Top 10 Scenes From Top Gun



Top 10 Scenes From Top Gun

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton
This film is the perfect wingman for any action movie night! For this list, we'll be looking at the best sequences from this 1986 classic. Our countdown includes Buzzing the Tower, “The Need for Speed”, Locker Room Faceoff, and more!

Top 10 Scenes From Top Gun

Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Scenes From “Top Gun.”

For this list, we’ll be looking at the best sequences from this 1986 classic.

How do you feel about “Top Gun?” Does it take your breath away or take the highway to the danger zone? Let us know in the comments!

#10: Buzzing the Tower

It wouldn’t be “Top Gun” without some hotshot pilots, and Pete “Maverick” Mitchell is one of the best. During his first training hop, Maverick seeks to make a serious impression, and does so at the expense of his instructor “Jester.” Jester trails Maverick for much of the exercise, seeking to get a lock and end the simulated dogfight. However, Maverick employs the age-old movie tactic of slamming on the brakes, something we’d see him do again later on. Now with the tables turned, Maverick seals the victory, even if he’d get reprimanded for his flying later. After he’s denied a clear landing, Maverick opts to take a victory lap by “buzzing the tower.”

#9: “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’”

The night before TOPGUN starts, some of the guys head to a bar in their sharpest Navy whites looking for a different kind of action. After meeting the notorious “Iceman,” Maverick spots Kelly McGillis’s Charlie Blackwood, woefully unaware she’s one of his instructors. Together with “Goose” - and eventually several other Navymen - he serenades her with with the Righteous Brothers song “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin.’” Honestly, with that many wingmen, Charlie never really stood a chance, though Maverick’s further attempts at wooing her aren’t nearly as successful. Charlie plays the actual song at the end of the film to reunite with Maverick and cure his blues once and for all.

#8: “Watch the Birdie”

“Top Gun” never explicitly says who the other bogeys are, but… c’mon… it’s an 80s action movie - we know it’s the Russians. In the opening scene, Maverick and Goose are flying over the Indian Ocean with their wingman “Cougar” when they encounter enemy jets. Though neither side has permission to fire, the standoff is tense as they enter a pissing contest of sorts. After one bogey spooks Cougar by locking onto him, Maverick one-ups him by hovering above him and upside down, flipping him the bird for good measure. Not one to pass up a Poloroid moment, Goose snaps a picture.

#7: “Great Balls of Fire”

For an ‘80 action movie of sorts, you wouldn’t think there’d be so many musical moments, but here we are. In this scene, we see Maverick and Charlie meet with Goose and his wife and kid at a bar. It’s a small moment, but one that makes us appreciate the little things prior to the life-changing twists that would come later on. Come to think of it, from Goose’s prime piano-playing abilities to his adorable kid to being happily married to a young Meg Ryan, how did we not know he was doomed to die? In any case, this scene always manages to put a smile on our face.

#6: “The Need for Speed”

“Top Gun” has a plethora of memorable lines, but that one might just be the most iconic. Still, that clip isn’t long enough to devote a whole entry to it, so we’ll be focusing on the training hop that follows immediately after, which is thrilling in its own right. This time out, Maverick goes all gung-ho by abandoning his wingman “Hollywood” to pursue his commanding officer “Viper.” Trouble is, Viper has him playing directly into his hands, giving Jester the opportunity to swoop in and get a lock on Maverick. It’s a tough loss for Maverick, but it serves as an important lesson in teamwork and humility.

#5: Goose’s Death

“Top Gun” prides itself on being a fun ride, but Maverick’s character arc would be nothing without the tragic death of his partner at its center. During another training hop, Maverick and Iceman are going after an A-4. However, Maverick begins to suspect that Iceman is deliberately stalling to lower his score in TOPGUN. Impatient, Maverick has Iceman clear the area, only to enter a flat spin upon going through his jet wash. Out of options, Maverick and Goose are forced to eject, only Goose is inadvertently thrust into the jettisoned canopy, breaking his neck. The shot of Maverick holding Goose’s lifeless body in the water is heartbreaking. He was just too good for this world.

#4: “Take My Breath Away”

Even though it’s a pretty major conflict of interest, Maverick and Charlie’s courtship reaches a fever pitch halfway into the movie. Peeved about her open criticism of his flying, Maverick rides off in a huff. Charlie heatedly gives chase, breaking more than a few traffic laws to let him know how conflicted her love for him has made her. The opening notes to the Berlin song “Take My Breath Away” had hitherto been played continually up to this point, but here the song plays in full as we get one of the most iconic love scenes of the ‘80s, complete with silhouettes and a lot of tongue. It’s a pretty cheesy sequence, but few movies do cheese better than “Top Gun.”

#3: “Playing with the Boys”

With all due respect to Berlin, between “Danger Zone” and “Playing With the Boys,” the “Top Gun” soundtrack undoubtedly belongs to Kenny Loggins. The latter comes into play in this scene, where Maverick and Goose face off against Iceman and his RIO “Slider” in a game of beach volleyball. Does this scene have any bearing on the plot? No, not at all. In fact, it’s become the butt of many jokes over the years. But we can’t help but look forward to it every time we put the movie on. Heck, everyone’s so sweaty all the time anyway; now they’ve got a reason to be! Plus, we don’t mind getting a little female gaze in there in such a testosterone-driven movie. Play on!

#2: Locker Room Faceoff

Val Kilmer makes this movie almost as much as Tom Cruise, and nowhere is that more evident than in this scene. After Maverick and Goose dispatch of Jester, they start wagging their tongues in the locker room. However their main rivals in TOPGUN - Iceman and Slider - take exception, and begin to bark back. Iceman, who always seems to be chewing gum, gets right in Maverick’s face, and the two hotshot pilots face off. They say love and hate are simply two sides of the same coin, and we can tell there’s some bromantic chemistry bubbling under the surface here.

#1: “You Can Be My Wingman”

The climactic scene of the movie sees Maverick assigned to back up Iceman, much to the latter’s chagrin. They’re accosted by a slew of bogeys, only these ones aren’t nearly as friendly. After one of their jets is shot down, Maverick swoops in to offer support. Things are looking bleak, but Maverick refuses to leave his wingman. After Iceman shoots the bogey he’s pursuing, Maverick is put in another’s crosshairs himself. He deftly draws it in before again slamming on the brakes, switching spots and ending the conflict. Despite presumably starting WWIII, spirits are high, and after learning the value of teamwork, Maverick’s finally earned Iceman’s respect. All’s well that ends well.
They're like best scenes from 'Top Gun'.