Top Gun came out in 1986, and (for reasons that I should probably question them about) my parents thought it was a perfectly acceptable movie to show a 4-year-old. While I failed to grasp much of the plot and the homoerotic overtones, I did know that flying a thundering war bird powered by fire was the coolest thing I'd ever seen. Before I was even able to tie my shoes, I knew exactly what I wanted to do when I grew up.
That's how I wound up spending most of the last decade training and flying the F/A-18 Super Hornet
And while I never expected things to be exactly like Top Gun (hostile MiGs are decidedly scarce these days), there are quite a few things that Tom Cruise never told me, like ...To learn what these things are, you'll have to read the full article.