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Characters / Friendship Is Magic: Rainbow Dash

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The Main Cast: Twilight Sparkle, Fluttershy, Rarity, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Spike, Starlight Glimmer, the Cutie Mark Crusaders
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Always flies in style.

"They say I'm a big shot
That my ego's the size of a whale
My confidence comes off as cocky
But it gives me the courage to fail"
—Rainbow Dash's solo lines in "Flawless"

Voiced by: Ashleigh BallForeign VAs 

The bearer of the Element of Loyalty. A speedy Pegasus hailing from Cloudsdale who loves to race and compete whenever she can convince someone to go against her. Though Prideful and a bit arrogant, with a somewhat self-centered attitude, she's a loyal friend and a strong leader. Works as a weather manager of Ponyville. Her Pillar of Old Equestria is Flash Magnus.

In the episode "Newbie Dash", she becomes a member of the elite flying group, the Wonderbolts.

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    Tropes # to C 
  • 20% More Awesome: The (partial) Trope Namer! In regards to the dress Rarity makes for her, she simply says it needs to be "20% cooler".
  • Absurd Phobia: She has a phobia of cloying sweetness. The fact that she's not in a constant state of terror is testament to her bravery.
  • Acquired Situational Narcissism: Once she's the town hero, her attitude goes from "I'm awesome" to "I'm awesome and everyone should admire me for it". She gets better by the end.
  • The Ace: She's known for being the best flyer in Ponyville.
  • Action Girl: Rainbow Dash likes to fight first and ask questions later. In "Do Princesses Dream of Magic Sheep?", her favorite dream is fighting an army of changelings with her bare hooves.
  • Adaptational Badass: Rainbow Dash in the G3 cartoons was mostly just a fashionista with a tomboy streak. Here, she's an Action Girl who will fight anyone who threatens her or her friends.
  • All-Loving Hero: Like the other mane heroines, though it's not apparent in the first few seasons, but by Season 4, she's become one of the kindest and most emotional friends you'll know, if a bit snarky.
  • Alternate Self: The season 5 finale shows who Rainbow would be in timelines where she doesn't become the Element of Loyalty;
    • In a timeline where Sombra returns and wages war against Equestria, she's an experienced officer in a much more militarized version of the Wonderbolts. She also lost her left wing at one point, replaced with a prosthetic, has a scar over her eye, and a chunk torn out of her ear.
    • In a timeline where Nightmare Moon returned and cloaked Equestria in eternal night, she's a loyal member of Nightmare's personal honor guard.
  • Always Someone Better: Her initial view on Mare Do Well because the masked mare could fly, was stronger than her, and could do magic.
  • Ambidextrous Sprite: The red stripe in her mane is generally on her right, but the colors frequently reverse, sometimes in the same shot.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Her Kotobukiya figure, which depicts her as a human, has deeply tanned skin, possibly to suggest her love of the outdoors and athletics.
  • Anime Hair: She has a rainbow-colored mane with a spiky, shounen-style shape.
  • Anti-Hero: Out of all the main cast, her personality is wrought with the most flaws (impulsiveness, selfishness, and arrogance to name a few) and she is the only pony who at times needs to be reminded that she has to care about others. This is made more prominent when she Took a Level in Jerkass in Season 2. After a few episodes, she takes a level in kindness.
  • Anti-Mentor: When tasked by Twilight to work with Applejack to teach students on teamwork, both she and Applejack end up falling into this thanks to their inability to work together without making even the act of teaching a competition.
  • Arch-Enemy: Rainbow Dash is Lightning Dust’s arch-enemy, and Lightning Dust swears they’ll be rivals for life.
  • Artificial Limbs: In the alternate Crystal War timeline in "The Cutie Re-Mark - Part 1", she loses one of her wings and gets it replaced with a prosthetic one.
  • Artistic License – Animal Care: She is shown to be a poor caretaker of her pet tortoise Tank in later seasons. "Tanks for the Memories" has her attempting to prevent winter from coming just so he wouldn't have to hibernate. Then in "Secrets and Pies", she feeds her discarded pies (including the tin) to Tank, giving him digestive problems.
  • Ascended Fangirl:
    • As of "Wonderbolt Academy" she's well on her way to becoming one of them. And, as of "Newbie Dash", she is officially a Wonderbolt.
    • Also shows up in the latest Daring Do novel.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: She unconsciously scans her surroundings while flying, and can perfectly recall everything she saw or heard while flying, even if she wasn't paying particular attention to it, possibly as a result of being a professional flyer. This allows her to memorize the Wonderbolt's history for a test in "Testing Testing 1, 2, 3".
  • Awesome Ego: She undeniably has a big ego, but she can usually back it up with her speed, flying skills, and coolness. In-Universe in "The Mysterious Mare Do Well" Twilight says that Rainbow Dash isn’t modest, but she is kinda awesome.
  • Badass Adorable: She's the fangirl avatar for bronies everywhere, when she acts like one herself — when she gets excited over something (the Wonderbolts, Daring Do, etc), she becomes a giddy squeeing fangirl. This does nothing to detract from the fact she's one of the greatest flyers in Equestrian history and a member of a group of six ponies that regularly save the world. Her cuteness is shown even in her coolness.
  • Badass Bookworm: Defied when she initially denounces reading as only being for eggheads. She gets over this mindset when she becomes a huge fan of Daring Do novels and even starts collecting them.
  • Badbutt: While definitely the most action-oriented of the mane cast, she has many moments involving Gosh Darn It to Heck!, with phrases like "Hay yeah!" and occasional use of Totally Radical and Never Say "Die" (especially at the end of "Wonderbolts Academy").
  • Bad Liar: Much like Applejacknote , she isn't very good at lying or coming up with excuses. When she fakes an injury in "Rainbow Falls" so she won't have to choose between joining the Ponyville and Cloudsdale teams, the best explanation she can come up with is, "I, uh, tripped on a, uh, foam hoof and...landed on a, uh..." followed by mumbled gibberish.
  • Batman Gambit: She handily cons Garble out of the Netitus shield in "Shadow Play -- Part 1" after he goes back on his word when he wagers it on a race with Spike. Playing on his Pride, she riles him up by claiming he must not be a very good racer if Spike only had to fall to beat him. When an angry Garble demands a race back to the starting point to prove his skill, Dash casually claims beating him will be easy, but him flying with a heavy piece of metal on his body will make it even easier. Garble, not wanting to lose, thanks her mockingly, drops Netitus and flies away... and only realizes he was played for a dupe when he sees Rainbow flying off with the shield she goaded him into dropping at her hooves.
