Glee, technically, categorizes as an ensemble show. The large cast and multiple storylines about them looks like an ensemble show on the surface, yet, if we had to pick a star, then we would say it was Rachel Berry (Lea Michele). Given her character, it’s not that surprising that she would assert herself as the focus. After the main cast graduated, Rachel’s dominance over the series was made even more clear and there were so many rumors of a Rachel-based spin-off.
That never happened, but only because it felt like it was folded into the show from seasons four to six. Michele is an excellent singer, talented actress, and she did great work as Rachel for the six seasons that Glee aired. That aside, Rachel, oh boy, Rachel was something. As the lead, it felt like we were supposed to root for her. It also, at points, felt like we were watching a version of Breaking Bad that took place in high school glee club and Rachel was Walter White. More often than not, she just did so many bad or questionable things. Again, show business is a rough business to get into, but even so, there’s a difference between developing a thick skin and sending a rival to a crime area. One is a necessity, but the other one will get you arrested or something. It’s time to look over six seasons because Rachel? Rachel has done a lot of sketchy things.
Here are 20 Things Wrong With Rachel We All Choose To Ignore.
20 Would Pit Her Boyfriends Against Each Other
Rachel loves drama. She thrives in it, especially if the drama is about her. When she starts dating Jesse St. James (Jonathan Groff) in season one, she’s excited when he challenges Finn (Cory Monteith) to a sing-off in the parking lot. After learning that Finn was involved with Santana (Naya Rivera), Rachel immediately gets close to Puck (Mark Salling) to make Finn jealous.
It’s no surprise that Finn broke-up with her because of that as Rachel purposely chose the guy who would hurt him the most. Then, she had an emotional moment with Brody (Dean Geyer) in the opening episodes of season four and they still flirted with each other even though Rachel was in a relationship.
19 Never Had Many Interests Outside Of Theater
Rachel had one true love: the theater. It looked like her whole life was built around it. While there were mentions of her being a member of other clubs, we’ve never seen her do anything with them. Even though the majority of New Directions loved performing, they still had other interests outside of the club: Kurt (Chris Colfer) loved fashion, Artie (Kevin McHale) wanted to direct, and Quinn (Dianna Agron) went on to learn Women Studies at Yale.
Rachel, however, seems solely consumed by one thing. Having a passion is great, but dedicating your life to one path is also dangerous. Due to this, Rachel never really went out of her comfort zone to try out something new or consider new territories.
18 Her Underhandedness
Rachel was pretty devious in getting what she wanted. She purposely held back information on Sandy Ryerson’s (Stephen Tobolowsky) predatory tendencies until he shunted her to the side. After which, she was more than happy to tell Figgins (Iqbal Theba) all about what was going on. Furthermore, she sent Sunshine (Jake Zyrus) to an inactive criminal area after the girl proved her vocal chops for New Directions.
Additionally, Rachel would also know how to get people to forgive her, such as baking cookies or appearing at a conveniently dramatic moment to help. She would do anything she could in order to get people on her side or position herself to get what she wanted. Even if she got called out on this, it almost always worked out for her in the end.
Rachel is one of the most self-centered characters in television history. In the later seasons, especially, Rachel would be absorbed in her own problems that it didn't matter what those around her were experiencing. However, in the early seasons, she would go out of her way in order to provide comfort to others, like when Quinn and Puck’s involvement was brought to the surface. It was the later seasons that showed how Rachel would become more and more self-involved.
When Rachel had to get into NYADA, it didn't matter what Mercedes (Amber Riley) wanted. She also stuck to her idea of doing a duet with Blaine (Darren Criss), even though Carmen Tibideaux (Whoopi Goldberg) wanted a solo performance. It would just go on and on.
16 Needs Applause To “Live”
“I’m like Tinkerbell, Finn. I need applause to live!” If ever there was a defining quote to the worst parts of Rachel Berry, then this is it. Not only does it showcase herself at her most diva, but it also shows a problem within Rachel. Rather than finding internal validation for herself, she relies on external validation from others. To her, applause signifies that she is adored and loved by everyone.
You can't go through life wanting others to love you, you need to love yourself first, and Rachel ends up putting the need for other’s approval before doing anything for herself. That’s not a healthy way to live at all and it shows up in the way Rachel treats others, whom she believes are in her way.
