Aunt Nauseam is the tenth episode of Season 5 of Daria and the sixty-second episode of the series overall. It originally aired on MTV on June 4, 2001.


When Daria's Aunt Rita visits, having guilted Helen to represent Rita's daughter Erin in a prospective divorce, the two sisters dredge up old grudges.


At the Morgendorffer's, during dinner, Quinn is telling Daria and Jake a story about Sandi getting caught plagiarizing her essay in Mr. O'Neil's class. Jake attempts to try out a new recipe from his civil war cookbook, which disgusts and horrifies Quinn. They are approached by Helen who tells them she has resolved her latest court case after a grueling five months and she now has more time to spend with the family.

Daria questions her father on who the woman in the business suit is and Helen says that she is serious about spending more time with the family.

Helen then gets a call from her sister Rita, who tells Helen that her daughter Erin and her husband Brian are getting a divorce. Rita asks Helen if she can handle the divorce case and Helen attempts to tell her that it is not really her field of expertise. Jake motions towards Helen with his hands, signaling that he does not want Helen involved in the divorce proceedings. Helen goes on to try to tell Rita that there is no such thing as a simple divorce.

Helen gets call waiting and it is her mother on the other line. Helen tells her mother that she was just talking to Rita about the divorce. Helen tries to explain that she just got off a back-breaking case and that she feels like an attorney who handles divorce cases could handle it better. However, she is cut off by her mother saying that she wants Rita in the best hands. Helen finally tells her not to worry about it and she'll handle the case.

Helen presses a button on the phone and tells Rita that she's in. An exasperated Jake tells Helen he can't take the bickering between the sisters. Helen tells Rita that Jake says hi. This leads to Jake crying in his hands.

At Lawndale High, Quinn and Sandi are walking in the hallway. Sandi asks if she can't say Sandi Griffin's Dracula why does Brad Stoker get to say Brad Stoker's Dracula. Quinn corrects her and says it's Bram Stoker and he gets to say that because he made the story up.

They are approached by Stacy who is seen wearing a new dress. Stacy asks the other girls what they think and they give their approval. Sandi says that they should get to the cafeteria before they run out of shredded lettuce. They now see Tiffany and are shocked to see she is wearing the same dress as Stacy. Sandi inquires what Stacy will do now that Tiffany is wearing the same dress as her.

At the Morgendorffer house, Jake and Daria are seen watching Sick, Sad World. Daria is seen eating Johnny cakes, which is another recipe taken from Jake's Civil War cookbook. Helen walks into the living room from the kitchen while talking on the cordless phone. Helen tells Rita that she has all the necessary paperwork. Rita tells Helen that it will just be Erin, as Rita promised to take her actor boyfriend Ralph to New York on his birthday. Rita tells Helen she'll call her when she gets back.

Helen ends the call and expresses her annoyance at Rita not coming. Jake tells her that's great. Helen snaps that it's not great because Rita is spending the money Helen was saving for Rita on the trip to New York with her boyfriend.

The doorbell rings in the middle of Helen's rant. Jake feebly offers Helen a Johnny cake, as Daria gets up to answer the door. Daria opens the door to Tom. Tom tells her he can't get through to her on the phone lately. He asks if Quinn is worried that her ear will grow over the receiver. Daria replies that her mother is the one burning the lines, as she got roped into handling the legal matters surrounding her cousin's divorce.

Tom offers Daria a ride around the block in exchange for the details. Daria turns this down saying she plans on telling Jane about it tomorrow. Tom suggests that they could still ride around the block. Daria refuses, saying it probably wouldn't be a good time for that and thanks him. Daria shuts the door as Tom starts to say that there is no thanks necessary.

At school, Daria and Jane are walking down the hallway. Daria fills Jane in with the details about Erin's divorce, and how the Morgendorffers have to suffer because of it. Jane asks Daria if she's not even looking forward to having a ringside seat at her cousin's breakup. Daria agrees and says it's like she's forgotten how to have fun. They pass by the Fashion Club.

The Fashion Club is seen having a debate over who should wear the dress, Stacy or Tiffany. They are both allowed to state their respective cases on why they should be the one to wear the dress. Stacy reads from a cue card that Tiffany looks good in anything, however, because of the asymmetry in her shoulders this is one of the few garments that looks good on her while off-setting her eyes. Sandi tells her that is very good.

