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.(Now has a character sheet.)
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Animal Gender Bender: Praline is a female peafowl (peahen), but has the iridescent train of a peacock.
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).
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 are NOT REAL!! Trolls, fairies, giants and sorcery are all ok, but mermaids…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.
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.
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.
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, well she makes no mention of Eric or Melody, leaving her position in the timeline entirely ambiguous.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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).
For the Evulz: Witches seem to commit malicious (and in the case of adults, dangerous) hexes on ordinary people simply because they can.
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.
Friendly Enemy: Cedric seems to be moving in this direction as of "Cedric's Apprentice".
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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).
"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 realised 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).
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Seldom Seen Species: James pet baboon is a gelada, not the kind of baboon most commonly seen in cartoons.
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-Mc Call-It.
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.
Weather Control Machine: The Queen Mermaid's trident can be used to control the weather, and summon storms if she chooses.
It's arguable that Amber could even be considered a hero at that point.
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.
Wicked Witch: Lucinda's Mother, she is proud of their families long history of being wicked witches.
Wouldn't Hurt a Child: Cedric, ironically. In fact, this is likely the biggest reason his attempts to take Sofia's Amulet always fail.
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: