32 Most Ridiculous James Bond Gadgets

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Written By Maya Cantina

Outside of the lush locations, beautiful companions, and awesome cars that the James Bond movies show off, everyone’s always up to see what ridiculous gadgets that 007 and/or his enemies have in their arsenals this time out. While there are some pretty cool entries to love and cherish, others are just as iconic as they are questionable. That very fact has given us this list of 32 head-scratchers we need to discuss, for king and country. 

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The Dragon Tank – Dr. No

There are quite a few gadgets from Sean Connery’s James Bond movies that are well known and loved. Considering how clunky this Dr. No gadget looked, and its limited armaments consisting of merely a flamethrower, the ridiculousness comes from the seemingly easy potential to take this thing out.

32 Most Ridiculous James Bond Gadgets

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Rosa Klebb’s Shoe Blade – From Russia With Love

Is the shoe blade that Rosa Klebb (Lotta Lenye) uses in the final fight of From Russia with Love cool? Of course it is! But that doesn’t make it any less ridiculous as a weapon, thanks to both its ineffective nature and the more grounded tone of the rest of the film.

32 Most Ridiculous James Bond Gadgets

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Tear Gas Parking Meter – Goldfinger

Concealing your weaponry is a great advantage when trying to combat the enemy in the field. However, with Goldfinger’s tear gas-loaded parking meters, one has to wonder how many times random civilians would accidentally set these off on a trip to get a coffee.

32 Most Ridiculous James Bond Gadgets

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Homing Pill – Thunderball

Homing devices are cool, so Thunderball wasn’t wrong in developing one in pill form for James Bond to use. Two problems though: it’s harmlessly radioactive, which could mess with the Geiger counters needed to track stolen nuclear bombs; and the unofficial James Bond spoof of Casino Royale ’67 eventually riffed on this concept oh so easily.

32 Most Ridiculous James Bond Gadgets

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Explosive Lipstick – You Only Live Twice

There are two big reasons You Only Live Twice’s exploding lipstick can be considered among the most ridiculous gadgets the series has to offer. Strike one is the fact that the button activating this explosive device is probably easy to trigger if you’re not careful enough. Strike two is that even when it does explode as a measure of distraction, it’s not all that distracting to a seasoned field agent.

32 Most Ridiculous James Bond Gadgets

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Radioactive Lint – On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

Concealed tracking devices are like the Bond franchise’s variant of socks on Christmas: you can count on them to pop up randomly, and frequently. So the fact that this device was used in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, aka “the James Bond Christmas movie,” is as fitting as it is ridiculous. Seriously, you expect lint to stay in one place without being thrown out?

32 Most Ridiculous James Bond Gadgets

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Electromagnetic RPM Controller Ring – Diamonds Are Forever

Now if Q (Desmond Llewellyn) had shown off his “Electromagnetic RPM Controller Ring” from Diamonds are Forever as a safecracker or a strategic device, I might not have knocked it. But as it’s used to merely game the slot machines at Willard Whyte’s Whyte House, this definitely feels like a bit of an abuse of the Q Branch budget.

32 Most Ridiculous James Bond Gadgets

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The “Felix Lighter” – Live And Let Die

Communication is important when working on a case like that of Live and Let Die. With Commander Bond traveling to New York, a car cigarette lighter turned out to be his direct line to friend and ally Felix Leiter (David Hedison). Imagine randomly seeing someone talking to their car lighter, potentially sitting next to someone who doesn’t bat an eye at this sort of thing.

32 Most Ridiculous James Bond Gadgets

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Solex Agitator – The Man With The Golden Gun

Sometimes the James Bond movies need to go big and bad with their gadgets, and the solar power plant that the Solex Agitator unlocks in The Man with the Golden Gun is one such case. However, if you know anything about solar power, think about how long you’d need these batteries to charge in order to use that killer laser cannon Francisco Scaramanga (Christopher Lee) threw into the package.

32 Most Ridiculous James Bond Gadgets

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The Killer Tea Tray – The Spy Who Loved Me

A tea tray that can accelerate to the point where someone might literally lose their head? Sounds tempting, up until the point where you think about serving your closest friend/boss/dignitaries from the royal family, and you don’t know if the tray you’re using is this The Spy Who Loved Me gadget or not.

