Brash critics maintain Roger Moore’s Bond era was over-laced with them but the cutting comeback and innuendo-laden retort is all part of the 007 legacy and dammit, we love ‘em.
So, we set about wading through the best of Bond’s sarcasm and wheedled out the cream of the crop and the slightly less-known. Here’s what we came up with…
Bond is playing golf with Goldfinger when the megalomaniac clearly begins to cheat.
Hawker: If that's his original ball, I'm Arnold Palmer.
James Bond: It isn't.
Hawker: How do you know?
Bond: I'm standing on it.
Bond and the evil Largo talk weaponry.
Bond: Lady's gun, isn't it?
Largo: Oh, do you know a lot about guns?
Bond: No, but I know a little bit about women.
You Only Live Twice
Tanaka: Rule Number Two in Japan... Men always come first. Women come second.
Bond: I might just retire here.
Diamonds Are Forever
Bond gets quizzed on sparklers during his mission briefing.
Sir Donald: Tell me commander, how far does your expertise extend into the field of diamonds?
Bond: Well, hardest substance found in nature. They cut glass, suggest marriages, I suppose it replaced the dog as the girl’s best friend. That's about it.
Live And Let Die
The Moore era kicks off with a quip-tastic script. When Bond finds a voodoo curse in the shape of a tatty top hat with a bloody chickens feather attached, his CIA agent liaison Rosie flips.
Bond: Why it's just a hat, darling, belonging to a small-headed man of limited means who lost a fight with a chicken…
The Man With The Golden Gun
Vertically-challenged henchman Nick Nack mocks Bond’s marksmanship.
Nick Nack: Good shooting, monsieur!
Bond: I've never killed a midget before, but there can always be a first time!
A View To A Kill
Evil Zorin meets Bond over breakfast, the morning after 007 has bedded the villain’s missus.
Zorin: "You slept well?"
Bond: "A little restless but I got off eventually."
Mishkin: So, how shall we execute you, Mr Bond?
Bond: What, no small talk? No chit-chat? You know, that's the problem these days. No one bothers to take the time to give a really sinister interrogation.
The World Is Not Enough
Bond and Dr Christmas Jones are on their travels…
James Bond: I've always wanted to have Christmas in Turkey.
Jones: Was that a Christmas joke?
James Bond: From me? Never.
Nugget-toothed Goldie gives Bond a million-dollar smile…
Bond: I see he puts his money where his mouth is.
Tomorrow Never Dies
Just to prove that 007 isn’t the only one adept at a snappy comeback…
Celebrated assassin Dr Kaufman gets ready to off 007…
Bond: It won't look like a suicide if you shoot me from over there.
Kaufman: I am a professor of forensic medicine. Believe me, Mr Bond, I could shoot you from Stuttgart and still create the proper effect.
The World Is Not Enough
James Bond: Construction's not exactly my specialty.
M: Quite the opposite, in fact.
Q introduces Bond to his assistant…
James Bond: If you're Q, does that make him R?
R: Ah yes, the legendary 007 wit, or at least half of it.