Characters: Inspector Gadget
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Gadget and Friends
- Badass Adorable
- Bound and Gagged: Happens frequently.
- Cree Summer: Played Penny for most of the original series. It was her first role.
- Damsel in Distress: She is often captured and tied up by Claw's henchmen.
- Damsel out of Distress: She oftens escapes from Claws' handmen, or arranges for Brain to rescue her.
- Dub Name Change: In the French version her name is Sophie.
- Girlish Pigtails
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold
- Hyper Competent Sidekick
- Kid Detective
- Nice Girl/Friend to All Living Things: Penny rarely shows anger, hardly ever even gets annoyed (even with her uncle's antics), and the number of people she shows intense dislike for throughout the entire franchise can be easily counted on one hand. As a result, she has a knack for making friends and allies at the drop of a hat.
- Non-Standard Character Design: In comparison to the other very cartoony designs in the show, Penny's is noticably more anime inspired and realistically proportioned. Gadget And The Gadgetinis gives her a somewhat wackier design, though still slightly more subtle than the rest of the cast.
- Not So Above It All: She may be the most competent and mature person in her household, but mention her favorite singer and she still goes into shrieking fangirl mode.
- Only One Name: Penny was never given a last name, though a lot of people just assume it's Gadget.
- Parental Abandonment: It's confirmed in the second season that Penny's parents are apparently deceased. We only have Dr. Claw's word for it but according to him, Penny is Gadget's only living relative.
- Plucky Girl
- Snooping Little Kid
- Serious Niece: To Gadget's Wacky Uncle
- Why Did It Have To Be Ghosts?: She gets over it with the help of Gadget.
Dr. Claw and M.A.D. Agents
- Ambiguously Human: With a voice like that...
- Angry Fist-Shake
- Berserk Button: Just seeing Gadget, or even simply having to mention his name, can make Dr. Claw angry enough to smash holes in his desk or shatter diamonds with his bare hands.
- Big Bad
- Camp Straight: In the live-action movie.
- Captain Ersatz: Of Ernst Stavro Blofeld.
- Catch Phrase: "I'll get you next time, Gadget! Next time!"
- The Chessmaster
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: For the movie. Also any episode that revolved around MAD setting up a legitimate business and then wiping out their competition by some underhanded means, leaving Dr. Claw with a monopoly.
- Diabolical Mastermind
- Enfante Terrible: Was implied to be one when he was a child. He mentions that he desired possession of the Crown Jewels since his youth in "Gadget's Clean Sweep", his mentor Les Renowned introduced in "Gadget meets the Clan" can be seen in a picture lecturing a younger Claw holding a lollipop, and the 1992 Christmas special had Dr. Claw mad at Santa Claus for never getting him the dirty tricks sled he wanted as a child.
- Evil Laugh
- Evil Plan: Each episode revolves around one.
- Evil Sounds Deep
- Exact Words: From the episode "The Invasion": "I said I feel like singing!"
- The Faceless: Not only faceless, but also bodiless as only his hands and arms are ever shown to the viewers. Luckily, in the movie, his whole appearance is Rupert Everett.
- His action figure however depicted his face. Click at risk of shattering childhood memories◊. In a brilliantly devious ploy of marketing, the packaging for the figure covered up his face with a piece of cardboard inviting you to buy the toy and finally see what he looked like.
- Faux Affably Evil
- Hook Hand: His origin in the movie.
- Joker Immunity: As shown in the second live-action film and the animated direct-to-video film Inspector Gadget's Biggest Caper Ever, not even capturing him and putting him in jail can stop Claw.
- Karma Houdini: Usually played straight in that he always avoided getting arrested, but some episodes subvert it and have Claw suffer a minor problem as he makes his getaway, such as being trapped at the bottom of the arctic waters in "Gone Went the Wind", getting frozen in "The Quimby Exchange", and getting hit by the blast of the Red Rose potato gun in the final episode "Gadget and the Red Rose".
- Large Ham: "HeeheeheeheeHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!"
- Mad Scientist
- No Name Given: While Gadget and the Gadgetinis has George Claw, the movie has Sanford Scolex.
- Right-Hand Cat: What Dr. Claw has (see MAD Cat below)
- Sinister Surveillance: The only thing he's ever shown doing.
- Slouch of Villainy: Throughout the series, he only watches the events from his lair or car.
- Surrounded by Idiots: Even with Penny always screwing up his plans, you sometimes think he might be ruling the world by now if his henchmen weren't all so stupid.
- Ultimate Evil
- Vile Villain, Saccharine Show
- Villain Exit Stage Left: Whenever he's actually at the scene of a MAD activity, he'll typically escape in the MAD Mobile once the Gadget family ruins his scheme.
- Yellow Eyes of Sneakiness: When his face is briefly shown in the SNES game.
The Great Wambini and the Lesser Wambini
- Karma Houdini: Are the first of the second season's recurring M.A.D. Agents that avoid arrest.
- Meaningful Name: The Great Wambini is a highly skilled magician while his lackey the Lesser Wambini is only capable of lame and underwhelming tricks.
- Stage Magician: Their usual disguise.
- Those Two Bad Guys
- Bald of Evil
- Karma Houdini: Yet another recurring M.A.D. Agent who never gets caught.
- Knight of Cerebus: Unlike most of the mad scientist M.A.D. Agents on the show, he has very few humorous traits and "Bad Dreams are Made of This", one of the episodes featuring him, is Darker and Edgier as it involves everyone in Metro City being tormented by bad dreams and even has Brain experiencing a nightmare where it is implied that M.A.D. Cat killed him.
- Mad Scientist
Dr. Null and Dr. Void
- Creepy Twins: They are both virtually identical.
- Karma Houdini: They never get captured in any of the three episodes featuring them.
- Verbal Tic: In their first appearance, they would often say the exact same phrase, but with differing usage of words.
- Karma Houdini: She is seen arrested at the end of the first episode with her, but the next has her free and back with MAD with no explanation. She does not get arrested in her next two appearances.
- Time Travel: Her episodes had her attempting to go back in time and kill Gadget's ancestors.
- Bigger Bad: He is Dr. Claw's mentor and therefore is indirectly responsible for the existence of Claw's crime organization M.A.D.
- Karma Houdini: The final recurring "villain" of Season 2 who is never arrested, although whether or not he really is a Houdini is arguable since he isn't really seen committing any crimes other than conspiracy (he introduces Dr. Claw to other elderly criminals who do get arrested at the end of their respective three episodes).
- Old Master: At least Dr. Claw seems to regard him as one; Claw claims Renown mentored him in the criminal arts.
- Punny Name: His name is a pun on "less renowned", referring to how Dr. Claw is more well known than he is.