Sue Sylvester

Sue Sylvester

Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Grew Up… in a terrible home environment. Though it’s not made clear when it occurred, at some point her father died and her mother left – leaving Sue to take care of her handicapped younger sister. Though she loves her sister and cares for her deeply, Sue’s lack of a real childhood and any sort of motherly or fatherly affection has led her to be aggressive and cruel towards others. It might not excuse her behavior, but it does make it more understandable.

Living… in a lovely house full of trophies in Ohio. Nearly every inch of her home is covered with plaques and other 1st-place memorabilia. Sue is first and foremost a winner.

Profession… cheerleading coach at McKinley High. Sue coaches the squad ruthlessly, leading the Cheerios (get it?) to numerous championships. She is rarely seen without her signature megaphone and whistle, usually shouting a variation of “You think that’s hard?”

Interests… winning, bragging, sports, sports drinks, red sweat suits, yelling, bullying the weak, herself, medals, trophies, celebrity men, and ruining the glee club.

Relationship Status… single. Though she claims to have had many conquests, including several celebrities, Sue’s number one priority is her relationship with herself. She’s first and foremost a strong, independent woman who doesn’t need anyone or anything in her life. In her own words: “Look at me, I am so elegant, regal. I am Ajax, mighty Greek warrior.” Though at times there are cracks in Sue’s tough façade when she reveals vulnerability and loneliness, she always bounces back to her usual tough-talking self and ultimately seems happier alone.

Challenge… getting rid of the school’s glee club. Although she’d never admit it, Sue sees the glee club as a threat. Because she and her Cheerios are so used to being a top priority at McKinley – meaning they get special treatment and a huge portion of the school budget – any club that might push them out of the spotlight must be destroyed. Sue will move heaven and earth to make sure that nothing jeopardizes her precious cheerleading squad.

Personality… scheming, conniving, mean, rude, and essentially evil. Though she has her moments of kindness, these are inevitably followed by often-successful attempts to ruin others’ lives. Sue is ruthless in getting what she wants – almost everything she does is in order to better herself or her life. She is also known to have random attacks of meanness in which no one, even those she genuinely likes, is safe. Still, she does it all with an undeniable panache. 


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