"Three Prommed Attack"

(Thanks to whoever thought of the matchups, though I can’t remember where I heard them)

by Acrobat

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: What’s wrong, Brittany? Is there a nationwide shortage of Wonderbras?

Brittany: No! But it’s almost as bad! (winding up for a lightning-fast airhead speech) Our last big game of the year is this weekend! It’s against Lawndale Central Catholic, and they’re really, really good, even though their cheerleaders have to wear knee-length skirts! And if the Lions don’t win this game, they don’t make it to the playoffs, and back in September the team made this bet that if they don’t make it to the playoffs, the whole starting lineup has to shave their heads! Including my Kevvie!

Jane: (amused) Well, Brittany, looks like the Lions are getting fed to the Christians.

Daria: (likewise) And soon there will be nothing ON Kevin’s 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 haven’t heard about the meeting today? Ms. Li is going to announce the theme for the prom!

Jane: And this means...?

Brittany: It means there’s only six weeks to the prom! We can’t go to the prom if he’s bald! What am I going to tell my grandchildren?

Jane: Brittany, I have a feeling you’ll have a lot of explaining to do about a lot of things.

Brittany: (completely losing track of the subject) You ARE going to the meeting, aren’t you? I’m supposed to tell everyone I see, because I’m on the prom committee.

Daria: You’re on a school committee?

Brittany: I’m 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 it’s important for everybody to be excited about the prom, (gesturing to Daria and Jane) even people who have no chance of going, because it’s 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. We’re all here for the prom. I thought you knew.

Brittany: So you’re going to the meeting, right?

Daria: (sighs) We’ll be there, Brittany.

Brittany: Great! (She leaves cheerfully, apparently having forgotten her past distress.)

Jane: ...But only because they’re guarding all the exits.



(Music: "Ballroom Blitz", the original; I don’t 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 year’s 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) I’ve got a better one. Why don’t we join the pep squad instead? That’s pivotally important too.

Ms. Li: ...So, without further ado, I present the theme of this year’s 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 year’s 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? It’s almost 7:30.

Quinn: (more exasperated than is warranted by Helen’s 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’s prom season.

Helen: Don’t you think Quinn is a little bit young to be worrying about things like the prom?

Daria: (shrugs) Makes sense to me. She’s very advanced for her age. She’s been wearing makeup since she was nine, by twenty she’ll be a bitter divorcee, and by twenty-five she’ll 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? It’s not like they’re going to get away with anything. They’re at school, and it’ll be packed with chaperones... Are you listening to me? (But the scene has already started to swim into a flashback.)

(Music: "Hard Day’s 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, it’s 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 Jake’s table) Animals.

(The scene swims back into the present day.)

Helen: I’ll 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? It’s, like, creepy.

Quinn: Who am I to deprive them of the greatest source of joy in their lives? (Finally, the three J’s step up to Quinn, cutting off the rest of the Fashion Club, who hover nearby.)

Joey: Hey, Quinn...

Jeffy: Hi, Quinn...

Jamie: How’s it going, Quinn...

Quinn: Hi, Joey, Jeffy, uh...

Jamie: (quickly, forgetting the usual annoyance) It’s Jamie. Listen, Quinn...

Joey: You know that, um, assembly?...

Jeffy: Yesterday?...Well...

All the J’s: (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 she’s got me?

Jamie: Because I asked her too, and she’s 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 J’s shut up immediately.) I can’t 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 can’t possibly choose a prom date six weeks in advance! That would shut out all other potential dates, and seeing as I only get

four prom dates in my entire LIFE, naturally I have to hold out for the best possible offer every time.

Jeffy: Huh?

Jamie: What do you mean?

Joey: You won’t go with any of us?

Quinn: (slowly) I’ (brightening) Now you can fight over me.

Joey: Okay...

Jeffy: Choose wisely, Quinn.

Jamie: Yeah, don’t choose these two losers! (They fall to squabbling again as they walk away.)

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 she’s 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, I’m making a list of potential prom dates. It’s 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 I’ve 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 he’s 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 prom date.

(Daria is speechless for a moment.)

Daria: That’s the last time I act out of morbid curiosity. (shudders) Well, if Mom or Dad ask, I’ll be at Jane’s. (Quinn is not answering, already buried in her "work." Daria leaves.)



(Music: "Rush", Big Audio Dynamite. Jane is painting; Daria is sitting on the bed.)

Daria: ...And then she figures out some index to rate them as potential prom dates. It’s 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: *you* have any plans for the Big Day?

Daria: Are you kidding? I’d 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.) It’s mostly the thought of dressing up in one of those cute little satin numbers with the wrist corsage and the matching handbag. I wouldn’t be able to live with myself afterward.

Daria: That, and it’s a blatant example of everything that’s wrong with high school. It’s looks-obsessed, shallow, and exclusive.

Jane: (jokingly) Don’t 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. It’s completely taken for granted that it’s 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 aren’t part of a conventional couple aren’t allowed to buy tickets at all. It’s accepted wholesale, every last bit of it. And we’re supposed to be excited about this?

