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YMMV / Be More Chill

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    The Book 
  • Base-Breaking Character: Many people dislike Michael for his Yellow Fever and somewhat callous attitude towards Jeremy, but some fans do find him entertaining or sympathetic in spite of his behavior and will defend his character. These opinions are particularly strong due to how the musical version of Michael drops most of the controversial character traits and as such is unanimously loved by the fandom.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: The SQUIP decides to destroy itself so that Jeremy can explain himself to Christine and free himself from terrible programming. In 2013, after he wrote the book, Ned Vizzini died by suicide after having struggled with depressive thoughts. Ouch.
  • Memetic Mutation: When fans speak about Be More Chill, especially the fans of Ho Yay, page 80 gets referenced frequently. That's the page where Jeremy masturbates while talking to Michael on the phone.

    The Musical 
  • Adaptation Displacement: Most fans are aware that it was a book first, but few have actually read it, and even among those that have, the musical is much more popular.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • The creators have left it up to fans to decide whether Michael's feelings for Jeremy are platonic or romantic.
    • Is the Squip genuinely trying to "help" Jeremy, albeit in its own, highly toxic way? More to the point — does the Squip see Jeremy as a means to Take Over the World, or does it see brainwashing all of humanity as a means to "help" Jeremy?
    • Is the relationship between Michael and Jeremy the healthy and mutually beneficial friendship we all want for ourselves? Or is it a case of heavy, potentially dangerous dependency on someone who can't always be there for you? How is their relationship changed by the events of the musical?
    • During "The Squip Song," Rich takes his sweet time introducing the Squip, even saying "then" thirteen times in a row before he gets on with it. While this could just be Rich building up to it, like a drumroll, some fans have theorized that Rich actually doesn't want Jeremy to get a Squip, but his Squip is forcing him to pitch it to him anyway. Given how often Jeremy's Squip ignores his wishes, it's disturbingly plausible. Bear in mind, Rich specifically said that his Squip told him to talk to Jeremy, and after he's released from the Squip's power, he's openly relieved.
  • Applicability: The entire fandom seems to agree that the Squip is a metaphor for something. What, exactly, that is, depends on who you ask. The most popular ones are...
    • An abusive (boy)friend. This is probably the most common interpretation.
    • An abusive parent. This one has some canon support, as the script compares the Squip tucking Jeremy in to a father and son after the big game.
    • Mental illness.
    • A cult leader.
    • Drug abuse.
    • Popularity and its price; the Squip's overtly sexual moments are there to evoke the seductive nature of changing and sublimating your true self to get ahead, while the dire situations the Squip ends up creating symbolize how you have to effectively endanger or compromise your integrity and 'lose' or 'kill' your old self in order to be popular, and you may not even end up enjoying it as you force yourself to do and say things you otherwise wouldn't in order to gain better social standing.
    • A recruiter for a pick-up artist community.
    • Toxic masculinity.
  • Awesome Music:
    • The vast majority of the songs are excellent, catchy showstoppers, but "Michael in the Bathroom" is unanimously agreed to be the best song by far. A lot of it can depend on the performer, but George Salazar (the original Michael) elevated the song from a simple breakdown to a mad scene.
    • "The Squip Song" is another much-loved song, mainly because of Gerard Canonico's belting and high notes on the original cast recording, as well as the creepy-sounding music.
    • "Halloween" is a really fun, high-energy party song, with hints as to the trouble that's coming.
    • "The Pitiful Children" is a great Villain Song, showcasing how manipulative and evil, yet charismatic and convincing the Squip is.
    • "Loser, Geek, Whatever", the song added to the 2018 Off-Broadway run, is not only a great "I Want" Song, but explores Jeremy's psyche and why he decides to "take the upgrade." Will Roland's fantastic performance and vocals don't hurt, either.
    • "Rich Set a Fire" is a catchy, fun, fast-paced, and hilarious song with fantastic vocals, as well as a hard-hitting satirical commentary on how social media users exploit tragedies to gain attention.
  • Broken Base: Are the changes to the Off-Broadway and Broadway productions- particularly the recast roles and the cast recordings- for better or for worse?
  • Complete Monster: The SQUIP is a sociopathic, brainwashing supercomputer in pill form designed to make the user popular. The second it uploads itself into high school student Jeremy Heere, it is excessively cruel, making cracks at Jeremy's self-esteem and forcing him to repeat suicidal remarks it makes about him. It forces him to exercise far beyond his normal capacities, and offers scraps of affection only to further manipulate Jeremy. Then it blocks Michael from his line of vision by taking control of his optic nerve, persuading Jeremy to continue this and leave his best friend behind in pursuit of the better future the Squip promices. However, it advances beyond simple bullying and cruelty when it attempts to have another student rape Jeremy by puppeteering his body (additionally, she was far too drunk to consent herself). Not to mention if Jeremy displeases him in any way, if he does something so little as slouch, the SQUIP shocks him with electricity. From then on, it reveals that it desires to Take Over the World, and as it is rejected by Jeremy, it tortures him, forces his classmates and teacher to physically attack him and later Michael, puppets his body to the point that he has to strangle himself to be free of it just long enough to apologize, and finally, in its last-ditch effort to achieve his goal, it offers up Jeremy's Love Interest as a mind-controlled slave.
  • Creepy Awesome: The SQUIP is a monstrous supercomputer with plans to brainwash all of humanity and reeks of sexual coercion and abuse. He's also extremely charismatic due to all these horrifying aspects.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: "The Smartphone Hour" is already a dark satire on how social media users exploit tragedies, but the Broadway version amps it up a notch. During the last verse, on the giant screen behind the stage, they display a picture of Jake's house on fire...then they show Jenna's selfie with the burning house.
  • Crossover Ship: A few have taken to shipping Heidi Hansen with Jeremy's dad, both on account of them both being divorced single parents and the fact that it opens the door to many crossover AUs about Evan and Jeremy getting used to having a brother.
  • Cult Classic: Be More Chill was a tiny show in 2015 that quietly died after its limited run, and yet it suddenly blew up in 2017 on the internet, quickly garnering quite the devoted fanbase two years after the show's closing. It eventually got an off-Broadway run in July through September of 2018, followed by a move to Broadway in February 2019!
  • Die for Our Ship: Mostly averted, as even diehard Boyf Riends shippers don't actually hate Christine, or even dislike her. Most will either pair her off with someone else, or leave her alone but still portray her positively. And some, of course, ship her with both of the guys.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: The SQUIP is this to some parts of the fandom. This part of the fandom has a large overlap with those who find it attractive, though they don't perfectly line up and some fans fall into one but not the other.
  • Ear Worm: Most of the songs.
    • "Whooooa, everything about you is so terrible. Whoooooa, everything about you makes me wanna die." (The catchiness can be a real problem in public.)
    • "I am hanging in the bathroom, at the biggest party of the fall..."
    • "'Cause a Halloween party's a rad excuse / to put your body through mad abuse!"
    • "Let's save the pitiful children! Whoa!"
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Michael. The majority of the fandom loves him for being one of the most laid-back yet relatable characters in the show, and his solo song only increases the amount of love he gets. Case in point: in the Exit 82 production, once Jeremy cried "Michael!", the crowd went nuts.
    • Brooke is very well-liked for being adorable.
  • Everyone Is Gay: You'd be hard pressed to find anyone who headcanons any of the characters as entirely straight.
  • Evil Is Cool: The SQUIP is charismatic, manipulative, and completely monstrous. Despite this, the Awesome Music and "cool" image associated with the character is impossible to avoid. Intended Audience Reaction, of course.
  • Evil Is Sexy: The SQUIP has the attractive voice of Eric William Morris (and later Jason Tam) backing him up, and despite being pure evil, his sheer charisma and willpower have led to an eternal popularity among the show's fanbase.
  • Fanon:
    • Related to the above, Michael is widely headcanoned to be gay. Many people who draw fanart of him include a pride patch on his left arm because of this.
    • Despite most of the fandom not reading or even disliking the book, it has incorporated some aspects from it into the fandom's portrayal of the musical characters, such as:
      • Rich having a red streak in his hair. Probably the most widespread. It's since been integrated into his Broadway costume.
      • Jeremy being a furry. This is partially based on the musical's Halloween party scene where Jeremy compliments Brooke on her sexy dog costume, but was bolstered by a scene in the book where Jeremy finds a group of girls wearing animal tails hot. Also supported when Jeremy's SQUIP includes a "sexy anime cat girl with a tail" in his suggestions for alternate SQUIP appearances.
