10 Glee Moments That Were Seriously Problematic

I grew up watching Glee. My primary school friends and I used to perform the mashups, dream about dating Finn, and wonder what it would be like to have a Glee club of our own. So when Glee launched on Netflix, I was over the moon to relive my childhood memories and dreams of superstardom! However, since binge-watching season one, I have noticed some serious problems that Glee addressed in its episodes from lying about your baby daddy to blatant racism. 

Here are 10 moments from Glee season one that you might not remember, but that will shock you upon reading!

  1. 1. Lying about your baby daddy

    We find out in episode four ('Preggers') that Quinn is pregnant. This is shocking to the audience because she is a teenager, head cheerleader, and president of the Celibacy Club (which is problematic on it's own, but that's a conversation for another time). Quinn tells her boyfriend Finn that the baby is his despite the fact that they haven't had sex- She goes so far as to convince him that it's possible to have a baby without penetration (another major problem to lie to someone like that). But that's not where the lies end: The baby daddy is actually Finn's best friend Puck, but since Quinn doesn't think he would be a suitable father, she silences him and says she will go to her grave swearing the baby is Finn's. Not only does she lie about how she fell pregnant, she manipulates the guy who isn't the baby's daddy into supporting her and takes out all of her frustrations on him.

  2. 2. Pretending to be pregnant 

    Will Schuester's wife, Terri, suffers a hysterical pregnancy in episode four ('Preggers'). Since she can't bear the thought of telling her husband that she isn't really pregnant and risk losing him, she continues faking her pregnancy in attempt to save their crumbling marriage. She wears pregnancy pillows under her shirts and dresses to appear as if her belly is getting bigger, and doesn't allow her husband to touch her or come to her "doctor's appointments". In episode 7 ('Throwdown'), she even manages to steal a sonogram to show him as if it's hers! The only reason why Terri continues faking her pregnancy is because she can feel her husband drifting away from her and their marriage falling apart. She vehemently believes that a baby will save them. This is problematic in that her lies to keep their marriage together keep her husband's false hopes up of being a father, and prevent him from finding true happiness by leaving her. She knows that he loves someone else, but still she fabricates an intense and deceptive lie to keep him in her arms.

  3. 3. Attempted fetal kidnapping

    Terri quickly realizes that she won't be able to keep up her pregnancy facade when it's time for her to give birth. So when she learns about Quinn's unplanned and unwanted pregnancy, she develops another scheme: To steal Quinn's baby and pass it off as hers. Terri deliberately takes advantage of a helpless and vulnerable teenage girl who is overwhelmed by her pregnancy ruining her pristine reputation. Quinn naturally obliges, but not without grooming and pressure from Terri. The plan is faulted in episode 12 ('Mattress') when Will finds out that Terri isn't pregnant. It is so diabolical and unforgivable that Terri would push all known boundaries to steal someone else's baby just to keep her husband from leaving her.

  4. 4. Pursuing a married man/woman

    In episode six ('Vitamin D'), we see more clearly the romance blooming between Will Schuester and Emma Pillsbury, the school's guidance counselor. Emma, who is aware that Will is married with a baby on the way, continues to pursue a relationship with him. At the same time, Will pursues Emma while still married and into episode 8 ('Mash-Up') when Emma is engaged to another man. Both of them attempt to be with each other in secret while being in relationships with other people. Even though they are both happier with each other than with their partners, it is still deceptive of both of them to themselves and their parters to remain in unhappy relationships.

  5. 5. Blackmailing someone with fake evidence

    In order to get Finn to join the Glee club, Mr Schuester puts drugs in his locker and 'finds it' during a locker inspection. Mr Schuester gives Finn two options: Either him being found with drugs goes on his permanent record and he loses any chance of a football scholarship, or he joins the Glee club and the slate is wiped clean. Blackmail is never acceptable to get people to do things for you, but to use fake evidence to threaten someone and have leverage on them... Not cool, Mr Schue.

  6. 6. Reducing people to their ethnicity 

    Tina Cohen-Chang and Mike Chang are the only two American-Asian students in the Glee club. Mike is referred to in episode 10 ('Ballad') as the "other Asian" since Tina joined the Glee club first. On top of that, when they become boyfriend and girlfriend they are called 'Team Asian', 'Asian Fusion', and 'Chang Chang'. People being reduced to their ethnicity as their defining identity is wrong on so many levels, and the fact that Glee let this slide is very strange.

  7. 7. Trying to convert someone's sexuality

    In episode 10 ('Ballad'), Kurt is paired with Finn to sing a ballad. Kurt, who is openly gay, has a massive crush on Finn, who is straight. Kurt knows this, but continues to make passes at Finn, touch him inappropriately, flirt with him, and even tries grooming him to find girls hysterical and unattractive. This all happens during the time when Quinn is pregnant and Finn is thought to be the baby's daddy. Kurt knows that Finn is about to be a father and is in a committed heterosexual relationship, but still pushes the boundaries by trying to make Finn reconsider his own sexuality.

  8. 8. Giving underage students substances to perform better

    When Terri becomes the nurse at the high school in episode six ('Vitamin D'), she gives the students in the Glee club "over the counter" drugs to boost their energy levels. During a competition between the boys and girls in the Glee club about who can perform the best mash-up, it is obvious that both groups have taken the drugs as their performances are over-the-top, energetic, and frenetic. On top of that, Terri isn't even a qualified nurse... She was giving underage students drugs withou supervision or qualifications to do so.

  9. 9. Selling edibles without telling customers

    In episode 9 ('Wheels'), the Glee club works together to raise funds for a bus that can accommodate Artie and his wheelchair. Mr Schuester suggests having a bake sale which the students aren't keen on because it's old-fashioned and time-consuming. Puck comes up with an ingenious, yet completely unethical, idea to put drugs in the cupcake batter. In his own words, he doesn't include enough to get people high, but just enough to give them "a serious case of the munchies". He doesn't tell anyone that the cupcakes are laced with drugs. Instead he says it's his grandmother's secret recipe that makes them irresistible and delicious. In the end, the Glee club sells all their cupcakes in record time thanks to the students becoming so hungry from the drug-infused cupcakes. Puck never has to answer to any consequences for his actions, which is unbelievable considering how unethical and dangerous it is to disguise and sell drugs to high school students.

  10. 10. Taking advantage of high school boys

    In episode 5 ('The Rhodes Not Taken'), Mr Schue invites his high school friend April Rhodes to inspire the Glee club with her incredible voice. April, however, asserts her sensual older woman nature over the high school boys, taking advantage of their admiration of her. April using her age and sensual nature to attract high school boys is morally wrong and unacceptable for Glee to promote.

Glee is available on Netflix if you want to binge-watch this December!

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