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Web Animation: Turnabout Storm
Twilight Sparkle: Hey! You're a human aren't you?
Phoenix Wright: Yeah, I'm a human... *beat* WAIT, WHAT!?

"Just when you thought the Layton crossover was 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 colored talking 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  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":

    open/close all folders 

    A-C 
  • Acceptable Breaks from Canon: Inevitable. The series was already fully written before the airing of Season 2 of Friendship is Magic. 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".
  • Accidental Misnaming:
    • 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. Ultimately subverted. His success wasn't due to his athletics but due to blackmail.
  • 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.
  • Afraid You Were Going to Say That:
    Phoenix: (Oh please don't tell me this is going where I think it is…)
    Twilight: You see… I'm in need of a really good defense attorney.
    Phoenix: (And it does go where I think it is...)
  • All Crimes Are Equal: Phoenix is worried for a while that this might be the case in Equestria after learning about the extreme punishment for murder. This is brought up when he takes part in breaking and entering during his evidence hunt.
    Phoenix: (I really hope I don't get sent to the Sun for this!)
  • Alliterative Title: Twilight's Super Spectacular Stupendous Spontaneous Summoning Scripture Signals and You.
  • All Part of the Show: After it turns out Phoenix Cannot Tell a Joke, Pinkie Pie instead cracks up at his Equestrian Attorney badge, assuming he was just softening her up for it.
  • Alternate Continuity: As far as the Friendship is Magic side of things is concerned, since this was written before its second season aired, thus changing a good few of canon events.
  • Always Murder: Yep, even in a Sugar Bowl, Phoenix still can't avoid having to defend somebody accused of murder. Subverted. Ace Swift's death was an accident.
  • Always Someone Better:
    • Surprisingly, Trixie was this to Sonata. Sonata admits Trixie's powers were much stronger then hers, but she feels Trixie is wasting them by just showing them off.
    • 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.
  • Angrish: Phoenix, right after falling square into one of Trixie's traps.
    Phoenix: B-but-she-stole-I-ah-uh...
  • Always Wanted To Say That: Objection!. Done by Twilight, the Judge and the entire mane cast in Part 5.
  • 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.
  • April Fools' Day: Played with.
    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...)
  • Art Evolution:
    • 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.
  • Art Shift: The explanation of the mechanics of teleportation is accompained by a small animated sequence done in the simplistic "pointy pony" style. This style returns without animation during the credit sections of the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue.
  • 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.
  • Audience Murmurs: The pony courtroom audience murmurs just as the human one would do, except when they are laughing at embarrassing pictures.
  • Audience? What Audience?: Phoenix's flabbergasted reaction to Pinkie's script comment.
  • Bad Liar:
    • Twilight and Rainbow. Phoenix can see right through them when they lie, even without using the Magatama.
    • Gilda lies constantly, and never stops to consider if she's contradicting previously established facts. Even Trixie gets fed up with it.
  • Batman Gambit:
    • Princess Celestia, under Mia's suggestion, made Twilight summon Phoenix knowing with full confidence that, notwithstanding getting pulled into another world, he would never allow an innocent to get punished.
    • Phoenix using Gilda's temper to get her to slip up in the witness stand in Part 4. He says that he learned this trick in lawyer school as a way to get information from liars.
    • Sonata's blackmailing modus operandi: Discovering what makes her victims "tick" and using that to her advantage.
  • Befriending The Enemy: Phoenix starts to attempt to get to Trixie's better side after the trial when he starts to see the reason why she's so aggresive. She actually starts to open to him in a Tsundere kind of way, and eventually she proves that, while she keeps her bravado when in person, she is actually thankful to him for setting her straight.
  • Berserk Button
    • Rainbow gets hers pushed when asked plain and straight if she actually killed Ace Swift.
    Rainbow: I told you, I DIDN'T KILL ANYPONY!!
    • For the love of all that's holy, don't even dare mention pens or the post office near Rarity!
    • For a more subdued yet serious one, don't talk bad about your siblings around Cruise.
    • Der- er, Dit- um, a particular grey mailpony gets really upset when others can't remember her name properly, even after she's told it several times.
    • Gilda gets ballistic after being called slow, and considering that even the judge starts teasing her about it...
    • In Part 5, Twilight briefly snaps after Lenora calls her "Twilight Sparkler" one time too many.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Cruise was perfectly willing to become a loser if it meant his little comatose sister getting the care she needed.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • Right as Phoenix is about to be attacked by timberwolves while stuck in the middle of the forest, Fluttershy shows up right on time to save him..
    • And then guess who shows up with the obligatory case-changing, last-minute evidence just after Phoenix already lost the trial in Part 4?
  • Big "NO!":
    • Shows up occasionally, like by Rainbow when Phoenix breaks her first Psyche-Lock, or by Phoenix when his suit gets ripped.
    • It's practically Cruise Control's Catch Phrase.
  • Big "Shut Up!": Twilight delivers one to Trixie after hearing one too many comments about Phoenix.
  • Big "WHAT?!":
    • Phoenix's reactions to:
      • First seeing Twilight.
      • 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.
  • Blunt Yes:
    Trixie: What do you take me for, a fool!?
    Phoenix: Why, in fact, I do.
    Trixie: ...!
  • Brain Bleach: "Doctor, I'd like the part of my brain responsible for that image lobotomized, please..."
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: Phoenix's examples of "unprofessionalism" during his cases he tells Sonata.
    "Toupees, birds, whips..."
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Pinkie Pie, who, among other things, hears Phoenix's snarky remarks and reads the movie's script.
  • Brick Joke:
    • 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.
    • During the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue, Sweetie Belle, the only one of the CMC who didn't take a day off of school because of the trial, ends up going to Sugar Cube Corner with Miss Cheerilee for some ice cream. What was the prize in her earlier bet with Apple Bloom, again?
  • Bring My Brown Pants: Phoenix after Rarity's little... err... rant.
  • Broke the Rating Scale: After meeting Cruise Control, Twilight rates him 12 out of 10 in the weird-o-meter. Less than a minute later she retracts herself and rates him 46.
  • Brutal Honesty:
    • Why didn't Apple Bloom tell everything she knew to Trixie?
    Apple Bloom: Because I don't like you.
    • Cruise Control after Twilight mentions certain locks and chains that nopony else can see.
    Cruise Control: Don't worry, I don't think you're crazy or anything! *beat* ...Ugh, NO! You do think she's crazy! DON'T LIE!
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer:
  • 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.
  • Call a Human a "Meatbag": Twilight did an unusual example of this, referring to Phoenix as "some porcupine thing" before realizing he was a human. Trixie goes through the classic route by calling him "this hairless ape".
  • Call Forward: Several to Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney
    • After Twilight thinks Phoenix has children:
    Phoenix: (Me with children? That'll be the day.)
    • "(Of course I know how to make cupcakes; what does she think I am, a hobo?)". Fast forward to Phoenix's looks seven years later...
    • Twilight seeing black Psyche-Locks, which would not show up to Phoenix in his canon until years later.
    • Trixie gives Phoenix a blue silk top hat among the "evidence" that she had on her that looks eerily similar to Trucy's, Phoenix's future daughter.
  • The Cameo: A few minor and/or Ensemble Darkhorse pony characters make minor apperances, be it as part of the background (such as Octavia and Doctor Whooves), or by having a bit of dialogue at some point (like Lyra and Cheerilee).
  • Cannot Tell a Joke: Pinkie should know better than to ask Phoenix for jokes.
  • Cat Scare: The first time Phoenix and Twilight enter the Everfree Forest, she warns him to watch out for the menacing creatures that could be lurking around. Cue an scared Phoenix suddenly screaming.
    Phoenix: AAAH! Something just touched my hand!
    Twilight: Hehe! That was just my tail.
  • Cerebus Callback: Phoenix inadvertenly does this when he blurts out that he read Twilight's "detailed" book in 10 seconds flat, which immediately reminds her of Rainbow and the trouble she's in.
  • Chalk Outline: Of the tape variety; used to mark where Ace Swift's body was found. Given the rarity of murders in Equestria, Twilight has no idea what the meaning of the tape is. She doesn't like the explanation.
  • 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.
  • Chirping Crickets: Even crickets know that Phoenix has seriously messed up:
    Phoenix: [...] Unless you are honestly suggesting Rainbow Dash can move around clouds and make them shoot lightning at will!
    * Stunned silence. Chirping crickets*
    Phoenix: (Why is everyone staring at me like that?)
  • Cliffhanger Copout: Part 3 - Phoenix ends with Phoenix starting to ask a favor to Owlowiscious before cutting to black. Come Part 4, and it's revealed that it was just to help him get books to study more about Equestria. Useful, yes; but nothing case-changing.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Pinkie Pie, naturally. This aspect of her reminds Phoenix of Maya Fey with the loopiness Turned Up to Eleven.
  • Complaining about People Not Liking the Show: invokedRainbow Dash gets quite upset at Nick when he asks her who the Wonderbolts are. Never mind that it's his first hour in Equestria.
  • Comical Overreacting:
    • Pinkie gets quite upset when she realizes she still hasn't thrown a welcome party for Phoenix.
    • "WHY AREN'T THERE MORE PENS!? TELL ME, WHY AREN'T THERE MORE PENS!!??", Rarity being Rarity.
    • Cruise Control is constantly chastising and screaming at himself for committing petty mistakes, such as calling Twilight "ma'am" and therefore implying that she's old.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Several instances, but the Judge takes the cake, like when Phoenix links Gilda with the forest using the bottle of stinky perfume.
    Phoenix: That rancid stench is coming off our weaselly witness!
    Judge: Mr. Wright! Are you saying this witness has bad hygine!?
  • Commonality Connection: Princess Celestia acknowledges that Twilight and Phoenix will get along very well when Twilight starts talking about "contradictions". Indeed, after a few bumps in the road, they end up considering each other a friend.
  • Composite Character: Sonata shares some elements with Ace Attorney characters, such as Mia's appearance, Apollo's Hyper Awareness, Adrian Andrew's job type, the ruthlessness of Manfred Von Karma and pre-Character Development Edgeworth, and Redd White's propensity for blackmail.
  • Continuity Nod:
  • Corner of Woe: Phoenix expresses his desire to do this after getting mocked over his Equestrian Attorney Badge by Pinkie Pie of all ponies.
  • Courtroom Antic:
    • Phoenix is on the case, what else can you expect?
    • Trixie also knows her handful of antics too. For instance, she does the typical "hold on to the evidence until a contradiction is found" trick so popular within Ace Attorney prosecutors.
  • Courtroom Episode: The work is pretty much this for the Friendship is Magic cast; some ponies even get to do detective work.
  • Crack Fic: It's Ace Attorney meets My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, people! Even the author herself thought it was too much of an Audience-Alienating Premise like to reach popularity.
  • Creative Closing Credits: The Finale Credits for the main voice actors are done in the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue style used in the final cases of Ace Attorney, with little "pointy pony" illustrations of major events accompanying the credit cards. Then it shows the standard black screen and scrolling text credits.
  • 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.
  • Critical Research Failure: In-universe:
    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...?
  • Crusading Lawyer: This aspect of Phoenix is throughly utilized. His belief that the innocent need someone who's there for them when times are grim are what made him decide to take such a weird case in the first place. This is also exactly why Mia suggested Celestia to get his aid. This reaches its logical conclusion when he continues the trial even though he's already saved Rainbow Dash, in order to save the equally innocent antagonist.
  • Cry Cute: Rainbow after Fluttershy's speech when the trial is over. Not like she'll admit it mind you.
  • Cryptic Conversation:
    • 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!
    • For some reason, neither Phoenix nor Twilight are willing to explain their respective encounters with Sonata and Cruise Control. (This may be intentional as to avoid repeating information the viewers already know).
    • In The Stinger after Part 5, Celestia is seen holding a conversation with someone who turns out to be Mia Fey; it's heavily implied that Celestia also botched a Summon Defense Attorney spell and got Mia's ghost, who then told her to summon Phoenix.
  • Curse Cut Short:
    Trixie: What—
    Judge: The—
    Twilight: HELLO!?
  • Cutaway Gag:
    • Phoenix wonders what would Edgeworth do in his shoes. Cut to the Imagine Spot:
    Edgeworth: This is just like that one episode of the Steel Samurai where he meets the Pink Princess! WHEEEEEE!!!
    Phoenix: (Doctor, I'd like the part of my brain responsible for that image lobotomized please...)
    • Happens twice when Twilight brings up those weird ponies living across the sea. Cut to scene with G1/G3 ponies.
  • Cuteness Proximity:
    • 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.

    D-F 
  • Damned By a Fool's Praise: During the epilogue, Derpy/Ditzy/Bright says she really likes the smell of the perfume Rarity had bought; this after every other character showed they couldn't stand its stench at all.
