasses and sarcastic world-view, becomes increasingly distressed and angry because Daria claims she doesn’t know her.
The concept was an immediate sensation, as such things go, and Veronica was shortly adopted into other stories by many authors. A partial listing of all Daria stories including Veronica, in any of her various incarnations, follows.
- “Twilight’s Own,” by Renfield (a heart-wrenching shock-fic in the style of The Twilight Zone, based on Robert Nowall’s original story fragments).
- “Next Time, This Time,” by Robert Nowall (a complete AU story collecting the original story fragments into a coherent and intriguing whole).
- “Esteemsters Reloaded,” by Decelaraptor (an unfinished AU serial comedy on PPMB that continues the original hypothesis that Daria has numerous other siblings of various ages, one of which is Veronica).
- “Darkness,” by The Angst Guy (in the year 2017, Veronica is Daria’s teenage half-sister, the daughter of the late Jake Morgendorffer, who has divorced Helen).
- “Illusions,” by CharlieGirl, The Angst Guy, and Angelinhel (a complex multiple-AU tale including a world expanding upon Nowall’s original story concept, in which Daria does not remember Veronica because of a brain tumor—and a second, dimension-crossing Daria doesn't recall Veronica, either, as she had no third sister).
- Ranger Thorne, “Rifts” (Daria/Star Wars crossover) (Veronica was born to Helen and Jake after Daria and Quinn vanished from Lawndale).
- “Three,” by Richard Lobinske (a Nowall-type Veronica is killed by an alien assassin; Daria in this AU is deaf).
- “The Trouble with Veronica,” by Brother Grimace (a future tale about a teenage Veronica who is smarter and prettier than either of her older sisters, with a distinctly original, non-Nowall personality and appearance). This version is known as Evelyn Veronica 'Evie' Morgendorffer, or just 'Evie'.
- “Nothing Happens for a Reason,” by The Angst Guy (a Nowall-style Veronica included in an AU parody of Mahna Mahna’s shipper-fic, “Everything Happens for a Reason”).
- "Evil Daria Vignettes," by numerous writers (Evelyn Veronica Barksdale is a long-lost half-sister of Daria and Quinn, who turn out to be half-sisters as well).
A number of authors contributed to the PPMB Iron Chef: [Fresh takes on Veronica Morgendorffer] in 2012 including peetz5050's [We Don't Talk About It], JoeMerl's [Veronica's Makeover] & [Gothic Days], Wassaufer's [Meeting at the Park], ST91's [Daria & Veronica] which is continued [here], Vukodlak's [Mine] and Shiva's gender twist on the trope [Victor Morgendorffer].
Characters named Veronica appear in the Morgendorffer household with some frequency to this day. In an unnamed serial by NightGoblyn, in the 2007 PPMB thread, “More Apocalyptic Daria,” Veronica is again the youngest Morgendorffer sister. The tale is set in a post-atomic, Road Warrior-style American wasteland. In Richard Lobinske’s “Accidental Future,” Veronica is Daria’s oldest daughter, born of her marriage with Tom Sloane—which Daria does not recall because of a car wreck. (The near accident in “Boxing Daria” was more serious in this AU.) Decelaraptor created a crossover ficlet for an October 2005 “Iron Chef” competition in which Helen Morgendorffer remarries after Jake’s death, giving Daria and Quinn an older stepsister, Veronica Lodge (from the Archie comics). Fictitious Veronicas, invented on the spot by either Daria or Quinn, appear in Roentgen’s “A Lie” and The Angst Guy’s “One More River to Cross” (“Aunt Veronica”). Additional Veronicas appear with regularity in ficlets and fragments from the various “scenes no Daria fanfic should ever have” threads on PPMB.
It has been speculated that any of the times Helen and Jake are shown fooling around on the original Daria show (e.g., in “Depth Takes a Holiday” and “Fire!”) could result in Veronica’s birth, despite Helen’s assumed mid-to-late 40s age.
Do not confuse this in-joke character with occasional mention of unrelated Veronicas in Daria fanfics, such as the Veronica in Invisigoth Gypsy’s “We Are Not Amused” or crossovers with Heathers, Veronica Mars, etc.
In most fanfics using a Nowall-style Veronica, the third sister has Daria's sarcasm but is put out by Daria's failure to recognize her. She is occasionally noted as being in middle school and about 13, as close to Quinn in age as Quinn (14.5 years) is to Daria (16 years) during the show's first season.
It is a running gag in many fanfics and quite a few "scenes that should not be" PPMB threads that Veronica has always existed, but is for some reason always forgotten by Daria—not in a sisterly "I'd love to forget you're around" way, but literally forgotten on a daily basis.
Robert Nowall finds it both surprising and amusing that his most lasting contribution to Daria fan fiction was a character created while on the way out.