Characters: Daria


Daria and her family

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    Daria Morgendorffer 
"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" note , she gets a rash that turns out to be a stress reaction to being around Trent.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Daria displays most of the characteristics of Schizoid Personality Disorder and some traits of Asperger Syndrome note . A lot of episodes, however, just write her off as being unable to socialize with other kids (including the episode "Boxing Daria," which was all about viewers finding out about Daria's past).
  • Anti-Hero: Episodes make clear that she's not the most ideal role model and that even she doesn't necessarily see herself as one. Yet despite her apathy she still has a strong enough moral compass and standards to help others when people ask for it.
  • 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.
  • Blind Without 'Em: Her vision is very poor, as shown in "Through a Lens Darkly".
  • Brilliant but Lazy: She easily gets good grades but is too apathetic to do any of the other activities people try to rope her into (until she is either forced or bribed, anyway).
  • Broken Ace: She's insightful and actually respected by a fair amount of people, but she knows she's not the ideal role model
  • Brutal Honesty: Honest to a fault, though thankfully for others they can't comprehend her brand of sarcasm.
  • Burger Fool: In one episode, she worked at a mall stand called "It's A Nutty Nutty World". The uniform included a ridiculous hat meant to look like a squirrel's head, and a long rhyming greeting that the boss wanted to make mandatory to say when customers came up.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Has done this a few times to Jake and Helen.
    • In "Quinn the Brain," she's quick to acknowledge the double standard of Jake giving Quinn a monetary reward for her single good grade, while Daria has consistently gotten excellent grades but has never been rewarded for them. Even Helen was aware that this was unfair.
    • In "Write Where It Hurts" she doesn't hesitate to skewer Helen when, after being forced to tell Helen what's wrong in-between calls to her boss, Helen starts comparing Daria's difficulty with a writing assignment to Quinn's "challenges" which are more or less coordinating shoe color with her dates' eyes.
    Daria: Quinn will never have this kind of challenge. It involves thinking. You make me tell you what's wrong in-between calls, and then you bring up Quinn? Don't you know me at all?
    • She gets annoyed at Helen and Jake for seemingly sucking up to Tom's parents in "Is It Fall Yet" and basically accuses them of openly groveling.
  • 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.
  • Characterization Marches On: In Beavis And Butthead, Daria was originally a Teacher's Pet who had her self-esteem ruined by Beavis and Butt-head's constant taunting.
  • Child Hater: Invoked but then we see Daria does have the capacity to get along with children, such as the Gupty kids and Link.
  • 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: Her normal voice intonation is very flat which some people find off-putting. This is specifically brought up in contrast to Brittany's bubbly, squeaky voice in "The Old and the Beautiful", where they get volunteered by Ms. Li to read to seniors in a nursing home.
  • The Cynic: Very cynical about people and often she's proven right.
  • Daddy's Girl: Subverted. She wishes she can tell Jake how much she feels about him, they also share a few traits, she also was shell-shocked by Jake's heart attack.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Her defining trait.
  • Emotionless Girl: She is shown to have emotions, like when she gets into a fight with Jane, but she has no facial expressions or body language, and compared to most other people, she is indeed emotionless.
  • Fiery Redhead: She may seem deadpan and emotionless, but beware her wrath. Word of God has it she has auburn hair.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: The Responsible to Quinn's Foolish.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Melancholic
  • 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.note 
  • 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. Considering when she is in the hospital in, "Ill," she is visited by the School President, the Captain of the school football team, the Quarterback and the Head Cheerleader of their free will. Any outside observer would surely conclude that Daria is among the elites of that school.
  • Intelligence Equals Isolation: Played for Drama from season three to the end, in which Daria's attitude is shown as something not worthy of being emulated.
  • 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.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: Possesses a code of honor and will do the right thing, even if the thought of interacting with others makes her nauseous.
  • Lack of Empathy: Averted. Despite her cold demeanor it can be argued that Daria is quite compassionate even if she doesn't show it.
  • Lennon Specs: Has round spectacles, yet they're more coke bottle than Lennon.
  • Meganekko: Not bad looking but she was noted to look better without her glasses.
  • Morality Pet: In a weird subversion, Daria seems to be this to some of the teachers at Lawndale High due to her intellect and sanity being a breath of fresh air in the quagmire of stupidity the school seems to be seeped in (with exceptions, of course).
  • Not So Above It All: Coming to terms with this is central to her later character development.
  • Obfuscating Insanity: Often says random, insane things to strangers when she wants them to leave her alone, made hilarious by the fact that she says them in the exact same tone of voice as everything else.
  • Off Model: The episode "The Misery Chick" shows her with light brown hair and the rest of her palette is washed out.
  • Only Sane Woman: She is one of the few teenagers that doesn't get overwhelmed by clique drama or do anything stupid.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: If Daria drops her poker face for even a second, it's usually important.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Rarely smiles.
  • 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".
  • Stepford Snarker: The mask starts to fall when around someone she has a crush on.
    Helen: Daria, the easiest thing in the world for you is being honest about what you observe.
    Daria: And...
    Helen: What's hard for you is being honest about your wishes. About the way you think things should be, not the way they are. You gloss over it with a cynical joke and nobody finds out what you really believe in.
    Daria: Aha! So my evil plan is working.
  • The Stoic: Her present mood, even her other emotions are downplayed.
  • Sugar and Ice Personality: Going waaay heavy on the "ice" side.
  • Teen Genius: Reads thick Russian novels regularly and she's not even 20.
  • 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.
  • The Trickster: Often to get her own way or to fool around with someone.
  • The Unfavourite: Early episodes sort of play Daria as this to Quinn; however, as the series goes on the dynamic changes a bit, with their parents not telling Daria to be like Quinn so much as they just want Daria to expand her horizons in general.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Justified. The other people in the series are exaggerated stereotypes of annoying things found in high school and suburban America.
  • When She Smiles: When you did something right or smart, it's one of the most sincerest compliments she'll give you.

