"Three Prommed Attack"
(Thanks to whoever thought of the matchups, though I cant remember where I heard
Summary: Prom season at Lawndale! Quinn conducts a date audit, Jane gets some crafty
ideas, and Daria becomes a conscientious objector.
(Music: "Flagpole Sitta", Harvey Danger. The Lawndale lockers. Daria is
putting some books away and Jane is leaning against the lockers nearby when Brittany
rushes by, looking frazzled.)
Jane: Whats wrong, Brittany? Is there a nationwide shortage of Wonderbras?
Brittany: No! But its almost as bad! (winding up for a lightning-fast airhead
speech) Our last big game of the year is this weekend! Its against Lawndale Central
Catholic, and theyre really, really good, even though their cheerleaders have to
wear knee-length skirts! And if the Lions dont win this game, they dont make
it to the playoffs, and back in September the team made this bet that if they dont
make it to the playoffs, the whole starting lineup has to shave their heads! Including my
Jane: (amused) Well, Brittany, looks like the Lions are getting fed to the Christians.
Daria: (likewise) And soon there will be nothing ON Kevins head, as well as
nothing IN it.
Jane: Seriously, Brittany, why is that such a big deal? Jocks do stupid stuff like that
all the time.
Brittany: I guess you havent heard about the meeting today? Ms. Li is going to
announce the theme for the prom!
Jane: And this means...?
Brittany: It means theres only six weeks to the prom! We cant go to the
prom if hes bald! What am I going to tell my grandchildren?
Jane: Brittany, I have a feeling youll have a lot of explaining to do about a lot
Brittany: (completely losing track of the subject) You ARE going to the meeting,
arent you? Im supposed to tell everyone I see, because Im on the prom
Daria: Youre on a school committee?
Brittany: Im School Spirit Leader of the whole prom committee!
Jane: Oh yeah? What exactly does the School Spirit Leader do?
Brittany: I tell everyone I see about the meeting, and I try to get everyone excited! I
think its important for everybody to be excited about the prom, (gesturing to Daria
and Jane) even people who have no chance of going, because its the most important
part of our high-school experience!
Daria: Funny. I was under the impression that the most important part of high school
was to gain even the barest minimum of knowledge and experience needed in higher education
and/or the so-called "real world".
Jane: Nope. Were all here for the prom. I thought you knew.
Brittany: So youre going to the meeting, right?
Daria: (sighs) Well be there, Brittany.
Brittany: Great! (She leaves cheerfully, apparently having forgotten her past
Jane: ...But only because theyre guarding all the exits.
(Music: "Ballroom Blitz", the original; I dont remember who made it.
The Lawndale auditorium. Ms. Li has already taken the microphone.)
Ms. Li: Welcome, staff, faculty, and students of Llllawndale Hiiigh! I have gathered
you all together today to announce the biggest school-sponsored social event of the year:
the annual Llllawndale Prom! This event will take place exactly six weeks from today. I
would like to congratulate the Prom Committee for their hard work on fundraising,
planning, and of course, advertising this years festivities. Some of our other
students might follow their example in becoming active in the affairs of our school.
Jane: (sitting in the audience with Daria, sarcastically) Well, I was thinking of
running for student government, but no, I think prom committee is the best way to become
active in the affairs of our school.
Daria: (sarcastically) Ive got a better one. Why dont we join the pep squad
instead? Thats pivotally important too.
Ms. Li: ...So, without further ado, I present the theme of this years prom:
(opening an envelope, Oscars-style) "Awesome Eighties." (The students are
variously delighted or horrified. Ms. Li continues, drifting off into the stratosphere as
usual.) This years Prom will prove to be yet another smashing success, demonstrating
the creativity, industriousness, and outstanding social skills of Lllllawndallle
Hiiiighhh! (back to earth, briskly) Tickets will be $70 per couple. Assembly dismissed!
(Music: the guitar hook from "Cult of Personality", Living Colour.)
(The Morgandorffers dining room. The Morgandorffers minus Quinn are finishing up
dinner when Quinn rushes through.)
Helen: (pleasantly) Quinn, where have you been? Its almost 7:30.
Quinn: (more exasperated than is warranted by Helens tone) Mo-om, the Fashion
Club and I are involved in the most important time of our lives! Family commitments and
school assignments come and go, but events like this are eternal! (gazes into distance
starry-eyed for another moment) Well, bye. (She leaves. Helen looks to Daria.)
Daria: In English...its prom season.
Helen: Dont you think Quinn is a little bit young to be worrying about things
like the prom?
Daria: (shrugs) Makes sense to me. Shes very advanced for her age. Shes
been wearing makeup since she was nine, by twenty shell be a bitter divorcee, and by
twenty-five shell have written a tell-all trash biography.
Helen: Daria, please. Jake, what do you think?
Jake: Quinn? Going to the prom? Absolutely not!
Daria: Wait a minute. Why are you guys so stressed out about some lame school dance?
Its not like theyre going to get away with anything. Theyre at school,
and itll be packed with chaperones... Are you listening to me? (But the scene has
already started to swim into a flashback.)
(Music: "Hard Days Night", the Beatles. Flashback: a high-school prom
circa 1965. The decor is a sappy green nightmare titled "Enchanted Garden". A
young Jake, with a military brush-cut and an awful tux, huddles with several buddies
around one of the tables. There is a slight haze of smoke in the air.)
Jake: And as soon as we can split this scene, man, its beer and babes all night!
All the Guys: Woo-hoo!
(We see another table, populated by some better dressed guys and some girls in pastel
chiffon prom dresses, complete with pinned-on corsages and class rings on neck chains.
Among them is a young Helen, with a flip do and a peach dress.)
Helen: (scornfully watching Jakes table) Animals.
(The scene swims back into the present day.)
Helen: Ill have to have a talk with Quinn.
Jake: (still foggy) Ahh, those were the days...even if the girls never showed up...and
the guy at the liquor store just laughed at us...Still, those were the days...
(The Lawndale halls. The Fashion Club is being trailed by Joey, Jeffy, and Jamie, who
are muttering to each other.)
Sandi: Quinn, your guys are, like, following us. Would you get them to stop it?
Its, like, creepy.
Quinn: Who am I to deprive them of the greatest source of joy in their lives? (Finally,
the three Js step up to Quinn, cutting off the rest of the Fashion Club, who hover
Joey: Hey, Quinn...
Jeffy: Hi, Quinn...
Jamie: Hows it going, Quinn...
Quinn: Hi, Joey, Jeffy, uh...
Jamie: (quickly, forgetting the usual annoyance) Its Jamie. Listen, Quinn...
Joey: You know that, um, assembly?...
All the Js: (simultaneously) Would you go to the prom with me?
Joey: (turning on the others) I was supposed to ask her first! I won the coin toss!
Jeffy: Why would she want to go with you when shes got me?
Jamie: Because I asked her too, and shes going with me!
(They continue, and Quinn soaks it up for a moment.)
Quinn: Guys, guys, hang on a minute. Before you start fighting I have to tell you my
decision. (The Js shut up immediately.) I cant answer any of you.
Jamie: Why not?
Jeffy: Who asked you already?
Joey: I can do better than him!
Quinn: (sounding perfectly reasonable) Because, I cant possibly choose a prom
date six weeks in advance! That would shut out all other potential dates, and seeing as I
four prom dates in my entire LIFE, naturally I have to hold out for the best possible
offer every time.
Jamie: What do you mean?
Joey: You wont go with any of us?
Quinn: (slowly) Ill...think...about...it. (brightening) Now you can fight over
Jeffy: Choose wisely, Quinn.
Jamie: Yeah, dont choose these two losers! (They fall to squabbling again as they
Tiffany: Wow, Quinn, you handled that soooo professionally.
Quinn: (shrugging) I know how to work the market.
(The Morgandorffers kitchen. Quinn is sitting at the table with a mess of papers,
notebooks, Rolodexes, etc.; it looks like shes doing taxes for an entire small
country. Daria walks in and stops dead.)
Daria: Quinn?!? Who are you and what have you done with my cousin-or-whatever?
Quinn: Ha, ha. For your information, Im making a list of potential prom dates.
Its a very complicated process. Now would you leave, before your Brain influence
messes up my calculations? (Pause. Nobody moves.)
Daria: My sense of morbid curiosity is kicking in. What kind of calculations? (Quinn
looks suspicious, but holds up a huge chart.)
Quinn: (pointing to the left side) Well, here are the guys Ive dated in the past
two months. And down here are the most promising guys I dated a way long time ago, like
December. And here (pointing to the top of the chart) are their good and bad traits. So
each guy is rated according to their traits, like height, eye color, hair color, grooming
habits, what kind of limo he can afford to rent, where hes likely to take me out to
dinner beforehand, and whether he would look good in a tux that matches my prom dress.
