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Please keep in mind that Rule of Cautious Editing Judgment still applies here. If you just want to rant about your love or hatred for a particular character/ship/event, take it to the Glee discussion thread.


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  • Abandon Shipping: Many fans of Finn and Rachel jumped ship after the infamous wedding story-line in season 3. For Kurt and Blaine, it's usually either the Chandler incident, the incident in the parking lot of "Scandals", or Blaine cheating on Kurt.
  • Acceptable Ethnic Targets: Dwarfs. Santana has been known to pick on fellow glee club member Rachel for her diminutive stature ("Listen to Dwarf Diane Warren").
  • Acceptable Targets: Bisexuals are either just really deep in the closet, or they're compulsive sluts.
  • Actor Shipping: To Rule 34 levels. If you can think of an actor shipping pair, it exists.
    • Interestingly, the two openly gay cast-members (Chris Colfer and Jonathan Groff) are never being shipped with each other, everyone being busy pairing up Chris with a straight guy and Jonathan with a woman. Fandom is a funny place.
    • The most common pairings seem to be the Les Yay HeYa (Heather Morris and Naya Rivera), which makes enough sense as their characters are together, and Achele (Dianna Agron and Lea Michele), which also makes some sense. Well, to fans of it. Dianna and Naya together also seems to be happening now.
    • The Crisscolfer (Darren Criss and Chris Colfer) shipping is... shall we say, Intense... (to be polite)
    • Actual couples, like Cory Monteith and Lea Michele, were supported.
    • A lot of people started Crack Pairing Lea Michele with Matt Morrison (Rachel and Mr Schuester) after it was revealed that the two had previously dated back when they were both on Broadway.
  • Adorkable:
    • Brittany's naivety over the simplest of things, believing in Santa Claus and getting excitable when he shows up in shopping malls, donating a dollhouse for all the "homeless dolls", and apparently crying over broccoli because she thought that was a tiny tree where jellybabies lived qualify for this, as well as moments where she lacks social skills around strangers. You just wanna give her a hug whenever she's crying or upset. And she also has an online talk show, and is praised for her dancing by the other glee club members.
      Santana: [about Brittany] She's sweet, she's innocent... she's everything good in this miserable, stinking world.
    • Sam loves to do impressions of characters and actors from movies, and tries to win the affections of Quinn by speaking Na'vi language from Avatar.
    • Finn mixes up well-known idioms and shows signs of being Book Dumb, even being amazed that books could be rented out of a library. When he is confused or amazed about something mundane, he makes a wide-eyed confused expression like a deer caught in the headlights, and is also a clumsy dancer (he hits someone in the face once).
  • Alternate Aesop Interpretation: The message of Rachel's speech criticizing the celibacy club in the second episode of the first season was probably intended to be "trying to enforce abstinence in high schools is a bad idea", which is certainly a fairly reasonable point to make. However, with the way Rachel phrases things, it can easily seem as if she's actually not just arguing that enforcing abstinence on a collective level doesn't work, but that she's making the sweeping generalization that even personally choosing to remain abstinent is impossible to teenagers because they're so completely under the control of their hormones.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Thanks to the well rounded personalities of every character in the show, fans can either over-identify with a character and see them as the hero of the show, or completely hate them and see them as the villain of the show. There's enough leather pants for everyone. To be fair, the creators seem to purposely encourage the fans to have competing interpretations of the characters. It's just part of the fun of the show.
    • Is Brittany really just stupid, or is she also delusional? Among other signs, she believes her cat has been reading her diary. With the episode 'Night of Neglect', a common interpretation is that she's a Genius Ditz mixed with a Cloud Cuckoo Lander. Though an episode actually showed her cat (on screen) using a computer mouse, so while we have no confirmation that it read her diary, it's clearly smarter than the average cat.
    • Is Quinn a Jerk with a Heart of Gold, or the Alpha Bitch, or The Chessmaster, or even a Smug Snake or Manipulative Bastard?
    • For the relationship between Santana and Brittany, is Santana an abusive partner in the making? She seems eager to emotionally sway Brittany to her side of an argument no matter what said conflict is, and makes her believe she can do no wrong and makes sure she still remains loyal to her.
    • Is Finn Hudson Obfuscating Stupidity or is he Too Dumb to Live?
  • Arc Fatigue:
    • Some people feel that the Dalton arc — when Kurt transferred to Dalton Academy to get away from bullying — was drawn out too long, and that Kurt was being overshadowed by Blaine and the Warblers in his own storyline. It was supposed to make a point about gay bullying, but for the most part amounted to little more than a few big lipped alligator moments and yaoi scenes. According to Word of God, the Warblers were only supposed to appear for two episodes of the second season, but their immense popularity led to them staying on the show much longer, possibly into the third season. Until "Born This Way", when Kurt finally returned to McKinley, it felt entirely possible that he would be staying there indefinitely.
    • Rachel and Finn's relationship was frequently this, as they were a Foregone Conclusion from the start and yet the show kept finding new ways to break them up and get them back together, even after they promised to "keep them together to focus on other couples" in Season 2. Interestingly, when they did decide to keep them together in Season 3, they made it even worse with the wedding arc which was extremely unpopular with the fanbase (outside of hardcore Finchel shippers), most of whom saw it as out-of-character.
  • Ass Pull:
    • Finn being Easily Forgiven for outing Santana. The conflict is solved in the duration of one whole episode and it takes a 180 twist on the fact that in the episode before it Finn clearly outed Santana as lashing out at her for insulting him, not because he suddenly "cares for her" and doesn't want to risk her health or life.
    • Suddenly revealed in the same episode the school's 'zero tolerance policy for violence'. After our suspension of disbelief's been dragged along with two and a half seasons full of bullying, tossing in the dumpster, violent shoving at lockers (some of that actions taken by teachers) and several brutal fights about which no adult apparently could do anything about, we are now supposed to buy that a slap is a big deal. The blatant set-up of this situation in order for Finn to look good by 'rescuing' Santana doesn't help one bit.
    • The New Directions get disqualified at Sectionals in Season 4 due to Marley fainting. Of course, Hunter Clarington just had to involve Dalton Academy in doping, getting Dalton disqualified and the New Directions reinstated (and winning). There were three participating schools. One of which did not get disqualified. New Directions still ends up winning...somehow.
    • During "A Wedding", Brittany reveals that she wants Kurt and Blaine to also get married during her and Santana's wedding, because supposedly she found them to help her be comfortable with her sexuality. Maybe something like that could work for Santana, but Brittany had always been a unique character because she never expressed any angst or worry over her sexuality. She liked boys, she liked girls, and that was that. Season 2 showed that if Santana was willing, Brittany would be more than fine with dating her in public. In the end, it just seems like Character Shilling (or rather pairing shilling) and a cheap excuse to get Kurt and Blaine married.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • In "Duets" and "The Quarterback", Burt brings up his controversial rant to Finn about his use of a homophobic slur, echoing fan sentiments that, while Finn was in the wrong for saying it, he was under a degree of stress at the time. Burt also admits that, yes, he may have overreacted just a little bit. Hearing it from Burt from Finn might have a point and that he may be taking advantage of Sam just as he had a crush on Finn the year before finally makes Kurt realize that his behavior during that episode wasn't acceptable either; he at least gives enough consideration to Burt's words that he tells Sam he can duet with someone else and that his reasons for releasing Sam from their partnership lie with himself rather than with Sam.
    • The show removed the new members of the Glee Club in the second half of the fifth season, because of the fans who hated the new characters and the direction old club members had taken. Instead, the show began to focus on what the old cast was doing out of the club.
  • Award Snub:
    • The series was nominated for 19 Emmys in the 2010 Emmys but only won 4. The Best Comedy Emmy and Best Casting Emmys (Comedy) went to Modern Family instead. Of course, if Modern Family hadn't won those, this entry would be on its page.
    • The fans of Community see Glee as being the cause of its own Award Snub, as it got zero nominations. Even though the shows don't even have the same timeslot.
    • To some fans, Naya Rivera in particular has been a target of this, especially after Santana's coming-out storyline.
    • Glee was the reverse of this in Season 2, as it continued to receive loads of nominations even though the critics had soured on it. This changed with Season 3, when Glee only got three Emmy nominations, for Dot Marie Jones' guest performance as Coach Beiste, for make-up and for cinematography - none of which it won.
  • Base-Breaking Character: It's probably easier to say just about every single character is one. But these stand out especially:
    • Rachel: She's either inspiring and sympathetic, or a spotlight-hogging bitch. Her actress is similarly polarizing.
    • Kurt: His fans adore him for his unapologetic refusal to hide his sexuality and identity while his detractors (some of whom are gay males) can't stand how he often comes off as a Camp Gay stereotype and how he's always treated sympathetically by the narrative even when he's clearly the one in the wrong (two particular sore spots include his blatant biphobia in "Blame It On The Alcohol" and sexual harassment of Finn in "Theatricality").
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • At one point the club is performing one of their songs onstage in front of a closed curtain. At the climax of the song, the curtain opens and an entire gospel choir is revealed and sings along with the cast. This is never brought up again.
    • "Make 'em Laugh" from "The Substitute" was just a dream sequence Will had from being sick and watching Singin' in the Rain too much.
    • Several of the Dalton numbers feel rather shoehorned into the show. "Baby, It's Cold Outside" had little purpose aside from being Yaoi Genre fanservice, and "Bills, Bills, Bills" came out of nowhere after the commercial break with Regionals practice as its only Hand Wave.
