- Alternative Character Interpretation: Axel is a Manipulative Bastard and his various Bavarian Fire Drills on people with something he needs or wants are downright exploitative (he threatens to call a hotel racist in order to get a room without a reservation, then makes them give him a discounted rate. In the sequel, he steals a house undergoing renovation) and conducts illegal searches. Were it not for the much worse villains, he would easily be a Villain Protagonist.
- Covered Up: Raise your hand if you first heard this movie's theme song from the Crazy Frog. It's okay, we won't judge you.
- Ear Worm: You've heard the theme song.
- Ensemble Darkhorse: Inspector Todd. The guy playing him really was a cop in Detroit, so he knew the role he was going into perfectly and absolutely nails it. One of the third film's many problems was that they Dropped a Bridge on Him.
- Serge from the first film, so much that they brought him back for the third.
- Hilarious in Hindsight: During his tirade at the Beverly Palms Hotel, Axel pretends to be writing an article called "Michael Jackson: Sitting on Top of the World" for Rolling Stone magazine. In real life, Playboy ran an article called "Eddie Murphy: Sitting on Top of the World."
- Memetic Mutation:
- GET THE FUCK OUTTA HERE!
- NO, I CANNOT!!
- GET THE FUCK OUTTA HERE!
- Neutral Good: Axel Foley is a policeman, but one who often does not go by the book, and even fractures the occasional law in the interests of what's right in the long run.
- Retroactive Recognition: Jonathan Banks, who plays Victor Maitland's Dragon Zach, had a long, long road to go before finally finding fame as Mike Ehrmantraut on Breaking Bad.
- Values Dissonance: Axel's Camp Gay schtick from the first movie has aged quite poorly after 30 years of LGBTQ+ awareness.. The voice and mannerisms are already rather groan-worthy, but the "herpisimplex ten" is downright cruel.
The Video Game
- Porting Disaster: A tie-in for the film was released on several platforms, most notably Amiga, Atari ST, Commodore 64, and PC, among several other lesser machines. The Amiga version has smashing music due to the Paula audio chip. The Atari ST, Spectrum 128K and C64 version were bearable thanks to the PSG sound system. The PC version, however, is this trope played straight. Using only EGA graphics and PC speaker sound, despite the AdLib and Game Blaster, and indeed the first generation Sound Blaster, being already released when the game came out and VGA was already picking up steam. And even then the PC music was often described as someone strangling an ice cream truck.
- While it's generally agreed that the PC version's music is terrible, the Spectrum 48K port's music isn't too far behind given that the platform too only had a beeper for the game to work with (along with a title screen with what appears to be Eddie Murphy suffering from second degree sunburn). The only thing that makes it bearable is that it sounds less like someone strangling an ice-cream truck and more like someone autotuning their farts.
- The Problem with Licensed Games: Aside from the porting disaster mentioned above, the game was considered only mediocre at best, as it appeared to consist of several minigames tossed together in haste. And the darn game came out in 1990, 6 years after the original movie! By then PCs have had the option of getting better music from add-ons like the AdLib, Creative Game Blaster, or even the original Sound Blaster. Additionally, VGA graphics cards which allowed for much better graphics were starting to catch on.
- And then there was another release for the PlayStation 2 in 2006. The first warning sign is that the game is on a CD, not a DVD. Once you start playing the game itself, is quickly becomes apparent how it takes up so little space: For starters, there is no voice-acted dialogue and no music during gameplay. Speaking of gameplay, the first level of the game starts with a forced stealth section where it seems like whether you get seen has nothing to do with being in the line of sight of enemies. Once you get to actual shooting, it doesn't get any better. There are plenty of glitches both with the graphics and programming. To top things off, apparently the developer did not get the rights for Eddie Murphy's likeness or the iconic theme tune, so both are replaced with something that only bears a slight resemblance to the source.
- Sensory Abuse: The PC version's music. Sure, it's no CrazyBus, but it's still ear rape. The Spectrum 48K version's not that far behind either.