32 Most Ridiculous James Bond Gadgets

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Laser Weaponry – Moonraker

Laser weaponry sounds like a lot of fun, especially with the portable canons that Moonraker used to spice things up with a touch of Star Wars. But considering the energy used needs to strike its target several times before it’s effective, you might think twice before pulling one of these with you into battle. Unless you’re fighting the world’s most stationary army.

32 Most Ridiculous James Bond Gadgets

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Spiked Umbrella – For Your Eyes Only

An umbrella that could disable your enemy, simply by closing over their heads? Technically, For Your Eyes Only had the kernel of a good idea with this Bond gadget. However, the perfect storm of having to wait until it’s raining, and hoping you don’t pull this umbrella by accident, are the reasons why this tool is considered ridiculous.

32 Most Ridiculous James Bond Gadgets

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Yo-yo Saw – Octopussy

Do you consider yourself a pro with a yo-yo? Then Octopussy’s yo-yo saw might be a gadget for you. Are you useless with a yo-yo, like most of the world probably happens to be? Then you may want to leave this one on the shelf and pick up something a little less ridiculous from Q-Branch.

32 Most Ridiculous James Bond Gadgets

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Snooper the Robot – A View To A Kill

If you’re a series that involves cutting-edge gadgets, funny robots are almost always going to pop up in your arsenal. Q-Branch wasn’t immune to this law, thanks to the very conspicuous, and absurdly cartoony Snooper the Robot, as seen in A View to a Kill. Then again, with a beautifully over-the-top Bond villain played by Christopher Walken in the mix, I could see why Snooper felt like it fit right in.

32 Most Ridiculous James Bond Gadgets

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The Revolving Couch – The Living Daylights

Even Timothy Dalton Bond movies as serious as The Living Daylights have their share of ridiculous 007 gadgets. Being tested during Dalton’s initial outing, the revolving couch was posed as a menace to rogue agents looking to take a nap. You have to wonder how much air is in that couch, and how anyone would know that it’s trapped a baddie before sitting down for a spell.

32 Most Ridiculous James Bond Gadgets

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Dentonite Toothpaste – Licence To Kill

Whether someone accidentally misuses the explosive Dentonite toothpaste from Licence to Kill, or you don’t handle it properly yourself, this is a mess that’s not going to be fun to clean up. And there’s a pretty big chance that either of those scenarios could potentially happen; as this stuff is pretty convincingly branded.

32 Most Ridiculous James Bond Gadgets

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Smothering Phone Box – Goldeneye

The element of surprise is always a good thing to have when taking care of enemy operatives. But even in that respect Goldeneye’s Q-Branch gadget in testing still feels rather outrageous; especially when you consider just how long it’ll take for someone to reset and dispose of the target once the job is complete.

32 Most Ridiculous James Bond Gadgets

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Killer Dart Fan – Tomorrow Never Dies

Concealed darts firing out of a fan are the beginnings of a good idea for a weapon. That being said, Tomorrow Never Dies executes this concept with a bit of absurdity, while 007 plays around with the toys present in the safehouse of Colonel Wai Lin (Michelle Yeoh). The James Bond movies of Pierce Brosnan ride the line between the serious and the silly rather well, with this device showing a little more of the latter half.

32 Most Ridiculous James Bond Gadgets

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Weaponized Bagpipe – The World Is Not Enough

Bagpipes have always garnered a mixed reaction from fans of music and entertainment. The World is Not Enough may have divided the crowd even more, thanks to this set of pipes that acts as a two-in-one weapon. Though the flamethrower could make for one smart Burns Night s’mores roast.

32 Most Ridiculous James Bond Gadgets

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Virtual Reality Simulator – Die Another Day

In theory, Die Another Day’s VR Simulator would make for an interesting training exercise for agents like James Bond. But as the film sees this tool abused to exercise personal grudges and crushes, it’s back to the drawing board for 007’s version of Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Holodeck.

32 Most Ridiculous James Bond Gadgets

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Portable Defibrillator – Casino Royale

Could having a portable defibrillator come in handy? It obviously could. But if your unit is like the one that Daniel Craig’s James Bond had in Casino Royale, the fact that it’s so easy to sabotage cancels out the medical efficacy. Plus, what if you accidentally set it off while reaching for your car registration and insurance papers?

