Bodybuilder, actor, politician: multi-disciplinary heavyweight Arnold Schwarzenegger has flexed his muscles on all kinds of stages. He’s been crowned Mr. Olympia seven times, served as the 38th Governor of California, and of course, he was and still is one of the biggest movie stars in the world.
For most people working in Hollywood, having a buttery thick Austrian accent would have been a hindrance to their careers. But not for Arnold Schwarzenegger. His unique speech not only lends him distinct character, it ensures that almost anything he says can have a wide range of tones. He can be deadly serious, he can be laugh-out-loud hilarious, and more often than not, he can be both of those at once.
“Arnie” alone has some of the greatest one-liners in the history of movies, some of which you have definitely said yourself before in everyday life. Here’s 32 of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s greatest cinematic catchphrases.
32. “Stick around.” (Predator)
If there’s one defining characteristic to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s best movie quotes, it’s the fact they’re almost all bad puns. In Predator, Arnold Schwarzenegger stars as Major Alan Schaefer, aka “Dutch,” who leads an elite squad into the jungles of South America where they encounter an alien hunter. During a firefight, Dutch kills a guerilla soldier by spearing him onto a tree with a giant combat knife, which he throws like a dart. Schwarzenegger caps off the moment with a simple, “Stick around.” It would be so corny if Schwarzenegger weren’t so cool.
31. “Allow me to break the ice.” (Batman & Robin)
Batman & Robin was such a disaster that it basically killed the Batman franchise until Christopher Nolan came around. But the movie, from director Joel Schumacher, is loaded with camp charm, including a cartoonish Arnold Schwarzenegger as mad scientist Mr. Freeze. While Mr. Freeze is ostensibly a genius, the script makes him anything but, with Schwarzenegger uttering painfully delightful cold-themed puns. An underrated line of his comes just before Schwarzenegger, as Freeze, knocks out two Arkham Asylum guards to make a failed escape.
30. “You’re fired.” (True Lies)
Before a certain reality star turned President made “You’re fired” their catchphrase, Arnie owned it from James Cameron’s action-comedy classic True Lies. About a family man whose home life dangerously intertwines with his secret job at a spy agency, the movie’s climax has Schwarznegger sitting in the cockpit of a Marine jet. When the movie’s main villain, a terrorist named Aziz (Art Malik) is caught hanging on one of the jet’s missiles, Schwarzenegger fires his missile into an enemy helicopter, but not before delivering this A-plus one-liner.
29. “You should clone yourself. So you can go…” (The 6th Day)
Profane and clever! In this 2000 sci-fi bomb, Arnold Schwarzenegger stars as a family man, Adam Gibson, who is cloned by accident as part of a corporate conspiracy. Towards the end of the movie, Adam confronts the movie’s evil CEO, Michael (Tony Goldwyn), who suggests that Michael ought to clone himself too. Though Michael thinks Adam is trying to be poetic about what it means to live an artificial life, Adam actually means something more vulgar and biting.
28. “See you at the party, Richter!” (Total Recall)
Along with director Paul Verhoeven, Arnold Schwarzenegger kicked off the ‘90s with this sci-fi classic about class warfare and false memories, all in a distant future where Mars is mankind’s new homeworld. This classic one-liner is set up earlier in the film when the movie’s villainous enforcer, Richter (Michael Ironside) sarcastically tells Quaid (Schwarzenegger) that they’ll see each other later at a lavish party. Later, when Quaid throws Richter off an elevator, Quaid responds, “See you at the party, Richter!” In its entry on Urban Dictionary, the site describes the line as something that “can be randomly yelled at for no reason or if you’ve just beaten someone in some contest.”
27. “Remember when I said I’d promise to kill you last? I lied.” (Commando)
Commando, released in 1985, is prime action beefcake cheese with Schwarzenegger in the role of a former U.S. Army Special Forces Colonel, whose name is the incredible “John Matrix,” fighting mercenaries to save his daughter (played by a young Alyssa Milano). Partway through the movie, John meets an underling named Sully. John sarcastically claims to like Sully, at least enough to kill him last. Not long after that, John holds Sully by his ankle over a steep cliff, reminding him of his promise – only to reveal he’s not to be taken at his own word.
26. “I let him go.” (Commando)
Leave it to Arnie to immediately follow up a classic one-liner with another one. After killing Sully by dropping him off a cliff, John reunites with Cindy (Rae Dawn Chong), a flight attendant roped into helping John rescue his daughter. When Cindy asks what happened to Sully, John plainly responds, “I let him go,” before driving the two of them off in Sully’s yellow convertible.
Bonus one-liner: When Cindy gestures that their own car is wrecked, telling him “So now you don’t have a car,” John calmly looks over to Sully’s car and says, “Now I do.”
