10 Most Important Things We Learned About Life, According To John Hughes Movies

Hughes’ films transcend time and defined a genre. Here’s what all that angst and emotion taught us.

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John Hughes’ films transcend time because their lessons are relevant for people of all ages. But, Hughes is best known for defining a genre with his 80s teen films. Many of his themes carry over from film to film: unrequited love, growing pains, and of course, Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall.

Hughes wrote "The Breakfast Club", one of his most popular movies, in just two days. But the characters, quotes, and lessons from this movie, along with many other John Hughes films, stay with the viewer far longer than the swiftness with which Hughes churned out his brilliance.


Here’s a list of the most important things we learned from Saturdays in detention, playing hooky, the awkwardness of turning 16, and when the closest of friendships turn into real feelings.

1. Labels are the worst. Despite how different people may seem, we’re all the same at the end of the day.

"Dear Mr. Vernon, we accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it was we did wrong. But we think you’re crazy to make us write an essay telling you who we think we are. You see us as you want to see us — in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions.


But what we found out is that each one of us is a brain… and an athlete… and a basket case… a princess… and a criminal… Does that answer your question?

Sincerely yours, the Breakfast Club."

2. Be like Cameron and fight for your life — your happiness, your success, and your triumphs.

"I am not going to sit on my ass as the events that affect me unfold to determine the course of my life. I’m going to take a stand. I’m going to defend it. Right or wrong, I’m going to defend it." Cameron


3. Always stay true to yourself. (Even if that means obeying your own "unique" tastes in fashion). It’s freeing to not worry about what anyone else thinks.

"This is a really volcanic ensemble you’re wearing, it’s really marvelous!" Duckie

4. When things don’t go your way, be like John Bender.


Yes, he’s talking back to the principal, but still, this is a perfect response to the ups and downs we all face. Life is about bouncing back when things fall apart, but also being able to stare in awe at the beauty when everything miraculously falls into in place.

5. Appreciate life… all of the moments, good and bad. Everyone knows Ferris Bueller said it best:

6. Love sucks sometimes. But we can always bounce back, especially with some great fatherly advice. Remember this gem from Jim Baker?:


7. There’s no wrong way to do lunch.

8. Self-pity won’t get you anywhere. Take it from Randy.

9. Have a little hope and let life play out, because sometimes things are just meant to be.

"You look good wearing my future." — Keith to Watts (SWOON)


Most of the time, you can’t plan for things. But, then they turn out better than you imagined, and the tomboy DOES finally land the guy she’s been best friends with and crushing on the entire time. That’s life, folks.

10. Dancing in the library and throwing a fist in the air across a high school football field should be a rite of passage, preferably along to Simple Minds’ "Don’t You (Forget About Me)".