- For the character formerly referred to as "FiendBot", see FriendBot.
"FiendBot" is the sixty-sixth episode in the Sonic Boom television series. It first aired on 11 February 2017 in the United States and on 8 April 2017 in France.
Eggman builds a giant new robot to defeat Sonic. He programs it to know everything about the Blue Blur, but things don't go as planned - with all FiendBot's knowledge of Sonic, it doesn't want to destroy him, it wants to be his friend.
- Burnbot (Video recording)
- Child Monkey (Video recording)
- Cubot Series
- Dave the Intern
- Dr. Eggman
- Lady Walrus
- Mrs. Vandersnout (Video recording)
- Octopus Bot (Video recording)
- Obliterator Bot
- Shadow the Hedgehog (Video recording)
- Team Sonic
- Tomatopotamus (First appearance)
- Sonic Boom World
In Tails' House, Tails, Knuckles, and Amy are playing cards when Sonic rushes in, having acquired a copy of Tomatopotamus 2 from a flea market. The others are excited by this (though the franchise's decline since is briefly discussed), and Amy recalls they played the game all the time, then asks why they ever stopped; Tails answers that the game's microchip was made with Sparcium, a rare metal alloy more valuable than the cartridge itself, so all copies of the game, except any missed, were recalled and melted down for their Sparcium years ago. They quickly sit down to play the game competitively, with the undefeated Tomatopotamus champion Sonic betting that if any of the others can beat him, he will buy chili dogs for the whole team.
Meanwhile, at Eggman's lair, Eggman has finished construction of his latest creation, FiendBot, and plans to program him with everything known about Sonic so he can anticipate and counter the hedgehog's every move. Back at Tails' House, Tails is eliminated from the game, with Amy following him shortly after. Sonic and Knuckles continue to face off for 14 more hours, with Tails and Amy commentating that they are about to enter level 27, a feat which has never been accomplished. When they get to level 27, it turns out to be an underwater level, and because of his fear of water, Sonic is thrown off, quickly being eliminated from the game. As the winner, Knuckles takes the opportunity to gloat at Sonic relentlessly about being the Tomatopotamus champion; the hedgehog, as he promised, goes out to buy chili dogs for everyone at Meh Burger.
At Eggman's lair, Eggman begins the process of downloading video data to FiendBot that shows previous instances of Sonic in action, with FiendBot activating once the process completes; Eggman takes him to the Unnamed Village for a test drive. At Meh Burger, Sonic is getting four chili dogs from Dave (despite them expiring immediately after) when Eggman shows up in the Eggmobile with FiendBot in tow; Sonic begins to make banter about how easy taking the robot apart will be, allowing FiendBot to knock him down with a laser blast, having anticipated said banter. Sonic attempts to use his spin attack, but FiendBot also anticipates that and blocks it. FiendBot then goes on the offensive as Sonic dodges his missiles, but in the middle of the fight, a tree is destroyed, threatening to fall on an unsuspecting Perci; Sonic quickly breaks away to save her. FiendBot witnesses this and, soon after, Sonic saving Chumley from a fall and returning him to Lady Walrus. Noting Sonic's heroism, FiendBot begins to doubt he is really an enemy and also starts considering him a friend. Eggman believes that FiendBot is simply being witty, but FiendBot, his loyalty to Eggman now nonexistent, drives the evil scientist off with a barrage of missiles.
Sonic thanks FiendBot for getting rid of Eggman and begins to leave, but FiendBot follows him; before dashing off, Sonic states he cannot have the robot follow him, as the rest of Team Sonic would not approve of the latter's presence. After returning to Tails' House, Sonic hands the others their chili dogs, but soon after, the ground shakes, signifying FiendBot's presence. Sonic attempts to get the others to pass it off as nothing, but they run outside and see FiendBot, ready to attack before Sonic comes to his defense. Tails states his skepticism, even informing him of the robot's sinister name; in response, Sonic decides to rename him "FriendBot". Though the rest of Team Sonic has their doubts, Sonic asks them to at least give FriendBot a chance. Meanwhile, at Eggman's lair, Eggman, having realized he made a mistake in making FiendBot sentient, has built a mindless energy blaster on treads that is loaded with the same Sonic intel as him.
