T.W. Barker is an antagonist in the Sonic Boom television series. He is an anthropomorphic dog and the villainous ringmaster of T.W. Barker's Circus of Wonders, a circus that holds its performers against their will. An entrepreneur and professional con man, Barker is a devious trickster with skills as a lawyer and real estate agent. Unlike most of the other local villains, Barker relies on his wits and slyness to pull off his schemes rather than brute force.
T.W. Barker is an anthropomorphic dog about as tall as Knuckles with a medium-broad chest and shoulders. He has dark gray fur with light gray fur on the tip of his bushy tail, triangular ears, medium-sized muzzle, and as a stripe down the middle of his head. He also has cheek tufts, noticeable fangs, a pointy black snout, and orange eyes.
His attire consists of a white shirt with a red bow tie, a red jacket with darker cuffs and collar and yellow epaulettes, black boots, white gloves, and a black top hat. While working as a lawyer, he wears a dark blue suit jacket.
While in the Village, Barker observed the Eggmobile that had been put on sale by Orbot and Cubot. Buffing that he thought Orbot and Cubot were trying to con him, Barker offered them a deal: he could take the Eggmobile out for a test drive and the duo could name their price. As Orbot agreed to it, Barker left with the Eggmobile, though Orbot and Cubot did not realize until much later that he stole it.
Eventually, Barker's performers escaped him. Hearing of Team Sonic, Barker set up a trap to make them a part of his circus. Encountering Team Sonic, excluding Tails, under the pretense that it was by accident, Barker lied to them upon his introduction that his performers were ill and could no longer perform. As he had planned, Team Sonic helped fill in for his performers at his next show. Afterwards, Barker revealed his true intentions and imprisoned Team Sonic in special cages with some Motobugs he had ordered standing guard. However, Barker's plans were foiled by Tails, who broke his friends out of their cages, thus allowing them to back against Barker. After Sonic trapped Barker in a cage, Barker begged for the heroes to release him, but his cries fell on deaf ears.
Barker was later hired by Dr. Eggman as his lawyer when the doctor sued Sonic for injuring him. With his skills, Barker convinced everyone in the court that Sonic was a malicious outlaw bend on harming the innocent Eggman. However, Barker's efforts would come to naught when Amy exposed Eggman for faking his case. During the "Battle of the Buns" between Chez Amy and Meh Burger later on, Barker would come to the former for a meal. Barker later joined the New Year's Eve party held in the Village Center where he got to see Soar the Eagle at work.
Some time later, Barker came to the auditions for Bro-Down Showdown alongside his partner Wolfie. However, the pair were rejected by Dixon for being "too ugly." Instead, Barker spent some time watching the show live. Barker would later visit the Village Center in time to see Sonic clear his name after being accused of thievery. Another time, Barker visited the Robot Battle Royale to watch the tournament, where he saw Eggman steal Tails' Hypnobot at the end.
Called to a meeting held by Eggman at his lair with other local villains and rogues, Barker came with his Stunt Bears. There, Eggman wanted them to form a team to beat Team Sonic. After some leadership disputes leading to team exercises, Barker opted for Eggman's leadership so the group could prove themselves after Shadow the Hedgehog had left the group criticizing them. At their attack on Team Sonic, Barker faced Knuckles in the Octopus Bot upon the Chameleon's signal, luring the echidna away from his team. However, he was still beaten.
After conducting some scams, Barker was forced by law to get a permit for committing evil. To do so, Barker had to take an exam, which he passed, although the law was soon rendered null and void. Hearing later that Knuckles was looking for a house, Barker presented himself as an unofficial real estate agent and tricked Knuckles into buying a house. He then began strong-arming Knuckles with his Stunt Bears to make him pay the unfair house fees in his contract. Violating Barker's contract though, Knuckles brought in his team, and Barker was scared into nullifying Knuckles' contract by Amy. Seeing the success of Muckfoot Mania, Barker sought to make Muckfoot an attraction at his circus. Although Barker caught a mud-covered Knuckles instead, he opted to pose Knuckles as the real Muckfoot. After a successful showcase in Hedgehog Village, Barker took Knuckles on a world tour to show him to the rubes for a fee. Team Sonic soon came for Knuckles though, so Barker had his allies, Dr. Eggman and his robots included, who had just joined his circus, fight the team. However, Barker and his crew lost when the heroes fed them sleepwalk-inducing berries.
