When it comes to adventure made in the ‘80s, nothing beats The Goonies. The famous search for One-Eyed Willy’s legendary treasure isn’t the first of its genre, but it’s the most definitive and iconic of its kind. Featuring a cast of young actors who would go on to become big stars, The Goonies is as timeless as an ‘80s family movie could be.
But like any childhood adventure that’s viewed through the lens of adulthood, parts of The Goonies just don’t hold up. None of these take away from the charm and allure of the movie, though it’s admittedly fun to point out the things that we tend to overlook thanks to rose-colored glasses. With vision (mostly) clear of nostalgia, here are 10 things that didn’t age well in The Goonies that still don’t reduce the enjoyment and entertainment it offers.
10 The Bats
It may have been released in 1985 but The Goonies boasts some amazing set designs and practical effects. Special mention goes to One-Eyed Willy’s ship and the bone piano, but one particular effect that didn’t age well are the bats.
When Brand pushes a rock aside, he unwittingly unleashes the bats living in the cave behind said rock. The bats swarm the Goonies but any threat they may present is immediately nullified because of how obvious it is that they’re just Halloween toys tied to wire. It’s a charmingly bad effect that just emphasizes the movie’s childlike appeal.
9 The Foreclosure Subplot
A hallmark of ‘80s family movies is that some rich bad guy is going to foreclose the heroes’ family home. Unsurprisingly, this is exactly what motivates Mikey and friends to find the legendary pirate treasure.
The Goonies isn’t the first ‘80s movie to feature such a subplot, but it’s still worth pointing out that even something as iconic as this movie isn’t immune from utilizing overused tropes. Thankfully, the foreclosure plot doesn’t overstay its welcome although it leads to the addition of some cartoonishly evil rich people. Then again, the movie is basically a live-action Saturday Morning Cartoon adventure.
8 Troy the Jock
Nothing spells an ‘80s movie better than a smug bully wearing the school varsity jacket, and The Goonies shows this in spades through Troy. Through his limited appearances, Troy makes sure to get on everyone’s nerves and try to steal the main female character from her obvious love interest.
And of course, Troy is the son of the evil rich guy who wants to buy out most of the Goon Docks so that he can erect a golf course for the elite. There’s nothing bad about this trope, but it’s a nostalgic archetype that’s hard to miss.
7 The Final "Fight"
While it’s live-action, The Goonies becomes a full-blown cartoon in its climax. With the combination of a stereotypical pirate ship, cartoony villains, and slapstick, the only way to describe the movie’s last minutes is by comparing it to a cartoon.
This isn’t a bad thing as it just goes to show how far the adventure genre has gone when it comes to action-packed finales. If Stranger Things and It willingly put their child characters in physical and existential danger, The Goonies settles for a couple of Mafiosi caricatures forcing kids to walk the plank.
6 The Fratellis
As mentioned above, the Fratellis are just Mafiosi caricatures and nothing more. They may be fun villains thanks to their memorable bickering and other antics, but they’re an old character stereotype that’s all but gone today.
The caricature of the Italian American criminal arguably peaked in the ‘80s, thanks to the gangster movie’s explosion as popularized by Joe Pesci, The Godfather trilogy, and anything Martin Scorsese directed. If not for the presence of Mama Fratelli, the Fratellis would be indistinguishable from Rocky and Mugsy from Looney Tunes.
5 The Goonies’s Group Dynamic
Anyone who grew up with ‘80s adventure movies knows the group formula by heart. Minus a few tweaks and without fail, there’ll always be a leader, a fast-talking wannabe, a fat kid, and a token minority.
The Goonies boasts one of this formula’s most iconic line-ups, with Mikey, Mouth, Chunk, and Data filling in the aforementioned roles in that order. While the Goonies are a classic, their group composition is something that could only work in an ‘80s period piece because of how cheesy and dated it is. Case in point, Stranger Things and the new It.
4 Mikey the Lead Kid
Every group of ‘80s kids follows a designated leader who tends to be the most uninteresting part of the group. This is because their entire character is dedicated to accomplishing the task at hand, and this is what Mikey does throughout The Goonies.
When he’s not laser-focused on finding One-Eyed Willy’s treasure, Mikey’s talking to himself or Willy. He even carries an inhaler, which is a personal medical device commonly owned by someone in an ‘80s movie or TV show. His sincere love for his older brother Brand, however, is unique among ‘80s kids who normally hate teenagers.
3 Mouth’s Motor Mouth
Mouth lives up to his name because he rarely stops talking. Not a moment flies without him mouthing off someone or something. Because of this, he’s one of the most ‘80s members of the Goonies.
Not only is his fast-talking shtick a bit tiresome by today’s standards, but so was his use of Spanish when messing with Rosalita. Sure, he is a mischievous kid but purposefully screwing up the translations to scare the new housemaid for a laugh isn’t a nice thing to do. That, and he may or may not have a crush on Mikey’s mother.
2 Chunk and Fat Jokes
Because of how easy it is to make jokes at overweight people’s expense, humor derived from fat-shaming has been on the decline. This wasn’t the case in the ‘80s, where fat jokes were a must in comedy. In The Goonies, Chunk fulfilled this need to a tee.
As proven by his name, Chunk’s existence is defined by food and fat jokes. In fact, he’s easily distracted by food or the smell of it because there’s nothing in his life but his insatiable appetite and friendship. Still, Chunk is an adorable character who forms a touching bond with Sloth.
1 Data the Asian Stereotype
Though relatively harmless and maybe even charming for some, Data represents the old stereotypical view of Asian Americans that was prevalent in the ‘80s. From his exaggerated accent to his technological wizardry, Data fits the bill of the token Asian without a hitch.
Further dating Data’s whole character is his being portrayed by Jonathan Ke Quan, who is also known for his time as Short Round in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. If not for his wacky contraptions, Data would basically be the same character as Short Round.