‘Top Gun’ Quotes

Friday, August 19 by Andrew Jett

'Top Gun' Quotes

“Top Gun” quotes are some of the most enduring of any 1980s movie. Released to theaters in 1986, “Top Gun” is the story of a group of pilots at an elite Navy flight school. With plenty of action, romance and memorable quotes, this movie has something to offer every type of viewer.

“It's classified. I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.” – Maverick. As the brash and talented pilot Maverick, Tom Cruise is the main character in “Top Gun.” His cocky attitude and humorous quotes make him both adored and disliked. This line is a playful advance toward his romantic interest in the film.

“You can be my wingman any time.” – Iceman. The main antagonist of “Top Gun” is Val Kilmer’s character, Iceman. He and Maverick become fiercely competitive during training at the Top Gun flight school, exchanging verbal barbs throughout the movie.

“No. No, Mav, this is not a good idea.” – Goose. Often serving as Maverick’s voice of reason, Goose has many of the more level-headed “Top Gun” quotes. Played by Anthony Edwards, Goose is Maverick’s co-pilot and best friend. Quotes like this often precede one of Maverick’s dangerous aerial maneuvers.

“Top Gun rules of engagement are written for your safety and for that of your team. They are not flexible, nor am I.” – Viper. An instructor at the Top Gun flight school, Viper is a grisly combat veteran played by Tom Skerritt. This quote comes from a classroom scene where Viper attempts to communicate the importance of safe flying.

“Is this your idea of fun, Mav?” – Goose. In one of the movie’s most memorable scenes, Maverick flies his plane upside-down above a Soviet MiG fighter. Goose once again attempts to talk some sense into Maverick with this quote, but his advice goes unheeded.

'Top Gun' Quotes

“You gotta let him go.” – Viper. After a heartbreaking scene in which Goose dies during combat, Viper reveals his soft side with a heartfelt speech. He attempts to console Maverick in this “Top Gun” quote, encouraging Maverick to focus on the future.

“I see some real genius in your flying, Maverick, but I can't say that in there.” – Charlie. As Maverick’s love interest in the movie, Kelly McGillis’ character Charlie gets some of the most intense “Top Gun” quotes. At first she refuses to mix romance with her responsibilities to the Navy, but begins to relent with this quote.

“I feel the need…the need for speed!” – Maverick and Goose. If there’s one “Top Gun” quote that sums up Maverick’s cavalier attitude, it’s this line. It’s one of the movie’s most enduring quotes, used by Maverick and Goose to pump themselves up before a mission.

“Damn, this kid is good!” – Viper. Even though Maverick’s flying style goes against the established rules for the Top Gun school, even Viper can see his potential. Viper experiences Maverick’s talent first-hand when he suits up and joins the pilots for a training exercise. This quote marks a change in Viper’s attitude toward Maverick, as he begins to accept his unconventional style.

“Gutsiest move I ever saw, Mav.” – Hollywood. Even the more conservative pilots can’t deny Maverick’s palpable talent. After reviewing one of Maverick’s flight maneuvers during a briefing, Hollywood gives Maverick his due credit with this “Top Gun” quote. 

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