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Tear Jerker / Hamilton

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"There are moments that the words don't reach..."


Musical

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  • The entirety of Stay Alive (Reprise).
    • The Hamiltons' son Philip has been shot in a duel, the music simulates his fading heartbeat, and all his mother and father can do is try to comfort him. Eliza sings the scales she taught him when he was young, but he dies mid-count in the exact place he would change the beat as a child and, although it's left off the soundtrack, Eliza screams in utter anguish and despair. If you listened to the soundtrack before seeing the play, the scream is completely unexpected and overwhelming. This animatic edits the scream in. Prepare tissues.
    • And in the previous song, Hamilton advised him to aim for the sky for this reason:
      To take someone's life, that is something you can't shake
      Philip, your mother can't take another heartbreak
    • Even worse: As they're weeping over Philip's body, Hamilton takes her hand - and she pulls hers away. She still doesn't forgive him for his affair, especially now.
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    • Or even worse: Eliza has another reason not to forgive Alexander, as he knew of the duel and didn’t try to stop Phillip. And it was his affair that caused Eacker to publicly insult him, resulting in Phillip challenging him. In a way, Alex is responsible.
    • When Eliza arrives: "NO! Is he breathing, is he going to survive this?! Who did this?! Alexander, DID YOU KNOW?!"
    • Phillip’s line “I’m sorry for forgetting what you taught me.” He dies thinking he screwed up.
  • "Burn", Eliza's solo in the aftermath of the Hamilton–Reynolds sex scandal, as she mourns their past courtship and burns the letters he wrote her.
    • These lines:
      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,
      I'm burning the memories, burning the letters
      that might have redeemed you.
    • "How they perceive you...You, you, you...!" Just the way she almost snarls it. Because even though Alexander betrayed Eliza, ruined their lives, humiliated and disgraced her, the first thing he thought about was his legacy. In "The Reynolds Pamphlet", he only actually thinks about Eliza when Angelica calls him out on it.
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    • In any other show, Eliza would have called Maria a lot of names (and none of them would be flattering), but she only calls her "That girl", signaling that she doesn't blame her as much as she blames her husband (which says a lot given that the only version that anyone read/heard is Alexander's side of the story and she was married as well). Crosses this and Heartwarming, maybe Eliza knew that Maria didn't had any other option but continue with James' scheme (since one of the letters published is Maria trying to warn Alexander about her husband's plans) and, after all, Alexander was the one who ultimately decided to take her as a mistress, then announce the affair to the world to “protect his legacy”.
      • The line "in clearing your name, you have ruined our lives" is easy to hear as Eliza speaking of herself and the children-but given it comes immediately after her mention of Maria, it could also be an acknowledgement of how he essentially humiliated both women in one stroke. Given how wrecked the real Maria's life was after the pamphlet was published (see below), if one takes the line this way it is also a reminder of how the damage was much deeper than what we see onstage.
    • "First Burn", the original version, is even worse: Eliza's more scathing and angry than heartbroken. She calls him out for responding to "whispers" and to not even try to justify himself to her. Also, she knows how he looks at other women, like her sister, and that he can "stand in the corner" but not to come near her.
      Eliza: And when the time comes/Explain to the children/The pain and embarrassment/you put their mother through
      When will you learn/That they are your legacy/WE are your legacy?
    • There's this line: "Don't take another step in my direction/ I can't be trusted around you." Listen to how that line is phrased. It's not, "I don't want you near me," it's "I can't be trusted around you." This implies that Alexander is in the room with her, and she is so furious at his betrayal that she's afraid if he comes closer, she might do something she may or may not regret later.
    • She also implies that she is burning the letters since she sees them as lies. Remember, according to the play, it was the letters they sent for two weeks that convinced her to marry him. She's thinking "Were all these pretty words just to get me into a marriage to raise your social standing?"
  • "It's Quiet Uptown"’ as Eliza and Alexander grieve Philip.
    "Philip, you would like it uptown, it's quiet uptown."
    • Hamilton saying that he would give his own life to have Philip back and make Eliza happy again.
    • Not only that, but the words he uses make it sound like he thinks Eliza would be happier if Alexander was dead.
      Alexander: If I could trade his life for mine...
      He'd be standing here right now,
      And you would smile,
      That would be enough.
    • On the recording, you can hear Lin's voice crack as he is fighting back tears.
    • Both the melody and the lyrics perfectly capture the indescribable feeling of losing a child.
      "They are going through the unimaginable."
    • In live performances, when Hamilton sings "Look around, look around, Eliza," he's despairing, since she still refuses to react to him. Her blank, expressionless face can be quite the kick in the teeth compared to her very visible anguish at Philip's deathbed, Alexander's despair, and Angelica's pained narration. In the film, there are conspicuous tear tracks on Philippa Soo's face, driving the contrast even further home.
