"Dye! Dye! My Darling" is the thirteenth episode of the fourth season of Daria, which premiered on MTV on August 2, 2000; it was written by Glenn Eichler and directed by Karen Disher, Patrick Smith, and Ted Stearn. In the episode, Jane talks Daria into letting her put tiger stripes in her hair, but the botched job makes Jane think Daria did it intentionally due to the emerging romantic tension between Daria and Tom. The plot follows the story line from the previous episode, "Fire!."
Note that chronologically, the "episode" immediately following this one is the movie Is It Fall Yet?. On Daria: The Complete Animated Series, however, this episode is immediately followed by "Fizz Ed". Is It Fall Yet? is on disk 8 if you wish to watch the series in order, after which you can return for "Fizz Ed"
"Daria helps Jane dye her hair with less than stellar results" ― MTV streaming summary
- 1 Summary
- 2 Replacement music
- 3 Trivia
- 4 Analysis
- 5 Dye! Dye! My Darling and Fanfic
- 6 External Links
The next day, or a few days later, Daria accidentally walks in on Tom and Jane kissing. After joking off Daria's intrusion, Jane reveals her surprise: a painting of herself with alternating black and blond stripes in her hair, against a jungle background. She tells Daria that this will be her new look, and wants Daria's help to achieve it. "The Lady or the tiger," Jane says. "Now you won't have to choose."
Later that day, Daria and Jane are in a shop, checking hair dye products. Daria is reluctant to assist Jane, despite Jane's insistence. Jane hints that Daria may have an ulterior motive, but Daria insists it's only because she believes she's going to mess it up. Back at the Lane's, Daria prepares the hair dye and starts painting Jane's hair in stripes, and Jane hints that Daria might be jealous of her and Tom and harboring feelings for him. Daria flatly denies this is the case.
Later, when Jane reveals her hair, it is shown that the job was botched: her hair is almost completely orange with just a few black blotches, instead of the intended blond stripes. Furious, she lashes out at Daria, accusing her of having done it on purpose to steal Tom from her and throwing her out of the house. The next day, Jane and Trent ride to the store to get a black dye paint. As she talks to her brother, she realizes Daria probably wasn't the best choice for the job and had only done it because Jane insisted.
The next day, Daria goes to school alone and attempts to call Jane, unsuccessfully. She is distressed enough to call her mother, but Helen, in a midst of a important case, hasn't time for interruptions.
That afternoon, Daria goes back to Lane's. Jane has dyed her hair back to black and the two girls talk: Daria assures Jane she didn't botch Jane's hair job on purpose. When Jane asks about Tom, and whether Daria is interested in him, or even if they had kissed, Daria flatly denies it. Jane accepts her apology and tries to get things back to normal.
That evening, as Daria comes home, she discovers Tom parked in front of her house. Tom wants to talk to Daria, but refuses her invitation to come in, as the Fashion Club is inside evaluating blushes. Daria enters his car and the two talk. Tom wants to talk to Daria about their "situation" but Daria rebuffs him, saying they don't have a "situation" and that Tom's presence is putting an edge between Daria and Jane. Tom counters that all he did was date Jane for a while and that now they are getting bored with each other. After both stating that they couldn't be interested in one another and would be betraying Jane if they did, Tom kisses Daria, who reciprocates. Realizing what she's done, she flees the vehicle.
The next day Daria comes to breakfast completely depressed and needing to talk to someone. Jake just rants at the newspaper and leaves promising to resume their discussion later (not noticing that Daria hadn't said a word). When Quinn cheerfully informs Daria that the FC are preparing another meeting for that afternoon, Daria abruptly says that she needs to talk to mom. Quinn tells Daria that their mother has been working 18 hour days and that finding time to spend with her is nigh impossible. Daria asks Quinn for advice about her situation, but her sister misunderstands her story and offers no advice (other than to "stop reading those books before it's too late!").
At school, when Jane cheerfully meets Daria, Daria confesses she had kissed Tom. An astonished and hurt Jane flees school to confront Tom at his home. After pounding on and screaming at him, the two talk: they agree that the relationship had run its course and was heading nowhere. A depressed Jane first slams Daria for being boring, then supports her when Tom says he wasn't sure that he would date her. Tom promises Jane that he wasn't seeing her just to get to Daria, and that he looks up to Jane.
Meanwhile, a depressed Daria goes see her mother at her office. After hearing her story over lunch, Helen consoles her by saying people aren't always in charge of their own lives, and, however bad the situation is, Daria shouldn't make things worse than they are and that things will get better, which helps Daria's mind a little.
Later that day, Trent picks up Jane, who is presumably coming from Tom's house. After some light-hearted conversation, Jane asks to go to Daria's house.
There the two girls have a heart-to-heart. Daria assures Jane that nothing like the kiss will ever happen again, Jane breaks the news that she and Tom broke up. Jane reluctantly suggests that Daria go out with Tom, but she is still mad at Daria for the betrayal. A disgruntled Daria says she doesn't believe Jane is OK with her dating Tom. When she asks Jane if they are still friends, she receives first an non-reply, which scares her, until Jane finally answers "We're the kind of friends who can't stand the sight of each other." However, Jane expresses hope that the situation is merely a temporary one.
The episode concludes that evening: Daria is lying down in her room and the phone rings. When she picks it up, we hear it's Tom.
