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Daria and her family
"I don't have low self-esteem. It's a mistake. I have low esteem for everyone else."
The protagonist of the show, if you didn't figure that out from the name. Antisocial, intellectual, plainly dressed and snarks like nobody's business. Surrounded by living caricatures and all kinds of idiocy and insanity which she has no patience for, she mainly copes by alternately trying to stop things from getting out of control, or just watching and commenting on the madness.
Tropes associated with Daria:
- Allergic to Love: In "Ill" , she gets a rash that turns out to be a stress reaction to being around Trent.
- Anti-Hero: Type IV.
- Ascended Extra: She was a recurring character in Beavis and Butthead before getting her own show. Word of God says that Beavis and Butthead would have appeared on Daria if the show wasn't a success.
- Beautiful All Along: Happens a few different times.
- Burger Fool: In one episode, she worked at a mall stand called "It's A Nutty Nutty World"
- Captivity Harmonica: In one episode when she was grounded. Her parents lifted the grounding just so that they didn't have to hear it anymore.
- Cool Loser: As Brittany puts it: she's not popular, but she's not unpopular enough that she can't associate with popular people.
- Creepy Monotone
- Deadpan Snarker: Her defining trait.
- Fiery Redhead: Played with, her temper is more Tranquil Fury and she is auburn-haired, yet acts like a Brainy Brunette.
- The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry
- Hidden Buxom: Seems to be this trope in "Quinn the Brain."
- Hidden Depths: As the series progresses, her personality is elaborated on to where she notices flaws in her character and realizes that people do hate her for being negative and anti-social.
- Hollywood Atheist: Averted on "Groped By An Angel." Her atheism/agnosticism seems to only be based on lack of evidence and she doesn't shove her lack of belief in other characters' faces. In fact, the only person she tells this to is Quinn (who is upset that her guardian angel wasn't around to save her from being embarrassed at a party). Strangely, this takes place after that time she met a leprechaun, a Cherub (or possibly a Greco-Roman love god) and various other supernatural beings.
- Ice Queen: Well known for her dispassionate, aloof persona as well as her frostbitten wit.
- Informed Loner: She considers herself a loner and prefers to distance herself from the school social circle, but most of her fellow students seem to be fine speaking with her. It's possible that this is because she's (normally) disassociated with the high school drama and is 'safe' for just about anyone to talk to.
- Intelligence Equals Isolation: Although several episodes (particularly the ones after season three) deconstruct this to show that being smart and isolated from others isn't something a positive thing to aspire to be.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: In spite of her cold nature and sarcasm, she has helped out other students if they ask, and has been shown to genuinely care about her family and friends.
- Meaningful Name: "Daria" is Persian for "queen".
- There was also an Orthodox saint.
- OOC Is Serious Business: If Daria drops her poker face for even a second, it's usually important.
- Perpetual Frowner
- Redhead in Green
- Refuge in Audacity: You see this disaffected semiwaifish high schooler? This disaffected semiwaifish high schooler is capable of calling a band of mercenaries, under the principal's name, to crash a school assembly being hosted by said principal, just to prove a moral point, without anyone ever suspecting it was her and without ever breaking her aforementioned poker face. With media present. Do not cross her.
- She Cleans Up Nicely: Daria is just as pretty as Quinn, and can show off, but only when she has to, since it goes against her own principles, as seen in "Quinn the Brain."
- The Snark Knight: Initially, this trope was actually called "The Daria".
- Sugar and Ice Personality: Going waaay heavy on the "ice" side.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Tomboy to Quinn's Girly Girl.
- Tranquil Fury: Daria never raises her voice unless she needs to yell to be heard. But when she gets angry you can practically feel her voice getting sharper.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Jane, which becomes more noticeable with each season.
"I'm an only child."
Daria's younger sister (though she constantly denied it) and quite deliberately her complete and total opposite. Quinn is Vice-President of the Fashion Club and prides herself on being shallow, vain and fashionable.
Tropes associated with Quinn:
- All Women Are Lustful: Inverted. She dates constantly but seems unwilling to even give a goodnight kiss. Justified in that she's either really shy around guys or she's a Pretty Freeloader who only uses high school boys (and sometimes older men) for dinner, rides, and social status.
- Annoying Younger Sibling
- Attention Whore: Deconstructed. It's revealed that her parents paid more attention to Daria as a child because of her troubles at school with the other kids. This led to them somewhat ignoring the younger Quinn when she tried to get their attention.
- Aw, Look -- They Really Do Love Each Other: To Daria in later episodes.
