So some awesome-type folks Asked me some awesome-type questions and I gave some verbose-type answers.
Rambling under the cut.
1. Hey, Anon!
I’m always happy to spread the HeMo love; she does an amazing job, week in and week out, regardless of whether or not she has dialogue. Brittany Pierce is one of the best characters in the history of television, and it’s largely thanks to Heather Morris that such is the case. HeMo knows Brittany so well. I can’t say enough good things about Heather’s work.
#hemo is amazeballs #hemo is our first mate
Thanks for sharing the HeMo love! And thanks for writing in!
Fun question! So mostly I just ship Brittana because, let’s be honest, for me, shipping Brittana is basically a full-time job. No other couple on the show has grabbed my heart like Brittana have; they are my OTP in every sense of the term.
That being said, I do have a few ships that make me smile.
For instance, I kind of really adore Tike and I totally hope that one day BrittBritt gets to be a bridesmaid at their wedding, because, holy Cheesus, they just have such a good, sweet relationship and they support each other so much. When Mike imagines Tina telling him she believes in him in 3x03, it basically melted my little heart, and every time Tina helps Mike pursue his dreams and be true to himself, I cheer. Mike and Tina clearly love each other and they’re so supportive of one another. Tike doesn’t get a lot of attention, but I sort of love them. Plus, Nicole’s stories give me Tike feelings like woah (see here and here).
I also like Samcedes kind of a lot. They are pretty fucking cute together and I like their dynamic, with Sam being his adorkable self and Mercedes giving him shit about it, but secretly thinking he’s the sweetest thing basically ever. I’m not gonna lie: When we first saw them holding hands at the Lima Bean in 2x22, it made my little heart flutter. Also, Sam was just so damn charming to Mercedes at prom. I’m glad Sammy’s back for about a million reasons, but also because I want to see the show explore this relationship.
If Tina didn’t exist, my secret crackship would be Fabang. I have this weakness for Fabang fanfiction because it’s usually very literary and retiring (see here and here). Plus, I just kind of like the idea of them reading books together and going for coffee and being a little bit nerdy and a little bit sweet… but, then again, I could basically ship either Mike or Sam with any of the [canon] straight girls on the show, not gonna lie.
Of course, I also ship Quinndependence pretty hard, too.
Also, Brandy. They are my other OTP on this show. Dig it.
As far as friendship-ships go, I have no shortage of them. Right now, my really big ones are:
Sancedes, because, oh dear Cheesus, how can I not friendship this? As I say elsewhere:
“Mercedes does a good job of making Brittana—and Santana, in particular—feel comfortable around her, on several counts.
First, Mercedes helps Brittana to feel comfortable around her because, despite the fact that Mercedes has known about Brittana’s sexual relationship since 1x13 and has perhaps enjoyed more insight into Brittana’s relationship than most other characters on the show at any given time, she has never treated Brittana differently because of their relationship. Her attitude seems to be, ‘So Santana and Brittany sleep together? Good for them. Now let’s sing the fuck out of ‘Candyman.”
And, honestly? I think Santana really appreciates the fact that Mercedes just don’t give a fuck about what Brittana do together in their bedrooms. Mercedes’ indifference towards Brittana’s relationship allows Santana to feel comfortable around Mercedes, and the ability to feel comfortable around a person, with no threat of judgment, is something prerequisite to Santana forming a friendship with that person, perhaps even more so than it would be to any other person besides Santana.
Secondly, I think it helps that, unlike both Finn and Rachel, Mercedes doesn’t attempt to dominate Santana, even though she’s in a leadership position over Santana. Whereas Finn and Rachel consistently draw attention to Santana’s ‘minority’ status, belittle and objectify her through the language they use to describe her, order her into the background, and take shots at Brittany in her presence, all while asserting white, heterosexual privilege over Santana (see here), Mercedes acknowledges Santana’s talents, validates Santana as a member of their in-group, gladly shares the spotlight with Santana, and shows respect to Brittany in Santana’s presence, all while refusing to take any of Santana’s shit herself.
Simply put, Mercedes is good at ‘handling’ Santana, as so few people at William McKinley High School are.
Lastly, I think that, outside of Brittany, Santana tends to form friendship based on sharing common goals. She’s a very objective-minded person, which is perhaps why when Santana attempts to remind Quinn of the Unholy Trinity’s friendship, she doesn’t reference giggly nights spent at adolescent sleepovers or summer days spent lounging poolside, but instead talks about everything that their group accomplished and could accomplish together (‘We could win two National Championships this year! We joined the Cheerios together, we joined glee club together, we all slept with Puckerman the same year’). For Santana, it is easiest to form friendships with persons in the spirit of cooperation towards a shared objective.
And, with Mercedes, Santana can do just that. When Sancedes share their first friendly interaction, it is for the purpose of performing a duet together to win the competition in 2x04. And when they truly establish their friendship in Season Three? They do so as part of the Troubletones, with their stated objective being a shared desire to star on a winning show choir team.
Sharing a common purpose with Mercedes helps Santana to trust her because Santana knows that as long as she and Mercedes want the same thing, Mercedes won’t attempt to undermine the dynamics of their relationship. As long as Mercedes needs Santana and Santana needs Mercedes, they won’t do anything to harm each other; they’re safe.
And for someone as distrusting as Santana? That sort of guaranteed security in a friendship is important. Santana doesn’t trust people to like her for her, so it’s important for her to feel like people have an outside reason to like her, when she first starts to get to know them.”
Plus, they honestly care about each other.
You can see the concern written all over Mercedes’ face during “Rumour Has It/Someone Like You” when she notices that Santana is off her game. She may not know what’s the matter yet, but she knows enough to realize that something has deeply, deeply disturbed Santana and you can tell that it worries her.
Likewise, when Mercedes flees the auditorium following “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face,” Santana shows great concern for her, following Mercedes into the restrooms with the other girls. Even though Santana doesn’t say anything to Mercedes in that instance, her face is soft with care (see here). You can tell that she empathizes with Mercedes having a confused heart and that she doesn’t like seeing Mercedes so upset.
That scene really represents the first time we’ve ever seen Santana demonstrate that much compassion for someone outside of Brittany—and for that reason alone Sancedes will be one of my broships for life.
Also, my number one friendship on Glee has always and will always be the Unholy Trinity. These girls just need each other. I friendship them all as a trio and I friendship them as individual components, like Quinntana and Quitt. They balance each other in different ways. I need to see more Unholy Trinity in my life.
Quinntana call each other on their shit and keep each other in line. Both of them are ambitious sometimes to the point of blindness, but they prevent one another from going too crazy or self-destructing in pursuit of petty goals, as we see during 2x01, when Quinn calls Santana out for her ridiculous and superfluous boob job, and in 2x22, when Santana lays a harsh reality check on Quinn and ultimately prevents her from sabotaging New Directions’ chances at Nationals.
Even though their relationship carries with it an element of pronounced antagonism, you can tell that they honestly do care about each other—that’s why Santana goes out of her way trying to “save” Quinn at the beginning of Season Three, badgering her to rejoin the Cheerios and regain her throne as HBIC at McKinley. Santana knows something is seriously wrong with Quinn at that point, and even though Santana doesn’t exactly know how to fix that “something,” she wants to do so because Santana is not only a “doer” in general, but also, ultimately, because she wants Quinn to be all right.
In no other circumstance would we see Santana willingly jeopardize her own place at the top of the pyramid for someone else, outside of Brittany, except this one; really, deep down, Santana knows that Quinn is the alpha and that she herself ultimately fares better in competition with Quinn than she does maneuvering without her. Santana makes one hell of a second to Quinn.
And, secretly? I think she both appreciates and craves the security Quinn provides her, which is why, for one thing, it throws Santana so much when Quinn isn’t in a position to compete with her—as per what we see during Babygate in Season One and the punk!Quinn era of Season Three—and, for another thing, why we see Santana cling so tightly to her relationship with Quinn, even when Quinn attempts to reject her.
For her part, Quinn seems to understand that Santana shares her same kind of crazy and thrives when she has Santana to keep her on her toes. Santana motivates Quinn to stay on top and helps steer Quinn out of serious trouble. Plus, Quinn never has to fear Santana too much because Quinn understands Santana’s secret weakness: namely, Brittany.
Honestly, I think both Quinn and Santana appreciate one another’s respective relationships with Brittany, too.
Though Quinn probably doesn’t understand quite why Santana and Brittany are Santana and Brittany, she seems genuinely supportive of their relationship, if we can base our readings of her support on the looks she gives them during “Landslide” in 2x15 and the way she acknowledges their relationship in 2x22 without making a big fuss about it. Secretly, she seems to envy the love that Brittana share, but that doesn’t make her begrudge them that love. I think Quinn appreciates the fact that Santana is loyal to Brittany above everything and feels good knowing that her best friends make each other happy.
As for Santana, I think she takes comfort in the fact that Quinn will protect Brittany, even when she herself cannot do so, as we see in 2x11, when Santana feels too afraid of Sue to save Brittany from being shot out of a cannon, and Quinn steps in and promises to take care of the situation in her stead. The look of relief that passes over Santana’s face when Quinn takes charge speaks volumes; I think it’s nice for her to know that somebody else has Brittany’s back outside of herself, when needed.
As for the Quitt side of things, I think Brittany genuinely makes Quinn happy. Quinn sure as hell doesn’t understand Brittany, but she loves Brittany to the point of being protective of her, as we see in both 2x11 and 2x13. Brittany makes Quinn feel pretty and loved, plus she doesn’t compete with Quinn in the same way that Santana does. Brittany can be popular without her popularity infringing upon or detracting from Quinn’s popularity; they aren’t rivals, just equals. Though Quinn probably falls into the category of people who believe that Brittany is mostly harmless and daffy and who takes Brittany’s Brittanyisms at face value, I think that she appreciates Brittany’s innocence and reverences it, which is why we see Quinn melt into Brittany’s comfort in the Unholy Trinity hotel room scene of 2x22.
For her part, Brittany seems to love Quinn because of their shared history together. The Unholy Trinity have probably shared some very formative experiences, many of which involve their Cheerios training. Brittany seems to value that shared history, as we see when she encourages Quinn to rejoin the Cheerios and hang out with her and Santana in 3x01. Brittany also seems to both recognize and appreciate how much Quinn means to Santana; Brittany understands the way Quinntana’s friendship functions, which is why Brittany at first cowers but ultimately stands firm when Quinn shouts at Santana in 2x22—i.e., because Brittany dislikes conflict in general, but knows that Quinntana work by pushing each other and getting in one another’s faces.
And then there’s the Brittana of it all.
Beyond from the Unholy Trinity, even though we haven’t seen much of it in canon, I friendship Santina pretty hard, for a lot of the same reasons I friendship Sancedes. I think Tina doesn’t take Santana’s shit and that Santana probably appreciates the fact that Tina doesn’t get all up in her business about things that Santana would consider private. I’d like to think that they sort of bonded over writing “Trouty Mouth” (see here).
I also like the idea of a Samtana bromance, because, out of all the glee boys, Sam is the only one who has demonstrated that he knows how to properly react to Santana giving him shit—i.e., by saying “I love you, too, Santana” and pulling her into a snuggly bear hug because, really, that girl is all bark.
As for BrittBritt, I friendship her with the Brainiacs pretty hard. I also friendship Bike like a boss, because, even though we have next to zero canon evidence of it, I think that Mike would really appreciate Brittany’s whimsy and that Brittany would like teasing Mike and that they could dance together and be fabulous and, oh my Cheesus, RIB and Co., why aren’t you writing this? It works so well in fanfiction! I just want them to be bros.
