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…
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.
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:
- Getting in trouble
- Falling in love
- Guys being guys
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.
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 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.
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?
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.
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!