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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.
  • 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.
  • 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:
    • All the Cliché Storm and Unfortunate Implications examples are completely intentional gags in a subversive parody. It takes a few episodes to realize this. Listening to all of the stuff Sue says lets you know, though.
    • One critic firmly believes that the show is fundamentally the most tragic show on TV, but is presented as the happiest show on TV.
    • Thanks to the well rounded personalities of every character in the show, everyone can be seen as the villain or the hero of the franchise. It all really depends on who you identify with the best... or who you hate the most.
  • Anvilicious: Since the list was getting ridiculous, we now have a whole separate page dedicated to listing every episode's incredibly subtle theme.
  • 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: 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.
    • 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.
    • 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 and that Kurt's behavior during that episode wasn't acceptable either. Burt also admits that, yes, he may have overreacted just a little bit.
    • Ryan Murphy got a lot of hate for his supposed mistreatment of certain members of the cast — one in particular — especially when he was heavily favoring others. After the show ended, he issued a statement saying that he regrets how his relationship with a certain cast member or two turned out, and thinks the environment he created because of it may have been what made the show go downhill. A pseudo-apology after the fact may have been a successful saving throw, or may have made things worse.
  • Award Snub:
    • Nominated for 19 Emmys in the 2010 Emmys and 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.
    • And Dianna Agron - the writers really hated her Quinn, but she got to show off how talented she is.
    • 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 Bieste, for make-up and for cinematography - none of which it won.
  • 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.
    • To end the same episode, the Umbrella/Singing in the Rain mash-up featuring the cast performing elaborate choreography in front of a waterfall in their school auditorium. Its placement means the writers don't even bother trying to explain this.
    • 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.
    • Subverted (and mostly explained) when we find out during "The Final Countdown" that most of these bizarre scenes are Imagine Spot s and fantasy sequences. We change POV from the performers (Will and Sue) to the Glee members watching in amused horror and commenting that Will and Sue have lost their minds.
  • 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:
    • Over the question of whether Rachel or Mercedes is the better singer, an argument which tends to divide along issues of musical taste (those who prefer Broadway or pop tend to prefer Rachel; R&B and hip-hop fans tend to prefer Mercedes).
    • 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.
    • There have been some fairly intense arguments over whether the pilot or season finale version of "Don't Stop Believing" is better.
    • 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.
    • More generally, people who view Glee as a guilty pleasure, or as a legitimately good show. And in the middle, there are those who used to view it as the latter who now see it as the former, or who think it can oscillate between the two from episode to episode.
    • 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.
    • '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).
    • Adam is a divisive figure. Mostly for Die for Our Ship reasons.
    • 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 overreacted majorly of the situation, 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:
    • Kurt. It's no secret that he's a Creator's Pet; his character didn't exist at first and was created specifically to play up Chris Colfer's strengths when he auditioned for Artie. Furthermore, Jerkass things he says often go unchecked, and there are many cases where logic takes a back seat so that he is never wrong (it took until the next season for him to get called out for harassing Finn, probably after viewers criticized his supposed innocence in the matter).
    • 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.
    • There was a lot of backlash against Finn in Season 2 for this very reason, to the point of there being a "Hypocritical Finn" meme. Detractors point out that anyone wronging him is automatically the bad guy, and anytime he does something wrong he's meant to be sympathetic, despite the fact that he's often doing the very same things that cause other characters to get painted as douchebags and villains. The backlash got even worse in Season 3, after he outed Santana, and suffered no consequences other than her slapping him. Even his gay stepbrother, and raised-by-gay-dads girlfriend, don't say anything, and in the following episode it seems that everyone is convinced that Finn did the right thing. This is made even worse in Season 4, where after calling Sue's baby a retard, Will decides to make him in charge of New Directions while Will is in Washington DC.
    • Blaine Anderson. It didn't help that even right after being introduced, he was already getting more and more air time and way more solos than most of the original cast members, which ended up being shoehorned in once or twice (TSSBS, Prom Queen). It has reached the point where even his own actor Darren Criss thought Blaine had a little too much focus on him. This reaction only intensified when Blaine was upgraded to a main member of the cast from season 3 onward, but split along the lines of the increased screentime either fixing him by giving him more legitimacy as a character or at least downgrading him to a more tolerable Spotlight Stealing Satellite Love Interest.
