The New Directions are chosen to perform at the School Pep Assembly. Kurt requests Britney Spears but Will doesn't like the idea. When Emma brings in her boyfriend dentist, Carl Howell, to the Glee Club meeting, he finds out that some of the Glee Club members are not brushing enough. As he helps them with oral hygiene and puts them on anesthesia, they have Britney Spears fantasies. Britney Spears appears in some of the dream sequences, caused by anesthesia in the dentist's office.
The episode was written and directed by Ryan Murphy.
Will attempts to set New Directions an easy-listening assignment, talking about artists such as Christopher Cross and Michael Bolton. The kids have no idea who the artists are. When Will discusses Christopher Cross, Tina says, "Never heard of him, don't wanna hear about him." Brittany says Christopher Cross discovered America (a mix-up with Christopher Columbus) and Finn nods in amusement. Kurt informs them there is a Facebook group petitioning the club to perform a Britney Spears number at the McKinley High homecoming assembly. Brittany is against the idea, since her name is "Brittany S. Pierce" (which can be pronounced as Brittany Spierce) and has lived her whole life in the shadow of Britney, knowing she will never be as famous or talented. With this situation, Mr. Schuester justifies turning down the idea.
Afterward, Will meets with Emma in her office, and Carl, her boyfriend, comes in. Carl is talking about how the school board won't let him do an assembly on dental hygiene, even considering the terrible dental hygiene in the school. Will decides to let him talk to the Glee Club because he wants Emma to like him again, and he wants Carl to like him. When Carl comes to Glee Club, he gives everyone a pill that will turn plaque on their teeth blue. After chewing, Rachel, Artie, and Brittany's teeth are totally blue. Rachel complains saying she flosses between classes but Carl says it's probably genetic. Brittany goes to Carl's dentist office to have her teeth cleaned, where she has an anesthesia-induced hallucination where she performs I'm a Slave 4 U.
The next day, Brittany returns to his office with Santana, demanding that he put them both under anesthesia. Santana did not need any dental work seeing as she passed the plaque test and Carl protests because of this, but after Santana tells him about her 'killer health plan' Carl puts her under. Whilst they are under anesthesia Santana and Brittany sing a duet in Me Against the Music, hinting at a telepathic drug-induced link between the two girls, where Spears herself appears. After her anesthesia sessions, Brittany appears more confident, claiming to get all solos in the future.
Elsewhere, Rachel feels threatened by her boyfriend, Finn's desire to re-join the school football team, fearing that their relationship will not work if he becomes popular again. After visiting the dentist and experiencing her own hallucination, in which she performs Baby One More Time, Rachel begins dressing more provocatively. Her new look is received positively, and cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester finds school blogger Jacob Ben Israel masturbating to Rachel's image in the library. Rachel relents and encourages Finn to re-join the team. Still worried about the attention Finn is receiving now he is back on the team, Rachel sends Quinn to ask him out, and is pleased when Finn turns her down.
In Artie's hallucination, he performs Stronger with the football team, him being a member. Coach Shannon Beiste accepts both Finn and Artie, despite the fact Artie is in a wheelchair and technically incapable of playing football because the sport requires heavy physical contact.
Advised by Emma to relax more, Will learns that Carl recently purchased a new yellow Chevrolet Corvette and he goes out buys one himself. As he is in the car with Emma, he sings Sailing before he is confronted by his ex-wife Terri, who insists that he return it and cease wasting their savings. Seeing the positive effect Spears had on his students, Will relents and allows them to perform Toxic at the homecoming assembly, joining them on stage in an attempt to impress Emma.
When multiple students become sexually aroused by the performance, Sue sets off the fire alarm and has the student body evacuate the auditorium, unwittingly being caught in the stampede. Emma tells Will to stop trying to be someone he is not. He returns his new car, and tells the club they will not be performing any more Spears numbers, even though he was convinced there were clear benefits earlier. At the end, Rachel apologizes to Finn and sings The Only Exception.
|Song Title||Original Artist||Performer(s)|
|I'm a Slave 4 U||Britney Spears||Brittany Pierce|
|Me Against the Music||Britney Spears feat. Madonna||Brittany Pierce and Santana Lopez|
|Baby One More Time||Britney Spears||Rachel Berry|
|Stronger||Artie Abrams with the McKinley Titans|
|Toxic||Will Schuester and New Directions|
|The Only Exception||Paramore||Rachel Berry with New Directions Girls|
- Sailing by Christopher Cross sung by Will Schuester.
Special Guest Stars
- Iqbal Theba as Principal Figgins
- Dot Jones as Shannon Beiste
- Harry Shum Jr. as Mike Chang
- Josh Sussman as Jacob Ben Israel
- Jessalyn Gilsig as Terri Del Monico
- Max Adler as Dave Karofsky
- James Earl III as Azimio Adams
- Ashley Fink as Lauren Zizes
- Lauren Potter as Becky Jackson
Absent Cast Member
- This is the first of two Britney Spears tribute episodes, the second being Britney 2.0 in Season Four.
