YMMV / Sonic the Hedgehog

  • 8.8: Fans flipped out at Unleashed's atrocious scores in the press (in a few cases, worse than the universally-panned Sonic '06), many of which blamed the Werehog for ruining the game entirely.
  • Alas, Poor Scrappy: Upon the announcement of Big the Cat's retirement from the series the fans reacted by writing memorial poems as well as a Filk Song to the tune of "The Ballad Of Davy Crockett".
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Is Amy really in love with Sonic, or is she trying to hook up with him just so she can be famous too? She always acts like an obsessive fangirl when she's around him, and even he finds it annoying. Plus, Sonic being a hero means he's famous or will be famous someday, and maybe Amy wants to be with him just because then she can claim to be "the legendary Sonic the Hedgehog's girlfriend!"
    • Any given character has a variety of interpretations. Sonic himself has a few — a few lines from his Sonic Adventure theme song, It Doesn't Matter, could be used to argue that Sonic is less motivated by morals and more by the dangerous thrills his adventures provide. The Sonic Heroes manual mentions that he hates oppression, but does he fight it for the sake of the actual oppressed or does he fight for the sake of his own ego?
    • Shadow the Hedgehog has as many interpretations as he does songs, including not only the various Shadow the Hedgehog theme songs (I Am specifically questions his moral alignment outright), but the various songs from Sonic Adventure 2 (such as the White Jungle theme, Rhythm and Balance). The franchise has long settled on the heroic All Hail Shadow as his anthem, which still shrouds him in ambiguity. Violent ambiguity.
  • Americans Hate Tingle:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog is a minor example of Germans Love David Hasselhoff, being much more popular in the West than at home. This can be justified by the fact that Sonic was specifically designed to appeal to western audiences in the first place, and the fact that the Sega Genesis never got a strong foothold in Japan. The third season of Sonic X didn't even air there and was mainly commissioned by 4kids for a US airing, despite all the episodes having a Japanese dub recorded alongside the English dub. Several Sonic games, such as Sonic Chronicles, have performed abysmally in sales over there.
    • Big the Cat is fairly well liked in Japan, but is so strongly disliked by western Sonic fans (both for his slow paced, unorthodox fishing gameplay in Sonic Adventure, and for finding his infantile, slow witted personality to be grating rather than endearing) that he's been reduced to sporadic cameos and bit player appearances after Sonic Heroes.
    • Cream the Rabbit is a popular enough character in Japan that she's become a mainstay in the series, whereas in the west she is hated almost as much as Big the Cat. A likely reason is because Cream is ultra-polite, submissive, and somewhat withdrawn. Also, she has a really high-pitched voice. These same traits make her irritating to many Western gamers.
    • While not being exactly hate per se, the whole franchise is not very popular in Latin America, barring Mexico (in less degree, thanks to the animated series) and Brazil. Unlike other examples of this, this is not because because Latin American fans hate the franchise or the characters themselves, but because, as Sega's consoles were never popular in that region,note  the whole series doesn't have the same exposition in that region in the same way Sonic had in the English-speaking world and Europe. For beginners, the Sonic's comics were never translated in Spanish or Portuguese and the whole franchise is only known thanks to the animated adaptations, as the videogames were pretty obscure, compared with Nintendo's characters like Mario and company.note 
  • Archive Panic: Nearly seventy games in 25 years, several animated TV shows, countless cameos in other series, and several comic series, one of which has been around since Sonic's heydey, and is still going to this day.
  • Awesome Art: A proud tradition of the series. In particular, the original Sega Genesis games (and Sonic CD) have barely aged in this respect.
  • Awesome Ego: The main character. Without his 'tude, he wouldn't be popular at all. Fortunately, he has the prowess and victory streak to back it up.
    • Shadow even more so than Sonic, he has to stop time and space to proclaim how he is the ultimate lifeform!
    • Metal Sonic was so egomaniacal in Sonic Heroes, that he makes the very hedgehog he was based on seem downright modest in comparison.
    • Eggman has also won most of the fanbase over with his hammy proclamations of his intelligence and how much he clearly enjoys his job.
  • Broken Base: Has its own page.
  • Character Rerailment:
    • Sonic in Sonic Colors. After a few years of being portrayed in the games as something of a goody-goody, teamwork-obsessed Invincible Hero, he's back to being a slightly more nuanced version of the snarky Mascot with Attitude that he was supposed to be from the start.
    • As of Sonic Free Riders, Shadow's haughty attitude has made a comeback. Lampshaded by Knuckles.
    Knuckles: Nice to see your ego's as big as ever, Shadow.
  • Comedy Ghetto: From Sonic Colors and onwards, some Sonic fans have become absolutely livid with the drastic change in narrative style. Sonic Adventure to Sonic Unleashed featured complicated drama-oriented stories, whereas Sonic Colors to the present has a more sitcom-like comedic approach characterized by minimal plotting and cutscenes dominated by witty dialogue. This is enough for current head writers Ken Pontac and Warren Graff to receive verbal lashings at every fan panel they attend and even death threats over the Internet.
  • Complete Monster: See here.
  • Contested Sequel: We'll just save you some time and say THE. ENTIRE. FRANCHISE.
  • Counterpart Comparison: Due to the many similarities the Sonic franchise shares with Dragonball Z, there are several Sonic characters whom fans have compared to the DBZ characters.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog, being the laid back, lighthearted hero of the story with a golden spikey-haired super form, is often compared to Goku.
    • Shadow the Hedgehog, as the dark, violent anti-hero who shows little mercy to his enemies, is often seen as the franchise's equivalent of Vegeta.
    • Silver the Hedgehog, being a silver haired hedgehog from a dystopian future, is viewed as the Sonic the Hedgehog counterpart to Future Trunks.
    • Knuckles the Echidna, being Sonic's original rival-turned-ally, is sometimes seen as the Piccolo of the series, considering how Knuckles was once Sonic's main anti-heroic ally but eventually faded in importance due to other hedgehogs like Shadow and Silver taking more prominence, just like how Piccolo was an important ally to Goku at first before more Super Saiyans took prominence in the show.
  • Crazy Awesome: Dr. Robotnik and the Chaotix. Sonic himself sometimes slides into this.
  • Creator's Pet: Thanks to being a huge Spotlight-Stealing Squad, Shadow the Hedgehog was seen as this in the years following his debut in Sonic Adventure 2, though it has now died down due to not only Shadow, but all of the side characters not having any playable appearances since Unleashed.
  • Crossover Ship:
    • Despite the tension the two fandoms have together, pairings of Sonic and Rainbow Dash are quite common in fan works.
    • Due to the Sonic/Mega Man crossover Robotnik/Wily is an insanely popular pairing in the fandoms.
    • Rin (Love Live!) becoming Sega's Image Girl in Japan has led to some Sonic/Rin fan art.
    • Some non-romantic examples from DeviantArt are Sonic and Hilda, Rosa, Yancy and Serena (All from Pokémon), Sonic and Miley Verisse (Cherry Tree High Comedy Club), Tails and Bianca (Pokémon Black and White), Tails and Harriet Sinclair (Cherry Tree High Comedy Club) and on a minor scale, Sonic and Yui Hirasawa (K-On!).
  • Damsel Scrappy: Princess Elise was kidnapped five times throughout the entirety of the game. The excuse that it was mostly Silver's fault doesn't change the fact that you constantly have to rescue her again and again.
  • Die for Our Ship: Let's just say the community isn't very kind to a third wheel in their potential pairing and leave it at that.
  • Dork Age: The series is attributed to have gone through at least one or two of them;
    • After the roaring success of the original Genesis games, the series hit a rather hard slump from the mid 90's and on, coinciding with Sega's fall from grace with the failures of the 32X and Sega Saturn. The turbulent production and cancellation of Sonic X-Treme dealt a huge blow to the Saturn by denying it a proper killer app to compete with Super Mario 64 (which was sortof filled in by NIGHTS Into Dreams). Sonic 3D Blast was given an upgraded port as a placeholder, but it was far from the smash hit the console needed. The only other two games for the system were Sonic Jam, a cheater game that ported the original Genesis games with a 3D hub, and Sonic R, which received lukewarm reception at best. The series didn't come out of this slump until Sonic Adventure became the headlining game of the Sega Dreamcast.
    • No one can seem to decide on exactly the second one started and when (or if) it ended in contemporary times, but the vast majority considers at the very least the year of 2006 to have been part of it.
  • Ear Worm: Has its own page.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: LOTS of characters. Many of which broke out.
  • Fandom Berserk Button: The notoriously divided fanbase has a lot of baggage and tension surrounding it, and as a result there are numerous ways to set it off;
    • One of the most notable flame war kickstarters between fans was whether the "real" name of the series villain is "Robotnik" or "Eggman". This stemmed from the US games and tie-ins giving him the dub name of Dr. Ivo Robotnik (the japanese canon always kept his name as Eggman), until the Sonic Adventure games permanently adopted the Japanese continuity to the western Sonic games, which prompted the characters to start calling him Eggman and start phasing out calling him Robotnik to avoid the confusion of having two canon names for the series villain at once. Sega eventually settled the issuenote , but even this works as well as Shigeru Miyamoto's word on Shiek's gender. It got notorious enough to where the series itself tried to curb this in-canon; the finale of Sonic Generations out and out confirmed that Robotnik is still his real name (in the US version, at least), but the villain himself (fittingly enough his younger counterpart) lampshades this when Young Tails calls him his real name, which prompts him to respond "Nobody calls me that anymore." It simmered things down, but still irked some fans who want him to be called Robotnik on a regular basis again.
    • Debates over the main series timeline and whats truly canon or non-canon can get ugly too, not helping that Sega and Sonic Team tend to be vague and indecisive over whats canon or not.
    • Mentioning any of the old backstory used in English speaking countries prior to Sonic Adventure (i.e. Sonic's world being Mobius instead of Earth, Sonic's speed allegedly coming from his sneakers, Robotnik originally being Ovi Kintobor) and you'll likely be blasted by a group of "Only the Japanese stuff counts" purists. Which will then trigger a war with the "It's our childhood memories and we don't care if it's not really canon" fans.
    • Not to mention confusing the continuity of the Archie comics and Fleetway comics or the six cartoon continuities with the canon of the main series games. While they all share general core elements with the source material, some more than others, there are a lot of differences between them and the official continuity of the games, even in Sonic X, which is the most game accurate of the adaptations to date, so its unwise to cherry pick story elements from other series and apply them to the main series as canon.