    • On that note, Sam Evans in season 4, being the other main character. Many fans feel that he gets far too much screen time in this season, and that he is not as musically talented or as good of an actor as Kurt, Rachel, Santana and the rest of the graduated members.
    • Co-creator Ian Brennan defended the criticism of splitting the narrative of Season 4 between New Directions at McKinley High, and Rachel and Kurt at NYADA, by basically telling everyone that whether the fans hate the character or not, Rachel is the star of the show.
    • Rachel Berry. God forbid you dislike this character's singing voice or think she's incredibly overused, because in Glee reality, her talents are limitless and her dreams are the most important, so you are going to see and hear more of her than of anyone else. Other characters line up to talk, sometimes to thin air, about how wonderful and important she is, even if her success comes at their expense (and it frequently does). As the link above indicates, it doesn't matter how huge and incredibly talented the ensemble is: Word of God is that Rachel is the star of the show, so if you don't like her then you'll just have to cross your fingers that your actual favourite will get so much as a line this episode.
    • 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.
    • When Sunshine says that she's performing "Listen" from the movie Dreamgirls, Rachel chimes in that it was a Broadway show first, which is true... except for the fact that "Listen" was written for the movie and not in the play.
    • Although this could have been a deliberate case of Rachel being a Know-Nothing Know-It-All. The same character bought tickets to Cats from a homeless guy in NYC.
  • 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 called 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. Though Burt did backtrack on it in "Duets", saying that while Finn shouldn't have said that, Kurt's behavior wasn't acceptable either.
  • 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 is likely to get more of it with Sam's return in "Hold on to Sixteen," which includes 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. Strangely, this never seems to happen to the other girls who show interest in Finn.
      • That's because there are no other girls that show interest in Finn, apart from Quinn and Santana, and they were only using him half the time they were together anyway.
    • 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.
    • Notable 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, who the creators intended for everyone to hate but whose very early season 1 snark and bitchiness made her a fan favorite. Then her pregnancy and parental abandonment further reinforced this, her actress choosing to play her as more sympathetic just adding to the reasons that people found it hard to hate her, especially as the seasons progressed. The actress creating her character as actually human rather than a bitch to act as a comic device when it wasn't her turn to have plot is also what reportedly got the writers to dislike her and make her character all the more sympathetic, intentional or not, but also more controversial with other characters and completely crazy. Didn't stop the fans.
  • Ear Worm: Going by the shows covers there are too many to list but the original songs they have done can be rather catchy. Special mention goes to "Loser Like Me", "My Cup" and "Big Ass Heart".
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Kurt Hummel and Sue Sylvester are frequently cited as the show's "breakout stars."
    • 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.
      • Though this can't be understated enough. 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 (Yes, Dear), Nickelodeon game shows and commercials. In Glee, he routinely turns out subtle and heartfelt performances. His character, Burt, as well.
    • Blaine, who's 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.
    • Brad the pianist.
    • Bryan Ryan. No surprise there. Everyone loves Neil Patrick Harris.
    • 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 hir actress, Dot Marie Jones.
    • An odd version of it being a group, rather than a character but the Troubletones were very popular during season 3 with many fans approving the idea of teenaged girls of different sexual orientation and race (even if that was never really a reason for it forming) and how it made a point in how a lot of characters are constantly shoved in the back in favor of the usual soloists. It became to the point where there was a good portion of Glee fans who wanted them to win Sectionals and were disappointed that they broke up quickly.
    • Season 4 has Melissa Benoist as Marley Rose. Admittedly a polarizing character (due to her basically being Rachel minus the ego), her singing skills nonetheless won fans over.
    • Season 5 has two: Santana's new girlfriend Dani (who lacks a last name), and Eliot "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 there aren't many places in the Glee fandom where it's safe to admit that you don't much like Lea Michele's singing voice, and leave it at that. Chris Colfer and Darren Criss (if not their characters) also tend to be sacred cows.
  • Fanon: The most glorious example was the character of Sugar Motta, Basically, someone on Tumblr remarked that she was basically Brittany & 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.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: A fair size of the fandom like to pretend the second half of the series neve happened.
