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Season Three of Glee aired between September 20, 2011 and May 22, 2012. The third season took place during several New Directions students' senior year at William McKinley High School

The series focuses on a high school Glee Club called the New Directions, set within the fictional William McKinley High School in Lima, Ohio.

Season Three follows the Club through the sectional, regional and national show choir competitions, and during nationals they finally take home the winning prize. Season Three also introduced several new characters, such as Sugar Motta, Sebastian Smythe, and the winners of The Glee Project: Damian McGinty (Rory Flanagan), Samuel Larsen (Joe Hart), Alex Newell (Wade "Unique" Adams), and Lindsay Pearce (Harmony). Harry Shum Jr. (Mike Chang) and Darren Criss (Blaine Anderson) were also promoted to the main cast, as their characters were only recurring in Season Two. Jessalyn Gilsig (Terri Del Monico) and Mike O'Malley (Burt Hummel) both reduced their roles to recurring after being main cast on the previous season, with Gilsig's character being written out of the show.


Main Cast

Recurring Cast

Special Guest Stars

Guest Stars



Image Title Original Airdate U.S. Viewers
(in millions)
TPPP.png 1. "The Purple Piano Project" September 20, 2011

Plot: The season premiere opens, revealing that for some members of New Directions, it's their senior year. As New Directions prepare to recruit members after losing Quinn and Lauren, Will thinks of "The Purple Piano Project," in which Al Motta, a rich business man, invests in the arts and gives purple pianos to the Glee Club. With the purple pianos scattered around the school, the New Directions have to sing a song if they spot one. With the seniors questioning their futures beyond high school, Rachel and Kurt attempt to find a college in New York after learning that Juilliard does not offer a musical theater program while Finn is lost and confused about his future plans.

Singles: "We Got the Beat" (New Directions), "Ding-Dong! The Witch is Dead" (Rachel and Kurt), "It's Not Unusual" (Blaine with Cheerios), "Anything Goes/Anything You Can Do" (Harmony with Prospective NYADA students), "You Can't Stop the Beat" (New Directions)

IAMUNICORN.png 2. "I Am Unicorn" September 27, 2011

Plot: West Side Story is this year's school musical at McKinley as revealed in the season premiere. Some New Directions members prep up for their auditions for specific parts of the music, Rachel wanting the role of Maria and Kurt and Blaine wanting Tony. Kurt knows that the directors of the musical will choose Blaine since he is more masculine and Kurt is rather feminine, making Kurt re-think his audition plans. Along with the musical preparations, Brittany attempts to assist Kurt with his class presidency campaign, promoting his pride of being gay but Kurt isn't too sure about the idea. Will creates a weekly Booty Camp with Mike to help various members of Glee Club to practice dancing for future competitions, and Shelby returns to McKinley as a teacher which shakes up a few relationships. .

Singles: "Somewhere" (Rachel and Shelby), "I'm the Greatest Star" (Kurt), "Something's Coming" (Blaine)

303-1.jpg 3. "Asian F" October 4, 2011

Plot: The title is a reference to Mike receiving an "Asian F" in this episode. When Mike receives an Asian F, his father tries to drag him out of the New Directions and make him break up with Tina, because of distractions. When Mike reveals that he will audition for the musical, his father is enraged. Auditions for the musical continue. Mercedes begins to get sick of Rachel stealing the spotlight, and how Will continually picks on Mercedes only, causing Mercedes to rethink her commitment with Glee. The directors of the musical conduct a diva-off for Mercedes and Rachel, the class presidency campaign heats up between Brittany and Kurt, Shelby starts an all-female glee club group at McKinley and Emma faces her OCD problems with Will.

