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  • Facepalm:
    • The Games:
      • In Sonic Colors (Wii version), Sonic does a facepalm in the cutscene where Tails is attempting to figure out what the Wisps are saying. ("He says his name is Talks-a-lot and he's from a far off soda...") Yacker (the Wisp Tails was trying to translate for) also facepalms. At the exact same time as Sonic does.
      • Sonic facepalms up to twice more throughout Sonic Generations. First time is if Chemical Plant Act 2 is the second act of that level to be completed—after Amy speaks her line, Modern Sonic facepalms. He facepalms once more during the Reveal.
  • Failure Is the Only Option:
    • The Games:
      • Doctor Eggman never succeeds at any of his plans in the long run, either due to Sonic getting in the way, or because whatever force he's using spirals out of his control, and whatever little victories he does earn now and then are short term at best. In Sonic Rivals, Eggman Nega, depicted as his future descendant, reveals that Eggman will never succeed, and his failures completely ruin the Robotnik family name.
      • Terminal Velocity Act 2 from Sonic Colors has Sonic trying to outrun a black hole created by the Final Boss. He does manage to last an impressive 30 seconds, though.
    • Invoked from the villain's side in Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics). Mammoth Mogul can't defeat Sonic the Hedgehog? Fine. He'll just quit trying—he's immortal, after all, so he's easily going to outlast that annoying blue blur. And in the meantime he'll amuse himself making life difficult for Sonic in any way available short of outright attack.
    • Sonic Underground revolved around Sonic, Sonia, and Manic attempting to reunite with their mother at the proper time to defeat Robotnik, but the show never had a proper ending so it didn't happen.
  • Family-Friendly Firearms:
    • The Games:
      • The franchise has this - when it feels like it. Games like Sonic Heroes will have enemies fight you with bright orange laser guns, whereas Shadow the Hedgehog has you and many of your enemies using regular old bullet-firing murder-devices.
      • Forgotten character Fang the Sniper/Nack the Weasel was originally meant to have a revolver for a weapon, as seen in early screenshots of Sonic Triple Trouble. For his playable appearance in Sonic the Fighters, he was given a cork-shooting popgun.
      • On the whole, though, many of the games have realistic firearms instead of using lasers, even though it would completely make sense (for example, many of Eggman's robots have been equipped with machineguns).
      • Sonic Forces returns to this trope when the heroic Resistance are mainly armed with laser-shooting Wispon weaponry that just so happens to never hit anything on-screen. Amusingly, not only does the Avatar not actually get to use this weapon and instead have a much more strange arsenal of weapons, but Eggman's robots also fire energy shots that.. make stock bullet ping sounds when they hit objects.
    • While guns weren't all that prominent in Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, when they did show up, they would inevitably be lasers—even in episodes involving time travel or references to the wild west. The only realistic firearms in the show appeared in a particular after-show Sonic Says segment, which warns about the dangers of real guns.
    • Several cuts were made in the English dub of Sonic X. For instance, several military troopers holding Sonic and his friends at gunpoint shot real bullets in the Japanese original, but were changed to lasers in the dub, while the weapons themselves still looked explicitly like real firearms. Particularly unfortunate is that some of the scenes which were censored were directly based on the games, such as the policemen shooting Chaos (ineffectively) and Maria being shot by a soldier. And even more unfortunate is that they were inconsistent - Gerald is still executed in the dub, and you still hear the gunshot... but not the command to shoot.
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics):
      • The Echidnas, who became the first to be civilized, looked down on everyone. Still did until Eggman wiped most of their population out and Thrash tossed the rest into another Zone.
      • Overlanders, four-fingered humans, were shown to be incredibly war-like and bloodthirsty. It's obvious both Robotniks did nothing to improve that image.
      • Machines in particular. Naugus, on two separate instances, gleeflly ramped up the hate of them in Mobians, leading to a brief Civil War between Mobians and Robians (roboticized Mobians) and the AI NICOLE being temporarily exiled.
      • Not based on race, but the same basic idea is the reason why the Dark Legion broke off from the rest of Echidna society. Their love of technology led to them being persecuted and oppressed by the government.
      • The members of the Battle Bird Armada are a mild example of this. They feel that since they can fly naturally, only they have the right to be in the sky, and everyone else should stay on the ground. One member, Speedy, seems to particularly hate Tails, due to his ability to fly naturally despite not being a bird.
        Speedy: That's right, freak. Crawl. Crawl on the ground where you belong.
      • We learn through a flashback in "The Trial Of Gefforey St. John" that Ixis Naugus was able to convince Gefforey into becoming his student by playing off of Gefforey's resentment of Overlanders (Gefforey's father was a soldier in the Great War and was killed by Overlanders during a mission). It would seem that Mobian/Overlander hatred may not be entirely gone yet.
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog (2020), Dr. Robotnik has a massive disdain for any organic life compared to technology, as it does what it's told and is much more efficient. Played with in that he himself is a human with these beliefs as opposed to a robot or an AI.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture:
    • The Games:
      • Several games take place in a nation called "United Federation", which is America in all but name, complete with their president living in a White House-like building.
      • Sonic Unleashed doesn't even try to hide it. With the exception of Eggmanland, all of the levels are based off of various real-world locales:
        • Apotos = Mykonos, Greece
        • Mazuri = Mali (in Africa)
        • Spagonia = Western Europe (mainly Italy)
        • Holoska = The Arctic
        • Chun-Nan = China
        • Shamar = The Middle East (mainly the United Arab Emirates)
        • Empire City = New York City (mostly taken from Brooklyn and Manhattan)
        • Adabat = Southeast Asia (mainly Thailand and the Philippines)
        • And even Eggmanland could be considered as the bizarro world version of Disneyland/Disney World.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics)'s planet Mobius has long had stand-in cultures for Asia and Australia... but this was finally justified by the revelation that Mobius is actually Earth of the far, far future.
  • Fastest Thing Alive:
    "Soonnnicc! He can really move. Sonnniccc! He's got an attitude. Soonnicc! 'He's the fastest thing alive!"
  • Fatal Flaw:
    • The Games:
      • Sonic himself is presented as overly cocky and prone to acts of recklessness, a lot of which are exploited by foes or end up with him making a detrimental mistake. Eggman took advantage of an opening left by Sonic's arrogance in Sonic Unleashed, while in Sonic Lost World his over eagerness to swat away Eggman's new toy left another antagonist, the Deadly Six, free to bring havoc, an act which almost led to Earth being drained of it's life and Tails being transformed into a robot).
      • Since his first appearance, Knuckles is infamous for being gullible, something that is constantly exploited by Eggman as a Running Gag, usually to trick him into fighting or distracting Sonic.
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog (2020), Tom Wachowski’s is Impulsiveness. Tom has a "shoot first, ask questions later" mentality, and he gets himself into deeper and deeper trouble because of his tendency to act before he thinks.
      • Shooting Sonic with a tranquilizer dart made Sonic drop his Power Rings, necessitating the road trip from Green Hills, Montana to San Francisco, California.
      • Punching Robotnik in the face made it personal with him, getting Tom on the bad side of the mad scientists and the US government.
      • Averted at the end after some Character Development on Tom's part. Though he gets into the SFPD at last, he chooses to reject their offer and go back to Green Hills with Maddie, letting Sonic live in their attic.
  • Faux Affably Evil:
  • Fictional Video Game:
  • Filling the Silence:
    • Sonic Adventure: The English script adds way cool dialogue in the place of grunts and silence.
      Sonic: I was on a snooze cruise, I guess!
    • Several dubs to Sonic X have a very controversial example of voicing over mute scenes. In episode 52, one scene has Amy crying over how she was scared that Sonic wouldn't ever come back and sobbing how she would wait for him forever. Sonic's reply is deliberately mute in the original and even Amy's crying is silent afterwards. The English dub changes it so Sonic says "Don't you worry Amy. I never will [abandon you]" and has Amy's crying as audible. The French dub scene takes this up a level and has Sonic outright saying "Of course I love you Amy—forever".
  • Fire-Forged Friends:
    • The Games:
      • Sonic and Knuckles start off as enemies due to Dr. Eggman's manipulations, but after Knuckles saw through Eggman's lies, the two became close friends, yet they still clash on occasions.
      • At the beginning of Sonic Adventure 2, Sonic and Shadow were bitter rivals, no thanks to the former taking the blame for the latter's crimes. By the end, however, Shadow pulls a Heel–Face Turn, after which they grow to respect each other and become allies. Much like Knuckles, though, the two still go at it from time to time.
      • Shadow does this with Rouge to a degree. They were on the same side in Sonic Adventure 2, but Shadow then found out that Rouge wanted to find the Chaos Emeralds for herself and to get more jewels from G.U.N. after she finishes her research on Project Shadow. They don't really interact after that because of Shadow's supposed death, but Rouge holds onto one of Shadow's limiter rings, until she finds him again in Sonic Heroes. Since then however, Rouge and Shadow have become very close to True Companions, with a little Ship Teasing involved.
      • Shadow plays this with Omega in Sonic Heroes. Even though both became teammates after Rouge encouraged them to team up with her to find Eggman, the two didn't get along well since their brief fight and only really were held together by their shared desire to get to Eggman. As time goes on, the two have become reliable allies.
      • In Sonic Rush, Blaze was so determined to find the Sol Emeralds alone that she didn't want Sonic or his friends' help, to the point she engaged the hedgehog in a duel to prevent him from interfering with her objective. By the end however, Blaze realised that friendship is what it took to make the Sol Emeralds work, and she and Sonic defeat Eggman and Eggman Nega together. This friendship isn't without some little ship teasing either.
      • Sonic the Hedgehog (2006):
        • Sonic and Silver. Silver wanted to kill Sonic because he believed him to be the Iblis Trigger, but after seeing through Mephiles' lies, the two begin to work together to save Princess Elise from Dr. Eggman. Then this trope is played again due to the events of Sonic '06 being erased and Silver clashed with Sonic again in the Sonic Rivals series. It wasn't until Sonic Colors DS that the two got along again.
        • Shadow and Silver. Shadow rescues Sonic when Silver is about to kill him, and fights Silver in Sonic's place. When the two accidentally create a time portal to the past with Chaos Control, they are forced to team up to lock Mephiles and Iblis away in their original seals, and thus start to get along. Like with Sonic however, Shadow clashes with Silver again in Sonic Rivals due to the Retcon, and it takes longer for them to get along.
      • Silver and Espio in Sonic Rivals 2. Initially, their first meeting was iffy, then they teamed up, and at the end of their story, they become respectful towards each other.
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog (2020), Tom becomes this over time with Sonic. After the myriad of adventures they have trying to get to San Francisco, Tom grows genuinely attached to Sonic. He even lets Sonic live in his attic once Robotnik is gone.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing:
    • In Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity, after Eggman is beaten once again and the power-unit meteorites are recovered, Tails looks back on wondering why the Babylonians sealed them away in the first place. After questioning the "lightless black" that destroyed them and how a robot containing one of the meteorites suddenly exploded from the inside, Tails immediately realizes that the meteorites have the power to create a black hole.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (2020):
      • During the chase through San Francisco, Sonic skids under a truck with an ad for a travel agency on the side, reading "Visit Paris!" over a shot of the Eiffel Tower. A few seconds later, Sonic's next thrown ring portal sends them to the Eiffel Tower, since they send you to whatever location you were thinking of.
      • Listen closely to the "Speed Me Up" song during the credits. One of the lyrics reads "best friend named Tails". A few moments later, during The Stinger of the movie, Tails shows up, looking for Sonic.
  • Flashy Protagonists, Bland Extras:
    • The games star a bunch of Funny Animals while the random NPC characters are all humans. Humans can be both important and unimportant characters, however if an anthropomorphic animal pops up they're always an important character. It wasn't until Sonic Forces that Funny Animals outside of the main characters (excluding the background echidnas in Sonic Adventure) became a thing.
    • Canon Foreigner characters in Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics) are usually more humanoid than the Funny Animal SegaSonic characters. Even those that aren't still don't quite look on par with the Sonic Team-designed characters (for example, Furry Female Manes are common with Archie's original but extremely rare in game canon).. this was fixed when the 2013 Continuity Reboot allowed for redesigns of all non-game characters.
    • Sonic the Comic doesn't even try to blend in its cartoony SegaSonic characters with the Canon Foreigner cast. Though the Freedom Fighters such as Tekno and Shortfuse blend in well enough alongside Sonic and Amy, others are much taller and more humanoid than the Sega-created characters.
  • Flaw Exploitation:
    • In Sonic the Comic, during the "Robotnik Reigns Supreme" arc, Sonic, after being Brought Down to Normal and pitted against an evil Knuckles by the now-godlike Robotnik, exploits the good doctor's ego, goading him into restoring Sonic's speed and Knuckles' memories of the original history by pointing out that Robotnik would have never tried to use Knuckles to fight the weakened Sonic unless he was still scared of losing. As a result, Sonic and Knuckles use the Grey Emerald to strip Robotnik of his powers and revert all of his changes.
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog (2020), after learning that Robotnik's Berserk Button is being punched in the face, Tom exploits it by repeatedly punching Robotnik, making Robotnik lose focus on Sonic at a critical moment.
  • Flawed Prototype:
    • The Games:
      • Bio-Sonic and Silver Sonic from the Game Gear and Sega Genesis versions of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is this for Metal Sonic – Bio-Sonic only had a mechanical arm and curled up into an iron ball. Silver Sonic got the Sonic Spin down right, but could only race around in small areas.
      • E-101 Beta from Sonic Adventure is, as the name indicates, a beta test of Eggman's E-series robots. He's beaten easily, causing Eggman to rebuild him into a Super Prototype. Also from that game is the Tornado 2, mostly because Tails forgot to install landing gear on the secondary mode.
      • The Biolizard from Sonic Adventure 2 is a prototype of the ultimate life form. Shadow is the perfected ultimate life form. The former is a giant lizard covered with gills that has to hyperventilate through its (equally huge) life support system frequently in order to survive. The latter is an anthropomorphic hedgehog who doesn't seem to have any form of machine hooked up to him, save for the rocket skates and Power Limiters on his wrists, and he can lose those without any shown ill effect. Oh, and Shadow takes on his prototype and wins.
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics), the first Metal Sonic, Pseudo Sonic, wasn't as fast as his later counterparts and was actually prone to being disabled by static electricity.
  • Flight:
    • The Games:
      • Miles "Tails" Prower flies, very fast, too. Courtesy of his appropriately named dual-tails which he twirls like a helicopter (Some suspension of belief is required for the detail that he can constantly spin his tail in one direction constantly without having to unspin it to unwind it first).
      • Knuckles the Echidna can glide though the air thanks to his dreads/quills absorbing air currents, though Knuckles will forced to float down if there’s no wind/fan.
      • Cream the Rabbit is also capable of flight to a limited extent, using her giant floppy ears (as is her Chao partner Cheese, whose species possess fairy-like wings).
      • Rouge the Bat more conventionally uses her wings, though whether this is flight or just gliding varies between games.
      • In Sonic Colors, the Orange Wisp allows Sonic to fly straight up into the air, destroying enemies and obstacles along the way.
      • Charmy Bee. The bee who's flying almost every second he's on screen.
      • Super Sonic can also fly when his super mode is an 11th-Hour Superpower. (Most of the time, anyway.)
      • Shadow the Hedgehog can fly using his air shoes, Chaos Control, or if he's Super Shadow.
      • Blaze the Cat is capable of flying through unknown means or if she's Burning Blaze.
      • Silver the Hedgehog can fly by turning his telekinesis on himself, or if he's Super Silver.
    • In The Stinger of Sonic the Hedgehog (2020), just like his game counterpart, Tails can rapidly spin his twin tails to fly.
  • Floating Continent:
    • The games have several such examples of this trope throughout the years:
  • The second half of Windy Hill from Sonic Adventure takes place on bridges and landmasses floating high in the sky.
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie, seemingly all of society lives on floating islands. Heavy cloud cover combined with the overshadowing effect of these islands makes the otherwise perfectly habitable regular ground more or less abandoned (and earns it the name "The Land of Darkness" to boot). The only ones who dwell there are Robotnik, who implicitly doesn't care that it's so gloomy so long as he has the place to himself, and his robots, who obviously don't care that it's so dark. Also, there's no threat of these continents falling to the ground — instead, the threat is that they'll be flung out into space, as the continents all join at massive glaciers that functionally anchor them to the planet's surface. If it were to be destroyed, the combination of the planet's rotation and their own anti-gravity would cause them to hurtle out of orbit, being torn apart in the process.
  • Foe Romance Subtext:
    • The games have Knuckles and Rouge, particularly in Sonic Adventure 2. The two spend the better part of the game at each other's throats, mainly because they both want to restore the Master Emerald after it as broken earlier, albeit for different reasons, noble and selfish respectively. However, in their final confrontation when Rouge was in trouble, Knuckles saved her and the two gazed in each other's eyes while holding hands for a good few seconds before Rouge pulled away in disgust. Knuckles calls her out on her ungrateful attitude, but then Rouge teases that he just wanted to hold her hand. Rouge decides to just give up her pieces and leaves it at that, Knuckles apologizes if he hurt her in their previous fight and Rouge gives a small smile in his direction before departing.
