If you were looking for the first game in the series, see VideoGame.Sonic The Hedgehog 1. If you were looking for the 2006 game of the same name, see VideoGame.Sonic The Hedgehog 2006.
A fast blue hedgehog, a two-tailed fox, and a red echidna who protects a bunch of Green Rocks
go down to the local pub. A floating fat man with a penchant for robots
bursts in on their Happy Hour martinis to announce his schemes to Take Over the World
with aforementioned Green Rocks
. The hedgehog, fox, and echidna put down their drinks, mutter something along the lines of "Aw, hell naw!
", and proceed to kick the floating fat man's ass from here to New Brunswick. Rinse and repeat, adding lots and lots more characters
(some of which can be found here
That's Sonic the Hedgehog
in a nutshell—well, except for the pub part (and the "hell, naw" part
). Created in 1991 for the then-fledgling Sega Genesis
(and not-so-fledgling Sega Master System
) by a group of fifteen people tasked with creating a mascot to compete with the face of video games
(who were later to be named Sonic Team
), Sonic quickly became the gaming company's mascot, immediately replacing Sega's previous mascot, the Mario-derivative Alex Kidd
. The spunky, ever-lovin' cobalt-blue insectivore grew in strength and speed with each sequel to put its creators into a healthy competitive spot with Nintendo
(and other, lesser gaming companies, most notably Hudson Soft
) during the 16-bit Console Wars
The games were positively brilliant. The sprites were incredibly well-drawn, the levels were huge and expansive with a few alternate paths, and they incorporated many design features like loops, corkscrews, and crumbling ledges that were never seen before in any game. Many entertainment companies were given the license to produce no less than four cartoon series, seven comic series, countless books, a sunday comic strip, and even an anime movie
, all to capitalize on Sonic's success. For a while, the Sonic series even overshadowed Nintendo's poster boy, Mario
, due to the technical whizziness of its concept (helped by Sega dropping the meaningless term "Blast Processing
" into its ads) and the proto-Badass
nature of its main character. (This was the predecessor to the eventual family-friendly versus mature games
debate, with a hedgehog with an attitude standing in for killing beeyotches
.) And the concept was so simple: The aforementioned trio of Sonic (the hedgehog), Tails (the fox), and Knuckles (the echidna) try to thwart Dr. Ivo "Eggman" Robotnik's (the floating fat man) attempts at world domination using his army of robots and the Chaos Emeralds (the Green Rocks*
). Run fast, collect rings, bash robotic critters, and it's all good.
Sonic hit a bit of a Dork Age
during the run of SEGA's Saturn console, which was a good deal less successful than its predecessor. The spinoff game, Sonic R
was the only noteworthy Sonic game on the console, with a much better one, Sonic X-Treme
, being announced but cancelled due to a permission dispute between developers, and filled in at the 11th hour by a upgraded port of the less-than-stellar Sonic 3D: Flickies' Island
The series got revived in a truly 3-Dimensional incarnation on SEGA's next console, the Dreamcast. Sonic Adventure
and Sonic Adventure 2
games were noted for their production values and ambitious plotlines, but also criticized for questionable gameplay choices and other teething problems such as a screwy camera and awkward controls usually found in platformers that tried to make their first jump to 3D
. Sonic Team attempted to address these concerns with Sonic Heroes
, which focused more on team-based gameplay and less on story. The physics, graphics, and gameplay of Shadow the Hedgehog
drew some ire, but it mainly received criticism for its melodramatic story and dialogue.
A game simply titled Sonic the Hedgehog
, but usually refered to as Sonic the Hedgehog 2006
or simply Sonic '06
, was released in (what else) 2006 for the Xbox 360
, and then a few months later for the PlayStation 3
. The game was yet another attempt by Sega
to undo the Polygon Ceiling
that the series
had been struggling with for some time. However, by forcing the game out for a Christmas release
, what we got instead was a very Obvious Beta
that not only failed to address the flaws the franchise was hit with in the 3D realm
, but actually accentuated
them. The camera while not terrible was a bit screwy, the Havok physics engine
was clearly implemented for the sake of having a physics engine, and the loading times
were some of the worst to ever hit a console game.
As the ire towards the common problems of the 3D Sonic games reached their peak, Sega went for a simpler route with Sonic Unleashed
, getting rid of much of the main cast and completely revamping the gameplay to a simpler style involving "boosting" much like Dimps' Sonic Rush Series
, while pairing it with a completely different gameplay style for variety. The tone was also considerably lightened than the progressively Darker and Edgier
games that made up the previous games. The game received a mixed reception for the latter style, but it was considered a step in the right direction for giving the series the exhilarating speed experience it needed and addressing much of the problems that previous Sonic games had. Sega listened to the reception and refined the boost-centric gameplay for the Wii-exclusive Sonic Colors
and the series-celebrating Sonic Generations
, further reducing the prominence of the large cast and lightening the tone to a more humorous Saturday Morning Cartoon tone. Sonic Lost World
continued the latter trend, but introduced a completely new Mario-inspired gameplay style, which has lead many to ponder if Sega has gone too far with the Lighter and Softer
trend just as they did with the Darker and Edgier
As mentioned, some titles in the series have been notable for suffering mixed to negative critical reception. In line with all the controversy, large varieties of theories exist to explain why the Sonic series is struggling in terms of reviews such as hastened development for deadlines
, a lack of talent or caring
from the development team, over-reliance on new "gimmicky" gameplay styles or features, taking the series in too dark of a direction, unrealistic demands from nostalgic fans
, or the inability to give the franchise a concrete identity. Nevertheless, the series still remains massively popular and is among the 10 best selling videogame franchises of all time.Here's where you can discuss all matters pertaining to this series.
Games and other media featuring Sonic:
open/close all folders
Main Series Games
Racing / Sports Games
Other Arcade Oddities
- Waku Waku Sonic Patrol Car - a kiddie ride in the form of a police car with a monitor embedded inside. Japan only. Also arguably Sega's earliest attempt to bring Sonic into arcades, predating SegaSonic The Hedgehog by a whole year.
- Segasonic Popcorn Shop - basically a popcorn vending machine with a game for kids to play while they wait for their popcorn to be ready.
- Segasonic Cosmo Fighter Galaxy Patrol (often shorted into Sonic Cosmo Fighter) - another kiddie ride with an embedded monitor, this time in the form of a jet. Again, Japan only.
- Sonic The Hedgehog kiddie ride - a kiddie ride in the form of Sonic's car in Sonic And Sega All Stars Racing.
TV and Video
Vote on the best game in the series here
Tropes throughout the games:
- 1-Up: Either in form of a monitor or capsule with a character's head on it or a Sonic icon, depending on game.
- Abusive Precursors: The ancient Echidnas. One clan, Knuckles' ancestors, raided the shrine of the Master and Chaos Emeralds for power, trampling the innocent Chao and awakening the fury of their guardian god Chaos, who promptly went on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge that was stymied until the events of Sonic Adventure. Another clan, rivals of the first, was even worse, working to conquer the world with high technology and Killer Robots known as the Gizoids until someone sealed them in the Twilight Cage, where they remained until the events of Sonic Chronicles.
- A Boy and His X: Maria and Shadow.
- Accessory-Wearing Cartoon Animal: Most of the male characters wear nothing except shoes and gloves. Chip wears even less, only a necklace.
- Adaptation Personality Change: A lot of adaptations do this. Perhaps most notably Sonic SatAM turns Dr "Eggman" Robotnik from a clownish Anti-Villain to a (mostly) deathly serious overlord. Sonic's personality in different medias can range anywhere from an incorruptibly kind and laid back Ace to a Jerkass Knight in Sour Armor. Pretty much the whole cast that has been in more than one interpretation of the franchise has undergone this process to some extent.
- Added Alliterative Appeal: Some games, such as SegaSonic, CD, Chaotix and 3D Blast use alliterative names for all levels.
- Advanced Ancient Acropolis: Angel Island's inner workings are astonishingly intricate, from Hydrocity to Sandopolis to the Hidden Palace.
- Airborne Aircraft Carrier: Robotnik's favorite type of weapon, starting with Sky Base in the Sega Game Gear Sonic The Hedgehog 1 and continuing with the Egg Carrier and its variations in the modern games.
- All-Natural Gem Polish: Each of the Chaos Emeralds are cut to perfection. The seven emeralds were originally just eight-sided gems; they were later changed to diamonds to reflect the Master Emerald.
- All There in the Manual: Among Sonic's various, obscure, contradicting origin stories is that he was born on Christmas Island, and that he gained his speed from an experiment with Dr. Kintobor.
- Always Night: The haunted house levels in some games, as well as some of the casino levels.
- Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: Be honest; have you ever seen a blue hedgehog in the wild? How about pink or silver?
- Ambiguously Human: Dr. Robotnik / Eggman in the original non-Japanese continuities.
- American Kirby Is Hardcore: Old American artwork of Robotnik depicted him as constantly scowling (and with black eyes), as opposed to the oddly-always-smiling Eggman of the Japanese artwork. In Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, Robotnik had his 'evil' design, but was a bumbling boob prone to Angrish.
- Arc Words/Running Gag: At least one character has said "Long time no see" in almost every game since Sonic Adventure. However, since Sonic Unleashed, they seem to have stopped doing this.
- In Sonic Adventure, Tails says this to Sonic in Sonic's story, and Amy says it to Sonic.
- In Sonic Adventure 2, Knuckles says it when first meeting up with Amy and Tails, Rouge says this to Knuckles just before their boss-battle against each-other.
- In Sonic Heroes, Sonic says that to Tails and Knuckles in the opening cutscene for Team Sonic's story. And Rouge says this to Team Sonic before the Team Sonic vs. Team Dark battle.
- Metal Sonic also says this to Sonic at the start of the final boss battle; one of the few cases where it has been a long time.
- In Shadow the Hedgehog, Sonic (see a pattern here?) says this to Shadow when you run into Sonic at the beginning of the very first stage.
- In Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), Sonic and Rouge both say this at multiple points each in the game.
- In Sonic Rush Adventure, Eggman says this the first time he encounters Sonic in the game.
- Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity. Wave greets Tails with, "Long time no see, shorty!"
- Art Evolution: See the page image? Sonic, as depicted on the left, is what he used to look like.◊ In Sonic Adventure, he was remade to be taller, have green eyes, and have longer limbs and quills. It was modified further in that direction in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006). Sonic Unleashed onwards, his looks are now a hybrid of the "Classic-Era" and "Adventure-Era" designs. This is Lampshaded in Sonic Generations, where the current-style Sonic teams up with his very different-looking Genesis-era self. Over the years we have this.◊
- The Artifact: The franchise has had some trouble finding ways to keep all of its facets relevant.
- Knuckles was Sonic's first example of The Rival, but has since been displaced by Shadow, who was first introduced as Sonic's Criminal Doppelgänger.
- The Master Emerald has also been less and less utilized, often merely as an excuse to include Knuckles, even though by rights it should be one of the most important artifacts in the franchise, since it can both enhance and suppress the powers of the Chaos Emeralds.
- The Babylon Rogues from the Sonic Riders series have also become this, even within their own spinoff. Part of their story involves their connection with the Floating Continent called Babylon Garden, but since Babylon Garden's story appears to have been concluded, they've been reduced to token opposition in Extreme Gear competitions.
- Artistic Age
- Artistic License – Biology: Several character designs are disturbingly quirky from a physiological standpoint:
- The way Sonic's face is designed makes it look like his two eyes are connected to each other which, by definition, makes him a double-irised one-eyed hedgehog. Also, his lack of hips and general lack of anatomy would have made it impossible to exert any speed or strength, much less the kind he achieves.
- Even if we look past the improbability of two soft tails having the strength and friction to even make Tails hover, much less airborne, they couldn't possibly spin in a helicopter like pattern without getting quickly twisted and tangled up. At least one fan comic lampshades this by Sonic asking Tails how he rotates his tails like that. The comic reveals Tails does it by rotating his bum cheeks, much to Sonic's further confusion.
- Ascended Extra: Amy, who started as a Damsel in Distress in Sonic CD, appeared among the cast of later spin-offs, and returned for Sonic Adventure completely overhauled and finally seeing a piece of the action.
- Ascended Fanboy: Tails. He follows Sonic one day and becomes interested in him. He eventually wants to become like him though Sonic ignores him. After Sonic and Tails had gone on an adventure to defeat Eggman, they become friends and he lets him tag along with him, eventually developing a bond. Also, Amy in the Archie Comics.
- Ash Face: Dr. Robotnik is prone to have it in some of the 2D games after his creations are defeated.
- Astral Finale: Frequently.
- Bash Brothers: Sonic and Tails, in many incarnations. Can also apply to any character alongside Sonic, including his younger self.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: Knuckles and Rouge have displayed this at times.
- Benevolent Architecture
- Berserk Button: The following is what you should do if Sonic catches you harming Tails in any way, shape and/or form: stop what your doing, turn around, and run. Not that it'll matter, but just a suggestion.
- Knuckles will flip a shit if you steal/are trying to steal/he believes you are going to steal the Master Emerald.
- Black and White Morality: While the series sometimes dips into greyer areas, the general tone of the franchise has largely been basic Good Vs. Evil conflicts. Even the more morally ambiguous characters are just jerks at the worst.
- "Blind Idiot" Translation: Before the developers had settled on a name for Sonic, he was referred to as "Mr. Needlemouse". The Japanese word for "hedgehog" is "harinezumi". Guess what a literal translation of that would yield.
- Bonus Stage Collectables: The Chaos Emeralds were the former Trope Namers, and examples in the first two games. The third game introduced unlimited attempts at the emeralds, moving them away from this trope, and since then most games have had them collected automatically during cutscenes, making them normal MacGuffins.
- Boss-Only Level: A trademark of the series; first there was Final Zone, and then it really took off after The Doomsday Zone, with the final boss of every game gaining its own level, usually played in Super Mode.
- In fact, every boss gained its own level around that time.
- Bottomless Pit: Relatively rare in the early Sonic games, but increasingly common as the series has gone on. Taken Up to Eleven in Heroes, where every zone after Power Plant is basically a giant pit with platforms and grind rails suspended over it.
- Calling Your Attacks: "Chaos Control!" "Sonic Wind!" "Black Wave!"
- Canon Discontinuity: Sonic 2006 put this on itself, due to a Cosmic Retcon Reset Button Ending.
- Canon Immigrant:
- The Swatbots of SatAM fame have been introduced into Chronicles, although with a notable armor overhaul.
- Amy and Charmy first appeared in the Sonic manga produced by Shogakukan in 1992, albeit looking rather different. Amy was lifted from there and redesigned for Sonic CD. A 1993 manga redesigned to fit more with the Sonic look, with the same characters, was released...and Charmy was subsequently lifted and used two years later in Knuckles Chaotix. Arguably one of the most successful stories of a canon immigrant, as shown above with the 'Ascended Extra' point.
- Sonic's love for chili dogs in the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog has been more tightly integrated into the official canon in the past few years; there's a chili dog salesman in Unleashed, Sonic is summoned with two in-hand in the opening of Black Knight, and he's given one as his birthday present from Tails in Generations.
- Cartoony Tail: Tails has two tails that enable him to fly like a helicopter when he spins them. There's no indication of how this is anatomically possible.
- Casino Park: The Trope Namer, from Sonic Heroes, but most games feature a casino level anyway.
- Cerebus Rollercoaster: While the early games were lighthearted, cartoony games, the series started shifting into a more serious, shonen-anime like tone with the Sonic Adventure duology. Sonic Heroes briefly went back to a more cartoony tone (sans the Last Story), only for the series to reach the epitome of its Cerebus Syndrome with Shadow the Hedgehog and Sonic the Hedgehog (2006). Due to complaints about this, Sega has been consciously going back to the series more lighthearted, cartoony roots, with hints of it in Sonic Unleashed (despite still taking itself seriously), and officially starting with Sonic Colors. With that being said, Sonic Generations may have some darker, serious moments at points—although it still has much of the series lightheartedness still on board to balance it out. After all, it is a milestone game for the whole series. As of Sonic Lost World, Sega seems to be taking the series back in a more serious direction, as the game has some dark moments and the tone is closer to the Sonic Adventure games.
- Chain Reaction Destruction: What bosses in 2D Sonic games do when they run out of hitpoints.
- Chaos Architecture: Good luck trying to find a consistent model or design for recurring locations in the Sonic series. Take Angel Island, for example, the recurring Flying Continent and home of the Master Emerald; it's gone through several different designs over the series, and most notably it was significantly shrunk down in size in the Adventure series.
- Cheeky Mouth: Most Sonic characters exhibit this occasionally. Not as a cost-cutting animation measure, mind you, but actually as a signature style that has stayed with Sonic since his first appearance. The trope is even ubiquitous enough to occur on 3D models, such as the trope picture above. Needless to say, whichever cheek is most visible to the viewer will usually be where the mouth is.
- Color-Coded Stones: Both played straight and averted. The Master Emerald which stands alone, is green. The Chaos Emeralds are a set of seven, only one is green and the others are differentiated by color. Given the Real Life example below they should probably be called Chaos Beryl instead.
- Combat Parkour: Sonic takes full advantage of his speed and agility to flip and bound around badniks and Eggman's mechanical creations, expertly weaving between and around attacks before either striking them directly or kicking their missiles back at them. The parkour-like aspects of his fighting style are more apparent in cutscenes and in the animated adaptions.
- Comeback Mechanic: The games that support multiplayer races will usually have a feature that swaps two players' locations in the stage. Sometimes, it's a hidden item, and sometimes, it's a character's ability. Naturally, this is only useful to a player who's fallen behind.
- Compilation Re-release: Practically all of the original games from the Genesis and Master System up to the Dreamcast were rereleased on later (non-Sega) consoles in some form or another.
- Conjoined Eyes: Most of the hedgehogs.
- Continuing Is Painful: Almost every Sonic game since Adventure resets your score to zero every time you die, almost assuring a bad rank if you're far enough into a stage.
- Sonic Colors doesn't reset your score but unfortunately, it doesn't reset the time back to 0:00 either. It continues from what it was when you died. So it's still painful.
- Continuity Creep: Continuity was increased heavily around Sonic Adventure, with several plot points often hinging on those of previous games. However, this was inverted from Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) onward, since the games from that point on have been much less connected to one another aside from offhand nods.
- Continuity Nod: As of Sonic Adventure, the Sonic series now makes frequent nods to previous games. Sonic Chronicles in particular is full-on Continuity Porn.
- Cool Airship: The Egg Carrier from Sonic Adventure, as well as Eggman's Eggmobile hovership that he uses at every possible opportunity. (Bonus points for Eggman's eggmobile being an installable cockpit for many of his only mecha).
- Cool Plane: The Tornado and the Egg Carrier.
- Credits Medley: One of the oldest examples of this trope in videogames. The 16-bit games traditionally replay the whole soundtrack over the credits.
- Crosshair Aware
- Crossover: Thanks to the Olympic Games series, Sonic has one with the Mario franchise, its historic rival.
- Sonic characters also crossover with other Sega characters in the Tennis and All-Stars Racing installments of the Sega Superstars series.
- Cultural Translation: Subtle but still there. Some of the classic designs were changed a bit outside of Japan, in the official art. For example, Sonic was given a mohawk◊, his eyebrows became more expressive (which was carried onto Adventure everywhere), and he became slightly more built while Tails became more stereotypically cute◊ (chubbier, rounder, shorter snout, shorter fur, belly fur combed flat, etc).
- Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Eggman shows an incredible talent in weaponry, vehicle, and robot design, and an ability to mass produce many of these designs. Of course, even if he doesn't want to sell his inventions, he also shows a fondness for casino and theme park designs, and could probably gain a lot of money and influence just by entertaining people.
- In Sonic Colors, even our heroic duo admit that they'd happily pay to enjoy Eggman's new theme park for a while. If it wasn't such a painfully obvious trap, of course.
- He actually does cash in on his inventions in Sonic Battle and Sonic Riders. In the first he sells generic versions of his E-100 model robots as security droids and in the latter he runs Robotnik Inc. which provides a good handful of the Extreme Gear of the first game including, hilariously enough, the personalized gears of roughly half the cast. He also runs the security service Meteor Tech which, while having an ulterior motive in the end, did seem to legitimately provide security services for Future City and the rest of the continent it resides on..
