YMMV: The Breakfast Club

  • Accidental Innuendo: "Grab some wood there, bub."
  • Alternate Aesop Interpretation: Some consider the actual moral to be "no one actually learned anything".
    • Cracked has a very dark interpretation of Claire and Bender's romance, and where it's most likely headed.
    • When the rest of the Breakfast Club asked Brian to do the paper one could see it as them taking advantage of him because he's the smart one of the group.
    • All the time that they've spend on detention was finding new ways to take advantage of one another.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: By the bucketload.
    • Was Vernon actually going to beat Bender down? Or was it all an act to prove that Bender isn't as tough as he says he is?
      • Is Vernon an jerkass authority figure that uses his authority to bully the students or is he the designated villain of the movie?
    • Does the gang really care about eachother? Sure they formed some kind of bond during detention but exactly how close is that bond is up for debate.
    • Could the teenagers be exaggerating how horrible their home lives are? Because they aren't exactly honest, and clearly suffer from depression.
      • Taking a look at Brian's interactions with his mother its clear that she isn't exactly mother of the year material. So its safe to assume that his home life isn't as perfect as Bender believes it is.
  • Anvilicious: Growing Up Sucks and Adults Are Useless. The movie pulls no punches in shoving it in your face.
  • Base Breaker: Bender. You either love him for being a sympathetic, flawed jerk, or think he's an insufferable prick who got with Claire, despite previously sexually harassing her.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: The dance montage late in the film. Nothing sets it up, it doesn't advance the plot and is never mentioned again.
    • One could see it as the moment where most of the group finally loosened up and became capable of opening up to/with each other.
  • Broken Base: The makeover that Alison got from Claire, while it is a known complaint of the movie in which some even accuse it of being a rather anti-individual Family-Unfriendly Aesop there are also those who will defend it (see Unnecessary Makeover and Misaimed Fandom below).
    • The pairings at the end with Bender & Claire and Andrew & Alison, while there are plenty of viewers who find them to be classic examples of cinematic romance. There are also plenty of those who find one or both of them to be blatant cases of Designated Love Interest that would never last. Those who go for the latter often either prefer alternate pairings or believe they all were just too abusive to eachother for any romance to reasonably last.
    • It was also recently revealed that one of the What Could Have Been ideas for the film to make it raunchier was that Karen Leigh Hopkins was going to play the role of a female Teacher who was a Fanservice Extra that was seen nude in the Girl's Locker Room. However some of the ladies who worked on the film such as Molly Ringwald and Ally Sheedy were against the idea calling it "Sexist and Misogynistic" and demanded that the scene be removed. When word of this got out there were plenty of people who agreed with Molly and Ally and that it would be incredibly sexist and distasteful to add in a scene just so a woman can be a nude Fanservice Extra. However that being said there were also folks who were against this and find the reasons to be rather hypocritical. Namely the idea of a brief nude Fanservice Extra scene is too horribly sexist to allow yet they put in Allison's makeover scene which is highly regarded to be a Unnecessary Makeover is perfectly okay? That and some point out how its rather ironic to fire a woman from a potential job due to "feminist reasons". Though some take a more moderate approach that regardless of what you feel about fanservice it was a pointless scene that would've done nothing for the plot and didn't fit with the movie's tone anyway.
  • Common Knowledge: Everyone knows that Bender crawls through an airshaft to get back to the library. Except he doesn't. As this clip shows, he crawls through the ceiling, not an airshaft.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: The theme performed by Simple Minds.
    • The closing credits music too, which was a song — no, an anthemic powerhouse of a funk/rock dancer — called "Heart Too Hot to Hold" by Jesse Johnson and Stephanie Spruill.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: The movie definitely suffers from this. There are practically zero characters that aren't violently unlikeable or dysfunctional on some level, and the Ambiguous Ending doesn't help matters. "Life sucks and then you die" sums it up nicely.
  • Designated Villain: Vernon. Much like Dean Rooney, you're supposed to see him as the bad guy for being antagonistic towards Bender, despite the fact that he left the detention room without permission, brought drugs to school and got everyone to smoke, had a knife on him and threatened to stab someone with it, and caused thousands of dollars in damages for collapsing the vent. While threatening Bender was a dick move on his part, he never actually carried out that threat.
    • That and, abuse of authority aside, some folks felt that Vernon threatening Bender was the closest thing Bender got in a comeuppance due to how much of a jerk he was throughout the rest of the film.
  • Ear Worm: Don't you... Forget about me...
    • We are not alone! You'll find out when your cover's blown..
  • Fan Fic Fuel: The rather open-ended ending on how it wasn't answered whether if the 5 actually stayed friends or not by Monday in which of course does rely on your stance in the Idealism vs. Cynicism debate. While there are viewers who went for the flat out Idealistic belief that all 5 of them stayed friends and the Official Couples (Bender X Claire and Andy X Allison) did truly last while others believed that they all went their seperate ways by Monday. However there are plenty who Took a Third Option and go with a bit of both. Either on how they all still stay to be friends but the Official Couples didn't last. Or some of them still stay friends while some of them don't (usually its either Claire and/or Andy that ditches them to stay with their cliques and its Bender, Allison and Brian that are still friends. However those who do this option are normally those who ship Bender with Allison). Or maybe those who had already admitted to or exhibited their own coldness drop most of the others (Bender and Claire), while those who said they wouldn't don't (Andy, Brian, and Allison).
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Considering the rise of the Education Mama nowadays, watching Brian's subplot with his family may have this effect.
    • The story of Brian bringing a gun to school, regardless of the fact that it's a flare gun, wouldn't sound funny considering the recent school shootings and suicides, if the implication of him killing himself is true, that have been occurring.
    • Threatening someone with a knife, like Bender did, would be grounds of expulsion and even arrest charges in this day and age. Even if he didn't use it.
    • The pot smoking scene, while perhaps funny in 1985, doesn't age well after the "Just Say No!" campaign of the mid-late 1980's put a major damper on the social acceptance of marijuana use among most teenagers, although recent political changes have swung this back in the other direction.
    • Bender's advances on Claire would land him with a sexual harassment charge, or worse.
  • Ho Yay: One brief moment, when Bender tries to psyche out Andy.
    Bender: You know, you're kinda sexy when you're angry.
  • Implied Love Interest: In-Universe, early in the film Bender asks Andy & Claire if they are dating and even asked them if they had sex yet in which promptly angered them both. Though to be fair earlier in the film it did seem like Andy was showing interest in Claire at first. But when Claire seems to be wallowing in self pity Andy fairly quickly loses interest in her and soon tries to go for Alison instead.
    • Some viewers have also said the same thing about Bender and Alison at the beginning of the movie by believing that the movie occasionally implies that they might have had some history together before. Bender's line to Alison early in the movie "I've seen you before you know" is considered to be the biggest evidence
  • Jerkass Woobie: Of all the five kids who have a troublesome background right behind their behavior, Bender in particular counts as such, big time. Andy to a lesser extent, as he's never portrayed as a jerk in the film, but rather hearkens back to something he did.
  • Misaimed Fandom: Allison is admired by some fans for her proto-goth style and unabashedly quirky behavior, and her makeover near the end of the film is often considered an Unnecessary Makeover which replaces the uniqueness of her look with a more conventional, less interesting style. This overlooks the film's depiction of Allison as lonely and unhappy with her status on the fringe of school society, and desperate for attention and friends: in context, the makeover is a welcome gesture of friendship on Claire's part and a visual indication that Allison is reaching out to her peers, rather than the denial of her individuality that it's often taken to be.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Threatening an abused kid in a closed room with a physical beating, really? Then going off to sneak peeks at confidential psychological files — and is caught by Carl, who promptly blackmails him.
  • Older Than They Think: Bart Simpson's famous Catch Phrase, "Eat my shorts!", was originally a Shout-Out to one of Bender's lines in this film. Now, it's commonly believed to have originated on The Simpsons. note 
  • Squick: Bender is offhandedly shown brushing his teeth with one of Claire's makeup brushes. Claire is later seen using the brush on Allison's face. Also, when Claire takes out her diamond earring and Bender puts it in his own ear without cleaning it. Anyone who's ever had infected piercings knows what happens next.
  • Strawman Has a Point: While sure it may come off that Claire was acting like a total bitch because of her response towards Brian's comment on if they're going to still be friends when the school week approaches she has made a good point that given each of the group's social classes the chances of them remaining friends Post Saturday Detention is pretty slim and pointed out the reasons why it wont be happening.
  • Unnecessary Makeover: The current Trope Illustrator.
  • Values Dissonance: Both Bender and Andy use the word "fag/faggot" without being punished or reprimanded for it. Today, the word is seen as an insult almost on par with the N-word, but in The Eighties, the term would essentially be seen as just another swear, and doesn't imply that either of them were gay-bashers.
    • Bender's advances on Claire could land him in hot water in today's society where there is more pressure on authorities to take such offenses more seriously.
    • Brian's punishment of a Saturday detention for bringing a (flare) gun to school is shockingly laughable these days.
      • Conversely, for someone who went to a school which never had them, the idea of spending an entire Saturday - indeed, any length of time on a non-school day - can seem like cruel and unusual punishment. (Obviously not for bringing a gun to school, though).
    • There is a relatively minor case regarding the fact that Claire brought sushi for lunch, which serves as a symbol of how wealthy and elitist her family is. Back in the '80s sushi was a far more exotic and expensive dish, but over the years it's become more affordable and gained more mainstream popularity. Granted, as a school lunch it's still out of the ordinary, but not quite to the extent that it was at the time the film was released.
    • If Vernon threatened to beat up Bender today, his ass would get sued off.
      • Not necessarily. There were no witnesses, and Vernon was right in pointing out that no-one would take Bender's word over his. Add to that the fact that Bender's parents would also be likely to take Vernon's side...
  • Values Resonance: Despite all the Dissonant issues listed above this movie still attracts a strong fanbase to this day. There are plenty of High School teens who can easily relate to the Breakfast Club even 30 years after the movie first came out. Molly Ringwald has even pointed this out as she has told stories about how Teenage Girls have approached her and told her about how the movie was so about their generation in which Molly was rather shocked about it and has tried to tell them that the movie was more about her Generation though.
  • Wangst: In-Universe Claire is very frequently accused of this but while all of the students have accused Claire of being Wangsty Andy and Bender are the most prominent accusers. Principal Vernon has also been accused of this by Carl the Janitor.