For six seasons, Glee was considered to be one of the most positive and progressive shows on television. Through their ability to tackle social issues, it became a beacon of light for fans to enjoy through tough times. Through a combination of song, dance, and story-telling, Ryan Murphy was able to create a world where younger fans could relate to various characters as they navigated high school. When the show began in 2009, it was a fresh concept full of new faces which spawned millions of “Gleeks” worldwide.
Unfortunately, as the show went on, it began to lose the sparkle that it began with. What were initially fresh stories turned in to over-the-top parodies and over-saturated episodes. When Glee was on its game, it was fantastic. Unfortunately, when it was bad it was also very poor and difficult to endure. Later seasons of the show seemed to be trying everything to reclaim its former glory and wound up putting out some very poor storylines. Some of the storylines that were produced made very little sense, and only served to damage the credibility of the show.
Others were actually so poorly received that they should wind up in a trophy case of their own for other students at McKinley High School to throw slushies at.
While Glee’s greatest episodes and stories will live on as great television, its very poor ones will live in infamy forever. Here are 10 Glee Storylines That Make No Sense (And 10 That Hurt The Show):
20 Hurt: Adam Lambert & Demi Lovato
By the time Glee hit its fifth season, it was clear that the show was running out of steam. Rather than having engaging stories for their characters, the show was relying on cheap gimmicks and guest stars to garner interest. This fully explains the cameos of both Adam Lambert and Demi Lovato during this season.
Introduced as members of Kurt’s cover band, Lambert and Lovato were brought in for several episodes. While the show has experienced great success with guest stars before, these two were not given meaningful characters or story arcs. In fact, the show did not seem to have a definitive plan for them, and they were phased out without explanation during the season. Had Glee focused more on their development, this may have been successful. Unfortunately, it was just used as a cheap tactic to garner ratings.
19 No Sense: Rachel Leaves Broadway
Two things about Glee were definitive – that Rachel would always get a solo, and that she was determined to make it on Broadway. While she would continue to receive multiple solos throughout the series, Rachel’s Broadway dreams were also poised to come true during season five. Following being cast in a production of Funny Girl, she was finally set to achieve her dreams. However, being offered her own television pilot out of the blue changed her entire career trajectory.
While Glee enjoyed being a fantastical show, the entire premise of Rachel’s career arc was ridiculous.
Without a single television or professional stage credit to her name, it is highly unlikely that a casting director would pluck her from obscurity for her own television show. Fans are conditioned to suspend disbelief, but this was too farfetched, even for Ryan Murphy.
18 Hurt: Quinn In A Wheelchair
If there is one thing that Glee knew how to do, it was tug on their audience’s heartstrings. By establishing such a connection between their fans and characters, it was truly heartbreaking when something harmed them. During her senior year at McKinley, Quinn was hospitalized following a car accident. Ultimately, the accident left her bound to a wheelchair and unable to walk.
Initially, fans were devastated for Quinn following her accident. However, the devastation quickly faded away to confusion. After only three episodes, Quinn would “magically” be out of her chair after healing from her injuries. While recovery was not impossible, it happened far too quickly for fans to comprehend. Had Quinn remained injured for longer, the storyline may have had the desired impact. Instead, it just became a punchline.
17 No Sense: Brittany Is A Genius
Many of the comedic highlights of Glee‘s early seasons focused on Brittany’s one-liners. Her dim-witted responses made for some hysterical moments and made her a must-see character. Unfortunately, the show decided to undo all of the work that had been put into her character towards the end of the series.
The charm of Brittany S. Pierce was that she rarely understood any situation she was in. However, it turns out that she was actually a mathematical genius the entire time. Instead of following through on her character, the show swerved fans by revealing that she was recruited by MIT to solve complex equations. The show had spent numerous episodes dedicated to her lack of intelligence, but then decided to flip the script? This move came out of left field and just left fans confused.
16 Hurt: The Major Event
When a show “jumps the shark,” it goes too far with a storyline and begins to lose popularity. Following so much work through their first seasons, it appeared that by season four, the team was grasping at straws for their storylines. After tackling teenage issues of pregnancy, substance abuse, and harm, the show resorted to gun issues.
While certainly a prevalent issue, the episode Shooting Star was poorly timed.
Airing only four months following the event at Sandy Hook Elementary School, families involved in the incident were not pleased. In fact, with so many parallels to the real-life incident, fans were upset they were not notified of the intensity of the episode beforehand. While Glee always did a great job of tackling social issues, this one warranted a warning.
15 No Sense: Blaine Hurting Kurt
When it comes to the most beloved Glee couples, Klaine is always near the top. The trials that these two went through in order to find love was nothing short of amazing. However, each of those situations made them grow stronger together because they relied on each other. This is why when it was revealed that Blaine had left Kurt for someone fans had never met before, it was very confusing.
