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Theatre / 21 Chump Street

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21 Chump Street is a fifteen-minute musical play created by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Based on 21 Jump Street and an episode of This American Life, the play tells the story of Park Vista Community High School senior Justin Laboy as he falls in love with transfer student Naomi Rodriguez. Unbeknownst to Justin, Naomi is actually a twenty-five-year-old cop part of "Operation: D Minus", an operation for police officers to go undercover in high schools and find drug dealers.


Although there have only been two official showings of the musical, it has a full soundtrack. The role of Justin was originated by Anthony Ramos (known for being John Laurens and Phillip Hamilton in Hamilton), and Naomi by singer and actress Lindsay Mendez. The chorus was played by Alex Boniello, Gerard Canonico, and Antwaun Holley. Lin-Manuel himself played the role of a narrator that interacts with the two leads.


Contains examples of:

  • Arc Words: "What the heck (...)"
  • Bittersweet Ending: "Operation: D Minus" is a success, as dozens of legitimate illegal dealers are caught and tried for their crimes. Sadly, Justin is one of them (despite not truly being a dealer), and his life is forever ruined by his decision. Naomi laments that she'll never forget Justin and shows remorse for somewhat forcing him to sell to her.
  • Break the Cutie: Justin is pretty much a picture-perfect example of this. He starts off as a relatively happy straight-A student who just wants to go to prom with a girl he fancies. When the musical ends, he's pleading guilty to a felony and probably waving goodbye to any colleges that might have considered him with a clean record. And to make matters worse, he doesn't even end up with Naomi.
  • Darker and Edgier: Compared to where it gets its name from, the musical is more somber. Read Bittersweet Ending above.
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  • Dark and Troubled Past: Implied for Naomi. She grew up seeing the effects of marijuana and pills, which was what brought her to her job.
  • Femme Fatale: Arguably Naomi. She quickly catches on to Justin's crush on her, and uses it in order to manipulate him into selling her marijuana ("I'll find a way to re-pay you, Justin"). Subverted in the sense that she gets a fleshed-out personality and backstory and isn't dismissed as an airhead or a bimbo for her usage of these tactics.
  • Honey Trap: Naomi didn't intend to do this to Justin, but realizing that he's head over heels for her, she uses that to get some drugs out of him. In her defense, she thought that Justin really was a dealer.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: It's a little bit of a stretch to say this about Justin, seeing as Naomi was a trained professional and he probably had a bunch of hormones getting in the way of rational decision-making. But he does fall hopelessly in love with a girl that ends up all but ruining his life, so...
  • Ironic Echo: The eager, hopeful "what the heck I gotta do to be with you" versus the defeated "what the heck did you do". Ouch. Just ouch.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Though morally grey characters like Naomi usually come with a mixed reception, she's not being unreasonable when she says that teenagers who smoke weed should be made more aware of the consequences, legal or otherwise. Her unfortunate backstory cements this point even further.
  • Love at First Sight: Justin to Naomi, as detailed in "What The Heck I Gotta Do".
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Naomi in "The Money". Justin denies taking money for the drugs and continues confessing to her, making her realize that Justin really isn't a drug dealer. However, the only way to bust him is to pay him for the weed, so she forces the money into his hands and kisses him. By the end of the musical, she laments that Justin made a bad decision to get weed to begin with, but admits that she'll never forget him.
  • Say My Name: "Naomi" is repeated multiple times - often at the climax of the song - in the exact same tune.
  • The Stoner: All of Justin's cousins, whose personalities are essentially limited to "these guys do drugs". This is excusable due to the fact that it's hard to cram complex characterisation into a fourteen-minute musical.
  • Oblivious Guilt Slinging: In "The Money", Justin refuses to take Naomi's money in exchange for weed, telling her "there's nothing I won't do for you / I'll come through for you / every time / just in time". It's properly painful for both the audience and Naomi, seeing as the reason she wants to give it to him in the first place is so she can arrest him for dealing drugs at school. She even acknowledges this in the song, saying "you're making me feel guilty, take the money" as he goes on about how he got her the weed as a favour and not for financial gain.
  • Older and Wiser: Naomi, at least in comparison to Justin and the other teenagers at her school. She laments that "these kids need to learn there are consequences in life" when Justin immediately agrees to start selling marijuana for the sake of a pretty girl. Of course, there's the fact that she's actually twenty-five, which is probably the cause of most of this.
  • Older Than They Look: Though Naomi's twenty-five, she can easily pass as a teenager. Though Justin comments on her "mature" figure, it's an expression of lust rather than sincere skepticism of her youth.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Her name isn't actually Naomi Rodriguez, but she can't give her full name.
  • Villain Song: Averted. Though Naomi's actions have a lot of negative consequences for Justin, she's not portrayed as evil or malicious by any means. In fact, her song "One School" fixates on how she genuinely believes the work she's doing will affect the world in a positive way.


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