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Things Only Adults Notice In The Goonies

It's been over 30 years since Richard Donner's The Goonies hit the big screen, leaving a huge impact on pop culture in the process. The movie was produced by Steven Spielberg and starred an ensemble cast of young promising talent: Sean Astin (Lord of the RingsStranger Things), Corey Feldman (The Lost Boys), Josh Brolin (Avengers: Infinity War, Deadpool 2), and Martha Plimpton (My Name is Earl, The Real O'Neals), to name a few. From a fantastical pirate plot to a looming criminal threat, the film told story of a group of kids bonding together on one final adventure, as brothers Mikey (Astin) and Brand Walsh (Brolin) prepare for their family's big move away from The Goon Docks — their quaint neighborhood in Astoria, Oregon. 

The Goonies was a benchmark in blockbuster cinema and inspired a string of child-based adventures to follow. But upon viewing the classic again as an adult, viewers can easily see that the movie had some glaring issues. From its ignorant adults to some blatant body-shaming to a handful of dead bodies, violence, and sexual innuendos, the movie features story components that either made no sense or were unfit for the young audience the movie was geared towards. Get ready for the buzzkill! Here are things only adults notice about The Goonies.

Suicide's totally fine, as long as it's fake

The Goonies doesn't waste any time in grabbing your attention. In the movie's opening scene, audiences are immediately introduced to the Fratellis — a crime family led by the ruthless Mama Fratelli (Anne Ramsey). In mere seconds, viewers bear witness to the unfortunate scene of a prisoner's suicide in the county jail. As an officer releases the inmates for lunch, he finds the body of Jake Fratelli (Robert Davi) hanging from the cell's bars. As it turns out, the joke was on him ... and us! With a note pinned to his chest, Fratelli lured the cop in only to reveal he wasn't actually dead. With a wry smile, Jake clobbers the man and unhooks himself from the make-shift noose he created.  

With his brother Francis (Joe Pantoliano) pouring gasoline all around the building, and Mama waiting in the getaway car, things are kicked off as Jake emerges from the building — donning a scarf and fedora, for good measure. Because, really, what's the point of conducting the perfect getaway if you can't do it decked out in your Sunday best? 

Needless to say, this introduction is necessary in painting the Fratellis as a silly little gang to be reckoned with. But between Jake's suicide fake-out and Francis' taste for setting fire to things, this sure was a jarring way to begin a kids movie. And this all happens in the first minute and a half, before the opening credits even have a chance to roll!

Chunk has some serious problems

Lawrence Cohen, aka Chunk (Jeff Cohen), is one of the members of the Goonies. It's an unfortunate nickname, for sure, and one that is perpetuated throughout the film — what with the kid's desire for ice cream and pizza. After the jail break, a chaotic police chase ensues. And wouldn't you know it, Chunk witnesses the whole thing. Instead of listening to his story, though, Mouth (Feldman) forces the kid to do a dance in order to grant him entry to the house. Chunk does "The Truffle Shuffle," lifting his shirt and jiggling his belly. Needless to say, this sort of fat-shaming wouldn't fly today.

"So much humor comes from pain," Richard Donner told Uproxx in 2015. "Although, I'm sure he [Jeff] was too young to be analytical about it, but I'm sure that was part of his instincts. It was a painful scene." Painful or not, that scene really painted a picture as to who Chunk was. He ended up spending most of the film separated from the group, leading to the inevitable relationship he created with Sloth, the deformed third Fratelli brother.

From being a prisoner to the Fratellis, to making friends with Sloth, the movie ends with Chunk inviting the seven-foot-tall emotionally-challenged stranger to live in his house. He doesn't consult his parents, or consider the logistics of fitting this giant dude in the bathtub, the couch, or his bedroom. Chunk doesn't pay his parents' mortgage, but he's paid the price of life. Apparently, that's enough.

One big sexual innuendo

After Mikey finds an old map in the attic, the group — with the help of Mouth's impeccable Spanish-speaking skills — translate the message and ponder the mythical legend of the pirate known simply as "One-Eyed Willy." This discovery is the inspiration behind the whole crazy adventure the kids go on. Not only was there allegedly riches on the pirate's elusive ship, this treasure hunt was a symbol of their last summer together. 

For the movie's two-hour duration, Mikey, Mouth, Data (Jonathan Ke Quan), Chunk, Brand, Andy (Kerri Green), Stef, and Sloth (John Matuszak) are put through the proverbial ringer. They're chased by armed criminals, dodge booby traps, and overcome physical challenges all in the name of the buried treasure that awaits them. And while the hunt for One-Eyed Willy proves fruitful in the end — the kids come out on top while the Fratellis pay the price — no one ever acknowledges the big elephant in the room: One-Eyed Willy is totally a euphemism for penis.

