Glee: The 20 Best Moments of Season 3

The McKinley High seniors have their diplomas, but we’ll have to wait for fall to find out exactly where the future will take them (and how integral a part of the Glee universe they’ll continue to be).

With the show’s future direction still a little hazy, we thought it would be a good time to look back at the recently concluded third season and count down its 20 best moments. You know we’ll have New Directions’ Nationals performance and Karofsky’s pivotal scene from “On My Way,” but where will they rank, and what other Glee milestones will make the cut?

RELATED | Glee Season 4 Spoiler — Look Whose Brother is Headed to McKinley!

Click through the photo gallery below to find out, then hit the comments and tell us what we missed, where we got it right, and how you felt about Season 3 overall.

RELATED | Glee Cliffhanger — Is [Spoiler] Leaving the Show?

And for all my Glee recaps and commentary, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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437 Comments
  1. emma says:

    The Brittana kiss in Heart is with no doubt the best from this season.

  2. Kitty says:

    Finn won’t be able to help his dad’s case out by joining the military – that was just ridiculous. Also, wasn’t Rachel’s dads supposed to be waiting for her at the train station? Why was she walking alone throughout NYC?

    I think Puck’s and Beiste’s song was the best and was the only time I cried the whole season.

    It was also a ripoff that Kurt didn’t make the cut to NYADA because he killed his audition.

    • Kitty says:

      I’ve never seen anyone post under the same name as me, so I just want to say this is not the Kitty who’s obsessed with Elise Testone.

      I was a big fan of the flashback in Big Brother that was kid!Blaine dancing to MMMBop.

  3. Ale says:

    You include “Sexy and I know It” in this list! Terrible choice! Where is “We Are Young”? Now that was a great moment. Furthermore, I would have picked “Anything You Can Do/Anything Goes” over “Boogie Shoes”. Finally, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun was beyond terrible, I don’t know how they would have picked it. Shake It Out was far more emotional, and better.

  4. Loved Burt’s performance of Put a Ring on It with the flashbacks to Kurt performing the same song in his basement

  5. Lisa says:

    My fave moment of the graduation episode was Burt Hummel performing “All The Single Ladies.” ROFLMAO!!!

  6. Samantha says:

    I’m dying to see what will happen with the two of them in the up coming episode. I was devastated they were breaking up but, thought Finn was so cute to be making Rachel go off and go for her dream. I just really need to know what’s going to happen to the two of them now because they NEED to end up together.

    FINNCHEL ALL THE WAY <3

    • K says:

      Yeah It’s great when a man makes a life changing decision for a woman. We all need men like that in our lives.

  7. Qrio says:

    Terrible list. What about Quinn and Santana giving up Prom Queen to Rachel, because that shows how far the both of them have come with regard to their friendship with Rachel? Or Tina saving the day by applying for Mike for his college and also helping to encourage Rachel to go all out for a second chance to get into NYADA? What about Quinn standing up to sing during Prom? Or anything about Quinn at all seeing how I don’t know, they essentially set up a mega cliffhanger over her fate? I can still live with these omissions, but putting #18 in just makes me mad because that’s just one of the many examples illustrating how much of a douche Finn is, and I’m not sure why any list would want to highlight that.

  8. Mariah says:

    When Finchel broke up. lol.

  9. lulu says:

    Sam stripping.

  10. Mike says:

    Santana and Sebastian’s “Smooth Criminal” definitely should have been number 1! My absolute favorite performance of the season!

  11. Brittany says:

    I wish Kurt’s graduation gift would of been put on here! his dad was so amazing this season and other seasons and his gift was touching. i also wished sams return would of been on here and also when Quinn stood at Prom. Also the many sayings by Brittney S Pierce. should be a list of 25 or 30 best Glee moments. I did agree with #20 and feel it should of been WAY higher in the list.

  12. María says:

    you missed the cell block tango. such a great moment!

  13. abhi says:

    i cried on the graduation episode ….then i went in a shock at the goodbye episode… i had a poker face the entire last episode…i just cant say goodbye!!!

  14. MarcyAlexander says:

    no. 18 You pick the most condescending part of the most offensive episode in all three seasons of Glee? oh. Forget Glee and it’s pro-outing episode (well, when it comes to women anyway).

  15. Ariadna says:

    Brittana kiss!! That was the best moment ever!!

  16. Jessa says:

    BODY SWITCHING SCENE! HOW WAS THAT MISSED???

    • xXHarryPotterGleekXx says:

      That scene was just weird and unnecessary. Glee is losing viewers and is trying to do all that they can to make it more interesting… and failing. If they want to please the viewers, they should add a ton more Klaine :) I mean the most recent kiss they had was in The First Time for gods sake!

  17. Nishant says:

    the performance of “glad you came” should also be in this list

  18. Jacqi says:

    I agree with a lot of them but #1 is probably one of the worst moments this season not one of the best. It made the whole season of Finchel worthless!

  19. Michou says:

    LOL @ all the hate in the comments. Yeah, wow shocker i’m not Rachels biggest fan too, the whole wedding thing was ridiculous but people need to stop bashing her and other characters in comment sections like this. I mean really guys, it’s called fiction..

  20. Millie says:

    In my opinion, far to much Rachel. Yes, Lea is a great actress, but we’d soon realise how great others are if they got more screen time.
    I personally think Darren Criss is an absolutely fantastic actor but they are lost on Blaine, as he just seems to get a lot of songs and that’s it.
    Why is rachel in EVERYTHING? Even when they were meant to be celebrating Tina, in “Probs” Rachel still had a bigger part than her.
    I want more character development on people like Blaine, and Tina and Artie!

    • ArtH says:

      Please Naya was a background character who was alb to do something with little and got screen time. Some of the actors haven;t got the skills to do that. Mercedes they tried to give stuff but it falls flats, Tina was ok but most of her line reading is pretty boring. They give Quinn way to mcuh stuff for her abilities and Heather can’t do drama at all.

      Bu the real issue here is they have had a plan all along to follow their leads Rachel and Finn, it was set up in the pilot. Don’t blame Lea Michele for going out for the lead part and then doing her job. Why should her part be cut back for doing a good job?

  21. nikki says:

    One of my favorite parts of this season was when “White Chocolate” (Sam) was on screen.Hilarious and amaaazing at the same time.

  22. Abby says:

    I definately would have added Santana’s slap. The slap hear ’round the auditorium.

  23. Sandy says:

    There was WAY too much Blaine this season! The female vocals were shared mostly by Rachel, Mercades and Santana, yet Blaine took most of the male vocals throughout the season. The majority of the songs had no plot, and when they did, they pretty much always sucked. It also seemed that every time it was meant to be about the seniors, he would just be there, with Mike, Puck, Mercades and Quinn just walking on by in the background. People put a halo on the fictional boy, but he was a class-A prat to Sam in Hold On To Sixteen!

  24. Marcel says:

    Remember the yearbook photo epsiode? Rachel was the only one proud to be in glee club and will had decided that she was the leader of the group becasuse she was the only one who cared. THATS why she gets all the solos.

    • ArtH says:

      add the fact that she works hard, she has ideas, she gives song suggestions, she make lsit of mash up idea etc…

  25. tatenda says:

    Honestly I loathe rachel with a passion..she made glee less interesting for me..he selfishness and how mercedes was overshadowed and yet she was equally good at singing..we never got to hear more of mercedes singing..al she did was finish the songs whcih rachel and finn got all the solos..I just hope her going to nyada means she won’t come back to season 4..and why is everything always about rachel?she messed up her audition twice but she got nyada and kurt didn’t..like seriously??why does she get the best of everything of everything and others don’t..and kurt and blaine moments were the best for me..and how the homophobic guy turned out to be gay himself..tht was also the best too!!

    • Frank says:

      First we already now Rachel is back for season 4 cause they know she is a big draw. But it is not Rachel fault Mercedes is overshadowed. Mr Shue is the one who does that. Rachel has been supportive of Mercedes for the most part. Mercedes overall has sung the second most of the girls. If anyone over shadowed Mercedes it was Santana, who took over the TT plot. Plus Santana has more than double this season than last season and Rachel is the only female to sing less this season that last season.Santana is tied with Rachel and took the second spot from Mercedes. And may you haven’t you notice but Rachel has been bullied a lot and still gets called out for every little thing she does, while other don’t. She has to apologize when she does something wrong the other it is just overlooked. And most of her victories are bittersweet and she has to pa in some way for them. God forbid she just can’t be driven young women she has to be reamed for that drive. I really don’t get this Mercedes fans resentment now. Mercedes got more this year and got to sing and Rachel supported that idea. If it was all about Maria sorry that is Mercedes fault she said she wanted the spotlight but that turned into her just being resentful of Rachel. She had a chance to shine as Maria but got selfish herself.

    • Carl Burke says:

      The only thin the Mercedes can do the Rachael can’t is hit that high note, but Rachael is right behind her. Rachael is a much more rounded singer. I personally think that Lea Michele is one of the three best female voices in the world right now.

  26. People who like to hate on certain characters on the show really need to stand back and think for a moment. Why fill your life with such negativity, Everyone in this world has something about them you can appreciate if you try. I love this show, it’s the only reason why I turn on the TV, and I love all the characters! If I had it my way, everyone would have an equal amount of face time on the show but of course that’s unrealistic unless you want a five hour long show each week. All the actors are amazingly talented, they all have great voices (well not Sugar but that’s kinda the point) and they all make a vital contribution to the show. I honestly can’t say who I like the most because I see the amazing qualities of each and every one. I just wish people would stop trying so hard to be negative.

  27. fabz says:

    I really believe that Punk!Quinn should be included in there…

  28. Émilie says:

    Performance of Santana Lopez and Rachel Berry-So emotional
    and my first choice : BRITANNA KISS ! :O

  29. fabz says:

    and I mean how about the Quinn accident? and the time quinn and santana rigged the prom queen votes, and when finally Rachel and Quinn become ‘kind-of’ friends…

  30. KC says:

    100% disagree on 12 and 3. The only good parts of The Spanish Teacher was Santana ranting at Will and Kurt doing the splits on the back of the chair. The episode was the worst in Glee history. It served no purpose what so ever.

    As for 3, well, that song was the absolute worst “apology” for outing ever. It didn’t make sense and frankly it wasn’t enough to excuse what Finn did.

  31. abi says:

    off course finn rachel car scene.they should get emmy for that. Only people who didnt like that scene are other couple shippers klaine britanna etc.

    • K says:

      No. The issues with the car scene, for anyone who cares enough to think outside a shippers perspective are a lot bigger than that. Finn and Rachel reach a big road bump, Finn didn’t get accepted, and Rachel wants to stay behind for a year. Instead of working out a healthy solution, like both of them going to NYC, and Finn enrolling in workshops/working, FINN decides they’re going to break up. And instead of taking her to their wedding (and what a great way to get dumped) he takes her to the train station and says ‘get on, your going’. It’s not her decision, it’s not her choice. The biggest moment in her life, to date, and she had no say in it. Instead her boyfriend (sorry, ex-boyfriend) did. That’s where a lot of the issues come from, because that’s a horrible message to send to the kids watching. Something goes wrong? Don’t worry! You’re boyfriend will tell you what to do.

      • sarah says:

        It is a TV DRAMA not real life. And a very impactful scene because it was shocking. And since when has Glee been true to life.

  32. Alberto says:

    These were only a few great moments…there are many others. This season was everything but comedy–there was some comedy but not as much. The greatest moment for me was Rachel leaving because that made me want to know what is gonna happen in the fall!!

  33. bbau05Roy says:

    I just loved the final song of the season, “Roots before branches”, after that heartbreaking scene with Finchel in the car. I think I’ve listened to it like 30 times since the finale aired a couple of weeks ago.

  34. Carl Burke says:

    I didn’t read all of the comments, but here’s what I think id missing. 1) Blaine transferring. He’s the best male performer of the group. Without him, they don’t go as far. 2) New Directions giving the Troubletones the smackdown they deserved. Everyone gets down on Rachael for being selfish, but Mercedes and Santana were much more self centered than Rachael. Rachael was the star, how many times did it have to be said? After the Trouble twins got put back in their place, the whole group got back together and realized that they had to be a team to win. Don’t get me wrong, two of the best songs of the season were Troubletones, but they were just a part of the whole.

    • mz says:

      So true, Rachel never got the song when she did complain, yet Mercedes and worse Santana get a guarantee song in competition. Santana had been featured several times in competition, second most girl so I don’t know why she was complaining so much.

  35. xXHarryPotterGleekXx says:

    Klaine kiss in the first time.
    Klaine having sex.
    Klaine making up in Mrs. Pilbury’s office.
    Rachel and Santana becoming friends.
    Klaine siniging Let it Snow.

  36. Kalyn says:

    You should of added one of Sam and Mercedes kisses and Mike and Tina’s fist duet!

  37. Nic F says:

    I agreed with a lot of this list…but I think the scene between santana and her grandmother should have been u pthere

  38. one of my memorable moment in Glee Season 3 is Quinn Fabray got in a car accident while heading to Rachel and Finn’s wedding…..

  39. Nicole says:

    When sam put mercedes’ name in lights. That was really sweet

  40. shawan says:

    OBVIOUSLY santanna, brittany and mercedes singing adeles mashup….rachael does not even desearve the limelight she gets…prob she could have been made leader but sing back up a while…tooo much of anything spoils the show..and thats the case with rachael..though her genre of singing is only rivaled by tina and mercedes(who i personally believe is better). Anyway, Santanna is half the reason why people even like the show….AND cory monteith can not sing…cannot dance so why was he chosen co leader…afterward blaine was the obvious choice…Yeah i think thats about all…

  41. Aaron Loves Naya says:

    How rude, Season 3 not only showcased Santana for the strong performer she is, but also with the final ‘forcing out of the flannel closet’. However, none of that even ranked?!? Uh, how about first Brittana kiss, or the epic I Kissed A Girl segment??? Damn it, Santana deserves better!

    Also, Uniqued trek to stage on heels is definitely my number 2 moment, glee gets it’s first transgendered character, and she kills her number—song, dance, and all—yet only ranks in the teens?!? You failed me!!!

  42. Jacki says:

    And make sure you watch The Glee Project to see who’s going to come on Glee for the next season. This season (3rd) was Sam, Damon, and..i don’t remember his name (Unique)…Anyway that is why those 3 came on the show, I had to talk to my mom about it, she didn’t get it, but anyway, please watch and see!

  43. Jen says:

    I really don’t get how people are mad at Finn. He didn’t mean to out Santana. It was general knowledge in the school that she was gay. Santana BULLIED him for ages, I don’t blame him for snapping. He wasn’t being mean spirited when he talked about her being in love with Brittany, he was just trying to stand up for himself. She didn’t seem remotely upset about what he said in the hallway until it was going to come out to the public.
    I love how people are willing to let Santana bully Finn but he’s not allowed to stand up for himself. Finn didn’t out Santana, whoever made the ad did.

  44. ed Salvesen says:

    Songs aside, the most compelling (and current) story was the Karofsky suicide attempt. Second might be the battered housewife that Coach Beiste became.
    Song included, I enjoyed the reconciliation between the Trouble-Tones and ND, set to an anthem which has taken off, commercially: “We Are Young”, which I feel is the “Don’t Stop Believing” of season 3. RM, Fox records, Chevrolet, and the downloading public agree.

  45. ktooker says:

    We Are Young should have been number 1…totally goosebump inducing! Probably the best song on all of Glee.

  46. ktooker says:

    “How Will I Know” was fantastic too! Should have made the list

  47. eli says:

    Reading all these comments is giving me a headache. Look, everyone has their favorites, it’s only natural. Me, I like Santana. Half because I’m gayer than a rainbow and I find Naya Rivera extremely attractive, the other half because, being gayer than a rainbow, her storyline appealed to me on a personal level. Naturally, I had a problem with the episode ‘I Kissed A Girl’, and with the Finn Hudson of it all. I’m not gonna lie, when it aired I was so mad that I wrote an outrageously long essay about it.
    The thing is, even though I have the right to discuss this episode and to reason why I think it was offensive, or to call out the writers in a civil way, that doesn’t make me entitled to send gratuitous hate towards Finn’s fans, to insult the actors and the writing staff, or to harass them on twitter. Being passionate about your opinion and being offensive and frankly extremely rude are two different things. I’m talking about my fellow Santana fans, about Finn fans, and about almost everyone else in this fandom. I wish we would all take a step back and think about how pointless is the hate we are sending at each other. To be driven to a certain character/actor or to dislike one is absolutely normal, to claim that your opinion is the only valid one and point-blank refuse to accept any other is just plain stupid. I know we’re better than this.

  48. Kurt and Blaine are the worst part of season 3. I hate everything about them season 3

  49. Nica says:

    Reading all the comments, I can say that the Finn/Santana outing scene still remains the most debated Glee scene ever. Funny that people bitch about each other’s side. I think that those scenes made the cut in Season 3. Both were powerful actors IMO. Santana is the best package though. She can act snarky, vicious, bitchy, funny, hilarious, emotional, serious, and vulnerable. You can add more adjectives if you want. But she really is good at what she does. She is a good singer. One of a kind voice. Although I must admit, she isn’t of a good dancer as Brittany. But hey, she also can dance.

  50. Rachael says:

    I have never cried so hard at Glee as I did in #20.

    *raises hand*

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