Glee/FOX/2009-2015 (Wheelchair/Damaged Spinal Cord)

Arthur “Artie” Abrams (Kevin McHale), a nerdish, paraplegic teenager with glasses who is confined to a non-motorized wheelchair. He was paralyzed by car accident when he was eight-years-old. Artie attends William McKinley High School in Lima, Ohio. His nemesis are members of his school’s football team who often bully him.


Despite the damage to his spinal cord, Artie is a normal teenager who wants to make friends and find romance with, among others, Tina Cohen-Chang (Jenna Ushkowitz), who had faked a stuttering speech impediment since the sixth grade; Britanny Pierce (Heather Morris), a cheerleader with whom Artie lost his virginity; and Kitty Wilde (Becca Tobin).

Artie is a member of the glee club group “The New Directions” where he sings, and dances in a fashion, by moving his wheelchair in time with the music and the other performers. He also plays guitar with the school’s jazz ensemble, dabbles in film directing, and is a member of both the A.V. Club and the Academic Decathlon team.


Quinn Fabray and Artie Abrams our for leisurely roll.

Aside from being a talented guy, Artie also has a kind and giving heart. When fellow student and cheerleader Quinn Fabray (Dianna Agron) damaged her spine (a truck struck her car) and had to use a wheelchair, Artie took the time to show her how to navigate the ramps and just have a fun time. After weeks of recovery, Quinn was able to walk again.

When the Glee Club is disbanded, Artie graduates and goes to the Brooklyn Film Academy in New York. While still at the film school, he returns to McKinley to help recruit members for the newly rebooted glee club.

In 2020, Artie’s film gets into the Slamdance Film Festival. It starred Tina (who is now his girlfriend). Later, Artie goes back to McKinley for the re-dedication of McKinley’s auditorium  (Finn Auditorium) where he performs “I Lived” with every former member of the “New Directions.” They all take a bow.

Note: In the episode “Glee Actually”, Artie injures himself on an icy ramp, and angrily wishes he’d never had to be in a wheelchair. A subsequent dream, shows him walking.

Born June 14, 1988, actor Kevin Michael McHale (who is not disabled) was a former member of the boy band NLT (Not Like Them).


During the season one episode “Laryngitis” Sean Fretthold (Zack Weinstein), appeared as a disabled 16 year old male who lived in Lima, Ohio. He enjoyed math, singing and also attended William McKinley High School.

Sean played on the school football team until an accident paralyzed him from the upper chest down. He injured his spinal cord at the C4 vertebrae.

To get around, Sean used a wheelchair. When he first got his wheelchair, he pushed it into his family swimming pool in a fit of anger. He was a friend of Finn Hudson and Rachel Berry.

See also: Glee (2)

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