[[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...
* ''A Shot in the Dark'' (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.
* ''The Return of the Pink Panther'' (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...
* ''The Pink Panther Strikes Again'' (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.
* ''Revenge of the Pink Panther'' (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 SteveMartin as Clouseau and 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.
* AndAnotherThing / DoorFocus: The basis of a particularly funny gag in ''A Shot in the Dark'', using the latter to spoof the former.
* AnimatedCreditsOpening: A series tradition. Creator/DePatieFrelengEnterprises (later Marvel Productions, Ltd.) produced them for most of the films, although RichardWilliams' studio did the honors for ''Return'' and ''Strikes Again''.
* AnimationBump: 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.
* 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...
* ArmedLegs: One of the killers in ''Strikes Again'' uses a shoe knife.
* AsideGlance: In ''Shot'', Clouseau gives the camera a hapless stare when his final attempt at unmasking the murderer dissolves into a verbal melee between all the suspects.
* 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.
** Better off? [[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."
*** That's the screenwriters' desperate attempt to alter viewers' normal perception that being convicted of a crime you didn't commit and serving a few years in prison for it is, you know, ''a bad thing''. And if being convicted of stealing the pink panther is the sweet awesome deal it's being made out to be, then why the Hell wouldn't Simone [[spoiler:and the princess]] just let Sir Charles and George get convicted of it?!
** 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]].
* BadGuysPlayPool: Ballon, who is [[spoiler:one of four murderers]] in the case Clouseau is trying to solve in ''Shot'', plays the game with him. During the game, Clouseau accuses him of being the murderer -- [[spoiler: which, ''at the time'', he wasn't]].
* {{Balloonacy}}: In ''The Pink Panther Strikes Again'', Clouseau is floated out of his apartment window by the inflatable hump in his hunchback costume, thereby causing him to miss the bomb Dreyfus sets off.
* BathroomBreakOut: In ''The Pink Panther Strikes Again'', Dreyfus orchestrates the escape of a prisoner being transported by train. He goes to the bathroom, then climbs out through the ventilator on to the roof of the train and into a waiting helicopter.
* 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.
** Sir Charles and Lady Claudine would be this in ''Return Of The Pink Panther'', if it wasn't for the fact that [[spoiler: Sir Charles is innocent and Claudine stole the jewel by herself, not to frame him but for a bit of harmless fun]].
* 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.
** Bryan Forbes (British director/producer/writer/actor), billed as "Turk Thrust", as the nudist camp attendant in ''Shot''. The pseudonym was inspired by a joke he and friend Peter Sellers had conceived.
** In ''Strikes Again'' [[spoiler:Omar Sharif]] is the Egyptian assassin whom the Russian one mistakes for Clouseau on their initial meeting - he beds her, and she falls in love and chooses not to kill him, which is extremely confusing for the real Clouseau later.
** ''Strikes Again'' also has a ''musical'' cameo - the (intentionally) awful singing voice sported by drag queen Jarvis is supplied by [[spoiler:Julie Andrews]].
** 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
* CaptainObvious: In ''A Shot in the Dark'', while Clouseau is discussing things with Ballon, a servant walks in:
--> '''Servant:''' Telephone, monsieur, for Inspector Clouseau.
--> '''Clouseau:''' Ah, that would be for me.
** And in ''Strikes Again'':
---> '''Francois:''' What kind of bomb was it?
---> '''Clouseau:''' The exploding kind.
* CarnivalOfKillers: In ''Strikes Again'', the world's greatest assassins descend on Munich in attempt to kill Clouseau and end up wiping each other out. (Coincidentally, given this trope's name, the sequence in question takes place at an Oktoberfest celebration.)
* CatapultToGlory: In ''Strikes Again'', Clouseau is inadvertently lofted through a castle window by a catapult.
* 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 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. Footage of him corpsing surfaced on one featurette- as did most actors who worked with PeterSellers.
* 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]].
* CoolCar: Clouseau has "The Silver Hornet" in ''Revenge'' that is intended as this, but it's "overdue for its service" and only [[TheAllegedCar falls apart on him]].
* 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.
* DarkerAndEdgier: ''A Shot in the Dark'' is definitely the darkest film of the entire franchise. ''Strikes Again'' could be second, though it's more of a BlackComedy.
* DatingCatwoman: Provides the premise of the unmade ''Romance of the Pink Panther''.
* DepthDeception: A faked alien invasion in an episode of the animated series.
* DisintegratorRay: The device created by Professor Fassbender (and used by former Chief inspector Dreyfus as a weapon of mass destruction) in ''Strikes Again''.
* DisproportionateRetribution: In ''Strikes Again'', Dreyfus attempts to destroy an entire country because he was lied to about Clouseau's assassination. The country that falsely claimed to kill Clouseau is Egypt. The country Dreyfus decides to punish is ''England''.
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: About 3/4th of ''The Pink Panther'' is everyone trying to sleep with everyone with a somewhat goofy Frenchman mentioning a jewel thief.
* EverythingIsBetterWithMonkeys: Or "minkeys"; Clouseau's first scene in ''Return'' involves a "blind" beggar and a monkey.
* FakeShemp: ''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.
* FakingTheDead: Clouseau in ''Revenge''.
* FilmingForEasyDub: The later entries with Sellers used this with his stuntmen; ''Trail'' does this with a stand-in to tie the deleted scenes together.
* FiveBadBand: In "Strikes Again".
** BigBad -- Dreyfus.
** TheDragon -- Jean Tournier, then Cairo Fred (the other dark-haired henchman) after Tournier's death.
** [[TokenGoodTeammate Token Good]] [[EvilGenius Genius]] -- An unwilling Prof. Fassbender.
** TheBrute(s) -- Bruce the Knife (the long-haired henchman who threatened Fassbender with a knife) and Marty the Mugger (the henchman played by the same actor/stuntmen who played Scallini's bodyguard in Revenge of the Pink Panther).
** DarkChick -- Hindo Harry.
** SixthRanger(s) -- The two kidnappers of Prof. Fassbender and his daughter.
* FollowThatCar: Spoofed in ''Return'' (see trope entry). A variation appears in ''Shot'' when he instructs the police car driver who brought him to the estate to go "back to town", so he drives off before Clouseau can get in.
* FranchiseZombie: ''Revenge'' was commissioned by United Artists when they didn't have a big film planned for summer 1978.
* FrickinLaserBeams: In ''Strikes Again''.
* FromBadToWorse: The opinions of critics and viewers alike on the films after Peter Sellers died.
* TheFunInFuneral: Clouseau's apparent death in ''Revenge'' leads to a long sequence involving this (see trope entry).
* 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.
* HandOfDeath: Several botched attempts to kill Clouseau in ''A Shot in the Dark''.
* 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.
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: Dreyfus' fate in ''Strikes Again''. [[spoiler:As he tries to destroy England with his laser, Clouseau accidentally knocks it around at the crucial moment - it malfunctions and zaps Dreyfus instead.]] Somehow, he [[UnexplainedRecovery got better]] by ''Revenge''. In that film's climax, he [[spoiler:starts a chain-reaction explosion in a fireworks warehouse when he lights a match to aim his gun at Clouseau]]. Near the end of ''Curse'', he [[spoiler:tries to shoot down a parasailing Sleigh with a rocket launcher, but the recoil sends him over a cliff (he's in a wheelchair at the time).]]
* 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?")
* InstrumentOfMurder: A clarinet blowgun in ''Strikes Again''.
* 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!]]
** Dreyfus in ''A Shot in the Dark'' (accidentally) killed four innocent bystanders in an attempt to kill Clouseau, yet no one called him on it.
*** ''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.
* LateArrivalSpoiler: About the only ways you can watch ''A Shot in the Dark'' for the first time and not already know that the Asian man attacking Clouseau is Cato and that the shadowy figure trying to kill Clouseau is Dreyfus is by knowing nothing at all about the film series or by knowing nothing except the order in which the films came out and watching them in order. As it is, since it doesn't have "Pink Panther" in the title, ''Shot'' is likely to be one of the ''last'' films of the series you're going to see.
* 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.
* MurphysBed: In ''The Pink Panther Strikes Again'', [[spoiler: it's the basis for the final non-animated gag]].
* NailsOnABlackboard: Used as a literal torture method in ''Strikes Again''.
* NakedFreakOut: in ''Shot'', when Clouseau and Maria Gambrelli are [[spoiler:caught naked in public]].
