31 Sonic The Hedgehog 2 Movie Easter Eggs And References You May Have Missed
Sonic the Hedgehog has enjoyed decades of life as a video game, giving the film adaptations a lot to draw on for in-jokes and Easter eggs for fans. As you might expect, there are a whole lot of those in Sonic The Hedgehog 2, as well as a fair few pop culture references and jokes as well. In fact, there are so many that it's very easy to miss a few along the way.
We scoured Sonic The Hedgehog 2 for every Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, and Robotnik gag we could find, and picked up a few less obvious ones, too. Here's every Easter egg and reference from the games we found. There are also a few callbacks from the last movie, which also had a huge slate of Easter eggs. Note that this article contains spoilers throughout, so if you haven't seen the movie, you might want to return after you have.
1. Robotnik's face logo
Robotnik's distinctive round face and scraggly mustache also serves as his logo in the games. In Sonic the Hedgehog 2, it seems the movie Robotnik has adopted the same logo, even drawing it on his makeshift mechanical inventions on the mushroom planet.
2. "Klaatu barada nikto!"
When Robotnik meets the aliens who come through the ring ahead of Knuckles, he mutters what sounds like some alien-like gibberish at them. What he's actually saying is the magic incantation from the movie Army of Darkness, which was supposed to help protagonist Ash return home after accidentally being transported back in time. Robotnik is also trying to return home through weird, semi-magical means, so it's safe to say he feels a kinship with Ash as he makes a joke using the same incantation.
3. Meet Knuckles
Robotnik's new ally is a major character in the Sonic game franchise, first appearing in Sonic the Hedgehog 3 on the Sega Genesis in 1994. Knuckles teams up with Sonic in Sonic and Knuckles, Sonic 3's sequel. Both titles were originally intended to be one game, and the Genesis cartridges actually fit together to allow you to play them as a unified experience.
4. Return to Green Hills, Montana
As in the last movie, Sonic lives in Green Hills--a fictional Montana town that's also a reference to the Green Hill Zone, the first level of the original Sonic game.
5. Chili dog obsession
Sonic the Hedgehog has a longstanding love for chili dogs, a somewhat weird element of the character that was actually first introduced in The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, the mid-'90s cartoon series starring the Blue Blur. We saw Sonic try chili dogs for the first time in his last movie, but in this one, it has become his food of choice.
6. "It's the wooooorst!"
With Tom and Maddie away in Hawaii, Sonic has a lot of time to himself. He spends it making a huge mess and watching movies with his dog pal Ozzy, although Sonic refuses to watch the movie Snow Dogs yet again. As Sonic remarks, "It's the worst," Ben Schwartz, who voices Sonic, sings the line rather than saying it in order to channel another of Schwartz's characters: Jean-Ralphio, the irritatingly goofy pal of Tom Haverford in the TV show Parks & Rec. In the most iconic moment of Jean-Ralphio singing the line, however, he was referring to his sister, Mona Lisa, who he says is "the worst person in the world."
7. Tails makes the scene
The arrival of two-tailed genius fox Miles Prower, AKA Tails, was a mid-credits scene in the first Sonic the Hedgehog. We get that same scene here as Tails makes his arrival. The fox has been Sonic's best friend since he was introduced in Sonic the Hedgehog 2; Tails is younger and has a bit of a hero-worshiping relationship with the Blue Blur, and we see that reflected in the movie too. Tails also is known for his invention skills, and in the movie, is voiced by Colleen O'Shaughnessey, who has also voiced the character in many of the games and the 2014 Sonic Boom animated show.
8. Welcome to the Mean Bean (Machine)
A hip new coffee shop has appeared in Green Hills since last we visited: The Mean Bean. That might just sound like a cool thing to call your coffee joint, but fans will recognize the evil connotations: the name is a reference to Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine, a Tetris-like puzzle game that was first released in the US on the Sega Genesis and Game Gear in 1993. The front is a perfect one for Robotnik, as it can also legitimately employ Agent Stone's excellent latte-crafting skills, as first revealed in Sonic the Hedgehog.
