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Terminator Wiki

"I'll Be Back"

"I'll be back." is a famous line from the Terminator franchise. It is said in some form or another in all of the films.

The American Film Institute lists it as the #37 top movie quote of all time in its "100 Years...100 Movie Quotes". [1]



The Terminator Police Shootout Original Audio Restored

  • The T-800 went into a Los Angeles police station to look for Sarah Connor. He went to the receptionist and said he was a "friend" of hers. The policeman behind the window informed him that he'd have to wait. Unwilling to comply, the Terminator says, "I'll be back." He later drives a car through the police station and instigates a shoot-out. The Terminator
  • Tim, John's friend, says "I'm going to get some quarters, I'll be back, alright?". Terminator 2: Judgment Day
  • After Sarah Connor, John Connor and the T-800 blew up the Cyberdyne building, the three went down an elevator. The SWAT team shot smoke grenades at them. They only had one gas mask and John and Sarah took turns with it while tear gas filled the elevator. The T-800 said to them, "Stay here, I'll be back." It went up to the SWAT team with only a pistol and incapacitated them all with it and a smoke grenade launcher. Terminator 2: Judgment Day
  • In T2 3-D: Battle Across Time, the Terminator uses the line twice. The first time occurs when he introduces himself to the Connors after saving them from the T-1000 stating "I said I'd be back." The second time occurs when The T-800 says "I'll be back" before sending John Connor back to the present day and destroying Skynet Core. T2 3-D: Battle Across Time
  • When Kate asks John what she tell his troops when they realize he has left to infiltrate Skynet to rescue the prisoners, John answers, "I'll be back". Terminator Salvation [2]
  • When being imprisoned, bored and frustrated, Serena Kogan said, "I'll be back" before she was saved by Marcus Wright. Terminator Salvation: The Final Battle #10
  • Pops told Sarah, "I'll be back" before jumping out from a helicopter. Terminator Genisys
  • Sarah Connor told Grace and Dani Ramos, "I'll be back" after blasting the Rev-9 off a bridge and before going down to finish it off. Terminator: Dark Fate


  • Tim is the first human character who says the line (although possibly unintentionally), and John Connor is the second.
  • In the original script, the Terminator was supposed to tell the desk sergeant, "I'll come back"[3], but this was changed in the movie.
  • "I'll be back" has never actually been said in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, although two very similar phrases have been said.
    • When the T-850, John Connor, and Kate Brewster went into the CRS complex and met up with the T-X, the T-850 blasted it into a large vent and then stated, "She'll be back". In the same film, Kate Brewster says, "I'll be back by the time you get up." to her fiance Mason before leaving their house in order to get to the Vet.
    • When the T-850 crashed into the Crystal Peak base with a large helicopter, it got out, heavily damaged and said, "I'm back."
  • In Terminator: Dark Fate, when asked what he told his family before departing, Carl replied with, "I won't be back".

Usage outside Terminator Franchise[]


  • "I'll be back" is often said by Arnold Schwarzenegger in his other films either verbatim or paraphrased. The titles of the films having Schwarzeneger say the line include Commando, Raw Deal, The Running Man, Last Action Hero, Twins, Kindergarten Cop and The 6th Day.
  • The Expendables 2,: Trench (Arnold Schwarzenegger) tells Church (Bruce Willis) "I'll be back", causing Church to say "You've been back enough! I'll be back!", prompting Trench to reply "Yippee-ki-yay..."
  • Bad Sister: Humphrey Bogart as a con artist Valentine Corliss promises to meet the bad sister again.
  • Benji: Off the Leash!: Used by Colby Hachett when he adopts Benji.
  • Child's Play 3: Said by Chucky to Ronald Tyler after the former is taken away.
  • Christmas in Connecticut: Donned in leather attire and sunglasses character Tyler says the line in unmistakable Terminator fashion.
  • Christmas Inheritance: Zeke tells his assistants that "I'll be back when I'm back", which one of the assistants says to Ellen Langford who's looking for Zeke.
  • Cloak and Dagger: In the last scene in the Temporary Airfield.
  • Encino Man: Link uses this line before the credits.
  • Heavy Traffic: Used by the legless character Shorty after the barmaid rejects his offer of assistance in dealing with her boss.
  • London has Fallen: Mike Banning tells the US President Benjamin Asher to wait in a train car and adds "Stay here, I'll be back" while he ambushes some terrorists.
  • Lonely Water: Used by Donald Pleasence as the Spirit of Dark and Lonely Water.
  • Masters of the Universe: In a post-credits scene, Skeletor's head emerges from the water at the bottom of the pit, saying "I'll be back!"
  • National Lampoon's Class Reunion: The vampire character Egon Von Stoker, played by Jim Staahl, attempts to pick up a woman at the bar in the main hall, and upon rejection, responds with "I'll be back" in a tone and accent similar to Schwarzenegger, although somewhat less aggressive.
  • Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows: Holmes says that "they'll be back" on the train when a group of thugs pursuing the newly wed Watson and his wife are dead.


  • Detroit: Become Human: one of the in-game achievements is titled "I'LL BE BACK".
  • Mortal Kombat 11: one of Terminator Brutality quotes is "You won't be back."
  • Resident Evil 3: Nikolai Zinoviev can say "I'll be back." at the end of matches.
  • Silent Hill 3: Heather Mason tells Douglas Cartwright "I'll be back when this is over" at the Lakeside Amusement Park.
  • The Outer Worlds: It can be said by the player to various characters.


Arnold Schwarzenegger: "I could not pronounce really all this 'I'll' so I just say to Jim Cam[James Cameron] maybe I just say 'I will be back' as it sounds more like a machine.

[James Cameron]'I will be back, this is nonono. Look, I don't tell you how to act, don't tell me how to write. I wrote the line 'I'll be back', so why don't you say this?'.

[Schwarzenegger]'But it sounds really weird, when I say this in my german accent.' He's just: 'I don't care, lets just say this in ten different ways and then one would work'. And so that what we ended up doing. And then when the movie came out, I remember I was here in New York for the promotion and I walked out on Park Avenue and this one fan came up and he said 'Say it! Say it!' And I say: 'What?'

[Fan]'Say the line, I'll be back'. And I said 'I'll be back'.

[Fan]'No, the way you said it in the movie'. And I said [deep voice]'I'll be back'. He said: 'Ye, yeah, yeah, thats the way!'. I realized how powerfull the line was [...]"[4]