  • Fan Myopia:
    • Glee is a pretty good example of why "insisting that creators and producers should tell the story that the fans want to tell" is such a bad idea, as the Glee writers do actually seem pretty determined to please their Broken Base as much as possible, show quality be damned. (Though it has led to the occasional good thing, like Brittany and Santana becoming an Official Couple.)
    • And even then there are some fans that didn't like that, as it gave even more focus to Santana.
  • 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 Anyone? 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.
  • Fountain of Memes: Brittany.
  • Franchise Original Sin: A huge breaking point for a lot of fans was the Season 3 episode "I Kissed a Girl" which among that episode's many, many flaws were some breathtakingly inappropriate song choices for a girl's coming out story including the eponymous "I Kissed a Girl" by Katy Perry, a song about a meaningless dalliance with another woman at a club to get attention from males and "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun". This trend of using a song that is horribly inappropriate can actually be seen several times.
    • Season 1's Theatricality was the first time one of the show's aesop split the base. This would become the first of many.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • Fandom-wise, a lot of people thought that Kurt and Blaine nominated/elected for Prom King(s) would be awesome, and many affectionate jokes about Kurt being the Prom Queen ensued. At least part of it was because some people just didn't want the other candidates to be prom queen, particularly Quinn for being creepily obsessed about it, but also Santana for blackmailing Karofsky into being her beard and rejecting Brittany, and Lauren for cruelly leaking Quinn's "former identity" to the school. Then the episode "Prom Queen" rolls around and Kurt is elected Prom Queen as a joke.
    • "Rumours" revealed that Sam's family have become victims of the recession, and live in a motel room. Care to remember what song he sang for his New Directions audition? That's right, "Billionaire".
    • 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.
    • For most of the first season, Finn's mediocre singing and dancing was a running gag with the fandom. Cut to "The First Time" in in the third season, where Finn is devastated that he didn't get a football scholarship to OSU. He laments that he isn't a good enough athlete to play on the college level (it doesn't help that the recruiter was kind of a dick about it), and isn't a good enough singer or dancer to get into a performing school either. Ironically, it's possibly Cory Monteith's best acting so far.
      • It became a lot less of that as the show became determined to run the "Finn feels inadequate" storyline into the ground, to the point where it seemed like he was trying to drag Rachel down with him or at least make her apologize for her successes (both of which are completely inconsistent with his previous characterization).
    • In a more heartbreaking example, the Friday before "Heart" (the 2012 Valentine's day episode), the music was released for the episode featuring Mercedes doing a cover of Whitney Houston's cover of "I Will Always Love You" the day before Whitney's untimely passing.
    • Also fandom-wise, "Marry You" has Finn and Rachel start the song. It is because of this that their wedding storyline in Season 3 was poorly received.
    • 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.
    • In "Grilled Cheezus", Puck sings "Only The Good Die Young", considering Finn was one of the morally good characters of the show, this seems eerily prophetic
    • When it was first announced that Heather Morris and Dianna Agron would not be returning in Season 5, one of the contributors of After Ellen noted both had slept with Santana, and jokingly suggested that Finn should leave too. A few weeks later, it happened.
    • Given the allegations against Woody Allen, one might think Rachel isn't so eager to make a movie with him anymore...
    • Sue lamenting running for public office on a "pro-deportation platform." Fast forward to the 2016 election and later news reports.
  • 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.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Sunshine for Filipinos.
  • 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 screengrab from Entertainment Tonight especially cringe-worthy.
    • Sam's performance of "Billionaire" in his debut seemed to be a random song to show off his voice with, but it becomes a lot more painful after seeing the events of "Rumors".
    • In his 'fake' apology to the Glee club in 'Born This Way' Dave Karofsky says he '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.
    • Marley passing out in the middle of "Gangnam Style", after a man died of a heart attack while doing the dance.
    • In "Journey to Regionals," Puck gives Quinn a speech.
    Come on, we're in high school. Do you think either one of us is gonna give a damn about Finn in three years? Life's a bunch of experiences. You don't get a medal at the finish line for being good. You just get dead.
    • 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.
    • Finn's "drug-free" rap in "Good Vibrations."
    • 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.
    • In "Blame It On the Alcohol", Finn is one of the two (the other being Kurt) not to get drunk which results in some really tragic irony.
      • Season 3, ep. 22 "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.
