When Ryan Murphy's Emmy-winning, queer-inclusive high school musical series Glee was airing, it was an unstoppable music machine. The cast had three top ten hits and a ridiculous 207 songs chart on the Billboard Top 100! From Lea Michele to Amber Riley to Darren Criss to Naya Rivera, the cast was stacked with incredible singers and performers, and the show knew how to celebrate the things they do best.
From the New Directions, to the Warblers, to solos by graduates, here are the 20 all-time best Glee performances ever, ranked!
Rachel broke all of our hearts with this song that she sang for Finn after Corey Monteith’s tragic death. Of course, Michele gives a great performance (we knew she would) but that she’s also singing about her real-life boyfriend makes it even more incredible and emotional. Thank you for this gift.
When the inimitable Kristin Chenoweth guested on Glee in season one, we knew that we were in for something special. April Rhodes really showed us what she can do on this cover from Cabaret, and then when Rachel comes in, you’ve got two powerhouse vocalists killing an incredible song.
Santana and Mercedes teamed up in the season two episode "Duet" on this absolutely perfect song. Naya Rivera and Amber Riley showed off so hard, combining their killer voices and some super fun and great vamping choreography. I wish we had a hundred more duets between these two. And don’t forget, "We’s be goin’ to Breadstix."
Honestly, both of Blaine’s performances of this song deserve to be on this list. With the Warblers, he’s the most charming high school student ever, sweeping Kurt off his feet in a single note. Then there’s the acoustic performance, which showed off Criss’ intense acting talent. He really let it loose, showing every tear as he confesses that he cheated on the love of his life.
This is one of the best scenes in television history. After she’s been outed by Finn and a truly despicable political ad, Santana is afraid she’s about to lose everything, and sings like it. You can see every ounce of fear, anger, love, and passion that she has in her body. Really, the Troubletones were unparalleled on the show. This is flawless, this is perfection. Rivera should’ve won an Emmy for this episode.