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This character exists primarily or exclusively within the IDW Publishing continuity.
Information in this article may not be canonical to the storyline of the games or any other Sonic continuity.

Who said you could come into our town, huh? Who said you could ruin our fun?!

— Tumble the Skunk, Sonic the Hedgehog #3

Tumble the Skunk[2] is a character that appears in the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series and its spin-offs published by IDW Publishing. He is an anthropomorphic skunk and the brother of his partner, Rough. An evil mercenary, he and Rough took over Barricade Town, but were stopped by Sonic the Hedgehog and Knuckles the Echidna. After escaping prison later on, they now seek revenge on Sonic and Knuckles.

Concept and creation

Tumble's design stemmed from Tyson Hesse's love of the albino skunks' looks. Also, Tumble's tail was originally going to be hairless like a rat's, but it was found to be too disturbing. Instead, Hesse cut it off and teased that one day, the fans may find out how it happened.[3]

Early designs of Tumble had more clothing and less defined eyes compared to the final version.[1]


Tumble is a muscular and tall anthropomorphic skunk with light cream and beige fur. His mohawk runs down his back with his white stripes reaching the ends of the stub where his tail once was. He has quite scruffy fur, with his chest and muzzle looking connected. He has a pink nose with a triangular shape and short ears. He bears a "W"-shaped patch in the center of his chest and bears fangs. Around his black eyes with red sclera, Tumble has a purple streak.

For attire, Tumble wears two black, spiked bracelets with gold buckles on them and wears black and gray boots also with golden buckles.



Apparently delinquents from an early age, Tumble and Rough would be banned from any ball pit they came across for kicking out the other kids.[4]

At some point, Tumble lost his tail under unspecified circumstances. This event greatly traumatized Tumble.[5]

The Eggman War

Rough and Tumble ferociously drive back Badniks, from Sonic the Hedgehog #3.

During the war between the Eggman Empire and the Resistance, Tumble and Rough helped save Barricade Town by ferociously driving back the invading Badniks. Afterwards, they set themselves up in Barricade Town and promised to help them improve their defenses. However, the brothers ultimately ended up taking over Barricade Town, its Wisps, and its Wispon distribution center, setting themselves up as tyrannical rulers.[6]

Trapping the townsfolk between themselves and marauding Badniks outside the walls, Tumble and Rough controlled Barricade Town throughout the end of the war and into the ensuing reconstruction period.[6]


Tumble and Rough in their base, from Sonic the Hedgehog #3.

While Tumble and Rough were lounging about in the Wispon distribution center, being waited on hand and foot by the locals, Sonic and Knuckles arrived to confront them. Shocked and angered at the interruption of their fun, Tumble remarked about how they knew who the heroes were, but Rough commented about how they do not know them and began a choreographed introduction before engaging in combat.[6]

While Rough engaged Knuckles, Sonic attacked Tumble with a Spin Attack, who caught him in midair. He then proceeds to dribble and throw Sonic like a basketball. However, Sonic eventually fought back, and knocked Tumble backwards, causing him to trip over and land on the table behind him. Recovering, Tumble picked up his dazed brother (who had been sent through the floor boards by Knuckles) before they both grabbed some Wispons in an attempt to turn the tide of the fight. Unfortunately for them, Sonic convinced the Wisps to turn on them, leaving Tumble and Rough's Wispons useless and helping the heroes surround them. Mocking their choreographed introduction, Sonic and Knuckles did their own number before knocking out both Tumble and his brother. In the aftermath, Tumble was apprehended by the local militia, along with his brother, and promised that they would escape and come after Sonic and Knuckles. Rough cursed them as well, saying that they have made life-long enemies of himself and Tumble before being taken away.[6]

Battle For Angel Island

At some point during their incarceration, both Tumble and Rough were broken out of jail by Dr. Starline. He wished to enlist their help in kidnapping Dr. Eggman from the remote mountain village he currently resided in due to his amnesia. Starline promised that in exchange for Tumble and Rough's help, Eggman would build them weapons to use for revenge against Sonic.[7]

Rough and Tumble kidnapping Eggman, from Sonic the Hedgehog #10.

Accepting Starline's offer, the brothers went to Windmill Village where Dr. Eggman was staying and kidnapped him against his will.[8] Bringing Eggman to the Final Egg and strapping him up, Tumble would watch Starline commence the first round of the evidently painful "procedure" on Eggman that he had arranged to restore Eggman to his former evil self. After Starline was done, Tumble watched the supposed result.[9]

Starline continued putting Eggman through his procedures, only for Eggman to show little progress after three sessions. This made Tumble and Rough grow impatient with Starline, but the latter reassure them that he would restore Eggman's memories so that he could build weapons for the duo. Soon, the group were met by a badly damaged Metal Sonic. Upon seeing Metal Sonic, Eggman managed to regain his memories. Starline thus introduced himself and the skunk brothers, prompting Tumble and Rough to do their introduction. Eggman did not think highly of Rough and Tumble at first but when he learned that they hated Sonic, he offered to build them weapons, an idea that excited them. Later on, Tumble and Rough received blueprints for their new weapons. However, they became very confused by their specifications. When Rough complained to Eggman on this, the doctor simply swapped the blueprints between the brothers as they had each received the incorrect one. Following this, they became very satisfied with the weapon designs.[7]

Curse of the Pyramid

Tumble and Rough at the Lost Pyramid of Dr. Eggman from Sonic the Hedgehog Annual 2019.

Tumble and Rough eventually went to the Lost Pyramid of Dr. Eggman in the Dusty Desert to find Eggman's forgotten treasure, among other things. While Tumble was superstitious of the curse that surrounded the area, Rough was determined to find the treasure no matter what. Inside pyramid, Rough stepped on a trick switch which made walls with spikes close in on them. Rough managed to roll out of the way with Tumble riding on top of him however. Once they were clear, Tumble was still superstitious of the pyramid which prompted Rough to remind him that they were not scared of anything. Rouge the Bat then appeared and slightly startled the skunk brothers. Once they learned that she was also after Eggman's treasure, Tumble ran off with Rough, who used his noxious stench on Rouge. However, the skunk brothers were soon interrupted by an active Egg-Golem. When Rouge arrived, she explained what it was and that the Egg-Golem was being controlled via a remote. Tumble and Rough continued to fight the Egg-Golem while Rouge disappeared. Eventually though, the brothers managed to defeating the Egg-Golem. As the duo felt victorious, Rouge reappeared, all mummy-like, and warned the brothers not to touch the bandages or they would be doomed for eternity. Rough immediately became frightened of Rouge and ran out of the pyramid carrying his brother, ignoring Tumble's attempt to reminds him that they were not scared of anything.[10]


After receiving their new weapons, Tumble and Rough went to Windmill Village where they trapped the villagers in the community center and left the beaten village head hanging from a tree. When Sonic and Tails later came to Windmill Village, Tumble and Rough found them just as they were freeing the village head. After doing their introduction, the skunk brothers attacked Sonic. During the fight however, Sonic correctly deduced that they were working with someone and demanded to know where Eggman was. While Rough told him that (maybe) he would tattle if he beat them, Tumble told him not to barter with him and pressed on the attack. Eventually though, Tails joined Sonic's side in the fight. Tumble especially took Tails' presence personally, feeling it was unfair for the fox to have two tails when he had lost his. As the fight progressed, Tumble would face Sonic alone. When Sonic destroyed Tumble's prosthetic tail weapon however, Tumble lost his will to fight. Mourning his loss, Tumble let Sonic put him together with Rough, who had been defeated by Tails. Before Rough wound up tattling however, he and Tumble got pulled through a Warp Topaz portal. Back at the base, Tumble sulked for a new tail while Rough asked Eggman for another chance to take on Sonic. However, both skunks got pushed aside by Metal Sonic.[5] Eventually, Tumble and Rough grew impatient from waiting on Eggman to make good on his word and help them waste Sonic. Confronting Eggman, they demanded that the doctor provided them with a new edge against Sonic. In response, Eggman told them that his "latest weapon just got out of beta".[11]

Tumble and Rough having been turned into Zombots, from Sonic the Hedgehog #15.

