Characters / Friendship Is Magic: Spike

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Spike_7363.png
Fillies love him, bronies want to be him.
Click here to see him in Season 8 (spoilers) 

"You really should lighten up, Twilight. It's a party!"
Voiced by: Cathy Weseluck

A baby dragon and Twilight Sparkle's "#1 Assistant", Spike is the closest thing she had to a friend before traveling to Ponyville. He is extremely loyal and efficient, but also a tad obnoxious. He can transport messages to Celestia by burning them with his green flames; this communication goes both ways as she can then send messages that he burps out. Messages he sends to Celestia arrive in a much more dignified manner.

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    Characterization and Background 
  • Abandoned Catchphrase: Attempts to give Spike a catchphrase ("Holy Guacamole!") in "Feeling Pinkie Keen" have mysteriously vanished.
  • Adaptational Badass: In the cartoon, Spike tends to be weak, childish and clumsy, usually limited to emotional and mental support for the ponies. His comic book counterpart is noticeably more competent and brave. So far he's helped fight off a Changeling invasion, infiltrated the palace of the Nightmare Forces by himself (and then escaped capture), helped Luna solve a series of arson attacks in Fillydelphia, helped Zecora cure Ponyville of a disease (and figured out the cause of it by himself, to boot), and went on an adventure with Celestia to the Crystal Mountains. Additionally, in a throwaway joke, it's implied he and Celestia defended Canterlot against an invasion of giant, mutant, magic-infused cockatrices, riding the Princess herself into battle while wielding a trident.
  • Adorkable: Not as much as Twilight, but he has his moments, such as his awkward attempts to hit on Rarity.
  • All There in the Manual: According to out-of-show material (including some Word of God), it was Princess Celestia who raised Spike and taught him how to magically send messages. Apparently ponies know very little about dragons and have never seen a baby one before, which is why Princess Celestia decided to take the challenge of raising one herself. However, this was just a concept that was never actually added to the show, and is contradicted by some later material. In "Dragon Quest", Twilight says that Spike was given to her as an egg, which may imply that it was Twilight who raised him. "Cutie Mark Chronicles" supports this further, as it shows that Twilight earned her cutie mark by hatching Spike and apparently raising him from that point on. Finally, Issue #40 of the comics reveals that Celestia actually raised Spike just from the time from when Twilight hatched him to the time when she began attending Princess Celestia's School For Gifted Unicorns. Assuming Equestrian school starts at the same time as American schools — or at least that there wasn't a delay of more than a year between Twilight passing the entrance exam and her actually starting school — this would mean Celestia only raised Spike for a few months at most. From there, Twilight raised Spike more or less on her own.
  • Always Save the Girl: One of the main reasons he's so protective of Rarity, particularly against the Diamond Dogs.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: In "Secret Of My Excess", he would run at every single object he sees that doesn't belong to him. Plus, his vision shows everything to be sparkly.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Never come between him and Twilight.
    • Never disrespect Rarity.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: In the movie, he kills a Storm Guard with his fire.
  • Big Eater: Again, baby dragon. He's still growing.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Spike is helpful and obedient to Twilight. However, he can be incredibly obnoxious and childish at times, not to mention has a very dry wit.
  • Brutal Honesty: Unless he's worried about hurting Rarity's feelings, he's prone to saying exactly what he thinks without any regard to tact. Some of this can be attributed to being a child and the other due to being raised by someone like Twilight.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: As good as he is at his job, Spike can frequently be hindered by his childishness and can be an obnoxious goofball. Twilight has to keep him in line just as often as vice versa.
  • Character Development: In episode 3 of Season 1, he claimed he didn't want to be associated with any of that "Girly Gala Gunk" (though he initially looked excited at first and his glee at the end suggests he was just faking it, presumably because he was hurt by Twilight not even considering him). 45 episodes later he's seen wearing a pink apron out in the open and is not embarrassed to be seen in it (until Rainbow Dash started teasing him). A few episodes later Spike is seen enjoying the spa with the other girls. Even Rainbow Dash wouldn't be caught dead getting a manicure! Although in Spike's case the right sort of a manicure might qualify under "proper maintenance of natural weapons for maximum effectiveness" (or "don't scratch up the floor").
  • Cheerful Child: Normally kind, friendly, and happy.
  • Child of Two Worlds: Spike is a dragon who was raised by ponies. Though he still has some draconic instincts, notably Greed, he's culturally an upper-class pony, treats Twilight Sparkle as kin, and has a serious and long-lasting romantic attraction to Rarity.
  • Cincinnatus: Spike was briefly the Dragon Lord, ruler of all dragonkind. He immediately decided that his friend Ember would make a better Dragon Lord, and ceded power to her instead.
  • Cowardly Sidekick: Depending on the Writer, Spike can be either (with thanks to Monty Python) suicidally brave, hilariously cowardly or a coward who truly is brave.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Not quite as much so as Twilight Sparkle but still noticeably so. (Perhaps it's a result of being raised by Twilight?)
    Spike: That nest needs to be condemned!
    Rarity: Spike, it's not that bad; perhaps the birds can use it as...
    Spike: ...an outhouse?
  • Demoted to Extra: Although he plays a key role as Twilight's source of motivation in Equestria Girls, he is completely unimportant to the plot of Rainbow Rocks. In Friendship Games, his human world counterpart is pretty much a Satellite Character who doesn't even get lines until a little more than halfway through the movie.
  • Determinator:
    • He is determined to win Rarity's heart and won't give up no matter what.
      Spike: There is no pain that would keep me from assisting the most beautiful creature in the world!
    • If he's bent on assisting someone, he'll try his best to complete any task he's assigned to, no matter how difficult or tedious.
  • Does Not Like Spam: If this Hub commercial is to be believed, he thinks green beans are nasty.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The first episode includes a joke about Spike not understanding certain words as Twilight dictates a letter to him. It's never come up again and he seems to have no trouble understanding her in later episodes.
  • Eat Dirt, Cheap: Like other dragons, his favorite food is gemstones. More than once, he's had to resist the temptation to get a gem Macguffin.
  • Era-Specific Personality: G1 Spike was less sarcastic (and in the original pilot was on the side of the antagonists before receiving a Heel–Face Turn) while G3 Spike was a 1,000-year-old Stuffy Brit.
  • Expy: Of G1 (prototype) Spike, G1 (TV series) Spike and G3 (DVD only) Spike.
  • Extreme Omnivore: He'll eat grass, fruit, gemstones (his favorite), worm-filled muffins he scooped from the trash, and even an entire Tome of Eldritch Lore.
  • Greater Need Than Mine: He gives Rarity his Fire Ruby that he's been saving for months for his birthday dinner so she can be happy.
  • Greed: Dragons have an innate predisposition to this fault. Spike doesn't normally show it but excessive gifts can trigger this in him.
  • Heavy Sleeper: Justified, since he is a baby dragon and needs his sleep.
  • Hidden Depths: It's been shown in some episodes he's not as happy about always being shoved to the sidelines as he claims, and may have a few self-esteem issues at this point. See Dude, Where's My Respect? below.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Not as prominent as Rarity, but he sometimes backsteps his poorer advice, and like many a Deadpan Snarker, is sulky and defensive about getting his dry wit dished back (though he is very good natured about pranks).
  • Innocently Insensitive: Sometimes.
    • In "Party of One", he falsely confesses to Pinkie Pie that the rest of the Mane Six no longer like her just to get her off his back, and then chows down on the gems she promised him earlier as a bribe, failing to notice how badly she's taken the "news".
    • "Hurricane Fluttershy" is an example; his statements made on Fluttershy's poor flying ability breaks her spirit. He has no idea why Twilight keeps giving him angry glares.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Spike can seem awfully rude at times, like when making fun of his friends' Poison Joke afflictions in "Bridle Gossip" (which is later deconstructed at the end when it turns out these afflictions are just harmless, even if ironic, jokes played on them) or his machinations against the owl in "Owl's Well That Ends Well". Despite all this, he still can be incredibly loyal and thoughtful when he has to be.
  • Keet: He has his moments of being excitable and hyper.
  • A Kind of One: While it is shown as early as "Dragonshy" that there are other dragons in Equestria, "Dragon Quest" shows that Spike is the only dragon known to live among ponies. He is so unique that, in "Equestria Games", Ms. Harshwhinny addresses him as "Mr. the Dragon".
  • The Kingmaker: By the end of Season 6, due to his friendship, both Ember and Thorax became ruler of their respective species. Admittedly, Spike's help for Thorax was only indirectly responsible for his rise, as Starlight Glimmer was the one that gave him the final push, but it wouldn't have been possible without Spike befriending him in the first place.
  • Large Ham: Sometimes he has his moments of chewing the scenery, such as when he schemes to get Owloyscious in trouble.
  • Likes Older Women: It's unknown how much older Rarity is than Spike but she certainly this. She's also, naturally, bigger than him.
  • Love at First Sight: Automatically falls in love with Rarity after he first meets her.
  • Medium Awareness: Though nowhere near as much as Pinkie Pie, Spike does get most of the fourth wall jokes that don't come from her. This is particularly strong in "Lesson Zero" when he disperses the nightmarish visions Twilight experiences by popping them with his claw, moving them off-screen like a set backdrop, etc. He also gets the occasional Aside Glance.
  • Mysterious Past: The origins of Spike's egg are currently completely unknown, and given that he was either abducted as an egg or his parents died or abandoned him, that's unlikely to be explored. There's also the question of just how he was raised, as ponies explicitly don't know how to raise a dragon.
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Considers himself to fall under this trope after "Dragon Quest" when he encounters teenage dragon jerks. In the Broad Strokes of the comic, he gets over it when he goes to Fillydelphia and meets several perfectly normal, nice dragons, one of which points out that disowning his whole species based on a couple of teenage jerks isn't fair to anyone. In the show itself, his encounter with Ember serves to show him that not all dragons are as bad as those he first met (even if their friendship did get off to a rocky start).
  • Narcissist: Downplayed, but some episodes depict him as being a little vain.
    • In "Party of One", he admits to Pinkie Pie that when nopony else is around, he flexes in front of a mirror and says "Lookin' good, Spike. Lookin' real good!"
    • In "Equestria Games", he calls the giant statue the Crystal Ponies built in his honor "gorgeous".
  • Nice Guy: He helps Twilight, Rarity and others when asked. Usually he doesn't ask for anything in reply
  • The Nicknamer: Takes this role in "Bridle Gossip" when he comes up with clever nicknames for the girls after they've been affected by the poison joke.
  • Only Sane Man: When Twilight joins the craziness of her friends, he is left as the voice of reason.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: In "Spike At Your Service", he shows total incompetency as a chef and a housekeeper, two jobs he's had no trouble performing well in previous episodes. He also starts abiding by his "Dragon Code", a code of laws he's completely devoted to. Before this episode, Spike had never displayed such unwavering guilt at another pony saving his life, and his dragon code hasn't been mentioned since.
  • Precocious Crush:
  • Raised by Humans: Or Raised by Ponies as the case may be. Comes up in "Dragon Quest" where the other dragons say he isn't a 'real' dragon because he was raised by "namby pamby ponies". Given the relationship between the two species, this is also an inversion of Raised by Orcs.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Largely Averted. Played straight when he is given a ''villainous'' role among the cast of mammalian ponies. Special mention goes to him in "Secret of My Excess", where he gains more reptilian features. In "Molt Down", he is horrified when he goes through the molt, resulting in developing unsightly "stone scales" and producing an unpleasant smell. He goes to Zecora in hopes of her making him a "cure", but she shoots down that possibility.
    Zecora: The ailments you have aren't something to cure; the molt's a condition that dragons endure.
  • Servile Snarker: He gets this way whenever Twilight gets too enthusiastic or veers towards the deep end.
    Twilight: We'll be back after the presentation, which should be...
    Spike: [carrying a pile of books] Twenty moons from now?
    Twilight: ... tonight!
  • Spanner in the Works: The only reason Twilight is able to escape King Sombra's spell and find the Crystal Heart is because he disobeyed her command to handle the search for it alone.
    • Again (though unintentionally) in Equestria Girls when Sunset Shimmer trips over his tail while trying to escape, alerting Twilight to her presence.
    • Explicitly this in "Power Ponies", where he is able to save the girls because the villain didn't capture him, thinking he wouldn't be a threat.
    • An example that takes several episodes to accomplish is his friendship with Thorax. He met Thorax in "The Times They Are A Changeling", became his friend, and convinced the Crystal Empire that Thorax was nice and just wanted friends. Then come the season finale in "To Where and Back Again", it is thanks to Thorax's friendship with Spike and the Empire that he no longer hungers for love and changes into a new beautiful form, showing a better path for all changelings. Spike's friendship with Thorax ended up saving all of Equestria from a changeling invasion and helping the whole species, minus Chrysalis, to perform a Heel–Race Turn.
  • Species Surname: His full name appears to be "Spike the Dragon" as given in multiple sources such as the Elements of Harmony guidebook, and when Ms. Harshwhinny addresses him as "Mr. the Dragon" in the "Equestria Games" episode.
  • Straight Man: His most consistent role is reacting to Twilight's anxiety or that of the other Mane Cast.
  • Sweet Tooth: Beyond gems, he like sweets, such as ice cream or cake.
  • Temporarily a Villain:
  • Third-Person Person: He spoke this way while Hulking Out in "Secret Of My Excess".
    Spike: Spike WAAAAANT!
  • Took a Level in Kindness: He has grown kinder and less of a nuisance to a degree through the progression of the series.
  • Totally Radical: In the Polish version when compared to the other main characters. He uses phrases and words such as "Jesteś w dechę!" (You're totally awesome!), "wtopa" (bummer) or "ściema" (a slang variation of "lie").
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Gemstones. This is frustrating for him while living in Ponyville as the few ponies who trade in gemstones use them as decoration instead of food. When gems aren't available, he seems pretty fond of ice cream.
  • The Unchosen One: In the two-parter episode "The Crystal Empire", Spike was the one who ultimately saved the day.
  • Undying Loyalty: To Twilight Sparkle, and the rest of his friends. This allows him to be the hero in "The Crystal Empire" when he refuses to let Twilight search for the Crystal Heart on her own. It is also revealed that his greatest fear is Twilight revoking his status as her assistant and sending him away because she finds him useless. Also strongly demonstrated in Equestria Girls, where he accompanies Twilight through the mirror portal despite being told not to, providing much-needed moral support.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: While he's a fair bit younger than Twilight (given how he was hatched by her when she was still a child), he's very close to the Mane Six, and sometimes even more so, maturity-wise.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: In "Secret of My Excess", receiving too many birthday presents triggered his growth and his rampage through Ponyville.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: This is the main reason he couldn't smash the defenseless phoenix egg in "Dragon Quest".
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Struggles with this. He prides himself on being Twilight's dutiful assistant, but is plagued by doubt and worry that he's actually useless and is an outsider to the core cast of ponies.
