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  • Actor-Inspired Element: Several of the casts' actual nicknames have been used for their characters: Naya Rivera's "Snixx" for Santana, Mark Salling's "the Saw" for Puck, Chris Colfer's "Kurt" (which was made his character's name) and "Porcelain", and Dianna Agron's "Lady" (made "Lady Fabray") for Quinn and "Shelby" (which was made the name of her daughter's adoptive mother), and apparently "Beth", too (the name of her character's daughter).
  • Actor-Shared Background:
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    • Dianna Agron had a nose job, albeit during Season 2. She also quit her school's glee club in favor of dance (though Quinn quits for cheerleading).
    • Naya Rivera had a boob job and an eating disorder in high school. More notably, she decided to quit her high school's glee club when she kept getting passed over for someone else:
      "All the good solos and parts kept going to my arch nemesis Nazanin Mandi. Because I was totally insane at the time (and, let’s be honest, probably really hungry), I decided it was a good idea to challenge her to a sing-off. I had enough of playing second soprano and quit."
    • Heather Morris and Becca Tobin (Kitty) were cheerleaders and dancers in school.
  • 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:
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    • 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 in “The Rhodes Not Taken”.
    • Most of the character theories from the fans in social media or fanfiction have either been referenced in the show, a main plot point in an episode, or approved of by the cast and crew.
  • Author Existence Failure: Cory Monteith, who played Finn, died on July 13, 2013.
  • California Doubling: Though the show is set in northwestern Ohio, it's filmed in Los Angeles. 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.
  • Cast the Runner-Up: Chris Colfer originally auditioned for Artie (which would go to Kevin McHale) but the producers liked Colfer so much they changed a previously planned character and wrote Kurt Hummel specifically for him.
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    • 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.
  • The Cast Showoff:
    • Given that it is a musical show, it is entirely justified when even minor characters start singing and dancing. Kurt breaking out the sai swords, on the other hand...
    • Since he spends the majority of his time in a wheelchair onscreen, Kevin McHale could be this anytime Artie is given a dream sequence that allows him to dance.
  • Cast the Expert: Heather Morris was only brought in to teach the "Single Ladies" dance (she was a back-up dancer for Beyoncé on tour) but when the producers needed a third cheerleader, Morris was cast to play Brittany.
  • Channel Hop: Moved from Channel 4 to Sky (in the UK).
    • Re-runs are still shown on E4, if you can't afford £40-odd a month for Sky (cable TV). Or at least they were through 2014, before the exhibition rights to the first two seasons also jumped to Sky.
  • The Character Died with Him: Finn upon Cory Monteith’s death, with Lea Michele's blessing, the character's cause of death was purposely never revealed.
  • Colbert Bump: Has had this effect with some of the music they've featured or covered on their show, such as Halestorm's "Here's to Us" (ironically a Black Sheep Hit) and Rihanna's "Take a Bow".
  • 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... despite the fact there are actually THREE competitors.
    • Subverted a season later, as New Directions come in second at Regionals. Played straight in the third to last episode and Grand Finale of the series, where they win Regionals and their second Nationals title.
  • 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.
  • Creator Backlash: It's often been joked that no one hated Glee more than the cast themselves, as many of them have derided the show's plotlines and writing quality in the years since it concluded.
  • Cut Song: Several, due to last-minute changes or time constraints. Some of them managed to even be recorded and/or filmed, with the latter occasionally released as deleted scenes. A list can be found here.
  • 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), Jake Zyrus (Sunshine), and Damian McGinty (Rory), who were all in their late teens when their characters debuted. Lea Michele and Matt Morrison are old enough that they used to date when they were both on Broadway.
    • 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.
      • There's also the fact to consider that those gentlemen's mag pictures were shot in a high school (or meant to look like they were).
      • 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.
    • Coming to the later seasons a lot of the new kids were quite young, which made Becca Tobin stand out even more around them. She's not that much younger than Matthew Morrison, also making her older than all of the Originals except Finn, Puck and Mike.
  • Directed by Cast Member: Matthew Morrison directed “Extraordinary Merry Christmas”.
  • Enforced Method Acting:
    • Brittany's famous nonsequiturs 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.
    • During "The Safety Dance" in “Dream On”, 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 to Regionals” 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, Director Eric Stoltz mouthed it to Naya in the very last scene. Made better by the fact that the slap was in fact real.
