YMMV / The Pink Panther

Entries in this series with their own YMMV pages:

The films

  • Awesome Music:
  • Crosses the Line Twice: Most of A Shot in the Dark and The Pink Panther Strikes Again, even for a Black Comedy.
  • Ear Worm: The theme tunes from both The Pink Panther (which would also be used for the subsequent films) and, to a lesser extent, A Shot in the Dark - even more so once the cartoons got hold of them. The theme from A Shot in the Dark was first used in cartoons in the Panther short "Dial P For Pink" and later became the theme for the Inspector cartoons.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: And how; the 1963 version of The Pink Panther was meant to be the first in a series of films about the Phantom, the master thief played by David Niven who stole the eponymous diamond, but ended up being all about Clouseau.
    • The animated Pink Panther character, too; he even got a couple of animated series.
    • Dreyfus may count too. Besides Sellers' epic portrayal of Clouseau, his insanity caused by Clouseau is one of the other reasons people watch the films. Because of this, Dreyfus would even be carried over into the reboot.
    • And don't forget Cato. He has a fanbase too. (There were plans to work him into the reboot, but they couldn't get Jackie Chan for the role.)
  • Fanon Discontinuity: For some — if not most — fans, only the five films Sellers actually did count. As for Trail of... the scenes of Sellers it used can be counted as the deleted material from Strikes Again that they actually were; the rest of the film can be taken or left. Even some VHS and DVD packages of the films only include the Sellers entries to which MGM/UA has the rights (see Missing Episode in the Trivia tab). Many die-hard fans consider the post-Sellers films and the reboot movies to not count, and generally avoid them at all costs.
  • Funny Moments: The time that Clouseau... oh, you know what? This deserves a page of its own.
  • Growing the Beard: A Shot in the Dark is the first film that's actually about Clouseau, the first that introduces Dreyfus and Cato, and was the best reviewed film in the series.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: The title sequence to Curse depicts Clifton Sleigh as an Invisible Man. Not only was Sleigh's lack of presence compared to Clouseau one of the biggest criticisms of the film, but actor Ted Wass rapidly sank away into obscurity afterwards, and nowadays is better known as a director than for anything from his acting career.
    • If it helps, Ted Wass claimed he never wanted to be an actor in the first place, as directing was always his main interest. In fact, when he was cast in the series Blossom, one of the stipulations in his contract was that he'd be allowed to direct some episodes so he could jump start that career.
  • I Am Not Shazam: The Pink Panther is not Clouseau or, as MGM once stated, Sir Charles Litton, but the diamond that was stolen.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Dreyfus until he jumped off the slippery slope.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: Many critics have argued, especially in the wake of the reboot, that as popular as they were these were never great films, or even good ones. They were loved for Peter Sellers' performances and the animated title sequences, which was why continuing the series after his death didn't work. Interestingly, the Biopic The Life and Death of Peter Sellers has an invented scene where Sellers uses the premiere of one of the films to insult Blake Edwards, calling him a hack, and then claiming that people only come to see him perform. The scene is intended to paint Sellers in a bad light, but when you consider this trope, he could be seen as speaking a blunt truth! In the series' fanbase, there are those who put up with the non-Sellers films for more of Dreyfus and/or Cato's hijinks.
    • The original 1963 film illustrates this very well, ironically. People who watch the original film, expecting it to be about Clouseau, are typically disappointed that it is a largely-forgettable '60s caper with a Villain Protagonist trying to seduce a princess and everyone else spending most of the running time discussing sex. Clouseau shows up for maybe a third of the film, and the scenes without him drag.
  • Memetic Mutation: Clouseau's Funny Accent and Misprononcations (like "beump" instead of "bump"), all courtesy of Peter Sellers.
    • "I would like a damburgah!" for Steve Martin's Clouseau in the reboot.
    • Dreyfus getting his Twitchy Eye because of Clouseau and trying to kill the latter.
    • The hilarious fights between Clouseau and Cato.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Dreyfus jumped off the slippery slope in A Shot in the Dark when he kills 4 innocent bystanders and blows up five other murderers and one blackmailer trying to kill Clouseau. In ''Return'', he inadvertently kills his psychiatrist when imagining himself strangling Clouseau to death, shoots Francois in the arm mistaking a real gun for his lighter (AGAIN), and kills the film's Big Bad when Clouseau ducks to check his fly. Finally, in ''Strikes Again'', he escapes the insane asylum and, after another failed attempt to kill Clouseau, goes Bond Villain and threatens to destroy the world unless they kill Clouseau, destroys the United Nations building, and arguably ruins the life of a good scientist. When he had Professor Fassbender kidnapped and forced to build a Disintegrator Ray using Fassbender's daughter Margo as leverage, therefore forcing Fassbender to be an accomplice against his own free will, the Professor likely got arrested along with Dreyfus' surviving henchmen, who followed Dreyfus willingly unlike the Professor. He likely was able to get a reduced sentence to help prosecute Dreyfus' henchmen since Fassbender wanted nothing to do with Dreyfus' madness and criminal gang anyway, but with Dreyfus destroyed (assuming Revenge and the post-Peter Sellers sequels didn't happen), Jean Tournier killed pretending to be Clouseau in order to try killing Clouseau himself (despite Dreyfus' warning), and one of the kidnappers killed by Fassbender's butler Jarvis after mortally wounding Jarvis, the sentence wouldn't be reduced as much. So Margo would have to spend time without her father, not to mention dealing with the murder of their butler, all thanks to that raving lunatic Dreyfus!
  • Replacement Scrappy:
    • Two, in Clifton Sleigh (in Curse) and Jacques Gambrelli/Clouseau Jr. (in Son of), since both characters and actors were fighting a losing battle with the memory of Clouseau. Many fans didn't appreciate it very well that there could be other people like Clouseau in the world. However, Clifton and Jacques II are a bit more sane and sophisticated then Clouseau Sr., and are simply klutzy while Clouseau is a total fool.
    • For some fans and/or critics, anyone who is not Peter Sellers and still gets to play Clouseau. YMMV, though Alan Arkin and Steve Martin portrayed Clouseau very well, Sellers is and always will be the one and only Clouseau. Trail of even lampshades this at the beginning of the credits with a tribute message to Sellers saying "To Peter, the one and only inspector Clouseau."
    • Downplayed, if not outright averted, by Marie Jouvet, who carries the Clouseau-less parts of Trail after his disappearance. Instead of just being a Clouseau Expy, she's depicted as a Straight Woman getting a glimpse into the inspector's mad world, and is helped by Joanna Lumley's strong performance. Some fans feel that Curse would have turned out a lot better if it had kept with her as the main character, instead of bringing in Clifton Sleigh.
  • Seasonal Rot: Trail, Curse and Son all exhibit how bad the series is without Peter Sellers.
  • Sequelitis: Exhibited several of the symptoms listed at the trope entry in the 1970s films, but no one seemed to mind much until Sellers was gone.
    • 1968's Inspector Clouseau is this towards The Pink Panther and A Shot in the Dark for many fans, simply for not featuring Sellers and Blake Edwards.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: The thoughts on the original series after Peter Sellers died.
  • Values Dissonance: In the Sellers films, Clouseau often refers to Cato as "you yellow x" or "my yellow x". The reboot dropped Cato and replaced him with Ponton, a French policeman, and the second film makes Clouseau an insensitive lecher who blatantly stereotypes everyone he meets by nationality or ethnicity, and plays it for laughs.note 
  • WTH, Casting Agency?:
    • Steve Martin as Clouseau. Kevin Kline would've been the better choice to play Clouseau in the reboot, but for some reason he was cast as Dreyfus.
    • Trail and Curse bringing back David Niven as Sir Charles and then having Rich Little overdub his weak voice, rather than the more logical options of either bringing back Christopher Plummer or having George Litton take over Sir Charles's role in the plot.

The cartoons

  • Adaptation Displacement: You'll be surprised at how many people think the movies are about an anthro pink panther or who thought the 2006 movie was supposed to be a Live-Action Adaptation.
  • Bizarro Episode: Hamm-N-Eggz, Voodoo Man, 7 Manly Men.
  • Growing the Beard: As the series progressed, so did the quality of writing.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Rich Little, who voiced the Pink Panther at the end of "Sink Pink" and in "Pink Ice", had to dub an extremely ill David Niven in Trail and Curse.
  • Ho Yay: In The New Pink Panther Show: Manly Man, and Eggz the chicken from Hamm-N-Eggz, who falls into Camp Gay territory.
  • Squick: The hot dogs sold by Wanda's Wieners in "Wiener Takes All" - they're black, shriveled and always buzzing with flies.


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