Boo is a toddler who is curious and naive. She can speak, but has baby, gibberish vocabulary. The only actual words she says in the film are "Boo!", "Kitty!", and "Mike Wazowski!"
In the first film, Boo is a 2-year-old human child who has escaped from her room from which Randall intended to kidnap her. Much of the film's plot follows what happens as Sulley and Mike try to get Boo back to safety.
When she first appears, Boo is very attached to Sulley (calling him "Kitty"), but he is not so keen. But as the film progresses, he develops a bond with her. At one point, Sulley, under Mr. Waternoose's orders, roars in front of a child used for simulation, not noticing that he has also scared Boo. Sulley tries to apologize to Boo, but she is too terrified of him and runs to cower underneath Waternoose's legs. Waternoose, who has caught sight of Boo, decides to take care of her before anything worse happens. After he and Randall banish Mike and Sulley to the Himalayas, they proceed with extracting screams from Boo by using the Scream Extractor. However, Sulley arrives at the last moment to disable the device to free Boo.
Mike catches up with them, and they rush back to Scare Floor F, with Randall in hot pursuit. Randall chases them to a large chamber where thousands of doors to human world are kept. Mike and Sulley then make Boo laugh to activate the doors, then they go through them, exiting the monster world and entering back into it, in order to lose Randall and reach Boo's door. Just as it looks like Mike and Sulley have lost Randall, Boo suddenly slips off from Sulley's arms, and Randall reveals that he has caught her.
Sulley manages to catch up with Boo, but then Randall ambushes Sulley. Just as Randall is about to finish Sulley off, Boo suddenly jumps on Randall and beats him with a baseball bat. Boo has managed to overcome her fear of monsters, especially Randall. After Mike and Sulley banish him through another door, disable that door, and let it fall to the bottom of the chamber to ensure that he will never return, Boo blows a raspberry directed at the shattered door. They open Boo's door, only to realize that the power has went out, but then, the door moves back to Scare Floor F, where Waternoose and the CDA agents are waiting. Mike runs off with Boo's monster costume as the agents goes after him while Waternoose notices Sulley with Boo and her door and chases them to the simulation room, where he is lured into a trap set by Mike. Mike exposes Waternoose's plot to kidnap a thousand children (possibly including Boo) to satisfy his own agenda to the agents, who then turn on Waternoose and arrest him.
Immediately thereafter, Roz, revealed to be Agent 001 of the CDA, enters and decides that Boo's door is to be destroyed after she is safely returned to her room in order to ensure that she will never come back again. She lets Sulley have 5 minutes to say goodbye. Sulley takes her in to her room and tucks her in after she shows him her toys, including Jessie the Yodeling Cowgirl from Toy Story 2, a ball from Luxo, Jr., and Nemo from Finding Nemo.
Boo and Sulley take a possibly one last look at each other, then after Sulley closes the door, Boo then opens it to possibly surprise him, only to find her closet instead and Sulley nowhere. After her door is shredded, Sulley feels sad that he'll never see Boo again and keeps one of the splintered pieces from her door as a memento.
At the end of the film, Mike brings Sulley (now the new CEO of Monsters, Inc.) a surprise, which turns out to be Boo's door reassembled. The door becomes functional when Sulley places the piece he has kept, and he opens it to see Boo, who (although off-screen) recognizes him by saying, "Kitty!" This gives Sulley a surprised grin on his face as the film closes.
Boo appears throughout the miniseries, though her largest part is in issues three and four.
In Issue 3, her Jessie doll is stolen by Sid Phillips (though he goes unnamed in the comic), who wants to steal toys from kids to try and spare them from what happened to him. He hides in Boo's room from Mike and Sulley, who have been pursuing him through the door system. After finding her toy has been stolen when he escapes, Boo goes angrily in pursuit, putting on her monster costume and helps Mike and Sulley find Sid in the Monsters, Inc. facility. Getting Jessie back, the monsters don't believe Sid's stories about living toys and send him back to the human world through his sister's door.
In issue 4, Sid, Waternoose and Randall team up to get their revenge. A visit to Boo's leaves Mike, Sulley and Celia trapped. Boo stowed away and allows for a means to reactivate the door briefly, escaping with Celia back into the human world. Escaping the clutches of the pursuing villains, they end up leading them into another trap set up by the CDA to recapture the three.
Boo often appears in her monster costume in parades. She also appears in attractions based on the film. She appeared in the Pixar Play Parade at Disney's California Adventure until 2013, when the Monsters Inc. segment was changed to Monsters University.
- In one of the film's early drafts, she was originally an 8 year-old boy named Raymond, who befriended Sulley (back then named Hob).
- According to the artwork in the DVD, there are a bunch of drawings of Boo being slightly older (possibly around the ages 5-10) in her early works; but the final designs were later confirmed that Boo would be a toddler instead of a child because the filmakers realized that the younger Boo was she could be more dependant with Sulley. In the documentary with the characters, Billy Crystal said that Boo was an adorable three-year-old little creation.
- At another point, Boo was going to be the youngest and only female child with siblings who was constantly picked on by her older brothers, and befriended Sulley (then known as Johnson) so that he could protect her.
- In Cars, a car version of her named "Boomobile" is mentioned.
- In her bedroom, Boo has a Pixar ball, a rubber Nemo squeak toy, and a Jessie doll.
- In an early animation test for Boo's T-shirt, it has a picture of Heimlich from A Bug's Life on it.
- During the scene where Sulley and Mike hide Boo in the bathroom, one of the songs Boo sings behind the stalls is "Beauty and the Beast" from the animated Disney film of the same name.
- Another scene in the film had Boo say to herself, "I'm Tigger!" Tigger is a tiger character from the Winnie the Pooh franchise.
- In a book based on the first film, it is revealed that Boo's real name is Mary Gibbs (the same name as her voice actress). In the film, she signs her drawings with the name "Mary."
- According to some Monsters, Inc. coloring pages, some of the outfits Sulley and Mike made Boo wear before deciding on the monster costume was that of a princess, a witch, a clown, and a doctor.
- In Toy Story 3, there is a girl in the Butterfly Room at Sunnyside Daycare who looks like a slightly older Boo. She is seen playing with a blue cat (Boo's nickname for Sulley is "Kitty") and says "Boo," seemingly reenacting a scene from Monsters, Inc.. However, Lee Unkrich has confirmed that they are not the same character.
- When Boo tries to open her closet door after Sulley tells her goodbye and closes it, she is now 7% taller since the programmers noticed that she was too short.
- Originally, Boo was actually going to return in the second Monsters, Inc. film (which was then supposed to take place ten years after the original rather than before it) as a teenager. In this film, Sulley and Mike, while trying to celebrate her birthday, find out that Boo and her family have already moved to a different house when they find an old woman sleeping in what was once her room one day, causing the two monsters to travel into the human world to look for her new house. Unfortunately, the two monsters start to forget how to get back to their world, and to make matters worse, Boo doesn't even remember them anymore since teens and adults do not believe in monsters, nor does she think they're funny, and the only way to get back is to try to make her laugh again. The reason why this sequel was scrapped in the first place was because John Lasseter thought that the final shot of the first was just too heartwarming to be continued.
- Mary Gibbs was only two-and-a-half years old when she voiced Boo. Because she was so young, it proved difficult to get her to stand in the recording studio and do her lines. Instead, they simply followed her around with a microphone.