Back in the '80s, a group of five very different kids got stuck in detention on a Saturday. They were left in the library and, against all odds, five very different teens with immensely different personalities found out they weren't really so different and became great friends in the span of an afternoon. And so, one of the most influential teen movies was made.
The thing that makes this popular, aside from the popularity of the movie itself, is that it is a relatively simple story to pull off, and can be even economic, considering that for the most part, the movie only uses the library as a setting, as well as the fact that it can be used to explore character relationships and give Character Development when needed, granted neither is particularly necessary. Another thing that also influences both this trope and the movie's durability is how the idea of exploring the reasons why teenagers act the way they do and treating them as complex people is timeless and is a reason why teenagers of every generation since the movie release can still connect to it.
See also "The Breakfast Club" Poster Homage where the characters replicate the poses from the poster.
A subtrope of Whole-Plot Reference and School Forced Us Together. Do not mistake it with Breakfast Club, which is about characters banding together to share their feelings with each other and named after the same movie, since it does not necessarily require references to the movie.
- A Princess, a Treehugger, and a Space Cadet Walk Into a Library is an Animorphs High School AU which loosely parallels the plot of The Breakfast Club. Ax is a Funny Foreigner instead of an alien. Chapman takes the place of the principal from the movie.
- The end of School Of Thrones, a Game of Thrones high school AU parody, pays homage to the final monologue from the film.
Sansa: But on prom night, we found out that each one of us is...Dany: ...A Targaryen...Theon: ...A Greyjoy...Stannis & Renley: ...Baratheon...Joffrey: ...A Lannister...Sansa: ...And...Sansa, Jon & Robb: ...A Stark.Sansa: Does that answer your question?
- The main characters in The Faculty are all explicit Shout-Outs to characters in The Breakfast Club: Casey is the nerd Brian, Delilah is the princess Claire, Stan is the athlete Andy, Zeke is the criminal Bender, and Stokely is the basket case Allison. In fact, this trope foreshadows The Reveal on a meta level once a viewer starts asking where Marybeth fits in. The answer: she doesn't.
- Word of God states that F the Prom is supposed to be this, combined with Mean Girls and Can't Hardly Wait. The core story is about a group of students from various social groups coming together (including a goth, a cheerleader, and a nerd) and trying to ruin the school's prom for the cool kids.
- In Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, the protagonists consist of a bookish nerd, his Jerk Jock former Childhood Friend, a Phoneaholic Teenager Alpha Bitch, and a Shrinking Violet. They're all brought together by detention when they would almost never interact otherwise (Fridge only sought out Spencer to copy his homework).
- Community: Invoked and subverted in the pilot. Abed notices similarities between the study group and the characters and situation of the movie and tries to steer the study session into a version of it, even assuming the personality and spouting some lines from Judd Nelson's character.
- The Deadly Class episode "Mirror People" sees Marcus, Chico, Saya, Viktor, Petra, and Jaden thrown into detention for the weekend. The first half of the episode has a number of visual homages to Breakfast Club, including Jaden tying a string around his finger and Marcus making a little paper football and launching it from his desk.
- Degrassi: The Next Generation: Season three episode "Take on Me" is another Whole-Plot Reference, but this time the Athlete (Jimmy) and the Princess (Hazel) got together. Unfortunately, it didn't last.
- ER: "Secrets and Lies" is a Whole-Plot Reference, despite being titled after a completely different film.
- The Goldbergs: The season 4 premiere "Breakfast Club", in which the characters directly invoke the movie's plot as they spend detention in the library.
- The I Am Not Okay With This episode "Another Day in Paradise". The Jerk Jock Brad and his girlfriend Dina get set to detention after Brad cheats off of Dina's test, Sydney gets sent too after she stands up for Dina, and the dweebish Nice Guy Stanley winds up with them because he felt like it (mouthing off to the teacher specifically to get sent to detention). The delinquent Jenny rounds out the group.
- In an episode of Lizzie McGuire, the titular character and her friends are given detention due to a food fight and are given a choice to clean the cafeteria as part of their punishment or write an essay until (or unless) one of them confesses. It turns out that not only did none of them start the food fight, it was another student named Gustav that did unintentionally.
