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YMMV / Hamilton

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  • Acceptable Targets:
    • Joisey. Everything's legal in New Jersey. Miranda says in the libretto footnotes "I have a lot of family in Jersey. When I kid, it's with love."
    • John Adams, fittingly for the first Vice President, is insulted by Hamilton for his lack of a "real job," mocked by King George who says "they're going to eat him alive," depicted as a censor in "The Adams Administration," and dismissed by even his own party as a lost cause in "The Election of 1800." This says nothing about the cut song "An Open Letter," which is a minute long rap/rant by the Hamilton character about the many reasons Adams is pathetic, noting that "he hasn't done anything new since '76.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Maria Reynolds and her role in the show raises a lot of questions. Was she being honest when she said she didn't know her husband would extort Hamilton? If not, was she genuinely remorseful of her actions? Did she really make up the story about her husband abandoning her, or did he actually leave her, come back and find out about her infidelity and take advantage of the situation? Even if she was in on it from the start, could she have really refused to help, or was she forced into it by her abusive husband? Did she ever care an ounce for Hamilton? Notably, even Maria's actress has raised these questions in an interview, stating that her opinion was that it was possible that Maria really loved him—after all, her husband was an abusive asshole, and the real life affair carried on for three years. If Hamilton had asked her to run away with him, she probably would've done it.
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    • There are 2 ways to interpret Angelica's rage and falling out of love with Hamilton in "The Reynolds Pamphlet", for cheating on Eliza with Maria Reynolds. There's the one that most people subscribe to: she's furious at Hamilton for being unfaithful to her sister and causing Eliza such public shame, humiliation, and heartache that she is no longer charmed by his ambitious nature. However, Angelica has always been fully aware of both Hamilton's ambitious nature/need to protect his legacy and his semi-philanderous ways as indicated by her constant refrain of "He will never be satisfied" and being the willing, direct target of his flirtations (see her part in "Take a Break"). You can make sense of Angelica's supposed loyalty to Eliza with her actively flirting with Eliza's husband as her attempt at keeping Hamilton from what he eventually ends up doing: having a disastrous affair. Because so long as Angelica continues to flirt with Hamilton, she can prevent him from acting on his flirtations with anyone else. Therefore, you can also read Angelica as not just angry that Hamilton hurt her sister, but also angry that even she and the unspoken arrangement they had to prevent this, wasn't enough.
      • It should be noted that Hamilton himself references the absence of both Eliza and Angelica in the beginning of "Say No To This" as part of what made him susceptible to Maria's seduction.
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    • If you're a fan of Jefferson or his political positions, you might find yourself rooting for him during the rap battles rather than Hamilton.
    • Miranda elides over quite a bit about the real-life Hamilton that might be very troubling for modern audiences. For example, far from being a John Brown-style abolitionist, Hamilton may have brokered some slave deals for the Schuyler family. He supported regressive tax schemes that would openly favor wealthy bond-holders over everyone else (and, like most other Founders, shared a horror of the idea of true democracy). And, as demonstrated by the Newburgh Conspiracy and the Whiskey Rebellion, Hamilton appears to have been A-OK with using the army as a political tool. This may be a result of Miranda relying heavily on the Chernow biography of Hamilton, which tends to treat these things lightly.
    • Similarly, the show slants the Hamilton-Adams rivalry heavily in the former's favour, mostly by depicting the (unseen) John Adams as hapless, self-destructive and seemingly bigoted against Hamilton. In reality, Hamilton's relationship with Adams was closer to that of an Evil Chancellor: sabotaging Adams' presidential run (three times!) and using his influence in Cabinet to undermine him. Notably, Hamilton depicts Adams as being a hopeless candidate in the election of 1800 (so that Hamilton is left with no choice but to support Jefferson against Burr), whereas the historical Hamilton actually did all in his power to prevent Adams from winning (which he almost did thanks to the Electoral College).
    • Is King George's confusion that Washington can step down from his position and be replaced typical egomania and not understanding why he would do such a thing, a conviction that even if he himself could and would do it, he would be considered weak just as Hamilton fears Washington will be, or is he baffled because he doesn't have that option and wishes he does? Or is he implying that despite Washington officially stepping down, he can't choose whether people listen to him, and he will continue to be put on a pedestal?
    • Aaron Burr and his philosophy of "talk less, smile more, don't let them know what you're against or what you're for" and "waiting for it". Is it understandable wariness of angering the wrong people and waiting for a chance instead of taking potential ones since he has already been through enough and has nothing to fall back on, or simple cowardice coupled with a lack of principles?
    • While we're on the subject of Burr, how does Burr really feel towards Hamilton? Were the two men ever truly friends? In Daniel Breaker's version of Burr, at least, it is very easy to read Burr as only tolerating Hamilton for most of the time that the two men know each other. While there are a few flashes of camaraderie, (most notably when Burr attends Hamilton's wedding and tells about his love for a woman married to a British officer) most of their interactions can be read as Burr simply practising his philosophy of "Talk less, smile more, don't let them know what you're against or what you're for" and refusing to burn bridges. Every time Burr asks how Hamilton could possibly rise to prominence ("How does a bastard, orphan, son of a whore...") there seems to be a little more resentment, disdain, and bitterness in Burr's voice, which only adds to the impression that Burr never really cared for Hamilton that much. (And what grandson of a fire and brimstone preacher in the late 1700s/early 1800s wouldn't have disdain for a bastard whore son? Never mind how that person would feel about seeing them rise above him in station...) While most people see the Burr-Hamilton relationship as one where the two men were truly friends at one time only to become enemies, it's very plausible to interpret Burr as simply tolerating Hamilton at first, and then every single encounter afterwards, (or, at least, every encounter after the end of the war) as a slow countdown to Burr completely losing his patience with/tolerance for Hamilton, gradually becoming more resentful of the man every step of the way until Burr finally snaps.
