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We're an all time high, we'll change all that's gone before...

"Mr Bond is indeed of a very rare breed… soon to be made extinct."
Kamal Khan
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The one where Bond disguises himself as a clown to prevent World War III.

Octopussy is the thirteenth James Bond film, the second to be directed by John Glen and the sixth to star Roger Moore, coming out on June 6, 1983. The Title Theme Tune, "All Time High", was performed by Rita Coolidge.

After a replica Fabergé egg is found on an assassinated agent, James Bond is sent to India to infiltrate a circus gang led by Octopussy (Maud Adams, the only Bond girl actress to make a second leading appearance).

007 soon discovers a connection between the priceless Fabergé egg, an elaborate smuggling operation and a meeting with Renegade Russian General Orlov who plans on detonating a nuclear device at Octopussy's circus as part of his plan to force an American withdrawal from their bases in Western Europe, allowing the Soviets to dominate the continent.

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The non-EON Productions Bond film Never Say Never Again, with Sean Connery, came out the same year. Octopussy grossed slightly more, and there hasn't been a Bond film from any company other than EON Productions since.

Despite the title, it has surprisingly little to do with a popular subject of Japanese pornography.


This film contains examples of:

  • Actor Allusion: Vijay plays tennis on his spare time and fights off some goons with a tennis racquet. He's played by a tennis player. This leads to a Visual Pun of an Indian crowd watching Vijay fighting with the tennis racket as if they were watching a tennis match.
  • Adaptation Amalgamation: The film combines plot elements from the short stories "Octopussy" and "The Property of a Lady".
  • Adaptation Expansion:
    • The film is actually designed as a sequel to the short story (which is completely explained by the title character, so viewers wouldn't need to do homework).
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    • The part with the auction of the Faberge eggs is taken from another short story, "The Property of a Lady".
  • Adult Fear: Orlov and Khan's willingness to see countless innocents killed by nuking a US military base in West Germany by using Octopussy's circus as a cover. The worst part? The potential casualties will include women and children.
  • Affably Evil: Kamal, especially when discussing Bond's torture.
    Bond: Well, supposing, for argument's sake, l don't feel like talking?
    Kamal: Don't worry, you will.
    Bond: Let me guess. Thumbscrews and hot coals?
    Kamal: (insulted) Hardly. We're much more sophisticated than that.
    Bond: Sodium Pentothal?
    Kamal: A bit crude. Very unreliable. We prefer curare with an effective psychedelic compound. Guaranteed results.
    Bond: But with permanent brain damage.
    Kamal: An unfortunate side effect.
  • After-Action Patch-Up: After the final action set-piece, Bond is seen recuperating from his wounds in a large rowboat, and Octopussy comes along to check up on him, where it's revealed he isn't that badly injured...
  • Age-Gap Romance: Octopussy is much younger than Bond, and one of the few Bond girls too old to be his daughter (she's only 18 years his junior, as opposed to the whopping 30 that Carole Bouquet was in For Your Eyes Only, or what Tanya Roberts would be in A View to a Kill), especially in the Moore-era. It also helps that the actress had already played a Bond girl opposite Moore eight years earlier in The Man with the Golden Gun. Octopussy is also rare in that she's mature not just in years. She's been through a lot, unlike most Bond girls who are innocent and/or naive. She's a smuggler who is able to control a powerful man (Kamal), and has enough foresight to also branch out into legitimate operations.
  • All Part of the Show: Bond disguises himself as a clown to escape pursuit, but then struggles to convince circus goers that there really is a nuclear weapon about to detonate unless he can get to it.
  • Amazon Brigade: Octopussy's circus troupe.
  • And This Is for...: Doubled.
    Mishka: And this [prepares to throw knife at Bond] is for my brother! [throws knife at Bond, but misses]
    James Bond: [throws the knife back and impales him] And that's for 009!
  • Animal Reaction Shot: A camel does one after Bond and Vijay jump their minicab over its head.
  • The Anticipator: Bond introduces himself at the reception of an Indian hotel and is told, "We've been expecting you," which is, fortunately for James Bond, more positive than the other appearances of this trope in the other Bond films.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: After Bond confronts Orlov about his plan and asserting the detonation of a nuclear warhead on an American base will simply lead to the Americans and NATO retaliating, Orlov smiles and asks "Against whom?" Thinking about the answer leads to Bond's Oh, Crap! realization.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Kamal Khan is an exiled Afghan prince living in India, but is in cahoots with General Orlov, who wants to trigger a nuclear war in Western Europe. To finance their Evil Plan, the duo hatch a scheme to generate funds by stealing jewelry from the Kremlin's state armoury and selling them on the black market, while replacing them with fakes. Using Octopussy's circus troupe as a cover, they then plan to smuggle a bomb into a US military base in West Germany and detonate it, hoping that NATO would be disbanded and that this would enable the Warsaw Pact to invade and conquer Western Europe without fear of retaliation. In turn, Kamal Khan, who is getting paid from the sale of the jewelry, hopes to kill Octopussy in the process and take over her organization afterwards.
  • Auction: Bond attends an auction at Sotheby's for a Faberge egg. Besides driving up the price to see how badly Khan wants it, he also manages to palm the thing and substitute a fake. This section of the film is based on the short story "The Property of a Lady", which has a somewhat different outcome.
