Stinger: Maverick, you just did an incredibly brave thing. What you should have done was land your plane! You don't own that plane, the taxpayers do! Son, your ego is writing checks your body can't cash. You've been busted, you've lost your qualifications as section leader three times, put in hack twice by me, with a history of high speed passes over five air control towers—and one admiral's daughter!
Goose: Penny Benjamin? [Maverick shrugs]
Stinger: [to Goose] And you, asshole, you're lucky to be here!
Goose: Thank you, sir.
Stinger: And let's not bullshit, Maverick. Your family name ain't the best in the Navy. You need to be doing it better and cleaner than the other guy. Now what is it with you?
Maverick: Just want to serve my country; be the best fighter pilot in the Navy, sir!
Stinger: Don't screw around with me, Maverick. You're one hell of an instinctive pilot. Maybe too good. I'd like to bust your butt but I can't. I got another problem here. I gotta send somebody from this squadron to Miramar. I gotta do something here, I…I still can't believe it. I gotta give you your dream shot! I'm gonna send you up against the best. You two characters are going to Top Gun. For five weeks, you'll be flying against the best fighter pilots in the world. You were number two, Cougar was number one. Cougar lost it—turned in his wings. You guys are number one. But you remember one thing: if you screw up just this [pinches fingers for emphasis] much, you'll be flying a cargo plane full of rubber dog shit out of Hong Kong!
Maverick: Yes sir!
[Viper talks to the Top Gun cadets]
Goose: [as Maverick is looking around the room] What are you doing?
Maverick: Just wondering who's the best.
Viper: In case some of you are wondering who the best is, they're up here on this plaque on the wall. The best driver and his RIO from each class has his name on it, and they have the option to come back here to be Top Gun instructors. [turns to Maverick] You think your name's gonna be on that plaque?
Maverick: Yes, sir.
Viper: That's pretty arrogant, considering the company you're in.
Maverick: [pauses] Yes, sir.
Viper: [smiles] I like that in a pilot. Just remember, when it's over out there, we're all on the same team.
[at the preflight briefing, Maverick, Goose, and Charlie talk about how Maverick buzzed a MIG-28 and what Goose did to the pilot.]
Goose: [Extending his middle finger] You know, the finger!
Charlie: Yes, I know the finger, Goose.
Goose: Sorry. I hate when it does that.
Charlie: [to Maverick] So you're the one.
Maverick: Yes, ma'am.
[after the first hop, Maverick and Goose celebrate their victory over Jester, but Iceman and Slider tell everybody that they made the kill below the hard deck, which was not allowed.]
Maverick: Hard deck my ass. We nailed that son of a bitch. [gives Goose a high five]
Iceman: Wow, you guys really are cowboys.
Maverick: [Faces Iceman] What's your problem, Kazanski?
Iceman: [Slams helmet locker's door and faces Maverick] You're everyone's problem. That's because every time you go up in the air, you're unsafe. I don't like you because you're dangerous.
Maverick: That's right! Ice…man. I am dangerous. [Iceman makes biting motion]
Jester: Maverick. [Maverick and Goose look at him] You and Goose get your butts outta that flight gear and up to Viper's office now. [leaves locker room]
Slider: Remember, boys, no points for second place.
Goose: You're a lot brighter than you look—
Slider: Oh, you shut up.
Maverick: I feel the need...
Maverick, Goose: ...the need for speed!
[During Hop 19, a different voice breaks in]
Viper: Good morning, gentlemen, the temperature is 110 degrees.
Maverick: [as Charlie screeches to a halt after chasing Maverick on his motorcycle] JESUS CHRIST, AND YOU THINK I'M RECKLESS? WHEN I FLY, I'LL HAVE YOU KNOW THAT MY CREW AND MY PLANE COME FIRST!
Charlie: Well, I am going to [bangs the car's door] FINISH MY SENTENCE, LIEUTENANT! My review of your flight performance was RIGHT ON!
Maverick: Is that right?
Charlie: That is right, but I held something back. I see some real genius in your flying, Maverick, but I can't say that in there. I was afraid that everyone in the TAC's trailer would see right through me, and I just don't want anyone to know that I've fallen for you.
[Maverick visits Viper at his house]
Viper: I flew with your old man. VF-51, the Oriskany. You're a lot like he was. Only better…and worse. He was a natural heroic son of a bitch, that one.
Maverick: So he did do it right.
Viper: Yeah, he did right. Is that why you fly the way you do? Trying to prove something? Yeah, your old man did it right. [Maverick and Viper take a walk.] What I'm about to tell you is classified and it could end my career. We were in the worst dogfight I could've dreamed of. There were bogeys like fireflies all over the sky. His F-4 was hit; he was wounded, but he could've made it back. He stayed in it; saved three planes before he bought it.
Maverick: How come I never heard that before?
Viper: Well that's not something the State Department tells its dependents when the battle occurred over the wrong line on some map.
Maverick: So you were there?
Viper: I was there. What's on your mind?
Maverick: My options, sir.
Viper: Simple. First, you've acquired enough points to show up and graduate with your Top Gun class, or you can quit. There'll be no disgrace. That spin was hell; it would've shook me up.
Maverick: So you think I should quit?
Viper: I didn't say that. The simple fact is you feel responsible for Goose and you have a confidence problem. Now I'm not gonna sit here and blow sunshine up your ass, Lieutenant. A good pilot is compelled to always evaluate what's happened, so he can apply what he's learned. Up there, we gotta push it. That's our job. It's your option, Lieutenant. All yours.
Maverick: Sorry to bother you on a Sunday, sir, but thank you very much for your time.
Viper: No problem. Good luck.
[At the carrier, in the midst of the MiG battle, Stinger asks the status of the reinforcement planes]
Stinger: What about Willard and Simkins?
Officer: Both catapults are broken sir, we cannot launch any aircraft yet.
Stinger: How long?
Officer: It'll take ten minutes.
Stinger: Bullshit ten minutes! This thing will be over in two minutes, get on it!
[The Enterprise's ground crew cheer on Maverick and Merlin when Iceman meets them]
Iceman: You! You are still dangerous. [smiles] You can be my wingman any time.