    • Many have noted that Eliza, surprisingly and rather refreshingly, doesn't insult Maria after the affair comes out—at least, not onstage. She only refers to her as "this girl," and places the blame solely at Hamilton's feet, which is where most agree it belongs. So, was her line, "In clearing your name, you have ruined our lives," was the "our" referring to herself and Hamilton... or herself and Maria? In real life, Maria Reynolds' life really was ruined beyond repair as a direct consequence of the scandal, something that Eliza likely would've seen coming. Note that she says this directly after bringing up the fact that Hamilton published the letters Maria sent him, which no doubt humiliated her. It's not impossible that she was having a moment of genuine empathy for "the other woman."
  • And You Thought It Would Fail: When Lin-Manuel Miranda first pitched the idea of the original concept album idea to an audience at the White House in 2009, they chuckled. Then he performed a work-in-progress version of one of the songs for them, and they stopped laughing immediately.
  • Awesome Ego:
    • The titular character. Young, boastful, "not stupid," and also invaluable as Washington's right-hand man and as Treasury Secretary.
    • Marquis de Lafayette, "the Lancelot of the revolutionary set". Also a crucial friend of Hamilton in the Revolutionary war and "America's favorite fighting Frenchman".
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • While "Farmer Refuted" is a catchy number, it doesn’t really advance the plot all that much, nor is Seabury and his quarrel with Hamilton mentioned again after the number. In addition, it is the only number in the show that does not get or include a reprise.
    • King George himself is a walking and talking pile of BLAM. He only appears four times (his three solo songs, as well as a cameo walking across the stage during "The Reynolds Pamphlet"), all of which come out of nowhere, have no bearing on the plot, and have none of the other characters ever commenting on it. He's also one of the most popular parts of the show, especially in Britain, so no one really cares.
  • Broken Base:
    • About the audition casting calls, which asked for mainly POC cast members. At first, a backlash ensued where white actors claimed they were discriminated against, with a potential suit, and then people counterattacked by pointing out that POC actors cannot perform in most mainstream Broadway roles without invoking Color Blind Casting, and that one of the main points of the musical (people of color reclaiming a history denied to them) is destroyed if the characters are played by white actors.
    • There's also the debates among scholars as to whether certain aspects of history being played up or glossed over are acceptable for the story or not. One particular point of contention is Hamilton's character itself undergoing Historical Hero Upgrade.
    • Another contentious point that had been discussed from time to time (mainly among leftist and deeply liberal journalists) since the musical came out in 2015 but became more widely discussed in 2020 in the wake of the Disney+ release of the musical and renewed discussions of systemic racism, police brutality, white privilege, and the role entertainment media can play in the glamourization/normalization of such thingsnote  is whether or not the musical really is an uplifting symbolic gesture of people of color taking back a history that was denied to them, seeing as how, despite the predominantly non-white cast playing historical figures, it is still a story about rich white elites and their mostly First World Problems, and no actual non-white historical figures appear to discuss issues like slavery from their perspective. Miranda was driven to briefly take his Twitter account private after it was brought up during a viewing party the day of the release, until he'd composed a response acknowledging the validity of the complaints and pleading for people to understand that there simply wasn't enough space for everything the story should have.
  • Cargo Ship: A technically implied example with Philip/"The Bullet". He is briefly seen flirting with the ensemble actress who "plays" the bullet that kills him and later his father. So he's literally flirting with death.
  • Crack Pairing: Eliza/Maria Reynolds has a small following, despite the fact that they have never met, the latter is the lover of the former's husband and the fact that Maria and Eliza's younger sister Peggy are played by the same actress, leading to some uncomfortable Incest Subtext.
  • Crosses the Line Twice:
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Angelica, an early feminist and Cool Big Sis extraordinaire, is almost universally beloved by the fandom. Although as time’s gone on, Angelica, while still popular, has become more divisive in the fandom due to reasons mentioned under Unintentionally Unsympathetic.
    • As is John Laurens, for being an abolitionist and quite amusing. The Ho Yay also doesn't hurt.
    • James Madison is also pretty popular, thanks to his meme-tastic line "...France."
    • Against all odds, Maria Reynolds is well-liked by fans, mainly due to her abusive husband and desperation for Hamilton to not leave her making her far more sympathetic than the typical Vamp. It also helps that her actress doubles as Peggy, and she's a great singer.
    • Speaking of Peggy, she tends to get far more attention in the fandom than she does in the show, mainly thanks to the fandom finding accounts of the real Peggy's awesome feats. Read about it here.
    • While in-context to the play he could have been cut-out of the story and not much would have changed, King George III is just so fun and hammy that a lot of people tend to remember his solos.
    • Ariana DeBose from the original cast, who plays several minor characters, such as the person who whispers into King George's ear during "I Know Him", and "the Bullet" during "Stay Alive" and "The World Was Wide Enough". It's probably clear why Steven Spielberg cast her as Anita in the upcoming film remake of West Side Story.
    • The biggest example would be the actor who gets to play Lafayette and Jefferson. In addition to both being very intelligent and getting impressive tongue twister raps, the former is one of the show’s most likable and badass characters, while the latter is a hilariously hammy Love to Hate antagonist. Their original actor Daveed Diggs was widely regarded as one of the very best parts of an outstanding production.
