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Theatricality is the twentieth episode of Glee's first season and the twentieth episode overall. It premiered on May 25, 2010.

Tina struggles when Figgins tells her to not dress in her gothic fashion anymore, as he believes that she's a vampire. Rachel reveals to the New Directions that Vocal Adrenaline is planning to do Lady Gaga for Regionals and Will encourages them to express themselves using the music of Lady Gaga, which would also act as a way for Tina to find a new style. Meanwhile, Rachel has a life-changing encounter when she finds out that the coach of Vocal Adrenaline, is her mother. The boys, sans Kurt, decide to do KISS instead of Lady Gaga, while Finn and Kurt face new challenges after Burt and Carole decide to move in together.

The episode was written and directed by Ryan Murphy.


Bad Romance.gif

The episode begins with Principal Figgins telling Tina she can no longer dress in her gothic fashion, alarmed by a spate of pseudo–vampirism in the school, inspired by the Twilight Saga. When Rachel discovers that Vocal Adrenaline is planning on performing a Lady Gaga number at Regionals, Will sets the club a Gaga assignment. Kurt and Tina are bullied for their Gaga costumes by Karofsky and Azimio. The girls and Kurt create costumes inspired by Lady Gaga and perform Bad Romance

While spying on a Vocal Adrenaline rehearsal, Shelby sings Funny Girl on stage. Rachel realizes that their director, Shelby Corcoran, is her birth mother because her voice sounded like the voice on a cassette tape (recognized for their impeccable sound clarity) Jesse had "found" in her room. She introduces herself, and Shelby makes her a better Lady Gaga costume because Rachel's dads can't sew.

Puck suggests to Quinn that they name their daughter Jackie Daniels, but she declines. The rest of the male club members then dress as the band KISS and perform Shout It out Loud, the girls, Kurt, and Will cheering them on.

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Will meets with Shelby, concerned that she is not as invested in forging a relationship as Rachel is. Shelby confesses that she can no longer have children, but wishes she could have her baby back, rather than the now fully-grown Rachel, whom she feels does not need her.

Kurt's father invites Finn and his mother Carole to move in with them. Finn feels awkward sharing a room with Kurt, who has a crush on him, and insults several items in his bedroom as being "faggy" after losing his temper. Burt overhears and chews Finn out, telling him he cannot live with them, despite knowing it could possibly cost him his relationship with Carole.

Puck, in an attempt to show Quinn he is serious about being a father, has the other males sing Beth with him, suggesting they give the name to their daughter. She agrees that he can be present at her birth.

Shelby tells Rachel that instead of trying to act like mother and daughter, they should just be grateful for one another from afar for a while. Rachel hugs her goodbye, and they aptly perform a duet of an acoustic mother-daughter version of Poker Face.


In the halls, Kurt is being bullied by David Karofsky and Azimo. Finn, who has created his own Lady Gaga costume out of a shower curtain, tells Karofsky and Azimio he will not let them hurt Kurt. He is backed by the rest of the Glee Club all in their Gaga and Kiss costumes, leading the bullies to retreat. Will appears and congratulates them on being so close with each other and becoming a family. The club then walks away, preparing for Regionals, whilst Kurt and Finn share a brotherly moment.


Song Title Original Artist Performer(s)
Funny Girl Cast of Funny Girl Shelby Corcoran
Bad Romance Lady Gaga Kurt Hummel and New Directions Girls
Shout It out Loud KISS New Directions Boys
Poker Face Lady Gaga Rachel Berry and Shelby Corcoran

Background Songs

  • Speechless by Lady Gaga. Background Song (in Kurt's Room)

