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Trivia: Glee
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  • Actor Allusion:
    • When Victor Garber takes a break from his usually cool, hard-hitting persona to play Will's dad, he expresses his regret at never going to law school and at the end of the episode decides to apply. This is a Shout-Out to Victor Garber's portrayals of lawyers in many movies and TV shows (Legally Blonde, Eli Stone, etc...)
    • Victor Garber is also known for his work in Broadway musicals (e.g., Assassins), thus his appearance in a show all about music and musicals is another lampshade in an already overly-meta show.
    • Rachel auditions for Glee by singing the song "On My Own" from Les Misérables (the musical). Lea Michele, the actress who plays Rachel, made her Broadway debut as Young Cosette in the Broadway cast of the same musical and more recently played Eponine in the Hollywood Bowl concert. For those not in the know, grown Eponine sings "On My Own". Young Cosette/Young Eponine (nonspeaking) rotate nights in most productions, so she would have played both roles.
    • In the pilot episode, when Sandy sees Will at the linen store, his reaction is identical to that of Ned Ryerson every time he sees Phil in the street. Sandy's last name is Ryerson too (though Word of God says that the name "Sandy Ryerson" was scripted before the actor was cast).
    • In the second episode, when Terri flicks the kitchen lighter with a very smug attitude (as opposed to her needy, slightly hysterical character) it could be an allusion to Jessalyn Gilsig's role in Heroes as Meredith Gordon, the smug and self-confident woman with the power to control fire and create a small flame from her hand.
    • Terri's sister asks if her baby will be black, a reference to Jessalyn Gilsig's character (Gina Russo) in Nip/Tuck.
    • Rachel claims that nudity is one of the few things she won't do to break into the business, which is ironic considering Lea Michele's other famous role involved some nudity on-stage 8 times a week.
    • In Sectionals, Mercedes sings a song from Dreamgirls; Amber Riley auditioned for Dreamgirls.
    • In episode 4, Kurt performs Beyoncé's "Single Ladies" in his basement along with Tina and Brittany (Played by Heather Morris). Heather Morris was one of Beyoncé's backup dancers in Single Ladies. Heather Morris actually started out in Glee as only being there to teach them that dance, and then later got the role as Brittany when it turned out they still needed a third cheerleader.
    • Bryan Ryan's vocal exercises as he enters the theater sound horribly familiar.
    • In Episode 21, "Funk," it is revealed that Rachel is a vegan after the members of Vocal Adrenaline egg her in the parking lot. Lea Michele is a vegan in real life who has appeared in ads for PETA.
    • In "Home" April sings part of "A House is not a Home". Kristin Chenoweth sings the song in the revival of Promises Promises.
      • Also she wants to do a new version of The Wiz, which makes sense after being used to Oz already.
      • She also lampshades her "Cheno Notes."
    • Kurt singing "Defying Gravity" is a reference to Chris Colfer's having been denied the opportunity to perform it earlier in life.
    • Though unintentional, this isn't the first time Dianna Agron has played a bitchy head cheerleader.
    • Will forbids the club from doing Britney Spears songs, in reference to how Matthew Morrison himself was opposed to doing a Britney Spears episode.
    • Borders on Adam Westing, with Barry Bostwick and Meat Loaf playing conservative strawmen who want Sue to protest the Rocky Horror Picture Show.
    • Magenta was played by an actress named Patricia Quinn in the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Quinn Fabray plays Magenta in the Rocky Horror Glee Show.
    • In Never Been Kissed, Blaine, played by Darren Criss, the lead actor and songwriter for A Very Potter Musical, tells Karofsky that he's "Not Alone," the title of a recurring track from the musical.
    • In "A Very Glee Christmas", Mike wishes for Channing Tatum to stop being in stuff. Tatum starred in the first Step Up. Harry Shum Jr., who plays Mike, had a role in Step Up 2 and Step Up 3D.
    • In the "When I Get You Alone" number, Blaine tries on some pink sunglasses in a store.
    • In Silly Love Songs, Blaine tells Kurt about his plan to sing a song to someone on Valentine's Day, leading Kurt to believe that the song is for him, only to later find out it's for someone else. This isn't the first time a character played by Darren Criss has done something like this.
    • In "Comeback", Artie joins Sam's Justin Bieber homage Boy Band, the Justin Bieber Experience, probably as an allusion to Kevin McHale's own Boy Band background. They even get to perform "Somebody to Love" in a particularly NLT-esque fashion.
