Here's a little bit of context from the movie:

Charlotte “Charlie” Blackwood: Excuse me. May I?

Pete “Maverick” Mitchell: Please.

Charlotte “Charlie” Blackwood: Um… Uh… I’ll... I’ll have what he’s having. Hemlock, is it?

Pete “Maverick” Mitchell: Ice water.

What is hemlock in this context?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary:


  1. any of several poisonous herbs (such as a poison hemlock or a water hemlock) of the carrot family having finely cut leaves and small white flowers
  2. a drug or lethal drink prepared from the poison hemlock

Did she mean, ironically, that Maverick was going to drink something poisonous to kill himself, or is hemlock just a name for some famous cocktail that I am not aware of?

I would really appreciate it if you could explain it to me.

  • 1
    I haven't seen it for quite a while but IIRC this is the scene at the airport when he's about to leave Miramar, right after the accident. Quiting topgun without the diploma (when you can get it) is not only a half-baked mess that will be a huge human loss but also a professional loss. Quiting is "commiting suicide"?
    – OldPadawan
    Apr 12 at 4:19
  • @OldPadawan Actually, this is the scene when they are sitting at a bar. Apr 12 at 6:15
  • 1
    oh this is the scene youtube.com/watch?v=ZEjJJ18Dv4w
    – Luciano
    Apr 12 at 9:57

2 Answers 2


Did she mean, ironically, that Maverick was going to drink something poisonous to kill himself

Essentially, yes.

Maverick is blaming himself for Goose's death and is having issues with combat flying again.

Charlie is implying that Maverick is depressed and considering suicide (by poison) but in a semi-joking way.

In effect, she's just trying to say that she understands what he's feeling and to lighten his mood by making a joke out of his "drink".


Charlie finds Maverick getting drunk in a bar after the death of Goose. She is (semi-seriously) suggesting that Maverick is engaged in a series of self-destructive actions, first quitting the Top Gun programme and now contemplating suicide.

“I’ll have what he’s having,” Charlie said, indicating Maverick’s drink with her thumb. “Hemlock, is it?” she added sweetly. The waitress didn’t smile or look curious. She just nodded and turned toward the bar. It just wasn’t funny, nothing about it was. Charlie leaned toward him. “You weren’t going to say goodbye?” she asked quietly.

Top Gun - Official Novelisation

Note that the reference is likely inspired by the death of Socrates who was famously forced to drink poison hemlock after a tribunal found against him.


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