Of Human Bonding

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Of Human Bonding
Production Number 407
Original Airdate April 14th, 2000
Special Guest Voices
Written By Anne D. Bernstein
Directed By

"Of Human Bonding" was the seventh episode of the fourth season of the Daria TV series (episode number 407). It first aired on MTV on April 14th, 2000. This episode was written by Anne D. Bernstein.


Daria accompanies Jake to a franchising conference out of town when Helen is unable to attend. (Daria hopes to salvage the trip with a visit to the Museum of Medical Oddities) When Helen's plans are canceled, she spends the weekend with the Fashion Club. We in the audience learn more about their muted father-daughter affection for one another than they the characters do.

Jake is excited over the opportunity to attend a franchising conference, where he'll have the opportunity to meet franchising genius Terry Barry Barlow -- a man who famously saved a balloon crew by opening a rip panel with his teeth. The rest of the family is not quite as excited, particularly Quinn, who's been forbidden to date while Helen and Jake are out of town. She is permitted to have one friend sleep over; however, when she tries to invite Stacy, she ends up inviting the rest of the Fashion Club when Sandi guilt-trips her. Daria's plan to stay at Jane's is similarly derailed when Jane informs her that she and Tom have something planned for Saturday night. And Jake's plans are almost ruined as well when Helen has to stay behind to handle a case, until Daria decides to accompany him in order to avoid Quinn and her friends (and for the opportunity to visit the Museum of Medical Oddities).

On the flight, Jake reveals his fear of heights and mentally begins to question his ability as a father and if he should open up to his daughter, while Daria considers breaking down and expressing her confidence in her father. Neither of them do it.

Back at home, Helen's case is settled at the last minute, leaving her free to stay at home and keep an eye on Quinn and her friends. Much to Quinn's embarrassment, however, Helen ends up joining their little party, getting a makeover from Sandi and asking for relationship advice -- particularly about a 'hypothetical' long-term relationship that's "sort of a drag". (Quinn misses the point and advises 'the woman' to "flirt with all his friends")

At the symposium, Jake and Daria run into Jodie's parents, and as the boorish Andrew introduces Jake to Terry Barry Barlow, Michele and Daria head to the snack table to talk (and snark). Barlow is impressed with Daria's frankness when he later asks her opinion about theme restaurants, and invites her and Jake to go ballooning with him early the next morning. Daria initially resists, but relents when she starts feeling guilty about how she and Jake have never really gotten to know each other. In the morning, Daria, Jake, and Barlow prepare for their balloon trip, but Arno, the assistant and the man who really opened that rip cord, balks due to the weather, Jake's inexperience, and Barlow's attitude. When Daria's snark convinces Arno to bail, Barlow decides to chuck the trip and go sailing, but Jake is inadvertantly launched in the balloon, where he's successful in finally overcoming his fear of heights... right before crashing into a tree.

Emboldened by his newfound confidence, he takes Daria to the Museum of Medical Oddities, where he learns the true nature of fear.

Timeline headaches[edit]

Arno refers to the first round-the-world balloon trip, which occurred in March 1999. A 1999 placement works with "I Don't", "Fizz Ed" and "Sappy Anniversary", and means every episode between here and "Lane Miserables" has to be crammed into one month because it refers to Ash Wednesday.


  • Jane says "Tom and I are going bowling with his friends Saturday"; outside of "Jane's Addition", this is the only time we hear about Tom's friends.
  • In his Daria Episode Analyses, WellTemperedClavier detects a "weird note" when Jane and Daria talk about her time with Tom, where Jane first says Daria can't come round, then invites her round, then seems "judgemental" when Daria declines. "Is Jane picking up on what’s going on between Tom and Daria? Does Daria really know what’s going on between her and Tom?"

"Of Human Bonding" and Fanfic[edit]


External Links[edit]

On “Of Human Bonding” the Episode[edit]

Alternate-Universe Versions of “Of Human Bonding”[edit]


Alternate Canon Versions of “Of Human Bonding”[edit]


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Preceded by
I Loathe a Parade (406)
Daria Episodes
"Of Human Bonding," season 4, episode 7
Succeeded by
Psycho Therapy