Twilight Sparkle: Hey! You're a human aren't you? Phoenix Wright: Yeah, I'm a human... *beat* WAIT, WHAT!?
"Just when you thought theLaytoncrossoverwas weird."Turnabout Storm is a fan crossover between Ace Attorney and My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic by NeoArtimus; uploaded to PWaaMLPfim. This fan work, instead of using a written format as it was first conceived as, shows itself as a movie using the Visual Novel style the Ace Attorney series is known for, with the addition of voice acting for all characters.Rainbow Dash, best flier in Ponyville, is accused of murdering the Pegasus Ace Swift, the favorite to win an upcoming race called the Equestrian 500 that Dash is also set to compete in. Now that she faces punishment for what would be the first murder in a long time during Celestia's reign, one of her best friends, Twilight Sparkle, sets out to find a lawyer to represent her. After all of her attempts to find one end fruitless, she makes one last try by casting a spell to summon the greatest defense attorney in Equestria, but she accidentally calls for the greatest defense attorney period, and said attorney turns out to be a confused and non-equine Phoenix Wright — At least, that's what Twilight claims to be the reason how Wright ended up there.Now Phoenix finds himself stuck in a strange world, one where candy coloredtalking hors...err... ponies are the norm of the day, and the creatures of myths are just some other species — Yet one where justice still must be served, where the innocent can still be punished, and where they still need the light of someone who trusts and believes in them, someone ready to do whatever it takes to save them.Thus starts Phoenix's journey to adjust to this new world, and search for the truth behind this strange new mystery he's been wrapped up in. Trailer here. Series here. note Part 3 - Phoenix was uploaded months before Part 3 - Twilight, but since the latter was supposed the be released before the former, NeoArtimus recommends watching the series in the order provided by the playlist. Please be warned that all the parts are very long, clocking in at around 9 hours of content. Beware of an Archive Binge.
"I will submit the eviden... ehh... examples, your Honor":
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Acceptable Breaks From Canon: Inevitable. The series was already fully written before the airing of Seasons 2 and 3 of Friendship is Magic (also known as Retroactive Discontinuity, a subset of the above trope). Thus, there were bound to be some contradictions between the canon of the show thus far and what's in this series. That said, it also manages to avoid this at times: Trixie's overall behavior is eerily similar to her demeanor in the season 3 episode "Magic Duel".
Phoenix unintentionally calls Fluttershy Butshersty, Flutterscotch and Firefly at 3 different times. The latter two happen to be names of ponies of previous generations.
Lenora keeps referring to Twilight as "Twilight Sparkler" for some reason.
Accuse The Witness: Phoenix accuses Fluttershy of the murder just so he can buy more time. He isn't proud about it... not that this would be the first time he's ever done this.
The Ace: Ace Swift, naturally. He's won every single athletic competition he's ever competed in, but there are rumors that this might have less to do with actual talent and more with underhanded tactics. Ulimately subverted. His success wasn't due to his athletics but due to blackmail.
The Judge notes how a certain pony has been staring at him for a while, and decides to not speak to him about it because he's afraid it might cause some sort of paradox. The pony is Doctor Whooves, whose "official" fan voice is done by the same person that voices him.
Actually Pretty Funny: In-universe. After the trial, Sonata admits to Phoenix that during their encounter in her hotel room, all the times she cringed at Pinkie's eccentricities were actually attempts to hold in her laughter.
An Aesop: There are two major ones: One about to friendship, naturally elaborated in Twilight's friendship report; and one about justice, or rather, about the power of the truth; something Sonata came to realize thanks to Phoenix.
Affectionate Nickname: Phoenix gets two; Nix from Rainbow Dash and Feenie from Pinkie Pie. Too bad that last one does not bring him very good memories.
Trixie's real beef with Twilight. She uses the Ursa Incident as a cover, but in her conversation with Phoenix after the trial she lets slip it's really an inferiority complex and wanting to prove she's the better pony. An earlier clue to this is that she get noticeably peeved when Twilight tells that Phoenix is still continuing as the defense attorney in Part 4.
Surprisingly, Trixie was this to Sonata. She admits her powers were much stronger then hers, but she feels Trixie is wasting hers by just showing them off.
Angrish: Phoenix, right after falling square into one of Trixie's traps.
Animation Bump: Whenever the series shifts into the courtroom scenes, the characters are animated almost as they would be in Ace Attorney, whereas in Investigations and Lobby scenes, they are mostly static vectors. Oddly when Phoenix says his goodbyes before returning to his world, they use the former.
Appropriate Animal Attire: Played with. After Nick damages his suit jacket while on an evidence hunt, he grouses that it'd look unprofessional to come in to court with his only suit of clothes ripped. Pinkie Pie points out that he could always just show up without a suit; since clothing is strictly optional among ponykind, she utterly fails to comprehend Phoenix's horror at the thought of being in court naked.
So this is the part where I would say Part 5 is canceled... and you all would be like all "OH NOEZ" and I would be like "APRIL FOOLZ", then you would be like "obvious AFD joke is obvious" or "U got me lol". But I think I've teased you enough, so let's just pretend I did that :)
Arbitrary Skepticism: By Phoenix after he gets told why lightning makes the sound when it hits the ground in Equestria. He himself is the one that notes how he just pulled this off.
Phoenix:(I'm no meteorologist, but I'm pretty sure lightning doesn't work like that. Then again, I keep forgetting I'm in a land full of magical talking ponies who can manually change weather...)
Any appearance of an Ace Attorney character uses sprites from the series proper. For the latter half of the series, the characters started using the HD sprites from the iPad versions of Ace Attorney whenever they are compatible.
The second day of the trial features much smoother animations for the ponies.
Asshole Victim: Ace was trying to blackmail Rainbow Dash into dropping out of the race, and her case is hardly the first or the worst. With Rainbow Dash, he just threatened to spread embarrassing pictures around. With Cruise Control, Ace threatened to have his comatose little sister pulled off of life support. It's more than implied that anyone involved in the Equestrian 500 had their lives ruined by him. And if that wasn't enough, Sonata confesses that he was about to kill her to keep his blackmailing from getting out. Furthermore, it turns out that he brought his death on himself by accident.
The Atoner: Sonata after her Heel-Face Turn. She's fully aware it will take a long time to compensate for all the suffering she has caused, but is fully willing to do everything in her power to do so, including making sure that Cruise's sister gets the medical care she needs.
Pinkie Pie's fourth wall break. See below for details.
His phone ringing in a place where they shouldn't exist.
Trixie in Part 4, after the judge allows Fluttershy to testify despite having already declared Rainbow Dash guilty.
Blackmail: Ace's victories come from he and Sonata blackmailing anyone who poses a threat to him into losing of dropping out. Sonata also blackmails Phoenix into not spilling the beans when he discovers this.
Blatant Lies: With Bad Liars come even worse lies. Twilight's explanations for her "misspeaking" in how she knew Phoenix's name and how she got her hooves on the Equestrian Attorney Badge supposedly within 20 minutes of Phoenix's arrival are almost transparent in this regard.
Bloodless Carnage: A slight variation; Phoenix notes how there is no blood whatsoever at the murder site. Justified, as the victim did die by electrocution.
The Equestrian Attorney Badge. Phoenix's reaction to it from Part 1 is somewhat hypocritically mirrored by Pinkie Pie in Part 3 - Phoenix. The difference is that Phoenix thought it was awful that he had to wear it, while Pinkie Pie thought it was hilarious.
Pinkie's Wob Niar theory. In the end, a pony that looks and sounds the part appears.
The Judge has huge bunny ears already, but he gets this status cemented by being selected by Twilight's magic as the best human judge.
Butt Monkey: Phoenix. He's a Butt Monkey no matter where he is. He may in fact have reached Cosmic Plaything levels, considering he was summoned because he was literally the best defense attorney in the universe. Except that is a lie — he was summoned under direct orders from Celestia.
Character Portrait: One of the many elements used just like in Ace Attorney, greatly helped by the existence of many sprite-style "vectors" for the Friendship is Magic cast. Unlike the actual series however, they are only completely animated during courtroom episodes.
Chekhov's Boomerang: That second lighting bolt is a real doozy. It goes from the cornerstone of Phoenix's defense, to an irrelevant dud bolt, to the actual cause of death and "murderer".
Chekhov's Gun: Much like in Ace Attorney itself, several pieces of seemingly irrelevant information or evidence turn out to be much more useful than they appear. Probably the biggest is the one Phoenix uses in Part 5 to help prove Sonata attacked Ace Swift: The children's book that he was given from the first episode.
Children Are Innocent: Used to Phoenix's disadvantage. Nick is allowed to cross examine Apple Bloom, but is warned that pressing too hard and hurting her feelings will result in a massive penalty. Phoenix skirts the line multiple times, but ultimately keeps his cool.
When Fluttershy meets Phoenix, she assumes that he's an actual phoenix and comments that when he'll rise from his ashes into a beautiful flaming bird. She's learned from her experience in "A Bird In The Hoof".
When Apple Bloom is told that a lawyer's job consists of a lot of arguing, she says she can't wait to tell Scootaloo. In "Stare Master", they had a debate over the possibility of an "arguing" Cutie Mark.
This isn't the first time Phoenix had to accuse someone he knows is innocent of murder to buy time without getting Played for Laughs.
Crime of Self-Defense: Sonata's confession reveals that she attacked Ace after his Villainous Breakdown brought him to try and kill her. She couldn't run away, as he was an athlete in his prime, and the magic she used to attack him would not have been nearly as powerful as it ended up to be if she hadn't been in such immediate danger. She would have been put on trial to prove if this really was the case if it hadn't been for Phoenix's intervention.
Phoenix: What's her problem, Twilight? She can't honestly think someone can control weather. It's ludicrous! Trixie: You have to be the biggest imbecile Trixie has ever laid eyes on! Judge: Mr. Wright... that's a Pegasus's job here in Equestria. It's… sort of what they do. Phoenix: Mmmph... uh... what...?
Everything regarding Phoenix Wright when Celestia tells Twilight to summon him. She's very vague about who Phoenix is supposed to be besides a great defense attorney, she doesn't even mention he's neither a pony nor from Equestria!
In The Stinger after Part 5, Celestia is seen holding conversation with someone who is highly implied to be Mia Fey, then implying that she also botched up a "Summon a Defense Attorney" spell and got Mia, who then told her to summon Phoenix.
Played with: Fluttershy is initially intimidated by Phoenix, but she opens up to him after she assumes that he's an actual phoenix who is due to molt soon.
Played straight with Apple Bloom. The Judge thinks she's just about the cutest thing he's ever seen, and he becomes very protective of her while she's on the witness stand.
Darkest Hour: Part 4. Phoenix ripping apart Gilda's testimony was just a Hope Spot. Instead of exonerating Rainbow Dash, they're just back to where they started. With no other suspects and no evidence that can be used to disprove the prosecution's line of reasoning, Phoenix and Twilight can't do anything but watch as the Judge declares Dash guilty.
Deus Exit Machina: The "High Council of Equestria" decides that Princess Celestia would be unable to serve as an impartial judge during the trial, thus ensuring that Phoenix and Twilight will have to actually work to prove Rainbow Dash innocent.
Trixie took the case as a chance to get revenge on Twilight and the Mane 6 in general for exposing her as a fraud. Though the presence of black psyche-locks when this is brought up brings doubt on this being her real motive.
Rarity wants Phoenix to sue the post office for making her miss the trial.
Rarity: That will teach them to put out more pens!
Gilda wanted to frame Rainbow Dash for murder for the events of "Griffon the Brush-off". She even admits she took it way too far after confessing, and she's not proud of it.
A Dog Named Dog: Inverted: when Fluttershy hears Phoenix's name, she jumps to the conclusion that he's an actual phoenix who's in his "shedding his feathers before bursting into flame" stage. Nick tries to correct her, but as Twilight points out, at least this way Fluttershy is actually talking to him.
Doing It for the Art: In-universe, this is implied for Trixie and her shows. She performs them for free, despite the fact that charging admission would give her the money she needs to fix her stage. When Phoenix calls her out on this, she pauses for a while before answering with "None of your business!"
Done again in Part 2 when he sees that the good old Judge from all his cases is presiding the trial.
Dramatic Lightning: During the introduction of Part 1. In an interesting twist, the lightning isn't there just for dramatic effect, it's the actual murder weapon.
Easily Forgiven: Averted. While we are able to feel sympathy for Trixie and Sonata by the end, it's also clear that Rainbow Dash will understandably not be forgiving them any time soon. The same goes for Lenora with Sonata. It's to the point where Sonata has earn her redemption.
Eccentric Mentor: Twilight points out how Celestia isn't acting very princess-like when she tells her to summon Phoenix. Not to mention, a mentor that gets her student to summon a being from another world without even pointing out that little fact doesn't exactly fall in non-eccentric territory.
Enemy Mine: Trixie points out a flaw in Sonata's testimony Phoenix couldn't have seen after spending the entire first interrogation quiet. She says she did it solely in retribution for Sonata's "The Reason You Suck" Speech, but Phoenix is sure that deep down, she did it in pursuit of the truth.
Every Episode Ending: Both Friendship is Magic's friendship report to Celestia and Ace Attorney's final Objection! shout are featured. The former is used before the post-climax chapters, and the latter before the credits and epilogue.
Evil Gloating: Ace Attorney prosecutors have always been prone to gloating, but Trixie's Large Ham mixed with her personal agenda against the Mane 6 make hers almost ooze this.
Evil Twin: Pinkie suggests the possibility of an evil twin of Rainbow Dash nopony knows, Wob Niar, was the real culprit. Phoenix insists on it being a stupid idea, but being Pinkie, she sticks with the idea. She might be sort of right, as Phoenix comes across a pegasus with the same exact mane and tail as Rainbow Dash; but the same body color, attitude, and accent as Furio Tiger, his "evil twin" from Trials and Tribulations, in Part 5.
Phoenix:(What was her problem!?) *beat* (Wait... that couldn't have been...)
Spike: Well, that's certainly a conveniently titled book...
Expy: A variation caused by the parallels in personality and motivations between a few Friendship is Magic and Ace Attorney characters. For example: Trixie as a prosecutor is one of Franziska von Karma, complete with a desire to humiliate a main character for revenge for reasons that said character is not aware of; and Pinkie as an assistant is one for Maya Fey, being even more of a Cloudcuckoolander in the process.
Eye Scream: Pinkie has a rather disturbing theory about Sonata's eyeball Cutie Mark.
Or rather facehoof — Twilight during the trial in Part 2.
Spike does it twice while Twilight is reading from the outdated law book.
Twilight expresses a desire to do this at one point during her side of Part 3.
Fair Play Whodunnit: The series gives all the evidence necessary to allow viewers to discover the truth as the case unravels, up and including to the final confrontation.
Fantastic Racism: Trixie doesn't seem all that fond of humans and griffons, although the feeling seems to be mutual in their case.
Freudian Excuse: According to the information Trixie lets slip towards Phoenix, she's envious of Twilight and how she's won so much by basically doing exactly the same thing she's talented at, while she instead gets heckled for it. The flashing pictures during her Villainous Breakdown suggest more motives in her past, but those are not explored further.
Never said word for word, but Trixie tells Phoenix to do this several times.
Cruise Control actually thanks Twilight for utilizing this trope in regards to the Blackmail done to him by Ace.
First-Person Smartass: Par for the course of Ace Attorney, anyone with the POV will inevitably become this, that meaning Phoenix Wright and Twilight Sparkle.
Fission Mailed: In Part 4, Rainbow Dash is declared Guilty. All seems lost, until Fluttershy barges into the court room and allow Phoenix to buy time thanks to her testimony. However, Phoenix realizes that he's treading on thin ice, and that one misstep will seal Rainbow's fate.
Flat "What.": Phoenix's reaction when "blonde-maned pony" says she will recite her experience in the trial as a poem.
Four Eyes, Zero Soul: Sonata subverts this. She's far from not having a conscience, and she uses the glasses merely to hide her insecurities.
Fun Size: Spike isn't exactly what Phoenix expected when he heard he was a dragon.
Furry Confusion: A minor example; Rarity asks Phoenix to show her designs to the ponies that live in his world, only for him to say that ponies in his world aren't quite as talkative and intelligent as those in Equestria. Rarity gets quite puzzled by this.
Giving Someone the Pointer Finger: Phoenix, obviously. It gets on Trixie's nerves after a while. He even briefly muses that his cutie mark would be a pointing finger.
Trixie: Don't point that ugly sausage of a finger at Trixie!
After Phoenix manages to trap Sonata into an inescapable corner, she drops her Smug Snake attitude completely, and starts confesing in full detail.
"It's amazing what one little mistake ended up costing me..."
Zig-zagged a bit by Trixie. She is angered by the resolution of the trial, and makes it clear in the post-climax, the way Phoenix manages to figure out the actual truth behind the crime leaves her humbled.
Judge: Do... you have any retort to this possibility Ms. Trixie? Trixie: No... I don't... I can't beat that. The prosecution rests...
Sonata couldn't handle the guilt of ruining other's lives for her gain, and wanted to walk out of that life well before the incident, almost having herself killed in the process. After trying her hardest to not be caught for the murder she thought she commited, her turn is completed when Phoenix shows himself willing to protect her in cost of an easy "victory".
Trixie starts going through the road of becoming a better pony after the whole ordeal, even if she hides it behind an aggressive Tsundere personality.
Heel Realization: While Sonata enjoyed the fame and fortune she and Ace got, she couldn't handle the guilt she felt once she realized how they were exploiting other's weaknesses for their own personal gain; fueling her decision to quit as Ace's manager and to be left in solitute. She gets her final realization the moment Phoenix ditches an easy victory in order to protect her and prove her innocence; proving his ideals to her, and thus completing her Heel-Face Turn.
His Name Is...: The very last stinger has Princess Celestia talking to an unknown person. After some cryptic dialogue of which we only hear Celestia's side, the princess asks the other person's name. She then answers: "My name? My name is...". Cue credits for Princess Celestia and Mia Fey.
Hoist by His Own Petard: Phoenix manages to earn Fluttershy's trust on the night before the trial. This comes back to bite him in the ass by not letting him use her shyness as an excuse to extend the trial another day.
I Have Many Names: A variation with Derpy, who is inconsistent with what her name actually is. She insists her name Derpy Hooves if you call her Ditzy Doo and vice versa. Asking if it's Derpy OR Ditzy will get her upset and insist she's Bright Eyes, but call her that and she'll revert to the other two.