  • 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.
  • The Day The Music Lied: The first use of the triumphant Pursuit ~ Cornered is for a critically wrong outburst by Phoenix, and it dies just as quickly as it shows up.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Both Phoenix and Twilight are quite the snarkers. They tend to keep the snark to themselves, but that doesn't stop them from speaking it out loud occasionally, especially Twilight.
  • Death Glare:
    • Twilight gives a menacing one to Phoenix after he gets told that he should have studied during the night. He gets quite scared by it.
    • Rainbow and Applejack give some to Phoenix after he tries to use the "I'm always Wright" joke.
    • Using these is one of Sonata's main traits.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: A variation. Despite maintaining her aggressiveness, some of Trixie's actions show she's really learned something out of the experience. Unintendedly or not, she opens up a lot with Phoenix, and while she keeps belittling him and the Mane Six when in person, she shows her sincere gratefulness via the presents she secretly sent Phoenix with.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Sonata. In the backstory, her cold demeanor starts to break when she realizes how much she's making others suffer for her own gain, but she keeps the cold exterior. Phoenix jumping in her defense to prove she's not a killer is what finally breaks this front, something marked by her finally smiling sincerely.
  • Delayed Reaction:
    • By Phoenix when Twilight tells him that the trial is the next day in the morning.
    • Once the trial starts, it takes a second for Phoenix to realize the Judge from his world is presiding over the case.
    • Sonata can tell Twilight comes from Canterlot because she "carries a smug look" that many of its citizens have. It takes Twilight a moment to realize what she said.
  • Descriptiveville: Ponyville; just hearing the name made Phoenix know what was in store for him in this new world.
  • Despair Event Horizon: See Darkest Hour. At least, until Fluttershy intervened.
  • 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.
  • Did I Just Say That Out Loud?: After Pinkie hears his inner monologue, Phoenix wonders if he just thought or said that for a while.
  • Digging Yourself Deeper:
    • Every single word Pinkie Pie says to Sonata. In classic Pinkie fashion, she's completely oblivious about it and Phoenix eventually silently begs her to stop.
    • Gilda in Part 4. Everything she says just makes her look less and less credible. However, Phoenix is well-aware of her temper, and uses it to his advantage.
  • Disproportionate Retribution:
    • 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!"
  • Don't Ask: When Sonata worryingly asks what Phoenix meant when he mentioned "whips" in his list of courtroom unprofessionalism, he just tells her to not ask.
  • Double Take:
    • Phoenix pulls 2 verbal versions of these in Part 1, first when he first sees Twilight and later when she tells him that the trial is scheduled for tomorrow morning.
    Phoenix: Oh, tomorrow morning. *beat* TOMORROW MORNING!?
    • Done again in Part 2 when he sees that the good old Judge from all his cases is presiding the trial.
    Phoenix: The defense is ready, Your Honor... *beat* YOUR HONOR!?
  • 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.
  • Dude, Where's My Reward?: Zig-zagged. Phoenix is generously rewarded, but it amounts to nothing since Equestrian money is useless to him; and he's later left in a very uncomfortable position with his friends because of Rainbow's blackmail pictures, which gives him the impression that he went through even more trouble than usual and for nothing. Cue Trixie's secret presents making him realize that he did get something out of the experience after all.
  • Easily Forgiven:
    • Played with between Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy. Dash gets rather angry when Flutershy appears to invoke this in regards of the horrible things Rainbow had told her earlier; at least until she explains why she did what she did.
    "Because you're my friend Rainbow Dash."
    • Averted for the other cases. While Trixie and Sonata become sympathetic by the end, it's also clear that Rainbow Dash will understandably not be forgiving them any time soon; with Lenora having similar feelings with Sonata..
  • 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.
  • Embarrassing Old Photo: Submitted to the court for all to see (except the viewers). Poor Rainbow Dash...
  • 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.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Cruise Control is immediately established as a self-chastising overreacting Large Ham the very moment he appears on screen.
  • Even the Subtitler Is Stumped: When Derpy Hooves/Ditzy Doo/Bright Eyes keeps insisting her name is different than what Twilight is currently calling her, the text box keeps switching the name as well. By the end of the conversation, it's so confused that it simply reverts to question marks.
  • 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.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • For all the blatant cutesy-ness of Equestria and its inhabitants, they still consider that the Equestrian attorney badge is way too excesive in that regard.
    • Despite Trixie's Jerkass tendencies, she appears to have a dislike for liars that lie to save their own hide. This shows when she abandons her own witness after a long string of lies, and later when she helps Phoenix to further expose another witness despite having already done so herself, which only serves to give an opening for Phoenix's case.
  • Evil Counterpart: Smug Snake Sonata is apparently the Ponyverse's version of Mia, only she practices blackmail instead.
  • 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...)
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Twilight's How to Be a Lawyer in 24 Hours.
    Spike: Well, that's certainly a conveniently titled book...
  • Expospeak Gag: By Twilight, combined with Comically Missing the Point after Sonata testifies, without breaking her glare, that she cried.
    Phoenix: You... cried...?
    Twilight: Yes! It's a complex secretomotor phenomenon characterized by the shedding of tears from the lacrimal apparatus, without any irritation of the ocular structures...
    Phoenix: I know what crying is! I just can't see her crying!
  • 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.
  • Facepalm
    • 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.
  • Friendship Moment: Before the second day of the trial, Twilight sees herself forced to ask Phoenix for a big favor, one that involves she leaving him on his own for a while.
    Phoenix: Ugh... As Rainbow's "out of town" attorney, I really wouldn't recommend you leaving me alone in there...
    Twilight: ...
    Phoenix: But, as your friend, I understand.
  • Figure It Out Yourself:
    • 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.
  • Flipping the Bird: Gilda does this a few times in a furious rant toward Phoenix before she leaves the stand. Almost immediately after a tearful confession she made. Considering she's part-eagle, there's a good chance there's a pun in there somewhere.
  • Foil: Despite never being on screen together, Lenora's Nice Girl demeanor makes a stark contrast with fellow griffon Gilda's aggressiveness.
  • 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.
  • A Friend in Need: Both Phoenix and Twilight go trough a lot for the sake of Rainbow Dash. In Twilight's case, it shows the sincere friendship she has with her; for Phoenix, it shows his strong bond to his ideals of justice, which also leads to a friendship.
  • 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.

    G-I 
  • 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!
  • Glad I Thought of It: Trixie gets Phoenix to explain a hole in her case and immediately takes his theory as hers. True to character, the Judge does not catch up to this.
    Judge: You sure are very bright, deducing something like that, Miss Trixie.
    Trixie: Naturally!
    Phoenix: (Argh! That was my deduction!)
  • A Glass in the Hand: Sonata furiously snaps a pencil using magic after her blackmailing schemes are uncovered.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: Nearly every single swear is either this or an Unusual Euphemism. Only Phoenix and Gilda drop swears stronger than "Dang!" a few times.
  • Graceful Loser:
    • 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. While she is angered by the resolution of the trial, 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...
  • Group Picture Ending: The very final scene is a picture of Phoenix with the Mane 6, Spike and Trixie pulling the finger/hoof pointing pose; one that Phoenix has on him thanks to Trixie.
  • Ham-to-Ham Combat: A Hot-Blooded spiky-headed lawyer and a stage performer unicorn too full of herself enter a courtroom. How many miles away from Ponyville can the generated pork be seen?
  • Head Desk: A single one by Trixie after Rainbow's innocence is proved beyond a shadow of a doubt.
  • Heel-Face Turn:
    • 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".
    • A subtle one by Trixie, who 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.
  • Hero of Another Story: Twilight, the story's Deuteragonist, gets the spotlight in Part 3 - Twilight, showing her side of the investigation.
  • He's Back: An antagonist variation in Part 5, when Trixie pulls herself together to pull an Enemy Mine after Sonata's "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
    Trixie: You need to be taught some manners, you impudent hussy!
  • Hesitation Equals Dishonesty: Given how bad a lot of Equestria's inhabitants are at lying, it's only natural this would show up. It's particularly blatant when Twilight is asked how she knew Phoenix's name.
  • Hidden Depths: Phoenix sees Fluttershy as just a meek, cowardly and naive little pony until he sees her Beware of the Nice Ones and Mama Bear side when she saves him from the timberwolves.
  • High Voltage Death: Ace Swift; done in by a lighting strike.
  • Hilarious Outtakes: Turnabout Oops, an animated compilation of screw-ups of the voice actors.
  • His Name Really Is Barkeep: The Judge, naturally. Twilight is quite perplexed by this, and compares it to her being called "Unicorn".
  • 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.
    Phoenix: This kind of backfired on me...
    • It also turns out to have been Ace Swift's ultimate fate. After Sonata beat him with Pinkie's golf club and electrocuted him in self-defense before running away, he grabbed the club and took to the sky to hunt her down. Too bad that club made for a really good lightning rod...
  • Hold Your Hippogriffs:
    • Phoenix wonders if he should start to do this while he's on Equestria.
    Phoenix: Eh… I'm sorry, I guess I shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth. (Should have I said "pony" there I wonder…)
  • Humans Are Special: Humans are regarded in Equestria for their strong sense of justice, so much that they based their law system on the human one.
  • Human Furniture Is A Pain In The Tail: Pony beds are way too small for Phoenix, barely letting him get any sleep the first night.
  • Hyper Awareness: It's Sonata's special talent, and the Apollo Justice part of her status as a Composite Character. This came in handy for her blackmailing activities.
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    Twilight: But with [Ace's] streak of success he gained a few skeptics, thinking that all his victories were a result of cheating and other dubious methods.
    Phoenix: I'd probably think the same if I saw someone winning at everything they do. *cough*
    • Rainbow asking Phoenix if he's ready to beat that stuck-up braggart of Trixie.
    Phoenix: (Talk about the pot calling the kettle black...)
    • Pinkie exploding in laughter after seeing Phoenix's badge, calling it the most ridiculously girly thing she's ever seen. Coming from a pink pony...
    • Trixie trying to put down Twilight by saying that purple is her unlucky color. Twilight has to remind her that she's wearing purple clothes.
  • I Am Not Weasel:
    Twilight: Excuse me! I am not a horse; I happen to be a pony.
    Phoenix: OH! Okay! A talking PONY, that explains everything!
    • Rainbow gets really upset at Phoenix calling her an Earth Pony.
    • Fluttershy mistakes Wright as an actual phoenix; he almost invokes this, but is interrupted by Twilight.
  • Ice Queen: Sonata. As Phoenix said, it's almost like she threw daggers out of those eyes.
  • Identical Stranger: Sonata looks almost exactly like Mia would look in pony form.
  • Idiot Ball: You'd think by now, Phoenix would have known better than to not go into dangerous areas alone or confront someone he knows has a dark secret, but also has the upper hand against him if he reveals it.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Like most Ace Attorney cases, this series has the word turnabout in the title.
  • Ignore The Disability: Phoenix has a hard time not mentioning Derpy's eyes.
  • 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.
    "You're dead..."
  • I'm a Doctor, Not a Placeholder: "(This is a lot harder than I thought… I'm a lawyer, not a comedian!)"
  • Imagine Spot: Phoenix's less than useless mental image of what would Edgeworth do if he was the one in his place. The mental scars call for a lobotomy.
  • Incoming Ham: "HAHAHAHAHA! We Meet Again, Twilight Sparkle!"
  • Incredibly Lame Pun:
    • Phoenix's attempts at joking. So lame they leave Pinkie Pie speechless.
    Phoenix: Umm... Did you know I had the entire left side of my body cut off once? Don't worry… I'm all-Wright now. He, he... heh...
    Pinkie: ...
    • In Part 5, Trixie gives off a pun that's equally as lame, and Pinkie Pie finds it hilarious.
  • I Need to Go Iron My Dog:
    • Dash's quick excuse to leave the visitors room when Phoenix's asked her about what she was hiding from him.
    Rainbow: Um… well… uh-oh, looks like visiting hours are over! Catch ya later, Nix!
    Phoenix: Hey! No they aren't! There are still five minutes left!… She's gone…
    • Spike after Twilight catches him calling her a total nerd.
    Spike: Oh!? You're back Twilight! I-um… uh… I was just on my way to… um… organize those awesome books my intelligent and smart friend reads! Uh… later!
    • While she never bothers to make an excuse, Celestia's timely exit after Phoenix discovers her psyche-locks simply screams this trope. At the very end, we find out what Celestia's locks were hiding — that she accidentally summoned the spirit of Mia Fey, who recommended Phoenix to her.
  • I Never Said It Was Poison:
    • 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.
  • Inner Monologue: Nick has a lot of them. Par for course of him, he uses them a lot for making the occasional snarky or sarcastic comment. Similarly, Twilight also gets her shot at them in Part 3 - Twilight.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Pinkie's logic behind the the Wob Niar theory. She's an Evil Twin of Rainbow nopony knows about, then it's obvious nopony has ever heard about her.
    Pinkie: Didn't you catch the "nopony knows about" part? You're a pony, and you don't know. See?
  • Insistent Terminology:
    • 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")
    • Phoenix inevitably has to argue about ladders and step ladders, and so does Twilight.
    • 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.
    Phoenix: That wasn't a compliment, Trixie...
  • Intercontinuity Crossover: Unless somehow human Large Ham lawyers cross magical talking equines can be considered reasonable under normal circumstances.
  • Interrupted by the End: 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 ending. Subverted since the end gives the answer by giving the credits for Princess Celestia and Mia Fey.
  • Interspecies Friendship: Over time, Phoenix grows some bonds with the members of the Mane 6. This is most evident with Twilight; they end up seeing a good friend in each other.
  • Interface Spoiler: The small amount of time left on the video after the big turnaround in Part 4 was an early warning that there was going to be a next part.
  • I Resemble That Remark:
    Twilight: (Seriously...? "Twilight Snarkle"? Really...? That's the best one you can come up with?)
    • Trixie gets furious when Twilight tells her she won't be taking over the defense.
    Twilight: Why are you getting so angry anyway?
    Trixie: I'm not angry!
  • Ironic Echo:
    • 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. (...)"
  • I Should Write a Book About This:
  • Is It Something You Eat?: When Pinkie hears Phoenix talking about Psyche-Locks, she wonders if they are some sort of breakfast cereal.
  • It Amused Me: Princess Celestia severely confuses Phoenix with some personal information Mia had told her about him for the sole purpose of "having a little fun with him".
  • 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's item fanfare.
  • I Will Show You X:
    Trixie: This particular storm cloud bore hoof markings of the rainbow colored loser in the defendant's chair.
    Rainbow Dash: I'll show YOU who's a loser, you two bit fraud!

    J-L 
  • Jerkass:
    • 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 points this out, 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.
  • Kid Detective:
    • 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.
  • Lame Pun Reaction: "I'm always Wright" brings a few blank stares and angry Death Glares every time it's used. It even manages to leave Pinkie without words.
  • 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.
  • Large Ham:
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
  • Leitmotif: All characters have one, much like in Ace Attorney. Taken a step further by making each witness have different Cross Examination and Objection! themes representing them.
  • Like a Fish Takes to Water: Unlike Phoenix, the Judge adjusts to being in Equestria almost instantly, and is thrilled to explore it and meet its inhabitants.
    Judge: Aren't these ponies just remarkable, Mr. Wright? They have shown me nothing but show me a good time!
    Phoenix: All they've done for me is make fun of my hair...
  • Literal-Minded: Phoenix's metaphors tend to go right over Pinkie's head, like when she said she missed the part where Sonata was throwing daggers out of her eyes, and wishes she could do that.
  • Living Lie Detector: Phoenix with his Magatama of course, but Twilight after getting into contact with it becomes an even more literal example.
  • Long Title: Twilight's summoning spell book Super Spectacular Stupendous Spontaneous Summoning Scripture Signals and You, which also doubles as an Alliterative Title.
  • Loud Gulp: Nick gets more than a little worried after hearing that dragons exist in Equestria and Twilight's assistant happens to be one.
    Twilight: Don't be so shy, Spike loves company.
    Phoenix: *Gulp* (I really hope there isn't a double meaning to that!)

    M-O 
  • Ma'am Shock: But in this case both the Ma'am and the shock come from the same pony, Cruise Control.
  • Magic Misfire:
    • Twilight claims this to be the reason why Nick got summoned. Naturally, Trixie calls her out on it.
    • It is implied that Princess Celestia herself was the one that actually botched up the "Greatest defense attorney" summoning spell, getting the late Mia Fey as a result.
  • Malicious Misnaming: Trixie has a habit for doing this with nicknames such as Twilight Screw-Up, Twilight Snarkle, Rainbow Trash and Phoenix Wrong. Gilda adds another one with Lamebow Dash, which later Trixie combines to make Lamebow Trash.
  • Mathematician's Answer: When Gilda is asked what was she even doing in the middle of the forest.
    Trixie: We already know what Gilda was doing there. She was observing the crime.
  • Mêlée à Trois: At one point duringn Gilda's cross examination, Phoenix, Trixie, and Gilda start to verbally smack one another, prosecutor-witness relations be damned.
    Judge: A three-way tussle between the defense, prosecution and witness! My! How exciting! Er- I mean... ORDER!
  • Metaphor Is My Middle Name: Rarity says Multitasking is her middle name. According to Pinkie, it apparently is Tabitha.
  • Monochrome Past: Most of the flashback pictures.
  • 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.
  • Mr. 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.
  • Mundane Made Awesome:
    • Equestria's trials are just as overblown and awesome as the ones in Nick's world.
    • Derpy delivers a muffin to Twilight. Cue Super Metroid's Item Get fanfare.
  • Mundane Object Amazement: Pinkie shows some curiosity about Phoenix's cellphone when it starts ringing. Phoenix is more concerned by the fact that is ringing in the first place.
    Pinkie: That's a catchy tune!
  • Mundane Utility: Twilight mentions how being able to tell when a person is keeping a secret would come in handy during surveys.
  • Must Have Caffeine: Part 2 starts with Phoenix craving for coffee, followed by Twilight telling him nopony has any.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • Nick quotes this trope almost word-for-word after he places suspicion of the murder on Fluttershy. The times it's brought up later on further show he's not proud about pulling that one.
    • Rainbow Dash after Phoenix and Twilight make her realize that Fluttershy still came for her help even after she told her all those horrible things.
  • My Name Is ???:
    • Taken straight from Ace Attorney. Like in the games, any characters Phoenix doesn't know have their names shown as "???" in the dialogue box until he learns their name.
    • Due to the inconsistency of Derpy Hooves'/Ditzy Doo's/Bright Eyes' name, it ultimately reverts back to question marks.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • 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.
  • Never Heard That One Before: The moment Trixie tries to invoke a common prosecutor cop-out.
    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.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • 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 mocks 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.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain:
    • 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?
  • Noodle Incident:
    • Whatever was in those photographs Trixie submitted to the court as "evidence", seemingly for no purpose other than humiliating Rainbow Dash.
    • From Sonata's perspective, when Phoenix mentioned "whips" in his "lack of professionalism" list.
