Welcome to Glee, where every episode is the Musical Episode!Glee is about a high school teacher's attempts to organize his small public school's show choir while dealing with his personal issues and the torrid personal lives of the students around him. The first episode alone featured music from such disparate sources as Journey and Guys and Dolls, and the show goes on to showcase everything from Charlie Chaplin to Lady Gaga.The musical numbers are usually given an in-universe justification with the activities of the Glee club, instead of seemingly springing fully formed from the minds of characters in normal situations, as with most musicals. That Reminds Me of a Song is in full effect here. From time to time, an individual does just break into a full-on song and dance sequence with back-up dancers and props and so forth, and it cuts from location to location mid-stream (just like a music video), based on contextual clues these moments appear to be taking place at least partially in the individual's thoughts.Tons of character stereotypes show up (maybe on purpose) to the point of reviving a few Dead Horse Tropes.Before the first season was finished it was renewed for both a second and third season, the second airing in 2010-2011 and the third in 2011-2012. The fourth season began in the fall of 2012. Near the end of the fourth season, the show was once again double renewed for a fifth (2013-2014) and sixth (2014-2015) season.Can be viewed online in HD on the official Fox website.Please add all character-related tropes to the Character Sheet. Also has its own Ho Yay, Wild Mass Guessing, Recap and Headscratchers pages, the latter of which is divided into Season 1, Season 2, Season 3, Season 4, and Characters, since the initial page started getting kind of hefty. Because we're all obsessives here we even have a page going over every episode's aesop. If you just want to talk about the show, stop by our Glee Forum. And please keep Awesome Music examples on the appropriate page, otherwise we'll be here all night.This series will be crossing over with the Archie universe in "Archie Meets Glee".Please note that The Glee Project has its own page, so don't put examples from that here.
Adam Westing: Josh Groban plays himself as silly and Olivia Newton John is a big enough bitch that even Sue doesn't like her.
Also Lindsay Lohan is obsessed with making her comeback and Perez Hilton is obsessed with finding something scandalous about her.
Adaptation Displacement: An in-universe example. The lines Finn and Rachel run are from the film version of Cabaret, suggesting they are putting on an adaptation of that rather than the original stageplay. The songs from the film often do find their way into stage productions of the play in real life, however.
Similarly, the versions of Rocky Horror and Grease that the club puts on are movie based rather than the actual stage productions.
The adults do nothing about bullying at McKinley (although this is Truth in Television), and even Will passively permits this. The school board dismisses the claim of Karofsky's death threat and only give him a verbal warning. Strangely averted by Sue, who genuinely wants to help Kurt, but is held back by protocol, and even resigns the position of principal so that she can help him better. Not that it helps.
Twice within the first three episodes of Season 1, everything is going to pot until the kids stop listening to the adults and take charge themselves. In fact if you include the Disco/Push it dilemma, they're three for three.
Will is an aversion, at least if you ask the members of New Directions. They even sing "My Life Would Suck Without You" in his honor. (Many viewers, however, consider that an Informed Attribute because he actually has been pretty useless when the kids needed him (Kurt being bullied, Santana's public outing, etc).
This trope is brought up in the episode On My Way. When Karofsky tries to kill himself the faculty of McKinley conference in the principal's office. Among the things said, Sue says that she should've seen it coming, because she was principal when he was bullying Kurt and she knew something was up. Will says that they were all hard on Dave because they thought he'd hurt Kurt, they just didn't imagine that he'd hurt himself.
Principal Figgins: It wasn't our job to know. Emma: Then whose job was it?
A minor example in "Dynamic Duets". The Glee Club's Nationals Trophy is stolen by the Warblers, who refuse to give it back unless Blaine rejoins them. Eventually, Blaine and Sam break into the school and take it back. Principal Figgins doesn't seem to care much that a major piece of school property was stolen and is being held for ransom - in fact, his reaction is never mentioned, nor is that of the Dalton administration.
Karofsky's father walking in on his suicide attempt.
The scenes of the kids trapped in the choir room (and Brittany alone in the washroom) while the school is in lockdown thanks to a possible shooter.
Aerith and Bob: Of the new characters, this is somewhat the case. You have Blaine, Rory, Sugar and Joe.
Aesop Amnesia: All the freaking time. If someone learns a lesson, don't expect it to stick.
A particularly stinging example is Rachel's audition for NYADA (the fictional New York Academy of the Dramatic Arts). Back when she auditioned for West Side Story, Shelby suggested she perform a more vocally-trying song than originally intended, and that she'd never get anywhere without taking risks. But when it's time for her big NYADA audition, she sticks to a "safe" song and even tells Kurt to do the same.
Age Inappropriate Art: Every so often, New Directions performs musical numbers that are really not appropriate to be taught at schools; examples include "Push It," "Toxic," the entirety of "The Rocky Horror Glee Show," and "Do You Wanna Touch Me."
All Asians are Alike: Seems to be a running gag with Mike and Tina. They got together at Asian Camp and in "Duets," after they started arguing, Mike says they "should go to Asian couples therapy." Tina wonders why it has to be Asian. Furthermore, they are able to find out that Rachel gave Sunshine directions to a crackhouse for auditions because the "Asian community is very tight-knit." Sunshine is Filipino while Mike and Tina are Chinese, two communities that generally have little in common.
As a meta-example, Mike Chang is played by Harry Shum, Jr., a Chinese-American. His father is played by a Korean-American actor and his mother is played by a Japanese-American actress.
Another meta-example, Tina is said many times to be Chinese-American. Her actress, Jenna Ushkowitz, is Korean-American.
In season four Tina performs Gangnam Style. The lyrics are for the most part Korean while Tina is Chinese-American.
All Gays are Promiscuous: Inverted in Kurt's case; he is (well, was) a virgin and is actually quite nervous about what sex with a guy will be like, preferring chaste romances where "the touch of the fingertips is as sexy as it gets." Played with in Santana's case; her promiscuity with boys is a way of hiding from her feelings for the one girl she sleeps with, Brittany (who, on the other hand, will do Anything That Moves). Played straight in Sebastian's case, whose promiscuity is implied at through his first meeting with Blaine being intercut with a rendition of "A Boy Like That".
All Guys Want Cheerleaders: Quinn, as head cheerleader was the most popular girl in school, when Santana took over as cheer captain she claimed that title.
All Part of the Show: In a totally natural sense, Figgins believes that the Glee Club's vomit attack during their performance of "Tik Tok" was all special effects. In reality, New Directions was drunk off their asses.
Alpha Bitch: Quinn, in the beginning of the show, then Santana basically took over this spot, though even Santana seems to be moving away from this
Kitty appears to have taken over this title at the beginning of Season 4.
Finn: Hey Santana! Why don't you just come out of the closet?
Armor-Piercing Slap: Santana to Finn after he outs her. It's so powerful it closes the episode in stunned silence.
Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: In "Bad Reputation," after the premiere of Rachel's "Run Joey Run" video, Jesse and Finn are upset that Rachel manipulated them for the sake of changing her reputation, while Puck seems more concerned with the fact that the video sucks.
Artistic License - Geography: While the writers have clearly done some research on Ohio locales (such as Rachel mentioning EJ Thomas Hall in Akron), there are smaller details they get wrong that an Ohio native can point out. Some are the result of Socalization, while others are just plain wrong:
Outside the larger cities and their suburbs, the smaller cities like Lima don't have particularly large Asian or Jewish populations.
Lima does, however, have a significant Black population, at least more so than we've seen on the show.
There's no such place as "Lima Heights Adjacent" that Santana keeps saying she's from (worse is the implication that the place is a ghetto, even though her dad is a doctor).
Westerville, the location of Dalton Academy, is a suburb of Columbus and almost 2 hours from Lima. Kurt commuting when he attended Dalton and dating Blaine at leisure must take a hell of a lot of gas.
Ohio's age of consent law is 16. It technically wasn't illegal for Jeremiah, Blaine's previous crush, to date him and be intimate. It's not unreasonable for an adult to be uncomfortable having that sort of relationship with an impressionable teenager, but saying he'd go to jail over it was right out.
Blaine would have to move to Chicago for the summer if he wants to perform at Six Flags, since that's the one closest to Ohio (the one in Ohio closed in 2007note And even that was four years after the Six Flags brand pulled out and the park went back to its original name of Geauga Lake). His better bets would be Cedar Point in Sandusky, or going back to King's Island in Cincinnati.
The students at McKinley are often seen lounging outside before class during times of the year when it would be way too cold to do so (from late October to mid-April, if you're lucky). In fact, most Ohio high schools don't have much in the way of outdoor accommodations at all for that reason.
Akron, Vocal Adrenaline's home base, is 3 hours from Lima, making it extremely unlikely that the kids from one town can travel to the other at leisure. And since Akron is basically a slightly-smaller Cleveland, it's also unlikely for Carmel High to have such an outregeous budget for its glee club.
Allen County does not have a community college, though this is forgivable since NYADA is equally fictional.
Becky - rather than being a one off character for the particular episode she was in has continued to show up and has even gotten more screen time and lines as Sue's assistant.
Heather Morris who plays Brittany. She was originally supposed to teach the actors the Single Ladies dance before becoming a guest star and eventually a main character in season 2.
Harry Shum Jr. as Mike Chang was only known as "Other Asian" for the majority of the first season, he may have had a line or two about once every three episodes, and was only a dancer/background for the show choir. However, in the second season, he's dating Tina, and his role is greatly expanded.
Lauren Zizes, the plus-size homely girl who appeared in one-off scenes throughout the series, becomes a much more important character in season two, eventually becoming Puck's girlfriend.
Author Appeal: As with anyRyan Murphy show there are a number of gay characters. Also in fanfiction, the songs featured will usually be ones that the author likes
Auto Tune: Every song to varying degrees. Including successful Broadway actresses like Lea freaking Michele. Also mentioned in-series.
Almost every time we hear the entire New Directions sing at once, it's auto-tuned to sound like there's more of them. There were only two exceptions, both in the first season. The first was "Gold Digger", in which the background singing was left alone, presumably for budget reasons. The second was the entire number "Ride Wit Me", which was completely unplanned, and therefore not recorded in a studio.
The Baby Trap: After thinking she's pregnant and finding out it was just a hysterical pregnancy, Terri continues to claim to be pregnant to continue her failing marriage with Will. Quinn also tells Finn he's the father of her baby when in actuality Puck is really the father. And in testament to the utter ridiculousness of the show, the two manage to overlap.
Santana: Hey Tubs! Can I talk to you for a second?
Rory: Hey, listen here. You can't make fun of Finn anymore.
Santana: Shut your potato hole, I'm here to apologize. [to Finn] Rachel's right, I haven't been fair to you. You're not fat. I should know, I slept with you. I mean, at some point I must have liked that you look like a taco addict who's had one too many back alley liposuctions.
Santana: Please stick a sock in it or ship yourself back to Scotland. I'm trying to apologize to Lumps The Clown. [back to Finn] I am sorry, Finn. I mean, really, I'm sorry that the New Directions are gonna get crushed by the Troubletones. And also sorry that you have no talent. Sorry that you sing like you're getting your prostate checked, and you dance like you've been asleep for years and someone just woke you up. Have fun riding on Rachel's coattails for the rest of your life, although, you know what, I would just watch out for her come holiday time if I were him, because if I were her, I'd stick a stent in one of those boobs and let the Finn blubber light the Hanukkah lamp for eight magical nights.
Rachel happens to quit the musical and rejoin the glee club right at the moment when Will kicks April out - in the middle of a performance, no less.
Finn, after Will convinces him to re-join the club despite his ill will toward Puck and Quinn, and Finn arrives right before their big sectionals performance with a new number that helps them to take Sectionals despite the other clubs stealing their set list
SUE of all people in "Journey," getting Principal Figgins to give the club another year after they failed to place at Regionals. This is also a Villainous Rescue.
Puck in "Special Education" when he convinces Lauren to join the Glee Club and again in "The Sue Sylvester Bowl Shuffle" when he convinces the Football team to play the game.
Big Game: In "Preggers," the football game is the climax of the episode. There is also the show choir competitions, though the build up usually varies in effectiveness as well as the championship football game in the episode following the superbowl.
Finn, to a certain extent, although his father is dead.
Also Mike is a variation, but his father wants him to pursue medicine, but after seeing Mike perform in sectionals, he relents and gives his blessing.
Black Best Friend: Mercedes to Kurt, at least after "Acafellas," and to Quinn, after "Home." Also Azimio to Karofsky until 'On My Way'; in the hospital, Karofsky mentions to Kurt that Azimio doesn't want to see him any more because of his sexuality.
Black Comedy: Fairly common. As in the third episode when the shop teacher loses both his thumbs and they get him a cake with hands on it and the legend "Two Thumbs Up!"
Will: How do you guys answer the phone?
Mercedes: What up?
Artie: Who dis be?
Kurt: No, she's dead; this is her son.
Black Comedy Rape: Brittany lost her virginity at summer camp when an "alien" came into her tent.
How Sue blackmailed Figgins, by slipping him a roofie and then taking a picture of two of them in bed together. As Sue was in her tracksuit at this point, we don't know if anything happened or she just made Figgins think it did.
Blondes are Evil: Sue, Terri, and Kendra (Terri's sister) are all played fairly straight, although with the exception of Kendra they are given redeeming qualities in varying degrees. Quinn starts out this way, but changes as the series progresses, especially after getting pregnant and later getting kicked out of the Cheerios. Averted by Brittany, who seems genuinely sweet (possibly because she's too dumb for cruelty).
Bowdlerize: The Rocky Horror Picture Show is butchered both in-universe and out.
Will: Shut up, Sue! Look at us. We're even fighting in our voiceovers.
A truly hilarious one in the start of 4.02: first, we hear Brittany's voiceover and see her walking on the corridor, shot from behind... then the camera cuts so that we see her face and see her talking the voiceover. Cue Blaine:
Blaine: Brittany, who are you talking to?
Brittany: I thought I was doing a voiceover.
Blaine: ... okay.
Brittany sorta does this too in 4.09 when she talks to Sam about "all the lesbians of the nation" going to go all Lima Heights on Sam, though she does not address the Brittana fandom directly, pretty much no one was fooled.
Rachel has too many to count, she seems to be the writers' favorite punching bag. Quinn has a few of these moments too.
And as of "Original Song," we have one cutie breaking the other.
Kurt gets hit with this a lot as well.
Blaine too, though it's mostly implied.
Break the Haughty: If you consider Santana this, then her getting called to the office in "Mash-Off" to find that she's going to be outed to all of Ohio before she even has a chance to come out to her parents definitely counts. "I haven't even told my parents yet."
"Choke", a very heavy episode which had a Downer Ending for all of the plots contained in it, was followed immediately by "Prom-asaurus", which contained such elements as cheerios wearing dinosaur masks and a subplot focused around Blaine's abundance of hair gel.
"Dynamic Duets", a very goofy episode, sandwiched between "Glease" and "Thanksgiving", which deal with Kitty's attempts to make Marley bulimic, the aftermath of Kurt and Blaine's painful breakup, and Marley collapsing in the end of "Thanksgiving"", causing New Directions to lose Sectionals.
At first, many fans believed "Shooting Star" would be one given the previews involving Brittany singing to her cat and the entire plot of the first half. Subverted in the second half the moment the gunshots go off.
Brick Joke: Rachel's gold stars came back in "Funeral."
In the pilot, Emma shows Will a video of him in show choir to convince him to stay at the school. In S 03 E 16, "Saturday Nite Gleever", we get to see that clip for ourselves.
In one of the first episodes of the first season, Puck says: "I'm a stud, dude. I could wear a dress to school and everyone would think it's cool." In 3.20, he finally does... and no one thinks it's cool.
As of "Glease", the glee club has finally gotten all the way through "You're the One That I Want" after two aborted attempts in Season 1.
Brutal Honesty: In "Unicorn," Kurt is feeling insecure about his masculinity, after learning he may not be a shoo-in for the lead in West Side Story as he previously though, and goes to his dad for advice. Burt, on the other hand, tells his son he's probably one of the most least masculine boys ever, but manages to turn this speech into a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming.
Another one in "Blame it on the Alcohol": Kurt says that bisexuality is a myth used by people who are afraid of being "totally gay," and Blaine calls him out on it. In the end, Blaine realizes that he isn't actually bi because he has no chemistry with Rachel. So bisexuality isn't a shield to hide your gayness, it's just brought on by drunkeness!
There seems to even be one in-story in "Born This Way." The word Will writes on the board is acceptance and then tells the kids to make t-shirts about things that make them different and special that they should embrace because they can't change, and most of the kids do that but Will tells Emma that her shirt should have been about her OCD, and while she does need to admit that she's got OCD, it's not something that she should just accept because it can be changed and in Emma's case it really needs to change because her OCD is having severe effects on her ability to live her life.
In general, a lot of the Aesops concerning bullying, especially when the show seems to take every instance of anti-gay bullying seriously but alternates in whether other forms of bullying are equally serious or something to be Played for Laughs.
Bury Your Disabled: Averted with Artie, who, being paraplegic, is perfectly fine otherwise. Played straight with Jean Sylvester - Sue's sister - who has Down's Syndrome, although she dies at a fairly late age.
The Bus Came Back: For Jesse, Sunshine, and April at different points in Season 2, as well as Shelby in Season Three. The bus was also nice enough to stop and bring back Sam Evans in Season 3 - just in time for Sectionals no less!
Santana returns in "Diva", having quit her cheerleading scholarship at Louisville (apparently her Brutal Honesty was interpreted as bitchiness, surprisingly). She then moves to New York and moves in with Kurt and Rachel.
After disappearing at the start of Season 4, Roz Washington finally returns as the new cheerleading coach.
Averted in truly spectacular fashion in "Original Song," where the kiss Blaine plants on Kurt is precisely the kind of hot, full-on whopper you'd expect any teenage boy to plant on the person he's crazy about. In "The First Time," they have two completely natural kisses.
Yet, conversely, in "Nationals" Blaine and Kurt are the only couple who don't get an onscreen celebratory kiss after New Directions return to McKinley.
Played straight with Brittany and Santana's relationship for quite a while, until it became a major controversy in the fandom. Finally remedied in "Heart," where the subject of their kissing is a minor plot point.
Fabulously (and finally) averted in 'I Do'. Kurt and Blaine have a full on makeout session in the back of a car.
Many critics still point out that Tina's non-romance with Blaine has gotten far more screentime than Kurt's legitimate relationship with Adam.
Butt Monkey: The whole Glee club. Rachel, however, is probably the biggest one for frequently being insulted and picked on within the Glee club. And yes, it's Played for Laughs.
California Doubling: Though the show is set in northwestern Ohio, it's filmed in LA. This gets more and more obvious as the school year progresses and we continue to have August weather with the guys walking around in t-shirts and the girls in knee-length skirts. By "Sectionals" we were into late fall/early winter (with football season having ended), and yet there was no recognizable shift toward warmer clothes.
The final musical number in "Sectionals," "My Life Would Suck Without You," features the kids doing dance moves from past performances.
Finn finds Sam singing in the showers, just like Will found him.
Rachel meets Brody this same in "The New Rachel"
The entire sequence of Rachel signing up to the be the lead vocalist in "Funeral" is a callback to her first audition in the Pilot.
In "Asian F," Figgins once again mentions Tina's supposed vampirism. Apparently she's been using it to get special privileges from him.
In "An Extraordinary Marry Christmas" Sue refers to Blaine as Other Gay.
In the season 3 premier, Quinn looks at the club longingly from elsewhere in the theatre, just like she did in the pilot. In the season 4 premier, Jake does the same thing from where his brother Puck was standing (also in the pilot).
In Glease, Finn and Rachel perform opposite each other in a group version of "You're The One That I Want." That was their first duet after Finn joined the New Directions in the pilot. note Though not their first full duet, as Mercedes interrupted the performance.
The Cameo: Chewbacca appears briefly in Artie's dream sequence in "Extraordinary Merry Christmas."
Camp Gay: Kurt seems very much at peace with his "feminine" side. He loves clothes, day spas, and fancy costumes. He wears a dress in "Theatricality," performs numbers from Victor/Victoria, and tries to join the girls' group in boys vs. girls competitions. However, in "Furt" he resents being referred to as a lady unless it is from a friend, similar to N-Word Privileges. In one episode when he's watching movies with Mercedes and Rachel, one of the girls says she's feeling emotional and Kurt replies "But our periods don't come until the end of the month."
He's been much less camp recently. While still into fashion, he's much less flamboyant as he grows older.
The Casanova: Puck. Also, Emma tries to tell Will that he is this in her "you're a slut" speech, and he doesn't object, although it doesn't seem to be quite true: he kissed Shelby and Emma, but he married his high school sweetheart (Terri), so chances are she's the only woman he's ever slept with.
Casting Lea Michele (Rachel) and Jonathan Groff (Jesse) as love interests, considering their past in Spring Awakening.
Will has major Ship Tease going on with both Shelby and April, implying either might become part of a Love Triangle. The two are played by Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth who famously were part of a Love Triangle over Fiyero in Wicked.
Barry Bostwick and Meat Loaf both appear in "The Rocky Horror Glee Show," though as conservative strawmen who want Sue to fight the show.
Cast the Expert: Heather Morris was only brought in to teach the Single Ladies dance (she was a back-up dancer for Beyonce on tour) but when the producers needed a third cheerleader, Heather Morris was cast to play Brittany.
Captain Ersatz: A majority of the alter egos of the Superhero Club in "Dynamic Duets" are based off of actual comic book heroes. Blaine lampshades it when Artie dresses as a certain telepathic member of a certain band of mutants, and informs him that members of the club can't dress as existing superheroes or else risk copyright violation.
Artie's Dr. Y is Professor X as noted above, and his name might be a homage to Doctor Who.
Just who starred in Wicked in the Glee universe? Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth, obviously. Likewise Lea Michele presumably still starred in Spring Awakening. There are just a couple people in Lima, Ohio who sort of look like them.
In "Grilled Cheesus," Burt mentions that Kurt has a copy of Grey's Anatomy season 6. April Kepner appears in this season, who looks suspiciously like Suzy Pepper.
Early on in the series, Emma says that there are people out there who get famous without any talent - like John Stamos. I suppose her new boyfriend Carl just happens to look exactly like him.
Will had a storyline when he considered trying to make it on Broadway. Guess it must have been his doppelganger who originated Link Larkin in Hairspray, which must exist in universe, because the kids sang "You Can't Stop the Beat."
Within the first couple of episodes, there's a scene where Finn shows Quinn his name for their baby (Drizzle) and says he got inspiration from Gwyneth Paltrow's baby name, Apple. Fast forward one whole season, and a teacher named Holly Holliday shows up. No one even acknowledges the eerie resemblance.
Champions on the Inside: They lost the regionals at the end of the first season, but they still get determined to do better next time, especially since the Glee club will still be supported.
Character Shilling: For Will and Finn. Particularly, other characters stand around gushing about how talented, good-hearted, and attractive they both are.
The Cheerleader: Between them Quinn, Santana and Brittany pretty much cover all aspects of the trope , though no one character is the trope trifecta of stupid, bitchy and slutty. The offscreen Cheerios seem to fit the Brainless Beauty side of the trope if their test scores are any indication ("I have in my hand a Spanish quiz in which one of your Cheerios misspelled her name & answered every question with a drawing of a sombrero!")
Chekhovs Classroom: Early in "A Night of Neglect," Holly is teaching Brittany and Artie's history class about Hermaphrodite Nazi Sympathizers. Guess what the final category is in the Academic Decathalon?
Chekhov's Gunman: Lauren Zizes appears in several minor parts in the first season but it's not until "Special Education" that she joins the glee club.
Averted with Blaine, who wears dark gray/black/maroon in every scene where he's not in uniform, but has shown himself to be firmly on ND's side now that Regionals is over. In fact, when he transfers to McKinley, Blaine shows up wearing their colors - black shirt, red pants, and a black, red and white bow tie - to tell Kurt about his transfer and perform his introductory number.
Rory Flanagan, the Irish exchange student, wears green shirts throughout most of his first episode. Though this might be Justified in that he's trying to keep up the ruse that he's a leprechaun.
Everyone (with the exception of Mercedes) already knows Kurt is gay before he actually comes out. He even pretends to be straight in "Laryngitis" in hopes that his dad will like him more, and fools pretty much no one except, of course, Brittany.
Santana's got one, too.
Continuity Nod: In "Hold on to Sixteen," when Harmony is singing "Buenos Aires" from Evita, Rachel tells Kurt, "This it torture, I should be singing that song!" - a nod to "Dream On," in which she tells Jesse that starring in Evita is one of her dreams.
Remember Becky Jackson, the cheerleader with Down's Syndrome in episode nine? She's still on the squad six episodes later. In the Season 2 premiere, she's helping Sue with Cheerios auditions, giving her own snarky commentary.
Sue's sister from the same episode also returns for the back nine.
The entire "My Life Would Suck Without You" routine in Episode 13 is a continuity nod to the choreography of many past numbers.
The waitress at the gourmet restaurant (Breadsticks) who Brittany and Santana were rude to in "Hell-O" was the same one who spelled it out to Sue that Will had stood her up in "Funk"
The Hummels and Hudsons eat at this restaurant in "Home" and we see a sign advertising the store in the Mall on Artie and Tina's date in "Dream On".
The female Vocal Adrenaline singer, Andrea Cohen, who sang the "With Ray!" solo during their performance of "Rehab" all the way back in the Pilot and was identified by Rachel in "Acafellas" (1x3) when the Glee kids visit Carmel High, reappears toward the end of the season in "Funk." She's also there when they perform at Regionals.
Finn discovers Sam's awesome voice while he's in the shower singing 80's power ballads . . . the same way Will discovered Finn's voice in the pilot.
"Britney/Brittany" had a subtle (and hilarious) one - Kurt's facial expression upon discovering that Brittany doesn't brush her teeth, harking back to "Laryngitis".
Rachel compares her Britney Spears inspired wardrobe change to her Grease-inspired one in "Britney/Brittany".
Promos for the Superbowl Episode have Sue wearing the fur-lined tracksuit that Kurt recommended Will buy for her in "A Very Glee Christmas".
In "A Very Glee Christmas," Blaine mentions performing in the show at King's Island theme park. In "Silly Love Songs," he says "That was the most embarrassing thing I've ever done—and I've performed at theme parks." In the final scene of "New York," he says that he's trying out for the summer gig at Six Flags.
When the priest at Burt and Carol's wedding skips the customary prayer, a reference to Brittany's line from "Grilled Cheesus": 'Whenever I pray, I fall asleep.'
When Will suggests a solution for Bieste's problem with disunity on the football team Bieste says "you're going to kiss me again" a nod to "Never Been Kissed"
In Season 1 Episode 2 Sue tells Will 'I don't think you will find anyone else to swim over to your Isle of Misfit Toys.' Guess what song is sung in A Very Glee Christmas.
In "Brittney/Brittany", Brittany mentions singing a Ke$ha song. She finally does in "Blame It On the Alcohol".
When Blaine is trying to cheer up Kurt after losing regionals he tells them there are "plenty of GAPs in Ohio."
At the end of "The Rhodes Not Taken", April plans on making an all-white production of The Wiz. In "Rumours" she mentions that it ended up being a disaster.
The pompoms that Kurt and Finn come across in "Funeral" made their first appearance way back in "Wheels".
Puck and math class:
Season 1, episode 6:
Puck: Dude, what's wrong with you? Go see the nurse. Every day, I say I have a headache, I sleep for three hours. I haven't attended a math class in two years.
Season 3, episode 1:
Rachel: The point of the assignment was to find people who couldn't help but join. The more people that we sing in front of, the more chances we have of getting one, okay? It's simple mathematics!
Puck: Which I stopped attending years ago.
In "Asian F", we find out that Figgins still thinks that Tina is a vampire (which she first convinced him of in "Theatricality").
Principal Figgins believes that vampires actually exist and forces Tina to lose her Perky Goth style because Jacob Ben Israel was attacked by rabid Twilight fans and he doesn't want any more incidents. Tina points out that she doesn't even read Twilight or watch the movies because her parents don't allow her to, but she has to do it anyway.
Both Rachel and Emma completely miss the point of Will's "Don't Stand So Close To Me/Young Girl" mashup.
Artie thinking that joining the football team and getting abs is what he needs to do to win Tina back.
In "A Very Glee Christmas" Finn entirely misses the point of Rachel's speech about the Christmas Tree being the foundation of Christmas and the hearth of the Christmas home. He fails to realize that she is actually alluding to their relationship. In the same episode, the entire glee club fails to grasp the meaning of The Gift of the Magi.
In the third season Christmas episode, Artie's been pushed to direct a local Christmas show.
Station Manager: I am absolutely delighted that our channel's Christmas special is being directed by a teenage disabled boy. You're like a modern day Tiny Tim.
Station Manager: Oh, I am sorry. Tiny Tim could walk.
Concert Kiss: Finn and Rachel at the end of "Pretending," complete with Held Gaze. Subverted in that the audience didn't seem too pleased, and all the other New Directions members seem to be of the opinion that it cost them a place at Nationals.
Contractual Immortality: Oh, it's Senior Year and most of the main characters are leaving. Of course New Directions are going to win Nationals.
Double Subverted in Season 4. Marley faints on stage, and the New Directions are disqualified, leaving Dalton Academy as the victors. However, Dalton is convicted of doping, leaving New Directions as the winners by default.
"4 Minutes," too. It was originally sung by a guy and a girl, and still is, but Kurt takes the female role and the line "Come on, boy," becomes "Come on, girl."
"Sing!" from "A Chorus Line" gender-swaps, as well. Mike takes the girl's part and Tina takes the guy's part. As Tina says, it's perfect for them because Mike is insecure about his lack of singing skill.
"Never Been Kissed" invokes this by having New Directions sing gender flipped mash ups of popular songs. And they sound totally awesome.
Averted with "Just The Way You Are." "She" and "her" remain in the song even though it's being sung to Kurt. The lyrics also remain unchanged ("Baby girl, where you at...") when the Warblers and Blaine sing "When I Get You Alone" to Jeremiah.
When Brittany sings "I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)," she swaps the line about needing a man to needing a woman.
A previous, unseen Glee Club member known only as Patches was driven insane by his peers and now lives outside the library.
Rachel encounters one in "New York." He sells her expired tickets to Cats and makes her swipe her credit card through his butt crack.
Crazy-Prepared: Despite Kurt being certain that performing "Music of the Night" is the best audition number he can do, when he decides to switch to "Not the Boy Next Door" immediately before his audition its revealed that he already had backup singers prepared and had the proper outfit underneath his costume.
Creator Cameo: Producer Ian Brennan voices the Previously On segment, and also appeared as Late-Night TV Host and Regionals Judge Svenboolie the vampire. Choreographer Zach Woodlee also appears briefly in "Props" (he's holding the boom box).
Cultural Cringe: A localized version of the trope: several characters utterly despise Lima, OH, and small towns in general, and fantasize about moving to New York (and seem to have a very rose-tinted, idealized view of NYC).
In season four, apparently Bushwick = Williamsburg. Anyone who's ever been to Bushwick knows this is really not the case.
Dance Party Ending: "Prom Queen," while not the big season-ender, definitely falls under this.
The Danza : Jacob Artist as Jacob (Jake) Puckerman.
A Date with Rosie Palms: In "Britney/Brittany," Sue, unfortunately, catches Jacob Ben Israel naked in the school library pleasuring himself to a video of Rachel in her Britney Spears schoolgirl outfit.
Dating Do Si Do: At this point is easier to list the couples who didn't get together at some point.
Dawson Casting: The people playing the "teen" characters are so old that it is hard to tell them apart from the teachers.
"Wheels" shelves a few dominant plot arcs in order to give screentime to secondary characters Kurt, Tina, and Artie. This was the episode in which former background dancer Brittany was elevated to secondary character, as well.
Brittany gets her big moment in the "Britney/Brittany," starring in two songs and basking in the comedy spotlight.
Dave Karofsky and Coach Beiste do not get an episode entirely dedicated to themselves, even though they are both characters with arcs that heavily impact the season. However, they are often featured just as prominently as the main cast in several episodes in which they do appear.
"Asian F" for Mike Chang. We meet his family, find out about their expectations for him and his own dreams, and we get to hear him sing (for real this time).
Dawson Casting: Most of the cast, but especially Harry Shum Jr., Cory Monteith, and Mark Salling, all of whom are only four years younger than Matthew Morrison. Inverted in the case of Matthew Morrison, who was 31 when the series premiered (born 1978). Will's Nationals performance happened in 1993, when he was (presumably) 18, which would have made him born in 1975, and the character three years older than the actor.
During the first season, there was a lot of kerfuffle regarding some—ahem!—pictures of the cast appearing in a gentlemen's mag. The reason: despite the cast pictured being above the age of majority and hence able to appear in the magazine in fairly provocative poses, they were portraying high school students in the series, resulting in some mixed messages occurring.
However, the show didn't really have a choice due to the fact the cast works very long hours that would violate Hollywood's child labor laws.
Terri. When the show started, it looked like she was going to be a regularly appearing character, and for the first half of Season 1, she was. After her fake pregnancy was exposed, however, she started appearing more and more sporadically in the second half. In Season 2 she only appeared a couple times at most and was eventually Put on a Bus.
Emma in season 3
Tina virtually doesn't exist anymore except to further Mike's storyline. All the character development she's had since Season 1 has happened off screen, and then finally she disappears for an entire episode without any mention as to why. The focus came back in"Props", however, were she finally got her own plot and was also set up to be the female lead in season 4.
Ken Tanaka began as a major character, to the point he could even be seen as a Distaff Counterpart to Sue and/or Terri. After the first half of season 1 he only made a couple of appearances and then was Put on a Bus over the summer and replaced by Beiste.
Denser and Wackier: Many have noticed a general trend in this direction. The first half of the first season was a lot darker and, except for explicit fantasy sequences, seemed committed to making sure their stage numbers were possible in a school undergoing a budget crisis. Since the second half of Season 1, it's increasingly moved away from realistic musical numbers, with brand-new, out-of-this-world costumes for every number and extras ranging from harpists to gospel choirs.
Dustin Goolsby: "Admit it. I'm handsome, I'm good looking and I'm easy on the eyes. Also, I'm gorgeous."
Don't forget that Jesse St. James has a full ride to the University of California, Los Angeles. Maybe you've heard of it. It's in Los Angeles.
Depending on the Writer: The show had three different writers for the first two seasons, which is why it almost seems like three different shows in one. Season 3 hired 6 new writers and it went as well as expected.
Designated Hero/Designated Villain: An In-Universe example. When Mercedes demands that Sue returns the tots to the cafeteria, she is treated as the hero, despite Sue pointing out that the nutrition in the school really is terrible and Mercedes' reaction to seeing broccoli was to think it was a toilet brush.
Deus ex Machina: In Season 4, the discovery that the Warblers used steroids during their Sectionals performance functions as one of these, reversing the loss that the New Directions suffered. It's especially bad in this case because there's no reason at all that the first event should result in the second. The New Directions were disqualified for breaking a show choir rule, something that should remain the same regardless of whether or not the Warblers cheated.
Shockingly, Sue: "I sold my house to a nice young couple and salted the earth in the backyard so that nothing could grow there for 100 years. Know why I did that? Because they tried to get me to pay their closing costs."
In the episode 'Special Education'. Finn lies to Rachel about sleeping with Santana the previous year before he and Rachel became a couple. In response to the revelation Rachel decides to hurt Finn in the best way she can think of by hooking up with his best friend who happens to be the same dude that knocked up his OTHER ex. This was supposed to make them even. Finn didn't see it that way.
Vocal Adrenaline TP's the choir room. Puck and Finn slash their tires.
Santana bullies Finn calling him fat and talentless. He responds by outing her in a crowded hallway.
During the Screaming Birth/"Bohemian Rhapsody" montage, a nurse says, "The baby's crowning!" after which it cuts to Jesse emerging from a circle of Vocal Adrenaline dancers.
Bryan Ryan bemoans "I've been living a lie!" and admits he's been telling his wife that he's going on "business trips" when he's actually visiting New York to see Broadway plays. He has a secret stash of playbills in the basement, which is lampshaded immediately afterwards. "Like porn, Will!" (Ryan is played be Neil Patrick Harris, who came out of the closet several years earlier).
In "Rocky Horror Glee Show," Will objects to Figgins punishing Finn for walking around the school in his Rocky Horror costume (Underwear and glasses) saying that when Santana "pantsed" Brittany, she was showing a lot less than her underwear. Figgins said that that was in a moment of celebration.
Double Meaning Title: The Season 4 premiere, The New Rachel: It's both about New Direction's quest for the next big star of the club, who they refer to as "the new Rachel," as well as (the old) Rachel learning to adapt in New York and become a "new and improved" version of herself.
Figgins comes down on Santana and Brittany for making out, but Rachel and Finn are allowed to kiss for several minutes with no complaints. Santana is understandably pissed off by this.
There were several instances of gay couples' kisses being cut from montages by Fox.
Invoked in-universe by Jake. He thinks it's unfair that he gets called out for wanting to sing a Chris Brown song because of Brown's alleged abuse of Rhianna, but no one has a problem singing Britney Spears or Whitney Houston songs despite their own less-than-perfect behavior.
Dramatic Irony: Many of the scenes involving Will and Finn's reactions to Terri and Quinn's pregnancies respectively - after the audience is made aware that Terri isn't really pregnant, and Puck is the real father of Quinn's baby. One of the best examples is in "Mash-Up" when the other football players are teasing Finn about joining glee, and one of them offers this (not knowing just how close to the truth he is):
Azimio: "Can't believe you was man enough to knock up Quinn Fabray. You sure a real man didn't sneak in there and do it for you?"
Dr. Feelgood: Whoever supplied Sandy with medicinal marijuana.
"Last Christmas" was a standalone single released in 2009 and didn't appear in the show...until the 2010 Christmas episode.
Both Samuel Larson and Alex Newell sang on the 2011 Christmas Album, even though their characters won't be appearing until the 2012 half of the season.
Empty Piles of Clothing: Parodied in when Kitty punishes Dottie Kazatori. She has her Left Behind Club leave piles of clothing all over the meeting room right after Dottie leaves, and when she returns she thinks the rapture has occurred and she thinks the rapture occured.
In "Journey," Sue defends New Directions against the other judges, seeing them as not having the right to mock the group due to not being personally involved with them like she is.
The football bullies will throw slushies at people they deem 'uncool,' beat up gay kids, harass anyone in Glee, particularly their fellow jocks, but their moral code won't let them punch Artie because he's in a wheelchair. This is a Retcon, actually, because earlier in the series, they had no problem wit the idea of locking him in a porta potty and tipping it over.
Santana and Sebastian might be conniving and vicious as all get out, but even they will admit that things have gone too far when someone attempts suicide.
In "Thanksgiving", Santana says that Kitty is pure evil. Santana said that. Granted, this is long after she stopped being "evil" per se, but she has clearly lost none of her capacity for Brutal Honesty.
Estranged Soap Family: Very few of the parents on Glee show up to watch their kids, and even some of the ones who have been established to support the club are absent during important performances.
Everyone Can See It: Finn points this out about Santana and Brittany's relationship in "Mash Off."
Evil Laugh: Sue gives a pretty good one when she tells Will that Beiste is quitting.
Evil Versus Evil: The rivalry between the football team and the hockey team sometimes comes across like this, especially with the more jerk-ish members of the teams. Both teams have members that like to bully the less "popular" students.
"Candles," the duet between Kurt and Blaine at Regionals, is considered by many to be the weakest Warbler song due to way in which Kurt and Blaine's registers clash. Normally the songs are overseen by music producer Adam Anders, but writer Ryan Murphy intervened for this song and specifically requested that it be sung in those registers.
In the original draft for "Pilot," Rachel uses YouTube to upload her songs (as a normal person in the year 2009 would do) but in the actual show version she uses Myspace. Why the change? The fact that the same company that owns Myspace also owns Fox, the network that airs Glee in the US, probably has something to do with it.
All of the NYADA Hopefuls are clones of either Kurt or Rachel, and they all seem to be wearing bits and pieces of the characters' previous outfits.
Kitty and Jake are expys of Quinn and Puck from early in the show. It seems that most of season 4's new characters are expys of previous characters: Marley = Rachel, Marley's mom = Bieste, Blaine (although not new) = Kurt, Unique/Wade = Mercedes, Jake = Puck, Ryder = Finn, and Kitty = a cross between Quinn and Santana.
Eye Scream: Blaine's eye getting pierced after being slushied by Sebastian (the slushie contained rock salt).
Face Heel Turn: Mercedes, Santana, and Brittany when they quit Glee Club to join Troubletones. Of course they later rejoin New Directions.
Fake American: Finn, Terri, and Sugar are all played by Canadians.
First Kiss: It turns out that neither Kurt nor Beiste have ever been kissed, and lose theirs by the end of ..."Never Been Kissed". Except that in Kurt's case, he kissed Brittany in "Laryngitis" when he pretended to be straight. This was simply his first kiss with another boy, hence his line to Blaine that it was the first one that "counted."
First Name Basis: Rachel, who continues to be the only person to call Noah Puckerman solely by his first name. The rest of the cast refers to him as Puck or Puckerman.
Five-Token Band: The original 5; Kurt (gay), Mercedes (African American), Artie (paraplegic), Tina (Asian) and Rachel (Jewish and the daughter of mixed-race, same-sex parents). The writers originally planned to have another character in the glee club named Rajish. Kurt replaced him.
Sue: Now, your performance, very same exam, unearthed the hitherto undiscovered grade, F Minus. You answered every question with "see other side", where you composed an elaborate crayon-scape entitled "Happyville: The Town Where Math Was Never Invented". Brittany: Yeah, that's me, and that's Santana, and that's Kurt and Rachel in Heaven, and look, that's you.
At the end of "Original Song," during the judging scene, there is a poster for the stage show, Wicked. Easily passed off as 'just a stage musical reference' at the time, but come "New York," Kurt and Rachel take a visit to the Broadway set of Wicked.
This is very subtle and possibly unintentional, but Sebastian called Blaine to ask how to remove a wine stain from his Dalton jacket. Guess what the first aid for a fresh (red) wine stain is? Rub salt into it. A few episodes later, Sebastian threw a rock salt laced slushie at Blaine (although it was meant for Kurt), lacerating his eye.
Karofsky's apology speech for the New Directions in "Born This Way". "[Santana] showed me all these stories online about kids who had jumped off roofs or hanged themselves because of bullying". Come "On My Way", where Karofsky is outed in his new school, gets bullied, and tries to hang himself.
The show in general, really. It especially takes this idea starting around season 2 and runs with it.
Freudian Excuse: Both Finn and Puck had no father figures due to Finn's dying and Puck's being a deadbeat. So naturally both want to be there for Quinn when she announces her pregnancy.
Freudian Slip: Santana has one after realizing the perfect plan to use Karofsky to get Kurt back at McKinley and become Prom Queen.
Santana: I've gotta gay. Go! I've gotta go.
Friends Rent Control : As of the fourth season, Rachel and Kurt live in a huge loft in Brooklyn for $1800 a month. While that's cheap for NY real estate, it's not explained how they're paying for it, since Rachel is a student and Kurt an intern. Handwaved by being located 45 minutes from NYADA.
Front 13 Back 9+44/Series Fauxnale: The writers weren't sure the show was going to be picked up for a full first season. The 13th episode (which was as many as they had confirmed at first) was specifically written to be decent enough series finale if they got cancelled. (Glee club won their competition and the major plots of the first 13 were adequately wrapped up) However, the show ended up being a hit and got picked up for at least three seasons before the first season was finished.
Seen during "Duets," when Santana and Brittany are necking. Brittany brings up wanting to sing Melissa Etheridge's "Come to My Window" with Santana, who promptly freaks out at the thought of wanting to make "ladybabies" with Brittany, disguising their previous necking as her needing "something warm under [her] to help digest [her] food" while Puck is in juvie.
In "Sexy" Santana reveals that her previous panic and bitchiness was just a way to hide from feelings that scared her. She admits to Brittany that she loves her, but Brittany gently turns her down because she doesn't want to hurt Artie.
Geographic Flexibility: Possibly. It takes almost two hours to drive from Lima to Westerville, yet the New Directions/Dalton Warblers interact an awful lot (well, Kurt and Mercedes and Blaine, anyway) and even hang out at the same restaurant. It's never been said where Blaine lives, however, and he could commute to Westerville to go to Dalton Academy like Kurt had to when he transferred there.
Becky (to Sue): Hey coach, is that a sniper in the rafters?
Gonna Need More X: When Kurt rehearses "Music of the Night" for his NYADA audition, the stage is littered with candles and candelabras. When reconsidering his song choice, he says he needs something fresh, something new, something exciting... or maybe he just needs more candles.
Blaine: No more candles. Oh God, no more candles.
Graduate from the Story: Technically eight members graduated from Lima at the end of season 3. However, Rachel, Kurt, and Santana receive a decent chunk of screen time due to the New York narrative, and Finn spent a majority of season 4 hanging around Lima.
Gray and Grey Morality: Everyone on the show, no matter how "good," seems to have very human moral failings. And Sue, who's admittedly a scary dark shade of gray, has her moments of decency (every scene with her sister or Becky, for example).
Greek Chorus: It varies, but any of the minor characters can fall under this.
Happy Ending: In "Sectionals:" the Glee club winning despite Sue's machinations, Principal Figgins taking Sue off the Cheerios and suspending her, Will leaving Terri and running down the hallway in slow motion after Emma and finally kissing her after half a season of UST. This is likely due to the fact that the episode was planned as a series finale if FOX dropped the show.
Averted in the first two seasons. While New Directions is good and certaintly has a lot of heart, they neither beat Vocal Adrenaline in Regionals in season 1, nor Nationals in season 2.
Rachel and Kurt's respective NYADA Auditions. Rachel picks a song she already knows forward and backward, and messes it up on top of that. That's not to mention the mark on Rachel's disciplinary record from having stuffed the ballot box earlier in the year. Meanwhile, Kurt goes with a more difficult, risky song (complete with elaborate routine, backup dancers and costumes) and performs it very well, according to the judge. Guess who ultimately makes the cut.
Jesse St. James. He dates Rachel and ostensibly transfers schools for her, turns out to be The Mole for Shelby, comes back as the an evil, mean-spirited "helper" for the New Directions in Season 2, and then as Vocal Adrenaline's mean-spirited coach for Season 3.
Hide Your Pregnancy: After Heather Morris became pregnant, Brittany was noticeably absent for a couple episodes. She comes back for the season 4 finale and it is explained that she will no longer be attending McKinley (and therefore why her character will either not be on the show ever again or for... a while). Heather has a noticeable baby bump that was clearly trying to be hidden with some looser clothes.
Sue - in most of season one, she tries to have the Glee Club disbanded, but when Principal Figgins threatens to disband it at the end of the first season, Sue goes out of her way to save it, only to go back into "I hate the Glee Club" mode at the start of Season 2.
Pretty much the entire school - the Glee Club switch from Slushee targets to heroes when they win Nationals in Season 3, but at the start of Season 4, "order is restored" and they're back to being last-class citizens at the school.
High School Sweethearts: Will and Terri. Not a happy example of this one. Quinn tried to invoke this with her and Finn.
Hoist By Her Own Petard: What really ruined Sue's plot to destroy the glee club is that the setlists she leaked to the other choir directors were on Cheerios letterhead ("Circumstantial evidence"), in her own handwriting ("I didn't do it") and personally signed by Sue herself. ("FORGERIES!") Once New Directions won the other judges sent the evidence to Principal Figgins. The list of progressive excuses is lifted from Sherlock Holmes's own list in Scandal in Bohemia: Maybe she thought she had good precedent.
Hopeless Auditionees: With the New Directions becoming popular by the start of season 4, everybody wants to join. The seem to have forgotten they need talent, however, leading to one of these.
Hope Spot: In-Universe. Sue was told Jean probably wouldn't live past 30. But then she turned 35, then 40, then 50, and Sue finally believed that they could grow old together. Unfortunately, Jean passed away in "Funeral."
Compare Tina's audition number in the pilot to the group rendition of "I Kissed a Girl" in the season three episode of the same name.
How The Character Stole Christmas: One of the subplots of "A Very Glee Christmas," with—you guessed it—Sue as the Grinch who tries to steal Christmas from the Glee club (and it's even invoked, with Sue dressing up in a Santa suit and green facepaint and Becky dressing up as Max). There's even a scene with Sue and Brittany that parallels the one with the Grinch and Cindy Lou Who, and towards the end of the episode the Glee Club performs "Welcome Christmas."
