The John Hughes Files
Your Guide To All Things Hughes
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John Hughes' movies have been referenced in various films, television programs, songs, and so forth. Below are some of them. (If you think of any that aren't listed yet feel free to send them along.)


Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986) - One of the versions of the poster art for this film features the characters posed for the camera in Breakfast Club fashion.

Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacation (1992) - This one spoofs National Lampoon's Vacation.

Beautiful Girls (1996) - When mentioning Ally Sheedy, Gina says, "She was in The Breakfast Club with the Estevez brothers."

Dogma (1999) - Jay talks about when he and Silent Bob took a trip to Shermer, only to find out that it doesn't really exist. In Chasing Amy, another Kevin Smith movie, Silent Bob reveals that he had a girlfriend, to which Jay remarks, "What? Did she live in Canada or something?", referring to The Breakfast Club and/or Weird Science. (Kevin Smith also has a friend and fellow director named Bryan Johnson, the same name of a character in The Breakfast Club.) Additionally, Selma Hayak's character, Serendipity, remarks that she is responsible for 19 of the 20 highest grossing films of all time. When asked for which one she was not responsible, she says that she had nothing to do with "Home Alone", and that "someone sold their soul to Satan to get the grosses up on that piece of s***."

"We could live like phat rats
if we were the Blunt-connection in Shermer, Illinois."
- Jay, Dogma

Go (1999) - Todd persistently asks Claire if she's a virgin. She replies, "What? Oh, The Breakfast Club. Funny."

Not Another Teen Movie (2001) - Probably the biggest of them all. This movie spoofs scores of teen films, but focuses heavily on the John Hughes arena. Here are some of the plots and jokes:

  • The school is called John Hughes High School, and the cafeteria is called Anthony Michael Dining Hall.
  • There's a brief shot in the cafeteria of a poster that reads "Save Ferris."
  • The actual Ferris Bueller house is used in this movie as well.
  • The heartthrob main character is named Jake, who drives a shiny red car (Sixteen Candles).
  • Janey, the leading female, is followed around by a New Wave best friend with an obsessed crush (Pretty In Pink).
  • The football scene takes place in the Harry Dean Stadium (after Harry Dean Stanton, who played Dad in Pretty In Pink).
  • Lyman Ward, known for playing Ferris Bueller's father, plays Jake's dad.
  • Three boys are sentenced to a Breakfast Club detention with Richard Vernon (portrayed again by Paul Gleason), citing some of the exact dialogue. (View clip)
  • Janey falls asleep watching Pretty In Pink on television.
  • She later has a heart-to-heart with her father while lying on the living room couch (Sixteen Candles).
  • Janey makes her own dress for the prom (Pretty In Pink).
  • And last but not least, Molly Ringwald appears in the final scene.
(I may have missed some - there were quite a few in this movie.)

Along Came Polly (2004) - A spoof of The Breakfast Club poster appears in the wall of Ben Stiller's friend.

Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle (2004) - Harold's favorite movie is Sixteen Candles and he sees his dream girl outside of a John Hughes film festival.

Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story (2006) - In this animated Family Guy film, Stewie races his family to get to a swimming pool in the same manner in which Ferris is tries to get home before his parents and sister do.


"How do you know what they're like? You've never been to one. You've based your whole opinion on dances on one midnight showing of Sixteen Candles."
- Gilmore Girls

"Dawson's Creek" - The group has to spend time in a Saturday Breakfast Club-like detention.

"Degrassi: The Next Generation" - This Canadian teen show has done a Breakfast Club episode where five characters are stuck in detention - a geek, a popular girl, an athlete, a rebel, and a basketcase.

"DirecTV advertisement - In 2006 Ben Stein recreated his boring history teacher role for the ad. (View clip)

"Even Stevens" - In the episode titled "After Hours," Ren enters detention and spots a girl there who looks very similar to Allison from The Breakfast Club. This girl is seen chewing her fingernails, and even spits one at Ren, just like Allison does to Bender in the movie.

"Family Guy" - In an episode where Peter Griffin poses as a student at his daughter's high school, he re-enacts the ending of The Breakfast Club by raising his arm on the football field. He also stumbles into a Breakfast Club-style detention (Click here to view video clip.)

"Futurama" - Creator Matt Groening has said the alcoholic robot gets his name from John Bender in The Breakfast Club. In the episode "The Luck of the Fryish," Fry (the lead character) remembers his childhood, where he discovered a 7 seven leaf clover. To keep it safe, he hid it in The Breakfast Club soundtrack and shut the door of his record vault. The episode ends with "Don't You (Forget About Me)." (On an additional note, we also heard "Eat my shorts!" in The Breakfast Club and "Don't have a cow" in Sixteen Candles - both immortalized later by Matt Groening in "The Simpsons.")

"Lizzie McGuire" - In the episode titled "She Said, He Said, She Said", Lizzie, Kate and Larry spend the day together in punishment because of a food fight in the cafeteria, reminiscent of The Breakfast Club. After the trio have fulfilled their punishment, Lizzie even leaves Principal Tweedy a note on behalf of the three which she signs "The Lunch Bunch". While the principal reads the note, "Don't You (Forget About Me)" by Simple Minds is played, and we also hear a Lizzie voice-over while he's reading it. In the same episode, Ferris Bueller's Day Off is revisited as Matt and Lanny are accidentally left behiend at an art museum on a school field trip. Matt panics at first, then Lanny convinces him that it's not their fault, and they decide to spend the day downtown having fun. They go to a baseball game, participate in a parade, and are almost spotted by Matt's parents.

