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Review of the Episode “A Bad Altitude” in the Cartoon Inspector Gadget

Ara is a Journalism graduate from California State University Northridge who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

Introduction to the Episode "A Bad Altitude"

Original airing date: November 17, 1983

A Bad Altitude” is more than just the 50th episode in the cartoon Inspector Gadget. It is also another one of those “vacation” style episodes that features Inspector Gadget, his niece Penny and their dog Brain going on vacation as a family. I put the word vacation in quotes to emphasize the point that this episode is another one of those to feature going on vacation in the literal sense.

What is the Main Plot in the Episode "A Bad Altitude?"

This time, the lovable police Inspector Gadget must once again travel to the South Pacific to investigate the reasons behind a plot by Dr. Claw to hold entire hotels for ransom while planning to destroy those hotels if the managers don’t give him whatever he wants. It is a good thing that Inspector Gadget allows Penny to come along with him as she is going to play a vital role in solving the case.

Inspector Gadget With His Niece Penny

Inspector Gadget in this photo is expressing his fear because a huge snowball is headed towards him and his niece Penny.

Inspector Gadget in this photo is expressing his fear because a huge snowball is headed towards him and his niece Penny.

How Does Penny Solve This Complicated Case?

How does she do this? Penny starts to investigate what is going on after she wakes up in the morning the day after she arrives in Everest Island. She sees puddles of water in the hallway of the hotel, thinking that someone has walked in with snow on their boots. But after Brain examines the floor, it turns out that the puddles are puddles of salty water and not melted snow. Penny discovers a special elevator that has a secret door that leads from the island into the ocean. In spite of getting captured by agents of Dr. Claw twice, she uses her computer book to reverse Dr. Claw’s main plans. And now it is time to introduce a new concept in these animated cartoon reviews. Here are a few funny facts or observations about the episode.

Funny Fact #1 for the Episode A Bad Altitude

The first really different structural tactic for this review is to demonstrate funny facts for the episode “A Bad Altitude.” This first one is when Inspector Gadget is looking to find where his boss Chief Quimby is. He uses his binoculars and discovers what he believes to be a mountain range in Metro City! It is actually Chief Quimby disguised as a gorilla!

Inspector Gadget & Agent Ricardo

Agent Ricardo is shocked to see that Inspector Gadget is still alive one night after he though that he got rid of him.

Agent Ricardo is shocked to see that Inspector Gadget is still alive one night after he though that he got rid of him.

"A Bad Altitude"

Funny Fact #2: Memorable Quotes from the Episode “A Bad Altitude”


“Maybe I’ll call Penny from town.”

Inspector Gadget talking about how to contact Penny and letting her know he is going into the town to find clues.

“Okay Chief my vacation can wait." - Inspector Gadget

“I think I need the vacation.”- Chief Quimby

"Sweet dreams Inspector Gadget!" - Agent Ricardo

Funny Fact #3: Inspector Gadget’s gadgets don’t quite work out the way that he wants them to

After a very eventful night in which Inspector Gadget’s life was in danger without him realizing it, he travels down the hall to the room where Penny is sleeping. He wants to use the notepad to write a note for her, telling her that he is going into town to search for clues. Instead of being able to activate his pen, a gadget malfunction occurs as he hits the ceiling because the copter gets activated instead.

Final Thoughts and the Influence of Inspector Gadget on Popular Culture

Overall, the episode A Bad Altitude contains scenes of Penny enjoying her vacation and the episode also has a very interesting plot to it with a few very funny scenes in it. This episode as well as the previous episode Did You Myth Me are very entertaining. Notice that as these episode reviews have been going on, attention has been made to more critical analysis as opposed to just straight summaries. Even though Inspector Gadget ended in early 1986, the show’s popularity has led to the creation of spin-offs such as Gadget and the Gadgetinis as well as a 2015 version of Inspector Gadget.

© 2018 Ara Vahanian