6'3" Cory "Frankenteen" Monteith with 5'2" Lea Michele.
Mercedes and Shane.
Human Cannonball: Sue attempts to use this as part of the cheerleading routine at Nationals, willfully ignoring that this type of stunt is very dangerous outside a cartoon. She is called on this by Quinn and Santana who quit the team in protest right before the competition.
Hypocrite: Although he was cheated on by his last two girlfriends and pretty broken up about it, Finn's more than eager to help Quinn cheat on Sam with him.
And when she points that out he explains that when they cheated on him, it meant that they didn't love him.
Blaine in "'Dance With Somebody" tears down Kurt for flirting through texts with a guy he met in a music store, despite allowing Sebastian's flirtation for months. Blaine does address this, saying that his communication with Sebastian was always "family-friendly," as the show itself seems undecided in whether Blaine's telling the truth or just trying to save face.
In "Sexy", Blaine is completely okay with using sex appeal during a performance. Then, during season's 3 "Hold on to Sixteen", he describes it as "selling themselves", and tears down Sam for suggesting to do so.
Also all the Glee Club members who join in 'It's Not Right But It's OK'. Almost all of them have cheated or helped cheating on someone.
Sue is this for many people since she preached against bullying even though she's one of the most vicious ones herself.
The football team. They love to pick on the Glee club for being "losers", despite the fact that they themselves never win any football matches! In fact, they only began to win games after the "losers" from Glee club joined them.
In the season four episode Swan Song, Finn, as the new Glee club coach, acts as if the club members have committed some sort of mortal sin by joining other clubs after the club loses Sectionals and Sue takes over their choir room, conveniently forgetting that when he was in high school, he was in Glee club while simultaneously playing football and no one complained about that.
Idiot Ball: Seasons 2 and 3 of Glee seem to run on this.
I Gave My Word: Sam gave one to Finn during "Duets." When Finn tells him that he shouldn't sing a duet with Kurt because that will make him a target for bullies and "we live in their world." Sam replies that he gave Kurt his word and in his world, that's that.
Will: Brittany, who told you to ask these?! Brittany: Miss Sylvester says I'm not at liberty to say.
I'll Pretend I Didn't Hear That: In "Extraordinary Merry Christmas," the guy hiring Artie as a director calls Artie "a modern day Tiny Tim." When he draws an offended look from Artie, he says "I'm sorry. Tiny Tim could walk." Artie's response is "In the spirit of Christmas, I'll pretend you never said that."
Important Haircut: Quinn. Initially played straight in "New York" where cutting her hair is enough to help stop her from trying to sabotage their chances at Nationals, but later subverted when it turns out cutting her hair didn't really fix her problems to set her off on a path of positive character growth.
Kurt's crushes on Finn and Sam, and Mercedes and Brittany's interest in Kurt. As you can see, this involves Kurt a lot.
Rachel's interest in Blaine in "Blame it on the Alcohol."
Puck acknowledges this with Santana in "I Kissed a Girl," joking that "I know I was just a phase." She also deals with this from a rugby player who hits on her in the hallway, saying she just needs to "find the right guy."
Tina's crush on Blaine.
Blaine's crush on Sam.
Indecisive Parody: Because the show has three runners who take turns writing episodes, it can really oscillate in its tone and message. Is this show a quirky high school drama with comedic elements (and awesome music) or is it a comedic parody of a high school drama (with awesome music)? No one seems to be sure, as the show veers wildly back and forth, sometimes not taking itself seriously enough for the former, and sometimes taking itself way too seriously for the latter.
Pretty much any "bad" song is still better than most people would be able to do in real life. This was especially obvious in "Sectionals," when a judge comments the McKinley kids looked "under-rehearsed" in a performance that's still better than many school/amateur groups could manage with several weeks' practice.
Their fictional version of Lima is made out to be a bad place to live and the school is almost constantly undergoing budget cuts yet almost everyone seems to have an Upper Middle Class lifestyle and McKinley is a pretty rich-looking high school. They can even afford fog machines and costumes, apparently.
Quinn's official Facebook page makes her out to be ditzy and lacking in knowledge about some really basic things, but that's seemingly contradicted by who she is in-story: a straight-A student who kept up her average even during an unwanted pregnancy and gets into Yale early-admission; even outside of the classroom, her intelligence shows through her role as a Deadpan Snarker.
Will's drinking problem comes out of nowhere, and somehow Sue knows all about it. He goes from having a beer with dinner to grading drunk to deciding he has a problem and is going to quit drinking.
Finn's weight. While clearly lacking the six pack abs of Sam and Mike, he's not remotely overweight by any standard and yet any insult sent his way that isn't about his truly terrible dancing is usually about him being fat.
Artie is this occasionally, though it's not his entire character.
This also applies to the two characters with Down's Syndrome, Sue's sister Jean and Becky the cheerleader, although the latter seems to be breaking away from it.
Then there's Shawn the quadriplegic from "Laryngitis," an unabashedly heavy-handed use of this trope, not helped by the fact that the character was never seen again now that he's taught us all his lesson.
Made all the more ridiculous by the fact that Finn and Rachel see a paraplegic every day at school. Apparently, he's not sad enough to serve this purpose.
Usually averted, with backing vocals coming from the rest of the cast and a lot of instrumentals done a cappella. However, does crop up occasionally, especially in the more spontaneous That Reminds Me of a Song numbers.
Used more and more these days. In "The Power of Madonna," during "Like A Prayer," Mercedes sings the line "let the choir sing!": cue a curtain being raised to reveal that their high school auditorium suddenly has a stained glass window and contains a full gospel choir.
Lampshaded in "Theatricality"
Rachel(on the subject of the pianist): He's always around.
It's All About Me: Rachel interprets any attempt Will makes to give another glee member some of the spotlight as personal sabotage. She seemed to be getting better, only to revert back in the season two opener when a wonderfully talented exchange student wanted to audition.
It's a Wonderful Plot: Artie's Dream Sequence in "Glee, Actually", where he visits a parallel universe in which he was never paralyzed and Rory acts as his Clarence. Artie never provided the spirit to keep the glee club together, Will is still married to Terri and became an alcoholic, Kurt wasn't able to graduate and never met Blaine, Rachel is stuck as the school librarian, the jocks are still jerks, with Finn being the biggest homophobic jerk of all of them, Becky didn't develop any self-respect and thus became the school slut (and she is pregnant) and Quinn lost the will to live after her accident, her body and her mind broken.
Somewhat justified in that Quinn is often shown to be an excellent student and her parents are implied to be very rich.
In "Sadie Hawkins", Lauren Zizes tells the "Too Young to Be Bitter" club that the dance empowered her to apply for a wrestling scholarship at Harvard. Ivy League schools don't offer athletic scholarships.
Jerk Ass: Olivia Newton-John in "Journey." Dear God... damn far cry from how she is in real life. Let's put it this way: Fictional!Olivia Newton-John is so utterly callous and self-absorbed that Sue Sylvester is disgusted.
Jerk Ass Has A Point: Sue and Bryan Ryan have a duelling Jerk Ass session in which they drop a number of necessary anvils about the utility of athletics/phys-ed and drama/music. Then they anger-bang.
Sue rightfully pointing out that by denying Wade the chance to go onstage and go Grease, she's protecting...it...from a lot of hate. Then again, she also states that most of the hate would be spurred on by her as well.
Jerk Jock: Puck was this originally, Finn was by peer pressure. Once they joined Glee, Karofsky and Azimio stepped up as the lead bullies. Once Beiste forced the football team to be nice to the glee kids, the hockey players took up the bullying torch in season 3. The boys who out Karofsky at his new school also count.
Sue cracking wise about Burt's near death from heart attack. Even for her that was a low blow.
Sue cracking weight jokes to a distraught Beiste in 'Choke' comes off as a Kick the Dog moment in a supposed Pet the Dog moment.
Terri tearing Emma to shreds might also qualify.
Jesse and Vocal Adrenaline luring Rachel out into the parking lot and egging her. No matter how much you may dislike Rachel, she didn't deserve that. Hell, even putting aside the horribleness of the act itself, Rachel'svegan.
This is the general reaction to the rare instances of people being mean to Brittany.
Lecherous Licking: In "Blame It on the Alcohol," Santana pours salt on Brittany's stomach and licks it off.
Left the Background Music On: A subtle example in "Silly Love Songs": when Blaine reveals that the guy he's going to serenade at Valentine's isn't Kurt, Kurt makes an Oh Crap face and dramatic music starts playing. The scene immediately cuts to a gramophone playing the same music in Rachel's room, where Kurt is having a sleepover with Mercedes and Rachel and lamenting said inconvenient plot twist.
LeagueOfDoom: In her irrational quest to destroy Will and to a lesser extent the Glee club, Sue put together one of these. Hilariously, it fails.
Loads and Loads of Characters: Put it this way, a Season Four promotional group shot featured eighteen characters (main cast and recurring) and was notably missing no less than eight other characters of similar standing.
Loophole Abuse: Ain't no rule that says a wheelchair can't be used as a battering ram in football!
Lord, where does one even begin? In season one there's the Rachel/Finn/Quinn/Puck/Kurt relationship with Rachel and Puck dating briefly and Santana and Brittany trying to seduce Finn into a menage a trois, then there's the Terri/Will/Emma/Ken grouping. There's even a conjunction between the two groupings when Rachel gets a short-lived crush on Will.
For season two, "Blame It On the Alcohol" takes the cake with the Kurt-Blaine-Rachel-Finn-Quinn-Sam-Santana-Brittany-Artie-Tina-Mike thing. Plus Puck tying in via Santana and Quinn, Lauren tying in via Puck, and Mercedes tying in via Sam.
Season four becomes the most extravagant of all and a visual can be found here. No one has less than five spokes!
Love Epiphany: Blaine for Kurt when he sees Kurt performing "Blackbird." Santana for Brittany while singing "Landslide" together with Holly.
In "Rumours" when Rachel and Finn bring Sam back the guitar bought back for him by the glee club after he sold it with all his other possessions.
Will occasionally has episodes of these. Particular examples are when he discovers Teri isn't pregnant and at the end of Season One when the class performs "To Sir, With Love."
Matzo Fever: The reason Puck and Rachel date. Not to mention that the former is a total Ladies Man who managed to steal his best friend's devout Christian girlfriend and the latter is the definition of Hollywood Dateless, especially considering her Stalker with a Crush is named Jacob Ben Israel.
Meaningful Background Event: At the beginning of "The Substitute," several Cheerios are seen carrying a large trophy down the hallway. Shortly later we realize that Sue is the new principal, and it's being moved to her new office. When Sue resigns at the end of "Furt," the cheerios carry the same trophy down the hallway in the opposite direction.
Meat O Vision: Mercedes, forced to diet by Sue, starts seeing the rest of the glee club as desserts (and a burger), before passing out. Quinn tells her that she went through the same thing.
Miss Conception: Finn believes Quinn when she claims he got her pregnant from premature ejaculation in the hot tub.
Mood Whiplash: In "Shooting Star", the episode goes from the Glee choir singing "More Than Words" to Brittany's cat Lord Tubbington to Gun shots going off in the school with students and teachers fearing for their lives.
When "Showmance" aired, some groups were angry because the show was showing kids act "sexy."
An in-universe example: After the sexy "Push It" number, Will explained to Rachel that the inappropriate performance, while popular with the student body, would discourage parents from letting their kids join glee club. Also, in response to the performance Principal Figgins composed a list of "approved" songs that the club could sing, with help from his pastor. Rachel looks at the list and asks what a luftballon is, referencing the song "99 Luftballons," a song about an accidentally triggered apocalypse - possibly a Take That at the cluelessness and/or mixed-up priorities of Moral Guardians.
Conservative parents were once more angered by Blaine and Kurt's kiss scene, though one has to wonder why any of them were surprised in a show that is so upfront about its pro-gay message.
Also a common reaction to certain photo shoots where the Glee actors (particularly Lea Michele and Dianna Agron) have dressed in provocative clothing, often coupled with a strange expectation that adult actors are required to act like they are minors if they happen to play them on TV.
"The First Time" is the most controversial episode so far—even airing with a content warning—for dealing with Kurt and Blaine losing their virginity to each other. This is despite the fact that their love scene was no more risque than Brittany's and Santana's a season prior.
Sue's sister has Down's Syndrome and lives in a nursing home. Sue goes to visit after work frequently and reads fairytales to her. This continues later, as while talking about her sister, Sue reveals that her relentless mocking of Will's hair is due to her feeling insecure about her own hair, which was badly damaged in a childhood incident and can't do much more than the "Florence Henderson look." (Given the absurdity of that anecdote, it seems likely that it was a lie.)
Beth is one for Quinn and Puck.
Moral Myopia: Many of the character suffer from this but none worse than Finn Hudson. He cheats on Quinn in "Showmance" and he's just confused about his feelings. Rachel cheats on him and he treats it like a crime against humanity. He entices Quinn to cheat on Sam with him (just weeks after breaking up with Rachel for the exact same thing) and he just has unresolved feelings for her. It's all right for him to out Santana, because she's called him fat and untalented. Screaming at the Glee club for joining other activities is fine, despite that he was on the football team for three years.
Motive Decay: After Principal Figgins reveals in "Wheels" that the Cheerios boosters "write fat checks" to pay for most of their expenses, it becomes unclear why Sue needs to bring down New Directions in order to finance even her more lavish Cheerios demands. If her donors can finance plane tickets to Albuquerque, they can certainly afford a fog machine. So what is Sue's motive - if she has one to begin with?
Special mention must go to Chord Overstreet (Sam) showing up shirtless in nearly every episode.
Mushroom Samba: The kids' performances in "Vitamin D" along with a good chunk of Finn's performance after Terri gets him started on the stuff.
Also in "The Substitute," Will hallucinates the entire Glee Club as toddlers when he first catches a cold of the semester. Later, he has an over-the-top dream sequence of him and Mike dancing to "Make 'em Laugh".
In Season 2's Auditions, Sunshine and Rachel start a duet of "Telephone" before Sue barges into the bathroom and tells them to SHUT UP.
Tina starts performances of both "My Funny Valentine" (in "Silly Love Songs") and "I Follow Rivers" (in "A Night of Neglect") before breaking down into tears.
And then there's the moment in "Ballad" from Season 1, with Rachel and Will riding his car. Rachel's got a crush on Will, and she asks him to put a tape in the stereo so that she can sing "Crush" to him, but she doesn't get more than 10 seconds into the song before Will ejects the tape out of embarrassment.
Musical World Hypotheses: Ryan Murphy has three rules for the musical numbers: "It will be done where they’re on stage rehearsing or performing or whether they’re in the rehearsal room, or it will sort of be in that sort of fantasy that has been routed on the stage, and you realize that they were performing it in their head or performing out to the auditorium the entire time." In troper terms, all the musical numbers have to either be diegetic or all in the character's heads. In other words, it has to make sense in narrative context.
Some musical numbers have been very close to breaking these rules, but it still remains.
In the episode "Never Been Kissed", in which the guys... and Tina uses Beiste as a "cool down"...
Will: I am actually ashamed of you. You really hurt someone who was a great addition to this school. Rachel: I’m sorry. What exactly did we do? Finn: No, it’s us. The boys. Mike: And Tina. Finn: We sort of... figured out that picturing Bieste while making out was even better than a cold shower. I mean I don’t, ever.
The only time Sue calls Emma by her correct name is in the pilot. All other times, she has "mistakenly" called her names like Irma, Alma, Ellen, Arlene, You, or the Redhead.
Sue appears to not do this purely out of malice. In Furt she claims that her repeated references to Kurt as "Lady" were because she thought it was his name - though she has referred to him by name on-screen in previous episodes. When Kurt points out that he takes offense to it, she allows him to choose a different nickname for her to call him. He chooses the name Porcelain, which she uses exclusively afterwards. The implication is that the nicknames are a way for Sue to express contempt, respect or possibly even affection without losing her Drill Sergeant Nasty persona. Of course, only Sue knows which she's expressing at any given time.
Nature Abhors a Virgin: Will finds out that Emma is still a virgin, and - along with other reasons (like her OCD and Will's recent divorce) - this is grounds for them to "take a break" from each other.
Naughty Nun: Loretta Devine guest stars as a stripper-turned-nun who judges Regionals in "Original Song."
Will cooperating with Sue in order to help her make Coach Bieste her new nemesis. This results in Bieste getting very mad when Finn tries to get Artie onto the team. She kicks him off the team, and before that tells Will that she had heard that Will was really cool and that Sue was the school bully. Nice job, Will.
Rachel causes Sunshine to join Vocal Adrenaline because, in order to keep the girl from stealing her spotlight, she sent her to a crack house. Sue, of course, is the cause of getting Vocal Adrenaline to take Sunshine on.
Rachel's dads' plan to stop Rachel getting married by encouraging Rachel and Finn to go for it.
Possibly averted with Brittany, though the show oftens seems to not take bisexuality seriously. Brittany has never officially declared herself bisexual; in fact, the show seems to be taking pains to avoid the word, instead using more ambiguous words like "bicurious" or "fluid" to describe Brittany's sexuality, words that leave plenty of room for a Hand Wave that she is straight/lesbian. Add that to the Word of Gay on Santana, and Ryan Murphy's apparent belief that bisexual kids don't need TV role models the way gay kids do, and you can see why many fans predict Brittany's sexuality will wind up being either gay or straight.
And then there's the painful episode in which Blaine thinks he may be bisexual because he enjoyed drunk kissing a girl and Kurt tells him that "Bisexual is a term that gay guys in high school use when they want to hold hands with girls and feel like a normal person for a change." Blaine doescall him out on the hypocrisy, but then he ends up still identifying as gay at the end of the episode. So now bisexuality isn't for kids who want to stay in the closet, it's a product of drunkenness!
It should be noted that Kurt never apologized and the episode was set up for us to sympathise with Kurt (you know, not the kid questioning his sexuality).
No Celebrities Were Harmed: Tammy Jean Albertson is a blatant expy of some modern conservative politicians (mainly Sarah Palin and Christine "I'm not a witch" O'Donnell). Made even funnier as she's played by Kathy Griffin.
Non Sequitur Thud: April gives Kurt alcohol to boost his confidence. Suffice to say he can't hold it too well.
Kurt: Oh Bambi. I cried so hard when those hunters shot your mommy.
That scene is a rather delightful example of "Non Sequitur Puke".
No Yay: In-universe example with Santana and Karofsky. Tina thinks she might throw-up. Puck nearly does.
Not So Different: The kids spent three years complaining about Rachel hogging the spotlight. What happens after she graduates? The senior members bitch at each other about who should be "the new Rachel," completely forgetting the gripe they had with the old one.
A song in the cafeteria is met by someone throwing a plateful of spaghetti at the club. Puck barely has time to say "Oh god, no" before a food fight erupts.
Kurt's reaction to the massive support Brittany receives for her Senior President campaign.
Kurt congratulates Harmony on her Sectionals Performance in "Hold On To Sixteen." Her reply?
Harmony: Good thing I'm only a sophomore; next year's going to be a bloodbath! Kurt makes an D: face
After Karofsky shows up in his gorilla suit to confess his love to Kurt on Valentine's day in the third season and Kurt shoots him down, only for Karofsky to turn around and see someone from his football team.
Jesse's reaction when he sees Wade Performing as Unique, his female alter-ego.
Kurt and Finn's reaction when they see Rachel completly fail her audition for NYADA.
Ominous Latin Chanting: "O Fortuna" is used to hilarious effect during the Will vs. Sue scenes in "Throwdown."
Again in Season 2's "The Sue Sylvester Shuffle" as Sue destroys Principle Figgins' waiting room and the football locker room and even abuses a few students.
This happens a third time early in Season 4, when Figgins makes it clear that he's fine with Finn leading the New Directions. Sue once again terrifies the students outside Figgins' office by knocking books down and pulling glasses off a student's face and throwing them across the hall. Figgins finally reacts quickly enough to throw a verbal response her way while she continues:
Figgins: You are a menace to the state of Ohio!
Once an Episode: In any episode of season two, you have a good chance that Sam'll take his shirt off and Kurt'll cry. Though not at the same time, mind you.
Once a Season: The sixth episode of every season is a mash-off competition. In the first two seasons it was boys vs. girls ("Vitamin D" and "Never Been Kissed"), and in the third it was New Directions vs. The Troubletones ("Mash Off").
Operation Jealousy: Brittany dates Artie to get back at Santana, and Artie plays along to get back at Tina. Neither are aware of the other's ploy, though. To be fair, they do to develop genuine feelings for each other, proven when Santana admits her feelings to Brittany and Brittany rejects her in favor of Artie.
Opposing Sports Team: Mostly averted with the two teams Glee faces in "Sectionals" (their teachers cheat, but they feel bad about it and admit to it); played straight with Vocal Adrenaline, the "evil empire" of show choir.
Out-of-Character Moment: Will's furious reaction to finding out about the faked pregnancy. Some people have argued it resembles domestic abuse, but it's precisely how far that is from his usual personality that make it so chilling. Frequently referred to as "Five minutes of Mad Men in the middle of Glee."
Overly Long Gag: In "Britney/Brittany," Jacob's now infamous jizz in his pants during the "Toxic" number.
Rachel and Puck try this but it doesn't workout. This doesn't stop the shippers, seeing as Puckleberry has some of the most vocal fans in the online community.
Possibly Mercedes and Sam, as well.
Pandering to the Base: In-universe, this is Aural Intensity's MO. In the first season they sing a Josh Groban/Olivia Newton John medley and in the second season they do a mix of Christian songs. It never really works for them since they always become runner ups. The second time, one of the judges was a nun and even she wasn't impressed by the blatant pandering.
Sue gets one of these with her treatment of the handicapped in "Wheels" (particularly the end of the episode, which reveals her devoted relationship with her disabled sister, and her (rightful) insistence that refraining from harassing one of her cheerleaders because said cheerleader is mentally disabled would be condescending and wrong.
Sue does this again in "Journey" when she actually votes for New Directions to be in first place in Regionals and persuades Figgins to let New Directions have one more year.
And again in "Comeback" when she goes to the cancer ward with Will and sings to the kids.
Possibly her best moment yet: When Will proposes to Emma, she walks down the hallway and several other staff members and friends hand her flowers to form a bouquet; among them is Sue. The expression on her face as she hands Emma the flower is the sweetest, warmest smile you will ever see from her after Jean's death.
Picture Day: Inverted in "Mattress" - the students don't really seem all that concerned about their individual pictures (minus Rachel), as all the drama is about the group pictures. So the typical conventions of the trope are absent.
Pitbull Dates Puppy: Quinn and Finn's relationship, as Quinn was portrayed (at first) as a total bitch while Finn was a genuine Nice Guy.
Planet of Hats: Invoked in-universe. Some of the judges apparently wondered, due to it being an all boy school, whether Dalton Academy was actually a school for homosexuals... or if they just happened to have a lot of gay students.
Plot Armor: Both New Directions and the Warblers advance past Sectionals.
Plot Hole: In Season 4, the New Directions were disqualified at Sectionals due to Marley fainting and the group heading offstage, letting Dalton Academy win against only one other school. However, when Dalton are disqualified for doping, the New Directions end up winning, despite both being disqualified and there being another school aside from Dalton and McKinley that wasn't disqualified!
Poke the Poodle: The Gleeks attempt to do something scandalous, and the best they can come up with is causing a disturbance in the library. And even that fails spectacularly.
Popular Is Dumb: Played straight with Finn, Puck, Brittany, and Terri (back in her high school days that is).
Sinn (Sam/Quinn) as of "Duets". Most fans use Fabrevans or Quam.
Sinn was also used for Finn/Sam for a while, but those fans have begun to use Hudevans due to the tumblr tag being filled with "Vampire Diaries, watches, and pornstars".
More commonly, Bartie - and the less-flattering "Barfie" from the Brittana shippers.
Klaine is used for Kurt/Blaine. Though Blurt is also a used alternative.
Due to the events of "Never Been Kissed", "Karommel" has been offered for Karofsky/Kurt...although "Kurtofsky" is more popular.
Kublam for Kurt/Sam/Blaine threesome.
Save for Sam/Karofsky and Blainofsky for Blaine/Karofsky have both taken off.
Mersamchel for the Mercedes/Sam/Rachel friendship in "Prom Queen", which was used in the Glee-Wind for that episode.
Lauren/Puck reference on the show is "Pizes". Fans call them "Luck".
