Yesha Callahan

The Lisa Turtle Effect

I’ve spent the past hour catching up with last night’s episode of “Glee” on Hulu and once again noticed the Lisa Turtle Effect in…well…full effect.  Not that I have nothing against the fat white chick getting a shot at Puck, but would it have been too much to ask to give the token black chick, Mercedes, a love interest? Hell, it is the Valentines Day episode.

Now, why would I refer to it has the “Lisa Turtle Effect”?  Lisa Turtle was Lark Voorhes character on “Saved By The Bell”, that used to air on NBC in the 90’s every Saturday morning.  Lisa Turtle was constantly stalked by Screech, and was the token black girl on the episode. It didn’t matter that Lisa Turtle looked better than her white counterparts on the show, she still never had a boyfriend on the show. It was always Zack & Kelly, Zack & Jessie, Jessie & A.C Slater, hell, I’m pretty sure if it was acceptable back then, they would have thrown in a story line where Zack & AC secretly kissed. But, unfortunately, Lisa was always left to have Screech chasing after her.

Well there was this one episode:

Yup, Zack & Lisa, kissing. I suppose the world wasn’t ready for that story line at the time, because it only lasted one episode. Hell, and even that one kiss took years to get to.

Poor Lisa Turtle. She had the best hair, the cutest smile and face, but that wasn’t enough to garner a love interest story line for her.

Apparently, the same can be said for Amber Riley’s character, Mercedes,  on “Glee”.

Mercedes once had a story line that included her pursuing Kurt, an openly gay student. She pursued him during the first season, even though he repeatedly tried to explain to her, his gayness. So she’s been the “hag” chasing down the gay boy. Then there’s Mercedes eating tots.  So she’s been the fat chick that likes food. Then there’s Mercedes being the comforter for her friends as they lay their troubles down on her bountiful bosom; she’s been the “mammy”. Then there’s Mercedes being the Queen of Soul. Hell, we know she can sang, but is that all the writers can come up with?

What is it going to take to get Mercedes a love interest plot arc? Hell, there’s even a black guy  on the show, albeit, he’s the dumb jock on the football team, but shit, make it work.

I don’t want Amber Riley’s character ending up like Lisa Turtle.  For fucks sake, Ryan Murphy, find Mercedes a man because token black girls need love too!

  1. February 9, 2011 - Reply

    faints at “mercedes queen of soul”

    • February 9, 2011 - Reply


      I’m just saying..she has one of the best voices, that’s not on the radio! lol

  2. February 9, 2011 - Reply

    I don’t even watch the show like that, but I agree with you. I was actually turned off my the show because I already saw what the writers were doing with “Mercedes”… chile, that name alone made me change the channel. Ugh. LOL! Good post!!

    • February 9, 2011 - Reply


      The interesting part about her name, is that where I’m from (NJ) most of the women I’ve came across with the name are Latina…which makes more sense to me if that cheerleader chick was named “Mercedes”…go figure.

  3. February 9, 2011 - Reply

    Mercedes is not the only black character on the show. Santana who is played by African-American & Puerto Rican Actress Naya Rivera is also on the show.
    Amber Riley’s character Mercedes is possibly the strongest character on the show. She’s one of the few female characters that isn’t whorish. Would it be better if Mercedes story line was along the lines of Quinn’s (the pretty blonde cheerleader)? A pregnant cheerleader who gave her kid away for adoption? By the way Mercedes dated Puck.
    If the choice is between having Mercedes a hoe or a single fat chick. I’m taking single fat chick. If she was the black girl that got pregnant while in H.S. on the show….I could see Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton standing in the wings.

    • February 9, 2011 - Reply


      Mercedes technically didn’t “date” Puck. That was one episode as well. Why does it even have to be a stereotype even when grasping the concept of her even having a relationship? No one said she had to be the pregnant black chick either.

  4. February 9, 2011 - Reply

    I love her version of “Hate On Me” almost as much as I love Jill Scott’s.

  5. February 9, 2011 - Reply

    I felt like Lisa Turtle/Mercedes growing up though, I went to 85% white schools, so very often I was the token black girl without a love interest that went to my school… woe was me, lol

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: