- “I never look back, darling. It distracts from the now.”
- ―Edna Mode
Edna is a half-Japanese, half-German, short fashion designer, and auteur. She is known for calling everyone "Dahling" ("darling").
Brad Bird realized that he couldn't imagine Spider-Man bending over a sewing machine; the Supers, especially in their glory days, must have had somebody to make their custom suits. Edna, aka 'E', is based on various James Bond inventors such as Q and M, but no specific fashion designers.
Edna has created custom-made original outfits for superheroes since the "glory days", proclaiming that she designs for gods. It is apparent that she feels infinitely superior to all other fashion designers in the world, as she shows anger knowing that Elastigirl got a new outfit from a rival designer, and demands to be Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl, and Frozone's exclusive designer "throughout the known universe and until the end of time" in return for looking after Jack-Jack for a day. She shows much disregard toward runway boutiques and modern fashion models, claiming that she had recently returned from a fashion event in Milan after designing clothing for them, and called them "spoiled, stupid little stick figures with poofy lips who think only about themselves".
She is very talented and as demanding of others as she is of herself. She is also shown to have a constant desire to create and design new things. She runs away with ideas, such as when Bob Parr asks her for a simple repair in his old suit, which she immediately deems a "hobo suit" and replaces it, as well as creates new suits for the rest of his family. She has a particular hatred of superhero capes, having learned from experience the potential dangers of wearing the clothing item. Edna also seems not to be concerned with the past, saying "it distracts from the now," and is not very emotional. This is evident when Helen is crying over the thought that her husband might be cheating on her or in danger, and instead of comforting her, Edna smacks her with a newspaper and orders her to pull herself together.
Unlike Bob, Edna seems to hold a close friendship with his wife, Helen. Although she only recognized her when she gave her superhero name, Edna immediately perked up and eagerly invited her over to show off the family's new hero outfits. She also openly invites Helen to return soon, claiming that she "enjoys (their) visits" while she only told Bob, somewhat gruffly, that his suit would be ready soon.
Though it never occurred to others how Supers got their suits or suspect Edna of having power, Edna's most notable trait is her fashion designs, which extends to creating super-suits for them. Edna uses technology to create the suits so they can accommodate the powers of the Supers who wear them.
Her intellect has its limits. Though Edna creates suits for all Supers, she sometimes has trouble making them adjust to a Super's abilities. An example is shown when Edna stated Violet's suit was tricky, as she created a sturdy material that makes it invisible as she does.
Edna has created original custom-made outfits for superheroes since the "glory days", saying that she used to design for gods. It is apparent that she feels infinitely superior to all other designers in the world and shows much disregard toward runway boutiques and modern fashion models, claiming that she had gone to Milan to design clothing for the supermodels, and called them "spoiled, stupid little stick figures with poofy lips who think only about themselves".
Edna is called out of a 15-year period of imposed retirement to repair damage to Bob's super-suit and ends up producing a series of completely new, matching outfits for the entire Parr family. For safety reasons, she is very insistent on not including capes in the new design, mainly because any superhero who had a cape ended up killed or trapped. This proves to be a foreshadowing as to the final fate of the villain.
Later, when Bob's wife Helen discovers that a rip of his super-suit has been mended, she suspects Edna. She contacts Edna, wanting to talk about the suit, and Edna insists that she come see her almost immediately. Helen goes to Edna's mansion, where Edna reveals that she has designed super-suits for the entire family, adding that each suit is equipped with a homing device. As Helen desperately wants to find out her husband's whereabouts, Edna hands her a device that gives her his exact location. When Helen finds out that Bob is on a faraway island, she breaks down in tears, fearing losing the man she loves. Edna then whacks Helen on her head with a newspaper, demanding that she pulls herself together, go confront the troubles he is facing, fight, and win, now that she knows where he is, and also tells her to come to visit her more often, as she likes her visits.
