Characters: Friendship Is Magic: The Cutie Mark Crusaders
aka: Friendship Is Magic-The Cutie Mark Crusaders
In the world of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic
, the most important moment in a young pony's life is when they earn their cutie mark: a magical marking that appears on a pony's flank that represents what makes them special. These three fillies have yet to earn theirs, and they're on a mission to find out who they are! And they're going to be adorable while they're at it! The CMC form the secondary cast of the series, with a great many episodes of the series focusing on them as they try to get their cutie marks.
As of the end of "One Bad Apple"
, a fourth Crusader, Babs Seed, has joined; she plans to start up a CMC branch in Manehattan. Go to the Mane Family Members page
for that foal's entry. In My Little Pony Micro Series
Issue #7, a creature named Imp joins for a short time as well. Go to the Expanded Universe page
for that Mimicker's entry.
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Tropes shared by all three founding Crusaders
- Adorably Precocious Fillies: Of course. Whether they're helping someone, doing something outrageous for a cutie mark or getting into trouble, one cannot argue that they aren't cute.
- Aesop Amnesia:
- Badass Adorable: At times. All other times, they have to settle with just being adorable.
- Beauty, Brains and Brawn: Sweetie Belle (beautiful voice), Apple Bloom (building), and Scootaloo (sports), respectively.
- Berserk Button: Normally, they don't take kindly to being pushed around, but when their clubhouse was taken, that finally set them off.
- Break the Cutie: In the episode "One Bad Apple", when they go through a lot of bullying. It also drives poor Sweetie Belle to tears.
- Butt Monkey: If there's a way to fail, they'll find it. Not that it ever stops them.
- Centipede's Dilemma: They seem to be able to do many things very well, including build a treehouse, arrange a romantic dinner for their teacher and Big Macintosh, and SUCCESSFULLY BREW A LOVE POTION from an old spellbook (technically a love poison, but that's still a mighty feat of alchemy for a group of three kids). Unfortunately, whenever they approach anything from the angle of "this will get me my Cutie Mark!" they start to fail, and fail spectacularly.
- Character Development: As of season four, they have noticeably matured. Their dialogue has become more sophisticated, the search for their cutie marks has become more of a hobby than an obsession, they're trying to get their marks by building skills in things they enjoy as opposed to just doing whatever comes to mind and hoping something sticks, and Sweetie Belle has learned some basic magic. Even the problems they face are based on deep insecurities(Apple Bloom's of being babied by her family, Scootaloo's of not being able to fly, and Sweetie Belle's of living in the shadow of her successful, attention-drawing older sister), as opposed to the simple kid problems they had in earlier seasons.
- Chekhov's Gunmare: Apple Bloom had a very brief speaking part in the pilot and is shown huddling with the other future crusaders when Nightmare Moon appears. She didn't play a major role in the series until her reappearance in "Bridle Gossip"; the other two had to wait until "Call of the Cutie" to make their debut.
- Cheerful Children: Under most circumstances, they're all very happy children.
- Collective Identity: Gabby Gums, the gossip writer for the Foal Free Press.
- Comically Missing the Point: They don't understand that a Cutie Mark is all about self-discovery and knowing what you truly want to do with your life, so instead of practicing things they're already good at, they constantly try new things in hopes of getting a cutie mark in those areas, then give up after one attempt fails to pan out.
- Comic Trio: Scootaloo suggests something dangerous or silly, Apple Bloom goes along with it, and Sweetie Belle won't complain loud enough to avoid getting dragged along. A slight variation in that Apple Bloom isn't stupid, just game for anything.
- Cute but Cacophonic + In the Name of the Moon + Motor Mouth = CUTIEMARKCRUSADERSSCREAMINGOUTTHEIRPLANS!! YAY!!
- The Cutie: All three of them are total cuties, especially Sweetie Belle.
- Deadpan Snarkers: With Scootaloo being the most prominent; Rainbow Dash is her role model after all.
- Damsel out of Distress: Every so often, they don't need rescuing.
- Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: Finding one's purpose and special ability is how you obtain your cutie mark. Apple Bloom spends "Call of the Cutie" trying to find hers, and ultimately teams up with the other fillies at the end.
- Determinator: They are going to find their cutie marks and nothing's going to stop them.
- Dreadful Musician: In "The Show Stoppers", they tried to put on a show, hoping to get their cutie marks in performing. They failed miserably.
- Expy: A couple of them serve as Expys for their older mane cast counterparts in some ways; Apple Bloom is usually the fairly reasonable mediator similar to her sister Applejack, and Scootaloo is the overeager and confident one like Rainbow Dash.
- Failure Is the Only Option: Everything the Crusaders try to do to get a cutie mark fails. It would certainly be extremely surprising to see them succeeding in the course of the series since Hasbro wants the episodes to be viewable in any order.
- Foreshadowing: It's been shown quite a lot what their true talents are, but they seem to think a cutie mark comes after discovering a talent you never knew you had, not one you already have and are really good at.
- Free Range Fillies: There are quite a few moments you'd see them wandering around places outside Ponyville without any adult supervision.
- Genki Girl: Individually, they're energetic. Together, they egg each other on and build off each other to astonishing lengths.
- Holy Halo: Seen twice in "Stare Master", whenever Fluttershy refers to them as "sweet little angels".
- "I Am" Song: We've got hearts strong as horses, we've got hearts strong as horses...
- I Just Want to Be Normal / I Just Want to Be Special: Both tropes are in play here due to the fact that it's normal for ponies to receive their cutie marks when they find out what makes them special.
- The Leader: Alternates between the three, who each lead the group in a different way.
- Apple Bloom: Charismatic Type
- Scootaloo: Headstrong Type
- Sweetie Belle: Levelheaded Type
- Lower Deck Episode: Episodes focusing on them tend to be that way.
- Mad Libs Catch Phrase: CUTIE MARK CRUSADERS <insert current scheme>!! YAY!!!
- Master of None: The series has shown that each of them does have at least one clear and impressive natural talent that they enjoy doing... but they're too young and excitable to recognize them and really earn their marks, so they do a bunch of stuff.
- Meaningful Names
- Apple Bloom is the one who wants her Cutie Mark to blossom the most (i.e. blossom out of youth).
- Scootaloo rides a scooter to get around most parts and is very adept at it.
- Sweetie Belle is a sweetheart and sings like a bell.
- Myth Sub-plot: Their crusade for their cutie marks.
- Nice Mean And In Between: Sweetie Belle is the nice one, Scootaloo the mean/tough one, and Apple Bloom the one who is the middle point between the two.
- Noodle Incident: The three end up covered in tree sap after their most recent failure to gain a cutie mark in "The Cutie Mark Chronicles". Scootaloo then notes that being covered in sap seems to be a common result of their past attempts.
- The Only Way They Will Learn: Given that earning a cutie mark takes a personal epiphany about one's talents and purpose, most of the adults in their lives are resigned to let the Crusaders continue their futile attempts to force their marks to appear in hopes that they'll eventually come to understand that lesson themselves -– so long as they have fun with each other while they do it. Twist had such an epiphany off-screen in "Call of the Cutie" and admitted she was clueless about her talent beforehand, so there's hope for the Crusaders. Plus, there is the fact that cutie marks are an absolute certainty in-universe; they ARE going to get their cutie marks... eventually.
- Power Trio: In many ways; see Beauty, Brains and Brawn, Comic Trio, Token Trio and Town Girls.
- Promotion to Opening Titles: As of the second opening (introduced in "Lesson Zero"), then promoted again in season 4 when they're made part of the picture that was initially just of the Mane Six.
- Ridiculously Cute Critters: Their cuteness is even remarked upon by the already cute older ponies.
- Rule of Three: This is followed in multiple ways. Aside from being a trio of three different types of ponies (an Earth Pony, a Pegasus, and a Unicorn), they also all have three syllables in their names (A-pple Bloom, Scoo-ta-loo, and Swee-tie Belle).