  • Beneath the Mask: At the beginning of the series, Rainbow presents a "dumb, tough, cocky, emotionless" exterior to everyone. Though there are a lot of signs that this is not what she is really like, from the very first episode, *most* of those signs come when she is alone. As she develops over the seasons though, her shell drops with increasing frequency (REALLY coming to a head in "Tanks for the Memories" in season 5). It's eventually shown that, not only is she not even remotely dumb (she's actually extremely intelligent), she's FAR from emotionless. On the inside, she is almost as emotional, sensitive, and kind as Fluttershy, she just really doesn't like showing it. In the later seasons, though, she has gained enough self-respect and legitimate self-confidence to start acknowledging her feelings, and she frequently drops her shell around those that care about her.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Never threaten or hurt her friends if you know what's good for you.
    • Bullies in general seem to be this for Rainbow Dash as despite not knowing Fluttershy too well, she stood up for her in "The Cutie Mark Chronicles".
    • Missing out on apple cider, especially if someone who did get to drink cider talks about how good it was, as seen in "The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000".
  • Beyond the Impossible:
    • Her ability to perform the Sonic Rainboom.
      Rainbow Dash: Most people thought the Sonic Rainboom was just an old mare's tale but on that day, the day I discovered racing, I proved that the legends were true; I made the impossible happen!
    • In "Rarity Investigates" she's implied to have broken a long-standing distance flying record by accident.
  • Big Eater: Munches a path through a huge cupcake pizza in "Pinkie Pride".
  • Big Ego, Hidden Depths: While, as stated above, she appears self-centered, it is only over minor things. When it comes to things that matter and are of utmost importance, she is one of the most selfless ponies in the show. She is, after all, the bearer of the Element of Loyalty, and loyalty is all about putting whatever you hold loyalty towards ahead of yourself, even your dreams and well-being. This is something Rainbow has consistently demonstrated. Most of her spotlight episodes look into her prideful nature, showing her insecurities and her drive to be the best.
  • Big Fancy House: Her cloud house is very tall and has a lot of ornate architecture.
  • Big Sister Instinct:
    • Towards Fluttershy because of them being childhood friendship and going to flight camp together.
    • In "Sleepless in Ponyville", she extends this to Scootaloo, rushing to her rescue when she's in danger and becoming her (honorary) Cool Big Sis.
  • Bizarre Taste in Food: Downplayed, but it's there, as the episode "Parental Glideance" reveals that her favorite meal is a pasta and potato sandwich on sourdough bread. Her mother explains it as "She just loved to carbo-load."
  • Blood Knight: She's usually the first one to suggest getting physical when faced with a threat. When Luna enters Rainbow's dreams and finds her engrossed in battle with a changeling swarm, Rainbow laughs and says she loves this dream, implying she's had it regularly.
  • Blow You Away: An ability shared by all Pegasi, going hand in hand with their cloud-controlling abilities.
  • Bookworm: Becomes one during "Read It and Weep", having nothing else to do but read while recovering from a broken wing. She goes to great lengths to hide this from everypony else. In later episodes she reads out in the open.
  • Book Dumb: She finds it close to impossible to learn and study through traditional academic means (which could be why she dropped out of flight school), but she's far from moronic. She tricks Garble with a Batman Gambit in "Shadow Play -- Part 1" and as displayed in "Testing Testing 1, 2, 3", she’s an absolute wizard when it comes to passive learning.
  • Braces of Orthodontic Overkill: In "Parental Glideance", a picture is seen in her parents’ house showing Rainbow Dash as a filly wearing braces that requires a headpiece to help pull the teeth into place.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: She's very competent, but tends to slack off. This is said to be the reason she was kicked out of flight school, though she protests that assertion. Her Establishing Character Moment in the first episode has Twilight finding her napping and relaxing when she's supposed to be clearing the sky of clouds; when Twilight challenges her on this point, Rainbow wallops all the clouds in exactly ten seconds.
  • Broken Ace: Rainbow Dash is a renowned heroine in Ponyville and her skills are genuinely amazing. She's also shown to be insecure about losing and failure in general, and reached the brink of a nervous breakdown at the thought of publicly making a fool of herself in "Sonic Rainboom". Compounding things, she will hide these breakdowns as best as she is able, making it harder for her friends to notice or help her.
  • Broken Pedestal: Ironically, in spite of bearing the Element of Loyalty, some of Rainbow Dash's friends and idols have disappointed her every once in a while (Gilda, Spitfire, Wind Rider, Lightning Dust during the short time they liked each other). Fortunately, some of those who disappoint Rainbow Dash realize the error of their ways and redeem themselves to her (such as Spitfire and Gilda).
  • Bruiser with a Soft Center: For as tough and action-y as she is, she'll still shed a few tears at heartwarming moments. In the later seasons, when she is no longer afraid to show her feelings, the "soft center" part is much more obvious, showing her to be really caring, sensitive, and emotional on the inside (rivaling Fluttershy). Her "tough, emotionless" exterior shell is a facade, that she frequently drops around her friends later on.
  • Brutal Honesty: She can be quite blunt at times.
  • Bullet Time: In "Secrets And Pies", Rainbow Dash was able to tie a pie to a balloon at Super-Speed to pretend she ate it, literally in the blink of an eye.
  • Bully Hunter: Rainbow Dash won't hesitate for a second to stand up for her friends if they're being picked on.
    • She stood up for a young Fluttershy who was being bullied back in "Cutie Mark Chronicles".
    • She also stood up for Spike when he was being hassled by Garble and his two teenage dragon friends in "Dragon Quest".
    • She sticks up for Pinkie Pie in "Griffon the Brush Off", which is especially notable as her old friend Gilda was the one yelling at her.
    • In a flashback in "The Lost Treasure of Griffonstone", she stood up for a young Gilda when she was being bullied for being the only Griffon at the flight school.
    • In "Shadow Play, Part 1", she once again stood up to Garble to stop him from hurting Spike.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Though she can often be found taking naps or practicing her flying stunts, Rainbow Dash is in control of most of Ponyville's weather and she's very good at what she does.
  • Burning Rubber: When flying close to the ground, she can leave a trail of flames. Naturally, the flames are rainbow-colored. She also leaves a trail of rainbow flames while running in "May The Best Pet Win".
  • Butt-Monkey: Seemed to get the bigger brunt of things in Season 2. This is partly because she's a tomboy who can shake it off, and partly from the fact that she is the bold, straightforward, fight-picking character in a show about friendship and tolerance, so she frequently fails, crashes into stuff or being held back by her friends in order not to create a contradictory message. It seems to have dialed back a bit in Season 3 due to Character Development, albeit only to the same extent as the other ponies.
  • Can't Get Away with Nuthin':
  • Catchphrase:
    • She gives a very annoyed "OH, COME ON!" when things aren't going her way. Usually expressed in a typical position, with Volumetric Mouth and forelegs spread out.
