Follow TV Tropes


YMMV / Top Gun

Go To

  • And You Thought It Would Fail:
    • Judas Priest were asked to contribute the song "Reckless" to the soundtrack, but declined because they thought the movie would flop. Two years later, they contributed a cover of "Johnny Be Good" to the movie of the same name, which turned out to be a flop.
    • Ally Sheedy turned down the role of Charlie Blackwood because she didn't think that anyone would want to see a movie about fighter pilots. She later regretted this decision.
  • Advertisement:
  • Critical Dissonance: Despite receiving mixed reviews from critics when it was first released (the film has a 54% "Rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes), it was a huge hit with audiences and is now considered a classic. In 2015, the film was selected for preservation by the National Film Registry, which is pretty much one of the biggest honors that a film could receive.
  • Discredited Meme:
    • At the United States Navy Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor program (formerly known as TOPGUN) today, anyone on staff who quotes or references this movie gets fined $10.
    • Anyone caught singing "Danger Zone" while piloting a Tomcat, supposedly, is considered a hostile. It's hopefully all a joke, but ejected pilots who sing "Take My Breath Away" are to be shot at. Considering the F-14 has been retired from service due to wear on the airframe, it's likely moot at this point.
  • Ear Worm: "Danger Zone," of course.
    • It's also Awesome Music.
    • "Livin' for the small town hot summer nights..."
    • "Through the fire! To the wire!"
    • The film's instrumental theme as well.
    • Most of the (technically unreleased) instrumental work by Harold Faltermeyer is excellent as well.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • The spin that caused Goose’s death is very very similar to the unrecoverable spin that took the life of Lt jg Kara Hultgreen, who was the first ever woman to qualify to fly Tomcats.
    • The character of Maverick was based in large part on Randy “Duke” Cunningham, who was himself a Vietnam era Top Gun graduate, fighter ace, with his most famous air to air kill using the same air brake maneuver that Maverick pulls, Top Gun instructor and Congressman. And considering how his political career flamed out in bribery accusations and a prison sentence ...
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • For all the accusations of Homoerotic Subtext between the male characters, it's since turned out that the only one of the film's main stars who's definitely gay in real life is in fact the female lead, Kelly McGillis.
    • Advertisement:
    • Stinger warns Maverick to not be too full of himself. In-Universe, this serves as Foreshadowing that Maverick's ways will cause tragedy, but it's also eerily prophetic of Tom Cruise's own ego-driven issues, especially in light of his membership in Scientology.
  • Ho Yay: Put it this way; when the studio saw the initial cut, they made the film-makers call Cruise and McGillis back to shoot extra scenes, as the romance between Maverick and Charlie seemed so perfunctory compared to Maverick's "friendship" with Goose. Even in the finished product it's rather blatant — "I'm gonna have somebody's butt for this!", the volleyball scene, "You can be my wingman any time...", "This stuff gives me a hard-on."/"Don't tease me." Even in the final version, Tom Cruise arguably has far more chemistry with Val Kilmer and Anthony Edwards than he does with McGillis.
  • Memetic Mutation: The personnel at Miramar (the real TOPGUN) became so annoyed by the movie's quotable lines that there is a ten dollar fine for anyone who says any of the following:
    • "I feel the need... The need for speed!" So much it named a car-racing game series.
    • "Tower, this is Ghost Rider requesting a flyby?" "Negative, Ghost Rider. The pattern is full."
    • "You've lost... that LOOOOVING FEEEELING!". Singing off-key is optional, but encouraged.
    • Iceman's distinctive jaw snap.
    • "I don't like you because you're dangerous..."
    • "Your ego is writing cheques your body can't cash!" and, to a lesser extent, "You'll be flying a cargo plane full of rubber dogshit outta Hong Kong!"
  • Most Wonderful Sound: Dear lord, those fighter jets...
  • Narm: The scene that immediately follows Goose's tragic and untimely death is... a Shower Scene, complete with a gratuitous shot of Tom Cruise's butt in tighty-whities.
  • Narm Charm: There's so much cheesiness, but you just can't hate this movie. The fact that the film is Rated M for Manly bordering on Testosterone Poisoning helps as well.
  • No Problem with Licensed Games:
  • The Problem with Licensed Games:
    • Played straight with Top Gun: Hornet's Nest, which got very bad reviews.
    • And of course the original NES game, a notoriously dull and still Nintendo Hard mess. Its sequel was even harder, but fixed a lot of the first game's problems, so some would argue it could fit in the above trope instead.
    • A release titled Top Gun: Combat Zones for the PlayStation 2 and Nintendo GameCube had the misfortune of having to compete with Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies, but was just a Dolled-Up Installment with the only similarity to the movie being the F-14 Tomcat.
  • Signature Scene: Maverick driving his motorcycle by an airstrip as an F-14 is taking off. So iconic that the teaser trailer for Top Gun: Maverick paid homage to it.
  • Song Association: "Danger Zone" again.
  • Tear Jerker: The death of Goose.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Viper lets Maverick know that he'd be willing to fly with him as his RIO before the climactic dogfight. How cool would it have been to see that go down? One justification for this is that: Cool? Yes. Realistic? No. Viper was a Phantom Phlyer (yes, that's correct), and A-4 Driver for Top Gun. While it's possible his squadron could've eventually transitioned to a new aircraft, he himself was already a Top Gun Instructor by the time the F-14 entered full service. That's not to say he wouldn't have known anything about it, he certainly would've had some experience with the aircraft, it's just that the job of the Guy in Back are so different than that of the Pilot, that they have entirely different ratings. More importantly, the only reason to have a qualified pilot in the back seat of any aircraft is to train the one up front how to fly it, and the F-14 doesn't have flight controls for the Guy in Back. There have been cases of older pilots transitioning into modern planes and doing quite well at it, for example, Robin Olds, a WWII fighter ace who got started out flying P-38 Lightnings who didn't touch an F-4 Phantom until he received orders to take command of the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing during Vietnam. But the issue of the RIO having an entirely different specialty than the pilot in the front seat is a much bigger issue.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: