MOTW: Five of the Best Quotes from "The Goonies"

Photo Credit: Warner Bros.
November 13th, 2013

MOTW: Five of the Best Quotes from "The Goonies"

Richard Donner's "The Goonies" is a comedy-adventure film that came out during the golden age of 1980s cinema. The film recounts the efforts of a group of adventurous kids trying to stave off their parents' foreclosures with a long-shot attempt to find pirate treasure and the perils they encounter along the way. In addition to having some early performances by a few young actors who would later rise to fame, the film is full of memorable lines.

1. "Goonies never say die!"

Mikey (Sean Astin) utters the thesis statement of the film during a point when the group is at its lowest, trapped in the bottom of a wishing well and on the verge of giving up the quest to find One-Eyed Willie's treasure. When Mikey tries to rally them by suggesting that their missing friend Chunk (Jeff Cohen) may have gotten word to the authorities, outsider Andy (Kerri Green) suggests that Chunk may already be dead, inspiring this retort. Mikey goes on to give a speech about what they face if they give up and return to the surface without a way to save their families' homes, ultimately inspiring everyone to continue through the dangers.

2. "Pinchers of Peril! You guys! I've been saved by my Pinchers of Peril!"

Data (Ke Huy Quan) is the comic relief for much of the film, a kid who reads too many comics and envisions himself as a brilliant inventor. Early on, most of his gadgets fail spectacularly, but at a crucial moment, when Data is plunging to his apparent death in a spiked pit, one of them finally works. A ridiculous pair of chattering teeth attached to a Slinky arrests his fall, and he triumphantly announces his survival to his mourning friends above. Not only does Data manage to save himself, he discovers a completely new chamber and advances them along the path to the treasure.

3. "I'm taking it back. I'm taking 'em all back."

When the group stumbles into the bottom of the wishing well, they mistake the shimmering coins for the treasure they've been seeking. It soon becomes apparent, however, that these are quarters and dimes instead of gold doubloons, and they realize where they are. The boys begin to fill their pockets anyway, prompting an offended rebuke from Stef (Martha Plimpton). "You can't do this," she says, "because these are somebody else's wishes. They're somebody else's dreams." In an oddly poignant moment, Mouth (Corey Feldman) holds up a coin, claiming it as a wish he made that never came true—so he's taking back all these false wishes for himself and the other kids.

4. "Sloth love Chunk!"

While the Goonies' adventure underground makes up the bulk of the movie's action, its real heart lies above ground. Early on, the evil Fratelli family captures Chunk and manages to learn of the Goonies' quest, plotting to steal the treasure for themselves. Fortunately, Chunk meets the deformed Fratelli brother Sloth (John Matuszak) and is able to befriend this shunned member of the criminal family. Chunk and Sloth arrive at One-Eyed Willie's ship in the film's climax to save the day, and Sloth fights off his brothers and helps the kids escape. As Sloth holds up an enormous boulder to allow his new friends to reach safety, Chunk pauses to encourage Sloth to come with them. Sloth replies with a heartfelt, "Sloth love Chunk!" before pushing him to safety.

5. "Okay, I'll talk..."

By far, the best line—or really, monologue—of the film comes from the young Jeff Cohen, whose performance as the awkward and clumsy Chunk steals the show. The terrified young boy finds himself facing the criminal Fratelli brothers Jake (Robert Davi) and Francis (Joe Pantoliano), along with their ruthless matriarch, Mama Fratelli (Anne Ramsey). To get Chunk to talk, they threaten to put his hand in a blender unless he spills his guts. Sobbing, Chunk tells them a story of maps and treasure that they don't quite buy, so Francis demands that Chunk tell them "everything."

What follows is a hilarious recounting of every one of Chunk's misdeeds, from cheating on tests in third grade to pigging out at a fat camp. His ultimate admission is a ridiculous story of throwing fake vomit in a movie theater, causing the entire audience to throw up. It's clear his desperate, earnest delivery made it hard for his costars to keep a straight face during the scene, and it's one of the funniest moments of the entire film. Fortunately, Chunk is saved from torture when a colony of bats bursts through the hidden tunnel under the fireplace, verifying his crazy story about secrets and treasure and spurring on the action.