Aborted Arc: Skyfall does not continue the Quantum storyline from Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace.
Word of God is that they MAY continue the arc, but the antagonists will be different.
Action Prologue: The Trope Codifier, as the series has featured dozens of openings going all the way back to the 1960s where Bond fights through a giant action set piece before the main plot is even introduced.
Action Girl: Pam Bouvier, Wai Lin and May Day, principally. Though others, despite not lacking of good moments, go more for the Faux Action Girl side, sadly.
Also there is a good deal more racism/sexism (especially heterosexism) in the books than in the movies. Not really surprising, given that the books were written in The Fifties.
Ironically, strong, independent female characters from the books often appear as bimbos in the films, (the first four films are probably the only time this happens, with the exception of Pussy Galore.) Bond's Jamaican ally Quarrel is also much more of a subordinate in the first film, mirroring Honey Ryder's dependance on Bond for protection being transformed into her simply walking out of the sea and, shortly afterwards, needing sex. Bond himself is a cardboard cut-out compared to the complicated, sympathetic character in the books.
And Starring: The current credit for Bond pays tribute to two of the creators of the franchise - "Albert R. Brocolli's EON Productions Limited presents Daniel Craig as Ian Fleming's James Bond 007 in [title].
Anti-Hero: Bond was all over the scale since his beginnings. His probably most harmless (that is, most heroic impersonation) was probably during the Moore era, and that is saying a lot. Bond has never been above killing people while they were unarmed, down, at his mercy, or with their backs turned to him (Brosnan-era Bond often even did so with a playful smirk), and had more than once been playing dirty while doing so.
Daniel Craig's Bond, while the most human, is probably the most stone-cold of the killers. In his first appearance ever, he casually admits to his target that his first kill was "difficult", to which the target replies "The second one will be..." before Bond shoots him, and responds, with no emotion whatsoever other than perhaps bemusement, "Yes, considerably." While playing word-association with a psychiatrist in Skyfall, the psychiatrist says "murder" to which Bond replies "employment". To this Bond, killing is just a job, like filing reports.
Beauty Is Never Tarnished / Dirt Forcefield: Both Bond and his ladies usually keep tidy despite everything they face. Exceptions for 007 are Dr. No (after he's imprisoned and beat up), Licence to Kill (he ends up covered in blood, sweat and sand), Die Another Day (after the Action Prologue, he spends 18 months being tortured and looks like Cast Away) and the Daniel Craig movies.
Bigger Bad: S.P.E.C.T.R.E. in the first handful of films.
Quantum has been this during two of Craig's films.
In Goldeneye, Xenia dies when the chopper she's rappelling from is shot down. The result yanks her safety harness into the crotch of a tree, which ought to have torn her in half. Instead, she writhes about and dies beautifully.
Although, to be fair, the Daniel Craig films are VERY hard PG-13s. Cold-blooded torture is the norm in those films, and the lack of explicit blood doesn't stop them from being BRUTAL in their violence.
Blue Blood: Bond's family is strongly hinted as coming from Scottish nobility. Skyfall drives this point home, with the title itself referring to Bond's ancestral home.
In On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Bond's history is explored, and it's noted that he has a family crest and motto, evidence of noble standing.
Bond Gun Barrel: Trope Maker, of course. Used to open all the movies prior to Daniel Craig's era (in the first, it precedes the credits; in the other two, it closes the movie instead).
Body Count Competition: Bond probably has the highest on-screen body count of any film character ever, counting all 23 official movies. Unsurprisingly for an action hero/government assassin, he kills at least one person in every film, and more commonly a lot of people.
He has canonically killed 352 people, prior to the release of Skyfall which should add more to that list. Pierce Brosnan was by far the most dangerous Bond, having killed 47 people in Goldeneye alone.
Broad Strokes: Essentially the only time there was continuity was from 1962-1967. Since then, it's just been getting messier. New actors, explicitly different settings, reboots, and abandonded reboots are only some of the continuity problems. All fans have their own theories or lack thereof.
Maud Adams, the actress who plays the secondary Bond Girl in The Man with the Golden Gun, went on to play the primary Bond Girl in Octopussy, but they are distinctly different characters, and no reference to the actress' first appearance is made in the second.
"Eve" (Naomie Harris) plays the role of "Bond Girl" for a majority of Skyfall, and only at the end is it revealed that she is Moneypenny. So, we'll likely see her again, though not in the Bond Girl role.
Non Bond girl Examples
Jack Wade is seen in the first two Brosnan films and isn't mentioned after he was most likely a replacement for
Felix Leiter who is last seen (not counting his reboot appearances in the recent films) in Licence To Kill. Though it can be assumed he was forced into retirement after being dismembered by a shark. His newlywed wife wasn't so lucky.
The Craig films appear to have done this with an entire organization. Casino Royale and Quantum Of Solace featured Bond against a shadowy organization called Quantum. It was initially announced that the Quantum story would play out in a trilogy of films (much like SPECTRE was the prime focus of Thunderball, You Only Live Twice and On Her Majesty's Secret Service). Perhaps due to the lukewarm response to Quantum Of Solace, the Quantum trilogy idea was dropped and Skyfall takes place some years later with no further reference made to it.
