YMMV: James Bond

Pages for invidual works:

The film series as a whole contains examples of:

  • Adaptation Displacement: And how. Pretty ironic considering that the novels are some of the best selling books in history.
  • Cash Cow Franchise: The second-highest grossing film franchise ever (behind the Harry Potter films), thanks to also being one of the longest running ones.
  • Complete Monster: Has its own page.
  • Dork Age: Like fellow British cultural treasure Doctor Who, the series has run for over fifty years, so everyone has their own Dork Age.
    • Perhaps the most widely regarded Dork Age is the weaker films of the Roger Moore era, which tended towards Denser and Wackier. Diamonds Are Forever, Live and Let Die and The Man with the Golden Gun are usually held to be the nadir of the series.
    • Some say any movie where he's driving a BMW counts.
    • Perhaps the oddest example is On Her Majesty's Secret Service. Common Knowledge holds it to be a failure of some kind (probably either because of the ridiculous, even for Bond, plotline about mind-controlling beautiful women to manipulate the world's supply of chickens, or because it's Lazenby's only turn in the title role, so surely it was a bad film?), but critically, and among more committed fans, it's usually regarded as a classic.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Is Bond a suave, sweet-talking super agent, or is he a Jerk Ass Overt Operative who solves problems by blowing them up? Is he truly loyal to England, or is he just Married to the Job? Is he a misogynist, or does he go through Bond girls like tissue paper because his attempts at real romance blew up in his face? The debate goes on, and each actor brings a slightly different interpretation to the table as well.
  • Fandom Heresy: "The Codename Theory," which states that "James Bond" is a cover identity given to whatever agent currently holds the rank of 007 (and thus each actor to portray Bond has been a different character) is very divisive. Some like the idea a lot, while others hate the fact that that it turns Call Backs into plotholes: Why do people remember Bond from before he was an agent? Why were souvenirs from Connery!Bond's missions in Lazenby!Bond's desk? Why would Moore!Bond pay respects to his predecessor's dead wife? Why does Leiter recognize Dalton!Bond? Lee Tamahori, director of Die Another Day is a supporter of this theory (and reportedly planned to canonize it by having Sean Connery cameo as the now-elderly "First" Bond), endearing him either more or less to a lot of fans.
    • Seemingly Jossed by Skyfall, as Bond visits his parents' graves and their names are "Bond." The scene otherwise serves no real purpose in the movie, so it's likely this was done to troll fans of the theory. However, Daniel Craig's Bond seems to exist in an Alternate Continuity, meaning it's possible the first five Bonds were agents using code names.
    • This might also be the reason why Rush Limbaugh does not like the idea of black James Bond.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: It's actually pretty rare to find a fanfic where James is paired with one of the women from his adventures. Het fans tend to like James/Moneypenny, and slash fans James/Alec.
  • Franchise Original Sin: Everything that went wrong with the series pre-reboot was in evidence in mild form as early as Goldfinger. This is "original sin" in more than one sense, as all those things were inherent to the series' character pre-reboot — enough so that the films with Daniel Craig simply don't feel like James Bond films to some viewers. It runs the other way as well, though not as drastically — Dr. No feels closer to Quantum of Solace than Goldfinger in some respects.
  • Love It or Hate It: The Seventies and Eighties are very divisive. The only film everyone agrees on is The Spy Who Loved Me, which most serious Bond fans consider to be Made of Win.
  • Magnum Opus: Typically, From Russia with Love and Goldfinger are regarded as the high points of the entire franchise, given their acclaimed characters, style, and influence on the rest of the series as a whole. However, a strong contingent have emerged on behalf of On Her Majesty's Secret Service. Others go so far as to say Casino Royale (2006) deserves mention due to the near-universal critical success it was.
  • Memetic Sex God: It's often been said of Bond that every man wants to be him and every woman wants to be with him. Memetic Sex Godhood was pretty much inevitable for him.
  • One-Scene Wonder: M, Q, and Miss Moneypenny in the first 20 films pre-reboot, especially with Bernard Lee as M, Desmond Llewellyn as Q, and Lois Maxwell as Moneypenny. They rarely had much screentime (sometimes it was no more than one scene per film), yet to fans they were an indispensable part of the series.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Sheriff JW Pepper, a stereotypical racist sheriff. Not only are his racist quips bloody awful now (and they weren't even funny then), he has the most annoying, chippy voice in the entire world. Think Jar Jar Binks crossed with the villains from Deliverance. It's a rare character that can set one's teeth on edge simply by speaking.
    • Among the actors to have played Bond, Lazenby is the one most likely to be liked the least among fans, due in large part to the relative stiffness of his portrayal (before getting the part, he had been a male model and had little acting experience) as well as due to him having to follow Connery's iconic portrayal. Though he does have his fair share of defenders, nowadays.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: Although many have praised the Daniel Craig Bond films for being more gritty and realistic than the sometimes-campy Bond films of previous years, there are a significant number of fans who 'miss' the implausible gadgets, girls with suggestive names, and over-the-top villains and wish them to return. At a more general level, these fans often feel like the Craig films aren't really Bond films at all, having a lot more in common with the Taken and The Bourne Identity franchises than with previous Bond films.
    • Another aspect of this is Bond's personality; the Craig-era Bond is the only one who seems to hate his job (and, depending on who you ask, women), while the one thing the others all seemed to share was a genuine joy at living life as a secret agent.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: You Only Live Twice, Diamonds Are Forever (something of a passion project for Fleming who was very interested in diamond smuggling, see his book, The Diamond Smugglers) and the Moore Era. All of which discarded Ian Fleming's interesting and intricate plots for formulaic and often campy affairs. You Only Live Twice in particular, discarded the revenge plot for something of lesser stature, a mistake the producers clearly regretted as they tried twice to create the perfect Bond revenge film.
  • Tough Act to Follow: The Sixties. Not only is Sean Connery widely regarded as the definitive Bond, but the first 5-7 (this is YMMV after all) films were the strongest run the series has ever seen. On a lesser scale, The Spy Who Loved Me, For Your Eyes Only, Golden Eye, and Casino Royale (2006) were warmly received entries that had tepid follow-ups.
  • Values Dissonance:
    • Instead of spending all day here, let's just say "Early Bond" + "Women" (note that the books have other value issues as well, but the women are most prominent). Roger Moore even looks uncomfortable attempting to imitate such works in The Man with the Golden Gun.
    • "Early Bond" + "Race" wasn't the best combination, either. You Only Live Twice is somewhat uncomfortable to watch today, and it's been argued quite convincingly that "Live and Let Die" has a fundamentally racist subtext.
  • Values Resonance: After the Cold War ended, there was some speculation that James Bond had no place in popular culture. However, with 9/11 and the War On Terror coming into the fold, some have decided that a spy who battles multinational terrorist groups might still be relevant after all.

