It has been 31 years to the day since The Goonies was unleashed on the world. And I just don't know how to feel about that. Has it really been 31 years since we first saw Bran (also known as Josh Brolin) in his gym shorts-over-trackpants combo that occupied many a pre-sleep fantasy for this girl right here? Say it ain't so. In honor of this auspicious day — hencefoth known as Goonies day — let's look back at the nine times The Goonies gave us some super relatable parenting lessons. (Despite the fact that their parents were essentially nowhere to be seen for most of the movie.)
So here's a short rundown of the movie for those of you who haven't caught it yet — and a little fyi, there are rumors swirling of a sequel in the making, so you might want to catch the first as a little bit of research: There are these four friends who need to find some treasure to save their doomed neighborhood. One of them, Mikey (aka Sean Astin), has a treasure map from One-Eyed Willie, a pirate who was known to frequent the area. He also has a very beautiful older brother named Bran who was the main draw for some of us.
The four boys plus Bran and a few girls go looking for treasure, meet up with a family of cold blooded killers and generally have a rocking good time. They also meet Sloth, but we'll get to him later.
So how does that plot spell parenting lessons, you ask? Well, the lessons don't really come from the parents. They aren't around, which means the kids can get into all sorts of hijinks. But these kids parent each other like nobody's business. I learned a lot from them... and so will you, I promise.
While I am not a fan of corporal punishment, Bran has a certain panache for disciplining his brother and his brothers' friends. Admittedly, my children have yet to tie me up with weights so they can go after One-Eyed Willie's sunken treasure, but if they do I hope I have Bran's "take no prisoners" attitude. He's not putting up with any guff.
Has there ever been a more beautiful moment than when our friend Chunk, he of the plaid pants and insatiable appetite, shares his candy bar with Sloth (the badly disfigured prodigal son of the murderous Fratelli clan? This scene taught me so much about empathy, about seeing past the exterior to the tender heart underneath. It also made me a fan of Baby Ruth candy bars. Both are important things to pass on to your little ones.
Passing On Creativity
Let's think about little Data for a minute. Not only did that kid climb around the sewers with the rest of the Goonies, but he did it with a pile of handy inventions attached to his chest and hidden under his overcoat. He clearly got his creativity from his dad.
Appreciating Young Love
Bran might have been a responsible older brother, but he wasn't above taking time out for a little smooching in the water. I also just really wanted to watch this scene again... sigh. Bran.
What did this teach future moms and dads? That you should appreciate the beauty of puppy love, even if you think your kids are just being silly teens and tweens. That love is legit.
"Goonies For Life." That's just how it is. Sure, Mouth (aka Corey Feldman) was driving everyone crazy, and Mikey was a little intense, and half of Data's inventions didn't work out so well. But you don't give up on your friends. Like, ever. Not a bad lesson to pass on to your kids.
Trying to get out of a cave and have to play a piano made out of human bones? Big deal, the Goonies can handle it. The next time your little one complains about having a difficult problem, throw the bone piano scenario at them. Goonies don't give up, and neither do we, right?
Hey you guys! Thank you Sloth. You were chained up in a basement watching a broken television. Nobody would have blamed you for being a jerk. But you put on your Superman shirt (or was it a onesie?) and saved the day. I tip my hat to you, sir — and so will kids and parents everywhere... so thanks for that. (Heart emoji.)
The Goonies used teamwork throughout the movie. Everyone had a part to play, and no one was more important than anyone else (except maybe Bran) — teach that to your kids and they'll thank you for it later, trust me. (And no, this gif of the "truffle shuffle" has nothing to do with teamwork. But you are welcome anyways.)
When the Goonies found the treasure, did they keep it for themselves? No, of course not. They used the treasure to save the Goon Docks. Because some things are bigger than you. Some things are worth saving.
Maybe take a little time to hang with your own little ones and rediscover the classic oddity that was The Goonies. Sure, it's not Shakespeare. But Goonies never say die, so it's a safe bet that it'll be applicable for years to come.