David Karofsky is introduced as the stereotypical high school jock and bully. He bullies Finn Hudson for being in Glee club, as well as Kurt Hummel, whom he constantly bullies for being him as a gay. Things change when Kurt confronts Karofsky in Never Been Kissed and Dave kisses Kurt in the heat of the argument. David threatens him that if he were to tell anyone about the kiss, he would kill him. Kurt, who is scared to death, ends up transferring to Dalton Academy; however, after Karofsky apologizing to Kurt, he transfers back to McKinley and has friendly interactions with his former bully. The two seem to have started a mentor/friends/protector relationship. In Heart, Dave reveals to Kurt that Dave is in love with him, but Kurt turns him down. In On My Way, Kurt visits Dave in the hospital after his suicide attempt and the two become friends.
Their interaction in Season One mostly consist of Kurt being bullied by Dave and his friend Azimio. However, most of Azimio and Dave's bullying is not about Kurt directly; they pick more on Finn in the first season. In the first season Kurt wasn't very secret about his crush on Finn, so some people believe this is the reason that Dave bullied Finn so much.
Dave defaces the Glee yearbook photo in the Thunderclap, drawing on all members except for Brittany and Mike. On Kurt, he draws breasts and what appears to be either a dress, a pair of panties and/or a vagina on his lower body.
This is the episode where the first instance of bullying Kurt take place. When Kurt and Tina are walking the halls in their Lady Gaga outfits. Azimio pushes Kurt into the lockers and Dave pushes Tina into Kurt. Kurt yells after the duo, specifically Dave, asking "Excuse me, but were you dropped on your head?!" Dave turns around with Azimio, asking, "What was that?" to which Kurt responds, bravely, "I think you heard me." He then goes on to admonish Dave, saying that it was okay for them to push him (Kurt) around, but "don't throw around a girl." Azimio responds that they couldn't tell the difference lately, in reference to Kurt's silver dress. Dave mocks Kurt, saying "you dress all freaky and then you go around and rub it into people's faces." He adds "I don't want to look at it all day. It's weird. Makes my eyes tired." Kurt reasons that what Tina and he are doing isn't different than what Dave and Azimio do by wearing their football uniforms : that they're expressing themselves and they have every right to do so. Azimio responds that Kurt shouldn't be shocked then when his fist expresses itself on Kurt's face: threatening him with violence. As Dave and Azimio leave, Kurt yells after them, saying that they don't want to miss their appointment at Super Cuts. Azimio tells him to watch his mouth, angrily, while Dave replies more articulately "You know what, fancy? You don't need an appointment at Super Cuts. They loooove walk-ins." As Azimio and Dave leave, Kurt looks a little taken aback by the response, but says nothing further. After the KISS performance, Dave and Azimio catch Kurt and Tina in the hallway. They back them up against a wall, Dave saying that they "warned" the duo and Azimio adding that the "Gagas gotta go."Kurt is later seen gluing rhinestones back onto his shoes, with no bruises on his hands/arms or face/neck (however this doesn't mean he wasn't physically injured). He asks Finn if he could ask Azimio and Dave to find a way to harass him that doesn't involve damaging his Lady Gaga outfit, which combined with Azimio's statement against the outfit, suggests Kurt's clothing suffered most of the damage. Near the end of the episode Azimio pushes Kurt against the wall with Dave by his side. Kurt (while crying) then tells them if they want to hit him or beat him up, they can go ahead because he (Kurt) will never change. Azimio says he will do just that and offers Dave the first hit. Finn appears to rescue Kurt and Azimio mocks his outfit. Finn says he won't let anyone lay a hand on Kurt and Dave replies that he's pretty sure they can take Finn and Kurt in a fight. The rest of the Glee club appears and Azimio mocks them and Finn calling them the "freak hive" and Finn the "queen freak." Dave threatens them that next time, they'll bring some friends too, before leaving with Azimio. The threat has yet to be acted on, though.