Guest Cast

Special Guest Star

Guest Stars


Absent Cast Member


  • Heather Morris said that her Lady Gaga costume was very uncomfortable because her vision was obscured by the lobster, thus giving her a headache, and took 45 minutes to take on and off due to all the wires and things keeping the lobster on. They supposedly made it easier for her to change into the outfit for the tour.
  • The episode was watched by 11.5 million viewers.
  • Matt gets his first line this episode: "Yeah, and I'm dressed as the guy who replaced Artie when he quit."
  • Because Jenna's costume was plastic bubbles squeezed together she would have to hold her breath between takes when there was dialogue because the bubbles would squeak when she spoke.
  • Lea's costume was made from stuffed animals the costume department found at yard sales, they just took the stuffing out so it wouldn't be so heavy.
  • To make Chris Colfer's shoes, the costume department went to a cross-dressing store and bought red high heel boots, broke down the heel and built Chris' shoe around it.
  • Kevin McHale comments that Shout It Out Loud was probably the funniest performance to date for the boys because they had an "out of body experience" with their make-up on.
  • There was one whole makeup trailer for the boys' makeup.
  • Behind the scenes, Jonathan Groff was seen walking around with Lea Michele in Vocal Adrenaline's Lady Gaga costumes. This implies that although it was never revealed in the episode, he was in fact practicing with Vocal Adrenaline for Regionals.
  • Theatricality was originally supposed to air after Funk, but the order was switched because they went over their budget in producing the episode, and the American Idol season finale was to be aired right before Funk. They knew they would receive more viewers for whichever episode was aired after the season finale, so they switched Funk with Theatricality to earn more profit and reduce their losses.
  • Will calls the girls and Kurt his "little monsters," the term Lady Gaga herself uses for her fans.
  • The Haus of Gaga was mentioned in this episode.
  • Finn, Rachel, and Tina all wear two different costumes in the episode (Rachel's mirror dress and stuffed animal dress, Finn's latex costume and KISS costume, and Tina's bubble dress and black dress).
  • This is the first Lady Gaga episode, shared with another artist, KISS. The second was with Katy Perry in A Katy or A Gaga.
  • During the discussion between Burt and Finn, it is mentioned that Kurt is 16 years old, becoming one of the few characters in the show whose age is revealed.
  • This is the first non-competition episode Tina is shown not wearing goth besides in a song, the next time being a 24 episode gap, in The Purple Piano Project.
  • This is the last episode to credit Mike O'Malley as a guest star. He becomes a series regular during Season 2.

Inspired Costumes


Ladies, I don't wanna hear about chafing just because you're being forced to wear metal underwear. Not my problem.

Shelby to Vocal Adrenaline

Quinn: You wanna name our DAUGHTER Jack Daniels? She's a girl.
Puck: Okay, fine - whatever. Jackie Daniels.

Quinn and Puck

Kurt: She changes her look faster than Britt changes sexual partners.
Brittany: It's true.

Kurt and Brittany

My mom won't even let me watch Twilight. She thinks Kristen Stewart seems like a bitch.


Ms. Corcoran? I'm Rachel Berry. I'm your daughter.

Rachel to Shelby

While Jackie Daniels is a great name for a power boat or something, it's not great for a baby girl.


Grow up, Finn.


Kurt: It's just a room, Finn! We can redecorate it if you want to!
Finn: Okay. Good! Then the first thing that needs to go is that faggy lamp! And then, we need to get rid of this faggy couch blanket!
Burt: Hey! What did you just call him?

Burt, Finn and Kurt




Behind The Glee Theatricality


v - e - d

Glee Episodes

Season One
PilotShowmanceAcafellasPreggersThe Rhodes Not TakenVitamin DThrowdownMash-UpWheelsBalladHairographyMattressSectionalsHell-OThe Power of MadonnaHomeBad ReputationLaryngitisDream OnTheatricalityFunkJourney

Season Two
AuditionBritney/BrittanyGrilled CheesusDuetsThe Rocky Horror Glee ShowNever Been KissedThe SubstituteFurtSpecial EducationA Very Glee ChristmasThe Sue Sylvester ShuffleSilly Love SongsComebackBlame It on the AlcoholSexyOriginal SongA Night of NeglectBorn This WayRumoursProm QueenFuneralNew York

Season Three
The Purple Piano ProjectI Am UnicornAsian FPot o' GoldThe First TimeMash OffI Kissed a GirlHold on to SixteenExtraordinary Merry ChristmasYes/NoMichaelThe Spanish TeacherHeartOn My WayBig BrotherSaturday Night Glee-verDance with SomebodyChokeProm-asaurusPropsNationalsGoodbye

Season Four
The New RachelBritney 2.0MakeoverThe Break-UpThe Role You Were Born to PlayGleaseDynamic DuetsThanksgivingSwan SongGlee, ActuallySadie HawkinsNakedDivaI DoGirls (and Boys) on FilmFeudGuilty PleasuresShooting StarSweet DreamsLights OutWonder-fulAll or Nothing

Season Five
Love, Love, LoveTina in the Sky with DiamondsThe QuarterbackA Katy or A GagaThe End of TwerkMovin' OutPuppet MasterPreviously Unaired ChristmasFrenemiesTrioCity of Angels100New DirectionsNew New YorkBashTestedOpening NightThe Back-Up PlanOld Dog, New TricksThe Untitled Rachel Berry Project

Season Six
Loser Like MeHomecomingJagged Little TapestryThe Hurt Locker, Part OneThe Hurt Locker, Part TwoWhat the World Needs NowTransitioningA WeddingChild StarThe Rise and Fall of Sue SylvesterWe Built This Glee Club2009Dreams Come True