Here is our pick of the best quotes from The Terminator movies, with the first two James Cameron directed installments now considered classic sci-fi action films. Regardless of how you feel about the franchise as a whole, the movies are littered with some great one-liners and dialogue. So, let’s begin…
1. The Terminator
'Pain can be controlled. You just disconnect it.' - Kyle Reese (The Terminator) Click To Tweet
First installment, and in our opinion the best of the series, in which the story follows a cyborg assassin, Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger), who is sent back in time to kill Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton), whose son will one day become a savior against machines in a post-apocalyptic future. Sent to protect Sarah is Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn), who divulges the coming of Skynet, an artificial intelligence system that will spark a nuclear holocaust.
[after Terminator arrives naked and approaches some punks]
Punk Leader: I think this guy’s a couple cans short of a six-pack.
Terminator: Your clothes. Give them to me. Now.
Punk Leader: F*** you, a**hole!
Kyle Reese: [to Sarah] Come with me if you want to live.
[after Sarah bites his hand in trying to escape from him]
Kyle Reese: Cyborgs don’t feel pain. I do. Don’t do that again
Sarah Connor: Just let me go.
Kyle Reese: Listen, and understand! That Terminator is out there. It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead!
Terminator: I’m a friend of Sarah Connor. I was told that she’s here. Could I see her, please?
Desk Sergeant: No. You can’t see her. She’s making a statement.
Terminator: Where is she?
Desk Sergeant: Look, it may take a while. If you want to wait, there’s a bench over there.
[Terminator looks at the structure of the room and reception area]
Terminator: I’ll be back.
Sarah Connor: Are you sure you have the right person?
Kyle Reese: I’m sure.
Sarah Connor: Come on. Do I look like the mother of the future? I mean, am I tough? Organized? I can’t even balance my checkbook. Look, Reese, I didn’t ask for this honor, and I don’t want it! Any of it!
Kyle Reese: Your son gave me a message to give to you. Made me memorize it.
[recites the message]
Kyle Reese: “Thank you, Sarah, for your courage through the dark years. I can’t help you with what you must soon face except to say that the future is not set. You must be stronger than you imagine you can be. You must survive, or I will never exist.” That’s all.
[after she’s dressed the wound on his hand]
Kyle Reese: It’s a good field dressing.
Sarah Connor: You like it? It’s my first.
Sarah Connor: Was there someone special?
Kyle Reese: Someone?
Sarah Connor: A girl. You know.
Kyle Reese: No. Never.
Sarah Connor: Never? I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. So much pain.
Kyle Reese: Pain can be controlled. You just disconnect it.
Sarah Connor: So you feel nothing?
Kyle Reese: John Connor gave me a picture of you once. I didn’t know why at the time. It was very old. Torn. Faded. You were young like you are now. You seemed just a little sad. I used to always wonder what you were thinking at that moment. I memorized every line, every curve. I came across time for you, Sarah. I love you. I always have.
[to the Terminator as she’s about to crush him]
Sarah Connor: You’re terminated, f***er.
2. Terminator 2: Judgment Day
'If a machine, a Terminator, can learn the value of human life, maybe we can too.' - Sarah Connor (Terminator 2: Judgment Day) Click To Tweet
Second installment follows Sarah Connor and her young son John (Edward Furlong), as they are pursued by a new, more advanced Terminator: the liquid metal, shapeshifting T-1000 (Robert Patrick), sent back in time to kill John Connor and prevent him from becoming the leader of the human resistance. At the same time, the revamped T-800 (Arnold Schwarzenegger), has also been sent back to protect John.
The Terminator: I need your clothes, your boots, and your motorcycle.
Cigar Biker: You forgot to say please.
John Connor: Jesus! You were going to kill that guy!
The Terminator: Of course. I’m a Terminator.
John Connor: Listen to me very carefully, okay? You’re not a Terminator anymore, alright? You got that? You just can’t go around killing people.
The Terminator: Why?
John Connor: What do you mean, why? Because you can’t.
The Terminator: Why?
John Connor: Because you just can’t. Trust me on this.
[holding his hand out to a fear stricken Sarah]
The Terminator: Come with me if you want to live.
John Connor: It’s okay, mom. He’s here to help. It’s okay.
John Connor: Keep it under sixty-five. We don’t want to be pulled over.
The Terminator: Affirmative.
