- Awesome Music: Goes without saying in a Bond movie, but "All Time High" by Rita Coolidge is a classic song that holds its own, with lyrics by Tim Rice.
- Broken Base: Bond dressing up as a clown during the first climax. Depending on who you ask it's either too silly (even for a Bond film from the Roger Moore era) or it's an acceptable, some daresay even clever, way of showing just how desperate Bond is as he races to avert tragedy.
- Harsher in Hindsight: The way Bond let Major Smythe save face, so to speak, was the opposite of how Bond dealt with Dryden, an MI-6 suspected embezzler, in Casino Royale (2006).
- Hilarious in Hindsight: Kamal Khan's name is just one letter away from that of a certain Marvel comics heroine.
- He Really Can Act: The scene where Bond confronts Orlov is probably Roger Moore's best moment as Bond and proof that he could play the part seriously if the occasion called for it. His being able to sell a serious warning about a nuclear bomb while dressed as a clown is also quite a good showing.
- Les Yay: There are a couple of looks exchanged between Octopussy and Magda that hint at sexual tension. When Magda protests letting Bond go through with his antics at the circus, while understandable because it's an embarrassment to the circus, she sounds like an annoyed girlfriend, and the look on Octopussy's face in response to this practically screams, Can we please not do this right now?
- Moral Event Horizon: Kamal Khan and General Orlov cross it with their plan: to bomb a US Air Force base in Germany in order to trick the nations of Europe into instituting universal disarmament so that Russia can invade. While there's a circus going on. With civilians and children on the base. And General Orlov doesn't give a crap as long as the USSR retains its advantage.
- Bond dressing up as a clown, a crocodile, and a gorilla.
- During Kamal Khan's literal manhunt, Bond swings through the trees, complete with Tarzan yell. Why would Bond yell? Is he having fun?
- The scene where Octopussy's circus attacks the villain's stronghold, fighting armed guards with circus tricks and acrobatics in brightly coloured spandex.
- Narm Charm: The infamous scene where Bond is dressed as a clown is actually quite tense and suspenseful, what with nobody taking him seriously while he's desperately trying to warn the generals of the nuclear bomb that's about to go off. "Let me go, damnit! There's a bomb in there!" What really seals the deal is that we actually see the bomb's counter hit 0, as Bond disarms it at literally the last split-second.
- Never Live It Down: Again, the scene where Bond dresses like a clown is usually the first thing people recall of this movie. However, the aforementioned circumstances of said scene may or may not mitigate the more negative effects of this for some.
- Signature Scene: Whether you like it or not, Bond dressed as a clown desperately trying to stop a nuclear bomb from exploding in a circus full of children.
- So Okay, It's Average: Generally has a reputation as the most typical Bond movie, being seen as competent and entertaining, yet formulaic. While there aren't that many glaring flaws or divisive elements when compared to some of the more controversial installments, nor does Octopussy offer much that hasn't been done better elsewhere in the series.
- Special Effects Failure:
- In the intro, as the plane flies through the building, you can see a white pole holding it up at least once. No freeze-framing required if you know when to look. It was much too dangerous to have the plane really flying through a building with people inside, and too expensive to paint out the pole. It's also a bit awesome to realize that they took a real jet plane through a building even if it wasn't flying.
- The bit where 007 inadvertantly walks into a spiders web really isn't convincing, as the spiders are clearly rubber (and he even swipes a red kneed tarantula off his elbow with much ease).
- At one point, one of Kamal's henchmen gets speared on a bed of nails. Problem: The scene in question is a whacking great close-up, and the rubber nails visibly bend under his weight.
- A careful eye can clearly see Kamal's plane already coming apart a second before it actually erupts into flames.
- Gobinda crushing the dice; imposing as it is to see him crush them into dust, it's a tad too obvious that it is actually dust when he tosses it away.
- They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
- Octopussy was built up to be quite a formidable woman with her own empire, but the few times she engages in the action she gets beaten rather easily. Kind of a shame considering that actress Maud Adams actually did have good chemistry with Roger Moore.
- The movie doesn't get as much mileage from the villain with the chainsaw-yoyo as it could.
- Tough Act to Follow: As with Moonraker before it, Octopussy has the distinction of having to follow a much more popular film. While Octopussy is often better-regarded than Moonraker, it still tends to be seen as inferior when compared to For Your Eyes Only.
- Uncertain Audience: On the one hand, the film clearly tries to continue the more serious and realistic atmosphere of For Your Eyes Only, with Bond in a Cold War plot and with violent death scenes. But at the same time, the film tries to return to the silly humor of Roger Moore's early films, with a plot that also involves an island inhabited only by warrior women in India, and scenes with Bond dressed in a gorilla costume. The fact that the movie's climax shows Bond dressed as a clown trying to prevent the detonation of a nuclear bomb in a circus full of children perfectly sums up the confusing tone of this movie.
- Unfortunate Implications: Bond in India is never going to end well. It still does a lot better than Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, but it's still uncomfortably neo-colonialist, especially Bond's remark, after tipping an Indian driver, "that'll keep him in curry for a while!" and its treatment of women - never a Bond series strong point - is poor. See here.
- Vindicated by Cable: Lived a short life in theaters to disparaging reviews. However, like many films of The '80s, HBO was very good to it.
- Vindicated by History: Was considered run-of-the-mill by most upon release and many still hold this attitude towards it today. However, most agree it was a better Bond film than its box office rival, Never Say Never Again, and has found a following it did not have early on.
- What an Idiot!:
- Orlov smashes the real Fabergé egg. Yikes. Kamal Khan even looks horrified, realizing this.
- Kamal Khan has an entire hunting group looking for Bond in the jungle right outside his home. Bond attempts to evade them by swinging on some vines....
You'd expect: ..and does this quietly.
Instead: ...while doing a Tarzan yell for no reason at all, alerting Khan's men.
- What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: 009 being knifed in the back and slowly expiring. Bond later does this to one of the two knife-throwing brothers responsible. General Orlov is shot in the lungs and slowly expires, Vijay is cut open by a bladed yo-yo, a mook is impaled on a bed of nails, another mook is suffocated by a blue-ringed octopus, and the bladed yo-yo using mook is devoured by crocodiles;
YMMV / Octopussy