Glee 413 Recap: Diva Cups!

Hello and welcome to the thirteenth recap of the fourth abysmal season of Glee, a comedic romp about what happens when a tight-knit group of musical adolescents eat nothing but Noxzema for an entire year and stop wearing underwear. The weirdest part, to be honest with you, is the Potatonik steering the ship, and the second-weirdest part is all the faces these kids keep making:

Glee 4133

Anyhow, this episode everybody fought over who could wear the most rhinestones and dead animals at the same time. It was called “Diva,” named after, OBVIOUSLY, Diva Cups. I prefer ob tampons, but to each her own. For example, Marley-Kate prefers Tampax Radiant for some reason:

Anyhow, enough about vaginas, it’s time to talk about Glee!

We open in what appears to be an actual classroom at Fake Julliard, wherein Bitchy Gay Boy #1, Bitchy Gay Boy #2, Kurt Hummel and ten or so extras of indiscriminate age are enjoying Free Sing, which’s absolutely nothing like Free Swim, FYI.

it's not like this at all

it’s not like this at all

It’s like this:

it's true, i wore my lucky thong today

it’s true, i wore my lucky thong today

Kurt monologues that since The New Rachel’s triumph at Winter Musical Lalala Singing Lilting Lyrics Showcase Time, her insufferabiltiy level’s been on blast: she hogs the pool during Free Sing, uses all the hot water, clogs the sink with the stringly discards of her Ombre situation and likely commits a dozen other water-related crimes. She probably pees in the ocean, too. That’s what divas do. Divas pee in the ocean.

god damn i love a good roasted chicken sometimes

i cannot believe she peed in the wonton soup again, that diva bitch from hell

Furthermore, says Kurt’s brain, The New Rachel surrounds herself with “sycophants,” aka Bitchy Gay Boy #1 and Bitchy Gay Boy #2, who, by the way, insist Rachel must audition for the Funny Girl revival ’cause she was “born to play Fanny Brice.”

omg this beyonce gif!!!

omg rachel you have to see this beyonce gif!!!

Kurt has a plan:

Kurt: “This Sarah Brightman in training needs to be knocked down a few pegs and I’m the only one who can do it.”

Mhm. You know who else has a plan?

cylons, motherfuckers!

cylons, motherfuckers!

We then adorn ourselves in fluffy snowsuits with generous hoods and sled all the way back to Lima, Ohio, home of the Apollo Career Center, where Emma’s advising Finn that the solution to his “we need a powerhouse like Rachel/Santana/Mercedes to win Regionals” problem is to host an internal Diva-themed competition.

you bet these are dockers, baby

you bet these are dockers, baby

Basically, everybody will have to put a Diva Cup inside them, and whoever fills theirs up the fastest; wins. Just kidding! It’s just gonna be like all the other episodes but at the end somebody will get a prize and it’ll probs seem a tad arbitrary, but we’ll enjoy it just the same!

everybody cheer like he just said 'we're selling taffy!'

everybody cheer like he just said ‘we’re selling taffy!’

Finn announces, using language reminiscent of my Olive Garden Manager Mike’s inspirational speeches about selling Create-a-Sampler Italianos, that “Diva Week is all about finding your inner powerhouse.”

personally, i find my inner powerhouse to be somewhere in my right foot, like maybe between my sock and my shoe

personally, i find my inner powerhouse to be somewhere in my right foot, like maybe between my sock and my shoe

Emma: “Diva. The online Urban Dictionary defines a diva as “a fierce, often temperamental singer who comes correct. She is not a trick-ass ho and she does not sweat the haterz.”
New Puck: “Great, so I guess the guys are screwed this week.”
Blaine: “Um, guys can be divas.”
Emma: “That’s right, we all have inner divas. I myself have been considered quite a diva at many a local restaurant because I know what I want and I will send a dish back.”

