Charles "Chuck" Ruttheimer III is a student at Lawndale High, in Daria's class. He is largely known for his buffoon-like attempts to engender female interest - this repulsive manner has gained him the universal nickname of Upchuck.
In the script for "The Invitation", he is described as "the least popular person at the party, besides Daria and Jane. This is due to his large ears, bad haircut, and the fact that he is really quite annoying".
"Other guys love Upchuck because he makes them look so good." ― Daria, The Daria Database
Charles "Upchuck" Ruttheimer the Third was a student at Lawndale High, in Daria's class. His chief characteristic appears to have been attempting to arouse female interest by (badly) affecting a sophisticated persona, seemingly based in part on James Bond, Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, and a distasteful parody of a bad Las Vegas comedian. For example, he often referred to females as "ladies," and always spoke the term in a salacious tone.
Interestingly, he for the most part appears to buy into his delusions of being a "Casanova". Delusions, however, is the proper term to describe his belief, as he appears to be among the least-popular students at Lawndale High, at least as far as the females were concerned. His status was confirmed by Tiffany with the brief phrase, "Upchuck? Ewww...." (See the episode Jake of Hearts.) This extends to females he encounters outside of school, including the cop from I Loathe a Parade who referred to him disparagingly as "Don Guano".
Perpetually-undeterred, Upchuck would make a sexual comment almost every time he appeared on-screen in the company of females, and would frequently deliver his catch phrase "Grrr... feisty!" in response to any insult or rejection thrown his way by women. In "Too Cute" however, it is revealed that when push comes to shove, actually chickens out, being MORTIFIED by the sheer concept behind the breast implants Daria got from Dr. Shar.
In "The Lab Brat", we find out he spies on couples making out and takes photos of them. Ewww.
Other than the ladies, another of Upchuck's interests is magic. He'd perform simple tricks for shoppers at Lawndale Mall, and once pulled off an amazing disappearing act at Lawndale High, with the help of Stacy Rowe. This is the only occasion in the television series where a girl willingly worked with Upchuck.
Upchuck appears to have an aptitude towards broadcasting, as he is the PA announcer for the Lawndale Lions football team and the DJ at the school dance in "Daria Dance Party". He also showed an irreverant sense of humour in "The Daria Diaries", recording several joke answering machine messages on his father's business phone. (His father was not amused) His father is Charles Ruttheimer the Second, who seems to own his own business. He also has two cousins, Brad and Brett, who are handsome, funny men who can attract girls - yet are shown to be on close terms with Upchuck (who they call "Chuck") and share his catchphrase. Both seem aware of his unflattering nickname.
Very little was ever revealed about Charles's personal life, as he was a secondary character founded on a stereotype, one of many comic relief devices used in the series (see also the characters Kevin Thompson and Brittany Taylor). His mother only appeared once in the entire series (in "Legends of the Mall"), and this was a faux flashback to illustrate an urban legend of Lawndale. The character portrayed as Upchuck's mother may or may not bear any resemblance to Upchuck's "real" mother and was never given a name in any case.
From both the "III" attached to his name and The Daria Diaries, we know his father's name was Charles too. In Malled, there is the implication that his father is rich; Diaries has his father as a businessman with "associates" who spent time overseas, confirming his wealth. Upchuck borrows his dad's credit card in "Malled" but manages to piss him off in "Diaries" by recording comedy answering messages on the house phone.
His two cousins appear in "Daria Dance Party". As they've come out of town just to watch him perform, intend to hang out afterwards, and share his catchphrase, he presumably has a close relationship with them.
There are a couple of indications that Upchuck was smart, at least in some senses. He does well in training the mouse in "The Lab Brat", undone only by Brittany explaining the experiment instead; he also turned out to be a skilled blackmailer. In "Prize Fighters", he swiftly created his own dotcom business with trans-pacific imports simply to impress the Wizard Foundation (poking fun at how easy it is to set up a "successful" dotcom). Upchuck even competed with both Jodie and Daria in that episode, two of the smartest kids in the school, and went for tactical schmoozing in order to win over the interviewer - unfortunately for him, he sucks at schmoozing.
The Daria Diaries reveals that he maintains his own website (Ultrasuave Universe, at www.ultrasuave.com) with an archive of pick-up lines, jokes, pictures of himself, snippets of songs, and a "Gallery of Feisty Babes" (which includes Eleanor Roosevelt, noting she wasn't hot "but just you try denying she was feisty - you cannot!"). He's working on a Shemp Howard Search Engine. The links and Feisty Woman section show he's a fan of the Aeon Flux cartoon; of comedians Jerry Lewis, the Three Stooges, and Monty Python; and superhero comic books, specifically Captain Muscle. In 2000, MTV's website revealed Upchuck now owned now ran The Hubba Hubba Hub, after Ultrasuave was "destroyed by a virus slyly concealed within the now infamous SEXXXY SCULLY SNAPS attachment". The new site had different sections for different genders.
What's in a name?
In both his first appearance and the later "The Lab Brat" and "Fair Enough", he called himself "Chuck". His cousins call him this as well, a sign of being close. His teachers always call him the more formal "Charles". Every student calls him "Upchuck" as standard, with Sandi Griffin once or twice calling him "Charles" to be cuttingly frosty.
Most fanfiction has gone with "Charles" instead of "Chuck", while the DVD boxset's Profiles feature went with "Chuck".
Upchuck in Fanfiction
- For a long time, Upchuck was portrayed as slime in Daria fanfics, exaggerating his canon persona. (See the first The Look-Alike Series story, where Upchuck being physically assaulted is cheered by other characters and meant to be cheered by the reader) And in many, he still is! Upchuck as comedically perverted foil is still the most common portrayal. However, since the show ended, he's been increasingly given different portrayals.
