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The original six students who formed New Directions, along with their teacher Will.

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     Will Schuester 

William Michael Schuester
From the top!
Portrayed by: Matthew Morrison

A High School Spanish (later history) teacher who takes over the Glee club (New Directions) and becomes a mentor to the Ragtag Bunch of Misfits. He was married to Terri; that marriage ended when she faked a pregnancy; he then married Emma.

Will is a tenor with strong higher pitches, although he raps with a lower voice.

  • Aesop Amnesia: One episode has everyone telling Will that the other members of his Glee club have more merit than just being glorified backup singers and living props. The episode ends with yet another performance starring Finn and Rachel.
  • Berserk Button: Will has admittedly tolerated trouble from other people, including his wife. But when he finds out that his wife was faking her pregnancy, he just fucking blows up...
  • Betty and Veronica: An interesting case, as if we analyze the case closely he could be considered to the Betty or the Veronica to Ken, who would become the opposing force depending on what you consider Will to be.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Will is beyond furious when he confronts Terri about her fake pregnancy.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: When he Took a Level in Jerkass, he's more of a selfish, stubborn, obsessive and pushy manchild.
  • Camp Straight: A mild case. Shelby Corcoran wonders if he's gay, and a few other characters have teased him for his interest in show tunes.
  • Catchphrase: "From the top!"
  • Cloudcuckoolander: His teaching methods can be seen as unorthodox, even awkward sometimes and he has a childishly naive mindset.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Slips into this a few times, most notably with Mercedes at the start of season three and with Marley during the Katy vs. Gaga week assignment.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: After Emma marries Carl.
  • George Jetson Job Security: Despite being a public school teacher and thus presumably unionized, he apparently has this, as Sue fires him while he's on sick leave.
    • Of course, this is Sue Sylvester we are talking about.
  • High-School Sweethearts: Will and Terri were a not so happy version of this.
  • Hot Teacher: This is what happens when you are a Chick Magnet, even if you can weird and dorky as Schuester.
  • Informed Ability: How much Spanish Will actually knows and can speak, which is strange, considering he's the Spanish teacher at McKinley.
    • In the episode "The Spanish Teacher", it turns out he doesn't know much at all, and only took the position because it was the only one available.
    • Similarly, we have his ability in regards to handling his students. The first scene of the series (arguably his Establishing Character Moment) is him driving into school and seeing a group of football players crowding around Kurt, who is paralyzed with fear and looking towards Will. Instead of, you know, doing anything to stop this, he asks "making some friends, Kurt?" After Puck replies in the affirmative, and Will walks off, the jocks throw Kurt into a dumpster.
      • Not to mention he does absolutely nothing about all of the slushies that get tossed in the faces of his Glee kids.
      • Nor does he do anything about everyone in the club making fun of Rachel for one reason or the other. He doesn't even bat an eyelash when they talk about causing her physical harm, such as when Quinn tells her that she wants to punch her in the face when she talks. Teachers are supposed to take threats like that seriously even if they aren't meant that way.
  • Innocent Cohabitation: In "Home", this is what happens between Will and April during her stay at his house, even if Sue later tried to twist it for her own purposes.
  • It's All About Me: He has a very troubling tendency to make things about himself and do bad things if they benefit him. Examples include planting drugs on Finn, hitting on Emma after promising Carl he wouldn't, using the Glee Club to put on shows to impress Emma, and stealing Finn's letterman jacket.
  • It's the Journey That Counts: Will states this in the aptly named "Journey" to New Directions just as they are preparing to go out and perform at Regionals.
  • Karma Houdini: Will completely gets away with planting marijuana in Finn's locker to force him to join the team in the pilot.
    • Though when he tells Finn what he did in the season 3 finale, Finn laughs it off and calls him "the coolest teacher ever."
  • Kick the Dog: Considering that it was Will, not Puck, who took Finn's letterman jacket, this line.
    Will: If you did, all I'm going to say is that we all want some piece of Finn to keep close to us.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: We know Sue is a bad person but, intentionally leading her on for the sole sake of breaking her heart? Damn Will, that's cold.
  • Love Hurts: During his confrontation with Terri, Will tears up.
  • Love Dodecahedron: Terri-Will, Holly-Will, Shelby-Will, Emma-Will, Carl-Emma, Ken-Emma...
  • Manipulative Bastard: For such a Nice Guy, Schue really is capable of pulling off some underhanded deeds.
  • Manly Tears: At the end of "The Quarterback". And how.
  • Mistaken for Racist: Part of Sue's campaign against Will is to get all of the minority kids into her own section of the glee club.
  • Mr. Fanservice: There's quite the number of comments on Youtube videos of his Don't Stand So Close To Me/Young Girl mash-up about how cute/sexy Will is.
  • Nice Guy: When the writers feel like writing him as such, Will is an exceptionally compassionate, sweet and friendly person.
  • No Accounting for Taste: Will and Terri.
  • Odd Friendship: With Coach Beiste.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: "O Fortuna" is used to hilarious effect during the Will vs. Sue scenes in episode 7.
  • Only Sane Man: ...most of the time. And similarly, Only Sane Employee.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: Will's furious reaction to finding out about the faked pregnancy. It’s precisely how far that is from his usual personality that makes it so chilling.
    • And smashing the Cheerio's trophy when Sue tries to house it in the chorus room. He probably would have preferred to smash it over Sue's head if he could have gotten away with it.
    • His eerily calm "You dropped your trophy, Sue" just makes that moment even more frightening.
  • Out of Focus: In season 3, possibly in response to the fandoms' response to his storylines in the second season.
  • Papa Wolf: A subtle one, but in "Funk", after Will stops the guys from Glee getting revenge on Vocal Adrenaline for their horrible treatment of Rachel. Kurt demands to know if Will is letting Vocal Adrenaline get away with it. Will, face cold and in Tranquil Fury mode, answers "no" and proceeds to call Jesse with Rachel’s phone. Will invites Vocal Adrenaline to see New Directions perform, which they do (blasting a funk number out of the park). Lesson learned? Do not go after one of Will's Glee kids.
  • Parental Substitute: It appears as if Will is shaping up to be a father-figure for Finn, considering his father died when he was just a baby. Finn outright confirms this in the Season 1 Finale.
    • Will shatters Finn's perception of him as a father at all when he tells Finn he thought he was pathetic after he dropped out of the military and returned to Lima. They sort of resolve their issues near the end of Season 4, only for Finn's death to ruin any more plans for the father/son/mentor/successor to the glee club relationship to develop further. Despite having kept a strong face in the weeks immediately following Finn's death, Will ends up stealing Finn's letterman jacket and completely breaks down in Emma's arms.
  • Poke the Poodle: On his way out of Sue's office after she steals all the gifts for the homeless children, he unhangs her telephone.
  • Pretty Fly for a White Guy: Will is very, very white, his favorite song is "Bust a Move", he raps "Gold Digger", likes Poison, and breakdances.
  • Rousing Speech: In "Journey" Will gives a rather emotional one the New Directions shortly after they learn that Sue would be one of the four judges at Regionals, stating that as a group they have grown and changed so much, and for the better and that no matter what happens in the future, he believes and loves them too much to let them fall at the wayside.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Is this to Ken, and later Burt
  • Ship Tease: In "Funk" they really tease the hell out of the Will and Sue ship. Their dance to "Sing, Sing, Sing" was kind of adorable, too.
  • Stupid Sexy Flanders: In the aforementioned "Funk". He was able to seduce Sue by some butt-wiggling to music despite the fact she loathed him.
  • So Proud of You: One could argue that Will is always proud of his "children", as seen in his facial expressions every episode. However, quite possibly the two most touching instances of this are in "Sectionals" and in "Journey".
  • Team Mom: Schue is a rare male example.
  • Took a Level in Badass: All of Episode 12. Will finally confronts Terri about her fake pregnancy, rips her fake baby bump off, stops taking her bullshit, and walks out on her, all while proving that Will can actually act. Later on, after Will endangers Glee Club's chance of going to Sectionals by sleeping on a mattress they received from a commercial spot, Will takes the bullet for the team so they can still go to Sectionals; just without him.
  • Vicariously Ambitious: For the glee club, and they know it.
  • Waistcoat of Style: Santana thinks he's addicted to them.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Emma calls Will out on his "slutty" behavior - cheating on Terri with her, having April stay at his house, and making out with Shelby - in front of the entire faculty. Also the end of "The Power of Madonna" where he is angry with Kurt and Mercedes for joining the Cheerios. At some point before this episode, three of the six girls in Glee (Quinn, Santana and Brittany) were already on the Cheerios and all of the guys but Artie were on the football team. All of a sudden he has a problem with Kurt and Mercedes trying to get solos for themselves.
    • Half of his lines in "Special Education" are this, calling out the club on their selfish behavior and his own failings as a fair director.
    • Played with when he lectures Puck on stealing Finn's letterman jacket... It could very easily be interpreted as Will attempting to convince himself to give the jacket back to Santana by the end of the episode. He doesn't.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Oh, so much.
  • Worthy Opponent: Sue considers him one at the end of the first season, which is why she forces the principal to give the Glee club another year, even though they didn't place at Regionals. Properly refers to him as one in New Directions.

     Rachel Berry 

Rachel Barbra Berry-St. James
Look, I know what I'm talking about! I won my first dance competition when I was three months old!
Portrayed by: Lea Michele

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. Dated Finn Hudson on and off through the first four seasons, after his death, she married Jesse St. James and became the surrogate for Kurt Hummel and Blaine Anderson's child.

Rachel claims a three-octave range (like Quinn has), though she only sings covering two, and is a true soprano.

  • Aesop Amnesia: Almost every season has been spent teaching Rachel that it's not all about her and that success depends on others, since she just keeps forgetting this lesson. Only until the sixth season premier "Loser Like Me does it finally stick thanks to her severe humbling; though she still retains the drive and passion, the overt ego is rightly deflated.
  • Age-Inappropriate Dress:
    Kurt: She manages to dress like a grandmother and a kindergartner at the same time.
  • All Jews Are Ashkenazi: Demonstrated when Rachel lectures Quinn about Tay-Sachs syndrome and how her cousin had to get checked for it, although since it was her way of forcing Quinn to come clean about the paternity of her baby, it may be debatable.
  • Alpha Bitch: She shows some characteristics of this within the confines of the club, calling Kurt and Mercedes "lesser glee clubbers" to their faces, telling Tina and Mike that their contribution to the club will be "even more insignificant" than it already is" if a potential new recruit can dance, and even sent her new rival to a crack house instead of an audition. Her specialty is sweetly offering a brutal putdown and justifying it as "honesty"
  • Always Second Best: In "Audition", Rachel discovers that the new exchange student is a better singer than she is. Rachel herself functions as this for everyone else in New Directions, though one who's heavily invested in having them all recognize and accept her superiority. However, she is increasingly shown not to be definitively better at anything than all the other members of the club since she has vocal equals in Mercedes and Kurt, and is relegated to the back row with the weakest dancers in several numbers while Tina and Kurt move to the front row alongside Brittany, Santana and Mike.
  • Ambiguously Bi: Yes, really. In "Mattress", it's revealed that Rachel wants to get into as many clubs as possible so she can be in as many yearbook pictures as possible, and the club she suggests to Kurt that they form is a Gay Lesbian Alliance (she says it'll make her the most involved student at the school, whereas she joined all the other clubs to give off the appearance that she's involved and even notes that glee club is different because she actually likes being in it). Plus, there's this little exchange from "Wonder-ful":
    Rachel: But what about the whole Brody thing?
    Cassie: That was because of his abs.
    Rachel: But yours are so much better.
  • Ambiguously Jewish: An interesting example. Rachel herself proudly identifies as Jewish, but because she was sixteen when she met her mother for the first time and her mother 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.
  • Attention Whore: She's such a competitive, narcissistic and whiny brat that she actually sent a prospective club member with a really good voice to a crack house so that she wouldn't upstage her, then tried to pass it off as protecting the roles of the others.
  • 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, ending with literal egg on her face.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Is seen this way by the other New Directions at first: They think she's obnoxious, self-righteous and brash, 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: She is an ambitious, driven, and perfectionistic dork who attends Glee Club and her insufferablely snobbish and self-righteous teacher's pet personality makes her consistently the butt of everyone jokes, mainly Santana.
  • 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: Virtually defined the trope.
  • Cool Loser: Emphasized right from the beginning. Rachel is involved in virtually every extracurricular club in school, yet has no friends. This is a side-effect of her awkward and overbearing personality, which makes her unpopular despite being very pretty, talented and outgoing.
  • Curtains Match the Windows: Has brown hair and eyes.
  • 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 annoying and full of herself (although she is still an ambitious, neurotic and stubborn opportunist), although the last few episodes of Season 5 suggested otherwise.
  • 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.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Of the Glee Club, she's the one who often gets the most flak from the rest of the team, with basically everyone at one point taking a shot at her for her ego, narcissism and pride.
  • 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.
  • Go-Getter Girl: She is set on becoming a broadway diva, no matter what. She is active in every possible extracurricular and has straight A's.
  • 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 already dated three boys within her sophomore year, and another was 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 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. Subverted, as Rachel didn't seem to actually be in love with Blaine. It seems that the fact that he can sing and is a good kisser is enough for her to decide to date him, and she's positively thrilled when he tells her that he's gay after all:
    Rachel: That was amazing! I am speechless! I just had a relationship with a guy that turned out to be gay; that is song writing gold!
  • 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?
  • Informed Judaism: Rachel wanted her hypothetical future children to be raised Jewish, but it is presented as an instance of her 'controllist' tendencies rather than a genuine religious choice, and she both gives and accepts Christmas presents despite not celebrating Christmas with her fathers.
  • The Ingenue: Rachel calls herself one. Frankly, she isn't.
  • 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, Though she seemed to reset every single season, with the last episodes of Season 5 putting her at the peak of this trope.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Rachel can be a stubborn, intensely dramatic, egotistical and ruthlessly competitive sycophant, but she still tries to be sweet and caring.
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: For most of the series, Rachel has gotten away with a lot, but her actions finally catch up to her in season 6. She no longer has a career in Broadway and there is little to no doubt that no one will hire her again after she acted so unprofessionally. She is out of NYADA and has no chance to get in again after the way she quit, and her show was so terrible it was immediately 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. While she is pushed by Mercedes to audition for another show and is offered the leading role, and Carmen Tibideaux also grants her permission to return to NYADA despite her warning that she would not be allowed back when she left (granted, she does this after kicking Rachel out of her office when Rachel goes to beg her for another shot at NYADA), later in the season, Rachel has at least learned from her mistakes and chooses NYADA over immediate Broadway stardom this time around, which culminates in her winning a Tony Award.
  • 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 just 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 basically Rachel Berry in Lea Michele's clothes. Said knee socks made two more appearances; one in "The Quarterback", implying that Finn's death rattled Rachel to the point of "stripping" her down to her base elements, and the other in a dream sequence depicting her self-confidence issues.
  • Meaningful Name: Her fathers named her Rachel because they were huge fans of Friends. Considering her major character trait, this makes sense.
  • 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.
  • Official Couple: With Finn.
  • 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.
    • And then again in "The Sue Sylvester Shuffle" when she sings "Need You Now" with Puck.
  • Pink Means Feminine: Both of her prom dresses invoke this, and Princesses Prefer Pink
  • Plucky Girl: She's an incredibly passionate and diligent person though it does mean she can overly obsessive about her ambitions.
  • 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. It was only a matter of time before her childish behaviour bit her in the ass and sure enough, the first episode of the final season revealed that it not only bit her in the ass, but removed a cheek.
  • The Prima Donna: She's a classic prima donna due to her overbearing nature, immature brattiness, constant need for attention and her egotism. While she's a talented performer in the glee club, she can also be incredibly difficult to get along with sometimes when she becomes an entitled Drama Queen.
  • 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 thought her Broadway career was more important. The ensuing events revealed that this was not a wise choice.
  • She's Got Legs: Say what you will about the sweaters, but she didn't wear short skirts for nothing. Subverted in early seasons, though, as the flats with knee socks are the surest way to make one's legs look their worst.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Sweater Girl: The show even Lampshades it.
    Jacob: Let those sweater puppies out of their cashmere cage!
  • Team Prima Donna: She lived and breathed this trope when she was in New Directions. Especially in the first season, where she had a tendency of treating the group like her backup singers. Letting other kids get the spotlight would become a frequent plot point. She did lighten up by the third season though.
  • 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.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: She is an extremely self-absorbed and manipulative member of the glee club who not only believed she was the only singer worthy of having solo numbers (which is only partially true, as she did have more technical training than the other members) and acted as if any attempt to give them to other members was a personal attack. While there are relatable aspects of her character, it's hard to feel sorry for the comedic bullying she suffers when she herself does things like tricking a rival singer into going to a crack house, and never really being apologetic about it.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Tricking Sunshine into going to a crack house 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.

