“Misfit Love ML20: 20 Years Later”
by Danny Bronstein

Plot description: Twenty years later, Daria is the new principal of
Lawndale High and has a son. Everything is going well until her old
nemesis, Jared, resurfaces.
Classification: Daria

Year: 2018.
(Angela Li walks down the hall of Lawndale High, dragging behind her a
slack-jawed kid of about 16. The kid has 3 earrings in each ear, a goatee,
and jet-black hair that he obviously cut himself. He wears big glasses with
round lenses, a faded green T-shirt, black jeans with holes in them, and
combat boots. They enter the principal’s office. The chair is facing

Li: Ms. Morgendorffer!

(The chair turns around to reveal Daria Morgendorffer, age 36.)

Daria: Ah, Ms. Li. What can I do for you?

Li: I caught your son writing “The Pep Squad sucks” on the bathroom wall.

Daria: Hmm... Well, I do believe in free speech.

Li: But not only is it an act of vandalism, it also defames a group that
brings honor to Lawndale High! If I were still principal, I would expel him.

Daria: But you’re not the principal anymore, Ms. Li, I am.

Li: One of these days, Ms. Morgendorffer, I will rise back up the school
ranks to my former stature! You’d better watch your back!

Daria: Having a little trouble with authority there, aren’t we, Ms. Li? You
know I can fire you at the snap of a finger. Listen, have you finished
scrubbing the toilets so that they’re nice and shiny?

Li: No ma’am. I’ll get right to it. (whispers covertly to the boy) Better
watch out, you little bastard. (normal voice again) Good day, Ms.

Daria: Good day, Angela. (Ms. Li leaves.) You washed-up bitch.

Boy (who has a deep voice like a certain rock guitarist): Wow, that was
great, Mom!

Daria: Yeah, I love humiliating her. Now can I ask you something, Scott?

Scott: What is it, Mom?


Scott: Mom, the Pep Squad is a bunch of trendy assholes who have no brains
but somehow manage to be really popular and sway the minds of the
desperate-to-fit-in. You know, the kind of people you and I hate.

Daria: I know what you mean, Scott, but you can’t just vandalize school
property like that!

Scott: But this is the Pep Squad we’re talking about!

Daria: So? What did the Pep Squad ever do to you?

Scott: Nothin’. Just give me the cold shoulder and laugh at my glasses.

Daria: Scott, don’t get me wrong. I don’t like people like them either. But
as principal, I just can’t let students do this kind of stuff.

Scott: Then why did you even become principal anyway? I thought you hated
this place and couldn’t wait to leave!

Daria: I don’t know, I... when the job was offered to me, the pay was
pretty good and I thought I could make a difference, but... doesn’t matter.

Scott, I’m afraid I have no choice but to ground you for a week.

Scott: But Mo-oom! My band has a gig on Friday!

Daria: Right, don’t want to miss that. Well, next time you’ll think twice
before doing something dumb.

Scott: Oh, you suck, Mom! (storms out of the office)

Daria: Yeah, right back at ya.


(Daria comes home and, on the way to her room, passes by her son’s room. It
is a dimly lit room with posters of skeletons and rock bands everywhere.
Scott is sitting on a beanbag chair watching TV.)

TV: They’re fresh out of rehab and ready for a family reunion! Catching up
with the rock group Hanson, next on Sick Sad World.

Daria: Can you believe this show is still on?

Scott: Yeah, really.

Daria: Shouldn’t you be doing your homework?

Scott: I’ll do it later.

Daria: Scott, have you seen your grades?

Scott: Yeah, solid C’s this time.

Daria: And you think that’s good enough?

Scott: (shrugs) Eh.

Daria: (mutters) You’re just like your father.


(Flashback to 2001. Daria, Jane, and Mystik Spiral are in a small
apartment. The girls watch in boredom as the band practices.)

Trent: No, no, Nick! What the hell is wrong with you? That doesn’t sound
right at all! Are you high again?

Nick: (woozy) I dunno, man...

Daria: Trent...

Trent: And Jesse, is that guitar even tuned right?

Daria: Trent! We need to talk!

Trent: Not now, Daria! Can’t you see I’m busy?

Daria: Trent, I’m pregnant.

(Trent slowly turns to Daria)

Trent: What?


