In early versions of the script, Tramp was called Homer and although he was first conceived as Lady's suitor, competing with an early incantation of Boris for her affections, he ended up as her ex-dog pound mate in the final 1943 storyboard pitch. A few years after that version was scrapped, Walt read a story called "Happy Dan the Cynical Dog" in Cosmopolitan Magazine and decided that such a character as him was just was was needed to enhance the film. Although Walt wanted his new character to be called Tramp, the animators feared that audiences would take offense in such a name, due to the word's sexual connotations ("the lady is a tramp".) So, they first called him Rags, then Bozo, before Walt insisted that Tramp would be fine.
Tramp is a medium sized, scruffy looking dog. He is mostly dark gray with lighter gray muzzle and stomach. After he is taken in by Jim Dear and Darling, he wears a red collar with a diamond shaped license.
In the first film, Tramp is a very laid-back character and he's more like a kid. He enjoys his rapscallion lifestyle without a family and home. It's implied that he's flirtatious, given his history of having had a multitude of girlfriends. He's known for his street smarts, able to both avoid dog catchers and deal with junkyard dogs. He initially seems cynical about humans, saying how the arrival of a baby is likely to lead to the family dog being pushed aside.
In the sequel, after he and Lady have married and now have a litter of puppies, Tramp's grown accustomed to being a house pet, but still retains his street smarts. He is also portrayed as being a loving yet firm father to his son, Scamp, and his three daughters, Annette, Collette and Danielle.
Tramp is introduced as a wise-cracking, stray mutt who admires the life of a rogue loner. Often seen alone, the Tramp doesn't appear to have family or friends outside of the local mutts he runs into from time to time, such as Peg and Bull, or Tony and Joe; two Italian restaurant owners. Nevertheless, he lives his life with a care-free aura and rascally-fun nature. While out and about in New England, where he regularly rests and feast at various restaurants, he overhears Jock and Trusty attempting to explain what a baby is to Lady. Tramp gives his opinion on the matter, which is somewhat negative. Annoyed with Tramp, Jock and Trusty order him out of the yard.
Later on, Tramp rescues Lady, whom he calls "Pidge" from a pack of alley dogs. Lady reveals that she has been muzzled, and so Tramp attempts to help her take it off. He takes her to the local zoo, when he is able to manipulate a beaver into removing the device, by claiming it will help the beaver haul logs. That night, Tramp takes Lady out for a night on the town. he reveals that he goes to different houses each for scraps, and that he has a different name at every one of them. That night, he takes Lady to a small Italian restaurant, where they are served spaghetti and meatballs by the owner, Tony. Tramp takes Lady home, but on the way back, she is picked up by the dogcatcher.
After he finds Lady, who has been released from the pound, he attempts to apologize. However, an angered Lady confronts him on rumors she heard at the pound regarding Tramp's multiple past girlfriends. She orders him to leave, which Tramp was very sad that he'll never be a house dog. However, he soon hears Lady barking furiously as if she was in trouble and rushes back. Lady reveals that a rat has gotten into the baby's room, and so Tramp rushes to stop it. He is able to successfully kill the rat, but is found by Aunt Sarah. She calls the dogcatcher to take him to the pound. However, Tramp is released due to the combined efforts of Jock and Trusty, who had overheard the humans talking after they discovered that rat that Tramp had killed.
The next Christmas, it's revealed that Tramp has been made a member of the family by Jim Dear and Darling. He has become the father of four puppies: three girls that look identical Lady and a son that looks identical to him. Tramp was happy for being a house dog instead of being a stray.
The second film shows that Tramp's relationship with his son, Scamp has become somewhat strained due to Scamp's desire to be a "wild dog." One day, Scamp makes a mess in the living room and is chained outside. Even though, Tramp makes an accident to him since he can't stop acting wild on the street. Tramp comes to talk to Scamp, but they soon get into an argument and Tramp leaves.
Later on, Scamp runs away from home and Tramp blames himself for his son leaving home because he was too harsh with him. He realizes that he needs to understand Scamp better. After Scamp joins a dog pack known as the "Junkyard Dogs," Scamp learns of his father's infamous reputation. Unknown to Scamp, the pack's leader, Buster, was once Tramp's protégé, and now seeks revenge on Tramp. Buster later learns that Scamp is his son.
When Scamp is asked by Buster to steal a chicken from his family's picnic, Tramp soon arrives and talk softly to him. He asks Scamp to come home, but Scamp confronts him who he was as a stray and chooses the junkyard life. Tramp feels sad and brokenhearted that Scamp does not want to be a house dog. However, later that night, a young stray (Angel) arrives and tells him and Lady that Scamp is in trouble. He and Angel race to the dog pound and Tramp saves Scamp from getting killed by a vicious bull mastiff named Reggie. Later, Scamp apologizes to his father for running away from home, and Tramp in return apologizes to Scamp for being too hard on him. He was thinking that he and Scamp can go to the river to howl, promising to lighten up. Afterwards, the dogs reconcile and head home after Scamp retrieves his collar from Buster back at the junkyard. In the end, the family adopts Angel as a member of the family and Tramp was happy that Scamp became a house dog instead of being a stray after all.
Tramp, portrayed by Garry Garneau, makes a cameo in human form, in the Season 4 episode "The Apprentice" as a customer of the Italian restaurant where Emma Swan and Captain Hook share a romantic dinner. Tramp shares the famous spaghetti kiss with Lady, herself in human form. Knowing that other animals like Jiminy Cricket and Gus are transformed in humans by the Evil Queen's curse, it was plausibly effective also for Tramp.
Cameos in other media
Tramp and Lady make cameo appearances at the end This is Your Life, Donald Duck.
Lady and Tramp make a cameo appearance in the Bonkers episode "Casabonkers". They are briefly seen eating spaghetti together at the Rubber Room.
Tramp makes several appearances as a guest in the television series House of Mouse, usually sitting with Lady. Most of their scenes mimic the spaghetti scene from the film. In "Dining Goofy" Tramp and Lady were used as examples for Ludwig Von Drake's new dining options.
Tramp and Lady make a cameo in the forms of silhouettes at the end of The Lion King 1½.
In the spring, Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival feature Lady and the Tramp topiaries.
At Disney's Pop Century Resort, a section of the resort is dedicated to Tramp and Lady in the form of statues.
- Tramp's growls and snarls heard during his fight with the rat would later be reused in Old Yeller when Old Yeller had rabies.
- When Tramp tells Lady about the downsides of having a baby in the family, he says he's "the voice of experience". When he says that, it implies that he may have been disowned by his original owners because of a baby.