Glee's 21 Best Musical Numbers of All-Time

With Major League Baseball playoffs dominating Fox’s primetime lineup for the next few weeks, Glee fans are holding their collective breath until Season 4 resumes in early November.

Still, everyone knows it’s cathartic to exhale, and with that in mind, we decided there was no better time to update the debate about what songs belong on a list of Glee‘s 21 Best Musical Numbers of All-Time. Our picks include expected suspects like “Teenage Dream” and “Faithfully,” but there are more than a few surprises, too.

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So do check out the full gallery of 21 slides below, then tell us which moments we overrated, which ones we left out, and where we managed to get it exactly right.

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  1. sia says:

    meh…. don’t know if I really agree with this list. The one’s in the top 10 were better but a lot of these performances weren’t super memorable to me :/

  2. Rachel says:

    What about Loser like Me? Also I think rumor has it/ someone like you is definitely top five. even three imo

    • kavyn says:

      It’s my personal top 3 for sure, they completely owned that song. Another personal favourite was when the glee ladies were trying to support Coach Beiste with “Shake It Out” also in season 3.

      I really think the Troubletones from the first half of the season 3 was one of the BEST vocal groups on glee. Dividing up the core group like that was both risky and great and I personally thought the Troubletones were phenomenal.

      • kavyn says:

        Oops, crud. I totally responded to the wrong post. Rumour Has It/Someone Like you was Top 3. I don’t remember Loser Like Me.

      • jana says:

        The New directions where JUST as good! But they sound even better together! if they never went back to the ND then we would of never had some amazing duets! So Troubletones and ND tied for first place. Then vocal adrenaline for 2nd

    • Michelle says:

      I love Loser like me

  3. Joshua L says:

    Don’t really agree…at all.

  4. Marci says:

    Rolling in the deep is totally missing whilst should be number 1! C’mon..

  5. Jackie says:

    Aww, I think Get Happy/Happy Days are Here Again should be on the list! :) But I do agree that Don’t Rain on My Parade has to be my favorite Glee song

  6. Aprilcot says:

    Defying Gravity is only 19? Only three slides in and already knew this list was off base.

  7. lisa says:

    Rumour Has It/Someone Like You is the best one they’ve done, hands down! Close second – Don’t Rain On My Parade. The others are great, but not best.

    • truth says:

      DROMP was better. It had more meaning to the storyline for Rachel and the entire glee club. Plus it was perfect to finish up what could have been the whole series if it wasn’t picked up.

  8. Blaine’s solo/acoustic Teenage Dream. Hands down #1.

  9. Amanda says:

    One Less Bell to Answer/A House is Not a Home should be on this list. It gave me goosebumps!!!

    • Tom says:

      So glad someone still remembers that performance! I still think it’s one of the best-sung numbers the show’s ever done. Why isn’t Kristin Chenoweth anywhere on the list? C’mon now.

    • Wenders says:

      I *loved* this performance. It’s omission from this list is inexcusable.

    • bamabunny says:

      YES, this was one of my absolute favorites! Also “For Good,” “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” “River Deep Mountain High,” “Not the Boy Next Door,” “Somewhere Only We Know” and “Somebody to Love!”

      • Kay says:

        Agree about “Not The Boy Next Door” – Chris Colfer did a fantastic job with that one. And Darren Criss (and the Warblers) were great on “Somewhere Only We Know” – my personal favorite. Darren and Chris did a fantastic job with “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” – love that one.

    • Diane granger says:

      So agree one less bell/a house is not a home is my all time favorite glee musical performance.

  10. mark says:

    My favorite of all time was Mercedes and Santana singing River Deep Mountain High. Anyone else like this one?

    • Ashley says:

      Yes! That should’ve made the list, no doubt. Also, putting “Hell To The No” as the only Mercedes song on this list over “And I Am Telling You” is just tragic and makes it hard to take this list even moderately seriously.

    • Megan says:

      River Deep Mountain High is definitely one of my favorite songs ever on Glee! What about the Jackson medley of ABC, Control, and Man in the Mirror?? It gets me every time. Also Baby is Cold Outside will always be one of the most adorable things I’ve ever seen. Oh and ALSO, definitely Get Happy/Happy Days are Here Again.

    • Tentoes says:

      My favorite Mercedes number was Spotlight

  11. TIMMY says:

    No Bad Romance

  12. becki says:

    love raise a glass by blaine/the warblers…and even roots before branches.

  13. Kellie says:

    Don’t Rain on My Parade still sends shives up my spine when I hear it

  14. Scott says:

    River Deep/Mountain high with Mercedes and Santana. And shoot me, but I really liked Red Solo Cup.

  15. Sam says:

    Crappy list. None of Artie’s insane dream sequences? Automatically invalid.

  16. Sam says:

    A Britney solo in the Top 20 of All-Time? Seriously? She can’t even sing.

    Edge of Glory/It’s All Coming Back to Me Now/Paradise by the Dashboard Light were 3 different performances, you can’t just lump them into 1 to save space.

    I’d have Coming Back in the Top 5 and Paradise in the Top 10.

    • me says:

      more like paradise in the bottom 300. yeah this list is awful though. i just read through them all and i can’t even remember the ones i wanted to point out were not memorable. but like, valerie where you at

      • Tentoes says:

        Paradise was fantastic! The choreography, the vocals, chemistry, energy. Very good. I don’t know what you didn’t like about it. I actually saw Meatloaf doing it live in concert, and he needed some of these kids’ energy in his performance. You could tell Meatloaf was tired of singing that song.

  17. ben says:

    Don’t Rain on My Parade is, in my view, easily the best thats been done. Good selection for number one. I can’t disagree that I would have had Defying Gravity further up the list, but overall this is a pretty good list.

    • elr says:

      I would have moved Defying Gravity and Rumour Has It/Someone Like You up higher too, but I do agree that Don’t Rain on My Parade is in the right spot. I also would definately have added River Deep, Mountain High and Valerie to the list. I also would like to know why these particular songs made the list?

  18. Sam says:

    There are sooooooooooo many season 1 songs (aka when glee was absolutely fantastic) that should be on here. And some Season 2 songs. Where is Like a Prayer!? Or Thriller/Heads Will Roll!? But thank you for keeping Don’t Rain on My Parade as #1 as it should be. I will never understand why Unpretty/I feel Pretty is so loved when i think it’s kind of a crock of bull in terms of dianna’s voice and how it fit into the storyline.

  19. TIMMY says:

    Thriller/heads will roll, scream, Vocal adrenaline medley

  20. whatever says:

    You lost me at Faithfully

    • Kirsten says:

      Faithfully was such a lackluster duet. I barely remember it.

      • Kat says:

        How could not remember that whole scene? This is when Finn tells Rachel he loves her for the first time right before they start singing so the emotion carries through the whole song. Cory and Lea harmonize perfectly and Lea does an amazing job hitting all of those ridiculously high notes. Faithfully is definitely one of the best duets of the whole series.

        • you says:

          “cory and lea harmonize perfectly” – lol, roots before branches, anyone? i think your finchel heart is beating a little too hard. faithfully is good, but not whatever the hell you’re trying to get at.

  21. Bobby says:

    No River Deep Mountain High, Scream, Never Going Back Again, Somebody To Love (Queen version), Safety Dance, Papa Can You Hear Me but you include stuff like Mean and Jump? No thanks.

    • dan says:

      How about “I Dreamed a Dream” with Rachel and her mom (Idina Menzel’s character…forgot her name)? That was awesome!

    • courtney says:

      thank you! somebody to love is probably my all-time favorite group performance on this show. it was the first time i really went, wow. plus, and i may be wrong here, but i think it was the first glee club full group performance. to this day, i still get goosebumps when i hear it.

  22. Annie says:

    Faithfully should be much higher on the list. It’s my favorite duet that’s ever come out of Glee. It was such a beautiful and powerful song. It really sums up their relationship and their relationship is the core of the show – the writers and actor’s words, not mine.

  23. heather says:

    i do agree with the majority of this list. THe highlights of course are dont rain on my parade, rumour has it/someone like you, songbird and the scientist. I would probably add Mine and landslide. PS. Loved you included Who runs the world. HEMO rocked that!

