Things That Bring Back Memories – “The Breakfast Club” #MondayMemories 74

Things That Bring Back Memories

For this week’s “Things That Bring Back Memories” post, I am going to pick something in the topic of “MOVIES” and go with “The Breakfast Club“.  This movie was released in 1985, and is one that almost every high school student back in the day has seen.  Especially those of us who were in detention often….ummm…not talking personally….yeah!! 😉

The Breakfast Club had a group of kids who had received detention, for some reason or another.  Like years ago, and I’m sure it still is the same way, they were all of different cliques and backgrounds of characters.  You had the criminal, the brain, the star athlete, the princess and the basket case.  It was so easy for all of us to feel that we matched with one of those characters.  I myself, was a little bit of each of them, in certain ways, I think.

If, for some reason, you are of an age that makes it difficult to remember this great movie, here’s a preview of what it was about:

The story was a great one, and finding out now that a lot of it was ad-libbed, in my mind, makes it even better!  That takes some talent to make up your own parts of the script, and have them be something that so many of us remember!!

clubWho else wanted to do that famous running in the hallway at the school like the characters did?  I still would love to try that!! 🙂  It was also fun to find out, while I was doing some research on the movie, that the little things that they were smoking back in the library was actually Oregano, and not the other green thing that we all thought it was.  Now I don’t recommend either, but it was great to know that they could “act” so well in those scenes!

This was definitely a movie that I will always remember.  The scene at the end with the diamond earring, was one that always meant so much!! Hearing that it will have a comeback for it’s 30-Year Anniversary from the original release (really makes me feel old :/ ), it will be really fun to go and watch it with a new generation.  We will be able to see if they feel like one of those students themselves, and are able to learn to just get along as a group when they need to.

Did you ever watch this movie when you were younger? or have you seen it on TV later in life?  Let me know what you thought of it, and if you have any memories of it in your life!

Who Remembers This Theme Song:

More Info on the Movie:

clubThe Breakfast Club is a 1985 American coming-of-age comedy-drama film written, produced, and directed by John Hughes and starring Emilio Estevez, Paul Gleason, Anthony Michael Hall, John Kapelos, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald and Ally Sheedy. The storyline follows five teenagers, each a member of a different high school clique, who spend a Saturday in detention together and come to realize that they are all more than their respective stereotypes, while facing a villainous principal.

Critics consider it one of the greatest high school films, as well as one of Hughes’ most memorable and recognizable works. The media referred to the film’s five main actors as members of a group called the “Brat Pack”.

The film, digitally remastered, will be screened in 430 theaters from March 26–31, 2015 in celebration of its 30th anniversary.


The Plot:

On Saturday, March 24, 1984, five students report at 7:00 a.m. for all-day detention at Shermer High School in Shermer, Illinois, “60062” (actually the Zip Code of Northbrook, Illinois), a suburb of Chicago. While not complete strangers, each of them comes from a different clique, and they seem to have nothing in common: the beautiful and pampered Claire Standish (a “princess”), the state champion wrestler Andrew Clarke (a “jock”), the bookish Brian Johnson (a “brain”), the reclusive outcast Allison Reynolds (a “basket case”) and the rebellious John Bender (a “rebel”).

They gather in the high school library, where the assistant principal, Richard Vernon, instructs them not to speak, move from their seats, or sleep for the next eight hours and fifty-four minutes (i.e., until 4 p.m.). He assigns them a 1,000-word essay, in which each must describe “who you think you are”. He then leaves, returning only occasionally to check on them. Bender, who has a particularly antagonistic relationship with Vernon, ignores the rules and frequently riles up the other students, teasing Brian and Andrew and harassing Claire. Allison is initially quiet, except for the occasional random outburst.

clubThe students pass the hours by talking, arguing, and, at one point, smoking marijuana that Bender retrieves from his locker. Gradually, they open up to each other and reveal their deepest personal secrets: Allison is a compulsive liar, Andrew can’t easily think for himself, John comes from an abusive household, Brian has attempted suicide due to a bad grade, and Claire is a virgin who feels constant pressure from her friends. They also discover that they all have strained relationships with their parents: Allison’s parents ignore her due to their own problems; Andrew’s father constantly criticizes his efforts at wrestling and pushes him as hard as possible; John’s father verbally and physically abuses both John and his mother; Brian’s parents put immense pressure on him to get good grades and keep it that way; and Claire’s parents use her to get back at each other during frequent arguments. The students realize that despite their differences, they face similar pressures and complications in their lives.

Despite their differences in social status, the group begins to form friendships (and even romantic relationships) as the day progresses. Claire makes it her mission to show Allison just how pretty she really is; Allison’s new look sparks the romantic interest of Andrew, who is stunned when Allison’s beauty is revealed. Claire decides to break her “pristine” virgin appearance by kissing Bender in the closet and giving him a hickey. Although they suspect that the relationships would end with the end of their detention, their mutual experiences would change the way they would look at their peers afterwards.

As the detention comes to its final moments, the group requests that Brian complete the essay for everyone, and Brian agrees, leaving the essay in the library for Vernon to read after they leave. The students part ways outside the school. Allison and Andrew kiss, as do Claire and John. Allison rips Andrew’s state champion patch from his letterman jacket to keep, and Claire gives John one of her diamond earrings, which he attaches to his earlobe. Vernon reads Brian’s essay (read by Brian in voice-over), in which Brian states that Vernon has already judged who they are, “in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions: a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess, and a criminal.” Brian signs the letter as “The Breakfast Club.” As the movie ends, John raises his fist in triumph as he walks across the football field for home.

Some of the Characters:

Emilio Estevez (Andrew “Andy” Clark) was born on May 12, 1962, in New York City. He is the eldest son of actor MartinSheen, who at the time was just breaking into the business. His mother, Janet Sheen, was a former New York art student who clubhad met Emilio’s father right after he had moved to Manhattan. Martin and Janet had three other children, Charlie Sheen, Renée Estevez, and Ramon Estevez, all of whom became actors. His father is of half Spanish and half Irish descent, and his mother, whose family is from Kentucky, has English and Scottish ancestry.  Though his father had opted to use the stage name “Sheen” over his more ethnic birth name “Estevez,” Emilio chose to retain the family name, hoping to avoid riding his father’s coattails. He also thought the double “E” set of initials was “pretty.”  Originally cast as Bender (The Criminal) in the seminal John Hughes flick The Breakfast Club (1985), Estevez took the part of Andrew (The Athlete) instead after Hughes could find no one else to fill the role. Another ensemble film, St. Elmo’s Fire (1985) came next. Then Estevez made his screen-writing debut with That Was Then… This Is Now (1985), a film in which he also starred.  He then starred in the Stephen King thriller Maximum Overdrive (1986), but the film was a failure. The ambitious young actor added directing to his palette with Wisdom (1986) in 1986, but the film was universally panned and struck out at the box office. Estevez quickly rebounded with hits like Stakeout (1987) and Young Guns (1988), as well as their subsequent sequels. He tried his hand at directing again with Men at Work (1990) before taking on one of his most famous roles as Coach Gordon Bombay in The Mighty Ducks (1992). The enormously popular Disney film spawned sequels and an NHL hockey team of the same name, but Estevez was interested in making weightier films. (IMDb Mini Biography By: Azure_Girl)

