This week’s episode of Riverdale went back in time and saw our favorite teens playing their parents. KJ Apa played young Fred Andrews, Lili Reinhart played young Alice Cooper, Camila Mendes played young Hermione Lodge, and so on and so forth. It was a fun episode—and as trippy as you’d expect. Apa even dyed his hair black for the occasion!
But the episode didn’t really move season three’s plot along. Instead, we learned how the Riverdale parents first came into contact with Gryphons & Gargoyles, the creepy game that’s slowly taking over the town and killing some of the students at Riverdale High. It turns out the parents were just as invested in G&G as their kids—and they may have even played a hand in one of the game’s first murders.
That’s certainly intriguing, but the best part of the episode has nothing to do with Gryphons & Gargoyles: It’s all the Breakfast Club references made throughout. Everything from the costumes to the dialogue and even some of the plot points feels like it came straight out of the John Hughes classic. Watching this episode must’ve been wild for Molly Ringwald, Luke Perry, Skeet Ulrich, and all the other Riverdale parents who were once huge teen stars. This flashback chapter was their lives at one point—literally, for Molly Ringwald.
Below, here are all the major references to The Breakfast Club tonight’s Riverdale episode made:
1. The title. It’s called “The Midnight Club.” Subtle.
2. Alice’s leather jacket and plaid shirt wrapped around her waist. It’s very reminiscent of Judd Nelson’s look in The Breakfast Club.
3. Their nicknames. The Bad Girl (Alice), the Rebelling Catholic (Hermione), the Teacher’s Pet (Penelope), the Artist-Athlete (Fred), the Political Animal (Sierra), and the Ladies’ Man (F.P.)
4. The rude principal administering the detention. What’s his damage? He won’t even let these kids go to the bathroom!
5. The story kicks off in Saturday detention. All the kids have landed themselves there for various reasons. Sound familiar?
6. “Secrets and Sins.” It’s a game the kids play during detention where they confess their deepest, darkest secrets. They do this while sitting cross-legged on the floor—just like the scene in The Breakfast Club.
7. F.P.’s letterman jacket. Is that Emilio Estevez I see?
8. The contentious, abusive relationship between F.P. and his father. It mirrors the abuse John Bender (Judd Nelson) details at the hand of his dad in TBC.
9. The eighties-tinged music. It’s the perfect soundtrack. Listen closely for the “Take on Me” instrumental.
10. The lunch unpacking scene. At their second detention, the kids unpack their food for lunch time. Penelope has a prim-and-proper canteen. F.P.’s just eating a sandwich. Molly Ringwald easily could be in this scene eating sushi.
11. The secret romances. Well, quasi-romances. F.P. and Hermione share a sweet moment while playing G&G at school, and so do Alice and Fred. It’s exactly like when John and Claire (Ringwald) kiss in The Breakfast Club.
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