|This article is about Sue Sylvester's sister. You may be looking for Jean Baptiste, the lead vocalist of Throat Explosion.|
Jean Sylvester was the older sister of Sue Sylvester and the eldest daughter of Doris Sylvester and Mr. Sylvester. She first appeared in Wheels, the ninth episode of Season One, and passed away in Funeral, the twenty-first episode of Season Two, thus making it her final appearance.
Jean was born with Down Syndrome and as a child was treated very poorly because of this. As her parents were always absent hunting Nazis, she was raised by Sue. Even though Sue classed her as a hero, not everyone respected her the same way and they were rude to her, which upset Sue. She lived at a home for the elderly and disabled, and was frequently visited by Sue. She enjoys watching Sue on television, and she calls Sue everynight at 10, because her body tells her. Sue and others say Jean was sweet and caring.
She was portrayed by actress Robin Trocki.
Jean is first seen near the end of the episode, Wheels, shortly after Sue uncharacteristically showed several acts of kindness back at the school, when she donates a large sum of money to the school for new wheelchair ramps and allows Becky Jackson, a girl with Down syndrome, to join the Cheerios. The kindness, it turns out, was the result of Jean also having Down syndrome, and Sue feeling sympathetic. Due to her condition, Jean is forced to live in an assisted living center, where Sue visits as often as she can. Sue, however, feels she doesn't visit nearly enough, to which the nurse firmly disagrees with, seeing Sue as a truly loving little sister. Upon entering the room, Sue is happily greeted by Jean, who exclaims that her sister is famous thanks to her new TV news segment, Sue's Corner. Sue gives her a pompom as a gift and then proceeds to read her The Little Red Riding Hood, Jean's favorite book.
In The Power of Madonna, Sue gives a somewhat odd account of her childhood with Jean. Their parents were famous Nazi hunters, who traveled the world searching for ex-Nazis and left Sue at home to take care of Jean. Neither girl was able to keep up on the latest fashions, until one of Madonna's albums made it to them. Her powerful music and style inspired the girls to change Sue's hair to blonde, however they couldn't afford the products necessary, and instead Jean used extremely dangerous chemicals like napalm, which led to Sue having her hair chemically damaged, and forever forced to keep it short. Sue holds no grudge against Jean for this, however, which is oddly out of character for Sue.
In Bad Reputation, Sue goes to see Jean for advice since everyone is making fun of her and apologizes to her, saying she wishes she stood up for her even more when they were kids. Jean tells Sue that whenever she would feel sad she would go help at the animal shelter, Sue realizes that there is always some one who has it worse than you. This advice leads up for Sue to start helping Emma Pillsbury. Sue later asks Jean how after all these years she is still smarter than Sue, Jean replies by saying she's the smart one. Sue tells her she's got the looks too. Sue then shows Jean a book with two bears and asks her what it symbolizes. Jean replies "them," Sue being the big bear and Jean being the small. Sue then tells Jean that she will always love her. Sue gives the proceeds she earned from her rerecording of Physical to her sister's nursing home.
Jean appeared in the episode, Grilled Cheesus. Sue visits Jean for a game and is shown playing a game of checkers with her. She is letting Jean win, and though she denies it, Jean realizes this. She then asks Jean if she believes in God, and they discuss religion. Through all of Sue's struggles, Jean says she will pray for Sue, and Sue is thankful for this. Jean seems to accept who she is and as God made her, while Sue is angry that God never fixed her sister's illness. Sue then claims to have won her game of checkers after making a false move to make her sister feel better, but then confesses that she cheated.
In The Rocky Horror Glee Show, episode, Sue mentioned taking Jean to see the Rocky Horror Show when they were younger. Sue states that the members of the audience were so outraged at having a disabled person amongst them, that they threw toast at Sue and Jean (not realizing that this is one of the callbacks for the film and that the toast was being thrown in response to a line from one of the characters).
In Furt, Jean and Sue's Nazi-hunting mother, Doris Sylvester, arrives back in town for Sue's marriage to herself. Sue is visibly angered that Doris has not taken the time to visit Jean yet, and Doris does not see her first born daughter until the wedding. Jean seems both sad by her mother's abandonment, and visibly uncomfortable with her mother. She sides with Sue when Sue disinvites Doris for being a neglectful bully. It is implied by Sue and Doris that Sue and Jean's father has long since died.
In Funeral, it is revealed that Jean was diagnosed with minor pneumonia, and died in her sleep the next week after telling Sue to go home and rest. Sue was hit tragically by the incident, and the glee club decided to help her plan the funeral, with Kurt and Finn helping her to clean out Jean's room. During the clean up, Sue revealed that Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory was Jean's favorite movie, which Kurt and Finn used as a theme for the funeral. At the funeral, Sue, along with help from Will, read her eulogy in which she explained the pain of her loss, but how she refused to wallow in loss because Jean would never allow it.
- It seems that Jean, along with Becky, is one of the only people who can bring out the soft side of her younger sister, Sue.
- Jean was the first major recurring character to be killed off, and the first major death of the series (not counting deaths prior to the series' beginning as well as Pavarotti's). The second major death is Finn Hudson (although Finn was killed off because of the death of his portrayer, Cory Monteith).
- Jean used to call Sue every night at 10:00 because she wanted to hear Sue's voice.
- Her favorite book is Little Red Riding Hood.
- Her favorite movie is Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.
- Her favorite song is Pure Imagination from Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, which the New Directions performed at her funeral.
- Whenever Sue told her about Will's evil hair, she would defend him.
- Sue says that both Will and Jean have a pure heart.
- Robin Sylvester is named after Jean's actress Robin Trocki.