    Quinn Morgendorffer 
"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:
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: She acts air-headed and nags Daria about her "uncute" activities. Even about her eating habits.
  • Attention Whore: She loves the constant attention and panics when no one is paying any heed to her. Shows up when she thinks Helen and Jake are making a third child and dreads competing for attention from a baby.
  • Aww, 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.
  • Big Little Sister: A mild example; Quinn is actually slightly taller than Daria.
  • 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. Any of her attempts at distancing herself from Daria (usually calling Daria her cousin or the weird neighbor girl who hangs out with her), the most extreme being that Daria is "Our cabana girl's adopted cousin."
    • Although that last one occurred in a dream Daria was having in Murder She Snored.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: Shops a lot and asks her parents for allowance frequently. She also whines her Mom's name.
  • Butt Monkey: Often when dealing with Sandi and whenever her own schemes backfire.
  • Character Development: Particularly in her relationship with Daria.
  • Coy, Girlish Flirt Pose: This is her natural state.
  • Cute but Cacophonic: Very pretty, but has a high-pitched voice that sounds grating when she's frustrated.
  • Daddy's Girl: Takes Jake's heart attack very seriously and dabbles with medical research.
  • Dude Magnet: She is dating a different guy almost every episode, although she mostly limits herself to rotating between the same three guys, who are utterly smitten with her.
  • The Fashionista: Petite, thin, and always decked out in the latest teen trends and willing to give fashion advice.
  • Fiery Redhead: Subverted; despite having orange red hair, she acts like a Dumb Blonde.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: The Foolish to Daria's Responsible.
  • Foil: Daria's primary contrast in the series; a person who tends to pride herself on her appearance more than her intelligence (which she tries to hide), and visibly popular yet unable to form genuine relationships.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Sanguine
  • Girly Girl: A popular pretty girl who is into fashion, boys and shopping.
  • 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.
  • Hidden Depths: A lot smarter and deeper than she seems at first. Could probably be as smart as Daria if she put forth the effort (likewise, Daria could be as attractive as Quinn). She acts dumb and shallow because that is what makes her popular, but by the final season she has begun to accept her hidden depths a bit more.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: What she confessed to Daria at one point, she feels that being outgoing, flirty, and pretty are all she's good at.
  • In Love with Love: In one episode Quinn is upset that Daria might be seen as more mature than her because Daria is in a steady relationship with a boyfriend. So Quinn spends the episode frantically trying to get one herself, before her mom tells her that she should want to go steady with a boy because she likes him, not simply for the sake of having a boyfriend.
  • It Runs in the Family: The musical episode shows how Quinn and Helen are actually much more similar than they appear at first. Whether with fashion or with work, they both share a fiery unhealthy obsession with being the best.
  • It's All About Me: "Boxing Daria" provides a Freudian Excuse for this. Quinn loves to be the center of attention because when she and Daria were little, their parents were wrapped in Daria's issues at school. Though, Quinn seems to have always been like this and possibly inherits it from Jake.
  • Jerkass: Although she is more inclined to be a Jerk with a Heart of Gold, mainly in the final season.
  • Lovable Alpha Bitch: In contrast to the nastier Alpha Bitch, Quinn's "friend" Sandi Griffin. They often come to odds because Sandi's consciously grasping at power whereas Quinn's more than content with all the attention she gets.
  • Malaproper: Has a tendency to mangle words and phrases she's unfamiliar with.
    "Look, when you fall off a horse, you have to get back up and shoot it."
  • Manipulative Bitch: She enjoys using guys to get stuff and attention, and it's very clear she likes seeing guys fight over her.
  • Motor Mouth: She is almost always seen talking about her day, what her friends or other people at school are wearing, etc.
  • Not So Different: She's similar to Helen in that they both have a drive to be the absolute best in what they're interested in or at least to the point that they can outdo someone else, and she's similar to Jake in that she feels she absolutely needs to stay the center of attention while hiding behind a veneer of cluelessness.
  • 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.
  • Smarter Than You Look: She's a lot smarter than she shows and takes credit for, Daria even tells her that she isn't one of "the stupid".
  • Stepford Smiler: She admits that the only reason she acts shallow and self-obsessed with pedantic interests in fashion and popularity is because she doesn't think she's good at anything else.
  • The Starscream: To Sandi. In the earlier seasons Quinn was seen, especially in "The Daria Hunter" actively trying to take Sandi down, but as the show went out Quinn only reacted this way if Sandi provoked her.
  • Tritagonist: She is also another main character who get's plot points devoted to her.
  • Well, Excuse Me, Princess!: Very demanding with her dates and family members. This doesn't stop boys from trying to get a date from her.

    Helen Morgendorffer 
"Listen, is this going to require a parent-teacher conference and if so is it something my assistant can handle?"