    • And then she does, at "She takes his hand...". Followed by Alexander collapsing in tears and Eliza bringing him in close.
    • Throughout the song, Eliza is silent, and really just...stands on the stage, unmoving. Because at this point, Eliza is just utterly broken by everything.
    • On the soundtrack, Miranda is quiet and almost thoughtful throughout the song, and sounds so exhausted more than anything. In live performances, however, Miranda is almost sobbing with every line, to the point that "Philip you would like it uptown, it's quiet uptown..." is practically whimpered.
    • The fact that the chorus can't help but feel concerned about Hamilton as he's consumed more and more by grief. Not too long ago they were extremely curt and cool towards him over the affair and the Reynolds Pamphlet, with some of them even cutting off their relationships.
      "His hair has gone grey. He passes every day. They say he walks the length of the city..."
      "If you see him in the street, walking by himself, talking to himself, have pity."
  • "I imagine death so much it feels more like a memory..." Every time.
  • "Satisfied":
    • Angelica's epic I Want My Beloved to Be Happy moment, coming after the lush romantic sweetness of Eliza's own song "Helpless". She's hopelessly in love with Alexander, but she loves her sister more.
      I know my sister like I know my own mind,
      you will never find anyone as trusting or as kind,
      if I'd tell her that I love him she'd be silently resigned,
      he'd be mine,
      she'd say "I'm fine,"
      she'd be lying!
    • Want to make it worse? She knows Alexander's ambition knows no bounds, it's part of why she fell in love with him, but she knows her sister's kind and trusting heart enough to warn her when the courtship starts, as Eliza says in Burn: "Be careful with that one, love, he'll do what it takes to survive." In love she might be, but she is far from blind to his faults... and he proves her right.
  • Hamilton's eponymous song (the first song in the show) wastes no time in getting one of these in:
    When he was ten his father split, full of it, debt-ridden,
    two years later, see Alex and his mother bed-ridden,
    half-dead, sittin' in their own sick, the scent thick,
    (whispered) And Alex got better but his mother went quick.
    • The reference to the same incident in "Hurricane":
    I was twelve when my mother died,
    she was holding me,
    we were sick and she was holding me—
    I couldn’t seem to die.
    • Another line from the opening:
      "Moved in with a cousin, the cousin committed suicide. Left him with nothing but ruined pride, something new inside. A voice saying, 'Alex, you gotta fend for yourself.'"
  • The implications that Hamilton despite being a Determinator is also a Death Seeker because he sees that life is too short and can be swept down at any time, with his mother's death and the hurricane. He wants to take command of a battalion after being married, and Washington has to call him out on not following orders and not trying to stay alive when he's needed. It gets worse when Hamilton finds out that Eliza is pregnant, and knowing that she's waiting for him and expecting her child motivates him to stay alive through the battle of Yorktown. After the war, he seems to court disaster on a regular basis.
    "If this is the end of me, at least I have a friend with me (...) Then I remember my Eliza's expecting me. Not only that, my Eliza's expecting! We gotta go! Gotta get the job done! Gotta start a new nation, gotta meet my son!"
  • Aaron Burr's last thought before the duel? "This man will not make an orphan of my daughter." After realizing he's fatally shot Hamilton he shouts "WAIT!", tries to go to him but is ushered away, watches Hamilton's body taken back across the river, and goes to get a drink.
    History obliterates
    And every picture it paints,
    It paints me in all my mistakes
    • The reason why he is so paranoid as he practically screams it's either him or Hamilton and the parts "Look him in the eye aim no higher"? Hamilton is known to be a good marksman whereas Burr... "my fellow soldiers'll tell you I'm a terrible shot." Couple that with the fact that Hamilton wore his glasses, and it's clear Burr was convinced that if he lets Hamilton shoot it's quite simply over for him because Burr might not hit the target but Hamilton surely will.
  • "Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story" is essentially the epilogue of Alexander's life. Also a Heartwarming Moment, given Eliza's devotion to preserving her late husband's memory.
    Oh, I can't wait to see you again
    It's only a matter of time
    • That "matter of time" would go on to be be for fifty years; she outlives the rest of the characters in the musical by two decades.
    • The fact that this song is the show's finale number. We're used to musicals ending with big and climatic songs, so ending the show with such a soft and reflective song can help you feel connected to the characters as they end their story.
    • The moment where the company first sings Eliza's name and she says she put herself back in the narrative is a happy one. Just in case you doubted it after "It's Quiet Uptown" and "Best of Wives, Best of Women", she really did forgive Hamilton from the bottom of her heart.
    • The finale in general will probably cause some people to dissolve into tears, but Eliza's line, "And when my time is up, have I done enough? Will they tell your story?" in particular is heartbreaking. Think of everything Eliza accomplished trying to uphold Alexander's legacy. She did exactly what he would've wanted, and did so much good in the fifty years she lived after his death... and she still thinks it wasn't enough.
    • One performance of the song at Graham Windham (IE, the actual orphanage Eliza helped to establish) actually managed to make it worse. When Eliza sang that line, the children sang back, "Eliza, you have done enough!" I mean...
    • When Eliza says that the accomplishment she's proudest of is the orphanage she founded, it's practically impossible not to dissolve into a puddle of tears.
    • Immediately after mentioning raising money for the Washington Monument, with Washington's specter chiming in, Eliza sings that she spoke out against slavery. Washington looks noticeably ashamed, vanishing out of the spot light. In Real Life, Washington never used his influence and power to speak out against slavery, and only freed his own slaves at the end of his life.
    • The Breaking the Fourth Wall moment at the end of the show where Alexander leads Eliza to the front of the stage to show her the audience - who had all come to basically hear her tell the story of her husband and his compatriots. Her shocked gasp can get the waterworks going.
    • The Workshop version is slightly worse. Despite the song supposedly being more uplifting, the last note is in a depressing minor key, which makes the Bittersweet Ending more bitter than sweet.
  • Just the regret in Burr's voice when he sings, "I should've known that the world was wide enough for both Hamilton and me." You can just tell he'd do anything to change what happened, but he can't. In fact, his entire verse following the duel is just heartbreaking, his quiet realization and regret, the various Arc Words he repeats in an exhausted, broken, emptied-out voice.
  • How excited Hamilton was when he met Burr for the first time when you know what's going to happen at the end.
  • A subtle one in "Schuyler Defeated", when Burr has usurped Hamilton's father-in-law's senate seat — worse still because of where they started together and the fact that despite his building jealousy in "The Room Where It Happens", Burr seems to mean it.
    Hamilton: I've always considered you a friend—
    Burr: I don't see why that has to end.
  • This little part in "My Shot":
    Hamilton: Oh, am I talkin' too loud?
    Sometimes I get over excited, shoot off at the mouth
    I never had a group of friends before
    I promise that I'll make y'all proud—
    • From the same song, Hamilton explaining that he had always expected to die young and this is the first time he's had a future to look forward to.
      • As well as his blink-and-you'll-miss-it remark that though he believes the revolution is inevitable and necessary he knows there is a real possibility it'll only make things worse by starting a cycle of revenge and bloodshed between Britain and the colonies.
  • Hamilton's entire verse in "The World was Wide Enough". He sounds absolutely terrified, conflicted and heartbroken as his voice breaks and he starts calling out his Arc Words disjointedly, panicking, before he slips into tearful realization as he understands that he's about to die, and sees all his deceased loved ones waiting for him. His last thoughts are of his wife, and the freedom he helped bring to America.
    Hamilton: My love, take your time
    I'll see you on the other side
    Raise a glass to freedom...
    Chorus: HE AIMS HIS PISTOL AT THE SKY!
    Burr: WAIT!
    • Burr doesn't just say "Wait!" He speaks "He aims his pistol at the sky" with the chorus. With each word, you can tell he's becoming more and more panicked when he realizes that he just shot Hamilton when he was never aiming at him to begin with, and "Wait!" isn't spoken, it's screamed, panicked and terrified and heartbroken.
    • And just before that: "Rise up, rise up, rise upELIZA!" It's worse if you see it live. Throughout the song, Hamilton and Burr are on separate sides of the rotating platform, which slowly spins in a circle as everyone except Hamilton and the actor representing the bullet freezes in place, the bullet slowly moving towards an increasingly-frantic Hamilton (with the "rise up, rise up, rise up" bit sounding like he's hyperventillating) — until he screams Eliza's name. He turns to face Burr, and Eliza appears in the center of the platform, reaching her hand towards Hamilton.
    • A YouTube comment describes Hamilton's final monologue as "dying ramblings". Unlike the rest of the musical, where Hamilton is shown to be not only extremely intelligent but articulate as well (often through the medium of fast-paced rapping and inter-rhymes), the thoughts have no pretty much no coherent structure at all - they are just the final, desperate thoughts of a man who knows that he is doomed.
    • This video actually removes Hamilton's dying monologue, going from the final count to ten straight to "he aims his pistol at the sky", and if anything it actually makes the song even sadder. It truly emphasizes just how fast Alexander Hamilton died - without the 90 second section, his life ends in literally a single moment.
