The Brat Pack

EMILY: And now it’s the in thing for young Hollywood celebrities to go to universities. What do they call themselves, the Brat Pack?

LORELAI: About a hundred years ago.

The Brat Pack, a nickname given to a group of young actors who frequently appeared together in teen coming-of-age films in the 1980s. It was first mentioned in a 1985 New York magazine article, used to describe Emilio Estevez, Rob Lowe, Judd Nelson, and most of the cast of The Outsiders. Later on, the definition (somehow?) seems to have narrowed to refer to those actors who starred in The Breakfast Club and/or St Elmo’s Fire. But there is no set definition of who was in the Brat Pack and who wasn’t.

The label brought negative attention to the actors, who hated it, and they stopped socialising together. It certainly was not something they called themselves, but an unwanted label foisted upon them. The journalist who coined the expression later admitted he shouldn’t have done it.

The name “Brat Pack” was coined in imitation of the “Rat Pack”, an informal group of A-List show business friends in the 1940s and ’50s, centred on Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis Jr. It is important to note that the Rat Pack is what the group called themselves, the Brat Pack was a name created by the media.

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