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YMMV / Kindergarten Cop

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  • Catharsis Factor: Kimble hits a man who was beating his kindergartner son. After telling him off, Principal Schlowski asks him what it felt like to hit the son of a bitch and he says it was great.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Richard Tyson playing a criminal Big Bad who is unable to reunite with his family because of his troubled background and trying to reach out to them despite it being against their wishes of being left alone is more cringing considering recently in real life, Tyson for busted for harassment and boozing in Mobile, Alabama.
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  • He Really Can Act: Many critics thought this way about Arnold Schwarzenegger in this film.
  • Heartwarming Moments: Anytime we see John bonding with the kindergarteners and Dominic, when he's not in usual badass Hollywood Action Hero mode and kicking bad guy butt (or in badass action guy mode and kicking any guy's butt if you also count The Terminator, where Arnold played the Big Bad). However, Arnold's time using his action guy mode in a heartwarming moment is when he confront one of the kindergarteners' parents who is an Abusive Dad, beats him up and press charges against him.
  • Memetic Mutation: Several lines from the film—notably "Stop whining!" and "Who is your daddy and what does he do?" among others—found themselves on an Arnold Schwarzenegger soundboard used by various radio morning shows for (likely fake) prank calls in the late nineties and early aughts, contributing to their memetic status. "It's not a tumor!" is another one that gets quoted a lot.
    • Special mention goes to "Boys have a penis. Girls have a vagina." Which gradually became famous due to how hilariously controversial such a line would be considered today.
    • Then of course, there’s Arnold screaming shut up. Whether it be in video or gif form, expect it to pop up when somebody gets annoyed.
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  • Narm Charm: Arnold's Big "SHUT UP!" during his first day at school.
  • Nightmare Fuel: The big fire and shootout climax is pretty damn intense.
    • Kimble's nightmare. He dreams that during the kids' nap-time and while he's grading papers beside the window on a rainy day, Cullen Crisp slides into view from just outside to ominous music and slowly pulls a gun on Kimble who can only scream in silence before Cullen fires and he wakes up.
    • The ''very'' sudden jump from the fun, cathartic, humorous "What did it feel like to hit that son of a bitch?" scene to the murdered witness lying cold and dead on a slab.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
    • Angela Bassett played the flight attendant that served O'Hara and Kimble breakfast just before the "pencil-snapping" scene.
    • A 5-year-old Odette Yustman plays one of the kids in Kimble's class, namely the one speaking Spanish.
    • As does a young Ben Diskin!
    • Jason Reitman plays another student, as does one of his sisters.
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    • Miko Hughes (the autistic genius from Mercury Rising) plays another.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: Tough guy Arnold Schwarzenegger finds himself out of his depth when he has to deal with a class of adorable children: a heartwarming family comedy, right? Well, not really. Between the crackhouse shootout that introduces Kimble in all his badass glory, to an abusive father getting punched by the hero, to the blue-lipped junkie cold on the slab after being spiked by the villain, to Kimble dreaming of Crisp shooting him, to O'Hara being caught having noisy sex with her fiancé, to Crisp holding his own five-year-old son hostage, to Crisp getting shot three times in the chest, to Kimble bleeding out in the corner of a bathroom as Eleanor Crisp demands her grandson, the film is definitely not for children. When they reviewed the film on their show, Siskel & Ebert urged parents to take the PG-13 rating seriously.


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