Here are the best Top Gun quotes from Maverick, Goose, Viper, Stinger, Jester, Iceman and the rest of the Top Gun cast.
There’s a lot of reasons to like the 1986 movie Top Gun. The Tony Scott directed film made over $356 million dollars worldwide, has an award-winning soundtrack, incredible cinematography, and a legendary cast that includes Tom Cruise, Anthony Edwards, Val Kilmer, Meg Ryan, Tim Robbins, Michael Ironside, and Kelly McGillis.
And if that collection of accolades isn’t impressive enough, there’s another reason we are all still talking about Top Gun decades later. The script. The film is full of memorable lines and lots of great fighter pilot trash talk. Here’s a list of the best Top Gun quotes from Maverick, Goose, Iceman and the rest of the Top Gun cast.
The Need For Speed
Out of all of the Top Gun quotes on this list, this quote might be the most famous.
- Maverick: “I feel the need…”
- Goose: “…the need for speed!”
Watch The Birdie
When Maverick and Goose encounter aggressive Russian MiG fighters, they need to respond but show restraint and not use their weapons. Instead, both sets of pilots attempt to outmaneuver each other using their flying skills. Maverick clearly wins this encounter for the Americans by turning his F-14 Tomcat upside down over the MiG so they can give the Russian pilots the middle finger and take a Polaroid picture of the encounter.
- Goose: “Watch the birdie!”
Going Mach 2 With Your Hair On Fire
Maverick is a hot head and his love interest/flying instructor, Charlie, tries to get him to find a middle ground between being an amazing pilot and having a deathwish.
- Charlie: “You’re not going to be happy unless you’re going Mach 2 with your hair on fire.”
It’s Time To Buzz The Tower
At the end of a great flight session, Maverick requests permission for a tower flyby. His request is denied but that doesn’t stop him. This Top Gun quote is just another example of Marverik’s reckless attitude that makes everyone both love and hate him at the same time.
- Goose: “No. No, Mav, this is not a good idea.”
- Maverick: “Sorry, Goose, but it’s time to buzz the tower.”
You Can Be My Wingman
Even though Maverick and Iceman are bitter rivals throughout the film, they are both fighting on the same side. After Maverick saves Iceman in combat, the two former enemies have this touching exchange on the ground.
- Iceman: “You! You are still dangerous. You can be my wingman any time.”
- Maverick: “[email protected]*t! You can be mine.”
Just A Walk In The Park
- Goose: “It’s time for the big one.”
- Iceman: “You up for this one, Maverick?”
- Maverick: “Just a walk in the park, Kazansky.”
Are You A Good Pilot?
- Charlie: “Listen, can I ask you a personal question?”
- Maverick: “That depends.”
- Charlie: “Are you a good pilot?”
- Maverick: “I can hold my own.”
- Charlie: “Great, then I won’t have to worry about you making your living as a singer.”
Great Balls Of Fire
- Goose: “Great balls of fire!”
I’ll Have What He’s Having
- Charlie: “I’ll have what he’s having. Hemlock, is it?”
- Maverick: “Ice water.”
I Don’t Like You Because You’re Dangerous
- Iceman: “You’re everyone’s problem. That’s because every time you go up in the air you’re unsafe. I don’t like you because you’re dangerous.”
Let’s Have Some Fun With Him
- Maverick: “If I can’t shoot this son of a bitch, let’s at least have some fun with him.”
That Was Some Of The Best Flying… Until You Got Killed
This quote from Jester criticizes Maverick’s reckless flying and the potential jeopardy that it puts the rest of the team in. Making it even more biting, Jester delivers this ego smashing verbal jab in front of the other pilots while they are all in the locker room.
- Jester: “That was some of the best flying that I’ve seen to date — right up to the part where you got killed.”
This is one of the most famous Top Gun quotes. But did this phrase originate in Top Gun or did they just repurpose it? Let us know in he comments if you know.
- Maverick: “It’s classified. I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you.”
You Don’t Own That Plane! The Taxpayers Do!
- Stinger: “Maverick, you just did an incredibly brave thing. (Pause) What you should have done was land your plane! You don’t own that plane! The taxpayers do! Son, your ego is writing checks your body can’t cash!”
If You Think, You’re Dead
- Maverick: “You don’t have time to think up there. If you think, you’re dead.”
A Target-Rich Environment
- Maverick: (Walks into a bar) “This is what I call a target-rich environment.”
Take Me To Bed Or Lose Me Forever
Meg Ryan was only 25 at the time she was in Top Gun. Just imagine Meg Ryan in her prime asking you to take her to bed. Yes, please!
- Carole: “Hey, Goose, you big stud!”
- Goose: “That’s me, honey.”
- Carole: “Take me to bed or lose me forever.”
- Goose: “Show me the way home, honey.”
He’s Going Vertical
- Maverick: “He’s going vertical, so am I.”
