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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289 Comments
  1. Fernanda says:

    How Will I Know <— THE BEST RENDITION TO WHITNEY
    Bohemian Raphsody <—– the best performance EVER!! J Groff RULES
    Happy Days Are Here Again – Get Happy <—- BEST DUET EVER!!!
    Don't Stop Believin'
    Rumour Has It / Someone Like You
    Unpretty / I Feel Pretty
    The Dog Days are Over
    Cough Syrup <—- THE BEST PERFOMANCE OF DARREN
    Pretending <—- BEST FINCHEL SONG
    Forget You
    Here's to Us
    Bbay it's cold outside <———–BEST KLAINE SONG
    Maybe this Time
    Poker Face
    Like a Prayer
    Sweet Caroline <— the begining of PUCKELBERRY (R.I.P.)
    And I'm telling You
    Don't Rain on my Parade
    One of Us
    I wanna hold your hand
    Somewhere over the rainbow <— BEST SCHUESTER PERFORMANCE
    To Sir with Love

  2. cjeffery7 says:

    im not gonna be a psycho fan and just say your 1 and 2 choices are PERFECTION!!

  3. Ali says:

    What about Puck singing Beth?

  4. pol65 says:

    Too bad that the best number on Glee was performed by Vocal Adrenaline and it was Bohemian Rhapsody without even a doubt.

  5. YowzaPowza says:

    The most obvious omission is Somebody To Love. This would easily make my top 5.

  6. Maridel Manalo says:

    I really do believe that I FEEL PRETTY/ UNPRETTY aka the FABERRY duet should be in 1st place! Also, COUGH SYRUP, KEEP HOLDING ON, and MINE should be in this list as well! #justsaying :)

  7. j says:

    I love this list!!

  8. FaberryForever says:

    I Feel Pretty/Unpretty should be the first one but Don’t Rain On My Parade is really really amazing too! Still Faberry for the win.

  9. Gaia says:

    I mostly agree with this top21, but I would change the top 3 in
    1) Cough Syrup
    2) Teeange Dream (from “The Break Up”, Season 4)
    3) Thriller/Heads will roll

    • Rin says:

      Cough Syrup was basic as hell and the only good part was Max Adler’s acting.

      • Gaia says:

        Well, everybody has his own opinion. I think that that song was one of Darren/Blaine’s best songs ever! But I respect your opinion!

    • J says:

      I’m in no way a Blarren stan but Cough Syrup was amazing, however it does not deserve number 1. And Teenage Dream? Wow. It’s not even the Warbler one omfg. The Break-Up TD should be somewhere in the bottom 200. It was awful. The mash-up was good but not deserving of no.3

  10. Angel says:

    Yea, most of the choices are good. I love Kurt’s I want to hold your hand, but you are missing Somebody I used to Know, To sir with love, Landslide, and Don’t Speak. The better Britney solo to choose would have been I’m a Slave for you, Heather Morris may not be the best singer on the show, but the girl can dance, and that Britney Spears cover was spot on.

  11. albtrex says:

    Boogie Shoes!!!!!! <3 <3 <3 <3

  12. Alex says:

    “How Will I Know” was definitely one of my favorites. Top 10 worthy.

  13. Marco says:

    WHY are Teenage Dream and Run The World even on the list? They were awful, especially the latter. And when they don’t have ‘I’ll Stand By You’ and ‘Keep Holding On’ in their list, you know there’s something wrong with it. Oh well… at least there’s only one Blaine solo. I dreaded more.

  14. Heather says:

    My top 22:

    I Feel Pretty/Unpretty
    Rumor Has It/Someone Like You
    Don’t Rain on My Parade
    Shake it Out
    The Scientist
    Songbird
    Dog Days are Over
    We Are Young
    Smooth Criminal
    Never Going Back Again
    Thriller/Heads Will Roll
    Valarie
    Defying Gravity
    One Less Bell to Answer/A House is Not a Home
    Anything Goes/Anything You Can Do
    Get Happy/Happy Days
    Sing (Mike/Tina version)
    Cough Syrup
    Fix You
    Maybe This Time
    Don’t Stop Believin’
    Landslide

  15. VANESSA says:

    FAITHFULLY AND IT’S ALL COMING BACK TO ME NOW <3 THE BEST OF THE BEST <3

  16. Angy says:

    You missed a lot of songs… :\

  17. Sil says:

    Mine is Don’t Rain on My Parade, Bohemian Rhapsody, We Are Young, Happy Daysmash up, I want to Hold Your Hand, Imagine, Without You, Journey Medley, The Scientist. There many I’ve enjoyed but to put up there as top 10, I can’t say that. Glee tries to do Adele songs but can’t hold a candle to her. Sorry, to those that thought Rumor Has It was great. It was good, but just that. Same goes for Pretty/ Unpretty, Songbird. Anything that Unique has sung does not rate IMO.

  18. Freja says:

    Mine performed by Santana… Or Songbird<3

  19. Krissie says:

    21, 17, 15, 7 = all overrated

  20. Songbird says:

    Seriously, Who made that list ?