    • In one episode of Sonic X, during a fighting tournament, Rouge fights Tails and beats him... by kissing him. A few episodes earlier, she essentially flirts with Knuckles. The latter relationship is canon.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The Games:
      • Sonic 3 & Knuckles: The secret final boss battle is foreshadowed by an ancient prophetic mural in Hidden Palace Zone, which depicts (in a highly stylized manner) a showdown between Super Sonic and Dr. Eggman in space for the Master Emerald. The Japanese storyline also makes a brief mention of another ancient mural depicting a legendary dragon that would bring disaster to the island. Cue Sonic Adventure, which shows a similar mural and has a certain ancient water dragon as the final boss.
      • Three years before Sonic Battle came out and revealed that Gerald Robotnik had studied Angel Island lore and was fascinated by it, Sonic Adventure 2 had foreshadowed said reveal, with all the Angel Island imagery present in the Arknote 
  • The Hang Castle stage of Sonic Heroes involves gravity-flipping as its main mechanic. At one point, a prominent feature in the background is giant statue of Dr. Eggman. Flipped upside down, the statue becomes Metal Sonic, who has captured and is impersonating Eggman for most of the story.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (2020):
    • Tom wanting to leave Green Hills for a police job at San Francisco, the latter city of which is where the climax begins.
    • Before Tom catches Sonic, he makes mention of a "mushroom planet." At the end of the movie, that's where Robotnik ends up.
    • After Dr. Robotnik's sunglasses are broken during his initial confrontation with Tom, he asks Agent Stone to find some new lenses. When he shows up at San Francisco during the climax, he sports his trademark goggles as replacements.
    • The entire Bullet Time sequence during the Bar Brawl foreshadows Sonic's eventual use of it during action scenes.
    • Sonic's "bucket list" gets crossed off almost entirely at the bar and motel, includes entries such as "run along GREAT WALL" and "making a friend". During the chase sequence with Robotnik, Sonic does get to run along the Great Wall of China. Furthermore, at the climatic battle at Green Hills, Tom admits Sonic was his friend, which ends up rejuvenating Sonic before he dies.
    • Wade, after being intimidated by Robotnik and government agents at his office, asks if they're going to mindwipe him before shouting he will tell people. At the climax battle at Green Hills, he shows up with the townsfolk armed and ready to shoot the Eggman's death robot.
    • Several times throughout the movie it pans slowly across Sonic's old, ugly, mismatched, duct taped shoes, making his eventual upgrade to his trademark red sneakers all the more anticipated.
    • When Dr. Robotnik first shows up at the Wachowski residence, Tom has Sonic hide in the attic. The same attic that will become his new home in the end.
  • Forgot About His Powers:
    • The Games:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics):
      • The chronic and widespread amnesia over the Iron Queen's Magitek is one of the main causes of The Iron Dominion Saga; the Freedom Fighters are constantly clueless to the fact that their enemy can control machines with her mind, and wind up being shocked each time one of their cyborg or mechanical allies gets turned against them by her. They also keep forgetting that they have a counteragent to her spell right in their own backyard. And in case you're wondering, there's actually a time in the saga where the Iron Queen herself forgets that she has this power, and has to be reminded that the Freedom Fighters are holed up in a Grey Goo city that she can manipulate... after she successfully infiltrated and messed it up with her powers.
      • Tails had an uncle who was skilled enough in magic to, among other things, teleport and activate his Super Mode. Unless there's an unexplained limitation on that second spell, Dr. Eggman really shouldn't have been a threat for so long.
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog (2020), we're shown (repeatedly) that Sonic can move so quickly when he's in danger that time almost stands still around him. Yet when Tom shoots at him with a tranquilizer gun he makes no attempt to run or move out of the way. Even though he's able to move out of the way of incoming missiles, apparently a tranquilizer gun is the only thing that'll take him down. This is never addressed or explained, so the only reason why Sonic doesn't move out of the way seems to be because the plot says so.
  • For the Evulz:
  • Four-Fingered Hands:
    • The Games:
      • While most characters in the games have five fingers per hand, the character Fang the Sniper (A.K.A. Nack the Weasel) has only four fingers per hand. Seemingly a reference to the fact that jerboas have four toes, as he's a wolf/jerboa hybrid (despite what his Western name claims).
      • The animal characters in the games have no toes at all. The rare time they're seen without their shoes, they just have oval-ish lumps with no features on them whatsoever. However, if All-Stars Racing Transformed is anything to go by, driving through electricity or being hit with an electric All-Star move shows that the Sonic characters have toe bones.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics) series have both the four-fingered and five-fingered hands. The SEGA-based heroes and the normal humans have five fingers while those from the Saturday morning Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM) series or Original Generation characters have four fingers. The humans with four fingers were given the name "Overlanders", while five-fingered humans are still referred to as "humans". This was lampshaded in the original miniseries where a fish robot attacks a drawing of Sonic on a rock, then mumbles about how he should have realized it was fake because it had four fingers.
    • In Sonic Underground, Sonic and his siblings are drawn with five fingers, but Robotnik has only four. This is a result of the show using the game design for Sonic (unlike previous cartoons, which used more simplified designs), and basing Manic and Sonia on it. Robotnik, instead, uses his SatAM design, which had four fingers like all characters in that show.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble:
    • The Games:
      • The main four heroes:
        • Sonic (Choleric): The leader of the gang. Driven by his own strong sense of justice, he can be very impulsive and most likely to take action should a problem present itself. He's quick-witted, easy-going and loyal to his friends. To his rivals and enemies, he can be an extremely condescending smart aleck. He has his moments of being arrogant and narcissistic, but is nonetheless a cool individual who’s always there to save the day.
        • Tails (Phlegmatic): The technician of the gang, his intelligence rivals that of Dr. Eggman's. He's very friendly, upbeat and humble, but can be very touchy and prone to self-doubt at times. He can also be naive and a blabber-mouth, which can greatly irritate his friends. Nonetheless, he's driven to chart the course and guide his friends.
        • Knuckles (Melancholic): The muscle of the gang and Sonic's former rival. He's stubborn, very short-tempered, and terribly single-minded. He's a driven individual who takes his duties as protector of Angel Island, along with the Master Emerald, very seriously. Only problem is that he can be very gullible, naive and easily misled to the point that cunning individuals (like Dr. Eggman and Rouge) can easily get one over on him.
        • Amy (Sanguine): The leader of her own group (Team Rose) but sometimes resorts to going along with Sonic and his crew. She’s a cheerful and optimistic individual who can be very compassionate and overly concerned with other people's problems. However, she can be very aggressive, stubborn and temperamental. Because of those traits, she can come across as very overbearing and a nuisance sometimes (especially to Sonic).
      • The three member Team Dark has this dynamic whenever Eggman is included:
        • Eggman (Choleric): The former leader of Team Dark in Sonic Adventure 2. Despite possessing a high IQ, he's terrible at scheming, and is pretty immature. He's intolerant and very temperamental when things don't work out for him. On the flip side, he can be very clever and able to create almost anything in order to achieve his goals. He's extremely cunning and with a sufficient amount of planning, could be very successful at conquering the world... or at least, he could've been successful if it weren't for that blue hedgehog.
        • Shadow (Phlegmatic): Cold, ruthless and sarcastic (even to his own allies). He's very tough-minded and arrogant, it would seem as if it's impossible for him to cooperate with anybody. He does have a soft side to him though (which he rarely shows) and can be a very loyal and reliable individual when he needs to be.
        • Rouge (Sanguine): Plays the role of the charismatic leader of Team Dark in Sonic Heroes onwards. She's flirty, mischievous, and sometimes can be very narcissistic. She relies on her skills and wits to get her way, although she can get very infuriated when things don't go the way she expects them to.
        • Omega (Melancholic): As the last E-series robot Dr. Eggman created, is very aggressive and while he's focused on a particular goal, he lacks tact and relies on sheer brute force to get his way. He's snarky, very prideful of his abilities, and views himself as superior to all of Dr. Eggman's creations. His own arrogance rivals that of Shadow's to the point where they can easily get into fights with each other sometimes but nonetheless remain loyal allies. He harbors a grudge against Dr. Eggman for disabling him and vows to destroy him.
  • The four leads of Sonic the Hedgehog (2020) fill these roles:
    • Sonic (Sanguine): the carefree daredevil who loves living life to its fullest and longs for true friendship.
    • Tom (Melancholic): the competent officer who is great at what he does but wants to prove himself more.
    • Maddie (Phlegmatic): the caring veterinarian who is willing to sacrifice her conveniences to help others.
    • Robotnik (Choleric): the brash, arrogant, and eccentric super-genius who cares only for his machines and inventions.
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip:
    • In Super Sonic Special #12, Sonic and Knuckles switch bodies thanks to a scheming Dimitri and fake Robotnik, in order to blackmail them into getting the Master Chaos Emerald.
    • Happened once in Issue #37 of the Sonic X comic, in which Sonic and Dr Eggman switched bodies. Truth be told though, neither took real advantage of it, despite the cover suggesting more heinous actions by Eggman (in Sonic's body). Eggman in Sonic's body is unable to control Sonic's speed, while Sonic in Eggman's body has a hard time driving the Eggmobile. The story is resolved when the two use the ray Eggman used to swap their bodies to swap back. Eggman's comedy relief henchmen, Decoe and Bocoe tie up Eggman in the end, believing he is still Sonic, and interrogate him.
    • In the Sonic Boom episode, "The Meteor", Sonic and Dr. Eggman both call dibs on the titular meteor and touch it at the same time, resulting in their bodies being swapped. Their voices don't switch, which makes it harder for their friends to tell them apart, however, their personalities still stand out.
  • Free-Range Children:
    • Most of the game characters are minors (Tails is 8, Amy is 12, Sonic is 15, etc.), and very few of them have legal guardians. Cream (6) lives with her mother Vanilla, Charmy and Espio have Vector, and Blaze is a princess and is stated to have a living family, though they are unseen. In some cases, an explanation is given; Tails is an orphan and was the only inhabitant of a very small island before meeting Sonic, and Knuckles is the last of his species. The rest are unexplained.
    • In Sonic X, Cream the Rabbit is allowed by her mother to accompany her friends on quests to save the universe, despite being only 6. She has Cheese with her, but still... Sonic and the others aren't much better, being all under 17 and Tails being as young as 8, but it's unknown where their parents even are.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • In Sonic Unleashed, a Dreamcast with controller is briefly seen just prior to Dr. Eggman firing the Wave-Motion Gun to fracture the planet and awaken Dark Gaia. It's in the frames where you get an overhead shot as Eggman has his finger in the air. He also has the Dreamcast in his Egg Mobile right before Dark Gaia emerges and swats him away.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (2020):
      • A brief glimpse of red dreadlocks reveals that the masked tribe hunting Longclaw and Sonic for the latter's powers are echidnas (Knuckles' species).
      • First time viewers probably aren't gonna notice that the echidna who shoots down Longclaw is Pachacamac, the tyrannical tribe leader from Sonic Adventurenote . The detail was so easy to miss that Tyson Hesse had to publicly reveal the cameo on his Twitter.
      • The switches in Robotnik's mobile lab above the emergency generator's switches are labelled "BADNIKS" and "EVIL LAIR".
      • While he's browsing for "Tunes of Anarchy" in his computer lab, we can see one of Robotnik's playlists is named "Crush 40".
      • Sonic's map of safe worlds includes Sonic 3's Bonus Stage and a Chaos Emerald.
  • Freeze Ray:
  • Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog episode "Baby-Sitter Jitters" features Robotnik's "Reversible Melt-O/Freeze-O Ray", pairing this trope with its inverse. However, the two modes aren't used in tandem to any significant effect: early on, Robotnik is hit by the "Freeze-O" mode and trapped in a block of ice, while in the climax the "Melt-O" mode makes a hole in a thick metal door that's trapping Sonic and Tails.
  • The Friends Who Never Hang:
    • The Games:
      • Tails and Cream barely ever communicate with each other. It's rather odd considering Sonic and Knuckles interact with their female counterparts quite often.
      • Ever since Sonic Heroes, more or less every character has been filed into a niche "team" that rarely interacts with the rest of the cast outside of their teams aside from Sonic himself, bordering on being an entire roster of SatelliteCharacters. Typically they're divided into "Team Sonic",note  "Team Dark",note  "Team Rose",note  "Team Chaotix", note  and the duo of Blaze the Cat and Silver, with Cream occasionally grouped with them due to her close relationship with Blaze. Particularly egregious with Team Chaotix, since they barely even interacted with the rest of the cast before suddenly being close enough to be invited to Sonic's Birthday party, only to spend the entire party standing by themselves.

        In fact, even within the teams themselves this happens. Knuckles and Tails rarely interact nowadays unless it's plot mandated they do, Cream has more or less never spoken a word to Silver despite how close she is to Blaze, All of Team Rose rarely has anything to do with Big unless they need a third wheel, etc. Really, they're all basically just there to talk to Sonic and no one else.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM) has a case affecting the Spotlight-Stealing Squad in that Sonic rarely interacted with Bunnie, while Sally replaced Rotor as his confidant and foil, making them more this. As such the two ended up Demoted to Extra in Season Two.
  • Friend to All Living Things:
    • The Games:
      • Sonic's initial reason for fighting Eggman was to save his animal friends who had been captured and used to power Eggman's robots. In the end of the first game they are seen frolicking through the Green Hill Zone with him. Most of his friends have shown signs of this at least once too. Justified somewhat as they're animals themselves.
      • Subverted by Metal Sonic in Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode Metal. He goes through the same levels as Sonic all while freeing animals by destroying the robots they're trapped in (robots made by his own creator), much like Sonic would; but he's only going through them to track down Sonic and because they attack him first. Once he's found Sonic, the animals he's unintentionally freed jump happily around him, but he gets annoyed by this and scares them off.
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog (2020), his first scene as a teenager has Sonic saving a tortoise from being run over by a truck and treating it to a high-speed run with him.
  • The Full Name Adventures:
  • Fungus Humongous:
  • Funny Animal Anatomy:
    • The games have some very prominent examples. While characters like Tails and Rouge the Bat can at least be identified as to which species they are, most other characters look nothing like their species. You probably wouldn't guess Sonic was a hedgehog unless you'd been told so.
    • The Mobian aquatic creatures, particularly the fish, in Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics) have legs and humanoid bodies, to make them more anthropomorphic.
  • Furry Confusion:
    • The Games:
      • In the original games, the main characters are anthropomorphic animals (albeit oddly colored) who save smaller, less anthropomorphic animals from the clutches of Dr. Ivo "Eggman" Robotnik. This is especially weird in the Sonic Adventure games, where the playable characters can actually collect the non-anthropomorphs and give them to the Virtual Pet-like Chao. In this game, the animal friends are treated as Nearly Normal Animals instead of Partially Civilized Animals like in previous titles.
      • Some of the animals that can be rescued in Sonic Adventure include ordinary, non-anthropomorphic bats, rabbits, and swallows. Rouge, Cream, and Wave are respectively, an anthropomorphic bat, rabbit, and swallow. And while those characters hadn't been introduced until later games, the remake of Sonic Adventure has Cream make a few small cameos, with the animal list unchanged.
      • Sonic Adventure 2 takes the cake, as it has three different kinds of bats: the anthropomorphic Rouge (who is in fact more anthropomorphic than other characters), the cartoonish bats that are freed by killing Robotnik's robots, and actual real-life bats flying around in the level "Death Chamber".
      • In the Lost Jungle level of Sonic Heroes, you can encounter a giant non-anthropomorphic crocodile. If you play as Team Chaotix, one of your characters is Vector, an anthropomorphic crocodile. If you play Lost Jungle as Team Chaotix, you take an alternate route where you do not run into the giant crocodile.
      • In Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood, there are non-anthropomorphic animals that are common enemies. They include wasps, armadillos, boars, hawks, and millipedes. Note that threenote  of these species are also the species of members of the cast.
      • In Sonic and the Black Knight, some of the items you can identify include bat's fangs and rabbit's tails.
      • In Sonic Unleashed, non-anthro seagulls and pigeons can be seen. Non-anthro seagulls have also been seen in Sonic Adventure and Sonic Rush Adventure.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics):
      • The series has Sonic's pet dog Muttski, one of the very few non-anthropomorphic animals seen in the comic (which also contains Funny Animal dogs). Following the reboot, Muttski is now a full-fledged Mobian, and his full name is now Ben Muttski. Sonic and Tails were shocked to discover that, to say the least.
      • Tasmanian Devils are explicitly described in one issue as "One of the few Mobian races that never fully evolved". Which is later thrown out the window in a later story arc in which we DO have an anthropomorphic Tasmanian Devil fighting alongside Sonic and co. A Knuckles story arc prior to the reboot involving said Tasmanian Devil – Thrash, who claimed that the reason other devils never fully evolved was actually due to the Echidna race's genetic tampering, and, as revenge, stuck all of them but Knuckles into the negative zone (once again making Knuckles the only surviving member of his species).
    • A 1995 Look and Find book for Sonic the Hedgehog mixes normal looking animals, Civilized Animals, and Funny Animals on the same page. So you'll have an anthropomorphic cat woman just to the right of running cats, normal porcupines on the same page as Sonic, and Sally amongst chipmunks and squirrels.
    • In an episode of Sonic X , Sonic runs into a normal hedgehog. Then again, Sonic comes from another dimension and looks absolutely nothing like a hedgehog...
    • Sonic Boom:
      • One episode has Sticks getting a pet robot dog. Sonic calls her out on animal cruelty earlier in the episode, which makes you curious if the characters consider themselves animals as well. There are non-anthropomorphic cats and octopi in the series.
      • Funny Animal biology is referenced to, such as when Sticks offends a walrus by telling her she has enough blubber for the winter.
      • In the episode "Muckfoot", Tails suspects the titular creature may be "the missing link between animal and anthropomorphic animal."
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog (2020), according to Sonic, Longclaw eats mice, implying that regular mice somehow exist on Sonic's planet of anthropomorphic animals.
  • Furry Female Mane:
    • The Games:
      • Most of the females avert this. For example, Amy (a hedgehog) styles her quills into a bob while Rouge (a bat) doesn't even have fluff on her head.
      • Blaze the Cat has purple hair in a ponytail.
      • Cream's mother Vanilla is distinguished from her by having a bit of hair.
      • Honey the Cat of Sonic the Fighters is just Honey from Fighting Vipers but as a Funny Animal cat. She stands out against the canon Sonic characters by having yellow fur against a black mop of hair.
    • Played straight and averted in Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM), Sally and Lupe have a mane of hair, while Bunnie only has a tuft of fur on her forehead. Most male characters have just fur, though Antoine has a blond cut and some elderly characters such as Uncle Chuck and King Acorn have mustaches.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics) plays this straight with many of its Canon Foreigner female characters (and often males too). In comparison, SegaSonic canon characters tend to avert this. Bunnie is one example where she originally averted this trope and had a Tuft of Head Fur but was later given long hair.
    • Sonic the Comic averts this with much of the cast, but it also plays this trope straight:
      • Morain is a fox kit like Tails but has longer bangs and a ponytail.
      • Tekno combines this with Non-Mammalian Hair. She is a canary with short hair.
  • Furry Reminder:
    • The Games:
      • Sonic can only walk across the bottom of any body of water in most of the games because hedgehogs are supposedly not good swimmers. (Though in reality, they don't seem to be worse off than most other land mammals.) Also, Sonic, along with some of his friends, curls up into a ball, which is what hedgehogs do in real life for defense (although they do not roll in balls or jump onto their enemies while curled up).
      • Knuckles the Echidna can dig, which is what echidnas can do. However, the hedgehogs, foxes, and rabbits, which are also burrowing animals, cannot dig.
      • The first time Rouge the Bat meets Shadow and Eggman in Sonic Adventure 2, she is seen hanging upside down from the ceiling, not unlike an actual bat.
      • The characters sometimes move their ears like actual animals. For example, at the start of Adventure 2 (but not the Gamecube port) Sonic's ear twitches when he hears Shadow.
      • In Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games, while most of the Sonic the Hedgehog characters have human-like swimming styles (even Tails' doggy paddle is a Continuity Nod to the Genesis games), Vector the Crocodile has a unique swimming style, which is functionally identical to the way real crocodiles swim.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics):
      • Big the Cat chased a ball of yarn.
      • It's been shown that echidnas hatch from eggs.
    • In one episode of Sonic X, it is mentioned that bats like Rouge have sonar that can sense things in the dark.
    • When Rouge video-chats in Team Sonic Racing Overdrive, her bat fangs are prominent. They're gone in the next shot. Rouge has bat fangs in the games as well, but they've been toned down since Sonic Adventure 2.
    • Sticks offends a walrus in Sonic Boom by telling her she has enough blubber for the winter.
    • What are hedgehogs known for? In Sonic the Hedgehog (2020), Sonic occasionally curls up into a spiky, non-rolling ball, for example, to hide by blending in with other sports balls.
  • Fusion Dance:
    • This is how each of the power-ups work in Sonic Colors — Sonic merges with the Wisp to gain its powers. They reappeared in Sonic Lost World, filling the same purpose as they did in Colors. However, in Sonic Forces, they are instead being fused with a gadget called a Wispon.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics):
      • One issue had all versions of Tails from across the multiverse of team up and fuse to become Titan Tails, which was a gigantic, beefed-up Tails, to battle Master Mogul.
      • In Sonic Universe's "30 Years Later" storyline, we find that Tikal and Chaos have fused into one Composite, Tikhaos. It seems to have some semblance of Tikal's personality, but Chaos' hunger for chaos energy.
  • Genetic Engineering Is the New Nuke:
    • Shadow the Hedgehog from the games, the Ultimate Life Form. Envisioned as a great defender of the world, and this is indeed what he ultimately becomes in spite of a setback after his creator went mad with grief over Maria's death, then amnesia, and then discovering that one of the genetic templates for his creation was an Eldritch Abomination. Shadow has gone on to destroy or take part in destroying a number of Eldritch Abominations and armies of Mecha-Mooks.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics):
      • Knuckles the Echidna's origin has a combination of this and I Love Nuclear Power; his father, Locke, performed "biological enhancements" on himself, noting that Knuckles' was made up of more than just the genetic material of his parents. Then Locke irradiated his son's egg with Chaos Energy from the Master Emerald.
      • It ends up the entire planet of Funny Animals is the result of the alien species called the Xorda dropping a "gene bomb" on the planet, mutating it severely. Yes, the origin story for the heroes homeworld is that Earth was bombarded by genetic engineering weapons that caused fault lines to shift, seas to drain, and left the planet uninhabitable in many places for many years. Which is what you'd expect to happen if a planet got hit by several thousand multi-megaton nuclear weapons.
  • Genius Bruiser:
    • The Games:
      • Vector the Crocodile is classified as a power character, and is shown to be a brilliant detective. He unfortunately sometimes doubles as a total idiot - but then most of Team Chaotix does that. Nowhere is this shown better than at the end of Sonic Heroes where he lays out to Eggman that he knew EXACTLY who he was all along, and was playing along with his game because he knew that whomever locked Eggman up would be the worse of two evils after effortlessly tearing a thick metal door off the wall with his bare fists.
      • Dr. Eggman, though he rarely ever uses his raw strength. He is orders of magnitude above everyone else in knowledge of robotics and machinery, but when push comes to shove, he can not only run as quickly as Sonic can (albeit for short periods of time), but the Sonic Riders games show he can punch aside metal doors, cars, stone statues, and other large heavy objects like they're nothing and with no assistance. He just prefers to let his machines do the destruction.
      • When he's not being written as rock stupid Knuckles has, at various points, demonstrated a philosophical streak, a fair bit of historical knowledge, an ability to read ancient runes, and some tactical ability. All in addition to his prodigious strength.
  • Vector who is balanced in both brawn and brains, His physical strength is significant and he tends to fight using his tail and teeth. He also possesses keen computation and detective skills.
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog (2020), despite relying mostly on his robots and pooh-pooing things like physical confrontation, Robotnik is no slouch in a fight, being able to throw a very large biker out of a (freshly replaced) glass window when threatened.
  • Genius Serum:
    • Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog: In "Grounder the Genius", Dr. Robotnik's computer program designed to make him a thousand times smarter is stolen by Hacker, an adolescent mole, and downloaded onto a microchip. When Scratch and Grounder are sent to capture Hacker, Grounder accidentally installs the Genius Chip and becomes a genius, making Robotnik his prisoner and Scratch his slave. In the same episode, Hacker is also revealed to have invented a Stupid Chip, which makes whoever uses it only half as smart as they are.
    • A very early issue of Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics) had Tails eat a fruit from Rotor's Tree of Knowledge, instantly gaining a mega-genius intellect. It lasted long enough for him to get a swollen ego and try to take on Robotnik himself. According to Ian Flynn, however, while the boost in knowledge was temporary, the fruit did permanently unlock Tails's own enhanced intelligence, explaining his at the time rather childish depiction suddenly falling into line with the technical genius he was depicted in in the games.
  • Gentle Giant:
    • The Games:
      • Bark the Polar Bear is the largest character in Sonic the Fighters, and one of the strongest. His official bio describes him as "blunt and quiet, but gentle, shy and with a kind heart".
      • Big the Cat is one of the biggest and strongest characters in the Sonic franchise, and yet he is one of the most easy-going, preferring to spend most of his time fishing with Froggy, his pet frog. He is also good friends with Amy and Cream in Sonic Heroes, serving as the Power member of Team Rose.
  • Knuckles in Sonic Boom. He's big, tall, and muscular, possesses incredible strength, loves punching things...but is also probably one of the friendliest characters on the show. Despite his tough appearance, he has a soft spot for nature, and is incredibly loyal to his friends.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (2020):
      • As Dr. Robotnik shows off his fleet of flying robots to the government:
        Robotnik: Look what came out of my egg sac!
      • Sonic complaining to Tom as he notices Dr. Robotnik and his robots swarm the house.
        Tom: I'm not in the mood to be probed.
        Sonic: You think you're worried? I'm not even wearing pants!
      • This exchange between Tom and Robotnik:
        Robotnik: I was spitting out formulas while you were spitting up formula.
        Tom: I was breast-fed, actually.
        Robotnik: Nice. Rub that in my orphan face.
  • Gilligan Cut:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM) has this (part of a plan to steal Robotnik's materials):
      Sonic: A hedgehog never gives up.
      (cuts to middle of Robotropolis)
      Sonic: I give up!
    • Sonic Boom:
      • In episode 4:
        Amy: You should get a pet. It would help you learn to love animals. Don't you think, Sonic?
        Sonic: Yes, absolutely.
        Amy: Then you can take Sticks pet-shopping right now.
        Sonic: No, absolutely not.
        (cut to Sonic taking Sticks pet-shopping)
  • In Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, Tails' belief that girls have cooties is very pronounced.
  • Sonic X is notable for zig-zagging this trope. Tails gets defeated in a match when Rouge kisses him on the cheek, grossing him out and playing this trope straight. This is subverted when he gets a love interest in a plant girl named Cosmo in the third season.
  • Girls with Moustaches:
    • In Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, Dr. Robotnik's mother has a moustache similar to Robotnik's own.
    • In the Sonic Boom episode, "Eggheads", when Sonic's friends eat the personality-changing cookies with Dr. Eggman's DNA, they all gain Eggman's trademark mustache. This includes the female characters, Amy and Sticks.
  • Girly Bruiser:
    • Amy Rose from the games is an adorable pink hedgehog in a cute red dress who carries a hammer that makes cute little tapping noises when it hits, creating bubbles of heart-shaped magic in some incarnations. Said hammer, when wielded by Amy, has also reduced gigantic, deadly battle robots to scrap metal.
  • Glass Cannon:
    • The Games:
      • Sonic. He wrecks robots like nobody's business and defeats Eggman's most powerful machines with almost as much ease. But if he loses his rings one hit can kill him.
      • Shadow. He's got incredible offensive power, but goes down just as easily as Sonic (and in games with actual health bars, even more easily). Even with Cutscene Power to the Max, he still can't take a hit.
      • As far as bosses go, Zor is the fifth member of the Deadly Six to challenge Sonic in Sonic Lost World and can only take half as many hits as the next-most-fragile member. Naturally, as Sonic encounters him so late into the game, Zor is capable of mounting offenses that make hitting him even once a challenge and is smart enough to only pick battlefields where he has the terrain advantage.
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog (2020), Sonic is insanely fast but his small size means he has trouble dealing harm to even regular humans by conventional means (his rapid-fire punches do nothing to a big guy in a Bar Brawl) and it doesn't take much to knock him down. It isn't until he develops his spinball move coupled with lightning powers that he learns to fight bigger opponents.
  • The Glomp:
    • In the games, Sonic gets glomped by Amy. Or at least he would be if Amy wasn't color blind. She can't seem to tell the difference between blue Sonic, black-and-red Shadow, and white-colored Silver. She successfully glomps him in Sonic Unleashed... while he's in Werehog form. The one time she actually gets him, she thinks she has the wrong guy almost immediately afterward.
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie, Tails' default reaction to lightning involves glomping onto Sonic in his panic.
  • Godzilla Threshold:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics):
      • When Sonic is roboticized into Mecha Sonic, the Freedom Fighters are forced to do the same to Knuckles, though they take precautions to make sure he keeps his free will.
      • The "Enerjak Rising" storyline was just one big conga line of thresholds being reached. When Knuckles couldn't be found, the first thing they did was stop Dr. Eggman and called a truce in order to capture Enerjak. Sally was barely able to contact G.U.N. and they ended up sending their threshold, Shadow the Hedgehog. When Enerjak proved to be too much, Shadow reached his own and removed his limiters in an attempt to stop him. Locke grabs Sonic and Julie-Su and gives them a new version of the Chaos Siphon in an attempt to stop Enerjak, knowing it'll kill him (and knowing it's Knuckles in reality), but Sonic smashes it. Then, Sonic throws himself on the cursed Master Emerald in an attempt to become Super Sonic (which works). All of this leads to the last threshold: Locke sacrificing himself to end the curse and rescue Knuckles.
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog (2020), everyone in the war room agrees that calling in Dr. Robotnik is something no one but him will enjoy but when dealing with a potential terrorist threat that can black out the entire northwest United States, there isn't anyone better.
  • Go-Karting with Bowser:
    • The Games:
      • You can go karting with Eggman in Sonic Drift, and karting (more so airboarding) with Shadow in Sonic Riders
      • In Sonic Drift 2, you can not only kart with Eggman, but you can also choose Knuckles, Metal Sonic, and even Fang/Nack!
      • And in Sonic R it's not just Robotnik but four of his creations: Metal Sonic, Metal Knuckles, Tails Doll, and Egg Robo. The manual makes an attempt to say its a secret plot to destroy Sonic, but ingame all play fairly, and you can't destroy other racers.
      • This has happened with Shadow in the games a few times too - though Shadow is more of The Rival than a villain, he and Sonic tend to be enemies most of the time (or at least, he really doesn't like Sonic). However, he teams up with Sonic or Tails in various levels in Shadow the Hedgehog, races with the others in the various spin-off racing games, and appears at Sonic's birthday party in the ending to Sonic Generations. He also shows up before the Final Boss to give both Sonics some words of motivation, and gives them advice during the actual battle along with the other characters.
      • In the two-player mode of Sonic Adventure 2, Sonic can have a friendly race with Shadow and Metal Sonic. He can also actually go go-karting with Shadow (but not with Metal Sonic, since he's not selectable in that mode). Even more, Amy can also race against Metal Sonic, despite the fact she should have every reason to hate him given that he's the one who kidnapped her back in Sonic the Hedgehog CD.
      • In Sonic & Sega All Stars Racing, of course, Sonic is seeing karting with Eggman and Shadow. Shadow's profile actually reminds you of his Character Development from revenge-driven maniac to The Lancer.
      • Sega themselves lampshaded this during the second annual Sonic Twitter takeover (itself an example of this trope, with Sonic and Eggman answering fan-tweeted questions together). Sega asked them "Do you guys hang out a lot or are you actually frenemies?" Eggman's response is to loudly and emphatically declare "We're ''enemies''! MORTAL enemies!", then offer to get Sonic a leftover chili dog from the fridge.
      • The third Sonic Twitter had Shadow answering questions along with Sonic and Eggman.
    • In an early issue of Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics), Snively and some Swatbots interrupt a hockey game the Mobians are playing simply because they wanted to play themselves. Robotnik finds out and ups the stakes on the game, but Snively really wanted to play for fun.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie: Sonic's girlfriend Sara plays video games with Dr. Eggman, her kidnapper.
    • Sonic X:
      • Doctor Eggman actually gives Sonic shelter after finding him knocked out from a recent battle (while he was jogging down the beach no less) He does, however, use the opportunity to plant a listening device on Sonic.
      • In one episode there's a scene where Sonic finds Eggman sitting on a cliff overlooking Station Square, and the two have a remarkably civil conversation before going their separate ways.
    • In the Sonic Boom episode "Fuzzy Puppy Buddies", Amy and Eggman discover a shared love of a cutesy board game called Fuzzy Puppies, and secretly meet up to play the game when Sonic and his friends aren't thwarting Eggman's evil schemes.
  • Golden Super Mode:
  • Good Colors, Evil Colors:
    • The Games:
      • Sonic (the hero) is blue, Knuckles (the tough guy) is a cherry red, Amy Rose and Rouge the Bat (the chicks) have extensive pink colouring, Shadow the Hedgehog (Anti-Hero) is red and black, and Eggman is covered in red, yellow, and black - good old evil commie colours.
      • Team Chaotix include a lot of the transition colours, alluding to their use as more neutral characters.
      • It's still going on - Princess Blaze consists of much purple (for royalty). Silver is almost entirely white, with some hints of gold and blue as a Messianic Archetype.
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog (2020), Sonic obviously has his trademark blue quills/fur and also glows brightly when charging up. Robotnik favours primarily black or red for his clothes and vehicles.
  • The Good Guys Always Win:
  • Gotta Catch Them All:
  • Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog features a four-episode story arc concerning the quest for the Chaos Emeralds. In each episode, Dr. Robotnik uses his new time machine to travel back in history in order to acquire one of the four emeralds, invariably pursued by Sonic and Tails.
  • Gratuitous Japanese:
    • Sonic Adventure 2:
      • Eggman shouts "Onore!" when using his boxing glove attack and says "Yossha!" (more or less, "I did it!") after racking up a decent combo, clearing a level, or, oddly, petting a Chao.
      • Knuckles enthusiastically shouts "Oraoraora!" when digging with the Shovel Claws.
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog (2020), when Dr. Robotnik examines a strand of Sonic's quills up-close, he utters "omoshiroi" ("interesting").
  • Green Aesop:
    • The Games:
      • This is what the series used to revolve around, with Sonic functioning as a nomadic Nature Hero of sorts. The basic plot of the original games involves Sonic rescuing other animals from Robotnik's machines, levels such as Chemical Plant Zone, Scrap Brain Zone, and Oil Ocean Zone are over-industrialized hellholes. Unlike most examples of the latter trope, he is quick to utilize technology to fulfil any tasks he needs to do, but he still seems to carry disdain for Eggman's wanton environmental destruction.
      • This is taken to its apex in Sonic CD, where Sonic has the ability to prevent Robotnik from turning the future into a post-apocalyptic, mechanized hell by defeating certain robots in the past.

        It also showed that, utilized properly, technology could benefit the environment via the Good Futures, which showed that as technology became more advanced, rather than compete with nature, the two forces combined in order to make life on Earth more peaceful. Since there's no pollution (visible pollution at least), it's safe to say that the combination of technology and nature has worked to fix any destruction done to Earth's ecosystems in the past by pollution, and is now working to prevent that damage from ever happening again.
  • The general aesthetics of the games, especially the earliest ones (and levels of later games that draw inspiration from them) plays with this trope, as the "nature" Sonic is protecting appears to already be pretty artificial already (such as being made up of geometric shapes or the ground having that checkerboard pattern on them).
  • Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog had a few of these in its "Sonic Sez" segments. The one in "Momma Robotnik's Birthday" involves Sonic explain why trees are good for the environment and advise the viewers to plant some if they live in the city. The ones in "Sonic Gets Thrashed" and "Honey, I Shrunk the Hedgehog" involve Sonic explain to the viewers how trash can add up based on their actions, and encourage them to recycle.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM) pointed out that Robotnik was evil because he misused technology (some of which he stole and perverted — the Roboticizer was originally designed to allow elderly and terminally ill people to live longer) — not because technology is inherently bad.
  • Groin Attack:
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie, towards the end of the film, Sonic falls onto the upraised prow of a hover-ship crotch first and promptly starts reacting in silent pain. Robotnik is baffled by Sonic's antics, then notices that Sonic's robotic doppelganger (which has embedded itself in the hover-ship's underside, so its head is sticking out of the floor) is getting kicked in the head by the Cat Girl, who's accusing it of trying to look up her skirt, and claims that Sonic must be trying to synchronize with Metal Sonic.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics):
      • In Issue #123 when Nack the Weasel and his gang have kidnapped Sally Acorn and have her held hostage in their hideout, at one point she mouths off to Nack and he threatens to shoot her with his gun, she responds by slamming her knee into his groin causing him to crumple over in pain.
      • In one of Sonic and Shadow's early battles, Sonic taunts Shadow by telling him that he should get a girlfriend to release his pent-up aggression. Shadow slams his elbow back and causes extreme pain, close enough to Sonic's groin that this is the implication for any readers over 14.
      • When Scourge and Sonic fight Metal Scourge and Metal Sonic, Scourge kicks Metal Sonic visibly in the crotch, to show that he's instinctively a dirty fighter. It's a robot and has no effect, and Scourge hurts his foot.
      • In Sonic Universe #22, when Team Rose and Team Shadow fight over the Sol Emeralds, Shadow catches a Sol Emerald. Amy attacks him from behind, the contact-stars very close to his crotch, leaving him eyes wide and in pain — not usual for the Ultimate Lifeform.
    • In Sonic X, when Emerl goes berserk in the Sonic Battle arc, Sonic tries to fight him off, as Emerl issues one of these onto Sonic. We then see everybody's horrified reactions. Made even funnier when Sonic tries to take it like a man (err, hedgehog) despite being in immense pain and his voice getting higher. He faints anyway. Surprisingly, 4Kids left it in, but unsurprisingly, they found another way to work around it.
  • Growing with the Audience:
    • Attempted. The games' stories started out in a typical cartoony video game setting with the protagonist fighting Eggman and his army of robots. Then came Sonic Adventure, a Darker and Edgier installment with pointedly more mature themes than any previous game in the series. Sonic Adventure 2 took this even further, dealing with themes such as a corrupt military murdering innocent scientists and weapons of mass destruction. However, when Shadow the Hedgehog took this to ludicrous extents and Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) was slammed for its overly convoluted plot among other things, a growing backlash towards this trend forced Sega to go back and aim for a younger audience again, especially with Sonic Colors and beyond. Eventually, Sonic Team went for a second attempt at this with Sonic Forces, though again to mixed reaction.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics) started out as a gag comic with elements taken from both cartoons (Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM)) running when it premiered. It eventually started moving more into a serialized dramedy before fully making the leap to action the older its readers got. While there is still a bit of levity here and there, the arcs up to its cancellation were nowhere near as silly as when it started.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW) was made with those older readers in mind, so the reader who grew up with the Archie comics would expect to read something action-packed and dramatic from the get-go. True to form, the story immediately picks up from a war arc, and only gets darker from there.
  • Evolved over the course of Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics). Early on, most characters wore partial clothing ranging from nearly fully dressed (Antoine only lacks pants) to nothing but shoes (Sonic, of course). Over time, more characters were added and often featured with more complete outfits. Following the 2013 continuity reboot, many characters are starting to shift towards the current Sega look with females donning full sets of clothing and males with gloves and shoes with a few extra pieces to set them apart.
  • Despite being wise, Longclaw the owl from Sonic the Hedgehog (2020) is half-naked and the only thing she wears is golden chest armor.
  • In Sonic Unleashed, Exposition Fairy Chip is able to produce endless amounts of chocolate, each bar bigger than he is, out of thin air. Furthermore, he offers one to everyone he meets.
  • Lampshaded in Sonic Generations when Classic Tails asks where Classic Sonic puts all the rings, to which Modern Tails cannot answer, having not asked himself.
  • Which is odd, since Tails is a huge user of this trope himself, even more than Sonic. At times, he'll pull a toolbox from nowhere (large enough for him to use as a chair), a remote-controlled robot the size of his head, and, most frequently, a never-ending supply of bombs (whether cartoony or shaped like rings).
  • Amy Rose in Sonic X has hammerspace for her Pico Pico hammer. She procures it visibly after Sonic fails to return to their world with her. After launching a Hammer into the side of Eggman's airship's hull (he woke her up with a loudspeaker), he points out that she is unarmed. Close-up shot to the hand beside her thigh, and another Hammer appears in a puff of smoke. This happens six or seven more times, as each Hammer is launched into the airship's hull.
  • In Sonic Boom, Amy is able to pull out her trademark hammer whenever she wants, despite the fact that it's almost as big as she is.
  • Happily Adopted:
    • In Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic meets Tails when the fox is just a baby, orphaned and looking for a family. Sonic then adopts Tails as a brother and becomes his caretaker. One episode, "Tails' New Home," focuses on Sonic trying to give Tails a stable life and a new family in concern for his safety. Tails, however, is perfectly happy living with the blue blur.
      Sonic: Sorry for all of the trouble, squirt. I was just trying to find you a real family.
      Tails: I got a real family. I got the best!
      Sonic: Yeah? Where?
      Tails: A family is just people who care about each other more than anyone else, right?
      Sonic: Right.
      Tails: You're it! You're my mom, you're my dad, and you're my picket fence!
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog (2020), Sonic was raised by an owl called Longclaw and is essentially adopted by Tom and Maddie at the end.
  • #HashtagForLaughs: Since 2015 and under the influence of a new PR team, the social accounts started posting more silly and self-aware posts, as well as being more involved with their fans. On their Tumblr account, the posts are usually followed by funny tags telling how their office life is, asking the followers to send drawings of their coworker "Angry Sandra", or teasing the development of Big's Big Fishing Adventure 3.
  • Hate Sink:
  • Despite being Laughably Evil, Dr. Robotnik from Sonic the Hedgehog (2020) has no redeeming qualities that would make the audience feel anything but disdain for him. The government establishes early on that working with him is a relationship of reluctant necessity, and he treats the sycophantic agent who accompanies him like complete trash, despite doing everything he is told. This while Robotnik espouses the advantages of AIs over organic beings because of their undying obedience. He is extremely rude to everyone he comes across for no reason, and will wantonly kill anyone who stands in the way of what he wants, which is just a poor blue hedgehog who doesn't want to be chased. Robotnik is so hated so much that no one bats an eye when he's banished to the Mushroom Planet. Not even the U.S. Government, who is all too happy to render him an Unperson the moment he's gone.
  • Super Sonic, the resident Omnicidal Maniac in Sonic the Comic had red spirals instead of pupils. In some stories they seemed to reflect his demeanour; when he was at the peak of his evil powers the spirals were large enough to fill his eyes, but when he was good they shrank noticably.
  • Helping Granny Cross the Street:
    • Played with in the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog episode, "Pseudo Sonic". The titular robot helps an Old Lady cross the street deliberately at the wrong time so that she will get run over by a bus. This later comes to bite the real Sonic on the butt as the Old Lady thinks he had her run over and tries to alert the Police to arrest him.
    • In the Sonic Boom episode, "Chain Letter", an attempt to get the Old Monkey to be his third friend on FriendSpace, Eggman helps him cross the street. When Eggman asks the Old Monkey to send him a friend request on FriendSpace, the Old Monkey gets confused and Eggman leaves him in the middle of the road, where he gets run over by Dave's car.
  • Hero Antagonist:
    • The Games:
      • Knuckles in certain games, in particular those where he is tricked by Dr Eggman into stopping Sonic. He eventually realises he has been duped, and usually reverts to a side protagonist for the remainder of the story.
      • Downplayed with G.U.N. in Sonic Adventure 2. Despite wanting to protect global stability, GUN is part of a Government Conspiracy, committed some serious crimes, and is willing to endanger citizens just to catch Sonic.
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog (2020), the US government and its military forces aren't portrayed as bad people; they're just trying to find out what caused an anomaly in their country. It's Robotnik who's the really bad one. At the end of the movie, the commander even shows himself to be a Reasonable Authority Figure who lets the Wachowskis go, offers them a token of appreciation for getting rid of Robotnik (even if it is a Comically Small Bribe), and wants to have a personal, informal chat with Sonic.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • The Games:
      • Sonic Adventure 2:
        • Shadow the Hedgehog. He goes beyond his limit of power to prevent the Space Colony ARK from crashing into the Earth. Out of respect for his dearly-departed friend Maria, he does what she would have wanted him to do and protects the innocent people below, leaving no trace but one of his power-supressing cuff links. The characters take a few moments to mourn his loss in the ending cutscene of the game. Eventually, Shadow comes Back from the Dead in his own appropriately-named sequel, Shadow the Hedgehog.
        • Maria also applies this for she sacrificed herself by staying behind as letting Shadow initiated his escape pod, as she begged him to protect all the people on Earth.
      • Shahra does this at the end of Sonic and the Secret Rings, protecting Sonic from a fatal blow by using herself as a shield.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics):
      • Tommy Turtle, having been body jacked by A.D.A.M., allows himself to be destroyed by the Egg Fleet.
      • Sir Connery sacrificed his life force to destroy the corrupted Crown and Sword of Acorns.
      • Knuckles' father Locke killed himself in order to break the spell that had brainwashed Knuckles into becoming Enerjak.
      • Sally Acorn caused herself to be roboticized to prevent Eggman from doing it to the whole planet.
      • Antoine D'Coolette grappled with a Metal Sonic and pulled it away from the transport holding Elias and his family, letting Dr. Eggman detonate it and kill him instead (he survives, though he is rendered comatose).
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog (2020), while she could've gone with Sonic to Earth, Longclaw decides to stay behind and delay the Echidna Tribe long enough until the Power Ring closes despite knowing they would likely kill her. We never find out her fate.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity:
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics), following her brainwashing by the Iron Queen, NICOLE becomes a subject of fear to much of New Mobotropolis, particularly Idol Singer Mina Mongoose, who begins a series of musical protests against her. And things are made even worse when Ixis Naugus starts using Mina's music as a conduit for his magic, amplifying the public's distrust of NICOLE into paranoia and hate, in a bid to make himself a Villain with Good Publicity by promising to dispose of NICOLE for them. And it works, leading to a Heroic BSoD on NICOLE's part and a My God, What Have I Done? on Mina's part.
  • In Sonic X, shortly after arriving on Earth, Sonic and his friends get in trouble with local police and spend the early part of Season 1 hiding out at Chris' house when not foiling Eggman's latest Evil Plan. A few heroic exploits soon turn things around, and they become very popular.
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog (2020), Tom Wachowski becomes a fugitive from the Government and the news calling him a suspected domestic terrorist; after punching Robotnik and helping Sonic escape. Even Sonic didn't like at him first, which is justified since Tom made him lose his rings AND refused to help Sonic retrieve them!
  • In Sonic Universe, the demigod Enerjak is invincible, and makes a note to rub this in the face of Silver, who he's dueling. Upon mentioning that Silver is not strong enough, skilled enough, or wise enough to best him, Silver realizes Enerjak is correct. He proceeds to redirect Enerjak's attacks at him, actually cracking his armor and inflicting pain on the demigod for the first time in decades. Enerjak is promptly drained of his powers moments later.
  • Interestingly, this is the ultimate fate of Sonic’s World post-Sonic the Hedgehog/Mega Man: Worlds Collide - because Eggman was so hasty in trying to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, his attack on Sonic has reversed everything he has done - Princess Sally is no longer roboticized, Knothole and Mobotroplis stand once more, the Freedom Fighters are whole again and he's still no closer in getting rid of Sonic.
  • Holding Back the Phlebotinum:
    • In the Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics), there was the problem of Chaos Emeralds Are Everywhere, where Robotnik or Sonic had the means to grab a bunch of them to use in a superweapon/go Super Sonic. When Ian Flynn took over writing duties, he fixed that problem by bringing about the seven normal Chaos Emeralds.
    • Sonic X: At the beginning of the second series, the Chaos Emeralds get scattered across the galaxy, preventing Sonic from using them to transform into Super Sonic and stomp the Metarex's forces when they invade his home planet. Then the heroes spend the rest of the saga gathering them in order to defeat the Metarex and restore their planet.
  • Hollywood Personality Disorders:
    • Histrionic Personality Disorder: Sonic the Hedgehog from the games. It has been debated as to whether he fights evil for the rush, or for the attention. While this doesn't mean he wouldn't fight it anyway, he has been shown to bask in the attention and recognition he gets from being the hero.
    • Narcissistic Personality Disorder: Scourge the Hedgehog from Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics) does not merely have Sonic's raging ego and self-confidence, but cranks it Up to Eleven with his love of power and respect (or fear; either are fine), and a solid belief that the world owes him a favour just for gracing it with his existence. Also unlike Sonic, who often thinks of himself as superior to others but will always put them first, Scourge will always put himself first, with almost zero consideration for the feelings or safety of other people.
  • Honorary True Companion:
  • While his exact location and involvement with the larger conflict has varied throughout the series' run, this was how Knuckles the Echidna started out in Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics). While helping them out when they were in his area, joining up with them when they really needed him and even going on an extended quest to find a legendary sword connected to the royal family, Knuckles could never permanently join the Freedom Fighters because he had to take care of the Floating Island.
  • Horrible Judge of Character:
    • Knuckles the Echidna from the games is so gullible that it's become a joke in the series itself. He's such a bad judge of character that, even though he's been fully aware for years that Dr. Eggman doesn't say anything that won't get him closer to the Chaos Emeralds and world domination, he still takes everything the corpulent madman says at face value, and follows up on things Eggman says better than things that people he trusts with his own life tell him. The other characters have been riding him about it for years; if he does something even subjectively stupid, the knee-jerk assumption is that he's been talking to Eggman again. Sonic The Hedgehog 3 was the only time Knuckles completely believed him since it was their first meeting. In Sonic Adventure Eggman only makes Knuckles confused and suspicious about Sonic's actions (and considering the Master Emerald was destroyed, Knuckles probably wasn't in the best frame of mind at the time). In Sonic Advance 2, Knuckles ends up being tricked somehow by Eggman into fighting Sonic with the Egg Saucer, which, after Sonic destroys it, Knuckles chased him covered in soot. The cutscene afterwards reveals that he was tricked by Eggman once again, with Knuckles being upset at this revelation, and Sonic deciding to leave him to sulk until Knuckles decides to get his act together.
    • This is pretty much King Max's defining trait in Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics). He trusted the original Dr. Robotnik to the end and never suspected his true colors until it was too late. Issue 233 reveals him to have a history of this; Harvey Who explicitly warned him not to trust Warlord Kodos, not to let Ixis Naugus remain in the kingdom, not to exile Nate Morgan, and finally not to take the original Robotnik in, but Max ignored him every single time. There's a reason he's been given the title of Maximilian the Cursed.
    • In Sonic X, despite being sworn enemies with Eggman, Knuckles is always fully prepared to believe his latest lie about wanting to change his ways and help him out, and no matter how many times he realizes that Eggman lied to him, he'll always fall for it again. It's even lampshaded in the Season 2 episode "An Enemy in Need," where the others flat-out call him out on falling for Eggman's latest claim that he'll reform if they give him the Chaos Emerald; even then, Knuckles adamantly refuses to even consider the possibility that Eggman is lying until Decoe and Bocoe show up and Eggman himself lets it slip that Knuckles fell for it.
  • Hostile Show Takeover:
    • Meta example: Dr. Eggman once took over the Sonic the Hedgehog Twitter account. He then proceeded to jab at Kel Mitchell and Archie Comics. Tails eventually got the account back by hacking into Eggman's system, and the account is now back to normal. Well, as normal as it usually is.

      He tried it again during the franchise' 25th anniversary, only for Sonic himself to burst in and join him, turning it into a Q&A session.

      This has apparently become a yearly tradition, as they do it again in 2017 to promote the release of Sonic Forces, this time with Shadow joining them.

      They skipped out on doing it in 2018, but returned in 2019 to promote Team Sonic Racing, this time throwing Tails into the mix.
    • In a horrible case of Mood Whiplash in Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics), Antoine D'Coolette planned to take over as the main hero while Sonic was jailed. Why was he jailed? The events of "Mecha Madness", where he was turned into Mecha Sonic and unleashed on Knothole, everyone believing he actually went against Sally's edict that he wasn't supposed to do that.
    • In Sonic X, Eggman repeatedly expresses his desire to become the protagonist of the show throughout the first two seasons. In fact, due to story events and the ending theme changing, it looked like he almost succeeded at one point.
  • How Do I Shot Web?:
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics), Mina Mongoose first using Super Speed usually lead to her slamming into things, ultimately leading to her confronting Sonic and begging him to help practice it. She also used it to get closer to him, as she had a crush on him.
    • In Issue #37 of Sonic X, Sonic and Eggman get their brains switched. They both run into this problem: Eggman can't control Sonic's speed and constantly crashes into things, and Sonic can't figure out Eggman's technology and can barely pilot the Eggmobile.
  • How We Got Here:
    • Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric starts with Sonic being blasted by Lyric's forces, falling down a pit and being covered by rocks as his friends watch. The game then flashes back some time before then to show how that situation came about.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (2020) begins with Sonic being chased by Robotnik throughout San Francisco. There is a pause as a voice-over from Sonic relates how he got to this point. The film quickly rewinds to his childhood in the Green Hill Zone of his home planet and moves from there. Then during the climax, it catches up to the freezeframe where the movie started.
      Sonic: So, here we are again. We've been through so much together! Now you understand why there's a psychotic robot doctor chasing a supersonic blue hedgehog! Wanna know how it ends? Yeah, me too!
  • Human Cannon Ball:
    • The Games:
      • In Sonic the Hedgehog 2, one of the more fun ways of getting around Oil Ocean Zone is to shoot yourself out of the various cannons dotted throughout the level.
      • In the Carnival Night Zone in Sonic 3, circus cannons appear throughout both acts, and allow the player to launch themselves into the air, and one is used to enter the next zone after the boss battle.
      • Sonic Heroes:
        • The game features cannons where how it fires will depend on who the team leader is when you enter it.
        • During the Bullet Station Zone the player team will occasionally use a really big cannon, which is the size of an entire building.
    • In the opening credits of Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, Coconuts attempts to shoot Grounder out of a cannon at Sonic. He tugs so hard on the detonator, that it thrusts Grounder into the direction of him and Scratch and explodes.
    • Sonic Boom:
  • In the episode, "Unlucky Knuckles" from the same series, in an attempt to shift the luck balance of the universe (the idea given to him by Sticks), Knuckles fires himself out of a cannon at the bottom of a deep pit.
  • In "Role Models", Knuckles launches Tails out of a cannon and Tails lands in a trash can. Before Knuckles can do the same with Amy, he is stopped by D.B. Platypus. When Sonic protests against D.B. calling him and his friends bad role models, he hits the cannon, launching Amy into a tree.
  • Humanity Ensues:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics):
      • After the original Dr. Robotnik was Killed Off for Real in the 50th issue, the 75th issue reintroduced his Alternate Self from issue 22, a Robotnik from an Alternate Timeline who roboticisied himself to defeat Sonic. He transfers to a new body resembling Doctor Eggman from the main post-Aventures Sonic games, but it wasn't until issue 118 that his humanity was completely restored, bringing him 100% in-line with his video game depiction.
      • A variant happens, when Princess Sally's AI sidekick constructs herself a holographic mobian body after experiencing it first hand during a "Freaky Friday" Flip.
    • An issue of Sonic the Comic has an issue where Sonic is a human. As the issue goes, Sonic wakes up one day in a strange bedroom as a human. As he wanders around the house he meets a woman who says she's his mother and makes him believe that Mobius and Sonic the Hedgehog were All Just a Dream. As it turns out, though, it's just a trap by Robotnik. The comic also features Tails as a human.
  • Humanlike Animal Aging:
    • Sonic and his friends. Most of them, including Sonic himself, are stated to be teenagers between 14-16, while the younger ones such as Tails are between 6-8. Amy Rose is in the middle at 12. Their ages are a case of All There in the Manual, but they typically do behave the same as humans that age.
    • Sonic's origin as given in the American Sonic the Hedgehog Bible averts this. Sonic doesn't age like an actual hedgehog, but he doesn't age like a human either. It took only a year for him to turn into the equivalent of a teenager.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters:
  • Humongous Mecha:
  • Hurricane of Puns:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics):
      • In one comic (emphasis in original):
      Sonic: I don't want to go out on a limb, but I wood like to get to the root of Sally's problem! I'd be a sap if I wanted to leaf! As forest that's concerned, I'll try to cedar through this thing fir sure! If knot, I'll be pine-ing and weeping! I'd much rather take a bough! Oak-k?
      • Sonic is actually playing with this trope: sensing that the story was going to turn into a Hurricane of Tree Puns anyway, Sonic decided to stop the comic for a couple of panels just to get them all out of the way, so the reader wouldn't have to sit through any more of them.
  • Hyperspace Mallet:
    • In the games, Amy Rose's signature weapon is the Piko Piko Hammer, a mallet that shows up out of nowhere. There's not a single video game (besides Sonic CD) she shows up in either in which she doesn't have the hammer at all (since Sonic Adventure) or in which she keeps the hammer in a logical place.
    • Amy Rose in Sonic X has the ability to pull her Piko Piko Hammer out of nowhere. She has this ability in most depictions; however, this is the depiction which most frequently shows her using her hammer for comedic purposes instead of just using it in fights against her actual enemies. She can even use multiple hammers if one gets destroyed, and use them while in her spaceship in the third season. You can even watch the hammers materialize out of thin air on some occasions. It gets lampshaded.
    [Amy throws hammer at Eggman's airship]
    Eggman: We got your hammer up here, so you can't touch us!
    [Amy pulls out another hammer out of nowhere]
    Decoe/Bocoe: Ah!! Another one!
    Bokun: She's got more hammers than a hardware store!
  • Hypocrite:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics):
      • This applies to Sally, Knuckles, Antoine, and Geoffrey in terms of calling Sonic immature, obnoxious, and needing to grow up.
        • Sally has been a princess for an incredible amount of time and never just ascends to title of Queen. Contrary to all the obligations that goes with it nothing says she can't be a queen but lead the Freedom Fighters — her father was king and led an army into battle. She also never steps up and challenges her father but instead chooses to whine that his choices are unfair instead of calling him out and talking to him like an adult but as his little girl.
        • Knuckles often calls Sonic obnoxious and having a big ego but knuckles himself is no easier to deal with. His entire training as guardian basically made an anti-social hot head who sees everyone even children as enemies and always resorts to his fist than to reason. That being said he's miles better than the rest of his family as he actually tries to help everyone.
        • Antoine calls Sonic ego centric and does not play well with others which is sometimes true but Antoine isn't any better. He himself had an ego for a time and in all honesty Sonic has earn the right to brag about himself. Considering he runs head first into battle against tyrants that put him as number 1 on their shit list and never backs down or is intimidated. Antoine can only dream to get that far.
        • Geoffrey is the worst among them. He lost both his parents which made him easy to manipulate by Naugus, but here's the kicker...SO HAS EVERYONE ELSE. He's not the only person to lose loved ones. Sonic has had the displeasure of fighting his and other peoples' loved ones and having to break terrible news to people but he learns to move on as there are more important things to worry about. That's impressive considering that in one of his jaunts into alternate dimensions he had to kill that world's version of his own father. Another comes in as Geoffrey is honestly very insecure and has issues with envy. He never fully gets over his jealousy of Sonic's love-life with Sally and successes. This started when Sonic was teenager and he was a grown man and to this day despite being married and having a life he still has some hate towards Sonic.

          Possibly the best example is in Endgame: Despite personally knowing about Robotnik's Auto Automatons, robots that can perfectly imitate people, he still believes that Sonic killed Sally until Dulcy confirms that Sonic's been framed, stating that dragons can sense truth. Throw in his jealousy, and Geoffrey just inexplicably seems to hate Sonic so much that all he needs is an excuse.
      • The earliest Guardian was Edmund, whose brother turned evil after an accident caused him to absorb a massive amount of Chaos Energy, named himself Enerjak after an ancient evil, and conquered his people before he was buried alive in his own fortress. Edmund wanted his people to refrain from excess technology to prevent a repeat of this, something that not all echidnas agreed with. However Edmund considered adopting a persona of his own to control his people. Further, despite Edmund's desires regarding excess technology, his descendants managed to get the best technology the echidnas had for their use.
      • Fiona Fox tells Tails that he can't count on or trust anyone when she betrays the Freedom Fighters in issue 172. Later when she returns with the Suppression Squad who later betray Scourge, she stays loyal to him, something which Sonic calls her out on after she goes off and state how she won't trust or count on anyone. Sonic's words cause her to break into tears and deny the whole thing, which he obviously does not buy. Even after Scourge goes to jail, she gets the Destructix and breaks him out, almost saying that she loves him. It's made pretty clear that Fiona can't follow her own advice.
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog (2020), Dr. Robotnik is this in spades.
      • When he was punched in the face by a bully as a child, he retaliated with extreme vengeance. But now that he's an adult, he acts like a bully himself, treating everyone else he interacts with contempt and disdain, and hunting down an innocent blue hedgehog just to steal his powers for his own self-benefit.
      • He has a knee-jerk hatred for humanity due to their inefficiency while being human himself.
      • He constantly harps on how machines are better than people because machines are efficient and obey him without fail, yet he gets mad at Agent Stone for prioritizing his safety over taking the initiative and chasing after Tom and Sonic when they get away.
      • When chasing Sonic, Robotnik gives a shaming remark about Sonic not being allowed to run on the Pyramids after he blew the Sphinx's head off! And then he shoots at Sonic, damaging the pyramid anyway!
      • And in spite of all his statements of how worthless every other human being who isn't him is and how he prefers the company of machines, he ends up going mad due to isolation from other humans at the end of the film because without other humans to demean and lord his superior intellect over, his ego has no way of receiving any sort of gratification.
      • Related to the previous point, Robotnik berated Agent Stone about how he won't miss him if he's gone at one point, yet he made his likeness with a literal stone to carry around & chat with when he stranded in Mushroom Planet.
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    • In Sonic the Comic, Chaotix Crew member Vector constantly yells at Charmy. When Charmy mentioned this, Vector says that was "Ridiculous! I NEVER YELL AT YOU!"
    • Sonic Boom:
      • In the episode, "Fuzzy Puppy Buddies", this exchange occurs between Dr. Eggman and Lady Walrus when he tries to trade for Stratford's Fancy Poodle piece:
        Dr. Eggman: How about this? I'll throw in my Obliterator Bot; kids love enormous, destructive robots!
        Lady Walrus: [walks up to Eggman] My son can't have a giant, destructive killing machine! You know nothing about children's safety!
        (almost as if on cue, she notices Chumley swinging on a sign dangerously above the ground)
        Lady Walrus: My baby! [runs off]
      • In "Role Models", after Chumley tosses his bottle, imitating Sonic and his friends tossing their trash into a trash can like basketballs, Lady Walrus chastises them for being bad role models. She then takes Chumley and says, "Come on, sweetie, let's go find a precarious ledge for you to play on."
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog (2020), Tom tries to tell Sonic that the junk food Sonic asked for him to buy isn't very healthy. Says the man who eats a dozen donuts a day.
  • I Am Not Weasel:
    • In Sonic and the Secret Rings, the Djinn Erazor repeatedly calls Sonic a "blue rat", even when he was sucked back inside of his lamp for the rest of eternity. And each time he did, Sonic repeatedly reminded him that he was a hedgehog, and not a rat. Sonic got the last word in that argument.
    • Dr. Qwark, of Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, is constantly being mistaken for a duck, despite being human. "I'm not a duck!"
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog in the Fourth Dimension, an imaginary creature (long story) refers to Sonic and Tails to Sonic as "you and your ilk". Tails replies indignantly, "I'm a fox, not an ilk." The fault is Tails', though, as "ilk" is an infrequently used term used similar to "kind" used to describe similar cohorts. The creature was merely referring to Sonic and Tails as both being real animals.
    • Mechanical example at the beginning of the Sonic Boom episode, "Circus of Plunders". When Sonic and his friends battle Dr. Eggman's Octopus Bot, they constantly confuse it for different eight-legged creatures, much to his annoyance. It even gets to the point where he starts doing it!
      Eggman: "Next time, study your cephalopods before we do battle!"
  • Iconic Outfit:
    • The Games:
      • Sonic's sneakers and gloves.
      • Amy's post-Sonic Adventure red dress, headband and boots is her most iconic outfit.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics):
      • Antoine's blue soldier uniform with gold trim, red cuffs and two buttons paired with red boots. The only arc he doesn't wear it is on his honeymoon. The reboot ditches the uniform so he fits in better with the SEGA cast, but it's so well known that most fan artists continue to draw it.
      • Knuckle’s hat from the OVA was carried over to the Alternate Timeline story Mobius: 25 Years Later, where it's finally complemented with a form-fitting gray sleeveless jumpsuit (with his trademark white chest swoosh on the front), Crocodile Dundee-esque leather vest, cowboy belt, and brown leather boots. It's become an Iconic Outfit of its own. It appeared briefly in the regular timeline too, as a piece of clothing once worn by an ancestor of his. According to one letters page, the reason he never wears it is so it won't get damaged.
    • Amy in Sonic the Comic has an Unlimited Wardrobe however fanart most commonly has her wearing a sweatshirt with a heart on it and a green skirt. Amy actually owns many sweatshirts with different designs on them in canon.
    • Knuckles' wonderful, wonderful hat from Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie.
  • Identical Grandson:
    • Dr. Eggman from the games looks almost exactly like his grandfather, Gerald Robotnik. Eggman Nega, who claims to be Eggman's descendant from the future in Sonic Rivals also looks exactly like Eggman, except his mustache is gray and he wears newer clothes.
    • In an early, pre Cerebus Syndrome issue of Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics), Sonic is sent back in time to prehistoric Mobius, where he meets prehistoric versions of himself and the Freedom Fighters.
    • In Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic and Robotnik's ancestors look and act very similar to their modern day counterparts.
    • In Sonic Underground, the hedgehogs find the tomb of an Ancient Egyptian ancestor of theirs who looks (and acts) just like Sonic.
  • Identity Amnesia:
    • An episode of Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog had Scratch losing his memory and thinking he was TV superhero Edgar Eagle.
    • This is a major plot point in the first arc of Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW), as Doctor Eggman has been suffering total amnesia ever since his defeat in Sonic Forces, reducing him to a kind-hearted engineer called Mr. Tinker. This lasts until being reunited with Metal Sonic in Issue #12 triggers his memories and restores him.
  • Idiosyncratic Cover Art:
    • The Japanese Mega Drive versions of the the games all feature mostly white backgrounds with artwork of the main character(s), surrounded by various geometric shapes of basic colors (white, black, red, green, blue, and yellow). They also sometimes have English text (usually an inspirational quote and/or "The Most Famous Hedgehog In The World"). The JP boxarts for Mega CD's Sonic CD (as well as its PC release) and Sega Saturn's Compilation Re-release game Sonic Jam, as well as a few of the Sega Game Gear Sonic games, also use boxarts of this design nature. Somewhat subverted however with Sonic and Knuckles as that game's boxart goes for a more basic approach—it only features the "Sonic and Knuckles" insignia rather than character artwork, and makes use of only two colors (white and blue).
    • Some older Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics) comics featured 3-part mini-arc comics fairly often; each mini-arc's cover could be placed side-by-side, forming a large piece of artwork relevant to the story within. This also applied to every single issue of its Knuckles The Echidna spin-off.
  • Idiot Ball:
    • Sonic Adventure 2:
      • When Tails brought the fake Chaos emerald AND the real one to the Space Colony ARK, when he could have left it back on Earth and Eggman would probably had never known.
      • In consequence, when Sonic is handing over the fake emerald in exchange for Amy, Eggman captures him into a capsule to send him out in space, exclaiming that he couldn't be fooled by that fake emerald. To which Tails asks. "How did you know it wasn't the real one?" On to which Eggman responds "Because You Just Told Me, Foxboy!"
    • In the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, episode "Sonic Breakout", Robotnik captures Sonic's favorite comic book artist, and Sonic decides that the best way to break him out is to get captured himself. Now, this in and of itself isn't idiotic. But assuming that Robotnik wasn't smart enough to build a cell specifically designed to hold his archenemy, who could escape a normal cell with ease? His henchmen may make that mistake, but he's not that stupid.

      On the other hand, Robotnik did leave said henchmen in the room to guard the cell, which was what let Sonic escape.
  • One in Sonic the Hedgehog (2020) that was caused by Sonic's redesign. Sonic gets a sticky bomb stuck to his hand and tries to do everything he can to get it off... except take off his glove. This because before his redesign, he didn't have gloves on.
  • Da Bears from Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog were this in their first appearance when Scratch and Grounder tricked them into thinking that they were Sonic and Tails and that Sonic and Tails were Scratch and Grounder.
  • The Igor:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics) had Snively in this role during his early appearances. He's still a toady nowadays, but after 16 years he's grown to hate his job a bit. Sniv has come to rely on being a Deadpan Snarker as his chief coping mechanism. It seems to work decently enough.
    • Grimer from Sonic the Comic is an exemplary Mad Doctor's Assistant to Big Bad Dr. Robotnik. As well as the usual Igor traits (hideous goblin-like appearance, frail build, intense loyalty, referring to his boss as "Master", etc) he was also something of a Hypercompetent Sidekick, being the primary designer of many of Robotnik's most dangerous war machines and personally coming to Robotnik's rescue on several occasions. His finest moment came when he was jailed after Robotnik was apparently destroyed by the Chaos Emeralds, where he proved he was a manipulative Chess Master and managed to manipulate the heroes easily from his prison and save his master.
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog in Robotnik's Laboratory, Robotnik has built himself a special lab-assistant called Eggor.
  • I Have Many Names:
    • The main antagonist of the games is either "Dr. Eggman" or "Dr. Robotnik". Outside of Japan, it's both as of Sonic Adventure games. Said game established that Ivo Robotnik is his true name, while Eggman is an alias. Sonic Adventure 2 also hinted (but didn't outright confirm) that this is true in Japan as well, by giving his grandfather the name Gerald Robotnik.
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics), Robotnik is known as nearly every name he's been known by in all other media except for "Ovi"; There's Warlord Julian Kintobor of the House of Ivo, Dr. Ivo Robotnik, plus his replacement being known as Robot-Robotnik, Robotnik Mach Two and Dr. Eggman... lampshaded in several post-200 issues (after his Villainous Breakdown) when he introduces himself as "Warlord-Doctor Julian Ivo Eggman-Robo-Kintobor Mach Two" and later muses on how he gained each of his names, which causes him to "remember" who he is and regain his memory.
    • Sonic X: In the Japanese dub, Chris’s Uncle Sam Speed had a different name every time he appeared.
  • I Just Want to Be Special:
    • The games gives us Miles "Tails" Prower, who wishes he could be as much of a hero as his best friend, Sonic. Some character development throughout the Adventure titles shows that he's starting to step out of Sonic's shadow to become a hero on his own right, but he still has a lot to catch up with the others. His Leitmotif, ''Believe in Myself'' is also an accurate example of this trope.
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog (2020), part of the reason why Tom Wachowski wants to move to the big city is that he doesn't feel he's doing anything truly life-changing in a small town like Green Hills. It's also likely what gets him to help Sonic despite the trouble it would cause him.
  • I'll Never Tell You What I'm Telling You!:
    • The Games:
      • Happens in Sonic Adventure 2 when Eggman finally has Sonic and Tails where he wants them, and just needs the real Chaos Emerald to complete his scheme. Sonic sees through it. Tails... not so much.
      Eggman: Did you really think you could trick me with that fake Emerald?
      Tails: So... how did you know it wasn't the real one?
      Sonic: Tails!
      Eggman: Because You Just Told Me, Fox Boy!
      • Deliberately invoked in Sonic Battle, where Eggman states, very loudly, "They'll never find me in Gimme Shelter!" However, Eggman was actually trying to trick Knuckles and Emerl to "follow" him to Gimme Shelter.
  • In Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, Robotnik captured Tails and used him as a bargaining chip to convince Sonic to deliberately lose a race, which will have every member of a sheep race put into slavery. It works until Sonic demands Grounder (his opponent) to reveal where Tails is. Grounder responds, "You'll never find him under the arena."
  • I Meant to Do That:
  • Immediate Self-Contradiction:
    • Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog:
      • In the episode, "Tails Prevails", Professor Von Schlemmer invents a machine that could potentially defeat Dr. Robotnik and needs Tails' help to finish it, so Robotnik plans to manipulate Tails into sabotaging the machine and declares that he'll make Tails cooperate of his own free will, even if he has to force him.
      • In "Zoobotnik", another episode from the same series, Robotnik teams up with Katella the Intergalactic Huntress to capture Sonic. Katella falls in love with Robotnik, but she absolutely refuses to keep her hands off him. Robotnik doesn't love her, but he's too scared to say anything, and is visibly relieved when his mother, Momma Robotnik shows up and interrupts their Shotgun Wedding, whereby Katella calls off the whole thing because she refuses to have Momma as an in-law. Momma gets mad at Robotnik when he tells her the truth about Katella forcing him to marry her, saying she raised him to be a liar. When she spanks him with her umbrella for telling the truth, he promises her that he'll never tell the truth again, then says "I hate that hedgehog!".
    • In Sonic Boom, Amy is going crazy over a new pop star named Justin Beaver. While trying to convince her friends to listen to a song, she says "I don't want to overhype it... but he's the greatest entertainer who ever lived!"
  • Improbable Age:
    • Barring Robotnik, an old man, and Shadow, who was in stasis for a few decades, the characters in the games are almost all in their mid-to-late teens, and a few are even younger. In fact, assume they're around 15 if you don't see them here: Charmy and Cream (6), Marine (7), Tails (8), Amy (12), Sonic (15), Knuckles (16), Rouge and Big (18), Vector (20), and Vanilla (unknown, mother of Cream). And almost every last one of these guys has contributed to saving the world at least twice, with the exception of Marine, who only showed up in Sonic Rush Adventure, and Vanilla, who doesn't really do much. Especially Tails, who has been absent from a grand total of two games since his first appearance.
    • It's something of a stretch for the audience to believe that the now eighteen years old Christopher Thorndyke in Sonic X constructed a fully functioning portal that allowed him to transfer between worlds, gained his pilot's licence and became a black belt in Karate in six years between the end of one series and the beginning of the next. They're all possible, but accomplishing all of them in the same time span (when he was previously little more than an annoying twelve year old) is somewhat more incredible.
  • Improbably High I.Q.:
    • The Games:
      • Dr. Eggman has been noted in multiple sources to have an IQ of 300.
      • Tails is also not that far behind, able to hack Eggman's machines and even created vehicles similar to the quality of Eggman's mechs—though Tails doesn't have nearly the same amount of resources as the 'Eggman Empire'.
        Tails: I've built a TV out of paperclips, and reprogrammed a supercomputer with dishwashing detergent and a toothpick.
    • Jim Carrey says that Sonic the Hedgehog (2020)’s Dr. Robotnik’s IQ is 300 points, much like his game counterpart.
  • I'm Standing Right Here:
    • In Sonic Lost World, after Tails gets kidnapped by the Deadly 6. There's this little exchange between Sonic and Orbot:
      Orbot: If we don't find your friend, can I be your sidekick?
      Sonic: What? Shut up! What kind of question is that‽
      Orbot: I didn't mean anything by it. I just thought it might be better to work for you than Eggman.
      Dr. Eggman: Hello? I'm sitting right here, you know!
      Sonic: Orbot, no matter what happens, I won't fail again. I will save Tails.
      Orbot: It's stuff like that that makes me want to be your sidekick. Tails is lucky.
      Dr. Eggman: Seriously! I'm right here. I can still hear you!
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (2020):
      • Tom and Maddie discuss commandeering Rachel's car among other things while Rachel is tied to a chair and listening to their entire conversation.
      • Wade also complains about how mean Robotnik and his MIB-like crew are, marching into his office and asking questions. Tom called him in the first place to tell him not to reveal who he is to the mad doctor, but then we see they have been standing and listening to the one-sided conversation since the call started.
  • Incoming Ham:
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog (2020), the way Robotnik’s trailer and entourage arrive in their first scene lets you know that the generals weren’t kidding about this guy.
  • Inconsistent Coloring:
    • The Games:
      • Originally Sonic had flesh-colored eyelids, then they were changed to blue to match his appearance in Sonic X, which has stuck ever since. This can be somewhat surreal in Sonic Generations, where Classic Sonic retains the flesh-colored eyelids but Modern Sonic has the current blue ones.
      • The exact shade of Classic Sonic's fur is inconsistent. It's sometimes a dark blue and other times a lighter blue. Since Generations, Sega has been making him lighter furred than Modern Sonic.
      • Tails' fur is various shades of orange, yellowish orange, and red. Some early non-Japanese media even portrayed him as burnt orange and red. Tails' fur was described as "fox brown" in Sonic Adventure 2 but has since become "yellow-orange".
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics):
      • Characters in the comic originally had Black Bead Eyes that would sometimes appear colored, however the colors weren't consistent. Eventually the Sonic Adventure era created an excuse to give Sonic green eyes, while everyone else was just assumed to have always looked that way. Their colors stayed stationary since then.
      • Amy had violet eyes at the beginning of the Sonic Adventure arc instead of her normal green.
      • Sonic initially had blue eyelids but was later changed to flesh-colored to match his game counterparts redesign in Sonic Adventure, then eventually went back to blue when the games also gave Sonic blue eyelids.
    • Sonic the Comic:
      • The comic had problems with eye colors in the Sonic Adventure arc. Porker Lewis' eyes changed from brown to blue and back. Everyone with Black Bead Eyes before switched to colored eyes in the Sonic Adventure arc.
      • Sonic started out with flesh-colored eyelids, but then shifted to blue. Then the Sonic Adventure arc shifted them back to flesh-coloured.
  • Inconsistent Dub:
    • The Games:
      • Fang the Sniper was called Nack the Weasel in English manual of Sonic Triple Trouble, but is referred to by his Japanese name in all other games.
      • Doctor Eggman/Robotnik's name switched between his Japanese and English names in Sonic Adventure. The translators tried to Hand Wave it as Eggman being his nickname and Robotnik his real name. Later games refer to him as Eggman almost exclusively.
      • Mecha Sonic from Sonic 3 & Knuckles was given many different and inconsistent dub names: Robotic Sonic, Evil Sonic, Q Zone, and even Metal Sonic (the name of a completely different robot Sonic who first appeared in Sonic CD). Finally, when he was featured as part of DLC in LEGO Dimensions, it was reverted to his Japanese name.
    • Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog:
      • The Arabic dub originally mistook Tails for a squirrel and gave him a squirrel Dub Name Change. This was fixed later on.
      • In the Italian dub, Tails's real name Miles was translated as "Trottolino" in the flashback of his first meeting with Sonic in "Tails' New Home", but when it's mentioned again in "The Little Hedgehog" the original name is left.
  • Indy Escape:
    • The Games:
      • In the original game's Marble Zone, the player had to outrun some lava. In later games Rise to the Challenge was more common.
      • The original Sonic Adventure has not one, not two, but three of these; first in Sonic's version of Emerald Coast, where you have to run from an Orca smashing through the water bridge you're on; second is in Ice Cap, where Sonic and Tails have to stay ahead of an avalanche; finally, in Sonic's version of Lost World, you get a Sonic remake of the infamous boulder run.
      • The introduction level to Sonic Adventure 2 featured a sequence where Sonic had to flee from a crazed Big Rig in this manner. It's later revisited in one of the last levels, where Sonic has to Outrun the Fireball of the Eclipse Cannon's explosion.
      • Sonic Heroes:
        • The game has one too in Ocean Palace, with first one, then two, and then finally three rolling demonic-looking boulders of doom that chase you at the same time. You can just run towards the camera in Speed formation as fast as you can for several seconds and outrun it, though. But if you're not in Speed formation when you hit the spring that takes you there, and you don't hit the switch formation button before you even land...
        • Lost Jungle has a giant alligator that chases you to the end (you have to jump from swinging vines instead of run). And right before that, there's some of the black frogs that summon rain that kills plants. Said rain is killing the lily pads you're on. Thankfully, if you choose to play as Team Rose the level ends long before this.
      • Sonic and the Secret Rings has a variant involving escaping from a rampaging Triceratops herd.
      • Sonic Rush has some levels (specifically Leaf Storm and Night Carnival) where you run down a steep slope while a big rolling ball with Eggman's insignia on it chases you down those steep slopes.
      • Yet another one is done in Sonic Colors DS this time with a ferris wheel chasing you at the very start of Tropical Resort Act 2, though it only last a few seconds and theres a floor you can use your pounding move on to skip it if you're fast enough to break the floor and the ferris wheel will pass over you.
      • Sonic Generations has a few in both Classic and Modern Sonic's stages. One standout example is City Escape featuring said truck from Sonic Adventure 2 only this time it has SAWBLADES, and can drive through buildings like they were made of foam. But don't worry, as long as you're wall running you should be sa- HOLY CRAP IT'S DRIVING UP THE SIDE OF THE BUILDING!!
  • Informed Flaw:
    • The Games:
      • Various sources state that Sonic can be a jerk at times. This contrasts with his actual in-game portrayal. He is always portrayed as a caring, friendly, if somewhat snarky guy.
      • While more a case of Characterization Marches On, bios sometimes refer to Tails being childlike and hyperactive, despite his personality being even more mature and rational than Sonic's for the large part.
      • Eggman is no doubt fat, but it's often said to be from overeating, and we have only seen him actually eat once. Then again, he took down a twelve inch sandwich in two bites during that one instance, so this has some merit. He probably eats offscreen.
    • In Sonic X, Chris Thorndyke often complains about being rich meaning he doesn't have any real friends, and his parents never being home. While at first this seems almost true, over time, he is shown to have more human friends, more guardians, and his parents repeatedly manage to physically show up for special occasions. Being obscenely wealthy is certainly never played as a disadvantage.
  • In Medias Res:
  • Unlike most previous games with a story, Sonic Colors doesn't have a proper opening cutscene; the game throws you into the first two acts of the game, and a cutscene afterwards tells you how Sonic and Tails got to Eggman's amusement park. Heck, this even extends to the gameplay as well, since you don't get to give your file a name and profile until after you complete the first two levels.
  • Sonic Boom Rise of Lyric starts off with Sonic being encircled by Lyric's robots and seemingly dying as they open fire - before cutting to yesterday. It then does this a second time by immediately throwing Sonic and friends into a chase for Eggman as the first gameplay segment. Notably, when the scene from the opening occurs proper, Sonic's perfectly fine afterwards and thus renders the drama from the start of the game as a pointless attention bait.
  • Innocent Aliens:
    • The Wisps from Sonic Colors also fit this trope as well, helping Sonic by allowing him to use their unique powers to free other Wisps from Eggman's grasp and they rescue Sonic from an inescapable black hole.
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog (2020), Sonic is, at his core, a nice and good-hearted fellow who wants nothing but making friends. Even though his bucket list includes stuff as "starting a bar brawl", he sees it as an innocent form of living life to his fullest before he leaves Earth.
  • In-Series Nickname:
  • Inspector Javert:
  • Silver from Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics) has tendencies of this, being a time traveller. While trying to Set Right What Once Went Wrong by finding and stopping a traitor in the Freedom Fighters, he accuses and tries to attack Sonic, Rotor, and Antoine in that order, every time with very little to go on. He actually began to accuse Bunnie Rabbot of being the traitor based on the knowledge that she left without telling anyone, but Sonic, who was already on the verge of strangling him for accusing Antoine, snapped and effectively dissuaded him from that one, telling him to pack up and go home, because he's really not helping.
  • Instant Sedation:
    • In Sonic Adventure, Eggman ambushes Sonic and Tails after they get the gray Chaos Emerald in Casinopolis. Before they can get it back, Eggman hits them with a purple gas that puts them out until the next day, Eggman long gone.
    • Downplayed in Sonic the Hedgehog (2020), as Sonic passes out a few seconds after taking tranq dart to the leg. Justified in that the tranq dart was meant for bears.
  • Insufferable Genius:
    • Wave the Swallow from the Sonic Riders series is as snarky as she is intelligent. She makes it her personal business to insult the younger and more humble genius Tails every opportunity she gets.
  • In "Blast to the Past", when Robotnik was referred to as Julian:
    Sir Charles: You are pure scum, Julian.
    Julian: Why, thank you.
  • Sonic Boom had a subversion where an insult backfire was quickly followed by an insult that hit the mark.
    Shadow: You have all the reflexes of a panther.
    Sonic: Is that in insult? I thought panthers were fast.
    Shadow: Maybe compared to you!
  • Intelligent Gerbil:
    • In Sonic the Comic, an alien race, simply known as dinosaurs in spacesuits, are anthropomorphic dinosaurs.
