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  • The Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM) version of Doctor Robotnik, ...his "pretend to be good when it's practical" moments are a bit longer and more pronounced. However, he's inclined to boast about his evilness as though it was something to be proud of, especially when in the company of those he believes are evil and cruel.
    Robotnik: I want the location of Lazar's lair. Name your prize.
    Lazar's guardian: You intend harm to my master.
    Robotnik: Oh, you wound me dear guardian! I merely want to wake the grand wizard and honour his evilness! We have much in common.
    Lazar's guardian: ...yes. I can see that.
  • In the very first issue of Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics), there is a sign on Robotnik's desk which reads "Dr. Robotnik: Supreme Dictator, Industrial Polluter, Megalomaniac, Corrupt Politician, Underhanded Reprobate, Rain Forest Ravager, Puppy Kicker, Oil Spill Coordinator, Holiday Hater, Insurance Salesman. Rights violated while U wait!"
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog (2020), Dr. Robotnik calls his drones "Badniks", acknowledges his truck as an "Evil Lair", has his lab labeled as "Evil Lab" on his circuit breaker, and dances to "Where Evil Grows" by the Poppy Family while studying Sonic's quill. Can't get any less subtle than that!
  • 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 
  • Cartoony Tail:
    • Miles "Tails" Power from the games has two tails that enable him to fly like a helicopter when he spins them. There's no indication of how this is anatomically possible.
    • Tails from The Stinger of Sonic the Hedgehog (2020), much like his game counterpart, he has two tails that he can spin like a helicopter's rotor blades to fly through the air.
  • Cassandra Truth:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics):
      • Extremely minor character Harvey Who was portrayed as this. A member of the Royal Secret Service, he warned King Max Acorn over not trusting certain characters, including the original Robotnik. However, Max ignored those warnings as he had trusted the mystical Source of All for his guidance. Years later, when Max's son Elias had lost the throne, Harvey decided to help him as he realized he was in a better position to be king than his father ever was because he never used the Source.
      • Another example is with Sonic himself. Even after hearing that Eggman was planning to use a Wave-Motion Gun that would destroy both the Freedom Fighters' camp and half of the Eggdome in an effort to get rid of him, Sonic brushed off Shadow and Rouge's assertions that Eggman was going crazy until he witnessed Eggman's Villainous Breakdown firsthand.
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog (2020), before Sonic hides out in Tom’s garage, Crazy Carl’s the only one who believes in Sonic’s existence.
  • Casual Danger Dialog:
    • Knuckles and Rouge play this out in an episode of Sonic X. The building they are in is collapsing around them, bombs they set up are about to explode, and all they can do is argue with each other.
    • This is all over the place in Sonic Boom. For example, in the opening of "Buster", Sonic is snarking at Eggman's expense while dodging jets of flame.
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog (2020), Sonic insists on continuing the argument over Tom leaving Green Hills while under attack from one of Robotnik's drones.
  • 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 the Hedgehog (SatAM):
    • 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!"
  • Central Theme:
    • The Games:
      • Sonic the Hedgehog CD - Technology is not inherently evil as long as mankind does not misuse it. The Bad Future shows us a portrait of a world overrun completely by technology but Good Futures illustrate technology and nature co-existing in harmony, making for a better Little Planet.
      • Sonic Adventure 2:
        • Poor Communication Kills. For example, Sonic is mistaken for Shadow and wrongly arrested. Shadow misunderstands Maria's final request and nearly destroys humanity instead of protecting it as she wanted him to.
        • Are people innately good, or innately evil?
      • Sonic Heroes - The supah awesome power of TEAMWORK!
      • Sonic and the Black Knight - Who Wants to Live Forever?
      • Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) - Do The Needs of the Many really outweigh the the needs of the few? Since Elise is used as a living seal for Iblis the world is safe from destruction, but she obviously suffers from it and has to force herself not to cry so as to not release the god through her tears. After being confronted about it by Amy, Silver wonders whether or not it's right to kill Sonic to save the future and later on in the story Silver is reluctant to seal Iblis inside of Blaze thus sending her into another dimension and out of his life even though doing so will keep the world safe. At the end of the game, when Elise has to blow out the Iblis Flame to stop it from ever existing, she is hesitant to do so since that will erase the meeting between her and Sonic. She even cries, "I don't care what happens to the world!" She has to choose between keeping the first friend she ever made and everyone else.
      • Sonic Generations - Take the best of the past and look forward to the future.
      • Sonic Rush - You can't always do things by yourself. Blaze's reluctance to accept Sonic's help causes her to force him into fighting her, after which she finally welcomes his help.
      • Sonic Lost World - Don't rush into things without thinking through first.
      • Sonic Forces - Teamwork and friendship, as well as facing fears.
    • Sonic X - While there is no real overarching theme, in the first season one message conveyed seems to be that friendship can last forever, even if two friends are apart.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (2020) - The importance of having others in your life. Sonic used to live on the outside looking in, seemingly happy but really wishing he could interact with the citizens of Green Hills and he's been carrying that baggage for ten years by the time of the movie, which has started to get to him. Robotnik, on the other hand, has a resume worthy of respect yet deliberately pushes people away with his standoffish behaviour and complete preference of technology over organic life, on the basis of it being more efficient and always doing exactly what it's told. The end result is Sonic is now free to live the life he always wanted, surrounded by people who care about him, while Robotnik has been banished to a planet where he can be by himself but loses his grip on reality.
  • Cerebus Retcon:
    • The Games:
      • 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 Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics). 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:
  • Chainsaw Good:
  • Challenge Seeker:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog from the games, part of the reason he fights Dr. Eggman is that he's always seeking thrills and challenges.
    • Deconstructed in the Sonic Boom episode "Aim Low"; Eggman falls into a depression after losing to Sonic and friends too many times, and Sonic starts interfering with his friends' hobbies because he has nothing to do with all the free time he's built up.
    • Tom Wachowski from Sonic the Hedgehog (2020). The reason he wants to move out of Green Hills and into San Francisco is because the small town life bores him. There's no challenge for Tom in helping people recover bagels stolen by ducks and sitting at a speed trap.
  • Characterization Marches On:
    • The Games:
      • 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 characterization from their first appearances:
        • Amy Rose in Sonic CD is a rather generic Damsel in Distress incapable of fighting for herself, and the only hint that she is a Stalker with a Crush is when Sonic finally saves her from Metal Sonic and she gives him a huge hug while he looks kind of uncomfortable.
        • Knuckles in Sonic 3 & Knuckles is seen laughing incessantly every time he sets off a trap on Sonic. This aspect of his personality was completely dropped later on, with most of the games portraying him as borderline having No Sense of Humor. His theme song in Sonic Adventure even outright says "Unlike Sonic, I don't chuckle".
      • Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric portrays Sticks the Badger as a somewhat naive and childish character who uses You No Take Candle-style dialogue, a far cry from her later appearances in the rest of the ''Sonic Boom'' sub-franchise where’ she’s a pint-sized Conspiracy Theorist who speaks in proper English.
    • A few characters underwent changes throughout Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM):
      • 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.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics):
    • The earlier far wackier points of 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.
    • Snively was initially very loyal to Robotnik and wouldn't become The Starscream until The Death Egg Saga.
  • Sonic the Comic:
    • Amy 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.
    • Robotnik was prone to horrible egg puns in early issues, which became downplayed as he shifted into the dictator figure.
  • 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.
  • Cheerful Child:
    • The Games:
      • Cream the Rabbit. She's a very cheerful, kind-hearted, and optimistic 6 year old rabbit girl who enjoys playing outside, gathering flowers, and playing with her cute sidekick, Cheese the Chao.
  • JoJo doesn't seem all that bothered by Sonic's appearance, especially compared to her mother. On top of that, she also gives Sonic his new shoes after seeing that the ones he has are worn out, all so that Sonic wouldn't hurt his feet anymore.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang:
    • Sonic Adventure 2:
      • The Mystic Melodies seem useless after doing the lost Chao missions, but some Hard Level missions require them for advancement.
      • Also required in one case to get another upgrade. In fact, Security Hall almost seems like an aversion of the "You need the Mystic Melody to get the Lost Chao" rule until you remember that you needed the Mystic Melody to get the Treasure Scope, found in that very level, which was necessary to get the Lost Chao.
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics), Dr. Eggman uses the blue Chaos Emerald to initiate a Cosmic Retcon, turning Mobius into its video game counterpart. Sonic fixes this a few issues later, going Super and shunting things back to normal, but the Chaos Emerald disappeared. Two years later, and it's shunted into the Mega Man universe, setting the stage for the two franchises' crossover.
    • The second episode of Sonic Boom has Eggman's kazoo, which he uses during the board game. Later, while Eggman's mech attacks the lair, Eggman uses said kazoo to wake up Sonic and Tails to activate the two killswitches at the same time.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The Games:
      • Sonic Adventure:
        • Immediately after the first level (Emerald Coast), Tails explains to Sonic that his new Tornado II prototype is powered by a Chaos Emerald, which he later uses to power the finished Tornado II. Near the end of Sonic's story, the monster Chaos gets six of the seven emeralds. Where was the seventh? Still inside the Tornado II.
        • In Tails's campaign, when shown a vision of the past, Tikal recites a poem to Tails that her grandmother taught her. In the Super Sonic campaign, Tikal realizes that the poem alludes to the Master Emerald controlling the power of the Chaos Emeralds, and uses the Master Emerald's power to seal Chaos within it to prevent the destruction of the world.