    • Debating over whether Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) is really canon, and Crisis City's appearance in Sonic Generations only added more fuel to the flames. Debating over the games quality is another hot button to this day.
    • Debating the merits of the series voice actors is also shaky territory. For a while, the subject of the 4kids Sonic X actors abruptly replacing the previous voice cast of the games circa Shadow the Hedgehog was a huge hot button for the fan base, and even mentioning the name of actors like Jason Griffith would get fans riled up. It eventually simmered down due to a third voice cast change getting mixed but positive reception (Some of the voice actors, even before the third cast change, were even warmed up to, such as Mike Pollock, who has been considered the definitive voice of Eggman and even stayed on the series after the second cast change, and even the disparaged Jason Griffith was ironically noted to have improved his acting as Sonic before leaving the role) along with the fanbase realizing it would be flat-out impossible to bring back most of the original cast—Ryan Drummond, Sonic's original actor, works in a union now, which precludes any chance of him getting the Sonic role back note , Tails' and Knuckles constantly changed actors in the first place (and in Tails case, all three of them were prepubescent boys who would be much too old to be able to voice him now), Eggman, Gamma and Omega's original actors have passed away, and Jon St. Jon wants nothing to do with Big the Cat anymore and deliberately forgot how to do his voice.
    • Debating the quality of the cartoon adaptations and tie-in materials to the series (especially in regards to series like Sonic X and its dub, which was a big factor in why the voice cast switch to the 4kids actors with Shadow the Hedgehog was met with such hostile reception) are also rocky territory. Not even the generally well-liked SatAM is safe in some circles.
    • Debating the limits of Sonic's speed (such as whether he can naturally run as fast as the speed of light without the aid of the Chaos Emeralds or the Light Speed sneakers or if his top speed is just Mach 7 or slower) is about as risky as asking whether The Flash is faster than Superman. And don't ever insinuate that any other character can naturally run as fast or faster than Sonic, although main characters like Eggman, Shadow and Metal Sonic get a free pass on this due to either having artificial means of speed (I.e. Shadow's shoes have built in jets, Metal Sonic has a rocket engine built into him) or just relying on Rule of Funny (I.e. Eggman successfully outrunning Sonic for short sprints in Sonic 2 and Sonic & Knuckles).
    • On top of that, do not say that Sonic's speed comes from his shoes (unless you're referring to the Speed Up Shoe monitors that let him go even faster). That bit of old backstory was mentioned exactly once in the franchise (in the manual for the original game, and even then it was probably referring to the aforementioned power-up) and has never been supported as canon, including in the games own promotional comic.
    • Just about any mention of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic around the fanbase, due to the two fandoms having an intense rivalry with each other. The flame wars between the Bronies and the Sonic fandom almost went nuclear when news came out that Dave Polsky, who writes for Friendship Is Magic, is the head writer of Sonic Boom. And as for the cartoon itself, liking Knuckles' bulked-up redesign can get you labeled as a non-fan/troll.
    • Calling Shadow's Super Form "Hyper Shadow", a common mistake stemming from Prima's Sonic Adventure 2 game guide. This one is a surefire way to light the fuse to a Flame War. Likewise, referring to Super Tails and Super Knuckles as the less distinguishable Turbo Tails and Hyper Knuckles, which are names that originate from the Archie comics.
    • Saying that Sonic & Knuckles should have been called Sonic 4 (especially egregious in light of an actual Sonic 4 getting made), or any implication that Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles are two distinct games, as opposed to one full game that was forcibly split in half.
    • A minor one, but confusing Metal Sonic with Mecha Sonic can annoy some fans note .
    • Coloring Sonic with blue arms. This only got worse when his design in Sonic Boom was revealed to, well, have blue arms.
    • Spelling Rouge the Bat's name as "Rogue".
    • Referring to Rings as "Coins".
    • Referring to Miles "Tails" Prower as a girl. He is a boy.
    • Calling Amy Rose "Amy the Hedgehog" or Tails "Tails the Fox" (both are among the few characters to have "real" names in the series, with Tails' real name being "Miles Prower").
    • Taking any shots at the franchise no matter how big or small, will cause fans to become very defensive. This also includes mentioning the infamous "Sonic Cycle" to fans.
    • Implying that the franchise has ANY bad games seems to be another hot-button for the fandom. Likewise, arguing whether the games that are considered "bad" deserve that label or not is not a good idea if you are fond of your sanity.
  • Fandom Heresy: While the fan base is very divisive about the entire series, one near universal way to get under a Sonic fans skin is to so much as insinuate that you don't like the original Genesis games, consider them inferior to the modern games, or in worst case scenario, just plain criticize aspects of them. There is a very high risk that doing this will either get you ostracized by the fanbase, or light the fuse to a full blown Flame War.
  • Fandom Rivalry:
    • Sonic and Mario were this from the 90's and early 2000's; one of the most classic examples in gaming history. However, fans of both series from that era seem to laugh about the rivalry nowadays and have evolved to become amicable with each other. Newer fans who didn't grow up during that era tend to overlap. There is also a Vocal Minority who grew up during the Console Wars between Nintendo and SEGA and never grew out of it who loathe Nintendo with every fiber of their being for having so-called won the war (as Nintendo continues to make game systems), and they want nothing less than to demote Nintendo to a 3rd-party developer like SEGA, if not destroy Nintendo as a company outright. Where the other Sonic fans were happy to see Sonic get into a Super Smash Bros. game, these fans were insulted to a new degree, as it was undeniable proof that SEGA and Nintendo are buddy-buddy with each other, or they interpreted it as admission of SEGA's defeat due to Sonic being the only SEGA representative in a roster full of Nintendo characters.
