|Aliases:|| Karofsky (Everyone)|
David (Paul, Will, Figgins, Sue, Kurt)
Dave (Santana, Kurt, Will Schuester)
Ham Hock, Neanderthal, ignorant, going to be bald by the time he's 30 (Kurt Hummel)
Psycho (Burt Hummel)
Bear Cub (Patrons at Scandals, the Gay bar featured in The First Time)
|Family & Friends|
|Family:|| Paul Karofsky (Father)|
Grandpa Murray (Mentioned in Rocky Horror Glee Show
|Relationships:|| Kurt Hummel (kissed; crush)|
Santana Lopez (beard; ended)
|Friends:|| Azimio Adams (maybe not since Dave started the Bullywhips or when Dave was outed) |
Santana Lopez (sort of)
Finn Hudson (sort of)
Glee Kids (possibly)
|Enemies:|| Scott Cooper and the Hockey Team |
Steven Pehl (hate message poster)
Melissa Buell (hate message poster)
|Education:|| Thurston High School |
William McKinley High School (former)
|Talent:||Hockey, Football (Right Guard), Dancing|
|Awards:|| 2011 High School State football championship (shared with the rest of football team)|
2011 WMHS Prom King
|Last appearance:||On My Way|
Dave Karofsky is portrayed by Max Adler.
Dave is an ex-football player at William McKinley High School. He also played right guard on the football team while he was at McKinley. He is initially portrayed as the stereotypical jock and bully, having slushied or at least helped slushie just about every single member of New Directions (with the exception of Brittany).
Dave and Azimio corner Finn in the locker room and write on his face as"practice" for doing it to his to glee club yearbook photo later. They then tease Finn about having a big forehead. Dave is later seen defacing the glee yearbook page, surrounded by other laughing jocks.Sue Sylvester by quoting lyrics from Physical.
Dave and Azimio continue to make fun of the Glee club. He pushes Tina into a locker, and Kurt yells at him for it. He berates them for dressing in Lady Gaga costumes, roughing them up again later when they have not changed their clothing. The duo attempt to beat up Kurt once more in the end of the episode, but Finn (wearing a Lady Gaga costume of his own) stops them, backed up by the rest of the glee club. Dave says he and Azimio will "bring some friends" the next time.
Dave is seen in the background, while Jacob interviews Finn and Rachel about her "expected return to the Shire." Rachel gives both Dave and Azimio $100 to slushie herself, Kurt, and Mercedes in front of Sunshine's locker, hoping she'll be scared out of auditioning (this is not seen onscreen). However, after consulting Kurt and Mercedes, makes a change of plans. She directs Sunshine to a fake audition at a crack house instead.
He and Azimio rip Finn's varsity jacket into half, since he is no longer on the football team. Finn was about to fight them, but Artie comes in between them. Neither he nor Azimio are comfortable with the thought of hurting a kid in a wheelchair, so they leave. Later in the episode, Dave and Azimio comment on Rachel's schoolgirl outfit. While Azimio makes catcalls, Dave asks Finn why all the gay dudes get the hot chicks.
Dave and Azimio make fun of Finn for walking down the hallway in his boxers.Blaine leads him to confront Dave. After Dave smacks Kurt's phone out of his hand and pushes him into a locker, Kurt follows him into the locker room. He angrily demands to know why Dave won't stop attacking him. When Kurt begins to insult him, Dave becoming more and more upset, holds his fist up threateningly and orders for Kurt to not push him. When Kurt continues his tirade, Dave suddenly forces a kiss on him. He goes back in for a second one, but is shoved away by an obviously shocked and frightened Kurt. Dave punches a locker in frustration and flees the room near tears. Kurt brings Blaine to confront him in the stairwell the next day, and nearly publicly outs Dave, who denies everything and attempts to leave. When Blaine tries to tell him he's not alone, Dave turns around and angrily forces him against the wall. Kurt easily pushes him off, and Dave runs away, looking scared. He later continues pushing Kurt into the lockers, showing he is unwilling to acknowledge what happened.
