Austin Powers in Goldmember hit theaters 20 years ago. And while it didn’t exactly inspire the most positive reviews, it was still an important moment in movie history. The film marked the third and final installment in the wildly popular Austin Powers franchise, a James Bond parody directed by Jay Roach that stars Mike Meyers as a variety of different characters, including the inexplicably sexually attractive (and very British) titular spy, an evil bald guy named Dr. Evil who wishes to annihilate the world with powerful lasers by any means necessary, a chili-loving fella named Fat Bastard and more. The three films serve as delightful ‘90s and early ‘00s time capsules, hilarious satires of the Brits and, most important of all, home to some of the most iconic comedy quotes in movie history.
Here are the best quotes from the Austin Powers franchise:
1. Austin’s Catchphrase
“Oh, behave!”—Austin Powers in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery.
Let’s face it: there’s no way this quote wasn’t making the very top of the list. Following Man of Mystery’s 1997 release, the simple phrase became etched into everyday vernacular. Peppered throughout the franchise, this catchphrase usually comes into play when Austin makes note of some sort of sexual innuendo (and, spoiler alert, with his dirty mind, that’s a lot).
2. Outrageous Claims
“My father would womanize. He would drink. He would make outrageous claims like he invented the question mark.”—Dr. Evil in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery.
One of the funniest things about Austin Powers’ Dr. Evil is his completely deadpan delivery, and this quote is the finest example of that. In this scene, the evil mastermind goes to family therapy with his rebellious teen son, Scott (Seth Green), and describes the upbringing that molded him into the man he is today. I guess the “having a father who claims to have invented the question mark to becoming a murderous fanatic” pipeline isn’t as unlikely as I originally thought.
3. Laser Sharks
“You mean I actually have frickin’ sharks with frickin’ laser beams attached to their frickin’ heads?”—Dr. Evil in Austin Powers in Goldmember
Okay, this is kind of a sweet one. The Austin Powers franchise teases us with the possibility of sharks with laser beams on their heads from the very first movie, when Dr. Evil requests someone bring them to him so he can use them to kill Austin. But tragically, no one can quite figure out how to get the lasers onto the sharks. In Goldmember, the tables turn, however, and Dr. Evil is finally put face-to-face with the heinous creatures, yielding the closest thing we get to an emotional reaction from him in the entire franchise. I have to admit, it’s pretty heartwarming.
4. Cigarettes After Sex
Vanessa: “Do you smoke after sex?”
Austin: “I don’t know, baby, I never looked.”—Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me
I have no idea how Austin thinks of these things, but I’m so glad he does.
5. Yay Capitalism!
Basil: “Austin, the Cold War is over!”
Austin: “Finally those capitalist pigs will pay for their crimes, eh? Eh, comrades? Eh?”
Basil: “Austin…we won.”
Austin: “Oh, smashing, groovy, yay, capitalism!”—Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery
One of the most groovy/smashing things about the Austin Powers franchise is the way it functions as a cultural critique. In this instance, Austin emerges in the ‘90s after having been cryogenically frozen back in the heart of the swinging ‘60s, and his experience of the present day is nothing short of…jarring.
6. Margaret Thatcher Cameo
“Baseball, cold showers, baseball, cold showers. Margaret Thatcher naked on a cold day! Margaret Thatcher naked on a cold day!”—Austin Powers in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery
There are a few times in the Austin Powers franchise when Austin’s horned-up personality works against him and makes him more susceptible to traps. Luckily, he has some tactics that make him impervious to seduction when necessary. In this instance, he is attempting to evade the wicked whims of the uber-hot fembots. As anyone would in this situation, he starts thinking about baseball and cold showers. But when the fembots ramp up their sex appeal, he realizes that there’s only one image that can bring his mojo down to a zero. Sorry, Ms. Thatcher.
7. Lunch Time
“Get in my belly.”—Fat Bastard in Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me
Probably the most shamelessly ridiculous character in all of Austin Powers (and that’s saying something), Fat Bastard is consistently spouting straight up gems. One of my personal favorites is “Get in my belly,” which is his response to pretty much everything he sees.
