Characters: Friendship Is Magic: Rarity
"A unicorn needs to be more than just muscle. A unicorn needs to have style. A unicorn is not a unicorn without grace and beauty!"
A unicorn with an eye for fashion and a generous spirit, Rarity is a beautiful clotheshorse
. A huge fan of Fairy Tale
-style romances and Happily Ever Afters
. While there's nothing new about a girl's cartoon having a fashion-focused character, Rarity breaks from this stereotype in that instead of following trends, she creates
them as the owner and lead designer of Ponyville's premier dress shop: the Carousel Boutique. As of Season 4 she appears to be diversifying into interior design.
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Characterization and Background
- Color-Coded Wizardry: Objects affected by her magic have a pale blue glow.
- Cool Crown: Briefly wears one during "Sweet and Elite". She wears a different one while playing Princess Platinum in "Hearth's Warming Eve", and a golden tiara is part of her Grand Galloping Gala ensemble.
- Everything's Sparkly with Jewelry: Her cutie mark shows it, and use of gems is part of her special talent/trademark.
- Gem-Encrusted: Loves jewels and gems and can use her horn to detect them. "The Cutie Mark Chronicles" shows that her penchant for covering her designs with jewels started when she was young. It's suggested that most jewels are so common in Equestria they're considered nothing more than pretty rocks. Spike eats them by the bowlful.
- Graceful Mares Like Purple: Her mane and tail and several of her outfits. In "Griffon the Brush Off", when it's time to play Pin the Tail on the Pony (which she states is her favorite game), she asks for the purple tail.
- Innocent Blue Eyes: Her eyes represent her kind and generous personality, albeit having a few jerk traits.
- Meganekko: She wears what appears to be some sort of reading glasses while she's designing clothes. It should be noted that reading glasses are basically magnifying lenses, and many people in professions that require a high degree of manual dexterity, such as tailoring, will wear reading glasses even if they have good vision.
- Nerd Glasses: Of the cat-eye variety, and with bright red frames. Of course, on her they look fashionably retro.◊
- Nice Hat: She enjoys making and wearing a variety of very nice hats.
- Nonstandard Character Design:
- She is one of the only ponies with a shaded mane. This is likely because her mane is so intricately coiffed that without the shading, it would look like a mess. The fashionista would be appalled.
- Rarity is also one of the only ponies to have eyelashes in groups of four (though they aren't real). Nearly all the other ponies have eyelashes in groups of three if they have them at all.
- Pimped-Out Dress: Doesn't wear one around town but her fashion choices amount to this when we see her at work. She's particularly fond of Gem-Encrusted things.
- When she meets Twilight in the pilot, she tries to stuff her in one.
- Designs a horde in "Suited for Success" with some turning out better than others. Mind you, that's what her friends have demanded of her and she's too nice to point out the flaws while making them.
- She also wears one in the episode "Sonic Rainboom" when she enters the Young Fliers competition.
- She designed another one for Twilight in "Sweet and Elite" and wore several herself.
- Rapunzel Mane The only one of the mane six whose mane and tail can challenge Fluttershy's in length. However, since hers is usually curled, it's hard to say whose is actually longer.
- Regal Ringlets: Her tail as befitting someone with high class.
- Sleep Mask: She sleeps with one, as seen in a couple episodes.
- True Blue Femininity: Her magic aura, as well as the gems in her cutie mark, her eye color, and her choice of eyeshadow.
- Tsurime Eyes: Highlighted by her blue eyeshadow.
- Twitchy Eye: Whenever she gets stressed, and when she undergoes outright Sanity Slippage in "Inspiration Manifestation" and the Bad Future of "For Whom The Sweetie Belle Toils".
- Unkempt Beauty: Rarity is one of the cleanest and prettiest ponies around, but she also looks great while dripping wet.
- Unlimited Wardrobe: Has a wide assortment of pretty dresses, hats, and accessories... all self-designed.
- Woman in White: Her extremely-light-grey coat color, emphasizing her refined nature as well as her cleanliness.
- Action Fashionista: For a prim & proper dress maker, she sure isn't afraid to get in a fight.
- Crippling Overspecialization: Like most unicorns, she has only been seen to use magic pertaining to her special purpose – in her case, beauty and artistry. However, see the entry for "Mind Over Matter" below for the other side of this.
- Cute Bruiser: Despite being the most lady-like, the few times we've seen her fight she's completely physical in her fighting style, including knocking out Mooks with solid right hooks.
- Dowsing Device: Her horn is used this way in order to locate gems.
- Femme Fatale: A benign example but she's not above seducing other ponies to get what she wants.
