Two Sides of Top Gun: Death of the Family and Awkward Habits

It is exhilarating to finally watch a film that people deem essential to a complete cultural existence in the United States. For some reason, people were invariably flabbergasted when I admitted I had never watched the film. So, as a dutiful American, I soaked up everything I could. What I found is fascinating.

Very early in the film, a pilot with the call name “Cougar” almost kills himself and his copilot when a picture of his wife and child paralyzes him–the photo gyrates violently and is blood red.

Iceman, a highly skilled pilot, insults Goose by calling him “Mother Goose” when they first meet.  When Goose dies, Mavericks only “family,” Maverick suffers and develops a brief complex towards engaging with an enemy.

Family is weakness, family is bad, family leads to suffering.

The success and skill of the two best pilots, Iceman and Maverick, seems to be based on their lack of family. They are free to fly, so to speak. Their families aren’t weighing them down.


This happens a number of times, but the following two examples are the most glaring. I was shocked at the deluge of testosterone in the bar when the chorus of men belts, “You’ve Lost that Loving Feeling” at Charlie. Impromptu? I think not. Regardless, Charlie seems to be pleased with the display.

Another musical scene takes place in another bar during the day with Goose, his family, Charlie, and Maverick. They joyfully yell, “Great Balls of Fire” at each other.

I wasn’t exactly sure about the song titles, so I was about to look them up on the internet. Then I had an idea:

“Hey Dad!”


“What song did those guys all sing in the bar scene to the girl in Top Gun?”

“You’ve Lost that Loving Feeling,” he said. He began to sing, “Loovin Feeelin.”

A few minutes later…

“Hey Mom!” I wanted to give her a chance too.


“What song did Goose and Maverick sing with the piano?”

“Great Balls of Fire” she said.

Then my dad said to me, “Your mother wanted to have Tom Cruise’s babies.” How many times have you seen Top Gun? Like 20?”

My mom scoffed.

I am still laughing.



It’s never a substantial chew, just a slight mouth movement that I can’t help but conclude that Tony Scott thought this made them look cool or relaxed or something. Well, it was distracting to me, especially when they aren’t really eating something, or they’ve chewed something into cud, or they stop nibbling mid-sentence and then never resume. Maybe they are avid snackers and they carry small Ziplocs of goldfish everywhere. Strange.

They nibble—particularly when Charlie and Maverick converse. Look for it.

I liked Top Gun. I want a call name. I bet there’s a Top Gun name generator somewhere.


Thumbs up!


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