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8 'Breakfast Club'-themed TV episodes to revisit

It’s been 30 years since that fateful Saturday when a group of high school students learned an important lesson about seeing their peers in the simplest of terms. But the influence of The Breakfast Club has only grown over time, with quotes and references finding their way into various TV shows, songs, and even other movies.

With so many people paying tribute to the classic coming-of-age flick, it’s easy to lose focus on (and forget about) the notable episodes. So let’s take a look at some of the best Breakfast Club homages television has to offer:

1. Community, “Pilot”
As Abed Nadir himself would tell you, this sitcom’s core premise revolves around a group of disparate misfits who eventually put aside their differences and band together to form a study group. What’s more Breakfast Club than that? (Not to mention the various quotes sprinkled throughout different episodes, as well as an alcohol-fueled recreation of the dance scene we all know and love.)

Community Breakfast Club Reference Gif

2. Cougar Town, “The Criminal Kind”
Jules Cobb may not be as familiar with this movie as the rest of the Cul-de-Sac Crew (or even a fan, for that matter) but as her day unfolds, she unwittingly finds herself stuck with the rest of the gang in grocery-store jail (the equivalent of detention for grown-ups).There, the friends learn to accept themselves as they are: “A goody two-shoes,” “a freeloader,” “a handsome dick,” “a fire starter,” and “a criminal.”

Cougar Town Breakfast Club References Gif

3. Dawson’s Creek, “Detention”
Given that the film was originally called “Detention,” it’s only fitting that this show’s Breakfast Club–themed episode was titled as such. Dawson and company spend most of their time during the punishment playing Truth or Dare, which inevitably led to some deeper truths being exposed. Not to mention a shout-out to the Mighty Ducks as Joshua Jackson’s Pacey declares his love for the franchise.


4. Psych, “Murder? … Anyone? … Bueller?”
No one loves John Hughes as much as Shawn and Gus. So it wasn’t a surprise that the episode featuring their high school reunion was also chock-full of references to the movie. They even went so far as to cover the Simple Minds’ “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” as a fourth-season promo. Beyond that, the show gets bonus points for actually scoring four of the five members of the original Breakfast Club as guest stars throughout the series’ run.

Psych Breakfast Club Cast Guest Stars

5. The Vampire Diaries, “After-School Special”
Even the presence of vampires, werewolves, and witches can’t get Mystic Falls’ favorite teens out of detention—albeit one enforced by Rebekah, an Original vampire who’d give Judd Nelson’s John Bender a run for his money in the violent-outburst department. But in true Breakfast Club (by way of vampire compulsion) fashion, everyone involved opens up, with the ensuing revelations affecting how they see each other.

Vampire Diaries Breakfast Club Reference

6. Bob’s Burgers, “The Runway Club”
Animation offers ample opportunity for sight gags and visual references. So instead of borrowing from the film’s plot, the episode saw fit to pay homage to certain scenes through its choice of music and movement, leading to references that are subtle, yet detailed.


7. Victorious, “The Breakfast Bunch”
The Nickelodeon show that gave us Ariana Grande, Victoria Justice, and Avan Jogia (among many others) also took on the John Hughes classic by sending its characters to detention and closely following the plot of the film—right down to running in the hallway and DIY library makeovers.

Victorious Breakfast Club References Gif

8. Lizzie McGuire, “She Said, He Said, She Said”
Viewers got two homages for the price of one in this episode of the hit Disney Channel series. While Lizzie, Larry, and Kate had to write an essay explaining who started the food fight that landed them on clean-up duty, Matt took a cue from Ferris Bueller and ditched school for the day. Not that the show’s younger viewers would realize this at the time.

Honorable Mentions:

The Goldbergs, “Barry Goldberg’s Day Off”
Another child of the ’80s, Adam Goldberg’s sitcom recently aired its love letter to another one of Hughes’ hits, and the result was pure magic. Not only did the episode know it was mirroring a lot of the film’s beats (while framing them within the Goldberg universe), but it recreated some of the same shots and camera angles.

The Goldbergs Ferris Bueller References Gif

Glee, “Trio”
The Simple Minds’ song has become a mainstay of high school graduations, so it wasn’t long before a trio of graduating McKinley High seniors covered the anthem.

How I Met Your Mother, “The Magician’s Code: Part 1”
Remember that Halloween when everyone decided to dress up as The Breakfast Club but forgot to coordinate their costumes? Well, that gave us one hilarious sight gag that is nearly impossible to forget.

How I Met Your Mother Breakfast Club Reference GIF

The Simpsons & Futurama
Series creator Matt Groening is clearly a big fan of the movie—enough so that he named one of his main characters after John Bender, and has another (Bart Simpson) frequently quoting him. (“Eat my shorts.”)

Futurama Simpsons Breakfast Club Reference Gif

What about you? Are there any other TV tributes we missed? Let us know!

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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