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Theme: Glee
Almost every episode in Glee has a theme and the show isn't shy about beating you over the head with it. Here is where we list the painfully obvious themes, motifs, and aesops of every episode because we have nothing better to do.

Season One

  • "Compromise" in episode 2 ("Showmance").
    • There seems to be an odd scatological theme as well, if you pay attention.
    • And y'know, that little matter of "abstinence is wrong, and girls who profess it really just enjoy teasing". (See the talk page for debate on this.)
  • Take a shot every time someone mentions "guts," "balls," or "confidence" in episode 3 ("Acafellas"). You'll be plastered in no time.
  • Taking Chances or "Getting out of your box or comfort zone" in episode 4 ("Preggers").
  • Episode 5 ("The Rhodes Not Taken") has a more subtle theme of choices and their consequences, acting as a counterpart to episode 4. The songs, however, revolve around finding love.
  • Episode 6 ("Vitamin D") had competition.
  • Episode 7 ("Throwdown") was about the treatment of minorities.
  • Episode 8 ("Mash-Up") was about unlikely mash-ups, and how sometimes they can lead to great combination but sometimes they just don't work.
  • Episode 9 ("Wheels") had several about the treatment of disabled people.
    • Also, while not as blatant as "Hairography" (Distraction!) or "Funk" (Funk!), the word 'Accessible' seems to pop up in every story line in "Wheels", from Rachael claiming Kurt singing Defying Gravity isn't accessible, to Sue being forced to make the Cheerios more accessible.
  • Episode 10 ("Ballad") and the theme of "expressing your emotions", especially in every ballad the characters chose to sing. Also, the unconditional love presented in the song "I'll Stand By You", which Finn's mom delivers and Quinn's parents utterly fail at.
    • Rather a deconstruction of the "expressing your emotions through song", and how it doesn't really work. Rachel's insanity becomes much more pronounced, Kurt's signifies how bad he has it for a guy who will never love him, Finn singing to his baby gets him caught out by his mom, and then Finn singing to Quinn's parents gets her kicked out of her house.
  • Episode 11 ("Hairography") features the word "distraction" at least every other sentence. Some fans think it should have been the name of the episode, while others theorize that if it was, it would be too anvilicious even for Glee.
    • Drinking game, anyone?
  • Episode 12 ("Mattress") was about appearances and other people's opinions, although it wasn't quite as obvious as usual. There was also a strange theme of smiling and smiles in that episode, which loops back to appearances. Again, it's fairly subtle.
  • Episode 13 ("Sectionals") was about how you can't always get what you want. "But if you try sometimes... you just might find... you get what you need!"
  • You might argue that the entirely of the first half of Season 1 is one long moral about how lying never leads to anything good. That, and The Power of Friendship. And how popularity is not important.
  • Episode 14 ("Hell-O") was about getting to know yourself.
  • Episode 15 ("The Power of Madonna") was about the empowerment of women and... Madonna.
    • There was also a sub-plot about sex, and how losing your virginity is not all it's cracked up to be. Despite Like A Virgin playing the whole time, it's definitely one of most serious lessons in the show.
  • Episode 16 ("Home") was about finding where you belong, and also didn't hesitate to beat viewers about the head with the word home popping up every five minutes.
  • Episode 17 ("Bad Reputation") was about reputation and that you shouldn't be bothered by how others view you
  • Episode 18 ("Laryngitis") was about finding your true voice and calling.
  • Episode 19 ("Dream On") was about dreams and how they might not always come true. But that doesn't mean you give up.
    • There's also a short scene with Bryan Ryan and Sue where they recite studies that say both athletics and theater is good for kids, so a mini-Aesop about how well-rounded educations including both PE and the arts are important for kids.
    • An aesop which was followed up by the two of them getting it on. Or, you know, joining PE (Sue) with the arts (Ryan).
      • Two Words: Angry Sex
  • Episode 20 ("Theatricality") was about not being afraid to be yourself, no matter what other people might think. This was lampshaded when the kids actually asked Mr. Schue what the lesson they were supposed to learn from that week's Lady Gaga assignments were. He's not sure, until they see that Finn has dressed up in a red rubber dress to protect Kurt from some homophobic jocks. It ...sort of works, in context.
  • Episode 21 ("Funk") was mainly about overcoming depression, with a mini-moral on regrets and revenge. And funk!
  • Episode 22 ("Journey"): It's not about the destination; it's about the Journey, so don't stop believing.