      • In Sonic Adventure 2, before the first Knuckles/Rouge stage, while the two are arguing, Knuckles tells Rouge that the Master Emerald has the power to neutralize the Chaos Emeralds. During the Last Story, Rouge reminds Knuckles of that very fact, so Knuckles heads to the core of the Eclipse Cannon to use the Master Emerald to stop the Chaos Emeralds from making the Space Colony ARK do a Colony Drop.
    • In the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog episode, "Sonic Breakout", Tails gets a free poster of Sonic in the latest issue of the Crack Ups comic book, which leads to a minor complaint by the hedgehog himself since he's shorter on the poster. It comes up later when he sticks it on Grounder's back due to a security system specifically programmed to shoot at anything "hedgehog blue".
    • In a Season 1 episode of Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM), the Freedom Fighters discover a species of "metal-eating" plants that instantly corrode metal into dust upon contact. The plants' harmless seeds are harvested before the episode is over; they aren't ever brought up again directly, but come the final episode of the series, we discover that Rotor's been developing metal-eating water balloon-like thrown projectiles, implied to be the result of studying the plants.
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics), Dr. Eggman and Snivley steal the Blue Chaos Emerald and use it for Operation Clean Sweep. However, Sonic uses Chaos Control and fixes the damage, causing the Chaos Emerald to disappear. Two years later, it reappears... in the possession of Dr. Wily.
    • In one scene in Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie, Dr Eggman lets off a missile in the shape of a tortoise; it moves so slowly that it is of very little use to him in the fight. At the end of the film, after Eggman's clone of Sonic is destroyed, he announces that he still has Sonic's DNA and he can make another clone; at this point the tortoise re-enters shot and explodes, destroying the data disk.
  • Chekhov's Skill:
    • In Sonic Adventure 2, Sonic becomes able to use Chaos Control with a fake Chaos Emerald to escape from one of Eggman's death traps, having previously seen it once when Shadow used it during their first meeting.
    • Mega Man's Sonic Shot in Sonic the Hedgehog/Mega Man: Worlds Collide is instrumental in restoring Sonic's roboticized friends to normal, as well as destroying Eggman and Wily's super-powered mecha when using Super Sonic as a projectile.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (2020):
      • Sonic finds that under the right emotional stress he can generate extreme amounts of electrical power, he blows his cover with a massive EMP that alerts the military. He further catches on in a highway chase against Robotnik's drones. He masters the spinball power against Robotnik in the climax, ricocheting hundreds of times off his vehicle before shattering it completely.
      • Subverted with Maddie; she is a veterinarian and when Sonic is injured Tom expects her to figure out his biology to help him. She points out it doesn't work that way, considering she has been trained to handle regular animals and he is an anthropomorphic alien, but she uses traditional human first aid to get Sonic back on his feet.
  • Chewing the Scenery:
    • The Games:
      • 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.
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog (2020), Robotnik does this in just the first few minutes of his introduction, interrupting one of the generals with a loud, demanding voice. He doesn't slow down from there.
  • Christmas Episode:
    • Sonic Adventure received a free DLC on the Dreamcast that added snow and a Christmas tree to Station Square.
  • Chromatic Arrangement:
    • The Games:
      • 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 Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics), 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.
  • Clear My Name:
    • Sonic is captured in Sonic Adventure 2 because everyone mistakes Shadow for him. You'd think people would have noticed the fact they're completely different colors. Then again, how many anthropomorphic hedgehogs with super-speed do you see running around?
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics), Sonic had this happen to him twice in the span of a year!
      • The first incident was the "Mecha Madness" epilogue: Sonic's arrested for becoming Mecha Sonic, disobeying a royal order from Sally. After outwitting an overzealous Antoine into realizing that the one who got him that way, Nack the Weasel, was missing and evidence was pointing towards him, Sally ordered Sonic to bring Nack back by sunrise or be exiled. Needless to say, Sonic did it.
      • The big one, however, was "EndGame". Sonic's framed from the supposed death of Princess Sally, in a manner befitting of The Fugitive, Sonic breaks free and is able to prove his innocence through Dulcy the Dragon. In short order, the true suspect is captured, Robotnik is utterly defeated and Sonic's reunited happily with Sally.
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog (2020), after escaping with Sonic following their initial confrontation with Dr. Robotnik, Tom gets framed by the scientist for causing the EMP blackout, resulting in him being branded as a terrorist forcing him to go on the lam with Sonic.
  • 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 Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics), 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.
  • 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.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics):
    • 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:
    • The Games:
      • 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:
  • Comically Missing the Point:
  • 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.
  • Complete Immortality:
    • Iblis from Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) literally cannot be killed, as he instantly regenerates from any wounds he suffers. The only way to completely destroy him is to make it so he never even existed.
  • Composite Character:
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie, Knuckles the Echidna was made a treasure hunter just like Fang the Sniper, and given a hat similar to his.
    • In the post-reboot version of Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics), Breezie the Hedgehog, a minor character from Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog was given aspects of pre-reboot characters Mammoth Mogul (A Man Of Wealth And Taste who owns a casino and hires Eggman's old robots) and Scourge the Hedgehog (an evil, green-toned hedgehog with a grudge against Sonic).
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (2020):
      • Sonic the Hedgehog has shades of this in both design and personality:
        • Following the redesign, Sonic's design has struck a balance between his Classic, Modern, and Boom designs. He has the height, larger torso, and attire from the Classic design in addition of being a little bit younger, the green eyes, darker blue fur colour, and quill length of the Modern design, and the blue arms, scruffy/bushy quills, and visible neck and shoulders from his Boom design. He also maintains his general expressiveness from all three designs. Additionally, his trainers appear to be a hybrid of both his iconic Power Sneakers and the Soap Shoes from Sonic Adventure 2.
        • Personality-wise, he's mainly his Modern self: being cocky, cool, and not being one to take most things seriously, but simultaneously knowing when to step up once things truly get dangerous. However, he also likes to horse around and be silly; much like his Boom and Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog incarnations.
        • In regards to his abilities, along with his speed he also has electrical powers which are tied to his emotions, specifically his anger. The only character in the Sonic mythos who has elemental powers that are fueled by emotions is Blaze the Cat.
      • The film’s version of the Rings are a composite of the Rings that players collect in the games, and the Giant Rings in the games that act as transport to the Special Zones. This has the effect of making the rings identical in appearance and function to the Warp Rings created by Doctor Finitevus in Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics).
      • Longclaw being an owl who is initially the only character on Sonic’s world to be aware of Sonic’s existence, makes her a rough analogue of Sophocles an owl from Stay Sonic who was mentioned as the first one to discover Sonic. But her acting as Sonic’s mentor and Parental Substitute and being the one to give him the Power Rings is taken from Uncle Chuck from Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM). She is also a mother figure to Sonic that has to abandon him at a young age from a greater threat much like Queen Aleena from Sonic Underground.
      • Dr. Robotnik:
        • Played With. Robotnik being a goverment scientist is shared with his grandfather from the games, Gerald Robotnik. His disdain for organic life and instead trusting on machines, while is implied with Eggman in the games, is more in line with Lyric from Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric.
        • His final design, based on a flight red suit is in line with Eggman's design in Sonic Boom, with a certain dash of his infamous 2006 design. Both of these designs are known for not having the good ol' doctor as a comical Fat Bastard, but instead looking fit or average in shape, perfect for a live action movie.
        • His personality is very silly and over the top like in most games and cartoons. But when he is being threatening to Agent Stone he comes off more like Dr. Robotnik from Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM).
      • Dr. Robotnik's Eggpod has a lot of elements from vehicles of past Sonic games.
        • The wings bear a resemblance to the wings of the Egg Hawk from Sonic Heroes.
        • The way it fires missiles is from the Egg Hornet from Sonic Adventure.
        • It’s a government-funded vehicle that goes through San Francisco and destroys everything in its path to capture or otherwise eliminate a fugitive Sonic; reminiscent of the GUN Military Truck in Sonic Adventure 2 that does the same thing, while inflicting a similar amount of destruction to a San Francisco-like city.
        • It's also very reminiscent in design and proportion to the redesigned Eggmobile from Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), but with a covered canopy and a while color scheme instead of silver.
  • Confused Question Mark:
    • The Games:
      • In Sonic the Fighters, right after Dr. Eggman zaps your character with a cloning ray (which produces a grayscale doppelganger).
      • In Sonic Adventure, the Chao sometimes turn the floating balls atop their heads into question-marks.
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM), despite the generally serious tone, one of these appears for a split-second, maybe a frame, over Dr. Robotnik's head when he falls into a pit trap set by Antoine.
  • Conjoined Eyes:
  • Subverted in Sonic the Hedgehog (2020). Sonic's eyes are separate, instead of having his eyes close enough to touch. Despite not looking like it at first glance: there's a tiny white patch of fur between his eyes to give the impression of the aforementioned closeness.
  • 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.
  • Control Freak:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics):
      • Sally Acorn had shades of this in the earlier more comical issues, usually butting heads with the reckless and free-spirited Sonic as a result. This was diluted as the stories matured, the rare occasions she delves back in this trope are more Played for Drama.
      • This trope is the entire reason Dr. Eggman comes into conflict with Sonic and the Freedom Fighters during the Shattered World Crisis. In a nutshell, he wants to be the one in charge of when and how the world is put back together.
    • Dr. Robotnik in Sonic the Hedgehog (2020). This is why he prefers machines to other humans: they can only do exactly what he wants them to do, and do so without hesitation or doubt.
  • Conveyor Belt o' Doom:
    • The Games:
      • 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:
    • The Games:
      • 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.
  • Cool vs. Awesome:
  • Costume Evolution:
    • In the games, Dr. Eggman was first introduced wearing a simple red long-sleeved shirt with black pants/boots and a yellow cape. Come Sonic Adventure, Eggman's outfit is updated to a red zippered coat, black pants with zippered boots, and replacing the cape with a pair of goggles on his head.
