- His ship is in the harbor now, see if you can spot him!Another immigrant comin' up from the bottom!-Aaron Burr, "Alexander Hamilton"
As a musical about a number of amazing historical figures, it's only natural that Hamilton would have its share of awesome moments.
- Hamilton's Establishing Character Moment. Following a Trauma Conga Line where he lost his father to a wandering heart, his mother to sickness and a cousin to suicide, he decides he's not going to die penniless, works hard for his mother's landlord and reads every book and treatise. This so impresses community leaders that admire his writing that they start up a collection to send him to the colonies for an education.
- "My Shot", from start to finish. Hamilton establishes himself as ambitious and wanting to create a long-lasting financial system after the war. Lafayette talks about how he makes the other side panicky and defied the king of France to help the Americans. Mulligan mentions he wants to take care of his friends — he was a Parental Substitute to Hamilton and John Laurens in real-life— while proving he is more than a tailor. Laurens declares that he will fight for the first black battalion and end slavery. Even Burr gets a moment; after saying he agrees with the "geniuses," he buys them a round of drinks and is willing to listen while saying they need to be careful about what they say in public. He's absolutely right that they'll do more good if they stay alive.
- An understated one for Angelica in "Satisfied" - The first half of the song is her meeting Hamilton and becoming infatuated with him for his character and intellect, feeling that she's finally met her equal (whilst intuiting with no difficulty that he's hiding his low-born status). The second half is her shoving all of those feelings aside the second she sees her sister's attraction to Hamilton, going so far as to set the two up together, solely out of love for her sister. It's certainly a heartwrenching moment, especially when contrasted with the preceding "Helpless," but there are very few people out there who could so quickly sacrifice their own feelings for the benefit of another.
- The "rewind" effect and choreography
- How badass can a single line about the authorship of the Federalist Papers be? Very badass. "Non-Stop" is an ode to Hamilton's prolific writing and inexhaustible drive, but the coda at the end about the essays is practically a Badass Boast:Burr: The plan was to write a total of twenty-five essays, the work divided evenly among the three men. In the end, they wrote eighty-five essays in the span of six months. John Jay got sick after writing five. James Madison wrote twenty-nine. Hamilton wrote THE OTHER FIFTY-ONE!
- Miranda says in the libretto footnotes that this bit is in straight prose because he realized no kind of musical trickery could make it any more impressive than just saying it.
- As another historical note, John Jay wasn't incapacitated by ordinary illness. He was recovering from a head injury he sustained while defending a New York medical school from a mob who wanted to attack the students for learning from cadavers.
- The Cabinet debates between Hamilton and Jefferson as rap battles.
- George Washington's first musical appearance is a real show-stopper.Ensemble: Here comes the General!
Burr: Ladies and gentlemen! (Here comes the General!)
The moment you've been waiting for! (Here comes the General!)
The pride of Mount Vernon... (Here comes the General!)
Washington: Head full of fantasies of dying like a martyr?Hamilton: Yes!Washington: Dying is easy, young man. Living is harder.
- Also from the same song, Washington's dismantling of Hamilton's martyr complex in a single, understated sentence.
- Lafayette gets promoted to general when Charles Lee messes up the Battle of Monmouth. Even better, while Hamilton is disappointed, he follows Washington's orders to promote Lafayette and isn't mad at his friend. The Lancelot of the Revolutionary set then turns a Curb-Stomp Battle into a stalemate, which is impressive considering the odds and how Lee sabotaged his troops by accident.
- After Laurens challenges Charles Lee to a duel and wins, Washington appears. He's no fool either; after telling Burr to get a medic for the general, he calls Hamilton to chew him out. Even though Laurens was the one who instigated the duel, Washington knows that his right-hand man's big mouth encouraged the young man to fight Lee. When Hamilton refuses to listen, Washington sends him home on temporary leave...where Eliza reveals she's pregnant and wrote to Washington to ask him to send her husband home. The general knows exactly what he's doing.
- Hamilton's stroke of brilliance during "Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down)".Take the bullets out yo' gun! The bullets out yo' gun!
We move undercover and we move as one!
Through the night we have one shot to live another day,
We cannot let a stray gunshot give us away!
Immigrants- we get the job done!
- Additionally, this quip from Hamilton and Lafayette (which is all too timely considering the recent immigration ban on the US making it badass enough to receive applause from the audience):
- "I am not throwing away my shot!" becomes even more awesome when paired with "...'til the world turns upside down!"
- The image of the British surrender, retreat, and subsequent American celebration in "Yorktown" can be chills-inducing.
- The stage and music directions could probably basically read 'the orchestra loses its collective shit,' capturing the frantic nature of the battle. When the music drops and Hamilton starts narrating the end of the fight, the end of the war, it FEELS like the moment after the guns stop firing.