Season Two

  • Episode 23 ("Audition") is about first impressions(auditions, get it?) and that change isn't always a bad thing.
    • And boobs.
  • Episode 24 ("Britney/Brittany") is about control and restrain versus impulse and letting go.
    • It's also about reinventing and staying true to yourself.
  • Episode 25 ("Grilled Cheesus") is about many things regarding faith; how people may believe different things and they have their right to, how you shouldn't be closed minded, how you can't always turn to religion to help you, and how you sometimes have to believe in something.
  • Episode 26 ("Duets") is about things regarding relationships: coming on too strong, being completely selfless, not being ready for love, and being in a relationship for all the wrong reasons.
  • Episode 27 ("The Rocky Horror Glee Show") is about limitations and boundaries of the arts(as well as personal limitations), how body image affects men just as much as women, and being an outcast.
  • Episode 28 ("Never Been Kissed") is mainly about opposites and standing up for yourself, but it also deals with homophobia and issues of self control.
    • There's also the theme of tough characters showing their vulnerability: Bieste getting hurt after being the butt of a childish joke, Puck's fear of returning to juvey, and Karofsky revealing to Kurt that he's gay.
  • Episode 29 ("The Substitute") is about...well...substitution. How you shouldn't substitute food for love, how you shouldn't substitute responsibility for a care free lifestyle, and how you can't substitute sex for a relationship.
  • Episode 30 ("Furt") is about leadership and bullying, and deals with themes about a "brotherly bond".
  • Episode 31 ("Special Education") is about the importance of teamwork and how people have a sense of entitlement.
  • Episode 32 ("A Very Glee Christmas") is about the spirit of Christmas. But, it also deals with themes of miracles, faith(albeit in Santa Clause), and selflessness.
  • Episode 33 ("The Sue Sylvester Shuffle") is about unity and teamwork.
  • Episode 34 ("Silly Love Songs") is about relationships; being single, being madly in love with someone, having feelings for an ex, moving on after your heart is broken, and fooling yourself into believing you made a connection with someone in the first place. It's also a little tongue-in-cheek about Valentine's Day in general, suggesting that teenagers get too obsessed over it.
  • Episode 35 ("Comeback") has a theme about trends, from music, to fashion, and how individuality and originality trumps following the pack.
    • This is especially apparent when Santana convinces Sam to stop being his "dorky" self(such as speaking Na'vi). He gives up his originality and does what every one else does, or what people WANT him to do, instead of being himself.
  • Episode 36 ("Blame It On The Alcohol) is about the effects of alcohol, both positive and negative. How it relieves stress, is safe in small doses, and is something most people do. However, it's also sure to point out that alcohol can make you act stupid, do things you don't remember, and isn't something minors should experiment with lightly.
  • Episode 37 ("Sexy") is about the sexual and deeper parts of relationships, as well as the huge gap between 'acting sexy', either in a performance context or in life generally, and understanding about the emotional, physical and social implications of sex.
  • Episode 38 ("Original Song") is about overcoming the obstacles of life. (Though mostly, it's about Regionals.)
  • Episode 39 ("A Night of Neglect") is about being neglected in life.
    • You have to earn respect, not demand it.
  • Episode 40 ("Born This Way") is about insecurities and how teenagers handle them.
    • You should be happy with yourself the way you are and don't try to "fix" yourself when there's nothing wrong to fix.
      • However, you should also be able to acknowledge problems that you have that are getting in the way of your happiness.
      • That's where the problem lies, actually. If you believe that there's something about yourself that's wrong and needs fixing you'll probably want and will fix it.
      • But what if that something is a problem in and of itself and not just a manifestation of insecurity? Emma's storyline acts as contrast to those of the kids. They all acknowledge that there are parts of themselves that they don't like. Most of the kids in the club come to accept aspects of themselves (mostly related to inherent traits, with the "Brown Eyes", "No Weave", "Can't Sing" and similar shirts) that they could at least attempt to alter in some way. They realise that doing so is no substitute for being happy with who you really are. Quinn, for example, changed everything about her appearance but with little to no improvement to her self-esteem. Emma accepts that she has OCD, but she also accepts that she needs help because her anxiety is dominating her whole life. Wearing the shirt while also taking the SSRI showed that she had realised that being true to herself didn't mean having to let her illness stop her from being happy.
  • Episode 41 ("Rumours") is about the damaging effects that gossip can have someone, both in terms of ruining their reputation as well as in forcing them to go public with things they may prefer to keep to themselves (in the episode, we see the latter with Sam - rumors about him having sex with Kurt and Quinn at a motel lead to him feeling forced to admit, against his will, that he's living in a motel because his family is homeless and Kurt and Quinn are just helping him out).
  • Episode 42 ("Prom Queen") focuses on everything prom-related: high expectations, anxiety over dating, and dealing with the expectations falling short.
    • In a way, you could say homophobia, considering Kurt does get voted Prom Queen after all (and he doesn't react positively at first).
  • Episode 43 ("Funeral") is about death (both literally and metaphorically) and how one deals with it.
  • Episode 44 ("New York") is about overcoming obstacles as a team. But it's mostly about Nationals.