- Bare Your Midriff: Her famous pink baby-tee in the first three seasons. It was changed to a regular shirt in later episodes.
- Blatant Lies: Quinn acting upset when her male suitors physically assault each other in their competition for her, generally with a smile on her face.
- Bratty Teenage Daughter
- Coy Girlish Flirt Pose
- Cute but Cacophonic
- Fiery Redhead: Subverted; despite having orange red hair, she acts like a Dumb Blonde.
- The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: Played straight to an extent in the first few seasons. But after witnessing how their mom and aunts always fight with each other, it seriously seemed to disturb Quinn that that might happen to her and Daria, and she started trying to get along with Daria more.
- Motor Mouth
- Obfuscating Stupidity/Popular Is Dumb: She hides her intelligence to maintain her popularity, though she breaks out of it by the final season.
- Pink Means Feminine: Her shirt, and several of the other outfits she wears.
- Pretty Freeloader: Basically the main reason she has a boy posse.
- The Starscream: To Sandi.
- Though it should be said, Quinn doesn't spend half as much time trying to outdo Sandi as Sandi spends pre-emptively kicking Quinn back down.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Girly Girl to Daria's Tomboy.
- Tomboyish Name
"Oh hiiii, Eric!"
Daria and Quinn's mother, a professional lawyer. Almost constantly on her phone and seemingly oblivious to life around her, but she's far more on the ball than she seems.
Tropes associated with Helen:
- Adults Are Useless: Noteworthy as being one of the only major aversions of it.
- Amoral Attorney: What we hear from her worklife certainly qualifies her, and her firm, as such.
Helen (on phone): No! No, absolutely not. It's unethical, it's immoral, it may well be illegal, I'll have no part of it. Okay, I'll do it.
- Boobs of Steel: The fandom mentions her C-cup breasts, combined with that and her no-nonsense attitude, she is this trope.
- Deadpan Snarker
- Fiery Redhead: Has auburn hair, not as red as her daughters or little sister, but has quite a temper...
- The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: Rita's her usual target, though Amy's not immune.
- Hot Mom
- Mama Bear
- Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Masculine Girl to Jake's Feminine Boy.
- Named After Somebody Famous: Her maiden name, Barksdale, comes from a Confederate general in The American Civil War.
- The Unfavorite: Has a bit of a complex about being this to her mother, although since we never see the two of them interact, it's unknown how bad it really was. Interestingly, which of her own daughters she prefers seems to shift as the series progresses. At first she's more proud of Quinn's superior social skills and encourages Daria to be more like her, while later on she finds Quinn's deliberate airheadedness irksome and is more quick to praise Daria's intelligence.
- Interestingly, if you ask Rita (and possibly Amy), they'd argue that Helen was the favorite who always managed to make her look bad with her achievements.
"GOD DAMN IT!"
The girls' neurotic, well-meaning, long-suffering father. Has trouble understanding his teenage kids and is usually caught up in his own misadventures.
Tropes associated with Jake:
- Bumbling Dad: Zigzagged. He tries not to let his screwed-up childhood and the neuroses born from it get in the way of being a father to Daria and Quinn. Sometimes it works; other times it doesn't.
- According to what Daria tells the psychologist in "Psycho-Therapy", we can infer that at least some of this behavior is an affectation to hide the fact that he's less ambitious and driven than Helen.
- Everythings Nuttier With Squirrels: Has an ongoing war against them.
- Hilariously Abusive Childhood: His dad, "Mad-Dog Morgendorffer, was an abusive alcoholic who was emotionally distant, manipulative, and didn't care about the feelings of his wife (Jake's mother) or son (Jake). He also tried to mold Jake into a man (by sending him to military school, when Jake really wanted to go to tennis camp -- though "The Daria Hunter" revealed that Jake was sent to military school after accidentally stepping on his dad's contact lens), but it really turned Jake into the man he is today.
- I Can't Believe It's Not Heroin!: Jake often has a desire for milk in a few episodes, much to Helen’s dismay.
- Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Feminine Boy to Helen's Masculine Girl.
"When I was a kid, with Helen and Rita going at it all the time, all they left for me to do was to supply the color commentary. Then, one day, I found myself all grown up with my own point of view, and feeling no particular obligation to listen to anyone else's B.S. Ever."
Helen's sister and Daria's aunt, She's an adult version of Daria, both in personality and appearance.
Tropes associated with Amy:
- Black Sheep: If nothing else she seems to view herself this way.
- Broken Pedestal: Her final appearance in Aunt Nauseum shows Daria that she can be just as petty and vindictive as her sisters, which is probably why we don't see her after that.