25. “Always winterize your pipes.” (Batman & Robin)
It's honestly hard to pick just a few of Arnie’s incredible (and incredibly bad) cold puns in this ill-received Batman sequel. This one is spoken when Freeze, Poison Ivy (Uma Thurman), and her henchman Bane (pro wrestler Robert Swenson) break out from Arkham Asylum. By freezing the pipes to explode, they make an easy getaway. Memorable not only for being so eye-rolling, but because it’s actually a helpful reminder to homeowners about proper maintenance. Winterize your pipes, or else you’ll be left in the cold!
24. “It’s not a tumor!” (Kindergarten Cop)
After ruling adult-oriented action cinema throughout the ‘80s, Arnold Schwarenegger started expanding his Hollywood image into family-friendly fare. In 1990, Schwarzenegger starred in Ivan Reitman’s comedy Kindergarten Cop as John Kimble, an LAPD detective working undercover as a substitute kindergarten teacher to weed out a drug dealing parent. Early into the job, Kimble tells his students that he has a headache. When a smart aleck tells him that he might have a tumor, Schwarzenegger yells out, “It’s not a tumor!” Because of Schwarzenegger’s Austrian accent, his “too-mah” has grown into one of the oldest internet memes.
23. “You’re a choir boy compared to me!” (End of Days)
Is Arnold Schwarzenegger a bad enough man to tell off the Devil himself? In the dark action-horror movie End of Days, released in 1999, Schwarzenegger plays Jericho Cane, a former NYPD detective who protects an innocent woman (Robin Tunney) chosen to conceive Satan’s child. (The movie almost starred Tom Cruise and Liv Tyler, which would have been a much different movie for sure.) Towards the end, Satan comes to Jericho offering to resurrect his dead wife and daughter in exchange for the woman. Jericho resists, and insults the Devil that he is just “a choir boy” to him. What a stone cold thing to say to the infernal one.
22. “You should not drink and bake.” (Raw Deal)
After Conan the Barbarian became a major hit, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s star power was starting to grow in Hollywood. In 1986, he starred in the action-drama Raw Deal playing Mark Kaminski, a small-town sheriff assigned by the FBI to infiltrate the Italian Mafia. Early in the movie, Mark comes home to his alcoholic wife (Kathryn Harrold), who resents the mediocrity of their lives. She bakes a cake decorated with profanity, and tosses it at Mark’s face. After Mark dodges, he tells her almost stoically, “You should not drink and bake.”
21. “Rubber baby buggy bumpers!” (Last Action Hero)
Utter gibberish but expertly delivered, this bizarre line comes from the action-comedy Last Action Hero, which affectionately spoofs the action genre that Schwarzenegger himself made famous. When Schwarzenegger’s character, Jack Slater – from the fictional Jack Slater film franchise – is transported into the real world and accompanies an adolescent super fan, Danny (Austin O’Brien), he tells a cab driver: “You’ve seen these movies where they say ‘Make my day’ or ‘I'm your worst nightmare’? Well, listen to this one: Rubber baby buggy bumpers!”
He then teases Danny, “You didn’t know I was gonna say that, did you?”
20. “Here is Subzero! Now, plain zero!” (The Running Man)
In the dystopian sci-fi from director Paul Michael Glaser, Schwarzenegger plays police captain Ben Richards, who is forced to enter a futuristic television game show where criminals run for their lives from mercenaries to earn their freedom and a paid vacation. After defeating the ice hockey killer “Subzero” (played by the late pro wrestler Professor Tanaka), Ben boasts, “Here is Subzero! Now, plain zero!” While this movie is actually loaded with even more classic lines referencing his assailants, his victory over Subzero takes the cake.
19. “Let off some steam, Bennett.” (Commando)
Arnold Schwarzenegger just loves to kill bad guys and dish out puns. In Commando, John Matrix trades blows with a former brethren soldier, Bennett (Vernon Wells) who has aligned himself with the movie’s big villain. In their fight in an industrial complex, Bennett threatens to shoot John “between the balls.” Thinking fast, John rips out a giant pipe and tosses it like a javelin into Bennett’s midsection. As steam blows out of the pipe and out of Bennett, John quips this all-timer of a quote.
18. “Cocainum!” (Red Heat)
In this buddy cop classic from 1988, directed by Walter Hill, Arnold Schwarzenegger stars as a Russian policeman who teams up with a Chicago cop (Jim Belushi) to catch a cocaine kingpin. After removing the prosthetic leg of a criminal underling, Scharzenegger – looking directly into the eyes of a drug lord (Ed O’Ross) – pours out a bunch of cocaine, and utters out “Cocainum!” with unflinching eyes. Because it just barely makes sense, this is another favorite meme-worthy line that the internet has obsessed over, creating plentiful GIFs, mashups, and video edits.
17. “Consider that a divorce.” (Total Recall)
In Total Recall, Arnie’s character Douglas Quaid begins the film living a false life created for him by the “Agency,” overseen by the movie’s main antagonist Cohaagen (Ronny Cox). After learning his “wife” Lori (Sharon Stone) is merely an agent assigned to keep tabs on him, and to keep Lori from killing his real wife Melina (Rachel Ticotin), Quaid points a gun at Lori. When Lori reminds him they’re married, Quaid shoots her in the head and speaks this quote, saving them all the trouble of signing divorce papers.
16. “I did nothing. The pavement was his enemy.” (Twins)
One of Schwarzenegger’s biggest career gambles that paid off handsomely was starring in the Ivan Reitman-helmed comedy Twins, in which Arnie plays Julius, the physically perfect twin brother of Vincent, a two-bit criminal played by Danny DeVito. At one point, Julius is the target of an attempted robbery by a thief on a motorcycle. When the thief is knocked from his bike (unaware of Arnie’s strength), he lands on the pavement and gets a mild concussion. When the thief’s partner yells at Julius, Julius naively insists he didn’t do anything – gravity did.
15. “I'm not into politics, I'm into survival.” (The Running Man)
Another classic line from The Running Man, this one is less laugh-out-loud funny than it is telling of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character, Ben Richards, who is forced into a dangerous TV game show against his will. The quote becomes profound by what is spoken after it. After Ben says this one to some fellow revolutionaries, they respond to him, “Nowadays, it’s the same thing.” For anyone who thinks being apolitical is the safest option to live life, think again.
14. “I eat Green Berets for breakfast. And right now, I'm very hungry!” (Commando)
Two years before Roddy Piper’s delivered his all-time classic line in John Carpenter’s iconic action-horror film They Live (“I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick [butt], and I’m all out of bubblegum”), Schwarzenegger had his own version in Commando. Before a one-on-one fight with the imposing Cooke (Bill Duke), Cooke intimidates Schwarzenegger by reminding him that he’s a Green Beret. Schwarzenegger shrugs it off, telling him that killing Green Berets is just how he starts his day.
13. “You've just been erased.” (Eraser)
Simple, yet elegant. In the 1996 political action thriller Eraser, Arnold Schwarzenegger plays John Kruger, a U.S. Marshall for WITSEC who has the unique job of “erasing” high-profile witnesses, which usually involves faking their deaths and giving them new cover identities. But towards the end of the movie, John Kruger gets back at his former mentor (played by James Caan) by setting up a “fake” death, for real, by leaving his limousine on railroad tracks with an incoming train. Schwarzenegger delivers this direct but beautiful one-liner over the phone, when Caan’s character realizes exactly what’s coming to him.
12. "I’m afraid that my condition has left me cold to your pleas of mercy.” (Batman & Robin)
If Batman & Robin has one line that’s actually cool (get it?), it’s easily this one. While Arnie’s Mr. Freeze is way too obsessed with cold temperature puns, one of them is actually low-key frightening when Mr. Freeze reminds the audience just how cold-blooded he is. When a Gotham City cop begs to be spared, Freeze kills him anyway (with his oversized freeze ray gun), and dishes out this quote. Spoken with Schwarzenegger’s thick accent, the line would actually be stone cold, if it weren’t in Batman & Robin.
11. “It’s Turbo Time!” (Jingle All the Way)
At the height of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers phenomenon, the 1996 comedy film Jingle All the Way lampooned every parents’ death-defying mission to get the hottest toys for Christmas. When Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character, a family man named Howard, ends up dressing in the impossibly hi-tech costume of Turbo-Man, he recites Turbo-Man’s signature catchphrase: “It’s Turbo Time!” You bet good money the screenwriters suffered through one too many Power Rangers episodes and had “It’s Morphin’ Time!” imprinted on their brains. (Wait, does this make Arnold Schwarzenegger a Power Ranger?)
10. “Dillon! You son of a…” (Predator)
It’s the manliest handshake in the history of cinema. In Predator, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Dutch enjoys a reunion with an old army buddy, a CIA operative named Al Dillon (Carl Weathers). Upon greeting each other in a South American bar, Schwarzenegger yells out this profane-but-affectionate hello before the two lock arms in an impromptu arm wrestling match. The bulging biceps, the leathery clap of palm to palm contact, the sweaty atmosphere of an exotic bar – everything about this scene only adds to the power of this everlasting movie quote.
9. “Don’t disturb my friend. He’s dead tired.” (Commando)
When Arnold Schwarzenegger’s John Matrix is stuck with an enemy on a commercial flight, John quickly kills him right then and there, with no one else any wiser. Covering him in a baby blue blanket and a hat, John asks the flight attendant how long the plane’s ride is expected to be. He then asks her to politely leave his “friend” alone. He’s had a dreadful day, and only wants to take a nice, long nap. Schwarzenegger then slips away (“I’m air sick”), leaving a bunch of passengers alone with a dead body.