Anthony Michael Hall (Brian Johnson)  was born in Boston, Massachusetts. He is the son of Mercedes Hall, an actress-blues and jazz singer, and Larry Hall, who owned an auto body shop. His stepfather is a show-business manager. Hisclub sister, Mary Christian, is also a performer. He has Irish and Italian ancestry. Hall’s given name was Michael Anthony Thomas Charles Hall, but he adopted the Anthony Michael moniker upon finding that another Michael Hall was already a member of the Screen Actors’ Guild.  Hall began acting in commercials at the age of seven, and his breakthrough role was as Rusty in National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983) alongside Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo. Following the success of National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983), Hall entered the defining period of his career, starring in three John Hughes classics: Sixteen Candles (1984), The Breakfast Club (1985) and Weird Science (1985). Wanting to avoid being typecast, Hall turned down roles in two subsequent 1986 Hughes films, Pretty in Pink (1986) and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986). His early television credits include the Emmy Award-winning “The Gold Bug,” in which he played the young Edgar Allan Poe, as well as the TV movie Rascals and Robbers: The Secret Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn (1982), and specials “The Body Human” and “Orphans, Waifs and Wards.” On stage, he appeared in the Lincoln Center Festival’s production of “St. Joan of the Microphone.” In addition to acting, Hall has also pursued his musical talents, as songwriter and lead singer of his band, Hall of Mirrors, which was formed in 1998. Hall helps at-risk youth via The Anthony Michael Hall Literacy Club and lives in Los Angeles.

Judd Nelson (John Bender) was born in Portland, Maine to attorney Leonard Nelson and his wife, Merle Nelson, (attorney and state assemblywoman), Judd attended St. Paul’s preparatory school in Concord, New Hampshire before majoring in clubphilosophy at the prestigious Haverford College in Pennsylvania. The acting bug bit when he went to watch a friend’s audition and was obliged to audition in order to stay. He won the role.  After graduation, Judd headed for New York City and the Stella Adler Conservatory where he was believable in the role as the “street-smart Eddie Keaton” in the comedy Making the Grade (1984). Judd’s next film role was as the stodgy ROTC’er, Phil Hicks, in the ensemble comedy Fandango (1985). Important and diverse roles in the brat-pack films The Breakfast Club (1985) and St. Elmo’s Fire (1985) quickly followed. With his privileged upbringing, Judd could have brought the right degree of preppy-smartness, to any number of vapid roles, but his intense stare and dark smoldering looks gave him a hint of danger which added to his credibility in films like the Billionaire Boys Club (1987), From the Hip (1987) and New Jack City (1991).  While Judd’s career has been peppered with under-promoted films and poorly-written TV appearances, critics have not been overly kind to this misunderstood actor.  (IMDb Mini Biography By Kelley Ward)

Molly Ringwald (Claire Standish) Ringwald was born February 18, 1968, in Roseville, California, just outside of Sacramento, the daughter of clubAdele Edith, a housewife and chef, and Robert Scott “Bob” Ringwald, a blind jazz pianist.  Ringwald has two siblings, Beth and Kelly, and an older brother who died before she was born.  She started her acting career at age five, starring in a stage production of Alice Through the Looking Glass as the Dormouse. The next year, she recorded “I Wanna Be Loved by You”, a music album of Dixieland jazz with her father and his group, the Fulton Street Jazz Band.  She is an American actress, singer, dancer, and author. Her first major role was in The Facts of Life (1979–80) before making her motion picture debut in the independent film Tempest (1982) that earned her a Golden Globe nomination. After subsequently appearing in the successful John Hughes films Sixteen Candles (1984), The Breakfast Club (1985), and Pretty in Pink (1986), Ringwald became a teen icon. She later starred in The Pick-up Artist (1987), and For Keeps (1988). She starred in many films in the 1990’s, most notably Something to Live for: The Alison Gertz Story (1992) and The Stand (1994). Ringwald is part of the “Brat Pack” and she was ranked number 1 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Teen Stars.  She has played Anne Juergens in the ABC Family show The Secret Life of the American Teenager and released her debut album Except Sometimes in early 2013.

Ally Sheedy (Allison Reynolds) was born June 13, 1962 in New York City and has two siblings, brother Patrick and sister Meghan. Her mother, Charlotte, is a writer and press agent who was involved in women’s and civil rights movements, and her clubfather, John J. Sheedy, Jr., is a Manhattan advertising executive.  Her mother is Jewish and her father is of Irish Catholic background.  Her maternal grandmother was from Odessa, Ukraine.  Her parents divorced in 1971.  Sheedy attended Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School in New York City, graduating in 1980. She started dancing with the American Ballet Theater at age six and was planning to make it a full-time career. However, she gave up dance in favor of acting full-time. At age 12 she wrote a children’s book, She Was Nice to Mice; the book was published by McGraw-Hill and became a best-seller.  On June 19, 1975, she appeared on the game show To Tell the Truth in her role as a young writer.  She is  is an American film and stage actress, as well as the author of two books. Following her film debut in 1983’s Bad Boys, she became known as one of the Brat Pack group of actors in the films The Breakfast Club and St. Elmo’s Fire. She is also known for her roles in WarGamesPsych, Short Circuit and High Art.



Did You Know?

Emilio Estevez was originally slated to play Bender, but Hughes couldn’t find anyone else who was right for the Andrew role, so Estevez ultimately switched and the Bender gig went to Judd Nelson.

Anthony Michael Hall’s mother and sister appear as his character’s mother and sister in the beginning of the film.  

Allison’s dandruff, which she sprinkles to “make it snow,” was made of Parmesan cheese.

Filming took place in a real school gymnasium, which the studio turned into a library. (The same school was featured in Hughes’ Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.) According to Judd Nelson, the Chicago Blitz (football team) had been using the gymnasium and had to move their practices to either the school’s smaller gym, or outside. Judd (jokingly) said, “It was freezing outside—they hated us.” In actuality, during breaks or scene changes, Nelson would go out and catch balls or join in practicing punts.

The gate at the end of the hallway (in the so called “Scooby Doo running scene”) was really there; it sectioned off an area for problem kids who on the weekend would have to go there. Judd Nelson said every Saturday, he’d to go down and torture the kids, yelling things like: “Hey, you wanna go smoke? Oh yeah, you can’t!”club

When Mr. Vernon comes in and asks why is the door closed, you can see the chair he later uses to keep the door open, near the corner of the wall. When he goes back to get it, the chair has moved a foot to the right.

John Hughes almost fired Judd Nelson because of his negative attitude towards Molly Ringwald off camera. Paul Gleason convinced Hughes that Nelson was a great actor and was merely trying to stay in character.

At the very closing part of the film where Judd Nelson raises his fist in defiance, that was actually ad libbed. He was supposed to just walked into the sunset, so to speak, and the director asked him to play around with a few actions. When he was done and they were finishing up, Judd Nelson threw his fist up without running it by anyone. Everyone loved it, and it has become an iconic symbol of the 1980’s.


Thanks for stopping by today.  Please be sure to leave a comment, if this show meant something to you, too.  Or to just let me know what you think of the story in this post!   TigerStrypes claims no credit for any images used on this post, unless otherwise noted.  Images in this post are copyright to their respectful owners. If there is an image appearing on this blog that belongs to you and do not wish for it appear on this site, please email us with a link to said image and it will be promptly removed.  Thanks and have a great day!!

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9 years ago

Both of my boys love music and one of their favourite films of recent times is ‘Pitch Perfect’ which of course takes some inspiration from ‘The Breakfast Club’ for the final performance. This of course sparked great reminiscence from me and their Dad. I must confess that I was well into my 20s before I watched ‘The Breakfast Club’ for the first time and I think I probably appreciated it more because of that.
I love the detail in your post. You clearly enjoyed your research. Thank you for the trip down memory lane.

Pamela M. M. Berkeley
9 years ago

Believe it or not I’ve never seen The Breakfast Club… not deliberately just never happened to catch it on TV or deliberately seek it out. I’ve always heard it was a classic though.

9 years ago

Love this movie and love the extra tidbits of info you offer! Interesting about the fist in the last scene….that was a huge scene back in the day! 😉

Nikki Renee
9 years ago

I didn’t watch The Breakfast Club until the 90s, but only because I was a little kid when it first came out, and I wasn’t allowed to watch those types of movies, hehe. To this day, I still enjoy listening to Don’t You Forget About Me. Thanks for the trivia bits.

