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Tropes from the anime:

  • Author's Saving Throw: It's ridiculously easy to see Tails' increased screentime and development as well as his relationship with the plot-critical Cosmo as this during Season 3 in response to the all complaints that he got shafted in favor of Chris for the first two seasons.
  • Awesome Ego:
    • Sonic. He can back up everything he boasts about.
    • And Shadow too. He's the ultimate life form and does nothing to hide that fact!
  • Awesome Music:
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    • The Japanese version had some pretty good ones. Stand outs being the theme song, the first two ending themes, and Eggman's Lemotif is unforgettable.
    • Even some fans who hate the dub admit the theme song is pretty cool at least... and catchy.
      • The 4Kids dub also gives Sonic himself an original Leitmotif, which is suitable catchy and triumphantly heroic. Often used as a fanfare.
    • The Japanese version of the final Sonic Adventure 2 arc episode used Live and Learn for Sonic and Shadow teleporting the ARK to safety and the celebration afterward. Unfortunately the dub replaced it with its generic action music.
    • And then the Japanese original version of Season 3 gave us some really good soundtracks that, sadly, never got released properly - a few good examples are the appropriately gritty Metarex theme and the equally oppressive and slow-paced Metarex Battle theme.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
  • Bizarro Episode: The episode with King Boom Boo.
  • Broken Base:
    • Some Sonic fans claimed that 4Kids ruined it, and the show is actually good in the first place. Other argued the fact that Chris' status as spotlight hogger at the expense of Sonic and friends screen time proved that the show's already bad without some Bowdlerization from 4Kids. Others think Chris's Creator's Pet status are annoying, but that the show is still enjoyable on its own, or alternatively claim him to be just one of many problems it has. Considering it's Sonic we're talking about, it's kinda unavoidable.
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    • Season 3 is often considered to be either the best season or the worst season. Best because it had its own original plot, the humans were mostly gone, the writing was darker, and Cosmo. Worst because the plot and villains had little in common with any other aspect of the Sonic franchise, being stuck on a spaceship didn't fit Sonic's free roaming nature, Tails taking the spotlight even further from Sonic, and Cosmo.
    • Dr. Eggman telling Dark Sonic to chill. Some feel that Eggman did the right thing as Sonic could have potentially harmed his friends in the form and lost complete control of himself. Others feel that Eggman stopping him deprived them of a wicked opportunity to see Sonic kick serious butt (especially given the issues Sonic had been going through that season), and that DR. EGGMAN of all people telling Sonic to get his emotions under control was very hypocritical and in bad taste. Even then, some will still argue that was the point of him doing it.
    • The final two episodes. Some think that they're very tearjerking and emotional end for the series, others think they were poorly written and horribly mean-spirited towards Tails.
  • Crazy Awesome: Knuckles when using Shovel Claw.
  • Die for Our Ship: People who shipped Cream and Tails together were pretty upset with the arrival of Cosmo.
  • Ear Worm:
  • Evil Is Cool:
    • Dark Oak. He's an Evil Genius with a Badass Cape and a Badass Baritone, who managed to outsmart both Sonic and Shadow.
    • Even Dr. Eggman manages to swap into this in season 2.
    • And then, there's also Dark Super Sonic.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Dark Sonic, to a ridiculous extent.
    • A number of the other human characters are quite popular among fans such as Mr. Tanaka.
    • Topaz is a Canon Foreigner human but is so popular amongst fans that she's often included in game-based or Archie-based fan-works. Madonna from the Archie comics has taken inspiration from her.
    • Molly, who only appeared in one episode yet is remembered for one of the most heart-wrenching moments in the entire series and is popular enough to be shipped with Shadow.
    • Helen, who only had A Day in the Limelight in episode 14, but who many in the fandom vocally preferred her as Sonic's main human friend for this series instead of Chris Thorndyke.
    • Despite appearing for a few seconds in the pilot episode, the character dubbed as Nazo has gotten a lot of attention due to the mysterious nature (true to his name) as to what purpose he could have had.
    • Bokkun is fairly popular.
    • The Metarex are some of the more popular villains for their cool looks and being some of the most threatening villains the franchise has ever had.
  • Fanfic Fuel: The seedling that Sonic had recovered after Cosmo's Heroic Sacrifice is a possible indication of her returning back to life in some way.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: The series was cancelled in Japan after the first two seasons, even though all of the season three episodes were already completed, voiced, and scored. However, its popularity in America has allowed the third season to be dubbed and aired. The Japanese versions of the third seasons episodes have managed to make their way online, however.
  • Growing the Beard: It didn't occur that much, but the Metarex season was somewhat better because they expanded on the actual main characters.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Eggman's line about how actually hurting people is taking things too far becomes this compared to the former Archie Comics series, given that Eggman there is Faux Affably Evil on a good day, and flatout livid with Fantastic Racism and Kick the Dog tendencies when he isn't an active Butt-Monkey; there's also Sonic Forces, in which he succeeds in taking over the world and seemingly is more than willing to kill any resistance judging by the destruction he's ramping up on a planetary scale instead of remaining to his isolated factories and bases and Sonic-focused world domination plots.
    • The episodes "A Fearless Friend" and "So Long Sonic" can be the anime's version of Infinity War and Endgame with tearjerking reasons:
      • When Dr. Eggman commanded Tails to fire the cannon. He hesitated and get teared up. Like Peter Quill hesitated to shoot Gamora as Thanos threats him.
      • Tails Dying Declaration of Love delivers too much like when Black Widow tells Hawkeye about getting every villain victim back. But when Eggman asked Tails if her sacrifice will go on for nothing we assured they will avenge it like when Hawkeye tells them about her sacrifice Bruce said they will make worth it.
      • Overall. When Sonic goes back to Tails he gave him a seed. Which Tails realized that Cosmo is dead. Like Clint and Thanos gets the soul stone but without the bodies of Gamora or Natasha
      • Tails is the one of the heroes who lost their closest love. Wanda lost Vision by destroying the mind stone, Peter Quill lost Gamora by Thanos, Clint loses Natasha when getting the soul stone and Pepper lost Tony after he did that Snap. which compares the 2 most cried moments of sacrifice.
      • Tails is the one who said "I love you" to Cosmo when she dies and Cosmo beforehand said "It's Okay". but Vision said this to Wanda and Natasha said to Clint and Pepper said to Tony Stark Tails, Scarlet Witch, Rescue and Hawkeye could console each other now since they know they won the battle for the fate of the universe.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Eggman's insistence about being the show's real protagonist in the original Japanese version of the "Eggman Corporation" two-parter only becomes more amusing due to the comic series, where he more or less does become the Villain Protagonist.
    • In "Cracking Knuckles", Tails pretends to be a toy to hide from Ella. The resemblance to Tails Doll is uncanny.
    • Guess what other Sonic-related series involves an OC named Chris who takes up 99% more screentime than the title character?
    • In "Cosmic Crisis" Chris heads to Sonic's Dimension and from his adult self regressed into back where he met Sonic. Thank you Tails for getting the point across to Chris and besides Chris Thorndyke is stuck and returned to Sonic's world like Ant-Man used to after that snap
      Tails: I can't believe you built a teleporting machine in only six months.
      Chris: Only Six Months... no wonder you looked exactly as I met you.
      Tails: Chris is acting kinda funny Amy.
      Amy: Don't forget he's human
      Chris:Back home it's been six YEARS since I saw you. Guess I still have a lot to learn about
      Tails:If it's been six years how come you still look the same
      Chris:I'm just as confused as you are Tails.
      Amy: Well figure it out.
  • Ho Yay: Sonic and Chris' first meeting is more romantically tinged than in it's intended to be. Chris Niosi took advantage of this.
  • Idiot Plot: The Egg Moon story line only happens because Sonic is apparently the only person in the entire world who understands basic astronomy.
  • It Was His Sled: Cosmo's death.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Robotnik borders on this at times. All he ever wanted was to rule the entire world, and this nasty blue hedgehog just won't let him do it...
    "All your dreams have been shattered, haven't they? Life is like that, kiddo. Take it from somebody who knows..."
    • There's also Shadow.
    • Dark Oak is this too. When learning his backstory, it's hard not to feel sorry for him.
    • To some extent, Knuckles. Just consider the fact that he's ignored and mocked by others, even by his own friends when he disagrees with their thinking. And not to mention that he doesn't get a lot of gratitude or respect for risking his life to save others.
  • Les Yay: All the time between Topaz and Rouge - the crown jewel of the lot being the scene where Topaz buys her a diamond ring, with Topaz acting very awkwardly and Rouge, naturally, never dropping her overly husky voice. Among the many past radar-getting hijinks Rouge is involved with.
  • LGBT Fanbase: Topaz is especially popular amongst fangirls for her tomboyish looks, Action Girl personality, and her Les Yay with Rouge.