Singles: "Spotlight" (Mercedes with Brittany and Tina), "Run the World (Girls)" (Brittany with Santana and WMHS Girls), "Cool" (Mike), "It's All Over" (Mercedes, Will, and Booty Camp), "Out Here on My Own" (Mercedes and Rachel), "Fix You" (Will with Artie and New Directions)

304-1.jpg 4. "Pot o' Gold" November 1, 2011

Plot: Rory, a foreign exchange student from Ireland, is new to McKinley and is staying at Brittany's home and it is clear he has a crush on her. After Quinn's return to the New Directions, she tells Puck that she wants Beth back from Shelby, and asks for Puck's assistance. However, Puck and Shelby seem to have found a romantic connection together. Finn assists Rory and convinces him to join the Glee Club, while Shelby's all-female Glee Club, The Troubletones, recruits Mercedes and two other members from New Directions, leaving the Glee Club in shock.

Singles: "Bein' Green" (Rory), "Last Friday Night" (Blaine with New Directions), "Waiting for a Girl Like You" (Puck), "Candyman" (The Troubletones), "Take Care of Yourself" (Rory)

Absent: Jayma Mays

305-2.jpg 5. "The First Time" November 8, 2011

Plot: The episode is focused on McKinley putting on the West Side Story musical and Finn and Rachel's and Blaine and Kurt's first sexual encounters. The Warblers are also re-introduced with a new leader who has an eye for Blaine.

Singles: "Tonight" (Rachel and Blaine), "Uptown Girl" (Dalton Academy Warblers), "A Boy Like That/I Have A Love" (Santana and Rachel), "America" (Santana, Tina, Puck, Rory, and Mike with West Side Story Cast), "One Hand, One Heart" (Blaine and Rachel)

Absent: Jane Lynch

306-1.jpg 6. "Mash Off" November 15, 2011

Plot: The third annual "mash-up competition" takes place in this episode. With Brittany and Santana in The Troubletones with Mercedes, it's big trouble for New Directions. Puck has the hots for Shelby and tells of Quinn's true intentions. Burt and Sue's campaign heats up and when the two Glee Clubs rivalry is taken seriously, Shelby and Will attempts to hold a mash-up competition between the two clubs. But in secret, Finn and Santana plan a Dodgeball competition for the two Glee Clubs.

Singles: "Hot For Teacher" (Puck and Finn with Blaine and Mike), "You and I/You and I" (Shelby and Will), "Hit Me with Your Best Shot/One Way or Another" (Finn and Santana with New Directions and The Troubletones), "I Can't Go for That/You Make My Dreams" (New Directions), "Rumour Has It/Someone Like You" (The Troubletones)

Brittanaw.jpg 7. "I Kissed a Girl" November 29, 2011

Plot: Picking up from the last episode, Santana is to be suspended for slapping Finn but Finn thinks of a better idea. After he outed her, he feels bad and he makes an assignment for both The Troubletones and the New Directions. The assignment is Lady Music Week, and to sing songs to show Santana that they support and love her for who she is. Santana learns to love herself and be proud of her and Brittany's relationship. The McKinley Senior Class Presidential campaign and Congress Campaign heats up as it's time to vote while Puck and Shelby's relationship slowly comes to an end.

Singles: "Perfect" (Kurt and Blaine with New Directions), "I'm The Only One" (Puck), "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" (Finn with Artie and New Directions Boys), "Jolene" (Shannon), "I Kissed a Girl" (Santana and Rachel with New Directions Girls and The Troubletones), "Constant Craving" (Santana, Shelby, and Kurt)

Abchumchang.png 8. "Hold on to Sixteen" December 6, 2011

Plot: The episode features the return of Sam at McKinley, and the New Directions and The Troubletones participation at Sectionals. Quinn plans to get Shelby fired for sleeping with Puck after learning of their affair. After Rachel is suspended from school, the New Directions need more members, and Mike's father makes a decision about his son's dream of dancing due to Tina's words.

