Sonic the Hedgehog

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    If you were looking for the first game in the series, see Sonic the Hedgehog (1991). If you were looking for the 2006 game of the same name, see Sonic the Hedgehog.

    A fast hedgehog, a two-tailed fox, and a red echidna who protects a bunch of Green Rocks go down to the local pub. A floating fat man with a penchant for robots bursts in on their Happy Hour martinis to announce his schemes to Take Over the World with aforementioned Green Rocks. The hedgehog, fox, and echidna put down their drinks, mutter something along the lines of "Aw, hell no!", and proceed to kick the floating fat man's ass from here to New Brunswick. Rinse and repeat, adding lots and lots more characters each time (some of which can be found here).

    That's Sonic the Hedgehog in a nutshell--well, except for the pub part (and the "hell, no" partusually). Created in 1991 for the then-fledgling Sega Genesis (and not-so-fledgling Sega Master System) by a group of fifteen people tasked with creating a mascot to compete with the face of video games (who were later to be named Sonic Team), Sonic quickly became the gaming company's mascot, immediately replacing Sega's previous mascot, the Mario-derivative Alex Kidd. The spunky, ever-lovin' cobalt-blue insectivore grew in strength with each sequel to put its creators into a healthy competitive spot with Nintendo and other, lesser gaming companies, most notably Hudson Soft and SNK during the 16-bit Console Wars.

    The games were positively brilliant. The sprites were incredibly well-drawn, the levels were huge and expansive with a few alternate paths, and they incorporated many design features like loops, corkscrews, and crumbling ledges that were never seen before in any game. Many entertainment companies were given the license to produce no less than four cartoon series, seven comic series, countless books, a sunday comic strip, and even an anime movie, all to capitalize on Sonic's success. For a while, the Sonic series even overshadowed Nintendo's poster boy, Mario, due to the technical whizziness of its concept (helped by Sega dropping the meaningless term "Blast Processing" into its ads) and the proto-Badass nature of its main character. (This was the predecessor to the eventual family-friendly versus mature games debate, with a hedgehog with an attitude standing in for killing beeyotches.) And the concept was so simple: The aforementioned trio of Sonic (the hedgehog), Tails (the fox), and Knuckles (the echidna) try to thwart Dr. Ivo "Eggman" Robotnik's (the floating fat man) attempts at world domination using his army of robots and the Chaos Emeralds (the Green Rocks[1]). Run fast, collect rings, bash robotic critters, and it's all good.

    Sonic hit a bit of a Dork Age during the run of SEGA's Saturn console, which was a good deal less successful than its predecessor. The spinoff game, Sonic R was the only noteworthy Sonic game on the console, with a much better one, Sonic X-Treme, being announced but canceled, and filled in at the 11th hour by a upgraded port of the less-than-stellar Sonic 3D: Flickies' Island. The series got revived in a truly 3-Dimensional incarnation on SEGA's next console, the Dreamcast. The two Sonic Adventure games are noted for their production values and ambitious plotlines, but also criticized for questionable gameplay choices and other teething problems usually found in platformers that tried to make their first jump to 3D. Sonic Team attempted to address these concerns with Sonic Heroes, yet the gameplay was arguably worsened, to say nothing of its cheesy dialogue and most of its replay value being a result of artificially prolonging the amount of times levels need to be played.

    Since Sonic Adventure, fans' opinions toward this series have been extremely conflicted. Multiple camps exist defending one gameplay, character, or plotline decision while condemning multiple, if not all, others. A very strong Hatedom and counter-movement appears to form with every new release due in no small part to Sonic Team attempting to appeal to both older and newer fans despite limited production time. Some fans took refuge in non-video game properties.

    Some titles in the series have been notable for suffering mixed to negative critical reception. In line with all the controversy, large varieties of theories exist to explain why the Sonic series is struggling in terms of reviews ranging from hastened development for deadlines, a lack of talent or caring from the development team, over-reliance on new "gimmicky" features, taking the series in too dark of a direction, or unrealistic demands from nostalgic fans. Nevertheless, the series still remains massively popular and is among the 10 best selling videogame franchises of all time.

    Whilst 2008's Sonic Unleashed was widely criticized for its notoriously jarring Werehog gameplay, the "Day" Sonic levels were mostly praised for their refreshing hybrid of breakneck-speed 3D segments and traditional 2D platforming, replacing the Adventure gameplay, albeit with some awkward controlling at times. This style of gameplay was carried over to Sonic Colors and subsequently Sonic Generations, both of which were met with widespread critical acclaim, no doubt helped by the long-awaited return of Classic Sonic (in both appearance and gameplay) in the latter.

    List of video games in the main series

    Handheld series

    Racing/Sports games

    Other platformers

    Spin-off titles


    • Sonic & Knuckles Collection
    • Sonic Action 4 Pack
    • Sonic Classic Collection
    • Sonic Classics
    • Sonic Gems Collection
    • Sonic Jam
    • Sonic Mega Collection
      • Sonic Mega Collection Plus
    • Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection (Known as Sega Mega Drive Collection outside of America)

    Television shows

    Original video animation

    Comic Books


    Feature films

    Short films

    • Man of the Year
    • Sonic: Night of the Werehog
    Sonic the Hedgehog is the Trope Namer for:
    The following tropes are common to many or all entries in the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise.
    For tropes specific to individual installments, visit their respective work pages.
    • Abusive Precursors: The ancient Echidnas. They attacked the adorable and innocent Chao, and, although unknowingly, Awakening the Sleeping Giant, Chaos, an innocent god, just to steal his Chaos Emeralds. They created countless unstoppable robots in order to conquer the world. Both of which had to be sealed thus handing down the problem to us. In Sonic Chronicles, one clan of Echidnas return and try to conquer our world again. Which pushes them past just being Neglectful Precursors.
    • Adaptation Overdosed: An anime, an adaptation of that anime, an OVA, a US comic, a UK comic, three western cartoon series, several Manga, a short-lived French comic, and numerous book adaptations.
    • Alliteration: Some games, such as SegaSonic, CD, Chaotix and 3D Blast use alliterative names for all levels.
    • Airborne Aircraft Carrier: Robotnik's favorite type of weapon, starting with Sky Base in the Sega Game Gear Sonic the Hedgehog and continuing with the Egg Carrier and its variations in the modern games.
    • All There in the Manual: Among Sonic's various, obscure, contradicting origin stories is that he was born on |Christmas Island, and that he gained his speed from an experiment with Dr. Kintobor.
    • Always Night: The haunted house levels in some games, as well as some of the casino levels.
    • Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: Be honest; have you ever seen a blue (or pink) hedgehog in the wild?
    • Ambiguously Human: Dr. Robotnik / Eggman in the original non-Japanese continuities.
    • American Kirby Is Hardcore: Old American artwork of Robotnik depicted him as constantly scowling (and with black eyes), as opposed to the oddly-always-smiling Eggman of the Japanese artwork. In Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, Robotnik had his 'evil' design, but was a bumbling boob prone to Angrish.
    • Arc Words/Running Gag: At least one character has said "Long time no see" in almost every game since Sonic Adventure. However, since Sonic Unleashed, they seem to have stopped doing this.
      • In Sonic Adventure, Sonic/Tails says this to Knuckles, and Amy says it to Sonic.
      • In Sonic Adventure 2, Knuckles says it when first meeting up with Sonic and Tails, Rouge says this to Knuckles just before their boss-battle against each-other.
      • In Sonic Heroes, Sonic says that to Tails and Knuckles in the opening cutscene for Team Sonic's story. And Rouge says this to Team Sonic before the Team Sonic vs. Team Dark battle.
        • Metal Sonic also says this to Sonic at the start of his boss battle; one of the few cases where it has been a long time.
      • In Shadow the Hedgehog, Sonic (see a pattern here?) says this to Shadow when you run into Sonic at the beginning of the very first stage.
      • In Sonic the Hedgehog 2006, Sonic and Rouge both say this at multiple points each in the game.
      • In Sonic Rush Adventure, Eggman says this the first time he encounters Sonic in the game.
      • Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity. Wave greets Tails with, "Long time no see, shorty!"
    • Art Evolution: See the page image? Sonic, as depicted on the left and here, is what he used to look like. In Sonic Adventure, he was remade to be taller, have green eyes, and have longer limbs and quills. It was modified further in that direction in Sonic the Hedgehog 2006. Sonic Unleashed onwards, his looks are now a hybrid of the "Classic-Era" and "Adventure-Era" designs. This is Lampshaded in Sonic Generations, where the current-style Sonic teams up with his very different-looking Genesis-era self. Over the years we have this.
    • Artistic Age
    • Ascended Extra: Amy, who started as a Damsel in Distress in Sonic CD, appeared among the cast of later spin-offs, and returned for Sonic Adventure completely overhauled and finally seeing a piece of the action.
    • Ascended Fanboy: Tails. He follows Sonic one day and becomes interested in him. He eventually wants to become like him though Sonic ignores him. After Sonic and Tails had gone on an adventure to defeat Eggman, they become friends and he lets him tag along with him, eventually developing a bond. Also, Amy in the Archie Comics.
    • Ash Face: Dr. Robotnik is prone to have it in some of the 2D games after his creations are defeated.
    • Actor Existence Failure: Deem Bristow, the original video game VA for Dr. Robotnik (Or Eggman), passed away in January 2005.
      • Long John Baldry, another Robotnik VA, on Adventures of Sonic The Hedgehog, passed away just 6 months after Bristow.
      • Also, in Mexico, Maynardo Zavala, who also voiced Robotnik in the Mexican Spanish dub of The Adventures of Sonic The Hedgehog, died in 2011.
    • Badass Normal: Amy, starting in Sonic Heroes.
    • Bash Brothers: Sonic and Tails, in many incarnations. Can also apply to any character alongside Sonic, including his younger self.
    • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Knuckles and Rouge have displayed this at times.
    • Benevolent Architecture
    • Blind Idiot Translation: Before the developers had settled on a name for Sonic, he was referred to as "Mr. Needlemouse". The Japanese word for "hedgehog" is "harinezumi". Guess what a literal translation of that would yield.
    • Boss Dissonance: Generally, the bosses in the series are easier than the levels, save for a few Wake Up Call Bosses.
    • Boss-Only Level: A trademark of the series; first there was Final Zone, and then it really took off after The Doomsday Zone, with the final boss of every game gaining its own level, usually played in Super Mode.
      • In fact, every boss gained its own level around that time.
    • Bottomless Pit: Relatively rare in the early Sonic games, but increasingly common as the series has gone on. Taken Up to Eleven in Heroes, where every zone after Power Plant is basically a giant pit with platforms and grind rails suspended over it.
    • Calling Your Attacks: "Chaos Control!" "Sonic Wind!" "Black Wave!"
    • Canon Discontinuity: Sonic 2006 put this on itself, due to a Cosmic Retcon Reset Button Ending.
    • Canon Immigrant:
      • The Swatbots of SatAM fame have been introduced into Chronicles, although with a notable armor overhaul.
      • Amy and Charmy first appeared in the Sonic manga produced by Shogakukan in 1992, albeit looking rather different. Amy was lifted from there and redesigned for Sonic CD. A 1993 manga redesigned to fit more with the Sonic look, with the same characters, was released...and Charmy was subsequently lifted and used two years later in Knuckles Chaotix. Arguably one of the most successful stories of a canon immigrant, as shown above with the 'Ascended Extra' point.
      • In a case of What Could Have Been, Sonic Sat AM characters Sally Acorn and Bunnie Rabbot were planned to appear in multiple early projects (including early concepts for Sonic Xtreme), though ultimately have only a brief cameo in Sonic Spinball to show for it.
      • Sonic's love for chili dogs in the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog has been more tightly integrated into the official canon in the past few years; there's a chili dog salesman in Unleashed, Sonic is summoned with two in-hand in the opening of Black Knight, and he's given one as his birthday present from Tails in Generations.
    • Cartoony Tail: Tails has two tails that enable him to fly like a helicopter when he spins them. There's no indication of how this is anatomically possible.
    • Cash Cow Franchise: Still quite profitable after 20 years. Even the less-than-stellar games have made a surprising profit. In particular, the Archie Comic series is also going strong, it being the longest-lasting comic series based on a video game character.
    • Casino Park: The Trope Namer, from Sonic Heroes, but most games feature a casino level anyway.
    • Cerebus Rollercoaster: While the early games were lighthearted, cartoony games, the series started shifting into a more serious, shonen-anime like tone with the Sonic Adventure duology. Sonic Heroes briefly went back to a more cartoony tone (sans the Last Story), only for the series to reach the epitome of its Cerebus Syndrome with Shadow the Hedgehog and Sonic the Hedgehog 2006. Due to complaints about this, Sega has been consciously going back to the series more lighthearted, cartoony roots, with hints of it in Sonic Unleashed (despite still taking itself seriously), and officially starting with Sonic Colors. With that being said, Sonic Generations may have some darker, serious moments at points--although it still has much of the series lightheartedness still on board to balance it out. After all, it is a milestone game for the whole series.
    • Chain-Reaction Destruction: What bosses in 2D Sonic games do when they run out of hitpoints.
    • Chaos Emeralds: The Trope Namer, and examples in the first two games. The third game introduced unlimited attempts at the emeralds, moving them away from this trope, and since then most games have had them collected automatically during cutscenes, making them normal MacGuffins.
    • Compilation Rerelease: Practically all of the original games from the Genesis and Master System up to the Dreamcast were re-released on later (non-Sega) consoles in some form or another.
    • Conjoined Eyes: Most of the hedgehogs.
    • Comeback Mechanic: The games that support multiplayer races will usually have a feature that swaps two players' locations in the stage. Sometimes, it's a hidden item, and sometimes, it's a character's ability. Naturally, this is only useful to a player who's fallen behind.
    • Continuing Is Painful: Almost every Sonic game since Adventure resets your score to zero every time you die, almost assuring a bad rank if you're far enough into a stage.
      • Sonic Colors doesn't reset your score but unfortunately, it doesn't reset the time back to 0:00 either. It continues from what it was when you died. So it's still painful.
    • Continuity Creep
    • Continuity Nod: As of Sonic Adventure, the Sonic series now makes frequent nods to previous games. Sonic Chronicles in particular is full-on Continuity Porn.
    • Cool Plane: The Tornado and the Egg Carrier.
    • Cool Ship: The Egg Carrier from Sonic Adventure, as well as Robotnik's "Egg-O-Matic" hovership that he uses at every possible opportunity.
    • Crosshair Aware
    • Crossover: With the Mario franchise.
    • Cultural Translation: Subtle but still there. Some of the classic designs were changed a bit outside of Japan, in the official art. For example, Sonic was given a mohawk, his eyebrows became more expressive (which was carried onto Adventure everywhere), and he became slightly more built while Tails became more stereotypically cute (chubbier, rounder, shorter snout, shorter fur, belly fur combed flat, etc) .
    • Darker and Edgier: Shadow the Hedgehog and his self-titled game, Sonic the Hedgehog 2006, and Sonic Adventure 2, even, what with its themes of revenge, government conspiracies, military weapons projects, and apocalyptic scenarios.
    • Death by Origin Story: Maria and Gerald Robotnik.
    • Death Course: Even in the middle of nowhere, out in the ocean or in the middle of a forest, Sonic and the gang will inevitably cross paths with crates, spikes, drills, and other nasty hazards.
    • Detective Animal: Team Chaotix.
    • Detonation Moon: In Sonic Adventure 2.
    • Did Not Do the Research: The climax and overall conclusion of Sonic Battle makes no sense without taking place sometime after Shadow the Hedgehog, but Shadow, in its Last Story, learned that he was not a weapon of mass destruction and was created to protect the Earth, while in Sonic Battle, he persists he's a heartless weapon. The real problem is, Battle precedes Shadow by two years in release dates, and since Sonic Team doesn't seem too big on Prequels, Tomoyuki Hayashi, Battle's director, most likely just fell into the trope. It also doesn't help that the game contains throwbacks to Sonic Heroes, a game that isn't going to exist until three weeks later in Japan.
    • Directionally Solid Platforms: Common in the 2D games.
    • Duel Boss: Shadow, General Raxis and Super Ix in Sonic Chronicles.
    • Dummied Out: Can be considered a Trope Codifier. Every game in the series has something major in it missing, and sometimes new games are born from those scrapped elements.
    • Eagle Land: Arguably, this is the idea behind Sonic's character design. He is a mishmash of different western Funny Animals (in fact, in one of his earliest character concepts, he was a grey rabbit with a bowtie, and his body and head shape were reminiscent of Felix the Cat), he is the same color as the American flag (but recent information points that his trainers were made red and white to match Santa Claus colour scheme), and his 90s snarky, aloof attitude and penchant for XTREME hobbies were distinctly non-Japanese. (He also speaks in Engrish in the Japanese version.) He also has a tendency to roam the lands randomly helping people, not unlike wild western heroes like Shane. All of this was intentional on Sega's part, since the Japanese branch knew that the Genesis (and to a lesser extent, the Master System) sold more in America than in their own country, and with Nintendo's Super Famicom looming on the horizon, they knew they would need some kind of hook to keep from being trounced internationally.
    • Early Installment Weirdness: The original Sonic games were much more cartoony than the later entries, and the original game only had six emeralds, no Super Sonic, and no spin-dash.
    • Elemental Powers - Not crucial to the characters but they show up from time to time
    • Eleventh-Hour Superpower: The Super/Hyper/Darkspine/Whatever versions of the core Sonic Trio (and Shadow/Silver/Blaze).
    • Enemy Mine: Sonic Adventure 2's memorable Cannon's Core level.
      • Sonic and Eggman have teamed up on multiple occasions when they've had a common enemy: Sonic Adventure 2 against The Biolizard, Sonic Advance 3 against Gemerl. Generally it's because Eggman wants to take over the world, not destroy it, and he can't take over the world if there's no world to take over, so generally if someone (or something) wants to destroy the world Eggman will usually fight against them, either with Sonic or without. The fat scientist makes this point almost verbatim in Shadow the Hedgehog as he watches the Black Arms wreck up Westopolis.
      • Shadow has teamed up with characters he's considered enemies several times, most often in his own game. The final cutscene features Knuckles and Eggman actually having a fun moment together
    • Every Ten Thousand Points: Some Sonic games award player extra life when getting certain amount of rings or points.
      • Generally, every 100 rings in a level and 50,000 points overall, though that has varied.
    • Everything's Better with Sparkles: Most notable ones will cause temporary invincibility in several games.
    • Evil Laugh: Robotnik's weird "Ohohohohoho!" along with Shadow's maniacal laughter in his own game as well as Mephiles in Sonic 06.
    • Executive Meddling: The unfortunate cause of Sonic X-Treme's Vaporware status, as well as the replacement of all the game voice actors with their Sonic X counterparts.
      • Executives often meddled to get games out for a Christmas release. It happened, but not too consequently, in some of the classic games. The original Japanese Sonic Adventure was buggy, and that's why they made a re-release there with all the fixes made in the English version.
      • Shame that the English version was still buggy and that the later DX edition wound up creating even more glitches.
      • Very likely the reasoning behind the unfortunate state of Sonic 2006 also; it was rushed out to release in time for both the Christmas period and Sonic's 15th Anniversary, and as a result is wrought with bugs and is quite obviously unfinished.
    • Exposition Fairy: Started out as the Floating Advice Reminder, then turned to the actual characters themselves noting your abilities, usually the NPC secondary characters.
    • Expy: The Nocturnus are very similar to the group of Echidnas, the Dark Legion, from the Archie Comics, and Shade is similar to Julie-Su, and their home dimension "The Twilight Cage" has a similar name to the Dark Legion's dimension "The Twilight Zone". Ix also looks similar to the Sonic the Comic character Dr. Zachary, and Archie's version Dr. Finitevus.
      • The Ifrit in Sonic Rivals 2 is very clearly an expy of Iblis from Sonic 06. Like Iblis, the Ifrit is an immortal fire monster named after a djinn in Middle Eastern mythology, and who is responsible for destroying the world in Silver's future. Even their designs are similar, with the Ifrit resembling a winged version of one of Iblis' forms.
    • Face Ship: Dr. Eggman builds a lot of these with his face on them, most notably the Death Egg.
    • Family Theme Naming: There's a small family all named after dairy products: Cream the Rabbit; her mother, Vanilla, and her Chao, Cheese. Other Chao associated with Cream were named Chocola and Milk.
    • Fastball Special: Sonic seems to make a natural projectile. Very common in Sonic Chronicles and Sonic Heroes.
    • Fireballs: From the Marble Zone of the first game to the latest Sonic games.
    • Flash of Pain: Bosses in the 2D Sonic games tend to do that.
    • Floating Advice Reminder: Started in the Sonic Adventure games with Tikal and Omochao, then exploded from there.
    • Fly At the Camera Ending: The ending sequences to many 2D Sonic the Hedgehog games feature Sonic (or Tails, Knuckles, Amy, Cream, etc.) jumping towards the player and posing while suspended in air. Sonic the Hedgehog 2s ending is the most notable: both Tails's plane and (Super) Sonic fly away from the player only to come back head first.
    • Follow the Leader: Sonic's popularity in the early 90's spawned many knockoff Mascot with Attitude characters, including Bubsy, Awesome Possum, Sparkster the Opossum, Zool, and Aero the Acro Bat.
    • Follow the Money: Often, rings lead you somewhere. In the 3D games, it's often even possible to perform light dash which makes Sonic follow the path made out of rings.