Jane: (too surprised to speak for a moment) Wow. Sorry I asked.

Daria: (reddening a bit) Never mind. It’s not important.

Jane: If you really think the rules are unfair, maybe you should fight them.

Daria: It’s no use. Nobody else thinks they’re unfair. I can’t stand up to that alone. I’d be crucified.

Jane: With railroad spikes?

Daria: If I’m lucky. (She returns to channel-surfing and finds "Sick Sad World".)

SSW Announcer: St. Vitus High, the deadliest prom on the planet! Next on Sick Sad World!

Daria: That’s it. (She stands up.) I’m 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...there’s Quinn. (She sits again and picks up the remote.)

Jane: (cleans off her brush; sympathetically) How about some pizza? You can’t properly wallow in self-pity without junk food.

Daria: Fine.

Jane: Hey, in six weeks it’ll all be over and you can spend your life hating the whole thing in retrospect instead of anticipation.

Daria: I’m 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. What’s up?

Daria: Well, you haven’t said a word all day, for one thing. What gives?

Jane: Nothing...

Daria: Except...

Jane: Nothing, really!

Daria: Oh, please. You know I’m not giving up until I find out what’s going on.

Jane: Nothing you’re interested in.

Daria: No. Don’t 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 he’d go with me.

Daria: He what?!?

Jane: Well, he said "OK, sure." Which is as close as he gets to a declarative statement. And I’ve been thinking about making my own outfit. Something involving Mylar and spray paint.

Daria: I don’t believe I’m 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 doesn’t mean that I’ve sold out. Daria, I’ve 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. I’m allowing myself one lame rite of passage out of all the crap everybody else does. And I don’t think that’s wrong. Besides, there’s no rule that says I can’t go to the stupid thing and have fun my own way. Rattle their cages a little.

Daria: Rattle whatever you want. Just don’t 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 far.

Jane: What is your problem? You’re 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. It’s the one sharp line that divides the haves and have-nots of high-school society. If you go, you’re somebody; if you don’t, you’re not. It’s a mass debutante, is what it is. On principle I refuse to participate in that kind of exclusivity, and I’m not terribly pleased to hear that my only friend has bought into it. In six weeks it’ll be over, you said. Right. In six weeks you’ll have a set of 8-by-10 glossies and a head full of "glorious" memories, and I’ll still be the school loser. And everyone will know it. So go ahead. Be just like everyone else. If you’re still interested in speaking to us losers, you know my number. (She slams her locker and walks away.)



(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. You’re 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! I’m just choosing which ones I would say yes to when they DO ask me! I’ve already had twelve unacceptable offers, and I’m waiting on these last six.

Sandi: They’re 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: How’s it going, Quinn?

Jamie: Hi, Quinn.

Quinn: Hi, guys. What do you want now? (The J’s look at each other.)

Joey: Well, Quinn, we were wondering when you were going to choose.

Quinn: Choose?

Jamie: Your prom date?

Quinn: Oh, that. (She looks on the list, and we see it as well; the J’s are not on it.) Well, I can’t commit yet. But I’ll let you know. ‘Bye! (She leaves. The J’s 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 Lane’s, 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 Rubik’s 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 dressmaker’s 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 ends.)



(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: I’ve 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 didn’t you tell me? Who’d you get?

Sandi: (smugly) They’re meeting us here. You’ll find out then.

Quinn: Why all the... (The Fashion Club runs into the J’s, 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 J’s take the packages from the respective Fashion Clubbers.)

Quinn: (Beginning to panic) What...You can’t be serious. You guys are supposed to ask me!

Jamie: Well, Quinn...

Jeffy: You didn’t choose between us...

Joey: And we couldn’t wait forever.

Sandi: (triumphantly) Surprise!

Quinn: 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: He’s taking Brandi.

Quinn: What about Clint?

Tiffany: Monica.

Quinn: Damien, Jeremy, and Tyler?

Stacy: Brooke, Crystal, and Daniele with one "l".

Quinn: (Now fully panicking) What about Devon?!?

Sandi: He’s going with Tracey. Face it, Quinn, your time has run out.

Quinn: No! This can’t be happening! Someone had to leave his calendar open for me! It wasn’t 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 don’t 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 don’t 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! What’s 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! It’s over, it’s all over, I may as well move to another country! (The speaker sits down next to her--we can’t 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) It’s 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! I’d do anything!

Familiar Voice: (craftily) Anything?

Quinn: 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. Quinn’s scream echoes through the mall...)



(Music: "Don’t Dream It’s Over", Crowded House, continuing through the scene. The Morgandorffer house. From her room, Daria watches Quinn dash to Upchuck’s car (or, more exactly, his father’s 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.)

Daria: Hello?

Jane: (dressed in the creation we saw earlier, makeup smeared) Daria?

Daria: Jane? Why aren’t 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) I’m 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) I’ll 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 "Don’t Dream It’s 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 Clash.)