I friendship the everloving hell out of the Troubletones. I love that the Troubletones accepted Brittana’s relationship without question, that Brittana felt totally safe with them, and that they all stuck up for each other and stuck together, not dissolving into bickering the second they lost Sectionals. They really are a team of equals. They were so incredibly fierce and phenomenal; they were the embodiment of strong, female friendship that existed totally beyond the context of relationships with boys.
Plus a billion to passing the Bechdel Test!
Also, it’s no secret that I love Sugar to bits and that watching her interactions with her “moms”—and especially her interactions with Brittany—is amongst my favorite things in the universe.
I will forever mourn the loss of the Troubletones on the show, though I’m glad that, so far, RIB and Co. have at least maintained the friendships formed in that group, even now that it has officially been reabsorbed into New Directions.
Beyond all of Brittana’s friendships, I friendship Hummelberry like woah; I want them to move to New York together and pursue their dreams and live fabulously together. Chris and Lea have amazing chemistry together and I cried like a little bitch during the Hummelberry car scene of 3x01. Theirs is the sort of friendship I crave on Glee; give me more of that, please.
I also friendship Quinncedes, Faberry—though I wouldn’t be opposed to them getting together romantically, as well, if that ever happened—Kurtcedes, Tinacedes, and Sam and Mike being friends with everyone.
Basically, I am a friendship-shipwhore. I want to see real friendships on Glee more than I want air.
Holy shit, I did not mean to talk this much about what I ship.
Dear Cheesus, I am sorry for that ramble. Wow.
Apparently I have some feelings? Anyway, this was a fun question. Thanks for writing in!
3. Hey, Anon!
First of all, thank you for your kind words! I absolutely fricken love that you love my blog!
Secondly, in regards to your question, I have to admit, while I adore all the crazy faces Brittany pulls during performances, in most instances, I have absolutely no idea how to parse them, particularly being that we can seldom know for certain which of those faces represent HeMo just being a ridiculous goober and which of them represent her making a conscious decision to represent Brittany’s emotions.
My guess is that “Survivor/I Will Survive” is just a fierce song, all about going on no matter what anybody says or does to bring you down, so Brittany pulls a fierce face while she performs it. I don’t know that she intends to challenge the audience in particular, though it’s possible that such is the case. Really, I think she’s just “getting into character,” as it were—and being her badass self.
Honestly, I don’t know how much the audience would pick up on the fact that Brittana are any different from the rest of the Troubletones dancing together, in that instance. I mean, to us shippers, it’s easy to see that the Brittango is sexual and romantic and full of a very specific kind of chemistry that doesn’t exist between, say, Mercedes and Sugar when they dance together, but to the audience? Brittana probably just looked like another pair of girls in an all-girls choir dancing together for the sake of the choreography.
Sorry I can’t be more specific.
Thanks for writing in!
4. Hey, Anon!
So Brittany hates Rachel—not only does Brittany tell us so herself in 3x02, but she also makes her feelings for Rachel abundantly clear through the plethora of insults she slings at Rachel over the years, in addition to through the way she seems to frequently undermine and sabotage Rachel in various situations (see here). Frankly, Brittany insults Rachel both more often and more openly than anyone else on the show—including Quinn, Santana, and Finn.
Nevertheless, even though we see copious canon evidence of the fact that Brittany hates Rachel, we also see certain canon evidence that Brittany will show Rachel affection and at times even act kindly towards her.
So what gives? How does this work?
First of all, I should note that “hate” is a strong word.
Yes, Brittany “hates” Rachel, but that doesn’t mean that she absolutely loathes everything to do with the girl and would wish serious harm on her.
Indeed, I think Brittany actually begrudgingly appreciates Rachel’s singing voice—as so many characters say, “Damn her talent!”—and knows that New Directions needs Rachel both in order to win their major competitions and in order to function as a cohesive group.
I also think that Brittany gets a little bit of a rise out of teasing Rachel, much in the same way that Santana gets a rise out of teasing Sam; messing with Rachel’s head is something that’s secretly fun for Brittany to do. And in some small way? Brittany likes having Rachel around just so that she can tease her.
