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Important Note: This article is ONLY for the VILLAINOUS T-800 from the original film and his EVIL reincarnation in Terminator Genisys, NOT his heroic reincarnations in the sequels.

I'll be back.
~ The Terminator's famous quote.

The Terminator is the titular main antagonist in the 1984 film The Terminator. This specific model 101 was a design made by Dr. Serena Kogan and sent back through time by the super computer Skynet, which had touched off nuclear war and took over the world in its aftermath. Its mission was to kill Sarah Connor, the mother of resistance leader John Connor, before her son could be born.

He did make a appearance in the fourth film as T-RIP (the climatic antagonist of the film) before returning in the fifth film Terminator Genisys.

The T-800 is played by Arnold Schwarzenegger and is one of Arnold's most famous roles in his cinematic career. In Terminator: Genysis, his body double was performed by Brett Azar in using CGI technology.


Unlike most other Terminators (includes its heroic counterpart that sent eleven years later) who could exhibit emotional attachment, frustration, shock, fear and a sense of humour, this T-800 was extremely emotionless, cold, violent and ruthless. It almost never showed any facial expression beyond a cold and flat face, and it usually only spoke when it meant to engage others for information or when it intended to throw unwanted attention off of itself. The T-800 was noted to have an "attitude problem," tending to physically throw others out of its way to get past them or to use a phone booth. The T-800 was also very brutal and completely merciless, and was quick to killing when others in any way didn't cooperate with its plans and demands. The explanation of this Terminator's near-blank personality and the said "attitude problem" is likely due to its learning capabilities for human emotion that would've enable him to blend in human society better never unlocked even until it's destruction.

Like most Terminators, the first T-800 was single-mindedly and inhumanly relentless in completing its mission at all costs, to the point that it continued its pursuit of Sarah Connor without giving up, even when it lost its skin sheath and its legs in the process.

Despite its almost-blank personality though, the Terminator did still possess just enough social information to calculate what the best verbal response with which to throw off unwanted attention was. It was also intelligent and resourceful enough to calculate multiple different methods of tracking down and/or killing Sarah Connor; from pursuing and murdering all Sarah Connors named in a phonebook, to impersonating Sarah's mother over the phone in order to obtain her location, to attempting to run Sarah down with a commandeered truck.

The Terminator


Dr. Serena Kogan's research started the cybernetic organisms, living tissue over the metal endoskeleton. The model 101 came from Serena Kogan's knowledge due to her having the key to Skynet's salvation.

The initial series of terminators, the 600, had rubber faces and were easy to spot. Their programming was to infiltrate and exterminate human settlements. In order to further this goal, Skynet replaced this series with the 800, which had living human tissue over a metal endoskeleton. The terminator was part of this series.

When John Connor and the resistance smashed Skynet's defense grid, Skynet had this model 101 sent back through time using time displacement equipment. The resistance managed to send a human soldier, Kyle Reese, back through time to protect Sarah Connor. He knew how to recognize her because John Connor had once given him a picture of her.


After emerging from the time displacement sphere at 1:52 PM at the Griffith Observatory, the naked Terminator arrived on Los Angeles. It then confronted 3 thugs roaming the observatory, who then took interest in him. The terminator requested one of the thugs to surrender their clothing to him, much to their refusal. They attacked the terminator, before the latter overpowered them, managing to kill 2 of them in the process while forcing the remaining thug to surrender his clothing to him, who does out of fright. It then stole a car & then drove off to a nearby gun shop to buy some weapons, before finally killing the shop owner in the process & then proceeds in its way to eliminate its target: Sarah Connor.

Phone Book Killer

As most of the records were lost in the nuclear war, The terminator didn't know Sarah Connor's middle name, and looked her up in the phone book. There were three Sarah Connors living in Los Angeles, and the terminator went down the list alphabetically. Luckily for the future, the Sarah Connor was the last on the list. this method led the police to investigate the "phone book killer," as the press called it.