Tiffany goes next, looks at her cue card and simply thanks them and says "God bless". Sandi suggests to Quinn that perhaps a debate was not the right approach after all.

At the Morgendorffer home, Daria and Quinn are seated on the loveseat. Daria is reading her book and Quinn is reading a magazine. Quinn question whether she should give Erin an "after you dump him makeover" or a " a newly sizzling and single makeover." Daria questions which one involves boiling oil. Helen walks in from the kitchen carrying a bowl and tells the girls to make Erin feel welcome while she's here. Helen goes on to say Erin needs their love and understanding, and she could kill that sister of hers. Jake walks in from the kitchen carrying a pitcher filled with clear fluid. Jake says that fresh martinis are ready to pour and to bring on the guest. Helen reminds him that Erin doesn't drink martinis and Jake clarifies that the martinis are really for him, in case Rita calls.

The doorbell rings and it ends up being Rita instead of Erin. Jake chugs the martini mix straight from the pitcher. Helen questions Rita on why she isn't in New York. Rita explains that Ralph broke up with her and that Erin is in Stadt in Switzerland for a spa week because Grandma Barksdale thought it was a good idea for Erin to calm her nerves. Helen mutters sarcastically under her breath how great it is that her mother is always thinking about her grand kids well, one of them anyway.

Helen tells Rita it would be helpful if Erin were here, seeing that it's her divorce and everything. Rita says they can always call her if they have to. Rita questions if she can stay with the Morgendorffers for a few days while she is having her house repainted. Jake exclaims, "Dear Lord" in response to this. After a glare from Helen, he reluctantly says it's a great idea.

In the kitchen, Quinn speaks to Erin on the cordless phone. Quinn tells Erin that she's sorry about Brian and that she hates having to break up with guys she's dating. Quinn acknowledges that breaking up after dating and marriage are two different things. She asks Erin why she's crying.

Jake and Helen are seated on the sofa while Rita and Daria are seated on the love seat. Helen is rummaging through her briefcase, which is open on the coffee table. Helen says that the first thing is Erin and Brian need to list their assets. Rita says that should be a breeze for Brian, because he got fired the day they got back from their honeymoon. Rita goes on to explain Brian and Erin have been living on Erin's salary while Brian tries to pass his retail exam. Helen responds that's good, so he has no real claim on her property.

Quinn walks in the living room and tells Rita that Erin and Brian signed a prenuptial agreement that splits everything fifty-fifty. Rita attempts to take the phone from from Quinn, but Erin has already hung up. Jake asks Daria to go to the kitchen with him to work on the Johnny cakes.

Rita says that she believes Brian made Erin sign the they need to fight this all the way to the Supreme Court if they have to. Helen tells her that the Supreme Court doesn't handle divorce cases as they are too busy with shoplifting cases. Helen tells Rita that there is a junior associate with experience in matrimonial law.

Helen tells her that this is not a simple divorce, and more complicated. Rita tells Helen that she is sure that she and their mother can find a lawyer for Erin if Helen can't handle it. Helen decides to continue helping with the case.

Quinn walks into the kitchen. Jake tells Daria he can't take it anymore and needs to get out. Jake discusses a secret signal they can use for when he calls in order to know what is happening at home. Quinn asks Daria if Jake is leaving and Daria tells her that only when Helen and Rita stop being sisters.

Quinn says that maybe after her Fashion Club meeting they should stick around until Rita leaves and she will cancel her dates. She asks if Daria wants to stick around and Daria tells her that she would rather go downtown and count cracks in the sidewalk. Quinn asks if that can wait.

At Cashmans, Quinn and the rest of the Fashion Club attempt to return the dresses. At last minute, Stacy suggests she and Tiffany alternate days to wear the dress. However, they are told that it is too late to return it by the cashier Theresa as they were purchased two weeks ago. Tiffany and Stacy argue over the dress. Quinn asks them to stop fighting and Sandi asks if she's alright. At the movie theater, Jake is seen watching a sci-fi film. The kids in the theater are seen being rowdy, with no other adults present. Jake tells them to knock it off and they start throwing things at Jake. Jake heads out of the theater when he gets a call on his cell phone. Realizing it's Rita, he uses a high-pitched voice and says she's got the wrong number. He sighs and returns inside the theater.