  • Evil Is Sexy: King George III is the closest thing to a true villain in the story and is portrayed with no sympathetic traits whatsoever. However, due to being played by Pretty Boy Jonathan Groff, who also has a really nice-sounding singing voice, many have expressed attraction towards him.
    • While most wouldn’t call Burr evil, he still commits his share of amoral actions. However, he’s played by the very handsome and gifted vocalist Leslie Odom Jr who brings a lot of attractive charm to the role. It’s implied that Burr is somewhat of Chick Magnet.
  • Fandom-Enraging Misconception: The musical is not a case of Politically Correct History, as it doesn't state that the historical figures played by non-white actors weren't actually white. It's Colorblind Casting, and arguing that a black man can't play George Washington or Thomas Jefferson will inevitably lead to racism accusations. And that's all that needs to be said on the matter.
  • Fandom Rivalry:
    • The HBO miniseries John Adams, which was made while Hamilton was still a quite obscure figure, features a quite unflattering portrayal of him that fans of the musical predictably take issue with if they're led to it through their newfound interest in the period after watching it. Though funnily enough, Lin-Manuel himself loved it and even wrote King George's reference to his meeting with John Adams on the assumption that everyone would know what he was talking about from the miniseries.
    • Similarly, some Hamilton fans have gone so far as to discourage people from seeking out 1776, based purely on the fact that it centres around Adams, who is of course a bad guy for opposing Hamilton. (Which is faulty not just because of Miranda's being a fan of it, as mentioned above, but because loads of Hamilton and Adams' contemporaries disliked both men—and generally had pretty good reason to.)
  • Fanfic Fuel: The fandom has drawn ample art and written fic showing Hamilton's other children who are not mentioned in the show, mainly Angelica Hamilton and her struggle with mental illness after her older brother Philip died. Lin himself wrote a special "Ham4Ham" rap where the Fun Home children recited what happened to each of the Hamilkids, including John Church and Philip II.
  • Fanon:
    • Since we don't get to see what either Theodosia Burr looks like, many have decided that the Burr family is all black, with Theodosia Prevost Burr being depicted with straight hair, while her daughter's is curly.
    • In order to justify a lot of the characters having doppelgangers for whatever reason, many have decided that Maria/Peggy, Lafayette/Jefferson and Mulligan/Madison are actually the same people each. In the case of Laurens/Philip, since many dislike the idea of Eliza cheating with Laurens, they decided that Philip is Laurens' Reincarnation.
    • Laurens is gay. In many circles, Lafayette and Mulligan are a gay couple, and so are their counterparts Jefferson and Madison. Hamilton is often headcanonned as bisexual (which actually has a fair amount of basis in history), and so is Burr.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Hamilton/Laurens, or "Lams" is the most popular ship in the fandom, exceeding the canon Hamilton/Eliza with over 2900 stories on Archive of Our Own. Reasons commonly cited are the chemistry the two of them have, the fact that Laurens is an extremely popular character, despite only appearing in Act I, and the fact that it's highly speculated that the real Hamilton and John Laurens were actually in a sexual relationship, based on the letters they wrote to each other.
  • Friendly Fandoms:
    • There's surprising overlap between fans of the show and fans of Parks and Recreation.
    • With Steven Universe, and neither side can quite explain why. It may be that two popular works with critically acclaimed music are bound to bump into each other online, or that sections or entire songs have a happy coincidence of making great AMV material with the Gems. In either case, both fandoms are on very friendly terms with one another, featuring a growing amount of parody songs and crossover fanart.
    • It has a lot of crossover with the much smaller fandom for Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812, due to sharing a lead actress.
    • Hamilton fans and Moana fans get along well thanks to sharing a lyricist and partial composer, as well as promoting racial diversity incorporating a cast of actors based around their cultures.
    • With Brooklyn Nine-Nine, due to Lin-Manuel's love of the show, the cast's love of the play, and both shows featuring diverse casts of quirky and hilarious but genuinely competent professionals.
    • With Six due to both exploring history in musical themes. However, do not compare the two if you value your life. (Although, fans are far more likely to get mad if you compare Six to Hamilton, then vis-Versa.) Other then that, you are likely to find people that like both, especially at the time of this writing. (December 2019). It is also gaining friendships with Bandstand and Miss Saigon fanbases thanks to all three musicals being about war. (And because "Miss Saigon" and "Hamilton" both share an actress- Rachel Anne Go was Eliza in the West End's productions)
    • With the Marvel Cinematic Universe of all things. And just like with Steven Universe, no one can understand why. For some reason, Marvel fans are more likely to be Hamilton fans too, and there is some overlap, especially with the younger fanbases.
    • With TURN: Washington's Spies for obvious reasons. And with Liberty's Kids due to sharing not only characters but also voice actors. (The voice actor for Hamilton in Liberty's kids played King George the 3rd in Hamilton.) The former also shares characters.
    • For fairly obvious reasons, fans of this show get along with fans of 1776, which is helped by the fact that Miranda is a big fan of the show and went out of his way to not step on its toes— despite the two shows playing in the same theater. Both plays begin at about the same time but showcase very different histories, with Hamilton showing the Revolution itself and continuing on past the turn of the century until Hamilton's death, while 1776 is about the Congressional machinations and behind the scenes politicking that got independence declared, each making the other the Hero of Another Story.note  It also helps that the only character the two shows share is Thomas Jefferson, who is the shy Tritagonist of 1776 and Hamilton's bombastic second act antagonist. (In other words, two vastly different interpretations of the man, with 1776 being based on his probably-historical personality and Hamilton, with its emphasis on rapping-as-literary-skill, being based on the larger-than-life language he authored.)
