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- This one didn't occur to me until nearly 20 years after the initial release of the film. When the gang gets to lunchtime, Bender immediately goes around asking people what they've got for lunch and ridiculing the stuff they've got. He then moves off to sit somewhere else. He doesn't eat lunch. On reflection, given he's basically from an abusive household, of course they wouldn't have packed his lunch for him. That's why he fronts the other about their lunches -- he's trying to distract them from the fact he hasn't got any.
- It pretty much matches up with the concept that bullies are often the ones crying out for attention. Bender is a complete jerk, but if you look at it closely enough, he deliberately pushes discussions hard enough that the other kids eventually have to react - like the point where he eventually blows up after showing the cigarette burns his father gave him. Vernon doesn't notice because he's the authoritarian, and had probably dealt with hundreds of people like Bender, but the other kids do. On the one hand, Bender doesn't want to talk about his issues - which is why he deflects stuff. On the other, he probably does want to let it out. It doesn't excuse the way he treats pretty much everyone in the film except Allison, but it's a likely explanation. Even his somewhat triumphant pose at the end could be down to the fact that he just might have some people there for him, now - as well as being just a little iconic.
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