[[quoteright:312:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/the-pink-panther.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:305:Think Pink!]]

A comedy film franchise that spun off [[WesternAnimation/ThePinkPanther two animated]] [[WesternAnimation/TheInspector ones]]. In its original form, it totaled nine films over 30 years. The firsts of them were directed and co-written by Creator/BlakeEdwards and starred Creator/PeterSellers. A 2006 reboot yielded two additional films.

'''The Films:'''
* ''The Pink Panther'' (1963): Sir Charles Lytton is a GentlemanThief who operates under the identity of "The Phantom". Inspector Jacques Clouseau is a French detective who is trying to track him down in Switzerland before he can steal the prized treasure of the kingdom of Lugash, the Pink Panther diamond (a large gem so named because of a pink, panther-shaped flaw), from a visiting princess. Alas, Clouseau is such a fool that he is easily outsmarted by way of the combined forces of the Phantom, his nephew, the princess herself, and the Phantom's key accomplice...Clouseau's own wife. While the thieves were the focus of this film, Clouseau, as played by Creator/PeterSellers, was the character the subsequent films were based around, starting with the DolledUpInstallment...
* ''Film/AShotInTheDark'' (1964): Clouseau, now single, is called to the aristocratic Ballon household to solve a murder. His judgment is immediately clouded by his infatuation with the prime suspect, Maria Gambrelli, even as more murders pile up around her. His bungling drives his boss, Chief Inspector Charles Dreyfus (Herbert Lom), to homicidal madness. In the meantime, we also meet Cato Fong (Burt Kwouk), Clouseau's Chinese manservant who - on Clouseau's orders - keeps springing surprise martial arts attacks on him.
* ''Inspector Clouseau'' (1968): Sellers and Edwards opted out of this installment in which Clouseau, now played by Alan Arkin, investigates a bank robbery in England. Lacking any other recurring characters, this one is generally disregarded.
* ''Film/TheReturnOfThePinkPanther'' (1975): The Pink Panther is stolen from a Lugash museum, and Clouseau is called upon to seek it out once more. The evidence suggests the Phantom is responsible, but in fact Sir Charles Lytton has been framed. The film follows the parallel plots of Clouseau trailing Lytton's wife to Switzerland and Lytton's journey to Lugash to try and find out who actually did it. Dreyfus' attempts to kill Clouseau lands him in an institution at the end, leading directly into...
* ''Film/ThePinkPantherStrikesAgain'' (1976): Three years later (though the film was only made one year after), Dreyfus is seemingly cured, but having to meet up with Clouseau before he can be released, the therapy is undone. Dreyfus escapes and organizes a criminal gang that kidnaps an inventor and his daughter. Forcing the former to build a DisintegratorRay, Dreyfus threatens to unleash it on the world unless Clouseau is killed, and many countries immediately send assassins after Clouseau as he sets out to stop Dreyfus himself.
* ''Film/RevengeOfThePinkPanther'' (1978): Clouseau is now so famous that the head of the French mob, to prove his mettle to the American Mafia, puts out a hit on him - three actually, as Clouseau's luck saves him from death each time. The thing is, the third time ''appears'' to have been the charm to everyone else, leaving Clouseau to go undercover with Cato to figure out who wanted him dead. Oh, and Dreyfus is "cured" by the news of Clouseau's death, and set free again.

''Revenge'' was unfortunately Peter Sellers' last performance as Clouseau, as he died in 1980. Edwards decided to continue the series with new lead characters.

* ''Trail of the Pink Panther'' (1982): Using mostly deleted scenes from ''Strikes Again'' and new footage with other regulars, Clouseau once again is called to Lugash to seek the stolen Pink Panther. When his plane vanishes, [=TV=] reporter Marie Jouvet (Joanna Lumley) decides to investigate his disappearance by interviewing those who knew him well, turning the second half of the film into a ClipShow. The film was shot alongside...
* ''Curse of the Pink Panther'' (1983): One year after Clouseau's disappearance, Dreyfus sabotages the search for a great detective to seek him out. Instead, the world's ''worst'' detective, Clifton Sleigh of New York City (Ted Wass), is put on the case. The audience learns the ultimate fate of Clouseau and the diamond, but Sleigh...not so much.
* ''Son of the Pink Panther'' (1993): Ten years after the previous film's events, a {{Revision}} of what happened in ''A Shot in the Dark'' reveals Clouseau sired a son, Jacques Gambrelli ([[LifeIsBeautiful Roberto Benigni]]). One day on his beat in the south of France, his path accidentally crosses with those of the kidnapped Princess Yasmin of Lugash ''and'' Dreyfus all at once. Then Dreyfus realizes, given the [[LikeFatherLikeSon father's track record,]] that it might not be such a bad idea to have this junior Clouseau track her down. This had the misfortune of being the final film of both Music/HenryMancini ''and'' Creator/BlakeEdwards.

In 2006, the franchise was rebooted under the original title ''The Pink Panther'', with Creator/SteveMartin as Clouseau and Creator/JeanReno as a new sidekick, Ponton. Aside from Clouseau, Dreyfus was the only character carried over from the original films (played by Kevin Kline in the first, and Creator/JohnCleese in the second). This managed to yield one sequel in 2009. Despite their almost completely negative critical reception, the reboot films are remarkably faithful to the tone and spirit of the original films. (Well, YMMV on that!)

'''The Animated Characters:'''
* The first film had animated credits, produced by Creator/DePatieFrelengEnterprises, that featured a "literal" representation of the flaw in the eponymous diamond. [[EnsembleDarkhorse This proved so popular with audiences]] that not only would all the subsequent films (including the reboot) have animated credits, the character -- an anthropomorphic [[TheVoiceless mute]] -- was spun off into a series of animated shorts the following year, and warrants [[WesternAnimation/ThePinkPanther its own page]].
* Because ''A Shot in the Dark'' did not involve the diamond itself, the Panther didn't feature in the credits (from ''Strikes Again'' onwards, he does even if the diamond isn't involved) but a caricature of Clouseau did. This went over well enough that a shorter-lived series of shorts focusing on "WesternAnimation/TheInspector" (voiced by Pat Harrington) and his sidekick Deux-Deux (a gendarme) was made in the mid-1960s. The Clouseau animated character appeared in the credits of all the subsequent films through ''Trail'', always futilely pursuing the Panther. The ReplacementScrappy characters got their own animated equivalents for ''Curse'' and ''Son'', and a Martin-styled Clouseau figure appears in the reboot.

Now has a [[Characters/ThePinkPanther character sheet]]; there are [[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters loads and loads of them]], so feel free to help it grow.

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!!The films feature examples of:

* AllAsiansWearConicalStrawHats: When Clouseau goes to Hong Kong in the third act of ''Revenge'', he initially wears a stereotypical "Chinaman" disguise, conical straw hat and all.
* AmusingInjuries: Dreyfus in particular is prone to these.

* AnimatedCreditsOpening: A series tradition. Creator/DePatieFrelengEnterprises (later Marvel Productions, Ltd.) produced them for most of the films, although Creator/RichardWilliams' studio did the honors for ''Return'' and ''Strikes Again''.
* AnimationBump: Creator/RichardWilliams' ''Return'' and ''Strikes Again'' title sequences are a spectacular example of this trope.
* TheAnticipator: Parodied when the late Peter Sellers plays Inspector Clouseau. Clouseau has directed his manservant Cato to attack him at random to sharpen his defensive skills. Though he knows Cato has TheDeterminator perseverance, only inconceivably foolish counters and stupefying luck have thwarted all of Cato's attempts.
** This running gag is reversed in the reboots, in them Clouseau is the one trying to attack his partner and Ponton is the one anticipating and effortlessly fending them off, though in his case it's simply because Ponton actually knows how to defend himself.
* AntiHero: Clouseau. Also Dreyfus in ''A Shot in the Dark'' until his FaceHeelTurn, and again in the last four original-flavor films after two movies of straightforward villainy. He's strictly this in the reboot.
* ArtifactTitle: ''Strikes Again'', ''Revenge'', and ''Son'' don't involve the Pink Panther diamond at all, but they had to work in the animated character somehow...
* ArtisticLicenseLaw: At the end of the first film, Sir Charles says that even though [[spoiler:Clouseau]] has been falsely convicted of being the Phantom, he'll be set free again the next time the Phantom strikes. In reality, unless Sir Charles was caught during his next robbery and confessed to having framed [[spoiler:Clouseau]], nothing of the sort would happen. The police would almost certainly assume that either he had an accomplice who they failed to catch, or that the new theft was the work of a copycat. Either way, [[spoiler:Clouseau]] would still be sitting in jail.
* TheBadGuyWins:
** No so much a case of "wins" as "ends up better off than the good guy," but at the climax of the first film, Sir Charles Litton successfully frames [[spoiler:Clouseau]] for the diamond theft, and steals his wife to boot.
** On the other hand, [[spoiler:Clouseau]] ends up in police protection, chased by a mob of women convinced he is the sexiest jewel thief in the world. When a policeman asks him how "he" pulled off all those robberies, he glances back at the women and says thoughtfully, "Well, you know, it wasn't easy."
** Then in ''Curse'' we have a case of "The Bad ''Girls'' Win," as Chandra [[spoiler:turns Clouseau to the dark side and gets him to become her consort]], and then [[spoiler:Lady Litton (Clouseau's ex-wife) steals the Pink Panther diamond, and this time the Littons apparently hang on to it permanently]].
* BedroomAdulteryScene: Used in the first film.
* BetaCouple: Maria Gambrelli and [[spoiler: Charles Dreyfus]] in ''Son''.
* BigBad
** Dreyfus in ''The Pink Panther Strikes Again'', while serving as a secondary villain in ''A Shot In The Dark'' and ''Return Of The Pink Panther'' and an [[AntiHero antihero]] in his six other appearances.
** The French Connection in a three-film story arc, ''Revenge'', ''Trail'' and ''Curse''. Douvier is their boss in ''Revenge'' while Bruno Langlois is their boss in ''Trail'' and ''Curse.''
* BigBadDuumvirate: Sir Charles and Simone in the first film, with George as more of a secondary villain than a [[TheDragon dragon.]] Kind of a subversion -- they are both so [[AffablyEvil affably evil]] and both seem to genuinely like Clouseau in later films.
* BilingualBonus: In the 2006 film, anyone who understands Cantonese will find out that the old Chinese lady is basically asking Clouseau why she's being interrogated and that she's busy and has other things to do. Clouseau somehow believes she tells him to look for soccer trainers for their knowledge of poisons.
* BlackComedy: Most of ''A Shot in the Dark'' and ''The Pink Panther Strikes Again'', owing to unusually high body counts. (''Son of'' has that too, owing to the nature of the villains and the climactic siege, but that's typical action movie background fodder.)
* BreakoutCharacter: Clouseau might be film's most successful example, or at least a close second to [[PiratesOfTheCaribbean Captain Jack Sparrow]]. The Pink Panther animated character counts as well.
* BrickJoke: In the opening title sequence for the original 1963 movie, the Pink Panther cartoon character walks up and prepares to conduct an invisible orchestra, only to be pulled off stage by a VaudevilleHook. In the 2006 reboot he returns and manages to conduct the ''actual paper notes''.
* ButtMonkey: Several characters, but Dreyfus is the poster boy of the franchise, even when he becomes a BigBad in ''Strikes Again''.
* CaliforniaDoubling: While the other films were shot on location, ''A Shot in the Dark'' was done at MGM's British studio in Boreham Wood. The scene where Clouseau enters a room only to land in the Seine is hardly convincing, but it's actually a large tank filled with more than 100,000 gallons of water.
* CallingCard: The Phantom's monogrammed glove.
* TheCameo: Several over the original series, either unbilled or under a pseudonym.
** In ''Curse'' [[spoiler:Roger Moore]], billed as "Turk Thrust II", [[spoiler: plays the post-MagicPlasticSurgery Clouseau.]]
** In ''Son'', [[spoiler: Nicoletta Braschi, Roberto Benigni's wife and frequent costar]] turns up at the end as [[spoiler: Jacques's twin sister]].
* CantGetInTroubleForNuthin
* CelebrityParadox: It's never outright stated -- but obvious to the audience -- in ''Curse'' that the reason Clifton Sleigh doesn't realize that [[spoiler: Clouseau had Magic Plastic Surgery]] is because [[spoiler: he now looks, and is played by, Roger Moore, and Moore and the James Bond movies exist in this universe]].