    • And while the shippers loved it, Kurt and Blaine's slow-mo run down a hallway seems a little out of place. It also seemed that way to Chris Colfer, who said that the scene "was too gay even for me."
    • Near the end of "Guilty Pleasures", an episode about... guilty pleasures, Tina reveals her love of Small Wonder. By dressing as Vicki. And chasing Kitty down the hallway.
    • Even in Glee, most of the songs in "Puppet Master" were this. Half of them were gas-induced hallucinations, while the performance of Ylvis' "The Fox" at the end was completely unrelated to anything else in the episode, and was probably included to cash in the song's success.
    • The appearances of Sugar and Joe in season six. They vanished at the end of season four without an explanation, and appeared for single-scene cameos without any explanation for their return either.
    • "Suddenly Seymour" from the Season Six premiere. It's supposed to get Rachel's spirit, but it's the most random, off-the-wall song choice. Literally any song could be used for the same purpose.
  • Bizarro Episode:
    • The Christmas specials, except for "Glee Actually", aren't really connected to the story.
    • "The Spanish Teacher" as well, because Will teaching History is barely touched upon in later episodes and David Martinez never returned.
  • Broken Base:
    • In the first half of Season 1, there was a sort of "Team Rachel"/"Team Quinn" rivalry between fans of the two characters. (Not in terms of which one belonged more with Finn - with Quinn lying to him about her pregnancy, most fans were on Rachel's side with that one - but with the issue of which one was generally more sympathetic or had more right to feel "wronged" by the other). It was rekindled in the second season after Rachel and Finn broke up and Finn and Quinn got back together. By then, Quinn had been made a lot more sympathetic, and one could have reasonably sided with either character in their battle for Finn (though this changed when it became clearer that Quinn was just dating Finn for his popularity so she could win Prom Queen). Then, of course, there are those fans who think both of them are too good for Finn...or not good enough...
    • The Finn/Kurt subplot in "Theatricality" has sparked quite a hot debate over which character was more in the wrong (Finn for calling Kurt's decor "faggy" or Kurt for the obsessiveness which led to Finn's outburst?). Eventually bled over into the show itself.
    • The second season itself. While its themed episodes like "Brittany/Britney," "The Rocky Horror Glee Show" and "A Very Glee Christmas" and various guest stars have received a lot of hype and been fairly popular with the show's younger and/or more casual fans, a lot of viewers think the show lost its luster and long for the first season, when it was less interested in creating big moments and more in telling a consistent story and building interesting characters.
    • Mercedes' performance of "Sweet Transvestite". Some fans think she brought the house down. Others wish a house would be brought down on her for ruining it. There is very little middle ground.
    • In season 2, over Artie's relationship with Brittany, and whether the show had done enough to develop it beyond a Crack Pairing. Some thought they were quite sweet together, while others thought that it was still just a lazy attempt at Pair the Spares. It got much more complicated with the addition of Santana's sexuality storyline in the later half of the season, as Artie became the obstacle to them getting together and an increasingly obvious Romantic False Lead for Brittany.
    • There is something of a battle over Kurt's portrayal. His Camp Gay persona is quite controversial: as the show is so popular, many believe that it gives a bad representation of gay people to the mainstream as Will & Grace did years ago. Others believe that having an openly gay character who is neither Straight Gay nor the least bit ashamed is a good thing. Still, others believe that Kurt's message became more important than the actual character.
    • The Gay Aesops of Season 2 and 3 also came under fire. There was either too many making them Anvilicious or it was perfectly justified since Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped. Heck, even some who thought the anvils needed to be dropped weren't always happy about Glee's manner of dropping them...
    • There's been a huge debate already on the scene in "Mash-Off" where Finn outs Santana in response to her incessant teasing. Some say that Santana backed Finn into a corner and so it was only human that he would lash out with the only thing that would make Santana stop. Others say that as awful as Santana was, outing her for that is Disproportionate Retribution and never, ever justifiable. Then there's the middle-ground, where they admit that what Finn did was completely wrong, but he couldn't have anticipated where it would lead (a political ad that uses her lesbianism to bash Sue), and Santana was hardly innocent in the matter. It gets ugly no matter which position you take. That's not to mention the following episode. Many people believe that Finn was very Easily Forgiven and that an episode that should have been focused on Brittany and Santana's relationship was instead focused on Finn for no real reason. The one given by Finn was that Santana was the one who took his virginity, so he allegedly selflessly cares about the fact that her not being out is hurting her emotionally. Nevermind the fact that in the prior episode he just seemed to have been pushed to the edge by Santana's verbal attacks on his weight so he wanted to get back at her.
    • 'Dance With Somebody' broke the base with Kurt's cheating storyline and Blaine's reaction to it through song; part of the base sided fully with Blaine and despised Kurt for flirting with Chandler; some didn't side with either; and some sided with Kurt as they saw Blaine's behavior as hypocritical given his pre-"Michael" relationship with Sebastian.
    • Marley's eating disorder plot is either not funny, or a spotlight on a common thing for teenagers.
    • The cover of Friday and Gangnam Style. There's the camp that simply feel that they were bad covers, and another that feels Glee is doing everything to latch on whatever popular trend is happening at the time.
    • The Klaine relationship as a whole. Supporters believe it's a powerful relationship that helped save the lives of many gay students in need of representation, that it gives Kurt something good in his life, or that it's a cute relationship. Others despise the pairing for various reasons whether it's coming off strongly as Token Shipping with a Satellite Love Interest, taking up screentime at the expense of more interesting characters and storylines, various instances of emotional abuse being glossed over, that the characters don't have good chemistry or rapport, poor overall execution, or the use of numerous negative gay stereotypes or outright controversial statements which do more harm for gay rights and representation than good (see Unfortunate Implications).
    • At the beginning of season four, the show split narratives between New York and McKinley story lines - an act that effectively split the fandom 50/50 as to which one is the "real" glee (McKinley has the choir room and contains the teenage characters that most viewers relate to, whereas New York contains most of the stars that draw in the general viewer).
    • The season 4 episode "Shooting Star". 50% of people in and out of fandom think that Glee was very brave to approach the topic of School Shootings. The remaining 50% thinks the episode is just using the topic to attract ratings and publicity, is full of Unfortunate Implications, comes too soon after the Sandy Hook shooting, and its Axes at School ending comes with a glaring unfortunate implication about Down's Syndrome people.
    • Blaine in the episode "Puppet Masters" has split the fandom in two, mostly being the Anti-Blaine fans and Blaine fans but there are some in the middle ground. Some either liked the episode and found it charming and found Blaine to be adorable in it while others found that Blaine was whiny, selfish, manipulative (with the Kurt puppet) and didn't deserve to be the person to pick the songs they sing for Nationals.
    • The reveal that the rest of season 5 will take place in New York has caused some diversion. Some people disagree with it, saying it completely ruins the point of the show and the others say that the show should have been doing this since the start of season 4. Then there are those who are happy for the decision but aren't happy at the idea that this means the Newbies will disappear and the New York side will have more characters added onto them, worried it might ruin it. But then there are those who are happy for that. Basically, this is probably one of the biggest broken bases Glee might have yet.
    • Even before it aired, Santana VS Rachel in "Frenemies" was ugly either way. There are fans agreeing with Rachel who say that Santana auditioning for understudy is ridiculous considering she has never shown an interest in Broadway and that's she's just trying to steal Rachel's limelight and then there are those on Santana's side, saying that Rachel blew a majority of the situation out of proportion, taking the simple idea of Santana auditioning to be her understudy and making it a huge deal which she shouldn't have. And some are just Kurt, siding with neither of them.
    • The new newbies in season six. Some are mad that they are essentially replacing Marley, Jake, Ryder, Kitty, and Unique, especially in a shortened final season that won't be able to offer them much in the form of character development. Others are glad that they appear to be more fully-formed characters as opposed to the previous group, which was mostly made of several expies, as well as the fact that they won't be around long enough to be ruined like the writers (which is a common opinion about most of the characters on the show).
  • Cargo Ship:
    • Wes/Gavel and Kurt/Kilt are fairly popular, but the most widely known one is Santana/Shrub-shaped-like-a-person (Shrubtana).
    • Don't forget Briano (Brad, the piano player for New Directions and his piano. Though he cheats on it with the keyboard from time to time)
    • Also, Blaine/Hair gel, and Mercedes/Tater tots.
    • Don't forget Blaine/Furniture, Blaine/Microphone, Santana/Breadstix, Finn/Chair, Quinn/Bacon, Emma/Grapes, and Puck/Eggo.
  • Cliché Storm: Critics charge that the show relies too much on hackneyed plot devices; the show really tends to revel in the charge. The fans love it though, and the writers certainly know what they're getting into.
  • Crack Pairing: They are common sources for one-episode pairings, though a few have had more long-term success, such as Puck/Rachel, Puck/Shelby and Artie/Brittany. Obviously, Puck seems to be a popular target of them (being the Launcher of a Thousand Ships that he is).
  • Creator's Pet:
    • Holly Holiday. It definitely feels this way for people who don't like Holly, since Ryan Murphy called the actress who plays her "Glee's muse" and seems fond of the character by association. Said actress also married Brad Falchuk in 2018.
    • Unique, who was made into a main character in Season 4 because of Ryan Murphy's adoration for Alex Newell from The Glee Project. Compare the screentime and focus Joe gets (despite actually winning the show). It went even further with Newell being promoted to main cast in Season 5, although his character's Transgender storyline went towards mitigating this somewhat.
  • Critical Research Failure: Tenure in public schools does not work like it was portrayed on Glee. Most teachers receive automatic tenure after 3 years working in the same school as insurance against wrongful firing and budget cuts; a tenured position doesn't open up just because a long-time teacher resigns. Likewise, teacher specialties—in this case, Spanish and History—are misrepresented: Teachers study from 4-6 years to be qualified to work in their schools, and even then only in their specialty. Scheuster would not have just wandered into the high school and asked for a Spanish position, nor could he have switched to the History department on such short notice. He needed qualifications.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: Almost anything Sue does or says, though she certainly outdid herself in season 5 when she managed to take Figgins's place as principal by planting false evidence in his office, including gambling bills, porn magazines, gay porn magazines, gay porn foot fetish magazines, and an autographed copy of Mein Kampf.
  • Designated Evil: Finn calling Kurt's decorating "faggy". While he really shouldn't have said that, Kurt was way over the line, and Burt overreacted when he heard Finn say it. Even if he had handled it more rationally, Kurt clearly never cared that his behavior was seriously inappropriate, and complaining to their parents probably wouldn't have helped because of how protective Burt is toward his son.
  • Die for Our Ship:
    • Artie. At PaleyFest 2011, Kevin McHale revealed that he often gets "hate Tweets" from Brittana shippers, protesting "I'm not Artie!"
    • Quinn, Blaine and Mercedes all got this from the Kurt/Sam shippers. Blaine got it the most, but Mercedes likely to got more of it when Sam returned in "Hold on to Sixteen," trying to win her back.
    • The Finchel ship gets this from Klaine and Brittana shippers: whether it's because the latter are confused about who the show's actual protagonists are, or because of legitimate complaints about the discrepancy in treatment of opposite-sex vs. same-sex couples on the show.
    • Let's not forget the massive amount of hate the Finchel Fandom itself lets loose against anyone other than Finn that even shows the slightest interest in Rachel. Puck, Jesse, Brody, all of their respective actors and their fandoms catch no end of hell from them. Mark Salling actually got legitimate, police-investigated death threats after Rachel cheated on Finn with Puck in Season 2. In fact it goes so far as to spill over into The Faberry Fandom, a non-canon ship.
    • Sam, due to dating Brittany, and the series' complicated history regarding its depiction of LGBT issues. While Santana was the one to dump Brittany because she wanted to date other people, a lot of people resent the show's aforementioned imbalance in the portrayal of opposite-sex relationships vs. same-sex relationships. Whereas Brittana fans had to wait for over a year to see the two painfully in love characters kiss, Brittany and Sam kissed multiple times in the episode they got together. Once Brittany and Santana's relationship was made official it took place almost entirely in the background whereas Brittany and Sam had major plots revolve around their relationship in two consecutive episodes, leading to some resentment towards the character himself. Prefer Brittany with which ever character you like, but you'd be hard pressed to argue that they are treated equally.
    • Some less scrupulous fans were hoping Marley would have died from her fainting spell at Sectionals, so that Jake and Ryder could take comfort in each other.
    • The Klaine fandom sends quite a bit of hate as well. Max Adler, Grant Gustin, and Oliver Kieran-Jones have gotten hate sent to them for being a love interest of either Blaine or Kurt. Even Chris Colfer has gotten hate from Klaine shippers due to Kurt's actions in episodes or comments Chris has said that can be taken as anti-Klaine or pro another pairing like Kadam. Strangely, Darren Criss never really receives hate from Klainers even if he says similar anti-Klaine comments or Blaine shows interest in someone else, like Sam in Sadie Hawkins.
    • Notably subverted with Dani, Santana's new girlfriend. She doesn't receive much hate from Brittana shippers or frankly any other Santana-related shipper. In fact, people wish that she had been featured more and has a sizable fanbase of her own.
  • Draco in Leather Pants:
    • While Karofsky is a complex character and many of his fans accept his flaws as part of what makes him so interesting, some of his more rabid fans completely overlook the way he injures, threatens, and tries to force himself upon Kurt.
    • With the help of Grant Gustin and the show's 'interesting' way of character development, Sebastian is slowly but surely becoming this. Because there has to be a traumatized woobie beneath that 'facade'.
    • Puck. The fangirls were all over him long before he showed any signs of depth.
    • Santana, as many of her fans tend to downplay her role in bullying other characters to turn her into The Woobie due to her torment over her sexuality. However a rewatch of early season 3 suggests that her bullying was in response to people attacking her and making fun or taking advantage of Brittany, which she then gets punished for — and punished for being punished. And on top of that, she's still struggling with her sexuality, thus providing an Alternative Character Interpretation that puts her in a better light, especially among the young gay kids who can ignore the rest of her character to get some comfort in a shared experience.
    • Quinn, as a lot of her fans will take her side even when she's clearly supposed to be in the wrong. When she said that Dave Karofsky attempting suicide was selfish because she was never driven to the edge, Kurt told her that this was because she had it a lot easier, relatively speaking. While Kurt could have said this without making the ways in which Quinn had it rough sound unimportant, he was saying it in response to Quinn completely failing to consider how no one can be in exactly the same position as someone else, not in response to Quinn merely expressing discontent over what she's been through. Will later reveals that he tried to take his own life after cheating on a math midterm, something that many people might not see as a big deal, to remind the kids that it's easy to forget what's ahead of them when they feel like their lives have sunk so low, so this little quarrel was just setting Quinn up for a lesson anyway.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Brittany, who wasn't in the pilot, didn't speak until episode 4, gets a handful of lines in every episode and still manages to be one of the most popular characters on the show with her charming minimalistic humor. The TIME TV critic James Poniewozik posts his favorite "Brittany-ism" after every show on his blog. Also, she's one of the two best dancers, and a pretty good singer to boot. Heather Morris was only hired to choreograph the "Single Ladies" dance from the episode "Preggers". When Ryan Murphy needed a third actor to play the third member of the "Unholy Trinity" along side Naya Rivera and Dianna Agron, Morris was hired. As stated above, her almost deadpan humor, coupled with her dance skills, impressive pipes, and chemistry with Rivera won over fans to the point that the duo of "Brittana", originally just secondary characters, became arguably the second most popular couple on the show, and culminated with the characters getting married in the show's final season.
    • An actor version: Mike O'Malley, who plays Kurt's father, was basically a stalwart of mediocre sitcoms like Yes, Dear, Nickelodeon game shows and commercials. In Glee, he routinely turns out subtle and heartfelt performances. His character, Burt, as well.
    • Blaine, who won a lot of fans over with his good looks and excellent voice.
    • Mike Chang is also extremely popular, even before he started getting lines. Having nice abs doesn't hurt one's popularity.
    • Santana Lopez. She started off as a bitch. Then, they let her sing "The Boy is Mine". People embraced her bitchiness as comedy and fell in love with her voice. And then, she was revealed to be a lesbian, and was paired with Brittany...
    • Dave Karofsky, thanks in no small part to Max Adler's talent.
    • Holly Holiday, played by Gwyneth Paltrow, going from a celebrity guest spot to a recurring character and Love Interest for Will. She's the most frequently-recurring celebrity guest on the show, due to the character's popularity with viewers and the fact that her nature (a substitute teacher who can't stay in one place for long) is easy to work around Paltrow's schedule.
    • Jeff and Nick, two background Warblers who have only had one line between them, have been swooped upon by the shippers, pairing them with Kurt, Blaine, or each other.
    • Becky, even more so due to her inner monologuing.
    • Sugar, especially after she stopped faking Asperger. Ironic because she was apparently intended to be The Scrappy.
    • Coach Beiste is one of the very few characters of the show that is liked by (nearly) the entire fanbase. Even people who hate everything else about the show love Shannon/Sheldon Beiste. And her actress, Dot Marie Jones.
    • Season 5 had two: Santana's new girlfriend Dani (who lacks a last name) and Elliot "Starchild" Gilbert, who are played by popular singers Demi Lovato and Adam Lambert.
  • Evil Is Cool: Why Sue is commonly held as one of the most popular characters on the show.
  • Fandom Heresy: Let's just say that, while Lea Michele as a person is a very polarizing figure within the fandom, there aren't many places where it's safe to admit that you don't much like her singing voice, and leave it at that. Chris Colfer and Darren Criss (if not their characters) also tend to be sacred cows.
  • Fanon:
    • The one common line of belief among fans from start to finish was that the bulk of the characters grew up with each other and were friends since childhood.
    • Sugar Motta is Brittany and Santana's daughter from the future. Eventually, Vanessa Lengies and Heather Morris themselves found out about it and ran with it, making little nods and such. It got to the point where when Lengies returned for an episode in the final season, she mentioned it to Entertainment Tonight, giving it more exposure. Variants apply to the characters of Rory and Harmony, painting them to be Klaine and Faberry's kids.
  • Fanfic Magnet: The Warblers. There's even an entire LiveJournal community dedicated solely to Dalton fanfic. It probably helps that their personalities are close to non-existent, which is fanfic writer gold to do whatever you want.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: A fair size of the fandom like to pretend the second half of the series never happened.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: There were several over the course of the series but the most popular one was Quinn/Rachel, followed by Rachel/Puck (which was canon for one episode as a joke, but the fans ran with it). Previous ones (before they became Official Couples) include Kurt/Blaine and Brittany/Santana; with the latter, fan demand played a large part in the decision to make them official.