  • Award-Bait Song: "All Time High", sung by Rita Coolidge.
  • Banana Republic: The Teaser takes place in Cuba, where Col. Toro's latest-generation fighter jet gets destroyed b.
  • Banister Slide: Bond slides down a banister while firing a Kalashnikov rifle, saw the newel post at the end, and blew it off just in time to avoid a ballistic groin impairment.
  • Bedsheet Ladder: Magda uses a variation of this to escape from Bond: she ties one end of the sari she's wearing to a balustrade and jumps off the balcony, "riding" the garment down to safety as it unravels.
  • Banister Slide: Used by Bond during the attack on Kamal's palace.
  • Batman Gambit: Orlov's plan; explode a nuke at an American base, and the public, assuming it was an accident with an American weapon, will pressure the US to withdraw from continental Europe.
  • Bedlah Babe: Some of Octopussy's female minions dress like this during the infiltration/attack against an enemy stronghold. Somewhat justified in that they're circus performers wearing their costumes, but it doesn't explain why they're dressed that way for a surprise attack on the villain's base, although a few of them use it as a Show Some Leg gambit to distract the guards.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: General Orlov and Kamal Khan.
  • Body Bag Trick: Bond pulls this off to sneak out of Kamal Khan's palace. He scares the crap out of the people carting the supposed corpse off.
  • Book-Ends: The film starts with 009 in a clown costume and winds up with 007 in a clown costume.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Bond scores three headshots on Orlov's soldiers.
  • Break the Fake: General Orlav smashes a real (in-universe) Fabergé egg, having been inadvertently tricked by James Bond, who switched a real and a fake much earlier in the film. The jewelsmith flinches at the sight, but since Bond had planted a bug in the real one, it's not an entirely unproductive move on Orlov's part.
  • Brownface: Kamal Khan, an exiled Afghan Prince, was played by the white Frenchman Louis Jourdan; we are told that he is an Afghan, and thats it, no Brownface, no Ethnic Dress, no accent even.
  • Call-Back: Bond running on top of burning coals looks similar to how he ran on top of crocodiles at Kananga's farm in Live and Let Die.
  • Captain Obvious: 'It's not really in the wrist, you know...'
  • Carload of Cool Kids: Bond encounters some of these. They drive off when he needs a ride to the circus where an atomic bomb is about to be detonated. note 
  • Cars Without Tires are Trains: This happens after Bond drives across some "severe tire damage" spikes on the Russian/Eastern bloc border. He then drives the car along the tracks to chase Octopussy's circus train. He manages to jump from the car to the train just before the car is struck by a train coming the other direction.
  • Cassandra Truth: When Bond tries to warn a US general about a nuclear bomb hidden in a circus cannon. Then again, being disguised as a clown probably didn't help matters either. It's a good thing Octopussy believed him.
  • Catch and Return: The knife-throwing twins this as part of their circus act. Naturally it is later utilized in their fight against James Bond.
  • Censored Title: The movie was sometimes advertised as "Octocat".
  • Cheaters Never Prosper: Bond subtly reveals Kamal Khan's attempts at cheating in backgammon, beating him with his own loaded dice.
  • Checkpoint Charlie: The film partially takes place around the border sections near Karl-Marx-stadt (Chemnitz). 009 and General Orlov get killed trying to cross it.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Those circus skills come in useful for Storming the Castle.
  • Chewing the Scenery: Points have to be given to Steven Berkoff as General Orlov through combining this with the speech patterns of William Shatner and a ludicrously over-the-top Russian accent to turn a simple military briefing into a gloriously hammy rant against Western decadence and spinelessness, not to mention calling out his top colleague as a coward for not following his maniacal plan.
    • This is actually fairly standard for Berkoff. His whole idea of theatre is that it has to be overstated, over the top acting.
  • Circus of Fear: Octopussy uses a circus as a cover for her criminal activities as well as using circus acrobats and aerialists to commit crimes for her, while General Orlov plants a nuke in her circus. Not necessarily evil, but initially misguided.
  • Clothing Combat: Magda uses the sari as a weapon against Kamal's goons.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Bond's ally Vijay (played by real-life Indian tennis star Vijay Amritraj) reports that he's gotten a job at the Big Bad's sports club.
    Bond: Have you learned anything?
    Vijay: Well, my backhand's improved...note 
    (Bond grins.)
  • Confronting Your Imposter: In the opening teaser, Bond impersonates Colonel Luis Toro, only to be captured and brought to the real Toro.
    Bond: (unfazed) Oh. You're a Toro too. Small world.
  • Cool Car: The Alfa Romeo Alfetta GTV Bond steals to reach the airbase stands out as one in a film where none of Bond's more iconic rides are present. Impressively, it manages to stay well ahead of the pursuing West German police as Bond races against the clock.
  • Cool Guns:
    • CZ vz. 58s are carried by Soviet soldiers and Khan's men. Bond later procures one himself, notably shooting it while sliding down a staircase.
    • Kamal Khan attempts to kill Bond with a Smith and Wesson Model 39 on the train.
    • Gobinda uses a double-barrelled shotgun converted into a blunderbuss to try and kill Bond.
    • BSA Scorpions loaded with tranquilizer darts are used by Octopussy and her team to fight off Kamal Khan's men.
  • Cool Plane: Bond's miniature jet (a BD-5 Acrostar) in the prologue. And yes, the Bede BD-5 is quite real.