    • When she’s really excited, she says “OhmygoshohmygoshohmygoshOHMYGOSH!!”, as seen here.
    • When she’s about to object to something, she says “Whoa-whoa-whoa”.
  • Character Tics:
    • Rainbow Dash's main tic is constantly being in the air, even when she's doing nothing but hovering in place.
    • When irritated, she sometimes flicks her tail, which is something real horses also do if annoyed.
  • Character Development:
    • In early episodes, Rainbow Dash had little to no tolerance for Fluttershy's meekness, bordering on outright contempt in "Dragonshy". Starting with Season 2 she is shown devoting more time to her and acting more gentle and encouraging, somewhat taking the role of an abrasive but well-meaning Cool Big Sis. By Season 5, Fluttershy's become enough of her friend that she is the only one who can snap Rainbow Dash out of her Heroic BSoD after realizing the futility of halting winter.
    • There's also her attitude towards Scootaloo. At first she appeared to see Scootaloo as nothing more than a fangirl, but later episodes show her taking a more active interest in her and becoming her surrogate Cool Big Sis in "Sleepless in Ponyville". The best example of this dynamic is shown in "Brotherhooves Social", where they not only compete despite not being related, but win the big race (even if was due to a technicality). Earlier than that we have "Flight to the Finish" where a broken Scootaloo gets instantly cheered up thanks to kind words from Rainbow Dash. It's also notable that when Scoots finally does get her cutie mark, Rainbow Dash is the 'sister' representative telling the young pegasus how proud she is of them. This is a stark contrast to her tactlessness in earlier seasons when it comes to other ponies feelings (most notably Dragonshy). That said, she did give a look of fondness towards Scootaloo in "The Cutie Mark Chronicles", suggesting that she may have always seen her as more than a fangirl, or at least her view of Scoots as a potential little sister-figure may be older than it looks.
    • This also extends to her pet tortoise Tank. In "May the Best Pet Win", her only motivation for wanting a pet of her own was so that she wouldn't be left out of pet playdate sessions that the other five regularly participate in. Even during that episode, she wasn't thrilled with the fact that a slow, and seemingly boring tortoise was participating in the competition she held. In "Tanks for the Memories" she's bonded with Tank so much that she's willing to move heaven and earth (and not in the metaphorical sense as she tries to stop winter from happening) to not be separated from him for the winter months when Tank has to hibernate.
    • "Wonderbolt Academy" showcases her character development by pairing her with a pegasus whose behavior is similar to Dash's at the beginning of Season 1 (taken to the nth degree, as the other pegasus lacks Season 1 Dash's loyalty and basic concern for pony life), and having her ready to give up on her dream if it meant having to hurt somepony else.
    • Back in Season 1, she used to scoff at Twilight's egghead ways, but starting with "Read It and Weep", her interests have expanded from flying and joining the Wonderbolts to include a budding interest in literature. She started with becoming an avid reader of a novel series and then attempting to write her own novel. She still does get annoyed when Twilight acts like an Insufferable Genius, though.
    • Her rivalry with Applejack in "Fall Weather Friends" seems fairly bitter, this being one of the few times Rainbow has been seen being a poor sport. By the time of "Castle Mane-ia" however, this rivalry seems to have become far more friendly. There's still some smack talk, but it's portrayed as more good-natured now.
    • In the first season, her fangirlism of the Wonderbolts was so extreme that them simply speaking to her got her excited and giddy. By Seasons 3 and 4 she's gained some self-respect and perspective on her dreams, and isn't afraid to tell Spitfire off when Rainbow feels she's done something wrong.
  • Charles Atlas Super Power: Downplayed, but she's a Pegasus who has, through training, achieved physical strength on par with Applejack, who is a very strong earth pony.
  • Childhood Friends:
    • A variation with Fluttershy. Most of their closeness as adults comes from being pegasi and Cloudsdale natives, but as foals, it's unclear whether they even knew each other's names. In Season 1, Rainbow Dash is unfamiliar with just how timid Fluttershy is, and even in Season 2, she's still unaware of Fluttershy's severe social anxiety issues.
    • She was also this with Gilda back in flight school, at least until their relationship soured in "Griffon the Brush Off". They reconcile in "The Lost Treasure of Griffonstone".
  • Class Clown: Implied to have been one to some extent as a filly in "Sonic Rainboom" and "Testing Testing 1, 2, 3". Even as an adult, she still has difficulty focusing for long periods on tasks she doesn't enjoy doing.
  • Class Princess: Despite the Sports Pegasi picking on her, My Little Pony: Friends Forever #18 reveals she was the most popular student in Cloudsdale Flight School. Fluttershy says everyone looked up to Rainbow Dash for her confidence and for being the best flyer, cover A shows that she was voted Most Popular and won the school spirit award three years in a row, and the sub cover reveals she was voted Most Likely to Soar.
  • Closet Geek: Of Daring Do during "Read It and Weep". By the end of the episode, she comes out of the closet, and is seen reading it during "A Friend in Deed". While her love for Daring Do has become a pretty big aspect of her character, Dash seems to have other closeted geeky activities. In the unnamed sixth story arc of the Friendship is Magic comic series, Dash is shown to be quite fond of Pony Trek, an obvious homage to Star Trek.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Usually a well-grounded mare, she has a moment of this in the second story-arc of the comic, when she suggests using an enlarging ray on herself (so she could transport an entire army to the moon all by herself) and a time machine to rescue Rarity.
  • Colorful Contrails: She leaves a trail matching her mane colors whenever she dashes in high speed, and her Sonic Rainboom creates a flurry of colors while also leaving a longer-lasting rainbow trail from her mane.
  • Color Motif: She spends a lot of time flying in the sky, so naturally, she's sky blue.
  • Combat Pragmatist: During the fight with the changelings, Rainbow Dash protects Fluttershy by pretending to be a changeling so she could blindside them before they could attack.
  • Commander Contrarian: Due to aforementioned reasons, Rainbow prefers a "fight first, ask questions later" tactic in a team of peaceful and tactizing characters. This is particularly evident in Season Two. As with similar cases such as Twilight, the show has made several attempts since then to subvert The Complainer Is Always Wrong for Rainbow Dash, and have cases where she's perfectly justified acting like her usual boisterous self.
  • Competition Freak: Rainbow Dash hates losing but she has limits. She does not like it when people are so competitive they're willing to hurt others, as seen prominently in "Wonderbolt Academy".
  • Cool Big Sis: Despite her arrogance, she is shown looking out for her teammates, most notably Fluttershy. She also stands up for Pinkie and Spike against bullies on separate occasions. Scootaloo sees her as this in full form and Dash has officially taken up this role for Scootaloo by the end of "Sleepless in Ponyville". This is presumably expounded on in "Flight to the Finish" with her coaching Scootaloo's class. She also tends to act like a cool big sis to all foals in general.