     Finn Hudson 

Finn Christopher Hudson
I have always been dubious.
Portrayed by: Cory Monteith

The Book Dumb star quarterback and football captain with Hidden Depths: he loves to sing and dance. Is best friends with Puck and is/was dating Rachel.

Finn was a high baritenor with limited range that expanded as he got older.

Cory Monteith's death lead to the death of his character early in season five.

  • Achilles in His Tent: Finn temporarily pulls this on "Sectionals" after learning that the father of Quinn’s baby is really Puck.
  • Anyone Can Die: "The Quarterback" reveals that he died by an unknown cause. Justified, since his actor, Cory Monteith, had died three months before the episode aired.
  • Bash Brothers: With Puck, cemented in "Funk".
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: After being replaced as quarterback by Sam, he is spiteful and wishes he was the quarterback instead. Sam then dislocates his shoulder in a game, forcing Finn to play quarterback.
  • Betty and Veronica: With Rachel as Archie, he is Betty, whilst Puck, Jesse, and Brody are all Veronica in turn.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: While generally a nice guy, Finn defined the term "hair trigger temper", perpetrating increasingly serious violent acts - from a couple of brawls with Puck in Season One, to attacking Jesse for daring to dance with Rachel (whom Finn was not dating at the time) in Season Two, to attempting to physically tip Quinn out of her wheelchair when her spinal injury was still only partially healed as punishment for lying to him about it in Season Three, to his premeditated, brutal and apparently enjoyed assault on Brody, at Santana's behest in Season 4. When he's frustrated or angry past a certain point, Finn seems to reach for violence as a method of expressing or relieving his feelings.
  • Big Brother Mentor: To the season 4 newbies.
  • Big Damn Heroes: In "Sectionals".
  • Big Man on Campus: Prior to his joining of Glee, that is.
  • Book Dumb: Finn is such a moron, but, damn it, he's so well-intentioned and nice.
    • As an example, he believes that the moon and New York City are "like a hundred miles apart."
    • Monteith once stated that "Finn is about as smart as rocks."
  • Broken Pedestal: "Yes/No" absolutely shatters his perceptions of his father, after finding out that he died as a drug addict.
  • Bus Crash: He was written out during Season Four to accommodate his actor's stint in rehab, but tragically his actor passed away before production on Season Five began. How Finn died in-show is never addressed.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Not as bad as Brittany, but it seems his default expression is a blank stare.
  • Coming-of-Age Story: Much of Finn's role in the plot shows him gradually growing from a naive teenager into a confident adult. Although he never came to terms with intelligence though.
  • Concert Kiss: After "Pretending" in "New York" with Rachel, 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.
  • Confused Eyebrow: He raises an eyebrow in confusion on things he doesn't understand. Which is often.
  • Disappeared Dad: His father was killed in the Gulf War when he was a baby, meaning he never knew him at all, hence why he bonded with Burt so readily. Or at least, that's what Carole tells him...
  • The Ditz: Common sense isn't one of his high points. Plus, he has a VERY limited vocabulary, although he makes up for it with more emotional savvy than you'd expect from a teenage boy.
    • Still believing that he got Quinn pregnant without intercourse and his apparently genuine belief that the other athletes are going to give him and Quinn slushies rather than throwing them at the pair.
    • What about singing "You're Having my Baby" to Quinn's parents, knowing that she didn't want them to know she was pregnant?
    • One word: Drizzle.
    • Claims he wasn't at football practice because he had to take care of his mother after her prostate surgery.
    • Believed Jesus was speaking to him through a grilled cheese sandwich, prayed to it, and got all butthurt when Emma pointed out how silly that was.
    • Walking through the School's Hallway in nothing but his underwear to get over his self-confidence issues.
    • His response to a blind item in the newspaper reading "Which prom queen candidate has been spending a lot of time in the closet lately?" is "That's ridiculous, Quinn's claustrophobic."
    • Prior to "Preggers", didn't know you could borrow books from the library.
  • Easily Forgiven: For leading Rachel on to get her to rejoin the club. He got a What the Hell, Hero? for it, but it was quickly forgotten. Also, his earlier involvement in bullying Kurt. Not to mention how he cheated on Rachel with Quinn - but even when he was explicitly with Quinn, Rachel still wanted to be with him. Also, outing Santana - she slapped him for it, but in the next episode Will called it "unprovoked", and Santana hugged Finn when he sang her a song.
  • Follow in My Footsteps: In "Yes/No", he tells Will that he wants to join the army so he could be a good man like his father was. This backfires spectacularly.
  • Gentle Giant: Depends on the definition of the word "gentle".
  • Girl-on-Girl Is Hot: The reason Finn wanted to go on a date with both Santana and Brittany in "Hell-O". Rachel raked him across the coals for it, as only she could.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Probably the reason he picked a fight with Jesse at prom when the latter was getting cozy with Rachel.
  • Heroic BSoD: Finn has one of these when it's revealed to the entire school that Quinn is preggers, and blows straight out the other side when it's revealed that it's Puck's kid.
    • He has another one in "The First Time" after the recruiter from Ohio State basically tells him his football career will end in high school.
    • And another one in "Yes/No" when he finds out his father didn't die a war hero in Iraq, but a drug addict in Cincinnati.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Finn's the Huge Guy to Rachel's Tiny Girl; a whole foot separates them.
  • Hypocrite:
    • Cheating is not okay if it's on him, but if it's with him or he's the one doing the cheating, by all means, go ahead. To elaborate: he cheated on Quinn by kissing Rachel and having an emotional affair with her, but it was somehow understandably out-shadowed by the fact that Quinn cheated on Finn by having sex with Puck, got pregnant and tried to trick Finn into thinking that the child was his. Then Rachel cheated on Finn with Puck (kissing) and Finn didn't forgive her and made her feel horrible about it, pointing that among other things it made him reminiscent the situation with Quinn. Fair enough, but who does he hook up with after breaking up with Rachel? Quinn. Also, Quinn was with Sam at the time, but Finn explicitly declared that he couldn't be bothered by this when his happiness is on stake. It's basically like one long cheat-ception.
    • He was also repulsed when Rachel used him, Jesse and Puck to boost up her image, but not long before he was willing to harass his friends for the Glee club in order to maintain his social position, and frequently expressed the opinion that there's nothing wrong with aiming to be popular.
  • I Can't Dance and Sucks at Dancing: Finn will happily admit he is not the best dancer, laughs at the jokes about it, and even chooses his Born This Way shirt to be "Can't Dance". Still, though, he doesn't believe he's that bad, though from his friends' reactions they certainly have little faith.
  • Informed Ability: While Finn's singing is decent, he has the weakest and most amateur voice of the male cast. This fits with his character, who is completely new to performing, but the script has the others treating him as if he's a better singer than all the other guys, most of whom are much more polished. Lately, though, it has been acknowledged In-Universe multiple times that he is not as good a performer as the rest of the club, something he's very aware of.
    • Finn is, however, a good drummer and rather good at rapping, so he's not totally musically inept.
  • Intoxication Ensues: The entire Glee Club does this to an extent while on Sudafed, but Finn is the most prominent.
  • It's All About Me: He may not be as...vocal about it as Rachel, but Finn definitely has some of this going on. He gets stroppy when his sense of entitlement isn't indulged, rarely does anything for someone else unless it benefits him in some way too, and has serious trouble processing the fact that other people can have lives that don't revolve around him and agendas that don't put him first. Except with Santana, who spells it out in terms even Finn can't miss:
    Santana: For me. It's win-win for me.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Breaks up with Rachel in "Goodbye", telling her that she can't let herself be held back trying to help him and Kurt achieve their dreams while delaying her own and making her get on a train to New York.
  • Kick the Dog: Although he had his reasons for being angry, calling Kurt faggy was still out of line.
    • Though Santana was definitely asking for some form of retribution, outing her in the school hallway is definitely not going to help Finn with his reputation of being a homophobe.
    • As of season 4, Finn begins to give a "Reason You Suck" Speech to Sue... And calls her baby "retarded" by the same occasion. He immediately backpedals and apologizes, but the harm is done.
  • The Lancer/Number Two: To Will in season 4.
  • Miss Conception: Finn believes until "Sectionals" that he is the father of Quinn’s baby even though he has never slept with her. Why does he believe this? Because in on one of his romantic encounters with Quinn, he prematurely ejaculated into a hot tub they were both in (and both wearing bathing suits).
  • Mr. Fanservice: Let's see, he's tall, athletic, mostly kind-hearted, endearingly dumb, can sing? Oh yeah.
    • Not to mention the fact that he has at least two shirtless scenes in the show; one in the shower and one where he's wearing nothing but boxers and a pair of glasses.
  • Nature Adores a Virgin: Semi-used in Power of Madonna. Following Sue's advice to start dating a younger man, Santana goes after Finn who is three days younger than her; she decides to take his virginity on Brittany's advice.
  • Nice Guy: Surprisingly, Finn is exceptionally kind despite having stereotypical jock written all over him at first glance.
  • Offhand Backhand: To Rachel in "Born This Way", somehow breaking her nose.
  • Operation: Jealousy: Finn said yes to having sex with Santana in Power of Madonna not only because he's still a virgin, but also because he thought it would make Rachel jealous.
  • Puppy-Dog Eyes: Probably the reason it's hard to stay mad at his character even when he's clearly being an asshole.
