Recap: Daria S 1 E 01

"Esteemsters" is the first episode of Daria.

The Morgendorffer family moves to Lawndale, with varying results on the youth of the family; Quinn is immediately welcomed into the popular circles at Lawndale High, while her sister Daria is forced into self-esteem class, where she finds one new friend named Jane Lane (She is a very good friend). When Jane and Daria decide to graduate from the class early, they must deal with the consequences...

Tropes present in this episode:

  • Blah Blah Blah: O'Neill classes are like this. After all, he has a memorized speech.
  • Characterization Marches On: DeMartino comes off as kind of a Sadist Teacher in his first interaction with Daria, while later episodes would play him as a more sympathetic character (and imply that Daria is one of the few students he actually likes). Helen comes off similarly with her "What's WRONG with you?!" outburst. Also, other than "Café Disaffecto," this is the only episode where Mr. O'Neill has a problem remembering his students' names.
  • Fandom Specific Plot: This episode in general.
  • Giggling Villain: DeMartino, when he asked Daria to raise her hand, and then asked her a question because she had her hand raised.
  • History Marches On: So, Manifest Destiny has influenced the Vietnam War, Operation Watergate and the Vietcong War. Interesting... no, wait, those were the bad students.
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg: Quinn began pretending that she has no sister from the very first episode.
  • "Not Wearing Pants" Dream: A variant: before they go up to talk in front of the whole school, Jane quips that normally she's wearing pink taffeta in this dream.
  • One-Scene Wonder: This is actually the only time Mrs. Manson speaks or has any influence on the plot. However, he role is significant enough that everyone in the fandom remembers her.
    • This is also the only time in the series when The Head, a notable background character, speaks.
  • Speak of the Devil: This episodes contain the only references to Highland made in the show... and they are only about the city. Nobody would ever talk about those two guys.
  • Stealth Insult
    Quinn: Nobody told me about any test!
    Daria: Don't worry. It's a psychological test. You're automatically exempt.
    Quinn: Oh. All right.
  • Viewers Are Geniuses: Those who knew what was the Manifest Destiny before hearing Daria say it, raise your hands.