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YMMV: 1776

  • Award Snub: In this case, a snub of a snub. Thanks to a Tony Awards technicality, William Daniels wound up nominated in the supporting actor category, along with One-Scene Wonder Ron Holgate (Richard Henry Lee). Daniels promptly refused the nomination. Holgate won.
  • Awesome Music: "Is Anybody There?" again.
  • Designated Villain: John Dickinson, the other Pennsylvania delegate (sorry, Judge Wilson), and Edward Rutledge, the South Carolina delegate and de facto speaker for the Deep South. Neither of them are true villains (the real Rutledge didn't even care all that much for slavery), but just happen to have different ideas about what is best for America and their own colonies/states.
    • Dickinson ended up getting a bad rep from the movie — in reality, he was not as hidebound as he appeared in 1776. He co-wrote On The Necessity of Taking Up Arms with Jefferson (the passage quoted by John Adams in "But, Mr. Adams" was actually penned by Dickinson), and supported the war. He merely hoped that it would end in rapproachment with England, once England learned that the colonies couldn't be pushed around and bullied. He did, as shown in the movie, resign from the Congress and join the Continental Army as he in good conscience, could not sign the Declaration, still hoping for a reconciliation with England.
    • Plus, it's good to note that one independence was achieved, Dickinson went right along with it: he was one of the signers of the Constitution.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Dickinson. Over half the fanbase is more in love with Dickinson than they are with Adams. Although how much of a Draco he actually was is up for debate; see Designated Villain above.
    • John Cullum's golden singing voice gets Rutledge a few fans.
  • Ear Worm: Sit down, John! Sit down, John! For God's sake, John, sit down!
    • Here a Lee, there a Lee... everywhere a Lee, a Lee!
  • Estrogen Brigade: Adams. Dickinson. Jefferson. Rutledge. Pick any character with so much as one line, and there's probably a group of fans out there with the hots for him.
  • Foe Yay: Adams and Dickinson.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: If you pay attention in history class: Robert E. Lee, the top general of the Confederate Army in the The American Civil War, was related to Richard Henry Lee, the man who brought in Virginia's resolution on independence. The bit of the song where Richard Henry Lee is listing all of the famous Lees of Old Virginia? "Light Horse Harry" Lee was Robert E. Lee's father. Also, all of South Carolina's posturing about claiming to speak for the Deep South and threatening not to deliver on unanimity? Guess which state was the first to secede from the Union.
    • Also, Martha Jefferson's lines in the last verse of "He Plays The Violin":
      When Heaven calls to me
      Sing me no sad elegy
      Say I died loving bride
      Loving wife, loving life.
    Considering that she died only six years after the period portrayed in the film, it's disturbingly prophetic — in fact, those are said to actually be the words on her tombstone.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Adams, in an attempt to brighten up his wife's mood, mentions that women in Virgina were "pale, puny things." Martha would later die in childbirth, and Jefferson would be so heartbroken, he never remarried.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: "Wake up, Franklin! We're going to New Brunswick!" Well, it was funny a few years ago, anyway.
  • Ho Yay:
    • Dickinson and Wilson.
    • Adams and Jefferson.
    • And though the General doesn't appear, the way Thompson speaks of him reads like a crush.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Rutledge, Dickinson
    • Ben Franklin playing James Wilson like a harp at the last minute also qualifies him for the description.
  • Nightmare Fuel: "Molasses to Rum." Rutledge pantomimes slave transport ("stuff them in the ships!") and a slave auction.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Well, Two Scene Wonder. We see Martha Jefferson snogging Thomas, and then she sings "He Plays the Violin" before she goes off to snog Thomas again.
  • Tear Jerker: "Mama, Look Sharp"
  • Watch It for the Meme: The film has had a very small revival amongst William & Mary students who first learn about it by seeing a clip of Jefferson's and Adams' argument over "inaleinable," in which their school is treated as superior to Harvard.


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