John Bender


John Bender




Student at Shermer High School




Mr. Bender (Father)
Mrs. Bender (Mother)

Significant Other:

Claire Standish


Allison Reynolds, Brian Johnson, Claire Standish, Andrew Clark

Reason for detention:

Pulling a false fire alarm and talking back

Responsible for causing his detention:

Mr. Bender and Mrs. Bender

Portrayed by:

Judd Nelson

John Bender is one of the main characters in The Breakfast Club, serving as the anti-hero. Initially, he shows no respect towards anyone; especially the teachers and the school property. But by the end of the film he begins to accept the idea of kindness, and starts showing it towards the others; in particular, Claire.

Initially, Bender takes great pleasure in making the others uncomfortable, such as ridiculing Andrew for wrestling, using Brian as a target for humiliation and mockery, and sexually harassing Claire on multiple occasions. Though he always retaliates if provoked, he is neither rude or unkind to Allison. On the contrary, he only shows obnoxious reactions towards her disturbing, quirky behavior. Bender has the most rivalry with Andrew and Claire, as they come from complete opposites of the "high-school spectrum."

Most of his interactions (both positive and negative) happened with Claire. He drives her to tears repeatedly. At the start, Bender seems to inadvertently show her some kindness, by asking her who she would prefer to live with if her parents divorced, but is interupted when Allison shouts "HA!" Due to Allison's exclamation, he is somewhat startled out of his thoughts, and becomes more cutting—thus showing that he is not as cruel or sarcastic as one might initially think.

In the beginning, Claire, in particular, has the shortest patience towards Bender. She is often cutting in her judgments of him and loses her temper with him several times. However, she shows sympathy towards him after Mr. Vernon "awards" Bender seven more weeks' detention. This doesn't stop Bender from taunting her though. When she shows the group her trick of applying lipstick from her cleavage, she makes them swear not to laugh, and they don't. They are all impressed, but Bender insults her, which prompts defensive insults from the others and Claire to cry again.

When allowing each other to rifle through their things, Bender uses one of Claire's cosmetic brushes as a toothbrush and plays with her perfume.

As she flicks through what is implied to be several pictures of girls, Claire asks Bender if he believes in "one guy, one girl." He states that he does not. When asked why he doesn't, he immediately becomes defensive, as he does not want to answer.

Though Bender conflicts with Claire the most, he eventually becomes closest to her, and at the end of the film, the couple shares a kiss, elope in the closet, and Claire even goes as far as to give Bender one of her diamond earrings.

After Claire, Bender definitely buts heads the most with Andrew. Shortly after meeting in detention, Andrew snaps at Bender and belittles him for having no goals.

Bender clearly hates his father as much as Andrew does his and becomes very upset when Andrew assumes that Bender's reenactment of his home life—which involves his father abusing him—is all an act. Determined to prove that he's not lying about the abusive nature of his home life, Bender rolls up his sleeve to reveal a cigar burn that was left there by his father as punishment for spilling paint in the garage. Bender then knocks books to the floor and climbs up the stairwell. Andrew appears to show remorse after this, but not so much as to admit his mistake; for when Claire calls him out for it ("You shouldn't have said that."), Andrew shrugs it off. ("Well, how was I supposed to know?")

After listening to what Andrew did in order to merit his detention, Bender proclaims that he thinks his father and Andrew's father should get together and go bowling. This is Bender's way of saying that Andrew and he aren't so different after all.

Not a huge amount is known about Bender, aside from his abusive home life and his dislike of authority. When Vernon separates him from the group and is yelling at him in the closet, he shrinks in on himself, taking up less space and avoiding eye contact; this suggests that he fears older men or men that resemble his abusive father. When Vernon leaves, he looks like he's quite relieved and on the verge of tears.

Bender shows little to no interest in pursuing any extracurriculars activities and doesn't apply himself in school. He "could care less about trigonometry" but takes shop, and it's implied that he is quite good at it. He is quite athletic in many aspects and demonstrates this by not only easily climbing the stairs in the library but also easily scoring a basket when playing around in the gym.

When Allison states that "when you grow up your heart dies," Bender responds rudely by saying, "who cares?" But he seems slightly upset about it and this insinuates that he doesn't appear to care about his future but he may actually care deeply.

Physical Appearance Edit

Bender has dark features, from his ear-length hair and brown eyes. His clothing is much different from the other students, as Bender wears multiple layers and ragged clothing. His white long sleeve shirt is believed by some to cover up his scars from his abusive home life, along with his long trench coat. Over his long sleeve are a red plaid button-up and a jean jacket. Bender also wears black pants and shoes, with a red bandanna wrapped around his left shoe. He also wears black biker gloves. On top of Bender's clothing, he also wears a long red scarf and sunglasses, with a few pins on the collar of his trench coat and one pin on his right glove, as well as his ear piercings.

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