Western Animation: Sofia the First

"It's your time to shine, Sofia."

Sofia the First is a Disney Junior original series that stars a new Disney princess. A pilot film aired during November 2012. The television series premiered on January 11, 2013.

It introduces Sofia, a little girl from the kingdom of Enchancia who lives a commoner's life until her mother marries the king, and suddenly she's royalty. With the help of three familiar fairies in charge of the Royal Prep Academy — Flora, Fauna and Merryweather and, on occasion, the Disney Princesses — Sofia learns that looking like a princess isn't all that hard, but behaving like one must come from the heart.

in 2016, a spinoff starring Disney's first Latina princess was announced, with her appearing in Sofia first.

The series provides examples of:

  • Absentee Actor:
    • Sofia is the only regular character to appear in "The Little Witch"; the story features Ruby and Jade, two recurring characters, and takes place entirely at Sofia's old village, with no appearance or mention of the castle or Sofia's family.
    • The only regulars who turn up in "Two to Tangu" are Sofia, Amber and James (and James has considerably less screen time than the other two).
    • Sofia and Clover are the only main characters to appear in "All The Sprite Moves."
  • The Ace: Princess Kari is stated to be this in "Princess Ballet" by her fellow Royal Prep students. However, it later appears that ballet is something of a blind spot with her/
  • Acquired Situational Narcissism: Sofia gets this briefly after being chosen to sing the Enchancian anthem at a harvest festival. It begins with her trying to avoid the extra attention, but it gets to her. Her amulet doesn't let her get away with and curses Sofia with a frog in her throat until she can make up for it.
    • Robin suffers from this in "The Leafsong Festival." After the director dove compliments her singing voice, she starts voicing the desire to do a solo during her duet with Mia, ignoring her partner's protests.
  • Adaptation Distillation: The storybook release of the pilot film distills quite a bit of the story and actually eliminates Cedric as the villain, focusing instead more on Amber's bullying of Sofia. Justified in that it's from Sofia's perspective and she never knew Cedric was to blame.
  • Aesop Amnesia: In "The Emerald Key", Amber hasn't quite internalized the "appearances can be deceiving especially since there are megalomaniacal shapeshifters in the kingdom" lesson from "The Enchanted Feast". By the time she realizes that the fake Princess Lani has the key, it's almost too late.
  • All Animals Are Domesticated: The trope is played with a little, as the cute woodland creatures here straight-out admit that their tradition of helping the fairytale princesses is because "we gotta eat — and you got the food."
  • All-CGI Cartoon: The animation style looks somewhat similar to the appearance of the animated segments of Enchanted.
  • All Trolls Are Different: In "Let The Good Times Troll," the trolls living under the bridge are smart, friendly, love music and were banned from the castle due to a simple, knee-jerk misunderstanding. The show being what it is, it's up to Sofia to fix this mistake and introduce the trolls to polite society.
  • Alpha Bitch/The Bully/Royal Brat: Amber in the premiere movie.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Sofia's mother, Queen Miranda. Disney says she's Latina (which would make Sofia Disney's first and currently only Hispanic princess), but there's no evidence of this in-universe.
  • Ambition Is Evil: Cedric and Miss Nettle. Cedric wants to become king so he can gain respect for his sorcery powers, and Miss Nettle wants to come out of the shadow of the other fairies.
  • Amulet of Dependency: Sofia frequently relies on her amulet for help, and has gotten so used to it that whenever she loses it, she immediately wants it back.
    • There's also the fact that she can't talk to her animal friends without it.
  • Animal Gender Bender: Praline is a female peafowl (peahen), but has the iridescent train of a peacock.
    • Praline is male as of "Scrambled Pets".
  • Anachronism Stew: While the show mostly stays faithful to it's medieval setting, there are a few modern elements here and there. For example, in "The Big Sleepover", Sofia, Jade and Ruby do some rapping (and even make beat box sounds).
  • And I'm the Queen of Sheba: When Sofia, turned into a cat, tells Clover who she is, he says he's King Roland.
  • Apologizes a Lot: Sort of a recurring theme of the series, more or less. (The show is full of morals, of course, given its target audience, and the biggest one seems to be that an apology is the first step in correcting a mistake.)
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Mermaids and ghosts are NOT REAL!! Trolls, fairies, giants and sorcery are all ok, but mermaids and ghosts…no way!
  • Are We There Yet?: In The Floating Palace, James asks this right around the beginning of the special. The answer is "yes" because the floating palace has in fact arrived at Merroway Cove.
  • Art Evolution: Season 2 boasts smoother shading and animation.
  • Ascended Extra: Princess Zooey briefly appeared in "Scrambled Pets" as a prospective new student touring Royal Prep. "Princess Adventure Club" picks up on her first day as a student, with plot revolving around her.
  • Baleful Polymorph: Sofia was twice turned into a lizard in "Cedric's Apprentice," and in "The Fligel has Landed," Grotta the Fliegel liked to turn people who refused her demands into salamanders (and changed her flunky Flinch from a salamander to a mole).
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: King Roland's wish for a baker's life in "The Baker King". To a lesser extent in that same episode, Amber wanting the cake to have one hundred layers.
    • In "When You Wish Upon a Well," a Literal Genie wishing well issues this warning, and indeed, Amber regrets two of the three wishes she makes. All King Roland reveals about his first wish is the fact that he regrets it as well.
    • In "Winter's Gift", Winter the faun wanted Glacia the mountain witch to give her an ice touch. This resulted in her being unable to touch her friends and family for fear of freezing them.
    • In "The Curse of Princess Ivy", Amber steals the Amulet of Avalor so she can make it introduce her to a Princess. The Amulet brings Princess Ivy.
    • In "New Genie On The Block," a number of people make offhand wishes that are overheard and granted by Kazeem the genie. Several of these wishes (toy elephants becoming real elephants, giant cookies, etc) end up causing a lot of trouble.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Sofia's stepbrother James is extremely helpful and encouraging (except in "The Tri-Kingdom Picnic", but his brief Jerkass sore-winner behavior is dealt with by the end of the episode).
  • Big Eater: Clover is by far the most food-obsessed of the four main animals.
    • James is one too.
  • The Big Race/You Go Girl: "Just One Of The Princes" features a race where first and second prizes were places at Royal Prep's derby Racing team. Sofia enters the race despite being told that sport is for Princes and not for Princesses. She and her stepbrother James tie for first place and thus make it onto the team.
  • Bilingual Backfire: Happens to Wormwood, as he was unaware Sofia had been granted the ability to understand animals.
  • Black Best Friend: Ruby.
  • Book On The Head:
    • The exercise was part of the “Princess Test” in the episode of the same name. All the female students of the Royal prep succeed to do it. So, the fairies teachers complicate the test by throwing enchanted cushions into princesses’s legs.
    • Sofia herself wasn't present but can be seen doing so in the merchandising.
  • Broken Pedestal: Princess Amber used to have a crush on Prince Hugo until she saw him cheating during a failed attempt to keep Sofia from entering Royal Prep's Derby Racing Team.
  • Buffy Speak: Of a sort, the incantation for undoing a hex is apparently, "un-hex."
  • The Bully: Grotta the Fliegel in "The Fliegel Has Landed" gets others to do what she wants, or else she'll turn them into salamanders.
  • But Not Too Black: Word of God is that Sofia is supposed to be a Latina, as is her dark skinned mother. While pale complexion and brown hair is not uncommon among real-life Latin Americans, making her an aversion of Latino Is Brown, the fact that she does not take after her darker mother appears to be this trope. May be explained by her father possibly being pale-skinned.
  • Canis Latinicus: Most of Cedric's spells. Averted with the spells Sofia has to learn in "Cedric's Apprentice".
  • Canon Discontinuity: Just where in their timelines the Princesses pop up from is unspecified.
    • in Cinderella's song, she mentions that she and her step-sisters are not friends - whether the show is ignoring (or even meant to be consistent with) Cinderella II: Dreams Come True and Cinderella III A Twist In Time is unknown. However, it is possible, as Cinderella is a Princess, that she is after the first story of Cinderella II: Dreams Come True and before the event that re-unites her somewhat with Anastasia. She could have just been settled into the palace for all we know.
    • As for Ariel, she mentions saving Eric from the shipwreck. Looking at her giddy behavior, she may have arrived just after her reprise.
    • Aurora is implied to be from a time after her movie as Miss Nettle, in her song, mentions "as famous as Maleficent" implying that the events of the film have already happened.
    • Since it was revealed that Rapunzel will soon make an appearance sends this to whole new levels. As the promotional images show her in her princess attire yet she still has her long golden hair. Justified in that, her hair being The Artifact there was likely no way around this. Not helping matters is that in the movie proper, Rapunzel was clearly mentioning Flynn Rider in her song and that her Mother Gothel was evil.
      • Although Disney's official stance is that Rapunzel's hair grew longer and changed to gold again because of the flower within her.
  • Cartoony Tail: Ginger's tail is a bit long for a rabbit.
  • Cerebus Retcon: A Played for Laughs variant: according to the show, the cute woodland animals that helped Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and other such princesses all did so expecting to be paid with food. Because those princesses couldn't talk to animals, they seldom gave food and often abused their services. Clover explains in detail how frustrating this has become.
    • Luckily for Cinderella, she was depicted in her movie with the ability to talk to animals and featured an extended scene of her handing out food to all the animals in her household (including the mice as well as the horses and chickens and her dog Bruno), as well as being nice enough to provide all her mouse friends with custom-made clothing. Not so much for Snow White, she's rather bossy when it comes to having animals help her with the chores and forcing the dwarves to wash up before meals. The most she gives up is the crust of a gooseberry pie she was making for Grumpy.
  • Chekhov's Gun: In "Blue Ribbon Bunny", there are two: Clover's breakdancing moves, first showcased just before he takes a break to snack on carrots, and Sofia attempting to coax Ginger into playing catch with fruit. Clover uses both moves in the pet contest, and Sofia and Clover end up winning.
    • The laughing-plant potion in "Make Way For Miss Nettle".
    • The Liking Berries in "All The Sprite Moves."
  • Christmas Episode: "Holiday In Enchancia" and "Winter's Gift" (see You Mean Xmas below).
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Aunt Tilly.
  • Comically Missing the Point:
    • In "The Amulet of Avalor", upon hearing the possibility that there is a thief in the castle, James responds, "Cool!"
    • In "King for a Day", Jade and Ruby ask for James' help because a sleeping giant is bothering their village with his constant snoring. James decides to throw a party at the village so the party's noise will block the giant's noise. When he's told the noise might make the giant wake up, James just says the giant will stop snoring.
  • Cool Boat: The Floating Palace is exactly that: a Big Fancy Castle style of house boat.
  • Cool Crown: Most of the cast has them, naturally, although Amber seems to have an entire collection of tiaras.
  • Cool Pet: Several are seen in "Blue Ribbon Bunny"; In addition to Vivian's pet dragon Crackle and Hildegard's mink Lulu, Amber has a peacock named "Praline", James has a baboon, and Xandar has an elephant.
  • Cowardly Lion: Prince Desmond.
  • Creative Closing Credits:
    • "Once Upon A Princess" (the pilot) has Ariel Winter singing in live-action intercut with scenes from the pilot.
