Brian Johnson is a student at Shermer High School and portrays the typical high school "nerd". He faced his share of hard times in high school, and the most prominent was that he brought a gun to school to attempt suicide. Brian is always looking to seek acceptance from the popular crowd and can never get it. What he learns is most important is accepting himself, and by the end of the movie he does. For Brian acceptance is all he wants, acceptance from anyone. When their time together is up, everyone seemingly cries together as one he is the one who questions everyone, and this is a key turning point in the short story and when everyone seems to accept themselves for who they are. This is a common theme seen in the short story.
Brian is young man that respects authority and calls Richard Vernon "sir." He is friends with the janitor of the school and while he is at first embarrassed for the other kids to know this, he says goodbye to Carl as they all leave the school.
He can be rather silly at times. While repeating the essay prompt "Who I think I am" to himself, he puts a pen in his mouth and says that he is a walrus.
He finds John intimidating and puts his jacket back on when they both begin to remove theirs at the same time. He allows Bender to go through his lunch.
Brian is a bit of a goody two-shoes and says that there isn't supposed to be any monkeying around when John gets up to remove the screw from the door, and reminds him that it's school property and not something to be toyed with. He also worries about being caught going to John's locker, implying that he fears being disciplined.
He is incredulous when Bender reveals the marijuana, but later smokes it, though not before silently asking Andrew for permission to do so. Andrew says no, but Brian gets up to do so anyway, marking his first disrespect of authority in the film. Brian acts very different while smoking -- using a silly voice, wearing dark sunglasses, laughing openly, and whistling while Andrew is dancing around the library.
He pays close attention to what goes on around him. He has been keeping track of the number of detentions that John has racked up -- eight-- even though he thinks it's seven and knows where the library's fire exits are.
He doesn't like conflict and comes between Andrew and John when they are talking about their parents to break up their argument, saying that he doesn't like his parents either. He also hides his face in his hand when Andrew is talking about what he did to Lester.
He's incredibly disappointed in himself for doing poorly in shop class. He got an F on a project where he was supposed to be able to pull the trunk of a lamp shaped like an elephant and turn the light on, but his light didn't come on. He took the course because it was supposed to be an easy way to maintain his GPA.
He asks what is going to happen to them on Monday. He begins to cry while they are talking. Claire says that he doesn't understand the kind of pressure that she's under and he responds with a "fuck you", which shocks Claire and John. He pauses to hide his face in his sleeve before revealing that he received detention because Mr. Ryan found a gun in his locker because he was going to attempt suicide after failing his shop project.
Claire manipulates Brian into writing the paper for all of them.
Home Life Edit
When he is being dropped off by his younger sister and his mother, she is obviously frustrated and annoyed with him for receiving detention. She tells him to use the time to his advantage, but he replies that they are not supposed to study, they're just supposed to sit there. His mother doesn't care and tells him to find a way to study anyway.
He says that he doesn't like his parents and that their idea of parental compassion is 'wacko'.
Brian says that his being the perfect son is a problem.
His father picks him up wordlessly in their red car.
Brian is first seen wearing a Chicago Bears knit hat, khaki pants, and a brown jacket. He later removes this jacket to reveal a green sweater. Brian wears a watch on his wrist. He is 5'10, thin, and appears trustworthy. He often sits with his knees pulled to his chest or in other strange positions. When he is high, he wears dark sunglasses.
"Dear Mr. Vernon, we accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it is we did wrong, but we think you’re crazy to make us write an essay telling you who we think we are. You see us as you want to see us, in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. But what we found out, is that each one of us is a brain, (Andrew) and an athlete, (Allison) and a basket case, (Claire) a princess, (John) and a criminal. Does that answer your question? Sincerely yours, The Breakfast Club."
"Excuse me for being a virgin, I'm sorry."
"Drugs. Drugs. The boy has marijuana. That was marijuana. Do you approve of this?"
"And I see me. And I don't like what I see. I really don't."
"What do you know about trigonometry?"
"I just want to tell each of you that I wouldn't do that. I wouldn't and I will not. 'Cause I think that's real shitty."
- He's in the math club, the Latin club, and the physics club.
- For the end of the year physics club dinner, they all get dressed up and have dinner at the Hilton. He didn't have dress shoes so he had to wear his dad's.
- His cousin Kendall from Indiana got high once.
- He loves the work of Molière.
- John calls him a "dork", "a parent's wet dream", a "Neo-maxi-zoon-dweebie", a "cherry", and "Ahab".
- He lies about sleeping with a girl that lives in Canada and suggests that he has slept with Claire when Bender calls him a virgin.
- He has soup, apple juice, and a pb&j with the crusts cut off, in addition to the Coca Cola they all receive, for lunch.
- He doesn't notice that John is making fun of him when he asks if his mom married Mr. Rogers, referencing the children's show character Fred Rogers from Mr. Roger's neighborhood, and responds that his mother married Mr. Johnson.
- According to his drivers license (which is snatched by Allison along with his wallet), his middle name is Ralph, his birthday is on March 12, he's 5'9.5, and weighs 130lbs. Andrew says that it's the worst fake ID that he's ever seen and points out that it says that he's 68 years old.
- The line about Brian getting a fake ID so he can vote was improv.
- He knows Larry Lester, but he didn't find out who taped his buns together until Andrew told the students that he's the one who did it.
- He can make spaghetti.