She may still be occasionally capable of stealing the 'Glee' show with a quick-witted and politically-incorrect put-down or brilliantly evil act of revenge. But as last week's festive-themed schmaltzy episode showed, Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch) is no longer the relentlessly hilarious monster she was in the first two series. Here's a look at five moments which prove she's far more compelling when her character isn't being a goody-two-shoes.
Sue Sylvester vs Schuester's Hair
Sue's utter disdain for Will Schuester's barnet has been a recurring theme ever since the very first episode but the inventive ways in which she vents her fury about his naturally curly locks means the joke never gets old. Comparisons with briar patches, bird's nests and chia pets have been bandied about, alongside accusations that he uses copious amounts of margarine and lard as hair product. But it's her slightly surreal vision of weeping elves living amongst his follicles that's perhaps her best hairdo-related insult.
The Diary of Sue Sylvester
Again, it's difficult to pinpoint one specific example as every monologue that reveals her innermost and usually completely fictitious thoughts is usually a guaranteed winner. But amidst the confessions of pure hatred for Schuester and utterly warped attempts to bring down the Glee Club, it's her unashamed delusion ("Here I am, about to turn thirty"), which truly makes every diary entry scene a joy to watch.
Dividing The Glee Club
Appointing Sue as co-director of Glee Club in Season 1's 'Throwback' episode was only ever going to lead to total and utter disharmony. And she certainly didn't disappoint in that respect when she managed to briefly turn all the minority students ("Santana, Wheels, Gay Kid, Asian, Other Asian, Aretha, Shaft") against Will's more popular group under the unlikely banner of 'Sue's Kids.'
Replaying Schuester's 'Booty Call' Voice Message
Continuing her one-woman crusade against the Glee Club director, Sue was given her dream ammunition when a drunken Mr. Schue accidentally left a drunken 'booty call' message on her answerphone instead of Emma's during Alcohol Awareness Week. Rather than quietly deleting it, Sue decided to publicise the hypocrisy of his 'Just Say No' message by playing the embarrassing voicemail in front of the whole school assembly, making it about 25-0 in the whole Sue vs Schue battle.
Who knows what the TV network executives were on whey they gave Sue her own segment on the local news slot. But 'Sue's Corner' provided us with another chance to discover her warped take on life, whether it was ranting about 'sneaky gays,' yelling at homeless people to give up homelessness or imploring all fatties and uglies to stay at home.