Schue or Sue: a ‘Glee’ grapple

A timeline of the greatest rivalry in ‘Glee’ history


Through the course of the hit cult classic Glee, two characters stood above the rest in terms of reproachfulness and despicable behaviors: Sue Sylvester and William Schuester.  There can be an argument made for each one being a better person than the other as they continually fought and made each other’s lives miserable. 

When William Schuester Was the Good Guy (By: Lucas Jablonski)

William Schuester, the man, the myth, the legend, and the lifeblood of Glee. If not for his selfless acts and grand gestures as the faculty mentor to the glee club, the club won’t succeed.  In the eleventh episode of Season 1, titled “Mattress,” the students in the glee club decide to film an advertisement to get their first “big break” in the entertainment industry. After the advertisement is aired, they find out that participating in it would bar them from taking part in glee sectionals.  Mr. Schuester, by exploiting a loophole in the rules, accepts the payment for the commercial thereby baring himself only from being a part of sectionals, sacrificing his position for the good of the group. Later, in the run of the series, Shuster makes a tough decision that eventually results in the strengthening of the glee group.  He makes the executive decision to give solos to other members, besides solely Rachel, thereby strengthening the talent and confidence of the whole instead of the individual.

Conversely, Sue Sylvester created situations that no viewer of Glee ever saw coming and ruined the lives of multiple students.  In season 6, for example, she traps Kurt and Blaine (two main love interests on the show) in an elevator hoping to make them kiss.  She uses a doll on a tricycle, reminiscent of the ‘Saw’ franchise, to intimidate the pair and pumps drugs into the elevator hoping to prompt their kissing.  As well as this, she also pushes a coach of a rival glee team down a flight of stairs to get his job by putting him into a coma.  The frightening and erratic behavior of Sue Sylvester greatly out rivals that of Will Schuester thereby making her the most detestable character on the show. 

When Sue Sylvester Could Do No Wrong (By: Kelan Yates)

While Sue Sylvester exhibited many wrongful acts and made everyday dreadful for students and staff, William Michael Schuester did worse, much worse. In the premiere episode of season 1, Will stalkingly walks around the boy´s football locker room in hopes of finding a good male lead for his club. He finds the male star of the show, Finn Hudson, singing in the shower, in which he sticks around for a minute to watch and listen. In hopes to recruit this young man, he places drugs in his locker and threatens to turn him in if he refuses to join the club. Throughout the run of the series, Will shows many instances of awkward interest towards his students, including an episode where the students chose between pop music icons, Katy Perry or Lady Gaga. Marley Rose, an innocent student with a bright future ahead, refuses to wear the seashell top she is assigned to wear, because it makes her uncomfortable and she feels it is too provocative. With this choice by Marley, Will takes offense and suspends her for a week from the club for not doing what she is assigned. The tension and creepy ways of Will Schuester, make him a very controversial character in the show. Many hardcore fans highly dislike William, for these reasons. Six time national winning cheer coach Sue Sylvester, is brutally honest woman with a very generous heart. In one of Glee´s Christmas episodes, a secret santa event is taking place where Sue draws the name of a poor lunch lady. This lunch lady, Millie Rose, is made fun of for her weight, by students and sometimes even staff. Sue walks by the cafeteria, where she hears Marley, Millie´s daughter, singing beautifully to her. Sue is inspired to go big and sneaks into the household of the two and gifts them with a thousand dollars and three months of paid rent. Finn Hudson, whom Will seeked out of showers, suddenly passed away just after a few episodes in season 5. Although Sue said some rather offensive words to Finn in the past, she still had a generous caring regarding him and his passing. With her new role as principal, she names the auditorium in his name and his contributions. Sue may have been an overly offensive person at times, but her generosity and love for certain individuals can overshadow those moments.

In conclusion, both of these characters are terrible people.  That is one issue that can be fully agreed upon by all Glee fans.  There are very few redeemable qualities, and even if there were more, the bad clearly outweighs the good.  However, Glee would not have obtained the following it did without the rivalry of these two dynamic characters.  Do you agree with our analysis?