  • First Installment Wins: Generally everyone will agree that season 1 is the best (whether or not they mean the season as a whole or just the first 13 episodes is undecided).
  • Foe Yay:
    • Bryan Ryan (Neil Patrick Harris) and Sue, who have angry sex even after Bryan cuts the Cheerios budget in half. Hilarious in Hindsight when you realize that both Neil Patrick Harris and Jane Lynch are gay.
    • Rachel and Quinn. One of the most popular Fan Preferred Couples, and the bulk of the Gleeks have said if Finn and Puck weren't in the picture, they would've wound up together.
    • Will and Bryan, to combine your Foe Yay with Ho Yay.
    • Kurt and Puck in one of the Fox commercials.
    • Kurt wants to lock Rachel in his basement. Okay. Until one remembers that his basement is also his bedroom. That doesn't have sexual undertones due to his sexuality, but one does have to wonder why he'd want to lock someone he has so many issues with in the place where he sleeps. Then, there's the fact Kurt is just as determined as the other boys to go after Jesse when Jesse eggs Rachel. Rachel gets one by sending the football-playing Glee boys after the guy who has been terrifying Kurt.
    • Say what you want about the "Smooth Criminal" cover, but it's painfully obvious that Sebastian and Santana are both oozing this, despite the Incompatible Orientation.
    • Also, Kurt and Sebastian. Sometimes their sniping at each other seems to take this turn.
    • Will and Bryan Ryan, in "Dream On". Will and Sue, canonically, in "Funk".
    • Mercedes with Santana in "Duets."
    • Sue with Will Schuester, "Funk" really drives it home. Her "angry sex" with Bryan Ryan is also an example.
    • Although they end up (mostly) smoothing it over before the end of the episode, Kurt and Elliot/Starchild manage to ooze this in their first interaction.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • In "Pilot", Finn was blackmailed into joining ND when Will claimed he had found marijuana in his locker. That's so funny!...until we find out that Finn's actor, Cory Monteith, dropped out of high school due to serious drug addiction problems. It became even less funny come July 13th 2013.
    • Jesse's joke after if someone died during a Vocal Adrenaline performance being used as a prop becomes a lot less funny when Marley passes out at Sectionals in Season 4.
    • Rachel's horrific behavior towards Sunshine Corazon, which included sending her off to a crack house because she was threatened by her talent, was Played for Laughs in a Black Comedy/Crosses the Line Twice sort of way. However, in May 2020, a few of Lea Michele's former Glee co-stars alleged numerous claims of her behaving in a racist manner shortly after Michele posted a message on social media condemning the murder of George Floyd, among them being a rumor that Jake Zyrus, who played Sunshine Corazon, had his role on the show curtailed because his talent posed a "threat" to Lea Michele.
  • Genius Bonus: Though it's more like Movie Trivia Awareness Bonus, Will dreams he is performing the "Make 'Em Laugh" number from Singin' In The Rain while sick and feverish; Gene Kelly performed the film's title number with an incredibly high fever.
  • Glurge: The show deals with a wide variety of serious issues, especially regarding bullying, homosexuality, sex, body image and other such topics, but the main cast's many, many Jerkass moments usually results in a lot of Unfortunate Implications and the characters themselves coming across as Unintentionally Unsympathetic (i.e., Kurt telling Blaine that he admires how proud he is of who he is and does not like that he's tiptoeing back into the closet immediately after Blaine suggests he's bi).
  • Gotta Ship 'Em All: Discussed to the point that the characters inadvertently give everyone more ships. Most likely a case of Ascended Fanon because Ryan Murphy lurks around the Internet. Not to mention all the Crack pairings that end up canon.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Kurt says that being called "lady" is bullying. That makes this screencap from Entertainment Tonight especially cringe-worthy.
    • In his fake apology to the Glee club in "Born This Way" Dave Karofsky says that he had 'read stories about kids who were bullied so much they hung themselves'. That speech takes on a whole new light after the events of On My Way.
    • Kurt and Blaine's first duet as a couple becomes this after the events of The Breakup. The "I couldn't see when it was you and me," "looks like a solo tonight, but I think I'll be alright," "erase the memory of your face," "One day you will wake up with nothing but your sorries" — all of it! Listening to it again just makes you cringe, especially if you shipped them together.
    • The revelation that Finn's father actually died from a drug overdose is much harsher considering Cory Monteith's own past with addiction and unexpected death from a fatal combination of heroin and alcohol. In fact, a lot of viewers said in hindsight that they didn't like the change of the father's backstory.
    • Likewise, the season four episode wherein Finn is partying so hard he almost blows off school. This episode aired shortly before Cory Monteith entered rehab for the last time, and watching some episodes where Finn looks especially rough can be quite heartbreaking.
    • "Goodbye": Will sings "In my heart you'll be... forever young." The camera stops on Finn. There are moments like this throughout the early episodes of the series, but this moment is particularly prophetic.
    • After Finn fails to insult Santana back when she confronts him and Rory, Santana mocks him and points out that she cannot be swayed by dressing-downs because "I was raised on insults". In a somewhat Fridge Brilliance fashion, this would later be followed by the Santana Outing situation.
    • Marley and Ryder's romance is this as Melissa Benoist and Blake Jenner later married then divorced. And in 2019 Benoist also later posted a video revealing that she suffered domestic abuse from an ex that, while she did not mention any names, fans speculate it coinciding within the timeframe she was with Jenner. Jenner confirmed it in 2020 though he also claims that the relationship was mutually abusive.
    • In Season 2's first episode, Sunshine Corazon says she would have stayed, except "Rachel would have made my life a living hell." Watching this in 2020, it's harsher when we see that Lea Michele has issued an apology for doing just that to some of her co-stars, including Samantha Ware.
    • In the Finn/Cory tribute episode of season 5, Santana performs the song "If I Die Young" by Band Perry. The lyrics in the song take on a haunting feel in light of the news of Naya Rivera's death by drowning. To make matters worse, due to the several days it took to find her body, she was officially confirmed dead on the seventh anniversary of Cory Monteith's death.
    • In one episode, Puck (played by Mark Salling) says that he expects that in ten years he'll be "dead, or in jail, or both." Less than a decade later, Salling was dead — having hung himself after being convicted of possession of child pornography and domestic abuse.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Emma in episode 3:
      "They say it takes certainty more than talent to make a star. I mean, look at John Stamos."
    • Karofsky in "Britney/Brittany", which is even more hilarious after he and Santana becomes each other's beards:
    • Santana's snarking on Kurt in episode 5:
      Kurt: "Can we discuss the elephant in the room?"
      Santana: "Your sexuality?"
    • Puck's line to Quinn in Season 1.
      I don't dig fat chicks.
    • In Mattress, Dave Karofsky is defacing a yearbook picture of the Glee club. If the picture's turned upside down, it looks like he's drawn a heart over Kurt's picture (it seems he was going for breasts). Yeah, it's most likely a teenage boy who has no drawing talent, but considering what we eventually find out...
    • In the middle of Season 3, Puck mentions that global warming means his pool-cleaning business is in demand well into winter. This was meant to be a throwaway joke, but the winter of 2011-12 turned out to be unusually mild for much of the US, with summer-like weather in March (unusual in the Upper Midwest). This could also be a reference to the show's practice of California Doubling, so the weather in it is often unseasonably warm for northern Ohio.
    • When having one of his many snarky exchanges with Sebastian, Kurt says that he doesn't like his obnoxious CW hair. A hilarious line by itself but what really hammers it home is that Grant Gustin (Sebastian's actor) would end up being cast as Barry Allen on the CW. And before that, he had a recurring role on Beverly Hills, 90210.
    • In "Laryngitis", Burt says that the Cincinnati Reds are barely major league. The Reds proved him wrong by winning their division and making the playoffs the same year.
    • Since “Dynamic Duets“, Marley has graduated from Woman Fierce to Supergirl; specifically, Melissa Benoist was cast in a new version.
    • The references to Jeb Bush being president in 2020 become this when by the end of 2015 (the same year the Grand Finale aired), Jeb had become a serious laughing stock of the race, his campaign crashing and burning by February 2016 partly thanks to the unprecedented firestorm that was the campaign of Donald Trump.
    • Quinn saying she could easily get all the parts where the girl cries. First, some Fridge Brilliance when you realize that Dianna Agron is famous in Hollywood, and actually praised by the Glee directors, for being able to cry on command. Second, nearly all of Agron's mainstream roles after this line involved the girl crying (The Family, I'm Not The Only One, McQueen, etc.) — all in the exact same position and, to an extent, situation.
    • All of the characters being repeatedly told that they wouldn't make it in theater. A short round up of what some of the main cast did post-Glee: Matthew Morrison (Will): lead in Finding Neverland; Darren Criss (Blaine): lead in Hedwig and the Angry Inch; Dianna Agron (Quinn): lead in McQueen: or Lee and Beauty; Jonathan Groff (Jesse): large part in Hamilton; Amber Riley (Mercedes): lead in Dreamgirls (which is itself an example, given Mercedes' frequent performances as Effie).
    • Many of Artie's more Ho Yay-laden moments became this after Kevin McHale came out as gay in 2018. One of the most egregious ones comes from "Sexy", when Sam, after Brittany and Santana sing "Landslide", makes an off-hand comments about wishing he and Artie could be as close as the two girls are, not knowing the true nature of their relationship.
