How Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Selfies Became a Viral Joke on TikTok

Lin-Manuel Miranda is one of the most famous people to come out of Broadway, best known for his smash-hit musical, Hamilton. He is also a huge fan of selfies. While no one can judge his penchant for a good self-taken photo in the modern age, TikTok is doing its best. Recently, Miranda’s “selfie face” — which often involves him biting his lip — became a meme on TikTok.

Lin-Manuel Miranda and his selfies became a meme on TikTok

Kerry Washington and Lin-Manuel Miranda
Kerry Washington and Lin Manuel Miranda take a selfie backstage at the musical Hamilton on Broadway in 2015 | Bruce Glikas/Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic

According to Insider, “Gen Z is spamming [TikTok] with videos featuring Miranda biting his lip in a now-iconic selfie.” Because basically anything can become a joke on TikTok, dunking on Miranda’s theater-kid vibe became an easy — and honestly, funny — target.

TikTok creators began putting a photo from Miranda’s Twitter account into various situations, his lip-biting mug popping up all over the platform. Insider explained:

The most popular lip-biting image comes from a tweet that Miranda posted on Dec. 13, 2018, although another that he tweeted on Nov. 12, 2018 has also been making the rounds. This is far from the first time that Miranda has been roasted for his selfies — the most recent prior event was when he sold framed selfies on his website for $79.

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So, who came up with the TikTok joke?

“TikTok user @mitskifan42 … was one of the first to spam TikToks related to the trend,” Insider reported. They knew about the Miranda selfie meme, but subsequently turned it into a “rick-roll.” The TikTok-er tried several different audios to pair with the joke, and eventually, their hard work paid off. Now, Miranda’s face is all over the app.

Even Paper Magazine’s TikTok account got in on the fun, joking that Miranda’s lip-biting selfie would be an upcoming cover photo.

@papermagazine

Introducing the newest PAPER cover star…##OneLoveOneHeart ##TextReaction

♬ original sound – papermagazine

‘Hamilton’ star Miranda responds to the selfie jokes on Twitter

Miranda knows about the meme, but he seems to be taking the joke in stride, even mentioning the TikTok trend in one of his recent Twitter videos. In a tweet from mid-July 2020, the Hamilton creator was freestyle-rapping when fans heard the reference: “Bit my lip, ah sh*t, TikTok hates when I do that.”

However, many Twitter users commented below the video, telling Miranda that they, in fact, love it when Miranda bites his lip in selfies. But maybe just so they can keep poking fun at him.

Lin-Manuel Miranda
Lin-Manuel Miranda attends the 2020 Vanity Fair Oscar Party | Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

“The meme plays into several long traditions of clowning cringe selfies and theater kids alike, exacerbated by Hamilton’s massive popularity and recent resurgence,” Insider reported.

While the meme-users have gotten accused of “cyberbullying” the Hamilton star, the person who created the TikTok joke denies that. They don’t have any hard feelings against Miranda.

“A lot of people think I hate him or have something against him, but I really just think it’s a silly picture,” the TikTok user told Insider. “It’s no different than any other meme.”