30 Most Memorable Quotes From The Terminator Franchise


  • Terminator quotes are iconic and memorable, ranging from intimidating threats to emotional revelations.
  • Characters like Sarah Connor and John Connor evolve throughout the franchise, shaping its legacy.
  • Even characters like the T-800 transform, showing complex emotions and growth beyond their initial programming.



The Terminator franchise has gone through a lot of highs and lows over the years but the one thing that remains constant is how quotable the Terminator movies are. The series started as a horror movie with James Cameron telling the story of a Terminator from the future traveling back in time to kill the mother of a man who would lead the resistance against the computer overlords of the apocalyptic future. However, by the second movie, it was all about the future resistance leader and the Terminator himself became a hero.

With Arnold Schwarzenegger as the original Terminator, it is easy to see that many of the Terminator quotes would end up as one-liners, but there was also memorable dialogue from the other iconic characters. Everyone from Kyle Reese to Sarah Connor to John Connor himself had some great lines in the movies. Even the disappointing later entries in the franchise releases had some great quotes that furthered the mythology. With the animated Terminator series on the way, the franchise continues to grow with many memorable quotes keeping its legacy alive.

2:31 Terminator 2 Arnold Schwarzenegger
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29 “Your Clothes. Give Them To Me. Now”

T-800 – Terminator

Arnold Schwarzenegger standing shirtless outside in The Terminator.

Given how effective Arnold Schwarzenegger was at turning the T-800 into a likable character in the sequels, it is easy to forget that he is a truly terrifying villain in the first movie. The formidability of this literal killing machine is seen in his very first scene as he confronts a group of punks and demands their clothes without so much as saying “please.”

When they stand up to him, the results are deadly. This line along communicates so much about the T-800 and is a perfect early line for the character. Despite his intimidating stature, he knows there is value in blending in as it will make his search and destroy mission a lot easier.

The efficiency with how he walks up to these young men and demands their clothes also shows how little regard he has for humans and sees them as tools that can be used or obstacles to be swiftly knocked down.

28 “Come With Me If You Want To Live.”

Kyle Reese – The Terminator

Kyle Reese with a gun in Terminator.

This line is repeated a few times throughout the franchise and said by a few different Terminator characters. In the first movie, Kyle Reese says it when he’s trying to save Sarah Connor from the Terminator’s nightclub massacre.

In the second movie, the reprogrammed Terminator says it when he’s trying to save Sarah from the institution where she’s been locked up. The line is a mantra for the franchise – with a target of the Terminator trusting a stranger to get them out of danger. The first two movies use it to great effect in showing who the hero of the story is.

Up until Reese stepped in to save Sarah, it was unclear who he was and why he was after her. This line served as an exhilarating way of kicking things off and showing Sarah had a hero who was going to protect her. The sequel has Schwarzenegger deliver the line, making for the fun revelation that he is the hero this time around.

27 “Cyborgs Don’t Feel Pain. I Do”

Kyle Reese – Terminator

Kyle Reese talking to Sarah in a car in The Terminator

Just like the Terminator showing up naked and then seeking out his clothes, John Connor appeared the same way. His goal wasn’t to kill Sarah Connor but to save her. It was also important early on to understand the difference between these time travelers.

After seeing the Terminator tearing through street gangs and the entire police force, he seemed unbeatable. This shows how overmatched Kyle Reese and Sarah Connor were. While Kyle was the man sent to protect her, this quote lets everyone know that he was just as vulnerable as anyone around him.

Reese is a great hero for the first movie, someone who is not unwilling to show his fear and pain while also being unsure that he can actually stop the Terminator. Nevertheless, he is filled with determination. The fact he said it after Sarah bit him in self-defense also added a touch of humor.

26 “I’ll Be Back.”

