Characters: Friendship Is Magic: The Mane Cast
aka: Friendship Is Magic-The Mane Cast
The Mane Six
. These are our heroines. From trying to get along at a slumber party to defeating Physical Gods
of darkness and chaos, these girls overcome just about any obstacle with the Magic of their Friendship
. They're cute. They're awesome. They're the embodiment of the Elements of Harmony.
Oh, and Spike
is here too.
Tropes specific to an individual Mane Character should go on their own, dedicated page.
Tropes shared by multiple Mane Characters
- Action Mares: All the main ponies are prepared to get into a fight and handle themselves well if they have to.
- Amazon Brigade: This is especially true when compared to the main characters of previous generations: G1's ponies seemed to be helpless without Megan and G3's ponies had virtually no conflict to begin with.
- Badass Adorable: Almost all of the main characters qualify, but in different ways.
- Badass Crew: Even without the Elements of Harmony, they can accomplish some impressive tasks when they work together.
- Beware the Nice Ones: They are all pleasant and supportive towards others, but don't push their buttons. Discord and Tirek learned that the hard way.
- Break the Cutie: They all experience this at some point, and then Discord comes along and takes this Up to Eleven.
- Break the Haughty: At the same time, there are a lot of times where all of them (even Pinkie and Fluttershy) act overconfident at best, and they receive proper comeuppance for it.
- Character Development: The cast has undergone character development as the series has gone on; Twilight has become less socially awkward, Fluttershy more assertive, Rainbow Dash less arrogant and more genuinely confident (rather than mere bravado), Applejack more willing to accept the help of others, Rarity more willing to get her hooves dirty, Spike being kinder and more intelligent, and even Pinkie Pie has had more of her character revealed. Several of them have also gotten closer to achieving their dreams or otherwise risen in social standing; Rarity has seen success in the fashion world as well as in upper-crust socialization, Rainbow Dash has been to the Wonderbolt's flight camp, and Twilight became an alicorn.
Rarity and Dash have also become closer to many of their friends, or have seen marked changes in how they relate to them. Dash with Pinkie Pie, Scootaloo and Fluttershy. Pinkie Pie was initially pegged by Dash as annoying, Fluttershy as a weak burden and Scootaloo was largely unnoticed. Rarity with Spike, Sweetie Belle, Applejack and Fluttershy. With Spike she has grown more affectionate with him in a rather sisterly manner, with Sweetie Belle she seems to have grown more patient, with Applejack more understanding of their differences and less forceful with Fluttershy but still encouraging her to go outside of her comfort zone.
In Season 4, the characters demonstrate that even though they can make the same mistake more than once (e.g., Pinkie's insecurity in "Party of One" and "Pinkie Pride", or Fluttershy's performance anxiety in "Hurricane Fluttershy" and "Filli Vanilli", they're able to recover from them faster than they did previously.
- Circle of Friendship: When they activate the power of the Elements of Harmony, and later their Rainbow Powers, they form this.
- Color-Coded Characters / Color Motif:
- Twilight is associated with the coming of the night, so Twilight Sparkle is purple and mainly has dark colors. May also indicate how Purple Is Powerful and Supernatural Is Purple.
- Fluttershy is timid, so naturally, she's yellow. The pink flowing mane and tail also shows her more feminine side. Her colors are also evocative of springtime.
- Pink is a cheery fun color, so Pinkie Pie is well... pink.
- Rarity is a white color while having a dark purple mane, leading to a regal appearance.
- Rainbow Dash loves to fly, so naturally her colors represent the day sky. Her body is sky blue while her mane and tail are rainbow-colored.
- Applejack's colors (orange body and blond mane) seem to imply that she's been out working in the sun for a long time.
- Spike's colors, green and purple, are homages to both his boyish, naive nature (green) and his friendship/little-brother ness to Twilight (purple). Also green is his greed.
- Cool Big Sis:
- Applejack and Rarity have little sisters who both look up to them and think they're the coolest ponies in town. See our page on the episode "Sisterhooves Social" for a note on the slightly rocky start to Rarity's Cool Big Sis status, though. She makes it up in a Crowning Moment Of Awesome.
- Pinkie Pie, being that she is friendly to nearly everypony, is naturally this to all of the younger characters.
- When Apple Bloom is down in the dumps about not getting her cutie mark, she invites her to bake cupcakes.
- When Spike wants to help announce a race, but sees that Pinkie has already taken up the position, she invites him to co-announce.
- On Nightmare Night, she chaperones all the fillies and colts.
- She enjoys playing with the baby Cake twins. She also learns to be more nurturing when she's tasked with babysitting them while mom and dad are away on business.
- She even tries to this with Fluttershy who, being a year older, is not amused.
- Fluttershy herself gets the admiration of the Cutie Mark Crusaders after saving them from a cockatrice.
- Rainbow Dash is this in Scootaloo's eyes, although this is also averted by Word of God, who says that she probably wouldn't be the best big sister in the world. However she gets moments of this towards Fluttershy in later episodes and officially becomes Scootaloo's surrogate big sister in "Sleepless in Ponyville".
- Twilight Sparkle acts as a Cool Big Sis towards Spike, but their relationship may be more mother/son-like than Big sister/Little brother-like.
- The Cutie: All of them, but especially Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie. Yes, even Rainbow Dash.
- Depending on the Writer: While the Mane Cast all have consistent defining traits, the extent they are played or exaggerated varies from episode to episode. This can make all the difference between them playing The Straight Mare or a Cloudcuckoolander (both of which all seven have played at least once).
- Determinator: These are some stubborn ponies. See their respective pages for more detail.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: They have defeated two Physical Gods, an Alien Invasion, an Empowered Badass Normal tyrant, and a tyrannical centaur with the combined magical power of the entire country (including the Princesses and Discord) all incredibly powerful threats to Equestria.
- Dude, Where's My Respect?: By Season 4, the cast has saved Equestria multiple times, got publicly honored and knighted by Celestia the second time, restored Princess Luna to her true self after a thousand years, reformed a Mad God, and Twilight is now an alicorn Princess. Yet no-one outside Canterlot ever seems to remember any of this unless it's a plot point. Spike gets this worse than the others, since even the Princesses seem to have trouble remembering his deeds.
- Dynamic Character: Most episode stories feature them growing as characters, and it mostly sticks for future episodes.
- Ensemble Cast: Twilight is undoubtedly the main character of the show, but she is no more likely to be the focus of an episode than the other five (excluding Spike.
- Fire-Forged Friends: While all the ponies had broad knowledge of the others' existence beforehand, and some were explicitly shown to have known each other (such as Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash going to the same Flight Camp), it's also implied that some of them wouldn't have associated with each other prior to the series (such as Applejack and Rarity), so for most of them, their first significant activity together was saving the world from Nightmare Moon.
- Foil: Each one of the seven contrasts each of the other six in some way, some more prominently than others. Three Foil pairings are more prevalent than others, however:
- Applejack and Rarity clashes frequently because of their Slobs Versus Snobs, down-to-earth pony vs. sophisticated unicorn dynamic. Amusingly inverted when they switch roles in "Simple Ways".
- Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy; both are pegasi from Cloudsdale and have known each other since childhood, but couldn't be more different. Brash versus shy, combative versus delicate, etc. As a result, Rainbow Dash often tries to push Fluttershy into getting more ongoing, while Fluttershy works on making her friend more sensitive (like by inviting her to watch a butterfly migration).
- Twilight Sparkle and Pinkie Pie. The former is a logical, by-the-book(s) pony who treat magic like a science, while the latter regularly defies the law of physics (and of magics!) by sheer personality, leading to no end of frustration from Twilight when she's trying to make heads or tails of it.
- Hidden Depths: One of the greatest things about this cast is the fact that they all have different dimensions to their personalities.
- Idiot Ball / Smart Ball: In the Slice of Life stories, each pony tends to take turns either causing or solving the big conflict or hazard for the episode, usually according to their personality.
- Large Ham: Some are more apparent than others (eg. Rarity and Rainbow Dash rarely aren't), but all of them like Chewing the Scenery when the time fits.
- Master Character Heroines:
- Twilight Sparkle: Athena: The Father's Daughter.
- Applejack: Hera: The Matriarch.
- Pinkie Pie: Persephone: The Maiden.
- Rainbow Dash: Artemis: The Amazon.
- Rarity: Aphrodite: The Seductive Muse.
- Fluttershy: Demeter: The Nurturer.
- On the Master Support Characters side, Spike fits the role of Best Friend. Or Hephaestus: Works with Fire.
- Meaningful Name: All of the mane Six's (and Spike's) names describe some aspect of of their personality and/or look.
- Not My Lucky Day: Whichever pony's turn it is to have A Day in the Limelight, expect them to drive themselves into a grand scale Humiliation Conga from one of their shortcomings or oversights. Even outside that, all seven characters have occasional Butt Monkey roles.
- Not So Different: Despite their diverse personalities, all of them have a tendency to be overconfident at best or prideful at worst, leading to a lot of Break the Haughty.
- Only the Chosen May Wield: Only they can wield the Elements of Harmony now. Celestia and Luna, while they once did, can't anymore.
- Pals with Jesus:
- They are close to Princess Celestia, due to one of them (Twilight) being her personal student.
- Literally the case by the Season 3 finale, after Twilight becomes an alicorn princess.
- Personality Powers: Justified in the case of their connection to the Elements of Harmony in that each pony displays the trait named by the elements of harmony.
- Pint-Sized Powerhouse: These ponies may be little, but they've all displayed impressive feats of strength, with Applejack and Rainbow Dash as the top contenders. And Twilight's vast array of magic powers are nothing to sneeze at.