- Cool Aunt
- Deadpan Snarker
- Fiery Redhead: A subdued version of the trope.
- Generation Xerox: She and Daria look and act almost exactly alike, despite Daria being her niece. The fandom's explored this one, too.
- The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: Though unlike Daria, she isn't above getting sucked into childish arguments with Helen and Rita.
- Lean and Mean: By the time she reveals that she can be very petty with her older sisters, she is significantly thinner and narrower in shape than her previous appearances.
Lawndale High students
"I like having low self-esteem. It makes me feel special."
Daria's best friend, also antisocial but in a more nonconformist way. Has a bit of a Goth streak, at least in her tastes in art, and also some artistic talent that tends to go under-appreciated due to her tastes. Has rather...hands-off parents.
Tropes associated with Jane:
- Beta Couple: With Tom before they break up.
- Brainy Brunette
- Cool Loser
- Deadpan Snarker: Sometimes forms Those Two Girls with Daria, as they spend some episodes just standing back watching the madness.
- Everybody Hates Mathematics
- Fur Bikini: In the ending credits
- Hands-Off Parenting: Her family was initially the Trope Namer (Casa Lane Parenting).
- Living Emotional Crutch: Not nearly as bad or parasitic as most other examples, but Daria does not hold up well without Jane.
- Off-Model: Although Jane wears black tights, in many scenes from the first seasons her legs switch between actually being colored black and being skintone, sometimes between cuts in the same episode. In later seasons, the mistake was fixed, and she was consistently drawn with black tights.
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: The gravelly stoner chick affect that Wendy Hoopes initially used for Jane was a pain to keep up and eventually she just reverted to using her normal speaking voice.
- The Lancer
- Tall, Dark and Snarky
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Daria, which becomes more noticeable with each season.
"I'm the QB!"
Lawndale's star quarterback who constantly wears his football uniform, complete with pads, and makes a box of rocks look smart. Nevertheless he's quite friendly and good-natured, even if his stupidity usually makes him very annoying. In a constant on-off relationship with Brittany.
Tropes associated with Kevin:
- Bare Your Midriff: A rare male example.
- Brainless Beauty
- Dumb Jock: Kevin Thompson is easily a finalist for the dumbest living organism in Lawndale. While not a bully, he's a little narcissistic, dumb as a box of rocks, wears his uniform everywhere, and is in general bad at everything that isn't football. At least he's sweet to his head Cheerleader girlfriend, Brittany, genuinely friendly to his teammates, and amicable towards everyone else, even the unpopulars.
- The Ditz
- Glass Cannon: He's the head quarterback and looks fairly impressive in regards to strength. But on the outlandishly rare occasion you get to see him outside of his uniform, he's actually a particularly scrawny little guy.
- Jerk Jock: A subversion in that his jerkishness is usually the result of ignorance or stupidity rather than meanness, and also unintentional; he even seems to consider Daria a friend.
- Limited Wardrobe: He almost always wears his football uniform, from the pads to the cleats.
- It gets better: on the rare occasions he's seen out of uniform, he's usually wearing the exact same shirt.
- Make-Out Kids: With Brittany.
Kevin's girlfriend. Brittany is a peppy, bubbly cheerleader, and is definitely the smarter of the two (though not by much). Possibly they only get together because only they can put up with each other. Astoundingly, may be a real person who has found her true calling.
Tropes associated with Brittany:
- Brainless Beauty
- The Cheerleader: Certainly the Brainless Beauty who Really Gets Around, but she's actually a mostly nice person (she only really loses her temper with Kevin, and even then, it's not that often); she's certainly on very friendly terms with Daria.
- This could of course be due to her being so dumb she doesn't know how to be bitchy...
- Clingy Jealous Girl: Woe to anyone she perceives as trying to get between her and Kevin.
- The Ditz
- Dumb Blonde
- Dysfunctional Family: Her stepmom is more of her friend than an actual mom and her dad spoils her and treats her little brother like crap.
- YMMV on the dad treating the brother like crap. It was more that the brother complains whenever Brittany gets something, even if he just got something similar-like when Brittany got a party and the brother said he wanted one, the father pointed out that he just took the boy and twenty of his friends to a baseball game-and spend fifty bucks just on corn-dogs.
- Fee Fi Faux Pas
- Gag Boobs: "Um, Brittany, would you mind pointing those things in another direction?"
- Genius Ditz:
- Her tactical skills in "The Daria Hunter", a send-up of the original film version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
- She's also a very talented cheerleader.