15 Acts Like She's The One Affected
We have all had that one person in our lives who never takes responsibility for anything. They are always the one acting injured, even when they are the party at fault. Granted, Rachel experienced some mistreatment in season one, but as the seasons passed, however, she avoided responsibility for her actions. This was especially true in the season five episode “Bash,” where she lashes out at both Kurt and Carmen when they rightfully call her out on her attitude after she got the lead in Funny Girl.
14 Uses People To Get What She Wants
Rachel was always a little bit manipulative with other people. If there was a way to use people in order to further her own dreams, then she would take it. To be fair, though, show business is one where you have to use people, to some degree, by making connections and doing favors. Eventually, if you have the right connections, a career in stardom seems more feasible. However, this was high school show choir. While New Directions always seemed in jeopardy, Rachel was nine times out of ten the star.
In the pilot, she told Finn that they should be together because the others thought that they should be. Later, she would bring cookies in order to facilitate forgiveness and she went to those in power over those in inferior positions to leverage things for her benefit.
13 Actually Thinks Singing Will Make Everything Better
Glee was a show that believed that music could make the world a better place. Sometimes, it seemed like it really could, but other times, it was more of a need to use a song to paper over a needed conversation. In the way that a song could be used as an apology for doing something really bad, Rachel, more than most, lived by this creed. As if singing will somehow magically make people forgive her or something.
After sending Sunshine into the arms of Vocal Adrenaline, Rachel sings “What I Did For Love” as a justification for her actions to New Directions. Also, this example set up a pattern as she did the same thing when she was convincing Carmen to come to Nationals as a second chance audition.
12 Not As Talented As She Thinks She Is
Rachel is one heck of a singer. Lea Michele, in real life, is a triple threat, as are most of the cast of Glee. In the show, however, Rachel was never really as talented as she believed. She was a great singer, a decent actor, and her dancing skills often appeared as nonexistent. Rachel never really put much work into her solo numbers, instead, she opted for what people term as a “park and bark,” meaning she stood there and sang. Since she had so many solos, it got boring after a while.
Contrasted with others over the series, like Kurt or Mike Chang (Harry Shum, Jr.), who would do more than park and bark, it just seemed lazy in comparison.
11 Refuses To Take Responsibility For Her Actions
One thing that everyone in New Directions should know by the end of the series is that actions have consequences. Maybe they’re unintended consequences, but they are still there all the same. For example, Finn openly talks about Santana's preferences when she isn't entirely open with them, yet, he ends up outing her to the school. While most people learn that their actions will either hurt or reward them later on, one who doesn’t catch on appears to be Rachel.
It’s baffling because the theater world is especially insular. You'd think Rachel would be aware of her actions, like running off to L.A. to audition for a television show even though she was still under contract to perform in Funny Girl. While Santana tried to do some image rehab, it wasn't really enough.
10 Worst. Roommate. Ever.
Rachel wasn't a great roommate to Santana and Kurt, seriously. Considering she had a roommate who was constantly involved with others during her first months in New York, you'd think she would have been better. First, she has her new boyfriend Brody move in with them without telling her roommates (you have to tell your roommates about that sort of stuff), then, as it turns out, Brody was a “self-expressionist.”
During her and Santana’s Funny Girl rivalry, the tension would drive Kurt up the wall. Naturally, she stormed out in a dramatic fashion, declaring her intention of moving out, without caring about leaving Santana and Kurt high and dry with funds.
Is it possible for someone to be in a state of arrested development even in high school and college? As a whole, Rachel tended to act more like a child as opposed to an adult. Think about it. She would pout when she didn’t get her way and would change moods. It’s like she doesn’t really know how to handle things in a mature way. Even when she went to L.A. to audition for TV, she thought that not telling anyone at her Broadway show would be a good decision to make, not to mention how many times she stormed off when she never got her way. As Artie would point out, she did it so many times in the series that it lost its effectiveness.
8 Her Ego
We can all agree that Rachel has a bit of an ego, thinking that she should be the star no matter what. In Lima, she was a big fish in a very drama-filled pond. Her ego, however, would often get in her own way. For example, when she chooses to only apply to one hyper-competitive conservatory over applying to multiple schools, it shows that Rachel believes that there are no other options; she is simply just that good.
