This article is about Sonic's appearance in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. For other uses, see Sonic The Hedgehog.

Sonic The Hedgehog (ソニック・ザ・ヘッジホッグ, Sonikku za Hejjihoggu) is a character from SEGA who appears in Super Smash Bros. Brawl as one of the two Third-Party characters (the other being Snake). Sonic was the first unlockable character to be playable prior to the game's release. He was first playable in Nintendo Media Summit in October 2007, shortly after he was confirmed to be in the game. A swift character, Sonic runs at an extremely fast pace that surpasses even Captain Falcon. Sonic dashes so fast that when wearing a Bunny Hood, he can outrace both the Big Blue track and the water slope on Distant Planet to the point of self-destructing. Also, if Sonic has a Bunny Hood, Superspicy Curry, and two Super Mushrooms, he can even outrun the iceburg on Summit. Nintendo Power states that since Sonic isn't well known for his fighting skills, some of his fighting moves were influenced by SEGA's fighting property, Virtua Fighter. A majority of Sonic's moves are also influenced by SEGA's Sonic The Fighters and (to a lesser extent) Sonic Battle.

Sonic is currently placed 25th on the Brawl tier list due to his excellent speed, good follow up ability, and being unpredictable, allowing him to fare decently against much higher tier characters. However, his low priority, lack of reliable finishing moves, and below-average match-ups puts him in the E tier.

How to Unlock

Sonic can be unlocked doing any one of these four tasks:

  • Play 300 Brawls, then defeat Sonic.
  • Complete Classic Mode with 10 characters, then defeat Sonic.
  • Fight for 10 hours or more (cumulative between multiple players) in Brawls, then defeat Sonic.
  • Have Sonic join you in the Subspace Emissary


Sonic is the fastest character in the game, in regards to movement speed (fastest dash speed, sixth fastest air speed, and very fast rolls). However, only about half of his moveset has speed to match, none of them being killing moves. Sonic's relatively small hitboxes and lack of a projectile (excluding his Spring jump which can only be used in the air, travels downward, and can be used by opponents if used on the ground) mean that he must stay close to the opponent in order to attack, but his aforementioned speed helps this problem. His ability to spinshot (hold Side B and release as one pushes the C-Stick downwards) allows him to quickly bypass the effects of most projectile campers, and his Side B has enough priority that it will clank and cancel out the effects of certain projectiles, such as Snakes C4. His tremendous running speed, combined with his Spin Charge special, Spring Jump, and down-air give him excellent follow up ability on pretty much every character.

Even though Sonic can easily rack up damage, he arguably has the hardest time landing a KO move, as all of his KO moves are unreliable, he has no guaranteed setups to them and he lacks an early KO move. Sonic has only four ways to reliably kill the opponent (backwards and upwards aerial, and side/down smash), all of which have weaknesses that prevent them from being reliable KO moves. All of Sonic's smash attacks have too slow start-up time to be reliable finishers.

Sonic is one of the more difficult characters to gimp in the game, given his tremendous vertical recovery, as well as his theoretically limitless horizontal recovery (Homing Attack) should an opponent be off the stage with him. Sonic has the ability to wall jump, however, should an opponent be in place at all, invincible or not, Sonic will not have enough time to both attack and successfully grab the edge. Sonic also has surprising survivability despite being a middleweight by nature. His DownB and SideB serve as excellent momentum cancel-ers, which when coupled with his ability to recover, can allow him to survive until very high percentages, not as long as the heaviest characters but still fairly long.

Sonic's attacks are primarily offensive in nature, and his air game and air speed are good enough to accommodate attacking in the sky, as well. Sonic can remain in the air indefinitely with careful use of his neutral special, Homing Attack, and with proper placement can either stage spike or gimp in this manner. Stage spiking in general is an excellent offensive strategy for Sonic; by running off the edge and immediately using back-air, many characters or opponents who focus on ledge-camping (such as Pit) can be caught off guard for either a kill or a tactical advantage. Sonic's speedy and long-lasting dash attack is another move that can catch opponents unexpectedly, and its traveling distance usually prevents significant retaliation, such as shield-grabbing.

