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Sonic the Hedgehog is a media franchise based on the video games created by Sega.


The franchise consists of the following media:

Video Games - Main Series Games

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Video Games - Handheld Games

Video Games - Racing / Sports Games

  • Sonic Drift (Game Gear, 1994) (Japan only)
    • Sonic Drift 2 (Game Gear, 1995)
  • Sonic R (Sega Saturn, PC, 1997)
  • Sonic Riders (Nintendo GameCube, Xbox, PlayStation 2, 2006)
    • Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity (Wii, PlayStation 2, 2008)
    • Sonic Free Riders (Xbox 360 Kinect, 2010)
  • Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games (Wii, Nintendo DS, 2007)
    • Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games (Wii, Nintendo DS, 2009)
    • Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games (Wii, Nintendo 3DS, 2011)
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    • Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games (Wii U, 2013)
    • Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games (Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, 2016)
    • Mario & Sonic at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games (Nintendo Switch, 2019)
  • Sega Superstars (PlayStation 2, 2004)
    • Sega Superstars Tennis (Wii, Nintendo DS, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, 2008)
    • Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing (Wii, Nintendo DS, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC, 2010)
    • Sonic & All-Stars Racing: Transformed (Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC, 2012)
  • Team Sonic Racing (Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, 2019)

Video Games - Spinoff Platformers

Video Games - Other Spinoffs

Video Games - Other Arcade Oddities

  • Waku Waku Sonic Patrol Car - a kiddie ride in the form of a police car with a monitor embedded inside. Japan only. Also arguably Sega's earliest attempt to bring a Sonic game into arcades, predating SegaSonic the Hedgehog by a whole year.
  • SegaSonic Popcorn Shop - basically a popcorn vending machine with a game for kids to play while they wait for their popcorn to be ready.
  • SegaSonic Cosmo Fighter Galaxy Patrol (often shorted into Sonic Cosmo Fighter) - another kiddie ride with an embedded monitor, this time in the form of a jet. Again, Japan-only.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog kiddie ride - a kiddie ride in the form of Sonic's car in Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing.

Anime

Comic Books

Film

Literature

Manga

  • Sonic the Hedgehog Story Comic (1991)
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (various loosely-related manga, published in several different parts of Shogaku Ninensei from 1992 to 1994)
    • Shogaku Ninensei (2nd Grade)
    • Shogaku Ichinensei (First Grade)
    • Shogaku Sannensei (Third Grade)
    • Shogaku Yonensei (Fourth Grade)note 
    • Shogaku Gonensei (Fifth Grade)
    • Shogaku Rokunensei (Sixth Grade)
    • Bessatsu CoroCoro Comic Special
  • Dash & Spin; Super Fast Sonic!! (2003 - 2005)
  • Various Sonic manga from Dengeki Nintendo DS:
    • Sonic Unleashed
    • Sonic and the Black Knight
    • Sonic Chronicles
    • Sonic Colors
    • Sonic Generations

Western Animation

Other


Tropes throughout the franchise:

    A-F 
  • The Special Zone was portrayed this way in Sonic the Comic. Referenced when a character claimed the part where most of the action took place was the weird part. There are, however, parts of the Special Zone which are "normal". It's a Cloud Cuckoo Land to Sonic, but it's pretty average in comparison to the swirling mass of colours that make up the rest of the dimension.
  • Adaptation Name Change:
    • When Amy Rose originally appeared in the Japanese Sonic the Hedgehog Shogakukan manga, she did not have a surname and her name was also occasionally spelled as "Eimy" (she even wears a blouse with the letter "E" on it in the first issue). Her name was standardized when she appeared in Sonic the Hedgehog CD the following year. She was also given the nickname "Rosy the Rascal", which did not last long.
    • Sonic Sat AM:
      • The cartoon treated "Hedgehog" as Sonic's surname, making his full name Sonic Hedgehog. In the games, he has no given surname, with the "the Hedgehog" part of his name being merely a title.
      • Dr. Robotnik's first name is Julian, rather than Ivo like in the games.
      • Of the three of Sonic's "Animal Friends" from the Sega of America backstory that were retained for the cartoon, only Sally Acorn had her name unchanged (albeit with her last name never said on-screen):
        • Joe Sushi became Rotor Walrus.
        • Johnny Lightfoot became Bunnie Rabbot.
      • Played with in regards to Antoine. In the show's production bible his last name was D'Coolette, which was never mentioned in the show's first season, but was mentioned in Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog which had been in development at the same time as the show but due to Animation Lead Time would debut months ahead of the first episode. However the second season of the cartoon would ignore this and instead use Depardieu as Antoine’s surname.
    • Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog:
      • As the comic started out as a tie-in to Sonic Sat AM, Sonic’s name was Sonic Hedgehog, rather than just Sonic with "the Hedgehog" as a title. Later "Sonic" was revealed to be a nickname. His first name was considered too embarrassing to be mentioned, although his father let it slip that his middle name was Maurice. Ken Penders later explained his first name was supposed to be Olgilvie, but this was never actually mentioned in the comics themselves (and he eventually left, with the new writers not particularly eager to capitalize on his idea). According to Ian Flynn, Sonic eventually legally changed his name offscreen, finally making Sonic his real name. Following the 2013 Continuity Reboot, Sonic's name was reverted to what it was in the games.
      • Dr. Robotnik. Originally, his first name was Ivo, like in the games. Then it was retconned into Julian after Sonic Sat Am introduced that name. Later, writers explained this inconsistency as his birth name being "Julian Kintobor of the House of Ivo", which he later changed to Ivo Robotnik upon taking over Mobotropolis. The 2013 reboot simplified things, establishing that his name was always Ivo Robotnik.
      • Probably due to a goof, Metal Sonic was initially called Mecha Sonic, the name of a separate Sonic character.
      • Naugus from Sonic Sat Am became Ixis Naugus pre-reboot, and Walter Naugus post-reboot.
      • In Sonic Sat Am, Robotnik’s nephew Snively had Only One Name and it was never specified whether it was his actual name or a nickname. The comic chose to make it an alias, with his birthname being Colin Kintobor Jr. Following the reboot, he was no-longer Eggman's nephew and was instead named Julian Snively.
      • When Eggman Nega made a cameo via silhouette, he was referred to as Dr Nega.
      • King Acorn's name went from Maximillian pre-reboot, to Nigel post-reboot.
      • Muttski – Sonic's pet dog from the Sonic Sat Am pilot and pre-reboot comic issues, because the mobian Ben "Mutt" Muttski post-reboot.
      • Rotor’s father was Sherman Walrus pre-reboot and Tundra the Walrus post-reboot.
      • A couple of characters from Tails' Skypatrol had their names changed:
        • Focke-Wulf became Falke-Wulf
        • Witchcart became Wendy Naugus, the sister of Walter Naugus.
    • Sonic the Comic:
      • The comic changed Metal Sonic's name to Metallix. The writer of the story that introduced him stated that the reason was that he felt "'Metal Sonic' wouldn't do". The comic still referenced his more common name, though, as he's referred to as "Metallix the Metal Sonic" several times.
      • Later issues revealed that this series' version of Porker Lewis was originally called Oscar the Pig.
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic's name is just "Sonic". "The Hedgehog" is a title not a Species Surname and his surname (if he has one) is never given. In Sonic Boom, his name is "Sonic the Hedgehog". Yes, that means "the" is his middle name (and it gets poked fun at).
  • Adaptation Personality Change:
  • Adaptation Relationship Overhaul:
    • Amy Rose debuted in the April 1992 issue of Shogaku Ninensei (Second Grade) as a brown hedgehog without a surname. The Shogakukan series depicted her and Sonic (or rather, his manga-exclusive Secret Identity) as an Official Couple. Sonic the Hedgehog CD and all later appearances changed her from a traditional supportive girlfriend to a Clingy Jealous Girl whose affections may or may not be reciprocated.
    • In Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog, Eggman describes Maria as his half-sister instead of his cousin. This was changed in order to make the ordeal even more sympathizing. However one interpretation, which is implied, was that he lied in order to garner more sympathy.
    • Sonic the Comic:
      • Sonic acts like a Big Brother Bully towards Tails in the comic, instead of being a nice older brother figure like in the games.
      • Amy and Sonic are on better terms compared to the games as, aside from early issues, Amy isn't a lovestruck fangirl towards Sonic.
    • Sonic Boom:
      • Amy's affections for Sonic are more like your standard crush, rather than the near-Stalker with a Crush obsession seen in many of the games. In return, Sonic isn't constantly annoyed at her affectionate behavior and is actually more reciprocative, as opposed to running away on instinct at the sight of her.
      • Throughout the Sonic series, the brotherly relationship between Sonic and Tails has been a near-constant element ever since Tails debuted in 1992. However, while still often the two closest characters in Boom, Tails is much more independent and the two seem to possess a lot of mutually exclusive hobbies, leading to relatively less character interaction between the two.
      • Sonic and Knuckles' have a frat-boyesque friendship that gained more and more of a presence on the show as it went on. In the games, Sonic and Knuckles rarely interact one-on-one, with their relationship being frosty at best and downright hostile at worst.
  • Adaptation Species Change:
    • In addition to renaming Fang the Sniper to Nack, the localization of Sonic the Hedgehog: Triple Trouble changed his species to a weasel. In Japan, he was a Wolf/Jerboa hybrid. That's why he looks nothing like a weasel, having traits and features that belong to wolves and jerboas instead. Sega of America later tried to Hand Wave this by saying that he's a Weasel/Wolf hybrid.
    • Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog:
      • In the official Sega of America game lore Sally Acorn was a squirrel, however she was radically redesigned and re-imagined for Sonic Sat AM with the cartoon's staff never quite deciding what she was meant to be even after the series had ended (head writer Ben Hurst speculated that her father King Acorn might be a fox and her mother might be a squirrel). The comics decided to make Sally a ground squirrel, before this was retconned so that she was half-squirrel via her father and half-chipmunk via her mother, and this was maintained even after the continuity reboot (with the only change being that post-reboot King Acorn now had a tail similar to Ray the Flying Squirrel's, as opposed to the fox tail he’d had pre-reboot as an artifact from SatAm).
      • In the pre-reboot continuity, Doctor Robotnik/Eggman (as well as his nephew Snively from Sonic Sat Am, and his grandfather Gerald Robotnik and cousin Maria from the games) were not human, instead they were part of a devolved mutant subspecies descended from humanity called Overlanders. Despite the Sonic Adventure adaptation adding actual humans to the comic, Ian Flynn confirmed that the G.U.N Commander from the games is also an Overlander.
      • In Sonic Sat Am the sorcerer Naugus' species was never identified. In the pre-reboot comics, Ixis Naugus was revealed to be the result of three wizards (a rhino, a lobster and a bat) accidentally merging themselves into one being. In the post-reboot comics this was no longer the case and Walter Naugus was now a troll.
      • Witchcart, the Ambiguously Human witch from Tails' Skypatrol became the troll Wendy Naugus due to being reimagined as the sister of Walter Naugus.
    • The English dub of Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie, referred to Knuckles the Echidna as a mole.
  • Adaptational Badass:
  • Antoine D'Coolette of Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog series. In the Sonic Sat AM series, he was a Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey who tend to let out a Girly Scream now and then and was pretty much The Load. This changed when issue 46 came out and he ended up dating Cyborg Bunnie Rabbot. By this point, he started growing braver and braver, becoming a competent swordsman, being tough enough to survive over a year in an Alternate Universe, slugging Evil Sonic unknowingly at one point and impressing his dying father enough that he gave his blessings for him and Bunnie to be married. Then he goes and nearly gets killed saving Prince Elias and his family.
  • In the games, Amy has always been a fairly realistic character for her age. You don't expect her to be badass or whatnot, she's just a girl who's in love with Sonic. In Sonic the Comic however she's quite The Lancer to Sonic. She's far more lethal than any other version of her to date, and sports some Improbable Aiming Skills.
  • The Sonic X anime did this with Shadow the Hedgehog. He's already incredibly powerful in the video game series, but not terribly so. In the anime? He's practically The Juggernaut in that very few characters are even capable of slowing him down, even Sonic himself. He also spends most of the third season as a One-Man Army against the mooks of that season's Big Bad.
  • Sonic Boom:
    • Shadow. He's already a strong character in the original games, being about evenly matched with Sonic, Tails, or Knuckles. Here however... He chains Chaos Spears and Chaos Blasts together, not even bothering to wait more than a few seconds between attacks, is still just as fast, uses Teleport Spam even more than his original self (without any Chaos Emeralds), and does a variant of the move he does in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) to take out an army of Mephiles clones — Only this time, he doesn't even need to remove his Inhibitor rings. He's easily able to fight Sonic, Tails and Knuckles at the same time.
    • Knuckles is more capable here than he in most of the games, sure he acts like Dumb Muscle but Knuckles proves to be more guile and subtly badass than he lets on.
  • Adaptational Jerkass:
    • Sonic is a heroic, laid-back, if somewhat cocky character in the games, and at the time of Sonic the Comic was written in western canon as being a Totally Radical Mascot with Attitude. But in here, he's a bullying, immature Jerkass, especially to Tails. Despite caring for his friends, he really has a hard time showing it.
    • Sonic in Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie is ruder, more obnoxious, and less willing to help people than his video game counterpart.
    • Amy Rose from the games could be bratty and over obsessed with Sonic, but otherwise a Nice Girl, while in Sonic X, she was gradually Flanderized to be short-tempered, aggressive, violent, and downright nasty to others, most especially by the third season. This personality in the anime bordered to the games later on, but was still toned down from her worst in the anime and eventually was abandoned.
    • While Shadow is far from a nice guy in the mainline games, in Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric, he is more of a Jerkass. He is an abrasive, bullying Jerkass who calls Sonic weak for relying on his friends. His rivalry with Sonic is a lot more antagonistic as he's only there to fight him for no reason other than to antagonize him.
  • Adaptational Ugliness:
  • Adaptational Villainy:
    • Inverted in Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog where Robotnik, while still blissfully evil, is instead portrayed as an oafish buffoon who does nothing but get kicked around by not only Sonic and Tails, but also (usually inadvertently) by his own cronies Scratch and Grounder as well.
    • In the games, Dr. Robotnik is villainous, but with a highly affable and clownish demeanor, and in some cases leans into Anti-Villain territory. Robotnik of Sonic Sat AM however, is a monstrous (and far less humorous) dictator that not only has taken over most of the planet but thrives almost lustfully on having any remaining civilians painfully roboticized.
    • Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Sonic the Comic:
      • Chaos, who is depicted as a transformed and already villainous Drakon Prosecutor with no sympathetic backstory or clear motivation. In Sonic Adventure, he is a mutated Chao who was previously peaceful, only turning violent when all of his Chao friends were massacred by the Knuckles Tribe, under the leadership of Chief Pachacamac. Tikal the Echidna, who Chaos tortures in the comic, was his friend in the game, and the two leave in peace after Chaos is calmed down.
      • Robotnik himself, while still maintaining some of his comical pathos from the games, is far more evil and void of redeeming aspects, gaining a similar dictator role as his Sonic Sat AM and Underground counterpart, then he becomes even worse than his game incarnation by trying to destroy Mobius outright.
      • Super Sonic is a psychopath - in the games, he was an alternate form of Sonic as opposed to a full-blown Split Personality (and a nasty one at that).
    • In the games, Knuckles was misled by Dr. Robotnik into fighting Sonic in Sonic the Hedgehog 3, but quickly made a Heel–Face Turn after realizing his mistake and has generally been a firm ally ever since. In The Sonic the Hedgehog Joke Book, he seems to be one of Robotnik's full-time minions.
    • Shadow the Hedgehog in the Sonic X anime. In the games, Shadow started off a vengeful weapon ready to destroy Earth's population in honor of his murdered friend. Throughout his story however, he is portrayed with a palpable sense of doubt and emotional conflict, before ultimately pulling a full Heel–Face Turn two games later. In the anime, he roughly follows his games counterpart's story, but maintains his more sinister neutral alliance and is The Unfettered to the highest scale (at least once perfectly willing to kill a child in cold blood, along with anyone who defended her, if it meant stopping a villain).
    • While never exactly a saint, Shadow was generally depicted as a Noble Demon and a Pragmatic Hero in the mainstream video games. In theSonic Boom games, he's an arrogant, abrasive Jerkass who openly mocks Sonic for relying on and trusting his friends.
    • In the Sonic Boom cartoon, Shadow is a lone-wolf villain who antagonizes Sonic and friends for no real reason. In the games, while never the friendliest character, Shadow had sympathetic qualities and doubts over the morality of his actions even before his Heel–Face Turn and shows value and trust in his fellow Team Dark members.
  • Adopted to the House:
    • In the Sonic Sat AM episode, "The Odd Couple", Sally's house gets destroyed by Dulcy when she crash-lands into it. Sonic lets Sally, Tails, and Bunnie stay in his house and moves into Antoine's until the storm blows over and he can rebuild Sally's. Being a homage to the series of the same name, Sonic is the Oscar to Antoine's Felix. At the end of the episode, Sonic decides to rebuild Sally's house, storm or no storm. However, a tree falls on Antoine's house, quicky turning it into a Here We Go Again! situation.
    • In the Sonic Boom episode, "Can An Evil Genius Crash On Your Couch For a Few Days?" Sonic lets Dr. Eggman stay in his house while the latter's evil lair is being repaired by his robots. However, Eggman quickly becomes a nuisance to Sonic and his friends. It is later revealed that Eggman's base wasn't under renovation and he was deliberately being a nuisance to Sonic and his friends to exhaust them so they'd be too tired to stop his latest giant robot, the Obliteratorbot. However, the Obliteratorbot malfunctions and prepares to destroy Eggman's base, forcing the latter to team up with Sonic and his friends to shut it down. When Eggman's base is destroyed for real, Sonic decides to just drop Eggman off at his destroyed base.
  • Affectionate Nickname:
    • Miles Prower from the the games was given the nickname "Tails" by Sonic as a sign of brotherhood... and to make things less confusing.
    • Sonic Sat AM:
  • Bunnie tends to call Sonic "sugah-hog", Sally "Sally-girl", Antoine "sugah-'twan" and Tails "sugah-Tails".
  • Tails calls Sally and Bunnie "Aunt Sally" and "Aunt Bunnie". The former more than the latter.
  • Ageless Birthday Episode:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog celebrates his birthday in his Milestone Celebration-game Sonic Generations. However, there are no candles/banners to indicate his age, and Word of God has indicated that Sonic is still fifteen.
    • Initially averted in Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog when one issue has him celebrating his 16th birthday. When another issue has him celebrating a birthday, Rotor questions if he should be 16 or 17 (thanks to adventures in space, Mobius went through a year of changes while Sonic didn't age at all). Sonic replies he should be 16 forever and ever, thus invoking this trope should another birthday issue come up.
    • Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog:
      • An episode had Sonic celebrate his birthday. Tails spends the entire episode trying to find a birthday present for him but Sonic's age is unmentioned.
      • Sonic had ANOTHER birthday episode later on, as well, whereas Tails somehow remains 4 1/2 throughout the entire show, with no mention of his birthday at any point.
  • Age Lift:
    • In the games, Sonic's original age was either a "15~16" estimate or 18 depending on the source, Tails and Amy were 8, and Knuckles was 15. When Sonic Adventure was released, Sonic was narrowed to 15, Tails stayed 8, Amy became 12, and Knuckles became 16.
    • In Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, Tails was 4 and a 1/2, whereas his game counterpart is 8.
    • In Sonic Sat Am, Tails was 10 years old, whereas his game counterpart is 8.
    • Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog:
      • Tails in the games is eight years old. He is ten in the comics, in order to match his age in Sonic Sat AM.
      • Amy's classic design from Sonic the Hedgehog CD is eight however — for Sonic Adventure she was retconned as twelve. Amy in the comics was initially ten, not eight. Her body itself was aged up to sixteen in order to match her game redesign (making her a preteen in a teenage body). By the end of the pre-reboot comic, Amy's biological age is seventeen and her chronological age is eleven.
      • Charmy is sixteen, not six in the comics, because he was listed as sixteen in the American Knuckles Chaotix manual. He had a Vague Age in Japan, and Sonic Heroes later established Charmy as being six.
    • Sonic the Comic:
      • Sonic and Knuckles are implied to be at least eighteen in later arcs, as they can visit bars. At the time their ages were sixteen and fifteen in the games respectively (Sonic Adventure would later switch this around so that Sonic was fifteen and Knuckles was sixteen). The Sonic Adventure adaptation would reveal that Knuckles is Really 700 Years Old instead of being an actual teenager.
      • Amy's age is unstated, but she isn't treated like the eight-year-old she was when introduced in Sonic the Hedgehog CD.
  • Agitated Item Stomping:
    • At the end of Sonic the Hedgehog for the Sega Genesis, Eggman is shown stomping on the words "The End".note 
    • In the Sonic Boom episode "Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Worse-er," the failure of one of his traps to catch Sonic (and the condescending pat he gets afterwards) causes Tails to snap his binoculars and angrily stomp on the pieces. In the next scene, they're taped back together.
  • Airborne Aircraft Carrier:
    • In the games, Dr. Eggman loves building these.
      • In the Sega Master System/Game Gear version of the first game, the last level, Sky Base Zone, is the franchise's first example of the trope.
      • It started showing up in the 16-bit games with Sonic the Hedgehog 2's Wing Fortress Zone.
      • Sonic 3 & Knuckles featured Flying Battery Zone as the second level of the expansion.
      • The massive Egg Carrier from Sonic Adventure. It's also the first one whose abilities other than flying and being really big are shown. It's armed with missile launchers, a fleet of robotic jet fighters, laser cannons (tons of these damn things in Sky Deck), robot staff, transformation capabilities, and to top it all off, a Wave Motion Gun. He has a second one in reserve, even.
      • In Sonic Heroes, he really ups the ante with an entire fleet, with the flagship being at least as twice as big as the original Egg Carrier, and twice as armed.
      • Altitude Limit Zone from the first Sonic Rush game would be an example if it had some actual structure and was more than a flying rail system. It still has plenty of aircraft, though.
      • In Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), Eggman uses a redesign of Adventure's Egg Carrier. It's mostly seen in cutscenes, and there aren't any levels on board, although Sonic's final boss is fought on it.
      • The opening of Sonic Unleashed features a whole fleet of these similar to the Heroes example, only they're in space. Sonic still has no trouble destroying them, despite the lack of air. The first boss, the Egg Cauldron, is a less exotic example.
      • In Sonic Generations, another one of these is seen terrorizing Spagonia. If you're really skilled, you can even destroy it on foot.
      • Sky Fortress Zone in Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II is very heavily based on the aforementioned Wing Fortress Zone (acts 2 and 3) and the level immediately before it, Sky Chase Zone (act 1 and the boss). It also contains elements of Flying Battery Zone.
