- Most of the characters' first big appearances in the show:
- Tails completely shuts down a secret military base, leaving scientists and soldiers alike literally powerless, clueless, and frantic, then blows a hole in the complex with a biplane, rescues Sonic and Cream, and flies them all to freedom like it was nothing, making his first appearance in style - and then clinches the deal by being so darn modest about it when Cream praises him for it. Even better, he was apparently planning on doing it all himself, but was pleasantly surprised to see Sonic was already on the job.
- Sonic, facing down Missile Wrist in the first big fight of the series. In what is an extremely Establishing Character Moment, he doesn't even give Eggman the pleasure of seeing him intense, and instead goofs off and dances on the robot while it's powerless to stop him, then makes it destroy itself.
- Eggman, for that matter, in what is not only his first scheme but is one of his most villainous moments, lays waste to Station Square just to make an impact on the world (no pun intended). It isn't even his casual destruction of the city's best defenses, or his callous crushing of building and person alike, it's the way he taunts the world as he does it, completely assured of his victory. At one point, when it becomes clear he can't just demand the Mayor give over the city, he very casually tells his robot to just destroy the city completely so they can leave and find some other way to take over the world. Luckily, that's when the Tornado shows up.
- Knuckles doing his Big Damn Heroes moment by saving Amy and Tails from crashing into a rock, by punching it with one fist. He doesn't get his for a few episodes after his first appearance, but "Sonic vs Knuckles" is one big establishment for him, both of his gullibility and his badassery. At one point he demolishes a forest to take down Sonic, and when he finds out Eggman is lying, he climbs up his robot of the week fistfirst, leaps into the air, punches Eggman in the face (leaving him a Twinkle In The Sky) and comes down fistfirst, completely obliterating the robot. All in about five seconds.
- Speaking of big debuts, Rouge makes quite the first appearance. Starting from the beginning of the episode where she effortlessly sneaks in to obtain the world's largest diamond, then showing how crafty she really is by misdirecting Sonic and the others into going on a wild goose chase with a false sign. Even though the tip she received on the Chaos Emerald was a fake, she gets even more awesome during the (first) G.U.N. raid on Eggman's base, using her knowledge of the base to complete her unit's map, then using the bomb attached to her wrist to blow up a robot that was giving her and Topaz trouble, before using her trademark Screw Kick to finish it off, and then finally taking Topaz and escaping the ensuing explosion.
- Shadow's Heel–Face Turn and subsequent Heroic Sacrifice.
- A Disney Death, apparently.
- It was most awesome in the original Japanese version, where after he remembers Maria's wish once again, he breaks his inhibitor rings and yells "I am Shadow! Shadow the Hedgehog! Can you hear me?!", and then sacrifices himself.
- Even better? The moment he remembers Maria's wish, Live and Learn plays at full force!
- Tails furiously flying up in the Tornado to have an epic air battle with Eggman's Egg Fort in his pajamas, because Eggman had the gall to wake him up while he was trying to sleep. The moment kind of fades quick, though.
- Credit must be given to the Navy and Air Force in the two-part Attack on Eggman's Base episode. They're sent in on a Suicide Mission as the distraction force so that Rouge can infiltrate Eggman's tower with a demolitions team. Despite being told that their technology and ammunition are vastly inferior to Eggman's future-tech, they still go in all guns blazing - between the battleship and cruiser fleet and the fighter wing, they manage to surpass Eggman as the last word in the Macross Missile Massacre. And bonus points to Eggman - it does absolutely nothing while the robot attendants thrash the Armed Forces. Even allowing for that, a good number of the humans manage to survive, and can be seen regularly bailing out before being shot down.