32 Most Ridiculous James Bond Gadgets

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Nothing – Quantum of Solace

Brace yourselves, folks: there aren’t really any field gadgets in Quantum of Solace. Unless you count Bond using a can of motor oil that Dominic Greene (Mathieu Amalric) is given for hydration as 007 leaves him to trek the desert. In which case…yeah, there’s still nothing.

32 Most Ridiculous James Bond Gadgets

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Radio Transmitter – Skyfall

Having a way to keep tabs on James Bond’s location at all times is a smart move; so Skyfall’s radio transmitter gets points for practicality. Up until the point you realize that Commander Bond was already microchipped, and painfully so, in Casino Royale. One can sympathize when 007 (Daniel Craig) quips to Q (Ben Whishaw) that it’s “not exactly Christmas” when receiving this “gadget” upon returning to active duty.

32 Most Ridiculous James Bond Gadgets

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Laser Microphone – Spectre

How can a Q-Branch device be so smart and yet so ill-advised? Spectre kind of answers that question, as James Bond’s laser microphone mounted to a weapon is smart…until you realize it’s going to wreck someone’s ears, unless you remember to deactivate it before firing! Also, the telltale blue tracking laser is cool, up until your target notices it in a random cloud of smoke.

32 Most Ridiculous James Bond Gadgets

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Project Heracles – No Time To Die

Project Heracles was a smart weapon that was so deadly it should never fall into the wrong hands. And sure enough, these genetically targeted nanobots did exactly that, causing No Time To Die’s explosive finale.

32 Most Ridiculous James Bond Gadgets

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The Gigantic Safe Cracker – On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

The James Bond series loves its safe crackers. Several movies, including On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, use this device to make for some tight situations. Considering this gigantic version came after a much smaller variant was used in You Only Live Twice, this piece of tech feels obsolete out of the box.

32 Most Ridiculous James Bond Gadgets

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Drysuit With A Bird Disguise – Goldfinger

It’s always a good idea to pack tactical gear that allows you to keep dry in slippery situations. But did Goldfinger’s drysuit really need that ridiculous bird on the headpiece? It’s a clear decoy, and when you question just how that bird is swimming while looking so still, the illusion falls apart.

32 Most Ridiculous James Bond Gadgets

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Wet Nellie – Spy Who Loved Me

Sometimes ridiculous rides on the edge of cool, making for something I’d like to call “ridiculously cool.” The Lotus Esprit submersible from The Spy Who Loved Me, known as “Wet Nellie,” definitely fits that bill. Is it realistic? Not quite. Does that stop me from wanting one? Absolutely not.

32 Most Ridiculous James Bond Gadgets

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Pocket Snap Trap – Diamonds Are Forever

I’m not saying the MI6 equivalent of a gag from Who Framed Roger Rabbit isn’t a good idea. But the Pocket Snap Trap from Diamonds Are Forever is a gag that matches the slightly cartoony tone of that precursor to the Roger Moore era of shenanigans. Measured against the rest of the arsenal, it’s definitely a ridiculous addition.

32 Most Ridiculous James Bond Gadgets

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Exploding Bolas – Moonraker

The good news about Moonraker’s exploding bolas is that they aren’t so explosive that you need to use them from a significant distance. On the other hand: good luck finding someone who knows how to use bolas, or trying to learn such skills yourself; especially if you forget which pair is the practice set.

32 Most Ridiculous James Bond Gadgets

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A Weaponized Compressed Gas Pellet – Live And Let Die

Live and Let Die does get style points for taking out big bad Ross Kananga (Yaphet Kotto) with this weapon meant to dispose of sharks. And yet having this gadget on hand still feels rather ridiculous, as the scene that was supposed to prove its use was, according to Writing Bond, cut before it was filmed.

32 Most Ridiculous James Bond Gadgets

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Perfume Flamethrower – Moonraker

The point of a perfectly innocuous gadget like Moonraker’s perfume flamethrower is, in fact, to conceal the true nature of this weaponized object. Even glossing over the potential for accidental usage, it’s highly doubtful that when frisked, an enemy henchman is going to just let you walk away with it on your person. 

While we’ve highlighted some ridiculous James Bond gadgets in our time discussing the tools of the trade above, that doesn’t make them any less cool or exciting. They may be head scratchers, but as we’ve seen time and again, the line between ridiculous and ridiculously cool is a thin one that this iconic franchise walks with much aplomb. So here’s to the future of both halves of that concept revisiting the world, as the world of 007 continues to expand. 

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