  • Put on a Bus: Was written out three episodes before the end of Season 4. The plan was for Cory to enter rehab, then return. Sadly...
  • The Quarterback: Provides the image. Literally known as Finn "The Quarterback" Hudson. He is the well-respected QB, who has the loyalty of his team enough to get them to join the glee club, and with the help of Sam, Santana, and Beiste reforms them to not bully people. He was also decent enough in the beginning to not actually partake in the terrorizing of students that his teammates did, and lets them prepare for the standard bullying he approves of. Confident and truthful enough to dump his Alpha Bitch cheerleader girlfriend for one of the school "losers", and after a couple of seasons manages to regain his status. Rallies the football team, the glee club, and the school.
  • Rousing Speech: In "Sectionals". After New Directions has just learned that their songs have been stolen by their rivals, Finn states that even thought they might have been unprepared for this, what they have going for their side is that they believe in themselves.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Once when Ken Tanaka makes him, Puck, Mike, and Matt choose between glee club and football, and then when he finds out that Puck is the father of Quinn's baby.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Finn’s the Sensitive Guy to Puck’s Manly Man.
    • Oddly enough he's also the Manly Man to Kurt's Sensitive Guy.
  • Sex as Rite-of-Passage: Skewered. He decides to lose his virginity to Santana in a ploy to make Rachel jealous and because she says he needs to, but he regrets it and admits it was a huge mistake.
  • Ship Sinking: As of "The Break-Up". The episode after the next one, "Glease", had the writers tease us a little before deciding to completely torpedo Finchel, other than a one night stand at Will's aborted wedding, they never did reunite. There was a tease of them getting back together, and the original Grand Finale would've had them get back together, but sadly, real life rewrote the rest of the series.
  • "Shut Up" Kiss: To Emma in "Diva".
  • Standardized Leader: He was the only non-minority male member of the New Directions before the New Transfer Student Sam joined. And Sam was in some ways (his introduction and treatment after Finn died) treated like a second Finn.
  • Sympathetic Adulterer: Before Quinn was revealed to be pregnant with Puck's child and claiming it was Finn's, Finn kissed Rachel (and vice versa after Quinn's confession). Granted, Quinn got a lot more criticism (both in-verse and and in the fandom) than Finn. Slightly justified in that Quinn having sex with Puck while dating Finn is worse than Finn just kissing Rachel while dating Quinn, but Finn did cheat on his girlfriend as well.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gets one from Santana with her attempt at an apology. He fires right back though and subsequently outs her to the public.
    • He gives one to Sue in season 4... And gets a little carried away: He begins to point that Sue was kind of an underdog too, having a sister with down syndrome, and subsequently adds that she now also has a retarded baby. Everyone in the room freeze, including Finn as he realizes the sheer cruelty and stupidity of what he said, and he immediately apologizes, saying that it was the wrong word, but it's too late.
  • The Unreveal: How he died is never mentioned, though popular Fanon says it was a car accident with him drunk at the wheel.
  • Turn to Religion: Played for Laughs in "Grilled Cheesus", when Finn discovers an image of Christ burnt into his grilled cheese sandwich and becomes a Christian (or, rather, the kind of Christian he knows all too well). This newfound religiosity doesn't last.
  • Un-person: Wasn't mentioned at all between the last three episodes of Season 4 and the third episode of Season 5. After that, there were occasional mentions, usually in a melancholy context.
  • Verbal Tic: Finn frequently adds "you know?" at the end of his sentences.
    • He also compulsively calls people "dude", which bites him in the ass when he uses it with Coach Beiste...
  • Vocal Evolution: At first one of, if not the, weakest singers in the cast, he steadily got better. Compare "Don't Stop Believing" from the Pilot to "We've Got Tonight" from Season 4.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • In "Theatricality", Burt Hummel delivers a much-needed verbal smackdown to Finn after he overhears Finn calling Kurt "faggy". Granted, Kurt wouldn't stop trying to seduce him and never accepted that Finn wasn't interested, but it was still a dickish move on Finn's part.
    • Gets another one in "Furt" when he doesn't stand up to Karofsky for Kurt.
    • In "The First Time", he cooks Rachel meat after knowing that she's been a vegan for at least three years, also makes her cake, most likely with eggs in it. Doesn't fess up when Rachel remarks that the meat "substitute" tastes like real meat.
    • In "Mash Off" He tells Santana to come out of the closet in the middle of the hallway which is overheard by a congressional candidate's niece and leads to her being outed to the whole state in smear campaign against Sue.
    • In an argument between him and Sue mirroring that of his argument with Santana the season before, the confrontation comes to an end when he throws the statement that Sue "had a retarded baby" in her face. He instantly regrets this one, though.

     Kurt Hummel 

Kurt Elizabeth Hummel-Anderson
They're gonna throw fruit at us. And I JUST had a facial.
Portrayed by: Chris Colfer

A Camp Gay member of the Glee club who has also been a kicker for the football team and a Cheerio. Met his future husband Blaine Anderson in Season 2, married him in Season 6.

Kurt is a lyric countertenor whose voice also comfortably ranges higher to a male soprano, though his top end was cut off as he got older.

  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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: He gets Finn to let him remove his expensive jacket before getting thrown in a dumpster, chooses "Mister Cellophane" as his audition song, creates a costume inspired by Lady Gaga with plato heels before performing "Bad Romance", talked of only gay issues and icons once during dinner with Mercedes... he fits the stereotype so well that Burt points out "[he's] not like Rock Hudson gay, [he's] really gay. [He] sing[s] like Diana Ross, and [he] dress[es] like [he] own[s] a magic chocolate factory". Deconstructed, however, when Kurt tries to emulate Burt's masculine personality because he's afraid Burt's slipping away and it might be due to his being gay. In "Tested", Kurt actually removes his layers in a couple of scenes that show off his newfound muscular, chiseled physique, narrating about how he never showered after gym glass since he did everything he could not to take off his shirt back when he was a scared, anxious teenager who did not accept himself for who he was. Kurt even feels good enough about himself that he admits he is not going to apologize "for not being some delicate flower that needs his boyfriend to protect him" when Blaine admits that he thinks he's weak now that he is no longer the protector. The kid has sure come a long way...
  • Catchphrase: "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 at 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.
  • Character Tics: He's always seen sitting with his legs crossed.
  • The Confidant: Becomes this for Sam in "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 clothes and keeps the secret even under considerable duress when the WHMS rumor mill starts churning.
  • Cool Car: Had one in "Acafellas". His dad takes it away at the end of the episode.
  • 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.
  • Dressed in Layers: His NYADA audition in "Choke", 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 "The First Time", 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.
    Mercedes: Is that a woman's sweater?
    Kurt: Fashion has 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 "Duets" 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.
    • Blaine, after the incredibly cold-hearted and callous way that Kurt broke off their engagement with no prior warning, which caused Blaine to enter such deep depression that he failed out of school! Considering that Kurt attended the same school, that means he had to have been ignoring Blaine pretty studiously to not notice how badly he had emotionally damaged him. Although Blaine said he'd never forgive Kurt for what he done, when next they met back in Lima, Blaine immediately forgave Kurt.
  • 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. In "Swan Song", 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 Economics class.
  • Flying Under the Gaydar: Twice, once in "Preggers" (trying to explain to his father why he was dancing to Beyoncé) and again in "Laryngitis" (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.
  • Gay Guy Seeks Popular Jock: When he had a crush on Finn at the beginning.
  • 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. 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 "A Very Glee Christmas") that Blaine is not his boyfriend, though he is willing to admit to Mr Schue that he is attracted to Blaine. In "Original Song", 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!
    • During the "Funk" episode, we see his voice, which has previously remained in the high tenor range, extends to a baritone/bass with "Tear the Roof Off."
  • Hypocrite: A problem with his character in the earlier seasons. Eventually he matures out of most of this.
    • In the first season, Kurt comes out of the closet and starts to get used to living as an out gay man. He begins to assert that he was born gay and can't change who he is for someone else... but at the same time, he tries to seduce Finn, who happens to be decidedly straight. He keeps telling Finn that girls are all catty and troublesome so as to convince him that he should go out with boys instead, causing him to question his relationship with Rachel, and literally getting him moved into Kurt's own bedroom - in other words, he tries to turn Finn gay. 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.
  • 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".
  • Incompatible Orientation: Mercedes and Brittany wanting to date Kurt, and Kurt wanting to date Finn and Sam.
  • Innocently Insensitive: In "Dance with Somebody", Kurt begins texting a boy he met at the local music store quite often after their encounter, but does not tell him about Blaine. While Kurt does admit to Rachel that he wouldn't tell Blaine about it and gets defensive when Blaine finds out, his semi-embarrassment about the situation more comes from the fact that he knows Blaine is the kind of touchy-feely person that needs his emotional needs to be met every second and would become really upset if Kurt met his emotional needs elsewhere. However, Kurt seems genuinely clueless as to how this could count as cheating after Blaine accuses him of it, and it's clear from his words and his tone when he reassures Blaine about not being alone once he goes to New York that Kurt had no intention of actually ruining their relationship. It's just that, to him, Blaine had become distant recently and the fact that he used to be the only publicly gay student at school meant that he always had to fall back on a fantasy life to meet his emotional needs. Both Rachel and Blaine tell him that he should have just talked to Blaine about the rut they were in instead of letting some guy flirt with him behind Blaine's back, and it takes Burt talking about how things have become so casual between them that they haven't really acknowledged Kurt's leaving for Kurt to finally understand that this is the reason Blaine has been distant.
  • It's All About Me: When Burt tells him that he called Carole and got the whole story behind the homophobic comments Finn made when they were roommates, Kurt reveals that him being too caught up in his ridiculous fantasies to accept that both Finn and Sam are straight stems from a feeling of isolation as the only gay kid in his school... which is not exactly an excuse. He eventually meets openly gay Blaine Anderson and falls in love with him, but then Blaine kisses Rachel during a game of spin the bottle at her house party for the New Directions, and subsequently wonders whether he might be bisexual. Kurt denies the existence of bisexuality, telling Blaine that he admired how proud he was of who he was and how he's not happy that Blaine's tiptoeing back into the closet, since he still isn't inclined to let someone he's interested in define their sexuality in a way that lessens his chances of being with them. However, Kurt does start to get better about these selfish tendencies when he and Blaine finally become an Official Couple - see "Asian F", where he brings Blaine flowers to congratulate him on getting the part that Kurt had desperately wanted. It reasserts itself however, when Santana opts to propose to Brittany in front of all their closest friends (i.e. the New Directions), and Kurt rudely interrupts to declare that none of them should even consider getting married at their age, externalizing his bitterness over his aborted engagement with Blaine, which he was actually the one to call off.
  • "I Want" Song: Kurt’s rendition of "Rose’s Turn" in "Layrngitis" fits under this.
  • 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.
  • Loner-Turned-Friend: Kurt was explicitly friendless at the beginning of the series, mostly due to his sexuality. Joining glee club helps him open up and befriend the other members.
  • 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.
  • Man in a Kilt: His prom outfit.
  • 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 Guy: 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: He has ambiguously feminine physical traits. He's tall(ish), lightly-muscled but has a slender build and his face is without facial hair. His big eyes often brim with anguish. His appearance is youthful and he occasionally crosses boundaries of sexuality and gender, plus he has a rather feminine voice.
  • Prom Wrecker: Is the victim of this when someone rigs the vote so that he becomes Prom Queen. However, while initially upset, he manages to turn this around.
  • 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.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Sensitive Guy to both Finn and Blaine's Manly Man.
  • 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.
  • 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: Justified. Although he has a seemingly unlimited wardrobe, Kurt doesn't wear designer clothes, but rather sews and tailors his own hand-me-downs and thrift store pieces to resemble designer outfits, and tops 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 "Sexy". 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.
  • 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.