As the days continue, Team Sonic goofs off with FriendBot around; they play volleyball, allow the robot to join them in playing Tomatopotamus 2, and have a dance party, though FriendBot's size and strength ruins each in some way, and Tails, Knuckles, and Amy remain unconvinced if they can truly consider him friendly. The next day, Team Sonic and FriendBot are walking to Meh Burger when Eggman appears, bringing with him an army of robots; the team makes short work of them, with FriendBot easily destroying the larger robots (much to Knuckles' jealousy). Out of options, Eggman brings out the energy blaster, which quickly follows and corners Sonic before firing at him; FriendBot dives in front of Sonic to block the shot, deactivating soon after. This act finally convinces Tails, Knuckles, and Amy that FriendBot can be trusted, and Team Sonic quickly destroys the energy blaster and knocks Eggman into the horizon.
Outside Tails' House, Tails works on the still-inactive FriendBot, with the others waiting anxiously inside before the fox enters. He reveals that FriendBot's AI processor was destroyed, and he is unable to repair him because Eggman made it with Sparcium; the only way they can get more is to use the Tomatopotamus 2 microchip, since it is made from Sparcium as well. Though Knuckles is upset over the possibility of losing his high score, the decision is ultimately made to sacrifice the cartridge. FriendBot is successfully repaired, acknowledging the entire team as his friends upon reactivation. Tails also added confetti cannons to the robot, and as the team celebrates, Amy notices Sonic thinking. Sonic states to her that FriendBot is unable to fit in any of their houses, so later, he takes FriendBot to a place he can call home, telling him that Team Sonic can visit him at any time and contact him via his new Communicator if they need his help.
The team and FriendBot arrive in the canyon where the Cubot prototypes now live, and FriendBot is trusted with the responsibility of taking care of his fellow former Eggman robots, which he accepts. The team gives FriendBot a farewell hug, but before leaving, Knuckles gets FriendBot to remember that he is the Tomatopotamus champion, taking the opportunity to gloat at Sonic one last time (albeit tearfully).
- The sequence where Eggman downloads video data to FiendBot that showcases Sonic's abilities contains several clips taken from Sonic's previous adventures. These include:
- Sonic saving civilians from the sheep stampede in "Just a Guy".
- Sonic using the large ball of twine to stop the rockslide in "Aim Low".
- Sonic dodging attacks from Octopus Bot in "Next Top Villain".
- Sonic tying up Burnbot in "Beyond the Valley of the Cubots".
- Sonic knocking the head off of Obliterator Bot in "Eggman the Auteur".
- Sonic being attacked by Shadow the Hedgehog in "It Takes a Village to Defeat a Hedgehog".
- FriendBot is introduced and becomes a member of Team Sonic. He would return as a close acquaintances of the team in future episodes.
- Sonic chooses to have FriendBot live with the Cubot prototypes, a group whom he and Tails discovered in "Beyond the Valley of the Cubots".
- Knuckles claims he never sweats. That is not true as he is seen sweating in "No Robots Allowed".
- When Knuckles claims his victory in Tomatopotamus 2, his tongue is not seen in his mouth.
- FriendBot is shown wearing a Communicator when he first meets Sonic. However, he does not actually receive the Communicator until the end of the episode.
- When FriendBot is looking into Tails' House while Team Sonic is playing a video game, FriendBot's fin can be seen passing through the window frame and roof on Tails' House.
The premise of this episode came about by Alan Denton and Greg Hahn's shared desire to draw a story about a huge gentle robot friend, which originated from their common interest in the 1999 American animated film The Iron Giant. The idea was pitched in May of 2015 and discussed via email while the series' executive producer Bill Freiberger was working remotely in France.
In the first draft of the story, the game Tomatopotamus was actually called Tomatopotamus Puzzle Challenge IV. The writers also wrote a scene that showed Eggman coming up with the idea for FiendBot while cleaning up old cheese stains, but it got cut from the final product. Sonic failing during the water level in Tomatopotamus 2 was also made as a reference to Sonic's inability to swim.
When it came to figuring out how FriendBot would sacrifice himself and what happened after, there was a lot of discussion in the writers room about how the story would have played out. There was in particular a spirited debate about whether or not FriendBot would live or die. Ultimately, it was decided to let FriendBot live in order to keep the story child-friendly.
Title in other languages
- Eight days before this episode aired on Boomerang, Bill Freiberger released the title card for this episode on Twitter as a teaser.
- Tails and Knuckles' criticism of the Tomatopotamus series and its decline is a reference to the Sonic the Hedgehog series, whose 3D games have been criticized for being mediocre and for having transitioned poorly from 2D to 3D gameplay.