  • "Laurens' Interlude", where Hamilton learns of Laurens' death. Hamilton is clearly stunned (even worse, Laurens died in a skirmish after the war was officially over note ), then shuts down and declares there's so much he needs to do.
    • It gets worse. "Tomorrow There'll Be More Of Us" casts "Non-Stop" in an entirely new light, with Hamilton reminded of his own mortality.
      Laurens: Tomorrow there'll be more of us...
      Full Company, Non-Stop: How do you write like tomorrow won't arrive?
      Full Company, Non-stop: How do you write like you're running out of time, like you're running out of time, are you running out of time?
    • Adding to the pain: those who saw the play also saw that Lafayette and Mulligan also received letters about Laurens' death. Lafayette slumps over after reading the letter, and Mulligan pulls out a flask.
      • What's worse for poor Mulligan, if you recall the lyrics from "My Shot", "I got y'all knuckleheads en loco parentis", he was a Parental Substitute for John and Lafayette. Laurens' death no-doubt felt like losing a son in Mulligan's eyes.
    • The worst part is, as stated in the Workshop version, all of Laurens' remaining troops had to go back to their owners, so Laurens' dream of everyone being set free has also been dashed.
    • It gets worse. Somehow, it gets worse. The last scene where Laurens and Hamilton are together is the beginning of the song Meet Me Inside, when Hamilton gets fired from his job on Washington's staff. They're never seen together again in the play, as Laurens (contrary to our history) is in South Carolina rather than at Yorktown. In the play, Laurens never saw Hamilton reunite with Washington, or Hamilton's moment of glory, or Hamilton celebrating the birth of his son.
  • "Dear Theodosia" can be a tearjerker of the happy tears variety, with Burr and Hamilton's devotion to their respective children, and their unconditional love for them, but it's a bit hard to listen to their promises to make the world a better place for them when you know that they both outlived the children they're singing to. note 
    • There's a reprise of "Dear Theodosia" that was cut from the final stage version, in which Burr has to tell his young daughter that her mother - his wife - has died. He breaks down into helpless, tortured sobbing part way through, and almost loses it again later in the song.
  • "The Election of 1800" — whatever you might think about Burr, it hurts to see him so happy, finally striving for something he really wants, only to have Hamilton destroy his dream. Adding salt to the wound is the fact that Hamilton does so by voting for Jefferson, a man he despises, and accusing Burr of lacking principles after Burr has spent the whole play living by the maxim of not letting anyone know what his opinions are so as to avoid making enemies.
    • And Jefferson decides to twist the knife by not only refusing him, but refusing him rudely then, when Aaron Burr leaves, telling Burr to thank Hamilton for the endorsement.
    • Perhaps the worst part is the look on Burr’s face when Hamilton announces he’s endorsing Jefferson. It slowly changes from excitement to upset and disbelief that he’s lost.
  • The double casting is a bit of a meta tearjerker. Hamilton's overcome with emotion upon first meeting Lafayette, Laurens, and Mulligan, because he's "never had a group of friends before" and later mentions that Peggy Schuyler "confides in him". Lafayette and Mulligan get replaced with his political enemies, Peggy gets replaced with a pawn for a scheme against him (one that nearly destroys his marriage to Peggy's sister) and he gets to watch his best friend die tragically young again as his son. By the end of the musical Aaron Burr is the only friend he has left over from the first act.
  • Hamilton and Washington's fight in "Meet Me Inside". Particularly when Washington admits to denying him command of a battalion out of concern for his safety. Hamilton finds it patronizing rather than touching.
    Hamilton: I'm more than willing to die!
    Washington: Your wife needs you alive, son, I need you alive
    Hamilton: ''Call me "son" one more time!
    • This results in Washington basically firing him from his position.
    Washington: Go home, Alexander. That's an order from your commander.
    Hamilton: Sir—
    Wahington: Go. Home.
    • Keep in mind, Washington's called him "son" in "Right-hand Man" as well, prompting no remarks. When he does so in this song, Hamilton says, in order "Don't call me 'son'", "I'm NOT your son," and then finally, yelling, "Call me 'son' one more time!".
    • This gets worse in the next song, "That Would Be Enough", when Hamilton learns that Eliza asked Washington to keep him out of danger because she's pregnant and doesn't want their child to be fatherless.
    • Oh, it gets even worse somehow. See, the historical Washington desired to have children of his own (the ones he raised with Martha were from another marriage) and it’s known that he acted like a Father to His Men to his soldiers. Listen to his tone when he says “Go home.” It’s barely restrained anger and possibly even fighting back tears. His tone isn’t “I’m furious at my soldier for defying my orders” but more distraught that the man he likely viewed as his son took his fatherly affections and threw it back at his face.
      • In "That Would Be Enough", Eliza tells him just to "stay alive," and he doesn't even manage that by the end of the musical, going to his death by dueling Burr.
  • Somewhat unexpectedly, since it would be easy for another show to vilify her completely: Maria Reynolds' part in "Say No To This" after Hamilton rushes in to confront her about her husband's blackmail attempt. The show is agnostic about whether she knew about her husband's intentions, but it pulls no punches about her anguish and desperation.
    Maria: Please don't leave me with him, helpless--
    • And really, even if she did know her husband would blackmail Hamilton, what position would've she been in if she'd tried to say no and refuse to participate? Best case scenario: her husband would treat her even worse than before. Worst case: she's on the streets, no husband and no prospects. A woman at the time, especially a poor woman like Maria, would've had nowhere else to go. It's clear that her story about him being abusive wasn't a complete fabrication—and she can't leave. Poor girl.
      • It's even worse if you know how the Reynolds Pamphlet affected her and how the text makes her the seductress in the affair. She had to give up custody of her daughter Susan, and was publicly scorned even after she had divorced Reynolds and moved to another state and changed her name. She also wrote her side of the story, which was never published. It's a small wonder that during "The Reynolds Pamphlet" she shoots Hamilton an Et Tu, Brute? look and walks away from him.
    • In a meta sense, the show's tightlipped nature about her involvement is also sad. As Lin himself pointed out, "Say No to This" is highly biased in Hamilton's favor-because he's narrating (see: "Alexander's by himself; I'll let him tell it"). So while the audience can still make their own decisions as far as lending Maria their sympathy goes, he still attempts to paint her as a conniving temptress when given the chance. He's so ashamed of what he's done that Alexander, the one person in the show who should understand Maria's need to keep her reputation, attempts to deny her the chance to make her own narrative. He denies her a legacy.
    • The workshop version of "Say No To This" added a little something around the middle that only made it worse. One can only assume that the reason this was cut was because it made Hamilton look too much like an asshole:
      Eliza: Helpless
      Look into your eyes and the sky's the limit!
      I'm helpless...
      Angelica: He will never be satisfied.
      He will never be satisfied...
  • In "History Has Its Eyes On You", Washington finally gives Hamilton command, but he opens by describing his disastrous first battle in which he got his men slaughtered. Then Washington confesses that the prospect of being remembered only for his failures still haunts him.
    I made every mistake
    And felt the shame rise in me
    And even now I lie awake
    Knowing history has its eyes on me
    • Made worse when you remember Charles Lee saying Washington is unfit for command. This and other mistakes really did haunt Washington's career.
  • "Hurricane," as Hamilton contemplates what he can do after Jefferson and company find out about what happened between him and Maria Reynolds. The first verse, where he describes a hurricane that hit his town when he was 17 years old, is especially emotional.
    When I was seventeen a hurricane destroyed my town
    I didn’t drown — I couldn’t seem to die
    I wrote my way out
    Wrote everything down far as I could see
    I wrote my way out
    I looked up and the town had its eyes on me...
    • Already mentioned above, him alluding to his mother's death and how he was sick at the same time... but he "couldn't seem to die...", sounding like he's either disappointed he couldn't accomplish a task seemingly that simple or wishing he had gone with his mother.
  • "Best of Wives and Best of Women" is Alexander and Eliza's last conversation before his fateful duel with Burr. Even though he knows he's going to die and is trying to put his affairs in order, Alexander plays it off like another regular meeting so Eliza won't be worried.
    Hamilton: I'll be back before you know I'm gone.
    • In "The World Was Wide Enough" Burr mentions that Angelica and Eliza were with Alexander when he died. Eliza must have woken up to the sudden news that her husband, whom she had just spoken to a few hours ago, had been fatally shot. And then she had to watch him die, just as she had watched their eldest son die. Poor Eliza.
  • A tiny but heartbreaking moment in "Take a Break" - as Angelica arrives, she and Eliza joyfully sing each other's name in their respective melodies, but there's a pregnant, empty pause where Peggy was supposed to chime in. She died at 42 in 1801.
    • Angelica crossed the ocean after not seeing Alexander in ages, but doesn't get to spend time with him because he's so focused on his work.
      Angelica: You're not joining us, wait?
      Alexander: I'm afraid I cannot join you upstate.
      Angelica: Alexander, I came all this way!
    • Also the Irony in that Hamilton does need a break, but he refuses to take it with his family. Instead, he starts his affair with Maria Reynolds. In her invoked Cut Song Angelica calls out Hamilton for this.
