Out of all the iconic characters Eddie Murphy has played, Axel Foley from Beverly Hills Cop is arguably the most hilarious and universally treasured. For years, Murphy has been saying he’ll return to the role and make a fourth movie in the franchise, bringing him back to Detroit where it all began. Until then, we have three hysterical and endlessly quotable movies to rewatch again and again. While the third movie isn’t the best, Axel is still Axel and Murphy still goes all in with the funny, so even that has its merits. Here are the 10 Funniest Axel Foley Quotes.
10 You don’t have to be embarrassed...
Billy, you know, you don’t have to be embarrassed if your d**k gets hard.
Beverly Hills Cop is a different kind of buddy cop movie in that it doesn’t just pair up two cops – it pairs up two cops who are already paired up with a third cop. In one scene, Axel takes the other two guys to a strip club and he tells Judge Reinhold’s Billy character, “Billy, you know, you don’t have to be embarrassed if your d**k gets hard. Your d**k is supposed to get hard. See? That’s the whole object of this. Taggart’s d**k is hard, but he won’t let you know, ‘cause he’s the boss. Boss’ d**k got to stay limp, right? See, I ain’t on duty, so my d**k can be hard.”
9 A heh-heh-heh-heh
Eddie Murphy is one of a few comedians who have a famous laugh, like Seth Rogen and Jimmy Carr, and that laugh is repeated in all three Beverly Hills Cop movies. To Axel, everything is a big joke. He is able to get serious when the situation demands it, but when he’s talking his way out of trouble or he’s talking to one of his friends, he’s constantly joking around. That means there are plenty of opportunities in the movies for Axel to laugh, which is why he’s the character that made Eddie Murphy’s distinctive “A heh-heh-heh-heh!” laugh so well-known.
8 I don’t wanna step on your tongues, excuse me
Beverly Hills Cop II may not be as great or as funny or as ground-breaking as the original, but as sequels to action comedies go, it’s pretty darn good. It does have some inspired comic moments, courtesy of Eddie Murphy’s usual improvisation.
In one scene, he finds himself at the Playboy Mansion’s pool and yells at his crotch: “Wake up! This is what we’ve always talked about! Look alive! You may never see it again!” And then he takes a huge step past Billy and Taggart, who are also there, and says, “I don’t wanna step on your tongues, excuse me.”
7 Okay, everybody’s ready here, okay.
Okay, everybody’s ready here, okay. Nobody needs to take a nervous p**s or nothing, right?
What separates Axel Foley from the other cops in action movies is that he points out all the things that would exist in real life that typically don’t get a mention in Hollywood cinema. One example of this is this line from the third movie, in which Axel asks if anyone on his tactical team needs to “take a nervous p**s.” He says, “Okay, everybody’s ready here, okay. Nobody needs to take a nervous p**s or nothing, right? We got this? Okay? Let’s mount up.” It stands to reason that a team of police officers embarking on a raid might need to go to the bathroom due to nerves.
6 How the f**k can you steal a house?
How the f**k can you steal a house? This is...my uncle’s house!
When Axel’s checking out a house that’s undergoing some renovation, Taggart stops by to investigate. As usual, Axel tries to slip out of the situation with some quick thinking: “Oh, you mean the construction that’s going on. Yes, I’m very embarrassed about that. What I’m trying to do, though, is just confine myself to the other five bedrooms. I’m used to compromising my lifestyle.” Taggart, not buying any of it (because he knows Axel and what he’s like), says, “Bulls**t! You’ve stolen this house!” So, then Axel says, “How the f**k can you steal a house? This is...my uncle’s house!”
5 Who do you think you are, Clint Eastwood?
Yo, man, we gotta talk, seriously. Who do you think you are, Clint Eastwood? Dirty Rosewood?
While Axel develops a relationship with both Judge Reinhold’s character Billy Rosewood and John Ashton’s character John Taggart in the Beverly Hills Cop movies, he develops a closer friendship – and a funnier dynamic – with Rosewood. This is because Rosewood is the polar opposite of Axel, and yet he wants to be just like him. Axel finds that sweet. When he sees Rosewood with a huge handgun in the second movie, Axel asks him, “Yo, man! What’s that for?” He explains, “After the shootout at the club, I figured I needed more firepower.” And then Axel quips, “Yo, man, we gotta talk, seriously. Who do you think you are, Clint Eastwood? Dirty Rosewood?”
4 This is the cleanest and nicest police car...
This is the cleanest and nicest police car I’ve ever been in in my life.
The whole joke lying under Beverly Hills Cop is that this streetwise guy from Detroit finds himself mingling among the 1% in upper-class Beverly Hills. The comedy comes from the clash of cultures and social classes. It’s like an action movie version of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. An example of this is when Axel is being held in the back of a police car, looking around at how pleasant and cleanly it is, and tells the officers, “This is the cleanest and nicest police car I’ve ever been in in my life. This thing’s nicer than my apartment.”
3 Michael Jackson can sit on top of the world...
Michael Jackson can sit on top of the world, just as long as he doesn’t sit in the Beverly Palm Hotel, ‘cause there’s no n****rs allowed in there!
Axel Foley can talk his way into getting whatever he wants. If he wants a free room in a fancy hotel like the Beverly Palm Hotel, all he has to do is go up to the front desk and say they made a mistake with the reservation. When they contest this, he launches into a tirade about racism and makes a scene, after which they give him a room.
He claims to be a reporter from Rolling Stone magazine who’s in town to interview Michael Jackson and says, “I was gonna call the article ‘Michael Jackson is sitting on top of the world,’ but now I think I might as well just call it ‘Michael Jackson can sit on top of the world, just as long as he doesn’t sit in the Beverly Palm Hotel, ‘cause there’s no n****rs allowed in there!”
2 I never been in no cell that had a phone in it.
I never been in no cell that had a phone in it. Can I stay for a while? ‘Cause I ordered some pizza.
The biggest culture shock to Axel when he gets to Beverly Hills is just how privileged everyone is. In fact, when he’s arrested for getting thrown out of a window and put in jail, he finds that even the prisoners get more luxuries than he gets as a free man in Detroit, because the prison cell has a phone in it that he’s free to use. When the officers inform him that he’s free to go, he tells them, “I never been in no cell that had a phone in it. Can I stay for a while? ‘Cause I ordered some pizza.”
1 What’s the f**king charge for getting pushed out of a moving car?
What’s the f**king charge for getting pushed out of a moving car, huh? Jaywalking?
While investigating his friend’s murder outside his jurisdiction, Axel enters an office and ends up getting thrown out of the window by security. Then a couple of police officers arrest him and he asks them what charges he’s being brought up on and they claim it’s “disturbing the peace.” Then, with perfect comic timing, he quips, “Disturbing the peace? I got thrown out of a window! What’s the f**king charge for getting pushed out of a moving car, huh? Jaywalking?” Axel always has the most brilliant line, which Eddie Murphy always delivers hilariously, and this is a prime example of that.