    • In Sonic the Comic, Amy Rose starts out with a green plaid skirt and a white t-shirt (with its design changing every issue). After she becomes more action-oriented, she changes to blue jeans and a grey sweatshirt (with designs which also almost never stay the same). In the final arc, which is based on Sonic Adventure, Amy stops wearing her quills up and puts them into a bob.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (2020):
      • The film provides an interesting example with Sonic's shoes: when he's forced to flee his homeworld as a child, he wears a pair of brown boots; later replaced with a series of beat-up running shoes as a teenager hiding out in Green Hills, finally acquiring his friction-proof red running shoes before the finale of the film.
      • Robotnik first appears wearing an all-black ensemble before switching his wardrobe in the film's climax to a red flight suit with a pair of goggles. When he ends up stranded on the mushroom planet, his flight suit becomes tattered, and his mustache becomes wild and frizzy. He also completely shaves his hair with a sharp piece of his destroyed hoverjet, establishing his Bald of Evil.
  • Covers Always Lie:
    • The Games:
      • Sonic the Hedgehog 2 for the Master System and Game Gear has each act introduction showing what hijinks Sonic and Tails will get into...except that Tails isn't a playable character at all and the whole game is about saving him from Eggman.
      • One of the LeapFrog games based on the series features Sonic Adventure's Sonic on the cover. The actual game is based on Sonic the Hedgehog 2.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics) is absolutely awful about this. Just about every cover for the past decade has depicted some scene of coolness and bravado that doesn't happen in the issue at all. Many of the comic covers would also sometimes feature a rather lighthearted or wacky cover, only for the content within to differ dramatically in both genre and artstyle.
      • Issue #175 showed Eggman holding Sonic in chains, even though Sonic is actually one of the few to escape the destruction of Knothole and imprisonment in the egg grapes.
      • Issue #225 features the entire Freedom Fighter group, even though only Sonic and Sally have anything more than a cameo within the issue. Most egregious is Rotor, who is given a prominent position on the cover despite not appearing in the issue at all.
      • Issue #238 depicted Sonic fighting Mecha Sally, Tails whipping Drago, and Amy about to cave Eggman's face in with her hammer. In actuality, Tails is the one who fights Sally (briefly), Drago is beaten into submission by some wolves, and Eggman doesn't even enter the battlefield.
      • Amy is featured solo on Issue #240's cover, yet she only appears on the first page. Wouldn't it have made more sense to feature Rotor and Silver instead, since they actually have major roles here?
      • All three of the Freedom Fighter teams are crammed together for a group shot on Issue #241's cover, implying some kind of massive team-up. Too bad - the issue is actually about Naugus and Geoffrey arguing over politics and morality, while Sonic and Rotor's teams make pointless cameos. (Silver's team doesn't appear at all. Go figure.)
      • The main cover Sonic Universe Issue #56 features Amy Rose, Blaze The Cat, Marine The Raccoon, Cream The Rabbit and Cheese is a boiling hot cauldron being cooked for Captain Metal's pleasure but in the comic it self that does not happen.
      • The main cover of Sonic Universe Issue #57 features Amy Rose, Blaze The Cat, Marine The Raccoon, Cream The Rabbit, Cheese, Bean and Bark fighting over the Red Soul Emerald underwater while a giant squid attacks them. The giant squid attacks the characters towards the end of the issue but the fighting underwater part does not happen inside The Comic Book itself at all.
    • Sonic the Comic:
      • One cover prominently featured Sonic's long-lost brother Tonic standing alongside Amy Rose. In the comic, Amy and Tonic barely interact, and "Tonic" is exposed as Metamorphia (again) within a few pages.
      • Another cover shows Knuckles and Shortfuse charging into battle with each other. The actual "fight" consists of two blows and the misunderstanding that led to it is quickly cleared up. (As this was a one-shot, there wasn't much time for anything else.)
      • Both the cover and teaser to Issue #178 proclaim "KNUCKLES VS. CHAOS!!!" With Knuckles and Chaos squaring off. In the actual issue Knuckles jumps to fight Chaos but is instantly crippled by Chaos's fear ability and is left like that for the rest of the issue.
  • Cowardly Sidekick:
  • Crazy-Prepared:
    • At the beginning of Sonic Chronicles, Eggman was so prepared for the epic battle that he even anticipated his own defeat. According to what he says, this was the only reason he survived.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (2020):
      • When Tom's letter from the SFPD arrives, Maddie actually got two celebration cakes ready in case he was accepted or rejected by the letter.
      • Robotnik had the foresight to design an armed robotic vehicle to deploy a smaller one from its underside in the event it gets tipped on its side, and the smaller vehicle can in turn continue functioning so long as it has even one wheel left. And even if it loses that, its eye can take flight and has some manner of cutting laser. If it stops working in that form, it becomes a Sticky Bomb. If one looks closer at the designs for the larger segments of the creations, you can see even more eventualities being planned for, such as having literal eyes in the back of its 'head'.
  • Create Your Own Villain:
  • 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.
  • Creative Closing Credits:
    • The Games:
      • Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood has the game's characters giving the credits in dialogue. Yes, seriously. Omega eventually joins them. Playing as Sonic, you can eventually tell Tails to shut up. This brings you back to the title screen.
      • Sonic Colors has a credits sequence in which you can run on, jump into, homing attack, boost, and use Wisp powers on. While the Sixteen-Minute-long credits sequence plays the game's theme, Reach For The Stars, the ending theme, Speak With Your Heart, and some orchestrated stuff.
    • The start of the closing credits for Sonic the Hedgehog (2020) show a sprite-based animation of the events of the movie, complete with a Sonic the Hedgehog sprite with custom animations.
  • The Cutie:
    • Cream the Rabbit from the games. She's one of the sweetest, kindest, most innocent characters in the whole series.
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM), Tails is really sweet, but can put up a fight when called for, especially when harm is given to Sonic and Sally.
  • 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.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics):
      • 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.
    • Zigzagged throughout Sonic the Hedgehog (2020). Dr. Robotnik’s brilliant inventions could earn him a lot of honest money, but he does work for the American government, meaning he has an "honest" job- even though it's mentioned he helped in coups against nations in the Middle East. And then, after obtaining one of Sonic's quills, he uses it for his own purposes of building more robots, instead of researching it as a new energy source.
  • Cut Short:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM) ended on a cliffhanger in which Dr. Robotnik appeared to have died but his increasingly dissatisfied henchman Snively has plans to usurp his place as the series' primary antagonist, revealing a threatening new foe, shown out of the darkness with menacing red eyes. Whoever this new character was, viewers never found out, as the series was abruptly cancelled. Writer Ben Hurst revealed his plans for a third season where the mysterious red eyes belonged to Naugus, an Evil Sorcerer who Robotnik betrayed years prior.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics):
      • Several storylines were hit with this bad due to former writer Ken Penders suing Archie and Sega to regain custody of the characters he created and won. However, he was willing to let them use them again under two stipulations that both companies balked at - that the storyline "Mobius: 25 Years Later" became the comic's future canonnote  and that everything involving his characters had to be vetted by himnote . During the height of the mess, Archie opted to reboot the universe during Sonic the Hedgehog/Mega Man: Worlds Collide, thus not only making the comic universe video game-friendly, but also forcing a lot of stories to be stopped abruptly - the King Naugus storyline ends with Naugus having a major freakout and running away when he's hit with visions of the old universe, Antoine no longer comatose, Bunnie back to being a cyborg and Sally no longer roboticized.
      • And in 2017 the comic was abruptly put on indefinite hiatus, subscribers refunded, and the Mega Drive miniseries and a few plot threads from the main series left hanging. In July 2017, it was confirmed to be cancelled, meaning there will likely never be any resolution to the aforementioned miniseries and plot threads.
    • Sonic Underground ended after only one season, way before Sonic and his siblings could even come close to dethroning Robotnik and finding their mother. Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics) intended to rectify this, but the project ended up cancelled.
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    D 
  • Dark and Troubled Past:
  • Darker and Edgier:
    • The Games:
      • 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 the Hedgehog (SatAM) 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 the Hedgehog (SatAM) 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.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics):
    • 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 the Hedgehog (SatAM). 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:
    • The Games:
      • 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.
  • Sonic is incredibly snarky in Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics). During one battle with the near omnipotent Enerjak, Sonic makes several puns on the name. When Enerjak immobilizes him with chaos energy and asks if he's quite finished with the witty remarks, Sonic makes seven or eight more cracks in rapid succession, before Enerjak hurls him through a wall.
  • As hammy and crazed as he is, Robotnik also has a penchant for snarky one-liners:
Robotnik: I'm initiating a sweep sequence! (Inputs commands on his glove to activate his flying drones) Ten miles in every direction should suffice. Is he [Bennington] still looking at me funny?
Stone: Yes, he is.
Robotnik: (nonchalantly) Tell him to stop, or I'll pull up his search history.
  • Death Course:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog has the Labyrinth Zone boss in particular, which has spikes and fireball traps, and rising water.
    • A very short over-land one shows up in Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie, consisting mainly of about a half-dozen spike traps and an ambush by a swarm of Buzzbombers.
  • Deflector Shields:
    • In Sonic 3 & Knuckles, the three shields used by the heroes are able to deflect various types of small projectiles. Made even cooler when the Fire shield makes most fire-based attacks pass right through, the Lightning shield doubles as a ring magnet, and the Water shield lets you breathe underwater indefinitely...until the time limit runs out, of course. These three shields returned in Sonic Generations.