Kurt is sitting with Mercedes at lunch as he tries to set her up on a date reassuring her that "love is just around the corner." Dave suddenly appears and winks at Kurt, taunting him once again. Later, he confronts Kurt at his locker and demands to know whether or not he's told anyone else about the locker room kiss, phrasing it as though it was Kurt who kissed him. Kurt tells Dave that he's the one who kissed him and he hasn't told. Dave threatens to kill him if he does.Artie and Mike confront Dave in the locker room. They demand he leave Kurt alone, but Dave pushes Mike who falls onto Artie, accidentally hurting both of them. This causes Sam to run in and attack Dave, and the fight escalates between the two of them until Coach Beiste steps in. Sam is left with a black eye as a result of the fight. Later, while Kurt is giving Finn and Burt dancing lessons, Dave makes a limp wristed gesture at Kurt and Finn. Kurt comes clean about the death threat when prompted, angering Burt. He rushes after Dave and throws him up against the wall. The situation causes Sue to call Dave's dad to the school. Though Dave tries to deny everything, Mr. Karofsky notes that Dave has been acting differently and takes Kurt's side. Sue expels Karofsky. When Sue asks to know why Dave threatened to kill him, Kurt maintains Dave's secret stating that Dave threatened to kill him if he told about the bullying itself. Though relieved he has not been outed, Dave shakes his head in disappointment at Kurt as he leaves the office. Sue later reveals that the school board overrode her expulsion of Dave due to a lack of physical evidence or witnesses and that he'll be returning the next day. She resigns in protest, allowing Figgins to return as principal, and says she'll be a set of eyes and ears for Kurt in the hallway regarding Dave. However, because Dave is returning, Kurt and his parents agree that the safest thing for him is to transfer to Dalton Academy.
Dave and Azimio heckle Puck during his Glee Club pitch. He looks nervous when Puck brings up Kurt, glancing at Azimio. After Puck finishes, he and Azimio soundly reject the idea. They incite the football team into roughing him up, though they are not the ones who lock him in a Porta-John.Finn makes a comment about how it's funny that Dave is always calling people gay but never seems to have a girlfriend. In the locker room, a fight breaks out between the Glee guys and the players. Dave stubbornly announces that he refuses to block for Finn due to his being in the Glee Club. After a brutal group slushie attack on Artie, Dave and the jocks are sent to the choir room where they and the Glee kids are shocked and angered by Mr. Schue's and Coach Beiste's announcement that the jocks are to be in Glee Club for an entire week, no exceptions. After a few rehearsals, Dave seems a little less intimidated by the thought of being a Glee Club loser. When Mr. Schuester compliments him on his performance during rehearsals, Dave looks moved and becomes noticeably more confident when he politely asks Finn if they should do a warmup number before the halftime show. After a well-received performance of She's Not There by the jocks, they walk through the halls of McKinley with pride. The Hockey Team stops them in their tracks. One of them (Scott Cooper) says that Glee Club turned Dave gay—which he flinches at, still not wanting to admit it—followed by a group slushie. Dave's confidence instantly goes down the drain. He insists on quitting Glee Club and reluctantly is made to quit football along with the rest of the team (that weren't original Glee Clubbers). At half time, Puck insists the team join in on the Thriller/Heads Will Roll number. They all agree except Dave who stays behind in the locker room in turmoil.
During the performance, Dave walks by, but then stops to watch. He notices the crowd is loving the show and not booing it as he thought they would, and the Glee Club is having a blast. He smiles, puts on his zombified football shirt and happily joins in. After the show, the football team play the other half of the game and win. Some day after the game, Finn greets Dave at his locker, and the two actually seem to get along. When Finn asks him to join in on a trip to Dalton Academy to apologize to Kurt before other Glee Club members would allow him to join Glee Club permanently, Dave shoots him down refusing to ruin his reputation and not willing to face Kurt as doing so would mean admitting his true sexuality.
