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Sonic: Let's blast through with sonic speed!
The three primary protagonists of the series , aptly named Team Sonic (or Team Heroes depending on the game), consisting of Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles. Whenever a threat rears its ugly head, you can bet these three will be at the center of the conflict in some way. They're joined by others on occasions, most commonly Amy.
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    Tropes applying to the trio as a whole 
  • Airplane Arms: All three do this when they are running full speed. Sonic started the trend in Sonic CD with the Peel-Out move.
  • Badass Crew: By themselves they are already capable, but when they work together, there is almost no foe that can take them down. Sonic Heroes is even built around this concept with three other teams in addition to Team Sonic.
  • Bash Brothers: As mentioned above, Sonic Heroes is built with this concept in mind, using the abilities of the three in tandem to progress.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Sonic, Tails, and (sometimes) Knuckles are nice people, but if you're hanging with the wrong crowd, expect a beating from them.
  • Brains and Brawn: Tails is the brains to Knuckles's brawn and Sonic's speed, although all three are quite strong and sharp in their own ways.
  • Cast Herd: After Sonic the Hedgehog 3, the three had more or less equal spotlight and screentime, with only Sonic barely eclipsing the other two, but only by a small margin. However, recent games have began to focus primarily on Sonic himself, with Tails being turned into an NPC Non-Action Guy, and Knuckles being severely Out of Focus. They are back to prominence in Sonic Mania.
  • Chromatic Arrangement: Blue (Sonic), yellow (Tails) and red (Knuckles). Although Tails' fur color may be a lighter shade of orange, however.
  • Elemental Powers: Various games give them these affinities.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: It's even reflected in their personalities.
    • Fighter: Knuckles, who prefers close combat and uses his fists to plow through his opposition.
    • Mage: Tails, who is the "average" of the three in physical abilities, makes up for it with his various gadgets.
    • Thief: Sonic, who uses his various acrobatic and swift movements to make up for his lack of power. (Compared to Knuckles, anyways.)
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Between all three of them and Amy:
    • Sonic (Choleric): He's The Leader of the gang. Driven by his own strong sense of justice, he can be very impulsive and most likely to take action should a problem present itself. He's quick-witted, easygoing and loyal to his friends. To his rivals and enemies, he can be an extremely condescending smart aleck. He has his moments of being arrogant and narcissistic, but is nonetheless a cool individual who's always there to save the day.
    • Tails (Phlegmatic): He's the technician of the gang, his intelligence rivals that of Dr. Eggman's. He's very friendly, upbeat and humble, but can be very touchy and prone to self-doubt at times. He can also be naive and a blabber-mouth, which can greatly irritate his friends. Nonetheless, he's driven to chart the course and guide his friends.
    • Knuckles (Melancholic): He's the muscle of the gang and Sonic's former rival. He's stubborn and very short-tempered. He's a driven individual who takes his duties as protector of Angel Island, along with the Master Emerald, very seriously. Only problem is that he can be very gullible, naive and easily misled to the point that cunning individuals (like Dr. Eggman and Rouge) can easily get one over on him.
    • Amy (Sanguine): She's the leader of her own group (Team Rose), but sometimes resorts to going along with Sonic and his crew. She's a cheerful and optimistic individual who can be very compassionate and overly concerned with other people's problems. However, she can be very aggressive, stubborn, and temperamental. Because of those traits, she can come across as very overbearing.
  • Freudian Trio: Although each one of them have traits of all three Freudian personality types. Sonic as The McCoy who tends to act purely on impulse and does whatever he feels is a good idea at the time, though in Sonic Lost World he shows some Kirk traits when breaking up a fight between Tails and Eggman. Knuckles as The Spock who tends to focus primarily on his job of protecting the Master Emerald and rarely concerns himself with matters outside of that. Although his anger issues give him some McCoy traits. Tails as The Kirk who tends to mediate in-fighting between the other two, and his intelligence gives him some Spock traits. He also has some McCoy traits when agitated by something, as shown in Sonic Lost World.
  • Funny Animals: ...Well, duh...
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Because Knuckles tends to spend more time alone on Angel Island, Sonic and Tails tend to be the ones who kick off the plot. They're frequently shown working together to save the day, and many games focus on them being such great partners. It helps that Sonic adopted Tails as his surrogate little bro.
  • Image Song: "We Can" (for the three as Team Sonic).
  • Improbable Age: Sonic is 15, Knuckles is 16, and Tails is 8. Yet, they've gone on to save the world and be far more competent than the military.
  • Kid Hero: According to official profiles, none of them are over 18. Heck, Tails isn't even 10.
  • Limit Break: Their Team Blast, "Sonic Overdrive", in Sonic Heroes. It does major damage to all nearby enemies, and enables the use of the Light Speed Attack for 10 seconds until its cooldown timer runs out.
  • Nice, Mean, and In-Between: Respectively, Tails is the nice one for being humble and respectful to others, the mean is downplayed with Knuckles, as he's not technically mean, but has nastier portrayals like Sonic Battle and Sonic Rivals, and Sonic is in-between due to his cockiness, but ultimately being a nice guy overall.
  • Pintsized Powerhouses: They're all pretty small and rather strong, but Knuckles stands out among them.
  • Power Trio: They've been seen together since the beginning of Sonic 3 & Knuckles.
  • Primary-Color Champion: Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles are respectively blue, yellow, and red and are the main heroes of the franchise.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: A nomadic blue hedgehog, a super-smart helicopter-tailed fox, and a lonesome guardian of a giant green rock, all united by their efforts to save the world.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Both Tails and Knuckles usually play Blue to Sonic's Red, although each of them can function as either Red or Blue depending on the game.
  • 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.
  • Super Mode: Sonic and Knuckles were able to harness the power of the Chaos Emeralds and Tails the Super Emeralds up until Sonic 3 & Knuckles, but this ability was later removed until Sonic Mania, where both Tails and Knuckles can go Super with no special requirements.
  • Super Speed: They're all pretty fast; Sonic is just the fastest of them, notably in Sonic Colors. Even in speed formation, Sonic is going slow enough for the others to keep up, and they're all speeding through every environment.
  • Super Strength: They're all pretty strong, since their primary mode of attack is slamming into things and they've all taken down armored robots single-handedly. Knuckles is decidedly the strongest, though.
  • True Companions: Despite their backgrounds and differing personalities, they are shown to care for one another, particularly Sonic and Tails.

    Sonic the Hedgehog 

See his page here.

    Miles "Tails" Prower 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/milestailsprower.png
Click here to see Tails' classic design. 

"I've changed a lot since I started hanging out with Sonic, but I can't depend on him forever. I know I can do this by myself!"

Debut: Sonic the Hedgehog 2 note 
Voiced by: Kazuki Hayashi (Japanese, 1998), Atsuki Murata (Japanese, 2000-2002), Ryo Hirohashi (Japanese, 2003-present), Takuto Yoshinaga (Japanese, Classic Tails), Corey Bringas (English, 1999-2001), Connor Bringas (English, 2001-2002), William Corkery (English, 2003-2004), Amy Palant (English, 2005-2010), Kate Higgins (English, 2010-2013), Colleen O'Shaughnessey (English, 2014-present)

Sonic's young sidekick: a small fox who can use his unique twin tails to fly. Despite his young age, he's a reliable and dependable ally to Sonic. In later games, he's come into his own as a genius inventor that even rivals Eggman. His real name is Miles Prower, and he grew up as an orphan, ostracized because of his twin tails. One day, he noticed Sonic's running by and was so awed by his speed, he tried to catch up using his tails. Sonic didn't pay the young fox any attention, but witnessing how he nearly caught up with him impressed him enough to take him under his wing and give him his well known nickname. Together, they foiled Eggman's latest scheme on Westside Island and the two became nearly inseparable.

Ever since their first meeting, Tails has tried his hardest to be the best person he can for Sonic's sake, often times by mimicking him. Humble, docile, and good-natured with mechanical prowess that can potentially rival Eggman's, but he never thought it was much of a big deal.


