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The Biggest Fan

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"The Biggest Fan" is the fifty-seventh episode in the Sonic Boom television series. It first aired on 10 December 2016 in the United States and on 8 April 2017 in France.

Synopsis

Sonic is pestered by Mark the Tapir, who weasels his way into a position as Sonic's assistant. Eventually, Mark crosses the line and captures Sonic and his friends.

Appearances

Characters:

Locations:

Items:

Vehicles:

Misc.:

Plot

On a bright day in the Village Center, several villagers have gathered at a make-shift scene for Career Day, an event where villagers come to speak about their careers to the Unnamed Village's youth and students. Standing nearby are Sonic and Amy, the latter expressing her disbelief that Sonic was asked to speak at this event, much to Sonic's annoyance.

The first speaker is Comedy Chimp (though he only just now realizes what he is attending), who elaborates on his life as a comedian and past experiences on the dangers of negotiation one's own business deals. Next up is Leroy the Turtle, who suggests the attendees should try out a career in the postal arts, followed by Lady Walrus, who advises the attendees to not work at all and instead descend from a family of wealthy aristocrats like herself. Finally, Sonic is up, although he uses his turn to boast about how he once defeated Eggman, the doctor's minions, and his Bash-up Bot. Regardless, the villagers still cheer at Sonic, much to Amy's annoyance. As Sonic takes his leave though, he catches a tapir yelling his name. Upon Sonic's inquiry, the guy admits he is not a student and that he only came to meet him before introducing himself as Mark the Tapir: Sonic's biggest fan. After an awkward handshake, the nervous Mark asks for Sonic's autograph, only to realize upon Sonic's request that he forgot paper to write on. Stopping Mark from berating himself, Sonic leaves on the note that he might get another chance later. With a sinister smile, Mark promises to see him soon.

Later at Meh Burger, Sonic suddenly meets Mark again after receiving his meal. Mark offers Sonic a seat with him, but Sonic insists he would rather sit with Tails, Knuckles, and Amy nearby. Annoyed, Mark tells Sonic he understands, only to loudly move his table up to Team Sonic's after Sonic rejoins his friends. There, Sonic introduces Mark to his friends and vice versa. Mark, meanwhile, is ecstatic about eating lunch with Sonic and notes how they even ordered the same meal, only to run up to the counter to get a new soda when Sonic mentions that their drinks are different. Amy points out to Sonic that Mark has an unhealthy attachment to him, earning her a snide remark from Tails on her own attachment to Sonic (which Amy quells with a menacing glare). Sonic, however, is certain that Mark is just a fan. Meanwhile, Knuckles believes that he is more deserving of a fan, which he demonstrates by spinning plates on sticks. Mark then returns (ruining Knuckles' trick in the process) with a soda like Sonic's, only to toss it and his meal out once he hears that Sonic is finished eating. Mark then leaves, promising Sonic pie should he come to his occasionally sealed cabin in the woods. Ignorant to Mark's ominous promise, Sonic highlights to his worried friends that Mark is normal.

Waiting later in line at the post office with a package, Sonic meets Mark again. There, Mark offers Sonic to become his personal assistant so he can handle the mundane grunt work while Sonic spends time on heroics. Liking the idea, Sonic hires Mark and gives him his first assignment: stand in line with his package while he goes for a chili dog. Mark promptly pushes through the line to the desk, only to freak out over messing up his assignment when Leroy says that Sonic's package is insufficiently franked. As Mark tries to downplay this snafu, Sonic returns and gives Mark the money to pay for the stamp. Relieved, Mark rejoins Sonic, who is optimistic about his new assistant. Over the next period, Mark helps Sonic out with lots of things, like picking out clothes for him, making barbecues, making unfinished pictures of Sonic with beige arms, and providing Sonic with successful strategies on how to take down Charlie and his mech suit as he and Knuckles fight him.

As Mark gives Sonic a massage in his shack, Tails, Knuckles, and Amy show up to invite Sonic to a new movie: Captain Garbage 3: Secret of the Garbage (which Knuckles is pretty psyched about). While Sonic initially agrees to go right away, Mark convinces him to stay until they can finalize the cover for Sonic's memoirs. In return, he promises to give Sonic a lift to the movies after they are done. Sonic thus tells his friends that he will meet up with them. Later, as Mark is taking Sonic on his promised lift on his scooter, Sonic suggests to him that he can take the rest of the day off. However, Mark wants to spend all his time with Sonic, and, noting that he knows how to do that, steers them into a boulder.

When Sonic wakes up, he discovers that he is bound in a body cast in Mark's cabin, which is creepily decorated with images of himself. Mark himself appears, saying that Sonic was injured in the crash (which he claims he had nothing to do with), and promises to nurse him back to health while force-feeding him soup. Sonic insists he should see a doctor, but Mark's only response is feeding him pie. Meanwhile, Tails, Knuckles and Amy exit the movie theater (with Knuckles having been moved to tears by the movie). Concerned that Sonic did not show up and that he is not answering his Communicator, Amy decides they should go to Mark's cabin and ask him for the hedgehog's whereabouts.

Back at Mark's cabin, Mark wants him and Sonic to act out one of his family-friendly Sonic fanfictions (out of many mature ones), with Sonic playing the role of Tails and him playing the role of Sonic. After Sonic voices his discontent with the roles and Mark's inaccurate portrayal of him, Mark leaves to get his pies out of his oven. Sonic tries to escape, but his constricting body cast causes him to topple Mark's pictures of him. Hearing Mark noticing his escape, Sonic sets the pictures back up in a frenzy and returns to his bed. However, Mark notices from one misaligned picture that Sonic tried to escape. Despite Sonic trying to distract him with fake interest in Mark's fanfics, Mark is prompted to punish Sonic by having him eat off his collectible plates, much to Sonic's horror.

