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Characters: Friendship Is Magic Fluttershy
"Sometimes we all just need to be shown a little kindness."
A Pegasus from Cloudsdale who is just as shy as her name suggests. Gentle and kind, she has a natural way with animals but has trouble dealing with other ponies due to her Shrinking Violet
nature. Still, don't even think
about hurting her friends
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Characterization and Background
- Acrophobic Pegasus: Fluttershy is afraid of heights despite having the ability to fly.
- Spike lampshades this in "Party of One".
- It may be a holdover from the earlier designs, where she (Or rather, Posey) was an Earth Pony, and Pinkie Pie (Surprise) was a Pegasus.
- Adorkable: All you have to do is merely express interest in wanting a pet and she's all over you with a menagerie of animals to offer up as potentials.
- All of the Other Reindeer: It's well-established that Fluttershy was bullied while growing up in Cloudsdale. The only pegasus that ever stood up for her, much less was a friend, was Rainbow Dash. This likely led to her Performance Anxiety; she's far more comfortable amongst her animal friends, and usually can only show off her true skills before other ponies when danger is imminent.
- Apologizes a Lot: Almost like she was brought up in a culture where apologizing is the social grease for everything you ever do.
Rarity: (exasperated) Oh, what now?!
Fluttershy: (completely sincere) Oh, sorry. I thought the "Open" sign meant you were open, but I must have been mistaken.
- Badass: The thing involving a dragon that Rainbow Dash did to earn her Badass cred?, Fluttershy topped that in the same episode.
- Badass Adorable: THE ultimate cute pony. Second to none and the definition of the trope for this series.
- Badass Pacifist: Don't let her timid demeanor fool you: If you upset her enough to spur her into action, she will kick your ass and she won't have to resort to violence to do it.
- She stares and talks down a dragon and a cockatrice that was in the process of petrifying her to protect her friends from harm.
- She reformed Discord by simply being nice to him and then threatening to withhold her friendship.
- She calms down Cerberus when it invades Ponyville by giving it a belly rub. That's right, the guardian of the underworld is no match for Fluttershy. Granted, Cerberus is domesticated, but she was also the only pony in town not the least bit terrified of him.
- In the second part of "A Canterlot Wedding", she joins the other Mane Cast in fighting off an army of foes, despite her visible trepidation in doing so. Yet she manages to hold her own, faking out the enemy and using her shyness to cause one to trip up.
- Submissive Badass: She isn't one to argue with anyone and will mostly comply with her friends' wishes despite her hesitance, but she'll get the job done regardless.
- Berserk Button:
- Beware the Nice Ones: She hardly ever gets angry but when she does...
- In "Dragonshy", despite being terrified of a facing a full-grown dragon, she suddenly develops the wherewithal to make said dragon back down completely (and even whimper) after seeing what it's done to her friends.
- From Fluttershy's character video: "But don't be fooled. Although she is timid, she is a determined pony with admirable strength. She always defends those who are treated unfairly."
- The "admirable strength" part of that description was played with hilariously in "Lesson Zero". Twilight tries to see if Fluttershy is having one of her Cowardly Lion moments only to find her beating the living crap out of a bear three times her size, then killing it by snapping its neck. She was really just giving the bear a chiropractic session. Twilight and the audience no doubt shared a moment of shock.
- Completely pushed to its logical extreme at the Grand Galloping Gala. Like Pinkie, she doesn't take rejection well.
- Brought up once again in "Putting Your Hoof Down", where it becomes downright terrifying.
- And now there's "Magic Duel", which sees her eerily threatening Twilight if one of her spells screws up on any of the Pegasus' animal friends.
- In "The Crystal Empire", when the Crystal Ponies ignore her, Fluttershy reveals an absolutely chilling Kubrick Stare!
- Brutal Honesty: In "The Ticket Master" and "Suited for Success", if somewhat obliviously.
- She gives an incredibly scathing speech to Pinkie Pie and Rarity in "Putting Your Hoof Down" in regards to their chosen careers.
- Character Development: A subtle one but post-Discord corruption and throughout Season 2, she seems to have become more assertive and willing to actually get physical. Of note, she did a Limit Break while dragging a hot-air balloon, the bear wrestling sequence, shouting loudly and engaged in an off-screen tussle with Twilight, actually dragging Rainbow Dash off to her house, and becoming a valid target for RD's cake prank, as well as participating in its retaliation.
- Chewing the Scenery: Even she has her moments of this. "You're... going to LOVE ME!!!!!"
- Cowardly Lioness: She's usually a pushover and terrified of danger, and happily admits to being "weak and helpless", but get her protectively angry and her willpower multiplies by a factor of about a million.
- Cowardly Sidekick: She's terrified of nearly everything, even her own shadow.
- Cute and Psycho: Normally a sweet and gentle pony, but when she gets pushed to her limits, as seen in "Best Night Ever", she's scary.
- She also has severe anxiety issues due to being bullied as a foal, as can be seen here.
- Cuteness Proximity: Noticing Spike helps draw her out of her shell when she first meets Twilight. In a flashback, landing on the ground for the first time and seeing all the cuddly animals is enough to make her burst into song.
- The Cutie: Most fans believe not loving Fluttershy borders on some sort of criminal act.
- Justified further by "Hurricane Fluttershy", a by-the-book Break the Cutie Fluttershy episode.
- Determinator: When it comes to helping others whom she cares for, she'll do whatever it takes to make them happy.
- This is also proven in the episode "Best Night Ever". She WILL make all of the animals love her, one way or another.
- She will not let "That...big...dumb...MEANIE!!", a.k.a. Discord, win , even if it means having to outfly Rainbow Dash (who from what we've seen so far is the fastest flyer in the country) while towing two other ponies in a hot-air balloon.
- She stares down a cockatrice that is using its gaze attack to turn her to stone. And it works!
- The Ditherer
- The Eeyore: When her self esteem is at its worst. Granted it sometimes laps over, to the point she's so insistent on how pathetic she is, she's outright gleefully nonchalant about it!
- Era Specific Personality: G4 Fluttershy is very shy. G3 Fluttershy was an earth pony and a shutterfly, basically making her an earlier Photo Finish. Let that simmer for a moment.
- Extreme Doormat: Given her shy personality, she is naturally rather passive and unassertive a lot of the time.
- Lampshaded, parodied and called by name in "Putting Your Hoof Down". The whole episode is about Fluttershy becoming more assertive.
- The Face: But only for non-ponies. Otherwise she's a Shrinking Violet. For example, in "Dragonshy", Twilight's plan for dealing with a dragon boils down to: 1.) Escort Fluttershy to the dragon's cave and 2.) have her talk with it.
- Flat Joy: Her cheering in "Sonic Rainboom" is spirited and heartfelt, but done so softly it's hard to tell. At least until Rainbow Dash actually pulls off the stunt.
Fluttershy: (breathes in heavily) Yayyy.
- Four Temperament Ensemble: Phlegmatic: introverted, compassionate and docile.
- Fragile Flower: She is, however, growing out of it, as explained in Character Development.
- Friendless Background: Let's face it. Since young, her life in Cloudsdale wasn't particularly a happy one. The only friend she had alongside her is Rainbow Dash, until the day when she meets the animals.
- Friend or Idol Decision: Inverted during "Green Is Not Your Color" as Fluttershy accepts becoming a famous model (which turns her life into a living hell) because she thinks that Rarity will feel sad if she refuses to do so.
- Friend to All Living Things: More comfortable around animals who aren't ponies. Or grown dragons.
- Fluttershy takes this trope very literally; she loves the ugly or mean creatures just as much as the nice cute little critters.
- Friend to Bugs: Yes; even them. Perhaps especially them; she referred to a Parasprite as "the cutest thing ever." During "May the Best Pet Win!", she suggested several bugs as potential pets, including a cricket, a ladybug, a monarch butterfly and a wasp.
- Her cutie mark is butterflies, which is about as close to having "friend to bugs" literally written all over her as a pony can get.
- "Keep Calm and Flutter On" takes this trope Up to Eleven by having her befriend and reform Discord! Yes, the Master of Chaos and Disharmony is no match for the power of Fluttershy's kindness. Well played, Fluttershy. Well played.
- Inverted in the episode "The Best Night Ever", when the animals she tries to interact with run away from her instead.
- Gollum Made Me Do It: In "Putting Your Hoof Down", Fluttershy referring to 'Old' Fluttershy and 'New' Fluttershy has very strong echoes of this.
- Gone Horribly Right: Iron Will's assertiveness training seminar was unfortunately a little too effective on Fluttershy. She gets better though.
- The Heart
- Heroic Self-Deprecation: Her self-esteem is so crappy that, despite her heroic deeds in Season 1, when Discord tries to break her by convincing her that her friends consider her weak and useless, she agrees with everything he says! He ends up taking a more direct method to brainwashing her.
- Hidden Depths: Fluttershy has quite the eye for sewing and fashion trends, which she demonstrates in "Suited for Success" to Rarity's shock.
- Spends most of Season 1 having her flying capabilities made out to be of poor standard compared to most other Pegasus Ponies. Then in the second part of "The Return of Harmony", we find out she's able to come close to matching Rainbow Dash in speed when she has to. While Rainbow Dash was carrying two dead weight ponies, she towing two dead ponies and a hot air balloon...imagine her speed unladen.
- Oh, and she knows Chiropractic.
- Honor Before Reason/I Gave My Word: Averted in "Keep Calm And Flutter On", when Fluttershy refuses to use her element of harmony to stop Discord from ruining Sweet Apple Acres because she promised she wouldn't use it against him beforehand, even though she's genuinely mad at him for breaking his promise to fix everything. This action is actually a key point considering that it allows Discord to see that Fluttershy's friendship was something worth keeping and chooses to fix Sweet Apple Acres of his own accord.
- Incorruptible Pure Pureness: In the two-parter episode, "The Return Of Harmony", she is the only one who doesn't fall to Discord's attempt to break her by talking. A frustrated Discord finally has to resort to "brute force" Brainwashing.
- Innocently Insensitive: Similar to Pinkie, Fluttershy almost never means harm, but some of her polite remarks can come out rather cynical or belittling in a particular light, especially due to her occasionally poor social skills.
- Her everyone-will-be-watching speech to Rainbow Dash in "Sonic Rainboom" was partially what drove Rainbow Dash into a panic attack complete with Troubled Fetal Position.
- Ironic Fear: She's afraid of… a lot of things, but since she's a Pegasus, the one that fits here is her fear of heights.
- Karmic Protection: Like Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy's shyness tends to excuse her from her more Jerkass moments, although it doesn't always apply. Granted the fact she is a Butt Monkey in every other area possibly makes it excuseable.
- Kindhearted Cat Lover: It comes with the territory considering that she's a Friend to All Living Things. Rarity's cat Opal would have to agree.
- Large Ham: Not very much when she's in character, but after she briefly took multiple levels of jerkassery in "Putting Your Hoof Down"... "Nopony pushes New Fluttershy around! Nopony!"
- Let's Get Dangerous: Prone to these moments quite a bit. See: her confrontation with the dragon in "Dragonshy", her talking down the cockatrice in "The Stare Master" and the change from "I just can't go any faster (tears)" to "I won't let that big meanie win! (zoom)" in "The Return of Harmony - Part 2".
- Lovable Coward: She can get dangerous when the time calls for it, most of the time however she is scared of her own shadow, and downright adorable because of it.
- Mama Bear: She defeats a cockatrice to protect the Cutie Mark Crusaders.
- Also towards her friends. She's even willing to stand up to a full grown dragon (which she has justified fear of) when it hurt her friends.
- The Matchmaker: Of a not-romantic type. One of the few things that will elicit an enthusiastic and energetic response from her is suggesting you might be interested in getting a pet. When Rainbow Dash suggested she might eventually want a pet, Fluttershy proceeded to drag Dash off to her cottage so she could introduce her around to the various and sundry animals she's caring for at the moment.
- The Messiah: When you're the Element of Kindness, it comes with the package.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Her reaction to making Rarity and Pinkie Pie cry after she takes her assertiveness training too far.
- Nice Girl: While still not completely immune to Jerkass Ball moments, she is the most consistently sweet natured of the mane cast.
- Not Afraid To Petrify: She manages to defeat a cockatrice as it's actively turning her to stone to save the Cutie Mark Crusaders.
- Not so Above It All: While she is arguably the most incorruptably nice pony of the lot, she can't be perfect and does have occasional moments of weakness that are neither from pressure or enforced acts against character (she shares the other ponies' initial hostility to Zecora for example, and also is one of the culprits in eating the Cakes entry for the National Dessert Competition). In most cases she is apologetic afterwards however.
- Performance Anxiety: Spelled out in full in "Hurricane Fluttershy" - She can show great flying if it's an emergency, but put her in front of an audience, and she can barely fly. It likely has to do with her being bullied as a filly.
- Personality Powers: She bears the Element of Kindness, and she has a kind, gentle personality, to the point of detriment.
- Plucky Girl: She has her moments of this.
- Reluctant Fanservice Girl: Has shades of this in her shyness. Especially evident during the events of "Green Isn't Your Color", when she admits she is miserable about all the unwanted attention Photo Finish's attempt at making her a supermodel has brought upon her.
- Remembered I Could Fly: Now and then. Fluttershy is so terrified in "Dragonshy" that she initially forgets that she can fly instead of climb...and then after an ill-timed snore from the dragon, is scared to the point that her wings totally lock up, rendering her completely unable to fly.
- In "Wonderbolts Academy" she joins the others in panicking when they fall through the air after their hot air balloon is destroyed and needs to be rescued. Afterward she sheepishly remembers that she could've flown to safety.
- Shrinking Violet: Again, growing out of it.
- Silk Hiding Steel: Definitely fits the character type (humble, loyal, wise, nurturing, etc. but with a clear touch of iron).
- The So-Called Coward: She seems like a major scaredy pony right up until someone threatens her friends, at which point, she will become absolutely terrifying.
- Socially Awkward Heroine: VERY shy, yet still bold in standing up to creatures several times her size.
- This Means War!: When she actually gets mad at someone, you know they've crossed the line and are in trouble now.
- Taken Up to Eleven in "Putting Your Hoof Down", when she starts to make a vendetta out of the smallest things, such as the mailman accidentally mixing up her mail with someone else's.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: In "Putting Your Hoof Down", especially when she made Pinkie Pie and Rarity Cry. Thankfully, she gets better.
- Unstoppable Rage: She began to throw temper tantrums when the animals refuse to talk to her in "The Best Night Ever", then came the stampede in the palace as the animals ran away from her. She then screams out that they're going to love her.
- In "Putting Your Hoof Down". Considering how her neighbors had been unfair to her, some would rate this as Fluttershy's finest moment.
- Why Did It Have To Be Dragons?: She isn't scared of young dragons like Spike, but is terrified of adult dragons.
- Color Coded Characters / Color Motif: She's timid and gets afraid very easily, so naturally, she's yellow.
- Feather Fingers: Briefly displayed that pegasi can use their wings as hands, at least when it comes to opening saddlebags.
- Fur Of Gold, Heart Of Gold
- Long Manes Are Feminine: Pretty, pink, and long enough to hide behind. From certain angles her locks even appear to frame her face in a heart.
- Non-Standard Character Design: In "Cutie Mark Chronicles", we see Fluttershy as a filly and she's noticeably taller and ganglier than her peers. She was older than the other foals we saw in her flashback (It's supported that she's one year older than Pinkie Pie.)
- Her thinner legs and overall shape mimic the body style of the first generation's Flutter Ponies which had butterfly-style wings. Mythology Gag maybe?
- Adult Fluttershy shows as well two subtle design differences compared with her friends. One, she is the only character who flaps her wings while she's running and two, she might be the only left-handed character seen in the cartoon (she's seen opening her bag with her left wing and wields a lance on her left).
- Obliviously Beautiful. Or, at least, to the extent that she knows this she'd rather forget, because she REALLY doesn't like attention.
- Older Than They Look: In the fifth episode, she reveals that she is a year older than Pinkie Pie but her sweet and innocent nature makes her appear a lot younger than most other ponies. See Non-Standard Character Design above for her filly appearance that coincides with this.
- Peek-A-Bangs: When she was a filly.
- Pink Means Feminine: Her mane and tail.
- Rapunzel Mane: Besides maybe Pinkie, she has the longest hair out of the main characters.
- Her tail is the only one out of the Mane Six that trails on the ground.
- Lampshaded in "Ponyville Confidential", when Gabby Gums accuses her of having tail extensions.
- Rose-Maned Mare: Of a less saturated variety than Pinkie, representing a less intense personality.
- Tareme Eyes: Very noticeable when compared to the others.
- Twitchy Eye: Seen when she becomes increasingly unhinged in "The Best Night Ever".
- Vertebrate with Extra Limbs: She's a pegasus.
- You Don't Look Like You: Almost all of her fully-molded toys and all of her collector cards depict her as a Palette Swap of Rainbow Dash.
- The Beastmistress: No, she doesn't use it for combat; mostly organization. She has however commanded a dragon and a cockatrice to concede when her friends are in danger, and pacified Cerberus by giving him a belly rub.
- Beyond the Impossible: She manages to outstare a cockatrice, i.e. a creature that turns others to stone by staring at them. All while protecting three young fillies.
- Death Glare: Yeah; you read that right.
- She uses some strange melange of a Death Glare and a Care Bear Stare really.
- There may actually be power behind this beyond just her stare and choice of words: in "Applebuck Season" she apparently harvests all the apples from one tree just by staring at it.
- Fan depictions of "The Stare" tend to be legitimately terrifying.
- So far, the only being shown to be immune to "The Stare" is Discord. It's otherwise proven effective on every other creature she's used it on, which includes Dragons and Cockatrices.
- Fluffy Tamer: Forget Fluffynote , Fluttershy had the original Cerberus, guardian of The Underworld itself, rolling over to have his tummy rubbed in seconds. Only applies with some monsters, though, and not others. If there's a rule, it might be that she likes and can tame mammalian monsters but not reptilian.
- Forgot About Her Powers: Fluttershy is shown walking on the ground far more than other pegasi in the show, Particularly compared to Rainbow Dash.
- Specific example: in "Feeling Pinkie Keen" when she and the others are being chased by the Hydra.
- In "Putting Your Hoof Down", she ends up kicking over a pair of carts being driven by some rude ponies because they were blocking her way. Many fans were quick to point out how she could have just flown over them but this would defeat the 'be assertive' point of the episode. Flying over them is something Old Fluttershy would do.
- It's also been shown in several episodes like "The Cutie Mark Chronicles" and "Hurricane Fluttershy" that she's very self-conscious about her flying ability, especially around other pegasi, who used to bully her about her apparent lack of flying talent.
- Lampshaded in "Wonderbolt Academy", when she, along with the other Mane cast, are rescued from a mid-air fall by the pegasi cadets, realizes that she could have just flown and sheepishly blushes to her rescuer.
- Heart Is an Awesome Power: Her love and connection to animals (along with the Sonic Rainboom) are what help her find her Cutie Mark. This also gives her the desire to help and protect her friends no matter what.
- The Medic: She usually is shown healing injured animals.
- Nature Heroine: Being in tune with nature has saved the lives of her and her friends and the Cutie Mark Crusaders.
- Not So Weak: Fluttershy is an adorable, cute little Pegasus who is literally afraid of her shadow. However, despite what Discord and herself think, Fluttershy is a lot tougher than she looks, especially if you hurt her friends.
- The Power of Friendship: When she's alone and confronted by Gilda the Griffon, she's unable to defend herself and bullied into running away in tears but when her friends are in danger, she won't hesitate to risk herself to protect them.
- Prehensile Tail: During "May The Best pet Win", it's shown that her tail is strong enough for Angel to ride on it.
- Speaks Fluent Animal: Her special talent is communicating with (non-equine) animals on a different level than most ponies.
- Possibly in a literal sense. She treats the ones that don't rely on charades as Intelligible Unintelligible and once exclaimed in shock at what was apparently colorful language in beaver.
- Childhood Friends: With Rainbow Dash.
- Something of a variation. Most of their closeness as adults comes from being pegasi and Cloudsdale natives, but as children, it's unclear whether they even knew each other's names.
- Defeat Means Friendship:
- Friend To All Children: Proven when she takes care of the Cutie Mark Crusaders.
- Light Feminine and Dark Feminine: Being sweet, kind and caring, (most of the time) Fluttershy represents the "light" half of this in comparison to Rarity.
- The Load: Seen as this in "Dragonshy". Awesomely subverts it by ultimately being the one to get the dragon to go away.
- And to a minor extent in "Swarm of the Century" when she decides to keep one of the Parasprites after the ponies get rid of the first batch which starts the vicious cycle all over again.
- Discord certainly tries to paint her this way in "The Return of Harmony". She frustrates him by politely agreeing.
- Morality Pet: Ironically for her own pet Angel Bunny.
- This is completely subverted in "Putting Your Hoof Down".
- Seems to be acting as one for Rainbow Dash in Season 2, and for Discord in Season 3.
- Odd Friendship: She spends a lot of time with Rainbow Dash, with whom she has no interests in common. In fact, both of them dislike quite a lot of the other's interests, resulting in one them dragging the other along.
- Establishes one with Discord in Season 3.
- Their closesness seems to stem from the fact that they seem to have known each other since they were at flight camp, though the show has been very vague about how well they actually knew each other back then.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: To the Cutie Mark Crusaders when she takes care of them.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Fluttershy's quiet, timid personality makes her 100% Blue Oni to all five of her friends.
- Team Mom: Mainly towards animals. Also has a Mama Bear moment in "The Stare Master".
- Vitriolic Best Buds: As kind and enduring as she attempts to be, nearly every last one of her friends has a tendency to exasperate or terrify her by accident. Her bond with Rainbow Dash is arguably the most abrasive (though also perhaps the closest).
- Actor Existence Limbo: Sometimes - see The Voiceless below. It's possibly because she and Pinkie have the same voice actress and it's hard to sound soft and meek after an hour's worth of being loud and exciteable.
- Butt Monkey: Seems to be getting the short end of the stick a lot more often as of Season 3. Not that it was particularly subtle beforehand.
- Children In Tow: There are scenes in both "Griffon the Brush-Off" and "The Cutie Mark Chronicles" where she is seen helping a mother duck lead its ducklings.
- Even the Girls Want Her: Much to her dismay in "Green Isn't Your Color".
- Evil Laugh: She's got a pretty good one in "The Best Night Ever", after a night of unsuccessful attempts to befriend the palace animals.
- Expy: Of G1's Posey, sharing her coloring, mane style and elements of her personality.
- She's also a lot like G3's Wisteria, who is also very shy and has an affinity for nature.
- Meaningful Name: She flutters and she's shy.
- Also she has a particular place in her heart for butterflies. They're her cutie mark after all.
- Moe: In-universe example. Photo Finish's entire campaign involves emphasizing this one aspect of Fluttershy.
- Out of Focus: Mostly in the first half of the second season.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Has a habit of doing this the few times she gets genuinely ticked off. This is normally a sign bad things are in store for the target.
- "How DARE you!"
- "You're... going to LOVE ME!"
- "I'm Not...YOUR...FRIEND!!!"
- Squee: Done adorably in "The Stare Master"
- Staring Down Cthulhu: A dragon, and a cockatrice. You know, those things that turn you into stone via looking? There's a reason why she's the page picture.
- Talking The Monster Into Submission: She's done this on multiple occasions.
- The Voiceless: A small handful of episodes (so far, "Ponyville Confidential" and "A Canterlot Wedding - Part 2" have her appear prominently, but act even quieter than usual (which is saying a lot). There are even spots where you can tell she was supposed to have lines, but where she says nothing - the Pinkie voice must put a serious strain on Andrea.
- Who Dares?: Right before her Badass Adorable Talking the Monster to Death moment: "How DARE you!"
- Your Answer to Everything: "Uh... panic?"