Top 10 best ‘Glee’ episodes, ranked

Glee aired over 100 episodes from 2009 to 2015. It had multiple stories, with some following real-life events, showcased hundreds of songs, and pretty much gave representation to different sexual orientations, disabilities, and backgrounds. It was also an underdog story about a group of kids, seen as losers in the school, who slowly rise to achieve their dreams.

Out of all the episodes, only a handful of them transcends among the rest. These episodes resonated with fans due to how much they impact the show. They’re memorable or played a massive role in certain characters’ stories, or were just incredibly well-liked by fans.

Here are the top 10 best Glee episodes, ranked.

10. “Original Song” (Season 2, Episode 16)

“Original Song” changed the game in the Glee format. This show, known to sing covers during their performance, decided during the first half of season 2 to release original music. While there was an episode where they were all brainstorming ideas, we can all agree that “Loser Like Me” was the best original song this show has ever released. It was pretty much a Glee anthem where they accepted that they’re not cool but they are ambitious. And despite their social ranking, they believe that they can still make it to the top.

9. “2009” (Season 6, Episode 12)

“2009” is somewhat an extension of the Pilot episode and was aired just before the final episode. We got to see the friendship between Will and Sue before the Glee Club started, the complicated relationship Will and Terri had, as well as how each of the original six characters felt before joining the club. It’s somewhat surreal to take a look back to when it all began before the series comes to a complete close. And just like the first episode, the episode ends with “Don’t Stop Believin'”.

8. “The Power of Madonna” (Season 1, Episode 15)

This was Glee‘s first themed episode where the show only featured songs from one artist. This episode also taught a lesson to respect women, especially when they say “No”. Also, this was somewhat the first time when Sue was “nice” to some of the Glee kids after they helped her reach her inner Madonna. The songs were catchy, taught girls to stand up for themselves, and was a stand-out episode back in season one when they mostly sang show tunes and the classics.

7. “Sectionals” (Season 1, Episode 13)

“Sectionals” was the first episode where the Glee club finally rose from being underdogs to something even more. They had to come up with a set list very last minute after Sue leaked their songs to their competitors, and Finn chose football over the Glee Club. Not to mention, Mr. Schuester was not allowed to accompany the Glee Club to their competition, leaving the club vulnerable. Luckily, they were able to pull something together and claimed victory, and began the baby steps to what would eventually be Sue’s downfall.

6. “Born This Way” (Season 2, Episode 18)

This episode of Glee was good for its lessons about self-acceptance and was the start of Karofsky’s redemption arc. The Glee Club tried their best to convince Rachel to not get a nose job, while the audience learns about Quinn’s past and how she became the person we see in the show. The show aired in 2011, which was an interesting time due to the rise of social media, and people were unaware at the time that those online platforms could harm someone’s self-esteem due to Photoshop and photos altered to look more beautiful. This episode taught the important lesson of self-love, something that we need to be reminded of to this day.

Also, Blane’s and the Warbler’s performance of “Somewhere Only We Know” when Kurt transferred back to McKinley is just beautiful.

5. “The Rise and Fall of Sue Sylvester” (Season 5, Episode 10)

We’ve seen Sue get knocked down over and over throughout the entire series. For whatever reason, she keeps coming back. However, this episode of Glee managed to knock her down for good. The show exposed all of Sue’s lies and tyrannical antics as well as people calling Sue out for her terrible actions. Turns out, she’s a compulsive liar with multiple people contradicting all of her lies that she has said since the very first season. At the same time, it provided closure between Sue and her mother. After years of attempts to try to push her down (that failed), this was the moment when she finally hit rock bottom, publicly.

But hey, at least she got to redeem herself a few years later when she became Vice-President of the United States.

4. “A Wedding” (Season 6, Episode 8)

Before same-sex marriage became legalized in the US on June 26, 2015, the Glee episode, “A Wedding”, was released. The episode was about Brittany and Santana’s wedding and has the usual wedding drama that you’d see in everyday life. It is also the rekindling of Kurt and Blane’s romance as they got back together and attended the wedding together. This episode has a mixed bag of family comedy, romance drama, and a small and subtle lecture on same-sex marriage and how love is love. Kurt and Blane also get married in this episode, so fans got to experience a double wedding.

3. “Goodbye” (Season 3, Episode 22)

“Goodbye” should have been the show’s finale as it was a somewhat perfect ending. The Glee club won Nationals, Sue got to run her Cheerios once again, Puck passes his make-up exam, and Rachel goes to New York. But nope, the show continued in Season Four, introducing a new batch of characters, while also showing us what the alumni are doing. But it’s a good episode where the club members got to say goodbye and everyone is now off with their lives.

2. “The Quarterback” (Season 5, Episode 3)

One of the saddest episodes of Glee ever. This episode was more of a memorial episode for Corey Monteith, the actor who played Finn Hudson in the show, after he died on July 13, 2013. This episode featured songs that he either sang or ones that were in tribute to his memory. There were a lot of raw emotions, and the acting of Romy Rosemont (aka Carole Hudson) was a phenomenon as she emulated how Monteith’s mom felt when she found out her son passed.

1. “Pilot” (Season 1, Episode 1)

Despite the hundreds of episodes that Glee had to offer, the pilot had to be the most iconic episode of the show, even if it was the very first episode. It was able to set up the show pretty well, as well as foreshadowed future characters and conflicts, and neatly packaged it in one simple episode. Plus, “Don’t Stop Believin'” is one of Glee’s best performances. It was iconic, had a simple stage performance, and managed to convince Mr. Schuester to return to the Glee Club and not leave the school. Overall, one of the best episodes of Glee, hands down.

Glee has told multiple stories of different characters throughout its lifetime. But it’s only the best ones that are deemed memorable to the fans. They were entertaining and left an impact on the show. These episodes listed above are mostly the ones that fans loved and remembered the most.