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  • Angst? What Angst?: Felix Leiter turns up at the end of the film, and is remarkably chipper for a man who's just lost his wife to a murderer and got his leg torn off by a shark. Then again, he's just learned that his friend killed every single person involved and used his wedding gift to have the man responsible burned alive. Grief will probably catch up to him again soon, but for now, he can feel a little better.
  • Breakaway Pop Hit: The closing theme "If You Asked Me To", sung by Patti LaBelle, which has also been covered by Celine Dion.
  • Catharsis Factor: Bond burning Sanchez alive using the lighter Felix gave him on his wedding day is possibly the most satisfying kill throughout the entire franchise.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome:
    • The title song by Gladys Knight, "Dirty Love" by Tom Feehan and "If You Asked Me To" by Patti LaBelle.
    • Also, the triumphant Bond theme that rings out as Bond jet-skis into a moving plane, among other cool scenes.
    • One of the more... unusual renditions of the Bond theme is played by ricocheting bullets when Sanchez opens fire on Bond as he climbs onto one of the tankers at the end.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: Sanchez's response after he kills Milton Krest via Explosive Decompression. Possibly the only Bond movie where the villain gets a better Bond One-Liner than Bond himself:
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Perez: "What about the money, Patrón?"
Sanchez: (Beat) "Launder it."

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Felix: "He was married once... but that was a long time ago."

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    • Sharkey's death at the hands of Krest and his men; not helped by the fact that he was such a Nice Guy. Fortunately, Bond makes sure that he doesn't go unavenged and proceeds to kill the bastard who did it with a harpoon.
    • Lupe's life might be full of riches since she's very much a Gold Digger, but it isn't the happiest there is, what with Sanchez' Domestic Abuse on her.
  • Vindicated by History: At the time, it was initially considered a disappointment, partly from competition with Tim Burton's Batman but especially from comparisons to the Bond films that had preceded it. This, combined with legal issues over the franchise, ensured that another Bond film would not be made for 6 years, and that Timothy Dalton would not return to the lead role. License to Kill has since been re-evaluated as among the best installments in the franchise.
  • What an Idiot!:
    • Ed Killifer is dangling above the shark tank that Felix Leiter was lowered into earlier.
      You'd Expect: For him to not make it worse for himself by surrendering to Bond and turning himself to the authorities.
      Instead: He tries to bribe Bond with the blood money he was bribed with to spring Sanchez out of custody, which resulted in Bond's friend getting mauled by a shark and his wife being raped and murdered.
      The Result: A clearly pissed-off Bond throws the briefcase containing the blood money at him, resulting in Killifer becoming shark food.
      To Be Fair: Given how the whole movie is a Roaring Rampage of Revenge, Bond probably would've killed Killifer anyway.
    • Milton Krest is shown the pile of Sanchez's money sitting in the decompression chamber that "he" stole (which Bond had actually planted there).
      You'd Expect: That Krest would tell Sanchez that he didn't take it and was set up.
      Instead: He says that it's "not (his) money!", which earns the obvious response from Sanchez ("You're right, amigo. It's mine!"). While Krest was already looking guilty as sin to begin with, his weak defense didn't exactly help his case (not helping is the fact that Krest had been drinking and was nervous about being questioned by Sanchez to begin with).
      The Result: Krest is thrown into the decompression chamber and Sanchez promptly makes his head asplode via Explosive Decompression.
  • WTH? Casting Agency: The casting of Wayne Newton as Professor Joe Butcher still confuses some fans to this day. Didn't stop them from liking him, though.
  • The Woobie:
    • Felix Leiter. The man goes through hell in this film, and it's hard not to feel sorry for him.
    • Lupe Lamora. She's a self-admitted runaway who got herself mixed up in a bad situation when she and Sanchez became enamored with each other. On top of his abuse, she also must endure the advances of Milton Krest and is brutally punished for her unfaithfulness to Sanchez. When Bond comes along, she sees him as her only hope to escape Sanchez's grasp, and even then, he is often cold and cruel to her before he's convinced of her loyalty to him.
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