  • Cool Crown: Wears a laurel crown with her Grand Galloping Gala dress. And it's gold, too.
  • Cool Helmet:
  • Cool Shades:
  • Cool Teacher: Acts like one (well, a cool coach) in both "Flight to the Finish", and especially the 11th Friends Forever comic. In S8's premiere and beyond she literally is a cool teacher. A Gym Teacher, at that.
  • Cute Clumsy Girl: She’s usually pretty graceful, but once in a while, she crashes into things.

    Tropes D to L 
  • Deadpan Snarker: Not as much as Twilight, but still noticeable.
    [when they are preparing to climb a tall mountain and Rarity takes out her scarf]
    Rainbow Dash: Yeah. that'll keep you nice and cozy.
  • Determinator: She absolutely refuses to give up when her mind is set on something;
    • "Sonic Rainboom" — she pulls off the Sonic Rainboom to save Rarity and the Wonderbolts without sparing a second thought.
    • "Hurricane Fluttershy" when she won't give up trying to get water to Cloudsdale.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: She kicks a dragon in the face!!! (As seen in the episode "Dragonshy".) It doesn't work out well, though.
  • Distinctive Appearances: Out of the Mane 6, her eyelashes are the least curved and feminine looking; this makes sense given her personality.
  • Diving Save:
    • In "Sonic Rainboom", to rescue not only Rarity but three knocked-out Wonderbolts at the same time.
    • In "Secret of My Excess" when she flies to save a falling Rarity and Spike.
    • In "Wonderbolts Academy" to rescue the rest of the Mane Six after their hot air balloon is destroyed by Lightning Dust's tornado.
  • Does Not Like Spam: In "Secrets and Pies" is revealed that Rainbow Dash hates pies. Even Pinkie's pies, which are otherwise universally agreed to be delicious. Rainbow gets rid of said pies by dumping them off on other ponies while Pinkie's not looking.
  • Drama Queen: Surprisingly, considering how tomboyish she is.
    Rainbow Dash: My life is RUIIIINED!

    Rainbow Dash: But the cider! Won't somepony PLEASE think of the CIDER!

    Rainbow Dash: I DON'T WANT HIM TO GOOOOOOO!note 
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: She can have a very dominating voice as The Leader of Ponyville's pegasi. It's part of her headstrong leader approach. She is commonly a coach when it comes to this role, wearing a black and white hat and a whistle.
    • "Sonic Rainboom": Where she teaches Fluttershy how to properly cheer for her.
    • "May the Best Pet Win!": She runs the competition like bootcamp, not realizing she isn't picking a soldier for her platoon but a pet to care and love for. She learns her lesson in the end not to focus on physical attributes over personality.
    • "Hurricane Fluttershy": Encouraging in a gruff manner; call it tough love. To be fair, it is an important mission and she's supportive of Fluttershy.
  • Drives Like Crazy: More like "Flies Like Crazy" — her version of "Jingle Bells" has her shanghaiing Rarity, Pinkie Pie and Applejack in going on a sleigh ride with her pulling. A sleigh ride that causes another Sonic Rainboom.
  • Dynamic Entry: Her very first appearance in the show is tackling Twilight. Inverted in "Bridle Gossip", as she smacks a wall trying to leave.
  • Elemental Powers: She has various abilities related to Weather Manipulation, including wind, rain, and lightning.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: She hates being called "Rainbow Crash" since she her bullies in Flight School always used that name to mock her, so her frustration in "Newbie Dash" is reasonable, when she gets stuck with this name after a mishap during her first day as an official Wonderbolt. Despite her attempts to fix this, she learns that the other Wonderbolts have their own embarrassing nicknames from their own mishaps, but have learned from them in order to move on.
  • Era-Specific Personality: The G3 version of Rainbow Dash loves fashion and has a Brittish accent. G4 Rainbow Dash is a Tomboy who loves going fast and is highly competitive.
  • Everything Makes a Mushroom: Her Sonic Rainboom can make one if used to demolish something.
  • Everything's Better with Rainbows: Thanks to her rainbow mane, she can leave rainbow blurs in her wake while zipping around. The mane color apparently runs in her family; her father and a male pony from the flashback in "Games Ponies Play" implied to be a relative also have rainbow-colored manes.
  • Expy:
    • Word of God confirms that Rainbow Dash is meant to be the Firefly from G1 of the cast. She also has some similarities with Whizzer from My Little Pony 'n Friends.
    • Rainbow Dash and Rarity are a Decomposite Character of the G3 and G3.5 Rainbow Dash, with Rainbow getting her name and color and Rarity getting her personality and love for fashion. Ironically, G3 Rainbow Dash was an Earth Pony. Although the animated G3 Rainbow Dash was originally an Onee-sama with a taste for fashion who underwent flanderization into being a bubbly, immature pony with a love of dressing up, the G3 comic version had a hugely adventurous streak and was effectively a Girly Bruiser. As the G3 Character Sheet notes, one G3 comic's description of her reads: "Rainbow Dash is the most outrageous pony you'll ever meet! When it comes to adventure, excitement, and fun, if Rainbow Dash hasn't done it, it's never been done!"
    • While much more obscure, there was a group of pony toys in G1 called the Rainbow Ponies, who were characterized by their rainbow hair, and according to their bios had the ability to use Super-Speed via rainbows.
    • Rainbow Dash is also the Mane Character with the most obvious parallel among The Powerpuff Girls (her fellow tomboy Buttercup).
  • Facepalm: A facehoof has over time become a signature move of Rainbow Dash; mostly directed at Fluttershy or Rarity.
  • Famed In-Story: In-Universe, Rainbow Dash is famous for being a hero and the greatest flier to come out of Cloudsdale, even having her own fan club in Ponyville. She becomes even more famous after becoming a Wonderbolt.
  • Fangirl: Of the Wonderbolts. And Daring Do.
  • Fantastic Nuke: Applejack asks her to destroy her old barn. Rainbow Dash happily obliges.
  • Fastest Thing Alive: She is only known pegasus who can fly fast enough to perform a Sonic Rainboom.
  • Fearless Fool: She is the most willing to face whatever conflict happens in an episode, but her brashness when trying to solve the problem has her make impulsive decisions that more-or-less make the problem worst than it was.
  • Feather Fingers: A few times, Rainbow Dash has used her wings as an extra pair of arms and her feathers as fingers, such as in "Trade Ya!", "Parental Glideance", and "Grannies Gone Wild".
  • The Fettered: As seen in "Wonderbolts Academy", she's set on proving herself as the fastest flyer alive, but is unwilling to do so in such a way that risks physical harm on other ponies.
  • Fiery Redhead: Played with; the way her mane colors are layered displays the red, orange and yellow most prominently for her bangs while the cooler colors are mostly hidden behind her neck. She certainly has the tough, energetic personality, though.
  • Flight: Rainbow Dash can use her wings to fly, at Super-Speed no less.
  • For Want Of A Nail: Turns out her first Sonic Rainboom indirectly caused the rest of the Mane Six to get their own cutie marks as well as helping Pinkie Pie "create Equestria".
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Choleric: ambitious and prone to aggression.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Not as much as Fluttershy, but animals are often shown to be drawn to Rainbow Dash.
    • Her pet turtle, Tank, loves her as much as she loves him.
    • In "Swarm Of The Century", a swarm of para-sprites cover her body, cuddling her.
    • In "May The Best Pet Win", every living creature in the episode loves her and desperately wants to be her pet.
    • In "Castle Sweet Castle", some of Fluttershy’s animal friends crowd around her, with a bird and squirrel sitting on her body, a bunny hugging one of her legs, and a weasel smiling at her.
    • Subverted in "Magical Mystery Cure", where the cutie mark swap gives her Fluttershy's mark, which means she has to take care of all of Fluttershy's animals. She's so bad at it that they attempt to cook her and eat her.
  • The Friends Who Never Hang: Her interaction with Rarity for most of the show is rather limited. Even "Sonic Rainboom", an episode they shared that revolved around Rarity's attempts to support Rainbow Dash, barely required them to have a single conversation together. It takes five whole seasons before they spend any significant screentime alone together in "Rarity Investigates!", and the rarity of their interactions — as well as the fact that they share almost no interests whatsoever — comes to a head when it nearly causes their friendship to disintegrate in "The End in Friend".
  • Friend to All Children: Rainbow Dash is a Cool Big Sis when it comes to foals.
    • She has her own fan club run by Scootaloo, made up of kids who idolize her.
    • She acts as Scootaloo’s mentor and surrogate big sister.
    • In "Games Ponies Play", she picks up a crystal pony filly and hugs her when it’s announced that the Crystal Empire will host the next Equestria Games.
    • In "Call of the Cutie", when she tries to help Apple Bloom earn her cutie mark by coaching her through various activities.
    • She acts as a coach for a school contest in "Flight to the Finish". The kids seem to be adoring every moment of it.
    • In "Fame and Misfortune", a mob of pegasus kids follow her around and keep asking her to tell them about the time she met Daring Do, and she tells them the story a couple dozen times before finally asking if she can take a break.
    • In Friends Forever 11, she is extremely sweet to the young foals and gently encouraging, even going as far as to end the class when they all start crying. Contrast to Spitfire who is a frozen nervous wreck and then decides to bust out her Drill Sergeant Nasty persona. Not the best idea in Spitfire's case.
  • Full-Name Basis: Her pals don't call her "Rainbow" very often.
  • Genki Girl: At times she can be this, especially when young ponies are around. She's never above a good prank either. Showcased in "Daring Don't" and "Flight to the Finish" in which she practically channels Pinkie Pie. In the latter episode, her excitement is justified with the Equestria Games coming up, but is also nothing short of supportive of the foals, especially the Cutie Mark Crusaders.
  • Genre Motif: Rock. Her appearance is often accompanied by an electric guitar in musical numbers that don't use the instrument anywhere else such as Rarity's second fashion show and "At the Gala".
  • Glory Seeker: During "The Mysterious Mare Do-Well", she wanted everypony to admire her good deeds. After the whole Mare-Do-Well fiasco, she's humbled out on this aspect.
  • Goal in Life: To become a Wonderbolt, and throughout the show, she moves closer and closer to that goal, eventually succeeding in season 6.
  • Gold Makes Everything Shiny: Rainbow Dash wears several outfits with gold details, such as her frilly outfit from "Swarm of the Century", her bad Grand Galloping Gala outfit from "Suited for Success", her good Grand Galloping Gala outfit, her cape from "Secret of My Excess" which had a gold star on it, her Commander Hurricane costume from "Hearth's Warming Eve", her bridesmaid outfit from "A Canterlot Wedding – Part 2", her princess coronation outfit from "Magical Mystery Cure", her Zapp costume from "Power Ponies", and her fancy dress from "Inspiration Manifestation". She also owns several gold trophies and medals.
  • Guilty Pleasure:
    • Reading as of "Read It and Weep". She stops feeling guilty about it by the end of the episode.
    • She's also reluctant to show affection to her pet tortoise when anyone's looking.
    • "Applejack's 'Day' Off" reveals that she isn't above spa treatments as much as she'd like other ponies to think, but prefers the others thinking she's "too cool" for them.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Being the most Hot-Blooded of the Mane Six, there have been times when it doesn't take long to infuriate her.
  • Hard-Drinking Party Girl: In the comic series, Rainbow Dash mentions that she barely remembers the events of Cadance and Shining Armor's wedding because she had too much of Pinkie's Tutti-Frutti Sherbet Sugar Punch. Taken a step further in the micro series, where she's clearly very, very drunk at the after-party for Rarity's Ponyville fashion show. Played for laughs in "The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy" and "Bats!" when she is obsessed with cider and even channels Helen Lovejoy when it's revealed she might not get it in the latter episode. In the former episode, she struggles to get cider but it's constantly taken from her until a very heartwarming epilogue.
  • Hates Being Alone: Admits as much (to herself) in "The Mysterious Mare Do Well". This also plays a huge part in "Tanks for the Memories" where she goes through great lengths so she wouldn't have to be separated from Tank for the winter (as in stopping winter itself from coming).
  • Hates Being Touched: A mild example. In "Ponyville Confidential" she first refuses to have a hooficure because it's too girly for her, then she nearly agrees to have one only to admit she hates other ponies touching her hooves. Seeing as "Applejack's "Day" Off" reveals that she is a closet spa goer, it is possible that she secretly likes hooficures, and didn't want her friends to find out.
  • Hates Reading: Subverted. At first, Rainbow didn’t read because she thought reading was for "eggheads", but she grows to love it after reading Daring Do.
  • Hero-Worshipper: Towards the Wonderbolts and Daring Do. Rainbow Dash idolizes them and acts like a total fangirl when she meets them.
  • Heroic BSoD: In "Tanks for the Memories", when it hits her that she can't prevent Tank from hibernating for the winter, she becomes too depressed to do more than stay in her house and lie in bed with Tank. It takes some harsh words from Fluttershy to jolt her out of it (and a big crying fit).
  • Hot-Blooded: She's very spirited, to say the least.
  • Hyper-Awareness: A Required Secondary Power to her flying skills; you need to be aware of anything that may be a problem if you're going to move that fast. She's gotten it down to a subconscious level, which Twilight is able to use to give her a much-needed history lesson without her even realizing it.
