"Quinn" redirects here. For the fanfiction character, see Quinn Gilstad.
"I want to be a role model for all people, even the ones that need makeup really badly." ― Quinn, Monster
Quinn Morgendorffer is a fictional character on the MTV animated series Daria. She is the younger sister of Daria Morgendorffer and a freshman (later sophomore and junior) at Lawndale High School. At the age of 14½ years at the start of the show, Quinn was Daria's chief nemesis for the bulk the series. Nearly the polar opposite of Daria, Quinn is perky, popular, and attractive in the eyes of her fellow classmates, much to Daria's chagrin. She was voiced by Wendy Hoopes.
- 1 Personality
- 2 Relationship with Daria
- 3 Quinn and her parents
- 4 Social life
- 5 Relations with the Fashion Club
- 6 Sexuality and Conservatism
- 7 Fashion Choices
- 8 Quinn's websites
- 9 Quinn's future
- 10 Fanfic Stereotypes
- 11 Alter Egos
- 12 Misc. Trivia
- 13 External Links
Quinn Morgendorffer is a stereotypical self-absorbed teenage girl who is concerned mainly by clothing, shopping, and being popular. Her interests beyond such trivial things are minimal save for getting into a "Party College" with her friends. Often, she seems unaware of basic facts that are not connected with looks or fashion. She has also become afraid and insecure when she thought her looks were not good enough.
Quinn displays a highly manipulative and mercenary personality, especially around boys: she'll date one for a brief period to gain a material advantage and then dump him for another, while stringing along Jeffy, Jamie, and Joey so she can use them as regular tools. The idea of boys competing for or fighting over her leaves her visibly happy. She often gets her way with her parents, and is often shown playing a knife-edge game of subtle undermining and reassurances with Sandi to protect her Fashion Club position. She shares her manipulative and crafty tendencies with her sister, though neither of them ever noticed or admitted this on-screen.
In spite of this, Quinn does have some depth, though it is hidden by a great deal of low self-esteem in terms of her value. As she confesses to Daria in the season two episode "Monster", Quinn feels that looking pretty and being popular are the only things she is good at, hence why she focuses on them exclusively, even though she sometimes feels disgusted that this is all her and her friends talk about. She also has muted academic ambitions, though her efforts almost always end up getting her in trouble with her friends who all deride the notion of intellectually bettering oneself.
In "Daria!", Quinn sings a duet where she admits that "it doesn't matter really what I do or wear", but she has a compulsion to be dressed perfectly to impress people, and has to be better than everyone else at it: being second isn't bad "as long as no one else was first". (As she realizes people would think this was mad, she never admits to it) Daria sums up her sister in "Psycho Therapy" as focusing on shallow things because she's afraid that she hasn't got any depth.
The later seasons of the series have Quinn reconsidering her priorities and coming to value her intelligence and her family in her own way, starting with "Is It Fall Yet?": Quinn discovers her SAT scores are similar to the Fashion Club's, and she feels she should be able to do better. She starts using a tutor, David Sorenson, who forcibly points out to her that she's bright enough to understand the subjects but just isn't trying, and that she's a boring person who will only be popular while her looks last. Quinn, rattled, admits she wants to do well and ends up showing greater academic ability, as she's now putting in the effort. This continues into "Lucky Strike", where her better grades again clash with the Fashion Club; Daria would also tell Quinn in this episode that she was not stupid.
"Is It College Yet?" would test Quinn in other ways by having her befriend Lindy and then be faced with her alcoholism. Quinn ends up trying to make Lindy realize that she has a problem, even though she knows it may (and it does) cost her the friendship. In an earlier scene, she had also started to put down a college student for wearing an alternate dress, and was surprised (and a little ashamed) to find that Lindy assumed Quinn was in favour of it, as she didn't seem "the type" to put others down. This was the only time someone she'd viewed as a friend had told her this was considered distasteful.
