- “Who’s that? Gadget’s niece!“
- ―Dr. Claw[src]
Penny is Inspector Gadget’s niece and one of the main protagonists of the franchise. Penny secretly helps out her Uncle Gadget with his missions, but she lets him get all the credit in the end.
Penny secretly does all the work during Inspector Gadget’s missions, despite him always taking all the credit afterwards. She usually uses her computer book and video watch to help her solve the cases. It is never explained where Penny got them or why she has them in the first place, but given Penny’s super intelligence, she probably built it herself.
Inspector Gadget Saves Christmas
Penny joins her uncle to the North Pole to save Christmas from Dr. Claw. While Gadget is oblivious to the fact that Santa is trapped in an ice cave, Penny does all the work and stops the toys.
In the first movie, she does not have much of a role, but she is the one who convinces Sykes to turn against Dr. Claw and clears her uncle’s name.
In the second film, Penny wants to be given a chance by her uncle to become a fellow detective and come with him on his missions, but he would never let her as she is too young. She does so, but ends up in danger and its up to Gadget and G2 to save her. However, at the end of the film, she is awarded a medal by Gadget for being a junior detective.
Inspector Gadget (2015 TV Series)
Penny now joins Gadget on his missions and is an agent in training. Despite being Gadget’s new assistant, he still doesn’t listen to her and does what he wants instead.
Penny is precocious, intelligent, brave, beautiful, tomboyish, resourceful, and anonymously solves the cases for her Uncle Gadget, something which he is totally oblivious to. Penny also loves her uncle very much and looks up to him. It is never explained if she and/or Gadget have any other family members in the TV series, movies, or spin-offs, but Gadget seems to be the only family she has got. Penny foils Dr. Claw’s plans, leaving Gadget to get all of the credit for doing so, even though he didn’t do anything at all. This makes sense because Penny would be in serious danger, if she got the credit.
Penny often snoops around M.A.D.’s hideout or setup location to find out what they are up to; however, she normally ends up getting caught by Claw’s henchmen and she either escapes by herself or calls her loyal pet dog Brain to rescue her. But when she and Brain are both captured, Gadget becomes surprisingly useful and competent and goes out to rescue both of them. Gadget loves Penny more than anything and he sees Penny as his baby girl. Penny is also very knowledgeable; for example, in “Clear Case”, when she and Brain are in a laboratory of a diamond mine in South Africa, she knows how M.A.D agents are making invisibility suits to scare off miners by making them think they are ghosts. Quoting: “Diamonds refract light. They discovered a way to grind them into a powder and make a diamond cloth. It’s like a coat made of mirrors: It deflects light so you can’t see it.”
Penny is also very patient and tolerant, particularly when putting up with her uncle’s clumsiness and stupidity.
In the 2015 series, she is now a junior agent. She is a lot more flawed and active. She acts like a typical teenager when she’s not on duty. She is right-handed and very intelligent in addition to her cuteness and beauty and is capable of hacking into almost any computer-based system. Despite being fearless and a genius, Penny does have her flaws.
It is shown in episodes such as “Claw’s Nephew”, “Gadget 2.0”, and “Eye of the Dragon” that she has a strong weakness for boys and gets nervous when they’re near her. She may be in love with Dr. Claw’s nephews, Billy Thaw and Talon.
Penny has shoulder-length blonde hair worn in two pigtails. In the first live-action film, she was depicted as a brunette, though in the sequel, she is depicted as a blonde like in the cartoon. Her eyes are blue-green. In Gadget and the Gadgetinis and Inspector Gadget’s Last Case, her eyes are purple-blue.
Penny’s age throughout the original animated series is 10 years old. 2 years later, she is 12 years old in Gadget and the Gadgetinis and Inspector Gadget’s Last Case. 3 years later, she is 15 in the 2015 series. A year later, she is 16 years old in the 2005 film Inspector Gadget’s Biggest Caper Ever.
In the original cartoon, Penny wears a red short-sleeved T-shirt with a thick white stripe in the middle of her torso with olive green pants with light green knee patches, followed by red and pink sneakers. In the second season, she wears a blue and white football jacket.
In the early 2000s, Penny wears a pink midriff shirt, a long sleeve turtleneck, brown baggy pants, brown belt with gray buckle, and red sneakers. Her pigtails are also straight up, and she wears a red bikini at the beach.
In Biggest Caper Ever, she wore a red and white short sleeve shirt, blue jeans with a Belt, and black sneakers. She also no longer has thick cut bangs.
In the 2015 series, she wears a red and white hoodie, blue jeans, red boots with white laces, and red finger-less gloves, though occasionally she can be seen in her outfit of the original cartoon. On two occasions, she is seen wearing a similar uniform, except it is black with neon blue stripes on the sides, and the boots have neon blue laces, as shown below.
- Penny’s last name is unknown. While Inspector Gadget’s last name is “Brown” in the live-action film, the animated series strongly implies that Gadget is his real last name. While one can assume Penny’s last name is Brown or Gadget, she frequently calls him “Uncle Gadget,” suggesting that Gadget may be her maternal uncle or that he had his gadgets before Penny was born or before she met him, or if Gadget and Penny are related at all.
- It is never revealed why Penny is with Gadget and for some reason, the mere subject of Penny’s parents are never brought up at all.
- According to the book Go-Go Gadget: The Creation of Inspector Gadget by Andy Heyward, Penny was originally “capable of prodigious feats of strength”. While this feat was never kept in for any incarnation of Penny, it’s possible that her temporarily gaining super strength in the episode “Old Man of the Mountain” was used as a homage.
- According to “You Know the Drill”, she is claustrophobic.
- Penny was Cree Summer’s very first voice acting role. Summer reprises her role for the cutscenes of Inspector Gadget: Gadget’s Greatest Gadgets, the Robot Chicken episode, “Adoption’s an Option”, and the Nostalgic Critic review of Inspector Gadget Saves Christmas.
- Coincidentally, Cree Summer and Tara Strong are best friends.
- Cree Summer was unable to reprise the role of Penny for Season 2 of Inspector Gadget and is replaced by Holly Berger.
- Her Polish name is Lilly and dubber is Halina Chrobak (1983 series).
- In the episode “Midnight Madness”, she has Gelotophobia (fear of being laughed at).
- Her Arabic name is Dania in the 1983 series.
- ↑ Evil U: (Penny) “If my middle name wasn’t Ruth it would be Ruthless”.
- ↑ Brain Drain: (Penny) “What’s my middle name?” (Talon) “Ruth! What? I follow you on MySpySpace.”
- ↑ by Malicious, first in Evil U where it is short for “Dollah Bill”, then again in Frienemy of the State
- ↑ a play on “petty crime” which is another of her criminal aliases in a dream sequence at the start of one episode
- ↑ by Kayla in The Talon-ted Mr. Colin
- ↑ by Talon then Gadget in The MADstache of Professor Coin
- ↑ Penny calls this “my code name” in Baking Bad
- ↑ Name is preceded in title in new series where she is a junior agent for HQ