John Connor: No, no, no. You got to listen to the way people talk. You don’t say “affirmative” or some s**t like that. You say, “No problemo.” And if someone comes up to you with an attitude, you say, “Eat me.” And if you want to shine them on, it’s, “Hasta la vista, baby.”
The Terminator: [monotone] Hasta la vista, baby.
John Connor: Yeah, or, “Later, d*ckwad.” And if someone gets upset, you say, “Chill out.” Or you can do combinations.
The Terminator: Chill out, d*ckwad.
John Connor: That’s great. See? You’re getting it.
The Terminator: No problemo.
The Terminator: Why do you cry?
John Connor: You mean people?
The Terminator: Yeah.
John Connor: I don’t know. We just cry. You know, when it hurts.
The Terminator: Pain causes it?
John Connor: Uh, no. It’s different. It’s when there’s nothing wrong with you, but you hurt anyways. Get it?
The Terminator: No.
Sarah Connor: [voice over] Watching John with the machine, it was suddenly so clear. The Terminator would never stop. It would never leave him, and it would never hurt him, never shout at him, or get drunk and hit him, or say it was too busy to spend time with him. It would always be there, and it would die to protect him. Of all the would-be fathers who came and went over the years, this thing, this machine, was the only one who measured up. In an insane world, it was the sanest choice.
John Connor: The future’s not set. There’s no fate but what we make for ourselves.
The Terminator: Hasta la vista, baby.
The Terminator: I must go away, John.
John Connor: No! No, wait. You don’t have to do this.
The Terminator: I’m sorry.
John Connor: No, don’t do it! Don’t go!
The Terminator: It has to end here.
John Connor: [crying] I order you not to go! I order you not to go! I order you not to go!
The Terminator: I know now why you cry.
[wipes a tear from John’s face]
The Terminator: But it’s something I can never do. Goodbye.
Sarah Connor: [voice over] The unknown future rolls toward us. I face it, for the first time, with a sense of hope. Because if a machine, a Terminator, can learn the value of human life, maybe we can too.
3. Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
'The future has not been written. There is no fate but what we make for ourselves.' - John Connor (Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines) Click To Tweet
Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger), is sent back in time to protect a 25-year old John Connor (Nick Stahl) and his future wife, Kate Brewster (Claire Danes), from an advanced robotic assassin, T-X (Kristanna Loken), and to ensure they both survive the looming threat of Judgment Day.
John Connor: [voice over] The future has not been written. There is no fate but what we make for ourselves. I wish I could believe that.
Terminator: It is time.
John Connor: Are you here to kill me?
Terminator: No. You must live.
Terminator: Katherine Brewster, have you sustained injury?
Kate Brewster: Drop dead, you a**hole!
Terminator: I’m unable to comply.
John Connor: No, you shouldn’t even exist. I mean, we took out Cyberdyne over ten years ago. We stopped Judgment Day.
Terminator: You only postponed it. Judgment Day is inevitable.
Terminator: We must reacquire Katherine Brewster.
John Connor: Why? What makes her so goddamn important?
Terminator: Through her, you contact remnants of the military and learn how to fight Skynet, forming the core of the Resistance. Later, your children will become important.
John Connor: What?
Terminator: She’s your wife.
[as John puts a gun to his head to kill himself]
Terminator: You cannot self-terminate.
John Connor: No, you can’t. I can do whatever I want. I’m a human being. I’m not some goddamn robot.
Terminator: Cybernetic organism.
John Connor: Whatever! Either we get her father to shut Skynet down, stop this s**t from ever happening, or so much for the great John Connor. Because your future, my destiny, I don’t want any part of it. I never did.
Terminator: Based on your pupil dilation, skin temperature, and motor functions, I calculate an eighty-three percent probability that you will not pull the trigger.
Terminator: Katherine Brewster had me reactivated and sent through the time displacement field.
Kate Brewster: What exactly am I in this future of yours?
Terminator: You’re John Connor’s spouse and second-in-command.
Kate Brewster: No, I… What?
[looks at John]
Kate Brewster: You’re a mess.
John Connor: Hey, you’re not exactly my type, either.
John Connor: Why didn’t I send you back?
Terminator: I am not authorized to answer your question.
Kate Brewster: Why didn’t he send you back?
Terminator: He was dead.
John Connor: Well, that sucks.
Terminator: Humans inevitably die.
John Connor: Yeah, I know. So how does it… No. Maybe I don’t want to know.
Kate Brewster: How does he die?
