The setting is a High School in a fictional town named Shermer, Illinois. The characters are a cross section of the world: from the princess, to the jock, and even the brain. These archetypes, which are stereotypically presented as opposed, are forced together by all receiving Saturday detention on the same day. John Hughes uses this setting as a frame to present a moving social commentary, which he presents to you with a spoonful of sugar in the form of comedy. By placing these caricatures in a contained environment Hughes creates a microcosm of, not just high school but society in general. .
The character development in The Breakfast Club is of the utmost importance when examining how the movie affects its audience. However, Hughes develops the five five characters in an innovative way. Instead of making the characters seem like "real" people, he takes the characteristics that place them in their respective social classes and expands them to fill out the character. What that presents are caricatures of different social classes. This technique serves two purposes, the first being to instigate conflict and the second to show that some of the characteristics of each character are present in everyone. The instigation of conflict is also important to expressing Hughes" message; he uses the conflict to break the characters, and through them the social mores they represent, down so that they can be rebuilt through mutual understanding. The use of caricatures in this sense makes a great deal of sense; while two people of different social classes can interact normally, they cease to be able to do so when the characteristics they dislike within each other are exaggerated. .
The way that each of the 5 students earned their Saturday detentions are prefect examples of their exaggerated characteristics. Andrew Clark, the star wrestler, earned his detention by assaulting another boy in the locker room and "taping his buns together.