Mr. Hector J. Peabody is the main protagonist of Peabody's Improbable History. He is a world renowned genius, who happens to be an anthropomorphic beagle and the very strict but fair owner of Sherman.
"The brilliant and slightly egotistical beagle known as Mr. Peabody has long been recognized as the world's most intelligent dog-despite his penchant for making the worst puns in the history of wordplay. During his youth, Mr. Peabody was sent to the Canine Academy for the ARFS (Affection, Retrieval, Frolicking, and Sitting), where he was quickly recognized as a puppy prodigy when he recited Fredrich Nietzche's "Beyond Good and Evil" by memory in Latin, Russian, and his native tongue, Dog.
Tired of living alone in his lavish penthouse apartment, Mr. Peabody decided to adopt his own boy. A young orphan named Sherman became his faithful companion following a lengthy custody battle-which Mr. Peabody won because of his unfathomable legal knowledge. In order to exercise Sherman and keep him off his furniture, Mr. Peabody built the WABAC machine, which holds the distinction of being the world's first working time travel device invented by a dog.
When not correcting the course of history on his trips through time in the WABAC, Mr. Peabody practices both yoga and judo, writes sonnets in Sanskrit, and composes twelve-tone duets for swinette and glockenspiel."
Mr. Peabody was a puppy when he made his first genius accomplishments, and was known as the "Puppy Prodigy". At the age of three, he got his degree at Harvard (Wagna-Cum-Laude). Then some brief work for the foreign service, (he speaks eight languages, including english, fluently). Next, he worked on some research projects for the Government, and also dabbled in the stock market, where he became the "Woof of Wall Street". Despite his success, Peabody felt something was missing in his life, and after seeing a movie poster of a boy and a dog together, he decided to adopt a boy for a pet.
Peabody searched high and low for a boy, but could not find one that met his high standards. While walking by an alley, he saw a young boy getting beat up by a group of bullies. After scaring the bullies away, the boy introduced himself as Sherman. Peabody took Sherman home to the orphanage he lived in, but after seeing how cruel the owner was, he made up his mind to adopt Sherman himself.
After submitting references, (and getting old friends, one being the President, to write letters), being investigated, and a court hearing, it was settled that Peabody's background was "unimpeachable" and he was finally able to adopt Sherman, who was allowed to move into Peabody's luxury rooftop apartment in New York City. Peabody told Sherman that he was now his owner, not his father and told Sherman to call him "Mr. Peabody".
Peabody soon realized how difficult it was to raise a boy in an apartment, seeing that boys need running room, and so, as a birthday gift for Sherman, he invented a time machine, known as the WABAC. He and Sherman then go back in time to see a Roman speaking in Latin; Peabody then adds a translator circuit to the machine so that everyone seems to speak English and see the Roman again finding out he is a used chariot salesman. Their next trip is to see Ben Franklin flying his kite but find out they cannot interact with the past so Peabody makes some more adjustments turning the WABAC from time machine into a "should have been machine" which results in the past they visit being totally cockeyed and now they must save the timeline and rewrite history.
Mr. Peabody was different from other dogs, even as a pup, being incredibly smart, and more interested in intellectual pursuits than the usual tricks of regular dogs, like playing fetch, which he called an "exercise in futility". As a result of his oddness, no kids wanted to adopt him, leaving him lonely. Without a human family, Peabody devoted himself to the pursuit of knowledge, culture, and athletics, and became active in many fields. He went on to receive a degree at Harvard (Vale-dog-torian), and devoted his life to helping mankind. He established Peabody Industries, where he pioneered new techniques in alternative energy, solved geo-political conflicts around the globe, and in his spare time, he invented the fist-bump, planking, tear-away pants, autotune, the backside ollie, and Zumba.
One rainy day, as he was walking down the street, he heard crying from a nearby alley, and investigated, discovering an infant abandoned in a cardboard box, with only a blanket, and a paper with the name "Sherman" pinned to it.
Remembering his own childhood, and wanting to give the boy something he never had as a pup, a home and family, Peabody decided to adopt Sherman.