- Both of them are the second episode of their respective seasons.
- In this episode, Brittany gets her first solo, I'm a Slave 4 U, her first duet, Me Against the Music, and her first solo in a group number, Toxic.
- This is the first time Brittany and Will sing in Season Two.
- This is the first episode in which John Stamos appears as Carl Howell.
- This episode was watched by 13.51 million viewers, making it the highest rated episode that aired in a regular time-slot.
- After his suggestion of performing a Britney Spears number is declined by Mr. Schuester due to a complaint by Brittany, Kurt sarcastically thanks Brittany, to which Santana answers "Leave Brittany alone" in a reference to Chris Crocker's famous video.
- After Rachel's Britney fantasy, she says, "Is this real life?" This is a reference to the popular Internet video "David After Dentist."
- The Only Exception and Sailing are the only two songs that are not by Britney Spears in this episode.
- The majority of the songs that appear in this episode are dream sequences.
- This episode shares the most amount of fantasy performances, along with Puppet Master, both having four fantasy performances.
- Heather Morris had met Britney Spears two years before where Heather sang, danced, and dressed up like Britney. Britney said that Heather was as amazing as her, however, when Britney got on the set of Glee she did not recognize Heather from two years prior.
- Naya Rivera called the set where she and Heather shot Me Against the Music "the sweat lodge" because it was "hot as hell."
- Ryan Murphy said that this episode was generally to "showcase Heather's amazing dancing skills."
- Heather said that she was so overwhelmed that she was getting a solo that when she got home after receiving the news, she cried.
- For this episode alone, Heather received critical praise throughout, mostly for her dancing.
- Heather said that, for her dancing parts, it only took her a day of rehearsal.
- Every character that visits Carl's office, with the exception of Artie, gets a solo in Toxic.
- After Rachel changes her look, David Karofsky comments: "Why do the gay guys get the hottest chicks?" Ironically, Dave hooks up with Santana later on in the season in Born This Way to cover up his homosexuality.
- Brittany is the only character to feature in two of the Britney Spears dreams.
- Finn says, "How can you get caught between the moon and New York City? They're, like, a hundred miles apart." This is a reference to Christopher Cross' Academy Award winning song "Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)" from the 1981 film Arthur.
- This song was later performed in What the World Needs Now.
- Counting both Britney tributes, Glee has sung at least one song from each of Britney Spears' studio albums except for "Britney Jean," and one song from one of her compilations (except for "Britney Jean"):
- Baby One More Time and (You Drive Me) Crazy from the album ..".Baby One More Time"
- Oops!... I Did It Again and Stronger from the album "Oops!... I Did it Again"
- I'm a Slave 4 U and Boys from the album "Britney"
- Me Against the Music, Toxic, and Everytime from the album "In The Zone"
- Gimme More from the album "Blackout"
- Womanizer from the album "Circus"
- 3 from the album "Britney: The Singles Collection"
- Hold It Against Me from the album "Femme Fatale"
- Heather Morris stated before that she wanted to sing Baby One More Time. However, Lea Michele ended up singing that song. Ironically, critics gave Michele's version negative reviews.
- In this episode we learn that Brittany's full name is Brittany Susan Pierce (a.k.a. Britney S. Pierce) and she doesn't like to use it for fear of living in the shadow of Britney Spears. Brittany mentions in Season 1 that sometimes she "forgets" her middle name, but this could also be a reference to her never admitting it out of the Britney Spears shadow fear.
- The pamphlets that Emma is arranging at the beginning of the episode are: "Wow! There's a hair down there!;" "I still breastfeed … but how old IS too old?," and "Proper Wiping: As Easy as 1-2-3."
- This is the only episode of Season Two not to feature Sam.
- In The Power of Madonna in Season One, Emma is talking to Will about role models and mentions that Britney Spears and her "shaved head" is a bad role model for the kids. In this episode, Emma talks of how she is a great role model for rebirth and defeating adversity.
- Will mentions Michael Bolton, who would be revealed to be Sue's daughter's father in All or Nothing.
It looks like a Jewish cloud. *petting Jacob Ben-Israel's hair*
you're calling me uptight? (Emma nods) the women who buys hand sanitizer by the barrel
so the other day he made me buy the green grapes and the red grapes at the market and then we just mixed them together in a bowl and we just ate them. It was madness
Hey, dwarf, anyone ever tell you that you dress like one of the bait girls on To Catch A Predator?
Is your Glee Club doing Britney Spears music?
What do you want for her? I'll give you anything.
Carl: I'm gonna put you under a little general anesthesia. You won't feel a thing.