On Daria: The Complete Animated Series, replacement tracks by Extreme Music were used, including:
- Misplaced Tear (when Daria tries to contact Jane)
- Ambulance Ethos (when the second kiss happens)
- Without Your Guitar (Jane confronts Tom)
The episode is one of the few in "Daria: The Complete Animated Series" to retain a song during the end credits instead of a instrumental track. In the original, it was "Friend is a Four-Letter Word" by Cake. In the DVD version, a different song was used but went uncredited - in 2014, it was finally identified by PPMB member Grungeisnotdead as the first verse and chorus of "I'm Okay" by Clumsy.
The lyrics used are:
They say to be for sure / They say you will be fine / They say somewhere there's a cure that first must be refined
Forever I'll be sure / Forever you'll be fine / Forever eats you up because.... [forever never dies]
The title of this episode is sometimes written as "Dye! Dye! My Darling!" with the extra exclamation mark. This hearkens back to the likely source of the title, the British movie Fanatic, whose U.S. title was Die! Die! My Darling! Like the episode, the film features a conflict between two women.
The episode contains one of the most severe swear words in the series: Daria calls Jane a "bitch" after she pressurised her into dying her hair. This occurs before the argument but it suggests that tension was mounting between the two friends.
Jane's question, "The Lady or the Tiger?", is a reference to a short story written in 1882 by Frank R. Stockton. The story's premise is that a man is placed in an arena and given a choice between two doors: behind one is a beautiful woman and behind the other is a fierce tiger.
"Dye! Dye!" ends with images from the "Is It Fall Yet?" film, before segueing into alter egos.
Behind the scenes
In interviews, Glenn Eichler has consistently said he felt it was unrealistic Daria would never have a boyfriend and equally, that Daria was too non-social to meet a guy on her own. The first time was in a 2006 interview with Kara Wild, where he felt Daria would need to grow on a high school boy for him to ask her out, meaning "he would need to spend a fair amount of time in her company BEFORE they started dating", and because "I thought the situation would allow us to explore and test Daria and Jane's friendship".
In 2019, he listed this episode as one of his favourites in an interview with Nerdist, in large part due to the dynamiting of Daria and Jane's friendship: "anytime the relationship between two characters changes, you get to write stuff you haven’t written before." The dye job was Jane's attempt to force a conversation about Tom, which both her and Daria were avoiding.
In the Nerdist interview, Eichler also said that he also hadn't been interested in writing a relationship and "I felt like maybe the fact that I don’t want to write about her having a romance isn’t enough justification for her not to have one."
When asked about why Daria would jeopardize her relationship with Jane this way, Tracy Grandstaff gave a list of suggested reasons:
"Because life is messy? and complicated? and layered? Maybe Daria never expected a guy to be interested in her—until Tom came along? Maybe she sat in the shadows crushing over the unattainable Trent for so long, she was blindsided by Tom’s attention ? Maybe she admired Jane so much—because Jane was socially at ease, better looking, made out with guys, and didn’t have the same hang ups? Maybe Daria figured that Jane could land another guy easier than her? Maybe she thought Jane really wasn’t that into Tom? Maybe the writers wanted to make the storyline more interesting by creating a romantic conflict between Daria and Jane?"
In a 2006 interview with Kara Wild, Glenn Eichler said one of the reasons Tom started as Jane's boyfriend was because "I thought the situation would allow us to explore and test Daria and Jane's friendship. That may have backfired, because a percentage of the viewers thought that Jane would never have forgiven Daria in real life. Maybe that's true. But maybe it's not. They're fictional characters. George Harrison forgave Eric Clapton, right?"
Anne D. Bernstein, who wrote several episodes with the relationship, said in another Kara interview that she did "think that it is believable that Daria would end up with someone who dated her friend first--so common in high school--and that it would be possible for Jane and Daria to work through that and remain close." (She personally found Tom a bit dull though, though she felt there needed to be one male character who was "competent")
Dye! Dye! My Darling and Fanfic
Other Points of view
Variations of the episode
This episode has been featured in countless fanfiction works, due to the important interaction between Jane and Daria over Tom Sloane, and the betrayal Jane feels. The adaptations include (but are not limited to) variations in which: Jane does not forgive Daria; The Kiss does not happen (either due to circumstances or because Daria refuses to kiss Tom); Daria not only kisses Tom but also sleeps with him; Jane forgives Daria but they do not reconcile completely, and many more.
Alternate universe takes
Less common is a full alternate universe retelling of the show to do a version of "Dye! Dye!". Two exceptions include the genderswap fanfics "Finn Morgendorffer" by HolyGrail2007, where Tom and Jane have already broken up and Daria is far more defensive; and "Not So Different" by J-D, where a male version of Daria (Sonny) discovers he's gay during the events of the story.
Parodies of The Kiss
The Kiss has been parodied in countless ways in PPMB Scenes That Should Not Be threads, particularly the dialogue between Daria and Jane that occurs the following morning:
- Jane - No walkee to school today? What happened?
- (no response from Daria)
- Jane - Hey, what's up? Talk to me.
- Daria - I kissed your boyfriend.
- (Jane freezes on the spot, wide-eyed)
- Jane - What?
Substitutions of who kissed who, the exact actions taken, and the reactions of people involved are the most common variations.
"Dye! Dye! My Darling" in Fanfiction
- "Here Now..." by Anay Lewis (what happens immediately after "Dye! Dye! My Darling" ends)
- "Mellow-Drama" by TAG
- "Tom's Eye View," by Dennis