Rebelling is one thing, but betraying who we are, that’s not cool.
—Ryder Lynn, The End of Twerk
Ryder Lynn is a major character on the fourth and fifth seasons of Glee. He makes his first appearance in The Role You Were Born to Play, the fifth episode of Season Four, and is introduced as a student in his sophomore year at William McKinley High School. Finn notices something special about Ryder during football practice and manages to convince him to audition for the school's upcoming production of Grease, which is being co-directed by Finn Hudson himself, alongside Artie Abrams. Ryder earns the lead male role in the production, having been chosen by the directors over Jake Puckerman. After starring in the musical, he decides to join New Directions. After a fight with Jake (in Dynamic Duets) he finds out that he has dyslexia.
In the episode Feud, he begins to move on from his crush Marley Rose, and goes after an online love interest named Katie, whom he shares all his secrets and shows care towards, only to find out he is being catfished. In the season finale, All or Nothing, he pursues the catfisher, as he's tired of the games that are being played on him. The catfisher was then revealed to be Unique, which shakes their friendship, causing Ryder to threaten to quit Glee Club after Regionals. He returns to the Glee Club in Season Five, so their differences must have been resolved off-screen. In New Directions the Glee Club gets disbanded, which is why he is no longer a member of the New Directions.
Ryder was a recurring character in Season Four, but was promoted to regular in Season Five. He has been demoted for Season Six, and he returned in the series finale. He is portrayed by the winner of the second season of The Glee Project, Blake Jenner.
While Finn is searching among the football players for a boy to play the lead in the upcoming school musical Grease, Ryder's touchdown routine catches his eye. Finn next approaches Ryder during study hall, where Ryder shares that he's struggling with school. Finn claims that singing helped him improve his grades, which is why he invites Ryder to audition for the school musical. Ryder, saying he doesn't sing, is relucant at first, but decides to attend the audition after receiving a mediocre grade. At the audition he is tricked into singing Juke Box Hero with Finn, which Finn then says he considers his audition for the school musical.
Jake observes Ryder introducing himself and flirting with Marley, which is why he himself auditions for the school musical. It is then agreed to have a call-back to determine the final role allocation, so Ryder, along with Marley, Jake, and Kitty, is invited to sing Born to Hand Jive. He is later revealed to have earned the male lead in the musical.
During rehearsals, it doesn't go unnoticed by Jake that Ryder has very little experience with fixing cars, which is what Finn declares is the central content of Grease. However, Finn manages to make Ryder get familiar with cars by getting him to sing Greased Lightning along with Mike and the New Directions Boys.
On the night of the first performance, Ryder finds Marley forcing herself to vomit in a toilet. She then shares her insecurities with him, whereupon Ryder encourages her to stop suffocating. Before they are about to go on stage, Ryder shields Marley from Kitty's insults, and they then share a kiss. Together they go through the first show of Grease.
Much to Jake's dismay, Ryder reveals that Marley has been going out with him since the school musical. This revelation evolves into mutual provocation at first, and then into a brawl, which has to be arbitrated by the glee-club. Ryder is then revealed to have joined during the next glee-club practice. For his first assignment, he and Jake are tasked with singing a duet to resolve their feud. However, this plan backfires when Ryder and Jake agree that singing a duet won't make them reconcile, and moreover start brawling again while singing Superman. Finn then tasks them with sharing their biggest fear, to help them understand each other more.
As Jake is about to reveal his biggest fear to Ryder, he attempts to do so by handing him a note on which he has written it down. Ryder rejects, however, and makes Jake tell him about his fear. Ryder later relucantly reveals that he had made Jake tell him, since he himself can't read.
Jake shares this newly gained knowledge with Finn, who takes Ryder to a specialist. Said specialist diagnoses him with dyslexia, which explains why Ryder had been struggling with school as much as he had. Out of gratitude, Ryder then gathers their friends to help save Jake from a pack of bullies. It becomes apparent that they now consider each other friends. Ryder then has to cancel his plans with Marley, since they interfer with an appointment with a special aids teacher to help his dyslexia.
He and Jake join the school's basketball team when the New Directions get disqualified at Sectionals, but quit to rejoin glee-club towards the end of the episode.Jordan Stern approaches him several times during the episode, Ryder never gets asked out to the sadie-hawkins dance, and thus attends without a date. While he is singing I Only Have Eyes For You for a slow dance, he unhappily watches Jake dance with Marley as they establish their relationship.
He happily agrees to model for the "Men of McKinley"-calender, where Tina assigns him to pose for the months february and july. He subsequently attends all the training units organized by Sam to help them get in shape.
He also privately trains with Jake in the locker-room. After getting interrupted by Kitty and Tina while comparing their bodies, Jake shares how eager he is to commit to his relationship with Marley. Realizing he is upsetting Ryder with this confession, he apologizes, and shows sympathy. Ryder admits to still having feelings for Marley, yet gives Jake advice on how to deal with his relationship struggles.
Marley, however, sees through this, and realizes that Ryder must have helped Jake prepare all these gifts. They share a kiss as she is about to thank.Unchained Melody. However, during the performance, Marley repeatedly imagines that Ryder is singing to her, and not Jake. After ake finishes the song, Marley, overcome with guilt, confesses that she knew Ryder had selected the gifts, and that he had kissed her when she approached him about it, causing Jake to furiously leave the room.
Also, after hearing from Marley that Ryder had kissed her, Unique tries to make him stop meddling with Jake and Marley's relationship. However, when Ryder casually revers to Unique as a boy, she also demands that he refer to her as female. As Ryder refuses, she pushes him.
Ryder later discusses this incident with an acquaintance named "Katie" that he had made online. Not being aware of having acted wrong towards Unique, he is adviced by Katie to resolve the conflict by singing with her, since it is feud-week in glee-club. Ryder and Unique agree to sing The Bitch Is Back/Dress You Up for that matter. Afterwards, they seem eager to make up, but when Ryder refuses to say that he thinks Unique is a girl, she leaves the choir-room visibly hurt.
Ryder turns to "Katie" to discuss his confusion regarding Unique with her. "Katie" tells him, that even if he doesn't understand her, it would be right to respect what Unique thinks is true for herself. During a gathering of the glee-club underclassmen, he then approaches Unique to apologize to her, and also Jake to apologize for kissing Marley.
At the end of the episodes, he admits to "Katie" that he feels as if he has moved on from Marley. It had become apparent towards the episode, that he seems to be devloping feelings for "katie" instead. He asks "Katie" if they could meet in person, but "katie" simply logs off without replying.
Thinking he recognizes "Katie" from the pictures she had said depict her, Ryder leads a girl at school into the empty choir-room, where he serenades her with Your Song. In the subsequent conversation, however, it becomes clear that the girl he had just serenaded is not the same person he had been chatting with. Both, Ryder and the girl, conclude that someone had taken pictures of her to catfish him.
During the shooting, Ryder calls "Katie"'s number, in an attempt to make potentially last amends with her. He is surprised to then hear a phone ringing inside the choir-room, to which he concludes that "Katie" must be in glee-club with him.
When Ryder meets up at the time "Katie" had arranged with him, he is disappointed when it becomes clear that he is being stood up.
Kitty, however, does shows a lot of empathy, and takes him out to eat at BreadstiX. There she opens up about how her former friend's brother had molested her, and how nobody had wanted to believe her, ultimately making Kitty transfer schools.
Kitty later asks Ryder to date him. Ryder, however, who is still chatting with his catfisher, rejects her in favour of "Katie". This earns him criticism from Kitty, who claims that Katie is only a projection, and that Ryder is getting hung up on a fantasy. Meanwhile, Ryder explains to his catfisher, that, although to no avail, he had told the glee-club about his molesting to provoke a reaction from "Katie", implying Ryder shared his molesting with them. When the catfisher then wants to know why Ryder is still talking to them, he explains how his revelation in glee-club proves that "Katie" has made him less barred, and that he's grateful for that despite the lying.
Ryder is shown excited for Stevie Wonder week.
As Marley attempts to persuade Ryder into re-joining, he pressures her for an explanation for what she did. Unwilling to let her friend take the blame for something she didn't do, Unique then reveals herself as the true catfish. She trys to explain that she liked him, but was afraid that he wouldn't like her back, and thus created the catfishing account, but would understand that Ryder would want to beat her. Ryder explains that he won't beat Unique, but will also not talk to her ever again.
Ryder eventually shows up at Regionals to say that he will not quit until after the competition, since he wouldn't want to punish the whole club when he's really only mad at one member. However, after the victory for the New Directions is announced, they share a hug, indicatign that the hard feelings might have vanished.
In Season Five, Blake Jenner was promoted to the main cast, making Ryder a main character.
Ryder agrees to help Blaine with his plan to help Tina get over her loneliness. He joins the performance of I Saw Her Standing There to play the drums, thus oftering himself as a potential prom-date for Tina, although she ultimatively decides against him.
It is worth mentioning at this point that Ryder didn't leave glee-club as he had announced in All or Nothing, and that his storyline with Unique never gets resolved.
Although he had been twerking and joining into a provocative song during the course of the week, it is Ryder ultimately who says that they should not act the way they had been durign the week anymore, since they hadn't been true to themselves.An Innocent Man. Much to Jake's dismay, Marley says yes when Ryder asks her to go out with him again after the performance.
A few days later, Ryder is shown to be spreading word online about being in a relationship with Marley, which the girl is visibly uncomfortable with. After claiming that he is dating Marley in front of Jake, Marley draws the consequences, After saying that one date doesn't mean they are dating, she then announces that she requires more time to get over Jake.Nationals.
The next day, Ryder is tasked with calling Jake as the glee club is about to depart. When Jake acts offended due to him asking out Marley so soon in Movin' Out, Ryder apologizes, and the boys make up. Ryder next tells Jake about Marley's intention of quitting glee club, so the boys make a plan to get Mercedes to talk to Marley.
Ryder, together with Jake, is mentioned by Mercedes later on, when she mentions how much the boys care about Marley.
Ryder gets manipulated by Rachel to vote in her favour during the Rachel vs. Mercedes diva-off. Santana later uses this against her, by exposing how Rachel had been manipulating him without even knowing his name, proven when Rachel says his name is Rick, which he whisper silently "Ryder" as Santana's slam continues.
Ryder is seen several times watching perfromances in the background. As the seniors graduation approaches, Ryder and his fellow glee club underclassmen revel in memories over their time in glee club.
Blake Jenner, who portrays Ryder, was demoted from the main cast. He appeared in the series finale.
Ryder appears briefly in a flashback during Will You Love Me Tomorrow/Head Over Feet, behind Blaine.
Ryder is mentioned by Rachel when talking to Kurt about making Kitty rejoin New Directions, something Rachel does not want to do, since she knows she never even tried to learn the previous members' names. She mispronounces Ryder's name once more as "Raider" with Kurt correcting her.
He appears at the end of the episode alongside Joe and Unique. He performs backing vocals for I Lived with the rest of the Glee Cast.
Ryder appears to be a very polite and well-mannered guy, who will try to befriend other people and also try to help them if he feels they need it. However, Coach Beiste describes him as a loner during his first appearance. This may be partly due to having been molested as child, since Ryder himself mentions having difficulties with opening himself up to others as a result of that incident. Also, this lack of trust seems to make him struggle with feelings of resentment, like when he forgot about manners in All or Nothing and began kicking tables.
He seems to have particular trouble in trusting girls, since he choose commiting to a girl he only knew from the internet. However, it appears that once Ryder manages to trust a girl, he acts really affectionate towards her, like when he prepared an elaborate performance for Marissa in Shooting Star, and prepared instagram images for Marley in Movin' Out.
One of his biggest problems that is introduced right along with him are his struggles with school. He explains that he is being pressured by his parents to get good grades at school, yet seems to be unable to do so, despite studying hard. When Ryder began questioning his intelligence, it is revealed that his grades are merely a result of him having dyslexia. The doctor who diagnosed him actually thinks he is rather intelligent. Despite still making frequent spelling mistakes, he mentions getting better grades since beginning his dyslexia training.
Ryder also plays for the school's football team, although Beiste refers to him as a bad player. However, it are Ryder's dancing moves that initially bring him to Finn's attention, and he is also showing to be lifting weights in Naked, which indicates that Ryder is overall athletic.
- Main article: Marley-Ryder Relationship (Ryley)
After Jake and Marley break up, Ryder reproaches Jake for hurting Marley. He then asks Marley out himself. Although Marley is relucant at first, Ryder manages to convince her that he'd never hurt her the way Jake did, and she agrees to go on a date with him. after said date, Ryder sees them as a couple, but Marley disagrees, and tells him that she needs more alone-time. After that, Ryder seems to have decided to stop pursuing Marley, and treats her as a friend.
- Main article: Jake-Ryder Relationship (Jyder)
Jake becomes jealous when he sees Ryder flirting with Marley, for whom he himself has feelings. He then attempts to get in their way by getting hold of the lead role in the school musical himself, but is unsuccesful. Following the musical, they form a rivalry, and every effort from members of the glee-club appear to fail. However, once Jake helps Ryder uncover that he is dyslexic, the latter starts seeing Jake as a friends, and repays him with another favour. They subsequently become friends, and Ryder even acts accepting towards Jake's relationship with Marley, and even helps, contrary to his own feelings. Although Jake kisses his girlfriend, Jake seems able to forgive Ryder, and comforts him with his catfish.
They fight about Marley from anew in Movin' Out. Ryder is furious at Jake for cheating on her, and Jake forms a grudge on Ryder when he asks Marley out himself very soon after their break-up. They remain on bad terms for some time, but make up in City of Angels, and help Marley with a struggle together.
Ryder mistook Marissa for "Katie," his online acquaintance, because Unique had used pictures of her to create a catfishing account. For that reason Ryder thought Marissa was the girl he had been chatting to when he saw her at school. Ryder takes her into the choir room and dedicates Your Song to her. Afterwards, Ryder confesses that he loves her. While talking, it turns out that Marissa isn't Katie after all, and concludes that Ryder must have been catfished. Marissa implores Ryder that he asks her out anyway, which he has yet to do.