    • In 2019, Damian McGinty and Heather Morris starred together as love interests in the Santa Fe-set movie Santa Fake, which is hilarious both in terms of his first appearance (where Rory tries to win Brittany's affections) and the following Christmas episode (in which Brittany's family is said to be going to Santa Fe for vacation).
    • At the end of the first episode of the final season, Rachel sings "Let it Go" from Frozen. Flash forward to March 2019 and Disney acquiring 20th Century Fox, giving them the rights to Glee.
    • Along with a little Heartwarming in Hindsight ...In the Distant Epilogue where we find out what's happening with the gang five years later on, 2020 sees Rachel expecting a child as a surrogate for Kurt and Blaine. Cue 2020 and Lea Michele 's pregnancy announcement.
  • Hollywood Homely: Suzie Pepper (played by the definitely-not-ugly Sarah Drew) saying that she and Rachel are "Mildly Attractive".
  • Hollywood Pudgy:
    • Apparently, seeing Finn in his underwear is supposed to be a bad thing. He probably is the fattest one of the male glee club members at the time, but this isn't saying much.
    • Karofsky's big and has a naturally stockier build, and he's most likely at an appropriate weight for that body type. This hasn't stopped people in-show and out from criticizing him, not that it'd be right even if he were actually fat. Of course, the characters have a little bit more of an excuse due to them doing so in a form of self-defense against his often-times physical terrorizing. He refers to himself as a "bear cub" in "The First Time", and says it's working for him.
  • Ho Yay: So much it has its own page here.

    I-Z 
  • Idiosyncratic Ship Naming: Fans of the pairing Quinn and Artie often refer to them as "Wheels + Preggers" due to episodes based around their conditions being named that, though to be fair they are also referred to as Quartie and Quarter.
  • Idiot Plot:
    • Quinn has to tell Finn that she got pregnant when he ejaculated in a hot-tub with her in it, which is complete crap, and the reality was she slept with Puck. Instead of lying about the hot-tub, she should have just had sex with Finn the moment she found out, and waited a week or two before revealing she was pregnant, and told Puck the baby wasn't his.
    • Terri has a hysterical pregnancy, and at first tries to get pregnant for real, but it fails, so she starts wearing a fabric baby bump. Instead of faking a miscarriage, she continues the ruse for fear of losing Will, her husband. Eventually she hits upon the idea of adopting Quinn's baby, when it's likely that everyone in the Glee club would be around the birth, and it'd be damn near impossible to hide the fact she now has Quinn's baby. There's also the question of exactly how far along the two women are. If Quinn was even a month behind, it'd mean the baby would be massively overdue. An even smarter solution would be to fake a miscarriage with her doctor, then offer to adopt Quinn's baby properly. Also, the doctor is roped into going along with Terri's charade via a ridiculous threat from Terri's sister that she clearly has no real ability to follow through on. Of course, it all comes crashing down, spectacularly.
  • Incest Yay Shipping:
    • Firstly there's Hummelcest between Burt and Kurt Hummel, a rare example of a father/son incest. Considering that they cannot have a scene without declaring their love for each other, it shouldn't be a surprise.
    • Then they introduced Cooper, Blaine's brother who's even more handsome than he is, and we got Andercest. Not at all helped (or immensely helped, for those who like this sort of thing) by the line "We're not just brothers, right?" said while standing with their faces mere inches apart. Oh, Glee. One might almost suspect you do this on purpose.
    • Mason and Madison had this built in with their introduction, since the Cheerios even mockingly call them the "creepy incest twins". They're not, though they did drop a lot of subtext that they're oblivious to. McCarthycest was one of the first new pairings spinning out of the season 6 premiere.
  • Informed Wrongness:
    • Mike Chang Sr. is treated as unreasonable for not wanting his son to enter a field where very few people succeed.
    • Brittany breaks up with Artie because he called her 'stupid,' and he is portrayed as being in the wrong. Which would have been understandable — except that the reason he called her stupid in the first place was because he was naturally hurt and upset that she had been cheating on him with Santana, who had convinced her it wasn't cheating "if the plumbing is different". Neither Brittany nor Santana are ever treated as wrong for this.
    • Kurt was pissy at Rachel and Blaine for dating, going as far as to claim that bisexuality is just a coping mechanism for closet cases. When the two decide to just be friends, it proves Kurt right and makes Rachel and Blaine out to be fools.
    • Mercedes tells Puck that Quinn chose Finn to be her baby's father and Puck has to respect that... except Finn doesn't know that he isn't the father, and no matter who a mother chooses to be her partner, the guy whose sperm actually made her pregnant most definitely has the rights to the child.
    • Will gets mad at Marley and calls her "selfish" for refusing to wear a bikini she is uncomfortable with, during a performance that will take place in front of the entire school.
  • It's Not Supposed to Win Oscars: Some fans fall back on this when encountering any criticism of the show's unlikely plot points or character interactions. "It's supposed to be unrealistic and silly. It's a parody of musicals!" TIME reviewer James Poniewozik explicitly rejected this in one review, not because he dislikes the show, but because he thought so highly of the first season that he expects greatness from the rest of it: if a show is trying for genuinely emotional moments or Aesops and fail to deliver them effectively, a Parody Retcon is an insult to both the viewers and the creators.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • As horrible as Terri is through the first half of the first season, as she grows more desperate to hang onto Will, you can't help but feel sorry for her.
    • Sue definitely counts after "Grilled Cheesus" and "Funeral".
    • Santana in "Sexy", where her ice queen facade is chipped away. The episode "Mash Off" makes Santana an even bigger woobie, Finn told her to come out in the middle of the hallway, it's overheard by a congressional candidate's niece, and Santana is outed on TV in a political smear ad against Sue. Santana's in tears by the end of the ad. Then the episode "I Kissed The Girl" shows her being disowned by her grandmother for coming out. If that doesn't make you want to hug her, nothing else will.
  • LGBT Fanbase: The creator's gay, twenty of the main cast is, most of the characters and storylines are. Everybody is fully aware of their fans.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Puck, Rachel, Kurt, Finn, Santana, Jesse, Dave. Name a character, really.
  • Memetic Badass: Sue Sylvester was the original one, but Pavarotti, the Warblers mascot, and especially Lord Tubbington, Brittany's cat, have provided plenty of competition.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "Do you think this is hard? Try doing memes. THAT'S hard!" (And that's how Sue C's it!) explanation 
    • From the top! explanation 
    • Eyes on your own paper. explanation 
    • "Sex is not dating." "If it were, Santana and I would be dating." explanation 
    • The University of Los Angeles. That's in Los Angeles. explanation 
    • Think of the mailman! explanation 
    • That fucking COCKBLOCK PIANO!explanation 
    • Suddenly... Karofsky! explanation 
    • "Why is the T-Rex eating the Jew?" explanation 
    • NO ME GUSTA explanation 
    • Santana reacts explanation 
    • "You're all minorities. You're in the Glee club." explanation 
    • "I'm Going to Create An Environment So Toxic"explanation 
  • Moe: Kurt. His enormous Puppy-Dog Eyes don't hurt. Though depending on the episode he sometimes enters "Moeblob" territory.
  • Moral Event Horizon: The guys at Karofsky's new school crossed this when they outed him as gay, drove him to attempt suicide, and mocked him on Facebook even after his suicide attempt.
  • Narm: Darren Criss isn't a bad actor, but he has a tendency to make the most ridiculous faces when he's singing as Blaine that can really ruin the mood of the song. The most jarring would have to be "Cough Syrup" which is a dramatic moment as it switches from Blaine singing to Karofsky preparing to take his own life, but it gets ruined by Blaine making faces like this.
  • Narm Charm:
    • The unabashedly cheery second season Christmas Episode, aside from the Rachel/Finn subplot, should have by all means been a non-stop Glurge fest, and yet it was one of the sweetest episodes of the series, especially when Artie stood up.
    • A lot of the things Finn says or does can be this as well. Him singing "I'll Stand By You" to a sonogram would have been hilarious if done by anyone else, but Finn manages to get away with it somehow. Especially since his mother catches him doing it, forcing him to tell her about the baby.
  • Never Live It Down:
    • Will probably isn't going to be forgotten for blackmailing a student into joining the club by planting drugs in his locker. Nor is he going to be forgiven for not punishing Rachel for sending Sunshine to a crack house, suspending Marley for refusing to wear a sea-shell bikini when she was battling an eating disorder, his frequently obvious bias for Rachel and Finn, treating any action the club takes without him as a personal betrayal, his frequent rap songs and inappropriate dances with his underage students, or defending twerking to the point where Sue promises to fund a transgender-friendly bathroom for Unique on the one condition that Will stop twerking and he flatly refuses it.
    • Fandom will probably never forgive Finn for inadvertently causing Santana to be outed not only to the entire school, but the entire town. It just goes to show how selective fandom's memory can be, since Finn only snapped back after being bullied by Santana all day and had no idea that he was being filmed by someone who was out to get Sue Sylvester.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Has its own sub-page.
  • No Yay:
    • How some viewers reacted to the Will/Sue relationship in "Funk." Basically, if your reaction wasn't Foe Yay it was probably this.
    • And Karofsky kissing Kurt in "Never Been Kissed", for some people.
      • Will kissing Coach Beiste in the same episode. Namely because Will's actions seemed predatory rather than endearing.
    • Also how many viewers reacted to Will and Terri hooking up in "The Substitute."
    • Finchel is quickly becoming this due to Seasonal Rot.
    • Season 4 gave us Sam/Brittany. Brittana fans immediately called for Chord Overstreet's head.