That being the case, I would say that Brittany “hates” Rachel insofar as Rachel’s holier-than-thou attitude annoys the hell out of Brittany, Rachel’s inopportune comments about Santana’s sexuality thwart Brittany’s interests, Rachel’s self-absorption grates on Brittany’s nerves, the way Rachel talks down to Brittany hurts Brittany’s feelings, and—perhaps—Santana’s sexual crush on Rachel makes Brittany feel jealous (see here).
But does that mean Brittany wishes ill on Rachel all the time or that Brittany won’t give Rachel props where props are due? Not necessarily.
As I say elsewhere:
“… one of the things that makes Brittany different than many people is that Brittany only tends to act on her dislike or hatred of others in situations in which she feels that it would be productive or beneficial to her in some way to do so.
While Brittany will make hateful comments and snide remarks whenever she pleases, she won’t go out of her way to actively ‘punish’ her enemies in situations where doing so would impede the greater good, foil her own interests, create chaos, etc., which is perhaps why Brittany encourages Santana to forgive Rachel in 2x22, and, moreover, why Brittany will behave in a friendly manner towards Rachel during group performances or when New Directions needs to work together (see here).”
Indeed, as I mention in another analysis:
“… it seems to me that Brittany’s own aggressive behaviors always work towards a greater purpose: Brittany doesn’t just flummox Rachel Berry for the hell of it in ‘Comeback;’ rather, she does so for the purpose of ‘teaching Rachel a lesson’ for making Santana cry one episode previously and for consistently belittling and devaluing Brittany, as she does throughout the episode in question.
Brittany is pragmatic about her aggression. She isn’t just mean for the hell of being mean; she always has some purpose to her cattiness, whether that purpose comes in the form of social climbing, seeking retribution, defending Santana, etc.”
Brittany will mess with Rachel, insult Rachel, and glare at Rachel from across the room, but, ultimately, Brittany won’t do anything to seriously or permanently “harm” Rachel, and especially not insofar as doing something to harm Rachel would thwart Brittany’s own interests either within the glee club or in terms of her interpersonal relationships.
We see this unwillingness on Brittany’s part to seriously harm Rachel at play in episode 2x22, where Brittany frets that if Quinn tells on Hummelberry for playing hooky from the hotel, Kurt and Rachel will get disqualified from Nationals, as Rachel being disqualified from Nationals would directly impede Brittany’s own ability to compete.
We also see it at play later in that same episode when Brittany encourages Santana to forgive Rachel for causing New Directions to lose Nationals, being that, as my friend Marjorie puts it, “Brittany wants Santana to be happy, and that involves letting some anger go” (see here).
Basically, Brittany knows that Santana must accept Rachel as part of the glee club family if Santana herself ever wants others to accept her as part of that family, as well. Accordingly, Brittany encourages Santana to let go of some of her “unproductive” anger towards Rachel in order to facilitate Santana becoming part of the New Directions in group.
Really, I think Brittany’s attitude towards Rachel comes down to this, if you’ll allow me to get unscientific, for a second:
Nobody gets on Brittany’s nerves more than Rachel does.
True, Rachel doesn’t even treat Brittany that much worse than the rest of the glee kids do, but for some reason, when Rachel treats Brittany like she’s stupid, it’s just so damn annoying that Brittany can’t stand it. Maybe it’s the condescending tone of Rachel’s voice or something—Brittany doesn’t know.
Anyway, Rachel thinks she’s so important with her stupid solos and her stupid tall boyfriend who outs people before they’re ready to come out and her stupid rules about where you can sit and where you can’t sit, like it would even hurt anything for Brittany to sit on the damn washing machine anyway. But you know what? Rachel is not any more important than anyone else. Everybody matters and sometimes Rachel seems to forget that.
Rachel is talented, yeah, but so are other people. Santana sings differently than Rachel does, but that doesn’t mean that Rachel is a better singer than Santana at all. And Brittany dances better than anybody in glee club except maybe Mike, but she doesn’t lord it over everybody else’s heads in the same way that Rachel lords her “talent” over everybody.
