Chris Hicks: If you want to 'make my day,' don't say 'I'll be back'

Published: Thursday, Nov. 8 2012 2:00 p.m. MST

Since Arnold Schwarzenegger has used it over and over in his movies and his political life for nearly 30 years, everyone probably recognizes the phrase as something originally spoken by him. But where did he say it first?

If you said “The Terminator,” you’re right. But if you couldn’t quite come up with that, don’t feel bad. He’s said it so many times in so many films and so often on the political stage that even he probably doesn’t remember where it started.

In fact, although Schwarzenegger initially said “I’ll be back” at a key moment in the first “Terminator” movie, the line, or a variation, is used in all of the subsequent “Terminator” sequels — including the one he’s not in, “Terminator Salvation.”

And Schwarzenegger also uses the phrase, or a variant, in “Commando,” “Raw Deal,” “The Running Man,” “Twins,” “Kindergarten Cop,” “Last Action Hero,” “Jingle All the Way” and “The 6th Day.” And he often said it when he was on the political stage during his tenure as California governor.

Schwarzenegger even uses it a couple of times in his latest movie, “The Expendables 2.” The second time, Bruce Willis mocks him for it. But even that joke isn’t new. Way back in 1993, a character in “Last Action Hero” also mocked Schwarzenegger’s overuse of the phrase.

So will he say it again in January when his next movie, “The Last Stand,” opens? Maybe he’ll say “Hasta la vista, baby,” instead.

I know I won’t be the last word on this. So you’re welcome to argue that others — “May the Force be with you,” or “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a ... ” or “You can’t handle the truth,” or myriad others — are equally worn out.

But all that means is, “What we’ve got here is failure to communicate.” And since “love means never having to say you’re sorry,” then I guess “we’re not in Kansas anymore.”

So “here’s looking at you, kid.”

E-MAIL: hicks@desnews.com

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