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Dear Mr. Vernon, we accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it was we did wrong. But we think you're crazy to make us write an essay telling you who we think we are and you see us as you want to see us: In the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. But what we found out is that each one of us is a brain... {…} Does that answer your question? Sincerely yours, The Breakfast Club.
~ Brian's famous narration at the end of the film.

Brian Johnson is the brain of the group and the tritagonist in the 1985 film, The Breakfast Club.

He is played by Anthony Michael Hall.

Biography

His real-life mother and sister, Mercedes Hall and Mary Christian, played the character's mother and sister, respectively.

He was given Saturday detention because, after getting an F in a science project, he attempted to shoot himself in the locker room. His parents are greatly controlling of Brian having perfect grades, causing him to feel pressure, and lead to his attempt to commit suicide. His attempt failed due to the flare gun going off in his locker, something he and group later laugh about in detention.

He has trouble adapting to the others at first and tries to maintain peace, with little to no success. He writes the essay to give to Mr. Vernon at the end of the film by calling the group "The Breakfast Club".

Personality

Brian is a young who respects authority and calls Richard Vernon "Sir." He is friends with the janitor of the school and while he is at first embarrassed for the other kids to know this, he says goodbye to Carl as they all leave the school.

He can be rather silly at times. While repeating the essay prompt "Who I think I am" to himself, he puts a pen in his mouth and says that he is a walrus.

He finds John intimidating and puts his jacket back on when they both begin to remove theirs at the same time. He allows Bender to go through his lunch.

He is incredulous when Bender reveals the marijuana, but later smokes it, though not before silently asking Andrew for permission to do so. Andrew says no, but Brian gets up to do so anyway, marking his first disrespect of authority in the film. Brian acts very fh while smoking -- using a silly voice, wearing dark sunglasses, laughing openly, while Andrew is dancing around the library to Karla DeVito's "We are not alone".

He pays close attention to what goes on around him. He has been keeping track of the number of detentions that John has racked up --eight-- even though he thinks it's seven and knows where the library's fire exits are.

He doesn't like conflict and comes between Andrew and John when they are talking about their parents to break up their argument, he says that he doesn't like his parents either. He also hides his face in his hand when Andrew is talking about what he did to Larry Lester.

He's incredibly disappointed in himself for doing poorly in shop class. He got an F on a project where he was suppossed to be able to pull the trunk of a lamp shaped like an elephant and turn the light on, but his light didn't come on. He took the course because it was supposed to be an easy way to maintain his GPA.

He asks what is going to happen to them on Monday. He begins to cry while they are talking. Claire says that he doesn't understand the kind of pressure that she's under and he responds with a "f*ck you," which shocks Claire and John. He pauses to hide his face in his sleeve before revealing that he received detention because a flare gun went off in his locker because he was going to attempt suicide with it after failing his shop project.

Claire later suggests that Brian write the paper for all of them. This symbolic gesture shows the trust the group has in him, and elevates Brian from his old role of pushover to the voice of the whole group, showing that he is finally being treated as an equal.

Trivia

  • He's in the math club, the Latin club, and the physics club.
  • For the end of the year physics club dinner, they all get dressed up and have dinner at the Hilton. He didn't have dress shoes so he had to wear his dad's.
  • Brian can be compared to the following characters:
    • Andrew Clark - Both face parental pressure by their respective parents, to be the best of the best, and because of this feel like anything below that means no self-worth.
      • Andy's Father wants his son to "win win win" at sports.
      • Brian's parents pressure their sonto have top grades at all times
  • His cousin Kendall from Indiana got high once.
  • He loves the work of Molière.
  • John calls him a "dork", "a parent's wet dream", a "Neo-maxi-zoon-dweebie", a "cherry", and "Ahab".
  • He lies about sleeping with a girl that lives in Canada and suggests that he has slept with Claire when Bender calls him a virgin.
  • He has soup, apple juice, and a pb&j with the crusts cut off, in addition to the Coca Cola they all receive, for lunch.
  • He doesn't notice that John is making fun of him when he asks if his mom married Mr. Rogers, referencing Fred Rogers, best known as the creator and host of the children's show Mr. Roger's Neighborhood, and responds that his mother married Mr. Johnson.
  • According to his driver's license (which is snatched by Allison along with his wallet), his middle name is Ralph, his birthday is on March 12, he's 5'9.5, and weighs 130lbs. Andrew says that it's the worst fake ID that he's ever seen and points out that it says that he's 68 years old.
  • The line about Brian getting a fake ID so he can vote was improv.
  • He knows Larry Lester, but he didn't find out who taped his buns together until Andrewtold the students that he's the one who did it.
  • He can make spaghetti.
  • Anthony Michael Hall, Brian's actor, played both a victim of bullying and a bully, during his movie career:
    • Here, Hall plays a high school "nerd", who is shy, "goody-two-shoes", and prone to getting picked on.
    • 5 years later, in the 1990 Tim Burton drama Edward Scissorhands, Hall played the main antagonist, Jim, a cruel and arrogant muscular jock bully, who physically and emotionally attacks the main character, Edward Scissorhands (Johnny Depp), when the latter hooks up with the former's girlfriend Kim. (Funny enough, Molly Ringwald and Ally Sheedy were both considered to play Kim before it went to Winona Ryder).
  • Anthony Michael Hall was 16 (same as Molly Ringwald), roughly around his character's age, while he did this role, making them both the youngest of the teenagers although Ringwald had her birthday roughly three days after the movie's release.
  • One of the things that Allison found in Brian Johnson's wallet was a perverted nudie picture.

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