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13 is the story of a Jewish boy named Evan, who moves to Appleton, Indiana from New York City after his parents get a divorce. He first befriends his neighbor Patrice, whose only other friend is Archie, the terminally ill nerd. Evan decides that, in order for his Bar Mitzvah to be a hit, he will have to become popular and unintentionally gets himself involved in a fight over the quarterback Brett between best friends Kendra and Lucy. Hilarity Ensues.

With music by Jason Robert Brown and a book by Dan Elish and Robert Horn. It was the first Broadway musical with an entirely teenage cast.

In 2019, Netflix announced a film adaptation. It was eventually released in 2022.

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This work shows examples of

  • Accidental Kiss: Brett and Archie.
    • "What's that taste?"
  • Adults Are Useless: All of the action takes place among the kids.
  • Against My Religion: Patrice jokes that bar mitzvahs are against her religion.
    Evan: The one day where everything is supposed to be happy and perfect!
    Patrice: See, Catholics don't have that. It would go against everything we believe in!
  • All Guys Want Cheerleaders: Averted with Evan, who goes for the only girl not on the cheerleading squad, Patrice, with everyone else, it's played straight with beautiful head cheerleader Kendra.
  • Alliterative Name: Molly Madison and Patrice Parker.
  • All Musicals Are Adaptations: Subverted. There was actually a book based on the musical.
    • Although it was written before the Broadway production.
  • Alpha Bitch:
    • Playing a bit with with Kendra, who is popular and sought-after, but also a self-proclaimed "good girl". She may have accidentally rubbed her date with Brett in Lucy's face, but it's debatable if she knew Lucy liked him or not.
    • Played straight with Lucy, who is popular, manipulative, selfish and in control. Though best friends with Kendra, she stole Brett from her and started spreading rumors about her dating Evan when the first plan backfired on her.
  • Angst: The opening number is angst in musical form.
  • Arc Number: Thirteen. There are thirteen main characters, all of whom are thirteen-years-old, who sing thirteen songs, the first of which switches between 6/8 and 7/8, for a total of... 13.
  • Beta Couple: Brett and Lucy or possibly Brett and Kendra depending on what part of the musical you're at.
  • Betty and Veronica: Brett between Kendra (Betty) and Lucy (Veronica).
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Patrice gives a pretty bad cold shoulder.
  • Big Man on Campus: Brett.
  • Bittersweet Ending
  • Black Comedy:
    • Archie. How many terminal illness jokes are there?
    • Also, Lucy has a bit of this going. Her comments about how fat she thinks she is are Played for Laughs when she probably has an eating disorder, which is confirmed during her line in "A Little More Homework To Do".
    • All of "Terminal Illness" (the middle of "All Hail The Brain") is black comedy focused on, well, Archie and his terminal illness.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Kendra, Lucy, and Patrice (personality wise).
  • Brainless Beauty: Kendra Quaker.
    • And Brett.
  • Brainy Brunette: Averted with the nerdy Patrice. Played straight with Archie and Lucy.
    • Evan's nickname is "The Brain".
  • The Cast Show Off: "Brand New You"
  • Catchphrase: Lucy would like to point out how hot she's looking today.
  • Cat Fight: Lucy and Kendra. Subverted when Brett doesn't stand and watch but breaks it up.
  • The Chessmaster: Lucy, being able to manipulate the entire school into believing her lie about Evan and Kendra, along with other manipulations.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Lucy, who thinks every girl who talks to Brett is flirting with him.
    Brett: Hi, Cassie.
    Lucy: Were you flirting with her?!
  • Does This Make Me Look Fat?: Lucy thinks every bad thing that happens to her her is because she's fat.
  • Dumb Blonde: Kendra and Brett.
  • Economy Cast: The cast had a grand total of 13 people.
  • Evil All Along: Brett.
  • Extreme Doormat: Patrice. Although she does stand up for herself, she's Always. Giving. Second. Chances.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Lucy goes from a good friend and confidante for Kendra who (If Lucy was telling the truth) gave up opportunities for Kendra to the Alpha Bitch who stole Kendra's boyfriend.