- Ponies are Flawed: A good part of their appeal is that while they are sweet ponies at heart, each has one or more cardinal flaws that she needs to learn to work on Once per Episode. Unfortunately for them, Discord knows every one of them.
- The Power of Friendship: While it's of course also a main theme of the show in general, these six ponies in particular are capable of some pretty amazing feats whenever they remember to set aside whatever minor differences they may have that episode and work together as friends. The ultimate last-resort expression of that is, of course, using the Elements of Harmony to deliver a combined energy attack capable of easily defeating Physical Gods (complimentary World-Healing Wave optional), though it's worth keeping in mind that this has so far proven truly necessary only twice in the show's run.
- Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: They're a graduate student taught by a Physical Goddess, a baby dragon with ambiguous heritage, a stubborn apple farmer, a hyperactive baker, a brash sound barrier-breaking flyer, a prim and proper fashion designer, and an overly shy animal caretaker. Not only have these True Companions defeated two gods with their Elements of Harmony, but Celestia seems content with letting them take care of a stubborn dragon whose smoke threatens Equestria.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Such pairings exist between all members of the mane cast. From most red to most blue, the cast would be as follows: Pinkie Pie, Rainbow Dash, Applejack, Spike, Rarity, Twilight Sparkle and Fluttershy. This is given the following evidence (the Red Oni is listed first followed by the Blue Oni):
- In general:
- Spike and Twilight Sparkle.
- Rainbow Dash and Twilight Sparkle.
- During an episode:
- Romance Genre Heroines: According to Lauren Faust, the main girls are based around these:
- Sanity Slippage: As showcased here◊, everypony has danced on the further edges of sanity at least once in the series. More frequently, Twilight is prone to freaking out if her Super OCD kicks in, and Rarity is very prone to histrionics when things look bad.
- She Cleans Up Nicely:
- They all looked wonderful in their dresses at the Grand Galloping Gala.
- Their dresses for the royal wedding in the Season 2 finale suited them nicely as well.
- Spike looks rather dashing in a tuxedo.
- Super Mode: More or less what the Rainbow Power amounts to.
- Strawman Ball: When not pulling the Idiot Ball itself, it is usually one of these characters that will give a negative opinion of how to handle the Aesop of each episode. This is shared pretty evenly between all seven due to spotlight rotation, though Twilight Sparkle and Rainbow Dash, being the more cynical and temperamental of the bunch, represent this slightly more often.
- Token Trio:
- Two trios for the price of one — two pegasi, two earth ponies, and two unicorns (and one dragon).
- Changed up at the end of Season 3, after which we have not two unicorns, but one unicorn and one alicorn. However, there are now three ponies with wings, three without.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Both Rainbow Dash and Applejack are considered tomboys, and are paired with either Rarity or Fluttershy to achieve this dynamic.
- Town Girls: The six form this type of trio x2. Rainbow Dash and Applejack are the tomboys, Rarity and Fluttershy are the girly girls. Pinkie and Twilight are the in-betweens.
- True Companions: Despite their differences, it's clear they have a strong bond between them and it grows stronger throughout the series.
- Vague Age:
- All of them are old enough to live alone (Applejack's case is justified by the fact she works on a family farm), have jobs, and hold major roles in Ponyville community activities like Winter Wrap-Up, yet emotionally they are officially "young adults with a maturity level of anywhere from 12-18", which explains such things as Twilight's appreciation of slumber parties, Rarity's thinking like a fairy tale, etc. They are sentient ponies, not humans, so it would make sense if age with ponies in the MLP universe is viewed very differently from our own. They mostly seem to range between what modern, real-world humans would consider mental ages 17-21. Except Pinkie Pie, who is the living embodiment of 6-year olds' birthday parties, but even she can act as a responsible adult when the need arises.
- It's further complicated with Spike, who is younger than the rest of the mane cast but older than the Cutie Mark Crusaders, and is also a different species. He's constantly referred to as a "Baby Dragon", but emotionally acts more like 10 to 12. He has a full-time job, with what are actually pretty extreme hours, is out of whatever mandatory education exists in Equestria (most likely home-schooled), and the residents of Ponyville and beyond treat him like an adult pony. Good luck figuring that out.
- Made less vague in Equestria Girls. The fact that their human counterparts are high-school students indicates that they are around their teens, although the human counterparts might not accurately reflect their ages. It's likely that their human counterparts are aged down from their true age (early 20s) as we have many adult characters also as teenagers such as Big Macintosh, Vinyl Scratch, Photo Finish, Derpy, etc., while some characters are aged up (the CMC). So they could very well be anywhere from 18 to 23.
- Lauren Faust has mentioned that they're old enough to be on their own, yet young enough that they are still growing. This seems to imply late teens as the range.