Characters: Glee New Directions Original Members
The original six students who formed New Directions, along with their teacher Will.Click here to return to the character page.
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William "Will" Schuester
From the top!
A High School Spanish (now history) teacher who takes over the Glee club (New Directions) and becomes a mentor to the Ragtag Bunch of Misfits
. He is/was
married to Terri but is now married to Emma
. Played by Matthew Morrison.
Rachel Barbra Berry
Look, I know what I'm talking about! I won my first dance competition when I was three months old!
The most talented kid in the group, and she knows it. Her diva behavior makes her an outcast with most of the student body, though the Glee kids tolerate her because of what she brings to the table. Dating Finn. Played by Lea Michele
- Aesop Amnesia: It's so bad in the season two premiere it's like the entire first season never happened.
- She gets better in season three, though.
- Then worse again. In episode 3 of season 3 no less!
- Age-Inappropriate Dress
Kurt: She manages to dress like a grandmother and a kindergartner at the same time.
- All Gays Love Theater: Though Rachel herself is straight, it's heavily implied/outright stated that her strong interest in musical theater comes from her two dads.
- All Jews Are Ashkenazi: Demonstrated when Rachel lectures Quinn about Tay-Sachs syndrome and how her cousin had to get checked for it. This is despite the fact that Rachel's actor, Lea Michele, is Sephardic. Although since it was her way of forcing Quinn to come clean about the paternity of her baby, it may be debatable.
- All the Other Reindeer
- Alpha Bitch: She shows some characteristics of this within the confines of the club.
- Always Someone Better: Sunshine for Rachel; Rachel for the rest of the glee club. Then, Mercedes and Rachel for each other.
- Ambiguously Jewish: An interesting inversion: Rachel proudly identifies as Jewish, but because she was sixteen when she met her mother for the first time, and her mother (although played by a Jewish actress, Idina Menzel), is named Shelby Corcoran, which is very much not a Jewish-sounding name, there is no particular reason to think that Rachel is Jewish according to Jewish law (although it should be noted that the Reform movement accepts patrilineal descent as a basis to define someone as Jewish).
- Also, it's possible that Shelby is Jewish from her own mother's side of the family ("Corcoran" is Shelby's father's last name; we have no idea what Shelby's mother's maiden name was). Thus, even if she isn't Reform, Rachel would still be considered Jewish thanks to her maternal grandmother.
- It might also be noted that Lea Michele, contrary to widespread misconception, is not Jewish, although she is of Jewish ancestry on her father's side.
- Ascended Meme: People referring to Rachel by her last name as "Berry", something that is epidemic in fanfic but only happened on the show in episode 2.15 (Santana, specifically).
- Attention Whore: Swings in and out of this trope at varying intervals.
- Bad Bad Acting: "Run Joey Run". Also, while the writing on her sitcom "That's So Rachel" was obviously not very good either, her performance made it very clear that she is not adept in non-musical roles. The show crashed and burned after airing just a single episode and she was mocked by virtually everyone who saw it.
- Betty and Veronica: An interesting case, as she could be seen as both the Betty (the girl next door vibe in comparison to the Libby that is Quinn) and the Veronica (her overbearing and control freak personality in comparison to Quinn’s Christian upbringing) at the same time. She later becomes the Archie to Finn's Betty and both Puck and Jesse's Veronica.
- Big "Shut Up!": Rachel gets one against Puck in "Auditions".
- Break the Cutie: In "Funk" she suffered one hell of a breaking at the hands of her ex–boyfriend and his teammates.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Is seen this way by the other New Directions at first: They think she's obnoxious and rude, but they tolerate it because of her talent. Puck says it best in "The Rhodes Not Taken":
Puck: That Rachel chick makes me want to light myself on fire, but she can sing.
- Butt Monkey
- Child Prodigy: In terms of music, as she both won her first dance competition at three months old and won a singing competition at eight months old.
- Concert Kiss: After "Pretending" in "New York" with Finn, complete with Held Gaze. Subverted in that the audience isn't too pleased and barely claps, and Jesse, Blaine, and Santana all think that it was unprofessional and cost them a place at Nationals.
- Control Freak: And how.
- Curtains Match the Window
- Didn't Think This Through: When she finds out Finn slept with Santana, she tries to get back at him by trying to sleep with Puck, thinking it will be canceled out by Finn's actions. Unfortunately, she forgot the fact that they weren't together when Finn did it, meaning that she cheated on him, which leads to him dumping her.
- Dynamic Character: Rachel's personality has changed considerably since the beginning of the series, as she has become less cruel and full of herself (although she is still abrasive).
- Extracurricular Enthusiast: Rachel's joined every club in the school, even ones she would normally have no business being in. Subverted in that she doesn't do it because she loves the activities, she does it to get as many photos of herself in the school yearbook as possible.
- Fag Hag: Has all the makings of one, as illustrated by Kurt in "Blame It On The Alcohol".
- Failed Attempt at Drama: Rachel attempting to storm out in a wheelchair, and bumping into the doorframe.
- Funny Background Event: At Carol and Burt's wedding she moves forward, thinking it's her that Finn is pointing at; when she realises, she laughs, slinks backwards and pushes Kurt forward.
- Generic Cuteness: She is often referred as "mildly attractive".
- Genki Girl: Rachel always signs her name with a gold-star sticker, and wakes up every day at 6:00 for her daily exercise routine. She claims to have won her first dance competition at three months old. This is actually believable since in Dream On she shows Jesse a singing trophy from eight months old. Maybe it's just because she's Shelby Corcoran's daughter.
- Genre Savvy: "I think everyone expects us to get together because you're the handsome football player and I'm the beautiful young ingenue." Or Wrong Genre Savvy.
- Girl Next Door
- Has Two Daddies: Who are also an interracial couple.
- Heel Realization: In "Duets" Rachel finally realizes that her desire to win hasn't made her as nice as she likes to think she is. She then spends the entire episode trying to do things for other people, which in one case means actively trying to lose at something.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Of sorts. After stuffing the ballot in order to help Kurt win the election and Kurt is blamed for it, she admits it so that he can avoid suspension and a mark on his permanent record. She gets them instead, as well as being banned from Sectionals that year.
- Hollywood Dateless: For a girl who is supposedly "unpopular" and "mildly attractive", she's already dated three boys within her sophomore year, and another is very attracted to her.
- Hollywood Tone-Deaf: When she loses her voice.
- Hot for Teacher: Rachel develops a short-lived crush on Will in Episode 10.
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Rachel is the Tiny Girl to Finn's Huge Guy.
- Humiliation Conga: The entire point of season 6's first episode. See also Karma Houdini Warranty.
- Hypocritical Humor: Fairly often.
Rachel: They're so wrapped up in their own little worlds that they can't see how this affects me!
- I Can't Believe a Guy Like You Would Notice Me: Her initial reaction to her and Jesse's first meeting. Her and Finn, to an extent.
- I Just Want to Be Special: She explicitly tells Mr. Schuester that she's in the glee club to win popularity. To Jesse in "Bad Reputation": "I have a pathological desire to be popular." However, it should be noted that she remains in the Glee club even when it starts to become an obstacle to her popularity, so she probably has other reasons.