T-800 – The Terminator

Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Terminator saying 'I'll be back'

This is the quote that everyone tries to do when they attempt to impersonate Arnold Schwarzenegger. The line “I’ll be back,” on its own isn’t that memorable. However, it’s the ice-cold way that Schwarzenegger says it in The Terminator that makes it unforgettable. It’s also the context in which it’s used that makes it work.

A desk clerk refuses to let the T-800 into the police station where Sarah Connor and Kyle Reese are being questioned, so the T-800 says he’ll be back and returns a few seconds later by driving a car straight in. While it is a fun callback when the now heroic T-800 uses the line again in Terminator 2: Judgment Day, the franchise clearly overused the quote and seemed to misunderstand what was great about it in the first place.

It is not a good line on its own. However, it is a bit of dark humor that the Terminator’s idea of coming back is to drive the car directly through the building. With that unforgettable timing and delivery, one of the most famous movie quotes of all time was born.

25 “His Name Is Connor. John Connor. Your Son, Sarah… Your Unborn Son”

Kyle Reese – Terminator

Kyle Reese protecting Sarah Connor in Terminator.

Kyle took the time to explain to Sarah Conner and the viewers what had happened in the future. He let her know that computers are what destroyed the world, and it was a massacre. He also told her about the camps humans were ushered into for eventual disposal and also that some of the humans were kept alive to work.

That is when Kyle told Sarah the one thing that fueled the plot of the entire Terminator franchise – she will give birth to the man who will lead humanity to victory. John Connor is an iconic character in the Terminator franchise now, but this is where the character began.

He was just a name that was mentioned and yet the character already has such an impact on the story. It serves as an exciting tease of the bigger mythology behind this movie as well as sets a perfect platform to grow the character of John Connor over the course of several more movies.

24 “It Doesn’t Feel Pity, Or Remorse, Or Fear, And It Absolutely Will Not Stop, Ever, Until You Are Dead!”

Kyle Reese – Terminator

Kyle Reese talking to Sarah Connor in a car in The Terminator

When Kyle Reese explains what the Terminator is going to do to Sarah Connor, it’s easy to feel the full gravity of Sarah’s situation for the first time. He describes a terrifying and seemingly unstoppable force that is after them.

This raises the stakes of the story. At this point, the audience is aware that a cyborg is coming after Sarah, but don’t quite grasp the extent of its wrath until Reese explains how relentless it is. While James Cameron’s directing skills have always earned him the praise that he deserves, it is strange that he is a little underrated as a screenwriter.

This scene is a perfect example of this, as Cameron has to do some heavy lifting in the genre story. He needs to answer a lot of questions the audience has had in the first act of the story, but he shapes this exposition in a way that is thrilling and informative.

23 “So You Feel Nothing?”

Sarah Connor – Terminator

Kyle Reese hiding with Sarah Connor in The Terminator

There are some ways that fans can see Terminator as both a horror movie and a romance. While Kyle Reese was there to save Sarah Connor from the evil T-800, who killed anyone in his path, he was also there to save John Connor, the baby that Sarah had yet to conceive.

However, the big paradox that no one realized at first was that Kyle was John Connor’s father in Terminator, and this rescue mission was also John’s origin story and conception. This was also focused on in a scene where Kyle and Sarah were talking about women in the future, and she realized there was no romance or love then and Kyle had never felt those emotions – until now.

It is a touching moment in that Kyle has been taken out of his bleak and painful life of war, which is all that he has known, and is suddenly given the chance to experience a connection with someone for the first time.

22 “You’re Terminated.”

Sarah Connor – The Terminator

Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor crushing the T-800 in The Terminator

James Cameron doesn’t just write great female roles in action films – he gives them great one-liners to punctuate their victories. In Aliens, he has Ellen Ripley suit up in a mechanical exoskeleton and tell the Xenomorph queen that is threatening Newt, “Get away from her, you b***h!” In The Terminator, he has Sarah Connor crush the titular cyborg with some heavy machinery in a factory and declare, “You’re terminated, f****r!”

