What Do You Remember About These John Hughes Classics?



By: Lauren Lubas

6 Min Quiz

Image: Paramount Pictures

About This Quiz

John Hughes is one of the most prominent screenwriters and producers of the 1980s and '90s. Known for writing characters based on actors he knew, Hughes made a name for himself with the '80s teen movie formula and went on to produce and write for dozens of movies that were outside that genre. With popular films like "Sixteen Candles," "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" and "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" under his belt, it is hard to deny his genius and expertise in the film world.

His films were so popular that you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone who has never seen at least one of them (even if they don't know who John Hughes actually is). While he has 51 writer credits and 23 producer credits on IMDB, people mostly remember him for his ability to generate a story and his loyalty to the actors who brought his characters to life. If you are a John Hughes fan (or even an '80s-movie fan), you have probably seen his movies over and over again. However, we want to see just what you remember about those movies. Take this quiz to see how much you recall about his iconic characters and plots.

What song does Ferris Bueller perform to get the parade crowd dancing?

After lip-syncing to Wayne Newton's "Danke Schoen," Ferris Bueller gets the crowd dancing with The Beatles' "Twist and Shout." The parade sequence is one of the most iconic '80s movie scenes.


John Candy was an actor John Hughes wrote a lot of characters for. Which character had to babysit his nieces and nephew?

"Uncle Buck" is the story about a man who is put into an odd situation. Buck Russel is a bachelor who likes to live a fun city life. However, when his brother asks him to babysit for a few days, he has to head to the suburbs to take care of children.


Where is the Griswold family headed on their road trip in the film "National Lampoon's Vacation"?

SPOILER ALERT: While the Griswolds have a tough time getting across the country, things go even more awry when they arrive at Walley World only to learn that it is closed for renovations — at which point Clark Griswold loses his mind.


Which live-action Disney movie did John Hughes work on?

The 1996 remake of "101 Dalmatians" starring Glenn Close as Cruella de Vil was one of Disney's first attempts at bringing their animated characters to life. Hughes worked on the screenplay of this film.


Can you name the actress who starred in both "Sixteen Candles" and "The Breakfast Club"?

Molly Ringwald was a major player in quite a few John Hughes films. It is said that after meeting the actress, he was so inspired by her persona that he went home and wrote "Sixteen Candles" in a single weekend.


What kind of vehicle do the Griswold's take on their vacation in "National Lampoon's Vacation"?

John Hughes wrote "National Lampoon's Vacation" based on an idea of what it was like to go on road trips with your parents in the '60s. It translated well to the decade and became a cult classic.


Can you name the John Hughes film in which two teenage boys make the perfect woman?

Some call "Weird Science" a weird movie. It shows what happens when two incredibly intelligent teens attempt to work their way up the teenage social ladder by creating a beautiful girl to date.


Which John Hughes film includes the characters Brian, Allison and Claire?

If you say the name John Hughes, most people will immediately think of "The Breakfast Club." It's a movie about five students from different cliques serving detention and realizing that they have more in common than they thought.


Who are Ferris Beuller's friends in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off"?

Ferris Beuller (played by Matthew Broderick) is a kid that just wants to have fun. He skips school, but instead of just hanging out at home, he convinces his friends to go to the city with him and have a little fun.


Why does Jack Butler take on the role of house husband in "Mr. Mom"?

Lay-offs were not uncommon in the 1980s, and showing the resourcefulness of a family dealing with tough economic times was a good way to give the audience something to relate to in this movie.


Which remake did John Hughes write the screenplay for?

Richard Attenborough and Mara Wilson star in the remake of "Miracle on 34th Street," which was released in 1994. The remake received mixed reviews, but children loved the updated look of the old classic.


How do the Griswolds get to go on a European vacation?

The success of the first "Vacation" movie spawned many sequels, one of which was "National Lampoon's European Vacation." Though Griswolds have fun in Europe, they don't seem to understand how a roundabout works.


What is the name of Sam's love interest in "Sixteen Candles"?

When everyone forgets Sam's birthday, she goes through some dramatic moments and angry times. Of course, things all turn out for the best in the end, as the boy she's crushing on shows up and makes everything better.


What does Ellen call Clark as a pet name in the National Lampoon's "Vacation" movies?

Giving characters nicknames helps the audience feel as though they are a part of the family. Ellen Griswold calling Clark "Sparky" as a pet name gives audiences another layer of their relationship, showing their love for each other.


What did Ferris Bueller get for his birthday instead of a car?

There was no doubt that Ferris Bueller was a bit of a genius. He hacked into this school computers and changed the amount of absences he had had and even used sound equipment to pretend he was sleeping.


What John Hughes film follows Professor Philip Brainard as he comes to a breakthrough about an uncontrollable substance?

"Flubber" was about a professor who wasn't necessarily good at focusing or keeping track of things, but when he invents the bounciest substance on the planet, things get a little crazy as he loses control.