    • Sonic X has Perfect Chaos create a spherical shield of water around itself when Eggman attacks in the Egg Carrier II that effortlessly stops the missile salvo he launched. The shield proves useless against Super Sonic, though.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen:
    • The Games:
      • Rouge the Bat. Beginning as a villainous jewel thief who wanted to acquire the Master Emerald for herself, seemingly unconcerned about its powers to stop evil acts in the right hands, the plot later reveals her to be a government agent, although she still steals jewels on the side, and the government itself is depicted as less than pure in Sonic games, and she seems to discover the value of friendship eventually. Perhaps it is Shadow's act of rescuing her from death in a base that self-destructs that opens her mind to this, as she becomes fairly loyal to him in subsequent games, returning the favor multiple times. She also gives Knuckles back the Master Emerald after he saves her life, and it is suggested that they fall in love; they nearly kiss, though both stop and quickly hide their emotions. Knuckles claims he was just trying to save the Master Emerald; Rouge is sour-grapes about it.
      • Blaze. Initially, she's extremely seclusive and chilly. She believes that she has to do everything by herself, and reacts with anger and confusion when the other characters suggest she get Sonic's help. This is best shown when, at the halfway point of Rush, she forces Sonic to fight her to see who should go after Eggman. By the end however, she's grown more friendly and open, mainly due to Cream's encouragement.
      • Shadow. He spends the majority of his debut game waging war against humanity, trying to kill Sonic and being a total Jerkass. But an act of kindness drives him to begrudgingly rescue Rouge, and Amy convinces him to save the world from the monster he helped unleash. From that point on, he's been shown to defrost considerably, taking an active role in defending the Earth, warming up to both Rouge and Omega, working alongside Silver and making a conscious effort to help Sonic.
    • Tom Wachowski in Sonic the Hedgehog (2020). At the start of the movie, he's not pleased that he has to accompany Sonic on his quest to retrieve his rings, but he softens up considerably thanks to Character Development.
  • Denser and Wackier:
  • 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.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics):
      • 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?
  • Depending on the Writer:
    • The Games:
      • Sonic himself was originally marketed as a spunky, Mascot with Attitude in America, but his actual personality in games, while somewhat irreverent (he'd actually quit the game if you took too long in Sonic CD) was still pretty muted and therefore, up for interpretation as the Japanese marketing toned down the attitude somewhat. Starting in Sonic Adventure, Sonic's personality was adjusted to being more of a laid-back Stock Shōnen Hero, and that personality stuck until Sonic Colors which re-established a lot of the spunk and attitude that the character had in the 90's.
      • Tails was Sonic's adorable sidekick who struggled to keep up with him, but still held tons of admiration for his hero. Sonic Adventure saw Tails strike out on his own as a hero without relying on Sonic's help, and fully evolved into The Smart Guy of the group. After Sonic Unleashed and Sonic Colors, Tails became somewhat more abrasive and sarcastic towards Sonic's antics, as well as becoming a Non-Action Guy who stands back and let's Sonic do all of the heavy lifting.
      • Amy Rose. Sometimes she's a normal girl who has a rather affectionate crush on eponymous hero, but still cares about her friends and their well-being. Other times, she's an obsessive and clingy Stalker with a Crush who thinks about nothing but Sonic, threatens people with violence when they don't inform her of his whereabouts, and may even hallucinate that he's around when he isn't.
      • In his debut, in Sonic 3 & Knuckles, Knuckles was a chuckling, and mischievous rival to Sonic. Sonic Adventure and onward established him as an Aloof Ally who only helps Sonic out of necessity and convenience, and then later on after Sonic Heroes sees Knuckles acting as a helpful friend towards Sonic. Even his attitude towards his duties has changed, he originally took his job as a guardian more seriously and only left his post when forced to, but nowadays his role and duties are rarely acknowledged and Knuckles just shows up as if it's the most natural thing in the world. He was also originally presented as a serious foil to Sonic, but now is mostly Plucky Comic Relief.
      • Dr. Eggman. Sometimes he's a Well-Intentioned Extremist who genuinely wants to make the world a better place. Other times, he's merely a Pragmatic Villain who wants to keep the world intact so he can rule. Still other times, he's one hair short of an Omnicidal Maniac who would trigger near-apocalyptic events just to rule over the few survivors.
      • Shadow was originally a quiet and stoic individual who was motivated by the loss of a close friend, and then trying to find out his own identity after gaining amnesia. His self-titled game characterized him as 90sAntiHero who only cares about himself and will turn on anyone, friend or foe, to get what he wants, and then the Last story of that game characterizes him back to his original persona, and that stuck for a few years. Then after 2010, he Took a Level in Jerkass and now only seems to care about stroking his own ego as the "Ultimate Lifeform". His relationship with other characters is never consistent either; sometimes Shadow sees Sonic as a Worthy Opponent and respects him as an equal even if they don't always see eye to eye, and other times he has nothing but contempt for Sonic and constantly wishes to one-up him. Rouge and Omega are either Shadow's closest friends who he cherishes, or they're just tools that he uses to further himself.
    • Due to the multiple writers helming season 1 of Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM), how the characters act can vary, sometimes wildly.
    • Sonic the Comic:
      • Doctor Robotnik's characterisation initially swapped between a cartoonishy evil coward (who fled at the possibilty of having to fight both Sonic and Tails) and a sociopathic tyrant who openly enjoyed seeing how miserable Mobius' population were under his rule, before settling on the latter, although still with some moments of bumbling under some writers.
      • Just how much of a Jerkass Sonic is also comes down to this, with the main writers settling on a Jerk with a Heart of Gold persona that was common in UK media, while some Filler strips ramped it up to pure Jerkass.
      • Tails swaps between "competent enough to fight for himself but is a bumbling hero" to such an example of The Load that both Sonic and Robotnik are openly surprised when he's the one who saves the day.
  • 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 the Hedgehog (SatAM) 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 Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics) 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.
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog (2020), even after being banished to the Mushroom Planet, spending 87 days there alone, and completely losing his mind, Robotnik refuses to give up and is determined to find a way back to Earth.
  • The Diaper Change:
    • In the Sonic Underground episode, "Three Hedgehogs and a Baby", Sonic gives an extremely fast diaper change to a baby hedgehog that is really a robot built by Dr. Robotnik as part of his plan to destroy Sanctuary. Later in the episode, while it isn't seen, Manic mentions to the baby that he gave him a diaper change as well.
    • In the Sonic Boom episode, "Three Men and My Baby!", Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles accidentally injure Lady Walrus, and volunteer to babysit her infant son, Chumley, until she's healed. When it comes time to change Chumley's diaper, Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles try to talk Amy into doing it for them, but she outright refuses, and insists they do it themselves. They all do so themselves, dressed in space suits. Unfortunately, not long after they change Chumley's diaper, they have to change it again.
  • Didn't See That Coming:
    • One episode of Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, "Grounder the Genius", had the eponymous bumbling robot minion accidentally end up with Dr. Robotnik's stolen Super Genius Program in his head; he instantly transforms into an uber-chessmaster with enough smarts to incapacitate Sonic and decide that the bad doctor has no place in his own schemes for world domination. In the end, he has Sonic and Tails on the ropes with a lightning generator and announces that he's thought of every possible occurrence... except the one where fellow bumbling robot minion Scratch shows up trying to help and accidentally knocks his head off.
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog (2020), Sonic, Tom and Maddie are cornered on the top of a building, surrounded by Robotnik's drones set to open fire on them. The protagonists note that while Sonic is fast enough to avoid them, his friends aren't. So Sonic's solution... is to push them off the building note . Even Robotnik notes he wasn't expecting that.
      Robotnik: I was not expecting that... but I was expecting not to expect something. So it doesn't count.
  • Didn't Think This Through:
    • The Games:
    • At the end of Sonic the Hedgehog/Mega Man: Worlds Collide, Eggman is so outraged that Sonic has ruined his plans for the Super Genesis Wave that he deliberately interferes with Sonic's Reset Button attempt, declaring that he would rather let reality be destroyed than let Sonic restore it to the way it was. Not only does his interference directly result in a Cosmic Retcon, but the residual energy left behind by the Super Genesis Wave ends up ripping Sonic's World apart and awakening Dark Gaia, leading into a Sonic Unleashed adaptation. With all of this, Eggman admits that his actions were "a bit hasty."
    • Sonic Boom:
      • In "The Sidekick", Sonic fires Tails as a sidekick after he gets hurt and decides to get a new one to protect him. The auditions utterly fail because not only does Tails comes back to audition for it again, Eggman decides to do so as well (The rules had a lot of Loophole Abuse) and, in desperation, decides to put the two through a massively dangerous race that Eggman hijacks by bringing in a (rightfully-named) Burnbot to attack. After Sonic rescues Tails again, Tails calls out Sonic for the whole thing, forcing Sonic to admit the plan had holes.
      • In "Translate This", Tails charges into Eggman's base to rescue his Universal Translator. Unfortunately, he didn't quite think through how he was going to make Eggman give it back.
        Tails: Give me back my robot!
        Eggman: Or what?
        Tails: ...That's a fair question.
      • In "New Year's Retribution", Eggman builds a slow-motion device to invoke Time Stands Still, putting Sonic at normal speed. However, everything else is slowed to a crawl- including Eggman's weapons. (Eggman, for some reason, is unaffected by it, which is of little comfort to him.)
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW):
      • Orbot reveals to Dr. Starline that this is one of the main reasons Eggman always loses: he has big ideas and big executions but often rushes things without thinking long-term and devolves into his hatred of Sonic, which costs him every time. No better is this displayed than in the Metal Virus arc. While Starline opted to conduct more tests to realize the extent of its capabilities, Eggman decides to use it the moment it appears to work, reasoning that he can fix any bugs later as they crop up. This leads to the Zombots slowly getting out of control, to the point they begin to disregard Eggman's vocal commands.