Eventually, Tails, Amy and Knuckles arrive at Mark's cabin and asks Mark about Sonic's whereabouts. Mark, however, plays ignorant, despite the group hearing Sonic's muffled screams from within the cabin before shutting them out. They search around the cabin for another way in, only to trigger a swinging log trap which knocks all of them out. Soon after, the trio finds themselves inside the cabin with Sonic, all of them having been wrapped in body casts. Once again, Mark explains to the trio that they got injured by a trap he had no relation to and promises to take care of them. As Mark leaves to get more pie out of the oven, Sonic apologizes to his friends for not trusting their opinion on Mark and insists they must take him out. Tails is unsure of how to do this given their current states, but Sonic notes they still have him outnumbered. As such, when Mark returns, Team Sonic tries to attack him, only for their body casts to inhibit their movements, making the task impossible. As the heroes tumble around, Sonic's body cast breaks and he discovers nothing is broken; their injuries were all a lie. Team Sonic therefore breaks free of their body casts and surrounds Mark, with Sonic tying him up using a band of sports tape. While he admits defeat, Mark is amazed over how great it is to have his plans foiled by Sonic, who fires him as his assistant.

Back in the Village, Sonic muses to his team about how this nightmarish experience has taught him to keep a healthy relationship with his fans. Just then, Beth the Shrew shows up, asking for Sonic's autograph. This makes Sonic run off screaming in terror as his team laughs.

Continuity

Goofs

  • In scene for Career Day, duplicates of Wild Cat, the Fennec Male, Beth the Shrew, the Rabbit Girl, the Reindeer Girl and Stratford can be spotted in the crowd (although this might just be the technique where animators fill out crowds with duplicate characters when the animation budget is limited).
  • When Sonic turns around to face Mark at Meh Burger, he is standing in front of the counter. However, in the next scene, despite not having moved at all, Sonic is standing behind the fence that is in front of Meh Burger's counter.
  • When Mark heads over to Meh Burger's counter to complain, he is standing behind the fence in front of the counter, yet is able to tap on the counter as if he is standing right in front of it.
  • During Knuckles' stay at Meh Burger, he is seen having an empty plate and fork on his tray. During the short where Amy points out Mark's intensity however, Knuckles has a soda cup and a Meh Burger on his tray instead.
  • In several scenes, the arms on Team Sonic's body casts shift positions.

Production

During the production of this episode, the staff of Sonic Boom researched more of the general fandom rather than the Sonic fanbase specifically. Mark in particular was designed with the general fan-type character in mind rather than a specific person.[4][5]

Title in other languages

Language Title Translation
French Mon plus grand fan My biggest fan
Italian L'assistente perfetto The perfect assistant
Polish Największy fan The Biggest fan
Ukrainian Найбільший шанувальник The biggest fan

Trivia

  • Mark rescuing and later capturing Sonic after the accident is a reference to a scene from Stephen King's novel, Misery.
Blue arms joke

A possible Modern Sonic reference.

  • This episode contains many possible references to the Sonic fanbase:
    • Sonic's comment on how most of his fans criticize everything he does might be a reference to the real-life Sonic fanbase, who have become somewhat infamous for being overly critical.
    • The painting Mark made of Sonic with beige-colored arms instead of blue is a nod to the mainstream version of Sonic who has beige-colored arms, and perhaps to the fan's criticism of the blue arms Sonic received as a part of his redesign for the Sonic Boom franchise.
  • At one point, Mark mentions "SonAmy", a fan term for Sonic and Amy being in a romantic relationship.
    • Amy's comment to Sonic after using a roll of sports tape is perhaps a reference to the criticism of the sports tape used for the designs of the characters for Sonic Boom.
  • The icon of Sonic's head on Mark's shirt first appeared in Sonic Boom CG Style Guide.
  • The pictures Mark has of Sonic in his cabin uses images of Sonic from earlier episodes in the Sonic Boom television series, such as "Eggman Unplugged" and "Battle of the Boy Bands".
  • This is the only episode in the second season of Sonic Boom to be written by Doug Lieblich.[6]
  • This is the first episode in the second season of Sonic Boom where Sticks and Dr. Eggman never make an appearance.

References

  1. Bill Freiberger on Twitter. Twitter (1 December 2016). Retrieved on 2 December 2015. “Bill Freiberger: Episode 204 is "Alone Again, Unnaturally" written by Benoit Grenier. Episode 205 is "The Biggest Fan" written by @DougLieblich
  2. Sonic Boom: The Biggest Fan. Zap2it.com. Retrieved on 25 November 2016.
  3. Tous les Programmes (French). Canal J. Archived from the original on 8 June 2017. Retrieved on 28 March 2017.
  4. Doug Lieblich on Twitter. Twitter (11 December 2016). Retrieved on 11 December 2016. “Alexander Soerensen: Did you guys do a lot of research on the Sonic fanbase for "The Biggest Fan"? / Bill Freiberger: the research was more towards fandom in general.”
  5. Bill Freiberger on Twitter. Twitter (14 December 2016). Retrieved on 14 December 2016. “Bill Freiberger: Mark is 100% NOT based on CWC. He is a general fan type. We've done many blue arm jokes in the series. Not a clue.”
  6. Doug Lieblich on Twitter. Twitter (11 December 2016). Retrieved on 12 December 2016. “Mathan Sivanesan: That's all I need to know, thank you very much for answering my question. Can't wait for more episodes by you in this season! / Doug Lieblich: sure thing. Glad you liked it. Sadly, that's my only ep this season. But I hope to do more if there's a season 3.”