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog (2020), Sonic the Hedgehog is an alien from another planet who is clearly a sentient version of a hedgehog. Other members of the planet, such as Longclaw the Owl, the Echidna Tribe, and Miles "Tails" Prower the fox, are also sapient versions of Earth animals.
  • Intergenerational Friendship:
    • The Games:
      • Downplayed with Amy and Cream, as they are both children, but still present as Amy is twice Cream's age (Amy is twelve, and Cream is only six).
      • Sonic and Knuckles are also this for Tails. Him being 8 and Sonic and Knuckles being 15 and 16 respectively.
      • In Sonic Rush, the 14-year-old Blaze eventually befriends Cream as well. The sequel also introduces Marine, who's seven.
      • Team Chaotix consists of the 20-year-old Vector the Crocodile, the 16-year-old Espio the Chameleon, and the 6-year-old Charmy Bee.
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM) it's most of the Freedom Fighters and Sir Charles "Uncle Chuck" Hedgehog. Of course, it's most because his nephew is the show's star. The same could also be said with Tails and the rest of the Freedom Fighters.
  • Interspecies Friendship:
    • The Games:
      • Pretty much all of Sonic's friendships fall into this. For example, there's his long-timed friendship between him, a blue hedgehog that can run at mach speeds, and Miles "Tails" Prower, a twin tailed fox... who can fly.
      • Amy's closest friend seems to be Cream. They're a hedgehog and a rabbit respectively.
      • Shadow the hedgehog was created on ARK to help a sick human girl named Maria Robotnik. The two became friends and Maria's death plays a huge role in Shadow's character.
    • A major theme in Sonic X is the human kid Chris' relationship with the Funny Animal hedgehog Sonic.
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog (2020), Sonic the Hedgehog develops one with Tom Wachowski throughout the movie, and one of the items in his to do list is "make a real friend". The sheriff is probably the first friend he's had in his entire life.
  • Iron Butt Monkey:
    • Tails in the 2D games. When you play the Sonic/Tails co-op, whether AI controlled or by a 2nd player, Tails is completely immortal and cannot die (well he can die, he just comes back right away). This of course leads to a huge potential for abuse...
    • Exploited in Sonic the Comic. The Sky pirates black cat Simpson is an iron buttmonkey, so when they need to get past some booby trapped stairs, Captain Plunder just kicks Simpson straight down the stairs to set them all off.
    • Sonic Boom subjects the entire cast to some form of physical abuse (yes, even the girls), but the most frequent victims are Eggman and Knuckles. To be fair, though, both of them tend to invite suffering upon themselves, such as when Knuckles went through a minefield of exploding baby ducks and picked up almost every single one...
  • Irony:
    • The Games:
      • Word of God stated that Dr. Eggman was based on Teddy Roosevelt (and was going to be the hero originally). Want to know how it's ironic? Dr. Eggman essentially is a threat to Environmentalism, and Roosevelt was actually one of the people who pioneered environmentalism (he was one of the reason why America even has Nature Reserves, for one thing).
      • In Sonic Adventure 2, you find a device that lets Knuckles breathe underwater. Where is it? So far underwater that Knuckles almost drowns getting to it.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (2020):
      • At the beginning of the film, Sonic is terribly lonely. At the end, however, he is Happily Adopted by the Wachowskis while his nemesis, Robotnik, ends up stranded and alone on the mushroom planet.
      • In the beginning, Robotnik threatens Tom's life and makes a point that if he does go through with shooting him, then no one will miss him. Later, at the end of the movie, the military tries to erase all evidence of Robotnik's existence. In a sense, no one will remember him.
  • I Surrender, Suckers:
    • The Games:
      • Eggman does this quite a few times, pleading that he'll reform provided Sonic doesn't beat him to a bloody pulp, just before activating a new machine.

        Most notable is that in Sonic Unleashed he does this at the end of the Cold Opening, right at the beginning of the game. Sonic doesn't really buy it but he's willing to stand around joking about it because he's currently high on God Mode as Super Sonic and theoretically nothing can hurt him. Sadly, that was an important requirement of the trap.
      • Sonic, himself, tries to pull this in Sonic Adventure 2, when Eggman takes Amy hostage and demands Sonic relinquishes his Chaos Emerald. Since Sonic had a fake Emerald created to sabotage the Eclipse Cannon, he acquiesces to Eggman's demands. Unfortunately, this turns out to be a trap: Eggman knew beforehand that the Emerald was a phony.
    • In one episode of Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM), Sonic pretends to give up so he'll be taken to Robotnik and the roboticizer. When Robotnik demands to know why he's there, Sonic hams it up, saying he can't take the stress anymore and his nerves are shot. Robotnik is unconvinced, and after a little banter, orders the SWATBots that brought Sonic in to put him in the roboticizer anyway. They grab Sonic, but he quickly trashes them and takes Robotnik for a spin in his own command chair as a diversion before getting to the true purpose of his mission: stealing parts from the roboticizer to fix the deroboticizer the Freedom Fighters have been working on.
  • It's Personal:
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics), Mammoth Mogul told Sonic that he now understands he can never defeat Sonic. He is content to outlive Sonic and make sure that Sonic never knows peace until the day he dies.
    • In Sonic X, seeing his friends attacked, injured and imprisoned by the Metarex in the episode Testing Time gives us Dark Sonic. And also show's us a side of Sonic that we've really never seen in full swing before - namely the part of him that you do not, under any circumstances, piss off.
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog (2020), after Tom sucker-punches him, Robotnik explains the last time he was punched was by a bully in school. He then got his revenge, and swore that nobody would ever punch him again. Tom just did, so making Tom suffer is now one of Robotnik's goals in addition to catching Sonic.
  • It's Probably Nothing:
  • Played with in Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie. Sonic is relaxing on the beach and Tails goes out to the ocean to try his new machine, it goes out of control and he begins screaming for Sonic to help him. Sonic, who just wants to relax, dismisses it as "probably nothing". Tails continues screaming for Sonic, and he finally yells at him to shut up.
  • Jerkass:
    • The Games:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics):
      • King Max Acorn, with everything he's gone through, had devolved into this. A big part of his assholishness is because he was raised to follow royal traditions. That also includes using a mystical golden pool with a strange, undefined connection to make his decisions instead of, say, the guy you hired to be part of your Intelligence Agency. Thus, most of his decisions boil down to "because the pool told me to", including but not limited to disbanding your daughter's well-trained team of heroes over his just-recently formed Secret Service and forcing said daughter to marry someone she really didn't want to.
  • Sonic in Sonic the Comic is one, he picks on Tails for no reason,(constantly calling him an idiot),is a dick towards his friends, and once made Porker Lewis cry.
  • Dr. Robotnik from Sonic the Hedgehog (2020). He's a rude, obnoxious, and condescending asshole who can hardly finish a sentence without insulting someone. And he's trying to kill Sonic for his own greedy purposes. He's such a jerk that when he's banished to Mushroom Planet, the government pretends he never existed and tries to forget about him.
  • Jerk Ass To One:
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
    • The Games:
      • Knuckles the Echidna is one of the most prolific examples. He is shown to be quite rude, hot-tempered, and anti-social, but he's also been said to have "a trusting heart, and wants to believe there's goodness in everyone" and can prove to be a helpful hand for Sonic and the gang. This element of his character really comes into play in Sonic Adventure 2, when he saves Rouge from falling into the lava and then actually apologized for hurting her. In Sonic '06, he was noticeably upset when Sonic was temporarily dead. Knuckles is also generally a nice person when he's in a good mood.
      • Some of the game manuals claim that Sonic is one of these (short-tempered, but very heroic at heart), but it's almost never canon in-game at all. Then again, the "heart of gold" is more emphasized than the "jerk" part as he's always nice to his friends and cocky and snarky towards his enemies.
      • Shadow the Hedgehog is more than willing to fight the other heroes should they get in his way and pretty apathetic to things that don't relate to his goals, and can be quite of a rude and egotistical Jerkass at times, but he's always at the frontlines whenever a new threat arises and is capable of working with the heroes too when they're on the same page. He also cares very much for his two teammates, and his late surrogate sister Maria, not to mention that he cares for the well being of everyone else (even Sonic), even if he doesn't always express it.
      • Rouge the Bat is a selfish, vain seductress who feels all of her gems are hers to keep, but she's capable of expressing gratitude when someone helps her and shows genuine concern for her two comrades.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM) has Antoine, who although being a cowardly, pompous oaf has proven to be unquestionably loyal to Princess Sally, and on occasion shown traits of Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass when one of the others was in trouble, like when Sonic was about to be ambushed from behind by a Nasty Hyena.
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics), Ash the Mongoose was introduced. From his first appearance, he had a grudge against Sonic, and was outwardly bitter. The 'heart of gold' part of his character came out when he risked his life to save Mina from a bomb in her dressing room.
    • Sonic X:
      • Knuckles is a friendly rival with Sonic, but very anti-social and short-tempered. Despite this, he maintains a complicated relationship with Rouge.
      • Rouge is often selfish and greedy, but she cares about Topaz, her partner, and has a complicated relationship with Knuckles.
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog (2020), initially Tom Wachowski wants nothing to do with Sonic's quest, but thanks to Character Development, he warms up to Sonic and adopts him in the end.
  • Joker Immunity:
    • Doctor Robotnik/Eggman from the games hasn't even been in prison for his crimes (except for the one time he broke in deliberately), so he's always back to fight the heroes in the next instalment.

      Most games have him surviving otherwise inescapable explosions with little more than Amusing Injuries. Most egregiously, his Death Egg burst into flames and crash-landed on Angel island in the climax of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, but Sonic 3 reveals that he started work on his next scheme almost immediately after that.

      Shadow the Hedgehog seemingly subverts his immunity; in three possible endings, it's implied that Shadow broke his neck after defeating him. A Double Subversion when these endings were subject to Cutting Off the Branches.
    • Played with slightly in the Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics). In the "Endgame" arc, Julian Robotnik is indeed killed by his vengeful minion and nephew Snively; twenty or so issues played with the concept of other villains and problems following his defeat, only for a second Robotnik from an alternate timeline to enter and take over from his position. This Robotnik would later take the modern "Eggman" form seen in later games and continues being the Big Bad until the comics were cancelled in 2017.
  • Keet:
    • Charmy Bee from the games is often energetic, playful, and very scatterbrained.
    • Sonic from Sonic the Hedgehog (2020) is, in his own words, a "little ball of super-energy". And the movie proceeds to show him a highly energetic and hyperactive hedgehog who will do about anything to avoid standing still.
  • Kiddie Kid:
    • The Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM) version of Tails is intended to be ten years old, which would make him older than his game counterpart (who is stated to be eight). However, he acts as if he were junior to his game counterpart. Tails is not allowed to be a Freedom Fighter for his own safety, which closely matches the way adults would realistically treat a ten year old. This still does not explain his immature personality. He also calls Sally "Aunt Sally" despite there only being a slight age gap between them.
    • Downplayed with Sonic in Sonic the Hedgehog (2020), his cave features some toys meant for children slightly younger than him and he tends to be more emotionally vulnerable than most children his age. This may be justified given his years living in isolation may have resulted in some stunted development.
  • The Kiddie Ride:
    • The Waku Waku Sonic Patrol Car and Sonic Cosmo Fighter are two early kiddie rides made by Sega themselves back in the classic Sonic days. These rides also featured built-in monitors that played out a basic "game" while the ride is in use, blurring the line a bit between them and arcade games. (The Segasonic Popcorn Shop from the same era worked similarly, though it was a vending machine rather than a ride.). As per usual with many Japanese licensed rides, these rides were not officially exported, although grey-market imports can be found in several parts of the world. Ironically tho, some have reported that they've seen English versions of the ride being placed at high-tourist traffic locations in Japan, suggesting that Sega may have considered exporting them at one point.
    • There's also a modern Sonic ride based on Sonic's car in Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing, again built by Sega themselves. Unlike the other Sonic attempts, this one is a straight up kiddie ride. And unlike the classic Sonic rides, this model is being exported worldwide. This ride features a pushbutton with lots of classic sounds.
  • Kid Hero:
    • The Games:
      • Sonic himself is 15 years old, with a majority of his allies being below 18 and his oldest allies are barely even in their 20's. Tails is 8 and one of the most competent characters in the entire series. Deconstructed with the youngest, Cream and Charmy (both 6) who while pretty competent in a fight, lack the emotional maturity of the others and are often treated as the Tagalong Kid.
      • Sonic Generations and onward had a very interesting time with this trope. In Generations, Sonic and Tails teamed up with their classic selves, who were 10 and 4 1/2 respectively. This game suggested that Sonic and Tails had been fighting Eggman since their youth. Later, both Sonic Mania and Sonic Forces retconned this Sonic, along with his friends, to part of another universe altogether, creating a whole new group of Kid Heroes.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics) consists of a bunch of teenagers, and some preteens, who are a part of the Freedom Fighters. Their initial goal was to save Mobius from the evil Doctor Robotnik.
    • Sonic the Comic's main characters are a part of a group called the "Freedom Fighters". The characters are all teenagers, besides Tails who is somewhere between eight and twelve.
    • Sonic from Sonic the Hedgehog (2020) is described as a juvenile delinquent and has a child-like maturity to him. Jeff Fowler confirms here that Sonic is either 13 or 14 years old in the movie — which makes him even younger than his canon age of 15 in the games.
  • Killed Off for Real:
    • E-102 Gamma in Sonic Adventure. After the battle with E-101 Beta, he self-terminates himself to free the last trapped bird.
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics) the Doctor Robotnik of Sonic's universe was killed off in the 50th issue, and eventually replaced with one from a parallel world.
    • Sonic X:
      • The character Cosmo is killed in the last episode. By a shot fired by Tails, using a cannon for which Sonic and Shadow were the ammo, no less.
      • Emerl is also killed by Cream after she fails to bring him back to normal at the end of the "Sonic Battle" arc, since Gemerl doesn't exist in Sonic X he ends up as this.
  • Kill It with Fire:
    • In the very first level of Sonic 3, Dr. Robotnik tries to dispose of a pesky blue Hedgehog—responsible for thwarting his plans for world domination, twice—by napalming Angel Island and setting the entire jungle on fire. Needless to say, it doesn't work.
    • In the Sonic Boom episode "Two Good to be True", when alternate dimension Knuckles arrives in the normal dimension, Sticks gets startled and we get this:
      Sticks: Yaah! Kill it with fire!
      Tails: Calm down, it's just Knuckles!
      Sticks: Oh... kill Knuckles with fire!
  • Kill the Cutie:
  • Kindly Vet:
  • Knights and Knaves:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) got really stupid with this one. The Soleanna police force, intent on giving Sonic the runaround, have informed him that to progress beyond this point of the game he must ascertain which of them is the man authorized to open the door preventing him from doing so. Not only that, at least one of the five is going to lie to him. The answer ends up being that the whole thing is meaningless. The captain is both the liar, and the guy who told you the terms of their little game in the first place, who just so happens to be standing right next to the door you need open. He literally just has to raise his voice to get you through the door; the game was just for his own sick amusement. While the princess is being held prisoner, no less.
  • Kudzu Plot:
    • The Games:
      • Shadow has picked up a ton of unresolved subplots over the games in which he's appeared. He got his own game, Shadow the Hedgehog, to try and resolve them, but it did so by just setting the proverbial machete to the kudzu.
      • Similarly, Sonic Lost World attempted to turn away from the Lighter and Softer bent of previous games, but also ran into this problem because it tried to introduce too many plot threads. Conflicts within the story (such as Tails being upset that Sonic trusts Eggman more than him) are never resolved and the game almost completely forgets to give some screen time to the new antagonists.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics) had a ton of dangling plot threads that wouldn't be resolved for the longest time. Writer Ken Penders is often blamed for all this, but part of the blame also goes to Karl Bollers, who replaced Penders as head writer briefly and started a ton of story arcs that he would never get around to finishing. After Penders and Bollers left Archie Comics, new writer Ian Flynn spent almost a year just writing comics that tied up all the loose ends.
  • Lame Pun Reaction:
    • Before the final boss of Sonic Colors, Sonic comments on Eggman's repeated amusement park puns.
      Eggman: Leaving so soon? There are no lines, and I've saved the best rides for last! At least let me STAMP your hand so you can come back in.
      Sonic: I know you're trying to be clever with this whole amusement park pun thing, but it's just coming off lame. Say you're going to destroy us and stop embarrassing yourself.
      Eggman: Curse you, Sonic! Not only do you foil my plans, but you foil my speeches as well! I work hard on them!
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics) Sonic is known for his many lame puns. Apart from the obvious Eggman jokes, he has also fought Knuckles when the latter was Enerjak, calling him Ener-Joke. This prompted Knuckles to yell, "Are you quite finished?!" Sonic, smug as ever, then said, "Actually... Jumping-jak. Ener-tube. Flap-jak. Ener-state. Ener-jak-in-the-box. And come to think of it... "Enerjak" sounds like some kind of sports drink. Now I'm finished." Knuckles threw him into a wall afterward.
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog (2020), when Sonic talks with Tom about how he's going to have to hide on the Mushroom Planet after he gets his Rings back, Tom quips that at least Sonic won't be the only "fun guy" there. Sonic's response is an unamused "NO. Don't EVER do that again."
