Goose has a wife and a child. So does Cougar. Maverick has nobody, except Goose (whom he describes as his "only family"). In a lot of ways Top Gun is about what it's like to not have a family (which may explain why Maverick just doesn't care that much about some things like, ugh, rules), or about what it's like to have a disgraced family name (again, Maverick). The movie is also, though, about how different groups can become families. The pilots at Top Gun are pretty much one big family. They compete like brothers would, they fight like brothers would, but at the end of the day, as Viper reminds them, they're all on the same team.
Questions About Family
Why do you think Maverick doesn't have any family? What were the writers getting at?
What is the significance or symbolism of Goose's family?
Why don't we hear anything about the families of any of the other pilots?
In what ways do the Top Gun pilots not act like a family?
Chew on This
Family isn't only about blood. Groups of people that are on the same team, that eat, sleep, and live together, and work together towards a common goal (like the pilots at Top Gun) can be just as strong of a family.
Family determines who we are. Maverick for example, is a lot like the father he lost when he was still just a little boy.