On paper, the line might seem a little corny, or like it takes away from the dark tone of the movie, but frankly, the way Linda Hamilton delivers it with anger is great. The original Terminator has Sarah playing more of the role of a victim, constantly on the run, terrified for her life, and in need of Kyle’s help. However, she also becomes stronger as the movie goes on and this epic line helps set the stage for her becoming a full-blown action hero in the sequel.

Ripley from Aliens and The Terminator
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“Maybe It’ll Be Enough If You Know That, In The Few Hours We Had Together, We Loved A Lifetime’s Worth”

Sarah Connor – Terminator

Sarah Connor and Kyle Reese in a hotel room in Terminator.

Terminator saw the love story between Kyle Reese and Sarah Connor end as Kyle died at the end to save Sarah and John. However, there was a Terminator comic book that showed Kyle lived.

With that said, the movies have always presented Kyle’s death as the true cannon and it makes for a heroic death that also allows Sarah to step up and become the hero that she needs to be on her own.

It is a tragic end to the short-lived romance, but it offers up a great quote for Sarah to finish off the movie with as she wrote a letter to John to read in the future about what happened and who his father was. Kyle is not a very big presence in the sequels, but this is a sweet sign that she will carry the memory of him with her forever. It was a perfect end to the love story aspects of the first Terminator movie.

21 “My Mission Is To Protect You”

T-800 – Terminator 2: Judgment Day

John Connor and the T-800 on a motorcycle in Terminator 2: Judgment Day

The first and second Terminator movies had a similar concept with some clever twists. A Terminator was sent back to ensure John Connor never survived to lead the resistance. While the first movie saw a human in Kyle Reese come back to protect Sarah Connor, it was the original model T-800 who came back to protect John.

Both said almost the same thing, with the T-800 explaining that an adult John Connor sent him back and his only mission was to protect him when he was a teen. From Aliens to this epic reveal, James Cameron proved that he is a filmmaker who knows how to come at a sequel with a new approach that makes it feel fresh.

Having the T-800 as a hero in Terminator 2 was a big risk given how iconic he was as a villain. However, Cameron pulls it off along with Schwarzenegger, whose performance brings an endearing quality to the character that was once only an emotionless killing machine.

20 “Your Foster Parents Are Dead.”

T-800 – Terminator 2: Judgment Day

Edward Furlong as John Connor looking serious in Terminator 2

Having the T-800 on his side is not just advantageous for John since he can battle the other Terminators who are targeting him. It also allows him to stay one step ahead of his adversaries as the T-800 thinks like a Terminator.

When John calls home to check on his foster parents, the T-800 mimics John’s voice and asks about his pet dog. However, the T-800 purposely calls the dog by the wrong name which John’s foster mother doesn’t pick up on which leads the T-800 to determine his foster parents have been killed.

Indeed, the more advanced T-1000 has the ability to change its shape and appear like someone else. It is a clever bit of sleuthing on the part of the T-800, proving that the older model still has some tricks to play against his more advanced enemy. However, the way the T-800 delivers the line is a perfect example of his unsympathetic machine mind.

19 “You Just Can’t Go Around Killing People”

John Connor – Terminator 2: Judgment Day

T-800 and John Connor in T2 Judgment Day

Terminator 2 was the first time the character of John Connor got the chance to appear on screen. However, in a clever twist, he is far from the heroic persona that John described him as in the original movie. He was a punk kid who had antisocial and criminal tendencies.

However, once he partnered with the Terminator in the movie, he showed that he still had some morals. When John picks a fight with someone for fun, the Terminator prepares to kill them. That is where John drew the line. He told the Terminator he couldn’t kill anyone, which changed the character and the rest of the movie.

While the android killed without mercy in the first movie, this one quote ensured he would fit in line with his more heroic mission. It is a great way of softening the intimidating character of the T-800 while also giving a hint that there was potential for John to grow into the true hero he was meant to be.

