10 years ago

John Hughes. He spoke to all of us 30-somethings.

John Hughes died today. Marking the passing of a man whose movies splayed my teen years out there for everyone to see. Was I the princess? Was I the athlete? Was I the basket case? Does it matter? Hughes made it okay to be whoever you were. No matter what. In the immortal words of Ferris Bueller, "Life moves pretty fast. You don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. " Read the post


Chris has got to stop traveling, that’s all there is to it. The last time he got on a plane Michael Jackson died. The next time he got on a plane John Hughes died. Does Chris have some evil plot to eliminate all of the great icons of the 80s? I must say that I am at a loss for words (zip it, mom!). The passing of John Hughes hits a little closer to home. Ever since I was a teenager I’ve been able to relate to the geeky, messed-up, imperfect-yet-awesome heroines of his films. My affinity for Hughes films is apparent in more than one post:

While he will be missed, like all great “documenters of life”, his movies will live on and his characters are unforgettable. Here are some reasons why.

Sixteen Candles


This is by far my favorite Hughes film. This film gave us a love for geeks everywhere and had all girls under the age of 18 proclaiming “I love Jake Ryan!”. Here are some of the more memorable quotes:

  • I can’t believe this. They fucking forgot my birthday.
  • I can’t believe my grandmother actually felt me up.
  • That’s why they call them crushes. If they were easy, they’d call them something else.
  • Can I borrow your underpants for 10 minutes?
  • Relax, would you? We have seventy dollars and a pair of girls underpants. We’re safe as kittens.
  • What was he wearing? Well, uh, let’s see, he was wearing a red argyle sweater, and tan trousers, and red shoes… No, he’s not retarded.
  • No more yankie my wankie. The Donger need food.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off


Another ALL-TIME classic! What teenager doesn’t fantasize about skipping school with their best friend, a hot babe, and an even hotter car?

  • The question isn’t “what are we going to do,” the question is “what aren’t we going to do?”
  • Pardon my French, but Cameron is so tight that if you stuck a lump of coal up his ass, in two weeks you’d have a diamond.
  • Hey, Cameron. You realize if we played by the rules right now we’d be in gym?
  • A man with priorities so far out of whack doesn’t deserve such a fine automobile.
  • Does anyone know what Vice President Bush called this in 1980? Anyone? Something-d-o-o economics. “Voodoo” economics.
  • Oh, he’s very popular Ed. The sportos, the motorheads, geeks, sluts, bloods, waistoids, dweebies, dickheads – they all adore him. They think he’s a righteous dude.
  • -Ism’s in my opinion are not good. A person should not believe in an -ism, he should believe in himself. ((Ferris Bueller was definitely on to something there.))

Pretty in Pink


What more do low-middle class teenage girls want, than to think that someone named Blaine was going to fall in love with them and take them away from it all. This movie actually pissed me off, because in the book, she goes with Ducky. ((And Ducky is who she should have gone with.))

  • I know I’m old enough to be his mother, but when the Duck laid that kiss on me last night, I swear my thighs just went up in flames! He must practice on melons or something.
  • You said you couldn’t be with someone who didn’t believe in you. Well I believed in you. You just didn’t believe in me.
  • His name is Blane? Oh! That’s a major appliance, that’s not a name
  • She thinks you’re shit. And deep down, you know she’s right.
  • Love’s a bitch, Duck. Love’s a bitch.
  • Despite my appearance at this function, I remain now, and will always be, a Duckman.

Uncle Buck


John Hughes did more than just teen flicks. One of the all-time best comedies is Uncle Buck. This is truly John Candy at his best. And McCauley Culken at his best too, come to think of it.

  • You should have seen the toast, I couldn’t even get it through the door!
  • I don’t think I want to know a six-year-old who isn’t a dreamer, or a sillyheart. ((Amen to that, Buck!!))
  • Take this quarter, go downtown, and have a rat gnaw that thing off your face! Good day to you, madam.
  • Q: Why was your Uncle micro waving your socks? A: He can’t get the goddamn washing machine to work.
  • How would you like to spend the next several nights wondering if your crazy, out-of-work, bum uncle will shave your head while you sleep?
  • I don’t know why we need boys at all. They’re so loud.