    • The character of Finn drew ire from many fans who at times wished for him to be written out of the show completely; with the tragic and untimely death of actor Cory Monteith, Finn's character was killed off as well. This is certainly not the way these fans hoped for it to happen, and many have expressed remorse and guilt over their wishes for the character's disappearance.
    • Mark Salling was arrested on charges of possessing child pornography as of 2015. It also makes the "Paedo Will" memes a little harsher.
      • Even worse in one episode Puck and Lauren tried to make a sex-tape only to be told that it is basically child pornography. Or the fact Puck was known for sleeping with older women often.
      • In "The Spanish Teacher," when Will asks "Where do you see yourself in 2030?" Puck's response is "In jail, or dead. Or both." Much harsher after Mark Salling's arrest and subsequent suicide.
      • In season 3's "Choke", Puck boasted that he called dibs on "all the chicks whose boobs aren't done growing yet".
      • And the pornography was only found because LAPD sex offenders unit were still investigating him after that time he got sent to prison for forcing a girl who may or may not have been underage to have sex with him without a condom, during the filming of season 2 (a.k.a. where Mark was when Puck was in juvie for stealing an ATM).
      • All topped by the tragedy (and arguable Karma Houdini) of Salling taking his own life in January 2018.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • "Showmance" had Will and New Directions cover "Gold Digger" mere days before Kanye West made an ass of himself at the VMAs.
    • Jayma Mays (Emma) once played a woman who used her pregnancy to cause discord between her ex-boyfriend and his girlfriend on Ugly Betty. Terri used her (fake) pregnancy to try to keep Will from getting too attached to Emma. Granted, there is a difference in that Henry had broken up with her before dating Betty and Will was actually married...
    • Emma in episode 3:
    "They say it takes certainty more than talent to make a star. I mean, look at John Stamos."
    • Kurt's dad says he hates Duke like he hates the Nazis in "Home". This episode came before the final 4 game where Duke beat Butler (a team from Ryan Murphy's hometown of Indianapolis.
    • Karofsky, in "Britney/Brittany":
    "How come all the gay guys get the hot chicks?"
    • Even more hilarious after he and Santana become each other's beards.
    • When Glee first came out, Chris Colfer (Kurt) mentioned in an interview that "Kurt's [biggest fear] would be that there would be school uniforms". Guess what happens come Season Two?
    • In Todd in the Shadows review of Bad Romance he compared Lady Gaga's evolution to Britney Spears and Madonna. These three are all the women so far with episodes centered around them, with recurrer Justin Bieber to be the only man to hold the title. Well, except for Bruno Mars but the episode was not advertised at such.
      • For added fun, in that same video he psyches himself up by saying "courage".
    • The study group in Community encounters the glee club, an Expy for the cast of Glee. After the study group defeats them, Jeff tells them "Write some original songs!" In February of 2011, it was announced that Glee would be doing an episode with original songs.
    • Not to mention that the Glee club in Community is introduced by singing 'Hit Me With Your Best Shot' to attract people during a paintball game and take them out, and Glee will use the very same song, mashed up with 'One Way Or Another', in a similar situation during a game of dodgeball. Sadly, for the fans who watch both shows, there wasn't a Community Take That or Shout Out in sight.
    • Actress Amber Riley was turned down for American Idol (as in, didn't even make it on TV) before being picked up for Glee, which netted her more fame than AI ever would. Naya Rivera tried it, too, but doesn't seem to have even got that far.
    • Santana's snarking on Kurt in episode 5:
      Kurt: "Can we discuss the elephant in the room?"
      Santana: "Your sexuality?"
      • Also, her comment about "gay jokes" after the glee club.
      • How about in "Silly Love Songs"? She says that kissing Finn isn't worth paying a dollar for, but she would pay to jiggle one of his "man-boobs." Of course we'd all find out later her affinity for boobs, one pair in particular.
    • Puck's line to Quinn in Season 1.
      I don't dig fat chicks.
    • In the season two premier "Audition" Brittany states instead of being on vacation during the summer as previously believed, she had actually spent the summer lost in the sewers. Later, in the episode "Sexy", Santana tells Brittany that their hook-ups don't constitute cheating because the plumbing is different.
    • 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.