While Kurt and Blaine had their share of issues – just like all couples – Blaine’s ideas came out of nowhere. If the showrunners wanted to make a big statement about this couple, they should have put much more thought into it. Having Blaine harm Kurt just for the sake of it made the storyline fall flat since it had no further meaning behind it.
14 Hurt: Lauren Zizes Disappears
Glee‘s secondary characters were incredibly under-rated parts of the show. With so many one-liners and hilarious moments to choose from, some of the background characters had better moments than the main cast. Just based on Lauren Zizes’ brief appearances in the early seasons of the show, she became a fan favorite. So when she became a member of the New Directions during season three, fans were overjoyed.
Unfortunately, that joy would be short lived as Lauren would vanish without a trace. Following a brief relationship with Puck and performances at Regionals, Lauren would fade into obscurity at McKinley. This would become a theme with Glee over the years, and Lauren would not be the first victim. Yet, Lauren would be the one that is missed the most.
13 No Sense: Sue Married Herself
Glee would see a lot of weddings through their short run. While each would end in happiness for everyone, there is one that sticks out as nonsensical among them all. Weddings for Emma and Will, Blaine and Kurt, and Brittany and Santana were fantastic affairs, but Sue Sylvester’s still makes fans scratch their heads.
Most of the things Sue was involved in confuse fans, but her marriage to herself is at the top of the list.
During season two, Sue announced that she had plans to marry her most compatible mate – herself. Following a stint on a dating service, she determined that she is her most ideal relationship. The idea was very strange, unexplored and so poorly executed that it did not fit in with the rest of the show. Furthermore, it was never referenced again throughout the series. So ultimately, what was the point?
12 Hurt: Artie’s Magic Legs
The focus that Glee had on love, hope, and happiness was a great message for viewers. When the rest of the world was focused on negativity, Glee knew how to make things positive again. However, sometimes their suspension of disbelief went a little too far and made things difficult to watch.
Artie’s unfortunate childhood accident left him unable to walk and bound to a wheelchair. Kevin McCale’s portrayal of a handicapable student was met with praise from the community as a positive showing of for those with disabilities. However, Artie receives a ReWalk which allows him to walk with assistance. Other than this brief appearance, the machine is never seen again and is revealed to have broken quickly. Instead of furthering their stance on positivity, the show took a step backward with this strange addition.
11 No Sense: Tina Woke Up As Rachel
As the show began to press on, the search for fresh episode ideas seemed to get bleaker. Rather than being treated to fresh ideas, fans were given strange episodes like Props. Instead of diving in further to characters and providing fresh storylines, one-off episodes were created that had little substance to the overall plot.
Props focused on Tina hitting her head and dreaming of a world where all New Directions members swapped bodies. Tina saw herself as Rachel, Kurt was acting like Finn, and Puck became Blaine. While there were some funny moments, the episode did not serve to move any plots forward. Much more effort could have been placed on what made the show great, but instead, fans were given this strange episode.
10 Hurt: Ryder Quits The Glee Club
Introducing new characters into the New Directions is always a big gamble. New faces either have the opportunity to become fan favorites or unlikable additions. When all of the new Glee underclassmen became part of the show during season four, fans were indifferent to the group. In an effort to create a connection, these students were given prime placement on several episodes.
While characters like Ryder showed great promise, it seems that the showrunners eventually regretted their decision.
In his biggest storyline, Ryder wound up quitting the Glee Club in emotional fashion following being “catfished” by Unique. For those fans that were invested in his storyline, they were surprised to see that the writers essentially forgot about his story. Instead of being apart from the club the next season, he had returned like nothing had happened. Not addressing storylines like this hurt the credibility of the show in a way that it never recovered from.
9 No Sense: Rachel Had A Crush On Will
Just a little crush? More like just a little annoying episode. Fans were heavily invested in the pairing of Rachel and Finn during the early seasons of the show. Any deviation from that relationship was not met with approval. So imagine how fans reacted when Rachel developed a crush on her teacher, Mr. Schuester?
While the escapade only lasted one episode, it was a very strange development. Rachel had only shown contempt for Will in the past, but she suddenly fell head-over-heels for him after singing a song together. This took place early on in the show, so perhaps the writers were just experimenting. Either way, it is a storyline that is best forgotten about when thinking about the show’s past.
8 Hurt: Terri False Pregnancy
While Terri Schuester may be one of Glee’s most notorious villains, her storyline is very strange to think about in retrospect. In an effort to keep her husband, she fakes a pregnancy and plans to “purchase” Quinn’s baby as her own. It is surprising that a story like this was allowed to make the air, but it was one of the main focuses of the first season.
Terri serves as a reminder of just how ugly the world can be, and that is not what Glee is about.
If Glee were to return to the air, it is unlikely that something like this would make the screen again. The premise of Terri’s pregnancy could be considered hurtful to many audience members, and could certainly be seen in poor taste.
7 No Sense: Blaine Dates Karofsky
Dave Karofsky’s story arc is one of the most powerful moments of the show. Dave’s growth over multiple seasons elicits so many reactions and shows the power of being yourself. Prior to his redemption, Dave is one of the most disliked villains due to how he treats Kurt. His treatment of Kurt earns him his hatred, particularly from those closest to Kurt. This is what makes his relationship with Blaine so strange when it randomly occurs later in the series.
Blaine is fully aware of how poorly Karofsky treated Kurt, so it seems very unlikely that they would find a romantic connection. While Dave certainly becomes a changed man, some of the things he said and did to Kurt were just unforgivable. Not only was Kurt confused at their relationship, but so were the fans.
6 Hurt: Rachel Is A Choir Director
Perhaps someone should be doing reference checks on the employees that McKinley High School hires. While teachers like Will and Emma are reputable, there are some seriously questionable decisions made about the faculty. The strangest of all is when Rachel Berry herself ends up on the payroll as choir director.
There is no denying Rachel’s talent on the stage, but how does this make her qualified to teach and lead students?
Particularly considering that she has zero qualifications towards teaching, it makes little sense that she would be allowed to direct a school program. It seems like there is a disconnect on exactly what makes a good teacher in the state of Ohio.
5 No Sense: The Acafellas
When Glee would take the time to focus on the adult characters, it was normally a breath of fresh air. In fact, storylines featuring Mr. Schue, Emma, and Coach Beiste were very well received. However, this early “gem” of an episode is not remembered very fondly.
The Acafellas was Will Schuester’s attempt to regain his glory days as a performer, however, there was one issue – not a single fan asked for an episode like this. During Season One, fans were heavily invested in storylines featuring Finn, Rachel, Puck, and Quinn. Unfortunately for Will and the rest of The Acafellas, fans were not interested in seeing this group. In fact, this episode is among the lowest rated of the entire first season. Perhaps this would have been better left unexplored as a story arc.
4 Hurt: Anything With Myron
It is no secret that Glee’s later seasons were not amongst the strongest of the series. In fact, the entire final season did not have many strong episodes at all. The worst trend of them all began when Myron Musovitz was introduced as a new member of the group.
Widely considered to be the worst addition to the show, Myron was a loud-mouthed, young child who was forced into the group. Instead of being entertaining, Myron only came off as annoying to audiences and was heavily criticized. Thankfully the actress was only included in four episodes, otherwise, her mark on the series would have been much more negative.
3 No Sense: Kurt’s Internship
Glee was at its best when it focused on the New Direction’s pursuit of show-choir glory. It was only when the show began to deviate from this that fans began to question the show’s viability and strength. This was no more apparent than when Kurt moved to New York and pursued a career outside of performing arts.
Kurt’s internship at Vogue alongside Sarah Jessica Parker is a strange black mark on Glee’s history.
While Sarah Jessica Parker is delightful in her role, the entire internship storyline makes little sense. Given Kurt’s limited experience in the world outside of Ohio, how was he able to land such a sweet gig? Particularly when he was not actually enrolled at school during that time. The entire premise makes little sense, but it was entertaining enough for fans to enjoy.
2 Hurt: Artie Playing Football
Suspending disbelief for entertainment purposes is one thing. But believing that a high school football program would allow a student in a wheelchair to compete in a contact sport? That is just insulting to the audience’s intelligence.
While Glee‘s message of inclusion was always refreshing to witness, allowing Artie to compete on the gridiron is a step too far. High schools have a responsibility to keep their students safe, and football is not exactly a safe sport. For someone in Artie’s condition to be allowed to play, there would be numerous rules being broken. Perhaps this one should have been thought through a little bit more because it only served to damage the show’s credibility in the eyes of their fans.
1 No Sense: Blaine And The Puppets
Introducing experimental ideas into a stale show can sometimes have a great payoff. However, this requires that the idea is well-executed and well-received by fans. Unfortunately, season five’s Puppet Master did not check off either of those requirements.
It seems that someone on the writing team decided that including puppets in the show was going to be a good idea. The only explanation they could muster up – that there was a gas leak in the auditorium that was causing hallucinations. Looking at this episode in a microscope, it is one of the strangest things to occur on the show. Particularly because the puppets are never seen again.
Are there any other storylines that should be on this list? Let us know in the comments!