- After Sonic gets eaten by the Final Mova, Sonic is left to run in a strange realm as Dark Oak starts trying to demoralize him. As Sonic runs, Dark Oak gives him a Breaking Speech on how it is futile to think he is truly free, as there will always violence and destruction wherever he goes. Sonic then proceeds to lightly rebut him and continue running faster, not minding a word he says after, allowing him to escape. For a few people who have watched this show, Sonic has always been seen as carefree (almost to the point of being a jerk), and something of an open book to many, not having any significant traits other than that. But this shows that this is just the part of him that he embraces and lives by, never questioning his belief to be free despite life's hardships. For a character in a sea of Angsty and Knight of Cerebus characters, he is content the way he is.
- Eggman and his henchmen get one of these in the Sonic X episode "Teasing Time" ("Black Trap" in the Japanese version) when they beat their way into a Metarex base in order to rescue Sonic. He then proceeds to reprimand Sonic for his angry Dark-Chaos-Fueled behaviour (which sounds awesome even in the 4Kids Entertainment dub). Sonic calms down. Actually, he looks a little guilty.
- Even Eggman's usually useless henchmen get to show off their talents by restraining Black Narcissus before he can attack their creator. Admittedly, it's possible that Black Narcissus was just going along with it.
- While all of this is happening, Shadow is busy rescuing the very people Sonic came to save in the first place. Sonic (and the audience) doesn't even know about this until Eggman casually mentions that Shadow has already rescued his friends and there's no need for him to stick around any longer. Shadow gets a Moment of Awesome when he isn't even on the screen.
- Eggman then turns right around and reveals that this was all a big display — he's not siding with the good guys and he only came to Sonic's rescue to prove just how dangerous he and his team can be (granted that was a shock for pretty much everyone), and to offer the Metarex a deal — he can either be their greatest ally, or their worst enemy, depending on how much they offer him. All of a sudden Eggman's past incompetence as a villain doesn't seem quite so bad.
- It's arguable that Sonic himself (in the form of Dark Sonic) had a Crowning Moment of Awesome in that episode, not to mention a Foe-Tossing Charge. After witnessing his friends attacked, injured and imprisoned, under threat of execution if Sonic doesn't do what Black Narcissus wants him to do (not to mention being exposed to the negative Energy of fake Chaos Emeralds, Sonic quite literally takes out both of the Metarex "testing" robots in no more than a couple of seconds. They probably didn't even have time to obtain the data they wanted from him he was so damn quick. That said it was a remotely disturbing scene.
Black Narcissus: I'm eager to see if they're powerful enough to defeat you!
- The dub itself gets some pretty good lines from Sonic himself. Just listening to Sonic shows how truly pissed off he is before tearing the bots a new one. Goes to show that Jason Griffith really can act.
Sonic: (Laughing Mad) All right, then; let's test 'em out!
(Sonic proceeds to wreck both Metarex combatants)
Sonic: Looks like you'll have to go back to the drawing board!
- Even the recently Rescued from the Scrappy Heap Christopher Thorndyke was also doing damn well at being awesome in this episode after breaking Tails' security codes, following Cosmo into the Metarex base, attempting to negotiate with the villain, realising that wasn't going to work and starting an escape plan, then very nearly succeeding and escaping with Cosmo, until the bad guy caught up with him anyway.
- Eggman arguably gets another awesome moment when he delivers an awesome speech to Chris in episode 49. He lies on purpose about his involvement in the time freezing issue just to see Chris' reaction to his admittance in order to gauge his selfishness. Then when Chris starts whining about being lied to when Eggman admits that he was lying just to see said reaction, Eggman starts delivering the home truths about how he is so willing to scapegoat someone else (him) just for the sake of having a reason to keep Sonic all to himself.
Eggman: You're the one who's lying to yourself. You don't wanna accept the truth. Deep down, you know once Sonic is gone, your life will have to go back to the way it was before. Your days of adventure are at an end, boy, just like your friendship with that hyper-annoying hedgehog. All your dreams have been shattered, haven't they? Life is like that, kiddo. Take it from somebody who knows! Whenever you reach too high, life smacks you down! But on the bright side, at least you and I won't have to see each other ever again.
