25 Movies Like the Goonies (TV Shows Too)

Why We Love The Goonies

Although it premiered over 30 years ago, people still talk about The Goonies. It’s a total classic that’s pretty much fun for all ages. Ask any child of the late-80’s or early-90’s if s/he’s seen The Goonies, and you’ll almost certainly get an emphatic Yes!

It’s a great flick that had this “feel-good” vibe to it that made it almost one of a kind. Luckily, though, it isn’t so one of a kind that there aren’t other movies and television shows out there that’ll help fill the void if you’re missing it.

What exactly makes a movie or show similar to The Goonies? Actually, there are a few things, but we’ll just hit the high points:

  • Adventure/comedy movie starring a group of kids and/or teens
  • Intragroup dynamics that see non-popular kids banding together against the world but still being able to pick on each other
  • The cluelessness of parents or lack of parental involvement/control
  • A weaker, even powerless, good versus an overwhelming, overpowered evil
  • Coming of age/growing up
  • Including a quest or hunt for something special
  • A little hint (or more) of magic, fantasy or the supernatural
  • The hero’s journey

Now, let’s get into the list!

*Note: All titles are arranged from those most like The Goonies at the top to those least like The Goonies at the bottom, except for the section of R-rated movies, which were placed together to keep them separate from the “kid- and teen-friendly” movies.

25 Things to Watch if You Love The Goonies

Stranger Things (2016-present)

Rated TV-14 | Ages 13+ | Time: 51min

If you haven’t watched Stranger Things yet, you definitely should. There’s a reason it was the most-talked-about show on Netflix last year; it’s excellent. It’s also so reminiscent of The Goonies, you’ll feel like you’re reliving your childhood again while watching it. It’s also a great one to watch with your teens.

It’s set in the 1980’s and features a group of nerdy, neighborhood kids who get way in over their heads while dealing with a corrupt organization and a threat that’s not entirely of this world. It has a more magical/supernatural/borderline-horror element to it than The Goonies, but despite that, the show has so much in common with the 80’s cult classic.

The group of kids on a heroes’ quest to take down a much more powerful enemy, the extreme lack of parental involvement and even the themes of intragroup dynamics and “us against the world” are all very Goonies-like.

The Duffer Brothers, creators of Stranger Things have said in multiple interviews that they were heavily influenced by their love of The Goonies and other popular 80’s movies, and they even brought in Sean Astin – Mikey from The Goonies – to play a significant role in season two.

He even has a great line about a treasure map that was a bit of a nod to the show’s resemblance to the film. I don’t want to give any plot points away because Stranger Things is definitely better if you go into it blind, but trust me. If you love The Goonies, you’ll go nuts for this Netflix show.

The Monster Squad (1987)

Holes (2003)

Super 8 (2011)

Jumanji (1995)

The Karate Kid (1984)

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

Buffy the Vampire Slayer T.V. Series (1997-2003)

The ‘Burbs (1989)

Gremlins (1984)

Now and Then (1995)

Locke & Key (2020-present)

The Sandlot (1993)

The Princess Bride (1987)

Hook (1991)

3 Ninjas (1992)

Back to the Future (1985)

The Harry Potter Movies (2001-2011)

Glee (2009-2015)

Rated TV-PG | Ages: 14+ | Time: 44min

This is another entry that may have people shaking their heads and saying I’m reaching, but hear me out one last time. I know most people probably wouldn’t compare this popular musical TV show with a cult classic like The Goonies, but I see a lot of the Goonies squad in the McKinley High Glee Club members.

There’s a little bit of Mikey in Glee‘s football star Finn, and Puck is so much like Mouth that I can honestly picture a young Corey Feldman playing flashbacks of an adolescent Puck.

There are definitely some parallels that can be drawn between Artie Abrams in Glee and the super smart Richard “Data” Wang of the Goonies squad, and there’s even a big brother Brandon type of figure in the form of Mr. Schuester, who holds the whole Glee Club together and keeps them going when things get tough.

Finally, there’s Chunk, and though Sue Sylvester is neither overweight nor male, she, like Chunk, provides much-needed comic relief for some of the heavier scenes in the show, and her “Let’s Get Physical” dance is almost as amusing as Chunk’s “Truffle Shuffle.”

In short, the Glee Club is made of misfits that don’t really belong anywhere else, and the whole series is about them finding themselves and coming into their own both as singers and as young adults. If you’ve never watched it, just check out the first few episodes. I think you’ll see the similarities.

R-Rated Movies Similar to The Goonies: May Not Be Suitable for Children

Stand By Me (1986)

The Lost Boys (1987)

It (2017)

Turbo Kid (2015)

The Breakfast Club (1985)

Dazed and Confused (1993)

Or You Could Always Just Rewatch The Goonies

There’s never a bad time to watch The Goonies, and if you have children who are old enough to appreciate it, you have an even better excuse to pop it in the blu-ray player or pull it up online. The show is a classic, and every classic needs to be rewatched every now and then. There’s no shame in watching such a great movie one more time, even if it is your 201st “one more time.”

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