101 Funniest Screenplays

In placing the comedy on its National Film Registry, the Library of Congress called Ferris Beuller “one of film’s greatest and most fully realized teen heroes.” For writer-director John Hughes, Ferris Bueller (coming hard upon the releases of Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club) solidified his place as a mastermind of the comedic coming-of-age story, particularly as it played out in American suburbia. The influence of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, with its snarky protagonist narrating straight to the camera, can still be detected in the winds of mainstream comedy. If there’s something bullying about Ferris’ confidence, his ongoing commentary feels less like exposition than an anti-hero’s manifesto, his declaration of independence from all the dumb, unilateral rules that govern his decision to play hooky from school and see what pleasures the wider world has to offer.