Dave's bullying of Kurt increases. He pushes Kurt into the lockers while he is walking with Tina in the hallway before glee club practice and then another time right afterwards. The second time, Kurt challenges him. Dave turns around, questioning Kurt talking back to him and threatens him; asking him if he, "Wants a piece of the Fury" which he then explains is his name for his fist. Kurt mocks him for this, saying "With creativity like that you could easily become assistant manager at a rendering plant.." Dave fails to understand the insult, but tells Kurt if he finds out what Kurt said to him was bad, "The Fury is going to find you." and slams Kurt into the locker once more before departing. After visiting Dalton, Kurt tires of Dave's bullying and emboldened by Blaine's encouragement, chases after him into the locker room to confront him after Dave slaps the phone from his hands and shoves him into a locker while passing in the hallway. Kurt yells at Dave, who gets extremely defensive as Kurt demands to know what his problem is.When Kurt asks what he's so scared of, Dave snidely responds, "Besides you sneaking in here to peek at my junk?." Kurt exasperatedly counters, "Oh right, every straight guy's nightmare-- that all us gays are secretly out to molest and convert you!." He then goes on to tell Dave he's not his type, calling him "Hamhock." Dave suddenly stops what he's doing and asks irritated, "That right?." Kurt, continuing his rant says, "I don't dig on chubby boys who sweat too much and are going to be bald by the time they're 30.." Dave becomes increasingly angrier, holds his fist up to the other boy's face and warns Kurt not to push him further. Kurt tells him to go ahead and hit him, Dave warns him a second time. Kurt yells at Dave that, "You can't punch the gay out of me anymore than I can punch the ignoramus out of you!," and Dave screams, "So get out of my face!"—fist now uncurled and pointing towards the door. Kurt then tells Dave how he is, "Nothing but a scared little boy who can't handle how extraordinarily ordinary he is."
Dave suddenly grabs Kurt's face with both hands on his cheeks and kisses him. Dave releases Kurt, looking at him for a moment—Kurt too shocked to move or speak. Dave leans in to kiss Kurt again, but with Kurt pushing him away forcefully, Dave, visibly upset, lets out a frustrated noise, hits a locker with both hands, and leaves the locker room sniffling and near tears. Later, when Kurt and Blaine show up to try to talk to Dave about what happened (the kiss), Dave asks, "Is this [Blaine] your boyfriend Kurt?" (who is not at that point). As Blaine tries to talk to Karofsky about how it's completely normal to suffer confusion while coming to terms with one's sexuality and how he's not alone, Dave pins Blaine to the wall, but doesn't retaliate when Kurt pushes him off. After Dave leaves, Kurt mournfully reveals to Blaine, "Up until yesterday, [he] had never been kissed, or at least, one that counted." (Kurt's kiss with Brittany did not count because of her gender.)
Kurt and Mercedes have lunch together, with Kurt attempting to assuage Mercedes' jealousy of his newfound friendship with Blaine. Dave appears at the very moment Kurt is saying "Mercedes, trust me-- love is just around the corner," and says,"'Sup homo?" to Kurt in greeting. When he's got Kurt's attention, Dave winks at him. Later on in the episode, he confronts Kurt in front of his locker and asks if Kurt told anyone else about the kiss—phrasing it like Kurt kissed him instead of the other way around. He appears to be a bit ashamed when he asks this, looking to the floor, voice becoming quieter. When Kurt corrects him, saying "You kissed me, Karofsky," Dave shushes him, looking up and down the hall. Kurt reassures him, saying that he knows how hard it is to go through what Dave's going through is; thus, he hasn't told anyone else about the kiss. Dave then tells him to keep it that way or he will kill him. Dave waits a moment to make sure he's been heard and then walks away, leaving a terrified Kurt in his wake.father and Carole's wedding. He takes a wedding cake topper from his locker and closes it, upon which he finds Dave standing behind him staring. Dave doesn't say anything and Kurt responds to this odd behavior by telling him, "I don't want you near me." Dave raises his eyebrows at this before placing a finger on Kurt's chest and drawing it downward. He then grabs the wedding cake topper, asking Kurt if he can have it. When Kurt doesn't reply, Dave says, "Thanks." and walks away, putting it into his pocket as he goes. Mr. Schuester comes after that to see if Kurt, who visibly shaken, is okay, but Kurt is too terrified by Dave to say much. Later, when Kurt is trying to teach Finn and Burt to dance, Dave walks past the room and mocks them by making a limp wristed gesture. Burt asks Kurt about it, and with pressure from Finn, Kurt gives Burt Dave's name, and admits to the bullying. With more pressure from Burt, Kurt finally admits Dave threatened to kill him. Burt goes after Dave and slams him into a wall with an arm against his throat. Finn and Kurt pull Burt off Dave, who leaves the scene immediately. The next day, Burt and Kurt have a meeting with Dave and his father, Paul Karofsky, in acting principal Sue Sylvester's office. Dave tries to claim he did nothing, but Burt tells Paul that Dave threatened to kill his son. Sue asks Kurt if this is true, to which he nods. Dave insists he did no such thing, and Kurt clarifies, "That's what he said. He said he'd kill me if I told anyone." When Sue asks what it is that Kurt could tell anyone about Dave, Kurt looks at Dave, who looks back with a desperate expression. Kurt responds finally, saying, "Just that he was picking on me."—effectively covering up the kiss instead of outing Dave to his father. When Dave still insists Kurt is lying, Paul takes the Hummels' side, noting that Dave has been having a lot of problems lately—including poor grades when he used to get A's and B's, acting out and talking back. He asks Dave why Kurt would make such a story up and Dave responds with, "Maybe he likes me?" (Kurt rolls his eyes, and Paul gives Dave an odd look.) Sue draws a conclusion and expels Dave, who is also to leave campus immediately. Paul thanks Sue for her time and the Karofskys get up to leave. When Dave passes Kurt, they look at each other briefly, but say nothing.
