Shadow is the brooding anti-hero of the Sonic the Hedgehog series. Created in a lab, the poor guy is just trying to understand his place in the world. Maybe some fresh accessories would help? This idea charmed a lot of fans after a meme of Shadow entering a Claire’s went viral — inspiring a trend where fans draw Sonic characters doing some big-box store shopping of their own.
The format generally works along these lines: Fans draw a Sonic character entering a chain store and place that illustration over a photo of the actual establishment. The trend was started by digital artist Amasc0met when they tweeted the image on April 29. Since then, people have remixed the meme with different Sonic characters, like Knuckles and Tails, going to mall stores and emerging with new accessories.
“Nothing specific inspired the art, I simply just wanted to draw him going to Claire’s,” Amasc0met said to Polygon via Twitter. “It was a self indulgent silly little thing.” After it took off, they redrew the meme with Shadow exiting wearing a rainbow plastic bracelet along with a heart shaped shades. (But did he get his ears pierced? Maybe next time.)
The meme has inspired dozens of spinoffs. Here’s Sonic running (not walking!) into the clothing store Hot Topic.
Here he is emerging from the store. It looks like he’s changed into some Vans, got some striped fingerless gloves over his normal gloves, and painted the eyeliner on thick. He would make any scene kid jealous!
Here, Rouge the Bat ponders some jewelry at Kay Jewelers, but then steals some in a hurry.
Knuckles shares his secret to his finesse: Bath & Body Works.
Dr. Starline takes a little “me time” and shops at the Sanrio store. They’re a competitor, but that’s fine!
Tails looks absolutely precious holding his Build-A-Bear stuffed Sonic and Knuckles. (Which are real stuffed animals, at the moment, in case you were wondering.)
Cream the Rabbit also looks absolutely adorable with her Justice haul.
Here, Blaze the Cat goes to a Blaze Pizza with Silver. Is it a date?
There are too many to describe each individually, so here’s a running list of some of the other cute ones we found on Twitter.
The concept clearly charmed many online, and also gave them an opportunity to make some cute fan art. It’s possible that Sonic is just top of mind since the new Sonic the Hedgehog 2 movie was released. Amasc0met told Polygon they didn’t expect so many people to hop on the trend. “I still don’t quite understand how or why. I never in my wildest dreams could’ve predicted the outcome but I’m glad it happened lol.”