The 50 best Top Gun quotes (that even Penny Benjamin would approve of)

top gun quotes

When it comes to quotable movies, I personally don’t feel that it gets any better than Top Gun. Of course I’m talking about the original, released in May 1986 by Paramount Pictures. It was just as corny as it was cool, and I’m not afraid to admit that it’s the movie that I’ve seen more times than any other in my entire life. This article is dedicated to all the best Top Gun quotes – plus a few more that you’ve probably forgotten about. Penny Benjamin would certainly approve.

I’ve seen the original Top Gun so many times that I was actually able to write this entire article without doing any research. Yup. I’ve got nearly the entire movie memorized line-by-line. Should I be proud of that? Or is that something that I need to keep to myself? The jury is still out on that one, but let’s just get right into it…

The plot

For the one (or two) of you on this entire planet who have never seen the original Top Gun, it goes a little something like this:

  • There’s this guy named Pete Mitchell (callsign: Maverick) who is an up-and-coming fighter pilot in the US Navy. His copilot (and best friend) is nicknamed named “Goose”. Together they are sent to the Top Gun Fighter Pilot Training School at Miramar (in San Diego California).
  • Here’s the thing about Maverick: he’s a troublemaker, and he doesn’t follow rules very well. This movie would be extremely boring if he was a straight arrow who followed all the rules.
  • While struggling to stay in line and out of trouble, Maverick falls head over heels in love with a civilian instructor nicknamed “Charlie”. She’s a girl by the way, which is something I feel like I need to clarify given the rumors you may have heard about Top Gun in the past.
  • Anyway, Maverick ultimately loses the girl (and his best friend), and he’s forced into making adult decisions for the very first time in his life.
  • He finds a new wingman, gets the girl again, and I suppose they live happily ever after.
  • That’s it. That’s the movie.
top gun best movie ever
Is the original Top Gun from 1986 the best movie ever? What a silly question. Of course it is!

The 50 best Top Gun quotes (plus a few extra)

As I’ve already mentioned, the original Top Gun from 1986 is my most watched movie ever. We had the VHS shortly after it was released around the 1987 (or ’88) timeframe, and let me tell you. We wore that sucker out.

The result of all those watchings was having it etched into my brain for eternity. Yes, even now in middle age, I can still rattle off nearly the entire movie line-by-line (from memory) without even skipping a beat.

Top Gun is a movie with a lot of really great quotes in it, so in order to make this experience as a enjoyable as possible, I’m going to break them down into 5 categories:

  1. Getting in trouble
  2. Falling in love
  3. Flying
  4. Guys being guys
  5. Miscellaneous

Just as I mentioned in my list of the 30 funniest Planes Trains and Automobiles quotes, I feel like the entire movie of Top Gun is quotable. Posting the entire script here would probably be just as entertaining as reading the individual quotes. But I’d probably get my hands slapped for that.

Come to think of it, I’d probably get chewed out by the Commanding Officer of Paramount. Just the way Maverick and Goose did for doing that tower flyby.

Getting in trouble

If there is one thing that Maverick and Goose did exceptionally well, it was finding trouble. Well, it was mostly Maverick who had a problem with authority. Hence his appropriately-named call sign.

top gun your ego is writing checks your body can’t cash
Stinger: Son, your ego is writing checks your body can’t cash!
top gun Admirals daughter quote
Stinger: …with a history of high speed passes over 5 air control towers, and one Admirals daughter!
Goose Penny Benjamin quote
Goose: Penny Benjamin?
top gun you're lucky to be here quote
Stinger: And YOU asshole. You’re lucky to be here! Goose: Thank you sir!
top gun rubber dog shit out of Hong Kong quote
Stinger: But you remember one thing: you screw up just this much, you’ll be flying a cargo plane full of rubber dog shit out of Hong Kong!
maverick and goose getting in trouble
Commander: TWO OF YOUR SNOT NOSED DISC JOCKEYS DID A FLYBY OF MY TOWER AT OVER 400 KNOTS! I WANT SOMEBODY’S BUTT, I WANT IT NOW, IVE HAD IT!!
top gun I want some butts
Commander: GOD DAMMIT! THATS TWICE! I WANT SOME BUTTS!!
top gun that’ll just about cover the flybys
Viper: Well, that’ll just about cover the flybys.
Top Gun viper quote
Viper: Lieutenant Mitchell, Top Gun Rules of Engagement exist for your safety and for that of your team. They are not flexible, nor am I. Either obay them or you are history. Is that clear?

Falling in love

I was a very young boy when Top Gun came out in 1986, and I thought the love scenes between Maverick and Charlie were the stupidest things ever. I mean, it was supposed to be a movie about fighter jets and explosions, but all the kissing (and other adult-related drama) got in the way of that. The hell? Oh well. Thank God for the fast forward button on our VCR.

For what it’s worth, I still think that there was too much romance built into the plot of Top Gun. Maybe the only reason why I say that is because I’m a guy and I prefer to see fighter jet action instead. But tell me I’m wrong. I bet you can’t.

top gun you live your life between your legs quote
Goose: You live your life between your legs Mav.
top gun she's lost that loving feeling quote
Maverick: …She’s lost that lovin’ feeling. Goose: She’s lost…no she hasn’t. Maverick: Yes she has. Goose: She has not lost that lovin’… Maverick: Goose she’s lost it man. Goose: I hate it when she does that!
Top gun bar quotes
Charlie: Long cruise, was it sailor?
top gun bathroom scene quotes
Charlie: So what do you want to do? You wanna drop right down on the tile and go for it? Maverick: Well, actually, I had this counter in mind…
top gun I don’t date students quote
Charlie: I don’t date students.
top gun If the government trusts me quote
Maverick: If the government trusts me, maybe you could. Charlie: It takes a lot more than fancy flying…
top gun crash and burn quote
Slider: Crash and burn, huh Mav?
top gun you stink quote
Maverick: Slider – you stink.
top gun this is going to be complicated quote
Charlie: This is going to be complicated.
top gun I’m going to take a shower quote
Charlie: Where are you going? Maverick: I’m going to take a shower. (Which is what any normal guy would do in a moment like this, right?)
top gun take me to bed and lose me forever quote
Goose’s wife: Hey Goose ya big stuuuuud! Goose: That’s me honey! Goose’s wife: Take me to bed and lose me forever! Goose: Show me the way home honey…

Flying

Top Gun was the first movie of its kind to show ultra-realistic fighter jet flight scenes. The air-to-air combat scenes in Top Gun blew me away the first time that I saw it, and I fully believe it set the precedent for all aviation-themed combat movies thereafter. As expected, some of the all-time best Top Gun quotes come from those flight scenes.

top gun Is this your idea of fun quote
Goose: Is this your idea of fun, Mav?
top gun greetings quote
Maverick: Greetings!
top gun you can run kid, but you can’t hide quote
Jester: You can run kid, but you can’t hide.
top gun pilot shit quote
Goose: Come on Mav, give him some of that pilot shit! Maverick: Yeah, I got him!
top gun hit the breaks quote
Maverick: I’m gonna hit the brakes, and he’ll fly right by!
top gun you're mine quote
Goose: He’s going for the hard deck Mav, let’s get down there first and nail him! Maverick: No way Jester. You’re mine!
top gun negative ghostrider the pattern is full quote
Maverick: Tower, this is Ghostrider requesting a flyby. Tower: Negative Ghostrider, the pattern is full.
top gun buzz the tower quote
Goose: No, no Mav, this is not a good idea. Maverick: Sorry Goose. But it’s time to buzz the tower.

Guys being guys

I was just a young boy in 1986, and I didn’t catch on to all the subliminal homoerotic undertones going on in Top Gun. To me (way back then), it was just movie about a bunch of guys goofing off doing what guys do. I mean, oiling yourself up to play shirtless volleyball on a California beach with a bunch of other oily guys is perfectly normal, right?

Imagine my surprise when, after growing up and learning the ways of the world, I realized that people had been making fun of Top Gun. They were mocking it for being a movie about a bunch of guys who were pretending to be straight but actually weren’t.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it hurt me to realize that my beloved Top Gun was the butt everyone’s jokes. And it had been for years. Without me knowing it. Growing up sucks, doesn’t it?

top gun ice cold no mistakes quote
Goose: Mav, you wanna know who the best is? That’s him – Iceman. It’s the way he flies. Ice cold. No mistakes. He just wears you down. You get bored, frustrated and do something stupid and he’s got you.
Charlie top gun class quotes
Charlie: Where did you see this?
top gun I could tell you but then I’d have to kill you quote
Maverick: It’s classified. I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you.
top gun I was inverted quote
Charlie: If you were directly above him, how could you see him? Maverick: because I was inverted.
top gun Iceman bullshit cough
Iceman: *cough*bullshit!*cough*
top gun flight briefing quotes
Goose: No he was man, it was a really great move. He was inverted…
top gun Charlie quotes
Charlie: Lieutenant, what were you doing there?
top gun keeping up foreign relations quote
Maverick: Communicating. Keeping up foreign relations. You know, giving him the bird?
top gun the finger quote
Goose: You know, the finger!
top gun I feel the need for speed quote
Maverick and Goose: I feel the need…the need…for speed!
top gun where'd who go quote
Hollywood: Hell no man, we got our butts kicked. Slider: 30 seconds! We went like this, he went like that, I said to Hollywood: where’d he go?! Hollywood said: where’d whooo goooooooo?!
top gun I am dangerous quote
Iceman: I don’t like you because you’re dangerous. Maverick: That’s right…Ice…man. I am dangerous. (lol)
top gun there’s no points for second place quote
Slider: Remember boys, there’s no points for second place. Goose: You’re a lot brighter than you look. Slider: You shut up. Goose: Ok, I will. Maverick: (laughs) Goose, don’t worry…

Miscellaneous

The quotes in this section are ones that I didn’t know how to categorize. Even though the original Top Gun was a fairly simple movie about fighter jets, getting the girl and getting in trouble, there were still some parts of it that strayed off those lines.

Some of these quotes are funny. Some are not. Because I’m such a huge fan of the original Top Gun movie, I’m even going to include the not-so-funny ones as a way to pay tribute to how awesome this movie was.

top gun call the ball quote
ATC: You’re at 3/4 of a mile, call the ball. (Included only because this is something I say nearly every day in normal life – as explained below)
top gun you can be my wingman quote
Iceman: You! You are still dangerous. You can be my wingman any time.
top gun end scene quote
Maverick: Bullshit. You can be mine! (aawww…)

How I use these quotes in everyday life

Here’s the thing about Top Gun: It’s the only movie that I’ve ever been able to memorize in full. Therefore, rattling off individual quotes from the movie to fit specific situations I find myself in on a daily basis is a very real thing.

Here are a few examples of how Top Gun movie quotes are weaved into nearly every aspect of my life:

  • When I’m driving in my car or riding on my bike and I’m very close to my destination: “You’re at 3/4 of a mile. Call the ball.”
  • When I’m running around like crazy trying to find something that I lost: “Where’d whooo goooo!”
  • After finding something I’ve been looking for: “You’re mine!” (spoken in my best evil-ish Maverick impression)
  • When I finally succeed at something that I’ve been trying to figure out for a long time: “That’s right. I am dangerous.”
  • When my self-esteem dips and I feel like I’m going to end up as a complete failure: “I’m gonna end up flying a cargo plane full of rubber dog shit out of Hong Kong!”
  • Every time that I step into the shower. And I do mean every single time: “I’m gonna take a shower.” And of course – it’s spoken in that weird / awkward way Maverick said it immediately after Charlie told him that she had feelings for him. I’m about as smooth as 80-grit sandpaper when it comes to love and relationships, but…the hell? That even felt awkward to me. Why did he leave right then and there?!
  • When I’m driving in my car and someone tries to cut into my lane: “Negative Ghostrider!”

Why this movie means so much to me

As corny as it is to admit it, I’m coming to the realization that the original Top Gun from 1986 is the movie that defines my life. How sad is that?

  • It’s got all the right quotes which can apply to nearly any situation in life.
  • It tells a story of a courageous young man who overcomes his biggest fears and problems.
  • I guess you could say that it’s a story about a selfish prick who learns the value of teamwork and cooperation.
  • Most importantly, it paints a picture of how far you can get in life by just doing things without asking for permission and begging for forgiveness later.

Most significantly, Top Gun means a lot to me due to the fact that it was based and filmed in San Diego California. That’s where I live, and it’s fun re-watching the movie and recognizing so many of the spots that I drive by every single day.

As a matter fact, I live about 5 miles away from Miramar, which is where the Top Gun Fighter Pilot Training School used to be based at. These days, it’s a Marine base called MCAS Miramar, and it’s as active as ever.

Anyway, now that I’ve shared all of my favorite top gun quotes, I’d like to know yours! Did I miss anything important? Are there any quotes from the movie that are insignificant to most but very special to you? Let me know in the comments section down below!

Comments (5)

  1. Andrew

    September 20, 2020
    • Scott (SANspotter)

      September 21, 2020
      • Richard

        September 22, 2020
  2. Loren

    September 21, 2020
    • Scott (SANspotter)

      September 21, 2020

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