Jane, like Daria, is cynical, smart, and sarcastic, although she's more open-minded and well-adjusted. She is also an individualist. She serves as a more outgoing and likable counterpart to Daria's closed-off, combative worldview. Though she can also be sarcastic, she truly does care about Daria and does treasure their friendship.
She has a cordial but distant relationship with her absentee family, although she prefers them to be somewhere else. The sole exception is her older brother, Trent Lane, with whom she is very close. Unlike the rest of the family, Trent usually stays in the house with Jane and offers the most support.
She also has no problem fitting in when she tries, such as she decided to join the track team in See Jane Run, to put down the coach. Ultimately, it was revealed that she did this to actually get out of going to gym class, though she realized that she was accepting the double standard for athletes and left the track team.
Jane has a fairly punk look, and unlike Daria, she wears make-up, but in a punkish style with dark lipstick. She has short, black hair, blue eyes. She wears a red jacket, black v-top with a white collar, black shorts and leggings, and black boots. For accessories, she wears three tiny silver hoop earrings in her right ear. Her appearance is usually more accepted than Daria's, but is still considered unfashionable and unattractive.
Early history about Jane's life that was revealed during the show is scarce, but there are a few facts that were confirmed by Jane herself. Due to her parents' carefree style of parenting, she had to learn to cook and care for herself at an early age. Once when Trent spent six months in a tent in the family's backyard, it was her job to bring him sandwiches for food.
Jane was, in her prepubescent years, a member of the Girl Scouts, and during that time she was forced to attend a nature camping event, a memory she detests. (Antisocial Climbers)
Reburb says she was Mystik Spiral's Director of Band Graphics "until she got fed up with the whole spiral direction controversy" (i.e. whether the spiral was going in the right direction on the logo).
By the events of the show's pilot episode Esteemsters, Jane was a sophomore at Lawndale High, as well as a lonely artist who kept to herself and had taken (and purposely failed) Timothy O'Neill's Self-Esteem class six times.
During the events of Esteemsters, Jane meets Daria after Daria is transferred into Timothy O'Neill's Self-Esteem class. The two of them quickly bond due to their total contempt for everyone and everything about Lawndale High and soon become friends. Jane eventually reveals to Daria that due to taking the class so many times, she knows all the answers to final test necessary to get out of the class and helps her convince Mr. O'Neill to let them take the test early. After they pass it, they are released from the class.
In The Invitation, after Daria is invited to Brittany Taylor's party, Jane decides to accompany Daria to the party as a way of getting her to attend and the two of them are driven to Brittany's neighborhood by Trent. After they manage to distract a security guard, Jane is let into the party by promising to help Brittany with geometry. During the party, after they meet Charles "Upchuck" Ruttheimer III, two boys flirt with Daria and Jane, and while Daria is not impressed by them, Jane disappears with one of them for awhile. Eventually, the two of them leave and are, somewhat reluctantly, given a ride home by Upchuck.
In College Bored, Jane attends an SAT prep course along with Daria, Quinn, Jodie, Mack, Kevin, and Brittany and briefly imagines a future where she lives in an apartment in New York City paid for with the money her parents originally saved to send her to college. After Daria returns from her visit to Middleton College, Jane is impressed that Daria managed to get kicked out of college without even attending it. Later, as the two of them enjoy pizza, they conclude that college sucks, but that it has certain benefits.
In Cafe Disaffecto, Jane is present during Mr. O'Neill's lecture about the coffee house being robbed and is just as annoyed at his statements about feeling bad about it as Daria is. Later, she helps Daria as they go around selling chocolate bars to raise money to build a new coffee house, only to run into Mrs. Johansen and refuse to sell her any due to her obesity and hypoglycemia. She's subsequently reprimanded by Principal Angela Li for losing the school money (despite the fact that they essentially saved Johansen's life). Jane eventually tells Daria to give the students something that will really knock their socks off (when Daria is forced to accept the assignment of reading something at the coffee house) and is present when Daria presents her Melody Powers story that everyone gives a standing ovation (with the exception of Mr. O'Neill who misinterprets it as a pro-communist speech and closes down the café as a result).
In Malled, Jane is forced to attend the Mall of the Millennium with Daria and the rest of the economics class as part of an assignment. After Jane manages to reveal that a meeting with the mall executives is nothing more than a secret market research survey, the executives give everyone $20 merchandise coupons to specific stores at the mall. Jane's coupon is for Scissor Wizard, a hair salon which Jane initially mistakes for being a scissor store based on the name. The day turns out to be brighter though as they run into Quinn and the rest of the Fashion Club who cut class to come to the mall with Daria blackmailing Quinn into giving the two of them a ride home in exchange for keeping quiet about it. After Jane's coupon is bought back for cash, she accompanies Daria to the Doodad's Store where Daria is given free merchandise for being the lucky 10,000th customer. The two of them are then given a ride home along with the Fashion Club.
