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  • Adorkable: Silver's naivety and insecurities make him surprisingly adorable despite his sometimes violent personality.
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  • Alternate Self Shipping: Shipping the Classic and Modern versions of characters (mostly Sonic) isn't too uncommon.
  • Americans Hate Tingle:
    • Big the Cat is fairly well liked in Japan, but is so strongly disliked by western Sonic fans (both for his slow paced, unorthodox fishing gameplay in Sonic Adventure, and for finding his infantile, slow-witted personality to be grating rather than endearing) that he's been reduced to sporadic cameos and bit player appearances after Sonic Heroes.
    • Cream the Rabbit is a popular enough character in Japan that she's become a mainstay in the series, while by many western fans she was hated almost as much as Big the Cat. A likely reason was her personality; polite, submissive, and somewhat withdrawn. Also, she has a really high-pitched voice. Over time however, much of the fanbase began to warm up to Cream, thanks to her consistent Game-Breaker status with anything she was playable in. Thanks to speedruns and let's players showing off what she could do, she acquired more of a Memetic Badass reputation instead. It also helped that her succeeding voice actresses toned down her shrillness which made her easier to like.
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    • While not being exactly hate per se, the whole franchise is not very popular in Latin America, barring Mexico (in less degree, thanks to the animated series) and Brazil. Unlike other examples, it's not because Latin American fans hate the franchise or the characters themselves exactly, but because, as Sega's consoles were never popular in that region,note  the whole series doesn't have the same fondness in that region in the same way Sonic had in the English-speaking world and Europe. For beginners, the Sonic comics were never officially translated in Spanish or Portuguese, but do have a decent fan translation, and the whole franchise is mostly known thanks to the animated adaptations, as the videogames were pretty obscure, compared with Nintendo's characters like Mario and company.note 
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  • Angel/Devil Shipping: While nowhere near as ubiquitous as Sonamy or Shadamy, there are some fans that ship Amy Rose and Metal Sonic, the two characters having shared a Distressed Damsel dynamic in their debut game (never mind that Metal Sonic was the one who kidnapped Amy to begin with). More reasonably, several fans ship her with Shadow rather than Sonic, thanks to reminding him of Maria herself, on top of the sentiment that he'd be more steady of a partner compared with Sonic's wanderlust.
  • Animation Age Ghetto: This trope has been the bane of the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise for many years. While Sega marketed the character as a "cool and edgy" alternative to the squeaky-clean Mario and while the series began to try out much more dramatic storytelling following Sonic Adventure, there was a lot of pushback against the idea that a series starring a blue cartoon hedgehog would even try to be serious, with Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) being the final straw. Sega seemed to be taking it to heart since every game afterwards increasingly became Lighter and Softer and Denser and Wackier, much to the frustration of fans who liked their dramatic storytelling.
  • Archive Panic: Nearly seventy games in 25 years, several animated TV shows, countless cameos in other series, and several comic series, one of which had been around since Sonic's heyday, and ran until July 2017.
  • Awesome Art: A proud tradition of the series. In particular, the original Sega Genesis games (and Sonic CD) have barely aged in this respect.
  • Awesome Ego:
  • Badass Decay:
    • Miles "Tails" Prower. In the Classic games, he was a standard Sidekick, but could keep up with Sonic and was just as capable when it came to taking on Eggman. In the Adventure series, he undergoes major Character Development, becoming more self-reliant and beating Eggman by himself. However, starting with Sonic Unleashed, he hardly fights and mostly stands on the sidelines while Sonic handles all of the work. In the aforementioned game, he's frightened and flees when spotted by some Nightmares, despite defeating far tougher foes in the past; and in Sonic Forces, he cowers in fear at Chaos 0, when he's already beaten the more powerful Chaos 4 in Sonic Adventure.
    • Knuckles the Echidna. Once considered Sonic's equal and the respected guardian of a powerful artifact, he has devolved into a Butt-Monkey who always gets tricked by an outside party and rarely has any significance to the plot.
    • Amy. Started off as a Damsel in Distress in CD, but went on to appear as a playable character in the Sonic Drift games and Sonic the Fighters, where she acquired her iconic Piko-Piko Hammer. In Adventure, she is captured by Zero, but is capable of fending for herself and escapes on her own, resolving to earn Sonic's respect through her own merits. In Heroes, she leads Team Rose and helps take down Eggman, and is the first to go after Metal Sonic. However, in every game after that, she is consistently portrayed as a side character whose only purpose is to either get captured or cheer for Sonic while he does all the work. Sonic Forces restores some of her former glory by having her actively combat Eggman's forces, but she's still a far cry from the Action Girl she once was.
  • Can't Un-Hear It:
  • Character Rerailment:
    • The entire reason the modern Sonic design was created is because Yuji Naka felt that people had begun to view the character as cutesy and he wanted to restore his original "bad boy" feel. Sonic Colors does this again by drifting away from the goody-goody, teamwork-obsessed Ace he had started to become to a slightly more nuanced version of the snarky Mascot with Attitude that he was supposed to be from the start.
    • As of Sonic Free Riders, Shadow's haughty attitude has made a comeback. Lampshaded by Knuckles.
      Knuckles: Nice to see your ego's as big as ever, Shadow.
    • Amy's obsession with Sonic and her temper grew throughout the 2000s; however, by Lost World it had been dialed back down to the point where the two can have normal conversations again.
  • Comedy Ghetto: From Sonic Colors and onwards, some Sonic fans have become absolutely livid with the drastic change in narrative style. Sonic Adventure to Sonic Unleashed featured complicated drama-oriented stories, whereas Sonic Colors to the present has a more sitcom-like comedic approach characterized by minimal plotting and cutscenes dominated by witty dialogue. This is enough for current head writers Ken Pontac and Warren Graff to receive verbal lashings at every fan panel they attend and even death threats over the Internet.
  • Crack Ship: Quite a few fan pairings range from weird to downright disturbing, such as Sonic X Eggman and Modern Sonic X Classic Sonic and Eggman X Eggman Nega. In general, pairing Sonic up with human females is surprisingly popular, especially odd considering the infamous reception of the one time that actually happened in the series.
  • Creator Worship:
    • Fans who grew up on the games from the 2000's feel this way about Shiro Maekawa, whom many consider one of the series' definitive writers and manages to make the large scale, epic Shonen-esc plots whom many love. After his departure from Sega after Sonic and the Black Knight, and with the advent of Warren Graff and Ken Pontac headlining the series as the head writers for the next decade, bringing their own amount of controversy, many fans are wishing for Maekawa to return to work on the series again.
    • Ian Flynn, main writer of both Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics) (since issue 160) and Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW) has always been appreciated by the fanbase for his respectful characterization of the cast. Many claim that thanks to his stories, divisive characters like Silver and Zavok got a better appreciation.
  • Creator's Pet: Despite a negative reception, Zavok has been used a lot since his debut in Lost World. He was chosen as a representative in Sonic Forces, and even has a boss fight unlike fan-favorites Chaos and Shadow. Likewise, he became a mainstay in spin-off titles incluiding Team Sonic Racing, despite making no sense in-story.
  • Crossover Ship:
    • Thanks to Super Smash Bros., Sonic X Mario and Sonic X Lucina are common pairings in the fandom.
    • Due to the Sonic/Mega Man crossover Robotnik/Wily is an insanely popular pairing in the fandoms.
    • Despite the tension the two fandoms have together, pairings of Sonic and Rainbow Dash are quite common in fan works.
    • Rouge is also often paired up with many characters from other fandoms due to her flirtatious nature.
    • Rin (Love Live!) becoming Sega's Image Girl in Japan has led to some Sonic/Rin fan art.
    • Some non-romantic examples from DeviantArt are Sonic and Hilda, Rosa, Yancy and Serena (All from Pokémon), Sonic and Miley Verisse (Cherry Tree High Comedy Club), Tails and Bianca (Pokemon Black and White), Tails and Harriet Sinclair (Cherry Tree High Comedy Club) and on a minor scale, Sonic and Yui Hirasawa (K-On!).
    • Sonic The Hedgehog and Hello Kitty have also started becoming a common ship since the Sonic 25th Anniversary event where Sanrio and Sega announced a crossover called Sanrio X Sonic The Hedgehog which featured various Sanrio characters as the main Sonic characters.
    • Thanks to memes, there's plenty of people who ship Shadow with Shrek.
    • There's also a good amount of people who ship Sonic and Hatsune Miku, considering that they are both SEGA franchisees and Miku has made shout-outs to Sonic in the Project DIVA series.
  • Death of the Author:
    • The sudden revelation of there being two "separate worlds"note  has been rejected by a good portion of the fandom due to it being incredibly confusing and convoluted compared to just simply having one setting in which both humans and anthros co-exist. It doesn't help that the games themselves have never implied there being two worlds, despite statements saying that the idea has been in place as far as Sonic Adventure.
    • And now to continue Classic Sonic a separate franchise from Modern Sonic, Sega has decided that the current incarnation of Classic Sonic is from a separate timeline rather than Modern Sonic's past self, and has forbidden certain linked to one era from appearing in the other. This has not sat well with a large chunk of the fanbase.
  • Die for Our Ship: The fandom has a reputation for employing this mentality often. One of the more common examples is people who ship Amy with Sonic or Shadow tending to give the male of the opposing ship the Ron the Death Eater treatment. Meanwhile Amy gets this from Sonic/Shadow shippers. And that's without bringing Sally Acorn into the fray...
  • Dork Age: Has its own page.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
  • Evil Is Cool:
    • Doctor Ivo Robotnik/ Eggman may be a comical fat mad scientist, but his determination, kickass boss battles and themes, creations and armada of Egg Fleets make him possibly the most endearing character in the series. This applies to all his incarnations in media who have stole the spotlight either as goofy incarnations, the sinister, or a combination of both.
    • Metal Sonic, Sonic's doppelganger and Eggman most powerful creation. Not only he has the best bost fight out of any other doppelganger in the Classic era in Sonic CD, his visual design is excellent despite how simple it may look. The character was the highlight and main antagonist of Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie.
  • Fan-Disliked Explanation:
    • Takashi Iizuka's assertion that Modern Sonic's world is split into two separate worlds—the human world (not Earth) and Sonic's world (not Mobius) and that it's been this way since Sonic Adventure, just never outright stated—was generally not met with warm reception. Many just see the change as completely unnecessary since there was already so much overlap in characters and content between both eras. It doesn't help that various Sega employees have offered contradicting interpretations of what exactly this entails.
    • In Sonic Forces, the sudden explanation that Classic Sonic is from another dimension conflicts with his origin as Modern Sonic's past self in Sonic Generations. This was done as a way to keep Classic Sonic's world open as a separate franchise, but the poor conveyance of this fact wasn't given a warm reception.
  • Fandom Heresy: Never admit you like Sonic 06 (At least unironically). Ever. Rise of Lyric even more so.
  • Fandom Rivalry:
    • Sonic and Mario were this from the 90s and early 2000s; one of the most classic examples in gaming history. However, fans of both series from that era seem to laugh about the rivalry nowadays and have evolved to become amicable with each other. Newer fans who didn't grow up during that era tend to overlap. There is also a Vocal Minority who grew up during the Console Wars between Nintendo and SEGA and never grew out of it who loathe Nintendo with every fiber of their being for having so-called won the war (as Nintendo continues to make game systems), and they want nothing less than to demote Nintendo to a 3rd-party developer like SEGA, if not destroy Nintendo as a company outright.
    • Sonic fans and My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fans are notorious for clashing with each other, which happens a lot on each other's fansites. This is mainly because the two fandoms are similar, but absolutely hate that fact being brought up. It got so bad that for a while, the famous brony website Equestria Daily explicitly banned any Sonic related content from being posted on it.
    • After kicking a hornet's nest towards Mighty No. 9 when Keiji Inafune's translator misattributed that the game's problematic development was "better than nothing" and the official Sonic the Hedgehog twitter putting said words into Inafune's words into his mouth in an infamous tweet, some fans of Mighty No. 9 were quick to remind the owner of said twitter account that Sonic the Hedgehog's reputation isn't all sunshine and rainbows. This was coming from a character whose franchise had no less than three major disasters, two of which were Sega basically saying the same thing for Sonic's 15th anniversary, and a laundry list of spin-offs that were also seen as average at best or complete train-wrecks at worse, moreso than Mighty No. 9 has been accused of.
    • For a more specific part of the franchise, fans of Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics) hold resentment towards Riverdale thanks in no small part to the fact that Archie's focus on the show actually played a part in the comic's hiatus and eventual cancellation.
    • With Crash Bandicoot, another 90's platformer series featuring a Mascot with Attitude. Fans often debate over which series has better games and characters.
  • Fanfic Fuel: The series very lax, open ended direction on introducing new content and elements in each game alone has made it into a fanfiction gold mine. And thats not even factoring in that the series has numerous and vastly different incarnations, with alternate timelines and dimensions in the main series alone (and sometimes these continuities even overlap or outright crossover together in content), truckloads of both developed and oneoff characters, a combo of magic / surreal fantasy and video game tropes, with in and out cycles of generally light but existent continuity, light/dark elements, and stronger stories/excuse plots and an ever expanding world with new elements and locations coming and going (i.e. alternatives to the Chaos Emeralds like the time stones and Chaos Rings, the existence of aliens in several different Sonic games), the characters minimal to nonexistent backstories (particularly Sonic's) the many crossovers and cameos in other major franchises, including Mario, Mega Man, The Legend of Zelda, Super Smash Bros. and even some of Sega's own franchises (Sonic headlines the Sega All Stars series alone, and the amount of cameos he makes in other Sega works, such as NiGHTS into Dreams…, is staggering), and the numerous number of series memes, have given the franchise more than enough material to sustain one of the most active fanfiction communities around.
  • Fountain of Memes:
    • Just about every line Dr. Eggman says in battle can be turned into a meme.
    • Knuckles, due to his immensely goofy and quotable nature in adaptations, and the & Knuckles part of Sonic & Knuckles being adopted as an internet joke.
  • Friendly Fandoms:
    • The Sonic fandom has ironically become one with the Mario fandom. The original heated Nineties' rivalry has quelled and turned into a Friendly Rivalry, with only the bad blood resonating with the older fans. Now, instead of the two fanbases at each others' throats, they are actually quite disappointed that the two franchises still haven't had a proper Platform Game crossover yet. In the mean time, they just enjoy the Olympic Games, the numerous crossover Fanworks and Mods, and Sonic being a beloved guest star in Super Smash Bros. Speaking of Smash Bros, Sonic being the only guest star to return in one of Nintendo's biggest series is a big time sign of how much Nintendo and their audience welcomes the blue blur. Many have also noted that Super Mario Odyssey seems to be strongly influenced by Sonic Adventure.
    • They're also quite friendly with the Mega Man fandom and people who like one series tends to like the other. Both series' blue protagonists who often go by similar titles among fans, as well as being classic series who ended up getting the short end of the stick in many ways over time, are most likely some of the bigger factors in it.
    • The fandom is also on rather good terms with fans of Batman. This is because the largest quantity of vocal Sonic fans grew up in the early 90s, when Batman got a Darker and Edgier take and thus had substantial audience overlap of kids who were taking in the similarly dark and moody Sonic series from DiC and Archie Comics.
    • There also appears to be a decent overlap between Sonic fans and fans of Michael Jackson, mainly due to Jackson himself having been a Sonic fan in his later years, even composing part of the soundtrack to Sonic 3 & Knuckles. The discovery of the latter during the second half of the 2000s and the first half of the 2010s is likely what caused this overlap to develop and grow in the first place.
    • Even though there have been many spates of a Fandom Rivalry, a group of fans in the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fandom have actually created quite a few pieces of the Sonic and MLP characters in a crossover fashion, including two notable crossover fanfics.
    • One of the stranger examples is Love Live! It is very common to see crossover memes between Sonic and Love Live (popular ones include "Maki is Knuckles" and "Love Live music is Sonic music," the latter a testament to how iconic Sonic music truly is), and a lot of Love Live focused channels started off devoted to Sonic before they also jumped on the Idol Singer train. It helps that Sega is no stranger to Japanese idols, being the publishers of Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA, and they're directly involved with making Love Live figures. They even make the relationship explicit by pairing Love Live image girls with Sonic.
    • The fanbase also gets along with the fanbase of Korone Inugami for her much-hyped Let's Play of the Genesis titles and Sonic Adventure, which also leads to Yuzo Koshiro himself composing a "Sonic-style BGM" for her and the official Sonic twitter retweeting her fanart. When Sonic himself got announced to become a Virtual YouTuber, fans shared hope that she would collaborate with him.
  • Gateway Series: Next to Mario, Sonic is definitely one of the first big video game franchises gamers get drawn into, due to its colorful artwork, fantasy tone, and casual-based gameplay. And by proxy, Sonic is also a gateway to Sega's other big series as well.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Sonic the Hedgehog is much more popular in many western countries than at home. This can be justified by the fact that Sonic was specifically designed to appeal to western audiences in the first place, and the fact that the Sega Genesis never got a strong foothold in Japan. The third season of Sonic X didn't even air there until 2020 (nearly 15 years later) and was mainly commissioned for the international markets, despite all the episodes having a Japanese dub recorded alongside the English dub. Several Sonic games, such as Sonic Chronicles, have performed abysmally in sales over there. There's also a particularly fanatical subset of fans in the UK, thanks to Sonic the Comic. There's yet another slight fanbase division over international differences.
  • Goddamned Bats:
    • Nearly every single enemy in the second half of Sonic Chronicles can act as this due to either ridiculous defenses, regenerating health, poisoning you every chance they get, leeching off your health, or any combination of the previously mentioned.
    • The Raptor Hawks in the first half of the game probably count, too. Although there's only six of them at the most, they have 120HP, do ~50 damage per hit, and can use "Evading" whenever they want. It's a good thing when they use their Special move, Feather Barrage, because it's easy to counter.
    • The artificial chaos enemies from Sonic Adventure 2. Very impressive reach, very hard to kill, and start appearing in levels that are already difficult to begin with!
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • All of the vintage US Sega ads touting Sonic as the anti-Mario are this now, in light of the fact that Sega is now making games for Nintendo's consoles, and their own mascot has shared a few crossover games with his former rival now.
    • A Japanese commercial for the original game features Sonic destroying an ersatz Death Star with Eggman's face on it. Fast forward to Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and a Death Star ersatz, the Death Egg, would prominently appear.
    • Dr. Eggman's design from Sonic Adventure and onward bears a startling resemblance to another famous cartoon supervillain—it's especially obvious when he gets his mustache burned off in Sonic Lost World.
    • In the Sonic the Hedgehog Promo Comic, Dr. Kintobor is busy searching for the seventh Chaos Emerald, having already found the other six. Thing was, this comic was written around the time the first game was made, which only had six Chaos Emeralds—the seventh Emerald wouldn't become canon until Sonic the Hedgehog 2.
    • Multiple comics from both Archie and Fleetway had Sonic's arms accidentally colored blue. Fast forward a couple decades, and his Sonic Boom and movies incarnation have their arms officially colored blue.
    • The obscure Knuckles Chaotix would have not only a teamwork concept, but Metal Sonic performing a One-Winged Angel, predating their more prominent use in Sonic Heroes by many years. To top it off, both games feature the Chaotix characters.
    • On that note, Tails Skypatrol features a level called Rail Canyon, which would become the name of an (unrelated) level in Sonic Heroes.
    • For its original release, Sonic the Fighters (A.K.A. Sonic Championship) saw a limited release in American arcades because Sega of America's executives found the cartoonish slapstick "too violent" and that it would tarnish Sonic's image. Nine years later, Shadow got his own spin-off game, and it was far more violent and intense than Fighters, and another less cartoonish fighting game with the characters, Sonic Battle, was released, and yet Sega of America heavily promoted them. And also, Sonic Riders had lots of cartoonish slapstick just like Fighters, and SoA were fine with that too. Also, Fang the Sniper/Nack the Weasel was actually going to use a sniper rifle, but Sega wouldn't allow realistic firearms in the series. Later 3D Sonic games had no problem with using realistic firearms.
    • An old promo image exists of Mega Man and Sonic shaking hands, meant to promote Capcom releasing Mega Man: The Wily Wars for the Sega Genesis. Fast forward many years later, and Sonic would not only star with Mega Man in an ambitious comic book crossover, but in a fighting game as well!
    • Sonic 3D Blast features a minor shield power up that is very similar in function to the Homing Attack, a basic series move that wasn't introduced until Sonic Adventure.
    • In 2002, Electronic Gaming Monthly released an infamous April Fools' Day prank article showing that Sonic and Tails were hidden as unlockable characters in Super Smash Bros. Melee, and had to be unlocked by getting 20 kills in Cruel Meleenote . Come six years later, and Sonic really would become a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Brawl and even its subsequent sequels, with Tails also appearing (albeit as a trophy, and not playable).
    • The cancelled game Sonic X-treme met its fate due to Development Hell and an attempt at Christmas Rushed. Ten years later, Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) would meet a poorly-received fate due to the latter.
    • One pic from Sonic The Screensaver has Sonic finding a magic lamp and using it to wish for a Sega Stadium. Fast forward to 2006, and Sonic would really find a magic lamp (and ring) in Sonic and the Secret Rings.
    • Sonic Pocket Adventure had a two player vs. mode called "Sonic Rush". Bonus points for both games being made by Dimps.
    • There existed a Xbox Sonic skateboarding game that never got past the beta stages called Sonic Extreme. Just a few years later, they'd rework the board racing concept, albeit with a more futuristic flair, into the Sonic Riders series.
    • Paramount and Sega were both sister companies for a long time, as Gulf+Western controlled both companies from 1969 until the latter was spun-off in 1983. Now, Paramount has the rights to produce a film based off Sega's biggest property, marking the first time since more than three decades ago that the two collaborated on a major project.
    • "Coldsteel the Hedgeheg" is a infamous parody of Darker and Edgier OC's that has gone memetic. Pokémon Sun and Moon would later introduce a new version of the hedgehog Pokemon Sandslash that immediately drew comparisons to Coldsteel. Why? Because its type is Ice / Steel.
  • Iron Woobie:
    • Despite how neglected it was by everyone except Amy and everything it went through, E-102 Gamma doesn't angst about any of it.
    • Knuckles. He's the last of his kind, and has dedicated his life to guard the Master Emerald forever, due to being the last guardian, which at the same time means he has to restrain himself away from friends unless it's very important, but he has never once whined about it. Knowing he's doing the right thing, he sticks to his duty, and keeps a cool head. Though he does have some angst moments once in a while, it's very rare.
  • Just Here for Godzilla:
    • Most fans play the 3D games for the Sonic gameplay rather than for the many, many other gameplay styles, even when it can comprise as little as 1/4th the length of the entire game. This has resulted in Sonic being the only playable character in most of the more recent games (Unleashed and Sonic 4, and Generations if you discount the sidequests).
    • Many people played the Adventure titles solely for the Chao Gardens. Curiously, this feature was removed from later games despite their popularity.
    • A good bit of the younger audience grew up on Shadow the Hedgehog and Sonic Adventure 2, and are only in it for Shadow. This has led to him being even more of a Base-Breaking Character.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Sonic and Tails. Let's just say that pairings with them can get rather silly at times. It's made all the more confusing because neither of them is particularly interested in romance (bar Sonic X and the comics), to the point where Tails outright hates romance in Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, and, to a lesser extent, the games.
  • Memetic Badass:
    • Dr. Eggman has gained this status, particularly his Adventures of Sonic counterpart. The main games show he's no slouch either, due to his hammy personality, incredible persistence and resourcefulness, and inexplicably being able to outrun Sonic from time to time.
    • For some strange reason, the Tails Doll from Sonic R has gotten this reputation in fanfiction.
    • Cream. Thanks to her Game-Breaker status in nearly all of her playable appearances, jokes have been made that this shy, adorable bunny and her pet Chao is a supreme badass to be feared and could demolish armies of robots in seconds as war gods.
    • Mecha Sonic, the boss from Sonic & Knuckles in Sky Sanctuary Zone. This is mostly due to its involvement as the main antagonist of the webseries Super Mario Bros. Z where it's a complete Adaptational Badass, but also it being the first villain to ever achieve a super form.
  • Memetic Loser:
    • A lot of fanworks take Tails' Gameplay Ally Immortality and essentially turn him into Kenny by having him die repeatedly, only him returning so quickly means that he can die again right afterward as part of a cycle of pain.
    • Shadow became this in certain circles in the 2010s, thanks to the rise of the "edgelord" meme, with Shadow more or less being the face of it.
    • Infinite, who according to many fans is nothing more than the "I AM NOT WEAK" guy.
  • Memetic Personality Change: Even though Shadow's personality ranges from a Stock Shōnen Rival to Sonic to an Anti-Heroic Jerkass, much of the fandom portrays him as a memetic edgelord based on his gun-toting, PG-swearingnote  '90s Anti-Hero personality in his self-titled spinoff, even giving him the nickname "Ow the Edge". This became an Ascended Meme in the various Twitter Takeovers, where, among other things, he says he likes to eat whole coffee beans for breakfast and his favorite anime is Kill la Kill, which, like his memetic personality, has an edgy, weapon-toting protagonist who has alien DNA. In less serious works it's also popular to portray him as trying to be edgy without actually knowing what that is, in a dig at some of his fanbase.
  • Misblamed:
  • Most Wonderful Sound:
    • In games where you collect Chaos Emeralds as part of a 100% Completion rather than as Plot Coupons, the classic "got an Emerald" sound is this.
    • The gasping sound made upon touching an air-replenishing bubble, especially if you were on the brink of drowning.
    • The sound of Eggman's machine exploding at the end of each level in the classic games, especially if said machine was a difficult one.
  • My Real Daddy: While the character of Knuckles the Echidna was created for Sonic 3 & Knuckles in 1994 by developer Takashi Yuda, his lore, background and personality weren't defined until Sonic Adventure, written by Akinori Nishiyama. While the debut of the character is iconic, more of what we know about Knuckles comes from Adventure's depiction.
  • Narm Charm:
    • The corny dubs of most of the games may be annoying, but the thrill of the gameplay is usually worth it.
    • Fans of the more serious stories tend to argue this. Sure, cartoon animals might come off as hard to take seriously in some of the dark plotlines, but they feel that the stories still offer many memorable scenes and enjoyable writing.
  • Never Live It Down:
    • Amy has been considered a creepy stalker because of her appearances in Sonic Heroes, Sonic Battle and the Sonic Rush Series. In Heroes, she and her team face Team Sonic with the excuse of forcing Sonic to marry her, while the other two wanted to know the wherebouts of Froggy and Chocola; in Battle, she thinks of Emerl as Sonic's son and in turn decides to be Emerl's mother, alongside creating a copy of Sonic to fight Rouge and Emerl somehow; and in Rush, her main scene has her being clingy at the thought that Blaze could be a romantic rival for Sonic.
    • Knuckles' debut saw that he was fooled into thinking Sonic was the bad guy in Sonic 3 & Knuckles, which is acceptable as he had never previously met either Sonic or Eggman, making it rather simple for Eggman to pose as the good guy. Afterwards, however, Sega continued to use this same exact plot device two more times, to the point where Knuckles had lost any and all credibility as an intelligent and respectable character.
    • Shadow has had his reputation ruined by his own self-titled game. In his debut in Sonic Adventure 2, Shadow's personality was not too different from Sonic's; while he conducted himself more seriously, he shared Sonic's cocky and confident attitude and saw him as a respectable Worthy Opponent. Shadow's game, however, marketed him as a '90s Anti-Hero who swears and uses firearms and suddenly he's far less friendly to Sonic (and in some endings, desires to defeat him to prove his superiority). Despite his character reverting to Adventure 2 levels in the aforementioned Sonic 06, it didn't stick and Shadow has since been labelled a moody, angsty, and brooding "edgelord".
    • Vector the Crocodile, who will always be best remembered for four infamous words he shouted in Shadow the Hedgehog: "FIND THE COMPUTER ROOM!".
    • Silver the Hedgehog is remembered for incessantly screaming "IT'S NO USE!" in his infamously hard battle. It's somewhat understandable that the phrase would get stuck in players' heads after repeatedly hearing it, but it gets a bit silly when people think this is his catchphrase when he only says it in one game. Lampshaded in the 81st issue of Sonic Universe, where Silver states he is tired of everyone saying that.
    • The members of the community who dislike Mike Pontac and Warren Graff as writers for the series will pretend Sonic is a prankster who never takes things seriously, and is obsessed with calling Eggman "Baldy mcnosehair". While Lost World is a lighthearted story filled with jokes, the story does make Sonic take Zavok (the leader of the Deadly Six) seriously when Tails is captured, with no jokes made at his expense. And "baldy nosehair" was only said twice in Colors (in the same cutscene) and once in Lost World (and once in Sonic Boom). It was only repeated ad-nauseum in the parody Sonic In X Minutes.
  • No Yay: A huge part of the fanbase dissaproves of any relationship involving the humans and the anthropomorphic characters, due to this being labelled as zoophilia.
  • Older Than They Think:
    • A good number of fans seem to think that Amy Rose has only been around since the Sonic Adventure days/is a recent addition, but the true fact is that she has actually been around for about or (at least) almost as long as Tails (depending on whether you count the manga or Sonic CD as her debut).
    • Vector was created around Sonic 1 development, and Charmy is from the same manga Amy made her debut.
    • On a separate matter, Sonic is not the first fictional hedgehog to utilize a Rolling Attack. Mattimeo, published two years before the first game was released, had a pair of hedgehogs locking together and then rolling around to attack enemies.
    • Many fans complaining about Sonic's Darker and Edgier era accuse Sonic Team of trying too hard to be like Final Fantasy. While Sonic Adventure was explicitly inspired by the RPG genre, this particular comparison overlooks the fact that Sega has been making RPG's such as Phantasy Star, the first game which was actually released in the USA before Final Fantasy. This is also an example of Small Reference Pools.
  • Old Guard Versus New Blood: One of the biggest reasons for the franchise's notorious Broken Base is the series' constant revisions and bringing in new concepts and by extension, new fans who become accustomed to those concepts and revisions only for them to be downplayed and removed in later entries. Nowhere is this more true than the transition that happened from 2D to 3D, with some of the old guard from the classic titles pushed back against some of the changes made in Sonic Adventure and onward, but Sonic Adventure 2 and Sonic Heroes brought in tons of new blood given the series had gone multiplatform for the first time ever, and said new blood rejected the old guard for criticizing the things they loved. A similar split also happened after Sonic Colors caused yet another split between the old guard of who grew up on the aforementioned Adventure titles and the new blood coming in with Colors (or in some cases, fans who left the series returning to it). Part of the split is because Sega constantly tries to appease all of the sects, which just causes even more strife.
  • Only the Creator Does It Right: How many fans feel in regards to Shiro Maekawa and Shadow the Hedgehog, feeling that being one of the character's co-creators, he is the only one who writes the character in a way many fans prefer as opposed to other writers, who's interpretations of Shadow tend to be far more controversial within the fanbase. Though to be fair, some cases, such as the very controversial interpretation of him in the IDW comics, aren't really the fault of the writers, but Executive Meddling forcing them to write Shadow in a certain way.
  • Popularity Polynomial: Probably no other video game franchise has fluctuated as much as Sonic has. If the history of the franchise is anything to go by, Sonic appears to have a boom-and-bust cycle with peaks around anniversary years that end in 0 and nadirs around anniversary years that end in 5. For example, Sonic's 10th and 20th anniversaries respectively produced Sonic Adventure 2 and Sonic Generations, which were both very successful and well-received. Meanwhile, his 5th anniversary saw the release of the underwhelming Sonic 3D Blast, as well as the cancelled Sonic X-Treme, and his 15th produced the even more infamous Obvious Beta Sonic 06, which many fans wish was cancelled. The trend continues with Sonic Boom becoming the worst-selling Sonic title with less than 500K across two platforms, while Sonic Mania Plus would receive universal acclaim and become the highest rated Sonic game in 25 years.
  • Recurring Fanon Character:
    • From Sonic the Hedgehog 2, there is an infamous glitch that would turn the titular hedgehog green with a black mark on his face. The character, nicknamed Ashura by the community, would become popular enough to receive some fan works with him acting as an Evil Counterpart of Sonic, and eventually inspired Ian Flynn to turn Anti-Sonic into a green hedgehog named Scourge in Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics).
    • Omelette, also known as Eggette, was created after someone noticed an upside down sprite of Eggman from Sonic Mania looked like a different character entirely. The character became popular with the fanbase and is commonly regarded as Eggman's niece or daughter, and is used in notable fanworks such as Sonic Legacy and the eighth season of Sonic for Hire, and even has a cameo in Sonic X Reanimated.
    • X, also known as Sonic.EXE, is a vile demon that takes on the appearance of/possesses Sonic. This character, originating from its own story, has since had multiple fan video game adaptations, and has frequently been pitted against Sonic himself in fanfictions and videos.
    • Maria the Hedgehog was created by fans and is often mistaken for canon. Though she's usually depicted as Maria reborn as a hedgehog, some depict her as a clone.
    • Nazo, a mysterious white-furred hedgehog who bears a passing resemblance to Super Sonic from an unused Sonic X screenshot. Although Word of God has since confirmed he was merely an alternate design for Super Sonic, fans treat him as his own character to the point where he was the main antagonist of Nazo Unleashed.
    • The most common depiction of the Player Character of Sonic Forces is a rust-furred, bespectacled wolf named Gadget, who is often shown wearing a pair of olive drab gloves and boots that bear black chevrons on them, an olive drab and black earpiece with attached microphone, and a tan utility belt with a shoulder strap, and equally often shown to favor the Burst Wispon. This wolf is based directly off of the one shown off in the Custom Hero reveal trailer.