    • Fans of Hamilton are very likely to be fans of Dear Evan Hansen, Heathers and Be More Chill, since all of them are popular musicals from the 2010s. Particularly Dear Evan Hansen fans are quite chummy with Hamilton fans, which led to Ben Platt and Lin-Manuel Miranda collaborating on the crossover song Found/Tonight.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • In "Helpless" Angelica tells Eliza that if the latter loved her then she would share Hamilton. Eliza responds with a "Ha!" In the very next song Angelica reveals that she fell in love with Alexander, but so did Eliza, and Angelica stepped aside so that her sister would be happy.
    • In the same song, Alexander "wines and dines" Eliza's father for her hand. Her father finally replies with a simple "Be true." He doesn't.
    • Hamilton being nicknamed "the tomcat" on his wedding night, and having a real cat named after him becomes unfortunate foreshadowing when he reveals through the Reynolds Pamphlet that he had an affair while Eliza and the kids were away.
    • Philip sings as part of his birthday rap that "I have a little sister but I want a little brother!" One of his real-life sisters, Angelica Jr., went mad with grief after Philip died.
    • In the cast recording, "Non-Stop" comes after "Dear Theodosia" and is an anthem to the triumphant Hamilton tirelessly working to achieve his goals and climb higher. In the stage production, "The Laurens Interlude," where Hamilton gets news of Laurens' death, come between the two. "Non-Stop" then becomes the story of Hamilton desperately burying himself in his work to avoid dealing with the immense grief of losing his best friend and possible lover.
  • Gateway Series: The show has helped ease many fans who might've been interested in theatre, but were put off by its perceived snobbishness with a musical that fused contemporary rap with show-stopping numbers. It also goes the other way, as many music fans who disliked rap's popular perception as uncomplicated party music has found the wittier side of the genre.
  • Genius Bonus:
    • During Thomas Jefferson's first number "What'd I Miss?" he tells a slave called Sally to "Be a lamb, darlin', won't you open" a letter. Research and DNA evidence had proved that Jefferson almost certainly had a long term affair with one of his slaves, Sally Hemings—who, incidentally, was the half-sister of his late wife—and fathered at least some of her children; hence the terms of endearment here. (In live performances, Hemings is briefly represented by a woman from the chorus who does a little shimmy for Jefferson as she opens the letter.)
    • During "I Know Him", King George III alludes to the fact that Washington (6'2") was one of the tallest presidentsnote  ("Next to Washington they all look small") and Adams (5'7") was one of the shortest ("That's that little guy who spoke to me").
    • During "You'll Be Back", King George sings "When you're gone, I'll go mad." Which actually did happen; George III did indeed develop symptoms of insanity in the later years of his life.
    • In "Meet Me Inside", Hamilton's comment of "John [Laurens] should have shot him [Lee] in the mouth, that would have shut him up" is a reference to the fate of Thomas Conway (also mentioned in the song), who had conspired against Washington and was shot in the mouth in a resulting duel over Washington's honor.
    • Angelica in "The Schuyler Sisters" mentions that she wants to tell Thomas Jefferson to include women in the sequel to the Declaration of Independence. Angelica later in life developed a "lasting friendship" with Jefferson and Lafayette. It may also be a reference to the Seneca Falls Convention, which produced a document explaining feminist theory modelled after the Declaration. Reportedly, Jefferson originally had a line along the lines of "tell Angelica I said what's up" to further reference this real life relationship, but the line was cut.
    • In "Helpless", Angelica teases Eliza that if the latter loved her then they would share Hamilton. Angelica in a real-life letter said something similar (see One True Threesome below), though given that she had already eloped with another man at this point it's generally considered to have just been a joke. Similarly, her later comments about Hamilton's writing implying he has feelings for her actually did occur in one of their exchanges, but with reversed roles.
    • Although Washington's 32-page farewell address was largely condensed and paraphrased, it is true that, while all of the ideas expressed in the letter were Washington's, Hamilton wrote most of it.
    • In "The World Was Wide Enough", Burr has a line, "Somebody tells me, 'You'd better hide'". Think this is just because of Hamilton being popular? No. Since Hamilton was aiming at the sky during their duel, Burr would be charged with murder, not just duelling.
    • At the final duel, Burr proclaims, "They won't teach you this in your classes, but look it up: Hamilton was wearing his glasses." Though you may indeed not have learned this at school, it is indeed true.
    • While Burr was historically unashamed of killing Hamilton in the duel, he really was quoted as saying "I should have known the world was wide enough for Hamilton and me" later on in his life.
    • In the first cabinet battle, Jefferson dares Hamilton to try taxing whiskey and see what happens next. Any historian can tell you what did happen when whiskey was taxed: a full fledged rebellion, which Washington and Hamilton proceeded to put down with extreme prejudice.
    • All the comments from Eliza and Angelica about Hamilton's eyes make more sense with a little research - by most accounts on his physical appearance, Hamilton rather famously had purple eyes.
    • At the time of the Revolution, it was considered improper for single women to introduce themselves to an eligible man, and they had to wait for a man or a woman who was already married to make the introduction for them. Thus, Angelica flaunts convention by taking it upon herself to introduce Hamilton to Eliza, while making sure she stays respectable.note 
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Try listening to "Dear Theodosia" again knowing Hamilton and Burr both outlived the children they were singing to. Especially the line "blow us all away" in the context of how they died—Philip was shot in a duel and Theodosia lost in a shipwreck.
