61 The Breakfast Club (1985) Movie Facts You Haven't Read Before
The Breakfast Club is the 1985 cult teen classic film directed by John Hughes. It takes place on Saturday 24th March 1984 and sees 5 students from very different parts of the school social system forced together for weekend detention under the supervision of the Assistant Principal. The Breakfast Club Movie Facts include which part Emilio Estevez was cast in before Andrew, which scene Molly Ringwald and her Mother refused her to perform and what Allison's dandruff really was.
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The Breakfast Club is the 1985 cult teen classic film directed by John Hughes. It takes place on Saturday 24th March 1984 and sees 5 students from very different parts of the school social system forced together for weekend detention under the supervision of the Assistant Principal. Their Saturday detention became a pivotal Coming Of Age moment where they realised that their lives are similar than stereotypes would have them believe. The film has the tagline, “They only met once but it changed their lives forever.”
The Breakfast Club is considered to be John Hughes‘ most recognisable and culturally significant work. It debuted at number three at the box office in February 1985 behind Beverly Hills Cop (Brest) and Witness (Weir).
The famed Breakfast Club members are:
• Judd Nelson stars as John Bender - the Criminal.
• Molly Ringwald is Clare Standish - the Princess.
• Emilio Estevez as Andrew Clark - the Athlete.
• Anthony Michael Hall as Brian Johnson - the Brain.
• Ally Sheedy is Allison Reynolds - the Basket Case.
Paul Gleeson also stars as the Vice Principal Richard Vernon. The character is named after the actor, Richard Vernon who starred in TV Shows and Films such as Goldfinger (Hamilton 1964). He also starred in A Hard Day’s Night (Lester 1964) which fits well with the character Vernon who claims that he wanted to be John Lennon when he grew up in The Breakfast Club.
Originally, this film was to have three girls and three boys!
1. The Breakfast Club Created “The Brat Pack”
The Breakfast Club was released in US cinemas on the 15th of February 1985 and became a critical and commercial success. It earned US$5.15 million on a budget of US$1 million. The five main actors to star in The Breakfast Club have been dubbed by the media as, “The Brat Pack”.
The Brat Pack (in reference to the famous Rat Pack in the 50s and 60s) was first used in a New York magazine article by Daniel Blum after watching several young successful film stars being mobbed by fans at the Hard Rock Cafe in Los Angeles. The Brat Pack includes mainly the actors who starred in two 1980s classics The Breakfast Club and St Elmo’s Fire (Schumacher, 1985).
The members of The Brat Pack are:
• Emilio Estevez
• Anthony Michael Hall
• Rob Lowe
• Andrew McCarthy
• Demi Moore
• Judd Nelson
• Molly Ringwald
• Ally Sheedy
Robert Downey Jr is also cited as part of The Brat Pack.
2. The Breakfast Club Has Been Preserved In The National Film Registry
In 2016, The Breakfast Club was chosen to be preserved in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress in the United States. Films being preserved had to be deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically” significant. The Breakfast Club was also digitally remastered in 2015 and shown again in 430 cinemas for its 30th anniversary.
3. Ringwald and Hall Had Previously Worked With John Hughes
Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall had both starred in John Hughes‘ film Sixteen Candles in 1984. Hughes asked the two of them to be in The Breakfast Club towards the end of filming Sixteen Candles. Anthony Michael Hall was the first to accept his role as Brian Johnson.
Brian Johnson is also the name of front man of rock band AC/DC.
4. Anthony Michael Hall’s Family Starred In The Breakfast Club
Anthony Michael Hall’s real life mother (Mercedes Hall) and sister (Mary Christian) played the characters of his mother and sister in The Breakfast Club.
5. Molly Ringwald Was Originally Given The Role Of Allison
Molly Ringwald was originally approached to play the character of Allison Reynolds, the Basket Case case. She claimed in a New York Times interview that she had been really upset not being considered for the role of Claire Standish.
6. Clare Standish Was Originally Cathy Standish
Interestingly Claire Standish was originally named Cathy in the first draft of The Breakfast Club script.
John Hughes was so impressed by Molly Ringwald’s performance as Claire that he invited her Mother to come in to watch the dailies.
7. Laura Dern Auditioned For Claire Standish
Robin Wright, Jodie Foster and Laura Dern all auditioned for the role of Claire Standish before John Hughes gave the part of his “muse” and frequent collaborator, Molly Ringwald.
8. Emilio Estevez Was Originally Cast As John Bender
Emilio Estevez originally auditioned for the role of John Bender in The Breakfast Club. However when John Hughes was unable to find somebody to play Andrew Clark, Estevez was recast.
9. Nicholas Cage Was Considered For John Bender
Before the part of the criminal John Bender went to Judd Nelson, actor Nicolas Cage was considered for the role. John Bender was the last role to be cast in The Breakfast Club and it ended up coming down to either Judd Nelson or John Cusack.
10. John Cusack Was Originally Cast As John Bender
Judd Nelson and John Cusack were the last two in the running to play The Breakfast Club’s John Bender. John Cusack was originally cast to play the role however John Hughes decided to replace him before filming began because he did not have the right threatening look for the role.
11. Judd Nelson Would Stay In Character Off Camera
Judd Nelson, who plays John Bender in The Breakfast Club, Would stay in character when the cameras weren’t rolling. John Hughes was disappointed in this because he would continually harass Molly Ringwald and the other actors would regularly have to convince Hughes not to fire him.
12. Rick Moranis Was Originally Cast As The Janitor
Rick Moranis was originally cast as the role of the Janitor in The Breakfast Club but left the production due to “creative differences” and was replaced with John Kapelos.
John Candy was also considered for the role of Carl, the Janitor.
13. John Hughes Nearly Didn’t Direct The Breakfast Club
Despite The Breakfast Club now being held as one of John Hughes‘ most important film works, he nearly didn’t direct the film. He explained in a 1999 interview that his request to direct The Breakfast Club was met initially with scepticism from the film’s investors due to his lack of experience. However, he managed to convince them that he was the right candidate due to The Breakfast Club’s small US$1 million budget and single shooting location. There wasn’t a lot that could go wrong.
14. The Breakfast Club And Ferris Bueller’s Day Off Were Filmed At The Same School
Both popular John Hughes films, The Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off were both filmed at Maine North High School in Des Plaines, Illinois. The interior shots in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (Hughes 1986) were filmed there but the exterior shots were filmed at nearby Glenbrook North High School. Maine North High School closed in 1981 before the filming began. It had been used as a Park District office, an office for the Chicago team in the United States Football League and is now the Illinois City Police Station.
15. The Breakfast Club Was Filmed In Sequence
The Breakfast Club actors rehearsed for three weeks and then shot the film in sequence. The library at Maine North High School was considered too small to be in the film so the crew rebuilt an identical but larger set in the school’s gym.
16. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off And The Breakfast Club Were Made At The Same Time
Interestingly, John Hughes has said in the Ferris Bueller’s Day Off DVD commentary that he filmed both films concurrently to save both time and money. In some of the outtakes of both of the films you can see elements being made by crew members who were working on the other film.
In 2015, the first draft of The Breakfast Club film script was discovered in Maine South High School as they were moving their offices to a new building.
There is a fan theory to say that due to its proximity in filming schedules The Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off could be set in the exact same school. The Breakfast Club would take place before Ferris Bueller and Ed Rooney could be the Principal to Richard Vernon’s Vice Principal!
17. The 5 Archetypes Were Originally Different
The marketing poster used for The Breakfast Club features a photograph taken by Annie Liebovitz of all five characters sitting, huddled together, staring into the lens. The poster also includes the five archetypes referred to when discussing each character, however slightly differently to the ones we know today. They originally were, “a brain, a beauty, a jock, a rebel, and a recluse.” Instead today the five archetypes that are commonly used when describing The Breakfast Club are, “the brain, the princess, The athlete, the criminal, and the basketcase”.
“The Brain” is also an anagram when referring to Brian Johnson.
18. The Main Theme Of The Breakfast Club Is Stereotypes
The main theme of The Breakfast Club is teenage stereotypes and the pressures faced because of them. As The Breakfast Club goes on, the five students who originally seem to have nothing in common realise that their lives are pretty similar and that they are all combating peer pressure and parental expectations. They empathise with each other and discover that they are more similar than they are different.
19. The Breakfast Club Goes Beyond The 80s…
The Breakfast Club is continually mentioned in lists for naming the best films of all time but it has also been parodied and discussed in the media ever since it’s release.
