'The Goonies': Why the Octopus Scene Was Removed From the Film

The Goonies is one of Steven Spielberg’s most beloved 1980s productions, however, one of its scenes makes no sense. Near the end of the movie, a character mentions encountering a terrifying octopus even though there’s no octopus in the film. Here’s why this nonsensical line of dialogue is in the film.

‘The Goonies’ star discusses why the film puzzled audiences

The Goonies is a classic 1980s film — and it embodies that decade. It has a producer credit from Steven Spielberg, a soundtrack single by Cyndi Lauper, and a performance by child actor Corey Feldman. However, the film has one notable flaw. Near the end, the character Data, played by Jonathan Ke Quan, says “That octopus was very scary!” even though there was no octopus onscreen.

During an interview with Empire, Ke Quan revealed there was an octopus in the original cut of the film. “At the time it looked very real. I was genuinely scared doing that scene. In the final scene I ad-libbed the line, ‘Oh, the octopus was really scary!’ But in the film, there was no octopus and they kept that line. So the audience was wondering, ‘What the hell is he talking about?!’”

How people saw the octopus scene even though it was cut from ‘The Goonies’

One of the stars of the film, Sean Austin, joked the line revealed director Richard Donner’s contempt for the audience. During an interview with Business Insider, Austin said the octopus was cut for a simple reason: the octopus didn’t look good. Compared to other Spielberg effects sequences, the octopus scene look primitive. Austin compared the creature to the squid from Walt Disney’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

The octopus wasn’t totally gone from the film forever. Yahoo! Style reports when the Disney Channel began airing The Goonies, they removed scenes they thought were too scary for children. To make sure the run time of the TV version of the film wasn’t too short, the Disney Channel reinserted some deleted scenes into the film, including the octopus sequence. Now, the mention of the octopus made sense. In addition, fans can see the sequence as a special feature on the 2001 DVD release of the movie or by searching for it on YouTube.

How the world reacted to the movie

So did the weird discrepancy between the film’s story and dialogue hurt The Goonies in theaters? No. According to Box Office Mojo, The Goonies earned over $61 million. In addition, the film had an impact on modern pop culture. It was the subject of a discussion in the Adam Driver-Ben Stiller comedy While We’re Young. Like other Spielberg productions such as Jaws and E.T., The Goonies was clearly an influence on the popular Netflix series Stranger Things. The theatrical cut of The Goonies had a line that made no sense — but that didn’t stop it from becoming a classic family film.

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