Ask any former Gleek and they will tell you, Glee did not have the best record when it came to consistent multi-season story arcs. Given Ryan Murphy’s propensity for anthology series as of late, we’re not overly surprised. Sometimes, it seemed like the show was just getting by until the inevitable ending moments. It can be kind of vexing as the series did have a set structure to it, given the competitions and social obligations that come with being a glee club in high school.
Even so, we did enjoy every candy-colored yet highly frustrating moment. It’s honestly no surprise that Glee writers’ room alum Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa went on to create Riverdale. They both have the same sort of "it makes sense in the moment but can be confusing when you look back at it" storytelling vibe.
Alhough the show definitely did spawn a lot of good things, we need to hold it accountable for its mistakes as well. More to the point, we need to remember what the show shoved under the rug and tried to make us forget about. Never mind if it was a major plot point or a season-long storyline, there are things that were never mentioned again. With that in mind, we’re going back to William McKinley High School and doing our research. There have been a lot of forgotten plot points over the six seasons of the show, but of course, the fans haven't forgotten them.
Here are 25 Storylines That Glee Wants Everyone To Forget.
When shows take a page of all too real, tragic, and senselessness of the world as we know it, it can definitely be a gamble. Some episodes revolving around school shootings have repercussions that can be felt for seasons to come, such as One Tree Hill. Glee’s, however, was so relatively insignificant to the series as a whole that most fans wish that the show went without it.
The school shooting scare took place in season four’s “Shooting Star”, which saw a gun brought to school by Becky (Lauren Potter) accidentally go off. It sends the school into lockdown. Outside of adding some metal detectors, which disappeared in later seasons, it was never mentioned again.
Will Schuester (Matthew Morrison) went through some weird stuff on the show over the seasons. Never mind his brief second career as the school’s janitor or how he had a bit of post-divorce Lothario phase, the most central storyline that Glee forgot was that Will was actually a decent Spanish teacher.
In the first two seasons, when we were in the Spanish classroom, he actually knew the language and taught the subject.
Then suddenly, he was bad at teaching Spanish. Once Ricky Martin’s character took over the subject, it’s hard to say what Mister Schue taught because his being a teacher was only barely acknowledged.
One of the classic Glee storylines is Quinn Fabray’s (Dianna Agron) pregnancy in season one. It definitely helped flesh out Quinn’s character and showcased Agron’s acting talent. When Quinn was kicked out of her home and things weren’t working out at other places she stayed, Mercedes (Amber Riley) offered Quinn her a place to crash.
Quinn even asked for Mercedes to be in the delivery room with her in “Journey”.
Yet in subsequent seasons, they two aren’t shown to be that close with each other. Mr Schue even pointed out that Quinn never even thanked Mercedes for letting her stay with her family.
Glee probably had the most make-ups and break-ups of any of the teen shows on television at the time. While some couples were definitely major, Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch) remained unattached for most of the series run, which is totally valid.
In season two, Sue married herself in a perfectly bizarre ceremony. After that, it never gets mentioned again, not even when Sue eventually meets Mario (Chris Parnell) in New York. It’s probably not legally binding, but still deserves some mention.
This one goes all the way back to season one, when Rachel (Lea Michele) had a major case of tonsillitis, which requires surgery. This sends her into a sort of existential crisis as the only thing she defines herself by is her voice. Finn (Cory Monteith), in an effort to show her that it’s not as bad as she thinks, introduces her to his friend Sean (Zack Fretthold), who is paralyzed from the upper chest down. Through this meeting, Rachel realizes that she is more than her voice.
Sean immediately disappears after this episode. The lessons that he taught Rachel were also subsequently forgotten as well.
This couple was pretty quickly forgotten, but honestly, we aren’t complaining about that too much. They had to be one of the worst in the show's run.
The extremely short and uncomfortable relationship between Puck (Mark Salling) and Shelby (Idina Menzel) just didn’t need to happen.
Quinn was planning to use the relationship as blackmail in order to get Beth back, but the repercussions from that just haven’t been seen since. Shelby and Beth shortly left post-Sectionals. It was just bad from start to finish.
At the end of season four, it was revealed that Ryder (Blake Jenner) was being catfished by Unique (Alex Newell). The implications of this plot were unfortunate to begin with as Unique was the only trans character on the show at the time. Then we get into what Ryder said during “All Or Nothing” before the Regionals performance: that he was quitting the club following the competition.
As season five was a direct continuation of season four, we were waiting to see Ryder leave the club.