I'll Kill You!: A furious and creepy one coming from the victim himself towards Sonata.
Twilight realizes Cruise might know more than he's letting out after she gets told that no one outside of those involved in the case or present in the courtroom audience should know who the victim is, yet he already knew about Ace's death.
Used by Phoenix to expose one of Gilda's lies. Gilda claims she never saw the dead pegasus, despite the fact that she was never told he was a pegasus.
An integral part of how Phoenix is able to pin Sonata in court and keep her around to be examined: she accidentally refers to the Pinkie Iron Mark V. as a "golf club" when, throughout the trial, everyone has been calling it a "burnt stick".
I Never Told You My Name: Twilight addresses Phoenix by name before he properly introduces himself to her. When he calls her on it, she hastily claims that she had cast a Namedar spell on him when he first arrived, but it's still clear that something's up.
Nick gets called out quite a few times for not using the word pony. At first is for calling Twilight Sparkle a horse (see I Am Not Weasel) and the next time is for using the word guy instead of pony. He doesn't seem too amused by this.
Phoenix: (Well, excuse me; I didn't take "Hooked on Ponyics")
During Twilight's conversation with Derpy Hooves, she gets corrected every time she gets Ditzy Doo's name wrong. Although it's more due to Bright Eyes changing her name around rather than any mistake on Twilight's part.
Insufferable Genius: Trixie gets this aspect of herself shown. According to Sonata, she was the best in her class when it came to magic, giving some justification to her massive ego. She does have great abilities, but she has cared more about showing them off than on improving them.
Insult Backfire: Trixie responds with satisfaction to Sonata's expression of distaste for her.
Earlier in Part 3 - Phoenix, Phoenix says something about "keeping your pace" and says how he doesn't present all his evidence in one go. Later on, Sonata says something similar, about "keeping her hand" and why she didn't tell the cops about the B&E earlier.
Trixie's comment about friendship being unnecessary hits home with Twilight a good while later in a very different light.
"Friendship IS unnecessary... Like art, poetry and music. We don't need it to survive like food and water; rather, it's one of those things that gives our life, and other lives, value and meaning. (...)"
In a straight example, the credits and the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue start off with the cover of a novel based on the events of the series written by Apple Bloom herself.
Is It Something You Eat?: When Pinkie hears Phoenix talking about Psyche-Locks, she wonders if they are some sort of breakfast cereal.
Item Get: While all evidence added is accompained by Ace Attorney's subtle "Evidence found" jingle, the delivery of a completely inconsequential muffin is instead followed by Super Metroid'sitem fanfare.
Trixie. Her attitude gets on Phoenix's nerves incredibly quickly. This ends up developing into Tsundere in the end.
Ace Swift. Everything shown about him before his death serves the purpose of showing he is a straight-up Asshole Victim.
Gilda, true to canon. She does get a little better with her speech about how she'd screwed up regarding Rainbow Dash.
Jigsaw Puzzle Plot: Nearly every development, good or bad, helps Phoenix and Twilight along with their investigation and during the trial, or becomes a Chekhov's Gun.
Jump Scare: So, Twilight and Pinkie are minding their own business, talking about this friend of Pink-
Cruise Control: AAAAH!
Just Doing My Job: The Judge tells Twilight that regardless of what his feelings on the matter or the people involved in the case may be, it is his duty to be impartial and judge fairly based on the testimony, evidence, and the arguments of both attorneys presented in the trial.
Just Think of the Potential: Upon learning what the Magatama is, Twilight immediately starts thinking of abusive applications before reining herself back in.
Karmic Death: Turns out Ace Swift's death was this, in more than one sense. As if his blackmailing and manipulation wasn't enough, he was about to murder Sonata in cold blood to cover up his crimes. After she shocked him and got away, he recovered, grabbed the damaged golf club she'd used to try to fend him off, and took to the air to hunt her down — and was promptly fried by the second lightning bolt, with the club acting as a conductor. The Judge even lampshades this, remarking that Ace's bad karma finally caught up to him.
Key Under the Doormat: Ace kept his hotel key there, making it easy prey for Dash. Apparently Phoenix also keeps his office key there.
Apple Bloom in Part 3 - Twilight, as yet another attempt to get her cutie mark. While she doesn't do much proper investigation, her presence makes Twilight stumble upon several pieces of evidence, and she's Genre Savvy enough to snatch a piece of evidence while Trixie is focusing on Twilight.
Scootaloo tries to be one in Part 5, but she just picks up some random junk as her "evidence", and doesn't show up until after the Judge has handed down his final verdict anyway.
Lack of Empathy: "It's not like anypony is getting hurt." Yes, Ace Swift. Blackmailing the ponies who compete against you, including one with a comatose sister, is totally not hurting anypony in some way. If Sonata can see this and you can't, you clearly lack a conscience.
Lampshade Hanging: The series has a liking for calling attention to several tropes whenever they are used. For a few examples, there's Phoenix's deadpan "Surprise surprise..." after discovering that the crime was murder, and Twilight's frustrated monologue after the Princess is yet again being cryptic with her.
The Judge has his moments; it helps that he sounds like he was being voiced by BRIAN BLESSED. Especially when he says "OBJECTION OVERRULED!" in exactly the same manner that he does in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3.
Mood Whiplash: Just as in Ace Attorney the overall mood gets whiplashed constantly between comedic, serious, and suspenseful.
Part 2 has all the mood swapping culminate straight into near Tear Jerker territory when Nick accuses Fluttershy of the murder to buy more time.
Gilda's tearful confession about badly she screwed up when she let her sense of pride cause her to try and frame Rainbow Dash for some sweet taste of revenge that never happened is contrasted by her outright threats to Phoenix for getting her to show her emotions like that.
Motor Mouth: By Pinkie Pie when explaining how to make cupcakes to Phoenix.
Ms. Exposition: Twilight plays this role. She gives Phoenix basic information about Equestria, makes remarks about found evidence, and explains to him any new information that gets brought up. Sometimes the exposition is common knowledge for Friendship is Magic fans, other times it serves to give insight on new elements. There are moments she wishes that Phoenix did some research on his own though.
Phoenix calling Rainbow an Earth Pony. Turns out her first incarnation was an Earth Pony, and also the complete opposite of this Rainbow.
Twilight makes allusions to earlier generations of My Little Pony throughout Part 3 - Twilight.
Naïve Newcomer: Phoenix, who is completely clueless about the workings of Equestria. This gets him in trouble quite a few times.
Narrative Shapeshifting: A minor case; Rainbow imitated Fluttershy in a mocking voice in the Detention Center, complete with her mane style changing to Fluttershy's.
Near Villain Victory: It wouldn't be Ace Attorney without the prosecution having Phoenix completely on the ropes at least once. And, in true Ace Attorney tradition, the near victory is foiled by a Big Damn Heroes moment.
Trixie: Objection! That doesn't change anything at all! Whether she heard or saw it doesn't make any difference. Phoenix: Objection! If I had a dime for every time I heard that one!
Never My Fault: This is typical of Trixie whose acting as the prosecutor to get back at Twilight, who she blames for ruining her act thanks to the Ursa Incident. Though this wouldn't have been the case if she hadn't boasted about her abilities in the first place which lead up to that (Twilight even points out she wasn't trying to show her up, she was just trying to protect the town). Some of the characters even call Trixie out on it but she's too prideful to realize this, instead shifting the blame and focusing too much on revenge.
Never Say That Again: During the first half of Part 3 - Twilight, any mention of Phoenix causes this on Twilight.
Never Trust a Trailer: The trailer shows Phoenix intimidating Fluttershy into silence. He's actually the only one she'll talk to.
New Superpower: After Twilight touched the Magatama, she gained the ability to see psyche-locks. Twilight is perturbed when she sees them for the first time around Cruise Control when questioning him, and that she's the only pony who can see them; and later she sees black ones around Trixie. After getting an explanation about how the psyche-locks work, she gets mentally excited and already starts plans on research on it, but after the trial of course. However the effects are temporary since it was a side effect of her unintentionally mixing her magic with the object. Once the trial is over, it wears off.
Nice Girl: Lenora, especially when compared to the other griffon in the series. She's friendly, passionate about her work and hobby, and worried about her distressed friend. Although she'd rather not talk about Ace Swift, and for good reason.
Fluttershy's testimony ends up making the prosecution's case air tight. Rainbow Dash is not happy with Fluttershy over this.
Phoenix tearing apart Gilda's testimony turns out to be this. As Trixie points out, he just proved that three separate people didn't hear the second lightning bolt, and not only did the defense's arguments hinge on the second bolt, they never actually fully proved the second bolt even occurred. She even lampshades Phoenix's blunder, and only Fluttershy's timely entrance saves the day.
Trixie: Trixie asks the court, what makes more sense? The victim's body being blown several feet, or the victim being struck by a second bolt that none of the witnesses heard or witnessed?
Breaking into Sonata's room, while very informative and crucial to the case, also backfires on Phoenix when she blackmails him under the threat of Pinkie and him being arrested.
Because of Trixie's ego and personal grudge against the Mane 6, she cares about making Twilight and her friends squirm more than anything. As a result, she lets Phoenix get away with things like casting suspicion on Fluttershy. Phoenix himself points out that she could have secured a conviction and denied them a chance to gather more evidence by shutting down this line of argument.
Gilda seems to do this as she completely discredits a lot of Trixie's theories by trying to frame Rainbow Dash. Unfortunately, all it does in the long run is confirm that three separate witnesses didn't see or hear the second bolt of lightning which the defense's case was riding on.
If Sonata had accused Phoenix first, and given Trixie her Breaking Speech second, then it's possible they would've never had a chance to defend further, thus allowing the cross examination to begin.
Sonata does this during her initial testimony, when she refers to the burned stick as a golf club despite claiming to have never seen it before; see I Never Said It Was Poison above.
The Nicknamer: Inverted with Phoenix, who is called a different name by most members of the cast.
No Indoor Voice: Cruise Control has some indoor voice, but the majority of his speech is loudly yelling at himself.
Non Sequitur Distraction: When Phoenix meets Fluttershy for the first time, she becomes considerably less shy after mistaking Phoenix's name as his species. Twilight just tells him to roll with it, because she's… you know? Talking to him?
Nothing Is Scarier: After rendering Ace to the ground, Sonata claims that what scared her the most was not the still beating fear of death, but the way the forest had suddenly grown completely silent.
Not so Above It All: Princess Celestia. Not only does she use the knowledge Mia gave her on Phoenix to mess a little with him, but it is implied that she summoned her by messing up the "Greatest defense attorney" summoning spell herself.
The Not So Harmless Punishment: Upon first hearing that the punishment for murder in Equestria is banishment, Phoenix immediately thinks it isn't as bad as in his own world. That is, until Twilight goes into more detail…
Phoenix: What is the punishment? Twilight: Banishment… Phoenix: Well that doesn't sound so bad compared to- Twilight: …to the Moon, or even the Sun.[...] Phoenix: (And forget what I just said…)
Not that Trixie is stoic, but her general immunity to shock evaporates when Apple Bloom reveals a key piece of information she completely left out of her pretrial preparation… and then explains that she didn't tell Trixie earlier because…
Apple Bloom: I don't like you. Trixie: *Wild Take*
The guard ponies that rarely bat an eye in MLP? Two of them have broken down entirely, pleading for Phoenix to take Pinkie Pie away from them, who spent merely a half-hour talking to them.
Sonata. In her own words, she only wore those glasses to hide her "weaknesses", one of those being the pity she felt for her blackmailing victims. By the end of the trial, she takes them off and shows her true colors.
Obfuscating Stupidity: Cruise Control only acts like a loud, self-scolding doofus as a facade, being part of his "perpetual loser" status Ace Swift blackmailed him into. It was he who gave the anonymous tip about the forest meeting, but since he gave it in his goofball persona, it wasn't taken seriously.
Phoenix: Y-Yeah... stupid place... (Note to self: Put key to office in different hidding spot.)
Obvious Crossover Method: Naturally, Twilight messing up a spell causes Phoenix getting pulled to Equestria. The twist is that the "messing up" part is a complete lie. Not only that, but The Stinger in Part 5 implies that Celestia herself was the one who actually messed up the spell, getting the late Mia Fey, who later suggested Phoenix instead.