  • Magnificent Bastard:
    • Dark Oak, supreme leader of the Metarex, is a chilling combination of power and tragedy. Originally an alien lifeform named Lukas, he fell out with his lover Earthia and parts of his own species trying to save his world from destruction. His ambition and sound intentions eventually corrupted him to become Dark Oak, an Evil Overlord bent on creating a galaxy free of war and conflict by annihilating everything except plants and botanical lifeforms like himself. Introduced trouncing Super Sonic in an attempt to get all seven Chaos Emeralds, Dark Oak strays to the background and creates strategies to systematically crush his opposition that, even in failure, will give him an idea of what they are capable of. Dark Oak's cruelest but most ingenious act was forcing a sleeper agent within the ranks of Sonic and crew from the very beginning. Said person had a tracking device that relayed valuable information to the Metarex as they captured the Chaos Emeralds and the Planet Eggs for "Forestation." At the end of a hard-fought battle, Lukas dies realizing the errors of his ways and reconciles with Earthia in the afterlife.
    • Shadow the Hedgehog, the Ultimate life form, lost his best friend Maria and his creator Dr. Gerald Robotnik when they were killed by G.U.N. in the Space Colony ARK. Desiring revenge, when Gerald's grandson Dr. Eggman released him, he manipulated him into gathering all seven Chaos Emeralds and putting them in the ARK's Eclipse Cannon, which in truth would lead to a Colony Drop. Shadow's plan was only foiled when Chris convinces him to help save the world. He would have died doing so if Eggman didn't save his comatose body. Amnesiac, he returns and saves Chris from death, destroys a Metarex and retrieves an Emerald for Eggman out of gratefulness. Learning that Cosmo is a sleeper agent for the Metarex, he tries to kill her. In his attempt, he outsmarts Tails thrice by hacking into the Blue Typhoon's heat source search program, then into the ship's camera system when Tails locks the heat program and by teleporting back in the ship when Tails launched him into space. Only stopped in his attempt by Cosmo's amulet teleporting him, Shadow helps the heroes in the final battle against the Metarex. After attempting to save Cosmo from Final Mova, he sacrifices himself by moving everyone to safety as Final Mova exploded. Ruthless but caring, Shadow surpassed his game counterpart in sheer audacity and brilliance.
    • Rouge the Bat is a thief obsessed with jewels, starting a stealing spree upon appearing on Earth. Once she learns the location of a Chaos Emerald, she misdirects Sonic while she collects the emerald. However, it was a trap from G.U.N. : she improvises by accepting to become a G.U.N. agent and in return, is granted immunity and keeps her loot. When E-70 Noizi almost defeated her by using her weakness to sound, she used a bomb attached to her wrist to win. Unlike her game counterpart, she succeeds in stealing the Master Emerald during the "Shadow Saga" and joined Eggman and Shadow while hiding her loyalty to G.U.N.. When she later participates in a tournament for a Chaos Emerald, she fights Tails who's stronger than expected. She wins by kissing him and then throwing him out of the ring. When facing Knuckles, she has him agree to fight inside a dark tent, making him fight blind. During the Metarex Saga, she blackmails Bokkun into suggesting to Eggman a plan to obtain an emerald for himself, while she plans to swoop in and steal it. Skilled and manipulative, Rouge was one of the anime's most competent characters.
  • Memetic Mutation:
  • Misaimed Fandom: Even though one half of the fanbase find the finale rather mean spirited towards Tails due to the fact that he's forced to kill Cosmo, they seem to overlook the fact that Tails had to kill Cosmo lest he let the galaxy get destroyed.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Black Narcissus shows that he truly crosses the line when he captures and tortures Chris and Cosmo and uses them as bait to have the Metarex prototypes Silver and Gold test Sonic's speed, strength, and skills. This moment is what triggered Sonic's Unstoppable Rage and Superpowered Evil Side transformation, and this action was just enough for Narcissus to cross the horizon itself. Good thing Eggman and his followers came to help calm things down — after all, Even Evil Has Standards.
    Dr. Eggman: (to Black Narcissus) It's one thing to take them prisoner and threaten them but when you actually hurt somebody, that's going too far.
    • Pale Bay Leaf crossed the line with what he did to Leon and several other anti-Metarex resistance pilots from Molly's home planet: embedding their bodies into the bases of trees and leaving them to weaken within there as a show of betraying them after promising them fame and fortune by inviting them to the side of the Metarex.
    • Averted with the old man who, in his youth gunned down a twelve year old girl on board Space Colony Ark. Decades later he's clearly deeply remorseful for what he did, and gives Scarlet the information she needs to finally understand what happened to her father all those years ago.
    • Even though the show doesn't intend it, Shadow tries to murder Cosmo because she's a sleeper agent, and tearing through the entire crew without even explaining why.
      Shadow: I have my reasons, but I'm not telling you!
  • Most Wonderful Sound: The whirling sound that accompany's Sonic's ring-powered Spin Dash.
  • Never Live It Down:
    • Fans of the show have a hard time forgiving Chris for practically stealing Amy's role in the second season's Sonic Adventure 2 arc.
    • Sonic X, along with Shadow the Hedgehog, influenced Shadow's character amongst fans to the point of bordering on an Audience-Coloring Adaptation. He learns to deal with his Dark and Troubled Past at the end of Shadow the Hedgehog but, according to fans, all Shadow seems to do is brood and angst about Maria.
    • Much of Amy's detractors pull from her Flanderizationed portrayal in later episodes of X. Even the games used Amy's more obsessive and clingy Sonic X personality for a while, before dialing her back around Sonic Generations.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Dark Super Sonic. He's on screen for under a minute, yet he's arguably the most popular thing added in the show.
  • One True Pairing: Tails/Cosmo slowly became this for the fandom.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Chris in the Metarex arc. Partly by giving him less screen time, and making the time he DID have on screen actually productive. It helps that he was mentally an adult by that point.
  • Ron the Death Eater: Aside from being viewed as a Creator's Pet, Chris Thorndyke is often viewed by fans as a selfish spoiled brat, who's life isn't all that bad as he claims it is, and he's more obsessive over Sonic than Amy is. However, Chris isn't really a bad kid. His whinny moments like in episode 49 were due to his stunted emotional growth, which kept him from handling the situation of Sonic returning to his world more positively, especially since the news sprung upon him unexpectedly that is was pretty impactful for him, and he was rather acting traumatic and in denial than acting like a spoiled brat. His clinginess to Sonic and his stunted emotional growth is due to being neglected by his parents since he was little, as he had to spend most of his time alone inside his mansion without friends or siblings, that it made Chris's life feel very empty and he didn't wanna lose the one person who filled that void with his friendship and adventures. That also applies to when Chris shut down the portal to stop Sonic from going back to his world. Chris didn't shut down the portal because he's a spoiled brat. He did it because his emotions and fears got the best of him, that he made a reckless choice without thinking clearly.
  • The Scrappy: Chris Thorndyke is widely disliked by fans for his dependency on Sonic due to his emotional and psychological hang-ups from his childhood by his wealthy parents. They aren't neglectful; they're busy, and he's got a very devoted grandfather. He gets a massive amount of screentime. Another major criticism of him is that he intrudes on the roles of certain characters during arcs based on Sonic games for no reason other than to give him something to do - which defeats the entire point of the show being 'Sonic X'.
    • Also, Cream because of her obnoxiously shrill, breathy voice, and almost every single episode of her doing absolutely nothing helpful or anything important.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: The non-canon Tails/Cream versus the Puppy Love Tails/Cosmo. This has even spread to the game and Archie Comics parts of the fandom, despite Cosmo not existing in the former and only having a brief cameo in the latter.
  • Strawman Has a Point:
    • Knuckles largely exists as a Commander Contrarian to the team that desires to take more desperate measures to get back home. While he has a bad attitude (especially where Sonic is concerned) and some of his ethics like trusting Eggman over and over are genuinely short sighted, the team tend to demean him over any point he makes (a few of which are rather valid and likely would have led to less disastrous results if followed, though of course this is never called out). It doesn't help that most of the time he argues with them he is tricked or bullied into following through rather than reasoned with in any way, despite the team endlessly pointing out how wrong it is when Eggman manipulates him in a similar manner.
    • In another episode Vector claims that Cream, a six year old, should be sent home to her mother (hoping to gain brownie points with Vanilla). Then he throws her into a sack and carries her and Cheese (and Cosmo) off. It's true that Vanilla didn't exactly say she wanted Cream home, but should a six-year-old be running around the galaxy fighting a powerful and murderous alien force?
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: The intro to Hikaru Michi bares a striking resemblance to Meat Loaf's Bat Out Of Hell.
