These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
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 who stole the eponymous diamond played by David Niven, 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 that MGM/UA has the rights to (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.
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 BiopicThe 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.
"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.
Moment Of Awesome: The opening heist of the diamond in The Return of the Pink Panther is done straight and is surprisingly suspenseful. It may also count as a Big Lipped Alligator Moment, since the rest of the movie is an all-out comedy.
The animated title sequence to the same film may also count. Many consider it the best of the series, courtesy of Richard Williams.
Nightmare Fuel: The whole of A Shot in the Dark, especially if you hate murder mysteries. The animated credits - and the jazzy theme - come right after the first of fourteen murders. It's the darkest of all films (especially because all the other films are about theft/fraud/kidnapping rather than murder). While the characters' deaths in other films are basically Played for Laughs (remember the carnival scene in Strikes Again?), the deaths in this film are actually realistic murders.
Strikes Again has the creepy castle, the giant laser cannon that can make entire buildings disappear and the creepy organ.
Some of Clouseau's disguises look like this, though it's more for comic relief.
The sequence in the first film with Charles and George dressed as gorillas can be quite unsettling in a bizarre, surreal way. The way they stalk each other around the vault seeming to be unaware that the other is there. And then the following car chase where instead of showing the chase itself, you see an old pedestrian crossing the road while the cars speed by one by one, without any music, only the sound of screeching tires. The audience could feel the same way the old man does, confused and bemused.
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."
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.
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 in the second film makes Clouseau an insensitive lecher who blatantly stereotypes everyone he meets by nationality or race, and plays it for laughs.