- Darker and Edgier: Shadow the Hedgehog and his self-titled game, Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), and Sonic Adventure 2, even, what with its themes of revenge, government conspiracies, military weapons projects, and apocalyptic scenarios.
- Sonic Adventure turns darker and edgier towards the end.
- Preceded by Sonic CD, which possessed numerous Bad Futures, and had a much more downbeat tone than any of the Genesis titles.
- SatAM was darker than the games to the point of being an In Name Only adaptation.
- The second Sonic X series (third season outside of Japan) was darker than the first one. And before that, the Sonic Adventure 2 adaptation was darker than rest of the show.
- Defeat Means Friendship: The gang's usual method for making new friends. Happened with Knuckles, The Chaotix, Gamma, Shadow, Rouge, Silver and Blaze.
- Death by Origin Story: Maria and Gerald Robotnik for Shadow.
- Death Course: Even in the middle of nowhere, out in the ocean or in the middle of a forest, Sonic and the gang will inevitably cross paths with crates, spikes, drills, and other nasty hazards.
- Derivative Differentiation: The Sonic series was obviously influenced by Super Mario Bros., but in contrast to Mario's strategic, defensive platforming, Sonic's gameplay usually leans more towards casual, heavily streamlined platforming romps with rollercoaster/pinball like physics and design with emphasis put on maintaining speed and precision timing more than anything else, with occasional standard, slower platforming, combat, puzzles and minigames sandwiched in.
- Detective Animal: Team Chaotix, which was reintroduced to Sonic canon (despite technically debuting in Knuckles' Chaotix) in Sonic Heroes as the Chaotix Detective Agency.
- Detonation Moon: In Sonic Adventure 2.
- Deus ex Machina: The Chaos Emeralds have frequently served as an Eleventh Hour Superpower source for the heroes ever since the first Sonic Adventure.
- Directionally Solid Platforms: Common in the 2D games.
- Duel Boss: Shadow, General Raxis and Super Ix in Sonic Chronicles.
- Dummied Out: Can be considered a Trope Codifier. Every game in the series has something major in it missing, and sometimes new games are born from those scrapped elements.
- Eagle Land: Arguably, this is the idea behind Sonic's character design. He is a mishmash of different western Funny Animals (in fact, in one of his earliest character concepts, he was a grey rabbit with a bowtie, and his body and head shape were reminiscent of Felix the Cat), he is the same color as the American flag (but recent information points that his trainers were made red and white to match Santa Claus colour scheme), and his 90s snarky, aloof attitude and penchant for XTREME hobbies were distinctly non-Japanese. (He also speaks in Engrish in the Japanese version.) He also has a tendency to roam the lands randomly helping people, not unlike wild western heroes like Shane. All of this was intentional on Sega's part, since the Japanese branch knew that the Genesis (and to a lesser extent, the Master System) sold more in America than in their own country, and with Nintendo's Super Famicom looming on the horizon, they knew they would need some kind of hook to keep from being trounced internationally.
- Early Installment Weirdness: The original Sonic games were much more cartoony than the later entries, and the original game only had six emeralds, no Super Sonic, and no spin-dash as well as the "Spike Bug". Even if you had mercy invincibility, landing on spikes would kill Sonic.
- Elemental Powers - Not crucial to the characters, but they show up from time to time:
- Eleventh Hour Superpower: The Super/Hyper/Darkspine/Whatever versions of the core Sonic Trio (and Shadow/Silver/Blaze).
- The Empire: The Eggman Empire.
- Enemy Mine: Sonic Adventure 2's memorable Cannon's Core level.
- Sonic and Eggman have teamed up on multiple occasions when they've had a common enemy: Sonic Adventure 2 against The Biolizard, Sonic Advance 3 against Gemerl. Generally it's because Eggman wants to take over the world, not destroy it, and he can't take over the world if there's no world to take over, so generally if someone (or something) wants to destroy the world Eggman will usually fight against them, either with Sonic or without. The fat scientist makes this point almost verbatim in Shadow the Hedgehog as he watches the Black Arms wreck up Westopolis.
- Shadow has teamed up with characters he's considered enemies several times, most often in his own game. The final cutscene features Knuckles and Eggman actually having a fun moment together
- Every 10,000 Points: Generally, every 100 rings in a level and 50,000 points overall will give the player an extra life, though that has varied.
- Everything's Better with Sparkles: Most notable ones will cause temporary invincibility in several games.
- Evil Laugh: Robotnik's weird "Ohohohohoho!" along with Shadow's maniacal laughter in his own game as well as Mephiles in Sonic 06.
- Exposition Fairy: Started out as the Floating Advice Reminder, then turned to the actual characters themselves noting your abilities, usually the NPC secondary characters.
- Expy: The Nocturnus are very similar to the group of Echidnas, the Dark Legion, from the Archie Comics, and Shade is similar to Julie-Su, and their home dimension "The Twilight Cage" has a similar name to the Dark Legion's dimension "The Twilight Zone". Ix also looks similar to the Sonic the Comic character Dr. Zachary, and Archie's version Dr. Finitevus.
- The Ifrit in Sonic Rivals 2 is very clearly an expy of Iblis. Like Iblis, the Ifrit is an immortal fire monster named after a djinn in Middle Eastern mythology, and who is responsible for destroying the world in Silver's future. Even their designs are similar, with the Ifrit resembling a winged version of one of Iblis' forms.
- Faceship: Dr. Eggman builds a lot of these with his face on them, most notably the Death Egg.
- Family Theme Naming: There's a small family all named after dairy products: Cream the Rabbit; her mother, Vanilla, and her Chao, Cheese. Other Chao associated with Cream were named Chocola and Milk.
- Fantasy Kitchen Sink: The series features numerous different elements of fantasy mashed together, from ancient long forgotten civilizations with powerful demigods, aliens that can range from evil to friendly, superhero and shonen anime elements, light science fiction hallmarks, ghosts, monsters, magical artifacts, mutants, storybook characters, "Ghost in the Shell" type stories (i.e. the story arc of Gamma in Sonic Adventure") and so on.
- Fanservice: Rouge the Bat.
- Fastball Special: Sonic seems to make a natural projectile. Very common in Sonic Chronicles and Sonic Heroes.
- Fireballs: From the Marble Zone of the first game to the latest Sonic games.
- Flash of Pain: Bosses in the 2D Sonic games tend to do that.
- Floating Advice Reminder: Started in the Sonic Adventure games with Tikal and Omochao, then exploded from there.
- Fly-at-the-Camera Ending: The ending sequences to many 2D Sonic the Hedgehog games feature Sonic (or Tails, Knuckles, Amy, Cream, etc.) jumping towards the player and posing while suspended in air. Sonic the Hedgehog 2s ending is the most notable: both Tails's plane and (Super) Sonic fly away from the player only to come back head first.
- Follow the Leader: Sonic's popularity in the early 90's spawned many knockoff Mascot with Attitude characters, including Bubsy, Awesome Possum, Sparkster the Opossum, Zool, and Aero The Acrobat.
- Sonic himself, despite being made as a direct competitor to Mario, was unmistakably inspired by it. Although the series did maintain its own feel instead of being a mere copycat, recent games such as Sonic Lost World clearly show an attempt to emulate elements of the Mario series, Super Mario Galaxy in particular, while mixing it with the series standard gameplay elements.
- Follow the Money: Often, rings lead you somewhere. In the 3D games, it's often even possible to perform light dash which makes Sonic follow the path made out of rings.
- The rings have been put into arrow formation in most games right up to Colors as a way of making this trope even more obvious.
- Free-Range Children: Most of the characters are minors (Tails is 8, Amy is 12, Sonic is 15, etc.), and very few of them have legal guardians. Cream (6) lives with her mother Vanilla, Charmy and Espio have Vector, and Blaze is a princess and is stated to have a living family, though they are unseen. In some cases, an explanation is given; Tails is an orphan, and Knuckles is the last of his species. The rest are unexplained.
- Frickin' Laser Beams: Used by numerous bosses throughout the series.
- Funny Animal
- No Conservation of Energy
- No Ending: Combined with Sequel Hook. Sonic Chronicles ends with Sonic and friends learning that Eggman has taken over the world. And then they thank Bioware for being awesome.
- Noodle People: Everyone after the Art Shift in Sonic Adventure. The characters were pot-bellied in design prior to this.
- No Sidepaths, No Exploration, No Freedom: Some of the more recent entries are sometimes criticized for having too much running and not enough platforming.
- Conversely, the games that tend to receive this criticism generally feature more alternate paths and collectable items than earlier 3D games.
- Noblewoman's Laugh: Robotnik's Santa-esque chuckle.
- Nostalgia Level: The extra 3D version of the original Sonic the Hedgehog's Green Hill Zone in Sonic Adventure 2.
- There are also Nostalgia Bosses in Sonic Advance, in the form of Sonic 1 and 2's first bosses in the X-Zone.
- Sunset Hill Zone from Sonic Advance 3 certainly qualifies. It even has the music!
- The final level in Sonic Chronicles can apply sorta. It has a remixed version of the Final Boss fight from Sonic 3.
- Sonic Battle has Green Hill Zone as an unlockable stage.
- Sky Sanctuary Zone in Sonic (3) & Knuckles features two Nostalgia Bosses. Mecha Sonic shows up piloting the boss vehicles from the first zone of Sonic the Hedgehog and the eighth zone of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 before you fight him quill-to-quill.
- And said hog-to-mecha-hog fight shares some patterns with the Sonic 2 version of Mecha Sonic (aka Silver Sonic).
- Sonic Rush Adventures Hidden Island 16 is a remake of act 1 of Leaf Storm the first zone of Sonic Rush.
- Wave Ocean from 06 is very much like Emerald Coast in Adventure 1, intentionally of course. In both levels Sonic gets chased across a bridge by an orca.
- Adabat's levels in Sonic Unleashed are very similar to Emerald Coast and Wave Ocean, though without any chase scene.
- Sonic the Hedgehog 4 is pretty much a Nostalgia Game.
- Taken to Up to Eleven levels in Sonic Generations, you have 2.5D and 3D re-imaginings of levels from almost every game since Sonic 1 to Colors. You Also have Sonic, Tails and Eggman in their classic looks with Sonic being voiceless and Metal Sonic returns as a boss.
- Not Allowed to Grow Up / Comic-Book Time: Sonic has been around long enough to have had major changes to his voice and physique, and only vaguely remember his earliest adventures. But Modern Sonic is officially 15 both before and after his 'birthday' in the beginning of Sonic Generations.
- Obvious Beta: Sonic the Hedgehog (2006). To ridiculous levels.
- Once per Game: Once the characters started to have voice actors by Sonic Adventure, the line "Long time no see!" is always uttered at least once in every game.
- Off Model: This Pakistan Mcdonald's commercial has gained some infamy for it.
- Offscreen Villain Dark Matter: No matter how much havoc Sonic wreaks on Robotnik's bases, he's always got enough badniks, eternal engines and wave motion guns for another world domination bid come next game. It reached a peak in Sonic Adventure, where after Sonic and co. spend the entire game taking down the Egg Carrier, he shows up with another Egg Carrier to try and subdue Chaos.
- Further still, in Sonic Unleashed, he produces a giant fleet of space battleships solely as bait for Super Sonic.
- One Game For the Price of Two Consoles: The series has a nasty habit of foreshadowing events of games that are only playable on other consoles, especially with the Wii. Liked Sonic Colors and want to play the direct sequel Sonic Generations? If your PC isn't built for gaming, then enjoy shilling out triple-digit monetary values for a 360 or PS3. If you bought Sonic the Hedgehog 4 episode 1 on WiiWare and want to play part 2? Same deal (and to unlock Episode Metal will cost even more!).
- One-Hit-Point Wonder: Assuming they have no rings, every character would count as this, but this is not the case. Final Zone and Death Egg Zone in Sonic 1 and 2, respectively, have no rings whatsoever, effectively rendering Sonic a One Hit Point Wonder for the final confrontations. The Game Gear versions of Sonic 1 and 2 took this even further by offering no rings for any of the boss encounters.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Many people don't remember that Tails' real name is Miles Prower.
- Eggman/Robotnik was retconned in later installments to be Robotnik nicknamed Eggman. Naturally, the Eggman name is used a lot more than the Robotnik one, even by himself.
- Only Six Faces: The design style for the characters tends to be very strict. Nearly every character has either Sonic's or Tails' facial structure, and even in terms of body have the same 'noodle limb' proportions, albeit with slightly varying height. Minor characters tend to subvert this however.
- Our Werebeasts Are Different: Sonic the Werehog.
- Oxygenated Underwater Bubbles: Present throughout all of the 2D games where a Down the Drain, Underwater Ruins, or Under the Sea level is present. Also exists in Sonic Adventure, Sonic Adventure 2, Sonic Colors and Sonic Generations.
- Pantsless Males, Fully-Dressed Females
- People Jars: Possible variation. In the original games, Dr. Robotnik trapped animals within robots which Sonic had to destroy to set free.
- Physical God: Chaos the God of Destruction, Illumina the Goddess of Dreams, the Master Emerald, Chip a.k.a Light Gaia, and possibly Solaris and Emerl who are also refered to as Gods, even though they are both artificial.
- Pinball Spinoff: Sonic the Hedgehog Spinball and Sonic Pinball Party
- Pinball Zone: Almost every game in the series has at least one pinball-themed level, whether a regular level or a Bonus Stage. Despite the "zone", the Trope Namer is not from this series.
- Act 2 of Casino Street Zone in the iOS version of Sonic 4 is nothing but a pinball machine where you need to get a certain amount of points in order to complete it.
- Pink Girl, Blue Boy: Amy and Sonic, obviously.
- Planet of Copyhats: Apparently speediness is an anthro trait.
- Platform Game
- Plot Coupon: The ubiquitous Chaos Emeralds and their daddy, the Master Emerald.
- Polygon Ceiling: A notable example note : Sega have acknowledged that the 3D Sonic games - up untill Sonic Colors - have a (not entirely unfounded) reputation of being plagued with bad camera angles, poor level design, and shaky controls. It's ultimately down to personal opinion as to which of the 3D games is the prime culprit. At the same time, the 2D Advance and Rush series released at the same time were quite highly regarded, which (along with a heavy sense of Retraux) could explain why Sonic Colors includes a lot of 2D platforming.
- Pop Culture Osmosis: Some evolutionary biologist must have been a Genesis gamer in his or her youth, as one of the genes involved in the development of the feather in birds and teeth in humans has been dubbed "Sonic hedgehog." No, really.
- Pop-Star Composer: Masato Nakamura (from the J-pop band Dreams Come True) composed the music for Sonic 1 and Sonic 2. Famously, Michael Jackson was supposed to compose for Sonic 3. What happened then? Nobody quite knows, but everybody has an opinion. Jun Senoue and his band Crush 40 wrote music for several of the 3-D games. R&B musician Akon remixed Dreams Come True's "Sweet Sweet Sweet" for Sonic 2006. This goes all the way to Sonic Colors, where Cash Cash performs the main theme.
- Power Dyes Your Hair: Sonic's various transformations throughout the years.
- The Power of Friendship: The Macguffins of the series are far more powerful when used by the positive feelings of the cast, as opposed to negative feelings. This trope is especially Anvilicious in Sonic Rush and Sonic Heroes.
- Power-Up Magnet: The electric shield that debuted in Sonic 3
- Power Up Motif: Invincibility powerup has a theme in games where it exists.
- Prepare to Die: One of Eggman's phrases in ''Sonic Battle."
- Private Detective: Vector, Espio and Charmy were revamped into this role for Sonic Heroes onwards.
- The Psycho Rangers:
- Punny Name: Miles "Tails" Prower, and Dr. Ivo "Eggman" Robotnik (and his legion of egg-themed machines). Also, Super Sonic.
- Puzzle Boss
- Puzzle Pan
- Reconstruction: Since the flop of Sonic '06, the games seem to be trying to go back to the original Platforming and Speed outlook of the Genesis series.
- Recurring Riff: In many Sonic games, the main theme of a particular game can be heard throughout the game.
- Reformed, but Not Tamed: Various characters who started off as foes to Sonic will end up on his side, but still clash against him every now and then. Shadow is a prominent example.
- Replay Value: Sonic games generally have a low number of stages compared to most other platformers; which would make the game very short otherwise. What it lacks in stage number is more than made up for in the amount of alternate paths that you can take in getting to the goal. In several games, the replayability is even added to with the Chaos Emeralds, as finding them requires all your exploration ability.
- Ret Canon:
- Revisiting the Roots: The series, after going 3-D and having elaborate storylines and darker characters, begot Sonic Advance, which played in 2-D and was very reminiscent of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 in stage design, game mechanics, and the simple plot of "Dr. Eggman kidnaps animals; Sonic rescues them."
- Less successful was Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode I, which was another try at going back to basics. However, its physics made it impossible to play like the old games, making this a failed attempt.
- This would be remedied, ironically, in a game designed to evolve the series further: Part of the premise of Sonic Generations is that Sonic from the classic games is brought forward in time to the present. Classic Sonic plays very close to the original games, much closer than in Sonic 4, and is near indistinguishable in the 3DS version. Classic Sonic was so well-received, considering the fandom's Broken Base, that Sonic 4: Episode II will be based on Classic Sonic's physics in Sonic Generations.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter:
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Shadow's reaction to Maria's death. Attempt on humanity prevented by Amy. Results in the genocide of the entire Black Arms race as Black Doom can be considered indirectly responsible for her death.
- Rolling Attack: Sonic can do that. Often others do rolling attacks too.
- Rousseau Was Right: Amy of all people stops Shadow's Roaring Rampage of Revenge with a speech about this.
- Running Gag: There's very few that last more than a single game, but Knuckles getting tricked by Eggman, for one, eventually turned into this.
- If it's an entirely 2D Sonic game, expect there to be a pit with two springs facing each other in at least one level.
- San Dimas Time: The level timers in Sonic CD, where you regularly travel hundreds of years through time mid-level on a regular basis.
- Scenery Porn: Sonic games are designed to push the graphical power of any console they're on, whether it be the Genesis/Mega Drive, Dreamcast, Wii, PS3, any console. Special mentions in this regard include the original Genesis games, Sonic Unleashed and Sonic Colors. Sonic CD had some Scenery Gorn in its Bad Future stages, though the Good Futures could potentially outdo the past and present with the area showing technology maintaining the environment instead of destroying it.
- Recent home console titles like Unleashed and Generations use Sonic Team's aptly-named graphics rendering tool, the Hedgehog Engine, which is capable of rendering close-to-CG quality imagery. Whilst graphical output is undoubtedly impressive, the results are definitely best viewed in 60fps and 1080p in the PC version of Generations.
- Supposedly, on the day that Nintendo unveiled the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (Which was also the same day SEGA unveiled the original Sonic game), a reporter went to a SEGA Rep & touted the increased graphical capabilities of the SNES over the Mega Drive; specifically citing the vast increase in the number of colors the system was capable of. The SEGA Rep's response was to take him to a curtained off area, and show him screenshots of Sonic & the latest Mario game, before asking "Who has more colors?"
- Mystic Ruins from Sonic Adventure is this trope, adapting many of the breathtaking landscapes and sceneries the dev team witnessed on their trip to Central America.
- Schizo Tech: Sonic Adventure and Sonic Adventure 2 feature relatively innocuous and modern aesthetics, while just about everything from Sonic Heroes on features clearly futuristic technology.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: It started with Chaos in Sonic Adventure and has become increasingly more evil, more sealed, and more canny from there.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man. Sonic (manly man) and Tails (sensitive guy)...however, when it comes to Knuckles, Sonic is the Sensitive Guy while Knuckles is the Manly Man.
- Set Bonus: The Chaos Emeralds in most games. Whether they allow the player to become Super Sonic, view the true ending, or both.
- Shoo Out the New Guy: Silver started out overhyped, but since Sonic '06 and the Rivals games, he's pretty much been reduced to being a member of multiplayer rosters.
- Shut Up, Hannibal!: Shadow has done this twice, once to Black Doom in the final story of Shadow the Hedgehog and later to Mephiles at the end of his story in Sonic 2006.
- Sigil Spam: Some post-Sonic Adventure games (including the Sonic Advance Trilogy) show Eggman's property having a stylized depiction of his face on them (its design is inconsistent from game to game). The same goes for G.U.N.
- Single-Use Shield:
- Sonic collects rings. If he's hit, he loses his rings instead of dying.
- The shields found throughout the series also qualify.
- In the first two games, they did nothing more than take one hit for you.
- In Sonic 3 & Knuckles and the PS3, Xbox 360 and PC version of Sonic Generations, flame, bubble and lightning shields are available. While they are active, they protect the player from flames, let the player breathe underwater and attract rings, respectively. All three will (at least in S3&K) reflect projectiles without taking damage, but they still disappear after one hit from anything else (and in the case of flame and lightning, touching water). They even grant special powers to Sonic, activated on pressing the jump button while in midair (replacing his weak "insta-shield" move that slightly extends the range of his jump attack momentarily): the flame shield lets him dash forward rapidly; the bubble shield lets him dash downward rapidly (Ground Pound!); while the lightning shield gives him a Double Jump.
- The 3D games, the Sonic Advance series, and its handheld successors, have two shields available. They both act the same as in the first two games, but one will attract rings.
- The fan-made Sonic Robo Blast 2 has no less than five such shields available — the blue Force Shield, which can take two hits; the white Whirlwind Shield, which gives your character a double jump; the green Elemental Shield, which makes you fully immune to environmental hazards; the red Armageddon Shield, which can be detonated to damage everything nearby; and the yellow Attraction Shield, which draws in rings, but shorts out in water.
- Slave Mooks: The little robots with animals in them.
- Sliding Scale of Realistic Versus Fantastic: Sonic lies far on the fantastic end of the scale, with the possible exception of Sonic 2006.
- Small Annoying Creature: Chip and Omochao love flying around and dispensing useless advice.
- Smashing Hallway Traps of Doom: Levels in classic Sonic series have a lot of them. Some of them are in 3D games too.
- Sonic Can Breathe In Space: Apparently, Sonic and his friends are able to breathe in space (as seen in several games and Sonic X), including Dr. Eggman, the one human main character, in Sonic & Knuckles, Sonic Adventure 2, Sonic Pocket Adventure, and Sonic Advance 3.
- Space Does Not Work That Way: This pretty much describes most of Sonic's space exploration levels, with his sequence of hanging on to Robotnik's rocket ship escaping into the upper atmosphere and managing to reach the Death Egg in space being one of the most accurate examples.
- Spike Balls of Doom: Very commonly used. A lot of them can be found within stages, one of the notable enemies called Orbinaut has spiked balls surrounding it and many bosses fire spiked balls, too.
- Spikes of Doom: One of the common elements throughout the series. There is also the infamous Spike Bug. Its name is something of an Artifact Title, as there is substantial evidence now that it's not a bug and was intentionally programmed in (though it was "fixed" in later revisions of Sonic 1).
- Spin Attack: Sonic's trademark maneuver. Comes in normal and Spin-Dash flavors (in certain games).
- The Spiny: A fair number of badniks qualify, although since the standard attack method is to hit an enemy while curled into a ball rather than necessarily to hit it from above, some of these are covered in spikes or other harmful stuff on all sides, rather than just the top, and must be defeated by waiting for them to revert to a vulnerable state or using invincibility. Others, though, look more like the Spinies of other games and can be dispatched by rolling into them. Oddly enough, an enemy with this exact name is not an example of this.
- Spiritual Successor: The Chao Gardens which debuted in the Adventure games are this to the Nightopians from NiGHTS into Dreams.... The Chao are even based on an upgraded version of the A-Life system from NiGHTS.
- Springs Springs Everywhere: Springboards are common objects in Sonic series. Often other things like bumpers and sometimes even clouds do the same thing too.
- Sprint Shoes: Most games in the series have these, generally called High Speed Shoes/Super Sneakers/Power Sneakers depending on the game.
- Standard Powerup Pose: When anyone goes into their Super Form they usually adopt this pose.
- Starfish Robots: Dr. Eggman has created a ton of these. See the trope page for details.
- Stealth Pun: Dr. Ivo "Eggman" Robotnik. "Ivo" is an anagram of "Ovi", the latin term for an egg.
- And for a Bonus, according to Word of God, the "I" in "Ivo" is pronounced with a soft "e" like in many European languages instead of the usual English "ae", to make "Ivo" (Eevo) sound like "Evil".
- Steam Vent Obstacle
- Super-Deformed: The bulk of the series cast has ridiculously large heads in contrast to their small bodies, almost Bobblehead like in proportion.
- Super Drowning Skills / Walk, Don't Swim: Since his first appearance in 1991, Sonic has never been able to swim. His allies, Tails and Knuckles, can. Sonic sinks like a rock in water and relies on air bubbles to survive underwater. This is taken to its logical extreme in some of the recent games, where even contact with water causes instant death.
- In the Mario & Sonic games, Sonic wears a life jacket during the swimming events.
- As of Sonic Colours, Sonic can swim upwards by jumping in the water, Mario-style. The yellow Wisp also turns him into a tornado underwater, giving him basically complete maneuverability. Suddenly the great blue terror isn't so terrible.
- Super Mode: For Sonic, Shadow, and Silver when they get all seven Chaos Emeralds, their fur stands up and becomes golden. Admittedly, Yuji Naka actually is a fan of Dragon Ball, and it had a big influence on Sonic. Blaze the Cat also has one using the Seven Sol Emeralds, though appearance-wise, it's merely a palette swap, with her lavender fur turning pink, and her purple coat turning red. Tails and Knuckles also have Super forms, but the effect is downplayed - They retain their normal appearance, simply gaining a glowing aura.
- Super Speed: Sonic is the foremost example, but nearly every character in the series has some level of this, even Eggman.
- Taken to the next level in the Movie where Metal Sonic is able to fly in and out of the atmosphere in seconds and both him and Sonic are able to get to distant parts of the world in very short amounts of time. Taken Up to Eleven in Sonic X where Sonic was able to outrun a lightning bolt in his base form.
- Super Strength: While it is usually power characters like Knuckles and Omega that have this emphasized, almost all characters have some level of it. In the movie and Sonic X even Sonic is capable of incredible feats of strength that would give game Knuckles pause.
- The Team: Various throughout the series, Sonic Heroes takes this and runs with it with no less than four teams of Power Trios. The breakdown is as followed:
- Team Sonic:
- Team Dark:
- Team Rose:
- Team Chaotix:
- Team Rocket Wins: In Sonic Adventure 2 this happens a couple of times. The destruction of Prison Island, the firing of the Eclipse Cannon and the scene where Sonic nearly dies.
- Teens Are Short: The teenage heroes such as Sonic, Blaze, and Knuckles are significantly shorter than the adult Vector the Crocodile and Vanilla the Rabbit.
- Temporary Platform: All over the place in numerous games.
- Theme Music Power-Up: When Sonic goes Super Mode, usually by the end of the game. Or when picking up invincibility powerup.
- There Are No Adults: Only Cream is shown to have a parent, and only one adult, Dr. Robotnik, is a main cast member.
- This Is a Drill: Classic Sonic games had at least one type of badnik with a drill. Sonic 2 and 3 also had bosses with drills. Sonic Colors introduces enemies with drills to 3D.
- One of the bosses in Sonic Unleashed had a drill.
- Sonic Colors also has the yellow wisps which turn Sonic into a drill.
- Three-Point Landing: Sonic and friends like to do that in newer games sometimes.
- Chip subverts this multiple times at first, but finally manages a perfect landing just before the final level.
- It's also been a running gag since Sonic Adventure for Sonic to royally botch at least one of these landings.
- Tiered by Name: When Sonic's powered up by the chaos emeralds, he becomes ''Super Sonic" and turns yellow. There's other transformations from other sources as well, but this is the most famous.
- Took a Level in Badass: Tails has a noticeable one between Sonic Adventure and SA2, he builds himself a mech and is actually useful, and is somewhat able to think for himself.
- Eggman also takes a massive level in badass between the same two games. He goes from letting his Chaos do most of his fighting for him, and trying to conquer only Station Square to trying to take over the world with a Kill Sat. He actually gets his hands dirty in SA2 (on screen at least) and almost manages to successfully kill Sonic.
- Lampshaded by Sonic, "You've turned into a big time villain, doctor!"
- Don't forget about Amy. See Badass Normal.
- Big the Cat in Sonic Heroes, similar to Amy he gains speed and powers to keep up with the others (his rod acts as a firey ball and chain!). For the first time ever we also see him kinda pissed off.
- Team Chaotix undergoes a bit of this when they're re-introduced, too. Espio originally only had wall-clinging abilities, attacks using his tounge and his iconic spinning top spindash with no sign of espionage. In his return, all of those skills(Sans-tongue) come together into him being a badass ninja who's skills are surpassed only by the volume at which he speaks. Charmy was previously one of the slowest characters in Knuckles Chaotix who's only use was flying around indefinitely. Upon his return, he's become a lot stronger, being able to carry and perform attacks using his two teamates(One of which is HUGE by Sonic standards) and attack more effectively using his stinger. He even delivers a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown to Robotnik in their ending. Vector was a tall and slinky crocodile who besides his Doughnut Spindash was pretty much a slightly weaker version of Knuckles. Upon his return, he's buffed up considerably, utilizes his crocodile jaws and fire breath to fight more effectively and has become an expert detective who's had a running tradition of accurately figuring out plot-crucial information before anyone else whenever given the chance.
- Tornado Move: Used by Sonic in some games. In Sonic Heroes, he and the other Speed characters can even whip up a tornado by rapidly moving in a circle.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Chili dogs, for Sonic himself.
- Treasure Is Bigger in Fiction: Most notably, the Rings, Chaos Emeralds and the Master Emerald.
- Underwater Ruins: One level in almost every game is set amidst underwater ruins.
- Unreliable Canon: In the early days, the in-game stories are simple Excuse Plots about Dr. Eggman trying to rule the world through robots, with Sonic stopping him. SEGA encouraged production of alternate storytelling media, resulting in at least six groups of people working independently on their own interpretation of the franchise, each with their own continuity totally separated from the video games. With the exception of Sonic X, which came later, most kids in the 90s accepted at least one of these adaptations as canon with the video games, a precursor of the franchise's infamous Broken Base today.
- Unwilling Roboticisation: Eggman's modus operandi in some games, specially the early ones.
- Video Game Flight: Tails' tails come in handy. Err, tail-y.
- Video Game Lives
- Video Game Long Runners: We are talking about a franchise that has run for two decades, has dozens of games under it's belt (not counting how many ports and re-releases there are) has made possibly dozens, maybe hundreds of cameos in other games, has starred in an absolutely monstrous amount of tie-in comics and merchandise, four different cartoon series and an anime movie, and has sold over 50 million games worldwide. And from the looks of things, he ain't going nowhere anytime soon.
- Video Game Settings: The series has always shamelessly used every standard platform level style.
- Villain-Beating Artifact: The games have traditionally ended with Sonic (and sometimes whatever ally he has at the time) using the Chaos Emeralds to go super, since the Final Boss would be too powerful otherwise, and much of the time, they're out in space or otherwise flying, which Sonic can't do on his own. Though, he does later prove he can take down Chaos, the former Final Boss of Sonic Adventure, in Sonic Generations without the Chaos Emeralds, or at least he has grown much in strength since then.
- Volumetric Mouth: Die by drowning in the 2D games and Sonic does this.
- Walk on Water: Many, including "Tails" and Knuckles, of the running on water variety. This is also to avoid drowning in water in the latest 3D Sonic games. In fact, in Sonic Generations, Modern Sonic can boost underwater in order to get to the surface during Chemical Plant.
- Wave Motion Gun: The ARK's Eclipse Cannon in Sonic Adventure 2 and Shadow the Hedgehog, the Chaos Energy Cannon in Sonic Unleashed, the Death Egg in Sonic 3 & Knuckles.
- Wheel o' Feet: The series staple of pretty much all characters who could actually run, though Shadow is a subversion with his "air skates", and Tails with his... tails. While the 2D games showed this whenever Sonic or Knuckles reached top speed, The 3D games brought about a 'motion blur' when they reached top speed (indicated by their hands flowing freely behind their backs). Since the 3D games primarily place the camera behind the character, however, it's hard to notice the effects of top speed.
- When All Else Fails, Go Right: In his first three games, Sonic is always travelling from left to right across the various zones; it's understood that, even in the more maze-like sections, the intention is to go to the right.
- The only exception in the original three (and a half) games is the final Death Egg zone, where the intention is still mostly to go to the right, but much more important than that is going up.
- There are many examples in Sonic 2 where you go up or left. Particular examples are Chemical Plant Zone and Mystic Cave Zone, which involve you having to go up, down, left and right several times to reach the end..
- There are several times when he is travelling left in Sonic 3 And Knuckles.
- The Sega Master System / Game Gear games were not very different. Only two levels in that Sonic 1 involve climbing and Sonic Chaos features one special stage where the Chaos Emerald is above you.
- The Game Gear version of Sonic 2, however, had you end one stage by going left.
- Word Salad Title: Some of the zone names fit this, notably Scrap Brain Zone (Sonic the Hedgehog), Sleeping Egg Zone (Sonic Chaos) and Panic Puppet Zone (Sonic3d Blast)
- White Gloves: Again, pretty much all the characters, even some of the humans.
- World of Ham: Several characters in this series have very boisterous personalities. Even the more serious ones such as Shadow or Blaze are hammy at times.
- Xtreme Kool Letterz: Some of the album titles use the word 'Trax' or 'Soundtrax.'