Who’s That Hedgehog? 85% of Millennials Can Identify Sonic

In a survey of millennials conducted by Casino.org, Sonic’s more recognizable than Donkey Kong, Yoshi, and LeBron James.

Casino.org, a hub for online gambling reviews and statistics, published survey results stacking the millennial recognizability of popular gaming icons against real-life politicians, activists, athletes. and musicians. Unsurprisingly, gaming icons such as Mario, Pikachu, Pac-Man, and of course, Sonic the Hedgehog, were almost universally recognized above John Marston, Marcus Fenix, and Sora.

recognizability index

When pitted against cultural figures, Sonic was more recognizable than the majority of political figures included in the survey, and most cultural figures such as LeBron James, Cardi B, and even Malcolm X. Shadow the Hedgehog didn’t quite hit as high as Sonic at only 26.6% of respondents correctly recognizing him, but he still outperformed Ganondorf, Sephiroth, Roger Federer, and Lil Nas X.

Earlier in the year, Casino.org compiled data from Wikipedia, Metacritic, VG Sales Wiki, Twitch Tracker, and search tracking from March 2020 to April 2021 to identify the most loved game franchises, placing the Sonic series at #10, between Animal Crossing and Resident Evil. Within the series itself, Sonic Adventure 2 and Sonic 3 were cited as the best reviewed, Sonic 2 as the best selling, and Sonic Colors as the most streamed in 2020-2021. Animal Crossing swept North America, Europe, Australia, but plucky little Sonic won over Ecuador, Venezuela, and Indonesia. Somehow, Japan wound up with The Last of Us series as their favorite. Algorithms are weird.


While these statistics are fun to consider, I really want to emphasize, do not treat this data as especially scientific. The recognizability survey doesn’t specify the format of their poll or who they consider a “millennial” (Wikipedia cites it as people born between 1981 and 1996, but the term often refers to those born even later than that). Further, Metacritic averages shouldn’t be taken as worthwhile comparisons due to the differences in review scales among different review sources. Casino.org even specifies, “This content was created for entertainment purposes.”

On a specific note to the reader, KEEP THE COMMENTS POLITE AND CONSTRUCTIVE. While the survey references political figures, discussing the views of a political party or individual political figures is outside the scope of the survey, and is outside the scope of this article.

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A podcaster since 2008, GX originally founded The Spindash podcast, until joining Sonic Stadium's monthly Sonic Talk. He currently co-hosts the show and runs weekly streams on Stadium's Twitch channel at https://www.twitch.tv/sonicstadium


  1. The most important takeaway from this extremely scientific and accurate article is that Kirby is better than Cardi B. And now we have empirical data to back that up.

  2. huh, I’d kind of expect Tails and Eggman to place higher than Shadow, but maybe they just weren’t on the survey. Still fun regardless.

  3. Most interesting, I think, is that American millennials find Sonic slightly more recognisable than their own president!

  4. Funny to read sanic won over Venezuela. Decades ago, I recall a fansite called Sonic X Venezuela that I used to visit when i was a kid. The site autoplayed the japanese op song, flooded with gifts and anti sonadow banners lol. It was your typical early 2000’s webpage.
    I can’t tell how much traffic that webpage managed, but It had a signature section with lots of posts.
    Sonic X was relatively relevant way back that time in South America, because It was aired on Jetix. I wouldn’t have imagine the franchise could still hold up relevance here until today .

  5. I refuse to believe millenials at my home country are that much into Animal Crossing, unless this survey does not include PC games. That being said, seeing Sonic being well-known in Venezuela is so bizzare.

    1. I will note that, by the best data I have available, Animal Crossing New Horizons sold somewhere in the neighborhood of twice as many copies as Sega sold all software on all platforms combined last year (excluding free to play).

      1. Hmm fair enough, looking up the sales of the latest entry seem to make sense in certain perspective. Though I do recall people here of the same age that I had known over the years, being into more generic stuff such as FPS games (Counter Strike / Battlefield), Minecraft or cheap-ass mobile games more so than any Nintendo product.

  6. Very interesting survey results to be sure, and rather hilarious in a lot of places. Good article, but I should mention one thing about your mention of them finding Sonic 2 to be the best selling game of the series. Reason for that? It’s the most widely available game, as you can literally get it on any modern device with an internet connection. So, naturally, they would find Sonic 2 to be the best selling, as it is the most pushed game for the franchise, even over the criminally ignored quality entries. Of course, with it’s only competition on anything not Steam related being Sonic 1, Spinball, Mania(It fares better than Sonic 3 at least, but is still not as widely available) and 3D Blast/Flickie’s Island (outside of phones, since I don’t think it’s on mobile phones) for the classic series, it’s not hard to see why.

    1. That wouldn’t be a question about recognized video game characters. That would be a question about who watched a DIC cartoon from the very early 90s or the Archie comic series.

  7. Sonic seems to be popular among people who live in Spanish speaking countries, especially Mexico. I’m a mod on a Sonic comics Facebook page and a lot of the people who like our page are from Spanish speaking countries in South and Central America.

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