Occam's Razor: Much of the prosecution's advantage over the defense lies on the fact that most of the evidence supplied makes any situation other than "Dash did it" both extremely convoluted and unlikely. And since the defense has the burden of proof on them instead of the prosecution in Ace Attorney courts...
Trixie: Leave him alone! You're the one who's dead meat if you lie again! Phoenix: (How cute, she's sticking up for me.) Trixie: Besides, Mr. Wrong is Trixie's! He shall feel the GREAT and POWERFUL Trixie's wrath before this trial is over! Phoenix: (Or not...)
Only Sane Man: Much like in their home series, Phoenix and Twilight play this role, snarking their way through the weirdness that surrounds them.
While he's generally a goofball, Cruise Control drops it for a few seconds to tell Apple Bloom that older siblings always care for their younger siblings. It's later revealed that that side of him is his real personality.
To a lesser extent, but still very serious, every time Trixie drops her Third-Person Person act. Serious enough to the point where Twilight discovers she has black psyche-locks.
Pamphlet Shelf: Parodied; Twilight gives Phoenix a "'detailed' encyclopedia" on the different species of ponies; it's literally three bullet points long. Justified in that the book is meant for very young readers. This gets brought up again a little later, when Nick mistakenly calls Rainbow Dash an Earth Pony.
Phoenix: (It's kinda sad I couldn't get down a book with twelve words.)
The Perry Mason Method: A staple of Ace Attorney, but with a twist. Phoenix manages to get a confesion from the perpretator, but the confession has a huge hole on it; thus turning the tables around and leading Phoenix to prove that the "perpretator" is also innocent.
Pink Is for Sissies: After his unsuccessful attempt at using his world's Attorney's Badge to show to the guards that he's an actual lawyer, Twilight hands Nick the Equestrian Attorney Badge. Turns out it's a pink heart-shaped badge, and Phoenix doesn't take it well. In fact, even the ponies consider it ridiculously girly; Pinkie Pie even cracks up laughing at the sight of it.
Phoenix: A... heart? (I feel my masculinity going... going... gone.)
Plot Triggering Death: Were it not for the death of Ace Swift, and subsequent accusation of Rainbow Dash, Phoenix wouldn't have been summoned to Equestria in the first place.
Fluttershy tried to call out to Rainbow Dash when she was running away, though being Fluttershy, she called out Rainbow Dash in her whispery voice. Things might have turned out differently had she made her voice louder.
Phoenix not being able to explain to Twilight Sparkle why he's accusing Fluttershy at that moment caused more than a few problems. However, it seems not to be as bad, since it allows Twilight and Phoenix to split up and gather twice as much evidence than if they did it together.
Actually inverted in Part 3 - Twilight when Apple Bloom lets Twilight know that she saw Rainbow Dash moving the storm cloud to the Everfree Forest, and that RD told her not to tell anypony about it. Had this come out in court, it would have been much more difficult (if not impossible) to extend the trial.
Cruise Control went to tell the cops about how something "big" was going to go down in the forest. However, he was in his cocky personality and wasn't taken seriously, and thus the murder happens.
Power Incontinence: Magic Surge. A unicorn stuck in a very stressful and/or dangerous situation is capable of invoking magic in very powerful levels, kind of like a mother gathering the strength to lift tons in order to save her child. Sonata attacked Ace with relatively harmless artificial lightning under the effects of this, gathering enough strength to send him flying with the strike.
From Nick's part right after he discovers that Trixie knew about Rainbow's possible motive.
Phoenix: Dammit! She knows! Twilight: Phoenix! Language!
He says it again after discovering he's lost in the forest and with all his evidence stolen.
In Part 4, Gilda not only says "damn" (which causes Twilight to give Phoenix the stink-eye for some reason) but also extends her middle talon at Phoenix during her final rant. She also slips in a "crap", but in quite different circumstances.
Gilda: Maybe the real reason I got angry... was because I missed my irreplaceable friend... and I'm doing a pretty crappy job at getting her back...
Prophetic Names: "(With a name like Applejack, I guess she was set up at birth to be put in that apple business.)"
Random Teleportation: When something distracts a unicorn while channeling a teleport spell, they may end up anywhere between start and end point. Which happened to Sonata when Apple Bloom ran into her.
Rapid Fire Interrupting: Trixie to Phoenix while she's explaining Ace's cause of death, stopping all of his attempts to say what he thinks about the events.
Judge: The prosecution's logic is very sound, so I must overrule the defense's claims. Phoenix: B-but… I didn't get to say anything!
Rapid Fire No: Rainbow Dash, when Phoenix first meets with her again in Part 3 - Phoenix; and Phoenix in reaction to mistaking Applejack for a certain other character he knows.
A Rare Sentence: Equestria brings up a few weird sentences from Phoenix's perspective.
Judge: *To Apple Bloom* Maybe you're a... OH! A cutie mark crusader witness testifier! Phoenix: (Your Honor, how much shame do you have left after saying something like that?)
Trixie: The zebra told us she was making herbal ointments and medicines. Nothing out of the ordinary. Phoenix: (I've heard it all... a zebra brewing potions is "nothing out of the ordinary"...)
Reading Ahead in the Script: Pinkie knew where she and Phoenix were headed to after leaving Rarity because she had read the script beforehand. At least she had the courtesy of not reading too far into it to avoid spoilers.
Real After All: Turns out Wob Niar might not be just a crazy idea in Pinkie's head, as someone that looks the part shows herself in Part 5.
Real Dreams Are Weirder: Pinkie comments that she had a dream where she commanded the sweets army in a war between sweets and vegetables.
Phoenix: (Freud would have a field day with Pinkie Pie.)
"The Reason You Suck" Speech: Sonata delivers one to Trixie, confronting her about how petty she is. It's so effective that it manages to keep her silent through her entire first cross-examination. Later, however, Sonata takes it back, saying that Trixie did a better job than Sonata would have, and the only "pathetic fake" here is Sonata herself.
Despite all the evidence that seemed to point to the contrary, Gilda is not the guilty party.
And neither is Sonata.
Remember the New Guy: The High Council of Equestria, who according to Twilight are in charge of keeping check of political decisions, and in this case, making sure that an impartial judge precedes the trial of the crime.
Reprise Medley: End of the Storm, which mixes the main theme of Friendship is Magic, Turnabout Sisters of Ace Attorney, and the original theme Memories.
