30 Years of The Breakfast Club: What Bender Taught Me

“He’s so greasy he glides when he walks.”

This is actually something Emilio Estevez says in “The Outsiders” about his character’s brother. But it reminds me of John Bender all the same.

“The Breakfast Club” is my all time favorite movie. I watched it for the first time when I was 15 and it became my sanctuary. Everything about that movie speaks to real life. Even at 22 I’m still finding places where it creeps into my life.

Judd Nelson’s John Bender character taught me everything I ever needed to know about being independent.

In honor of “The Breakfast Club’s” 30th anniversary here are some other things Bender taught me:


-Have a sense of humor no matter what’s going on in your life. Remember to laugh.

-Screws fall out of place all the time, the world’s an imperfect balance.

-Teachers can be jerks. Ignore them. You won’t be in school forever.

-Rules are meant to be broken.

-Ask questions, always.

-Never let anyone ignore you.

-Be a leader.

-Admit that you’re wrong sometimes.

-It’s OK to forget your pencil.

-Be sarcastic, but also know how to be serious.

-Be witty, not whinny.

-You don’t always need to pack a lunch.

-Be open to making new friends. You’ll never know what might happen.

-Understand sports.

-Dance like nobody’s watching.

-You’re not alone. There are plenty of people out there just like you.

-Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable sometimes.

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