Glee/Characters/Other Major Characters

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    Anybody who has a major effect on the plot, but isn't in the Glee club (which isn't to say they get left out of the musical numbers!)

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    Sue Sylvester

    Mrs. Sue Sylvester

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    You think this is hard? Try being waterboarded... That's hard!


    The coach of the the school's championship cheerleading squad (the Cheerios); she continually attempts to bring down New Directions. Played by Jane Lynch.

    • Alliterative Name
    • Ambiguously Gay / Butch Straight: Despite her many butch attributes, Sue fell for three different men and was implied to have a fling with a fourth, but no women (so far). Though her marriage to herself - obviously a woman - does complicate things. She also outright admits in her monologue in "I Kissed a Girl" that she's straight, discussing how despite fitting various lesbian stereotypes, she's really only attracted to men.
    • Arch Enemy: Sue wants all the school's attention to be on her. And apparently part of her hate-on for Will is that she hates men with curly hair. This is Sue though, so take that with a rather large grain of salt.
    • The Artifact: One of the bigger complaints about Season 2 was the fact that it seemed like the writers were running out of ideas for Sue's character.
    • The Beard: A variant - Sue is straight, but enough people mistake her for gay due to her butch mannerisms that she feels the need to get a boyfriend to deflect suspicion.
    • Bifauxnen: Sue in a Zoot Suit, that is all.
    • Big Damn Villains: In "Journey", Sue manages to secure another year for New Directions even after they didn’t place at Regionals.
    • Blondes Are Evil
    • Breakout Character: Arguably the most popular character in the series besides maybe Kurt. She wasn't even in the original outline, and was only added when a network executive said there should probably be a villain. And even then, she wasn't planned to be a regular until another project of Jane Lynch's fell through.
    • Break the Haughty
    • Bunny Ears Lawyer: Her Cheerios routines are extremely awesome, all things considered.
    • Catch Phrase:
      • "Do you think this is hard? Try [[[Refuge in Audacity]]], That's hard!"
      • "And that's how Sue C's it."
      • "HORROR!!!
      • "Outstanding!"
      • "Let me break it down for ya."
    • Changing Clothes Is a Free Action : In "Rumours", she starts dressed as David Bowie, cut to a flashback and back, and she's now Ann Coulter. Immediately lampshaded by Terri.
    • Comedic Sociopathy
    • Cool and Unusual Punishment: Sue is the master at dealing them out at mere whims.
    • Deadpan Snarker
    • Defrosting Ice Queen: Sue is gradually undergoing this throughout Season 3.
    • Depending on the Writer: Can vary from Jerk with a Heart of Gold to out and out Jerkass, depending on what episode it is.
    • Disproportionate Retribution: As you might have guessed, Sue has obviously dabbled in this once or twice.
    • Double Standard Rape (Female on Male): She slips Figgins a roofie and uses photos of their forced tryst as blackmail against him. This is never treated as anything other than comedic.
    • Drill Sergeant Nasty
    • Driven to Suicide: After her Humiliation Conga (see below), she attempts to commit "Sue-icide" (Though this was actually a feint).
    • Drop What You Are Doing: Sue's overreaction to the Glee students using the photocopier.
    • Even Evil Has Standards:
      • In "Journey", Sue was absolutely disgusted when the judges screwed over New Directions at Regionals simply because they lacked the flare (which in one case meant outright sucking up to the judges) of the other competitors.
      • In "Furt", Sue, who is a bully herself as well as a victim of bullying (due to her disabled sister), takes Kurt seriously and resigns as principal in protest of Karofsky being able to return to school.
    • Evil Laugh: With confetti cannons, too.
    • Faux Affably Evil
    • Foe Yay: With Will Schuester, "Funk" really drives it home. Her "angry sex" with Bryan Ryan is also an example.
    • For the Evulz: Fundamentally Sue's reason for functioning, breathing, and existing.
      • In "The Substitute":

    Sue: My first order of business: destroy Glee club.
    Will: I thought we were friends?
    Sue: Yeah, that got boring.

    • Heel Face Turn: Possibly as of "Funeral". She says she's going to stop going after the Glee club and start making the world a better place for disabled people like Jean.
      • Subverted. She tries to be nice, but by the start of the next season she is attacking not only New Directions but every show choir in America.
      • Done straight again: by the halfway point of Season 3, Sue makes it her mission in life to get New Directions named national champions. She develops a very adorable Good Cop, Bad Cop and Vitriolic Best Friends routine with Will.
    • Hidden Heart of Gold: Sue has a soft spot for the disabled.
    • Hoist By Her Own Petard:
      • This is what led to her temporary suspension in "Sectionals" after the leaked set-lists with her letterhead and handwriting were delivered to Figgins’s hands.
      • Her plan to win a Local Emmy by doing a scathing expose on Glee's production of The Rocky Horror Picture Show is derailed when she accidentally convinces Will to cancel the show.
      • Her torturing of the club in the time leading up to Regionals inspires them to write the song that gives them the win.
    • Hollywood Atheist
    • Humiliation Conga: The entire third act of "The Sue Sylvester Shuffle". Quinn, Santana, and Brittany quit the Cheerios, Sue loses Nationals for the first time in seven years, is somehow voted Biggest Loser of the Year, and the rest of the Cheerios' budget for the year goes to New Directions.
    • Hypocrite: She falls into this for many people since she preaches against bullying even though she's one of the most vicious ones herself.
    • Ice Queen
    • Implausible Deniability: Sue in "Sectionals".
    • Instant Web Hit: Sue's "Physical" music video in "Bad Reputation".
    • It's All About Me
    • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: At prom, when she tries to get Artie to tell her who put him up to spiking the punch. She never got around to actually pulling his teeth out, though, thanks to a fight Finn started in the gym.
    • Jerkass: Sue is a real ass to everyone, except people with disabilities.
      • In the back nine episodes of Season One, every time she's hit with Laser-Guided Karma she ultimately ends up benefiting from it.
    • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Especially proven in "Wheels", "Journey", "Grilled Cheesus", and "Furt".
    • Karma Houdini: Even though she gets setback or occasionally taken down a peg, she's so far avoided any real consequences for her worst actions, which would have landed her in jail.
    • Kick the Dog: Sue enjoys doing this so much that if it were a sport, she would be the gold medalist. In "Funeral", she kicks Becky off the Cheerios because she reminded her of her own sister Jean, who'd died the day before. She gets better.
    • Kindly Housekeeper: Not her, but she keeps one named Imelda around.
    • Large Ham
    • Limited Wardrobe: Her track suits.
    • Lonely at the Top: Flat-out stated in "Funk".
    • Love Redeems: But only for an episode.
    • Manipulative Bitch
    • Mistaken for Gay: By many of the fans, due to the fact that she's played by Jane Lynch. In-universe, during Sue's campaign for Congresswoman, one of her opponents tries to make it seem like Sue is gay because she's unmarried and because she appointed a lesbian, Santana, as head cheerleader. However, as we've seen in her previous dalliances with men and as she confirms in the following episode, Sue is actually straight.
    • Mommy Issues: Explored in "Furt".
    • Morality Pet: Her little sister and Becky.
      • Also, Kurt to a degree.
    • Motive Decay: After Principal Figgins reveals in "Wheels" that the Cheerios boosters "write fat checks" to pay for most of their expenses, it becomes unclear why Sue needs to bring down New Directions in order to finance even her more lavish Cheerios demands. If her donors can finance plane tickets to Albuquerque, they can certainly afford a fog machine. So what is Sue's motive - if she has one to begin with?
    • The Nicknamer: Rarely calls the kids by their real names.
      • In "Throwdown", she addresses the minority students as "Santana! Wheels! (Artie) Gay Kid! (Kurt) Asian! (Tina) Other Asian! (Mike) Aretha! (Mercedes) Shaft! (Matt)".
      • In "Furt", when Kurt asks her to stop calling him 'Lady', she offers him a choice of three alternatives: Gelfling, Porcelain, and Tickle Me Doe-Face (he goes with Porcelain).
      • Again in "Extraordinary Merry Christmas", when she calls Artie, Kurt and Blaine into her office. Blaine seems upset when she at first calls him "Other Gay", but seems pleased when she rectifies this by calling him "Young Burt Reynolds".
    • Obviously Evil: By now, the Glee kids really should have stopped taking any advice she gives them.
    • Ominous Latin Chanting: "O Fortuna" is used to hilarious effect during the Sue vs. Will scenes in Episode 7. And again during her rampage in the Superbowl episode.
    • Pet the Dog:
      • All of Sue's actions in Episode 9, really: reading Little Red Riding Hood to her sister, accepting Becky into the Cheerios despite her disability, treating her no differently than the other members of the squad, donating money to build three new wheelchair ramps in the school...
      • In "Journey", she manipulates Principal Figgins into giving Will and New Directions another year because she respects the relationships he has with his students. Besides, what would she do without an enemy?
      • In "Furt", she promises to keep an eye on Karofsky in case he harasses Kurt again, and has him expelled as soon as the death threat comes to light. She also resigns as principal partly due to the school board overruling her expulsion of Karofsky.
    • Pretend Prejudice: It varies, but Sue spews an incredible volume of invective at just about every conceivable group, while at the same time not really treating those groups markedly different from anybody else (her chief cheerleader/minion is Latina and a lesbian, she recruited Kurt (gay) and Mercedes (black) onto the team without a problem). She basically just seems to be a misanthrope who will use any insult at her disposal. Occasionally, she's been shown to have a much better understanding of privilege than Will "We're all minorities!" Schuester.
      • Sue is the living embodiment of the Competition Theory of racism: she doesn't feel any actual prejudice towards any group, but she will exploit whatever edge she can get, whether it be race, gender, sexuality, disability, anything. If dissing someone for being gay will give her an edge, she'll use it. If dissing someone for being prejudiced against gays will give her an edge, she'll use it. If an opening for dominance exists anywhere, Sue will use it.
    • Reasonable Authority Figure: During her short tenure as Principal. Also has shades of this trope throughout the series, but to a more subtle extent.
    • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Sue tends to perform utterly epic ones whenever she can.
    • Refuge in Audacity: Her standard modus operandi.
    • Rich Magnificent Bastard With A Day Job: She has a condo in Boca, has her own segment on the news, is a internationally ranked cheerleading coach. From the look of her house she has enough money to finance her Cheerios herself and then some. One wonders why she wants to take down Glee at all.
    • Sadist Teacher
    • Salt the Earth: Sue actually salted the earth in her backyard when she sold her house.
    • Screw Yourself: She tried to marry herself in "Furt". It may or may not be legal...
    • Serious Business: Domestic Abuse. Sue is the first person to sling an offensive joke, but she will not tolerate students making light of spousal violence. Period.
    • Ship Tease:
      • In "Funk", they really tease the hell out of the Sue and Will ship.
      • Their dance to "Sing, Sing, Sing" was kind of adorable, too.
    • Small Name, Big Ego: Subverted; though Sue has won national cheerleading competitions for X amounts of years in a row, gives interviews, and said to have written a book (in "Journey"), Sue is still a teacher and (as Olivia Newton-John says) "lives in Ohio!"
    • Smug Snake: A definite defining characteristic of Sue. The problem in her case is that she often has a reason to be smug, as she is indeed often in control of any situation she is in and does not only masterfully plays her part, but often comes in top in any confrontation she has. What’s worse, she seems to relish in the effect her smugness has on others.
    • Stealth Insult: Sue, being Sue, manages to sneak one to Will in her rendition of Vogue on "The Power Of Madonna".
    • Strawman Political: Early on, she tended towards being a Straw Conservative. This has been toned down, particularly since the beginning of the "Back 9" of Season 1; she's subsequently acquired a couple of Straw Liberal traits, and a bunch of randomly crazy ones that don't really relate to any ideology.
      • Maybe the writers realized the inherent contradictions of being comically self-centered and Strawman Conservative and a union public-sector worker.
    • Team Mom: Gradually grows into (an albeit begrudging) one of these for New Directions.
    • Took a Level In Kindness
    • Torture Technician: She threatens to pull Artie's teeth out during "Prom".
    • Tritagonist: When she isn't The Antagonist.
    • Unsportsmanlike Gloating: Sue is a master at this and relishes in rubbing it in the face of her opponents

    "I am engorged with venom, and triumph."

    • Victory Is Boring: At least part of the reason (and the main reason that she'll admit to) that she helped the glee club in the season finale. What would she do without Will to push around?
    • Villain Song: Sue's version of "Vogue". Also "You're a Mean One, Sue the Grinch".
    • What the Hell, Hero?:
      • Sue, of all people, calls Will out thrice: once on his treatment of his minority students, once on his treatment of disabled students, and once on relying on gimmicks rather than trusting in his kids. Amazingly enough, she's totally right.
      • Two of those are rather debatable, particularly the disabled one - Will assumed that Sue had some sort of sadistic ulterior motive, which is completely justified given what he knows about her.
    • Wild Card: While in Season 1 she was focused on hating and destroying Will and the club in Season 2, it's become almost impossible to predict what she'll do next, why or how.
    • Woman Scorned: When she has problems in her love life (as evidenced by "Mash-Up"), she takes it out on everyone around her.
    • Worthy Opponent: Eventually sees Will as this.
    • Younger Than They Look:
      • In "Vitamin D", Sue wrote in her diary that she's turning thirty soon, which means she's only twenty-nine, or in deep, hilarious denial.
      • She also claims to have participated in Operation Just Cause in 1989, so it seems that denial would be more likely.
      • Mercedes even caught her in a lie about her age when she realized the math just didn't add up.
      • In "Funeral", Sue states that Jean (her older sister) was over 50 at the time of her death, making it likely that Sue is quite a bit older than her stated age of 30.
      • So, in this case at least, Sue is an Unreliable Narrator.

    Emma Pillsbury

    Emma Pillsbury

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    The school's obsessive-compuslive germophobic guidance counselor. Is in love with Will but got engaged to the football coach, Ken, because he was still married to Terri at the time. They began going out after he left her.

    At the end of Season One, she begins dating her dentist Carl, who actually begins to help her with her OCD. Eventually, they get married, until her continued crush on Will leads to them getting an annulment. Played by Jayma Mays.

    • Abusive Parents: Her parents used to tie her thumbs together to stop her from cleaning everything. She chewed through the twine. "It was so cute!"
    • Betty and Veronica: The Betty to Terri’s Veronica.
    • Beware the Nice Ones: After learning from Sue about Will's escapades throughout the second half of Season 1, she's beyond furious. She's even more furious after New Directions loses Regionals (supposedly due to Sue's machinations) and Principal Figgins wastes no time in canceling the club in "Journey".
    • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: The Redhead of the trio.
    • Break the Cutie: A lot of moments, but probably the worst was when Terri tells Emma that she will never have a chance with Will and she may as accept her consolation prize and marry Ken.
    • Bunny Ears Lawyer: Mostly averted, Emma often gives and takes on board bad advice, struggles to give anybody guidance with sex issues, though later episodes show that she can be a capable counselor when necessary, like when she was talking with Artie in "Dream On".
      • Whenever she makes Will listen to reason, she generally shows herself to be thoughtful and extremely observant.
    • Cloudcuckoolander: Emma is kind of spacey, but that adds to her charm.
    • Crazy Prepared: She has pamphlets for everything.
    • The Cutie
    • Deadpan Snarker: Only to Sue. The moments where Emma stops being a frightened little Woobie and delivers a perfect one-liner are some of the funniest moments in the show.

    (Sue walks in with dark eye makeup)
    Emma: Sue! Did someone finally punch you? (flawless smile)

      • Not only to Sue, though.

    Rachel: I guess I just don't have a gag reflex.
    Emma: When you're older, that will turn out to be a gift.


    Terri Schuester

    Terri Schuester (nee Delmonico)

    Terri Schuester 6481.png

    Look, Will, I know that I made your life... challenging sometimes, but... it was only because I loved you so much.


    Will's bratty now-ex wife. She suffers a hysterical pregnancy but lies to Will and continues to pretend it's real. Played by Jessalyn Gilsig.

