“I’ll be back” is the signature line of the Terminator movie franchise, with either the catchphrase itself or a variation on it being said in all six films in the series to date. It’s such an iconic line, though, that it’s actually spread out into other movies totally unrelated to the James Cameron sci-fi saga. Well, apart from one thing: they all star Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Yes, the Austrian Oak has called back to his most famous role while playing various other characters across his career. In fact, there are a total of eight non-Terminator films in which he’s said the line, and here’s a quick rundown of them all…
Commando (1985) – Just one year after the release of The Terminator, Schwarzenegger’s retired special forces colonel John Matrix tells sub-villain Bennett “I’ll be back,” to which the antagonist replied, “I’ll be waiting.”
Raw Deal (1986) – Former FBI agent Mark Kaminski (Schwarzenegger) delivers a variation on the famed line to a bad guy, this time saying “I’ll be right back.”
Running Man (1987) – Schwarzenegger’s Ben Richards faces off against evil game show host Damon Killian and says to him “I’ll be back.” The host responds, “only in a rerun.” And as in Commando, Raw Deal and Terminator, Richards indeed returns to kill Killian.
Twins (1988) – When Julius Benedict (Schwarzenegger) discovers that his mother is still alive and he’s the result of a genetic experiment, he tells the doctor who reveals the truth to him, “If you’re lying to me, I’ll be back.”
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Total Recall (1990) – “I’ll be back” is this time said by Douglas Quaid (Schwarzenegger) as he’s strapped into a memory-altering machine in this cult favorite mind-bending sci-fi flick.
Last Action Hero (1993) – This meta-action movie features the catchphrase three times, as Schwarzenegger’s Jack Slater, a character that the actor’s playing in a film-within-a-film, uses it, and protagonist Danny pokes fun at the star for saying it in all his roles.
The 6th Day (2000) – Schwarzenegger’s Adam Gibson visits a pet store that clones deceased animals. Put off by the idea, he tells the sales assistant “I might be back.” The assistant then says, “Oh, you’ll be back.”
The Expendables 2 (2012) – The crossover action sequel features Schwarzenegger’s Trench Mauser saying the line to Bruce Willis’ Mr. Church. Church says to him, “You’ve been back enough, I’ll be back!” Continuing the catchphrase switch, Mauser replies, “Yippee-ki-yay!”
As you can see, Arnold Schwarzenegger has become less reliant on repeating the line in recent years, but he still pulls it out of his pocket from time to time. Furthermore, you can be sure we haven’t heard the last of it yet and the catchphrase will indeed be back.