HomeEntertainmentOutsider’s Favorite Quotes from ‘The Terminator’, Released OTD in 1984

Outsider’s Favorite Quotes from ‘The Terminator’, Released OTD in 1984

by Clayton Edwards
(Photo by Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)

The Terminator infiltrated theaters thirty-seven years ago today. Since then, the relatively low-budget sci-fi/action flick has become a cultural touchstone. It spawned several sequels and created everyone’s favorite dystopian future. Additionally, it is the reason that we don’t trust self-driving cars or other autonomous robots. We know what they’re up to. Kyle Reese told us all about the rise of the machines almost four decades ago.

However, an impressive world, memorable characters, and a healthy fear of robots aren’t all The Terminator gave us. The film also produced countless quotes that we still use today. So, let’s celebrate the anniversary of one of the most quotable films the right way: by destroying all the robots to preserve the future of mankind looking back at some of the movie’s most memorable lines.

Straight from the Terminator’s Mouth

Watching Arnold Schwarzenegger’s titular character learn to interact with the world around him was one of the best parts of The Terminator. In doing so, he gave us some great quotes. Some of which are still rattling around in our heads.

For instance, when the Terminator goes to the police station looking for Sarah Connor and the desk cop tells him he’ll have to wait. Instead of taking a seat on the bench, he says, “I’ll be back.”

They called back to this line in the sequel. However, this was the first time the Terminator uttered the legendary phrase. How iconic is this line? It’s #37 on the American Film Institute’s 100 Years 100 Movie Quotes list.

Sometimes, the Terminator’s deadpan delivery of lines elevates a common phrase to a new level. Check out this NSFW clip below to see what I mean.

Sarah Connor: Mother of the Future

Sarah Connor has to come to grips with a truckload of unbelievable things while staying alive. As the center of the plot of The Terminator, she is also at the center of some of the best lines. For instance, Kyle Reese introduces himself, then, he informs her, “You’ve been targeted for termination.”

Later, after Sarah learns her role in the grand scheme of things, she lashes out. “Oh, 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!” Spoken like a true savior of mankind.

While we’re on the subject of Sarah Connor, let’s take a moment to appreciate the message that her son sent back for her. “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.”

There’s something about those words that gets me every time. The Terminator is full of quotable lines. However, this one sticks with me almost like a mantra. “The future is not set. You must be stronger than you imagine you can be.”