    • Absentee Actor: Jessalyn Gilsig remained a series regular despite appearing in only 5 episodes after her and Will's divorce, and then only 4 episodes of Season 2.
    • All Guys Want Cheerleaders: She was once a cheerleader.
    • Alpha Bitch: She was implied to have been one in her high school days.
    • The Atoner: In "Funeral".
    • Betty and Veronica: The Veronica to Emma's Betty and Will's Archie - an interesting case, as Terri is married to him.
    • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: The Blonde of the trio.
    • Blondes Are Evil
    • Can't Get Away with Nuthin': What she did was horrible, but the story seems to be far more forgiving to Sue.
    • Commuting on a Bus: Her story arc was effectively dead by the end of the first half of Season 1, but the show had to bring her back every once in a while because Jessalyn Gilsig was still a series regular - usually to Ship Tease with Will only to sink the ship again by the end of the episode. As of Season 3, though, Gilsig is no longer listed as a regular and so Terri may be on the bus for good.
    • Deus Ex Machina: In "Funeral", when Sue reveals she rerouted New Directions' flight to Libya and there's nothing she can do about it, Terri comes around and tells Will she managed to get the higher-ups of American Airlines to give New Directions first class flights to New York for free.
    • Disposable Wife: Terri is a bit too blatantly set up to be this.

    Will: I might be leaving Terri.
    Sue: Didn't see that one coming.


    Principal Figgins

    Principal Figgins

    Principal Figgins 6643.png

    My hands are tied Schue!


    The principal of William McKinley High. Known to be quite the cheapskate. Played by Iqbal Theba.

    • Blackmail: How Sue pushes him around in Season 1.
    • Cloudcuckoolander: He thinks vampires are real. And in a DVD extra that William Shakespeare was an American president.
    • Insistent Terminology: "So-called Finchel".
    • Instant Web Hit: Averted. It only got 2 hits.
    • Kick the Dog: Cutting the Glee club even though it only lost to the national champions, a choir that found out who the judges were, and despite the fact Sue Sylvester was one those judges.
    • Only Sane Employee
    • Only Sane Man: Most of the time.
    • Reasonable Authority Figure: Again, most of the time.
    • Took a Level in Badass: After finding out about all of Sue's shenanigans he FINALLY asserts his authority in suspending her pending an investigation. The look on his face afterwards suggests he knows about the can of worms he's opened.
    • Unwitting Pawn: The reason why Sue gets away with so much crap.

    Jesse St. James

    Jesse St. James

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    I like to give impromptu concerts for the homeless - it's so important to give back.


    Member of Vocal Adrenaline, the Glee club's biggest competition going in to Regionals. Was in a relationship with Rachel in the back nine of Season 1. It ended in "Funk", when Jesse goes back to Carmel High, and he and the rest of Vocal Adrenaline egg Rachel. As of the Season One finale, he's firmly back on the "heel" side of the "heel" / "face" divide.

    He returns for the final three episodes of Season Two in order to make amends with Rachel after he was kicked out of UCLA for only going to his theater classes. Mr. Schuester later hires him as a consultant for New Directions, to the dismay of everyone save Rachel.

    By Season Three, he has become the coach for Vocal Adrenaline.

    Played by Jonathan Groff.

    • All Girls Want Bad Boys
    • Alliterative Name: If you omit the St. in his name, that is.
    • All Love Is Unrequited
    • Badass Boast: YMMV on this, but he and the rest of Vocal Adrenaline singing "Another One Bites The Dust" personally to the members of New Directions just oozes "you’re screwed". By the reactions of most of the members of New Directions, they seem to achieve the purpose a Badass Boast usually does.
    • The Bad Guy Wins: At least in the first season.
    • Becoming the Mask: He admits to Shelby that he's starting to fall for Rachel.
    • Betty and Veronica: The Veronica to Finn's Betty.
    • Birds of a Feather: Seemingly with Rachel.
    • Brainless Beauty: This seems to be the case come his return in "Prom Queen".
    • Brutal Honesty: His absolutely ripping Santana's, Mercedes', and Kurt's performances apart in "Funeral" could count as this.
    • Camp Straight: To some degree.
      • It's played with. Jonathan Groff doesn't portray him as "camp" in terms of mannerisms, but the character is written as a total musical theater nerd, so there's some overlap. The first thing the boy DOES is tell Rachel she lacks Barbra Streisand's emotional depth. He's also a straight Stephen Sondheim fanboy, which is a pretty good example of the way the show subverts stereotypes.
    • Cassandra Truth: No one in New Directions listens to his criticisms during Season 2, choosing to believe that their Power of Friendship approach will garner them the win. Surprise surprise, National Show Choir Championships don't work like that, and they finish in twelfth place.
    • Casting Gag: Not the first time a member of Spring Awakening is on the show.
    • Color Coded for Your Convenience: It's pretty obvious that he's evil, since he wears black and dark gray all the time! Possibly subverted in Season Two: he keeps the dark colors and is still a major jerkass, but he's shown himself to be on New Directions' side.
    • Department of Redundancy Department: He's going to the University of California, Los Angeles. Perhaps you've heard of it? It's in Los Angeles.
    • Derailing Love Interests: He goes from "I'm starting to have feelings for Rachel and I don't want her to get hurt" to being utterly cruel for no fathomable reason. While the way he broke up with her could still make sense, the egg-assault in the parking lot and him acting like she somehow did something to deserve it does not make sense, especially since the last time we saw them they were perfectly happy together and she had done nothing to upset him. Possibly subverted, though, as when he comes back in "Prom Queen", he obviously regretted "trading love for his future."
    • Drill Sergeant Nasty: As the New Direction's consultant near the end of Season 2. He provides some rather harsh critiques. He wasn't entirely wrong.
      • When he returns in Season 3 as the coach for Vocal Adrenaline, we see he's kept the persona, but lost the point.
    • Duet Bonding: How he wins Rachel over in "Hell-O" with Lionel Richie's "Hello". And how he leads up to his apology to Rachel in "Prom Queen" with Adele's "Rolling in the Deep".
    • Easily Forgiven: Most probably by Rachel, at least. On the other hand, Finn doesn't look like he's about to forgive Jesse any time soon, and neither do Mercedes and Kurt.

