Clichéd Spy Fiction Tropes in the James Bond Films (and Novels)?

in Bond Movies Posts: 17,260
So, as the thread title says, what do you consider to be examples of clichéd spy fiction tropes in the James Bond films and novels?

One that comes to mind for me is the placing of the hair over the door as a makeshift silent intruder alarm in the 1953 Ian Fleming Casino Royale novel and 1962 Dr. No film.

I'm sure however that there are plenty of others that we can collate and discuss further in this thread. :)


  • BMW_with_missilesBMW_with_missiles All the usual refinements.
    Posts: 3,000
    I think the gadgets, girls, and the whole British spy thing are considered by many to be clichéd at this point. But when you're talking about the franchise that invented such things, I don't think it's a cliché for them to continue to use what they invented. If other franchises tried to do those things it would be a different story, but for Bond, I demand nothing less.
  • DragonpolDragonpol
    Posts: 17,260
    Thank you for your thoughts @BMW_with_missiles.

    Any other takers? :)
  • M16_CartM16_Cart Craig fanboy?
    Posts: 538
    Perhaps this thread is more concerned with motifs than events, but here are some predictable cliches the film series should jettison if it wants to stay fresh.

    * Standard scenes. M. Moneypenny. Q. Gambling. Skiing.
    * Bond first meets the villain for dinner (or plays a game with him)
    * Villain is a billionaire egomaniac obsessed with some commodity
    * Bond gets information through the villain's mistress, who is then violently killed
    * Bond is kidnapped in an easily escapable trap as the villain lets him live
    * Bond makes out with a woman at the end
  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy My Secret Lair
    Posts: 13,384
    That's it you keep @Dragonpol right, he sometimes doesn't know what he means. :D
  • DragonpolDragonpol
    Posts: 17,260
    Any other takers on this one? :)
  • Agent_99Agent_99 enjoys a spirited ride as much as the next girl
    Posts: 3,054
    There's a character who's nominally on the same side as the hero, but is determined to get rid of him/shut his department down for being old-fashioned/inefficient/plain ridiculous. Surprise - turns out he was working for the enemy all along.

    This is really old and annoyed the heck out of me in SPECTRE.
  • Bond film clichés are numerous – so much so that it is accepted as a genre within itself.

    Spy movie clichés are all pretty obvious:

    - Duplicitous allies:
    Seen it hundreds of time. The hero often befriends someone only for them to reveal themselves as a villain. This motif is in almost every spy film.
    - Paranoia: Knowing who to trust is key to the genre. Furthermore, someone is always watching or following you.
    - The Chase: The cat and mouse aspect of these films is always present, often as there is a mystery to unearth that the hero has scant information on.
    - The Grandiose Villain: This is more particular to Bond films in general, but its bled over into other film attempting to mimic the style. Flamboyant villains are part of the spy genre now.
    - Glamour and Exoticism: The life of a spy is typically depicted as being luxurious and opulent.
    - Grittiness: Always an element but more so in a post-Bourne world.
    - Femme fatales are par for the course.
  • Agent_99Agent_99 enjoys a spirited ride as much as the next girl
    Posts: 3,054
    Another thought: I've always loved Bond's "Oh FFS" reaction in CR (the novel) when Vesper suffers the cliché of getting kidnapped and requiring rescue. Lampshade hanging at its finest. (And, of course, it turns out there's a twist on the cliché this time.)
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