As Glee fans cope with the sad news of Cory Monteith’s sudden death yesterday in his Vancouver hotel room, I feel like we are pretty lucky in one respect: The 31-year-old left behind some great performances in his too-short career. Since there’s nothing for us to do but remember him today, I decided to look back at the 10 Glee episodes that best showed off his sweet nature, hilariously bad dancing, pretty admirable skills at singing and drumming, and, of course, his considerable acting talent. After you peruse my list (which is in chronological order here), share your own favorite Finn Hudson moments with me @VH1Celebrity.
1. “Showmance” (Season 1)
In the second episode of the show, football player Finn Hudson starts to realize his attraction to quirky Rachel Berry, and the two kiss during a romantic picnic in the auditorium. Also, he reveals his preferred method of avoiding premature ejaculation: remembering the time his mom taught him to drive and he hit a mailman.
Finn and Quinn get Slushied, confirming the fact that Glee Club has hurt their popularity. But when the coach tries to make him choose between New Directions and football, Finn shows his first sign of leadership and refuses.
3. “Grilled Cheesus” (Season 2)
This is actually one of my all-time fave episodes of the show, for its perfect combination of humor and pathos. Finn undergoes a religious epiphany inspired by the image of Jesus on his grilled cheese sandwich — which he thinks helped him win a game and get to second base with Rachel. But when Kurt’s dad suffers a heart attack, his new faith is shaken, and he breaks down into an R.E.M. song.
4. “Rocky Horror Glee Show”
In another great from season 2, Finn confronted his insecurity with his body by walking through the halls of McKinley in his underwear. Also, he looked super hot in glasses.
6. “New York”
OK, so Finn and Rachel’s reunion at Nationals, culminating with an onstage kiss during their original duet, “Pretending,” was cheesy, even by Glee standards. But it was exactly what I needed from a season finale.
7. “The First Time” (Season 3)
Finn and Rachel finally do the dirty (oh, and so do Klaine). The appeal is pretty obvs.
After learning that his dad wasn’t the war hero he’d been told, Finn proposes to Rachel, not exactly for the right reasons. But it gave us a great excuse to relive that first picnic.
9. “The Break-Up” (Season 4)
This episode made me cry back when it aired, so I can’t even imagine what I’ll feel like rewatching it now. Lea Michele, our heart is with you.
Cory Monteith was looking foxier and foxier as Finn struggled to grow up this season. And in this episode, when he tried to lead the Glee Club, help Emma plan her wedding and get over Rachel, he got to display more range than he had in months. The shocked look on his face after he kissed Emma to calm her down was just perfect. I feel robbed that we’ll never get to see how Finn would have continued to grow up, or where Cory’s career could have gone after the show.
What was your favorite performance of Cory’s? Share it with us on @VH1Celebrity” target=”_blank”>Twitter.