15 Things You Didn’t Know About ‘The Breakfast Club’

Judd Nelson The Bully

Judd Nelson was nearly fired from the movie for bullying Molly Ringwald off camera. His cast-mates defended him, saying that he was just trying to stay in character.


The film was set in fictional Shermer, Illinois but filmed in Rosemont, Illinois. The used a real high school to film it. They set up the gymnasium for filming and turned it into the library.

The Missing Punchline

The joke that Bender tells in the air shaft actually had no ending. Nelson was making up his own joke and could not think of a punchline.

Ringwald As Allison

Molly Ringwald was originally cast to play the role of Allison but she felt that she would be better as Claire. We can’t help but agree with this choice.

Hall’s Family

Brian Johnson is dropped off at the beginning of the movie by his real mother and sister. Mother: “You find a way to study mister,” Sister: “Yeah,” felt like they were drawing on some real life interactions.

Hughes Appearance

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

License Plates

Brian Johnson’s car license plate reads EMC2, in keeping with his image as a nerd. Andrew Clark’s license plate reads OHIOST, also in keeping with his jock image.


At the beginning of the movie you can see Brian Johnson’s flame destroyed locker. You can also see Bender’s locker with some explicit graffiti written on it.

Janitor/Man Of The Year

You also need sharp eyes to see this one, but the janitor was actually the Man of the Year in 1969. His picture appears in the trophy case among others who had won the award.

Going Undercover

The actors went undercover at high schools to get into character for the roles. Sheedy was over it very soon, in character for Allison just from quitting the assignment. Nelson got sent to the principles office for not being able to find his classroom, also a very in character thing to do.

Billy Idol’s Big Mistake

Billy Idol was asked to record Don’t You (Forget About Me), Breakfast Club’s now iconic ending song. He declined and it became Simple Mind’s one hit wonder.

Blue Streak

In some scenes in the movie Judd Nelson has a blue streak in his hair. In other scenes it is faded or completely disappeared.


The actors were allowed to improvise a lot because Hughes wanted their collaboration in the film. The pot smoking scene is largely improvised.

Estevez As Bender

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 Nelson for the role of Bender.

Movie Shooting

Over 200,000 feet of film was shot because of all of the improvisation and collaboration between the actors and Hughes. This is an incredible amount for a teenage film at the time. The movie was also shot entirely in sequence, allowing the actors to live out their characters.
The Breakfast Club was such an amazing movie we could watch it over and over again. Hopefully with these little known facts you can watch it feeling like an insider.

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