Rainbow Dash blurting "Hey!" when meeting Phoenix and Twilight right before the audience, startling them.
Trixie has a liking for insulting Twilight's bangs.
Sand in My Eyes: Rainbow starts crying after Fluttershy tells her the reason she stuck around during the trial and rushed to the stand when Rainbow was declared Guilty. She blames it on an allergy in between sobs.
Sarcasm Failure: After Pinkie comments that Phoenix would represent the element of Hair Gel, he gets so baffled by it that the only inner snark he manages to utter is "(No comment…)".
Save the Villain: Sonata confesses to the murder, paving the way for an easy Not Guilty verdict. But Phoenix realizes her confession is not the whole story, and objects in order to save her from a crime she did not commit.
Schmuck Bait: Trixie managed to make Phoenix explain a hole in her case by using a little of prosecutor logic.
Shrinking Violet: Fluttershy's shyness is taken Up to Eleven in Part 2. She attempts to hide under the witness podium whenever anyone addresses her, except Phoenix, due to her thinking he actually is a phoenix.
Shutting Up Now: Pinkie after Phoenix begs her to keep her trap shut around Sonata. She still manages to keep talking.
Simultaneous Arcs: Part 3 is set like this, showing the second day of investigation from Phoenix's and Twilight's point of view.
Sir Swears-a-Lot: Going with her abrasive personality, Gilda is the most foul-mouthed member of the cast; relatively speaking of course. She's more prone to Precision D-Strikes than Phoenix, and even fires a well placed C-Strike for good measure.
Trixie throughout the whole trial. Even when she gets an Oh Crap moment, she will snap back to her normal self in a quick second. That is, until Phoenix proves Rainbow Dash's innocence, at which point she suffers a Villainous Breakdown; though she retains her arrogant demeanor afterward, she's pretty clearly all bark and no bite.
Sonata is no better, despite her colder and more restrained personality. Her desperate scheme to frame Rainbow for Ace's murder is undone because, by her own admission, she overlooked a crucial detail. However, in suffering her Heel Realization and subsequently undergoing a Heel-Face Turn after Phoenix proves Ace killed himself by accident, she drops the smugness and coldness entirely.
Gilda is even more of one — her own scheme to frame Rainbow Dash for the murder is thwarted because Phoenix is able to trip her up with her own lies.
Sonata's plan after Cruise had snatched Phoenix's evidence was that only Pinkie Pie would see him. She didn't count on Twilight and Apple Bloom being around the area to catch him.
Even before that, she never counted on Rainbow being prideful and stubborn enough to decline their offer at risk of her pictures being revealed; let alone in such an explosive fashion.
Spit Shake: Applejack wants to confirm Phoenix's promise of fixing this mess with one of these. He passes.
Squee!: Several times by Twilight; like after finding out that Power Copying the Magatama turned her into a Living Lie Detector, or after pointing out a contradiction in true defense attorney fashion.
Staring Down Cthulhu: Fluttershy to the timberwolves that almost attack Phoenix, in a very similar fashion to when she did this to a cockatrice.
Stealth Insult: After assuming that Wright is an actual phoenix, Fluttershy innocently comments that him being soon to molt explains why he looks so homely and sick. Nick only wonders if that was just a plain insult. You know you are a first class Butt Monkey when even Fluttershy can mock you without even knowing it.
The whole courtroom after Phoenix deduces how Ace really died. Managing to clear both Rainbow Dash and Sonata of being murderers.
Stupidest Thing I've Ever Heard: A double example: Phoenix pulls this out the moment Trixie brings up a storm cloud as decisive evidence: "She can't honestly think someone can control weather. It's ludicrous!". Of course, it turns out they totally can, making Phoenix end up on the recieving end: "You have to be the biggest imbecile Trixie has ever laid eyes on!"
Phoenix: Why did you say it didn't scare you? No one asked you if it did.
Several times by Trixie after her Tsundere side starts surfacing.
"But Trixie lost the trial, didn't she? She deserves a punishment! And that will be to endure your childish party! ...That Trixie DOESN'T want to go to! ...AT ALL!"
Sympathetic Murderer: Sonata after confessing. She accidentally killed Ace in her own defense the very moment she tried to do the right thing, and she tampered with the crime scene and investigation out of pure desperation. Subverted in the end, and not because she's not sympathetic, but because she never killed Ace in the first place.
Take That: Part 3 - Twilight poked fun at the previous generations of My Little Pony; Twilight saying that the ponies there are too embarrassing to mention, and Spike mentioning that they seem too frolicky for his tastes.
Taking You with Me: Sonata says that if Phoenix reports that she had a part in Rainbow Dash's blackmail, she will report that he and Pinkie Pie committed the crime of break and entering into her hotel room.
There are two not for the work itself, but for the series involved:
Phoenix:: Sorry, but I don't believe you, my little pony. Not for a single solitary second. Sonata: I don't know what kind of trials and tribulations you've been through, but you're not changing my opinion.
The credits start with the cover of a novel written by Apple Bloom titled Turnabout Storm.
Title Theme Drop: A remix of the My Little Pony theme in the style of Ace Attorney's "Pursuit" themes plays when Phoenix places suspicion of the murder over Fluttershy.
Took a Level in Badass: The judge is actually able to point out perjury, not to mention he stands up to the prosecution quite well in Part 4.
Took a Level in Jerkass: Trixie was originally introduced as a kind of Anti-Villain; stuck up and kind of rude, but not openly antagonistic. Here she's become openly antagonistic, and wishes to destroy the Mane Six seemingly in retribution for the Ursa Minor incident. Or rather, because of a truth hidden behind five BLACK Psyche-locks.
To the Pain: A variation with Ace describing to Sonata the fabricated story of her being attacked in the forest he'll use to retire without having his performance drop after getting her out of the way.
Trilogy Creep: Part 3 was divided into 2 parts for the purpose of making Simultaneous Arcs, thus adding to what was a four part series; and then there's Part 5.
Triumphant Reprise: Memories is a slow melancholic theme that plays during some of the series' most emotional moments. Its appearance during the Reprise Medley is significantly more uplifting, if still melancholic.
Tsundere: Trixie becomes this after going through a Heel-Face Turn after the whole ordeal. She's still agressive and condescending, but she's deeply thankful of the help Phoenix and the others have given her.
