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Inspector Gadget (character)

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Inspector Gadget
Gadget Clipart
AKA Uncle Gadget (by Penny), Uncle John (by Penny in the 1999 film), Officer Brown, Lieutenant Gadget (in Gadget and the Gadgetinis)
Occupation Detective
Gender Male
Race Human-Cyborg
Status Alive
Family Penny (niece)
Gadget Boy (nephew)
Jules Gadget (father)
Annie Gadget (mother)
Cave Gadget (prehistoric ancestor)
Gadgetorus (Ancient Roman ancestor)
Char and Chimney Gadget (great-great-grandparents)
Location Metro City
Riverton, Ohio (in the live-action films)
Portrayed By Matthew Broderick (1999 film)
French Stewart (2003 sequel)
―Gadget's most common catchphrase[src]
"Don't worry, Chief! I'm always on duty!"
―Gadget's other catchphrase[src]

Lieutenant (formerly Officer in the 1999 live-action film) Jonathan "John" Brown, better known as Inspector Gadget, is the titular protagonist of the series of the same name. He is Penny and Gadget Boy's uncle, one of Brain's owners, and Chief Quimby's assistant.

Gadget is known for his cybernetic implants in his body and his trench coat. He is generally incompetent and gets by on not only his simple luck, but Penny and Brain's unknown assistance. Gadget thwarts Dr. Claw's daily schemes, often with help from Penny and Brain. The two closest times Gadget ever got to capturing Claw was 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, in a high speed pursuit car chase, where he almost caught Claw's car with a car claw. However, this is meant to demonstrate that Dr. Claw always manages to escape justice and that his face is never seen.



Gadget works as an inspector and detective for the Metro City police department. His missions often take him to a different exotic locale, generally without giving any explanation as to how a crime on the other side of the earth would be of any interest to, or even within the jurisdiction of, a city police department like the Metro City police, which included in one episode solving a rash of disappearances in the Bermuda Triangle, which turned out to be another M.A.D. plot.

Although there are rare exceptions, almost every episode of the first season follows a standard plot with little variation (many of these elements were tinkered with in season 2):

