|This character exists primarily within the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog continuity.|
Information in this article may not be canonical to the storyline of the games or any other Sonic continuity.
Scratch is a badnik chicken created by Doctor Robotnik as an adversary of Sonic the Hedgehog. Along with his counterpart Grounder, he is a member of Robotnik's Super Special Sonic Search and Smash Squad. They are Robotnik's main henchmen, and two of the main antagonists of the series Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog.
Scratch has also appeared in the Archie Comics continuity.
Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog
Scratch and Grounder are largely comic relief characters, and though charged with the capture of Sonic and his friend Tails, they almost always fail. Not only this, but the two are also highly gullible, easily being deceived by Sonic no matter how obvious his disguises are. These repeated failures frequently result in the two hapless robots receiving a lot of abuse (both verbal and physical) from Dr. Robotnik.
Scratch was originally created by Robotnik to be a super-robot that could easily catch Sonic for him, since all of his other mechanical bounty hunters fail. But unfortunately, the machine malfunctioned and spawned Scratch, a product almost exactly the opposite of what Robotnik wanted. Grounder is a sort of "clone" of Scratch with different abilities and body structure. While being created by Robotnik in the cartoon, Scratch has one of his tail feathers plucked and put into a cloning machine, but Scratch pulled an extra lever that caused, as Robotnik put it, some "slight modifications".
The two were occasionally aided by a robotic monkey named Coconuts (also based on an enemy from Sonic the Hedgehog 2), although most of the time, he would be competing with them rather than helping them, in hopes of being promoted out of janitor status.
Scratch resembles a tall, lanky, roughly humanoid rooster or chicken with white feathers, scaled feet, wing-like arms, silver body armor, black collar and belt, a red rooster comb on top of his head, a red two-feathered tail, and a yellow beak and legs, similar to Cluckoids or Clucker (named コケッコー "Kokekko" in Japan), one of the enemy Badniks in the Wing Fortress Zone of Sonic 2. He is distinct by his prominent cock-a-doodle-like laugh, "Ba-ha! Ha-ha!". Scratch seems to be the leader of the badniks, has an IQ of 40, and is marginally smarter than Grounder, making up for his lack of Grounder's assorted gadgets.
Scratch does not have much in the way of abilities. Like a real rooster/chicken, Scratch is capable of pecking foes, with the pecking more reminiscent of a woodpecker. He also seems to have a telescopic neck which can extend and retract - his head often retracts into his torso to protect himself. He is also said to be the smartest of the badniks, but that isn't saying much considering how stupid they all are.
Like his counterpart Grounder, Scratch is amazingly stupid and fails at almost everything he does. One example of Scratch's stupidity is in the "Attack on Pinball Fortress" episode. Scratch accidentally gets zapped by Dr. Robotnik's Stupidity Ray, but Scratch does not change because he is already so stupid that he cannot be made any more stupid. However, also like Grounder, he is quite persistent and fairly durable—whenever either of them get damaged or blown to bits (which is very often), they can be repaired very easily and always come back for more. Robotnik himself wondered in one episode why he bothers to constantly repair them despite how much they fail.
In the episode "Trail of the Missing Tails", Scratch, Grounder and Coconuts are temporarily transformed into giant monster versions of themselves. Scratch looks more like an ordinary chicken in this state, almost resembling Cluck, the mechanical chicken pet of Robotnik in the "SatAM" animated series. In this state, the robots are much bigger and stronger than normal, but it is unknown if they have any further new abilities.
Scratch, Grounder, and Coconuts all appeared as opponents in the game Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine, which was based around the AoSTH show. Scratch and Grounder were also in the game's cut scenes along side Dr. Robotnik.
Scratch appeared in the third bonus stage of Sonic Spinball. In this bonus, a number of identical Scratches circle around a large Egg Capsule. Sonic must use his pinball skills to kill all the Scratches and then destroy the capsule to free Flicky, Wocky and the Freedom Fighters from the SatAM cartoon series. Scratch makes the same clucking sound as Cluck and Clucker.
Scratch and Grounder also appeared in the earliest issues of the Sonic comic book published by Archie Comics. However, the characters themselves were prominently featured only in their first appearance there, published in issue #2. Subsequent appearances of the two were minor; their last appearance in the comic was part of a flashback in issue #57. However, Scratch appears in issue 4 (Tails' Little Tale) without Grounder and Grounder appears (without Scratch) in the story "Sonic Spin City!", published in Sonic Super Special #15. Recently in issue #187 Scratch, Grounder and Coconuts have all returned, now as employees of Mammoth Mogul who has taken over Casino Night Zone and employed the old badniks as workers. Scratch now serves as a body guard to Mogul, standing outside his office in a suit and tie, stopping anyone who attempts to disturb his new boss. Although he looks tough, Scratch's cowardliness is still present evidences by how he did allowed Geoffrey St. John to see Mogul out of sheer intimidation.
For the SatAM Pilot, Scratch and Grounder seemed to have been replaced with Cluck and Snively, having a similar rivalry with each other. This rivalry did not continue throughout the entire show, since Cluck was phased out of the second season.
- In Japan, Scratch's name was Cluck, which happens to be the name of Robotnik's pet chicken in the Sonic the Hedgehog television series.
- Scratch and Grounder started a trend of Dr. Robotnik having two incompetent side kicks. Example: Sonic Underground had Sleet and Dingo, Sonic X had Decoe and Bocoe, and Sonic Colors had Orbot and Cubot.
- Scratch and Grounder are also the only ones of the incompetent sidekicks to appear in all forms of Sonic media like games, TV shows, and Comics. Sleet, Dingo, Bocoe, and Decoe only appeared in TV shows and comics. Orbot and Cubot only appeared in games and comics.
- Though Scratch has a lack of gadgets like his brother, in the episode, "Super Special Sonic Search & Smash Squad" Scratch's fingers transformed into a pair scissors. In "Grounder the Genius", Scratch has a "fastpeck mode" where he becomes shaped differently and acts like a jackhammer. Though this was inputted by Grounder (who became a genius) as a form of punishment whenever Scratch refuses to do something or is very rude. It is unknown if he still has this mode.
- Many believe that Scratch is based off Clucker, a badnik in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (16-bit) on the Wing Fortress Zone. Coincidentally, Scratch's Japanese name was Cluck.
- In the Sonic the Hedgehog (Play-a-Sound Book) Dr. Robotnik was accompanied by Grounder and Clucker, both sporting their Sonic the Hedgehog 2 designs even though Robotnik looks like he does in Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog.
- In Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine, he plays like the character Rulue from Puyo Puyo, the game on which Mean Bean Machine is based. Ironically, since Rulue is the second-to-last enemy, Scratch's MBM AI is the smartest in the game aside from the final boss (Eggman), whereas he is very stupid in AoStH (though smarter than Grounder, who is the eighth opponent), outclassed in smarts by Coconuts (who was placed as the fourth opponent).
- "You've been scratching around here for too long, worm-bait. Time to cross the road and head home, pal. I'm winning this one by fair means or fowl." - Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine
- " No way tin brain. Dr. Robotnik loves me best so it is always my turn." - Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog - The Robotnik Express
- "Ba Ha Ha Haaa!" - Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog
- "Who says chickens are Stupid?! I just out-foxed a fox!" - Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog - Tails' New Home
- (After Robotnik hits Scratch with his stupidity ray)
- Dr. Robotnik: How are you feeling?
- Scratch: Actually, I feel fine, your mightiness! Are you sure that thing's working?
- Dr. Robotnik: It's working fine! It just can't make you any stupider than you already are.
- - Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog - Attack on Pinball Fortress
- "Am I that ugly?!" - Super Special Sonic Search & Smash Squad