The Ball Hog is one of Dr. Eggman's numerous Badnik models, first appearing in the original Sonic the Hedgehog game on the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis. It resembles a bipedal pot-bellied pig and earns its name by using exploding ball bombs as its main weapon.
Sonic the Hedgehog (1991)
In both the 16-bit and 8-bit versions of Sonic the Hedgehog, Ball Hogs appear in the Scrap Brain Zone, acting as sentries for Dr. Eggman's headquarters. Typically encountered at the top of sloping pathways, Ball Hogs will jump up and down on the spot, occasionally throwing small spherical bombs that emerge from the hatch on their bellies. The bombs gently bounce along and explode after a set distance or on contact with Sonic.
Sonic Lost World
Making their first appearance since the original game, Ball Hogs come in three varieties in Sonic Lost World. The first is the standard variant previously encountered in Sonic 1 which appears in the 2D segments of Frozen Factory, Silent Forest and Sky Road. Like before, it hops on the spot and throws bombs at Sonic. It can be defeated with a spin jump or homing attack.
The second type of Ball Hog is gold-plated and appears in Silent Forest and Sky Road. These golden Ball Hogs behave just like the standard models, but occasionally throw gold-coloured bombs as well as the typical kind. Sonic cannot attack the golden Ball Hog directly; instead he must use a flying kick on a golden bomb to send it hurtling back towards the Ball Hog to destroy it.
Finally, there is a giant-sized version of Ball Hog that appears in Silent Forest. These Badniks cannot be attacked, only avoided. They appear in the background sleeping soundly until Sonic enters their area, at which point they will jump forward and come crashing down on the path in front of Sonic, destroying the terrain and creating a new pitfall to avoid.
Ball Hogs appear in Sonic Mania's final stage, the Titanic Monarch Zone. While previously being coloured pinkish-purple with green noses, the Ball Hogs are now coloured red with yellow noses and bellies. Aside from these cosmetic changes, Ball Hogs are no different from their original variants in Sonic 1, hopping up and down on the spot and throwing bombs at the player.
Sonic the Comic
In the Sonic the Comic series published by Fleetway Editions, the Ball Hogs are a part of Dr. Robotnik's Badnik army. Depending on the artist, the Ball Hogs' design would differ between their appearances. In the latter half of the comic, they were also given wings, enabling them to fly. In none of their appearances, however, were they ever shown using their explosive weapons from the video games.
Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog
In the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog television series, Ball Hog has a drastically different design, wearing a business suit and bird's beak instead of pig snout, though he retained the ability to toss bombs. In this media, Ball Hog and his partner Roller were a part of Dr. Robotnik's Or Else Protection Service, who bullied Mobians into paying them to not destroy their business, but they were destroyed by Sonic. Later, Tails converted their remains into a waiter for Bert's Diner.