Terminator: John Connor was terminated on July 4th, 2032. I was selected for the emotional attachment he had for my model number, due to his boyhood experiences. This aided in my infiltration.
John Connor: What are you saying?
Terminator: I killed you.
Terminator: I’m back.
Terminator: You are terminated.
John Connor: [voice over] By the time Skynet became self-aware, it had spread into millions of computer servers across the planet. Ordinary computers in office buildings, dorm rooms, everywhere. It was software and cyberspace. There was no system core. It could not be shut down. The attack began at 6:18 p.m., just as he said it would. Judgment Day. The day the human race was nearly destroyed by weapons they’d built to protect themselves. I should have realized our destiny was never 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.
4. Terminator Salvation
'Everybody deserves a second chance.' - Marcus Wright (Terminator Salvation) Click To Tweet
In a departure from the previous films, this installment is now set in a post-apocalyptic world, where the future of John Connor (Christian Bale) has been partly altered by the appearance of a stranger named Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington). Connor must determine if Wright has been rescued from the past, or sent from the future. As the machines prepare for a final battle, Connor and Wright delve deep into Skynet’s heart, uncovering a secret that could lead to the annihilation of mankind.
[as he Serena kisses]
Marcus Wright: So that’s what death tastes like.
Kyle Reese: Come with me if you want to live.
Marcus Wright: [to Kyle] You point a gun at someone, you’d better be ready to pull the trigger.
Kyle Reese: [to Marcus] You want to know the difference between us and the machines? We bury our dead. But no one is coming to bury you.
Blair Williams: You know what I’ve learned, Marcus? Is you can focus on what is lost, or you can fight for what is left.
Marcus Wright: Do you think people deserve a second chance?
Blair Williams: Yeah, I do.
John Connor: The devil’s hands have been busy. What is it?
Kate Connor: It’s real flesh and blood, though it seems to heal itself quickly. The heart is human and very powerful. The brain, too, but with a chip interface.
Marcus Wright: What have you done to me?
Kate Connor: It has a hybrid nervous system. One human cortex, one machine.
Marcus Wright: Blair, what have they done?
John Connor: Who built you?
Marcus Wright: My name is Marcus Wright.
John Connor: You think you’re human?
Marcus Wright: I am human.
[John releases the chain holding Marcus’s head up, he looks down at his chest to see he’s machine]
Marcus Wright: [screams] No! No!
John Connor: Where were you manufactured?
Marcus Wright: I was born. August 22, 1975.
John Connor: No.
[Marcus screams and tries to fight against his chains]
Marcus Wright: I know you. I heard your voice on the radio. You’re John Connor.
John Connor: Of course you know me. You were sent here to kill me. Kill the leadership.
Marcus Wright: I don’t know what you’re talking about.
John Connor: Then why are you here?
Marcus Wright: Blair said you’d help me find who I’m looking for. Now, let me down.
John Connor: If I let you down, you’ll kill everyone in this room.
Marcus Wright: Just you, Connor. Because I don’t give a s**t about you. I didn’t know your name until two days ago.
John Connor: No. You and me, we’ve been at war since before either of us even existed. You tried killing my mother, Sarah Connor. You killed my father, Kyle Reese. You will not kill me.
Marcus Wright: Kyle Reese is on a transporter heading for Skynet. If I wanted to kill him, I’d have done him in LA.
John Connor: What are you?
Marcus Wright: I don’t know.
[referring to Blair helping Marcus escape]
John Connor: Why did you do it?
Blair Williams: I saw a man, not a machine.
Kate Connor: What should I tell your men when they find out you’re gone?
John Connor: I’ll be back.
Marcus Wright: Everybody deserves a second chance. This is mine.
Marcus Wright: [voice over] What is it that makes us human? It’s not something you can program. You can’t put it into a chip. It’s the strength of the human heart. The difference between us and machines.
John Connor: [voice over] There is a storm on the horizon. A time of hardship and pain. This battle has been won, but the war against the machines rages on. Skynet’s global network remains strong, nut we will not quit, until all of it is destroyed. This is John Connor. There is no fate, but what we make.
5. Terminator Genisys
'Why hold on to someone when you know you must let them go?' - Guardian (Terminator Genisys) Click To Tweet
The story follows soldier Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney), who is sent from 2029 to 1984 by John Connor Jason Clarke), leader of the human resistance against Skynet, to protect his mother Sarah (Emilia Clarke). However, when Kyle arrives in the past, he discovers that the timeline has been altered and Sarah has been raised by a reprogrammed Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) as a skilled fighter.
