Aluminum Christmas Trees: Amy's Piko Piko Hammer actually took inspiration from a popular Japanese children's toy: while it beared a strong resemblance in its original appearence in Sonic the Fighters, its design changed over time to make it a decent-looking weapon instead of a joke item.
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 A likely reason was her personality; polite, submissive, and somewhat withdrawn.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.
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.
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 Rose. 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.
Cream the Rabbit. Originally, in the Sonic Advance Trilogy, Sonic Battle and Sonic Heroes, she was a Little Miss Badass who although a pacifist, was just as capable of fighting off large scale threats as the older characters are and will absolutely do so if given no other option. However, beginning in the mid 2000s, Cream quickly became subjected to Flanderization, with her pacifism and innocence taking center stage, on top of becoming increasingly Out of Focus. Nowadays, she has little-to-no involvement in the gang's adventures and whenever she does appear, it's largely to act as a supporting non-action character.
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.
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.
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.
Classic Sonic fans feel this way towards Christian Whitehead (aka: The Taxman) and Simon Thomley (aka: Stealth) thanks to their polished ports of the classic games, as well as Sonic Mania, which has receive a level of acclaim the franchise had not seen in years and is widely regarded as being the best post-Classic era 2D Sonic game by most. Some have even gone as far as to state that they have a better understanding of what makes Sonic work than Sonic Team does. The fact that they are Sonic fans themselves helps.
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 (Pokémon 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.
There's also a good amount of people who ship Sonic and Vocaloid's Hatsune Miku, largely thanks to Sega's Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA series, which contains a couple of shoutouts to the Sonic series (the most notable being a Sonic themed costume in a couple of games).
The sudden revelation of there being two "separate worlds"note One being Sonic's world and the other being the human world 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.
Many fans, especially fans of Team Dark, hate the implication by Word of God that not only is Team Dark not a thing in-universe, but that Shadow, Rouge and E-123 Omega aren't actually friends in the first place. It doesnt help that this also overlaps with Writer Conflicts with Canon as Shadow shows a lot of emotion at the hands of Rogue and Omega in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), with the reveal that Omega will be the one to seal Shadow away in the future very visibly shocking and upsetting Shadow. Unsurprisingly, most fans prefer to simply ignore this fact and portray Team Dark as being True Companions instead.
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 SallyAcorn into the fray...
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 goofyincarnations, the sinister, or acombination 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. This would eventually get retconned in the first episode of "TailsTube" in favor of the simpler explanation that anthros live on islands and humans live on countries, which has been better received by the fandom.
Fan Nickname: Although the current era spanning from 2005 to now is officially dubbed the "Modern" era by Sega. Many fans opt to call it the "Boost" era instead, due to the introduction of the boost mechanic and the increased emphasis on speed in general, on top of it arguably being less likely to age than "modern". Alternatively, a good number of fans (particularly Adventure fans) have begun to group the games released in The New '10s beginning with Sonic the Hedgehog 4 into its own mini era unofficially dubbed the "Meta" era, due to the increased emphasis on meta gags, nostalgic references and/or fourth wall humor that became prominent in those titles and especially in supplementary and spin-off material.
Fan Work Only Fans: There are a number of fans who are not into the games or other official material for a number of reasons, but tend to remain involved with the community through fanfics, fan games and fan art, amongst other fan works. Unsurprisingly, given the sheer size of the fandom, there are a number of Sonic groups who are dedicated largely to fanworks.
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 towardsMighty No. 9 when Keiji Inafune's translator misattributed that the game's controversial development and unpolished state 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 threemajordisasters, two of which were Sega basically saying the same thing for Sonic's 15th anniversary, has released polarizing and divisive mainline installments since Mighty No. 9, a remaster of Sonic Colors that launched in very dire state, and a laundry list of spin-offs that were also seen as average at best or complete train-wrecks at worse, moreso than what Mighty No. 9 has been accused of.
One with Genshin Impact kicked up during the 2022 Game Awards when both it and Sonic Frontiers ended up in the running for the Players' Voice award. Fans of both threw accusations of cheating via bots and bribery at each other to the point of devolving into vicious flame wars, and it got bad enough that Game Awards host Geoff Keighley referenced it when announcing the winner of the award (which ended up being Genshin, an outcome that only served to throw gasoline on the fire).
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 one-off 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.