* CharacterOutlivesActor: ''Trail of the Pink Panther'' was made after the death of Creator/PeterSellers. Rather than having the character of Inspector Clouseau die in the film, he is instead shown to be alive and well on a deserted island after surviving a plane crash; the subsequent film ''Curse of...'' reveals [[spoiler: he got MagicPlasticSurgery to look like Roger Moore, and did a FaceHeelTurn to settle down with a jewel thief countess]].
* ChaseScene: The original film features a lengthy car-chase.
* ClassyCatBurglar: [[spoiler: Claudine in ''Return'' and Simone in ''Curse''.]] The unmade ''Romance of the Pink Panther'' had one of these as the film's antagonist, and would have ended with [[spoiler: Clouseau making a Face Heel Turn out of love for her]].
* CluelessDetective: Clouseau might be the best-known example.
* TheComicallySerious: Creator/GeorgeSanders as Benjamin Ballon, though ''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jEcq4tuBzn4 footage]]'' of him (and most of the other actors who worked with Sellers) corpsing has surfaced.
* ConvenientlyTimedDistraction: In the 2006 reboot, while chasing the assassin who tried to kill Xania, Clouseau and Ponton decides to split up to cut off the assassin. When Ponton catches up to the assassin and holds the assassin at gunpoint, Clouseau catches up and accidentally [[TheDoorSlamsYou slams a door open in front of Ponton]], knocking him down. While Clouseau checks to see if Ponton is okay, the assassin resumes running away.
* ContinuitySnarl: Chief Inspector Dreyfus ''himself'' is the only, but ''big'' one in the whole series, which otherwise seems pretty consistent with itself. Starting from the ending of the second movie, Dreyfus ''always'' eventually turns mad, tries to murder Clouseau and is ''always'' taken to an insane Asylum… The movie following the first time this happened included the idea that he was supposedly cured (though meeting Clouseau again makes him turn mad again), and subsequently released; however, at the end of this movie, he gets killed off. In the next, he's back at the insane asylum for no particular reason, and once again thought cured, and once again released. And it's not that the previous movie is not canon to the others — there are [[ContinuityNod references]] to it made in later movies. In the ''next'' movies, he's just back as chief inspector with no explanation ''at all''. Apparently, nobody remembers that 1° he was previously disintegrated and 2° he had destroyed the U.N. building and sabotaged a satellite before that.
* CoolAndUnusualPunishment: In ''Strikes Again'', the method [[BigBad Dreyfus]] uses to torture the professor's daughter is by [[NailsOnABlackboard scratching a chalkboard]] [[BaitAndSwitch while wearing meat-packer's gloves]].

* ColorCharacter
* CrazyPrepared: In the 2006 film, Clouseau figures out that [[spoiler: the killer will strike again at the Presidential Palace, and just so happens to have a bag in his deserted office marked "Presidential Palace" with everything he could possibly need to break in undetected. This includes a body suit for both him, and his assistant, with different camouflage on the front and back identical to the wallpaper and drapes (respectively) found in the palace]].
* DaChief: Chief Inspector Charles Dreyfus is a comedic example. From ''Strikes Again'' onward, Clouseau himself takes over this position (though being DaChief, he is more gentle to his fellow policemen) and Dreyfus resents this when he finds out.
* DatingCatwoman: Provides the premise of the unmade ''Romance of the Pink Panther''.
* DepthDeception: A faked alien invasion in an episode of the animated series.
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: About 3/4th of ''The Pink Panther'' is everyone trying to sleep with everyone with a somewhat goofy Frenchman mentioning a jewel thief. It even extends to the title sequence, with the animated Pink Panther being a ScrewySquirrel who keeps interfering with the film's credits, and the Inspector only briefly appearing over Peter Sellers's credit.
* EnsembleDarkHorse: Clouseau was just a supporting character in the original movie.
* EverythingIsBetterWithMonkeys: Or "minkeys"; Clouseau's first scene in ''Return'' involves a "blind" beggar and a monkey.
* FakeShemp:
** Any time you can't clearly see Clouseau's face in any of the three 70s sequels, odds are he's being played by Peter Sellers' stunt double, Joe Dunne.
