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Characters: Friendship Is Magic Rainbow Dash

A speedy pegasus hailing from Cloudsdale who loves to race and compete whenever she can convince someone to go against her. Though Prideful and a bit arrogant, with a somewhat self-centered attitude, she's a loyal friend and a strong leader. Works as a weather manager of Ponyville.

Return to the mane cast index here. Self-Demonstration here.

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    Characterization and Background 
  • Acquired Situational Narcissism: Once she's the town hero, her attitude goes from "I'm awesome" to "I'm awesome and everyone should admire me for it". She gets better by the end.
  • The Ace: She's known for being the best flyer in Ponyville.
  • Adorkable:
    • Surprisingly, but whenever she's around the Wonderbolts. Her fangirling of Daring Do is similar.
    • Her difficulty understanding certain emotions also puts her here. Some moments of this include her difficulty at understanding Fluttershy's introverted feelings in the early episodes. She matures later on and ultimately becomes much closer to Fluttershy.
    • Acts like this and a Genki Girl in Daring Don't and Flight to the Finish.
  • Action Girl: Rainbow Dash likes to fight first and ask questions later.
  • Anti-Hero: Type II with traits of type III and Type I at times. Out of all the main cast, her personality is wrought with the most flaws (impulsiveness, selfishness and arrogance to name a few) and she is the only pony who at times needs to be reminded that she has to care about others. This is made more prominent when she took a level in jerkass in Season 2. After a few episodes, she takes a level in kindness.
  • Ascended Fangirl: Shows up on the cover of the latest Daring Do novel.
  • Awesome by Analysis: How she studies for her test in Testing 1, 2, 3.
  • Badass: The biggest of the Mane Six by far. She kicked a fully-grown dragon in the face and made it flinch, and has executed a Sonic Rainboom - a maneuver previously thought to exist only in legend - three times. Her first one happened when she was a filly in flight camp.
    • Badass Adorable: She's the fangirl avatar for bronies everywhere, when she acts like one herself — when she gets excited over something (the Wonderbolts, Daring Do, etc), she becomes a giddy squeeing fangirl. Her cuteness is even shown in her coolness.
  • Badbutt: While definitely the most action-oriented of the mane cast, she has moments involving Gosh Darn It to Heck!, with phrases like "Hay yeah!", occassional use of Totally Radical and Never Say "Die" (especially at the end of "Wonderbolts Academy").
  • Berserk Button: Never threaten or hurt her friends if you know what's good for you. Bullies in general seem to be this for Rainbow Dash as despite not knowing Fluttershy too well, she stood up for her in The Cutie Mark Chronicles.
  • Big Eater: Munches a path through a huge cupcake pizza in Pinkie Pride.
  • Big Ego, Hidden Depths: While, as stated above, she appears self-centered, it is only over minor things. When it comes to things that matter and are of utmost importance, she is one of the most selfless ponies in the show. She is, after all, the bearer of the Element of Loyalty, and loyalty is all about putting whatever you hold loyalty towards ahead of yourself, even your dreams and well-being. This is something Rainbow has consistently demonstrated. Most of her spotlight episodes look into her prideful nature, showing her insecurities and her drive to be the best.
  • Big Sister Instinct:
    • Towards Fluttershy because of them being childhood friendship and going to flight camp together.
    • In "Sleepless in Ponyville", she extends this to Scootaloo, rushing to her rescue when she's in danger and becoming her (honorary) Cool Big Sis.
  • Bokukko: In the Japanese dub, natch.
  • Bookworm: Becomes one during "Read It and Weep", having nothing else to do but read while recovering from a broken wing. She goes to great lengths to hide this from everypony else. In later episodes she reads out in the open.
  • Book Dumb: She finds it close to impossible to learn and study through traditional academic means (which could be why she was kicked out of flight school), but she's far from moronic and, as displayed in "Testing Testing, 1, 2, 3," is an absolute wizard when it comes to passive learning.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: She's very competent, but tends to slack off every so often. This is said to be the reason she was kicked out of flight school, though she protests that assertion.
  • Broken Ace: Rainbow Dash is a renowned heroine in Ponyville and her skills are genuinely amazing. She's also shown to be insecure about losing and failure in general, and reached the brink of a nervous breakdown at the thought of publicly making a fool of herself. Compounding things, she will hide these breakdowns as best as she is able, making it harder for her friends to notice or help her.
  • Bruiser with a Soft Center: For as tough and action-y as she is, she'll still shed a few tears at heartwarming moments.
  • Brutal Honesty: She can be quite blunt at times.
  • Bully Hunter:
    • She stood up for a young Fluttershy who was being bullied back in "Cutie Mark Chronicles".
    • She also stood up for Spike when he was being hassled by the teenage dragons in "Dragon Quest".
    • She sticks up for Pinkie Pie in "Griffon the Brush Off", which is especially notable as her old friend Gilda was the one yelling at her.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Though she can often be found taking naps or practicing her flying stunts, Rainbow Dash is in control of most of Ponyville's weather and she's very good at what she does.
  • Butt Monkey: She became one in season 2, particularly in "The Mysterious Mare Do Well". where Mare Do Well repeatedly showed her up.
  • Character Development: Quite a few of her episodes have this.
    • There's some regarding her friendship with Fluttershy. In early episodes, Rainbow Dash had little to no tolerance for Fluttershy's meekness, bordering on outright contempt in "Dragonshy". Starting with Season 2 she is shown devoting more time to her and acting more gentle and encouraging, somewhat taking the role of an abrasive but well-meaning Cool Big Sis.
    • There's also her attitude towards Scootaloo. At first she appeared to see Scootaloo as nothing more than a fangirl, but later episodes show her taking a more active interest in her and becoming her surrogate Cool Big Sis in "Sleepless in Ponyville".
    • "Wonderbolt Academy" showcases her character development by pairing her with a pegasus whose behavior is similar to Dash's at the beginning of Season 1 (taken to the nth degree, as the other pegasus lacks Season 1 Dash's loyalty and basic concern for pony life), and having her ready to give up on her dream if it meant having to hurt somepony else.
    • Back in Season 1, she used to scoff at Twilight's egghead ways, but starting with "Read It and Weep", her interests have expanded from flying and joining the Wonderbolts to include a budding interest in literature. She started with becoming an avid reader of a novel series and then attempting to write her own novel.
    • Her rivalry with Applejack in "Fall Weather Friends" seems fairly bitter, this being one of the few times Rainbow has been seen being a poor sport. By the time of "Castle-mane-ia" however, this rivalry seems to have become far more friendly. There's still some smack talk, but it's portrayed as more good-natured now.
    • Her behavior in Daring Don't is at a stark contrast to The Mysterious Mare Do Well.
  • Class Clown: Implied to have been one to some extent as a filly in "Sonic Rainboom" and "Testing Testing 123". Even as an adult, she still has difficulty focusing for long periods.
  • Closet Geek: Of Daring Do during "Read It and Weep". By the end of the episode, she comes out of the closet, and is seen reading it during "A Friend In Deed".
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Usually a well grounded mare she has a moment of this in the second story-arc of the comic, when she suggests using an enlarging ray on herself (so she could transport an entire army to the moon all by herself) and a time machine to rescue Rarity.
  • Commander Contrarian: Due to aforementioned reasons, Rainbow prefers a "fight first, ask questions later" tactic in a team of peaceful and tactizing characters. This is particularly evident in Season Two.
    • As with similar cases such as Twilight, the show has made several attempts since then to subvert The Complainer Is Always Wrong for Rainbow Dash, and have cases where she's perfectly justified acting like her usual boisterous self.
  • Competition Freak: Rainbow Dash hates losing but she has limits. She does not like it when people are so competitive they're willing to hurt others, as seen prominently in "Wonderbolt Academy".
  • Deadpan Snarker: Not as much as Twilight, but still noticeable.
    (When they were preparing to climb a tall mountain and Rarity took out her scarf)
    Rainbow Dash: Yeah. that'll keep you nice and cozy.
  • Determinator: She absolutely refuses to give up when her mind is set on something;
    • "Sonic Rainboom"- she pulls off the Sonic Rainboom to save Rarity and the Wonderbolts without sparing a second thought.
    • "Hurricane Fluttershy" when she won't give up trying to get water to Cloudsdale.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: She kicks a dragon in the face!!! (as seen in the episode "Dragonshy")
  • Drama Queen: Surprisingly, considering how tomboyish she is.
    Rainbow Dash: My life is RUIIIINED!
    Rainbow Dash: But the cider! Won't somepony PLEASE think of the CIDER!
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: She can have a very dominating voice as The Leader of Ponyvile's pegasi. It's part of her Headstrong leader approach.
    • "Sonic Rainboom" where she taught Fluttershy how to properly cheer for her.
    • "May the Best Pet Win!": She ran the competiton like bootcamp.
    • Hurricane Fluttershy: Encouraging in a gruff manner; call it tough love. To be fair, it is an important mission and she's supportive of Fluttershy though.
    • Averted in Flight to the Finish in which she's more of a eccentric and supportive coach.
  • Dynamic Entry: Her very first appearance in the show is tackling Twilight. Inverted in "Bridle Gossip", as she smacks a wall trying to leave.
  • Fangirl: Of the Wonderbolts.
    • Ascended Fangirl: As of "Wonderbolt Academy" she's well on her way to becoming one of them.
  • The Fettered: As seen in "Wonderbolts Academy", she's set on proving herself as the fastest flyer alive, but is unwilling to do so in such a way that risks physical harm on other ponies.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Choleric: ambitious and prone to aggression.
  • Friend to All Children:
    • She has her own fan club run by Scootaloo.
    • In "Call of the Cutie" when she tries to help Apple Bloom earn her cutie mark by coaching her through various activities.
    • She acts as a coach for a school contest in "Flight To The Finish". The kids seem to be adoring every moment of it.
  • Genki Girl: At times she can be this, especially when young ponies are around. She's never above a good prank either. Showcased in Daring Don't and Flight to the Finish in which she practically channels Pinkie Pie. In the latter episode, her excitement is justified with the Equestria Games coming up, but is also nothing short of supportive of the foals, especially the Cutie Mark Crusaders.
  • Genre Savvy: Despite not representing the Element of Honesty, Rainbow Dash seems to clue in the quickest when somepony is being deceitful. She also seems to be most perceptive of Pinkie Pie; she can often anticipate her antics and even manipulates them to her advantage.
  • Guilty Pleasure: Reading as of "Read It And Weep". She stops feeling guilty about it by the end of the episode.
    • She's also reluctant to show affection to her pet tortoise when anyone's looking.
  • Hard-Drinking Party Girl: In the comic series, Rainbow Dash mentions that she barely remembers the events of Cadance and Shining Armor's wedding because she had too much of Pinkie's Tutti-Frutti Sherbet Sugar Punch. Taken a step further in the micro series, where she's clearly very, very drunk at the after-party for Rarity's Ponyville fashion show.
  • Hates Being Alone: Admits as much (to herself) in "The Mysterious Mare Do Well".
  • Hates Being Touched: A mild example. In "Ponyville Confidential" she first refuses to have a pedicure because it's too girly for her, then she nearly agrees to have one only to admit she hates other ponies touching her hooves.
  • Hotblooded: She's very spirited, to say the least.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex:
    • Underneath all her boasting, she's extremely insecure about losing as seen in "Fall Weather Friends".
    • "Sonic Rainboom" in which she is terrified into near catatonia at the thought of failing in front of the others (in particular, her idols, The Wonderbolts).
    • "The Mysterious Mare Do-Well": she has a breakdown once it becomes clear that the Mare Do-Well is better than her.
    • Spotlighted again in "Wonderbolts Academy" after she is assigned as a wing pony to Lightning Dust. This insecurity is what allows Lightning Dust to walk all over her... up until Dash's friends are put in danger.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Her boisterous exterior sometimes means she isn't best at reading other ponies' feelings. She will stick up for her friends, but they usually have to tell her there's anything wrong for her to notice them.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Apart from the 20% More Awesome about the gala dress, when looking for a pet she considers "coolness, awesomeness and radicalness" to all be different things, and of course, she doesn't explain how.
  • It's All About Me: Can sometimes veer toward this whenever her pride gets the better of her but considering her Element is loyalty it's only skin deep.