    • In the episode Sexy, Holly Holliday makes a comment about not liking shows about doctors, in front of Stamos's character.
    • New Directions does a song from Hairspray in "The Purple Piano Project". Matthew Morrison was the original Link Larkin on Broadway. If you notice, when he hears Rachel's opening notes, he smiles knowingly.
    • "I Am Unicorn" is full of it:
      • Burt telling Kurt that, if he can't find any good roles for a kid like him, to "write them yourself". Chris Colfer just wrapped Struck By Lightning, which he also wrote.
      • The choreography for "I'm the Greatest Star" has Kurt climbing all over scaffolding, hanging from it upside down, and spinning ninjitsu knives. All of which Chris is well known for liking and doing in real life.
    • Blaine leads the club in a performance of "Last Friday Night", the music video of which he cameos in. With Artie, don't forget Artie.
    • What about Kurt and Rachel's obsessions with Wicked? Don't they notice that April and Shelby look like Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel?
    • In "Lights Out" Sue sings "Little Girls" from Annie. Jane Lynch with be starring as Miss Hannigan on Broadway this summer.
    • Dani becoming the character effectively replacing Shelby, when Demi sung the single version of Let It Go, Idina's character's (heck, just 'the') most famous song from Frozen.
    • Wendla developing a crush on Melchior, their actors being the same.
      • reunion since Skylar Astin showed up and everyone just ignored his character. Somehow he's young enough to be in a high school glee club, but didn't get disqualified for not being in college the year before.
      • Yeah, and Aubrey's old enough to be a judge, years before competing in college. Cross-franchise continuity doesn't exist.
    • In How I Met Your Mother, Jayma Mays' character thinks it would be a good idea for a date to go to her dentist and have her teeth cleaned. Five years later, and Carl Howell appears on Glee.
  • Adored by the Network: Being the biggest hit Fox has had since American Idol, it was renewed for a third season only halfway through the first.
  • Ascended Fanon:
    • The creators have admitted that the idea of Brittany/Santana as a serious, Official Couple started with the fans, that they never planned for them to be more than a one-off joke until they saw that the fans wanted more.
    • Over at Television Without Pity Brad is referred to exclusively as "Tinkles." April Rhodes later calls him this.
  • Author Existence Failure: Cory Monteith, who played Finn, died on July 13th, 2013.
  • Colbert Bump: Has had this effect with some of the music they've featured on their show.
  • Contractual Purity: There is a strange tendency in some people to flip out every time Lea Michele or Dianna Agron appears on a magazine looking sexy. Yes, they are adult women in their mid-20s, not teenagers, yet somehow the fact that they play minors on TV means that they are "sending girls the wrong message" every time they so much as wear low-cut shirts. Glee is an unusual case, though, since it is not a kids' show and it engages in sexual and other adult themes on the show, so this expectation is solely due to viewer misconceptions.
  • The Danza: Jacob Artist as Jacob (Jake) Puckerman and Brad Ellis as Brad the Pianist.
  • Dawson Casting: All of the kids' actors are well in their 20's, with Cory Monteith (Finn), Mark Salling (puck), and Harry Shum, Jr. (Mike) being the oldest and only a couple years younger than their teacher. The closest exceptions are Chris Colfer (Kurt), Charice (Sunshine), and Damian McGinty (Rory), who were all in their late teens when their characters debuted.
  • Directed by Cast Member: Matthew Morrison directed "Extraordinary Merry Christmas"
  • Enforced Method Acting:
    • Brittany's famous nonsequitors were originally ad libbed. Other characters' confused reactions were real.
    • Dianna Agron (Quinn) and Cory Monteith (Finn) were not allowed to see the other actors performing "Lean On Me" in "Ballad" before the scene was shot so their reaction would be real.
    • In "Safety Dance," apart from the dancers, all of the extras were actual shoppers at the mall where it was shot.
    • Jayma Mays (Emma) didn't know about Will and Emma's kiss in "Journey" until it happened. Matthew Morrison (Will) and Brad Falchuk had planned it secretly.
    • In "Mash-Off" Cory Monteith didn't know Naya Rivera (Santana) was going to slap him, Brad mouthed it to Naya in the very last scene. Made better by the fact that the slap was in fact real.
  • Fake Nationality: Both of Mike's parents make references to their parents in China, but Mike Sr. is played by a Korean and Julia is played by a Japanese-American. Go figure.
