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Schwarzeneggerhetoric: The Fifteen Greatest Arnold One-Liners

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by Matt Singer
January 18, 2013 10:04 AM
7 Comments
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"Total Recall."
"Total Recall."

A new Arnold Schwarzenegger movie means one thing: new Arnold Schwarzenegger one-liners. Sure enough, in "The Last Stand," right before he unloads a Vickers gun on the bad guys, Arnold unloads a big groaner of a wisecrack. I won't spoil what it is, of course (and, truth be told, it's not one of his best), but a Schwarzenegger movie without one-liners is like a day without sunshine (and Schwarzenegger movies).

Arnold didn't invent the action movie one-liner -- Sean Connery's James Bond shared the same love of capping a horrible death with a terrible pun ("I think he got the point," he says in "Thunderball" after shooting a guy with a speargun). But Schwarzenegger certainly popularized them to the point that they became synonymous with an entire decade of action movies  -- and with his entire onscreen persona. The two really are inseparable. Even as a politician, his stump speeches always included one-liners. These great moments in cinema history needed to be honored in some way, which brings us to the list below. The very rigorous research, evaluation, and ranking process went like this: I spent the first 30 years of my life watching these movies over and over again. And then I wrote this.

The only rule: to qualify, a line had to be written as comedy, not turned into comedy by the magic of Schwarzenegger's accent. "Get to the choppa!" has become one of the most famous and most imitated action movie lines ever -- but if any other actor says it, it's just another barked instruction, no different than a dozen other things intense dudes scream at each other when they're running from deadly alien predators.

With that out of the way, here, listed in ascending order -- and with (often very violent) video in every single case so you can savor the nuances of each Austrian inflection -- are the finest expressions of Schwarzeneggerhetoric ever committed to celluloid. These are... 

The Best Arnold Schwarzenegger One-Liners of All-Time

15) From "The Running Man" (1987) before -- and after! -- killing a man with a flamethrower:

14) From "Last Action Hero" (1993), playing Hamlet:

13) From "True Lies" (1994), after knocking out a pair of attack dogs:

12) From "Total Recall" (1990), after severing a man's arms in an elevator shaft:

11) From "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" (1991), after swearing not to kill anyone:

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7 Comments

  • Jordan Litt | January 22, 2013 1:47 PMReply

    "It's not a tumor!" - Kindergarden Cop

  • Haymaker | January 18, 2013 11:51 PMReply

    Great list. Completely forgot about the 6th Day quote which gave me a good lol moment. Think my top one would be the "I lied" from commando

  • Steve Greene | January 18, 2013 11:28 PMReply

    "What killed the dinosaurs?...THE ICE AGE!"

  • Cliche | January 18, 2013 9:05 PMReply

    No no no no no! His best line from ''Last Action Hero'' is :

    ''Are you a farmer?"

    -Kicks enemy in the groin-

    "Here's a couple of acres."

  • Gerardo Valero | January 18, 2013 8:11 PMReply

    It seems to me you should do a Top ten "best Arnold lines turned into comedy by the magic of Schwarzenegger's accent"

  • Joe | January 18, 2013 4:08 PMReply

    You got most of the best but I also enjoy "Come Estas?" from Commando.

  • Gerardo Valero | January 18, 2013 12:42 PMReply

    Your love for all things Arnold is truly remarkable.
    My favorite Arnold line "turned into comedy by the magic of Schwarzenegger's accent" comes from "Total Recall": "c'mon Cohagen, give these people aaaaaeeeeer"

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