Premiering on Broadway in 2015 to widespread acclaim, Lin-Manuel Miranda's Hamilton resonated with theatergoers in a way their elementary school history classes never could. With catchy tunes, electric performances, and casting that reflects the USA's unique diversity, Hamilton continues to be a major cultural touchstone. It's also got a caustic wit that manifests in several highly-entertaining comebacks.
Whether it's Hamilton insulting Aaron Burr, Burr trading barbs with the young Revolutionaries, or Thomas Jefferson throwing shade every which way, Hamilton features some of the best clapbacks in musical theater. (Of course, real theater geeks know that two of the musical's best clapbacks - Hamilton insulting Adams, and Angelica offering a sardonic "congratulations" to Hamilton - were cut from the final version, but there are still a ton of epic putdowns to savor.)
Below are a few of the choicest selections, so upvote the ones that truly "burn."
- 1302 VOTES
'We Know Who's Really Doing The Planting'
Thomas Jefferson: Ooh, if the shoe fits, wear it. If New York’s in debt, why should Virginia bear it? Uh, our debts are paid, I’m afraid. Don’t tax the South cuz we got it made in the shade. In Virginia, we plant seeds in the ground. We create. You just wanna move our money around....
Alexander Hamilton: A civics lesson from a slaver. Hey neighbor, your debts are paid cuz you don’t pay for labor. “We plant seeds in the South. We create.” Yeah, keep ranting, we know who’s really doing the planting.
- 2248 VOTES
Hamilton Decides The Election Of 1800
Alexander Hamilton: I have never agreed with Jefferson once. We have fought on like seventy-five diff’rent fronts. But when all is said and all is done, Jefferson has beliefs. Burr has none.
- 3247 VOTES
Thomas Jefferson: So quick-witted.
Alexander Hamilton: Alas, I admit it.
Jefferson: I bet you were quite a lawyer.
Hamilton: My defendants got acquitted.
Jefferson: Huh. Well, someone oughta remind you-
Jefferson: You’re nothing without Washington behind you.
George Washington: Hamilton!
Jefferson: Daddy’s calling.
- 4196 VOTES
Hamilton Gets Off Three Clapbacks On Samuel Seabury
Samuel Seabury: Heed not the rabble who scream revolution - they have not your interests at heart. Chaos and bloodshed are not a solution. Don’t let them lead you astray.
Alexander Hamilton: My dog speaks more eloquently than thee!
Seabury: This Congress does not speak for me-
Hamilton: But strangely, your mange is the same!
Seabury: I pray the king shows you his mercy.
Hamilton: Is he in Jersey?
- 5240 VOTES
Angelica Shuts Hamilton Down
Alexander Hamilton: Angelica, thank God. Someone who understands what I’m struggling here to do.
Angelica Schuyler: I’m not here for you.
- 6206 VOTES
Hamilton Checks In With King Louis XVI
Thomas Jefferson: When we were on death’s door, when we were needy, we made a promise, we signed a treaty. We needed money and guns and half a chance. Who provided those funds?
James Madison: France.
Jefferson: In return, they didn’t ask for land, only a promise that we’d lend a hand and stand with them if they fought against oppressors, and revolution is messy but now is the time to stand...
Alexander Hamilton: We signed a treaty with a King whose head is now in a basket. Would you like to take it out and ask it? “Should we honor our treaty, King Louis’ head?” “Uh... do whatever you want, I’m super dead.”