He slushies Santana only to sarcastically apologize. Later, he begins to taunt Kurt and Blaine who have come to attend the benefit concert. He seeks them out and mentions about how he was 'pumping iron in the gym,' and one of the guys told him that Kurt and Blaine were 'spreading their fairy-dust'. This causes Blaine to say, "You can live whatever lie you want, but don't pretend like the three of us don't know what's really going on here." That is when you can see Santana in the background listening to the conversation (foreshadowing that she is the next one to discover the secret of Dave's sexuality). After Dave calls Blaine "buck-boy," meaning male prostitute, Blaine shoves him, and Dave shoves back almost starting a fight when Santana intervenes and threatens him. Dave leaves immediately.Bullywhips. He makes an apology to the members of New Directions for his past actions against them, especially to Kurt, and notes that he will have to earn their trust. The Bullywhips has been successful in creating a safer environment in the school and according the Principal Figgins, since the inception of the club there has been no bullying cases reported. With his dad and Principal Figgins, Dave talks to Kurt and Burt. Burt still holds a grudge against him for threatening the life of his son; however, Kurt, although still skeptical, wishes to talk to Dave alone and sends the adults out of the room.
Kurt asks him what his real reason is for starting the anti-bullying group, and Dave claims he just wants to make everything right. Kurt reminds him that he remembers the kiss and hasn't told anybody anything. When Dave asks him why he hasn't told anyone about the kiss, Kurt replies he doesn't believe in outing people but still accepts them for who they are, though he does add that Dave owes him the truth for his silence on the matter. Dave confesses that it's part of Santana's plan to become prom queen and people might vote for them if Kurt comes back. Kurt then stresses to Dave that even if he is unable to come out to the world he needs to be educated, and he tells Dave to help him co-chair a local chapter of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG).
Later that evening, Kurt and Dave are chosen as Prom King and Queen. The selection of Kurt was of course meant as a cruel joke. Kurt first runs away, but he later decides to back into the gym to accept his crown. Dave and Kurt need to share a dance. As they walk to the dance floor, Kurt tells Dave to come out of the closet. Dave responds with "I can't," and he turns around and walks away in tears. It seems that no one goes after him.
Dave makes his next appearance when Kurt runs into him at the gay bar Scandals. It was revealed that he changed schools to avoid any rumors about being gay at McKinley, since he wants to have a normal senior year where he can play football. However, he is slowly coming to terms with his sexuality and has been a regular at the bar since the summer. He and Kurt share a toast "to baby steps."
Kurt walks into the cafeteria, excited and happy by the letters and the gorilla gram that he receives from a secret admirer, whom he automatically assumes is Blaine.Kurt arrives at Breadstix early to meet up with the secret admirer before Sugar's party. The person in the gorilla suit appears, Kurt is confused when the card he is given reads "I think I love you" and questions,"Wait, you think you love me?." Then the person in the gorilla suit pulls his mask off, and Kurt is shocked to see that Karofsky has been his secret admirer all along.