  • Fan Community Nickname: Gleeks for the entire community.
    • Many fans of Chris Colfer and Kurt call themselves "Kurtsies".
    • People who are fans of both Glee and Team Starkid are called "Stargleeks".
    • There's a sizeable group of Mercedes/Amber Riley fans called the "Mercedes Mafia".
    • Many of the ships have their own names. Klaine has Klainers, Niff has Nifflers, Brittana has "Gay Sharks" (after Brittany's meme-spawning quip), Kurtofsky has 'Pirates' (because fans have decided that it's a 'pirate' ship), Blainofsky has 'BatKids' and Sory has Sponsors (after Sam was Rory's Christmas sponsor, and agreed to be his Valentine's Day sponsor as well).
    • Obnoxious Klainers have earned themselves a nickname of their own, Klainer 12, where the twelve stands for the age, implying that they're immature.
  • Fandom Nod:
    • Finn's mom and Kurt's dad getting together.
    • A lot of fans were disappointed that that the assigned Puck/Mercedes duet in Episode 10 never happened. So in Episode 18, they not only let them sing together but had them date as well.
    • Shelby Corcoran as Rachel's biological mother. Nicely they kept us off the trail by making her the rival coach and head faking toward another Love Interest.
    • Subverted in that a lot of people wanted an Odd Friendship to develop between Quinn and Rachel, especially for the homeless Quinn to move in with her. Such friendship and moving in did occur with Quinn-just with Mercedes.
    • In Bad Reputation, Rachel told Puck that most of the school referred to them as "Puckleberry" while they were dating.
    • Pretty much the entire opening sequence of the second season premiere is a nod to the biggest complaints of the show. And it's awesome. The only problem with that? The show kept on doing that even when the complaints started being legitimate.
    • Various characters in Duet calling Kurt out on his previous behavior in Season 1. It's like the writers read the Headscratchers page.
    • Furt gives us Finn mentioning "Puckleberry," "Finchel," and "Furt."
    • "Silly Love Songs" gives a nod to a different fandom during the Warblers' rendition of "When I Get You Alone". At one point, Blaine and two other singers grab sunglasses from the Gap's sunglass rack; the glasses that Blaine wears are Darren Criss's iconic pink sunglasses.
    • "Rumours" has the club rattle off all of the fandom names for the official couples - and create two new ones. Pizes (Puck/Lauren) and Tina Cohen-Chang Chang (Tina/Mike). The actors themselves are in on it as Mark Salling gave Puck/Artie a name (Partie).
    • "The Spanish Teacher" acknowledges a common fan complaint that on the rare occasion we hear Will speak Spanish, his accent is appalling considering he's teaching it in a high school.
  • Fan Nickname:
    • Finn is nicknamed "Frankenteen" due to his height, inability to cheer, and sometimes-stiff dancing.
    • Many people refer to Tina and Mike as "Asian and Other Asian".
    • Klaine have sex is referred to as "Klex".
    • People who don't like Blaine call him 'Bland' or 'Plain Blanderson'. And Klaine is renamed 'Kland'.
    • Blaine is 'Hobbit' in many fanfic, especially the Kurtofsky ones.
    • Fandom tends to call Kurt "Dolphin," due to Brittany's "dolphins are just gay sharks" line, or 'baby penguin' due to Blaine's comparing Kurt to one in season 2.
    • Dave is referred to as 'Yogi Bear' or 'bear cub' from the Scandals scene in The First Time.
    • While not a nickname, there are quite a few people in the fandom who love Quinn's first name Lucy and call her by that in fanfiction.
    • Joe is Teen Jesus
    • The short dance Brittany and Santana share during The Troubletones performance of "Survivor/I Will Survive" has been dubbed the "Brittango".
  • Hey, It's That Guy!:
    • The deaf choir director is the Operative's first on-screen victim in Serenity.
    • "Wheels" has Vork making a brief appearance.
    • Harry Freakin' Potter is Kurt's new friend from Dalton Academy..
    • Wendla is the overpowering student "leader" of the Glee Club.
    • The bohemian performance artist and misunderstood Wicked Witch of the West is the director of Vocal Adrenaline and Rachel's mom.
    • The perky blonde Good Witch is the perky blonde high school dropout and Will's short-lived romantic fling.
    • Will divorced with Meredith and now he's gonna be with Charlie.
