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The Sue Sylvester Shuffle is the eleventh episode of Glee's second season and the thirty-third episode overall. It premiered on February 6, 2011.

When Coach Beiste recommends the members of the Football Team to join Glee Club and prepare for a performance during half time in their final championship game, but things turn out pretty bad. Coach Beiste and Will also have hopes that the two groups can end their rivalry. Sue asks her cheerios in Glee Club to choose whether to attend their Cheerleading Regional Championships or perform at half-time, while old lovers begin a new spark.

The episode was written by Ian Brennan, directed by Brad Falchuk, and followed The Super Bowl XLV on February 6, 2011. This episode was the Super Bowl episode.


The episode starts with the Cheerios performing California GurlsSue grows disillusioned with cheerleading, and in an effort to recapture her love for it, she plans to fire Brittany from a cannon during their next competitive routine. Meanwhile, Shannon Beiste has the school football players join the glee club, in order to end rivalry between the Glee kids and the team. In revenge for opposition to her cannon plan, Sue has the cheerleading  Regionals competition moved to the same night as a football championship game, so her cheerleaders will be unavailable for the halftime show.

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Will announces that the glee club, including the football players, will perform the halftime routine, planning a mash-up of Michael Jackson's Thriller with Heads will Roll by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, inspired by the Phillippine dancing inmates' Thriller. When the Football team are in Glee club, Rachel gets Puck to sing a love song (Need You Now) to make Finn jealous. He notices and encourages the talent of Karofsky. When the football players are attacked by members of the school ice hockey team, Karofsky encourages them to quit the glee club, resulting in Coach Beiste barring them from the championship game. Quinn, Santana and Brittany discuss which club they are going to decide for; either Glee Club or the Cheerios. Sue convinces them into choosing the Cheerios and they quit Glee Club. it cuts to the auditorium with the McKinely titans performing She's Not There.


To ensure that the game goes ahead, Rachel, Mercedes, Tina, and Lauren join the football team. The game begins badly for the McKinley side, and when Tina is injured during a play, Finn takes control of the situation. He has Puck convince the former football players to return, and convinces Quinn, Santana, and Brittany to quit the cheer squad and perform at the halftime show. Only Karofsky refuses to participate, but when he sees the positive reaction the crowd has to the routine, he joins in himself. Beiste welcomes the football players back, and they go on to win the game by intimidating the opposing side, still dressed as zombies from the halftime routine. At Dalton Academy the warblers are practicing a song for their upcoming regionals, Bills, bills, bills.


Sue's Cheerios lose at Regionals for the first time in seven years, and she is named "Loser of the Year" in a televised interview with Katie Couric. Furthering her ire, the cheerleading budget is slashed in favor of New Directions. Karofsky refutes Finn's suggestion that he join the glee club permanently, reaffirming the animosity between them. In the hallway, Quinn kisses Finn, telling him that his actions that week have reminded her of why she loved him.


Song Title Original Artist Performer(s)
Need You Now Lady Antebellum Noah Puckerman and Rachel Berry
She's Not There The Zombies Finn Hudson with the McKinley Titans
Bills, Bills, Bills Destiny's Child Dalton Academy Warblers
Thriller/Heads Will Roll  Michael Jackson/Yeah Yeah Yeahs New Directions with the McKinley Titans

Unreleased Songs

  • California Gurls by Katy Perry feat. Snoop Dogg - Danced to by the Cheerios.

Background Songs

  • O Fortuna from Carmina Burana by Carl Orff - Background music during Sue's giant tantrum.
  • Time for Some Girl Talk - Background music while the New Directions girls are arriving the football field.
  • Looking Back by Kerry Muzzey - Background music heard when Tina comes to.


Special Guest Star

Guest Stars



  • The Sue Sylvester Shuffle was the 2nd most expensive episode at $5 million, behind New York which cost $6 million. Reasons for the cost were:
    • The professional fire breathers, BMX bikers and jugglers
    • The USC marching band
    • Katie Couric guest starring
    • Pyrotechnics
    • Elaborate costumes and special effects makeup for the Thriller/Heads Will Roll dance number
    • An on-set cannon
    • Over 500 extras were recruited for the half-time performance
  • This is the most watched episode at over 26 million views, because of it airing after the 2011 Super Bowl and the featuring of Michael Jackson's Thriller.
    • Lea Michele sang "America the Beautiful" before the 2011 Super Bowl.
  • The music featured as Sue demonstrates the cannon is taken from the 1995 Japanese monster movie "Godzilla vs. Destoroyah."
  • The scene where the referee signals the final touchdown that wins the game for the Titans is taken from Preggers when Kurt kicks the game winning extra point.
  • Rachel's helmet for the football game has three golden stars on it, showing that Rachel personalized it herself.
  • Puck mentions singing Tik Tok by Kesha, which New Directions perform several episodes later in Blame it on the Alcohol.
  • It was rumored that Sunshine would return and perform Meet Me Halfway by The Black Eyed Peas, however it is unknown if the song was ever recorded or even planned to be in the episode.
  • This is the first time since Audition that Quinn's seen wearing normal clothes.
  • This is the final episode of the season in which Quinn, Santana and Brittany are seen in their Cheerios uniform.


  • When the championship game is starting, the scoreboard reads 17-0, but after Finn throws an interception returned for a touchdown, the score is shown at 6-0. It then switches back to 17-0 at a point late in the first half.


Quinn: What the hell are we gonna do? If we go to our cheerleading competition, we miss the half-time show and we're out of Glee Club. I'm torn.

Santana: Well, I'm not.

Brittany: I'm Brittany.

Quinn, Santana and Brittany after Zombie Camp

Sue: And as you ponder your decision, I ask that you remember that that cannon has 2 little baby twin cannons, and one more on the way, and if you refuse to sign this, well, those little baby cannons might just go hungry.

Brittany: Baby cannons...

Sue: And the mama cannon has fibromyalgia, so she can't work.

Sue and Brittany

Puck: Are you ready for this?

Rachel: Let's kick some ass!!

Puck and Rachel

Screw her. She put me on the bottom of the pyramid.


Katie Couric: You beat out the following losers: the economy, Mel Gibson, Dina Lohan... and Sparky Lohan, who is Dina Lohan's dog and, apparently, also a loser. How do you deal with that?

Sue: I've been drinking a lot of bleach.

Katie and Sue

You're so afraid of being called geeks or losers or gay that you settle for being nothing.


No time for a foursome, ladies. The bus leaves in five.