‘The Goonies’: 2 Lesser-Known Films Exist In the Same Universe

The Goonies is one of the most popular movies of the 1980s for a generation of kids who resonated with its story of adventure, pirates, friendship, and willingness to do what needed to be done to achieve a mission. However, while The Goonies might be a significant part of every ’80s kid’s life, it bears a connection to a pair of other eighties classics. When one thinks about Gremlins and its sequel, they likely aren’t thinking of them as a cinematic universe. However, as some fines might recognize, one line posits a connection that goes far more profound. 

What is ‘The Goonies’? 

L to R: Corey Feldman, Sean Astin, Ke Huy Quan and Jeff Cohen reading a treasure map in a scene from the film 'Goonies', 1985.
L to R: Corey Feldman, Sean Astin, Ke Huy Quan and Jeff Cohen reading a treasure map in a scene from the film ‘Goonies’, 1985. | Warner Brothers/Getty Images)

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The Goonies is a coming of age fantasy comedy that follows the adventures of a group of children who set out to find a long-lost treasure in a ship that many believe to be gone with time. The film features a young cast of child stars and up-and-comers, from Sean Astin’s Mikey to Josh Brolin’s Brand and Corey Feldman’s Mouth. 

Written by Chris Columbus based on Steven Spielberg’s idea, the film was a moderate hit at the time of its release but quickly became a cult classic among kids who loved its family-friendly sense of adventure and friendship. Thirty-six years after its release, it might be more popular than it’s ever been, and with stars like Brolin remaining in the public eye, audiences will always have a soft spot for his early days in films like this. 

While the film is, at its core, a realistic comedy with a hint of fantasy, as it unwinds, fans quickly realize that there’s more than meets the eye. The children inside are transported to a world that seems fantastic, filled with lavish pirate ships and boundless treasure. However, the most fantastic part about the movie might have more to do with its loose connection to another series. 

What is ‘Gremlins’?

Like The Goonies, Gremlins holds a soft spot in a generation of ’80s kids’ hearts who love its family-friendly genre of horror. The film, which also features Corey Feldman, has become a staple in households everywhere.

It tells the story of a young man named Randall who receives a gift from his father — a gremlin. However, as Randall gets to know his pet gremlin, he quickly realizes that this isn’t just a strange dog or housecat. Gizmo is like something from another world. 

Ignoring a set of rules that clearly states that Gizmo cannot eat after midnight or go near water of any kind, the gremlin becomes an army of gremlins, as every drop of water appears to birth a new one. The film was a massive hit that, like Goonies, only got bigger with time. It spawned a sequel, but the original remains a classic to everyone who grew up watching it. 

The two are unrelated on paper, but one line in The Goonies implies that something far deeper is going on. 

A hidden Easter Egg

Chunk, the chubby comic relief of The Goonies, is one of the first to discover a strange-looking man-creature named Sloth. However, when he runs to the Sheriff, the law enforcer calls him on what he believes to be a prank. He harkens back to a story Chunk told him about “little creatures that multiply when you pour water on them.” 

Audiences could read this line in several different ways. Perhaps, it is a loving nod to another Chris Columbus movie that came out one year earlier. However, if Chunk is telling them about Sloth, a man who exists inside the film, it might be a fair bet that he also saw gremlins rolling around and had nobody to believe him. 

It’s a fun little Easter egg in a movie that has significant meaning to people worldwide. However, it shows the kind of minute detail that writers like Columbus put into their pictures to make them feel like one greater picture. Perhaps this picture will be painted even more apparent when the Gremlins return to HBO Max in an animated series later this year.