Despite all the setbacks it had faced, the Sonic the Hedgehog movie finally saw its very romantic Valentine’s Day weekend release.  And while the critic’s reviews have been all over the place (tldr: Jim Carrey goes full Jim Carrey, so your enjoyment of that will depend on your opinion of Jim Carrey, and also the rest of the movie is “cartoon character has to learn about the Real World™,” a la the live-actions Smurfs movies), one thing in particular sticks out like a sore thumb (Spoiler Alert: it isn’t Sonic doing Fortnite dances):

Olive Garden Product Placement.

At one point, Olive Garden comes up in a conversation (somehow? I haven’t actually seen it yet, I’ve been working 10 hour shifts all weekend) and Tom (the human main character) just drops the “when you’re here, you’re family” tagline, like that’s something a normal human would do.  Then, after the climax, the US government gives Tom a $50 Olive Garden gift card for his role in saving the planet, like that’s something a normal government would do.

Why Olive Garden?  What part of Olive Garden’s brand seemed compatible with Sonic the Hedgehog?   Did Sonic Drive-ins, who, name aside, actually serve Sonic’s trademark favorite food, chili dogs, think it would be too on-the-nose?

None of that’s important.  I want to know what, in lieu of a chili dog, Sonic would order off of the Olive Garden menu.

I think we can all agree that in order to maintain his status as the fastest thing alive, Sonic must consume an improbable amount of calories.  However, the saying is “Gotta go fast,” not, “I can go fast when I want to,” so I can only imagine most meals for him are hurried affairs dedicated to ingesting the most calories per second possible.  Basically, it’s me, back in my restaurant days, hunched over a trash can horfing down family meal in between prep jobs.

So, it basically comes down to two factors: caloric density and ease of consumption (Given his aforementioned chili dog affinity, I don’t think Sonic is much of a gourmand, so I don’t think actual flavor is going to come into play much.).  

Caloric density is the easy part.  Lots of stuff on Olive Garden’s menu exceeds 1,000 calories per serving.  The big winner here would be the Chicken Alfredo at a whopping 1,620. Somehow.

But, Sonic would have to waste soooooo much time twirling his fettuccini around his fork.  All long, stringy pastas are out. And don’t get me started on anything that requires a knife.

Turns out, after cutting out every twirlable pasta and everything that would need to be cut into bite-sized pieces, well, there’s isn’t much of a menu left.  So, what are we left with? Some would say that the make-your-own pasta with the Rigatoni (440 cal) and the Asiago Garlic Alfredo (940 cal) would be the most caloric combination left available.  But, whether or not this slight edge in total calories is enough to offset the time lost in explaining your custom order to your server has been fiercely debated by Sonic historians, critics of make-your-own menu items, and speedrunners for decades.  The only other worthy adversary would be the Five Cheese Ziti al-Forno, which, despite just being ziti, cheese, and marinara, is somehow 1,220 calories.   

If he’s willing to sacrifice precious seconds of his Olive Garden speedrun towards also ordering an appetizer, the Lasagna Fritta, at 1,070 calories and seemingly ready to be eaten with your hands, would make a good contender.  

And idk, Sonic doesn’t seem like much of a dessert kind of guy to me.  I think he’d stick more to complex carbs than simple sugars.  

The worst part of all of this is that you can’t say it wasn’t effective advertising.  I just spent this whole time talking about Olive Garden, and you just spent the whole time reading about Olive Garden.  Sure, I might not have painted the OG in a particularly appetizing light, but this is the first time I’ve even thought about them in years, so that’s saying something.

When I eventually go to see Sonic on the big screen, I’ll be smuggling in a chili dog.  It’s what he would have wanted.

2 thoughts on “What Does Sonic the Hedgehog Eat at Olive Garden?

  1. RJG says:

    This… almost kinda sorta makes sense. Many running events will hold a spaghetti dinner the night before so that participants can “carb load”.

    Wikipedia says “Carbohydrate loading, commonly referred to as carb-loading, is a strategy used by endurance athletes, such as runners, to maximise the storage of glycogen in the muscles and liver.”

    And maybe Olive Garden just seems like the place to do it? This is all a big stretch but still.

    1. Riley Johnson says:

      Man I hate it when I’m right…

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