In celebration of the film's 25th anniversary, here's all the times Officer Jack Traven made us weak in the knees.
1. When we first meet him.
With that one purposeful glance, we know that Jack is going to be the one to MacGyver the elevator situation and save every single hostage.
2. When he gets the last hostage out alive, dammit.
The last woman left in the damaged elevator is too scared to move, but Jack isn't about to let her die. "Just take one step, reach out, and take my hand," he says. When she still won't budge, he yells, "Come on!" and she finally lets herself be rescued. Yes, it was good for us too, Jack.
3. When he shoots Harry
This is why it's good to role play scenarios before they happen: When Howard Payne (Dennis Hopper) takes partner Harry (Jeff Daniels) hostage, Jack already has a plan: Shoot the hostage. Take them out of the equation. Go for the good wound. And then focus on the bad guy and demand: "Freeze, a-hole."
4. When he boards that bus.
As Howard later says of Jack, "He's so persistent! He always gets his man." And when the job is to board a moving bus on a busy freeway, Jack is going to make it happen. (Sorry about your car and your phone, Tune Man.)
5. When he calmly defuses the situation.
One passenger mistakenly thinks this gung-ho cop is there for him and draws a gun on him. Jack is in the middle of talking him down, telling him, "I'm not here for you. Let's not do this. I don't care about your crime. Whatever you did, I'm sure that you're sorry, so it's cool now. It's over. I'm not a cop right now. See? We're just two cool guys, just hanging out..." And then the Baldwin on the bus decides to play hero, tackling the guy, which leads to Sam the bus driver being shot...
6. When he assures Annie she didn't just kill a baby
Horrified that she's just hit a baby carriage, Annie is understandably freaking out behind the wheel. Jack takes charge for a moment, repeating, "Cans! There was no baby. It was full of cans," until she can calmly take the wheel again. His relieved laugh is why they invented gifs.
7. When he tells her she's "incredible"
After Annie makes a nearly impossible turn (after correctly saying the bus will tip over if everyone doesn't get over to one side), Jack is hella impressed. "Ma'am, you did very well. Actually, you were incredible. I've never seen driving like that." And that's when she asks him to call her Annie, "as opposed to ma'am."
8. When he tends to Annie's head wound
After that amazing freeway-gap jump, Annie is a little banged-up. We're not too sure how sanitary his shirt is at this point, but it's the thought that counts. Also, before the jump: He threw himself over her to protect her from the impact. Hero.
9. When he goes under the bus.
Which isn't sexual or anything.
10. When he admits he "might" be getting mushy on Annie.
Jack cradles Annie as they're they last two to make their escape from the soon-to-explode bus. As he asks if she's OK, she says no. Then asks if he's getting "mushy" on her. "Maybe," he says with a smile. "Maybe."
11. When he refuses to leave Annie on the subway
After having killed Howard, Jack returns to free Annie -- and realizes he doesn't have the key to her handcuffs. So he just holds her as the train hurtles to its possible doom. (After deciding to speed it up first. Which, OK, that was a choice.)
12. "Whatever you say, ma'am."
After having survived the subway crash, Annie can't believe Jack didn't leave here. "Didn't have anywhere to be just then," he says, repeating her earlier advice back to her: "I have to warn you. I've heard relationships... ...based on intense experiences never work." Her sensible reply, "OK, we'll have to base it on sex, then."
He grins and says, "Whatever you say, ma'am."