The novel series contains examples of:

  • Base Breaker: Live and Let Die: Entertaining it its own right and Fair for Its Day, or an embarrassing relic of '50s ignorance that's best left in said '50s?
  • Ho Yay: Oh, there's quite a bit. In as much as Fleming seemed to dislike homosexuals, he places a lot of emphasis on naked men and their muscles. Possibly intended as fanservice for female readers.
  • Memetic Mutation: James Bond loves eggs.
  • Narm: The Values Dissonance will come across as this. Fleming was very much a man of his time.
  • Nobody Does It Better: The novels written after Fleming's death aren't particularly famous or well-regarded, although Colonel Sun stands out as being the only post-Fleming novel as well-regarded as the originals. It helps that it was written by Kingsley Amis, who was friends with Fleming and (according to some) helped clean up Golden Gun for publication.
  • Trapped by Mountain Lions: As a part of Ian Fleming's apparent obsession with food and high-class living, many of the books take detours from Bond investigating a world-spanning conspiracy to describe him having lunch. In great detail.
    • It's a form of Fanservice; readers in the 50s would have been subsisting on more meager food since the beginning of World War II. To them, it was very escapist.
  • Values Dissonance:
    • Communists are never up to any good. Bond likes but patronizes Blacks, hates Koreans but loves the Japanese, and thinks "sex equality" has fostered bisexual misfits.
    • Though outright rape is still portrayed negatively, Fleming seemed to be under the impression that most women enjoy rough sex.