      • The rings have been put into arrow formation in most games right up to Colors as a way of making this trope even more obvious.
    • Fountain of Expies: Sonic, as mentioned in Follow the Leader.
    • Frickin' Laser Beams: Used by numerous bosses throughout the series.
    • Full Set Bonus: The Chaos Emeralds in most games. Whether they allow the player to become Super Sonic, view the true ending, or both.
    • Funny Animal
    • Gainaxing: This becomes more prevalent in later games, but especially with Rouge the Bat and her ample "assets".
    • Gameplay and Story Segregation: In 3D games, all the loops and rings and other items are strangely absent during cutscenes.
    • Gameplay Roulette: The main console games starting with Sonic Adventure have been infamous for this. They have steadily gotten better with this, since Sonic Unleashed and Sonic Generations only feature two styles of gameplay, and Sonic Colors averts it completely.
    • Goggles Do Nothing: Robotnik gained a pair of them in Sonic Adventure and, aside from a brief moment in Sonic Adventure 2 and Sonic the Hedgehog 2006, never used them, maybe because he has the aforementioned Scary Shiny Glasses.
    • Gratuitous English: Once Sonic got a voice, though in all fairness, his [3] pretty much justified it.
    • Gravity Barrier
    • Green Aesop: This is what the series used to revolve around, with Sonic functioning as a nomadic Nature Hero of sorts. Unlike most examples of the latter trope, he is quick to utilize technology to fulfill any tasks he needs to do, but he still seems to carry disdain for Eggman's wanton environmental destruction. Unlike most examples of the former trope, the Aesop was actually subtle.
      • This is taken to its apex in Sonic CD, where Sonic has the ability to prevent Robotnik from turning the future into a post-apocalyptic, mechanized hell by defeating certain robots in the present. One of the cartoons, Sonic SatAM would take the green overtones of the games and expand on them.
        • CD also showed that, utilized properly, technology could benefit the environment via the Good Futures, which showed nature and technology working in harmony.
      • Every continent you visit in Sonic Unleashed is beautiful...then you get to EggmanLand.
    • Green Hill Zone: Trope Namer, and sometimes used as a Nostalgia Level.
    • Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: Most of the male characters wear nothing but shoes and gloves.
    • He Knows About Timed Hits: Tails constantly reminding you to save your game in Sonic Chronicles. You can tell him to stop doing that, though. It won't stop him, but you can.
    • Helpful Mook: Many airborne enemies throughout the series like to position themselves so that Sonic could homing attack through them to the place he needs to go.
    • Hijacked by Ganon: Eggman and Eggman Nega in Sonic Rush Adventure.
    • Homage: Super Sonic is a throwback to Dragon Ball. The Death Egg is, of course, a Star Wars reference.
      • The Eclipse Cannon definitely brought the Death Star to mind.
    • Hover Board: The Extreme Gear in the Sonic Riders series.
    • Hub Level: Sonic Adventure, Sonic the Hedgehog 2006, Sonic Advance 3, Sonic Unleashed, and Sonic Generations.
    • Huge Holographic Head
    • Image Song: Since Adventure, every main 3D installment gives at least each player character one of these.
    • Inconveniently-Placed Conveyor Belt: They are seen throughout various levels in the series.
    • I Have Many Names: Apparently, whether it's "Eggman" or "Robotnik". As of the Sonic Adventure games, it's now both. Robotnik is his true name, while Eggman is an alias. In territories where the Robotnik name was used, this was established in the first game (See Insult Backfire below), whilst territories that used Eggman established it in the sequel.
    • In the End You Are on Your Own
    • Informed Ability: Sonic's speed is sometimes this relative to the other main characters, especially in the older games before the characters' abilities had speciated as much. For instance, some of the earlier games contain situations where Knuckles, Tails, and even Robotnik can run as fast as Sonic. Tails can still fly as fast as Sonic runs, but they make sure it looks like he's flying. Not running.
    • Informed Flaw: Eggman is no doubt fat, but it's often said to be from overeating, and we have only seen him actually eat once. Then again, he took down a twelve inch sandwich in two bites during that one instance, so this has some merit.
    • Insistent Terminology: The early games' manuals were insistent that getting hit with no rings would cause you to lose a "try."
    • Insult Backfire: Outside of Japan, Robotnik's "Eggman" name was first used by Sonic as an insult in the original Sonic Adventure, and Robotnik promptly corrected him that his name was Robotnik, not Eggman. By Sonic Adventure 2, he's embraced the nickname, presumably because he wanted to use the name "Eggman Empire". Or maybe he embraced it earlier than that, considering he uses it as password on board the Egg Carrier in the first Adventure game.
      • In Japan, it's implied that this had happened long before the games added voice actors as the Robotnik name was made canon in Adventure 2 via Eggman's relatives, Gerald & Maria Robotnik.
    • Invincibility Power-Up: Present in many Sonic games, wheter in classic "starman" fashion from item boxes, to some variations like the purple wisp in Sonic Coors Wii.
    • It Seemed Like a Good Idea At the Time: Knuckles has some really odd, if not outright boneheaded, ways of protecting the Master Emerald from thieves.
    • Kaizo Trap: The Egg Viper in Sonic Adventure and the Giant Eggmech MKII from Sonic the Hedgehog 4 will crash through the floor after you beat it, and sent you falling to your doom if you're in the middle of the arena
    • Killer App: The original Sonic games for the Sega Genesis, and arguably the Sonic Adventure games for the Dreamcast (at the time).
    • Kill Sat: The ARK. Of course, when the "Kill Sat" part fails (And due to the machinations of Professor Gerald Robotnik), it's Colony Drop time.
    • Lampshade Hanging: Omega once commented on the size of Eggman's ridiculously huge bases with:

    "ERROR! Unable to compute why a base this size has gone undetected. ERROR!"

    • Last of His Kind: Knuckles until Sonic Chronicles.
    • Law of One Hundred
    • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: The Death Egg for the Death Star.
    • Let's You and Him Fight: First came Sonic vs. Knuckles, then came Sonic vs. Shadow, then came Sonic vs. whoever Sega decided to pit him against, that game. Spilled over into the comics, as well, with some very painful results.
    • Limited Wardrobe: For those characters who wear clothes.
    • Live Item: The small animals.
    • Loads and Loads of Characters: To an extent; many of the later titles feature an excessive amount of key characters, albeit usually from the same pile of a dozen or so. It's more a case of Loads and Loads of Main Characters.
    • Loads and Loads of Loading: Sonic the Hedgehog 2006 is infamous for this.
    • Magic Pants: Sonic's gloves in Sonic Unleashed, the opening even shows them being ripped off.
    • Malevolent Mugshot: Robotnik/Eggman's face has showed up on everything from Mecha-Mooks to spacecraft.
    • Mascot with Attitude: Sonic the Hedgehog. Trope Codifier or Trope Maker.
    • Meaningful Name: Practically everyone has one. Sonic is faster than sound, Knuckles has spikes on his fists, etc.
    • Made of Iron: Everyone is, it seems to be a part of the way creatures function in-universe,few machines can compete with their durability.
    • Meanwhile in the Future: Sonic the Hedgehog 2006 was horrible about this. Characters will shout "WE'VE GOT TO HURRY!" and run as fast as they can... to save somebody 200 years in the past.
    • Mecha-Mooks: Eggman loves them.
    • Mega Neko: Big the Cat is, well... a big cat.
    • Mercy Invincibility: As long as you had at least one ring or shield to your name, this'll kick in when you're hit... unless you're bouncing on spikes in the first version of the original game.
    • Metroidvania: Spin-off Game Gear game, Tails' Adventure.
    • Mood Whiplash: Pretty much a staple of the series itself. Things can go from humorously comedic to dark and apocolyptic in a manner of moments.
    • Morally-Ambiguous Doctorate: Robotnik, with his grandfather Gerald providing a Face Heel Turn variant.
    • Motion Blur: He's even nicknamed "The Blue Blur". In some of the 3D games, Sonic can create a blur by Spin Dashing. In fact, everyone who can use the Homing Attack has their own motion blur.
    • Multiple Choice Past: Eggman Nega. In Sonic Rush and Sonic Rush Adventure, he's Eggman from a parallel universe. In Sonic Rivals, he's Eggman's descendant from 200 years in the future. Blaze is also from either the future in Sonic the Hedgehog '06 or another dimension in Sonic Rush and Sonic Rush Adventure.
    • Multiple Demographic Appeal: The games, animated series and merchandising have all long been popular across many ages and both genders. This is probably at least in part due to the fact that many of the people who played the original games in the early nineties are now in their twenties and it's nostalgia setting in. It helps that all Sonic games have a good mix of Scenery Porn, Awesome Music, and lots of Awesome Moments with a little darkness and Fan Service thrown in. Unfortunately, this means you get Fan Dumb from all directions.
    • Multiple Endings: Dates all the way back to the first game, though it wasn't until Sonic & Knuckles that the difference was of any significance. Shadow the Hedgehog has 10 different endings, plus the final ending, and 326 total ways to complete the game.
    • Mythology Gag: Sonic's favorite food is chilidogs. This was created by DiC for the cartoons. Sonic Chronicles and Sonic Unleashed are full of them. He's also seen eating two in the beginning of "Sonic and The Black Knight".
    • No Conservation of Energy
    • No Ending: Combined with Sequel Hook. Sonic Chronicles ends with Sonic and friends learning that Eggman has taken over the world. And then they thank Bioware for being awesome.
    • Noodle People: Everyone after the Art Shift in Sonic Adventure. The characters were pot-bellied in design prior to this.
    • No Sidepaths, No Exploration, No Freedom: Some of the more recent entries are sometimes criticized for having too much running and not enough platforming.
    • Noblewoman's Laugh: Robotnik's Santa-esque chuckle.
    • Nostalgia Level: The extra 3D version of the original Sonic the Hedgehog's Green Hill Zone in Sonic Adventure 2.
      • There are also Nostalgia Bosses in Sonic Advance, in the form of Sonic 1 and 2's first bosses in the X-Zone.
      • Sunset Hill Zone from Sonic Advance 3 certainly qualifies. It even has the music!
      • The final level in Sonic Chronicles can apply sorta. It has a remixed version of the Final Boss fight from Sonic 3.
      • Sonic Battle has Green Hill Zone as an unlockable stage.
      • Sky Sanctuary Zone in Sonic (3) & Knuckles features two Nostalgia Bosses. Mecha Sonic shows up piloting the boss vehicles from the first zone of Sonic the Hedgehog and the eighth zone of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 before you fight him quill-to-quill.
        • And said hog-to-mecha-hog fight shares some patterns with Silver Sonic from 2.
      • Wave Ocean from 06 is very much like Emerald Coast in Adventure 1, intentionally of course. In both levels Sonic gets chased across a bridge by an orca.
        • Abadat's levels in Sonic Unleashed are very similar to Emerald Coast and Wave Ocean, though without any chase scene.
      • Sonic the Hedgehog 4 is pretty much a Nostalgia Game.
      • Taken to Up to Eleven levels in Sonic Generations, you have 2.5D and 3D re-imaginings of levels from almost every game since Sonic 1 to Colors. You Also have Sonic, Tails and Eggman in their classic looks with Sonic being voiceless and Metal Sonic returns as an optional boss.
    • Obvious Beta: Sonic the Hedgehog 2006. To ridiculous levels.
    • Off-Model: This Pakistan Mcdonald's commercial has gained some infamy for it.
    • Offscreen Villain Dark Matter: No matter how much havoc Sonic wreaks on Robotnik's bases, he's always got enough badniks, eternal engines and wave motion guns for another world domination bid come next game. It reached a peak in Sonic Adventure, where after Sonic and co. spend the entire game taking down the Egg Carrier, he shows up with another Egg Carrier to try and subdue Chaos.
      • Further still, in Sonic Unleashed, he produces a giant fleet of space battleships solely as bait for Super Sonic.
    • Old Shame: This trailer showing clips of the various Sonic console games throughout the years, with Sonic himself looking pretty exasperated once they get to Sonic Heroes (around the time the critical backlash of the games began). Also, much more polished beta footage of '06 is used, as well as only the daytime stages of Unleashed. However, Sonic and the Black Knight is completely omitted from the video, whilst it's predecessor, Sonic and the Secret Rings notably wasn't.
    • One-Hit-Point Wonder: Assuming they have no rings, every character would count as this, but this is not the case. Final Zone and Death Egg Zone in Sonic 1 and 2, respectively, have no rings whatsoever, effectively rendering Sonic a One Hit Point Wonder for the final confrontations. The Game Gear versions of Sonic 1 and 2 took this even further by offering no rings for any of the boss encounters.
    • 1-Up: Either in form of a monitor or capsule with a character's head on it or a Sonic icon, depending on game.
    • Only Known by Their Nickname: Many people don't remember that Tails' real name is Miles Prower.
    • The Other Darrin: The series have gone through a veritable revolving door of voice actors throughout the years, some more controversial than others. Tails, in particular, has gone through more voice actors switches than any other character. In both the English AND Japanese versions.