Sonic has good punishment options. Many of Sonic's moves use the same spinning ball animation, making him a very difficult character to predict. Unlike some characters however, practice is required to fully unlock Sonic's punishment potential. Sonic has one of the best shields in the game, because of the speed it pops out and the multiple ways he can go into it. Sonic can cancel any of his Spin Dashes into a shield, Side B Spin Dash from the ground and Down B Spin Dash from the air. This allows Sonic to "fake-out" his opponents, causing them to make hasty moves on which Sonic can capitalize on. When an opponent goes into their knock down animation, Sonic's superior punishment comes into play. By moving closer to the opponent then stopping just outside their range, Sonic has the edge. Because of his speed, if they roll towards Sonic, away from Sonic or use their getup attack, Sonic can grab them as they finish their move. Sonic is surprisingly easy to grab out of his attacks, because many of his moves launch him straight at opponents, only to have Sonic finish the move next to the opponent.

Mastering Sonic's running game is crucial to Sonic's ability to perform at higher levels, and is one of the factors that makes him so difficult to play competitively. Sonic users take advantage of a variety of dash or dash-related techniques that are seldom used by other characters. Dash Dancing is much less useful in Brawl than it was in Melee, but it can be extremely useful for fake-outs in Sonic's gameplay, such as by running in one direction and then quickly turning the other way around to bait an opponent or catch him/her off-guard. It is often regarded by Sonic players that it is better to run away from your opponent and run back than to use roll-dodges to avoid opponent. This allows you to avoid damage, not be as easily punished, have more control over your actions, and be able to punish your opponents attacks. Dash Dance Pivots(Foxtrot away from opponent, then quickly dashdance backwards) are particularly effective for this, as they can cause almost immediate turnarounds and then grabs can then be used to punish opponents.

Sonics matchups are difficult to define, as they vary greatly from player to player, possibly moreso than for any other character. Sonic players to this day find it difficult to agree on which matchups are Sonic's worst. Depending on the play-style of the Sonic, he can have a decent matchup against almost any character in the game, even at competitive levels. Because of his prowess for mindgaming and switching up tactics, as well as the inherent strengths and weaknesses to each style of play, some Sonic mains argue that Sonic has no truly disadvantageous matchups as a character, and that his matchups are much more heavily influenced by playstyle than his actual attributes. However, most Sonic mains will agree that he does not have many, if any, truly advantageous matchups.


Ground Attacks

  • Neutral Attack - A left-handed punch, then a right-handed punch, then finally a side kick with the left leg. 7% damage. Can jab lock the first and second punch (much like Snake's neutral A). No lag, but extremely poor range.
  • Dash Attack - Rolls into a ball to hit anyone in his way, similar to when you press down while running in most Sonic games. 6% damage. Difficult to punish, even when shielded.
  • Strong Side - Stick out both of his feet, with both of his hands planted on the ground (appearance and knockback comparable to Pikachu's F-Tilt in Melee). 11% damage, in two hits. Decent in-close defensive move.
  • Strong Up - Kicks upward which hits two times (appearance comparable to C. Falcon's Up Smash). Decent knockback. 14 damage if both hits connect(7% per hit).
  • Strong Down - Foot sweep (appearance and knockback comparable to Sheik's D-Tilt in Melee). 6% damage. Can trip at tip, be used to pseudo-crawl, and/or combine with itself or other attacks well at early percents due to IASA frames.

  • Side Smash - Winds up his arm during the charge and attacks with a slow punch and yells "GO!". It has good knockback, but poor range and slow speed hinder it to be reliable. 14-19% damage. Can be angled. Tip of fist has high enough priority to clank with swords, and can punch through Meta Knight's Mach Tornado.
  • Up Smash - Sonic does a short jump and hangs at its apex for a bit doing a spin. Enemies that get hit are caught into this attack, and gets hit multiple times until the final hit, which does low knockback. Horrid lag time makes it very punishable. On the upside, it has a somewhat unpredictable nature if dashing and C-sticking from long-range due to Sonic's speed, which works great to land in a hit from a distance. Has minor meteor smashing properties towards the back of the move on around the 6th-7th hit. This attack is not recommended to use as a KO move due to its awful knockback, but if used effectively, it works well as a damage builder. 14-20% damage if all hits connect, which doesn't happen as often as Sonic players might like.
  • Down Smash - Spin Dashes back and forth over a short distance around him. It has good knockback, and decent range, but its slow start-up prevents it from being a reliable finisher. 12-19% damage. Presents a moving hurtbox for Sonic, and works well on opponents descending onto Sonic. Possesses three hitboxes, 1st with good knockback and the last hit having no KO power.
  • Ledge Attack - Gets up onto stage with a sort of flip-spin attack, returning to near the edge afterward. 8% damage. This attack resembles his 'cliffhanger flip' attack in Sonic Spinball.
  • 100% Ledge Attack - Sticks out foot then the other while on his back, two consecutive hits. 13% damage.
  • Floor Attack - Quick foot sweep, hits both sides. 6% damage.

