HomeENTERTAINMENTSee all references cited in the film "Top Gun"

See all references cited in the film “Top Gun”

“Top Gun: Maverick” arrived as a very late sequel to the 1986 film, and contains several references to “Top Gun”.

Despite receiving praise for not getting too fixated on the previous film and finding success in bringing generations together to watch the new film, “Top Gun: Maverick” still contains numerous references to the 1986 original.


With that in mind, we bring you a complete list with references to the first film made in the second, prepared by CBR.com.

Obviously, as we will quote several moments from the film, the text below may contain spoilers for “Top Gun: Maverick”.

opening credits

From the beginning, “Maverick” has already started with references to “Running Aces”, with the opening title sequence as a recreation of the opening scene of the 1986 film. There we see similar scenes, the same font in the lyrics and the same music. , which was from Harold Faltermeyer’s theme song and carried over to Kenny Loggins’ “Danger Zone”.

The opening also featured the Don Simpson/Jerry Bruckheimer Films lightning bolt logo as a tribute to the production of the first “Top Gun” and a tribute to Don Simpson, who died in 1996.

Maverick’s Costume

top gun reference
Publicity/Paramount Pictures

Another point of the opening transition was Tom Cruise’s costume as Maverick, in which he appears wearing everything exactly as he did in the 1986 film. This includes the aviator sunglasses, the jacket, and the Kawasaki Ninja motorcycle, worn without a helmet to show that, even years later, the character isn’t very good at following rules.

The Admiral’s Daughter

With Pete “Maverick” returning to the Top Gun show in Los Angeles, he has a new love interest: Penny, played by Jennifer Connelly. However, Penny is also a reference to “Top Gun”. At one point in the film, Goose teases Maverick, talking about “a story of high-speed passes over five air control towers and an admiral’s daughter.”

hum the tower

Something Maverick used to do in the first movie is “buzz the turret”, that is, when passing the aircraft very close to the conning tower, usually for visual inspections at low speed. However, he liked to do this at high speeds with the aim of annoying air command officials and even his own superiors.

In “Top Gun: Maverick”, he returns to “buzz the tower” in a sequel, leaving Admiral Cyclone, played by Jon Hamm, angry that Pete “Maverick” still doesn’t mature.

The Ghost of Goose

top gun reference

Publicity/Paramount Pictures

Goose’s death continues to haunt the Maverick in the sequel, with footage of the incident resurfacing in the new film, as well as him singing Jerry Lee Lewis’s “Great Balls of Fire” to Pete and his family at a bar. Likewise, Goose’s son Rooster, played by Miles Teller, sits at a bar piano and sang the same song in the sequel.

Other than that, Rooster is always seen seeing pictures of Goose and Pete and their mom, he wears a mustache like his dad and he and Maverick talked to Goose after his death for inspiration. To top it off, Pete relives the grief over the cause of Goose’s death.

Ice Man

top gun reference

Publicity/Paramount Pictures

The first film was set against the backdrop of the battle between Pete and Iceman, Val Kilmer’s character. The sequel has several photos and flashbacks of the two, but returns in the sequel as a mentor, who inspires Pete to train new pilots. Iceman died in the film out of the picture, and paid tribute to Kilmer’s battle with cancer, which caused him to lose his voice and use artificial intelligence to recreate it.

teachers at the bar

If in “Running Aces” Maverick hit on Charlie at the bar not knowing she was going to be his teacher and embarrassing him the next day, the sequel made a reference to it. The recruits that Maverick was going to train kicked him out of the bar because he didn’t pay the bill, not realizing that he would mentor him the next day. What a situation!

low altitude

Something that was mentioned a lot in the first movie was the minimum limit that pilots could fly for missions, something that Pete flouted several times, and got himself into trouble because of it. The concept reappears in the sequel, but in a positive light: Maverick flew as low as 300 feet, all to show Cyclone and the trainers how low they would have to go in terms of altitude to bomb enemy installations, proving that the mission was possible to be fulfilled.


If in the 1986 film the cadets played volleyball, in “Top Gun: Maverick” the new generation of pilots also creates bonds through sport. Only this time, the sport chosen was “combat football” in the sand. The activity angered Admiral Cyclone, but Maverick, looking back on his own days as a cadet, approved of the action, saying it would make the team a family.

The right-hand rule

In aerial combat, it’s crucial not to abandon your partner, and that was something Pete had a hard time absorbing in the first film. However, in the second he not only believes in the rule, but also imposes it on his subordinates. In fact, Maverick cuts Hangman out of the mission when he realizes he would make the same mistakes he made in the past.

“Do not think”

In teaching his men lessons, Maverick uses the “don’t think, just do” maxim in the new film. This is reminiscent of his own dialogue in the first “Top Gun,” which says, “You don’t have time to think up there. If you think about it, you are dead.”

When Pete and Rooster were shot down behind enemy lines and stole an F-14 to escape, Rooster claimed the jet was a relic, but Pete pointed out, “I dropped three MiGs on one of these things!”, referencing his heroic act. at the end of “Top Gun – Aces Indomitable”. To top it off, the F-14 in question had a button to change missiles and weapons that the first movie also had, but that doesn’t exist on this jet in the real-life version.

unnamed enemy

As with the first film, “Top Gun: Maverick” does not reveal which nation or organization the United States is fighting in a war. Enemies are just referred to as “enemies” and “MiGs”. Enemy planes are called “fifth-generation fighters”, to help keep things pretty vague.

Read more!

“Let’s warm up!”

Another repeated line from the original film is “Let’s warm up!”, or “Let’s turn and burn!” in English. The phrase was said by Maverick in the first film and repeated by Payback in the final mission of the new film, putting a sense of urgency on Maverick’s team.

If you want to check out all those references, “Top Gun: Maverick” is still available in theaters.

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