I still consider this one of my favorite films of all time. I already know the one major, glaring problem in The Breakfast Club that makes me want to kill myself and my television, every.single.time (more on this later), but let’s see how the rest of it holds up!
2. Rather than fading out the David Bowie quote flashed up at the beginning of the movie, the screen splits into shards of glass that then fly away to reveal Shermer High School. 1980s effects were… not special.
3. I never understood why the janitor’s photo appears at the start of this as Man of the Year. Is the janitor really Man of the Year? Or is this post-modern commentary on how society should treat custodians? I don’t know. Can someone tell me?
4. As a British person, I have a hard time believing that anyone has ever had to do detention at 7am on a Saturday morning. Has that ever been a thing? Don’t American teachers have lives? Can someone tell me that too? It just seems far-fetched to me.
5. “We’re not supposed to study, we’re supposed to just sit there,” Brian tells his mom. This also seems far-fetched. Middle-aged Americans! Help! I genuinely don't understand your 1980s high schools...
6. Based on what the library looks like, I think Shermer High School must be a really shitting nice high school. In Our Lady’s Convent School, our library was a small dark box room full of books from the 1940s that had clearly been donated by the Salvation Army. This thing looks like part of an FBI building. I mean...
7. John Bender’s outfit would still be 100% acceptable today, except for the fishnet gloves he’s wearing. What's with the Burning Man hands, bro?
8. “Why don’t you go close that door, and we’ll get the prom queen impregnated?” Wait. John Bender is a rapist? Or at least pretending to be? Oh no, John Hughes… Why are all your movies so rapey? And why didn’t any of us notice ten years ago?
9. Kids get shit now for being politically correct, but kids in the 1980s were apparently super sensitive about inconsequential shit, like dudes pretending to pee on floors and references to "hot beef injection"s. Get a grip, kids.
10. Bender says “Eat my shorts,” a full five years before Bart Simpson takes credit for the phrase. Matt Groening is a dirty thief.
11. Bender lights his boot on fire in order to light a cigarette. Why have I never learned this trick? That seems like something I should’ve been doing in 1992.
12. Allison makes a beautiful snowy picture using some exquisite line work and her own dandruff. I know she’s supposed to be gross, but frankly, I think she’s brilliant.
13. The “Can you hear this? Do you want me to turn it up?” flipping of the bird that Bender does is so fucking quaint.
14. “You’re a neo-maxi-zoom dweebie.” Bender is SO quaint, he’s even quainter than bikers in 1950s movies!
15. “Claire is a fat girl’s name.” Claire is visibly upset by Bender elaborating on the fact that she’s going to get fat one day. Is this why men still think we get upset when they call us fat? John Hughes has a lot to answer for...
16. Brian is too embarrassed to say hi to the janitor even though the janitor greets him by name for reasons that are literally never explained. “Carl,” Bender asks. “How does one become a janitor? I just want to know how one becomes a janitor?” So all these kids are entitled shitheads. Even the poor one. It's probably because their library is so fancy.
17. After the janitor schools Bender, Bender smiles, impressed. The implication is that one day, Bender will become the janitor. Hughes is telling us that who we are in High School dictates the rest of our lives. No “It Gets Better” shit here!
18. Bender has so far quizzed both Claire and Brian on their virginity statuses. Why is Bender so obsessed with other people’s sex lives? It’s fucking weird.
19. All of the drinks purchased for the kids are Cokes. This is a real thing, kids. Back in the '80s, bottled water literally didn’t exist, so this is how people hydrated. It is utterly astounding when I think about it now. I don’t remember what I used to drink with lunch, but I do know I would go the entire day without any water, then go home and not drink any water there either. Oh, history...
20. I’m upset that Bender acting out his and Brian’s home lives doesn’t prompt someone to tell him to join the drama club. He’d be GREAT!
21. Bender takes the kids on a school walkabout to his locker to pick up his weed, thereby putting them all at risk of another detention. But they all do it anyway, with zero personal motivation. Sure!
22. Bender has a guillotine rigged up in his locker. Well isn’t he handy?
23. Bender sacrifices himself to save the others as they try and get back to the library. Total team player. However, when he is caught in the gym hall, he tells the principal “I’m thinkin’ about tryin’ out for a scholl-ar-sheeep” in one of those accents white people used in the ‘70s and ‘80s when they were “impersonating” black people. It is jawdropping in its offensiveness.
24. The principal locks Bender in a supply cupboard, with the words “I make $31,000 a year, I have a home and I’m not about to throw it away on you.” $31,000? What is that in 2017 money, because that sounds real shitty to me.
25. Bender escapes through the ceiling and falls into the library through the roof. When the principal comes in, Bender hides under a desk, conveniently giving himself and us, whether we want it or not, a close up of Claire’s thighs and underwear. Oh, casual objectification, I fucking hate you. (Also, Claire doesn’t strike me as the kind of girl who would wear a skirt and sit with her legs open like that, especially when there’s a man under the table that she is fully aware of.) FUCK JOHN HUGHES.
26. Andrew locks himself in a room titled “foreign language” because: symbolism. His tiny joint has successfully filled the room in its entirety with thick smoke and heavy metal. He emerges, does cartwheels, dances around a bunch, punches an American flag, rips his shirt off, pretend punches himself in the face, does more athletics and air punching and then screams until one singular window smashes perfectly. John Hughes doesn't know how weed works.
27. Best line of the whole movie:
28. “Have you ever done it?” Allison asks Claire. (Why is everyone so obsessed with virginity in this room?) “If you say you haven’t, you’re a prude. If you say you have, you’re a slut. It’s a trap.”
First sensible, pertinent goddamn thing anyone has said in this movie so far.
“Or are you a tease?”
Aaaaaaand, we’re back. Ugh.
29. “She’s a tease,” Andrew chimes in. “I don’t do anything!” Claire exclaims. “That’s why you’re a tease,” Allison says. Jesus. Fucking. Christ. “I would do it though,” Allison says, referring to sexual activity. “If you love someone it’s okay.” Um. EXCUSE ME!? Everyone in this movie is a Conservative Christian.
30. Andrew tells a story about torturing a weaker kid and cries because ABUSIVE GUYS AREN’T BAD, THEY’RE JUST MISUNDERSTOOD, YOU GUYS.
31. “When you grow up, your heart dies,” Allison says. Second best line of the movie.
32. Anthony Michael Hall is a REALLY good actor. For real.
33. Imagine how hilarious the world would be if this was the only dance that anyone was allowed to do, regardless of event and mood, forever and ever, amen.
34. Why is no one making fun of Andrew’s air guitar?
35. Bender somehow magically gets back into the ceiling vents to go back to his closet prison. Someone explain this to me. Did he learn to fly? I'll remind you: this is how high the ceiling is in the library:
36. The part where Claire gives Allison a makeover, thereby telling the whole world that weird girls don’t really WANT to be weird, we just look that way because we literally don’t know how to put fucking make up on. FUCK. YOU. JOHN. HUGHES. If some fancy bitch in High School gave me one of these shitty pink makeovers, I’d probably have vomited on her, then punched her in the face. Amiright, fellow weirdos?
37. The new Allison (where the hell did that pink shirt come from anyway?) is now “acceptable” for Andrew to hit on. Again: FUCKYOUFUCKYOUFUCKYOUFUCKYOUFUCKYOU. This hurts my fucking soul every time I see it. For a movie that’s supposed to be about accepting kids for who they are and understanding why they are the way they are, this is the pits. And fucking sexist. Where’s John Bender’s goddamn makeover??
38. Oh. Here it is! Claire gives Bender one of her diamond earrings! PAWN THAT SHIT, SON!