Mercedes, Mike, Puck, Quinn and Santana return to McKinley for the holidays. Kurt and Rachel however, decide to stay in New York for Thanksgiving to avoid drama, breaking the promise they made back before graduation about returning to McKinley on vacations. Finn decides to train the new joiners of the New Directions by pairing them up with the different alumni and plans PSY's Gangnam Style for the New Directions' big number at Sectionals. In New York, Kurt invites Isabelle and her friends to celebrate Thanksgiving with Brody, Rachel and him. Marley continues to lose weight and it eventually results in a major twist, affecting the New Directions.
Making her first return visit to McKinley for Thanksgiving, Quinn strolls across the auditorium stage and is joined by a guitar-playing Puck on a mash-up of Simon & Garfunkel's and Phillips Phillips', Homeward Bound/Home and gradually they're joined by more harmonizing alumni: Mike, Santana, Mercedes and Finn. "Home for the holidays," says Quinn, as the former classmates join in a group hug. "Just like we promised." Later, Marley recalls her long-time dream of stepping onto a stage to perform for a crowd - and her dream's about to come true at Sectionals. She vows not to let up on her weight-loss efforts before the competition, out of concern about letting down the glee club - especially Jake and Ryder.
At Breadsticks, the alumni note the absence of Rachel and Kurt, not expecting them to show. Later, Finn pairs them up with his students to help master whatever's necessary for Sectionals. Finn plans PSY's "Gangnam Style" to be the centerpiece of their performance, and he needs the students to up their game to compete with the Warblers. Jake admits to Ryder that he hung out with Marley, but offers to pull back if it will put them at odds again; though disappointed, Ryder doesn't object.
Kurt and Rachel agree that returning to Lima feels sad and unproductive, so they plan to indulge each other at their first New York City Thanksgiving away from home. Meanwhile, Mike leads the guys in their dance training: Ryder demonstrates smooth moves, but Jake's footwork isn't so hot - Ryder gets the dance lead.
Quinn, Santana and Brittany offer an improvised example of their uncanny dance synchronicity for the newbies to The Supremes' Come See About Me. Kitty reveals intense hero worship of Quinn, who notices that Marley seems under pressure. Kitty assures her she's been trying to help Marley, and she leads Quinn to believe that Marley's distraction stems from another case of a good girl dating a Puckerman - something Quinn knows all too well.
Brody admits he slept with Cassandra because Rachel took herself out of play in favor of Finn. When Rachel reveals that she and Finn are over, Brody vows not to hook up with Cassandra again and even offers to cook Thanksgiving dinner for Rachel and Kurt.
Quinn confronts Jake, believing he's pressuring Marley into having sex. Jake insists he isn't, and Puck tells Quinn that
she's out of line, but she warns them both: "The only way you're going to win Sectionals is if Marley's at her best, and if you keep distracting her, she's not going to be."
Learning that his Vogue.com boss Isabelle has no holiday plans, Kurt invites her to the "orphan Thanksgiving." She agrees, wondering if his renewed cheerfulness means traction in his breakup with Blaine. Kurt tells her he's texted Blaine to stop with the repeated apologies. Isabelle suggests that the easiest way for both of them to move on is if, one way or another, Kurt's able to accept Blaine's apology.
Santana tells Quinn she believes "pure evil" Kitty is responsible for giving Marley laxatives, but their old jealousies resurface, with Quinn mocking Santana for hiding out in cheer college and Santana scoffing at Quinn's new relationship with a much older, supposedly soon-to-divorce professor. Their sniping escalates into an exchange of slaps until Brittany walks in on them.
After Jake reveals his superior skills, having been trained in ballet, he admits he downplayed his talents because he didn't want to show up Ryder. He insists Ryder - who thinks Jake should take over the lead - keep quiet about it and let Jake help him train for Sectionals. Marley's exhausted and hungry, "but at least my dress fits" - and she continues popping laxatives to stay thin. Unique dresses like a woman on stage, defying her parents' wishes to keep her true self out of her performances and refusing to be ashamed of who she is.
Just when Kurt's had his fill of Rachel and Brody's cutesy flirting while prepping their turkey, he's surprised by the arrival of a large group of Isabelle's friends: after a wet and challenging day, she's invited an entire party to liven up the celebration, which explodes with a raucous mash-up of Scissor Sisters and Burt Bacharach/Hal David musical Promises, Promises, Let's Have a Kiki/Turkey Lurkey Time.
The Warblers open the Sectionals competition with dynamic performances of Flo Rida's Whistle and One Direction's Live While We're Young - and it's so good that Marley's more anxious than ever. Will joins Emma and Sue in the audience, and just before New Directions takes the stage.
Blaine gets a call from Kurt as the New Directions prepare to perform, Kurt tells him he believes he's sorry and is trying to forgive him but isn't there yet. Kurt can't stand not talking to Blaine, though, and asks for a mature heart-to-heart at Christmas time. Blaine is tearful and thrilled. He tells Kurt he loves him. Kurt says he loves Blaine too.
