Road House: 10 best scenes from the classic movie, ranked

These ten moments from 1989's Road House helped make it a classic film and Patrick Swayze an icon.

Patrick Swayze
Patrick Swayze / Aaron Rapoport/GettyImages

The 1980s are known for cheesy but amazing action movies. Actors like Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jean-Claude Van Damme, and Steven Seagal became legends because of that era. Without their contribution, the action genre wouldn’t be where it is today.

Patrick Swayze isn’t often mentioned among the great action heroes of that time. It may be because he starred in films such as Dirty Dancing and Ghost. Nevertheless, he was the lead in one of the greatest bad/good movies ever, Road House. Jake Gyllenhaal’s remake, also titled Road House, was entertaining, but it’s not the original. It lacked the charm of its predecessor. That's what this article is all about. It will highlight what made Road House special, looking at its 10 best moments.

Honorable mentions:

  • A polar bear fell on me
  • Stay on break
  • Firing the bar staff
  • Beating Brad Wesley
  • Bigfoot smash!

10. Pain don't hurt

After getting cut during a bar fight, Dalton goes to the hospital. Standard stuff. What happens next isn't.

First, he has physical copies of his medical records. No one walks around with that. Even in the 1980s. Second, not taking something for the pain while getting staples to close a wound is bad enough. Following it up by saying, “Pain don’t hurt” made it a ridiculously badass moment, giving us an instantly classic quote in the process.

Lastly, he made time to flirt with the doctor without being creepy. Dalton is a true legend.

9. Car on fire

The final action scene of any big time movie should be a memorable one and Road House delivered. The fight between Dalton and Brad Wesley’s goons started with a car driving by itself and then catching fire.

How was it running? Dalton pushed the gas down with the knife used to kill his mentor. It was an absurd moment that had to be mentioned. 

8. Do you know who that is?

The fact that a bar and club bouncer was a national celebrity in an era without social media is hilarious. It also speaks to Dalton’s reputation.

People started talking when Dalton walked into the Double Deuce (the club). Especially the antagonists. They heard who he was and knew it was over. Being that famous via word of mouth is incredible and funny. Dalton's reputation precedes him, and deservedly so.

7. Buying a terrible car

Dalton had been fixing up cars for a long time. Enough to know people were going to hate him. This always leads to his property being damaged. That’s why he bought a shoddy car when he got into town. The audience quickly sees how smart this is. After his first night, his tires are stabbed. Later, a stop sign was thrown through the window.

Dalton gets high marks for foresight. It makes me wonder how many times he’s done this.

6. Break a leg

One of the many goons in this movie tried a sneak attack on Dalton and quickly found out why that was a bad idea. Unfortunately for them, Dalton always sees it coming. In this case, he notices a blade in someone’s boot. When they try to kick him, Dalton grabs their leg, breaks their ankle, and drags them out of the Double Duece by their leg. The latter action added insult to an obvious and painful injury.

5. I had it under control

Dalton spends most of the movie outnumbered during fights. Usually, his coworkers intervene. This particular time, they’re inside the bar while he’s getting attacked outside. Thankfully, Dalton’s mentor Wade Garrett comes in and saves the day.

Apparently, like Dalton, Wade Garrett has a reputation. When the fight is over, Cody introduces Garrett. Everyone gasps like they've just met Elvis. This writer would like to know what the bouncer information train looks like.

4. Walk it out

The first time Dalton interacts with an unruly patron in Road House, he’s calm. The guy wanted to fight, and Dalton said they should take it outside. After walking him out, Dalton smiles and re-enters the bar while his would-be opponent looks foolish. There was no fight. He outsmarted the guy with ease. It was simple and beautiful.

This was a great way of showing us all who Dalton was and how he could diffuse situations around him. Like I said, it was simple, but very effective.

3. Be nice

As a former bouncer and security worker, this moment spoke to me. Dalton tells his bouncers, “Be nice. If he won't walk, walk him. But be nice. If you can't walk him, one of the others will help you, and you'll both be nice. I want you to remember that it's a job. It's nothing personal." 

Everything he said made sense. People will say rude and outlandish things, but it’s rarely personal. Even if it is, be nice. Stooping to their level means they've won. However, when you’re nice and don’t overreact you’re victorious. They wanted a reaction and you didn’t give it to them.

2. Throat rip

The first time you hear that Dalton ripped a guy’s throat out, you don’t believe it. It’s likely a rumor that started after he punched someone in the neck. As time went on the legend grew. Eventually, Jimmy finds out the reports are true.

After a brutal fight in the movie, Dalton finishes the encounter by tearing Jimmy’s throat out, proving that sometimes you should believe what you hear. As big a moment as this one was, the crazier part came next: Doctor Clay checked Jimmy’s pulse. I think he’s dead, doc.

1. The town gets revenge

The action hero usually defeats the final boss before the credits roll. After spending the film or TV show fighting everyone on route to the big bad, it's only right that their hard work ultimately pays off. It didn’t exactly happen that way in Road House. Yes, Dalton defeated the villain but the right people got the final blow.

Throughout Road House, people were forced to bow down to Brad Wesley. He ruined the town and people’s lives and he even killed some of the citizens. It’s only right that the people of Jasper, Missouri were the ones who got the emphatic final blow, killing Wesley. Thankfully, the creative team thought so too.

This was a fitting end for Brad Wesley and a satisfying conclusion for the movie.

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Have you seen the original Road House? Did you watch the remake with Jake Gyllenhaal? Let us know on our Twitter and Instagram.