Dawn @ Reveal Natural Health

I love The Breakfast Club! I didn’t realize parts of the movie were ad libbed. The cast worked really well together and all went on to do other great work.

9 years ago

I was only two when this movie came out.. I have seen bits and pieces of it when it’s on TV, but I never saw the whole thing. It never really interested me, I guess because I was so little during the 80s and it doesn’t relate to my high school experience.

9 years ago

I LOVE The Breakfast Club. Love. Love. Love! Thanks so much for bringing me back.

9 years ago

This post brings me back lol I love this movie!

9 years ago

I always liked this movie, but didn’t know a lot of the stuff you shared today. Fun reading about it! Thanks for sharing.

Lori Hart
9 years ago

This movie is a classic! I can’t tell you how many times I watched it. I graduated high school in 1981 so this was so familiar to me at the time. Plus, I spent a few days in detention myself, lol.

9 years ago

I haven’t seen this movie but I will add it to my Netflix queue. 🙂

9 years ago

I LOVE this movie. It is definitely iconic of my childhood (I am so old!) It brings back so many good memories. I did run around the hallways with my friends and I served my time in detention. 😉

Betty Bite
9 years ago

I have not seen this movie in forever! I always liked to watch it on those Sundays when there was nothing to do. I did not know that Emilio Estevez was originally slated to play Bender! so many great facts. Wonderful article for fans. Thanks

Cortney Hogan
9 years ago

I need to watch this movie. I’ve heard so many great things! It’s going on my watch list after this post! Thanks!

9 years ago

Such a good movie! Love all the background info on it, I never knew that they ad libbed a lot of it. That’s so awesome, such talent that must take.

9 years ago

You need to have your own wikipedia!…Maybe tigeristrypespedia? haha. Great coverage of the movie. I have never watched the movie but now I want to!

9 years ago

I was actually JUST reading an article about the filming of this movie and how they tried to make the process as organic as possible – they even filmed the scenes in order, which is not standard for movies! Very cool!

Pam Russo
9 years ago

Believe it or not I have never seen the movie but enjoyed reading your post. I’m definitely going to make it a point to see it now. Thanks.

9 years ago

Oh my goodness this is one of my favourite films and I remember it so well. I was the perfect age when it came out and loved it. I loved high school and this so reminded me of the time I was there. I had no idea that some of the scenes where ad-libbed! great to know
thanks for researching a classic!

Andrea Kruse
9 years ago

An 80’s classic! As a child of the 80’s it is always fun to go back and watch … oh, the memories! This is one of my faves along with Say Anything, Sixteen Candles, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Weird Science. Never realized till now that Anthony Michael Hall was in so many of my favorites!

Anne Campbell
9 years ago

The Breakfast Club is a real classic! Thanks for this fun blast from the past–and for the updates on the cast. Now I have “Don’t you…forget about me…” running through my head!

Julie S.
9 years ago

I didn’t grow up with that movie, but I can see the appeal and it is such an 80s thing hehe.

9 years ago

Wow, somehow I have made it through 32 years of life without seeing this movie! I think I may need to rent it tonight 🙂

9 years ago

Oh, yeah! Love that movie and actually have St. Elmo’s Fire on DVD. I remember the cliques in high school well and “The Breakfast Club” captured them perfectly. Looking forward to seeing it again.

9 years ago

Ahhh such a classic, and such a wonderful walk down memory lane. I was “coming of age” when these kids were, so it holds such a special place in my heart. I introduced this movie to my children and they bought the DVD for me for Christmas one year. One of my daughters used that amazing quote (“We’re all pretty bizarre. Some of us are just better at hiding it, that’s all.”) in a speech for her high school senior project, which was judged by parents, and I knew they would all love & smile at the reference. I didn’t… Read more »

9 years ago

I have a lot of fond memories of this movie. It was such a great one. I can’t believe how long it’s been since it came out though. Makes me feel so old, ugh!

9 years ago

Ah yes I loved this movie – I was 15 when it came out, so of course we watched it over and over! Add St. Elmo’s Fire and you have many of my high school weekend’s covered here!

9 years ago

Wow, you really got me interested! I have never seen this movie, but now will ask my hubby to join me, the timing is perfect- it’s weekend!
Thank you 🙂

Lalia Frolick
9 years ago

I remember this movie all too well! Although I wasn’t an 80’s child, these movies were HUGE when my mother was still young enough to appreciate them, and she introduced them to me as well. I have to say, though, I was surprised when I watched it several years ago that there is more mature topic content than I had ever realized even as a teenager!

Bakari Chavanu
9 years ago

Yes, I remember this film very well – and could actually relate to some of it. Thanks for your post.

9 years ago

Am I allowed to admit that I’ve never seen The Breakfast Club? I am ashamed. I’ll add it to my list of must-see “nobody can believe I’ve never seen” movie list!!! (I do love Molly Ringwald!)

9 years ago

Wow, more than I would have ever known about these characters. Good information to have for trivia games 🙂 only if I could remember it all. 🙂


9 years ago

Love this movie! I never had detention, but I always imagined something like this! Have you noticed pretty much every teen drama has a “Breakfast Club” episode?

9 years ago

Would you believe have I have never seen this? I know about it and have seen parts of it. Guess I need to add it to my “must watch” list!

Jeryl M.
9 years ago

Thanks for the nostalgia trip! This brings back a lot of memories.

Karen @ Crafty Commons

One of my all time favorite movies! I’ve also heard that Molly Ringwald had John Hughes wrapped around her little finger. Maybe that’s why she was in so many of his movies back then.

9 years ago

Love this movie! I wasn’t allowed to watch the movie when it came out – I was too young 🙂 But since them watched it several times and enjoyed it every time! Thank you for a great post with so much new information I didn’t know!

Glenda Cates
9 years ago

This is one of my all time favorite movies and any time it is on TV I sit down and watch it. I have also had my son watch it with me. SInce I never got to see it on the Big Screen I can not wait till it comes back out to go and see it. The only thing I hate is that my daughter is not here to go with me as she also Loved it.

Heather M
9 years ago

I never watched The Breakfast Club but I love reminiscing about things from when I was younger and seeing them make a comeback.

9 years ago

This is one of my most favorite movies EVER! Judd Nelson also annoyed everyone because he stayed “in his role” during breaks….he never dropped character. This also attributed to him almost getting fired…LOL

9 years ago

I love this movie and have seen it so many times! Great reading all the inside info, thanks!

9 years ago

Somehow I have never watched this one, I guess I was too young when it came out, but will add to the to do list.

Tricia Wehner
9 years ago

WOW ! You did a really great job on this article! Very informative. Even if a person never watched it,they would be very enticed to . And thank you for bringing back the memories !

9 years ago

Molly Ringwald is the best! I didn’t see this movie when it first came out, but I definitely watched it later! Great movie!

Linda Kinsman
9 years ago

I can’t help but love this iconic coming of age movie. Now that my girls are older, they want to watch it. Especially since I always sing along with Don’t you forget about me when it comes on the radio.

Carlee C
9 years ago

I of course immediately started singing “Don’t you forget about me” as soon as I read this title. I think it is awesome that these actors are still pretty active, I know I have seen them time to time in TV shows and mentioned in Broadway productions.

Tough Cookie Mommy
9 years ago

The Breakfast Club is one of my favorite movies of all time. Molly Ringwald was such a great actress.

alison shaffer
9 years ago

I never knew all that about Judd Nelson-always wondered about him! I love this movie, and now in the movie acapella at the end when they sing the song Don’t you forget about me is so awesome how the boyfriend and girlfriend raise their arms up-don’t know the names.

thanks for the memories of such a great film, how they came together, and how they grew up one Saturday.
great post

tara pittman
9 years ago

My husband loved this movie, so we watched it a couple of times. Love Molly Ringwald the best