  • Flight: He can use his namesake tails to propel him upward, and when that isn't enough, there's always the Tails Tornado: later the X-Tornado.
  • Foil: While Dr. Eggman's main rivalry is with Sonic, Tails fits the role moreso due to his intellect and handiness with technology.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Phlegmatic and sanguine.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: In most Sonic media, Tails is the "gadget" guy, making him opposite to Eggman.
  • Girls Have Cooties: To a mild extent in some medias. It actually helps resolve the plot almost every time it comes up.
  • Goggles Do Nothing: Wears some in the Sonic Riders series.
  • Good Counterpart: He has evolved into a good counterpart to Eggman (because Eggman was introduced first), seeing as Tails' Gadgeteer Genius abilities have become as prominent as Eggman's, and Tails is young, yet very mature (in some ways) while Eggman is older, yet rather immature. This is more apparent in Sonic Adventure 2, where Tails and Eggman are both "shooting" characters and control the same way. It's also worth noting that both are among the few characters in the Sonic franchise that have full names, yet are Only Known by Their Nickname. It's sometimes implied that Eggman and Tails respect each other's genius in spite of all the trouble they cause each other, to the point where they sometimes devolve into a Friendly Rivalry.
  • Happily Adopted: Some continuities give him the backstory of being adopted and raised by Sonic himself.
  • Heartwarming Orphan: He has no known parents, but is often described as an orphan in certain alternate media.
  • Heli-Critter: Trope Codifier.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: He'll believe someone if they say they aren't evil, no matter what prior experiences he's had with them.
  • Humble Hero: He's done his fair share of heroics but is far too modest to really take credit, in sharp contrast to Sonic.
  • Hyper-Competent Sidekick: In the game continuity only. Tails has an absurd number of useful skills, having many of the same abilities as Sonic and some of his own.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: He doesn't use it often, but he has a ton of stuff that can appear out of nowhere, especially in Tails Adventure.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: Tails wishes he could be as much of a hero as his best friend, Sonic. Some Character Development throughout the Adventure titles shows that he's starting to step out of Sonic's shadow to become a hero on his own right, but he still has a lot to catch up with the others. His Leitmotif, "Believe in Myself" is also an accurate example of this trope.
  • I Love Nuclear Power: At least in a few alternate continuities, it's been theorized that his mutation is due to toxic waste dumped by Dr. Robotnik.
  • Image Song: "Believe in Myself"
  • Informed Attribute: Many modern bios refer to him as a "hyperactive fox boy", despite his Keet-like attitude fading considerably over the years in favor of him becoming a rather mellow and serious minded character.
  • Innocent Blue Eyes: They do really bring out his childlike innocence.
  • Innocent Prodigy: It varies from game-to-game, but Tails is just a kid who happens to be extremely intelligent for his age. He sometimes joins in on Sonic's taunting, but also wises up faster than his big bro as well.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Most of his friends, all of his close friends, are quite a bit older than him.
  • Ironic Fear: According to Sonic Jam he's scared of thunder but Sonic Heroes features using moves such as Thunder Shoot.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: Outside of platformers, this is Tails' usual role. For example, in Sonic Battle, he has slightly above average speed and defense; with average attack power. In general, he tends to be faster but weaker than Knuckles; and slightly slower but stronger than Sonic.
  • Kid-Appeal Character: The very first one of the series, he's often recommended for beginners due to his flying abilities in the 2D games.
  • Kid Sidekick: He's almost twice as young as him to boot.
  • The Kirk: Overlapping with The Spock at times. Tails is generally the most level-headed of the three.
  • Kitsune: He doesn't have the magic powers associated with Kitsune, but he has the intelligence and multiple tails.
  • Little Professor Dialog: He can speak some big words for his age and is generally the one to piece together and explain things. (Also when doubled over as the Exposition Fairy)
  • Lovable Nerd: Very nerdy, but also very adorable.
  • Made of Iron: Even without counting his invincibility in the two-player mode of the older games. Tails has been shot with lasers and crashed planes multiple times, but the worst he's ever been hurt is being dazed for a few minutes.
  • Meaningful Name: Miles Prower fits in with Sonic's name, referring to velocity. (miles per hour)
  • Motor Mouth: Not as much as Marine or Omochao, but often with Techno Babble.
  • Mr. Fixit: He's a mechanic and maintains planes pretty well. Sonic Lost World also showed him fixing Cubot's malfunctioned voice chip and reversing the effects of Eggman's machine.
  • Mr. Vice Guy: Tails is usually incredibly lucid and intelligent, but sometimes his childishness seeps through, making him naive or huffy. He's also sometimes a bit over fixated with machinery, at the cost of his attention span.
  • Multiple-Tailed Beast: Being based on a Kitsune, it is to be expected.
  • Nice Guy: One of the nicest and most mild-mannered of the cast.
  • Non-Action Guy: He's made this in Unleashed, Colors, Generations, and Forces. Subverted in the 3DS release of Generations. He and his younger self attack Eggman head-on in the end, allowing the Sonics to go Super and finish it up.
  • Noodle Incident: One has to wonder how Tails was able to make a TV out of paperclips, and reprogram a computer with detergent & a toothpick, as was mentioned in Sonic Lost World.
  • Number Two: Often cited as Sonic's right-hand man and the most likely to tag along in his adventures. He even sometimes takes over in Sonic's absence.
  • One-Man Army: In Tails Adventure, taking on a whole armada on his own.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: To the point where most people didn't think he had a real name.
  • Only Sane Man: In Sonic Battle, at least.
  • Out of Focus: Played with. He's nowhere near as prominent as he once was and he's rarely a playable character nowadays, but he continuously makes appearances in the plot and is just as much a part of the action as Sonic. Subverted in Episode II of Sonic the Hedgehog 4, where he's playable alongside Sonic once again (although only in co-op in the case of Sonic 4).
  • Ping-Pong Naïveté: Has astonishing technical abilities, but often has the disposition and naïveté of a child. This lessened significantly around Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), but started to trickle back in with Colors and Generations.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: 2'7" tall, weighs 44 lbs. He's just as capable of demolishing robots as Sonic is, and at some points lifts four times his own weight and breaks rocks with his bare hands.
  • The Pollyanna: He honestly believed that Eggman had truly reformed in Sonic Colors, even though it's clear that he didn't.
  • Power Creep, Power Seep: Tails' competence and strength varies widely throughout the series. There's a fairly reliable metric, though: If he's non-playable, he's a Non-Action Guy, though he can still keep up with Sonic. If he's playable, however, he's a Lightning Bruiser able to easily hold his own with the likes of Sonic, Knuckles, and Shadow.
  • Prehensile Tail: Tails shows this ability for the first time ever in Sonic Lost World, when he grabs the toothpick stuck in Zomom's sandwich to save himself from being robotized.
  • Punny Name: Miles Prower = miles per hour.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter
  • Rude Hero, Nice Sidekick: The mild-mannered sidekick to the snarky yet compassionate Sonic.
  • Rule of Cool: Absolutely nothing makes sense about his propeller tails ability. At least with the Spin Dash you could kind of see how it works, even if it actually fails when you think about it. Apparently his tails aren't actually attached to his body, considering he can ball himself up without tucking in his tails, which can also explain how his propeller tails function.
  • Science Hero: He often uses his smarts and various gadgets to aid him and his friends save the day.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Can slip into this sometimes. (Sonic Riders hosts one of his most famous examples.)
  • Shorter Means Smarter: Justified in that he is much younger than most of the cast.
  • Sidekick: To Sonic. He acts as a more humble and reasonable foil to the cocky, impulsive Sonic. But looks up to Sonic as an older brother figure, and doesn't have the Friendly Rival characteristics of The Lancer.
  • Sleepy Head: Starts yawning in his idle pose in the classic games and in Sonic Adventure, and falls asleep in Sonic Advance 2 and Sonic 4: Episode 2.
  • Shock and Awe: His most commonly used element, as used in Sonic Heroes and Sonic Battle despite being portrayed as having a fear of lightning.
  • The Smart Guy: Tends to be more far more rational and analytic than his teammates.
  • Speaks Fluent Animal: He's able to understand Flickies (the little blue birds).
  • Super Mode:
    • Super Tails, which has only appeared in Sonic 3 & Knuckles so far. Unlike the rest of the characters, he needs the Super Emeralds rather than the Chaos Emeralds to achieve super form. According to Word of God, this is due to his inexperience and young age. He even has four Super Flickies to attack enemies for him.
    • As of the 2013 re-release of the original Sonic the Hedgehog, Tails can go super with just the Chaos Emeralds, but only if a hidden setting is used to make all seven show up.
    • Tails also has a different Super Mode used in Sonic Heroes. There is, however, quite a bit of confusion as to whether or not it's actually supposed to be Super Tails or not. The only visual difference is a golden shield surrounding him, but he has all the normal abilities associated with a Super form. Adding to the confusion is that Tails' and Knuckles' super forms in previous games only included them glowing, with no visual changes whatsoever.
    • In Sonic Mania, Tails has his Super form from the aforementioned re-release of Sonic the Hedgehog. Unlike every other appearance of Tails' Super form, there aren't any extra requirements - Get the Chaos Emeralds, and he can go Super as easily as the other two.
  • Super Speed:
    • His ability to move fast enough to keep up with Sonic impressed him enough that he took Tails as his sidekick.
    • It's not always noticeable, but Tails has been shown to be very fast even without using his tails — on par with, say, Amy or Espio, who are classified as Speed characters.
  • Super-Strong Child: Although this can also apply to the other small children in the series, Tails is the only one consistently portrayed as being deceptively strong. Several games show him able to lift more than his own weight without hindering his flight (possibly up to ten tons if Tails' Skypatrol is any indication), breaking through rocks with his bare (or gloved) hands, and, of course, tearing through robots as a ball.
  • Tagalong Kid: Subverted. While he does meet Sonic by initially following him, he ends up proving useful and Sonic decides to keep him around. From then on, he's one of Sonic's closest allies.
  • Tail Slap: Has this move in most of the Dreamcast era games.
  • Taking the Bullet: Does this a few times — He's back up within a few seconds.
  • Tareme Eyes: Has the softest, droopiest eye shape of the cast — even more so than Cream.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Mint candy.
  • Transforming Mecha: His Cyclone mecha from Sonic Adventure 2, which can switch between Tornado-esque plane, high-speed car, and walker.
  • Undying Loyalty: A consistent with almost every interpretation of Tails is that he is always by Sonic's side.
  • Voice for the Voiceless: His classic self acts as this for Classic Sonic in Sonic Generations.
  • Walking the Earth: He seems to spend time either doing this with Sonic, or in one of his multiple workshops.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Sonic's approval is very important to him, to the point where if he feels he doesn't have it makes Tails very upset. Fortunately, Sonic is already plenty proud of the young fox.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Classified this way in Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: An 8-year-old who is able to fly a plane and make some cool gadgets. Also, he's often the mediator between Sonic's friends.