    Kurt [to Rachel]: Correction. You had feelings for him. He made breakfast on your head.


    Burt Hummel

    Rep. Burt Hummel (I-OH)

    Burt Hummel 7793.png

    He is my son. Out in the world, you do what you want; not under my roof.


    Kurt's dad, a flannel-wearing auto mechanic (who owns his own business) and single father who looks like the last sort of parent who'd accept having a gay son, let alone one as camp as Kurt. In his case, appearances are definitely deceiving. Played by Mike O'Malley.

    • Berserk Button: Using the word "fag" around Burt is the fastest way to enrage him, even more if it's directed at his son.
      • Denying Kurt things isn't a good idea, either. He threatened to take a blow torch to the school when Will automatically gave a solo to Rachel despite Kurt expressing a desire for it, and he calmly but somewhat menacingly brought in some businessmen to donate when a play Kurt had a vested interest in seeing continue was threatened due money constraints.
    • Characterization Marches On: The first mention of Kurt's dad in "Acafellas" states that he bought Kurt a car in exchange for a promise to stop dressing in such a stereotypically gay way. This seems extremely out of character for Burt, in retrospect.
      • Actually, there's potentially some Fridge Brilliance here - Burt tells Kurt he's known since Kurt was three and accepts his son just the way he is; maybe this was his way of trying to get Kurt to try to finally open up and tell him.
      • This trait comes back in Season 2 Episode 20 "Prom Queen" when Burt is concerned that going to prom in a kilt will make Kurt too visible and therefore a target for homophobic violence. It seems to be an intermittent trait that surfaces in response to concerns about Kurt's safety more than anything else.
    • Grease Monkey
    • Hidden Depths: Most of the audience would have pegged him as a homophobe when he first appears (and not to mention that in "Acafellas", it was mentioned he punishes Kurt for keeping flamboyant items, or rather bribe Kurt to not keep those items) but he surprises Kurt and everyone else.
      • As of "Pot o' Gold", it looks like we can add political acumen to the list of Things We Did Not Know About Burt Hummel. He joins the House race to challenge Sue, and makes an extremely intelligent advertisement for himself.
    • Hollywood Heart Attack: Averted, his heart attack in "Grilled Cheesus" is brought on by another medical condition altogether, and is depicted realistically, with Burt mistaking it for indigestion before collapsing.
    • Love Makes You Dumb: Non-romantic, but still. His desire to protect Kurt is starting to blind him to his son's less savory actions (such as, y'know, trying to seduce Finn even though Finn clearly didn't feel the same way).
      • Firmly averted as of Season 2 Episode 4 "Duets". It isn't easy trying to teach your proud, stubborn, deeply vulnerable sixteen-year-old-son to navigate the collision points between his survival strategies, the rough edges of his own personality, and other people's boundaries and limitations - especially while trying not to sound like the bullies who tell him every day that he's in the wrong just for existing, and especially not while you're still recovering from a heart attack and days-long coma. But Burt's doing the best he can.
    • Nice Cap
    • Nice Guy
    • Open-Minded Parent: He supports his son's interests and activities even without fully understanding them. So much so that when he catches his son making out with a girl, he recommends protection if things get to that point. Though given the flimsy attempt by Kurt to pretend to be straight, one can guess he's mostly just humoring his son's soul searching.
    • Papa Wolf: One surefire way to get the rather intimidating Mr. Hummel breathing down your neck is to go after his son. To the point that he turns on Finn, his girlfriend's son - aka the kid most guys sweat about impressing - and berates him and kicks him out of the house for using the word 'faggy'.
      • In "Furt", he's ready to do something when Kurt admits that Karofsky has been taunting and shoving him. However, he's stopped by the realization his son isn't telling him everything. As soon as Kurt tells him about the death threat, he's out of the room before either boy can blink, absolutely flipping out on Karofsky and pinning him to the wall, despite his heart condition and the fact Karofsky is a minor, which could have gotten Burt in serious trouble. The only thing that stops him is his son, scared for his father's health, pleading him to stop.
    • Parent with New Paramour: Kurt fixes him up with Finn's mom as part of one of his schemes, but then sours on the idea, but it's too late.
    • Second Love: With Finn's mom, Carole.
    • What the Hell, Hero?: Burt gives a pretty big one to Finn in "Theatricality" and a smaller, but no less impressive one to him in "Furt".
      • He gives a smaller one to Kurt in "Duets", but really isn't up to the challenge
    • Why Couldn't You Be Different?: Averted, though he admits that Kurt wasn't the son he initially imagined having.

