serial podcast / the walking dead / snl / mindhole blowers / netflix / celebrity facts / marvel

home /film / tv / lists / news / love / celeb

Why Do All the Best "Bond Girls" Have All the Best Worst Names?

By Rob Payne | Seriously Random Lists | November 9, 2012 | Comments ()


Most likely, the convention of naming the female characters in James Bond movies with spectacularly silly names started because: Hey, it was the 1960s, man. Sure, they're fun and that's the point, but some truly great parts have been marred by some truly preposterous character names that can cause even the most mature academician to giggle like a schoolboy. Of course, not all of these roles are created equal -- and some are more equal than others -- so let's take a look and see just how bad some of these good-to-great Bond Girls are.

Honey Ryder, Dr. No (1962)
The ultimate "Bond Girl" merely by being the first, setting a precedent for insane levels of attractiveness and terribly awesome names. Thankfully her almost utter uselessness to the plot did not become part of the overall template for Bond Girls in the future.
Bond Girl Status = 3 Walther PPKs out of 5
Name = Somewhat Embarrassing, passable for strippers or Little Debbie snack cakes.

Pussy Galore, Goldfinger (1964)
A totally different kind of sexiness from Ursula Andress, Honor Blackman was beautiful and brilliant, making her the first Bond Girl who could stand toe-to-toe with 007 himself. When you know the actress's name, it becomes crystal clear how she was able to go by "Pussy Galore" convincingly and without winking at the camera.
Bond Girl Status = 4 Walther PPKs out of 5
Name = Unsuitable for any serious person, except, maybe, obese transgendered porn stars.

Domino, Thunderball (1965)/Never Say Never Again (1983)
Depending on the movie, Domino is either a long suffering crime boss's mistress or kind of a rube. Either way, she's gorgeous and deadly with a pointy sea-based weapon.
Bond Girl Status = 3 Walther PPKs out of 5 (averaged)
Name = Respectable if not confusing, but best reserved for uninteresting mutant assassins.

Tiffany Case and Plenty O'Toole, Diamonds are Forever (1971)
The former is more in the vein of (a wackier) Pussy Galore and the latter (an underused) Honey Ryder, so this might be the start of a proper naming convention for strong vs. weak Bond Girls. The fact that Bond failed to broker a ménage a trois is a source of shame neither he nor Sean Connery can escape to this day.
Bond Girl(s) Status = 3.5 Walther PPKs out of 5 (averaged)
Name(s) = Perfectly normal and perfectly ridiculous, respectively.

Solitaire, Live and Let Die (1973)
Why do Bond Girls named after classic tabletop games for children work with, or sleep with (or both), the enemy? No clue. A very young (but not too-young) Jane Seymour assures that we don't care, meanwhile also distracting us from the fact that she's one of the most abused women in the entire franchise.
Bond Girl Status = 3 Walther PPKs out of 5
Name = Goofy, but totally justifiable if she'd been played by a young Pam Grier.

Holly Goodhead, Moonraker (1979)
After Domino, Tiffany Case, and Solitaire it seemed like maybe Bond's beauties would start receiving names that wouldn't be the most embarrassing things to write on a college or job application. Then we get Goodhead, Holly Goodhead. She's an American spy who is Bond's equal in every single way but surname.
Bond Girl Status = 4.5 Walther PPKs out of 5
Name = Laughably bad for a spy, pretty great for a sex advice columnist.

Octopussy, Octopussy (1983)
Combining the best traits of all the previous Bond Girls - stunningly beautiful, whip smart, criminal mastermind with a heart of gold - it's no wonder Maud Adams gets titular billing here. Sadly, that makes it the only Bond movie you have to hide from your and your friends' kids. Unless you want to have That Conversation much earlier than anybody wants.
Bond Girl Status = 4.5 Walther PPKs out of 5
Name = When you're the leader of your own cult and criminal empire, you can go by whatever absurd title you want.

Xenia Onatopp, GoldenEye (1995)
Famke Janssen was my first Bond Girl and, thus, the one to which I compare all the rest - no offense meant to Izabella Scorupco, but she didn't mercilessly kill dudes at the height of their sexual ecstasy. Onatopp was smart, gorgeous, deadly, legitimately funny, and her name was more than a pun, it was her weapon of choice. Scha-wing.
Bond Girl Status = 5 Walther PPKs out of 5
Name = Not too shameful, and she'd fit in under the big top of Octupussy's inner circus quite well.

Wai Lin, Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
Besides beauty and brains, not many Bond Girls can honestly be described as brawny. Brassy, maybe. Ballsy, for sure. But Michelle Yeoh was the first one who wasn't a villain and could legit easily kick your ass both in and out of bed.
Bond Girl Status = 3 Walther PPKs out of 5
Name = My in-depth research skills tell me her name means something like "jade forest," which sounds like a character Pam Grier could play today.

Jinx, Die Another Day (2002)
Honestly, I'm mostly including Jinx because Halle Berry is the best thing to happen to swimwear since, well, Ursula Andress. (Or Daniel Craig, if that's to your liking.) She had all of the qualities for a great Bond Girl, but the entire film is a joke and should never be seen by anyone. That's what Google Image search is for.
Bond Girl Status = 3 Walther PPKs out of 5
Name = I mean, come on. It can't be a coincidence that MGM completely reconfigured the franchise after this one, can it?