At the Morgendorffers, Helen and Rita are seen sitting on the kitchen table. Helen tells Rita that even without a prenuptial they could get Brian to take a fairly modest lump sum. Rita says that she hopes so, as Brian is old enough to be earning his own money. Helen mutters to herself "tell me about it." Rita questions what that's supposed to mean.

In the living room, Quinn is seen sitting on the sofa. She answers the phone to Erin, who tells her that the divorce is off. Daria walks in from front door and Quinn tells her that the divorce is off. Quinn and Daria head to the kitchen and share the news with Rita and Helen. Helen and Rita are seen arguing once again. Helen tells her to admit employment is not one of her strong-suits. Quinn tries to get the attention of the two sisters.

Rita says she has more important things to do, like raise Erin. Helen counters that Erin is twenty-four. Quinn finally tells them that Brian flew to Switzerland to makeup ans they are having a second honeymoon. Helen says it is probably on Grandma Barksdale's credit card. She goes on to say she and Jake barely had a first honeymoon because they had to pay for their own wedding. Rita questions if that's her fault and Helen accuses Rita for going over-budget on her first wedding.

The doorbell rings and Daria answers it to find Tom standing at the door. Tom asks Daria how it's going. Helen and Rita are heard arguing about Rita's first wedding off-screen. Daria replies that everything is fine. Helen says that Grandma Barksdale broke every rule of parenting with the way she favored Rita. Rita retorts that it's just like Helen to declare the rules for everyone else. Quinn runs into the living room from the kitchen. As she runs up the stairs, she asks when it will stop.

Daria exits the house and shuts the front door behind her. Tom questions what's going on in there, and Daria responds that it's bad enough she has to listen to the arguing all day long and she doesn't want to talk about it. Tom apologizes and Daria tells him she needs to get back inside in case Helen needs an eye-witness or a murder weapon. She heads back inside and the phone rings. It ends up being Jake who is at a billiard hall. Daria starts to tell him that Rita is still there. Helen walks in from the kitchen and asks Daria if that's her father. Daria pretends it is someone placing a pizza order and hangs up the phone. Helen questions Daria on where Jake is and Daria tells Helen he is at Johnny Cake Fest 3000. Helen mutters disappointment that Jake has run off. Rita walks in from the kitchen and Daria is seen walking up the stairs. Rita bitterly says that perhaps Jake would stick around more if Helen wasn't so preoccupied with work Jake might stick around more. Helen says that the only work she has been doing lately is for Rita.

In Daria's bedroom, Daria decides to call her Aunt Amy. Amy picks up and Daria greets her.

In the guest bedroom, Rita is seen packing a suitcase. Helen walks in and says that they need to talk. She tries to apologize by saying that they both said things that they didn't really mean. Helen says they should talk things out instead of getting angry. Rita says that she doesn't know. Helen suggest that they bury the hatchet and bake cookies. Rita, sounding calmer, asks if they are cookies from scratch. Helen responds more or less.

The sisters are seen in the kitchen with pre-packaged cookie dough. Helen questions whether Rita wants peanut butter or chocolate chip. Rita questions whether the chocolate chip cookie dough already has chocolate chips and Helen says she thinks it does.

The doorbell rings and Quinn opens the door to reveal Amy has arrived. Amy explains that Daria called for reinforcements. Quinn tells her that Helen and Rita are in the kitchen baking cookies. Rita and Helen are seen in the kitchen arguing over how thick the cookie dough should be cut.

Quinn asks Amy why they can't just get along and Amy says it's due to environmental factors, they were exposed to each other as children.

In Daria's room, she is seen sitting in bed reading a book. There is a knock on her door and she tells Quinn and Amy to come in. Amy tells her that the cavalry has arrived. Quinn tells Daria that Gone with the Wind is on tonight. Daria tells her that she doesn't give a crap. Quinn tells Daria her hair doesn't look that bad as she leaves the room. Daria says she knows Quinn wants something.

Amy asks Daria for an update. Daria tells her that Rita and Helen are on the brink of mutually assured destruction, Quinn is having a nervous breakdown, and Jake has left home to get away from it all. Amy tells Daria that reminds her of her childhood ad asks if she's holding up okay. Daria says that as much as she could't care less about Erin she can't say that her twenty-four year old cousins near divorce has left her optimistic about life's possibilities.