- Incompatible Orientation: Let's face it, her and Blaine's relationship was doomed from the start.
- Informed Ability: Yes, Lea Michele is exceptionally talented. But the way they go on about her, you'd think she was the only talented member of the cast. Softened in seasons 2 and 3 when she admits that Mercedes is equally or more talented than her.
- Informed Flaw: The show goes on and on about how she doesn't dress well, when actually she looks quite cute in a preppy schoolgirl way. When it's decided she needs a makeover in Episode 11, to showcase her bad fashion sense she's suddenly wearing a monochromatic pantsuit that was nothing like anything her character has ever worn before. Her dressing does get a bit worse in the second half of the season. Remember that owl sweater?
- The second season opener finally has a dress that matches the description, it looks like something made for a doll.
- However, to some, she can look like someone who just got kicked out of an Enid Blyton illustration for looking too twee.
- Informed Judaism: Rachel’s an interesting case, as we know that she is Jewish because of mere hints in the series. Ironically, we know less about Rachel's Judaism than Puck's.
- The Ingenue: Rachel calls herself one. Frankly, she isn't.
- Intoxication Ensues: See Motor Mouth below.
- It's All About Me: Rachel has this bad. Whenever Mr. Schuester wants to have another student have the opportunity to sing a song that Rachel wants to sing so that everyone has a chance, she thinks of it as Mr. Schuester attempting to ruin her career. She's getting better than how she originally was.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold
- Karma Houdini:
- She quits and is allowed back in time and time again due to her talent. After the first few times she storms out, everyone just stops caring since they know she'll come back. Some of the Glee members (notably Kurt) still resent her for it, though.
- The "Push It" performance was her doing and she stays in the Club.
- Subverted in "Bad Reputation" after she manipulates Jesse, Finn, and Puck to make herself look better and it backfires on her.
- In "Auditions", she goes and sends Sunshine to a crack house because she's jealous of her talent and worried about being supplanted as the best singer in Glee. Luckily, the rest of the kids are just as disgusted as they should be by her behavior.
- It seems that this is getting more and more subverted the later into the series, considering her Character Development.
- Once again, all of that character development seems to have vanished, considering that she's rewarded for choking on her NYADA audition twice, then stalking Carmen Thibideaux to give her another chance to sing with Carmen coming to Regionals and then accepting her to NYADA.
- In Season 5, she finally gets the role of her dreams as Fanny Brice in Funny Girl and, after doing an admittedly awesome job on opening night, fakes sick during the second showing so she can go do an audition for a TV show. She tanks the audition in truly spectacular fashion, due to not having read the script beforehand, and when her understudy is injured, she is unable to get back to New York in time to perform, leaving the play's producer up the proverbial creek until Santana takes Rachel's place. While she does receive a very well-deserved "The Reason You Suck" Speech from the producer for her antics, the end result is that she is still part of the Funny Girl cast and the network for whom she auditioned decides to write a show around her because they apparently found her so riveting. It has truly never been more obvious that Rachel has the Glee writers looking out for her.
- Karma Houdini Warranty: Rachel's actions finally caught up to her in season 6. Rachel lost everything: she has no longer a career in Broadway (and after acting so unprofessional, there is little to no doubt that no one will hire her again), she is out of Nyada and has no chance to get in again after the way she quit, and her show was so terribad it was immediatly canceled and demolished her reputation. All of these events led her to have a breakdown, and she went into hiding for months. She is then forced to leave New York and go live with her dads again... only to discover they are getting divorced and that her house is for sale.
- Kick the Dog: Decides to get even with Finn for lying about sleeping with Santana by cheating on Finn with Puck.
- Kissing Under the Influence: With Blaine.
- Locked Out of the Loop:
Santana: Nobody tells you anything because A: you are a blabber mouth, and B: we all pretend to like you.
- Lonely at the Top: Rachel says this verbatim in one of her interior monologues in Episode 12 when Finn doesn't show up for the Glee Club yearbook photo.
- Love Makes You Crazy: More like Love Makes You Obsessive in the case with Rachel and Finn, to the point that he has admitted that he is slightly unnerved by her.
- Make Over Montage: Gets a rather unnecessary one in the fourth season episode "Makeover" after Kurt tells her The Knee Socks Gotta Go. The end result is very...un-Rachel Berry.
- Meaningful Name: Her fathers named her Rachel because they were huge fans of Friends. Considering her major character trait, this makes sense.
- Missing Mom: Initially. After season one, not so much.
- Motor Mouth: Particularly when she's gotten a good dose of "vitamin D".
- Must Make Amends: Seems to be a motivating factor for a number of her post-Heel Realization actions.
- Never My Fault
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Suggested that her NYADA dance teacher, disgraced actress Cassandra July, go out for a role in the same play as her, as it might be a means of "getting back in the game." Cassandra is offended by this and retaliates by sleeping with Rachel's Love Interest Brody. Granted, her words might have been poorly chosen, but the suggestion itself was well-intentioned.
- Not So Different: It's surprising no one's pointed out that Rachel is exactly like the girls that bully her at school, especially after her treatment of Sunshine.
- She's gotten considerably nicer to Kurt, exemplified in "Duets", when she sympathizes with him about how hard it must be to be such an outcast. Being raised by a gay couple seems to have made her a little more aware of certain issues Kurt faces than the others are.
- Than she metaphorically shits all over their friendship in "Asian F".
- Official Couple: As of “Journey” the relationship between Finn and Rachel has become this. They break up in "Special Education" but get back together in "New York."
- Operation Jealousy: In "Mash-Up," Rachel admits that she began to date Puck because she thought it would make Finn jealous. It sort of worked, if Finn's face is anything to go by when Puck sings "Sweet Caroline" to Rachel.
- It works even better in "Special Education" when Rachel confesses to making out with Puck to get back at Finn for sleeping with Santana. Unfortunately, it works too well - Finn breaks up with her because she cheated on him. They weren't together when he slept with Santana.
- What makes this even worse is that, not only were they not together when Finn slept with Santana, but Rachel was dating Jesse at the time - and she'd lied to Finn by saying she had slept with Jesse, which is, admittedly, a much more hurtful lie.
- And then again in "The Sue Sylvester Shuffle" when she sings "Need You Now" with Puck.
- You're forgetting that Rachel admitted to Finn that she never slept with Jesse, and says that she's glad that she didn't because now they can save themselves for each other. Finn then fails to tell her that he had already slept with Santana. Rachel's under the impression that they're eventually going to give their virginities to each other, and Finn does nothing to contradict her assumption. Then Rachel ends up hearing about Finn's night with Santana from someone else. She didn't make out with Puck because Finn slept with Santana, but because Finn lied about sleeping with Santana.
- Nope. Finn tells her in the green room she only cares about the fact it was with Santana, which everyone else agrees with, leaving her without a counter argument.
- Platonic Life Partners: She becomes this with Kurt.
- Plucky Girl
- Pride: Her biggest flaw. She is talented and she knows it... So much that, to her, the universe should bend to her will, because of how exceptional she is. She mellowed out of this a little during her Glee Club days, only to return in this mode when she got cast as Fanny in Funny Girl, to the point that even Kurt, who is her closest and more supportive friend, got fed up with her attitude. She also dropped out of NYADA after getting the role, despite the fact that the school (which is supposed to be the most exclusive performing arts college in New York) could teach her many things and make her an even better artist. She even jeopardized her role in Funny Girl by outright lying to her producer in order to do an audition for a TV series. Because of her self-centeredness, she nearly causes a small catastrophe because she couldn't make it back to New York in time for the show, her understudy was injured, and missing a performance reflects badly on the show and the people who bought tickets expecting to see her. She is saved by Santana, who performs the first act, but she is not fired or given any consequences whatsoever for her actions. She acts like she is invincible and nothing could ever go wrong for her, and wants always more, discarding without thinking things that no longer please her. Only time will tell if her childish behaviour will finally bite her in the ass.
- The Prima Donna
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Rachel storms out of the glee club constantly. Artie lampshades it by saying the more she does it, the less impact it has. To the point where nobody really reacts when she walks back in, either.
- More seriously, she also quit Nyada, because she tought her Broadway career was more important. However, many things hint that this was not a wise choice.
- Seemingly Wholesome '50s Girl
- Shipper on Deck: If this line in Rumours is anything to go by, she's one for Kurt and Blaine.
Rachel (to Kurt): Sam's cute, but he's not worth losing Blaine over.
- She's also one for Sam and Quinn. Justified, however, because it would mean she could be with Finn again.
- Small Name, Big Ego: It takes her until season 4 to realize that despite her talent, she is a complete unknown from Ohio who is liked by very few characters.
- Soapbox Sadie: Is she is supposed to be a mouthpiece for the writers or just a mouthpiece in general? Either way, her soapbox is the reason why she's an outcast.
- Squee: When she and Kurt sneak onto the set of Wicked.
- Stalker with a Crush: She's certainly desperate enough to become this (and eventually she does for Will). That reputation precedes her: when Puck dreamt that Rachel climbed through his bedroom window, he knew it was a dream because she wouldn't be able to climb without shoes on, rather than thinking she would never do this in the first place.
- Star-Making Role: For Lea Michele.
- Sweater Girl: The show even Lampshades it.
Jacob: Let those sweater puppies out of their cashmere cage!
- Took a Level in Jerkass: Backpedals on all her Season 1 Character Development when she tricks Sunshine into going to a crackhouse, all because she fears she'll steal her thunder.
- Turn the Other Cheek: Does this quite a bit for Quinn.
- Unnecessary Makeover: She had one in season one which gets Lampshaded by Finn. It happens again in season four with a lot of fans finding it that way. It's hard to argue against it, considering it does change her appearance from Rachel Berry to pretty much Lea Michele.
- Even her own self agrees it's an unnecessary makeover when sings a duet with herself
- Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Has her moments, depending on the tone of the episode, especially during the first season.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Tricking Sunshine into going to a crackhouse to audition, because she didn't want to risk another talented singer upstaging her. Nobody believed her bald-faced lie that it was for the good of the group.
- Woman Scorned: In "Hell-O", and boy does she do it well. Her rendition of "Gives You Hell" by the All American Rejects was stunning.
- Her reaction in "Guilty Pleasures' could rival it.
- Zettai Ryouiki
Kurt Elizabeth Hummel
They're gonna throw fruit at us. And I JUST had a facial.
A Camp Gay
member of the Glee club who has also been a kicker for the football team and a Cheerio. Used to have a crush on Finn, but is now his step-brother. Played by Chris Colfer
Recently joined The Pantheon's Personal Appearance Temple as "God of Androgynously Perfect Beauty of Face and Voice"
. Doubles as another Awesome Moment of Crowning
- Accidental Athlete: Kurt turns out to be a surprisingly good kicker for the football team as long as he does the "Single Ladies" dance beforehand.
- All Gays Love Theater
- All the Other Reindeer: In his own words, he's the only openly gay kid in his school. It comes with the territory.
- Always Second Best: Especially in Season 3. He doesn't get the role of Tony in the school's production of West Side Story, losing out to Blaine, he doesn't become Class President, losing to Brittany of all people, he doesn't get any solos at Nationals, being continuously overlooked by Will, he doesn't get in to NYADA, losing out to Rachel (who choked on her audition)...
Kurt: And I lost. I lost the election, I lost the lead in West Side Story, I can forget about New York and NYADA...
- Awesome Moment of Crowning: Double subverted when it is revealed that he's been elected Prom Queen. It starts out as heartwrenching, but then moves back into awesome territory after he accepts it with pride.
Kurt: Eat your heart out, Kate Middleton.
- Author Avatar
- Because You Were Nice to Me: Essentially what sparked Kurt's attraction to Finn. Sure, he didn't do much about anything after that, but one time, Finn reprimanded Puck for pushing Kurt.
- Berserk Button: It took a lot for Kurt to get enraged at the bullying he was receiving. On the other hand he flies into an instant fury when his friends (Tina, then Blaine) are abused.
- Beta Couple: He and Blaine are significantly more stable than the other major couple, Finn and Rachel.
- The Big Damn Kiss: With Blaine. It's definitely treated like one in real life, and for good reason.
- Body Motifs: Hands are given repeated emphasis in Kurt's storylines, from wanting to hold his father's hand when he's comatose from a heart attack to considering the touch of fingertips the height of intimacy to the numerous close-up shots of him and Blaine holding hands post-Relationship Upgrade.
- Bowties Are Cool: They're not the only sort of tie he wears, but he wears a lot of them, and many of them are very cool indeed (steampunk clockfaces, anyone?).
- Breakout Character: He got much more screen time in the "back nine" after the showrunners saw fan reactions to his character and has taken a starring role in season 2.
- Brutal Honesty: Seems the only mode of communication he's comfortable with. Also why he gets some of the best lines.
- BSOD Song: "Rose's Turn".
- Camp Gay: Can't be thrown into a dumpster because he's wearing the Marc Jacobs fall collection. He came out of the Transparent Closet in Episode 3. It's interesting that his audition piece is "Mister Cellophane".
- Lampshaded in season three by his father during a conversation about his audition for West Side Story: "Dude, you're gay... and you're not like Rock Hudson gay, you're really gay. You sing like Diana Ross and you dress like you own a magic chocolate factory."
- Catch Phrase: "Mr. Schue, if I may?"
- Closet Key: To Karofsky. The title is neither expected nor appreciated.
- Character Development: In season 1, he's catty and standoffish to all but a few, very insecure about his sexuality, and prone to manipulative scheming. Since he isn't actually good as scheming - it all comes back to bite him - he stops doing it, and in season 2 he's more comfortable with himself, rather less haughty, and better at stating his feelings honestly. Unfortunately, he's brutally harassed for the first half of season 2, so he's also short-tempered, irritable, and miserable. But, what with the whole Glee club rallying around him, and his romance with Blaine, he comes out happier overall. As of late season 2, he's firm friends with people who used to bully him, and smiles more often than not.
- The Confidant: Becomes this for Sam in 2x19 'Rumours' after learning by accident that Sam's family has lost their house and is living out of a motel room and a car. He helps Sam out by giving him some spare clothesand keeps the secret even under considerable duress when the WHMS rumor mill starts churning.
- Cool Car: Has one in "Acafellas". His dad takes it away at the end of the episode.
- Dawson Casting: Slightly averted. Actor Chris Colfer is the youngest of the original cast, and was only a few weeks out of high school himself when he was cast, but even he turned 20 during the first season.
- Deadpan Snarker: Especially towards Rachel.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: He starts out as a haughty Deadpan Snarker, but it's a front - he just has to really trust you (or be taken off-guard) before he'll drop it.
- Chris Colfer has actually said that Kurt's "I'm better than you" persona is really a cover for his insecurity.
- Ditzy Genius: He is very intelligent and a fluent French speaker, but prone to moments of ditziness, such as his belief boxes have four sides or his plan to feed the doves at Burt and Carole's wedding glitter.
- "I'm not a box. There are more than four sides to me" was more of an angry, spontaneous retort to Mr. Schuester, than an actual belief (like feeding doves glitter).
- Dressed in Layers: His NYADA audition in 3x18, in which he starts out in a cape, tux and mask for 'Music of the Night' and then, on confirming that his auditor will be bored brainless by hearing that song for the millionth time, launches into 'Not the Boy Next Door' from The Boy From Oz instead...and on the line 'Underneath there is somebody new' rips away the tux to reveal a black blouse and skintight gold jeans.
- Lampshaded by Blaine in 3x05, who says it would be theoretically very difficult to rip off Kurt's clothes because of all the layers he wears on a daily basis.
- Dude Looks Like a Lady: Emma describes him as looking like an eleven year-old milkmaid, and one of Sue's nicknames for him is "Ladyface". Also has a tendency to show up in women's clothing, including skirts - and not look too bad in them.
Tina: Is that a woman's sweater?
Kurt: Fashion knows no gender.
- More than a few straight male viewers were wondering who that cute blonde girl in "Hairography" was, only to realize afterwards it was just Kurt in a wig.
- And then there's the time he and Blaine went trick-or-treating in costume as Snooki and The Situation...
- Easily Forgiven: Screwing with Rachel to get her to blow her chance with Finn because he's in love with him too. Finn apologizes to Kurt for using homophobic language. Kurt has yet to make apologies for sexual harassment, or for contributing to Finn's BSOD. Burt most likely forgave Finn off-screen, as he was acting on impulse when he overheard their argument.
- Giving up his duet with Sam in 2x04 can be read as a tacit apology - for the things Finn actually merited an apology for, at least, not the overblown, offensive and actively harmful garbage Finn spewed at him in that episode.
- Failed Audition Plot: Having been unaccountably rejected by NYADA at the end of Season 3 and spent the summer depressed and losing hope, Kurt packs up and moves to New York City at the start of Season 4, planning to re-audition for the Spring semester.
- And in 4x09, he resoundingly succeeded at his second chance, winning not only a place at NYADA but a standing ovation for his surprise (even to him) audition at its ridiculously high-profile Winter Showcase.
- The Fashionista: Lampshaded all the time. See also Unlimited Wardrobe.
Kurt: I'm so depressed I've worn the same outfit twice this week.
- Feminine Women Can Cook: Kurt is the only boy in the Home Ec class.
- Flying Under the Gaydar: Twice, once in 01x04 (trying to explain to his father why he was dancing to Beyoncé) and again in 01x18 (trying to win his dad back from Finn by being the son he thinks his father always wanted). Subverted on both occasions as his dad knows exactly what's going on.
- Foregone Conclusion: It was never a question of if Kurt would return from Dalton, it was a matter of when. He finally does in "Born This Way", after spending nine episodes there..
- Freudian Slip: In "Prom Queen:"
Kurt: Go with God, Satan. [handwaves] Santana.
- Graceful Loser: In season 3, he's really upset to lose out on the lead role in West Side Story and the class presidential race, but warmly congratulates the people who won.
- Grease Monkey: It’s implied that for all his Camp Gay mannerisms, Kurt is actually both knowledgeable about and comfortable around cars, being the son of a mechanic, to the point that both father and son work on a car in “Wheels”.
- Hard Work Hardly Works: Throughout the whole of Season 3 Kurt metaphorically breaks his back trying to put together an exceptional application and audition for NYADA, culminating in an audition for which he prepares two fully-staged, difficult showtune routines, both of which were transposed from the original keys to suit his voice better, and both of which involved costumes, dance routines and either acting partners or backup singers. He then switches from the obvious choice ('Music of the Night') to the one that's 'a little more out there, but much more me' ('Not the Boy Next Door') on the spot after realising that Dean Carmen Tibideaux would be bored stiff by yet another round of Andrew Lloyd Webber, kills the routine and is roundly praised for both the risk-taking and the quality of his performance...but doesn't get into NYADA. Contrast this with Rachel, who put more work into stalking the Dean and snivelling over not being given a second chance than she did into preparing her Season One success 'Don't Rain on My Parade' for the audition (and therefore choking on it on the day), but still gets in, and you can see why many viewers think that Glee is set in a Crapsack World par excellence.
- Carmen explains to Kurt that she thought he was talented but devoid of complexity and depth. Kurt's number was surface but no soul.
- Have You Tried Not Being a Monster?: Subverted. Kurt's ill-fated attempt at acting straight and dating Brittany essentially served to poke holes in the tired and logically-flawed "How do you know you're gay if you've never been with the opposite sex?" argument. Burt claims he's known Kurt was gay since age three, when all he wanted for his birthday was "a pair of sensible heels".
- He Is Not My Boyfriend: Insists (accurately, as of 2x10) that Blaine is not his boyfriend, though he is willing to admit to Mr Schue that he is attracted to Blaine. In 2x16 they get together for real.
- He Is All Grown Up: Chris Colfer was an adorable baby penguin for the first thirteen episodes. The point at which you realized what a fine young man he'd turned into varies from fan to fan. Power of Madonna? Never Been Kissed?
- He's Back: As of "Born this Way", Kurt Hummel is back at McKinley. In a top hat, no less.
- Hidden Depths: Fashionable queeny soprano ... who enjoyed playing football, has read Sun Tzu, knows his way around the inside of a car, and is seriously smart.
- And whose actor, from all reports, has one HELL of a talent with a set of sai!
- Hypocrite: A problem with his character in the earlier seasons. Despite being adamant that his homosexuality was an immutable part of who he was, he seemed to seriously believe that he could change Finn's by causing him to question his relationship with Rachel and literally getting him moved into Kurt's own bedroom. He made a slightly less aggressive attempt on Sam. Kurt also tended to express open disdain for others (and their fashion choices) even as he felt that it was unfair that he himself was picked on. Plus he was disdainful of the idea of bisexuality. He also tends to dismiss the idea that there is, or should be, any difference between "male" or "female" performance roles, but invariably favors female ones and becomes angry if forced to perform with the guys instead of the girls. Eventually he matures out of most of this.