Cubot later notified Tumble and Rough to meet Eggman in hangar three. When he finally arrived, the doctor gave them two "back-up" backpacks that they could open in case Sonic got the upper hand. However, Rough and Tumble did not find out what the backpacks were supposed to do. They were also not happy with them (Tumble in particular wanted a new tail), but then Eggman provided them with a large tank with a drill and cannons. Rough and Tumble subsequently used it to enter Echo Mine and destroy the computer that Sonic and Amy used to learn about Eggman's latest scheme. Rough and Tumble again tried to introduce themselves with rhymes, but Sonic criticized their rhymes for being poor. This made Rough and Tumble argue between them, but when Amy failed to hit their tank, they attacked. They chased Sonic and Amy through the mines until they reached a cave with a refuse pit in the middle, forcing them to turn sharply to the right and drive around the pit. It was then that Sonic and Amy attacked them from behind, destroying the cockpit and treads on the tank, which then fell into the pit. Rough and Tumble, however, managed to evacuate. They then activated their backpacks, causing the Metal Virus to be poured out on them, much to their horror, and turn them into Zombots. Tumble attacked Sonic, who tried to fight back, only to discover that he could not harm him as a Zombot. Furthermore, Sonic wound up touching the Zombot Tumble, causing the Metal Virus to infect him too. While Sonic was distracted, Tumble hit him and infected him with more of the virus. Eventually though, Tumble got knocked into the refuse pit by Sonic with a Spin Attack.[12]

Out of the Blue

After Super Sonic and Super Silver had reversed the effects of the Metal Virus all around the world, the Zombots were no more and were cured. Tumble and Rough remained at the bottom of the refuse pit for a long while, starved and helpless. Soon, the extensive tail of Tangle the Lemur dropped into the pit in an effort to rescue the duo with Tails. Looking at Tangle's tail upset Tumble. After pulling them out, Tails and Tangle told the skunks that Sonic had saved the world from the Metal Virus, giving everyone a second chance of life, including them. Tumble and Rough laughed at this and took it as another opportunity to run wild in the world. The duo ran off but soon became confused trying to find their way out of the mines.[13]

Bad Guys

Tumble and Rough subsequently tried to take over Barricade Town again, but were defeated by the Wispon-armed villagers and thrown into the maximum security wing of Everhold Prison, which held Mimic and Zavok as well. They were soon after visited by Dr. Starline, who had hypnotized the warden into letting him in before making him fall asleep, who offered Tumble and Rough to join him and the others and take their revenge on Dr. Eggman for tricking them into pouring the Metal Virus onto themselves. Tumble and Rough, however, were not having any of this. Ultimately, however, Starline convinced Tumble and Rough to join him by promising the skunk brothers to create new weapons for them, which they responded very enthusiastically to. After they were released from their cell, they locked the prison warden in one of the cells. As the prison guards tried to surround them though, Tumble and Rough decided to take matters into their own hands and defeated the guards with brute force. They later helped knock down the guards in the security center. There, they admitted that they were not quite sure yet if they wanted to work with Starline, but realized they did not have a better idea either. Ultimately, they managed to escape from prison with their new crew after Starline made the prison descend into chaos.[14]

Tumble and Rough pulling off their Grand Stink Bomber Slam meavuer, from Sonic the Hedgehog: Bad Guys #2.

After Tumble and his new team were brought to Dr. Starline's Repository, Starline told the villains that they would have to acquire Power Cores, special energy spheres used by various machines in the Eggman Empire. With them, they could increase their powers using special adapters for the next part of their plan, which was infiltrating an Eggnet hub. Amidst this, Tumble and Rough were amused when Starline compared Mimic's intelligence to that of their stupidity. Later, the villains took part in an attack on the Eggman base holding the Power Cores. After the front guard had been disposed of, Tumble tossed Rough and Mimic inside the base to open its gate from the inside. However, Tumble grew impatient because Rough was destroying Badniks without him. As the gate opened, Tumble quickly joined the fight. Afterward, he argued with Rough about who had destroyed the most Badniks. They both stopped, however, when a mechanical tyrannosaurus rex appeared. Regardless, Tumble and Rough quickly destroyed it using their Grand Stink Bomber Slam combo attack, with Tumble throwing Rough into the robot's mouth and then closing it up, thus allowing Rough to destroy from within with his musk. The villains then took the crates of ENergy Cores from the base's warehouse and loaded them into the truck. Before leavingdriving off however, Tumble and Zavok left a dent on the base's front grate that was supposed to resemble Sonic's Spin Dash in oder to deceive Eggman into thinking that Sonic had raided the base.[4]