- Angelica calling Hamilton out for his affair, and very bluntly informing him that no, she is not there for him — she's there for her little sister. What's more, whatever they have — it's left up to the viewers if she means a platonic or romantic relationship — is done.
You have invented a new kind of stupid
- Maybe even better in the cut song, "Congratulations", which is essentially a two-minute drag on Hamilton's ego:
A "damage you can never undo" kind of stupid
An "open all the cages in the zoo" kind of stupid
Truly, you didn't think this through? Kind of stupid
You know why Jefferson can do whatever he wants?
- And then she goes one step further by accurately comparing him unfavorably to Thomas Jefferson. Ouch.note
He doesn't dignify schoolyard taunts with a response!
- Both of the Cabinet Battles, but especially Hamilton (who, remember, comes from Nevis, that is to say the Caribbean, a nexus of the slave trade) calling Jefferson out for preaching freedom while he himself owns slaves:A civics lesson from a slaver. Hey neighbor
Your debts are paid cuz you don't pay for labor
"We plant seeds in the South. We create."
Yeah, keep ranting.
We know who's really doing the planting.
Turn around, bend over, I'll show you where my shoe fits!
- Hamilton's response to Jefferson's line "if the shoe fits, wear it":
- Angelica in the "Schuyler Sisters", proving herself to be an early feminist.I've been reading Common Sense by Thomas Paine
So men say that Im intense or Im insane
You want a revolution? I want a revelation!
So listen to my declaration:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident,
That all men are created equal."
And when I meet Thomas Jefferson
Im a compel him to include women in the sequel!*
- Eliza's show-stopping solo, "Burn", in which she reads Hamilton the riot act for not only cheating on her, but revealing the affair in the Reynolds Pamphlet and making her a laughingstock. Sweet, gentle Eliza has had enough:You forfeit all rights to my heart
You forfeit your place in our bed
You'll sleep in your office instead!
With only the memories of when you were mine
I hope that you burn...
- Another example from the same song. Many of the letters Eliza wrote to Hamilton in real life are lost to history. This show gives us a possible reason why: she took control of the story's narrative in the only way she could by taking herself out of it. In the song, Eliza explicitly denies future historians the knowledge of how she reacted to the affair, saying, "The world has no right to my heart, the world has no place in our bed — they don't get to know what I said." In an era where women were often denied the ability to control their own destinies, Eliza refuses to play the game and claims her right to privacy, legacy or no legacy. Damn.
- She also doesn't blame Maria Reynolds for the affair. Anyone in her shoes would be understandably mad at a woman for breaking up their marriage, even if Maria was coerced; Eliza calls her a "girl" and makes it clear that Hamilton is the only one to blame. Yes, Maria seduced him but Alexander made the choice to sleep with her.
- And then, following that, the final song of the show is almost more about Eliza than it is about her husband, as she declares "I put myself back in the narrative" and spends the last half of the song essentially singing about her accomplishments and her life. There is something very moving about hearing powerful men like Washington, Lafayette, etc, acknowledging that "she tells our story." When Eliza sings, I speak out against slavery, Washington bows his head and steps back, leaving her at center stage.
- Hamilton stole twenty-one British cannons (that's true!) to cover the retreat in "Right Hand Man"Theyre battering down the Battery, check the damages (Rah!)
We gotta stop em and rob em of their advantages (Rah!)
Lets take a stand with the stamina God has granted us
Hamilton wont abandon shipyo, lets steal their cannons!
BOOM! goes the cannon, watch the blood and the shit spray and
BOOM! goes the cannon, were abandonin Kips Bay and
BOOM! theres another ship and
BOOM! we just lost the southern tip and
BOOM! we gotta run to Harlem quick, we cant afford another slip!
- Bonus points because, although the play doesn't mention it, Hamilton was running a fever.
- The fact that when Jefferson tried to blackmail Hamilton for speculation, Hamilton pulls out all his records to show that he was actually paying off the husband of the woman he has been sleeping with but was meticulously managing it from his own funds. Sure, when it was leaked it almost destroyed his marriage, but the fact he was honest about it shows balls of steel. There's also something admirable in his composure. Sure he fucked up big time, and he'll get what's coming to him very soon, but even when he's at his most vulnerable political position, he still has a sense of dignity about it. He's many things, but a cowardly liar isn't one of them.
- Hamilton's recounting of his life in "Hurricane" which details how he fought against the odds countless times, the rap segment culminating in an absolutely amazing Blasphemous Boast.
- Also, Jefferson acknowledging that though he tried to dismantle Hamilton's financial system, he couldn't. It has persisted to this day.
- Despite medical technology being what it was in the 1800s, it was impressive that the doctor kept Philip Hamilton alive long enough so his parents could see him.
- The original version of "One Last Time," titled "One Last Ride," where Washington dons his old uniform and quells the Whiskey Rebellion just by showing up. Clearly the South wasn't expecting that!note Here comes the President!Here comes the President!Here comes the President!GEORGE WASHINGTON!
- The entire Cut Song "An Open Letter," but especially the ending, capping off with the one line that made it into the final show.I don't care if I kill my career with this letter.
I'm confining you to one term!
SIT DOWN, JOHN, YOU FAT MOTHERFUCKSTICK!
- And Jefferson's response to the taunt:
- Lafayette and Mulligan, but especially Mulligan, each have theirs in "Guns and Ships" and "Yorktown", respectively. After being put on their respective buses after Hamilton's wedding, they return to the stage - and the war - to the sound of the chorus heralding their arrival by yelling their names. Bonus points for Mulligan, for whom it wasn't certain (to the audience) that his bus would come back; plus, you can't beat this line:HERCULES MULLIGAN I NEED NO INTRODUCTION YOU KNOCK ME DOWN I GET THE FUCK BACK UP AGAIN!
- In 2017, Lin-Manuel Miranda released a new song with The Decemberists all about... Benjamin Franklin of all people. And it's filled to the brim with awesome moments about the guy! Including him finding electricity and the French loving him. The last line really sells it:"I am Poor-Richards-Almanack-writing
Benjamin Fuckin Franklin"
- Adding on, the track isn't overly-bombastic and has a borderline acoustic tone that heavily relies on wordplay. Fitting for a man known for his sharp wit and ability to play to a room.
- Apparently, Miranda cut Ben Franklin from the stage show because he knew there was no way he wouldn't steal it.
- Speaking of Benjamin Franklin; "Cabinet Battle #3" from the Hamilton Mixtape is a dour, sobering song about how Washington and his cabinet failed to end slavery when they could. However, the conflict is over a petition Franklin wrote and signed on behalf of a Quaker delegation asking the slave trade be abolished. This was Franklin's last public act in his lifetime (he would pass away two months after submitting it to Congress), and unlike the rest of the Founding Fathers he passed away with his conscience clean. note
- In "One Last Time", Washington breaks the fourth wall and starts singing to the audience that "history has its eyes on you, you, you!" It will absolutely make you want to get up and do something meaningful.
- Just the fact that a hip-hop musical about American history and politics (with a mostly POC cast, to boot!) has become so popular, not just with critics, but with the general public, especially young people. Whoulda thunk?
- You have to hand it to Daveed Diggs. In his scenes as Lafayette, he raps at about eight words per second, in a French accent, doing choreography that is mostly him leaping and running around, which must be exhausting. Most people would pass out for lack of breath, but he does it like it's easy!
- And as Jefferson, his insanely fast-paced rap towards the end of "Washington On Your Side", after the whole song has gradually been getting faster and faster. Even better, Lin Manuel Miranda wrote that part specifically because of Diggs playing the part, since he knew he could pull it off.
- Renée Elise Goldsberry is nothing to sneeze at either: her rap in "Satisfied" is so fast ( and gives her less opportunities to breathe) that Miranda himself can't pull it off.
- Everything about the choreography of "The Reynolds Pamphlet". The company's dancing is totally disorganized and mostly improvised on the spot, the stage is in complete chaos, Burr, Jefferson, and King George dance gleefully and flamboyantly through the disarray and rejoice in the mistake, copies of the pamphlet itself fly everywhere... and in the middle of it all stands Hamilton, who can do nothing but stare at the chaos going on around him. He's literally watching his life fall apart before his eyes. And the lyrics at this point?Well, he's never gonna be president now (Never gonna be president now)
Never gonna be president now (Never gonna be president now)
Never gonna be president now (Never gonna be president now)
That's one less thing to worry about! That's one less thing to worry about!
- To anyone who doesn't know, there's a very famous legend that mentioning the play "Macbeth" in the theater is extremely bad luck. Props to Miranda for not only having the guts to write the name into his own play, but for doing it and proceeding to make everything as successful as it is.
- Miranda once stated that he is perfectly open to having women play the founding fathers, and in this "Ham4Ham" lottery show, we get a glimpse of how awesome that would be.
- When it was decided that the Ham4Ham ticket lottery would be moved online for the winter, the website (to some general fan disgruntlement and Miranda's horror) almost immediately crashed because over 53,000 people tried to enter. The lottery is for 21 seats.
- The Grammy awards broadcasted a live performance of Hamilton's opening number. This is the first time that the awards show has ever shown a performance of a musical live. It became a worldwide Trending Tweet and search interest in "Who is Alexander Hamilton" spiked!
- Upon winning the Grammy for Best Musical Album, Lin-Manuel Miranda read his acceptance rap. Doubles as Heartwarming because the speech ended with him saying "Sebastian, your daddy's bringing home a Grammy!"