    Knuckles the Echidna 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/knucklestheechidna.png
Click here to see Knuckles' classic design. 

"I'll probably be on this floating island forever, guarding the Master Emerald again. I may not know the whole story behind this, but perhaps it's better that way. I'm at peace once more."

Voiced by: Nobutoshi Canna (Japanese, 1998-present), Brian Drummond (English, Sonic Underground), Michael McGaharn (English, 1999), Ryan Drummond (English, 2000), Scott Dreier (English, 2001-2004), Dan Green (English, 2005-2010), Travis Willingham (English, 2010-present)

A red echidna from Angel Island, and guardian of the Master Emerald. He was first introduced as an antagonist in Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Sonic & Knuckles, having been told by Eggman that Sonic and Tails intended to steal the Master Emerald. Halfway through the game, Eggman betrays Knuckles and steals the Master Emerald himself, which forced Knuckles to accept Sonic & Tails help in getting it back. Afterward, Knuckles would then be one of the duo's chief allies in fighting Eggman, but his guardian duties keep him out of the action most of the time. Not much of his past was known, but that changed with Sonic Adventure which fleshed out his background quite a bit. Turns out, Knuckles is the last of the echindas after they were wiped out for attempting to use the the Emeralds and desecrating the shrine (and injuring numerous Chao) which the angered the at the time guardian Chaos. Afterward, the piece of the shrine became Angel Island.

If Sonic is like the wind, then Knuckles is like the mountain; stern and unmovable. So naturally, they tend to butt heads, but do get along occasionally. Because of spending most of his life on a secluded island, he naturally prefers to be by himself and has quite the wild temper. However, despite these traits he's a nice guy, and more than willing to abandon his post to help out his friends.


