With a cast as large as Sonic the Hedgehog’s, Sonic has no shortage of potential romantic partners.
In the leadup to the third feature film in the Sonic the Hedgehog cinematic universe, the Sonic fandom eagerly awaits the answer to one of gaming’s most prominent questions: who will be Sonic’s relationship partner? Today, we attempt to answer this question by examining ships between Sonic and every prominently featured character in the films Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Sorry comic book fans, we will not be examining the characters exclusive to comic book specials by IBW publishing.
While we cannot rule out that Sonic had an Oedipus complex that would lead him to feel attraction to his childhood maternal figure, getting Longclaw to move from a maternal relationship with Sonic to a romantic one is not the largest obstacle preventing this ship from coming into canon, and neither is the rather extreme species and size discrepancy. According to the prequel comic to the second film, Longclaw is dead. As the Sonic films up to this point have been rated PG, adding necrophilia as a prominent factor in the relationship in addition to the aforementioned factors would likely force a higher rating, leading us to rule this one out.
The subject of the largest number of Sonic-related ships within AO3’s Sonic the Hedgehog (2020) category and the subject of Sonic’s longing during his time living in secrecy after first arriving at Green Hills, Tom was able to mitigate Sonic’s greatest problem in his life, his loneliness. While this would be a prime candidate for a friends to lovers dynamic as they continue to grow close after their countless adventures and fishing trips together, the issue of marital infidelity would become more problematic, as Tom choosing Sonic over his wife Maddie would leave Sonic in a broken home, with Sonic himself being the cause of the rift, a great tragedy that we do not foresee being included in the films.
This ship faces similar problems as Sonic x Tom, in that the advancement of the ship would negatively impact the Wachowski household as a whole, leading me to rule this out for the same reasons listed above.
Tom Wachowski + Maddie Wachowski
This ship, however, avoids the problem of breaking up the Wachowski household, creating a far more stable intergenerational found family of lovers dynamic completely divorced from the incest implicaitons the dynamic can have in other media. This is arguably the most conventional and family-friendly of the Sonic x Human ships, making it fairly safe to depict on screen.
The compatibility in this relationship is obvious; affection between the Wachowski family’s dog and Sonic is frequent and often physical, but unfortunately, there are significant issues with consent that act as obstacles in depicting relationships between non-human real world animals on screen that will likely prevent this ship from coming to fruition on the big screen.
While Sonic was the primary object of Robotnik’s desire during the course of the first film, Robotnik has unfortunately moved on towards pursuing the Master Emerald and dispassionately casting aside anything that does not advance him towards this goal. While there may still be hope that Sonic can be the one to get him to take his mind off his goals momentarily to pursue a passionate romantic affair on the side just as Amy was able to romance Sheldon Cooper in The Big Bang Theory, the chances of Sonic filling this role over Agent Stone, the subject of AO3’s most popular ship in the cinematic universe by far, are rather slim, unfortunately.
While Sonic and Stone have had minor interactions over the course of the films, their attention during these instances was primarily directed towards Robotnik, not exactly conducive to developing a romantic connection. As Stone continues to devote his live towards serving Robotnik and Sonic continues to oppose his schemes for world domination, they are likely to spend a fair amount of time together, but them spending this time meaningfully interacting on a personal level will likely hinge on whether their relations with Robotnik remain as they are or if the status quo changes, turning them from enemies to allies to lovers.
Rachel’s first impression of Sonic was overwhelmingly negative, with her having to be physically restrained to prevent her from exercising the full extent of her wrath on Sonic. After crashing her wedding and ruining the most important day of her life, by turning it into a military operation, Sonic is arguably her greatest enemy with a personal vendetta against him arguably greater than anyone else in the main cast. Them to put aside their past grievances with each other to become romantic partners seems unlikely at this point.
This ship forces us to ask an uncomfortable question: is Sonic minor-coded? And if so, is even considering ships between Sonic and adult humans problematic? Additionally, Sonic being considered minor-coded may still leave the relationship with a significant relative age gap due to the difference in species aging and power dynamic due to Sonic’s superior physical abilities. And how would Sonic and Jojo’s relative aging impact a potential age gap as time passes? It’s probably best that this ship is never addressed.
Despite being one of Sonic’s many subjects of observation before meeting the Wachowskis, Sonic did not express any feelings of longing for Wade like he did with other humans. Wade as a character is for the most part defined by his incompetence. His involvement in the plots of both films are purely by accident and circumstance. He would likely feel in over his head during any of Sonic’s endeavors to save the world and would likely work towards reducing Sonic’s ambitions if he was in a relationship with Sonic, working against the film industry’s push towards grander and more exciting adventures, making this pairing unlikely to be made official.
Randall x Sonic would be a rather problematic ship to include from a plot perspective, as up to this point, Randall’s character is defined solely by his relationships with both Rachel and G.U.N., both enemies of Sonic to varying degrees, which would make a relationship between the two something that Sonic would likely rather avoid to maintain a comfortable distance from his enemies. If Randall was to approach Sonic unprompted seeking a relationship, Sonic would likely suspect that it was another G.U.N. ploy to capture him in the same vein as Operation: Catfish. However, if a relationship was to emerge between the two as fugitives on the run from two common enemies, there remains great potential that will likely remain untapped by any official works.
Commander Walters of G.U.N. objectifies Sonic more than anyone else in the film series. After all, capturing Sonic has been his primary mission ever since the US government became aware of his existence. Unlike Dr. Robotnik, however, his interactions with Sonic are minimal, leading him to continue to treat Sonic as nothing more than an object. If this dynamic is explored, it will likely be a result of Sonic being captured and interrogated. While to advance the plot, Sonic will likely end up escaping from G.U.N. custody rather quickly, this doesn’t mean that Sonic won’t enjoy his time being objectified by a powerful man in uniform.
Miles “Tails” Prower
We again return to the question of whether or not the members of our otherworldly animal cast are minor-coded. Of the four confirmed to be on Earth, Tails is depicted as the least mature, with his most prominent goal in life being supporting Sonic in his endeavors. While this does create a relationship dynamic similar to Robotnik and Stone, the looming interpretation of the obedient follower being an immature and vulnerable child (or even that the Sonic is also an immature child) creates some issues when trying to put this ship in practice.
Knuckles the Echidna
The Sonic x Knuckles ship appears to fit the platonic ideal of a relationship as depicted in the defining work of our generation, MIT x Caltech. Sonic, much like MIT, is a bad boy with a reputation to maintain, and is confronted for the first time with a rival that equals him in ability for the first time. The early days of their rivalry reaches a climax as Sonic makes the most romantic of impressions on Knuckles after saving him from drowning, an act Knuckles takes as an attack in his hour of sorrow. If this isn’t the setup for passionate love, I don’t know what is.
However, Sonic x Knuckles has no chance of lasting long-term. It lacks the all-important X factor present in every interaction, intensifying the bad boy’s attraction and desire for his partner. The big dealbreaker in this relationship are Knuckles’ eyes - they’re purple, so unprovocative, unmysterious, and unmaroon. Not representative of the desire Sonic wants reflected back at him. While we have been shown that Knuckles is more than capable of turning into a maroon orb by curling into a ball, this state of being is temporary, and as the last of the echidnas, he will only remain a single maroon orb.
While this distinction would make him the most attractive member of the main cast to Sonic in its current state as no one else embodies “maroon orb” like Knuckles can, that will change in the next movie, where Sonic will finally meet someone that will fufill his unquenchable thirst for maroon orbs.
Shadow the Hedgehog
Once Shadow emerges from stasis to reveal his funky fresh maroon orbs, glistening with desire and mystery, marvelous and marble-like, looking at him with a mix of curiosity, bliss, and desire, Sonic will not be able to look at other romantic partners in the same way ever again. There’s no doubt about it; Sonic will end up with Shadow by the end of the next movie.