(Flash forward to 5 years after that. Trent and Daria live in the same
small apartment. Little Scott watches as Trent and Daria argue.)

Daria: Dammit, Trent! I can’t take this anymore! We’re broke again! How the
hell are we supposed to get by when I am the only one with a job?

Trent: Look, I told you, I have a meeting with my agent on Wednesday. He
says we may have a record deal!

Daria: Get real, Trent, you don’t even have a complete band! Your drummer
quit, remember? Trent, face the facts. You will never make it in the music
business. You have a family now.

Trent: Who the hell do you think you are, telling me how to run my life?

Daria: Trent, I think it’s time you make a choice. Your family or your
music. What’s it gonna be?

(Shot of Daria driving away with little Scott and boxes of their stuff, to
the tune of “Jellyhead” by Crush.)


(Flash back to the present. The doorbell rings and Daria answers. It’s
Quinn with her 3 daughters, aged 15, 12 and 10 and all dressed trendy.)

Quinn: (talking fast) Hey Daria can’t talk long I have a meeting can you
watch the kids for a while later bye! (runs off)

Daria: Great. Just what I needed. Hey, Gwyneth, Drew, Naomi.

Gwyneth: Aunt Daria! Where’s Cousin Scott?

Daria: He’s in his room.

Naomi: Yay! Let’s give him a makeover!

(The three girls run off)

Scott: (offscreen) Good God, NO!!!!!


(The next day, Daria is sitting at a cafe during lunch when Jane shows up.)

Daria: Jane! How are you? (Daria gets up and hugs Jane, and the two of them
sit down.)

Jane: Daria! Wow, how long has it been, four, five years?

Daria: Yeah. You look great.

Jane: You too.

Daria: How’s the art gallery going?

Jane: Great. How’s my nephew?

Daria: Solid C student. Spends most of his time playing his guitar. He’s a
lot like his father.

Jane: Ooh, speaking of which, did you know Trent’s coming back to town?

Daria: He’s moving back in?

Jane: Yeah, he’s gonna manage the Alt Rock Cafe they’re opening here. You
should give him a call sometime.

Daria: Give him a call?

Jane: Yeah, I’m sure he’d be happy to see you and Scott.

Daria: Uh... yeah, sure.

(Daria looks to her right, and her eyes suddenly focus on a red-haired man
in glasses who walks by. A group of people pass in front of him and when
they clear out, he is gone.)

Daria: Oh my God.

Jane: What?

Daria: Jane, you remember a guy named Jared from high school?

Jane: Jared Dorkowitz? The psycho who you went out with and who tried to
blow up Lawndale High and almost killed us when we tried to stop him?
Doesn’t ring a bell. Why?

Daria: ‘Cause I think I just saw him. Wasn’t he locked up in a mental

Jane: Yeah, for about 5 years. Then he just disappeared. I don’t know what
happened to him.

Daria: You don’t know what he’s been up to for the last fifteen years?

Jane: No.

Daria: Well, if he’s free, you think he would want to come after me?

Jane: I don’t think he had anything against you. I think it was the school
he was after. Are you sure that was him that you saw?

Daria: Pretty sure.

Jane: Hmm. If you want, I know a private eye who can track him down. Want
me to give you his card?

Daria: OK...

Jane: Here you go.

Daria: (looks at card) This is a joke, right?

Jane: Nope. That’s what he does now. He’s pretty good. Just try not to let
him touch you.


(Daria steps into a cluttered office. The private investigator is sitting
at the desk. He looks at Daria, revealing a familiar face.)

Upchuck: Daria! You look as feisty as ever!

Daria: Hello, Up... Charles. How have you been?

Upchuck: Stupendous! Chicks really dig a guy with a badge, if you know what
I mean.

Daria: Well, being a private detective does require a bit of prevarication.

Listen, I need you to find out about a guy for me, can you do that?

Upchuck: Anything for you, my sweet! Rrowr!


(At home, Scott and Gwyneth watch TV while Drew and Naomi look over a teen
fashion magazine.)

Gwyneth: Do we have to watch this?

Scott: Hell yeah! I wouldn’t miss an X-Files marathon for the world!

Gwyneth: But Fashion File is on!

Scott: You’d rather watch a bunch of pouty anorexic girls hawk skimpy
dresses that will be out of style next week?