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog in Robotnik's Laboratory Sonic and Tails revisit Wing Fortress from Sonic the Hedgehog 2. After making is self destruct the find that Robotnik is already in the middle of building a new one.
  • Alien Invasion:
    • In the games, Sonic and his allies have dealt with a few:
      • Inverted in Sonic the Hedgehog CD: Doctor Eggman and his robot army invade the Little Planet in order to take it over. Eggman succeeds, covering the planet in a metallic shell, requiring Sonic to travel to the past.
      • The Black Arms invade in Shadow the Hedgehog, though the all-out assault on Earth had been planned out at least fifty years prior. The purpose, however, is not so much to conquer or destroy as it is to obtain the Chaos Emeralds.
      • The Marauders in Sonic Chronicles, though not strictly aliens, do arrive en masse from an alternate dimension, and their attempt to conquer Earth plays out very much like one.
      • The Zeti attempt an invasion in Sonic Lost World, though the invasion force consists of only six members. They each can psychically hijack an unlimited number of machines to do whatever they want, making them a major threat anyway. Sonic immediately takes the fight over to their planet, the Lost Hex, and stops them before they can do any significant damage.
    • Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog: in the distant past, Mobius, then known as "Earth", was home to humanity, who killed an envoy of the Xorda race. In revenge, the Xorda invaded Earth and bombarded the planet with Gene Bombs with the hopes of devolving humanity back into a primitive state. In doing so, they inadvertently created the Mobian races (such as Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, etc.). When they discovered that they hadn't succeeded in wiping out life on Mobius, the Xorda invaded again, this time intent on destroying the entire solar system it inhabited.
  • Aloof Ally:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog:
      • Shadow the Hedgehog. He helps out every now and then, but he's a pretty standoffish individual, even to his own friends. He lampshades this in Sonic Chronicles:
      Shadow: Don't expect me to join in on your group hugs and picnics!
      • Knuckles the Echidna (apparently) prefers to work in solitude and keep his distance from the others. But that's understandable since he is destined to live alone, guarding the Master Emerald.
  • Sonic X:
    • Knuckles prefers to do things alone and tends to get pretty annoyed with Sonic's reckless ways and the group worshiping him. It was only in later episodes, that he grew more attached to the group.
    • Shadow in season 3. He helps Sonic and his friends out when they need it, but he remains distant and is not an actual member of the team and sometimes ends up in conflict with them due to his extreme measures.
    • Downplayed and mostly averted with Sonic himself. He is friendly and cheerful, but not very expressive and tends to prefer being beside himself until a threat appears.
  • Alternate Continuity: Taken Up to Eleven, as the Sonic series has various different continuities in it.
    • After Sonic Generations reintroduced Classic Sonic as the past self of Modern Sonic, Sonic Forces reestablished that this version of Classic Sonic is now from another dimension. This is due to Sega mandating that Modern Sonic and Classic Sonic are to continue together as separate franchises, so there is effectively a split timeline between Sonic Adventure and Sonic Mania.
    • The animated miniseries Sonic Mania Adventures appears to be an alternate take on the events of Sonic Mania Plus.
    • Both the video game(s) and cartoon of Sonic Boom has its own distinct continuity from the main series video games.
    • The 2019 live action/CGI Sonic movie is also set in its own distinct timeline.
    • The Sonic the Hedgehog OVA, aka Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie has its own self-contained timeline.
    • The three DiC Sonic the Hedgehog cartoons which each have their own distinct continuity; Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog (unofficially called Satam Sonic), and Sonic Underground.
    • The Archie Sonic the Hedgehog continuity, which technically consists of two continuities in itself due to undergoing a Continuity Reboot late in its run. And thats not counting the fact that the Archie comics prior to the reboot had its own established multiverse with a potentially infinite number of alternate Sonic universes).
    • The IDW Sonic the Hedgehog comic is also set in a universe distinct from the Archie Sonic comics.
    • The UK-exclusive Sonic the Comic is likewise its own distinct timeline.
    • Various Sonic-related manga with little to no consistent canon between them.
    • And then there are various non-canon one-off stories (i.e. the Sonic the Hedgehog Promo Comic, the Sonic the Hedgehog Story Comic) storybooks (i.e. Stay Sonic) and non-canon crossovers with other video game franchises like Super Smash Bros, along with games of dubious canon like Sonic Spinball.
  • Amazing Technicolor Wildlife:
    • A lot of the game characters fall under this category:
      • Sonic in particular is famous for being a "blue hedgehog" ("The Blue Blur" being his nickname), but there are also pink, black and silver hedgehogs, purple cats, red echidnas, yellow polar bears, green tufted ducks, black armadillos with red shells, green hawks, the list goes on and on. Originally, Naoto Ooshima drew Sonic with black fur, but quickly changed it to blue so it would match the Sega logo.
      • The small animals found in the badniks of certain games are also oddly colored, such as purple peacocks with red tails, pink and purple elephants, pink seals, purple penguins, and blue gorillas.
    • Subverted in Sonic the Comic. Yes, Sonic is blue, however he was Locked into Strangeness. He was born brown furred. One issue implied that the pink furred Amy was born brown too, however it is dubiously canon due to its numerous Series Continuity Errors. Most other characters are realistically coloured or are based on actual colours.
  • Ambiguously Human:
    • Dr. Ivo "Eggman" Robotnik from the games has always been a little... off. Even when the humans are all just as cartoony as he is, or when he is made more realistic-looking to fit the setting, he has caused many a raised eyebrow.
    • The Iron Queen in Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog was this at first. She looked like an Overlander, but was married to the Iron King, an ox. Word of God claimed she was a badger at the time. However, when Ian Flynn brought her back, he reversed this. The Queen is indeed human, and the titles are purely honorary.
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog:
      • Inverted with Sonic himself. Early in development he was the lead in a rock band with an electric guitar, had a slightly fanservicey Token Human girlfriend named "Madonna", apparently had fangs and a spiked collar, and fought monster-looking creatures (instead of robots with cute animals inside). Sonic Team was asked to soften him up for American audiences. Sonic's Mascot with Attitude personality stayed in western media though, while Japan had a more laid-back Sonic which transferred elsewhere starting with Sonic Adventure.
      • The original boxart for Sonic the Hedgehog gave us a fairly confident looking Sonic with a tasty palette of colors surrounding him. The US boxart gave him a chubbier redesign with mohawk-like quills note , the art has him posing for a 'tude expression, and they sprayed him with a coat of airbrush. Even the original members of Sonic Team said they despised this Americanized Sonic design—there were especially baffled as to why the American branch of the company decided he needed the redux in the first place, considering Sonic was designed to appeal to Western audiences right from the start. Sonic's Western redesign has tellingly appeared in-game precisely once, on the title screen of the Europe-only Master System release of Sonic Chaos, and nowhere else. In Sonic 2 and especially Sonic 3, Sonic has a larger smirk and bolder color shading on the American box art than the Japanese.
      • Dr. Eggman/Robotnik's classic design looked like a happy smiling spherical fellow in the Japanese games. The American games made him a constantly scowling spherical fellow with... no eyes. This isn't even taking into account the weird cartoon-based design they switched to for some of the later boxart.
      • Eggman's Dub Name Change to Robotnik is in itself an example of this, changing from a goofy Beatles reference to the more menacing Czech word for "slave." Also, while Eggman was always seen as comical in Japan, Anglophone Sonic media often made him a more malevolent character. Then the series reverted the Doctor's name back to Eggman from Sonic Adventure onward, with SEGA establishing that Robotnik was the character’s given name and Eggman a nickname.
      • The Sonic the Hedgehog CD boss music and game over music go from being upbeat in the Japanese version to downright frightening in the American version.
      • The EU covers went in and out with both the Japanese and American styles. Interestingly cases such as Sonic the Hedgehog Chaos actually used Japanese promo artwork not related the region's original cover.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie zigzags this. The "movie" was originally sold as a two-episode miniseries in Japan, with the first episode's boxart featuring Sonic, Tails, Sara, and Metal Robotnik/Black Eggman striking poses while the second episode's boxart prominently features Sonic and Metal Sonic duking it out. The VHS release of "The Movie" in the west featured Sonic with a stern-looking Tails and Knuckles behind him against a dark background (along with the laughable Tag Line: "Scrape your Knuckles, Catch some Tails"), but the DVD release in the west only has Sonic against a much brighter and more colorful background.
  • Amplifier Artifact:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog:
      • Chaos Emeralds. It's been commented by the writers of SEGA that they don't simply grant new powers, but amplify what one already had, as well as modify a few powers occasionally.
      • The Chaos Emeralds had the Amplifier Artifact treatment pulled on themselves by the master Emerald to form the Super Emeralds.
  • Anthropomorphic Shift:
    • Although the Sonic characters in the games were always anthropomorphic, they have become more so over the years. Their proportions have changed a bit, and they've become more likely to wear clothing beyond the traditional shoes and gloves, with some characters who were introduced later on always being fully clothed. This also leans into Humanoid Female Animal, since it's mostly female characters who wear clothes. Even Sonic himself has acquired additional clothing on occasion - in some early concept art for Sonic Riders he was fully clothed, and in Sonic Boom he wears a scarf.
    • Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog:
      • Strangely inverted with Drago Wolf; before, he was just as humanoid as the other prominent Mobian characters. In a later comic, though, he was redesigned to be more feral and werewolf-esque, complete with more animalistic eyes and digitigrade feet instead of plantigrade like he normally had.
      • Played straight in that issue with Lupe, who almost looked human. On the other hand, every other wolf in that issue were similar to their classic design, and Drago had received cybernetic implants, so it's possible those were just cosmetic modifications.
      • A drastic version took place after Worlds Collide and the resulting Cosmic Retcon: Muttski, Sonic's ordinary pet dog, was changed into a full-fledged anthropomorphic character. Similarly, the Egg Boss Akhlut went from a realistic orca with cybernetic parts to a bipedal, stylized one.
    • In Sonic the Comic, Sonic's allies Porker Lewis and Jonny Lightfoot start off as cute little animal critters like those busted out of Badniks in the games. They talk, but they're small, animal proportioned, without clothes and tend to go on all fours. Their shift, however, is anything but gradual: in issue #21 of the series, they are totally bipedal, human-proportioned and fully clothed (in biker jackets and jeans, to be precise). Within a few more issues, Porker's hooves became ordinary human hands. This also occurred to minor characters like Sally Acorn, who cameoed as a humanoid news reporter issues after being seen as a small squirrel.
  • Artistic Age:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog:
      • Amy is only eight in the classic games and is twelve in the post-Adventure games, but looks like as a teenager like Sonic.
      • Many characters like Espio, Knuckles, and Shadow (physically speaking in Shadow's case) seem like adults due to their demeanors and deep voices, but are only in their late teens. Rogue is only nineteen but looks ten years older. It doesn't help that her second English voice made her sound like she was in her thirties.
      • In the classic games, Sonic and Amy look the same age. They're almost the same height and there's no noticeable difference between the two. However, Sonic was between 16 and 18 while Amy was 8. The Adventure redesigns make their age difference (which is only 3 years now) more clear.
    • The characters in Sonic Boom look older than their main continuity counterparts but Word of God is that they aren't. Amy is still twelve, Tails is still eight, and both Sonic and Knuckles are still sixteen, but they seem a few years older.
  • Ascended Glitch:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog:
      • In Sonic the Hedgehog 2, the flickies that appear when the player destroys a badnik share the same palette as Sonic, so when Sonic transforms into Super Sonic, any flickies on the screen are also golden. While this extends to Sonic 3 & Knuckles for the same reasons (and also applies to Knuckles if he's chosen as the player character), it is acknowledged when Tails collects the seven Super Emeralds and becomes Super Tails. Upon him doing so, four golden Super Flickies immediately appear onscreen and follow him everywhere, attack any enemy on screen, and turn back to their usual default blue when Tails loses his power.
      • There were glitches that let you turn Tails into Super Tails in Sonic 2 and the first-released half of Sonic 3 before the combined Sonic 3 & Knuckles added an official version of this form.
    • Two cross-medium examples from Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog:
  • Ascended Meme:
  • The original Japanese version of Sonic X used "Live & Learn" from Sonic Adventure 2 in their adaptation of that game's storyline; specifically when Super Sonic & Super Shadow fight the Final Hazard, which is the same place the song is played during the game. The 4Kids dub replaced it with a generic piece of music instead.
  • A Wizard Did It:
    • This is more or less how Chaos Control in the games is explained (or lack thereof). Is it time travel, super speed, or teleportation? The games sure as hell don't know.
    • In Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog, Doctor Robotnik complains about how everything the Chaos Emeralds do is explained away by them being Chaos Emeralds. Snivelly points out that he uses them all the time, and Robotnik replies along the bounds that just because he knows they work doesn't mean that he has to like it.
  • Babysitting Episode:
  • Backported Development:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog:
      • In the first Sonic Adventure game, Tails and Amy have flashbacks dating back to the times of the classic Megadrive games. In them, Sonic, Tails and Amy are depicted in their modern designs. The devs apparently didn't feel like making alternate models for a few seconds worth of footage. This wasn't really a problem until Sonic Generations came out and established that the characters used to look like their classic designs in their younger years, though.
      • In Sonic Adventure 2, there are numerous cutscenes which show Shadow fifty years ago. Throughout the game, he acquires numerous bits of equipment, and the items you've got are visible on his character model even in the flashback cutscenes.
    • The 1998 story "Amy's Secret Past" from Sonic the Comic depicts a tomboyish Action Girl Amy even prior to her becoming a Freedom Fighter. In early comics, Amy had a more chipper and girly personality. It also depicts Robotnik with his "evolved" design despite that not appearing until several issues into the series.
  • Sonic himself has a particularly awesome one near the end of both Hero and Dark Stories:
Sonic: "What you see is what you get, just a guy that loves adventure. I'm Sonic the Hedgehog!"
Sonic: "I'm Sonic, Sonic the Hedgehog! I have no master except the wind that blows free!"
  • There is also the fact that nobody so far has contested Shadow's claim to being the ultimate life form. He introduces himself as such at least once in every game he appears in, including the game where he had amnesia for the entirety of it and didn't know who he was.
  • Sonic spouts one in Sonic Colors when Eggman issues a public service announcement on Planet Wisp.
Eggman: All of the planets found in Eggman's Incredible Interstellar Amusement Park are, as far as you know, wholly owned by Eggman Enterprises and its subsidiaries. All unauthorized photography, video reproduction, and shutting down of generators is strictly prohibited. Thank you.
Sonic: Eggman! I am going to save this planet, and I am going to free these aliens! No copyright law in the universe is going to stop me! We can save ourselves a lot of time and broken robots if you just quit now!
  • Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog has Shadow deliver one to Snively once he figures out what his true purpose is:
    Shadow: "I am Shadow the Hedgehog. I am the union of ideals dark and benign but ultimately built in the name of love. I am the Ultimate Life Form. I am the protector of Mobius. Run home to your master and tell him. This is who I am."
  • Barefoot Cartoon Animal:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog:
      • Inverted, since most of the characters wear nothing but shoes and gloves. (Some of the characters, such as Ix, Charmy, and most females do wear actual clothes, but also have shoes and gloves.)
  • Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Several characters go barefoot, including a fair portion of the main cast (Rotor, Bunnie pre-and-post-roboticization, Dulcy, Nicole when in furry form, even Tails when he was very little) and a great deal of minor and background characters (Rosemary Prower, the alien Ceneca-9009). Official, straight-from-the-game characters generally end up as the ones who wear shoes in all cases, albeit not the only ones.
    • After the second Genesis Wave that began Sonic the Hedgehog/Mega Man: Worlds Collide effectively rebooted the universe, everyone who had previously regularly gone barefoot now regularly wears shoes, including Rotor, Nicole and Bunnie (who regained her robotic limbs, but whose robotic feet now look more like white, pink-striped boots). However, another barefooter, a Fish Person named Coral the Betta, was introduced later on, in issue #260, as part of a Sonic Unleashed adaptation.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog:
      • It varies in the games; most stages set in space don't have a problem with breathing, but there are some exceptions, especially any stage where only Super forms are permitted. Whether the need for Super Mode is due to problems breathing or need for the power of hovering/flight generally granted by such forms can be somewhat unclear. It may be possible that the other space station-based stages have artificial atmosphere. Strangely, even though they can survive in a vacuum, Sonic and co. can still drown if they stay underwater for too long.
      • In Sonic Adventure 2, even though characters can get sucked out of the space station through broken windows, none of them have any trouble breathing in the vacuum when they venture outside.
    • Sonic X:
      • Early in the first season Sonic wing-walks the Blue Tornado into space, and promptly freezes when outside of Earth's atmosphere. He is fine when they re-enter it. Their own universe must have different laws, or something...
      • The third season. All the furries and alien beings can breathe, speak, and generally not die while strolling or freefalling in space without wearing anything other than their fur or clothes, but human characters (Chris and Eggman) have to wear space suits when space walking.
  • Beware the Silly Ones:
    • Dr. Eggman from the games. The patron saint of Hoist by His Own Petard, he even ends Sonic Adventure 2 on surprisingly amicable terms with the heroic members of the cast. Considering how useless he seems to be, you almost start to feel sorry for him. And then you turn around and take a look at his track record. His original shtick of sealing animals inside his robot minions, either to provide power or AI or just plain For the Evulz (or some combination of these reasons) already catapults him far past the Moral Event Horizon, and has demonstrated enough Offscreen Villain Dark Matter to construct his very own Death Star-esque Doomsday Machine note , as well as two Airborne Aircraft Carriers in the same game. Consider also that Sonic Unleashed starts off with Sonic tearing his way through Eggman's space fleet. Let's read that again: Eggman's space fleet. It's not that Eggman sucks as a villain; it's that Sonic is just that good (that, and Eggman has an unfortunate habit of trying to harness the power of Eldritch Abominations that are far beyond his control). And even then, he eventually gets complete control of one!
      • Dr. Eggman in Sonic Adventure 2 starts off the plot by personally destroying a big chunk of a top secret military installation and hacking the computer security system surrounding the Sealed Evil in a Can. And the first thing he did after getting the ARK and the Chaos Emeralds was blow up half the moon and give the entire world a 24 hour "surrender-or-die" demand. Eggman is over confident, but his track record kind of warrants it.
      • The aforementioned Sonic Unleashed opening shows what happens when anyone —Sonic included— underestimates Eggman, as it ended with him nullifying Super Sonic and breaking the Earth in pieces.
      • The ending of Sonic Chronicles. Eggman doesn't go with the rest of the gang to stop Ix, claiming he needs to operate some groundside machine to let the others through. Thanks to the differential time flow inside Ix's prison, by the time Sonic et al get out, Eggman's rebuilt Eggmanland and may well have taken over the world.
      • And then there's Sonic Colors. Not only was he the Big Bad for the entirety of the game, but had it not been for a broken piece of a robot damaging a vital component of his latest weapon, he would've succeeded in his ultimate plan to mind-control the entire population of Earth with Sonic and Tails none the wiser.

        Eggman had also managed to enslave three planets and an inhabited Asteroid Thicket, as well as build the largest space fleet seen yet, completely under Sonic's nose, and covered much of the land on all of the planets and asteroids with his own metal facilities. He would've completely snuffed Planet Wisp of life as well had Sonic not caught on in time, and he may have succeeded with Sweet Mountain.

        Really, Colors would have ended up as a victory for Eggman if it weren't for one simple fact: The hero was actually being proactive rather than atypically reactive. Rather than wait for the villain to begin his rampage, the hero decided to investigate his machinations without any reason other than he is an irredeemable villain!
      • There's also Sonic Forces. In that game, Eggman has actually taken over the world, thanks to a mysterious gemstone called the Phantom Ruby. With the help of a former mercenary named Infinite, they have defeated Sonic and took him to the Death Egg's prison cells. He even shows up with a Phantom Ruby-powered Death Egg Robot near the end of the game; but was defeated by a trio consisting of Sonic, Classic Sonic, and the Avatar.
    • Dr. Robotnik as he appeared in Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog is regarded as less competent than his deadly serious Sonic Sat AM counterpart. But he and his robot minions Scratch and Grounder execute any number of formidably dangerous plans to take over Mobius that only fail because of Sonic, and they often succeed at capturing or otherwise incapacitating Sonic. It often happens that Sonic's actions do nothing more than undo the damage that Robotnik had already done.
  • Big-Bad Ensemble:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog:
      • Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) has three Big Bads: Eggman for Sonic's story, Mephiles for Shadow's story, and Iblis for Silver's story. All three serve as final bosses of their respective nemesis's story, but in the last story, Mephiles and Iblis merge into Solaris, the final boss, and Eggman joins forces with the heroes to defeat him.
      • Sonic Unleashed has both Eggman and Dark Gaia serving as the Big Bads, with Sonic fighting Eggman by day and Dark Gaia's monsters by night, though Dark Gaia defeats Eggman once awakened and serves as the final boss.
      • Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity has Eggman and SCR-HD/Master Core: ABIS, though ultimately ABIS is the sole Big Bad of the game as Eggman doesn't have a true antagonistic role beyond creating ABIS and his robots in the first place.
      • Sonic Mania has Eggman and the Heavy King. BOTH of them are fought as the final boss in a sort of three-way battle.
    • Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog:
      • Dr. Robotnik/Eggman has always been the Arch-Enemy of the heroes and premier Big Bad of the series. However, over the years, more and more villains of equal or greater threat have shown up to rival the doctor — Ixis Naugus, Mammoth Mogul, Enerjak, Dr. Finitevus, Scourge, the Iron Queen, and most recently, the Battle Kukku — so you can't call him the sole Big Bad anymore. This has been most apparent in the issues leading up to and following the Genesis arc, wherein Naugus has currently become the villain most equal to Eggman for the position.
      • However, as of the Cosmic Retcon at the end of the Sonic the Hedgehog/Mega Man: Worlds Collide event, most of the above have been retgoned out of existence leaving Eggman as the sole Big Bad. However, the Battle Kukku and Walter Naugus (formerly Ixis Naugus) are still around ( the former was created and is owned by Sega, the later was from Sonic Sat Am, whereas the retconned characters were lost due to a lawsuit from a writer who had made some of them) and are hinted to be potential future rivals, and right now Dark Gaia is another potential Big Bad who's just as big of a threat as Eggman.
    • In Sonic the Comic quite a few villains try to take the role of Big Bad from Robotnik. The first to try is Emperor Metallix then Commander Brutus, after that Super Sonic.
  • Big Bad Wannabe:
    • Dr. Eggman from the games has evolved into this starting in Sonic Adventure, since he constantly tries to use sealed evil in cans but fails to learn that Evil Is Not a Toy, so he constantly helps his enemies defeat it before unleashing the next evil. Sonic Colors rectified this though, as he does his old-fashioned scheme of using his Mecha-Mooks to defeat Sonic. Except in the DS version, where he unleashes a brainwashed and Nega-fied Mother Wisp.
    • Anti-Sonic from Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic's Evil Twin from Moebius, was this for a long time, as he liked to talk tough, only to be pushed around by the other villains and get beat up easily by the heroes (a pre-Character Development Antoine once knocked him out cold. By accident.). Then, a dose of Chaos energy directly from the Master Emerald transformed him into Scourge, granting him several dozen levels of badass and making him one of the series' most powerful villains. He's still not on the level of Dr. Eggman or Finitevus, but he's definitely a credible solo threat these days.
  • Big Dam Plot:
    • In the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog episode, "Baby Sitter Jitters", Dr. Robotnik plans to destroy the Beaverville Dam to flood the valley and make room for Lake Robotnik Golf and Fishing Estates. His first attempt to destroy the dam is foiled by Sonic rebuilding it, and his second is foiled by a trio of baby beavers that Sonic and Tails were babysitting.
    • In the Sonic Boom episode, "Guilt Tripped", when Sonic and Tails finally get back home from the Gogoba Village, they find four messages on their answering machine, all of which are from Dr. Eggman, who tells them that he is planning to blow up the dam. However, because they spent a long time trying to get out of the Gogoba Village, Eggman thinks they're not showing up at all and promptly goes to their house to find out why.
  • Big "SHUT UP!":
    • Sonic the Hedgehog:
      • One of the last cutscenes to the story mode of Sonic Unleashed has one from Eggman after his servant Orbot unintentionally tears him a new one for losing to Sonic again
        Orbot: You can simply begin your plans anew. Even if all of your efforts this last time were utterly wasted. Even if it was a complete and utter humiliating loss. Even the most pathetic loser in all the world would surely have the chance to—
        Eggman: OOOOOOOOOOH SHUT UP!!!!!!!!!!
      • He does again at the end of Sonic Colors while being sucked into a black hole.
        Eggman: [over the PA system] We at Eggman's Incredible Interstellar Amusement Park ensure that safety is our number one priority.
        Eggman: [about to be sucked in] Oh, SHUT UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUP!
    • Sonic Sat AM:
      • A funny moment in the "Secret Scrolls" episode. The heroes' plane is diving out of control and Antoine is yelling manically.
      All: Antoine, SHUT UP!
      • From the same episode:
      Antoine: BUNNIE! WOULD YOU PLEASE TO BE SHUTTING UP YOUR OWN FACE?!'''
  • Big, Thin, Short Trio:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog:
      • Sonic Heroes:
        • Team Chaotix features Vector (Big), Espio (Thin), and Charmy (Short).
        • Team Rose has Big (err, Big), Amy (Thin), and Cream (Short).
      • The Babylon Rogues of Sonic Riders follow this pattern as well, with Jet the Hawk (short), Wave the Swallow (thin), and Storm the Albatross (big).
      • In the first Zone of Sonic Lost World's final world, Zazz (Thin), Zomom (Big) and Master Zik (Short) attack Sonic sequentially in a Boss Rush.
      • In the Sonic Boom video games (as well as the cartoon of the same name), as part of the character redesigns, the main trio of Team Sonic consists of Knuckles (Big), Sonic (Thin), and Tails (Short).
    • Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog: Dr. Robotnik (Big), Scratch (Thin) and Grounder (Short).
  • Bittersweet Ending:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog:
      • In Sonic Adventure, Sonic got Perfect Chaos to calm down and stop being the destroyer of worlds... but by this point, Station Square was already flooded and in ruins. And it gets worse, the city was flooded/destroyed over the course of a few minutes, so it's likely that most, if not all, of the people living there couldn't get away in time.
      • Sonic Adventure 2 has Shadow sacrifices himself to save the Earth and to accomplish his promise to Maria. Subverted in later games, when it turns out Shadow survived and Eggman's robots found him. The worst that happened to him afterward was a case of Laser-Guided Amnesia, from which he recovered.
      • In Sonic Unleashed, after Dark Gaia is stopped, Chip/Light Gaia seals himself along with the beast in the Earth's core.
      • Sonic Mania: Super Sonic defeats Eggman and destroys Heavy King, but the Chaos Emeralds react with the Phantom Ruby, cutting off Sonic's transformation and tearing a hole in time and space that pulls Sonic in. The Titanic Monarch is destroyed and the Little Planet is liberated once more, but Sonic is nowhere to be found...which leads into the events of Sonic Forces.
      • In Sonic Forces, after defeating Eggman and his Phantom Ruby-powered Death Egg Robot, Classic Sonic begins to fade away, about to go back home to his own dimension. He offers one last fist bump to Tails before he disappears. Sure, the world may be saved from Eggman's rule, but he has left quite a mess, so the Resistance has to clean it up; one at a time.
    • Sonic X. The cute little kid who spent most of the series in a state of perpetual Survivor Guilt was dead after sacrificing herself to save the galaxy (Because Destiny Says So), while making her potential love interest the one who had to shoot her, the human cast member had to go home, had no time to say goodbye and would probably never see any of them again. Plus, Shadow is off somewhere brooding in space — again — but hey, at least the universe was saved.
    • The ending of Sonic the Hedgehog/Mega Man: Worlds Collide is this: Mega Man's able to restore his world to how it was, but Dr. Eggman, refusing to let Sonic win, interrupts his Chaos Control, then attacks it, transforming Mobius to a version never seen before. A few issues later, we learn that it did worse than that: the entire multiverse collapsed upon itself and then rebuilt then, Mobius shattered.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog:
      • Before the developers had settled on a name for Sonic, he was referred to as "Mr. Needlemouse". The Japanese word for "hedgehog" is "harinezumi". Guess what a literal translation of that would yield.
      • In the Spanish instructions of Sonic games, Sonic was often referred to as Sónico, adding the male suffix, and made liberal use of the verbs "Salvar"note  and "Remover" (as in, to rescue or shake your save file).
      • The Italian instructions for the original Sonic the Hedgehog called the main character "the Sonic" all the time.
      • Sonic Adventure 2:
        • The English dub has problems. Unlike the original Sonic Adventure, the dialogue was not rewritten for English, but translated. This led to various odd-sounding sentences in the game. One example is near the end of the game, where the Biolizard teleports outside of Cannon's core. Shadow then exclaims "Is that what Chaos Control is?" as if the Biolizard teleporting somehow gave Shadow a knowledge of how Chaos Control worked. The intended context was "Was that Chaos Control?". One line that really screamed that out was 'But, there's no way you could use the Chaos Control using an emerald that is fake!' And then there's the message that appears on-screen at the start of the battles with the Biolizard and FinalHazard: "The Prototype of the Ultimate Life".

          This also extends to Eggman's English voice actor using the word "yosh" when clearing a level or petting a Chao. "Yosh" can be translated from Japanese as "Yeah!" or "All right!"
        • The French subtitles are horribly mangled. "Le prototype est resté en vie et a placé la station sur une course de collision course de collision avec la planète !", which roughly translates as "The prototype has stayed alive and located the station on a collision race collision race with the planet !". And yes, they did repeat "course de collision".
      • The English version of Sonic Heroes had Tails saying "Look at all those Eggman's robots!". The translators also mixed up "robot" and "clone" in Team Dark's ending.
      (Omega is about to destroy a room full of Shadow clones, on Shadow's orders)
      Rouge: Hey Omega... did I ever tell you that... Shadow is a robot... and... oh, never mind. Good luck.
      Omega: You know about cloning. The original must exist somewhere.
      • In-universe in Sonic Colors. Tails' uses a translator to speak to Yacker properly. Unfortunately (or for us, fortunately), it keeps screwing up the translation, leading to phrases like watering flowers with dances.
    • The Mexican Spanish dub of Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog made Tails a female character. To this day, many people who grew up during the 1990s in Spanish-speaking American countries still believe Tails (or Colitas) to be female. Additionally, Tails' real name (which he claimed he disliked in the cartoon) is Miles Prower. In the Spanish translation, it became Bibi Gavilán (Bibi Sparrowhawk).
    • A bootleg of Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie called Dr. Eggman "Machine King", and transcribes Tails' name as "Dillus". One line in said bootleg has Sonic's yelling "Shut up, Tails!" transcribed as "Dillus, you're too noisy!" While the Japanese word "urusai" (often used to mean "Shut up!") does literally mean "noisy" or "annoying", it doesn't quite have the same meaning as the original line.
    • Sonic X:
      • A bootleg translated Sonic himself as "Sonic Rat" (possibly confusing the Japanese "nezumi" (rat) for "harinezumi" (hedgehog)) for about the first couple of episodes and constantly called Dr. Eggman "Machine King".
      • The official 4Kids dub contains a notable instance in that they thought Chaos Control was the name of Eggman's base in the opening episode, rather than the time-space-warping power that engulfed said base and transported them all to the human world. References in the first few episodes to "destroying Chaos Control" still just manage to make sense, but when the power itself is later introduced in the Sonic Adventure 2 arc those new to the Sonic franchise would probably get thrown for a loop.
    • The Russian dub of Sonic Boom contains a typo in the intro, saying: "A Sega/OuiDO! Presents" instead of "Sega/OuiDO! Presents" or "A Sega/OuiDO! Production". Then there's Shadow, whose name had been actually literally translated, as opposed to transliterated. Metal Sonic suffered a similar fate, becoming Iron Sonic.
  • Bloodless Carnage:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog:
      • Maria Robotnik died of a gunshot wound. Despite this, her death is consistently depicted as bloodless. There's not a single drop of blood in any canon depiction, even in the uncensored version of Shadow the Hedgehog. It's made more noticeable because her dress is baby blue, which should stain very easily.
      • In Shadow the Hedgehog there is no blood OR gore. Sega planned on adding it in, but decided not to add it so the game would be rated E10+ instead of a T rating. You can't even actually KILL anyone besides the aliens (GUN soldiers just lie on the ground and call out for help.) Even though it is implied that in a few of the endings you killed Eggman by breaking his neck or destroyed the human race.
    • Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog is considerably more violent than most versions of the series, but they lack any blood whatsoever. Several characters are caught in explosions, but appear only bruised - one example is when Antoine is caught in an explosion and goes into a coma. We only see his limp hand in the last panel, and later on, there are lots of bandages covering up his injuries. In the Sonic Universe arc "Total Eclipse", Shadow is beaten almost to death, but only takes scratches.
    • Maria Robotnik's death is repeatedly depicted in Sonic X without a lick of blood. She was a little girl shot with a bullet, so some blood should be expected.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog:
      • Doctor Eggman's specialty. Constantly hatching up crazy world domination schemes and brilliant inventions, he tries to kill Sonic time and time again to the point that his Villain Song in Sonic Adventure 2 has him declaring his yearning of victory over the blue hedgehog. And in many cases, he does trap the blur blur or get the perfect opportunity. Except time and time again, his inventions have a glaring weakpoint, his Evil Gloating leaves himself wide open for retaliation, there's a significant issue that Sonic can take perfect advantage of, or he flatout spares Sonic in his few moments of victory which bites him in the ass rather quickly every time.
      • In the 8-bit version of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Eggman actually rescues Sonic from falling to his death — in order to try killing him his preferred way, in a Sarlacc pit. Justified in that, at this point, Sonic was supposed to have one of the Chaos Emeralds on his person, so letting him fall into a pit of lava would definitely put a bit of a wrinkle in Robotnik's plans. Said Sarlacc pit is also one of the hardest boss fights in the entire franchise.
      • In Sonic Adventure, Eggman ambushes Sonic and Tails as they leave Casinopolis. He sprays them with Knockout Gas instead of deadly poison gas, steals one of the two Chaos Emeralds they're carrying, then just leaves them there to wake up instead of finishing them off. Arguably justified in that he spends most of the game using the heroes as a MacGuffin Delivery Service.
      • A glaring case would be the beginning of Sonic Unleashed. Eggman lures Sonic (in his Super Mode) into a trap, and uses the chaos energy to split the Earth apart in his efforts to unleash Dark Gaia. With Sonic now in his werehog form and weakened at his feet, Eggman's response is to.. drop Sonic out of an airlock along with all the depowered Chaos Emeralds. Sonic survives the fall with no issue (which Eggman entirely expected but didn't care for), while the Chaos Emeralds that avert the infamous Bag of Spilling serve to let Sonic both put the world back together and simultaneously regain his Super form for the Final Boss. Orbot, one of Eggman's personal robots, points out this major oversight, to which Eggman attempts to (poorly) proclaim it was for the sake of a challenge.
      • Zavok of the Deadly Six in Sonic Lost World. Instead of personally supervising the roboticization of Tails, he and Zomom just leave him all alone in the lab. Being the Smart Guy he is, Tails successfully modifies the machine he's bound to to his own advantage.
      • Sonic Forces has two instances:
        • The villains finally have Sonic in their clutches, but instead of killing him, they instead choose to imprison him aboard the Death Egg for six months, which allows Sonic to eventually break out and stop them. Zavok mentions that Eggman wanted to show Sonic his completed empire before jettisoning him out into space. (In other words, they wanted to rub Sonic's failure in his face, then kill him.)
        • Infinite gets a moment of this after his first boss battle. After defeating Sonic, Infinite arrogantly deems him Not Worth Killing and leaves. Eggman later chews him out for doing so, correctly predicting that Sonic will continue to be a threat to their operations as long as he's still alive.
    • Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog:
      • In the Knuckles Chaotix special, the original Robotnik manages to successfully trap Sonic and all of the Freedom Fighters inside glass mirrors. However, Knuckles, who also fell into said trap, doesn't get trapped in a mirror. Instead, Robotnik takes away his special abilities (like his gliding and his spiked knuckles) just so he can still have someone to gloat over. Naturally, since Knuckles is still free, this gives him a perfect opportunity to build together a resistance to take him down. A minion even lampshades the obvious stupidity of this moment.
      • Taken to extremes in one issue. Dr. Eggman decides he's sick of fooling around with Sonic and launches an all-out attack on his hometown. His forces manage to blast nearly every single good guy (except three) with powerful lasers that seem to vaporize them on contact. He then beats the crap out of Sonic for good measure. Looks like Eggman has finally won... except that those lasers didn't kill Sonic's friends, they were just teleport beams, which sent them all to cells at Eggman's HQ. Eggman announces he'll kill them all THERE… even though he could have killed them much more easily by simply making his lasers lethal in the first place. This is doubly stupid because Sonic believes everyone is dead... until Eggman TELLS Sonic that his friends are alive, and where to find them. Then he's actually surprised when Sonic mounts a rescue and frees them all. If he'd just kept his trap shut, Eggman would have had plenty of time to kill everybody.
    • At one point in Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie, Tails is using a bit of Applied Phlebotinum, about the size of a wrist watch, to mess with Metal Sonic's programming. From off-screen, Dr. Robotnik whips out a laser gun and shoots the machine right off Tails' wrist, then he orders Metal Sonic to kill Sonic and Tails. Logic dictates that Robotnik could have just as easily saved a step by shooting Tails in the head.
  • Boobs of Steel:
    • In the games, boob size seems to be proportionate to how badass you are as a woman. There's Cream, with none at all, who is very weak. Then there's Amy Rose, who has a gigantic hammer and pounds people with it. Then there's Rouge, who kick-boxes and has not only got large breasts (for a kid's game) but also displays actual cleavage. Though one has to take into account that Cream is a child and Amy is a pre-teen while Rouge is a government agent. Though Blaze the Cat is the most badass of them all, while being said to have a case of A-Cup Angst.
    • Katella the Intergalactic Huntress from Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, one of the bustiest characters on the show and also one of the most aggressive. She has enough strength to break down a door and make an amazing entrance.
  • Bragging Theme Tune:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog:
      • Sonic Adventure 2 brings us Eggman's theme:
        The story begins, with who's gonna win
        Knowing the danger that lies within
        Aboard the Ark, a genius at heart
        Wanting to unlock the mysteries of life

        I am the Eggman, that's what I am!
        I am the Eggman, I've got the master plan!
      • Shadow the Hedgehog provides Shadow's theme All hail Shadow! Seriously, just listen to those lyrics without thinking at any point that Shadow must be a force to be reckoned with.
      • Sonic Forces has the theme of Infinite. Even if it emphasizes the character's Inferiority Superiority Complex, it's still a menacing Villain Song.
        I'm the tallest of mountains, I am the roughest of waves
        I'm the toughest of terrors, I am the darkest of days
        I'm the last one that's standing, don't try to stand in my way
        'Cause I've been up against better, just take a look at my face

        'Cause if you're messing with me, I am a dangerous weapon
        I am the sharpest of blades, I'll cut you down in a second
        'Cause I was born in this pain, it only hurts if you let it
        So if you think you can take me, then you should go and forget it
    • The Sonic Sat AM intro:
      Sonic! He can really move!
      Sonic! He's got attitude!
      Sonic! He's the fastest thing alive!
  • Brainwashed and Crazy:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog:
      • The "Story" mode of Sonic Pinball Party begins with Dr. Robotnik having kidnapped Sonic the Hedgehog's companions, Tails and Amy, and hypnotized them against him. This leads to Tails and Amy acting violent towards Sonic and having red eyes and a Slasher Smile. Knuckles is the only one not to fall under this, as he simply wants to beat Sonic. Sonic is able to snap Tails and Amy out of the trance by beating them.
  • In Sonic Sat AM, anyone roboticized by Dr. Robotnik is compelled to follow his orders no matter what. To make it even worse, Uncle Chuck reveals that all roboticization victims are fully aware of what's going on and everything they're doing, but they can't do anything about it.
  • Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • During the "Enerjak Reborn" arc, Knuckles was brainwashed by Dr. Finitevus into absorbing the Master Emerald's power and becoming the new Enerjak. It took his father's Heroic Sacrifice to snap him out of it.
    • This happens twice during the Iron Dominion arc: First, the Iron Queen uses her Magitek powers to take control of Monkey Khan and use him to destroy the Dragon Kingdom Freedom Fighters. Then, she uses those powers to reprogram NICOLE and use her to effortlessly take over New Mobotropolis. Khan was released by the Queen when she didn't need him anymore, and NICOLE was soon returned to normal by Sally (though she continued to pretend to be brainwashed for a while).
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick:
    • Sonic Colors:
      • The Wii version of has this exchange.
      Tails: ...oh there you are. Where'd you run off to?
      Sonic: I did a little shopping, grabbed a bite to eat and trashed a giant killer robot.
      • Bonus points for Tails' reaction being "Oh, really? They've got shopping here too?"
      • A few of Eggman's PA lines have this as well.
      Please refrain from throwing coins, trash, or small children into the reflecting pools.
      Next stop, the Tropical Resort. Here, you will find: breath-taking views from our giant Ferris wheel, amazing deals from our shopping mall, and constant risk of bodily harm.
    • In the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog episode, "The Robot's Robot", after Robot runs away from Robotnik's fortress, Scratch and Grounder post an article in the newspaper, claiming he left carrying a toothbrush, two pairs of extra underwear, and a highly unstable BLAMMO note  device that could easily implode the entire planet.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog:
      • When you beat a boss monster in some games, Sonic or any other character you're controlling will salute you for succeeding.
      • In most games, if Sonic is kept still for a long time, he will look at the player and tap his foot. In Sonic the Hedgehog 2 he also looked at his hand (as if he was looking to a watch), and in Sonic 3 he would even point to the player and then point forward. Special mention goes to Sonic CD, where if you leave him sitting for 3 minutes, Sonic will yell, "I'm outta here!" and jump out of the screen, resulting in a Nonstandard Game Over.
      • Sonic Chronicles:
        • The ending cutscene. After the heroes exit Nocturne and return to their own world it turns out that Eggman played the heroes for fools and had deliberately helped them to get to Nocturne in order to get all the necessary time to take over the entire world without the meddling of Sonic and his friends. Tails and Sonic then end up having a conversation about how they didn't expect such an ending, how impressed they were of it and how they'll have to wait for the next episode in order to see what happens next. Tails then ends up telling Sonic about the makers of the game, BioWare, and ends up listing the whole cast credits at which point you can, as Sonic, tell Tails that you want to skip it.
        • Tails would in fact break the fourth wall a few other times before when he constantly reminded you to save your game unless you tell Tails to stop reminding you.
      • In Sonic Colors (Wii version), when Tails tells Sonic the aliens are called Wisps, he turns to the camera and says "Yeah, I'll just stick with 'aliens' if that's okay with everybody."
    • Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog with its "Sonic Says" shorts, in which Sonic and occasionally Tails teach a life lesson to the audience. (Including, in one infamous incident, what to do if you're victimized by a child molester.)
    • Done from time to time in the Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog comic books back in the 90's, before the onset of the title's Cerebus Syndrome. For example, in Super Sonic Vs. Hyper Knuckles, Tails at some point tells Sally that "Knuckles will punch Sonic on Page 7". Guess what happens...
    • The first Sonic the Comic annual published in the UK in 1993 featured a story where Robotnik adds a turbo booster to his Egg-O-Matic and chases Sonic throughout the Spring Yard Zone. Eventually he cranks the device to full power, and promptly crashes through the edge of the panel and out of the comic itself. Sonic then joins in the fun by talking to the reader directly!
    • Sonic The Hedgehog And The Silicon Warriors does this constantly throughout the book;
      'Oh Great' Sonic grated, ' We've only just started this adventure, I've no idea of what I'm meant to be doing yet and I've got a sidekick who's going to be talking Martian at me for the whole of the rest of the book.'
      'What book?' Tails asked.
      'You're too young to understand,' Sonic smoothed hastily.
    • Sonic X:
      • The showdoes it a few times, particularly Charmy finding out what happened when the Chaotix team were away by watching Sonic X on DVD, Eggman becoming the "main character" of the series and renaming the show Eggman X, and Eggman denying Sonic's claim that he (Sonic) is the main character.
      • Consecutive to the DVD scene above, the Chaotix introduce themselves directly to the audience. After Vector and Espio finish up, Charmy is ready to start when Vector informs him that they're low on time. Charmy tries to start his introduction anyway, and is promptly cut off by a commercial. Only in the dub - in the original, the Eyecatch features his information.
  • Sonic Boom LOVES to break the 4th wall, whether its by the characters looking directly at the viewer, talking to them, or even 4th wall breaking comments. Some examples below.
    • In "Cowbot", Tails will occasionally look directly at the viewers, pretending he's a commentator for "Coconut Hurl".
    • "Sole Power" features Eggman revealing the power source of his giant robot. After saying "Gee, I wish I thought about that." he turns to the viewers, before saying "Oh wait, I did!"
    • "Battle of the Boy Bands" is full of hilarious meta jokes, including Justin Beaver's producers conveniently revealing their whole plans while Sonic, Knuckles, and Tails watch. Knuckles had this to say, while looking at the viewers. "Talk about lazy writing."
    • "It Takes A Village to Defeat a Hedgehog" has a hilarious example from Eggman, when he's asked who Shadow is. His response is "He's only the 2nd most popular character in the whole canon!" Later Orbot and Cubot directly tell the audience to start an online petition for Sonic Boom season 2.
    • And speaking of season 2: "The Biggest Fan", being about an overly obsessed Sonic fanboy, obviously does this in spades, from jokes about Sonic's arms and sports tape to Mark (the fanboy in question) having several fanfictions, quite a few of which are hinted at not being work safe. The fourth wall was never the same after that day...
    • In "Give Bees A Chance", Sonic calls in Tails for an assist and Tails replies "Roger!" When Knuckles asks "Who's Roger?" Sonic replies, in Roger Craig Smith's voice, "He's talking to me."
  • Burning Rubber:
    • In Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, this was how Sonic's speed was frequently shown. The episode, "The Mystery of the Missing Hi-tops" reveals that Sonic's shoes are friction-proof, and thus Sonic's feet would literally burn up if he tried running without them.
    • Spoofed through Epic Fail in the Sonic Boom episode, "Into the Wilderness". Sonic runs laps around a pile of leaves Knuckles set up in an attempt to create a fire; the only thing that gets burning are Sonic's shoes.
  • Cannot Spit It Out:
    • Knuckles and Rouge in the games seem to have a mutual affection for each other, as heavily hinted at in their last interaction in Sonic Adventure 2, but their respective duties as guardian of the Master Emerald and government agent keep them from pursuing things further.
    • Sonic Boom:
      • Amy Rose's Boom counterpart, like the main universe version, is in love with Sonic. But Boom!Amy tries to keep this to herself rather than obviously fawn over him. In "Translate This", Amy is actually visibly horrified when the Universal Translator nearly blurts out her crush for her, so she smashes it with her hammer.
      • In "Fortress of Squallitude", after the team comes to rescue Amy from Eggman's lair:
      Sonic: We might have a hard time saying it, Amy, but... (disengaged) well you know.
  • Canon Discontinuity:
  • Captain Crash:
    • Tails from the the games has been crashing planes in almost every Sonic game since his first appearance in Sonic 2. To be fair though, more often than not it's not his fault.
    • Dulcy the dragon in Sonic Sat AM almost always messes up her landings. The only time she doesn't is when she's carrying another dragon's egg.
  • Cartoon Creature:
    • The Chao in the games. Small blue creatures with teardrop shaped heads, a connection to an ancient deity, and the ability to evolve based on what animals are around them.
    • Sonic the Comic:
      • The comic often had some sort of generic pseudo-Dogface animal that looked strange compared to other characters, that would appear to populate city areas.
      • Grimer is..Something. He looks like a Goblin, or at least something non-animal; how he came to be on Mobius is never explained. Well, Grimer started out as an expy of Grima Wormtongue from Lord of the Rings, so...magically corrupted human?
    • Many of the characters from Sonic Underground don't have an established species. Sonic's still vaguely hedgehog-y and therefore so are his immediate family, Robotnik's still vaguely human-y... but what any of the sibling's foster-parents are meant to be is an open question.note 
  • Catch a Falling Star:
    • The games like this one. In Sonic 2, Sonic & Knuckles, and Sonic Advance, Sonic/Tails manage atmospheric re-entry and survive by landing on the Tornado.
    • Also used in Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie, with Knuckles gliding over to catch Sara after she falls out of Robotnik's aircraft.
    • Happens often in Sonic X, except with Cosmo during her first appearance, where she hit the ground a good few moments before anyone found her...but her dress allowed her to land safely.
  • Catchphrase:
  • Robotnik's infamous cry of "I HATE THAT HEDGEHOG!". Ironically, the first time he said it (in the first episode of the series, Super Special Sonic Search And Smash Squad) it was spoken normally, rather than as the drawn-out yell it's more famous as. "You took the words right out of my mouth! I hate that hedgehog!" It was also parodied in the episode "Over The Hill Hero", with Captain Rescue ending the episode with "I LIKE that hedgehog!"
  • Scratch's distinctive crowing laugh, "Buh-HAH-hah-HAAAAH!".
  • Sonic Sat AM:
    • The show gave Sonic the catchphrase "WAY past cool!"
    • Also some variation on "Juice time!" for when Sonic started running.
  • In both "Adventures" and "SatAm", when impatient, Sonic would tap his foot and say "I'm waiiiiiiting!"
  • Cerebus Retcon:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog:
      • Dr. Eggman was a typical evil cartoon villain that wanted to take over the world in the most obscure way, which was capturing animals and turning them into robots that would do his bidding. By the time Sonic Adventure came to be, Dr. Eggman took a more dark approach to his evil schemes, such as trying to control a god with unlimited power and then deciding to fire a missile at a city when he fails in his original plan. Dr. Eggman even takes control of a weaponized space colony and fires a laser at the moon, cutting it in half! And that was only a warning shot! Dr. Eggman's darker persona stayed with him for a while although Sega attempted to dial it back a bit by making Eggman a bit more cartoonish for the narm factor, which can be seen in Sonic Colors and Sonic Generations. Dr. Eggman does return to his roots with animal capturing in Sonic the Hedgehog 4 as a throwback to the classic games.
      • Sonic Adventure 2 gives Eggman a reasoning behind his villainous behavior, besides just wanting to rule the world for kicks. His grandfather, Dr. Gerald Robotnik, was executed fifty years ago. Eggman has a high level of respect for Gerald and his desire to take over the world is in part stems as retribution for his grandfather's arrest and death.
    • Antoine D'Coolette, the easily scaring comic relief of the group who Sonic loves to make fun of is discussed by Bunnie in Issue 46 of Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog. Turns out he was once much more valiant and composed way before Sonic joined the Freedom Fighters, and clever enough to save Bunnie's life on one occasion. He lost his way after his father was roboticized, wearing his father's uniform and attempting desperately to win Sally's love for the purpose of filling the emotional void his loss left him.
  • Cerebus Rollercoaster:
  • Characterization Marches On:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog:
      • The series has a pretty shaky history of consistent characterization, which makes sense since multiple writers are working on the series and some never communicate with each other. Because of this, characters tend behave very differently between games Depending on the Writer, with very broad traits to keep them recognizable. This especially evident when one compares how the plot is handled through years. Starting out, the games had as much plot as you would expect from a 2D platforming series in the 90's (As in, barely) and characterization was very minimal (Sonic was the Mascot with Attitude, Tails was his sidekick, Knuckles his rival, etc) but starting in Sonic Adventure the series adopted a more cohesive and serialized narrative not unlike common Shonen Anime/Manga, and characters and relationships became much more dynamic. (Series Breakout Character Shadow the Hedgehog debuts here, and has the most fleshed out background of any character to date,) but after much criticism over that direction, starting with Sonic Unleashed the series is back to simpler characterizations and plot to allow for more broader narratives but mostly ignored the character development that took place before. (I.e. Tails is mostly back to being Sonic's sidekick despite his bout of independence before.)
      • A couple characters have some rather notable changes in appearance and characterization from their first appearances: Amy Rose in Sonic CD is a rather generic Damsel in Distress and has a completely different dress than usual, as well as lacking her trademark hammer. Knuckles in Sonic 3 & Knuckles is a pinkish color rather than his usual red, and is also seen laughing constantly, whereas in later games he seems to have almost No Sense of Humor (indeed, his theme in Sonic Adventure even says "Unlike Sonic, I don't chuckle.")
    • A few characters underwent changes throughout Sonic Sat AM:
      • Rotor was a lot goofier and awkward in the pilot episode. As Antoine and later Dulcy took over as comic relief, his dorky aspects were downplayed in favor of a more laid back and competent personality.
      • Princess Sally was a fair bit more bratty and rivalistic towards Sonic in early episodes, even having her own share of Idiot Ball moments, making them more Not So Different. While still very snarky and argumentative in Season Two, it is from being the clear voice of reason of the team
    • The earlier far wackier points of Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog series are rather jarring to see. Most notably the characterizations of Sonic and Robotnik are based more primarily on their Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog counterparts, with Sonic being a goofy Karmic Trickster and Robotnik being a childish Harmless Villain. The other Freedom Fighters are far more comedic than they are in later issues and even the original show they came from. Princess Sally Acorn in particular started off as The Finicky One and was far more neurotic and self righteous, before becoming Closer To Earth and much more lucid and easy going.
    • Amy in Sonic the Comic is known as a badass Only Sane Man of the Freedom Fighters. Her earliest appearances, however, have her much like her game version would be known as. Amy is less proactive and teases Sonic a lot. This personality change was due to Executive Meddling, as it was thought female readers needed a strong female role model. She was mostly reversed in the final arc, the Adventure adaptation, which makes it seem odd when Amy is standing around instead of being in the action.
  • Cheated Angle:
    • In the games, Sonic's spines tended to be fudged in his original design. Seen from the side, you only see three spines protruding from the back of his head. However, seen from the back, it looked more like two rows of spines instead of three. And seeing him from the front just looked weird. All this meant Sonic was usually shown from the front or back only when necessary, even in media such as comics. This sort of thing is likely one reason why Sonic's design was overhauled when Sonic Adventure was released, since the spines needed to work in 3D. It was more Early Installment Weirdness, since the special stages in Sonic 2, Sonic 3, and Sonic CD showed him from the back. Sonic CD even turned the screen around him!
    • Sonic X took this rule and ran with it, so that no matter which way Sonic was facing, only three spikes would show. This made Sonic look odd from the front, and downright ridiculous from the back.
  • Chewing the Scenery:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog:
      • Dr. Eggman was having way too much fun at the beginning of Sonic Adventure. "You know NOTHING, fools! It's Chaos, the GOD of DESTRUCTION!!! MUAHAHAHAHAHA'!!!" In Sonic Generations, even his past self is thrown off by his scenery chewing tendencies.
      • Also, the Anti-Climax Boss of Sonic Heroes, the Metal Overlord comes out with such gems as "This victory shall soon turn into DESPAAAAAIIIIRRR!!!", "IT'S! TOO! LAAATE!!" and, of course, "BUUURRNNN! TOOOOO DEEEAAATTHHH!!!", complete with voice echo! What's more, he is ACTUALLY eating the ship while he's on while doing so (implied). What's more, he gets worse after he takes off!
    • Robotnik from Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog often overdoes his lines, like here.
      Robotnik: Why is my precious rocket ship drifting off into deep space?! Why am I reaching you at the coordinates of the abandoned space station?! WHY?! WHY?! WHHYYY?!
    • In the Sonic Boom episode "The Meteor", Sonic and Eggman end up swapping bodies. The real kicker? They keep their original voices. When Sonic speaks with Eggman's ham and inflections, he pulls out all the stops.
  • Christmas Episode:
    • Sonic Adventure received a free DLC on the Dreamcast that added snow and a Christmas tree to Station Square.
  • Chromatic Arrangement:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog:
      • Sonic is Blue, Knuckles is Red, and Tails is Yellow. However, there are rare occasions when the trio is Sonic, Knuckles, and Shadow (black).
      • However, in SegaSonic the Hedgehog, the original power trio consisted of Sonic (blue), Mighty (red) and Ray (yellow). This trio came back in Sonic Mania Plus, more precisely in Mighty and Ray's endings.
      • This is exaggerated to ridiculous levels in Sonic Heroes. All playable trios are color coded based on their power; Blue (for speed), Yellow (for flight), and Red (for power) after Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles
      • Where Team Sonic is a Primary Pigment Color trio, Team Chaotix is a Primary Light Color trio terms of their auras Vector (Green), Espio (Blue) and Charmy (Red).
    • The Sonic Underground triplets are this. Sonic (blue, of course), his brother Manic (green) and sister Sonia (pink). Also, in the few times that he does appear, Knuckles can count for red.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome:
    • In the games, Sonic always helps out anyone in trouble stating that helping those in need is the only thing he slows down for.
    • In issue #134 of the Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic decides to fight in a war against Eggman over settling down despite being rendered a handicap with his arm in a cast from an injury prior to the issue, which prompts his girlfriend to smack him across the face.
    • While the heroes of Sonic Boom all face off against Eggman on a regular basis, all of them have activities that do not relate to their heroics at all... all of them, that is, except Sonic himself. In "Aim Low", when Eggman falls into depression, Sonic becomes increasingly listless to the point he starts interfering with his colleagues' hobbies.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl:
    • Amy Rose from the games, borders on the psycho stalker version (though just how close she is to being a Stalker with a Crush depends on the writer). And has a large hammer which she isn't afraid to use on Sonic if he refuses. It leaves behind a trail of hearts.
    • Rosy the Rascal from Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog, Amy Rose's counterpart from an alternate evil universe. Unlike Amy, who has enough common sense to back down from her clingy tendencies and willing to help other potential female rivals out of concern for their well-being, Rosy is so mentally unstable that she believes the only way to get Scourge (anti-Sonic)'s attention is to smash him with her hammer... which, unlike Amy's, is COVERED IN SPIKES.
  • Coconut Meets Cranium:
  • In Sonic Unleashed, in an exclusive cutscene of Sonic and Chip at Adabat, Sonic gets clocked in the head by a bunch of coconuts due to a mishap by Chip's appetite.
  • In this commercial for Honey Nut Cheerios, Buzz gets sucked into the Sonic the Hedgehog 2 video game, and challenges Sonic to a race for Honey Nut Cheerios. Sonic wins the race, while Buzz crashes into a palm tree, causing several coconuts from it to fall and hit him on the head.
  • In the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog episode, "Big Daddy", when Coconuts first meets Boom-Boom, the son of the titular ape, he tosses a coconut at his head, much like his video game counterpart does to Sonic in Sonic the Hedgehog 2.
  • In episode 9 of Sonic X ("Amy on the Beach" if you're watching the original Japanese version or "The Last Resort" if you're watching 4Kids' English version) while Amy Rose is daydreaming about dating Sonic a Coconut falls and hits her on the head stopping her train of thought. She gets annoyed by the coconut so she picks it up and throws it while kicking off the antagonist's plot of the story by accident without knowing.
  • At the beginning of the Sonic Boom episode "Cowbot", when Knuckles throws Sonic into the tree to make coconuts drop down, one of the coconuts falls on Amy's head.
  • Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • The Grandmasters of the various Dark Egg Legion chapters (and Snively) are Dr. Eggman's Dragons; they report only to him, are equal in rank, and those not directly under his command serve as his regional commanders.
    • Eggman added another dragon to his entourage when he makes the newly roboticized Sally his new chief enforcer. In fact, it should be noted that Mecha Sally, along with the rest of the Metal Series, may very well outrank the Grandmasters, as Eggman is using them to keep an eye on the latter and keep them loyal.
    • Post-Super Genesis Wave, the Grandmasters and Metal Series are replaced by the Egg Bosses, an almost entirely different lineup that serves the same role that the Grandmasters did in the old universe.
  • Colony Drop:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog:
      • Sonic 3 & Knuckles: Sonic knocking the Death Egg out of orbit in Sonic 2 serves as the catalyst for Sonic 3. Fighting Big Arm in the Launch Base (as Sonic, anyway) botches the Death Egg's launch, causing it to fall back to Angel Island. At the end of Sonic and Knuckles, you're tasked with averting this trope with Angel Island itself by getting the Master Emeralds as well as the Chaos Emeralds. Failure to do so results in an ending where the island falls out of the sky and into the sea. Unlike most colony drops, though, this one seems harmless for everyone involved.
      • Sonic Adventure 2 had the Space Colony ARK dropped. Dr. Eggman's grandfather, professor Gerald Robotnik, brought to despair over the death of his granddaughter Maria, exacts revenge in spirit by programming the colony to crash into Earth. The presence of the gargantuan Biolizard makes matter far worse, as it tries to fuse with the colony and forcibly drag it down into the planet. After both Sonic and Shadow power up to their super forms, the duo ultimately slays Biolizard, but with the colony swiftly entering Earth's atmosphere, they have only seconds to stop an imminent doomsday. Sonic's solution to stopping this is to use Chaos Control to send it back into orbit. Shadow, on the other hand... does the unthinkable.
      • Sonic Advance 2: The Downer Ending has Sonic falling out of the sky while Eggman's space colony does the same in the background, exploding violently on impact.
      • Sonic Forces: Once the Phantom Ruby reached its full power, Dr. Eggman initiated his plan to eradicate the Resistance: have Infinite drop an artificial sun onto them.
    • Sonic the Comic:
      • In the story "Return of the Nightmare", Super Sonic pulls Mobius' moon out of it's orbit and sends it crashing into the planet... in what turns out to be an illusion created by Ebony.
      • Done by Knuckles, who punches a fault line near the Carnival Night Zone. Since the Carnival Night Zone was built on the edge of the Floating Island, Knuckles completely smashed off that portion of the Floating Island, removing the Carnival Night Zone from the island and sending it falling to Mobius, slightly cushioned by some remaining power of the Master Emerald. The crash-landing of the ruined Carnival Night Zone was a shock to one Emerald Hill boy who had just before wished that the Carnival Night Zone was closer then it crashes in front of him.
      • In the Sonic Adventure arc, in order to stop Chaos from absorbing the Chaos Emeralds, Knuckles hesitantly ejects them from the island, which without any power then crashes down into the sea.
  • Comic-Book Adaptation:
  • Comic Trio:
  • And last up is the Babylon Rogues in Sonic Riders. Jet is the impulsive schemer, Storm is the blind idiot, and Wave is the powerless one who usually complains about Jet's reckless behavior.
  • Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog has Scratch, who originates most schemes independent of Robotnik, Grounder, who tries to carry them out, and Robotnik himself, who's left fuming at the mess they get into. When Robotnik dispatches all three of his robots to capture Sonic, Coconuts, the smartest of the three, is usually powerless.
  • Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like:
    • In the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog episode, "Full-Tilt Tails", Tails tries to rescue a man who jumps out of an airplane. The man tells Tails that he was in a skydiving competition and Tails' rescue made him lose. Justified in that Tails didn't know the man was in a skydiving competition until after he told him.
    • In Sonic the Comic Tails would often get complaints from people who wanted Sonic to rescue them instead.
    • In the Sonic X comic, after Sonic saves about a dozen or more people from getting killed by missiles, a Rich Bitch called Milan whines about him letting her father's limousine get stolen by Decoe and Bocoe.
  • Continuity Creep:
    • The games went from being almost completely separated with extremely little plot to having dense plots with immense amounts of cutscenes and backstory, to the point where it no longer makes sense sometimes. Interestingly it rarely ever crosses over multiple games; you can play Shadow the Hedgehog without having played Sonic Heroes, for example, as the links between other games tends to be only for a few specific events that are given due exposition when brought up again.
    • For the first several issues the Sonic the Hedgehog parts of Sonic the Comic were mainly just full one-shots that never really related to one each other. Issue 8 started a sense of plot but it took several more issues of on and off one-shots until it came into full effect.
  • Conveyor Belt o' Doom:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog:
      • They turned up a lot on the 16-bit games, where Sonic is on a conveyor belt and has to be really quick to avoid being crushed by something or cut with descending buzzsaws.
      • The boss of Gene Gadget Zone in Sonic 3D Blast takes place on one of these, with a large row of spikes at the end of the conveyor belt. The player must hit Eggman's ship, avoiding spike strips and missiles.
    • The first "and now back to" bumper for Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog has Scratch and Grounder happily peering over Sonic as he's tied up on a log being split by a buzzsaw.
  • Cool Plane:
    • In the games, Miles 'Tails' Prower]] started out piloting the Tornado, Sonic's red WW1 biplane that got regularly upgraded over the series. In Sonic Adventure it gets shot down and replaced by the Tornado II, which had the ability to shift into an X-shaped wing mode, and got upgraded in the sequel (Sonic Adventure 2) so it can transform into a Mini-Mecha called the Cyclone and a car. A new red Tornado (or perhaps a repaired and upgraded version of the original) called the Tornado-1 was later introduced.
    • The X-Tornado from Sonic X, a jet plane named for its ability to shift into an X-shaped wing mode for speed. It also had the ability to transform into a heavy armed walker in a Macross-style transformation sequence.
  • Cool Shades:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog:
      • Dr. Eggman wears a pair of round-frame sunglasses at all times with the intended effect of making him look more intimidating. Imagine what he would look like without them. At least they help build an image.
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog in the Fourth Dimension, Dr. Robotnik succeeds in taking over Mobius, but Sonic uses Time Travel to stop him ever being transformed from Dr Kintobor, but then a different set of villains steal the Chaos Emeralds in an attempt to infect the Big Bang and therefore the entire universe with Chaos, so Sonic has to stop his earlier self from stopping Robotnik's transformation, as the transformation safely flung the Chaos Emeralds across Mobius out of their reach. In the process, he ends up creating a chaos-infected version of himself called Cinos.
  • In Sonic the Comic, the story arc loosely based on Sonic CD and Knuckles Chaotix had Sonic going back in time and deliberately causing the accident that turned kindly Dr. Kintobor into Dr. Robotnik. In the altered timeline where the accident never occurred, the Brotherhood of Metallix conquered Mobius and couldn't be stopped- in the real timeline, Robotnik worked on the Metallixes, too, and thought to give them a mass-self-destruct function.
  • In Sonic Boom, Knuckles' stupidity and incompetence ends up causing Charlie a lot of grief, costing him his job, and causing his wife to leave him. Charlie vows revenge and acquires some powerful armor and weapons to attack Knuckles. Although he eventually loses, his wife returns to him because she liked him finally becoming a tough guy and then they both become straight up supervillains.
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check:
    • Doctor Eggman from the games, shows an incredible talent in weaponry, vehicle, and robot design, and an ability to mass-produce many of these designs. Of course, even if he doesn't want to sell his inventions, he also shows a fondness for casino and theme park designs, and could probably gain a lot of money and influence just by entertaining people. In several games, he's also uncovered evidence of multiple ancient, extraterrestrial, trans-dimensional artifacts, beings, and civilizations. Evidence of these, as well as the corresponding research, would revolutionize the world, exonerate him and his grandfather multiple times over, herald him as pioneer in science, history, among other fields, and essentially hand him the world on a silver platter!
      • In Sonic Heroes, E-123 Omega sometimes makes references to Dr. Eggman's "consumer models." This implies some of the robots he mass-produces are for sale to the general public.
      • In Sonic Battle Rouge outright states that Eggman sells generic versions of his E-100 Series models as security droids.
      • Sonic Riders has Robotnik Corp, a business venture of Eggman's which provides a good handful of the Extreme Gear of the first game including, hilariously enough, the personalized gears of roughly half the cast. He also runs the security service Meteor Tech which, while having an ulterior motive in the end, did seem to legitimately provide security services for Future City and the rest of the continent it resides on. Eggman also makes an offhand mention to how him selling his technology helps pay for his schemes to defeat Sonic.
      • In Sonic Colors, he manages to grab several planets, build amusement parks and rides on them, and tethers them to the Earth with a Space Elevator without affecting any planet's gravity. He broke so many rules of physics with the stunt alone, and the 3DS version implies it is a really fun park (in the Wii version, Sonic snuck his way in there the day before it opened.) If only Eggman wasn't using this as an excuse to harvest life energy from aliens to build a Mind Control Ray to Take Over the World! Even Sonic and Tails admit that they'd happily pay to enjoy Eggman's new theme park for a while... if it wasn't such a painfully obvious trap, of course.
    • Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog:
      • Mammoth Mogul decided to pull this. He took over Robotnik's old Casino Night Zone, renamed it the Casino Night Club, hired most of Robotnik's old Badniks, including Scratch, Grounder and Coconuts and decided to park his keister there. Of course, this was less about turning legit and more about letting time defeat Sonic as Mogul's immortal.
      • In the Cosmic Retcon universe, this role goes to Breezie the Hedgehog, who becomes a multimedia icon in a Rags to Riches-like story, owning Casino Palace and her own TV company. She even engineers a tournament for a Chaos Emerald for the sole purpose of more money and fame. And wins.
  • Darker and Edgier:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog:
      • Sonic 3 & Knuckles, despite being very bright and colorful, is terrifying in many ways compared to the previous games that were more on the whimsical side. The very first level, taking place in a jungle, has one of Eggman's mechs napalm the whole jungle, forcing you to press on in what is now a firestorm where even the blue skies in the background is replaced by an orange haze from the fires. If you are playing Sonic 3 alone, the Final Boss battle has the skies grow dark as menacing music plays for the fight. (The same music also plays for the second to last boss fight in the complete version of the game.) If you collect all the Chaos and / or Super Emeralds in the complete game, the climax of the battle between Sonic and Eggman takes place in outer space with Super or Hyper Sonic giving chase as this music plays. Should Sonic run out of rings here, he falls to his death with the world below him. Knuckles' final boss fight itself isn't horrifying, but the background event during the fight is; Angel Island is tilting side to side as if it's struggling to stay in the air and is slowly falling down as the fight drags on. The 10 minute time limit you usually get for each level also doubles as the time limit for the island before it falls down completely. Yikes.
      • Sonic the Hedgehog CD has Bad Future versions of each of its zones, and creepy unlockable artwork. Also, the American release had some very scary music, in contrast to the upbeat music from the JPN/EUR release.
      • Sonic the Hedgehog Spinball is based on Sonic Sat AM and features a much darker aesthetic than the main series games. One of the bosses actually shows the animal robotization process in horrid detail.
      • The Sonic Adventure series goes beyond Sonic games prior to it in intensity as the games adopt a more cinematic feel. The first ends with the large-scale destruction of a modern city by a creature reacting to atrocities committed by an ancient civilization led by a tyrannical, abusive father. The second surpasses that by dealing with use of "weapons of mass destruction" (and yes, they are actually called that in the game) to threaten whole countries, a military conspiracy involving the deaths of numerous innocents in a space colony, and threats to the survival of the world from anguished people with a vendetta against it. A case can be made for this game's 'Final Story' being the grimmest part of any game in the Sonic series. Gerald Robotnik's diary detailing his reaction to the loss of his granddaughter Maria is pure horror, containing such lovely lines as "I lost everything, I had nothing more to live for, I WENT INSANE!" (this part is helped by the fact that Gerald's voice actor was actually really good).
      • Shadow the Hedgehog takes place during an alien invasion with Sonic's rival Shadow suffering from amnesia and caught in the middle of a four way conflict between Sonic, Eggman, the military, and the aliens. The game expands upon the space colony incident from Sonic Adventure 2 and Shadow can choose to be Good, Evil, or Neutral with branching endings and a Karma Meter based on the missions you choose to complete. The game is also a Third-Person Shooter hybrid and features Shadow uttering mild swear words like "damn" and "hell" when he gets hit.
      • Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) attempts to toss Sonic into a hyper-realistic world, where he protects a princess who is the container of Iblis, one half of Solaris, a time god from Eggman. Along the way, he, Shadow, and Silver deal with a conspiracy where it is revealed in the final storyline Sonic dies to upset Elise to release Iblis ancient monster from her body, allowing that and the other villain, Mephiles, to merge to form Solaris, slaughtering the space-time continuum in the process. And then Elise kisses Sonic, reviving him with the power of the Chaos Emeralds, and restoring the space-time continuum from the damage dealt by Solaris, in the process.
  • ZigZagged with Sonic Lost World. The dialogue is much harsher than previous games, with multiple references to mutilation, genocide, and death. Over the course of the game, Sonic's party is steadily picked off by the Deadly Six, who take every opportunity to taunt him about it, leading Sonic to come dangerously close to the Despair Event Horizon. These all clash greatly with the game's graphics, which are the most brightly-colored and cartoony graphics ever seen in the series.
  • Sonic Forces established itself as darker from its initial announcement trailer, which showed Sonic fighting robots amidst Crisis City-esque wreckage and heavily implied that Eggman had finally succeeded (to some degree) for once. The story trailer shows Infinite killing civilians and uttering some of the darkest phrases in the entire series.
Infinite: Fine. I will teach you fear. And then pain.
  • Sonic Sat AM to Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog: The latter show was a mostly light hearted comedic show with the characters most often overcoming the villains without too much effort and relatively rarely being in real danger, while in SatAM, Dr. Robotnik has become a power hungry dictator who has taken over the city of Mobotropolis, captured the king and thrown him into another universe, and has turned most of the inhabitants into robots to do his bidding. He is also much more menacing and capable than his other interpretations, which are generally bumbling idiots. Also, Sonic, Tails and a band of surviving friends known as the Freedom Fighters try to stop him from completely taking over the world- he already owns most of it -and must avoid being captured and roboticized in the process.
  • Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • The comic started out as a Gag Series similar to Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog. Around issue 20 or so, it shifted to a more serious, interconnected tone similar to Sonic Sat AM. The Endgame arc (where Sonic becomes a fugitive after being accused of killing Princess Sally, and Robotnik is Killed Off for Real) is where it dove off the deep end, and established itself as one of the darkest incarnations of Sonic, dealing with themes such as abusive relationships, birth out of wedlock, drugs, genocide, and bigotry. It stayed that way for 10 years or so, before Ian Flynn took over as writer and returned the comic to a lighter tone, though still not as light as the recent games.
    • Way back when the comic was humor-oriented, the cover for issue #4 parodied this by promising an "all-new, darker, grittier" Sonic. Turned out he was just covered in dark grit from cleaning the chimney.
  • Sonic the Comic is this to the games at the time it was being produced. The most well-known aspect is that Super Sonic is a Superpowered Evil Side who eventually splits up from Sonic and becomes basically a physical god. Sonic once believed he killed his friends and fell into a Heroic BSoD.
  • Some scenes in Sonic X are darker than their original versions from the games. For example, Gerald Robotnik's execution in Sonic Adventure 2 is cut away from before anything happens. In X, you hear GUN soldiers cock and shoot their guns (right in front of Chris, Amy, and Tails). The English dub, of course, censored it.
  • Dartboard of Hate:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog:
      • E-102 Gamma's first level in Sonic Adventure has him blowing up little doll-like figures of Tails and Knuckles, with the main objective being to destroy a similar doll for Sonic.
      • A more straight example is the "Sonic Darts" mini-game in the Versus mode of Sonic Shuffle. The game involves throwing darts at a dartboard with a picture of Dr. Eggman on it. Since it is a play order mini-game, the player who gets closest to the center gets to move around the board first.
    • Lucinda has a dartboard with Robotnik's face on it in Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog.
  • To a certain extent, Sonic Unleashed. While still relatively serious, the game took a very lighthearted turn in comparison to previous games, with the addition of Chip, a lot more comic relief, more cartoony cutscenes and humans designed to look more like they came out of a Pixar movie.
  • A notable inversion comes in Sonic Boom. While much more gag focused, the fantasy adventure plots of previous Sonic incarnations give way to simple Slice of Life affairs like Sonic firing Tails as his sidekick, and Eggman driving Sonic crazy moving in with him for a while.
  • Depending on the Artist:
    • In the games, how long is Maria's hair? Usually it's past her shoulders but sometimes, such as with her CGI model in Shadow the Hedgehog, it is only up to her chin. Also, how wavy is it?
    • Some of the key animators for Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog had previously worked on Ren & Stimpy, and it shows in the series' extremely loose style. The size of Robotnik relative to everyone else, the size of his head relative to the rest of his body, whether he had ears, whether or not his mother had a moustache, what the surrounding countryside looked like… all of these were up to interpretation.
    • Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog:
      • Depending on who's doing the penciling the characters will either have four or five fingers. Patrick Spaziante (who does most of the covers) tends to do five. It happened to the Overlander race with such frequency that, when Station Square made its appearance, they Hand Wave the mistakes by saying that they were descendants of humans.
      • How the Modern Era Sonic's quills were drawn, especially in the months after the reveal and the switch over. A lot of times, his quills were drawn exceptionally long and sometimes not long at all.
      • There's also how females that aren't Amy Rose and Rouge the Bat are drawn. Are they SEGA-isque? Are they more human-like? How much clothing do they wear? Sally and Bunnie are easily the worst offenders of the bunch, with Sally's proportions and fur varying and Bunnie becoming more like the "Sax Cymbal" she's depicted today, her robotic parts slimming out and her front being modified from just her body fur to an actual leotard.
      • Poor Elias Acorn was subjected to this. Ever since his first appearance in the comic his hair style would change constantly, and even his hair color would go from red to brown and back again.
    • Sonic the Comic:
      • Johnny Lightfoot and Porker Lewis sometimes wear gloves and shoes and sometimes don't (once they wear clothes at all, anyway).
      • In the Sonic Adventure adaptation what color is everyone's eye color? Sonic is portrayed as having green eyes and Amy with brown eyes but everyone else is up in the air. Does Tails have brown eyes or blue? Are Knuckles purple or blue? Johnny and Lewis, blue eyes or not?
  • Despotism Justifies the Means:
    • Dr. Eggman from the games seems to have this attitude towards his world conquest schemes. The Bad Future levels of Sonic CD are nothing but derelict, post-apocalyptic ruins, the opening of Sonic Unleashed has him use a Wave Motion Gun to crack the Earth open, and in Sonic Lost World, when he makes his move after Sonic takes out the Deadly Six, he remarks that, while it's a pity that the Six have largely destroyed the world below, at least there's still enough of said world left for him to conquer. It's taken Up to Eleven in Sonic Forces, where he's plotting to completely annihilate Sonic, all his friends, and possibly everyone else who isn't on his side by dropping an artificial star on them in order to retain control of the world.
    Eggman: The world will be nothing but ashes, from which a glorious Eggman Empire will rise!
    • The Sonic Sat AM incarnation of Dr. Robotnik flirts between this and Dystopia Justifies the Means. While the "Blast to the Past" two-parter showed that Robotnik took pleasure in the polluted wasteland he was about to create, in the present, he seems to be mostly concerned with being the one ruling over Mobius.
  • Determinator:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog from the games is a pretty fair example. Although it's often obscured by his eternal optimism and devil-may-care attitude, it's clear to see that he will never say die. The most notable example of his determination is Sonic and the Black Knight, where it's his will and determination that gives him the strength to hold his ground against the Dark Queen, even after she's beaten him to within an inch of his life.
    • At one point in his Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog spin-off series, Knuckles is at the mercy of the powerful demigod Enerjak, who tries all sorts of things to break Knuckles' spirits, from teleporting him to the moon, to the bottom of the ocean, to dropping him from 30,000meters in the air, but Knuckles will not break.
    • Sonic the Comic:
      • So long as something existed to menace Mobius, Sonic would never give up. Best exemplified by the speech he gives to Robotnik when the latter has absorbed the power of the Chaos emeralds to attain reality warping powers, while they're fighting through a series of increasingly bizarre scenarios.
      Sonic: Change reality any way you like, Robotnik! Whatever you do I'll still fight you, and somehow I'll win! Because no matter how ridiculous the situation, I'll never give up, Robotnik! I'll never give up!
      • In one story, Sonic fights a robot that can predict his every move and counteract it. So Sonic gives up. Since the robot was programmed to believe that this circumstance would never happen, it malfunctions and blows up, which is exactly what Sonic intended.
  • Diurnal Nocturnal Animal:
    • Rouge from the games is an anthropomorphic bat that is awake during the day.
  • Doesn't Like Guns:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog mentions a dislike briefly in Shadow the Hedgehog, saying that he "wouldn't be caught dead with one of those!"
    • Most Mobians, especially those under King Acorn, are seen with a dislike of guns in Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog, mostly due to a royal decree after one king's son was shot in an accident. This was a major sticking point with the Echidnas, as the Brotherhood of Guardians refused to help against the returned Dr. Robotnik because the Mobians refused to take up weapons of that sort.
  • Don't Call Me "Sir":
    • Sonic the Hedgehog:
      • Sonic dislikes being referred-to formally or being given titles. Examples include insisting that Shahra call him by his name instead of "Master", stopping the Knights of the Round Table bowing to him once it is revealed that he is the genuine King Arthur and stopping people such as Cream and Elise calling him Mr.
      • Also, Blaze the Cat dislikes being called Highness. She tolerates "Princess Blaze".
    • Princess Sally in Sonic Sat AM prefers not to be addressed by her full title, as she sees it as "meaningless" while her kingdom is under Robotnik's control.
  • Don't Try This at Home:
    • Parodied (we hope) in Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog, which advises you to not try vibrating your molecules fast enough to slip past an energy barrier.
    • Sonic X:
      • In the first episode, Sonic jumps on top of an S-Team race car during a chase, causing the driver to protest that they don't want any kids copying him; Sonic duly warns the kids in the audience never to stand on moving cars. This is possibly a parodical Shout-Out to the original Sonic Sez segments of the first animated series. The dub plays it a little differently. Sonic does the same thing and receives the same complaint from the driver: "What if some kid tries this?" Sonic turns to the camera and says:
      Sonic: Kids, don't use Formula One race cars to chase hedgehogs!
      • In a later episode, a Chaos Emerald was found under water, and Chris Thorndyke was helping Sonic go get it. During an attempt with a hosepipe, Chris holds up a sign saying, "Good kids: Don't imitate this!!" Sonic then holds up a sign saying, "You mean I'm not a good kid?" This only happens in the Japanese version—for the international version, TMS ruined the joke by blanking out the signs and not bothering to put in any replacement text. This happens again a bit later, when Chris holds up a similar warning sign as they are about to use a bell in their scheme, and TMS, of course, blanked it out senselessly.
  • Doomsday Device:
    • Sonic Adventure 2 centered around Eggman trying to get the Chaos Emeralds to power the Eclipse Cannon, which had world-destroying properties. Things went From Bad to Worse when it turned out it activated another program that turned the entire ARK Space Station into a Doomsday Device by initiating a Colony Drop.
  • Dragon with an Agenda:
    • In the games, Dr. Eggman seems to have a talent for attracting these:
      • Eggman outright designed Metal Sonic to be a Dragon with an Agenda, programming him to have the sole purpose of destroying Sonic. This came back to bite Eggman in Sonic Heroes, where Metal Sonic's drive to beat Sonic overrode his loyalty to Eggman, and apparently Eggman has reprogrammed him to be less disobedient in Metal Sonic's later appearances.
      • In Sonic Adventure, the water god Chaos initially submitted to Eggman's control, but only because Eggman was feeding him the energy needed to pursue his vengeance against the whole world. When Chaos absorbs all of the Chaos Emeralds, he immediately kicks Eggman aside.
      • In Sonic Adventure 2, Shadow initially swears loyalty to Eggman, but it's later revealed that Shadow has his own plans for destroying the world out of revenge for the death of his surrogate sister Maria and creator Gerald Robotnik. Unlike most examples, Shadow never tries to get rid of Eggman directly when his plans come to fruition, but he does refuse to obey him afterwards.
  • On Sonic Underground, Sleet and Dingo once plotted to steal tax money meant for Robotnik and frame Manic for it.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog: Usually averted, as the title character is stated to be a world-renown hero, and his fame is usually acknowledged by people upon first meeting him. However, in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), he's still forced to do a number of random tasks for the Soleanna citizens in order advance in his quest to save Elise, the nation's ruler, from Dr. Eggman. It gets particularly bad when the royal guards' captain refuses to let him continue unless he plays and wins a mind game. Upon solving it, he reveals that he specifically did it in order to stop civilians (ie: Sonic) from getting involved in the matter. Never mind that Sonic had a far better track record at dealing with Eggman and saving the world than authorities, or that, again, he was a world famous hero.
    • Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog:
      • Sonic has occasionally run into this, where despite his numerous acts of heroism, King Max and Geoffrey St. John treat him with no respect and have no interest sending him out on missions, despite that he has list of heroic acts that would take too long to list.
      • The younger members of the Freedom Fighters pre- and post-Super Genesis Wave have been hit with this. Tails was the first, where he had a number of major victories or assists against Dr. Robotnik, they kept treating him as a ten-year-old. It wasn't until he defeated Crocbot that they made him a major member. Amy Rose was next - tired of being on the sidelines, Amy aged herself up so that she could join them. It wouldn't be until Amy held off an army of Badniks following Sonic's return from space that Amy was made a member herself. Currently, the role of "No respect" is going towards Cream and Cheese; though while she is a member of the Freedom Fighters already, it's just that they don't want her to go off fighting creatures from the planet's core because her mom would get VERY worried.
    • Sonic Boom: No matter how often Sonic saves them from Eggman, the inhabitants of Bygone Island always seem prepared to believe the worst in him and turn on him at the drop of a hat over anything, no matter how large or small. In "Just a Guy," it reaches a point where Sonic goes off on a rant over it and goes into a 10-Minute Retirement:
    Sonic: You know what I think is "compassionate?" Saving the village from Eggman! Like, every week! But do I get any props for that? No! Everyone just goes around gasping at me whenever I call a guy a "guy," or people "people!"
  • Early Adaptation Weirdness:
  • Early Installment Character-Design Difference:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog:
      • In Sonic Adventure 2 Super Shadow's main fur color was a silvery white. Afterwards it shifted between being as gold as Super Sonic and varying lighter shades gold before settling into a lemon cream color.
      • Super Sonic himself has shifted between having completely upturned quills similar to the Super Saiyan transformation it was based on and having only partially upturned quills in a star pattern, similar to Shadow's hairstyle. For a long while it would shift back and forth depending on the game, but they've finally settled upon the original completely upturned style.
      • In a case of American Kirby Is Hardcore, in early western media Sonic was portrayed with fauxhawk-like quills. The game sprites weren't edited but official art and adaptations used that design. Eventually it was phased out in place of the cuter canon design. Sonic CD also depicted Sonic with an angular design not used anywhere else, except for Sonic Mania as a retraux Call-Back.
      • Tails' fur was commonly depicted as burnt red or even brown early on before becoming it's more common orange, sometimes yellowish-orange, colour. Sonic Adventure 2 describes Tails as "fox brown", but future material refers to him as "orange".
    • In the first episode of Sonic Sat AM Sally had pink fur and black hair while NICOLE was a desktop computer.
    • Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog:
      • In early issues Sally was pink furred with black hair instead of brown furred with red hair, and in the miniseries she had red fur and blonde hair.
      • Tails' fur started out as brown or burnt red instead of yellow-orange. The white parts of his fur were also yellow.
      • For the mini-series and a dozen issues of the main comic, Sonic had his westernized design from Sonic Sat AM instead of his SegaSonic one. He would gain his full head of quills in issue 12, but wouldn't go full SegaSonic until the Sonic Adventure adaptation.
      • Bunnie Rabbot's upper torso was originally depicted as orange fur with a pink belly. Patrick "Spaz" Spaziante would be the first to convert the belly area to a full on top.
    • Sonic the Comic:
      • At first, Knuckles had a white crest on his fur like in the games. Future appearances give him a metal ring that he wears around his neck instead.
      • Early on Amy wore her classic outfit from the games. After being retooled as a more Action Girl character she changed clothes. Though she has dozens of clothes, she mainly wears a grey sweatshirt (with a varying amount of designs) with jeans.
      • Sonic originally was drawn in his westernized design with the mohawk-shaped quills and potbelly. After a few arcs this shifted to his Japanese design.
      • Porker Lewis and Johnny Lightfoot underwent Anthropomorphic Shifts early on, going from the normal animals they are in the games to Funny Animal rather quickly.
      • In a plot related change, Dr. Robotnik shifted from his game design to his Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog design a few issues in.
  • Earth All Along:
    • According to the show's series bible, this was the case for Sonic Sat AM, with Mobius being a post-Apocalyptic version of Earth. It explained Robotnik and Snively's presence as them having been in a space colony when the Apocalypse happened, resulting in them being among the few humans still alive. This was backed by an episode featuring a third human in the form of an old wizard who had been in slumber for centuries.
    • In a bizarre case of this trope (it was not the end of the series, but Cliffhanger revelation for the issue), Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog series had Mobius revealed to be Earth far into the future, after an attempt by Cthulhu-like aliens to wipe out humanity for crimes against them.
  • Earth Drift
    • For the longest time, the games were maddeningly inconsistent with this trope. Some games explicitly did take place on Earth, and other games — both earlier and later — were ambiguous as to whether they took place on Earth or not.
      • The classic games never said whether or not they were on Earth. Starting with the two Adventure games, they suddenly were on Earth, and the setting now featured realistic cities and humans other than Eggman. Then in Heroes, they're suddenly back to the fantastic looking world of the classic games, with no mentions of Earth and no other humans or realistic cities in sight. Then back to what is definitely Earth in Shadow, '06 and Unleashed, and then back again to the fantastic world starting with Colors, where the games remained through Sonic Forces.
      • Around the release of Sonic Colors, Sonic Team officially clarified that the human-populated Earth and the anthropomorphic-animal-populated "Sonic's World" are two different worlds, which the plot sometimes moves between. While this solves the apparent inconsistency, it also raises the questions of how and why Sonic and co. move between the two worlds, and why there's never been any acknowledgement of it in-game. Sonic Forces further complicated this by the retcon of Classic Sonic being from another dimension and what this means for the classic games, since previously Classic Sonic was just a time-displaced younger Sonic.

        According to Ian Flynn, this has been canon since Sonic Adventure and was just poorly conveyed. Indeed, Sonic X used this as its very premise back in 2003, but being that it was another adaptation and had no bearing on the games, no one gave it much thought.
    • Sonic mentions Axl Rose in the pilot of Sonic Sat AM. This is a case of Early Installment Weirdness and these are averted for the rest of the show's run. However, if the show hadn't been cancelled, it would have been revealed that Mobius is Earth All Along, thus averting the trope.
    • Inverted with Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog. Originally the series had no ties to Earth but, this was later retconned. Mobius is actually Earth thousands of years in the future. Aliens forced animals to evolve into Funny Animals while most humans "de-evolved" into four-fingered Overlanders.
  • Ears as Hair:
  • Easily Condemned:
    • In Sonic Adventure 2, Sonic is mistaken for Shadow stealing a Chaos Emerald with the military instantly starting an almost lethal chase after him (granted it was Knight Templar group GUN).
  • In Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog, Robotnik succeeded in framing Sonic for treachery more than once. Granted these were often very elaborate acts of deception, but surely Sonic's closest friends at the very least should have known better, especially considering they've frequently seen what Robotnik is capable of themselves (and have even been a fellow victim in at least one case).
  • The short Sonic the Animation including in Sonic Jam features Eggman successfully deceiving the public into thinking he's a vandal, by dressing up in a very bad Sonic costume and causing havoc on rollerskates.
  • An episode of Sonic X has Eggman convince everyone he has turned good and created a man-made form of sunlight after his artificial moon eclipses the sun. When Sonic starts destroying the satellites powering it, the public come in angry mobs to confront Sonic's friends. This turns out to be a subversion however, since Eggman's sunshine globes in fact had brainwashing technology so people worshiped him instead of Sonic. Only Chris, Knuckles and the President's staff genuinely doubted Sonic (though both Chris and the President himself catch themselves on this in the original Japanese edit, while Knuckles makes the defending argument that Sonic didn't help his case by not telling anyone, thinking it should have been obvious).
  • In Sonic Sat Am, Doctor Robotnik conquered Mobius with his machines, and held on to it for 11 years.
  • Dr. Ivo Robotnik from Sonic the Comic. Indeed, he was able to rule the majority of Mobius with an iron fist using his advanced robots and technology, until Sonic was able to arrange for a global EMP blast to short it all out and overthrow him.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep":
    • Sonic the Hedgehog:
      • On a more gradual level, Dr. Ivo "Eggman" Robotnik. What started out as a Dub Name Change (Robotnik in the west, Eggman in Japan) was canonized as an Appropriated Appellation in Sonic Adventure (Robotnik introduces himself as Robotnik, whereupon Sonic mocks him for being "A Giant talking egg!" and all the heroes just call him Eggman). In the years following that, Robotnik has been confirmed as his canon name, but absolutely no one calls him that, not even himself.
      • There's also the G.U.N. Commander in Shadow the Hedgehog, who is only known as the Commander.
      • Sonic Unleashed. Every NPC in the game has a name, except for The Ice Cream Man and Professor Pickle's Assistant.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy:
    • When the games got into more complex plots, Dr. Eggman got into the notable habit of doing this.
      • In Sonic Adventure, Dr. Eggman releases Chaos and feeds it Chaos Emeralds. It obeys him for a while, but eventually turns on him.
  • Dark Gaia was released from his can (which was the planet, no less) within the first few seconds of Sonic Unleashed, only to break apart and be of no use to anyone, at first. Yet when fully restored, Dark Gaia immediately sends Eggman flying when he tries to control it.
  • In Sonic Generations, Eggman averts this, as he takes control of a time-erasing creature by mechanizing it and it never turns on him.
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog/Mega Man: Worlds Collide, while held captive, Dr. Light reminds both Eggman and Wily of the numerous times the two have toyed with forces they thought they could control, only for it to blow up in their faces and result in Sonic and Mega Man having to save them from their own stupidity, stating that their plans to rewrite reality with the Genesis Wave will undoubtedly end the same way:
Dr. Light: Albert... You thought you had complete control of Ra Moon, Gamma, King, The Stardroids, Roboenza, and Bass? You've toyed with things you cannot handle for years, and Mega Man had to save you from yourself. And from what I've heard, you're no different, Doctor Eggman. Chaos, The Ark, Emerl, The Time Eater? If not for Sonic, you wouldn't have a world to conquer.
  • Evil Is Petty:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog
      • In Sonic Shuffle, Eggman doesn't factor into the story: his only role in the game is to provide a hindrance to players in events and mini-games, which can range from stealing a player's rings to abducting losers in some mini-games to shaking up a soda can and sticking it in a pop machine the players will order from.
      • In Sonic Heroes, Metal Sonic's entire scheme of copying the powers and traits of Sonic and his friends to empower himself stems solely from his grudge and desire to defeat Sonic and prove that he is better than him. Although to be fair it is technically all Eggman's fault because he created and programed Metal for the sole purpose to kill Sonic and to believe he is the superior one. So Metal's actions are justified.
      • Sonic Lost World: Zeena of the Deadly Six. She develops a grudge against Sonic after their first meeting results in him messing up her nail polish, which only gets worse after he gives her a Backhanded Apology over it.
      • Sonic Forces: Infinite manages to make the examples above look like the pinnacles of maturity. He helps Dr. Eggman take over the world, murders the Avatar's entire squad, beats Sonic within an inch of his life, and generally does everything in his power to inflict suffering on everyone around him. Why? To soothe his fragile ego. He used to be the leader of a mercenary team and went around boasting about being "the Ultimate Mercenary" until Shadow effortlessly defeated him. His arrogance meant he couldn't accept the idea of others being better than him, so he joined up with Eggman to get access to the Phantom Ruby and become stronger. All the evil things he does are done purely because he's a petty, sadistic bully who hurts people to feel better about himself. By the end of the game even Eggman sees him as utterly pathetic.
    • Sonic the Comic: During his time as the Emperor Scientist of Mobius, Dr. Robotnik was prone to such things as having his Mecha-Mooks attack areas of the planet he already owns just to prove he could.
    • Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog:
      • Robotnik commits petty crimes in his spare time when he's not trying to take over Mobius. For example, one of the ways he uses his new superpowers in "Super Robotnik" is to steal candy from 4,822 babies.
      • Even more damning is Robotnik's Start of Darkness - he tried to kill a guy with a robotic snake because the girl Robotnik was in love with the guy instead! And when he started his conquest of Mobius, he was the first guy he locked up!
    • While it's more subtle, Robotnik's Sonic Sat AM counterpart has blatant shades of this too, he takes much pleasure in the fact his industries are polluting and destroying the planet, and rather actively belittles his minions (usually Snively) or gloats over his roboticized slaves.
    • Sonic Boom: Given the Denser and Wackier tone, most of Dr. Eggman's schemes are pretty small time, simply amounting to just messing with Sonic and his friends or some other outlandish reason. Examples include:
      • In "Buster", he creates a fireman robot at the beginning of the episode to attack the village and has the robot do things like put a baby walrus in a burning house or putting a kitten in a tree.
      • In "My Fair Sticksy", he uses a ballot bot to stuff the ballot box with votes for him so he would win an award. When he doesn't win regardless of his cheating, he decides to have his Bee Bots attack the gala.
      • In "Fortress of Squalitude", he hires and later kidnaps Amy... to force her to redecorate his lair so he'd be on the cover of a magazine that features evil lairs.
      • "Three Minutes or Less" has Eggman realizing that Sonic is working at Meh Burger and comes up with a plan to make Sonic late in hopes of Eggman getting the meal for free.
  • Evil Knockoff:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog:
      • Dr. Eggman has created several robotic duplicates of Sonic, Metal Sonic from Sonic the Hedgehog CD being the most famous. He's never used more than one at the same time, though.
      • On the other hand, Sonic Heroes implied that Metal Sonic had created an entire army of Shadow androids after usurping Eggman. When he took back his position, Eggman uses those Shadow androids in Shadow the Hedgehog for a couple of stages. He also convinced Shadow that he was an android as well, and Shadow, due to his amnesia, even accepted it in two of the endings. However, about seven to eight minutes into the final battle, Eggman admits to the Shadow you control that he had saved him from his death in Sonic Adventure 2 and is the same ultimate lifeform that his grandfather, Professor Gerald Robotnik, created 50 years ago.
      • The boss of Sonic Advance's Angel Island Zone at first appears to be Knuckles, except that his colors are somewhat off... Halfway through the fight, however, his fake skin peels away and he starts firing huge missiles out of his mouth, revealing him to actually be a robotic duplicate called Mecha Knuckles.
      • The infamously creepy Tails Doll in Sonic R is one to Tails. Emphasis on "knockoff" in this one, as the Doll is quite a shoddy creation compared to the Doctor's usual fare, being little more than just a floating generator with a poorly made Tails plushie dangling below it. One of the worst racers in the game with no combat ability, Tails Doll is more "Asian knockoff" than "sophisticated robot copy"
      • In Sonic Forces, it's revealed that the four previous villains working for Dr. Eggman are not the real versions, but rather virtual reality constructs created by the Phantom Ruby. This trope is technically zig-zagged since two of the replicas, Zavok and Metal Sonic, were already evil to begin with. Ironically, those are the only two you actually fight- the clones of Chaos and Shadow are dealt with in cutscenes.
    • In Sonic Sat AM. Robotnik had kidnapped Sally and replaced her with a robot double that was so convincing, it fooled almost everybody. Tails was the only one who realized something was off, and Sonic only began to catch as on as well after Tails had warned him. In the end, Sonic was able to trick Robotnik by switching Sally out with the very same robot.
    • Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog:
      • The various comic versions of Sonic the Hedgehog usually feature Metal Sonic at some point- recently in the Archie comics, a robot duplicate of Scourge, Sonic's Mirror Universe counterpart was also created.
      • The original Robotnik created a series of robots called Auto-Automations, life-like robots that can fool virtually anyone. Tails fell in love with the Fiona Fox version while one of King Acorn allowed Robotnik to frame Sonic for Sally's apparent death and take over Knothole.
    • Sonic the Comic:
      • The comic renamed the Metal Sonic "Metallix" to be more distinctive, and explained his different appearance in Sonic CD versus Sonic and Knuckles as being due to there being a whole army of them, the Brotherhood of Metallix. Naturally, what with A.I. Is a Crapshoot, they ended up going rogue, usurping Robotnik and even attempting to erase him from history, they also created their own Evil Knockoffs of Porker and the Omni-Viewer creating the Porker Metallix and Pirate Omni-Viewer.
      • After the failure of the Sonic Metallix Robotnik created the Metallix Mark 3 which was modelled after Knuckles unlike the Brotherhood of Metallix the Metallix Mark 3 was loyal.
  • Failure Is the Only Option:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog:
      • Doctor Eggman never succeeds at any of his plans in the long run, either due to Sonic getting in the way, or because whatever force he's using spirals out of his control, and whatever little victories he does earn now and then are short term at best. In Sonic Rivals, Eggman Nega, depicted as his future descendant, reveals that Eggman will never succeed, and his failures completely ruin the Robotnik family name.
      • Terminal Velocity Act 2 from Sonic Colors has Sonic trying to outrun a black hole created by the Final Boss. He does manage to last an impressive 30 seconds, though.
    • Invoked from the villain's side in Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog. Mammoth Mogul can't defeat Sonic the Hedgehog? Fine. He'll just quit trying—he's immortal, after all, so he's easily going to outlast that annoying blue blur. And in the meantime he'll amuse himself making life difficult for Sonic in any way available short of outright attack.
    • Sonic Underground revolved around Sonic, Sonia, and Manic attempting to reunite with their mother at the proper time to defeat Robotnik, but the show never had a proper ending so it didn't happen.
  • Family-Friendly Firearms:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog:
      • The franchise has this - when it feels like it. Games like Sonic Heroes will have enemies fight you with bright orange laser guns, whereas Shadow the Hedgehog has you and many of your enemies using regular old bullet-firing murder-devices.
      • Forgotten character Fang the Sniper/Nack the Weasel was originally meant to have a revolver for a weapon, as seen in early screenshots of Sonic Triple Trouble. For his playable appearance in Sonic the Fighters, he was given a cork-shooting popgun.
      • On the whole, though, many of the games have realistic firearms instead of using lasers, even though it would completely make sense (for example, many of Eggman's robots have been equipped with machineguns).
      • Sonic Forces returns to this trope when the heroic Resistance are mainly armed with laser-shooting Wispon weaponry that just so happens to never hit anything on-screen. Amusingly, not only does the Avatar not actually get to use this weapon and instead have a much more strange arsenal of weapons, but Eggman's robots also fire energy shots that.. make stock bullet ping sounds when they hit objects.
    • While guns weren't all that prominent in Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, when they did show up, they would inevitably be lasers—even in episodes involving time travel or references to the wild west. The only realistic firearms in the show appeared in a particular after-show Sonic Says segment, which warns about the dangers of real guns.
    • Several cuts were made in the English dub of Sonic X. For instance, several military troopers holding Sonic and his friends at gunpoint shot real bullets in the Japanese original, but were changed to lasers in the dub, while the weapons themselves still looked explicitly like real firearms. Particularly unfortunate is that some of the scenes which were censored were directly based on the games, such as the policemen shooting Chaos (ineffectively) and Maria being shot by a soldier. And even more unfortunate is that they were inconsistent - Gerald is still executed in the dub, and you still hear the gunshot... but not the command to shoot.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog:
      • Several games take place in a nation called "United Federation", which is America in all but name, complete with their president living in a White House-like building.
      • Sonic Unleashed doesn't even try to hide it. With the exception of Eggmanland, all of the levels are based off of various real-world locales:
      • Apotos = Mykonos, Greece
      • Mazuri = Mali (in Africa)
      • Spagonia = Western Europe (mainly Italy)
      • Holoska = The Arctic
      • Chun-Nan = China
      • Shamar = The Middle East (mainly the United Arab Emirates)
      • Empire City = New York City (mostly taken from Brooklyn and Manhattan)
      • Adabat = Southeast Asia (mainly Thailand and the Philippines)
      • And even Eggmanland could be considered as the bizarro world version of Disneyland/Disney World.
    • Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog's planet Mobius has long had stand-in cultures for Asia and Australia... but this was finally justified by the revelation that Mobius is actually Earth of the far, far future.
  • Fastest Thing Alive:
    • Most instruction booklets and official bios for the games, refer to Sonic as some variantion of "world's fastest hedgehog." Jet also mentions Sonic's reputation for being "the fastest thing alive" in Sonic Riders, and Sonic says so himself in the 3DS version of Sonic Generations. Shadow and Metal Sonic are his only real rivals in terms of speed, both of whom rely on technology rather than natural running speed (hover shoes in the former's case and being entirely mechanical in the latter's) and can only move faster than him in short bursts.
    • The trope name comes from the Bragging Theme Tune for Sonic Sat AM.
    "Soonnnicc! He can really move. Sonnniccc! He's got an attitude. Soonnicc! 'He's the fastest thing alive!"
  • Fear of Thunder:
    • Tails from the games is afraid of lightning. Though the games seem to have removed this character trait, as his element power in Sonic Heroes is Thunder Shoot. It reappears in Sonic Mania Plus when transitioning from Metallic Madness to Titanic Monarch, as the lightning that surrounds the big robot causes Tails to jump if he's present.
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie, Tails is shown freaking out, clinging to Sonic when lightning strikes nearby.
    • Tails in Sonic Boom displays a comical fear of lightning storms, often jumping into Sonic's arms and shaking when one occurs.
  • Fictional Video Game:
    Sonic: Look what I found at the flea market!
    Knuckles: Dude, is that Tomatopotamus 2?
    Tails: That's the best one in the entire series! Tomatopotamus never worked in 3D.
    Knuckles: Game companies always ruin their beloved franchises.
    Sonic: And they never should have changed the color of Tomatopotamus' legs.
  • Flashy Protagonists, Bland Extras:
    • The games star a bunch of Funny Animals while the random NPC characters are all humans. Humans can be both important and unimportant characters, however if an anthropomorphic animal pops up they're always an important character. It wasn't until Sonic Forces that Funny Animals outside of the main characters (excluding the background echidnas in Sonic Adventure) became a thing.
    • Canon Foreigner characters in Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog are usually more humanoid than the Funny Animal SegaSonic characters. Even those that aren't still don't quite look on par with the Sonic Team-designed characters (for example, Furry Female Manes are common with Archie's original but extremely rare in game canon).. this was fixed when the 2013 Continuity Reboot allowed for redesigns of all non-game characters.
    • Sonic the Comic doesn't even try to blend in its cartoony SegaSonic characters with the Canon Foreigner cast. Though the Freedom Fighters such as Tekno and Shortfuse blend in well enough alongside Sonic and Amy, others are much taller and more humanoid than the Sega-created characters.
  • Floating Continent:
    • The games have several such examples of this trope throughout the years:
  • The second half of Windy Hill from Sonic Adventure takes place on bridges and landmasses floating high in the sky.
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie, seemingly all of society lives on floating islands. Heavy cloud cover makes the otherwise perfectly habitable regular ground more or less abandoned (and earns it the name "The Land of Darkness" to boot). The only ones who dwell there are Robotnik, who implicitly doesn't care that it's so gloomy so long as he has the place to himself, and his robots, who obviously don't care that it's so dark. Also, there's no threat of these continents falling to the ground — instead, the threat is that they'll be flung out into space, as the continents all join at massive glaciers that functionally anchor them to the planet's surface. If it were to be destroyed, the combination of the planet's rotation and their own anti-gravity would cause them to hurtle out of orbit, being torn apart in the process.
  • Foe Romance Subtext:
    • The games have Knuckles and Rouge, particularly in Sonic Adventure 2. The two spend the better part of the game at each other's throats, mainly because they both want to restore the Master Emerald after it as broken earlier, albeit for different reasons, noble and selfish respectively. However, in their final confrontation when Rouge was in trouble, Knuckles saved her and the two gazed in each other's eyes while holding hands for a good few seconds before Rouge pulled away in disgust. Knuckles calls her out on her ungrateful attitude, but then Rouge teases that he just wanted to hold her hand. Rouge decides to just give up her pieces and leaves it at that, Knuckles apologizes if he hurt her in their previous fight and Rouge gives a small smile in his direction before departing.
    • In one episode of Sonic X, during a fighting tournament, Rouge fights Tails and beats him... by kissing him. A few episodes earlier, she essentially flirts with Knuckles. The latter relationship is canon.
  • Forgot About His Powers:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog:
      • The chronic and widespread amnesia over the Iron Queen's Magitek is one of the main causes of The Iron Dominion Saga; the Freedom Fighters are constantly clueless to the fact that their enemy can control machines with her mind, and wind up being shocked each time one of their cyborg or mechanical allies gets turned against them by her. They also keep forgetting that they have a counteragent to her spell right in their own backyard. And in case you're wondering, there's actually a time in the saga where the Iron Queen herself forgets that she has this power, and has to be reminded that the Freedom Fighters are holed up in a Grey Goo city that she can manipulate... after she successfully infiltrated and messed it up with her powers.
      • Tails had an uncle who was skilled enough in magic to, among other things, teleport and activate his Super Mode. Unless there's an unexplained limitation on that second spell, Dr. Eggman really shouldn't have been a threat for so long.
  • For the Evulz:
  • Four-Fingered Hands:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog:
      • While most characters in the games have five fingers per hand, the character Fang the Sniper (A.K.A. Nack the Weasel) has only four fingers per hand. Seemingly a reference to the fact that jerboas have four toes, as he's a wolf/jerboa hybrid (despite what his Western name claims).
      • The animal characters in the games have no toes at all. The rare time they're seen without their shoes, they just have oval-ish lumps with no features on them whatsoever. However, if All-Stars Racing Transformed is anything to go by, driving through electricity or being hit with an electric All-Star move shows that the Sonic characters have toe bones.
    • Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog series have both the four-fingered and five-fingered hands. The SEGA-based heroes and the normal humans have five fingers while those from the Saturday morning Sonic Sat AM series or Original Generation characters have four fingers. The humans with four fingers were given the name "Overlanders", while five-fingered humans are still referred to as "humans". This was lampshaded in the original miniseries where a fish robot attacks a drawing of Sonic on a rock, then mumbles about how he should have realized it was fake because it had four fingers.
    • In Sonic Underground, Sonic and his siblings are drawn with five fingers, but Robotnik has only four. This is a result of the show using the game design for Sonic (unlike previous cartoons, which used more simplified designs), and basing Manic and Sonia on it. Robotnik, instead, uses his SatAM design, which had four fingers like all characters in that show.
  • Free-Range Children:
    • Most of the game characters are minors (Tails is 8, Amy is 12, Sonic is 15, etc.), and very few of them have legal guardians. Cream (6) lives with her mother Vanilla, Charmy and Espio have Vector, and Blaze is a princess and is stated to have a living family, though they are unseen. In some cases, an explanation is given; Tails is an orphan and was the only inhabitant of a very small island before meeting Sonic, and Knuckles is the last of his species. The rest are unexplained.
    • In Sonic X, Cream the Rabbit is allowed by her mother to accompany her friends on quests to save the universe, despite being only 6. She has Cheese with her, but still... Sonic and the others aren't much better, being all under 17 and Tails being as young as 8, but it's unknown where their parents even are.
  • Freeze Ray:
  • Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog episode "Baby-Sitter Jitters" features Robotnik's "Reversible Melt-O/Freeze-O Ray", pairing this trope with its inverse. However, the two modes aren't used in tandem to any significant effect: early on, Robotnik is hit by the "Freeze-O" mode and trapped in a block of ice, while in the climax the "Melt-O" mode makes a hole in a thick metal door that's trapping Sonic and Tails.
  • Funny Animal Anatomy:
    • The games have some very prominent examples. While characters like Tails and Rouge the Bat can at least be identified as to which species they are, most other characters look nothing like their species. You probably wouldn't guess Sonic was a hedgehog unless you'd been told so.
    • The Mobian aquatic creatures, particularly the fish, in Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog have legs and humanoid bodies, to make them more anthropomorphic.
  • Furry Female Mane:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog:
      • Most of the females avert this. For example, Amy (a hedgehog) styles her quills into a bob while Rouge (a bat) doesn't even have fluff on her head.
      • Blaze the Cat has purple hair in a ponytail.
      • Cream's mother Vanilla is distinguished from her by having a bit of hair.
      • Honey the Cat of Sonic the Fighters is just Honey from Fighting Vipers but as a Funny Animal cat. She stands out against the canon Sonic characters by having yellow fur against a black mop of hair.
    • Played straight and averted in Sonic Sat AM, Sally and Lupe have a mane of hair, while Bunnie only has a tuft of fur on her forehead. Most male characters have just fur, though Antoine has a blond cut and some elderly characters such as Uncle Chuck and King Acorn have mustaches.
    • Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog plays this straight with many of its Canon Foreigner female characters (and often males too). In comparison, SegaSonic canon characters tend to avert this. Bunnie is one example where she originally averted this trope and had a Tuft of Head Fur but was later given long hair.
    • Sonic the Comic averts this with much of the cast, but it also plays this trope straight:
      • Morain is a fox kit like Tails but has longer bangs and a ponytail.
      • Tekno combines this with Non-Mammalian Hair. She is a canary with short hair.
  • Furry Reminder:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog:
      • Sonic can only walk across the bottom of any body of water in most of the games because hedgehogs are supposedly not good swimmers. (Though in reality, they don't seem to be worse off than most other land mammals.) Also, Sonic, along with some of his friends, curls up into a ball, which is what hedgehogs do in real life for defense (although they do not roll in balls or jump onto their enemies while curled up).
      • Knuckles the Echidna can dig, which is what echidnas can do. However, the hedgehogs, foxes, and rabbits, which are also burrowing animals, cannot dig.
      • The first time Rouge the Bat meets Shadow and Eggman in Sonic Adventure 2, she is seen hanging upside down from the ceiling, not unlike an actual bat.
      • The characters sometimes move their ears like actual animals. For example, at the start of Adventure 2 (but not the Gamecube port) Sonic's ear twitches when he hears Shadow.
      • In Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games, while most of the Sonic the Hedgehog characters have human-like swimming styles (even Tails' doggy paddle is a Continuity Nod to the Genesis games), Vector the Crocodile has a unique swimming style, which is functionally identical to the way real crocodiles swim.
    • Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog:
      • Big the Cat chased a ball of yarn.
      • It's been shown that echidnas hatch from eggs.
    • In one episode of Sonic X, it is mentioned that bats like Rouge have sonar that can sense things in the dark.
    • When Rouge video-chats in Team Sonic Racing Overdrive, her bat fangs are prominent. They're gone in the next shot. Rouge has bat fangs in the games as well, but they've been toned down since Sonic Adventure 2.
    • Sticks offends a walrus in Sonic Boom by telling her she has enough blubber for the winter.
  • Fusion Dance:
    • This is how each of the power-ups work in Sonic Colors — Sonic merges with the Wisp to gain its powers. They reappeared in Sonic Lost World, filling the same purpose as they did in Colors. However, in Sonic Forces, they are instead being fused with a gadget called a Wispon.
    • In Sonic Universe's "30 Years Later" storyline, we find that Tikal and Chaos have fused into one Composite, Tikhaos. It seems to have some semblance of Tikal's personality, but Chaos' hunger for chaos energy.

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