Maverick, Iceman, Goose, Viper, Slider: egos writing checks that bodies couldn’t cash. If they screwed up just this much, they’d be flying a cargo plane full of rubber dog shit out of Hong Kong. The Navy called it Fighter Weapons School. The fliers called it Top Gun.

And we call it the apex of High & Tight grooming…

THE HAIR: A slight departure from the classic mid-century American GI buzz cut, but equally clean-cut thanks to generous amounts of firm-hold gel.

THE BODY: An iconic shift from ’70s body hair to smooth/shaved, well-defined chests and torsos—a requisite leading-man look for three decades to follow. Dog tags.

THE FACE: Clean-shaven with the exception of Goose and Viper, who sport full-on, unironic mustaches. No sideburns.

THE HIGHEST & TIGHTEST: Stringer.

CLICHÉS BORN: “I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you.” “Negative, Ghost Rider.” “I feel the need… the need for speed.” “You can be my wingman anytime.” “Buzz the tower.” “I was inverted.” “Crashed and burned.” “Talk to me, Goose.” Spontaneously singing “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling.” The no-look inverted high-five/low-five combo.

Mind the bogies, gentlemen.

—C.B.S.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • C. Brian Smith