When "Glee" premiered four years ago, then-relatively-unknown actor Cory Monteith made his way onto the screen and into the hearts of fans everywhere with his performance as Finn Hudson, the sweet and slightly goofy jock who sang in the shower and scored on the football field.
With the news of Monteith's passing at 31 years old, we're reeling with sadness and nostalgia for the days we spent with Finn. Here's a look back at what we loved about the McKinley High quarterback and New Directions founding member.
1. His Solos
Finn was the first solo voice we ever heard on a hit "Glee" single. "Just a small town girl, living in a lonely world," he crooned. With the revamp of "Don't Stop Believin'," a "Glee" phenomenon was born.
He sang and we listened to everything from musical theater numbers to classic rock songs as Finn became the lead male voice of the New Directions. In the fourth season, it was Finn who kept the glee club alive when Will Schuester (Matthew Morrison) temporarily left McKinley. More than any other characters, he was the life's blood of the group.
Watch a video of Monteith performing as Finn on "Glee" below:
2. His Inimitable Dance Moves
Though Finn was the major heartthrob of "Glee," he never acted as though he was "too cool for school." In the "Born This Way" episode, the New Directions kids wore shirts with phrases that showcased their insecurities. Finn's said "Can't Dance."
This was a subject of mockery by even the biggest fans of the show, but it was out of love for Finn's silly dance technique. His singing voice may have won him some points, but his sense of humor about his lesser talents made him even more awesome.
There was always a lot of romantic tension between Finn and Rachel (Lea Michele), but when they finally got together it was the ultimate OTP of "Glee" fandom — rivaled by Will and Emma (Jayma Mays) and Kurt (Chris Colfer) and Blaine (Darren Criss).
Finchel's relationship had its ups and downs, and unfortunately it was never fully wrapped up. After breaking off their engagement in "Goodbye," the last episode of Season 3, the two went their separate ways (Rachel to NYADA in New York and Finn to the army) and tried to get over each other. But there was always still something there between them, which was especially obvious when they reunited for a tryst in Season 4.
The relationship between Kurt and Finn started out very rocky, particularly due to Kurt's attraction to Finn. But over time they've gone from oppositional classmates to reluctant friends to loving step-brothers.
Though in the first episode of the series, Finn stood by idly while Kurt was thrown in the garbage by other footballers, after a few seasons he becomes one of Kurt's biggest supporters and friends, making their unique friendship one of the sweetest in "Glee" history.
5. The Underdog Hero
More than his singing and dancing, or even his relationship with other characters, what was great about Finn was his ability to exceed expectations. With Finn, there's always more than meets the eye.
He could've easily started and ended as the star quarterback whom everyone knows and loves. He could've been the popular guy who the cheerleaders went nuts over. But that was never really him.
Finn was an underdog. He wasn't perfect. But that made him lovable. That made him real.
This weekend we lost a fictional friend in Finn Hudson and a real talent in Cory Monteith, but the Gleeks' love for him will live on. Don't stop believin' in that.