Smokey lived in the Metropolis Zone before Doctor Robotnik conquered planet Mobius, and considered it a fun place to live: he would go swimming in the Metropolis East Leisure Centre every Saturday, before the building was shut down and condemned.
Smokey befriended a Roller Badnik (whom Smokey called "Badnik"). The two became best friends, and often met secretly in the abandoned Leisure Centre. When Sonic the Hedgehog came looking for the Badnik, Smokey defended it, refusing to let Sonic destroy it. Although Sonic agreed to spare Badnik, Smokey later managed to convince a pair of Troopers that Sonic had destroyed it.
After this, Smokey was amazed when Badnik revealed the ability to talk. Badnik just pointed out that Smokey had never asked.
- Smokey's name is taken from the title of the story in which he appeared ("Smokey and the Badnik"), which was itself based on a film called Smokey and the Bandit (although the two stories are not similar).
- The decision to make Smokey an anthropomorphic bear may have been a reference to Smokey Bear, mascot of the US Forest Service.