Averted in "Live and Let Die", where Roger Moore isn't seen in a tuxedo at all (except for the gunbarrell sequence, that is) to fill on the gritty look the producers wanted on Moore's debut.
Cool Car: Varies from film to film, but you can usually count on at least one per film.
The Aston Martin DB5 is crtainly the most memorable. Introduced in Goldfinger and brought back for a cameo in Thunderball, the car was later featured in both the Brosnan and Craig films, with it playing a major role in Skyfall.
Alleged Car: The cars invariably turn into this by the time that Bond is done with them, to Q's great dismay.
Corrupt Hick: The first two Roger Moore films feature the same racist sheriff from Louisiana — even though the second film takes place in Thailand.
Couch Gag: Between the 1960s and the early 1980s it was standard for the film to end with some variation of the on-screen message "James Bond will return in..." and the next film title announced. On several occasions, however (following Thunderball and later following The Spy Who Loved Me) the wrong title was announced as EON decided to adapt a different book or story when the time came to actually make the next film.
Octopussy also got it wrong, but only by one word. James Bond was said to return in From A View To A Kill, which was the title of a Fleming short story. However, when the movie was actually released, the From was dropped from the title.
Death by Sex: Quite a lot of the girls Bond sleeps with, though this is a somewhat discredited trope because although a number of the women Bond sleeps with meet unfortunate ends, Bond himself rarely kills them himself (Fiona in Thunderball and Elektra in The World is Not Enough are the only two notable exceptions).
Could be said of the early ones in general, due to the fact that the series spans 50 years, for those younger viewers. Bond is very much a man of his time, and the early Connery's being rooted in Rat Pack culture, must seem odd for those who grew up with Brosnan.
Dr. No also contains the infamous scene where Bond murders Professor Dent; even Fleming never had Bond act so cold-bloodedly in the books, and for all intents and purposes Bond wouldn't act this way again until 2006's Casino Royale, which was, like Dr. No, the start of a new continuity.
Girl of the Week: Or, in Bond's case, more a Girl Of The Movie — though some movies have two, often one good and one evil.
Disposable Woman: And the above for multiple woman occurs, the evil one might bite the dust. Or even the good one - enemies kill both Tracy and all women with whom Daniel Craig sleeps - Vesper, Fields, and Severine -, in the latters's case, probably as deconstruction.
Graying Morality: Over the course of the series, though the Craig reboot seems to have started out grey.
Dr. No and From Russia With Love are actually pretty grey movies; it becomes lighter with Goldfinger but has light and dark moments throughout. The series is more cyclical as far as this trope goes- it starts off grey, but then becomes progressively more outlandish and lighthearted, before going becoming Darker and Edgier again.
Jerkass: Sure, he's a hero and he saved the world on numerous occasions, but the guy's an asshole. Just how much is subject to change with every actor.
Just Between You and Me: Probably better named "Before I Kill You, Mister Bond...". Actually averted in nearly every movie- Bond almost always figures the gist of the plan on his own, and what the Big Bad tells him is usually more like a Motive Rant, explaining the profit in their otherwise senseless act of mass murder or seemingly mundane criminal enterprise that Bond was trying to stop anyway.
Goldfinger is the only movie that comes close to playing this straight, and it actually zigs-zags it a lot anyway, starting with Bond overhearing the villain explaining his plan to somebody else, and not even telling them the real plan anyway (partly by being interrupted) as well as murdering them afterwards. Sort-of played straight when Bond confronts him with apparent holes in his scheme and Goldfinger tells him he didn't get the whole plan, then confirms Bonds alternate theory- its still possible Bond had an inkling of what was really going on anyway, and would have / had figured out the real scheme, and was just manipulating Goldfinger into confirming his suspicions.
Lighter and Softer: Moore's tenure was decidely less graphic, at least until his last movie (which he hated). The actor fought against a scene in For Your Eyes Only where Bond boots a henchmen's car off of a cliff, but it was included anyway. Tellingly, in the opening gun barrel scene, Moore's gun has no muzzle flare.
Ironically, however, Moore's Bond personally (and occasionally cold-bloodedly - see Stromberg) personally killed virtually all the villains he encountered (Kristatos being an exception). Connery's Bond killed only Dr. No - everyone else either got away (including Blofeld) or the Bond girl did the nasty work.
Made of Explodium: Seen throughout the whole series, but particularly evident during the Brosnan era, when any vehicle that impacts with anything else will explode. Except for the vehicle Bond is driving at the moment, of course.
Porn Names: Quite popular among the Bond Girls. One of them was named Pussy Galore for heaven's sake, which—despite debuting almost fifty years ago—is still something you might not be able to get away with saying on network television.
Lampshaded in the 2006 Casino Royale when Bond makes up a porn-sounding alias for Vesper, to her annoyance.