Here are some interesting instances:
• Paul Gleason reprised his famous role of Assistant Principal Vernon in the 2001 film, Not Another Teen Movie (Gallen).
• Molly Ringwald wrote an article in The New Yorker critiquing John Hughes’ films in ‘In The Age Of #MeToo’ in 2018.
• The sitcom Victorious parodied The Breakfast Club in their episode “The Breakfast Bunch.
20. The ‘Sat On The Floor Of The Library’ Scene Was Improvised
The famous scene in The Breakfast Club which sees all five characters sat in a circle on the floor of the library telling stories about why they’re in detention was not written in the script. Writer and director John Hughes told the actors to improvise their answers.
Another improvised moment in The Breakfast Club was when Anthony Michael Hall’s character said why he had a fake ID.
21. Judd Nelson’s Iconic Fist In The Air Was Improvised
One of the most iconic images from The Breakfast Club is the end shot in which Judd Nelson’s character John Bender punches the air. He was originally supposed to just walk off into the sunset and John Hughes asked him to try a few actions when walking off. In one take he threw his fist up to the sky and supposedly everyone loved it. This action became such an iconic symbol of the 1980s and teen cinema in general.
22. Judd Nelson Really Flinches From Paul Gleason’s Punch
John Bender flinches when assistant principal Richard Vernon goes to punch him. Judd Nelson really thought that Paul Gleason was going to hit him in that scene.
23. John Hughes Regretted The Marijuana Scene
John Hughes has said in interviews that his biggest regret in The Breakfast Club was using the sound effect of breaking glass during the scene with the marijuana. The Marijuana itself was actually Oregano!
24. John Hughes Wrote The Breakfast Club In 2 Days
John Hughes wrote the screenplay of The Breakfast Club in just two days across the 4th of July and the 5th of July 1982.
25. There Were Meant To Be Sequels To The Breakfast Club
There had been a loose plan to create several sequels of The Breakfast Club featuring the five characters every 10 years getting back together. However this did not happen, possibly due to the volatile relationship between John Hughes and Judd Nelson who played John Bender. John Hughes publicly stated that he would never work with Nelson again. He had also fallen out with Molly Ringwald in the late 80s after she decided to move on from the teen film genre and pursue more adult roles.
26. Judd Nelson Made Up A Lot Of Bender’s Lines
Judd Nelson made up many of the terms used by his character John Bender in The Breakfast Club including the line, “Neo-Maxi Zoon Bweebie”.
27. Molly Ringwald Wasn’t Comfortable With The Dance Scene
In the script only Claire Standish was meant to dance but Molly Ringwald felt uncomfortable dancing alone so John Hughes got the entire cast to join in. Ringwald said that she regrets not dancing on her own because it gave the scene an artificial MTV type feel which she believed affected the film’s look overall.
Molly Ringwald obviously wasn’t able to complete the lipstick trick so they used different camera angles to make it look like she could!
28. One Cast Member Wore Their Own Clothes Another Ralph Lauren
The costume used for John Bender in The Breakfast Club was comprised of the clothes that Judd Nelson auditioned in. He was also the owner of the switchblade used in the film. For the correct worn look of his boots, Judd Nelson poured motor oil on them and left them for a day.
Molly Ringwald’s costume was bought from Chicago’s only Ralph Lauren store as John Hughes thought the original costume lined up for her wasn’t sophisticated enough.
Anthony Michael Hall grew so much during production of The Breakfast Club that he began shorter than the other actors and was taller by the end!
29. Judd Nelson Pranked Real High School Students
Judd Nelson, who plays John Bender in The Breakfast Club, went undercover at a local Chicago High School for research purposes. There he convinced teenagers that he was a legitimate student and he ended up buying them beer with his “pretend” fake ID telling them to drop him off at the hotel in which the actors were staying. In an interview much later he said that he told the High School students the reason that he was staying there was because his Dad was incarcerated.
30. John Kapelos Got Into Some Hot Water With Emilio Estevez On Set
John Kapelos who plays Carl Reed, the Janitor in The Breakfast Club, gave the young actors some advice on their performances saying not to overdo it laughing that Michael Sheen had once suffered a serious heart attack while filming Apocalypse Now in 1979. Awkwardly, Kapelos hadn’t realised that Martin Sheen is Emilio Estevez’s Dad! Estevez was angry at the joke and Kapelos apologised to no additional consequences.