  • Lampshade Hanging:
    • The Games:
      • Omega in Shadow the Hedgehog once commented on the size of Eggman's ridiculously huge bases with:
        "ERROR! Unable to determine how a base this size has gone undetected. ERROR!"
      • Sonic Generations:
        • In the ending, Classic Tails asks Modern Tails where Sonic puts all of his Rings. Modern Tails says he always forgets asking.
        • Classic Tails shouts "Dr. Robotnik!" when Classic Eggman shows up. His response? "Nobody calls me that anymore!" note 
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics):
      • In the early limited-edition mini-series (that has been collected in Sonic Beginnings), Princess Sally has blonde hair in the first issue, and in the next, she's a brunette. When she says she has something to tell him, Sonic asks, "You mean why you changed from a blonde to a brunette?" This is also referenced in a later story where Sally goes on an angry rant and someone will be punished... because someone published a story that she dyed her hair from blonde to black.
      • A previously unpublished story had an ending where the Monster of the Week was shrunk down to a microscopic size, which Sonic finds he can't joke about. NICOLE then notes that, by her analysis, "Planet Mobius is about to get very complicated. New faces, complex relationships, entire worlds opening up!" This was referencing the Cerebus Syndrome the comic was undergoing at the time. Sonic, however, insists that Status Quo Is God. The story was finally published in Sonic Archives: Volume 5
      • When the comic began drifting away from being farcical to mirroring SatAM, it still had The Artifact of Boomer's name, who in the show was named Rotor. The editors pointed this out in the letters column in one issue and stated they would be changing it to match the show. The next several issues have various visual lampshades hung on this, such as the character wearing a "Hello, my name is Rotor" pin, and nailing a crude plank of wood with "Rotor" written on it over the "Boomer" part of his "Boomer's Shop" sign.
      • During the "Endangered Species" arc, the end of one part has Sonic fighting Lien-Da and the Dark Egg Legion in Albion. The beginning of the next has Sonic coming to from being knocked out, realizes no one is there outside of him, Tails and Amy and comments that an entire population can't disappear like that. note 
  • Large Ham:
    • The Games:
      • Erazor Djinn of Sonic and the Secret Rings is a ham, especially in the ending.
        Erazor: I will not be defeated! If you defeat me, I will simply return, again and again! I AM IMMORTAL! I CANNOT BE VANQUISHED! MUHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
        Erazor: THE WORLD IS MINE! I cannot be denied by that filthy rat! WHHHHHHYYYYYYY??!?
  • And Sonic the Hedgehog (2006). With DAN GREEN as Mephiles, chewing the scenery as he goes while travelling through time, and Shadow becomes much more so too. LET'S GET MOOOVING!
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia:
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics), Sonic suffers a bonk on the head and loses all memory of who he is. Dr. Robotnik takes advantage of it and turns him against the Freedom Fighters.
    • In Sonic the Comic, when Super Sonic was split off from Sonic, he completely lost all memory of what he was. He forgot that he was an embodiment of pure malevolent evil. He even lost his super-super-speed and world-destroying powers because he forgot he had them and became just a regular kid for a while. Of course, Super Sonic being normal is exactly as interesting as it sounds, especially since he was portrayed as a borderline loser, and it didn't last.
  • Laser-Guided Karma:
  • Last of His Kind:
    • The Games:
      • Knuckles is the last echidna, the species previously having powerful tribes long ago.
      • E-123 Omega is the last of Dr. Eggman's E-Series robots (which included Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta and Zeta from Sonic Adventure). He doesn't really care about that so much as the fact that Eggman apparently thought he was only good as a deactivated husk.
    • Thrash the Devil in Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics) is the last of the Mobian-type Tasmanian Devils as all others had been genetically modified into Mobini (more animal-like)-type Devil Dogs. Because this was done by echidnas centuries ago, he decides to return the favor by banishing every last echidna into another Zone save for one: Knuckles.
  • While he's absolutely devoid of redeeming qualities, Robotnik is still one of the funniest characters in Sonic the Hedgehog (2020). Being played by Jim Carrey, this is to be expected.
  • Lava Pit:
    • In the games, Marble, Hill Top, Lava Reef, and the Underground Zone all feature lots of lava (or magma) pits. Eggman is very creative about incorporating them into his gauntlets of traps.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    • Sonic Boom is very fond of this. Sometimes it'll even go from leaning on the fourth wall to putting its fist straight through it.
      Amy: You know, Sticks, dirt-slinging isn't really my cup of tea. Luckily, I know something that is my cup of tea...
      [cut to Amy and Sticks sitting inside, drinking tea]
      Amy: A cup of tea!
      Sticks: Why did you just say that?
      Amy: Well, you remember earlier I said, "I know something that is my cup of tea?" I was just finishing that thought.
      Sticks: But you said that, like, an hour ago.
      Amy: I know, but imagine if you were an outside observer who's only seeing pieces of a conversation.
      Sticks: YOU SEE THEM TOO?! (glares straight at the camera in shock, complete with dramatic sting)
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog (2020), Tails says that he hopes he's not too late... having arrived during The Stinger, after the events of the movie.
  • Left Hanging:
    • Episode 2 of Sonic the Hedgehog 4 ended with Little Planet not being restored. No Episode 3 for you!
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM): The final episode of Season 2, "The Doomsday Project", ends with Robotnik's sinister plot to launch doomsday pods all over Mobius ruined, and the city of Robotropolis can return to Mobotropolis as Dr. Robotnik is left to an unknown fate. Sonic and Sally realize their emotions for each other and kiss. But that's not it—Snively tells Sonic not to be so happy as it's now his turn, and a mysterious red-eyed figure, revealed in a later interview to be Ixis Naugus, laughs threateningly behind him. Sadly, the show was canceled after Disney took over ABC.
    • Due to a lawsuit with former writer Ken Penders, the Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics) comic was forced to pull a Cosmic Retcon so that any characters of his were written out to avoid paying him royalties. As such, many storylines that were still in development such as Naugas taking over Geffory's body and still in rule over New Mobotropolis, Bunnie coping with her regained flesh, Antonie still in a coma, Scourge breaking free from the No Zone, whatever Finitivs was planning and Sally still being a robot were dropped indefinitely and will no longer have an official resolution. With the comic book's cancellation as of 2017, this is pretty much the fate of any ongoing plotline, as the IDW series is a Continuity Reboot.
    • The mini-series, Sonic Mega Drive, was made to celebrate Sonic's 25th anniversary with a original story made in the vein of a original Sega Genesis game. They got through two issues and a third was meant to close out the series, but Archie and SEGA got into financial disagreements in 2017 which caused the book to be put into hiatus. Then ultimately cancelled when SEGA broke ties with Archie, leaving the story on a cliffhanger of Eggman having all the macguffins in his possession and Sonic and his friends setting out to find the Chaos Emeralds in order to have a chance at stopping him.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!:
    • The Games:
      • In Sonic Battle, Sonic himself pulls this as well as a I Am Not Left-Handed, when he has to fight Emerl. Surprisingly, this is one of the few (if not the only) instances of Sonic not playing around with his opponent or in general. He goes from an adrenaline-pumped and cocky Kid Hero to (disturbingly) a deathly serious and utterly Pragmatic Hero. Then again, when you have 30 seconds on the clock (the previous 30 seconds spent trying to negate the Chaos Emeralds with the Master Emerald and failing) before the Final Boss (who happens to be a Physical God) blows your home planet to nothing with a fucking star system buster and the only way to stop them is to kill them (and it's someone you really care about), why would he play around?
      • From Sonic Unleashed comes Chip. On the last level of the game, he uses the Chaos Emeralds and his own powers to create a giant mecha created from temple ruins to punch out a literal apocalyptic darkness god-creature.
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog (2020), when Robotnik is about to kill both Tom and Sonic, Wade stops him by firing near his head.
  • Let's You and Him Fight:
    • The the games are a big fan of this trope:
      • In Knuckles' very first appearance, in Sonic the Hedgehog 3, he fights Sonic because he thought that Sonic meant to steal the Master Emerald. Then after he has been established as a character, Robotnik tricks him into fighting Sonic again in Sonic Adventure and again in Sonic Advance 2.
      • Sonic Heroes has tons of fights between the 4 teams (Team Sonic, Team Dark, Team Rose, and Team Chaotix). Despite being on the same side, they constantly fight each other for petty reasons and misunderstandings throughout the game. Noticeably, it is Team Dark who kept attacking people because their opponents might have saved the day before they could for their own reasons.
      • Sonic Rush subverted this a bit; Sonic and Blaze fight each other over who would fight Eggman (or Nega), even though they both know near the end that both are good guys (in fact, Blaze knows that Sonic is a good guy from the near start, but she felt that it was her responsibility to stop the Eggmans and refused to let anyone else intervene).
      • Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) has Silver, who arrived from the future and is told by Mephiles that Sonic is the Iblis Trigger (basically the cause of Silver's Bad Future). Mephiles is manipulating Silver to destroy Sonic - in order to make Elise cry, and ergo release Iblis and cause the bad future that Mephiles wants. Silver only wisens up when Shadow shows him the past, after spending most of the game pursuing Sonic.
      • The Sonic Rivals series is full of this. In the first game, 4 of the main characters - Sonic, Knuckles, Shadow, and Silver - fight each other because they want to be the first to confront Eggman who turns out to be Eggman Nega later on. In the second game, the same 4 characters fight each other again, this time with a companion on their side (Tails, Rouge, Metal Sonic, and Espio respectively). Even Team Dark teammates Shadow and Rouge fought each other.
      • At a meta level, this is the modus operandi of Sonic the Fighters and Sonic Battle. The former has a nonsensical plot that doesn't remotely make sense, the latter has the characters grab the Idiot Ball and fight each other to train up a MacGuffin robot.
      • Subverted in Sonic Colors. Eggman attempts to start a fight between Sonic and a brainwashed Tails, but his mind-control beam runs out of power before Tails could attack.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics):
      • One issue of the comic, "Rogue Rouge", dedicates itself to setting up a surprisingly brutal fight between Bunnie Rabbot and Rouge the Bat. It is a Cat Fight with a generous amount of Fanservice and lampshaded at the end with a page of sheepish "boy, that was silly" dialogue.
      • Super Sonic Special: Battle Royal was all about this trope. Basically, Mammoth Mogul attempted to turn the Freedom Fighters and the Chaotix against each other by using his powers to disguise his private enforcers, the Fearsome Four, into the other members of the two teams. Unfortunately for him, both sides are able to spot key flaws in the ruse, secretly compare notes, and fake a mutual destruction in order to draw Mogul out.
      • In Sonic the Hedgehog/Mega Man: Worlds Collide, the first act of the crossover is dedicated to setting up an epic brawl between Sonic and Mega Man. It gets lampshaded in Mega Man #24's "Short Circuits" segment, where both title characters are eager to work together before being informed by Orbot that they have to follow the "crossover by-laws" and fight each other first.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW):
    • Issue #6 sees a fight between Sonic and Shadow break out due to their disagreement over how to handle the amnesiac Eggman. It turns out that Rouge engineered the events leading to this fight, figuring a brawl with Sonic would clear Shadow's head enough that he wouldn't outright murder the Doc.
    • In Issue #18, Gemerl is defending Cream and Vanilla's hometown from the Zombots, and in the process identifies Sonic as a threat due to him being infected by the Metal Virus, attacking him and forcing him to leave. Cream calls out Gemerl for this, convincing him to let Sonic help and even making him apologize.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics):
    • The comic became this when Ian Flynn took over on issue 160. Though there were still some darker arcs, the tone was generally lighter and more comical than the last 100 or so issues, which were mostly dark melodrama filled with tragic moments and little to no comic relief.
  • Limited Wardrobe:
  • Little Miss Badass:
  • Loads and Loads of Characters:
    • Good Lord, have the games evolved into this trope. A series that started with two characters has since grown to having around two dozen main characters (and that's not even counting the one-game wonders). This isn't including two distinct versions of Sonic, Tails, and Eggman. There became so many characters by around the time of Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) that future games in the series attempted to cut down on the number of characters, so that when Sonic Colors came around, the recurring cast was trimmed back to just Sonic, Tails, and Eggman (although there's a character unique to Colors called Yacker, and many other characters, including Big, Silver, Espio, and Blaze, make cameo appearances in side missions in the DS version). It's amazing when you consider that this game was released in 2010; this feat of a three-character Sonic game hadn't been achieved since Sonic the Hedgehog 2, which was released in 1992.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics)'s character roster, taking from both the games, the TV series and original characters, number in the triple digits. However, thanks to a heaping dose of Screwed by the Lawyers, most of the original characters have been jettisoned from the comic, bringing down the number significantly.

      It seems that the number is climbing back up in the wake of reboot. While all the characters from the games and most from the TV series stayed on, new original characters are being introduced consistently, leading to several new groups of freedom fighters and factions working under Eggman, and that's not even counting the sudden introduction of even more obscure game characters such as Honey the Cat and Wendy and the Witchcarters.
  • Locked into Strangeness:
    • Sega of America's origin for Sonic the Hedgehog involved this. It was adapted into Sonic the Hedgehog Promo Comic. Sonic was a prickly brown hedgehog who befriended Dr. Kintobor. An accident turned Sonic blue and turned the friendly doctor into Dr. Robotnik. This origin story is non-canon to the games as of Sonic Adventure.
    • Sonic the Comic:
      • Sonic's fur was brown and spiked differently until an accident turned him blue. This accident gave him super-speed.
      • According to one story, Amy was originally brown furred but an incident caused her fur to turn pink.
  • Logo Joke:
    • The Games:
      • The Game Gear version of Sonic the Hedgehog depicts Sonic jumping back and forth, forming the logo, as a reference to Japanese Sega ads that would end with a clay model of Sonic doing the same thing.
      • Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Sonic the Hedgehog 4 actually had Sonic run to the right of the screen to make half of the logo appear, and then run back to the left to complete the logo. Trailers for Sonic 4: Episode 1 have a black background, with Sonic (in the form of a blue streaking blur) coming towards the viewer three times, the third time in the middle of the screen and leaving the Sega logo in his wake.
      • Sonic 3 and Sonic 3 & Knuckles displayed the Sega logo, then the background turns black and Sonic jumps out from behind the logo, knocking it away, then the screen flashes white for a second before cutting to the Sonic 3 title screen.
      • Sonic & Knuckles on its own starts out just like the Sonic 3 version, but the background behind the logo fades into Sonic and the Death Egg falling through the sky, with the Death Egg landing in the volcano and causing the Sega logo to shake itself out of existence.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (2020):
      • The Paramount logo replaces the stars with Sonic's gold rings, in both the movie and trailers. In the former, the ring's sound effects are added when they begin to circle the mountain.
      • The film uses a custom Sega logo made out of video game screens playing Sega video games, with the first screen seen showing Sonic games.
  • Look Behind You:
    • In the first episode of Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic distracts one of Robotnik's more dim-witted robots simply by running up to it and telling it, "I'm over there!"
    • In the B-plot of the Sonic Boom episode, "You and I Bee-Come One", Dr. Eggman goes on vacation to the Villain's retreat. At one point, he participates in a limbo contest, then distracts T.W. Barker, Willy Walrus, and the Weasel Bandit Leader by telling them to look at a solar eclipse, so he can cheat without them looking. Barker looks up at the sun and says, "Wait a sec! You're not supposed to look directly into a solar eclipse!", then sees Eggman cheating by crawling under the limbo stick, which Charlie sees and scolds him for.
  • Loony Fan:
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) brings us SONICMAN! He's so convinced he's the real Sonic, he challenges the real Sonic to a foot race!
  • Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog has Sonette, who, along with changing her name, has snuck into Sonic's room while he was sleeping and stolen merchandise from him. She also is frequently seen with a piece of Sonic's chewed gum in her mouth. note 
  • Sonic Boom: Mark from "The Biggest Fan" is more than a little obsessed with Sonic and friends, to the point he writes "spicy" SonAmy fan fiction and tries to hold an injured Sonic captive a la Misery.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM) had the Great Forest, wherein in Knothole itself was located. Though not magical, the foliage was so thick Robotnik could not move his machines through it to find the Freedom Fighters. The show's somewhat green message meant that the plot of a few episodes had him trying to remove this prole through various nasty methods.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics):
      • Knuckles' girlfriend Julie-Su discovers that she's the half-sister of Dark Legion leaders Kragok and Lien-Da, which also makes her a descendant of Knuckles' ancestor Dimitri (making her and Knuckles very distant cousins). And sometime later, it's revealed that Remington is Kragok's son.
      • In a dark alternate universe, 30 years in the future, Lara-Su was raised to believe her father Knuckles had been killed by Constable Remington. However, after she goes back in time (and travels to the wrong dimension too), her mother Julie-Su finally tells her that, in fact, Knuckles wasn't killed by Remington, but went insane with Chaos Powers and became the dreaded leader of the Dark Legion and by extension tyrant of the entire planet, Enerjak.
    • In Sonic X, it is strongly suggested (said outright in the dub) that Dark Oak is Cosmo's father. However, while the characters do learn that the two are of the same species, Cosmo never directly learns of her heritage.

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