Chicago, Humor, John Hughes

My Favorite John Hughes Movies

First published March 1, 2016

I was thinking (nary a good thing) of what John Hughes movies I would take with me if I were stranded on a deserted island. But how would you know ahead of time if you’d be stranded? On a deserted island? So why is that question ever asked?

Then it made me dive even deeper. Oh, brother.  What if I were on a deserted island with John Hughes himself? Yes, I know he’s dead. And what if together we thought up the perfect screenplay?
But we didn’t have any paper and pen.  Because hello, stranded. Then, because we are so delusional from hunger and sun and desertedness, one of us ended doing the worst act known to man.

We forgot the premise to our great screenplay idea. You thought I was going somewhere else with that, didn’t you?

Then it made me think that scenario would make an epic screenplay.

What? I am new to photo shop, okay?

Please don’t steal my idea.
It’s still in the planning stages.

2021 note- holy HELL, perimenopause gave me some acid, shroom ideas. 

This was fun.

Here are my suggestions for which John Hughes movies you should take with you on a planned, deserted island getaway. Meaning, if you have never seen these John Hughes classics, you really ought to see them. John would have wanted it that way. At least I think that’s what I think he told me on the coconut phone we invented. 

National Lampoon’s Vacation

This was the first R-rated movie I ever saw. My Dad took me the summer going into eighth grade, I believe. Even though I don’t exactly remember how old I was, I remember seeing it with him. It’s a cheesy movie, but a fun one. This was one of John Hughes’ first screenplays. Harold Ramis directed it.

Mr. Mom

I loved this movie; I still do. Whenever I think of movies from my childhood, I find I am scanning my brain to think how sexist or misogynistic the movie is now. Sad isn’t it? Schooner Tuna. That sticks out from this one. Oh, and Teri Garr cutting Martin Mull’s meat. That sounded dirty.


Oh, and a lot of people had no idea John Hughes wrote the screenplay for Mr. Mom. Now you do.

Sixteen Candles

Sixteen Candles isn’t my favorite of the “trifecta”. Which is what I like to call the BIG THREE: Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink. Because Mr. Hughes is most known for those three, even though he worked on so many more. If you have seen none of the “trifecta”, start here first then work your way down the list.

2021 note- I don’t like the racist Asian undertones in the movie. I love Sixteen Candles all the same. If John Hughes were alive today, I feel he would address the Long Duck Dong character. 

The Breakfast Club

I like this movie, but I don’t love it as much as everyone else does. My favorite characters in this movie are Allison and Bender; when I tell people this, they’re shocked. About Bender. Because of the sexist thing. He’s real. I had several Benders in my school. He was the most relatable character in the movie. I love Allison because, she is the character most relatable to ME.

Side note- I feel like John Kapelos is one of those great treasures and honestly, one of the hardest working guys in Hollywood if you look at his IMBD filmography. By the way, he played Rudy the bohunk in Sixteen Candles before Carl the janitor, if you think he looks familiar.

2021 note- Mike and I saw an interview with John Kapelos this year with John Candy’s daughter, and it was disappointing. It burst my bubble a bit on Mr. Kapelos. If you want to watch, here is the link.

But John Candy’s daughter? She is her dad times a million. Lovely. 

Pretty In Pink

My favorite of the trifecta for a couple of reasons. The lead is a female. The struggle of rich vs. poor; popular vs. not popular. I love Annie Potts. I’m easy to please.

I also love the ending of this movie. Not the ENDING, but the part where Duckie comes to meet her at prom. I hate that she ended up with Blaine. I HATE THAT THE “PATRIARCHY” WON. Do you know that the original ending was Duckie and Andie end up together? And they played it to test audiences, and the audiences voted for BLAINE?? Human beings suck.

2021 note- Oops, did I give it away. IT’S A 35-YEAR-OLD MOVIE. Also, the patriarchy still sucks 

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

I may or may not have recreated the Sears Tower scene.

2021 note- I did this many times BEFORE they did it for an exhibition. 

I may or may not have done the Twist and Shout in public in downtown Chicago.

2021 note- WHAT? I LIKE TO DANCE. 

Also, I’ve been known to give the name Abe Froman at Starbucks.

2021- I still do this occasionally. 

I have no shame.

I have no shame case in point- taking a picture of myself having a good boob day while on a food tour. In Chicago. In broad daylight.

2021 note- that was a good boob day.