- Lin's entrance and first line — simply "Alexander Hamilton" — was met with such applause that they had to stop the scene briefly. And when he continued with the next line, "My name is Alexander Hamilton", people were still applauding, so much so that Lin was very nearly drowned out!
- Hamilton: The Revolution, aka the Hamiltome, is now bestselling on Amazon and Audible (audiobook read by Lin, Jeremy McCarter, and Mariska Hargitay of Law & Order: SVU fame). #YayHamlet, indeed.
- Hillcrest High School's performance of "My Shot" starring Dezhane Te Hira as Hamilton. People are already rallying for Te Hira to audition for the Broadway play.
- BAPA's Competition Company performing Non-Stop from Hamilton the musical at Access Broadway's Regional Competition. George Washington's actor covers Burr's singing parts, and the choreography is spot on.
- With the 2016 Tony Awards announced, Hamilton broke the record with sixteen nominations.
- At the Tony Awards proper, doubling as a Heartwarming Moment, the Hamilton company performed "Yorktown" without prop guns to show respect to the victims of the Orlando shooting.
- The show winning a grand total of 11 Tonys, the second-most of any production in Broadway history (after The Producers in 2001). Included among those wins were Best Musical, Best Lead Actor for Leslie Odom, Jr., Best Featured Actor for Daveed Diggs, and Best Featured Actress for Renée Elise Goldsberry.
- Since two of those nominations were for one category (Best Actor) and three nominations were for another (Best Featured Actor), it could not have won more than 13 awards. It won in all but two of the categories in which it was nominated.
- In real life, Margarita 'Peggy' Schuyler is no woman to laugh at. When she was younger she volunteered to save her infant sister from a raiding party attacking her family home, saved her family from being killed by English soldiers, dodged a freaking tomahawk that was thrown at her, and scared off her attackers by telling them that her father was only minutes away with reinforcements while holding her younger infant sister in her arms. Even though she died at 45, Peggy also married the 10th richest man in American history and founder of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Bad. Ass.
- July 9th, 2016, was Lin Manuel Miranda and Phillipa Soo's last performances. The price for that performance's tickets? Up to Ten Thousand Freaking Dollars.
- The original cast's final curtain call, with Lin taking one more bow scored with the theme from The West Wing.
- Evie Rose Lane mixing together "Satisfied" and "Survivor" from Destiny's Child. It is glorious.
- Lin, Renee, and Daveed joining Questlove and Black Thought from the Roots for a Cypher at the 2015 BET Hip-Hop Awards.
- The original Schuyler sister actresses performing "America the Beautiful" at Super Bowl LI, ending with a simple "Sisterhood".
- Several cast members making a medley based around "How Far I'll Go" from Moana, played to Lin-Manuel on the red carpet just before the Oscars.
- The West End production earned a record breaking thirteen Olivier Award nominations, making it the most nominated musical or play in Olivier history.
- The 2018 film adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time adds a final quotation from Mrs. Who, "Tomorrow there'll be more of us, Miranda, American," effectively putting Lin-Manuel on the same level as the likes of Shakespeare and Buddha.
- After the 2016 US presidential election, Vice President-elect Mike Pence attended the show. When the cast found out, they ended the show with a brief statement expressing their fears about his administration and imploring him to work to better the country for all Americans.
- A group of Critical Role fans rewrote the entire soundtrack to cover 46 episodes of the show, shuffling the order of the songs and casting more than 60 singers. The result blew the Critical Role cast away, and can be found for free on Youtube.
- On the opening night of the West End production, Lin and Lacamoire (and his melodica) joined the cast for a mashup of Hamilton songs and famous Britpop songs, all in one take!
- The reports of Barack Obama, President of the United States from 2009 to 2017, working with Lin Manuel Miranda on a remix, with Obama himself as George Washington!
- The play is at least partially responsible for the US Treasury Department postponing if not cancelling plans to remove Hamilton from the ten dollar bill in favor of Harriet Tubman in 2016 — the show's popularity played a big role in the resurgence in interest and popularity in Hamilton the historical figure.
- On John Krasinski's Some Good News YouTube series, he got the entire original cast to reunite for one lucky fan to perform the entire opening number via Zoom.
- For people are inaccessible to stage theaters, On July 3rd, 2020, (one day before the Fourth of July), Disney+ started streaming the filmed version of "Hamilton". AWESOME!
- A week before the Disney+ premiere, the original cast joined Jimmy Fallon and the Roots crew for an "at-home instruments" rendition of "Helpless".
- During Miranda's viewing party of the Disney+ release on Twitter, he singled out Renee Elise Goldsberry as the only cast member who never made a single mistake on any performance, despite being saddled with one of the fastest songs.