How well do you actually know the Brat Pack?

By: Torrance Grey
Image: TMDB

About This Quiz

They were the hottest young actors of the 1980s, but some of them considered the Brat Pack label a curse, not a gift. Do you really know the diverse personalities behind the stereotypes? Find out now!

Where did the name Brat Pack come from?

Hollywood's Brat Pack was the title of an article about Emilio Estevez and his close actor friends, Judd Nelson and Rob Lowe. It was an obvious -- and negative -- take-off on the Rat Pack, Frank Sinatra's group of ultra-cool '60s actors.

Which two films are generally considered to be the essential, core Brat Pack films?

The Breakfast Club is a little better known, perhaps for starring flame-haired teen princess Molly RIngwald. She also anchored Pretty in Pink, which many people consider a Brat Pack classic as well.

Which St. Elmo's Fire actress is NOT generally considered part of the Brat Pack?

Mare Winningham played a shy rich girl, brought out of her shell by Rob Lowe's bad-boy character. Winningham did not act in any other Brat Pack efforts.

Which U.S. city frequently served as the setting for Brat Pack films?

John Hughes, an influential early Brat Pack director, liked to set his films in Chicago. Its suburbs lent themselves nicely to stories of white, middle-class teen life.

Which of the following is NOT classed as a Brat Pack film?

This film stood out for several reasons. It was set in Southern California and was about young geniuses at a Caltech-like university, while most Brat Pack films were about average teens suffering from typical angst. Most important, it didn't cast any actors commonly thought of as Brat Pack.

Which Brat Packer recorded an album at only six years old?

Ringwald's father was a jazz pianist. The album is called, I Wanna Be Loved by You: Molly Sings. We imagine it has a considerable cult appeal now.

Anthony Michael Hall is still known for his role as a geek in Weird Science. Who was his lesser-known co-star?

Mitchell-Smith left acting for medieval studies, getting a PhD and becoming a professor. He's only done a little bit of voice acting since.

Which Weird Science supporting actor went on to mega-stardom, including a big social-media presence?

Robert Downey, Jr., played a bully who torments the two leads. As an adult, of course, Downey is known as Tony Stark/Iron Man, who's on the side of good, despite some occasional sarcasm.

Andrew McCarthy made his debut in Class, in which he has a fling with his roommate's mother. Who played the roommate?

Jacqueline Bisset played the sophisticated older woman, Ellen. The movie poster for Class, rather daringly, shows McCarthy naked with only his school tie covering the, uh, relevant area.

Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall got a big career boost from Sixteen Candles. But who played Ringwald's object of desire?

Michael Schoeffling played Jake, on whom Ringwald's Samantha has a crush. Schoeffling worked for a few more years in Hollywood, then gave up acting in favor of making handmade furniture in Pennsylvania. Sounds like he would have been ideal for a role in Harrison Ford's Witness!

Which Brat Packer has often been overshadowed by his colorful, controversial younger brother?

Estevez and Charlie Sheen are both sons of actor Martin Sheen, whose original last name was Estevez. Charlie Sheen, who is loosely considered a Brat Pack member, is an undeniably talented actor whose early career is itself overshadowed by his addiction issues, his very public feud with Two and a Half Men creator Chuck Lorre, and his HIV diagnosis.

Which Brat Packer was on the cover of Time magazine in 1986?

Ringwald's success was so white-hot in the 1980s that she landed the cover on her own. The tagline was, Ain't She Sweet?

Molly Ringwald's father was a jazz pianist. Which of her Breakfast Club co-stars was the child of a jazz singer?

Hall's mother was a blues and jazz singer. As an adult, he formed a band called Hall of Mirrors.

Which Breakfast Club star went to Haverford College?

Haverford is a prestigious school in Pennsylvania. It's known for an honor code in which students are allowed to schedule their own final exams and sometimes take them home to work on.

Which Brat Packer had a role in the cult film, Repo Man?

Estevez played the punk rocker, Otto. He starred alongside veteran character actor, Harry Dean Stanton. The film was co-produced by former Monkee, Michael Nesmith.

Who played Andie's love-struck friend, Duckie, in Pretty in Pink?

Ringwald later expressed the opinion that Duckie was secretly gay -- maybe to appease the fans who felt that Andie made the wrong choice in picking Blaine. But Cryer simply called the Duckie character a "slightly effeminate dork."

Who co-starred with Rob Lowe in the cross-cultural comedy, Oxford Blues?

