Top Gun is a staple of ’80s cinema. The film helped skyrocket Tom Cruise to superstardom and boosted Airforce applications through the roof. Over thirty years later, a sequel to the popular movie is set to hit theatres. With the second movie generating positive buzz, now is the perfect time to revisit this classic movie. One thing it is well known for, other than the spectacular areal stunts, is the quotable lines. From Maverick’s sarcasm to heartwarming pick-me-ups, here are ten of the best quotes from Top Gun.
10. “Great Balls Of Fire”
While not a direct quote, the moment with Goose playing piano and singing Jerry Lee Lewis’s Great Balls of Fire is worth noting. Goose is seen as the voice of reason in the main duo. He isn’t as hotheaded and arrogant as Maverick, but he isn’t one to back down from a challenge. He is also frequently the life of the party, as proven by this scene. It is hard for the general public to hear the classic song without thinking of Top Gun. While not unique to the film, Goose screaming”Great balls of fire!” is as well known as the song itself, if not more so. This is one of the happiest moments of the film and is fondly remembered after the tragedy that later appears.
9. “Time To Buzz The Tower”
Not only is this one of the best quotes in the entire film, but it is also the perfect line to describe Maverick. Tom Cruise plays Maverick as a hotheaded yet likable pilot who wants nothing more than to prove himself. One of his flaws is his knack for disobeying direct orders. A case in point is when he does a flyby of the guard tower. After completing a training mission, Maverick is filled with adrenaline. He requests to do a flyby of the guard tower, a request that is denied. Asking permission was just a formality, as he has already decided to do it. Goose protests, to which Maverick responds, “Sorry Goose, time to buzz the tower.” This act is met with punishment, something the Top Gun protagonist is used to.
8. “I’ll Fly With You”
Maverick’s favorite thing to do is take to the skies. As long as he is airborne, he is happy. That is until his partner is killed during a training exercise. Maverick blames himself and wants to quit the academy. Thanks to his trainers and peers, he perseveres and graduates. With Goose gone, Maverick must choose a new partner for his first mission. His instructor, Viper, is constantly at odds with Maverick throughout the film. He is the one who calls him out and punishes him when he acts out. Besides this, he sees promise in him. It is Viper who convinces Maverick to take to the skies once more and tells him, “I’ll fly with you.” when he is looking for a partner. This is not only one of the best quotes, but it is one of the best examples of Viper’s relationship with Maverick.
7. “Your Ego Is Writing Checks Your Body Can’t Cash”
Top Gun is, at its core, a pure ’80s movie. Because of this, there are plenty of ’80s cliches throughout. One of which is an authority figure who constantly berates the young protagonist. In this film, it is Stinger. After another bit of shenanigans from Maverick and Goose, they are called into their superior’s office. After listing all of the great things Maverick has done, he lists all the reckless stunts he has pulled. He finishes it off with, “Son, your ego is writing checks your body can’t cash.” This great line puts Maverick’s nature into a single quote and a great one at that.
6. “I Am Dangerous”
When you have a locker room full of young men wanting to prove themselves, egos are sure to clash. This is evident in one of many confrontations between Maverick and Val Kilmer’s Iceman. Iceman is one of the villains of the movie, even though he is also one of the most likable characters. He is just as great of a pilot as Maverick, although he follows the rules much more closely. Iceman feels Maverick is reckless and dangerous, and he isn’t afraid to tell him as much. In one of their face-offs, Maverick retorts by saying, “That’s right Ice…Man, I am dangerous.” This Top Gun quote shows that not only is Maverick not afraid of Iceman, but he is also proud of his less than stellar reputation.
5. “Watch The Birdie”
The opening sequence of Top Gun is the perfect introduction to the film and its characters. An enemy aircraft is sent to intimidate the US forces. Maverick and Goose are sent to investigate. Neither party dares fire a shot and instead opts to offer a show of skill. After an impressive show, Maverick and Goose, of course, come out victorious. Even though they made their skill clear, they aren’t done yet. Maverick maneuvers his aircraft upside down above the enemy’s cockpit. Maverick flips the bird, and Goose says, “Watch the birdie!” while snapping a photo.
4. “No Points For Second Place”
The competition for the TOPGUN trophy means that Goose and Maverick must bring everything they have against Iceman’s team. Slider is a member of the latter team, and he is equally as arrogant as Maverick. In a confrontation, Slider says, ” Remember boys, no points for second place.” This only fuels the fire under Maverick and Goose and makes them want to prove how good they are that much more. Iceman may think Maverick is dangerous, but Slider just wants to see him taken down, as one of the best Top Gun quotes proves.
3. “Talk To Me Goose”
Frequently when Maverick and Goose are in the air together, Maverick says this line to show how much he relies on his partner. The most heartwarming use of this line, however, comes near the end of the film. After a tragic accident during a training exercise, Goose is killed. Maverick blames himself for his friend’s death and nearly quits the Airforce altogether. When he finally decides to take to the skies once more, he is given a dangerous mission right after graduating. While in the sky, Maverick says this line once more, showing that Goose will always be with Maverick whenever he takes to the skies.
2. “You Can Be My Wingman Any Time”
Iceman and Maverick are enemies throughout the film. Near the end, the new graduates must engage in a real dogfight. This forces all the men to give it everything they have and prove what they are worth. Iceman and Maverick are forced to work with each other, even though neither man seems happy about it. Maverick proves exactly what he is capable of when he takes out the enemy fighters and saves Iceman. When back on the ground, Iceman gives one of the best Top Gun quotes, showing Maverick has more than earned his respect.
1. ” The Need For Speed”
This isn’t only one of the best Top Gun quotes; it is one of the best periods. Maverick and Goose have an unquenchable thirst for excitement and adrenaline. When preparing to take to the skies, they both say, “I feel the need…the need for speed!” This line was key to making the film and Tom Cruise into the pop culture phenomenon they remain today. This is one of the most iconic moments of the entire film, and even those who have never seen it find themselves quoting it. Fans can only hope the line returns in the upcoming Top Gun: Maverick.