     Mercedes Jones 

Mercedes Jones
Oh, hell to the nah! Look, I'm not down with this background singing nonsense! I'm Beyoncé, I ain't no Kelly Rowland!
Portrayed by: Amber Riley

A brassy, Sassy Black Girl in the Glee club. It appeared her main job is to soulfully belt out 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.

Mercedes has the highest voice on the show, being a soprano with a range that can reach notes both below the typical towards a contralto and up into the highest notes of young sopranos.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Catchphrase: "Hell to the no!" In "Original Song", she writes a song about it.
  • Commuting on a Bus: As of season 4.
  • 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 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 end of season three.
  • Religious Stereotype: Mercedes' church, shown in "Grilled Cheesus", 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.

     Artie Abrams 

Arthur Abrams
I may be in a wheelchair, but I'm still a guy.
Portrayed by: Kevin McHale

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.

Artie is a tenor who can also access higher notes like Kurt, but raps and sings at a lower register than him most of the time.

  • 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."
  • Ain't No Rule: Against him joining the football team (there actually would be, but this is a comedy).
  • Alliterative Name: Artie Abrams.
  • 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: Double 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. While Artie and Tina both had several romantic interests through the course of the show, the finale ultimately saw them back together, with Tina as an actress in Artie's films and the two sharing a kiss.
  • Ambiguously Bi: Especially in Season 3. Amusingly, in "Transitioning" he dances with both Kitty and Spencer at Rachel's party.
  • 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: Being a disabled nerd doesn't stop prevent him from having a sassy nature.
  • Dream-Crushing Handicap: Artie's initial dream of being able to walk and dance again.
  • 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. It's also the initial reason for his crush on Tina during freshman year, as confirmed via voiceover in "2009".
  • Megane
  • 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, and not just because of his disability.
  • 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 "U 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!"
    • It's revealed in "2009" that he auditioned for New Directions with "Pony". Yes, that "Pony". And he does it pretty damn well, too.
    Artie: Ginuwine's a badass.
  • Poke the Poodle: Artie spikes the punch bowl at the prom... with lemonade.
  • Put on a Bus: Ends his tenure at the end of season five.
  • 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. Unsurprisingly, due to the actors' real life friendship, quite a few fans saw this in a different light.
  • 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.
  • Stuffed into a Locker: Er... port-a-potty.
  • Sweater Guy: In earlier seasons, Artie was almost always wearing 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. In the latter's case, it leads to a full-on Imagine Spot dance number with Mike, a remake of the video for "Scream", complete with the form-fitting wardrobe and leather pants.
    • 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 Kitty to rejoin, though, she and Artie seem to have made amends.

     Tina Cohen-Chang 

Tina Cohen-Chang
Even though I'm painfully shy and obsessed with death, I'm a really effervescent person.
Portrayed by: Jenna Ushkowitz

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; she would get back with Artie in the Grand Finale.

Tina is a mezzo-soprano, but usually takes the top of the range into soprano while others (like Brittany) take the lower part.

  • 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.
  • 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 episode 20 "Props", with Sue even lampshading it by asking "Isn't she the one who used to 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.
  • Girliness Upgrade: Drops the goth look entirely in Season 3.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Once Done, Never Forgotten: People still occasionally made jabs about Tina putting vapo-rub on Blaine's chest while he was passed out.
  • 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 painfully shy and obsessed with death, I'm a really effervescent person!"
  • Prone to Tears
  • Prom Wrecker: Is on the receiving end of this from Bree, who dumps red goo on her. Why? Because Bree didn't like that another Glee club member became Prom Queen.
  • Put on a Bus: In ''New Directions".
  • 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.
  • 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.


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