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YMMV / Dear Evan Hansen

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  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Is Jared gay? It's never explored in-universe, but with all the gay jokes he keeps writing into the letters between Evan and Connor, it's hard not to wonder. It's likely just that—a joke—but some fans interpret this as Jared testing the waters with Evan about his own potential homosexuality since it's shown time and time again that Jared deals with just about everything through humor.
    • Zoe's part in "Requiem" - does she really not miss Connor and truly hate him, or is she going through denial - the first stage of grief? It's true that her relationship with Connor was very troubled and she's absolutely right that his death doesn't erase his actions, but she still sounds upset even while she insists she won't grieve for Connor.
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  • Awesome Music: Has it's own page.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Evan himself. Specifically, the fanbase is split on whether he deserves sympathy or forgiveness after what he did. Part of the fanbase thinks that while what he did was wrong, he's still sympathetic and redeems himself in the end, citing his anxiety, depression, and mostly-good intentions. Another part believes that what he did is simply too manipulative and cruel (however unintentionally) to the Murphys to be forgiven. (Of course, this doesn't factor in the mercifully small faction that doesn't think he did anything wrong at all.)
  • Broken Base:
    • Heidi's outbursts before and during "Good for You". Was she completely overreacting towards Evan seeing the Murphys as a Parental Substitute, and is the one at fault due to her little time spent with her son? Or is her anger completely in-character and justified, due to Evan secretly choosing the Murphys instead of actually talking to her about his problems?
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    • The novel and its canonicity to the musical. Particularly the backstory and character it gives Connor and the existence of Miguel.
  • Die for Our Ship: Mostly averted in regards to Zoe. Connor/Evan surpasses Zoe/Evan in popularity by far, but most fans of the show like Zoe enough to leave her alone, or pair her off with another person (usually Alana).
  • Draco in Leather Pants:
    • Connor's not evil, but a lot of fans seem to forget that he was abusive towards Zoe, not to mention a huge jerk to everyone else. He's deserving of sympathy, sure, and he definitely had some issues, but he was no saint.
    • Somehow, the fact that Evan spends the entire musical manipulating everyone around him (albeit for understandable and sympathetic reasons) for his own gain is usually overlooked, and he's generally characterized as a Pure Cinnamon Roll.
  • Ear Worm:
    • "All that it takes is a little reinvention! / It's easy to change if you give it your attention! / All you gotta do, is just believe you can be who you wanna be. / Sincerely, me!"
    • "Even when the dark comes crashing through / and you need someone to carry you, / when you're broken on the ground, / you will be found."
    • "I've learned to slam on the brake / before I even turn the key."
    • "When you're falling in a forest and there's nobody around / Do you ever really crash or even make a sound?"
    • "All I see is sky, for forever..."
  • Ending Aversion: Some people have ignored the ending where Zoe forgives Evan for lying to her and her family, believing that apology was undeserved, and that Evan got away easily with his manipulations.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Both Jared and Alana are really popular among fans, despite them being secondary characters.
  • Expy: The show has many parallels with the musical Next to Normal, and the characters are very similar:
    • Connor/Gabe
    • Evan/He could be seen as both Diana and Henry
    • Zoe/Natalie
    • Larry/Dan
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop: Zoe's part of "Requiem" shows that it's okay not to mourn over someone you had a horrible relationship with, even if they're family. Dying doesn't magically make their actions better, nor does it take away all the pain that person caused you or force you to forgive them.
    • It’s perfectly okay to lie about everything if it makes people happy, and it’s okay to cover up the truth if the lie is inspiring people.
  • Fanon: Connor being gay or bisexual is agreed on by at least 80% of the fandom, especially on Tumblr. This is confirmed in the novel, but the canonicity of that adaptation is still hotly debated.
    • It's pretty much unanimously agreed (Again, especially on Tumblr) that Jared is gay.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Connor/Evan. Having Evan hastily clarify that they weren't gay in "Sincerely, Me" only added fuel to the fire. Also: Evan/Jared, Evan/Connor/Jared, and Zoe/Alana. Every possible pairing that is not canon is far more popular among the fandom than the canon Zoe/Evan.
  • Fandom Rivalry: With Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812, due to Dear Evan Hansen's Tony sweep snubbing Great Comet in the eyes of many fans, and arguably kicking off the chain of events that led to Great Comet's closure.
  • Friendly Fandoms: With Heathers, due to both being quirky musicals revolving around a suicide. Also with Be More Chill due to both revolving around a blue-clad teen who goes from awkward loser to schoolwide sensation through unusual means, while abandoning their unpopular main friend in the process. (This also goes for why they're friendly with the Heathers fandom.)
  • He Really Can Act: Previously, Ben Platt was best known for Pitch Perfect. There's a reason he became one of the youngest people ever to win the Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical for Dear Evan Hansen- his work in it is heartwrenching.
  • Idiosyncratic Ship Naming: Applies to most of the fandom's ships, with a few exceptions— most notably Kleinsen (Evan/Jared).
    • Tree Bros (also spelled Treebros): Evan/Connor
    • Sincerely Three: Evan/Connor/Jared
    • Galaxy Gals: Zoe/Alana
  • Jerkass Woobie: Connor Murphy. He's shown to be a pretty big jerk, but he obviously had some unchecked emotional issues.
  • Pair the Spares: Probably the reason for Zoe/Alana, along with keeping Zoe away from Evan.
  • The Scrappy: Downplayed with Larry. While he's not outright hated and has some fans, he doesn't get nearly as much attention as the rest of the cast.
  • Signature Song: "Waving Through a Window." To a lesser extent, "You Will be Found."
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • At one point in Act One, Alana sings a reprise of "Waving Through a Window", hinting that she may be facing the same scenario as Evan. Sure, it gets acknowledged in Act Two when she questions Evan's fake friendship with Connor and reveals that the only reason she was invested in Connor was because of their mutual "invisibility" in society, but that plot line is dropped after that, just to focus on Evan's oscillating decision whether or not to reveal his lie.
    • The song "Requiem" has a neat idea for Zoe: she doesn't want to grieve for Connor, as he was an irredeemable monster in her eyes. And the next song after that squanders this unique apathy, where she immediately accepts Evan's lies about Connor having so many unsaid, nice things to say about her, though it's understandable that she would want to believe good things about her dead brother.
    • What would have happened if everyone found out that Evan lied about being friends with Connor? How would people react to discovering that the entire Connor project was based on a lie?
  • The Woobie: Evan. He has no friends, severe social anxiety, and just wants to be accepted and loved.
    • Stoic Woobie: Zoe. The opening has her dealing with her brother's nasty attitude fairly well, but as "Requiem" shows, she had a lot of issues with Connor.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic:
    • Downplayed with Evan; it may be hard for the viewer look past the part where his plan essentially revolves around plots using Connor's suicide for his own gain, but they're eventually framed in a darker light and the truth behind his broken arm fully explains his desperation.
    • Also, Jared when he lashes out at Evan. Yes, it's implied that he's lonely, too, but he still acts like a massive prick to Evan for the entire show. It's hard to really blame Evan for distancing himself from him.
    • Heidi can come off this way to some, since her comments to Evan in "Anybody Have A Map?" come off as kind of passive-aggressive and backhanded, and her outbursts in "Good For You" seem pretty harsh, especially as Evan points out, she's never home.
    • The entire cast can be completely unsympathetic at times.

Example of: