Inspector Gadget is a cross between the TV show “Get Smart” main man Maxwell Smart and Inspector Clouseau of The Pink Panther movie - Gadget is the epitome of blunder - yet he is the master of gadgets and generally wins in the end.

Inspector Gadget has been an animated series - a television series - and a feature film which led to a direct to video sequel, all with a standard plot. Gadget is called on his Gadget Phone to tackle a mission for his Chief Quimby. Gadget then shows up in some outlandish disguise.

One of the running gags is that Quimby gives Gadget his orders on a piece of exploding paper - which blows up in Quimby’s face after Gadget has read it - and said his signature line - “... don’t worry Chief, I’m always on duty.”

Inspector Gadget then goes on to save the world from Dr. Claw and his pet cat from the organization - MAD. Gadget is helped along the way by his niece Penny (who does most of the investigating) and her dog Brain (who is) (the brain, that is).The shows were pretty formulaic and did not give too much background. The viewer had to figure out a lot of the plot by themselves.

But what we are interested in are all of the gadgets employed by Inspector Gadget.

  • Gadget Binoculars: Binoculars that lowered down out of his hat and over his eyes.
  • Gadget 'Brella: A hand holding an umbrella that came out of his hat. It was used as a parachute. More often than not, he would fall rapidly when using his 'Brella because it would usually turn inside-out.
  • Gadget Coat: His trench coat inflated when he pulled one of its buttons and enabled him to float. It almost always deflated by being punctured, usually causing him to fall from a great height.
  • Gadget Copter: Helicopter propeller blades that came out of his hat that enabled him to fly.
  • Gadget Cuffs: A handcuff came out of his forearm just above his hand.
  • Gadget Ears: Metal cones that deployed from his head, around his ears, allowing him to hear better.
  • Gadget Hands: Several mechanical hands could pop out of Gadget's hat. These hands would sometimes hold various objects including a camera, a motorized fan, a spotlight, a can opener, and other useful things.
  • Gadget Lasso: His necktie turned into a lasso.
  • Gadget Legs/Arms/Neck: His neck, arms, and legs could extend to great lengths.
  • 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. It is sometimes useful when attempting to avoid slipping on slippery surfaces.
  • Gadget Mallet: A wooden hammer held in a robotic hand that also came out of his hat. It usually wound up bopping someone it should not — sometimes even the Inspector himself.
  • Gadget Phone: A telephone in his hand. The antenna came out of one finger and the speaker and receiver on others. This was one of the few gadgets that were not voice activated. Possibly a loose reference, also, to Maxwell Smart's shoe-phone. (At one point, there was also a regular telephone inside Gadget's hat.)
  • Gadget Respirator: A self-contained breathing mask and the only hat gadget that Gadget has to physically reach for and pull on.
  • Gadget Siren: A police light and siren popped out of the top of his hat.
  • Gadget Skates: Roller skates came out of the bottom of his shoes. Also, sometimes rockets would come out of the sides.
  • Gadget Skis: Skis extended out of the ends of his shoes.
  • Gadget Spring: A spring came out of his hat, enabling him to bounce usually when falling head first and hitting his head against the ground.
  • Gadget Teeth: His teeth popped out of his mouth, and the teeth would float around, biting the air. He couldn't talk when this was in use (at least not well).
  • Hand Gadgets: There were several gadgets inside his fingers, accessed by taking the end off his finger to expose the gadget. These included a flashlight, key, laser, pen, screwdriver, drillbit, snow gun, corkscrew, and whistle.

    How could he have all these gadgets? I forgot to mention that Inspector Gadget is a cyborg. How he has a regular human niece is one of the things that is not explained.

    There are a lot of resources here to better explain all of the incarnations of Inspector Gadget.