Gwyneth: Hey, my mom designs those dresses! And they are not anorexic! They
are CUTE! It’s not their fault they’re better looking and thinner than us!

Scott: I’ll bet they don’t allow air conditioning at those fashion shows.
They’re afraid a breeze will tip the models over while they’re on the runway.
(Scott and Gwyneth watch the TV for a while.)

Gwyneth: Mulder and Scully are so old now! And you’d think they’d have had
sex by now after so many seasons!

Scott: Good point. What’s wrong with them?


Gwyneth: So, are you going to your Homecoming?

Scott: No. I’m grounded.

Gwyneth: That sucks.

Scott: I wouldn’t have wanted to go anyway. I mean come on, my mom’s
probably gonna be there!

Gwyneth: Well, I’m going. I’m up for Queen against the President of the
Fashion Club. I bought this $900 dress that’s gonna blow them away. That
is, if that bitch Sally didn’t buy an even more expensive one...

Scott: My school doesn’t have a dress code for this thing. My mom also
discourages us from electing a king and queen since she considers it a
popularity contest.

Gwyneth: Bummer! Where’s the fun in that?

Scott: Hey, she says she’s just trying to make high school easier for us.
Of course the janitor is always on her case about everything she does.

Gwyneth: Why doesn’t she just fire Ms. Li?

Scott: She likes watching her suffer.


(Daria sits by the phone, thinking. She starts to fantasize. In her fantasy
world, she is approached by Trent, who is now older, with cleaner-cut hair
and a mustache.)

Trent: Hey, Daria.

Daria: Hey, Trent.

Trent: I wrote you a song.

Daria: You wrote a song? For me?

Trent: You’re my muse, you know. The song is called, “Stupid Self-Deluded
Deadbeat Mom”. What makes you think I’d want to see you after you walked
out on me like that?

(Daria snaps back to reality.)

Daria: Damn. I’m 36 years old and people in my fantasies still put me down.
(sighs) Oh, what the hell. (Dials number.)

(At the Alt Rock Cafe, the phone rings. Trent picks it up.)

Trent: Alt Rock Cafe.

Daria: Hey, Trent.

Trent: Daria? Daria, is that you?

(Quinn enters the house.)

Quinn: Hey, Daria. Just coming to pick up the girls.

Trent: (over the phone) Daria? Hey, Daria, is that you?

(Daria remains silent as Quinn walks by.)

Trent: Daria? Are you there?

Daria: (after Quinn leaves) It’s me, Trent.

Trent: Daria! Wow, hey, it’s been a while. What’s up?

(Scott enters to get a drink of water and Daria is silent again.)

Trent: Daria? Hey Daria, you still there?

(Scott takes the glass of water.)

Scott: Hey Mom.

Daria: Hey Scott. (smiles.)

(Scott leaves the room, eyeing his mom suspiciously.)

Daria: Hey, Trent. I--

(Quinn and her daughters head for the door. Daria is silent as they walk by.)

Quinn: Bye, Daria. Thanks.

Daria: No problem.

Trent: No problem what, Daria? Daria?

(Quinn and the girls leave, Scott enters with the empty glass.)

Daria: I’ll be right over. (hangs up.)

Scott: Mom? Who were you talking to?

Daria: Oh... your father. He’s back in town.

Scott: Dad’s back?

Daria: Yeah, I’m going to go see him right now. Wanna come?


(Meanwhile, Upchuck works away at a computer. Eventually he comes upon
Jared’s file on

Upchuck: Bingo.


(Daria and Scott enter the Alt Rock Cafe. It has a grunge look to it with
posters and memorabilia from popular ‘90s bands such as Nirvana,
Soundgarden and Pearl Jam.)

Trent: Daria! Hey!

Daria: Hey, Trent.

(Trent and Daria hug.)

Trent: Man, you look great!

Daria: Thanks. Scott? Aren’t you gonna say hi to your father?

Scott: Hey, DAD. How’s it going, DAD?

Daria: Scott! What’s the matter with you?

Scott: What’s the matter with me? What’s the matter with him? He goes AWOL
for all these years and suddenly expects me to be his son again? That does
it! I’m outta heeeeeeeeere! (leaves)

Trent: What was that?

Daria: I dunno. Heh, teenagers.

Trent: Yeah. So what was up with that phone thing?