- She attempts to reenact the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet in "Café Disaffecto"
- There's also the fact that she managed to get into Great Prairie State University, let alone that she actually managed to graduate high school, whereas Kevin has to repeat his senior year.
- Genki Girl
- Girlish Pigtails
- Make-Out Kids: With Kevin.
- Odd Friendship: For all their contrasting faults and flaws, she gets along surprisingly well with Daria.
- Really Gets Around: Neither Brittany nor Kevin are completely faithful to each other, but she tends to get spotlighted more in this regard.
- Spoiled Sweet
- Verbal Tic: Her voice has a squeak.
"At home, I'm Jodie. I can say or do whatever feels right. But at school, I'm the Queen of the Negroes. The perfect African-American teen. The role model for all of the other African-American teens at Lawndale. Oops! Where'd they go? Believe me, I'd like to be more like you."
One of the school's only two black students, Jodie is a combo overacheiver and token black kid and knows both facts well, to the point that the demands both bring wear on her. She's also one of the few people in school who Daria and Jane talk to on a regular basis, and is often the one who calls Daria out on her behavior when she's being especially high-and-mighty.
Tropes associated with Jodie:
- Black and Nerdy: Not necessarily nerdy, but sacrificing a social life in order to do better in school.
- Deadpan Snarker
- Education Parents: Jodie's parents constantly push her to perform well academically, to the point of not allowing her vacation time if she could be attending an academic function instead.
- Extracurricular Enthusiast
- Positive Discrimination: The school elect Mack and Jodie as king and queen for the town parade every year to look more diverse and open minded. Jodie also induces this on herself as she is determined to be a good representative of the black community, and be a positive role model to the other black students, even though she points out that there are no other black students.
- Token Minority: And very aware of it, as is Mack.
- Token Minority Couple: With Mack. The tie-in book The Daria Diaries deconstructs this a bit when she questions if she actually likes Mack or is just following this.
Michael "Mack" MacKenzie
"Stop calling me Mack Daddy!"
The other token black kid at Lawndale, Mack is Jodie's boyfriend and captain of the football team. As such, he's forced to interact with Kevin on a regular basis, much to his dismay. One of his few defining traits is that he's bad with money, and has been overdrawn on his allowance since elementary school.
Tropes associated with Mack:
- Angry Black Man: Not so much in the show, though we do get hints of it, but the tie-in books tend to portray him as a ticking time bomb of pent-up rage.
- Awesome McCoolname/Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: His real first and middle name is Michael Jordan. (It used to be Michael James, but his dad went to a Bulls game when Mack was twelve and, well...)
- Deadpan Snarker
- Fan Nickname: "Saint Mack," due to him being one of the few characters to be both nice and generally together.
- My Name Is Not Durwood: He hates Kevin's favored epithet of "Mack Daddy."
- Only Sane Man
- The Other Darrin: He was voiced by four different actors during the show's run.
- Out of Focus: Word of God says one reason he wasn't developed more was because of the voice acting issue (above), which kept them from ever finding a VA whose personal style they could work with.
- Satellite Character: To Jodie and Kevin.
- Token Minority: And very aware of it, as is Jodie.
- Token Minority Couple: With Jodie.
Charles "Upchuck" Ruttheimer III
A freckled, breathy weirdo who appears mostly to hit on the girls and get shot down (though the only girl who actually accepted his advances was Andrea the goth as seen in the series finale movie, Is It College Yet?).
Tropes associated with Upchuck:
- Anything That Moves: He tries to anyway. He uses his act on all girls equally, including Daria. (The only guys interested in Daria were those completely uninterested in the other, stupider girls of Lawndale.)
- Casanova Wannabe
- Dumbass DJ: Subverted.
- Extraverted Nerd
- Hidden Depths: While he never loses his hormone-driven slimy attitude towards anything female, later episodes show he's actually fairly competent as DJ, magician, anchor, and he's fairly knowledgeable about schoolwork too. If he'd stop his sexual harassment, he'd be second only to Jodie in terms of social, extracurricular and academic achievement (and would probably get a girlfriend much easier).
- A Man Is Not a Virgin: His sole motivation throughout the series. He only achieves his goal in the series finale, with Andrea.
- Unfortunate Names
"Anybody home in that rotting bag of flesh?"
A Goth girl (the only one at Lawndale, by the looks of things) and perpetual background character.
Tropes associated with Andrea:
- Ascended Extra: Arguably a minor example; near the end of the series (including "Is It College Yet?") she became slightly more important, likely because she was popular with the fanbase.
