[[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters Due to the]] [[BrokenBase nature of]] [[UnpleasableFanbase this series]] ''Sonic the Hedgehog'' has many characters that can be considered EnsembleDarkhorse by [[PeripheryDemographic different sorts of fans]].
* [[WarriorMonk Knuckles the Echidna]], [[TheRival Shadow the Hedgehog]], [[DefrostingIceQueen Blaze the Cat]] and [[RobotMe Metal]] [[TheDragon Sonic]] are probably the most stand out examples among the fanbase.
** Knuckles was Sonic's first true rival in the series, and people quickly latched onto to him for being a no-nonsense fighter with a HiddenHeartOfGold. As such, let's just say his later {{Flanderization}} was arguably one of the first controversial things that happened.
** Shadow 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]]. [[BaseBreaker Opinions about him afterward vary]] [[RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgement for lack of a better term]], but he still remains one of the more popular side-characters.
** Blaze'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 claim to. The fact that said games are often cited as good only improves her standing, and she's generally considered to be among the least annoying of Sonic's friends of the Modern area.
** Metal is especially notable, because aside from 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 SonicTripleTrouble, SonicTheFighters, KnucklesChaotix and SonicR, and mere cameos or non-canon appearances in the SonicAdventure series. After his [[HijackedByGanon surprise comeback]] in SonicHeroes, he was permanently cemented as a significant recurring foe in the series.
* Fang the Sniper (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''.
** 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 they only appear in two games (''[=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}}[[InstantAwesomeJustAddNinja 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 do to the ''Archie'' comics featuring his as a major character. Mephiles who while his plans are [[ComplexityAddiction so ridiculously complex that they should not work]], fans actually consider him a pretty cool villain. This could be attributed to [[HeroKiller 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 one of the few faces in this series ''not'' to attract bile from the fanbase. 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 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.
* 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 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.
* 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 BaseBreaker status) with Cosmo and Bunnie Rabbot also worth special mentioning.