Thomas Michael "Tom" Wachowski is a character that appears in the Sonic the Hedgehog film. The selfless but world-weary sheriff of Green Hills, Montana, Tom sought to move to San Francisco for new opportunities to protect others from danger. Before his relocation, however, he befriended Sonic the Hedgehog, who helped him realize his importance as a hero to the citizens he has worked with for years and was ultimately convinced to stay in Green Hills.
Tom is an average sized man with brown hair, peach skin, and blue eyes. Though Tom has a wide range of clothing, he can usually be seen wearing his beige police uniform.
Tom was born and raised in Green Hills, Montana. It's implied that he comes from a long line of police officers all native to Green Hills. At some point prior to the events in the film, Tom married Maddie and took on two jobs while Maddie attended veterinarian school. Upon deciding that he wanted to move out of Green Hills and pursue police work in bigger cities, he put in an application for a position in San Francisco, California as part of the San Francisco Police Department in place of his position as Sheriff of Green Hills and head of the Green Hills Sheriff's Department.
Tom is first seen working speed trap detail behind a welcome billboard some distance outside Green Hills, but barely any cars pass by going fast enough to warrant Tom to pursue and cite them for speeding, if at all, much to his boredom. He even decides to have some fun pretending a slow moving turtle is in a hurry and toying with his speed radar until he conks himself with it. After Sonic has some fun by racing past and triggering the radar to clock in some very high speeds, much to Tom's confusion, Tom is summoned by his deputy, Wade Whipple, to deal with some ducks back in town that were causing a few problems, and departs in his Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor to head back into Green Hills with his emergency lights blazing. After he leaves, Sonic rescues the same turtle he was messing with from being run over by an SUV going the opposite direction of Tom's cruiser.
After helping the ducks across the street, aptly naming them Donald, Daisy, and Daffy, he soon returns home to learn that his application to the SFPD was approved, pending the initial background check and other exams to see if he qualifies for joining the force, with his wife Maddie presenting a cake to congratulate him for his application being approved. Around this time, Maddie leaves Green Hills to travel to San Francisco to find a new home for them, and visit her sister Rachel and niece Jojo. After she leaves, Green Hills suffers an unnatural blackout due to Sonic triggering an electromagnetic pulse in his frustration at his loneliness.
A day or two later, Tom, hearing noises in his shed, suspecting it to be the raccoons that he caught rummaging through his trash previously, grabs Maddie's tranquilizer gun to deal with them and, practicing his shout-out when breaking into a search warrant assigned house once he joins the SFPD, is startled to find Sonic in there just as he was about to leave Earth for the Mushroom Planet after realizing his earlier triggering of the EMP has attracted unwanted attention from the U.S. Army and he had to flee for safer havens. Before he can, Tom shoots him with a tranquilizer, and as Sonic succumbs to the sedative, he notices the San Francisco T-shirt Tom is wearing, causing him to open a portal to said city with the ring he was holding, dropping his entire bag of them through the portal to land on the Transamerica Pyramid before passing out from the sedative.
When Sonic wakes up later, it is not long before he tries to explain to Tom how he needs his rings to flee from the military as they are hunting him for his powers. Tom refuses at first, despite Sonic pleading that it was a matter of life and death, before being forced to hide Sonic in his attic when his house is visited by Doctor Robotnik. Tom is able to dupe Robotnik into blowing his cover regarding his reasons for visiting, which was by pretending to be a friend of one of Tom's friends, but although Tom nearly convinces Robotnik to leave, Robotnik spots Sonic's quill that Tom had discovered previously while on his speed trap detail, and threatens Tom with execution by one of his Badniks if he doesn't tell Robotnik the truth in five seconds. At the last second, Sonic emerges from his hiding spot, pleading for Robotnik to not harm Tom, and as Robotnik freaks out at seeing Sonic, Tom punches him, which causes the Badnik that Robotnik threatened to turn on Tom to become hostile, but Tom and Sonic take it out before fleeing in Tom's Toyota pickup.
Once out on the road, Tom pulls over and lets Sonic off to head for San Francisco on his own, but after Sonic literally runs all the way to the Pacific Ocean and back, not knowing how to get to the City by the Bay on his own, Tom concedes to help him get there himself, since he could rejoin Maddie once he got into town.
When they stop at a biker bar during the night, Tom calls back to Green Hills to talk to Wade, only to learn that Robotnik and his men were in the office with Wade when Robotnik takes over the call and threatens Tom with marking him as a domestic terrorist for interfering in his mission to capture Sonic. Tom abruptly hangs up on the doctor before discovering Sonic went into the bar, in disguise, and teaches Sonic about the meaning of a bucket list, the things you want to do before you die, or in Sonic's case, leave Earth forever. After Sonic inadvertently starts a bar brawl that he easily subdues in supersonic speed mode, he and Tom flee for a motel to spend the rest of the night at. While there, Tom begins to soften his attitude towards Sonic as he tucks him in for the night, before learning on the news of his wanted status as a domestic terrorist due to Robotnik.
The next day, Tom and Sonic are on the road again, only to be attacked by a large tank Badnik sent after them by Robotnik. Sonic is able to take it out by knocking it on its side with his spin attack, but Robotnik, prepared for a situation like that, deploys a smaller Badnik to continue the pursuit. Sonic subdues this one with its own EMP mines, but a one-wheeled Badnik continues the pursuit, only for Tom to take it out himself. Growing increasingly frustrated by this, Robotnik sends a tiny, helicopter Badnik from the remains to slice off the top of the cab of Tom's Toyota pickup, before Sonic breaks the Badnik in half, only to find its core has become a sticky bomb on a timer. Sonic and Tom manage to plant the bomb on a rock, but the resulting explosion is powerful enough to knock Sonic out cold and badly wound him. Fearful for Sonic's life, Tom takes him into San Francisco to see if Maddie could help him, having to deal with Rachel in the process, who soon faints upon seeing Sonic, giving Tom time to tie her up and subdue her. Maddie manages to awaken Sonic with smelling salts, and after Jojo gives Sonic a new pair of shoes to replace his severely-worn ones, Maddie joins Tom and Sonic in heading to the Transamerica Pyramid, where Tom is able to use his badge to get roof access granted to him so Sonic could recover his rings. However, after Sonic says his goodbyes to Tom and Maddie and prepares to leave Earth, he is stopped by an army of Badniks, along with Robotnik, piloting the Prototype. Knowing that Tom and Maddie would be killed by the Badniks when they open fire, Sonic knocks the Wachowskis off the Transamerica Pyramid, before using his supersonic speed to take out the Badniks and then move to save them, but Robotnik, using Sonic's quill he found, is able to have the Prototype enter supersonic speed and nearly ruin Sonic's rescue attempt, but Sonic manages to open a portal to Green Hills so Tom and Maddie land safely in the hay pile of a barn there before turning his attention to Robotnik.
Tom and Maddie make it back downtown to the heart of Green Hills just in time to see Sonic emerge from a ring portal mortally wounded from one of the Prototype's attacks as Robotnik himself emerges to capture and take him back to be dissected. Using Sonic's rings, Tom ambushes Robotnik and tries to fight him personally to protect Sonic, but is swiftly overpowered. However, Robotnik's attempt on Tom's life infuriates the people of Green Hills who, led by Deputy Wade and Crazy Carl, come to Tom's defense. When Robotnik questions why Tom is protecting Sonic, Tom explains that Sonic is his friend. Hearing this causes Sonic to gain a miraculous second wind, and now in full control of his powers, begins to tear the Prototype apart, before Tom provides a portal to the Mushroom Planet for Sonic to send Robotnik through, destroying the Prototype in the process, and ensuring Robotnik doesn't threaten anyone ever again.
Some time later, Tom and Maddie are fixing up their house when they are visited by Commander Walters, the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from the Pentagon in Arlington. As thanks for dealing with Robotnik and keeping word of what happened a secret after the U.S. government erased all knowledge of it, Walters gives Tom and Maddie an Olive Garden gift card as a token of their government's gratitude. Then they politely close the door on Walters when he tries to get a peek at Sonic, even offering a chance for Sonic to meet the President of the United States personally, before then revealing to Sonic that they moved all his stuff from his cave in the woods to their attic, so now Sonic can live with them from now on, thus allowing Sonic to have a family and friends and never be lonely again.
Kind-hearted and hard-working, Tom actively pursues the chance to help other people and is dedicated to his duty as Green Hills' sheriff. He isn't afraid to get physical if the need arises and is protective of those he cares about. Despite his sharp tongue and an occasionally dark sense of humor, he's very sweet and gentle and frequently goes out of his way to assist others.
He dislikes boredom to the point that Green Hills' lack of action nearly drives him out of his hometown to pursue work in San Fransisco. Tom shows open skepticism when presented with a situation that seems odd or fabricated, such as when he first met Dr. Robotnik.
Sonic the Hedgehog
At first, Tom only saw Sonic as a weird extra-terrestrial and a bit of a nuisance and a trouble-maker. When they first met, Tom was frightened by him and shot the hedgehog with a bear tranquilizer. Despite his initial unease around Sonic, Tom accepted to help him retrieve his lost Rings as he acknowledged his own mistake and fault. This was also due to his drive to help people.
Despite Sonic's initial attempts to be polite, Tom was continuously annoyed by the hedgehog's sense of humor and easy-going demeanor. However, after discovering Sonic's desire to make a real friend, Tom slowly but surely came to understand that Sonic was lonely. From that moment on, Tom became increasingly caring towards Sonic, to the point of even acting as a parental figure to him, shown when he tucked the hedgehog into bed at the motel and when he hurriedly carried him to Rachel's house when he was knocked out unconscious by one of Robotnik's drones.
At the climax of the film, after Sonic was almost killed by Robotnik, Tom got furious to the point where he said Sonic was more human than Robotnik and admitted the hedgehog was his friend, which motivated Sonic into fighting Robotnik back. After Robotnik's defeat, Tom moved Sonic's belongings from his cave to the Wachowski residence's attic, which Sonic was overjoyed at and felt happy that he was no longer lonely.
- "I'm the Donut Lord, you son of a b...!"
- —Tom fighting Robotnik.