Season Three

  • Episode 45 ("The Purple Piano Project") is about being able to do what you love despite constant disapproval from your surroundings.
  • Episode 46 ("I Am Unicorn") is about reaching your full potential.
    • Also, unicorns.
  • Episode 47 ("Asian F") is about following your dreams regardless of what others say you should do.
  • Episode 48 ("Pot 'O Gold") is about being pushed around by others.
  • Episode 49 ("The First Time") is about losing your virginity.
  • Episode 50 ("Mash Off") is about how bad actions will come back to haunt you.
    • Or, more generally, about "friendly competition" gone horribly wrong.
    • Also, two wrongs don't make a right.
    • And the dire consequences of rumors.
  • Episode 51 ("I Kissed a Girl") is an episode devoted to women. It's about the pressure society puts on women (especially teenaged girls), women troubles (no, not THOSE kinds of troubles...), and Santana coming out as a lesbian.
  • Episode 52 ("Hold On To Sixteen") is about how you're only young once, so make it last and do so without regrets.
  • Episode 53 ("Extraordinary Merry Christmas") is about how you can't ignore the problems in the world just because it's Christmas, and how acknowledging how much you have compared to others makes you appreciate it more.
  • Episode 54 ("Yes/No") is about romantic choices.
  • Episode 55 ("Michael") is about standing up for what you believe in.
  • Episode 56 ("The Spanish Teacher") is about passion. Passion in your love life, passion in your beliefs, and most importantly, passion in your dreams.
    • Also, racial stereotyping.
  • Episode 57 ("Heart") is about love
  • Episode 58 ("On My Way") was about the horrible side effects bullying can have on an individual.
    • Also that life gets better and you should never give up hope.
    • And texting and driving is a really bad idea.
    • Or how life is a roller coaster; one minute you're on top of the world, the next you're on the bottom. Everything can go right, everything can go wrong. You just have to try your hardest to roll with the punches.
  • Episode 59 ("Big Brother") is about gaining experience.
    • Texting and driving is bad. Mm'kay!
  • Episode 60 ("Saturday Night Glee-ver") is about planning ahead in life.
  • Episode 61 ("Dance With Somebody") is about Whitney Houston. There's some stuff about cheating and saying goodbye, but it's mostly Whitney.
    • Everyone is afraid of the future and being distant from their beloved ones; the solution is not to ignore the matter, but to communicate and face the problem together because it's the only way to get through it successfully.
    • People who are going towards somthing new obviously focus on how hard it's gonna be for them, but they tend to forget how hard it can be for the ones who stay.
  • Episode 62 ("Choke") is about taking risks and changing instead of playing it safe or staying the same.
  • Episode 63 ("Prom-asaurus") is about generosity.
  • Episode 64 ("Props") is about teamwork, and that it's okay to be The Heart sometimes.
  • Episode 65 ("Nationals") is about passion (again).
  • Episode 66 ("Goodbye") is about saying goodbye to friends, high school, and childhood in general.