- Hypocritical Heartwarming: In “Funk”, after learning about what Vocal Adrenaline did to Rachel, Kurt declares, "Mr. Schue, Rachel is one of us. We're the only ones who get to humiliate her."
- I Just Want to Be Loved: The explanation for his schemes, basically comes out and says it in "Duets". See also Love Makes You Crazy.
- Incompatible Orientation: Mercedes and Brittany wanting to date Kurt, and Kurt wanting to date Finn and Sam.
- It's All About Me: He has some of this going for him, though he's getting better - see 3x03, where he brings Blaine flowers to congratulate him on getting the part Kurt had desperately wanted.
- "I Want" Song: Kurt’s rendition of "Rose’s Turn" in 1x18 fits under this.
- Jerkass Façade: Heavily implied. Especially proven in Duets, when he almost cries after Rachel says to him that there are twelve people in Glee Club who loves him just the way he is and that although he's lonely, he is not alone.
- Lampshade Hanging: Semi-in-universe example: Chris Colfer's poem at the final Glee Live show in Dublin, delivered in-character as Kurt, lampshades practically every major statement critics have made about him.
Kurt: I swear to God, I'm gonna punch the next person who calls me a stereotype.
- Like an Old Married Couple: With Blaine. Albeit, in the words of Kurt himself, a -fabulous- old married couple.
- Like Parent, Like Spouse: It's not a nice thought, but Finn does have noticeable similarities in personality and interests to Kurt's father, as evidenced by how well they get along at the end of "Home".
- Increasingly averted in Season Two, as Blaine has little in common with Burt besides liking college football. It seems the only real characteristic Kurt's love interests need to share with his father are kindness and genuine acceptance.
- Love Makes You Crazy: Hoo boy.
- Magical Queer: Subverted. Sure, Kurt seems like the helpful gay pal, giving our hetero hero and heroine relationship advice and even an attention-drawing makeover, but the only attention the 'makeover' was designed to draw was looks of horror from Finn and the 'advice' was tailored to try and turn Finn off women completely and become more receptive to a, shall we say, Grecian style of romance.
- Manic Pixie Dream Boy: To Blaine, most notably in the skits of the Glee Live tour. Between the bouncing and the posing and the squeeing, he comes off as a cross between this and Draco Malfoy.
- Man in a Kilt: His prom outfit.
- Manipulative Bastard: He's not exactly Princess Azula or even Princess Diana in terms of effectiveness and subtlety, but see Magical Queer above and Stalker With A Crush below for some of the head games he's pulled.
- Missing Mom
- Mistaken for Cheating: With Sam in "Rumours."
- Nice Hat: He has a penchant for interesting headgear choices, such as fedoras and Banzai bandannas, and in the season 1 finale, a sailor hat. A little unexpected since boys are normally not allowed to wear hats in school. In "Grilled Cheesus", he goes to Mercedes' church when she says he can wear one.
Kurt: Oh Mercedes, you had me at "fabulous hat."
- New Transfer Student: He stays in Dalton from "Furt" all the way to "Born This Way."
- Not So Different: Blaine points out that Kurt's biphobia makes him similar to Karofsky in his bigotry.
- N-Word Privileges: Does not like being called "lady" or anything similar, unless it's himself or a close friend: e.g. Kurt's "I bring a glass of warm milk to Finn every night just so that we can have a little lady-chat" in "Sue Sylvester Shuffle", and Rachel's "Ladies, we have a problem" to Kurt and Mercedes in "Audition", which he rolls his eyes indignantly at (remember that at the time, Rachel and Kurt had yet to really become friends).
- Odd Friendship:
- Kurt and Brittany (before she "dated" him), hanging out with him and doing the "Single Ladies" dance despite being a Cheerio and Kurt being in Glee.
- His friendship with Rachel started off this way, though it's easy to forget how weird it was now. In season 4 he becomes roommates with Rachel, and oddly enough, Santana.
- Platonic Life Partners: His friendship with Mercedes, which is one of the most heartwarming things about the show.
- Mercedes has now been semi-replaced by Rachel.
- He and Rachel, too, seem to be taking this direction.
- Plucky Girl: Not himself, for obvious reasons, but Sue invokes this trope in relation to him when demanding him to perform in drag at Nationals: "Meet the plucky transsexual Porcelina."
- Pretty Boy: Fulfills pretty much every criterion on that page to a T, down to the female-sounding voice, gender norm-busting, and adolescent appearance.
- For a more specific rundown of the list: Ambiguously feminine physical traits? Check. Tall(ish), lightly-muscled but slender build without facial hair? Check. Big eyes often brimming with anguish? Check. Youthful appearance and crossing of sexuality and gender boundaries? Check. Feminine voice? Check. Adolescently attractive? Check.
- Puppy-Dog Eyes: Possibly even worse than Finn's, they're huge and blue and possibly the primary reason you love him even when you want to slap him. For an excellent example, just watch him persuading Ms. Holliday to teach Glee club in "Substitute".
- Real Men Wear Pink: Reversed. he's the Camp Gay who plays football and fixes cars.
- Relationship Upgrade: With Blaine as of "Original Song" to the joy of squeeing fangirls.
- Scully Box: Inverted. Chris Colfer had a growth spurt during the first season and is rather tall as a result, but camera tricks are frequently employed so that Kurt doesn't look taller than Blaine or Karofsky (notice how he rarely stands side-by-side with another guy).
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Sensitive Guy to both Finn and Blaine's Manly Man.
- Spoiled Sweet: Sure, he has his dad wrapped around his little finger... but said dad otherwise works hard to keep him down-to-earth, and despite Kurt's immense capacity for cattiness, he's never approached the kind of casual cruelty that characters like Quinn, Santana or Puck find normal.
- Stalker with a Crush: Even though his love for Finn was doomed from the start, it hasn't stopped him from doing some rather creepy things in an effort to get close to him. Some of his schemes include manipulating Finn into exposing Quinn's pregnancy to her parents, tricking Rachel into dressing like a "sad clown hooker", and setting up his dad with Finn's mom with the goal that they'll combine households so he and Finn can share a bedroom.
- Star-Making Role: Glee catapulted the completely unknown Colfer into the national spotlight, giving him a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor within eighteen months of his professional acting debut. Not bad.
- Stuffed into a Trashcan: Tossed into dumpsters all the time in the first season.
- Suspiciously Specific Denial: He certainly did not steal Sue's "Physical" video from her locked file cabinet when she sent him to get her hormone injection before Cheerios practice.
- Taking the Bullet: In the first season, Finn rejoins the football team and in order to prove his loyalty to them, is told he must give a slushie facial to either Kurt or one of his friends. He's hesitating because he "knows how particular Kurt is about what products go on his face." Kurt's response is to grab the Slushie out of Finn's hand and splash on his own face:
Kurt: That's called taking one for the team. Would any of your football buddies do that for you?
- Transparent Closet: But as far as Mercedes is concerned, it may as well have been made of lead until he comes out to her. He has also mentioned he has only come out to her and his father. In "Laryngitis," pretty much no one is fooled by his "straight boy" charade except the dim-witted Brittany, who takes it as an opportunity to add him to her list of boys she's kissed.
- Unlimited Wardrobe: Burt can apparently afford to buy all his son's designer clothes. Mechanics make decent money, and that's when they don't own their own store like Burt does—the Hummels aren't hurting for money.
- It's actually stated in supplemental materials (like the season 1 volume 2 DVD) that Kurt doesn't wear designer clothes, but rather sews and tailors his own hand-me-downs and thrift store pieces to resemble designer outfits.
- This is confirmed in "Prom Queen" when Kurt states that he made his (extremely professional-looking) prom outfit himself. In order to make that outfit to that standard, he'd have to have had a lot of practice on other garments.
- And confirmed even harder in "Makeover" in season 4, in which Kurt states on-screen that he makes most of his own clothes, topping them up with bargains found online and scrounged items.
- Viewer Gender Confusion: In-universe. Emma also said that he looked like an eleven-year old Milkmaid, and Sam mistook Kurt's voice for Faith Hill's.
- Virginity Makes You Stupid: Discussed in 2x15. Kurt pretty much doesn't want to know about sex, preferring to romanticize it completely. This is rather justified by the fact that he's always been discouraged from acting on his feelings for other boys, but Blaine worries that with this attitude, Kurt's first time will end up being the exact "lecherous predator seduces helpless naif" scenario that is a staple of this trope. Still, it's worth it for Kurt's thoughts on gay porn:
Kurt: I've tried watching those movies, but I just get horribly depressed because they were all kids once and they all had mothers and what would their mothers say? And why would you get a tattoo there?
- He has since grown out of this trope, since he and Blaine first had sex in season 3. Season 5 makes it very clear that their sex life is very active.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy
- What the Hell, Hero?: In the second season, Kurt gets called out by his father for his inappropriate behavior towards Finn.
- Also when he openly states his belief that there are no such thing as Bisexuals. This promptly gets him called out by everyone for the fact that he often plays the "Homophobia-Card", yet seems to think he is allowed to get away with biphobic comments. Blaine even compares him to Karofsky and his bigotry. However, this is one of many cases of Kurt's It's All About Me mentality overriding his alleged principles. At the time he was romantically interested in Blaine, and Blaine was the one questioning whether he himself might be bisexual (and attracted to Rachel). As was the case with Finn, Kurt wasn't inclined to let somebody else that he was interested in define their own sexuality in a way that might lessen his chances of getting with them.
- Wimpification: Interesting semi-in universe example. Several of the images in◊ this article◊ from Entertainment Weekly portray Kurt as looking rather demure towards and much shorter than Blaine. However, Kurt is much more acerbic on the actual show, and Chris Colfer is significantly taller than Darren Criss in real life.
Oh, hell to the nah! Look, I'm not down with this background singing nonsense! I'm Beyoncé, I ain't no Kelly Rowland!
A brassy, Sassy Black Girl
in the Glee club. It appears her main job is to soulfully belt out in the last twenty seconds of the group numbers. Her strong voice and diva tendencies sometimes put her at odds with Rachel, especially since the latter gets more leads. Played by Amber Riley.
- Betty and Veronica: She could be considered the Betty to Santana’s Veronica in their competition for Puck.
- She's the Archie to Shane's Betty and Sam's Veronica.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Mercedes is a loyal friend to Kurt, and has Quinn stay with her when pregnant, but when Kurt said he didn't want to date her, she smashed his car's windshield.
- Big Eater: Becomes this in "The Substitute."
- Big Beautiful Woman: Her performance of "Sweet Transvestite" finally shows off her sexy side.
- And season four's "Higher Ground" cements the fact that Mercedes Jones is sexy without needing to be slutty.
- Black Best Friend: To Kurt.
- Brilliant but Lazy: Touched upon near the end of season 2 and brought to a head in season 3. She has an excellent voice, and many people have said she's as good as, if not better than, Rachel (including Rachel). However, she rarely practices and is often late to rehearsals, fakes stomach pains, shows less camaraderie, and still feels entitled for lead roles solely on her talent. By "Asian F" she quits the Glee Club and joins Shelby's group out of anger and spite.
- Casting Couch: In "Wonder-ful", Mercedes reveals her record producer has been pressuring her to show more skin for her album cover, knowing she's an 18-year-old girl alone in the big city and has hung all her dreams on this album.
- Catch Phrase: "Hell to the no!" In "Original Song," she writes a song about it.
- Commuting on a Bus: As of season 4.
- Deadpan Snarker
- Easily Forgiven: Mercedes throws a brick through the windshield of Kurt's new car. It does provide the dramatic impetus for her to sing an awesome rendition of "Bust Your Windows", though.
- Face-Heel Turn: In "Asian F". Her bad attitude towards Mr. Schuester and the rest of the club, along with her rage at not getting Maria in West Side Story, cause her to quit and join Shelby's new club.
- Friendly Enemy: Later episodes showed her as not being antagonistic towards the New Directions though.
- Heel-Face Turn: The Troubletones' loss at Sectionals and Will's promise to feature Mercedes and Santana in New Directions brought her back to the club.
- Fag Hag: For Kurt, as lampshaded by Sue: "Future center square Kurt Hummel and his brassy hag, Mercedes."
- The Fashionista: Not as much as Kurt, but she has some level of it.
- Fat Best Friend: To Kurt.
- Green-Eyed Monster: She is very envious of all the attention the club gives Rachel.
- Ham-to-Ham Combat: Her "diva-off" with Rachel could be considered this.
- Hard Work Hardly Works: Most of the time. This is shown to be a problem in Season 3, though.
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: With Shane in season three.
- I Just Want to Be Loved: The main reason she believed Kurt liked her, and why she dated Puck. She cites this as her reason for not going to prom because she's dateless, too.
- Incompatible Orientation: Mercedes and Kurt.
- Imagined Innuendo: Mercedes suspects that Kurt is gay...at least until the cheerleaders tell her he likes her. Then she interprets every time they hang out as a date. Unfortunately, her first instincts were correct.
- The Leader: Finally gets to be this to the Troubletones.
- Like Brother and Sister: Mercedes and Kurt have this kind of friendship, as they are extremely close and one of the show's most heartwarming friendships.
- Mercedes and Mike Chang seem to have grown into this one in season 4.
- Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places: First Kurt, then Puck.
- Love Makes You Dumb: She gets a big crush on Kurt, which makes her oblivious to his obvious homosexuality until he spells it out for her.
- Meat-O-Vision: Mercedes suffers from this in “Home” after going on a diet for Sue.
- The Mentor: Her job in season four has been as the new vocal coach of New Directions. More explicitly, she serves as one of Unique's mentors, along with Kurt, helping her find her confidence.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: As awesome as her performance of "Beautiful" was, it caused a journalist to scrap his expose on Sue as a total bitch and heap undeserved praises on her instead.
