Mr. Schuester splits the Glee Club into pairs to sing their favorite ballad, but when Matt gets sick, Mr. Schue is forced to step in and winds up in a sticky situation as Rachel develops a crush on him. Meanwhile, Finn and Quinn have to face the music when dinner with her parents goes awry. Quinn's parents learn that their daughter is pregnant, and she moves in with Finn and his mother when her own parents throw her out. Puck reveals to Mercedes that he is the father of Quinn's baby, not Finn.
It was written and directed by Brad Falchuk.
Will introduces the concept of "ballads" to the glee club. He informs them that this year at Sectionals, they'll have to perform a ballad and will have them partnered up with another glee club member: Puck gets Mercedes, Artie picks Quinn, Finn pulls out Kurt's name, Tina receives Mike, and Santana gets Brittany. This means that Rachel will be singing with Will because Matt is out sick for the week. While Will is initially reluctant, they two sing Endless Love where it's become evident that Rachel is beginning to have feelings for Will.
Quinn and her mother, Judy, are fitting her dress for the Chastity Ball, which Quinn's mother mentions is very important to her father. Just then, Quinn's father, Russel, comes in and the pair dote on how wonderful a daughter Quinn is, making her feel extremely guilty. They then ask Quinn how Finn is and mention that they invited him for dinner.
Rachel comes by to give Will a present: a tie with gold stars, which she mentions is "kind of her signature thing" and tells Will that he can wear it and think of her. Will goes to visit Emma and expresses his concern over Rachel and her growing infatuation with Will. Will then recalls a similar situation with a girl named Suzy Pepper. Suzy was obsessed with Will, and would even call his house in the middle of the night, disturbing him and Terri when they were asleep. Taking Terri's advice to handle it, Will would set Suzy straight, which resulted in Suzy becoming depressed and attempting to commit suicide by eating the hottest pepper in the world. Will then mentions that because of this, he can't just tell Rachel to back off, so Emma suggests he sing his rejection.
Kurt and Finn are practicing in the auditorium, but Finn is too freaked out to sing to a guy. Kurt shamelessly flirts with Finn, which doesn't go unnoticed, and Finn mentions that he is stressed over the baby. Kurt then suggests that he sing I'll Stand by You by The Pretenders to express his feelings. However, while Finn singing the song to a sonogram photo on his laptop, Finn's mother, Carole, catches him and he tearfully admits that Quinn is pregnant.
Quinn is furious that Finn told his mother, and worries that Carole will tell her parents. Kurt takes the opportunity to incept the idea that girls are the cause of his problem. Kurt reveals in a voiceover how he fell in love with Finn and is determined to win his affections.
Rachel meets with Will, who is accompanied by Emma, in the choir room. Will then tells Rachel to listen closely to the lyrics of his mash-up of Don't Stand So Close to Me and Young Girl. He then sings her the song, but she is too infatuated to even notice the meaning behind the lyrics. Emma is also shown to be extremely enamored by the song. Rachel happily walks out of the choir room, but doesn't notice that she is being watched by Suzy Pepper.
Kurt helps out Finn by looking for something Finn can wear to the Fabray dinner. Finn finds a chest of his father's old things, and Kurt reminisces about his mother, who had passed away when he was little. Finn then expresses his concern on how to tell the Fabrays the truth, and Kurt suggests he uses his voice.
Will comes home to find Rachel. Terri had let her inside their home to help out around the house. Will is upset about this and argues with Terri about the many school girl crushes he's had. Will decides to take Rachel home, but she tries to serenade him with Crush. Will turns the radio off and Rachel mentions that she needs someone who can keep up with her intellectually.
Rachel is confronted by Suzy in the hallway, who warns her to stay away from Will. Meanwhile, Mercedes meets up with Puck in the choir room to rehearse for their ballad. Mercedes mentions that none of the other glee kids can sing their ballads because they're too concerned about Finn and Quinn's baby drama. Having heard enough about the sympathy Finn's getting, Puck reveals that he is actually the father for Quinn's baby. Mercedes tells him to back off.