    • In the final season there was Blaine/Karofsky. The second it was announced they would be canon in the wake of Kurt and Blaine's second breakup, Klaine shippers were PISSED.
  • Offending the Creator's Own:
    • Former Saturday Night Live cast member and fundamentalist Victoria Jackson accused the show of being "anti-Christian." Ryan Murphy is a Catholic.
    • Kurt as a character is this for a number of gay male critics.
  • One-Scene Wonder:
  • Pandering to the Base: Became really notable when Glee got picked up for additional seasons after the first 13 episodes. Suddenly, characters like Kurt and Santana became part of the Spotlight-Stealing Squad, shipping got pushed to the forefront, and the show started making more and more tribute issues. This tends to be a major point on contention amongst the fanbase.
  • Pop-Cultural Osmosis:
    • Even those people who actively avoided the show had still at least heard of it and knew of its Bootstrapped Theme, as well as why Cory Monteith's death was notable.
    • Apparently. One review of a compilation CD includes that "the inclusion of Don't stop believin' (Journey) [was a] surprise", as the person "knew that their [Journey's] music didn't do much business in the UK" and were "pleased to find that they have become more popular in the intervening years, albeit mainly due to this song being featured on X-factor." Yes ... The X Factor. That's why this song hit a million sales in 2010. Note: the review was written in October 2014.
  • Portmanteau Couple Name:
    • Wemma or Wilma (Will/Emma)
    • Finchel (Finn/Rachel)
    • Quick (Quinn/Puck)
      • Or you can use Quinn's surname Fabray to get the same result as Finn/Puck. Or both portmanteaux to spell out the cause of Beth.
    • Puchel/Puckleberry (Puck/Rachel)
    • Faberry/Quinchel (Quinn/Rachel)
    • Fuinn (Finn/Quinn) because 'Finn' and 'Quinn' didn't really do the job.
    • Winn (Will/Finn)
    • Take a wild guess what Finn/Puck is. Hint: it ain't "Pinn."
    • Puckurt/Purt/Pummel (Puck/Kurt)
    • Furt (Finn/Kurt)
      • Kinn is also becoming popular among Finn/Kurt fans for reasons that become quite obvious once one tries to say "Furt" out loud. Not to mention the fact that they are step-brothers—you know, kin?
    • Bike (Brittany/Mike)
    • Mark Salling requested that fans make Puck/Artie videos because "Puck + Artie = Party!" My God... He's one of them!]]
    • Brittana (Brittany/Santana), or "Santittany," according to Naya Rivera.
    • Puckleberry Quinn!
    • Tartie or Artina (Tina/Artie)
      • Meanwhile, shippers for the actors who play them dub them "McHalowitz".
    • Quartie or Quarter (Quinn/Artie)
    • Changel (Mike Chang/Kurt Hummel)
    • St. Berry (Rachel/Jesse)
    • St. Fabray (Quinn/Jesse)
    • There already exists Skurt or Kum for Sam/Kurt fans.
      • Or the lesser used "Hevans".
    • Shell (Shelby/Will)
    • Chachang (Tina/Mike), also called Changsquared, Changcest, or Tike. Chitty Chitty Chang Chang was used on the actual show in "Prom Queen".
    • Sack (Sam/Puck)
    • 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 "The Vampire Diaries, watches, and pornstars".
    • Artittany (Artie/Brittany). 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.
    • Blam/Slaine (Blaine/Sam)
      • 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.
    • Seblaine or the lesser used Blastian or Andersmythe for Sebastian/Blaine.
    • Huntbastian is Hunter/Sebastian. The fandom seems to have willingly taken his claim of being "not even remotely bi-curious" in the opposite direction to that intended.
    • 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.
    • Brody/Rachel, or Brochel, Westberry, West Side Berry or Westonberry has become popular.
    • Samchel (Sam/Rachel).
    • Bram (Brittany/Sam).
    • Fierce or Quitt (Quinn and Brittany).
    • Wildebrams (Kitty and Artie).
    • Wildeberry (Kitty and Rachel).
  • Replacement Scrappy: The Newbies started off as this as they were carbon copies as most of the originals. Fans were quick to notice the similarities between them and characters that already existed. Marley was a lot like Rachel (and was practically only known as "The New Rachel" early in season 4), Jake is the Troubled, but Cute badboy who along with sharing many personality traits with Puck is also revealed to be his half-brother, Unique is jokingly referred to by fans as what the child of Kurt and Mercedes would be like for good reason, Ryder is like Finn given that he's the sometimes ditzy football player who has a passion for singing and Kitty is the bitchy cheerleader like Quinn who overtime comes to slowly become a better character. Bree, introduced in season 5, seems to be an almost Lampshaded example as she is called In-Universe "the new Santana Lopez". They have gotten development over time and have their own fans but still many people consider them copies.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Kitty was a scrappy for a load of fans who were mad at her because she was the one who manipulated Marley into having an eating disorder. However, her apologizing to Marley and her relationship with Artie has won her some fans.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
  • Romantic Plot Tumor:
    • Finn and Rachel's relationship fits in this category for quite a few viewers. A story about a group of quirky, diverse and talented misfits trying to move beyond their small-town life and pursue their dreams via their shared love of music... and at least a third of each episode focuses on Finn and Rachel's on and off again romance. The fact that the actors of Finn and Rachel eventually got into an actual relationship, and the fact that this pairing was supported by prominent columnists in the entertainment industry and the mass media doesn't help things either. Post-graduation, their on-and-off tango had no tension since it was clear they'd be together in the end. However, the untimely death of Cory Monteith pretty much put an end to that.
    • The fourth season love triangle with Marley, Ryder, and Jake takes a good chunk of time out of almost every episode, and feels very uninspired due to the fact that all three characters are copies of original ones: Marley was dubbed "The New Rachel," Jake is Puck's half-brother and has his attitude, and Ryder is yet another football jock who secretly loves to perform. Considering the nature of the show, and the fact that the two boys have much better chemistry with each other than either of them have with her, many fans wished they'd just come out as bi and go at it.
  • Ron the Death Eater: To put it as delicately as possible, some sections of fandom seem to be under the impression that certain characters are nothing but vices.
    • The worst would have to be Adam, Kurt's boyfriend from season 4 who despite being shown as rather sweet and caring, some Klainers seem to twist him at times into being a huge jerk. The same goes from Anti-Klainers in regards to Blaine as well who although he has made some mistakes, you would think he murdered everyone in Kurt's life from the way they talk about him.
  • Scapegoat Creator: Ryan Murphy is often the first person to get any flack for anything disliked on the show. Never mind that he not only doesn't write every episode but there are two other creators who are involved. Although, to be fair, he tends to be the one most likely to play Lying Creator.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Even in Glee's incredibly divided fanbase, where just about everybody is a Base-Breaking Character, you'd still be hard-pressed to find viewers who like Jacob Ben-Israel or Terri's sister Kendra.
    • A lot of fans who didn't watch The Glee Project find some of the characters created for those actors, and their insertion into longer-running storylines focusing on existing characters, rather irritating. Particularly of note is Rory Flanagan, largely due to the fact that he wasn't really developed beyond "the Irish character". There's also Joe, the dreadlocked guy; getting a Raging Stiffie while helping Quinn with her psychical therapy definitely didn't win him any fans.
  • Seasonal Rot: Season 4 is where it set in, and Season 5 has many fans approaching Bile Fascination, due to many factors. Seasons 4 and 5 have new actors (almost universally considered not as good as the originals), Big-Lipped Alligator Moment songs even by Glee standards, ridiculous plots (Brittany, with her 0.0 GPA, being a math genius and going to MIT), OOC moments for the veteran characters (Santana randomly dumping Brittany because she decided a long distance relationship wouldn't work), Flanderization galore (Tina, Becky, Unique, Blaine) and relies on old plot devices such as a love triangle between the female lead, the good-natured jock and the bad boy (Rachel/Finn/Puck and Marley/Ryder/Jake), Sue's Dragon of an Alpha Bitch Cheerio defecting to the New Directions (Quinn/Santana and Kitty), more weddings (Finn/Rachel and Will/Emma), and more tribute episodes (Britney Spears and Madonna originally; in Season 5 alone, a Beatles two-parter, Finn Hudson, Lady Gaga vs. Katy Perry and Billy Joel)
  • Shipping Bed Death:
    • Rachel and Finn's relationship is seen this way by a lot of people. In the front thirteen of the first season it was obvious that they would get together, so the delay, the subsequent breakup when they did get together and the way the writing was stacked against Jesse and Quinn was especially frustrating, especially after Ryan Murphy promised they'd stay together in Season 2 to move the focus to other couples. The engagement/wedding storyline in Season 3 made this even worse, causing many fans to cheer when they finally broke up in "The Break Up."
    • Emma and Will were this so very much as well. As with Finchel, the first thirteen episodes of the show clearly hint the two were going to get together. They eventually got together only to break up when the back nine of season 1 happened. Then when it seems like they were going to get together, Emma is dating a dentist. Season 2 treats up to a big Love Dodecahedron with Carl liking Emma, Emma liking Carl and Will, Will liking Emma and Holly Holliday. Emma and Carl married but eventually broke up. By season 3 Will and Emma were randomly dating again at the start of it. They go steady until he proposes to her in "Yes/No". She agrees and all goes well until "The Break Up", where Will is going to Washington and they go through some problems but don't ultimately break up over it. But then "I Do" happens. The day of the wedding and of course, Emma doesn't go through with it. But don't worry, a few episodes later he reveals he's proposed to her. Finally, in "All or Nothing" the two tie the knot but seeing as Emma is being written off the show, who knows how long this will last.