Pinkie: You know what this calls for? Phoenix: What? Pinkie: Two Words: A PARTY! Phoenix: A party? Pinkie: Twenty one words: Yeah, a party! You should come celebrate, too! Because I love having parties with all my friends after something good happens!
Ungrateful Bitch: After what seemed to be a set-up for Trixie to show actual gratitude at Phoenix giving his payment to her because he thinks that deep down she's a good pony, she instead pulls more of her condescending bravado and calls everyone idiots for thinking she'd pull a "single tear shed" kind of show. It is subverted at the ending, as the gifts she secretly sent Phoenix with, including a "Thank You" picture, suggest that she is actually grateful, but won't show it openly.
The Unreveal: The cause behind Trixie's psyche-locks. While she lets a few pieces of information about it slip towards Phoenix before being directly confronted about it, there's no direct confirmation that being the cause behind them.
Upgrade Artifact: The Magatama worked like this when Twilight made contact with it, giving her the ability to see Psyche-Locks.
Gilda keeps losing her cool whenever Phoenix points out a lie in her testimony, and when he finally proves that she was trying to frame Rainbow for the murder, she's reduced to stammering and begging for someone to bail her out...then she goes into a Villainous BSOD and quietly confesses.
Ace Swift had a major one when his attempt to blackmail Rainbow Dash failed miserably, and immediately afterwards Sonata confronts him to tell him she is through helping him cheat. His voice as he describes what he will do to Sonata sounds like he had well and truly cracked by the time of his death.
Trixie goes through one when Rainbow's innocence is finally proven. She silently shakes with rage as images from her past flash behind her (a la Manfred von Karma) before finally settling on an image of the Mane Six. She then slams her head on her desk and remains completely silent and unresponsive until Phoenix objects to Sonata being the murderer.
Sonata likewise has a few, albeit subtle ones, such as using her magic to snap a pencil in half when her blackmailing schemes are uncovered.
Wall of Blather: Rarity gets carried away when she gets the idea of making a new suit for Phoenix. She ends up blathering to herself while Phoenix and Pinkie discuss where to go next.
The Watson: Phoenix shows elements of this everytime Equestria and its workings are discussed. As a character from a mostly realistic setting, he casts doubt on and asks the same things viewers unfamiliar with Friendship is Magic would.
Wham Episode: The black psyche-locks Twilight mentions to Phoenix at the end of Part 3 - Phoenixare revealed to belong to Trixie, and which become a bit more complex than their canon appearance because of some of the things Twilight says after their reveal. Considering that Part 3 - Twilight was supposed to be out first it, it can come as more shocking.
"The suspect the defense accuses is the witness... Fluttershy!"
Here's one for Ace Attorney fans who saw Part 3 - Phoenix first: When Twilight is talking to Phoenix about psyche-locks, she asks him "What about black ones?". For those who don't know the context, black Psyche-locks protects a secret from the deepest place in a one's heart that isn't even consciously aware of. In other words, it is like a heavy chain wrapped directly around one's heart and if ripped off by force, it could cause permanent damage to the soul. No wonder if evidence is presented to the contrary it wouldn't break.
"I hearby retract my earlier verdict. The defendant, Rainbow Dash, is found to be acquitted of..." "OBJECTION!" "Can't I just hand down my verdict in peace!? Wait! Mr. Wright!?"
What If?: A contest held by NeoArtimus encouraged fans to create an alternate conclusion to the series had no one come to save the day when all seemed lost, the winner becoming the "official" Downer Ending to the story.
In Part 2: Twilight's reaction to Phoenix accusing Fluttershy of murder. Let's just say she was so ticked off at Phoenix doing this that she objected to the defense just to call out Phoenix for slander. Even PHOENIX calls himself out on it.
In Part 4: Rainbow Dash's scathingly furious reaction to Fluttershy's earlier testimony, even asserting that she never wants to she her again. Fluttershy runs away in tears, Phoenix admonishes Rainbow for doing that, saying she took it too far.
Just what would a professional and level-headed attorney like Edgeworth do in Phoenix's shoes? Let's just say the mental image kinda backfired on Phoenix.
Phoenix also asks himself what Mia would do in a similar situation, several times recalling a conversation with her to gain resolve. It also helps him get over his suspicion that Sonata is somehow Mia reincarnated — Mia would never resort to underhanded tactics like Sonata does.
This is how Fluttershy gathers the nerve to go back to the witness stand and defend Rainbow. She wonders what Rainbow would do for her.
Like prosecutors from the Ace Attorney universe, Trixie has one. On the rare occasions where she is caught off-guard, her wizard's hat flies off her head, revealing her horn, before settling back down again, all while Trixie clenches her teeth.
Gilda screams/roars loudly, with several of her feathers falling off of her, when presented a contradiction in her testimony. This actually scares Phoenix on occasion.
Rainbow Dash's reaction to Gilda, having taken Phoenix's instructions to keep silent way too seriously.
Twilight does a brief one when she sees that Phoenix is cross-examining Gilda of all people. What makes it jarring is that it's actually fully animated rather than the static animations used for the most part.
When Phoenix points out major contradictions in Sonata's testimony, Sonata's glasses go askew on her nose and her eyes go much wider than usual.
Windows to the Soul: Sonata says the first thing she looks at in someone is their eyes; they can reveal a lot about that person. The reason she uses her glasses is to hide her own, so no one can see her weaknesses.
Win Win Ending: Phoenix wins the case and Rainbow is acquitted; Sonata is proven innocent of Ace's murder and has a newfound objective in life, including compensating for all the suffering she has caused; and while Trixie couldn't get her revenge, she's now on the road of becoming a better pony thanks in great part to Phoenix, even though she hides it.
"World of Cardboard" Speech: A short but effective one delivered by Phoenix after getting a much needed lead in the case and a much needed realization regarding Sonata.
Phoenix: I was given one more chance, one more chance to find the truth. It's either sink or swim. Even if she tries to have me arrested for intrusion. I got her on the stand; it doesn't matter anymore. It's time she pays her dues for all she's done... Including the murder...
Would Hit a Girl: Ace Swift had no problem threatening and attempting to kill Sonata after she said she was tired of helping him blackmail other ponies.