  • You Have Out Lived Your Usefulness: This is his biggest worry in life — that Twilight (and her friends) will no longer want him around if he stops being helpful. "Owl's Well That Ends Well" has him fear for his job with Owlowiscious also helping Twilight, "Power Ponies" has him deal with being cast as Humdrum, the useless sidekick who never does anything to help the heroes, and in the Season 3 premiere King Sombra's spell reveals that his greatest fear is that Twilight won't need him anymore and will make him leave her.

    Appearance 
  • Badass Mustache: He wears droopy, black fake mustaches on several occasions to look older and tougher.
  • Compressed Hair: The question of where his spikes, which when uncovered stick out around twice as high as any hat he happens to be wearing, go when his head is covered is never addressed.
  • Curtains Match the Window: For particularly scaly definitions of "curtains", but his eyes and his scales on the top of his head are both green.
  • Cute Little Fangs: Don't be fooled by their tiny size, since they can chomp through diamonds as if they were cookies.
  • Depending on the Artist: In the comic books from IDW, the inside of his mouth is green.
  • Disembodied Eyebrows: Unlike with ponies, under certain angles his eyebrows can be seen moving past his head.
  • Four-Fingered Hands: His claws are drawn with four fingers.
  • Fun Size:
    • He's tiny compared to an adult dragon. He could fit in its palm and bring several friends. "The Cutie Mark Chronicles", "Secret of My Excess" and "Dragon Quest" all VERY strongly indicate that Spike will eventually grow to a massive size.
      Pinkie Pie: Little Spikey-wikey! Who knew that big ferocious dragons started out so cutesy-wootsey?
    • In "Gauntlet of Fire", Spike is only about half as tall as Ember, who is implied to be a teenager, and he's so small compared to Dragon Lord Torch that one of the elder dragon's teeth is bigger than he is.
  • Green Eyes: They carry the "greedy" association, part and parcel of being a dragon.
  • Growing Wings: In "Molt Down", he acquires wings after going through the molt, an uncomfortable magical process that serves as essentially dragon puberty. It culminates in him growing a rocky cocoon and emerging from it with a new pair of wings.
  • Nice Hat: Spike has a thing for sweet headgear. Apparently the Animators like putting stuff on his head because it's funny.
  • Not Allowed to Grow Up: Aside from the growth spurt induced by greed in "Secret of My Excess", Spike stays a baby for most of the series... until season 8's "Molt Down", when he undergoes "the molt", which is basically dragon puberty.
  • Overly Long Tongue: As seen in "Lesson Zero" and "Secret of My Excess".
  • Rise of Zitboy: The first sign of Spike's impending molt in "Molt Down" is a red stone scale on his cheek. The next morning, his face is covered with stone scales, and later that day they're all over his body. At one point, he even tries to pop a stone scale as a teen would pop a zit. Rarity initially dowmplays it as just "the odd blemish", and Twilight compares it to stress-related breakouts she used to get in Magic School; turns out Spike's going through dragon puberty.
  • Shoulder-Sized Dragon: He is this until he grows up, of course. He is often seen riding on the backs of ponies and sometimes on the head of Twilight.
  • Significant Birth Date: Twilight hatched his egg on the same day that she and the other members of the Mane 6 got their Cutie Marks.
  • Your Size May Vary: Not in the show, but in merchandise. The Spike vectors, unless he's sitting on Twilight's back, often make him appear smaller proportionally to the ponies than he does in the show.

    Abilities 
  • Badass Adorable: He can fight back pretty well if a friend is in danger.
  • Beware My Stinger Tail: The end of his tail can function as a jackhammer. It's mostly used for digging, but he's used it as an effective weapon as well.
  • Big Eater: Spike will eat anything. He's got a lot of growing to do after all.
  • Blessed with Suck: Dragons are amongst the most powerful creatures in Equestria, but that power comes with the risk of losing control of their materialism and becoming a mindless beast, as seen in "Secret of My Excess".
  • Breath Weapon:
    • Like all dragons, he can breathe fire, though he rarely uses it as a weapon. Due to his young age, however, his fire is still very weak compared to the adult members of his species. Indeed, an accidental blast only gave Twilight a new hairstyle. However, his fire power seems to vary greatly depending on the situation. In one episode, he was able to completely melt an iron lock in a couple of seconds, something that would normally take several hours with regular fire, which suggests that he might simply know how to regulate the intensity of his fire to avoid hurting ponies around him by accident.
    • His fire breath also has the unusual ability of serving as a post system of sorts — if he burns a scroll, he can cause the smoke to fly off to a desired location and reform into the original scroll. Replies can be sent back the same way — it's not shown how this process is triggered, but on the receiving end Spike burps up a small plume of fire, whose smoke solidifies into the reply letter.
    • By Season 4, his fire power has increased notably. This is best seen in "Equestria Games", where he saves everypony at the Crystal Empire's stadium by quickly melting a huge ice block (pretty much a falling iceberg) with a massive flame attack, disproportionally huge for his tiny body.
    • And after his molt in Season 8, his fire breath is enough to finally make the Roc back down after a direct burst to the face. Up to this point, the giant bird was quite the Super-Persistent Predator.
  • Equippable Ally:
    • In "Apple Family Reunion", Applejack lights the woodfires beneath a row of cooking pots by grabbing Spike and flicking his mouth open and closed like a Zippo lighter, complete with sparks, making him shoot out a gout of flame and lighting the fires all at once.