  • Ship Mates:
    • Several pairs go well together, and Klaine and Brittana go with just about everything.
    • Between Finn, Rachel, Quinn, and Puck, the pairs are either Finchel and Quick or Puckerberry and Fuinn. Or Finn/Puck and Faberry.
    • Jake/Marley shippers will often put Ryder with Kitty or Unique.
    • Brittana shippers often put Quinn and Rachel together as well.
  • Ships That Pass in the Night:
    • Rory has never interacted with Harmony or Sebastian, and the only time he was close to either would have been a brief moment during competitions. However both the Rormony and Rorbastian ships are strong. At least Rormany is justified, since it's basically a carry-over of Damsay from The Glee Project.
    • There's also the growing pairing of Cassandra and Shelby, who have never met
    • Jeff and Nick. Nothing's known about them, not even if either one is gay, but they're one of the more popular pairings out of season two.
    • For what little content the season 6 newbies get, Roderick gets placed with Kitty often since they're both seniors in the club and he's next to her in the Distant Finale. That being said it's still more common to see Roderick with Spencer.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: A particularly nasty ship war that comes to mind is Brittany/Santana vs. Brittany/Artie, complete with accusations of But Not Too Gay for making Brittany date a boy, But Not Too Bi for making her stay with Santana in the end, and Unfortunate Implications for how Santana convinced Brittany to cheat on Artie with her, and whether or not Artie was justified in lashing out at Brittany which caused her to break up with him.
  • Squick:
    • Sandy. To the point that he gets kicked out of the Acafellas because "when [Sandy is] around, it's creepy."
    • Perhaps not for everyone, but Figgins getting sneezed on in slow motion was perhaps a little Squick-y for some.
    • Brittany and Santana vomiting in "Blame It On The Alcohol".
    • The way Santana describes having sex with Finn, in "The Power of Madonna. "It was like being smothered by a sweaty, out of breath sack of potatoes covered in body spray."
  • Strangled by the Red String:
    • Tina and Mike Chang, who never interacted in the first season and were basically put together for Token Minority Couple Asian jokes. Since then, they have at least gotten some relationship development, although much of it was offscreen.
    • Mercedes and Sam. Enforced as Sam's actor temporarily left the series due to contract disputes right after Mercedes and Sam got together. When he returned, the writers treated their relationship like some tragic love story. Because it had next to no development, it was hard for most viewers to buy into that and get invested in the relationship.
    • Brittany and Artie started off this way, and earned the show lots of backlash from angry Brittany/Santana fans. It became clearer over time that Artie was intended as a Romantic False Lead, and the whole relationship was designed to force Santana to realize her feelings for Brittany.
  • Strawman Has a Point:
    • There is a grain of truth in Bryan Ryan's notion that kids shouldn't plan their lives around succeeding in the arts. The problem is that he doesn't stop at "have a back-up plan," but suggests that they should just give up without having any idea of what their chances are.
    • At least one of the Tea Party members in "Homecoming" talks sense, when she says that Puck shouldn't call them losers if he wants them to listen to them.
  • Super Couple: Blaine and Kurt are listed on the trope page. Their first kiss alone caused pretty much the entire LGBT-friendly world to rejoice. The actual LGBTQ world, however, had more varied opinions.
  • This Is Your Premise on Drugs:
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Dani No-Name, Santana's new girlfriend introduced in season five. It also qualifies for a wasted plot as well. This character had tons of potential. It could have made for an interesting side-plot about Santana having a girlfriend outside of Brittany and giving her some good character development. After her first appearance, in which she does get a decent bit of screentime, the two begin to date. And then she proceeds to get maybe about less than five minutes of screentime an episode and speaks for about thirty seconds of it. This isn't so bad but she's played by Demi Lovato, an incredible singer and a good actress to boot. She had so much hype as a character and they used her. It becomes especially jarring when at the end of Puppet Master she doesn't even appear to sing with the group despite the fact that Starchild (another character introduced in season 5) is there to sing and also that she is in Kurt's band. It became bad to the point where people actually thought that she and Santana were broken up. And now she's apparently off the show after four episodes despite the fact she was supposedly down for six.
    • The new Glee Club members in season six. They may not be breathtaking characters, but they are the first set for a very, very long time that doesn't consist of archetypes already recycled several times in the show. Yet they are here for only one and shortened season and aren't even really the main characters.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • "Audition" seems to set up an intense rivalry between Quinn and Santana over the position of Head Cheerleader, including the famous catfight in the hallway, which seems like it will be a big deal that season (confirmed by the creators' comments). Nothing comes of it. Quinn offhandedly mentions she needs to keep Santana off her back in "Duets", but nothing to this effect has ever been seen on screen, and, so far, nothing else has come of what initially appeared to be a pretty significant plot development.
    • The actor-switching scene in "Props" was rather intriguing and also funny as hell at some points (having Brittany as Mercedes, Kurt as Finn and Puck as Blaine). It didn't have to be a major thing but the show dedicated about three or four scenes to it and then it disappeared.
  • Ugly Cute: When Karofsky isn't being a douche and all ugly with hate, he's actually not too bad looking and has a nice smile. (This is pretty much because Max Adler is, in fact, hot, at least to those who go for the muscly types. And really nice.)
  • Uncertain Audience: Especially in its first season, which meshes things like oral sex jokes with the teeny angst of Degrassi and the kind of anvilicious messages you'd expect from an 80s kids cartoon along with the cutesy singing appeal of Kidz Bop and The Wiggles.
  • Unfortunate Implications:
    • When what happened with Puck and Quinn is revealed in "Journey", it's very clear that Quinn does not want to have sex with Puck, and that he both coerces her into it through pressure and plying her with alcohol, and lies about using a condom, both of which qualify the situation as rape. A lot of people take issue with this storyline never being portrayed as rape and with the narrative placing most of the blame firmly on Quinn’s shoulders.
    • The storyline about Quinn trying to get Beth back was criticized by adoption advocates for giving a bad image of open adoptions, as well as just factual inaccuracy (i.e. once the birth parents sign away their parental rights they're gone for good, so if the adoptive parent is declared to be "unfit," the child is taken into foster care, not given to the birth parents). They petitioned the show to do a PSA dispelling myths about adoption; so far, nothing has come of it, but the controversial storyline also seems to have been wrapped up.
    • Kurt's behavior in "Grilled Cheesus" was treated as unreasonable, but was it, really? It would be one thing to tell friends they're not allowed to pray, but they went beyond praying - they made a big show of being religious in his dad's waiting room, despite the fact that no one except Carole, Finn and maybe Mercedes actually knew Burt, and Rachel, the person in the room who was the least close to Burt (tied with Quinn) was the one who go the solo over his bedside. Also, Mercedes wouldn't accept Kurt's atheism until he went to church with her, but Kurt is supposed to be the intolerant one? No wonder some atheists got really pissed off.
    • Kurt's speech to Blaine who is questioning his sexuality in "Blame It On The Alcohol", where he states that bisexuality doesn't exist and that men claiming to be bisexual are really just closeted gay people. While it could just be dismissed as Kurt holding the Jerkass Ball, and Blaine does call him out on his insensitivity, the fact that Kurt is validated at the end of the episode combined with his usual history of being seen as an Author Avatar regarding LGBT issues was seen by many viewers as a case of the show being biphobic. Not helping was Ryan Murphy stating that "it's very important to young kids that they know this character [Blaine] is one of them", as if bisexual kids don't matter. It's especially bad considering male bisexuality has even less representation in the media than female bisexuality and male homosexuality do.
    • The controversy got reignited after "Tina In the Sky With Diamonds", where Santana spends half of her courtship with Dani panicking over having no "real" experience since she dated a bisexual woman, and the other half sighing in relief that she didn't have to worry about her girlfriend "straying for penis". Between implying that bisexuals aren't "real" members of the LGBT community (the "B" is there for a reason), claiming that they're unfaithful and promiscuous by nature, and wrongfully smearing Brittany's character (Brittany didn't even end the relationship, Santana did), viewers got very angry.
    • Kurt in general has been accused of being an unflattering stereotype of gay men. While Kurt is commended for his courage in not hiding his sexuality and standing up to adversity, he is also rather disliked by many gay viewers for being hard to identify with due to his extreme Camp Gay tendencies or criticized for doing more harm than good for representation of gay people in the media. On top of that is resentment over the above-mentioned issues and the way he's seen as a mouthpiece for controversial views expressed by some portions of the gay community that are not necessarily shared by the rest of its members.
    • Artie has received criticism from disabled viewers for being a very stereotypical portrayal of wheelchair-users, with a key factor being that he's portrayed by a non-disabled actor. Particularly (as described here), he never stops wishing to be able to walk (with the Imagine Spot scene where he stands up and dances in a mall being very controversial), he accepts behavior from abled characters that would be considered patronizing or even creepy in real life, never mentions wheelchair dancing exists, and makes having a wheelchair (aka. the disability itself, instead of the lack of accessibility) the problem that stops him from doing similar activities as his abled friends, plus various factual errors.