Oxford Blues was the remake of a 1938 film, A Yank at Oxford. Sheedy was a fellow rower, while Amanda Pays played the older British blueblood that Lowe's character tries to win by becoming an Oxford athlete.

Which actor was chosen to play the lead in Platoon, before it went to Charlie Sheen?

That's right, Sheen took the role his older brother was originally meant to play. Estevez wasn't booted from the role -- he gave it up because production seemed to be tied up in endless delays.

Which Brat Packer had a career resurgence with the cable drama, The Dead Zone?

Hall played Johnny Smith, a psychic, in a series based on the Stephen King novel of the same name. Years earlier, Christopher Walken played the same role in a film version.

Which actor played Blaine's rich-jerk friend in Pretty in Pink?

Spader is fearless in his choice of roles, playing an S&M enthusiast in Secretary and a car-wreck fetishist in Crash (not to be confused with the ensemble cast drama in which Matt Dillon played a cop). More recently, he was the voice of Ultron in Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Which Outsiders actor had a role as a racist cop in Crash?

A teen heartthrob, Dillon has worked consistently and taken on diverse roles since the 1980s. His role in Crash earned him an Oscar nomination.

Molly Ringwald and Andrew McCarthy, the romantic duo in Pretty in Pink, reunited as a couple in which film?

Ringwald plays the uneducated country girl, Jewel, while McCarthy is a college senior with his whole life ahead of him. Of course, an unconventional love affair ensues. Fresh Horses also featured Viggo Mortensen in an early role.

Which Brat Packer's career bounced back from the making of a sex tape?

Though the butt of many late-night TV jokes at the time, Lowe recovered nicely, playing Sam Seaborn on The West Wing. He later passed on the Grey's Anatomy role taken by Patrick Dempsey.

Which Brat Packer lived and worked in France and is fluent in the language?

California-born Ringwald is far from a Valley Girl stereotype. Fun fact: Though she's thought of as a cute little red-haired pixie, Ringwald stands a taller-than-average five-foot-eight, according to her IMDB bio.

Which Brat Pack actress went on to star in the '90s mega-hit, Ghost?

Though Moore is not the first person you think of when you think of the Brat Pack, she had a role in the classic St. Elmo's Fire, and then About Last Night. After the '90s, Moore became more famous for her marriages to Bruce Willis and Ashton Kutcher than for her acting projects.

Who was Demi Moore's co-star in Ghost?

Ghost was one of the most respected roles taken on by the onetime Road House star. Swayze, an '80s and '90s heartthrob, died of cancer in 2009.

Which actor/actress broke away from youth comedies with High Art?

Sheedy played one half of a lesbian couple in a film about art. Praised by some critics, others found High Art pretentious -- maybe it was the on-the-nose title.

Which of these roles did Molly Ringwald turn down?

While these seem like terrible career missteps, it was likely a case of burnout. Around this time, Ringwald went to Paris and acted in several French movies.

Which Brat Packer briefly played Hedwig, of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, on stage?

Yup, it was Sheedy. Hedwig is male-to-female transsexual, and Sheedy was the first woman to take on the role. This might not have gone down well with audiences, as Sheedy didn't play the character for very long.

Which TV show had four out of five Breakfast Club stars on as guests?

Creator Steve Franks loved '80s cultural references. Psych was about an extremely observant young man masquerading as a psychic detective. Ally Sheedy had the most high-profile role, appearing four times as a serial killer. The holdout was Emilio Estevez.

Which Brat Packer reportedly has a Simpsons character named after him?

Apparently, the bully Nelson Muntz is named for Judd Nelson. If true, it's probably due more to his iconic Breakfast Club character than anything else.

Which Brat Packer, while not giving up on acting, also reinvented himself as a travel writer?

McCarthy said he never considered himself part of the Brat Pack. This is somewhat odd, given that he starred in truly iconic Brat Pack films, like Pretty in Pink and St. Elmo's Fire, plus he was twice a co-lead with icon Molly Ringwald.

Which Brat Packer is godfather to Robert Downey, Jr.'s son Indio?

Downey, Jr., acted alongside Hall in Weird Science, back in 1985. Indio Downey was born eight years later, in 1993.

Which Brat Packer wrote the memoir, Stories I Only Tell My Friends?

Lowe did not work with a ghostwriter, as the jacket copy proudly attests. He followed up with a second book, Love Life.

As an adult, Charlie Sheen had a role on Two and a Half Men that ended in acrimony. Which amiable actor was his co-star?

Cryer is more of a Brat Pack-adjacent actor. Only his Duckie role in Pretty in Pink was classic Brat Pack fare.

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