Netflix’s Finding ‘Ohana includes numerous references to The Goonies and follows a similar structure. Here’s a list of all the Easter eggs.
Finding ‘Ohana includes numerous references to The Goonies and follows a similar narrative structure. In both films, young kids and young adults rally together to help family members for financial reasons, all the while embarking on journeys for hidden treasures. The iconic Steven Spielberg conceptualized the story for The Goonies, while the film itself was written by Chris Columbus and directed by Richard Donner. In the Netflix movie Finding ‘Ohana, writer Christina Strain and director Jude Went pay homage to the 1985 classic in numerous ways.
In Finding ‘Ohana, a family from Greenpoint, Brooklyn returns to their native Oahu, Hawaii. Siblings Ioane (Alex Aiono) and Pili (Kea Peahu) know little about local customs, and subsequently learn valuable lessons from their grandfather, Kimo (Branscombe Richmond). Meanwhile, the kids’ widowed mother, Leilani (Kelly Hu), must decide if she should re-locate the family to Hawaii or return home to New York. When Pili finds a historic family heirloom that seemingly includes directions to a lost treasure, the young geocache champ sets off a new adventure. The Netflix film co-stars Lindsay Watson as Hana, and Owen Vaccaro as Casper.
Finding ‘Ohana has been well-received by critics and general streamers thus far, perhaps because of the nostalgic value and steady references to The Goonies. In fact, an original cast member from the 1985 classic makes a small appearance in the Netflix film, portraying one of Kimo’s long-time friends. Finding ‘Ohana has incredible value when considering that it could introduce young movie fans to The Goonies for the first time. But even though all the references are indeed fun, some viewers may feel that Finding ‘Ohana is too similar to Spielberg’s story from beginning to end. Here’s a list of every reference to The Goonies in the 2021 Netflix movie Finding ‘Ohana.
No More Signing
Finding ‘Ohana on Netflix begins with a visual reference to The Goonies’ ending. In the 1985 film, Mikey reveals that his marble bag is full of jewels, which means that the family can remain at their home in the Goon Docks. Irving Walsh (Keith Walker) states “There’ll be no more signing today or ever again!” and then tosses ripped foreclosure papers into the air. Finding ‘Ohana references the moment when Pili wins a geocache competition and states “It’s gonna be the best summer ever,” just before confetti blows in the wind.
A Foul Smell
The Goonies’ characters discuss the foul smell in the basement of the Fratelli family hideout where Chunk is kept. In Finding ‘Ohana, Pili and Ioane similarly comment about the stench at their grandfather’s home, with the latter stating it smells like “old people and disappointment.”
The Goonies begins with the protagonists discussing the impending foreclosure on their homes in Astoria, Oregon, which establishes the primary conflict for the film. Finding ‘Ohana takes a similar approach by immediately revealing that Kimo faces a similar predicament after not paying his property taxes for five years. In both movies, the kids seek treasure to help their families.
A Familial Heirloom
In The Goonies, Mikey finds a map in the family attic that links to the pirate One-Eyed Willie and essentially kicks of the main action. In Finding ‘Ohana, Pili looks through Kimo’s items and spots a historic journal, which includes details about the Robinson and Brown treasure expedition.
At the 25-minute mark in Finding ‘Ohana, Jonathan Ke Quan makes his first appearance as Kimo’s friend George Phan. In The Goonies, the actor delivered a memorable performance as Data, a tech-savvy member of the crew.
When the Goonies begin their adventure in the 1985 film, they use a 1632 doubloon to guide them. The close-up visual on the coin is mirrored in Finding ‘Ohana, as Pili uses her grandfather’s family heirloom, a gold coin, while looking for treasure. In both films, the coin close-ups take place just before the 30-minute mark.
When Pili sets off on her adventure in Finding ‘Ohana and wears custom SPAM shoes while driving, the moment seems like a subtle nod to Data’s various contraptions in The Goonies, along with all the blatant product placement.
A Tunnel Fall
When Pili and company begin looking for treasure at Kualoa Ranch, all of the cave and tunnel scenes mirror what happens when the Goonies find a tunnel at the Fratelli hideout spot. At the 45-minute mark in Finding ‘Ohana, the 2021 Netflix movie seemingly confirms that it’s loosely following the script and visual aesthetic of The Goonies.
In The Goonies, Data finds a creepy skull and thinks it is the remains of Chester Copperpot. Finding ‘Ohana includes a similar moment at the 46-minute mark, in which the kids fall in a pit and are horrified by the discovery of a skeleton.
A Booby Trap
There are a number of booby traps featured in The Goonies, including those set by Data. The plot device is a common one, so it should be of no surprise that the Netflix movie also makes use of it: The Goonies booby traps thematically parallels the intricate pulley system in Finding ‘Ohana.
In Finding ‘Ohana, Ioane begins wearing a headband at the 63-minute mark — a clear reference to the red bandana worn by Brand (Josh Brolin) in The Goonies. Moments later, Ioane appears with red bandanas wrapped around his elbows: a more blatant nod to the 1985 film. From this point forward, Ioane’s relationship with Hana becomes similar to Brand’s romance with Andy (Gerri Green) in The Goonies.
Hey, You Guyyysss!
At the 68-minute mark in Finding ‘Ohana, Pili references Sloth’s famous line in The Goonies: “Hey, you guyyysss!” Sloth yells the line offscreen at the climax before rushing in to save the young adventurers. Pili similarly speaks the line off-camera to Hana and Ioane while navigating the cave.
The waterfall discovery in Finding ‘Ohana is visually and thematically similar to the waterfall coin sequence in The Goonies. By this point, it becomes even more obvious that the Netflix film is working from the 1985 film’s script.
The Treasure Discovery
A lost treasure is the core of both The Goonies and Finding ‘Ohana, and — unsurprisingly — the protagonists manage to discover it in both movies. Finding ‘Ohana’s treasure sequence parallels the Goonies’ discovery of One-Eyed Willie’s treasure. In both films, the kids’ revelatory moment sets up the final act drama.
The Water Climax
Finding ‘Ohana includes a climactic scene in which the protagonists drop from a rope into the water. In The Goonies, Sloth plays Superman and saves the day, while his brothers, Jake (Robert Davi) and Francis (Joe Pantoliano), are tied together by a rope above water.
In Finding ‘Ohana, a climactic moment between Ioane and Hana punctuates their respective character arcs’ while also directly citing the Brand-Andy romance in The Goonies. Whereas the Netflix kiss moment is poignant, it lacks the comedy that’s incorporated into the 1985 kiss, as Brand discovers that his love interest has previously smooched his younger brother, the braces-wearing Mikey.
Finding ‘Ohana released in January 2021 on Netflix.