After the wedding, Sue explains to Burt and Carole that the school board has overturned her decision and that Dave will return since there has been no real proof of Dave bullying Kurt. Sue is so outraged by the situation (and the dead skin in her office) that she resigns as principal in protest. Concerned for Kurt's safety, Burt and Carole give Kurt the option to transfer to Dalton Academy, utilizing the savings they were going to use for their honeymoon; an overwhelmed Kurt accepts, but is greatly upset about leaving all of his friends and then having to compete against them at Sectionals.
Dave sarcastically asks if Puck's locker room announcement has a point. However, during the attempted Glee club recruitment, he becomes unusually silent when Kurt's name is mentioned when Puck threatens him (almost using exactly the same words Dave had said before kissing Kurt in that very locker room) due to it being Dave's fault Kurt left McKinley.Principal Figgins, he and Santana start an anti-bullying group, called The Bully Whips and makes a fake public apology to the members of New Directions for Dave's past actions against them and more specifically, Kurt. With his dad, Mr. Schuester and Principal Figgins, Dave talks to Kurt and Burt. Burt still holds a grudge against Dave for threatening the life of his son. However Kurt, still skeptical, wishes to talk to Dave alone and asks that the others leave the room. Kurt asks him what his real reasons are for starting the anti-bullying group. Dave lies, saying he just wants to make everything right. Kurt reminds him that he remembers the kiss though he hasn't told anybody. When Dave asks him why he hasn't even though it would have made things easier for Kurt, Kurt replies that he believes people shouldn't deny who they are, but it's not his place to out people either. However, he tells Dave that he owes him the truth. Dave confesses that it's part of Santana's plan to become prom queen. Kurt then stresses to Dave that even if he is unable to come out to the world, he needs to be educated so that progress can truly be made and tells Dave to help him form a local chapter of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG). Dave doesn't want to, but Kurt twists his arm by saying he has the option to out Dave.
Dave is seen later at the end of the episode sitting with Santana in the auditorium, watching the Glee club performance of Lady Gaga's Born This Way.
Dave does not actually appear, but is mentioned because of his new relationship with Santana. Due to Brittany accidentally outing her best friend Santana using the phrase "Plays for the other team" on her webshow (when in fact she had just meant that Santana was formerly a Cheerio, but was now part of Glee Club) rumours start and people begin treating Santana differently. This compels Santana to create a scandalous counter-rumour about herself and Dave, "Doing it in the backseat of a parked car in the Holier-Than-Thou Cemetery," which she posts on the Muckrakers' website. During her interview with Jacob Ben Israel, she has no comment about it and when called out on the fact the IP address was from her computer her only excuse is that her computer was stolen and issues the statement that she and Dave were, "going strong." When Jacob asks if they are, "In love? Soulmates, so to speak?," Santana confirms it ("Yeah."), but doesn't explicitly state so (since she is in love with Brittany and Dave has feelings for Kurt).
Because they are running mates for Prom King and Queen, Dave and Santana plan on attending their junior prom together while Kurt makes plans to go with Blaine. In order to get more votes, Santana promises Kurt that the Bully Whips will escort him from class to class. While Santana uses this as an opportunity to vocally broadcast her good deeds (something which greatly embarrasses Kurt), Dave takes this duty much more seriously. After Dave walks Kurt to his French class, Kurt suggests that maybe the Bully Whips protection isn't necessary for him because the student body's attitude has at least become indifferent to his sexuality. Seeing how miserable Dave is, Kurt tells Dave he doesn't hate him anymore now that he knows it wasn't just simple bullying and sees the pain Dave's in. He says that while Dave doesn't have to come out tomorrow, maybe someday soon the moment will arise where he can. Dave suddenly breaks down and tearfully tells Kurt how sorry he is for everything he's done. Kurt comforts Dave saying he knows. When someone walks by, Dave quickly composes himself and leaves for Calculus, making sure to remind Kurt to wait for him so he can walk him to lunch.