At the Fabray dinner, Russel makes a toast to how perfect his family is. Finn excuses himself to go to the bathroom to call Kurt, who encourages him to sing the ballad they had been working on. Finn returns and decides to take the time reveal that Quinn is pregnant by singing (You're) Having My Baby. This only makes the situation awkward and when the Fabrays realize that Quinn is actually pregnant, they pull them into the living room for a talk, which ends in Russel coldly kicking Quinn out of the house.
Quinn then tells her mother that she knew about her mother knowing she was pregnant, but never did anything about it. Finn takes Quinn to his house and asks Carole if she can stay with them for a few days. Carole then says that Quinn can stay as long as she wants.
Rachel is again confronted by Suzy once again in the bathroom. Suzy advises her that a relationship between her and Will would never work and tells her to have more respect for herself. Rachel meets Will in the choir room again to practice their ballad, but Will decides to take the time to tell her that her crush needs to stop. Rachel begins to cry, but Will gives her words of encouragement and tells her that she'll find someone.
Finn tells Kurt what happened with the Fabrays. Kurt apologizes for his bad ideas, but Finn thanks him because the secret is out and there is nothing to hide anymore. Finn then suggests they work on Kurt's ballad, and Kurt tells Finn that he honestly loves him, but Finn thinks it's the name of a song. Mercedes interrupts the two to ask them to go the choir room. The glee club gathers Quinn and Finn where they dedicate the song Lean on Me to them, which moves them to tears.
|Song Title||Original Artist||Performer(s)|
|Endless Love||Lionel Richie and Diana Ross||Rachel Berry and Will Schuester|
|I'll Stand by You||The Pretenders||Finn Hudson|
|Don't Stand So Close to Me/Young Girl||The Police/|
Gary Puckett & The Union Gap
|Crush||Jennifer Paige||Rachel Berry|
|(You're) Having My Baby||Paul Anka and Odia Coates||Finn Hudson|
|Lean on Me||Bill Withers||New Directions|
- More Than Words by Extreme when Suzy Pepper eats a pepper.
- Gregg Henry as Russel Fabray
- Charlotte Ross as Judy Fabray
- Romy Rosemont as Carole Hudson
- Sarah Drew as Suzy Pepper
- Naya Rivera as Santana Lopez
- Heather Morris as Brittany Pierce
- Harry Shum Jr. as Mike Chang
Absent Cast Member
- During (You're) Having My Baby, Dianna kept laughing as Cory sang to her. Cory forgot his lines as soon as he saw Dianna laugh.
- The Lean on Me scene was actually the first time both Dianna and Cory had seen it, they knew the cast was singing the song but hadn't heard it. They were not allowed in rehearsals with the rest of the cast.
- "Ballad" was the episode submission of Dianna Agron (Quinn) for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, but her nomination failed to make the final cut.
- When this episode aired in the U.K., it is entitled "Ballads" instead of Ballad.
- Every girl after Will in this episode has a food related name (Emma Pillsbury, Rachel Berry, Suzy Pepper, and Terri Delmonico — a type of steak).
- This is the second time a character has sung 2 solos in an episode. The first being Mash-Up with Will.
- When Kurt is ironing and his cell phone rings, he goes to pick it up, leaving the iron facing down. When the camera angle changes, it's facing up.
- When Suzy Pepper is eating the hottest pepper alive, she has a lock of her hair in her mouth. However, at side shots, the hair disappears.
- In the scene with Kurt and Finn right before I'll Stand By You, Kurt's wearing white pants. When the camera changes to his fingers at the piano, he's wearing jeans.
- Kurt is seen sitting in Will's Spanish class. In Grilled Cheesus, he is seen taking French.
Will: Ballad. From Middle English ballade. Who knows what this word means?
I bet the duck's in the hat.
[voiceover] I should've never sang this song with her. Oh, crap. She looks crazy right now.
Quinn: Why? Because I'm not a little girl anymore? Because I made a mistake?
I just need my daddy to hold me and tell me that it's going to be okay.
Finn: Quinn's parents threw her out. Could she stay here for a couple of days.
You need to find some self-respect, Rachel. Get that "mildly attractive" groove back.