Jake tries to calm Marley's frazzled nerves as she admits she hasn't slept in days and is terrified of letting everyone down. Ryder unconvincingly fakes an injury, hoping to get Jake to replace him as the dance lead. Ryder persuades Jake that they each need to give their all for the group to win, and that means Jake should take the top spot. Jake agrees, promising Marley, "You're going to kill this." At sectionals, the Rosedale mennonites perform the mash up of Over the River and Through the Wood/She'll Be Coming 'round the Mountain. Then New Directions start their performance with Tina leading Gangnam Style. The glee club's high-energy routine does indeed impress the audience. However, ends on a tense note towards the end of the performance. When Marley starts experiencing tunnel-vision. Thus, causing her to unexpectedly collapse onstage.
|Song Title||Original Artist||Performer(s)|
|Homeward Bound/Home||Simon & Garfunkel/
|Come See About Me||The Supremes||Quinn Fabray with Brittany Pierce and Santana Lopez|
|Whistle||Flo Rida||Dalton Academy Warblers|
|Live While We're Young||One Direction|
|Let's Have a Kiki/Turkey Lurkey Time||Scissor Sisters/
Cast of Promises, Promises
|Isabelle Wright, Kurt Hummel, and|
Rachel Berry with the Orphans
|Gangnam Style||PSY||Tina Cohen-Chang with New Directions|
- Over the River and Through the Wood/She'll Be Coming 'round the Mountain by Lydia Maria Child/Carl Sandburg. Sung by The Rosedale Mennonites
- "Fantastic Baby" by BIGBANG - Heard when Mike is teaching the New Directions the choreography.
- "Gangnam Style" by PSY - Heard when Ryder tells Jake about how he is learning the words to the song and also in the background in the flashback when Santana is going through Marley's bag.
Special Guest Star
- Jayma Mays as Emma Pillsbury
- Dianna Agron as Quinn Fabray
- Vanessa Lengies as Sugar Motta
- Alex Newell as Unique Adams
- Samuel Larsen as Joe Hart
- Melissa Benoist as Marley Rose
- Jacob Artist as Jake Puckerman
- Blake Jenner as Ryder Lynn
- Becca Tobin as Kitty Wilde
- Trisha Rae Stahl as Millie Rose
- Dean Geyer as Brody Weston
- Grant Gustin as Sebastian Smythe
- Nolan Gerard Funk as Hunter Clarington
- This is the first episode of Season Four in which the entire main-cast is present; including Jayma Mays and Dianna Agron.
- Quinn (Dianna Agron) appears for the first time since Goodbye.
- Quinn, Santana, and Brittany's choreography and positioning for Come See About Me bears great resemblance to the choreography and positioning in I Say a Little Prayer, which they used to audition for Glee Club in Showmance, which was in Season One.
- This is the first "Sectionals" episode that doesn't reveal the results of the competition in the show, as well as the first sectionals episode that doesn't end with a group performance following the New Directions victory.
- Brooke Lipton, choreographer alongside Zach Woodlee on Glee, made her second appearance on Glee in this episode. The first, being in the performance, Bootylicious, in Hairography of Season One and the second is being in the performance, Let's Have a Kiki/Turkey Lurkey Time in this episode, appearing as one of Isabelle's friends.
- Shangela from the second and third seasons of RuPaul's Drag Race makes an appearance as one of Isabelle's friends as well.
- Scott Nicholson and Brian Nicholson, Ariana Grande’s backup dancers, make an appearance as Isabelle’s friends too.
- None of the cast speak Korean, so they each had to learn to sing Gangnam Style phonetically.
- Although this episode is called Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving themed, the episode aired one week after the holiday.
- The New Directions end up keeping the computer which was stolen from The Warblers in Dynamic Duets.
- A non-mash-up of Let's Have a Kiki/Turkey Lurkey Time was released as of Let's Have a Kiki.
- This is the first Thanksgiving themed episode.
- Santana references Pretty Little Liars when she say to Quinn "your pretty little liar (Kitty) gave them to her."
- As of this episode, the New Directions have lost every type of competition that they could win. Sectionals in this episode, Regionals in Journey, and Nationals in New York.
- In the scene where the alumni (minus Rachel and Kurt) are at Breadstix, Quinn mentions that Rachel emails her every other week saying that she did not use the train pass from New Haven to New York that Rachel gave her, but in fact it was Quinn who gave a pass to herself and Rachel.
- When Kurt calls Blaine just before Sectionals, you see Blaine's phone. The message on the phone is saying that Kurt is calling. Upon closer inspection it is apparent that it is a screenshot and not the actual call, because you see the 'image' options.
- When Kurt is talking to Isabelle Wright about which Christmas movie they're looking forward to most - The Hobbit or Les Miserables, Isabelle says that she's obsessed with the French Revolution. Les Miserables isn't based on the French Revolution, which occurred 1789-1799, it's based on the June Rebellion that occurred in 1815-1832.
- When the judges were announced, you can see a lot of the people were mannequins if you look carefully.
- Rachel tells Brody that she is a vegetarian, though she is a vegan according to earlier episodes. However, since moving to New York, she is seen eating ice cream and pizza, so it is possible she decided to become a vegetarian instead of a vegan.
Kurt: So, uh, do you have any fantabulous Thanksgiving plans?
Brody: There he goes.
Kurt: You've said you're sorry a million times, and I believe you. And I'm trying to forgive you, but I'm just not there yet. But it's Thanksgiving and it's sectionals, and I miss you like crazy, and I can't stand not talking to you even though I'm mad at you, because you're still my best friend.
Blaine: You're mine, too.
Look into the faces of these graduates. They've been to the mountaintop. This is just the first step in your climb to meet them there.
Marley: I thought your parents didn't want you wearing...
Unique: They don't. They're trying to protect me. But what they need to understand is if I'm not being true to myself at least when I'm performing then there won't be anything left inside me to protect. So they can keep talking about sending me to a camp for little boys who like to wear dresses, but I will not and cannot be ashamed of who I am or how I look.
You are ready for this. You look really good. Your voice is strong. It's time to make a little girl's dream come true. I'm so hungry. But at least my dress fits.
Jake: Did you do an apple pie five hundred times before you had sex?
Ryder: I did, but I wore a condom so I didn't make any apple fritters.
Quinn always was a genius slapper.