    • Brittany's actress Heather Morris didn't make the final 20 on a season of So You Think You Can Dance. Few years later, she's danced for Beyonce and has an Ensemble Dark Horse status as the ditzy blonde.
    • Two Frozen leads become major parts of Rachel’s life: Menzel (Shelby Corcoran) is Elsa, and Jonathan Groff (Jesse St. James) is Kristoff.
    • 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) is now starring as Barry Allen on the CW.
      • And before that, he had a recurring role on 90210.
    • Lea Michele is staring as Dorothy in an upcoming animated film about the Wizard of Oz. Taking into accounts of Idina Menzel playing Elphaba in Wicked, Rachel Berry has technically killed her mother.
      • Amber Riley played the Good Witch in The Wiz, so Mercedes seems to have helped out with this.
    • In "Laryngitis", Burt says that the Cincinatti Reds are barely major league. The Reds proved him wrong by winning their division and making the playoffs the same year.
    • Kurt and Blaine singing Neon Trees' "Animal" becomes funny in 2014 when the band's singer himself came out as gay.
    • Holly talking about Lindsay Lohan in "The Substitute" when Lindsay actually appears as a Nationals Judge in Season 3.
    • An entire Glee parody skit by Sesame Street ended up as this after "Puppet Master", which featured puppet versions of a good chunk of the cast, aired.
    • Since Dynamic Duets, Marley has graduated from Woman Fierce to Supergirl; specifically, Melissa Benoist has been cast in a new version.
    • The entire "Wedding" episode with a double same-sex marriage. In Indiana. Maybe not hilarious, but certainly ironic.
    • 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.
    • In the episode "Feud", the conflict between Sue and Blaine features a direct allusion to the feud between Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj during their time as judges on American Idol, as illustrated by a mash-up between Nicki's "Super Bass" and Mariah's cover of Brenda K. Starr's "I Still Believe". Less than three years later, Starr's daughter Gianna Isabella auditioned for Idol and ultimately became one of the finalists.
    • Quinn, played by Dianna Agron, coming to the realization in season 3 that her brains will benefit her most when she has previously been obsessed with appearance. In 2016 the J-Pop group HKT48 released a (very popular) song called "Einstein yori Dianna Agron", which means "Einstein < Dianna Agron", the lyrics espousing "who cares if you're smart when you can look like Dianna Agron/rather D.A. than Einstein".
    • 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 theatre. 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 HIH itself, given Mercedes' frequent performances as Effie).
    • The first episode of the final season ended with Rachel singing "Let it Go." In 2017, Disney announced the purchase of all of Fox's entertainment assets, meaning that Glee became part of the Disney library.
    • 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).
  • 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.
      • It seems this is being played straight (snerk), as 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.
  • Hype Backlash:
    • It's been experiencing this since the show's win at the Golden Globes/Emmy nomination.
    • This can be visibly seen when comparing the ratings of Season 2 and 3. At Season 2, the series was at its all-time high in popularity, displacing American Idol as the crown jewel of FOX. In season 3, the ratings went down to the point where the Network shuffled the series to Thursday nights.

    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:
    • The entire fight between Kurt, Finn, and Burt in "Theatricality". Kurt for being too caught up in his ridiculous fantasy to accept that Finn is straight and going to insane lengths to be close to him, Finn for completely failing to articulate the very real squickiness of Kurt's harassment without using a slur and attacking Kurt's homosexuality specifically, and Burt for jumping into the fight without listening to anything other than a single word Finn used. In "Duets", Burt, having learned the whole story from Carole between the two episodes, admits that he overreacted a bit (even though Finn was still wrong to call his son a fag), and he calls Kurt out on how utterly inappropriate he was towards Finn.
    • Blaine Anderson: In 4x04, he cheated on Kurt with a Facebook random who we never even see on-screen. In 4x17, it was established that he has feelings for Sam (though that ship got sunk later in the same episode). Then, all of a sudden, he wants to marry Kurt in 4x21, despite the fact that they are no longer a couple at that point (Blaine himself recognizes that it's admittedly a bold move from his part, in order to win back Kurt). Fortunately, Burt calls him out on this, pointing out that Blaine should know it's a wrong idea, seeing how things turned out for Rachel and Finn, and that he is using the idea of gay-marriage for his own goal.