- Serious Business: Their obsession with getting Cutie Marks, but since they are always bullied for not having them by Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon, it's hard to blame them. On a larger scale, their cutie marks will determine their special talent and this will influence their job.
- Shipper on Deck: In "Hearts and Hooves Day", they ship Big Mac×Cheerilee.
- Skewed Priorities: Their first priority after doing anything is seeing if they got their cutie marks, even beating out doing something about all of Ponyville hating them.
- Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Season 2 saw the CMC with more focus episodes (together and individually, combined) than any single member of the Mane Cast. As mentioned above they are Kid Appeal Characters to the Target Audience, which could explain why.
- Token Trio: Since they represent the three different races of ponies — Sweetie Belle is a Unicorn, Apple Bloom is an Earth-pony, and Scootaloo is a Pegasus.
- Town Girls: Sweetie Belle is the femme, Apple Bloom is the neutral one, and Scootaloo is the butch.
- True Companions: Like the Mane Cast, they've got a very close and strong bond of friendship between them.
- Undying Loyalty: To one another, and their families. This even applies to Scootaloo, whom we've never seen any biological relatives of; she has an adopted big sister in Rainbow Dash.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: They accidentally released Discord by arguing in front of his stone prison in "The Return of Harmony - Part 1". At least, that's one interpretation of events; others think they started fighting in front of his statue because he was already getting close to freedom.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Apple Bloom and Scootaloo. Sweetie Belle is really only a part of this when the entire group fights with each other.
- Vocal Evolution: Inevitably, since their actresses are so young, they sound a bit more grown-up with each passing season. Season 4 in particular saw a huge transition in all three of them.
- What the Hay, Heroines? / My God, What Have We Done?: "Hearts and Hooves Day" (where they turned Big Mac and Cheerilee into love-dovey zombies) and "Ponyville Confidential" where they made up libelous stories about others, and "Babs Seed" when Applejack told them that Babs was being bullied back home.
"Aren'tcha gonna stay for brunch?"
Apple Bloom is Applejack and Big Macintosh's baby sister, an adorable
pony with a yellow coat and fluffy pinkish-red mane. In "Call of the Cutie", she became very insecure about not having her cutie mark yet and began desperately searching for her special talent
. After learning two of her classmates had the same problem, she formed a Power Trio
with them in order to work together towards the same goal. Her special talent has been variously hinted as being repairing and/or buildings things (especially with wood)note
, or potion brewingnote
- Adaptation Name Change: She's called Apple Blossom in the Sparkle World story The Hero of Ponyville! and at one point in the "The Cutie Mark Chronicles"-based storybook Cutie Mark Quest. Lauren Faust has said she originally intended that to be her name, but got hit with an Executive Veto late in pre-production, probably due to trademark concerns. Those two stories were among the first ever written.
- All of the Other Reindeer: It is heavily implied that she was made fun of and ostracized because her lack of a cutie mark before befriending Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle.
- All There in the Manual: While not necessarily canon, an old audition script listed her age as 7. She and Scootaloo may be 8 while Sweetie Belle may be 7.
- American Accents: A southern drawl, just like the rest of her immediate family.
- Ascended Extra: Slowly getting there. She has more focus episodes than her big sister Applejack, who is one of the main characters. However, she was never strictly an "extra" to begin with.
- Big Sister Worship: She greatly admires Applejack and eagerly declares her the coolest pony in Ponyville when asked. This is the main reason she was upset when Sweetie Belle said she wanted to adopt Applejack as her new big sister in "Sisterhooves Social".
- Breakout Character: She's hit this point in the show, and takes it Up to Eleven if you include the fan projects she's in.
- Brutal Honesty: She seems to be following in her big sister's footsteps in this department too, and is most recently seen in "Flight to the Finish". She calls out Scootaloo for making the talent show they're working on for the right to be the flag-carriers in the Equestria Games all about her.
- Characterization Marches On: Her first prominent appearance in "Bridle Gossip", while still somewhat impulsive, depicted her as much more perceptive than the older ponies and clearly not needing her overprotective sister's doting. She also does not once mention her desire to get her Cutie Mark. Her next appearance in "Call of the Cutie" more or less fully establishes her finalized persona as an overenthusiastic Genki Girl and leader of Cutie Mark Crusaders.
- Close Up On Head: BUT AH WANT IT NOW!, just 100% more adorable.
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Her mane is red and her body is yellow, just like an apple, which is red outside and yellow inside.
- Country Cousin: To Babs Seed, who's from the big city of Manehattan.
- Crazy-Prepared: She keeps plenty of spare pink bows in one of the barn's closets and the wardrobe in her bedroom.
- Deadpan Snarker:
- Has a habit of saying "Seriously?" when ridiculous elements present themselves.
- In "Twilight Time", she makes a potion which causes a plant to start coughing. When it keeps coughing, she says "Laying it on a little thick there, aren't we, pal?"
- Dish Dash: Apple Bloom became capable of both versions of the trope during her bout of Cutie Pox, the spinning on a stick and the catching/juggling of multiple dishes. It turns out to be part of the effects of Cutie Pox.
- Expressive Accessory: The bow in her mane droops whenever she's feeling down or tired.
- Downplayed. Lauren designed Apple Bloom for the show's "pitch bible" in 2008. But her colors were shared by one G1 Pony and two G3 Ponies.
- It's also implied that her talent is Art, Carpentry, and Design — much like the G3/3.5 Toola-Roola (one of only two main characters from that generation to not appear in G4).
- Her red hair, pink bow, and status as leader of a group of three girls makes her very similar to Blossom from The Powerpuff Girls. It helps that Lauren Faust worked on both of these shows.
- Fiery Redhead: Especially aggressive when she's in Plucky Girl mode. In "Somepony to Watch Over Me", Scootaloo says she does everything "with sass."
- Hair Decorations: Wears a big pink bow, Blossom-style.
- Ill Girl: In "Cutie Pox", when the had the eponymous disease.
- Instant Flight, Just Add Spinning: Apple Bloom can twirl a Loop De Hoop on her tail fast enough to turn it into a helicopter. She doesn't do the trick without the hoop, and it may have been a one-off due to "The Cutie Pox".
- Just a Kid: She sometimes gets this treatment from Applejack.
- Lethal Chef: Her attempts at making cupcakes wind up less than sweet. All her attempts at potion making backfire as well, though this comes more from not reading all the directions.
- Massive Numbered Cousins: The same as Applejack.
- Motor Mouth: During "Call of the Cutie", she fast-talks Time Turner into buying an apple, then later complains at full speed (first to Rainbow Dash, then later to Twilight) about needing to get her cutie mark.
- Ms. Fixit: She has a real talent for building, but doesn't realize it.
- Nice Girl: One of the most well-meaning fillies.
- Plucky Girl: Always cheery no matter how many times she's failed to force a cutie mark to appear. Other occasions, like family problems, get her down.
- Prehensile Tail: She uses it to spin her loop-de-hoop and lift a thousand-pound barbell in "The Cutie Pox", and to support all three fillies' weight during a zip-line run in "For Whom the Sweetie Belle Toils."
Not a chicken.
Voiced by: Madeleine Peters
An orange Pegasus with short, hot pink hair and purple eyes
, Scootaloo is one of Apple Bloom's classmates. Though she originally hid the fact she hadn't earned her cutie mark yet, she and Sweetie Belle stood up for Apple Bloom during "Call of the Cutie" and became fast friends, forging the Cutie Mark Crusaders so that they could search for their talents together. A brash Tomboy
, she effectively serves as the Power Trio
's equivalent to Rainbow Dash. She has a scooter that she's very good
at riding really fast
. Her special talent has been variously hinted at being speed and/or stunts on her scooternote
, physical athleticism and/or dancingnote
, and engineeringnote
She has a song in her heart.
"Why does everypony always think
I'm gonna sing?"
