'The Breakfast Club': Echoes in pop culture

March 22, 2013 

How has The Breakfast Club echoed in pop culture since it was released in 1985?

■ Since the '80s, teen film and particularly television have grown exponentially, particularly with the Disney Channel and Nickelodeon's teen shows.

Numerous series have paid tribute to The Breakfast Club, most recently The CW's The Vampire Diaries. The Jan. 17 episode, "After School Special," stranded the leads in library detention for some soul baring. The Nick series Victorious paid tribute to The Breakfast Club with a 2012 episode titled "The Breakfast Bunch" featuring several characters in Saturday detention. The episode included star Victoria Justice singing Don't You (Forget About Me). In 1998, Dawson's Creek did its own Breakfast Club homage in an episode titled "Detention."

While not full-fledged homages, there have been numerous smaller tributes such as a dance sequence much like Breakfast Club's during a 2010 episode of Community.

■ How many proms and graduations since 1985 have included a playing of Simple Minds' No. 1 hit from The Breakfast Club soundtrack, Don't You (Forget About Me)? A terrific song already, combined with the very honest movie about teen emotions, it became an anthem to high school camaraderie. But it seemed to be hard to get anyone to record it.

Before Simple Minds took it, the song was offered to The Fixx lead singer Cy Curnin, Bryan Ferry and Billy Idol. And the Scottish band took it reluctantly, recording it in three hours and then barely acknowledging it for years. But it has proved to be one of the most enduring singles of the '80s and Simple Minds' biggest hit ever.

■ In 2006, Entertainment Weekly placed The Breakfast Club at No. 1 on its list of best high school movies of all time. "If hell is other people — and high school is hell — then John Hughes is the genre's Sartre, and this is his No Exit," the magazine wrote. The other films rounding out the top five were, in order, Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982), Dazed and Confused (1993), Rebel Without a Cause (1955) and Heathers (1989). The movie also has been honored by ceremonies as diverse as the MTV Movie Awards in 2005, where it earned a Silver Bucket of Excellence, and the Academy Awards in 2010, when Molly Ringwald, Ally Sheedy, Anthony Michael Hall and Judd Nelson appeared in a tribute to John Hughes, who died of heart attack in August 2009.

Sources: Published reports

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