Recap / Daria S 5 E 09

Jane, a bit tired of being a third wheel to her best friend and ex-boyfriend, winds up meeting a cute guy named Nathan at a thrift store. Nathan is into a retro clothes fad, and Jane soon becomes involved too. Daria and Tom don't really like Nathan, but Jane is similarly put off by their discomfort. However, they're eventually proven right when Nathan and Jane get into a fight, which demonstrates that Nathan is a bit too obsessed with this gimmick. Jane breaks it off and sells her retro clothes (most of which she just found in the attic) for a tidy profit.

A subplot involves Upchuck showing off his magic tricks, which intrigue Stacy so much that she volunteers as his assistant. The pair get a gig at the school, where Upchuck will be locked in a box and forced to escape; naturally, a large part of the student body buy tickets for the chance to see him perish. Sure enough the stunt seems to go wrong, and Stacy has a breakdown on stage; however, it turns out that this was part of the act, and when the school's staff finally gets the box open they find it empty, with Upchuck calmly standing in the audience.

Tropes present in this episode:

  • Awesome Anachronistic Apparel
  • Decade-Themed Party: Provides the page image.
  • Derailing Love Interests: Nathan, arguably. To split him and Jane, his obsession with the theme is amplified.
  • Disco Dan: Nathan.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Continues the season five trend of Stacy growing a backbone and standing up to Sandi and the other Fashion Club members.
  • Fan of the Past: Nathan and Jane, to a lesser extent.
  • Ironic Echo: "Oh, Stacy/Sandi; you're so naive."
  • Limited Wardrobe / Unlimited Wardrobe: Lampshaded; Jane goes through several different outfits in this episode. At one point she's looking at everything in her closet and comments that this was a lot easier when she just wore the same thing every day.
  • Nobody Touches the Hair: When kissing Nathan, Jane messes up his hair and he has a minor freak-out.
  • Running Gag: Daria, Jane and Tom each make a joke suggesting that Daria will eventually date Nathan like she's dating Tom; each time, the other two act surprised/offended.
    • Ms. Li tries to use subliminal messages to get the students to tithe to the school.
  • Stage Magician: Upchuck gets attention by showcasing magic tricks at the mall. Ms. Li decides to use him as another fundraiser.