YMMV / James Bond

Pages for invidual works:

The film series as a whole contains examples of:

  • Adaptation Displacement: It's ironic considering that the novels are some of the best selling books in history yet they are still less well known than the films.
  • 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.
  • Broken Base: 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.
  • 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.
  • Crazy Awesome: Q's scenes are there to show the Bond gadgets of the day and showing off some hilariously over the top weapons and gadgets on the side.
  • Dork Age: Like fellow British cultural treasure Doctor Who, the series has run for over fifty years, so everyone has their own Dork Age.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
  • 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 playing a "different" character) is very divisive. Some like the idea a lot, while others hate the fact that it tries to take Bond continuity far more seriously than EON ever has, and even 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.
    • It was actively Jossed by Skyfall, as Bond visits his parents' graves and their names are "Bond." However, since Daniel Craig's Bond is an explicit reboot, the theory persists that the first five Bonds were agents using code names.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: It's pretty rare to find a fanfic where James is paired with one of the women from his adventures, unless it's Vesper or Tracy. Het fans tend to like James/Moneypenny, and slash fans James/Alec.
  • Follow the Leader: The films have been unquestionable trendsetters, being copied, imitated and parodied forever. But for all the enormous influence thay've exerted on Western pop culture, Bond films are unabashed practicioners of this trope as well. This has gone from copying blaxplotation films during the early 70's, the Star Wars craze later that same decade, the Die Hard-Lethal Weapon grittiness of the late 80's, the high-tech, fast-paced takes at the Turn of the Millennium and the Jason-Bournesque style at the end of the 00's.
  • 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.
  • Homegrown Hero: The Man with the Golden Gun gives it a double whammy by including an American Comic Relief from the previous film, Sheriff JW Pepper, as a tourist in Thailand.
  • Love It or Hate It: Timothy Dalton's era. Some fans love the darker tone and faithfulness to the books, whereas others prefer the more light-hearted and grandiose Bond stories. His performance is another point of contention, with some praising his intense portrayal and others denouncing him for not being as tongue-in-cheek as his predecessors.
  • 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 films and The Bourne Series 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.
    • Conversely, those who like the more realistic tone of the Craig-era films have expressed disappointment with Spectre for its inclusion of more fantastical elements.
  • 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.
  • Too Good to Last: Timothy Dalton's run on the series (for his fans at least).
  • Tough Act to Follow: The Sixties. Not only is Sean Connery widely regarded as the definitive Bond, but the first 6 films had arguably the strongest run the series has ever seen. On a lesser scale, The Spy Who Loved Me, For Your Eyes Only, The Living Daylights, GoldenEye, Casino Royale (2006), and Skyfall 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 Woobie: James Bond, in the Daniel Craig era, is pretty much this to a T. He has several emotional issues, is orphaned at an early age, has a penchant for revenge, generally looks unhappy even when he smiles, has a grim outlook on his job and still regrets over losing his loved ones, especially Vesper Lynd in Casino Royale (2006), and M in Skyfall. In Spectre, it's even revealed that Franz Oberhauser's father adopted him after Bond loses his own parents, but Franz kills him out of jealousy. Franz even mocks him, telling how he was behind all of Bond's miseries over the years. At the end of Spectre, Bond's frantic efforts to rescue Madeline—especially the way he cries out her name as he races through the old MI6 building while searching for her—are very touching. One gets the feeling that he is absolutely fed up with losing people that he cares about and is determined that it will not happen this time. Given what he has been through over the years, and with little of a life he has outside of MI6, it's quite sad to say that he does really need a big hug.

The novel series contains examples of:

  • Homegrown Hero: Bond usually departs on entirely international adventures and would not grow even a bit less British through any of it.
  • 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.
  • Love It or Hate It: 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?
  • Memetic Mutation: James Bond loves eggs.
  • Narm: The Values Dissonance will come across as this. Fleming was very much a man of his time.
  • Only the Creator Does It Right: 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.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: In the short story "Blast from the Past", Bond finally meets his son that he fathered in You Only Live Twice. After three decades of non-existence, what is this character used for? He appears as a corpse in a revenge plot against Bond.
  • 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.
  • Values Dissonance:
    • Communists are never up to any good. During Fleming's run, Bond likes but patronizes Blacks, hates Koreans for some reason 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.