  1. Gadget, Penny, and Brain are engaged in a typical family activity that is interrupted by Chief Quimby calling on the Top Secret Gadget Phone. He then appears in an outlandish disguise, anything from a gas barrel, a Gypsy fortuneteller, a turtle shell to even a gargoyle on Gadget's house. In many episodes, Quimby appears accompanied by his theme music.
  2. Quimby gives Gadget a mission on a self-destructing sheet of paper. As Gadget reads the message, his eyes dart back and forth while the sound of a typewriter, fax machine, or a camera's shutter (in servo mode) is heard in the background. Often, Penny and Brain are near Gadget and listen to what he reads. A few times, Brain listens by himself; very rarely, Penny listens by herself. Occasionally, neither one of them listens to what Gadget reads. The last line of the message always reads: "This message will self-destruct," a spoof of the exploding taped messages from Mission: Impossible. The second season often had "Caution: This message will self-destruct" as the final line in the message. Gadget says his catchphrase, which is "Don't worry, Chief! I'm always on duty!" before he crumples the paper and then unintentionally throws the message back at the Chief and walks away. The message explodes seconds later in Quimby's face (his smoking pipe normally turns black and disintegrates after every explosion). Often, he will groan after the message explodes in his face and he will make some kind of comment afterwards, the most common being "Why do I put up with him?". The only episodes without the exploding paper are "Gadget's Replacement" (#23), where Gadget is replaced by a computer, and "Health Spa" (#6), in which Gadget does not even get a mission. Instead, Gadget slams the door in the Chief's face shortly after Quimby says, "At last, an assignment that didn't blow up in my face." In "M.A.D. Trap" (#20), Gadget does not get an assignment from Quimby, but when it appears that Dr. Claw doesn't intend to commit any crimes that day, Gadget gives Quimby a paper that reads, "Have you got any assignments for me today? This message will self-destruct." Quimby panics at this and drops it in front of the pigeons he was feeding. While attempting to rescue them, Gadget's message blows up in Quimby's face.
  3. Dr. Claw is always somehow visually monitoring this event on his computer from his desk or car, the, and introduces his scheme and usually a new supervillain employee to the viewers. The schemes nearly always include trying to eliminate Inspector Gadget as well as stealing valuable things. Later on in each episode, when the agents fail in their attempts to eliminate Gadget, Dr. Claw will berate his men for their failures. In some episodes like "Movie Set" (#13), he will restrain his anger towards his female agents; yet, he'll still let them know that he is disappointed for their inability to get rid of Gadget. In virtually all episodes, Claw doesn't hesitate to convey his displeasure whenever his agents fail during their missions.
  4. Usually, Gadget tells Penny and Brain the mission is too dangerous for them to come along, and he leaves to carry out the assignment, followed by Brain, and usually, Penny as well. Very occasionally, Gadget takes Penny and Brain along on the mission.
  5. Inspector Gadget bumbles through his mission oblivious to the dangers and overall situation around him. He frequently makes ridiculous assumptions (such as thinking that the sound of explosions is thunder). His bumbling has gotten him into dangerous situations, yet more often than not, he'll also bumble his way out of danger. This will aggravate the M.A.D. agent who's trying to get rid of him. Sometimes, Gadget's actions will injure the M.A.D. agents and, to add insult to injury, Gadget will make a comment to the agent, making him or her feel worse. He also almost always mistakes enemy agents for helpful allies, and vice versa. In "Winter Olympics (a.k.a. Gadget in Winterland)" (#1), "Amusement Park" (#14), "M.A.D. Trap" (#20), "Luck of the Irish" (#44) and "Ghost Catchers" (#75), he is trying to arrest the real enemy agents. In #73, "The Incredible Shrinking Gadget", when Gadget is shrunken twice by Dr. Dummkopf with his shrinking ray gun (later accidentally used by Corporal Capeman inside Gadget's bedroom), Gadget is convinced that M.A.D. has sent him to a giant replica of the Gadget house (despite that most of the episode takes place there), and that the real Penny, Brain, and Capeman are giant M.A.D. replica robots.
  6. Brain is always instructed by Penny to follow Gadget to make sure that he does not get hurt: "I'm worried, Brain. You'd better follow Uncle Gadget." Brain makes use of various costumes (although how he gets them is not explained) and often interacts with Gadget, who never recognizes him. Gadget usually considers the disguised Brain to be the main suspect. When intervening to save Gadget from M.A.D. agents, Brain often becomes the victim (along with the agents themselves) instead of Gadget. Gadget himself rarely comes to any harm, and if he does, it is usually self-inflicted. Even when Gadget falls into a M.A.D. agent trap, he always escapes by using his gadgets. Often, Penny calls Brain to discover if her uncle is all right.
  7. Meanwhile, Penny investigates the crimes and is usually the one to solve the case with the help of her Computer Book. With it, she can override the controls of just about anything electronic. Penny usually uses her computer book to figure out Claw's plan. Occasionally, Penny discovers M.A.D. plan by overhearing.
  8. Penny often becomes captured while snooping around, and is usually rescued by Brain, although she occasionally escapes herself. This occurred less in the second series.
  9. Usually, before Penny solves the case, she calls Chief Quimby to the crime scene. In #49, "Did You Myth Me?", Gadget calls Quimby. In #75, "Ghost Catchers", Brain calls Quimby. By this time, the current super agent in each episode will be close to completing their mission for Claw.
  10. Penny often uses her computer book to save the day. Occasionally, Gadget saves the day by accident. More often than not, Brain aids Penny in saving the day in addition to his job of keeping Gadget safe. Gadget then always gets the credit for solving the mission, with everyone believing that he has in fact stopped Claw single-handedly (Penny and Brain often arrange it to be so). Quimby appears and congratulates him. No one ever suspects that it was in fact Penny and Brain who usually did most, if not all, of the work. Typically, they show up and Gadget does not even know how they got there, but he is delighted to see them.
  11. After this, Claw is seen either in his hideout or escaping in his M.A.D. mobile, which can turn into an advanced jet or submarine, delivering his catch phrase: "I'll get you next time, Gadget! NEXT TIME!". Dr. Claw's cat, M.A.D. Cat, will usually hiss in agreement. This is not seen in #73, "The Incredible Shrinking Gadget"; instead, Dr. Claw's henchman, Dr. Dummkopf says "I'll get even next time!" when, after he is shrunken by Brain and Capeman, he escapes in a toy airplane owned by Penny. This phrase is also played towards the end of the end credits in every episode.
  12. In common with many 1980s children's TV shows, Inspector Gadget's last scene is usually a safety tip (known as a Gadget Team Alert) often relating to the episode .


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 Copter

    "Go go Gadget 'Copter!"

  • 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 Legs / Gadget Arms / 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.