    • It gets worse. After his eldest son's death, Hamilton had another son named Philip, but died when the second Philip was only a toddler. Now recall the line "My father wasn't around / I swear that I'll be around for you".
    • Students of history may wince a little at Alexander's assertion in "Cabinet Battle #2" that "Lafayette's a smart man, he'll be fine." The Marquis de Lafayette was very much not fine during The French Revolution. His wife was arrested, and her mother and sister were beheaded; Adrienne de La Fayette only escaped the guillotine because Elizabeth Kortright Monroe, wife of then-U.S. Ambassador to France and fifth president James Monroe, made a point of visiting her in prison, indicating that the United States government would become involved if she was killed. Lafayette himself fled into exile, spending over five years in Prussian and Austrian captivity. He was eventually joined by his two surviving daughtersnote  and his wife, who became gravely ill and never fully recovered, contributing to her early death.note  Lafayette was bankrupted by the expropriation of his estates by the revolutionary government and even deprived of his citizenship for a time. (He did survive, though, and his son, Georges Washington de La Fayette, was safe in America, cared for by both the Hamiltons and George Washington during his stay.)
    • Lafayette's cry of "Freedom for America, freedom for France!" also becomes more bitter when you remember that soon after the American Revolutionary War came the French Revolution, the consequences of which would cause upheaval and death for decades to come, despite all the positive outcomes.
    • Also during "The Election of 1800" Hamilton keeps singing "It's quiet uptown" as people ask for his candidate choice. It's already bad enough that his son has died, but in addition, is eldest daughter Angelica is suffering a nervous breakdown due to Philip's death. Hamilton could also be fretting about caring for Angelica and her condition.
    • "Hurricane," about how a hurricane destroyed Hamilton's hometown, became this after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, where Lin Manuel Miranda's family comes from, causing incredible damage and loss of life.
    • "I hope you saved some money for your daughters and son!", said in We know, gets worse when after looking into the real Hamilton's life reveals he... didn't really. His family was in debt after he died and Eliza had to fight for decades to get even, in part because Hamilton declined taking the pay and veteran's pension from/after the Revolutionary War.
    • The line “Sally be a lamb, darlin', won't you open it?” that Jefferson sings in What’d I Miss? and the playful interaction with the member of the ensemble who plays her becomes pretty cringeworthy when taking into account that Thomas Jefferson raped and impregnated his slave Sally Hemings multiple times.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight:
    • Hamilton singing "Gotta start a new nation, gotta meet my son!" becomes doubly heartwarming when you learn Lin-Manuel's son Sebastian was born shortly before Hamilton premiered off-Broadway, on November 10 2014.
    • Six years ago, flush with the success of In the Heights, Lin-Manuel Miranda stood in front of an audience at the White House and sung a song about "Alexander Hamilton," which earned some good-natured laughs with how the melody and rhythm rapidly change. Come March 2016, the OBC has performed the same song to a more appreciative audience, with Obama commending Miranda for the music and quoting the lines from "My Shot".
      • Also, at the 2016 Tony Awards, Barack and Michelle introduce Hamilton's Tony performance, detailing what happened and recalling how they laughed. As the President puts it, Who's Laughing Now?
    • At the Tony Awards, the closing number was "The Schuyler Sisters", a Triumphant Reprise in the face of the Orlando shootings. The lyrics that are most repeated are "Look around look around, think of how lucky we are to be alive right now, in the greatest city in the world!"
    • All of the talk about Hamilton being remembered after his death becomes heartwarming when you think about how much interest the musical drummed up in Hamilton's story meaning he will be remembered.
    • Angelica teasing Eliza that if Eliza loved her then they'd share Alexander becomes this when in "First Burn," the working version of the Reynolds Pamphlet aftermath, Eliza says, "I see how you look at my sister." Eliza in that version always knew that Alexander once had a thing for Angelica and may still feel attracted but knows that her sister would never betray her. Heck, in "The Reynolds Pamphlet" Angelica shuts down Hamilton's attempts to ingratiate himself to her and says she's there for her little sister and whatever they have, platonic or otherwise, is done.
    • Angelica marrying John Church while bidding goodbye to Alexander becomes this when you know that one of Alexander's children was named after the man, showing they eventually had a good relationship. To add to the heartwarming, John Church Hamilton would eventually write his father's biography to honor his mother's wishes.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • The bit about Hamilton no longer being able to become President after outing his affair knowing that several presidential candidates and presidents committed adultery and remained in office.
    • After a show all about how Aaron Burr was doomed to be remembered as a footnote in Hamilton's story, Leslie Odom Jr. won the Best Actor in a Musical Tony over Lin-Manuel Miranda.
    • Shortly after James Monroe Iglehart replaced Daveed Diggs, they both appeared in Season 3 of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, complete with Iglehart having a line in French.
    • Andrew Rannells, the third actor to portray King George III, previously voiced Alexander Hamilton in the 2001 children's cartoon Liberty's Kids.
    • Original King George Jonathan Groff again does a song comically totally different from the rest of the score in Frozen II, where his big number is in the style of an '80s power ballad.
  • Ho Yay:
    • Word of God says that "Laurens, I like you a lot" in "My Shot" is a reference to Hamilton and Laurens's possible sexual relationship. In the show as it's staged, Hamilton and Laurens are also very physically close, putting arms around shoulders and hugging. At one point (at the end of "Stay Alive") they share what a Genius annotator calls "an intimate moment" in which "Hamilton has his hand on the back of Laurens' neck and they linger there, their faces close."