- Some stories give him a positive protrayal, often focusing more on on his native intelligence and wide range of interests. Two of the earliest fics to do this are "Blast from the Past" by Nemo Blank, where Chuck becomes an ally trying to assist Daria; and "A Midsummer Nightmare's Daria" by The Angst Guy (2002), where he's a romantic and caring boyfriend.
- Some stories have Chuck putting on an act, either to fake confidence he doesn't have, or (as in "Children of the Scorn" by Kristen Bealer) because he wants people to make fun of a fake him rather than the real him, or simply out of youthful idiocy he grows out of (TAG's "Darkness" has Daria depressed to learn he'd joined the army after 9/11 and died in battle). Bealer also presented a pre-canon seventh grader Chuck Ruttheimer, still a shy unpopular boy, in "It's Like the Beginning of an Era". Zetor's "Enough" has the 'act' started as mockery of his playboy father and he hates being stuck with it, and drinks when depressed.
- Some fan works have presented the theme of Charles having a crush on Daria, based on Upchuck's web page in The Daria Diaries and its "Gallery of Feisty Babes" including a silhouetted "Mystery Lady" whose profile is obviously Daria. ("I fear she'd kill me if I revealed her identity.") This has been played both innocently and romantically (e.g. Identity Crisis by Yui Daoren) and with darker tones (Falling Into College serial, by Richard Lobinske)
- The other two common love interests for him are Stacy (due to their interaction in Life in the Past Lane) and Andrea.
- Upchuck's antics are usually played upon for laughs in fanfiction; however, the Falling Into College found Upchuck's activities crossing over into criminal affairs, as the character was found to be a long-time stalker of Daria's, with many videotapes and photographs of her during her last year at Lawndale High and of her return visits during her first two years at Raft University. After being arrested for his activities, Upchuck was finally incarcerated after attempting to 'jump bail' and travel to Boston to find Daria; he did this after breaking into Schloss Morgendorffer and finding that Daria had not returned for Thanksgiving break. Later episodes have shown Upchuck having found some measure of peace for himself, as well as attempting to work past his fixation upon Daria.
- Some fanfiction has presented the hypothesis that Tom Sloane and Charles know each other, either because Charles had frequented Fielding Preparatory Academy or because their respective families had met, assuming the Ruttheimers to be on the same social level as the Sloanes (and a step or two higher on the social scale than Daria and most of their classmates).
- In the Legion of Lawndale Heroes universe, Charles Ruttheimer (who is only rarely referred to as 'Upchuck' anymore) has developed into one of the more well-rounded versions of the character in the Daria Multiverse. He is considered one of the more intelligent Legionnaires, and the physical and academic training that he has received as a Legionnaire (as well as the positive influence of Kyle Armalin) has helped him evolve beyond his high-school personality. This Charles still enjoys all of the things he was involved in before his Legion life (his infatuation with all things Three Stooges and James Bond, his fast-food merchandise collectibles, and his interest in online role-playing games), but also has allowed himself to expand his horizons. As he has become more well-rounded, he has also finally had his 'growth spurt,' and now stands at six feet in height. He has an unusual quality that (to the dismay and utter disbelief of the female Legionnaires) makes him quite interesting to many young women, including Langston Chambers (who he is currently dating), Tainn Reynolds, Chandni Kaur, and Elsie Sloane.
- Charles appeared twice in an artwork by Wouter in the first one Jane confronts him if he actually is aware of how he comes across towards girls and if he has any grasp of what actually BEING a woman is like. Charles responds by asking Jane the opposite question, did she any harbor any desires to be a man, Jane's reply leaves him in tears, knowing that Jane would have made a far more masculine man than he could ever be. Charles' second appearance is in the Halloween 2010 comic where he's seen puking after drinking the punch at Brittany's party (which Kevin had put olives in after the grapes had run out) Andrea is there to comfort him while Daria remarks that he finally "lives up to his nickname."
- Anne D. Bernstein created the character.
- Upchuck has a huge collection of pornographic magazines - Brittany refers with disgust to having to file them in "The Lab Brat". He gained a brief semi-friendship with Anthony DeMartino in "That Was Then, This Is Dumb", after the teacher turned out to be a fellow collector.
- The only time Charles was ever successful at "picking up" a girl was in the Daria movie finale, Is It College Yet? In the final scene of the movie, he tried one of his suave pick-up lines on fellow student Andrea, and she nonchalantly accepted. He seemed very surprised, but took advantage of the opportunity right away. This was unusual on Andrea's part, considering her comment to him in Fair Enough: "Don't touch me, you Howdy-Doody-looking creep."
- He was one of only two characters on the show with an actual catch phrase, in the traditional sense of the word. (The other was Jake Morgendorffer, whose catch phrase was "Dammit!"/"Gaddammit!"). Other characters had recurring mannerisms (i.e. Tiffany's slowed speech and easy distraction, Mr. O'Neill's frightened squeals).
- Charles "Upchuck" Ruttheimer III was originally voiced by actor Marc Thompson, who also gave voice to Anthony DeMartino, Timothy O'Neill, and Kevin Thompson. The role went to Geoffrey Arend from Season 2 onward.
- He drives a Volvo sedan.
- The DVD Profiles section has "Character Sketches" of Upchuck... or so it claims, as they're actually ones of Artie.
- His 'future ego' in IICY? shows him as a fashion designer, surrounded by models. This is one of the more plausible future egos (the former half anyway).
- In the Latin American dubbing, he was voiced by Carlos Iñigo.
- January 2006 interview with Anne D. Bernstein on DVDaria, in which the creator of Upchuck is revealed