Where does Kevin get lost in the second "Home Alone" movie?

"Home Alone 2: Lost in New York" (1992) was quickly put together after the success of the first movie in the franchise. The movie brings Kevin to New York, where he begins to understand the spirit of Christmas.


Which character in "The Breakfast Club" asks "Does Barry Manilow know that you raid his wardrobe?"

In the memorable scene where Vernon gives Bender two months' worth of detention, Bender makes fun of him and doesn't necessarily care if he gets into trouble. Later, we learn that he'd probably be in detention rather than home anyway.


What city do the characters in "Ferris Beuller's Day Off" visit when they skip school?

The group goes to a museum, a baseball game and a fancy restaurant during their time off. They also happen by a parade that is going on in the city, where Ferris does his memorable performance.


Do you know which state the majority of Hughes' movies are set?

Most of Hughes's films are set in Illinois, and several of them are in a fictional town called Shermer. Hughes actually lived in Northern Illinois until his death at the age of 59. He maintained a working farm there.


Do you know the dad's name in "Mr. Mom"?

Back in the 1980s, it was almost unheard of that a man would take care of the children while the woman of the household worked. However, in this gender role reversal movie, Hughes highlights just how difficult running a household actually is.


Which character doesn't like the dog in the beginning of "Beethoven"?

The plot to "Beethoven" is pretty straightforward. A family wants a giant dog that brings a mess wherever he goes, and the father figure (Charles Grodin) doesn't want this to happen. Of course, by the end, the father ends up loving the dog (just like real life).


Why was Brian in detention in "The Breakfast Club"?

When the group of teens sits in a circle talking to each other, they all discuss why they are in detention in the first place. Brian gives a heart-wrenching story about the pressure that he's under to succeed and admits that he was going to do something drastic with his flare gun.


In "Pretty In Pink," how does Duckie react when Andie tells him Blane's name?

Throughout "Pretty in Pink," we see Duckie trying to get Andie's hand because he is in love with her, but when she starts dating a rich guy, he goes off the deep end. He wants nothing more than for Andie to be happy, even if he isn't happy.


What's the name of the main character from the Christmas classic "Home Alone"?

Kevin McCallister is a regular kid whose family is headed to Paris for Christmas. Unfortunately, Kevin oversleeps and ends up being left home alone. During his abandonment, Kevin has to defend his house from a couple of nasty robbers.


Who ruins Chet's family vacation in "The Great Outdoors"?

"The Great Outdoors" is a John Hughes classic about learning to love your family, no matter how terrible they actually are. His show-off brother-in-law follows him on a trip he's taking to give him an investment opportunity that turns out to be a scam.


Can you name the antagonist in "Pretty in Pink"?

The rich kids in this movie have some very interesting names. Steff (played by James Spader) is the type of guy who thinks that social classes should only mingle with their own social classes, making him a pretty standard '80s villain.


What holiday is approaching during the "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" plot?

Putting two unlikely people together and seeing what they'd do is a major theme in John Hughes' films (especially the ones that aren't about teens). In this movie, Steve Martin and John Candy are lumped together to create comedic gold.


Can you name the movie that includes the characters Jim, Josie and Nestor?

"Career Opportunities" (1991) is the story about two people from different social backgrounds getting together and figuring out just how much they have in common. It wasn't Hughes' most popular film, but it stuck to his formula nicely.


In the movie "Dutch," where does Dutch pick up Doyle?

"Dutch" is the type of movie that shows the push back children give to their parent's new lovers. It's a story about how two people come to an understanding of each other through a series of mean things they do to each other.


What is "She's Having a Baby" about?

Though John Hughes wrote several movies about teen love, "She's Having a Baby" is more about what happens immediately after that love becomes successful. It's all about how difficult it is to maintain a relationship, especially when things start to change.


Who did Keith end up with in "Some Kind of Wonderful"?

The idea of the teen love triangle was nothing new when "Some Kind of Wonderful" came out in 1987. As a matter of fact, it was one of the driving forces for every teen movie. However, it was refreshing to see that a tomboy got the boy in the end.


What is dropped on Gary's head at the mall?

While Anthony Michael Hall, who played Gary, was well known for being a great "geek" throughout the 1980s, this movie really drove the point home. In the bar scene, he tries to explain how listening to blues music makes him think about his own "trials and tribulations" throughout the years.


In "Curly Sue," Jim Belushi plays Bill Dancer. What is Bill's relation to Curly Sue?

We learn in the movie that Bill met Curly Sue on the streets, and he doesn't necessarily know her, but someone has to protect her. The two hustle people over and over again in order to get warm meals and places to stay.


What is Mr. Wilson growing in "Dennis the Menace"?

Not many people realize that John Hughes wrote the screenplay for "Dennis the Menace." He actually worked on quite a few children's movies (especially in the '90s). This showed that the writer had range and could change genres.


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