According to Sean Astin, he was allowed to keep the treasure map used in the film. Several years later his mother Patty Duke discovered it, thought it was just a crinkled piece of paper, and threw it in the trash.
When rocks are falling from the cave ceiling, Jonathan Ke Quan (Data) screams "Holy S-H-I-T!" He said he spelled the expletive because his mother made him promise not to use any bad language in the movie.
One Eyed Willie's ship, The Inferno, was 105 feet long and took 2-1/2 months to construct. It was modeled after Errol Flynn's ship in The Sea Hawk (1940). The sails required more than than 7,000 square feet of material, the largest measured 30ft by 60ft. Some of the ship's rigging was recycled for the Pirates of the Caribbean ship at Disneyland, which was being renovated at the time.
The cast was not allowed to see the pirate ship before the scene was shot, as director Richard Donner wanted to catch their genuine reactions at the size and scope of it. When they did see it, Josh Brolin was so surprised that he exclaimed "Holy shit!" The scene had to be re-shot.
During Chunk's (Jeff Cohen) confession scene, two things he admits to are pushing his sister Edie down the stairs and blaming it on the dog, and stealing his uncle Max's toupee. Cohen's real-life sister is named Edie, and he has an uncle named Max.
John Matuszak's make-up took 5 hours to complete. One of the eyes (which was out of place on the face) was mechanically operated off-screen by remote control. Someone would count down, and Matuszak would blink his other eye in synchronization. The cast was told not to get him wet in scenes outside of the pirate ship. Unfortunately, he got wet, delaying filming for an entire day.
Production Designer J. Michael Riva said in a National Public Radio interview that before shooting the first scenes with the prop map, he thought that it looked good but not old enough, so in his hotel room, he aged it with coffee and (when he couldn't find paint) his own blood.
Cyndi Lauper co-wrote the theme song "Goonies R Good Enough", and shot a music video that features a cameo by the film's executive producer Steven Spielberg. The 12-minute video basically tells the movie's story as a musical. Cyndi Lauper plays Cyndi (a new Goonie recruit), The Bangles play pirates, and André the Giant plays Sloth.
The Goonies Oath that was cut out goes as follows: "I will never betray my goon dock friends / We will stick together until the whole world ends / Through heaven and hell, and nuclear war / Good pals like us, will stick like tar / In the city, or the country, or the forest, or the boonies / I am proudly declared a fellow Goonie."
The name "Rube G" can be seen painted on the contraption that opens the yard gate for Chunk near the beginning of the movie. This is in reference to Rube Goldberg, the Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist who drew whimsical machines that achieved simple results in difficult ways.
According to director Richard Donner in an interview with "The Directors", producer Steven Spielberg instructed the cast members to act cold and distant toward Donner on the last week of filming which puzzled him. Shortly after filming wrapped, Donner went to his beach house in Hawaii, ran into a frenzied neighbor who took up his entire day. When he arrived home, the entire cast was there to celebrate with a cookout. Spielberg flew them over to Hawaii on the promise that they not speak a word of the surprise to Donner, which prompted them to act the way they were on the last week of filming.
The late Corey Haim auditioned for the role of Mouth, but the role was given to Corey Feldman instead. At the time the two Coreys hadn't met, but they were later cast together in The Lost Boys (1987) and became best friends, starring in 6 more movies together. In License to Drive (1988), Feldman auditioned for the lead role of Les Anderson, but lost it to Haim.
Mikey mentions Michael Jackson going over to Chunk's house in one scene. In real life, Corey Feldman (who played Mouth) was close friends with the singer and the two later became estranged. Feldman attended Michael Jackson's memorial service after his death in June 2009.
Richard Donner unintentionally started giggling when they filmed the scene which Chunk starts crying, when the ice cream gets taken off him by Jake and it was kept in the film. If you listen carefully, you can hear the director giggling off-screen, when Jake takes the plastic spoon off Chunk and Chunk starts to cry.
On the DVD commentary, Jeff Cohen (Chunk) claims that the confession of puking off the theater balcony is not based on anything in real life. This is incorrect. The basis for the theater story was a real-life prank pulled by Executive Producer Steven Spielberg while growing up in Phoenix, AZ.
Though they were divorcing at the time, Patty Duke claims that she and John Astin held hands and sobbed through the entire film when they saw it for the first time. Patty is Sean Astin's Mother and John is his step-father.
In the storybook of the film, One-Eyed Willy's back-story is told by Francis Fratelli, when The Fratelli's take the doubloon from Chunk. One-Eyed Willy, whose real name is William B. Pordobel, was a court jester, before becoming an ingenious pirate, when he was banished from five Spanish courts, for his practical jokes and formed a band of pirates, whom marauded hundreds of the king's ships and accumulated a treasure worth millions. But, Willy's ship "Inferno" was attacked by three of the King's ships and Willy steered his ship into a hidden underground cavern and was sealed within by the canon fire from the British. Willy and his men had spent a couple of years trying to repair the ship and had built underground caves with weird booby traps to protect the treasure and one of Willy's men escaped to tell Willy's story, which became a legend.
All the companions are referred to by nicknames, and their real names are either rarely mentioned or not mentioned at all: Michael Walsh - Mikey; Clark Devereaux - Mouth; Richard Wang - Data; Brandon Walsh - Brand; Lawrence Cohen - Chunk; Andrea Theresa Carmichael - Andy; Stephanie Steinbrenner - Stef; Lotney Fratelli - Sloth.
In the storybook of the film, there was a scene, that was not in the film. Mikey, Mouth, Brand, Data, Andi and Stef discover a room with a dangling skeleton in a pirate's costume. The Goonies had to tickle the skeleton's elbow, which would point to one of three tunnels, where they must go. Stef tickles the skeleton's elbow and it points to the middle cave and The Goonies continue the search for One-Eyed Willy's treasure.