  • Executive Meddling:
    • "Candles", the Regionals duet between Kurt and Blaine, 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 creator/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 final product, she uses MySpace. Why the change? The fact that the same company that owns MySpace also owned Fox, the company that produced Glee, probably has something to do with it.
      • In the flashback episode "2009", the show makes many jokes at Myspace's expense.
  • Fake Mixed Race: Inverted, Blaine's onscreen relatives are all white while his actor Darren Criss is half-Caucasian and half-Filipino.
  • 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.
    • Finn, Terri, Sugar and Hunter were all played by Canadians.
    • Mike is played by a Costa Rican with Chinese parents.
  • 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 sizable 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 “Ballad” never happened. So in “Laryngitis”, 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 “Audition” 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 sunglasses rack; the glasses that Blaine wears are 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 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'. It actually originated in-show, when Sue called them that, and not long later, even Tina, having drawn his name for a duet, said: '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 refer to her as such 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".
  • Fanon: An interesting case as it pertains to the Season 3-4 character Sugar. Ostensibly a copy of Rachel (minus the lack of vocal talent), it was called upon that actress Vanessa Lengies bore a resemblance to both Heather and Naya. Couple that with a throwaway line made by Brittany about a time machine, and a section of the fanbase came to the conclusion that Sugar was in fact Brittany and Santana's daughter, coming from the future to insure her parents got together.
    • Doubles as a form of Ascended Fanon, as Lengies, Morris and Rivera heard about this theory and ran with it, having scenes that act as nods to the fanon. Lengies left the show at the end of the fourth season, but made a cameo for the wedding episode, nodding up at the heavens in a way that suggests Sugar's mission was complete and thus her existence was guaranteed.
  • Friday Night Death Slot: Fox moved Glee to Fridays at 9pm for its sixth and final season.
  • Hostility on the Set: Lea Michele played the prima donna theater brat Rachel Berry, and by all accounts, her character's bad attitude was a pretty good reflection of her real-life personality.
    • Naya Rivera confirmed in her biography that she didn't get along with Michele, to the point where they were not on speaking terms by season six (which Naya speculated was due to Lea being unhappy at Santana's increased prominence in the show). However, she also added that the rumors of their feud were blown out of proportion.
    • Samantha Marie Ware (who played Jane Hayward in season six) was not nearly so diplomatic, and accused Michele of making her life a "living hell" on set. Michele tweeting in support of the Black Lives Matter movement was The Last Straw for Ware (who is black), who called Michele a hypocrite and accused her of subjecting her to routine racist abuse on set, including claiming that she'd "shit in [her] wig". Ware claimed that she almost quit Hollywood because of her experience. Shortly after, several of Michele's co-stars from Glee and other projects she'd worked on all chimed in to support Ware's accusations, with some of them adding their own horror stories of working with Michele and even those defending her from some of the worst charges (including Heather Morris) admitting that she was unpleasant to work with.
    • As for the rest of the cast, both Ryan Murphy and Marti Noxon have said that many of the male actors on the show did not get along with each other and that some of them also acted like bullies, but that it never got as much attention as the reports of Michele's diva behavior. An entire montage has been made of the backing actors and several main actors showing their distaste for Lea.
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  • Irony as She Is Cast:
    • Besides Heather Morris and Harry Shum, Jr., the best dancers in the cast are easily Dianna Agron - a professional dancer before Glee - and Kevin McHale with his boy band training. Yes, they each get some great dance routines because of this, but in the season 3 episode “Saturday Night Glee-ver” - which is understandably all about dancing - both their characters are paralysed and confined to wheelchairs, and not even given a dream sequence between them, leading to a massive What Could Have Been moment had either of them been able to whip out their epic dancing skills for a big number this episode instead of the writers wanting to show Finn "Frankenteen" Hudson trying to be Travolta.
    • Dianna Agron is Jewish, but playing a devout Christian whose faith is often a plot point.
    • Compared to Lea Michele, who was raised Catholic but plays the very Jewish Rachel.
    • Max Adler is one of the only two actors (the other being Jayma Mays) in the whole cast to have actually been in a Glee club, and a successful one, thus meaning he can sing pretty well. He plays Dave Karofsky, who wants nothing to do with the club, and doesn't sing a single song in the entire series.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: Well, in the United Kingdom anyway, because people believe the DVD sets are Edited for Syndication versions.
  • Killed by Request: Dianna Argon got so sick of Quinn's plots (which she saw as character derailment) that she wanted Quinn to die during the third season when she gets hit by a truck. The creators seemed to compromise by having her survive, but letting her end the season recovered both from the crash and the crazy plots before she was allowed to Graduate from the Story, with Agron then reprising her role sporadically all the way to the final episode.
  • Lying Creator:
    • After Idina Menzel was cast, creator Murphy insisted she would not turn out to be Rachel's mother. Pretty much no one bought it.
    • Murphy also said that Finn and Rachel would stay together in Season 2. “Special Education“ pretty much did away with that.
    • On accepting a GLAAD award on behalf of the show, Murphy 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 Murphy's initial standpoint agree that the way schools deal with homophobic bullying needed to be addressed, and that Glee did it perfectly.
    • 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 Break-Up”, they are not.
  • Named After Somebody Famous
  • Name's the Same: It's probably not the same McKinley as the one in the Final Destination series... though Monteith did have a bit part in Final Destination 3.
    • So, the show loves Journey. 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.
    • One of the guys playing a male cheerleader on the Cheerios! is MichaelEddie Rivera. Naya Rivera, head cheerleader Santana, has a brother with the same name.
  • 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".
  • The Production Curse: When Becca Tobin's boyfriend died in similar circumstances to Cory Monteith a year later, some fans thought that it would become a recurring event. When it became August 2015 and none of the Glee cast's boyfriends had died the curse was Jossed and everyone was thankful.
  • Promoted Fanboy:
  • Reality Subtext: A couple.
    • Starting in the second season, Colfer and Michele's mutual adoration of each othernote  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.
  • Recycled Script: More like recycled plotlines. This show is notorious for repeating the same story-line over and over again. The most jarring being the Jake/Marley/Ryder love triangle in season four being resurrected for season five, the Jake/Marley/Ryder love triangle being a almost carbon copy of the Puck/Rachel/Finn one, Sue deciding to seem to leave the Glee Club at peace before randomly once again being on a quest to shut it down and the bitchy Cheerio becoming a nice girl (such as the case with Quinn, Santana, Kitty and potentially Bree).
  • 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 the show 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.
  • Retroactive Recognition: On one of the many alternate Earths out there, Barry Allen and Kara Zor-El are members of rival show choirs in Lima, Ohio.
    • Theatre fans will likely better recognize Laura Dreyfuss (Madison from season six) as the originator of the role of Zoe in Dear Evan Hansen.
  • Revival by Commercialization: Most songs featured in the show are discovered by newer audiences - and even reenter the charts!
  • Romance on the Set: Happened quite a bit.
    • Cory Monteith and Lea Michele, who played Finn and Rachel, dated in real life.
    • Melissa Benoist and Blake Jenner who played Ryder and Marley, were married in real life.
    • Naya Rivera who played Santana, and Mark Salling who played Puck, dated briefly.
    • Recurring guest star Gwyneth Paltrow began dating series co-creator Brad Falchuk when they met filming the 100th episode, and married in September 2018.
  • 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 Santana, 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.
  • Screwed by the Network: FOX didn't treat Glee's final season very well at all, opting to place it on the Friday Night Death Slot alongside World's Funniest Fails, a knock-off of America's Funniest Home Videos with a completely different demographic from that of Glee's.
  • Scully Box: Inverted. Colfer had a growth spurt during the first season and is rather tall as a result, but camera tricks are frequently employed so that Kurt doesn't look taller than Blaine or Karofsky (notice how he rarely stands side-by-side with another guy).
  • Shrug of God: The show is pointedly vague about how Finn died following Monteith's death, emphasizing that the focus should be on life, not death.
  • Star-Making Role: For Michele and Colfer, the latter of which ended up winning a Golden Globe eighteen months after his professional acting debut.
    • Essentially applies for every cast member who wasn’t already a known name in TV or screen acting, and even ones that were (like Jane Lynch and John Stamos) gained recognition from a new generation of viewers.
  • "Take That!" Tit-for-Tat:
    • One of Neil Patrick Harris' Tony performances referred to Broadway shows as "a two-hour, live-action, barely affordable, un-lip-synched version of Glee", causing the TV show to have more songs performed live on set rather than pre-recorded and edited.
