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  • Game Mod: Fan reprogramming of the series has become so developed and widespread that parts of SEGA themselves have started to approve it. SEGA Mega Drive Classics Hub even has built in compatibility with fan mods.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: In 3D games, all the loops and rings and other items are strangely absent during cutscenes. Though both versions of Tails mention the rings in one of the cutscenes in Sonic Generations, even wondering where Sonic puts them all. Also, Team Sonic's opening cutscene in Sonic Heroes features a loop.
  • Gameplay Roulette: The series is notorious for this effect:
    • Sonic Adventure was almost a literal roulette wheel, with six playable characters — each of whose levels used different styles of gameplay, from "run/platform to the end of the level" through "fishing minigame". Sonic Adventure 2 dropped this to run/blast things/find stuff, which was reused for Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) with Sonic, Shadow, and Silver's gameplay, respectively.
    • Quadruply for Sonic Adventure. Most people count the six playable characters as separate gameplay styles in and of themselves — but if you pay attention, there are even more beyond that! In Sonic's story alone, you didn't just run to the end in a 3D platformer — you also snowboarded, sandboarded, played pinball and slots, engaged in aerial combat, fought hand to hand (or spindash to spindash), and raced in a hoverkart. Not to mention you can raise artificial life forms here and play whack-a-hole/hedgehog there...
    • Sonic 2006 brought this Up to Eleven. There were three "main" gameplay styles, with Sonic focusing on running, Silver focusing on exploration/level manipulation, and Shadow having a blend of running and combat, but each character had two "Amigo" characters who play occasionally switched to. Sonic had Tails and Knuckles, Shadow had Rouge and Omega, and Silver had Blaze and Amy.
    • This trope is less dominant as of late, as Sonic Unleashed and Sonic Generations each only have two types of gameplay, while Sonic Colors averts this trope completely.
  • Genius Bruiser:
    • 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.
  • Gentle Giant:
    • 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.
  • Glowing Gem: Both the Chaos Emeralds and the Master Emerald frequently glow, particularly when used to give power to someone or something.
  • Goggles Do Nothing:
    • There are goggle sprites in the original Sonic the Hedgehog. See them here. They were removed from the game before being programmed to do anything. It's speculated that they were intended to be SCUBA gear.
    • In Sonic Adventure, Dr. Ivo "Eggman" Robotnik wears not only goggles that never leave the top of his head, but also spectacles. So he couldn't wear his goggles even if he wanted to. The only time he actually wears his goggles in one scene in Sonic Adventure 2, where he dons them for dramatic purposes. Of course, they're back on top of his head in all of the scenes immediately following. Being the Mad Scientist he is, Eggman probably uses them when welding his Mecha-Mooks together... it's just that we never see him doing it.
    • The Heroes in Sonic Riders wear goggles even before they know they're going to compete in a hoverboard competition, and once they start competing, they never put their goggles over their eyes. This isn't so for the antagonistic Babylon Rogues. Amusingly, in addition to not being used, their sunglasses/goggles are far too small to actually be worn.
  • Go-Karting with Bowser:
    • 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.
  • Golden Super Mode:
  • The Good Guys Always Win: Sonic and friends have always triumphed over Eggman and whatever villain rears their ugly head in the end, no exceptions. At worst, they'll just temporarily incapacitate him. Even killing him, which Mephiles the Dark succeeded in doing in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), was a short-term setback for Sonic thanks to the Chaos Emeralds.
  • Gratuitous English: Has it's own page.
  • Gratuitous Greek: The E-series robots (well, numbers 100 to 123 anyway), the most famous being E-102 Gamma and E-123 Omega. E-100 Alpha is called ZERO in the games, but is known as Alpha by Word of God. E-121 is named Phi, even though 121 should be Chi and 120 should be Phi.
  • Gravity Barrier:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog had gravity barriers. There is a hill in the Marble Zone (part one) that you can run down but cannot run back up. It also had others that you could only go back up very slowly. So, gravity-impatience barriers. Now, the latest games have entire levels SURROUNDED by these, which, due to the inexplicable insistence on extremely linear paths, winds up with long stretches of road over Bottomless Pits.
    • Occasionally used in Sonic Adventure 2, usually on the treasure hunting stages. Mad Space and Meteor Herd have these surrounding the level, forcing the player to turn back should they stray too far from the path. Barriers are also used in Chao World, preventing Chao and the player from stumbling off the cliff edge.
  • Green Aesop:
    • 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).
  • In the time-traveling Sonic CD, the Good Futures of Zones are generally garden-like paradises or clean hi-tech utopias completely devoid of enemies, with technology working in harmony with nature. They are also the easiest versions of the levels to pass through. The Bad Futures on the other hand are hideously polluted nightmares that are much more difficult to complete.
  • 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.
  • Hammerspace:
  • 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).
  • Hard Levels, Easy Bosses:
    • Generally, the bosses in the series are significantly easier than the levels, with the exception of a few Wake Up Call Bosses.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog 2:
      • In the Game Gear/ Master System version the Aqua Lake Zone is fairly hard, especially act 2 which takes place entirely underwater. The boss, however, is practically a Zero-Effort Boss, as his only attack requires several seconds to "charge up", during which you can interrupt it by jumping on him and damaging him in the process.
      • The Scrambled Egg Zone is by far the hardest zone in the game. The boss (Silver Sonic) however is probably the easiest boss in the game aside from the Aqua Lake boss, and doubles as an Anti-Climax Boss as he is either the penultimate boss or the final boss if you failed to collect all the chaos emeralds.
  • He Knows About Timed Hits: Tails constantly reminding you to save your game in Sonic Chronicles. You can tell him to stop doing that, though. It won't stop him, but you can.
  • Helpful Mook: Many airborne enemies throughout the series like to position themselves so that Sonic could homing attack through them to the place he needs to go.
  • Hijacked by Ganon/Make Way for the New Villains/The Man Behind the Man: The games started using these kind of twists once the series made the leap to 3D;
    • Sonic Adventure was the catalyst of this trend; Chaos, who Eggman had planned to exploit to destroy Station Square and build Robotnikland, ends up becoming the real threat of the game.
    • In Sonic Adventure 2, Gerald Robotnik, despite being dead, ends up becoming the major threat, with his Eclipse Cannon being rigged to destroy the Earth via Colony Drop if it got the Chaos Emeralds put into it.
    • In Sonic Heroes, Metal Sonic is revealed to be the true villain, having imprisoned Eggman and impersonated him, pulling strings so that he could copy the data of all four teams, all as part of his scheme to get revenge on Sonic.
    • In Sonic Battle, Emerl, the robot you were training the whole game, becomes the game's final boss after Eggman drives him berserk with the Final Egg Blaster.
    • In Sonic Advance 3, if you collect all the Emeralds and beat Altar Emerald's boss, Gemerl (a robot that was built from the remains of Emerl) turns against Eggman, steals the Emeralds from you and transforms into a new form, forcing Super Sonic and Eggman to team up in order to defeat it.
    • In Sonic 2006, Mephiles the Dark, who was originally Solaris until he was split between himself and Iblis, kills Sonic, which makes Princess Elise cry, which unleashes Iblis and allows Mephiles to merge with it back into Solaris, which nearly leads to the space time continium getting destroyed. Eggman is an ant compared to the threat he poses in this game.
    • In Sonic Rush Adventure, Eggman and Eggman Nega turn out to be the real threat behind Captain Whisker.
    • In Sonic and the Black Knight, Merlina is the cause behind everything that's going on in the game.
    • In Sonic Free Riders, Eggman is the main threat of the game as usual, but for the final race, Metal Sonic pulls this trope a second time by briefly taking the center stage, having gone behind Eggman's back by disguising himself as another robot so he could secretly study the other racers, and then challenge Sonic to a one-on-one race by using all the data he compiled to his advantage.