  • Creator Cameo: Producer Michael G. Wilson appears as a member of the Soviet Politburo at the beginning of the film.
  • Cutlass Between the Teeth: Done briefly by Gobinda when he goes after Bond on Kamal's plane.
  • Death Glare: Gobinda seems to be a master of quiet menace.
  • Death by Sex: Octopussy thinks Bond gets killed after having sex with her (and she looks quite upset about it), but fortunately he survives; this is a much more fortunate outcome the last time a Bond Girl played by Maud Adams lay with Bond in The Man with the Golden Gun.
  • Diabolical Mastermind: The main villains are a Russian general, and an Afghan smuggler and prince living in India, respectively.
  • Dirty Communists: General Orlov is a full-fledged communist villain seeking to be a hero of Soviet Union, but General Gogol contrasts this by investigating him in unwitting parallel to Bond's mission. The result of that was Gogol attempted to arrest Orlov before the East German border guards shot the renegade general dead and it's fairly obvious that if Gogol had learned Orlov's whole scheme, he would have raced to warn NATO.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: The parachutists holding Bond prisoner at the beginning, and the guards at Kamal's palace at the end.
  • Disney Villain Death: Gobinda gets a airplane antenna in the face courtesy of 007 and this causes him to lose his grip and fall off the top of the plane.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Played with. Bond tries to avert a nuclear attack. But a woman hogs the only phone booth. Bond promptly steals her car, instead.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Cranked Up to Eleven when Octopussy's all-women circus troupe invades the Moonsoon Palace.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The movie opens with Bond on a mission in unnamed South American country. Given that the Falklands War was only the previous year, it's implied we're looking at what Bond got up to in Argentina during the conflict.
  • The Dragon: Gobinda to Kamal Khan, Magda to Octopussy.
  • Dramatic Chase Opening: Following the opening credits, we cut to 009 on the run from the knife-throwing twins.
  • The Dreaded: Octopussy, who has a fearsome reputation. So much so local assassins are extremely wary of her.
    Assassin: We don't want to make enemies with the woman.
  • Easy Come, Easy Go: Bond wins a lot of money beating Kamal Khan at backgammon, but then loses it all during a car chase. In the first instance, an enormous wad of rupees in his jacket pocket protected him from a large dagger, and in the second, he had to throw the winnings at a throng of people to make them crowd and block his pursuers' path. He quotes the trope name verbatim.
  • Egg Macguffin: The forged (and real) Fabergé egg in the first half.
  • Eiffel Tower Effect: There is a shot of Bond's helicopter flying in front of the Taj Mahal, although Agra is not on the way to his destination. The director felt that he needed to insert a shot of the Taj Mahal because it was so beautiful, and they were in India anyway.
  • Escalating War: Orlov's plan to invade Western Europe is villified by the Politburo. Gogol and another official state that the Soviet military is for defending the Motherland.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Gobinda shows just how much of a silent menace he is by crushing ivory dice with his fist while giving a wordless Death Glare to Bond.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Upon hearing about Orlov's power-hungry plans to invade NATO, the Soviet Politburo immediately react with disgust, knowing that it's tantamount to war and would leave no victors on both sides. Gogol even calls him out for this by telling that NATO will not take this lightly.
  • Evil Is Petty: Kamal Khan likes to supplement his wildly lucrative villainy by cheating at backgammon.
  • Evil Plan: General Orlov wants to detonate a nuclear warhead on an American base (making it seem like an American accident), forcing the US to pull out of Europe and leaving it vulnerable to Soviet conquest. He is in a Big Bad Duumvirate with Kamal Khan who is getting paid for it, and hopes to kill Octopussy in the process and take over her organization afterwards.
  • Excuse Me, Coming Through!: Subverted when James Bond cleverly throws money to the crowd so that they don't scatter before the people chasing him.
  • Exploding Fish Tanks: Octopussy is shown feeding her poisonous blue-ring octopus early in the film. Later, the aquarium is destroyed when James Bond rams an assassin's head into it (and said assassin ends up with the octopus wrapped around his face).
  • Expy: The "Property of a Lady" egg is based on the real Imperial Coronation Egg.
  • The Faceless: Octopussy's face is obscured when Kamal Kahn goes to see her early in the movie; only her hands are shown as she feeds her pet octopus while talking to Kahn. This, plus the way he takes orders from her and the fact that the movie is named after her made it seem like she would be the Big Bad and not him.
  • Fakin' MacGuffin: The villains create fake Russian national treasures such as a Faberge egg and the Romanov Star to swap out for the real ones they are selling to finance their schemes. After it becomes necessary to reclaim on of the real eggs, Kamal Khan claims it is one of the fakes only to wince in horror as his partner General Orlov smashes it.
  • False Flag Operation: General Orlov attempts to smuggle in and detonate a nuclear bomb on a US military base in West Germany. Since there will be no detected missile launch, he hopes it will be assumed the explosion was an accident and that the European powers will respond by demanding removal/disarming of all stockpiled nuclear weapons. Once they are gone, Orlov plans to launch a massive land-based invasion of Western Europe, confident that without nukes, NATO will be powerless to stop him.
  • Famous Last Words:
    • "Q?" Vijay, who then dies of his wounds after being slashed by Kamal's hitmen.
    • "Yes, but tomorrow, I shall be a hero of the Soviet Union." General Orlov, as Gogol likens him to a common thief after Orlov is shot by border guards.
    • "And this...for my brother!" Grischka, before Bond throws a knife into his gut.
    • "He'll kill us all! Go out and get him! Go!" Kamal Khan, before his plane crashes.
    • "Out there? Yes, excellency." Gobinda, later thrown off the plane by Bond.
  • Fatal Flaw: General Orlov's Hair-Trigger Temper causes him to snap at people while arguing with them, seen most prominently in his confrontations with both General Gogol and James Bond. And he was also an insane psychopath, not caring that millions would die in the ensuing mayhem due to his plan to invade Western Europe, and had a manic fixation of the Warsaw Pact gaining full control of Europe and isolating the United States. Add in the fact that he clearly doesn't understand that the United States would retaliate equally, resulting in World War III, which would basically leave no winners.
  • Femme Fatalons:
  • Fixing the Game: Bond notices Kamal Khan taking a British gent for all he's worth in backgammon. He quickly figures out that Khan is using loaded dice that always come up double sixes (how nobody else caught on is a mystery). He offers to play him for double-or-nothing. Khan agrees. Bond invokes the "player's privilege" and uses Khan's dice to win. Instead of letting his Sikh dragon beat up Bond (and cause a scene), Khan pays Bond but warns him to spend the money quickly.
  • Flung Clothing: Magda whips off her sari to use as a weapon against Kamal's goons. She doesn't put it back on, thereby keeping the fetish appeal burning.
  • Follow That Car: A Soviet military driver is rather disconcerted to be told to follow Bond's car along a railway line.
  • Foreign Queasine: Sheep's eye, anyone? Bond actually manages to get in a good Double Entendre, when he complains that he loses his appetite when he's being watched (both the meal and Gobinda, who is intently watching him.)
  • General Ripper: Orlov. An unprovoked peacetime nuking of West Germany is just step one of his grandiose plan.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
    • "I need refilling." And another rather obvious one, of course.
    • "Having problems keeping it up, Q?" note 
    • "In... Out... In... Out... C'mon girls! In... Out..."
  • Giving Them the Strip: Magda uses a combination of this with Bedsheet Ladder to escape from Bond: she ties one end of the sari she's wearing to a balustrade and jumps off the balcony, "riding" the garment down to safety as it unravels.
  • A Glass in the Hand: Not quite a glass but the same general idea: Gobinda crushes dice in his hand.
  • Glory Hound: General Orlov.
  • Going Commando: Bond catches a glimpse of Octopussy stepping out of the pool stark naked.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Initially it is Octopussy, who gives orders to the films Big Bad (Khan) from behind the scenes, never even showing her face. Though, she eventually fully enters the plot and becomes an Anti-Hero after being betrayed by her associates.
  • Groin Attack. Narrowly averted — Bond is sliding down a stairway railing, blazing away at mooks with a captured AK-47. He then quickly uses the rest of the magazine to shoot off the knob at the end of the railing. Prior to that however Bond - dressed as a clown - kicked a security guard at the circus in the groin while trying to get to the bomb. Also during the raid Octopussy and her girls stage on Kamal's stronghold at least one, maybe two, of his thugs get kicked in the groin.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: Kamal doesn't mind that his guards are Distracted by the Sexy because it gives him and Gobinda a chance to sneak away without being noticed. Unfortunately the dancing girls are part of Octopussy's Amazon Brigade, currently sneaking into his palace. Another guard is drinking on duty, and has a No More for Me moment as he looks over the wall and sees a female circus acrobat standing on the head of an elephant.
  • Ham-to-Ham Combat: Gogol vs. Orlov in the briefing room.
    Gogol: NATO WILL COUNTERATTACK with nuclear weapons!
    Orlov: NEVER! The West is DECADENT and divided! It doesn't have the stomach to risk our atomic reprisals!
  • Heel–Face Turn: Octopussy and her group were part of Kamal Khan's Fabergé Egg-smuggling plot (and in fact, Octopussy seemed to be his boss), but when he teams up with General Orlov who plans to engineer a nuclear explosion and realises that she, her crew and thousands of innocents would have been caught up in the explosion, they turns against him.
  • Hero Stole My Bike: Bond steals the car of a woman in a phone booth in order to get to an American airbase in Germany in time to stop a warhead from detonating. He was hoping to call the base, but the woman beat him to the booth. This actually backfires on him rather badly, as by the time he actually reaches the airbase there's an APB out for him. The MP guarding the gate was already less than impressed with 007's frantic demands to see the commander, and the arrival of several German police cars didn't help his credibility.
  • Hey, Catch!: Bond does this to distract a henchman during the marketplace chase sequence before then punching him out.
  • High-Altitude Battle: Bond against Gobinda on top of a plane.
  • High-Heel–Face Turn: Octopussy turns against Khan after she realises that she, her crew and thousands of innocents would have been caught up in Orlov's plotted nuclear accident.
  • High-Speed Missile Dodge: 007 is in a small jet in hostile territory and the enemy launches a surface to air missile at him. With the missile chasing him, Bond heads for the hangar where he was caught trying to destroy a plane. The commander realizes what he is about to attempt and orders the hangar doors closed. But it's too late, Bond successfully flies through the hangar just in time while the pursuing missile collides with the interior and destroys the hangar.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Grishka pins Bond down to the wooden door with precise knife throws. When he's about to throw the fatal blade, Bond opens the door, Mishka stumbles and falls, and Bond throws one of his knives at him.
