I'll be back

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This article is about the catchphrase. For other uses, see I'll Be Back (disambiguation).
"I'll be back"
Arnold Schwarzenegger - I'll be back.jpg
"I'll be back" in concrete.
Character Terminator
Actor Arnold Schwarzenegger
First used in The Terminator
Voted #37 in AFI's 100 Movie Quotes poll

"I'll be back" is a catchphrase associated with Arnold Schwarzenegger, which he first used in his role as the title character from the 1984 science fiction film The Terminator. In the original shooting script, the line was written as "I will be back".[1][2] On July 21, 2005, it was chosen as #37 on the American Film Institute list, AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movie Quotes.[3] Schwarzenegger uses the same line, or some variant of it, in many of his later films.

History[edit]

Schwarzenegger first used the line in The Terminator, after his cyborg assassin character is refused entry to the police station where his target, Sarah Connor is being housed. He takes a few seconds to survey the partition which separates the counter into two. He then tells the police officer - who refused him entry - at the entrance desk window, "I'll be back", before returning moments later by driving a car through the doors and into the officer's counter, then commencing to massacre seventeen other police officers in the building. In an October 1, 2012, interview on Good Morning America, Schwarzenegger revealed that he had difficulty pronouncing the word I'll properly, and asked director James Cameron if it could be changed to "I will be back". Cameron refused but told him that the shot would be taken more than once and the best would be used in the final cut of the film, so Schwarzenegger could vary the line. He would later say the line in numerous subsequent films throughout his career.[4]

Variations[edit]

Variations of the line have been used by Schwarzenegger in a number of other films in which he appears.

  • The Terminator (1984) – "I'll be back". Said by the Terminator after being denied entrance to a police station. The character returns by driving a car through the front door. Schwarzenegger has been quoted that he had not thought much about the line when filming the movie. James Cameron notes in the DVD features that he expected the line to only get a laugh upon repeat viewings when what the character means is known, and was surprised to see it get a big reaction from first-time audiences who had quickly come to understand the character and immediately anticipated the outrageous violence the nonchalant line signifies. In the novelization of the film script, titled The Terminator by Shaun Hutson the Terminator says "I'll come back," rather than "I'll be back," on page 117. ISBN 0-352-31645-4.
  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) – "Stay here, I'll be back." (1:53:47) Said by The Terminator to Sarah and John Connor during the escape from the Cyberdyne building. The character returns by driving a truck through the front door to rescue the human protagonists trapped inside, referencing the same scene in the first movie.
  • Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003) – "She'll be back", said by the Terminator in reference to the enemy T-X android, and "I'm back!" after flying a helicopter into the antechamber of a military bunker, and emerging from the wreckage. In the latter use, the phrase "I'm back" also refers to his return to loyalty and allegiance with the protagonists, after having been "corrupted" by the villainous T-X. Schwarzenegger also uses it in the DVD introduction.
  • Terminator Salvation (2009) – "I'll be back." Said by John Connor after being asked by his wife Kate Brewster "What should I tell your men when they find out you're gone?"

In other films[edit]

In addition to being the Terminator's catchphrase, Schwarzenegger has also used it as his personal catchphrase in many of his other films.

  • Commando (1985) – "I'll be back, Bennett!", before being put on an airplane against his will at the behest of the film's main villain Bennett (Vernon Wells). Bennett eagerly retorts, "I'll be ready, John."
  • Raw Deal (1986) – "I'll be right back", said Mark Kaminski (Schwarzenegger) to Max Keller in 1:14:02 time of film.
  • The Running Man (1987) – "Killian, I'll be back", said to reality/game show host Damon Killian (Richard Dawson), who does not expect Schwarzenegger's character to survive the broadcast. Killian's response is, "Only in a rerun."
  • Twins (1988) – "If you're lying to me, I'll be back!" (0:58:40-43), to the doctor who headed the experiment that created him.
  • Kindergarten Cop (1990) – "I'm back!", returning from the hospital to his kindergarten class in the ending scene.
  • Last Action Hero (1993) – this phrase is used three times. "I'll be back.... Ha! You didn't know I was going to say that, did you?!?" (0:40:56-0:41:01), said as Jack Slater, a character played by Schwarzenegger in a film-within-the-film. Schwarzenegger also plays himself in the real movie. It was said to the child protagonist, Danny Madigan, who is aware of Schwarzenegger's real-life use of the phrase. Madigan answered: "That's what you always say." "I do?" "Everybody waits for you to say it. It is like your calling card." The second time it is used, Madigan overtakes Slater and says to him: "I'll be back. I know. I know." (0:46:10-11). In the third instance, Ripper said this phrase to Slater (1:44:45-49). Slater answered: "The hell you will".
  • Junior (1994) – In the film, Schwarzenegger says to his character's friend when they return to his home: "It's nice to be back…".
  • Jingle All the Way (1996) – In the film, Schwarzenegger says to his character's wife: "I'll be back with the doll later…".
  • The 6th Day (2000) – Schwarzenegger's character is visiting a 're-pet' store and notices a 'sim-pal' stand outside. He turns to the sale assistant: "I might be back." The assistant replies, "Oh, you'll be back."
  • The Expendables 2 (2012) – Schwarzenegger's character Trench Mauser says "I'm back" upon rescuing the Expendables from a trapped mine. Later, in the final gunfight, he says "I'll be back" to Bruce Willis's character Mr. Church, to which Church replies "You've been back enough. I'll be back." Mauser then replies with "Yippee-ki-yay" (the catchphrase of Bruce Willis's character John McClane from the Die Hard series).

Schwarzenegger has since used the phrase during public speeches as part of his career as the governor of the U.S. state of California.[5][6]

See also[edit]

References[edit]