John Hughes In Popular Culture

The late John Hughes defined film in the ’80s, reinventing popular comedies with teen-oriented works like “The Breakfast Club” and “National Lampoon’s Vacation.” His mark on the medium is visible even today, with concepts he introduced still being used to make high schoolers more relatable and road trips funnier. The impact extends beyond subtextual nods. There are many filmmakers who appreciate his work so much that they turn to overt references.

Most recently in “The Hangover,” Zach Galifianakis’s Alan said “My dad loves this car more than me,” referencing the car he and his soon-to-be-hungover pals are driving to Las Vegas. It is a throwback to the classic “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” moment when Cameron says of his father’s vintage Ferrari: “My father loves this car more than life itself.” Ironically enough, both vehicles are subsequently destroyed when hijinx ensue.

Hughes’ angsty teen films were perfect joke material for 2001’s “Not Another Teen Movie.” One of the clearest references comes when a high schooler serving time in detention argues with the principal, played again by Paul Gleason. You remember him as the evil Principal Vernon from Hughes’ “The Breakfast Club.”

Smaller nods to Hughes’ work have been seen in a variety of other films. In “Don’t Say A Word,” Michael Douglas’s daughter is a huge fan of “Home Alone.” In “Be Kind Rewind,” “National Lampoon’s Vacation” is mentioned in dialogue.” Also, in “Austin Powers in Goldmember,” that whole offensive mole scene pays homage to Uncle Buck’s (John Candy) classic encounter with an… ummm… homely school principal.

Few have loved to reference Hughes’ work as much as Kevin Smith. In “Dogma” most specifically, there is an entire dialogue exchange in which Jay (Jason Mewes) lobbies for a detour to “The Breakfast Club”’s fictional Shermer, Illinois. Why? Because “all the honeys are top-shelf, but all the dudes are whiny p–sies — except for Judd Nelson, he was f–kin’ harsh — but best of all, there was no one dealin’, man; then, it hits me: we could live like phat rats if we were the blunt connection in Shermer, Illinois.”

Hughes is mentioned again in the same movie when Salma Hayek’s Serendipty, an Earthbound muse, says she is responsible for every movie in the top 20 highest grossing films, except for “Home Alone,” which she said she had nothing to do with. She actually gets a bit more graphic than that, but I’ve cleaned it up a bit. Clearly, Smith didn’t love all of Hughes’ works.

And then, of course, there’s this:

“Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane is an unabashed fan of John Hughes, frequently referencing the filmmaker’s films in his own work. This is just a small sampling; now we want to hear from you.

What is your favorite reference of one of John Hughes’ films? Hit the comments below or post your thoughts on video at Your MTV (tag it “John Hughes impact”).