Santana Lopez

Santana Lopez

Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Grew Up… in Lima Heights, as she likes to boast. Santana occasionally likes to flaunt the fact that she’s from “the wrong side of the tracks” in Lima, Ohio, believing that this validates her bad girl image. In reality, her family – consisting of her mother, Maribel, her grandmother Alma, and her father, a doctor – seem to be caring, loving, and supportive.

Living… with her family. Santana seems to lead a comfortable home life, getting whatever she wants – something that has perhaps crossed over into her social life.

Profession… McKinley High student. Santana is a part of “The Unholy Trinity,” consisting of her two best friends (and fellow cheerleaders, aka the “Cheerios”) Quinn and Brittany. Though Quinn is the unwavering leader of the group, Santana is the one who really brings the attitude and occasional cruelty. Santana seems to understand the psychological weaknesses of others and how to get under their skin. When the three Cheerios join the glee club at the behest of their cheerleading coach, Sue Sylvester, to bring it down from within, Santana takes aim at the glee club members and their leader, Mr. Schuester. Though to her surprise, Santana slowly starts to enjoy glee club on its own merits.

Interests… dancing, cheerleading, singing, acting, her popularity, boys, fame, and adoration.

Relationship Status…depends on the week. Santana is cutting a wide swath through the male population of McKinley High. Sometimes it seems like she uses boys in order to gain more popularity or to seem cool, rather than dating them because she actually likes them. But she might be overcompensating for something deeper. She and her best friend Brittany share a clear mutual attraction, and while Santana currently laughs off their “encounters,” that could change.

Challenge… deciding whetherkeeping up her tough façade is worth it. When we meet her, Santana is a fairly typical “mean girl,” just one who can sing and dance in a cheerleader outfit. She maintains her spot in the social hierarchy by putting down anyone who could threaten it – something she’s very good at. But this path makes her more enemies than friends. She seems afraid to let others see who she really is, or even admit it to herself – whether it’s actually enjoying glee club or being attracted to Brittany.

Personality… cruel, judgmental, promiscuous, and scheming. Yes, it’s a rather nasty list at the moment. One minute she can be sweet (or semi-sweet) and the next be terribly mean, often masquerading her insults as honesty. Hopefully joining glee club, even though initially for deceptive reasons, will help open her eyes by forcing her to spend time with people from up and down the McKinley High social scale. There are already some hopeful signs that’s the case. But until then, watch Santana fire off a stinging putdown and then belt out a tune.


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