Mandatory Movie Battles: Who’s the Bigger Badass, Stallone or Schwarzenegger?

If you type “badass” into Google, the resulting definition reads “a tough, uncompromising, or intimidating person.” In other words, the archetype of the action hero. No men have better redefined that archetype more than Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger—they took (their) testosterone to a whole new level. 

Whether they were saying “Yo Adrian!” or “I’ll be back,” Stallone and Schwarzenegger attracted a lot of attention in the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s. Their box office rivalry began with aesthetically similar films like Commando and Rambo: First Blood Part II (both coming out in 1985). This competition went on to fuel some of the most mocked and beloved action movies in cinematic history. At every turn, Sly and Arnie attempted to one-up the other with baby oil, bigger guns, and better kills. Today, the two legends make Expendables movies together and are good friends; however, fans never tire of the “Who’s the bigger badass? debate that began decades ago. Well, in this edition of Mandatory Movie Battles, we break it down. 

Disclaimer: we will not be pitting their notorious ability to enunciate against one another (Stallone has a birth defect working against him).

Cover Photo: Orion Pictures/Twentieth Century Fox

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Depending upon personal preference, this could be a toss-up. Stallone is a tough mofo and an overall better filmmaker, but Schwarzenegger excels at being, well, himself. He overcame his once ostracized accent and used his confidence and physicality to sky-rocket himself to superstardom. The way we see it, Schwarzenegger has been able to dominate every arena he has stepped foot in— sports (yes, apparently bodybuilding is considered a spot), entertainment, politics, and otherwise. That’s pretty badass.

Overall Winner: Schwarzenegger

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