** ''Trail'' is built around this concept, though flashbacks to his youth near the end have him played by younger actors in a variant on TheOtherDarrin.
* FilmingForEasyDub: The later entries with Sellers used this with his stuntmen; ''Trail'' does this with a stand-in to tie the deleted scenes together.
* FranchiseZombie: ''Revenge'' was commissioned by United Artists when they didn't have a big film planned for summer 1978.
* FromBadToWorse: The opinions of critics and viewers alike on the films after Peter Sellers died.
* FunnyForeigner: Clouseau; his disguises incorporate other nationalities in the same manner.
* GayParee: With occasional detours to Italy, Germany, Hong Kong, etc.
* GenreSavvy: The guy at the climax of the original film trying to cross the street who keeps getting cut off by the criss-crossing ChaseScene participants; he finally gets a chair, sits down and waits for the inevitable multi-car pileup.
* GentlemanThief: Sir Charles Lytton and his associates. The boredom motivation is key to the plot of ''Return''.
* GirlOfTheWeek: ''Shot'', ''Strikes Again'', and ''Revenge'' all have these. The first was given a {{Revision}} for ''Son''.
* GoingForTheBigScoop: Marie in ''Trail'', especially as it becomes clear that there are a lot of people who would prefer Clouseau gone forever.
* HalfIdenticalTwins: In ''Son'', [[spoiler: Jacques and ''Jacqueline'' Gambrelli]].
* HalfwayPlotSwitch: ''Trail'', which starts as a typical Clouseau misadventure and makes the switch when he goes missing, turning the protagonist role over to Marie as she investigates the disappearance.
* HeelFaceRevolvingDoor: Dreyfus goes from antihero to villain in ''A Shot in the Dark", remains a villain in "Return of the Pink Panther", appears to have recovered his sanity at the beginning of "The Pink Panther Strikes Again" but ends up becoming the film's main villain, and seems to have, for the most part, reformed in the subsequent films.
* HypercompetentSidekick: Cato Fong in the original series, Ponton in the Reboot.
* IconicSequelCharacter: Cato and Dreyfus didn't appear until the second film.
* IdiosyncraticEpisodeNaming: From ''Return'' onward, all of the titles (and credits) involve the Pink Panther phrase and animated character even if the diamond is not part of the plot.
** The Pink Panther animated shorts all have the word "pink" in the title, and most of the Inspector shorts are puns on French words or phrases.
* IdiotHero: TropeCodifier.
* InCaseYouForgotWhoWroteIt: Some of the '70s films have Edwards' name as part of the full onscreen title, i.e. ''Creator/BlakeEdwards' The Return of the Pink Panther''.
** The cartoons have the title "Creator/BlakeEdwards' Pink Panther" when he appears.
* IncrediblyObviousBomb: ''Plenty'' from ''Return'' onwards.
* InsistentTerminology: CHIEF Inspector Clouseau (from ''Strikes Again'' onwards) frequently reminds us of his full title.
* InspectorOblivious: Clouseau's opening scene in ''Return'' hinges on him getting distracted from a bank robbery. Moreover he's dim enough to accept bombs - the Incredibly Obvious kind, mind you - from suspicious persons without a thought, only realizing what they are just before it's too late. (''Revenge'': "Special delivery, a bomb! Were you expecting one?")
* InstrumentalThemeTune: One of the catchiest ever, courtesy of Henry Mancini.
* JugglingLoadedGuns: Chief Inspector Dreyfus keeps in his office desk both a real gun and a lighter that ''looks just like'' said gun. HilarityEnsues with predictably violent results, such as when his assistant Francois, hearing a gunshot, bursts in the office to see the top half of Dreyfus' face looking up at him from behind his desk:
--> '''Dreyfus:''' Don't just stand there, idiot — call a doctor. ''And then help me find my nose!''
* KarmaHoudini: Lytton and his accomplices; as the trope entry points out, they are ''never'' caught in any of their appearances. [[spoiler: Clouseau and Chandra are almost this at the end of ''Curse'' - they aren't found out by Sleigh, but Lytton's wife steals the diamond from them!]]
*** ''The Pink Panther Strikes Again'' takes it up to eleven, Dreyfus disintegrates the UN building, attempted to destroy England, yet two movies later, ''Trail'', he is Commissioner again and no one talks about it (this is either a PlotHole or just NegativeContinuity).