    • There's a healthy dose of Foe Yay between Hamilton and Burr, whether it's Burr singing passionately about just how great his nemesis is or Hamilton showing up at Burr's house in the middle of the night. At least some corners of the fandom have deemed this pairing be called "Hamburrger." Also, some fans ship Jefferson and Hamilton, even though the two hated each other. This pairing has beem deemed as "Jamilton".
    • "One Last Time", where Washington tells Hamilton about his plans to resign, has a more-than-somewhat-romantic tone. (The two men had a close relationship in Real Life that if anything the show tones down, and which even their contemporaries weren't above taking potshots at. They do it in the show as well: "You're nothing without Washington behind you," anyone?)
  • Incest Yay Shipping: Eliza/Angelica has a following, mostly in the context of a One True Threesome after he dies. Canonically, Angelica loves her (probably not that way) the most out of anyone, even prioritizing her over Hamilton, albeit not without regret.
  • Jerkass Woobie: According to an interview, Miranda didn't like the fact that history books were either too defensive of Burr or painted him as the villain, so made him a smarmy ditherer who nevertheless has a lot of tragic and sweet moments. In fact, when Miranda did Drunk History, he made it quite clear that he doesn't consider Burr a monster, but a tragic and complicated man who made a mistake that cost him his reputation forever.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Hamilton himself, of course, in a pretty magnificent way. The most popular pairings are: Hamilton/Laurens, given its basis in history and importance to LGBT fans; Hamilton/Burr, due to how much of the show is dedicated to their complicated love/hate relationship; and Hamilton/Eliza for those who enjoy the more Happily Married parts of their relationship. However, the Foe Yay of Hamilton/Jefferson is also popular, and Hamilton/Washington isn't rarely seen either. Less common are Hamilton/Lafayette or Hamilton/Madison, but the former gets a fair bit of love in the Gay Trio OT3 (Laurens/Hamilton/Lafayette), and Hamilton/Madison shows up occasionally from those familiar with their brief real-world friendship, even if it doesn't get much screentime in the show. One of the few non-relations that isn't often paired up with Hamilton is Angelica, and even that's not because people don't like the idea of a romance between them, but rather because few could believe Angelica would stand in front of her beloved sister that way. In all, every single actor in the show plays at least one character who is at least sometimes paired with Hamilton, with only one exception: Peggy and Maria's actor, who shows up in only two songs total, and plays a character who does canonically sleep with Hamilton, anyway. Whew.
  • Love to Hate:
    • King George III is an openly hateful Psychopathic Manchild, but he's just so much fun to watch that it's impossible to genuinely hate him.
    • Thomas Jefferson may be an egomaniac and an Insufferable Genius, but it's hard to not love him everytime he appears on stage. The rockstar image helps.
    • Aaron Burr is a serious piece of work, but many would argue he’s the best character in the show. Many watched the show for Hamilton but ended up gravitating towards Burr instead. He may be the Deuteragonist, but it’s not uncommon for him to steal the show away from the titular character.
  • Memetic Mutation: Now has its own page.
  • Mexicans Love Speedy Gonzales: When the play was performed in London, King George got just as many laughs as he did in the US, if not more. He's a big hit with British fans due to the slick, Britpop style of his songs and his hilariously flamboyant mannerisms.
  • Misaimed Fandom:
    • A number of Hamilton fans praise the musical on the belief that it's 'better' than most rap because it's based on serious or intellectual topics. This totally misses that Lin-Manuel Miranda explicitly wrote Hamilton as a love letter to the rap genre, that the musical is jam-packed with homages and references to other hip-hop artists, and that his greatest wish for the musical was for Hamilton to be accepted by the broader rap community (which it was). Not to mention that while there are songs about the allocation of state debt and international neutrality, there are also a whole bunch of songs about illegal gun fights and affairs, so it's not all that different in subject anyway. Miranda has also said that whenever such fans tell him that they "don't like rap, but they like this [Hamilton]" he always tells the person that he doesn't consider what they just said to be a compliment. Of course, it's different if they simply don't like rap out of personal preference.
    • Also, a good part of the fandom believes that Alexander Hamilton is an unblemished protagonist and forgive his faults, despite the point being that he's a flawed tragic figure whose narrative fits that of an R & B star. This can be in part attributed to Lin-Manuel Miranda being a charismatic Nice Guy who makes Hamilton appear charming to everyone except Burr, Jefferson, and Madison. When Miranda did Drunk History, he fully states that Hamilton was not a Nice Guy and was prone to Too Much Information during his life.
    • There's also a subset who see his affair as crossing the Moral Event Horizon and won't forgive him for his terrible decision, even if Eliza eventually does.
    • While the cast and crew are heavily left-wing and incorporate political subtext that matches those viewpoints (such as the pro-immigrant sentiment and insisted casting of people of color in most of the roles), there are some right-wing fans who are attracted to the patriotic story and shrug off the intended subtext.
  • Most Wonderful Sound: In the final song of the musical, the chorus gently humming "time", and Eliza's surprised gasp as she notices the audience at the very end.
  • Narm: Although "It's Quiet Uptown" is a Tear Jerker of a song, when watched live, Hamilton constantly being on the verge of tears can come across as exaggerated and cheesy, especially contrasting Eliza's much more subdued sadness.
  • Narm Charm: When the cast performed "Yorktown" at the Tonys, they decided that due to the recent Pulse nightclub shooting they would remove all the prop guns from the number, meaning the cast was performing a number about a battle while miming having weapons. It should've been ridiculous, and yet somehow it actually managed to be incredibly poignant instead.