Another of Apple Bloom and Scootaloo's classmates, and the Girly Girl
to Scoot's Tomboy
. Like them, she has yet to discover her cutie mark and helps found the Cutie Mark Crusaders in hopes of discovering it. Idolizes her older sister Rarity and would like to follow her down the same career path, but isn't particularly good at it yet. Has a knack for singing and making up melodies, but balks at the thought of singing for an audience. It's strongly implied that singing and music are her special talent, but her Stage Fright
keeps her from realizing this. In "Twilight Time"
, she's depicted studying magic under Twilight Sparkle, but it's unclear if this is a hint she may have a magic-related talent, or is simply her learning how to use the powers she can't yet control.
- All There in the Manual: Her room first appeared in the German magazine comic Einfach rufus, looking completely different from its first onscreen appearance in "One Bad Apple".
- Annoying Younger Sibling: She's a sweet filly, but her behavior around the dress shop is cause for some headache for Rarity (plus she sometimes uses Rarity's material without permission). Her sister makes it clear that Sweetie Belle's not to even move when she's working. Unsurprisingly this is a big part of what drives her conflict with Rarity in "Sisterhooves Social".
- Big Damn Heroines: She and Scootaloo do this to defend Apple Bloom from Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon's taunting in "Call Of The Cutie".
- Big Sister Worship: She adores Rarity and often tries to emulate her.
- Color-Coded Wizardry: Her magic aura is green, matching her eyes.
- Comically Missing the Point: Aside from the Aesop Amnesia inspired version shared by all three Crusaders, this is very much Sweetie Belle's schtick, such as this exchange from "Sisterhooves Social", as Rarity tries to deal with yet another Sweetie-caused disaster:
Rarity: (exasperated) Sweetie Belle, what am I going to do with you?
Sweetie Belle: (immediately cheerful) Oh! We could paint together, we could ride bikes, play chess, sing a song, catch frogs, pillow fight...
- Cute but Cacophonic: "NINETY-NINE BUCKETS OF OATS ON THE WAAAAAA-AAAALLLLLLLLL!!!" The fact that she has a really good singing voice makes this moment all the more strange. Then again, "Ninety-Nine Bottles of Beer on the Wall" is a song judged by volume, not pitch.
- Cute Clumsy Girl: She means well, but ends up accidentally getting in Rarity's way a lot of the time.
- The Cutie: Really, all three of the Crusaders could be considered this, but Sweetie Belle in particular seems to fill this role in the group because of her shyness.
- Deadpan Snarker:
- In "The Show Stoppers", concerning the supplies they get for their act.
- In "Stare Master", when she balks at the idea of cleaning up the cottage.
- In "Sisterhooves Social" as she starts to give Rarity a piece of her mind.
- In "Flight to the Finish" summing up how she feels about Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon's constant taunting.
- Depending on the Writer: She seems to jump between Cloudcuckoolander and Genius Ditz often. She can also be rather sensitive and something of a Girly Girl, or border as a Bratty Half-Pint.
- The Ditz: Occasionally teeters on the edge of Cloudcuckoolander, but hasn't reached that plateau yet. Ironically, she tends to have the most common sense of the three Crusaders, though it fails to stop her from failing at trying to cook breakfast for her older sister. Why does Sweetie Belle not know that juice does not need to be cooked?
- Expy: Of G3/3.5 Sweetie Belle. Sometimes fanmade Flash Forward Side Story Bonus Art will give her that Sweetie Belle's cutie mark. Her talent is more related to Starsong. See here for a piece drawn by one of the show's animators (unofficial since it was drawn before she was hired on the show; this unofficialness also applies to Apple Bloom and Scootaloo's cutie-marks).
- The Heart: It was her idea to find a special somepony for her teacher Cheerilee. This also makes her the most prone to crying.
- Lethal Chef: She must have taken cooking lessons from Squidward because she had to serve her toast in a bowl and burnt juice. She got better by the end of "Sisterhooves Social", at least for cooking. Cleanliness, not so much.