Season Four

  • Episode 67 ("The New Rachel") is about change.
  • Episode 68 ("Britney 2.0") is about rebirth.
  • Episode 69 ("Makeover") is about changing what's outside to match the inside, and not the other way around.
  • Episode 70 ("The Breakup) is about breakups, and doing the responsible thing for a relationship.
  • Episode 71 ("The Role You Were Born To Play") is yet another episode about chasing your dreams no matter the opposition.
  • Episode 72 ("Glease") is about...well, Grease.
  • Episode 73 ("Dynamic Duets") is about teamwork and finding common ground.
  • Episode 74 ("Thanksgiving") is actually the culmination of a three-episode arc with a subtle eating disorder Aesop, though that's not revealed until the final scene.
  • Episode 75 ("Swan Song") is about getting second chances, as well as carrying on in the face of failure.
  • Episode 76 ("Glee, Actually") has five different Aesops. In order, they are:
    • Appreciating what you have in life.
    • Forgiveness.
    • Family.
    • Mayan Doomsday (and living life to it's fullest).
    • Helping the less fortunate.
  • Episode 77 ("Sadie Hawkins") is about female empowerment. Again.
  • Episode 78 ("Naked") is about being comfortable in your own skin - and that it's okay if you're not. It's also about being naked emotionally, especially to those you care about.
  • Episode 79 ("Diva") is about how a true Diva is loud and proud and gets what she (or he) wants, but doesn't have to be a Jerk Ass in the process.
  • Episode 80 ("I Do") is about knowing who the right person to fall in love with is, and when it's right to tie the knot.
  • Episode 81 ("Girls (and Boys) on Film") is about how movies can help us escape from our problems, but that sometimes life isn't like in the movies.
  • Episode 82 ("Feud") is about forgiveness and gender identity.
  • Episode 83 ("Guilty Pleasures") is about how it's better to have things in the open than keep secrets from each other.
  • Episode 84 ("Shooting Star") is about saying what you feel before it's too late. And school shootings.
  • Episode 85 ("Sweet Dreams") is about dreams. Obviously.
  • Episode 86 ("Lights Out") is about stripping down to pure emotion. And how child molestation is bad.
  • Episode 87 ("Wonder-ful") is about celebrating the joy in life, and staying true to yourself.
    • As Artie spelled out towards the end, it's also about taking risks.
  • Episode 88 ("All or Nothing") is about...giving all or nothing. Whether it be in performing or in life.

Season Five

  • Episode 89 ("Love Love Love") is about... take a guess. And The Beatles.
  • Episode 90 ("Tina in the Sky with Diamonds") is also about The Beatles. And something about reinventing yourself.
  • Episode 91 ("The Quarterback") is about the different methods people use to deal with loss.
  • Episode 92 ("A Katy or a Gaga") is about how some people are overly dramatic, while some people are subdued and down to earth.
  • Episode 93 ("The End of Twerk") is about rebelling to make a point, and when the right time to do so is.
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