Vesper Lynd, Casino Royale (2006)
Completely classing up the Bond Girl mystique, Eva Green sets a new high bar for the ladies that will follow. Like most of the other stand-outs, Vesper is just as (probably more) intelligent as our intelligence agent, just as clever, and perhaps the most alluring even without ever appearing in only a bikini or her underpants. She was so good, they had to kill her off at the end - spoiler alert - otherwise there wouldn't be a need for any future Bond Girls as long as Daniel Craig wears the tux.
Bond Girl Status = 5 Walther PPKs out of 5
Name = While certainly uncommon, it doesn't lend itself to sniggering 12 year-olds. Plus, the way Eva Green says "Vesper" is enough to make the name work even if it meant "hemorrhoid pimples on a dog's anus." Hell, she could probably make that sexy, too.

With names like Severine and Eve in Skyfall, Bérénice Marlohe and Naomie Harris will hopefully be breaking the mold of great yet puntastically named Bond Girls. Because, let's be honest, "Strawberry Fields" was one step too camp for Quantum of Solace, and "Camille" was barely memorable at all.

Rob Payne also writes the comic The Unstoppable Force, tweets on the Twitter, tumbls on the Tumblr, and his wares can be purchased here. He would like to put Olga Kurylenko on the list, but he genuinely can't remember a thing about her besides this poster.

10 Things We Learned From This Week's Frankly Unbelievable Episode Of "American Horror Story: Asylum" | Who's Got Two Thumbs, No Shirt And Is Angling For An Academy Award? This Guy.

Are you following Pajiba on Facebook or Twitter? Every time you do, Bill Murray crashes a wedding.

Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • Bond girls are an outdated trope and I wish the franchise would drop them.
    Unless the next one is Gina Carano and the moment Bond opens his mouth to utter anything pun-related she kicks his teeth in.

  • Ben

    I can't fucking Stand Honey Ryder, that chick is a fucking moron. I mean I get that it's all 'the first bond girl' and that swim suit and shit. But she seriously beleives an armourd car with a flame thrower is a magical dragon haunting an island. She's like brain damaged stupid.

  • Xulux

    Yo, Michelle Yeoh.
    BTW, is that a photoshop failure or does Daniel Craig's torso actually taper down to the width of a pipe cleaner? Too bad for Roger Moore they didn't have digital editing in his day!

  • e jerry powell

    Why doesn't James Bond have three-ways? I mean, with all the ass the man gets, you'd figure he'd have to double up sometimes, if for no other reason than time management.

  • Vesper Lynd is a play on "West Berlin", a city with divided loyalties.

  • Mr_Grumpypants


  • Maguita NYC

    I always thought Ms. Pussy Galore had moist lions.

    *BTW, is it on purpose Even Green and not Eva Green... Or is that really her name, or nickname?

  • beartato

    Pajiba's just very terribly edited. It's nothing new.

  • Hey, pobody's nerfect in Australia.

  • Maguita NYC

    Not always. There is some internal lexicon going on most of the time, or what I would call The Urban Pajibanary, like lately the integration of "moist lions" and "Charming Potato".

    Some I might not be aware of, and thus would rather give Payne the benefit of the doubt.

  • prince_of_montagu

    I'm so happy to be a part of a site where i got to see the birth of "moist lions" and "charming potato" and how it has become a legendary running joke. SO happy!!

  • Maguita NYC

    Honestly, I still find moist lions freshly hilarious. And Charming Potato is so spot on, I can't even recall his real name.

  • OhRachel

    Subtle Izzard reference did not go unappreciated...

  • Blake

    No Akiko Wakabayashi (Aki) or Mie Hama (Kissy)???

  • Blake

    The worst has to be Ms. Taro from Dr. No who was played by a Zena Marshall a Caucasian British actress.

  • I have a confession to make, I haven't seen You Only Live Twice since I was a kid. The most I remember about it is that The Simpsons referenced it heavily in the Hank Scorpio episode.

  • Blake

    Totally worth re-watching, if only for Japanese Sean Connery. Plus the Nancy Sinatra theme...

  • Funny, I don't remember Bond disguising himself as a Romulan...

  • Fredo

    18-year old Jane Seymour...bringing the heat.

    And no mention of Grace Jones or Dr. Christmas Jones??

  • tmoney

    What about Dr. Christmas Jones in "The World is Not Enough"?
    "I thought Christmas only came once a year." Ridiculous.

  • emmelemm

    +1 million

  • theotherone

    That line sealed the deal for me on settling who was a worse Bond

    Sean Connery > Daniel Craig > Timothy Dalton >Roger Moore > Pierce Brosnan > George Lazenby

  • ed newman


    Of course some of it had to do with the writing. Craig would have been nearly as bad as Moore in A View To A Kill.

  • TheAggroCraig

    And you just know she had that name solely for that lame-ass joke.

blog comments powered by Disqus