For music fans, Glee was a seminal show. What started as a comedy-drama mocking popular shows at the time like American Idol and The Voice soon morphed into a full-fledged teenage drama that dealt with adult issues big and small. Through 121 episodes and 728 musical performances, we got to know the characters, picked our favorites, and became emotionally invested them as they journeyed through adolescence. We laughed, we cried, we shook our heads, and we questioned the characters’ decisions and motivations. It certainly was a show that won’t be forgotten anytime soon.
Glee was also a vehicle for a countless number of stars to launch their own careers in TV and movies, like Matthew Morrison as the good-natured leader Mr. Schue, or Jane Lynch as the occasionally villainous but always hilarious gym teacher Sue Sylvester. It also made Lea Michele (Rachel) an international star, and made it ten times more heartbreaking when we found about Corey Monteith’s (Finn) passing in real life in 2013.
Maintaining continuity in any show for that length of time is no doubt difficult. A team of great writers not only has to come up with new storylines, develop characters in a realistic way, and add in punchy jokes; they also have to make sure everything lines up from start to finish. Inevitably, there will be some minor plot holes along the way, and it’s hard to fault them for that. However, there are also glaring gaps that make you wince and try not to throw things at the TV in frustration. Let’s take a look at some of the stories, concerns, and errors in Glee that almost made us want to stop watching it forever.
Here are 20 Glaring Plot Holes In Glee Fans Can’t Unsee.
20 SPECIAL EDUCATION CLASSES
In season one episode “Showmance,” Sue sarcastically gives Mr. Schue a list of students in Special Ed classes who he might be able to recruit for the Glee Club. In season two, there’s even an episode titled “Special Education,” where New Directions square off against the Hipsters and the Warblers.
However, later on in season three, Sue is running for office and mentions that there are no Special Education classes at McKinley. Budget cuts have been a reoccurring theme in the show (we’ll get to that later), but with lavish productions continuing, it seems Glee can’t decide what kind of school McKinley is supposed to be.
19 CRAZY AGE DISCREPANCIES
This one is frustrating because it comes down to simple math and timelines. Artie, Quinn, and others have all had discrepancies with their ages over the years. Quinn is mentioned as being 18 in season 3, but suddenly that changes to 17 only seven episodes later.
In the first season episode “Wheels,” we conclude that Artie is 16 – making him a sophomore -since he suffered his injuries in a car crash when he was eight and Tina says he’s been in a wheelchair for eight years. However, two seasons later in “The Purple Piano Project,” we learn that he’s a junior, which only makes him 16 or 17.
18 MRS. HAGBERG’S CLASSES
Mrs. Hagberg seems to be an incredibly prolific and knowledgeable teacher. In season two, she’s teaching Home Economics when Artie sings the Stevie Wonder song “Isn’t She Lovely” to Brittany. The next season, she is teaching Geography, which seems entirely plausible since teacher often changes classes from school year to school year.
Things start to derail later that same season though when she’s shown teaching Math. And finally, also in season three, she teaches Spanish for one last continuity gut-punch. Maybe she’s supposed to be some sort of revolving substitute teacher, but even that’s a lot for one year. This one doesn’t quite line up.
17 BLANE’S CONTRADICTORY STANCE ON a dance routine
After hearing that New Directions might be preparing a song and dance routine for Regionals, Blaine encourages the Warblers to do the same in season two, leading to some insecurity from his teammate Kurt.
The very next season, however, Blaine changes his stance in an episode called “Hold On To Sixteen.” When Sam returns to McKinley, he gets in an argument with Blaine in the choir room, because Blaine doesn’t think New Directions should pander to the judges by “selling themselves.” Blaine storms out but Finn finds him boxing in the gym and is able to calm him down.
16 MCKINLEY HIGH’S LUNCHROOM SIZE
Several members of New Directions are shown eating in the lunchroom at various times, but the room gets noticeably bigger and smaller a couple of times. In seasons one and two it’s consistent, but in season three, striped brick walls appear and the ceiling seems to be much higher. Maybe McKinley found some money in the budget to expand, but not likely.
Later in the same season, the lunchroom is back to normal. Yet another lunchroom appears in season 3 episode “We Got the Beat,” but is never shown again. What are these strange Harry Potter rooms and where can we find one?
15 FINN’S STANCE ON OHIO
In one episode, Rachel describes Finn as a “country boy” who loves Ohio and never wants to leave. He works in an auto body shop and seems perfectly content with the slow pace of day-to-day life in Lima. He thinks about his future and how he’d be happy staying in a small town, questioning out loud, “Would that be so bad?”
