The history of the James Bond franchise has seen the character go through many exciting international adventures. No matter what tone the movies take, Agent 007 is always good for a few fun one-liners or clever comebacks, and his witty line-up has become a staple of the series.
Often times, Bond himself is the funniest character in the movies, and he usually has something clever to say no matter what issues he’s (and others) got into. Over the years, the franchise has produced some of the funniest lines in action film history.
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)
“There is always something formal about the point of a pistol.”
Although he only had one stab in the role, George Lazenby proved he was ready to take on the role of James Bond. His only film 007, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service is a unique entry into the Bond franchise and sees Bond at his best.
After being captured by Blofeld’s men, Bond is cool enough and gathered to deliver the fun joke to the closest henchman. It’s clear that Bond has been at the end of a gun enough times that he’s not just familiar with, he’s hilarious and nonchalant about the whole business.
Casino Royal (2006)
“One of us has to take honest work, which I think will have to be you, because I have no idea what honest work is. “
Daniel Craig brought new energy to the role when he reprized the role of Bond in Casino Royale. Although he played the darker role than the others, there were still opportunities for moments of levity with the hardened spy.
Bond delivers the quote after Vesper asks him if he likes it and he gives a frank and honest answer. While Bond often tries to be humorous, some of his funniest lines happen when he’s honest and the truth happens to be funny. Obviously, Bond really doesn’t know the first thing in the real world, and the possibilities are fun to think about.
License to Kill (1989)
“I’ll do anything for a woman with a knife.”
Timothy Dalton had big shoes to fill when he took over after Roger Moore left the role. However, he turned out to be a quick study and settled into the role perfectly with his second outing in License to kill.
While attending his friends’ wedding at the start of the film, Bond has a great time with the bride-to-be. Although he is a super spy, she has no qualms about giving him tasks and he delivers her love joke to her as she prances with the knife intended to cut the wedding cake.
“Governments change. Lies stay the same.”
Pierce Brosnan shone on his first outing as Bond in Golden eye, and it was clear he was going to make a perfect addition to the franchise. The film is packed with thrilling action and Golden eye saw James Bond regain his funny side after the film noir that was License to kill.
One of the strengths of Bond’s character is that he’s not only filled with fun jokes, but he’s also able to sum up situations with style and grace. Although the film is set after the fall of the Soviet Union, Bond is able to cleverly notice that not much has really changed.
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)
“That never happened to the other guy.”
Sean Connery’s departure from the role was so monumental that the filmmakers felt there was a need to make a joke about it in the film. The only time Bond breaks the Fourth Wall is in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
Bond sees a beautiful woman on the beach and it looks like she is in trouble, he quickly learns it was a ruse and his car is stolen. He turns to the camera and throws his quip, and while the timing is odd, it’s also hilarious.
Golden finger (1964)
“It’s as bad as listening to The Beatles without earmuffs.”
Although an international super spy, Bond is also a man of both classic and modern culture. In The golden finger Sean Connery is in rare form and has shown that he can truly embody the role. While listing a bunch of things that just aren’t done, Bond reveals he has a fondness for the Beatles.
Although the group was hugely popular with kids back then, they were still seen as low-serious people and it’s absolutely hilarious that Bond was a fan of them. The line might have been tossed, but it showed that Bond as a character was just as relevant in the ’60s as the Beatles were.
Live and Let Die (1973)
“I think he had a rather exaggerated opinion of himself.”
His tenure as 007 was divisive, but there is no doubt that Roger Moore was popular with James Bond fans. Moore brought a lighter energy to the role, but still embodied the super-espionage aspects of the character.
Live and Let Die was Moore’s first stab in the role and it doesn’t disappoint. Proving he would be the master of puns, Bond delivers a classic moan after defeating the villain with an inflatable shark pellet. While the pun is cheesy, it’s the Roger Moore textbook and one of the best jokes.
Golden finger (1964)
“Good manners, Oddjob. I thought you always took your hat off to a lady.
Even in the worst positions, Bond never misses an opportunity to go after the bad guy. Goldfinger’s evil henchman Oddjob is one of the toughest James Bond villains in the franchise, but Bond isn’t afraid to downsize him when he gets the chance.
Earlier in the film, Oddjob uses his metal-lined hat to kill someone and Bond holds a grudge. Even though he ended up getting physical revenge on the moron, Bond couldn’t help but hilariously verbally take revenge.
“Do you mind if my friend sits on this? She’s just dead.”
Sean Connery could be both dashing and tough when stepping out as James Bond, and in Thunder clap he was lucky enough to show both traits. Despite being in almost constant danger, Bond is never at a loss for words, even when he was nearly murdered.
During a crowded party, Bond understands the villain’s plan to kill him and uses the woman who was trying to cheat on him as a human shield. After she gets shot with the silent bullet, Bond casually places her at an empty table and utters her classic line.
The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
“James, I need you. “” England too. “
By his third outing as Bond, Moore had started to perfectly embody the role. The pre-credits sequence of The spy who loved me finds Bond spending some quality time with a woman in a cabin. Unfortunately, duty calls him and Bond immediately jumps into action.
Before he leaves, his date implores him to stay, but he reminds her that there are bigger problems and he delivers one of the best Bond lines of all time. Although Bond is a notorious ladies’ man, it is clear that he has his priorities clear and that he will never hesitate to take action.
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