    • The end credits for "Holiday In Enchancia" have the castle in the midst of snow falling (it usually appears under a clear blue sky).
    • The end credits for "Winter's Gift" have the castle seen from a different angle and at night.
    • The end credits for "Ghostly Gala" shows the castle on a dark and cloudy night, and farther into the distance.
    • The end credits for "The Secret Library" have the titular library instead of the castle.
  • Cuddle Bug: Crackle the dragon.
  • Cute Witch: Lucinda the Witch.
  • Dastardly Whiplash: Cedric.
  • Dating Catwoman: Cedric's evil mom somehow married his good father.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Clover the rabbit and Amber.
  • Did Not Think This Through:
    • In "Once Upon a Princess", Cedric tricks Sofia into using a sleep spell that'll make everyone around her sleep so she'll have to give him the Amulet of Avalor in Exchange for the conter-spell. By the time he realizes he should stay out of the ballroom to avoid being affected by the spell, it's too late.
    • In "When You Wish Upon a Well", Amber saw how the wishing well twisted her second wish and yet doesn't expect any twists when she uses the third one to wish Sofia was no longer "a purple cat".
    • In "Ghostly Gala," Dax lets a swarm of bats into the castle to frighten off the living, but never considered that getting the bats to leave would be much harder.
    • In "Cedric Be Good", Cedric finally steals the Amulet of Avalor but, by putting it on, he subjects himself to its rules, which means he'll be cursed for doing bad deeds like stealing the amulet. The curse he receives as punishment for the theft indirectly causes the destruction of the potion that would enable Cedric to use the amulet's blessings without putting it on.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Cedric once stated that the Amulet of Avalor would curse wicked and or evil deeds. However the severity of the curse when Sofia started boasting about her singing talent (making her croak, rendering her unable speak much less sing) seems to have been a bit of an extreme punishment for so small a crime. However, it's implied that the curse was less concerned about the boasting itself (or it would've disappeared when Sofia apologized) and more concerned about the boasting hurting her friends' feelings (thus necessitating that Sofia make her friends happy before the curse would go away).
  • The Ditz: Mia.
    Mia: I have an idea!
    Clover: You do?
    Mia: ...No, it's gone!
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: In "Mom's The Word" Lucinda's bad witch mother refuses to believe that Lucinda's a good witch, but eventually accepts it for the sake of her daughter's happiness, while hoping it's just a phase.
  • A Dog Named Dog: The robin's name is "Robin".
  • Dramatic Irony: The audience knows Cedric is always tricking Sofia, but Sofia is completely unaware of this. Even when Cedric gives her a sleeping spell instead of a dancing spell in the pilot, she thinks she said the spell wrong after chanting its exact words.
  • Enemy Mine: Cedric teams up with Sofia to stop Miss Nettle in "The Enchanted Feat".
  • Episode Title Card: Also spoken by Sofia (except in the pilot, when it's done by one of the head fairies).
  • Every Proper Lady Should Curtsy: It's taught at Royal Prep. Sofia receives lessons on that during her first day.
  • Everything's Better with Princesses: Played straight with Sofia. Downplayed with Amber at first.
  • Evil Brit: Cedric, though he's much too bumbling to play the trope completely straight. Wormwood, on the occasions when he talks, is actually a better example.
  • Exact Words: In "When You Wish Upon A Well", Amber wishes that Sofia wouldn't be a purple cat any more. Sofia's cat self then turns pink.
  • Expository Theme Tune / Title Theme Tune: The TV series has this (and "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune, as Ariel Winter not only voices Sofia but also sings the theme tune).
  • Extranormal Institute: Royal Prep.
  • Fairest of Them All: When Sofia arrived at the castle, Prince James told Princess Amber she'd no longer be the fairest of them all.
  • Falling Chandelier of Doom: Amber's strawberry chandelier for her Berry Banquet. With the music as it falls, it also counts as a Shout-Out for The Phantom of the Opera.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: The Tri-Kingdom Area has a few:
    • Enchancia seems to be the British Monarchy
    • Khaldoun for Saudi Arabia
    • Wei Ling is presumably Imperial China
    • Outside the Tri-Kingdom Area, Hakalo seems to be based on Hawaii.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: Cedric's attempts to steal Sofia's Amulet, especially least those that involve him simply taking it (Word of God says that the Amulet's power only works when it is willingly passed from one owner to the next).
  • Fanboy: Clover acts like one when he meets Snow White in "The Enchanted Feast".
  • Feathered Fiend: Wormword, Cedric's familiar, is (according to Word of God) not only smarter, but more evil than his master.
  • Fish out of Water: The whole premise of the series. Sofia, who's not used to life as a princess, has to learn how to be one.
  • For the Evulz: Witches seem to commit malicious (and in the case of adults, dangerous) hexes on ordinary people simply because they can.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In "Curse of Princess Ivy", Amber thinks of some Disney Princesses while trying to decide who she'll use the Amulet of Avalor to summon. Among those that come to Amber's mind, Rapunzel is the only one who never appeared before.
    • In "Princess Adventure Club", Princess Zooey doesn't let Amber join the titular club because she fear Amber would turn it into "Amber Adventure Club". That becomes the name of the club Amber starts to retaliate for not being allowed to join Zooey's.
  • Formal Full Array of Cutlery: Sofia's first dinner at the palace embarrasses her so much that the little girl actually take all the forks at once in her hands. Princess Amber notices it-and make fun of her new stepsister's table manners at school the very next day.
  • Freudian Excuse: The song "King Cedric the Great" reveals that Cedric has often been mocked and looked down on for his lack of magical prowess. He believes using the power of the Amulet of Avalor to take over the kingdom is the only way he'll get some respect.
    • Princess Hildegarde's Know-Nothing Know-It-All tendancies are due to events from her first day at school, where she embarrassed herself by trying a dance she didn't know and falling down. From then on, she thought the only way she could be liked was if she acted like she knew everything.
  • Friendly Enemy: Cedric seems to be moving in this direction as of "Cedric's Apprentice".
  • Full Name Ultimatum: Wendell Herman Fidget III receives one from his mother in "Minimus is Missing".
  • Furry Female Mane: Ginger the rabbit has bangs.
  • Generation Xerox: King Gideon IV once jumped to conclusions and thought trolls were attacking. (They were just banging the clubs on the floor because they like the sound) He ordered the guards to seize the trolls, who ran away to the cave under the palace and ever since forbidden from leaving. Upon learning the trolls' side of the story, Princess Sofia tried to set things right but King Roland II (King Gideon IV's grandson) had basically the same reaction his grandfather did. The misunderstanding was eventually cleared.
  • Genki Girl: Both Ruby and Jade; Ruby especially.
    • Crackle is a non-human example.
  • Girl Posse: Amber, Clio, and Hildegard.
  • The Golden Rule: Royal Prep Academy has a version of this rule as their motto: "Rule over others as you'd have them rule over you." To illustrate the point, a graphic is shown of a blond boy bowing to a princess sitting on a throne, but the graphic magically changes to a picture of the blond boy on the throne, and the princess bowing to him.
  • Gonna Need More X: In "The Shy Princess", the students of Royal Prep were paired up and each pair had to make a model of their dream castle. Prince James and Prince Zandar made a cannon with a castle on it. When they lost, the believed that should have made a bigger cannon.
  • Good Angel, Bad Angel: Cedric's parents are this to him with the father being good and the mother being bad.
  • The Good King: King Roland II, Sofia's stepfather.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Plank the merman has a very nasty-looking one running down his arm (The result of a previous encounter with humans).
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Amber gets jealous pretty easily, and often reveals her nastier side, Sofia can also become somewhat nasty when she becomes jealous and its even happened a few times. Both girls come to regret their jealous actions.
    • In the episode "Carol of the Arrow", Carol's second-in-command Jane becomes jealous when Sofia tries to join the merry band, fearing that Sofia will replace her, so Jane sabotages Sofia's attempts to good deeds. However, once Sofia saves Jane's life and Carol reassures Jane that the merry band will be merrier with as many people as possible, Jane regrets her earlier jealousy and confesses to the sabotage.
  • Happily Adopted: While everyone is happy about the combined families there is a bit of friction and jealousy, mostly from Amber and Sofia.
  • Harmless Villain: Cedric. He really, really wants to be an Evil Sorcerer, but he's neither mean nor competent enough to pull it off. (His attempted assaults on Sofia to take her Amulet louse up so badly that Sofia never even realizes she's in danger. And he's really not evil anyway.)
  • Harp of Femininity: Amber, as seen in "A Royal Mess".
  • Have You Tried Not Being A Good Witch: Lucinda's mother is more than a little shocked her daughter wants to be a Good Witch, and hopes its just a phase.
  • Heel-Face Turn: Amber, after the premiere movie, starts acting like a real sister and friend to Sofia.
    • Lucinda in "The Little Witch".
  • Here We Go Again: At the end of "Scrambled Pets," the pets spill more of the mix-up potion on themselves.
  • Hey, You!: Before Sofia felt comfortable enough to call her stepfather "Dad", he allowed her to call him "Roland" or "Hey you with the crown".
  • The High Queen: Sofia's mom, Miranda, has become one.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: In "Baileywhoops", Slickwell gives Baileywick a pin (a cursed pin that gives whoever wears it extreme clumsiness), and when Baileywick screws up royally at his job, Slickwell convinces him that he should quit and retire (so that Slickwell can take over his position). However, Clover secretly plants the pin on Slickwell, and he starts screwing up his duties.
    • In "The Leafsong Festival," Cedric covers the whole kingdom in extremely slippery "Forever Frost," intending to blackmail Roland into letting him become king in exchange for him using Crackle's fire (which he recently extracted) to melt it. His scheme fails when he slips on the Frost and drops the jar containing Crackle's fire, allowing her to recover it.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: In "The Emerald Key", Amber favors the fake Princess Lani/Mamanu because she superficially looks more like a traditional princess. She completely ignores the fake Lani's extreme rudeness, but criticizes the real Lani's opening of her present (and ignores her graciousness)..
  • I Can See My House from Here: In "Four's a Crowd", Ruby makes this comment during a flying carriage parade.
  • I Can't Dance: Sofia says this, word for word.
  • I Have This Friend: When Sofia tells her Mom that one of her friends is being bullied by a fliegel, Miranda assumes the "friend" is Sofia herself. Sofia explains it's one of her troll friends.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: Lucinda the witch, Type B. She wants friends very badly, spending much of her episode brooding about it in some fashion or another. As she explains to Sofia, the only reason she hexes people is because she comes from a family of witches and that's all they do so that's all she knows how to do. She finally gains friends at the end of her episode after undoing all of her hexes and apologizing to her victims.
  • I'm a Doctor, Not a Placeholder: The bird-shaped door knocker at Tilly's manor cannot let Sofia in because it's a door knocker, not a door opener.
  • In Another Pet's Paws: In "Scrambled Pets," Clover and Crackle take on each other's forms. They even sing a song about it, called "In Your Paws."
  • Inadequate Inheritor: King Roland sees Cedric as this, considering his father was Goodwin the Great and touted as "the greatest royal sorcerer ever to wave a wand" (He saved Roland's father's life nine and a half times).