9. Robotnik's new robots
In Sonic the Hedgehog, Dr. Robotnik's many drones resembled flying eggs, largely to give Sonic an excuse to call him "Eggman," the name the character sports in the Japanese versions of the Sonic games. But especially in the early games of the franchise, Robotnik's robots take after animals and insects--they even have animals trapped inside them, which Sonic frees when he jumps on them. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 sees Robotnik's drone designs revamped some--he's sporting the usual eggs-shaped robots, as well as some that look like the giant, scary hornets seen in the Sonic games. The pod from which they're dispatched also looks a bit more like those seen in the Sonic games, which traditionally show up at the ends of levels. Jumping on them allows Sonic to free a bunch more animals from Robotnik's clutches before they can be turned into robots.
10. Robotnik's new drip
Though he mostly wore black in the first Sonic movie, upon returning to Earth, Robotnik upgrades his duds. His new look is much closer to the classic appearance of the antagonist in the video games, with a long red jacket, black pants, and ludicrous mustache.
11. Sonic's iconic move
We see Sonic do a lot of cool stunts throughout the movie, but only one is a particular callback. Dodging robots, he recreates his signature move from the box of the Dreamcast's Sonic Adventure.
12. Chasing the Master Emerald
Dr. Robotnik famously chases the Chaos Emeralds in the Sonic games. In Sonic the Hedgehog 2, we hear how those emeralds combine to create the Master Emerald, the item Knuckles and Robotnik hope to get by capturing Sonic. That's also what Robotnik was after in the games Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Sonic & Knuckles.
13. Protecting the pale blue dot
Tails gives Sonic the rundown of the war between Knuckles' tribe of echidnas and Longclaw's tribe of owls. When the discussion turns to Earth, Sonic calls it "this pale blue dot," a turn of phrase that first entered the cultural lexicon thanks to a famous photograph taken of Earth by the Voyager 1 probe back in 1990, and a book by astronomer and astrophysicist Carl Sagan in 1994.
14. "Like Vin Diesel and the Rock"
We know from the first movie that Sonic is a major Fast & Furious franchise fan. When putting the war with the echidnas into context, he likens it to the feud between F&F stars Vin Diesel and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, which kicked off because of social media posts in 2016 and seemingly rippled through the franchise. Johnson's role in Fate of the Furious seemed segregated from the rest of the cast to keep him separate from Diesel, and he exited the main franchise after that movie, appearing instead in the spin-off movie Hobbs & Shaw.
15. Stay-Puft Robotnik Man
After he's captured, Tom's deputy, Wade, gets to listen in as the powers of the Master Emerald are explained, in particular its ability to make the user's thoughts into reality. Wade immediately puts this in pop culture terms: It's like the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters, which was a thought from the mind of Ray Stanz, brought to life by the evil magic power of the villainous Gozer.
16. Tiny fake hedgehog
Robotnik's setup in the Mean Bean includes a holographic table that can project a version of Sonic--one that looks just like the mode that has appeared in 3D Sonic games like Sonic Adventure. Unfortunately, Knuckles soon destroys it.
17. Boarding in Ice Cap Zone
A lot of elements in the movie are lifted from Sonic the Hedgehog 3. A snowy adventure through a Siberian landscape is evocative of Ice Cap Zone, a level in Sonic 3 that includes snowy mountain caves and even sees Sonic snowboarding, just like he does in the movie.
18. Losing your rings
Sonic's rings have been a big part of both movies, but they have a more functional purpose than in the games; when Sonic gets hit in the games, he loses all the rings he's collected, and if he's hit when he has no rings, he dies. When Knuckles pops Sonic at one point during the snowboarding scene, Sonic loses his bag of rings over the side of the mountain exactly like he would when getting hit in the games.