  • Home by Christmas: General Orlov tells the Politburo that, according to his computer simulations, the Red Army can defeat NATO in a conventional war within five days.
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: Kamal and his mooks' hunt for tiger on elephants after Bond escapes the Monsoon Palace. Bond is the tiger of course.
    Kamal: Let the sport commence!
  • I'm Dying, Please Take My MacGuffin: The plot kicks off when 009, clutching a priceless Faberge egg, bursts into the British embassy in East Germany with a throwing knife stuck in his back.
  • I'm Not Hungry: Bond finds his sheep head a little too exotic.
  • Improperly Placed Firearms: The East German guards have AK's, but for some reason Orlov's personal bodyguard are carrying Austrian Steyr AUG's.
  • In Name Only: The short story shares no plot with the film, but does provide the backstory to the title character, as revealed in a somewhat shoehorned-in dialogue sequence.
  • Inconvenient Parachute Deployment: Bond is captured and sitting in the back of a truck being guarded by two soldiers wearing parachutes. As the truck is driving, Bond's accomplice drives alongside the truck and performs a Show Some Leg. While the guards are Distracted by the Sexy, Bond reaches out and yanks the ripcords on the soldiers' chutes. The chutes deploy and the soldiers go flying off the back of the truck.
  • Instant Leech: Just Fall in Water!: Happens to James Bond, among several other animal encounters. He uses a cigarette lighter to make it let go.
  • Ironic Echo/Dark Reprise: Vijay's "No problem!", uttered by Bond after Vijay's corpse is found. Later, when another character randomly uses the same phrase, Bond clearly winces, reminded of his friend.
  • Jurisdiction Friction:
    • Implied when Orlov chases the train as it crosses the inner-German border. He apparently thinks that, as a Soviet General, the GDR border guards would let him through. They shoot him.
    • Averted when the German policemen chase Bond into the American military base, then assist the military policemen in searching the compound.
  • Just Plane Wrong: Those Franco-Soviet Alouette helicopters.
  • Kick Them While They Are Down: During the backgammon scene when Bond wins 200,000 Rupees from Kamal Kahn, Khan starts writing him a cheque when Bond tells him quietly "I prefer cash".
  • Killer Yoyo: James Bond is attacked by a bunch of Indian mooks. One of them wields a yo-yo buzzsaw.
  • Knife Outline: Not quite an outline, but James Bond ends up pinned to a door thanks to a couple of thrown knives in Octopussy. In fairness though, Grishka was a circus knife-thrower. However the trope backfires when Bond pulls one of the knives free (seeing as it's handily stuck in the door next to him) and uses it to kill him.
  • Knife-Throwing Act: Mishka's and Grishka's part in Octopussy's Circus.
  • Lampshaded Double Entendre:
    Q: 007 on an island populated exclusively by women? We won't see him till dawn!
  • Large Ham: General Orlov. His Chewing the Scenery briefing scene near the beginning of the movie combines the speech patterns of William Shatner, the volume levels of BRIAN BLESSED, and a truly awful accent to form the essence of Ham. This was awesome.
    • "Yes, but tomorrow I shall be a Hero of the Soviet Union!"
  • Leave Behind a Pistol: What happened to Octopussy's father. Octopussy is grateful to Bond for leaving him that option, rather than be disgraced by a court martial.
  • Lethal Joke Item: A yo-yo. However, said yo-yo is a circular saw.
  • Lighter and Softer: After the dark tone of For Your Eyes Only, yes.
  • Magic Countdown: Used on a detonator instead of an entire bomb (and since Science Marches On, the counter is digital). Bond disarms it right as the timer reaches zero.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: A nuclear accident is the key part of General Orlov's grand plan.
  • Male Gaze: Bond uses one of Q's gadgets to zoom in on a girl's cleavage. Q is not amused, although Vijay is.
  • Mid-Season Upgrade: Bond's PPK is replaced with the Walther P5 in this movie as part of a deal with Walther. Most people didn't notice, because not only do they look similar, but also Bond refers to having "mislaid my PPK" in spite of using a P5 for the entirety of the film.
  • Midair Repair: Bond is clinging to the outside of an airplane. Kamal Kahn sends Gobinda out to kill Bond before he disables both engines and kills them all.
  • Minor Crime Reveals Major Plot: Smuggling stolen Faberge Eggs and murdering a British agent → nuclear sabotage, wiping out an American military base along with nearby cities and WW 3.
  • Money to Throw Away: After a wad of cash saves Bond from a dagger during a Chase Scene, he tosses the damaged dough aside, where it lands in a beggar's bowl. He finally evades his pursuers by throwing the rest of his gambling wins up in the air, causing the crowd to swarm across the road.
  • Mood Whiplash: The movie bounces between the campier elements of Moore's tenure (uncovering a smuggling ring run by circus people and an all-girl army) with the darker tone created by the previous film, For Your Eyes Only (a mad Soviet general wants to start World War III).
  • Motive Misidentification: Octopussy reveals that her father had been a British colonel who stole a sum of gold and vanished. Bond tracked him down, gave him 24 hours to prepare to be captured but the man killed himself. Bond assume Octopussy wants to avenge his death. Instead, Octopussy says she wanted to thank Bond for letting her father die with honor rather than the disgrace of a public trial.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Madga, played by Kristina Wayborn - especially the way she escapes Bond.