8. “To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women!” (Conan the Barbarian)
Conan the Barbarian is the movie that made Arnold Schwarzenegger famous, and its most memorable line can make you feel the utter savagery that raised a nomadic warrior brute. In John Milius’ 1982 film version of Robert E. Howard’s pulp comics character, Arnie dishes out this declaration of what is best in life. And it ain’t love, family, and security. This all-time quote has undoubtedly been recited in locker rooms and military barracks everywhere.
7. “Put that cookie down, now!” (Jingle All the Way)
Throughout Jingle All the Way, Arnie’s character Howard is taunted by his divorced neighbor Ted (the late, great Phil Hartman), who is slowly making moves on Howard’s wife Liz (Rita Wilson). While away trying to get a Turbo-Man doll, Howard calls to check in at home, only to realize Ted is there helping Liz bake Christmas cookies. After telling Howard that Liz’s cookies are “out of this world,” his pleasurable moans incites Howard to yell at him to put the cookies down. In 2013, for some reason, Schwarzenegger recited this line on his YouTube channel.
6. “All right, everyone! Chill!” (Batman & Robin)
The best and most beautiful thing about Arnie’s plentiful Mr. Freeze puns from Batman & Robin is that you can use them pretty much any time in daily life. Chaotic day in the office? Kids having too much of a sugar rush? Family Thanksgiving dinner getting too intense over heated political arguments? Take a page from Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Freeze. Just tell everyone to chill. (It may or may not be helpful to have a giant ice laser to make your point.)
5. “Get to the chopper!” (Predator)
For a brief time in the mid-2000s, you couldn’t walk a mile without running into this iconic line from Predator. Whether you were playing Counter-Strike online or had the radio playing an Eminem song (“Just Like That”), someone somewhere was quoting this all-time Arnie line from Predator. Yelled out by Schwarzenegger’s Dutch to an ally (Elpidia Carrillo) to get her to safety, Arnie’s panicked delivery makes it so hilarious as it is intense. It’s also just sound advice: When in doubt, just get to the chopper!
4. “If it bleeds, we can kill it.” (Predator)
Some Schwarzenegger movies are just too overloaded with great quotes. And Predator is easily among them. In Predator, Schwarzenegger points out that just because their alien enemy is stronger, faster, and armed with better weaponry, that doesn’t make him immortal. “If it bleeds, we can kill it” is strangely applicable to daily life too, whether it’s underdog athletes exploiting their stronger opponents’ weaknesses or the rest of us confronting the spider hiding somewhere in the living room. Whenever you’re faced with impossible odds, never forget what Arnold Schwarzenegger said here.
3. “Hasta la vista, baby.” (Terminator 2: Judgment Day)
Flipping the script from The Terminator, Arnie’s cyborg killer from the year 2029 is now an ally to destined revolutionary leader John Connor (Edward Furlong) in James Cameron’s blockbuster epic Terminator 2: Judgement Day. When John advises the T-800 to be less robotic and have a little more attitude, the T-800 learns this butchered bit of Spanish. Later, after freezing the more advanced T-1000 (Robert Patrick), the T-800 remembers from its hard drive memory what John told him before. It’s a perfect line, making a powerful synthetic being feel more human.
2. “Come with me if you want to live.” (Terminator 2: Judgment Day)
Arguably even more famous than “Hasta la vista, baby,” this famous line of Scwharzenegger’s actually wasn’t spoken by him – at least, at first. In the first film in the Terminator series, released in 1984, the line is spoken by Michael Biehn playing resistance fighter Kyle Reese, who is sent to the past to protect Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton). But Schwarzenegger owns it in the sequel. Now playing the heroic T-800 tasked with protecting the Connors, the T-800 quoting Kyle to Sarah is brilliant, efficient writing that reveals he’s actually the good guy now.
1. “I’ll be back.” (The Terminator, and so many more)
Arnold Schwarzenegger first said his most iconic, most versatile, and most quotable line of all time in The Terminator, directed towards a no-name police officer sitting behind a desk. Because Arnie gave such an A-plus delivery the first time, other movies have had the star say it again, and again, and again. Schwarzenegger has repeated himself in Commando, The Running Man, Kindergarten Cop, The Last Action Hero, The Expendables 2 (the latter of which had Bruce Willis quip, “You’ve been back enough!”), and of course, virtually every Terminator sequel he’s in. It’s not hard to see why. A silver screen hero like Arnold Schwarzenegger comes along only once in a generation. You better hope that when he leaves, he’ll be back.