The other gadgets are listed here:

  • Gadget Flower: A mechanical hand holding a big sunflower emerges from his hat and can either spray water or sleep gas towards an enemy.
  • Gadget Ears: Metal cones that deploy from his head, around his ears, allowing him to hear better. In the live-action film, Gadget's ear can pop off and attach to an object and he can remain connected to the ear through a yellow cable, and can still hear through it.
  • Gadget Lanyard: A mechanical lanyard extends from his belt buckle allowing him to attach himself to various objects
  • Gadget Flaps: Mechanical Flaps extend from his waist allowing him to glide smoothly, often used in conjunction with the above allowing him to attach to various forms of transport and escape precarious situations.
  • Gadget Hat Doff: When Gadget greets a lady, instead of doffing his hat, a mechanical hand emerges from his hat, in the hand is another hat; from this other hat emerges a second mechanical hand, which is also holding a hat. This gadget was only seen once, in the episode, Do Unto Udders.
  • Gadget Periscope: His hat opens and a periscope emerges to see over high objects or when underwater.
  • Gadget Tie: His necktie becomes a lasso.
  • Gadget Magnets: Magnets come out of the bottom of his shoes. More often than not, the magnets end up sticking to any metallic object with a magnetic attraction, just like Captain Planet's "magnetic" personality. It is sometimes useful when attempting to avoid slipping on slippery surfaces.
  • Gadget Mallet: A wooden hammer held in a robotic hand that also comes out of his hat. It usually winds up bopping someone it should not—sometimes even the Inspector himself.
  • Gadget Parachute: A relatively small, red parachute which was used only in episode #48, Do Unto Udders; he usually relies on the faulty 'Brella.
  • Gadget Respirator: A self-contained breathing mask and the only gadget that Gadget has to physically reach for and pull on as he said his "Go-Go-Gadget" command for it.
  • Gadget Refridge-a-Gadget: A gloved hand holding an unmarked aerosol can appears out of his hat and sprays a substance that immediately reduces the surrounding area to subzero temperatures. This gadget was only used in Gadget's Gadgets.
  • Gadget Siren: A police light and siren emerge from the top of his hat, it is used in the starting credits.
  • Gadget Heel Boosters: They flap at the heel of his feet open and flames thrust out boosting his speed when using Gadget Skates only used in episode #52, Follow That Jet.
  • Gadget Skis: A pair of skis that extend out of the front and back of his shoes.
  • Gadget Teeth: Gadget's teeth deploy from his mouth and fly about.
  • Gadget Wind Sail: A huge wind sail emerges from his hat, which, when combined with Gadget Skis, allows him to wind sail down a snowy track (used in Winter Olympics and Bad Altitude)
  • Gadget Radar: A radar emerges from his hat (used in "Clear Case" and "Dutch Treat").
  • Gadget Eyeballs: He could pop out his eye balls and he could control them remotely to roll around and feed back an image for spying purposes (used in "Bad Dreams Are Made of This").
  • Gadget Pulley: A mechanical hand holding a pulley on a handle emerges from Gadget's hat to allow him to travel down a gondola cable (used in Amusement Park).
  • Finger Gadgets: There are several gadgets inside his fingers, accessed by taking the end off his finger to expose the gadget. In both incarnations, these include a flashlight, skeleton key, laser, pen, screwdriver, drill bit, snow gun, corkscrew, water pistol, whistle, balloon inflator, bubble blower (a bubble wand blows bubbles without the need for any sort of wind), breath freshener (a breath spray sprays from Gadget's pinky finger), lighter (a lighter lights within Gadget's thumb), pez dispenser, scissors (a pair of scissors pop out from Gadget's finger). It can snip itself through a spring mechanism and toothpaste (toothpaste squirts from Gadget's finger. Gadget once covered himself and Brenda with more than a gallon of toothpaste when learning how to use his new body).
  • Gadget Grappling Hook: A grappling hook fires from Gadget's hat.
  • Gadget Hat: The blank band on Gadget's hat displays a flashing heart, as well as Miranda Right in the film version.
  • Gadget Lightbulb: A light bulb sprouts from Gadget's hat while he thinks.
  • Gadget Loudspeaker: A microphone for an unseen loudspeaker appears over Gadget's mouth.
  • Gadget Magnifying Glass: A magnifying glass drops from Gadget's hat over his eyes. It can increase the magnification to 3 levels in the movie.
  • Gadget Oil Slick: A gadget Gadget tried to use twice in the films. Instead of firing oil, it fires toothpaste.
  • Gadget Parasol: A parasol unfurls from Gadget's hat
  • Gadget Skis: Skis appear from Gadget's shoes. Destroyed during a chase in the film, as the friction of a road was too much for the skis.
  • Gadget Spanish Translation: In the movie, translates "Sí" to "Yes." It is possible the Gadget Translation gadget can translate languages other than Spanish, but this isn't seen.
  • Gadget Suction Shoes: Suction cups pop out from the soles of Gadget's shoes. They are amazingly powerful, and able to suspend Gadget from the ceiling for an extended period of time.


Gadget Stub"Inspector Gadget is always on duty!"

Gadget is shy, creative, heroic, mild-mannered, determined, brave, curious, nice, and kindhearted, although he's also a bit dim-witted, bumbling, gullible, incompetent, clumsy, and clueless.

He loves Penny with all his heart and would do anything to protect her from harm.


Gadget has straight black hair and he has brown eyes.

He wears a trench coat with a hat, blue pants, and dark brown gloves. In the live-action films, he wears no gloves or blue pants.


Inspector Gadget

―Gadget's catchphrase[src]

Inspector Gadget's Field Trip

Coming soon!

Inspector Gadget

Brenda Bradford: "Okay, so if you, um, want to operate one of your gadgets, you simply say, "Go go gadget." And then you name the device."
Inspector Gadget: "Well, couldn't I say something more official? Like... like, "In the name of justice!""
Brenda Bradford: "(Laughs) Well you could, but it wouldn't work."
Inspector Gadget: "But "Go go Gadget" sound so..."
Brenda Bradford: "My father designed the program, and he..."
Inspector Gadget: "Oh! Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh! It's "Go go Gadget!""
Brenda Bradford: "(Nods her heads)"
Inspector Gadget: "(Smiling) I I really like it!"
Brenda Bradford: "(Laughs) Good. I'm glad. (Nods her head, followed suit by Gadget) So... okay let's say there were two guys trying to rob a jewelry store. And you wanted to trip 'em up. What would you do?"
Inspector Gadget: "Okay. Uh... uh, lemme think. (A light bulb pops out of his hat as he thinks and the bulb suddenly shines) Go go Gadget oil slick! (The bulb goes back down and a tube suddenly pops out of his left arm, which Brenda notices and gasps and is then covered in it)'"
Brenda Bradford: "That's not oil! It's toothpaste! (Laughs as she continues to get covered in toothpaste) STOP IT! (Get covered up and laughs her head off) Say, "Go go Gadget stop!""
Inspector Gadget: "Go go stop!"
Brenda Bradford: "We're gonna need some more work to do!"
—Gadget testing his gadgets in the park with Brenda
Inspector Gadget: "I've gotta talk to the Chief. The trouble is, he's not taking me seriously."
Gadgetmobile: "Oh, boo hoo hoo, rookie! Nobody likes a whiner! Now what are you gonna do about it?"
Inspector Gadget: "I'm ready to get tough — real tough."
—Gadget to the Gadgetmobile about talking to Quimby when arriving at the Riverton Police Department

Inspector Gadget: Gadget's Greatest Gadgets

Coming soon!

Gadget and the Gadgetinis

Coming soon

Inspector Gadget's Last Case

Coming soon!

Inspector Gadget 2

Inspector Gadget: "Wowsers, it's quiet. Too quiet. And when it's this quiet... you know what that means, Brain?"
Brain: "(Whimpers)"
Inspector Gadget: "(Wildly turns his head around with dramatic music playing, then stops, along with the music) ...Evil's afoot."
—Gadget, upon noticing Riverton is extremely quiet
Inspector Gadget: "Ma'am, do you know that drag racing on public roads is illegal?"
Quimby's Mother: "But officer, I--"
Inspector Gadget: "There are no buts when it comes to the law! I'm afraid I'm gonna need to see your driver's license."
Quimby's Mother: "I'm sorry, officer. I must've left it at home."
Inspector Gadget: "(Nodding his head and smiling in a disbelieving way) Yeah. A likely story. Go go Gadget handcuffs! (Suddenly springs up in the air and screams, startled) You have the right to remain-- (Springs up again) --Silent! If you give up-- comin' through! (Bounces in Quimby's mother's car and bounces back out) --That right-- (Bounces onto Quimby's mother's car and slides off) Uhh!"
Gadgetmobile: "My man really needs to switch to decaf."
—Gadget about to arrest Quimby's mother

Inspector Gadget's Biggest Caper Ever: The Case of the Giant Flying Lizard

Coming soon!


  • His fashion sense resembles that of Inspector Clouseau from the Pink Panther films. Also, in the pilot episode, Gadget had a mustache that was similar in appearance to Clouseau's. This was soon removed to avoid being sued by MGM.
  • Inspector Gadget's mannerisms also appear to draw on the character of Maxwell Smart, portrayed by Don Adams in Get Smart.
  • In the live-action film, Gadget worked in Riverton, Ohio as a security guard named John Brown who tried unsuccessfully on a few occasions to apply to the police academy. It was only after getting critically injured at the hands of Claw and converted into a cyborg that he was 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 on his leisure time.
  • In the cartoon, Gadget's real name was never revealed, but it was strongly implied that his real last name was Gadget. In the live-action film, his real name was John Brown.
  • In the original cartoon, he was given his gadgets by Professor Von Slickstein. In the live-action film, it was Brenda Bradford. In Gadget Boy & Heather and Gadget Boy's Adventures in History (which was believed by many to be about Gadget as a child), Gadget was converted to a cyborg by Myron Dabble.
  • Aside from the non-canon live-action film, Gadget's origins were never revealed.

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