Old School Americana & Nostalgia


Arnold Schwarzenegger Was Once Manhandled by Andre the Giant… Over Their Dinner Bill

Arnold Schwarzenegger Was Once Manhandled by Andre the Giant… Over Their Dinner Bill

It takes an impressive specimen to take peak Arnold Schwarzenegger down a peg, but that’s just what Andre the Giant did back in the 80s.

André René Roussimoff, born in 1946 in Grenoble, France, showed signs of gigantism in his early teens and was diagnosed with acromegaly in his twenties. Training in Paris at 17, he gained fame in wrestling worldwide. He joined what is now World Wrestling Entertainment in 1973, rising to stardom as a fierce rival of WWE legend Hulk Hogan.

Meanwhile, during the 1980s, Arnold Schwarzenegger reigned as the ultimate action hero. With a chiseled, remarkably massive physique, he appeared larger than life in iconic roles such as The Terminator and Predator.

For the sequel to his breakout role in Conan the Barbarian, filmmakers had to find a worthy opponent for the renowned bodybuilder. Of course, Andre the Giant was the perfect foe to square off against Arnold Schwarzenegger.

In 1984’s Conan the Destroyer, Andre the Giant plays the monster Dagoth. The wrestler, body covered in green scales, baring fangs, and wearing a hilariously awesome red cape, dominates Schwarzenegger. It’s a rare moment in the two movies where it seems like even a solo opponent could give Conan a run for his money.

Andre the Giant Battled Arnold Schwarzenegger Over Picking Up the Check

However, Andre the Giant didn’t just dominate Arnold Schwarzenegger on screen. It turns out that the generous wrestler always insisted on paying for dinner when out with Arnold and their co-star, NBA legend Wilt Chamberlain. Of course, Schwarzenegger was the headliner and at this point making serious paychecks. The rising star really wanted to flex his wallet, but Andre wasn’t having any of it.

“Andre always wanted to pay for the dinner,” Arnold Schwarzenegger recounted for the 2018 HBO documentary Andre The Giant. “So this one day, I said, ‘I’ll be right back’ and I snuck out to give the waiter my credit card. I said, ‘Don’t let Andre or anyone pay. No matter how much he complains. I’m going to pay.’”

While Arnold meant well, the check-stealing stunt didn’t go over so great with his much larger co-stars. Andre and Wilt decided to punish the Austrian Oak in the most humiliating way they could think of.

“They both carry me out of the restaurant – people are freaking out – and they sat me on the roof of my car out front. It was a very funny scene,” Schwarzenegger recalled. No doubt, it’s something the patrons of the restaurant will never forget. If only folks had smartphones to grab footage of the incident back in the day!