  • Multi-Track Drifting: Inverted with a Mercedes-Benz sans its tires, which have been shot to pieces. Bond has to catch up with a circus train. Cue train approaching from the opposite direction. He, naturally, makes the jump before the inevitable collision. Mercedes-Benzes are not frequently made in track gauges, so the special effects crew had to improvise one.
  • My Car Hates Me: Played with. When Kamal is leaving the Circus in US army base to escape the bomb, he is visibly worried when Gobinda can't get the car started. Then the second try is successful and he is relieved.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Bond encounters a snake charmer (Vijay) on the flute playing none other than the James Bond Theme.
      • This may actually be a meta gag — composer Monty Norman says he recycled the tune from an earlier piece of his in a Hindu-themed musical. Hear it here.
    • Kamal notes that Bond is fond of eggs. In the books, Bond's Trademark Favorite Food is eggs.
  • Never Smile at a Crocodile: Bond has a vehicle with an appearance of a crocodile. Later one, when his fight with the yoyo mook moves to water, a crocodile appears to the dispatch the villain.
  • Nice Kitty...: Bond commands a tiger to "Sit!" (in Barbara Woodhouse's distinctive tone). And it does.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: The Soviet chairman at the beginning of the film is obviously supposed to be Leonid Brezhnev (who actually died before the film was released).
  • No More for Me: A guard looks over the wall and sees a couple of elephants and some female circus acrobats forming a human ladder. He looks at the bottle in his hand in confusion, before Octopussy knocks him out with some hurled bolas.
  • No, Mr. Bond, I Expect You to Dine: Kamal serves a dinner to Bond when he is imprisoned in the Monsoon Palace.
  • Non Violent Initial Confrontation: The auction scene and backgammon game between Bond and Khan.
  • Oktoberfest: The portly German couple Bond hitches a ride with tries to stuff him with Bratwurst and Beer.
  • The One with...: The one where Bond dresses up like a clown.
  • Oh, Crap!: Bond's dawning realization that Orlov's plan isn't insane but will work.
    • Kamal and Gobinda have panicked looks on their faces for a moment when their getaway car meant to escape the nuclear detonation doesn't start on the first try.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Once Bond realizes Orlov's plot is very sound his tone changes completely. Gone is the lighthearted Roger Moore Bond and he spends the rest of the movie desperately trying to get to the base to prevent the explosion.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: The security guard at the US Air Base is presumably African-American, but if you listen closely it's obvious he's Caribbean or African in background.
  • Operation: [Blank]: The plan to discover what is happening to the stolen Faberge artifacts is codenamed "Operation: Trove".
  • Outside Ride: Bond chases after Khan on a horse and then leaps on to the outside of his plane as it takes off.
  • Performer Guise: Bond disguises himself as a clown so he can infiltrate Octopussy's circus and warn her about the nuclear bomb that is about to destroy the Air Force base where her circus is performing.
  • Pinned to the Wall: Grishka pins Bond by his clothes to a wall and prepares to throw the final knife to Bonds's heart. Bond being Bond, this does not end well for the knife thrower.
  • Plot-Triggering Death: 009 is murdered in East Berlin. MI-6, suspecting Soviet involvement, calls in 007.
  • Pocket Protector: Bond is stabbed in the chest, but is unharmed thanks to a sheaf of bills in his chest pocket.
    Bond: Thank God for hard currency.
  • P.O.V. Boy, Poster Girl: This is the only movie in the series named after the Bond Girl rather than the villain, a motto, or the MacGuffin.
  • Power Perversion Potential: Bond uses the sophisticated camera in Q's lab to zoom in on a woman's cleavage. Vijay snickers; Q gets annoyed and orders him to quit fooling around.
  • Pretty Little Headshots: Occurs when Bond shoots a Russian soldier dead, complete with surprised expression on the guard's face.
  • Prevent the War: Subverted. General Orlov wants to explode an atomic bomb in West Germany and blame U.S. carelessness with its nuclear arsenal, so that European populations will insist on unilateral disarmament, and therefore leave themselves exposed to a Soviet invasion. So, really, it's "prevent the peace... lest it lead to an actual war."
  • Punny Name:
    • Yeah, no shit.
    • Don't forget Penelope Smallbone!
    • As if that name wasn't bad enough, at one point, Lois Maxwell (Moneypenny) flubbed it and called her Penelope Smallbush. Naturally, Roger Moore wasted no time jumping on that one.
      • Real Joke Name: She's actually named for one of the models in the opening credits.
  • Pursued Protagonist: 009, in a clown costume, is pursued by Mischka and Grishka, before dying in the British Embassy with the Faberge Egg in his hand.
  • Racing the Train: The film does this with a twist: Bond's tires have just been shot out, so he drives his car onto the rails.
  • Railroad Tracks of Doom: Bond is chasing Khan escaping by train when all the tyres of his Mercedes get shot off. He's in luck since the car's wheels are the exact same gauge of the track the train he is chasing is on; so he proceeds to move the car on to the track and drive on the set of rails next to the escaping train's. Some skidding later, he's making good progress when another train is rushing right at him, so he wisely hops off whilst the Merc gets ploughed right through by the train.