Amy questions Daria if things are not going well with Tom. Daria says things with Tom are fine, he just keeps dropping by in the middle of the multi-generational family crisis and refuses to accept that Daria does not have time for him right now. Amy suggests maybe Tom is trying to offer his time to Daria. Daria says that might be a possibility. The aunt and niece head down to the living room to see how the "battle" is progressing.

In the living room, Rita and Helen are seen arguing again. Rita tells Helen that even if she did have a job it would never meet Helen's approval. Amy and Daria enter the living room from the stairs. Amy remarks that this is another Kodak moment for the Barksdales. Helen asks Amy what she is doing there.

Amy responds that she would drop by to see if her sisters were still having the same fight they had been having for the last forty years. Rita asks how Amy would know, as she spent most of her time barricaded in her room reading Russian novels. Helen counters Amy used them to avoid any family responsibility and to do whatever she please. Amy retorts that at least she didn't hold a grudge well into adulthood because Rita was their mothers favorite. Rita says that she wasn't and both Amy and Helen tell her that she was the favorite. Helen tells Amy that she doesn't need her help.

Rita suggests that maybe if Helen and Amy tried calling their mother more they may have a better relationship with her. Quinn walks into the living room from the stairs. Quinn tries to get Helen's attention. Amy asks why should they bother to call when their mother never offered them the slightest bit of encouragement or appreciation.Helen agrees and Amy tells her that she doesn't need help. Rita retorts that with Amy's grades, and her extra credit, and her awards she didn't make them look look lazy enough, and she wanted encouragement to do more. Amy laughs at this.

Helen asks Amy what she's laughing at and Amy says she's got a point. Rita says she can laugh if she wants to. The Barksdale sisters start talking over one another. Daria yells out and gets their attention. Daria and Quinn act out the sisters fighting to show them how ridiculous it is. Helen and Rita hug and make up. Helen once again asks Amy why she's there and Amy explains how Daria called her to mediate, but maybe Daria is a better mediator then she is.

The Barksdale sisters all exchange in a group hug.

Quinn asks Daria if she decided about Gone with the Wind.

At Pizza Prince, Daria and Tom are sitting in a booth, eating pizza. Daria tells Tom how she and Quinn had to mediate for the sisters after Amy wound up joining the fight. Tom says growing up in a repressed household he didn't experience that. Daria apologizes for giving Tom the short end of the stick that week, and Tom reassures her he understands. Daria admits that Erin's martial crisis made her feel weird about the boyfriend-girlfriend thing. She asks Tom if that scares him, and he says he could see that.

Tom asks Daria if she wants to see a movie. She explains that she she watching Gone with the Wind with Quinn. Tom thinking that she is joking laughs at this. Daria doesn't laugh, and he realizes she is being perfectly serious. Tom admits that freaks out and scares him. Daria asks Tom to pray for her.

The Fashion club are seen sitting at a different booth. Tiffany and Stacy are still wearing the same dress. Sandi says she is suspending both Tiffany and Stacy from the Fashion club for not doing a wardrobe check before leaving home. Stacy tells Sandi the suspension is not fair. Stacy knocks her grape soda on Tiffany's dress leaving a stain. Tiffany says her dress is ruined. Stacy apologizes and says that she didn't mean it.

Sandi tells her that this calls for disciplinary action. Stacy offers her dress to Tiffany saying she is her friend. The two girls make up and hug. However, Stacy's dress is also ruined by the soda when they make contact. They agree that probably wasn't a good idea.

Later, at the Morgendorffers' Daria and Quinn finish watching Gone with the Wind. Quinn is seen crying, saying that the movie is sad. Daria says she knows and it made her feel like crying as well. Daria questions Quinn on if something is bothering her. Daria tells her about how she was strangely distant from Tom all week and wondered if Quinn was having a similar unanticipated reaction such as wanting to spend time with Daria.

The phone rings and Daria answers Jake's phone call. Daria tells him the pigeons are at rest and ends the call. Quinn questions if they will have the same arguments over and over again like Helen and Rita. Daria says that they will use weapons. Daria makes Quinn a deal that she will use her winning personality, and the only weapon Quinn use against Daria will be her merciless silent treatment.

Quinn agrees and says it's a deal.

In the garage, Jake is seated on the sleeping bag, a pillow behind him. Jake questions whether "the pigeons are at rest" means it's safe to go back in. Jake says he can't sleep in the garage again another night.



Aunt Nauseam Transcript

Episode Guide

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