    Shelby Corcoran

    Shelby Corcoran

    Shelby Cocoran 5697.jpg

    I want you to look so talented, it's hurting you; I want a look so optimistic it could cure cancer.


    The director of Vocal Adrenaline, New Directions' biggest rivals. Played by Idina Menzel.

    • Ascended Meme: Despite claims to the contrary, Shelby is Rachel's birth mother.
    • Betty and Veronica: The Veronica to Emma's Betty and Will's Archie, at least for an episode.
    • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: The Brunette of the trio.
    • Broken Bird: She may be starting to move on now but failing to become an actress hurt her deeply.
    • Christmas Cake
    • Drill Sergeant Nasty: A very mild case of this and a saint compared to her colleague, Dakota Stanley, but she has some level of this.
    • Hot Mom: To Rachel, and in the Season 1 finale, to Quinn and Puck's baby.
    • Hot Teacher: She's played by Idina Menzel, that's enough and needs no more explanation.
    • Law of Inverse Fertility: After giving up Rachel for adoption, she's been told she can no longer have children. In "Journey", she tells Rachel that she wants a second chance at a family (but not, apparently, with Rachel herself), and adopts Puck and Quinn's daughter.
    • Love Interest: Will's, for an episode, at least.
    • Rachel I Am Your Mother
    • May–December Romance: With Puck.
    • Only Sane Woman: She is the one of the most level-headed characters the show has portrayed so far.
    • Put on a Bus: She quits her job after Regionals, instead moving to New York to take care of Beth. The bus comes back in the second episode of Season Three.
    • Reasonable Authority Figure: She actually is quite the reasonable person though.
    • So Proud of You: She tells Rachel this when Rachel asks her to sign her NYADA recommendation letter in "Mash-Off".
    • Tall, Dark and Bishoujo
    • Teacher-Student Romance: With Puck.
    • What the Hell, Hero?: Gives one to Quinn in "Mash-Off", regarding how Quinn doesn't really care about Beth and only wants her to boost her own self-confidence.
      • Quinn gives her one when she confronts her about Puck, pointing out that she shouldn't have brought Beth back to Lima, ambushed her, and tried to get them to be a part of the baby's life since both had been moving on.
    • Workaholic: Shelby is so caught up in coaching Vocal Adrenaline (and probably teaching at some point) that she doesn't even own a house at her age. She realizes this is a problem.

    Shannon Beiste

    Shannon Beiste

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    Do not get up in The Panther's business, lady. You're all coffee and no omelette.


    Ken Tanaka's replacement as football coach. Played by Dot Jones.

    • Big Eater: She eats a chicken for every meal. A whole chicken.
    • Butch Straight
    • Distaff Counterpart: Her characterization, clothing style, and delivery is very similar to Ken's.
    • Domestic Abuse: As of "Choke", it's revealed that she's in one, and even after Sue offered to rescue her, Shannon still went back to her abuser. Oh Shannon...
      • But as of "Props", she has now left her abusive husband. Some things just take more than one episode to resolve.
    • Drill Sergeant Nasty: But this is part of the Jerk with a Heart of Gold personality.
    • Gentle Giant: She's built like a tank, but wouldn't hurt a fly.
    • Jerkass Facade: She's initially set up as another villain, and as noted above, is a big Drill Sergeant Nasty, but it's pretty clear by the end of her introductory episode that she's a nice lady. She'd just had to put up a tough front to cope with bullying and to do what is usually a "man's job", coaching a football team.
    • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Some of her Jerkass and Drill Sergeant Nasty characteristics are an act to get results from her team and to hide her insecurities, but once she drops the act she's a genuinely decent and nice person. This is especially evident in her forgiving Will for his previous Jerkass behavior himself, something that she has no reason at all to do. She also allows Finn back on the football team after kicking him off and even gives Artie a chance to prove himself on the field.
    • Lame Comeback: In a weird variant, Beiste's comebacks to Sue are completely nonsensical, but this in itself completely throws Sue off her game.
    • Mama Bear: Do NOT fuck with the Glee kids, especially Puck.
    • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: "Beiste" is pronounced like "Beast". Subverted, though, since she's actually a giant pussy cat.
    • Odd Friendship: With Sue, of all people. Even though Sue still snipes at Beiste and has a rivalry with her, when Sue discovered that Beiste's husband hit her, she immediately offered to let Shannon come live with her.
    • Paedo Hunt: One of Sue's ploys to get Beiste fired is to get Brittany to claim that Beiste touched her boobs.
    • Parental Substitute: To Puck.

    "You are loved, pumpkin. You are not alone."


    Carl Howell

    Dr. Carl Howell

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    Santana: Can I just say you are the hottest dentist I've ever seen?
    Carl: I get that all the time.


    Emma's sexy dentist boyfriend. He marries her in "Special Education", but as of "Born This Way", it seems they are divorced. Played by John Stamos.

    Dave Karofsky

    David "Dave" Karofsky

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    This is high school. People's memories for good stuff lasts about as long as their Facebook Status.


    A meathead Hockey jock ("puckhead") who, with Azimio, took over as the school's chief bully once Puck stopped harassing the other members of New Directions. In "Never Been Kissed", he forcefully kisses Kurt after Kurt confronts him over his bullying. He later threatened to kill him if he told anybody. The threat itself came to light, and he got (temporarily) expelled for it. Played by Max Adler.