- Main article: Ryder-Unique Relationship (Unyder/Rydique)
Unique confronts Ryder in Feud over him kissing her best friend Marley, who is in a relationship with Jake at that time. This turns into its own feud when Ryder, not understanding Unique's transsexuality, refers to her as a boy. Ryder struggles throughout the episode to understand Unique, but with the encouragement of his new online acquaintance "Katie" he ultimatively gathers the greatness, and apologizes.
Unbeknownst to Ryder, "Katie" is nobody else but Unique herself. Ryder ultimatively learns that his online acquaintance hadn't been who she claimed to be the whole time, and is furious. He learns, however, that "Katie" is in glee-club with him once he rings her number and hears a phone ringing in the choir room. Over a period of time, Ryder continues talking to "Katie", despite knowing she lied to him, but ultimatively reaches his limit in All or Nothing. Overwhelmed by her bad guilt, Unique tells him that she is "Katie". She had formed a crush on him, but thought it would be unlikely that Ryder would like her the way she was, and had thus created a catfish account. Ryder is extremely furious at her for this, but the bad feelings seem to vanish after their victory at Regionals.
They appear to be friends again in Season Five. However, their storyline is never resolved, and Ryder begins showing romantic interest in Marley once more.
- Main article: Kitty-Ryder Relationship (Kyder/Ritty)
Kitty and Ryder meet in The Role You Were Born to Play, and join the New Directions together in Dynamic Duets. Kitty expresses disgust over Ryder several times throughout the season. However, in Lights Out she is touched when Ryder is ridiculed for being molested. She takes him to BreadstiX, where she shares that she had been molested herself as a child, and thus understands him very well. Later, she asks him out, but is rejected in favour of Ryder's catfish, about which Kitty is visibly hurt.
Total - 28
- Solos (In a Group Number)
|Born to Hand Jive||The Role You Were Born to Play||Jake, Marley, and Mercedes|
|You're the One That I Want||Glease||Blaine, Brittany, Finn, Kurt, Marley, Rachel, and Santana|
|Some Nights||Dynamic Duets||Blaine, Jake, Joe, Kitty, Marley, Sam, and Tina|
|No Scrubs||Sadie Hawkins||Artie, Blaine, Joe, and Sam|
|Centerfold/Hot In Herre||Naked||Jake and Sam|
|This Is the New Year||Artie, Blaine, Brittany, Jake, Marley, Sam, Tina, and Unique|
|Say||Shooting Star||Blaine, Brittany, Kitty, Marley, and Sam|
|Outcast||Sweet Dreams||Jake, Kitty, Marley, and Unique|
|We Will Rock You||Lights Out||Artie, Blaine, and Jake|
|Longest Time||Artie, Jake, Kitty, Marley, and Sam|
|Hall of Fame||All or Nothing||Artie, Jake, Joe, and Sam|
- Back-up singing
|Song||Episode||Sung by||Back-up with|
- Solos (In a Group Number)
|I Saw Her Standing There||Love, Love, Love||Blaine, Jake, and Sam|
|Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band||Tina in the Sky with Diamonds||Jake, Marley, and Unique|
|Applause||A Katy or A Gaga||Artie, Blaine, Marley, and Sam|
|On Our Way||The End of Twerk||Artie, Blaine, Jake, Kitty, Marley, Sam, Tina, and Unique|
|You May Be Right||Movin' Out||Artie, Jake, Kitty, and Will|
- Ryder is the third person on Glee to be diagnosed with dyslexia. The first two were Howard Bamboo and Sam Evans.
- He and Kitty were both revealed to have been molested when they were younger.
- Main article: Ryder's Quotations
|Directors||Emma Pillsbury • Finn Hudson • Holly Holliday • Kurt Hummel • Rachel Berry • Sam Evans • Will Schuester|
|Members||Alistair • Jane Hayward • Madison McCarthy • Mason McCarthy • Myron Muskovitz • Spencer Porter|
|Alumni||Artie Abrams • Blaine Anderson • Brittany Pierce • Quinn Fabray • Finn Hudson • Kitty Wilde • Kurt Hummel • Mercedes Jones • Mike Chang • Noah Puckerman • Rachel Berry • Roderick Meeks • Sam Evans • Santana Lopez • Skylar • Tina Cohen-Chang • Unique Adams|
|Former Members||April Rhodes • Joe Hart • Jesse St. James • Lauren Zizes • Matt Rutherford • Rory Flanagan • Sugar Motta • Sunshine Corazon • Marley Rose • Jake Puckerman • Ryder Lynn|
|Related||New Directions Boys • New Directions Girls • Dalton Academy Warblers • Sue Sylvester • Dakota Stanley • Bassist • Drummer|