The Pink Panther is the main and title character in the opening and closing credit sequences of every film in The Pink Panther series except for A Shot in the Dark and Inspector Clouseau. His popularity spawned a series of theatrical shorts, merchandise, a comic book, and television cartoons. He starred in 124 shorts (either theatrical or televised), 10 television shows and three prime time specials. He's also known as Nathu and Pangu in East and South Asia and Paulchen Panther (Little Paul the Panther) in Germany.


The Pink Panther is tall, thin, and hence his name, Pink panther. He has small, circular ears above his rectangular-like head. The Pink Panther also has large, yellow eyeballs, black eyes and an even larger purple, triangular nose. The Pink Panther also has a long tail and 4 fingers, like any other cartoon character. In the comedy films the panther is a panther-shaped flaw inside the world's most valuable diamond, also called The Pink Panther for this reason. The opening sequence of the first film features the panther moving about inside the diamond.

The Pink Panther diamond also appears in Return of the Pink Panther, and after that all of the film featured its name in their titles, whether the diamond appeared or not. The diamond did appear in "Trail of the Pink Panther", "Curse of the Pink Panther" and Martin films and Walt Disney Pictures. According to the Martin films and Walt Disney Pictures, which were supposed to be prequels, the diamond starts off in the possession of a sports coach who is murdered for it. It later lands up in the possession of a singer called Xenia. The jewel is stolen again in the sequel by The Tornado, and once again recovered by Clouseau. In the original film, the jewel was given by the people of Lugash to their ruler as a sign of gratitude, and he in turn gave it to his daughter, Princess Dala. Clouseau correctly assumes that The Phantom will be after it, and tails Dala to a ski resort, waiting for The Phantom to strike.

Clouseau finally sets his trap at Dala's costume ball, where Lytton, The Phantom, shows up to steal it, as does his nephew, George. When both men (dressed as gorrillas) find that the jewel has already been stolen, they run for it and are arrested after a car chase. Dala turns out to have stolen the jewel herself to avoid deportation, but she is willing to part with it to save Lytton from prison, and she and Clouseau's wife frame Clouseau by planting the jewel on him.