  • "One Last Time", the two Flat "What"'s that Hamilton gives, first when he learns Jefferson resigned, then when he actually says it after finding out Washington is stepping down. It's a real punch in the gut that only gets worse when Hamilton tries to convince Washington not to step down.
    Hamilton: Mr. President, they will say you're weak.
    Washington: No, they will say we're strong.
    Hamilton: Your position is so unique!
    Washington: So, I'll use it to move them along.
    Hamilton: (growing desperate) Why do you have to say goodbye?!
    Washington: If I say goodbye, the nation learns to move on. It outlives me when I'm gone.
    • The next lines show just how tired Washington is by this point. He's led the country to freedom and struggled to keep the whole thing from falling to pieces off-and-on for nearly twenty years when all he really wants to do is go home to Mt. Vernon and live a peaceful life as a farmer. Unlike Jefferson, Burr, and Hamilton, Washington never wanted power, and it's clear that all the work has exhausted him, and he knows he doesn't have much more to give.
      Like the scripture says
      "Everyone shall sit under their own vine and fig tree
      And no one shall make them afraid."
      They'll be safe in the nation we've made.
      I want to sit under my own vine and fig tree
      A moment alone in the shade
      At home in this nation we've made
      One last time...
  • If you feel stuck where you are for any reason, "Wait For It" can hit hard.
    • "If there's a reason I'm still alive, when everyone who loves me has died, then I'm willing to wait for it."
      • The line is already heartbreaking in the context of his parents dying, but it gets even worse knowing that Burr outlived both Theodosias (his first wife and his daughter; the latter was not quite 30 when she died.)
    • The last verse can strike a nerve for anyone who's been overshadowed by a rival:
      What is it like in his shoes?
      Hamilton doesn't hesitate, he exhibits no restraint
      takes and he takes and he takes
      And he keeps winning anyway
      Changes the game, plays and he raises the stakes
      And if there's a reason he seems to thrive when so few survive
      then goddamnit, I'm willing to wait for it
  • There's some serious Mood Whiplash at the end, but during "I Know Him", King George seems genuinely sad and melancholic when he hears George Washington is retiring, as the real-life version was. In his own words: "Next to Washington they all look small."
    They say
    George Washington’s yielding his power and stepping away
    Is that true?
    I wasn’t aware that was something a person could do
    I’m perplexed
    Are they gonna keep on replacing whoever’s in charge?
    If so, who’s next?
    There’s nobody else in their country who looms quite as large
  • Eliza's only line in "It's Quiet Uptown".
    Angelica: There are moments when the words don't reach.
    There's a grace too powerful to name.
    We push away what we can never understand,
    we push away the unimaginable.
    They are standing in the garden,
    Alexander by Eliza's side.
    She takes his hand...
    Eliza: ...It's quiet uptown.
    Chorus: Forgiveness — can you imagine?
    Forgiveness. Can you imagine...?
    • Alexander begins weeping after Eliza takes his hand. Partly because of his grief over his son's death but mostly because, after what was probably years, Eliza has finally forgiven him.
  • The last time we see Washington on stage until the finale is during "The Reynolds Pamphlet", where he fixes Hamilton with a stare of utter disapproval and disappointment, and Hamilton has to look away in shame.
    • When Angelica calls Hamilton out and emphasises her love for her sister, Miranda plays Hamilton as having a dawning look of horror, realizing too late just what he's done to his wife.
      • Bear in mind, apart from the very last line ("His poor wife"), Angelica is the only one who even considers Eliza in this whole mess. Alexander is too busy being obsessed with his ruined carreer, and everyone else is too busy being happy and smug he's "never gon' be president now."
    • As Jefferson and the others read the pamphlet aloud, we see Phillip wander on stage, looking lost, hurt, and confused as his father publicly confesses to his infidelities. He even backs up into Jefferson he's so lost his bearings. Burr and Jefferson don't help when they proceed to rub his nose in all of the gritty details.
  • The Hamilton Mixtape sets up something simple with "Cabinet Battle #3": the Founding Fathers wanted to find an answer to their dependence on slavery, but couldn't at the time without America's infrastructure collapsing. Hamilton, Washington, Jefferson, Madison, even Benjamin Franklin are at a loss for a solution. The spartan arrangement with just Miranda's distorted voice makes it all the more sobering; the founders of our nation TRIED to correct one of its greatest atrocities and threw their hands up in defeat. The ending, in particular, hits hard when you remember just how long it took to finally abolish slavery.
    ...Let's hope the next generation thinks of something better.
