In Police Academy Commandant Lassard tells Mahoney that he cannot throw him out.

However, later, Lt Harris does exactly that when Mahoney takes the blame for the canteen fight.

I am guessing that the script was just not thought through in that detail but, on the off chance(!), is this ever actually explained?

  • Any questions or unclarities about the existing answers?
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Mar 14, 2014 at 16:18
  • No, I was leaving it open in case anyone else had any input but it has probably been left long enough
    – Stefan
    Mar 14, 2014 at 17:26
  • Well, you don't have to accept it just because of my comment (thank you, though). I just wanted to make sure the question wasn't forgotten.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Mar 14, 2014 at 17:27
  • TBH I had forgotten it :-) However, I think the answer you gave is the only one which really makes sense!
    – Stefan
    Mar 14, 2014 at 17:29
  • Did anybody notice that mahoney shows up at the end of the movie after being thrown out with no explanation?
    – user11092
    Jun 10, 2014 at 12:44

1 Answer 1


It wasn't so much that Lassard was technically unable to throw him out, he just had promised that to Captain Reed, who chose the Police Academy as an alternative to jail for teaching Mahoney some discipline. So it was more a personal than a technical decision to not throw him out for the many pranks he tried, since those were probably not strict (even if possible) reasons for getting expelled.

But once Mahoney started (or claimed to have started) a fight with another recruit, he had crossed a line where even Lassard as commandant wasn't able to keep him at the Academy anymore and Harris finally got a legitimate reason to expel Mahoney. Fighting was just too heavy a misdeed to be ignored on the commandant's preference and was probably strictly written as a reason for expellance, which is also stated by Copeland (or Mahoney himself?) just before the fight, I think (and was in fact also the reason why Hightower was thrown out).

At least that's how I understood the story, or how one could make some sense out of this. (Still one could ask the question why Mahoney didn't try this earlier, when he still wanted to get thrown out, but I'd really attribute this to some logic sacrificed for the sake of the story, as like you said, "the script was just not thought through in that detail".)

  • Are you trying to say that Mahoney couldn't be kicked out for performance related issues, but that he can be for misconduct? Jan 14, 2014 at 10:35
  • I always considered there to be some leeway when rating performance, but not in cases of misconduct. It's similar in most educational systems (at least here in Germany): There are basic rules determining when you're considered a "lost case" and essentially kicked out. However in most cases there are exceptions that can be made by those examining/asserting your case.
    – Mario
    Jan 14, 2014 at 11:43
  • @JohnSmithOptional Well, I guess (given I understood you correctly). Since "performance related issues" lay a bit more in the eye and judgement of the Commandant (who didn't want to expel Mahoney), while "misconduct" was a stricter reason for expellance, one that Lassard couldn't just disregard that easily.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Jan 14, 2014 at 11:48
  • @JohnSmithOptional Or to put it another way, he could be kicked out for "performance related issues", but he had to be kicked out for "misconduct".
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Jan 14, 2014 at 12:05

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