Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog

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"I hate that hedgehog!"
—Doctor Ivo Robotnik, Once an Episode

Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, a syndicated Sixty-Five-Episode Cartoon, was the first Animated Adaptation of the Sonic the Hedgehog game series. It stars Sonic and Tails as they run around the planet Mobius while trying to foil Robotnik's plans. Meanwhile, ol' Robotnik and his two incredibly incompetent helpers, robots Scratch and Grounder, try to Take Over the World.

The show deviates from the games a lot, but does feature occasional nods to them. (Compared to SatAM which was an In Name Only adaptation, and Sonic Underground, which was pretty much This Is Your Premise on Drugs, this series is a bit more faithful to the games, although even that is beaten out by the movie.) Mostly, it's a humorous series with abstract art style, putting it in stark contrast to the Sonic the Hedgehog series that came out right alongside it on Saturday mornings on ABC, better known as SatAM.

In addition to the afforementioned Sonic SatAM, this show is not to be confused with the other western animated Sonic adaptation Sonic Underground, the Anime Sonic X, or the OVA Sonic the Hedgehog The Movie.

Tropes used in Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog include:


  • Abhorrent Admirer: Katella the Intergalactic Huntress is this to Robotnik - sure she's pretty sexy for a cartoon character, but she's WAY too aggressive.
  • Abusive Parents: Robotnik's mother is incredibly abusive to him, in some cases almost making him into a Jerkass Woobie.
    • The Jerkass Woobie treatment applies to Coconuts, too. See It Got Worse.
    • This eventually carries over to Robotnik himself, who is also incredibly abusive to the robots he creates.
  • AcCENT Upon the Wrong SylLABle: "SnooPING AS usual, I see!"
    • "Ahh! HapPINESS is always so much more enjoyable when it's based on the misery of millions!"
  • Acid Reflux Nightmare: The knowledge that Tails has these sometimes is what propels the resolution of an episode.
  • Achilles' Heel: In a more literal sense than usual: Robotnik falls into a vat of super-strength potion, and the only part that didn't hit was his... well, as he terms it, "caboose". Terms it after calling it his 'unmentionable' two seconds before.

Scratch: "Gasp! He mentioned it!"

Coconuts: I only wanted to tell you I saw one of those F.O.U's - I mean, C.I.A's, uh, or C.O.D's...
Robotnik: Get to the point or your name will be M.U.D.

  • The Ahnold: Arnold Robonegger from "Robolympics".
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Songs: At least one for France.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Scratch seems to show a little too much like for Robotnik.
    • Robotnik has had his Foe Yay moments.
  • Animation Bump: TMS Entertainment animated the opening to AOSTH, like they did for Tiny Toon Adventures and Animaniacs. The five episodes done by them are also light years above the others in terms of animation quality. They would also go on to do Sonic X.
  • And Knowing Is Half the Battle: Sonic Says. Got mythology gagged in Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing.
  • And That's Terrible: See above. "If someone tries to touch you in a place or in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable, that's no good!"
    • Admittedly the show was aimed at kids generally under 10 who probably could use the warning...
    • When Sonic and Tails are pulled over (on foot) for speeding, Tails suggests they outrun the policeman before he takes them to court. Sonic replies, commenting on how that would be illegal.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: "You lost my rocket ship, you let the hedgehog ruin my plans, and NOW YOU'RE RUNNING UP MY LONG DISTANCE BILL!" - Robotnik
    • In an earlier episode when listing Sonic's offenses he tells his men that he ruins his schemes, he escapes his traps, and he helps nice people.
  • Ascended Extra: Several background characters from the second (officially aired) pilot "The Super Special Sonic Search and Smash Squad" are used as opponents in the Genesis video game Dr Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine, being given slight redesigns and individual names and personalities most of them didn't even have long enough to establish in their one appearance in the show. Scratch, Grounder and Coconuts themselves come from badnik designs from Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (with Scratch being the most radical change).
  • Aside Glance: Just one of many fourth-wall breaches.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Tails in one episode. In the Chaos Emerald saga, the Supreme High Robotnik, Master of the Universe. As well the odd walker machines used by Scratch and Grounder which are basically cockpits attached to massive walking steel beams with overly massive shoes. Sonic panics when he sees some massive robots in The Last Resort, but before he has to fight them, they surrender and run away for no explainable reason. Also Scratch, Grounder, and Coconuts are caught in a huge explosion at the end of the episode Trail of The Missing Tails and become extremely huge.
  • Autobots Rock Out: "Sonic's Song"
  • Balloon Belly: Tails is forced to eat tons of junk food (although he's rather happy to do so) in order to create a dream creature to combat a nightmare monster, and ends up massively bloated.
    • In another episode he practically turns into a parade float after eating a huge quantity of dehydrated food, then drinks a glass of water.
  • Batman Gambit: Sonic frequently does these to Robotnik and his lackeys.
  • Beehive Hairdo: Parodied in "Momma Robotnik Returns", when a social worker has actual bees flying around it.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Sonic, Tails, and especially his temporary pet alien Goopster.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: How Mobius would fare if Sonic wasn't around to stop Robotnik's plans (or if Tails wasn't around to save the day whenever Robotnik, Scratch and Grounder actually succeeded in immobilizing Sonic) is surprisingly dubious for a show with AOSTH's reputation for wacky comedy.
  • Big Bad: Robotnik.
  • Big Damn Heroes: The show had their share of these. In the episode "Zoobotnik", Mama Robotnik even makes one.
  • Bigger on the Inside: The Pseudo Sonic robot is this, since it's roughly Sonic's height on the outside yet oddly spacious inside when Tails and Laurence are piloting it.
  • Big No: Often done by Robotnik.
  • Blind Idiot Translation: In the American Spanish translation, Tails is translated as a female character. For Latin fans of the games, this created a series-long problem, especially when talking to people who only knew of Sonic via the Spanish translation of the cartoon, and of course, were entirely (and understandably) convinced of Tails's female gender.
  • Bond One-Liner: In one of the PSAs, when Scratch and Grounder get run over by a truck. "Looks like these dumbots were flat out wrong about going in the street!" Leads to a bit of a Broken Aesop as Sonic then spends the remainder of the PSA standing in the street.
  • Bound and Gagged: Many characters, including Sonic and Tails, end up like this a lot.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall
  • Brilliant but Lazy: A very good case can be made for Robotnik falling into this trope. In the episode "Birth of a Salesman", Wes Weasley sells him a variety of weapons that are surefire tools to catching Sonic, yet Robotnik passes them all off to Scratch and Grounder, who of course fail miserably, being too dumb to use the gadgets properly. Oddly enough, Robotnik puts most of the blame on Weasley, demanding refunds and accusing him of selling defective products. Weasley points out that if anything, his gadgets have worked too well, and are in incompetent hands. Robotnik remedies this by...threatening Wes Weasley into going along with Scratch and Grounder to oversee Sonic's capture, despite clearly being the only one capable of effectively operating the weapons, or at least more capable than his minions "supervised" by an unwilling peddler. The good doctor doesn't seem to realize capturing his hated enemy may require physical effort on his part. You'd think he would either step up his game or quit whining.
  • Brother-Sister Incest: Breezy and Robotnik Jr. Being robots, this is easy to miss, but it's not helped by the fact that Hero of the Year gives Breezy's full name as "Miss Breezy Hedgebot Robotnik".
  • Butt Monkey: Pretty much all of the bad guys, but especially Coconuts.
  • Can't Hold His Liquor: In one Sonic Says, Scratch and Grounder collapse after sharing one bottle of "booooooooze".
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Robotnik.
  • Catch Phrase:
    • Sonic: "I'm waiiiiiiting!", "Way past cool!", "Gotta speed, keed!", "Up, over, and GONE!" and "Gotta [verb], [noun that rhymes with the verb]!
    • Tails: "Tres Cool!" in some episodes.
    • Ivo Robotnik: "I hate that hedgehog!"
    • Robotnik Jr.: "Big Whoop!"
    • Wes Weasley: "Hey palzy, how are ya', how are ya', how are ya'?"
    • And in a few episodes, we have "DA BEARZ."
  • Christmas Special: Sonic Christmas Blast
  • Circling Birdies
  • Clip Show: "Hero of the Year"
  • Clueless Aesop: The Sonic Says segments were absolutely drowning in these.
    • The first episode's Sonic Says segment showed Sonic and Tails surrounded by Badniks. Tails suggests they call 911 and Sonic tells him not to do that unless it's a real emergency. Although Sonic is very capable of trashing an army of Badniks, children could very easily get the wrong impression and think that Good Old Fisticuffs is the right approach when surrounded by bigger, stronger, and possibly armed attackers.[1] Possibly, the writers themselves realized that this was a stupid lesson to teach kids, so in a later Sonic Says, Tails is being chased by Badniks, and calls for help by a nearby police officer. He arrests the Badniks, and Sonic congratulates Tails for doing the right thing.
    • Another one has Sonic talking about how bad an idea running away from home is. This one is fine in itself, but he was telling it to Coconuts, whose "parent" is Dr. Ivo Rrrrrobotnik.
    • Sonic begins the "Poison Ivy" Sonic Says by saying "There may not be any poisonous flowers on Earth." ¿Que?
  • Conjoined Eyes: Sonic and Dr. Robotnik.
  • Conviction by Contradiction: In one episode Sonic's special sneakers are stolen. Sonic dismisses one suspect because his feet are too big to wear them, but the guy who actually stole the sneakers didn't want to wear them either. In fact, none of the suspects did.
  • Cranial Eruption
  • Dartboard of Hate: Schoolteacher Lucinda keeps one of Robotnik in her classroom.
  • Dating Catwoman: Sonic and Breezie, at least in the beginning.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Any episode that focused on Tails. Also "Grounder the Genius" for Grounder and "Blank Headed Eagle" for Scratch as well as "Robot" for both Grounder and Scratch.
  • Department of Child Disservices: Averted. Sonic is temporarily put into the custody of Momma Robotnik, but a social worker annuls the adoption when it's revealed that Momma Robotnik disowned her own son.
  • Deranged Animation
  • Determinator: Even on the rare occasion he is faced with a genuine threat, Sonic is never one to give up.
  • Disguised in Drag
  • Disney Death: Sonic briefly has one in "Lovesick Sonic".
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: "The Robots' Robot"
    • In one episode, Grounder makes a comment on the radio about being "single and willing to disassemble". Now think about what that would mean for robots.
    • Also, the rivalry among Robotnik's robots seems to be a reference to sibling rivalry. "He made me first! I'm his favorite!"
    • Scratch really goes to town with that plunger of his in the opener. He's got his tongue hanging out and everything!
  • The Dog Bites Back: Scratch and Grounder are usually mindlessly loyal to Robotnik and recessive to his constant abuse. They are shown to exploit the odd moment to get revenge on him however (with varied success).
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Sergeant Doberman.
  • Drugs Are Bad: The main point of two of the Sonic Sez segments.
  • Dumb Is Good: Pretty well averted. Scratch and Grounder are dumber than sin, and Sonic is just as likely to defeat Robotnik with his intelligence as with with his super-speed.
  • Efficient Displacement: Used to comedic effect in Pseudo Sonic in that while piloting the robot Tails had no way to go through doors other than bashing through them.
  • Engineered Public Confession: The Scrap Valley episode has Sonic mess with Robotnik's speech in a way similar to a scene in Batman Returns.
  • Exact Eavesdropping: In one episode, Sonic is trying to figure out Robotnik's plan, who then proudly recites his plan to himself next to an open window.
  • Exit, Pursued by a Bear: One episode ends with Robotnik being chased by the slime monster from the space station Sonic and Tails were on. Another ends with him chased by an alligator.
  • Expy: Scratch resembles Clucker, a Mooks who appears in the Wing Fortress Zone in Sonic the Hedgehog 2.[2]
    • Breezie seems to be one of Jessica Rabbit.
    • Wes Weasley is very clearly inspired by Phil Silvers.
      • Scratch and Grounder were popular enough with Sega to gain their own Expies in the form of Decoe and Bocoe from Sonic X and Orbot and Cubot from Sonic Colors.
  • Expressive Mask: In "Magnificent Sonic" Scratch uses a mask in the shape of a mustached man with a moving mouth in order to deceive Ms. Possum.
  • The Face of the Sun: A somewhat bipolar variation of this appears in "Tails' New Home"
  • Falling Into His Arms: Two characters invoke this towards Sonic at separate points: Fan Girl Sonette...and Scratch.
  • Family-Friendly Firearms: "Magnificent Sonic" in spades. Even the "Sonic Sez" that warns about the dangers of guns plays this straight.
  • Fan Disservice: There's many shirtless shots of Robotnik, as well as scenes that draw a little too much attention to his rear end. The epitome of this trope, however, is that bikini shot in "Hero of the Year." Seriously, are all those scenes of Robotnik bathing/shirtless/in skimpy clothes/wriggling his butt really necessary?
    • What makes this all the more hilarious is how in an interview, Milton Knight (the show's head animator) mentions that in creating Robotnik's design for the show, he strove to convey the doctor's perception of his own sexiness. It's no wonder he calls Robotnik "animation's sexiest fat man." and why Robotnik-in-bikini is in the page picture of Fan Disservice.
  • Fantastic Aesop: One episode has Tails disobey the "No Flying" sign and Sonic heavily scolds him for it, and at the Sonic Sez at the end, Tails even has to go to the juvenile office for it. The moral is supposed to be "obey every law", but the sign could've been for helicopters or airplanes, as what other citizens of the area could fly other than Tails? Was the law specifically made for Tails just to screw with him?
  • First Name Ultimatum: "You get outta here now or I'll tell everyone your real name is Miles."
  • Flowers for Algernon Syndrome: Grounder becomes super-intelligent in one episode.
  • Follow the Leader: The abstract, Jackson Pollack-esque backgrounds? The thin, nonsensical plots? The loose, Off-Model animation? Yeah, a lot of this show was, shall we say, inspired by The Ren and Stimpy Show. Justified in that a number of ex-Ren & Stimpy crew members actually worked on the show.
  • Fountain of Youth: Sonic, Tails, and Dr. Robotnik get turned into babies in "Musta Been a Beautiful Baby".
  • GASP
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Bordering on Mythology Gag and Fridge Brilliance, Tails gets to show this on occasion, repairing trucks and even building Sonic a hovercraft from scratch.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
    • "You robot chickens make me sick. Get a couple of pints of motor oil in ya and suddenly you're a tough guy!
    • In "Lovesick Sonic", there's a scene where an arrow points to Robotnik's underground drilling vehicle that is labeled "The Dastard", but it looks like "The Bastard".
    • Also when Katella the bounty huntress arrives, Coconuts falls to the floor and tries to look under her dress and smiles before she kicks him.
    • Katella's whole role in the Zoobotnik episode was remarkably dirty for a kids' cartoon. It arguably qualifies as sexual harassment towards Robotnik, which seems odd in a show whose aesops are otherwise AGAINST sexual harassment.
    • There was also the sequence where Dr. Robotnik makes his extremely busty robot wife Omeletta.

Robotnik: "Well, what do you think?"
Grounder: "She has really big...."
Scratch: "HAIR!"

"Surprises along the path of life are like dirty socks in the laundry of barefoot cousins."

  • If I Wanted You Dead...: In one episode, Tails had been kidnapped and Sonic thought it was Robotnik's doing. Robotnik denied it by claiming he'd be torturing Tails had he kidnapped him.
  • In Name Only: The actual stories told in the show definitely don't have much to do with the games, but Adventures of Sonic definitely borrows more elements from the games than Di C's other Sonic shows do. To wit: not only do we have the necessary trio of Sonic, Tails, and Robotnik, but Badniks also have a presence in the form of Scratch, Grounder, and Coconuts (as well as a number of other models - such as the Buzz Bombers in "Mystery of the Missing Hi-tops" and the Choppers in "The Last Resort" - that appear in a few other episodes, with wild variations from their game designs). Additionally, actual Zones from the games are borrowed (and usually completely reinterpreted) for the occasional odd episode; "Submerged Sonic" takes place in Labyrinth Zone, "High Stakes Sonic" takes place in Casino Night Zone, and "Trail of the Missing Tails" features the Warp of Confusion as a tribute to the Special Zones. In fact, it could be argued that Adventures of Sonic, with its slapstick comedy and lighthearted nature, is a bit more akin in spirit to the bright, colorful, fast Sonic Genesis games than its darker and more plot-driven brothers.
  • Interspecies Romance: Even though they're both robots, Robotnik Jr. (human) is involved with Breezie (hedgehog).
  • Invincible Hero: Sonic is more-or-less this. Robotnik, Scratch and Grounder very seldom get the opportunity to lock him up in a trap he can easily escape from.
  • Iris Out
  • I Remember It Like It Was Yesterday: Used twice in "Best Hedgehog".
  • I See London
  • It Got Worse: Coconuts tells Robotnik about the dream machine, but gets yelled at for not stealing it. Coconuts catches Tails, and gets demoted because it's not Sonic. Coconuts warns Robotnik that Sonic said he'll outsmart him, Robotnik takes it out on Coconuts and essentially demotes him as far as he can go. Each time it seems Coconuts falls farther and farther (literally).
    • Sonic dupes Robotnik into trading loot he stole from a nearby town for fake gold. Coconuts gets blamed in spite of not even being around for the dupe.
  • Large Ham: Rrrrrrrrobotnik, thanks in no small part to the incomparable Long John Baldry.
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: Lucas, seen in "Best Hedgehog", resembles the title character of the Where's Waldo? series.
  • Lions and Tigers and Humans, Oh My!: And robots and aliens and sausage people and what not.
  • Leitmotif: Several of of the recurring characters have music that plays alongside their scenes. Most recognizable is Sonic's, which doubles as the show's title theme. Robotnik also gets a pretty catchy one. Even Scratch & Grounder have one, which is just a shortened version of Dovregubbens Hall.
  • Look Behind You!: Sonic manages this by just pointing and saying "I'M over there."
  • Losing Your Head: A constant occurrence with Scratch and Grounder.
  • Mass Hypnosis: Wes Weasley's Hypno-Vision commercials during Robotnik's campaign do this, however Sonic is immune since his eyes are too fast.
  • Medium Awareness: Sonic Says segments had this sometimes, as well as the show itself.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: The Merhogs, who are part hedgehog and part fish.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Breezie.
  • Musical Pastiche
  • Musical Spoiler
  • Mythology Gag: Despite being named Robotnik as opposed to Eggman, Robotnik makes a very, very large amount of references to eggs, either in puns or in his general planning (like the Omeletta episode noted above), in reference to his alter-ego; in the beginning of "Robotnikland", he even flies into a rage when Scratch and Grounder attempt to serve him pancakes for breakfast, rather than the egg-related dishes he prefers.
    • The episode "Lifestyles of the Sick and Twisted" actually had Tails call Robotnik "Eggman".
  • Eucatastrophe: Robotnik did actually come very close to defeating Sonic a fair few times. He does so each time he gains a Chaos Emerald in the four parter arc, only for Sonic to usually manipulate some time paradox against him.
  • Never Say "Die": The show went to great lengths to avoid this, with "Road Hog" being an exception.
  • Nice Hat: Most of the characters have worn some of these during the show.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Collie Chang, Throbbin' Screech, Katty Carlise. Wes Weasley may have been based on Phil Silvers.
  • No Fourth Wall
  • Not Me This Time: One episode featured Tails being kidnapped and it wasn't Robotnik's doing. In another episode, somebody steals Sonic's shoes. The fact Coconuts had been caught at the crime scene suggested he had something to do it but Sonic reasoned Coconuts would have captured him instead of just stealing his shoes.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: While Robotnik and his mooks are frequently defeated rather handily by Sonic, the doctor does have a fair few Genre Savvy moments, with some of his gadgets being genuinely deadly (at the very least, most of them do what he intends them to). There are a few times even Sonic seems genuinely unnerved by one of Robotnik's plans.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Sonic claims to not know how Grounder's snare trap is supposed to catch him. Grounder frustratedly proceeds to demonstrate, and no points for guessing what happens.
  • Obviously Evil: Dr. Robotnik.
  • Off-Model: You won't believe how many times Sonic's arms turn blue.
    • Not to mention the character art inside the disk cases of the second box set.
    • Hell, if you made a drinking game counting how many times Dr. Robotnik went off model, you'd be dead twelve times over.
  • Once Per Episode: Robotnik's catchphrase "I hate that hedgehog!" which is generally said at the end of most episodes. Played with in "Over the Hill Hero," where, shortly after Robotnik has retreated with his mooks, Captain Rescue ends the episode with "I like that hedgehog!"
    • Wes also says "I love that hedgehog" at the end of "Hero of the Year".
    • There are a few episodes where Robotnik does not say the phrase once, including the above-mentioned "Over the Hill Hero".
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Sonic is a master at this. It happens in almost every episode, and Scratch and Grounder fall for it every time. However, there were occasions where Sonic and/or Tails fell for these as well.
  • Parental Bonus: A few, one example being "Silence of the Yams".
  • Prepare to Die: During the fight with Boss Scorpion at the Pinball Fortress:

Robotnik: Prepare to be exterminated!

Robotnik is rotten,
Alfalfa is sneezy;
The minute I met her,
I loved my Breezie.

Sonic: It must be running on a battery! And batteries don't just keep going and going and going!

"He helps NICE people!"

  • Who's on First?
  • William Telling: Sonic does this to one of Robotnik's robots. Getting up in Robin Hood garb and balancing an apple on his head, Sonic tauntingly asks the robot (Called Dragon Breath in Doctor Robotniks Mean Bean Machine) if he's ever heard of William Tell. Infuriated, Dragon Breath throws his spiked club at Sonic, but the hedgehog's super speeds allows him to dodge just in time, so that the only damage done is that apple is split in half...and the tree behind Sonic falls over onto Dragon Breath.
  • You Answered Your Own Question: "What would I want with a two-ton baby ape who can lift giant rocks, fire bananas like a shotgun-- HUH? and help me capture that pesky hedgehog SO ROBOTNIK WILL TAKE ME BACK!"
  • YouTube Poop: A frequently used source, if only for the sheer number of ways that Robotnik can be made to say 'penis' and other swears.
  1. Actually, fighting in self-defense may seem to be the right approach when you have no time to reach for a phone or cellphone by the time stronger foes quickly approach to kill you, or if the power is out when trying to use a phone.
  2. Although this particular character did appear in Sonic the Hedgehog Spinball
  3. which ironically, Sega now owns after original creators Compile went out of business