After adopting Sherman, Peabody vowed to be the best father he could be, and to prepare his son for all the wonders of the world, present and past. And so, Sherman inspired the greatest invention of Peabody's life, a time machine known as the WABAC. Using the WABAC, Peabody lovingly tutors him from a young age, and in this enriching spirit, life for the dog and his son proves to be a series of wild adventures throughout time.
Years go by, and Peabody decided it was time for Sherman to go to school with regular children. After reluctantly saying goodbye to Sherman, Peabody gives Sherman a dog whistle to remember him.
Later that afternoon, Peabody is called to the office of Principal Purdy, and finds out that Sherman was tormented by classmate Penny Peterson until he was finally provoked into biting her. Ms. Grunion, an evil Children's Services agent, arrives and informs Mr. Peabody that she will reclaim Sherman if an upcoming inspection of his home is deemed by her unfit for the boy.
Peabody invites the Petersons over to resolve the conflict. While Peabody charms Penny's parents Paul and Patty, Sherman is forced to entertain the hostile Penny. Eventually he is forced to disobey Peabody and shows her the WABAC to impress her which leads to them joyriding in it. Sherman returns moments later in the present to tell Peabody that Penny is in Ancient Egypt and refuses to leave her engagement to Pharaoh Tutankhamun. When they travel there to retrieve her, they explain to Penny that she will be killed upon Tut's young death, but she is dragged to the wedding while the duo are imprisoned after saying they will stop the ceremony. They escape and impersonate the god Anubis long enough to call off the wedding and return to the WABAC.
With the WABAC being low on energy, the trio stop in Renaissance Florence to seek the aid of Leonardo da Vinci to recharge it. While the geniuses arrange the machinery, Sherman and Penny find themselves growing closer as they try Leonardo's flying machine without permission. Angered at Sherman's disobedience, the following trip's tense atmosphere grows much worse when the WABAC is endangered by a black hole, while Sherman is upset that Mr. Peabody didn't tell him that he is at risk of being taken away by Children's Services.
As a result, the WABAC crash lands in the Trojan War, where Sherman runs away to join the army of King Agamemnon. When Mr. Peabody and Penny come to retrieve him, they are swept into the final sacking of Troy as the Trojan Horse rolls out of control with Penny inside. Eventually, the Trojan Horse is destroyed and Peabody is apparently killed in the wreckage.
Desperate to save his father, Sherman and Penny return to the present a few minutes before Sherman returned the first time to get Peabody to remedy the situation. Unfortunately, they are too late to leave before that event occurs followed by the arrival of the original Peabody (who had survived and returned after constructing a primitive WABAC) and Ms. Grunion herself. Now confronted with two Shermans and Peabody unable to explain the bizarre situation adequately, Ms. Grunion summarily declares the home unfit and seizes both Shermans despite Penny's protests that she was at fault. This disrupts the time-space continuum when the copies touch each other and both Mr. Peabodys and Shermans merge. Now with her suspicions confirmed, Ms. Grunion drags away Sherman again and Peabody, enraged at the sight of her hurting his son, momentarily reverts to instinct and bites her.
Now with the pretext to call Animal Control to have Peabody put down as a dangerous animal, Mr. Peabody and Sherman flee in the WABAC. However, a time vortex appears and various historical figures and objects are pulled to the present causing the WABAC to crash and Mr. Peabody is about to be taken away. At this, Sherman protests saying this is all his fault and declaring that he would rather be a dog to be a person as good as Peabody. Moved by this, every historical figure concurs along with Penny and her parents and US Presidents George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Bill Clinton declare their support for Peabody's legal custody of Sherman and have Grunion removed from the case.
Finally to stop the vortex, Sherman suggests that they use the WABAC to go to the future by a few minutes to undo the damage. With Sherman piloting and Mr. Peabody handling the computations, they are successful with all the historical things returned to their proper times, while the smitten Agamemnon forcibly takes along Ms. Grunion as well, the latter swearing revenge on Peabody.
At the end, satisfied that the space-time continuum has become contaminated with anachronisms, Mr. Peabody and Sherman are closer than ever in a happy life with Penny a close friend.
Peabody hosts a late night talk show with Sherman. Peabody usually tries to make every show as perfect as can be, but he keeps getting into all kinds of messes with his crazy neighbors and people who cause all of his shows to go haywire, but they always work out in the end. It is eventually revealed that he has two non-anthropomorphic foster parents, who embarrass him and in one episode, he has an Uncle Duke.
He also hosts a segment on the series called "Time Travel" where he tells the stories of his and Sherman's time travel adventures. Sometimes though, the time travel adventures cause them to mess with the present, which usually leads to them having to fix the problem they caused.
Mr. Peabody and Sherman make cameo appearances in their Netflix designs in the Moosebumps! arc when Rocky and Bullwinkle switch the bookcase in the haunted house.
Mr. Peabody, as noted, is smarter than any living being on Earth, he has a love of history and learning, and excels in several areas of science, most notably Physics, Engineering and Anthropology/History, plus mastering various artistic and athletic disciplines, such as music (shown when he was able to play any instrument Paul Peterson could name). Mr. Peabody also cares deeply for Sherman and loves him as if he was his biological son, though he can be a bit over-protective at times, especially compared to his original cartoon counterpart, who was a much more strict and distant authority figure towards Sherman, and considered himself Sherman's owner, not his adoptive father, and hardly smiled.
For all his intellect and skills. Mr. Peabody has an absolutely terrible sense of humor; shown strongest in his terrible puns and attempt to apply his analytical skills to slapstick comedy.
As intelligent and proper as Peabody is, he still maintains his canine instincts, such as being transfixed by a ball, wagging his tail when happy, etc. He also seems to have a liking towards the color red.
Peabody is a clever, witty, and extremely intelligent dog who saves Sherman from a group of bullies and adopts him after realizing how unfair his orphanage was. He treats Sherman like his pet and underling, but he shows he appreciates Sherman to some extent as he built the WABAC for him on his birthday. Peabody often scolds Sherman when he slips up but in the end treats Sherman fairly and wishes to give him a bright future like his own.
Peabody is an extremely ambitious and inventive dog who is the smartest being in the world. Peabody is extremely proud of his laundry list of achievements and positive qualities, holding his head high. He is surprisingly kind and fatherly but is prone to minor bragging, making puns tailored to the situation, and hiding his affection. His top priority is his son Sherman. He is, above all of Peabody's achievements, his utmost pride and joy and is the inspiration for his greatest invention, the WABAC which he created for Sherman when he was an infant to give him only the best education of history. Peabody would do anything for Sherman and has been raising him since he adopted him as a toddler under a firm yet gentle and loving paw.
Peabody is a snow white beagle who wears a scarlet red bowtie and round black glasses (originally red).
In the cartoon, Mr. Peabody is usually quadrupedal but can stand up and walk on two legs and has a long, smoothed tail.
In the film, he is usually bipedal and has a scruffed tail with a torso infamously shaped like a raindrop.
He has no irises in his other animated appearances, but green eyes in the film.
- The WABAC
- The Fistpump
- The Backside Ollie
- Tearaway Pants
- Peabody and Sherman make appearances at Toon Lagoon at Universal Island of Adventure on walls, paintings, and murals. They are the only major Rocky and Bullwinkle characters not to make any appearances or appear on merchandise.
- In a Dreamworks Downloads video, the host says that Mr. Peabody doesn't have a first name. This is not true, as it was revealed in the Rocky and Bullwinkle Stamps Club promos, that his first name is "Hector."
- In the original shorts, Peabody rarely smiled, but in the movie and the Netlfix series, he smiles plenty of times.
- One thing remaining constant between the two versions, is that he dislikes Sherman calling him "Dad", preferring to be addressed as "Mr. Peabody" (or simply, "Peabody" when speaking informally.) Which doesn't make sense, since Peabody is Sherman's father in the movie instead of his master.
- Mr. Peabody's name was to be "Beware". In the end, they opted for Peabody, the name of Bill Scott's dog.