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: Averted with Helen. A lot of episodes show that Helen can be useful in a crisis involving her children (when she's not talking to her boss Eric on the phone).
    • Beyond "Arts 'n Crass" a decent example of this comes from "Lucky Strike" when, the moment Quinn mentions her substitute teacher was being inappropriate with Tiffany (not that Quinn noticed) Helen snaps into attention, calls the school, and has the guy fired.
  • Amoral Attorney: What we hear from her work life 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.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Something Daria inherited. Helen uses this when dealing with teachers, her kids, husband, job, and family.
  • Education Mama: Subverted. Helen has never had to worry about Daria's grades but she did a lot of pushing towards Daria taking up extracurricular activities that would look good on her college applications, either to the point of bribery or blackmail.
  • Fiery Redhead: Hot tempered, frustrated, and has hair that turn more scarlet as the show goes on.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Choleric
  • The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: Rita's her usual target, though Amy's not immune. Which is ironic because she grew up to have two daughters, one like each of her sisters.
  • Hello, Attorney!: A very attractive-looking lawyer.
  • Mama Bear: "Arts 'n Crass" shows that if you mess with her kids, you better have a good defense attorney to fight back against her.
  • Named After Somebody Famous: Her maiden name, Barksdale, comes from a Confederate general in The American Civil War.
  • Not So Different: Regarding Jake and his father issues, Helen is still very bitter about how her mother treated her when she was young and how she still favors Rita and Erin, along with her resentment towards Rita and Amy about how they grew up. The difference between them is that Jake's issues are mentioned in almost every episode which Helen responds to with mild annoyance or complete anger over how Jake won't stop blaming his dad for everything, whereas Jake becomes visibly scared any time Helen gets involved in something with her sisters or mother. In Aunt Nauseem he broke down in tears when Helen decided to help with Erin's divorce, then prepared and drank an entire pitcher of martinis when Rita showed up followed by his spending the rest of the week out of the house.
  • Parental Substitute: Helen treated Trent like her own son while he was staying with the Morgandorfers.
  • Parents as People: Tries to be involved with her daughters but she's often clueless and busy with her work.
  • Power Hair: Possesses a mid to late 90s version of this coiffure.
  • 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.
  • Well Done Daughter Girl: Helen apparently started working hard at school so that she would get attention from her mother, which has blossomed into full-blown workaholism by adulthood.
  • Well, Excuse Me, Princess!: Very frustrated with Jake and isn't afraid to lampshade how ridiculous he's acting; he in turn isn't afraid to snark at her or voice his frustration; they make out soon.
  • Where Did We Go Wrong?: Played with. In Write Where It Hurts, Helen thoughtlessly commented "when Quinn has a challenge" in regards to Daria's difficulty completing an extra assignment. Daria angrily cuts into Helen for having the nerve to compare Quinn's "challenges" which amount to coordinating her shoes with the color of her dates' eyes to Daria having difficulty completing a writing assignment. The next day Helen tries to legitimately apologize for her words and manages to have a decent discussion about what Daria should do. However, this trope is ultimately averted in the long run, as Helen and Jake both recognize that Daria is a smart, perceptive, and talented young woman, and her antisocial tendencies are just part of who she is.
  • Women Are Wiser: Compared to Jake, though she's far from flawless herself. She's definitely smarter, but he's arguably more moral.
  • Workaholic: Works a lot and starts heading out for work at 5 in the morning.

    Jake Morgendorffer 
"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.
  • Butt Monkey: Things don't go easy for Jake.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: 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.
  • Everything's Nuttier With Squirrels: Has an ongoing war against them.
  • Flanderization: Jake started off a little clueless, but otherwise normal at the very beginning of the first season. By the end of the season, he became a crazy high strung man child who always ranted about his screwed-up childhood and remained that way for the rest of the series. On the one hand, it does provide for a lot of hilarity, especially in episodes that are more dramatic. On the other hand, the Flanderization makes Jake look like Homer Simpson from the days when Homer was dumb, impulsive, and a bit of a jerk, but not a full-blown Jerkass, and, for a show like "Daria" that's trying to be realistic, it's not a good fit.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Phlegmatic
  • Hidden Depths: Though Jake is mostly oblivious and somewhat immature, he is capable of reassuring and helping out his daughters in the brief moments of clarity he has throughout the series. He's not perceptive but the show makes it clear that, unlike his own father, he does try to understand and care for his daughters.
  • 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.
  • It's All About Me: Truth be told, he seems to be where Quinn got it from. Daria made an astute observation that Jake's frequent complaining about his childhood and feelings of neglect are how he manages to stay the center of attention.
  • Man Child: When stressed, Jake generally does one of two things: reverts to a helpless childlike state, or rages against his strict, distant, and long-deceased father. The outbursts are frequently interjected into conversations that had nothing to do with his childhood, and appear to also function as a defense against criticism.
  • Only Child Syndrome: Averted. Ruth mentions in "Jake of Hearts" that Mad Dog didn't give her enough allowance to take care of the house and the children. Note the plural use. Word of God is that Jake has an older sister.
  • Parents as People: Good father and loves his daughters. But he's often wrapped up in his neurosis and frustrations to properly function as a parent.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Jake continues to be miserable about how little respect he got from his now-deceased father.

    Amy Barksdale 
"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:

    Rita Barksdale 
Helen's older sister and the supposed favorite child of their parents. Rita is the main target of Helen's childhood bitterness and the one she often comes to blows with whenever she feels like complaining about her childhood. She's gone through many husbands and boyfriends and has at least one daughter, Erin, whose marriage and divorce are the plots of two separate episodes.

  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: The Foolish to Helen's Responsible. Word of God has it that, as a young adult Rita tended to get involved in every and any youth movements that were popular at the time while Helen tried to lead a more structured life. Although Helen is a former hippie.
  • Generation Xerox: If Daria takes after Amy, Quinn takes after Rita. Subverted in that Quinn and Daria are working to avoid the kind of tumultuous relationship their Aunts and Mother have and that Quinn is more intelligent and active.
  • The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: Her animosity with Helen over how they were raised.
  • Housewife: Is implied to be this whenever she's married.
  • Lazy Bum: Claims she's too busy raising Erin to get a job, even though Erin's now in her 20s.
  • Mama Bear: For her daughter's sake she tries to do everything she can to make sure Erin's asshole husband doesn't get anything in the divorce. Although all her efforts amount to making Helen feel guilty enough to help even though Helen repeatedly admits she doesn't have experience in matrimonial law.
  • Parental Favoritism: Rita was apparently the golden child of the Barksdale, causing no end of resentment from Helen and Amy. Even as an adult Rita is still getting preferential treatment from Mother Barksdale and it extends to Erin, though Rita claims the reason she gets along with her mom is because she's the only one who bothers to stay in contact with her, to which Amy retorts by asking why she and Helen should bother maintaining a relationship with their mother that would just be All Take and No Give.
  • Pretty Freeloader: Helen said she was "the prettiest" and Rita was a housewife and can't bother to hold a job because of Erin (who's an adult. She gets most of her money from husbands, boyfriends, and her mother.
  • Really Gets Around: She's had a few husbands and she's gone through a number of boyfriends. It hasn't been clarified as to who Erin's father is, and by her last appearance she'd just been dumped by a sculptor.
  • Spoiled Brat: As a child and even as an adult her parents gave her whatever she wanted. Helen mentions that for her first wedding, Rita got a $4,000 lighted dance floor. Rita justifies this extravagance just because "Disco was king!"
  • The Unfavorite: Even she has feelings of this, claiming that Helen's overachieving made Rita and Amy look lazy, while Amy got out of doing anything for the family by locking herself in her room reading Russian novels.

