Would You Rather: Have Dated Jake Ryan or John Bender In High School?

Sixteen CandlesΒ andΒ The Breakfast Club. Oh John Hughes, we miss you so. No one was able to capture the angst of being a teenager better than you (and Molly Ringwald, of course).

I don’t know about y’all, but when I was high school I used to watch these movies on a loop. I would imagine myself playing the part of Molly Ringwald and just wish that one of the boys I had a crush on would even notice me. I would even call their house and hope they would answer. And if they did, I hung up. And if their mom answered, I hung up. So, really, I am not sure what I was trying to accomplish with that plan, but it was back in the days before caller ID, so it was cool. Sometimes I would make my friend Pam drive me past their houses, where I would duck down furiously in the seat if they happened to be outside. So, again, what was I going for there? Not really sure.

In a surprise to no one reading this right now, I never had a Molly Ringwald moment.

But it doesn’t stop me from the fantasy of my teenage self choosing between two classic 80’s heartthrobs:

Jake Ryan vs. John Bender

First we have Jake Ryan. Oh Jake, you had it all, didn’t you? The perfect hair, the best preppy clothes, the sensitive soul, and of course those eyes, that smile, I am practically swooning while I write this. You didn’t need that Barbie doll girlfriend Caroline when you had Samantha waiting for you, just hoping that you would for once notice her. And notice her you did. When you leaned against your red Porsche waiting outside the wedding, my teenage heart almost burst.

But this is no cakewalk for you Jake. You have a worthy opponent in John Bender.

Bender, I can see you now with your smoldering, half-smile, half-sneer as you pretended to be so above it all. Your slightly dirty, but somehow still perfectly arranged bad boy hair, wearing your combat boots acting as if nothing mattered to you. Except for Claire, of course, because there was no denying the connection when you looked at her. Could a bad boy and a prom queen actually make it work? My teenage heart certainly wanted to think so.

So which one made your high school pulse race? Were you someone who went after the strait-laced, jock type or did you have a bit of an edge and look for the guy who would help you break some rules?

Would you rather have dated Jake Ryan or John Bender in high school?

Tell us your choice in the comments and if you have a picture of yourself from high school, head on over toΒ our Facebook pageΒ and share it. Think of that as your “extra credit” assignment!



Would You Rather: Have Dated Jake Ryan or John Bender In High School? — 117 Comments

  1. Why isn’t Ducky a choice? LIL

    I’d like to say Jake Ryan but my last is cluttered with John Bender’s. Even the hubs is a reformed JB.

  2. while john bender would be fun and exciting…it would get old…Jake Ryan would be the perfect choice. In fact, my hubby is kind of like Jake…safe and loyal…which is perfect for me.

  3. Oh ladies you’re making my teenage heart swoon!!! I’m a John Bender girl ALL the way!!! I would pause my VCR player to just get a closer look at him. I guess I love a bad guy with a heart.

  4. Have to go with Jake Ryan! I remember the days of driving past a guy’s house but I have no idea what the point was still. Especially since my favorite stalkee lived at the end of a long driveway on a small private street… There was really no playing that one off.

  5. I’d have to say Jake Ryan because I’ve never watched The Breakfast Club all the way through! *hangs head in shame*

    Have you read Jen Lancaster’s novel where the character buys Jake Ryan’s house from Sixteen Candles? For the life of me I can’t remember the title, but I cracked up, beginning to end! πŸ™‚

    • WHAT?? You are a teacher…how could you not love that movie??!! Go. Right Now. Watch It. You’re welcome! πŸ˜‰
      And I loved that Jen Lancaster book…it was called If You Were Here. πŸ™‚

  6. Jake Ryan. I loved Jake. I love Jake. I will always love Jake.

    Even now, however many years lasted, my heart still beats faster when the car pulls away and you can see Jake standing there, waiting. Sa-woon!!

  7. Most definitely John Bender! Oh and how I remember my teenage self actually having my own “John Bender” for all of about two weeks!! Haha!

  8. In high school – John Bender ALL THE WAY! I loved that lost boy thing – don’t know why because it never got me very far. For college and after, I’d go with Jake Ryan ALL THE WAY.
    I love this post.

    • Interesting how it all changes as we grow up, right? Bad boys are much more appealing when we are young! πŸ™‚

  9. Jake Ryan! Jake Ryan! Jake Ryan! I loved him so much, I would have dated him when he was the wrestler with the Mohawk in Vision Quest and I sat through the movie Mermaids just to get a glimpse of him. LOVE HIM!!!!!!

    • I loved the movie Mermaids mostly because of him! I think it is actually pretty cool how he totally dropped out of Hollywood and is now like a woodworker in Pennsylvania. πŸ™‚

  10. I loved SIxteen Candles and Jake Ryan made my heart go pitter patter so many times. Even now when I watch it I’m transported back into time as a teenager in high school waiting for the perfect boy to notice me. Followed you from SITS. Have a blessed day!

  11. Jake Ryan for me….
    Funny, you should mention teenage movies when just yesterday, I was watching Teen Witch..remember that movie, anyone?

    • Totally remember Teen Witch…oh wait, never mind, I was thinking of Teen Wolf…what was Teen Witch again?

    • OH MY GOD, OH MY GOD, OH MY GOD…Girls Just Want To Have Fun is one of my FAVORITE movies of all times…I even have the song “I Can Fly” on my iPod…my sister and I watched that movie no less than 98 times one summer…Jeff Moline was SO my favorite!! πŸ™‚

  12. Can I take a mixture of the two? If I had to choose, I’d go with Jake Ryan, mostly because I’ve always been a “good girl” and trouble scares me. Lol. But that doesn’t mean that a little trouble doesn’t look real sexy on a person. I want a Jake Ryan-John Bender hybrid!

  13. I was repulsed/intrigued by bender, much like Claire. I love t.b.c. and have seen it dozens of times, but I hated 16 candles. At least in the breakfast club they had a day to get to know eachother- in 16 candles he just suddenly knew she existed? That bugged me and I only watched it once. But my real 80s love was neither, it was lane Meyer from better off dead.

  14. I was actually the one who has the crushes on the nerdy, sweet type, so I’m not quite sure how to answer this one! Jocks were never my thing (though I always hoped that one would notice me because what girl doesn’t) and bad boys in my area of the world tended to be too bad, if you get me, so I dunno… It’s a toss up for sure! Can I do Eeny Meeny? πŸ˜€

  15. I married my high school sweetheart (I know, I can hear the gags & awwwws in equal measure!), and he was definitely more of a Jake Ryan. Athletic, super smart, and a total cutie. The kind of guy you want to marry. But what girl doesn’t have a thing for the bad boys at some point in her life? When my girls are older, I’m going to tell them it’s ok to date the John Benders, but look for the Jake Ryans when it’s time to settle down. Looking back, I wouldn’t change anything about the good guys I dated because they led me to my best friend & future hubby. But I’d be lying if I said I never entertained a bad boy fantasy! How about a brief, intense fling with John Bender before a long, sweet courtship with Jake Ryan? If I have to choose, Jake Ryan for the win!

    • Perfectly said Nicole. It is okay to date the John Benders but settle down with Jake Ryan! Great advice! πŸ™‚

  16. I’ve always liked older guys, so I would have to say “neither”…
    When I was in High School in the late 80’s the hot older guys at the time were Bruce Willis, Richard Gere and Kevin Costner, so I would probably go with them. Or Harrison Ford…

  17. Jake. Ryan. Without a doubt. We’d watch that movie over and over, just like I watched that clip, at work, over and over just now. Bender, sure- but the bad boy always ended up just that- that bad boy. Good for a hook up in the closet…but I’d rather ride off in the porshe.
    And at the invention of caller ID you heard the cries of millions of starry eyed teenage girls…”noooooo!”

    • Your last sentence made me BURST out laughing…so true!!
      Glad you enjoyed the trip down Jake memory lane! πŸ™‚

  18. Now? Jake. Then? I was so drawn to the bad boy, so likely John. Glad I got over the bad boy thing. Nothing but trouble for me. But can I just say my fave was actually Pretty In Pink???

    • Pretty in Pink was one of my favorites, too. Except I HATED her dress at the end. HATED. But other than that I loved the movie! πŸ™‚

      • I know!! I remember waiting for it… thinking, I can’t wait to see this dress that she’s been working on. Such build up- for that!?!? Ugh!