  • Replacement Scrappy:
    • When Silver got a starring role in the Milestone Celebration Sonic '06 with Sonic and Shadow, fans felt he was usurping worthier characters like Tails or Knuckles (both who have lousy appearances in said game) and accused Sega of being biased against their non-hedgehog characters. Silver's cameo in Super Smash Bros. Brawl also led to claims of this.
    • The Rivals games were more enjoyable before we found out Eggman Nega kicked Eggman out of the villain spotlight.
    • Since Shadow's introduction in Sonic Adventure 2, some fans weren't happy with how he replaced Knuckles' role as Sonic's main rival and often view him as the reason for Knuckles becoming less prominent after Sonic Adventure.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • Big's debut in Adventure is very disliked by many fans, due to his simpleton personality, almost filler role in the story mode, and his boring gameplay. He however gained better appreciation with his comedic cameos, and his appearances in Sonic Heroes and Sonic Chronicles using the same gameplay as other characters.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) managed to make Shadow the Hedgehog more bearable for some of his previous haters. Since the previous game saw him reach the end of his Quest for Identity and resolve to put the past behind him, this game saw Shadow greatly cut down on the angsting and replace it with stoic badassery. And from a purely technical perspective, his gameplay is probably the least broken out of the three main heroes. Him personally facing the Big Bad Mephiles of the game, who both have charisma with one another, is a huge plus.
    • Following his controversial debut in 2006, Silver would become one of the most controversial characters of the franchise, with many disliking his overuse in the same title, and for taking away the protagonistic role from other characters. However, Silver went to be more appreciated as time went on thanks to his boss battle appearance in Sonic Generations showing the full use of his abilities in a satisfying manner, and his appearances in the Archie comic series making his story less puzzling.
  • Rooting for the Empire: Robotnik/Eggman might be a Fat Bastard, but in most of his incarnations, he's also brilliant, stylish, and chews the scenery to the point that a better nickname might be Hamman.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: The older entries evoke this in two ways: firstly, the speed which the eponymous Blue Blur ran through the levels in the first game in the series really seemed quite blistering to gamers of the day, even if nobody would think twice about it now, especially in light of the jaw dropping speeds Sonic reaches in later games like Sonic Unleashed and Sonic Generations (the latter compounding this by showing that the younger Sonic is canonically slower than the older one, if just mildly). Also, in order to truly see the heavily promoted "edginess" of the character, which has worn dry over time due to familiarity and Sonic's numerous imitators, you really need to be aware that when Sonic first appeared in 1991, the vast majority of platform heroes were promoted as squeaky-clean and cutesy. A teenage hedgehog with a spiky hairstyle and a self-confident smirk was enough to seem uber-cool by comparison.
  • Ship Mates:
    • Within the fandom, people who ship Sonic/Blaze tend to also ship Silver/Amy.
    • The most common train amongst the fandom (game-wise at least) is: Sonic/Amy, Knuckles/Rouge, and Silver/Blaze. Shadow/Maria and Tails/Cream are optional.
    • Within the slash side of the fandom, it's not uncommon to find Sonic/Shadow shippers who also ship Amy/Blaze and vice-versa.
  • Ships That Pass in the Night: Fan pairings of Tails and Cream are very popular, probably due to their similar age and abilities and genial personalities, even though the two very rarely interact in-canon, and don't really show any hint of interest towards each other.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: It's Sonamy vs. Shadamy, Knouge vs. Shadouge, Silvaze vs. Sonaze, Sonaze vs. Sonamy, Sonamy vs. Sonally, and Sonadow vs everybody.
  • Signature Song: The "countdown" theme, and not for good reasons.
  • So Bad, It's Good: Among the usual candidates named for this are multiple song lyrics, most strikingly We Can, My Sweet Passion, and the in-level Knuckles raps from Sonic Adventure 2, the campy dialogue during levels, and, to a lesser extent, in some cutscenes, and almost everything about Shadow the Hedgehog and Sonic the Hedgehog (2006).
  • They Changed It, So It Sucks: A list of things that don't go well with the fanbase, gameplay issues aside:
    • A common complain from the western fanbase, especially the old-schoolers is the modern games emphasis on always referring to Dr. Robotnik as Doctor Eggman. Even though Robotnik itself is a name change (his name was always Dr. Eggman in Japan, and the dub name was added entirely without Sonic Team's consent) and both names are still considered official by Sega, people who grew with Robotnik feel its more menacing sounding.
    • A general disapproval from the fanbase is the use of Super Forms starting with Sonic Heroes only applying to male hedgehogs. Originally, both Sonic and his rival Knuckles could transform with the power of the Chaos Emeralds (and Tails with the Super Emeralds), but since the Adventure era, only male hedgehog characters (and Blaze) have been able to transform, with Heroes giving Knuckles and Tails a golden sphere rather than their own form from the classic games. This became nonsensical for the community when Sonic Mania allowed Tails and Knuckles to recover their super forms (and Ray and Mighty getting them), but the modern incarnations of any non-hedgehog character is still forbidden to do so. This also led to the general dislike of both Shadow and Silver as characters.
  • They Copied It, So It Sucks!: An odd example. While Dragon Ball influencing the Sonic series has never brought up problems for Sega or Sonic Team due to Super Sonic being inspired by the Super Saiyan transformation, there has been criticism of Sonic copying Dragon Ball too much. This started with Sonic Adventure 2 with the introduction of Shadow, a rival character that reminded people of Vegeta, and Silver in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), a time traveller from a ruined future who was inspired by Future Trunks, and both of these characters can turn Super. In a now lost Bumblecast post, Ian Flynn, writer of the Archie Sonic series, even commented his displeasure with the fan idea that Silver may be Shadow's son or descendant due to their counterparts in Sonic and the Black Knight.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: A common complaint against the series as of Unleashed is that the various characters are left by the wayside with too much focus on Sonic and Tails. Ironically, the opposite was what many fans had an issue with before.
    • Many Knuckles fans have felt this way, as he started out as a very promising character being a Foil for Sonic, only for his role in the games to gradually diminish after Sonic Adventure, and it didn't help that Shadow taking over the "main rival" role essentially made Knuckles' original purpose redundant. He suffered neglect through both the series' 'character over-saturation era' to the current 'Sonic (and occasionally Tails)-centric era'. To add salt to the wound, Knuckles was a very influential character in both long-running comic book series at the time, which makes his exclusion in games post-Adventure baffling.
    • Amy Rose. Starting as a lovestruck fangirl of Sonic in CD, her playable debut in Sonic Adventure gave her a story arc where she's inspired to win Sonic's affection by becoming a hero in her own right. Afterward, most games just have her in a mostly supporting (But still fairly prominent) role as Sonic's Hopeless Suitor. It doesn't help that after the anime, the series played up her more aggressive traits while downplaying her sympathetic ones, something that games since Sonic Unleashed (2008) have addressed.
    • You would never believe Shadow was one of the most prominent figures in the series. As mentioned, he displaced Knuckles as Sonic's primary foil and became something of an anti-heroic face for the series, having a central role in at least three major titles. After 2006, he's been mostly relegated to cameos and spin-off titles barely resembling the main incarnation. Tropes Are Not Bad though, as most would agree he started to suffer from overexposure at that point.
    • Blaze was initially introduced as a co-lead along with Sonic, and has an entire world that she rules and governs. The series has barely touched upon Blaze's duties or her world, with only a single game taking place there and not much focus on the world itself. Blaze would be Demoted to Extra along with every other secondary character, and her duties and role barely getting a mention outside of flavor text.
    • Silver was introduced as an attempt to add a third main hedgehog to the franchise, but since the game he first appeared in also marked the point in time when the majority of the cast was Demoted to Extra, he suffered the same fate, and we know very little about his world.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • Despite being the most important element of most of the games, the Chaos Emeralds have never been explored, and have only been used as macGuffins to drive the stories and gameplay. This is quite peculiar, as Sonic 3 and Knuckles and Adventure slowly explored about the Master Emerald and the Echidna Civilization, but not about any of the Emeralds' origin. What's more, at least the Rush games imply they are sentient, yet this is never followed upon. This could apply to other MacGuffins like the Sol Emeralds and the Phantom Ruby.
    • Sonic's origins have never been brough up in the games. This wouldn't be a problem if a certain black hedgehog didn't look a lot like him, and during his amnesia storyline, Shadow questioned why he looked like Sonic. Fanon aside (of Shadow's appearance being based on the Mural in Angel Island despicting Super Sonic), this has never been explained in any game.
    • Dr. Eggman's motivations. Sonic Adventure 2 and Shadow the Hedgehog hinted that he had a deeper motivations towards villainy with how much he looked up to his grandfather and that his motive for conquering the world was to overthrow the corrupt governments who killed his grandfather. But it has been largely thrown away for the initial portrayal of "generic mad scientist who conquer the world just because."
    • The Sol Dimension, aka Blaze's world, is a whole other parallel world with tons of potential for worldbuilding and storytelling. Unforunately, it was only properly shown in Sonic Rush Adventure and outside of the comics, has been limited to mere acknowledgment by Blaze or in profiles of her.
  • Uncanny Valley: Starting in Sonic Adventure and peaking in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), many find the semi- to completely realistic humans next to the cartoony anthropomorphic animals and the stylized Eggman to be very off-putting.
  • Unfortunate Character Design: Silver's head quills look a lot like a marijuana leaf. This led to BrainScratch Commentaries coining the Fan Nickname "Pothead the Porcupine" for him.
  • Vanilla Protagonist: Sonic's role in most of the game's plots is to generally be The Hero who saves the day; while he does have a fairly charismatic personality, he remains static for most of the series. It's the supporting cast that get most of the Character Development and more fleshed out personalities, most of which bounces off of Sonic himself. This also extends to gameplay, primarily in the 2D titles; Sonic tends to be the simplest character in terms of abilities while it's the likes of Tails, Knuckles, and Amy who get all of the variations of his gameplay style. The exception is the Sonic Storybook Series, where Sonic does get to display more of his character because the conflicts are more personal there.
  • Vindicated by History: Numerous once base-breaking entries in the series, such as Sonic Unleashed and Sonic Heroes, are fondly remembered for being innovative and very risky departures from the usual gameplay that actually did quite well in a few areas.
  • We're Still Relevant, Dammit!: Sonic the Hedgehog's official media outlets are known for frequently using memes that are current at the time (including most Sonic-related ones) and making jabs towards the series' infamously vocal fanbase and its more ridiculous or unsavory tendencies. Some fans don't mind this as they feel that both the series and its fanbase are frequently in shambles, so some self-awareness helps to earn SEGA of America a bit more respect. On the other hand, others just find this habit obnoxious, seeing it as an immature and unprofessional way to appeal to the fanbase to "excuse" the well-known issues within itself and the franchise as a whole.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?:
    • Sonic Adventure 2 features mass government killings, including a terminally ill girl, Eggman using "Weapons of mass destruction", blowing up the moon, and putting a gun against Amy's head, and Sonic nearly dying in the equivalent of being chained to a bomb.
    • Shadow the Hedgehog was going to be aimed at older fans, but they decided to tone it down. Judging by the use of realistic guns, minor swearing, dark storyline, and textures straight out of an M-rated game, it looks like they failed.
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), the main villain wants to destroy all of time and space, and Sonic gets murdered at the end of the game. (He gets better.)
    • Sonic Lost World features some very dark dialogue, such as "I long for death's cold embrace", "First you're contemplating genocide" and talk of skinning alive, and Amy and Knuckles get the life sucked out of them.
  • The Woobie:

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