    • To sum up the sides, Jefferson says that they don't have an answer to the question (such as "do freed slaves get sent back to Africa or do they get their own state or...?") and the Constitution states the issue is not to be decided before 1808 anyways as the last bit the South was ready to compromise on, Hamilton says that they waited enough and waiting more will only make the problems worse, and Madison insists that the debate be postponed till 1808 but that they will stop the worst of the trading with January 1st of that year no matter what. Washington concedes Madison's proposal, saying that he may agree waiting will make the problems worse but if they abolish slavery all willy nilly every slave owner will demand compensation.
  • The Cut Song, Ten Things, One Thing, gives us more insight as to what Hamilton is thinking when he is dueling Burr, listed in the exact same way that Burr listed his thoughts. In order: he wrote a letter detailing what he intended to do in the duel, which includes throwing away his shot, something he swore to never do. After seeing the sun in the sky, he freaks out at the fact that he's at the same spot his son died in. When he was "examining the gun with such rigor", he was actually examining the gun because it's the exact same gun that Phillip had, and realizing that his son must’ve been so scared when he died. Not only that, but he was also regretting not leaving Eliza with a better letter, especially after the shit that went on with Reynolds. Perhaps the most heart wrenching thing of all is that, in this one instance, Hamilton relied on Burr's hesitance to stand for anything and his hatred for dueling in general. The reason he put his glasses on, which triggered Burr to kill him? To see if Burr was softening up. Yes. He threw his shot away hoping that Burr wouldn't shoot him.
  • The tragedy of Burr and Hamilton's relationship. It's very clear that the two are friends and that they learned off each other (Hamilton learned to talk less and smile more while Burr learned to aim for his ambitions) but when they did, it ended up causing a huge rift between them.
  • Everything about Philip's death. From the fact that he died unfairly at the age of 19, to the heartbreaking entirety of "It's Quiet Uptown," to the fact that even Madison and Jefferson, Hamilton's sworn enemies, have to pull themselves together when they hear about it at the beginning of "The Election of 1800." Madison even comes onstage openly crying and dapping at his face with a tissue; it's Played for Laughs, but it's still incredibly tragic to see.
    • Jefferson makes sense when you realize that, in the time before he appears at the beginning of Act 2, he has already lost four of his own children and his wife, and four of those five were dead before he left for France to begin with. A fifth child died while he was in France, leaving two daughters alive by the time of Philip's death. Everything Hamilton felt, Jefferson had already gone through five times. He wasn't just sympathizing with Alexander, he was empathizing.
  • The cut One Last Ride Reprise, AKA Washington's Death Song. As the lyrics mention, it brought Hamilton, Burr, Madison, and Jefferson together one last time to grieve.
  • The live action performance of Non-stop ends with Eliza and Angelica holding on to Hamilton's arms, only for him to rip himself out of their grasps, stare each in the eye, and defiantly yell "I am NOT throwing away my shot!"

Meta and Real Life

  • Oskar Eustis, the artistic director who helped create Hamilton, lost his son Jack during the production of the show. Hours after Jack's death, Lin-Manuel Miranda emailed Eustis and his wife, including a demo of "It's Quiet Uptown" with hope that it would help them. When Eustis returned to the production, he told Miranda that not only had the song helped them, but they had listened to it every single day since their son's passing. In fact, for a while, it was the only music they had been able to listen to.
  • Peggy, the youngest of the Schuyler sisters and The Baby of the Bunch, died of an illness at 45. Imagine Angelica and Eliza finding out their baby sister died. Doubles as Heartwarming as Alexander promised the dying Peggy that he'd stay by her side until the end. He was genuinely saddened by Peggy's death and attended her funeral in Eliza's place.
  • Upon hearing Phillip had been shot, Alexander fell to the ground. Hamilton was absolutely grief-stricken when Philip died. He reportedly had to be held up by friends when he went to Philip’s grave. Robert Troup once said, "Never did I see a man so completely overwhelmed with grief as Hamilton had been."
  • The fate of Angelica Hamilton, Phillip's little sister. After the death of her beloved brother, she went mad with grief and regressed to the state of a child, a state she would remain in for the rest of her days. She died two years after Eliza.
    • To make it even worse: If she had such a bad reaction to Phillip's death, then just imagine how she felt when she found out Hamilton had been shot. Years after that, Eliza would die of old age and Angelica would spend two more years grieving over the death of her mother, before finally passing away at the age of 72.
    • In short, Phillip died when Angelica was 17, and she died at 72. That means she spent 55 years grieving over the loss of her family.
    • If you really feel like torturing yourself, read some of Alexander's letters relating to his daughter at the time. They're devastating, and you can really feel his helplessness as he tries to help her, but doesn't know what he can do. One notable instance is a letter where he wrote to a friend that was travelling abroad, asking them to bring back some birds, since he knows Angelica loves them and he thinks seeing some might cheer her up a bit.