Later, Tumble and Rough came along with the other villains on their way to the Eggnet hub. Along the way, they tried to write a new intro that included their new teammates. Upon their arrival, Tumble was equipped with a red Core Gear, but was disappointed not to get something more akin to a tail. Regardless, during their attack on the Eggnet hub, Rough used a Spin Dash to launch Tumble up to the hub's gate, which Tumble then demolished. Tumble then tried to destroy the door to the central computer, but Starline stopped him, explaining that there was some delicate software inside. Instead, Mimic opened the entrance more delicately. Tumble soon after praised Zavok when he decided to destroy one of the Badniks inside instead of taking control of it. However, when Mimic got a knife to Starline's throat, Zavok revealed to everyone that Starline was trying to use them and destroy them after he had gotten what he wanted. Tumble and Rough were initially surprised, but then pretended that they had been pretending to trust the doctor from the beginning. Afterward, Zavok let them have the remaining Power Core in Starline's lab, which Tumble and Rough thought was a good deal. They then agreed with Zavok when he announced that they no longer needed Starline.[15] However, Starline used the power of his Tricore to escape the group. Tumble tried to stop him with a punch, but had his brute force countered by Starline's enhanced strength. Regardless, Tumble was ordered by Zavok to pursue Starline anyway. Tumble soon got separated from Rough, but he soon found him, immobilized by Starline's neurotoxin. When Starline arrived, Tumble tried to avenge his brother, only to get poisoned by Starline as well. Zavok soon after found Tumble and Rough incapacitated on the ground, and was not pleased that they had failed to deal with just one opponent. However, Tumble and Rough believed that they had done more than Zavok and decided to leave his team. Tumble and Rough subsequently managed to leve the Eggnet hub just before Eggman carpet-bombed the location. The skunk brothers then decided that they would start all over again and that they did not need a team or a leader.[16]


Tumble is a course and aggressive skunk. Ruthless, cruel and violent,[7] he takes great pleasure in taking advantage of those weaker than himself, as demonstrated by how he and his brother oppressed the townsfolk in Barricade Town. Meanspirited, Tumble showed no concern for the happiness or well-being of the townsfolk he and his brother oppressed, displaying a lack of empathy for others, and he was significantly offended by Sonic and Knuckles ruining their "fun".

Rough and Tumble's introduction, from Sonic the Hedgehog #3.

Tumble is a brawler who loves to fight. However, he also has a somewhat theatrical side as displayed by the choreographed introductions he has prepared with his brother Rough. This also shows a measure of pride, confidence, or perhaps arrogance in their abilities.[6] In compassion to his brother, Tumble is more wild and prone to aggressiveness, like when he told Rough when they fought Sonic to not banter with him and instead press on the attack.[5] He is also shown to be rather superstitious, like when he got scared of the legends about a curse in the Lost Pyramid of Dr. Eggman.[10]

While powerful and clever enough to seize and entire town alongside his brother, Tumble is not very intelligent,[7] having been described as more of a bully than a mastermind.[1] Also, while he and his brother were able to take control of a key location and a stockpile of Wispons, they showed no foresight or ambition in doing anything beyond forcing the townsfolk into serving and entertaining them.[6] Regardless, Tumble is aware that he is not the most intelligent of individuals, but is not bothered by it in the slightest; in fact, he can find ways to be amused by it.[4] Rough is also very vengeful, as seen when he assured Sonic and Knuckles that they had made "lifelong enemies" of out of him and Tumble after they defeated them.[6]

Having lost his tail greatly traumatized Tumble. As such, he gets extremely sensitive and emotional when it comes to his missing tail: he broke into a fit of rage by how unfair it was that Tails had two tails while he had none, and after his prosthetic tail got destroyed, Tumble lost his fighting spirit and got reduced to a sobbing, sad wreck who would keep clutching and mourning his broken tail.[5]

Tumble is also very vengeful, as seen when he assured Sonic and Knuckles that they had made "lifelong enemies" of out of him and Rough after they defeated them.[6]

Powers and abilities

Tumble is a ferocious combatant. As a testament to his power, he and Rough were able to single-handedly save a town from Eggman's forces during the Eggman War. While not the most agile fighter, Tumble makes up for it with brute force.[6]

Tumble catches Sonic's Spin Attack with his bare hands, from Sonic the Hedgehog #3.

Tumble is an experienced mercenary and is able to efficiently coordinate with his brother, Rough, to form a formidable tag team in battle.[4][6] Tumble also has great strength that outclasses his brother's,[4] being strong enough to stop Sonic's Spin Attack in its tracks with his bare hands, shatter an Egg-Golem's armor with a single punch, and make a dent in a solid metal gate with one punch (albeit with Zavok's aid).[4][6][10] Tumble also possesses great durability: he can recover immediately from taking a Spin Attack to the chest.[6]

Tumble is also an adept user of Wispons. While his exact proficiency with a Wispon is unknown, he mainly uses one when fighting seriously.[6]

Weapons and equipment

During his early career, Tumble made use of Wispons. He was later stripped of his Wispons when he got thrown in jail.[6]

After helping Dr. Starline, Tumble received a prosthetic club tail from Dr. Eggman. With it, Tumble could perform tail swipes powerful enough to crack the earth and a break stone walls. However, he lost this device when Sonic destroyed it.[5]

While allied with Starline, Tumble received a Core Gear that allows him to harness Power Cores' energy automatically.[15]


Rough the Skunk

Rough is Tumble's brother and mercenary partner. They have a close and brotherly relationship, being willing to forgive each other's shortcomings, and are highly coordinated fighters.[6][4][16] However, they can also be highly competitive with each other, which can result in petty arguments.[4]

Sonic the Hedgehog

Sonic the Hedgehog is Tumble's arch-enemy. Ever since he ruined their occupation of Barricade Town, he and Rough have made it their goal to get revenge on him. To achieve this, he and Rough have made alliances with dangerous individuals, such as Dr. Eggman and Dr. Starline. So far however, Sonic and his allies have foiled every one of their revenge plots, which has only made Tumble more infuriated with the hedgehog.





"Yeah! Now get us another round before we beat some sense into ya!"
—Tumble mocking his clumsy servant, Sonic the Hedgehog #3
"No more messin' around!"
—Tumble arming himself with a Lightning Wispon, Sonic the Hedgehog #3
"Heartless. You're just heartless. All I ever wanted was to cave your head in..."
—A sulking Tumble calling out Sonic after he destroyed his prosthetic club tail, Sonic the Hedgehog #13


  • Rough and Tumble's names are a play on the saying "rough-and-tumble".
  • Tumble was officially revealed in a Kotaku exclusive interview with editor, David Mariotte on 16 February 2018.[1]
    • Mariotte noted that Rough and Tumble are capable of becoming someone's henchmen down the line,[1] foreshadowing their future allegiance to Dr. Starline and Dr. Eggman.
  • At the Sonic Town Hall at Wondercon 2018, Joe Hughes compared Rough and Tumble to Bebop and Rocksteady, saying they are approximately 12% smarter.[3]




  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Fahey, Mike (16 February 2018). Meet Rough And Tumble, Two Brand-New Sonic Comic Villains. Kotaku. Retrieved on 16 February 2018.
  2. Sonic the Hedgehog #13, Roll Call
  3. 3.0 3.1
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 Sonic the Hedgehog: Bad Guys #2, "Smash & Grab"
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Sonic the Hedgehog #13, "Calling Card"
  6. 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 6.11 6.12 6.13 6.14 Sonic the Hedgehog #3, "Fallout, Part 3"
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Sonic the Hedgehog #12, "The Cost of the Battle for Angel Island"
  8. Sonic the Hedgehog #10, "The Battle for Angel Island, Part 2"
  9. Sonic the Hedgehog #11, "The Battle for Angel Island, Part 3"
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Sonic the Hedgehog Annual 2019, "Curse of the Pyramid"
  11. Sonic the Hedgehog #14, "Misdirection"
  12. Sonic the Hedgehog #15, "Patient Zero"
  13. Sonic the Hedgehog #31, "Recovery, Part 1"
  14. Sonic the Hedgehog: Bad Guys #1, "A Few Bad Men"
  15. 15.0 15.1 Sonic the Hedgehog: Bad Guys #3, "Trust Issues"
  16. 16.0 16.1 Sonic the Hedgehog: Bad Guys #4, "No Honor Among Thieves"

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