  21. joe c says:

    1. beautiful 2.constant craving 3.bella note 4. crazy/you drive me crazy

  22. How can people forget “What I Did For Love”, “Pure Imagination”, “The Living Years”, and the original songs “Pretending” & “Loser Like Me”

  23. Tom's says:

    We are Young must be in the top 5.

  24. Katie says:

    I personally think that ‘Shake it Out’ is one for the top and even ‘Teenage Dream’. That song gave me goose bumps when Blane sang it…. The entire Break up episode had amazing songs in it, very emotional. That’s what I adore about Glee.

  25. jennifer says:

    Rolling in the deep! It was an awesome cover!

  26. rarb87 says:

    My Top 21:
    1- Loser Like me
    2- Don’t stop believing
    3- Paradise by the dashboard light
    4- We are the champion
    5- Faithfully
    6 – Man in the mirror
    7- You get what you give
    8- Rain on my parade
    9- Somebody to love
    10- The scientist
    11- Barely breathing
    12 – Without you
    13- don’t go breaking my heart
    14- We are young
    15 – Just the way you are
    16 – Any Way You Want It / Lovin’ Touchin’ Squeezin’
    17 – We found love
    18 -Ben
    19 – Born this way
    20- Blackbirds
    21- Stereo Hearts

  27. j says:

    um valerie?? hello! thats when we really first heard how great santana is

  28. nicole says:

    that list is lacking some major good numbers and has some that I really don’t know why they’re there like Forget You? Really?

  29. Kim says:

    I don’t completely agree with this list. There are many songs on here that are also my favorites but just not in my order.
    -Smooth Criminal should be somewhere in top 5.
    -Rumor Has It/Someone Like You should be either 1 or 2 with Don’t Stop Believin’ (Regionals)
    -River Deep Mountain High should definitely be on this list.
    -“Mine” should be on this list as well. I rather that than “Mean”.

    • Kim says:

      my list would be in order of 1 to 21:
      -Rumor Has It/Someone Like You
      -Don’t Stop Believin’ (Regionals)
      -Smooth Criminal
      -Teenage Dream
      -Mine
      -Without You
      -Loser Like Me
      – We Found Love
      -Shake It Out
      -We Are Young
      -I Feel Pretty/Unpretty
      -Valerie
      -Songbird
      -Its My Life/Confession
      -Start Me Up/Livin’ On a Prayer
      -Forget You
      -River Deep Mountain High
      -Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You”
      -Toxic
      -Light Up The World
      -Triller/Heads Will Roll

  30. maru says:

    1. Faithfully
    2. Defying gravity
    3. Poker face
    4. Bohemian Raphsody
    5. Don´t Rain On My Parade
    6. Dream On
    7. Somebody to Love
    8. Teenage Dream
    9. River Deep, Mountain High
    10. Landslide
    11. I Dreamed a Dream
    12. Alone
    13. Hell to the no
    14. Forget you
    15. Keep holding on
    16. All by Myself
    17. stereo Hearts
    18. safety dance
    19, I´m not going anywhere
    20. Don´t stop believin

  31. J says:

    There are some huge numbers missed out of that list tbh! Here’s my 21;
    1. Bohemian Rhapsody
    2. Rumour Has It/Someone Like You
    3. Don’t Rain On My Parade
    4. The Scientist
    5. Mine
    6. I Feel Pretty/Unpretty
    7. Cough Syrup
    8. Defying Gravity (Duet version)
    9. Don’t Stop Believin’ (Regionals)
    10. We Are Young
    11. You Can’t Stop the Beat
    12. Valerie
    13. Shake It Out
    14. River Deep, Mountain High
    15. Mean
    16. And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going
    17. Thriller/Heads Will Roll
    18. Smooth Criminal
    19. Paradise by the Dashboard Light
    20. Lean On Me
    21. Born This Way

    imo

  32. JJ says:

    Can’t believe neither Shake It Out or Perfect are on there!

  33. Brooklyn says:

    Yikes! I definitely think “Don’t Stop Believing” should have been # 1! “Shake It Out” should replace “Forget You” but in the top 10 and “Songbird” should be in the top 10 as well. “Defying Gravity” should have been # 2 and “For Good”, # 3, but I’m just a huge Wicked fan.

  34. rikerlove\o/ says:

    My favorite has been, and always will be Defying Gravity.

  35. Sammy says:

    Cough Syrup,
    Rio/Hungry Like The Wolf,
    Fly/I Believe I Can Fly,
    For Good,
    Baby It’s Cold Outside,
    Born This Way,
    I Feel Pretty/Unpretty,
    Hit Me With Your Best Shot/One Way Or Another,
    ABC/Control/Man In The Mirror,
    Call Me Maybe,
    Everytime,
    A Change Would Do You Good (that was so fun to watch okay),
    Constant Craving,
    Dream On,
    Defying Gravity,
    Don’t Stop Believin’ (the regionals one),
    I Want To Hold Your Hand,
    Landslide,
    Smooth Criminal
    I Have Nothing
    Don’t Speak
    4 Minutes
    That was difficult and definitely not in order.