Daria: Oh, that. Well, I had this problem getting privacy while talking to
you and I kept waiting until I was alone, which meant not saying
anything... You did that to me once, remember? A long time ago?

Trent: Oh yeah.

Daria: So I decided it would be better to come over here and see you.
Trent: Hmm. Well, to tell you the truth, I’m kind of busy now, but maybe
tonight we can get together and catch up on things.

Daria: OK. That would be great. See you then.

Trent: OK.


(Scott is practicing guitar in his room when his mom walks in. She’s all
dressed up to go out.)

Daria: Scott, what the hell was that?

Scott: What was what?

Daria: The way you spoke to your father today.

Scott: I was telling him off! I thought you’d be proud of me!

Daria: What gave you that idea?

Scott: Well, you’re always bad-mouthing him. Remember, you used to call him
an unmotivated lazy bum?

Daria: That was a long time ago!

Scott: So what are you all dressed up for? Are you going on a date with him
or something?

Daria: Well, it’s not really a date...

Scott: Oh, mom! I can’t believe this! Why?

Daria: Well, I’m thinking maybe things are different with him now. You
know, 12 years is a long time, and we have some catching up to do. Maybe
you’ll have a father again. Wouldn’t you like that?

Scott: I guess... Just promise me you won’t do anything stupid, OK, Mom?

Daria: I promise, son.

(Daria smiles. Scott smiles back.)

Daria: Now remember that you’re grounded, so I’m trusting you not to leave
the house.

Scott: Oh, Mom, you know me. (crosses fingers)

Daria: I hope so. Now be in bed by the time I get back, OK?

Scott: OK Mom. By the way, the Homecoming’s today. How come you’re not
going to be there?

Daria: Now really, Scott, do I look like the kind of person who enjoys
myself at dances?

(Daria smiles at Scott and leaves. As soon as she drives away, a ladder is
set up outside Scott’s room, and a long-haired guy in a leather jacket pops
his head in the window.)

Guy: Dude! You ready?

Scott: Ready.

(The guy climbs back down. Scott grabs his guitar and climbs down after him.)


(Daria and Trent sit on a couch in Trent’s apartment. It’s a relatively
small place but pretty neat compared to how Trent used to be.)

Daria: So then about three years ago I found out that Principal Li had been
busted on embezzlement charges and was fired from her job. The school
needed a principal and so I stepped in, thinking I could change things so
that outcasts like me, or Scott for that matter, wouldn’t have to suffer. I
made the self-esteem class voluntary and hired a competent person to teach
it, someone with a degree in adolescent psychology. I hired that guy Ted to
run the yearbook committee, so now it’s not just the most popular clubs
that get featured. Then I made the mistake of hiring Ms. Li when she got
out of jail. I thought hiring her for maintenance would be a good lesson
for her, but we really don’t get along. She doesn’t get along with anyone.
In fact, I’m pretty convinced she’s plotting something against me.

Trent: I’d fire her. Seriously.

Daria: Yeah, I guess I’ve had my fun. I’ll do it on Monday.


(Inside Scott’s drummer’s van, The Indestructomobile.)

Scott: So where’s this surprise gig?

Bassist: Some high school homecoming.

Scott: Wait... The high school wouldn’t be Lawndale by any chance, would it?

Rhythm: Yeah!

Scott: My mom’s the principal of that school! Does she know?

Drummer: Is she on the homecoming committee?

Scott: No.

Bassist: Then I don’t think so.

Scott: Whew. Good thing she’s not coming.

(A speeding station wagon cuts right in front of the van.)

Drummer: (honks) Asshole! Whoa, check it out!

Bassist: What?

Drummer: There’s a napalm tank in the backseat of that car!


(Meanwhile, back at Trent’s place.)

Daria: So what made you decide to open this restaurant?

Trent: Well, after going in and out of bands for awhile after you left, I
decided maybe you were right. Maybe this whole recording artist thing
wasn’t working out for me. So then I found out about this new franchise,
which seemed like a profitable job that would allow me to be around my
favorite music all the time, and I started to invest money into a branch in
Lawndale, where I could be close to my family. So here I am. The place
opens in two weeks, and I get to host a live rock band show 3 nights a week
and even perform on stage.

Daria: That’s great, Trent. I’m really proud of you.