- Girly Bruiser: Rarity is very classically feminine and dainty, but she has some rather tomboyish traits, as well. She can do pretty well at sports or physical activities (once she gets over her distaste for dirt and muck), she is quick to accept a challenge, tends to get surprisingly physical in a fight, and is in fact usually one of the first of the Mane Six to get ready to fight. Specifically, she was the first to attack the manticore, was more than prepared to lay down a whupping to protect Spike in "Dragon Quest" and later straight-up slugs a changeling right in the face; all the while looking fabulous.
- Good Old Hoofticuffs: Despite her proficiency with levitation, every time she's gotten into a serious fight, she's opted to get her hooves dirty.
- Guile Heroine: Rarity can be pretty crafty when she wants to be; she provides inspiration for the page quote for Silk Hiding Steel.
- I'm A Beautiful Mare You Must Obey: She's good at sweet-talking males into doing things her way.
- Kung-Fu Wizard: In a fight, she's primarily physical in contrast to Twilight Sparkle, even though both are unicorns with natural magic ability.
- Lady of War: Her gracefulness and maturity are near constant but the war part is recognized in her fight with the Changelings; knocking one out with a right hook.
- She first showed this in the very second episode—her first reaction to a manticore leaping at her was to kick it in the face.
- Master of Illusion: Of a mundane sort. She creates some impressive special effects for her second fashion show in "Suited for Success".
- Mind over Matter: No other unicorn, not even Twilight, has displayed the ability to telekinetically manipulate multiple small objects with as much precision as Rarity does with her dressmaking supplies.
- Pintsized Powerhouse: Unicorns are not known for their physical strength, but Rarity is capable of dragging large carts of gems with ease. She can also carry a rock twice her size on her back.
- Prehensile Hair/Prehensile Tail: Her tail curls can be used to transport objects (the cake in "Party of One" for example).
- Social Climber: A more benevolent version. She aspires to be "a lady" and become popular in the higher spheres of society. Not through any unsavory means, but through her merits as an artist and person of good taste. She doesn't notice it, but the show proves to us that it's really much more of a matter of connections rather than genuine talent. That said, the show also displays her merits getting her such connections, such as being the preferred designer of pop star Sapphire Shores.
- Talking The Monster Into Submission: This is how she escapes the Diamond Dogs. She almost did it to the red dragon but was foiled by his treasure hoard. She also attempted to do this to the rampaging Spike in "Secret of My Excess".
- Weather Manipulation: When she (temporarily) becomes Ponyville's weather pony, she displays this ability. She does not, however, display any skill at it. While she can use her levitation to move clouds the way a pegasus does, she never gets the hang of controlling precipitation and is just plain terrible with thunder clouds.
- With Great Power Comes Great Perks: She uses her magical abilities for fashion.
- Affectionate Nickname: Spikey-Wikey for Spike, after he gave Rarity his cherished fire ruby to make her happy. The nickname stays for the rest of Season 2 and crops up from time to time in Seasons 3 and 4.
- Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Rarity's parents are kind and carefree but they look and behave like a couple of middle-class hicks. Among other things, they dress in gaudy clothes, enjoy eating disgusting food, and don't have even a sliver of Rarity's (or Sweetie Belle's) class.
- Rarity's mom looks like Peg from Married... with Children and her father may or not may be a gritty Earth Pony since the place his horn would be is always hidden by a gaudy straw hat. That sums it all up – Rarity's lifestyle purposely appears to be completely counter to her parents' behavior.
- If the Expanded Universe is to be believed, her last name could be Flanks-Crumbles, given that her parents are called Hondo Flanks and Cookie Crumbles, as per the card game.
- Big Sister Instinct:
- She threatens to rip the teenage dragons apart if they hurt Spike, who she cares for very much.
- She goes out of her comfort zone to repair her relationship with Sweetie Belle.
- Big Sister Mentor: Gets a moment of this with Sweetie Belle in "Ponyville Confidential" by giving her lessons in respecting privacy and refraining from slander.
- Cool Big Sis: Gradually becomes a mild example after the events of "Sisterhooves Social".
- Et Tu, Gabby Gums?: In "Ponyville Confidential", this is her reaction to Sweetie Belle stealing and publishing her diary to the school paper column. Lampshaded when she speaks this word for word towards her sister.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Melancholic – work-focused and obsessed with detail.
- A Friend in Need: While she might stray every now and then ("Sonic Rainboom"), nothing will stop her from helping her friends when they are in need.
- Friend or Idol Decision: Nine times out of ten, she will choose friends. (Only nine? She's not perfect.)
- By the time "Sweet and Elite" rolls around, her friends are expecting it, they understood why she wanted to go for the Idol (it could help her business and fashion credibility amongst some very influential ponies).
