"Glee" Born This Way (TV Episode 2011) - Plot Summary Poster

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  • Mr. Schuester teaches the glee club a valuable lesson about self-acceptance and embracing what makes you unique. Meanwhile, Lauren and Quinn go toe-to-toe for the prom queen crown, Ms. Pillsbury confronts her obsessive issues, Rachel struggles with a life-altering decision and Santana has something up her sleeve that could permanently alter the glee club dynamic.

  • Finn accidentally breaks Rachel's nose during dance rehearsals. The campaign to become prom queen heats up between the girls.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • Open with the gang a few weeks from nationals. Will (Matthew Morrison) wants them to work on their dancing and puts them through a "booty camp." Almost instantly, Finn (Cory Monteith) accidentally cracks Rachel (Lea Michele) in the nose with an elbow.

    At the hospital, Rachel is told her nose is broken. The doctor suggests this would be a good opportunity to fix her deviated septum -- basically she would get a nose job. She's worried about the impact on her voice.The doctor says opening her airway might even help her singing.

    Rachel tells the rest of the glee club about her plans. This gets them talking about flaws. Santana (Naya Rivera) very bluntly points out everybody has something they would change if they could. Will says flaws are also what make us interesting.

    Will tells Emma (Jayma Mays) he thinks this is a case of Rachel giving in to insecurity. He wants to help the kids embrace who they are. Will wonders if there is a way Emma can begin to work on her OCD. She seems resigned - there is nothing she can do about it. This gives Will an idea.

    Santana thinks being prom queen could help her to convince Brittany (Heather Morris) to dump Artie (Kevin McHale). She needs popularity help and thinks a jock might be the way to go. She thinks about Karofsky (Max Adler) and notices him checking out Sam's butt in the hall.

    At lunch, Santana hears from Blaine (Darren Criss). The only reason Kurt (Chris Colfer) hasn't returned to McKinley is because of Karofsky. She thinks he could be the key to helping both Kurt and herself.

    Will tells the kids this week's two-part assignment is acceptance. They will each perform a song about embracing everything about themselves. The group will perform Lady Gaga's "Born This Way." Emma is there with a shirt maker so each student can announce their biggest flaw on their chest. Emma's says "Ginger". Will looks disappointed.

    We learn Lauren (Ashley Fink) was involved with baby pageants until her weight got in the way. She would like to wear a crown again. Puck (Mark Salling) wants to help her win prom queen.

    Before getting the surgery, Rachel asks her doctor to give her some idea of what she'll look like with a nose like Quinn's. Pictures are taken and the two sing TLC's "Unpretty."

    Lauren's prom queen campaign has begun. Quinn (Dianna Agron) is furious at the competition. Lauren is not going to stand down. The competition looks to be whether student voters will want a queen who is like them or like what they want to be.

    Out on a date, Santana tells Karofsky she knows he's gay. Karofsky won't admit it. Santana thinks he's destined to live a lie for most of adulthood. She accepts that. She hints at being gay and says she wants them to be each other's "beard," a gay person of the opposite gender who helps maintain appearances. They will help each other win prom king and queen and rule the school.

    Finn is upset at Quinn for essentially giving in to Rachel not accepting her flaw. Cut to Finn and Mike (Harry Shum Jr.) performing "I Gotta Be Me." Finn dances throughout the number, highlighting his lack of rhythm. Tina (Jenna Ushkowitz) tells Rachel her surgery is a bad idea. Rachel shows everybody the mock-up of her new face and nobody seems happy. Finn says, "Rachel you're beautiful," but it doesn't seem to change her mind.

    Will tells Emma he's upset she didn't put OCD on her t-shirt. Emma thinks she can't be a role model if she's that open. He responds - OCD is keeping her from enjoying her life. Will tries to get her to eat unwashed fruit and accuses her of being an expert at deflection.

    Principal Figgins (Iqbal Theba) brings Karofsky to the glee club. Karofsky apologies for slushying every one of them and says he's ashamed of who he is. He says Santana has showed him the light regarding the evils of bullying. Santana says she was rehabilitating Karofsky in order to bring back Kurt and they ended up falling in love. They have started a new club (the Bully Whips) dedicated to stopping bullying. Karofsky says he plans to reach out to Kurt personally to convince him to return to school.

    Karofsky and his father Paul (Daniel Roebuck) meet with Burt (Mike O'Malley), Kurt, Figgins and Will. Burt initially isn't convinced his son should come back to school. Paul says he's seen a change in his son. Karofsky says he's a different person. Kurt asks to speak with Karofsky alone. After everyone leaves, Kurt says he's owed the truth. Karofsky tells him about Santana's plan. Kurt says the only way he's coming back is if he and Karofsky start a chapter of Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) at the school.

    Puck talks to Rachel -- "one hot Jew to another" -- about her nose. He says he needs one hour of her time the following day.

    Kurt officially transfers back to McKinley. The Warblers show up and say good-bye with a performance of "Somewhere Only We Know." Kurt is moved.

    Kurt walks through the halls and gets re-acquainted with McKinley by singing "As If We Never Said Goodbye." He gets a standing ovation from the glee club members.

    Lauren has discovered Quinn's real name is Lucy and when she was in middle school she was heavy and had a large nose. She was called Lucy Caboosey and hated the way she looked. She had no friends and nobody would talk to her. Quinn says she loves herself and never wants to go back to where she was. Lauren has hung huge posters of Quinn in middle school along with the line "Vote for Lucy Caboosey."

    Puck takes Rachel to the mall. Kurt is there. He tells Rachel if she gets a nose job she'll be letting down her idol, Barbra Streisand. Kurt then pulls Rachel into a large flashmob dancing to the song "Barbra Streisand."

    Emma sees a therapist. At her first session, she spends 48 minutes disinfecting her chair. The doctor says she has severe OCD but thinks it can be treated. Emma says, "This is who I'm supposed to be." The doctor counters that OCD is keeping her from being who she is supposed to be. She prescribes Emma an SSRI.

    Finn shows Quinn that he's keeping one of her middle school pictures in his wallet. He says it's the first picture where "I can really see her." It looks like Lauren's plan back-fired, as the rest of the school can now relate to Lucy. Lauren apologizes and the two make-up.

    Brittany "I'm with stoopid" and Santana "Bitch" are wearing their acceptance t-shirts. Brittany hands her one which says "Lebanese" (how she thinks the word 'lesbian' is spelled) and says she doesn't understand why Santana won't be honest with herself.

    Emma takes her pills.

    In the auditorium, Will shows off a shirt that says "butt chin." Rachel arrives, having just cancelled her nose job appointment. Her shirt says "nose." They begin performing "Born This Way" with Santana absent. During the song, we see the other shirts: Kurt's says "likes boys," Mercedes "no weave," Mike "can't sing," Sam "trouty mouth," Tina "brown eyes," Quinn "Lucy caboosey," Finn "can't dance," Artie "four eyes," Lauren "bad attitude" and Puck "I'm with stupid." Emma shows up with an "OCD" shirt on. We see Santana sitting in the audience with her "Lebanese" shirt. Next to her is Karofsky, watching too.

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