Study Guide

The Breakfast Club Friendship

Friendship

Before the action of The Breakfast Club starts, the characters' friends are all drawn from their own cliques. Those friendships are based on shared stereotypes (they all identify as jocks or criminals or rich kids or whatever), but not really on shared experiences.

By the end of the movie, we see that the different characters all really have a lot in common with each other and aren't nearly as divided as they thought. So the basis of friendship switches: Instead of having society assign you an identity and friends along with it, you discover your own shared identity with a diverse group of people and are suddenly free to make friends with anybody.

Questions About Friendship

  1. Will these newfound friendships last once the characters are back at school? Explain why or why not.
  2. Which of these friendships is the least likely to break? Which is the most?
  3. Do you think any of these friendships could last for the rest of the characters' lives?
  4. What is it that allows these friendships to happen, specifically? What kind of things do the characters do and say to each other that facilitate friendship? Explain.

Chew on This

Samuel Johnson said that most friendships are mainly "confederacies of vice and leagues of folly." You could argue that this is true of The Breakfast Club: They smoke pot together, and Claire gets with Bender just to anger her parents.

Or, you could argue that friendship is or can be way deeper than that. In The Breakfast Club, friendship teaches the characters to see themselves more clearly by seeing other people more clearly. In order to grow in self-knowledge, they need to grow in their knowledge of other people.