Trent: Yeah, well...

Daria: You’re not mad at me, are you?

Trent: For what?

Daria: Ditching you like that?

Trent: Well, yeah, kind of, but it did make me realize that I had to stop
wasting my life, so in a way I should probably be grateful.

(Pause. Trent moves closer to Daria.)

Trent: Penny for your thoughts?

Daria: Uh... Nice sofa. (smiles.)

(Trent smiles back. Suddenly Upchuck sticks his head in the window, ruining
the moment.)

Upchuck: Daria!

Daria: (startled) Charles! What are you doing here?

Upchuck: I got the dirt on this Dorkowitz guy.

Trent: Dorkowitz? Jared Dorkowitz?

Daria: Yeah. I sent Charles to find out what he’s been up to. He’s a
gumshoe now.

Trent: Guess he’s finally putting those stalking skills to good use.

Upchuck: Jared escaped from the McVicker Memorial Mental Hospital in
Highland in 2003 during a power outage. With him when he escaped was his
girlfriend, Lisa Bleujabbe [pronounced “Blowjob”]. They got married and
have changed their last name at least 10 times. They now live in Montana as
Jared and Lisa Black.

Daria: Montana? The Psycho State?

Upchuck: There’s more. I found out that there’s a Jared Black checked into
the Holiday Inn here. Is this his picture? (shows Daria a Polaroid of a
red-haired guy with glasses.)

Daria: That’s him all right. What could he be doing here? Wait! Tonight’s
the homecoming! And it’s been 20 years since the homecoming he tried to
blow up, right?

Upchuck: R-r-r. Creepy.

Trent: I’ll drive.


(Trent, Daria and Upchuck arrive at the Homecoming. Scott’s band is playing
on stage, and the students are dancing.)

Upchuck: Well, I don’t see anything unusual here.

Daria: I do.

Upchuck: What?

Daria: That’s my son’s band! (turns to Trent) Oh, I’m gonna kill that kid!

Trent: Now now, that’s not why we came here--

Upchuck: Look out!

(Upchuck pushes Daria out of the way of a fireball that flies across the
room. The fireball hits Upchuck and fries him.)

Daria: Oh my God, they killed Upchuck!

(Standing at the entrance to the gym is a figure wearing a welder’s mask,
armor and a napalm tank, and carrying a flamethrower. [think “Lethal Weapon

Crowd: (pointing at him) You bastard!

(The figure with the flamethrower starts firing away. The crowd panics and
flees. [Note to those who have read my previous stories: Have you ever
noticed that whenever there is a dance, something goes terribly wrong?])

Daria: Trent, make sure Scott’s OK. I’ve got some unfinished business to
take care of. (Storms off.)

(Trent runs through the crowd and reaches Scott.)

Scott: Dad? What are you doing here?

Trent: Never mind! Come on! (Trent drags his son away just as a fireball
whizzes by them.)


(Meanwhile, Daria goes to her office and breaks the glass of a box that
says IN CASE OF EMERGENCY. Inside the box is a fire axe. She uses the axe
to break another glass case containing a shotgun. She takes the shotgun and
runs back to the gym. The gym is now completely evacuated except for the
psycho. The crowd watches outside.)

Daria: (loads shotgun) JARED!!!!!!!!!!!!

(Flamethrower Guy turns to her.)

Daria: Thought you could come back and ruin my school, did ya? Well I don’t
think so.

(Daria fires the shotgun. The shell bounces off the armor.)

Daria: Damn.

(The psycho fires the flamethrower and Daria jumps out of the way. She
lands at someone’s feet, and looks up to see a familiar-looking redhead.)

Jared: That’s not gonna do any damage. I’d aim for the napalm tank.

Daria: Jared??? If you’re you, then who’s that?

Jared: Look out!

(Jared and Daria jump to dodge another fireball.)

Jared: You have to shoot the napalm tank!

Daria: He has to turn around for that!

Jared: OK, you give me the shotgun and run as fast as you can to the other

Daria: Why do I have to do it? I have good aim! You run to the other side.

Jared: OK, let’s do a paper-rock-scissors.

Daria: Fine.

(Paper, rock, scissors. Jared gets paper, Daria gets scissors.)

Jared: Damn. OK, here goes. On the count of 3.

Daria: Two! There’s no time!