  • A Day in the Limelight: He got his own spinoff game, Knuckles Chaotix, for the Sega 32X.
  • Aloof Ally: Knuckles prefers to work in a solitude and keeping his distance from the others. But that's understandable since he is destined to live alone, guarding the Master Emerald.He doesn't mind working with others, but he prefers to work solely alone. It's even been lampshaded, in some of his theme songs, from the Dreamcast era:
    • "I was born by myself. I don't need a partner, I get it on by myself, adversaries get shelved" - Sonic Adventure
    • "This partnership is only temporary" - Sonic Adventure 2
  • Adorkable: Despite his tough exterior, he can be adorably awkward at times, especially around girls.
  • Almost Kiss: Shares one with Rouge after he saves her from falling in the lava in Sonic Adventure 2.
  • Anti-Hero: Has no hesitation in fighting other heroes or his own friends, if they get in his way.
  • Anti-Villain: In Sonic 3 & Knuckles.
  • The Artifact:
    • Knuckles was Sonic's original Foil and rival, and remained as such until Shadow's debut in Sonic Adventure 2. Afterward, he just became another one of Sonic's allies before losing all relevance to the series after Sonic Heroes. The only reason he even shows up nowadays is probably to remind people that he's still around. At least until Sonic Forces, where he's the leader of the Resistance.
    • This also extends to the Master Emerald as well. The Chaos Emeralds have supplanted it as the series' primary Macguffins, so the Master Emerald's only purpose was to give Knuckles an excuse to be in a game. Since Sonic Adventure 2, it's only been relevant in Sonic Advance 3 and Sonic Rivals; mostly it's only mentioned in passing nowadays.
    • His dredlocks, and the color of his shoes, were from when he was first conceptualized (he was originally meant to be Jamaican, apparently). Those stuck around long after that was forgotten about.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: He's the leader of the Resistance in Sonic Forces.
  • Badass Armfold: He does this very often, and it looks extremely badass, despite the fact that he's badass already.
  • Badass Baritone: He has a low-sounding voice when voiced by Scott Dreier to fit his stoic and serious personality in the two Adventure games and Heroes.
  • Badass Biker: In racing games, like Sonic Riders and Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing, Knuckles usually rides a cycle of some kind.
  • Badass in Charge: In Forces, he leads the Resistance.
  • Badass in Distress: He gets captured off-screen in Sonic Triple Trouble as Sonic (or Tails, if you choose him) and is seen freeing him from a cage during the ending.
  • Bare-Fisted Monk: Well, his name is Knuckles...
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: With Rouge in Sonic Adventure 2, complete with her nearly-Tsundere reactions towards him and an Almost Kiss when he saves her life (it doesn't help that "Kick The Rock!", the BGM for Wild Canyon — his first stage, right after he met Rouge — is a radar-jamming ballad of Intercourse with You, and later says that he doesn't love her). Later games have scaled back their romantic tension, reducing it to simple animosity.
  • Berserk Button: Knuckles will always get angry for a lot of things, but one thing in particular would be anything that would involve stealing the Master Emerald. He was also clearly enraged about how Wave insulted Tails's hoverboard.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Knuckles is level-headed, down to earth, and doesn't take crap from anyone. Doctor Eggman never learns from this. Knuckles is kind enough to give him multiple chances to redeem himself, but as soon as he finds out Eggman's been taken advantage of him, it's payback time.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Much less prominent than Sonic, but does have his moments with both him and Tails, particularly in Sonic Heroes and Sonic Riders.
  • The Big Guy: Tends to solve most of his problems by punching them.
  • Big "SHUT UP!": He occasionally says this to some characters in games such as Sonic Battle and Sonic Rivals.
  • Blood Knight: Knuckles is a brawler at heart, so he would naturally be this. His counterpart, Gawain from Sonic and the Black Knight, noted that fighting a dragon would be an excellent way to test out his strength.
  • Breakout Character: He was this during the '90s, especially since he had his own comic book, upgraded into the main cast with Sonic and Tails, and had his own video game.
  • Bruiser with a Soft Center: He's known for being tough and uses his spiky fists when in combat. He's also shown to be a nice guy and cares for his friends.
  • The Brute: Served as Eggman's muscle in Sonic 3 & Knuckles and Sonic the Hedgehog: Triple Trouble.
  • Butt-Monkey: A lot of the comic relief in the series stems from his bullheaded attitude, most of it at his expense.
  • Cartoony Tail: Knuckles' tail looks like it had been broken at one point, but in-universe echidnas usually have tails like that.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Knuckles` strength is never explicitly stated to be abnormal or superhuman, but rather an innate part of his nature.
  • Character Development: A bit subtle, but he went from being an adversary to Sonic, to being reluctant allies with him, and finally good friends (albeit with a competitive streak). It would take awhile, but it eventually developed into a genuine friendship. He even became Sonic's second best friend next to Tails. Though he's still the first one to call Sonic out for acting like a Fearless Fool, they have developed a much more peaceful rivalry than with Sonic's other rivals.
  • Characterization Marches On: Knuckles' personality seems to depend on the era he's in. In the Classic Era, he was a chuckling troublemaker who hindered Sonic's path in his debut. In the Dreamcast Era, he was a tough, no nonsense foil to Sonic's carefree lifestyle. In the Modern Era, he's even more of a hothead and finds himself constantly trying to one up Sonic, or play the series' Butt-Monkey. In Mania, he's reverted to his Sonic 3 persona.
  • Continuity Snarl: Super Knuckles's existence. Sonic 3 & Knuckles introduced Super Knuckles and Hyper Knuckles, but by the time of Sonic Heroes Super Knuckles seems forgotten about in favour of having a "Super Shield" provided by Super Sonic, then in Sonic Mania Super Knuckles is back and the Super Emeralds are still around but go unused.
  • Cool Shades: Gets a pair in Sonic Adventure 2 and in the Sonic Riders series.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: He may not be the brightest guy around, but he's more than capable of dishing out the pain if needed
  • Cute Little Fangs: Difficult to see them, but they're still there.
  • Defeat Means Friendship/Defeat Means Respect: This is how he became an ally to Sonic. This also applies to his encounter with Rouge in Sonic Adventure 2.
  • Depending on the Writer: Probably one of the more notable cases, Knuckles's personality and relationships change more widely than others. The series can't seem to decide if he's a reluctant ally of Sonic's and prefers to be alone, or a Friendly Rival who wants to one-up Sonic and tries to tagalong in his adventures. Even how seriously he takes his guardian duties are subject to change; he either takes them completely serious and refuses to leave his post unless he's needed or constantly shirks his duties to go hoverboarding, birthday parties, etc. etc. It's really hard to get a pin on him, the only consistent thing is his stoic and honorable nature, and his Friendly Rivalry with Sonic.
    • In Sonic 3 & Knuckles, he's a Giggling Villain constantly tripping up Sonic's progress by activating all of Angel Island's traps and secret mechanisms, suggesting he's crafty.
    • In Sonic Adventure and Sonic Adventure 2 he's a quiet loner with a strong sense of duty to the Master Emerald.