      • Hiro should have suspected that Samuel would hide her in a small town in Ohio.
    • Emma's new beau is Uncle Jesse.
    • Rory, the Season 3 Irish Exchange Student, is played by the Boy Wonder from Celtic Thunder.
    • Hmm. That nun judge resembled a certain high school music teacher...
    • Ivy is one of Quinn's "skank" crowd in Season 3.
    • Chewbacca in Artie's daydream was played by Peter Mayhew, the original Chewbacca.
    • Hey, what is Melchi Gabor doing in Ohio singing ACDC?
    • Zach Nichols is one of Rachel's dads.
    • Cam Winston plays her other dad.
    • Blaine's brother is Neal Caffrey. Let's hope none of the New Directions are missing their wallets.
      • He's also Bryce Larkin... Let's hope none of the New Directions wake up with all the US government's secrets in their heads.
    • If you have a really good memory for faces, you probably recognize Sugar as Vange from the second generation Midnight Society.
    • One of the new bullies in season 4 is Cookie.
    • Sam has the same dad as Superman.
    • If you pay attention during "Swan Song", you can see Ellis Wylie of The Glee Project - eliminated in her second week and back as a background extra that even Ryan wasn't aware of.
    • So You Think You Can Dance finalists have a habit of appearing on the show, mainly in competing show choirs (where the singing is actually done by a separate group of singers), although Courtney Galiano has been credited for having a speaking (non-dancing) part. At least one SYTYCD finalist has appeared on Glee before SYTYCD.
    • Hey, remember that time Finn Hudson got eaten by a Wendigo?
    • Kurt's dad is Mike O'Malley (meaning, he used to host a Nickelodeon game show that was kinda like a kiddie version of American Gladiators — and later, had a spinoff featuring kids from other countries).
    • Dave Karofsky's dad is Arzt!
    • Kitty is Sherrie Christian note 
    • Detective Wilden is a stripper that robbed the New York gang.
    • Nate Archibald is Quinn's new boyfriend.
    • Mr. Stockley is in David Martinez's class.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: After the episode "Born This Way", in which the characters learn to accept and embrace their faults after Rachel says she wants her nose to look like Quinn's, Dianna Agron - who plays Quinn - got a nose job.
  • Rachel and Quinn used to be real-life roommates.
    • The list turns out to be even longer. Lea Michele has lived with Dianna Agron, Jonathon Groff, Naya Rivera, Heather Morris, Chris Colfer and Jenna Ushkowitz.
  • Lying Creator:
    • After Idina Menzel was cast, Ryan Murphy insisted she would not turn out to be Rachel's mother. Pretty much no one bought it.
    • Ryan Murphy also said that Finn and Rachel would stay together in Season 2. "Special Education" pretty much did away with that.
    • When he accepted a GLAAD award on behalf of the show, RM promised the gay audience that Kurt would never be the victim. Cut to season 2, in which anti-gay bullying becomes a huge plotline. Of course, that was before the rash of well-publicized suicides due to bullying. Even those gay advocates who completely supported RM's initial standpoint agree that the way schools deal with homophobic bullying needed to be addressed, and that Glee did it perfectly.
      • YMMV on that "perfect" part.
    • The entire "who is going to be Kurt's boyfriend" debate is a perfect example of this trope. From implying it'll be Sam to saying "Chord is definitely not the boyfriend" to "BLAINEBLAINEBLAINELOOKATBLAINEVERYONE" to "We haven't decided yet" (with the latter two included in the same interview, no less), well, somewhere in there there's several lies, though it remains to be seen which statements are lies and which are truth.
    • As of Original Song, Kurt and Blaine are together.
    • Although as of The Breakup, they are not.
      • They're back together as of "Love, Love, Love" and engaged. This pleased the Klaine fanbase, and only them.
  • Name's the Same: It's probably not the same McKinley as the one in the Final Destination series... though Cory Monteith did have a bit part in Final Destination 3.
  • The Other Darrin: The actors who end up playing Rachel's dads are different from the photos in Rachel's locker that we see back in "Pilot".