Unique suggests her classmates better step off because there’s only two ways to spell Unique, and one of them is “D-I-V-A” which, for the record, definitely does NOT spell “Unique.” There’s only one way to spell Unique. This show is confusing.

and, despite popular opinion, there is actually only one way to spell "riese"

and, despite popular opinion, there is actually only one way to spell “riese”

Also confusing: why is it okay for Tina Cohen-Chang to say “I have more diva in my little finger than you have in your whole angry inch, Wade-Unique”? Here’s the answer: IT’S NOT, which’s why Marley-Kate’s immediate assertion that Tina’s “unchecked” smack-talk is “about to end” is encouraging to us  — is Marley-Kate gonna take a stand against transphobia? Haha just kidding, her smack-talk is about to end because it’s time for a musical number!

iiiiiiii ate all your frosted flakes!!!!

iiiiiiii ate all your frosted flakes!!!!

It’s “Diva” by Beyoncé!

Marley-Kate’s dressed like the lovechild of Phyllis “Pizzazz” Gabor, Jane Fonda and Ziggy Stardust, Blaine’s doing Michael Jackson On Ice and somebody’s draped three dead wolves over Unique’s divalicious shoulders.

this would make a good line of special edition barbie dolls

this would make a good line of special edition barbie dolls

Fake Quinn is like a slutty Queen of the Emerald City and I love it.  Tina and Brittany are practicing to be the cake toppers for Cher and She-Ra’s lesbian wedding.
Glee 413
We then return to The Glee Room…

Emma: “…and that is how I made the manager cry at The Cheesecake Factory. For being a diva.”

Aw. Emma is such a critter.

and that's why i'm the number one critter of the week!

and that’s why i’m the number one critter of the week!

Starsweep over all of the things in the whole world until we arrive at the Barbie Dreamhouse Bushwick Loft, where Kurt’s had just about enough of The New Rachel’s demands for tea with a wee bit of honey. The duo begins squabbling, because it’s the Diva Episode.

Your face smells like peppermint!

Your face smells like peppermint!

Kurt dishes out some real talk about The New Rachel’s attitude, likening it to old-school Lima Rachel, but Rachel’s really in full-throttle-bitch mode today. She reminds Kurt that she got him into Winter Showcase in the first place, and Kurt counters that despite her “win,” HIS performance was the one “everybody” was talking about. And by “everybody” he means tumblr.

oh my god don't you ever say that taylor swift is a feminist again

oh my god don’t you ever say that “heartthrob” is better than “so jealous”

Kurt challenges The New Rachel to a rematch at “Midnight Madness,” which’s clearly not the same situation as the probs delightful Disney movie Midnight Madness, starring Michael J Fox in his first film role. This “Midnight Madness” is a sing-off or something. The New Rachel insists Kurt will lose, just like he lost in Season One.

and i don't care how close we are, don't you ever steal my lube again

and i don’t care how close we are, don’t you ever steal my lube again

Kurt blasts back that the only reason Rachel beat him in Season One’s Diva-Off is ’cause Kurt threw it on purpose, hoping to save his father the humiliation of having to watch his son sing a lady-song or whatever wacky plot situation they pulled off that week. Rachel is “crushed” to hear this, having based her entire ego apparently on that one episode. Weird.

how could you? you said we were going to watch battlestar together, and now you tell me you're already on season two? how could you betray me like this?

how could you? you said we were going to watch battlestar together, from the start, and now you tell me you’re already on season two?

Cut to the hallowed hallways of McKinley High, where X-Tina’s presenting her Gaycrush Blaine with a Winter Cold kit which includes NyQuill, Chinese Chicken Soup and other shit, but probs not porn. Illness kits should ALWAYS include porn, X-Tina.

aw, "the object of my affection"! my favorite film!

aw, “the object of my affection”! my favorite film!

Back in the Glee room, Blaine, dressed like a Village Person, catapults into animated life at the piano for a rousing rendition of Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now.”

hey bra, totally gonna see you at the YMCA later amirite

hey bra, totally gonna see you at the YMCA later amirite

Then Finn & Emma open their mouths and words come out, words about DIVAs. More importantly, Finn’s called in a Special Guest Diva — who could it be?

nope, different lesbian

nope, different lesbian

Nope, it’s not Raven-Symone! Also it’s not Celine Dion, FYI. THEN WHO IS IT?

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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3213 articles for us.


