It seems like it would be tough being the fat kid in a movie, which brings up the sad fact about the famed Truffle Shuffle from the Goonies. Jeff Cohen was a big kid, there’s no denying that, that’s why his nickname was Chunk after all. But he took this with a big grain of salt it would seem since the Truffle Shuffle scene wasn’t something that director Richard Donner asked him to do, it was all Jeff. You know already that Chunk got ridiculed mercilessly for his weight, but being a kid it was less of an insult as it was an observation many times. Some might claim that it was something quite normal back than and is now among friends when it comes to how they view one another and their differences, but many still believe that the Truffle Shuffle is another manner of fat shaming. Plus if you notice it was only Mouth that required Chunk to do this, while Mikey would have let him without the fuss. With all this mind it’s hard to argue that it was all that painful to everyone save for Donner.
The fact remains though that he did care about it and wanted to help Jeff with his bodily image just a bit so he went ahead and got Jeff a gym membership in order to help him out when it came to caring for his body. Personally that sounds almost like another round of fat-shaming for the sake of someone’s sensibilities, but the fact of the matter is that it worked. Jeff Cohen started taking his health seriously and managed to shed a great deal of weight as he eventually became the captain of his high school football team and the wrestling team. While it might seem like Donner was doing something that could have been construed as assuaging his own guilt for filming the scene he did help to create positive change in one cast member’s life that allowed Cohen to keep himself on the right track and become a rather successful person.
If you looked at him now you might not recognize Jeff Cohen since he’s trim and fit and barely even looks like the character of Chunk anymore. He’s changed more than any of the Goonies over the years and in the best way really. If they had the chance to come back and film another Goonies film the Truffle Shuffle might have to relegated to little more than a memory since there’s nothing left to jiggle. You can definitely say that it’s a turn for the best really since Mikey, Sean Astin, has definitely thickened up since those days. Back in the day he was a whip-thin kid that seemed like he could be blown over by a stiff breeze, but as of now he’s become kind of a squat adult that can still act but is far removed from his days as a Goonie.
Give props to Donner and Cohen, they found a way to move past an embarrassing and potentially harmful moment in movie history.