  • Take That, Scrappy!: Eggman delivers an awesome "Reason You Suck" Speech to Chris in episode 49 - best in Japanese. He deliberately gets Chris to believe he has something to do with time being frozen, just to see what Chris would do, which turns out to be banging down his door demanding that he unfreeze time, thinking he did it just to blackmail Sonic into leaving Chris' world (nevermind the laundry list of other problems time being frozen might cause the planet, none of which seem to occur to Chris). Then after Eggman admits he lied to test Chris, Chris starts complaining about being lied to, and Eggman goes off about how Chris is so willing to scapegoat someone else (in this case Eggman, which makes sense since he is a huge liar who tricks everybody for his own evil schemes) just so he can find a reason to keep Sonic from leaving. Eggman also criticises Chris for just wanting to be with Sonic, stating that if that's all Chris cares about, then he'll always be small-time. Many Chris haters cheered at this verbal smackdown and it cannot be denied that this moment was one of Eggman's greatest Moments of Awesome in the entire series.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Dark Super Sonic could have been a great opportunity to put some limelight back on Sonic and the unstableness of his emotions in that form could have made for some compelling conflict. Plus the form simply looks awesome. Unfortunately, Sonic didn't get to do much in that form as Dr. Eggman immediately tells him to get a grip.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic:
    • The crew of the Blue Typhoon stole the Master Emerald to use as fuel for the vessel. While the galaxy holds far more importance than a single floating island that's already on death row, Knuckles still has every right to be angry that his friends flat-out stole from him. Knuckles is known to be quite affable and willing to break the rules when the need arises; all they needed to do was ask and he more than likely would've complied. Instead, they stole an all-powerful source of energy that he dedicates his life to protecting and then not only didn't apologize or even tell him about it, but treated him as if he's the one at fault for being angry about it. Cosmo, Cream, and Amy all even physically attacked him and Sonic just watched with a smile on his face! Played for Laughs or otherwise, that is really not cool!
    • For a dub-induced version of this, we have the events of episode 74. After Cosmo turns out to have been a sleeper agent all along, Knuckles, Tails and Chris argue over the possibility of removing the tracking device that allowed the Metarex to see and hear everything Cosmo, well, saw and heard - unfortunately, as it turns out, doing so would render Cosmo blind and deaf for the rest of her life. In the original, Knuckles insists that there must be another way to remove or at least disable the tracking device without harming Cosmo, but in the 4kids dub, he completely forgoes Cosmo's safety and still insists on removal of the device... Even if it meant rendering Cosmo unable to see and hear ever again.
    • Chris Thorndyke is this for many viewers of the show. He’s written as an Audience Surrogate for children to relate to, but this backfired horribly. First off, he’s not the average kid. He’s wealthy and he has adults around to keep him company. He also had friends his age at his school. Second, while his parents aren’t necessarily good parents, they show many times that they do love and care for Chris and would drop everything just to help Chris when he is in trouble. Despite this, Chris still acts as though his parents are too neglectful. Even Cream calls him out on his attitude towards his mother one time because she saw Chris' mother crying about how she felt she was a bad parent.
      • Chris teleporting himself to Sonic's world in the third season is supposed to be seen as Chris desperately resorting to a potentially lethal experiment For Science! to prove it's possible to be done after not seeing him for six years. Except he doesn't tell anyone, meaning if Chris got killed or lost in the process, no one would've known until it was far too late, if at all; he even has an internal monologue (in the Japanese version at least) almost sounding like he's reserved to his fate if it happened to fail. This isn't helped by the fact that he more than willingly ignores the problems of Year Outside, Hour Inside (where a month in Sonic's world equals a year in the real world) and thus leaves his wife and family behind for what seems like twelve years.
  • Unpopular Popular Character: In-universe, Eggman and Knuckles are both Butt Monkeys intensely jealous of Sonic's popularity. Out universe they have almost as big a fanbase as the latter (though granted this was also before the show made them 'unpopular').
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: The show can get pretty violent at times, including a scene where Chris gets stabbed by Black Narcissus, not to mention the third season's rather dark tone in general. Then again, it's anime.
  • What The Hell, Casting Agency?: Caren Manuel's performance as Rouge got a good deal of flack for making the character sound older than she was.
  • The Woobie:
    • Cosmo might just be one of the most woobified characters throughout the whole Sonic franchise. Not only did the poor girl see her whole family get killed in front of her, but when she learns that she was an unwilling spy for the Metarex all along , she experiences a full-on Heroic BSoD - which even continues throughout the entirety of her portion in Episode 74 and brings her to the point of contemplating going on an outright Suicide Mission.
    • Tails becomes this in the season finale: having to kill the girl he loves (the above-mentioned Cosmo) to save the universe understandably wrecks the poor little fox. Damn... Sonic has a hard time to cheer him up.
  • Woolseyism: While the dub is berated by fans as a Macekre for the most part, some find the pun-riddled dialog to have a So Bad, It's Good quality, and the Mickey Mousing to have a debatable quality over the Japanese edit's more limited and occasionally out of sync soundtrack (the decision to omit occasional tracks taken from the games however was not taken well). Also the dub surprisingly was slightly less Anvilicious about the show's occasional Broken Aesops (eg. the dub alters a conversation in Episode 56 about how it's essentially okay for Knuckles to be duped if it's by the heroes rather than Eggman into a sympathetic insight by Cosmo over Knuckles' forgivingness to a fault).

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