Brand assaults a child, immediately escapes certain death

The kids set off to do their Goonies thing, leaving Mikey's big brother Brand all tied up. That doesn't stop him for long. To catch up to the gang, he takes extreme measures... which includes assaulting a young girl and stealing her bicycle. Seeing Josh Brolin pedal for his life on this tiny thing was a surefire laugh-getter, but you can't ignore the simple fact that the dude stole a little kid's property. The only thing that really justifies the crime is the inevitable payoff that was sure to follow.

With assault and theft under his belt, Brand hustles down the road to catch up with his brother's crew. After all, his parents were counting on him to be their babysitter! But instead of keeping the kids out of trouble, Brand is suddenly faced with trouble of his own: Troy's (Steve Antin) bucket... err, we mean car. The bully rolls up on Brand, with Andy (the girl Brand likes) riding shotgun in the flashy convertible. After a short back-and-forth, Troy plays a prank on Brand, holding him as the car accelerates. The speed gets the best of Brand, sending the bike and Brand over a cliff to imminent doom below.

But miraculously, Brand doesn't suffer injuries or die! Soon after his death-defying stunt, Mikey's brother shows up outside of the Fratellis' hideout with a dirty face, and not a scratch on him.

Money over all things, including dead bodies

Well on their journey, Mikey eventually catches up with the remains of treasure hunter Chester Copperpot. We're introduced to his story, through a 1930s newspaper article that announces his disappearance after searching for One-Eyed Willy's riches. Of course the kids can do what an experienced scavenger hunter couldn't, but that's neither here nor there. 

Once Mikey and the gang are in the underground tunnels, they happen across Chester Copperpot's skeleton. It turns out, the man activated a booby trap which led to his untimely death. But instead of alerting the authorities that the body of a man who'd been missing and presumed dead for nearly five decades had been found, the kids decide to take matters into their own hands ... and loot the man's body.

There's something to be said for respecting the dead. However, in The Goonies — where the hunt for treasure is the end-all be-all of the entire film — these matters end up being quite trivial. You've got to wonder, though: What kind of parenting, or lack there of, could instill such homicidal behavior? More on that later ...

The only way out of this mess was through a bucket

There's a good portion of The Goonies that finds our heroes in tunnels underneath the city of Astoria. As ancient as this underground maze feels, it's hard not to notice the modern day pipes that can be seen adorning the walls the kids pass. This isn't a sewer, or anything, but... it kind of is? 

We're now roughly at the film's halfway point and it's an integral part of the story. Do the kids continue on their mission of finding One-Eyed Willy or do they bail to the warm beds awaiting them above-ground? This conundrum comes to a head once Mikey and the gang happen across the wishing well in town, which happens to connect with the tunnel they're lost in. It also happens to reconnect Stef, Andy, and Brand with Troy — in all his '80s villainous high school jock glory. Aside from the fact that he's conveniently hanging with his buds at the well, which is something dudes totally do, this moment marks a fork in the road for the gang. Do they stay down in the tunnels where danger lurks around every corner, or do they return to the adult world by taking a ride in Troy's bucket?

We all know how this ends up, but what's the deal with the bucket being the only option to save the kids from the cold, wet bowels of the city? Let's remember, there were modern day pipes on the tunnel walls. So obviously, there had to be a ladder somewhere. Right?

The Fratellis' weapons were no match for science

From the very beginning of the film, audiences were dealt a bunch of visuals that showed how dangerous of a force the Fratellis were. Jake faked his suicide before assaulting a cop, which led to Francis burning down the county jail. And once the kids meet the crime family — Chunk's discovery of the dead body in the restaurant's walk-in freezer was a frightening touch — it's revealed they'll stop at nothing to find One-Eyed Willy's treasure as well. Armed with knives, guns, and even at one point, a sword, the Fratellis proved themselves to be a ruthless gang of outlaws. 

As dangerous as they were, though, it seems that our team of young heroes were quicker, and smarter. Time and again, the Goonies found themselves steps ahead of the criminals... until they finally faced them in the climactic fight on One-Eyed Willy's ship. Cornered, the kids were running out of options. And then Data stepped up, with his odd gadgets and glorious gumption. Swords and guns were no match for the kid's odd utility belt, which eventually took down the crime family — a biting mechanism to Francis' crotch was the beginning of the Fratelli family's downfall. Science and innovation proved themselves to be the ultimate weapons here. After all, this is a Goonies world and we're just living in it. 