8. The Dutch
“There are two things I can’t stand in the world: People who are intolerant of other people’s cultures, and the Dutch.”—Nigel Powers in Austin Powers in Goldmember
This may be a great example of a flawless joke setup, but far and away the best part of this quote is the fact that it is delivered by none other than Sir Michael Caine.
9. Romance With a Horse
Austin: “Mr. Roboto is lying to us.”
Foxxy: “Tell me something I don’t know.”
Austin: “I open-mouth kissed a horse once.”
Foxxy: “Say what?”
Austin: “That’s something you don’t know.”—Austin Powers in Goldmember
I don’t know what’s better about this quote: That Austin once open-mouth kissed a horse (which I totally believe, by the way), or that he’s relaying this experience to the Beyoncé.
10. Dr. Evil’s Laments
“Throw me a frickin’ bone, here!”—Dr. Evil in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery
This is one of Dr. Evil’s main catchphrases, and I’d be hard-pressed to find another one that rolls off the tongue quite as well.
11. A Fated Ham Sandwich
“Jimi Hendrix: Deceased, drugs. Janis Joplin: Deceased, alcohol. Mama Cass: Deceased, ham sandwich.”—Austin Powers in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery
This quote comes during a melancholy moment in Austin Powers. After having been frozen for decades, Austin is catching up on what he missed out on, which inevitably includes the tragic deaths of his idols. And—be honest—is there anything more heartbreaking than the idea of waking up from a years-long slumber, only to learn that a ham sandwich allegedly took the life of one of your favorite musicians?
12. The Original Moonfall
General: “Sir, are you suggesting that we blow up the moon?”
President: “Would you miss it?” (To the other generals) “Would you miss it?”—Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me
Wait—did Roland Emmerich get the idea for Moonfall from this moment in The Spy Who Shagged Me? I need answers.
13. The Key to a Good Massage
Austin: “How does that feel, baby?”
Felicity: “Mmm, lower.”
Austin (deep voice): “How does that feel, baby?”—Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me
I have to hand it to the guy, he’s just doing what was asked of him.
14. Groovy, As Always
“Groovy, baby!”—Austin Powers in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery
Behind “Oh, behave,” these two words might just yield the most iconic quote in all of Austin Powers. Austin uses it as a response to pretty much everything, proving that just about anything can be groovy if you just put your mind to it, baby.
15. Does Size Matter?
Austin Powers: “Your spy car is a Mini?”
Nigel Powers: “It’s not the size mate, it’s how you use it.”—Austin Powers in Goldmember
Another superb moment from none other than Michael Caine, this is one of the best examples of good ol’ innuendo in the whole series.
Vanessa: “Did you use protection?”
Austin: “Of course. I had my 9mm automatic.”
Vanessa: “You know what I meant. Did you use a condom?”
Austin: “No. Only sailors wear condoms, baby.”
Vanessa: “Not in the ‘90s, Austin.”
Austin: “Well they should, those filthy beggars. They go from port to port.”—Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery
In this scene, Austin’s kind-of girlfriend, Vanessa, finds out that he slept with another woman. And when questioned about his rendezvous, Austin completely misses the point, and turns her grievances into…a critique of the sexual practices of sailors? That totally feels appropriate.
17. Pillow Talk
Ivana: “Do you know how we keep warm in Russia?”
Austin: “I can guess, baby.”
Ivana: “We play chess.”
Austin: “I guessed wrong.”—Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me
This is a prime example of Austin trying to turn a conversation into a sexual one and it just…not working. What’s even funnier than his misjudgment, though, is the mental gymnastics he was probably doing in this moment to picture chess being even the slightest bit sexy.
18. The Questionnaire
“Name? Austin Danger Powers. Sex? Yes, please!”—Austin Powers in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery
This is one of our first introductions to Austin, and it certainly doesn’t disappoint. As he is in the process of being released from the cryogenic freezing chamber, he is asked a bunch of offboarding questions, and “Name” and “Sex” are two of them. The only thing better than his response is the fact that the security guard finds a number of…male enhancement tools in his luggage shortly after.
Aurora Amidon is a film journalist and passionate defender of Hostel: Part II. Follow her on Twitter for her latest questionable culture takes.