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    15 Times "Glee" Forgot It Took Place In A High School

    No wonder the glee club had no money! Will spent it all on the "Umbrella/Singin' in the Rain" mashup!

    Glee was very much a product of its time. There are a few aspects of the show that didn't age well (at all), but it certainly increased teen LGBTQ visibility on TV. But I'm not here to talk about Glee's complicated legacy.

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    We don't need to go over all the times Rachel was a bad person or William Schuester and Sue Sysvester should have lost their teaching licenses. You know it, I know it, let's move on.

    I'm here to talk about how the New Directions, despite constantly being on the verge of termination due to school budgetary constraints, managed to put on massive performances several times a year.

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    Will was told that budget cuts could hurt his club SO MANY TIMES throughout the series, but New Directions still had enormous production value. A couple of times, in an affront to all logic and reason, they'd perform massively extravagant numbers for just Will, or worse, an empty auditorium.

    Here are some of the performances in which Glee forgot that the high school glee club it was about was just that — a high school glee club, and not a musical act with a giant production budget.

    The show made fun of itself on this front more than once, which means it's fair game for me to do it too.

    1. "Roar" from the episode "A Katy or a Gaga" from Season 5

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    The auditorium was decked out to look like a jungle music video set, and the New Directions boys wore nothing but loincloths while the girls wore animal print bras and grass skirts. Who paid for this extravagance? Unclear. Who was this performance for? Will and the school nurse who was dating Sam (groan) were the only two people in the audience. The worst bit? When they tied Artie, wheelchair and all, to a fake vine and let him swing from it. I am not making that up.

    View this video on YouTube

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    2. "We Found Love" from the episode "Yes/No" in Season 3

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    Will was finally going to propose to Emma, so of course he enlisted the help of his students and a synchronized swim team (that he...hired?). Everyone wore cute vintage swimming costumes except for Will, who wore a stunning white suit and top hat for the two seconds he was in the song. He also had someone install a glass walkway over the school pool to look like he could walk on water. But nobody was more committed to the number than Artie, who straight up wheeled himself into the pool.

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    3. "Bad Romance" from the episode "Theatricality" in Season 1

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    Where did they get these identical replicas of Lady Gaga outfits? Who paid for the installation of a light-up platform and strobing stadium lights in the auditorium? This performance wasn't even for a competition, SMH.

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    4. "Shout It Out Loud" from the episode "Theatricality" in Season 1

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    Let's be generous and say that the guys got their leather outfits from a thrift store and looked up how to do the iconic KISS makeup online. But riddle me this: What high school auditorium has flame machines available for student clubs to use? There was no money to pay for a handicap-accessible bus for Artie to ride to Sectionals, but there was somehow money for this. Okay.

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    5. "Heads Will Roll/Thriller" from the episode "The Sue Sylvester Shuffle" in Season 2

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    Prosthetic zombie makeup and elaborate hair and wardrobe for over 20 people? Check. Industrial fog machine? Also check. And all for a high school football halftime show! This was also the episode when Sue wanted to shoot Brittany out of a cannon.

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    6. "Vogue" from the episode "The Power of Madonna" in Season 1

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    This is the only nice thing I will ever say about "Run Joey Run," but I think we can agree that is what a high schooler's audio-visual project would realistically look like. Mercedes and Kurt's identical frame-for-frame re-creation of Madonna's music video simply could not have been accomplished with a high schooler's budget.

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    7. "Nowadays/Hot Honey Rag" from the episode "The Substitute" in Season 2

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    This one would have been totally fine — except for the clearly expensive pyrotechnic lightbulb wall that exploded in fireworks at the end. So close Glee, so close.

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    8. "Le Jazz Hot" from the episode "Duets" in Season 2

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    Everybody had to perform duets in this episode, and they all did it from the choir room. But not Kurt! Kurt had lights, he had wardrobe, he had dancers! Based on his character, we can guess that he could have done some of this himself, but so much effort and expense for what's essentially a rehearsal performance? Come on.

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    9. "Blame It" from the episode "Blame It on the Alcohol" in Season 2

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    Why were there two rotating leather couches onstage for this number? Who paid for them to be brought in? We'll never know, just like Schuester somehow never knew that all of his students were drunk during this number.

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    10. "Bye Bye Bye/I Want It That Way" from the episode "Feud" from Season 4

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    You know what's a really good use of a high school show choir's time and resources? Performing an NSYNC/Backstreet Boys mashup to help their two teachers stop fighting, complete with puppet strings (see for yourself).

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    11. "Applause" from the episode "A Katy or a Gaga" in Season 5

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    Once again, half of the glee club wore almost identical replicas of Lady Gaga outfits installed a full set in the auditorium. The stage was decked out in lights, Artie had a giant parachute attached to his wheelchair, and Blaine emerged from what I can only describe as an inflatable steaming cauldron. This was essentially a rehearsal that cost...IDK, thousands of dollars.

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    12. "The Fox" from the episode "The Puppet Master" in Season 5

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    I hate this Glee number more than anything in the world. Blaine gave these horrifying puppets to the glee club to make up for being bossy (the fifth season of Glee was weird, guys). Instead of immediately burning them in a fire or selling them, the New Directions once again decked out the auditorium to look like a jungle and sang "The Fox," aka the "What does the fox say?" song. Weirder still, the adults in New York also had puppets and sang along. This was four episodes before the glee club was disbanded due to lack of school funding, and honestly, maybe they deserved it for spending time and money on THIS.

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    13. "Mamma Mia" from the episode "Guilty Pleasures" in Season 4

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    Much like there was no reason for the New York cast to be in the cursed puppet number, there was really no reason for the glee club to be in this one. But there they were, decked out in '70s ABBA outfits and singing in the auditorium, which had somehow been made to look like the original music video.

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    14. "Stayin' Alive" from the episode "Saturday Night Glee-ver"

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    I counted, and there were at least 15 white disco suits in this number. I'm not saying that this is the kind of expense that would put the glee club out of business, but as I have demonstrated here today, the club did this kind of number all the damn time for no audience, instead of using some of that clearly massive production budget on competition.

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    15. And finally, "Umbrella/Singin' in the Rain" from the episode "The Substitute" in Season 2

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    It pains me to bring up this number because it is one of my personal favorites from the show. But guys, the stage was flooded with water and there was a rain machine. You know what wasn't there? An audience to witness any of this. They just...did all this just for fun!

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