    • In the Sonic Riders series, he's a hot-headed competitor in the game, and a treasure hunter off-screen.
    • In Sonic Mania Adventures, he's The Paranoiac who thinks everyone, Sonic included, is trying to steal the Master Emerald from him.
  • Determinator: Always persistent against pain, and never backs down.
  • Deuteragonist: He has a prominent role in Sonic Adventure in which it leans to his connection with the Master Emerald and the Echidna clan.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: Some of his moves in Sonic Battle and Sonic Heroes.
  • Dreadlock Rasta: Word of God says his quills are styled in dreadlocks. Although he is not a Rastafarian, Knuckles is in some media known to be a somewhat spiritual character. From the Dreamcast games and beyond, we see that other echidnas have this, making it part of Knuckles' culture, and not a fashion choice.
  • Dumb Muscle: What he lacks in intelligence, he makes up for with strength.
  • Everyone Has Standards: It was pretty obvious from his reaction, that he wanted to punch Wave in the face for bullying Tails.
  • Fatal Flaws: Knuckles is known to be rather gullible and naive, falling for Eggman's trickery on a regular basis. His short temper can also lead to him being easily riled up at times. Also his pride has gotten him in quite a bit of trouble over time.
  • Fiery Red Head: Sometimes.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: With Sonic, although both still have the tendency to quarrel.
  • Foil: As mentioned in his bio, he's one to Sonic. In fact, he was created with this trope in mind. He also gained one in Rouge after Sonic Adventure 2. They're both treasure hunters, but he's rather Hot-Blooded and simple minded, while she's cunning and manipulative.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Supine.
  • Friendless Background: He was actually born on Angel Island without anyone to look after him.
  • Genius Ditz: Especially in Sonic 3, where he introduces himself by knocking Sonic out of his super form with one punch, and then afterwards set up traps for Sonic all around the place.
  • Giggling Villain: As an antagonist in Sonic 3 & Knuckles, where he constantly laughs at Sonic and Tails while messing with them.
  • Good Cannot Comprehend Evil: Having been living much of his life in isolation, Knuckles grew up believing in honesty and holds a firm and steadfast belief that there is good in everyone, which always lets him give people second chances. Naturally, Eggman has used this to his advantage to dupe him into fighting Sonic on multiple occasions.
  • Good Is Not Soft: He's a selfless and caring hero who risks his life to save pretty much anyone and tries his best to give people a second chance, even the villain who abuses his trust, but if he has to use brutal force to stop a villain who just won't listen, he will.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: He isn't called "Knuckles" for nothing.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: He's jealous of Sonic's adventurous lifestyle and fame he earns as a hero. This would explain his subtle hostility with the hedgehog, and their rocky relationship.
  • Grumpy Bear: Downplayed. Although nowhere near to the level Shadow is, he often too serious to lighten up, although this stems from having to live alone in Angel Island for all his life. However, he's a rather mellow guy.
  • Guile Hero: Especially from Sonic 3 up to Sonic Adventure 2.
  • Gullible Lemmings: Tends to fall for Eggman's lies from time to time. Some fans exaggerate this to unrealistic levels.
  • Guttural Growler: At least when voiced by Dan Green and currently Travis Willingham. Knuckles has a bit of a gruff voice, which fits his tough guy character.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: He has a very short temper which combined with his naiveness, leads to him making very poor decisions at times. Characters like Sonic and Rouge are fond of pressing his buttons a lot.
  • Hero Antagonist: His debut had him opposing Sonic and Tails due to Eggman lying and claiming they were trying to steal the Master Emerald and Chaos Emeralds. So Knuckles is simply just protecting his home from what he believes are invaders. Once Eggman's lies are revealed, he quickly joins the duo in stopping him.
  • Heroic Neutral: Knuckles doesn't get himself involved in the conflict between Sonic and Dr. Eggman due to his dedication with guarding the Master Emerald, but he'll help Sonic and his friends when the situation calls for it.
  • Hidden Depths: He looks like a tough guy, but is a kind and helpful guy who just wants to do the right thing.
  • Hidden Heart of Gold: One line of his Sonic Adventure theme song "Unknown From M.E." states that he has "no such thing as weak spots".
  • Horrible Judge of Character: He trusts Eggman and thinks Sonic is the bad guy at first. He doesn't seem to learn from his mistake, as Eggman tricks Knuckles into fighting against Sonic again on several occasions. His lack of good character judgement becomes a Running Gag over time.
  • Hot-Blooded: Goes hand and hand with his temper, tho usually Knuckles is provoked when he goes off.
  • Humble Hero: Especially in the Sonic Adventure games, and Sonic Heroes. He is also the least arrogant rival of Sonic, while Shadow and Jet are more brash.
  • Image Song / "I Am" Song: "Unknown from M.E."
  • Ineffectual Loner: He fits into this category due to being stuck in Angel Island with the given responsibility to guard the Master Emerald all his life. He has gotten used to be alone, but he still admits that he would like to spend more time with people outside.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: Subverted. He is jealous of Sonic's freedom and getting the respect that he doesn't, but he's not trying to prove anything.
  • Informed Attribute: Knuckles' reputation as a treasure hunter pops up sporadically even though he's only rarely seen in the act. It first originated in the OVA, where Knuckles is a wanderer and carries the gear to match. The Adventure series has an odd relationship with the idea, since while Knuckles' gameplay is, in fact, a treasure hunt, he engages in it exclusively as a function of his duties as the Guardian, and yet Sonic teasingly refers to him as "the world's greatest treasure hunter". In Riders: Free Gravity, he provides some utility to the heroes by being able to decipher and explain ancient ruins as part of his capacity as a Treasure Hunter.
  • Informed Flaw: According to official profiles, he dislikes strong sunlight. This only ever gets explicitly brought up twice: once in Sonic Adventure where he winces in the bright sunlight of Station Square, and once in Sonic Heroes where he grumbles about how bright Casino Park is.
  • Informed Ability: A lot of manuals still mention his connection to the Master Emerald despite the fact that neither it, Angel Island, or even Knuckles himself are very relevant to the series nowadays.
  • Informed Species: Knuckles looks almost nothing like a real echidna, although he gets a pass on it due to being one of the few major character based on the species in fiction.
  • Inspector Javert: His role in Sonic the Hedgehog 3.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: For all of the disagreements, beefs and conflicts he has with Sonic, he's always willing to fight by his side.
  • Joke Character: His playable role in Sonic Blast unwittingly turned him into this. The levels are clearly designed with Sonic in mind and there are very few opportunities for Knuckles to take advantage of his gliding and wall climbing abilities. And even then, Knuckles glide in the game was heavily nerfed to where he can barely fly any distance at all with it and sinks like a rock in the air, his climbing is as slow as molasses, and trying to use the glide often can actually make the game harder because of the small screen resolution combined with offscreen enemies that Knuckles can accidentally buffet into—oh and did we mention he can't hurt enemies by gliding into them in this game? On top of that, Knuckles pathetic jump height means he can't reach areas Sonic can, and some of these areas can't be accessed by either wall climbing or gliding, which defeats the whole purpose of using the abilities anyway.
  • The Juggernaut: Super (and Hyper) Knuckles. Anything that Super Sonic can't handle, he can shake off.
  • Jumped at the Call: In the Sonic Forces prequel comics, after Silver the Hedgehog warns Knuckles about a premonition from the future that said the world would be brought to ruin, Knuckles decides to step up and lead the charge against the cause of the events.
  • The Lancer: Fits the traditional mold a lot better than Tails; literally everything about him is meant to be an opposite to Sonic and are generally presented as equals whenever Knuckles joins on adventures.
  • Last of His Kind: After the Chaos incident, he is the last surviving Echidna of the Knuckles Clan besides possibly Tikal.
  • The Leader: Commands the Resistance in Sonic Forces.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Falls into this in Forces due to his "Operation Big Wave" plan, which he freely admits to having thought up in a minute and a half. With Metropolis undermanned, Knuckles' plan to take the city amounts to nothing more than going in hard and fast, and just destroying Eggman's army. This bites him in the ass when Eggman sends in Infinite, who uses the Phantom Ruby's power to utterly decimate the Resistance.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: How his altercations with Sonic in Sonic 3 & Knuckles, Sonic Adventure and Sonic Advance 2 went.
  • Lightning Bruiser: He's not quite as fast as Sonic, but Knuckles packs more of a punch.
  • Logical Weakness: Adventure 2 shows that he's uncomfortable dealing with ghosts, which makes sense considering that he's a Bare-Fisted Monk and would naturally have trouble dealing with them.
  • Loner-Turned-Friend: He starts becoming this after the events of Sonic Adventure 2. He often joins Sonic and Tails in their adventures in battling Eggman and other threats in the world.
  • Lovable Rogue: In Sonic 3, due to the fact that he was an pawn of Doctor Eggman, tricked due to his belief in the good of people, and tried his best to protect the Master Emerald.
  • Magma Man: Some of his moves in Sonic Battle. Also his most commonly used element, seen in the Sonic Advance Series and Sonic Heroes.
  • Malicious Misnaming: He can be referred to as "Knucklehead" by Sonic on occasions in regards to him doing something thickheaded. Dr. Eggman has called him this in Sonic Adventure 2 while taking the Master Emerald.
  • Married to the Job: To the point where some fans turn it Up to Eleven and literally ship him with the Master Emerald.
  • Mighty Glacier: Compared to the other characters. He's much slower than Sonic, but is also much stronger. Played straighter when competitively balanced.
  • Misunderstood Loner with a Heart of Gold: The thing is that Knuckles believes in always giving people a new chance, which is why he repetitively trusts the Easily Forgiven Eggman, who always abuses Knuckles's trust and takes advantage of him. Though it gets the group in trouble, Knuckles means well. Some people call him dumb for this, but he's simply easy with forgiving people due to believing in the good of people.
  • Mr. Vice Guy: As heroic as Knuckles can be at times, he does suffer about three vices. One, he can be prideful about his echidna heritage. Two, he's envious of Sonic's freedom and carefree nature. And three, he's quick to anger for a lot of things.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: This had gone hand in hand with his gullibility into thinking that Sonic was the bad guy. In his debut, this lead to Eggman to steal Master Emerald, and then in Sonic Adventure, he caused Sonic to fumble two Chaos Emeralds after the two collided with each other (Knuckles thought that the green Emerald was a shard of the Master Emerald), causing Eggman to take them and power up Chaos in his fourth form.
    Sonic: "Way to go, Knucklehead!"
  • Nobody Calls Me "Chicken"!: You can get Knuckles to go along with a plan he initially disapproves of by either stroking or insulting his pride.
  • No Respect Guy: He's an exceptionally skilled fighter, a cunning Trap Master on his home turf, and possess ancient knowledge not known to many. Yet, everyone treats him like an idiot due to his temper and lack of social fact.
  • No Social Skills: Although he's become more laid-back and jovial, Knuckles has lived in isolation for most of his life, which may explain his gullibility and social naivety.
  • Not Bad: In Sonic Generations, he says this to Sonic after he and Classic Sonic defeated The Time Eater. Because of this, Knuckles gets pushed into a tree by Amy who states that Sonic was all great.
  • Not Quite Flight: His dreadlocks give him the ability to glide for long distances.
  • Not So Different: Although he and Sonic have contrasting lifestyles, the two share a sense of pride for certain things (Sonic with his speed while Knuckles with his guardianship and strength).
  • Not So Above It All: He's usually The Stoic, no-nonsense one of the trio, but sometimes he also drops in on the fun. His Friendly Rivalry with Sonic is also rather playful, despite him being more mature than Sonic.
  • Out of Focus: Knuckles fell out of the spotlight for quite a few years. His last fully playable appearance (as in not as part of a team or a temporary side character) before Sonic Mania was in Sonic Adventure 2, a gap of sixteen years.
  • The Paranoiac: In Sonic Mania Adventures, he's overprotective of the Master Emerald to the point where he thinks Sonic can't be trusted with it. He even sent Ray flying over the horizon just for touching the Emerald.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Although some artworks of him show him smiling in games like Sonic 3 & Knuckles and Sonic Adventure, other artworks made him to be this later on the series, mostly to convey him as serious or hot-tempered.
  • Pintsized Powerhouse: He's one of the physically strongest characters in The ’Verse (if not the strongest), but only stands at a height of three feet, seven inches. In Heroes, he is notably the shortest of the "Power" characters by far.
  • Playing with Fire: His most commonly used element, seen in the series and Sonic Heroes.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Happened in Sonic Adventure. After Eggman told him that Sonic is after the Master Emerald pieces, he immediately starts a fight with Sonic and Tails instead of directly asking the two about why they were after them, which could have prevented the whole fight in the first place.
  • Power Fist: Has these in Sonic Adventure and its sequel.
  • Pride: Has quite a bit of pride in his duty in guarding the Master Emerald and his Super Strength. Attacking his pride is one way to rile him up.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: Descendant from the "Knuckles Tribe", who were all just as boisterous and fight happy as he is.
  • Purple Eyes: They used to be black. Also, it fits Knuckles as the Last of His Kind and the skilled guardian of the Master Emerald who knows a lot of secrets of Angel Island and the echidna heritage.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: His sprites in Sonic 3 sans the & Knuckles expansion portray him as pinkish red, while playing with the expansion alters his hue towards a more "true red". His Super form in Sonic 3 & Knuckles and Sonic Mania, as well as his Hyper form in the former, are magenta. Games which feature both him and Mighty at the same time (Mania, Chaotix) tend to alter his palette back to being slightly more pink than red to make the two characters stand out more from each other.
  • Rebel Leader: In Sonic Forces, he forms La Résistance after Dr. Eggman finally conquered the world.
  • Red Ones Go Faster: Inverted. Even though he has some degree of Super Speed, he pales in comparison to Sonic and Shadow.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: In addition to the aforementioned above, its also played straight with his other Friendly Rival Rouge.
  • Reformed, but Not Tamed: Downplayed. He started as a fairly antagonistic foe towards Sonic in his debut, but gradually developed into a quarrelsome yet trusted ally/friend.
  • The Rival:
  • Rivals Team Up: With Sonic.
  • Running Gag: Being tricked by Eggman to fight Sonic. In the DS version of Sonic Colors, he gets tricked by Rouge in a subplot.
  • Save the Villain: He saved Rouge from falling back in Sonic Adventure 2, even if she was trying to steal the Master Emerald.
  • Screw Destiny: In Sonic Shuffle, he inspirationally tells Void that he won't lose what he protects to him, and that the only reason why dreams don't come true, is because people give up on them.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: He did this in Sonic Adventure 2. After the Master Emerald shards are lost during the approach to the ARK, Knuckles leaves Sonic and the others in the space shuttle to find them, with Tails stating that he bailed. After he successfully restores the emerald, he tries to reconnect with the others and finds Sonic, who asks him to look after Tails and Amy.
  • Seldom-Seen Species: Both in and out of universe—he is the first example of an echidna being a main character in fiction. In-universe, its justified because he's the Last of His Kindnote .
  • Shock and Awe: His "Thunder Arrow" Limit Break as a boss and a Battle Mode character in Sonic Adventure 2.
  • Shoryuken: Uses this in the Sonic Advance Trilogy as part of his Three Strike Combo and as an R-Trigger trick.
  • Shrinking Violet: Around girls.
  • Skewed Priorities: In Sonic Adventure 2 when he, Sonic, Tails, and Amy enter Eggman's pyramid base he prioritize finding Rouge over stopping a possible world ending scheme.
  • Single Specimen Species: He's the last of the Echidnas.
  • Sixth Ranger: Started off as an antagonist before becoming an ally and rounding out the trio. Even after Sonic 3 he still only fights with the gang when the situation calls for it.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: His relationship with Rouge often hits this territory.
  • Space Jews: He has a few stereotypical black man characteristics, and was originally supposed to have a Jamaican accent in Sonic Adventure.
  • The Spock: While he's not as smart as Tails or fast as Sonic, he's the most serious and task-orientated of the three.
  • The Stoic: He's not as openly emotional as Sonic or Tails, rather keeping everything to himself, even his background of being the last of his kind. He is also a determined ace.
  • Strong and Skilled: He's described as being as strong as Sonic is fast, and is also a trained martial artist.
  • Super Mode:
    • In Sonic 3 & Knuckles, Super Knuckles and Hyper Knuckles. The former also appears in Sonic Mania.
    • Like Tails, Knuckles also has another Super Mode in Sonic Heroes. For the same reasons listed under Tails' section, there's quite a bit of confusion as to whether or not it's Super Knuckles or not.
  • Superpower Lottery: In most of the games he's been in, he has quite a but of control over the elements.
  • Super Strength: In spades.
  • Supporting Leader: Becomes the Captain of the resistance in Sonic Forces in Sonic and Tails's absence.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Initially with Sonic. The second verse of his theme "Unknown From M.E." shows his vehement view on teamwork.
    Don't approve of him, but you got to trust him
    This alliance has a purpose
    This partnership is only temporary
    • Also, when Sonic and Knuckles are selected as a team in Sonic Advance 3, both of their expressions are rather uncomfortable and disdainful. "Fighting Buddies" indeed.
    • Him and Rouge became this in Sonic Rivals 2. This is justified because Knuckles can't trust Rouge to help him retrieve the Master Emerald from Dr. Eggman.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: In most games, Knuckles is hot-headed, and not very expressive, but maintains a friendly attitude, otherwise. However, in Sonic Battle and in the Sonic Rivals series, he's pretty nasty compared to his usual self.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Back in Sonic the Hedgehog 3, he acted as sort of a troll, who pulled lots of pranks on Sonic and Tails, until he found out that he was being manipulated by Eggman. After joining them, Knuckles maintains a more friendly relationship with them, though he's still a bit short-tempered and usually prefers to be by himself.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Fruits, especially grapes.
  • Tsundere: A rare male example, but he still has this quality in most incarnations.
  • Tsurime Eyes: They represent his more aggressive and tougher disposition compared to Sonic and Tails's Tareme Eyes.
  • Undying Loyalty: To his friends and the Master Emerald.
  • Unknown Rival: It seems to be something of a running gag in the current games where Knuckles will try to say something to one up Sonic, only to be ignored by him and put into some demeaning situation.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Occasionally this to Eggman.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: In his first appearance many players thought he was a girl due to his pinkish fur color and long hair (which is actually dreadlocks but that was not immediately obvious due to the crude graphics). Likely as a result his coloring was changed to the more manly red.
  • Wall Crawl: Using the spikes on his knuckles as anchors, he can climb walls.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: In Sonic the Hedgehog 3.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: His one fear, addressed almost exclusively in Sonic Adventure 2, is ghosts. The BGM for Pumpkin Hill, "A Ghost's Pumpkin Soup," has Knuckles proclaiming that he fears nothing, going as far as to proclaim that the ghosts are afraid of him, but he is seen to be visibly afraid when facing King Boom Boo (unused audio also had Knuckles exasperatedly shriek upon seeing the giant apparition). By Heroes, however, he seems to have overcome this, instead teasing Tails on his fear of ghosts in both Hang Castle and Mystic Mansion.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: According to his profile in Sonic Generations, the reason for his gullibility is his belief in the goodness of others.
  • Wise Beyond His Years: Is confirmed to be 16 years old, and has a few quotes of wisdom. One of them being this from Sonic Shuffle:
    Knuckles: "Dreams don't betray us. When we lose ourselves, that's when we lose our dreams. It's not that dreams don't come true. We just give up on them."
  • With Friends Like These...: With Sonic in the earlier games, although later on, their teasing and arguing downsized.
  • The Worf Effect:
    • Knuckles gets defeated by Chaos in Sonic Adventure despite Knuckles managing to defeat Chaos a few times earlier.
    • He serves no purpose in Sonic Rush, other than showing how tough Blaze is, as she effortlessly defeats him.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Discussed. Rouge chastises him for fighting "a lady" for the pieces of the Master Emerald back in Sonic Adventure 2; Knuckles dismisses her claims to be a "lady" on the grounds that she's trying to steal his gems, but he apologizes afterwards for hurting her.
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Alternative Title(s): Sonic The Hedgehog Main Trio

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