“Jerk Alert!” — 20 Fun Facts About ‘The Goonies’

Image Credit: Warner Bros.

If you’re a person of a certain age, there are formative coming-of-age movies that probably stand out in your mind. And if you’re my age (late Gen X, Xennial, early Millennial), those movies include classics like E.T., Stand by Me, the Sandlot, Now and Then, The Princess Bride, and yes, The Goonies.

The kids never said die as they navigated first crushes, found allies in unexpected places, relied on each other’s individual strengths, and supported each other’s crazy dreams – all reasons, perhaps, that our generation came to be who we are as adults.

Or maybe I’m giving too much credit to Hollywood, again. The best art, after all, is a mirror and not a map.

Either way, if you love The Goonies as much as I do, you’ll enjoy these 12 fun facts.

11. It was Josh Brolin’s film debut.

Image Credit: Warner Bros.

Now an Oscar-nominated actor, Brolin’s role as the slightly-dumb but still handsome and useful Brand was the first time he appeared on the big screen.

10. Who was Chester Copperpot?

The photo is uncredited, but most believe it’s American actor Keenan Wynn, who was originally set to play Perry White in director Richard Donner’s Superman movie.

9. There’s a small goof in the final cut where Mikey (Sean Astin) calls Josh Brolin by his real name.

Image Credit: Warner Bros.

It’s in the scene after Chunk breaks the water cooler in the basement of the abandoned restaurant.

Have you noticed it before?

8. No, those “bats” weren’t real.

They were bow ties and wads of black papier-mâché blown out of air cannons.

You could kind of tell, right?

7. Jeff Cohen (Chunk) never acted again – but he is still in the movie business.

Image Credit: Warner Bros.

He left acting and, as an adult, pursued a law degree.

He’s now a founding partner at a high-powered entertainment firm in Los Angeles.

6. This little Easter Egg…

Chunk calls the police, but they think he’s pranking them due to him telling them stories about “little creatures that multiply when you pour water on them” before.

It’s a reference to Gremlins, which Spielberg also produced, and that was also written by Chris Columbus. Corey Feldman also appeared in both films, so we must believe the two movies exist in the same universe!

5. The “One-Eyed Willy” speech is basically improvised.

It wasn’t scripted; Donner told Astin the story moments before the shot and then Astin re-told it from memory when the cameras were rolling.

4. The Goonies reaction to the pirate ship is real.

Richard Donner never let his actors see the full pirate ship as it was being built, so the moment they walk into the cavern and see the ship, they’re all seeing it for the first time.

It’s meant to resemble Errol Flynn’s ship from The Sea Hawk.

3. The treasure map is speckled with actual blood.

Image Credit: Warner Bros.

Production designer J. Michael Riva was worried the map didn’t look old enough – it was supposed to have survived over 300 years – so he spent an afternoon aging it.

He cut his own finger and dripped blood along the edges as a final touch, so he definitely bled for the craft!

2. No, you didn’t miss a scene with an octopus…well, not really.

At the tail end of the film, during the interview with reporters, Data mentions that “the octopus was very scary.”

If you’ve fleetingly wondered what in the heck he’s talking about, you’re not alone – a scene involving a tussle with an octopus was deleted during editing.

1. The actor who played Sloth was an actual tough guy.

Image Credit: John Matuszak

John Matuszak was the first overall pick in the 1973 NFL draft and won two Super Bowls with the Oakland Raiders. You might have noticed (or will now) him sporting Raiders gear early in the film.

This is definitely a movie I can’t wait to watch with my own boys in a few years – fingers crossed they love it, too, and the adventure can live on!

What’s your favorite movie from your childhood? If you’ve showed it to your kids, how did they react?

Tell me all about it in the comments!