Singles: "Red Solo Cup" (Sam with New Directions), "Buenos Aires" (Harmony with The Unitards), "Survivor/I Will Survive" (The Troubletones), "ABC" (New Directions), "Control" (New Directions), "Man in the Mirror" (New Directions), "We Are Young" (New Directions)

Absent: Jane Lynch

309-2.jpg 9. "Extraordinary Merry Christmas" December 13, 2011

Plot: After Sectionals, The Troubletones are part of the New Directions again. Meanwhile, Sue attempts to recruit homeless shelter volunteers for Christmas, hoping to get the Glee Club. They happily agree, but when the Glee Club is asked to create a holiday special for the local PBS station with Artie directing, Sue is in dismay when they decline. Rory struggles as it is his first Christmas without his family and Rachel asks Finn for too much.

Singles: "All I Want for Christmas Is You" (Mercedes with New Directions), "Blue Christmas" (Rory), "River" (Rachel), "Extraordinary Merry Christmas" (Blaine and Rachel), "Let It Snow" (Blaine and Kurt), "My Favorite Things" (Blaine, Kurt, Mercedes, and Rachel), "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" (Finn, Puck, and Joe), "Christmas Wrapping" (Brittany with Tina and the Cheerios), "Do They Know It's Christmas?" (New Directions)

310-1.jpg 10. "Yes/No" January 17, 2012

Plot: Mercedes and Sam's relationship is explored further after their supposed 'summer fling' at the end of Season Two. Becky decides that she wants a boyfriend, having an eye for ArtieEmma really wants to get married, and to her surprise, Will decides to propose to her but needs help from the New Directions. He sets an assignment up to see what wedding song they can sing during the proposal. Finn is struggling as he wonders what he'll do about his future after the shocking discovery about his father.

Singles: "Summer Nights" (Sam and Mercedes with New Directions), "Wedding Bell Blues" (Emma with Sue and Shannon), "Moves Like Jagger/Jumpin' Jack Flash" (Artie with Puck, Finn, and Blaine), "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" (Rachel, Tina, Mercedes, and Santana), "Without You" (Rachel), "We Found Love" (Rachel and Santana with New Directions)

311-2.jpg 11. "Michael" January 31, 2012

Plot: In this tribute episode to Michael Jackson, Mercedes, Santana, and Brittany are upset about missing out on doing Michael Jackson with New Directions at Sectionals when they were in The Troubletones, so Will thinks about doing Michael Jackson for Regionals. When Blaine happens to tell Sebastian this, the Glee Club is purely disappointed at how Blaine can betray them, for the Warblers are now planning to do Michael for Regionals. The two clubs fight, but when Blaine is slushied and injured, the rivalry between the two clubs turns serious. Quinn is accepted into Yale and decides to leave her past behind.

Singles: "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" (Blaine with New Directions), "Bad" (New Directions and Dalton Academy Warblers), "Scream" (Artie and Mike), "Never Can Say Goodbye" (Quinn with New Directions Girls), "Human Nature" (Mercedes and Sam), "Ben" (Kurt, Rachel, and Finn), "Smooth Criminal" (Sebastian and Santana), "I Just Can't Stop Loving You" (Finn and Rachel), "Black or White" (New Directions)

Absent: Jane Lynch, Jayma Mays

312-1.jpg 12. "The Spanish Teacher" February 7, 2012

Plot: Will and Sue's teaching abilities are questioned after there have been some complaints and is revealed that there is a spot for tenure. A student is questioning Will's ability to teach Spanish, and after Sue's ability to coach the cheerios is questioned, Coach Roz Washington steps in to try and steal her job. Will goes to a Spanish night school lesson and meets David Martinez who speaks fluent Spanish and brings Mr. Martinez to Glee Club. Sam and Mercedes seek Emma's guidance after they kissed, although Mercedes is dating Shane, and Emma advises them not to talk until the end of the week, only to speak through song. Eventually, to settle things, Santana challenges Will and David and encourages them to have a Spanish-off.

Singles: "Sexy and I Know It" (David with Artie and New Directions), "Don't Wanna Lose You" (Mercedes), "Bamboleo/Hero" (Sam with New Directions Boys), "La Isla Bonita" (David and Santana), "A Little Less Conversation" (Will)

Absent: Darren Criss, Jenna Ushkowitz

313-1.jpg 13. "Heart" February 14, 2012

Plot: Will declares to the Glee Club that they need money to pay for costumes and hairspray for Regionals to which Sugar offers to pay. She tells them that she rented Breadstix out for Valentine's Day and is making a party for the Glee Club and other people from the school. Artie and Rory vow for Sugar's love and to take her as a date to the night. Hiram and LeRoy Berry, Rachel's dads, find out about Finn and Rachel's engagement, which they have mixed feelings about. The truth about Mercedes and Sam's love affair is exposed while The God Squad, consisting of Mercedes, Sam, Quinn, and new character Joe, is asked to sing songs to other people's Valentines, but when Santana asks them to serenade Brittany, it becomes questionable.

Singles: "L-O-V-E" (Mike and Tina), "Let Me Love You" (Artie with Mike, Sam, Puck, and Kurt), "Stereo Hearts" (The God Squad and Choir), "Home" (Rory), "I Will Always Love You" (Mercedes), "You're the Top" (Leroy, Hiram, and Rachel), "Cherish/Cherish" (The God Squad), "Love Shack" (New Directions)

Absent: Jane Lynch, Jayma Mays

Glee OMW Rachel.png 14. "On My Way" February 21, 2012

Plot: Sebastian blackmails Rachel by threatening to post a photoshopped photo of Finn Hudson on the internet unless she drops out of Regionals. Sue seeks Quinn's advice on her pregnancy, Dave Karofsky faces bullying about rumors about him being gay to spread at his school, which pushes him to attempt to end his own life, and Finn and Rachel move up their wedding to immediately following the competition. When Sebastian hears of Dave Karofsky's experience, he abandons his plan to blackmail Rachel. As the New Directions grapple with challenging subjects and they go head to head with the Warblers at Regionals.

Singles: "Cough Syrup" (Blaine), "Stand" (Dalton Academy Warblers), "Glad You Came" (Dalton Academy Warblers), "Fly/I Believe I Can Fly" (New Directions), "What Doesn't Kill You (Stronger)" (The Troubletones), "Here's to Us" (New Directions)

315-2.jpg 15. "Big Brother" April 10, 2012

Plot: This episode debuts Matt Bomer's appearance as Blaine's older brother Cooper. In the episode, Quinn's return after her car accident causes the New Directions to be in shock as she comes back in a wheelchair. Artie and Quinn become close friends due to the incident. Sue is told that if she can't win another National Championship, Coach Roz will eventually be the coach of the Cheerios, causing Sue to co-direct the New Directions with Will, training them in Booty Camp. Along the way, Cooper also shows himself in Lima, eventually causing Blaine to be sick and tired of him. Finn and Rachel face problems when Rachel wants Finn to move to New York with her, but he wants to seek a dream in California.

Singles: "I'm Still Standing" (Artie and Quinn), "Hungry Like the Wolf/Rio" (Blaine and Cooper with New Directions), "Fighter" (Blaine), "Up Up Up" (Artie and Quinn), "Somebody That I Used to Know" (Blaine and Cooper)

316-1.jpg 16. "Saturday Night Glee-ver" April 17, 2012

Plot: This episode paid tribute to the movie Saturday Night Fever. When Blaine, Brittany, and Mike perform a disco song from Saturday Night Fever, Will asks what brought on the performance to which they respond that the Nationals theme is "vintage." But the New Directions are certain that disco sucks, which motivates Will to convince them otherwise. Sue installs a plexi-glass, shatterproof dance floor, the real one used in Saturday Night Fever and the Glee Club has a dance-off. Will picks FinnMercedes, and Santana as the winners, as they are his main concern as to what their dreams after graduation are. Kurt and Mercedes pretend to assist Unique, the lead singer of Vocal Adrenaline, who Sue wants to manipulate, convincing him to present femininely at their Regionals. Finn, Mercedes, and Santana perform disco songs and reveal their dreams after the school year is complete, Rachel supporting Finn's dream that involves New York.

