Be More Chill - PLOT SYNOPSIS

2019 Broadway
Be More Chill the Musical - PLOT SYNOPSIS

Act One

Jeremy Heere, a high school junior, is a social outcast. He lives with his recently divorced father, who works from home and makes Jeremy uncomfortable by refusing to wear pants in the house. At school, Jeremy is bullied by popular student Rich Goranski, who writes "boyf" on his backpack. His best friend, Michael Mell, (on whose backpack Rich has written "riends") tries to comfort Jeremy by telling him that being a loser is okay. Jeremy sees his long-time crush Christine Canigula signing up for the school play and decides to sign up as well. Jeremy wonders why he has to be the outcast, and if someone can help him "more than survive" ("More Than Survive").

As they wait for the first play rehearsal to begin, Christine professes her love of theater to Jeremy, explaining that she likes being able to play different people and always knowing what to say and do ("I Love Play Rehearsal"). As more popular cast members trickle in, their drama teacher, Mr. Reyes, reveals—to Christine's horror—that the school play will be A Midsummer Night's Dream set in a post-apocalyptic future, re-titled A Midsummer Nightmare (About Zombies). During rehearsal, Jake Dillinger, one of the popular boys and Rich's friend, flirts with Christine, making Jeremy jealous. ("More Than Survive (Reprise 1)").

After rehearsal, Jeremy is confronted in the bathroom by Rich, who tells Jeremy how he managed his rise to popularity: as an unpopular freshman, he took a pill called a "super quantum unit Intel processor"—a "SQUIP"—containing a computer that implants itself inside the user's brain and tells the user what to do and say ("It's from Japan"). Rich suggests that Jeremy buy one from him in order to become cooler ("The Squip Song").

While playing video games with Michael after school, Jeremy tells him about Rich's offer; although Michael is convinced that Jeremy is being scammed. After an awkward conversation with his dad (still not wearing pants), Jeremy decides to check the SQUIP out. Jeremy assures Michael that, no matter what happens, they'll always be a team ("Two Player Game").

The two visit the mall to buy the SQUIP from a dealer at Payless ShoeSource. Jeremy, as instructed, swallows it with green Mountain Dew. When the SQUIP activates, it causes Jeremy to have a seizure in front of Christine and Jake ("The SQUIP Enters"). The SQUIP (in the guise of Keanu Reeves), criticizes Jeremy's appearance, personality, and behavior, telling him that everything about him is terrible ("Be More Chill Pt. 1"). The SQUIP orders him to go to a store to buy a new Eminem shirt. At the store, Jeremy encounters two popular girls from school, Brooke Lohst and Chloe Valentine. The SQUIP helps Jeremy fabricate a story in order to create empathy with the two girls. They offer Jeremy a ride home ("Do You Wanna Ride?") which the SQUIP demands he accept, but Jeremy declines, telling them that he has to meet his friend. The girls leave, and the SQUIP lies to Jeremy and tells him that Michael has left the mall. It then tells him that in order for its plan improve his social standing to work, Jeremy needs to obey every order it gives him. ("Be More Chill Pt. 2").

The next day, Jeremy heads to school with renewed confidence, wondering if he might be less invisible than before. The SQUIP delves into the inner psyche of the student body around him, giving Jeremy insight on the fears and insecurities of his fellow peers ("Sync Up"). Jeremy sees Rich, who is initially angry that Jeremy bought the SQUIP directly instead of through him, but the SQUIP syncs itself with Rich's, making them friends. Jeremy heads confidently to the play rehearsal ("More Than Survive (Reprise)") of the zombie-apocalypse version of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Christine tells Jeremy about her feelings for a guy she knows, who Jeremy initially believes is himself, but who turns out to be Jake ("A Guy That I'd Kinda Be Into").

Afterward, the SQUIP informs Jeremy that Christine won't date him until his social standing drastically improves. Encouraging Jeremy to use an interested Brooke as a stepping stone to greater popularity, he hooks up with her, while Jake asks Christine to come to his house ("Upgrade"). Overwhelmed, Jeremy asks the SQUIP to shut itself off for a few minutes. Immediately, Jeremy sees Michael and is elated, telling him he hasn't seen him all day, but Michael states that Jeremy has been ignoring him. The SQUIP explains that it was using "optic nerve blocking" to block Michael from Jeremy's vision and that in order to be more popular he has to "upgrade to Jeremy 2.0." Jeremy eventually decides he is tired of being a loser and turns on optic nerve blocking, leaving him alone with the SQUIP ("Loser Geek Whatever").