    • Adorkable: Not usually, but there are times when he resembles a large puppy. The scene where he asks Sebastian about getting boys to like him is a good example. Making Sebastian's kicking the puppy response even more painful to watch.
    • Ambiguously Jewish: Dave Karofsky easily could be a Jewish name, although it could also easily not be. The actor who plays him is Jewish.
    • Anguished Declaration of Love: To Kurt during episode "Heart".
    • Armored Closet Gay
    • Ascended Extra: As of "Never Been Kissed".
    • Awesome Moment of Crowning: Subverted. He gets crowned Prom King, but then Kurt gets crowned Prom Queen. Neither of them think it's very awesome.
    • Bad Bad Acting: On a specific note, his apology to ND. On a broader note, subtlety is not his strong suit; the only reason more people in-universe haven't figured out his secrets is because he isn't Camp Gay.
    • The Bear: He says the guys at the gay bar call him a "bear cub".
    • The Beard: Mutually, with Santana.
    • Becoming the Mask: When he and Santana start that anti-bullying initiative, at first it's just part of her scheme to win Prom Queen with him as her King (thus solidifying their believed heterosexuality). But as he starts getting into it, he begins to genuinely regret his actions, and gives a tearful, heartfelt apology to Kurt. By that point, Kurt didn't even feel the need to be protected, but let Dave keep doing so because it was helping him come to terms with himself.
      • Seeing as how conflicted his feelings for Kurt are, he probably did feel guilt before.
    • Billy Elliot Plot: Averted. His father has no problem with gay people. It's the homophobia from the kids at school which causes him to hide in the closet. As many an LGBT kid with accepting parents but a hostile school environment can tell you, this is very much Truth in Television.
      • However, when Kurt visits him in the hospital after his suicide attempt, we learn his mother believes he, "has a disease and maybe [he] can be cured."
    • The Bully
    • Bungled Suicide
    • Byronic Hero: Gets shades of this in late Season 2. But he does fit the trope.
    • Character Development: The kiss scene in "Never Been Kissed" took Karofsky from a one-dimensional stock character to a tortured individual, and from what it's been declared in interviews, it's just the beginning.
    • Character Tic: More of an actor tic; Max Adler's tongue has a habit of appearing at the oddest moments. There are times, especially in scenes with Kurt, it might be intentional, but it happens enough in Real Life that there's no way it's simply an acting choice on his part.
    • Depraved Homosexual: Karofsky's behavior towards Kurt shows signs of this. Though his Freudian Excuse is that it's because he's in denial about being gay, different from most cases of the trope, as is the fact that his main target is another gay person.
    • Driven to Suicide: After he's outed at his new school. But his attempt fails.
    • Even Evil Has Standards: According to him, picking on crippled people such as Artie is below him and Azimio even mentions his supposed moral code.
    • Forceful Kiss: To Kurt in "Never Been Kissed".
    • Freudian Excuse: Averted - according to Word of God, Karofsky's dad isn't the reason for his Gayngst. Although, as we learn in "On My Way", his mother is a different story. The homophobes at school are.
    • Gayngst: Oh yeah. And how.
    • Genius Bruiser: In spite of his thuggish appearance and demeanor, is (or at least was) an excellent student.
      • He mentions being in Calculus during "Prom Queen", despite being a junior.
    • Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today?: He's taken it to violent levels on occasion.
    • Heel Face Revolving Door: In "The Sue Sylvester Bowl Shuffle". He hates Glee at the beginning, then he loves it when he finds out he's pretty good at it, then hates it again when he gets a slushie facial, then loves it again after joining them in the middle of "Thriller/Heads Will Roll", then hates it again by the end of the episode.
      • He doesn't hate it, he doesn't want to join because it would make him slushee-target even faster than his coming out would.
    • Heel Face Turn: A fake one, at Santana's urging in "Born This Way". He's only pretending to be rehabilitated so he and Santana can be Prom King and Queen.
      • YMMV he does seem to improve in that episode and his sincerity is debatable.
      • Fridge Brilliance perhaps. His preplanned speech and what not (you can see Santana whispering his speech) allows him to say out loud all the stress, all the angst, all this stuff that's been eating him up inside in, at least for him, basically a safe and open way... but that also allows him to keep fooling himself that he still 'doesn't really' mean it all and keep his excuses.
      • As revealed in a scene between him and Kurt in "Prom Queen", Karofsky's apology is genuine and he truly is sorry for what he did to Kurt. Additionally, he and Kurt have a heart-to-heart in a gay bar in "The First Time", so he really did do a Heel Face Turn.
    • Hollywood Pudgy: He's big and has a naturally stockier build, and he's most likely at an appropriate weight for that body type. This hasn't stopped people in-show and out from criticizing him, not that it'd be right even if he were actually fat. Of course, the characters have a little bit more of an excuse due to them doing so in a form of self-defense against his often-times physical terrorizing.
      • It seems this is being played straight, as he refers to himself as a "bear cub" in "The First Time", and says it's working for him.
    • I Call It Vera: He named his fist "the Fury".
    • Invisible to Gaydar: Although he doesn't seem to have any concept of this.
    • Jerkass Facade
    • Jerk Jock: Speculated. Apparently, he even targets other jocks.
    • Joker Immunity: There's apparently nothing anyone can do about him. He assaults students in the middle of the halls, in one instance with a teacher watching, and suffers no consequences. Even after Sue finds out about the death threat he gave Kurt and had him expelled, the school board just gave him a verbal warning and sent him back.
    • Karmic Near-Death: He attempts suicide after being subjected to the same bullying he put Kurt through.
    • Last-Name Basis: The only people who ever call him Dave are the adults and Kurt.
    • Manly Gay: Especially now that he's considered a "bear cub".
    • Oh Crap: After his Anguished Declaration of Love to Kurt in "Heart" he runs into someone who is presumably a classmate...who saw the whole thing.
    • Politically-Incorrect Villain: He starts the series as an extreme homophobe, but gets better starting around "Born This Way".
    • Spear Counterpart: He shares many characteristics with Santana, most obviously the Gayngst, but also the fact that they were both bullies and most of the glee club hated for most of the first two seasons (and some still do).
    • Straw Hypocrite
    • Those Two Bad Guys: With Azimio.
    • Took a Level in Jerkass: After The Reveal.
    • Took a Level In Kindness: As of "On My Way".
    • Unstoppable Rage: Mike, Sam, and Artie confront him on his bullying of Kurt. It results in all three of them getting knocked down.
    • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: According to his father.
    • Villainous Crush: Much to Kurt's dismay.
      • It's debatable if he actually had a crush on Kurt or was just kissing the only out-gay kid he knew to explore his own confused feelings.
      • Confirmed in episode "Heart", though it's less villainous nowadays.
    • When He Smiles: "Thriller/Heads Will Roll" is the first time we see him with a genuine smile on his face, not some douchey smirk. The way his face lights up when he runs in to join the performance is absolutely adorable.
      • His smile in "Heart" right after The Reveal is really cute.
    • Yandere: His post-NBK interactions with Kurt have strong elements of this.
    • You Are What You Hate: Oh, Karofsky...