It doesn’t help that the world seems to feed into that, though. Mister Schuester (Matthew Morrison) gives Rachel those solos rather than diversify, and Rachel gets a lead in a Broadway show at 19, despite having a slim resume.
7 The Rachel Berry Show
One of the worst parts of season five was when Rachel gets bored of Broadway after a month. We will harp on to this until the end of time because it was one of the most bizarre decisions the show has ever made (and it's made some pretty bizarre ones). After years of saying she wanted to be on Broadway, manipulating her way to get there, and her unpleasant attitude, Rachel gets bored? Just like that? Really?
It shows how immature she is since she goes to the next shiny thing. At this point, she’s not even thinking about her future and burning bridges, she’s just picking something she thought was interesting.
6 Wasn't A Good Friend
Rachel wasn’t always a bad friend to those around her. A good chunk of the time, she would offer comfort and support when the time came. To be honest, most of New Directions weren’t really good friends to each other, either. Rachel, however, could be noticeably bad. If she felt friends got in the way of her dreams, then she would grow bitter, jealous, and angry at them. This can be seen in “Bash,” when she fought with Kurt after he didn’t immediately side with her over her decision to quit NYADA.
Also, when Santana was her understudy, she got all huffy about it... She’s performing on Broadway. It's a necessity for her to have an understudy.
5 Too Much Dedication
Sometimes, when Rachel hears “no,” she gets a little bit bonkers with it and it would lead into some constant pursuing. One of the biggest examples comes in season three when her NYADA audition is unsuccessful. Rachel ended up essentially pursuing Carmen Tibideaux for a second chance by sending her muffin baskets, letters, and anything for the woman to see her perform again. Never mind that Kurt aced his audition, and aced it hard.
While Rachel’s drive is a good character trait at times, the way she acts can lead to very bad repercussions later on. If she does this with a director or a producer in the future, then they will not see it as her dedication.
4 Got Progressively Lazy
Over six seasons, Rachel leaned more and more on her vocal chops than anything else. While she did possess an impressive voice, she didn’t really bring much else to the table. It’s frustrating because, in earlier seasons, we saw Rachel put in the effort. She used the dance room often, did tap in her early years, and practiced. As the seasons passed, however, we didn’t see Rachel put in the work. Instead of challenging herself with choreography, she just planted herself there and sang.
While others grew as performers, Rachel showed no real change. She stuck with what she knew worked rather than attempting to branch out. In order to be the kind of performer she wanted to be, she would need to grow, and that requires actual work.
3 Believes That Success Should Be Handed To Her
Rachel remains one of the more talented characters of the series. The problem is, as stated previously, she knows how talented she is. Without really providing much effort, she usually ends up as the star. Whether by accident or by circumstance, it does tend to lead to expectations that you should always have the success you’re accustomed to. Most of the other members, however, work for that success and it feels all that sweeter when they get it: like Kurt getting into NYADA or Mercedes landing her big break.
Rachel, however, doesn’t seem to realize that she needs to earn her success. That’s probably what makes the Funny Girl storyline so frustrating; we feel like she hasn’t earned it, and when she gets bored with it, it just leads to audiences getting frustrated.
2 Can Never Take A Critique
If you talk to anyone who works in the entertainment industry, then they will tell you that you need to have thick skin; it’s probably the first thing that a person needs to develop. Whether it’s a troll on the Internet or someone offering you an honest critique, no one can take things too personally in this business. Rachel, for someone who wants to work in this industry, has one of the thinnest skins on the show. When Cassandra July (Kate Hudson) gives her a, admittedly rough, honest critique, Rachel takes it as an attack, and when Carmen gives her a bad grade on an assignment, she quits school.
Also, when her television show fails, she declares that her life is over. Obviously, it's not, but no one can let those kinds of critiques overly get to them.
1 Diva In A Bad Way
The term diva has been around for a decently long time and it comes with several good and bad connotations: the good connotation means that she is a woman of exquisite talent and taste, the bad connotation, however, means a woman in show business who has a reputation for being difficult to work with. Over the seasons, unfortunately, Rachel morphs into the latter. As we said on this list, she can be mean and manipulative to others while believing that things should be handed to her based on talent.
Now, the good side is, it does look like she outgrows it, especially in the series finale and the back half of season six. Even so, it did make for some hard viewing and little pay-offs.
Did you notice any other things that fans ignored when it came to Rachel? Let us know in the comments below!