Daria Was The Capricorn Icon The ‘90s Needed
25 years after the show debuted, let’s examine the deadpan teen’s zodiac sign.
In Astrologically Speaking, astrologers make their case for your favorite character's zodiac sign, based on specific scenes, quotes, and even fashion choices. Here, Nina Kahn, author of Astrology for Life and Wander the Stars, explains why Daria Morgendorffer of Daria is most definitely a Capricorn. Spoilers for Daria follow.
March 3 marks 25 years since the premiere episode of Daria, the iconic animated series that followed the day-to-day life of the titular misanthropic teenager. As a kid seeing the show for the first time, I immediately found a role model in Daria Morgendorffer. She was whip-smart, sharp-tongued, and hilariously sardonic — and she wasn’t willing to compromise who she was in order to fit in with what everyone else thought was cool, even if it meant being labeled an outcast or a “brain.” When I look back on the series through an astrological lens, it’s obvious to me that Daria is a Capricorn zodiac sign.
Daria ran from 1997 to 2002 on MTV, though the character was first introduced on Beavis and Butt-Head in 1993, and she embodies classic ‘90s skepticism. Daria’s sarcasm and self-awareness make her an outsider at school, but she finds a kindred spirit in her creative and equally apathetic best friend, Jane. She spends a lot of time observing the people around her, most of whom are preoccupied with shallow and trivial banalities, which fuels her cynical outlook on life and dark sense of humor. But underneath Daria’s deadpan disposition is also a thoughtful, responsible, and deeply caring person — and these collective qualities illustrate why I’ve always thought of her as a total Capricorn. While Daria doesn’t have an official birthday, as an astrologer and super-fan, I’m confident she was born under the sign of the sea-goat.
She's Got That Classic Capricorn Cynicism
Capricorns are ruled by the stern and serious planet Saturn, which is what makes them so disciplined and dependable. However, Saturn is also associated with things like restrictions, difficulties, and reality checks — and these heavy themes explain why some Capricorns can be prone to melancholy, dark moods, and pessimism. Daria embodies this almost to a fault. “Daria, do you have to look at everything in such a negative light?” Daria’s mother asks her in Season 2, Episode 13, “Write Where It Hurts.” “You gloss over everything with a cynical joke.” The entire show hinges on Daria’s dark, dry, and deadpan sense of humor, and her response to most things involves a sarcastic quip. Capricorns are realists, not idealists, and Daria exemplifies this to the core.
This is illustrated again in Season 2, Episode 5, “That Was Then, This Is Dumb,” when Daria’s parents’ hippie friends, Willow and Coyote, come to visit the family in Lawndale. Jane’s brother Trent asks Daria why she’s not spending the day with them. “Their sunny ‘60s optimism tends to cancel out my bitter ‘90s cynicism,” Daria replies. This is totally in line with Capricorn zodiac energy; when the sun enters Capricorn each year, it denotes the beginning of winter in the northern hemisphere. The general vibe of the sun’s journey through Capricorn is about embracing the colder and darker seasons of life, so it makes sense that Daria is put off by the overly-cheery and idealistic views of her parents’ friends.
She’s An Old Soul
Daria is much more self-aware, mature, and thoughtful than most of her classmates, and she intellectually towers over most of the adults her life, too — including her parents, teachers, and school administrators. This is made abundantly clear from the outset of the series, as Daria is always one step ahead of her parents’ exasperated attempts to boost her self-esteem and her teachers’ clueless attempts to connect with their students. People with heavy Capricorn placements are like fine wines; they tend to get better and better with age. It’s clear that Daria struggles to make sense of life or embody her true potential in her youth, but once she’s able to surround herself with more people who share her values — like her BFF Jane — we can assume she’ll probably blossom in a way that’s difficult to do under parents’ roof in Lawndale.
Another example also comes from Season 2, Episode 5. After meeting her for the first time, Willow immediately grabs Daria’s hands and declares she has “a very old soul.” Daria responds sarcastically, “It just looks mature for its age.” The new-age-y “vibes” that Willow picked up on were spot-on — Daria is an old soul, and it’s one of the many things that makes her such a Capricorn. Capricorn’s ruling planet Saturn is also known as the planet of time and maturity, which makes Saturnian people like Daria come off as wise beyond their years.
She's Responsible & Pragmatic
Capricorns are earth signs, so they’re known for being sensible and, well, down to earth. So despite being disillusioned about the trivial-ness of high school life, Daria is a consistently excellent student who earns good grades, cares about her studies, and is referred to as a “brain” at school because of her intelligence. Throughout the series, her teachers often rely on her to provide correct answers to questions that other students can’t answer (and Daria reluctantly complies), and her classmates often come to her for advice and homework help due to her smarts, groundedness, and practicality.
We get deeper insight into Daria’s realistic persona in Season 1, Episode 13, “The Misery Chick,” when an obnoxious alumni football player dies during a visit to Lawndale High. Her classmates and even some teachers flock to her for advice on how to deal with their uncomfortable feelings of mortality as a result of the tragedy, because they think she’s “used to being all gloomy and depressed and thinking about bad stuff.” While most of the people around her are willing to live their lives in la-la land, Daria prefers to soberly face reality, as Capricorns tend to do.
She may have a slacker’s attitude and little interest in extracurriculars, but thanks to her Capricorn drive, Daria’s actually a pretty high achiever. For example, she’s selected to visit a school for gifted and outstanding students (Season 2, Episode 8, “The Gifted”) and also finds herself in the final running to earn scholarship from the Wizard Foundation (Season 5, Episode 11, “Prize Fighters”). In the series finale, “Is It College Yet?,” Daria unexpectedly earns an award for her “dazzling academic achievement in the face of near-total misanthropy” at her high school graduation and is forced to improvise a speech.
Like a true Capricorn, Daria takes her personal responsibilities seriously. In Season 4, Episode 13, "Dye! Dye! My Darling," Daria is apprehensive about bleaching Jane’s hair, even though Jane is pressuring her to do so. She isn’t confident about her ability to do a good job and doesn’t want to disappoint Jane, but Jane forces her hand — and sure enough, Jane’s hair color comes out botched. That’s what made it even more hurtful when Jane accuses her of messing up her hair on purpose. Daria cares about being a dependable and solid friend — another Capricorn quality — so it affects her deeply to have Jane interpret her actions otherwise.
Everything about Daria screams Capricorn, from her sarcastic sense of humor to her no-bullsh*t approach to life. Even Daria’s bedroom — full of skull-shaped candles, bone-themed posters, and dark gray walls — gives off major Capricorn energy, as Capricorn in astrology rules the skeletal system and is associated with dark colors. Daria’s cynical attitude and sarcastic one-liners are the heart and soul of the series. “Just once, why can’t you smile when someone takes your picture?” Daria’s mother asks in Season 1, Episode 13. “I don’t like to smile unless I have a reason,” Daria responds. Spoken like a true Capricorn — practical, a little dark, and grounded to their core.