These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
Acceptable Lifestyle Targets: Helen Morgendorffer is the breadwinner of the family, and she's shown as being incredibly out of touch with her family (Though more in touch than Jake) and microwaves frozen lasagna for the family to eat every night. Jake meanwhile is often the one who is shown cooking and acting like the traditional mother, and likewise has quite a few quirks.
Averted in which Daria and Jane seem unbothered by not being considered "pretty" and "popular."
Alternative Character Interpretation: Is Sandi a complete Alpha Bitch who thinks Quinn is just another girl to socially dominate, or does she actually view the members of the fashion club as friends, despite being a domineering Libby? There's proof of both sides.
It might be both; by the Grand Finale, she seems to be the latter, but for a lot of the series she was the former, with this slipping out.
Tom's potentially ending the relationship between Daria and Jane, and effectively sealing the fate of the flirtation between Daria and Trent Lane, caused Tom to be a very controversial character and his portrayls are all over the map. The fact that what Tom represented shifted during the course of the show leads to him coming off as very different in works written before the show ended, and his status as hero, villain, or neither are entirely based on where the author fell during the show's run. And that's just regarding his relationship to Daria, which was largely his only storyline in the entire show.
Daria, herself: Only Sane Woman or a hypocritical snob who's quick to judge everyone? The show itself makes her grapple with this and how her identity as a teenager may be hurting her as much as it helps her. A lot of episodes in seasons 3-5 have Daria being called out for her attitude and Daria realizing her attitude is not going to win her any friends (except for people like Jane and Jodie, and even they don't always agree with her).
Base Breaker: Daria herself. Some admire her as the ideal role model due to her intelligence and attitude, while others see her as a clearly flawed but still well rounded character. Then there are those who find her an all around self-righteous hypocrite.
Bizarro Episode: There are fans who refuse to consider "Depth Takes A Holiday" as a canon episode due to how "out there" it is. That episode is to Daria what "Saddlesore Galactica" and "The Computer Wore Menace Shoes" are to The Simpsons.
Crowning Music of Awesome: "Freakin' Friends." It sounds just horrible enough for us to believe it's a Mystic Spiral song, and no more.
Ear Worm: The theme song, "You're Standing on My Neck," by Splendora.
Harsher in Hindsight: In episode 4 or Season 4, Kevin and the football team (except Mack) are suspected of cheating, because they all got 100% on their test and teacher, Mr. DeMartino, noticed his file cabinet was broken into the night before. When he asked Kevin to name the people responsible for the Teapot Dome Scandal - which was a question on the test - he first named the New Orleans Saints. When DeMartino didn't buy it, he named the New England Patriots. Both teams were found guilty of illegally surveilling their opponents in 2012 and 2007 respectively.
In This years model Daria invites a recruiter of Private Military Contractors to the school, whose pitch is "Sad to say, America no longer engages in the kind of ground wars that made this country great!".
Hilarious in Hindsight: During the final episode of Season 1, we find out that Mack's full name is Michael Jordan Mackenzie. He explains that his original name was Michael James, but after his father saw Michael Jordan in a playoff game, he changed James to Jordan. Of course, the episode was created over a decade before a Lebron James became a professional basketball player with the same super-stardom as Michael Jordan.
Geoffrey Arend, the voice of Upchuck, the ultimate Casanova Wannabe who disgusts or even outright creeps out all the girls he's constantly hitting on? Married to Christina Hendricks!
In "The Invitation", Britanny asks if Daria's quote, "That which does not kill us makes us stronger", is from a song. Post-2011, it is.
Straddling the line between harsher and hilarious, in one ep a desperate Jake begins to work for a supremely stereotypical dot-com that produces absolutely nothing. Its much younger employees are all initial public offering-based millionaires, some of whom spend company time ordering things for themselves out of high-end catalogs. It looks like Jake didn't last there too long, which for once is good. Come the dot-com bubble burst just a few years later, people like these were pursued by the law, and when liquidation firms came in to recoup what they could, they found - unneeded item from high-end catalogs. "Is 6000 too much for a coffee table?" "Not if you love it!"
Jerkass Woobie: Mr. DeMartino, Mr. O'Neill, and Ms. Barch (emphasis on the "Jerkass" part for Barch and DeMartino), but these three do have their moments where the viewer can't help but feel sorry for them.
Mr. DeMartino grew up with a mother who sent him to live with his strange, twisted neighbors because she didn't want her dates to know she was a single mother (and later, his best friend married said mom and his best friend [Mr O'Neill] married another woman he hates: Ms. Barch). He lost his love of teaching because of idiot students like Brittany and Kevin, and has a crippling gambling addiction that cost him his car.
Ms. Barch: Abandoned by her husband after 22 years of a bad marriage and now blames all males for being just as bad as her husband (until Mr. O'Neill comes along). Watch that scene in "The Daria Hunter" when she finds out that Mr. O'Neill actually cares about her plight. When she says, "You're sensitive, yet you're a male," she sounds like she's about to cry.
