Why Top Gun Day is May 16th

Why Top Gun Day is May 16th


Just because everyone thinks and believes something is true doesn't make it so, especially when it comes to Top Gun Day. Top Gun Day is an internationally recognised date celebrated by fans of the first Top Gun movie.

Tom Cruise as Maverick riding his motorbike. 

The day gets a lot of attention across social media platforms, with accounts belonging to Paramount Studios and Skydance, among others, publishing content celebrating this day.

But May 13th isn't Top Gun day. Yes, I know, gasp, shock, horror.

To find out why everyone is stuck on the assumption that's the date for Top Gun Day and why they're wrong, we need to look at where it all started, which doesn't require a lot of digging.

The Reason Why You're Celebrating on The Wrong Date.
So, once upon a time (this is a true story), a guy wanted to mark and celebrate the release of Top Gun, but he mistakenly chose May 13th as he thought that was the date Top Gun was released. So, to capitalise on this, he had some banners made as well as t-shirts that he sold. But, unfortunately, he'd already sold many shirts by the time he realised the mistake. So, he decided to stay quiet and let things continue to avoid having to refund everyone and throw all those shirts away.

Now, each to their own, and I am sure he has reasons for continuing to allow things to spiral. Still, the right thing to do as a genuine Top Gun fan, rather than someone looking to make a quick buck, would have been to have shirts made with the correct date and send everyone who had bought one of the wrong ones a new shirt that had the correct date.

But, alas, that wasn't his chosen route, and he allowed this inaccuracy to continue.

Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis - Top Gun 1986


What is the correct date for Top Gun Day?

Well, the mistaken date came about because the guy who started it all thought that was the date Top Gun was released. So if we use the release date for Top Gun Day, we have three choices.

Top Gun had a premiere in New York City on May 12th, 1986 and another in San Diego on May 15th, 1986. On May 16th, 1986, Top Gun was released in theatres across North America.

The premieres on May 12th and May 15th were special events to which the cast and members of the US Navy were invited. These premieres were not open to the public. For those reasons, neither of these premieres should be considered for Top Gun Day.

By process of elimination, we are left with May 16th as the date for celebrating Top Gun Day.


Top Gun Day is May 16th.

So, as a Top Gun Fan, now when Top Gun Day comes around each year, you'll know that May 16th is the actual date of Top Gun Day, and everyone else who is still swallowing the falsehood of it being on a different date in May doesn't understand the history of Top Gun. And if you need help understanding the history of your favourite movie, are you a true Top Gun fan?


What are your thoughts on this? Let me know in the comments below.



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