    "Mad Dog" Morgendorffer 
Jake's sociopathic father, now deceased, who is largely responsible for Jake's fragile state of mind and neurosis as the result of an abusive upbringing. Despite never appearing onscreen, his influence is felt every time Jake goes off on a tangent about his childhood. It's stated was he dead by the time he was Jake's age.
Tropes associated with Mad Dog:

Lawndale High students

    Jane Lane 
"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:

    Kevin Thompson 
"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
  • Cloudcuckoolander
  • 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, including the students who are below him on the high-school popularity hierarchy.
  • The Ditz
    • Genius Ditz: According to "A Tree Grows in Lawndale" Kevin is apparently the only talented quarterback in the school.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Sanguine
  • 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.
  • Held Back In School: He flunked his senior year in the series finale.
  • Heroic BSOD: In "A Tree Grows in Lawndale", he tries to do a wheelie on his motorcycle, but crashes into the Tommy Sherman Memorial Tree and sprains his knee. Kevin is utterly distraught, as he as ruined the memorial to his hero, and on top of that he can't play football due to his injury. His whining reaches Wangst territory, Played for Laughs.
    Brittany: No! It can be like before! Let me bring you a Gatorade!
    Kevin: No, only sportsmen can drink sports drinks! From now on...I drink Yoo-hoo!
    Brittany: Noooooooo!!!
  • Innocently Insensitive: He insults Daria even as he attempts to compliment her.
  • Jerk Jock: A subversion in that his jerkishness is usually the result of ignorance or stupidity rather than being mean.
  • 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.
  • Official Couple: With Brittany, although, who knows if that will last according to 'Is It College Yet?'
  • Popular Is Dumb
  • Really Gets Around
  • Too Dumb to Live: Many times.

    Brittany Taylor 
"Eep!"

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:
  • All-Cheering All the Time: Sometimes done with Brittany, such as in "Malled" when she tries to start a cheer on the bus ride to a field trip.
  • Batman Gambit: Brittany, of all people, pulls one on Kevin in "Fair Enough," using his idiocy against him (not that it was difficult to do, mind you).
  • Beware the Nice Ones/Beware the Silly Ones: Brittany is surprisingly ruthless at paintball.
  • Brainless Beauty
  • Characterization Marches On: One episode had Brittany invite Daria to her party for simply helping her in art class and in spite of not being "cool" (not to mention Upchuck getting an invite for helping her dissect a frog). Later episodes make it hard to imagine that she'd be aware of social divisions present in high school, even though it's still an issue. Brittany's voice was also MUCH lower-pitched in episode two.
  • 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.
  • Cloudcuckoolander
  • Cute but Cacophonic: With her high-pitched voice, it's very hard to understand her whenever she's hysterical. However, in "The Old and the Beautiful", residents at a retirement home take a liking to Brittany's voice.
  • The Ditz
    • 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.
      • She also manages to come up with just the right thing to say to Daria in "Through a Lens Darkly".
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Brittany actually has a disturbing tendency to hit Kevin whenever he starts to annoy her, and she's never called on it because it's Played for Laughs.
  • Dumb Blonde: Though she is slightly less dumb than Kevin. A Running Gag on the show is that Kevin is either frequently on academic probation because of his bad grades or relies on getting passes from tests because he's the school quarterback. Brittany, however, has never had to deal with any of that onscreen and is implied that she puts in just enough effort to skate by with the bare requirement for staying on the cheerleading team.
    • This is best exemplified in Partners Complaints when Mrs. Bennett assigned the class a project of starting an economic transaction in pairs, up to a certain point, as practice for the real world. Brittany and Kevin both chose buying a car with their respective partners and Brittany understood that she wasn't actually supposed to buy the car. Kevin, however, spent $18,500 in cash and was a hysterical wreck the next day.
  • Dysfunctional Family: Her step-mom is more of her friend than an actual mom and her dad spoils her and treats her little brother like crap.
  • Expy: According to Word of God, Brittany was intentionally based off of former MTV V.J. and star Jenny McCarthy as what they merely imagined how she was as a teenager (although in Real Life Jenny was a straight A student, fairly down to earth although still pretty funny).
  • Fee Fi Faux Pas
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Sanguine
  • Gag Boobs: "Um, Brittany, would you mind pointing those things in another direction?"
  • Genki Girl
  • Good Bad Girl: See Really Gets Around.
  • Girlish Pigtails
  • Hidden Depths
  • Lovable Alpha Bitch
  • Make-Out Kids: With Kevin.
  • Odd Friendship: For all their contrasting faults and flaws, she gets along surprisingly well with Daria.
  • Official Couple: With Kevin, although, who knows if that will last according to 'Is it College yet?'
  • Popular Is Dumb
  • Really Gets Around: Neither Brittany nor Kevin are completely faithful to each other, but she tends to get spotlighted more in this regard.
  • She-Fu: Brittany's paintball game plan in "The Daria Hunter".
  • Simpleton Voice
  • Smart Ball: Occasionally manages to say something that's actually helpful, if only by accident.
    Mr. DeMartino: Ah, Brittany. Sometimes, despite a complete lack of INSIGHT, you stumble upon an interesting answer.
  • Spoiled Sweet: Her dad may be a snob, her step-mom might be a gold digger, and her brother is a spoiled brat budding serial killer, but Brittany is filled to the brim with good intentions and happy thoughts. Unless of course she thinks someone is making a move on Kevin.
  • Women Are Wiser: Brittany is closer to Earth than Kevin, in the sense that Neptune is closer to Earth compared to Pluto (which isn't even considered a planet anymore).
  • Your Makeup Is Running

