YMMV / Assassins


  • Complete Monster: Miguel Bain stands in marked contrast to protagonist Robert Rath. While Rath has standards about the sort of people he assassinates and abhors hurting innocents, Bain has a penchant for indiscriminately slaughtering everyone who gets in his way. In the first mission we see him on, he kills the target and his bodyguards, then kills several police officers to escape from custody. When Rath later traps him in the back of a car, Bain prepares to snipe a nearby child to make Rath back down. During an exchange between a hacker named Electra and a group of Dutch clients who turn out to be Interpol agents, he blows away every agent and bystander he runs into and promises Electra that he'll personally cut out her heart. Rath saves Electra, but not before Bain kills Electra's two downstairs neighbours for no real reason. Bain eventually reaches an understanding with his anonymous employer to kill Rath himself, whom he perceives as an irritating rival. Even when Rath offers Bain the opportunity to part ways peacefully at the end, he elects to kill both Rath and Electra instead. Having no regard for any life he takes, Bain became a contract killer largely for glory and thrills.
  • Memetic Mutation: The scene where Banderas's character checks his computer has become a popular reaction GIF in the discussions about gaming news.
  • Narm: Bain snapping the neck of a police officer just using one hand, making one wonder just how fragile that officer's spine must been if his head pulled sharply to one direction is enough to snap it.


  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • Depending on the route the director and actors involved take, the Balladeer can come off either as a pompous, smug, condescending prick who got what was coming to him, or simply as a naive Wide-Eyed Idealist who's in way over his head. (If they take the former route, the Balladeer being turned into Oswald comes off as karma. If they take the latter, it just comes off as tragic.)
    • Exactly how sympathetic the assassins are varies from production to production. (Czolgosz usually gets the most sympathy, though.)
    • Is the Balladeer an annoying Wide-Eyed Idealist who's hopelessly naive about the nature of the so-called "American Dream", who shouldn't judge the assassins so harshly and be so quick to dismiss them? Or is he just annoying because he's right? As he points out in "Another National Anthem", none of the assassins actually got what they wanted in the end.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: The whole damn play.
  • Cry for the Devil: The three ballads are used effectively in this way, but the one that seems to get the audience's sympathy most is "The Ballad of Czolgosz", where assassin Leon Czolgosz's motivations are stated clearly: he was a lonely man, who all throughout his life had lived in poverty and misery for reasons beyond his control, so he killed big business president Bill McKinley to "take control of his fate".
  • Ear Worm:
    • And it's seriously a problem. "What a wonder is a gun! What a versatile inveeeeeention!" Do not see before working with first graders and/or getting on a plane.
    • "How I Saved Roosevelt" is another one you don't want to sing in public - "Too cold for the stomach in Washington/I go down to Miami, kill Roosevelt!"
    • And, of course, you do not want to get caught singing, "C'mere and kill a President..."
    • Nor do you want to be caught going "Damn you Lincoln, you righteous whoooooooooore!"
    • Everybody's got the right to some sunshine/not the sun but maybe one of its beams...
    • The Ballad of Guiteau counts, too. Look on the bright side, look on the bright side...
    • In the USA you can work your way to the head of the line...
  • Evil Is Sexy: "Johnny Booth was a handsome devil."
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Initially met a much better reception in the UK than the USA.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: The entire show after 9/11, particularly Guiteau's religious fanaticism and Byck's plan to fly a plane into the White House. The revival was intended to open in November 2001, but after the attacks it was postponed for several years.
    • These lines tend to get laughter or applause after the controversial 2016 election of Donald Trump :
    Every now and then the country goes a little wrong
    Every now and then a madman's bound to come along
  • Nightmare Fuel: The end of Lee Harvey Oswald's scene, when all the assassins surround him singing about how much they admire him while he loads his rifle and prepares to shoot Kennedy. The Lyrical Dissonance and the menacing sound of the melody make it especially creepy.
    • If done with a strong cast of actors and direction, the whole play is nightmare-inducing because you sympathize with people who have seriously hurt/killed others because they didn't get what they wanted.
    • When performed right, Zangara's parts of "How I Saved Roosevelt" can be terrifying.
    • Guiteau's attempt to force a kiss on Sara Jane Moore reveals a much more threatening side to him when he doesn't get what he wants.
  • One-Scene Wonder:
    • Depending on the direction, The Proprietor may pop up throughout the rest of the show, but he's only scripted for the opening scene, leading "Everybody's Got the Right".
    • In the original production, Lee Harvey Oswald was this as well, though ever since the 2004 Broadway revival, it has become common practice to double him with The Balladeer. Still, the actor only acts as Oswald for that one scene. And what a scene it is!
    • The Housewife who sings the main solo in "Something Just Broke".
    • Emma Goldman is pretty memorable, too.
  • Strawman Has a Point: The Balladeer may represent the American Dream and be smug and condescending depending on which interpretation you watch but, as he points out during "Another National Anthem", shooting the Presidents didn't solve the Assassins' problems.
    Balladeer: Yes, you made a little moment and you stirred a little mud / But it didn't fix the stomach and you've drunk your final Bud / And it didn't help the workers and it didn't heal the country / And it didn't make them listen / And they never said they're sorry."
    • Although none of the assassins are what you can call role models (or even sane), Czolgosz's views on wealth disparity, Byck's complaints of political hypocrisy and Guiteau's "Look On The Bright Side" philosophy can all be relatable to the average audience member.