- Riverdale: "The Midnight Club" is a Whole Episode Flashback focused on a day that the main character's parents were stuck in detention and ended up playing a game of D&D-like game, which ended with disastrous consequences.
- The first episode of Scream: Resurrection has most of the main characters ending up in detention together. The teacher explicitly compares them to the cast of The Breakfast Club, which the kids have to google before realizing that it's actually a pretty accurate comparison. Later, Ghostface dubs the group "The Dead-Fast Club" after deciding to target them.
- Victorious has a near shot-by-shot recreation with "The Breakfast Bunch", which follows the main characters locked in a library. Highlights include the "weird embarrassing talent" being foot archery, Jade dramatically asking "Are you... a vegan?", one character wearing a perfect recreation of Benderís outfit, ending with Tori throwing a fist in the air (to try and grab a balloon), and even having a cover of "Don't You (Forget About Me)".
Rex: [in letter] Sincerely, The Breakfast Bunch.
Even though we never had breakfast as a bunch.
- X-Play based an entire episode on a parody of The Breakfast Club. Morgan Webb plays the Molly Ringwald character, Adam Sessler plays himself, and Attack of the Show!'s Kevin Pereira plays the Judd Nelson character. During the episode, the characters review video games.
- The music video for Brad Kavanagh's "As the Bell Rings": The students are in detention, their professor leaves, and they start running around the school and dancing on their desks until he returns.
- Monster Prom: An offscreen example. In an event, the player can convince Damien to have fun when he's stuck in detention. This is turned into the plot of the movie offscreen and by the next time you hear about it, Damien has befriended a group of very different kids he met in detention and is frozen in the football field with his fist to the air.
- Four of the five main cast members in the high-school-set Survival Horror game ObsCure fit the character archetypes from The Breakfast Club, with Kenny as the athlete, Ashley as the princess, Josh as the nerd, and Stan as the criminal. Only Shannon, characterized as the Girl Next Door, sticks out — and even then, not only does a New Game Plus give her a very punk-inspired outfit complete with blue-and-red hair (as opposed to her normal blonde hair) and fishnets that makes her look the part of the basket case, but in the sequel, she's been given a full goth makeover in both her clothes and her personality, ironically inverting the Beautiful All Along reveal of Allison at the end of The Breakfast Club. And of course, the game is about them exploring their empty school, though Leafmore High School has far fewer life lessons and more monsters than there ever were at Shermer High School.
- Alvin and the Chipmunks has "The Brunch Club", in which the Chipmunks and Chipettes get locked in the library after accidentally breaking a statue belonging to their school. In order to get out, they have to tell the principal who the culprit was, causing them to try and find out which one of them could've committed the crime.
- Bob's Burgers: "The Runway Club" is quite the odd version of this. It follows the Belcher kids, the Pesto kids, Tammy, Jocelyn, Jimmy Jr., and Zeke being stuck in detention in a Saturday and features countless references to the movie, including a parody of the theme song, but the story is much more surreal, as Mr. Frond decides to pit them against each other in Project Runway inspired challenges, and although most of them bond, it is when they decide to fight against Tammy as a group.
- Milo Murphy's Law has an episode called "The Mid-Afternoon Snack Club" which is, obviously, a parody of the Breakfast Club. Bradley immediately recognizes that they're in a Breakfast Club parody and dubs himself "angry malcontent who lashes out at everyone."
- Regular Show: "The Lunch Club" is a version of this that focus on only two characters: Benson and Rigby. The two are locked in the latter's office by their boss and by the end of this "detention", one of them must have written their resignation letter or else both are fired.
- Teen Titans Go!: "Hey You, Don't You Forget About Me In Your Memory", which follows Robin putting the group in school again, and has a similar Aesop to the movie. It's also named after the theme song to said movie.
- Trollhunters: "The Reckless Club" follows the titular Trollhunters, the Creepzlayerz (Steve and Eli) and some other students being stuck in detention after an accident involving gnomes. The characters then bond over their time together there.