Tina Cohen-Chang (Jenna Ushkowitz) is a sophomore at William McKinley High School in Lima, Ohio. Tina joined the glee club New Directions in the pilot episode with her friend Artie Abrams (Kevin McHale). Unlike her fellow glee club members, Tina suffers from shyness and is extremely insecure about performing. She also has a speaking impediment and confesses about the stutter to Artie. The stutter is actually fake and she started using it in sixth grade to avoid having to do a speech. She felt it helped her drive other people away. Tina changes her mind about the stutter after joining the glee club. Despite being a self-proclaimed shy girl, she dresses in dark gothic clothing.
Tina's relationship with Artie is the strongest of her friendships in the group. They start to date and have a few rough patches but stay together throughout Season 1. Tina is also close with Mercedes Jones (Amber Riley) and Kurt Hummel (Chris Colfer). While she does not appear to have strong relationships with the other glee club members, she does mention at the end of Season 1 that they are all friends on Facebook. At the beginning of Season 2, Tina dumps Artie to date Mike Chang (Harry Shrum Jr.) whom she falls for at Asian camp over the summer. The two have a relatively comic relationship with many jokes directed at their ethnicity. When Artie begins dating Brittany Pierce (Heather Morris), Tina acts jealous.
Tina's first solo was given to her by William Schuester (Matthew Morrison) the glee club director. She sings "Tonight" from West Side Story. This sparks a tantrum from Rachel Berry (Lea Michele) who sings most of the solos and she storms out. Tina feels guilty for being the reason for Rachel leaving and asks Mr. Schuester to give the solo to her but he refuses.
In the episode "Wheels," Atie and Tina bond over a wheelchair date. She tells him how she feels and confesses about her fake stutter. Artie gets angry and leaves her in the school hallway, alone. Later, he comes back and forgives her.
In the episode "Hairography." Tina sings lead vocals on "True Colors." She later tries to help Artie achieve his dream of dancing on the episode "Dream On." Despite her valiant effort and research on the subject, Artie resigns himself to just singing. During the episode called "Theatricality" the school principal bans Tina's goth clothing and she goes through an identity crisis. She scares the principal into letting her keep her wardrobe by playing into his vampire fear, thus showing her acting talent.
In Season 2 with a new boyfriend in tow, Tina continues to come out of her shell. She and Mike start having issues during a duet competition but resolve them and perform "Sing" with Tina singing and Mike speaking the lines. The duet really impresses the other members of the glee club.
"If you can imagine it, it can come true."
"Last week we were too sexy, this week we're too religious -- we can't win."
"I am a powerful woman and my growing feminism will cut you in half like a righteous blade of equality."
"I know who I am and I'm not allowed to show it. It's like Communism."