  • Girl Next Door: Patrice, who is the first to befriend Evan when he arrives and develops a crush on him. She's rather average compared to the other girls, who are all popular cheerleaders.
  • Girls Are Really Scared of Horror Movies: Kendra was screaming the whole time during the movie theater scene. But then again... someone got his penis set on fire and their eyelids torn off.
  • Give Geeks a Chance: Averted with Archie. Kendra still wants Brett. Although in the book Kendra kisses him after he writes a song for her... Despite what he says, however, he didn't get the tongue.
  • Gossip Evolution: The rumor Lucy creates starts off with first base, but makes its way around the bases.
  • Growing Up Sucks: This is the theme of the musical, with examples of the trope mentioned in "Thirteen".
    "Life goes wrong / Suddenly, they're yelling / 'cuz your hair's too long / or your room isn't clean..."
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: Brett. The audience doesn't know whether to root for him or not.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Evan and Patrice.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners:
    • Eddie and Malcolm.
    • Less so Evan and Archie.
  • "I Am Becoming" Song: "13/Becoming A Man"
  • Idiot Ball: Almost every character picks it up near the end because, for some reason, they all believe Lucy...
  • Innocent Soprano: Kendra, who is mentioned repeatedly as being Purity Personified and isn't that bright, is listed as a soprano.
  • Insidious Rumor Mill: What Lucy does to her best friend Kendra after Kendra starts dating Lucy's ex Brett. She spreads a rumor that Kendra is cheating on Brett with Evan, the guy who set the two up.
  • Intercourse with You: The first verse of "Hey Kendra".
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Subverted with Kendra and Evan's "thank you meeting" that Lucy sets up - it was how Lucy framed Kendra "cheating on Brett" with Evan.
  • Jerk Jock: Brett, once he finally shows his true colors.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Though the end of the play ultimately reveals Brett to be a jerk who was never intending to do anything nice for Evan, that doesn't change the fact that a huge chunk of the play is spent on his genuinely heartfelt romance with Kendra. We get his inner thoughts in song several times (heck, his relationship with Kendra is easily the focus of more songs than Evan's plotline is) and there's not a hint of malice in them.
  • Jewish Mother: Averted with Evan's mom, who we almost never hear from. Although, what we've heard about her slightly fits the trope.
  • Karma Houdini: Lucy. She intentionally breaks up Kendra and Brett. When they get back together thanks to Evan, it merely takes a rumor for Brett to beat up Evan and break up with Kendra. And the kicker? Lucy ends up with Brett at the end.
  • Kids Are Cruel: To Patrice and Archie, who are at the bottom of the school's food chain.
  • Kid Com: Takes place primarily in a middle school where all the cast members are tweens.
  • Kids Driving Cars: During the song "A Little More Homework", Eddie states he "got busted for driving his dad's pickup" when he turned thirteen.
  • Lampshade Hanging: "One day it gets better/One day it makes sense/One day I’ll stop talking in the friggin' future tense"!
  • Last Minute Hook Up: Evan and Patrice.
  • Love Hurts:
    • Poor, poor Patrice. Evan keeps blowing her off in an effort to succeed in his own goals, oblivious to her feelings for him.
    • Archie suffers a lot for his crush on Kendra, who is far out of his league and only interested in Brett.
  • Love Triangle: Lucy loves Brett who loves Kendra who is being obsessed over by Archie.
  • Lyrical Dissonance:
    • "Any Minute" could be considered a sweet love song, but it keeps the love song tone while Kendra and Brett are describing what is happening in the horror movie they're watching.
    • Let's not forget that although "Get Me What I Need" is catchy, there are parts where it's downright depressing.
    Here's the problem: every minute, every second that I wait
    Might be too late
    So let's face it, if I ever have a chance, the time is now
    So who cares how?