  19. Wow! Another tough one. Would you believe that BOTH of my parents were teachers at my high school?!?!?!?! I would totally have loved to have a connection like Claire did with John Bender, but I would never have been allowed to date him. So, I would probably have to say Jake because at least my parents would have let me go out with him. And, really, who wouldn’t want to get into that Porsche with a hot guy like that?!?! πŸ™‚

    • Oh Lisa, that must have been rough!! No denying anything I would bet! The Porsche just totally sealed the deal, right?! πŸ˜‰

    • I think we all just melted during that scene. It is everything in the world that our teenage selves could have ever even dreamed about! ;)-Ashley

  20. I’m going to have to go with Jake Ryan. I’m also guilty of driving by my crush’s house while in high school. Now that I think back, that probably wasn’t the best idea in the world. In a small town, everyone knows what your car looks like!

  21. Jake Jake Jake Jake Jake!!! I was SOOOO in love with Jake, and SOOOO jealous of Molly at the time. I watched this not long ago and I think I am actually still in love with Jake (shhhhhh….it’s our secret….)

  22. Normally my teen self would have totally said John Bender. I loved the bad boy that needed some love. But now, having been in way too many of those relationships, I know that he also probably needs therapy. Lots and lots of therapy. Not that there’s anything wrong with that-but I’m in therapy. So I want someone stable. I’m selfish. Plus, after awhile John would grow out of that bad boy attitude (thankfully) and he would just be a loser with a beer gut. Long story short, I’m going Jake Ryan all the way!

    I had my high school crush’s license plate memorized so I wouldn’t get falsely excited. I’m such a stalker.

    • HA HA HA on the license plate…that is totally hard core man!
      True story…not all that long ago (meaning as a full grown adult with children) I saw a yellow Nissan Pathfinder at a stoplight and out loud said, “OMG, it is Logan Echolls”. So, yeah, I was stalking a fictional character and car!! πŸ™‚

  23. Probably Jake Ryan thinking about it now, but I dated several John Benders in high school! And you know what, I don’t regret a minute of it! πŸ™‚

  24. I would have desperately wanted to date Jake Ryan. He wouldn’t have looked twice at me. However, the bad boys seemed to love nerdy, quiet little me, so I would have definitely wound up dating John Bender.

    • So interesting Amy…the bad boys probably just secretly wanted to be good so that is why they loved you! πŸ™‚

  25. Oh how I loved those movies! If you go by who I actually dated in HS, you would think that I would have been staunchly in the John Bender camp. But something about Jake was just so appealing. The husband and I still make Long Duck Dong jokes to this day. (I definitely remember the days of the hang up call. That ended for me with the invention of *69…when I got caught!)

    • *69 totally ruined things for all of us…I got busted by it once, too! πŸ™‚ Jake was just so appealing…but of course, so was John! πŸ˜‰

  26. We’re talking me in high school right? I would so have gone for John Bender. Grown up me picks Jake Ryan (or maybe the geek played by Anthony Michael Hall). But high school me? She picks John Bender every time.

  27. I remember watching The Breakfast Club when I was very small. I do not remember anyone or what happened though. Maybe I should watch it again. Thanks for posting the videos – that helped me choose!
    I usually like the bad boys but from these two, I think I will choose Jake Ryan. He’s hottt! πŸ˜‰

    • Isn’t he, though, Xae??!! πŸ™‚ Glad you enjoyed the videos…you should definitely watch The Breakfast Club again!

  28. Out of the two I would definitely pick John Bender, BUT, my ultimate 80’s crush was Lloyd Dobbler! When he showed up in the yard with his giant boombox….who doesn’t want that?!?!

    On a side note, I can’t tell you how much joy I get out of sharing all of these movies now with my (almost) 13 year old daughter. She loves them all and as embarrassing as it may be she secretly thinks it’s pretty cool that both Mom & Dad can recite every single line word for word. πŸ˜‰

    • Oh Lloyd Dobbler. I probably should have included him as a choice! That moment really was the best ever. πŸ™‚
      I cannot wait until my girls get a little older so they can start watching these movies with me, too. I am living for the day when I can show my daughters Girls Just Want To Have Fun!

  29. If a Jake Ryan/John Bender sandwich isn’t an option, I would date John and marry Jake. Now I’m itching to watch some John Hughes movies!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *