Despite early criticism, Sonic the Hedgehog is exceeding all expectations at the box office. Jeff Fowler’s film now holds the highest-grossing opening weekend for a video game movie ever, topping last year’s POKÉMON Detective Pikachu. For the most part, movies based on video games have a terrible track record, but after the commerical success of Rampage, Detective Pikachu, and now Sonic, the genre may be on the rise.
If you’re a long-time fan of the franchise, you’ll be happy to know Sonic the Hedgehog was jam-packed with Easter eggs and video game references. From the debut of Sonic’s mentor and protector to Doctor Robotnik’s final form, here is every hidden reference we could find while watching the movie. If you know of an Easter egg, we forgot, let us know in the comments below. Enjoy!
(WARNING: SONIC THE HEDGEHOG SPOILERS AHEAD)
8. The Echidna Tribe
At the beginning of the film, baby Sonic and Longclaw are attacked by a group of creators wearing masks and headdresses. Although it may not have been overly obvious initially if you look closely, these unknown assailants are more than likely Echidnas. For those less familiar, Echidnas are anthropomorphic, dreadlocked animals known for their red fur and spiked knuckles. Much like Dr. Robotnik, the Echidnas are enemies of Sonic the Hedgehog.
The most well-known member of these red-furred animals is Knuckles, of the Knuckles Clan. The character was created by Takashi Yuda and first introduced as Sonic’s newest rival in Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (1994), before being given a much more significant role in Sonic & Knuckles (1994).Source: Screenshot via Paramount Pictures
7. The Sega Cinematic Universe
During the opening credits, all the stars that surround the mountain in the Paramount Pictures logo were replaced with gold rings. While this is likely nothing more than a clever Easter egg, given how well Sonic the Hedgehog has performed at the box office, there’s a strong chance Sega follows in Marvel’s footsteps and develops a shared universe of their own.
Both post-credit scenes (which we’ll discuss in further detail below) strongly hinted at the likelihood of a sequel, which means if the Sonic continues to exceed expectations, it’s only a matter of time before Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is announced, and the Sega Cinematic Universe begins. While that might sound a little premature, given Paramount’s willingness to redesign Sonic in the first place, its possible the studio was banking on Sonic being what Iron Man was to the MCU. When the response to the original designs were so negative, Paramount had no choice to delay the film and redesign the character.Source: Screenshot via Paramount Pictures
6. “Sanic Hegehog” a.k.a the “Blue Devil”
During the film, a local, known to residents of Green Hills as Crazy Carl, does his best to warn townsfolk of a “Blue Devil” terrorizing the town. He waves around his rendition of the creature, and it looks exactly like the meme pictured below. Interestingly enough, Sonic’s racing car in Sonic Drift 2 for the Sega Game Gear was called the “Blue Devil.”
One of the strangest Easter eggs in the movie was Crazy Carl paying homage to the famous “Sanic Hegehog” meme. Back in March of 2010, YouTuber 0nyxheart uploaded a video of his sketch, titled “How 2 Draw Sanic Hegehog,” a step-by-step guide on how to draw the perfect Sanic. The original video has been taken down by 0nyxheart, but it was later re-uploaded by fans.Source: Screenshot via 0nyxheart
5. Gotta Go Fast!
If you’re not too familiar with the video game franchise, this particular Sonic the Hedgehog reference might have gone unnoticed. After Tom and Sonic narrowly avoid being captured by Dr. Robotnik’s machines during a high-speed chase, Sonic is left unconscious following an explosion. To revive the blue speedster, Tom’s wife Maddie uses smelling salts, and upon waking up, Sonic says, “Gotta go fast,” a well-known catchphrase of the iconic Sega character.
This motto also serves as the title of the theme song from Sonic X, a popular anime series based on the Sonic the Hedgehog video game series. The 78-episode series ran from April 2003 to March 2006 and was split into eight sagas.Source: Screenshot via Paramount Pictures
4. Bonus Life
During the high-speed chase mentioned above, Sonic narrowly avoids an explosion, and upon his recovery, cheekily says that he must’ve had a “bonus life.” This might be our favorite video game reference in the movie because it could suggest that Sonic is aware that’s he’s a video game character. For those less familiar, in the video games, when Sonic collects 100 gold rings, he gets a bonus life.
Interestingly enough, during that same sequence, a family van is struck by Dr. Robotnik’s power-draining weapon, and if you look closely, a Chao sticker can be seen of the van’s dashboard. The Chao are tiny, fairy-like creators from the Sonic the Hedgehog series. This pudding-shaped species first appearance in Sonic Adventure (1998) for the Sega Dreamcast.Source: Screenshot via Paramount Pictures
3. Race Car Bed
In the closing moments of the film, Tom and Maddie surprise Sonic by moving the blue speedster’s home from under a tree in the forest to the attic of their home. As Sonic is happily looking around his new room, a red race car bed can be seen under the window. What some fans might not know is this bed is a reference to the Sonic the Hedgehog comic book series.
Sonic’s race car bed made its first appearance in issue #51, titled “Reality Bytes.” During this particular issue, Sonic is presented with a bravery award for defeating Dr. Robotnik, but the medal was booby-trapped with a virus, sending Sonic into a virtual reality nightmare.Source: Screenshot via Paramount Pictures
2. Doctor Robotnik’s Final Form
Jim Carrey’s take on Doctor Robotnik was incredible, but it was the character’s evolving look throughout the movie that surprised us. Initially, Robotnik is introduced in an all-black outfit, but by the end of the film, the mad scientist dons a more traditional red costume and goggles. In the post-credit sequence, we discover that Robotnik is not only stranded on the Mushroom Planet, but he’s also shaved his head and grown out his mustache. As you can see below, that final transformation is outstanding.
This scene also gave us a better picture of the previously uninhabited Mushroom world, which is undoubtedly a reference to Mushroom Hill Zone, the introductory world featured in Sonic & Knuckles.Source: Screenshot via Paramount Pictures
1. Miles “Tails” Prower Has Arrived
Sonic the Hedgehog had its fair share of nostalgic moments, but in our opinion, nothing quite stacks up to Miles “Tails” Prower arriving Green Hills, Montana through a portal ring during the mid-credit sequence. We have no idea why Tails has come in search of Sonic, but we have a strong feeling it has to do with the Echidna tribe teased at the beginning of the film.
For those less familiar with Sonic’s best friend and sidekick, the orangey-yellow, anthropomorphic fox with two tails made his first appearance in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, released for the Sega Genesis back in November of 1992. Tails can fly by twirling his two tails, similar to that of a Helicopter and, much like Dr. Robotnik, is someone of a prodigy with mechanics.
Source: Screenshot via Sega/TMS Entertainment