Singles: "You Should Be Dancing" (Blaine, Mike, and Brittany), "Night Fever" (Will, Joe, and Blaine with New Directions and Sue), "Disco Inferno" (Mercedes with Santana and Brittany), "If I Can't Have You" (Santana with Kurt, Mercedes, and Tina), "How Deep is Your Love" (Rachel with Jazz Band), "Boogie Shoes" (Unique with Vocal Adrenaline), "More Than a Woman" (Finn with Kurt and Santana), "Stayin' Alive" (Finn, Mercedes, and Santana)

317-2.jpg 17. "Dance With Somebody" April 24, 2012

Plot: Mercedes, Kurt, Santana, and Rachel pay tribute to Whitney Houston, causing Will to discuss the famous icon with Emma. He decides that Whitney Houston may be a good way to start to say goodbye as New Directions will be losing members soon due to graduation. Blaine accuses Kurt of cheating with another guy he met at the music store who texts him and compliments him daily. Santana and Rachel grow closer after a Whitney duet and as Joe assists Quinn with her therapy, she seems to be making progress.

Singles: "How Will I Know" (Mercedes, Santana, Kurt, and Rachel), "I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)" (Brittany and Santana with Cheerios), "Saving All My Love for You" (Joe and Quinn), "So Emotional" (Santana and Rachel), "It's Not Right But It's Okay" (Blaine with New Directions), I Have Nothing" (Kurt), "My Love Is Your Love" (New Directions)

Absent: Jane Lynch

318-1.jpg 18. "Choke" May 1, 2012

Plot: Kurt and Rachel prepare for their auditions at NYADA, focused and determined to get in. Kurt decides to take a risk but when Rachel goes with her typical number, something unexpected happens, leaving Rachel's future hanging. Some of the New Directions Girls make fun of Coach Beiste's black eye and domestic violence which Coach Roz and Coach Sue aren't too happy about. When Roz and Sue find out that Coach Beiste was hit by Cooter, they decide it's time for her to move out. New Direction Boys assist Puck as he struggles to pass a history class test, because if he doesn't, he won't be able to graduate.

Singles: "School's Out" (Puck), "Cell Block Tango" (Mercedes, Tina, Sugar, Brittany, and Santana), "Not the Boy Next Door" (Kurt with Tina, Mercedes, and Brittany), "The Rain in Spain" (New Directions Boys), "Shake It Out" (Santana, Tina, and Mercedes), "Cry" (Rachel)

Absent: Dianna Agron, Jayma Mays

Tumblr m3s25sSlzU1qbi5wyo1 500.jpg 19. "Prom-asaurus" May 8, 2012

Plot: After Rachel chokes during her audition for NYADA, she is certain that her Broadway dreams are dead while Finn runs with Quinn for Prom Queen and King, causing Rachel to be even more devastated. Brittany is told that she has accomplished nothing as Senior Class President and is advised to use Prom as her comeback. Once again, the New Directions are asked to perform at Prom while Blaine, Kurt, Rachel, Puck, and Becky decide to have an Anti-Prom Party and ditch Prom instead, but those plans eventually alter. Quinn begins to gain her first steps after ending up in a wheelchair, but after Finn finds out, he is infuriated at the way she uses her disability to buys votes. Quinn and Santana decide to make a difference as they count the Prom Queen and King votes together.

Singles: "Big Girls Don't Cry" (Blaine, Kurt, and Rachel), "Dinosaur" (Brittany), "Love You Like a Love Song" (Santana with Brittany and Tina), "What Makes You Beautiful" (New Directions Boys), "Take My Breath Away" (Quinn and Santana)

320-1.jpg 20. "Props" May 15, 2012

Plot: This episode is mainly focused on Tina as she is usually un-noticed in Glee Club thinking it's unfair, while they are preparing for Nationals. The storylines from Choke are continued in this episode: Rachel's future at NYADA, and Beiste and Puck's storyline. When Tina is further infuriated, she bumps her head and has a hallucinated dream where the Glee Club members switch identities. The title is a reference to Tina disliking being used as a prop in the club and also Sue wanting to use props for the New Directions' Nationals setlist.

