Kevin McHale as portrayed in Glee
|Ex-Relationships||Tina Cohen-Chang; Brittany Pierce; Sugar Motta (Crush)|
|Played By||Kevin McHale|
Artie Abrams, a handicapped young man, is currently a member of New Directions at William McKinley High School. At a young age Artie was exposed to a degrading accident leaving him with only half of his body functionable. This feat doesn't stop Artie in trying to reach his dreams, though, as he continues living life as anyone else would.
Artie reveals during the show that he longs to be dancer when he grows up. Tina Cohen-Chang, his girlfriend at the time, supports him in this dream by providing possible routes in the future of medicine. Artie soon comes to the conclusion that he will never be able to dance, however, and aspires to become a Director instead. He has since directed West Side Story and a Holiday Special on a station in Lima, Ohio.
 Before The Show
Before Glee began, Artie Abrams was a normal young man. However, he was involved in a car crash, where he was paralyzed from the waist down, as was mentioned to Tina Cohen-Chang. This results in him being an outcast in high school.
 Season One
Because of Artie's handicap, he feels extremely left out while at school. This eventually leads him into joining New Directions, a club of theatrically-talented misfits. Artie is a heavy contributor to the club throughout the season and is one of few who remains with it through thick and thin. His ability to sing and play the guitar is admirable and gets him in the club immediately.
Dating back to the season one premiere, Pilot (E1), Artie Abrams is assisted by a close friend, Tina Cohen-Chang. Through the difficulties of being in Glee Club, the two become increasingly closer. Tina's stutter and Artie's handicap are, to Artie, both visual setbacks for the two, so he feels emotionally connected with Tina. In Pilot (E1), Artie is first seen in the choir room, being one of the few very first members of New Directions. He leads the song Sit Down, You're Rocking The Boat, which Rachel Berry remarks is idiotic due to him already being in a wheelchair. Artie suggests that it adds irony to the song. Rachel Berry does not believe he is a strong enough male lead to support her, however. Later in the episode, Artie is trapped in a portable bathroom by Noah Puckerman and his other friends. Noah offers Finn the honors of tipping the portable bathroom, but Finn lets Artie go, expressing his first signs of enjoyment for those in New Directions. Near the end of the Pilot, Artie is in charge of recruiting the jazz kids to perform with New Directions and has a guitar solo in Don't Stop Believin'.
Artie Abrams is first seen in episode two of Glee when Will Schuester, choir director, makes his way into the school parking lot. Artie and Tina Cohen-Chang are practicing their song in the parking lot.
The only other mention of Artie Abrams is when Sue Sylvester breaks the news that Will Schuester only has five and a half kids, a number too small to enter competition. The 'half kid' being referred to was Artie, a handicapped student.
When Will Schuester's lack of attention towards New Directions becomes apparent, the kids decide to hire Dakota Stanley, an immensely strict choreographer known to be brutally honest and cruel. Dakota Stanley, when hired, immediately tells Artie that he is no longer a New Directions member. When asked why, Dakota tells him that he's crippled and can't perform to the level required. Artie is among the group that decides to quit because of Dakota and inevitably is apart of firing Dakota in the process.
Like the other kids, Artie is tricked into favoring April Rhodes by being offered alcohol and tips relating to illegal actions.
Artie partakes in New Directions' first performance to an audience with the song Somebody To Love.
Artie Abrams joins the New Directions Boys in episode six and performs It's My Life/Confessions, a mash up used to combat the girls team.
Artie's background story is confided in Tina and displayed to the audience. When Will Schuester learns that their bus to Sectionals is not handicap, he asks the club to fund raise for Artie's sake. To Artie's dismay, the group suggests that Artie ride with his dad in their car, saving them the time of making money. Artie kindfully agrees to the proposal, but very visibly hurts his feelings. Will eventually makes the group raise money for Artie. In this episode Artie tells Tina how he was in a car accident as a child and how he lost feeling waist down (except in his penis, as told to Tina). He tells her that living without legs is a difficult task and that it is a constant hindrance in his everyday life. Though the conflict with the bus sounded small to the club, it meant a lot to him to ride with them to sectionals.
Later in the episode Artie asks Tina out, leading them racing together with wheelchairs. Tina leans over and kisses Artie for the first time, his first kiss, ever. Artie admits that he likes their connection with their visual setbacks, but Tina admits that her stutter is just an act to prevent her from speaking in front of people. Disgusted, Artie calls the date off and leaves Tina alone.
 Season Two
 Season Three
In Season Three, Artie Abrams is picked as the director of West Side Story, William McKinley High School's current and popular play, as Will Schuester needs to set aside his priorities for Sectionals and the rest of the year for what may be the last for some of the New Directions.
Artie Abrams performs whenever seeing a purple piano, a task given by William Schuester, around the school. Artie performs with New Directions in the lunchroom, much to their dismay.
Due to Will Schuester's excessive time dedicated to Booty Camp and New Directions, he gives the director spot for Westside Story to Artie who receives it with delight. Along with Shannon Beiste and Emma Pillsbury, Artie watches the cast audition and is crucial in picking the cast and coordinating the play.
When Artie and his coworkers for Westside Story hear both Rachel Berry and Mercedes Jones' auditions, they feel indecisive as to who deserves the female lead; Rachel, the star, or Mercedes, the underdog who performed on par. They schedule and call back and, when they can't decide even after that, give the parts to both girls. This act compels Mercedes, who thinks she rightfully deserved the spot, to quit and give the role to Rachel.