They sit down, and Karofsky confesses to Kurt saying that he "hated who he was" for bullying Kurt, and that he is trying to be honest with what he is feeling. Kurt is flattered and proud of Karofsky, but eventually turns him down by saying that he doesn't really love him, and also that he is with Blaine. Kurt also tells Karofsky that he likes him as a friend, but only just as friends. Disappointed and heartbroken, Karofsky tries to leave, but eventually runs into his friend, Nick, who suspects Kurt and Karofsky are hanging out for Valentine's Day. Kurt explains that they used to go to the same school, and they've just bumped into each other. Nick still suspects the two, and Karofsky leaves.Nick, who saw him at Breadstix with Kurt on Valentine's Day, spray-painting "FAG" across his football locker. As he tries to leave, the football jocks bully him, intimidate him and slam him into the lockers. He then rushes home, only to see that he has received extreme hate from his peers on Facebook, who are telling him to go back into the closet and are calling him names. Dave is then seen slamming his laptop down, throwing books, and crying on his bed. This leads him to the decision to commit suicide by hanging himself in his closet. He takes a suit from his room and dresses slowly, showing little emotion. Dave then enters his closet, looks up at the beam crossing his ceiling, and steps onto the chair placed under it. The entire scene is intercut with Blaine singing "Cough Syrup" in the McKinley High Auditorium. Fortunately, his attempt fails and his father finds him in time. Dave is admitted to the hospital under a 72-hour suicide watch. During a flashback scene in the Lima Bean, it is revealed that Sebastian told him to stay in the closet and called him names at Scandals once, for which Sebastian now feels entirely guilty. During Regionals both New Directions and the Warblers dedicate their performances to him. After the competition, Kurt visits him at the hospital. Dave tells Kurt that he can go home the next day, and that he is happy he's still alive. He also confesses that his mother thinks Dave's sexuality is a disease and that his best friend will no longer talk to him. Kurt reaches out to Dave and helps him envision himself in ten years as a successful sports agent with a handsome husband and a son. Dave wants to be Kurt's friend and Kurt agrees that he wants to be Dave's friend. The scene ends as the two hold hands and smile at each other.
At first, Dave Karofsky is a stereotypical jock bully. He enjoys terrorizing the kids in New Directions, and seems to favor targeting Kurt Hummel and Finn Hudson in particular. While Azimio's bullying and prankster behavior seems to be motivated by a larger sense of maintaining order and keeping the herd in line, Karofsky's seems to be more personal in nature. He's been harboring a grudge against Finn since fifth grade, and seems to target Kurt in a desperate attempt to cover up his own sexual feelings, or as a way to get closer to his possible crush. In fact most of Karofsky's bullying behavior seems to be because of the social order of the school and the opinions of his friends, rather than anything he was raised believing at home as his father in fact seems to behave completely different from Dave, showing an understanding and enlightened opinion of homosexuality.
It was revealed by his father that Dave is actually quite intelligent academically, usually getting A's and B's in school, suggesting that his dolt-like behavior is an act to make himself appear "normal" to his friends. In the weeks leading up to the kiss confrontation between Dave and Kurt, his grades began to decline, and he has started acting out and talking back both at home and school. It became severe enough that he threatened to kill Kurt, prompting his temporary expulsion. Since Kurt has transferred to Dalton Academy, his violence seems to have returned to its previous level. It is speculated that he feels less threatened now that the person who knows his secret is gone. However, his more violent tendencies seemed to flare up upon seeing Kurt and Blaine again, which was only stopped by the actions of Santana.
Max Adler, who portrays Karofsky, has called him the "insecure, afraid, and shy boy in the corner with this crazy secret, with a rough and tough exterior, a hard-edged bully who doesn't take anything from anybody." Dave is "very scared of what he is, scared of telling people his big secrets. He's afraid that it will ruin his life and shatter his whole world. He has to keep up that manliness, be the guys guy, be the jock and fit in with them while he's hiding completely who he is and what he wants."
According to Max Adler, Karofsky's fears come from society instead of his father. "He's obviously a very loving father who is concerned for his son," Adler says. "He knows about his grades, the groups he's involved with, the teams he's playing on. I like the fact that Ryan Murphy chose to not make him what everyone thought — including me — as this beer-drinking, abusive, berating father. It was a more interesting choice to have him actually be the loving, supportive, caring father to show that Karofsky's fears aren't really coming from home. It's more society that's really scaring him into denying who he is." Source
- Main article: David-Kurt Relationship
In Special Education, Dave's eyes get shifty when Puck scolds him for forcing Kurt out (perhaps because of his choice of words: "Don't push me, Karofsky," and "My boy, Kurt"), alternately switching between Azimio and Puck. Azimio gives him a suspicious look.