Relationship with Daria
"I was hoping that it wouldn't come to this and I'll deny that I ever said it, but there's nothing wrong with you. Physically." ― Daria to Quinn in Too Cute, showing a rare moment of sibling affection in the first season of the series
Quinn has an adversarial relationship with Daria; the two are rather resentful of each other and their differences regarding social standing and personality drive a large amount of the conflict in the series. This animosity goes back to infancy. Each side loves to antagonize the other (though Quinn is less open about admitting to do so) though in spite of these differences, there does exist a level of sibling love between the two, even if they refuse to admit it. When not openly annoying or insulting Daria, Quinn's dealings with her often resemble a business transaction such as laying out terms of requirements, expenses, exceptions, and final payment. A somewhat sinister moment occurred in "The Daria Hunter" when Quinn thought she'd spotted Daria at a paintball range; her response was a rapid-fire paint barrage, followed by a creepy smirk.
A recurring joke involved Quinn refusing to even admit Daria was her sister, telling her friends that Daria was her cousin or some more distant relation, often referring to her as "that girl who lives with you." Daria resents this and attempted revenge by publicizing their true relationship and telling embarrassing stories about Quinn to her friends, particularly in the first season. However, nothing Daria (or anyone else) does to Quinn throughout the series seems to have any ill effects on her popularity.
Occasionally the two sisters have worked together to achieve some goal, usually to get out of trouble or to avoid it. Most often these instances are dealt with in a rather business like fashion, such as when Daria incites Quinn ("That Was Then, This Is Dumb"), with an offer of some form of payment or benefit, to gather scandalous blackmail information about their parents from the son of visiting family friends. Later, when Quinn begins to uncover such stories, her response is "These have got to be worth at least twenty bucks to Daria."
Quinn has turned to Daria for help or advice in some episodes--even over her parents, suggesting that she knows Daria is the most levelheaded member of the family. She calls out to Daria rather than her father in "The Teachings of Don Jake" (before knowing Jake was ill too), she seeks Daria's advice about serious relationships in "Is It Fall Yet?", she asks Daria's help with a moral dilemma in "Is It College Yet?", and so on. In these situations, Daria is often serious (in less serious - to Daria's mind - situations, her answers deliberately take the piss).
In a Daria-penned essay "Please Pass the Peace Pact", Daria talked about "the Morgendorffer Accords (also known as the "Kitchen Counter Talks")" being "signed" after fifteen years. Both girls agreed to respect bedrooms as sacrosanct and to have equal access to "essential resources" in the bathroom and kitchen ("the refrigerator and the bathroom. No one wants a replay of the bitter Cold Cream War of 1998").
By the final episodes, their relationship warms considerably. In "Lucky Strike", Quinn even takes Daria's side against Sandi and finally admits she's her sister. In "Boxing Daria", Quinn is greatly concerned for her sister and even retrieves the cardboard box Daria had been sheltering in, in case she still needed it. In "Aunt Nauseum", she also expressed fear that she and Daria would be fighting into adulthood, like their mother and aunts did. In the final film, she actually gives words of comfort to Daria and tells her she will find her place in college.
Quinn and her parents
Throughout the show, Helen and Jake are shown as supportive of and happy with Quinn, and cheerlead many of her actions; they seem (from ours and Daria's POV) to be ignoring or unaware of Quinn's shallowness. Jake particularly is easy for her to manipulate, and she often can get money out of him. Despite their approval of her, Quinn never introduces them to her friends ("Daria Dance Party") and at one point tried to pretend she didn't know who they were ("Fire!") out of embarrassment.
Helen has noted Quinn's shallower aspects and has tried, usually gently, to steer her away: trying to get her more organized in "Pinch Sitter", trying to get her to not consider her value as coming from looks only in "This Year's Model", "Too Cute" et al. She has also bribed Daria to keep an eye on Quinn in social situations. Both parents also expect her to do well at school.
In "Psycho Therapy", Helen accidentally let slip that she considered Quinn to be a failure of hers: "[as for] Quinn...well, I can't even think about what happened there, not right now". She was horrified when she realized she'd said this out loud.
When Jake had his heart attack, Quinn was so rattled that she decided to become a heart doctor and genuinely became focused on this, putting studying over talking and hanging out with her friends. (Admittedly, she seemed to consider the board game "Operation" as actual studying.) She went back to her old ways when Jake recovered, but her change is still notable.
A socially active girl, Quinn immediately became one of the most popular students at Lawndale High and in the very first episode joined the Fashion Club, a clique of teenage girls with whom Quinn was friends. While she had many boyfriends (even going as far as to come up with a ranking system for the boys she dated), her only consistent followers were three teenage "jocks" from her grade level: Joey, Jeffy, and Jamie, classmates who constantly followed her around and were being manipulated by Quinn for her own purposes.
