Mercedes Jones (Amber Riley) on the popular television show, "Glee" is a rising talent in the industry. She is a tough girl with a real attitude. Even a cold slushy will not stop Mercedes from standing up for herself or her friends. When it comes to Kurt (Chris Colfer), loveable diva and fashionista, she mistakes their friendship for something more but quickly learns that she, as well as any other female, just is not his type. Mercedes is always competing with pushy character Rachel (Lea Michelle) for the forefront, or outclassing the background with Tina (Jenna Ushkowitz), Artie (Kevin McHale), Puck, (Mark Salling ), Finn (Cory Monteith) and cheerleaders Santana (Naya Rivera), Quinn (Dianna Agron) and Brittany (Heather Morris).
Mercedes belts her way into Season 1 with the audition track "Respect" by Aretha Franklin. She soon meets the rest of the cast and develops a friendship with Kurt, but smashes the windows out of his car in anger from his rejection. However, as soon as he tells her what is really going on, they become very close friends. All the while, her growing competition with Rachel begins to become a problem until Mercedes sings explosive ballad entitled, "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going." Rachel admits Mercedes should have the solo at the Sectionals competition, but she never gets the chance because evil Cheerios coach, Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch) leaks their performance list to the enemy. Despite Rachel's support at finals the rivalry between them continues until Mercedes and Kurt join The Cheerios for more opportunities.
Sue demands that Mercedes lose ten pounds to wear the uniform, so she begins an anorexic style diet. She grows so weak from the diet she passes out, gaining an unlikely relationship with Quinn, who had been down that road herself. Mercedes finally quits The Cheerios after a steamy fling with Puck and invites her new friend Quinn to move in with her. Later on, Sue Sylvester steps in as substitute Principal, banning tater tots in the café. But Mercedes did not stand for that and ended owing thousands of dollars in damage for shoving tater tots in Sylvester's tail pipe. When Kurt explains to her that she needs love and not food, she agrees to meet a friend of his in the hopes for a spark of romance.
Through all the drama and excitement, Mercedes is able to bring forward many issues that teen girls face today. From the beginning she projects a confidence not easily broken, but the softy under that tough outer shell is seen. She is so hurt by Kurt's initial rejection she resorts to violence, a classic tough girl emotional cover up tactic. And when she is not satisfied with the amount of attention she receives from Mr. Schuester (Matthew Morrison) she attempts to lose weight in order to fit in with The Cheerios. With Kurt's help she is able to realize that she is beautiful no matter what and accepts the emotional void in her life and moves forward.
"You can take it to the moon baby. Everyone knows you can't get stinkass out of polyester."
"Why do we need to go all vanilla on this song? What we need is my chocolate thunder."