In Born This Way, Santana, in order to bring Kurt back to the school and increase her chances of winning Prom Queen, blackmails Dave after finding out his true sexuality. She tells him that if he won't be her gay beard and prom date, she will reveal his secret to the school. Seeing no other choice, Dave accepts. With the blessings of Principal Figgins, he and Santana start an anti-bullying group called the Bully Whips and he makes an apology to the members of New Directions for his past actions against them and Kurt. With his father Paul Karofsky and Principal Figgins, he talks to Kurt and Burt. Burt still holds a grudge against him for threatening the life of his son, but Paul asks that Burt grant Dave the time it took him to learn his lesson, given that it took Burt and Paul years to realize homosexuality is no reason to discriminate against someone.Kurt, still skeptical, wishes to talk to Dave alone and sends the adults out of the room. Kurt asks Dave what's his real reason is for starting the anti-bullying group, and Dave says he just wants to make everything right. Kurt reminds him that while he hasn't forgotten the kiss, he wouldn't out Karofsky. When Dave asks him why he hasn't told anybody, Kurt replies he doesn't believe in outing people, but still accepts them for who they are. However, he says Dave owes him the truth. Dave confesses that it's part of Santana's plan to become prom queen. Kurt tells Dave he could either tell everyone that Dave kissed him, which Dave quickly objects to and sincerely apologizes for, or he could come back and marvel in the anti-bullying group on the condition that he and Dave start a local chapter of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG). Kurt then stresses to Dave that even if he is unable to come out to the world, he needs to be educated so that progress can truly be made. In Prom Queen, even though Santana only does her Bully Whips duty in order to gain the votes for prom queen, Dave seems to take his job seriously in protecting Kurt and walks him to his classes and lunch. Kurt appears to not be afraid of being around Dave anymore. He tells him that he doesn't hate him and can understand his pain. Hearing this, after months of bearing guilt, Dave finally breaks down and apologizes. Kurt accepts the apology. Before they separate, Dave tells Kurt to wait for him.
Later at the prom, they win the Prom Royalty together (with Kurt as the Prom Queen, as part of a prank). As they are about to dance, Kurt tells Dave that this is his moment to come out and make a difference. Dave says he can't, indicating that he has already come to terms with his sexuality but is still unable to come out.
Dave made his next appearance in The First Time, when Kurt runs into him at the gay bar Scandals. It was revealed that he changed schools to avoid any rumors about being gay at McKinley, since he wants to have a normal senior year where he can play football. However, he is slowly coming to terms with his sexuality and has been a regular at the bar since the summer. He and Kurt share a toast "to baby steps."
In Heart, Kurt walks into the cafeteria, excited and happy by the letters and the gorilla gram that he receives from a secret admirer, whom he automatically assumes is Blaine.
Kurt arrives at Breadstix early to meet up with the secret admirer before Sugar's party. The person in the gorilla suit appears, Kurt is confused when the card he is given reads "I think I love you" and questions, "Wait, you think you love me?." Then the person in the gorilla suit pulls his mask off, and Kurt is shocked to see that Karofsky has been his secret admirer all along. They sit down, and Karofsky confesses to Kurt saying that he "hated who he was" for bullying Kurt, and that he is trying to be honest with what he is feeling. Kurt is flattered and proud of Karofsky, but eventually turns him down by saying that he doesn't really love him, and also that he is with Blaine. Kurt also tells Karofsky that he likes him as a friend, but only just as friends. Disappointed and heartbroken, Karofsky tries to leave, but eventually runs into his classmate, Nick, who suspects Kurt and Karofsky are hanging out for Valentine's Day. Kurt explains that they used to go to the same school, and they've just bumped into each other. Nick still suspects the two, and Karofsky leaves.
In On My Way, after Dave's suicide attempt, Kurt reaches out to Dave and promises to help him get through this. Dave tells Kurt that he wants to be friends with him and Kurt says that he would like to be friends with Dave, and they hold hands.