    Jodie Landon 
"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 few 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:
  • Beta Couple/Official Couple: With Mack.
  • 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: Though sometimes she may not necessarily want to do all those activities.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Melancholic
  • Go-Getter Girl
  • Like Goes with Like: Mack and Jodie, who are two of the few African American students at Lawndale High, are dating each other. While they do like each other, they also feel the social pressure to be good role models for the local black community. It is not clear how much of their relationship is due to one and how much to the other.
  • Only Sane Woman
  • 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 (all the other black students besides her and Mack are background characters).
  • Shadow Archetype: An intellectual equal of Daria, Jodie is similarly cynical and frustrated, but still opts to be more active in the community, causing her no small amount of strife.
  • Teen Genius
  • Token Minority: And very aware of it, as is Mack. In the finale she decides to attend a historically black college so she can socially unwind.
  • Token Minority Couple: With Mack.

    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:

    Charles "Upchuck" Ruttheimer III 
"Feissssty!"

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:
  • Casanova Wannabe: Notoriously unattractive but he uses his act on all girls equally, including Daria.
  • Catch Phrase: (flirtatious purr) "Feisty!"
  • Extraverted Nerd: Pretty much no one gives him any respect, but that doesn't seem to get him down.
  • 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 quit sexually harassing the girls, he'd be second only to Jodie in terms of social, extracurricular and academic achievement (and would probably get a girlfriend much easier).
    • The Daria Diaries reveal he has his own website, that he's a comedy aficionado, and that he collects fast food toys.
    • He's one of three Lawndale students, the others being Daria and Jodi, to be competing for the Wizard Foundation scholarship prize in "Prize Fighters".
    • Also he apparently has some artistic talent, as his entry into the art contest in "Arts 'n Crass" was a rather detailed-looking (for comparison, look at Brittany's entry) painting of himself with a Cool Car and two luscious ladies as arm candy.
  • Hot-Blooded: The majority of his lines are over-the-top flirtations.
  • Hormone-Addled Teenager: A textbook example. As pointed below, the only things on his mind are sex, sex and more sex.
  • A Man Is Not a Virgin: His sole motivation throughout the series. He only achieves his goal in the series finale, with Andrea.
  • Pair the Spares: With Andrea in Is it College Yet?
  • Small Name, Big Ego
  • Unfortunate Names

    Sandi Griffin 
"Gee, Quinn..."

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: It should be noted that Sandi's bitchiness seems to be concentrated solely within the confines of the Fashion Club, as she spends more time trying to humiliate Quinn and belittle Stacey than she does anyone else.
  • Annoying Younger Siblings: She has two younger brothers, and like most boys they adore Quinn.
  • Bare Your Midriff
  • Book Dumb: Though she's not a great student, Sandi is excellent at playing politics and manipulating others.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter
  • Characterization Marches On: She was actually pretty nice to Quinn in earlier episodes, as opposed to their heated rivalry throughout the rest of the series.
    • Took a Level in Jerkass: Sandi was probably nicer to Quinn when the series started because Quinn was new. As soon as Quinn's popularity started to rise Sandi immediately viewed her as a threat and shifted gears.
  • Control Freak
  • The Fashionista: President of the Fashion Club, whose purpose is to critique the fashions of their peers.
  • For the Evulz: Sandi's at her worst in "Daria Dance Party" when she remembers a bad experience planning a dance in middle school, and ropes Quinn into heading the planning committee for a dance at Lawndale High. She then has the Fashion Club turn on Quinn and purposefully plans a party the same night as the dance all in an effort to screw with Quinn with no provocation at all.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Choleric
  • Freudian Excuse: From the brief flashback seen in "Daria Dance Party" it's easier to believe that Sandi's controlling behavior stems from being raised by a perfectionist mother.
  • Hollywood Pudgy: Invoked in "Fat Like Me," when Sandi puts on a few pounds after breaking her leg, the rest of the Fashion Club is immediately horrified. Of course, Sandi brought it on herself by instituting a Fashion Club weight limit just before the accident.
    Quinn: Now swim, you cow! Swim!
  • 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.
  • Kick the Dog: Many times.
  • Like Mother Like Daughter/Generation Xerox: 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.
  • Manipulative Bitch: Browbeats the whole Fashion Club to her bidding and often takes advantage of her looks and influence to get what she wants. As the seasons went on Sandi's control started to slip, especially regarding Quinn and Stacy.
  • Pet The Cat: Seems to care a great deal about her cat Fluffy...enough to go to Daria for advice and pay her ten bucks, anyway.
  • Popular Is Dumb: Book Dumb, at least.
  • The Rival: To Quinn.
  • Shadow Archetype: Seems to embody a version of Quinn who uses her intelligence for vindictive ends, rather than doing better in school.
  • Smug Snake: Whenever she plays the villain, it rarely works out.
  • Teens Are Monsters: Sandi really enjoys keeping Stacy under her thumb and destroying Quinn's reputation more than could be considered mentally healthy.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Of the fashion club.
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: She talks in a Valley Girl dialect with an accent that sort of sounds like an American trying to sound French but failing miserably.
    • Almost sounds like a hint of Northeast Philadelphia mixed in with the bits of Southern California
  • With Friends Like These...

    Tiffany Blum-Deckler 
"I love 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:
  • 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.
  • Beta Bitch
  • 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.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: "This toaster's reeeeeally shiiinyyy..."
  • The Ditz
  • Does This Make Me Look Fat?:
    Quinn: YOU'RE NOT FREAKING FAT, OKAY?!
  • Dull Surprise
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Phlegmatic
  • Narcissist: In "The Story of 'D'", we see that she has a poster of herself in her room.
  • Popular Is Dumb
  • Simpleton Voice
  • 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.
  • With Friends Like These...: She'll turn on Sandi and Quinn without batting an eye. Probably because she's admiring how shiny the toaster is.
  • Yes-Man: "The Daria Hunter" and "Fair Enough" are great examples of this.

    Stacy Rowe 
"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:
  • Butt Monkey
  • Characterization Marches On: The last season seemed to have been dedicated to showing Stacy develop more of a backbone and personality, culminating in the finale of Is It College Yet? where she decides to take a sabbatical from the Fashion Club rather than demean herself once more to please Sandi.
  • The Cutie
    • Break the Cutie: Attempted multiple times due to her fragile emotional state. If Stacy thinks she's done something wrong she becomes hysteric.
  • 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.
  • The Dog Bites Back: A weird case in Is It College Yet? At her birthday party, Sandi kept talking and interrupting her, so for her birthday wish Stacy mentally wished that Sandi would shut up. Sandi pressures her about she wished for, and Stacy says, "Oh, nothing, it didn't come true anyway." But a few days later Sandi contracts laryngitis and can't talk, which leads Stacy to believe she put some sort of curse on Sandi, and she's instantly filled with regret.
  • Extreme Doormat
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Melancholic
  • 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
  • Grew a Spine: Part of her Character Development in the final season.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Later episodes indicate that she's more intelligent than she lets on.
  • Shrinking Violet
  • Token Good Teammate: Of the Fashion Club.

    Joey, Jeffy and Jamie 
"Hi, Quinn!"

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:
  • Accidental Misnaming/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.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: A rare male example: Jamie is blonde, Joey is brunette, and Jeffy is auburn redhead.
  • Boys Of The Week
  • Casanova Wannabes
  • 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. Although in "Lucky Strike" they actually manage to learn enough about Romeo and Juliet that the three of them get good grades on the exam. This is taking into consideration that on Jeffy's test, he wrote about how he thought Mercutio "had a thing" for Romeo and Daria gave him a B because she felt he argued his point well enough even if she didn't agree with him. This is either an example that they aren't quite as dumb as they look, or Daria's just that good of a teacher.
  • Hopeless Suitor: To Quinn.
  • Jerks: Often they implies this, because how secretly speak of Daria, Jane or Upchuck.
  • No Last Name Given: Played straight with Joey and Jeffy; averted with Jamie whose last name is White, revealed in "Fair Enough."
  • Simpleton Voice: Jamie.
  • 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.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: They are friends almost always seen together, despite their constant competition for Quinn's favors, which sometimes leads to fistfights.

    Andrea Haley 
"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: 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).
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Her last name is only ever mentioned on an attendance chart.
  • Goth
  • 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
  • Pair the Spares: With Upchuck.
  • The Quiet One: You would count her speaking parts on the fingers of your hands.
  • Recurring Extra

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:
  • Characterization Marches On: There was an early Running Gag where Mr. O'Neill, despite his endless concern for his students, could never remember any of their names. The writers seemed to realize that joke could only be funny so many times and dropped it after a couple of episodes.
  • 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.
  • Foil: Mr. O'Neil and Mr. DeMartino are both nice exaggerations of 90s-00s teachers. O'Neil is constantly happy, uses positive messages/encouragement and tries to sugar-coat everything so they wouldn't be offended or discouraged. DeMartino on the other hand, is constantly angry and is much stricter on the students.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Phlegmatic
  • Granola Girl: Gender Flipped.
  • Hippie Teacher: not as much as Mr. Van Driessen, but pretty close.
  • It's All About Me: Despite his spinelessness he has a tendency to refuse to listen to anyone else's point of view. He would often spin around something Daria was saying into something completely different, such as in Cafe Disaffecto.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Blue to De Martino's and Barch's reds
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Sensitive Guy to Mr. DeMartino's Manly Man.

    Mr. Anthony DeMartino 
"Students, conserve your energy. Do as little as possible. PRETEND YOU'RE IN CLASS!"

Lawndale's long-suffering history teacher. A bug-eyed, constantly stressed, somewhat unstable 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.
  • Badass Baritone: Despite his often-seen role as a Butt Monkey, when DeMartino yells with his deep, growling voice he can sound pretty intimidating, something which several of his students recognize.
  • Berserk Button: EVERYTHING. But especially Kevin and his unimpregnable ignorance.
    • 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.
  • Butt Monkey: 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 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.
    • He actually gets another evil laugh early on at the beginning of the paintball episode after giving the implication that he's going to enjoy taking shots at his students.
  • 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).
    • Upon overhearing about Mrs. Barch and Mr. O'Neil's engagement, his good eye bulges out as well.
  • Foil: Mr. O'Neil and Mr. DeMartino are both nice exaggerations of 90s-00s teachers. O'Neil is constantly happy, uses positive messages/encouragement and tries to sugar-coat everything so they wouldn't be offended or discouraged. DeMartino on the other hand, is constantly angry and is much stricter on the students.
    • Is a bit of this to Daria as well. While both are continually frustrated by the stupidity of other students, their approaches to dealing with it are complete opposites(Demartino's constant overreacting to Daria's snarking).
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Choleric
  • Hair-Trigger Temper
  • 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, he was sent to military school. He also had a best friend who married his mother (according to the season four episode "Anti-Social Climbers").
  • Jerkass: Constantly assaulted verbally, and occasionally physically, his students. Especially Kevin.
  • Misplaced Kindergarten Teacher: In a weird sort of way. He doesn't fit the traditional trope description, but the young summer campers in "Is It Fall Yet?" latch onto him and declare him "cool", indicating that he would've fared better if he had been a kindergarten or elementary school teacher, getting to the kids when their minds are fresh, moldable, and eager to learn, rather than toward the end of their education and after years of taking blows to the head during football practice. Of course given his current, rapidly deteriorating mental state, it's probably far too late.
  • Nervous Wreck
  • 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).
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Red to Mr. O'Neill's blue
  • Sadist Teacher
  • 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.
    • Of course, their lack of ability to understand what he's saying just causes him even further frustration.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Some of his dialogue and his military background imply that he might have fought in Vietnam, which would certainly explain his temperamental imbalance.
  • Verbal Tic: Random emphasis on words and syllables, sometimes to the point of shouting them depending on how annoyed/angry he is at the time.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Fried food and gambling.

    Ms. Janet Barch 
"22 years of my life — gone! And all I have to show for tending to your every need are the corns on my feet and a big, red rash on my chest!"

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...") 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:
  • Anti-Hero: Type V. Does not come out of this category.
  • Characterization Marches On/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." Justified as she was in a marriage with a man who most likely neglected her, cheated on her, and abandoned her. She really takes her misandrist frustrations out on Mr.Di Martino, who reminds her of ex-husband.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: As mentioned above in Characterization Marches On, Mrs. Barch was a lot meaner to men in the episodes prior to "The Daria Hunter." The later episodes, she was still mean, but since her schtick about hating men shifted to her being in a torrid sexual relationship with Mr. O'Neill, the jokes about her being a misandrist weren't that frequent. Also in the episodes prior to "Too Cute," Ms. Barch mostly ranted about being in a bad marriage and abandoned after 20+ years of marriage. From "Too Cute" on, Ms. Barch has punished her male students for little or no reason (made Kevin ugly for a science project, forced Mac to play a dragon at the school Renaissance fair so kids would beat him up, made Kevin and Mac write lines in study halll, and threatened to punish Upchuck by locking him in a closet [what she calls "Independent Study"]. Also, prior to "The Daria Hunter," Ms. Barch didn't beat up Mr. DeMartino.
  • 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
  • Hair-Trigger Temper
  • Jerkass
  • 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 (and almost deported) 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).
  • Off Model: 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.
  • Politically Motivated Teacher: Ms. Barch's radical feminism tends to colour her teaching.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Shares the 'red' with Mr. De Martino when with Mr. O'Neill (blue)
  • Sadist Teacher: Thanks to her bitter divorce making her hate all men note .
  • Straw Feminist

    Mrs. Diane Bennett 

Mrs. Diane Bennett

Lawndale High's economics teacher and the person in charge of managing the school's budget, which Ms. Li makes into a nearly impossible task by skimming funds for lie detector equipment and satellite jamming equipment. Despite being somewhat childish and known for making incomprehensible chalkboard diagrams, she seems to be one of the saner teachers at the school next to Ms. DeFoe.

  • Characterization Marches On: In the first seasons episode "Malled" her field trip to the mall seems more like an excuse to get out of doing any actual teaching. But come "Partner's Complaint" she creates an assignment that does turn out to be pretty brilliant while being simple enough to understand that someone like Brittany had no trouble figuring out what to do. Kevin, on the other hand, is a different story. She also makes a good point when she explains to Daria that the reason she wanted everyone to work in pairs is because in adult life, economic transactions are rarely done without considering another's needs.
  • Glurge Addict: She collects "Fuzzy Wuzzy Wee Bits" along with her husband.
  • Happily Married: Implied to be the case with her husband Herbert, who was never shown on-screen.
  • Manchild: Only slightly. Besides her bizarre chalkboard diagrams and toy collecting, she seems to like the sound chalk makes when you write on a blackboard with it.
  • Noodle Incident: She has an implied hatred of pennies.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure
  • Women Are Wiser: She's much more rational than the other Lawndale High faculty members and had once created an assignment that even Brittany was able to understand correctly. Compared to Mr. O'Neill, who is something of a Manchild himself, she makes more of an attempt to listen to her students and respond to them without turning the conversation into something else entirely. When Daria raises a question about the assignment in "Partner's Complaint," Diane's explanation is a sound one that Daria can't argue with.

     Ms. Claire Defoe 

Ms. Claire Defoe

Another one of the Lawndale High's teachers who is relatively sane, Ms. Defoe is the school's hippie-esque art teacher. Very relaxed and calm, she enjoys having creative students like Jane Lane, and conversely she seems to be one of the only teachers Jane and Daria seem to have any respect for. She also tends to get slightly frustrated with students like Brittany and Kevin, who don't seem to have any artistic ability at all.

  • The Cobbler's Children Have No Shoes: Despite being an art teacher the only time she's ever seen creating something is when she was knitting during a teaching conference, though "The Daria Diaries" mentions she's thinking of putting together a mail order business at some point.
  • Cool Teacher: As mentioned, Jane seems to actually respect her and Daria doesn't seem to have any problem with her either. Claire enjoys having them in her class, and she's able to have a serious discussion about their submission for the art contest in "Arts n' Crass." When at first put off by the idea that they may have been mocking people with eating disorders, when Daria fully explains what the piece's actual intent was, to make people think about standards of beauty while supporting those who don't want to be judged by their looks, Claire thought it was brilliant.
  • Hippie Teacher: A subdued version.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure
  • Surrounded by Idiots: She has to endure a bunch of freeloading roommates she doesn't have the strength to kick out.
  • Women Are Wiser: Claire's sanity further stands out when comparing her to Mr. O'Neill. While both are somewhat hippieish and idealistic, Claire is capable of genuinely interacting with and understanding her students, whereas O'Neill only listens to what he wants to hear and is a more exaggerated portrayal of the Hippie Teacher trope.