However, when Finn is cut from the Ohio Buckeyes football team, he’s devastated. It’s the fuse that sets him off and for some reason, he suddenly talks about leaving. He states that he can’t stand Lima and feels like he’s going to be stuck there forever, which is completely contradictory to his earlier praise.
14 RYDER SAYS HE’LL QUIT GLEE CLUB BUT DOESN’T
In a tense scene in the season four finale “All Or Nothing,”, Ryder finds Mr. Schue backstage and informs him that he’s decided to leave the Glee Club after Regionals. This simply doesn’t happen. Not only does Ryder stay, but no explanation is also given as to why he changed his mind.
He’s right back in the thick of things in the season five premiere, even insulting the Warblers and calling them “evil, incarnate craps.” Sure, Ryder was somewhat of a fan favorite, but that’s no excuse for Glee to introduce an idea and completely ditch it moments later – though it’s not the only time it did that.
13 QUINN’S “BIG PLANS” FOR NEW YORK CITY
Speaking of teasing ideas only to crush them moments later, it happened before in the aforementioned season two episode “Funeral.” When Quinn and Finn break up, Quinn tells him she has “big plans” for their trip to New York City, keeping viewers on edge to catch the next episode.
However, aside from the usual song and dance numbers outdoors, nothing happens in the Big Apple. She actually initiates a fight with Brittany and Santana, and ends up crying and being consoled by them in her hotel room. Whatever “big plans” the writers had in mind went out the window with pretty much no explanation.
12 MCKINLEY HIGH IS BROKE BUT STILL STAGES PRODUCTIONS
One of the ongoing themes in Glee is that McKinley High is perpetually broke and needs to make cuts whenever and wherever possible. In one episode, Mr. Schue even complains about how the Glee Club’s budget is slashed by 10%. Problem is, they continue to do stage unreal productions, combining impeccable choreography with insane special effects, costume changes, and backup dancers.
One memorable performance was Mr. Schue singing Rihanna’s “Umbrella” on a jet black soundstage, complete with props, dancers, and even real rain. Another featured an elaborate performance of “Time Warp” from The Rocky Horror Picture Show, enhanced by vibrant costumes and elaborate makeup. It’s unlikely that any high school would be able to produce these Broadway-quality shows, let alone one that is supposedly bleeding money.
11 $1,800 FOR A SHOEBOX IN MANHATTAN
When Rachel and Kurt live in New York City together, the two go for a bike ride where Kurt mentions that $1,800 would buy them a shoebox in Manhattan compared to a much bigger place in their home state of Ohio.
While $1,800 is a lot of money for a struggling artist in a big city, it’s not even close to what the actual rent in Manhattan at the time of the episode would cost. For 2 people, they’d need at least a two-bedroom place, and that would run much more than $3,500 in the heart of the city. When Kurt quoted $1,800 a month in Manhattan, he probably meant for a camping tent in Central Park.
10 FINN’S GREASE AUDITION
Finn tells the members of New Directions in the season four episode “The Break-Up” that one of the songs from Grease was his audition song. He also mentions it to Mr. Schue that he’s familiar with Grease, again because it was his Glee Club audition song. Problem is, he didn’t audition for Glee Club, he was forced into it by Mr. Schue.
If you recall, Finn was the quarterback of the football team and Mr. Schue happened to catch him singing “Can’t Fight This Feeling” in the shower. Needing more members for Glee club and knowing Finn – a jock – probably won’t volunteer for it himself, Mr. Schue plants marijuana in Finn’s locker and blackmails him into joining the club.
9 QUINN’S SPINAL CORD INJURY
Of all of the continuity errors that have upset fans over the years, this one has got to be the most annoying. After getting in a car accident while texting and driving, Quinn is left semi-paralyzed in a wheelchair, unsure of her future and not knowing if she’ll ever be able to walk again. It seems like the beginning of an entirely new character arc for Quinn, until the absolutely impossible happens.
In a preposterous turn of events only five episodes later, Quinn starts a song sitting down but miraculously stands up for the conclusion. It appears she’s no longer paralyzed, infuriating fans everywhere because of the seriously unrealistic timelines involved.
8 QUINN WAS MISSING FROM FINN’S TRIBUTE EPISODE
Quinn didn’t appear in Finn’s tribute episode “The Quarterback,” which seems odd as many of the early episodes had a strong focus on their relationship. In season one, her storyline centered on her falling out with him after sleeping with his best friend Puck and getting pregnant.