In the sequel, Edna first appears after a sleep-deprived Bob shows up with Jack-Jack. Edna is furious that Elastigirl is wearing a costume made by a different designer (Alexander Galbaki) but still lets Bob in. Bob tells her he needs her to look after Jack-Jack. At first, Edna refuses because she's not a babysitter. However, when Jack-Jack mimics her form, appealing to her curiosity and vanity, and displays several other powers, she agrees.
The next day, Bob comes to pick Jack-Jack up. Edna reveals that she made a new suit for Jack-Jack so Bob can look after him without losing his sleep. Edna puts him in the chamber to demonstrate. Edna reveals that the suit is connected to a datapad that lets Bob know when Jack-Jack is about to use his powers. She then continues the demo with a gigantic cookie. Edna informs Bob that any solution involving cookies will result in Jack-Jack transforming into the demon baby, a revelation she recalls learning painfully. Edna's prediction proves true when Jack-Jack transforms into a red monster and uses his Combustion power. Edna has Bob hit the tracker, which makes Jack-Jack's suit put out the fire with a flame retardant made of blackberry lavender which she informs him is both edible and delicious.
After the demo is over, Bob thanks Edna and takes Jack-Jack home, and in return, she demands that she be his, Elastigirl's, and Frozone's exclusive designer "throughout the known universe and until the end of time" and claims she'll watch Jack-Jack anytime and for free. Later in the ending, Edna is seen in the far left corner when Supers are now legal once more.
Edna serves as the titular character of the short "Auntie Edna". In it, Edna tells Mr. Incredible (without his superhero identity) that filling in for his wife Helen is challenging, telling him to drive safely while she takes care of Jack-Jack. There, Edna tells Jack-Jack to use his abilities so she can study his powers. While Bob is away, Edna begins to study Jack-Jack's powers while babysitting him. Later when Mr. Incredible arrives, he thanks Edna for looking after his baby in which unlike other babies she babysits, she does not charge Bob any fee for taking care of Jack-Jack. Later when Bob leaves, Edna sees Jack-Jack (presumably a clone of himself) standing next to her as she tells Bob that he forgot his baby.
Edna's sole appearance in the comic series was during the "Terror from Beneath" story arc when Dash asks her for help in defeating an approaching race of aliens (though this all turns out to be a hypnosis-induced dream).
The comic also introduces her brother Doc Sunbright, who is the only medical doctor that is licensed to work with superheroes. He first appears in the first story arc "Family Matters" when Bob goes to him out of concern for his weakening powers and makes several more appearances in later stories. Sunbright was also present for the birth of Jack-Jack Parr, having delivered the child while at the same time trying to keep the Confederacy of Crime from looting his office.
- Edna is one of the few female characters voiced by a male, as director Brad Bird is male. However, she is voiced by female voice actresses in some language versions of The Incredibles, including the Arabic version.
- Brad Bird originally had Lily Tomlin in mind for the part. However, Tomlin declined after she heard the idea Bird had and recommended that he himself was ideal to voice the character.
- Edna's original designs were of average height, but Teddy Newton scribbled the concept art of a more diminutive character.
- Her cameo appearance in the 77th Annual Academy Awards was shared with Pierce Brosnan who famously played James Bond himself in the mid-1990s and early 2000s (and was even accompanied by the famous Bond theme when he was introduced on-stage), Brosnan had left the role by the time the Awards took place.
- Contrary to popular belief, Edna Mode is not based on Edith Head, a famous fashion designer with similar appearance and mannerisms - Brad Bird has stated that she is not based on any single fashion designer.
- Her surname "Mode" is both German and Dutch for "fashion".
- Curiously, both the simplest and the most complex suits Edna designed were for Jack-Jack: the first one when he did not have powers, the second one for managing all of them.
- "LEGO The Incredibles Announced, First Gameplay Detail Revealed". IGN. Retrieved on March 28. 2018.
- Brad Bird on Twitter