Aerial Attacks

  • Neutral Aerial - Spins in place. Properties are similar to the properties of the Sex Kick. Low priority. This attack is more effective as a short hop aerial as opposed to high in the air, because its long animation can be punished easily. This move looks similar to his basic jump, which may be referencing the fact that in the classic Sonic games, Sonic only needed to jump in order to damage an enemy. Since jumping cannot damage in Brawl, this move simply accentuates his spinning motion to turn it into an attack that looks similar to his jump. 11% damage.
  • Forward Aerial - Drills at the enemy head first rotating his body, delivering multiple hits. Similar to Pikachu's/Falco's f-air.Below-average knockback, but is an excellent follow-up move out of throws and easy to follow-up on. Instantaneous start-up. Can also be effective when trying to gimp recoveries. Up to 13% damage. The player should be careful using it too close to the ground as it has terrible lag should Sonic touch the ground before he finishes the attack.
  • Back Aerial - Kicks behind him (appearance and knockback comparable to Samus's B-Air). One of Sonic's best killing moves, however it's too slow and has too low range to be a reliable KO move. 14% damage.
  • Up Aerial - A flip kick. First he splits his legs apart and out (capable of hitting enemies a bit to his sides) doing no significant knockback. Then he kicks up, knocking his opponents up with decent knockback. 9% damage. Good for juggling out of spin dash moves at early-mid percents. Using it in conjunction with Sonic's Spring Jump is a common KO strategy for Sonic; its meager knockback requires Sonic to hit opponents with his Up Aerial at a high altitude to land a KO, which he can attain using the Spring Jump. Has the most priority of any of Sonic's attacks. It can be used from the ground as well as the air to hit opponents. Its lag is minimal, even when landing on the ground Sonic doesn't suffer any lag and can follow through with another Uair.
  • Down Aerial - A Stall-Then-Fall aerial. Sonic stalls for a brief moment, then shoots downwards foot first. Appearance is comparable to Ganondorf's Wizard's Foot. This attack does not continue downwards until landing (although it does go down very far before stopping), but after some frames it can be cancelled with a Spring Jump. When used with a short hop, the attack gives Sonic the appearance of stomping. It has a good amount of lag when hitting the ground if not performed from high enough. Knockback is either diagonally vertical, or slightly down and horizontal at onset of move. 8% damage.

Grabs and Throws

  • Pummel - Knees the opponent. 3% damage. One of the fastest pummels in the game.
  • Forward Throw - Kicks opponent diagonally upward using a straight up kick (like a vertical split). Can follow with Up-Air juggles, but it can be heavily DI'ed backwards. 9% damage.
  • Back Throw - Does a back flip while spinning (and while holding the opponent) and slams them on the ground, sending them backwards with okay knockback. Appearance is similar to Pikachu's back throw in Melee. 8% damage.
  • Up Throw - Tosses the opponent slightly above him and then lands on his hands as if to do a push-up. His quills harden just before they make contact and the foe is shot upwards and at an angle. 12% damage in two quick hits. Excellent juggle early on, and great for follow-ups with Spring Jump later, though advanced players will horizontally DI. This throw is one of the most damaging in the game percentage wise, and its knockback can KO lightweights at high percents.
  • Down Throw - Throws them down and spins on them (similar to Jigglypuff's down throw but not quite the same), then knocks them a bit forward against the stage. Does a good amount of damage but has set horizontal knockback. 8% damage. Great for tech chasing or for getting opponents off the edge. This can be followed up with a DACUS as well.

Special Moves



Up: Does a front flip, then crosses arms with his index finger pointing out while making a teasing clicking tune, which forms into one of his signature poses.

Side: Does a figure eight peelout dash, saying "You're too slow!" in a teasing manner.

Down: Says: "C'mon, step it up!" while breakdancing.