Despite the fact that no "uncut" version has been released on home media when basic cable/local stations air the film the version used includes both the "Stop and Shop" and "Giant Octopus" sequences cut from final version.
In the original version of this film, the woman hired by Mikey's mother is a Hispanic named Rosalita (Lupe Ontiveros), and Mouth helps Mrs. Walsh by translating her commands into Spanish. In the Spanish version of this film, Rosalita becomes an Italian woman named Rossanna. The Italian used by the Spanish dubber is much better than the Spanish used by Corey Feldman.
During the scene where Andy is playing the piano, she says she can't tell if the note written is an A sharp or a B flat. These are in fact just two ways to write the same note, and would thus be the same key on a piano.
The original poster art (not used on the video tape box) featured the cast dangling from the feet of another with the top one hanging on a rock. Some of the newspaper ads featured slightly different artwork with the characters drawn in a different order from top to bottom.
The screenplay was written by Chris Columbus, who also wrote Gremlins (1984). There is an Easter egg to Gremlins. When Chunk calls the police, the officer says, "[This call] is like the prank about creatures that multiply when you throw water on them."
The MAD Magazines Mikey looks through at his house are #208 July 1979, #124 January 1969 and #254 December 1984 (this issue can be seen in the Stop-N-Snack Scene eventually cut from the film. MAD Magazine made a Parody out of this movie in late 1985.
The grappling hook belt buckle is a clever nod to Miyazaki's The Castle of Cagliostro and the main character Lupin who uses it. Spielberg was a huge fan of the movie, calling it "one of the greatest adventure movies".
When Chunk is hiding from the Fratellis in the refrigerator with the dead body, he sneezes loudly. As Mama Fratelli exits the room she unwittingly says "Gesundheit!", the German word for "Health" used as a response to a sneeze.
In the 1988 ITV broadcast of the film. In the scene which Chunk meets Sloth. The bit which Sloth growls at Chunk was cut because the ITV network felt that it would frighten younger viewers watching the film. And it was cut from Chunk to saying "Hi! Sir. My name is Lawrence." to Sloth giggling and bouncing in his chair in excitement and Chunk shouting "Get me out of here!!".
There's a lot of Legacies here; i.e. the children of people who are famous. Martha Plimpton is the daughter of George Plimpton, Josh Brolin is the son of James Brolin, and Sean Astin is the son of Patty Duke and John Astin.
In the 1992 ITV broadcast of the film in the UK, the frightening scene which Andi screams, when The Goonies discover Chester Copperpot's skeleton was cut and it is cut from, The Goonies approaching Copperpot's skeleton, which Mikey says "Look, you guy! A lantern! Somebody must had been before us." to Chunk crying as he continues telling his life story to the Fratellis. The scene was left intact and uncut in the 1988 ITV broadcast.
The film has mild swearing like the other Steven Spielberg produced Chris Columbus scripted film of that year, Young Sherlock Holmes (1985); both films also have pipe organs. Data idolizes James Bond and Spielberg and Columbus are huge Bond fans, and Holmes has much gadgetry on his person, like Data. The book uses the word omen; Richard Donner directed The Omen (1976). The book also describes one of the characters as a superman to Holmes; this may be an in-joke to Donner who directed The Goonies (1985) and the first two Superman movies.
The music that plays on Data's stereo when he swings through the front door of Brand and Mikey's house early in the film is the James Bond theme song composed by Monty Norman and it was foreshadowing of Robert Davi (Jake Fratelli) starring in the 1989 James Bond film "License to Kill" as main antagonist Franz Sanchez, 4 years after the film's release.
Much of the theme music for the film comes from the 1948 "Adventures of Don Juan" starring Errol Flynn. Sloth is seen in his dungeon room watching similar swashbuckling films from the 1940s and 50s on TV and imagines himself a hero like Flynn, as evidenced by his sliding/slicing down the sail of the pirate ship near the end, which is also from another Errol Flynn film.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
According to international maritime salvage law, the rights to a salvage vessel and its contents go to the person or persons who first successfully brings something off the vessel in question. Since Mikey brought the jewels off the ship, the Inferno and everything on it belongs to him.
Some of the crew members played extras in the film. One cameraman played Mouth's father. Another played the dead man in the freezer. And an assistant director plays one of the cops on the AV scooters on the beach at the end.
The soundtrack includes "8 Arms To Hold You" by "The Goon Squad". It was removed from the film when the octopus scene was cut. The filmmakers were convinced the song could be a hit, so it was pressed as a 12" dance single. It sold miserably due to lack of promotion. It has become one of the rarest, most valuable Goonie-related items.
When the Goonies first discover the treasure map they ask Mouth (the only member of the group fluent in Spanish) to translate the Spanish writing on the map to English so they can all understand it. He does, reading aloud the instructions on how to locate the treasure. What he reads is in common rhyming stanzas. Although it is unlikely that Mouth (someone who, the movie has previously shown, is prone to make translation mistakes even under non-poetic, non-rhyming circumstances) would be able to translate the text into English and spontaneously maintain its rhyme, it is not impossible. Many talented translators of rhyming non-English poetry have managed to maintain the rhyming even after the poetry was translated into English; one famous twentieth-century example is Richard Wilbur's acclaimed work as a translator of the seventeenth century comedies by the French playwright Molière, which still rhyme and maintain their cleverness in Wilbur's translations.
When Mikey sets off the boulder traps, the boulders would had blocked off the tunnel, which would stop anyone else from getting through and Chester Copperpot's skeleton would had been crushed to pieces. But later in the film, The Fratelli's are able to get through the tunnel and Chester Copperpot's skeleton is intact.