  • No Pronunciation Guide: An odd example; as with most people who read the word "Psyche-locks" aloud, the voice actors call them "Psych-locks".
  • Not a Game: Phoenix calls Trixie out over trying to get one of Twilight's friends convicted to get back at her.
  • Not Helping Your Case: Quite literally.
    Phoenix: (Thank you for effectively establishing a motive for yourself, Ms. Dash. This helps your case so much.)
  • 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 So Stoic:
    • 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.
  • Oblivious Mockery: Rainbow makes fun of Ace for keeping his Key Under the Doormat. Phoenix keeps silent for a while.
    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...
  • Oh Crap:
    • Phoenix reacts this way when he realizes the trial is the very next day.
    • Trixie expresses this a lot whenever Phoenix points out a contradiction. As expected for Ace Attorney prosecutors.
    • Phoenix losing all of his evidence. It got better, though.
    • Trixie says that her horoscope told her purple is her unlucky color, referring to Twilight. Who then points out that her magician suit is purple, causing her to briefly look terrified.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You:
    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.
  • OOC Is Serious Business:
    • 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.
    • Played for Laughs when Sonata testifies completely deadpan that she cried after hearing of Ace's death. Phoenix can barely believe it.
  • Original Character: Quite a few of them. The victim Ace Swift for starters, his assistant Sonata, and the rest of the racers, like Cruise Control and Lenora.
  • Our Slogan Is Terrible: Phoenix is shown complaining about the ridiculous slogan Maya came up with before he got dragged away.
    "Wright & Co. Office: Defending you like it's nuttin' baby!"
  • Out-of-Character Moment: Phoenix's attempts at joking are so bad that they manage to leave Pinkie Pie speechless. It takes the Equestrian Attorney Badge to get her back on track.
  • Overly Nervous Flop Sweat: Gilda sweats bullets in the usual Ace Attorney witness fashion when cornered.

    P-R 
  • 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.)
  • Parrot Exposition: Phoenix, sometimes.
    Phoenix: Celestia? Magic of friendship? Ponyville?
  • Parrot Expo What:
    • When Apple Bloom introduces to the court:
    Apple Bloom: My name is Apple Bloom, and I'm a Cutie Mark Crusader!
    Judge: A... cutie mark... what?
    • Before the second trial session:
    Twilight: As you know, your Magatama's power somehow got transfered into me.
    Rainbow: Magma... what-a?
  • Parting From Consciousness Words: "Getting... dizzy. Am I... dying...?" *thud*
  • Perpetual Molt: Gilda's Wild Take has several of her feathers coming off her as she screams.
  • 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.
  • Phrase Catcher: Phoenix with "That wasn't funny."
  • 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.
  • Poor Communication Kills:
    • 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.
  • Precision F-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.)"
  • Pull a Rabbit out of My Hat: During Trixie's prosecutor breakdown, she headdesks and lets her hat fall off her head. Soon enough, a rabbit slowly comes out of it before jumping its way offscreen.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!:
    • "Mr. Wright, you are threading on Very. Thin. Ice."
    • Rainbow and Applejack's "That. Wasn't. Funny."
    • "It's. A. Ladder!"
    • Rarity's post office rant has these all over the place.
    • "This. Is. AMAZING!"
  • Puppy-Dog Eyes
    • Apple Bloom when begging Twilight to take her as investigator assistant.
    • Pinkie, after Phoenix tells her that they are not looking for oatmeal in Ace's room.
  • Purely Aesthetic Glasses: Sonata's. She used them to hide her "weaknesses", and takes them off after her Heel-Face Turn is complete.
  • 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.
  • Record Needle Scratch:
    • In the trailer Phoenix confronts an unseen witness with his usual Hot-Blooded attitude. Cue an intimidated Fluttershy on the witness stand.
    • Used a few times in Part 5, like the moment Sonata bluntly states she cried when she was given the news of Ace's fate.
    Phoenix: You... cried?
  • Recursive Fanfiction:
  • Red Herring Twist:
    • 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.
  • Revenge by Proxy: Trixie plans to get revenge on Twilight for exposing her as a braggart by getting one of her friends sent to the Moon or the Sun. Twilight calls her out on this and it leads to the discovery of black psyche-locks, suggesting (and later confirming) that her real motive is not so shallow, but still disproportionate.
  • Revenge of the Sequel: Spoofed during one of Pinkie's fourth wall moments, where she suggests the sequel title Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: The Revenge of Wob Niar.
  • Riddle for the Ages: The mystery behind the black locks is never explicitly stated, only suggested.
  • Right Behind Me: Twilight enters the library just as Spike is commenting on how much of a nerd she is.
  • Rimshot: Accompanying Nick's attempts at using the "Wright" pun.
  • Running Gag:
    • The insulting comments on Phoenix's hair.
    • Continuing from his games, Nick still can't get anyone to react favorably whenever he shows off his badge, human or equestrian.
    • Ace Attorney's ladder/step ladder gag makes a return with Phoenix and Pinkie. Ditto Twilight and Apple Bloom.
    • Phoenix attempting to use the "Wright" pun, only to get a blank stare or a Death Glare out of it.
    • The "Who?" gag from "Owl's Well That Ends Well".
    • Twilight can't get Derpy's name right. Derpy herself proves to be very unhelpful in clarifying.
    • Rainbow Dash blurting "Hey!" when meeting Phoenix and Twilight right before the audience, startling them.
    • Trixie has a liking for insulting Twilight's bangs.

    S-U 
  • 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.
    Twilight: I can't believe you just fell for that…
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: Ace Swift, after being startled by Rainbow.
  • Screen Shake: Straight from Ace Attorney. When the POV character gets shocked, surprised, crashed into, or just anything shocking happens in general, the screen shakes along.
  • Second Place Is for Winners: Since Ace keeps winning all the time, this is the best the other racers can hope for. Especially considering he blackmails any threat into losing to him.
  • Seinfeldian Conversation: Like in Ace Attorney, conversations about unrelated tangents crop up occasionally, such as about wrestling being fake, the likelihood of there being an Evil Twin of Rainbow wandering about, and the ever present ladder vs. step ladder debate.
    Phoenix: Ugh, why am I even arguing about this...
  • Self-Deprecation: Sonata, a Canterlot citizen, has no problems pointing out that she recognized Twilight was from Canterlot due to her carrying over the some of the smugness present in its inhabitants.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: Phoenix's 3 piece suit gets all sorts of praise from Rarity.
