Daria Morgendorffer definitely got her morbid kicks from watching her fictional world go to hell in a moldy old hand-basket à la the wacky headlines from "Sick, Sad World." As bonkers as some of the stories from the twisty show-within-a-show were, though, a troubling number of them have proven to be not far from real life at all.
Since Daria's run, we've witnessed enough of those mini-segments come to current event fruition to know that show-runners Glenn Eichler and Susie Lewis were obviously a pair of secret sooth-sayers who were cleverly trying to brace the planet for what grave ills we were all about to experience.
Either that or we're dealing with a series of self-fulfilling prophecies here, and in either case, we all need to hunker down with fingers crossed that the rest of the show's macabre premonitions stay put in the land of make-believe where they belong.
Here are some of the stories that made the horrifying jump from fictive funning to IRL news items.
"Are bats sneaking into your neighborhood disguised as cute flying squirrels? Rabid Rodent Rip-Off, tonight on 'Sick, Sad World.'"
Rodents are starting to really get comfortable surviving among human populations, and at no point was that clearer than when Pizza Rat burst onto the scene and made him/herself right at home with a fresh (OK, probably not fresh, but you get it) slice at a subway stop.
We've since come to know Doughnut Rat, Pita Rat, Doughnut Raccoon, and Milkshake Squirrel, so yeah, the rodents are basically taking over right now. It's only a matter of time 'til they learn the art of disguise, so look sharp everyone.
Bath Salts Guy
"Brought back from the grave by black magic, but no one taught them to cross at the green. The Jaywalking Dead, next on 'Sick, Sad World.'"
Not only did the show totally predict the title of TV's biggest undead sensation, but they also hit the nail on the head with the traffic-stopping zombie scene which played out in reality when a Florida man hopped up on bath salts was found eating another dude's face off in broad daylight in the middle of the street.
"Can renegade surgeons transplant your brain while you sleep? The frightening truth, next on 'Sick, Sad World.'"
At least one Italian surgeon has a head transplant already penciled into his books. Dr. Sergio Canavero shocked the world by promising during his TED talk that he would be the first to perform this procedure ... and soon.
The doc plans to within two years take the head of a Russian volunteer patient whose muscles are wasting away thanks to a genetic disorder and attach it to the body of someone who has become brain dead but whose body is still a potentially compatible match. (Get all the Frankenstein "it's aliivvvvve" mimicry out of your system in advance because WHAT.)
Sports Illustrated's Mature Swimsuit Model
"They bake cookies by day, but they really heat up at night. G-string grandmas, today on 'Sick, Sad World.'"
OK, so Nicola Griffin is hardly some granny in a g-string, but the sentiment's still the same. The 56-year-old bikini-clad model was featured in SI's swimsuitsforall ad series this year and proved that sexiness definitely spans the generations.
Kit Kat Jesus
"A vision of Christ in a half-eaten candy bar? Talk about my sweet lord! The Immaculate Confection, next on 'Sick, Sad World.'"
"Monaco's Mopiest Millionaires, today on 'Sick, Sad World.'"
During her wedding to Prince Albert (who has no affiliation to piercing style that we know of) of Monaco, Charlene Wittstock basically cried throughout the whole ceremony, and it made everyone watching very, very uncomfortable because her tears ... did not seem like the happy kind.
"Can monkeys surf the net... and corrupt our kids? Chimpanze chatrooms, next on 'Sick, Sad World.'"
The infinite monkey theorum got a charming little boost when an Indonesian macaque got its hands on a camera and took as earnest a selfie as any other primate. You may have heard about it because of the copyright skirmish that later ensued, but all you needed to know is that monkeys and technology do mix, apparently.
Umbilical Cord Art
"Meet the avant-garde obstetrician that's turned his cast offs into art work. Umbilical cord sculpture next, on 'Sick, Sad World.'"
NSFW Supreme Court Spread
"What do those Supreme Court judges wear under their robes? Declassified government polaroids next, on Sick, Sad World."
Former The Daily Show host Jon Stewart left his more prudish readers agasp when his faux textbook called America (The Book) photo-shopped the then-sitting Supreme Court justices's heads onto less-than-flattering nude bods and challenged readers to play "restore their dignity" with robe cutouts.