These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
Alternative Character Interpretation: Some people say that Gadget isn't stupid, he's willingly being a distraction so Penny can accomplish the mission, since when Penny's safety is threatened, he suddenly becomes a lot more competent.
The theme song often plays in the background. No matter what locale Gadget goes to, the local music is simply the theme song reworked to that particular country's musical style. This further ingrains the theme song in your ear and also saves the sound people from having to worry about copyrights. It's so catchy that even the characters frequently hum or whistle it.
The French version has a theme song with lyrics, making it one in its own right.
Ensemble Darkhorse: Some of the M.A.D. Agents get this treatment, most notably Lana Lamour from the episode "Movie Set".
Harsher in Hindsight: A MAD agent couldn't dare sneak blunt objects on a plane today, nor could Penny and Brain sneak into the cargo hold to get to destinations under Gadget's nose without plenty of TSA office visits and permanent inclusion on the no-fly list. Not to mention the chances of Gadget ever getting past airport security what with all the metal and potentially deadly equipment he's got inside him (Go-go gadget scissors, anyone?)
Gadget biting and destroying his pillow during a nightmare in "Bad Dreams Are Made of This" becomes even funnier and more disturbing if you're familiar with the honeymoon scene from a certain infamous vampire love story.
The idea of an assassination attempt via grenades disguised as milk bottles, and the assassin disguised as a milkman, would later be reused in The Living Daylights.
In the episode "Dry Spell", the M.A.D. agent Dirk Boulder is assisted by a pair of identical trolls, one wearing orange and the other wearing blue. Orange and blue would later be the respective colors of Fidget and Digit, the titular Gadgetinis from the spinoff series Gadget And The Gadgetinis.
Inferred Holocaust: Sometimes occurs either when M.A.D.'s superweapons are tested or when Gadget destroys their large, elaborate secret bases. For example, in "The Bermuda Triangle" Claw's hide-out is a huge, small city-sized ocean-floor complex that must require dozens if not hundreds of crew just for basic operations and daily maintenance. (About a dozen are seen onscreen in any one frame.) Gadget floods the base, and (barely) survives, as does Claw in his personal submarine — But no mention is made of other survivors ...
Magnum Opus: Many fans who grew up watching the series consider it DiC Entertainment's best cartoon, particularly for the professional writing and smooth animation.
Memetic Mutation: Gadget appeared to give instructions on a lot of early DiC DVD menus (even in series that had nothing to do with him), and some of the things he says have caught on due to a review by James Rolfe. Move the glow around the button you want to select!
For example, in "Magic Gadget," the second-season premiere episode. In their attempts to murder Gadget, the Great Wambini (stage magician cum ruthless M.A.D. agent) and his flunkies in turn transfix him with swords, drown him, and finally cut him in two at about mid-stomach height, trying to effect a Rasputinian Death. Gadget, of course, survives everything with only mild discomfort, and continues his investigation in his usual bumbling fashion — both halves of him. Wambini and company (and Brain) are, naturally, horrified.
From Season 2, "Gadget and Old Lace". The villains hired by Claw to get rid of Gadget are two cute but murderous old ladies, Sadie and Viola, and their ward Franklin, a mute giant wearing a boys' sailor suit several sizes too small, who immediately starts digging a fresh grave for Gadget among all the tombstones in the family garden...! Without Gadget's comedic antics, this would be pure horror material. As it stands, it's still disturbing, and also features one of the most graphic (and closest to successful) attempts on Gadget's life throughout the series. (It involves electrocution.)
The Scrappy: Corporal Capeman. Not only was he even stupider than Gadget, he would often be a total ass to Brain for no reason at all.
They Changed It, Now It Sucks: The second season, which has a different film look to it, most of the action takes place around Gadget's neighborhood, many of the voices are different and the plots... Nelvana wasn't involved with this season.
Broken Base: The fans are divided between those who despised the first film for not being close enough to the cartoons, those who hated the second film for not being enough like the first, people who hated both and prefer to stick to the cartoons, and the people who liked both films. All of the above is without taking onto consideration the people who liked either of the movies, but disliked the cartoons.
Ho Yay: That Kramerreally seems to get off on Claw'sabuse... while Claw praises Kramer in comparison to constantly dumping on Sikes. Not to mention:
Claw: "Ok. Turn me on, Kramer..."
Informed Wrongness: Through the second film, Gadget continually tells Penny that she can't help in the case because it's dangerous for a child. When one of her clues ends up being critical in finding out Claw's location after she's been kidnapped, he relents and says he should have given her a chance...Even though he was completely right about it being dangerous for her.
Moral Event Horizon: Scolex crosses it in his very first scene. Interestingly, John Brown (the future Gadget) thinks Scolex's MEH wasn't the murder of Dr. Artemus Bradford, but having his henchman track oil behind his limo, thus causing Brown's '87 Chevette to flip onto its roof and slide into a Yahoo! billboard. What makes that worse is that Scolex enjoys watching Brown suffer for going after him.
Overused Running Gag: The gag of the hearts popping up on Gadget's hat showing he's in love pops up in both movies, several times.
Sequelitis: The direct-to-video sequel dropped most of the better aspects of the film adaptation, the high-quality cast and the large budget was cut drastically. On the other hand, it was given props for following the cartoon's formula more closely than its predecessor.