    • Brittany is quite possibly the dumbest character on the show. She has a 0.0 GPA, and she answered every question in a maths test with "see other side", where she drew a picture in crayon entitled "Happyville: The Town Where Math Was Never Invented", receiving an F-. But no, she is actually such an amazing mathematical genius that MIT are giving her early admission despite scoring a zero on their maths test. Why? She wrote some random numbers that turned out to mean something, once again in crayon, on the back of that test. See everyone Face Palm, Glee?
      • Although to be fair, it has been implied that Brittany is legit intelligent, but had to dumb herself down to not be made fun of.
  • 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.
    • Britanny 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". And Brittany and Santana are NEVER called out on this.
  • Jerkass Woobie: As horrible as Terri is through the first half of S1, as she grows more desperate to hang onto Will, you can't help but feel sorry for her.
  • LGBT Fanbase: The creator's gay, twenty of the main cast is, most of the characters and story lines are. Everybody is fully aware of their fans.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Puck, Rachel, Kurt, Finn, Santana, Jesse, Dave. Name a character, really.
  • Like You Would Really Do It: Played straight and subverted in the first season finale. Glee club actually does lose at Regionals, but they ultimately are not disbanded thanks to a Villainous Rescue from Sue.
  • 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 briefs stink??" (taken from a deleted scene circulated on YouTube)
    • There's a new meme around, which consists of making Santana a proper English gentleman. It's hilarious. Gadzooks!
    • Pedo Will
    • That piano the camera cuts to when Kurt and Blaine finally kiss has been dubbed "That cock-blocking piano."
    • Insanity Rachel
    • Glee Secrets. The hilarious levels of narm spawned a troll tumblr that basically parodies everyone in the fandom.
    • Since it was announced via Twitter that Blaine is a junior, not a senior as previously thought, it became an overnight meme to twist old scenes to reflect him as a child.
    • Blaine is a magnet for these. Another one involving him is his abusive relationship with furniture.
    • The entirety of this fan comic. "Gay Hogwarts" and "Now talk at me while I eat", arguably being the most notable memes to come from it.
    • Cargo Shipping. Everyone on this show seems to be an objectphile.
    • Blaine is a hobbit.
    • Fancy and Hamhock in the Kurtofsky fandom.
    • Sugar is Brittana's Kid from the Future. The cast themselves think this one is awesome.
      • It's expanded into Rory being Klaine's adopted son, and Harmony as the daughter as either Finchel or Faberry. There's a picture to back that up along with the addition of Cameron.
    • Shrubtana: the Crack Ship between Santana and a shrub shaped like a person, based off of a throwaway line in an episode.
    • The ANGRY-sign woman, which is also one of the few memes that actually goes beyond the fandom into general usage.
  • 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:
    • The general consensus on Brody's "At least I think I do!" line from "How to Be a Heartbreaker". In the original it sounds playful and fun, but when Brody sings it it's just...weird.
    • 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.
    • Not many people could buy the emotion of Blaine's performance of "Hopelessly Devoted To You" considering that in only the previous episode was he revealed to have cheated on Kurt.
    • The episode "Bash" heavily over-dramatizes gay-bashing, and many people commented on how, in the countries they live in, it's much less of a thing than it was, and the bashing itself is pretty played up.
  • Narm Charm:
    • The unabashedly cheery S2 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.
    • The show's more tenuous attempts to find social commentary or some other profound meaning in the cheesiest of pop songs.
  • Never Live It Down: Finn outing Santana to a certain portion of fans.
  • 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.
  • 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. 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 Chang Squared, 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:
    • Quinn and Rachel for some. Dave for others.
    • Sugar seems to have been introduced specifically to be The Scrappy but it didn't really happen. Issues with "self-diagnosed Asperger" aside, most people though she was hilarious.
    • 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:
    • Rachel and Finn's wedding storyline in Season 3 is very hated. Most fans were praying that it didn't happen. While Quinn's accident put paid to it, the storyline dragged on for the rest of the season.
    • Blaine's growing Base-Breaking Character status in Season 3 turned Klaine into this as well.
    • In the fourth season, the Jake/Kitty/Marley love triangle is starting to become this, due to being a blatant ripoff of Finn/Quinn/Rachel. It doesn't help that the new kids have not been fully embraced by viewers just yet.