      • If Jeremy has a fursona, it will be a dolphin. This also comes from the book, as Jeremy compares his movements to a dolphin's at one point.
      • Calling Jeremy "Jeremiah".
    • A lot of fanart depicts those under the influence of the SQUIP with glowing blue eyes that come and go, depending on how much the SQUIP is controlling at the moment. This would of course be impossible to pull off in a stage production, but damned if it doesn't look creepy (in the best way). A variant of this depicts blue circuitry visible on their skin as well.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: It's hard to find people who actually hate or even dislike Christine, but the vast majority of the fandom ships Jeremy and Michael together.
  • Fandom Rivalry: Can become this with the Heathers fandom, by those who consider the two to be too similar, what with a similar sense of humor, character dynamics, and even certain songs being seen as parallels to each other (for example, it's pretty hard to find a conversation about "Halloween" or "Big Fun" that doesn't inevitably lead to the other being brought up). Also with the songs "More Than Survive" and "Beautiful": they're both long songs, the first song of the musical, in which the main character goes to school and describes their rather shitty life. However, this is a vocal minority; most fans get along fine. (Or are the same people.)
  • Fanfic Fuel: It's implied the Squip is still somewhere in there in Jeremy's brain... and considering the events of The Play, probably everyone else who isn't Michael, Mr. Heere or the Squip itself. Have fun with that, fanfic writers!
    • One favorite detail for fans to speculate upon is the effects of other Mountain Dew flavors on the Squip besides green and red.
  • Friendly Fandoms: Gets along rather nicely with fans of both Dear Evan Hansen and Heathers, due to all three revolving around a blue-clad teen who goes from awkward loser to school-wide popularity sensation through unusual means while abandoning their unpopular main friend in the process.
    • There's also both a lot of overlap and friendliness with the MCU Spiderman fandom, due to the similarities between the protagonists and their best friends, and the 'high school hijinks with sci-fi elements' setting.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: The Payless scene, with Payless closing all its stores due to poor business:
    Stockboy: We're sold out!
  • Harsher in Hindsight: "Michael in the Bathroom" is already heartbreaking when Michael sings that he wishes he were dead or never born. Listening to that song knowing that the Be More Chill author Ned Vizzini died by suicide adds a layer of sadness and horror.
  • Heartwarming Moments: Now has its own page.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: After getting the SQUIP, Mr. Reyes says he doesn't want to stay in New Jersey teaching unappreciative students and that he could go all the way to Broadway. Since the show moved beyond New Jersey to Broadway in 2019, he's not wrong.
    • (In)famous entrepreneur Elon Musk has now expressed interest in developing computers that could be inserted into the human brain. The familiarity did not go unnoticed.
    • In this show, Stephanie Hsu plays a character who is taken over by an evil supercomputer. In The Spongebob Musical, Hsu plays Karen, an evil supercomputer.
    • The show is seen as a Spiritual Successor to Little Shop of Horrors, with the Squip being an expy of Audrey II. A 2019 revival of Little Shop in Pasadena casted George Salazar as Seymour- which is somewhat ironic considering that he plays the only teenage character to not fall prey to the Squip.
  • Hollywood Homely: In the Hollywood Nerd variety. Jeremy is described as being too tall, with poor fashion sense and acne, with Chloe point-blank saying that he isn't that cute. Will Connolly and Will Roland, on the other hand...
  • Idiosyncratic Ship Naming: It's rare to find a ship name that actually uses the names of the characters in the fandom for this musical. This expansive list names almost every possible ship, but the more popular ones are as follows:
    • Stage Dorks: Jeremy/Christine
    • Boyf Riends: Jeremy/Michael
    • Pinkberry: Chloe/Brooke
    • Puppy Love: Brooke/Jeremy
    • Three Player Game: Christine/Jeremy/Michael
    • Cinnabun: Christine/Jenna
    • Expensive Headphones: Rich/Michael
    • Playride: Christine/Brooke
    • Pins and Patches: Michael/Jake
    • Arson Bros: Rich/Jake (though this doesn't seem to be as popular as RichJake.)
    • Boardwalk Boys: Michael/Rich/Jake/Jeremy
    • Sassy Bitches: Chloe/Jenna
    • Bicycle/Spicy Bis/Squsbands: Jeremy/Rich
  • Ho Yay: Jeremy and Michael, whose strained relationship during the show is more like a bad breakup. Almost all of their classmates as well, with Rich/Jake, Chloe/Brooke, and Jenna/Christine, being fairly popular, if not as popular as Jeremy/Michael.
  • I Liked It Better When It Sucked: Much like its inspiration, many fans of Be More Chill prefer the earlier, lower-budget cast recordings and performances due to feeling that the more extravagant and high-budget version takes away the personal edge of the show that made it such a Cult Classic.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Rich is introduced as a bully who frequently torments Jeremy and Michael with physical assault and casual homophobia, but it's clear this is mostly because of his SQUIP's direction. In reality, Rich is suffering both from his SQUIP's constant abuse and his own family issues, the former of which leads to him burning down Jake's house and landing him in the hospital.
  • LGBT Fanbase: Much of the fanbase belongs to the LGBT community, between the attractive boys (particularly Michael and the SQUIP) and the ever-present Ho Yay throughout the show. Some versions (including the Off-Broadway and Broadway versions) actually embrace it by giving Michael a pride patch.
  • Memetic Mutation: IT'S FROM JAPAAAAAAAAN!!!
    • "Always be aware of au-to corr-ect."
  • Moral Event Horizon: The second the SQUIP tries to force Jeremy to have sex with Chloe, he goes from a verbally abusive bully to evil.
    • Some also consider Chloe to cross it in the same scene, even without taking the SQUIP's influence into consideration, for trying to trick her best friend's boyfriend into having sex with her (and later lying about it to said best friend), especially if you assume she could tell that Jeremy wanted to leave.
  • Narm: The SQUIP scatting in "The Pitiful Children" can be this for some, since it clashes with his sinister portrayal. Others think it comes off as Narm Charm.
  • Nightmare Fuel: See here.
  • One True Threesome: For those who like Jeremy with both Christine and Michael, there is Christine/Jeremy/Michael.
  • Portmanteau Couple Name: Only three that are commonly used.
    • Deere: Jake Dillinger/Jeremy Heere
    • RichJake: Rich/Jake.
    • Meremine: Michael/Jeremy/Christine
  • Scenery Porn: The 2019 Broadway production has several screens bordering the stage that activate whenever the SQUIP comes around, displaying its code and wiring. There's also a large screen in the back that provides extra visual context to scenes: Jeremy and Michael's video game in "Two-Player Game," Rich's house burning and the guests' selfies with it in "Smartphone Hour," the illusion of a large Squipped army during "The Pitiful Children." etc. It really adds to the show's techno aesthetic.
  • Signature Song: "Michael in the Bathroom."
  • Tearjerker: Now has its own page.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: Some fans of the Two River Theatre production disagree with certain changes in the off-Broadway and Broadway versions. The most die-hard fans of Will Connolly and Eric William Morris especially are critical of Will Roland and Jason Tam's takes on Jeremy and the SQUIP, respectively.
  • Unpopular Popular Character:
    • Michael is a self-proclaimed loser with only one friend, but he’s probably the most popular character in the fandom, where his "uncool" characteristics only endear him more to people.
    • The SQUIP is positively hated by the end for obvious reasons but the fanbase loves him for equally obvious reasons.
  • The Woobie:
    • Jeremy starts out as an anxious loser, but just as things start looking up, the SQUIP starts to verbally abuse him and encourage his worst tendencies. He then proceeds to trick Jeremy into abandoning his best friend. Not only that, Jeremy quickly discovers that the SQUIP was never really on his side in the first place, and was merely using him.
    • Michael starts out as a similar loser to Jeremy, except he's far more content with his state in life. However, this changes the second the SQUIP rejects him as a "loser". By the time he gets to the Halloween party, Michael is a panicked mess.
    • Brooke, who is very sweet and genuinely likes Jeremy, but the SQUIP persuades Jeremy to date her just to improve his social standing so he can get to Christine, then she catches him cheating on her with her best friend.
    • Jake can be kind of a dick, but he's not a bad person, and he reveals that his parents got caught laundering money, and proceeded to go on the run, abandoning him and leaving him alone in his house. He seems almost disturbingly okay with this, but there are hints that he really is upset by this, but doesn't feel like he can tell anyone. Seriously, poor kid.


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