Quinn's popularity is her greatest obsession and weakness. Other characters like Daria have been able to manipulate Quinn this way: "Fat Like Me", Daria is able to get her to help Sandi lose weight by making up scare stories about how a fat friend could cost her her popularity.
Relations with the Fashion Club
From "Too Cute" onwards, Quinn is involved in a cold war with Sandi: constant attempts at 'politely' undermining the other, with Quinn often turning things around to cover up that she was challenging Sandi at all. ("Oh, Saaaaan-diiii...") Early on, when Sandi wasn't present at a March Fashion Club meeting, Quinn put out feelers for a coup; she asked the others if they thought Sandi was a good president and suggested she'd tried to "set them up" with her fashion claims, but quickly backtracked when Stacy and Tiffany seemed content with Sandi's leadership. ("The Daria Diaries") She soon takes a more subtle approach to undermining Sandi. Later, in "The Daria Hunter", Quinn allowed Sandi to be left behind after a field trip (as did Stacy). Quinn also has a standard protocol of not dating a boy if she can get Sandi to agree she won't date him either. ("The Daria Database")
Sandi's own attempts to nobble Quinn backfire on her, often because Sandi genuinely can't compete with Quinn's social appeal: the party she throws opposite a school dance organized by Quinn in "Daria Dance Party" is a failure. Quinn is also able to turn the social tables on her in "Lucky Strike" by speaking above Sandi's intelligence level. In "Just Add Water", she avoids damage to her reputation when Daria withholds potentially damaging information from Sandi (though Daria never tells her sister this).
There is a measure of sincerity in their friendship, however. When Sandi is injured and unexpectedly gains weight in "Fat Like Me," she withdraws from the Fashion Club out of embarrassment and shame and is able to manipulate Quinn into resigning as well, supposedly "out of respect for [their] friendship". Although flustered, Quinn does abide by this out of friendship, and continues to visit Sandi as seemingly the only club member who cares that Sandi isn't there anymore. She even tells Daria that she doesn't care that Sandi is fat ("it's not like she's ugly or anything").
Tiffany is one of Quinn's assumed friends, but the two have no significant interaction save for times when Tiffany supports Quinn over Sandi (when Sandi isn't there) for her own benefit.
Stacy is a more genuine friend, with the two talking among themselves in "Quinn the Brain" and sharing a significant degree of trust. When Quinn is only allowed to invite one friend for sleepover in "Of Human Bonding", Stacy is her first choice, and in "Fat Like Me" they continue to associate outside of club meetings. However, Quinn won't date any boy that she discovers dated Stacy first, even marking them down on a list. ("The Daria Database") Stacy, for her part, constantly seeks Quinn's approval. In a memorable scene from "Gifted," Stacy quickly relinquishes her own tastes for Quinn's to the extent of dressing like her and suggesting they dye their hair the same shade. This makes Quinn noticeably uncomfortable, causing her to flee Stacy's house and stay with Jane instead.
Sexuality and Conservatism
Even though Quinn refuses to be tied down to one guy (for reasons of wanting multiple men to serve as proverbial slaves to her every whim), and is perfectly comfortable flirting with other guys while on dates and stealing other girls' boyfriends, Quinn is rather conservative in terms of sex itself. She has on multiple occasions avoided or rejected the sexual advances of older men, and was quite shocked when she believed that Daria had lost her virginity to her boyfriend Tom Sloane.
When asked whether Quinn was sexually active during the series, Glenn Eichler replied, "Quinn, no. She was all about attracting guys, not acting on it. Plus Quinn would tend to think of her virginity as currency, a currency she wasn't going to spend until she got a REALLY good exchange rate. (I'm not saying Quinn would maintain this attitude as she matured; this is sophomore-junior Quinn I'm talking about.)"
Indeed, Quinn is very squeamish regarding anything overtly sexual, to the extent of refusing to participate in a lesson in sexually suggestive posing with male students during a modeling workshop ("This Year's Model" and recoiling from close physical contact when Joey, Jeffy and Jamie all attempt to dance with her, saying she doesn't slow dance until "at least" the fifth date ("Daria Dance Party"). Pertinent comments about the show's creator's views on Quinn and sex appear in two fan-conducted interviews on DVDaria.