  • The contracts for the many of the actors expired in July 2016. It's normal for casts to be replaced in theatre, but it was hard to say goodbye to "Hamilton"'s original cast, especially with how involved they are with the fans by doing the ham4ham shows, which offers fans a taste of the show, even if they aren't able to win tickets. One of the biggest questions was whether or not the new cast would continue the ham4ham tradition.
  • Lin's acceptance speech for the Best Original Score Tony, delivered in the form of a sonnet the day after the mass shooting in the Orlando Pulse club, will reduce people to tears.
    Lin: My wife’s the reason anything gets done.
    She nudges me towards promise by degrees.
    She is a perfect symphony of one;
    Our son is her most beautiful reprise.
    We chase the melodies that seem to find us,
    Until they’re finished songs and start to play.
    When senseless acts of tragedy remind us,
    That nothing here is promised, not one day.
    This show is proof that history remembers.
    We live through times when hate and fear seem stronger.
    We rise and fall and light from dying embers.
    Remembrances that hope and love lasts long.
    And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love
    Cannot be killed or swept aside.
    I sing Vanessa’s symphony; Eliza tells her story.
    Now fill the world with music, love, and pride.
    • Due to the Pulse shootings, "Yorktown" was performed without prop guns. The image of all the soldiers freezing in their poses without weapons in their hands is surprisingly powerful.
    • At the end of the ceremony, the cast performed "The Schuyler Sisters." Given the fact that the shooting targeted a gay club, specifically on "Latino Night," and theater's long, involved history with the LGBT and POC community, suddenly the "Look around, look around, at how lucky we are to be alive right now" become much more poignant.
  • Renee's acceptance speech for best featured actress in a musical had her telling that she spent 10 years trying to have kids, and this was her result. The poor woman was crying her heart out.
    Renee: God gave me Benjamin, he gave me Brielle, and he still gave me this!
  • Miranda's footnote in the libretto that "Stay Alive (Reprise)" has understandably gotten much harder to perform every night after he became a father.
  • Hearing/watching "Burn" is bad enough, as Eliza is utterly isolated as she sings about Hamilton's betrayal - and then some fans have made animations of her singing the song to Alexander, and his guilty and heartbroken reactions as he realises she means to cut him out of her life.
  • Hamilton's America:
    • While discussing "Wait for It," everyone notes that Burr had just become an orphan, and his coping mechanism in the musical was to withdraw and plan to survive.
    • The documentary makes Burr more sympathetic by pointing out that Hamilton thwarted his chance of becoming president AND governor or New York.
    • Leslie and Lin poring over the letter exchanges between Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton. They point out with sad laughter that there was a lot of time to apologize. Doubling as a Funny Moment since they later practice loading the pistols, and Lin realizes that there were many missed opportunities to prevent the duel.
    • Daveed and Chris discussing the elephant in the room that is their characters being famous slave owners.
    • Lin and Phillipa leaving flowers at Eliza Schuyler Hamilton's grave. They then view it soberly.
    • Leslie also stands by Aaron Burr's grave, and talks about how Burr had so much potential, and that Hamilton's death ruined Burr's life.
      • The way Leslie talks about Burr is honestly heartbreaking. He points out that, through history, we see Burr only in his worst moments. As the play says in "The World Was Wide Enough," Burr is painted as a villain in history books due to the mistakes he made and the way they overshadowed any other accomplishments throughout his life. Burr fought in the Revolutionary War and was present for many of the early politics of our country, and if not for his duel with Hamilton and its aftermath, he likely would be considered one of our country's founding fathers alongside Hamilton, Washington, Jefferson, and many of the other characters seen throughout the play.
        Leslie: If all you’re looking at is our worst act on our worst day, any of us could be painted as a villain.
  • The cast performance at the White House if only because it ends with Chris Jackson singing One Last Time, where Washington steps down from office. Seeing as it was so close to the end of the Obama administration, it was no surprise Lin, ensemble member Ariana Debose and Vice President Joe Biden were left with tears in their eyes.
  • This animatic of "Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story" is basically impossible to get through without tearing up. If the image Eliza dying, surrounded by a family that adores her, doesn't get the waterworks going, her reuniting with her sisters and son in Heaven definitely will. Most of the comments admit that Eliza seeing Phillip again is the moment when they began bawling. And if that doesn't do it, how about her reunion with Hamilton, courtesy of John Laurens?
  • Similar to the encore at the Tonys, the 2020 cast performed "The Schuyler Sisters" at that year's Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Given that the parade happened in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, which New York had been hit particularly hard by, "look around, at how lucky we are to be alive right now...in the greatest city in the world" sounded particularly meaningful.

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