It’s been 37 years since The Goonies first hit the screen and plenty of people are still of the mind that it’s one of their favorite movies from their childhood, and for good reason. The group wasn’t overly large since it had four core members with three additions in Brandon, Steph, and Andy. But all these years later, Mikey, Mouth, Data, and Chunk are still held up as one of the more amusing faces of the bunch. But one thing that’s easy to notice is that Chunk did stand out as the person who was kind of an outcast among outcasts. Let’s put to rest the idea that his weight or anything else made this happen, since the Goonies were essentially the rejects in their own individual ways, even if Mouth didn’t think that this applied to him. Chunk, on the other hand, suffered from being the fat kid as well as the guy that was responsible for telling the most outlandish stories. So to be fair, while he was seen as the chubby kid, his reputation also suffered because of the things he said.
Trying to justify that he had to tell stories to fit in is a bit ridiculous since like it or not, Chunk was trying to fit in, but somehow, even with his outrageous lies and exaggerations, they saw him as a part of the group all the same. This is seen by the way Mikey sticks up for him when Mouth makes Chunk do the infamous ‘Truffle Shuffle’, which some folks believe to this day is cruel and unnecessary. Welcome to the woke era, but also, think about how Chunk was truly vital to the group since he fit his own little niche within the Goonies even if people thought that he was utterly useless. Let’s be honest, people can be sympathetic to Chunk all they want, but he brought a great deal of trouble on his own head at times.
But getting back to why the group needed him, it came down to the act that Chunk is a klutz, he’s a bit of a loudmouth, and yet he’s still dependable when the chips are down since he doesn’t abandon his friends. Look at it this way, Chunk could have said no when it came to following the others on their adventure. He could have just gone home and said to heck with it, leaving them down one person that might have helped. Heck, his help starts kicking in when the lot of them are in the attic and Mikey relies on Chunk to drop a picture containing a doubloon and the map to One-Eyed Willie’s treasure. It could be said that Mikey didn’t want to get in trouble for breaking the glass-encased objects, but like it or not, Mikey was a great leader even at that time since he knew how to use the various skills and character traits of his friends to move forward. True, it was a bit manipulative, but it was never meant to harm anyone. But by the time the group reached the old, dilapidated restaurant where the Fratelli’s were holed up, he was back to being a whining pest again.
But he did open the door, after being manipulated again, and he can even be credited with finding the hidden tunnel in the lower reaches of the restaurant by dint of his klutzy behavior, which became useful once again. When he dropped a glass water bottle it could have been a disaster, but the fact that the water trickled into the hidden passage alerted the Goonies to its existence. While it was an accidental discovery, one can still credit the fact that Chunk was there to do what he was best at doing, which was to blunder forward and cause a bit of good by accident. So you see, Chunk was needed, but in a way that was hard to admit since it wasn’t easy to see. Quite often, Chunk was taken for granted and even left behind since sadly, while he was a friend, he was still the guy that drew the short end more often than not and had to prove himself over and over again. Some might want to think that it would have been better for Chunk if he’d just gone his own way and said to hell with it when it came to his friends.
Keep in mind though, he was a loyal friend, which is why he and Sloth came through for the group near the end of the movie when the Fratellis had caught up to them and were about to make them walk the plank. Yeah, it’s a kid’s movie, but at the time it felt a lot more serious than all that. Upon looking back at the movie though, people should be able to see how Chunk is kind of vital to the movie, from the start to the end.