Quinn was never known to be using alcohol or drugs. She once threw a keg party when her parents were out ("Gifted"), was elected "keg queen" by a frat house during a college tour ("College Bored"), and has been to a number of bars on dates ("Speedtrapped"). However, she also declined a chance to drink underage and was very concerned about her friend Lindy's apparent alcoholism in "Is It College Yet?", even at the risk of driving her away and ending their friendship.
Despite her interest in fashion, animation budget means Quinn has usually been wearing the same outfit in most episodes. An iconic image from the program, as representative of Quinn as the glasses are of Daria, is her midriff-baring pink 'baby-T', adorned with a 'smiley-face' sporting a halo. Quinn wore this shirt constantly in the first three seasons, before switching to a long-sleeve shirt with a yellow butterfly at the beginning of Season 4.
In The Daria Database, Quinn is shown plotting to squeeze extra allowance money out of Helen by wearing a red halter top to dinner. (It is insinuated that Quinn only keeps this article of clothing to elicit a reaction from her mother, and would never consider wearing it in public.) In a similar vein is the 'micro-mini' skirt that Quinn wore to entice Kevin Thompson in 'The Lab Brat'. This incident also marks the only time in canon that Quinn explicitly tried to steal a boy from another girl, and that she felt that this was the appropriate attire to wear while doing so.
The only time Quinn is seen wearing traditionally feminine clothing (dresses or skirts) is during formal events (the mother/daughter fashion show in 'Pierce Me', Erin's wedding in 'I Don't', or the Lawndale High Homecoming parade in 'I Loathe a Parade').
For the "Fashion Don'ts" party in "Monster", she wore Daria's trademark outfit: this is the absolute worst outfit she can think of.
Due to Quinn's popularity, she may be able to get away with wearing anything and seeing it become 'fashionable' - she jumpstarted a short-lived trend of wearing all black in 'Quinn the Brain' without meanign to.
In "The New Kid", Quinn gets hold of software for making websites (which had been promised to Daria) and got "one of the cuter technical types from school set it up for me". Her homepage got 2,500 hits in its first three hours...
And thanks to MTV, we got to see Quinn's website for ourselves! Quinn's Cyberspecial Homepage: "where you can learn all about ME but I don't have to meet you -- because who knows, you could be someone who wears sweaters with cat hair all over them and has conditioner buildup. Neil from homeroom helped me with the numerology or whatever. Now I realize the Internet isn't just weirdo creeps in chat rooms and showoff girls with cameras in their bedrooms who let people watch them do embarrassing things like put on zit makeup. There's lots of stuff you can buy and cute pictures of guys!"
The website has:
- Wallpapers, sounds, and videos of her ("Since I don't have the time to be friends with everyone who wants to be friends with me, you can listen to me talk and make believe I know who you are.")
- Interactive Makeover: personalized tips from Quinn
- Examples of her poetry, including
- "To The Fry"
- "The Dream" (about being a supermodel):
A model's what/I'd like to be/Looking good/Comes naturally/Da da da da/Da da me
Da da da da/Da Kate Moss/I like lipstick//More than gloss
No last name/Is really in/Da da da da/Da da Quinn
- "The Shop": "I saw the worst minds of my generation empowered by charge cards, shopping hysterical endless, dragging their butts through the outlet mall at dusk looking for an open dressing room, bubbleheaded hipsters riding the gleaming heavenward escalator to stockpile junior dresses before Cashman's closes at nine.
"(OK, my sister Daria helped me with that one. I don't know why she's being so nice.)"
As Vice President of the Lawndale High Fashion Club, it is my duty to examine the social impact of advances in shopping technology by fully researching the impact of online commerce on teenage buying habits and credit card abuse (at least until Mom and Dad find out).
Shopping on the Internet is very convenient and private, which is a good thing if you are really a size larger than your friends think you are (not me) or are fed up with certain people making comments in the dressing room about your shoulder blades being of uneven elevation, which they are just imagining.
The downside is that you can't try anything on unless you pay for it, so you don't get to see how great you look in outfits that are way out of your price range.