18 “If Someone Comes Up To You With An Attitude, You Say, ‘Eat Me'”

John Connor – Terminator 2: Judgment Day

John Connor talking to T-800 in Terminator 2.

While John Connor taught the Terminator the value of human lives and why he shouldn’t kill, he also taught him some questionable lessons. The biggest one played off Arnold Schwarzenegger’s penchant for one-liners and also provided some of the movie’s most quotable lines.

While the T-800 spoke mostly like a robot or soldier, John said he had to talk like a normal person to fit in. However, since John was a teen, his idea of normal conversation was a lot of slang. This was one example, with him telling the Terminator to say “eat me” to someone instead of simply blowing them away with his artillery.

The moment is a great setup for some of the funniest moments in the movie because of Schwarzenegger’s deadpan delivery of these lines while continuing to make him more likable. It also is a pivotal moment in building the bond between John and the T-800 which is the heart of the movie.

17 “She’s A Priority To Me!”

John Connor – Terminator 2: Judgment Day

Edward Furlong as John Connor, Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor, and Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Terminator in Terminator 2: Judgment Day.

Following the events of the first Terminator movie, Sarah had been locked up for years after authorities deemed her a threat. It is a great way to reintroduce the character of Sarah in a surprising way and help explain some of the divide that exists between her and her son.

However, the T-800’s programmed mission was only to save John andsaid that Sarah Connor was not a priority. In another moment that shows his potential as a leader, John is adamant that they save his mother, telling the Terminator, “She’s a priority to me.”

This was the perfect line to bring Sarah back into the center of the storyline. Despite John having expressed reservations about his mother who he hardly knows, the idea that he is willing to risk his life to save her speaks to the love between them.

16 “All You Know How To Create Is Death And Destruction”

Sarah Connor – Terminator 2: Judgment Day

Sarah Connor pointing a gun and screaming in Terminator 2: Judgment Day

Sarah Connor had seen enough in her life. When she was younger and had what looked like her entire life ahead of her, a robot attacked and tried to kill her. She ended up in an institution as she tried to save the world from annihilation.

This clearly led her to have unresolved anger issues. She let these issues out on one man named Miles Dyson. He was a scientist for the company that was creating Skynet, and while he had no idea he was creating the world’s conqueror, Sarah didn’t care and set out to kill him.

Miles claimed his innocence, but Sarah was not hearing any of it. This highlights an interesting aspect of Sarah in Terminator 2 as she is burdened as the only living human in the present who knows humanity’s doomed future. It makes sense that she would try to stop it at all costs, but this line shows that she was beginning to lose her humanity in the process.

15 “Hasta La Vista, Baby”

T-800 – Terminator 2: Judgment Day

Arnold Schwarzenegger as The Terminator aiming a gun in Terminator 2: Judgment Day

Sometimes, there are Terminator quotes that can take away from the action and tension. However, there are other lines that offer up just the perfect respite when a breather is needed. That is the case with “Hasta la vista, baby.” Originally, John Connor taught the term to the Terminator when he was trying to talk like a real person by using slang.

On top of terms like “Eat me” and “No problemo,” he also taught the T-800 this line as a way to “shine” someone. This led to him using it at the perfect time, right before he shot a frozen T-1000. This is another line that could have fallen flat without the right elements coming together. It comes at the perfect moment to create a crowd-pleasing victory, it plays on the bond between John and the T-800, and it is sold perfectly by Arnold Schwarzenegger.

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14 “I Know Now Why You Cry, But It’s Something I Can Never Do.”

T-800 – Terminator 2: Judgment Day

The T-800 comforts John Connor in Terminator 2's ending

One of the most endearing story threads in Terminator 2 is the sort of father/son relationship that John Connor and the Terminator develop during their adventure. The Terminator keeps John safe and gives him a male role model to look up to. He’s not a perfect role model, but John never had a dad, so just having someone who was looking out for him meant a lot.

