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[[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters Due to the]] series' having a tendency to introduce new characters every other game until the ''[[VideoGame/SonicUnleashed Unleashed]]'' era, ''Sonic the Hedgehog'' has many characters that can be considered EnsembleDarkhorse by [[PeripheryDemographic different sorts of fans]]. While they may have even been main characters in their debut games, [[DemotedToExtra they quickly fall to the side]], leaving them to acquire fanbases of their own.

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* [[TheRival Shadow the Hedgehog]] quickly took the spot as Sonic's rival after Knuckles became much friendlier to Sonic, and his first appearance in ''Sonic Adventure 2'' was essentially his high point, especially due to his HeroicSacrifice. Heck, he was so popular that they brought him back in ''Sonic Heroes'' and gave him his own [[VideoGame/ShadowTheHedgehog game]]. Opinions about him afterward vary [[RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgement for lack of a better term]] and easily may be the most controversial character in the whole franchise.
* Blaze the Cat's [[PlayingWithFire powers]] and appearance as a DefrostingIceQueen with CharacterDevelopment won her several fans, which only increased as she proved to be badass enough to fight Sonic on even footing during her [[VideoGame/SonicRushSeries debut game series]] and gaining her own SuperMode, something no other female character can lay claim to. The fact that said games are considered to be fairly good titles only improves her standing, and her lack of screentime outside these titles and the odd spinoff make her one of the most popular of Sonic's friends in the modern era.
* [[RobotMe Metal Sonic]] is especially notable, because aside from ''VideoGame/SonicCD'', the character made no appearances in the major classic games,[[note]]Mecha Sonic does not count, since it is a separate robot from Metal,[[/note]] being [[DemotedToExtra delegated]] to more obscure titles like ''VideoGame/SonicTripleTrouble'', ''VideoGame/SonicTheFighters'', ''VideoGame/KnucklesChaotix'' and ''VideoGame/SonicR'', and mere cameos or non-canon appearances in the ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure'' series. After his [[HijackedByGanon surprise comeback]] in ''VideoGame/SonicHeroes'', he was permanently cemented as a significant recurring foe in the series.
* Fang the Sniper (initially known as Nack the Weasel in the U.S.) was a recurring character in the ''Sonic'' franchise between the years of 1994 and 1998 and has many fans who want him to make an appearance in anything. Some of these fans got their wish when he cameoed on a wanted poster in ''Sonic Generations'' [[spoiler: and appeared as one of Heavy Magician's transformations in ''Sonic Mania''.]]
** For that matter, Mighty the Armadillo and Ray the Squirrel also got to appear on posters in ''Sonic Generations'' and are popular thanks to the [[WesternAnimation/SonicSatAM Archie]] comics even though Ray only appears in one game (''[=SegaSonic=] the Hedgehog'') and Mighty in two (''[=SegaSonic=] the Hedgehog'' and ''VideoGame/KnucklesChaotix'').
* All of the Chaotix are this, especially after ''Sonic Heroes'' revamped them into a trio of screwball, CrazyAwesome detectives. Espio especially. After all, he ''is'' a [[TheStoic no]]-[[StraightMan nonsense]] {{nin|ja}}[[GratuitousNinja ja]] and the OnlySaneMan of the trio.
* Though they are controversial characters among the fanbase due to debuting in the infamous ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog2006'', Silver the Hedgehog and Mephiles the Dark [[CultClassic have their share of fans]]. Silver, after his boss fight in ''Sonic Generations'' proved to be actually fun and also due to the ''Archie'' comics featuring him as a major character. Mephiles who, while his plans are [[ComplexityAddiction so ridiculously complex that they should not work]], is actually considered a pretty cool villain. This could be attributed to actually killing Sonic.
* [[KillerRobot E-123 Omega]], especially when he became an {{Expy}} of [[VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic HK-47]] (see below).
* There's also [[TheRival Jet the Hawk]] and the [[QuirkyMiniBossSquad Babylon Rogues]] who have a sizable fanbase.
* [[IronWoobie E-102 Gamma]], [[WhatMeasureIsAMook extraordinaire]], is notable as a character that is almost universally liked by fans. His HeroicSacrifice ([[KilledOffForReal which stuck]], not counting [[CameBackWrong E-102r "Chaos" Gamma]] in ''[[VideoGame/SonicBattle Battle]]''), his surprising amount of CharacterDevelopment given his screentime, and [[TearJerker the nature of his existence in general]] most likely helped.
* [[EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses Tikal]] and [[ActionGirl Shade]], the female echidnas who each have a pretty big fanbase considering how little they've been in the games. Tikal, unusually for an ExpositionFairy is rarely disliked by players. It helps that as a glowing orb in her spirit form, she only activates when you touch her, making it easier to spot so you're free to ignore her advice. She's a mysterious, sweet girl with a tragic backstory who has a less is more approach to her character, [[SugarWiki/CrowningMusicOfAwesome a beautiful theme]], and is implied to be manipulating the protagonists to get them to confront Chaos. The fact that she's an ancestor of Knuckles certainly doesn't hurt either. Tikal actually managed to [[ShockingElimination defeat]] ''[[BigBad Dr. Eggman]]'' in [[http://sonic.wikia.com/wiki/Sonic_News_Network:Sonic_Character_Tournament/Week_29 Sonic Wiki's Character Tournament.]]
* [[DeadpanSnarker Orbot]] ([[FanNickname aka "Ergo"]]) from ''VideoGame/SonicUnleashed''. His [[WesternAnimation/AdventuresOfSonicTheHedgehog Scratch and Grounder]]-[[{{Expy}} esque]] dynamic with Cubot in ''[[VideoGame/SonicColors Colors]]'' further cements this.
* [[TokenMiniMoe Cream the Rabbit]] while somewhat controversial as a Moe character that dislikes fighting and is very Japanese in comparison with the rest of the cast, acquired a reputation as a MemeticBadass, thanks to being a GameBreaker in nearly all of her appearances. It helps that the shrillness of her voice was toned down after the first cast turnover, making her easier to appreciate.
* In another corner of the fandom, a great deal of prominence has been given to Honey the Cat, an extraordinarily detailed character who was DummiedOut of ''Sonic the Fighters''. This may have motivated Sega's decision to promote her to playable in the 2012 '''UsefulNotes/XboxLiveArcade'' & PlayStationNetwork UpdatedRerelease.
* [[WhatCouldHaveBeen Tiara]] has her fair share of fame despite never being properly released. Tiara's game (Sonic X-Treme) was infamously canceled.
* Merlina, the BigBad of ''Sonic and the Black Knight'' has an impressive following despite her minimal time on screen. [[EvilIsSexy Attractive]], [[ManipulativeBastard cunning]] and one of the very few anti-villains in the franchise gets her a lot of love. She's also got [[CrowningMusicOfAwesome kickass battle music]], even compared with the series' standard for final bosses.
* Professor Pickle of ''Sonic Unleashed'', due to [[NiceGuy how nice he is]], his [[CloudCuckoolander often detached and weird]] personality, and being very helpful. He's also played by fan-favorite voice actor Creator/DanGreen.
* In addition you'll often find a strong fanbase of particular alternate media characters, many of which urging for them to appear in the games canon. Princess Sally Acorn has perhaps one of the most notable fanbases even compared to some games characters (even if it extends to BaseBreakingCharacter status) with Cosmo and Bunnie Rabbot also worth special mentioning.
* Among the villains and bosses, Perfect Chaos has a large fandom due to being a titanic water god of destruction with an awesome design and roar and a wooby backstory. [[VideoGame/SonicUnleashed Dark Gaia]] as well, though not to the same extent. The Egg Viper, final boss of Sonic's story in ''Adventure'', is widely considered one of the best Eggman mechas in the franchise, along with [[VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog2 Death Egg Robot]] and [[VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog3 Big Arm]].
* Ever since ''Sonic Colors'', the Cyan Wisp became popular with fans.
* Infinite, the BigBad of ''Videogame/SonicForces'', became popular with fans immediately after he was first shown in the E3-trailer. After the release of his musical theme and the trailer officially introducing him to the franchise, the hype only intensified.
* While not as beloved as Infinite, the Hard-Boiled Heavies of ''VideoGame/SonicMania'' have a steadily growing fanbase for their fun designs, catchy battle theme, or quirky personalities, especially Heavy Gunner and Magician.