From these ratings I calculate the Potential Prom Date Index for each one. (Points to
right side.) And from this I can determine which ones would be my best investments as a
(Daria is speechless for a moment.)
Daria: Thats the last time I act out of morbid curiosity. (shudders) Well, if Mom
or Dad ask, Ill be at Janes. (Quinn is not answering, already buried in her
"work." Daria leaves.)
(Music: "Rush", Big Audio Dynamite. Jane is painting; Daria is sitting on the
Daria: ...And then she figures out some index to rate them as potential prom dates.
Its like a beauty pageant turned inside-out.
Jane: Hmm. Treating men like stock options. Who knew Quinn was a budding feminist?
Daria: More like a fashion actuary. (She turns to channel-surfing. Jane stops painting
for a moment.)
Jane: So...do *you* have any plans for the Big Day?
Daria: Are you kidding? Id rather nail myself to the side of the school with
railroad spikes. (pause) Why, do you have plans?
Jane: No, of course not. (She continues painting.) Its mostly the thought of
dressing up in one of those cute little satin numbers with the wrist corsage and the
matching handbag. I wouldnt be able to live with myself afterward.
Daria: That, and its a blatant example of everything thats wrong with high
school. Its looks-obsessed, shallow, and exclusive.
Jane: (jokingly) Dont hold back, Daria. Tell me what you really think.
Daria: The stupid thing is five and a half weeks away, and they shove it down our
throats every day at school. Its completely taken for granted that its the
best thing to ever hit our lives. Nobody considers that the ticket prices are too high for
some of the students to afford, and that people who arent part of a conventional
couple arent allowed to buy tickets at all. Its accepted wholesale, every last
bit of it. And were supposed to be excited about this?
Jane: (too surprised to speak for a moment) Wow. Sorry I asked.
Daria: (reddening a bit) Never mind. Its not important.
Jane: If you really think the rules are unfair, maybe you should fight them.
Daria: Its no use. Nobody else thinks theyre unfair. I cant stand up
to that alone. Id be crucified.
Jane: With railroad spikes?
Daria: If Im lucky. (She returns to channel-surfing and finds "Sick Sad
SSW Announcer: St. Vitus High, the deadliest prom on the planet! Next on Sick Sad
Daria: Thats it. (She stands up.) Im going home. Maybe if I stay in my room
with the door locked I can go five minutes without hearing about the stupid prom.
(Pauses.) Then again...theres Quinn. (She sits again and picks up the remote.)
Jane: (cleans off her brush; sympathetically) How about some pizza? You cant
properly wallow in self-pity without junk food.
Jane: Hey, in six weeks itll all be over and you can spend your life hating the
whole thing in retrospect instead of anticipation.
Daria: Im holding my breath.
(Music: "Once in a Lifetime", Talking Heads. The Lawndale lockers. Daria is
at her locker when Jane walks by without speaking.)
Daria: Do I know you?
Jane: Oh, hi, Daria. Whats up?
Daria: Well, you havent said a word all day, for one thing. What gives?
Jane: Nothing, really!
Daria: Oh, please. You know Im not giving up until I find out whats going
Jane: Nothing youre interested in.
Daria: No. Dont tell me.
Jane: I was talking to Jesse yesterday...well, I was talking AT Jesse...and the subject
of the prom came up...and I kind of asked him...and he kind of said hed go with me.
Daria: He what?!?
Jane: Well, he said "OK, sure." Which is as close as he gets to a declarative
statement. And Ive been thinking about making my own outfit. Something involving
Mylar and spray paint.
Daria: I dont believe Im hearing this.
Jane: Why not?
Daria: I thought you had more class than that.
Jane: Just because I feel like catching one of the great American cliches doesnt
mean that Ive sold out. Daria, Ive managed to go through high school without
learning to drive, finding a real boyfriend, getting grounded, having a curfew, or going
to a keg party. Im allowing myself one lame rite of passage out of all the crap
everybody else does. And I dont think thats wrong. Besides, theres no
rule that says I cant go to the stupid thing and have fun my own way. Rattle their
cages a little.
Daria: Rattle whatever you want. Just dont expect me to back you. I got over the
track team thing. I got over you designing the yearbook cover last year. I even got over
your write-in campaign for class president on the Anarchist ticket. But this is going too
Jane: What is your problem? Youre having a major hissy fit every time the word
"prom" is mentioned in your presence.
Daria: The school has turned the prom into a benchmark. Its the one sharp line
that divides the haves and have-nots of high-school society. If you go, youre
somebody; if you dont, youre not. Its a mass debutante, is what it is.
On principle I refuse to participate in that kind of exclusivity, and Im not
terribly pleased to hear that my only friend has bought into it. In six weeks itll
be over, you said. Right. In six weeks youll have a set of 8-by-10 glossies and a
head full of "glorious" memories, and Ill still be the school loser. And
everyone will know it. So go ahead. Be just like everyone else. If youre still
interested in speaking to us losers, you know my number. (She slams her locker and walks
(Music: "Save It For Later", The English Beat. The Lawndale cafeteria. A huge
cartoony sign at one end reads (with those removable number cards) "Only 09 Days to
the Prom!" Some volunteers are already busy hanging garish neon streamers across the
ceiling. The Fashion Club sits at its table, not eating lunch. Quinn has a smaller version
of her date chart and is carefully scrutinizing some of the guys in the lunch room. Every
few seconds, she crosses out one of the names.)
Tiffany: Wow, Quinn, you have the best technique.
Stacy: Yeah. Youre never going to get stuck with a bad date!
Sandi: Well, SOME of us still prefer the NORMAL way of going to the prom...having
somebody ASK us. What are you going to do, Quinn? Ask the guys out?
Quinn: Of course not! Im just choosing which ones I would say yes to when they DO
ask me! Ive already had twelve unacceptable offers, and Im waiting on these
Sandi: Theyre not all at lunch now, are they?
Quinn: No, of course not. All but one are upperclassmen. Which reminds me, I have to go
and, um, observe a couple of them for my final decision. See ya in study hall. (She gets
up to leave and is stopped by Joey, Jeffy, and Jamie.)
Joey: Hey, Quinn.
Jeffy: Hows it going, Quinn?
Jamie: Hi, Quinn.
Quinn: Hi, guys. What do you want now? (The Js look at each other.)
Joey: Well, Quinn, we were wondering when you were going to choose.
Jamie: Your prom date?
Quinn: Oh, that. (She looks on the list, and we see it as well; the Js are not on
it.) Well, I cant commit yet. But Ill let you know. Bye! (She leaves.
The Js remain watching her for a second, confused, and then huddle in conference.
Then they step up to the rest of the Fashion Club.)
Jeffy: Hi, Sandi...
Joey: Hi, Stacy...
Jamie: Hi, Tiffany...
(The Fashion Club is shocked. Music: "Tempted", Squeeze.)
(Music: "Karma Chameleon", Culture Club. Montage: The Fashion Club appears
silhouetted against the mall entrance, then strides forth into the mall as if to conquer
it. Daria lies on her bed, reading Camus "The Stranger". Meanwhile, at the
Lanes, Jane sits in her room sketching a couple of wild concepts for her outfit. At
the mall, the Fashion Club starts to scrutinize some prom dresses. The decorators continue
transforming the Lawndale cafeteria into a neon nightmare and raise fake pillars with
E.T.s holding up Rubiks Cubes. Ms. Li looks on, beaming. Kevin sneaks through
the decorating frenzy, sporting a shaved head; a few seconds later, Brittany storms
through after him. Daria lies on her bed, reading "Hamlet". The Fashion Club
begin their rounds of trying on and judging. Sandi gives the thumbs-down to just about
everything Quinn tries on. Jane pins (as predicted) Mylar and other assorted fabrics on a
dressmakers dummy, referring to her sketches. Jesse sits at home watching
television, completely oblivious. Daria lies on her bed, reading "The Inferno".
The Fashion Club finally finds their ultimate prom dresses and start to jump up and down,
hugging each other in celebration. The festivities go into slow motion as the montage
(Music: "Dance Hall Days", Wang Chung. The mall. Laden with bags and boxes,
the Fashion Club leaves a chic little store and begins to walk through the mall.)
Tiffany: That was soooo unbelievable.
Stacy: Ive never had so much fun in my entire life!
Sandi: This is truly a great day in the history of the Fashion Club.
Quinn: (dreamily) Yeah...
Sandi: Now all YOU have to do, Quinn, is find a date.
Quinn: Well, so do you guys. (The other Fashion Club members exchange looks.) What?
Tiffany: Um...We do have dates, Quinn.
