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The Ten Most Unintentionally Hilarious Top Gun Moments

Updated on June 12, 2015

Top Gun. What can you say about such an American institution? Tony Scott's film was one of the biggest hits of the 1980's, launching Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer into superstardom and Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer into super producers. Great movie right? There's just one problem; Top Gun is terrible. I know, I probably hurt your feelings there, but it is. Aside from some cool fighter pilot scenes and the fact that Meg Ryan, Tim Robbins and Adrian Pasdar (Near Dark and Heroes FTW!) all somehow appear in this film, Top Gun is a hilarious failure, sporting mediocre dialog, worse acting and the most sexually repressed subtext since Ben-Hur. Trust me, Quentin Tarantino will tell you all about it. Just ignore the part where he says Top Gun is the best script of all time. Hey, I never said Tarantino was perfect.

What's my point you might be asking? Well, simply put, Top Gun is indeed a classic, but not in the classic, great movie kind of way. Rather, it's a classic in the same way John Woo films and Dungeons and Dragons is; a film that's so terrible, it's actually quite hilarious thanks to its shortcomings. And that's why we're here today. Thanks to the suggestion from Top Gun fan and Jack Evans hater Matt Mortensen (and some consulting with my brother, noted pop culture expert), I came up with an idea to break down the ten most unintentionally hilarious moments of Top Gun. These are the worst of the worst, the lamest of the lame, the Zune to the rest of the film's IPOD. Alright, that comparison probably didn't work, but still! Strap yourselves in, get ready to cringe, and most importantly, get ready to laugh. ON WITH THE SHOW!


The Ten Most Unintentionally Hilarious Top Gun Moments


10. "You've lost that loving feeling"


Comes in low (LOL) because you can make the argument that this scene is supposed to be legitimately funny. Take that argument away though, and this is as bizarre as they come. Is there any scenario in the world where an entire bar of dudes would help another sing a song to woo a woman? Isn't that against the gospel of manhood or something? Also, Tom Cruise singing is always a laugh out loud moment. I'm not sure what he's worse at; singing, athletic activity or acting in movies before Born on the Fourth of July.


9. Every scene with the Principal from Back to the Future


If you pay attention close during the opening and climax of Top Gun, you'll notice that bald headed commander who chews scenery Jeremy Irons style and hates Maverick the way Stephen A. Smith hates everything. That guy was James Tolkan, who aside from having a similar last name to the guy who wrote Lord of the Rings was also the hilariously evil principal Mr. Strickland in the much better Back to the Future. Rest assured, that appearance makes his role here one hundred percent funnier. I kept waiting for him to come in close to Maverick and say, "You're a slacker Mav, just like you're old man!". Come to think of it, why didn't he say that?


8. "I was inverted"


Has the quadruple whammy of Cruise trying to block out the sun with his smile, Kelly McGillis giving the "I can't believe I have to act with this guy" face, Val Kilmer doing the *cough* bullshit *cough* move that was old five years prior to this film and Michael Ironside adding another "I'm so bored, where's my paycheck?" line reading to his Hall of Fame resume of uninterested line readings. Is Ironside the king of the unintentional comedy by the way? Besides Top Gun, he appears as the villain who loses both of his arms via elevator shaft in Total Recall ("SEE YOU AT DA PARTY RICHTAH!"), the villain in The Next Karate Kid (an all time "what were they thinking" sequel) and as the awesome commander in Starship Troopers who has one arm, spouts out the most clich├ęd dribble in the history of time and allows his two top officers to have sex in the face of an impending bug invasion. I say that makes him the king. And yes, I think Starship Troopers and Total Recall are bad films. Don't give me satire; that's the excuse Paul Verhoeven made to make think better of him.

7. "I feel the need, THE NEED, FOR SPEED!"


Perhaps not the line one should try to use after a scene that just involved you making love to a woman you have absolutely no chemistry with. That said, this line is unintentionally funny because it's just plain silly. Why is it even said? What does having the need for speed have to do with the fact that you're going to fail miserably yet again? Why am I asking so many questions? Simply put, there's no real reason this line is bad, other than the fact that it's just bad. Get it? Got it? Good. Now if you'll excuse me, I feel the need, THE NEED, FOR PIZZA PRINGLES. Sounds stupid now doesn't it?!


6. "Slider...you stink."


One of the worst burns of all time. Seriously; Maverick would've been much better off responding to Slider's lame "crashed and burned" line by flaunting the piece of paper Charlie had just given him confirming her interest. Instead, he has to go all Hayden Christensen in Attack of the Clones on the guy. So much emphasis, so little burn. So what if the man stinks? Do you see where you are Maverick? It's San Diego in the summer and you're all sweating like Buffy and Faith after a study room training session. You all stink. So does this line. LeBron James circa 2011 wouldn't have choked this bad.

