Boo is a slang term of endearment like "baby" (usually male referring to a female).

"I'll be in here, boo" - Method Man (You're All I Need, 1994)
"Won't you tell me, baby boo, what 'ya want? what 'ya need?"

Boo is a distinctive and highly notable figure of comic relief (Minsk's pet hamster) from the Baldur's Gate series, one of the definitive series in the RPG genre. Minsk will often talk to this hamster in conversation ("Isn't that right, Boo?") or even during battle. This provides some key moments of hilarity within Black Isle/Interplay's epic.

Boo, the hamester also appears on the webcomic Megatokyo as the sidekick of Seraphim, Piro's conscience. After quiting his job at Bioware, Boo needed a job so he decided to work as a temp-angel.

Needless to say, with cardboard wings and squeaks, Boo is a ineffective angel at best.

Currently, Seraphim, has assigned him to watch Largo, Piro's l33t beer-drinking friend.
"You wanna bet? All right, I've got 70 bucks right here," she said, staring him in the eye, removing a small silver money clip from her pocket and tossing it in his direction. It hit the linoleum floor and slid a short distance, stopping just in front of his desk.

The boy, who we'll call Johnny, seemed slightly taken aback. He was the normal high school class cut-up who had been bragging about his baseball skills only moments before, saying that he could score more runs than a female softball player, who we'll call Sherry, who was also in the general chemistry class.

My high school chemistry teacher, who I came to know as "Boo," a shortened form of her last name, had overheard them and stepped in. She was a stern-faced woman with close-cropped fair hair and an athletic build. Because she kept her hair so short, and loved sports and hunting, and wore tennis shoes to school every day, and occasionally mentioned living with a female roommate, and expressed blatantly feminist values in class, her students naturally assumed she was a lesbian. I did too, though I didn't particularly care who she went home to.

"You wanna bet you can score more runs than Sherry this season?"

Sherry, a tall girl with all-American good looks, did not seem fazed. She smiled placidly as Boo and Johnny stood each other down in the middle of a lecture.

Johnny caved. He picked up Boo's money clip and handed it back to her. She gave him a smug little grin and returned to writing on the blackboard.

Most of Boo's students feared her. She was known for being strict, for giving detentions, for terrorizing those who dared to talk out of turn during her class. She had a harsh voice and a commanding presence in a room. Her tests were hard. She sometimes acknowledged her reputation, saying that we all thought she was "The Wicked Witch of the North." (This intentional error makes more sense knowing that I went to high school in Florida, and Boo was from Ohio.)

I, however, made it through her class my tenth grade year relatively unscathed. I made good grades and was on my school's honors / AP track, so I signed up to take AP Chemistry with her the next year. I dreaded this somewhat, but figured that I could make it through another year as long as I remained quiet, studious, and obediant.

Junior year came and I returned to Boo's realm. She amazed me and my 18-odd classmates by warming up, becoming almost playful with her lessons, letting us have some freedom and even debate with her over the best way to solve certain problems. She told us stories of her rowdy past, explaining that she knew how to deal with troublemakers like Johnny because she used to be one. The best was a tale about a grudge match with her neighbors that culminated with her throwing a baseball-sized chunk of potassium into their swimming pool. (The revenge of a chemist is sweet, like an ester.)

At that point I began to love Boo. I realized that she was one of the greatest teachers I had ever known, explaining things in terms that were simple to understand, not subscribing to the sort of academic elitism that I'm finding to be all too rampant at my university. She explained ionic compounds the following way, and I've never forgotten the colorful lesson:
"Think of an ionic compound as a couple. In every couple, you have the positive woman, and the negative boy. The only time the boy will split up with the woman is if he sees another woman who's more active."
When people in her class complained at large amounts of homework, or the fact that a test had been so difficult as to make the average score somewhere around a 53%, she would just scowl at us, saying, "Y'all are just lazy. You're a bunch of little geniuses who don't wanna do your homework." She was right, of course, and she spoke from experience.

Later on I learned small pieces of Boo's life story. She went to college in Ohio intending to follow it with medical school, but never made it. "All I cared about in college was playing basketball," she explained to the class, and got a slightly dreamy look in her eyes. Instead of being a doctor, she was a high school chemistry teacher, but she still manages to help people, and to touch lives.

Machiavelli once posited that it is better to be feared than loved. Boo knew better -- she got away with both. She forced our respect, and then we earned hers, and everyone learned a little bit about chemistry, and a lot about each other.

This has been the story of yet another unsung hero.

A supporting character in many video games for various Nintendo systems set in the Super Mario Bros. universe. It is in the form of a white ghost with a sadistic grin on its face.

In their simplest form (in action, side-scrolling, or platform games), Boos slowly sneak up on Mario (or another protagonist) and either cause damage or kill the player's avatar on contact. They turn transparent (and usually become immune to damage) when faced down directly. In side scrollers like Super Mario World, this effectively rendered them invincible, since technically one could kill them by jumping on their heads, but could not do this while the ghost is solid (and hittable), as turning around to line up the attack would turn it transparent (and they always face you, so can't be snuck up on). In more recent games, like Super Mario 64, they wander freely in the 3D environment and can be pounced when they're not looking.

Outside of platform games, Boos have served ancillary purposes in games such as the Mario Party series, where Boos can be bribed to steal other player's coins or stars.

While they were silent in their first appearance in games, in later incarnations, their trademark noise became a high-pitched, echo-filled cackle. "Normal" Boos are somewhat small, rarely matching the size of an adult human (think Mario here). "Big Boos" are exactly what their name implies -- very big versions of normal Boos. These tend to be stronger, and usually immune to normal attacks. In some instances they're a major nuisance, but in others (such as in Super Mario Sunshine), they're just in the way and don't actually attack anything.

Early on, these were sometimes called Boo Buddies, but the 'Buddy' part of the name was dropped, mostly because they certainly werne't anybody's "buddy".

Boos are known to have appeared in at least these games:

There are probably others (please /msg me if you have an addition or correction to this list).

RPGeek points out they also appeared in Super Mario Brothers 3 and Luigi's Mansion. Servo5678 also mentioned SMB3, and adds Super Mario Kart, Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour, Mario Tennis, and the Super Mario Advance games to the list. He also points out they originally held the moniker of "Boo Buddy". generic-man adds Super Mario Bros. DX for Game Boy Color (they were part of a mini-game). Thanks, guys!

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