- Main article: Santana-Dave Relationship
In Prom Queen, they go to the prom together. Both Dave and Santana seem to having fun and dancing around during the prom performances. They slow dance at Rachel's Jar of Hearts, although both clearly look uncomfortable. Dave is then announced as Prom King, but Santana doesn't win the Prom Queen due to the prank against Kurt, who is voted Queen. In the end, it's unclear whether their beard relationship continues or not.
- The second closet-gay character introduced on the show. (Kurt as first)
- Introduced as a hockey player, but never mentioned as being one afterwards, even by the hockey team themselves.
- Used to be picked on by Finn in fifth grade for having pubic hair.
- Although it was said that he has slushied almost every member of the New Directions, he only slushied a few more than half of the original nine, on screen. He was never shown to have slushied Brittany, Mercedes, Tina, or Lauren.
- It's a common misconception that Dave tormented specifically Kurt for years. In early season 1, he was focusing the bullying on Finn and the Glee Club in general- he only started specifically targeting Kurt in Theatricality
- Dave is the character that has been shoved the most by other characters. He's been shoved by Finn, Puck, Sam, Burt, Shannon, Kurt, Blaine, and other football players.
- Goes to McDonald's after school.
- Dave, with Azimio, used to slushie Rachel every day at 10AM.
- His jersey number changed from 67 to 77 in The Sue Sylvester Shuffle.
- Was a member of New Directions for a week when Coach Beiste forced the Titans to join the Glee Club.
- Dave's quote "walk tall and carry a big stick" in "The Sue Sylvester Shuffle" is a modified version of Theodore Roosevelt's original quote "speak softly and carry a big stick."
- One of the fifteen kids (Quinn, Finn, Kurt, Puck, Rachel, Becky, Mike, Sugar, Santana, Marley, Sam, Jake, Wade and Artie) whose parent(s) have been shown.
- Never had a girlfriend before his pseudo-relationship (each other's beards) with Santana.
- Pumps iron at school in the evening.
- Seen mostly in his letterman jacket, even during his meeting with Santana at the Lima Bean.
- Calls Azimio "Z."
- Like Finn and Sam, he was a Cub Scout.
- Dave didn't know about Eve Harrington and PFLAG, however, he seems to know about Liberace mannequins.
- Took Calculus in his junior year.
- Named after Brad Falchuk's former classmate.
- In Dave and Santana's prom campaign posters, the picture of Dave is actually a press photo of Max Adler from the Glee season 2 premiere party.
- According to Max Adler, Dave and Santana actually kissed while filming the Prom episode, to prove that they were straight, however, the scene was deleted for their storyline's sake.
- Dave and Santana's dance moves in Prom Queen were unscripted - Max and Naya did it for fun and were surprised when it actually made it to the final editing.
- Dave's first kiss with a male was with the one seen in Never Been Kissed, when he kissed Kurt. This was also the first gay kiss on the show.
- Names his fist "The Fury."
- There are parallels in the dialogue with Dave and Azimio's confrontation with Kurt at the end of Theatricality and what happens in the locker room with Kurt and Dave in Never Been Kissed. Both times, Kurt says being beaten up will never change who he is and would allow himself to be hit because he is proud of his difference.
- There are parallels in the dialogue with Kurt persuading Dave to come out at the end of Prom Queen and the conversation between Kurt and Mercedes in Acafellas. Both times Kurt/Dave said "I Can't" when asked to come out. (The same situation happens between Santana and Brittany in Rumors. Brittany had planned to ask Santana out to prom during her webshow Fondue For Two to make Santana's coming out easier, but Santana cancelled last minuted with a text saying, "I can't.").
- When writers in Fanfiction put Dave and Kurt together, their relationship name is Kurtofsky.
- Butterscotch candy is his favorite. (Heart)
- He's the second character to attempt suicide, the first being Sue Sylvester in Comeback.
- The school that he transferred to is called Thurston High School, as you can see the words "Thurston Dragons" on the wall in the locker room in On My Way.
- Main article: Dave Karofsky's Quotations