  1. FINALLY. Riese, THANK YOU for mentioning the totally inappropriate “angry inch” comment. When I heard that I literally gasped out loud. Like, WTF? Not okay. Not okay in so many ways. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen the issue brought up anywhere else, which is really sad. I get that the whole LBC is excited about Santana being in NYC and name checking AE and kissing Brittany, but still.

    The Brittany/Santana stuff in this episode was awesome, but it was still an episode of Glee, which means it was still ultra insensitive, disrespectful, and full-on awful. With Tina’s transphobic “angry inch” comment, Tina full-on sexually assaulting Blaine while he was sleeping, Finn kissing Emma, and the utter unbelievability that Santana would have to resort to paying someone to be her girlfriend, this episode was in many ways just as bad as all the others.

    The more things change, the more they stay the same.

    • i think ryan murphy posted the video of the ‘Diva’ performance like ten days ago, and by the time I saw it, it had already been up for two days, and when Tina said that I was like OH MY FUCKING G-D ARE YOU SERIOUS? and thought, wow i bet everybody’s really upset about this but uh, no, not so much. They’ve made a lot of transphobic comments, pretty much at least once an episode, but I feel like this is pretty next level. Even the way she said “WADE/UNIQUE” made my skin crawl. It’s just really problematic on a show about accepting everybody, that nobody calls it out. They don’t even have Unique look sad, or angry, in the way Kurt or Santana were when they were bullied. But I also don’t think the situations are even comparable, as maybe 50% of schools are now comfortable for gay students and maybe 1% are comfortable for trans* students, so they really need to go above and beyond with this issue. And if anything, they’ve just been experimenting with how low they can go.

      • Ryan Murphy is a professional troll. End of story on that.

        But I do think it’s worth calling out these bullshit transphobic comments, and the ridiculous sexism, and seeming disdain for the lesbian community in general – not to attack Ryan Murphy (professional trolls just get off on that), but to name the bigotry, educate people about it, and hopefully change things for the better. Get everyone to demand better.

        So yeah, thanks, Riese.

      • I mean, you could accuse the show of being accurate in terms of those percentages. There are a LOT of schools where homophobia is not tolerated, but transphobia is a-OK because people don’t know what it is and only see trans* people in Dateline specials about “my husband turned into my wife!” or whatever. That’s how it was in my high school; homophobia wasn’t tolerated and it never got worse than a few dumb boys no one took seriously slinging around “fag,” but the trans* kids there were treated like crap. And those same dumb boys took it a lot further with their transphobic shit, because they thought they could get away with it.

  2. Yes to all of this, love these recaps. Just a little thing, the Madonna song Tina butchered was called ‘Hung Up’.

  3. That angry inch comment! Ugh!! When I heard it, I thought about all those times I was a kid watching Bugs Bunny cartoons and Bugs would make these jokes that would go over my head. I wondered how many people actually caught how insulting that was. And then Marley says “No more-” and I was so relieved because surely this would be one of the more sensitive episodes, right? “trash-talking.” Oh. Great. Thanks for addressing that trans-bashing comment, everyone.

    I hope Tina is later given a GSA intervention or something. Something has to happen here to exorcise the demon of bad!touch possessing Tina right now. She’s just flouncing through the story line like a pamphlet on “what NOT to do to your queer friends” or “How to be a bad ally”— working title.

  4. I have not forgotton who the enemy is.
    I’m not mad at the name checking but I know they are plotting to win the “community” back or something.

    “If anybody here reading this is under the age of 21, I want you to know that ten years ago, this situation would’ve made Fox lose all its advertisers”
    Yeah look how far we have come! I never saw stuff like this in high school. It would have helped.

    Glad to see Santana in NYC. Now I can look forward to more eps. Kind of.

    Oh and thanks for getting this recap up this quickly. I always enjoy knowing someone else has the same feelings about this…. show.

  5. not gonna lie, when i saw this title i initially hoped it was about diva cups so i could wax poetic about how awesome i feel using mine.

