Talking With ‘Daria’ Creator Glenn Eichler On How Daria’s Witticisms Can Get You Through An Existential Crisis

Daria is the ultimate role model with a realist philosophy on life. Those around her may deem her as depressed, she is far from it. I spoke with the show’s creator Glenn Eichler, to get further insight on Daria’s realist approach to observing the world.

According to Eichler, “Daria is long past her existential crisis, which may in fact have happened in the womb.” She is not a character questioning her own beliefs and existence, but rather, Eichler says, “the things everyone else believes in.”

She may not be “drooling with enthusiasm.” But that doesn’t make her depressed, “it makes her realistic,” Eichler says adding that her philosophy is best summed up in her graduation speech, where she declares that “there is no aspect, no facet, no moment of life that can’t be improved with pizza.”

But for those who, unlike Daria, are just experiencing a dismal stage of life, her outlook can help. “I would like to think that watching Daria would help you avoid an existential crisis because seeing her skeptical approach to all of life’s bullsh*t might encourage you to use your own critical faculties. Then maybe you won’t be caught off guard when you realize that everything you’ve been taught about human existence is a lie,” says Eichler.

Sadly, he notes, “Poor Jake [Morgendorffer] is still waiting for his epiphany.”

There’s a lot to learn from Daria and here are quotes to help you cope for when people are standing on your neck:

Trent—Daria, do you ever feel like maybe you’re wasting your life?
Daria—Only when I’m awake.

I know he died! I’m sorry he died! But I’m not going to pretend that he was some great person when he wasn’t. People aren’t upset because Tommy Sherman died, they’re upset because they’re going to die.

Mr. O’Neill—Right here and now, let’s pledge to make Daria’s dream a reality.
Daria—You mean the one where people walking down the street burst into flames?

Jake—How’s the old self-esteem coming, kiddo?
Daria—My self-esteem teacher says that being addressed all my life with childish epithets like ‘kiddo’ is probably a key source of my problem.

Stand firm for what you believe in, until and unless logic and experience prove you wrong. Remember, when the emperor looks naked, the emperor is naked. The truth and a lie are not ‘sort of the same thing.’And there is no aspect, no facet, no moment of life that can’t be improved with pizza.

But I’m not miserable, I’m just not like them.

Principal Li—Where do you think you’re going?
Daria—Slowly insane

I’m too smart and too sensitive to live in a world like ours at a time like this with a sister like mine. Maybe I do miss out on stuff, but this attitude is what works for me now.

Jane—Should we get our fortune’s read?
Daria—I’ll pass…Knowing the present is bad enough. 

Their sunny ’60s optimism tends to cancel out my bitter ’90s cynicism. 

It takes more than just words to hurt me. Unless they happen to be particularly truthful words strung together in exceptionally observant sentences. 

I couldn’t shoot my own mother—not with paint anyway. 

I am really happy. Don’t you see?