“Saturday March 24, 1984. Shermer High School. Shermer, Illinois. 60062.”
It was 30 years ago today that five unlikely friends (the jock, the princess, the weirdo, the nerd, the rebel) met in detention one Saturday morning to become The Breakfast Club just hours later. The iconic John Hughes-directed eighties flick was, and still is, more than your run-of-the-mill coming-of-age film. It shed a light on what growing up is really like which still rings true today.
In celebration of this anniversary, we’ve put together just 10 of our favourite moments in pop culture that referenced John Hughes’ The Breakfast Club. Alas, considering the movie has been references over 130 times since its release in 1985, our list is probably vastly different from your own. Feel free to leave your favourite moment in the comments below!
1. One Tree Hill
The Breakfast Club was a great inspiration to many episodes of this teen drama. Most prominently, John Hughes was the character Julian’s filmmaking idol and referenced Hughes’ work when directing his own first film. An episode from the seventh season was even titled “Don’t You Forget About Me” after the Simple Minds song that has become known as TBC anthem.
2. Cougar Town
In the season four episode “The Criminal Kind,” the main characters end up in “grocery store jail” and leave a note for the manager that just like the one left in TBC. The cast even parodies the film’s iconic dance scene during the end credits and calls themselves “The Grocery-Store Club.”
“The Breakfast Bunch” was an episode entirely dedicated to recreating TBC. Each main character of Victorious takes on one of the roles of the five main Breakfast Club characters and they spend their detention getting into trouble like the original movie.
4. Dawson’s Creek
Similar to the shows mentioned, the characters in Dawson’s Creek become The Breakfast Club in the episode “Detention.” Not only is the episode referencing the hit movie, Dawson even points it out saying “This is so Breakfast Club!” and explains what he means.
5. Lizzie McGuire
In the an episode in the second season called, “She Said, He Said, She Said” everyone gets into a food fight in the school cafeteria leading to Lizzie leaving a note for the principal in TBC style admitting their part in the fight and naturally, “Don’t You Forget About Me” plays during the end of the episode.
6. Gilmore Girls
Referencing The Breakfast Club in multiple episodes, Lorelai talks about the movie by name and even calling Rory “Anthony Michael Hall in ‘Breakfast Club’ smart.”
In the pilot episode, not only does socially-awkward, pop culture-obsessed Abed compare the study group to the Club, he also ends up quoting John Bender’s monologue about his abusive father during a heated debate and causing it to fizzle as a result. He and group leader Jeff Winger also reenact the dance scene while drunk in a later episode.
8. Pitch Perfect
TBC becomes a key part of the plot as the movie unites rebel Beca with movie music nerd Jesse. Beca remixes “Don’t You Forget About Me” for their final number as a way to apologize to Jesse who then accepts her apology by raising his fist into the air à la John Bender.
9. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Another John Hughes film, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off alludes to TBC a few times. One of the car’s license plates reads T-B-C and the school halls are the same ones from TBC.
10. Easy A
In Easy A “Don’t You Forget About Me” plays when Olive rides off into the sunset with her love interest, Todd at the end of the movie. Mr. Griffith, her teacher, even says, “You mess with the bull, you get the horns” (a quote that has been used many times in movies and TV shows). Just to make the inspiration even more transparent, a clip from the TBC is also used in the film.
What’s your favourite Breakfast Club reference?