    • Our Werebeasts Are Different: Sonic the Werehog.
    • Oxygenated Underwater Bubbles: Present throughout all of the 2D games where a Down the Drain, Underwater Ruins, or Under the Sea level is present. Also exists in Sonic Adventure, Sonic Adventure 2, Sonic Colors and Sonic Generations.
    • Pantsless Males, Fully-Dressed Females
    • People Jars: Possible variation. In the original games, Dr. Robotnik trapped animals within robots which Sonic had to destroy to set free.
    • Physical God: Chaos the God of Destruction, Illumina the Goddess of Dreams, the Master Emerald, Chip a.k.a Light Gaia, and possibly Solaris and Emerl who are also refered to as Gods, even though they are both artificial.
    • Pinball Spinoff: Sonic Spinball and Sonic Pinball Party.
    • Pinball Zone: Almost every game in the series has at least one pinball-themed level, whether a regular level or a Bonus Stage. Despite the "zone", the Trope Namer is not from this series.
      • Act 2 of Casino Street Zone in the iPhone version of Sonic 4 is nothing but a pinball machine where you need to get a certain amount of points in order to complete it.
    • Pink Girl, Blue Boy: Amy and Sonic, obviously.
    • Planet of Copyhats: Apparently speediness is an anthro trait.
    • Platform Game
    • Plot Coupon: The ubiquitous Chaos Emeralds and their daddy, the Master Emerald.
    • Polygon Ceiling: A notable example [4]: Sega have acknowledged that the 3D Sonic games - Sonic Colors aside - have a (not entirely unfounded) reputation of being plagued with bad camera angles, poor level design, and shaky controls. It's ultimately down to personal opinion as to which of the 3D games is the prime culprit. At the same time, the 2D Advance and Rush series released at the same time were quite highly regarded, which (along with a heavy sense of Retraux) could explain why Sonic Colors includes a lot of 2D platforming.
    • Pop Star Composer: Masoto Nakamura (from the J-pop band Dreams Come True) composed the music for Sonic 1 and Sonic 2. Famously, Michael Jackson was supposed to compose for Sonic 3. What happened then? Nobody quite knows, but everybody has an opinion. Jun Senoue and his band Crush 40 wrote music for several of the 3-D games. This goes all the way to Sonic Colors, where Cash Cash performs the main theme.
    • Power Dyes Your Hair: Sonic's Super Form.
    • Power Trio: Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles. In Sonic Heroes, three other power trio teams are created with this template (speed, flight, and power).
    • Power-Up Magnet: The electric shield that debuted in Sonic 3
    • Power-Up Motif: Invincibility powerup has a theme in games where it exists.
    • Prepare to Die: One of Eggman's phrases in Sonic Battle."
    • The Psycho Rangers: The robots in Sonic R, Team Dark in Sonic Adventure 2, The Babylon Rogues in Sonic Riders.
    • Punny Name: Miles "Tails" Prower, and Dr. Ivo "Eggman" Robotnik (and his legion of egg-themed machines). Also, Super Sonic.
    • Puzzle Boss
    • Puzzle Pan
    • Reconstruction: Since the flop of Sonic '06, the games seem to be trying to go back to the original Platforming and Speed outlook of the Genesis series.
    • Recurring Riff: In many Sonic games, the main theme of a particular game can be heard throughout the game.
    • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Super Sonic (Sonic Adventure onwards) and Shadow.
    • Ret Canon:
    • Ridiculously Cute Critter - First there were the flickies and animal friends. Then there were Chao. And now there are Wisps.
    • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Shadow's reaction to Maria's death. Attempt on humanity prevented by Amy. Results in the genocide of the entire Black Arms race as Black Doom can be considered indirectly responsible for her death.
    • Rolling Attack: Sonic can do that. Often others do rolling attacks too.
    • Rousseau Was Right: Amy of all people stops Shadow's Roaring Rampage of Revenge with a speech about this.
    • Rule 34: Hit this series like an atomic bomb.
    • Running Gag: There's very few that last more than a single game, but Knuckles getting tricked by Eggman, for one, eventually turned into this.
      • If it's an entirely 2D Sonic game, expect there to be a pit with two springs facing each other in at least one level.
    • San Dimas Time: The level timers in Sonic CD, where you regularly travel hundreds of years through time mid-level on a regular basis.
    • Scenery Porn: Sonic games are designed to push the graphical power of any console they're on, whether it be the Genesis/Mega Drive, Dreamcast, Wii, Play Station 3, any console. Special mentions in this regard include the original Genesis games, Sonic Unleashed and Sonic Colors. Sonic CD had some Scenery Gorn in its Bad Future stages, though the Good Futures could potentially outdo the past and present with the area showing technology maintaining the environment instead of destroying it.
      • Recent home console titles like Unleashed and Generations use Sonic Team's aptly-named graphics rendering tool, the Hedgehog Engine, which is capable of rendering close-to-CG quality imagery. Whilst graphical output is undoubtedly impressive, the results are definitely best viewed in 60fps and 1080p in the PC version of Generations.
      • Supposedly, on the day that Nintendo unveiled the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (Which was also the same day SEGA unveiled the original Sonic game), a reporter went to a SEGA Rep & touted the increased graphical capabilities of the SNES over the Mega Drive; specifically citing the vast increase in the number of colors the system was capable of. The SEGA Rep's response was to take him to a curtained off area, and show him screenshots of Sonic & the latest Mario game, before asking "Who has more colors?"
    • Sealed Evil in a Can: It started with Chaos in Sonic Adventure and has become increasingly more evil, more sealed, and more canny from there.
    • Shout-Out: Sonic X is chock full of these, not only to the previous Sonic cartoons, but Eggman's various mecha manage to include Thunderbird 2, Great Mazinger, and the USS Enterprise.
    • Ship Tease: Oh dear god...
    • Shut UP, Hannibal: Shadow has done this twice, once to Black Doom in the final story of Shadow the Hedgehog and later to Mephiles at the end of his story in Sonic 2006.
    • Sigil Spam: Some post-Sonic Adventure games (including the Sonic Advance Trilogy) show Eggman's property having a stylized depiction of his face on them (its design is inconsistent from game to game). The same goes for G.U.N.
    • Slave Mooks: The little robots with animals in them.
    • Small Annoying Creature: Chip from Sonic Unleashed.
      • Also Omachao.
    • Smashing Hallway Traps of Doom: Levels in classic Sonic series have a lot of them. Some of them are in 3D games too.
    • Sonic Can Breathe In Space: He can also run at top speed without a problem in space.
      • Every character who visits the ARK gets hit by this trope. Shadow, Rouge, Eggman, Tails, Knuckles and several others have no trouble with stages on the outside of the ARK.
        • Knuckles even gets hit by meteors!
    • Space Does Not Work That Way: This pretty much describes most of Sonic's space exploration levels, with his sequence of hanging on to Robotnik's rocket escaping into the upper atmosphere and managing to reach the Death Egg in space being one of the most accurate examples.
    • Spike Balls of Doom: Very commonly used. A lot of them can be found within stages, one of the notable enemies called Orbinaut has spiked balls surrounding it and many bosses fire spiked balls, too.
    • Spikes of Doom: One of the common elements throughout the series. There is also the infamous Spike Bug. Its name is something of an Artifact Title, as there is substantial evidence now that it's not a bug and was intentionally programmed in (though it was "fixed" in later revisions of Sonic 1).
    • Spin Attack: Sonic's trademark maneuver. Comes in normal and Spin-Dash flavors (in certain games).
    • The Spiny: A fair number of badniks qualify, although since the standard attack method is to hit an enemy while curled into a ball rather than necessarily to hit it from above, some of these are covered in spikes or other harmful stuff on all sides, rather than just the top, and must be defeated by waiting for them to revert to a vulnerable state or using invincibility. Others, though, look more like the Spinies of other games and can be dispatched by rolling into them. Oddly enough, an enemy with this exact name is not an example of this.
    • Spiritual Successor: The Chao Gardens which debuted in the Adventure games are this to the Nightopians from NiGHTS Into Dreams. The Chao are even based on an upgraded version of the A-Life system from Ni GHTS.
    • Springs Springs Everywhere: Springboards are common objects in Sonic series. Often other things like bumpers and sometimes even clouds do the same thing too.
    • Sprint Shoes: Most games in the series have these, generally called High Speed Shoes/Super Sneakers/Power Sneakers depending on the game.
    • Starfish Robots: Dr. Eggman has created a ton of these. See the trope page for details.
    • Stealth Pun: Dr. Ivo "Eggman" Robotnik. "Ivo" is an anagram of "Ovi", the latin term for an egg.
      • And for a Bonus, according to Word of God, the "I" in "Ivo" is pronounced with a soft "e" like in many European languages instead of the usual English "ae", to make "Ivo" (Eevo) sound like "Evil".
    • Super Drowning Skills / Walk, Don't Swim: Since his first appearance in 1991, Sonic has never been able to swim. His allies, Tails and Knuckles, can. Sonic sinks like a rock in water and relies on air bubbles to survive underwater. This is taken to its logical extreme in some of the recent games, where even contact with water causes instant death.
      • In the Mario & Sonic games, Sonic wears a life jacket during the swimming events.
      • As of Sonic Colours, Sonic can swim upwards by jumping in the water, Mario-style. The yellow Wisp also turns him into a tornado underwater, giving him basically complete maneuverability. Suddenly the great blue terror isn't so terrible.
    • Super Mode: For Sonic, Shadow, and Silver when they get all seven Chaos Emeralds, their fur stands up and becomes golden. Admittedly, Yuji Naka actually is a fan of Dragon Ball, and it had a big influence on Sonic.
    • Super Speed: Sonic is the foremost example, but nearly every character in the series has some level of this, even Eggman.
      • Taken to the next level in the Movie where Metal Sonic is able to fly in and out of the atmosphere in seconds and both him and Sonic are able to get to distant parts of the world in very short amounts of time. Taken Up To Eleven in Sonic X where Sonic was able to outrun a lightning bolt in his base form.
    • Super Strength: While it is usually power characters like Knuckles and Omega that have this emphasized, almost all characters have some level of it. In the movie and Sonic X, even Sonic is capable of incredible feats of strength that would give game Knuckles pause.
    • Team Rocket Wins: In Sonic Adventure 2 this happens a couple of times. The destruction of Prison Island, the firing of the Eclipse Cannon and the scene where Sonic nearly dies.
    • Temporary Platform: All over the place in numerous games.
    • Theme Music Power-Up: When Sonic goes Super Mode, usually by the end of the game. Or when picking up invincibility power-up.
    • There Are No Adults: Only Cream is shown to have a parent, and only one adult, Dr. Robotnik, is a main cast member.
    • This Is a Drill: Classic Sonic games had at least one type of badnik with a drill. Sonic 2 and 3 also had bosses with drills. Sonic Colors introduces enemies with drills to 3D.
      • One of the bosses in Sonic Unleashed had a drill.
      • Sonic Colors also has the yellow wisps which turn Sonic into a drill.
    • Three-Point Landing: Sonic and friends like to do that in newer games sometimes.
      • Chip subverts this multiple times at first, but finally manages a perfect landing just before the final level.
    • Took a Level in Badass: Tails has a noticeable one between Sonic Adventure and SA2, he builds himself a mech and is actually useful, and is somewhat able to think for himself.
    • Trademark Favorite Food: Chili dogs, for Sonic himself.
    • Treasure Is Bigger in Fiction: Most notably, the Rings, Chaos Emeralds and the Master Emerald.
    • Underwater Ruins: One level in almost every game is set amidst underwater ruins.
    • Unwilling Roboticisation: Eggman's modus operandi in some games, specially the early ones.
    • Unwitting Pawn: Knuckles the Echidna, Silver, and possibly Shadow.
    • Vaporware: Sonic X-Treme
    • Video Game Flight: Tails' tails come in handy. Err, tail-y.
    • Video Game Lives
    • Video Game Long Runners: We are talking about a franchise that has run for two decades, has dozens of games under it's belt (not counting how many ports and re-releases there are) has made possibly dozens, maybe hundreds of cameos in other games, has starred in an absolutely monstrous amount of tie-in comics and merchandise, four different cartoon series and an anime movie, and has sold over 50 million games worldwide. And from the looks of things, he ain't going nowhere anytime soon.
    • Video Game Settings: The series has always shamelessly used every standard platform level style.
    • Wave Motion Gun: The ARK's Eclipse Cannon in Sonic Adventure 2 and Shadow the Hedgehog, the Chaos Energy Cannon in Sonic Unleashed, the Death Egg in Sonic 3 & Knuckles.
    • Wheel-O-Feet: The series staple of pretty much all characters who could actually run, though Shadow is a subversion with his "air skates", and Tails with his... tails. While the 2D games showed this whenever Sonic or Knuckles reached top speed, The 3D games brought about a 'motion blur' when they reached top speed (indicated by their hands flowing freely behind their backs). Since the 3D games primarily place the camera behind the character, however, it's hard to notice the effects of top speed.
    • When All Else Fails Go Right: In his first three games, Sonic is always travelling from left to right across the various zones; it's understood that, even in the more maze-like sections, the intention is to go to the right.
      • The only exception in the original three (and a half) games is the final Death Egg zone, where the intention is still mostly to go to the right, but much more important than that is going up.
      • There are many examples in Sonic 2 where you go up or left. Particular examples are Chemical Plant Zone and Mystic Cave Zone, which involve you having to go up, down, left and right several times to reach the end..
      • There are several times when he is travelling left in Sonic 3 And Knuckles.
      • The Sega Master System / Game Gear games were not very different. Only two levels in that Sonic 1 involve climbing and Sonic Chaos features one special stage where the Chaos Emerald is above you.
    • White Gloves: Again, pretty much all the characters, even some of the humans.
    • Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: A good majority of the characters' names.
    • Xtreme Kool Letterz: Some of the album titles use the word 'Trax' or 'Soundtrax.'

    1. Incidentally, despite being called "Emeralds," they are seldom green.
    2. Also known as Sonic Championship
    3. and the fact that his voice actor is also an English teacher
    4. The trope's original name was "Sonic Syndrome"