- ―Gadget’s most common catchphrase[src]
- “Don’t worry, Chief! I’m always on duty!“
- ―Gadget’s other catchphrase[src]
- “He’s the best agent I’ve got!”
“And the only uncle I’ve got!“
- ―Chief Quimby and Penny[src]
Inspector Gadget, is the titular protagonist of the franchise of the same name. He is Penny’s uncle, one of Brain’s owners, and Chief Quimby’s top employee.
Inspector Gadget is creative, heroic, mild-mannered, determined, brave and kindhearted, although he’s also dim-witted, bumbling, gullible, incompetent, clumsy, and clueless. He also has a horrible judge of character and he thinks that the bad guys are his allies and his allies are his enemies.
He loves his niece Penny with all his heart and would do anything to protect her from harm. In fact, whenever he sees Penny in danger, he becomes competent and goes out of his way to rescue her and save the day.
He is generally incompetent and gets on by not only his simple luck, but also Penny and Brain’s unknown assistance. Gadget thwarts Dr. Claw’s daily schemes, often with secret help from Penny and Brain. The two closest times Gadget ever gets to capturing Claw is during the teaser intro where he enters Claw’s lair and handcuffs a decoy glove, only to have a bomb explode in his face; and also, and one time in a high speed pursuit car chase, where he almost catches the M.A.D. Mobile with the Gadget Claw (from the episode “The Amazon”). However, this is meant to demonstrate that Dr. Claw always manages to escape justice and that his face is never seen.
In early episodes, he is fairly competent and Penny only meddles, but since overtime, he becomes the bumbling idiot we know and love.
In the original cartoon, Gadget has straight black hair protruding from both sides, and a large nose. He wears a light-gray Mackintosh raincoat and trilby hat with a lighter-gray stripe in the middle, blue pants, light-gray shoes, and dark brown gloves. In the live-action films, he wears no gloves or blue pants.
During the Maurice LaMarche era, his raincoat and hat are dark-gray. His gloves are also yellow. He is also more slim than he is in the original cartoon.
In the 2015 reboot, he wears the same outfit as in the original series, but unlike Gadget’s other animated appearances, he is modelled with eyebrows.
Gadget has a wide range of Go-Gadgets at his disposal, the well-known gadgets listed here as such:
- Gadget Binoculars: Binoculars lower down out of his hat and over his eyes.
- Gadget ‘Brella: A hand holding an umbrella that comes out of his hat. It can be used as a parachute. More often than not, he will fall rapidly when using his ‘Brella when it turns inside-out.
- Gadget Coat / Gadget Airbag: His trench coat inflates when he pulls one of its buttons and enables him to float — in water or in the sky. It is almost always deflated by being punctured, making him shoot through the sky as the air is released before falling from a great height. However, in “Winter Olympics” (Pilot episode, Season 1), Gadget refers to it as “Gadget blimp”.
- Gadget ‘Copter / Gadget Chopper: Helicopter propeller blades that come out of his hat that enable him to fly. Gadget has a second, “Spare” unit available in the event of failure (episode 9). In both the cartoons and the movies, would occasionally get broken.
- Gadget Cuffs: A handcuff comes out of his forearm just above his hand.
- Gadget Hands: Several mechanical hands can pop out of Gadget’s hat. These hands will sometimes hold various objects including a camera, a motorized fan, a spotlight, a can opener, and other useful things. Of course, there are times when they will also be holding something useless or unhelpful to the situation. An extra hand appears out of the top of Gadget’s hat.
- Gadget Arms/ Gadget Legs / Gadget Neck: His neck, arms, and legs can telescope and extend to great lengths. Embedded into his left hand is a crank that can be used to retract the arm (episode 1). His legs are shown to contain spring mechanisms to increase his stride.
- Top-Secret Gadget Phone: A telephone in his hand. The earpiece is in his thumb, while the mouthpiece is in his pinky finger. This is one of the few gadgets that is not voice activated; Instead, Chief Quimby activates it by calling Gadget. (There is also a regular telephone inside Gadget’s hat.)
- Gadget Skates / Gadget Blades: Roller skates come out of the bottom of his shoes. He is often very clumsy and struggles to keep his balance on the skates. Later in the series, he tries adding his own modifications in the form of rockets that come out from the sides. These have even more glitches than most of his gadgets for their first few appearances.
- Gadget Springs: A spring comes out of his hat, enabling him to bounce, usually when falling head first and hitting his head against the ground. His legs can also extend with springs, which he uses often for jumping and landing. He also has springs in his shoes.
- His attire resembles that of Inspector Clouseau from the Pink Panther franchise. Also, in the pilot episode, Gadget has a mustache that is similar in appearance to Clouseau’s. This was quickly soon removed to avoid a lawsuit by MGM.
- Inspector Gadget’s mannerisms also appear to draw on the character of Maxwell Smart, portrayed by Don Adams (Gadget’s original voice actor) in the 1960s spy comedy show Get Smart.
- In the live-action film, Gadget works in Riverton, Ohio as a security guard named John Brown who tries unsuccessfully on a few occasions to apply to the police academy. It is only after getting critically injured at the hands of Claw and converted into a cyborg that he is admitted into the police force.
- Gadget almost always wears the same trench coat, gloves, and hat at all times. But on very rare occasions, he has been shown to wear other outfits in his leisure time.
- In the original cartoon, Gadget’s real name is never revealed, but it is strongly implied that his real last name is Gadget. In the live-action film, his real name is John Brown.
- In the original cartoon, he is given his gadgets by Professor Von Slickstein. In the live-action film, it is Brenda Bradford. In Gadget Boy & Heather (which was believed by many to be about Gadget as a child), Gadget was converted to a cyborg by Myron Dabble. On a trading card, he is revealed to have had his accident from slipping on a banana peel. Other than that, his origins were never revealed.