    Sebastian Smythe

    Sebastian Smythe

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    The new captain of the Dalton Academy Warblers, who is openly gay, freely promiscuous, and sets his sights on Blaine the moment the two meet. Played by Grant Gustin.

    • Actor-Role Confusion: Poor Grant Gustin actually got death threats from Klainers because his character was trying to break up Kurt and Blaine so he could have Blaine to himself.
    • All Gays Are Promiscuous
    • Alliterative Name: Applies to his actor, too!
    • Ambition Is Evil
    • Betty and Veronica: The Veronica to Kurt's Betty.
    • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Switches from insulting New Directions and Kurt to smiling and talking about going out drinking the second Blaine returns from getting coffee.
    • Captain Obvious: It's all fun and games. Until it's not. Makes perfect sense in context, though.
    • Depraved Homosexual: Although unusual in that his target is also gay, otherwise a much straighter-playing of the trope than Karofsky.
    • Even Evil Has Standards: Sebastian might be a dick, but even he's not going to laugh off a suicide attempt, specially one he feels partially responsible for. Very much Truth in Television, as parts of the gay community that vocally disagree with each other will come together on that particular issue.
    • Faux Affably Evil: He tells Kurt that he's going to steal Blaine away from him right to his face, and later injures Blaine in the eye after he stays loyal to Kurt. Sebastian does all this with a smirk on his face.
    • Heel Realization: As he admitted, it's all fun and games until someone tries to commit suicide.
    • Limited Wardrobe: So far we have seen him twice out of the uniform, at the gay bar. He goes to performances at another school wearing it. He visits the Lima Bean wearing it. And apparently he is wearing it while he drinks wine (unless that was only an excuse to call Blaine).
    • Meaningful Name: Possibly totally unintentional, but Saint Sebastian is considered to be a gay icon and even the patron saint of homosexuals.
    • My God, What Have I Done?: He rejects Karofsky's advances with every bit of sympathy and tact we've come to expect from him (that is, none at all and making fun of his appearance at that). After Karofsky attempts suicide, Sebastian is horrified at the part he played, calls off an unrelated blackmail scheme against New Directions, and does a complete Heel Face Turn.
    • Obviously Evil: His first conversation with Blaine is inter-cut with Santana—as Anita in West Side Story—singing "A Boy Like That".
    • Politically-Incorrect Villain: If his comments towards Santana are any indication, he's racist and sexist on top of being a douche. It's also implied that he's a Smug Snake towards anyone who isn't wealthy.
      • He also has issues with Kurt's effeminacy, though it's hard to tell if any of these are genuine prejudices or just low blows to people he doesn't like.
    • Really Gets Around
    • The Rival: Played for Laughs, but just see the interaction between Sebastian and Artie in "Michael", especially in Bad and later in Black And White. It reeks of two rival gang leaders trying to best each other
    • Romantic False Lead: In his early appearances, he was set up as a possible romantic interest for Blaine in competition with Kurt.
    • Sesquipedalian Smith
    • Smug Smiler
    • Smug Snake: "Smirky little meerkat face" and "obnoxious CW hair" aside, Sebastian seems confident about how it's only a matter of time before Blaine succumbs to his "charms".
    • Spear Counterpart: Has been described as a male version of Santana. There are even people who ship them together because of this, despite the mutual case of Incompatible Orientation.
    • Spell My Name with an "S"
    • Stalker with a Crush: To Blaine. Seemed less desperate than the normal application of this trope, until he throws a rock-salt-laced slushie in Blaine's face, lacerating his eye and forcing him to have surgery. Sebastian openly admits the slushie was intended for Kurt.
    • Took a Level in Jerkass: At first, his villainy was limited to trying to get in Blaine's pants despite the latter's attachment to Kurt, until the episode "Michael" upgraded him to full-blown antagonist.
    • Villain Song: "Smooth Criminal".
    • "The Villain Sucks" Song: "A Boy Like That".