  • Ramprovisation: Done in the market chase.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Bond is attempting to stop a train carrying a nuclear bomb. A fight on top of the train with Grishka ends with them both falling off. Bond survives and disposes of Grishka... except he is now miles away from the bomb and alone without recourse to his usual gadgets and vehicles. He has great difficulty hitching a lift, has no way of contacting any authorities (no-one is going to break off their phone conversation to let a mad man raving about a bomb use the public phone) and a botched attempt at carjacking merely brings the entire West German police force down on him.
    • Orlov chases the train as it crosses the inner-German border. He apparently thought that as a Soviet general, the East German border guards would easily let him through, but they instead mistake him for a defector and kill him.
    • General Gogol and the Soviet Politburo criticize Orlov for his plan to invade western Europe and weaken NATO, knowing that the countries they invade would not go down without a fight, and that Orlov's plan would end up annihilating everyone on both sides and leaving no victors in the end. Gogol also holds Orlov in great contempt, feeling that his thirst for power is dangerous.
  • Recycled Premise: It's still a debate how this film's plot is derived from Goldfinger. Bond bets an item the wealthy Big Bad has an interest in then one-ups the Big Bad at his own game; a female henchwoman with her own Amazon Brigade falls to Bond's charms; a climactic fight in an airplane mid-flight where a villain gets thrown out.
  • Red Scare
  • Renegade Russian: It's emphasized that Orlov is acting independent of the Politburo, and that Gogol and the other Soviet leaders are more interested in making peace with the West. The Breshnev Expy explicitly states that the Soviet nuclear arsenal is purely defensive. During the final third of the plot, Gogol is pursuing Orlov to stop him, though he isn't aware of the true nature of Orlov's scheme (though he probably would have disapproved of that if he'd known about it).
  • Secondary Character Title: While several Bond movies have a title in connection to the main villain, this one has the distinction of being the only one named after the Bond Girl.
  • Sexophone: The opening notes to "All Time High" as well as one of the Leitmotifs (probably Octopussy's).
  • Shoot the Dog: Poor Vijay.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Show Some Leg: Bond is captured and held at gunpoint in the back of a moving truck. Driving by is a pretty girl (his ally) who reveals her thighs, distracting the guards so Bond can escape. In the climax, Octopussy's Amazon Brigade pose as dancing girls, keeping the guards distracted while their compatriots sneak in elsewhere (in an ironic touch, Khan isn't bothered by his men being Distracted by the Sexy as he's about to do a runner).
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Though he later engages in Ham-to-Ham Combat, Gogol literally rolls his eyes when Orlov is describing his invasion plan.
  • Side Boob: The opening segment's Bond Girl gives a healthy amount of this during her Distracted by the Sexy.
  • Sim Sim Salabim: Snake charmers, sword swallowers, fire breathers, fire walkers, beds of nails... the lot.
  • Skinny Dipping: When Bond first arrives on Octopussy's island, he's able to see her swimming in her pool in the nude.
  • Sliding Scale of Silliness vs. Seriousness: Notoriously erratic in its placement. This is the only mass murder plot in the Bond franchise which is actually plausible (this was during a very tense period of the Cold War when Reagan's military buildup gave NATO the advantage, and Orlov is not a megalomaniac bent on world domination but rather a Well-Intentioned Extremist who, in his rationale, considers that desperate times call for desperate measures and thinks that with what he's doing, he's legitimately helping his country; as a high ranking official, he would have access to a nuclear warhead and the method in which it is smuggled in makes perfect sense), but most of the time Bond approaches it with the same silliness common of other Moore-era Bond films. Even during the moments when he genuinely seems to take things seriously, such as the scene in which he defuses the bomb, the seriousness is brought down by other factors, in this scene, it's the fact that he's wearing a clown costume.
  • Smooch of Victory: Q gets showered with kisses when he drops his balloon on a mook about to shoot the Amazon Brigade.
  • Smug Snake: Kamal Khan actually doesn't seem to realize he's just a henchman.
  • Snake Charmer: Bond's contact Vijay is posing as a snake charmer in the marketplace. He then comments that it is a really bad cover, as he hates snakes.
  • The Sociopath: An unhinged brute and maniac to boot, General Orlov isn't bothered by the fact that his intended bombing of a US base will kill thousands of civilians and trigger World War III.
  • Something Else Also Rises: There is a scene where Bond is in bed with a broken leg, which is suspended in the air in a sling. As he and Octopussy kiss, the camera cuts to a shot of his leg slowly rising.
  • Steam Never Dies: Octopussy's circus train is pulled by a steam locomotive. This is presumably a deliberate choice to play up the romance of the circus, as the Bond film's usually feature modern trains.
  • Stock Scream:
    • Heard in the Moore-era films. When Bond and Gobinda are fighting outside the plane and uses the antennae to knock him off. This same scream is heard both in A View to a Kill and Moonraker.
    • Another butchered Wilhelm Scream can be heard near the end when Kamal's plane is about to crash.
  • Stop, or I Will Shoot!: Subverted. When General Orlov chases the train over the inner-German border on foot, one of the GDR border guards orders him to stop via megaphone. When he doesn't comply, another guard with an AK-47 immediately shoots him (before being motioned to stop by Gogol). This policy was infamously Truth in Television, by the way; the border was called the 'death strip' for a reason.
  • Storming the Castle: With the Amazon Brigade.