Singles: "I Won't Give Up" (Rachel), "Because You Loved Me" (Tina), "Mean" (Puck and Shannon), "Flashdance... What a Feeling" (Rachel and Tina)

Absent: Jayma Mays

321-1.jpg 21. "Nationals" May 15, 2012

Plot: The New Directions are stressed with Nationals approaching and as they all try to come together, things quickly unravel. Mercedes is sick in bed, Quinn's struggling with the dancing, Puck's trying to cram in his studying, Rachel fears her dreams aren't coming true, while Will is doubting the last three years, and even the star of Vocal Adrenaline is on the verge of backing out. If they want to win this, New Directions are going to have to work together.

Singles: "Edge of Glory" (The Troubletones, Quinn, and Tina), "It's All Coming Back to Me Now" (Rachel with Mike, Rory, Blaine, Quinn, Tina, and Sugar), "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" (New Directions), "Starships" (Unique with Vocal Adrenaline), "Pinball Wizard" (Unique with Vocal Adrenaline), "Tongue Tied" (New Directions), "We Are the Champions" (New Directions)

GoodbyeGraduate.png 22. "Goodbye" May 22, 2012

Plot: As the year comes to an end, the New Directions look back and reflect on the good and the bad memories of the year. For some, it'll be their final days at McKinley, leaving them only a limited amount of time to decide upon their futures and spend time with each other. The seniors begin to review their years here before they graduate, and Will sets up a final assignment titled, "Goodbye." With the final days coming to an end, FinnKurt and Rachel are to face whether they will be accepted into their selective colleges. And will Rachel be saying goodbye to just McKinley?

Singles: "Forever Young" (Will), "I'll Remember" (Kurt), "You Get What You Give" (New Directions Seniors), "In My Life" (Sam and Tina with New Directions Juniors), "Glory Days" (Puck and Finn), "Roots Before Branches" (Rachel and Finn)

Major Events

  • New members of New Directions: Blaine Anderson, Rory Flanagan, Sugar Motta, and Joe Hart.
  • Quinn's transformation after summer break, joining the Skanks and making over herself.
  • Rachel and Kurt trying to get into NYADA.
  • Blaine transferring to McKinley.
  • Quinn trying to get Beth back from Shelby.
  • Mike's father briefly not supporting his dreams of being a dancer.
  • Mercedes, Santana and Brittany quitting New Directions and joining The Troubletones.
  • Puck and Shelby's relationship.
  • Finn's fear of not having plans after graduation.
  • The relationship progression of Kurt and Blaine, Santana and Brittany, Finn and Rachel, and Will and Emma.
  • Santana Lopez and Brittany Pierce become officially a couple
  • Santana's coming out.
  • The Troubletones being integrated into the New Directions.
  • Shannon and Cooter's relationship and the domestic violence by Cooter to Shannon.
  • The wedding proposals: Finn to Rachel and Will to Emma.
  • Sebastian's attempt to steal Blaine from Kurt and destroy New Directions, leading the rivalry between New Directions and Warblers.
  • Sam-Mercedes-Shane love triangle.
  • The rivarly between Sue and Roz.
  • Sue's pregnancy.
  • Dave Karofsky's suicide attempt.
  • Quinn's car accident.
  • Quinn and Joe's relationship.
  • Puck's fear of not graduating and being a "Lima loser."
  • New Directions winning Nationals for the first time.
  • Senior members of New Directions graduated from McKinley: Rachel, Finn, Kurt, Santana, Mercedes, Quinn, Puck, and Mike and their future plans after graduations.



Note: No albums were released for the songs from the episodes Yes/No, Michael, The Spanish Teacher, Heart, On My Way, Big Brother, Saturday Night Glee-ver, Dance With Somebody and Prom-asaurus.