Characters: The Breakfast Club

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The Breakfast Club

    In General 

The Breakfast Club

  • Abusive Parents: Every single one of them have parents who treat them horribly. For specifics, go to there individual folders.
  • Character Development: All of them learn to embrace who they really are, as well as accepting other people.
  • Knights In Sour Armor: None of them exactly inspire optimism, but they try to handle their lives and try to escape the cycle of abuse and complete misery that happened to their abusive parents.

    John Bender 
Played by: Judd Nelson

  • Abusive Parents: His father is a physically abusive alcoholic, who also beats his wife, who isn't a good parent either.
  • Anti-Hero: An Unscrupulous Hero at best or a Nominal Hero at his worst.
  • Attention Whore: Will seemingly do anything to attract your attention.
  • Ax-Crazy: On display, such as in the "I want to be an Airborne Ranger" scene, and threatening Andy with a knife. Over the course of the film, it becomes clear that it's only an image he cultivates for himself.
  • Berserk Button: Call him a liar. We dare you.
  • Book Dumb: For someone who's made out to have plenty of school trouble, Bender is scarily articulate and intelligent.
  • Byronic Hero: Rather street smart instead of book smart, but he's also extremely hostile to everyone.
  • Cool Loser: Bender is an outcast in the school, but looks like a cool guy to hang out with when he isn't being psycho.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Often makes snide remarks towards Vernon.
  • Five Temperament Ensemble: Sanguine
  • Freudian Excuse: His violent behavior comes from his dad, as deep down, he's unhappy about life in general.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Bender draws the attention of Vernon after the Club runs into a dead-end during their hallway jaunt, allowing the other four to get back to the library undetected.
  • Ineffectual Loner: In the beginning, he comes off as an antisocial and loudmouthed Jerkass, but once you understand his backstory, he becomes more sympathetic.
  • Jerkass: He's rebellious, obnoxious, and violent.
  • Jerk Ass Has A Point/Smarter Than You Look: While he isn't book smart, he is able to cleverly deduce things about the others. He was the first to tell that Claire is a virgin before Allison made her admit it and was the first to notice that Andrew didn't like his parents before Andrew tearfully admitted it in the end.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: His sympathetic qualities are buried so deeply under so much antisocial behavior and cynicism that it comes off as a Hidden Heart of Gold at times.
  • Heroic Comedic Sociopath: Straddles the line between this and a Sociopathic Hero.
  • Last Name Basis: Note how the other kids refer to him simply as "Bender".
  • Miles Gloriosus: He puts out an image of toughness but Andy is able to take him down with ease. Even when Bender pulls a knife and casually talks about killing Andy, he's slowly backing away from the fight.
  • Mouthy Kid: When Vernon attempts to find a solution to keep the door open. Bender's comments are both hilarious and true.
  • Sarcastic Clapping: "That was great, Claire. My image of you is totally blown."
    Bender: You're an idiot anyway, but if you said you liked your parents then you're a liar too.
  • Sociopathic Hero: At first, then he warms up to the four others he's spending detention with.

    Claire Standish 
Played by: Molly Ringwald

    Andrew 'Andy' Clark 
Played by: Emilio Estevez

  • Abusive Parents: His father lives vicariously off of his athletic achievements.
  • Anti-Hero: A Pragmatic Hero.
  • Big Eater: His lunch consists of a bag of chips, three sandwiches, an apple, a banana, a bag of cookies, and an entire carton of milk. Being he's on the wrestling team, his diet is probably calculated to help him stay in a specific weight class.
  • Big Man on Campus: He's a big wrestling star. Consequently, he's used to acting this way.
  • Everyone Has Standards: One of the reasons he hates his father. He may be a jock, but there are lines he refuses to cross, and he's not a sell-out.
  • Five Temperament Ensemble: Phlegmatic
  • I Know Madden Kombat: Bender makes fun of Andy for being on the wrestling team, but once pushed into a confrontation, Andy is able to use his wrestling techniques to take him down with ease.
  • Jerk Jock: Deconstructed. Andy's only acting that way because his father essentially makes him act that way, obsessed with winning and living through his son. And Andy is painfully aware of it.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's deeply ashamed of his father's behavior and what he did to earn his said father's love.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: He's a great athlete, but he's also well aware of the fact his father's riding his coattails.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Andy outright states in an emotional breakdown that all his dad cares about is his son's win-loss ratio.

    Brian Johnson 
Played by: Anthony Michael Hall

  • Abusive Parents: His parents guilt trip, intimidate, and generally emotionally abuse him to make straight A's. Like Andy's dad, it's insinuated that they're living through him as well.
  • Adorkable: He's the brainiest of the kinds in detention, and is rather socially awkward.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: His response to Claire's claim that he and his friends want to be like her and the "cooler kids", and that he doesn't know what pressure feels like, is a direct "fuck you!" to her.
  • Butt Monkey: He brought a gun to school. But, it was a flare gun, and it went off in his locker, damaging school property, which is how he ended up in detention. In the movie, the other characters all look down on him, even Bender.
  • Classical Anti-Hero: Easily one of the nicest characters in the story, despite how harshly life treats him.
  • Five Temperament Ensemble: Melancholic
  • Girlfriend in Canada: Or so he claims. No one believes him.
  • Insufferable Genius: Deconstructed. His parents enforce the idea that he has to get straight A's in order to be anything in his life, and as smart as he is, it's never enough.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: Arguably becomes this by the end of the movie.
  • Nice Guy: The nicest character in the entire film.

    Allison Reynolds 
Played by: Ally Sheedy

  • Abusive Parents: You're probably noticing a theme here. Though Allison's parents are more neglectful than outright abusive, it still ties into the topic of conversation.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Exhibits a lot of spastic behavior, as one may think she's mentally ill.
  • Crazy Consumption: Allison lets her soda spill out, and licks it off the table. Then she throws away the baloney from her sandwich, and replaces it with Pixy Stix (powdered candy) and Cap'n Crunch cereal.
  • Five Temperament Ensemble: Leukine
  • Handy Feet: She claims she has them. In the uncut version of the movie, the only copy of which was on a VHS tape lost after John Hughes' death, this claim was followed with her actually writing with her toes, completely filmed.
  • It Amused Me: She comes to detention just because she can.
  • Loners Are Freaks: She's often ignored by everyone, including her own parents causing her to do bizarre things.
  • Morality Pet: Allison is the only in detention that Bender doesn't act like a jerkass to.
  • Parental Neglect: The only information she ever volunteers about her parents is when Andy asks her what her parents did to her. She replies with a simple but pained "they ignore me".

The Adults

    Richard 'Dick' Vernon 
Played by: Paul Gleason

  • Dean Bitterman: Although it's deconstructed somewhat in his conversation with Carl.
    Vernon: Carl, I've been teaching for twenty-two years. And, each year, these kids get more and more arrogant.
    Carl: Aw, bullshit, man. Come on, Vern, the kids haven't changed; you have. You took a teaching position because you thought it'd be fun, right? Thought you'd have summer vacations off. And then you found out it was actually work, and that really bummed you out.
    Vernon: These kids turned on me. They think I'm a big fucking joke.
    Carl: C'mon…listen, Vern, if you were sixteen, what would you think of you, huh?
    Vernon: Hey, Carl. You think I give one rat's ass what these kids think of me?
    Carl: Yes, I do.
  • Jerkass: It's most prominent with Bender, but he treats every student in detention like they're the scum of the earth.
  • Knight Templar: He might have good intentions with why he wants the students to write an essay, or to set them on the right path in life. But, he goes so far in his pursuits, and acts like such a colossal jerk to everyone, it's impossible to sympathize with him.
  • Meaningful Name: There's a reason why his name is Dick. Have a guess.
  • Non-Giving-Up School Guy: He'll do whatever it takes to make sure the students have a good education. Though it's implied in the conversation with Carl that he hates his job, and only goes so far because it's the only way he can exert any control.

    Carl Reed 
Played by: John Kapelos

  • Almighty Janitor: He makes some really accurate (if cynical) predictions about the students, and tells off Principal Vernon to his face when he complains about them.
  • Badass Boast: He makes one when Bender makes a crack at his job. It's so awesome, this troper never wants to make fun of Janitors again.
    Carl: You guys think I'm just some untouchable peasant? Serf? Peon? Well, maybe so. But following a broom around after shitheads like you for the last 8 years, I've learned a couple of things. I look through your letters. I look through your lockers. I listen to your conversations, you don't know that but I do. I am the eyes and ears of this institution, my friends.
  • Deadpan Snarker: A dry, sardonic sense of humor.
  • Jaded Washout: Gained a pretty cynical outlook on life.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: He isn't exactly cheerful about life or his job, but hey, somebody has to take out the trash.

    Mr. Standish 
Played by: Tim Gamble

    Mrs. Johnson 
Played by: Mercedes Hall

    Mr. Clark 
Played by: Ron Dean