Meanwhile, John taught the Terminator the ways of the human race, like why people cry and slang terms. The T-800 took it all in and proved it when he admitted he understood why humans cry. Again, it shows the risk that James Cameron took in the total reinvention of the T-800 character. To go from a remorseless cold-blooded killer in the first movie to a hero delivering lines like this is an incredible feat of character work.

13 “If A Machine, A Terminator, Can Learn The Value Of Human Life, Maybe We Can, Too.”

Sarah Connor – Terminator 2: Judgment Day

Arnold Schwarzenegger saying goodbye to John in Terminator 2 - Judgment Day

At the end of Terminator 2, there is an epilogue in the form of Sarah Connor’s voiceover narration. As she and John head into their new life together with the future unknown, she expresses that she is filled with hope for the first time.

This comes from the feeling that they may have stopped Judgment Day, but it is also in that she saw how the T-800 was able to learn some compassion for her son despite how she had come to view machines.

Her adventures with a reprogrammed T-800 who figured out why humans cry and learned to care about the Connors (and respected John’s wishes to wound people instead of killing them) have convinced her that there is a chance the two sides will not go to war. It brings to an end the intriguing arc between Sarah and the T-800 in the movie as the machine ironically reminds her of her own humanity.

12 “The Future Has Not Been Written. There Is No Fate But What We Make For Ourselves.”

John Connor – Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines

Nick Stahl as John Connor in Terminator 3

Without James Cameron’s involvement at all, there were a lot of views that Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines was the beginning of the downfall of the franchise. While it is a step down from Cameron’s movies, there is a clever way the second and third movies bleed into each other.

Sarah Connor had an important revelation at the end of Terminator 2: Judgment Day, but so did her son at the start of the next movie. Immediately after Sarah’s quote about the future, adult John Connor added, “I wish I could believe that.”

Interestingly, now grown up as a man who has constantly been on the run and off the grid, he has adopted the cynical view his mother had at the beginning of the second movie. He admitted that they stopped Judgment Day on that particular day, but it was clear that things had not changed in the future. His mom felt there was hope for the future, but John always knew the end could come at any time.

11 “Judgment Day Is Inevitable”

John Connor – Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines

The Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) advances in Terminator 3

By the end of Terminator 2, it looked like John, Sarah, and the T-800 had saved the world from Judgment Day. The apocalypse didn’t happen as it did in the other timeline, so it appeared the franchise had concluded with a happy ending. However, there was no happy ending for the world.

When the T-800 came back and John said he shouldn’t exist anymore because they stopped the apocalypse, the T-800 explained that they didn’t stop it – they just postponed it. Nothing they did would stop the apocalypse because, as the T-800 said, “Judgment Day is inevitable,” and this movie ended with the dropping of the bombs.

While there are many fans who feel that Terminator 3 simply rewrote the ending of Terminator 2 in order to continue the story, the idea that saving the world was never going to happen is one of the most interesting aspects of the third movie.

10 The Strength Of The Human Heart. The Difference Between Us And Machines.”

Marcus Wright – Terminator: Salvation

Sam Worthington as Marcus Wright looking intense in Terminator Salvation

Terminator: Salvation might not be the most popular installment in the Terminator franchise, but it does feature a few interesting lines of dialogue. Some of the concepts are quite intriguing, too, like Sam Worthington’s character Marcus Wright, an experimental hybrid of human and Terminator.

A lot of lines in the Terminator movies are about the differences between humans and machines and also what they have in common. Marcus puts it nicely, suggesting that the human heart and all that it means is what sets them apart from the machines.

Terminator: Salvation had a lot of potential in being the first movie in the series to take place in the bleak aftermath of Judgment Day. While the movie didn’t do much of anything interesting with that setting, this quote does fit nicely in the timeline at a period when humanity’s victory doesn’t seem assured, but this is a reminder that they can overcome the seemingly superior machines.

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