      • Dr. Starline himself falls into this when he gets sick of Eggman's short-sightedness regarding the Metal Virus and elects to take matters into his own hands. Starline's solution is to bring in the Deadly Six to control the Zombots, using the Cacophonous Conch to keep them under his control. However, Starline didn't account for the glaring weakness that the conch only worked as long as his lungs lasted, effectively making it useless once he needs to catch his breath, and he didn't have a backup plan in the event he lost it; the minute he lets his guard down, the Deadly Six snatch the conch right out of his hands and hijack the Zombots for their own purposes, which of course just makes the situation even worse.
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog (2020), Sonic's plan to take down the first of Robotnik's drones is to leap onto it and smash it into pieces, but he underestimates how resilient and intuitive the drone is since his own weight is too light to bring it down and the drone simply spins fast enough to throw him off.
      Sonic: This was a horrible plan! What was I thinking? Awww, I'm gonna puke!
  • Disappeared Dad:
    • In the games, Cream's mother Vanilla is a recurring character, but her father has never been shown or mentioned in any official material.
    • This was a thing in Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics) dealing with the Guardians as the former Guardian would leave his son to guard the island by his lonesome. This would really backfire on Knuckles, especially since his time as Guardian coincided with Robotnik's rise to power. And let's not get into all of the Disappeared Dads caused by Robotnik and Eggman.
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog (2020), Jojo’s father doesn't appear and isn't even mentioned. In Jojo's drawing you can see in the background, there's only her and her mother.
  • Dismantled MacGuffin:
    • The Games:
      • Knuckles' storyline in Sonic Adventure, as well as the main reason for the plot's existance, is because the Master Emerald shattered due to heavily implied interference by Eggman. He proceeds to collect the shards to restore it, which somehow scattered from the island into a casino, an underground temple, and one of Eggman's bases.
      • This plot point returns with less influence in Sonic Adventure 2; this time, Knuckles himself breaks it as Eggman tries to do away with it. This time there's two characters collecting the pieces.
  • Disney Death:
    • This happened to Sonic in Sonic Adventure 2. Eggman finds out from Tails that he had been given the fake Chaos Emerald, and proceeds to jettison Sonic into space. However, thanks to Chaos Control, he manages to escape the blast just in the nick of time.
    • In Sonic X, the Robot Disney Death is applied to Dr. Eggman's Mecha-Mooks Decoe and Bocoe in Episode 48. Somehow, 4Kids manages to Bowdlerize this into a plain Disney Death by removing the scene where the other characters are mourning them and saying that they "pulled themselves back together" rather than being repaired by Chuck Thorndyke.
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog (2020):
      • When Sonic manages to dislodge the sticky robotic bomb from his glove only to be knocked unconscious from the bomb's explosion. And the blast seemingly almosted killed him, prompting Tom to bring him to Maddie's care.
      • When Sonic and Robotnik crash into Green Hills in the climax, Sonic ends up being so beaten from having to run from Robotnik, not to mention the force of the explosion, that he apparently starts to die. Then, when Tom admits that Sonic was his friend while supposedly mourning him to the town, Sonic suddenly receives a burst of energy that revives him, the same energy that caused the blackout, getting the strength he needs to defeat Robotnik.
  • Disproportionate Retribution:
    • In Sonic Lost World, the Deadly Six decide to use Dr. Eggman's newest invention to destroy the world simply to get revenge on Eggman for enslaving them.
    • Doctor Robotnik over and over again throughout Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog.
    • Thrash the Devil in Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics). Your people are almost extinct thanks to horrific experiments caused by a group of Echidna scientists. You've been drilled into your head that all echidnas are evil. What do you do? Punish what's left of the echidna race that had nothing to do with those experiments by tossing all but one into an alternate dimension, possibly never returning. That one? Knuckles the Echidna.
    • In the Sonic Boom episode "It Takes a Village to Defeat a Hedgehog", Shadow threatens to kill Sonic because he and his team did a poor job of putting a bookshelf together.
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog (2020), Dr. Robotnik mentions that when he was an orphan and he went to school, he was punched in the face by The Bully. Instead of reporting it to the principal, he did ...something to the bully after which he was only able to eat through a straw for nearly a year.
  • Dissimile:
    "...And by complimentary, I mean very expensive."
  • Diurnal Nocturnal Animal:
    • Rouge from the games is an anthropomorphic bat that is awake during the day.
  • Does Not Like Spam:
    • In Sonic Unleashed, Sonic gains EXP from foods he eats, with the amount of EXP he gets based on how much he likes the food. He generally doesn't seem generally fond towards basic sweets and drinks, and seems to have a strong distate for seafood.
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog (2020), Sonic doesn't like mushrooms, and dreads having to retreat to Mushroom World to escape danger and villains. This is possibly a friendly jab at either his longtime rivals from the Console Wars, or a sly reference to his own series' Mushroom Hill Zone.
  • 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 Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics), 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.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • At the end of Sonic Adventure 2, Sonic and Shadow use the power of the Chaos Emeralds to transform into their super forms. The hand motions the two characters make to focus their power before their transformation look very similar to masturbation.
    • In Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, when, prompted by Robotnik's comment that a complete idiot could make a better robot than them, Scratch and Grounder decide to create a robot of their own. The whole thing is played a lot like they're having a child together; first, they hug and say "We're gonna be parents!" Then, they put spare robot parts into the "Robot-Making Machine", and Grounder asks Scratch wistfully, "Oh, Scratch, I wonder what it'll look like?" When the robot comes out, Scratch cries, "It's a boy! He has my chin, and my eyes!" And, when the robot kid runs away from home, the two robots end up placing an ad in the paper that says "Parents Seek Missing Robot". It's pretty blatant.
    • In the Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM) episode Hooked on Sonics, Sonic and Sally share their first onscreen mouth-to-mouth kiss. During the scene, it's quite clear that Sonic is using his tongue, and he holds Sally directly against his chest as they both start moving together in rhythm. Here is the scene in question.
    • Played with and subverted in Sonic the Hedgehog (2020) at the biker bar, when three burly guys come up to Sonic and Tom and say "we don't like your kind around here", to which Sonic asks what kind, and after a long pause one of the guys says, "hipsters." To which Sonic retorts, "How dare you?!"
  • The Dog Bites Back:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics):
      • In issue 50, Dr. Robotnik had created an "Ultimate Annihilator" that would cause the universe to cease to exist for a billionth of a second, then to spring back into existence, minus Sonic and his friends. Snively seizes the opportunity to be rid of his oppressor and reprograms the machine to annihilate Robotnik instead.
      • Averted in an issue of Sonic Universe - tired of Dr. Eggman's lunacy, Snivley bails on the mad doctor and attempts to squash him once and for all. Instead, Eggman wins and, as a side effect, strengthens his hold on many of his captives.
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog (2020), after Robotnik abuses him earlier in the film, Wade leads the people of Green Hill to fight back against him.
  • Domed Hometown:
    • The fifth Special Stage in Sonic the Hedgehog CD is set in such a city. The dome is supported by massive red metal beams, and the Special Stage itself takes place in a huge lake at its center.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics) is given this in New Mobotropolis. A friendly AI controlled city with a retractable dome that is quite good at keeping people out. (Except when it isn't)
  • Don't Call Me "Sir":
    • The Games:
      • 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 the Hedgehog (SatAM) 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 Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics), 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.
  • The Door Slams You:
    • Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog:
      • At the beginning of the episode, "Birth of a Salesman", Grounder tries to answer the door, but Wes Weasley crushes him with it when he opens it.
      • In the episode, "Momma Robotnik's Birthday" from the same series, Robotnik orders Scratch and Grounder to stop whoever's invading his fortress. Just as they run up to the front door, Momma Robotnik kicks it open, and crushes them with it.
    • In "Ro-Becca", one of the comedy episodes of Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM), Sonic and Rotor knock over a door that Antoine was standing behind. When they leave, the door goes back up and the audience finds that Antoine got flattened, obviously.
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male:
    • Amy Rose from the games, is a case of Stalking Is Funny If It Is Female After Male. She's not afraid to use her hammer on anyone who even appears to be romantically interested in Sonic, having claimed him for herself despite his own refusal. In Sonic Heroes, she even attempts to coerce him into marriage using force. This part of her personality has been played down over time.
    • Sonic X turns Amy Rose's Tsundere quirks Up to Eleven, her temper leading to her pulling out her hammer on people for trivial reasons (usually Sonic).
  • Downer Beginning:
    • The Games:
      • Shadow the Hedgehog: Shadow is struggling with amnesia and haunted by visions of a young girl dying. And then the Black Arms appear and lay siege to Westopolis.
      • Sonic Unleashed kicks off with Eggman draining Super Sonic of his energy and using it to firing a gigantic laser at the Earth resulting in awakening an Eldritch Abomination and splitting the Earth into several pieces.
      • Sonic Generations begins with Classic Sonic romping through Green Hill, only to run into the Time Eater, who then crashes Modern Sonic's birthday party.
      • Sonic Forces: Sonic goes to confront Eggman, only to face off with the mad scientist's new ally: Infinite, who beats Sonic effortlessly. Sonic is captured, and Eggman goes on to conquer 99.9% of the world.
    • Less than five minutes into Sonic the Hedgehog (2020), Sonic is chased by a violent echidna tribe, is forced to leave his home forever, and his adoptive mother is presumably killed by said tribe. And he was just a little child when it all happened. He then talks about the next ten years of his life in a positive tone but it becomes quickly apparent to the audience that he is lying to himself and is desperately lonely and unfulfilled.
