Daria and Jane's painting of a pretty girl with bulimia catches flak from Principal Li and Mr. O'Neill, who don't like the message it sends. Meanwhile, Jake, who's out of a job because of a bad decision, desperately searches for anyone in need of a consultant.
This episode provides examples of:
- Adults Are Useless: Subverted. While Daria and Jane's parents were too distracted or offered little real help throughout the episode, Helen comes through at the last moment. When Mrs. Li calls, threatening Daria over the poster defacement, Helen lets her have it and threatens to sue the school for violating the girls' civil liberties.
- Completely Missing the Point: Everyone who criticizes the poster for being dark and depressing doesn't get the message that Jane and Daria are trying to convey. The worst is Mr. O'Neill, who "softens" their wording, swearing to keep their message intact. He ends up completely inverting it and celebrating the very thing they were condemning.
- Subverted with Ms. DeFoe, who was against the poster because she believed Daria and Jane were making fun of eating disorders while everybody else was complaining about the mention of vomiting period. And unlike everyone else, when she actually talks with the girls about the poster's actual meaning, she commends them for it.
- True Art Is Angsty: In-Universe. Daria and Jane put together a poignant message to enter in a fluffy contest with little substance. All anyone can talk about is how dark and depressing it is.