The Lawndale File is the eleventh episode of Season 3 of Daria and the thirty-seventh episode of the series overall. It first aired on MTV on August 4th, 1999.


Lawndale File.jpg

Mysterious happenings around Lawndale lead Daria and Jane to suspect that aliens have infiltrated the town.


A mysterious pair of government agents arrive at Lawndale High, advising students to be on the lookout for "anyone different." Daria and Lane take that in their stride, until they see a segment about alien infiltrators on Sick, Sad World and then hear Trent playing cheerful music. Things get weirder when Quinn starts wearing an unfashionable black turtleneck sweater, and Helen casually remarks that of course aliens are walking the streets, when many of them can't afford cars. After Daria leaves, Helen wonders why her daughter was acting so prejudiced against foreign immigrants.

Things really start to spiral out of control at school, as Mr. O'Neill's offhand comments about how aliens were a metaphor for communists in 1950's sci-fi movies is overheard and misinterpreted by Kevin, Brittany, Upchuck, Mack, and Jodie, with Mr. DeMartino's arrest by the government agents apparently providing confirmation of everyone's suspicions. Daria and Jane endure more weirdness, including being followed by Kevin, who think they're "atomic communists", and a visit from U.F.O. nut Artie, who's now working as a pizza delivery boy and spends hours filling Daria in on his alien encounters and how they've replaced his skin, thus costing him his job. Meanwhile, Jake becomes worried that Daria has become a communist as a reaction to him & Helen becoming "the Man" that they used to march against.

The misunderstandings are finally straightened out the next day. Mr. DeMartino's arrest was due to Ms. Barch turning him in to the Immigration and Naturalization Service as an alleged illegal alien. Quinn's new outfit was due to her trying to hide a neck zit. Trent's unusually happy song was actually a jingle he wrote for a local used car dealer to get some quick cash and was too embarrassed to tell Jane about.

And as it did in the beginning of the whole affair, Sick, Sad World provides the perfect capper with an interview of Artie, who claims that alien love goddesses deprived him of his skin and his job. Surprisingly, these aliens look suspiciously like Daria and Jane.



  • O'Neill has a one-man show "in progress" about the life of Karl Marx. When did he start doing this?! He can't have only just done it for now!
  • This episode features the return of Artie from Esteemsters. Peter Ewell used him in one other episode and the game Daria's Inferno, so apparently he took quite a shine to Artie!
  • The government agents are visual pastiches of Mulder and Scully from The X-Files.
  • This episode is sometimes mis-written as "The Lawndale Files" (per the TV series The X-Files).
  • Sick, Sad World, for the first and only time, reports on something Daria was directly involved in.


The Lawndale File Transcript

External Links

Episode Guide

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