  36. My favourite Glee covers, in no particular order:
    – Bohemian Rhapsody
    – Defying Gravity
    – Don’t Rain On My Parade
    – Don’t Stop Believin’
    – Faithfully
    – Hello
    – Jessie’s Girl
    – Keep Holding On
    – Like a Prayer
    – No Air
    – Total Eclipse Of The Heart
    – True Colors
    – Rolling In The Deep
    – Need You Now
    – My Man
    – Get It Right
    – For Good
    – Don’t Cry For Me Argentina (most people think this song is stupid, but I find it beautiful and powerful)
    – Loser Like Me
    – Sing
    – Valerie
    – Just the Way You Are (I don’t know, there’s just something in Cory’s voice here that makes me melt)
    – One Of Us
    – River Deep – Mountain High
    – Because You Loved Me
    – Cough Syrup
    – Here’s To Us
    – Without You
    – Smooth Criminal
    – Rumour Has It – Someone Like You
    – Paradise By The Dashboard Light
    – It’s All Coming Back to me Now
    – I just can’t stop loving you
    – How Will I Know
    – We Are Young
    – Don’t Speak
    – The Scientist

  37. Delia E. says:

    My top three would have to be

    1. The Scientist
    2. We Are Young
    3. Tongue Tied.

  38. Dan says:

    Somebody to Love? This and DSB are probably 2 of the most iconic group numbers. Jessie’s Girl? There’s plenty more that should have made this list.

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  40. Sydney says:

    Paradise by Dashboard Light, Marry You, I’ve Had (Time of My Life).

  41. Mal says:

    My top 21 no particular order:

    Don’t Rain on My Parade
    How Will I Know
    Smooth Criminal
    It’s All Coming Back to Me Now
    I Feel Pretty/ Unpretty
    Poker face
    Mean
    River Deep, Mountain High
    PYT
    Keep Holding On
    What It Feels Like For A Girl
    Empire State of Mind
    Valerie
    Go Your Own Way
    Don’t Speak
    Teenage Dream (Stripped Down Version)
    Take Me or Leave Me
    We Are Young
    Rumor Has It/ Someone Like You
    Rolling in the Deep

  42. Elena says:

    Cough syrup…and Go your own way!! Loved them

  43. kyle says:

    -How is “How Will I Know” not on the list? Amber, Naya, Chris, and Lea killed that song. It was so beautiful.
    -Keep Holding On should be on the list as well.
    -Rumour Has It/Someone Like You should at least be top 5.
    -The season 3 nationals performance shouldn’t even be on the list imo.
    -Songbird definitely belongs on the list.
    -River Deep/Mountain High should be on the list.
    -Teenage Dream should not be on the list.
    -My Man should be on the list.
    -I Feel Pretty/Unpretty should be lower on the list, like #21.
    -Don’t Rain on My Parade should be like #3.
    -Loser Like Me should be somewhere on the list.
    -The entire Journey medley should be somewhere on the list.

  44. writingtears says:

    Overall this was a completely decent list. The only major issue I have with it is Don’t Rain on My Parade. I don’t understand, and I never will, why people even like her version of that. It’s WAY too much. Too many changes in the melody, it just sounds out of breath and it’s exhausting to listen to. Otherwise I’d remove “Forget You” and add Baby It’s Cold Outside, I’d replace Run the World(Girls) with Born This Way (can’t believe it’s not on your list!), and remove a few others to add Not the Boy Next Door, True Colors and Bohemian Rhapsody. Teenage Dream also needs to be further down the list. Like, 19 or something.

  45. Hanna says:

    21 not in order:

    As If We Never Said Goodbye
    Cough Syrup
    Defying Gravity
    Fix You
    Baby, It’s Cold Outside
    Roots Before Branches
    Don’t Stop Believin’
    Teenage Dream
    Happy Days Are Here Again/Get Happy
    I’m The Greatest Star
    Not The Boy Next Door
    One Hand, One Heart
    The Scientist
    Rose’s Turn
    Tongue Tied
    How Will I Know
    Somebody To Love
    To Sir With Love
    Push It
    For Good
    Just The Way You Are

  46. corey says:

    To Sir With Love

  47. Fiktrop says:

    My Top 30:

    1. Can’t fight this felling
    2. Say a little prayer
    3. The boy is mine
    4. A house is not a home/One less bell to answer
    5. Hello
    6. Total eclipse of the heart
    7. Bohemian Rhapsody
    8. Somebody to love (sam & artie)
    9. Baby its cold outside
    10. Jar of hearts
    11. Jump
    12. Just the way you are
    13. Me against the music
    14. Teenage dreams
    15. River deep, Mountain high
    16. Rumour has it/Someone like you
    17. Its not unusual
    18. Somethings coming
    19. Cherish/cherish
    20. Somebody I used to know
    21. Smooth criminal
    22. Survivor/I will survive
    23. Take my breath away
    24. Love you like a love song
    24. Starships
    25. Glad you came
    26. Fly/I believe I can fly
    27. Paradise by the dashboard light
    28. Pinball wizard
    29. Americano/Dance again
    30. Oops I did it again
    31. Hold it against me
    32. Womanizer
    33. Crazy/U drive me crazy
    34. Boys/Boyfriend
    35. Chasing Pavements

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