25. Song: ''Forget You'' Episode 29: ''The Substitute,'' Nov. 16, 2010
Holly Holiday busted onto the Glee scene to mixed reviews from the kids, but her take on this punchy Cee Lo Green hit proved that she was top 40 and then some. Disagree? Well, forget you.
24. Song: ''To Love You More'' Episode 88: ''All or Nothing,'' May 6, 2013
Take away the choir room, elaborate choreography, silly costumes, and all the rest of Glee‘s hallmarks, and with what are we left? Lea Michele’s powerful voice. The actress has performed many ballads over the years, but this fourth season finale number is one of her best. For a Broadway callback Rachel belts the Celine Dion classic, and the result is chilling and inspiring. No wonder she landed the role.
23. Song: ''We've Got Tonight'' Episode 80: ''I Do,'' Feb. 14, 2013
Since their break-up earlier in the season, viewers had been wishing and hoping for a Finn/Rachel duet. At the party after Emma ditched the nuptials, the former couple put on a show, crooning the Kenny Rogers/Sheena Easton version of Bob Seger’s hit. With their chemistry on full display, it’s no wonder that they — as well as pretty much all the other former couples — found their way to hotel rooms upstairs over the course of the song.
22. Song: ''Girl on Fire'' Episode 79: ''Diva,'' Feb. 7, 2013
What a great moment for Santana. After a powerful heart-to-heart with ex Brittany in the famed McKinley High auditorium, Santana decided to see just how far she could fly and took off to New York City for the belated next chapter of her life. When it came to the powerful bridge later in the song synched to her getting off the subway in NYC we were grinning right along with her.
21. Song: ''Silly Love Songs'' Episode 34: ''Silly Love Songs,'' Feb. 8, 2011
We’ve had far from enough of silly love songs, especially when they’re performed so perfectly by a group of good-looking, sharp-dressed guys. Anything from Sir Paul’s musical orbit is quite an undertaking, but if someone was going to do it, we’re glad it was the Warblers.
20. Song: ''Love Song'' Episode 78: ''Naked,'' Jan. 31, 2013
The lead up to the tune may have been a little odd (Rachel decided not to film a topless scene for a student film), but it gave us this carefree number with our favorite girls, so we’ll let it slide. Watching the three graduates happily harmonizing together, we found ourselves wishing everyone could go back to McKinley so they could all be together again. Would that be the worst thing?
19. Song: ''I Want to Hold Your Hand'' Episode 25: ''Grilled Cheesus,'' Oct. 5, 2010
Even if we put aside the heartbreaking scene in which Kurt sang this re-imagined Beatles classic to his ailing father while flashing back to wrenchingly adorable memories, you still have one of the best Glee songs to date.
18. Song: ''Defying Gravity'' Episode 9: ''Wheels,'' Nov. 11, 2009
While it’s always fun to see New Directions tackle contemporary hits, watching these theater geeks jump at the chance to perform Broadway numbers is even better. It’s fitting that both Rachel and Kurt love this Wicked power ballad, and in the club’s first ”diva-off,” the two went head to head for the solo. Kurt’s commitment to prove himself to the group, paired with his own identity struggles, gave the song more meaning and has left us cheering for him ever since.
17. Song: ''Like a Virgin'' Episode 15: ''The Power of Madonna,'' April 20, 2010
This ambitious and carefully executed Madonna performance intertwined scenes of three couples during the throes of passion…or lack thereof. The song gave Emma and Santana (her first solo!) a chance to shine alongside Rachel, Will, Finn, and Jesse (Jonathan Groff).
16. Song: ''Poker Face'' Episode 20: ''Theatricality,'' May 25, 2010
Two Broadway divas on either side of a baby grand piano — what could be better? Sure the lyrics (”I’m bluffin’ with my muffin”) made for an awkward mother-daughter moment between Rachel and Shelby (Idina Menzel), but you can’t deny that this deconstructed acoustic version of Lady Gaga’s original was absolutely lovely.
15. Song: ''The Safety Dance'' Episode 19: ''Dream On,'' May 18, 2010
We loved Artie’s take on Billy Idol’s ”Dancing With Myself,” but allowing his dreams to come to life via a flash mob dance sequence completely blew that out of the water. We couldn’t stop smiling as everyone in the mall got down to Men Without Hats, especially Kevin McHale, who showed off his serious dance skills.
14. Song: ''Vogue'' Episode 15: ''The Power of Madonna,'' April 20, 2010
Who knew Sue Sylvester worshipped at the altar of Madonna? Then again, why wouldn’t she? In this video project constructed by Kurt, Mercedes, and the AV Club, the Cheerios coach shone in a whole new light. From the costumes to the attitude, their re-creation of Madonna’s original was spot on, save for some key lyrical changes (”Will Schuester, I hate you!”).
