I’ll be back

I’ll be back ( ” I shall return “) is acult sentenceusually associated with theactor American Arnold Schwarzenegger, who used it in themovieofscience fiction Terminator (1984). In theoriginalscript, the replica was writtenI will be backwithout the contraction 1 , 2 .

Schwarzenegger uses the same sentence (or a variant) in many of his subsequent films 3 . He also used the reply in public speeches held during his duties as Governor of California 4 , 5 .

The This sentence is in 37 th position on the list AFI’s 100 Years … 100 Movie Quotes of the American Film Institute 6 .


The replica is used for the first time by Arnold Schwarzenegger in the first Terminator , after his character, a cybernetic assassin (the T-800 ), is denied access to the police station where his target took refuge, Sarah Connor . The Terminator takes a few seconds to observe the structure of the wall protecting the reception of the police station, then tells the duty police officer, who refuses him the entrance, ” I’ll be back “, before returning some time later, at the wheel of a car, smashing the entrance of the police station by passing through the sentry box, and subsequently massacring the fifteen policemen present in the building.

In an interview granted on in the American Good Morning America show , Schwarzenegger remembers that he had trouble pronouncing the words I’ll correctly , and asked director James Cameron if the phrase could be changed to I will be back . Cameron refused and told him that the scene would be filmed more than once and that the best version would be kept for the film. Schwarzenegger was able to make variants of the replica.


Variations of the replica were made by Schwarzenegger in several subsequent films.

In the Terminator series

  • Terminator (1984) – I’ll be back , told by the T-800 after he was denied access to the police station. The character comes back driving a car through the front door. Schwarzenegger later testified that he did not think much about the replica at the time of the film. The director James Cameron , meanwhile, says, in the complements of the DVD, that he expected the replica to make laugh during revisions, when we know what the character means by that. He was surprised to see the success of the latter with the first hearings, which quickly grasped the violent nature of the character and who anticipated the heavy consequences implied by the remark at first nonchalant.
    In The Terminator of Shaun Hutson  (in) , a novel taken from the script, the character says I’ll come back than I’ll be back 7 .
  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) – Stay here, I’ll be back. (at 1:53:47). The sentence is told by the T-800 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 humans stuck inside.
  • Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003) – She’ll be back , told by the T-800 about her enemy TX . Further, he will say I’m back! after leaving the remains of a helicopter he crashed into a military bunker. I’m back also refers to the time when he becomes loyal to the Connor, after being “corrupted” by the TX.
  • Terminator Renaissance (2009) – I’ll be back , said by John Connor in response to his wife Kate Brewster, who asked him, “What am I going to tell your men when they find out you’re gone? trad 1 . “

In other movies

“- I’ll come back … Ha! You did not suspect that I was going to say that huh?!?
– You always say that.
– Really ?
– Everyone expects you to say it. It’s like your trad 2 business card . “

– dialogue between Jack Slater (Schwarzenegger) and Danny Madigan ( Austin O’Brien ), in the movie Last Action Hero

Schwarzenegger used the replica in several other films in which he played:

  • Commando (1985) – I’ll be back, Bennett! , said by the main character to his enemy Bennett ( Vernon Wells ), just before being put against his will on a plane. Bennett answers “I’ll be ready John trad 3 . “
  • The Contract (1986) – I’ll be right back (at 1:14:02), told by Mark Kaminski (Schwarzenegger) to Max Keller.
  • Running Man (1987) – Killian, I’ll be back , told the host Damon Killian ( Richard Dawson ), who does not expect Schwarzenegger’s character to survive filming. Killian replies “only in trad broadcast 4 . “
  • Twin (1988) – If you’re lying to me, I’ll be back! (“If you lie to me, I’ll come back!”) (At 0: 58: 40-43), told the doctor who led the experiment that led to the creation of the character.
  • A cop in kindergarten (1990) – I’m back! , said during the final scene at the kindergarten class while the character left the hospital.
  • Last Action Hero (1993) – The phrase is used three times: I’ll be back …. Ha! You did not know I was going to say that, did you?!? ( “I’ll come back … Ha, did not you know I was going to say that huh?!?” , At 0: 40: 56-0: 41: 01), told by Jack Slater (Schwarzenegger) at child Danny Madigan. He replies, “You always say that. […] Everyone expects you to say it. It’s like your business card .
    The second time, the replica is said by Madigan, who cuts Slater saying I’ll be back. I know. I know. ( “I’ll come back, I know, I know , ” at 0: 46: 10-11).
    The third time, Ripper said the phrase to Slater (at 1: 44: 45-49). Slater answersThe hell you will .
  • Junior (1994) – It’s nice to be back … , said by the character when returning home.
  • The Toy Race (1996) – I’ll be back with the doll later … ( “I’ll come back with the doll later …” ), told by the character to his wife.
  • At the dawn of the sixth day (2000) – The character tells a salesman I could be back . The latter replies “Oh, you’ll be back. “
  • Expendables 2: Special Unit (2012) – Trench Mauser (Schwarzenegger) says “I’m back” while rescuing the team trapped in a mine. Later, during the final firefight, he says I’ll be back to Mr. Church ( Bruce Willis ), who tells himyou’ve been back enough. I’ll be back. ( “You’ve come back enough, I’ll come back.” ) Mauser replies by Yippee-ki-yay , the cult phrase of the hero of the Die Hard series John McClane , interpreted by Willis.

Notes and references


  1. ↑ ( en ) ” What should I tell you when you’re out?”  “
  2. ↑ ( in ) ” – I’ll be back …. Ha! You did not know I was going to say that, did you?!?
    – That’s what you always say.
    – I do?
    – Everybody waits for you to say it. It is like your calling card. 
  3. ↑ ( in ) ” I’ll be ready, John.  “
  4. ↑ ( in ) ” Only in a rerun.  “


  1. ↑ ( in ) ” The Terminator ”  [ archive ]
  2. ↑ ( in ) ” The Terminator ”  [ archive ]
  3. ↑ ( in ) ” ” Arnold Schwarzenegger: ‘I’ll Be Back’ Quote Was Almost Ruined “ ”  [ archive ] , The Huffington Post,
  4. ↑ ( in ) ” Arnie Pledges Israel Support ”  [ archive ] , on TotallyJewish.com
  5. ↑ ( in ) ” Schwarzenegger visits Rancho ”  [ archive ] , on DailyBulletin.com
  6. ↑ ( in ) ” Frankly, My Dear, I Do not Give A Damn ”  [ archive ] , AFI’s 100 Years … 100 Movie Quotes, American Film Institute
  7. ↑ ( in ) Shaun Hutson, The Terminator , WH Allen,, 172 p. ( ISBN  0-352-31645-4 , online presentation  [ archive ]) , p.  117

In ) This article is partially or entirely from the article in English entitled ” I’ll be back ” ( see the list of authors ) .

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