- The Friends Who Never Hang: Given that this series has six (or seven) main characters, and thus 15 (or 21) possible one-on-one relationships, this was inevitable.
- Her interaction with Rainbow Dash throughout the show is rather limited. Even "Sonic Rainboom", an episode they shared that revolved around Rarity's attempts to support her, barely required them to have a single conversation together. We do, however, see them hanging out in less spotlighted ways, as shown in "Dragon Quest" when they ask Twilight Sparkle if she would like to accompany them to breakfast, and in "Just For Sidekicks" as they are both having an outing with their pets.
- Rarity almost never interacts one-on-one with Pinkie Pie. As shown in the Red Oni, Blue Oni entry on the main character page, those two are the farthest apart on that spectrum, meaning they are the least likely to get along. In "The Last Roundup", where they are forced together by circumstance, Rarity has to restrain herself from strangling Pinkie. In "Putting Your Hoof Down", although Rarity and Pinkie are together for most of the episode (the only episode thus far where this happens), they do not have much in the way of a conversation without Fluttershy being involved.
- Kindhearted Cat Lover: Her cat's name is Opalescence or Opal for short. She loves her dearly even if the feeling is not reciprocated.
- Lady and Knight: According to Spike in "A Dog And Pony Show", she's the lady to his knight. Given her high class aspirations and Proper Lady personality she makes for a Bright Lady.
- Light Feminine and Dark Feminine: Being vain (though not quite as much so as she seems), Rarity represents the "dark" half in comparison to Fluttershy. She's also the Dark Feminine to Sweetie Belle's Light Feminine.
- Morality Pet: For Spike, when he rampages through Ponyville in the episode "Secret Of My Excess". She's the one who turned him back into the adorable baby dragon.
- My Beloved Smother: According to her sister, Sweetie Belle.
- Odd Friendship: With Applejack, the rough and tumble farmer. In Season 1 they often butted heads about daintiness or uncouth or something else, but after the events of "Look Before You Sleep" and especially "Sisterhooves Social", they became quite close.
- Interestingly, Applejack has more in common with Rarity than any other member of the cast. Both of them are small business owners who often have to take charge of their younger siblings who love to get into trouble. Both of them believe strongly in hard work and earning their way in the world, though Applejack's labor is more physical and Rarity's more mental. They both are very determined, and both of them are generous with their time (and worldly goods) where their friends are concerned. Both of them are highly skilled at their professions, and both of them do a wide variety of business-related things, not merely a single task (Applejack takes care of all sorts of farm work, including repairs, as well as actually selling her product, while Rarity does all of the sales, accounting, and other activities for her own business, in addition to designing, making, and fitting dresses). In fact, after Rarity, Applejack is the one who picks up the most quickly on how other ponies are feeling.
- Onee-sama: At her friendliest moments toward Sweetie Belle; an elegant and reserved elder sister whom the younger admires and seeks to emulate.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Like Applejack, she fulfills both roles, acting as a Blue Oni to Applejack and a Red Oni to Fluttershy.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Applejack. Originally, the vitriol was not kind at all. But by the time "Trade Ya" happened, they were still ribbing on each other, but it was obviously in good fun.
- Wacky Parent, Serious Child: She's the serious child to her wacky parents.
- American Accent/British Accent: Her accent is a blend of both called "Mid-Atlantic"note , a nearly-extinct dialect traditionally used by the American upper class, as well as actors who wished to be taken seriously on both sides of The Pond. Like the UK's "Received Pronunciation"note , it is almost never an accent one spends their formative years speaking; it must be consciously cultivated. In other words, Rarity's speaking style is an affectation – in fact, we see that as a filly, she lacked the accent.
- Cool Carriage: Her Gem-Encrusted Royal Gem Carriage from the toys.
- Damsel in Distress: Typically subverted. She has a knack for getting herself out of sticky situations. In "Spike at Your Service" she discussed this trope with Applejack on how to properly act like one.
- Demoted to Extra/Out of Focus: In Season 3. Introduced as one of the main characters, someone beginning the show in Season 3 would probably not know this, as she is the only main character without a focus episode (even Spike got two). Some have argued that she was becoming Demoted to Extra since Season Two. According to Word of God, Rarity's lack of a spotlight episode was the result of a retool of "Spike At Your Service" – she originally held the role taken by Applejack in the final cut, but the head writer disliked how Rarity was portrayed and sent the episode back to be retooled, changing the lead character and dynamic completely. Averted in Season Four, where she gets two spotlight episodes and shares two more (with Sweetie Belle and Spike), along with regular appearances in other episodes.
- Decomposite Character: She and Rainbow Dash are ones to the G3 version of Rainbow Dash; G4 Rainbow got the name and color scheme, Rarity got the personality (leaning closer towards the comic version) and love of fashion.
- Era-Specific Personality: FiM Rarity is a young adult with refined tastes, great talent, a generous heart, a strong sense of responsibility and the maturity and sensibility to run a successful business. Her G3 counterpart is a filly who only wants to have fun, needs constant adult supervision, and whose irresponsibility causes a nationwide disaster. Curiously enough in both incarnations, Rarity befriends a baby dragon named Spike.
- Strongly resembles the G1 pony Glory, sharing many of the same physical characteristics (light gray unicorn with purple hair and blue eyes). Despite resembling Glory, she's based off Sparkler. Rarity also resembles G3's Rainbow Dash in personality and they both have an accent (though Rainbow's is vaguely British) and say "darling" quite a bit.
- Similarities in appearance to an Italian variation of Sparkler◊ have also been noted.
- Also G3 and G3.5 Rarity who is a multicolored filly unicorn. (To be exact, she is the young Princess heir of Unicornia.)
- Fake Brit: Or rather Fake-fake-Brit, both out-of-universe and in it – Tabitha St. Germain is Canadian and does not speak with an accent anything like Rarity’s exaggerated Mid-Atlantic RP.† In-universe it's heavily implied that Rarity’s accent is an affectation and part of her fashionista persona – None of Rarity’s family members speak with the accent (although Sweetie Belle puts on a good imitation while making fun of her big sister). Given her mother’s strong Joisey accent and her father's thick Chicago/Wisconsin accent, you can see why she may have changed it to get ahead in fashion.
- Happily Ever After: As her fantasy during "The Ticket Master" shows, she dreams of meeting her Prince Charming and experiencing her very own. Subverted after learning the Prince Charming is anything but due to his personality.
- "I Want" Song: "Becoming Popular (The Pony Everypony Should Know)" from "Sweet and Elite".
- "I Am" Song: "Generosity" from "Rarity Takes Manehattan".
- Leitmotif: Any scene focusing on Rarity, especially if it's in the Carousel Boutique, is bound to be accompanied by a harpsichord.
- Oh, Crap:
- She gets one at the end of "Suited for Success" after Hoity Toity asks her to make a dozen of each dress she just showed to him before next Tuesday. That makes 72 hand-made dresses right after she was pushed beyond her limits to make "only" 11.
- Again at the start of "A Dog and Pony Show": after Rarity spends all her gem supplies on one dress, Sapphire Shores orders 5 more dresses of the same type.
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: When providing Rarity's singing voice, Kazumi Evans doesn't affect the mid-Atlantic accent that Tabitha St. Germain normally gives Rarity. This is most notable during "Winter Wrap Up", though Kazumi seems to be making a much more concerted effort to sing with the accent in later songs.
- Zigzagged in "Art of the Dress", where she appears to make an effort to use the accent in the first half, but mostly loses it in the reprise. May be justified by Rarity's being stressed out by that point.
- It's a running joke that she sounds oddly Swedish whenever she's in the middle of a bout of self-pity, riffing off Greta Garbo's "I vant to be alone!" line.
- Based on her flashback in "The Cutie Mark Chronicles", she didn't start cultivating her accent until some time after acquiring her cutie mark. Though neither she nor Sweetie Belle have the low-class accents of their parents.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!:
- "Oh, It. Is. ON!"
- "Look upon me, Equestria for I! AM! RARITY!"
- "Of all the worst things that could happen, this is THE! WORST! POSSIBLE! THING!"
- Smooch of Victory: She gives Spike one after she succeeds in receiving his Fire Ruby, and also when he comes to his senses after he nearly destroys Ponyville in his adult form.
- Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Not necessarily a bad thing but she has thus far received the most Character Development of the six leads.
- Out of Focus: In the third season, where she is the only pony lacking A Day in the Limelight and is mostly limited to minor roles. This was then averted in season 4 where she had an episode: "Rarity Takes Manehattan". According to Meghan McCarthy, "Spike At Your Service" was supposed to be that season's Rarity episode, but felt that she came off as a Jerkass, so it was rewritten to feature Applejack instead.
- Third-Person Person: Slips into this when she's in the zone.
- Token Minority: As of the season 3 finale, she's the only unicorn in the group after Twilight's transformation into an alicorn.
- Weaksauce Weakness: Competent as she is in a jam, she tends to flee in panic when her physical appearance is messed up, which was how both the manticore and Trixie were able to best her. She is capable of overriding this in special circumstances, as revealed in the climax of "Sisterhooves Social".