Idle Animations

  • Turns towards/away from the player, waving his finger in a patronizing manner while grinning. This is the same as the final part of his promotion video on the DOJO website before he takes off. He also did this on the title screen for a few of his games.
  • Taps his foot impatiently. This is similar to his idle animation from the classic Sonic The Hedgehog games for the Sega Genesis.


Go, Go Sonic!

In competitive play

Role in Subspace Emissary

Sonic in the SSE

Sonic does not appear in the Subspace Emissary until the final battle with Tabuu, but unlike the secret characters (Wolf, Jigglypuff, and Toon Link), Sonic can be chosen to fight Tabuu after The Great Maze. When every fighter reaches Tabuu, he prepares his Off Waves, which had already turned every character into a trophy once before. As soon as he's about to release the attack, a blue blur rams into both of Tabuu's wings, weakening the attack. As the blue blur jumps up on a peak, he reveals himself to be Sonic. While he taunts, Tabuu's wings break apart, and then six fighters are selected to fight Tabuu in the final battle. Sonic's late role in the adventure mode is possibly a reference to the fact that he was added to Brawl's roster late in 2007.

Exclusive Stickers

  • Amy Rose: [Leg] Attack +14
  • Classic Sonic JP Ver.: [Arm] Attack +21
  • Classic Sonic US Ver.: [Throwing] Attack +20
  • Dr. Eggman: Launch Resistance +39
  • Espio The Chameleon: [Body, Spin] Attack +12
  • Jet The Hawk: [Leg] Attack +17
  • Knuckles The Echidna: [Electric] Resistance +23
  • Shadow The Hedgehog: [Specials: Direct] Attack +20
  • Silver The Hedgehog: Launch Power +49
  • Sonic The Hedgehog: [Body, Spin] Attack +32
  • Super Sonic: [Electric] Resistance +27
  • Wave The Swallow: [Arm] Attack +19

Palette Swaps

Sonic's Palette Swaps


  • Along with Zero Suit Samus, Sheik and Squirtle, Sonic is one of the only characters to not be seen in trophy form during the Subspace Emissary, due to his late appearance. Coincidentally, all four of these characters' names begin with the letter 'S'.
  • Sonic, Link, Donkey Kong, and Snake are the only characters to be playable in a fighting game other than the Smash Bros. series; Sonic appeared in Sonic The Fighters and Sonic Battle, Link appeared in the GameCube version of Soul Calibur II, Donkey Kong appeared in the Wii version of Punch Out, and Snake appeared in Dream Mix TV: World Fighters.
  • Between the second and third Brawl Tier list updates, Sonic moved up 8 places from 31 to 23, making Sonic's tier placement the largest increase ever achieved in Smash Bros. history.
  • Similar to Ike's victory animations, Sonic's "You're too slow!" and "Come on, step it up!" taunts has been ridiculed in machinimas and flash animation all over the internet, mainly because most players find it annoying.
  • Sonic's cheer might be partly inspired by the lyrics to the theme song of the animé Sonic X (one of three anime featuring Brawl characters to air on 4KidsTV, and one of four dubbed by 4Kids Entertainment overall).
  • Sonic The Hedgehog was statistically the most anticipated character for Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
  • In the video game convention E for All, Sonic was the only unlockable character to be playable in the demo.
  • Near the end of The Subspace Emissary, Sonic suddenly appears, seemingly from nowhere, and with no explanation provided of how he got there. There are speculations claiming Sonic was put so late in the game due to his late installation in the game itself. Also, as far as the storyline might have went, it is speculated that at the time before the Great Invasion (when the Smashers' attacked the Subspace Gunship), the Subspace Gunship's first shot covered an area where Sonic was at in Subspace, and through Subspace, Sonic traveled to Tabuu's Residence just before Tabuu used his Off Waves.
  • Even though Sonic is usually known for not being able to swim, he is able to swim in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
  • Sonic is the only unlockable character in Super Smash Bros. Brawl who has four, rather than three, unlock methods.
  • Sonic is capable of stalling by using Homing Attack under a stage such as Battlefield and Final Destination.
  • If Sonic uses his Spin Dash going upwards on a slope with a 45 degree angle or steeper, he will continue to spin dash horizontally even if there is no terrain for him to dash across. This technique can be seen on Pirate Ship when the ship is stuck on the island, the left pipe of Yoshi's Island, the staircase of Temple, and the bottom left leaf on Hanenbow. However, it's easiest to use on a custom stage.

External links

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