First Installment Wins: Many and probably most fans agree that the Genesis-era platformers (Sonic 1 to 3&K, CD) are overall the best games in the franchise simply thanks to fun gameplay and having the least flaws.
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 Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii Unote all third-party characters, including Solid Snake, who was absent from 3DS/Wii U, return in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate 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.
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 Sonic fandom is on good terms with the Pac-Man fandom thanks to numerous crossovers between the two franchises, most notably the inclusion of Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man as playable characters in Sonic Dash.
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 the West than at home in Japan. 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.
Of special note is Brazil, where the Sega Master System was more successful than even Nintendo thanks to Sega's partnership with Tectoy to bypass Brazilian import taxes. As a result, Brazilian '90s kids grew up with Sonic rather than Mario, making Sonic the face of gaming in that region: an impressive feat to say the least.
Sonic is really popular and beloved in South Korea, even during the 2000s post-Adventure era. Sonic merch is very easy to come by and Sonic is very well and alive in the public consciousness even before the release of the 2020 movie. In fact, the Asian country where Sonic is most popular in is not Japan but rather South Korea.
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.
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 EdgierOC's that has gone memetic. Pokémon Sun and Moon would later introduce a new version of the hedgehog Pokémon Sandslash that immediately drew comparisons to Coldsteel. Why? Because its type is Ice / Steel.
Iron Woobie: 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.
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.
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.
Despite only having feelings for Sonic canonically, Amy is ironically one of the most shipped characters in the franchise, having been shipped with almost every Sonic character in the entire franchise, including herself.
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.
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.
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◊.
Sonic himself gets this, with many jokes about the declining quality of his games being represented as the hedgehog falling on hard times.
Many of the questionable decisions in the 2010's games are blamed on Ken Pontac and Warren Graff. They only wrote one original story, Sonic Lost World, based on outlines delivered by Sonic Team. In fact, while fans can blame them on the jokes, they didn't write the storylines of either Sonic Colors, Sonic Generations or Sonic Forces, just the localization, and occasional personality tweak based on Sega of America requests.
Shadow the Hedgehog's personality in the 2010's games is often blamed on Ken Pontac, with Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric and Sonic Free Riders taking the most blame. Ken Pontac didn't work on Rise of Lyric, but on Shattered Crystal, and in that game Shadow was potrayed closer to his mainstream counterpart - in fact, the Japanese dub of Rise of Lyric downright changed Shadow to be mind controlled, just like his 3DS self. Pontac likewise didn't work in Free Riders, so Shadow's characterization is not his to blame.
Likewise, Takashi Iizuka gets blamed for many of the 2010's games decisions. While Iizuka isn't blameless, he's only a producer; the direction of the games would be blamed on Morio Kishimoto, the actual director of the mainline titles.
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.
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.
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.
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 Battle expanded the franchise to Nintendo players while Sonic Heroes saw the series go multiplatform for the first time ever, and the fresh infusion of 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 BetaSonic 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.
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.
Sonichu is a character from a widely hated webcomic of the same name and is a fusion between Pikachu and Sonic. He appears in a lot of memes, fanfics, and fanart due to the ridiculousness of his character and story.
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.
The Wisps are at best, tolerated for replacing the fan favorite Chao as the marketable mascots of the series. While both species play a prominent role in their introductory games, only to sharply decline in plot in later titles, the Chao are beloved for their in-depth mechanics, cute but simple designs that easily lend themselves to original characters, and their established friendship with humans that handily explained their background appearances. By contrast, the Wisps rarely interact with the cast without Tails as a translator, their overly simplistic designs make it harder for individual members to stand out, lack any notable ties to other characters like with Cream and Tikal for the Chao, on top of the general perception that Sega tried too hard to push them into the spotlight after years of little to no presence from their predecessors.
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.
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.
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).
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-runningcomic 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.
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.
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 PhantomRuby.
Sonic's origins have never been brought 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, and with Sega eventually mandating No Origin Stories Allowed for Sonic himself, it probably never will.
Dr. Eggman's motivations. Sonic Adventure 2 and Shadow the Hedgehog hinted that he had 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 destroyed his family. But it has been largely thrown away for the initial portrayal of "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.
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.
E-102 Gamma. First major character to be killed off, after a lifespan of one day, which, unlike Shadow or Emerl, was not commemorated or recognized by the other heroes. He shares this fate with Chip, though the latter is at least implied to still be alive somewhere.