Some Kind Of Wonderful

Man, this movie is totally underrated. A great underdog story, which John Hughes is famous for. Fun fact- Mary Stuart Masterson’s mom in actual life is Carlin Glynn, who played the mom in Sixteen Candles.

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

Thanksgiving. That is what I always associate this movie with. For years it was a tradition to watch this on the night before. My oldest daughter loved this movie when she was little, and we used to yell EARMUFFS! every time Neil or Del uttered a dirty word  Now our youngest is following in her footsteps.

2021 note- we still watch this at Thanksgiving. 

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

My entire family will quote this movie year-round. Shitter’s full never ever gets old.

It’s a funny squeaky sound.

Is Rusty still in the Navy?

Gas money run out in Gurnee.

2021 note- I know where Gurnee is

If you don’t like sophomoric humor, this won’t be your kind of movie.

Uncle Buck

One of John Candy’s best movies. The first John Hughes movie I saw while living in the Chicago area. FYI, Macaulay Culkin got the Home Alone movie because of Uncle Buck. That is how it works in Hollywood. John told me that one night while hammock swinging. That sounds dirty, but it isn’t.

Home Alone

We love this Christmas movie. My two favorite scenes are when the “scary” neighbor finally reunites with his granddaughter. And the Kenosha Kickers because of John Candy and Catherine O’Hara together.

2021 note- when I told Anna recently that Moira Rose was in Home Alone, that blew her mind. 

She’s Having a Baby

Another underrated movie based in Chicago. It has an amazing cast too: Kevin Bacon, Elizabeth McGovern (Cora from Downton Abbey), Alec Baldwin, Holland Taylor, Paul Gleason. It also has a great soundtrack, as most John Hughes’ movies do. Favorite song? This Woman’s Work by Kate Bush.

2021 note- I learned this movie was John Hughes’ love letter to his wife Nancy. You can read about it here

The Great Outdoors 

Another movie that is underrated, but if you were to mention this one, I think most people would say, “OH I LOVE THAT ONE!”. We loved it so much, we brought it with us on a family trip watch at our cabin in the Smokey’s.

Here are some I say you can skip.
John was banana hunting on the other side of the island when I made this list.

Weird Science– I’m gonna get flack for this.

Curly Sue

Any Home Alone after the first one– I don’t care for sequels.

National Lampoon’s Class Reunion

National Lampoon’s European Vacation I saw this in the theater in 1985, and I still want my ticket money back.

Dennis, the Menace

Baby’s Day Out

Miracle on 34th Street– stop re-making classics.

Beethoven– Oh, John.

Flubber– Stop.


Nothing to see here.

2021 note-One movie I’ve never seen that I might watch is Dutch with Ed O’Neill. Has anyone watched it? Was it any good? 

11 thoughts on “My Favorite John Hughes Movies”

  1. You totally lost your comments! Oh man!

    So you are stuck with mine and here’s the thing, Kari. You gotta love me after this because I’M YOUR BIGGEST FAN. I like the second list of movies more than the first. There. I said it.

    Abe Froman at Starbucks….LOL!!! LOVE it.


    1. Yep. gone. Disqus still has them but when I added the Disqus plugin, it still didn’t add my comments back. 😦

      You are TOTALLY my biggest fan. I love you so much!!


  2. Some Kind Of Wonderful – LOVE that movie! National Lampoon’s Class Reunion? That was a movie?? You really are his biggest fan and I would totally see the play.


  3. I have not seen Dutch. I so love Some Kind of Wonderful. Watched it with my girls late one night while on lockdown during the pandemic. Never gets old. Love Uncle Buck, Ferris, Breakfast Club, 16 Candles. Geez – John was a master. So many great movies here. Some I forget were his movies. I haven’t seen most of the flops that you listed here, guessing that’s for the best.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. These are some of my all time favorite movie; well, except for She’s Having a Baby.. I never really connected with that one. Maybe I should have watched it again as an adult or when I was pregnant.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. hum
    favorites for me
    The breakfast club I relate to Bender, Allison and Brian..looked like Bender in HS, was a dork and artsy weird
    Planes, Trains and Automobiles is point blank hilarious
    National Lampoon’s Vacation – one of two films my grandma took me to see the other was In search of
    Pretty in Pink- I too love Annie Potts (I had a crush on her when this film came out)
    Honorable Mentions
    The great outdoors and Home Alone are Favorites of my wife (she’s 12 yrs younger) I’ve grown to like
    And only the lonely, a touching performance from Candy

    Liked by 1 person

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