In interviews Kapelos has said that he was so upset over that remark even for years after so much so that when he appeared on The West Wing he told Martin Sheen the story. Sheen allegedly found it very funny!
31. Allison’s Dandruff Was Actually Parmesan Cheese!
Ally Sheedy is often misquoted when it comes to the dandruff seen in The Breakfast Club. A Hollywood myth is that she shook her own dandruff out of her hair but instead the production team sprinkled her hair using Parmesan cheese!
33. There Was Demand To Make The Breakfast Club A Play
While rehearsing The Breakfast Club, John Hughes got the actors to perform it as if it was a play. After the film became a hit at the box office, he was asked to write the script as a play so that students in High School could perform it.
32. “Don’t You Forget About Me” By Simple Minds Was Written For The Film
The theme song of The Breakfast Club is the unforgettable Simple Minds hit “Don’t You Forget About Me”. It was actually written for the film by composer Keith Forsey and it was originally pitched to Billy Idol and Bryan Ferry who turned it down. It was also turned down by Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders who suggested they offer it to Simple Minds, the band being fronted by her husband at the time, Jim Kerr.
33. Ally Speedy Is Responsible For The David Bowie Reference
At the beginning of The Breakfast Club there is a David Bowie quotation from the song, “Changes” (1971 Hunky Dory). Ally Sheedy is responsible for suggesting the quote to John Hughes who liked it for the film.
Sheedy is also responsible for the idea to put Cap’n’Crunch Cereal into the sandwich to give it an extra crunchy sound as well as suggesting that Claire Standish eat Sushi for lunch. Originally she was meant to eat Pasta but Sheedy thought Sushi was more of a luxury food and would fit better with her character.
34. What did The Breakfast Club Characters Eat For Lunch?
• Andrew Clark had a bag of chips, chocolate cookies, three sandwiches, milk, a banana, and an apple.
• Claire Standish had sushi (rice, raw fish, and seaweed).
• Allison Reynolds had a sandwich with Pixie Stix and Cap'n Crunch cereal.
• John Bender had nothing.
• Brian Johnson had soup, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (with the crusts cut off), and apple juice.
35. How Old Was The Cast In The Breakfast Club?
When filming began, Molly Ringwald was 16 (she turned 17 three days after the film’s release), Emilio Estevez was 23, Anthony Michael Hall was 16, Judd Nelson was 25, Ally Sheedy was 23.
36. Ally Sheedy Doesn’t Speak Until 25 Minutes In To The Movie
The Basket Case, Allison Reynolds played by Ally Sheedy does not speak until 25 minutes into the film. She says “Ha!” to Claire who tells her to shut up.
Ally Sheedy had previously auditioned for John Hughes’ Sixteen Candles but lost out to Molly Ringwald for the part of Samantha Baker. She auditioned With two large black eyes from a set building incident which gave her a Gothic look. When it was time to cast the part of Allison in The Breakfast Club, John Hughes remembered her.
Despite her The Breakfast Club character being called Allison, Ally Speedy’s real first name is Alexandra.
37. There Are Many Deleted Scenes From The Breakfast Club
John Hughes originally wanted The Breakfast Club to be 2h30m long. Many of the scenes were cut and the negatives have been destroyed so John Hughes had the one complete copy of The Breakfast Club on film. There were many scenes cut from the movie including:
• Carl the Janitor brutally predicts where the five will end up in 30 years time. He says that Bender will have killed himself, Claire will have had “two boob jobs and a facelift”, Brian will have become very successful but will die of a heart attack due to stress at a high paying job, Alison will be a great poet but no one will care and Andrew will marry a gorgeous airline stewardess who will become fat after having children! Are these fates worse than being a high school Janitor, Carl?
• John Bender wasn’t originally going to walk to school but instead was dropped off by his Dad in a rusty truck. His dad would throw a lunch bag at him saying, “you are a waste of lunch meat!”
• Alison was meant to give a demonstration of her writing with her toes.
• After getting cans of soda, Bender shakes a can and sees which member of the five gets it. Alison ends up getting it and the soda squirts directly into her mouth when she opens it. Alison was also meant to smoke a cigarette when off getting the sodas.
38. There Were Meant To Be More Staff Members In The Breakfast Club
There are also several school staff members that were cut from the script before filming including Dr Lange, an oddly dressed Social Studies teacher. Also, Robin, a gym teacher who would replace Vernon as watching over the detention.
39. Assistant Principal Vernon Was Modelled On A Real Teacher
Vernon was based on John Hughes’ High School wrestling coach who failed him in gym class. Hughes allegedly ran into him later in life where he complimented the film but said the teacher was a real jerk!
40. Mr Standish’s BMW Belongs To John Hughes
Claire Standish’s Father has a BMW in the film which actually belongs to John Hughes.
John Hughes can actually be seen picking up John Bender at the end of the film.
41. John Hughes Gave Away The Library Banister To The Cast
At the end of filming The Breakfast Club, John Hughes gave each actor a piece of the bannister from the library.
42. The Breakfast Club Is Based On Hughes’ Own High School Experience
John Hughes regularly sets his films in Shermer Chicago, a fictitious town. Weird Science (1985), Ferris Beueller’s Day Off (1986), Sixteen Candles (1984), Pretty In Pink (1986) and National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983) are all set there. The Zip Code which Brian mentions at the beginning of The Breakfast Club is 60062 which is Northbrook, Illinois where Glenbrook North High School is. John Hughes attended Glenbrook North High School and “The Breakfast Club” is what the school actually named Saturday Detention.
43. Molly Ringwald And Anthony Michael Hall Dated
The actors playing Claire Standish and Anthony Michael Hall dated for a while after The Breakfast Club had finished shooting.
44. The Cast Would Play Basketball Together Between Takes
The cast and crew often played basketball in the gym together between set ups. John Hughes also asked all the cast and crew to eat lunch together in the Maine North High School Cafeteria.
45. Judd Nelson Filmed A Lot With Ringwald’s Stand In
In an interview with AV Club, Judd Nelson discussed that most of the close up scenes filmed with Molly Ringwald were actually with her double. Molly was 16 at the time so she had to be in school during a lot of the shooting schedule so the producer’s couldn’t always have her on set due to strict labour laws working with people under the age of 18.
46. The Breakfast Club Was Nearly Named The Lunch Bunch!
Before they settled on The Breakfast Club, the film’s creators had proposed other titles including “The Lunch Bunch” and “Library Revolution”. The title of the film is actually the last line spoken.
47. There Are Over 10,000 Books In The Breakfast Club Library
The Chicago Public Library donated over 10,000 books to be used in the Library set in The Breakfast Club.
48. There Are Several Crew Cameos In The Breakfast Club
The sign on the Guidance Counselor's desk in The Breakfast Club displays the name "R. Hashimoto". Richard Hashimoto was the production supervisor of the film.
There is also aprom queen election poster on the wall of the school that includes the name “Michelle Manning” - she was a producer on the film.
49. Vernon Was A Well Paid Assistant Principal!
While shouting at Bender in the closet, Assistant Principal Vernon says that he earns US$31,000 a year. If you adjust his salary for inflation, it comes to US$78,653.28 in 2021.
50. Molly Ringwald Wrote About Sexual Harassment In The Breakfast Club
In 2018 Molly Ringwald, who plays Claire Standish in The Breakfast Club, wrote a piece in The New Yorker Magazine in which she described watching the film with her 10-year-old daughter.
She was bothered by the scenes of sexual abuse and harassment in the film and the other films by John Hughes.
She discussed how, in the times of the #MeToo movement, scenes like these were disturbing and sent mixed messages to her daughter's generation. Especially since viewing The Breakfast Club itself is basically a right of passage film for all teenagers.
However she stood by the work stating that these issues were a product of the times they were created in and that Hughes' films were still beneficial in helping teens assert their independence and find their identity.
51. The Library Sculpture Looks Like A Henry Moore Piece
The large statue in the library, which Allison puts lunch meat on, resembles Henry Moore’s piece, "Standing Figure, Knife Edge". The piecesare editioned works so John Hughes either borrowed it for The Breakfast Club, or used the piece as the model.