    • In Sonic Generations, Modern Eggman and Classic Eggman are controlling the Time Eater.
    • Sonic Lost World has Sonic and Eggman team up for an Enemy Mine early in the game, Eggman looking upstaged by the game's villains for the bulk of the game, but at the start of the last area, Eggman fakes his death and sneaks off to complete his final mech in time to be the game's final boss.
  • Homage:
    • Super Sonic is a throwback to Dragon Ball.
    • The Death Egg is, of course, a Star Wars reference. The Eclipse Cannon likewise brings the Death Star to mind.
  • Honorary True Companion:
  • Hover Board: The Extreme Gear in the Sonic Riders series.
  • Hover Skates: Shadow wears a pair.
  • Hub Level: Knuckles' Chaotix, Sonic Adventure, Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), Sonic Advance 3, Sonic Unleashed, and Sonic Generations.
  • Huge Holographic Head
  • Human Cannon Ball:
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • Humanlike Hand Anatomy: The characters have a strange variation of this; their hands are human-like, but their feet are very... not human, but not exactly those of their derived species, either. Their feet are just... ovals. No features, no toes, nothing. They look like ovaloids flattened on the sole part. Note that most of the characters wear shoes anyway, so you rarely have to behold their flipper feet.
    • This has somewhat changed in Sonic Forces, where if the avatar character is wearing sandals, he/she is shown with only one toe on each foot.
  • Iconic Outfit:
    • Sonic's sneakers and gloves.
    • Amy's post-Sonic Adventure red dress, headband and boots is her most iconic outfit.
  • Identical Grandson: Dr. Eggman 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.
  • Idiosyncratic Cover Art: The Japanese Mega Drive versions of 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).
  • I'll Never Tell You What I'm Telling You!:
    • 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.
  • Image Song: Since Adventure, every main 3D installment gives at least each player character one of these.
  • Improbable Age: Barring Robotnik, an old man, and Shadow, who was in stasis for a few decades, the characters 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.
  • Iconic Sequel Character: Sonic and Dr. Eggman were the only characters introduced in the first game. Sonic's most well-known friends, Tails, Knuckles, and Amy Rose, were introduced respectively in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Sonic the Hedgehog 3, and Sonic the Hedgehog CD.
  • In Case of Boss Fight, Break Glass: The series has many bosses defeated in this manner.
  • Inconveniently Placed Conveyor Belt: They are seen throughout various levels in the series.
  • 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.
  • I Have Many Names: Apparently, whether it's "Eggman" or "Robotnik". Outside of Japan, it's both as of Sonic Adventure games. Said game established that 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-Series Nickname:
    • Dr. Ivo Robotnik is usually known by his nickname (and, in Japan, original name) Dr. Eggman nowadays.
    • Rouge calls Sonic "Big Blue" in Sonic Chronicles and Sonic Generations.
  • Inconsistent Dub:
    • 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.
  • Indy Escape:
    • 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!!
  • In the End, You Are on Your Own
  • Informed Ability: Sonic's speed is sometimes this relative to the other main characters, especially in the older games before the characters' abilities had speciated as much. For instance, some of the earlier games contain situations where Knuckles, Tails, and even Robotnik can run as fast as Sonic. Tails can still fly as fast as Sonic runs, but they make sure it looks like he's flying. Not running.
    • Especially prominent in the 2D games. In every single one before Sonic Advance 3, all characters share the exact same running and jumping physics, with the sole exception of Knuckles having a lower jump in Sonic 3 & Knuckles and Amy not being able to curl into a ball in Sonic Advance.
    • Adverted in most 3D games, where Sonic is noticeably faster than the rest of the cast as a result of Divergent Character Evolution. (Except when he's not.)
  • Informed Flaw:
    • 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.
  • Informed Species:
    • Sonic barely resembles a real hedgehog. The same goes for every other hedgehog character — Shadow, Amy, Silver, and others.
    • Knuckles looks nothing like an echidna (different snout, quillocks, etc) but as the most famous echidna in popular culture, he gets away with it better.
    • Charmy the Bee, Mighty the Armadillo, Wave the Swallow, Jet the Hawk, Storm the Albatross, Rogue the Bat, and many, many others don’t resemble their species. Some of them even look like humans in costumes.
  • Inspector Javert:
  • Intergenerational Friendship:
    • 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.
  • Interspecies Friendship:
    • 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.
  • Insistent Terminology: The early games' manuals were insistent that getting hit with no rings would cause you to lose a "try."
  • Insult Backfire: Outside of Japan, Robotnik's "Eggman" name was first used by Sonic as an insult in the original Sonic Adventure, and Robotnik promptly corrected him that his name was Robotnik, not Eggman. By Sonic Adventure 2, he's embraced the nickname, presumably because he wanted to use the name "Eggman Empire". Or maybe he embraced it earlier than that, considering he uses it as a password on board the Egg Carrier in the first Adventure game.
  • Invincibility Power-Up: Present in many Sonic games, whether in classic "starman" fashion from item boxes, to some variations like the purple wisp in Sonic Colors Wii.
  • Invisible Anatomy: The anthropomorphic characters have five fingers, but oddly enough, have no toes. This especially shows with Big and Tikal, who wear sandals. Human characters, on the other hand, do have toes.
    • In Sonic Forces, the avatar character can be seen with only one toe on each foot if he/she is wearing sandals.
  • I Surrender, Suckers:
    • 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.
  • It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time: Knuckles has some really odd, if not outright boneheaded, ways of protecting the Master Emerald from thieves.
  • Kaizo Trap: The Egg Viper in Video Game/Sonic Adventure and Death Egg Robot from Sonic the Hedgehog 4 will crash through the floor after you beat them, and send you falling to your doom if you don't get out of the way (in the case of the Egg Viper) or hit it one last time (in the case of the Death Egg Robot).
  • Killed Off for Real: E-102 Gamma remains dead as of Sonic Adventure.
  • Kill Sat:
    • The Death Egg.
    • The ARK. Of course, when the "Kill Sat" part fails (and due to the machinations of Professor Gerald Robotnik), it's Colony Drop time.
  • Kill the Cutie:
  • Kudzu Plot:
    • 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.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Omega 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!"
  • Last of His Kind: Knuckles.
  • Later Installment Weirdness: The games from Sonic Adventure and on took the series in very different directions both in tone and gameplay, especially in the mid-2000s. Having human characters appear on a regular basis, the tone generally becoming more serious, the Chaos Emeralds being significantly played up in importance, and having new superpowered villains taking the center stage away from Eggman are just some of the many ways the later games contrast the Classic era of the series.
  • Lava Pit: 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.
  • Law of 100
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: The games feature the Death Egg as Eggman's ultimate weapon to destroy Sonic.
  • Let's You and Him Fight:
    • 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.
  • Lighter and Softer: The Classic Era Sonic in contrast to many of the Modern Era Sonic games is much more lighthearted, surrealistic and wacky in tone. It's safe to say that characters like Chaos, G.U.N., Shadow, Black Doom, Mephiles the Dark/Iblis and Dark Gaia do not exist in that timeline.
  • Limited Wardrobe: With the exception of spinoffs such as the Sonic Riders games, the characters generally stick to their usual attire.
  • Live Item: The small animals that power Eggman's badniks in the Sonic Adventure titles.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Good Lord, has the series 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.
  • Loads and Loads of Loading: Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) is infamous for this.
  • Long-Runner Cast Turnover:
    • Happened in 1998 with the Sonic Adventure reboot; many characters like Fang the Sniper were removed in favor of new characters like Shadow and Blaze.
    • Happened again to a lesser extent in 2008 with Sonic Unleashed and the games after that point. While other characters are still present, their roles were greatly minimized, with Sonic himself being the only playable character, and the plots focusing on Sonic, Tails, Eggman, and newcomers Orbot & Cubot, with a few one-off characters that serve as plot devices.
  • 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!
  • Lull Destruction:
    Sonic: I was on a snooze cruise, I guess!
    • Sonic Heroes is a very talkative game. Not only does just about every single action have an accompanying voice clip, characters also babble to each other incessantly during gameplay, making Captain Obvious statements about the stage, bluntly stating which character should be used for the next section, and so on.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) is well-known for its constant barrage of Captain Obvious comments the characters spout (to no one in particular) in each level. This trope has to be the reason.
    • Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric has the same problem, as every single action has a line used for it (usually stating the blatantly obvious, at that). Any attempts at humor, meanwhile, tend to fall flat.
    • Sonic Forces isn't much better, with characters often talking about how they're gonna take it to Eggman and how nothing can stop them with the power of friendship and teamwork. Special shout-out to various post-mission sequences where characters talk over the radio but have lines suited for cutscenes where they're in front of each other.
  • Mad Scientist:
  • Also Eggman's grandfather, Gerald Robotnik, brilliant scientist who designed a working orbital space colony and dabbled with artificial life forms among other things. He was driven insane after his granddaughter was killed by G.U.N. The depths of his hatred for the world and his desire to destroy it shocked even Eggman himself.
  • Magitek: The Chaos Emeralds. You know the drill by now. In Sonic 3 & Knuckles, the Great Eggman Robo uses the Master Emerald for a Wave Motion Gun while Mecha Sonic super charges himself with it to enter a Super Mode. In Sonic Adventure 2, it's shown that it's possible to create a fake Emerald that can actually be used to perform Chaos Control. The same game also revealed that Professor Gerald Robotnik created the Eclipse Cannon, a powerful Kill Sat fueled by the seven Emeralds. Sonic Battle has Eggman shatter a Chaos Emerald and use the shards to power his army of Phi robots. In Sonic Advance 3 Eggman uses the Emeralds to break the world into pieces, something he goes on to do again in Sonic Unleashed.
  • Malevolent Architecture: Every game ever made. Let's run through some examples:
    • Every Eggman's base seems to consist of nothing more than endless rooms filled with deathtraps, bottomless pits, robots, and Spikes of Doom, along with a few things that vary depending on the game. Justified in those cases, as Eggman can fly around in his Egg Mobile and he wants to give Sonic a hard time upon entering them.
    • One has to wonder about when Aquatic Ruin Zone from Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was more than just ruins. It's full of arrow-shooting devices, Spikes of Doom and loops, among other things.
    • Speed Highway from Sonic Adventure, and Radical Highway from the sequel. They're both floating highways with 360 degree loops, traps and bottomless pits all over the place.
    • Hang Castle from Sonic Heroes. Turning the castle upside down just to open a door?
    • The majority of Sonic Unleashed is like this, as most of it takes place in urban areas right by where people live. Cobblestone roads in Apotos have flamethrowers and beds of spikes installed in them with hovering moving platforms nearby. The walled city in Mazuri requires its inhabitants to swing from pole to pole as spike balls float around (though this may just be part of the city's defenses, as Sonic is traveling through its citadel). Fountains in Spagonia shoot Sonic to the rooftops. Giant stone walls with narrow gaps on the floor randomly block major roads in Shamar's capital city. Highways in Empire City have ramps, very sharp turns with no guardrails, and explosive roadblocks. The waters near the villages in Adabat have violet vertical jets of water and columns prone to collapsing as you approach them.
    • The front of Spagonia University in Sonic Generations has axes swinging like pendulums all over it. It is otherwise averted for most of that stage, as the danger comes either from Eggman putting enemies and death traps in front of Sonic or Sonic traveling through areas people wouldn't normally go.
  • Malevolent Mugshot: Dr. Ivo "Eggman" Robotnik's face has shown up on bases, spacecraft, and many other kinds of vehicle, Humongous Mecha, Mecha-Mooks, item containers and even a wall decoration...
    • In the bad ending of Sonic CD, when Eggman's personal transport is destroyed by the heroes, the EXPLOSION is actually shaped like his face. How or why he designed it to be able to do that, no one will ever know.
    • Since Sonic Adventure, Boss Subtitles show all of his vehicles are named Egg-something.
  • Malicious Misnaming:
    • Sonic often calls Knuckles "Knucklehead" after the latter does something particularly unintelligent. He also calls Eggman "Egghead" on occasions.
    • To coincide Eggman's Japanese name with his Dub Name Change, Sonic canon is that "Eggman" was an insult used by Sonic and friends for Dr. Ivo Robotnik. Eventually (as in "By Sonic Adventure 2") he reclaimed it and calls himself "Dr. Eggman" as well.
  • Mascot with Attitude: Sonic is, of course, the Trope Maker. He is an unusual example in that his type of attitude flip-flops Depending on the Writer. He was intended from the start to be this heavily: he originally had Cute Little Fangs to make him look tougher, was a Chick Magnet with a hot Token Human girlfriend, was the lead singer of a rock band, and fought monsters... But Sega of America thought this was too hardcore for their target audience and asked Sega of Japan to tone him down. In the end, America and Europe depicted him as the (now conventional) Totally Radical type, while Japan went with a less conventional approach, characterizing him as laidback but rebellious, self-confident and cheeky (with early Japanese depictions being closer to his early "bad boy" personality, minus the human girlfriend). Later on, he started getting depicted more "cutesy" in the merchandising, until Sonic Adventure attempted to restore his Japanese portrayal, after which said depiction was adopted worldwide. Then came Sonic Heroes, which made him more friendly and warming. Sonic Colors, however, gave him a more stereotypical personality (ie: cocky, sarcastic, impulsive, excessive quipper) very akin to the old Western portrayalsnote :
    Dr. Eggman: This amusement park was constructed entirely out of a sense of remorse for my past transgressions, and is in no way associated with any sort of evil plot or premeditated misdeeds.
    Sonic: Well, that's a relief.
  • Meaningful Name: Practically everyone has one. Sonic is faster than sound, Knuckles has spikes on his fists, etc.
  • Made of Iron: Everyone is; it seems to be a part of the way creatures function in-universe. Few machines can compete with their durability.
  • Meanwhile, in the Future...: Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) was horrible about this. Characters will shout "WE'VE GOT TO HURRY!" and run as fast as they can... to save somebody 200 years in the past.
  • Mecha-Mooks: Outside of the occasional fight with Dr. Eggman and a few other choice characters, robot mooks are pretty much Sonic's only enemies.
  • Medium Awareness: Sonic is this. In the side-scroller games, he will get very impatient and give the player an annoyed look if the player does nothing. In the 360/PS3 versions of Sonic Unleashed and Sonic Generations, he will watch his score for the stage get tallied up. In the Wii version of Sonic Colors, he will call the Rotatatron the BBBEnote  and will destroy the scores in an attempt to obtain extra lives.
  • Meet Your Early Installment Weirdness:
    • Sonic Generations has the current Sonic, Tails and Eggman bumping into the versions of themselves from the 16-bit era. Classic Tails and Classic Eggman can talk but classic Sonic is The Voiceless (both modern Sonic and Tails are fully voiced).
  • Mêlée à Trois:
  • Mercy Invincibility: As long as you had at least one ring or shield to your name, this'll kick in when you're hit... unless you're bouncing on spikes in the first version of the original game.
  • Milestone Celebration:
    • The tenth anniversary was celebrated with Sonic Adventure 2, which saw the release of a "Birthday Pack", which included the game, a commemorative coin, a soundtrack CD, a booklet on the history of the franchise, and a special binding to hold them together.
    • The fifteenth, in 2006, with Sonic the Hedgehog Genesis and Sonic the Hedgehog (2006).
    • The 20th anniversary game (2011), Sonic Generations, builds off the successes of Sonic Colors and Sonic the Hedgehog 4 one year prior. Its biggest selling point is the return of the classic, black-eyed Sonic, running alongside the modern, green eyed one, each with their respective, seperate gameplay in a time travel plot that revisits areas from the preceding nine main games of the series. The plot is even based on a time-altering villain crashing Sonic's birthday party.

      It's not just the hedgehog celebrating his 20th birthday —- the Vocaloids get in the act in a minor way, as the third title of Sega's Project Diva series of Vocaloid Licensed Games, released just a few days after Generations, includes a Vocaloid cover of "Live & Learn" in the bundled bonus CD and an in-game Sonic costume for Miku because of Generations (in contrast the other Sega-themed costumes in the seriesnote  were included merely for the sake of Shout Outs).
    • Sonic Mania and Sonic Forces were both made for the 25th anniversary. The former is a Retraux 2D platformer headed by several Promoted Fanboys, while the latter brought back Classic Sonic again for a Crisis Crossover. Perhaps thanks to lessons learned after Sonic 2006, both games were released the following year (2016 marks 25 years since the release of Sonic the Hedgehog). Sonic Mania in particular launched with a celebratory limited edition physical release that includes a code to download the game, a statue of Sonic standing on a Genesis that plays the "SEGAAAA" fanfare, and a gold ring inside of a replica Sega Genesis cart.
  • Mineral MacGuffin: The Chaos Emeralds. Generally, no matter what the world-threatening danger is, the Chaos Emeralds will either unleash it or stop it. Or both.
    • Also the Time Stones, Chaos Rings, Master Emerald, Super Emeralds, Sol Emeralds, World Rings...
  • Minor Living Alone:
    • According to Sonic Adventure, twelve year old Amy lives alone in an apartment in Station Square. By Sonic Battle Amy's moved to Central City.
    • Tails is eight years old with no family in sight. He apparently lives by himself. Tails Adventure takes place even before he met Sonic but Tails lived alone even then.
  • Mixed Animal Species Team:
    • The first team to ever appear in the series is Team Chaotix (consisting of a echidna, a chameleon, a crocodile, a bee, and an armadillo) first appearing in Knuckles Chaotix.
    • Sonic Heroes has four playable teams, each with their own storyline: Team Sonic (hedgehog, fox, and echidna), Team Dark (hedgehog, bat, and a robot), Team Rose (hedgehog, rabbit, and cat), and the return of Team Chaotix (chameleon, crocodile, and bee).
    • Sonic Riders has the same teams as Sonic Heroes (except for Team Chaotix), as well as the Babylon Rogues (consisting of a hawk, a swallow, and an albatross).
    • In Sonic Forces, after Dr. Eggman takes over the entire world and Sonic disappears, his allies form The Resistance to counter it.
    • Sonic Mania Plus' Encore Mode allows you to play as Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Mighty, and Ray (a hedgehog, fox, echidna, armadillo, and flying squirrel, respectively), and switch between each character when you find special power-ups.
  • Mood Whiplash: Pretty much a staple of the series itself. Things can go from humorously comedic to dark and apocolyptic in a manner of moments.
  • Motion Blur: He's even nicknamed "The Blue Blur". In some of the 3D games, Sonic can create a blur by Spin Dashing. In fact, everyone who can use the Homing Attack has their own motion blur.
  • Mr. Vice Guy:
    • Sonic is very prideful, making him cocky or reckless in the face of danger, but is an easy going All-Loving Hero in every other area.
    • Rouge the Bat is a government spy with a bad habit of being greedy and obsessive with jewels.
    • Despite being helpful to the heroes and being dedicated in guarding the Master Emerald, Knuckles suffers about three vices. One, he's quite prideful about his strength. Two, he's envious of Sonic's freedom and carefree nature. And three, he has a very short temper which can make him difficult for others to get along with him.
    • Tails is very intelligent, but retains a very childish demeanor, making him impudent or over excitable.
    • The Chaotix are basically this personified, a misfit gang of so-called detectives who ultimately have good intentions at heart. Vector is extremely brash and rough around the edges and is horrible with money, but notices things others don't and offers his services free of charge to those that deserve them. Charmy is incredibly hyper-active and childish, yet is only occasionally mischievous. Espio often fails to successfully reign in the excesses of his two partners, but is otherwise extremely competent and dedicated towards whatever mission he's assigned to.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Rouge the Bat was a bizarre attempt at trying to introduce this kind of character into a series otherwise aimed at kids. Her design is basically if you took Morrigan from Darkstalkers and turned her into a cartoon bat. Besides her exposed cleavage and tight-fitting jumpsuit (which could be replaced with an even more skimpy outfit in the original Dreamcast version of Sonic Adventure 2), she even acts promiscuous and flirty with the other characters. The tie-in series like Sonic X did not shy away from this aspect of her character.
  • Multiple-Choice Past: Dr. Eggman Nega. In Sonic Rush and Sonic Rush Adventure, he's Eggman from a parallel universe. In the Sonic Rivals games, however, he's Eggman's descendant from 200 years in the future.
  • Multiple Demographic Appeal: The games, animated series, and merchandising have all long been popular across many ages and both genders. This is probably at least in part due to the fact that many of the people who played the original games in the early nineties are now in their twenties and it's nostalgia setting in.
  • Multiple Endings: Dates all the way back to the first game, though it wasn't until Sonic 3 & Knuckles that the difference was of any significance. Shadow the Hedgehog has 10 different endings, plus the final ending, and 326 total ways to complete the game.
  • Musical Pastiche:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Sonic & Knuckles had a different music composer than the first two games, hence the absence of the original title theme, but the main boss theme is a pastiche of both the miniboss theme(the second part) and the Sonic 1 boss theme(the first part, somewhat more resembles the Final Boss version).
    • Sonic Adventure 2's various level themes often echo "Live and Learn," the game's theme song.
    • In Sonic Unleashed, the first few seconds of the opening cutscene music sound remarkably like something from Star Wars.
  • Mythology Gag: Sonic's favorite food is chili dogs. This was created by DiC for the cartoons. Sonic Chronicles and Sonic Unleashed are full of them. He's also seen eating two in the beginning of Sonic and The Black Knight.

    N-Z 
  • No Conservation of Energy
  • No Ending: Combined with Sequel Hook. Sonic Chronicles ends with Sonic and friends learning that Eggman has taken over the world. And then they thank Bioware for being awesome.
  • No Endor Holocaust: Takashi Iizuka said in a 2017 interview that Eggman blowing up half the moon in Sonic Adventure 2 did not affect the world's tides, even though by all accounts it should have caused catastrophic flooding worldwide.
  • Nonstandard Character Design: Rouge the Bat, being an animal take on Morrigan, is an anomaly in the otherwise noodle-limbed character designs in the series, since she has a much more anthropomorphic figure, complete with human-like breasts and legs suggesting actual anatomy.
  • Noodle People: Nearly everyone.
  • No Sidepaths, No Exploration, No Freedom: Some of the more recent entries are sometimes criticized for having too much running and not enough platforming.
    • Conversely, the games that tend to receive this criticism generally feature more alternate paths and collectable items than earlier 3D games.
  • Noblewoman's Laugh: Robotnik's Santa-esque chuckle.
  • Nostalgia Level: The extra 3D version of the original Sonic the Hedgehog's Green Hill Zone in Sonic Adventure 2.
    • There are also Nostalgia Bosses in Sonic Advance, in the form of Sonic 1 and 2's first bosses in the X-Zone.
    • Sunset Hill Zone from Sonic Advance 3 certainly qualifies. It even has the music!
    • The final level in Sonic Chronicles can apply sorta. It has a remixed version of the Final Boss fight music from Sonic 3 & Knuckles.
    • Sonic Battle has Green Hill Zone as an unlockable stage.
    • Sky Sanctuary Zone in Sonic 3 & Knuckles features two Nostalgia Bosses. Mecha Sonic shows up piloting the boss vehicles from the first zone of Sonic the Hedgehog and the eighth zone of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 before you fight him quill-to-quill.
      • And said hog-to-mecha-hog fight shares some patterns with the Sonic 2 version of Mecha Sonic (aka Silver Sonic).
    • Sonic Rush Adventure's Hidden Island 16 is a remake of Act 1 of Leaf Storm, the first zone of Sonic Rush.
    • Wave Ocean from 06 is very much like Emerald Coast in Adventure 1, intentionally of course. Both are beach levels with a lighthouse, and feature Sonic getting chased across a bridge by an orca.
      • Adabat's levels in Sonic Unleashed are very similar to Emerald Coast and Wave Ocean, though without any chase scene.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog 4 is pretty much a Nostalgia Game, particularly Episode I whose levels and even bosses are generally inspired by various areas from the first two games.
    • Taken to Up to Eleven levels in Sonic Generations; you have 2.5D and 3D re-imaginings of levels from almost every major game from Sonic 1 to Colors. You also have Sonic, Tails, and Eggman in their classic looks, with Sonic being voiceless, and Metal Sonic returns as a boss.
    • Sonic Forces has a Green Hill Zone covered in sand, and Shadow's levels remix music from Sonic Adventure 2.
  • Not Allowed to Grow Up: Sonic has been around long enough to have had major changes to his voice and physique, and only vaguely remember his earliest adventures. But Modern Sonic is officially 15 both before and after his 'birthday' in the beginning of Sonic Generations.
  • Obvious Beta: Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) and Sonic Boom Rise Of Lyric. To ridiculous levels.
  • Once per Episode: Once the characters started to have voice actors by Sonic Adventure, the line "Long time no see!" is always uttered at least once in every game.
  • Offscreen Villain Dark Matter: No matter how much havoc Sonic wreaks on Robotnik's bases, he's always got enough badniks, eternal engines, and wave motion guns for another world domination bid come next game. It reached a peak in Sonic Adventure, where after Sonic and co. spend the entire game taking down the Egg Carrier, he shows up with another Egg Carrier to try and subdue Chaos.
    • Further still, in Sonic Unleashed, he produces a giant fleet of space battleships solely as bait for Super Sonic.
  • One Game for the Price of Two: The series has a nasty habit of foreshadowing events of games that are only playable on other consoles, especially with the Wii. Liked Sonic Colors and want to play the direct sequel Sonic Generations? If your PC isn't built for gaming, then enjoy shilling out triple-digit monetary values for a 360 or PS3. If you bought Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode I on WiiWare and want to play Episode II? Same deal (and to unlock Episode Metal will cost even more!).
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: Assuming they have no rings, every character would count as this, but this is not the case. Final Zone and Death Egg Zone in Sonic 1 and 2, respectively, have no rings whatsoever, effectively rendering Sonic a One Hit Point Wonder for the final confrontations. The 8-bit versions of Sonic 1 and 2 took this even further by offering no rings for any of the boss encounters.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Many people don't remember that Tails' real name is Miles Prower.
    • Eggman/Robotnik was retconned in later installments to be Robotnik nicknamed Eggman. Naturally, the Eggman name is used a lot more than the Robotnik one, even by himself.
  • Our Werebeasts Are Different: Sonic the Werehog.
  • Oxygenated Underwater Bubbles: Present throughout all of the 2D games where a Down the Drain, Underwater Ruins, or Under the Sea level is present. Also exists in Sonic Adventure, Sonic Adventure 2, Sonic Colors, and Sonic Generations.
  • Pantsless Males, Fully-Dressed Females: Outside of alternate media, this is the default rule for non-human characters in the Sonic franchise. The one exception comes in Sonic Forces. By default, the male avatar is naked and the female one wears a bodysuit, but not only is it possible to fully dress a male avatar, but also if you select a body tattoo or fur pattern for a bodysuit, you can have a pantsless (or nude) female avatar.
  • Panty Shot: In some games, the player can catch a rare glimpse of Amy and Cream's white panties under their skirts. Except for Sonic the Fighters, where she has no panties.
  • People Jars: Dr. Robotnik captures animals and stores them in capsules, which act as Jars. His main use for them is to brainwash them to control his robots for him, so the robots somewhat act as Jars as well. In both cases, Sonic and the gang can free them; the capsules have a switch, while the robots can be destroyed and the animal within will be fine.
  • Physical God: Chaos the God of Destruction, Illumina the Goddess of Dreams, the Master Emerald, Chip a.k.a. Light Gaia, Solaris, and possibly Emerl who is also referred to as a God, even though he's artificial.
  • Pinball Spinoff: Sonic Spinball and Sonic Pinball Party.
  • Pinball Zone: Almost every game in the series has at least one pinball-themed level, whether a regular level or a Bonus Stage. Despite the "zone", the Trope Namer is not from this series.
    • Act 2 of Casino Street Zone in the iOS version of Sonic 4 is nothing but a pinball machine where you need to get a certain amount of points in order to complete it.
  • Pink Girl, Blue Boy: Amy and Sonic, obviously.
  • Planet of Copyhats: Apparently speediness is an anthro trait.
  • Platform Game
  • Plot Coupon: The Chaos Emeralds are used in the games as either collectibles to unlock Super Sonic, or as actual pieces of the plot, with a few games either giving you a bad ending and/or not unlocking the final stage if you don't collect them all. The Master Emerald usually works the same way.
  • Polygon Ceiling: A notable example note : Sega have acknowledged that the 3D Sonic games — up until Sonic Colors — have a (not entirely unfounded) reputation of being plagued with bad camera angles, poor level design, and shaky controls. It's ultimately down to personal opinion as to which of the 3D games is the prime culprit. At the same time, the 2D Advance and Rush series released at the same time were quite highly regarded, which (along with a heavy sense of Retraux) could explain why Sonic Colors includes a lot of 2D platforming.
  • Pop Culture Osmosis: Some evolutionary biologist must have been a Genesis gamer in his or her youth, as one of the genes involved in the development of the feather in birds and teeth in humans has been dubbed "Sonic hedgehog." No, really.
    • On a side note, if that gene gets mutated in any way in fetuses, the fetus will be born with Conjoined Eyes, just like the many hedgehogs in this series.
  • Pop-Star Composer: Masato Nakamura (from the J-pop band Dreams Come True) composed the music for Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Famously, Michael Jackson was supposed to compose for Sonic the Hedgehog 3. What happened then? Nobody quite knows, but everybody has an opinion. Jun Senoue and his band Crush 40 wrote music for several of the 3-D games. R&B musician Akon remixed Dreams Come True's "Sweet Sweet Sweet" for Sonic 2006, Jaret Reddick from Bowling for Soup performed "Endless Possibilities" from Sonic Unleashed, and Cash Cash performs the main theme for Sonic Colors. This goes all the way to Sonic Forces, where Douglas Robb of Hoobastank wrote and performed "Fist Bump".
  • Power Dyes Your Hair: Sonic's various transformations throughout the years.
  • The Power of Friendship: The Macguffins of the series are far more powerful when used by the positive feelings of the cast, as opposed to negative feelings. This trope is especially Anvilicious in Sonic Adventure, Sonic Rush, and Sonic Heroes.
  • Power-Up Magnet: The Magnetic Shield, which debuted as the Lightning Shield in Sonic 3 & Knuckles.
  • Power Up Motif: Invincibility powerup has a theme in games where it exists.
  • Prepare to Die: One of Eggman's phrases in Sonic Battle.
  • Private Detective: Vector, Espio, and Charmy were revamped into this role for Sonic Heroes onwards.
  • The Psycho Rangers:
  • Punny Name: Miles "Tails" Prower, and Dr. Ivo "Eggman" Robotnik (and his legion of egg-themed machines). Also, Super Sonic.
  • Puzzle Boss
  • Puzzle Pan
  • Reconstruction: Since the flop of Sonic '06, the games seem to be trying to go back to the original Platforming and Speed outlook of the Genesis series.
  • Recurring Riff: In many Sonic games, the main theme of a particular game can be heard throughout the game.
  • Reformed, but Not Tamed: Various characters who started off as foes to Sonic will end up on his side, but still clash against him every now and then. Shadow is a prominent example.
  • Replacement Flat Character:
    • Amy had started as a sweet-natured girl, but during Cream's introduction to the series, she would become more aggressive and short-tempered while still having her nice moments.
    • After Knuckles became more of an ally to Sonic and more of a hot-headed comic relief, Shadow takes the role of the stoic and serious rival from him.
    • Both cases are somewhat of an inversion in that Knuckles and Amy actually underwent Flanderization following the introductions of their "replacements", and were more rounded prior to that.
  • Replay Value: Sonic games generally have a low number of stages compared to most other platformers, which would make the game very short otherwise. What it lacks in stage number is more than made up for in the amount of alternate paths that you can take in getting to the goal. In several games, the replayability is even added to with the Chaos Emeralds, as finding them requires all your exploration ability. Adding onto THAT is the fact that the games were designed with speedruns in mind, encouraging you to replay levels and learn how to get faster and faster times, improving your rank if the game has them.
  • Ret-Canon:
    • The clear use of SWATBots and roboticized animals in Sonic Chronicles.
    • The confirmation of Sonic's favorite food being chili dogs in the Japanese version of Sonic Advance 3, Sonic Unleashed, and Sonic and the Black Knight.
    • The true purpose of Shadow's Inhibitor Rings, shown in the ending of his story in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), originated in Sonic X.
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie, Sonic and Metal Sonic rushing headlong into each other was awesome enough to reappear in the end of Sonic and Blaze's fight in Sonic Rush.
    • In Sonic Unleashed and Sonic and the Black Knight, Sonic can be seen eating chili dogs, something Sega picked up from the '90s cartoons. In Unleashed, eating chili dogs will actually give you some XP.
    • The concept of Eggman and robotic buddies that's happened in at least two adaptations, has made it into the games with Cubot and Orbot.
    • Eggman's name was localized outside of Japan as "Dr. Robotnik", which it remained through The '90s. In Sonic Adventure, Sega attempted to wean everyone onto the original Japanese name by making "Dr. Eggman" an In-Series Nickname insult but one that he was somehow fine with come Sonic Adventure 2, casually referring to himself as "Dr. Eggman" (and has ever since). However his original name also remains canon thanks to Adventure 2 as his grandfather is named Dr. Gerald Robotnik.
    • The rings around Shadow's wrists have obviously been there since Sonic Adventure 2, but the idea of them inhibiting his power was introduced in Sonic X.
    • Sonic's love for chili dogs in the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog has been more tightly integrated into the official canon in the past few years; there's a chili dog salesman in Unleashed, Sonic is summoned with two in-hand in the opening of Black Knight, and he's given one as his birthday present from Tails in Generations.

  • Retcon: Thanks to their debut game (Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)) undergoing Cosmic Retcon at the end, Blaze and Silver were re-introduced into the series with new origins; Blaze's "new" debut game was Sonic Rush, while Silver's backstory was re-established and re-canonized in Sonic Rivals.
  • Revisiting the Roots: The series, after going 3-D and having elaborate storylines and darker characters, begot Sonic Advance, which played in 2-D and was very reminiscent of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 in stage design, game mechanics, and the simple plot of "Dr. Eggman kidnaps animals; Sonic rescues them."
    • Less successful was Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode I, which was another try at going back to basics. However, its physics made it impossible to play like the old games, making this a failed attempt.
    • This would be remedied, ironically, in a game designed to evolve the series further: Part of the premise of Sonic Generations is that Sonic from the classic games is brought forward in time to the present. Classic Sonic plays very close to the original games, much closer than in Sonic 4, and is near indistinguishable in the 3DS version. Classic Sonic was so well-received, considering the fandom's Broken Base, that Sonic 4: Episode II will be based on Classic Sonic's physics in Sonic Generations.
    • Fully realized with Sonic Mania, built from Christian Whitehead's Retro Engine to replicate 1:1 the classic Sonic physics; designed by long-time fans and modders, the game was a mix of redesigned classic stages with new ones in the style of the original pixel art, answering the question "What if Sonic 3 & Knuckles had a follow-up on the Saturn?". The result was a commercial success and one of the best-reviewed games of 2017.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter:
  • The Rival: Sonic tends to attract a lot of these characters for various reasons.
    • Originally it was Knuckles. In his debut, Knuckles fought against Sonic & Tails due to manipulations by Dr. Eggman. After Eggman revealed himself as the Big Bad, Knuckles teams up with the duo to stop him. Afterward, probably due to their egos, Sonic & Knuckles clashed for one reason or another, mostly due to the latter being tricked by Eggman into doing so. Their rivalry has kind of dissipated in recent years due to other adversaries showing up and Knuckles becoming more of an ally, but still pops up now and then.
    • Since Sonic & Knuckles were slowly becoming friends, Shadow debuted as the new, darker rival for Sonic. Unlike Knuckles, Shadow was not being tricked into fighting the heroes and was in fact a dangerous foe in his debut. Originally, he didn't pay Sonic much attention outside of accusing him of copying his style, but due to Sonic's tenacity and cheating death, he earned Shadow's respect and acknowledgment as a Worthy Opponent. Even after Shadow's eventual Heel–Face Turn, this dynamic is retained and the two clash quite often before teaming up against a common foe.
      • Debuting alongside Shadow was Rouge the Bat, who served as The Rival to Knuckles. They're both treasure hunters, but it's more of a hobby for Knuckles and he guards the all-powerful Master Emerald instead, while Rouge is an outright thief who attempts to steal it. This dynamic tends to be laced with Foe Yay, though.
    • Blaze was a bit of a rival to Sonic during the first half of Sonic Rush.
    • The Babylon Rogues to Team Heroes in the Sonic Riders series. Jet to Sonic, Wave to Tails, and Storm to Knuckles, respectively. Since the premise of the series is racing, this is a bit more justified; that, and the Rogues are just jerks. Jet definitely takes it the farthest, though, being almost obsessed with proving that he's the fastest there is, and since Sonic is known as "The Fastest Thing Alive"...
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Shadow's reaction to Maria's death. Attempt on humanity prevented by Amy. Results in the genocide of the entire Black Arms race, as Black Doom can be considered indirectly responsible for her death.
  • Rolling Attack: Sonic can do that. Often others do rolling attacks too.
  • Rousseau Was Right: In Sonic Adventure 2, Amy of all people stops Shadow's Roaring Rampage of Revenge with a speech about this.
  • Running Gag: There's very few that last more than a single game, but Knuckles getting tricked by Eggman, for one, eventually turned into this.
    • If it's an entirely 2D Sonic game, expect there to be a pit with two springs facing each other in at least one level.
    • At least one character has said "Long time no see" in almost every game since Sonic Adventure.
    • In Sonic Adventure, Tails says this to Sonic in Sonic's story, and Amy says it to Sonic.
    • In Sonic Adventure 2, Knuckles says it when first meeting up with Amy and Tails, and Rouge says this to Knuckles just before their boss battle against each other.
