Movie Reviews

The Brat Pack Origins Explained: Why Members Hated The Nickname


  • BRATS explores the lasting impact of the “Brat Pack” nickname, with members expressing disdain and wanting to move on from it.
  • The original 1985 New York Magazine article named a broader group of actors, but the core eight are now the most agreed upon.
  • The “Brat Pack” members, including McCarthy, Lowe Estevez, and Moore, shared their distaste for the nickname in the film.

On June 13, Andrew McCarthy’s documentary BRATS will hit Hulu with the tagline “Everybody wanted to be in the Brat Pack. Except them.” McCarthy is a talented and experienced television director with credits including The Blacklist, Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens, Good Girls, and Orange Is the New Black. However, in Andrew McCarthy’s movies, he isn’t known for his directing skills, but for his acting. With films like Class, St. Elmo’s Fire, Pretty in Pink, and more, he was named a member of the 1980s “Brat Pack.”

BRATS will have its world premiere at the 2024 Tribeca Film Festival just days before it hits Hulu, and many are eagerly awaiting the reviews and the first opportunity to truly look at the “Brat Pack” together again on film 40 years later. The “Brat Pack” was initially the product of movies from directors like John Hughes, and while it helped many actors rise to fame, it didn’t mean they necessarily liked the even more famous nickname. This is what will be primarily explored in BRATS by McCarthy and his fellow pack members.

1985’s New York Magazine Article Came Up With “The Brat Pack” Nickname

“The Brat Pack” Was On The Cover Of A 1985 New York Magazine Issue

1985 was the turning point in the decade, marking the halfway point. It was also the year that changed coming-of-age films forever, with the release of St. Elmo’s Fire, The Breakfast Club, Weird Science, Back to the Future, Teen Wolf, The Goonies, and more. To this day, 1985 is one of the best movie years of the 1980s, if not one of the greatest in film history.

1985 was also the year New York Magazine published an issue with Andrew McCarthy, Emilio Estevez, and Rob Lowe on the cover under the big bold words, “HOLLYWOOD’S BRAT PACK.” That one article changed their lives forever, with the nickname sticking immediately. It was inspired by the “Rat Pack,” an informal group of entertainers from the 1940s to 1950s that included Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Angie Dickinson, Dean Martin, and more.

Since the actors were all younger than 25, some still in their teenage years, they earned the nickname “Brat” pack, reflecting their youth. The profile focused on the group at the Hard Rock Cafe in Los Angeles, painting them as cooler than cool and “the Main Event.” The article itself is a great read, but the consequences of it are still felt today by the “Brat Pack” members.


10 Storylines We Need To See In Martin Scorsese’s Frank Sinatra Biopic

Womanizing, organized crime, and a bizarre kidnapping – Frank Sinatra’s life could provide the perfect material for Martin Scorsese’s upcoming biopic.

Who Was In The Brat Pack

Who Was In The Brat Pack Has Been A Controversial Topic



Known For

Emilio Estevez


The Breakfast Club, The Outsiders, St. Elmo’s Fire

Anthony Michael Hall


Weird Science, The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles

Ally Sheedy


Oxford Blues, The Breakfast Club, St. Elmo’s Fire

Rob Lowe


Class, Oxford Blues, St. Elmo’s Fire

Andrew McCarthy


Pretty In Pink, St. Elmo’s Fire, Weekend at Bernie’s

Demi Moore


St. Elmo’s Fire, About Last Night…, Wisdom

Judd Nelson


The Breakfast Club, Making The Grade, St. Elmo’s Fire

Molly Ringwald


Pretty In Pink, Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club

David Blum, the author of the original 1985 New York Magazine article, named Taps as the group’s origin film, a 1981 military school film featuring Tom Cruise. Cruise was also the first of many actors Blum listed, which is ironic since he’s hardly been considered part of the “Brat Pack” since its origin. Blum also named Matt Dillion, Nicolas Cage, Timothy Hutton, Sean Penn, and more. Since this article, the “Brat Pack” has changed greatly, with the eight in the table being the most agreed-upon group. As Blum said,

Everyone in Hollywood differs over who belongs to the Brat Pack
That is because they are basing their decision on such trivial matters.”


All 7 Tom Cruise Cameo Roles, Ranked Worst To Best

Tom Cruise has appeared in many iconic roles, but he’s also made cameos in several unexpected films that audiences might have forgotten.

Why The Brat Pack Members Hated The Nickname

Almost 40 Years Late, The Brat Pack Addresses Their Feelings In BRATS

The “Brat Pack” members’ feelings on the nickname were the main focus of the BRATS trailer. One of the biggest questions posed by McCarthy to Estevez, which is likely the question the film will attempt to answer, was, “If you could have the ‘Brat Pack’ name not exist. Would you?” Estevez was intrigued by the question and took a moment to think about it, but viewers will have to tune into Hulu on June 13 to find out the truth.


What Happened To Emilio Estevez?

Emilio Estevez will appear in Guns 3: Alias Billy the Kid, a film that he also wrote and directed. Estevez has actually been very busy offscreen.

Multiple members interviewed for the film, including McCarthy himself, Lowe, Estevez, and Moore expressed their disdain for the nickname for various reasons. Firstly, they didn’t choose the name and whether they belonged to the pack. One of the members even compared it to a “cult” in the BRATS trailer. Additionally, while they made multiple films together, not everyone was friends.

Anthony Michael Hall once claimed the “Brat Pack” didn’t exist and was just a media ploy, as he was a young teenager at the time while Nelson and Estevez in their 20s were partying and drinking. He also claimed to have never met McCarthy as of 2021. The youngest members, Hall and Ringwald, were noticeably absent from the trailer. Most of the “Brat Pack” members want to put their past behind them and stop being associated with each other, and BRATS gives multiple members and adjacent non-members like Lea Thompson and John Cryer the chance to set the record straight.

Source: New York Magazine

Back to top button