Whether he’s oiled, toned, or dressed like a total nerd, Arnold Schwarzenegger is a powerful onscreen presence. During his storied film history, he's fought snake demons to taught kindergartners - and everything in between. But who's the strongest Arnold Schwarzenegger character? What is strength? Is it the ability to hoist a telephone booth over your head, or is it giving birth in the midst of a scientific breakthrough?
Obviously, the Arnold Schwarzenegger character you think is the most powerful is a subjective question. One person's version of strength is always going to be different from that of another person. In the 1980s, Schwarzenegger was the king of tough-guy action flicks. He was ripped and ready to rock, and even though he softened his image in the '90s, he remained an action icon. What he left in his wake was a vast and varied collection of strongmen, physical and otherwise.
Who Is Your Arnold, And What Does He Do? The T-800 appears in The Terminator franchise as a cyborg covered in organic material first sent to take out Sarah Connor, and then sent again to save her son John. He's not only a Terminator, but also a protector, and by the end of the second film in the series, a friend to the human race.
Skill Set: The T-800 is skilled at hunting and tracking, as well as using side arms and expertly driving any vehicle imaginable - but he specializes in riding a Harley.
Greatest Feat of Strength: While taking down Cyberdyne Industries, the T-800 singlehandedly fights off a SWAT team before leading a T-1000 cyborg on a chase through Los Angeles and detonating a truck full of liquid nitrogen, thus freezing the T-1000.
Weakest Moment: While this isn't weak, per se, it does show one of the worst aspects of the T-800: He's got zero chill. While attempting to save John Connor in the middle of a busy mall, this Schwarzenbot unloads a shotgun in public. It's not just a waste of ammuniton, it's flat-out unsafe.
Who Is Your Arnold, And What Does He Do? The leader of a secret military unit who specializes in taking out small armies in developing nations, Dutch is a likable, no-nonsense special-ops guy who doesn't bat an eye at mowing down an entire village with his camo boys. When his group is ambushed by a semi-invisible alien in Predator, he assesses the situation and goes toe to toe with the invader from another planet.
Skill Set: Dutch is one of Schwarzenegger's beefier roles, so he's got quite a bit of muscle mass to contend with. His leadership skills are great, but they don't get much use once his team starts getting picked off one by one. Once he finds out he's outgunned by the creature, he has to use his wits and fight with jungle-themed boobytraps.
Greatest Feat of Strength: Covering himself in mud to render himself invisible to the creature's space vision before beating up the alien so badly it has to atomically blow itself up.
Weakest Moment: After falling off a cliff, Dutch crawls through the mud and cowers beneath a bunch of tree roots to keep from being seen by his alien foe.
Who Is Your Arnold, And What Does He Do? Conan the Barbarian is more than a muscle-bound Cimmerian warrior. He's a leader, a warrior, and by the end of his life, a king. When he's not traveling across the world to fight snake demons or ancient gods, he's wooing maidens and getting into hijinks with his mystical pals.
Skill Set: Conan doesn't seem to have any supernatural abilities, but he doesn't have any issues going toe to toe with all manner of wizards, demons, and monsters. He prefers to use his saber - or just engage in hand-to-hand combat - but after decades of pushing a wheel around in a never-ending circle, he's developed a strength of character that's unrivaled in cinema. Also, he's super buff.
Greatest Feat of Strength: Using the broken blade of his father to behead an evil snake demon.
Weakest Moment: Even though Conan overcomes all of his adversaries with his physical fortitude, he can be tricked or done in by magic. In Conan the Barbarian, he's nearly hypnotized by the snake demon "Doom," and in Conan the Destroyer, he's tricked into rescuing a precious gem by the mortal Bombaata.
Who Is Your Arnold, And What Does He Do? Commando follows former military man and all-around tough guy John Matrix, who can fire anything he gets his hands on. Machine guns, rocket launchers, flame throwers - you name it, he can handle it. Before he retired from the armed forces, Matrix helped the government lead secret coups in South America.
Skill Set: John Matrix is a thing of musclebound glory. He's not just ripped, he's agile and isn't afraid of hand-to-hand combat. He's also got great leadership skills and knows how to stay one step ahead of paramilitary officers that get in his way.
Greatest Feat of Strength: Picking up a telephone stall and flipping it over while a guy talks on the phone before fighting off about 10 cops and using a balloon to swing from one end of a mall to the top of an elevator.
Weakest Moment: Allowing his daughter to be taken by a secret group of ex-military men.