    • At one point during the battle for Canterlot in the 2017 movie, Capper grabs Spike and uses his fire breath as a makeshift flamethrower against the Storm King's soldiers.
  • Exploited Immunity: As stated by Spike, dragons are fireproof. Whenever Spike or other dragons have been exposed to fire, they just end up covered in soot, but aren't burned and feel no pain whatsoever. This immunity seems to extend to extreme heat in general. As shown in "Dragon Quest", dragons can swim in boiling lava as easily as they do in water.
  • Flight: Starting with Season 8's "Molt Down", he acquires wings through a molting process, and immediately tries them out. After a bit of a rocky start, he's proving to be quite a fast flyer, on par with Twilight.
  • Flying Firepower: As of season 8's "Molt Down". Combining his breath weapon with his brand-new flying ability makes him significantly more efficient than before, enough to scare off a giant flying predator like a Roc.
  • Handy Feet: His feet aren't particularly hand-like, but he's able to lay back and hold a comic up between his legs with his toes in "Power Ponies", implying he can use them as such when he wants to.
  • How Do I Shot Web?: In "Molt Down", after growing his wings, Spike struggles for a while to figure out how to fly, crashing into a tree and flying upside-down. Even when he starts getting the hang of it, at first he overshoots the target, and then he falls back in the air while bragging about his new wings. Compared to how Twilight fared, however, he learns quite fast, hinting that flying is probably instinctual for dragons.
  • Hulking Out: Suffered this in "Secret of My Excess", thanks to his greed on presents during his birthday. He gets better at the end.
  • Hyper-Competent Sidekick: Spike is very skilled at cleaning, cooking, categorizing, taking notes, sending and receiving messages, etc. He can also fight, quickly spots mistakes in Twilight's plans, takes care of diplomatic business on his own and has connections with important people such as the famous Hoity Toity. On top of that, he absolutely loves his job. If his fulfillment of this trope wasn't apparent before, it comes out in full force in the second part of "The Crystal Empire".

    Oddly, in the very first episode, a brief scene gives Spike a less-than-average understanding of certain words. This has been averted in the series since. Inverted in "Spike At Your Service", where many of his attempts to help Applejack only make things worse. Even then he remains dedicated to his job and is undeterred by laborious work.
  • Jekyll & Hyde: Will turn into a hulked-out evil dragon if given too many things as presents.
  • The Load: Played with in certain episodes due to his unmatured strength and occasional incompetence. Completely Lampshaded and Deconstructed in "Power Ponies".
  • Magikarp Power: So far we've seen that Dragons are obscenely powerful beings but since Spike's a baby, he's still relatively easy to thwart. This becomes all the more apparent when he temporarily stops being a baby and becomes a tremendous threat to everyone nearby, to the point where even the best Wonderbolt Squad are nothing but pests for him.
  • Metamorphosis: In "Molt Down", the final molt stage involves Spike being covered in a rocky chrysalis, before emerging with his new wings grown and ready to carry him in flight. Downplayed appearance-wise, though, as the wings are pretty much all that's changed about him..
  • Mundane Utility:
    • He uses his magic fire to send and receive letters which makes him a living fax machine.
    • He's also used as an impromptu lighter to start cooking fires in "Over a Barrel" and "A Bird in the Hoof".
  • Natural Weapon:
    • Firebreath. Due to still being a baby dragon, his fire is normally shown as small and usually harmless bursts. However, on at least one occasion he was able to unleash an incredibly large and powerful fireblast, implying a great untapped potential despite his young age.
    • His fangs count for this as well. Despite their tiny size, Spike was capable of biting through even diamonds like candy. Dragons have a terrifying biting power if even their infants can do this.
    • His thick hide, on a more defensive note. Being covered in dragon scales has proven several times to make him immune (or at least extremely resistant) to situations that would send ponies directly to the ER.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Don't let his size fool you; he's a lot stronger than he looks. The Diamond Dogs learn this the hard way. He's also usually shown carrying many times his own size and weight in luggage. In "Spike At Your Service", he builds a gigantic rock tower, and some of those rocks are bigger than he is!
  • Playing with Fire: He breathes a "magic fire" to send messages to Princess Celestia but is also capable of producing plain old regular fire too. "Owl's Well That Ends Well" suggests that he can even produce fire from his claws. He's also accidentally sneezed green fire, resulting in random items being sent to Princess Celestia.
  • Prehensile Tail: He has been shown carrying objects with his tail, usually hooking the tip through a convenient handle. This is more prominent during his greed-induced growth spurt, when he keeps hold of Rarity by coiling his tail around her midsection and carries her around that way while pillaging Ponyville.
  • Required Secondary Powers: He states that "dragons are fireproof", which they have to be, dealing with fire inside their bodies a lot.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: In "Secret of My Excess", it's revealed if he is given too many gifts he will experience rapid growth into an evil dragon.
  • Super Toughness: Being covered in dragon scales means there's little that can do more than knock the breath out of him. One of the comics' main arcs has him endure tremendous amounts of physical damage (that would arguably be fatal for a pony) without any serious repercussions afterwards.
  • Supreme Chef: He's often shown cooking and is generally shown to be quite good at it. An unusual exception occurred in "Spike at Your Service", where he botched a pie.
  • Technicolor Fire: His fire breath is a bright green color. Given that other individual dragons consistently breathe colored flames — one background dragon is seen breathing blue fire in "Dragon Quest", while Ember breathes fuchsia flames — this is likely natural for him. However, in an episode of Season 4, he breathed a large blast of the more traditional red/orange flames.

    Relationships 
  • All Love Is Unrequited: He has a major crush on Rarity who seems to either not notice this or not care. She never shows any indication that she could imagine getting together with him, but isn't really bothered by the notion. This status quo is demolished at the climax of "Secret of My Excess" when Spike finally confesses his feelings to Rarity. Not only did she know all along, she was deeply moved.
  • Always Second Best: Initially had this thought about Owlowiscious, because the owl kept one upping him.
  • Beleaguered Assistant: He is front and center for Twilight's Super OCD and tries to keep her on track when she has a meltdown.
  • Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: To Twilight, as her right-hoof assistant. Whenever Twilight is distracted, behind schedule, and especially when she's stressed, it falls to Spike to ground her and set her straight.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: To Rarity, who he never stops trying to woo despite his lack of progress. After the events of "Secret of My Excess", it's shown that she does know about his crush, but sees him as the sweet little kid he is. Although one must wonder who made that Rarity shirt from "Green Isn't Your Color" in the first place.
  • Familiar: Spike seems to be this for Twilight, though Owlowiscious may be a better fit.
  • Everyone's Baby Sister: The Mane 6 tend to jump to take action the instant they find out Spike is threatened.
  • Happily Adopted: As of "The Cutie Mark Chronicles", it looks like he was raised by Twilight and it's obvious in "Owl's Well That Ends Well" that he sees her as a surrogate big sister (probably NOT mother given what he says when Twilight wakes him up in "Winter Wrap-Up"), which makes sense, since she was responsible for hatching him.
    • "Dragon Quest" confirms that he always saw Twilight as family, and overtime saw the Mane 6 as a part of his family too.
    • The IDW comics #40 shows that Celestia has asked Twilight to care of Spike.
  • Interspecies Romance: He wants to pursue this with Rarity, a unicorn.
  • Lady and Knight: In "A Dog And Pony Show", he literally views Rarity and himself as this complete with himself in plate mail and her in a princess dress.
  • Like Brother and Sister: With Twilight. They're extremely close and treat each other largely as equals, often balancing out each other's bad traits. This is reinforced in "Once Upon a Zeppelin": when Spike insists for Twilight to go on a family vacation he parents won and let him worry about her royal duties, so that she can have a chance at a relaxing vacation, she argues he's as much a part of her family as anyone else and has the right to come too.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: His life revolves around Twilight, although this is justified due to his youth.
    • In "Owls Well That Ends Well" fear that he would lose his status as her Number 1 Assistant temporarily made him a villain.
    • In "The Crystal Empire - Part 2" his greatest fear is revealed to be her revoking this status and casting him out of Ponyvile because she doesn't need him anymore.
    • In "Spike At Your Service" Twilight gave him the weekend off and he couldn't think of anything better to do than smell his feet.
  • The Load:
    • When things get gritty. Spike is a highly competent assistant to Twilight and proves useful outside the action, but in terms of actual physical involvement, he's mostly useless; either staying on the sidelines or needing the ponies to protect him.
    • This is averted in "The Crystal Empire - Part 2". He's ultimately the one who saves the day (alongside Cadance), if still in a rather blundering fashion.
    • Lampshaded and Deconstructed in "Power Ponies". Thanks to the Mane-iac's decision on what to do to him, he indirectly saved the day, despite his awareness of being physically weak.
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg: He's on the receiving end of this both in-universe and out. Not being a pony and not bearing an Element of Harmony means that, when a crisis hits, Spike is liable to be left on the sidelines. The comics take this to the point of a Running Gag; often when a character expresses gratitude that "the six" heroes are there to help, Spike has to chime in to correct "seven!"
  • Non-Human Sidekick: The "number 1 assistant" to Twilight Sparkle.
  • Odd Friendship:
    • Believe it or not with Twilight herself. We rarely see much focus on their relationship and it seems to be based on more familial based attachments than anything else. Regardless, they have grown closer as friends and completely trust one another.
    • He also seems fond of Pinkie Pie, despite his rational, cynical personality. He acts as befuddled as everypony else at her stranger excesses, but they often end up sharing scenes and supporting each other.
    • Since Season 6, with Starlight Glimmer. They work well together and seem to really like each other. One notes that unlike the rest of their group of friends, she treats him more as in equal or even as a superior (or senpai rather) while the others treat him as a younger brother. Presumably because Starlight sees Twilight as her teacher and with Spike being Twilight's assistant, just as deserving of respect.
  • The One Guy: The only regularly recurring male character in the main cast, and for a long time the only confirmed male in the toy line.
