Hidden Details In ‘Top Gun’ You Probably Never Noticed


Admit it…you’ve been feeling “the need for speed” lately!

With the successful debut of Top Gun: Maverick, many people are returning to the high-flying original movie. Then a funny thing happens…you begin to notice some wild details that never really stood out to you before!

Fortunately, you don’t need to have the eyesight of a fighter pilot to notice these details. We compiled a list of what you need to watch out for. And we feel pretty confident some of these hidden details are going to “take your breath away!”

Look out for a young Tim Robbins in the film

It’s fair to say that Top Gun is dominated by some fairly big personalities. When you see Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer electrifying audiences while chewing the scenery, it can be tough to notice the little details hidden in the scenery.

One of those hidden details is none other than Tim Robbins! He plays a Radar Intercept Officer in the film, first for Cougar and then later for Maverick. By that point, it’s easy to overlook him because you’re still mourning Goose, but it’s wild to think that the future Andy Dufresne is on the plane with Maverick.

Maverick is actually a bad guy

As audiences, we are primed to root for Maverick. He’s the hero of the movie, and we watch him go through the usual heroic motions of trying to prove himself and get the girl. Along the way, he keeps butting heads with everyone from rival pilots to Top Gun instructors, and we cheer as he keeps breaking the rules and getting away with it.

Here’s the thing, though: Maverick is an irresponsible jerk, and those criticizing him throughout the movie are 100% correct. He is constantly warned about putting lives in danger. He doesn’t listen, and this arguably gets Goose killed. Maverick may be the hero of the movie, but he’s a cocky and arrogant jerk that can sometimes be tough to root for.

Iceman is the real hero

When you first watch Top Gun, Iceman is the closest thing to a villain. He’s not a deadly foe, of course, but Maverick’s rival in the fight for aerial supremacy. As such, we spend a fair amount of time rooting against him.

But just as rewatching the movie helps us see that Maverick is a jerk, it also helps us see that Iceman was right. When Maverick asks Iceman what his problem is, the rival pilot immediately spits back “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.”

And… he’s right? We literally see Maverick’s impatient antics get a person killed, and we can only imagine how bad some of the other antics (like buzzing the tower) could have ended.

Maverick may get both the girl and the sequel, but at the end of the day, it’s Iceman who gets our respect!

‘Top Gun’ is more of a romance than an action film

Ask the average dude what kind of movie Top Gun is and he’s likely to say that it’s an action movie. Why, then, is this movie equally popular with men and women in a way that other ’80s action movies (including Aliens, Bloodsport, and Escape From New York) are not?

It’s because Top Gun achieves a balance between awesome action scenes and more emotional beats. Some of these emotional beats come from Maverick and Charlie’s relationship, including that iconic love scene shot like a vintage music video.

Other emotional beats come from the unexpected death of Goose and even the burgeoning brotherhood between the pilots. Basically, Top Gun wears its heart on its sleeve right next to some cool aviator patches, making it an almost universal crowdpleaser.

There’s tons of product placement in the film

One of the most famous scenes in the movie involves Maverick serenading his love interest, Charlie, and we’re going to dive into that scene. But before you can appreciate the wild singing, it’s basically impossible not to notice all the Budweiser in the bar!

This is product placement, of course, and it’s easy to overlook when you are younger. But after you’ve spent a bit of time in a few bars, the fact that this particular bar seems to barely sell anything but Budweiser will stick out to you even more than the infamous volleyball scene.

Woo? More like ‘whoa’

Speaking of the bar, this is the site of Maverick hitting on Charlie in the most Maverick way possible: by loudly crooning “you’ve lost that loving feeling.” The 1980s was a time of expressing love through music (just ask John Cusack and his boombox), so the scene felt normal at the time. Now, it’s quite a bit weird!

That’s because pretty much every pilot gets involved. That means countless dudes aggressively singing AT one woman they have just met. This would be considered creepy “dudebro” behavior these days. For that matter, since Charlie ends up being their Top Gun instructor, this would seem to be a major HR violation as well!

Where no man has gone before

Remember when we said the whole “singing at Charlie in the bar thing” was creepy? Some may say that is more flattering than freaky. However, the next big is unambiguously weird: Maverick follows Charlie into the women’s restroom to continue the conversation they were having before.

Since this is basically a romantic movie in an action movie wrapper, things work out for the best, and these characters get their happily ever after. However, the real-life consequences for a man following a woman into the ladies’ room to continue an aggressive conversation would be a restraining order at a minimum.

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