The 30 greatest Terminator moments

30 Years Of The Terminator

Yes, you high five the killer robot, little boy. With the first poster for Terminator: Genisys revealed yesterday and the first trailer upon us today, everybody is talking about The Terminator again, the Arnie franchise that first shotgunned its way onto the screen back in 1984.

Sure, everybody knows "I'll be back" but really there's a ton of iconic moments and set-pieces across the films (and TV series of course) - so here, appropriately, is our definitive list of the 30 best. Did we miss something? Let us know in the comments below.

30. Cromartie vs. the FBI - The Sarah Connor Chronicles

The Terminator Moment: The last episode of season one and FBI Agent Ellison and his team track down actor George Laszlo (Garret Dillahunt), wanted for questioning in two murders.

They dont know hes actually Cromartie, a T-888 Terminator. During the raid he slaughters 21 S.W.A.T. agents.

Why Its Great: Johnny Cashs "When The Man Comes Around" plays while the scene unfolds.

Memorable Quote: Sarahs voiceover, paraphrasing Lord Of The Flies infamous pig scene: The boy weeps for the end of innocence, and the darkness of mens hearts.

29. The State Of Humanity - Terminator 2: Judgment Day

The Terminator Moment: Hiding out an Enriques ranch, John (Edward Furlong) and the T-800 (Arnold Schwarzenegger) fix a beat-up old truck. A couple of kids play fight with toy guns.

Why Its Great: Trading banter about the nature of people, John and the T-800 continue to defy their established roles. One is human, the other is not. For this brief moment, its as if theyre a kid and his uncle talking shop.

Memorable Quote: John: Were not gonna make it are we? People, I mean. The Terminator: Its in your nature to destroy yourselves.

28. Learn With John - Terminator 2: Judgment Day

The Terminator Moment: During a car ride, the revelation that the T-800 is capable of learning is a source of endless fun for young John, who forgoes I Spy in favour of teaching the Terminator how to be hip.

Why Its Great: It sets up the Terminator to deliver one of the franchises most defining moments later on.

Memorable Quote: "No, no, no, no. You gotta listen to the way people talk. You don't say 'affirmative,' or some shit like that. You say 'no problemo.' And if someone comes on to you with an attitude you say 'eat me.' And if you want to shine them on it's 'hasta la vista, baby'."

27. Hes A Machine - Terminator: Salvation

The Terminator Moment: Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington) opens his eyes to find that not only is he in chains, but a pissed-off John Connor (Christian Bale) is talking to him like hes... well, a Terminator.

Why Its Great: Hes the prototype for the T-800. He just didnt know it. Any of it. Gives a cool insight into what the first machines were capable of; genuine belief that theyre human, not mere masquerading.

Memorable Quote: John: The devils hands have been busy.

26. The War Rages On - Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines

The Terminator Moment: Skynet has won. The war has started. John Connor (Nick Stahl) and his future second-in-command, Katherine (Claire Danes) head for a secret government installation to fend off the machines.

Why Its Great: The installation was a bluff - its an abandoned nuclear bunker. Katherines father knew theyd never survive against the machines. Considering T3 is the franchises most by-the-numbers entry, pulling off such a risky ending managed to redeem some of the lesser moments (inflataboobs?) preceding it.

Memorable Quote: Johns Voiceover: I should have realized it was never our destiny to stop Judgment Day, it was merely to survive it, together. The Terminator knew; he tried to tell us, but I didn't want to hear it. Maybe the future has been written. I don't know; all I know is what the Terminator taught me; never stop fighting. And I never will. The battle has just begun.

25. Happy Birthday - The Sarah Connor Chronicles

The Terminator Moment: Birthday boy John Connor (Thomas Dekker) doesnt often get chance to be a teenager. So when his Uncle Derek (Brian Austin Green) takes him to the park for ice cream, they kick back watching a couple of carefree kids playing baseball.

Why Its Great: The youngest kid scampers over to John who returns his wandering baseball, when John notices the name of the back of his shirt: Reese. Thats Johns dad, Kyle Reese, as a child. The two kids are Derek and his younger brother. Of course, the real kicker is up til that point John had no idea Derek knew he was Johns uncle.

Memorable Quote: John: (turning back to Derek) ... how did you know? Derek: Every time I look at you, I see him.

24. Sarah Faces The T-1000 - Terminator 2: Judgment Day

The Terminator Moment: Nursing a shoulder wound (and a leg injury) that would have a normal person in hysterics, Sarah (Linda Hamilton) confronts the T-1000 (Robert Patrick) during the films big showdown.

Why Its Great: If you needed any evidence to back-up her brawny transformation - watch her pump a Remington shotgun one-handed, turning the shapeshifting Terminator from chiseled adonis to holey humanoid.

Memorable Quote: Get out of the way!

23. Cameron Goes Ballistic - The Sarah Connor Chronicles

The Terminator Moment: Breaking Sarah out from L.A. County jail, T-900 Cameron (Summer Glau) takes a crippling number of bullets from all directions. Her living tissue component suffers catastrophic damage, revealing the endoskeleton beneath.

Why Its Great: In the series final episode all bets were off. Possibly due to the threat of cancellation. Cameron was granted a final hurrah - a bloody, endo-skull reveal.

Memorable Quote: Sarah to Cameron: You look like hell.

22. Wolfies Barking - Terminator 2: Judgment Day

The Terminator Moment: John calls his foster parents, Todd and Janelle (Jenette Goldstein), to check theyve not been brutally murdered by the T-1000. Covering the mouthpiece, he tells the T-800 something is amiss: the dogs barking its head off and Janelle is being uncharacteristically nice...

Why Its Great: The T-800 sneakily asks John what the dogs name is (its Max), and mimics Johns voice to ask Janelle whats wrong with Wolfie. Janelle IS the T-1000! Todd has a milk carton skewered to his head! The two Terminators are talking to each other - using other peoples voices!

Memorable Quote: Wolfies fine honey. Wolfies just fine.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Gem is GR+'s west coast entertainment news reporter. She’s a bit obsessed with all things Aliens and Terminator.
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