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For the object, see Counter Productive.

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"Counter Productive" is the fifty-first episode in the Sonic Boom television series. It first aired on 20 September 2015 in France and on 7 November 2015 in the United States.


Knuckles tries to make amends for a past misdeed, but he only succeeds at making things worse.







One night at Tails' House, Team Sonic is watching Sonic and Knuckles as they reach hour 23 of a stay-awake challenge; Tails and Sticks commentate, watching along with Amy as Sonic runs around in circles and Knuckles watches late-night TV, both attempting to remain awake longer than the other. Sonic is confident in his victory, certain that Knuckles will pass out as soon as he sees something boring, but Knuckles assures him nothing on TV is boring. The echidna is soon proven wrong when he unknowingly tunes into the Comedy Chimp Show, where Comedy Chimp is talking with Soar the Eagle about his new book, Counter Productive. Soar states the book is about fixing past mistakes, with his choices in vernacular causing Knuckles' mind to flash back to the past; he recalls an incident where he asked a worker named Charlie if he could use his baskets of apples, at which point he empties the baskets and uses them as stilts, much to Charlie's annoyance. Knuckles not only loses the challenge in the present because of his loss of focus, but he begins to fear he is counter productive—fears that are only strengthened when Soar states that anyone who does not go to a person they have wronged and make up past mistakes is a monster. Knuckles runs out of the house in terror at what he has done, screaming that he himself is a monster (with Sonic hoping this is not like when Knuckles thought he was a ballerina).

The next day, Knuckles returns to the scene of his wrongdoing, only to find from Charlie's former boss, the Fennec Shopkeeper, that he was fired from his position years ago and he had gone to work at a digging site for some Ancient ruins. Knuckles quickly runs off (though not before accidentally emptying the baskets and using them as stilts again) and finds Charlie at the digging site, insisting that he make up his mistake in spite of Charlie's reassuring that he has forgotten about the incident and his life is good, having things like a nice house, a wife and a wonderful job. Knuckles, in his incompetent attempts to make things right, proceeds to toss Charlie's sandwich in the lake with the promise of better lunch and destroys the artifact Charlie was attempting to examine. By the time Charlie has reassembled it, Knuckles returns and breaks the artifact again and describes the perfect lunch he had gotten for Charlie, only to have eaten it on the way. Knuckles thus ended up bringing back a soggy sandwich that he unwittingly fished out of the lake, unaware it was the same one he threw away earlier. Charlie tries to get back to work, but Knuckles' attempts to help Charlie causes him to hurt Charlie's foot with a shovel and make him slip on the soggy sandwich from earlier. An injured and weary Charlie later returns home to tell his wife, Belinda, about his day, only to find that she has invited Knuckles to dinner. Charlie's attempts to get him out of the house only causes Belina to cite him for his meekness.

The day after, Knuckles continues to "help", attempting to gather up the flags that Charlie planted near discovered artifacts, leaving Charlie forced to redo his work. Trying to fix this, Knuckles plants a flag into a buried weapon which accidentally activates the weapons and blows up a nearby ruin as a result; this angers Charlie's boss, Mr. Slate, who saw this and demands an explanation. While Knuckles attempts to defend Charlie by arguing with Mr. Slate, the ox ends up firing Charlie despite (or because of) Knuckles' help. The two walk back to Charlie's house in the Village Center in the pouring rain, with Charlie wondering how he is going to break the news to his wife. Knuckles informs him that he has already done the act, and a shocked Charlie runs home to find his wife tossing his stuff out, angrily asking why he cannot stand up for himself before slamming the door. Having lost everything, Charlie finally snaps, calling Knuckles a menace and swearing that he will not allow people like him to be a problem for him anymore before going into a fit of crazed laughter and running off. Later that stormy night, Charlie returns to the digging site, recovering an artifact that looks like a metallic hand while still filled with a desire for revenge.

Knuckles discusses what happened with Sonic, Tails, and Amy at Meh Burger the following day, with Sonic assuring him that Charlie did not mean what he said. Much to the contrary, Charlie stomps over to the group in a mech suit from the time of the Ancients that he dug up and reassembled, planning on using it to torment Knuckles as payback. He briefly immobilizes Knuckles and the others with energy rays, but when the mech suit starts to malfunction, Charlie's ignores the group's tips and ends up blasting them away before running off with an evil laugh; Amy believes this issue will resolve itself, but Charlie continues to bully Knuckles by stealing his money when he tries to buy lunch at Meh Burger, smearing his ice cream over his face, and throwing him into trash cans. Sonic tells Knuckles to stand up for himself; however, Knuckles refuses, knowing he got Charlie fired and remaining committed to the lessons of Soar's book by attempting to make it up to him. He attempts to use alternative, friendly ways to pacify Charlie, like having a policeman act as a go-between, stay out of his way, and offering his friendship, but nothing works, and his plans backfire on him as Charlie continues to make his life miserable.

Eventually, Charlie starts yelling about being a supervillain, at which point Knuckles' friends inform him of a page of Soar's book that tells the reader to forget about making up to the person they have wronged if they have turned into a supervillain. This allows Knuckles to confront Charlie, with a crowd gathering; among them is not only Eggman, but Belinda, both on Charlie's side. Knuckles and Charlie have a short fight, eventually leading to a victory for Knuckles; he and Charlie form a truce, with Belinda accepting on his behalf (much to Eggman's disappointment). Happy he finally settled things, Knuckles goes off with his friends to have burgers in celebration. Belinda congratulates him on his new job as a supervillain, and when Charlie asks about the truce, she crosses her fingers as they both laugh evilly.


Title in other languages

Language Title Translation
Finnish Haitallinen itselleen Harmful for itself
French Un ami qui vous veut du bien A Friend Who Wishes You Well
Hungarian Kontra produktív Counter productive
Italian Controproducente Knuckles Counterproductive Knuckles
Japanese 罪のつぐない Penance
Korean 내 사과를 받아줘요! Please Accept My Apologies!
Polish Siła destrukcji The force of destruction
Romanian Contra-productiv Counterproductive
Russian Контропродуктивность Counter productive
Spanish (Latin America) Contraproducente Counterproductive
Ukrainian Продуктивне заняття Productive occupation


  • Amy appears in this episode, but she doesn't speak until about seven minutes into it.
  • This episode is listed as "Counter-Productive" on Cartoon Network's website.[3]
  • This is the second time the heart-shaped iris out effect is used in Sonic Boom. The first time was in "Tails' Crush".
  • The comic Dave the Intern reads in this episode is the same one Dr. Eggman reads in "Buster".
  • The remote controller that Knuckles uses in the beginning of the episode uses the same model as the one that Dr. Eggman uses on his own TV in "Aim Low", though the large button with the Eggman Industries logo on it is replaced with a D-Pad.
  • The ruins Charlie worked at was confirmed to originate from the Ancients by Bill Freiberger on Twitter.[4]
  • This episode has some references to TV Sitcom, The Big Bang Theory. Charlie's wife bears a resemblance to Bernadette Rostenkowski-Wolowitz. Charlie tells her they have a "thing" and Knuckles saying "Did you try turning it off and back on?" shares similar lines to some episodes.
  • Concept artwork for this episode appeared in Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice.


  1. Sonic Boom: Counter-Productive. Retrieved on 3 November 2015.
  2. Cartoon Network - Schedule (2015/11/30). Retrieved on 12 March 2017.
  3. Error on call to Template:cite web: Parameters url and title must be specified.. Retrieved on 30 December 2016.
  4. Bill Freiberger on Twitter. Twitter (2 May 2016). Retrieved on 2 may 2016. “Alexander Soerensen: That ruin Charlie worked at in Counter Productive. Was that a ruin from the Ancients? / Bill Freiberger: Yes it was.”