Jared: Fine.

Daria: One... Two.

(Jared runs across the gym, barely missing fireballs. As soon as the
psycho’s back is turned, Daria shoots at the napalm tank. The tank
explodes, sending the psycho up through the roof.)

Jared: Come on, let’s get out of here!

(Jared and Daria run outside right before the gym collapses. Outside, Daria
runs into Trent.)

Trent: Daria! You’re OK! (they embrace.)

Daria: Yeah.

Jared: What the hell happened here?

Daria: Some psycho tried to blow up the school, and I thought it was you,

Jared: Me??

Daria: You know, ‘cause you tried to do it 20 years ago, remember?

Jared: What, my pyro stage? Hell, that’s LONG behind me. That was back when
I took out my anger on being lonely. Then I met and married Lisa, she’s a
pyromaniac too, and we got over our problem together.

(A dark-haired woman runs to Jared, Daria and Trent.)

Lisa: Jared honey, are you all right?

Jared: Lisa, I’d like you to meet Daria Morgendorffer.

Lisa: Daria? Oh my God, Jared has told me so much about you!

Daria: So what are you doing here, anyway?

Jared: I wanted to see you! When I found out you were principal of Lawndale
High, I wanted to see what you did with the place!

Daria: That’s kind of odd, considering that you once tried to destroy both
the school and me.

Jared: Bygones?

Daria: No! No bygones! That’s like Laurie Strode forgiving Michael Myers!
Speaking of which, have you killed anyone in the last 20 years?

Jared: No! Seriously! Come on, can’t a guy be forgiven for one, two...
thousand deaths he was responsible for as a teenager? (everyone looks at
him) What? I’m a school counselor now! I prevent teens from doing these

Daria: So who was the psycho with the flamethrower anyway?

(The psycho falls from the sky and hits the ground with a thud.)

Trent: Let’s find out.

(Everyone comes to the psycho, and Daria takes the mask off, revealing...
Angela Li.)

Daria: Ms. Li? Why?

Li: I had to, Ms. Morgendorffer. I had to destroy what only I could save.

Daria: What only you could save?

Li: Look what you’ve done to this place! Misfits and troubled youth run
free! You’ve destroyed everything I had accomplished in my years as principal!

Daria: All you had accomplished was a prison environment that was seriously
underfunded thanks to your own greed!

Li: My embezzlement... was wrong. I’ll admit that. But students need
discipline. That was one thing I had instilled. And when you took over, all
I had done was taken away. These students have no future. They had to be
destroyed. Now if you will excuse me, I must go now. (CLUNK! Principal Li
falls unconscious. Behind her is Scott with a crowbar.)

Scott: I don’t think so.

Trent: That’s gotta hurt.

Jared: Tell me about it.

Daria: (to Ms. Li) Did I mention you’re fired? (to Scott) What are you
doing out of the house, young man?

Trent: Now Daria, leave the kid alone.

Jared: This is your son?

Trent: Yeah, this is my son Scott. Scott, this is Jared.

Scott: Oh yeah. I heard about you. Is it true you blew up 3 schools?

Jared: Yeah. But that was a long time ago.

Scott: Cool!!

Jared: I have a daughter about his age. Hey Morgan! Get over here!

(A red-haired girl with big glasses comes over.)

Morgan: What’s up, Dad?

Jared: This is my daughter Morgan.

Scott: Hi. I’m Scott Morgendorffer.

Morgan: Morgan Black.

Scott: Hi.

Morgan: Hi.

Scott: So, uh... you like Sick Sad World?

Morgan: Yeah! Never miss an episode!

Scott: Me neither!

Morgan: You like to blow stuff up?

Scott: Yeah!

Morgan: Me too!

Daria: OK, Scott, we need to be getting home.

Scott: Oh, but Mom!

Daria: You’re still grounded, remember?

Scott: Fine. (whispers to Morgan) Can I have your phone number?

Morgan: (whispers) Sure. (hands him little piece of paper, whispers:) Call me.

Daria: Bye.

(Daria, Trent and Scott walk away.)

Jared: So we’ll be in touch?

Daria: Right. I’ll e-mail you or something.

Jared: OK.

(Jared, Lisa and Morgan walk away.)

Daria: And Jared?

Jared: Yeah?

Daria: Thanks. (smiles.)