    • Sonic fans and My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fans are notorious for clashing with each other, which happens a lot on each other's fansites. This is mainly because the two fandoms are Not So Different, but absolutely hate that fact being brought up. It got so bad that for a while, the famous brony website Equestria Daily explicitly banned any Sonic related content from being posted on it. The rivalries escalated even further when it was revealed one of the writers for Sonic Boom is Dave Polsky, who is a writer for Friendship Is Magic.
  • Fanfic Fuel: The series very lax, open ended direction on introducing new content and elements in each game has made it into a fanfiction gold mine. Not to mention, having numerous incarnations of the series, with alternate timelines and dimensions in the main series alone (and sometimes these continuities even overlap or outright crossover together in content), truckloads of both developed and oneshot characters, a combo of magic / surreal fantasy and video game tropes, with in and out cycles of generally light but existent continuity, light/dark elements, and stronger stories/excuse plots and an ever expanding world with new elements and locations coming and going (i.e. alternatives to the Chaos Emeralds like the time stones and Chaos Rings, the existence of aliens in several different Sonic games), the characters minimal to nonexistent backstories (particularly Sonic's) the many crossovers and cameos in other major franchises, including Mario, Mega Man, The Legend of Zelda, Super Smash Bros. and even some of Sega's own franchises (Sonic headlines the Sega All Stars series alone, and the amount of cameos he makes in other Sega works, such as NiGHTS into Dreams..., is staggering), and the numerous number of series memes, have given the franchise more than enough material to sustain one of the most active fanfiction communities around.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: Besides some fans pretending games like Sonic 2006 didn't happen, there are a subset of Sonic fans who only consider the classic era games canon, and consider anything from Sonic Adventure and onward non-canon.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: There's Sonamy, Sonaze, Shadamy, Silvaze, Knouge, Shadouge, etc. etc. There are a lot of preferred couples, but those are the most common.
  • Fountain of Memes: Just about every line Dr. Eggman says in battle can be turned into a meme.
  • Franchise Original Sin: The Cliche of Sonic (or sometimes his friends) using the Chaos Emeralds exclusively as an Eleventh Hour power up, as well as the cliche of Eggman being upstaged by a Monster of the Week that goes out of his control, that started around the time Sonic Adventure was released and was prominently overused in many of the Sonic games since. The recent games (namely Sonic 4, Sonic Colors, Sonic Lost World but oddly not Sonic Generations) have been rectifying this by demoting the Emeralds back to bonus power-ups like before, and making Eggman a more prominent villain again. The newest Sonic series, Sonic Boom, has also hinted that while the Emeralds have a possibility of appearing, they may either be downplayed in importance or currently left out of its plots for now.
  • Friendly Fandoms:
    • The Sonic fandom has ironically become one with the Mario fandom. They're also quite friendly with the Mega Man fandom and people who like one series tends to like the other.
    • The fandom is also on rather good terms with fans of Batman. This is because the largest quantity of vocal Sonic fans grew up in the early 90's, when Batman got a Darker and Edgier take and thus had substantial audience overlap of kids who were taking in the similarly dark and moody Sonic series from DiC and Archie Comics.
    • Even though there have been many spates of a Fandom Rivalry, a group of fans in the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fandom have actually created quite a few pieces of the Sonic and MLP characters in a crossover fashion, including two notable crossover fanfics.
    • The Super Mario Bros. and Sonic fandoms heated Nineties' rivalry has quelled and turned into a Friendly Rivalry, with only the bad blood resonating with the older fans. Now, instead of the two fanbases at each others' throats, they are actually quite disappointed that the two franchises still haven't had a proper Platform Game crossover yet. In the mean time, they just enjoy the Olympic Games and Sonic being a beloved guest star in Super Smash Bros. Speaking of Smash Bros, Sonic being the only guest star to return in one of Nintendo's biggest series is a big time sign of how much Nintendo and their audience welcomes the blue blur.
  • Game Breaker:
    • Cream in Sonic Advance 2. Makes the bosses a LOT easier. She's a game breaker again in Sonic Chronicles, where she can provide all but unlimited special move use for everyonenote . She also breaks the game in Sonic Battle, where all of her moves are good or decent at worst. That's saying something. Her slightly below average stats don't change this either.
    • Also the combination of Knuckles with Tails as your partner in Sonic Advance 3 made most levels a joke, considering their combined aerial abilities.
  • Gateway Series: Next to Mario, Sonic is definitely one of the first big video game franchises gamers get drawn into, due to its colorful artwork, fantasy tone and casual based gameplay. And by proxy, Sonic is also a gateway to Sega's other big series as well.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Sonic is widely more popular in the U.S. and Europe than he is in Japan, his country of origin. There's a particularly fanatical subset of fans in the UK, thanks to Sonic the Comic. There's yet another slight fanbase division over international differences.
  • Goddamned Bats:
    • Nearly every single enemy in the second half of Sonic Chronicles can act as this due to either ridiculous defenses, regenerating health, poisoning you every chance they get, leeching off your health, or any combination of the previously mentioned.
    • The Raptor Hawks in the first half of the game probably count, too. Although there's only six of them at the most, they have 120HP, do ~50 damage per hit, and can use "Evading" whenever they want. It's a good thing when they use their Special move, Feather Barrage, because it's easy to counter.
    • The artificial chaos enemies from Sonic Adventure 2. Very impressive reach, very hard to kill, and start appearing in levels that are already difficult to begin with!
  • Guide Dang It: Act 2 of the Carnival Night Zone from Sonic 3 still haunts people to this day.
  • Hell Is That Noise:
    • The music that gave nightmares to an entire generation of gamers.
    • Some of the unused jingles from Sonic Adventure count, specifically the Egg Carrier and the Mystic Ruins-Bad Future jingles.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • All of the vintage US Sega ads touting Sonic as the anti-Mario are this now, in light of the fact that Sega is now making games for Nintendo's consoles, and their own mascot has shared a few crossover games with his former rival now.
    • A Japanese commercial for the original game features Sonic destroying an ersatz Death Star with Eggman's face on it. Fast forward to the sequels, and a Death Star ersatz, the Death Egg, would prominently appear.
    • Dr. Eggman's design from Sonic Adventure and onward bears a startling resemblance to another famous cartoon supervillain—it's especially obvious when he gets his mustache burned off in Sonic: Lost World.
    • There once existed a very long running, polish socialist newspaper called Robotnik. Coincidentally, the third and final iteration of the paper ended around 1990, less than a year before Sonic and Dr. Robotnik made their debut.
    • In the Sonic the Hedgehog Promo Comic, Dr. Kintobor is busy searching for the seventh Chaos Emerald, having already found the other sixth. Thing was, this comic was written around the time the first game was made, which only had six Chaos Emeralds—the seventh Emerald wouldn't become canon until Sonic the Hedgehog 2.
    • In Sonic CD, one of the songs sampled in the Japanese boss music is Xavier's "Work That Sucker to Death". One of the boss fights in the game involves you trying to outrun a giant treadmill, which grinds away at Eggman's platform in front of you as it gets faster and faster, eventually wearing it out and making it explode. In other words, you really do "work that sucker to death!"
    • Some fans have noted with irony that the lyrics of the Sonic CD song "Sonic Boom" describe Rainbow Dash more than Sonic himself! And not to mention that "Sonic Boom" became the title of the newest Sonic cartoon Sonic Boom.
    • The obscure Knuckles Chaotix would have not only a teamwork concept, but Metal Sonic performing a One-Winged Angel, predating their more prominent use in Sonic Heroes by many years. To top it off, both games feature the Chaotix characters.
    • On that note, Tails Skypatrol features a level called Rail Canyon, which would become the name of an (unrelated) level in Sonic Heroes.
    • For its original release, Sonic the Fighters (A.K.A. Sonic Championship) saw a limited release in American arcades because Sega of America's executives found the cartoonish slapstick "too violent" and that it would tarnish Sonic's image. Nine years later, Shadow got his own spin-off game, and it was far more violent and intense than Fighters, and another less cartoonish fighting game with the characters, Sonic Battle, was released, and yet Sega of America heavily promoted them. And also, Sonic Riders had lots of cartoonish slapstick just like Fighters, and SoA were fine with that too. Also, Fang the Sniper/Nack the Weasel was actually going to use a sniper rifle, but Sega wouldn't allow realistic firearms in the series. Later 3D Sonic games had no problem with using realistic firearms.
    • An old promo image exists of Mega Man and Sonic shaking hands, meant to promote Capcom releasing Mega Man: The Wily Wars for the Sega Genesis. Fast forward many years later, and Sonic would not only star with Mega Man in an ambitious comic book crossover, but in a fighting game as well!
    • Sonic 3D Blast features a minor shield power up that is very similar in function to the Homing Attack, a basic series move that wasn't introduced until Sonic Adventure.
    • In 2002, Electronic Gaming Monthly released an infamous April Fools' Day prank article showing that Sonic and Tails were hidden as unlockable characters in Super Smash Bros. Melee, and had to be unlocked by getting 20 kills in Cruel Meleenote . Come six years later, and Sonic really would become a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Brawl and even its subsequent sequel, with Tails also appearing (albeit as a trophy, and not playable).
    • The cancelled game Sonic X-treme met its fate due to Development Hell and an attempt at Christmas Rushed. Ten years later, Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) would meet a poorly-received fate due to the latter.
    • One pic from "Sonic The Screensaver" has Sonic finding a magic lamp and using it to wish for a Sega Stadium. Fast forward to 2006, and Sonic would really find a magic lamp (and ring) in "Sonic and the Secret Rings".
    • Sonic Pocket Adventure had a two player vs. mode called "Sonic Rush". Bonus points for both games being made by Dimps.
    • Sonic: Lost World has a startling amount of similarities to the cancelled Sonic Xtreme in terms of game design, which the developers admitted was a coincidence, but welcomed the comparisons anyway.
    • There existed a Xbox Sonic skateboarding game that never got past the beta stages called Sonic Extreme. Just a few years later, they'd rework the board racing concept, albeit with a more futuristic flair, into the Sonic Riders series.
  • Hype Backlash: The series suffers a great deal from this. Ever since Sonic Heroes or all the way up to Sonic Colors, every new game that is announced is met with almost instant approval by fans once more info comes out, only for the game to be nowhere near as good as its hype would entail. The fallout from this is almost a never pretty sight as it leads to arguments about if the game was actually good or not.
  • Internet Backdraft: Anything about this series can cause massive Flame Wars.
    • 2 words: Eye color.
      • And in the case of Sonic 4, eyelids.
      • Oddly, this isn't really the case, so much as it is a case of Never Live It Down. The "green eyes" debate was caused by about five members of Sonic Retro during the time Sonic 4 was being hyped, who decided to complain about how the game was going to be horrible and nothing like the classics before going into a rage about Sonic having green eyes. Despite this only being a few select members, this sparked lots of hate towards the (Already infamous) Sonic fanbase, and had people all over the internet claiming that Sonic fans can't be pleased and will complain about anything. This has even become somewhat of a meme among the Sonic fanbase.
    • When the movie was announced, fans expressed distaste over the decision to make it a CGI/live-action hybrid and not a CGI movie outright.
  • Iron Woobie:
    • Despite how neglected it was by everyone except Amy and everything it went through, E-102 Gamma doesn't angst about any of it.
    • Knuckles. He's the last of his kind, and has dedicated his life to guard the Master Emerald forever, due to being the last guardian, which at the same time means he has to restrain himself away from friends unless it's very important, but he has never once whined about it. Knowing he's doing the right thing, he sticks to his duty, and keeps a cool head. Though he does have some angst moments once in a while, it's very rare.
  • Just Here for Godzilla:
    • Most fans play the 3D games for the Sonic gameplay rather than for the many, many other gameplay styles, even when it can comprise as little as 1/4th the length of the entire game. This has resulted in Sonic being the only playable character in most of the more recent games (Unleashed and Sonic 4, and Generations if you discount the sidequests).
    • Many people played the Adventure titles solely for the Chao Gardens. Curiously, this feature was removed from later games despite their popularity.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Sonic and Tails. Let's just say that pairings with them can get rather silly at times. It's made all the more confusing because neither of them is particularly interested in romance (bar Sonic X and the comics), to the point where Tails outright hates romance in Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, and, to a lesser extent, the games.
  • Memetic Badass:
    • Dr. Eggman has gained this status, particularly his Adventures of Sonic counterpart. The main games show he's no slouch either, due to his hammy personality, incredible persistence and resourcefulness, and inexplicably being able to outrun Sonic from time to time.
    • For some strange reason, the Tails Doll from Sonic R has gotten this reputation in fanfiction.
    • Cream. Thanks to her Game Breaker status in nearly all of her playable appearances, jokes have been made that this shy, adorable bunny and her pet Chao is a supreme badass to be feared and could demolish armies of robots in seconds as war gods.
  • Memetic Mutation: The series has its own page for it.
  • Moe: Cream, along with her pet Chao, Cheese.
  • Most Annoying Sound:
  • Most Wonderful Sound:
    • In games where you collect Chaos Emeralds as part of a 100% Completion rather than as Plot Coupons, the classic "got an Emerald" sound is this.
    • The gasping sound made upon touching an air-replenishing bubble, especially if you were on the brink of drowning.
  • My Real Daddy:
    • In terms of voice actors, Mike Pollock seems to be becoming this for Robotnik; he's played the character more than anyone else and is the current official voice for nearly every work of Sonic fiction. Not to mention most of Robotnik's other voice actors are either uninterested (Jim Cummings, Gary Chalk) or dead (Long John Baldry, Deem Bristow, and Chikao Ohtsuka).
    • In terms of the development of the games, the series was created by 3 people: Yuji Naka, the founder and former head of Sonic Team, as well as the programmer of the Sega Genesis Platform Games, Naoto Oshima, the actual creator and designer of both Sonic and Eggman, and Hirokazu Yasuhara, the designer of the very first game's levels (including the famous Green Hill Zone). Similar to Kenji Inafune's involvement with Mega Man, Yuji Naka took most of the credit for creating the series. Sadly, all 3 of them no longer work with Sega, and the series is currently headed by Takashi Iizuka.
  • Narm Charm: The corny dubs of most of the games may be annoying, but the thrill of the gameplay is usually worth it.
  • Never Live It Down: Games like Sonic 06 and Shadow The Hedgehog are black marks on the franchise that no one will let Sega live down, regardless of how many good games there are.
  • Nightmare Retardant: Possibly played deliberately with E-102 Gamma. With his intimidating design, lifeless facial features, Machine Monotone and deadly abilities (he came close to blowing Sonic's brains out point blank at one point), he may have made for a genuinely terrifying and imposing creation of Eggman's, if his sentience didn't get in the way. Even his theme qualifies both as Nightmare Fuel and a pure Tear Jerker.
  • Older Than They Think:
    • A good number of fans seem to think that Amy has only been around since the Sonic Adventure days/is a recent addition. She has actually been around for about or (at least) almost as long as Tails (depending on whether you count the manga or Sonic CD as her debut).
    • Vector was created around Sonic 1 development, and Charmy is from the same manga Amy made her debut.
    • On a separate matter, Sonic is not the first fictional hedgehog to utilize a Rolling Attack. Mattimeo, published two years before the first game was released, had a pair of hedgehogs locking together and then rolling around to attack enemies.
  • Popularity Polynomial: Probably no other video game franchise has fluctuated as much as Sonic has. If the history of the franchise is anything to go by, Sonic appears to have a boom-and-bust cycle with peaks around anniversary years that end in 0 and nadirs around anniversary years that end in 5. For example, Sonic's 10th and 20th anniversaries respectively produced Sonic Adventure 2 and Sonic Generations, which were both very successful and well-received. Meanwhile, his 5th anniversary saw the release of the underwhelming Sonic 3D Blast (as well as the cancelled Sonic X-Treme) and his 15th produced the even more infamous Obvious Beta Sonic 06 (which many fans probably wish was cancelled). The trend continues with Sonic Boom becoming the worst-selling Sonic title with less than 500K across two platforms.
  • Replacement Scrappy:
    • When Silver got a starring role in the Milestone Celebration Sonic '06 with Sonic and Shadow, fans felt he was usurping worthier characters like Tails or Knuckles and accused Sega of being biased against their non-hedgehog characters. Silver's cameo in Brawl also led to claims of this. Him being That One Boss supreme in the game didn't help matters, either.
    • The Rivals games were more enjoyable before we found out Nega kicked Eggman out of the villain spotlight
    • Omega is this for fans of E-102 Gamma.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
  • Ron the Death Eater:
    • Sonic himself. He very often has his character mutilated and warped into an abusive boyfriend towards Amy Rose by ShadAmy (or other) shippers in fanwork.
    • The Tails Doll is a bizarre example; its only appearance was in Sonic R as a Joke Character, and it had no personality whatsoever, being a floating ragdoll slapped together by Eggman. But due to the infamous "Sonic R curse", the harmless looking doll is commonly interpreted as an Eldritch Abomination.
    • Eggman is unmistakably a villain in canon, but many fanfics tend to downplay or eschew his lucid, goofy qualities present throughout the series, and exaggerate his evil nature to the level of the tyrannical Satam Robotnik or even make him as sadistic or violent as Black Doom or Mephiles the Dark.
  • Rooting for the Empire: Robotnik/Eggman might be a Fat Bastard, but in most of his incarnations he's also brilliant, stylish, and chews the scenery to the point that a better nickname might be Hamman.
  • Sacred Cow: The original Genesis platformers in the eyes of most fans. In the course of the entire franchise, they are still the only games that haven't triggered a massive Broken Base for questionable design choices (as seen in Sonic Adventure, Sonic Heroes, Sonic Unleashed, Sonic the Hedgehog 4, and Sonic: Lost World), nor have any of them aged unfavorably enough to trigger Hype Backlash towards them for any mechanics or design choices that were originally well-liked by the fanbase (as seen in Sonic Adventure 2, and, to a smaller extent, Sonic the Hedgehog CD, Sonic Colors and Sonic Generations). By those games only, Sonic 3 & Knuckles is seen as the biggest example of this trope for the whole series. See Fandom Heresy above for when even these games are targets of criticism.
  • The Scrappy: Take your pick; every medium has one. The main ones from the games are Big (mainly hated by fans for his lethargic, unorthodox gameplay style and one-dimensional characterization in the first Sonic Adventure; even his original voice actor, Jon St. John, said he hated the character so much, that he deliberately forgot how to do his voice), Princess Elise, and Exposition Fairy Omochao.
  • Seinfeld Is Unfunny:
    • The older entries evoke this in two ways: firstly, the speed which the eponymous Blue Blur ran through the levels in the first game in the series really seemed quite blistering to gamers of the day, even if nobody would think twice about it now, especially in light of the jaw dropping speeds Sonic reaches in later games like Sonic Unleashed and Sonic Generations (the latter compounding this by showing that the younger Sonic is canonically slower than the older one, if just mildly). Also, in order to truly see the heavily promoted "edginess" of the character, which has worn dry over time due to familiarity and Sonic's numerous imitators, you really need to be aware that when Sonic first appeared in 1991, the vast majority of platform heroes were promoted as squeaky-clean and cutesy. A teenage hedgehog with a spiky hairstyle and a self-confident smirk was enough to seem uber-cool by comparison.
    • Newer games' improvements on older games tend to increase the older games' Hype Backlash. Except for the original platformers. "Sonic Lost World has a plot, which beats Sonic Generations, whose reviews were good without being as overrated as Sonic Colors, which consisted of more fun high-speed levels that first showed up in Sonic Unleashed.""
  • Shipping: As with anything that has a fandom, big or small, there is an (un)healthy dose of this.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: Its Sonamy vs. Shadamy, Knouge vs. Shadouge, Silvaze vs. Sonaze, and Sonaze vs. Sonamy. etc, etc.
  • Ship Tease: The series isn't really about romance (no matter what the fans try to convince you otherwise) but that doesn't stop it from teasing potential pairings. At least all of the list couples above have been teased at some point.
  • Snark Bait: Dimps' level design has become this for some fans over the years.
  • So Bad, It's Good: Among the usual candidates named for this are multiple song lyrics, most strikingly We Can, My Sweet Passion, and the in-level Knuckles raps from Sonic Adventure 2, the campy dialogue during levels, and, to a lesser extent, in some cutscenes, and almost everything about Shadow the Hedgehog and Sonic the Hedgehog (2006).
  • That One Level: Has its own page.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: A common complaint against the series as of Unleashed is that the various characters are left by the wayside with too much focus on Sonic and Tails. Ironically, the opposite was what many fans had an issue with before.
    • Many Knuckles fans have felt this way, as he started out as a very promising character being a Foil for Sonic, only for his role in the games to gradually diminish after Sonic Adventure. He suffered neglect through both the series' 'character over-saturation era' to the current 'Sonic (and occasionally Tails)-centric era'.
    • Dr. Eggman. Sonic Adventure 2 and Shadow the Hedgehog hinted that he had a deeper personality with how much he looked up to his grandfather and that his motive for conquering the world was to overthrow the corrupt governments who ran it. But it has been largely thrown away for the initial portrayal of "generic mad scientist who conquer the world just because."
    • Amy Rose. Starting as a lovestruck fangirl of Sonic in CD, her playable debut in Sonic Adventure kept this quirk while taking time to show her to be one of the nicest members of the cast as she saved the bird and kickstarted Gamma's Heel–Face Turn. She also slowly resolved to become more independant and decides by the end of her storyline that the best way to earn Sonic's affection is to become a hero like him on her own merits. Come Adventure 2, she's a distressed damsel that's constantly being forgotten about by the plot, even lampshading this several times with how anoied she is not having anything to do, though even then she still played a small but vital role in her speech with Shadow to convince him to stop his creator's plans. Heroes reversed this, making her a more headstrong and determined fighter as leader of Team Rose while still being infatuated with Sonic without sacrificing her competence as a heroine. Thanks to the anime and later games making her a background character, she's been reduced to a jealous yandre that's completely obssessed with Sonic to the exclusion of anything else. A few games (mainly Free Riders and Lost World) and especially the Boom franchise have drastically toned this down in favor of her older traits, but only time will tell if this sticks.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy: Shadow, as the Game Breaker in Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing (with or without Banjo and Kazooie). Shadow has managed to take his Base Breaker status to a whole new level.
  • Uncanny Valley: Present in the series starting with Sonic Adventure (though it doesn't have this effect now) and peaking in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), with the Anthropomorphic characters compared to semi-realistic humans. Averted starting in Sonic Unleashed, which has stylized humans.
  • Vanilla Protagonist: Sonic's role in most of the game's plots is to generally be The Hero who saves the day; while he does have a fairly charismatic personality, he remains static for most of the series. It's the supporting cast that get most of the Character Development and more fleshed out personalities, most of which bounces off of Sonic himself. This also extends to gameplay, primarily in the 2D titles; Sonic tends to be simplest character in terms of abilities while it's the likes of Tails, Knuckles, and Amy who get all of the variations of his gameplay style.
  • Villain Decay: Reverse-proportional to Eggman's Character Development. As he becomes more and more humanized and sympathetic, he becomes less and less evil. Of course, Eggman has many fans precisely because of this morality shift, so perhaps it isn't all bad... He's been getting more dangerous as of recent games (Chronicles, Generations). Interestingly this is done without compromising much of his clownish semi likeable personality from before.
  • What an Idiot: The Nocturnus tried to conquer the ancient world and they did conquer the Twilight Cage — and given the Cage's Year Inside, Hour Outside effect, Shade probably took part in both conquests. Why did she not expect Ix to actually want to conquer Earth? This is even played up in one episode of the TV series — when a rival genius' shapeshifting robot defects, Dr. Robotnik boasts that he deliberately designed Scratch and Grounder to be idiots, so they'd never defect.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?:
    • There was a minor Internet Backdraft over the fact that one of the guys working on the Sonic games in the run-up to Sonic the Hedgehog 4 stated that their main demographic was children. This was because the fandom was already accustomed to the darker plots of Sonic Adventure 2 and Shadow the Hedgehog, and having the game creators acknowledge Sonic as mainly a children's franchise was shocking to some of the online fanbase (which tend to skew older). After the release, it's kind of died down.
    • Shadow the Hedgehog was purposefully intended for older fans. It was originally going to have a T rating, but backlash for giving Shadow his own game and intentionally making a Darker and Edgier installment (despite fans requesting that Shadow get his own game since Sonic Adventure 2/Sonic Heroes and requesting for a Darker and Edgier installment for a while) led to SEGA/Sonic Team censoring it to fit for the E10 rating. This shift led to the final product being torn between which group of fans it was trying to appeal to, succeeding at neither.
    • The inclusion of E-102 Gamma in Sonic Adventure, Tails' and Eggmans' mech sections in Sonic Adventure 2, and Shadow's weapon of choice in Shadow the Hedgehog were intended to appeal to a segment of Sonic fans who had apparently been demanding gunplay in Sonic titles. While Gamma and the Sonic Adventure 2 mech sections were average at best, the inclusion of guns in Shadow's game lead to the single biggest complaint people have about the title. Make of that what you will.
  • The Woobie: E-102 Gamma. First major character to be killed off, after a lifespan of one day, which unlike Shadow or Emerl, was not commemorated or recognized by the other heroes. He shares this with Chip.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/SonictheHedgehog