quick wikipedia adventure

The hedgehog’s dilemma is a concept described by philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer and later adopted by Freud. It is the subtitle of episode 4 and is mentioned in that episode by Misato Katsuragi as descriptive of her relationship with Shinji.

The hedgehog’s dilemma, or sometimes the porcupine dilemma, is an analogy about the challenges of human intimacy. It describes a situation in which a group of hedgehogs all seek to become close to one another in order to share heat during cold weather. They must remain apart, however, as they cannot avoid hurting one another with their sharp spines. Though they all share the intention of a close reciprocal relationship, this may not occur for reasons they cannot avoid.

In 2006, McDonald’s changed the design of their McFlurry containers to be more hedgehog-friendly. Previously, hedgehogs would get their heads stuck in the container as they tried to lick the remaining food from inside the cup. Then, being unable to get out, they would starve to death.