      Moreover, there seem to be no understanding of disability as an identity or a community, and paralysis as a life changing injury, but not always life worsening. There was no understanding that wheelchairs provide freedom, not restriction, that other people pushing a wheelchair is an act of trust and wouldn’t be done randomly, and that most teenagers and adults find it infantising. It was a lazy and uninspiring character who look like he was plonked in a wheelchair and everyone assumed he hated his wheelchair, because that’s what non-disabled people assume. Not only is disability its own identity, it is not interchangeable with other marginalised identity, and it’s not a shield to avoid criticisms of racism or misogyny.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic:
    • Finn. In "Theatricality", he essentially gets thrown out of his own home for using a bad word to refer to Kurt's interior design choices. We're supposed to hate him because he uses an anti-gay slur, but Kurt had been trying to seduce him even when Finn started to become annoyed with Kurt's unwelcome touching and left their conversations when things got uncomfortable. It reached a point where Kurt encouraged their parents to get together because he would have more opportunity to seduce Finn if they were stepbrothers. It doesn't help that using offensive words when he's frustrated (i.e., calling Brittany stupid, using a slur to describe Sue's baby who has Down Syndrome, etc.) is later established to be a bad habit of Finn's.
    • Quinn. Yes, she starts out a bully who cheated on her boyfriend with his best friend and then lied to said boyfriend that he was the father of the resulting baby and then made him help pay her medical bills. However, she is only sixteen when all this happens, with two deeply religious and conservative parents who kick her out of her home when they find out. The best friend, a trouble-making bad boy, fed her alcohol until she agreed to sleep with him, and the timeline suggests that the cheating occurred early on in her relationship with the boyfriend, who cheats on her twice before he knows about her own indiscretion.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic:
    • Santana. In "Mash Off", we're meant to cheer for her when she slaps Finn in the face after finding out that Reggie Salazar released an attack ad criticizing Sue for choosing a lesbian as head cheerleader, as his niece overheard Finn calling Santana a coward for constantly tearing others down while not accepting herself and her relationship with Brittany. However, Santana was already Forced Out of the Closet in "Rumors", when the school paper talked about a prom queen candidate "spending a lot of time in the closet" after Brittany casually confirmed a rumor about Santana "playing for the other team"note , so it just makes Santana blaming Finn for outing her to the world even more of a Jerkass move. Additionally, Santana and the rest of her dodgeball team pummeled Rory and laughed as he bled on the floor, she remained unfazed even when Kurt called her out on using the sport to bully and telling her she is no different than the people who make fun of and harass their glee clubs, and she ultimately turned out to be placating the Troubletones when she agreed to stop flinging horrible insults at Finn since her so-called apology consisted of a series of insults. Yet we are supposed to feel bad for her when Finn gives her a taste of her own medicine, especially considering that his claim about the whole school already knowing she's gay is true to a certain degree?note 
    • Will. His supposed virtue is that he is a compassionate teacher who genuinely cares for and puts all of his students first, but it's a bit hard to see him as the sweet teacher he's made out to be after he plants drugs in a student's locker to blackmail him into joining New Directions, blatantly favors a select handful of students within his group, abandons his students on their competition day to pursue a personal audition, lets open acts of bullying of his own students go unreported even when it lands one of them in the hospital, and suspends a female student, who always dresses modestly and had suffered from bulimia in the past, for refusing to wear a skimpy bikini in a musical performance.
    • Kurt is a frequent victim of this. Sometimes, he's a genuine Woobie, but other times, he can be incredibly selfish, hypocritical, mean-spirited, and prone to fits of irrational jealousy.
  • Unnecessary Makeover: Rachel gets two of these in the course of the show. The first one in "Hairography" is pointed out as such by Finn (in probably the meanest way possible). The second in Season 4 has turned Rachel Berry into Lea Michele in pretty much every way.
  • Values Dissonance:
    • Many international viewers have expressed surprise that this show portrays teachers hugging their students, something forbidden in the UK but mostlynote  common in US schools.
    • The military themes in Finn's character arc. His steadfast belief that his father became a war hero during his service in Iraq is not likely to sit well with viewers who oppose the Iraq war. Also, the general theme of military heroism and pride can seem pretty bizarre to viewers in several countries outside the US (especially in many European countries) where the armed forces have a decidedly less good reputation and the idea of taking pride in being a soldier tends to be associated with aggressive jingoists and/or morally dubious My Country, Right or Wrong/Just Following Orders types rather than with morally upstanding individuals.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: Before transitioning, some viewers thought Coach Beiste was male (Beiste is, in fact, played by a woman, Dot Marie Jones). And on the other side of the gender spectrum, more than a few viewers thought Kurt was a girl at first due to his high-pitched voice and somewhat feminine facial features. Now that his actor is older and more well-established, it's less common, though it still happens on occasion for first-time watchers.
  • What an Idiot!: It's a wonder Dave didn't just blurt out "I didn't kiss Kurt in the locker room!" There's actually a very plausible denial he could have given for checking out Sam's bottom. Namely, Sam was getting a drink out of a water fountain. Dave was thirsty and looked to see who was at the fountain. He saw, and then, continued walking until he found another one. If Santana thought that his eyes were specifically on the bottom, that's probably because that's where hers were.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?:
    • The show falls under this quite a bit, largely thanks to the popularity of High School Musical, a movie with a very similar premise that actually was for kids. Except Glee isn't as kid-friendly as High School Musical, as it has the following: jokes about oral sex; dancing which borders on dry humping; sex between teenagers and older, married adults; the president of the celibacy club getting pregnant; boys complaining about "erupting early" and an adult former student corrupting kids by giving them pornography, alcohol, and lessons in stealing, and that's all within the first five episodes. The characters have freely sworn, used drugs, cheated on each other, got pregnant at 16, lost their virginity, deal with homophobia, etc. A later episode had two teen girls becoming the first to reference in dialogue a certain sex act by name on US network TV. It doesn't help that Glee covers are often played on Radio Disney, or that much of its marketing is made to appeal to the tween crowd.
    • The media appearances of certain Glee actors have been criticized by some "concerned parents" groups for being too sexy for young children watching the show.
      • In general, 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.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: Kevin McHale is one of the best dancers on the cast (having formerly been a member of a Boy Band), but it's his character who's in a wheelchair. It made for pretty interesting storylines/musical numbers in which he daydreams about being able to get up and dance, such as in "Dream On" and "Michael"; this, however, has been met with criticism from disabled viewers, since portraying a wheelchair user as constantly wishing to leave their wheelchair is stereotypical and doesn't represent the real life experience of wheelchair users, with an issue that has only been become more visibilized in recent years being that of disabled people rarely being cast for roles, even disabled characters (see Unfortunate Implications above).
  • The Woobie:
    • Beiste in "Never Been Kissed." Even more so in "Choke".
    • Also from "Never Been Kissed", Dave Karofsky who divides people between the polar aspects of a Jerkass Woobie. "Prom Queen" makes him a full-blown Woobie, where he tearfully apologizes to Kurt and is torn between his complicated feelings for him and his fear of coming out. By 'Heart', he has a crush on Kurt, whom he tries to woo with an endearing series of gorilla-grams, but Kurt thought the gorilla-grams were from Blaine and turns Karofsky down when he finds out. Karofsky inadvertently outs himself to a guy from his new high school while spilling his heart out to Kurt. And in On My Way where he tries to hang himself. Wow.
    • Sam in "Rumours". Currently lives in a motel due to the fact that his father lost his job after the economy tanked, is the sole source of income for his entire family, and was forced to sell his guitar (though the Glee club bought it back for him), and his family shares one room, including his little brother and sister. If you didn't even try to shed a tear during Rumours you probably don't have a soul. Don't forget that in "Prom Queen," Sam says his birthday was last week. So on top of all his friends accusing him of being a cheating slut while he's homeless and trying to take care if his family, his friends forgot his birthday.
    • Rory. Irish Exchange student far from home who gets beat up and bullied on a near-daily basis.
    • Quinn. She gets pregnant and her father kicks her out of her house, she gets kicked out of the Cheerios, Sam dumps her after finding out she was cheating on him with Finn only for the latter to dump her at a funeral, she pretty much loses her mind at the beginning of the third season, and when she finally gets herself back together, she gets hit by a car.
    • Finn at the end of "The Break-Up", where he's alone onstage with no direction in life. The other kids might have had painful breakups too, but they still have their goals, and, for Kurt at least, a bright new career ahead of him. Finn literally has nothing. Finn finally finds his direction in "Sweet Dreams," studying to become a teacher at the University of Lima, and returning to co-head the Glee club with Mr. Schuester for college credit. At some point between this episode and "The Quarterback" (between which he does not appear due to Cory Monteith's rehab and subsequently, his death) he dies at the age of 19, never able to realize his potential.
    • Ryder, who has trouble reading and studying because he is dyslexic. The audience wants him to get that A just as bad as he does. Then came the "catfishing arc", where it is clear the entire situation has had a poor effect on his mental health. He was also sexually molested at age 11, and was dismissed by Artie and Sam because his molester was a teenage girl.
    • Marley, without question. Not only does she likely have to deal with daily ridicule for being the daughter of the obese lunch lady, but she also gets manipulated into developing an eating disorder by a girl she believed was her friend, which results in her starving herself and passing out during Sectionals, costing the team what probably would have been a win. She's probably going to have a hard time forgiving herself for that one, given how much pressure she was putting on herself not to let down her friends in the club. On top of all of that, Tina, of all people, has decided to personally hold this against her.
    • Becky, especially after the events of "Shooting Star".
    • Sean, a former football player who is paralyzed from the chest down from "Laryngitis"

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