20 Harlem Nights Quotes to Relive This Great Cult Classic

If you love a good mix of comedy and drama, these Harlem Nights quotes will fit right up your alley!

Eddie Murphy is one of the most iconic comedy kings who’s ever graced our screens. But, aside from being an excellent actor, he tried to pursue some of his other passions, like writing, directing, and producing. He thus ended up working on Harlem Nights.

The movie did not fare well with critics. Although that’s the case, Harlem Nights is a beloved movie that many still revisit years after its initial release. In a way, it zooms in on a piece of the Black experience during the late 1930s.

Indeed, Harlem Nights offers every viewer a variety of emotions to be experienced and lessons to be learned.

So, if you want to revisit Eddie Murphy’s character or just want to relive your favorite scenes from the movie, this list will be perfect.

Check out this list below.

And make sure to read these Trading Places quotes and Coming to America quotes.

Best Harlem Nights Quotes

1. “Wait, man, look. You shot, you lost. I mean, we’d have paid you if you’d won, but you lost. Now take your big *ss home, and brush that tooth!” – Sugar Ray

2. “It’s not how many you shoot. It’s who you shoot.” – Quick Brown

3. Quick Brown: “Are you in charge of the girls?”

Vera Walker: “I am in charge of the girls.”

Quick Brown: “Okay, the girls are always coming up short. Alright, let’s get this sh*t out in the open. The girls are always coming up short even when the place is packed the girls come up short. Now, either you or them got a problem with their arithmetic.”

Vera Walker: “Are you saying I’m stealing?”

Bennie Wilson: “The man didn’t say you was stealing, Vera. Now, come over here and sit down and shut the f*ck up!”

Vera Walker: “You shut the f*ck up, Bennie. I would tell you to kiss my *ss too, but you probably can’t find it, you blind motherf*cker.”

4. “What would a woman that fine want in a big, fat, nasty, greasy, fat, stank, bloated, cheesy-baked, 12-sandwich-eatin’ bastard?” – Quick Brown

5. “ All right, b*tch, you want to fight? We can fight then, you fat motherf*cker, I’m tired of your sh*t!” – Quick Brown

6. Quick Brown: “So, where you wanna go, pop?”

Sugar Ray: “I don’t know, son. But we got a tank full of gas, and a trunk full of money.”

Quick Brown: “That sounds like a sweet combination.”

Sugar Ray: “Sweet as sugar.”

7. “I think I’m going to leave, ‘cause you probably want to sit there by yourself, alone, and think about who you pissed off. So, I’ll let you have your space.” – Quick Brown

8. “Only way you’re going home is shot, motherf*cker!” – Crying Man

9. Sugar Ray: “Quick, you’re not a gangster. We’re not. We’re club owners. We run a dance hall. Calhoun—he’s a cold-hearted killer. He’ll have your *ss killed. Now, the man probably doesn’t know about La Rue yet. But in the morning, he’s going to want you really dead. So, we got to find a place where we can lay low. Till we can run the scam and split.”

Quick Brown: “You telling me I should hide?”

Sugar Ray: “No. I’m telling you you’re gonna hide. You don’t hide, Quick, they’re gonna kill you. I’m not gonna let that happen to you. I didn’t come this far with you so you can prove you ain’t no punk and die. What are they gonna put on your tombstone? ‘Here lies a man, 27 years old. He died, but he ain’t no punk.’ Hey man, that’s bullshit. Okay? You know when you die? When you’re 89—got your children and your grandchildren around the bed—that’s cool. It ain’t cool to die at 27. I’m not gonna let you do that to yourself. I’m not gonna let you do it to me. ‘Cause they kill you, they’re gonna have to kill me. ‘Cause I’m gonna kill them.”

10. Sugar Ray: “Okay, the same fella who made the drop last year is gonna do it again. I want somebody on him. Vera, do you have a girl?”

Vera Walker: “I’ve got a girl whose pussy is so good, if you threw it up in the air it would turn into sunshine.”

Harlem Nights Quotes That Live in Our Heads Rent-Free

11. “He messed with the wrong nigger’s brother! Oh, Quick is mine!” – Crying Man 

12. Quick Brown: “C’mon now, Vera, put that razor away! I’m warnin’ ya, put that razor away, or I’m gonna shoot your pinky toe off!”

Vera Walker: “Oh! Now you’re gonna shoot me in my pinky toe.”

Quick Brown: “B*tch, I’m not playin’. You’re gonna be the nine-toe havingest, limpin’est b*tch in Harlem, you don’t put that razor away!”

13. Sugar Ray: “I’m gonna take this little boy home to his mother.”

Quick Brown: “My mama’s dead.”

Sugar Ray: “Well, your daddy?”

Quick Brown: “My father’s dead, too.”

Sugar Ray: “Did you kill ‘em?”

Quick Brown: “No, they’re just dead.”

14. Vera Walker: “Benny, you put this orange juice back in here, ain’t nothin’ left but a swallow!”

Bennie Wilson: “Then swallow it and shut the f*ck up!”

15. Vera Walker: “You can’t keep f*ckin’ with me that way.”

Bennie Wilson: “B*tch, please.”

Vera Walker: “Oh, b*tch please, my *ss!”

16. Sugar Ray: “How was your date?”

Quick Brown: “I killed her.”

Sugar Ray: “Ah, tore the pussy up, huh!”

Quick Brown: “No, man, I killed her.”

Sugar Ray: “What the f*ck you talking about.”

Quick Brown: “I shot her, man.”

Sugar Ray: “Hmm. Was the pussy that bad, man?”

More Harlem Nights Quotes That Eddie Murphy Movie Fans Will Appreciate

17. Sugar Ray: “Vera, you know we tally up at 4 o’clock. What is your problem?”

Vera Walker: “Kiss my *ss, Sugar. I’ve got to watch my girls until the last trick is gone. And I’m not about to ask no customer to roll over so I can punch some goddamn clock. Now, this is your place, but I am in charge of the girls—and you can just kiss my *ss.”

18. Phil Cantone: “Okay Ray, here’s the deal. I got a call from a friend of mine by the name of Bugsy Calhoun. He told me you’re sitting on a little gold mine here. Now don’t get me wrong. I know there’s always gonna be after-hour places. We pretty much leave them alone when the money’s not that significant, but you guys are doing about 10 to 15,000 a week. I mean, that’s a lot of money. And to be perfectly honest. Mr. Calhoun and myself want some of it.”

Sugar Ray: “How much money you talking about, you maggot motherf*cker?”

Phil Cantone: “Well, you guys are doing 15,000 a week. Let’s say our cut is 10,000.”

Sugar Ray: “You’re robbing us, you son of a b*tch.”

Phil Cantone: “No, no, no. You’re robbing the system, Ray. What do you want—sympathy from me? You’re criminals, for Christ’s sake. And I think it’s a pretty fair deal. I wanted more, but Bugsy said it was fair. I mean, he’s a real softy, Bugsy. I mean, if it was up to me, I’d give you jigs just enough money to function. So when I see you guys with the—with the fancy suits and cars and nice houses, and I’m living in a f*cking hovel—I mean, that bothers me.”

19. “Yeah, Barbara, it’s Richie. Yeah look, I ain’t never coming home no more. Take it easy.” – Richie Vento

20. Quick Brown: “How’s sunshine doing on that pickup man?”

Bennie Wilson: “Oh, he proposed to her four times already, said he would leave his wife and kids and convert from Catholic to Baptist. Now you know that’s some mean pussy to make a man change gods.”

Did These Harlem Nights Quotes Give You a Better Understanding of Black Culture in the 1930s?

Harlem Nights received quite a lot of criticism when it was first released. Additionally, it was even referred to as a letdown when it comes to Black cinematic experiences. Although that’s the case, no one can deny its impact on pop culture and the comedy-drama genre.

The movie undoubtedly had some scenes with violence, gore, and profanities. After all, the plot did focus on Sugar Ray and Quick—owners of an illegal casino, who are being chased by the police. However, they were able to strike a balance between these dark bits of humor with lighter—and funnier—interactions between the characters.

It’s a hard feat, but Eddie Murphy’s touch was something we can’t help but appreciate. In a more profound sense, this balance between dark humor and light comedy reflects many Black people’s experiences. Sometimes, the only thing that would keep them going despite the pain and discrimination is by taking a lighter view of life.

It’s by laughing through the bad times that people can move forward—this is a message from Harlem Nights that not a lot of people might think about. So, while it’s considered a flop by critics, the movie did not disappoint when it comes to the lessons we can learn through it.

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Karen Danao

Hi, I’m Karen, a content curator and writer for Quote Ambition; I’m also a marketing and advertising professional. Beyond the keyboard and the screen, I’m someone who’s out to enjoy every bit that life has to offer!

Poetry, philosophy, history, and movies are all topics I love writing about! However, my true passion is in traveling, photography, and finding common ground to which everyone from different cultures can relate.

With the many places I’ve been to, I found that love, inspiration, and happiness are some things that bring people together. No matter how different we are on the outside, I’m a true believer that our emotions don’t lie; if you dig deep into our psyche, we’re all the same inside.

This belief was further amplified when I joined Quote Ambition. Through the quotes I’ve read, collected, organized, and written about, I found that humans are resilient, creative, and compassionate.

We take from each others’ hearts and courage, and it’s through our individual experiences that we learn how to rise above our challenges and pain. In so many ways, Quote Ambition is a platform that allows people from all over the world to gain the inspiration they need anytime, anywhere!

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