Quinn: Well, why didnt you tell me? Whod you get?
Sandi: (smugly) Theyre meeting us here. Youll find out then.
Quinn: Why all the... (The Fashion Club runs into the Js, who do not cluster
around Quinn as usual. Quinn continues nervously) ...secrecy? Um, hi, Joey, Jeffy,...(not
even trying the last one) What are you doing here?
Jeffy: Hi, Sandi.
Jamie: Hi, Tiffany.
Joey: Hi, Stacy. (The Js take the packages from the respective Fashion Clubbers.)
Quinn: (Beginning to panic) What...You cant be serious. You guys are supposed to
Jamie: Well, Quinn...
Jeffy: You didnt choose between us...
Joey: And we couldnt wait forever.
Sandi: (triumphantly) Surprise!
Quinn: But...you were supposed to...Wait a minute, what if... (She drops all her stuff
and takes out her final candidate list.) Does anyone know if Skyler has a date yet?
Sandi: Hes taking Brandi.
Quinn: What about Clint?
Quinn: Damien, Jeremy, and Tyler?
Stacy: Brooke, Crystal, and Daniele with one "l".
Quinn: (Now fully panicking) What about Devon?!?
Sandi: Hes going with Tracey. Face it, Quinn, your time has run out.
Quinn: No! This cant be happening! Someone had to leave his calendar open for me!
It wasnt supposed to be this way!
Sandi: Looks like...(with the ultimate evil smirk, as the lighting goes very dramatic
and she intones, complete with echo) You dont have a date to the prom.
Quinn: (wailing) NOOOOOOOOOOOO! (She collapses onto one of those fake stone walls
surrounding a slimy mall fountain.)
Stacy: Come on, everyone. We dont have time for *losers*. (Laughing, the Fashion
Club and their new dates leave.)
(Music: the intro of "99 Red Balloons", Nena. Quinn sits in the middle of the
mall amid the wreckage of her perfect shopping day, bawling her eyes out. Suddenly a
shadow passes over her.)
Familiar Voice: Dear little Quinn! Whats wrong?
Quinn: (hysterical) The list--I had it--and then my guys--the Fashion Club--and they
all had dates except me! The whole school! Its over, its all over, I may as
well move to another country! (The speaker sits down next to her--we cant see his
face--and pats her shoulder.)
Familiar Voice: There, there, my pet. (He hands her a tissue. Not bothering to look,
Quinn accepts it and dabs her eyes.)
Quinn: This is the worst moment of my entire life.
Familiar Voice: Now, what would it take to make it all better? You need a date to the
prom, do you?
Quinn: (miserably) Its too late, all my candidates are taken.
Familiar Voice: You know, not everyone has a date yet...
Quinn: (sniffling) Really?
Familiar Voice: Do you really want to go?
Quinn: Of course! Id do anything!
Familiar Voice: (craftily) Anything?
Familiar Voice: Consider it done, sweetcakes!
Quinn: Wait a minute... (She wipes her eyes and looks at the person for the first time.
Her tear-blurred vision swims into focus, and she sees that it is none other than Upchuck.
Quinns scream echoes through the mall...)
(Music: "Dont Dream Its Over", Crowded House, continuing through
the scene. The Morgandorffer house. From her room, Daria watches Quinn dash to
Upchucks car (or, more exactly, his fathers car), her shawl over her face like
a criminal hiding from news cameras. Daria, expressionless, lies on her bed and picks up
another book. After a few seconds, the phone rings.)
Jane: (dressed in the creation we saw earlier, makeup smeared) Daria?
Daria: Jane? Why arent you at the--
Jane: (miserably) Jesse completely forgot about the prom. Typical. So in effect, I got
stood up. What a cheesy way to end, huh? (sighs) Im calling to ask you if you want
to go out for pizza, and to ask you, as a friend, not to rub it in my face. --The
stand-up, not the pizza.
(Daria is quiet for a second.)
Daria: Sure. To both of them.
Jane: (Smiles) Ill be over in a minute. As soon as I can figure out how to get
out of this thing I put together.
(They hang up. Daria sits thinking for a moment, then puts the book down.)
(Music: still "Dont Dream Its Over." The pizza shop. Daria and
Jane have their usual table.)
Daria: We should have gone together. Made em wonder.
Jane: But which one of us would wear the cute little satin number with the wrist
corsage and matching handbag?
Daria: Good point. (They click cups. Closing credit music: "Stay or Go", the