- Burger Fool: In "Mart of Darkness", Andrea is found dressed up in full uniform for a wholesale club and tried to escape Daria's and Jane's snarky wrath (until Daria and Jane vowed to keep her embarrassing job a secret).
- I Can't Believe a Guy Like You Would Notice Me: In Is It College Yet?, Andrea is very surprised when Upchuck hits on her. He is equally surprised when she accepts his offer.
- No Last Name Given
- The Other Darrin: Voiced by two different actresses, with the second actress being the one who voices Brittany and Sandi.
- Pair the Spares: With Upchuck.
- Recurring Extra
Self-appointed President of the Fashion Club, and Quinn's main rival. Sandi rules the Fashion Club with an iron fist (albeit a well-accessorized one), making sure that none of the other girls outshine her in popularity. She is constantly browbeating Stacy and trying to undermine Quinn's authority, the latter of which she feels is her main competition.
Tropes associated with Sandi:
- Alpha Bitch: Though on numerous occasions can be lovable, particularly in the end when she dissolves the Fashion Club.
- Annoying Younger Siblings: She has two younger brothers, and like most boys they adore Quinn.
- Book Dumb: Though she's not a great student, Sandi is excellent at playing politics and manipulating others.
- Bratty Teenage Daughter
- The Fashionista: President of the Fashion Club, whose purpose is to critique the fashions of their peers.
- Jerkass: Sandi and her mother are the only main or recurring characters who are intentionally mean to those around without provocation who are smart enough to understand what they are doing and are given few if any redeeming characteristics throughout the show.
- Like Mother Like Daughter/GenerationXerox: Sandi and her mother Linda are almost exactly alike. Linda and Helen even have the same kind of antagonistic relationship that Sandi and Quinn do.
- Smug Snake: Whenever she plays the villain, it rarely works out.
- With Friends Like These...
"I like philosophy..."
A Fashion Club member who is as brain-dead as she is slimy--she plays both sides of any conflict between Sandi and Quinn so whoever wins, she'll be on the winning side. If not the dumbest character on the show, Tiffany is easily the most self-absorbed one.
Tropes associated with Tiffany:
- Ambiguously Jewish
- Ascended Extra: Referred to as "Popular Girl #2" in early scripts. Her incongruous name is the result of the writers picking it for her out of the four different Tiffanies (the others being Duke, Hodges and Fairchild) the security guard mentions on the guest list of Brittany's party in The Invitation.
- Asian Airhead: Quite possibly the dumbest person in the series, though Kevin gives her a run for her money.
- Brainless Beauty
- Characterization Marches On: In the first season, her lethargic speech pattern didn't exist. She still spoke in that breathy voice, but it was at a normal pace.
- The Ditz
- Does This Make Me Look Fat?:
Quinn: YOU'RE NOT FREAKING FAT, OKAY?!
- Verbal Tic: It's nigh impossible for her to talk without pausing every two or three words and drawing out the last syllable of said two or three words.
"Oh God! That's the look my mom always gives me when I say something stupid!"
Fashion Club Secretary, and the most sympathetic of the group. A neurotic pushover, Stacy is constantly bullied and manipulated by Sandi, who threatens to kick her out of the club on a near-daily basis. Will burst into tears at the drop of a hat. Of all the club members, she seems to be closest to Quinn, who she looks up to.
Tropes associated with Stacy:
- The Cutie
- The Ditz: Though one tutor pointed out that of all the fashion club members, she's probably the smartest, next to Quinn. The only thing holding her back is her fanatic paranoia of Sandi's wrath.
- Extreme Doormat
- Fragile Flower: Sandi sort of enforced this mentality on her, especially at the beginning of the series where it was incredibly easy to make her cry.
- Girlish Pigtails
- Zettai Ryouiki: Grade C on her regular outfit in the early seasons.
Joey, Jeffy, and Jamie
Collectively known as the Three J's, they are three boys who sycophantically seek Quinn's attention and approval, usually falling all over themselves to do or get whatever she even broadly hints that she wants. Joey, Jeffy and Jamie are all members of the school's football team.
Tropes associated with The Three J's:
- Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: a rare male example: Jamie is blonde, Joey is brunette, and Jeffy is auburn redhead.
- Cock Fight: The three occasionally have gotten into fistfights, with other boys and certainly amongst each other, for Quinn's attention
- Dumb Jock: Though not as dumb as Kevin, they are not exactly book smart.
- Hopeless Suitor: To Quinn.