The Pornomancer: Bond. It's one of his defining traits. The Dalton and Craig eras, being Darker and Edgier, play with it. Bond practically has to be dragged into bed in the teaser for The Living Daylights, and stays monogamous throughout that movie and Licence to Kill. In the Craig era, he actually doesn't sleep with or even romance the main Bond girl of Quantum of Solace, a first for the franchise, and the same goes for Skyfall, as the film reveals M to be the "Bond girl" for the film, he doesn't actually sleep with Eve Moneypenny, and the other Bond girl is only on screen for a few minutes before being William Tell'd to death.
Product Placement: A lot, especially in the Craig films. It has been joked that Bond has a License To Shill.
There was outrage when Heineken got product placement in Skyfall, because everyone knows Bond only drinks vodka martinis! The cosmic irony is that, while rooted in a few such drinks making appearances in the novels, the association of Bond with vodka largely comes from the product placement of a vodka company in the 1960s.
Became an issue with Licence to Kill, to the extent that the makers were forced to include the American Surgeon General's warning against smoking into the closing credits due to its use of a recognizable cigarette brand in one scene. (Yet the visible presence of a Players Tobacco poster in Die Another Day - intended to be a shoutout to something from the original Thunderball novel - garnered no such concern.)
Recurring Extra: In the Roger Moore films The Spy Who Loved Me, Moonraker and For Your Eyes Only, the man who keeps seeing Bond do crazy stuff in Italy, probably without ever realising it is the same man (emerging from the sea in his car-sub; driving around the streets of Venice in his land-gondola; and escaping from armed assassins on skis in the Italian alps, respectively). In each case he is drinking and in the first two, finds what he's seeing so bizarre that he seems to wonder if he's been drinking too much (though not enough to stop, evidently). Played by Victor Tourjansky, who was the assistant director for these Italy-set scenes in all three films.
Producer Michael G. Wilson, Albert Broccoli's adopted son, has several cameos as various different characters, mostly extras or single-scene appearances; in Tomorrow Never Dies, for instance, he's the one Carver tells to blackmail the President. Wilson's first cameo was way back in Goldfinger, and he has since become the Alfred Hitchcock of the series, with his walk-ons considered part of the tradition.
Revisiting the Roots: Looks to be the case with the franchise as of Skyfall: besides the reintroduction of Q by the end of film, MI 6 has moved into the Universal Exports offices from the older films, Moneypenny is reintroduced and there's a new (male) M.
Sociopathic Hero: How long have you got? Aside from Bond's endless coldly wasting Mooks with the only emotion registering usually being amusement, he doesn't treat women much better: he all but rapes Solitaire in Live and Let Die and Diamonds Are Forever begins with him strangling a woman with her own bikini top.
Strictly Formula: To the point that when Roald Dahl decided to add an original plot in You Only Live Twice to solve the lack thereof in the novel, the producers allowed him if he only not forgot to followed a few trends set by the other movies.
On The Spy Who Loved Me DVD commentary around the time Bond and XXX are brought before Stromberg aboard his supertanker, there's a funny exchange between screenwriter Christopher Wood and director Lewis Gilbert. Wood wonders how anybody could build these great villains lairs without anyone noticing. Gilbert asks what about the huge staff and army the bad guy always seems to have. Does anybody write the next of kin whenever one of them gets killed? (The latter is lampshaded in the first Austin Powers movie.)
It was also lampshaded in a Saturday Night Live sketch where an interviewer talked with Blofeld, Goldfinger and Largo. For example, they mention how contractors tended to jack up the price of gadgets (like electric chairs) when they find out a Bond villain is the customer.
Averted in Skyfall where the villain just straight up stole an island and let most of the pre-existing buildings fall in to disrepair.
Tech Marches On: Given that it's a gadget-heavy series that spans over 50 years, it's bound to happen every now and again. However, the more basic and low-tech a gadget was, the less likely it was to look silly in a few years.
Casino Royale came close to invoking this by featuring Blu-ray discs in several scenes before it was determined what the next-generation HD disc would be. Beyond that, however, the Daniel Craig films appear to be intentionally averting this trope by rarely giving Bond anything more high-tech than a mobile phone to play with.
However, ironically the real-life cell phone Bond uses in the 2006 film is already dated and outmoded, whereas some of his gadgets from the 1960s such as the rebreather from Thunderball or even Q's radioactive tracking lint in OHMSS, still come across as cutting-edge.
Skyfall parodies it, with Bond's only gear besides his firearm being a simple radio transmitter, which for its size would have been cutting edge back in 1962, but could be built with parts from a Radio Shack nowadays.
Director Sam Mendes explanation was that the most innovative gadgets they could think of were basically available in your local Apple store, so it was less ridiculous to avoid them entirely.
Technology Porn: Any scene in Q's workshop where he demonstrates his latest gadget for Bond to use on his next mission. A great example is in Goldfinger where he shows 007 his new Aston Martin DB5 with all kinds of hidden weapons and features.
Trust Password: Being spies, James has a number of signs and countersigns for when he meets friendlies (in GoldenEye, for example, he refused to even speak to Jack Wade until Wade showed him the Embarrassing Tattoo on his hip).
Villain Song: Characteristic of the Brosnan films - Goldeneye and The World Is Not Enough play over the opening credits of those two movies and Surrender plays over the end credits of Tomorrow Never Dies.