David Blatt approves
David Blatt approves

5. The Throw


Let's be real now here guys; Tom Cruise isn't that great of an athlete. Sure he may run a lot, but so what? My dad runs a lot and runs really well; you're not going to see him coming in here claiming he's Michael Jordan (actually he might. Apologies ahead of time dad!). In any event, this entry right here is proof that Mr. Cruise is about as athletic Matthew Dellavedova (come at me Cleveland!). This supposed to be a poignant moment of Maverick finally coming terms with Goose's death and "letting him go", with the valiant toss of the dog tags into the ocean symbolizing that. Instead, all you see is Cruise flailing the worst submarine toss in the history of time, almost identical to the throw Johnny Lipnicki made in Cruise's Jerry MacGuire ten years later. It's absolutely dreadful, and it's absolutely hilarious. I'm pretty sure Mitch "Wild Thing" Williams' pitch to Joe Carter in the 1993 World Series was better than that.


4. The Volleyball Game


We're in top tier territory now, and it's only number four. The unintentional chuckles are strong with this film! And my God, this scene just has it all. The unnecessary shirtless fighter pilots, the endless amount of glistening sweat, the terrible eighties song, the NEVER ENDING FLEXING! My goodness man, these guys were posing more than Lex Luger during his Narcissist days. Maverick goes for a spike, flexes. Slider dives for a ball, flexes. Slider readies for a serve, flexes. Iceman stands there, flexes. Maverick goes to look at his watch, and bloody hell, he's flexing! What the hell was this, Fighter Pilots Gone Wild? The only thing missing was Goose (the only volleyball player not shirtless, as he evidently wasn't pretty enough) drawing Mav, Slider and Ice like they were one of his French girls. The only thing missing from taking this to the top was Ironside watching this game, looking like he wanted to strangle all four of them in their sleep. That would've been "I CAN'T GET OVER THE SIZE OF THAT RUSSIAN!" great.

3. "You can be my wingman anytime"


Perhaps the most sexually repressed scene in the history of cinema. Come on, tell me you don't feel the sexual tension. Yes, I know the scene is supposed to be about Mav and Ice finally coming to a mutual respect for one another, but let's be real; you're pretty much spending this entire scene yelling at the two to just kiss already. What more really needs to be said? Get a room already Mav and Ice. No one cares. Alright, maybe Jeb Bush does, but even less people care about him.


2. "You gotta let him go!"


A Hall of Fame unintentional comedy scene if there ever was one. Let's go through it step by step; Viper (Tom Skerritt) goes to inform Mav that Goose has died, with all the emotion of a dude who just received an enema. In the words of Bill Simmons, Cruise acts the scene with the immortal "I'm trying to cry after Goose's death but I can't make any tears come, so I'll look like I'm taking a dump instead" face. The highest of comedy, and enough to make this scene legendary right then and there. Not to be outdone however, Skerritt, now with the emotion of a dude who's received two consecutive enemas, bellows "YOU GOTTA LET HIM GO!" before leaving. And with that, you have the win, the whole win AND NOTHING BUT THE WIN! Well, except for the fact that this is number two. Only in Top Gun would a scene like this still be second best on a so bad it's hilarious scale.

1. The Chomp


There are many things I want to know in life. Who killed Kennedy, why is Paige so hot, why won't Gary Bettman move the Arizona Coyotes, how does the NFL continue to be popular while insulting everyone's intelligence; the list goes on and on. One of the most important questions I need answered though is WHO THE FUCK THOUGHT THIS SCENE WAS A GOOD IDEA?! Seriously, how in the world did the crew of Top Gun allow Val Kilmer to chomp air for no particular reason? Did he improvise it and Tony Scott simply said "fuck it, I already got the check and Beverly Hills Cop II in the bag"? Did Jim Cash and Jack Epps Jr actually think Ice eating air was captivating cinema? Did Simpson and Bruckheimer snort some blow while watching the rough cut and go, "you know what we really need? Ice chomping. Gotta have that chomp!"? I don't know whose idea it was to keep this scene in, but whoever it was, thank you sir. Your ineptitude led to the most hilarious bad scene of Top Gun, a masterpiece of suck if there ever was one. What makes this better? The fact that Kilmer actually survived this and went on to be a really good actor. Can you imagine Hayden Christensen doing the chomp? My buddy 'Plan couldn't even defend that. Wait...yup, yes he could.


That's it dudes and dudettes! I'm off till tomorrow, where I'll finally get back to Sega Saturday and tackle some sort of lucha topic. Till next time, don't forget to tip your waitress, don't throw dog tags unless no one's watching, never chomp air, don't lose that loving feeling, and know that Tom Skerritt approves of Maverick's beer pong abilities.

Told you
Told you

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