- My Name Is Not Durwood/Running Gag: Early in the series, Jamie has been called other names that start with "J" such as Jimmy and Jeremy. On "Fair Enough," Jamie happily declares, "You got my name right!" just before Mr. DeMartino (as The Black Knight) knocks him down.
- No Last Name Given: Played straight with Joey and Jeffy; averted with Jamie whose last name is White, revealed in the aforementioned episode.
- However, Fanfic writers often give Joey and Jeffy the last names "Black" and "Grey."
- Those Three Guys
- Too Dumb to Live: In "Antisocial Climbers", The Three J's bring Quinn's three bags worth of cute knick-knacks, leaving the survival gear at the buses.
Lawndale High faculty
Mr. Timothy O’Neill
"Look, just let me get through this part, okay? Then there'll be a video!"
Lawndale's English teacher. Mr. O'Neill is a very, very sensitive man, constantly trying to connect with his students and failing hilariously. Is often seen as Daria's writing mentor (as seen in "The Lost Girls" and "Write Where It Hurts"). Is in an Odd Friendship with the severely stressed-out Mr. DeMartino and in an odder sexual relationship with the man-hating Ms. Barch.
Tropes associated with Mr. O'Neill:
- Extreme Doormat: Especially around his friend (the high-strung history teacher Mr. DeMartino) and his lover (the misandristic science teacher Ms. Barch who fell for him after O'Neill inadvertently comforted her when she went on yet another rant about being divorced)
- Granola Girl: Gender Flipped.
- Hippie Teacher: not as much as Mr. Van Driessen, but pretty close.
- Love Martyr: Zigzagged. Mr. O'Neill does have a problem with Mrs. Barch's aggressiveness (on "The F Word," he begs Janet to be more discreet about their secret relationship -- just as he's being dragged away to the closet that Mrs. Barch jimmied the lock to so the two could make out in before the maids come in for work), but most of the time, he actually enjoys it.
- Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Feminine Boy to Ms. Barch's Masculine Girl.
- Odd Friendship: With Mr. DeMartino.
- Pitbull Dates Puppy: The timid puppy to Ms. Barch's snarling, rabid pitbull. Tried to be more assertive to break off his wedding to her (at the advice of Mr. DeMartino), only for Barch to fall for O'Neill's new assertive side along with the passive one (after she gave DeMartino a black eye).
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Sensitive Guy to Mr. DeMartino's Manly Man.
- Talking to Himself: Mr. O'Neill, Mr. DeMartino, Kevin, and Upchuck are voiced by the same guy (Marc Thompson.)
Mr. Anthony DeMartino
"Son, promise me you'll come back and see me some day when you've got the Heisman trophy and a chain of auto dealerships, and I'm saving up for a second pair of pants!"
Lawndale's history teacher. A bug-eyed, constantly stressed, somewhat insane man who spends most of his time yelling at everything.
Tropes associated with Mr. DeMartino:
- AcCENT Upon the Wrong SylLABle: He has a PARTICULAR way of TALKing, where he random EMPHASIZES words or syLLABles in this manner.
- Berserk Button: EVERYTHING. But especially Kevin and his stupidity.
- He actually seems to like the few students who seem to learn anything from him, such as Daria and post-Character Development Quinn. But yeah, Kevin and Brittany...not so much.
- The Chew Toy: Ms. Barch has beaten him up several times, a classic rock DJ gave him a heart attack and broke his knee during a school-sponsored roller hockey game, he's seen two of his friends (the unnamed childhood friend from "Anti-Social Climbers" and Mr. O'Neill) get married to women he loathes (his mom and Mrs. Barch respectively), he once had to teach a sewing class as part of a deal on his teacher's contract, he grew up with a negligent mom who cared more about the men she dated more than her own son, he lost his car in a card game, he was forced to go on a casino cruise despite the fact that he's a recovering gambling addict, he has to deal with moronic students like Kevin and Brittany on a daily basis -- it's a wonder he was never committed to a mental hospital. The only times DeMartino ever had a Throw the Dog a Bone moment were when he forced Ms. Li to sign the new teacher's contract that promised a 10% raise in salary, and the events of Is It Fall Yet?.
- Damned By Faint Praise: By his standards, telling Daria she "makes him want to kill himself a little less than the sausages that call themselves her classmates" actually is a compliment.
- Evil Laugh: The one time he actually laughs. He is on a gambling spree at the time, though.
- Eye Scream: One eye bulges constantly, especially when he's demonstrating his Verbal Tic. In one of the "bloopers" of "Is It Fall Yet?" it actually pops out of his socket.
- In Is It College Yet?, Ms. Barch punches him in his good eye (read: the eye that doesn't bulge when he's stressed or demonstrating his Verbal Tic).
- Hilariously Abusive Childhood: According to "The Daria Hunter," DeMartino lived with his "strange, twisted" neighbors because his mom didn't want any of her dates to know she was a single mother and, like Daria's dad, Jake, was sent to military school. He also had a best friend who married his mother (according to the season four episode "Anti-Social Climbers").
- Odd Friendship: With Mr. O'Neill as seen in "Just Add Water," "Murder She Snored," and the movies "Is It Fall Yet?" and "Is It College Yet?"
- Off-Model: In the first three seasons, Mr. DeMartino had one white stripe in his hair. In seasons four and five, he has two (on top of that, the shape of his face became smaller and the whites in his eyes looked purple in some episodes, though that could be from color bleeding).
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Manly Man to Mr. O'Neill's Sensitive Guy.
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: A lot of his rants against Kevin and Brittany enter this territory
- Talking to Himself: Mr. O'Neill, Mr. DeMartino, Kevin, and Upchuck are voiced by the same guy (Marc Thompson)
- Verbal Tic
- Weaksauce Weakness: Fried food and gambling.
Ms. Janet Barch
"Not you, you man!"
Lawndale's science teacher. The biggest man hater in existence who will compare any man with her ex-husband (who left her after 22 years, or as she called it, "Two decades of legal slavery, and still you throw it all away for a halter top and a pair of pumps!"), but is attracted to Mr. O'Neill's sensitivity/spinelessness (after Mr. O'Neill let her vent her bitterness over being divorced) and definitely wears the pants in their relationship.
Tropes associated with Ms. Barch:
- Characterization Marches On and Defrosting Ice Queen: Subverted. Ms. Barch stayed an embittered, man-hating divorcee throughout the series, but starting with "The Daria Hunter," she turned off her misandry around Mr. O'Neill.
- Actually, she seemed to have toned down after the two got together, if only because their relationship became her new shtick. Afterwards her sexism seems to become a lot less vicious unless she was specifically upset about something.
- Does Not Like Men: With the exception of Mr. O'Neill as of season two's "The Daria Hunter."
- The First Cut Is the Deepest: Her bitter divorce is the reason why she Does Not Like Men (except for Mr. O'Neill).
- The Ghost: Ms. Barch's ex-husband has been mentioned a lot, but never seen (though this could be an Averted Trope if you believe that Rock 'n Roll Randy from "The Big House" was Ms. Barch's ex-husband, which would explain why Barch punched him in the stomach and yelled, "It's payback time now, Randy!" She couldn't have done it to defend Mr. [DeMartino], as it would be out of character for her man-hating personality. Plus, later episodes reveal that she targets [DeMartino] for abuse as well
- Karma Houdini: Ms. Barch has gotten away with assaulting Mr. DeMartino several times, gender discrimination, fraternizing with a coworker (her fling with Mr. O'Neill. In "Is It College Yet?", Mr. DeMartino mentioned that Ms. Li has a rule against coworkers starting a sexual/romantic relationship and it's the only rule DeMartino supports), and getting Mr. DeMartino arrested on a false charge. If the show followed real life, Barch would have been fired, arrested, and sued for all she had (if her divorced husband hadn't cleaned her out already).
- Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Masculine Girl to Mr. O'Neill's Feminine Boy, which nicely crosses over with...
- Pitbull Dates Puppy: The snarling, rabid pitbull to Mr. O'Neill timid puppy. Double subverted on "Is It College Yet," when Mr. DeMartino coaches Mr. O'Neill to stand up to Mrs. Barch and it looks like it could be over between them after DeMartino tells off Barch for Mr. O'Neill and gets a black eye for his troubles ( The plan fails as Ms. Barch ends up liking Mr. O'Neill's new assertive personality along with the passive one).
- Off-Model / Early Installment Weirdness: In the episodes from seasons 1 to 3, Ms. Barch's hair was dark brown, she had dots for eyes, wore a purple skirt and heels, and had ivory-white skin. When the show switched over to digital ink and paint (in seasons four and five and both movies), Ms. Barch's hair was lighter brown, she had whites in her eyes (similar to Mr. O'Neill and Brittany), has on a bluish-purple skirt and heels, and looks as if she had gotten a tan.
- Straw Feminist
Ms. Angela Li
"Now, I want all of you to go out there and make me -- make the school look good!"
Lawndale's corrupt, dictatorial, self-aggrandizing principal. Ms. Li is completely obsessed with bringing prestige to the school (mainly so that she can take all the credit for it), and seems to view school administration (and just about everything, really) as some kind of bizarre contest--one she intends to win at all costs.
Tropes associated with Ms. Li:
- Freudian Slip: All too often.
"Sorry, no one is going to deprive me of the opportunity to rifle through the personal property of individuals totally unconnected to this case--WHOOP. I mean deprive you of your right to justice."
- Obstructive Bureaucrat
- Off-Model: Ms. Li was curvier in the pre-digital ink and paint episodes and had a fatter face. After that, she slimmed down.
- Shiny Midnight Black
- Sitcom Arch Nemesis: To Daria's mom, Helen, as seen in such episodes as "Arts 'N Crass," "The Daria Hunter," and "Just Add Water."
- Ted Baxter
- Villainous Breakdown: Had one at the climax of season five's "Fizz Ed."
"I swear, Officer, it's not even my car!"
Jane's brother, an incredibly laid-back lead singer in Mystik Spiral, a local band. Daria had quite a crush on him, though he seemed oblivious.
Tropes associated with Trent:
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: A mild case. Trent only has the "bad boy" looks, not the personality. Daria had quite a crush on him because of this . That is until she had to face that facts that while he's nice, he really is just a lazy slacker with no signs of accomplishing anything in life.
- The Alleged Car: For the record it's a 1973 Plymouth Satellite.
- The Tank, a van owned by Trent's bandmate, also qualifies.
- Deadpan Snarker
- Dreadful Musician
- Erudite Stoner: Occasionally the first part, mostly just the second.
- Fake Band/Garage Band: Mystik Spiral (but they're thinking of changing their name)
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: They couldn't get away with showing or referring to actual drug use on camera, but Trent (and definitely his friend Jesse) are very obviously stoners.
- Giftedly Bad: As a musician Trent isn't that dreadful a guitarist (at least not by the standards of the average garage band) but as a lyricist he goes beyond awful.
- Hands-Off Parenting
- Heavy Sleeper: He's often seen sleeping all day.
- And while driving.
- The Slacker
- The Social Expert: Despite a personality so laid back that his communiques are seldom and brief, he's often able to identify moments of mounting tension between Jane and Daria. A few times throughout the series he tries to drop subtle (well, slightly subtle) hints that steer the girls towards peaceful resolution.
- Stoners Are Funny
- Tall, Dark and Snarky
"Why don't you say what you're really afraid of? The idea that you might actually start caring about someone. 'Cause that would make you vulnerable."
A rich young man, Tom first came into Daria's life when he started dating Jane, and at first Daria hated his guts. Eventually, however, the two gained a mutual respect for each other that turned into more, and after Jane came to peace with it, Daria and Tom started dating. One of the few characters who can match Daria and Jane in quipping speed, and is remarkably down-to-earth despite his privileged upbringing.
Tropes associated with Tom:
- The Alleged Car: Two of them, actually. The first was an early-1970's Ford Pinto. From the first made-for-TV movie "Is It Fall Yet?" and every episode in Season 5, it was a 1967 Jaguar 420 G that was in better condition.
- Beta Couple: When he was with Jane.
- Celebrity Resemblance: On The-N's website when it aired Daria, they were convinced that Tom had an uncanny resemblance to Luke Skywalker.
- Conflict Ball: Him and Daria have a lot of arguments, even after they started dating.
- Deadpan Snarker
- Gentleman and a Scholar
- Nice Guy: He's an incredibly reasonable person, who tries hard to get along with everyone even if they're hostile toward him.
- Tall, Dark and Snarky
"Hey, where are you going? Did someone flash the bimbo signal?"
The king of all Jerkasses and local hero, Tommy manged to tick off everyone he met but soon met his end in a most ironic way.
Tropes associated with Tommy:
- Hard Head: Is said to have struck his head against goalposts numerous times, once so badly he cracked his helmet and was in a coma for days, yet shows little sign of brain damage. Not until that last time, of course.
- Jerk Jock
- Karmic Death: Killed by the collapsible goalpost being dedicated to him and his monstrous ego. Ironically, the collapsible goalpost was built as a safety measure.
- Sadly, it fell on him before it was installed. Or unpacked from the crate with the sharp edges.
- Never Speak Ill of the Dead: Explored through him.
- One-Scene Wonder
- Politically-Incorrect Villain: His brief interaction with Mack certainly has shades of this.
- Unfinished Business: In later seasons, it was believed that his ghost was haunting the girl's bathroom, and the cheer squad held a seance to remove his spirit.