- Sonic's criticism of the color change of Tomatopotamus' legs is a reference to the real-life backlash fans from the Sonic the Hedgehog fandom demonstrated when Sonic's Sonic Boom counterpart was redesigned with blue arms instead of peach.
- The music that plays during FriendBot's montage with Team Sonic is based on the music for the song "It's Not Unusual".
- The theme music during Team Sonic and FriendBot's battle against Dr. Eggman and his Badniks is a reference to the movie Pacific Rim.
- The video game console that Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, and Amy play Tomatopotamus 2 on is reminiscent to a Super Nintendo Entertainment System, but with Atari joysticks for the controllers.
- ↑ Sonic Boom: FiendBot. Zap2it.com. Retrieved on 1 February 2017.
- ↑ Tous les Programmes (French). Canal J. Archived from the original on 8 June 2017. Retrieved on 28 March 2017.
- ↑ Alan Denton on Twitter. Twitter (12 February 2017). Retrieved on 13 February 2017. “Alan Denton: THREAD: Hey everybody. Now that the latest #SonicBoom episode "FiendBot" has aired, here's some extra trivia (AKA #DentonsDetails) - 1/9 / ... / Alan Denton: Greg and I both were fans of The Iron Giant, and so were naturally drawn to a story about a huge gentle robot friend. 2/9”
- ↑ Alan Denton on Twitter. Twitter (12 February 2017). Retrieved on 13 February 2017. “Alan Denton: THREAD: Hey everybody. Now that the latest #SonicBoom episode "FiendBot" has aired, here's some extra trivia (AKA #DentonsDetails) - 1/9 / ... / Alan Denton: This episode was pitched in May of 2015 and discussed via email while Bill was working remotely in France. GLOBALIZATION!! 3/9”
- ↑ Alan Denton on Twitter. Twitter (12 February 2017). Retrieved on 13 February 2017. “Alan Denton: THREAD: Hey everybody. Now that the latest #SonicBoom episode "FiendBot" has aired, here's some extra trivia (AKA #DentonsDetails) - 1/9 / ... / Alan Denton: In our first draft, the game 'Tomatopotamus' was actually called 'Tomatopotamus Puzzle Challenge IV.' 4/9”
- ↑ Alan Denton on Twitter. Twitter (12 February 2017). Retrieved on 13 February 2017. “Alan Denton: THREAD: Hey everybody. Now that the latest #SonicBoom episode "FiendBot" has aired, here's some extra trivia (AKA #DentonsDetails) - 1/9 / ... / Alan Denton: We also wrote a scene where Eggman comes up w/ idea for FiendBot while cleaning up old cheese stains (Hey, it was cut for a reason) 5/9”
- ↑ Alan Denton on Twitter. Twitter (12 February 2017). Retrieved on 13 February 2017. “Alan Denton: THREAD: Hey everybody. Now that the latest #SonicBoom episode "FiendBot" has aired, here's some extra trivia (AKA #DentonsDetails) - 1/9 / ... / Alan Denton: In case you didn't notice, Sonic failing during Tomatopotamus's underwater level is a reference to how he can't swim. 6/9”
- ↑ Alan Denton on Twitter. Twitter (12 February 2017). Retrieved on 13 February 2017. “Alan Denton: THREAD: Hey everybody. Now that the latest #SonicBoom episode "FiendBot" has aired, here's some extra trivia (AKA #DentonsDetails) - 1/9 / ... / Alan Denton: There was a lot of back and forth in figuring out how FriendBot sacrifices itself & what happens after. In particular I remember… 7/9”
- ↑ Alan Denton on Twitter. Twitter (12 February 2017). Retrieved on 13 February 2017. “Alan Denton: THREAD: Hey everybody. Now that the latest #SonicBoom episode "FiendBot" has aired, here's some extra trivia (AKA #DentonsDetails) - 1/9 / ... / Alan Denton: …a spirited debate in writers room on if FriendBot should live or die. Ultimately, we realized this is a kids show we're writing here. 8/9”
- ↑ Bill Freiberger on Twitter. Twitter (3 February 2017). Retrieved on 3 February 2017. “Bill Freiberger: A #sonicboom preview for next Saturday on Boomerang: 214 "Fiendbot," written by @AlanTheWriter & @ItsGregHahn.”