  • Dragon Ascendant:
    • Sonic 3 & Knuckles:
      • The Stinger for Sonic's or Tails's ending with all Chaos Emeralds, but not all Super Emeralds, shows an Eggrobo (presumed to be the one Knuckles fights in his story) rising out of a pile of wreckage.
      • The Stinger for Knuckles's ending without all Chaos Emeralds shows Metal Sonic waking up and jumping onto the Master Emerald. This being the bad ending, what happens next is uncertain (and non-canonical).
    • Snively at the end of Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM) was shown stepping up to this role in the final episode after Robotnik fled, but the series was canceled before he got to do anything.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics):
      • The Bride of Conquering Storm — she was the closest thing the Iron Queen had to a Dragon, and following the Queen's recent defeat and imprisonment by the Freedom Fighters, Conquering Storm's taken over as the main villain in the Dragon Kingdom. This is a downplayed example, as Conquering Storm is still subservient to Eggman.
      • Another example is Snively after he succeeded in killing the original Robotnik and taking over his empire, or the period after Eggman's Villainous Breakdown when he allied with the Iron Queen; however, both these times, Eggman eventually showed up/recovered and put him back in his place.
  • 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.
  • The Dreaded:
    • Super Sonic is this in Sonic the Comic. Unlike the heroic Super Mode you can unlock in the games, in this continuity Super Sonic is Sonic's Superpowered Evil Side who comes out to play when Sonic is stressed out enough (or exposed to Chaos energy). Once he's dealt with the immediate threat he'll gladly kill anyone else in the vicinity... even innocents or one of Sonic's friends.
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog (2020), when one of the Generals at the Pentagon suggests bringing Robotnik in to investigate the blackout in the Pacific northwest, the others react with dread and ask if there was any other recourse.
  • Drives Like Crazy:
    • The GUN Truck in Sonic Adventure 2 was already bad enough, keeping up with Sonic in the video game equivalent of San Francisco, but it gets taken Up to Eleven in Sonic Generations when it chases Sonic up on buildings' walls. Just for good measure, the truck isn't just some standard-size semi, it's as wide as the street.
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog (2020), judging by how wrecked Rachel's car was upon arriving to the tower where his bag of rings ended up, it's certainly safe to say Sonic does this to a T. When fleeing Robotnik along with Tom on a highway, he pulls some equally reckless moves behind the wheel, because he was reading the instructions and driving at the same time.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him:
    • The Games:
      • In Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), Sonic's temporary death at the hands of the villain came without warning or any form of foreshadowing. Despite being the title character, his death was unceremonious and abrupt.
      • In Sonic Lost World, the main villains are the Deadly Six, six entirely new characters each with their own unique personality, and among the darker Sonic villains, while bringing a sense of humor at the same time. How do they go out? Three of them, Zazz, Zomom, and Master Zik, are fought in a row at Zone 1 of Lava Mountain, and only take two hits before they are (presumably) destroyed as if they were common enemies. Zeena puts up more of a fight but goes a similar way, while Zor falls into the lava when Sonic hits a switch. Zavok on the other hand has more of a climactic battle with his giant form and fall down a shaft into lava (which is fitting since he's the main villain, although he is Hijacked by Ganon after his doom). Unlike Metal Sonic in the previous game, their deaths happen during gameplay rather than in cutscenes. However, their deaths are up to debate given that Eggman mentions recruiting them again in the ending.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics):
      • The comic did this to almost the entire echidna population with everyone except for Knuckles and Dr. Finetivus are trapped and apparently wiped out within the Doctor's Warp Ring.
      • Not that Finetivus escaped this. At the end of the "Worlds Collide" crossover, Finetivus, along pretty much every single supporting character the comic had, was wiped from existence completely.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?:
    • Usually averted in the games, 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.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics):
      • 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!"
    E 
  • In the pilot episode of Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM) several characters had different designs to how they would appear for the rest of the series:
    • NICOLE was wheeled out desktop computer instead of a tricorder-type computer.
    • The SWATBots are shown with gray coloring instead of their usual stealthy black coloring.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics):
    • 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 the Hedgehog (SatAM) 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.
    • For Super Sonic's first appearance, he mostly resembled his game sprite with upturned quills and a yellow body. For Super Sonic's appearances prior to Sonic Adventure, he was just a gold Sonic.
  • 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.
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • The Games:
      • Sonic the Hedgehog:
        • The game has no spin dashing, no characters other than Sonic and Doctor Eggman, fairly trippy and abstract graphics (particularly in the Special Stages and Spring Yard Zone), fairly slow and mellow music, levels of very varying difficulty and length (seriously, play Labyrinth and then continue on to Star Light), and a relatively slow, platform-based gameplay style. Other oddities include only six Chaos Emeralds instead of the standard seven, the Emeralds only changing the ending instead of granting Super Sonic mode, and three Acts per Zone instead of two (though most modern games have 3 Acts, the third is usually relegated to the boss).
        • The fights against Dr. Eggman in the first game seem incredibly tame compared to the later installments. In the first game, all of the boss fights against Eggman had him just use the Eggmobile with a simple weapon or tool. Nowadays, the mad doctor uses much larger machines with hilariously outlandish weapons.
        • Some of the zone names in the first game were shorter than usual and less creative (e.g. Marble Zone in the original Mega Drive/Genesis release, Bridge Zone in the Game Gear version). Starting with the next game, almost all of the zones have had either two-word names or one long word for a name.
      • In Tails' first appearance in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, the CPU could make Tails fly, but a player couldn't; it was just used to get the computer to catch back up with Sonic. Sonic 3 & Knuckles would change that. Outside of the Sonic Advance Trilogy, that game would be the only one where Tails could also swim until Sonic Mania over 20 years later.
      • It wasn't until Sonic 3 & Knuckles that Sonic could run along the surface of the water at a high enough speed. Prior to that, he simply skimmed along the surface like a stone or immediately sank into the water at the same rate as usual.
      • The original Mega Drive era games were low on lore and plot. This led Sega of America and Sega of Europe to create their own distinctive backstory from the Japanese continuity of the games, as presented in the Sonic the Hedgehog Promo Comic, which the original Sonic Bible did consider to be the series canon backstory by Sega of America of the time. This included differences like there being seven Chaos Emeralds from the beginning, the series taking place on a planet called "Mobius" with no humans (other than Robotnik) in sight, Sonic initially being brown and having regular quills until he ran so fast one day that the heat fused his quills together and changed his color to cobalt blue, Dr. Robotnik starting off as a good man named Ovi Kintobor (who was even a friend to Sonic and built him specialized shoes to protect himself from the heat of the high friction speed he could achieve), until he unwittingly turned himself into the evil Ivo Robotnik via a malfunctioning invention of his. This was eventually nullified once Sega of Japan decided that the US branch of Sonic should share the same canon as the Japanese games, starting with Sonic Adventure and on.
      • In Sonic the Hedgehog CD's North American instruction booklet, Amy Rose is referred to here as "Princess Sally", evidently trying to pass her off as a completely different character from Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM). All other entries and all re-releases of Sonic CD would revert Amy to being just Amy Rose, though they would make a note of her "original" name. She also lacks her trademark squeaky hammer.
      • Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric started development as an unrelated Sonic title that was shoehorned into the Sonic Boom IP at the last moment, so there are some bits and pieces that may seem odd to people more familiar with the cartoon. The tone is far more serious and plot-driven than the Gag Series it supposedly is based on, but perhaps more noticeable is the near complete absence of Sticks the Badger, whose only ingame appearance is as a minor NPC in one of the hub worlds.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM):
      • "Heads or Tails", the pilot episode, is markedly Lighter and Softer than the rest of the series, with the episode ending with a squadron of evil robots being repelled with water balloons.
      • The first season went through a few inconsistencies before season 2 set things in stone, especially since it was made by several writers rather than one, and the decision to have an arcing plot wasn't in place yet. Some episodes such as "Sonic Boom" also caused continuity errors with the backstory established in the Second Season.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics):
    • Sonic the Comic:
      • For a while it was full of one-shots that barely related to each other (often featuring Off-Model drawings). It took several issues for it to become plot-orientated, and even afterwards it took a while for it to drop the one-shot routine.
      • The first few issues didn't include Johnny Lightfoot and Porker Lewis alongside Sonic and Tails. They were characters, but not Freedom Fighters. Amy, Tekno, and Shortfuse also didn't appear for several issues.
      • Early strips written by Mark Millar place Sonic's home as the Green Hill Zone, while from the eighth issue onwards, Nigel Kitching placed it as the Emerald Hill Zone. Millar's strips published after the change have been edited to also use the Emerald Hill Zone, as evidenced by a strip involving Sonic running around the planet in five seconds listing the Spring Yard Zone and Marble Zone as being on his path to the Emerald Hill Zone.
  • Ears as Hair:
  • Earth All Along:
    • According to the show's series bible, this was the case for Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM), 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), Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics) 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 the Hedgehog (SatAM). 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 Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics). 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.
  • 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 Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics), 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).
  • 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.
  • Endless Corridor:
    • There are several sections in the games that endlessly loop or Wrap Around until you find the correct path out, eg the Endless Waterfall in Labyrinth Zone Act 3, and part of Sandopolis Zone Act 2. There's also one in the Dummied Out Hidden Palace Zone.
    • The eponymous Fourth Dimension from Sonic the Hedgehog in the Fourth Dimension is this. It's literally nothing but rows and rows of endless corridors on-top of endless layers of floors of similar looking corridors.
  • Environment-Specific Action Figure:
    • The toy line has an "invisible" (transparent purple) Espio, a Sonic with Wisps, a Sonic with Caliburn the Talking Sword, and a Shadow who comes with his bike. Plus more Werehog merchandise than is really justifiable. That's not even getting into the plush line...
