Unlike teen movies and shows that came after, all of which seem to show the lives of well-to-do teens, Hughes' movies always showed people that seemed to be just like you and me, the average folk at your average high school. His movies both reflected and defined, shaped even, our world. Their soundtracks were the music of my mixed tapes in my Walkman. Personally as someone who explored 'alternative' music and dress, before there was an 'alternative' music scene as defined now, I connected with people like Keith in Some Kind Of Wonderful, Duckie Dale of Pretty in Pink, Wyatt and Gary in Weird Science, and even a little with The Geek/Farmer Ted in Sixteen Candles. One line from his movies spoke especially to me as I grew up:
We're all pretty bizarre. Some of us are just better at hiding it, that's all. - Andrew, Breakfast Club
Of course, Hughes didn't only do teen movies. Though he is best known for them, he also created other classics like Mr. Mom, Vacation, and Home Alone. In these he branched out to adults and children and still found major success in comedic writing.
In all of his movies there seem to be great lines that can be taken as what to do or not do in life. Here are some of the best, the lines from movies that truly shaped me into the man I am today. Rather than by movie, I organized them by the Virtues of the Well-Met Code.
the virtue of Enterprise, it means to undertake projects, be bold and ready, be adventurous, but be organized. Make plans and follow them.
- You ought to spend a little more time trying to make something of yourself and a little less time trying to impress people. - Richard Vernon, Breakfast Club
- Look don't make me participate in your stupid crap if you don't like the way I do it - Cameron, Ferris Bueller
the virtue of Decision, it means to make judgments, be accountable, and be determined and persuasive. Know what you want to and should do, then do it.
- It's better to swallow pride than blood. - Watts, Some Kind Of Wonderful
- ...you can't respect somebody who kisses your ass. It just doesn't work. - Ferris, Ferris Bueller
- Drinking and driving don't mix... That's why I ride a bike. - Duckie, Pretty In Pink
the virtue of Compassion, it means have good intentions, to feel empathy and sympathy for the feelings of others. Be cognizant of their needs and try to help those in need.
- If somebody doesn't believe in me, I can't believe in them. - Andie, Pretty In Pink
- Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. - Ferris, Ferris Bueller
- It's called a sense of humor - you should get one - they're nice. - Duckie, Pretty In Pink
the virtue of Sincerity. It means to be free from deceit, be earnest, and truthful. Simply, be honest – to others but most of all to yourself. It could also be called Integrity.
- Keith... you're losing it. And when it's lost, all you are is a loser. - Watts, Some Kind Of Wonderful
- Not that I condone fascism, or any -ism for that matter. -Ism's in my opinion are not good. A person should not believe in an -ism, he should believe in himself. - Ferris, Ferris Bueller
- Honey, you gave me some real good advice once, so let me give you some of my own. It's real easy to forget what's important, so don't." - Jack Butler, Mr. Mom