"Twenty-two 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 rash on my chest."
Janet just as psychotic as Mr. DeMartino, but her attitude stems from a very messy, very bitter divorce. As such, she has developed a rather unhealthy distaste for men, which usually manifests itself by her giving the female students higher grades and favored treatment over the male students.
Janet is a woman with long brown hair and an angled jawline. She wears a collared lavender long-sleeved shirt, dark purple skirt, and shoes. She also wears a maroon lipstick.
The main feature of her was that all through the show Barch constantly displays her deeply harbored resentment of all men, caused by a bitter divorce from her husband of twenty-two years (he left for a younger woman and apparently left her with a rash). Almost everything she said on the show would inevitably digress into ravings about how her husband left her, or about how men are, in general, selfish, untrustworthy and would abandon their female companions after the best years of their lives.
This behavior and hatred towards men passed on to her teaching, where she would give lower grades to male students, and distort even basic school science knowledge by including negative references to the male sex. She also uses "spend[ing] the period in independent study" as a threat against students like Upchuck, as "independent study" is a euphemism for being confined in a closet, something that caused Upchuck fear (Fizz Ed).
Despite her misandry damaging her ability to teach, Barch seems to have some sense of pride in her work. In Fizz Ed, when she was forced to give inane lessons that would promote Ultra Cola, she was clearly fed up and responded to her suggested 'lesson plan' by announcing "or I can just spend the rest of the day in the teachers' bathroom, staring at the tiles" and then walking out. Later, in Lucky Strike, she was the first teacher during union negotiations to bluntly ask Li "are we getting our raise or not?," and took a key role in the union strike by crafting the picket signs (which weren't fit for purpose and had to be redone by Jane Lane).
She once deliberately made Kevin Thompson do an "experiment" designed to crush his self-esteem (Too Cute).
In one episode, Janet deliberately singles out Mack in Home Room to write out anti-male slogans on the blackboard (Daria Database says that she regularly targets Mack for some reason).
Janet hates Anthony DeMartino and he regards her with fear, to the extent he tried to prevent Timothy O'Neill from marrying her for O'Neill's own safety. She has physically assaulted DeMartino in The Daria Hunter (as a substitute for her ex-husband), The New Kid (to scare him into changing the Yearbook layout), Is It College Yet? (for interfering with her relationship), and The Daria Database (for no apparent reason), and in The Lawndale File lied to Immigration that DeMartino was an illegal immigrant so he'd be incarcerated. Despite that, in Antisocial Climbers it was DeMartino who was tasked to translate Barch's traumatized whimperings into English, which he was able to do.
Janet Barch would start a romantic relationship with colleague Timothy O'Neill the episode The Daria Hunter, which would last for the remaining of the series. The relationship was based initially on the attraction of a man with sensitivity, a concept she found paradoxical. In said relationship, she was extremely domineering and assertive, but the situation seemed to work well for both parties.
In Is It College Yet?, the series finale, Barch would misinterpret a comment by O'Neill and assume they're engaged, immediately starting wedding plans. These plans would be halted and Barch would leave O'Neill when the latter finally stands up to her (with the help of Anthony DeMartino), but she'd come back to him just at the end of the movie. It turned out she was intrigued by his new backbone.
- Ms. Barch was voiced by actor Ashley Albert (sometimes credited as Echo and Petunia), who also voiced Tiffany Blum-Deckler.
- During a school field trip to a paintball park, she mentions to Mr. O'Neill that the only thing she got out of her divorce were "the corns on my feet and a big, rash on my chest."
- The Daria Database reveals that she uses a cell phone to "call and hang up on [her] ex-husband twenty times a day (until he gets Caller ID)."