    • For Sonic Generations, there is a load of figures from all the characters from their incarnations from The '90s, Turn of the Millennium, and The New '10s, including a few designs that weren't present. Justified in that it's a Milestone Celebration and a fair number of characters were hard to find in toy form.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics) provide an in-universe example, strangely enough. One issue involved Sonic racing across the world with a chaos emerald in order to reverse a time paradox. At first Sonic goes into his usual super forms, but he starts changing based on what environment he's in, with Solar Sonic for deserts, Eco Sonic for forests, and Polar Sonic for the arctic. Sadly we don't get to see what any of them can do.
  • Epic Fail:
    • The Games:
      • In Sonic the Hedgehog 2, after defeating the boss of Chemical Plant Zone, it's very possible for a player who has let their guard down to fall through one of the tiles.
      • In the Last Story of Sonic Adventure, when Perfect Chaos starts rampaging, Dr. Eggman flies in with his Egg Carrier 2, a new version of the huge ship he piloted for most of the game. Eggman made it specifically for if Chaos went out of control like he was doing at that moment. Chaos took it down in one blast.
      • In Sonic Unleashed, if you played so poorly that you end up with an E Ranking, you get this masterpiece playing.
    • Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog:
      • In the episode, "Zoobotnik", Robotnik orders Scratch and Grounder to go downstairs and open the door.
        Robotnik: Think you can manage that without falling on your faces?
        Scratch: No problem.
        Grounder: Can do.
        [they proceed to do just that]
      • On the hero side of the scale, another episode had Sonic become the sheriff of a western town and forced into a gun duel. When training for it, Sonic and Tails find out that Sonic is a poor shot. How bad? He can't shoot the broadside of a barn when he's standing five feet to it.
    • Sonic Boom:
      • In a preview, Eggman makes a comment about how prepared he is before tapping commands into his wrist-mounted console. His entire base explodes.
      Eggman: Lucky thing I always have a Plan B. [destroys base] No....!
      [switches to Orbot and Cubot at Sonic's place]
      Orbot: We're still working out a few kinks.
      • During "Into the Wilderness", Knuckles has trouble starting a fire, and Sonic decides to run laps around it to fix the problem. His shoes catch fire instead. Also, Amy's attempt to put a tent together using a flintstone Sticks left for her also caused the tent to burn to the ground.
      • Dave the Intern manages this while working at Amy's restaurant:
        Eggman: The soup is cold and the salad is hot. How is that even possible?!
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog (2020), while on the road, Sonic and Tom play darts in the Piston Pit bar. Sonic rapid-fire throws a few dozen darts at the dart board, and misses with every one of them. The camera then pans to the wall riddled with darts everywhere but the board, then to a waitress frozen in shock with several darts stuck in her hat, clothes, and the beers she's carrying.
  • Era-Specific Personality:
  • Establishing Character Moment:
    • The Games:
      • One simple intro establishes Sonic as Sega's Mascot with Attitude. In the original Sonic the Hedgehog for the Sega Genesis, a black screen fades into the game's logo, and Sonic pops into the logo and does his signature finger wag at you.
      • Knuckles makes his entry in Sonic 3 & Knuckles by knocking Sonic out of his super form, taking all of the Chaos Emeralds Sonic had, laughing at him, and running off.
      • Pretty much every story in Sonic Adventure starts with an establishing moment for the current character:
        • Sonic's story starts with him displaying his speed and acrobatics, as well and his carefree, adventure-seeking attitude.
        • Tails' starts with him giving a test run to a byplane he just built, establishing his role as a Gadgeteer Genius.
        • Knuckles' starts with him a reflecting on his purpose the guardian of the Master Emerald, and the loneliness this duty it brings to his life. Shortly after, he's shown doing his best to protect the Master Emerald and threatening Chaos after this one seemingly shattered it to pieces. This makes it clear that he's a tough-as-nails, determined lone wolf who is completely devoted to his mission, yet regrets being forced to live such a lone life.
        • Amy's starts with her daydreaming and reminiscing about her prior adventures with Sonic, wishing he would come take her away from her boring life, until she bumps into a bird running away from an evil robot and promises to protect it. This establishes her as a tomboyish Nice Girl who longs for Sonic's affection.
        • Big's starts with the lazy cat sleeping peacefully in his hut next to his best friend Froggy.
      • Sonic Adventure 2 has two moments for Shadow the Hedgehog: first, in the Dark Story, when he proceeds to waste a military mech after being released from his prison; then again, in the Hero Story, when he encounters Sonic, evades him using Chaos Control, and declaring himself the "Ultimate Life Form''.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (2020):
      • Robotnik's first few moments on-screen are accompanied by him dressing down Major Bennington, whilst his sidekick "translates" everything his boss says to said-Major, greatly reflecting his condescension and arrogance. He also spares no eccentric words, indicating he's a few eggs short of a whole carton.
      • Rachel spells out "divorce" after a phone call between Maddie and Tom, establishing her objection to their relationship.
      • In The Stinger, the first thing Tails does upon arriving on Earth and discovering Sonic's whereabouts is to jump off a cliff... and perform his signature Propeller Flying ability to hover back up before speeding off to find him.
  • Evasive Fight-Thread Episode:
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • The Games:
      • Dr. Eggman. In Sonic Adventure 2's Last Story, when the Eclipse Cannon malfunctions and a program left behind by Professor Gerald sends the ARK hurtling towards the Earth, Eggman's response to his grandfather's plan for vengeful omnicide is quite simply, "That mad scientist!" (Amy: "That should be you, right?") He then proceeds to form a temporary alliance with Sonic and company to stop the colony from hitting the Earth. He also expresses disgust at the actions of the Black Arms in Shadow the Hedgehog, but makes it clear that it's due to them interfering with his goals.
        "How can I take over the city and create the Eggman Empire, if there is no city?!"
      • However, by the True Final Boss in Shadow, Eggman makes it abundantly clear that he's disgusted at the Black Arms' plan and that Gerald allied with them fifty years ago. Never mind that the cutscene before the fight reveals that Gerald metaphorically stabbed Black Doom in the back to thwart the Black Arms.
      • In Sonic Lost World, Eggman has a machine that extracts energy from the world. He only uses it to "borrow" a small amount of the world's energy before deactivating it. However, when the Deadly Six turn against him, they reactivate the machine and begin to completely drain his and Sonic's world of all of its energy. When this happens, Eggman teams up with Sonic and Tails in an attempt to restore their world. In one cutscene, he even saves Tails from a Brainwashed and Crazy Cubot, and in another, he saves Sonic, his worst enemy, from falling to his death.
        Sonic: I can't figure you out. One second, you're contemplating genocide, and the next, you're saving one of your worst enemies!
        Eggman: I'm a complicated guy.
      • This behavior is incredibly ironic given that, in Sonic Forces, Eggman's plan is to drop the sun on the planet.
      • Speaking of Forces, even he gets fed up of Infinite's needless sadism and pettiness. So much so that when the latter is defeated for the final time, he promptly pulls a You Have Failed Me on him.
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM), Dr. Robotnik sounded surprised that Antoine Depardieu seemingly betrayed his friends in order to give him the Power Ring. He even asks him why he betrayed them. Though he might've just been suspicious.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics):
      • If you're a Grandmaster of the Dark Legion, expect to face off against this trope eventually; former Omnicidal Maniac Dimitri has a lot of these, ever since his depowerment, most notably his balking at reviving his previous Superpowered Evil Side Enerjak, even though it would've restored him to health (even going so far as to warn his enemy Knuckles of Enerjak's return); and his usurper and current Grandmaster Lien-Da, who has no problems with performing Klingon Promotions and Mind Controlling the Legion as a way of gaining status, or torturing a former ally to death with a smile on her face, turns on her ally Shadow in the Mobius: X Years Later storyline, after it's revealed he's going to destroy the world with an Eldritch Abomination.
      • Upon his Face–Heel Turn, Geoffrey St. John admits in issue 235 that while he isn't always trustworthy, he does respect his adversaries. He even admits that what happened to Sally and Antoine isn't what he wanted and sympathizes with Sonic over what happened with Sally. He's horrified to learn in Universe 43 that Naugus plans Mass Hypnosis over the Acorn Council, an equivalent of roboticization. He believes that some lines need to be crossed to make things change, but Naugus' plan just goes too far.
      • In Sonic the Hedgehog/Mega Man: Worlds Collide, Dr. Wily is shown to be bothered when he finds out that the Roboticized Masters, which Dr. Eggman helped to create using an altered roboticization process on Sonic's friends, have no real personality (which Eggman, having a history with betrayal by his more intelligent creations, considers a feature rather than a bug). Wily's willing to let this slide for the sake of their partnership, though the final straw for him is Eggman's attempt to kill Dr. Light; Wily had only ever wanted to best and humiliate Light, not kill him. The revelation that the Super Genesis Wave could potentially destroy both their worlds doesn't sit well with Wily either, while Eggman assures him that they could rebuild their worlds however they wanted, making any damage irrelevant.
    • In Sonic the Comic, Robotnik's right hand man Grimer thinks Robotnik is going too far by trying to destroy Mobius. The second time Robotnik tries to destroy Mobius Grimer quits working for him.
    • Sonic X:
      • Dr. Eggman once tried to blow up a city of completely innocent people, but can't stand torturing victims, as shown when he witnesses Black Narcissus torturing Chris and Cosmo and says, "I'm not above evil myself but torturing people is just plain wrong."
      • He also in one episode alerts his arch-nemesis, Sonic, that the Metarex are planning to kill him and his friends stating that "if anyone is to get revenge on that hedgehog it's going to be me! And through less brutal means!"