In This Year's Model, Jane is against the idea of the school giving students modeling contracts and debates it with Daria and Jodie. She is initially offered a chance to be a professional model due to her unique appearance, but quickly shoots it down by showing the two modeling representatives Claude and Romonica DeGregory a picture she drew of them as vultures feeding off of helpless students. Later, Jane attends the modeling class with her and Daria as audience members to keep an eye on Quinn where they see Trent walk in to possibly meet some of the models and witness Brittany crying due to not having modeling body type. Later, she is a witness to when Daria's scheme goes off just before Angela Li is set to announce the winner of the modeling contract when several army recruiters walk in along with a news reporter that cause the modeling scheme to be exposed and stopped.
In The Lab Brat, Jane only appears in two scenes and doesn't drive the plot forward in any significant way. She first appears talking with Daria about Daria's partnering with Kevin for the science project and how to possibly deal with it. She later enjoys a slice of pizza with Daria, where they discuss how the project has been going, and is a witness to when Brittany barges in and angrily accuses Daria of trying to steal Kevin away from her. Jane also notes to Kevin, when he tries to bail out of taking Brittany to a Whitney Houston movie because it's "a chick movie," that Brittany wants to see it because she's "a chick."
In Pinch Sitter, Jane is present for Mr. DeMartino's lecture about cults. Before Daria's babysitting job begins, Jane gives her advice for tough situations involving a game called Cemetery, where the goal is to lie absolutely still and the person who moves first loses. Daria later asks her to come over and help her when she's pushed to her limit, and tries to show Trent the pigtails that Tricia Gupty put Daria's hair into, before Daria pulls Jane into the house and slams the door. Jane is able to use her own babysitting experience to help out, and the two of them eventually read a series of classical stories to the children with modern twists added in that teach the children to think for themselves and experience a bit of reality. Later, Jane manages to disable the V-chip on the Gupty's TV and the two of them watch Sick, Sad World and even allow the children to stay up late and watch it as well. The next day, Jane is surprised to see Daria getting a commendation for her term paper (as Daria said previously that she hadn't even started it due to not figuring out what to write about), and Daria shows her that she wrote it about her night at the Gupty's, de-programming the two children and introducing them to reality.
Trent does care about and loves his little sister Jane and often wishes to help her in any way.
Jane is the first and only friend Daria has ever made, by her own admission. Despite her history of deliberately isolating people and walling herself off, she almost immediately befriended Jane after the girl showed a similar cynical sense of humor. In The Daria Diaries, she early on described Jane as "snide, resentful, and anti-social. Finally, a friend."
An absence of Jane, and the fear it'd be permanent, in See Jane Run saw Daria begin to talk to herself. (Even she was bemused by this.)
In Is It Fall Yet?, she admitted to admiring and liking Jane's aura of confidence: "you know exactly who you are, and nobody's ever going to con you into thinking you don't." Voice actor Tracy Grandstaff has suggested "maybe she admired Jane so much because Jane was socially at ease, better looking, made out with guys, and didn’t have the same hang ups?" (In a darker side to this, she suggests The Kiss may have happened because "Maybe Daria figured that Jane could land another guy easier than her? Maybe she thought Jane really wasn’t that into Tom?")
Jane is the person Daria trusts the most. (Boxing Daria)
In the episode Jane's Addition, Tom was introduced and began dating Jane Lane in a very short time span. They met at a Mystik Spiral gig, while Daria was briefly absent. The amount of time Jane spent with Tom became a source of tension between Daria and Jane for many episodes afterward, much as Jane's dates with Evan had been (See Jane Run).
Daria and Tom, however, had a lot in common. Though Jane was never portrayed as not being intelligent, she was definitely not as "book-smart" as Daria or Tom. By the episode I Loathe a Parade, however, it was clear that the tension between Daria and Tom had blossomed into something else. Meanwhile, Tom and Jane's relationship began to deteriorate, with increasing clashes between the two; Tom made several big romantic gestures to Jane, ones that were out of character for him, to try and revive the relationship (Sappy Anniversary). After the end, Tom admitted they'd just been getting bored of each other. (Notably, he didn't blame Jane for this, and said it is something that just happens in relationships.)