  • Stuka Scream: The BD-5 Acrostar in the opening scene and Kamal's plane at the end.
  • Stun Guns/Tranquillizer Darts: Used by Octopussy's mooks. After all, they're thieves, not hardened killers.
  • Suspect Is Hatless: When Bond speeds through the Air Base's security checkpoint:
    Security guard: Captain, some nut went through here in a stolen car! Wants the base commander, and he's wearing a red shirt!
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: A new M apparently makes his debut in this story. No-one mentions what happened to the previous one, which has caused many to claim that this is actually a case of The Other Darrin, and that it's still the original M but with a different actor playing him. There's also the theory that the new M is really Admiral Hargreaves, actor Robert Brown's character from The Spy Who Loved Me. Note that this was because the original actor had died, which actually happened before For Your Eyes Only. M was absent entirely from that one, stated to be on leave, but here they had to get a new actor.
  • Supervillain Lair: The Soviet Politburo's marble conference room, complete with giant map of the world and rotating table, has to count, even if they themselves are not supervillains.
  • Theme Tune Cameo: Vijay introduces himself by playing a bar of the James Bond theme on a snake charmer's pipe.
  • Thriller on the Express: Bond tries to get to Octopussy, but he gets chased by Kamal Khan's right-hand man, Gobinda.
  • Throwing Off the Disability
  • Time Bomb
  • Title Drop:
    • Well, the main Bond Girl's nickname is Octopussy, but the first instance:
    Bond: [looking at Magda's tattoo, on the small of her back] What is that?
    Magda: That's my little Octopussy.
    • The title of the other short story this film is adapted from is also dropped: "The Property of a Lady".
    • Averted with the theme song. The song is titled "All Time High", and the word "Octopussy" cannot be found in the lyrics at all. (Chris Cornell, who wrote a later Bond theme, has declared that "Nobody wrote a song called ‘Octopussy’ but I think that was a mistake! They had a great opportunity and they squandered it." Of course, his Bond title theme, "You Know My Name", did not have the title (Casino Royale) in it either.)
      • The song isn't completely out of place for the movie, however. At one point, Bond mentions to Octopussy that they're "two of a kind"; one of the song's lyrics echos this.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The least Gobinda could do, judging by his expression, was to wear a parachute. That is of course, if they had one on board...
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Kamal Khan, eater of sheep's eyes.
  • Traintop Battle:
    • Bond has to fight Gobinda and Grishka on top of Octopussy's circus train.
    • While Kamal Khan attempts to flee with Octopussy in a prop airplane, he sends Gobinda outside the airborne craft to dispose of Bond, who is clinging to the outer fuselage in a rescue effort. Gobinda and Bond face off while belly-crawling atop the fuselage.
  • Unconventional Vehicle Chase: Bond rides an auto rickshaw through a bazaar in Delhi, chased by Kamal Khan's thugs in a jeep and an auto rickshaw of their own.
  • Understatement:
    • How do you tell the audience of a circus that they were barely seconds from being in the epicenter of a nuclear detonation? "Ladies and Gentlemen, we had an emergency..."
    • Meanwhile, Kamal and Gobinda are advised that it would be a good idea to be at least 20 miles away from the blast. The looks on their faces basically are "No shit, Sherlock".
  • Villain Ball: Bond finds himself trapped in a Knife Outline by Grishka, the remaining half of a pair of knife-throwing twins, whose brother Mishka had been killed by Bond earlier. Grishka has one knife remaining, so what does he do? He tells Bond "And this for my brother!", and charges towards Bond! Bond manages to take one of the knives out of the outline and throws it at Grishka, adding "And that's for 009!"
  • A Villain Named Khan: The Big Bad is the Wicked Cultured Kamal Khan.
  • Vine Swing: Bond does this while being pursued by hunters through a jungle, complete with Tarzan-like yell.
  • The War Room: We get a rare look at the Soviet War Room.
  • We've Got Company:
    Bond: Vijay, we've got company.
    Vijay: No problem, this is a company car.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Orlov thinks of himself as a patriot doing what must be done to give his country a major strategic advantage over the West. With his dying words he claims that he will soon be thought of as a Hero of the Soviet Union.
  • Wham Line:
During the confrontation between Orlov and Bond after Bond states there will be a retaliatory nuclear attack for detonating a warhead on an American base in West Germany:
Orlov: Against whom?
  • Why Won't You Die?: When Kamal encounters Bond at Octopussy's base.
    Kamal: You have a nasty habit of surviving.
    Bond: Well, you know what they say about the fittest.
  • Wicked Cultured: Kamal Khan as the Meaningful Name implies, is a Prince and owns a Monsoon Palace.
  • You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!: Gobinda's reaction, though not uttered literally, to Kamal telling him to go outside the plane to fight Bond while 30,000 feet up.
    Gobinda: Out there?!
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness/Leave No Witnesses: Kamal and General Orlov have no intention of telling Octopussy or her girls they'll be ground zero of a nuke they planted.
  • You Killed My Father: Subverted. Octopussy is actually grateful to Bond for allowing her father to commit suicide, as it saved her father the shame of a military trial (Bond was tasked with arresting him).
  • You're Insane!: When General Orlov discusses his plan to invade Western Europe to his bosses, General Gogol and the Politburo immediately call him out, knowing it'll trigger World War III and that Orlov is only doing it for the sake of personal gain.

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