Although it’s a major plot hole, the reason for Quinn’s absence from “The Quarterback” is easily explained. Actress Diana Aragon – who plays the character – supposedly had a massive falling out with producer Ryan Murphy. Quinn hasn’t been on the show with any regularity since season three when she graduated from McKinley High. Still, it’s upsetting that Finn’s first love wasn’t there to pay her respects to him.
7 AZIMIO’S DAD (OR LACK OF)
In the season two episode “The Sue Sylvester Shuffle,” Coach Beiste wants some of the members of the football team to help end their rivalry with the Glee Club by performing with them at the halftime show of their final championship game. Azimio Adams (James Earl III) says that winning the game would mean a lot to his dad.
However, in the season three episode “Asian F” - the very next year - Azimio says his dad was never around as a kid and he had never met him. Something here doesn’t line up. Either he was talking about a step-dad in season two, or the writers missed this gaffe completely.
6 FIGGINS’ STANCE ON RELIGIOUS SONGS
The series begins with a lot of tension between Sue Sylvester, Mr. Schue, and Principal Figgins. In “Showmance,” only the second episode ever, Principal Figgins gives Mr. Schue a list of family-friendly, wholesome songs that the Glee Club must choose from, as he wants their performances to be tasteful and representative of the values promoted at McKinley High. In response, Quinn, Santana, and Brittany perform Aretha Franklin’s “I Say A Little Prayer,” a song that has obviously religious undertones
Later on, Figgins condemns Glee Club for picking a religious song in the season two episode “Grilled Cheesus” since they aren’t allowed in a public school. Furthermore, his list of approved song choices seems to go out the window as New Directions perform whatever songs they want from then on.
5 BLAINE’S HAIR GEL
Kurt mentions in the season three episode “Prom-asaurus” that he’s never seen Blaine without gel in his hair, but it’s not true. Previously, in the second season episode “Blame It On The Alcohol,” Blaine is seen without hair gel.
Also, in the season three episode “Mash Off,” Blaine is seen without get again during the Hall & Oates song “I Can’t Go For That/You Make My Dreams.” It’s a minor continuity error, but his hair is loose and curly during the song and dance number. Looks like he’s not as preppy and put together as Kurt wants to think he is.
4 PUCK’S MIXED-UP GEOGRAPHY
In the season three episode “Choke,” Puck fails a European geography exam, and New Direction Boys vow to help so that he can graduate. Mrs. Beiste steps in and helps him study so he can do it again. Unfortunately, she quizzes him on South American countries, which is obviously a different continent than Europe.
In the end, Puck takes the test again and feels great afterward. He’s confident and he likes his chances of passing and being able to graduate. However, he fails again, leaving his future in limbo. Maybe he should've taken another look at the map and made sure he wasn’t confusing Europe with South America like his clueless teacher.
3 MR. SCHUE’S VEST
Clothing continuity errors can be hard to catch, but this one should have drawn a red flag point blank. In the season two episode “Funeral,” Will and Emma are picking out vests from his closet to wear to Sue’s sisters funeral. When they come across one with a blue and grey pattern, he mentions it was the one he was wearing the first time he met her.
Not true! Fast forward to the season three episode “Yes/No” which is centered around Will’s desire to propose to Emma. There’s a flashback to the day they first met and Will is actually wearing a completely different vest.
2 NO MORE SLUSHIES
One of the funniest parts of the early seasons of Glee was when jocks would “slushy” the various club members in the hallways – tossing a slushy on them when they least expect it. As time went on, this prank mysteriously stopped, presumably because Glee club had earned more respect at McKinley High.
That’s not necessarily the case though, as New Directions’ popularity at the school is itself a continuity error. Sometimes they’re the most popular kids at school; earning standing ovations and praise from their peers. Other times, they’re concerned that people will boo them and hurl insults at them over their song choice, which has definitely happened. Which is it?
1 RACHEL’S BROADWAY AMBITIONS
The first four seasons built up Racheal’s character heavily, focusing on her Broadway ambitions and her motivation to be a big star in New York City. When she finally gets the chance to perform on Broadway, she fails miserably and instead turns to TV. Not only does she give up on her lifelong dream insanely quickly, but she also gets her own TV show almost right away.
In the real world, it doesn’t happen that fast, even for very talented people. When the show fails, Rachel moves back to Ohio and abandons her ambitions altogether. It was a lot of buildup in the early seasons for not a lot of payoff in the end.
Can you think of any other plot holes in Glee? Let us know in the comments!