I could go on all night. Consider the movies I haven’t quoted. Can you name these movies?

Another teen classic.

  • Accident my ass Gary! My parents are coming home. Chet’s coming home. They’re gonna freak out!!
  • Why do you have to be such a wanker?

This one is probably on most 30-something’s top 10. I liked his others better but this is definitely a classic.

  • Remember how you said your parents use you to get back at each other? Wouldn’t I be OUTSTANDING in that capacity?
  • Does Barry Manilow know that you raid his wardrobe?
  • Uh, Dick? Excuse me; Rich. Will milk be made available to us?

If you dont’ know this movie by one quote, well, you are NOT a fan.

  • You can start by wiping that fucking dumb-ass smile off your rosey, fucking, cheeks! Then you can give me a fucking automobile: a fucking Datsun, a fucking Toyota, a fucking Mustang, a fucking Buick! Four fucking wheels and a seat!

Of course, many of these movies would not be complete with a soundtrack to go with them. I’ve compiled a few that should help you with your stroll down memory lane.


Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

And if that weren’t enough, did you know that John Hughes probably WROTE some of your other favorite films? Yes indeed! The films above are just the gems he directed! Here is a list of some classics penned by the dearly departed Hughes (in chronological order, to be fair):

  • Mr. Mom
  • Vacation
  • European Vacation
  • Some Kind of Wonderful
  • She’s Having a Baby
  • The Great Outdoors ((Hughes certainly loved John Candy!))
  • Christmas Vacation
  • Home Alone
  • Maid in Manhattan (the story, not the screenplay)

Mr. Hughes, you spoke to me. You spoke to my generation. You made us laugh at ourselves and you made us cry because we were ourselves. You made it okay to be a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess or a criminal. Or a geek hoisting borrowed underwear. Or a fat man making the biggest pancake ever. You saw the best in us, even at our worst. And you will be missed.

I am sad today. A generation is sad today.


I’ve left out a TON of quotes, on purpose. Please comment with your fave. 😀

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6 Thoughts on “John Hughes. He spoke to all of us 30-somethings.”

  1. What a fantastic tribute. I watched Pretty in Pink so many times the VHS tape wore out. I smiled reading all the lines from some of my favorite movies of all times. Thank you!

  2. Good post. I just have a few seldom-mentioned things to add…- Hughes wrote the spectacular National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983), which featured a score by Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac. The ridiculous guilty pleasure “Weird Science” by Oingo Boingo comes from the Hughes film of the same name.

  3. I just watched Weird Science a month or so ago… not necessarily his funniest, but really spoke to the dorks and has many (as usual) great one-liners so casually delivered- I get the feeling he probably said this alot during shoots: “no, don’t even emphasize it. Yes, it’s a joke, but just say it.”

    I’m sure many of us could go off on quotes at a bar until it closed. Maybe we’ll do that next time you’re out west.

    I always thought Pretty in Pink was a weird to-the formula ending too… and not very funny.

    Cameron: “He’ll keep calling me, he’ll keep calling me until I come over. He’ll make me feel guilty. This is uh… This is ridiculous, ok I’ll go, I’ll go, I’ll go, I’ll go, I’ll go. What – I’LL GO. Shit. ”

    There was a weird point in the 80s where I would mix up Thomas Dolby’s “Blinded Me with Science” ( ‘she turned her tender eyes to me’ – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V83JR2IoI8k&feature=fvst)

    with Oingo Boingo’s “Weird Science” (‘bits and pieces bits and pieces’ – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDe5Ckt4joQ.

    One thing is for sure- the 1980s were years when humanity did ‘science’ and wrote awkward songs about it!

    Thanks for posting this! Miss your Friday 80’s music jams at eC, you better get on a plane soon!