[[quoteright:211:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Top_gun_001_4195.jpg]]

->'''Maverick''': I feel the need...\\
'''Maverick and Goose''': ...the need for speed!

Creator/TomCruise flies [[CoolPlane F-14 Tomcats]] and gives the [[CommieLand Commie Landers]] the finger while playing volleyball.

Okay, a bit more detail. ''Top Gun'' (1986) was inspired by a magazine article on Navy pilots. The screenwriters and director TonyScott viewed it as "[[XMeetsY Sports Movie meets jets]]". In it, a hotshot pilot named "Maverick" (Cruise) is sent to the [=TOPGUN=][[note]] Which is the actual name of the real-life school - all caps, no space[[/note]] training school, a five-week workshop where pilots learn how to really kick ass in an OldSchoolDogfight. Here Maverick has to deal with competition from fellow pilots, and conquer his own demons.

The film had [[BackedByThePentagon full cooperation from the Pentagon]], and much of its aerial combat was shot "reel for real" using actual Navy hardware. (So real, somebody died making it.) It was an unanticipated success and caused an immediate boost in Navy enlistment figures, to the point that they started putting recruiting booths right there in the theatre.

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!!Tropes contained therein:

* AcePilot: Obviously. As far as particular styles:
** Iceman is described as a Steamroller. To paraphrase Goose, he just stays on you and harries you relentlessly until you make a mistake.
** During one exercise Viper and Jester collaborate as a Plugger and Bushwhacker/Sniper respectively, with Viper drawing an overeager Maverick off while Jester sneaks up on him from another direction.
** Mav doesn't really have any particular style; he flies almost entirely on instinct. At one point he flat-out states to Charlie that, "You think, you're dead."
* ActuallyFourMooks: The [=MiG=] pilots like to fly in close formation to disguise their radar signatures as fewer planes than are actually present. This is TruthInTelevision, and has also been used by American pilots from time to time.
* AnonymousRinger: The nation whose air force the main characters fly against is never named. Speculation pegs it as South Yemen, a then Soviet client. IMDB suggests it was intended to be North Korea, which is rather unlikely as dialogue in the film establishes the setting as the Indian Ocean.
* AwardBaitSong[=/=]EarWorm: Take my breath awaaaaaaaaay...
* BadassBiker: Maverick, when he's not flying.
* BadassMustache: Goose and Viper.
* BaldOfAwesome: Stinger, Maverick's commanding officer on the ''Enterprise''.
* BruiserWithASoftCentre: Maverick.
** Maverick's CO, Stinger, also counts. He's built like a fireplug and he tears both Maverick and Goose a new asshole, but he begins with a soft "Maverick, you just did an incredibly brave thing..." and ends with "Good luck, Gentlemen."
* BunnyEarsLawyer: Maverick. He's too hotheaded for his own good, but he's one of the absolute best pilots around.
* BuzzingTheTower: Maverick has a history of doing these over control towers, and one [[TheGeneralsDaughter admiral's daughter]]. In the course of the film he does it twice more, both time causing the control Sergeant to spill coffee on himself.
* ChekhovsSkill: A couple of notable ones:
** [[DodgeByBraking "I'll hit the brakes, he'll fly right by."]]
** The [=MiG=]-28s flying in tight formation so as to disguise their individual radar signatures.
* CodeName: Aviator callsigns, but here they're far cooler than RL examples. The credits demonstrate this.
* ColonelBadass: Commander Mike "Viper" Metcalf and Commander Tom "Stinger" Jordan definitely qualify.
* ComingInHot: Cougar goes a bit crazy after a close encounter with some [=MiGs=], and has to be talked down, despite there being nothing wrong with his plane itself.
* CoolOldGuy: Viper.
* CoolPlane: The F-14 Tomcat.
** And at least an honorable mention to the A-4 Skyhawk and F-5E Tiger II ("[=MiG=]-28").
* CrowdSong: "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQtGZKdW0Xc You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin']]"
* [[DefrostingIceQueen Defrosting Iceman]]: Iceman, by the end of the film.
* DisappearedDad: Maverick's father was shot down and killed in an unnamed conflict.
* DisqualificationInducedVictory: The pilot Cougar loses his cool and turns in his wings. So Maverick and Goose get a slot at the Fighter Weapons school in his place. Their commander wanted to ground them both after their antics with [[ColdWar Soviet Migs]].
* DodgeByBraking: The TropeMaker in modern filmmaking, Maverick uses this technique to make his enemies overshoot. It works every time.
** So as not to give the wrong idea, he only does it twice, each time to a different opponent which is why it is listed above as a ChekhovsSkill.
* DrillSergeantNasty: Averted by the instructors at Top Gun; while they may be stern taskmasters at times, they never raise their voices very much and really have their students' best interests in mind.
* TheDreaded: Viper. Oh, sure, he might just be an instructor, but even his ''presence'' on the field is enough to give the trainees pause.
-->'''Viper:''' ''Good morning, gentlemen. The temperature is 110 degrees..."
-->'''Wolfman:''' "Holy shit, it's Viper!"
-->'''Goose:''' "Viper's up here? Great! [--...oooh, shit!--]"
-->'''Maverick''' "Great, he's probably saying, "Holy shit, it's Maverick and Goose" "
-->'''Goose''' "[[SarcasmMode Yeah,]] [[DeadpanSnarker I'm sure he's saying that...]]"
* DueToTheDead: [[spoiler:Maverick throws his dearly departed friend's dog tags into the sea after winning the dogfight.]]
* FacelessGoons: With visors and masks, everyone is technically faceless in the fighting scenes, but the U.S. pilots wear coloured helmets with their names on them and rarely use their visors, while the enemy pilots just have black always-visored helmets with a red star on.
** Notably, the U.S. pilots are also frequently shown flying with their oxygen masks dangling to the side. This provides a minor LockAndLoadMontage - the pilots snap their masks in place when they are about to enter combat.
* {{Fanservice}}: The volleyball scene, the shower scene(s).
* FatalFamilyPhoto: Subverted -- Cougar has such a photo, but Maverick prevents him from crashing. He then resigns his commission.
* FighterLaunchingSequence
* FlippingTheBird: Maverick does it to the [=MiG=] pilot while inverted and snapping photos. Goose does it to the entire briefing room while telling the story of their aerobatic international relations.
* FollowTheLeader:
** Inspired several imitators, including ''Film/FireBirds'' and the short-lived TV series ''Supercarrier'', the [[LongRunner long-running]] TV series ''Series/{{JAG}}'', as well as multiple air-combat video games.
** The movie ''Navy SEALS'' with Creator/CharlieSheen was requested by the Navy, who hoped it would provide a bump in enlistments the way ''Top Gun'' did.
** The Navy also fully supported the production of ''Film/TheHuntForRedOctober'' as they thought it would do for the submarine service what ''Top Gun'' did for Navy aviation.
* GatlingGood: The shots of the [=MiGs=] firing their guns during the final dogfight cut to a shot of a Minigun firing. The F-14 carries an internal 20mm Vulcan cannon as well, but it's never used on-screen.
* TheGeneralsDaughter: A high-speed pass over an ''admiral's'' daughter is mentioned a couple of times, [[NoodleIncident but we never hear the whole story]]. It's within the realm of possibility that Maverick didn't ''literally'' do a high speed pass over the admiral's daughter, in fact it's strongly implied that Stinger was being figurative and that Mav had a fling with her.
* GlassesPull: Maverick, near constantly.
* HotBlooded: Maverick, who likes yanking stunts like the picture-taking with the [=MiG=] at dangerously close range and abandoning his wingman for a perfect shot. His ego's writing checks his body can't cash, and it's noted he got it from his father.
* HelmetsAreHardlyHeroic: While all pilots do wear helmets, none of the named characters have their sun visors covering their eyes while flying (not even strict "by the book" pilots like Jester or Viper).
* HeroicBSOD: Maverick is stuck in one after [[spoiler:Goose's death.]]
** Cougar has one in-flight after an enemy fighter gets a missile lock on him.
* HeterosexualLifePartners: Maverick and Goose. It is strongly implied that they have been friends and flight-team partners for quite some time, and at one point Maverick calls Goose "the only family I've got."
* ImprobablePilotingSkills: Maverick, most of the time.
* InsistentTerminology: Maverick corrects Charlie when she calls him a "pilot." TruthInTelevision, the Navy has ''Aviators'', not "pilots."
* IntroductionByHookup: Mav tries to pick up a random blonde at a bar near the base. Next day the blonde, Charlie, is briefing him and the other Top Gun students on the performance differences between the [=MiG-28=] and the American planes standing in for them. After he corrects her on something her intel says the 28 can't do but he saw it pull off:
--> '''Charlie:''' You never told me you were a famous [=MiG=] insulter.\\
'''Maverick:''' Would it have made a difference?\\
'''Charlie:''' Not in the ladies room, no.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Iceman.
* JoinTheArmyTheySaid: Retroactively, it was discovered that the film made an incredible recruitment tool for the Navy. However, one must be an ''officer'' to fly.
* JustPlaneWrong:
** Very much so. Most notably, all combat takes place within what the military would consider spitting distance; the flame-out scene, which is a [[TruthInTelevision real defect of the F-14]], should have happened much earlier than it did. In all fairness, the military pilots doing the flying pointed this out, and the filmmakers agreed to try shooting actual aerial combat. The result was that you couldn't ''see'' anything, and RealLife bowed to RuleOfCool.
** There is no such plane as the [=MiG-28=]. Even if there was, Soviet nomenclature conventions mean that it would be a bomber, not a fighter (since fighters are odd-numbered).
* LoveTheme: Berlin's "Take My Breath Away", which plays pretty much anytime Maverick and Charlie are together.
* MilitaryMaverick: Call sign "Maverick".
* MissileLockOn: Constantly during the aerial combat scenes. Ironically, most of the dogfights in the film take place INSIDE the minimum effective range of the missiles carried by the aircraft in the film, as noted by several characters when 'switching to guns', yet they go back to missiles by the time they actually fire.
* NiceGuy: Goose, in spades. A devoted family man, liked by everyone, and pretty much the only one who can rein his impetuous partner in. [[spoiler: Naturally, he dies two-thirds of the way through the film.]]
* NintendoHard: The NES video game, thanks to those bloody difficult carrier landings.
* NomDeGuerre: All of the aviators. Gets a LampshadeHanging when Maverick [[WhoNamesTheirKidDude introduces himself this way to a stranger.]]
* NoodleIncident: Apparently one reason Mav's still just a lieutenant (besides being a BunnyEarsLawyer) is because he [[TheGeneralsDaughter hit on an admiral's daughter]] at one point. Or something to that effect.
* NumberTwo: Jester to Viper.
* OhCrap: Wolfman's reaction to learning he's up against Viper, as well as Goose's
** Maverick and Goose's reaction when they realize that their new instructor is the woman they'd tried to hit on the night before.
* OnlyKnownByTheirNickname: Goose's actual name is never stated onscreen. Everyone, even his wife, just calls him Goose. His real name was [[spoiler:Nick Bradshaw.]]
* PlotDrivenBreakdown: The carrier's catapult breaks down in the climax, preventing the launch of more aircraft to assist Maverick and Iceman.
* PunctuatedForEmphasis: Maverick was already upset at Charlie for dressing him down for pushing the envelope at a training exercise debriefing. It didn't help that she nearly hit two cars [[CarChase trying to follow him afterward]].
-->'''Maverick:''' JESUS CHRIST! And you think ''I'm'' reckless?! When ''I'' fly, I'll have you know that '''''MY CREW! AND MY PLANE! COME FIRST!'''''
* RatedMForManly: And...''HOW''!
* RedOniBlueOni: Maverick and Iceman. Maverick and Goose.
* TheRival: Iceman for Maverick, who doesn't like Maverick's habit of abandoning his wingmen. Ice wins the Top Gun trophy, but Mav eventually earns his respect [[spoiler:in the final battle when he at last learns to never abandon his wingman thereby saving Iceman's ass]].
* RunningGag: The Air Boss can't seem to keep his coffee in the cup when Maverick "buzzes the tower".
** "I'm sorry, I hate it when he/she/it does that."
* ScrewTheRulesImDoingWhatsRight: Also an EstablishingCharacterMoment, in the beginning, Maverick aborts his landing to help the badly-shaken Cougar land his plane even though he's low on fuel himself.
* SecondPlaceIsForLosers: Viper says it best during orientation:
--> "Gentlemen, this school is about combat. There are no points for second place."
* SerenadeYourLover: Featuring "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling", albeit for a one-night stand than a lover.
* ShirtlessScene: Beach volleyball.
* ShownTheirWork: With certain exceptions made because of RuleOfCool, this movie is a pretty accurate portrayal of US Naval aviation.
** Special mention goes to the accident resulting in [[spoiler: Goose's death]]; both the engine flameout due to jetwash and the danger to the RIO of ejecting during a flat spin are known faults of the F-14.
* SlapSlapKiss: The relationship between Maverick and Charlie, especially at first.
** In real life, TomCruise and [=Kelly McGillis=] despised each other.
* SmallRoleBigImpact: Cougar. It's because of his HeroicBSOD in the beginning that Maverick and Goose get to go to Top Gun.
* TechnicianVersusPerformer: Iceman and Maverick, respectively. It's ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin.
* TheyCallMeMisterTibbs: When Maverick and Goose first meet Iceman and Slider at the bar, Slider says, "It's Mr. Iceman to you."
* TimeMarchesOn:
** The Top Gun school left Miramar years ago. It's now based in Nevada under a different name and teaches both air combat -and- ground-attack.
** F-14s, which feature so prominently in the film, have all been retired from service with the Navy. Similarly, the A-4s and F-5s flown by the instructors have since been replaced with F/A-18s and F-16s.
** Despite still being a minority, it would now be very unusual for absolutely no women to be seen serving aboard a carrier.
* TragicBromance: [[spoiler: Goose dies in a training accident, and Maverick almost dies on the inside.]]
* WeaponsUnderstudies: A-4s and F-5s for [=MiGs=]. A-4s and F-5s were chosen by the actual [=TOPGUN=] training seminar for "Dissimilar Air Combat Training," which is military jargon for, "We can't get real [=MiGs=], but these planes have similar flight characteristics to them, so they'll do." They did actually have some in the Constant Peg programme, but its existence was classified at that time.
* WellDoneSonGuy: Inverted. [[spoiler: Maverick's dad died in air combat, and Maverick is constantly reassuring himself that his father was, indeed, the ace that he has told himself since childhood. Viper, whose role is partly BigBrotherMentor, eventually assures him that this was the case.]]
* WhatTheHellHero: Viper chews out Maverick over breaking the Top Gun rules of engagement and his flyby after the first hop.
* WhoNamesTheirKidDude: Nicknames really but the effect is the same.
-->'''Charlotte''': I'm Charlotte Blackwood.
-->'''Maverick''': I'm Maverick.
-->'''Charlotte''': Did your mother not like you?
-->'''Maverick''': No, it's my call sign.

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