      • Not to mention the Jake/Marley/Ryder triangle that rips off Finn/Quinn/Puck. Especially ridiculous because both involve a Puckerman brother.
  • 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 has yet to be developed beyond "the Irish character".
      • Joe, the dreadlocked guy, while not hated, is not particularly liked, which in a show with so many Darkhorses is not a good sign. Getting a boner while helping Quinn with her PT particularly didn't win him any fans.
      • Wade/Unique, played by Glee Project Elimination Houdini Alex Newell, got a lot of this initially, especially when the news came that she would be made a regular for Season 4. Yet, since the season started airing, this has died down, because Unique is at least interesting and new - unlike most of the other new characters, who seem to be Flanderized versions of the characters who graduated. Kitty in particular gets a lot of hate for being like an early-S1 Quinn, except much, much meaner.
  • 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 upon old plot devices, such as:
      • A love triangle between 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)
      • 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 Klaine and Brittana go with just about everything. People like Rachel and Puck normally ship Quinn and Finn and vice versa. People who like Finn and Rachel do Quinn and Puck or Quinn and Sam.
    • Jake/Marley shippers will often put Ryder and Kitty together. Also Brittana shippers often like Quinn and Rachel together.
  • 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.
  • Ship Tease:
    • Finn's "Hello, I Love You" number made it seem like he still had feelings for Quinn.
    • Sue and Mr. Schue in Episode 21. That almost kiss? Hilarious.
    • In the promos to Season 2, we saw Finn telling Quinn "I would be lying if I said I didn't have feelings for you" with a sad-looking Rachel watching from the sidelines. In "Britney/Brittany," we found out what was really going on: First of all, the comment is more along the lines of "I still really like you, but I like Rachel more," as Finn's way of refusing Quinn's request to get back together. Then, we find Quinn asking Finn out was all a set-up anyway - Rachel had asked Quinn to do it to test if Finn really loved her.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: Up to Eleven due in part to the Love Dodecahedron nature of the show and a "passionate" and "devoted" fan base. In the Glee fandom, choosing an OTP is akin to enlisting in a nation’s armed forces and marching into battle. Forums can become warzones at the drop of a dime and the ensuing conflicts make some of history’s bloodiest battles seem tame. There are actually ship alliances, spies, and even strategic initiatives for things like winning polls for a specific ships (either through spamming or using bots) and character bashing.
  • So Bad, It's Good: Some consider the show this. Some song performances qualify as well.
  • 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/Last Minute Hookup: How more cynical viewers saw it when Kurt and Blaine got together in "Original Song", feeling the scene was sappy and inconsistent with Blaine's previous characterization. Others saw it as something the show had been building to for quite a while, although within them is a subgroup who feels that while their pairing up was to be expected from a Doylist perspective, it happened in a way that was premature for their characterization from a Watsonian perspective, resulting in an early Shipping Bed Death. And that's all that needs to be said about that.
    • Kurt and Blaine's storyline in the last season. After breaking up off-screen because they apparently couldn't stand each other when living together (admittedly an Ass Pull in its own right), the get dragged back together by what can be seen as in-universe fan-ex machina. First by Sue Sylvester, who turns out to be a psychotic Klaine fan and her shipper tactics include kidnapping and rape threats. Then they get convinced to get married alongside Santana and Brittany. And what is done about their so serious relationship problems that caused the break-up in the first place? That's right, nothing. To drive the point that Kurt and Blaine belong to each other home, Brittany includes - in her own wedding vows, no less - thanks to them for their inspiring path of pursuing his love and living with his sexuality that helped her, Brittany to come to terms with hers. (Never mind, that Brittany might be the only queer character in the series who never displayed any angst over her sexuality and her interest in Kurt's only appeared briefly in the first season when she was his beard.)
  • Strawman Has a Point:
    • Even if Sue's techniques are not the most correct, she is almost always proven right.
    • 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.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes:
    • The Rachel/Kurt friendship scenes come across this way to some. For roughly the first half of Season 1, they were frenemies, and their rivalry included struggles for solos and for Finn. Then, they made up and became friends, which would fine except that there were some who actually enjoyed their previous rivalry. And even the people who liked seeing Kurt and Rachel as friends eventually started to feel like their scenes together started getting overly-sappy and repetitive. To elaborate, the standard formula for a Kurt/Rachel scene basically started to become the following:
    "You're so talented!" "No, you're so talented!" *cue Wicked song* *hug*
    • Many Aesops and character-to-character moments come across this way to some people. The Kurt/Rachel interaction may be the biggest, Tastes Like Diabetes instigator, but there are a lot of others.
    • Among the most notable recent ones is "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" from "Love, Love, Love". Even with Kitty's initial Alpha Bitch behaviour, there's just something so undeniably adorable about her and Artie cuddling, laughing together and exchanging Eskimo Kisses in the empty astronomy classroom.
  • 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 Dalton Arc could have been a legitimately interesting side-plot by showing how Blaine's conflict over "running away" drives him to overcompensate in misguided attempts to help Kurt. Instead, Blaine barely got any characterization because 1) the writers kept Pandering to the Base of rabid Yaoi Fangirls, and 2) at least half of the Dalton scenes were songs. And not even relevant ones.
    • 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.
    • Really, you could make a solid argument that the show as a whole qualifies as this, as well, when you consider where the show started compared to how it ended up.
  • 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.)
  • 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 Carol, 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 were comments from Ryan Murphy made soon after regarding the fact that Blaine is 100% gay 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. Especially considering male bisexuality has even less representation in the media than male homosexuality does.
      • 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 relieve 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, claiming that they're unfaithful and promiscuous by nature, and wrongfully smearing Brittany's character (Brittany didn't even end the relationship between she and Santana—Santana did), viewers got angry.
    • Kurt in general has been accused of being an unflattering stereotype of gay people. 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.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic:
    • Kurt frequently gets this. Half the time, he's a genuine woobie; the other half, he's self-centered, hypocritical, and prone to fits of irrational jealousy. Not to mention the creepy way he pursued Finn, which he refused to apologize for.
    • Finn had this a lot. In particular, one scene had him rant and complain about having “nothing good” in his life. In front of his brother and fiancé.
  • 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 Four 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: Some viewers thought Coach Beiste was played by a male transvestite. In fact, she is 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!:
    • Hiring Terri as the school nurse.
    • 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.
    • Sure, Kurt, give the guy who assaulted your boyfriend the only evidence of his wrongdoing. Without showing it to anyone who could do something about it. "Now your teammates know what kind of a person you are"? No. They don't. Because they haven't heard the evidence.
      • Two of the recurring Warblers return to the room right before Sebastian slushies Santana. Chances are they heard and told the others, hence the implied coup d'etat at the end of the episode. Even if they didn't hear the 'rock salt' part, they probably heard the last part of the conversation ('It's okay because I didn't put anything in this one') and probably asked some questions. Also further supported by the fact that Sebastian has stepped down as leader of the Warblers, making way for Dalton Academy to offer a scholarship to an entirely new student - Hunter Clarington.
    • The New Directions in "Shooting Star" who keep their cellphones' ringtones and keypad tones on and generally act as loud as possible while the school is on lockdown due to a supposed gunman. Even if it actually turned out to be a false alarm, they were suicidally dumb.
      • With the cell phones, they may not have realized the ringers were still on at first. After the first two minutes their phones weren't heard again but we can assume they were still typing.
      • Marley's still was.
  • 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". If the casting director had cast an actor who was actually handicapped, one can only imagine how those dance dream sequences would have gone.
  • The Woobie:
    • For core characters? Let's just cut to the chase: Everybody not named Sue or Terri. And Terri, especially after "Mattress."
    • Let's add Sue to the list after "Grilled Cheesus" and "Funeral".
    • Artie in season 2.
    • 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.
    • 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.
      • The episode I Kissed The Girl after being disowned by her grandmother for coming out. If that doesn't make you want to hug her, nothing else will.
    • 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. Her boyfriend, Finn emotionally cheats on her with Rachel (physically twice-and keep in mind that with the timeline, he cheated before her ) She gets pregnant and her father kicks her out of her house. She gets kicked out of the Cheerios. She cheats on Sam with Finn; Sam finds out and dumps her. Then she gets with Finn.... only for him to dump her. At a funeral.
    • 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 13, 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. It's almost as if the writers are trying to see just how much crap they can pile on the poor girl.
    • 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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