13. Song: ''Toxic'' ?Episode 24: ''Britney/Brittany,'' Sept. 28, 2010
?Glee‘s anesthesia-induced ode to Britney Spears was filled with high-energy ditties, but it was their take on ”Toxic” that had us up and dancing… and sort of not missing Britney.
12. Song: ''Somewhere Only We Know'' Episode 45: ''The Purple Piano Project,'' Sept. 20, 2011
Blaine continued to make all viewers swoon with his Warbler-accompanied ode to Kurt. This Keane song packed a punch more powerful than Blaine hitting the piano keys: Blaine was transferring to McKinley. By the end of the sweet outdoor number, our grins were as big as Kurt’s.
11. Song: ''Smooth Criminal'' Episode 55: ''Michael,'' Jan. 31, 2012
We knew Glee covering Michael Jackson was going to be a thrill(er). But it was bad boy Sebastian’s duet with Santana that was the high point that stole the show. From the loud literal crescendos to the real-life bass strumming along with their harmonies, everything about the number was on fire.
10. Song ''Somebody to Love'' Episode 5: ''The Rhodes Not Taken,'' Sept. 30, 2009
It was a true group effort on Queen’s gospel-inspired track. The glee-clubbers sang Freddie Mercury and Co.’s lyrics with emotion and power before Mercedes brought down the house with one final note.
9. Song: ''Bad Romance'' Episode 20: ''Theatricality,'' May 25, 2010
Lady Gaga sets the bar for the artistic and the outlandish pretty high, but the New Directions little monsters (ladies plus Kurt) delivered a performance she would be proud of. Their rendition of her anti-love song had all of the drama, intensity, and ”theatricality” of the original, and showcased the vocal ranges of different performers as well as their knack for homemade costumes.
8. Song: ''It's Time'' Episode 67: ''The New Rachel,'' Sept. 13, 2012
Enjoy it, folks. This was the last happy Kurt and Blaine number fans would get for quite some time, and boy, did the twosome go out in style. With a nervous Kurt afraid to move on from Lima, Blaine sang a jubilant courtyard tune, showing off some great dance moves in the process. By the end of the number — even if it meant they would now be dating long distance — both guys were grinning.
7. Song: ''Don't Rain on My Parade'' Episode 13: ''Sectionals,'' Dec. 9, 2009
After a bumpy road to Sectionals due to some sabotage from their competitors, Rachel dusted off this little Funny Girl number she’d been practicing since the age of 4. Say what you will about her diva-like antics, but like Barbra Streisand before her, Rachel delivered a powerhouse performance when it mattered the most. Truly the heart of the group, she carried New Directions to the Sectional victory.
6. Song: ''Not the Boy Next Door'' Episode 62: ''Choke,'' May 1, 2012
This last-minute audition piece from the musical The Boy from Oz earned a spot on our list not only for showmanship and pizzazz, but for gold lamé pants. Classic Kurt style actually provided a clue to his fashion-focused New York future.
5. Song: ''Roots Before Branches'' Episode 66: ''Goodbye,'' May 22, 2012
We all knew it was coming, but that doesn’t mean that Rachel’s performance of the Room For Two original was any less of an emotional gut-punch. As Glee‘s leading lady made her way from Lima to New York City we shed a few tears right alongside her as Ms. Berry began to see just how high she can soar.
4. Song: ''We Are Young'' Episode 52: ''Hold On To Sixteen,'' Dec. 6, 2011
Introducing the world to the hit that would dominate 2012, the Glee kids convened to sing their hearts out to fun.’s resonant lyrics while trying to figure out their post-high school paths. Plus, we’re always suckers for the whole gang on the auditorium stage together.
3. Song: ''The Scientist'' Episode 70: ''The Break Up,'' Oct. 4, 2012
It may not have been the most enjoyable hour for McKinley’s favorite sons and daughters, but all the main couples covering Coldplay’s devastating power ballad as their relationships came tumbling down brought a tear to even the most Sue Sylvester-y of viewers.
2. Song: ''Teenage Dream'' Episode 28: ''Never Been Kissed,'' Nov. 9, 2010
Just when you thought McKinley High’s glee club was the only game in town, the Dalton Academy Warblers came along and made a record-breaking debut (it was the best-selling Glee single ever) with this fantastic Katy Perry cover. Now, we don’t want to remember a time when there was only one hit producing show choir in our lives.
1. Song: ''Don't Stop Believin''' Episode 1: ''Pilot,'' May 19, 2009
This was the song that started it all. New Directions’ inaugural performance on the McKinley High stage lifted this Journey tune out of the ”guilty pleasure” pile and made us realize that these kids — and this show — were something we definitely wanted more of.