At Prom, during the slow dance to Jar of Hearts, Kurt and Blaine discuss how it's nice that there's someone for everyone. When Kurt sees Santana and Dave dancing together, he remarks, "Even if it's a lie." When David looks over towards Kurt, he makes very brief eye contact before awkwardly turning away. Later that evening Dave and Kurt are elected Prom King and Queen; Kurt having won due to an overwhelming number of write-in votes meant as a cruel prank. Kurt at first runs away, but decides to be coronated to prove a point. Per tradition, the King and Queen are supposed to share a dance. As they walk towards the dance floor Kurt states that now's the time that Dave could come out of the closet and make a difference. Despite Kurt's support, Dave responds sadly with "I can't." before he turns and runs out.
Kurt and Dave run into each other at the gay bar Scandals. It was revealed that Dave changed schools to avoid any rumors about being gay at McKinley, since he wants to have a normal senior year where he can play football. However, he is slowly coming to terms with his sexuality and has been a regular at the bar since the summer because he feels accepted. He and Kurt share a toast "to baby steps."
Kurt walks into the cafeteria, excited and happy by the letters and the gorilla-gram that he receives from a secret admirer, who he automatically assumes it's Blaine.Kurt arrives at Breadstix early to meet up with the secret admirer before Sugar's party. The person in the gorilla suit appears, Kurt is confused when the card he is given reads "I think I love you" and questions, "Wait, you think you love me?." Then the person in the gorilla suit pulls his mask off, and Kurt is shocked to see that Karofsky has been his secret admirer all along. They sit down, and Karofsky confesses to Kurt saying that he "hated who he was" for bullying Kurt, and that he is trying to be honest with what he is feeling, by telling Kurt he loves him. Kurt is flattered and proud of Karofsky, but eventually turns him down by saying that he doesn't really love him, and also that he is with Blaine. Kurt also tells Karofsky that he likes him as a friend, but only just as friends. Disappointed and heartbroken, Karofsky tries to leave, but eventually runs into his friend, Nick, who suspects Kurt and Karofsky are hanging out for Valentine's Day. Kurt explains that they used to go to the same school, and they've just bumped into each other. Nick still suspects the two, and Karofsky leaves.
After Karofsky's attempted suicide, Kurt comes in feeling guilty after it is seen that Kurt had been ignoring Dave's calls. Throughout the episode Kurt is seen upset and guilty for that reason. Kurt is then seen talking about Dave with The God Squad, and defends him by saying that Dave's problems are way bigger and more severe than Quinn's will ever be.Kurt then heads to the hospital to visit Karofsky and see how he is doing. Karofsky opens up to him about the pain and struggles he has had to deal with. Kurt comforts him by telling him that even though the struggles are there, there is always a better way. He then tells him to imagine Dave's dreams in 10 years time, with a partner and a little boy and Dave tells Kurt that he's so happy. Dave requests Kurt to be his friend, to which Kurt accepts proudly. They hold hands as a sign of their newly formed friendship.
Kurt meets up with Blaine in a bar hoping to get back together with him. Instead he finds out Blaine is dating Dave. Kurt is upset but tries to hide how he is feeling. Kurt and Karofsky say hello to eachother and Blaine explains how him and Karofsky got together. Karofsky tells Kurt about how much he helped him during the dark time in his life. He tells Kurt about his and Blaine's nicknames for eachother 'Yogi and Boo-Boo'. Karofsky hopes that the three of them can be friends and hang out together.
At the beginning of the episode Kurt is in the music store where he bumps into Blaine and Karofsky. Karofsky says to him how he's helping Blaine find songs for his Warbler set list, joking about how he can't get Blaine off of Broadway. Kurt does a fake laugh then Blaine and Karofsky leave again.
As this episode is set in the past, we see Dave, along with Puck, bullying Kurt in high school.
- Max Adler thinks that Kurtofsky would be cool but he doesn't want Dave to break up Kurt and Blaine.
- Chris Colfer also thinks that a romantic relationship between Kurt and David would be a good thing. Source
- Ryan Murphy wrote about this relationship because he believed Dave did have feelings for Kurt. Source
- David and Kurt both used Santana and Brittany as beards, respectively.
- It was implied in the Glee-Wind for Original Song that Dave will pursue Kurt when the narrator said "Sorry Karofsky, Kurt's taken." Source
- Both Kurt and Dave said to a person who played a part in their eventual coming out "I'm not gay"- Kurt to Finn and Dave to Santana.
- Kurt, evidently, considers Karofsky to be his first kiss, despite having kissed Brittany in Season One. He elaborates on this, stating that Karofsky was the first kiss "that counted."
- Dave's first on-screen kiss was with Kurt.
- "Kurt and Karofsky" were the number one trending topic on Twitter during On My Way.
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