    • In Sonic Heroes, Sonic says it to Tails and Knuckles in the opening cutscene for Team Sonic's story, and Rouge says this to Team Sonic before the Team Sonic vs. Team Dark battle.
      • Metal Sonic also says this to Sonic at the start of the final boss battle; one of the few cases where it has been a long time.
    • In Shadow the Hedgehog, Sonic (see a pattern here?) says this to Shadow when you run into Sonic at the beginning of the very first stage.
    • In Sonic Rush, Blaze says this to Eggman Nega when she first meets him in Sonic's side of the story.
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), Sonic and Rouge both say this at multiple points each in the game.
    • In Sonic Rush Adventure, Eggman says this the first time he encounters Sonic in the game.
    • Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity. Wave greets Tails with, "Long time no see, shorty!"
    • In the 3DS "Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games", Tails says it towards the fog impersonating Mario & Luigi. Too be fair, they probably haven't seen each other after the winter Olympics.
    • After being absent from the core games since Sonic Unleashed, the catchphrase returned in Sonic Forces. Sonic says the line to Infinite in one of their later encounters. He also greets Classic Sonic with the variant, “It’s been generations since I’ve seen you.”
  • San Dimas Time: The level timers in Sonic CD, where you regularly travel hundreds of years through time mid-level on a regular basis. Subverted in that traveling through time will reset the timer to five minutes if the elapsed time was greater than that.
  • Scenery Porn: Sonic games are designed to push the graphical power of any console they're on, whether it be the Genesis/Mega Drive, Dreamcast, Wii, PS3, any console. Special mentions in this regard include the original Genesis games, Sonic Unleashed, and Sonic Colors. Sonic CD had some Scenery Gorn in its Bad Future stages, though the Good Futures could potentially outdo the past and present with the area showing technology maintaining the environment instead of destroying it.
    • Recent home console titles like Unleashed and Generations use Sonic Team's aptly-named graphics rendering tool, the Hedgehog Engine, which is capable of rendering close-to-CG quality imagery. Whilst graphical output is undoubtedly impressive, the results are definitely best viewed in 60fps and 1080p in the PC version of Generations.
    • Supposedly, on the day that Nintendo unveiled the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (which was also the same day SEGA unveiled the original Sonic game), a reporter went to a SEGA Rep and touted the increased graphical capabilities of the SNES over the Mega Drive; specifically citing the vast increase in the number of colors the system was capable of. The SEGA Rep's response was to take him to a curtained off area, and show him screenshots of Sonic and the latest Mario game, before asking "Who has more colors?"
    • Mystic Ruins from Sonic Adventure is this trope, adapting many of the breathtaking landscapes and sceneries the dev team witnessed on their trip to Central America.
  • Schizo Tech: Sonic Adventure and Sonic Adventure 2 feature relatively innocuous and modern aesthetics, while just about everything from Sonic Heroes on features clearly futuristic technology.
  • Science Fantasy: The series has always been a big fan of robots and machinery, and has also dabbled in time travel, alternate dimensions, aliens, and artificial life-form creation, while also containing many supernatural elements like the Chaos Emeralds and ancient gods.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: It started with Chaos in Sonic Adventure and has become increasingly more evil, more sealed, and more uncanny from there.
  • Seldom-Seen Species:
    • How many hedgehogs in fiction can you name off the top of your head, much less ones that headline a whole series (porcupines don't count)?
    • Knuckles has the honor of being the only major character in all of mainstream fiction (not counting in-universe characters) to be an echidna, which is already a rather unknown animal.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man. Sonic (manly man) and Tails (sensitive guy)... however, when it comes to Knuckles, Sonic is the Sensitive Guy while Knuckles is the Manly Man.
  • Set Bonus: The Chaos Emeralds in most games. Whether they allow the player to become Super Sonic, view the true ending, or both.
  • Shoo Out the New Guy: Silver started out overhyped, but since Sonic '06 and the Rivals games, he's pretty much been reduced to being a member of multiplayer rosters.
  • Shout-Out:.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Shadow has done this twice, once to Black Doom in the final story of Shadow the Hedgehog and later to Mephiles at the end of his story in Sonic 2006.
  • Sigil Spam:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog makes a lot of cameo appearances in other Sega games. He even appears in the Sega CD and Sega Channel boot up. He is their mascot, and they want you to know it.
    • Some post-Sonic Adventure games (including the Sonic Advance Trilogy) show Eggman's property having a stylized depiction of his face on them (its design is inconsistent from game to game). The same goes for G.U.N.
  • Single-Use Shield:
    • Sonic collects rings. If he's hit, he loses his rings instead of dying.
    • The shields found throughout the series also qualify.
      • In the first two games, they did nothing more than take one hit for you.
      • In Sonic 3 & Knuckles, the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC version of Sonic Generations, and Sonic Mania, Flame, Water, and Lightning Shields are available. While they are active, they protect the player from flames, let the player breathe underwater, and attract rings, respectively. All three will (at least in S3&K) reflect projectiles without taking damage, but they still disappear after one hit from anything else (and in the case of flame and lightning, touching water). They even grant special powers to Sonic, activated on pressing the jump button while in midair (replacing his weak "Insta-Shield" move that slightly extends the range of his jump attack momentarily): the Flame Shield lets him dash forward rapidly; the Water Shield lets him dash downward rapidly (Ground Pound!); while the Lightning Shield gives him a Double Jump.
      • The 3D games, the Sonic Advance series, and its handheld successors, have two shields available. They both act the same as in the first two games, but one will attract rings.
  • Slave Mooks: The little robots with animals in them.
  • Sliding Scale of Anthropomorphism: Most of the main characters are Funny Animals, excluding the humans, robots, and non-anthro animals. Rouge is much more humanlike than the rest of the animals.
  • Sliding Scale of Realistic Versus Fantastic: Sonic lies far on the fantastic end of the scale, with the possible exception of Sonic 2006.
  • Small, Annoying Creature: Chip and Omochao love flying around and dispensing useless advice.
  • Smashing Hallway Traps of Doom: Levels in classic Sonic games have a lot of them. Some of them are in 3D games too.
  • Space Does Not Work That Way: This pretty much describes most of Sonic's space exploration levels, with his sequence of hanging on to Robotnik's rocket ship escaping into the upper atmosphere and managing to reach the Death Egg in space being one of the most accurate examples.
  • Speedy Snail: In real life, hedgehogs are not known for being particularly fast. Sonic the Hedgehog practically made speed his one defining traits.
  • Spike Balls of Doom: Very commonly used. A lot of them can be found within stages, one of the notable enemies called Orbinaut has spiked balls surrounding it and many bosses fire spiked balls, too.
  • Spikes of Doom: One of the common elements throughout the series. There is also the infamous Spike Bug. Its name is something of an Artifact Title, as there is substantial evidence now that it's not a bug and was intentionally programmed in (though it was "fixed" in later revisions of Sonic 1).
  • Spin Attack: Sonic's trademark maneuver. Comes in normal and Spin-Dash flavors (in certain games).
  • The Spiny: A fair number of Badniks qualify, although since the standard attack method is to hit an enemy while curled into a ball rather than necessarily to hit it from above, some of these are covered in spikes or other harmful stuff on all sides, rather than just the top, and must be defeated by waiting for them to revert to a vulnerable state or using invincibility. Others, though, look more like the Spinies of other games and can be dispatched by rolling into them. Oddly enough, an enemy with this exact name is not an example of this.
  • Spiritual Successor: The Chao Gardens which debuted in the Adventure games are this to the Nightopians from NiGHTS into Dreams.... The Chao are even based on an upgraded version of the A-Life system from NiGHTS.
  • Springs, Springs Everywhere: Springboards are common objects in Sonic series. Often, other things like bumpers and sometimes even clouds do the same thing too.
  • Sprint Shoes: Most games in the series have these, generally called High Speed Shoes/Super Sneakers/Power Sneakers depending on the game.
  • Standard Power-Up Pose: When anyone goes into their Super Form, they usually adopt this pose.
  • Starfish Robots: Dr. Eggman has created a ton of these. See the trope page for details.
  • Stealth Pun: Dr. Ivo "Eggman" Robotnik. "Ivo" is an anagram of "Ovi", the latin term for an egg.
    • And for a Bonus, according to Word of God, the "I" in "Ivo" is pronounced with a soft "e" like in many European languages instead of the usual English "ae", to make "Ivo" (Eevo) sound like "Evil".
  • Steam Vent Obstacle
  • Strictly Formula: The series almost always sticks to two basic plots;
  • Super-Deformed: The bulk of the series cast has ridiculously large heads in contrast to their small bodies, almost Bobblehead like in proportion.
  • Super Drowning Skills/Walk, Don't Swim: Since his first appearance in 1991, Sonic has never been able to swim. His allies, Tails and Knuckles, can. Sonic sinks like a rock in water and relies on air bubbles to survive underwater. This is taken to its logical extreme in some of the recent games, where even contact with water causes instant death.
    • In the Mario & Sonic games, Sonic wears a life jacket during the swimming events.
    • As of Sonic Colours, Sonic can swim upwards by jumping in the water, Mario-style. The yellow Wisp also turns him into a tornado underwater, giving him basically complete maneuverability. Suddenly the great blue terror isn't so terrible.
  • Super Gullible: Knuckles seems to have a big problem with this. While him falling for Eggman's lie that Sonic was evil might have made sense the first time, as he had lived on the island all his life and had never heard of Eggman or Sonic, after Eggman reveals his true colors at the end of Sonic 3 & Knuckles, you'd think Knuckles would never trust him again. Unfortunately, he gets tricked into doing his bidding again in three more games (Triple Trouble, Sonic Adventure, and Sonic Advance 2).
  • Super Mode: For Sonic, Shadow, and Silver, when they get all seven Chaos Emeralds, their fur stands up and becomes golden. Admittedly, Yuji Naka actually is a fan of Dragon Ball, and it had a big influence on Sonic. Blaze the Cat also has one using the Seven Sol Emeralds, though appearance-wise, it's merely a palette swap, with her lavender fur turning pink, and her purple coat turning red. Tails and Knuckles also have Super forms, but the effect is downplayed — they retain their normal appearance, simply gaining a glowing aura.
  • Super Speed: Sonic is the foremost example, but nearly every character in the series has some level of this, even Eggman.
    • Taken to the next level in the Movie where Metal Sonic is able to fly in and out of the atmosphere in seconds and both him and Sonic are able to get to distant parts of the world in very short amounts of time. Taken Up to Eleven in Sonic X, where Sonic was able to outrun a lightning bolt in his base form.
  • Super Strength: While it is usually power characters like Knuckles and Omega that have this emphasized, almost all characters have some level of it. In the movie and Sonic X, even Sonic is capable of incredible feats of strength that would give game Knuckles pause.
  • The Team: Various throughout the series. Sonic Heroes takes this and runs with it with no less than four teams of Power Trios. The breakdown is as followed:
  • Team Rocket Wins:
    • Eggman has never bested Sonic in the long run, but there has been a handful of times where he managed to get the upper hand. In Sonic Adventure 2, this happens a couple of times — the destruction of Prison Island, the firing of the Eclipse Cannon, and the scene where Sonic nearly dies (and is conveniently saved because Sonic somehow knew how to use Chaos Control). In Sonic Unleashed, he actually manages to defeat Super Sonic, steal the Chaos Emeralds from him, tear apart the planet, and sent Sonic flying helplessly out into space. And Sonic Forces, well... where to begin?!?
  • Teens Are Short: The teenage heroes such as Sonic, Blaze, and Knuckles are significantly shorter than the adult Vector the Crocodile and Vanilla the Rabbit.
  • Temporary Platform: All over the place in numerous games.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: When Sonic goes Super Mode, usually by the end of the game. Or when picking up an invincibility powerup.
  • There Are No Adults: Only Cream is shown to have a parent, and only one adult, Dr. Robotnik, is a main cast member.
  • This Is a Drill: Classic Sonic games had at least one type of badnik with a drill. Sonic 2 and 3 also had bosses with drills. Sonic Colors introduces enemies with drills to 3D.
    • One of the bosses in Sonic Unleashed had a drill.
    • Sonic Colors also has the yellow wisps which turn Sonic into a drill.
  • Three-Point Landing: Sonic and friends like to do that in newer games sometimes.
    • Chip subverts this multiple times at first, but finally manages a perfect landing just before the final level.
    • It's also been a Running Gag since Sonic Adventure for Sonic to royally botch at least one of these landings.
  • Tiered by Name: When Sonic's powered up by the Chaos Emeralds, he becomes ''Super Sonic" and turns yellow. There's other transformations from other sources as well, but this is the most famous.
  • Timed Mission: In the Genesis, Master System, and Game Gear games, you lose one life if the timer hits 10 minutes. Later games do away with this restriction.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Tails has a noticeable one between Sonic Adventure and SA2; he builds himself a mech and is actually useful, and is somewhat able to think for himself.
    • Eggman also takes a massive level in badass between the same two games. He goes from letting Chaos do most of his fighting for him and trying to conquer only Station Square to trying to take over the world with a Kill Sat. He actually gets his hands dirty in SA2 (on-screen at least) and almost manages to successfully kill Sonic.
    • Lampshaded by Sonic: "You've turned into a big time villain, doctor!"
    • Don't forget about Amy. See Badass Normal.
    • Big the Cat in Sonic Heroes; similar to Amy, he gains speed and powers to keep up with the others (his rod acts as a firey ball and chain!). For the first time ever, we also see him kinda pissed off.
    • Team Chaotix undergoes a bit of this when they're re-introduced, too. Espio originally only had wall-clinging abilities, attacks using his tongue, and his iconic spinning top spindash with no sign of espionage. In his return, all of those skills (sans tongue) come together into him being a badass ninja whose skills are surpassed only by the volume at which he speaks. Charmy was previously one of the slowest characters in Knuckles' Chaotix whose only use was flying around indefinitely. Upon his return, he's become a lot stronger, being able to carry and perform attacks using his two teammates (One of which is huge by Sonic standards) and attack more effectively using his stinger. He even delivers a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown to Robotnik in their ending. Vector was a tall and slinky crocodile who, besides his Doughnut Spindash, was pretty much a slightly weaker version of Knuckles. Upon his return, he's buffed up considerably, utilizes his crocodile jaws and fire breath to fight more effectively, and has become an expert detective who's had a running tradition of accurately figuring out plot-crucial information before anyone else whenever given the chance.
  • Tornado Move: Used by Sonic in some games. In Sonic Heroes, he and the other Speed characters can even whip up a tornado by rapidly moving in a circle.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Chili dogs, for Sonic himself.
  • Treasure Is Bigger in Fiction: Most notably, the Rings, Chaos Emeralds, and the Master Emerald.
  • Tuft of Head Fur: Tails has an Anime Hair-esque tuft on his head.
  • Underwater Ruins: One level in almost every game is set amidst underwater ruins.
  • Unwilling Roboticisation: Eggman's modus operandi in some games, especially the early ones.
  • Urban Fantasy: The series blends fantasy elements like the Chaos Emeralds with urban environments. Said environments were especially common in the post-Sonic Adventure, but they were present in the classic games too, albeit less prominently.
  • Urban Ruins: The Sonic series frequently employs this trope:
  • Video Game Flight: Tails' tails come in handy. Err, tail-y.
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