The foreclosure storyline comes to a convenient end

This whole Goonies adventure began with the solid reality that Mikey and Brand would be moving, due to their house's pending foreclosure. This sends the kids on one final adventure, in search of a pirate and his legendary treasure. As fantastical as this was, the climax tied up every loose end in one baffling sequence. After the kids escape One-Eyed Willy's ship alive, they arrive on the town's beach where, conveniently enough, their parents, the police, and the press are waiting.

As the kids are reunited with their families, Troy shows up with his wealthy father, the guy out to buy the Walsh family's home. Aside from wondering how they all knew to show up on this beach at the same time, you have to appreciate the audacity of Troy's dad. The apple didn't fall far from the tree, there! As family's are reunited, and the kids are proven to be safe, foreclosure paperwork is handed to Mike's dad. And he almost signs it, right there on the beach. 

Thanks to Mrs. Walsh's maid, Rosalita (Lupe Ontiveros), all is fixed. Checking the pockets of one of the kid's jackets, she finds a bunch of jewels. Suddenly, everyone buys into the One-Eyed Willy myth. Mikey's father makes an immediate decision to rip up the foreclosure paperwork, announcing they'll never sell the house, ever. That's all well and good, but these are jewels found in a kid's pocket. It probably would've been a good decision to have them appraised first, right?

These parents just don't understand... how to parent

"Our parents, they want the best of stuff for us," Mikey said in the tunnels, as the gang faced the option of getting in Troy's bucket. "But right now, they got to do what's right for them. Because it's their time. Their time! Up there! Down here, it's our time. It's our time down here."

This speech encapsulates the whole film. Much like other '80s kid-centric stories — we're looking at you Stand By Me and IT — the role of adults were pretty ancillary here. That's all well and good, but what happens when a group of children goes missing in a small town such as this? We'd assume there'd be some sort of uproar. And yet, the only people who get a slap on the wrist are the Fratellis. 

Like any great film, The Goonies suspends our disbelief from start to finish. That's what we love about the Richard Donner/Steven Spielberg classic. But let's be real here: A group of unruly kids acting like Mikey and his friends would result in some sort of punishment. We're pretty sure no one got grounded. And with the press and police crowding the beach at the movie's end, one has to wonder ... did the Goonies ever go into therapy? After all, they had multiple run-ins with death. Did the police debrief them after they found those dead bodies? And where's Child Protective Services in all of this? The '80s, man. What a weird time to be alive.

Troy is a massive creep

While the Fratellis are the primary villains of The Goonies, Troy Perkins gives them a run for their money in the bad guy department. He's the very ideal of an '80s youth movie villain — a rich, arrogant, jerk jock who resents poor people and constantly aligns himself with his powerful father. (He's even spotted wearing country club clothes and a visor, the very uniform of Reagan-era filmdom villainy.)

Adding another level of awfulness to Troy, and beyond the obvious signifiers noticeable by even the youngest viewers: He's a predator. Likely used to getting whatever he wants, whenever he wants it, Troy leers at, makes plays for, and all but stalks Andy throughout The Goonies. Kids watching probably won't understand when he utilizes a car's rearview mirror to attempt to sneak a creepy peek up Andy's skirt. He laughs at her when she tells him to stop. Andy later casually mentions that Troy had just been looking down her shirt, and just before he discovers the Goonies in the well, Troy brags to his friends that he plans to "make it" with Andy as soon as possible. That's a euphemism delivered in an alarming and deeply off-putting way.

Sloth is a victim of abuse

The Goonies gets more than just the one happy ending of the Goon squad evading the Fratellis, reuniting with their parents, avoiding foreclosure, and uncovering the coolest pirate ship in movie history. There's also the matter of Sloth, the Fratelli kid with some physical deformities. Initially considered a monstrous villain, he's redeemed when Chunk provides contact from a decent human being, attention, and a Baby Ruth. To kids watching The Goonies, Sloth was misunderstood, or a bad guy turned into a good guy. Adults will notice the lead-up to Sloth's redemption: He was the victim of some deplorable acts of abuse.

When audiences first catch a glimpse of Sloth, he's chained up, and his brother Jake is torturing him with his singing. His family imprisons him, purposely upsets him, and then leaves him all alone with food tantalizingly out of reach. When Chunk gets held captive alongside Sloth — the derisive name used by his own family — he rips his chains off the wall to get to that Baby Ruth. While Chunk is on the phone, Sloth helps himself to the ice cream in the freezer. Both acts suggest that the Fratellis purposely starve Sloth.