Let's Compare Scenes: "Breakfast Club" Episodes
Several of the teen dramas did homages to classic films and movie characters. Two in particular had episodes that were tributes to The Breakfast Club.
The 1985 John Hughes film revolves around a group of seemingly different students, each representing some kind of stereotype, being forced to interact while serving detention in the school library. The movie, arguably a teen drama itself, mixes both dramatic and comedic elements as the students are led to confront what they think they know about each other, make surprising confessions, and blow off steam.
And that’s more or less what happened in episodes of “Dawson’s Creek” and “One Tree Hill” too.
Episode 1.07, “Detention” (also known as “The Breakfast Club”)
Dawson, Jen, Joey, and Pacey (along with Abby) end up stuck in the high school library while serving detention. They pass the time with both silliness and seriousness. Highlights include a game of truth or dare that leads to Dawson and Joey’s first kiss, an emotional breakdown from Joey, rising tensions between Pacey and Dawson, and a mad dash to avoid being caught sneaking around by the school librarian overseeing their detention. The dialogue directly references The Breakfast Club and its cast at one point, including Molly Ringwald and Joshua Jackson’s Mighty Ducks co-star Emilio Estevez.
One Tree Hill
Episode 5.09, “For Tonight You’re Only Here to Know”
Peyton, Haley, and Brooke (along with Lindsey and Mia) end up stuck in the high school library when they get locked in. They pass the time with both silliness and seriousness. Highlights include rising tensions between Peyton and Lindsey, pointed questions about Brooke’s relationship with her mom, the reappearance of Tim after several seasons, and singing from Mia. There are no explicit mentions of The Breakfast Club, although the movie is also referenced in several later episodes, including scenes in which Brooke does a Ringwald-esque dance to “Don’t You Forget About Me” and an ‘80s-themed episode (actually titled “Don’t You Forget About Me”) in season 7, which pays tribute to Hughes’ movies.
I really love both the “Dawson’s Creek” and “One Tree Hill” Breakfast Club installments, primarily for the angsty moments and the respective love triangles (Jen-Dawson-Joey and Lindsey-Lucas-Peyton) reaching boiling points. The “One Tree Hill” edition, and why I prefer it over the comparable “Dawson’s Creek” version, has extra emotional resonance because it returns the characters to Tree Hill High several years after graduation and has callbacks to its most impactful hour — the school shooting episode.
I also generally just like episodes with unique framing and settings, which these both obviously have with the forced togetherness in the libraries. What about you? Do you like these similar teen drama episodes?