  • Sherlock Scan: Sonata is really good at this; Pinkie Pie does leave her drawing a blank though.
  • Shocking Voice Identity Reveal: Subverted twice. Phoenix confused Sonata with Mia thanks in part to the identical voice, and Applejack with Lotta due to the thick accent.
  • Shoot the Dog: Accusing Fluttershy of the murder out of sheer desperation.
  • Shout-Out: A lot of them. So many that there's a separate page for them.
  • 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.
  • Sidetracked by the Analogy:
    • Pinkie Pie, as usual, gets these all the time.
    • Sonata's analogy comparing her spell book to a quantum physics book sends Twilight into a long tangent about her knowledge on quantum physics.
  • 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.
  • Skyward Scream: By Cruise Control, usually accompaining a Big "NO!". He has a thing for overreacting.
  • Smug Snake:
    • 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.
  • The Sociopath: Lightning Dust was bad, but Ace Swift makes her look like a paragon of virtue. His actions before his death, not to mention his Lack of Empathy for his victims, make this abundantly clear.
  • Someday This Will Come in Handy: Sonata not getting the trespassers arrested. Also her blackmailing modus operandi.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Triumphant music begins to play as Phoenix gets the upper hand by accusing Fluttershy, much to Twilight's and his own chagrin and Fluttershy's confusion. It's interrupted by a loud Objection! but plays soon after. It stops when Trixie agrees with Phoenix's accusation. Then more appropriate music plays.
  • Spanner in the Works:
    • 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.
  • Speak In Unison: A few small cases here and there, but the most evident one comes from the end of the trial the moment the Judge starts trailing off.
    Everyone: JUST GIVE THE VERIDICT!
    Judge: *beat* O-Okay. You didn't need to shout at me...
  • Speech-Centric Work: As a consequence of using Ace Attorney's style, dialogue is predominant for the entirety of the series.
  • 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.
  • Stealth Pun:
  • The Stinger:
    • Part 2: "M...Mia!?"
    • Part 3 - Phoenix: "Rainbow Trash? Heh, good one. I prefer Lamebow Dash though."
    • Part 3 - Twilight: "Rainbow Dash! I came as fast as I could!"
    • Part 4: Sonata: Because unlike everyone else, I know...note 
    • Part 5: A conversation between Celestia and someone heavily implied to be Mia, indicating that she was the one who recommended Phoenix for Rainbow's defense.
    • Turnabout Oops: "Mmphahahaha! You didn't think I wouldn't make an appearance, did you?"
  • The Stoic: Sonata. She maintains her cool even after her blackmailing activities are discovered. That said, she turns out to be Not So Stoic in the end.
  • Stop Helping Me!: invokedPinkie's way of "helping" tends to pull this reaction on Phoenix.
  • Straight Man: Phoenix, naturally. This is most obvious when he tags along with the very eccentric Pinkie Pie. In a similar light, Twilight also plays this role with others, in particular Apple Bloom.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: Twilight and Apple Bloom's version of the ladder vs. stepladder gag is almost word-for-word identical to the first one Phoenix and Maya had.
    Apple Bloom: Hey Twi, look! A ladder!
    Twilight: That's a stepladder...
    Apple Bloom: So? What's the difference? You need to stop judging things based on narrow-minded cultural assumptions.
  • Stunned Silence:
    • Trixie's reaction to Phoenix's Blunt Yes above. Needless to say, her Pride took a major hit; and her expression was priceless.
    • 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!"
  • Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion: The final line of Derpy's poem, which refers to Trixie: "Rich" is rhymed with "...meanie."
  • Suddenly Shouting: Rarity spends her first moments with Phoenix being the most pleasant pony he's been with, and then she gets asked what happened to her at the post office…
  • Sudden Principled Stand: Sonata's wishes to leave their blackmailing bussiness due to guilt comes out as a massive shock for Ace when she tells him about it after their deal with Rainbow went bad.
  • Sufficiently Analyzed Magic: Equestrians seem to have gone through some of this; how else do you explain something like cloud ballistics?
  • Sugar Bowl: From Phoenix's perspective, he's stuck in one, but from the Equestria's perspective, the real one is overseas, where ponies and humans coexist. Twilight is embarrassed by just mentioning that place.
  • Super Cell Reception: Phoenix recieves a cellphone call from a "concerned friend" in the middle of his investigation. You know, while in the middle of a completely different world. This turns out to be a telepathic message that was intercepted by his phone and interpreted as a call.
  • Super Dickery: Just as in Ace Attorney, the opening scene is misleading, making it look like Rainbow stroke the killing blow.
  • Surprise Witness: Fluttershy in Part 4.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial:
    • During Apple Bloom's cross examination:
    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 confesses 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.
    • Ace threatens Sonata by making her know that she'll be seen just as guilty if she makes their activities known. This doesn't stop her.
  • Talking to Themself: Cruise, although shouting to himself would be much more accurate.
  • Tall Poppy Syndrome: Referenced as the reason why Ace Swift's death is being kept under wraps. They don't want to worry the other racers, because the murder "may give them the idea if they become 'too good' the murderer will go after them next".
  • Tap on the Head: Cruise Control knocks Phoenix out with one of these in the middle of the forest in order to take away almost all of his evidence and leave him in the middle of it.
  • The Tell: Twilight notices that whenever Trixie's out of her Third-Person Person act, it means she's either flustered or trying to keep a secret.
  • Teleportation Sickness: Unicorns that aren't specialized in magic become extremely exhausted after teleporting, becoming too weak for even an illumination or levitation spell.
  • Tempting Fate:
    • In a quite indirect example: What is one of Phoenix's last lines before being summoned to Equestria?
    "Unfortunately, sunshine and smiles don't pay the bills."
    • Phoenix tells Twilight that most of the prosecutors from his world are stuck up and arrogant. Twilight reassures him that nopony in Equestria is like that... and then Trixie shows up.
    • Rainbow Dash learns Fluttershy is a witness and responds, "I hope she doesn't say anything stupid!". See Poor Communication Kills to see what went down.
  • Tension-Cutting Laughter: The massive laughter coming from the courtroom after Dash's Embarrassing Old Photo is shown almost makes one forget the fact that she was going to be declared guilty just a few seconds ago. Of course, this being Ace Attorney, Mood Whiplash strikes again quickly.
  • Thanking the Viewer: Every episode does this, adding the viewer in the special thanks section.
  • That Was Objectionable: Played for Drama when Twilight objects to the defense on the grounds of "This can't go on!" while Phoenix is accusing Fluttershy.
