16 Things You Might Not Know About ‘Sixteen Candles’

Sixteen Candles is one of the most iconic ’80s teen movies that still resonates with audiences young and old. It has become a classic in its own right, with fans still clamoring for a sequel or a remake. Even if you’ve seen it dozens of times, there are definitely things about the film that you probably didnt know, like that John Hughes wrote the film’s script over the course of one weekend (seriously!). Here are the facts about Sixteen Candles even the biggest fan may not know.

1. The film was John Hughes’s directorial debut.
Though he went on to be the director/writer of some of the most iconic coming-of-age movies in the ’80s (including The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Pretty in Pink, and Weird Science), Candles was his first time directing.
2. He wrote it over the course of a weekend.
Mind. Blown.
3. Hughes wrote Molly Ringwald’s role of Samantha Baker with her in mind.
He was inspired to write the film by a headshot of hers he received.

4. He also wrote the role of Farmer Ted/”The Geek” with Anthony Michael Hall in mind.


Hughes liked Hall so much in National Lampoon’s Vacation that he wanted to work with him again. Hall also famously starred in Weird Science and The Breakfast Club.

5. Jake Ryan was almost played by Viggo Mortensen instead of Michael Schoeffling.

New Line Cinema/Giphy

Molly Ringwald actually really wanted Mortensen, saying that he made her “weak in the knees.”

6. In fact, Schoeffling was so shy in his audition, he almost lost the part altogether.


But the film’s producer, Michelle Manning, found Schoeffling so “stunning and dreamy” that he ultimately won the part. Sorry, Viggo!

7. He was also much older than Ringwald during filming.


Schoeffling was 23, while both Ringwald and Hall were 15. 

8. Schoeffling had a serious girlfriend at the time, and they later married.



9. Both Ringwald and Hall were quite bored on weekends during the shoot.


The film was shot in Skokie, IL, and the two leads couldn’t go to bars with the cast and crew. They once crashed a bar mitzvah for some entertainment.

10. The two also dated briefly after the film and before The Breakfast Club.


How cute!

11. The actor who played Long Duk Dong was 28-years-old.


Gedde Watanabe also only spoke English, borrowing a fake Korean accent on his audition. He was afraid to admit to Hughes that his accent was fake, but Hughes laughed.

12. Jake’s father’s car would be worth over $66,000 today.


It was a 1974 Rolls-Royce Corniche that belonged to John Hughes’s friend’s father.

13.  The line: “Can I borrow your underpants for ten minutes?” was ranked as one of “The 100 Greatest Movie Lines.”


Premiere magazine did the ranking. Yahoo! ranked the scene where he shows them off as one of the “Top 10 Greatest Film Moments in Panties.”

14. There was no air conditioning in the gym during the school dance scene.


It was over 100 degrees in there. Yikes!

15. Unlike Samantha, Ringwald’s sixteenth birthday was more than sweet.


She had a big party and got a Volkswagen convertible. Lucky girl!

16. The birthday cake in the film’s iconic final scene was made of cardboard.


It doesn’t even matter — that scene will forever be magic.