Eggman: "When will you see that you're acting like a stupid fool?! You would always interfere in my plans with Sonic. I thought you were a bit tougher than that. It looks like I was wrong. You leave everything up to others, and then blame them for every mistake that's made! You are very wrong if you think you can always live like that! So you'll be satisfied of ruining things for others, just so you can stay with Sonic forever? But if you can't get your way, you're just going to let yourself sink into self-pity, won't you? Don't you understand that's wrong?! Just go home, and never come back again!"
- Even more effective in the Japanese edit, where Eggman calls out Chris for willing to ignore and deny the serious implications just because he wants hide behind Sonic forever.
- Chris gets another of these in the episode Shadow Has Returned (dubbed as Trick Sand) Seeing Sonic falling to his death, Chris pilots the X Tornado right into an onslaught of lasers. When Sonic tells him to go back, Chris ignores him and flies right into it in a blatantly suicidal move (it's one of those rare occasions where the dub makes it sound better with Chris's "I DON'T CARE!") This scene says a lot about how much the kid has grown up, asides for the fact that they both end up needing to be rescued by Shadow anyway, making this a Crowning Moment of Awesome for him, too. Chris's moments tend to end up subverted in this way.
- He gets one which isn't subverted in the episode (dubbed title) Countdown to Chaos. The shock and anger of seeing Sonic kicked about like a football gives him the strength to break free from a set of solid metal restraints and then tear the Chaos Emeralds out of the still active robot with his bare hands (which for the record, really really hurts). Please note: this is a twelve year old child breaking out of solid restraints. This is a rare example where watching the dub may be better. If you're watching this scene in the original Japanese, the voice acting (or should that be screeching) makes it Narm.
- Another example is in the Shadow Arc, where he's the one to convince Shadow to save everyone. Okay, with all due respect, this was Amy's role originally and it's sad to not see her be the one to convince Shadow's Heel–Face Turn. However, Chris does manage to pull it off well enough in his own way; generally feeling like The Load the entire arc, he finally decides to prove what little he's worth at that point in the series and tries to do the one thing he can do in this situation, which happens to be getting Shadow to switch sides. What makes this awesome is that, even when Shadow uses physical force to try and keep Chris from getting to him, twice, Chris gets right back up both times and eventually manages to get through to him before passing out. It's also a moment for Tanaka due to him reluctantly accepting that Chris wants to (and feels like he has to) do this on his own.
- The revolutionary Molly's Crowning Moment of Awesome came when she Piloted her ship directly into the Metarex fleet, taking out a ship and killing herself in the process. Complete with a Go Out with a Smile moment for Shadow. Of course, the dub screwed it up by editing out her death all together and making her run away effectively turning her from a hero into a coward. Then digitally editing out her gravestone. Damn you 4Kids.
- Rouge punching out Knuckles during the episode Memories of the Wind.
- Another Crowning Moment of Awesome for Sonic came in the episode Fast Friends Sonic and Sam Speed race against each other to finally decide who's the fastest in Station Square, with Sam racing along with a government designed NASA jet engine attached to his car. The race appears to end in a photo-finish, until playback reveals that Sonic reached the finish line way ahead of Sam, hoped over the tape, leapt up to grin for the camera before returning to the race for the photo finish.
- Cosmo's death is a Crowning Moment of Awesome, a Tear Jerker and exceptionally pretty to boot.
- Amy Rose, in Memories of the Wind takes on Eggman's ship with about a million Piko Piko hammers (this is also the first sign we get that she can create as many of them as she needs and it's not just a single mallet stored in mallet space).
- Cream during the second half of Sonic Battle, Face Off! takes on and defeats a beserk Emerl with Cheese's help, comforts her Chao, Cheese afterwards, and then promptly bursts into tears when the aftermath of Emerl's destruction sends a shower of rain high into the air, creating a rainbow overhead. It's still awesome, not to mention a Tear Jerker.
- Tails defeating Eggman (nearly) after Sonic's (supposed) death on Board Space Colony Ark. That's what'cha get for offing Tails' personal mentor, Eggman.
- Another one, in ep. 45 when he beats a Kung Fu guy in a fighting tournament. He's even able to put up an impressive fight against Rouge in the second round, after she initially believed he would be easy pickings. Makes you smile for the kid.
- It's weird, but the Sonic Driver which fires Sonic as ammunition is undoubtedly one awesome machine. Particularly when they use it while in Supermode and with Shadow and Sonic at the same time (which was so powerful that it destroyed the Cannon itself).
- Knuckles gets one when he defeats Yellow Zelkova in the Galaxtic Corridor - he actually smashed his own gloves/hands/whatever, he attacked so hard. Not to mention he then offered Zelkova a hand out of there, which he declined, choosing suicide over Knuckles' aid.)
- Sonic gets another one in the episode Countdown to Chaos, after being half beaten to a pulp by Eggman's superpowered Chaos-driven Robot (which is holding Sonic's friend as a prisoner on board). Despite the fact that Sonic has been so freaking well beaten up that he's barely walking by that point, he still stands up, grinning, and approaches the machine telling Eggman that he's coming to get Chris back - and woe betide anyone who tries to stop him.
- In the Archie Comics adaption of the anime, Dr. Eggman gets two of these while masquerading as the luchador El Gran Gordo. Initially a ploy to earn money, Eggman soon becomes addicted to the fame and praise of being a hero, despite using some mechanically-engineered cheating at first. Eventually, Sonic challenges him to a fight, which Eggman does lose, but still gets in a few good hits, all without the use of weapons or trickery. As the comic later confirms, the man himself lasted longer against Sonic than any of his machines did. More pertinent, however, is El Gran Gordo's return to the ring, where he faces off with Andes the Ginormous, a monstrous man roughly twice his size. The two go at it for awhile, but eventually, the Doc ends up exhausted and on the verge of tapping out, before he catches a glimpse of Chris in the audience sullenly saying "I believe in you", which instantly gives Eggman a confidence boost, complete with a triumphant shout of "EL GRAN GORDO NEVER SURRENDERS!", followed by him pummeling the ever loving heck out of Andes, finally knocking him out with the "Flying Gordita Smasher." He takes the championship belt, and wearily walks away, having proven himself to his public.
- Let's all face it: Shadow's one powerful guy, right? The episode "The Cosmo Conspiracy", where Shadow tries to kill Cosmo because she's an unintentional spy for the Metarex. While trying to get Tails and Cosmo, Knuckles gets in front of them and not only manages to hold Shadow back, he manages to throw him into a wall. Granted he gets knocked out about five seconds afterwards, but in the Japanese original, he managed to weaken Shadow, to the point of giving him a hard time to get up. Badass moment right there!!!
- After taking out Knuckles, Shadow walks over to make sure his opponent is knocked out, and can't see him collapse from exhaustion, revealing he had actually forced him to take his energy rings off. For whatever reason, the English dub cuts this to make it look like a full-on No-Sell.
- No respect for Tails taking on Shadow to protect Cosmo when all else failed? Sure, he was beat pretty bad, but give the kid credit for tenacity. Love induced tenacity.
- Hell yeah. he also managed to just evade Shadow using clever tricks with the computers for a good portion of the episode.
- It's also a crowning moment of awesome for Shadow, as he singlehandedly takes out Sonic's entire group.note
- Even though he decided to go to Sonic's world in the first place, staying there forever clearly wasn't on his agenda, so when Chris discovers that using the Master Emerald to help Sonic fight Dark Oak will probably prevent him from ever being able to return home; it's quite a big step for him when he tells them to do it anyway. And he tries to brush it off as no big deal, smiling even though he's clearly distressed. This is the kid who thirty episodes ago whined, clung, and was generally considered a royal pain by the fans through the whole series. Then he grew up. Yay for Character Development.
Knuckles: To the light that controls the power, protect us with your everlasting light! Even if I have to give my life, I beg you listen to my request, Master Emerald! Please lend us your immense power! Give us the power to protect the universe!
- Knuckles actually agreeing to sacrifice the Master Emerald to save the universe. To put things in perspective, the Master Emerald is his life; guarding it is the one thing he lives for, and what he had been doing his whole life. The scene in which he recites the mantra and asks the Master Emerald to lend them its power as this one slowly cracks, knowing full well that it would cost him the thing he hold the most dear in his world, and that that the process may even kill him, is awesome and shows his character development as well.
- You have to give props to Maria. An idealistic twelve year old Ill Girl who had a gun pointing right at her back along with a clear threat to kill her if she so much as moved. But she still pulled the lever releasing Shadow and sending him to earth, thus sealing her own fate.
- Super Sonic is guaranteed to end up in this page. Standing out in particular is the fight against Perfect Chaos, the first time we see the glorious golden hedgehog in action (aside from practically one-shotting a robot.)
- Another moment that stands out is in episode 64, Metarex Melee, when Sonic and Shadow, when dashing after two Chaos Emeralds, end up activating the rest and transforming.
- Following that, we have Super Sonic vs Super Shadow. While it was brief, it was an awesome sight to see two super-powered hedgehogs fight against each other, considering that this was never done in the games before.
- Episode 25, after Eggman tricks Knuckles and Chris into giving up six of the Chaos Emeralds, he declares that he doesn't care which planet he takes over as long as he fucking takes over! Hell yeah, baby! Makes you kinda wish season 3 never happened, doesn't it?
- He's like that at the beginning too, all "Well okay, I've been teleported to another world... let's get tyrranising!"
- We also can't forget the scene where Bokkun is flying away in fear from a clearly pissed off Ella, the normally peaceful maid, driving the X Tornado, managing to transform it into Attack Mode, and kicking the living hell out of Bokkun. Needless to say, if you activate her Berserk Button, she can make anything work, even when normally she has no clue how to.
- The absolute best moment in the original Japanese and French dub is during Super Sonic and Super Shadow's battle against Final Hazard and subsequent Chaos Control, all set to Live and Learn from Sonic Adventure 2.
- The second Sonic vs Knuckles fight in "Eggman for President". One particular part is when the two had attacked each other at the same time a couple of times (specifically, Knuckles punches Sonic while Sonic kicks Knuckles), showing how evenly matched the two are.
- In the tournament arc, Rouge once again takes advantage of Knuckle's gullibility by getting him to agree to setting up a tent so that they "can fight somewhere more private". A tent with no light source, thus ensuing that he's fighting blind while she can see just fine... and it doesn't work. Knuckles pummels her anyway.
- The Egg Carrier erupting from the ocean and transforming into battle mode in its debut episode. As well as when it swoops in to attack Perfect Chaos, flying right over Sonic and the X-Cyclone as they're speeding away from Perfect Chaos, with both instances accompanied by the awesome Eggman's warships theme.
- In the final battle of Season 3, Shadow has been ensnared by a couple of Metarex tentacles. To escape, he goes around the hull of Eggman's ship, pulling the tentacles along with him. Visibly straining, he slowly moves forward, almost yanking the tentacles from the creature's body. People, this is a GIANT PLANT CREATURE, and Shadow, a 3'3" anthropomorphic hedgehog, is giving it a run for its money. A Crowning Moment of Awesome if I've ever seen one.
- The chant Knuckles uses to call on the power of the Master Emerald. Even the 4Kids dub gets this right, which is saying something.
- Mr. Stewart is pretty much a walking Moment of Awesome. He's a government agent posing as a teacher, and he's not afraid to get into the nitty gritty of things. There's his Big Damn Heroes moment in the late first season, helping defend against the Anti-Shadow Organization in the Shadow arc, and then there's him subtly disobeying a direct evacuation order to save the kids still in school from Perfect Chaos' onslaught. Somebody give this guy a medal.
- An issue of the comic series has Sonic having to deal with multiple deformed clones of himself formed by the villain group S.O.N.I.C.X. The final clone happens to be replica of Sonic's box art design on the early US games, leading to a brief but awesome tussle between "Modern" and "Classic" Sonic.