  • Theme Music Power-Up:
    • Several of Ace Attorney's "Pursuit" themes, including an original version, show up in key moments when the defense gets an upper hand or the case takes a turn. Appropiately enough, the case's final turn is accompained by the first and probably most iconic version, Pursuit ~ Cornered.
    • Trixie's assigned theme, Gramarye Troupe, starts to play the moment she manages to get back on her hooves to confront Sonata. The theme's bombastic delivery helps quite a lot for this purpose.
  • Theme Tune Cameo: Pinkie Pie hums Ace Attorney's iconic Pursuit ~ Cornered theme as they are entering Ace's room.
  • Third-Person Person: The GREAT and POWERFUL Trixie, of course! It gets on Phoenix's nerves rather quickly. She does break out of it when angered or flabbergasted sufficiently, which perplexes Twilight.
  • Thoroughly Mistaken Identity: Phoenix does this twice; first mistaking Sonata with Mia, and later and more amusingly, mistaking Applejack with Lotta Hart.
  • Throwing the Fight: Ace's blackmail forced his opponents to either hand victory to him or drop out of the race completely. Rainbow did not stand for this.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone:
    • Rarity is the first pony that praises Phoenix's hair style and, minus the whole "pens" thing, is generally pleasant towards him right from the start.
    • Phoenix goes back to Earth mostly empty handed and with his friends thinking he's some kind of weirdo. Then he sees the silk hat Trixie sneaked in his evidence with her thank you picture.
    Phoenix: You know... Maybe I did get something out of this after all...
  • Title Drop:
    • 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 In: Same as in Ace Attorney, every chance of scene starts with a text box showing location and date, save for the few times Phoenix is in a complete loss about them, like when he's pulled into Equestria.
  • 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.
  • Token Human: Discussed, since Phoenix is the first human to ever lay feet on Ponyville after all. Twilight says he should be honored; Phoenix only feels like a weird minority, and remarks he's not a five-year-old girl.
  • 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.
  • Trapped in Another World: Phoenix and the Judge of course.
  • Trrrilling Rrrs: Trixie occasionally trills her own name, particularly after calling herself "The GREAT and POWERFUL".
  • 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 takes this approach to friendship after going through the whole ordeal. She's still agressive and condescending, but she's deeply thankful of the help Phoenix and the others have given her.
  • Two Halves Make A Plot: Phoenix and Twilight independently discover both halves to Sonata's letter of resignation, which once together give Phoenix a very effective lead.
  • Two Words: Obvious Trope: From Pinkie Pie, complete with an exaggeration.
    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!
  • Understatement:
    • Twilight calls accidentally pulling Phoenix out of his world (or kidnapping, in Phoenix's words) "a minor setback".
    • Saying that Trixie has a habit for running her mouth doesn't cut it for Phoenix, and this was after spending just 2 minutes with her.
    • Rarity saying she got a "TAD" frustrated waiting in the post office's line.
    Phoenix: (A "TAD"!? It sounds like you just had an aneurysm!!)
  • Unfortunate Names: Derpy Hooves comes up as a kinda cruel name for Phoenix, but even then he still doesn't get what's the big deal about not mentioning her name. As Part 3 - Twilight shows, it has nothing to do with the cruelty of the name.
  • 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, show 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.

    V-Z 
  • Vengeance Feels Empty: Gilda's attempted revenge ended up causing this for her.
  • Villainous Breakdown:
    • 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 before going into a Villainous BSOD and quietly confessing.
    • 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.
  • Virtue Is Weakness: Sonata mentions feeling pity for others (in other words, compassion) as a weakness. There's a catch though: She doesn't see it a weakness of character, but as a weakness for her blackmailing schemes she had to hide until it finally consumed her.
  • Visible Silence: Both Played for Laughs, like Pinkie's reaction to Phoenix's jokes, and Played for Drama, like Phoenix's only reactions after Trixie agrees with his accusation towards Fluttershy.
  • Vomiting Cop: A variation. Twilight, initially excited to take part in an investigation, gets a bit sick when she's told the purpose of the tape outline in the grass.
    Phoenix: (And all that eagerness seemed to go away in one fell swoop...)
  • 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 - Phoenix are revealed to belong to Trixie, and which become a bit more complex than their first 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.
  • Wham Line:
    • "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.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • 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.
  • What Would X Do?:
    • 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.
  • When She Smiles:
    • After her Heel-Face Turn, Sonata smiles sincerely for the first time, a smile that she keeps from that moment on. Before that, the only smiles she pulled were smug ones.
    • Trixie smiles after Pinkie and Phoenix show willing to take her to their victory party so she can perform her show there. In true Tsundere fashion, she quickly tries to hide it.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The final credits are accompained by one of these, involving Phoenix giving his goodbyes to everyone he met in Ponyville.
  • Who's on First?: Part 3 - Phoenix carries over the running gag from "Owl's Well That Ends Well".
  • Wild Take:
    • 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. It's also implied this is why her Cutie Mark is an eye.
  • 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...
  • Worthless Yellow Rocks: A variation. Phoenix is rewarded with a huge haul of money for his help, money which just so happens to be bits, the Equestrian currency, with no way to convert it to any Earth currency; in other words, completely worthless should he take it with him.
  • 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.
  • Wrong Context Magic: Phoenix introduces one of these with his spiritual powered Magatama. The interaction of Twilight's magic with it yields... interesting results.
  • Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: Twilight's ancient book on law, which mixed with some serious Purple Prose makes for a painful read.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: In the end, Celestia comes by to congratulate Phoenix and pays him a large sum of money. The money turns out to be bits, which is completely worthless to Phoenix.
  • You Can Talk?: The nearest Phoenix's ever been to speaking with an animal is cross-examining a parrot, so he doesn't take very well the fact that he's holding conversation with a purple pony.
  • You Fool!:
    • Trixie uses "fool" in a similar way to Franziska, but only by Part 5 she reaches Franziska's redundant level of "foolishness". It suits her.
    • Phoenix Wright himself gets to do this, albeit an indirect variation, to Trixie.
  • You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!: Nick's reaction to "cloud ballistics". He decides to not speak it up to avoid more troubles than he already has for not doing the research on Equestria.
  • Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: Trixie happily proceeds to take up Phoenix's desperate ploy to place Fluttershy under suspicion, even offering him a free ticket to her next performance.

"No matter how far you run, no matter how long you hide, the finger of justice will never lose sight of you."
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