- Odd Friendship: With Quinn, who even requests that Mercedes be in the room with her while she's giving birth.
- Pair the Spares: As of "New York," with Sam, who gives her a hug after "Light Up the World" and is seen going with her on a date at the Lima Bean later, despite the fact that they previously hadn't interacted much before "Prom Queen." Their relationship is fleshed out more in Season 3.
- Platonic Life Partners: Her friendship with Kurt.
- The Prima Donna: Flanderized in "Night of Neglect", but in general, she is a diva and proud of it.
- Put on a Bus: For the beginning of season four.
- The Bus Came Back: In "The Role You Were Born to Play", to serve as vocal director for Grease.
- Religious Stereotype: Mercedes' church, shown in "Grilled Cheezus", is as stereotypically black and full of ladies in hats and fans as you can get. Mercedes herself spends most of the episode pressuring Kurt to attend church with her and help her pray for his father.
- One of her catchphrases is "praise!" and she frequently references her faith.
- Sassy Black Woman: As mentioned above.
- Sesquipedalian Smith
- Staying with Friends: In “Funk,” Mercedes offers to let Quinn stay at her house as long as she needs to after Quinn's father had coldly kicked her out.
- Technician Vs Performer: The Performer to Rachel's Technician; Mercedes relies on a boatload of natural talent and not so much on rehearsal.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gives one to Rachel in "Asian F", which has been a long time in coming.
- Token Minority: She seems to be a walking stereotype, despite her saying being a proud black woman isn't all she is. Although the show has given her a bit of character development with some I Just Want to Be Loved storylines and her season three break from New Directions.
- Token Shipping: With Shane.
- Worthy Opponent: Santana, especially when the two of them team up for "Duets", then later come to terms on leadership of the Troubletones.
Arthur "Artie" Abrams
"I may be in a wheelchair, but I'm still a guy."
A wheelchair-bound member of New Directions. Is also in the Jazz Band and in the AV Club. After his graduation in Season 5, he goes on to attend film school in New York. Played by Kevin McHale
- Actor/Role Confusion: Kevin McHale has received not-so-friendly Twitter messages from Brittana shippers about staying away from Brittany, to which he responded that he "wasn't Artie."
- Adorkable: Fits Artie to a T.
- Ain't No Rule: Against him joining the football team (there actually would be, but this is a comedy).
- Alliterative Name
- A Man Is Not a Virgin: Subverted in season one, though he would like you to know he has the full use of his penis.
- And heartbreakingly played straight in "Duets," when he loses his virginity to Brittany and is devastated because it meant nothing to her and everything to him.
- Badass Boast: "We're planning on smacking them down like the hand of God" in "Vitamin D", and "Now get the hell out of my auditorium" in "Michael".
- Beautiful All Along: As seen in episodes such as "Glee, Actually", under the glasses and grandpa sweaters he's actually quite good-looking. See also Nerds Are Sexy.
- Beta Couple: Subverted. Early on, Kevin McHale compared Artie and Tina to Corey and Topanga from Boy Meets World saying that although they have their ups and their downs they would always be together. Nowadays, remembering Artie's love life, this isn't quite as true.
- Bi the Way: Not official, but heavily implied, especially in Season 3. Amusingly, in "Transitioning" his dance partner at Rachel's party is Spencer.
- Big Damn Heroes: In "Britney/Brittany", Artie parks himself between Finn and Karofsky and Azimio to stop a fight that could leave Finn both hurt and in serious trouble at school.
- Brutal Honesty: "Well, you're irritating most of the time, but don't take that personally."
- The Casanova: Became one after the show moved to New York, as seen in "Tested". It doesn't end well for him.
- Character Tics: His "preach" hand wave.
- Deadpan Snarker
- Disabled Snarker
- Girl-on-Girl Is Hot: Subverted - when Artie finds out that Brittany has been cheating on him with Santana throughout their relationship, he is genuinely bothered by it. It results in them breaking up after he, under the pressure of heartbreak, calls Brittany "stupid" for letting Santana manipulate her.
- Handicapped Badass: While his disability doesn't hinder his singing talent, Artie still fits this to a T.
- The Heart: As stated by Rory in Artie's It's a Wonderful Plot dream from "Glee, Actually", he is the glue that keeps the Glee club together.
- Hidden Depths: A seemingly pathetic, wheelchair-bound nerd... who plays guitar, sings, dances, raps (pretty damn well too), engages in Def Poetry, is on his way to become a film director, and planned a lesbian wedding. And he still has full use of his penis.
- Hollywood Nerd: A more traditional example, though less noticeable in later seasons, particularly season 5, in which he seems to don less grandpa sweaters and white dress shirts and more polo shirts.
- I Can't Believe A Girl Like You Would Notice Me: With Brittany in season 2, and Kitty in seasons 4 and 5.
- I Just Want to Be Normal: Part of the reason Artie is so doggone nice to everyone (to the point of becoming close friends with Mike even after the whole thing with Tina, and of planning Brittany and Santana's wedding in spite of his history with them), he has a hard enough time trying to get people to see past the chair.
- Nerds Are Sexy: Becky definitely thinks so, and isn't shy about it. And if the amount of girls he slept with is to go by, it seems she isn't the only one.
- Odd Friendship: Let's just cut to the chase, him and everyone. He's like the Wolverine of Glee in that all of his friendships are a little odd.
- Only Sane Man: Among the members of the Glee club, he is often the most down to earth and by far the least dramatic. This, combined with his often subtly sarcastic dialogue, makes him the most fitting candidate among the group for the title.
- Operation Jealousy: Initially hangs around Brittany to make Tina jealous after she dumped him for Mike. They soon become an actual couple after the fact that they actually do like each other and aren't in it to make their ex-girlfriends jealous comes to light.
- Pair the Spares: With both Tina and Brittany.
- Pretty Fly for a White Guy: Averted in that he actually is pretty fly, casually throwing around "ghetto" slang and being one of New Directions' go-to guys for rapping, and managing to pull it off. Most notably, in Season 1 alone, his performance of "Can't Touch This" is possibly better than Hammer's, and in "Throwdown," as the minority students are leaving the room after a whole group performance, one can easily recognize his voice saying "Bye, white people!"
- Poke the Poodle: Artie spikes the punch bowl at the prom... with lemonade.
- The Rival: Played for Laughs, but just see the interaction between Sebastian and Artie in "Michael", especially in "Bad" and later in "Black or White". It reeks of two rival gang leaders trying to best each other.
- Serenade Your Lover:
- Does this twice to Brittany in season 2. First, in "Silly Love Songs", he serenades her with Michael Jackson's "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)" as part of the Valentine's Day assignment. Later, in "Prom Queen", after their break-up, he brings the rest of the straight guys in New Directions to her home economics class and sings Stevie Wonder's "Isn't She Lovely" to her. (The Cover Changes The Meaning is in play, of course, and Mercedes is quick to point it out.)
- He does this again in the season 3 episode "Heart", this time singing Mario's "Let Me Love You" (in a particularly Boy Band-esque fashion, too) to Sugar, in order to best Rory at being her Valentine. It initially works, but she ultimately chooses Rory after he lies about being deported back to Ireland.
- Ship Tease: With Sugar in seasons 3 and 4, as well as Kitty in the latter. In Kitty's case, it actually ended up going somewhere in season 5 before his inevitable graduation and move to New York led them to break up.
- Sorry, Billy, but You Just Don't Have Legs: Artie's initial dream of being able to walk and dance again.
- Stuffed into a Locker: Er... port-a-potty.
- Sweater Guy: Artie almost always wears a sweater or a sweater vest.
- Token Minority Couple: With Tina in Season 1, and with Betty in "I Do".
- Took a Level in Jerkass: In Season 3 being a director goes seriously to his head. He gets better though.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Artie to Tina, after Tina reveals she faked her stutter. He gets his own when he calls Brittany stupid. Before that, he was the only one in the school who hadn't.
- He does it again in season 3, twice in a row: in "Yes/No" towards the rest of the club due to their prejudice against Becky, and in "Michael" towards Will, protesting against the bullying the Glee club (him moreso than the rest) has to go through without fighting back.
- He gets one from Kitty in Season 6, when he comes to ask her to rejoin the Glee club. She's quite understandably pissed off that he broke up with her after graduation, so she isn't interested in what he has to say. After Rachel finally convinces Kity to rejoin, though, she and Artie seem to have made amends.
Even though I'm painfully shy and obsessed with death, I'm a really effervescent person.
A goth Asian member of the Glee Club who had initially faked a stutter to avoid having to sing. Was dating Artie but dumped him for Mike. Played by Jenna Ushkowitz.
- A Day in the Limelight: Finally, in season 3, we get an episode that gives Tina an actual plot. And it's awesome.
- Advertised Extra: Much of the time. You can definitely tell that the writers progressively lost interest in the character the further into development and production the series got, especially when other popular characters started to emerge.
- Ambiguously Jewish: Tina might not be Ambiguously Jewish - the name might just be a tribute to the actress playing her, Jenna Ushkowitz, an Asian-American with a pretty Jewish-sounding last name. Then again, who knows?
- Beta Couple: In the first season, the Tina/Artie coupling could be considered the Beta Couple for Finn/Rachel, Quinn/Puck and Will/Emma and there is no doubt that, in comparison, they are a far more stable couple. In the second season, it's Mike/Tina that's the most stable couple in the series - they've been together for the entire second season, with their problems being quite minor in comparison to, say, Will/Emma or Finn/Rachel.
- Big "NO!": Lets out one in "A Katy or a Gaga" after Will tells New Directions that they'll be up against Throat Explosion. It's big enough to trigger a little corpsing from Kevin McHale.
- Butt Monkey: Probably one of the most egregious examples. Notably, most of her solos end up interrupted, either by her bursting into tears or by outside circumstances.
- Brown Eyes: Her "Born This Way" shirt label, representing her insecurity over her racial identity.
- Character Development: Very quietly, in the background of the series, Tina has shed much of her shyness, gained a voice and considerable (if sometimes slightly shaky) confidence, and turned out to be a very good dancer. It's even started to earn her actual plots.
- In fact, her whole history on the show was basically summarized during the beginning of season 3 episde 20 "Props," all of it ending it with, "Wasn't she the girl with the stutter?"
- Covert Pervert: Seems to have a bit of this going. She seems quiet and introverted, but it's implied that she first took an interest in Mike because she couldn't resist his abs, and in the fourth season a montage showing her developing crush on Blaine prominently features a scene of Tina very intensely staring at his ass when he's bending to pick something from the floor.
- Deadpan Snarker: In Seasons 4 and 5.
- Eating the Eye Candy: Basically how her relationship with Mike began, as shown in a flashback during the season 2 premiere. To be fair, it's hard to pay attention to what you're doing when there's a shirtless guy with amazing abs dancing around you.
- Elegant Gothic Lolita: Especially in season 2.
- Girl, He's Like, In A Coma!: Blaine, who has a cold, falls asleep on his bed when they're studying together. She unbuttons his shirt and puts on some vapor rub. It came off a little bit creepy, considering that Tina was very obviously crushing on Blaine.
- The Heart: Established as this in "Props", though she doesn't accept it until the end of the episode.
- Incompatible Orientation: Her crush on Blaine in Season 4.
- Kick the Dog: While her disappointment over The New Directions losing Sectionals in Season 4 is certainly understandable, she really could have been nicer to Marley about it. Telling her "It's all your fault!" was pretty cold, especially considering that Marley was A) Suffering from a legitimate and very serious psychological condition and B) The victim of cruel manipulation by someone she believed was a friend. Add to that the fact that Marley was, in all likelihood, mentally beating herself up for failing the team and this comes off as Jerkass behavior of the highest order.
- Multicolored Hair: She was often seen with (usually blue or purple) streaks in her hair during the first two seasons.
- Never Live It Down: In-universe, people still occasionally made jabs about Tina putting vapo-rub on Blaine's chest while he was passed out.
- Obfuscating Disability: Her stuttering was an act she originally developed to avoid having to do an oral presentation.
- Off Screen Break Up: With Mike at the start of season 4.
- One Steve Limit: Averted. She and Mike both have the last name "Chang" (hyphenated, in her case), with no indication they're related. Additionally, there's a Vocal Adrenaline member named Andrea "Cohen."
- Lampshaded in "Extraordinary Merry Christmas," where the Star Wars-themed opening introduces them as "Mike Chang and Tina Cohen-Chang, no relation!"
- Perky Goth: Started out as one. Lampshaded in episode 20: "Even though I'm shy and obsessed with death I have a very effervescent personality!"
- Satellite Character: To the point where her boyfriend Mike, who literally started as an extra, ended up with more stories dedicated to him. From "Props" onwards, she begins to actively rebel against this role.
- Shrinking Violet: Initially.
- Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Tina’s romance with Artie, the most easygoing and one of the most good natured member of the Glee Club, might have some foundations in this... Except their relationship ended up being pretty troubled (especially in "The Power of Madonna"), and she eventually dropped him for Mike at the start of season 2.
- Throwing Off the Disability: In "Wheels", Tina reveals to Artie that she's been faking her stutter to avoid people, and wants to stop. Artie takes it badly.
- Token Minority Couple: With Mike, which apparently blossomed when they were both counselors at "Asian camp." It was constantly lampshaded, such as when Mike suggested for them to go to Asian couples therapy.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: In season 4.
- Tsundere: In season one, we saw mostly the dere-dere side, because Tina was so shy. In season two, we're getting more of the tsun-tsun. Poor Mike and Artie are not happy about it.
- Twofer Token Minority: She's Asian and Ambiguously Jewish to boot!
- Her having a stutter would have also qualified if she hadn't thrown it off halfway through Season 1.
- Unlimited Wardrobe: While her clothes might not be as stylish as Kurt's, sometimes they are just as elaborate.
- Zettai Ryouiki