If you consider that Brian is basically the narrator of the film, except at the end, the song "Don't You (Forget About Me)" being the theme actually makes a lot of sense. Brian was the one in the group who brought up the concern about no one staying friends on Monday, so of course he's going to be concerned about being forgotten. Also, as the nerd, he's the most likely, apart from Allison, to not be remembered. Finally, at the end of the film, every character narrating signifies that no one wants to be forgotten by each other. Quite touching/sad really.
This one didn't occur to me until nearly twenty years after the initial release of the film. When the gang gets to lunchtime, Bender immediately goes around asking people what they've got for lunch and ridiculing the stuff they've got. He then moves off to sit somewhere else. He doesn't eat lunch. On reflection, given he's basically from an abusive household, of course they wouldn't have packed his lunch for him. That's why he fronts the other about their lunches—he's trying to distract them from the fact that he hasn't got any.
Why couldn't Bender pack his own lunch?
He probably didn't have any chance. Or nothing to bring for lunch, considering he has neglectful parents.
It pretty much matches up with the concept that bullies are often the ones crying out for attention. Bender is a complete jerk, but if you look at it closely enough, he deliberately pushes discussions hard enough that the other kids eventually have to react—like the point where he eventually blows up after showing the cigarette burns his father gave him. Vernon doesn't notice because he's the authoritarian, and had probably dealt with hundreds of people like Bender, but the other kids do. On the one hand, Bender doesn't want to talk about his issues—which is why he deflects stuff. On the other, he probably does want to let it out. It doesn't excuse the way he treats pretty much everyone in the film except Allison, but it's a likely explanation. Even his somewhat triumphant pose at the end could be down to the fact that he just might have some people there for him, now—as well as being just a little iconic.
The Ironic Echo used in the movie "You don't even count. If you disappeared forever, it wouldn't make any difference. You may as well not even exist at this school." First in the beginning of the movie Andy says it to Bender. If you watch Judd Nelson's face, you can see some hurt that, now that I think about it, is very much intentional. So Bender fires something back and they all move on. Next, near the end of the movie when Bender sarcastically makes fun of Claire's lipstick-talent-thingy. Andy scolds Bender for saying such mean things. Then Bender repeats what Andy had said to him, first to point out how hypocritical he is for even saying that, but then you realize it really did hurt Bender, what Andy previously said. It doesn't matter how tough you may or may not be, words tend to stick and hurt and last. Almost Freudian Excuse-like, but it brings it back to Bender always crying out for attention. He wants people to notice if he is there or not, if he is okay; it's human nature. And the only way he knows how is to act out and be a total jerk!
I was listening for post-production audio echo after reading this—there isn't any. Clever repetition though, yes.
Consider what the movie says about the prestigious/successful: Claire's parents are rich, but they're also divorcing and emotionally abusing their daughter, who is unhappy and upset because of the position her peers force her into. The principal evidently doesn't like his job, despite the fact that principal is quite a respected position. Carl, who was once his class's Man of the Year, is a janitor. Brian's parents force him to work hard, not caring about how much stress he's under, and Andy's father has alienated his son to the point that Andy wants to give up a sport he's good at so his father will leave him alone. From this, the underlying message of the film might well be construed as 'Success/riches/prestige don't equal happiness, so don't force yourself or others to achieve them'.
On the topic of Carl, the movie is about breaking down social barriers and features characters that are all ranked differently on the school hierarchy. Andy is at the top as a representative of the school, Claire is a step below, Bender is in the middle, Brian is on the lower end and Allison is at the bottom as she is ignored by everyone. Carl is there to show that you shouldn't waste time worrying about who society says you should care about and just be friends with who you want. This also extends to family, as the five characters have dreadful parents yet are expected to maintain close relationships with them because of blood ties.
The main page points out Allison's nature as an Attention Whore but also states that she doesn't realize that she's doing it, which is the entire point of her characterization. She is an Attention Whore like Bender, just in more subtle ways at first. She gradually opens up, says things that she thinks will make Andy interested, proceeds to work her way into conversations, and then explicitly reveals why, in that her parents ignore her. So she is an Attention Whore, but not in the traditional sense of usually being spoiled for attention and the like—she's merely overcompensating to make people take notice, which her story regarding her therapist makes entirely clear. She's also a pathological liar, which also suggests that if her parents ever did ask her if she was okay, she could tell them she was fine because the damage was already done, and explains her tall-tales to Andy about drinking vodka whenever she wanted.
I always wonder why the movie was called Breakfast Club. Later on, I learned that "breakfast" literally means "to break bread", and in Biblical times, it was a part of a day for friends to get together. So, by the end of the film, the misfits have considered on another friends.
Playing fast and loose with etymology there, perhaps. "Breakfast" literally means to "break the fast" that you've endured overnight since the last night's meal. However, in communities that live in close quarters, it was generally true that breakfast would be the first mealtime of the day that everyone would be together.
Maybe everyone realizes this one by now, but regarding Bender's life, you have to wonder what keeps him going. His life at school is horrible: bad grades, principal and teachers don't like him, and it appears that the rest of school doesn't either, going by what Vernon told him—"You're a lying sack of shit and everyone knows it"—his life at home is evenworse—which may explain the bad grades—he doesn't seem to have any ambition for himself, so it begs the question of how does he go on? His friends. Sadly, we only get a glimpse into the dynamic between his relationship with them, but watch how defensive he gets when Claire says they would laugh at him for being seen with her. It also marks one of the few times in the movie where he genuinely gets angry as opposed to just acting cocky or disrespectful.
