So I am curious John Bender is portrayed as a burn-out, soon-to-be on welfare, your future armed robber, killer, burglar, and alcoholic at first in The Breakfast Club. However, as the movie progresses we notice that he seems to have some compassion and might even care more about others than himself at the end. Maybe he was actually the hero. I don't know, but I think he was. Was he?
Breakfast Club producer Ned Tanen:
In a sense, they are all "heroes," in that they all go through an ordeal and emerge from it stronger, more fully realized people. Judd Nelson's John Bender, however, does seem to more strongly define the characteristics of the hero's journey.
He initiates the call to adventure with his irreverent behavior, prompting the group to first react to—and interact with—each other. Later, he is responsible for the group's experience of crossing the threshold, in which they venture out of the library in search of Bender's bag of weed. Bender is also an integral part of the Reward step, also known as Seizing the Sword: here, he makes out with Claire (Molly Ringwald) and receives from her a diamond earring stud—which he puts in his ear.
Again, they're all heroic in individual ways, but Bender's fulfillment of classic hero stages is more pronounced and definitive than that of his schoolmates. The iconic final shot of the film, which freeze-frames on Bender punching his fist defiantly, triumphantly skyward, seems to underscore this.