As Gawker said, this item is probably the best John Hughes memorial post you'll read. I won't be offended if you skip the rest of mine.
I haven't seen all of Hughes' movies. It wasn't until a few years ago that I saw The Breakfast Club, and I still haven't seen Sixteen Candles. But Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Weird Science, and Planes, Trains, & Automobiles are some of my favorite movies from the '80s. I didn't know until yesterday that Hughes wrote more than four times as many movies as he directed. The scene in The Great Outdoors where John Candy eats the "Ol' '96er" steak is still hilarious to me and my father twenty years later. And I had no idea he wrote the Vacation movies. My life has been affected by his work more than I imagined.
Many of my younger online friends wrote that they had no idea who Hughes was or why his death affects some of us so deeply. I think you need to have grown up in the '80s to appreciate his talents properly. In his works, Hughes brilliantly captured the feelings of young people in the '80s. His characters were sometimes stereotypical teens, but they seemed more real than anyone else on the screen. I wanted to be like Ferris Bueller, but I was much more like Cameron. I was Brian Johnson and Gary Wallace. I can still relate to these characters twenty years later. I think that's the best testament to Hughes' works: that they can still resonate so strongly years after their creation.