  • Incredible Shrinking Girl: In "The Littlest Princess," Sofia saves a trio of Wee Sprites. The Amulet of Avalor rewards her by giving her the ability to shrink down to the size of her new friends at will.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Invoked when Aunt Tilly gets on a horse backwards:
    Sofia: Aunt Tilly, shouldn't you be facing forward?
    Aunt Tilly: Then how will I see what's behind me?
  • Insistent Terminology:
    • "The Floating Palace": Oona constantly corrects anyone who refers to her sunken ship hideaway as a "shipwreck."
    • "When You Wish Upon a Well": The wishing well prefers the term "wish-granting water feature".
  • Interspecies Romance: Crackle the dragon may have a crush on Clover; In "Blue Ribbon Bunny", she calls him "my Clover" and reacts angrily when fellow rabbit Ginger compliments him.
  • Ironic Echo: In "Baileywick's Day Off", every time Baileywick has to choose between getting his day off and helping one of the children, he tells his older brother Nigel that while this would make him late, "the children are more important". At the end of the episode, when the children have thrown him a "day off do-over" party, Baileywick tells the royal family that they shouldn't have gone to all this trouble, it will make them late for their royal supper. Sofia says, "Baileywick is more important."
  • It's Pronounced Tro-PAY: Sofia constantly mispronounces Cedric as "See-drick" which annoys him to no end, though by the end of "Cedric's Apprentice", it seems like he might have come to accept it.
    • Sofia seems to have realized her mistake by season two, and now uses the proper pronunciation (although she does pronounce it correctly at least once in season one, at the beginning of "Cedric's Apprentice" - see Episode Title Card above).
  • Jerkass: Boswell the Magician. Unlike Cedric (who has become more of a Friendly Enemy) and Lucinda (who pulls a full Heel-Face Turn), Boswell is cruel to both Clover and Sofia, and has to be outwitted to get Clover free.
    • Miss Nettle. She imprisons Flora, Fauna and Merryweather in a giant bubble and steals their spell book, all so she can be the "number one fairy" (And she shows no qualms about similarly trapping anyone who gets in her way).
    • Plank the merman. Yes, he was scarred by humans, but he takes his resentment way too far, making King Triton look tolerant by comparison!
    • Mamanu. She almost cheated princess Lei-Lani out of the only thing that could allow her to return to Hakalo, leaving her unable to go home ever again.
    • Slickwell. He gave Baileywick a cursed pin that would make him incredibly clumsy, in an attempt to make Baileywick retire and take the castle steward job for himself.
  • Jerkass Genie: The sentinent wishing well at the castle grounds. When Amber wishes her father to be allergical to Sofia the same way he is to cats, it turns Sofia into a cat; in spite of understanding what Amber means by wishing Sofia was no longer a purple cat, it grants the wish by turning Sofia into a pink cat; when Clover wishes for food, it grants the wish by dropping lots of the wished food on the bunny.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Amber in the series.
    • Sir Finnegan in "The Silent Knight". When James acts as his squire, he pushes him quite hard, laying on countless tasks, and demanding he hurry up. But when James does a good job, he congratulates him, calling him an "excellent squire" (Aunt Tilly had earlier suggested that Sir Finnegan was hard on James in order to prepare for the hardships of being a knight).
  • Just Like Robin Hood: The episode "Carol of the Arrow" introduces the eponymous Carol of the Arrow, leader of a "merry band" of people who do good deeds. Befitting this trope, they dress very similarly to Robin Hood, and their motivation is to help others. However, unlike Robin Hood, they are do-gooders only; while Carol of the Arrow has a negative opinion of the Royal Family, she never "steals from the rich" (especially since Carol adjusts her negative opinion after seeing Sofia's earnest attempts to do good deeds).
  • Lampshade Hanging: Queen Miranda admitted to Princess Amber there're not many good, loving stepmothers but she intends to be one and subvert the Wicked Stepmother stereotype.
  • Living Lie Detector: Sven the seahorse claims his kind can always tell if someone's telling the truth.
  • Magic Mirror: The Royal Castle has one that grants wishes.
  • Making a Splash: Princess Oona's comb has the power to control the ocean, though she herself doesn't know how to use it. Her older sister Cora makes use of it to dispatch the sea monster holding Oona hostage.
  • Massive Numbered Siblings: Winter the faun has seven brothers and three sisters.
  • Meaningful Echo: When Sofia and Amber first met, Sofia commented on how happy she was that they became sisters. Amber corrected by mentioning stepsisters. After they make amends, Amber says "sisters" instead of "stepsisters" to show she's more accepting.
  • Meddling Parents: Cedric's parents, who keep an eye on him via a magic portrait and occasionally pop in to give him advice.
  • The Merch: A number of plush toys have been made available, as well as a book version of the pilot film, with two different books that are adaptations of television stories available for pre-order. A special edition of the Once Upon a Princess book is available exclusively at Target stores. The toys include Sofia herself, her animal friends, an amulet necklace and a figurine set. Somewhat, surprisingly, the one thing that apparently isn't being banked on as a cash cow is the pilot film. It was given numerous airings on Disney Channel and the Disney Junior sub-network, and has been widely made freely available to view online, along with music videos of the songs from it.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: In "Scrambled Pets", Clover, Crackle, Praline and Freedo (James' baboon) become this after a mix-up potion is spilled on them.
  • Moral Myopia: In "Cedric Be Good," Cedric is given Super Strength by the Amulet of Avalor, and uses it to try and take the throne by force, saying aloud that anyone who disobeys him will be sent to the dungeons, and that he will rule with an iron fist. The Amulet then curses him by turning his arms into heavy metal gauntlets. Cedric is truly baffled by this, believing that taking over the kingdom isn't a bad deed, as he "deserves" to rule.
  • Motor Mouth: Ruby.
  • The Moving Experience: "All The Sprite Moves" focuses on Vivian's family moving to a new castle. Vivian wants to stay in their old castle, and recruits the Wee Sprites to make it seem like the new castle is haunted. However, she soon realises that there's a lot about the castle that she likes, so she changes her mind, and accepts the move.
  • Music Soothes the Savage Beast: In "Princesses To The Rescue", Princess Jun's flute playing calms a group of snapping "lagoon lizards" enough that they are willing to carry the group across their lagoon after Sofia asks them nicely.
  • Names to Trust Immediately: Roland was likely given the name for this very purpose, although the significance is likely lost on the average viewer.
  • Never Recycle Your Schemes: Cedric never reuses any of his potions or spells to steal Sofia's amulet. This is particularly obvious because some (like the sleeping spell and the invisibility potion) work as intended.
  • No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup: In "Cedric Be Good", Cedric makes a potion that'll enable him to use the Amulet of Avalor's blessings without the risk of being cursed but he accidentally destroys it. He cannot make another batch because one of the ingredients is too rare.
  • Not Me This Time: In "The Amulet of Avalor", near the end, Cedric is accused of being a jewel thief. Though he wants to steal the Amulet of Avalor, he's actually telling the truth when he says he was chasing the thief. (The actual jewel thief was a baby griffon.)
  • Not This One, That One: When Sofia meets Minimus for the first time in "Just One of the Princes".
  • Oh Crap!: By Sofia in the pilot, as she stops dancing uncontrollably for a moment to notice Amber's Slasher Smile.
  • Once an Episode: A musical number (more than once in "Once Upon A Princess"). Also more than once, if you count the two instances the song "Blue Ribbon Bunny" (in the episode with the same name) is sung, as two separate songs. The first time, it's sung in an upbeat hip-hop fashion by Clover and the birds, while the second time Sofia sings a short reprise but this time it's slow and quiet.
  • Origins Episode: Season 3's "The Tale of Miss Nettle" fleshes out Miss Nettle's backstory.
  • Our Genies Are Different: "New Genie On The Block," reveals that the genies of this world do have the classic traits, such as residing in lamps, and granting three wishes to those who release them. However, a genie can choose not to follow these rules; The young genie Kazeem flew around, granting every wish he overheard (those he thought were "fun," at least), and refused to return to his lamp. Fortunately, there is a "Genie Patrol" (staffed by a single genie, Sergeant Fizz), tasked with making wayward genies follow the rules.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: "Ghostly Gala" reveals that ghosts can only leave the place they haunt once every hundred years, on Halloween. They can also converse with animals (Both living and dead).
  • Out of Focus: Whatnaught the Squirrel seems to be appearing less and less as the show goes on, being completely absent from episodes that heavily features the other animals such as Finding Clover and The Amulet of Avalor. This is somewhat averted in Gizmo Gwen, where Whatnaught serves a crucial role near the end.
  • Peer Pressure Makes You Evil: Not evil, exactly, but in "Scrambled Pets," Sofia is convinced to bring Clover to school (which is against the rules) after being pressured into it by Amber, James and Vivian.
  • Performance Anxiety: Minimus has this in spades, even after he and Sofia win the race.
    Minimus: We won! We actually won! Wait, does that mean they'll expect us to win the next race? And the one after that?! I think I need to lie down!
    • Cedric also suffers from it whenever he has to perform in front of King Roland.
  • The Friends Who Never Hang: A pet variant. Fredo and Rex are both James' pets, but they aren't seen onscreen together until "Clover Time," when they both attend a party.
  • Placebo Eureka Moment: There's a partial example in "The Tri-Kingdom Picnic". Amber advises Sofia to help James be a better sport by showing him an example, but as the other kids stopped playing, Sofia has no way to do so. She comes up with an answer to that on her own, but thanks Amber.
  • Power at a Price: Sofia's Amulet grants her quite a few magical powers, but it does come with a curse that punishes the wearer for any bad deeds, the severity of the curse proportionate to the offense and the nature of the curse fitting the crime. For example, when she started boasting about her singing, it made her start to croak, rendering her unable to do so. (As far as is known, the curse inflicted can only be lifted by apologizing and making right any damage caused by the bad deed.)
  • Power Incontinence: Winter the faun freezes anything and anyone she touches even if she doesn't want to.
  • The Power of Friendship
  • Protagonist Title
  • Pulled From Your Day Off/Surprise Party: In "Baileywick's Day Off", King Roland insists that Baileywick take a well-deserved holiday on his birthday. But every time he tries to leave, one of the children call him to deal with a trivial problem. Sofia eventually realizes how selfish they were being, and they throw him a "Day Off Do-Over Party", complete with all of the fun activities he had missed out on that day because he was helping all the kids.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: When Sofia tries to persuade Clover to go to Princess Vivian's castle and play with Crackle.
    Clover: She. Breathes. Fire!
    Sofia: You're. Her. Friend!
    Clover: Fire!
    Sofia: Friend!
  • Rags to Royalty: Sofia and her mother.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • In "Once Upon a Princess", James gave one to Amber when he called her out on her jealousy towards their stepsister.
    James: You gave Sofia the trick shoes on purpose.
    Amber: If I recall, you played a prank on her too?
    James: What you did wasn't a prank, she needed those dance lessons. You're trying to ruin her ball, and I know why.
    Amber: Because she doesn't belong here?
    James: No, because everyone likes her more than you. And after what you did today, so do I!
    Amber: (offended) You don't mean that!
    James: Yes...I...do.
    • Sofia delivers one to Hildegard in "The Princess Stays in the Picture", angry at the fact she insists she knows everything.