    • HeckL says:

      The best part of that was the choreography and the chorus, not Heather. Dianna Agron surprised me on that one. I don’t understand how her dancing wasn’t featured more often. A shame, really

  24. Kirsten says:

    Heather Morris can’t even sing…

  25. Dylan says:

    A list is off base when Teenage Dream is before Rumour Has It/Someone Like You or We Found Love is in the top5.

  26. I would have said “Somebody to Love” as the No. 1 and “Baby it’s Cold Outside” as No. 2. Can’t believe they didn’t even make the list!

  27. Tony says:

    I may be in the minority here, but I’ve always LOVED Mercedes and choir performing ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water.’

  28. Krystal says:

    We Found Love is not Top 5, let alone top 21.
    Rumor Has It/Someone Like you should be #3

    Keep Holding on (SHOULD BE TOP 5 HELLOOOO)
    How Will I Know (They killed that song!)
    Like a Prayer (take out Like a Virgin)
    We Are Young

    Personal Faves:
    Without You
    Baby Its Cold Outside
    Blackbird (replace I wanna Hold Your Hand)

    Also, If an Original Song needs to be on there, Hell to the No was not the one. Trouty Mouth, My Cup, My Headband were all better!

    • Krystal M says:

      1. Don’t Rain on My Parade
      2. Keep Holding On
      3. Rumor Has It/Someone Like You
      4. Don’t Stop Believing
      5. Somebody To Love
      6. Teenage Dream
      7. I Feel Pretty/Unpretty
      8. Smooth Criminal
      9. Like A Prayer
      10. Songbird

      I dont care what order you want to put them, but those should definitely be the top 10!

      Baby It’s Cold Outside
      How Will I Know
      We Are Young

      these could also be in the top 10. All I know is that TV Lines list is quite a sham. We Found Love? Hell to the No? Who Run the World(Girls)? They aren’t even top 100 of Glee

  29. Katie says:

    Somewhere only you know and its time should be in there…. hands down but Ausiello clearly has a problem with Blaine he never says anything nice about him so they would never make it

    • Jesus says:

      Are you an idiot? Slezak is the one who put the list together and a Blaine number is in the top 10. Shut up.

      • Katie says:

        your a charmer, regardless slezak also has blaine hate… and one song in the top 10 does not do the character justice to all the awesome songs he has had… And just because you don’t agree with my opinion doesn’t mean i’m an idiot…

        • Jesus says:

          *You’re, and the part that makes you an idiot is an inability to read (and write, apparently).

        • bamabunny says:

          Actually, yeah, Slezak is the one who doesn’t like Blaine (I don’t think he even likes Darren), and probably only put Teenage Dream in there because he knew there’d be fits thrown if he didn’t. Ausiello likes Blaine (just not with Kurt).

  30. silpen says:

    definetely we are young!

  31. Amy says:

    I can’t take this list seriously, where is “Bohemian Rapsody” and “River deep, Mountain High” ??????

  32. nLs says:

    Totally agree with number one. Don’t Rain On My Parade was mindblowing. I wouldn’t put Run The World or We Found Love anywhere near the top 20, and I think Faberry nutters are the only ones who would rate I Feel Pretty/Unpretty that high, but interesting list nonetheless.

    • Jesus says:

      Uh, I don’t give a crap about Faberry and I wouldn’t hesitate to rate it high. Interesting combination of voices, completely innovative arrangement. It sold excellently for a reason.

      • Sienna says:

        Agreed. I was just listening to it today. I think it’s a great mashup and a great performance – yes, even from Dianna. I really don’t get the Faberry thing.

  33. s says:

    Agree with some… I love the first 2, totally my fav

  34. laura meakin says:

    Loved Rumour Has It/ Someone Like You and Matt Boomer and Darren Criss (sorry don’t know their charcters names) singing that song that was murdered on Xfactor UK on sunday night u know Somebody I Used To Know (or something like that) sorry for my lack of proper info.

  35. sam says:

    love smooth criminal

  36. wahidrocket_ says:

    Where is Queen’s Somebody to Love, Rehab, Imagine, Keep Holding On and most importanly Bohemian Rhapsody. Bohemian Rhaspdy is the best musical number on Glee

  37. Babybop says:

    I haven’t seen a lot of those performances (I stopped watching after the second season), but I can say that my favorite Glee performance EVER was always Artie’s version of “Dancing With Myself”. A close second is Blaine singing “When I Get You Alone”.

  38. ash says:

    Aw, I adore I Feel Pretty/Unpretty :)

  39. Thirding the motion for “Baby It’s Cold Outside”; that’s both a fantastic arrangement/performance and a key relationship moment in the series.

    And I will always have a personal soft spot for that episode’s opener, “The Island of Misfit Toys”. That hits home both for the nostalgia quotient and the that-was-so-me-in-high-school riff.

  40. sam says:

    needs safety dance

  41. Fan says:

    I agree with all except number 2. Santana’s Valerie should have that spot.

  42. HeckL says:

    I LOVE Don’t Rain On My Parade and I Feel Pretty/Unpretty is my favorite duet so I’m happy about those 2. Nhf the rest :D

  43. Eric says:

    My 21, in no particular order:
    Teenage Dream
    Don’t Stop Believin”
    Unpretty/I Feel Pretty
    Forget You
    Don’t Rain On My Parade
    Smooth Criminal
    Loser Like Me
    Get It Right
    How Will I Know
    Rumor Has It/Someone Like You
    Somebody That You Use To Know
    Cough Syrup
    Hungry Like the Wolf/Rio
    For Good
    Stereo Hearts
    It’s Time
    Red Solo Cup
    The Scientist
    Somebody To Love
    We Are Young

    Okay, top 25!!!

  44. Kiki says:

    Laughing because a Faberry duet outranked a Finchel one. Waiting for the flood of bitter shippers xx

  45. Sara says:

    There are much better Vocal Adrenaline performances than that one with Unique. And by that I mean where the heck was Bohemian Rhapsody?! That performance was so good I was torn between which Glee club I wanted to win!
    Also, I am a little surprised that Idina was left off of the list. I would have loved to see I Dreamed A Dream or Poker Face on here, even if it was in the last place spot. And where is Kristin Chenowith? A Glee best of list is incomplete without at least one song by each of these magnificent ladies.

    • Wenders says:

      ” That performance was so good I was torn between which Glee club I wanted to win!”

      EXACTLY! I was totally okay with VA winning because THEY KILLED IT on Bohemian Rhapsody.

  46. Isa says:

    Rumour has it/Someone like you should be in the top 3. The list is missing Valerie and Mine.

  47. Laurie says:

    There were some choices that made me wonder what you were thinking, but towards the top of the list I think you got it right. I can’t believe We Are Young isn’t on the list. Also Jump instead of great performances like Bust Your Window, My Man, or How Will I Know?

  48. Glaring omissions:
    Baby its Cold Outside

  49. Laurie says:

    I agree with DROMP at #1. No performance has ever managed to top that. IFP/U deserves to be #2, but I’d move the Adele mashup to top 5.

  50. Lara Riley says:

    My top twenty-one:

    1. Rumor Has It/Someone Like You
    2. Don’t Rain on My Parade
    3. Journey Medley
    4. Safety Dance
    5. Somebody To Love
    6. Shake It Out
    7. I Feel Pretty/Unpretty
    8. We Are Young
    9. Like A Prayer
    10. Songbird
    11. Smooth Criminal
    12. The Scientist
    13. Bohemian Rhapsody
    14. Like A Virgin
    15. I Want to Hold Your Hand
    16. Without You
    17. How Will I Know
    18. To Sir, With Love
    19. Landslide
    20. Imagine
    21. River Deep, Mountain High + Get Happy/Happy Days

    • Benj says:

      This is the best list I’ve seen so far.

    • Sam says:

      YES YES YES to Bohemian Rhapsody. So epic. AND somebody to love, how is that not even o the original list i don’t understand.

    • Krystal M says:

      This is one savy list. and its probably the most accurate one ive ever seen.

      i would add two though. Keep Holding on, which I’d switch with Like a Virgin, and switch To Sir, With Love with Baby Its Cold Outside.

      • Bea says:

        Yes! That would be the perfect list! Though i also liked hello by lea and jon groff, and cell block tango, i know theres not even so much singing but idk it was great to me!