  6. So I’m guessing that Santana enrolls in Fake Juilliard, too, because mid-year, mid-semester enrollments are totally things that real music schools do (spoiler: they don’t, because they have to keep up numbers for studios and ensembles, sometimes they won’t even let you take a year off without making you re-audition, or at least that’s how my undergrad was).

    Also, real music schools totally don’t settle diva wars with an actual sing-off. People do enough practicing for school and competitions and such, they don’t want extra work. Instead they just do what all the voice majors did at my school during my sophomore year, which is use a student-run “classroom feedback blog” to bitch out the soprano who got the role they all wanted.

    • their school is so weird, i think they are musical theater majors but have yet to take like, an acting class? or have a scene partner? situations that offer a lot more opportunities for conflict and making friends and shit than the weird convoluted situations they’ve presented thus far. but of course, it’s not like their high school made any sense either

      • Yeah I think this is like Glee Club: The College or whatever, it’s supposed to be what Glee fans want to think music/theatre school is like. “We solve disputes by singing because everyone is a singer and love singing all the time!” Except that if you even take a second to think about it, it doesn’t make sense: when you’re music school, you already sing in so many of your classes and lessons and practice, the last thing you want to do is do more of that on your time off.

  7. This is my favorite thing to recreationally hate since The L Word stopped airing. I DVR it just for nights when all I want to do is drink my beers and yell at things.

  8. I feel like all the BSG references are an attempt to make me like Glee by associating my favorite show with this awful one. ;)

  9. Riese, I must say, this is one of the funniest recaps ever! Thank you! I’ve stopped watching this show, but go to youtube to check out the performances (and ONLY when it involves Santana Lopez and her hotness), but I think I died laughing, from the “taking it one episode at a time, just like the writers do”, the “we used to date” part that they’ve conveniently forgotten about, Brittany being a bad girlfriend to both of them (yes!), hard to tell the difference between the best friend kiss and the girlfriend kisses and the patriarchy!hahaha! Also, yes, why are they fighting over Brittany again? I don’t understand the appeal at all – and also, apparently it’s become Santana’s M.O. to kind of break people up, going all the way to Season 1 when she got pissed off at Puck dating Mercedes, Puck dating Lauren, then she tried to break up Sam and Quinn, etc. The name-checking Afterellen was weird but whatever. I find it funny they only namechecked Ani DiFranco (clearly this was written by a man, it’s Tegan and Sara and Indigo Girls and Lilith Fair, Brad! And some of us lesbians go on autostraddle too, not just afterellen!haha!). The choking on your dentures was so funny!

    But Santana’s in New York and shacking up with Rachel and Kurt – how awesome is that?!? ;)

    But most of all, I love that you included the Battlestar Galactica reference!ahahhaha! Brad Falchuk is a cylon and he has a plan!hahaha! Right on!

    Anyway, this comment’s become long. But just wanted to say thank you for this recap. It made my day.

  10. Oh, and before I forget…


    That is awesome! ;)

    And also well-deserved!

    The stuff I’ve read here is more awesome than that other website (where I go to read Glee recaps ONLY).

  11. I was kind of hoping Santana would show up at Quinn’s place and move in with her instead of Rachel and Kurt

  12. Oh my GOD, the BSG references in this recap are just superb.

    When Santana made that comment about R&I my dad and I had a huge argument–he said it’s “just a good cop show” and I told him he clearly doesn’t understand the term “lesbian subtext” at all.

  13. The Madonna song Tina sings is actually called Hung Up. And I’m upset Glee is recycling their straightgirllovinggayboy storyline from the first season, when Mercedes was into Kurt. But then again, what hasnt Glee re-recycled and butchered since it stopped being good after season 2..

  14. Incendiary confession alert: I’m finding it hard to get aggravated by Glee’s persistent AfterEllen reader-baiting, because I feel like a community that votes Elena Undone as the 4th best lesbian movie ever probably does deserve some amount of ridicule.

    • hahaha!! Some do think Glee’s Afterellen mention was a good thing though. I agree with Riese that it was just a manipulation attempt.

      • God, yes!

        They were like…afterellen has arrived, no Glee has arrived, and I’m like…a few eps ago, they just did that dig about LBC and we forget how awful the handling of lesbian stuff are in this show?!?