  • Mood-Swinger: Lucy is a milder example of this.
  • Musicalis Interruptus
    Eddie: Hey, Lucy, I've been thinking...
    Lucy: Can it Hobbit, I'm here for one reason and one reason only!
  • New Transfer Student: Evan, the protagonist from New York City who is forced to move to Indiana.
  • No Fourth Wall: "My neighbor, Patrice!"
  • Oblivious to Love: Kendra doesn't know that Archie has a thing for her, and Brett doesn't know how Lucy feels until she kisses him right after he and Kendra break up.
  • Only Sane Man: Evan, and possibly Patrice, the two most level-headed characters in the show.
  • Original Cast Precedent:
    • In most productions Kendra is blonde, Lucy has dark hair, and Evan has light brown hair.
    • Subverted with Brett and Patrice, who both have brown hair in most productions, but Brett had blonde hair on Broadway and Patrice had red hair on Broadway.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: Archie and Patrice.
  • Popular Is Dumb: Most of the popular students are...lacking, to put it nicely.
  • Popular Is Evil: All the popular kids shun Patrice for being different, and cheer Evan on when he rips up her invitation and humiliates her.
  • Purity Personified: Played for Laughs with Kendra, the "good girl" who can't even kiss a boy and must sign a virginity pledge at the end.
  • Rewritten Pop Version: "13 (Single Version)" and "A Little More Homework (Single Version)".
  • Self-Deprecation: Patrice does this to her hometown during "the lamest place in the world".
  • "Shut Up" Kiss: During "If That's What It Is", between Evan and Patrice.
  • Single-Target Sexuality:
    • Kendra and Lucy only want Brett.
    • Archie pines after Kendra, and is willing to do anything to get with her. Subverted in the end when she ditches him to go running back to Brett, and realizes that she is not worth it.
  • Spelling Song: Lucy sees an "O-P-P Opportunity".
    Kendra: O-P-P, O-R-T!
  • Take That!: If that’s what it is/Then that’s what it is/At least until Disney can re-write it...
  • Teens Are Monsters: Most of the characters aren't but Lucy and Brett fit.
  • Tenor Boy: All of the boys.
    • It is a Jason Robert Brown musical, after all.
  • 13 Is Unlucky: All of the characters are either 13 or just about to turn 13 and they encounter the typical teenage problems.
  • Thirteenth Birthday Milestone:
    • The story focuses on Evan, who is forced to move from New York City to Appleton, Indiana due to his parents' divorce just before his Bar Mitzvah, meaning he has to make enough friends by his 13th birthday to have a big blowout party, where he hopes his life will finally settle and he'll understand what it means to be a man. While it seems like Evan has lost everyone but the unpopular kids as friends due to finally standing up the Jerk Jock, Evan finally starts to understand what being a man means.
    • All of the characters treat turning 13 as a huge deal, as the title song suggests.
  • Those Two Guys: Eddie and Malcolm.
  • ˇThree Amigos!: Evan, Patrice, and Archie. Subverted in that Archie is not an Unlucky Childhood Friend, at least to Patrice.
  • Title Drop: The Whole. Frickin'. Opening. Number. Of course, it's kinda hard to avoid a title drop when it's a musical called 13 about 13-year-old kids. And guess how many kids there are? 13. It gets sort of weird when they say "13" again in a later song, with a completely different setting and only one character from the last song there.
  • Uncommon Time: The opening number uses a 13-beat pattern.
  • Uninvited to the Party: Evan wants to make his Bar Mitzvah the best party ever, and in the process, wants to invite the kids who will help him be popular. This means inviting everyone but the unpopular Patrice, who happened to be the only person who tried to befriend him in the first place. To add insult to injury, he outright pretends Patrice isn't standing next to him and destroys her invitation to make a good impression for the popular kids. Then, when he does end up inviting her to a movie party, he still ends up ignoring her and she leaves without being noticed.
  • Villain Song: Although Lucy isn't really a villain, "Opportunity" still fits.
  • Weirdness Magnet: Evan.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: "A Little More Homework".

Alternative Title(s): Thirteen The Musical