* NakedInMink: In ''The Pink Panther Strikes Again'', Olga Beriosova (Lesley-Anne Down) seduces Inspector Clouseau (Peter Sellers) in a scene that is beyond words.
* NeverMyFault: Guilt of the murders in ''Shot'' fell, according to everybody but Clouseau, on Maria Gambrelli -- until the end.
* NoFourthWall: The end credits of ''Return'' roll as we see Dreyfus in a padded cell; when Peter Sellers' credit appears, he shouts at us, "Kill him! Kill him!"
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: In ''Strikes Again'', The President and Secretary of State are obvious parodies of Gerald Ford and Henry Kissinger.
* NoMatterHowMuchIBeg: ''Revenge'' confirms that Cato follows Clouseau's instructions about surprise attacks to the letter, much to Clouseau's frustration.
* NonFatalExplosions: They're not just for cartoons anymore! And ''Revenge'' takes the charred-and-smoking reveal to a new level when Clouseau's state is enough to set paper on fire, and his attempt to put it out sets a whole office aflame in a case of DisasterDominoes.
* 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: Dreyfus in the original. Ballon in ''Shot'' also counts.
* 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''".
* OminousPipeOrgan: In ''Strikes Again'' former Chief Inspector Dreyfus plays a version of "Tiptoe Through the Tulips" instead of the usual Bach Toccata.
* 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?
* PrettyInMink: Would-be assassin Olga in ''Strikes Again'' wears a full-length coat and hat.
* 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.
* RakeTake: From ''Strikes Again'' -- Dreyfus, while trying to avoid Clouseau, steps on one, causing him to fall over in the water.
* 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.
* ReferenceOverdosed: ''Strikes Again'' especially, including the opening credits that mock TV and film.
* 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 disparite characters in ''Curse''.
* ScreenToStageAdaptation: A stage version of ''Strikes Again'' was created for regional/amateur theaters in 1981. It's a PragmaticAdaptation that, among other things, gives the GirlOfTheWeek more characterization, has its own "Pink Panthers" (stagehands who sometimes interfere with the plot), and completely rethinks the climax: [[spoiler: the disintegrator ray has a self-destruct mechanism built in that the professor activates. Dreyfus is ready to go down with it, but Clouseau's morals and sense of honor mean he's ready to Save the Bad Guy...''or go down with him''. The prospect of going into eternity with Clouseau is terrifying enough for Dreyfus that he allows himself to be saved and taken into custody]].
* ShapedLikeItself:
--->'''Francois:''' Do you know what kind of bomb it was?\\
'''Clouseau''' (gravely): The exploding kind.
* ShoutOut: ''Strikes Again'' has this in spades, eight of which are in the opening credits alone.
* {{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.
* SiegeEngines: In ''The Pink Panther Strikes Again'', [[spoiler: Inspector Clouseau is accidentally propelled up and through a castle window by a catapult]].
* 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.
* TakeOverTheWorld: The main plot of ''Strikes Again''.
* ThatRussianSquatDance: Clouseau rips his pants as he attempts one of these in ''Shot''.
* ThirtySecondBlackout: The blackout in ''Shot'' lasts only five seconds and leaves the whole Ballon mansion in pitch darkness.
* TimeBomb: Dreyfus sends Clouseau a clock in ''Shot'' that is really a bomb set to go off at three. When it goes off, however, [[NonFatalExplosion nobody is killed or injured]].
* TheToothHurts: In ''The Pink Panther Strikes Again'', former Chief Inspector Dreyfus gets a bad toothache and sends for a dentist. Clouseau pretends to be the dentist and performs dental malpractice on Dreyfus.
-->'''Dreyfus''': He has pulled the wrong tooth! [[BatDeduction There's only one man who would pull the wrong tooth.]] It's Clouseau! Kill him! Kill him!
** Note he (and Clouseau) are laughing hysterically through this whole scene due to a malfunction with the nitrous oxide.
* TorpedoTits: One of the killers in ''Strikes Again'' attacks Clouseau with spikes emerging from her dress. She meets her end when she pins them to a table.
* 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.
* WhoNeedsEnemies: Invoked by name in ''Return of the Pink Panther'', when Sir Charles goes to the Fat Man for help in proving he didn't steal the Pink Panther. Instead, the Fat Man, in order to protect himself, plans to kill Sir Charles and give the body to the police as the culprit.
* 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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