Rachel is bossy and self-important, plus she has this way of making Brittany feel like she’s wrong, even when Brittany knows that she isn’t wrong at all. Also, Rachel is a total cockblock… or at least a heartblock, or something. Like, seriously, did she have to say that stuff about “Sapphic charm” after Santana sang “Landslide” to Brittany, really? Couldn’t she just have kept her damn mouth shut? Why does she have to scare Santana like that? Couldn’t she see that that moment was important?
And why does Santana have to have a stupid crush on Rachel with her stupid legs which are like way too long to be on a girl that short anyway? Santana hates Rachel; she shouldn’t like her like that.
So, yeah, Brittany hates Rachel.
And, yeah, sometimes Brittany decides to teach Rachel a lesson because Rachel needs somebody to take her down a peg or seven and Brittany knows just how to do it.
But at the same time, Rachel isn’t all bad—because everyone does matter and that means that Rachel matters, too.
Brittany has to admit: Rachel is talented and she is super good at singing. Plus, without Rachel bossing everyone around all the time, New Directions probably wouldn’t get as much done as they do; Rachel is kind of like the hella annoying glue that holds everything together. Also, Rachel can be kind of nice sometimes, like when she tried to help Kurt win the election, even though she did that by cheating and did it against Brittany; sometimes that’s just the sort of stuff that you do for your friends, though.
No matter how much Brittany hates to say it, Rachel is part of her glee club family—a big part of it.
So, yeah, even though Brittany and Rachel fight and Rachel annoys Brittany basically more than anybody else, Brittany knows that weird stuff like that happens in families. And even though Rachel thinks Brittany is really dumb, Brittany knows that Rachel still loves her no matter what and accepts her for who she is. And Brittany feels that way about Rachel, too, really deep down, she guesses.
Brittany will probably keep messing with Rachel forever, but she won’t let anybody else hurt her, which is why Brittany jumped up just as quickly as everybody else did when the football guys made fun of Rachel and Puck when they started their zombie camp assignment and why Brittany told Santana to calm down with the voodoo doll thing after Rachel blew Nationals for them and why Brittany sometimes gives Rachel hugs when she looks like she needs them and sometimes smiles at Rachel when she does really good singing a song.
Rachel may be a freak, but she’s Brittany’s freak… not that Brittany would ever tell Rachel that.
Anyway, enough jabbering out of me! Suffice it to say that Brittany’s hates a lot of the things that Rachel does to her and the way Rachel treats her, but, ultimately, Brittany won’t allow that hatred to overwhelm their glee club family bond or to cause Brittany to deal serious harm to Rachel in any way.
Really, Brittany hates Rachel the way one might hate an obnoxious younger sister.
Thanks for writing in!
5. Hey, Anon!
It actually says “Couture is Here;” she’s worn similar shirts before, like when she dances the “Locomotta” in 3x04.
Headcanon says that when Sugar got to 2011 from the future, she didn’t understand 2011 fashion at all, so she spent a lot of time watching TV—mostly Keeping Up with the Kardashians—and decided that Juicy Couture was like the coolest brand ever. And since she’s kind of rich, by 2011 standards? When she went to the mall to pick out her clothes, she bought like five Couture shirts, because if one Couture shirt is cool, then five Couture shirts are like five times as cool. Now she looks smokin’ hot, just like her mommas raised her to look!
Thanks for writing in!
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- iamsnortythevampyr said: #in which JJ ships ALL THE FRIENDSHIPS! :) Except maybe Brittany and Rachel.
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- hufflepuffandpass said: And now I have even more Troubletones feelings than before. And Samtana friendship feelings. And a lot of other feelings, too.
- valedictories said: This post gives me so many feelings. Oh, my friendship-shipper heart!
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- socallmedaisy said: So many of your friendship feelings are my friendship feelings. Plus Mike/Sam - Mike tripped over a chair on the way to hug Sam he was so happy to see him. Bros for life!
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