Mr. O'Neill isn't as much of an overt Jerkass as the other two, but Daria's mom does consider him creepy and he does push his pie-eyed beliefs on others without thinking that others will disagree with what he believes. The Woobie parts are obvious: Mr. DeMartino is his friend, Ms. Barch roped him into a Pitbull Dates Puppy relationship which scared O'Neill (at first), and, much like DeMartino, he has to deal with students who aren't as bright as Daria.
Also, Link from the episode "Is It Fall Yet?", especially as he's been passed along by his mother to counselors and was just wanting to engage in typical camping activities so he wouldn't have to think about his dysfunctional family.
Sandi, of all people, manages to be this in "Fat Like Me", given her despair at being bed-ridden and gaining weight.
Misaimed Fandom: A lot of fans view Daria is an appropriate role model because she thinks she's Surrounded by Idiots and views herself and Jane as being the only level-headed people in school, even though her anti-social tendencies get called out all the time. These same fans throw a fit whenever Daria dares to show insecurity about her appearance or have a dating life.
Moral Event Horizon: Ms. Angela Li probably crossed this when forced Daria to sell anyway chocolate to a woman who had blood sugar issues, implying that she was not even interested in someone's physical well-being.
Jake's father, despite never appearing on screen, the cruel treatment to his son until being somewhat neurotic as is the man of today, is enough to qualify.
Recycled Script: "Fair Enough," "Just Add Water," and — to a lesser extent, "Anti-Social Climbers" are just "The Daria Hunter" at a school-run Renaissance fair, a dingy casino cruise, and in the woods. There are some changes, but the following gags/scenes are the same for most or all the episodes:
"The Daria Hunter," "Fair Enough," and "Just Add Water" had Miss Barch making out with Mr. O'Neill ("Anti-Social Climbers" had a Fully Automatic Clip Show of the three times Barch and O'Neill made out when Ms. Barch thinks back to when she vowed never to pull another man's weight again).
"The Daria Hunter" and "Just Add Water" both had scenes of Jake and Helen fighting near the end of the episode.
"The Daria Hunter" and "Just Add Water" had scenes where it's established that Ms. Li and Helen hate each other.
"The Daria Hunter" and "Anti-Social Climbers" took place during a field trip in the woods.
"The Daria Hunter," "Just Add Water," and "Fair Enough" had Daria and Jane trying to get out of whatever social function they were in (Daria and Jane skipped the paintballing trip to go to the Great White Shark museum in "The Daria Hunter," Daria and Jane were trying to get some sleep after staying up all night watching a marathon of "Sick Sad World" on "Just Add Water," and Daria and Jane tried to run from Upchuck by getting on a Ferris wheel, only to end up sharing the ride with a sobbing Stacy in "Fair Enough")
"The Daria Hunter" and "Anti-Social Climbers" ended with someone getting left behind (Sandi after she finally found a hidden bathroom and Jake and Helen after Ms. Li took their distributor cap in "The Daria Hunter"/Kevin in "Anti-Social Climbers")
"Fair Enough" and "Just Add Water" both end with Kevin and Brittany stranded somewhere (Brittany continues driving despite that she is miles away from the school in "Fair Enough"/Kevin and Brittany are stuck on the casino cruise's only lifeboat in "Just Add Water")
"The Daria Hunter" and "Just Add Water" had scenes with Jake and Mr. DeMartino together (though in "Just Add Water," Jake doesn't remember Mr. DeMartino as the guy who shared his flask of whiskey with him and traded stories about their HilariouslyAbusiveChildhoods)
Suspiciously Similar Song: The long-awaited DVD set occasionally opts for these in place of the more generic cues that comprise the majority of the music.
What Do You Mean, It's Not Symbolic?: Quinn's transition from her smiley face tee to her butterfly shirt seemed to signify her personality transition. She wore the smiley face shirt during the earlier seasons where she was much more frequently shallow and vain, whereas she started wearing the butterfly shirt when she became more aware of her intellect and legitimate depth.
Her first pink shirt also showed off her midsection and was the shade of a Baby Girl's hospital blanket; later the shirt grows longer yet still clings to her slender figure and the pink becomes a deeper shade. Quinn is realizing she has more going on than just her body.
The Woobie: Sometimes, Stacy. Despite being one of the minor characters, she's especially noticeable during the episode "Fat Like Me".
Daria has also managed these moments, special mention deserves in episodes like "Boxing Daria", and some episodes focused on her relationship with Tom.
For some in the fandom, Tom himself can be seen as this, agree to an alternative interpretation. Note that many think that Daria never appreciated him at all, and he seemed to get a genuine kick out in crawl in her, for love.
One of the Js, if you pay attention, drops several hints that he's more familiar with the penal system than a kid his age really should be.