‘Daria’ Was a ‘Beavis and Butt-Head’ Spinoff That Began on a Paper Plate

Many people tend to associate MTV with music and reality shows like The Hills. However, in the ’90s, many of the network’s highest-ranking shows were scripted animations. Mike Judge’s creations Daria and Beavis and Butt-Head were perhaps two of the biggest animated shows at the time.

Beavis and Butt-Head fared exceptionally well, but the network wanted another animated show that would target a slightly different fan base, thus Daria was born. But did you know that Daria began on a paper plate? Find out more.

In this photo illustration a silhouette hand is seen holding a smartphone with MTV channel logo on a its screen
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What was ‘Daria’ about

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Daria was an adult animated sitcom that aired from March 1997 to January 2002. The show followed the smart and sarcastic teenage girl called Daria Morgendorffer and her best friend Jane Lane, an aspiring musician. Daria had a certain skepticism and hatred toward the human species that made the show more enjoyable.

Daria was set in the fictional Lawndale and is a satirical take on high school life full of criticism for popular culture. Daria appears in many of the show’s scenes with her mother, father, younger sister, and best friend, Jane. The show starts with Daria in high school and ends with her acceptance into college.

The dynamics between Jane and Daria shift when Jane starts dating Tom Sloane. She struggles to accept Tom because she believes that she’ll lose her best friend to him. However, she starts talking to Tom, and the two grow closer until they kiss in the show’s finale.

When Judge created the eponymous character, he borrowed inspiration from a girl he knew in school. Interestingly he called her Diarrhea, and the name found its way into his later creations like Beavis and Butt-Head. Daria means “upholder of the truth” in Greek, and anyone who watched Daria knew she was one to tell it as it is.

Judge also got Daria’s last name from one of his writer’s mothers. The writer’s mother’s maiden name was Morgendorffer, and Judge used it for the titular character. The showrunners insisted that they avoided mentioning any specific religion since the show satirized social behaviors in general.

What was ‘Beavis and Butt-Head’ about?

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Beavis and Butt-Head was an animated sitcom that followed the titular unintelligent teenagers who didn’t have any social skills. They attended Highland High School, where they would cause mayhem constantly. If they weren’t getting into trouble, they’d be seated in front of their television.

Beavis and Butt-Head are never supervised by an adult and lack empathy even toward each other. They think of any encounter associated with violence, sex, and heavy metal as cool. Although the two boys don’t have any experience with women, they are obsessed with sex so much that they chuckle anytime they hear a phrase they can interpret as sexual.

Beavis is shown as the extroverted half and is usually more aware of social norms, while Butt-Head is emotionless and doesn’t care much about his conduct. The show constantly got called out for being sexist due to its lack of women on the show or its remarks toward women, which led to the creation of Daria.

‘Daria’ started as a paper plate sketch

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Judge borrowed heavily from his life to create Daria. However, when it came down to sketching the character, he had his reservations. Therefore, everyone on Beavis and Butt-Head attempted to draw the girl as they imagined based on the information Judge gave them.

According to Mental Floss, Daria’s form came from a sketch done on a paper plate after a lunch meeting. John Garrett Andrews was reportedly the person who came up with an illustration that Judge liked after everyone else had failed to draw the future protagonist. Andrews found inspiration for the drawing from his girlfriend from his senior year in high school.