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Dumb Things Everyone Ignores In The Goonies

In 1985, Richard Donner's The Goonies was released to the world, and it forever changed the landscape of "kids' movies." The film follows a group of misfit children as they set course for buried treasure, in the hopes that it will save their hometown from real estate development hell. Hot on their trail are the Fratellis, a family of criminals who are also trying to get in on an easy payday. 

But The Goonies isn't just about some kids and some buried treasure. The film deals with themes geared toward older audiences, too — bullying, loneliness, and the struggle of having to say goodbye to one's childhood. Today, it's looked upon as a classic, and many who came of age in the '80s and '90s hold it near and dear to their hearts. But there's a problem with revisiting a childhood favorite later on on life, and it's that all of its little issues that we may have let slide when we were kids have now become glaringly apparent. There's just no way to ignore these dumb things in The Goonies any longer.

What's with everyone in jail wearing street clothes?

While The Goonies may focus primarily on the group of kids who make up the film's namesake, it actually opens on the story's main antagonists, the Fratellis. Outside a county jail somewhere near Astoria, Oregon, Mama Fratelli (Anne Ramsey) and son Francis (Joe Pantoliano) prepare for other son Jake (Robert Davi) to break out. In the meantime, Jake is inside staging a death scene in his cell so he can get one over on the guard and escape.

There's a quick shot of several inmates as they head past the guard in question, and one of them is sporting a pretty sweet set of shades. Then, as the guard heads into Jake's cell, we see Jake is clad head to toe in regular street clothes, including a scarf. Unless Jake had just been brought into county for something minor and hadn't received standard issue clothing, there's no way he would've been able to keep that scarf. Even in the most lax correctional facilities, something like that, which could be used in a suicide attempt, would be highly frowned upon.

Apparently, you can start a fire with a gunshot

In the opening scene of the film, Jake Fratelli is locked up inside a county jail, faking his own suicide so he can escape. And while he's busy with that, Francis has taken it upon himself to dump an entire jerrycan full of fuel around the outside of the building. Jake subdues the guard with a single uppercut and strolls right on out without anyone else inside taking notice — probably because he's dressed in street clothes and looks like every other visitor that passes through. After some minor difficulty with the door handle, Jake gets in the car just before the rest of the police force makes their way outside. To buy time, Francis shoots at the gasoline trail and sets the entire thing ablaze.

Unfortunately, shooting a bullet into a puddle of gas isn't going to set it on fire, especially if it's in open air, and it definitely wouldn't cause the sort of blaze that Francis creates. Regardless, the entire fiery getaway is a little ridiculous, if only because there are plenty of openings that the police could've gone through in order to pursue the family.

The Goonies' Rube Goldberg gate opener is ridiculous

Over at Mikey's (Sean Astin) house, Chunk (Jeff Cohen) arrives, desperate to share news of the car chase he just witnessed between the police and the Fratellis. But Mouth (Corey Feldman) refuses to open the gate until Chunk performs the Truffle Shuffle, a dance that somehow feels more demeaning than funny when viewed as an adult. And that's when Mikey steps in and opens the gate by way of a Rube Goldberg machine.

The series of complicated devices used to pull the gate latch include a bowling ball, a balloon, a chicken, and a sprinkler system, and the whole thing takes about a minute to complete. Since part of this system requires a chicken to lay an egg, it would only be able to be used once a day (unless Mikey's family has a whole coop of chickens they rotate out every time they reset the machine). But there's also a more obvious point. In the amount of time it took to run through everything, Chunk could've just reached over the fence and pulled the latch himself. Actually, if any of the individual parts didn't work as planned (say the chicken couldn't lay an egg that day), Chunk would've had to do just that.

Zero damage cliff fall

When Mikey and the gang decide to set off in search of treasure, there's one thing standing in their way: Brand (Josh Brolin), Mikey's older, no fun brother who's more interested in spring chest expanders than treasure hunting. The kids are able to restrain him just long enough to get a head start, and on their way out, they let the air out of Brand's bike tires. That leaves him with no other option than to steal a little girl's bike and make chase.

Along the way, high school bully Troy (Steve Antin) pulls alongside Brand in his car, grabs onto him, and drags him down the road a few hundred feet before he lets go. Brand and his child's bicycle hurtle over the side of a cliff, and after a scene or two, Brand finds his way — unscathed — to Mikey and his friends. In what reality would a human being going somewhere around 30 miles an hour on a bicycle ever be able to survive a fall from a cliff? Brand is lucky to be alive, but somehow, he's also completely unharmed. No broken bones, no torn clothing, not even a scratch.

Criminals on the run don't just let a bunch of kids go

The Goonies begin their quest for gold at an abandoned restaurant, the location of which aligns with markings on their treasure map. But when they arrive, they discover the restaurant is already occupied, by the Fratellis. Mama Fratelli convinces Jake to roll with the restaurateur gag, and the pair go about getting the kids' "order." When Mouth runs his mouth about pasta, Mama Fratelli pulls a knife and essentially threatens to cut out his tongue.

At the end of the exchange, the Fratellis let everyone go, but if they were truly the hardened family of criminals the film makes them out to be, there's no way they'd just let potential witnesses go free. Kids might be easy to frighten, but they're also terrible liars (Chunk being a prime example), so the second they were to get back into town, there's every chance they'd tell someone about the restaurant and its current inhabitants. The Fratellis' cover would be blown, and they'd all have a one-way ticket back to jail.

The Fratellis would definitely have heard them under the floor boards

During their wild adventure, the Goonies eventually discover an underground cave system beneath the restaurant where the Fratellis are hiding. These tunnels will grant them access to One-Eyed Willy's treasure, but of course, nothing goes smoothly for the Goonies. While they're all down in the basement, Chunk smells ice cream. He opens the walk-in freezer, and a body tumbles out of it, causing everyone in the group to lose their collective minds and start screaming.

In the midst of this, that's when the Fratellis decide to show up. As their footsteps approach the part of the floor above where the Goonies are hiding out, everyone down below goes quiet, but it isn't immediate. They're only completely silent by the time the Fratellis are directly above them, but the front door isn't far from that particular spot. Anyone would've been able to hear a group of screaming kids from several feet away, even if they were a floor below. After all, the Goonies were able to hear the Fratellis walk in, so it only makes sense that it would work the other way around. 

So ... Chunk wasn't locked in the freezer?

In one of the funniest (and freakiest) scenes in The Goonies, Chunk accidentally gets locked in a walk-in freezer with a dead body. As he struggles against its weight, he screams for his friends to help him and hollers that he's trapped inside. Forget the fact that Chunk is able to somehow sense when the Fratellis are close enough that he needs to quiet down, but once the family passes through the room, Chunk just opens the freezer door and lets himself out.

So was he being overly dramatic? It isn't as though Chunk's only issue is with the body being in the way. Before it actually falls on top of him, he's able to keep it pushed back against the freezer shelves while he cries for help. His entire ordeal seems to be because the door locked behind him. But after the Fratellis are gone, the door is suddenly unlocked, and Chunk is free to go.

How has every trap in the tunnel survived?

One-Eyed Willy and his crew set up an entire booby-trapped, underground maze in the early 1600s, complete with an Indiana Jones-esque rope system that's only set to go off once someone passes through it. But after 350 years and counting, that rope system would surely have deteriorated to a point that at least a few of these traps would've gone off without an actual person having to do it.

It isn't just the ropes, though. The series of pipes that run through the tunnels are connected to the plumbing in the Astoria Country Club. First, it would've been impossible to set up the country club's plumbing system without someone having gone into the tunnels below the building. And second, the pipes are so loosely fitted that even the slightest movement could've set off a sort of chain reaction years before the Goonies made their way down there.

The final scene in The Goonies is a little too convenient

In the end of the film, the Goonies find One-Eyed Willy's ship, as well as his treasure, but they aren't the only ones who make it there. The Fratellis, who've been on their trail, catch up with the group and claim One-Eyed Willy's treasure for their own. What they don't realize, however, is that the famed pirate has one last booby trap in place, so when the Fratellis attempt to steal the treasure set aside for One-Eyed Willy himself, the action causes the entire cave to collapse.

When the kids all emerge onto the beach, literally everyone from town is there. It isn't just the police who are standing by, ready to arrest the Fratellis, or the kids' parents. It's everyone — including the media and the real estate guys who've been trying to foreclose on everyone. Who tipped all these people off? And what exactly are the developers doing there? They have no reason to be on the beach at this precise moment, but here they are, with a front row seat to watch Mr. Walsh tear up their contract.

That's one seaworthy ship

At the end of the film, everyone on the beach is celebrating how the kids have saved the Goon Docks, and that's when we see One-Eyed Willy's ship, the Inferno, set sail away from the grotto and into the sunset. Realistically though, a 17th-century pirate ship wouldn't still be able to sail. In fact, this particular pirate ship probably wouldn't even be able to float at this point.

When the Goonies first happen upon the Inferno, there's water pouring everywhere. For hundreds of years, this ship has been sitting essentially underneath a waterfall, and it's still completely intact. No amount of waterproofing could've prevented its sinking years before the Goonies would've gotten to it. And even if there was a chance that the entire ship wasn't underwater by 1985, nothing about it would still be stable. So when it's seen sailing off into the distance, we're all supposed to assume that One-Eyed Willy and his crew took precautions to ensure it would last through a flash flood before they all sat down to die.

One-Eyed Willy's legend makes no sense

The legend of One-Eyed Willy, according to Mikey, goes that the British were the ones responsible for trapping the ship and its crew. But the British weren't around Astoria, Oregon, in the early 1600s. It would've been the Spanish, if anyone. The British didn't begin their exploration of the Pacific Northwest until the late 18th century.

Then there's the idea that an entire crew of men would spend their time building booby traps through a series of tunnels, as opposed to trying to find a way out. One-Eyed Willy was a little crazy, sure, but at some point, you'd think the rest of the crew would've decided enough was enough and mutinied against their captain. Instead, they just boxed themselves in and waited around to starve to death. That final booby trap that was set to blow open the cave could've been used to free the Inferno from its inevitable tomb at any point, but the pirates saved it for a bunch of 1980s kids.

The Goonies' treasure would've been found sooner

In The Goonies, by the time Mikey and his friends decide to look for One-Eyed Willy's treasure, only one man had ever gone in search of it. Chester Copperpot was a treasure hunter who went after One-Eyed Willy's loot in the 1930s and disappeared. The kids eventually find his body in the cave system, but it's the only one outside of the Inferno's original crew that they find. How is it that only one man in the span of 350 years has ever gone out in search of a legendary treasure?

Most importantly, though, how exactly did Mikey's dad get a hold of the original treasure map? He may be the curator of the city's historical museum, but he can't be the only person working there, and the loss of a local artifact would definitely be noticed. There's also the question of where the map originated from. In order for something like that to have gotten out, it would've had to have been with an Inferno crew member, and if an original pirate had made it out with the map, surely there would've been an expedition to claim the treasure prior to the '30s.