And let's say the delivery comes when you're at home alone and you try on a lavender slip dress with eyelet edging and it gets stuck on your head while you are taking it off and there is no one there to help you and you can't even see to dial the phone for help and you have to wait until your sister comes home and beg her not to take pictures. Not that it ever really happened, no. What sister?
Now if you think charging in cyberspace is cool, just wait until the future! I hear that shopping implants are being invented in some cold country where everyone is blonde, and soon you will just have to think about something to automatically buy it.
At least that's what Daria told me before she went off to spend her dirty hush money on some depressing book.
"The younger sister of Daria has consciously uncoupled from her college sweetheart and dropped her last name. (Rumor has it that once Quinn realized his athletic abilities weren't going to cut it professionally, she was done.) Quinn has triplet sons — Timmy, Tommy, and Teddy — and she still lives in Lawndale. In between caring for her boys and her hair extensions, she's hard at work on her popular YouTube channel dedicated to dessert and skin care called "S'mores and Pores.""
Quinn's vapidity in the TV series is forever played upon in Daria fanfic. However, certain personality quirks she reveals are elaborated upon at times. Most notable of these is "Brainy Quinn," so-called from the episode "Quinn the Brain," in which Quinn turns out to be smarter and more competent than anyone had ever guessed. This possibility was hinted at in the movie Is It Fall Yet? and the episode "Lucky Strike," but the extreme is reached, albeit through a logical and well-grounded process, in Kara Wild's Driven Wild Universe with the glasses-wearing math-genius Quinn, who thinks pi is "cute."
Sexually active Quinn
In Wouter's Party at Lindy's Quinn is seen starting a relationship with a boy she meets at a Party organized by Lindy. She overcomes her fear of physical contact.
Sexually Ambiguous Quinn
A consistent fact about Quinn in canon is that even with her heavy dating schedule and many male admirers, she seems unable or unwilling to engage in intimate relationships with young men. Some fics explain this by revealing that Quinn has same-sex leanings - and often, the fact that Quinn is interested in girls is not a surprising fact to the majority of individuals (except for the boys who have always worshipped her).
The subject has been explored in the following fics (incomplete list):
- The Passion Club by Gystex (Quinn/Sandi - also, one-night stand with Stacy and Tiffany)
- Writes of Passage by Deref - (Quinn/Jane)
- Unfinished sympathy by haichuraichu - (Quinn/Jane)
- An Overlooked Flaw and EarthFall by legendeld - (Quinn/Danielle Todds)
- Night of the Storm by LyinTamer - (Quinn/Daria)
- The Winters of Those Gone Before by Brother Grimace - (Quinn/Daria)
- The Depths of Shallowness by Sacred Dust - (Quinn/Daria)
It is also suggested that the Quinn portrayed in Legion of Lawndale Heroes may be attracted to girls as well. This has been commented on by characters in the series, and in A Legion Halloween, Quinn and Danielle Todds share an intimate moment.
A less common version of Quinn has her using physical force (ranging from evasive tactics to murder) to settle problems, exemplified in Disco316's "The Quinn Show." One current version of this variant can be seen evolving in Legion of Lawndale Heroes, where Quinn has always been the one out of the original three Legionnaires (Daria and Jane the others) to use her powers in a forward, aggressive manner. Since her visit to the United States Academy of Extranormal Studies, Quinn's level of power and her control of said power has grown, and she is becoming more assertive as a person. See also TAG's "Invisible Planet."
- In 2016, Paste Magazine revealed that Daria was originally meant to have a brother. Glenn Eichler decided to have the character turned into a sister, and thus Quinn was born.
- In the Latin American dubbing, she was voiced by María Fernanda Morales.
- In 2010, she wrote "An Open Letter to Heidi Montag from Quinn Morgendorffer" for female oriented blog Jezebel.
- Outpost Daria - Characters: Quinn (via Wayback Machine)
- June 2005 interview with Glenn Eichler on DVDaria, discussing in part Quinn's sexual life and attitudes.
- January 2006 interview with Glenn Eichler on DVDaria, discussing in part Quinn's sexual life and attitudes.
- Essay by Jordan Bassior, discussing Quinn's sexual life and attitudes.
- “Quinn Morgendorffer: An Analysis” by The Historian.
- An in-depth essay on Quinn's motivations and psychological issues, written by Sapeni.