A recent trip to the Oregon Coast had my husband and I revisiting a beloved childhood memory — the life-altering movie The Goonies.

Astoria, Oregon was the setting for the movie and the town has since become a shrine to the ‘80s classic. The town itself seems frozen in time, its former fishing and lumber days seem almost forgotten, and tourism has taken over as the main source of economic growth.

The nostalgic atmosphere of the town naturally inspired us to share the movie with our two children while staying in Astoria. We relaxed in a charming downtown hotel, a short bike ride down the hill from Mikey’s house, and wistfulness washed over us as we enjoyed the adventuresome film. 

When it ended, I realized the movie served as more than entertainment, it was also a training manual for proper survival techniques. I concluded my husband and I had been remiss in teaching our children these important skills.

Thankfully, the following key survival skills can be learned from watching The Goonies:

1 | Don’t tie up your big brother with his own exercise equipment. You never know if this is truly the time he will kill you, and even if it’s not, you might need him for survival later on.

2 | At least one kid in your group should know how to speak Spanish. Almost all pirate treasure maps are written in Spanish. This is a fact. Google it.

3 | Always bring chocolate. It is widely known that monsters and other terrifying beings LOVE chocolate. Baby Ruths are best, but Snickers will do in a pinch for pacifying a hangry monster.







4 | When your parents tell you to practice “Heart and Soul” on the piano, for God’s sake, listen. Don’t neglect your piano lessons, because your musical prowess may very well be the only thing that saves your life, and the lives of your buddies, from certain doom.

5 | Always bring a super-nerd. Let’s be real, The Goonies wouldn’t have made it five paces down the creepy tunnel-under-the-fireplace, without their inventor friend and all his awesome contraptions. You better find one of your own if you want to survive.

6 | The Truffle Shuffle is a life-saving skill. Be sure to include this skill in whatever self-defense techniques you learn.

7 | If you want to live, don’t kiss your brother’s girl.

8 | If you see a rope partially buried in the dirt, do not tug on it. Also, learn the sound a booby trap makes.

9 | Definitely have some hidden pockets sewn into your clothes. Because coming home with only a tiny bag of jewels when they could have had the whole kit-n-caboodle, is definitely NOT priceless.