  • No Yay: Completely regardless of anything about the actual pairing or its potential historical accuracy, some people get really squicked out by Hamilton/Laurens due to the fact that Laurens' actor also plays Hamilton's son Phillip in act 2.
  • Older Than They Think:
  • One-Scene Wonder:
    • Peggy. Only has singing parts in "The Schuyler Sisters" and then only has silent cameos in later songs featuring her older sisters, until she dies off-screen before Act II and isn't even mentioned anymore. She's just as popular as Angelica and Eliza and considered to be one of the best parts of "The Schuyler Sisters" by many.
    • Several minor characters only appear once, but are also very memorable. Most notable are Samuel Seabury, the preppy messenger of the British who is frequently pestered by Hamilton, and Charles Lee, Laurens' rival general who sucks at his job.
  • One True Threesome:
    • John Laurens / Alexander Hamilton / Eliza Schuyler is gaining a bit of traction, mainly because Laurens / Hamilton is quite popular, but most fans don't want to leave Eliza with no one. Partly fueled by a letter Hamilton wrote Laurens inviting him to his wedding night "to be witness to the final consummation."
    • Angelica Schuyler / Alexander Hamilton / Eliza Schuyler also has a bit of a fanbase. Notably, this one is actually teased in the show, with Angelica's semi-joking, "I'm just saying, if you really loved me, you would share him!" (And this is based off of something the real Angelica said to her sister in a letter: "...if you were as generous as the old Romans, you would lend him to me for a little while.")
    • Alexander Hamilton / John Laurens / Marquis de Lafayette is also popular in some parts of the fandom, fueled by Hamilton / Laurens, the less-popular Hamilton / Lafayette, and the close friendship between all three revolutionaries: Hamilton's grandson once wrote that "the gay trio to which Hamilton and Laurens belonged was made complete by Lafayette."
  • Portmanteau Couple Name:
  • Praising Shows You Don't Watch: Unlike other examples, this is practically out of necessity. While there is thankfully an original cast recording available for everyone to listen to, in order to WATCH the full show at this point, you have to see it in person, and for a while it had to be on Broadway. Much to the displeasure of anyone who wanted to see the full performance with the original Broadway cast but couldn't during its original run, most Broadway shows don't get commercially released video recordings. Until the release of the proshot on Disney+ in July 2020, there were many fans of the show who are passionate but have only heard the official cast recording and sometimes what little official video there is and the #Ham4Ham performances (and for those who don't have Disney+, this is still the case). Thankfully, they tend not to be looked down upon just because they can't see the show in person. And if one was desperate enough to search for uploads of fan recordings of the whole show, the fans tend to respect Miranda's wishes that unofficial show recordings not be put online. (Although recordings are available online, all the same.) It helps that the album doesn't remove much from the overall experience of the show as it was planned as a Concept Album to begin with, and can be seen in how cohesive the story is merely taken as an album release. So unlike many examples, there's nothing vital to the story being lost here (there's only a grand total of one song missing from the soundtrack, that being "Tomorrow There'll be More of Us"; Miranda has stated that this was an intentional choice to ensure there was something that could only be seen live).
  • Rooting for the Empire: Overlapping with Alternative Character Interpretation, those who supported the real Jefferson's political positions may root for him during the Cabinet battles.
  • Ships That Pass in the Night: Philip Hamilton/Theodosia Burr has a surprising following, perhaps because of how much the idea would piss off their respective parents.
  • Signature Song: There are several candidates depending on who you ask:
    • "Alexander Hamilton": The opening number that perfectly sets the tone for the rest of the musical, perfectly introducing the characters, the story, and the musical stylings that will continue to be used throughout.
    • "My Shot": Hamilton's "I Want" Song, which introduces the Arc Words of "I am not throwing away my shot!" that drive Hamilton's entire story, as well as introducing the iconic characters of Laurens, Mulligan, and Lafayette. By the time the song hits the climax, the energy is astronomical.
    • "Satisfied": The solo song for Ensemble Dark Horse Angelica, featuring a combination of epic vocals and some of the fastest raps ever performed on broadway. The song is an emotional roller coaster with Angelica's feelings for both Hamilton and her sister, and the seamless transition from "Helpless" makes for one of the show's most tragic moments.
    • "You'll Be Back": The first and longest song for King George, perfectly capturing his Card-Carrying Villain mindset and featuring some of the funniest Black Comedy in the entire show. It's especially iconic for white performers in particular, who often consider it the only song that can be safely used in professional settings.
    • "The Room Where It Happens": Burr's "I Want" Song. Not only is the song in itself masterfully constructed and a near perfect divide of rapping and singing, but it marks a permanent shift in the story as Burr finally realizes what he wants in life, and due to the realistic nature of the politics discussed in it it's also fun for political or history buffs to listen to.
  • Spiritual Adaptation: This is probably the closest we'll ever get to having Epic Rap Battles of History - The Musical.note 
  • Squick: The 2020 film spends most of King George's sections zoomed in on his face, meaning that there are multiple very close up shots of Jonathon Groff spitting all over himself throughout his songs.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Peggy Schuyler. Despite being introduced alongside her older sisters, both of which turn out to be major characters, she doesn't have much of a presence in the plot and flat out disappears once Act II rolls in. While the real Peggy was dead by the time Act II happened anyway, the musical makes no note of this, as if Angelica and Eliza were always the only Schuyler children. Even ignoring the real life Peggy being quite a badass, at least the rest of the Schuyler family would mention that their beloved younger sister is dead.