    Mrs. Margaret Manson 

Mrs. Margaret Manson

The school psychologist who, interestingly enough, is not an actual doctor. Gives rather insipid tests to potential students and doesn't like it when people like Daria give her smart answers. Ms. Li apparently uses her to spot "any potential clouds on the horizon" when new students enter Lawndale High.

  • Bit Character: Her only prominent role was in the first episode. After that she became a background character.
  • Child Hater: Subverted. She claims she loves her job, but has nightmares where the students turn into bloodsucking bats and attack her.
  • Dr. Jerk: Although she's not an actual doctor. She refers to Daria as "Dara," even after Daria clearly corrects her. In fact, Margaret gets pissed off at her and says "I'm sorry, DARIA," in an annoyed voice, as if she can't be bothered to actually remember it. She was the whole reason Daria ended up in the self-esteem class.
    • "The Daria Diaries" showed her in a session with Stacey, but she's more concerned about lunch than Stacey's problems.
  • Jerkass: One of the more meaner staff members of Lawndale High, in that she specifically has Daria "diagnosed" with low self esteem just because Daria was being snarky about her "Picture of two people talking" test.
  • My Name Is Not Durwood: Calls Daria "Dara." After being corrected the first time, she does it again anyway.

    Ms. Morris 

Ms. Morris

The gym teacher and coach of the Lawndale High Track Team. She has a sour history with the Lane Family and is supposedly the reason Penny Lane has been backpacking through third world countries. One of the more openly corrupt teachers at the school, blatantly favoring the cheerleaders and members of the track team.

  • Bit Character: Is only prominent in "See Jane Run."
  • The Corrupter: Can be considered one to Jane during her period on the track team.
  • Gym Class Hell: When she's not putting her students through physical hell, she's trying to sneak in cheerleading practice under the guise of "agility exercises."
  • Karma Houdini: After flat out threatening to fail Jane on purpose unless she rejoins the track team, the only punishment she gets is Jane threatening to call the local news studios about the grade changing scheme. Morris is then seen putting the girls through another cheerleading practice in class as payback.
  • Noodle Incident: Whatever she did to Penny Lane.
    Ms. Morris: I taught her a thing or two about the American competitive spirit.
    Jane: You sure did. That's why she's spent the last ten years out of the country.
  • Sadist Teacher: Her photo in "The Daria Diaries" has half her class in pain, to which she responds with a self satisfied smirk.

    Ms. Angela Li 

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:
  • Arch-Enemy: To Daria.
  • Ax-Crazy: In "Fizz Ed" shows traits of this. And appropriately, using an ax.
  • Bad Boss
  • Big Bad: One of the most frequent antagonists of the series, and a representation of the superficiality which Daria often faces(with her constant seeking of prestige).
  • The Caligula: In-Universe she is seen by Daria like this several times.
  • Faux Affably Evil
  • Freudian Slip: All too often.
  • Greed
  • Jerkass
  • Karma Houdini: Unless you count ending up on the evening news after a mercenary group comes to school to recruit students ("This Year's Model"), Helen threatening to sue her for stealing and altering the content of Daria's poster in "Arts and Crass" and the cola-induced freak-out in "Fizz Ed," Ms. Li hasn't been punished for any of her unethical actions. Although the credits of "Is It College Yet?" shows her hiding out in a run-down motel, presumably from the cops.
  • Kick the Dog: Many times. Throughout the entire series she puts the students through ridiculous, unethical and often illegal schemes to raise money so she can spend it on absurd security measures (and possibly embezzle some of it, as implied by certain episodes, such as "Fair Enough," when she used the money for maintenance and repairs on a polygraph machine, which she claims she won in a raffle).
    • A good case for this was when forced Daria to sell anyway chocolate to a woman who was hypoglycemic, implying that she was not even interested in others' well-being.
  • 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.
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: To Daria's mom, Helen, as seen in such episodes as "Arts 'N Crass," "The Daria Hunter," and "Just Add Water."
  • Small Name, Big Ego
  • Villainous Breakdown: Had one at the climax of season five's "Fizz Ed."

Others

    Trent Lane 
"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: His 1973 Plymouth Satellite and The Tank.
  • 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)
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Phlegmatic
  • 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: When Trent stays with Jane at the Morgendorffers to get away from his elder siblings and wayward dad in "Lane Miserables", he experiences some Hands On Parenting from Helen after staying out too late.
  • Heavy Sleeper: He's often seen sleeping all day.
    • And while driving.
  • Massive Numbered Siblings: The fourth out of five.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Is seen streaking in the intro for one of the movies, and wearing a sailor outfit at one point.
  • Only Sane Man: As shown in 'Lane Miserables' he becomes this to his family when Jane isn't around.
  • The Slacker: What finally breaks Daria out of her infatuation for him is her realisation that if she and Trent did get together, they probably wouldn't get a fairytale ending because Trent is so unmotivated that he'd likely not make anything of his life.
  • 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

    Tom Sloane 
"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:

    Tommy Sherman 
"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.
  • It's All About Me
  • 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.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: His brief interaction with Mack certainly has shades of this, as does his generally pervy and sexist comments towards the various female characters he comes across.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Tries to give one to Daria after she rightfully calls him out on being an insufferable jerkass misogynist, stating she's "a misery chick" who whines and moans so people don't notice she's a loser. Doesn't faze Daria that much until after he died and people started coming to her for advice, saying how Daria is always "thinking about gloomy stuff".
  • Small Name, Big Ego
  • 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.