The Breakfast Club #FoodInFilm



Five high school students, profoundly different, thrown together on a Saturday at school for detention. Hilarity and drama ensue. Obviously. It’s an 80s flick.

The characters are stereotypical and over-the-top representations of a brain (nerd/geek/academic/unpopular), an athlete (jock/varsity guy/popular), a basket case (outcast/odd/loner), a princess (rich/pretty/spoiled/popular), and a criminal (trouble-maker/rebel/misanthrope).

When I saw the Food in Film blogathon, I immediately thought of this. Yes, the title has a meal in it. That’s not why we’re here. I want to talk about the lunch scene. Aside from being comical, the food (and presentation of it) personifies each character. You can learn (almost) everything you need to know them from a 3-minute clip.


The criminal has no lunch and takes the opportunity to harass and belittle the other students about what they’re eating.

The princess brings out an elaborate sushi tray, complete with chopsticks, and delicately pours the soy sauce.

The athlete piles a full-size bag of potato chips and cookies next to his three sandwiches, an entire carton of milk, then, almost as an afterthought, looks in his bag and digs out a banana and an apple.

The basket case discards the deli meat in her sandwich, dumping sugar on the remaining (mismatched) pieces of bread and adding sugared cereal before eyeing the rest of the kids and taking a colossal, crunchy bite.

The brain, whose lunch has been grabbed by the criminal, has an embarrassingly juvenile meal of peanut butter and jelly (with the crusts cut off), apple juice (in a juice box with attached straw), and a thermos of soup.


It’s just such a brilliant scene. In a few minutes, you know who these kids are and what their home life is like. Even the bags (or lack of) give viewers a glimpse of each character.

You don’t need to have seen The Breakfast Club to understand this, it won’t ruin the movie, and I barely did it justice in the description. So, please, click here to watch the lunch scene. It’s awesome.


Sincerely yours, the Breakfast Club


I simply can not write a Food in Film post without mentioning Rusty from Ocean’s Eleven. Even with a cast of top-notch actors and fab performances, he still stands out. Why? Well, one reason is that he’s eating or drinking in pretty much every scene. I find this kind of hilarious and a fun little fact that many who have seen this movie notice. And talk about. And laugh about. And, apparently, put up on YouTube. Check this out: Rusty’s Food Supercut

When others are fretting, fighting, planning, spying, whatever…Rusty is eating. He is also doing many other things but this becomes a character trait. One that sticks in the minds of viewers.

As writers, this is one thing you can (and really should) do for your characters. Give them a quirk, a habit, something that makes them a bit more three-dimensional and memorable.


Hey, writer friends, here’s something to chew on: How does food feature in your story?  What does your main character like to eat? Are there any foods he or she hates? Why? Also, as in the case of Rusty here, what food-related habits does your character have (if any)? 




This post is part of the Food in Film Blogathon hosted by Speakeasy and Silver Screenings. Thanks to Kristina and Ruth for this fun, foody blogathon. #FoodInFilm2017


photo source IMDb

photo source IMDb

30 thoughts on “The Breakfast Club #FoodInFilm

  1. Not being a fiction writer I think that if I were to write fiction I would make full blown characters – give them a political views, address,upbringing and food likes and dislikes and many more things beside. I’ve not seen the Breakfast Club but after reading your post and watching the clip I think I’ll put it on my requests list.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. That Breakfast Club lunch is so telling of these characters. And I didn’t realize…Brad Pitt is a thirsty (and hungry) guy. Funny stuff. There are a few movies that make me hungry. Especially…the steak and eggs scene in “Twister”…gets me every time.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I know. The first time we watched it, we were like, “Huh…he’s eating again. That’s weird.” Then we realized it was a thing with fans of the movie. It’s a great quirk (trait, whatever).

      Yeah, the lunch scene is amazing – funny but so well done. (Haven’t seen Twister…must put that on my list to watch.) Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Excellent tip re: characters & giving them a particular quirk. It’s been some time since I’ve seen Brad Pitt in Ocean’s 11 – I’d forgotten how much he consumes in this movie.

    You also made a good point about the lunch scene in The Breakfast Club. A person knows exactly what kind of personality and home life each of these characters has. (Ally Sheedy is fab in this scene, isn’t she?)

    Sarah, I was so glad you joined the blogathon. You’ve made me want to see both of these films again…and to also get a snack from the kitchen…

    Liked by 2 people

    • Right? 😀 We knew he was “always” eating but, really, it’s almost every scene.

      Yeah, the lunch scene is brilliant. Fun yet so telling. (And, yes, Ally Sheedy is fantastic in that scene.)

      Thank you so much for hosting yet another amazing blogathon. I’m so glad I could join this one. I’ve got to catch up on the other entries. *hands over popcorn*

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I spend a lot of time thinking about food in my books, since the provinces are different from each other. I’m used to steak and potatoes, but my main character, who has trouble staying fed because of the power eating at his body, lives in a rainforest. Localizing food to the territory is kind of difficult when you don’t know what grows there.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Two great movies, Sarah.

    BTW, the person who put together the Rusty montage video didn’t seem to know what he was eating in the stadium. Looked like orange or lemon sorbet with raspberry sauce.

    So many great food movies come to mind, but if you haven’t seen it, please check out The Hundred-Foot Journey (2014) starring the inimitable Helen Mirren.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was tough to watch the movie and know exactly what he was eating/drinking in each scene…just that he was. Made it funny. Could be fruit or a sorbet. No idea. But some type of foodstuff.

      I haven’t seen The Hundred-Foot Journey. I’ll add that to my list. Thanks, Erik.

      Liked by 1 person

    • He is! He really is. 😀 I’m not sure how it came about but it’s hilarious and added to Rusty’s character. If you watched the clip, you’ll never not be able to see it when you watch the film.

      These are both among my favs, too. It doesn’t surprise me one bit they’re among yours.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Loved your simple breakdown of how food personifies the characters of The Breakfast Club. I never really paid attention t Brad Pitt’s eating/drinking in Ocean’s 11. But now that you’ve pointed it out, I also remember his character in Meet Joe Black being obsessed with peanut butter. Robert Downey Jr. does the same thing as Iron Man in the Marvel films, constantly sneaking snacking into his scenes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, the Breakfast Club scene was so well done.

      So, what now? I missed Iron Man eating/snacking. No you mention it, I recall him offering some dried fruit to Bruce (or Steve) in the lab and always carrying bags of something…chips? You’ve given me a great reason to re-watch those. 😀 I’ve never seen Meet Joe Black. I’ve got to see that one.


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