    Sofia: Oh, stop it, Hildegard! Just stop it! You act like you know everything, but you don't! And now, thanks to you, we're going to be stuck in these paintings forever!
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: In "Stormy Lani," Mamanu has a snake named Milo for a minion. Milo is very enthusiastic about committing evil deeds.
  • Reset Button: "The Curse of Princess Ivy" ends with one.
  • The Reveal: "The Secret Library" reveals that Aunt Tilly knows all about the Amulet of Avalor and its powers, because she wore it herself in her youth.
  • Rhetorical Question Blunder: In "The Amulet of Avalor":
    Sofia: What would I do without you?
    Clover: I guess you'd do all this stuff by yourself.
  • Riddle for the Ages:
    • How can anyone's life be saved nine and a half times?
    • The episode "When You Wish Upon a Well" features a wishing well that grants Three Wishes. King Roland's first wish doesn't end well and this is all he says about that wish.
  • Road Sign Reversal: In "Enchanted Science Fair", Amber turns an arrow pointing to the top of the mountain (where a flower all the kids need grows) to keep the others from following, but when Sofia and James come to it, James switches it back, thinking he's doing the same thing.
  • Royal School: The royal prep is a rare co-educated and non-boarding version.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something
    • Sort of a G-rated version of the Trope. "The Baker King" puts this at the forefront, where King Roland is stressed out because he does so many things for the kingdom, and after wishing to spend a day not being the king, he realizes how much his people appreciate the things he does.
    • Sofia herself. The whole show is about her learning how she fits into her role as a royal princess and the things she's done have helped the kingdom a lot.
  • Say My Name Trailer: The commercial that came out sometime around May 2013 announcing that Sofia was now on every day.
  • The Scapegoat
    • Sofia in "The Royal Mess", but voluntarily so. To summarize, James broke a castle window King Roland was planning to show his wife Miranda as a surprise, and after half an episode of unsuccessfully trying to cover it up and making the damage worse, the parents eventually see the damage anyway. But before James can confess, Sofia confesses to breaking the window in his place because Sofia knows how badly James wants to see the circus (breaking the window was a grounding-worthy offense, since King Roland was intending the window as a gift to his wife), so Sofia is made to stay home while James and Amber get to go see the circus. But James feels so guilty he later confesses anyway while the family is at the circus, and Baileywick figures out Sofia was innocent and cautions Sofia against any future lying even to be kind.
    • There's a knee-jerk tendency to blame Cedric for problems magic-related even when they're nothing to do with him, especially in earlier installments.
  • Schizo Tech: The kingdom is definitely more medieval than modern, but there is modern-looking an elevator in the castle (Justified in that it's hand-cranked by a servant).
  • Second Love: Miranda and King Roland are this to each other.
  • Secret Test of Character: In "The Princess Test", Fauna disguises herself as Royal Prep's librarian, and asks each princess on her way to the Princess Test for help. Sofia is the only one willing to put off the test and help, which earns her full marks for displaying a Princess' most important trait: kindness. Not only this, but the test is rigged with a number of pitfalls specifically designed to test Sofia's resolution to continue helping Fauna; in each instance, she passes.
    • Notably, the rest of the princesses still technically passed the test, due to legitimately getting good scores in gown presentation, fan fluttering, and posture, so they all get "silver stars". But because only Sofia passed the secret test of kindness, Sofia gets a huge gold trophy.
    • Aunt Tilly actually provides several of these to Sofia in "Minding The Manor," with the music rolls used in a music box each causing a magical problem to solve. Sofia unknowingly chose the hardest problem, but managed to succeed. As a reward, Tilly gave her a book on the History of Enchancia (and revealed in "The Secret Library" that she was testing to see if Sofia was ready to be a story keeper).
  • Seldom-Seen Species: James pet baboon Fredo is a gelada, not the kind of baboon most commonly seen in cartoons.
    • Also, Hildegard has a pet mink.
  • Serious Business:
    • In "Blue Ribbon Bunny", Ginger the fluffy rabbit feels that pet contests are serious business.
    • In "Baileywick's Day Off", Amber panics and needs to be reminded to breathe, because the cookies being served at a tea party aren't pink as Amber requested, but plaid.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Shrinking Violet: Princess Vivian.
  • Sibling Seniority Squabble: Amber is seven minutes older than her twin brother James. This is rarely brought up.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Baileywick's brother, Nigel, is loud and outgoing, in clear contrast to his quiet, reserved younger brother.
  • Sinister Schnoz: Cedric.
  • Skunk Stripe: Cedric has one that Word of God says is meant to be a Homage to Cruella De Vil.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Miss Nettle states that she's as famous as Maleficent. (Yeah, sure you are...)
  • Speaks Fluent Animal: One of Sofia's powers, courtesy of the Amulet of Avalor.
  • Special Guest: Thus far, Cinderella (in the Pilot Episode), Jasmine, Belle, Ariel, Aurora, Snow White, Mulan, Tiana and Rapunzel have all appeared so far, courtesy of Sofia's Amulet. Sofia can theoretically summon any of the Disney Princesses when she is suffering a crisis of character to consult them for advice.
  • Spoiled Sweet: James. By contrast to Amber, he seems to be very kind and humble (except for his inability to win graciously in "Tri-Kingdom Picnic"), and hasn't let his royalty go to his head.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Crackle displays hints of this towards Clover.
  • Start My Own: Invoked by Amber in "Princess Adventure Club"; After Zooey excludes her from her adventure club (due to an earlier experience where Amber was mean to her), Amber decides to start her own adventure club, in direct competition to Zooey's.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Several of the younger princes and princesses resemble Disney Princesses or princes, such as an Asian princess and Arabian princess who may be related to Mulan and Jasmine.
  • Techno Babble: Gwen, from "Gizmo Gwen" uses a more kiddie version of the trope, using phrases like Do-dad, Thingamajig, and don't for get the ever important What-Chu-McCall-It.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Clover and Wormwood in "The Enchanted Feast."
  • Testosterone Poisoning: "We should've made the cannon bigger."
  • Theme Naming: Sofia's True Companions Ruby and Jade. Amber is named for a material that's formed differently, but can resemble precious stones with a little work.
  • The Thing That Would Not Leave: Once Wee Sprites are allowed into a home, it becomes nearly impossible to get rid of them. Even putting them outside is useless, as they can just reappear inside. The only way to get them to leave for good is by getting them to say they want to leave, whereupon they will magically fly outside.
  • Those Two Girls: Sofia's best friends Ruby and Jade from the village.
    • Mia and Robin also qualify.
  • Three Wishes: One episode features a Wishing Well that grants no more than three wishes to each user.
  • Title Drop: In the pilot film, when Roland explains that he's called "Roland the Second" because his father was also named Roland, and Sofia says "So I guess that makes me Sofia the First."
  • Token Trio: Sofia (half-Latina), Ruby (black) and Jade (Asian).
  • Took a Level in Badass: Prince Desmond, in the episode "Make Way for Miss Nettle."
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Princess Hildegarde in "Scrambled Pets"; She watches events spiral out of control with undisguised glee, and relishes the idea of the pet owners (Even Amber, her best friend) getting in trouble.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The trailer shows Cinderella talking to Sofia, amongst other things.
  • Two Girls and a Guy: Sofia, Amber and James.
  • The Unfavorite: Cedric considers himself this to his father. By contrast, his mother spoils him. The sad thing is that his father does care for him and is only hard on him to get him to do the right thing, whereas his mother is evil and wants him to be the same.
  • Uptown Girl: Gender-Switched. Miranda (a shoemaker) and Roland the Second (a King).
  • Villain Song: "Cedric the Great" and "Make Way for Miss Nettle".
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Robin often pokes fun at Clover, earning her some annoyed glares, and occasional retorts.
  • Vocal Dissonance: The Silent Knight avoids talking because he fears people might mock him for his voice.
  • The Voiceless: Despite the amulet letting Sofia talk to animals, Whatnaught the squirrel does not talk at all.
    • Princess Hildegard's pet mink, Lulu, who has appeared twice so far, hasn't spoken either.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Mamanu can turn herself into animal forms.
  • Weather-Control Machine: The Queen Mermaid's trident can be used to control the weather, and summon storms if she chooses.
  • Weather Manipulation: "Stormy Lani" reveals that Princess Lani has this ability, as do all her family. An unfortunate side effect is that she inadvertently creates storm whenever she gets angry.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: James gives a very sharp and very deserved one to Amber after she purposely gives Sofia trick shoes to try to ruin her welcome ball, though he unfortunately slips up at the end and unwittingly justifies Amber's fears that have been fueling her antagonism toward Sofia to begin with. Luckily Sofia is able to sort things out with her afterward.
    • In "The Little Witch", Sofia gives Jade a minor one after Jade's "witch trap" accidentally traps Sofia instead, but Sofia's actually more concerned about the fact that this drove Lucinda away after Lucinda had come over to fix the damage she caused earlier.
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: Cedric, the King's Sorcerer. Everyone else at court speaks with an American accent, but Cedric has a bizarre "British" accent that seems to migrate around the British Isles at will. In the same sentence he can go from Cockney to Scouse to Brummie and then back again.
  • What You Are in the Dark: In "The Emerald Key", Princess Lei-Lani gets Clover's head unstuck and gives him some blueberries out of the goodness of her heart. Sofia oversees this and this convinces her that she's the real Princess Lani.
  • Wicked Witch: Lucinda's Mother, she is proud of their families long history of being wicked witches.
  • Worthless Yellow Rocks: While looking for more cave crystals, Gnarly finds an emerald and dismisses it as worthless because it doesn't glow. he later finds a diamond and casts it aside.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: Cedric, ironically. In fact, this is likely the biggest reason his attempts to take Sofia's Amulet always fail.
  • Word of God: The Creator of the show often answers questions of the fans on his twitter
  • Wrench Wench: The titular character of "Gizmo Gwen."
  • You and What Army?: In "The Floating Palace", the helpful seahorse Sven says he's going to stop the Mermaid Queen from sinking the Floating Palace while Cora and Mermaid!Sofia rescue Oona. It leads to this exchange:
    Sven: Don't worry. I can stop Queen Emmaline.
    Cora: You and what army, Sven?
    Sven takes a deep breath, whistles, and summons dozens of other seahorses
    Sven: That army, Cora. Actually, this is just the immediate family, we'll pick up the cousins on the way.
  • You Just Told Me: Cedric's raven Wormwood has no problem telling the animals that Sofia is looking in the wrong spellbook. He then discovers that she can understand animals.
  • You Mean Xmas: The people of Enchancia celebrate the winter holiday of Wassailia, which features singing, decorated trees, giving gifts and lighting a ceremonial candle.
    • Which is somewhat bizarre, considering that Halloween exists in Enchancia.
    • In the book "Sofia's First Christmas", Christmas is celebrated in Zumaria. Regardless of the book being canon or not, Christmas is hinted to exist in the cartoon when a reference to Santa Claus is made in the second Wassailia episode. While gifts are part of Wassailia, neither Santa nor any similar character is said to be.
  • Youngest Child Wins: Sofia is a year younger than her step siblings and the main character, though James and Amber get plenty of focus.

Alternative Title(s):

Sofia The First