Characters: In the Heights
open/close all folders
Usnavi de la Vega
- Role originated by Lin-Manuel Miranda
- Arc Words: "No pare, sigue sigue!" meaning "Don't stop, continue, continue!"
- Author Avatar: Lin-Manuel Miranda also wrote the lyrics and music.
- Cannot Spit It Out
- Like Brother and Sister: With Nina.
- Line-of-Sight Name
- Motor Mouth: Quick-witted and can sometimes speak fast due to nerves. Especially when in the vicinity of Vanessa.
- Raised By Grandmother
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Usnavi has a noticeably greater vocabulary and can fire off complex metaphors off the top of his head, as seen when he tries to chat up a hot girl at the club.
- Team Mom: Usnavi seems to take over the role after the finale, acting as the "street-light" for the community—providing illumination, learning and passing on their shared stories and heritages, and binding them together. And, of course, providing sweet, sweet coffee.
- True Companions: Benny jokingly calls him a "streetlight" in the first eponymous song of the musical, and he laments this:"Yeah I'm a streetlight chokin' on the heat/the world spins around while I'm frozen to the street/the people that I know all keep on rolling down the street/but everyday is different so I'm switching up the beat."
- "Yeah, I'm a streetlight chillin' in the heat/I illuminate the stories of the people in the street/Some have happy endings, some are bitter sweet/But I love them all and that's what makes my life complete!"
- Role originated by Mandy Gonzalez
- Beta Couple: With Benny.
- Daddy's Girl
- Joins to Fit In:
- "I feel like all my life I'm trying to find the answers/Working harder/Learning Spanish/Learning all I can/I thought I might find the answer out at Stanford/But I'd just stare out at the sea thinking/Where am I supposed to be?"
- Like Brother and Sister: With Usnavi.
- The One Who Made It Out: Double subverted with Nina. She dropped out of Stanford, but is going back in the fall.
- Secret Relationship: Her father reacts badly to her and Benny.
- Stepford Smiler
- "Straighten the spine/Smile for the neighbours/Everything's fine, everything's cool/The standard reply "lots of tests, lots of papers"/Smile, wave goodbye and pray to the sky/Oh God!"
- Role originated by Olga Merediz
- Role originated by Karen Olivo
- Cannot Spit It Out
- Defrosting Ice Queen
- Hello, Nurse!: Vanessa is a tame version of this trope. Usnavi and most of the guys drool over her but no one actually gets ridiculous about it (as in it never gets to Informed Attractiveness levels). Vanessa herself doesn't think it's that big of a deal.
- Oblivious to Love: Vanessa pretends that she doesn't know about Usnavi's feelings, and also pretends that she doesn't reciprocate them.
- Single Woman Seeks Good Man
- Spicy Latina
- Role originated by Christopher Jackson
- Role originated by Robin de Jesus
- Annoying Younger Cousin: Subverted in that Sonny is fairly intelligent with a comically strong vocabulary (he seems to take after Usnavi a bit) and interest in politics and social activism. He also has shades of being the Only Sane Man as his introspections on what Usnavi's departure and the closing of the surrounding shops means for the community causes him to despair when others are partying.
- Plucky Comic Relief
- Role originated by Andrea Burns
- Gossipy Hens: Her and Carla.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Again, her and Carla.
- Spicy Latina
- Those Two Girls: With Carla.
- Role originated by Janet Dacal
- The Ditz
- Gossipy Hens: With Daniela.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Again, her and Daniela.
- Mixed Ancestry: "My mom is Dominican-Cuban/My dad is from Chile and PR which means/I'm Chiledominicarican/But I always say I'm from Queens."
- Those Two Girls: With Daniela.