Five Ways ‘The Breakfast Club’ Ruined My Life

A year ago – okay, well, on January 20, 2012 – I started this little column with Five Ways Dawson’s Creek Ruined My Life. Since then, I’ve tackled many different movies and TV shows (and activities) and explained how they have ruined my life (AKA made them a million times better). So, with my one year anniversary post, I am going to tackle one of the greatest teen movies of all time: The Breakfast Club by John Hughes.

One of the many aspects of this movie that has ruined my life is just Paul Gleason. He’s the mean principal in this movie and also, the mean police chief in Die Hard and Phoebe’s mean boss in “The One That Could Have Been” episode of Friends, among others.

I also think everything I needed to know about high school is summed up in this quote from Allison to Claire: “Well, if you say you haven’t, you’re a prude. If you say you have, you’re a slut. It’s a trap. You want to but you can’t, and when you do you wish you didn’t, right?”

Here are five ways The Breakfast Club ruined my life:

1. I Was Desperate to Be Locked In School With Some of My Classmates

One my biggest dreams as a kid was to be stuck somewhere overnight with the whole school.

I wasn’t picky. It could be a snowstorm, power outage (where maybe the doors then don’t work?), a lock in, some sort of just giant organized sleepover, anything really! I never went to sleepaway camp or anything and I didn’t have a church group or anything so I was pretty sure I was never GOING to have a lock in, but I still wanted one.

I just was obsessed with the idea of getting stuck with a bunch of kids from school and just bonding. And that’s due in a big way, to The Breakfast Club. I used to daydream that I’d go over to my crush’s house for a school project and we’d get snowed in and his mom would be like, “I’ll call your parents, there’s no way you can go home” and then I’d stay there and we’d eat junk food all night and talk and he’d realize we should date.

I was 12.

2. Infiltrated All of My Favorite Movies and Show

As I said, Dawson’s Creek was the first topic for this column so it feels fitting to talk about The Breakfast Club on the anniversary since Dawson’s Creek does an amazing Breakfast Club episode in the first season.

Now, I love a good reference within a TV show. I would even venture to say I LIVE for a good reference or crossover episode or any other TV trope you could think of. But this particular reference is amazing because it has a double reference within it. Not only is the whole episode based on The Breakfast Club and called out within the episode but it ALSO features Pacey making a reference to “those Duck movies” starring Emilio Estevez and yes, the man behind Pacey: Joshua Jackson.

In 1998, when it aired, that episode didn’t just ruin my life…it almost killed me.

Since then they’ve had Breakfast Club references on almost everything, really. I love whenever it’s referenced on Community, of course and the whole shout out to it in Pitch Perfect was…perfect.

Yes, I just wrote that sentence.

3. Still Waiting for Judd Nelson to Fall in Love With Me

Basically the situation was, I wanted to be Allison but was closer to Claire. I mean, I wanted to be Claire because I wanted to be Molly Ringwald but like Allison is really where it’s at for me in The Breakfast Club.

But then I realized, “I’m Claire.” Just like Judd makes her uncomfortable with the “elephantiasis of the nuts” thing, kids would talk to me about kissing and boobs and stuff in middle school, hoping to make me uncomfortable.

The only thing I really had like Allison was that at every sleepover everyone would want to make ME over simply because (I assume) I at the time had no interest in wearing makeup whatsoever.

So it’s like, I understand where Claire is coming from and I wish I had realized that while watching as a kid rather than hoping I was more of a basket-case.

Claire putting on her lipstick via her cleavage made me want to learn how to tie a cherry stem in my mouth just because I knew I’d end up like Claire in high school so I better have something weird I can do.

And it really is a great party trick.

4. Changed My Food Habits

I’ve gotten a lot of weird sandwich habits from things that I was obsessed with. When I first read “Harriet the Spy” I would always want tomato sandwiches. Then I adapted those into tomato and cucumber sandwiches or just sandwiches comprised of bread, mayo and cucumber slices.

When I saw The Breakfast Club I realized you could put crunchy things in a sandwich too! And I LOVE crunchy things.

Besides the fact that I’m not into pixie sticks, I saw Allison eating her lunch and thought, “crunchy things on a sandwich – I get it!”

But Breakfast Club also opened my eyes to something I knew very little about: sushi.

This is where everyone learned about sushi, right? Between this and that episode of Doug where his grandmother comes to town and takes him to sushi (and, as a friend pointed out, the fugu episode of The Simpsons – but I more remember that as the “I’m afraid I’m going to die from eating that” episode), this was all I knew about sushi for years.

Now it’s one of my favorite things to eat but as a kid I really didn’t know anything about it except the raw fish part. And then, because Claire liked it, I assumed for a very long time that it was far too fancy for me to ever have.

5. That. Song.

I mean, they just nail it. The movie opens and you hear the song start a little and you’re just there. You’re ready for The Breakfast Club and it’s just going to be a fun and informative ride.

And then by the end you’ve been through so much and just hearing “don’t you….forget about me” is PERFECT. You know? You’re just like, ugh, they probably won’t stay friends but they had this experience, you guys and they will never forget it!

And really, that’s how I felt all of senior year of high school. This idea of like, “man, we won’t all stay in touch but we’ve been through this together and that’s all that matters.” And at what point in your life can you ever get that feeling back?

Oh, right, when you watch The Breakfast Club.

(All images screengrabbed by me from my DVD)

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