  • Promoted Fanboy:
  • Rule 34: There is a HUGE section of fandom that revolves around not only Les Yay but one of the girls (usually either Quinn or Rachel, but sometimes Santanna, or occasionally Brittany) secretly having a cock. Bonus points goes to the "were-peen" subgenre where it only comes once a month in place of their period. No points for guessing how Quinn's pregnancy turns out in this universe.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: The way so many "family values" groups reacted to the "Push It" number and the negative portrayal of the celibacy club in Episode 2 is a bit more understandable when you realize that a lot of parents of younger children were under the mistaken impression that Glee was High School Musical: The TV Series. (Which had nothing to do with the marketing of the show, but everything to do with the surface similarities - musical comedies set in high schools! - and general public ignorance about musical theatre not always being a "family friendly" medium.)
    • If the Parents Television Council's uproar about the GQ cover and the more recent one lambasting Lea Michele's choice to appear in a low-cut photo on Cosmo are anything to go by, people are still not getting it. This was even unintentionally lampshaded by the people in the latter case, who said "Lea Michele may be an adult, but to pretend that she doesn't know her fans are 11 is just ignorance." Why should an actress on a show that has had subplots about teen pregnancy and when to lose your virginity, jokes about oral sex, a former teacher turning to drug dealing, and students taking uppers to do better in competitions be expected to cater to 11-year-olds?
    • It doesn't help that Claire's, a store famous for cheap jewlery aimed at pre-teens, now sells a small ammount of Glee merchandise. Including make up sets for Rachel and Quinn, Team Finn and Team Puck necklaces, bracelets, and even knee socks.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Glee was at first conceived as a movie by Ian Brennan, he wrote the script in 2005 but it never got anywhere, in 2008 the script fell into Ryan Murphy's hands and he and Brad Falchuk (who worked with Ryan on Nip/Tuck) decided the concept would be better as a tv series
    • Originally the creators where going to include a character named Rajesh. However, Chris Colfer made such an impression at his audition (for Artie) that the character of Kurt was written specifically for him.
    • The producers originally wanted a black girl in the Britanny role (who was then only ever intended to be a background character) but Heather Morris was given the part after teaching Chris and Jenna the Single Ladies dance.
    • The Don't You Want Me duet between Blaine and Rachel shows what a lot of duets would have been like if Darren Criss was cast as Finn, the part he originally auditioned for.
    • Aaron Tveit also auditioned for the part of Finn. Some of the more Broadway-obsessed portions of the fandom wish he had gotten the part.
    • Max Adler also auditioned for one of the male leads, and after hearing him sing and seeing him act one wonders why he wasn't cast as one.
    • Sam was originally intended to be the Kurt's romantic interest, but at the last minute the writers decided Chord's chemistry with Dianna Agron meant he would be better as Quinn's boyfriend. At the end of season 2 he and Mercedes had a Relationship Reveal that was supposed to continue on into the next season, but unfortunately Chord declined to come back after his option as a series regular wasn't picked up.
      • Then another WCHB instance cropped up after the writers introduced a highly likeable side character as Mercedes' love interest, shortly after which Chord did return and whatever plot line involving Mercedes and Shane were sidelined to bring Samcedes back into being.
    • Telly Leung (Wes' actor) originally auditioned for Blaine.
    • Samuel Larsen of The Glee Project (and eventual winner) auditioned for Sam.
    • Naya Rivera (Santana) had originally auditioned for the part of Mercedes.
    • Through no one knows what would have happened had Cory lived, Ryan Murphy had a plan. While not giving away any specific plot points, spoilered just in case:
      Murphy: The final year of the show, which will be next year, was designed around Rachel and Cory/Finn’s story. I always knew that, I always knew how it would end. I knew what the last shot was, he was in it. I knew what the last line was—she said it to him.
    • Originally, "Seasons of Love" was intended to be performed at some point during season 3 (possibly during the finale), as implied by an unreleased cast recording of it that got leaked out to the internet, but was cut from the episode for unknown reasons.
  • Written By Cast Member: Chris Colfer wrote season 5's "Old Dog, New Tricks." Unusually for this trope, the producers actually approached him to write an episode (it may have helped that he had writing experience beforehand, having written the movie Struck By Lightning - which he also starred in, co-produced and novelized - and the book series The Land Of Stories).
  • So, the show loves Journey. Naya Rivera originally auditioned for the part of Mercedes, but was given an unnamed cheerleader. What did they name this character, then? Santana. Like, Santana? That being group which the founders of Journey (Neal Schon and Gregg Rolie) left and originally tried to recreate (with Journey) before Steve Perry arrived and they became more pop/Arena Rock than Latin-jazz.Yeah.

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