  • Japanese Pronouns: Boku, as a Tomboy and use of shonen grammar in the Japanese dub.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Rainbow Dash has a tendency to be arrogant and hotheaded. However she has no problems helping out other ponies in need as well as sticking by her friends no matter what. "May the Best Pet Win!" sums this up nicely- Dash puts the prospective pets through some tough trials, but it's to make sure they can keep up with her and don't get hurt by jumping into it without knowing what she needs from a pet. It's also highlighted in Hurricane Fluttershy where she's rather gruff to the pegasi and Fluttershy, but ultimately drops all plans to beat the record after she finds several pegasi have gotten sick and is even shown being amazingly patient and comforting to Fluttershy.
  • Jerkass Realization: Has moments like this quite often, especially in Season 2.
  • Knightin Sour Armour: Particularly during Season 2. She gets better.
  • The Knights Who Say Squee: Any time she's near the Wonderbolts.
    'OhmygoshOhmygoshOhmygoshOhmygoshOhmygoshOhmygosh!
  • Kuudere: Most of her cold moments are only skin deep. She's really quite capable of showing compassion.
  • The Lad-ette: Being an independent adult mare with a distinctly masculine personality and lifestyle, Rainbow Dash is pretty much as close as you can get to this trope in a G-rated work.
  • The Lancer: to Twilight Sparkle.
  • Lazy Bum: Oddly enough, she's fast and athletic, but also terribly lazy. It's implied that this is what got her kicked out of flight school.
    • Also hinted at by Spike in one Cold Open.
      Twilight Sparkle: Ahh; what a gorgeous day!
      Spike: Rainbow Dash must've gotten up early for once and cleared all the clouds away!
  • Leeroy Jenkins:
    • Her first instinct is to fight whatever threat may happen to pop up, be it a manticore, a dragon or Nightmare Moon. She is stopped from doing so with Nightmare Moon and the dragon incident backfires on her.
    • Lampshaded in "Feeling Pinkie Keen" when Twilight Sparkle is facing a giant Hydra to buy time for her friend's escape.
      Twilight Sparkle: Oooh... what would a brave pony like Rainbow Dash do? (beat) CHAAAARGE!
    • Inverted in "Over A Barrel". Rainbow Dash attempts to use stealth and caution to track down the buffalo and save Spike. Pinkie Pie showing up out of nowhere quickly undermines her efforts.
    • Inverted a second time in "A Canterlot Wedding" when she acts as The Combat Pragmatist to save Fluttershy.
    • Also in "Hurricane Fluttershy", Twilight accuses her of being such in collecting water for Cloudsdale in a pegusi wind tornado, however The Team sides with Rainbow Dash and The Plan works out after all.
  • Let Me at Him!: Often her reaction against a threat or if somebody has been mistreating her friends, such as in "Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000". Applejack is usually the one to hold her back.
  • Lovable Jock: Rainbow Dash, although prone to arrogance and selfishness, is naturally a loyal and altruistic flyer who would sacrifice the ultimate opportunity to join the Wonderbolts' flying team for the safety of her friends. Note her loyal tendencies apply also to the citizens of Equestria.
  • Marely Tears: Sheds some over Fluttershy's 'hole in our hearts' statement from "The Last Roundup". She snaps out of it though in an effort to save face.
  • Ms. Vice Girl: She's prideful and lazy but her heart's in the right place and she can always be counted on to do the right thing in the end.
  • Nice Hat: Wears one with a whistle in "May The Best Pet Win!", "Hurricane Fluttershy", and most recently Flight to the Finish.
  • Noodle Incident: We know Rainbow Dash was kicked out of flight school, but the reasons are unclear.
  • Obnoxious Snarker: She zig zags between this and a Deadpan Snarker depending on the mood.
  • Passionate Sports Girl: A tomboy who excels at competitive flying and dreams of joining the Wonderbolts.
  • Personality Powers: Free-spirited and impulsive; the only kind of personality for the fastest pony alive.
  • Plucky Girl: She's very determined, to say the least.
  • The Prankster: Enabling her to bond with Pinkie Pie.
    • All those pranks in Griffon Brush off? Her idea.
    • In Luna Eclipsed she goes all-out on Nightmare Night, taking every chance to shock someone from behind with a lightning cloud. She gets paid out in her own coin at the end.
  • Pride: She knows she's talented, but by "Wonderbolt Academy", she has matured enough to swallow it to accept an inferior position assigned by her superiors.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Yes, this is Rainbow Dash we're talking about. She can have this role at times when she's put in a position of authority. For example in Flight to the Finish, she stops the train to the Crystal Empire, heads at top speed to Scootaloo's house, convinces her to Be Yourself, and returns to the Crystal Empire where the Cutie Mark Crusaders win the honor of carrying the Ponyville flag. Not only that, but she's very supportive (not as much as she'd like to be because of Harshwhinny's "advice") of the Crusaders and even telling them she wants them to win. She scolds Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle but only because they left their friend behind, which is something Rainbow Dash would never do on purpose.
    • Note also the episode emphasizes she is efficient as one because she is acting like her usual hyperactive self, trying to subdue her enthusiasm to be more 'professional' only ends up dumbfounding the fillies, and in the end she finally gives up the act to point out how awesome the Crusaders' act is.
  • Remember When You Broke The Sound Barrier?: Her Sonic Rainboom is one of the few accomplishments that is brought up more than once. In addition to the episode itself, the original was seen when she told her cutie mark story in Cutie Mark Chronicles, she used it to demolish a condemned barn in Lesson Zero and Celestia requested she perform it for Cadance's Wedding in A Canterlot Wedding Part 1 and she performs it in the next episode.
  • Screw Destiny: Unlike everypony else, she firmly believes it's possible to make your Cutie Mark appear. After all, it worked for her. Interestingly, while the others seemed to believe that destiny lead them to their cutie marks, said "destiny" was Rainbow Dash doing the first Sonic Rainboom which set off the events that caused them to gain THEIR cutie marks. note 
  • Second Place Is for Losers: Doesn't take losing very well. To her, it's failing.
  • Smug Super: Though her abilities aren't unachievable by normal pegasi, she is a skilled flyer, a heroine, the only one whose ever performed the Sonic Rainboom, and she knows all this very well. Exaggerated and deconstructed in "The Mysterious Mare Do Well" where her smugness gets in the way of her performance.
    • When the ponies are teleported to a superhero comic book universe in "Power Ponies", it's no surprise that Rainbow takes to the role with the most enthusiasm.
  • Spirited Competitor: Loves competing. This is highlighted in Fall Weather Friends with Applejack and in Wonderbolts Academy with Lightning Dust; win against someone worth it.
  • Squee:
    • Upon winning the Best Young Flyers Competition and getting to meet the Wonderbolts.
      "Ohmygoshohmygoshohmygoshohmygoshohmygoshohmygoshohmygoshohmygosh!"
    • Also when invited to "hang out" with the Wonderbolts in the final episode of Season 1.
      "I'm. Hanging. With the. Wonderbolts!" *Squeee!*
  • The Squadette: Not only is she the manliest of the female cast and a jock, she is also the most military. Be it talking like a drill sergeant, practicing karate, wearing proper camo, barking out orders during missions like a squad commander, or actually joining the military and taking everything seriously, she is very obsessed with anything military related. She will sometimes treat her friends as troops if the situation is dire enough.
    • Sometimes she takes this to such extremes that she uses military time even when talking to a bunch of grade-schoolers
  • Sugar and Ice Personality: See Tsundere. She's abrasive and boastful, but eventually defrosts and becomes the most loyal friend you can have.
  • The Team Wannabe: Wants to join the Wonderbolts.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Cider, she's been seen going nuts over it every time it's been mentioned.
  • Tomboy: One of her most well-known traits; crude mannered, little interest in her apperance (other than looking 'awesome' of course), very interested in sports, etc.
  • Tomboy with a Girly Streak: She isn't above being in a fashion show, wearing a dress at a gala or going to the spa but she draws the line at getting a hooficure.
    • In the same light, her Equestria Girls counterpart wears a skirt over hot pants.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: A subtle example that builds up over the seasons. While still an abrasive egotist, a lot of Rainbow Dash's lessons concerning her arrogance and consideration for her friends have stuck, her altruism is on display a lot more and she even musters occasional gentle moments towards others (most notably with Scootaloo and Fluttershy, the latter of which she could barely tolerate initially). Note that this was only after briefly having Took a Level in Jerkass in Season 2, due to having her key flaws more prominantly focused on. It did her a lot of good in the end.
  • Tsundere: Considering how much she Took a Level in Jerkass/Kindness when dealing with her friends, and especially with her pet tortoise Tank, this definitely qualifies. She's also a Type A around Applejack and Fluttershy before mellowing out in Season 2. She even says a classic tsundere line in Just For Sidekicks. She insists that she's not hiring Spike to watch Tank because she's worried about him but because he might slack off. Cue Luminescent Blush.
  • Undying Loyalty: She's the one worthy of wielding the Element of Loyalty.
    I'll always be loyal to the Princess!

    Appearance 

    Abilities 
  • Awesomeness by Analysis/Sherlock Scan: She has a unique ability that allows her to unconsciously scan her surroundings while flying, possibly as a result of being a professional flyer.
  • Beyond the Impossible: Her ability to perform the Sonic Rainboom.
    Rainbow Dash: Most people thought the Sonic Rainboom was just an old mare's tale but on that day, the day I discovered racing, I proved that the legends were true; I made the impossible happen!
  • Combat Pragmatist: During the fight with the changelings, Rainbow Dash protects Fluttershy by pretending to be a changeling so she could blindside them before they could attack. She also shows hints of this in "Over a Barrel".
  • Diving Save:
    • In "Sonic Rainboom", to rescue not only Rarity but three knocked-out Wonderbolts at the same time.
    • In "Secret of My Excess" when she flies to save a falling Rarity and Spike.
    • In "Wonderbolt Academy" to rescue the rest of the Mane Six after their hot air balloon is destroyed by Lightning Dust's tornado.
  • Elemental Powers: Three:
    • Blow You Away: An ability shared by all Pegasi, going hand in hand with their cloud-controlling abilities,
    • Making a Splash: She can do this when she makes clouds produce rain.
    • Shock and Awe/Make Me Wanna Shout: She can induce clouds to release lightning and thunder. She mostly uses this to startle others.
  • Everything's Better with Spinning: A regular part of her repertoire, whether it's spinning clouds at top speed for a new stunt or generating an instant whirlwind by flying around at high speed.
  • Fantastic Nuke: Applejack asks her to destroy her old barn. Rainbow Dash happily obliges.
  • Hyper Awareness: Pretty much a Required Secondary Power to her flying skills; you need to be aware of anything that may be a problem if you're going to move that fast. She's gotten it down to a subconscious level, which Twilight is actually able to use to give her a much needed history lesson without her even realizing it.
  • Improbable Flying Skills: Despite her tendency to crash when attempting a fast landing or something especially difficult, Rainbow Dash can achieve phenomenal speed and agility in the air. She can break the sound barrier, perfectly dodge falling rocks and debris in two separate instances, and make very tight turns, as little as 90 degrees or less.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Somewhat Exaggerated, she's a Reusable Made of Iron Fantastic Nuke with a Black Belt in Karate, as well as one of, if not the fastest Pegasus.
  • Made of Iron: There is barely an episode without her flying face-first into something. Still she never suffers any lasting injury except when it's a plot point.
  • Mundane Utility:
    • Her karate comes in handy for collecting firewood.
    • Her Sonic Rainboom is helpful in demolishion.
  • Power Of The Storm: Her day job is controlling Ponyville's weather.
  • Razor Wings: An ability inherent in pegasi. They're used to slice apart clouds in "Wonderbolt Academy".
  • Signature Move: The Sonic Rainboom.
  • Super Speed: In flight. Her sprinting speed is simply that of a well-trained pony.
  • Too Fast to Stop: Quite often. Only Pinkie Pie's shown to catch up to her, though only with Rule of Funny. Inverted by the Sonic Rainboom which seems to allow her to turn on a dime at over Mach 1.

    Relationships 
  • Always Someone Better: Her initial view on Mare Do Well.
  • Animals Hate Her: Showed in "Magical Mystery Cure", when Fluttershy's animals attempt to cook her and eat her.
  • Blue Tomboy, Pink Girl: The Blue Tomboy to Prankster Partner Pinkie Pie.
  • Childhood Friends: A variation with Fluttershy. 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. In Season 1, Rainbow Dash is unfamiliar with just how timid Fluttershy is, and even in Season 2 she's still unaware of Fluttershy's severe social anxiety issues.
  • Cool Big Sis: Despite her arrogance, she is shown looking out for her team mates, most notably Fluttershy. She also stands up for Pinkie and Spike against bullies on separate occasions. Scootaloo sees her as this in full form and Dash has officially taken up this role for Scootaloo by the end of "Sleepless In Ponyville". This is presumably expounded on in Flight to the Finish with her coaching Scootaloo's class.
  • The Friends Who Never Hang: Her interaction with Rarity throughout the show is rather limited. Even "Sonic Rainboom", an episode they shared and revolved around Rarity's attempts to support Rainbow Dash, barely required them to have a single conversation together.
  • The Lancer: Has started to take this role to Twilight Sparkle in seasons 3 and 4 (the role more primarily Applejack's before).
  • The Leader: She is in charge of Ponyvile's pegasi. This is most clearly seen in "Hurricane Fluttershy" where she calls a meeting, organizes the training regime, and then leads the effort to build the tornado. She is mostly a Headstrong variety but the Rousing Speech gives her a hoof in the Charismatic category.
  • Masculine Girl, Nice Guy: The Masculine Girl to Tank's Nice Guy.
  • Morality Pet: She seems to be growing as one for Spitfire in their later appearances together. When Spitfire's more jerkish tendencies start popping up in both "Wonderbolts Academy" and "Rainbow Falls", Dash eventually winds up calling her out on them leading Spitfire to eventually soften up.
    • Fluttershy and Scootaloo tend to take turns bringing out some of Rainbow's own softer moments.
  • Odd Friendship: Quite a few of them actually.
    • How she sees her relationship with Pinkie Pie after warming up to her. They have their love of fun and pranking in common.
    • More starkly, she's close friends with Fluttershy even though the only thing they have in common is having wings, and the two of them dislike most of the other's interests. While they've grown closer over the course of the series, much of their relationship at the start seemed to be based on Fluttershy being the only other flyer in the group. They did attend at least one summer flight camp session at the same time, but even though Rainbow Dash defended Fluttershy from some bullies, Rainbow didn't seem to pay attention to Fluttershy otherwise. Even during that incident, Rainbow didn't notice when Fluttershy was knocked off of her cloud.
    • Her friendship with Rarity since Rainbow Dash is a Passionate Sports Girl pegasus who loves racing and Rarity is a Proper Lady unicorn who loves going to the spa, but Rainbow Dash didn't hesitate to save Rarity's life and Rarity didn't hesitate to support Rainbow in the Young Fliers Competition.
    • Also her pet tortoise Tank.
  • Opposites Attract: In a non-romantic way with her pet tortoise Tank, considering that she's one of the fastest ponies ever and he's a slow tortoise. It's justified because at the core of both of them is loyalty and determination.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni:
    • She's the Red Oni to the rest of the Mane Six, except for fellow Red Oni Pinkie Pie.
    • She also acts as the blue oni to Lightning Dust's red oni in "Wonderbolt Academy".
  • The Rival:
    • To Applejack in some early episodes. She's mostly a Friendly Rival. This is showcased in Castle Mane-ia where her rivalry causes her to stare down Applejack while covered in bees.
    • In "Wonderbolt Academy", Lightning Dust becomes this to Dash for a short while.
  • Super Cute Super Powers: The 'Rainbowdash special', aka the SONIC RAINBOOOOM!
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl:
    • While considerably more tomboyish than Pinkie, she gets along with her fairly well.
    • Also plays this role in relation to Fluttershy.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds:
    • With Applejack. (One of two)
    • Again with Fluttershy. They are the definition of Red Oni, Blue Oni, but they are often very devoted to each other, with later episodes playing them as a team more and more.
    • And with Scootaloo, who she used to think as nothing more than a fangirl.
  • We Used to Be Friends:
    • With Gilda in "Griffon the Brush Off". She and said friend had a fallout when Gilda went on a aggressive outburst when pestered to the extreme by Pinkie Pie and not giving Rainbow Dash's old friend, but Gilda overeacted by being overly hostile with the residents of Ponyville, which ended their friendship. Pinkie Pie learned to give more abrasive friends more space later on.
    • Also with Lightning Dust in Wonderbolt Academy later on. Subverted when Dash realized said friend never cared about friends or others at all.
  • Wingman: Served as this to Lightning Dust.

    Other 
  • 20% More Awesome: The (partial) Trope Namer! In regards to the dress Rarity makes for her, she simply says it needs to be "20% cooler".
  • Absentee Actor: 7 Episodes.
  • Butt Monkey: Seemed to get the bigger brunt of things in Season 2. This is partly because she's a tomboy who can shake it off, and partly from the fact that she is the bold, straightforward, fight-picking character in a show about friendship and tolerance, so she frequently fails, crashes into stuff or being held back by her friends in order not to create a contradictory message. It seems to have dialed back a bit in Season 3 due to Character Development, albeit only to the same extent as the other ponies.
  • Burning Rubber: When flying close to the ground, she can leave a trail of flames. Naturally the flames are rainbow-colored.
  • Can't Get Away with Nuthin' : Rainbow almost always gets retribution for her more abrasive moments, whether it was intentional or not.
  • Era-Specific Personality: Put her together with her previous incarnation and you get Tomboy and Girly Girl.
  • Everything Makes a Mushroom: Her Sonic Rainboom can make one if used to demolish something.
  • Expy:
    • Word of God confirms that Rainbow Dash is meant to be the Firefly from G1 of the cast.
    • She's also an expy of the G3 and G3.5 Rainbow Dash (who by the way was a plain and girly Earth Pony).
    • Rainbow Dash is also the Mane Character with the most obvious parallel among the Powerpuff Girls (her fellow tomboy Buttercup).
  • For Want of a Nail: Turns out her first Sonic Rainboom indirectly caused the rest of the Mane Six to get their own cutie marks as well as helping Pinkie Pie "create Equestria".
  • Genre Motif: Rock. Her appearance is often accompanied by an electric guitar in musical numbers that don't use the instrument anywhere else such as Rarity's second fashion show and "At the Gala".
  • In-Series Nickname:
    • She's sometimes called "Dashie", most often by Pinkie Pie.
    • The episode "Sonic Rainboom" reveals that the "Rainbow Crash" moniker that Spike innocently sticks her with in "Bridle Gossip" was an actual unflattering Flight School nickname of hers.
    • Applejack has called her "R.D." at least once.
  • Meaningful Name: She loves to dash and every time she does, she creates a rainbow. Then there's her Sonic Rainboom, the epitome of technicolored velocity. She says it herself in "Boast Busters".
    Rainbow Dash: They don't call me "Rainbow" and "Dash" for nothing!
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gives one to Lightning Dust in "Wonderbolt Academy" after she almost gets her friends killed.
  • Vocal Dissonance: In the Brazilian dub, her voice sounds male (she's still referred to as female though). Mind you, she's still voiced by a woman in this version, albeit one with a rather low-pitched voice. Probably they cast this way to make Dash sound more tomboyish. Her original voice isn't the most recognizably female one around, either.
  • Wolverine Publicity:
    • Not only has she inherited Firefly's personality but she seems to have inherited this trope as well. She shows up on almost every single official t-shirt and was the focus of hyping up "Cutie Mark Chronicles", a popular episode expanding on the mane cast's backstory.
    • The Wall Street Journal agrees.
    • She and Applejack were also featured in spots promoting "Hearts and Hooves Day"; an episode neither of them were in.
  • You Don't Look Like You: The Rainbow Dash toys don't really look like Rainbow; Toy!RD's mane is only 4 colours (the blue and purple being in her tail instead), her coat is rather grayish-blue, and her Cutie Mark is always backwards. The Blind Bags only screw up the cutie mark, though.

Friendship Is Magic Pinkie PieCharacters/Friendship Is Magic-The Mane CastFriendship Is Magic Rarity

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