- Light Feminine and Dark Feminine: The Light Feminine to her sister Rarity's Dark Feminine.
- Mind over Matter: When she was introduced, she didn't have any magical ability at all. In Season 3, she would shoot green sparks out of her horn when she got excited, but she doesn't get full use of her unicorn telekinesis until Twilight Sparkle trained her in Season 4's "Twilight Time".
- Multicolored Hair: Curly pastel pink and purple.
- Mythology Gag: Near the beginning of "One Bad Apple", Sweetie Belle's magic brings a great big smile.
- Naughty Is Good: Season 2 has been turning Sweetie Belle into a well-intentioned, yet mischievous filly. For instance, in "Sleepless in Ponyvile" she shamelessly guilt trips Rarity into coming on a camping trip because she genuinely wants to spend time with her, and if Rarity comes, then that will help Scootaloo with her "make Rainbow Dash my surrogate big sister" plan.
- Nice Girl: Most of the time she's a sweet little thing.
- Not So Different: Despite her differences with her sister they share a lot of personality traits. They both like things to be extremely clean and their idea of "a few necessities" is a huge pile of suitcases and bags. They both also show surprising physical strength, far beyond what tends to be expected of their race. See Pint-Sized Powerhouse.
- Ocular Gushers: In "One Bad Apple". Accompanied with a adorably sad cry that sounds like a tea kettle.
- Only Sane Pony: She sometimes takes this role. It's especially noticeable in "One Bad Apple", where she repeatedly insists they tell Applejack about Babs' bullying, which the other two shoot down because they don't want to be seen as snitches.
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Inverted. Her singing was performed by Apple Bloom's voice actress, and it's very obvious in "Hush Now Quiet Now" due to the Southern twang her voice inexplicably gets when she sings. This is fixed in Season 2 onwards, and averted completely in Season 4 when Claire takes over Sweetie's singing.
- Pint-Sized Powerhouse: She doesn't look it, but she bucks a Zap Apple tree hard enough for it to give her an electric shock that sends her flying, and in "Sleepless in Ponyville", she can drag a cart that's positively crammed with Rarity's suitcases and other junk, albeit with visible effort. Her physical strength might be the greatest out of any of the Crusaders. On top of it all, she's a filly unicorn, a pony species not known for their strength.
- Pyro Maniac: The comics hint at this, as she's the only one happy to see their fireworks blow up.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The blue to Scootaloo's red. In "Sisterhooves Social", she becomes the red to Rarity's blue.
- Rose-Haired Sweetie: Only partially, but enough for the sweet pink feminine-ness.
- Shipper on Deck: Becomes one during the "Hearts and Hooves Day" episode. Indeed, out of all three Crusaders, she seems particularly enthusiastic about finding Cheerilee a special somepony, to the point where she gives a Big "YES!" when she seems to succeed.
- Shrinking Violet: She's very sweet, but also very shy when it comes to singing. It's really a shame, considering she has such a beautiful singing voice. She seems to have developed out of this as of season 4 as she is shown writing, directing and acting in a school play.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Sometimes her name has incorrectly been spelled "Sweety Bell".
- Strong Family Resemblance:
- To her big sister Rarity. Twilight Sparkle takes advantage of this in "Magic Duel" to disguise her as a filly version of Rarity as part of her magic display.
- She also shares a bit of her parents' coloring. Oddly, Sweetie Belle is the only member of the family with green eyes.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl:
- Girly Girl to Scootaloo's Tomboy. Singing vs. high speed stunts.
- Again, during "Sisterhooves Social", she's the Tomboy to Rarity's Girly Girl because she wants to do the messy obstacle course.
- The Voiceless: The human version of her in My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks has no dialogue, although unlike Scootaloo, Claire Corlett is still listed in the credits.
- "Well Done, Little Sister" Girl: When she's not butting heads with her older sister, she's trying to win her approval.
- You Don't Look Like You: Older stock art (such as this Easter piece) gives her ovoid eyes like some background fillies (most of them unicorns) and adult ponies in general have.