February 17, 2020 | Phillip Hamilton

Gotta Go Fast! 50 High-Speed Facts About Sonic The Hedgehog

Sonic the Hedgehog is an undeniable gaming heavyweight. Since his initial dash onto the scene, everyone’s favorite blue hedgehog has dominated consoles and run circles around the competition. The Sonic franchise has created an extremely dedicated fanbase, tons of spinoffs, and forays into almost every medium imaginable. Now, with the release of the Sonic the Hedgehog movie, Sonic looks to capture the hearts of a whole new set of fans. Things are looking good for the little blue legend.

But there’s a lot more to Sonic than meets the eye. Here are 50 fast facts about the Blue Blur. Gotta go fast!

1. Step Aside, Kidd

Before Sonic took his place as Sega's mascot, the role belonged to Alex Kidd. The Alex Kidd games predate Sonic and were meant to combat Super Mario Bros., with Alex Kidd hopefully being the face of Sega the way Mario was with Nintendo. Unfortunately, Alex didn’t catch on in the US, so they decided to try again with Sonic.

Sonic The Hedgehog facts Wikimedia Commons

2. Sonic the Rabbit

Sonic was originally designed as a rabbit! When Sega decided they needed a new mascot, they held an internal design competition. They designed over 200 characters, but the team gravitated toward a rabbit who would throw objects with its ears. The team ultimately chose to go with the hedgehog, however, as the throwing mechanic slowed down the pace of the game.

Sonic The Hedgehog factsPexels

3. To The Streets

Before he was created, Sega took to Central Park and asked passersby their opinions on their initial designs to determine what Sonic should look like. The blue hedgehog was a clear winner, and SEGA says it was because the hedgehog “transcends race and gender.”

Sonic The Hedgehog factsShutterstock

4. Sharp Rat

Sonic’s original codename was “Mr. Needlemouse!” Probably good that didn’t stick.

Sonic The Hedgehog factsFlickr, BagoGames


5. Gotta Go Back

The premiere of the Sonic The Hedgehog movie trailer didn’t go as well as Paramount wanted. Fans showed outrage with the “realistic” look of the titular character. They complained about the teeth (teeth!?!), eyes, lack of gloves—everything, really. This convinced the team to push the release date and take the time to completely reanimate Sonic.

Sonic The Hedgehog factsSonic the Hedgehog (2019), Paramount Pictures

6. That Can’t be Cheap

Unsurprisingly, the complete redesign was costly for the company. The original rumor was that it cost around $35 million. This estimate, however, was allegedly too high, and a source told IndieWire.com that the number is closer to $5 million. Well, it's already made that much back at the box office, so I'm sure they're feeling good about it now.

Sonic The Hedgehog factsSonic the Hedgehog (2020), Paramount Pictures

7. Rapping About Hedgehogs

Rap heavyweights Wiz Khalifa, Ty Dolla $ign, Lil Yachty, and Sueco the Child perform the lead song on the Sonic the Hedgehog movie soundtrack, "Speed Me Up." The release of the song comes with a pixelized music video featuring the rappers in the Sonic universe.

Sonic The Hedgehog factsGetty Images

8. Famous Friends

Horror legend John Carpenter is a huge fan of the Sonic games. In an interview, he said, “I even like the one where he turns into a werewolf,” referring to Sonic Unleashed, a universally panned entry of the series. Come on John, really?

Halloween Film Franchise factsGetty Images

9. The Rolling Green

Many aspects of the Sonic games took inspiration from pop artist Eizin Suzuki. Suzuki creates extremely colorful, cartoon-ish scenes. The team also took inspiration from the State of California for the iconic Green Hill Zone!

Sonic The Hedgehog factsFlickr, Karen


Sign up to our newsletter.

History’s most fascinating stories and darkest secrets, delivered to your inbox daily. Making distraction rewarding since 2017.

Thank you!
Error, please try again.

10. Getting Slippery With It

Every iteration of Sonic features his red-and-white shoes. With the release of Sonic Adventure on the Dreamcast, these shoes were branded as Artemis Innovations “Soap” shoes. These were shoes you could actually purchase. They have plastic under the arch to let people grind on railings, much like Sonic does in Sonic Adventure. Like Heelys, but way more dangerous!

Sonic The Hedgehog factsSonic the Hedgehog (2020), Paramount Pictures


11. Jackson and Clinton and Santa, Oh My!

Sonic’s shoes take inspiration from Michael Jackson’s boots. Santa Claus, of all people, inspired the color, as well as Michael Jackson’s Bad album cover. Sonic’s “can-do” attitude took inspiration from an even stranger source: Bill Clinton!

1990s FactsNeedpix

12. That’s a Banger

It was long rumored that Michael Jackson created the music for Sonic the Hedgehog 3—and finally, the game’s music director revealed the truth. Jackson was a huge Sonic fan, and had been involved in the game’s music. However, he had to drop out at the last minute. His music was mostly reworked, and he went uncredited. Apparently, SEGA still has a demo tape lying around—but is the world ready to hear it?

Sonic The Hedgehog factsWikipedia

13. Carrey-ing the Film

One of the most exciting aspects of the Sonic film is the inclusion of Jim Carrey as Dr. Robotnik. When asked about playing Robotnik again, Carrey said, “I wouldn't mind going to do another Sonic the Hedgehog movie because it was so much fun.”

Sonic The Hedgehog factsShutterstock

14. Speeding Through Your Brain

A team of neuroscientists named a set of proteins in your brain "Sonic Hedgehog." The proteins help separate the right and left halves of the brain. The person responsible is a huge fan of the Sonic...comics. You read that right: they knew Sonic from the comics, not the games.

Science Experiments FactsShutterstock

15. Snatching the Title

The first Sonic game was a huge factor in the Sega Genesis’ success. The year Sonic the Hedgehog was released, the Genesis outsold the Super Nintendo Entertainment System two-to-one between October and December. This was the first time Nintendo was outsold since 1985.

Sonic The Hedgehog factsFlickr, Joe Haupt

16. Walking Proud

Sonic is so important that he earned a star on the Walk of Game. The Walk of Game emulated the Hollywood Walk of Fame on the ground of the Sony Metreon in California. Other video game characters with stars were Mario, Link, and Master Chief.

Sonic The Hedgehog factsWikimedia Commons


17. Silver Screen Sneak

The Sonic the Hedgehog movie isn’t the first time Sonic will appear on the big screen. He first appeared briefly in Wreck-It-Ralph, alongside Robotnik!

Sonic The Hedgehog factsWreck-It Ralph (2012), Walt Disney Animation Studios

18. The Speed is a Lie

According to the first Sonic game’s instruction manual, it’s his shoes that give Sonic his speed! Mystery solved, folks.

Sonic The Hedgehog factsShutterstock

19. Twinning

In case you haven’t noticed, hedgehogs aren’t typically blue. The company decided to make Sonic blue to match the iconic SEGA logo.

Persian Empire FactsPexels

20. Water Wings, Please

Sonic can’t swim, even though hedgehogs in real life can. Apparently, Yuji Naka, Sonic's creator, “assumed that hedgehogs can't swim […]” He later saw a photo of hedgehogs swimming. We can only assume it blew his mind.

Sonic The Hedgehog factsFlickr, Sonic Retro

21. Credit Your Team!

Back in the days of the Genesis, Sega had some interesting opinions on credits. They refused to allow post-game credits, as they wanted Sonic and other games to be associated with Sega rather than the individuals who made them (not a great look today). Sonic creator Yuji Naka didn’t like this, and hid pre-game credits in the games. He made the text black on black, and only visible through a cheat code.

Sonic The Hedgehog factsFlickr, BagoGames

22. Hear That, Kids?

Yuji Naka also stated in an interview that Sonic needs eight hours of sleep per night. If he doesn’t get that, he can’t run as well. Take a lesson from Sonic!

Sonic The Hedgehog facts Wikimedia Commons


23. Not Fast Enough, Bye

If you wait for three minutes without moving in Sonic CD, Sonic will say “I’m outta here” and jump off-stage, resulting in a game over. Should’ve gone faster!

Weird House Rules FactsPixabay

24. The Reason...For Sonic!

A number of notable musical acts have performed theme songs for Sonic games. Crush 40 produced the music for Sonic 3D Blast, and Zebrahead’s Ali Tabatabaee and Matty Lewis did the music for Sonic ’06. The best credit though? Hoobastank’s lead singer sang the theme for Sonic Forces. Hoobastank!

Sonic The Hedgehog factsWikimedia Commons

25. Speeding Into the Hearts of Millions

The original Sonic the Hedgehog game sold 15 million copies, with Sonic 2 coming in at six million. That’s a lot, especially compared to the more recent title Sonic Boom, which sold 490,000 copies following its release. Sorry folks, the 90s are over.

Sonic The Hedgehog factsFlickr, BagoGames

26. Getting Animated

Sonic first sped onto television in Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, an animated series from DiC Animation. The show featured Jaleel White (best known for playing Urkel on Family Matters) as the voice of Sonic! Each episode even featured a PSA at the end, given by Sonic.

Sonic The Hedgehog factsAdventures of Sonic the Hedgehog (1993–1996), Sega of America

27. Bolting Into First

Sonic’s first appearance in video games wasn’t actually in his own game! The arcade game Rad Mobile, which released about four months before the original Sonic, featured the blue hedgehog as an ornament hanging from the rear-view mirror of a playable car.

Sonic The Hedgehog factsWikipedia

28. X-Tremely Cancelled

With the release of the Sega Saturn came the promise of a new Sonic game, Sonic X-treme. This would have been the first 3D entry in the series, but sadly, it got canceled for a bizarre reason: Staff illness made it impossible to meet the release date. And to make things worse, the lack of a flagship Sonic game is considered a major factor in the failure of the Saturn.

Sonic The Hedgehog factsFlickr, Farley Santos

29. Sonic the Alien

In Sonic movie's trailer, Sonic says, “Looks like I’m going to have to save your planet,” leading many to believe Sonic is an alien.  The film’s location manager confirmed this, saying, “Sonic is a video game character, who is an alien. The story is kind of ala E.T.. In the sense of a small town coming together to help the sheriff save our alien.”

Sonic The Hedgehog factsSonic the Hedgehog (2020), Paramount Pictures

30. Now That’s Fast

Video game speedrunning is exploding in popularity, and you'd better believe people try to beat the Sonic games as fast as possible. These records are changing hands all the time as new strategies are discovered, but currently, a runner named Phozon holds the record for beating Sonic the Hedgehog with a blistering time of 14:59. That run marks the first time anyone has ever broken the 15-minute barrier.

Sonic The Hedgehog factsSonic the Hedgehog (2020), Paramount Pictures

31. Not Our Sonic

Even the creators of Sonic weren’t pleased with the movie's first trailer. Sonic’s original designer, Naoto Ohshima said, “Sonic is a fairy of hedgehog, so he doesn’t need to be designed closer to a real hedgehog […] Mickey doesn’t become a mouse in live-action, does he?” Oh gosh, Disney, please no...

Sonic The Hedgehog factsWikimedia Commons

32. Now That’s Our Sonic

Thankfully, the updated trailer was more pleasing. Yuji Naka said of it, “The design is much more Sonic-like.” He still had one criticism, though: “His eyes still aren’t joined together. I feel that is a bit strange.” Right?!

Sonic The Hedgehog factsSonic the Hedgehog (2020), Paramount Pictures

33. Trusting the Fans

Sonic Mania is one of the most praised Sonic games in recent memory. Released in 2017, Sega actually hired members of the Sonic fangame and hacking community to make the game! They made Sonic Mania emulate the look and feel of the original Genesis titles, but with all-new levels and characters. It was exactly what beleaguered Sonic fans had been looking for after decades of mediocre 3D entries.