"Mystery Science Theater 3000" - During the showing of "I Accuse My Parents," a credit for Mary Jane Hughes appears on screen. Host Joel Hodgson drones, "At least it's not John Hughes."

"The Simpsons" - In an episode titled "Homer Alone," Homer loses his baby Maggie, slaps his hands to his face and screams like Macaulay Culkin.

"Gilmore Girls" - In the episode "Rory's Dance", Rory is reluctant to attend a dance at her new school, citing that dances are lame and boring. Lorelai then says "How would you know what they're like, you've never even been to one? You've based your whole opinion on dances on one midnight showing of Sixteen Candles."

In the episode "Nick & Nora/Sid & Nancy", Lorelai is on her back porch talking to Jess, a sarcastic, angst-ridden teen who gives snappy answers to her questions, along with a nasty attitude. When Lorelai enters the house, Jess's uncle, Luke, asks where his nephew is, to which Lorelai quips, "Outside auditioning for The Breakfast Club. I'd say he's doing a good job."

In the episode "Written in the Stars", Some Kind of Wonderful is referenced. Luke asks Lorelai out on a date, and she says "Alright, but no taking me to an art museum after hours and then to an empty Hollywood Bowl where you'll give me a pair of diamond earrings that you bought with your college money, when all the time you're really in love with your best friend, the drummer, who's posing as our driver for the evening."

In the episode "It Should Have Been Lorelai", Lorelai asks her daughter, Rory, if she ever imagines that her single mother is married. Rory says yes, and one of her responses is "I sometimes picture you married to Matthew Broderick. We all live in New York in a nice apartment in the village and we hang out and talk about his Ferris Bueller days."

In the episode "Ted Koppel's Big Night Out", Rory had the following to say about Brennon Lewis, a new waiter at Luke's Diner: "He's so stupid. He watched The Breakfast Club and decided to tape his own butt cheeks together."

In the episode "Raincoats and Recipes", Rory is telling Lane about a very unpleasant date she was on the night before. "That bad, huh?", asks Lane. "James Spader in Pretty in Pink." says Rory. Lane's response? "You could've stopped at James Spader."

In the episode "Take the Deviled Eggs", Lorelai attends Sherry's baby shower. At the event, Sherry asks Lorelai if she read any parenting books when she had Rory. She says no, she got her information on child raising from "For Keeps", which she refers to as one of Molly Ringwald's "post-John Hughes" flicks.

In the episode "An Affair to Remember", Kirk gets nervous while on a date with Lulu at Luke's Diner. He excuses himself from their table, and goes behind the counter to get some advice from Luke. Luke tells him that it looked like everything was going fine with the date, and to just keep doing what he's been doing. Kirk says he was doing his Duckie from Pretty in Pink impression. Luke asks if he was near the end of the movie yet, to which Kirk says no, he was just getting to the "Try a Little Tenderness" moment.

"Robot Chicken" - KITT from Knight Rider is stolen by two parking attendants in Ferris-Bueller-Ferrari-theft fashion.

"Scrubs" - In the episode "My Drama Queen," a lawyer celebrates a victory by shooting his fist into the air to the tune of "(Don't You) Forget About Me."

"Veronica Mars" - Veronica calls her boyfriend who is absent from school and asks if he is really absent or if he is going to show up on a float singing "Twist and Shout," a reference to Ferris Bueller.

Books & Comics

"Newshounds" (webcomic) - The character Ferris the Rat is named after Ferris Bueller. Newshounds Website

"Ultimate Spider-Man" (Marvel comic series by Brian Michael Bendis with artist Mark Bagley) - Has often referred to Ferris Bueller's Day Off as well as several other John Hughes films. For example, in one issue there is a complaint about Peter Parker's being absent nine times. Also, an entire issue of the comic book was set in a detention room, a homage to The Breakfast Club. Official Website


"Still waiting for my life to be...just like that John Hughes movie."
- Suffocation Keep

Aspects - "My Genre" - Hailing from the south west of England, this song is all about one of the vocalist's obsession with 80s films. He mentions various John Hughes stuff, including "sendin out a shout to John Hughes" and "turn pretty boys pinker than Ms. Ringwald." Featured on the album, Correct English.

Bowling for Soup - "1985" - This catchy 80s-nostalgia tune includes the lines, "She's seen all the classics/she knows every line/ Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink/ Even St. Elmo's Fire." | Official Site

California Oranges - "John Hughes" - This indie pop band's lead sings about staying home by himself with his "favorite crutch," John Hughes films. Featured on their self-titled album.

Godspeed You Black Emperor! - "John Hughes" - I couldn't tell you with 100% certainty if this instrumental is referring to the John Hughes in question, but I thought I would add it just in case. Featured on their album Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven. Official Website

JoyFocus - "Mr. Hughes Come Home" - This band hails from Hughes' hometown, Chicago! Official Website

Menthol - "John Hughes 2000" - Can be found on their album, Danger Rock Science. Official Website

Relient K - "In Love With the Eighties (Pink Tux)" - This nostalgic tune includes the lyrics, "When you're the president of the Breakfast Club, you're not hesitant to fall in love." Official Website

Save Ferris - This Orange County-based ska band named themselves after the phrase from the movie. Official Fan Site

Sponge - "Molly (Sixteen Candles)" - Released in October 2000. Official Website

The Suffocation Keep - John Hughes Was Never So Wrong (album) - This new wave band named their album after Hughes, mentioning him mostly in their song "Through The Ceiling Into The Sun," in which they sing, "Still waiting for my life to be...just like that John Hughes movie." Official Website

Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2

Pictured below:
Paul Gleason as Richard Vernon in Not Another Teen Movie

Paul Gleason

Paul Gleason

Dawson's Creek
Image from