- Goose: “We’re going ballistic Mav go get him.”
- Maverick: “No way Jester, you’re mine.”
- Goose: “Come on Mav do some of that pilot sh*t.”
No Points For Second Place
In an attempt to demoralize Maverick and Goose, Iceman’s partner, Slider, makes it clear that their team is aiming for the Top Gun trophy.
- Slider: “Remember, boys, no points for second place.”
The List Is Long But Distinguished
- Slider: “Goose, whose butt did you kiss to get in here anyway?”
- Goose: “The list is long but distinguished.”
- Slider: “Yeah, well so is my Johnson.”
That’s Pretty Arrogant
- Viper: “In case some of you are wondering who the best is, they are up here on this plaque.”
- Viper: “Do you think your name will be on that plaque?”
- Maverick: Yes, sir.
- Viper: “That’s pretty arrogant, considering the company you’re in.”
- Maverick: “Yes, sir.”
- Viper: “I like that in a pilot.”
Your Ego Is Writing Checks Your Body Can’t Cash
Maverick is good as he is bad. After Stinger, his commanding officer, reviews all of Maverick’s flying accomplishments, he follows up with a list all of his mistakes. Stringer then says one of the most classic Top Gun quotes of the film, “Son, your ego is writing checks your body can’t cash.”
- Stinger: (To Maverick) “Son, your ego is writing checks your body can’t cash!”
The Plaque For The Alternates
If you had to pick only one Val Kilmer Top Gun quote, then this would probably be it.
- Iceman: The plaque for the alternates is down in the ladies’ room.
You’re Dangerous And Foolish
- Iceman: Maverick, it’s not your flying, it’s your attitude. The enemy is dangerous. But right now, you’re worse than the enemy. You’re dangerous and foolish. You may not like the guys flying with you, they may not like you, but whose side are you on?
- Maverick: That’s right, Iceman. I am dangerous.
Rubber Dog Shit
- Stinger: “And if you screw up just this much, you’ll be flying a cargo plane full of rubber dog shit out of Hong Kong!”
- Maverick: “Yes, sir!”
Talk To Me Goose
Maverick might be an incredible pilot, but it’s clear that Maverick and Goose are a team. Throughout the film, Maverick shows how much he relies on his copilot, Goose, by repeatedly saying “Talk to me Goose.” Even after Goose tragically dies in an accident, Maverick still says the phrase when he needs guidance. While grasping his dead friend’s dog tags, Maverick whispers “Talk to me Goose” even though he knows it’s a request that won’t be answered.
- Maverick: “Talk to me Goose.”
Top Gun Movie: Success & Legacy
All of these great Top Gun quotes are just a small part of what made this film such an immediate hit with audiences. The Top Gun movie made $356 million dollars worldwide for Paramount Pictures and almost everything it touched turned to gold. Here are some highlights.
- Top Gun Movie Soundtrack: The Top Gun soundtrack was the best selling soundtrack of 1986 as well as one of the best selling soundtracks of all time. It includes several major hit songs including Berlin‘s “Take My Breath Away” and Kenny Loggins‘ “Danger Zone.” Both individual songs, as well as the soundtrack itself, have been recognized with awards and nominations by the Oscars, Golden Globes, Brit Awards, and Grammys among others.
- Anthony Edwards: Before Top Gun, Anthony Edwards was acting in nerdy comedy films like Revenge Of The Nerds (1983) and Gotcha! (1985). But after Top Gun, he lost the loser typecast and landed charismatic roles in several hit TV shows including Northern Exposure (1990-1995) and E.R. (1994-2009).
- Val Kilmer: Similar to Anthony Edwards, Val Kilmer’s early acting opportunities were limited to goofball roles in films like Real Genius (1985) and Top Secret! (1984). But the decade that followed Top Gun included a string of major hits for Kilmer including The Doors (1991), Thunderheart (1992), True Romance (1993), and Tombstone (1993).
- Meg Ryan: Before 1986, no one knew about Meg Ryan except fans of Charles In Charge (1987-1990) and As The World Turns. But after Top Gun, she landed leading roles in Innerspace (1987), When Harry Met Sally (1989), Joe Versus The Volcano (1990), The Doors (1991), and Sleepless In Seattle (1993).
- Tom Cruise: Top Gun is also widely credited with propelling Tom Cruise to A-list status. He’s had one of the most successful Hollywood careers in modern history.
- Tony Scott: Before Top Gun, Tony Scott had only directed a few relatively unknown projects. But the success of Top Gun put him at the helm of a string of Hollywood blockbusters including Beverly Hill Cop II (1987), Days Of Thunder (1990), True Romance (1993), and Crimson Tide (1995) to name a few.
Your Favorite Top Gun Quotes
What are some of your favorite Top Gun quotes? Who is your favorite member of the Top Gun cast? How much do you love the opening scene on the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise? Please post a comment below.