Mary Jane: [posing on the floor and dressed as Claire Standish] You sure are, tiger.
John Hughes's The Breakfast Club was one of the biggest hits of The '80s and helped codify the modern teen movie. It's no wonder that many works like to reference it by invoking the film's iconic poster◊, either within the work itself or as part of its advertising.
Indications that the poster is being referenced include:
- A group of at least five characters with distinct appearances sitting on the floor, in close proximity to each other, positioned in two or three rows.
- The characters mimicking the poses and sometimes the unemotive facial expressions on the poster, especially if they share surface similarities to the Breakfast Club archetypes. In fact, the way the characters are arranged and posed already evoke their high-school stereotypes, which could partially be why the poster is so influential. In particular:
- One character in the back row bending their elbow like Judd Nelson as Bender.
- One character in the foreground lying on the floor with their arm supporting their head like Molly Ringwald as Claire.
- One character on the left-hand side with their hands curled together, like Ally Sheedy as Allison.
- One character at the right-hand side crouching while wearing an obvious varsity jacket, like Emilio Estevez as Andrew.
- One character in the center with their arms folded on top of their knees, with one hand clearly visible, just like Anthony Michael Hall as Brian.
- A tagline about how these disparate individuals came together.
The poster is frequently homaged for a number of reasons. The work could be about teens or other young people (as the The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 poster proves, however, this is not a requirement.) Maybe it's about disparate individuals who come together. The work may be doing a throwback to The '80s and taking cues from well-known works of the time, or deliberately referencing the film in its premise.
- The cover◊ for the October 2018 Bessatsu Shounen Jump issue pays homage to the poster. The characters of Attack on Titan are reimagined as school stereotypes and posed similarly. The aloof Mikasa (something like a Goth) is Allison, the cocky Jean is Bender, the nerdy Armin is Brian, the burly Reiner (a jock) is Andrew, and the high-status Krista (a cheerleader) is Claire.
- Archie Comics has done this a few times.
- One variant cover◊ of Archie Marries Veronica puts Veronica, Jughead, Archie, Betty, and Reggie as Allison, Bender, Brian, Claire, and Andrew respectively.
- A variant of Veronica #293 (marketed as Kevin Keller #3) has Betty, Reggie, Archie, Kevin, and Jughead in the aforementioned positions.
- Avengers Arena's issue 6 cover◊ references both The Breakfast Club and Survivor, with the characters dressed up as the latter and posing as the former.
Deadpool: What a weirdo. You couldn't be dreaming of Mean Girls?
- In The Avenging Spider-Man #12, Peter and Deadpool explore Peter's dreams to find out who is trying to infiltrate his brain. At one point, Peter dreams characters into The Breakfast Club, which is introduced with a shout-out to the original poster. Peter is Brian, redheaded love interest Mary Jane is Claire, jock frenemy Flash is Andrew, Deadpool himself is Bender... and he doesn't know who Allison is, so the person impersonating her must be the villain. It turns out to be Hypno-Master.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer's Angel and Faith (Season 10) #16's variant cover puts the cast in the shoes of The Breakfast Club.
- Champions: This variant cover of Champions (2016) has Viv as Claire, Kamala Khan as Allison, Totally Awesome Hulk as Bender, Nova as Brian, and Cyclops as Andrew. Miles Morales hangs from the ceiling as not to disrupt the homage.
- The Loners: All the covers are references to John Hughes movies; The Breakfast Club is referenced in issue one.
- Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers (Boom! Studios): This◊ variant cover casts Billy as Brian, Kim as Claire, Jason as Andrew, Trini as Allison, and Zack as Bender.
- A cover◊ for the Star Trek comic Starfleet Academy, featuring Academy cadets in the poses, illustrates the trope Space Cadet Academy. The Andorian playing Bender is clutching a phaser in his fist.
- The documentary American Teen's poster is a direct send-up of The Breakfast Club, since it is fittingly about an All-Stereotype Cast of a "rebel", a "queen bee/princess", a "jock", a "heartthrob", and a "geek/gamer". These slot into the Breakfast Club roles you'd expect, except for the "rebel" in Allison's position and Bender's position being taken by the "heartthrob".
- Ready Player One released a whole slew of posters that were send-ups of iconic posters, including one of The Breakfast Club.
- Spider-Man: Homecoming, which is part teen movie, released a couple of posters referencing The Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller's Day Off. The former◊ puts nerdy protagonist Peter in Brian's position, popular girl Liz in Claire's position, snarky outcast Michelle in Allison's position, and academic bully Flash in Andrew's position. The only character who doesn't share surface characteristics to a Breakfast Club character is Ned, who's cocking a cowboy hat in the back.
- This◊ The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 poster spoofs The Breakfast Club by posing the chainsaw killers like the characters.
- On of the promotional still for Wonder Woman 1984.
- A T-shirt sold by Hot Topic to promote Power Rangers depicted the characters in this pose.
- The poster of Bottoms.
- The aptly-titled Riverdale episode "The Midnight Club" is an episode in a teen drama that's a flashback to The '80s, and fittingly pays homage to The Breakfast Club in its poster. Fred's sprawled out on the floor, Alice is looking rebellious on the back, nerdy Penelope is in the middle, and cocky jock F.P. is off to the side. The episode is chock-full of references to the film.
- Victorious: "The Breakfast Bunch" is a Detention Episode, so one of the promo pictures referenced The Breakfast Club's poster. Tori is in Claire's position, Cat is in Allison's, and so on.
- The fourth season of The Goldbergs had a promotional poster done in this style◊. It make sense, being that the season premiere of that show referenced said movie.
- In Buy Mode of The Sims 3 there's a poster titled "The Detention Hall" that references The Breakfast Club poster.