Eventually, Barker came to Team Sonic's charity car wash to have his circus truck washed. When local gossip later revealed that Dr. Eggman was no doctor, Barker began seeing him as a joke. He thus joined the villagers in mocking Eggman during the scientist's next trip to the Village. Barker soon after joined Professor Kingsford's Evil Science class to get a doctorate. Over the next eighty-seven weeks, he witnessed his fellow student Eggman face continuous failures and ruin Barker's point grade average. However, Barker failed the final exam by not cheating (unlike Eggman).
Having opened the Haunted Forest, Barker showed Sonic, Tails and Eggman his attraction to calm Eggman after it made him think ghosts were after him. Plotting to make Eggman's lair the new venue for his attraction however, Barker conned Eggman into signing his lair and its contents over to him by making his lair look haunted. After Barker remodeled and opened the lair however, Sonic came and showed Eggman Barker's game. Though Barker removed Eggman with the lair's robots, Eggman ruined his business by telling the visitors of its credibility. Blaming Sonic for this, Barker attacked Team Sonic with the Badniks until the robots began attacking him due to a virus Eggman had planted. To save himself, Barker returned Eggman's properties to him. Some time after, Barker came under attack by Cubot when the latter went nuts and gained new gravity powers. Although Sticks kept him safe for a while, Barker ultimately got caught in the grasp of Cubot's gravity powers and taken towards space by Cubot. While Barker was brought down to earth again by Sonic and Tails before he died from asphyxia, he nearly got crushed by the increased gravity emanating from Cubot's gravity device. Thankfully, he was saved when Knuckles smashed the device.
Eventually, Barker joined the auto race on Race Day. When Race Day arrived, Barker used his circus truck for the competition. However, a trap laid by his fellow racer caused him to crash, resulting in his loss. Regardless, Barker still received a participation trophy. Barker soon after tried luring the locals into his next scam. When Sonic intervened however, Barker had his Stunt Bears attack him. Later on, Barker went to the Villain Retreat where he had some rest and relaxation.
T.W. Barker is very sly, sinister, greedy, and devious. An educated, smooth, and charismatic charlatan, he is quite sharp, intelligent, and manipulative: he has managed to portray himself as a proper gentleman and selfless entertainer in spite of his malicious nature, tricked Orbot and Cubot into letting him steal the Eggmobile, and deceived an entire courtroom in his favor.
Whenever he is concocting his evil schemes, Barker usually stays in firm control of his situation and remains completely confident in his plots. He is also an organized fellow and a very competent strategist who can turn even the useless Badniks into a nearly unstoppable fighting force. Because of his profession as a con man, Barker knows as well how not to let himself get deceived by anything. This is best exemplified when he recognized a mud-covered Knuckles when everyone else mistook him for Muckfoot.
Hungry for profit, Barker is extremely selfish, proud, and has no regard for others. He has been known to hold his performers captive against their will so they will keep working for him, and he often tricks people into crooked deals that are beneficial to him alone while leaving his recipients in debt to him or without anything at all.
Barker usually keeps a collected and relatively sophisticated demeanor. However, it has been shown that he keeps a much more vindictive and unrefined personality under this. When pushed too far, Barker can snap into a furious yet cultivated rage where he is bent on his enemies' utter destruction. Should he choose to drop his composure altogether, he can be rather short-tempered and loud. He also usually leaves his henchmen to fight his battles while he keeps himself safe, which hints towards a cowardly nature as well.
Powers and abilities
T.W. Barker is a very crafty con man and a well-educated lawyer with a silver tongue. Using simple wits, appeal, verbal traps, and mind games, he can easily win over his victims' trust and turn an otherwise iron-clad argument in his favor. As a testament to his skills, he was able to trick an entire courtroom into supporting him and Eggman without much effort. He is also a versatile pilot, piloting the Eggmobile and Octopus Bot without any difficulty.
- "Tonight, we bring you feats of strength, speed, and agility! The likes of which you have never seen before! Unless you've been to any other circuses. Enjoy!"
- —T.W. Barker introducing his circus, "Circus of Plunders"
- "Let me out of this infernal cage! I'm an entrepeneur!"
- —T.W. Barker losing his temper, "Circus of Plunders"
- "It's over, Sonic! The denouement! The final credcendo! Your meddling cost me my business! Now, prepare to make acquaintance with your demise, for it is imminent!"
- —T.W. Barker's villanous monologue to Sonic, "The Haunted Lair"
- T.W. Barker's name and character design is a reference to P.T. Barnum, a master of the Circus arts and was even called the "Circus King".
- T.W. Barker has his own action figure.
- According to Bill Freiberger, Barker, like Dr. Eggman, thinks the Lightning Bolt Society are a bunch of losers.
- T.W. Barker is the first villain in the Sonic Boom television series besides Dr. Eggman to directly antagonize Team Sonic.
- According to Bill Freiberger, T.W. Barker's initials do not stand for anything as of yet.
- In the Polish version of the Sonic Boom television series, however, he is introduced as "Theodore William Barker".
- Bill Freiberger on Twitter. Twitter (16 March 2016). Retrieved on 16 March 2016. "Gitz: Is T.W. Barker supposed to be a wolf, or some other canine out there? It was never really specified in the show. / Bill Freiberger: The name Barker should be a hint. He's a dog."
- Banker, Mark; Denton, Alan; Hahn, Greg (7 February 2015). "Circus of Plunders". Sonic Boom. Season 1. Episode 12. Cartoon Network.
- Harrison, Reid (14 March 2015). "Don't Judge Me". Sonic Boom. Season 1. Episode 17. Cartoon Network.
- Grenier, Benoit (25 February 2017). "Knine-to-Five Knuckles". Sonic Boom. Season 2. Episode 68. Boomerang.
- Denton, Alan; Hahn, Greg (24 January 2015). "Dude, Where's My Eggman?". Sonic Boom. Season 1. Episode 10. Cartoon Network.
- Harrison, Reid (13 July 2015). "Chez Amy". Sonic Boom. Season 1. Episode 27. Cartoon Network.
- Harrison, Reid (8 August 2015). "New Year's Retribution". Sonic Boom. Season 1. Episode 38. Cartoon Network.
- Moarbes, Charles-Henri (29 August 2015). "Bro-Down Showdown". Sonic Boom. Season 1. Episode 41. Cartoon Network.
- Harrison, Reid (19 September 2015). "It Wasn't Me, It Was the One-Armed Hedgehog". Sonic Boom. Season 1. Episode 44. Cartoon Network.
- Van Liemt, Romain; Grenier, Benoit (26 September 2015). "Robot Battle Royale". Sonic Boom. Season 1. Episode 45. Cartoon Network.
- Denton, Alan; Hahn, Greg (14 November 2015). "It Takes a Village to Defeat a Hedgehog". Sonic Boom. Season 1. Episode 52. Cartoon Network.
- Grenier, Benoit (21 January 2017). "The Evil Dr. Orbot". Sonic Boom. Season 2. Episode 63. Boomerang.
- Burke, Kevin; Wyatt, Chris (8 April 2017). "Muckfoot". Sonic Boom. Season 2. Episode 74. Boomerang.
- Denton, Alan; Hahn, Greg; Freiberger, Bill (6 May 2017). "Robots From The Sky Part 1". Sonic Boom. Season 2. Episode 78. Boomerang.
- Freiberger, Sam (8 July 2017). "Mister Eggman". Sonic Boom. Season 2. Episode 87. Boomerang.
- Joly, Sandrine (15 July 2017). "The Haunted Lair". Sonic Boom. Season 2. Episode 88. Boomerang.
- Beardmore, Marie (29 July 2017). "Eggman's Anti Gravity Ray". Sonic Boom. Season 2. Episode 90. Boomerang.
- James, Jake (26 August 2017). "If You Build It They Will Race". Sonic Boom. Season 2. Episode 94. Boomerang.
- Saisselin, Peter (2 September 2017). "Chain Letter". Sonic Boom. Season 2. Episode 95. Boomerang.
- Grenier, Benoit (14 October 2017). "You and I Bee-come One". Sonic Boom. Season 2. Episode 99. Boomerang.
- Greg Hahn on Twitter. Twitter (28 Kuly 2018). Retrieved on 25 August 2018. "Greg Hahn: We never explicitly figured out what his initials meant. The character was inspired by PT Barnum (thats why he’s named that way)."
- Harrison, Reid (1 August 2015). "Next Top Villain". Sonic Boom. Season 1. Episode 37. Cartoon Network.
- Let's watch Sonic Boom! Episode 29 ~Curse of the Cross-Eyed Moose~. YouTube (17 July 2015). Retrieved on 19 July 2015.
- Bill Freiberger on Twitter. Twitter (29 June 2016). Retrieved on 1 July 2016.