Artie, along with William Schuester, is blamed for Mercedes' defection to The Troubletone. Artie later performs Last Friday Night with Blaine and the rest of New Directions.
As director, Artie displays a love for bossing others around. Artie admits to loving the other side of the stick, showing superiority over those in his play. He says that he's used to being pushed around (so to speak) and always being helped; as a Director, however, he gets to help the cast by directing them, not the other way around.
When the play's about to be showed, however, Artie confesses to Emma Pillsberry that he had no idea what he was doing - that he enjoyed being the director, but that he was playing it off the whole time, pretending like he knew what he was doing. Emma tells him that his clothes selection, cast and scenes are perfect and that the audience will be able to connect. Just then Tina Cohen-Chang requests to talk to him before the show. Artie takes this as mutiny, but the cast comes together to thank him for all the hard work and dedication he gave them, assuring him that the show will be a success because of him. After the performance Artie takes the cast out to Breadstix because it was such a success.
With the spotlight on Santana and her sexuality, Artie received little to no appearances in this episode. Artie did perform in New Directions' mash up against The Troubletones in a friendly gesture, though. He also partakes in the dodge ball event that happens between the two choir teams.
Artie is seen supporting Finn's "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" to show Santana to express her true sexuality, being lesbian.
Artie returns for a heavier appearance once the spotlight fades off of Santana Lopez during the last few episodes. Artie is first seen cheering and contributing to the song Red Solo Cup, a celebration for the return of his close friend, Sam Evans. Artie also agrees to Sam's suggestion to bring 'sex' into their performance, a suggestion that agitates Blaine Anderson. Later, Artie performs solo's in the Sectionals performance of 2011, singing in both Control and Man In The Mirror. When New Directions win, Artie heavily celebrates with the rest of the team and brings Sugar Motta into the group with Rory Flanagan.
Artie is once again heavily featured in episode 53 when Will Schuester, director of New Directions, features him as the director of a holiday special because of the upcoming holidays. New Directions originally promises to sing for the homeless shelter, but in the light of joy, Artie accepts the chance to direct.
Artie controls the entire production - from the cast to what they wear. Artie combines his two favorite things: star wars (because the best holiday special was Star Wars) and for it to be in black and white film. The filming goes well and Artie's cast (everyone but Quinn and Sam who go to the homeless shelter to volunteer) perform excellently. The shooting ends early and Artie and company manage to make it to the homeless shelter to sing.
When Dalton Academy Warblers and William McKinley High School debate over the right to perform a Michael Jackson tribute at regionals occurs, Artie gets personal. Seeing Michael as a role model, Artie takes offense to the Warbler's tactics of taking the privilege to perform Michael and snaps at William Schuester when he suggests to follow the orders. He performs Scream to express this anger.
In Hearts, Artie challenges Rory Flanagan in hopes of winning Sugar Motta's heart. With his boy band devoted song, Artie initially wins her favor as her date to her valentine event, but when Rory exaggerates his despair from missing home, he takes her away from Artie.
In Big Brother, Artie is heavily focused on. Due to Quinn Fabray's recent accident that left her immobilized from the waist down, Artie takes on a big brother role and helps her through the emotional and physical strains that accompany being handicap. Artie invites Quinn to a senior ditch day at a skating rink, a customary place for handicapped students to go to. Quinn initially wanted to go to the amusement park with the others, but Artie convinces her that the emotional stress of being restricted is daunting and one that she shouldn't go through. Upon comparing Quinn to the other handicapped students, Quinn snaps and claims that she will one day walk. She leaves Artie's last question asking what she'll do if that doesn't happen unanswered.
Artie performs in the dancing competition hosted by Sue Sylvester and Will Schuester but does not win.
Artie is among the members who attempt to help Noah Puckerman pass his geography class and, in doing so, pass high school. He performs Rain in Spain to help Noah study.
Artie doesn't have a noticeably big part in Prom-asaurus, but he does perform What Makes You Beautiful with Sam, Rory, Mike and Joe. He also presumably spends his time with Rory and Joe, as seen by the few shots of his prom dancing.
In Props, Artie is portrayed as Santana Lopez and he portrays Santana Lopez. This mix up is due to Tina Cohen-Chang's head injury, resulting in her believing she's Rachel Berry and the rest of New Directions is someone other than themselves.
Artie performs with the rest of New Directions at Nationals. He performs Paradise by the Dashboard Light, Tongue Tied and later We Are The Champions to Will when he receives a "teacher of the year" award.
In Goodbye, Artie bids farewell to the juniors and underclassmen with the rest of the graduating class. He performs Sit Down, You're Rocking The Boat, the first song New Directions ever practiced, symbolizing the circle in which the group had traveled and the course of history established in doing so. Artie performs You Get What You Give with the other seniors and received In My Life in response, a song he took as a personal thank you and appreciated. Artie graduates from William McKinley High School and is no longer a member of New Directions in doing so.
Through Series 1, Artie was madly in love with Tina Cohen-Chang. This soon changed, in Series 2, when Tina fell for Asian dancer, Mike Chang. Artie tried to get her back, by joining the football team, and getting abs, but Artie eventually fell for Brittany Pierce. However, realizing Brittany's true feelings for Santana Lopez, Artie lashed out at her, calling her stupid, and so they broke up.