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The Big House is the tenth episode of Season 1 of Daria and the tenth episode of the series overall. It originally aired on MTV on June 30, 1997.


Helen and Jake impose a set of strict rules on their household. Meanwhile, students bet on the odds of Anthony DeMartino having another aneurysm during an upcoming roller hockey game.


Daria comes home late in a taxi and Quinn catches her. Soon, Jake and Helen wake up and catch them.

The next day, Jake and Helen decide to set boundaries and unveil a new set of twenty-six rules inscribed on stone tablets that the family is now expected to follow




  • The rules being inscribed on stone tablets is a reference to the biblical Ten Commandments.
  • The rules set by Jake and Helen that are clearly seen during this episode are as follows:
    • Persistent questioning of parental judgement is punishable. Occasional questioning of parental judgement indicates healthy skepticism and shall be permitted at the pleasure of mother and father (Hereinafter referred to as the "Ruling Council").
    • No pimple pads in the toilet
    • Wear your own damn slippers when you walk
    • The Ruling Council shall determine when occasional questioning becomes persistent questioning and shall not be required to provide advance notice of said determination
    • The Ruling Council does not allow dates on school nights
    • Interdependent behavior shall be considered preferable to independent behavior
    • Curfew shall be considered to be 10 P.M. on school nights
    • Telephone usage shall occur as an "as needed" basis
  • There were said to be at least twenty-six rules, but they were inconsistently numbered and less than half of them were seen. Rules 21-26 were said to be related to a sign out rule sheet so the parents could see what they were doing.
  • This episode reveals that Anthony DeMartino smokes.
  • When the family is playing scrabble, Daria is able to turn her father's 'RATE' into 'INCARCERATE', a rather impressive way to use all seven of her tiles at once.
  • Daria learns how to play the harmonica during this episode.
  • Andrea jumps up in victory after Anthony DeMartino is knocked down, implying that she would've won the pool if he didn't get back up a few seconds later.
  • Janet Barch is seen beating up "Rock and Roll" Randy saying "It's payback time". What the payback is for is unclear.


  • When Helen gestures at the tablet to point out rules 21 - 26, she's pointing to the section outlying rules 18 - 21.

External Links[]

The Big House Transcript

Episode Guide[]