Samcedes (Sam/Mercedes) which is now canon.
Rory and Karofsky had one long before Rory appeared on the show. So long before that they didn't know what Damian's character's name would be. The shippers went with Irishofsky.
Huntbastian is Hunter/Sebastian. The fandom seems to have completely ignored his claim of being "not even remotely bi-curious".
Kurtbastian or Sebkurt for Sebastian/Kurt.
Rory/Sugar is Sugory or, occasionally, Sweet Potatoes.
After their performance of 'Smooth Criminal', some fans have taken to calling the coupling of Sebastian and Santana 'Sebtana'. It is an interesting pairing, considering that both characters are gay, and as Sebastian's actor Grant Gustin noted, Santana's coming out storyline has been a pretty important one for her. This, combined with Sebastian's haughty air and confidence, makes it seem terribly unlikely that the couple will ever come to fruition.
Rorbastian is Rory/Sebastian.
Rormony is Rory/Harmony.
As of Season 4, the pairing of Brody/Rachel, or Brochel, Westberry, West Side Berry or Westonberry has become popular.
In "Britney/Brittany," Emma's new boyfriend mentions that he shook up his dull life by impulsively buying a convertible at his local Chevy dealership. Not long after, Will "impulsively" buys the exact same model, and in case you can't identify cars by sight, the camera helpfully stays fixed on the Corvette logo for several seconds. Guess what sports car appears during the very next commercial break?
All technology is made by Apple. The school uses iMacs, all characters seem to have Macbooks, the phones are all iPhones...
Prom Is For Straight Kids: Discussed, as Blaine is reluctant to go because of a bad incident during a Sadie Hawkins dance at his former school. But it's averted (mostly) as Kurt and Blaine seemingly go without a hitch and Brittany can be seen dancing with a girl at one point.
Properly Paranoid: Kurt (and Santana) both dislike Rachel's new boyfriend in New York, Brody. Seeing as Brody is secretly a sex worker...
Starting in the second season, Chris Colfer and Lea Michele's mutual adoration of each othernote Lea has made no secret of the fact that she loves Chris, calling herself his number one fan; Chris is a bit quieter about it, but quite obviously returns her regard has spilled over into an in-show closeness between their characters. In fact, their "Happy Days Are Here Again/Get Happy" duet is quite obviously not just Kurt and Rachel enjoying singing together, but Chris and Lea loving singing with each other. And don't even get us started on "Ding Dong the Witch is Dead".
Blaine sings the praises of Ohio State's football team. In real life, Darren Criss graduated from the University of Michigan. The rivalry between OSU and Michigan is on the order of the Yankees/Red Sox feud.
The football team gains the confidence and cohesion to turn its losing streak around by practicing (and performing) Beyoncé dance routines, partly on the premise that if they can pull it off in public then they can do anything. Puck lampshades it earlier: "I'm a stud, dude. I could wear a dress to school and people would think it was cool."
In "Theatricality," Finn does just that. Since it's not Puck, it doesn't get the desired result.
In season 3, Puck ends up wearing a dress (and wig) to school. And no, people don't think it cool and he ends up getting in a fight about it.
"The Reason You Suck" Speech: Sue and Santana are the masters of this. Though it bites Santana in the ass, when Finn retaliates in one episode and outs her in a hallway, after she goes too far.
Holly gives a minor one to Rachel, asking her if anyone has ever told her how much she sucks?
Recurring Extra: There are a lot of characters that consistently show up in the background for the specific purpose of...showing up in the background.
Season 1 introduced the jazz band, Azimio, Karaofsky, and Lauren. The last two ascended in season 2.
Season 2 introduced Stoner Brett and the background warblers Jeff, Nick, Thad, and Trent.
Season 4 introduced Dottie Kazatori and the neck-brace Cheerio.
Recycled Premise: A number of plots, characters and ideas are blatantly lifted from Popular, also created and written by Murphy.
As of Season Four, the show is now starting to heavily recycle itself with most all the new characters being only slightly different versions of older characters Marley/Rachel, Kitty/Quinn, Jake/Puck, Brody/Jesse, Cassandra/April
The Red Stapler: Has occurred with a good chunk of the music on this show. One of notable example is Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'." The effect on music is especially noticeable in the UK where the Glee music doesn't get radio plays but there is a significant increase in play time for the original versions of songs Glee has covered. When songs such as "Animal," which only just scraped into the top 40 on release, all of a sudden appear on a radio playlist the week the featuring episode airs in America, you KNOW this isn't a coincidence.
Reset Button: Anytime Sue looks to finally stop going after the club, you can bet the Status Quo will be back to normal next week.
Retcon: When Rachel's dads appear in person on the show, they look nothing like the picture we saw of them three years prior in the pilot. And Hiram has a lighter skin tone than before.
Most of the show revolves around the characters learning lessons and then promptly forgetting them an episode or two later and having to relearn them all over. It's quite annoying.
Retool: The first half of season 1 put a lot more focus on Will, and had a more quick paced storytelling and him narrating throughout the episode. But after the second half of the season got on, it began focusing more on the students and slowing down the plot to allow more drama to unfold.
Replacement Mooks: After the football team joins New Directions in "The Sue Sylvester Shuffle," the hockey team takes over slushie facial duty.
Reverse Cerebus Syndrome: A mild example, but the first season (especially before the mid-season break) was a lot darker and more dramatic. In the 2nd season, though, some episodes do nothing but bounce from gag to gag.
To a lesser extent, Ken for Emma (but Ken was never taken seriously).
Quinn starts out as one for Finn and Rachel.
Rousseau Was Right: All but the most unrepentant Jerkasses have been shown to be basically decent people or at least have some desire to do the right thing. Of course, the more central a character is to the plot of an episode or to the show as a whole, the more likely they are to fall into this trope.
The Slushie Facials. They were shown a couple of times in Season 1, but it's at the point in Season 2 where it's becoming a symbol of the series. Ad campaigns for the second season feature the actors throwing slushies at the camera and they're the album artwork for iTunes singles.
Sam literally has a really big mouth.
Whenever a girl member is about to reveal a secret, the response is usually along the lines of "not another teen pregnancy".
Becky hates xylophones.
Sadist Teacher: Sue is the poster child for this trope, often committing (and getting away with) even acts of physical assault on students in addition to her constant efforts to humiliate and degrade them. In season four, it also seems as if the teaching staff of NYADA is nothing but this trope.
Salt the Earth: Sue actually salted the earth in her backyard when she sold her house.
Scandalgate: In the first season, the Glee Clubbers sometimes referred to their "first scandal" - Quinn getting pregnant - as "Babygate."
Schoolgirl Lesbians: Brittany and Santana could be the poster girls for this trope, though Brittany is technically bisexual.
Deconstructed though... since though it's ostensibly presented as titillation and harmless compared to the gay aspect of the cast as presented by Kurt, as of "Sexy," Santana's starting to acknowledge her feelings for Brittany and that part of her 'bitchiness' comes from anger and fear should people find out that she's not just having sex with Brittany but said feelings. In effect, while the sexual aspect of female-female relationships is perhaps more openly acceptable, the emotional aspect tends to get drowned out in that as much if not more so than for gay men.
Rachel is a member of just about every extracurricular group there is at McKinley, so how is she so light on extracurriculars that it's an issue on her NYADA application?
To an even larger extent, Kurt is played as having almost no shot at getting into NYADA unless he becomes class president. However, along with being in the Glee Club, he brought the Cheerios to a national title, started a P-FLAG chapter at Mc Kinley, was in the school play and, most of all, organized his father's successful congressional campaign. And as a performing arts school, NYADA would definitely take notice of that, considering that Burt ran on a pro-arts platform.
It is a running joke in some portions of the Internet about how messed up Glee's continuity is. There is even a Tumblr devoted to it.
Shaggy Dog Story: Finn spends most of "Furt" learning that his family is more important than his popularity, culminating in a vow to protect Kurt and a musical tribute to him. In the very next scene, Kurt transfers to Dalton Academy.
Shipper on Deck: The Warblers go up in arms when Blaine declares he wants to do a duet at Regionals. Then Blaine announces who he wants to do that duet with, and every single face in the room develops a knowing smirk. The confirming vote is unanimous.
As of "New York," Puck, Sam, Artie and Mike are this for Finn and Rachel.
Shirtless Scene: Puck, Sam, and Will have all had multiple shirtless scenes. Finn has had at least one. Mike took a while to get one, though his abs made a few appearances beforehand. Blaine gets a shirtless in the shower scene in season 3.
Becky plays the xylophone over the announcements in the same manner as it's played in Grease.
In "Thanksgiving", Santana discovers laxatives in Marley's bag and immediately knows that she got them from Kitty. When she tries to tell Quinn, Quinn doesn't believe her, prompting Santana to insist that "the pretty little liar gave them to her!"
Shown Their Work: Blaine dresses as a Captain Ersatz-version of Nightwing in "Dynamic Duets". In the comics Nightwing was formerly Robin, who Blaine had dressed as prior to this episode in "Makeover".
Sickeningly Sweethearts: Kurt and Blaine showed shades of this in "The Substitute," particularly from the point of view from anyone not on that side of the ship war.
"Gay, gay, gay, gay..."
And not just in that episode; Original Song will have non-Klainers gagging because of the amount of Tastes Like Diabetes.
Even some Klaine fans think they're getting over-the-top, considering that the Dark Fic, Fix Fic, and Deconstruction Fic on any fanfiction archive far outnumber standard romance. (Of course, other people are frankly relieved to see a teen gay romance that isn't horriblyangst-ridden in prime-time.)
Season 3 manages to change Klaine from Sickeningly Sweethearts to Blaine! (And Kurt), meaning that Blaine is the faultless, dude magnet one in the relationship, and whenever one of the two is wrong, that one is always Kurt.
Signature Style: Many of the kids have genres and artists that they stick to for solos. Kurt does mostly showtunes with some occasional love for The Beatles; Sam and Puck like to perform acoustically; Rachel does Broadway; and Mercedes, Quinn, and Santana mostly do soul/R&B. Much of this corresponds to the actors' preferences.
Artie also tends to do a lot of R&B (and he seems to be the club's rapper-in-residence), but the genres he's sung are actually really varied. Finn tends to do well with some classic rock; Will seems to do more adult contemporary or showtunes; Rory is shaping up to be the club's crooner.
Kurt fits this trope as well—sort of. All three guys he's shown interest in have been "good men": Finn, who told Puck not to shove Kurt into a locker once; Sam, who always keeps his word; and Blaine, who is just an overall dapper gentleman.
Sixth Ranger: Quinn, Santana and Brittany join the glee club in the 2nd episode. Puck, Mike and Matt join a couple of episodes later. Season 2 has Sam and later Lauren. Season 3 has Blaine, Rory, Sugar, and Joe.
Skip to the End: Burt and Carole cut the priest off while he says the vows and say their "I Do"s, but it's out of excitement as opposed to just rushing.
Sleep Mask: Terri is seen wearing one to bed in "Ballads."
Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Exactly where Glee falls on the scale remains up for debate. Watching the half-season "finale" (see Happy Ending), one is hard-pressed to think the show isn't awfully idealistic. But characters like April Rhodes, and the end of "Mattress" give rise to an alternative series interpretation. There are those who believe the apparent idealism of the show masks a deep sadness. The season finale seems to confirm the idea that the show falls in the middle of the scale: New Directions doesn't place at Regionals and is almost shut down by Figgins, but ends up getting another year because of Sue.
Slut Shaming: Emma yells at Will for being a slut (see The Casanova. A lot of people in the show get blasted, as when Quinn deals with her pregnancy or when Sue kicks Santana off the Cheerios for getting a boob job. The second episode of the fourth season involves a musical attack on Jake for his womanizing.
SoCalization: The age of consent in Ohio is 16, however Jeremiah says he would be arrested for dating Blaine because he's underaged. Plus, you can't get arrested for dating, only sexual contact.
However, since Blaine is officially a junior in season 3 (an obvious retcon) that would mean he was sophomore in season 2 when this occurred and could have very well been 15 and thus not legal.
Scandalgate: The debacle of Chord quitting and/or being fired (the fandom has never received a straight answer) from the show after his option as a series regular was not picked up is commonly referred to as "Chordgate".