19. Robotnik's pod
In the first movie, Robotnik flew around in a VTOL that looked a bit like his vehicle from the games. Along with his clothes and robots, he's also updated his personal flying vehicle to be much more akin to what he uses in the games. This one is smaller and egg-shaped, with the iconic color scheme.
20. Tails' red biplane
We know Tails has a lot of gadgetry skills, but he's also a pilot, famously flying a red biplane in the game Sonic the Hedgehog 2 to help Sonic get where he needs to go. The plane appears first in the Hawaii portion of the movie during the wedding, but fans know immediately upon seeing it that the plane will have a larger role in the story later on. That itch is scratched a little later when Tails actually flies the plane, with Sonic hanging onto the wings.
21. Tom's ringtone
When Sonic's in trouble in Siberia, he calls Tom at an incredibly inopportune time during Rachel's wedding. It's rude that Tom's phone is going off during the ceremony, but he's got a great ringtone--the Emerald Hill Zone theme from the game Sonic 2.
22. Sonic's catchphrase
Faced with dealing with what might be his chief nemesis--not Robotnik, but water--Sonic invokes his famous catchphrase, "Gotta go fast." Here, he means that he needs to go so fast that he can literally run over the water, although as he demonstrates, that's not an easy feat.
23. Journey into the Marble Garden
The Master Emerald temple seems like another reference to a game location: Sonic 3's Marble Garden Zone, a jungle ruin that's laden with traps, just like in the movie. This also feels like a callback to the first Sonic game and its Aquatic Ruin Zone, especially given Sonic's near-death underwater experience later in the scene.
24. "It's derivative!"
As Knuckles and Robotnik make their way through the Master Emerald's temple, they deal with quite a few traps that might even be called adventure movie cliches, something that doesn't escape Robotnik's notice. As he and Knuckles slide under a quickly closing stone door, just like in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, he shouts, "I refuse to die like this--it's derivative!"
25. Bubble breathing
Maybe the most horrifying moment of any Sonic game is when you find yourself underwater, with the super-fast hedgehog quickly running out of oxygen. To save himself in these moments, Sonic can catch big bubbles floating toward the surface and use them to give himself another breath. He does the exact same thing in the movie, slurping up a bubble to give him the oxygen he needs to save Knuckles. Sonic nearly succumbing to drowning, though, absolutely is aimed at invoking those terrifying moments from the games.
Turns out, Sonic didn't quite slip away from the watchful eye of the U.S. government after the first movie, and their agents return under a new division sporting the acronym "G.U.N." That organization appears in the Sonic games, too--the Guardian Units of Nations makes its first appearance in 2001's Sonic Adventure 2 for the Dreamcast. Makes sense, seeing as the Sonic Adventure games brought Sonic into a wider human world with a variety of different characters.
27. A giant Robotnik robot
Seeing as Robotnik is all about robots, it makes sense that he'd eventually build a giant one of himself. This sort of thing makes several appearances in the games, but like a lot of other things in this movie, this feels like a direct riff on the final boss of Sonic the Hedgehog 3.
28. The manual
After Robotnik chides Agent Stone for not reading the manual for piloting the giant robot, he pays off that gag by holding it off. The manual looks a whole lot like the cover of an old Sega Genesis game box, or even a game manual you'd find inside.
29. Going Super Sonic
Sonic's battle with Robotnik culminates in him using the power of the Master Emerald to transform into Super Sonic, a godlike yellow hedgehog who can easily best the robotic monstrosity and its maker.
30. "Good people on both sides"
In his final moments, Robotnik tries to talk his way out of his fate, trying to make his battle with Sonic sound more like an ideological disagreement. He mentions "good people on both sides," referencing Donald Trump's 2017 remarks about Charlottesville, Va., Unite the Right rally and an attack against peaceful protesters by a white supremacist that killed one protester and injured 35 others.
31. Sonic's Shadow
The final moments of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 tease where the series will go in a third installment. Apparently, G.U.N. has another hedgehog under its control: Shadow. The black genetically engineered hedgehog was a villain in Sonic Adventure 2, although there's a lot more to his story.