Sonic The Hedgehog factsShutterstock

34. Bear, Meet Hedgehog

The filmmakers used Ted of the popular Ted film series as a reference point for inserting a CGI Sonic into the real world. Who else kind of wants a Ted and Sonic crossover film? Anyone? No? Yes?

Sonic The Hedgehog factsTed (2012), Universal Pictures

35. The Name Game!

Want to see who your hedgehog is? Simply Google “your name + the hedgehog,” and a fan-made hedgehog with your name will probably pop up! Thank you, Sonic fans.

Search Histories factsShutterstock

36. DIY Sonic

Sonic Forces was the first Sonic game to allow players to make their own character! When asked about the choice to include this, Takashi Lizuka said, "this whole understanding of how American fans are interacting with the character was the seed." Another instance of Sonic Team showing love to the fans. Unfortunately though, as with just about every 3D Sonic, the game was a flop with critics and fans alike.

Sonic The Hedgehog factsFlickr, BagoGames

37. Most Meme-able Hedgehog

Like many characters, Sonic has seen his fair share of memes. These include the notoriously popular Ugandan Knuckles and “Sanic hegehog,” a poorly-drawn MS Paint Sonic. Even Sonic’s official Twitter account is known to share these memes, with the account runner saying, “Half the time we post a meme and we look at the responses and they just crack us up. People are in on the joke, and they’re joking back with us.”

Sonic The Hedgehog factsFlickr, Alex Isse Neutron

38. Come Together

Sonic and Nintendo tend to get along these days. The regularly released Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games series has the two competing in Olympic sports, Sonic Lost World features a Zelda DLC level, and of course, Sonic has been a playable character in the last two Super Smash Bros.

Sonic The Hedgehog factsShutterstock

39. Slow Down!

In Sonic 3, it’s possible to go too fast! One developer of Sonic Mania says in an interview that it’s possible to go so fast that Sonic clips through aspects of the stage, effectively breaking the game.

Sonic The Hedgehog factsWikipedia

40. I See What You Did There

The tagline for the Sonic the Hedgehog film is, “Every hero has a genesis.” This is a sly reference to the Sega Genesis, Sonic’s debut console. Get it?!

Sonic The Hedgehog factsWikimedia Commons

41. Hands Off, Sega

Sega Europe president Gary Dale said that the company has had a very “hands-off” role in the film. He stated, “Obviously we have a very deep knowledge of the character and the brand. [Paramount] has a very deep knowledge of how to make movies. The trick is just to bring those two skillsets together to make the best film we can.”

Sonic The Hedgehog factsSonic the Hedgehog (2020), Paramount Pictures

42. Running from Panel to Panel

Among countless other properties, Sonic also had a comic book! Developed by the Archie Comics team, Sonic the Hedgehog is the longest-running monthly comic book series to never be relaunched. The comic ran for 24 years before cancellation.

Sonic The Hedgehog factsFlickr, AntMan3001

43. A Rocky Road

Sonic has been trying to bolt onto the silver screen for a while, now. The first Sonic film was to be a tie-in with Sonic X-treme, but Sega canceled it alongside the game. Next would be Sonic the Hedgehog: Wonders of the World, which writers pitched to Sega and DreamWorks, who ultimately rejected it. Then Sony got the rights and worked on an animated film for a while, until Paramount took over and changed the whole thing up. What a journey!

Sonic The Hedgehog factsSonic the Hedgehog (2020), Paramount Pictures

44.  Buried and Forgotten

In order to maintain some integrity for the series, Sega delisted a few negatively reviewed Sonic games in 2010. This means retailers wouldn’t get restocks. Some of these games included Sonic ’06, Sonic and the Black Knight, and Sonic Unleashed.

Sonic The Hedgehog factsFlickr, BagoGames

45. Breaking the Curse

Movie studios have been trying to crack the "Video Game Movie" nut for decades, but just about every single movie based on a video game has been a failure both critically and financially. Sonic was by far the biggest character to get a movie adaptation in decades, so Paramount had high hopes...and they were rewarded! Sonic the Hedgehog raced to a $70 million dollar opening weekend in the US, and over $113 worldwide. It was the most successful opening for any video game movie ever.

Plus, while critics aren't exactly in love with the film, anything better than a 10% on Rotten Tomatoes is pretty much a critical success for a video game at this point. Since Sonic is currently sitting at a 66%, we'll call it a win!

Forrest Gump factsPixabay

46. Pick a Name, Any Name

There’s some debate over the name of Sonic's greatest enemy, Dr. Robotnik. The first English game claims his name is Dr. Ivo Robotnik, where the Japanese version says Dr. Eggman. And to make matters even more confusing, Sonic Adventure uses both names! It’s now canon that his full name is Dr. Ivo “Eggman” Robotnik, with Eggman being a nickname based on his weight. Rude!

Sonic The Hedgehog factsSonic the Hedgehog (2020), Paramount Pictures

47. Sonic Sinks

Sonic was a balloon in the 1993 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade! But the wind did not carry success that day. The Sonic balloon ended up bursting and deflating, resulting in two injuries. Oh, the humanity!

Sonic The Hedgehog factsShutterstock

48. Not the Best Anniversary

The 2006 Sonic the Hedgehog game came out for Sonic’s 15th anniversary. It was meant as a reboot of the franchise, and fans were insanely excited for its release. Only…it wasn’t very good. In fact, it was awful. The game is frequently touted as one of the worst of all time for its glitches, loading times, and the decision to give Sonic a human love interest....who he kisses...on the lips...

Why, Sega?

Sonic The Hedgehog factsFlickr, AntMan3001

49. A Ladies Hedgehog

If that wasn't bad enough, Sonic almost had a human girlfriend before the arrival of Sonic ’06! Her name was Madonna, and she played in a rock band with an alligator and monkey. The idea never made it off the cutting room floor for…some reason.

Ridiculous FactsPiqsels

50. Marketing Black Magic

Some conspiracy-minded folks saw the whole Sonic redesign debacle as an advertising scheme. Their theories claim that the “good” Sonic redesign already existed, and Paramount revealed the “bad” one to generate interest and outrage across the internet. The company never intended for Sonic to look that way. What do you think, was it New Coke all over again? Maybe we'll never know...

Sonic The Hedgehog factsSonic the Hedgehog (2020), Paramount Pictures

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46

More from Factinate

Featured Article

My mom never told me how her best friend died. Years later, I was using her phone when I made an utterly chilling discovery.

Featured Article

Madame de Pompadour was the alluring chief mistress of King Louis XV, but few people know her dark history—or the chilling secret shared by her and Louis.

More from Factinate

Featured Article

I tried to get my ex-wife served with divorce papers. I knew that she was going to take it badly, but I had no idea about the insane lengths she would go to just to get revenge and mess with my life.

Featured Article

Catherine of Aragon is now infamous as King Henry VIII’s rejected queen—but few people know her even darker history.

Dear reader,

Want to tell us to write facts on a topic? We’re always looking for your input! Please reach out to us to let us know what you’re interested in reading. Your suggestions can be as general or specific as you like, from “Life” to “Compact Cars and Trucks” to “A Subspecies of Capybara Called Hydrochoerus Isthmius.” We’ll get our writers on it because we want to create articles on the topics you’re interested in. Please submit feedback to contribute@factinate.com. Thanks for your time!

Do you question the accuracy of a fact you just read? At Factinate, we’re dedicated to getting things right. Our credibility is the turbo-charged engine of our success. We want our readers to trust us. Our editors are instructed to fact check thoroughly, including finding at least three references for each fact. However, despite our best efforts, we sometimes miss the mark. When we do, we depend on our loyal, helpful readers to point out how we can do better. Please let us know if a fact we’ve published is inaccurate (or even if you just suspect it’s inaccurate) by reaching out to us at contribute@factinate.com. Thanks for your help!

Warmest regards,

The Factinate team

Want to learn something new every day?

Join thousands of others and start your morning with our Fact Of The Day newsletter.

Thank you!

Error, please try again.