Sarah Connor: [to Kyle] Come with me if you want to live. Now, soldier!
Kyle Reese: What the hell is going on?
Sarah Connor: Sorry, we were a little busy with the whole life and death combat thing. And then you attacked Pops.
Kyle Reese: You named it?
Guardian: Hello, Kyle Reese. It is nice to meet you.
[he smiles at Kyle]
Kyle Reese: Are you kidding me?
Sarah Connor: I’ve been trying to teach him to blend in. I know it needs work.
Kyle Reese: It’s a terminator! The only reason it blends in is to kill humans.
Sarah Connor: Pops doesn’t kill anyone. A lot of leg wounds though.
Kyle Reese: It looks old. I’ve never seen a terminator old before.
Sarah Connor: The flesh they put on the cyborgs is normal human tissue. It ages.
Guardian: My auditory circuits have not degraded, however. I’m old. Not obsolete.
Sarah Connor: I think you hurt his feelings.
Kyle Reese: It doesn’t have feelings!
Sarah Connor: He saved my life when I was nine. He’s the only reason I’m alive.
Guardian: I was programmed to protect Sarah Connor. I will not stop.
[referring to Sarah and Kyle]
Guardian: Did you mate?
Sarah Connor: Oh! Can you just not say the word “mate” to me again, like, ever?
[as Sarah hugs him]
Guardian: That is a meaningless gesture. Why hold on to someone when you know you must let them go?
Guardian: I’ll be back.
Sarah Connor: What?
John Connor: I didn’t attack John. I saved him. Primates evolve over millions of years. I evolve in seconds. And I am here. In exactly four minutes, I will be everywhere.
John Connor: You are nothing but a relic from a deleted timeline. This is pointless. I am inevitable.
[referring to Guardian as he smiles]
Kyle Reese: You know that’s really disturbing, right?
Sarah Connor: You’ll get used to it.
Kyle Reese: [voice over] And it was over. Skynet was gone. And now one road has become many. Though questions remain, we’ll search for the answers together. But one thing we know for sure. The future is not set.
'Without purpose we have nothing.' - T-800 (Terminator: Dark Fate) Click To Tweet
Based on a story by James Cameron, this installment is a direct sequel to the first two Cameron directed movies, and considers the rest of the films as occurring in alternate timelines. We follow Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton), and a hybrid cyborg human, Grace (Mackenzie Davis), who must protect a young woman, Dani Ramos (Natalia Reyes), from a newly modified liquid Rev-9 Terminator (Gabriel Luna), from the future.
Sarah Connor: I don’t have a photograph of John. I never took any. I thought that they couldn’t find him if they didn’t know what he looked like. But now I’m forgetting his face.
Dani Ramos: I’m sorry.
T-800: When my mission was completed, there were no further orders. So for twenty years I kept learning how to become a human.
Grace: So what about the texts?
T-800: When chrono-displacement occurs, there’s a shockwave through time, measurable before the event.
Sarah Connor: That’s how, not why.
T-800: To give you purpose, Sarah. I thought it would bring meaning to your son’s death.
T-800: Do you believe in fate, Sarah? Or do you believe that people can change the future every second by every choice that they make? You chose to change the future. You chose to destroy Skynet. You set me free. And now, I’m going to help you protect the girl, because I choose to.
Dani Ramos: So, you’re Carl.
T-800: That’s what everyone calls me, yes.
Sarah Connor: I’m never going to f***ing call you Carl.
[referring to his relationship with his wife]
T-800: Our relationship is not physical. She appreciated that I could change diapers efficiently and without any complaints. I’m reliable, I’m a very good listener, and I’m extremely funny.
T-800: [to Sarah] If you want to keep your phone in a bag of potato chips, then keep your phone in a bag of potato chips.
T-800: My past has caught up with me. And, I won’t be back.
[referring to his drapery business]
T-800: There’s much more to it than just picking the right color. It’s the texture, the weight of the material. One wrong choice, it could destroy the look of the entire room. There was this one customer that came to me. He wanted have solid colored drapes in a little girl’s room. I said, “Don’t do it. You need butterflies, polka dots, balloons.”
[referring to Dani]
Rev-9: I know she’s a stranger to you. Why not just let me have her?
Sarah Connor: Because we’re not machines, you metal m*therf***er.