    • Our Gay Wedding: The Musical claimed that it's entire premise was "gayer than Glee" — the next season then contained a double gay wedding, just to make sure it kept the title.
    • After Pitch Perfect subtly trashed the show, characters began saying things like "the a cappella thing is boring, done".
    • After Community characters told the glee club on their own show (an expy for the rival shows) to "write some original songs", Glee did just that. However, Glee did not respond to Community's mocking that it "got a lot of awards" for just doing "sing sing singaling", possibly because actually winning all those awards was giving the return Take That for them.
    • The show also started its own little war, when in a season 4 episode one character claims that a couple she doesn't like makes her feel "dryer than the cast of Hot in Cleveland", HIC later responded with one of their characters who was played by a former star of Glee (Chris Colfer) tell his mother how he was "in the glee club for six long years" as if despairing.
    • On Virtually Famous, primarily about modern internet use, Chris and Seann would mock Kevin McHale for being on Glee, so the next season of the show had the first episode ditch the computing extracurricular in favor of glee club.
  • 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 “Showmance” 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'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 jewelry aimed at pre-teens, now sells a small amount of Glee merchandise. Including makeup sets for Rachel and Quinn, Team Finn and Team Puck necklaces, bracelets, and even knee socks.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • The series was at first conceived as a film by Ian Brennan; he wrote the script in 2005 but it never got anywhere, in 2008 the script fell into 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 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 plotline involving Mercedes and Shane were sidelined to bring Samcedes back into being.
    • Through no one knows what would have happened had Cory lived, Ryan Murphy had a plan:
      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.
      • This has been revealed both in-show and in further interviews: Finn is content and fulfilled as the new Glee club teacher; Rachel becomes a big Broadway star, happy with her life and yet not quite. The last scene would be Rachel suddenly coming into the choir room where Finn is teaching, and when asked what she was doing there, she would answer "I'm home".
    • 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.
    • David Martinez was rumored to return at some point, but he never did, which makes “The Spanish Teacher” really stick out.
    • The character that would become Kurt was supposed to a freshman in Season 1, and Puck a junior. Both were at least RetConned to be sophomores.
    • The school was originally called Harrison High (a different President they'd have a harder time making jokes at the expense of), and the original five New Directions were already going to be in the show choir with Hank (reportedly part of the "in-crowd") as their leading man, before Will took it over. In “2009”, Rachel says that out of the five she was the only one in choir before Will; Hank's part from Pilot was drastically cut.
    • Like Quinn was originally called Liz, Rachel's mom was going to be called Amber, and her dads were Joe and Bruce in the pilot. Joe was originally called Apollo in the Season 3 scripts.
    • In (early drafts of) the Pilot, Rachel was written as a child model who now loved Hannah Montana, and she was going to perform "Look at Me, I'm Sandra Dee", in an American Idol audition. Simon's feedback was harsh.
      • She also had the line "Glee club isn't about solos... it's a team sport." Original Pilot Rachel was a lot different to the one that ended up getting filmed, and the stronger personality probably made her better. Then again, Mercedes got a lot more lines with this Rachel around...
    • Vocal Adrenaline's song in the pilot was originally Robbie Williams' "Let Me Entertain You".
    • At the end of Finn's inspirational speech, instead of saying that both glee and football need him, he was originally going to quit football and just leave with Artie.
    • Howard Bamboo was originally a young girl called Ginny. Terri was also an actual hard worker at Sheets N' Things, but it was going to get shut down and this is why she pressured Will to earn more money.
    • Mercedes and Rajesh (who became Kurt) were going to eventually date.
    • One that carries over the The Glee Project is how the ending of the first season would have worked out if Cameron had stayed and Damian had been eliminated. Would all four finalists have gotten on the show? Would Cameron's character make more of an impact and last longer than Rory did?
  • Written by Cast Member: 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 film Struck By Lightning - which he also starred in, co-produced and novelized - and the book series The Land of Stories).
  • Viral Marketing: Italian network "Italia Uno" ("Italy One") has aired bumpers such as this one (see the others in the related videos). GLEE-talia Uno! Evidently, Mediaset wants to surprise anyone who doesn't have internet and/or anyone who's never heard of Glee. It's almost sickening.

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