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20 things you (probably) didn’t know about The Breakfast Club

20 things you (probably) didn’t know about The Breakfast Club

20 things you (probably) didn’t know about The Breakfast Club
Danielle de Wolfe
16 January 2014

Did you know Judd Nelson said "Eat my shorts" in John Hughes movie The Breakfast Club a full six years before Bart Simpson made it his catchprase? Did you also know that "Don't have a cow man" was coined in another John Hughes film, Sixteen Candles?

We know this because we've been busy compiling this list of 20 things you (probably) didn't know about The Breakfast Club and our head is spinning with utterly useless John Hughes movie trivia. Dig in...


(Images: Rex, All Star, YouTube)


Both Billy Idol (pictured, like a boss) and Bryan Ferry turned down offers to record the theme song, "Don't You (Forget About Me)". The song was also offered to Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders who declined, but did suggest they offer it to the band fronted by her then husband, Jim Kerr of Simple Minds.


The switchblade used by Judd Nelson in the fight scene with Emilio Estevez actually belonged to Judd. Apparently he owned it "for protection purposes".


Rick Moranis was originally cast as the janitor, but he left due to creative differences and was replaced by John Kapelos. You know Rick Moranis also turned down the role of Ace Ventura? This article is very interesting.


Director John Hughes attended Glenbrook North High School, the school which was used for many external shots. John Bender walks through the school's football field in the final scene. The same school was used for externals in Ferris Bueller's Day Off.


Brian Johnson is dropped off at the beginning of the movie by his real mother and sister. The license plate on Brian's mum's car is EMC 2 (E = MC squared - Einstein's theory of relativity - a nod to Brian being "The Brain"). The license plate on Andrew's fathers's car (pictured, top) is OHIOST (Ohio State. A nod to Andrew being The Athlete").

At the end of the film Brian is picked up by his father, played by John Hughes (pictured, bottom), the movie’s director.


Hughes originally had Emilio Estevez playing the role of Bender but could not find anybody to play Andrew Clark. Estevez said he would play Clark and John Hughes found Judd Nelson for the role of Bender. It wasn't an instant choice, though. Judd’s role was the last to be cast and it was between Nelson and John Cusack (pictured). Apparently Nicolas Cage read for the part as well, but would have commanded too great a fee.


In the beginning of the movie you see different shots of the school hallways and classrooms. You can see what the flare gun did to Brian's locker (pictured, top) and there's a picture of a former Shermer High School student "Man of the Year". The guy in the picture is the janitor Carl Reed (pictured, bottom).


In one early shot there is a close-up of a guidance counsellor's desktop with Rorschach charts. The name plate says "Dr. R. Hashimoto Guidance Counselor". Richard Hashimoto was the Production Supervisor of film. He went on to Executive Produce Edward Scissorhands.


The film's title comes from the nickname invented by students and staff for detention at New Trier High School, the school attended by the son of one of John Hughes' friends. The school has been on screen too. Scenes from Home Alone, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, and Uncle Buck were shot at New Trier's west campus.


Written in two days, John Hughes filmed The Breakfast Club completely in sequence after having the actors rehearse the movie several times, as if it was a play. The last shot of the film, of Bender walking away, was the last thing shot on the last day.


Judd Nelson has stated that Michael Hall was in a rapid growth spurt during the course of the film, saying that he was two inches taller than Hall at auditions, half an inch taller during rehearsals, and by the end of the shoot, Hall was taller than him.


There was a full 9 year age difference between Nelson and Hall. Judd was 26 when, while Michael was just 17. Molly Ringwald was also 17 while Emilio Estevez was 23.


Ally Sheedy thought Anthony Michael Hall was so sweet that her nickname for him was "Milk and Cookies". He didn't like it.


The dandruff that Allison shakes onto her penciled drawing for snow was achieved by using Parmesan cheese.


Claire's entire wardrobe was purchased specifically for the character from a Ralph Lauren store, the only one in Chicago at the time. John Hughes had rejected the original costume on the grounds that it wasn't sophisticated enough. Ringwald’s biggest regret about the film was that she didn’t keep Claire’s boots.


Molly Ringwald originally wanted the role of Allison, and thought she was going to get it. Hughes considered switching her role with Ally Sheedy's, but stuck with his original plan. Molly later told Ally she had wanted her part, to which Ally replied, "I'm glad you didn't [get it] because I could never have played your part."


John Hughes gave all of the actors a piece of the banister from the library as a keepsake. How, erm, thoughtful.


To condition his boots, Judd Nelson poured motor oil all over them and left them for a day.


Hall and Ringwald were the only teens in the cast and were limited to four-hour work days. When their hours were up, the other actors had to shoot with stand-ins.


The line “Chicks cannot hold their smoke” is from a Richard Pryor routine. Michael Hall, who said it in the film, was a big fan at the time and was ad-libbing.