Edit
Sixteen Candles (1984) Poster

Trivia

Jump to: Cameo (2) | Director Trademark (1)
Molly Ringwald almost lost the part of Samantha to Ally Sheedy, her future The Breakfast Club (1985) co-star.
When Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall first met, they did not get along at all. Director John Hughes took them shopping at a music store and they discovered they had similar musical tastes and eventually got along.
The movie's costume director begged Molly Ringwald not to wear the hat she wears in the beginning of the movie. Ringwald insisted. After the movie was released, teenage girls started wearing their hats tilted back like this.
Of all the films Molly Ringwald made with John Hughes, she said, "I had the most fun on Sixteen Candles."
Gedde Watanabe says the gong sound effect wasn't included in the script: "I think the gong was something they added. Somebody must've had a few beers."
Michael Schoeffling was so shy during his audition, it almost cost him the job. But producer Michelle Manning said, "He was so stunning and dreamy that we cast him."
Both Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall were 16 years old upon release of Sixteen Candles.
The movie's line "Can I borrow your underpants for ten minutes?" was voted as #86 of "The 100 Greatest Movie Lines" by Premiere in 2007.
The car Jake lends to Ted to take Caroline home in was actually owned by John Hughes.
Jim Carrey auditioned for the role of Ted "The Geek".
The license plate on Jake's car reads "21850", which is director John Hughes's birthday (2/18/50).
In the book 'You Couldn't Ignore Me If You Tried: The Brat Pack, John Hughes, And Their Impact on a Generation' by Susannah Gora, Molly Ringwald says that because she and Anthony Michael Hall were too young to entertain themselves at bars or nightclubs, they often spent their Saturdays off from filming Sixteen Candles (1984) crashing the Bar and Bat Mitzvah receptions that were being held at the hotel in Skokie, Illinois, where the cast was being housed.
Molly Ringwald got to decorate Samantha's bedroom with items from her own dwelling.
Carlin Glynn, who plays Brenda, confronted John Hughes about the fact that the script didn't call for her to apologize for forgetting her daughter's birthday, despite the fact that her character was described as a good and attentive mother. Hughes agreed and added the scene where Brenda tearfully apologizes to Sam.
They didn't have enough money to air-condition the gym, so it was over 100 degrees during filming.
The cake at the end of the movie is actually made of cardboard.
Samantha's room was a set built inside the high school gymnasium where they filmed the dance.
According to Gedde Watanabe (Long Duk Dong), there was a deleted scene where he sings at the dance.
The gym was so hot, Haviland Morris (Caroline) changed dresses between takes due to all the sweat.
John Hughes' directorial debut.
In the VHS and some DVD versions, Anthony Michael Hall is credited as "The Geek". In the TV movie and film versions, he is credited as "Farmer Ted."
John Hughes cast Molly Ringwald after seeing her headshot. Inspired by Ringwald's appearance, he put it up over his desk and wrote the film just over a weekend with her specifically in mind for the lead role.
Viggo Mortensen auditioned for the role of Jake Ryan.
Considered to be one of fifteen films that changed American cinema.
Other than Anthony Michael Hall, John Kapelos was the only actor to appear in all three of John Hughes' teen films which were made under contract with Universal. In Weird Science (1985), Kapelos can been seen at the table in the bar. In The Breakfast Club (1985), Kapelos serves as the janitor. In Sixteen Candles (1984), Kapelos appeared as Sam's future brother-in-law.
Samantha says that Caroline 'must have flunked nine grades' because of her mature figure for a high school student. In actuality, Haviland Morris was 25 years old during filming. Michael Schoeffling (Jake Ryan) was 24.
Brother and sister John Cusack and Joan Cusack co-star in Sixteen Candles. John is Bryce, one of Anthony Michael Hall's geeky friends. Joan is the geeky girl seen on the bus, and having trouble sipping water from a drinking fountain.
Haviland Morris didn't want to do the shower scene, because the point was that she had bigger breasts than Sam and Randy, which she didn't. So they had a body double for her.
The character of Long Duk Dong was supposed to be a teenager but Gedde Watanabe, who portrayed him, was 28 years old at the time this was filmed.
John Hughes wrote the role of Ted Farmer especially for Anthony Michael Hall, having worked with him on National Lampoon's Vacation (1983).
During the party, that isn't Haviland Morris's underwear. They used a body double.
Final film for Max Showalter, who portrays Grandpa Fred.
John Cusack and Joan Cusack's roles were essentially consolation prizes. They were prominently cast in The Breakfast Club (1985), with John cast as Bender and Joan set to play Allison. But Universal thought that John Hughes' script for this film was more commercial, and therefore should be made first.
In the initial script, Sam's father ends his heart-to-heart with his daughter by flat out asking what happened to her underwear (she gave it to Farmer Ted.) Molly Ringwald''s mother pointed out that it was weird for a girl's father to ask that. John Hughes agreed that it was creepy and changed the line.
9 of 9 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The song playing in the background while Rudy's father explains his 'business activities' to the Bakers, is Love Theme from The Godfather.
9 of 9 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Samantha's dad's car has the license plate "V58", which stands for "Vacation '58", a story written by John Hughes for National Lampoon Magazine.
Filmed at Niles East High School. Some of the students in the big party scene are wearing Niles East Trojans jackets and shirts. Niles East was in Skokie, Illinois and had already been closed for over 3 years when filming began. The original school building has since been demolished, and is now the location of Oakton Community College.
John Hughes wrote the movie specifically for Molly Ringwald after seeing her at another casting, believing that she was the perfect representation of an American teenager.
8 of 8 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
In late 2003, USA network announced that a made-for-TV sequel, to be called "32 Candles," was being planned, showcasing the original characters 16 years after the original film. It was unknown at the time of the announcement whether any of the original cast members would be involved with the project, but that turned out to be unimportant, since the announced new film was never made.
In the cafeteria scene seen in TV broadcasts, the lunch menu reads as follows (in all-uppercase changeable letters):
  • MEATBALL SALAD - .80


  • SENIOR BURGER & FRIES - $1.00


  • CHIPPED PORK ON A BUN - .55


  • JUMBO FISHDOG - .75


  • CORNAROOS - .55


  • GELATIN BALLS - .30


  • CANNED BROWNIES IN LIGHT SYRUP - .50


  • VITAMIN COBBLER - FREE


  • ICED TEA - .15


  • GRAPE BEVERAGE - .15


  • WARM MILK - .10


HAVE A NICE DAY
The exact same moving shot of the exterior of the high school is used for the beginning of Sixteen Candles as well as the end of Weird Science. The same people can be seen making the same movements in both movies.
7 of 7 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Michael Schoeffling had a serious girlfriend at the time, and they eventually married.
During the dance scene, John Cusack is wearing a WLS t-shirt. Although it currently has an oldies format, in 1984, WLS was a top-40 station in Chicago.
The German title of the film, "Das darf man nur als Erwachsener", translates to "One may do that only as an adult".
Other music posters in Samantha's house include Culture Club, The Stray Cats (over her bed), and Sammy Hagar.
Haviland Morris is actually a natural redhead. John Hughes only wanted one redhead in the movie, therefore she had to wear a wig.
9 of 10 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
At the beginning of the film, Molly Ringwald is filling out a questionnaire. On top, the word "Confidential" can be seen misspelled. The "I" and the "A", at the end of the word, are in the wrong order.
The print above the bed in Jake's room depicts the 17th century Swedish man-o-war Vasa, which sank in Stockholm harbor during its maiden voyage in 1628. She was salvaged in the 1950s and is now displayed at the Vasa Museum.
This movie has gotten a great deal of criticism from some of its Asian American viewers for its racial insensitivity and its negative impact on their upbringings. In a 2008 NPR piece titled "Long Duk Dong: Last of the Hollywood Stereotypes?," reporter Alison MacAdam interviewed Eric Nakamura, a co-founder of Giant Robot Magazine, which covers Asian and Asian American pop culture. Nakamura said, "Every single Asian dude who went to high school or junior high during the era of John Hughes' movies was called 'Donger.' I mean, if you're being called 'Long Duk Dong,' you're comic relief amongst a sea of people unlike you. And you're also being portrayed as a non-[American] person. You're being portrayed as a guy who just came off a boat and who's out of control. It's like every bad stereotype possible loaded into one character. Just the gong that, you know, appears behind them magically every time he's on the screen, gong, you know, that's awful. I mean, I feel bad for [actor Gedde Watanabe] in the end because he's had to live with the fact that all these Asian American men hate him." Watanabe was also interviewed for the piece, and he recounted numerous incidents in which people have publicly expressed their anger at him for playing a role that so widely disseminated negative stereotypes of Asian men.
Laura Dern auditioned for the role of Samantha Baker.
When Samantha is in her room talking on the phone with her friend, a promotional poster can be seen on the wall for the rock group Squeeze and their album entitled "Singles," which was released in 1982.
The Long Duk Dong character is suspiciously similar to another character in a story John Hughes wrote for National Lampoon magazine titled "Christmas '59". The story, which seemingly also formed the storyline for the "Christmas Vacation" movie, has "Grandma & Grandpa Swenson" visiting for Christmas with exchange student "Xgung Wo" along for the ride. Echoing the racial stereotyping in the film, Xgung Wo mispronounces English phrases to comic effect.
7 of 8 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
One scene, which was cut from the final theatrical version but later shown in the TV version, was shot in the cafeteria at one of Niles East's two sister schools, Niles North.
The turntable shown spinning with the pizza on top is a Denon DP-62L.
The original soundtrack was released as a specially priced mini album containing only 5 songs. However, the movie actually featured an extensive selection of over 30 songs.
5 of 6 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
When Sam (Molly Ringwald) and her friend are in the lunch line, one of the menu selections behind the lunch lady's head reads "Canned Brownies in Light Syrup."
There is a poster of actress Heather Thomas on the back of Mike's bedroom door.
Interesting parallels with another Cusack related movie: Both John Cusack and Joan Cusack were in this and Grosse Pointe Blank (1997). Danny Elfman, leader of Oingo Boingo, which is on the soundtrack of this film, and uncle of Bodhi Elfman, whose wife, Jenna Elfman, wore a neck brace in Grosse Pointe Blank (1997) at the dance scene, as Joan's character wore the neck brace in this film.
8 of 13 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
John Hughes actually has a very small cameo in the film. When Samantha realizes her sister left her veil in the church she goes back in to get it.As she goes back in,the last guy out of the church is Hughes. He turns to look at her and you get a clear shot of his face for less than 2 seconds.
2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Many Asian-American groups thought that Watanabe's portrayal of Long Duk Dong was racist.
2 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Director John Hughes, wrote this script in two days.
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
On September 18, 2016, when TV writer Alan Yang won an Emmy for the comedy series Master of None, he bemoaned the historical dearth and negativity of Asian American representation on TV and in movies, and in his acceptance speech specifically named the Sixteen Candles character Long Duk Dong as a low point in that history: "There's 17 million Asian Americans in this country, and 17 million Italian Americans. They have The Godfather, Goodfellas, Rocky, and The Sopranos. We've got Long Duk Dong. So we have a long way to go. But I know we can get there, I believe in us, it's just gonna take a lot of hard work."
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Features Adam Rifkin in a small role.
3 of 7 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Night Ranger's song "Rumours in the Air" can be heard on Mike's headphones in the kitchen scene.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
In "Easy A" Olive Penderghast mentions she would like a guy to wait her outside the church, like in Sixteen Candles.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Jake's father's Rolls-Royce is worth more than $66,000 today.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
When Ginny, Sam's sister, sits down in the church scene, she does so next to John and Jim Belushi's mother Agnes. The reverend is played by actor Brian Doyle-Murray, Bill's older brother.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Gedde Watanabe's accent isn't real. When he went to audition for the role of Long Duk Dong, he borrowed the accent from his Korean friend.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The gong noise was added in post-production.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Viggo Mortensen almost got the role of Jake Ryan.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
While Caroline and Ted are driving in the car, Rebel Yell by Billy Idol is heard on the radio.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
In its opening weekend the film grossed $4,461,520 in 1,240 theaters in the United States and Canada, ranking second. By the end of its run, Sixteen Candles grossed $23,686,027 against a budget of $6.5 million.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The Bakers six-bedroom brick house in northwest Evanston was sold for $1.25 million in 2006.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Laura Dern and Robin Wright auditioned for the role of Samantha Baker.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Anthony Michael Hall and Molly Ringwald initially disliked each other but they bonded after they found out they like the same music. One of the groups they liked was The Rave-Ups which Molly scribbled on Samantha's notebook.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
After the film's success, Sixteen Candles' homes have become a tourist attraction.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The cafeteria scene is only included in the televised broadcasts and was never in the theatrical version nor on the VHS or DVD versions.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
John Hughes wrote the role of Samantha Baker with Molly Ringwald in mind. After he received a headshot of her it inspired him to write the movie.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Hughes wrote the film over a weekend.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
This movie also marked Hughes'directorial debut.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
When she was asked about casting Viggo Mortensen in the roke of Jake Ryan, Molly Ringwald told Access Hollywood: "I really wanted [Viggo Mortensen]. He made me weak in the knees. He really did."
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Michael Schoeffling was 23 years old when the movie was made, Molly Ringwald was 15,as was Anthony Michael Hall.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The dress that Ringwald wears to the school dance was supposed to be worn by Liane Curtis (who played Randy). But when Ringwald saw it she asked to wear it.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The license plate number on Jake's car "21850" is actually Hughes' birthday - February 18, 1950.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Jimmy Iovine, the future co-founder and head of Interscope Records, was the movie's music supervisor.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
This was the second movie both Joan and John Cusack co-starred in.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Ringwald and Hall dated briefly in real life. The two dated between Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The film was only a modest hit during its theatrical run (it opened second, behind Breakin'). The film became a huge hit when it was released on VHS.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Other music posters in Samantha's house include Culture Club, Stray Cats (over her bed), and Sammy Hagar.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
According to Gedde Watanabe (Long Duk Dong) there was a deleted scene where he sings at the dance.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Niles East High School, the school where the movie was filmed, is now part of Oakton Community College and has been compeletly remodeled.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Filmed at Niles East High School. Some of the students in the big party scene are wearing Niles East Trojans jackets and shirts. Niles East is in Skokie, Illinois and was closed for over ten years when the filming started.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Molly Ringwald's real-life sister, Beth Ringwald, appears in the film as Patty Baker.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Ginny's husband Rudy is played by the same actor who playes the janitor in another John Hughes' movie - The Breakfast Club.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Molly Ringwald was interested in doing a sequel.After rejecting various pitches through the years, Ringwald said in 2005 that she read a 32 Candles script that she liked and had an interest in starring in.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Long Duk Dong was played by Gedde Watanabe,a 28 year-old Utah-born actor who only spoke English.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
While Ted and Jake are talking about Sam after the party in Jake's house, Frank Sinatra's New York,New York is heard in the background.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
When eating diner with the family, Long Duk Dong is using the ends of two forks as chopsticks.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Cameo 

Dick Biondi: Chicago radio legend is heard on the radio (uncredited) in the opening bedroom scene where Molly Ringwald is looking in her mirror.
Agnes Belushi: The woman that Ginny Baker tries to sit next to at the wedding.

Director Trademark 

John Hughes: [The Beatles] The Geek sings "Birthday" to Sam in the auto shop.

See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

Contribute to This Page