Five Things ‘The Breakfast Club’ Wasn’t Familiar With In 1984

By Adam Bookbinder

Believe it or not, it was 30 years ago, March 24, 1984 when five high school students, each of a different “clique” came together in detention and learned although they have different backgrounds, they were all pretty similar.

The five students consisted of Andrew Clark played by Emilio Estevez, John Bender played by Judd Nelson, Brian Johnson played by Anthony Michael Hall, Allison Reynolds played by Ally Sheedy and Claire Standish played by Molly Ringwald.

Photo by John W. Ferguson/Getty Images

Photo by John W. Ferguson/Getty Images

Of course the big song to come out of the movie was Simple Minds’ “Don’t You Forget About Me.”

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What were 5 things that the group in 1984 weren’t familiar with compared to students who are in detention today?  Well let’s take a look:

1.  The laptop:

Just about everyone these days has either a laptop or even an iPad, but not in 1984.  There were early versions of today’s laptop such as the Compaq Portable and the Tandy Model 100, which were pretty much anything but portable.  One thing they certainly didn’t know about was the MacBook because just a couple months before their big detention date, Steve Jobs debuted the world’s first Macintosh computer on January 24, 1984.

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2.  Smartphones:

People are more comfortable leaving their wallet at home than their smartphone.  We live and breathe with our smartphone or in some cases, smartphones.  Email, internet, phone, flashlight, calculator and much more all in one handy little device.  In 1984, there was the Motorola DynaTAC 8000X or otherwise known as “the brick” which was priced at $3,995.  Remember the phone Zac Morris has in Saved By The Bell?  Yep, that’s the one.

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3.  Metal detectors in schools:

In 1984 the only metal detectors people were probably familiar with were airports.  Unfortunately due to the number of school shootings over the years, they’re now a common scene in many schools around the country.

4.  Social Media:

The group of 5 had no clue about sharing their thoughts, feelings, selfies or anything of the sort in 1984.   They had no way of sharing their detention experiences to the rest of the world, unless they were to make a telephone call from a landline.  Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg wasn’t even born for another two months (his birthday is May 14, 1984).

Photo by AARON TAM / Getty Images

Photo by AARON TAM / Getty Images

5.  The Internet:

Thanks to the internet we have smart phones and the wonderful world of social media.  If one of the five had to do research for an assignment, luckily they’re already in the library.  They’d use the card catalog to find the book they’re looking for.  And thank goodness for those microfiche and microfilm machines.


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