The Sociopath: Sebastian pretty much point-for-point fits the characteristics of dissocial personality disorder in the ICD-10. Even without Die for Our Ship goggles, something about literally showing no remorse for accidentally causing harm to the boy he wanted to have sex with that will require reconstructive surgery in his attempt to intentionally cause harm to that boy's boyfriend makes him cross the line from "plain old Glee Jerkass" to "Jesus Christ, lock up the sharp objects".
However, one does see an immediate look of regret on his face when Blaine hits the ground, not to menion his sincere apology in On My Way.
Sue is a subversion of this trope — while her opinions are indeed extreme, they don't skewer any one group or party but are rather a grab-bag of crazy. Although one post on Sue's Twitter seems to show she leans towards Republicans.
Both the Celibacy Club and Quinn's parents ("Honey, Glenn Beck is on!") are particularly anvilicious examples of this, as they reproduce, in more extreme, parodic ways, various arguments and strategies of the abstinence movement. Even a lot of abstinence supporters are squicked out by purity balls, and both Quinn's pregnancy and the fact that her parents throw her out over it seem to be deliberate criticisms of the abstinence movement and just fundamentalist Christianity in general.
In season two's Regionals, Kathy Griffin plays a wildly over-the-top Tea Party member (and blatant Sarah Palin/Christine O'Donnell Expy) who dealt with losing her nomination by tweeting that Obama is a terrorist.
In general, if a character espouses views that are different than those of the creators, the chances of their being portrayed as a regular person is absolutely zero; they will inevitably be a frothing-at-the-mouth nutcase who is completely made of sociopolitical stereotypes. Kitty in Season 4 is becoming a major case.
Sudden Name Change: The name of the Glee Club changes between "New Directions" and "The New Directions" quite often.
Sure, Let's Go with That: After the club's performance of "Tik Tok" ends in disaster since they were all hungover from a night of partying, they expect to be suspended, only for Figgins to congratulate them on "staging" such a performance to get the student body off alcohol. They all uncomfortably nod along to his praise.
In "The First Time," Finn cooks a romantic dinner for Rachel, and she praises it saying she's never had a meat substitute taste that much like real meat. In reality, he forgot she was vegan and quickly changed the subject.
Suspiciously Specific Denial: While holding her Valentine's Day part in "Heart", Sugar thanks her daddy for booking the entire restaurant and reminds the guests that "he is not in the mafia!"
Sustained Misunderstanding: Brittany spends the first half of season 4 thinking Unique is actually Mercedes. Learning that she's Mt F trans* doesn't change this.
Rachel appears surprisingly sympathetic and supportive toward Quinn, at least in "Vitamin D." (Her intentions are less genuine in "Throwdown," when she appears to be using her "support" for Quinn to get closer to Finn.)
Quinn doesn't seem to get too mad at Rachel after she admits that it was her who told Finn that he wasn't the real father of Quinn's baby, in order to get Finn for herself. She later explained, saying Rachel was just doing what she should have done in the first place. Quinn was owning up to her mistake and realized that while what Rachel did was bad, it wasn't evil - Rachel was just protecting a friend.
Quinn going along with Rachel's ploy for Quinn to ask Finn out, to test if Finn really loves Rachel.
Rachel comforts Quinn (notice a pattern here?) when she didn't win Prom Queen, even when Quinn had slapped her across the face moments before.
An unequivocal Take That was directed at Chris Brown and Rihanna's relationship during the episode Guilty Pleasures.
Take That, Audience!: In "Swan Song" Brittany mentions that lesbians have emailing her about Santana and says that she doesn't want to put Sam in danger. This is a reference to the Brittana fandom going crazy about the chance of Brittany and Sam hooking up
Take That, Critics!: Season 2 began by lampshading various fan complaints (song selections, Will's rapping, Auto-Tune), to which Kurt told the anonymous commenters of Jacob's blog to say it to his face next time. He promptly got slushied.
Tangled Family Tree: Because Shelby adopted Beth, Quinn and Puck are the parents of Rachel's sister, the latter of whom she dated. Rachel was dating her sister's mother's ex-boyfriend Finn, whose mother is married to Kurt's father.
In "Pot o' Gold," this becomes even more complicated after Puck hooks up with Shelby. Meaning he is dating his ex-girlfriend's biological mother, who is also the adoptive mother of his biological daughter.
And more, after adding Puck's half-brother Jake to the mix!
Within New Directions, this is the basis of Rachel and Mercedes' diva rivalry. Rachel has a trained voice with performance technique down pat, while Mercedes has a strong voice and follows her instincts.
It's also the basis in the New Directions vs Vocal Adrenaline rivalry. Vocal Adrenaline are technicians whose performances include spot-on choreography and amazing vocals, but lack human warmth (at one point they describe themselves as souless robots). On the other hand, the New Directions are performers who, while packing less technical proficiency, tend to really get into their songs and transmit a genuine sense of caring for what they're performing. In a subversion of what normally would be expected (the victory of the genuine performers), the New Directions lost to Vocal Adrenaline in both Season 1 and Season 2.
Tempting Fate: Marley tells Jake that she won't be the one to let the New Directions down at Sectionals. She collapses while performing onstage as a result of starving herself for the past few weeks, which leads to the New Directions being disqualified.
The Not Secret: Pre-"Preggers," Kurt's homosexuality to his dad. After coming out of the closet, Burt reveals that he knew Kurt was gay ever since he asked for a pair of "sensible heels" for his third birthday.
Their First Time: An entire episode is dedicated to the first times of Rachel, Blaine, and Kurt.
Every girl after Will in "Ballad" has a food related name (Emma Pillsbury, Rachel Berry, Suzie Pepper, and Terri Delmonico—a type of steak).
Rhyming theme naming with star on again off again couple Finn and Quinn, and father and son Burt and Kurt.
Sam's younger siblings are named Stacey and Stevie.
The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Despite being the Spanish Teacher, Will rarely seems to be shown teaching. This comes back to bite him in the arse on "The Spanish Teacher". After this, he teaches history. Again, this is rarely shown.
Mike and Matt. They're really just there to fulfill the club's needed minimum of 12 students in Season 1. In Season 2, Mike gets some character development and more lines. By Season 3, he gets A Day in the Limelight and even sings. Matt, however, is put on a bus, having transferred to another school. Matt left after getting lines in a grand total of two episodes: "Theatricality" and "Journey."
Brittany and Santana started off like this but they were developed and are now major parts of the plot. In fact, their storylines are more prominent than those of some of the original main cast, like Tina.
Wes and David are simply Warblers, and possibly Blaine's friends. They've only spoken once or twice, and always about the Warblers, such as when Blaine enlisted their help to address Kurt's spying.
An in-universe example. Finn and Rachel's rendition of "Born Again" from "Duets." To be fair, they were actually trying to throw the competition. One can only imagine if it had gone over well.
Much of the fandom feels this way about Santana's coming out.
Think Unsexy Thoughts: Finn has a problem with "arriving" too soon, but can easily cool off when he thinks about the mailman he almost killed when learning how to drive. The other boys (and Tina) think of Coach Beiste to cool off themselves. Thoroughly deconstructed, however, when Beiste finds out.
Will: Everybody loves movies. They don't just tell stories, they transport us to other worlds. They are inspirational. They provide comfort. They help us escape our day-to-day anxieties. Kitty: Like being left at the altar? Ryder: Whoa, too soon.
Trans Equals Gay: Averted. Wade/Unique makes it quite clear that she wants to dress as a woman because she identifies as one, not just as an extension of his campness. Sue, however, doesn't get it and tries to get Kurt to perform in drag in order to compete with her.
True Meaning Of Christmas: Played with in "Extraordinary Merry Christmas." Rory reads Linus' speech from A Charlie Brown Christmas, which is about the birth of Christ, to the rest of club. However, the speech is more of a reminder for them to stop being so selfish and materialistic.
Truth in Television: Exaggerated, of course, but the school's money troubles mirrors a lot of Ohio's schools' problems.
It's later explained that after the fake pregancy stunt, she was diagnosed as Bipolar.
Two Decades Behind: When we get a flashback to Will and Bryan in high school, everyone has mullets and 80's-style clothing. But the pilot states that Will's glee club won nationals in 1993, placing the flashback in the very early 90's. People were dressing a little differently then. Possibly because small rural towns are notoriously time-lagged, especially when it comes to fashion. In some parts of the country, the 80's didn't end until about 1998.
Tyrant Takes the Helm: "Throwdown," where Sue becomes co-captain of Glee. She ends up being the impetus for everyone leaving the Glee club and then coming back. She leaves at the end, but not before revealing to the entire group that Quinn's pregnancy is now public knowledge.
But semi-subverted when Sue becomes Principal. In her brief time in charge, she actually does something about Kurt's bullying and introduces healthier food in the cafeteria. The latter is regarded as unforgiveable by Mercedes, however.
Wacky Marriage Proposal: A synchronized swimming performance, the glee club singing "We Found Love," and Will jumping in the pool in a white tux (complete with top hat and tails) definitely counts. Averted later in the episode with Finn and Rachel.
"On My Way". Karofsky attempts suicide, and the episode ends with Quinn having a car accident.
"Thanksgiving", At the end of "Gangnam Style", Marley collapses on stage from food deprivation. In the next episode we find out it caused New Directions to lose Sectionals.
"Shooting Star", Becky brings a gun to school because she's scared for her safety, and when Sue tries to take it from her it goes off. Then Sue covers for Becky, and it gets her fired.
What Could Have Been: An in-universe example. After Rachel and Santana perform "So Emotional", Rachel expresses regret that the two girls never performed together before due to mutual dislike, despite their vocal chemistry.
And in "Prom Queen", it was also never revealed who put Kurt's name in the ballot for prom queen.
Burt gives one to Finn after overhearing him call Kurt "faggy".
Rachel gets one from the entire Glee club after her cruelty scares away Sunshine, the foreign exchange student with the pipes to rival Rachel's own.
Will gives one to the boys (and Tina) for their treatment of Coach Beiste (see Think Unsexy Thoughts above).
Will gets TWO more in "The Rocky Horror Glee Show," with Carl calling him out using the glee club to make a move on Emma, and Sue calling him out on pushing boundaries just for the sake of pushing boundaries.
Shelby really lets Quinn have it when she finds out Quinn tried to make her look like an unfit mother, especially with the last thing she says before kicking Quinn out of her house:
Shelby: Just because you took out your nose ring and dyed your hair blonde doesn't make you any less lost.
In "The Spanish Teacher," Santana cuts Will's cojones off for making a mockery of her culture with his crappy Spanish lessons, actually causing him to rethink the direction of his teaching career.
Marley gives one to the Glee club when they join in on joking about the lunch lady's weight. Besides being a horrible thing to do in general, she reveals that that's her mother.
Finn was apparently born right before the Gulf War... which started and ended in January 1991, meaning Finn should have graduated a year before the show even started, though this may be explained by the fact that his dad didn't actually die in the war.
Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: Will and Sue team up to get Beiste fired, for "stealing" their budgets. When Beiste quit after she was humiliated in "Never Been Kissed", Sue calls Will to the auditorium and showers him with confetti. Will is not pleased at what happened.
Tina kissed Mike just before she and Artie broke up.
Brittany and Santana cheated Artie and Sam with each other.
Mercedes kissed Sam while she was still with Shane.
Rory tried to get Brittany to sleep with him while she was still with Santana.
Kurt was accused of infidelity by Blaine after the two of them became distant with each other and Kurt began texting another boy.
As of The Break Up, Blaine cheats on Kurt because "Kurt wasn't there and he was lonely".
The only members of New Directions who have never either cheated on or helped cheat on somebody else are Artie, Lauren, Joe, and Sugar.
Furthermore, Will cheated on Terri emotionally with Emma.
Your Mom: Puck uses this to try and throw an oppossing football player off his game. Then he explains that this is Not Hyperbole.
Zany Scheme: Hiram plans one to stop Finn and Rachel from getting married.
Hiram: When the justice of the peace says "Does anybody here object?"
Burt: Yeah, hell yeah! I do!
Hiram: We all say "We do!" with feeeeeeeling. Burt, you will run interference with Finn. Carole, you will distract the Justice of the Peace with your feminine wiles. I will hustle Rachel out the side door and into our waiting car where you, Leroy, will drive (I don't drive) straight to Broadway. And if that doesn't start to get our baby girl back on her career track, I don't know what will. Are we agreed?