Watching The Goonies in 2018 is a nostalgia trip. We’ve seen it a hundred times before, and its familiarity only makes it more fun. But that doesn’t mean that The Goonies doesn’t have its share of secrets and surprises. For all but the most die-hard Goonies buffs, the list of little-known facts about The Goonies below will include a treasure trove of fresh Goonies trivia.
Patty Duke threw out the treasure map
Patty Duke had a storied Hollywood career: she started young, winning an Oscar for The Miracle Worker at just 16 years old, and continued working as an actress right up to her death in 2016. Though she was never in The Goonies, she still ended up chucking the movie’s iconic treasure map into the trash. How? Well, as die-hards no doubt already know, Patty Duke is Goonies star Sean Astin’s mom. Astin got to keep the prop map after shooting finished, but his mom eventually came across it and mistook it for trash—and that was the end of the Goonies map.
Richard Donner’s pirate ship scene plan worked a little too well
Directors in search of the perfect reaction sometimes withhold information from their actors. When you see an actor respond convincingly to a plot twist or a jump scare on-screen, you may be seeing something that’s a bit more real than the rest of the film!
Goonies director Richard Donner thought he’d use this technique for the scene in which the kids discover the pirate ship. He didn’t let anyone see the impressive set until he shot the scene, which allowed him to capture the authentic reactions of the delighted young actors. Too bad the reactions included some excited swearing, which forced Donner to do some re-shooting!
Sloth played in the NFL
Okay, not Sloth, obviously, but the guy who played Sloth. That’s a grown man in the Sloth getup, as you may have realized, and it happens to be a man with an impressive athletic past. John Matuszak, who played Sloth in the film, earned a living as a professional football player before hitting the silver screen.
And this trivia tidbit doesn’t exist through some nit-picky technicality: Matuszak was very much a pro. He enjoyed a nearly decade-long career as a defensive end, and he won two Super Bowl championships with the Oakland Raiders.
Data Spelled His Curse to Keep a Promise to His Mom
Jonathan Ke Quan, the actor who played Data, got a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity when he won his role in The Goonies. But his mother had her concerns about the Hollywood blockbuster, and she demanded that Jonathan make her a promise: he would not curse on-screen in the film.
That presented a problem with the script, because Data was supposed to react with profanity when rocks began to fall from the ceiling of the cave. Ke Quan’s solution was to shout out the letters of the naughty word, spelling-bee-style. He kept his promise to his mom, and Data’s “Holy S-H-I-T!” became one of the film’s most memorable lines.
There is a Goonies II—sort of
For years after The Goonies hit theaters, rumors lingered that a sequel film was on the way. That never happened (or, at least, it hasn’t happened yet!), but there actually is a Goonies II—but it’s not a movie.
The Goonies II is a video game, and it was released in 1987 for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). Mikey is the game’s protagonist, and he must defeat the members of the Fratelli crime family to save his friends and, uh, a new character who is also a mermaid. The Goonies II is a sequel to the video game version of The Goonies. Weirdly, the original Goonies video game never got a North American release, but The Goonies II did.
There’s a “Goonies Day”
Die-hards might know this already, but there’s no better way to end our list of little-known facts about The Goonies than by mentioning the biggest Goonies party on the planet, which is held every year on June 7th in Astoria, Oregon, the coastal Oregon town where the film is set and was largely shot.
If this list of little-known Goonies facts just wasn’t enough Goonies for you, then maybe it's time you make a pilgrimage to the capital of Goonies-mania and attend the biggest Goonies celebration on Earth!