*** A similiar thing happened before ''Trail'' in ''Revenge of...'', nobody remembers Dreyfus' scheme in ''Strikes Again'', and they even ask to give a eulogy to Clouseau's (faked) funeral.
** ''Return'' ends with ''nobody'' going to prison for the actual theft of the diamond. Partially {{justified|Trope}} in that a lot of people thought Colonel Sharkey was in on the conspiracy [[spoiler: and he's too dead to defend himself]]. Claudine Lytton [[spoiler: the actual culprit]] is not seen in the epilogue, though.
* LeftStuckAfterAttack: In the comedy film ''Curse of The Pink Panther'', the renowned martial artist Ed Parker plays an enforcer for the antagonists, who punches through a metal shed door and gets his arm stuck for a solid twenty seconds before managing to free himself.
* LethallyStupid: Inspector Clouseau. Ask Dreyfus.
* LicensedPinballTable: Released by Creator/{{Gottlieb}} in 1981, and '''very''' loosely based on ''Return;'' [[Pinball/PinkPanther click here for details.]]
* MateOrDie: How Jacques Gambrelli was conceived, according to Maria's explanation in ''Son of...'': She and Clouseau were stranded on a snowy night, and he suggested they make love to keep warm. Their affection for each other was not a romance for the ages, however (she regards it as a youthful folly), and she never revealed to him that he'd sired a son.

* NoMoreForMe: The random drunk guy on the side of the road in the first movie, who, after seeing the Phantoms, Clouseau and the police keep going back and forth in ridiculous costumes, just gets a chair to sit down to watch.
* NotEvenBotheringWithTheAccent: France seems to have a lot of people with British or American accents in these films, with prominent examples including the original Dreyfus, Benjamin Ballon in ''Shot'', and Philippe Douvier in ''Revenge''.
* NotMeThisTime: In the reboot, The Tornado, a serial thief, was believed to have resurfaced and stolen various treasures around the world, including the Magna Carta, the Turin Shroud, the Imperial Sword, the Pink Panther Diamond (allegedly), and the Pope's ring. Turns out, he never actually committed those crimes (for one thing, he would have deduced that [[spoiler:the Pink Panther Diamond on display was in fact a forgery]] had he truly stolen it), it was his scorned lover, [[spoiler:Sonia]] who did the deed, eventually [[spoiler:killing him before they located him]].
* OddlyNamedSequel2ElectricBoogaloo: Original series only. ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' made a joke about this: "We now return to ''The Return of the Pink Panther Returns''".
* OohMeAccentsSlipping: Clouseau's accent in ''Return'' tends to veer between the more normal-sounding voice he used in the first two films, and the thicker, more nasal accent he uses in ''Strikes Again'' and ''Revenge''.
* OneSteveLimit: There are two characters named Charles: Sir Charles Lytton (The Phantom) and Chief Inspector Charles Dreyfus (Clouseau's superior).
** Jacques Gambrelli, though it's justified because he is Clouseau's son.
** There are even two Simones: Simone Clouseau/Lytton, and Simone [=LeGree=] (the GirlOfTheWeek in ''Revenge'').
* Creator/PeterSellers
* PhantomThief: The Phantom.
* PlotHole: ''Trail'' says that Lytton married Simone after the events of the first film. If so, where does Claudine, his wife in ''Return'', fit in?
* ProductPlacement: In the 2006 remake, as Clouseau tries a hamburger for the first time and falls in love with the taste, the [=McDonald=]'s logo is very prominently featured behind him.
* PutOnABus: Creator/BlakeEdwards did this to Clouseau himself to make way for ''Son of the Pink Panther''. That was not a good idea.
* {{Qurac}}: Lugash.
* RealLifeWritesThePlot: One reason the RunningGag of Clouseau's costumes became more pronounced in ''Strikes Again'' and ''Revenge'' was that Peter Sellers' health had become too frail for him to perform as much slapstick. ''Trail'' and ''Curse'', of course, were completely conceived/made after Sellers had died, and the plots work to compensate for this absence.
* ReassignedToAntarctica: Dreyfus frequently threatens to send Clouseau to Martinique for exasperating him. In ''A Shot in the Dark'', Clouseau was about ready to leave when he is reluctantly reassigned to the Gambrelli case by Dreyfus.
