James McCarthy is in Daria's same year at Raft University, majoring in Political Science, though he met Daria in Freshman Chemistry. He is a redhead from South Carolina who speaks with a mild southern accent, which he will at times magnify for effect. James is both intelligent and sardonic, though not quite the cynic that Daria is. He has a great passion for art and learning, and will happily indulge in long, philosophical debates. Though James is more outgoing than Daria, he admires Daria greatly, respecting her mind, her artistic ability, and her determination to live her life on her own terms.
On the negative side, James is a bit socially inept; as well as he is drilled in some of the forms, he doesn't really understand all the polite niceties. Because of this, he has a tendency to speak his mind without thought of the consequences, which is why he and Daria have a history of conflict as well as friendship. He also has a temper, one which is quick to flare up but also quick to cool down. Even though he and Daria haven't learned how to keep from fighting, they have learned how to make up afterward, which is what has kept their friendship alive. Also, though he has a great passion for art, he had no artistic talents of his own, and can at times be a bit jealous of those possessed by Daria and Jane.
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James introduced himself to Daria after hearing her make a sarcastic comment in class, which only he laughed at, and they developed a friendship over the next few weeks. Shortly after, James nearly destroyed their relationship by asking Daria out on a date, which quickly turned into a disaster when Daria abruptly pulled her hand back when he tried to take it (as related in the Love's Labours Trilogy). After spending a few months apart, Daria and James began to put the pieces of their friendship back together and in time became completely reconciled. Both Daria and James are aware of his continuing feelings for her, but neither of them speak of it.
James McCarthy appears as a character in: