"The Brat Pack is a nickname given to a group of young actors and actresses who frequently appeared together in teen-oriented coming-of-age films in the 1980s.
The term, a play on the Rat Pack from the 1950s and 1960s, was first popularized in a 1985 New York magazine cover story, which described a group of roughly interchangeable, but already highly successful and rich teen stars. The group has been characterized by the excessive partying of core members such as Rob Lowe, Robert Downey, Jr., Judd Nelson and Emilio Estevez, while their films have been described as representative of "the socially apathetic, cynical, money-possessed and ideologically barren eighties generation." The movies made frequent use of adolescent archetypes, were often set in the suburbs surrounding Chicago, and focused on white, middle-class teenage angst.
The "Brat Pack" moniker, often considered in a pejorative sense, was not known to be used by members of the group."Act as a Spiritual Successor to the '60s Rat Pack, and have their own Spiritual Successors today in the Frat Pack.
Films commonly associated with the Brat Pack:
- About Last Night
- Blue City
- The Breakfast Club
- Ferris Bueller's Day Off
- For Keeps
- Fresh Horses
- The Outsiders
- Oxford Blues
- Pretty in Pink
- St. Elmo's Fire
- Sixteen Candles
- Weird Science
- Adults Are Useless: Adults will generally have either a minor role, or act as Obstructive Bureaucrats.
- All of the Other Reindeer: According to Rob Lowe, Michael J. Fox used to complain to him about not being considered a member (although Lowe is pretty sure he was joking).
- Alpha Bitch
- The '80s And how! There's no way to NOT to know what decade these films were set in.
- High School: The setting for nearly every Brat Pack film; the only notable exceptions are St. Elmo's Fire and About Last Night.
- In with the In Crowd
- Monochrome Casting: You might notice that all the actors and actresses mentioned above are Caucasian.
- Production Posse: The trope that led to the birth of the Brat Pack (as well as all future "Packs").
- Sex as Rite-of-Passage
- Unnecessary Makeover: A couple of the movies (though not all by far) feature one of these, such as Allison in The Breakfast Club and Ducky in Pretty In Pink (although the later is clearly meant to be temporary).