You’ve probably heard of Occam’s Razor, but in case you’re unfamiliar, it’s a problem-solving principle that states the simplest solution is often the correct one. And when it comes to the octopus in “The Goonies,” Richard Donner’s explanation for why it was cut is as simple as it gets: “Because it was bad.”
Well, certainly makes sense to us. And as you can see if you watch the deleted scene, he certainly wasn’t wrong. The scene was extraneous, and didn’t really do much for the plot, but at the most base level it just didn’t look good. In a movie where the visuals really stand out, it probably would have been distracting to have a very fake looking animatronic trying to drown the kids. Donner decided to keep Ke Huy Quan’s line in, however, because he liked the mystery. It wasn’t the only line that made no sense that was kept in the final cut, either. As he told AssignmentX in a 2010 interview:
“It was fun and it baited the audiences. If you listen to the movie carefully, you’re going to hear Sean [Astin] call Josh Brolin, ‘Josh’ twice –- and it’s in the movie. I spotted it the first time the other night, but I knew the other one was there. So I figured, just leave them in, it keeps people guessing.”
Given the fact that the octopus has been a topic of discussion for closing in on 40 years, we definitely can’t argue.