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Hapless Hills begins with Sonic and Co. and Polly on a train heading for Meagerville, the location of their destination.
Upon arrival, when meeting Sann, they learn that they will have to help out with a job on a local hill, but as part of the deal, he will try to keep, their newly discovered nemesis, Lerich away. They agree to it, but only until Polly has found more of the parts to their plane so it can be fixed. They meet Sann's partner Ferris and a cheerful fellow named Tom.
Out of nowhere, Knuckles is tripped, then a bright light is flashed in front of him, causing him to temporary lose his sight and he is taken by Mort. When Knuckles returns, hours later, he acts and speaks very strangely, as if in a trance. The next day ,Mort wakes Knuckles, telling him to carry out certain tasks, which involve causing trouble or ridiculous things, but then becomes normal again when Tom says an unrecognized word. Knuckles says that he doesn't remember what happened between being tripped, losing his sight and the time he woke up. Mort flashes the light once again causing him to be temporarily blinded. After this, they go to the small medical building on the side while Sonic and Tails watch guard for a sneak attack, leaving Amy and Cream to go in with Knuckles. The receptionist inside seems a bit off and an imp named Sabrina is the nurse. She is seemingly pleasant, and tells them to wait in the lobby. Amy and Cream also learn that Knuckles has been (and is being) hypnotized by Mort, who is one of Lerich's assistants.
Tails mentions that there usually is a word to hypnotize, as there is one to unhypnotize, so he tries to find out what it is.
The next day, they realize Knuckles is missing yet again but then find Ferris strapped to a log about to be pushed into a saw. Turns out, Mort has hypnotized Knuckles once more and told him to kill Ferris. They rush over to stop him. Tails learns the command word, and orders Knuckles to release Ferris, but Mort orders him to continue. Lerich, Mort and Sabrina arrive and the latter orders him to ignore his friends. Tails remembers, and says, the word with which unhypnotized Knuckles just in time. When Sonic gets Sabrina's name wrong, calling her "Sonia", Sabrina gets steamed to no end and throws a fit over her incorrectly pronounced name and she falls into the saw, presumably killing her. They are caught by Henri the foreman and the gang manages to set Ferris free. Sann also arrives and questions what's going on. Mort tells Henri to play it cool, when Ferris tells them what happened, the two make a run for it, with Henri revealing himself to be Yonn, and Mort, who splits up from him, gets mauled by wolves.
The next day, Sann is about to fire them, but they try to get him to hear them out about the nurse's receptionist, Cheryl, who they say is Lerich. They offer to prove it to him by removing his disguise, but "she" says a lady shouldn't be treated in such a way. Knuckles tears off "her" dress, saying he should feel bad about doing so if she really is who she says. By this time, Lerich has gotten away again. Sann fires the quintet, seeing as they're "more trouble than they're worth," and Polly, seemingly looking out for their best interests, enrolls them in Majorka's School of Magicry.
Sonic: Not so fast, Sonia.
Sabrina: What?!! That's not my name!!!
Sonic: Sorry, you just look like a "Sonia".
[Sabrina flips out and starts screaming]
- At the end, Majorka School of Magicry, which is the setting for the next story, lightly parodies the Harry Potter series.
- Some fans think that Sonic calling Sabrina "Sonia" could refference Sonic Underground or the Sonic Archie Comics.