      • When Sonic is apparently stuck on earth while his friends are in their world, Tails, an 8 year old, takes on Eggman's new space carrier in his plane. Eggman orders his Hench-robots to fire a homing missile which homes in on the plane. When the missile is near to hitting Eggman says to call it back (he only sent it towards the plane to scare Tails) however is told that there is no "call back" button. Eggman is horrified at the thought that he has killed a child. Tails, however, is saved in the end.
        "I'm going to have to live with the thought of killing Tails forever!".
      • Eggman seems to have a soft spot for characters such as Chris or Tails perhaps because they're the smart, logically inclined inventors of the group and thus maybe they remind him of himself. When Tails has to kill Cosmo in the third season finale, Eggman is the one who talks him through it and reassures him that he knows how difficult it is, but it's this or the end of the universe. While he accepts that it's necessary, he doesn't celebrate killing a child, nor does he celebrate the fact that one of his arch-nemesis's friends is the one who has to do it.
      • As shown in the season one finale, where his robot is going insane and beating poor Sonic to death. Chris (who was Eggman's prisoner at the time) is crying for him to stop. Eggman tries to get his robot to stop.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (2020):
      • Played for Laughs example. While chasing after Sonic in his prototype flyer, Robotnik calls out Sonic for making an illegal left turn, and chastises him for running up one of the pyramids of Giza, pointing that they are one of the seven wonders of the world (even though he blew up the Sphinx's head beforehand).
      • Another Played for Laughs example when Sonic shoves Tom and Maddie off a building Robotnik is horrified and even stating, "I was not expecting that". But he was expecting not to expect something so it doesn't count.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep":
    • The Games:
      • 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.
  • In a somewhat rare example, the villainous Dr. Eggman has an Evil Counterpart as well, in the form of his dimensional counterpart/descendant Eggman Nega. Where Eggman is Affably Evil with a skewed but nonetheless present sense of morals and heroism, Nega unabashedly loves fear, chaos, and suffering — essentially, he's what Eggman would be without his human qualities.
  • In Sonic Forces, Infinite is depicted as the Evil Counterpart to the Avatar. Both characters are motivated to better themselves after their teammates are killed by a more powerful being that dismissed them as a weakling. And while Infinite wants to increase his power for his own sake, the Avatar wants to become stronger to protect his friends and save the world.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics):
    • Sonic has a direct evil counterpart in the form of Scourge the Hedgehog. Unlike Shadow, who often acts as a foil to Sonic, and Metal Sonic, which is a robot built to serve Dr. Eggman's diabolical purposes, Scourge is literally an evil counterpart: He is Sonic from a parallel dimension, where the protagonists and villains switch roles. In the early days of the comic, Scourge was simply known as "Anti-Sonic" and was identical to Sonic save for sunglasses, a black leather jacket, and a Jerkass attitude. However, after some vocal exchange with Sonic, Anti-Sonic became shaken up by the thoughts and sought to make himself stand-out. TO that end, he attempted to hijack the Master Emerald. The result was becoming green, getting some scars on his chest and a form of rebirth. This is where he christened himself as Scourge the Hedgehog and he was now much more ambitious than ever before, even becoming king in his unvierse.
    • He, then, forces this on his Anti-Freedom Fighters, turning them into the Suppression Squad. Not only are they just as bad, they followed Scourge's example in changing their names from their counterparts (such as Anti-Sally calling herself Alicia) to further standout from them. Princess Sally's counterpart, Alicia, is nothing more than a figurehead. Miles, Tails' counterpart, is cold, calculating and the real brains behind the team. Rotor's counterpart, Boomer, took his genius and used it on himself, turning himself into a cybernetic terror (which also makes him Bunnie's evil counterpart) Patch, Antoine's evil counterpart, is completely vain and in it for power. Subverted with Anti-Bunnie; she ended up becoming good (kinda) when she ended up contracting NIDS and her teammates left her to die. She was saved by Dr. Kintobar via a special mech suit (resembling Omega oddly enough) and she became his bodyguard as a result while now calling herself Buns.
  • Sonic the Comic featured King Sonic, hailing from a Mirror Universe in which Sonic was the one who got caught in the explosion of the Retro-Orbital Chaos Compressor instead of Dr. Kintobor. As such, in the absence of Dr. Robotnik, this Sonic became the tyrant that sought to take over his universe's Mobius. He has all of Sonic's abilities with none of his redeeming qualities, and even has his own Superpowered Good Side in King Super Sonic.
  • In one episode of Sonic Underground. When the protagonists visited a Mirror Universe, their own counterparts were evil, tyrannical rulers.
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog (2020), Dr. Robotnik is this to Sonic. Sonic is an alien hedgehog who ultimately just wants companionship and makes it a point to look out for those who care about him. Robotnik, meanwhile, is ultimately a power-hungry sociopath who doesn't care about friendship and is a total dick to just about everyone, despite being human. Not to mention that both of them have been orphans at one point in their lives.
  • Dr. Robotnik from Sonic the Hedgehog (2020). He creates rather impressive gadgets and machines, but he's also in this solely for his own motivations. He's also a complete jerkass.
  • Jim Carrey as Dr. Robotnik in Sonic the Hedgehog (2020). He's clearly having the time of his life bringing Robotnik to the big screen, combining his penchant for loud and manic characters with the already bombastic nature of the source character. Whether it's him dancing while preparing his vehicles, to screaming about his love of lattes with steamed Austrian goat milk, his portrayal is definitely one to be remembered. Then there’s the moment Robotnik has a Freak Out!, complete with exaggerated movements, after Sonic destroys his robots on the highway.
Robotnik: [stomping around his base] OUUUUUGH! GIVE ME A BIG! FAT! BREAK!
  • 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:
    • The Games:
      • 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 the Hedgehog (SatAM) 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.
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog (2020), Dr. Robotnik wants to ruin Tom's life in addition to capturing Sonic because Tom punched him. It reminds Robotnik too much of a childhood bully.
  • Evil Knockoff:
    • The Games:
      • 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 the Hedgehog (SatAM). 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.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics):
      • 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.
  • One of the posters for Sonic the Hedgehog (2020) released with the second trailer has a large Robotnik grinning evilly and looming behind a running Sonic.
  • Exact Words:
    • The Games:
      • In Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), Mephiles told Silver that the Iblis Trigger (Sonic) was going to destroy the world. He never said exactly how it was going to destroy the world... by getting killed by Mephiles, the real Big Bad, so he can make Elise cry, thus releasing Iblis for him to fuse with and cause a Time Crash.
      • In Sonic Colors, one of Eggman's public announcements touts that "no animals were harmed in the creation of this park." Which we can believe... because within the same announcement, Eggman then states that the animals were harmed after it was created.
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog (2020), when Sonic asks Tom how he can get to San Francisco, Tom tells him to go west. Sonic follows his advice, only to end up going too far to the west and having a run-in with the Pacific Ocean.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!:
    • Sonic Colors has Eggman using the PA system to inform the owner of a "white hovercar shaped like an egg" that their car has been broken into. He only realizes that it's HIS car that's been vandalized partway through repeating the message, and reacts accordingly.
    • In the Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM) episode "Sonic Conversion", the Freedom Fighters finally manage to make a working de-roboticizer, and use it to revert Bunnie back to normal. Seeing this, Sonic retrieves his Uncle Chuck from Robotropolis and subjects him to the process. Later, it turns out that the effects are only temporary when Bunnie's arm and legs revert back to robot form. Sally makes an attempt to comfort her and reassure her they'll restore her back to normal again in due time... only to realize that if the deroboticization on Bunnie was only temporary, then Uncle Chuck will soon revert back as well.
      Sally: It's okay, Bunnie. We'll get you back to normal again. Listen, all we have to do— Oh, no!
      Bunnie: What?
      Sally: Uncle Chuck!
    • In the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog episode, "Sonic Breakout", Robotnik builds a giant prison complex and imprisons a cartoonist who made fun of him, and later on, Sonic. When Sonic gets out of his Tailor-Made Prison, Robotnik is with the cartoonist when alarm sounds.
      Robotnik: [to cartoonist] Hmm? You haven't escaped. I would have noticed that. [beat] THE HEDGEHOG!
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie, there's a scene where Knuckles and Tails find out that Metal Sonic showed up at Sonic's home and trashed the place. Once they get the news, they're at first relieved that nobody was home at the time, but:
      Tails: THE OLD MAN WAS THERE; HE'S WATCHING THE HOUSE!!!
    • In one episode of Sonic Underground, Robotnik creates a potion that gives its taker super-speed, which allows his minions, Sleet and Dingo, to catch Sonic. Later, Robotnik sees Sleet's feet expand to the point where he can't move.
      Robotnik: Hmm, it must be a side effect of the Sonic Tonic. Aah, what a waste of a good invention. Now he's useless! I wonder if the same thing's happened to— Dingo's guarding Sonic!
  • In issue 247 of Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics), after yet another building in New Mobotropolis collapses due to something interfering with the nanites, Cream, after finding the Tails Doll, chews it out over its tendency to disappear... and in mid-sentence, recalls that its previous disappearances have corresponded with the other instances of buildings unexpectedly going unstable, and deduces that the doll itself is responsible. Her expression when this dawns on her says it all.
    Cream: Bad dolly! I'm trying to take care of you and find your owner, and you keep disappearing! ...Like at the Forget-Me-Knots concert. And this is just like what happened at the civic center...
  • A perfect example can be found in issue 8 of Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW), where after breaking through one of Dr. Eggman's bases and taking out some straggler robots, Sonic and Silver get some less than favorable info from one of the computers.
    Silver: It's almost like Neo Metal Sonic isn't hiding what he's doing any - OH, CRAP!
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