Staff WriterThrough the course of Glee’s wonderful history, there have been several different themes for shows that fans love to watch: mash ups, Christmas episodes, among others. But some of the best episodes have been tribute episodes. These episodes solely devoted to honoring a great artist are thoroughly thought out and planned in order to be well, epic. From Stevie Wonder, to Madonna, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and Billy Joel there have been some unbelievable episodes. In celebration of Gleekuary, we have decided to countdown the best, tribute episodes.
Number 5 Tribute EpisodeTo kick off our tribute episode countdown, we have to go all the way back to Season 2. While this is a tribute to a great music group, it is also a tribute to one of the greatest albums ever, Rumours. As some of you may have guessed, the number five spot on our list goes to the Fleetwood Mac tribute episode. Some may remember this episode for the rumors surrounding Santana’s sexuality, why was Quinn visiting Sam, or Brittany’s “Fondue for Two” web show. This is the episode that gave Brittana fans great hope, made Finchel fans excited, and got fans into great music. “Songbird,” “Never Going Back Again,” “Go Your Own Way,” and “Don’t Stop” are just a few of the great songs portrayed through the episode. Artie confronted Brittany about her relationship with Santana, causing some hilarious answers, but made Artie frustrated ending with him calling Brittany stupid. Leaving Brittany absolutely heartbroken, caused her to run off and gladly driven into the arms of Santana spurring Santana to express her true feelings in the most glee club way, through song. Santana gave an honest and emotional performance of “Songbird,” leaving Gleeks and Brittany speechless. This episode also contained the return of the oh so memorable April Rhodes, who convinced Mr. Shue to do the Rumours album glee club assignment. But, not before the two performed a little duet in front of the New Directions to the tune of “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac of course! This episode was such an action packed tribute that it demanded to be put on our greatest tribute episodes list, landing at the number five spot on our countdown.
Number 4 Tribute EpisodeTwo words, Britney bitch. Not only did the Glee club pay homage to the pop princess Britney Spears once, but twice. Thank goodness they did, creating two very memorable episodes with iconic Britney outfits, performances, and songs. In "Britney/Brittany" Season 2 Gleeks finally got the pleasure of hearing Heather Morris’s voice aka Brittany S. Pierce. Boy did she not disappoint, from “I’m A Slave 4 U,” her duet with Santana “Me Against the Music,” and a Britney classic “Toxic,” Gleeks were taken back to the Britney Spears era of their life with ease. While Ms. Brittany S. Pierce was not the only person to sing, it was very refreshing to finally hear her voice. Of course, she brought pure comedy to the episode, and admitted that Britney Spears allowed her to see clearly “she is better than everyone.” "Britney 2.0" was a whole different episode, but still devoted to the lovely Brittany S. Pierce. In Season 4, Brittany was dealing with Santana going off to college, being a senior again, and trying to actually graduate high school this time. She fell into a funk, and was suffering for it. Her grades were down, and Sue kicked her off of the Cheerio’s. In order to gain attention, she began to pull some of Britney Spear’s greatest antics, shaving her head (attempt), attacking paparazzi (Jacob Ben Israel), and the most memorable Spears moment lip-syncing a performance. The only person to realize that this was simply a cry for help, a ploy for attention, was Sam. Oh the beginning of Bram. While she ended up out smarting her way back onto the Cheerios and finding her way back to normality, a new relationship was beginning to blossom between Jake and Marley. It seems like most relationships blossom in tribute episodes. The two Britney tribute episodes produced amazing songs, “Crazy/ ‘U Drive Me Crazy,” “Oops I Did It Again,” “Womanizer,” and “Stronger.” There were simply too many classic Britney songs to not have two episodes devoted to her. Thankfully this episode lands a spot at number 4 on our tribute episode countdown.
Number 3 Tribute EpisodeWhile several episodes have been filmed while the artists they are honoring are alive, Whitney Houston’s episode was made as a memorialization to the great singer. To honor and remember the great music the great Whitney sang while she was alive. This episode like many others was handled with grace and the utmost respect for such an iconic artist. The glee club loaned their voices to the great songs such as, “How Will I Know,” “It’s Not Right but It’s Okay,” "I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)" and a show stopping rendition of “So Emotional,” just to name a few. It would not be a Glee episode without a little relationship drama--Kurt and Blaine, we are looking at you. For most people, the reality of graduation was beginning to sink in. Causing many people to evaluate the relationships they had with people, Rachel and Santana’s revelation came in the duet form. However, the best song of the night ended the episode, “My Love is Your Love,” completely brought the house down. With all of the beloved cast members all meeting in the auditorium to partake in an impromptu glee club performance. Not only did this episode awe the viewer, but it paid tribute to one of the greatest singers of all time. Granting this episode the number 3 spot on our tribute episode list safely securing a spot forever in our hearts.
Number 2 Tribute EpisodeIt’s fitting that Glee took not one, but two episodes to pay tribute to the iconic group, The Beatles and these episodes land on our number two spot on our best Glee tributes. The two episodes, “Love, Love, Love,” and “Tina in the Sky With Diamonds,” were filled with love, relationships, the ever anticipated McKinley High prom, and a little “Carrie” homage. New relationships blossomed, Kartie and Dantana anyone? Fan favorites Kurt and Blaine (Klaine) got engaged in the grandest way possible, with nearly every rival glee clubs present to sing “All You Need is Love” to Kurt as a favor to Blaine. Not to mention the developing crush of Sam and Penny who just so happened to be the new school nurse. Let it Be.” A tribute is meant to honor the artist, and Glee did just that. There is no doubt that the two tribute episodes to The Beatles will forever be fan favorites. This safely secures the number two spot on our best Glee tribute list.
Number 1 Tribute EpisodeIn Season 3, viewers got a glimpse if the New Directions spin on some of the classic Michael Jackson songs during their memorable Sectionals performance. Thankfully after that, Gleeks were treated to an entire episode devoted to the late and great Michael Jackson. Much like in Sectionals, the New Directions did not disappoint with their renditions of such classics from “Human Nature,” and “Bad to “Wanna Be Starting Something” and “Smooth Criminal.” This episode was chocked of song, dance and a romantic duet turned accepted proposal. In the most Finchel way possible they sang the duet, “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You,” and it was mid duet that Rachel truly realized that she did not want to live without Finn. They belonged together, they were end game. Bad” and battled to the end. Unfortunately the end was a rogue slushy administered by Sebastian right into Blaine’s face. To get revenge on Blaine’s eye injury, Santana stormed to Dalton to have another duel, this time just Sebastian and Santana were going to sing off once more, if Santana wins (obviously) Sebastian must admit what he put in the slushy. Their rendition of “Smooth Criminal” with a cello duel ended with our girl Santana clearly the winner. Thanks to some smooth criminal thinking, we were granted one of the greatest lines of all Glee, “I taped the recorder to my underboob--it was totally smart!” This episode produced so many memorable moments, that it is impossible not to give the Michael Jackson tribute the number one spot on our, best tribute list. Wow, so many tribute episodes! What makes Glee so loved is the ability to draw people in through their love of music, and artists. Not only does Glee sing iconic songs, but they place their own spin on songs we know and love. Some of the best Glee episodes just so happened to be tribute episodes to some of the most iconic and greatest singers of all time making the memorable songs and episodes. Keep checking back with PopWrapped for our Gleekuary, march to the 100th episode. Was your favorite tribute episode on the list? Let us know!
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