The Breakfast Club Wiki
Richard Vernon
Paul gleason breakfast club.jpg




Early 50s

Marital Status:



Vice Principal of Shermer High School
Detention Supervisor




Carl the Janitor


John Bender, Andrew Clark, Claire Standish, Brian Johnson, Allison Reynolds


Dick -John Bender and Carl the Janitor
Rich -John Bender
Sir. -John Bender, Brian Johnson, Andrew Clark, Claire Standish

Portrayed by:

Paul Gleason

Richard "Dick" Vernon is the grumpy vice principal of Shermer High School as well as the detention supervisor and the main antagonist of the film.

Vice Principal[]

Mr. Vernon is a strict and no-nonsense person, who does not take kindly to jokes around him. After Bender insults him seven times, he gives him two months of detention (March 31-May 11). When Bender and the others go to the hall so he can retrieve marijuana from his locker, Bender takes the fall for everyone, allowing them to go back without getting caught. Vernon locks him in a storage closet for the remainder of the day and threatens him as far as to goad Bender into throwing punches at his face which he does not do. He also starts to wonder on how the kids will turn out in the future, and shows serious anxiety and fear in knowing that the incoming generation will be running the world when he is an old man. At the end of the movie, the kids didn't write the assignment he wants them to do, instead they write how he can't accept who they are and he failed to break them. The janitor tells him to not count on those kids to help him anytime in future because of how he's treating them. The janitor tells him that no one will care about Vernon even when he dies, people won't care about him due to his horrible behavior. At the end, Vernon is seen reading the essay and realized he failed miserably and it won't matter what he does.

Trivia and allusions[]

  • Vernon can be compared to the following characters:
    • Mr. Bender - Although in different locations and at different times, both heckle and abuse Bender, making the latter feel like a caged tiger.
      • At home, Mr. Bender gets drunk, and verbally berates his son, as well as physically abuses the latter.
      • At school, Vernon almost takes up Mr. Bender's role, via verbally berating Bender, and to an extent, physically abusing the latter.
        • However, Mr. Bender takes the abuse much farther.
    • Stanford Strickland (Back to the Future saga):
      • Both are strict principals, who frequently berate a/the protagonist of the respective movie (Marty McFly, in Strickland's case).
        • However, Vernon is more of this, as he took it to measures like locking a student in a closet.
      • Both were portrayed by actors born in the 1930s:
        • Paul Gleason, Vernon's actor, was born in 1939.
        • James Tolkan, Strickland's actor, was born in 1931.
    • Ed Rooney (Ferris Bueller's Day off):
      • Both, in their respective movies, are shown working as faculty members of Shermer High school, a fictional school in Illinois, and a popular location, where many John Hughes films took place at and/or featured.
        • Vernon and Rooney could very well be co-workers.
      • Both are authoritarians who did just about anything, even if it was illegal and/or plain abusive, to discipline/punish a student, often a/the protagonist of the respective movie (Ferris Bueller, in Ed Rooney's case).
        • Vernon took disciplining Bender to far measures, like locking the latter in a closet.
        • Ed Rooney stopped at nothing to catch Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick), including breaking into the latter's house.
          • However, Rooney did not actually hurt Ferris, even though the former was planning on doing so.
          • Another difference is that Vernon is at a higher position than Rooney:
            • Rooney is the dean of students.
            • Vernon is the assistant principal.
      • Both were portrayed by actors who were in their 40s at the time:
        • Paul Gleason was around 44-46, when he portrayed Vernon.
        • Jeffrey Jones, Rooney's actor, was around 39-40, when he portrayed Rooney.
    • Ebeneezer Scrooge (A Christmas Carol) - Both exhibit grumpy and unsympathetic behavior, and get told that due to this behavior, no one will care for/take care of him (Scrooge/Vernon), when he gets old, sick, and/or dies.
      • When Vernon told him that the kids will take care of him (Vernon) when he gets old, Carl the Janitor said that he shouldn't count on it--This means that the students will only remember Vernon as an abusive authority figure, and not care for him.
      • During his journey/dream with the ghosts on Christmas Eve night, Ebeneezer Scrooge, to see what future Christmas would look like, was taken (by the ghost of Christmas-yet-to-come) to his own grave (after seeing Tiny Tim's grave), and it was in the unloved section of the grave, where nobody wept nor cared--To add insult to injury, Scrooge heard people say, "the old mister (referring to Scrooge) is dead, but who cares anyway"?
        • Unlike Vernon, Scrooge headed this warning, and changed his ways; Vernon did not believe this warning, and continued his unsympathetic and grumpy behavior.
        • Another difference is that Scrooge was actually shown this message visually and in words; Vernon was only told implicitly by Carl.