Santana Lopez (Naya Rivera) is one of the "villain" characters on the popular television show "Glee." As originally written, she was one of the manipulative pair of cheerleaders sent to spy on the glee club by The Cheerios coach Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch). She is best friends with Quinn Fabray (Dianna Agron) and fellow cheerleader Brittany Pierce (Heather Morris). In a Starry Constellation Webzine interview Rivera said that her character is "really your typical high school cheerleader, for the most part. She's really mean and loves boys. She's really witty so I love playing her."
In Season One, Santana was introduced as the popular sidekick of Quinn and the girlfriend of football player Puck (Mark Sailing). Her original intention in joining glee club with Brittany was to sabotage it from within, under the guidance of Coach Sylvester, as well as to keep an eye on Quinn's ex-boyfriend Finn. Later, however, she confessed that the glee club was her favorite class and that she did not reveal the dance group's "set list" as Brittany had done.
After the glee club's victory in Sectionals, Brittany suggested to Santana that she date Finn (Cory Monteith), a captain of the club, and take his virginity in order to disgrace co-captain Rachel (Michele Lea) and push her to quit the group. Finn does eventually succumb to Santana when he finds out Rachel is dating Jesse St. James (Jonathan Groff), although he eventually lies and tells Rachel that he and Santana did not sleep together. Rachel finds out the truth in the episode "Special Education."
It was also revealed during a first season telephone conversation that Santana and Brittany had been sleeping together. They were shown in bed kissing during a later episode, but Santana claimed it was nothing serious, and she would only do it when there wasn't a boy around. Brittany was clearly devastated by this, causing some friction between the two.
In Season Two it was exposed that Santana had undergone breast implant surgery, prompting Coach Sylvester to demote her from captain of The Cheerios. Sylvester handed the leadership back to Quinn, the previous captain who was thrown out of the group because of her pregnancy. This caused a huge rift between Santana and Quinn.
Although the role of Santana Lopez earlier in the series was smaller and she was portrayed more as Quinn's bitchy sidekick, the role has expanded and become more complex as the show has developed. Santana is one of the funniest and most quotable characters on television and even occasionally displays some surprising depth and acts of kindness.
"She looked like Pippi Longstocking, but like, Israeli."
"Everything about you screams virgin. You're about as sexy as a Cabbage Patch Kid."
"Sex is not dating."
"Okay, look... believe what you want, but no one's forcing me to be here. And if you tell anyone this, I'll deny it - but I like being in glee club. It's the best part of my day, okay? I wasn't gonna go and mess it up."