My Top 10 Glee Episodes

Glee, with its dramatic storyline, quotable characters, and iconic performances, is one of my favorite (not-so) guilty pleasure television series. Most plot points of the show are chaotic, corny, and questionable, but in the best ways possible. Although the very last episode of Glee aired in 2015, dedicated “Gleeks” will understand that the show remains a very relevant topic of conversation today (shoutout to my college friend group chat which is almost exclusively dedicated to sending Glee Tik Toks). I love this series in its entirety, but there are obviously some episodes that stand out and have been rewatched by me a little too often. Here are my top 10 Glee episodes: 


10. “The Quarterback” / Season 5, Episode 3

  • As I am sure you know, actor Cory Monteith, who played Finn Hudson on Glee, passed away due to overdose in 2013. Glee showed immense respect for Monteith and his sudden death by beautifully commemorating his character’s life in this emotional episode. The only reason this is ranked as #10 is because it makes me cry every time I watch it, and I usually turn to Glee as a feel-good experience. Either way, though, this episode not only shows how appreciated Finn was to other characters, but more importantly, how much Cory meant to the actors themselves. 

9. “New York” / Season 2, Episode 22

  • In contrast with #10, “New York” is an extremely upbeat episode. Performing in New York City was a dream to many members of the glee club, and in this episode, they finally make it a reality. We get to see The New Directions adventure around the Big Apple, as well as hear some staple original songs like “Light Up The World” and “Pretending,” both performed at their show-choir competition. 

8. “Goodbye” / Season 3, Episode 22

  • This list would not be complete without the tender and sentimental “Goodbye” episode. In this episode, we watch Rachel, Kurt, Finn, Mercedes, and many other characters who have been on the show since the pilot episode finally graduate from high school and go off on their separate journeys. This episode is bittersweet, as we get to see beloved characters start their lives and live their dreams, but also say goodbye to some of their highschool significant lovers and their childhood homes. 

7. “Theatricality” / Season 1, Episode 20

  • As you will be able to tell from the rest of this list, I am a sucker for episodes surrounding a specific artist. In “Theatrically,” the glee club members are assigned a weekly project to sing either the top hits of the iconic Lady Gaga or legendary band Kiss. This episode is a fun one for sure, with dramatic performances of “Bad Romance,” “Shout It Out Loud,” “Born This Way,” and many more. Not to mention, Rachel is at last introduced to her birth mom in this episode, whom she went on a long journey to find. They share a beautiful moment while singing a slowed down rendition of Gaga’s “Poker Face.” All normal occurrences… for Glee at least!

6. “The Power of Madonna” / Season 1, Episode 15

  • Much like “Theatricality,” in “The Power of Madonna,” the glee club members are assigned to sing songs by, you guessed it, Madonna! I admit, one of the main reasons this episode holds a spot on this list is because of Sue Sylvester’s remake of the “Vogue” music video. However, the Madonna-fueled female empowerment that this episode exudes is not something that can easily go unnoticed. I am a huge Madonna fan myself and I remember becoming even more obsessed with her music after watching this episode for the first time when I was only nine. It takes some great cover artists to do Madonna justice and the Glee Cast does just that! 

5. “Journey to Regionals” / Season 1, Episode 22

  • I find that this episode has remained a fan favorite no matter who the fan is. Maybe it’s the passionate performance of Journey’s “Faithfully,” or Jonathan Groff’s flawless rendition of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” or the fact that Quinn delivers her baby during a show choir recital, or maybe it is the way Finn (finally) admits his love for Rachel. Whatever it is, this episode warms my heart without fail. 

4.  “Grilled Cheesus” / Season 2, Episode 3

  • In “Grilled Cheesus,” Glee tackles the topic of religion. Yes, you heard that right. Seldom does a teenage dramedy tackle subjects as controversial as religion, but Glee often pushes boundaries in the television world. When Kurt’s father suffers from a sudden heart attack and Finn finds that his grilled cheese sandwich toasted to look like it had the face of Jesus on it, the glee club members find themselves questioning what religion means to them, if anything at all. This episode has a different mood than most others, it is somber and deep at times, with a good balance of comedy and musical performances. 

3. “Bad Reputation” / Season 1, Episode 17

  • This is one of Glee’s funniest episodes, without a doubt. Olivia Newton John makes a celebrity appearance and recreates the “Physical” music video with Sue. A list of the Glee club members ranked most to least desirable circulates the school. Rachel creates a fake four-person-love-triangle (love-diamond?) by filming a music video starring Finn, Puck, and Jesse – all as her boyfriend. Need I say more? 

2. “A Rocky Horror Glee Show” / Season 2, Episode 5

  • This is by far my most rewatched episode of Glee… or maybe even most rewatched episode of any show on Netflix. Whether or not you are an avid fan of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, I am a firm believer that you will enjoy this episode anyways. Seeing the glee club test the waters and perform daring numbers from this risque musical was unbelievably entertaining. I admit, I bought The Rocky Horror Glee Show CD after this episode aired. And I don’t regret it. It’s that good. 

1. “Nationals” / Season 3, Episode 21

I’m sure it is no surprise that “Nationals” holds first place on my top 10 list. This episode is flawless to me in every way. Performances of Celine Dion’s “It’s All Coming Back To Me Now,” Meat Loaf’s “Paradise by the Dashboard Light,” and Lady Gaga’s “Edge of Glory” allow the sheer talent of the glee club to really shine, and at perfect timing, during their final live performance. One of my favorite moments in Glee history occurs in this episode: the cover of Grouplove’s “Tongue Tied,” while the glee club is finally recognized by their fellow students for their triumph of winning the national show choir competition. There’s no way “Nationals” would not take the cake when ranking the top Glee episodes, and I stand by that.