“Kindergarten Cop” Child Actor Recalls Working with Arnold Schwarzenegger — and the Origin of “That” Iconic Line

"I'll forever be known as the 'boys have a penis, girls have a vagina' kid," actor Miko Hughes said

<p>Cinematic/Alamy Stock Photo</p> Miko Hughes & Arnold Schwarzenegger

Cinematic/Alamy Stock Photo

Miko Hughes & Arnold Schwarzenegger

Miko Hughes is opening up about how he got to deliver one of the most memorable lines in '90s movie history when he was just 4 years old.

During an appearance on the Full House Rewind podcast, the 38-year-old discussed his time working on Kindergarten Cop, the 1990 comedy starring Arnold Schwarzenegger as a police detective named John Kimble who goes undercover as a kindergarten teacher to locate the wife and child of drug dealer out to get them.

In the film, Hughes played one of the kids in Kimble's class viewers later learned to be the son of a gynecologist. In one scene, he famously told his teacher, "Boys have a penis and girls have a vagina."

Related: Watch Arnold Schwarzenegger Zoom-Bomb Kindergarten Cop 30th Anniversary Reunion

The moment became one of the film's often-referenced lines and stuck with Hughes, who later had a 12-episode stint as Aaron on Full House. He told host David Coulier that the quote wasn't in the original script and instead came out as a result of the improving and riffing Schwarzenegger was doing with all the kids on set.

"I think I was the youngest one in the classroom on Kindergarten Cop," recalled Hughes. "The stories that I'm told, you know, from my parents, [is that] they didn't have a line for me. I didn't have lines written. Some of it was written as developed on set."

After observing the "dynamic" between Schwarzenegger and all the other kids, director Ivan Reitman came up with a plan on "who and what and where they wanted to do everything."

That's when the line was discovered. "The story I'm told is that they came to my parents and said they [wanted me] to say this line that's kind of provocative," Hughes said.

Hughes' mom didn't say yes right away. "I guess my mom said she took a couple of days. She was like, 'This is kind of crazy. I don't know. Is it good? Is it bad?' "

Eventually, she came around to it. "She thought, 'That's gonna be the line everyone remembers' and went for it," Hughes said. "And, yeah, now I'll forever be known as the 'boys have a penis, girls have a vagina' kid."

Universal Pictures 'Kindergarten Cop'
Universal Pictures 'Kindergarten Cop'

Related: Jodie Sweetin and Andrea Barber Reveal How They Kept from Cracking Each Other Up While Filming Full House

Kindergarten Cop got mixed reviews when it was released in December 1990, though the action comedy grossed $202 million with a filming budget of $26 million. It would later go on to be a favorite for a generation of kids in the video rental market.

On the Full House Rewind podcast, Hughes praised working with Schwarzenegger, now 76. "He was fantastic. He was very kind to all of the kids," said Hughes. "He was 'Mr. Serious Action Star' and this was kind of a character break. Kind of fish-out-of-water situation for him, which was great. It seemed to do very well for him."

Also doing very well was Hughes as a child actor. Aside from Kindergarten Cop, he made memorable appearances in Apollo-13, The Nanny, Hanging with Mr. Cooper, Beverly Hills, 90210, Doogie Howser, Melrose Place, Roswell and many, many others.

Full House was a job Hughes had from the time he was 3 until he was 9 years old. "My experience had been in movies, and commercials and movie-of-the-week kind of things, and [Full House] was the most stage-like because of the three-camera, and the live studio audience," Hughes said of his time on the sitcom. "There is that immediate feedback from the crowd and I think that was very fun and very unique."

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The actor has since gone on to build a large following in the horror genre, thanks to his roles in 1989's Pet Cemetery and 1994's Wes Craven's New Nightmare.

"I never really thought I was gonna be, like, this horror guy, but [those movies] have a big fan base [and] following in the horror scene," Hughes said. "So now I go to horror cons and I've I've got like a horror following, I guess."

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