  • Opposites Attract: Played with: Spike is a dragon (which are greedy by nature) with a crush on Rarity (the bearer of the Element of Generosity). Scratch the surface and it starts looking like Not So Different: Greed is one of Rarity's major vices (and contrasts her Element) while Spike is very giving and supporting of his friends (he even gave his own present to himself on his birthday to Rarity). Furthermore, both are hard-working individuals in what they do and have purple as a color-motif.
  • Pals with Jesus:
    • Like Twilight, he has a direct line to Princess Celestia (mostly because he is the direct line to Princess Celestia) though oddly he's far more laid back around her than any of her other subjects are.
    • His close relationship with Twilight Sparkle, Twilight being Celestia's personal student and the Element of Magic plus her becoming an Alicorn Princess at the end of Season 3 means that he's pals with two Jesuses.
  • Parental Abandonment: Literally nothing is known about his real parents or how Celestia acquired his egg.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: With Twilight. They're Like Brother and Sister, mother-son thing or just terrific friends, but whatever it is, it is certainly strong.
  • Stalker Without a Crush: A mild version towards Applejack in "Spike At Your Service", as he won't leave her alone due to his personal "Dragon Code" requiring him to pledge lifelong servitude to her after she saves his life.
  • Tagalong Kid: He's portrayed as being younger than the rest of the Mane Cast, and he isn't a bearer of one of the Elements of Harmony, but he is still a much-loved and helpful member of their group.
  • Translator Buddy: He often serves as this to and for Twilight, translating her highly technical spiels into terms other characters can understand.
    Cloudchaser: What exactly does this machine do?
    Twilight: This is an anemometer. It measures your accelerative velocity and translates it into wing power, thus gauging your cumulative H2O anti-gravitational potential. Any other questions?
    Flitter: Yeah. [to Spike] What exactly does this machine do?
    Spike: It tells you how fast you're flying and how strong your wings are.
  • Unknown Rival: To Owlowiscious at first, because he considered the owl a threat to his position as Twilight's Number 1 Assistant.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Often with Twilight during their more playful bouts. Also seems to have become one to Owlowiscious.
  • Wacky Parent, Serious Child: When Twilight switches off from Straight Mare mode such as in "Lesson Zero" and "It's About Time", she becomes the wacky parent to Spike's serious child.

    Other 
  • Acrofatic: Downplayed. Spike is pudgy for a dragon his size, but he's also strong and athletic when the situation calls for it.
  • Audience Surrogate: He's sometimes pulled into the girls' adventures against his will and then ends up enjoying it all in spite of himself. Clearly some of us are meant to relate.
    "I don't want any of that girly, frilly, frou-frou nonsense" he says and then walks out giggling after receiving his ticket to the Grand Galloping Gala.
    Applejack: Spike! That goes on the cake.
    Spike: *stops playing nervously* I... uh... ha ha ha.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: In "Lesson Zero" he ends Twilight's imagine spots by physically moving them out of frame.
  • Butt-Monkey: Shares this role with Twilight Sparkle; like her he faces a lot of comedic trouble.
  • Credits Gag: While listed as just "Spike" in all episode and movie credits, the credits of Friendship Games list him as "Spike the Dog", because only his dog counterpart is present.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Zigzagged. He does A LOT of work for the girls, with not too many thanks from them and is mysteriously absent at many of their parties or adventures. In other episodes, ("Owl's Well That Ends Well", "Secret of My Excess") he gets love and praise from Twilight, a cheek kiss from Rarity and otherwise recognition for his accomplishments. As of Season 3, he shows both extremes. He gets a stained glass window in Canterlot's palace all to himself because he delivered the Crystal Heart to Cadance and thereby saved the Crystal Empire from King Sombra, but he was explicitly not invited to welcome the inspector for the Equestria Games nor is he mentioned by Cadance herself. Strangely enough, "Just for Sidekicks" has an inversion; Twilight is positive that Spike is doing a 'terrific' job watching their pets when the episode had demonstrated that he was doing a horrible job.
    • In a somewhat unique case of Dramatic Irony, "Games Ponies Play" evidently shows Cadance's reasons for not inviting Spike to help welcome the inspector for the Equestria Games to be more understandable, even if Cadance didn't even bring him up.
    • The trope is often justified given Twilight's character, who is generally kind and well meaning, but occasionally inconsiderate and prone to attention span issues when distracted. As such Twilight can often obliviously ignore Spike's troubles from helping her, when her head is out of the clouds however, expect an evident Jerkass Realization and doting affection.
    • This is eventually subverted in "Equestria Games", which shows that he's a national hero in the Crystal Empire, and in "Twilight's Kingdom", where he gets his own throne next to the Mane Six's in Twilight's new castle.
  • Everybody Knew Already:
    • In "Green Isn't Your Color", Spike "reveals" to Twilight and Pinkie Pie that he has a crush on Rarity. Twilight of course already knows (and suggests it's already widely known) but Pinkie Pie is surprised and forces Twilight into keeping it secret.
    • As "Secret of My Excess" shows, even Rarity herself is aware of his crush.
  • Food as Bribe: Rarity, Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy have each offered him gems to eat in exchange for a favor.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: In-Universe. In Ponyville, Spike is treated with affection but entirely without respect. In the Crystal Empire, he's a national hero who everyone fawns over.