        I can’t even…

        I didn’t find it a good thing AT ALL. And namechecking afterellen to show that you’re with it and you’re cool and you’re sorry for all the mishandling of the lesbian stuff on the show DOES NOT AN APOLOGY MAKE.

        Just sayin.

        • I think that the AE mention could have even been sarcastic. Definitely not a wink and a nod to the lesbian viewership and not a sign that they respect us or that they are sorry. Maybe I’m too cynical but considering Ryan’s history I think it’s unlikely that the mention was “sort of” an apology.

  15. THANK YOU for mentioning how creepy the VapoRub scene was.

    And the angry inch situation…I’m gonna go start some Twitter outrage on that, because that was UNACCEPTABLE. How many rounds of editing do TV scripts go through and NOBODY was alarmed by that line??

  16. I stopped watching Glee after the second season, but I still read the AS recaps. I’m a biracial trans woman– I am honestly just so sick of transphobia in the “lgbt” (yes, those are scare quotes) community. If Glee is so concerned with spreading an “it gets better” message to those queer kids currently being bullied to death in high school, perhaps it could, you know, stop actively participating in said bullying? Because this “angry inch” humor is the type of thinking that gets trans people beat up in bathrooms.

    Transphobia anywhere is terrible, but you’d think fellow queer people would get it and stop being so horrible to trans people. But Glee has been doing transphobic (and sexist, racist, ABLEIST) humor since day one, so I don’t know why I’m surprised or upset. I guess the part I hate the most is that Glee is touted as being this big lgbt-friendly beacon of inclusivity spilling love and rainbows on everybody that watches, but really, it’s just more of the same, but with shitty pop songs to distract people from all the bad writing and oppression. It sucks because there are so many GREAT tv shows that get cancelled prematurely, and somehow Glee is still on, and people are still watching it, and it’s making tons of money, in spite of how terrible it is. And I hate to rag on anything with queer characters or actors, because I am generally a happy smiley kumbaya type of person, but hey, they started it. And I am so so sick of trans people getting treated like crap by people who should know better.

    Quasi- related: I discovered the other day that Roland Barthes, an *amazing* French semiotician and literary critic, was gay. If he was still alive, and inclined to waste his time watching dross like Glee, I am convinced that he’d write an essay tearing it to SHREDS.

    • Oh my god, I am now going to *dream* about the beautiful, vicious essay Barthes would have written about the mythology of Glee.

  17. Yeah, if Santana wants a girlfriend, she better get the hell out of Louisville. My exte dive research has proven that it is too devoid of single young queer ladies and too close to my mother to be of any use.

    Also, thanks for reminding me that Lady Sybil is dead. I’ll just be over here weeping and gnashing teeth.

    • Also, I don’t know what “exte dive” is, but that should say “extensive.” Ugh, I’m mortified.

      • I was just about to consult the google for an explanation of ‘exte dive’ but now I think it should be the name of my new psychedelic side project so thank you for serendipitizing it into existence

        • exte dive. yes. your debut album should include such songs as
          butter weeps
          wimple wanton
          wonton wrapper
          pearly bits
          bitter mix
          crackers and pieces

          oh my god i don’t know what i’m saying anymore

  18. I love/hate this show but I just love these recaps. Comedy gold.

    Except for the few aforementioned cringe-worthy moments, I enjoyed this episode. Okay, who am I kidding, I loved all the Santana of it. And the Brittany/Santana scene. And I am never ever getting over the fact that Santana is in NYC and living with Rachel. It’s like all of my fanfic-induced dreams come true.

    And next week we are getting something between Santana/Quinn and I just don’t know any more. WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO SHIP? This is a legitimate problem.

  19. I’m glad Santana is moving to NYC. So now she can get some action.

    And I think my theory about the reason the Santana/Brittany relationship not maturing being due to Heather Morris’ comfort with the story line seems to make sense.

    We all know if any one is ready and willing to live her Sapphic fantasies on camera, it’s Dianna Agron. Her and Santana’s little moment will be fun to watch.

    Yay Santana!!!!!!!!!

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