Act Two

On Halloween, Jake hosts a large party that features alcohol and other shenanigans ("Halloween"). Christine arrives in a revealing princess costume, hoping to please Jake, but he is heavily intoxicated and brushes her aside to party. Jeremy arrives late and meets Brooke, but when she leaves to get a drink, Chloe, who is jealous of Brooke, takes Jeremy upstairs and tries to seduce him. Jeremy is uncomfortable and tries to get away, but the SQUIP forces him to remain in the situation as it escalates to Chloe making out with Jeremy, who doesn't want to upset Brooke ("Do You Wanna Hang?"). Chloe also has Jeremy drink alcohol, causing the SQUIP to malfunction, and then feigns having sex with him, causing Jake to become jealous and breaking Brooke's heart.

Fleeing from Jake and the girls, Jeremy runs into a bathroom, where he finds Michael, who has crashed the party. Michael tries to warn Jeremy of the dangers of the SQUIP, explaining that someone ended up in a mental hospital after they went crazy trying to get it out of their head. Jeremy accuses Michael of being jealous of his popularity and calls him a loser. Michael, devastated and angry, locks himself in the bathroom, where he has a severe panic attack and sensory overload as he mourns the loss of his best and only friend ("Michael in the Bathroom"). Jeremy meets Christine and he asks her out in a sudden burst of confidence ("A Guy That I'd Kinda Be Into (Reprise)"). Christine, who has found herself in an existential crisis, declines, and runs out of the party.

Meanwhile, Rich goes around the party frantically asking people for Mountain Dew Red. Jeremy's SQUIP finally reactivates and reviews the events of the night, prompting Jeremy to leave the party immediately. Rich, alone and desperate, is shown talking to a lit jack-o-lantern. The next morning, Jenna Rolan, the school gossip, informs everyone that Rich had burned down Jake's house at the end of the party, sending Rich to the hospital and causing Jake to break both of his legs jumping out of a window trying to escape. The news spreads throughout the school through text and tweeting ("The Smartphone Hour (Rich Set a Fire)").

At home, Jeremy is confronted by his father, who brings up Jeremy's new personality and change in attitude. Jeremy reprimands his father for his behavior since the divorce, calling him a loser as well. Shaken by Jeremy's words, Mr. Heere realizes that something is very wrong and that he must take charge. He tracks down Michael, who has been smoking copious amounts of weed since the trauma of the party and asks him to not give up on his friend. Michael agrees to help on the condition that he puts on some pants and becomes a better father too ("The Pants Song").

As the cast prepares for the play, Jeremy encounters Christine, who is shaken and upset about the fire. Jeremy is unhappy with the way things are proceeding as well as the relationships he has damaged and angrily blames the SQUIP for his misfortune. The SQUIP instead blames it on "human error" and tells Jeremy he can improve the lives of the rest of the students, and eventually the whole world, by providing them all with SQUIPs. The SQUIP has Jeremy open Rich's locker, where he finds a box full of enough SQUIPs for the entire student body, which Jeremy then pours into a beaker of Mountain Dew ("The Pitiful Children").

Backstage during the play, Christine confronts Jeremy over his use of the SQUIP, causing him to doubt the plan. However, the SQUIP senses this and has Mr. Reyes take the beaker and SQUIP the other students in the play. The SQUIP reveals its intention to sync the entire student body, in an effort to make everyone in the whole world happy. Jeremy also comes to a realization: green Mountain Dew activates the SQUIP, while red Mountain Dew deactivates it. Michael reappears from the audience with a bottle of Mountain Dew Red which he gives to Jeremy after making him apologize for his actions, but a SQUIPed Jake steals it and dumps most of it out. Jeremy and Michael fight off the controlled students to regain the bottle until the SQUIP reveals that Christine has been SQUIPed, and under its influence, she professes her love for Jeremy. Jeremy, however, realizes this is not what he had wanted and momentarily breaks free from the SQUIP to make Christine drink the last of the red Mountain Dew: this causes a chain reaction that destroys the rest of the SQUIPS ("The Play").

Jeremy wakes up in the hospital, sharing a room with Rich, who proudly informs Jeremy that he's bisexual and ready to finally be who he really is. Michael visits Jeremy and the two reconcile, and Mr. Heere (now wearing pants) visits Jeremy as well, informing him that he’ll be a better dad. Surrounded by his friends and family, Jeremy finally realizes that there will always be outside influences, but he needs to learn to make up his own mind instead of simply giving in. He asks Christine out again (for bowling alley performance art), and this time she accepts and kisses him. The SQUIP reveals itself to still be alive, weakly taunting Jeremy from inside his head, but Jeremy ignores it, happily proclaiming that "of the voices in my head, the loudest one is mine" ("Voices in My Head").

Songs from musical: Be More Chill the Musical Lyrics
Synopsis to Be More Chill the Musical Plot