Why the girls of 'The Goonies' totally stole the movie
The 30th anniversary of The Goonies is today, and I think it’s time we discussed an important and overlooked truth: the girls were definitely the best Goonies.
Yes, the boys were awesome, too. Mikey, Mouth, Data, and Chunk were like that perfect middle school band of boys everyone knew growing up, the group that was always together and allergic to being inside. We all crushed on at least a couple members of that tribe, but they were too busy getting detention to notice.
And then there’s Josh Brolin’s Brand. Mikey’s older brother was the definition of dreamy, rocking a gym-shorts-over-sweatpants look for the ages. You know you loved it, too.
But Stef (Martha Plimpton) and Andy (Kerri Green) were the best. The Goonies lived in the Goon Docks, a neighborhood in Astoria, Oregon. But being a Goonie was really all about being loyal, brave, and adventurous. “Goonies never say die!” It was about looking out for each other even when you were scared, and never giving up.
Here’s why Stef and Andy were the best of those Goonie traits.
I adore Stef and Andy’s friendship. Stef is tomboyish with endless one-liners, and Andy is a popular cheerleader who is afraid of everything. Two more opposite girls you could not find, yet they were BFFs who supported and encouraged each other.
When Andy gets scared (which is basically every scene), Stef comforts her even though she is scared herself. They share secrets, they gossip about boys, and even when Stef teases Andy about her eyes-closed kiss with the wrong brother, it is entirely good-natured. They’re just never mean to each other, and we can’t really say that about the boys. Truffle Shuffle, anyone?
Plus, they clearly come from different worlds but go way back. They have the kind of friendship that just looks lifelong and easy, like it would never occur to them to compete with each other or tear each other down.
Their best moment? When everyone is cramming their pockets with treasure while the Fratellis are hot on their trail, and Stef and Andy stop to compliment the other’s accessories. Soul mates.
Andy is tougher than she looks
Andy has the market cornered on screaming in this movie, she does it All. The. Time. On the surface she is a lovesick teenage girl who goes on this treasure hunt to get close to a boy she likes. Wait, actually that’s exactly why she goes on this treasure hunt. And she brings Stef along, too.
But despite the damsel-in-distress tendencies and being really inappropriately dressed for a cave adventure, Andy holds it down for the girls here. She is having none of Troy’s rearview mirror adjustments, and she elbows his lip. Side note: I would’ve done that just for running Brand Walsh off the road and nearly killing him. The world needs his face the way it is, Troy Perkins!
Andy also has the chance to be rescued in the well, but instead she pledges allegiance to the Goonies and breaks up with Troy all at once by sending his monogrammed cardigan back up on the bucket. That was kind of a boss move.
She gives Mikey his first kiss by accident and is totally unfazed when she realizes it. And she makes time to fall in love, even when running from murderous criminals.
But obviously her best contribution to the group, and maybe the best contribution of anyone to the group, is when she plays the skeleton organ and saves them all. She is terrified and hasn’t had a piano lesson since she was four (“This is nothing like my mother’s Steinway!”), and when she plays a wrong note Mouth almost falls into an abyss. But she still manages to perform under that kind of pressure, and she remembers to grab the map at the end. I would want her on my team in a high-stakes situation.
The first time we see Stef she is bobbing for crabs while the Fratellis speed past behind her. I think it’s safe to say she is geographically a Goonie. I can’t think of a more Goonie activity than bobbing for crabs, personally.
Stef doesn’t have as much to do as the other kids. She can’t play a skeleton organ, and she doesn’t have a backpack full of booby traps like Data. Her glasses are broken, and she’s only on this adventure because Andy talked her into it.
But she provides the running commentary. Stef has hands-down all the best lines in the movie, like “I feel like I’m babysitting except I’m not getting paid!” And Martha Plimpton made her into this hilarious voice of reason and compassion for the whole group.
She stops the boys from taking all of the wishing well money, telling them they can’t take someone else’s wishes and dreams. She tries to keep Andy in the here and now, which is necessary because that girl is crazy in love with Brand Walsh. And it’s entirely reasonable of her to tell Brand not to move that rock because for crying out loud God put it there for a good reason. And she was not wrong!
Plus, Stef has the best style. A maroon hoodie with a red scarf, dangly earrings, and oversized glasses? It takes supreme confidence to pull off that look, and Stef does it. She is made of sass, and she and Andy kept all those boys in line.