It didn’t happen. It wasn’t even mentioned. Now, this plot could have been dropped due to the tragic passing of Cory Monteith before season five began filming, but we should still have had some resolution.
New Directions loses to the Warblers in season four in Sectionals, which knocks them out of the running for Regionals until it was revealed that Hunter Clarington (Nolan Gerard Funk) was forcing the other Warblers to dope with steroids. Eventually Trent (Dominic Barnes) comes to New Directions with the news of the doping, which disqualifies the Warblers.
Here’s the thing, though: in season one Vocal Adrenaline was also doping. Everyone knew about it and no one did anything about it. It was even mentioned in other seasons, so why were the Warblers knocked out but Vocal Adrenaline was just fine?
The New York Academy of the Dramatic Arts was featured heavily in seasons three to five of Glee. At times, it feels like the locations was also vastly underused. The most baffling aspect of NYADA was its glee club, Adam’s Apples, led by Kurt’s (Chris Colfer) season four love interest, Adam (Oliver Kieran-Jones).
The club only appeared for one song in the episode “Sadie Hawkins”.
They were apparently also reviled because somehow everyone everywhere hates glee club, no matter the school. After that, we never saw or really heard about that glee club again, and Adam got unceremoniously written out after season four.
Little Robin Sylvester's birth was something that more or less happened off-screen, than on-screen. In season three, Sue revealed that she was pregnant and baby Robin was born off-screen. Much like Sue’s late sister Jean (Robin Trocki), Robin also had Down dyndrome. Outside of seeing Jane Lynch in a pregnancy stomach in season three and seeing baby Robin on screen in season four, we never see the child again.
Robin doesn't even appear in the final season, when Geraldo Rivera called Sue out about her birth father being Michael Bolton.
Lauren Zizes (Ashley Fink) played a pretty big role in season two: joining the club, dating Puck, having her own solo, and having a song written about her.
After losing Nationals in season two, she quit glee club and dumped Puck at the beginning of season three.
Rather than just disappearing into wrestling and the nameless population of WMHS, she would appear from time to time. The bizarre thing is that, at times, it looked like she was in a position to join glee club again. At other times, it was seemingly forgotten that she'd ever been a member, like in season five’s “New Directions”. Either way, she was a huge part of the club and then just vanished.
Who could forget the iconic “Single Ladies” football team dance sequence in season four’s “Preggers”? It was pretty spectacular and definitely cemented Glee as appointment television. One of the best and moving parts of the episode was Kurt’s storyline of trying to gather the courage to be his authentic self with his father (Mike O’Malley).
Part of that journey involved Kurt joining the football team. He proved himself to be a pretty amazing kicker so long as there was some Beyonce on. Then it just kind of stopped. For some reason, Kurt switched to the Cheerios, but then he ended up dropping that as well.
In season two, Rachel met her match in the tiny powerhouse singer Sunshine Corazon (Jake Zyrus). Thanks to Rachel's sagotage, Sunshine transferred to Vocal Adreanline. She was afraid if she stayed with New Directions, Rachel would make her life a “living hell”.
Rachel honestly faced no real consequences to her actions.
Vocal Adrenaline and New Directions both make it to Nationals that year. Vocal Adrenaline placed second overall in the competition, but Sunshine did not appear in series after this.
At the end of season three, Finn and Rachel decided to hold off on getting married. Rachel would go to NYADA and Finn decided to enlist in the Army. Rachel met her season four love interest, Brody Weston (Dean Geyer) at school. The two quickly fell into a mutual flirtation which turned into a romance after Finn and Rachel broke things off in “Don’t Speak”. At one point, Brody even moved in with Rachel.
It was clear things were getting serious, but then he just vanished after season four.
Again, the reason could be tied into Monteith’s passing. It still felt weird that no mention of the character happened again on screen.
Glee had one big “mega episode” back in season two, called “Born This Way”. It was touted to be an hour-and-a-half extravaganza.
We learned about Quinn Fabray’s secret and tragic past.
She was once overweight and unpopular in middle school.This was revealed by Lauren Zizes in attempt to win prom queen. Rather than be angry, Quinn thanked her for doing so. It can help her be her most authentic self. Quinn's whole “secret past” was never mentioned again. Her real name should have come up at graduation, at least.
Back in season one, Kurt Hummel had the biggest, slightly stalker-y crush on Finn Hudson. This plot point took up most of the season. Kurt set up their parents in order for him and Finn to spend more time together. Following Finn using a slur in anger at Kurt, the crush seemed to have been quickly dispelled. The pair did make-up eventually and their parents would go on to get married.
For the most part, however, the duo seemed to have forgotten that it happened. It would have been nice to have had some acknowledgement in later years.
At the beginning of season three, Rachel and Kurt learned of the New York Academy of the Dramatic Arts. It was the only school either applied to, which was definitely ill-advised, to say the least. One of the more intimidating aspects of the process was when the duo met Harmony (Lindsay Pearce) and other potential NYADA students at a mixer. Throughout the rest of the season, they never really discussed these other applications.
When Carmen Tibideaux (Whoopi Goldberg) showed up for their auditions, Kurt and Rachel were the only two there.
It makes more sense the others to be there, rather than have Carmen go to other schools. But the other potentials disappeared.
Way before Grant Gustin was the most adorkable thing on The Flash, he was getting villainous over on Glee. Sebastian Smythe was introduced in season three as a rival both for New Directions and for Blaine’s (Darren Criss) affections. There are a lot of questions surrounding Sebastian, starting with why didn’t he get arrested for injuring Blaine’s eye with a rock salt slushie.
Eventually, however, he was demoted to flunky when Hunter Clarington came on the scene in season four. He never appeared with the Warblers in subsequent episodes. It would have been nice to know what happened to him.
During the first half of season four, Kurt drifted a little bit while waiting for his NYADA winter audition. Ultimately, he made the decision to move to New York and become roommates with Rachel. In order to get some experience, he secured an internship with Vogue online under Isabelle Wright (Sarah Jessica Parker).
People would do anything for that kind of opportunity and it just vanished.
It was honestly really interesting. Kurt and Isabelle had a great relationship, which turned into an assistant job later for Kurt. Then the whole storyline was just abandoned.
During season five, Kurt had an idea to start a cover band. Even though it didn’t last very long, it was still really interesting to see. Kurt ended up with friends outside of the glee club: Elliott (Adam Lambert) and Dani (Demi Lovato). Their numbers together were actually really fun, which definitely gave revitalization to a season that tended to drag a little at times.
With the permanent move back to Lima in season six, Pamela Lansbury disappeared with no explanation. Lovato disappeared midway through the fifth season and Lambert never reprised his role in the show after season five.
The Glee roster was constantly in flux as people joined and left New Directions. Seasons three and four definitely were rebuilding years for the club as a lot of new faces appeared.
They all had varying impacts on the club.
Some, like Joe (Samuel Larson), was fairly minimal. Others like Marley (Melissa Benoist) were definitely given a lot of screen time. Following the end of the fifth season, these club members disappeared with nary a word or a real return, outside of brief glimpses in the final song, “I Lived”.
It makes sense that in the first two seasons of Glee that New Directions wouldn’t be the most popular club in the school, even though its comprised of popular kids. Still, in season two, they went to Nationals, which was a big accomplishment even if they placed twelfth. In season three, they won the whole thing.
While it did go to some of their heads in season four, the club still seemed to be on the fringes as the season went on. The show is about the “losers” of the world. At some point, it’s just not believable to make them the underdogs of their school. That’s not even counting brief moments of popularity, like when the football team joined in “The Sue Sylvester Shuffle”.
One of the most frustrating plot points of the end of season five is Rachel reaching her dream on Broadway and then getting bored by it. She was starring in Funny Girl, earning rave reviews, and possibly would secure a Tony nomination.
Rachel breaks her contract and gets blackballed from Broadway, all to make a terrible TV show in LA.
Then what happens to Funny Girl? Santana (Naya Rivera) had left it by that point. Who took over the lead? Did it close or did they have to scramble to find someone to fill the role last minute? It was never mentioned in season six, so who knows?
For the most part, Glee focused on character relationships and musical numbers. School was something referenced, but not focused on. It was all about the glee club, football practice, or the plays. Even so, you have to wonder about the revolving door of staff at William McKinley High School.
One moment people are getting cut for budgetary reasons and the next they have enough money to hire a new teacher. We also see the same few adults over and over again. For the most part, the show is supposed to focus on the kids, but the adults do have their place in the overarching story as well. It would have been nice to have understood the structure of WMHS a bit better.
It’s true. Blaine cheated on Kurt after Kurt moved to New York. Kurt and Blaine even broke up because of it. When season five kicked off with Blaine making plans to propose to Kurt, even though they broke up and hadn’t talked about this fact, it was a bit surprising.
Yes, in Glee, there have been many instances of cheating, but the others were talked about and worked through.
Kurt and Blaine did neither of those things. Blaine broke Kurt’s trust, so ignoring it feels like a disservice to both characters otherwise.
What other Glee storylines are best forgotten? Let us know in the comments!