Bender scoring seven weeks of detention seemed stupid to me at first, until I realized that aside from wanting to escape his home life, Bender also despises Vernon so much that he wants to inconvenience him by forcing him to be at school for eight hours every Saturday.
When Andy unpacks his lunch, piece-by-piece, he does something odd. He first unpacks his four sandwiches and milk, then makes as though to put his bag away, then slowly takes out two pieces of fruit. While might seem like a tiny moment of comic relief, it's actually extremely telling of his life—not only did Andy not pack his own lunch, he had no idea what was in it. Andy is so disconnected from control of his own life, he can't even decide what he eats. Prize racehorse indeed.
In spite of how controversial Allison's makeover is, if you think about it, in the end she looks exactly how her actress, Ally Sheedy, looked in real life. So her makeover most likely really does symbolize her showing her true self, especially with Andrew saying "I can see your face." Though the light pink/white blouse and bow was too much.
Claire and Bender's relationship if one looked at it in a more cynical mindset.
Pay close attention to the opening and the kids arriving with their parents; At first glance, Bender almost gets run down by Allison's parents because he's walking into the road. Looking closer, Bender is already crossing the road when he nearly gets driven into—Allison's parents making an incredibly abrupt stop. Fridge Horror kicks in when you realize that if Allison's parents don't care about her, why would they care about or notice anyone else's kids?
Also note that Bender doesn't look before crossing the road to make sure there isn't a car coming. His home life is so screwed up that he doesn't even care if he gets hit by a car.
Another one from the scene with Allison being dropped off. The car stops for Bender, and Allison gets out, then the car stops for a second, with Allison standing there...then, the moment she tries to move toward the front window, it drives off. Allison's parents aren't just ignoring her, they're actively avoiding her, and making it blatant to her. That poor kid.
I noticed when the group is talking in a circle that Bender seems really disengaged. He's almost always seen looking away and not really contributing. What I found interest/ironic was that throughout the whole film, he seems to look down on Brian the most. Bender doesn't like Andy, but he takes him more seriously, somewhat like Claire. As for Allison he doesn't seem to mind her. What got me is when Brian is talking about the gun and his Driven to Suicide attempt. You can see at this point Bender doesn't look condescendingly towards him anymore, and this is because Bender is the one most likely to commit suicide. He finally related to him on a level that no one else could.
Chances are that the kids would be arrested by Monday. Their clothes probably smell like pot and so did most of the library. While the the other parents are neglectful, Brian's parents will probably notice something like their son's clothes smelling like narcotics after a botched suicide attempt. Doubtful he can stand up to police interrogation.
As big as the library is, the pot smell will more than likely disappear before too long. Allison could've also had an aerosol deodorant spray or Febreze in her bag to cover up the smell as well. Bender also smoked a cigarette in the room at the beginning of the movie, and Vernon didn't say anything. Unless smoked habitually in an area, cigarette smoke lingers on more than weed smoke.
And what makes you think that Brian's parents would even recognize pot smoke?
When you combine Vernon's attitude towards his job, the dysfunctional/abusive backgrounds of all the kids, and the disrepair of Shermer High as seen in the opening—messy tables, ashes on the floor, etc.—it'll eventually hit you in the face that is as much a Crapsack World as Neon Genesis Evangelion.
None of the adults seemed too concerned about the fact that Brian brought a gun to school, even if it was a flare gun.
Also remember this took place pre-Columbine in the mid-1980s, before people really began to take kids bringing guns to school seriously. They were probably just dismissive because "oh it was only a flare gun, and he had it in his locker and didn't hurt anyone" so just a slap on the wrist and a detention.
When Vernon has Bender locked in the closet and is threatening to kick the crap out of him, take a look at Bender's body language. He's clearly heard that sort of talk from his father - his physically abusive father. Even if Bender could take Vernon in a fight, he clearly doesn't want to, because he knows what happens when he fights back.
The whole subplot with Brian's parents. What exactly is their son going to get out of their extreme pressure to make perfect grades? They could have found other ways of encouraging him instead of mental cruelty.
They probably saw him as a slacker who needed that pressure to make anything out of himself.
Truth in Television. Parents like Brian's aren't always reasonable. There are plenty of cases like his in Real Life where parents just don't understand how cruel their levels of pressure are—or who, for any number of reasons, genuinely believe that cruelty is better for their child in the long run.
My own parents used to say, "If you put pressure on coal, you get a diamond."
It's also entirely possible that they genuinely don't see it as being cruel at all. After all, we live in a society that tells people that if you work hard and achieve, you can get whatever you want. Obviously that isn't true but it's still something people willingly buy in to, and there are probably thousands of cases of parents who pressured children through school because to them, a higher grade equates to a better future. And who's to say they know they're the root cause of Brian's detention? He was probably pissing himself at the thought of having to tell his parents he'd be spending a Saturday in detention without mentioning what the exact cause of it was...
It seems odd that kids in detention are left entirely unsupervised for large portions of the movie. Even in the mid-1980s.
There's nobody there except the kids, Carl and Vernon. Carl has his own job to do and Vernon hates his job—he's there on a Saturday, who wouldn't? But he doesn't care enough to actually do a good job, nor does he care what they get up to. He just wants it to be over so he can go home. The only time he interfered was when he overheard a noise, like Bender falling through the ceiling, or when he caught them in the act, like Bender in the gymnasium.