The terminator and Reese both caught up with Sarah Connor in a night club, where Sarah had called the police when she noticed Reese following her. Reese and Sarah escaped and hid in a parking garage, where he explained everything that had happened in the future and his purpose to her. They were spotted by the terminator, but the police got to them first. The terminator backed off, not wanting to create a scene and to treat its injuries in a safe location.

Police Massacre

After the terminator had stripped the wounded flesh from his skeleton and disguised the gaps in his disguise, it proceeded to the police station where Reese and Sarah were being held. It massacred many police officers in its attempt to reach Sarah Connor, but Reese and Sarah managed to escape. They made their way to a motel, where Reese cooked up some pipe bombs in the room's kitchen. The Terminator then found Sarah's mother at her place by using her address book.

It killed her, then waited for Sarah to call. Sarah eventually called from the motel room, and the terminator mimicked her mother's voice, convincing Sarah to give it the motel's phone number, which the terminator promptly called, asking for the address. That night, Sarah and Reese made love, conceiving John Connor.

Final Chase

The terminator caught up with Sarah and Reese at the motel, pursuing them on a motorcycle while they were in a pickup truck. Reese threw a pipebomb at the terminator, which knocked it off its motorcycle. The truck had turned over, and Sarah and Reese began to run on foot. A tanker truck ran over the terminator, which got up, took over the truck, and continued its pursuit. Reese managed to throw a pipe bomb into a tube on the side of the truck which blew it up. The terminator emerged from the flames with all of its flesh gone.

Sarah and Reese fled into a factory, later revealed to be Cyberdyne Systems in the second film. The terminator killed Reese, and pursued Sarah Connor as she crawled into a hydraulic press. When she climbed out the other side, Sarah turned on the press which caused the terminator to be crushed making their first mission fail also avenging the deaths of the humans he had killed.


In Terminator 2: Judgement Day, it is revealed that Cyberdyne Systems covered up the terminator's existence. It's arm and CPU survived the press, and were given to resident scientist Miles Bennet Dyson to work on, unaware of its origins. He used the CPU to create a new neuro-net processor, which formed the basis for Skynet.

Terminator: Genisys

The same Terminator once again appeared in the fifth film Terminator: Genysis, as the reverted quaternary antagonist & its role as the main antagonist of the first film were completely altered.

The T-800 was seen being pulled from an assembly line and then walking to a giant Time Displacement Chamber to be sent back to the year 1984 in order to kill Sarah Connor. As soon as it emerged in the past, it confronted three thugs who took interest in him while it demanding of their clothing. Before it could proceed to attack them however, another Model 101 (known as "The Guardian") confronted it, saying "You won't be needing any clothes." and "I've been waiting for you." before engaging it with a shotgun & a brutal fight with him, before being ironically pinned down by its supposed target Sarah Connor. To prevent the events of the second film from happening. Sarah & The Guardian took the deactivated terminator with them to dismantle it.

Before they could destroy it, it was reactivated by a mimeticpolyalloy from T-1000, also sent to kill Sarah Connor prior to the events of the film. As the T-1000 pursued Sarah, the T-800 attacked its supposed victim Kyle Reese & pursued him on Sarah's safe house, while managing to lose its skin sheath in the process from a grenade launcher. It was then killed off by Kyle by shooting it on the neck, causing it to be decapitated. After killing the T-1000, Sarah & The Guardian extracted its CPU to activate its time displacement equipment to sent Sarah & Kyle into the future while the Guardian destroyed the remains of the T-800 in an acid bath.



Terminator's rotting organic face due to injuries at hands of Kyle.

  • In The Terminator, T-800's living tissue was somewhat suffer necrosis after injuries that sustained during the chase and gunfight against Kyle Reese while searching Sarah's mother's address through her address book at a safehouse where it hiding at unlike other Terminators that later appeared in the next films. This was shown where his face has become pale and had some flies sat on his face. Even at this point, the janitor whom nearly caught the Terminator comment the smell of decay from its rotting flesh, asked, "Hey, buddy, got a dead cat in there, or what?"

See Also