  • Human Pack Mule: He ends up doing this for Rarity's Lots of Luggage a few times, like in "The Crystal Empire - Part 1" or "Rarity Takes Manehattan", and also in the comics. Of course, even when shaking under the weight, he'll pretend he don't mind since it's for Rarity.
  • In-Series Nickname: "Spikey-Wikey", used by Pinkie Pie in "Owl's Well That Ends Well" and by Rarity in "Secret of My Excess", "Dragon Quest" and "The Crystal Empire - Part 2".
  • Iron Butt Monkey: The cartoon explains his resilience by explaining that (unlike Twilight), Spike's natural body armor allows him to shrug off a lot of damage. He says this while being used as a literal pincushion for Rarity, and later shown to be exceptionally sturdy even by dragons' standards. From the size difference between adult and baby dragons, it could be theorized that his toughness is an evolutionary necessity. Were baby dragons not so extraordinarily tough, the chance of their parent accidentally killing them could be uncomfortably large. As well as the chance of adult dragons purposefully killing them.
  • The Klutz: If he's being a bit over-eager to help, it can lead to this.
  • Large Ham Announcer:
    • In "Fall Weather Friends", he enjoys announcing the Iron Pony Competition so much that Pinkie Pie makes him co-announcer for the Running of the Leaves.
    • In "Suited for Success", he gives a ridiculously pretentious intro for Rarity's first fashion show...which is par for the course as far as fashion shows go.
    • He also takes on this role as the narrator of the Hearth's Warming Eve pageant.
    • In the comic book series, he provides To Be Continued and Previously On exposition while wearing a carnival barker's outfit.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In "Griffon the Brush Off" he can be heard humming the show's theme song.
  • Meaningful Name: He's called Spike because he has spikes.
  • Meta Guy: He seems to be the only character thus far to canonically be aware of the audience (and possibly even the creators of the show) despite Fanon about Pinkie Pie.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: They're living E-mail clients.
  • Out of Focus: He has considerably less screen time in Season 2 than in Season 1, even having the ponies that learn An Aesop say it in a narrative voice instead of having him directly write the letter. This has lead some fans to joke that Spike is now unemployed. It's especially funny because in the first half of the season Spike was featured in almost every episode (even ones where Twilight never appeared) "Spike is the new main character" became a meme. On the whole Season 3 averted this, with Spike being present in most group scenes and having at least as much presence as the ponies. Plus he got two spotlight episodes when Rarity didn't even get one! It's three episodes if you count "The Crystal Empire — Part 2".
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: When he tries to hide his identity, he wears an outfit consisting of a large fedora, trench coat, and sunglasses. It doesn't fool anyone in-universe; everypony recognizes him instantly.
  • Phrase-Catcher: "Spike, take a letter."
  • The Power of Love: It turns out that Spike's love for Rarity is what reverts him back to his normal self when he turned into a rampaging monster.
  • Rule of Cute: A lot of things that he does, or jokes surrounding them happen for this sake.
  • Shout-Out: Spike's magic green fire may very well be this to the Floo Network fireplaces in Harry Potter.
  • Singing Voice Dissonance: Not in the show, but the "Equestria Girls" video implies that the song's male backup is Spike despite not sounding like him (i.e., sounding like Snoop Dogg).
  • Smelly Feet: He likes smelling them; it was one of the three things he planned to do if he ever had free time.
  • Try to Fit THAT on a Business Card!: In the Crystal Empire he's known as Great and Honorable Spike the Brave and Glorious, with every crystal pony saying the whole thing whenever they talk to him.
  • Vague Age: This applies to most of the cast but Spike is probably the one who sticks out the most because he is younger than the mane cast but seems to be older than the Cutie Mark Crusaders. Dragon biologynote  and societynote  offers much in the way of questions but little in the way of answers, so figuring out his relative age comes down to looking at how he acts and how the rest of the cast treats him. Judge how his behavior compares to the Mane 6 for yourself.
    • On the high side, he has a full time job as Twilight's assistant/valet, he has been left in charge of the library and Fluttershy's pets when the others go away, and takes care of business in Canterlot on his own. He's also the voice of reason when Twilight starts freaking out.
    • On the low side, he's run away from home out of jealousy, he tends to get talked down to, and his advice is often ignored. He also has terrible tact (then again, he was raised by Twilight, who can also suffer from this.)
    • To note, he was hatched around the time Twilight was entering school, so he does seem older than the Crusaders at the least, who could be seen as middle-schoolers by Season 7.
  • Vocal Evolution: Spike's voice has been getting slightly deeper since his first appearance. He's still growing so it makes sense. In "Secret of My Excess", his voice gets progressively deeper until even modulating his actress' voice digitally didn't cut it anymore and they just start using animal grunts, growls and roars instead.
  • You Need a Breath Mint: According to Twilight, Spike's breath always stinks (to some degree that is, it's certainly not enough to normally bother others). Brimstone, or sulfur, a common ingredient of dragon fire, smells like rotten eggs.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Characters/FriendshipIsMagicSpike