* RefrigeratorAmbush: Cato pulls one off in ''Return'', and again in ''Son''.
* RevengeOfTheSequel: ''Return'', ''Revenge'', ''Strikes Again'' and ''Curse''.
* RogerRabbitEffect: Several of the films end with the animated Pink Panther interacting in some fashion with the live-action characters. ''Son of...'' does this in the ''opening'' credits.
* RunningGag / SequelEscalation: Clouseau's accent, his disguises in the later films, Cato's attacks and the subsequent fights, Dreyfus' murder attempts and his eye twitch, and the NonFatalExplosions.
** "Never look a gift horse in the mouth" is a popular philosophy amongst disparate characters in ''Curse''.
* ShapedLikeItself:
-->'''Francois:''' Do you know what kind of bomb it was?\\
'''Clouseau''' (gravely): The exploding kind.
* {{Sidekick}}: Cato's role is largely confined to Clouseau's apartment in most of the films, but he becomes this outright in the second half of ''Revenge'' and later serves the same role in ''Son of...'' for Clouseau, Jr. In the Inspector animated shorts, Deux-Deux fills this role; in the reboot, it's Ponton who does the same.
* SignificantBirthDate
** Used as an in-joke in ''Trail'' -- Clouseau was born on September 8, which means he and Peter Sellers share a birthday.
** In ''Curse'', we learn that Dreyfus was born on April 1 (AprilFoolsDay).
* SomebodySetUpUsTheBomb: In the Sellers films it's a RunningGag from ''Shot'' onwards that ''somebody's'' going to try to off Clouseau with a bomb at some point, be it a TimeBomb or IncrediblyObviousBomb.
* SomethingCompletelyDifferent:
** ''Strikes Again'', based around a plot more akin to the ''Film/JamesBond'' films, could qualify as this.
** In 1968, Peter Sellers did a film for the Mirisch Corporation (which was responsible for the first three films) that was directed by Creator/BlakeEdwards and had music by Henry Mancini, but it wasn't in the series. Its title is ''The Party''.
** ''Inspector Clouseau'', also released in 1968, counts too as it stars Alan Arkin as Clouseau instead of Peter Sellers and was directed by Bud Yorkin instead of Creator/BlakeEdwards.
* SpiritualSuccessor: The Neil Simon-penned film ''After The Fox'' (1967) features Sellers as a master criminal nicknamed "The Fox" who uses a phony movie shoot as cover for a gold heist. Much of the humor is identical to that in the ''Panther'' films, and there is even a Panther-style opening credit sequence featuring a cartoon fox.
* UntoUsASonAndDaughterAreBorn: Turns out that [[spoiler: Jacques Gambrelli/Clouseau, Jr.]] has a twin sister!
* WallpaperCamouflage: Clouseau and Ponton manage this in the reboot.
* WhatTheFuAreYouDoing: Clouseau's impromptu "training sessions" with Cato.
* WritersCannotDoMath: In ''Curse of the Pink Panther'', Dreyfus' birth year is said to be 1900. This movie was made in 1983, placing this character in his early 80s. Never mind the fact that Dreyfus obviously doesn't look that old (Herbert Lom was only in his 60s), but then comes ''Son of the Pink Panther'' which takes place 10 years later, meaning in that movie he must be in his early 90s! Even if Dreyfus was in his early 80s in ''Curse...'', shouldn't he be retired from the police force by then?
* YouLookFamiliar: Happens a lot in the original series.
** Graham Stark, a close friend and colleague of Sellers, appears in all the films from ''Shot'' through ''Son'' (save for ''Inspector Clouseau'') as various characters, two of which, Hercule and Auguste Balls, are recurring.
** Robert Loggia plays an American gangster in ''Revenge'' and the current head of the French mob in ''Trail'' and ''Curse''.
** Joanna Lumley plays a reporter in ''Trail'' and a countess in ''Curse''.
** Claudia Cardinale plays Princess Dala in ''The Pink Panther'' and Maria Gambrelli in ''Son of...''. The latter is also a case of TheOtherDarrin (Maria was played by Elke Sommer in ''A Shot in the Dark'').
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