"Antisocial Climbers" was the second episode of the fourth season of the Daria TV series (episode number 402). It first aired on MTV on March 3rd, 2000. This episode was written by Jill Cargerman.
Inspired by their current assignment, The Call of the Wild, Mr. O'Neill passes around a sign-up sheet for an overnight field trip to the woods. Naturally, Daria and Jane decline to participate in what they're sure will be yet another school-sponsored fiasco, but Daria changes her mind when she's convinced (aka "bribed") into going by Helen, who wants the weekend alone with Jake to try and bolster their creaking marriage. Meanwhile, Principal Li is taking a camcorder so the video of Lawndale's Wilderness Adventure Club will get a sponsorship from Extreme Sportz Mania Worldwide Inc. (Jane will point out to Li that Lawndale High doesn't have a Wilderness Adventure Club - "We do now.")
The outing is a disaster from the get-go, from Quinn's plethora of fashion camping equipment to Mr. O'Neill's allergies to half the plantlife to Ms. Li's obsession with recording everything. Even Kevin and Brittany can't avoid mishaps, as Brittany is repeatedly stung by bees that were hiding in the bouquet of flowers Kevin picked for her. And if all that weren't enough, a blizzard (surprise!) hampers their progress. When O'Neill goes back for his spare inhaler, despite being half-dead, Ms. Li goes after him (he's got the camcorder) and Ms. Barch goes catatonic about being "abandoned", leaving only Mr. DeMartino in charge (barely).
When they finally reach the mountain cabin, it is discovered that they have no supplies thanks to Joey, Jeffy and Jamie, who left them behind in order to carry Quinn's belongings... a situation that gets Quinn kicked out of the Fashion Club (temporarily). Meanwhile, elsewhere on the same mountain, Jake and Helen try to promote intimacy, as in talking rather than sex, and find themselves with barely anything to talk to each other about.
Mr. DeMartino orders Kevin and Mack to find the lost Li and O'Neill, which he goes in search of food. Daria and Jane accompany him to get away from the other students but are abruptly left on their own when he falls off a cliff. It looks as though it might be the end, as the girls struggle through the blizzard to find their way back, when they stumble across Helen and Jake's cabin -- where DeMartino ended up, and the arrival of someone to talk to was like a gift from Heaven.
In the end, the Morgendorffers return home together, the lost teachers are found by Mack (right when Mr. O'Neill is recording his last words), and everyone returns home... except for Kevin, who got lost on his mission and is still stuck on the mountain.
Everyone's dressed for cold and a blizzard hits. However, from chronological nods in "Depth Takes a Holiday" and "Lane Miserables", this should logically be occuring in the spring - and the next episode shows a "Spring/Fall Schedule" calender.
Li confirms there are forty-six people on the field trip, but she says that when there's only a dozen or so in shot and it's a wide enough shot in a clear area that we can't be tricked into thinking everyone else is off screen.
Despite the episode's light tone, some or more of the characters could have died - and Daria and Jane aren't bothered! The girls genuinely worry they might die though, and to their affairs in order Daria apologises for giving Jane grief over Tom Sloane and Jane apologises for embarrassing her about Trent. This is all they consider to need to say.
Among other cuts, such as Helen and Jake getting frisky (which was then still in the commercial bumper anyway!) The Noggin airing cut the dark joke about watching a lynching (of Quinn). This inadvertently means the scene ends with Daria saying they're in severe danger and no joke, making it darker.
Also of note, Mack very easily agrees to forget thinking about the missing Kevin.
First and only mention of O'Neill having a severe pollen allergy, complete with inhaler.
DeMartino had a friend who married his mother, a source of great anger. We don't know the specifics, as Daria and Jane fled upon hearing this (good thinking).
Many background characters appear in hiking and winter gear, one of the few times the characters are all wearing alternate clothes. (The exception is Burnout Girl, who is clearly well 'ard.) Of note is DeMartino going in army-style gear.
The Fashion Club has no oath or bylaws, but that doesn't stop Sandi making them up on the spot to get one over Quinn and nobody dares call it out!
The episide is sometimes mentioned by fans and critics as one of the weaker episodes, but Paste Magazine chose it as the funniest episode, with specific focus on Daria and Jane's 'final words', and the second best episode overall after Boxing Daria.
- "The Antisocial Climber" by The Angst Guy: an alternate ending to the episode, as well as to "The Misery Chick"