52. The Breakfast Club Inspired Stanley Kubrick
Stanley Kubrick has allegedly watched The Breakfast Club (1985) multiple times and was impressed with Anthony Michael Hall's performance. He compared him to a young Spencer Tracy and wanted to cast him in the lead role in his film Full Metal Jacket (1987). Months of negotiations later, Hall turned down the offer and the part went to Matthew Modine.
53. Ally Sheedy’s Son Had To Watch The Breakfast Club At School
Ally Sheedy said during an interview in 2020 that her son never wanted to watch any of her films. However, when he was 13, he had to watch The Breakfast Club as it was part of his Film Class curriculum at school. She went on to say that he told her it was a good movie and that he liked her character.
54. Heart and Soul Really Can Be Played By Your Feet!
Alison Reynolds (Ally Sheedy) says in the dialogue that she can play "Heart and Soul" by Frank Loesser and Hoagy Carmichael on the piano with her feet. Interestingly, this is same the song that Tom Hanks and Robert Loggia played using their feet on the giant piano in the toy store in Big (Marshall, 1988)!
55. This Is Why Brian Knows The Janitor
When Carl the Janitor enters the library he says hello to Brian by name and asks how he is. This is obviously a joke because obviously the “Nerd” would be friends with the Janitor. However, in a cut scene, it's revealed that Carl was the person to find the flare gun in Brian's locker.
Brian is also the only one of the 5 characters who reveals their middle name, Ralph.
Another interesting interaction is that Allison, Brian and Carl are the only ones to make John Bender laugh.
56. The Final Breakfast Club Essay Was Only 96 Words Long
The Breakfast Club characters were given the task of writing a 1,000 word essay each during the Saturday detention. However the final essay only ended up being a total of 96 words.
57. Molly Ringwald And Her Mother Tried To Stop The Upskirting Scene
In her 2018 article for The New Yorker Magazine, Molly Ringwald said her and her Mother tried to get John Hughes to not film the scene where Bender peeks under Claire's skirt, but Hughes refused.
Molly Ringwald said he hired an adult woman as a stand-in for the scene because she was under the age of 18 and she didn't think it was legal to film the scene with her. However she felt that even having another person pretend to be her was embarrassing and upsetting to her mother. They both were aware about the scene when Ringwald accepted the role.
58. Molly Ringwald Was Offered Teenage Roles Into Her Late 20s
Molly Ringwald was so recognisable for playing teenage characters that she was still being offered teenage roles way into her late 20s. A notable one that she turned down was the lead role, Sidney Prescott in Scream (Craven, 1996). The role was eventually played by Neve Campbell. Ringwald told Entertainment Weekly that she turned down the role because she “didn’t want to be a 28 year old still playing high school girls…”. Ironically the rest of the Scream cast were not that much younger than her. Neve Campbell was 24, Drew Barrymore was 25 and both Skeet Ulrich and Matthew Lillard were 26.
59. John Hughes Consistently Uses The Nickname “Richie”
In The Breakfast Club, John Bender refers to Claire Standish (Molly Ringwald) as “Richie” because of her class background. In John Hughes’ other successful film, Pretty In Pink, Molly Ringwald’s character Andie refers to Blaine, played by Andrew McCarthy, as the same thing.
60. Why Were The Breakfast Club Characters In Detention?
The full list of reasons why each character from The Breakfast Club was in detention is:
• Claire Standish ditched class to go shopping.
• John Bender pulled a false fire alarm.
• Brian Johnson’s flare gun, that he apparently had in school to commit suicide, went off in his locker.
• Andrew Clark had taped a guy’s butt cheeks together in the school locker room!
• Allison Reynolds said she had nowhere else to be, but she is also a compulsive liar so this possibly isn't true.
61. Bender Would Have Had Saturday Detentions Until 19th May 1984
When provoking Assistant Principal Richard Vernon in the film, John Bender is threatened with detention on Saturdays for the next eight weeks. With the film being set in March, this would mean that John Bender would have had detention up until the 19th of May 1984.
Bender is continuously provoking Vernon upping the amount of days he would be spending in detention and it is later implied that this is done intentionally. He would rather spend time at school on a Saturday then at home with his abusive father. It is also implied that he acts in a rebellious way so his peers would think he is a troublemaker rather than someone suffering abuse.
Interestingly John Bender is the only member of The Breakfast Club group that is seen crying.
61 The Breakfast Club (1985) Movie Facts You Haven't Read Before