    • Both Theodosias. Even though both of them are quite important to Burr's character, being his wife and daughter respectively, they don't appear in the show at all, leaving most of Burr's actions not involving Hamilton as an Informed Attribute.
  • Tough Act to Follow: The original cast became a huge part of the show's draw, so their departure after a year was met with widespread skepticism that their replacements could measure up. It hit especially hard on poor Javier Munoz, who suffered several reviews slamming him just for not being Lin-Manuel Miranda.
  • Unacceptable Targets: Reportedly, the reason why "The Adams Administration" is so short is because the original version took a shot at Abigail Adams, which the audience did not seem to appreciate. Apparently, as soon as Lin saw the audience's reaction to the joke, he knew the song had to go.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Angelica, to a certain point. While there's no doubt she's utterly devoted to Eliza, since she sacrifices her own happiness for her sister's so she can marry Hamilton, you have to raise an eyebrow at how Angelica realizes right away that Hamilton might eventually cheat on her—and as kind-hearted and loveable as Eliza is, what guarantees that Hamilton won't do the same to her? Of course, Angelica wants Eliza to be happy, but shouldn't her first instinct as a big sister to shield Eliza against a potential heartbreak and scandal and advise her against marrying Hamilton? How is the heartbreak of an adultery lesser than a heartbreak from a Love at First Sight? The Alternative Character Interpretation above implies that Angelica started flirting with Hamilton in order to "avoid the unavoidable", though you have to once again wonder if all the pain was really worth it in the first place...
  • Values Dissonance: While the show is as much a smash hit in London as it was in America, the audiences from the different sides of the pond find different things amusing. Lines like "Everything's legal in New Jersey," and Hamilton's 'sit down' rant against John Adams (1776 never really took off in the UK) obviously go over the heads of some British audiences, while Hamilton's mentions of Macbeth get much more of a laugh, as do the mentions of Burr's affair with the married Theodosia. On the other hand...
  • Values Resonance: King George's sections are considered to be even more hilarious in Britain, as George III is generally considered one of the most ineffectual kings in the nation's history precisely because he lost the colonies (and because the monarchy is always a prime target for mockery for a large percentage of the population); plus lines like "I will kill your friends and family/to remind you of my love" is the type of Black Comedy that Brits adore. According to Miranda, Prince Harry, who is directly related to King George, thought he was the funniest part of the show.
  • What an Idiot!:
    • Philip challenging a college student to a Duel to the Death over a slight to his father, even though Philip had never dueled before.
    • Alexander writing and publishing The Reynolds Pamphlet, outlining his "torrid affair" with Maria Reynolds, sinking his career. Of course, it's hard to know whether Jefferson, Madison, or Burr would have leaked the information themselves, but they certainly take great pleasure in distributing it when it does get printed. Lin-Manuel has said that coming up with a way to show why Hamilton would think this was a good idea was one of the hardest parts of the writing process. The Cut Song "Congratulations" is dedicated to lampshading the hell out of this:
      Let's review.
      You took a rumor a few, maybe two people knew
      and refuted it by sharing an affair of which no one has accused you!
      I begged you to take a break—you refused to.
      So scared of what your enemies might do to you,
      but you're the only enemy you ever seem to lose to!
      You know why Jefferson can do what he wants?
      He doesn't dignify school-yard taunts with a response!
      So, yeah. Congratulations.
    • What makes it so much more worse is that the initial charge was on speculation — that Hamilton was using national funds for his own private ends. At no point did Jefferson, Madison, or Burr talk to him about an affair, nor did they have reason to suspect he was doing such a thing. All he had to do was just show them his records and clarify the numbers for them. He ruined his own career by himself.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: The musical is a mild example, since it has gained large cultural prominence and is a historical lesson on Alexander Hamilton's life. This may lead some elementary school teachers to take their kids (because it's educational!). The musical actually has several uses of S-words and F-words in the lyrics. Then there's the whole adultery incident with Maria Reynolds, and the duels...Overall, if musicals had movie ratings, Hamilton would get a PG-13note . Needless to say, many teenagers have enjoyed the musical.
  • Win the Crowd: The announcement of an official theatrical recording, which was recorded in 2016 with the entire Original Broadway Cast, presented by Disney was met with a lot of acclaim, largely since people want to watch the show without travelling into another country or even continent, essentially making sure that it will be an authentic experience averting Praising Shows You Don't Watch.
  • The Woobie:
    • Eliza after Alexander's sex scandal.
      • Eliza in general. At the end of the play, everyone she cared about the most had died. Her firstborn son, Philip and her husband both died in duels. Her two beloved sisters died, the younger Peggy from illness at a relatively young age. She spends the rest of her days trying to restore her husband's tarnished legacy and keep his memory alive, only to wonder if she will be remembered. And as evidenced right here, she will be.
    • Alexander and Eliza after Philip dies.
    • Angelica during "Satisfied". She loves Hamilton so much... but she will always love her sister more, and if it's down to Angelica's own happiness or Eliza's, Angelica chooses Eliza's with no hesitation. But that doesn't make the pain of seeing Alexander marry someone else any better, especially since as an educated and ambitious woman of her time period she is chafing with palpable frustration at the limits placed on her by society, and Alexander is the first man she's met who is both able and willing to engage with her as an intellectual equal.
    • Maria Reynolds, who is being abused by her husband.
    • Peggy Schuyler when you learn that despite marrying well and being the Moe in the family, she succumbed to a fatal illness before she turned 45.


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