  • Improbable Piloting Skills: Despite her tendency to crash when attempting a fast landing or something especially difficult, Rainbow Dash can achieve phenomenal speed and agility in the air. She can break the sound barrier, perfectly dodge falling rocks and debris in two separate instances, and make very tight turns, as little as 90 degrees or less.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex:
    • Underneath all her boasting, she's extremely insecure about losing, as seen in "Fall Weather Friends".
    • In "Sonic Rainboom", she is terrified into near-catatonia at the thought of failing in front of the others (in particular, her idols, The Wonderbolts).
    • "The Mysterious Mare Do-Well": She has a breakdown once the Mare Do-Well becomes more famous than her and proves to be more skilled than her.
    • Spotlighted again in "Wonderbolts Academy" after she is assigned as a wing pony to Lightning Dust. This insecurity is what allows Lightning Dust to walk all over her... up until Dash's friends are put in danger.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Her boisterous exterior sometimes means she isn't best at reading other ponies' feelings. She will stick up for her friends, but they usually have to tell her there's anything wrong for her to notice them.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Apart from the 20% More Awesome comment about her gala dress, when looking for a pet, she considers "coolness, awesomeness, and radicalness" to all be different things, and of course, she doesn't explain how.
  • In-Series Nickname:
    • She's sometimes called "Dashie", most often by Pinkie Pie.
    • The episode "Sonic Rainboom" reveals that the "Rainbow Crash" moniker that Spike innocently sticks her with in "Bridle Gossip" was an actual unflattering nickname her Flight School bullies called her. "Newbie Crash" makes this her official nickname as a Wonderbolt.
    • Applejack has called her "R.D." at least once.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: With the Gold Horseshoe Gals (Granny Smith and her relatives, Applesauce, Apple Rose, and Goldie Delicious, the former of whom is her friend Applejack's grandmother), a quartet of elderly ladies, after she realizes that they are Cool Old Ladies who enjoy thrills such as roller coasters as much as she does. They invite her to join their club at the end.
  • It's All About Me: Can sometimes veer toward this whenever her pride gets the better of her, but considering her Element is loyalty, it's only skin deep. Her human counterpart, on the other hand, takes this to dizzying heights. Listen for yourself.
  • Jerkass Realization: Has moments like this quite often, especially in Season 2.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Rainbow Dash has a tendency to be arrogant and hotheaded. However she has no problems helping out other ponies in need as well as sticking by her friends no matter what. "May the Best Pet Win!" sums this up nicely — Dash puts the prospective pets through some tough trials, but it's to make sure they can keep up with her and don't get hurt by jumping into it without knowing what she needs from a pet. It's also highlighted in "Hurricane Fluttershy" where she's rather gruff to the pegasi and Fluttershy, but ultimately drops all plans to beat the record after she finds several pegasi have gotten sick and is even shown being amazingly patient and comforting to Fluttershy. By the later seasons, the "jerk" part is almost completely nonexistent.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: Extremely cynical and downright rude in some episodes of Season 2. Though she improves her attitude, her snark never dies.
  • The Knights Who Say "Squee!":
    • Any time she's near the Wonderbolts.
    • Or around Daring Do, for that matter.
  • The Lad-ette: Being an independent adult mare with a distinctly masculine personality and lifestyle, Rainbow Dash is as close as you can get to this trope in a G-rated work.
  • Last-Name Basis: She's referred to as "Dash" by Gilda.
  • Last-Second Showoff: Rainbow Dash is prone to this:
    • It's her Establishing Character Moment in the very first episode. Dash is supposed to clear the clouds out of the sky in time for a major celebration, but she lazes about while there are still a bunch of clouds left. She brags that she can afford to wait, because she can remove all the clouds "in ten seconds flat" — and she actually does.
    • In "The Mysterious Mare-Do-Well," another pony falls from a broken hot air balloon, but Dash waits to sign an autograph before zipping off to the rescue. This time, she's actually a second late. Fortunately, there was someone else to save the day.
  • Lazy Bum: Oddly enough, she's fast and athletic, but also terribly lazy. Also hinted at by Spike in one Cold Open.
    Twilight Sparkle: Ahh; what a gorgeous day!
    Spike: Rainbow Dash must've gotten up early for once and cleared all the clouds away!
  • The Leader:
    • She is in charge of Ponyvile's pegasi. This is most clearly seen in "Hurricane Fluttershy" where she calls a meeting, organizes the training regime, and then leads the effort to build the tornado. She is mostly a Headstrong variety but the Rousing Speech gives her a hoof in the Charismatic category.
    • "The Last Problem" shows that she eventually became The Captain of the Wonderbolts, succeeding Spitfire in that position.
  • Leeroy Jenkins:
    • Her first instinct is to fight whatever threat may happen to pop up, be it a manticore, a dragon or Nightmare Moon. She is stopped from doing so with Nightmare Moon and the dragon incident backfires on her.
    • Lampshaded in "Feeling Pinkie Keen" when Twilight Sparkle is facing a giant Hydra to buy time for her friends' escape.
      Twilight Sparkle: Oooh... what would a brave pony like Rainbow Dash do? [Beat] CHAAAARGE!
    • In later seasons she begins to subvert this as she becomes more level-headed and intelligent over the course of her Character Development. In "Over a Barrel" she attempts stealth and caution to track down the buffalo and save Spike, and in "A Canterlot Wedding" she shows a bit of Combat Pragmatist to defeat a trio of changelings attacking Fluttershy. In "Hurricane Fluttershy", Twilight accuses her of being such in collecting water for Cloudsdale in a pegasi wind tornado, however The Team sides with Rainbow Dash and The Plan works out after all.
  • Lethally Stupid:
    • Rainbow Dash is possibly the best flyer in Equestria, but her landings leave much to be desired, often smashing into things. Plus, there was that time she got it in her head it would be a good idea to kick a dragon in the face to get it to stop creating a smoke cloud over the country...
    • She also acts like this again in "Tanks for the Memories" when she accidentally wrecks havoc and destroys the weather factory in an attempt to prevent winter from happening.
  • Let Me at Him!: Often her reaction against a threat or if somebody has been mistreating her friends, such as in "Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000". Applejack is usually the one to hold her back.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Somewhat Exaggerated, she's a Reusable Made of Iron Fantastic Nuke with a Black Belt in Karate, as well as one of, if not the fastest Pegasus.
  • The Load: Whenever she tries to help solve a problem in an episode, usually she might ends up exacerbating it.
  • Lovable Jock: Rainbow Dash, although prone to arrogance and selfishness, is naturally a loyal and altruistic flyer who would sacrifice the ultimate opportunity to join the Wonderbolts' flying team for the safety of her friends. Note her loyal tendencies apply also to the citizens of Equestria.

    Tropes M to Z 
  • Made of Iron: There is barely an episode without her flying face-first into something. Still, she never suffers any lasting injury except when it's a plot point.
  • Making a Splash: She can make clouds that produce rain.
  • Manly Tears: Sheds some over Fluttershy's "hole in our hearts" statement from "The Last Roundup". She snaps out of it though in an effort to save face.
  • Maybe Ever After: "The Last Problem" leaves it vague as to whether or not she and Applejack are together. At first the crew said that it's left up to viewer interpretation but later sources do confirm outright that they were purposefully written to be a couple.
  • Meaningful Name: She loves to dash and every time she does, she creates a rainbow. Then there's her Sonic Rainboom, the epitome of technicolored velocity. She says it herself in "Boast Busters".
    Rainbow Dash: They don't call me "Rainbow" and "Dash" for nothing!
  • Morality Pet:
    • She seems to be growing as one for Spitfire in their later appearances together. When Spitfire's more jerkish tendencies start popping up in both "Wonderbolts Academy" and "Rainbow Falls", Dash eventually winds up calling her out on them leading Spitfire to eventually soften up.
    • Fluttershy, Scootaloo, and even her pet tortoise Tank tend to take turns bringing out some of Rainbow's own softer moments.
  • Ms. Vice Girl: She's prideful and lazy but her heart's in the right place and she can always be counted on to do the right thing in the end.
  • Mundane Utility:
    • Her karate comes in handy for collecting firewood.
    • Her Sonic Rainboom is helpful in demolition.
  • Nice Girl: She’s a little egotistical and rude, but she’s generally pretty nice, and she becomes even nicer in the later seasons.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: She did this in the early seasons, presenting a Book Dumb façade because she was insecure about herself and didn't want to be seen as an egghead. Post Character Development, she is no longer afraid to show her intelligence, which turns out to be pretty formidable (she's a lot smarter than she appeared in the early seasons). She was able to easily outsmart Garble and trick him into dropping a shield she needed, by just offering to race him but saying it would be easier for him to win if he wasn’t weighed down by it. Doubles as Character Development since she didn't care about winning the race at all, she just grabbed the shield and left, leaving Garble looking like an idiot. She doesn't learn easily in a classroom setting, but it's not because of her being stupid, or having a learning disability, but because she has trouble concentrating when she's bored.
  • Odd Friendship: Quite a few of them.
    • How she sees her relationship with Pinkie Pie after warming up to her. They have their love of fun and pranking in common.
    • More starkly, she's close friends with Fluttershy even though the only thing they have in common is having wings, and the two of them dislike most of the other's interests. While they've grown closer over the course of the series, much of their relationship at the start seemed to be based on Fluttershy being the only other flyer in the group. They did attend at least one summer flight camp session at the same time, but even though Rainbow Dash defended Fluttershy from some bullies, Rainbow didn't seem to pay attention to Fluttershy otherwise. Even during that incident, Rainbow didn't notice when Fluttershy was knocked off of her cloud.
    • Her friendship with Rarity since Rainbow Dash is a Passionate Sports Girl pegasus who loves racing and Rarity is a lady-like unicorn who loves going to the spa. But Rarity didn't hesitate to support Rainbow in the Young Fliers Competition and they both hung out and had a good time together in "Rarity Investigates!"
    • She's really good friends with Spike, despite being quite different from him in many regards. While they apparently share a love for Pony Trek (though they never really interact about it), their personalities are quite different. They don't interact much on screen, but when they do, Dash usually teases Spike, but she's shown to really care about him. When she overheard him saying he wanted to stay with Dragons forever, she was devastated.
    • Also her pet tortoise Tank.
  • Only Child Syndrome:
    • Averted in the show. A majority of the characters in this show have siblings. Also, she is the only one in the Mane Six who doesn't have any known siblings.
    • Rainbow Dash couldn't bear being near her parents because they gave her too much attention as their only daughter, as shown in "Parental Glideance". They were just proud of her accomplishments, but they couldn't stop bragging about her in public.
  • Opposites Attract:
    • In a non-romantic way with her pet tortoise Tank, considering that she's one of the fastest ponies ever and he's a slow tortoise. It's justified because at the core of both of them is loyalty and determination.
    • Also with Fluttershy; see Odd Friendship.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: It's not focused on too much, but her exceptional skills and powers have started to become underwhelmed by Twilight Sparkle's ever-increasing Superpower Lottery. Twilight even handily neutralises her as a Running Gag. Subverted in her main forte, however. Despite becoming an Alicorn, Twilight can not outfly Rainbow Dash, as displayed in their Best Out of Infinity racing contest in "Castle Sweet Castle".
  • Passionate Sports Girl: A tomboy who excels at competitive flying and dreams of joining the Wonderbolts.
  • Patchwork Kids: Has her mother's blue coat and magenta eyes and her father's rainbow hair.
  • Personality Powers: Free-spirited and impulsive; the only kind of personality for the fastest pony alive.
  • Plucky Girl: She's very determined, to say the least.
  • The Prankster:
    • Her love of pranks enables her to bond with Pinkie Pie.
    • All those pranks in "Griffon Brush Off"? Her idea.
    • In "Luna Eclipsed" she goes all-out on Nightmare Night, taking every chance to shock someone from behind with a lightning cloud. She gets paid out in her own coin at the end.
    • In "Twenty-Eight Pranks Later", she gets really carried away with the pranking. Once again, her friends repay her in kind.
  • Pride: She knows she's talented, but by "Wonderbolt Academy", she has matured enough to swallow it to accept an inferior position assigned by her superiors.
  • Rainbow Motif: Her mane and tail are all the colors of the rainbow, she creates rainbow trails when she flies at high speed, and the Sonic Rainboom creates a blast of colors.
  • Razor Wings: An ability inherent in pegasi. They're used to slice apart clouds in "Wonderbolt Academy".
  • Reality Warper: Briefly. In the unnamed sixth story arc in the Friendship is Magic comic series, Rainbow Dash gained the ability to create and warp entire realities to her heart's content. Within the second half of the arc, Pinkie Pie (who gained the same ability) created a world resembling The Lordofthe Rings, and Dash transformed that world into a recreation of Pony Trek, an obvious homage to Star Trek.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Yes, this is Rainbow Dash we're talking about. She can have this role at times when she's put in a position of authority. For example in "Flight to the Finish", she stops the train to the Crystal Empire, heads at top speed to Scootaloo's house, convinces her to Be Yourself, and returns to the Crystal Empire where the Cutie Mark Crusaders win the honor of carrying the Ponyville flag. Not only that, but she's very supportive (not as much as she'd like to be because of Harshwhinny's "advice") of the Crusaders and even telling them she wants them to win. She scolds Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle but only because they left their friend behind, which is something Rainbow Dash would never do on purpose. Note also the episode emphasizes she is efficient as one because she is acting like her usual hyperactive self, trying to subdue her enthusiasm to be more "professional" only ends up dumbfounding the fillies, and in the end she finally gives up the act to point out how awesome the Crusaders' act is.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gives one to Lightning Dust in "Wonderbolt Academy" after she almost gets her friends killed.
  • Remember When You Blew Up a Sun?: Her Sonic Rainboom is one of the few accomplishments that is brought up more than once. In addition to the episode itself, the original was seen when she told her cutie mark story in "Cutie Mark Chronicles", she used it to demolish a condemned barn in "Lesson Zero" and Celestia requested she perform it for Cadance's Wedding in "A Canterlot Wedding - Part 1" and she performs it in the next episode.
  • The Rival:
    • To Applejack in some early episodes. She's mostly a Friendly Rival. This is showcased in "Castle Mane-ia" where her rivalry causes her to stare down Applejack while covered in bees.
    • To Lightning Dust, beginning in "Wonderbolts Academy" and continuing to "The Washouts", where Lightning even screams "RIVALS FOR LIFE!" as she's dragged off by her own rocket..
  • Screw Destiny: Unlike everypony else, she firmly believes it's possible to make your Cutie Mark appear. After all, it worked for her. Interestingly, while the others seemed to believe that destiny lead them to their cutie marks, said "destiny" was Rainbow Dash doing the first Sonic Rainboom which set off the events that caused them to gain THEIR cutie marks. note 
  • Second Place Is for Losers: Doesn't take losing very well. To her, it's failing.
  • Secret Test of Character: In "Rainbow Falls", Rainbow must choose between joining her idolized Wonderbolts or sticking with Ponyville for the Equestria Games. She stuck with the latter, and given her loyalty, Spitfire awards her with her Wonderbolt pin, which becomes her key to the Chest of Harmony.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: She looks good when she wears dresses.
  • She's a Man in Japan: She and Applejack are both males in the Macedonian dub.
  • Shipper on Deck: Judging by her reaction when Daring Do mockingly flirted with Ahuizotl, she ships them.
  • Shock and Awe: She can induce clouds to release lightning and thunder. She mostly uses this to startle others.
  • Signature Move: The Sonic Rainboom.
  • Significant Birth Date: Her birthday is also the day she moved to Ponyville; fittingly, it is referred to as her "birth-iversary".
  • Simple-Minded Wisdom: Despite her arrogance and fairly uneducated demeanor, Rainbow Dash can be surprisingly perceptive at times. Generally happens when the situation requires her zeal of loyalty.
  • Smug Super: Though her abilities aren't un-achievable by normal pegasi, she is a skilled flyer, a heroine, the only one whose ever performed the Sonic Rainboom, and she knows all this very well. Exaggerated and deconstructed in "The Mysterious Mare Do Well" where her smugness gets in the way of her performance. When the ponies are teleported to a superhero comic book universe in "Power Ponies", it's no surprise that Rainbow takes to the role with the most enthusiasm.
  • Spectacular Spinning: A regular part of her repertoire, whether it's spinning clouds at top speed for a new stunt or generating an instant whirlwind by flying around at high speed.
  • Speed Demon: She's the fastest flier in the world, so much so that speed is what got her her cutie mark. She isn't modest about this in the slightest.
  • Spirited Competitor: Loves competing. This is highlighted in "Fall Weather Friends" with Applejack and in "Wonderbolts Academy" with Lightning Dust; win against someone worth it.
  • Strong Family Resemblance:
    • Looks like a gender-swapped version of what may be a relative of hers that we see in "Games Ponies Play".
    • In "Parental Glidence", we learn that she has taken her trademark rainbow hair from her father, and her coat and eye color from her mother.
  • The Squadette: Not only is she the manliest of the female cast and a jock, she is also the most military. Be it talking like a drill sergeant, practicing karate, wearing proper camo, barking out orders during missions like a squad commander, or joining the military and taking everything seriously, she is very obsessed with anything military-related. She will sometimes treat her friends as troops if the situation is dire enough. Sometimes she takes this to such extremes that she uses military time even when talking to a bunch of grade-schoolers.
  • Squee:
    • Upon winning the Best Young Flyers Competition and getting to meet the Wonderbolts.
      Rainbow Dash: Ohmygoshohmygoshohmygoshohmygoshohmygoshohmygoshohmygoshohmygosh!
    • Also when invited to "hang out" with the Wonderbolts in the final episode of Season 1.
      Rainbow Dash: I'm. Hanging. With the. Wonderbolts! *Squeee!*
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: She's abrasive and boastful, but eventually defrosts and becomes the most loyal friend you can have.
  • Super-Cute Superpowers: The "Rainbow Dash Special", a.k.a. the SONIC RAINBOOOOM!
  • Super-Speed: She's self-described as the fastest pony in Equestria, and indeed none have been seen that can for certain achieve the sorts of sustained speed she does when performing a Sonic Rainboom (implied to be faster than the speed of sound based on the mach cone forming around her before she completes it). In fact, by Season 6 she's able to break the sound barrier and make a sonic boom without performing a Sonic Rainboom. She mostly uses her super-speed when flying, but she was also able to run fast enough to leave a trail of rainbow-colored flames in May The Best Pet Win and go into Bullet Time in Secrets And Pies.
  • Super-Strength: All indications point to her being, by far, the most physically powerful of the Mane Six. She can effortlessly defeat Applejack at hoof-wrestling, deliver blows of incredible power, and impact the ground with such ruinous force as to raze buildings. Should she lose control of her mind, subduing her requires the combined effort of her five friends. Exaggerated in the comics. In the Nightmare Rarity storyline, Dash helped pull the moon closer to the planet, albeit, with the help of all of her friends, Luna and Celestia, and in the Reflections arc, Dash was capable of holding her own against an evil version of Princess Luna quite well.
    • However, her superiority over her friends is oftentimes zigzagged. In earlier episodes, particularly Fall Weather Friends, Dash was more or less shown to be equal with Applejack in most physical activities and in the gag manga story Are They Rivals!?, Dash and Applejack are shown to be just as strong as each other in their hoof-wrestling match, with AJ only winning by abusing Dash's love for Apple Cider.
  • The Team Wannabe: Wants to join the Wonderbolts and eventually does so.
  • Temporarily a Villain: In "Tanks for the Memories", where she tries to stop winter so Tank doesn't have to hibernate.
  • Token Flyer: Rainbow Dash was this in the earlier days of the series. Though Fluttershy could fly, being a pegasus and all, she was a weak flier at best and was most comfortable on the ground with her animals. So much so that she's actually had to be rescued from falling by other flying characters in the series, and on one occasion received a pretty dirty glare from her rescuer. This pretty much left Rainbow Dash and her dreams of joining the Wonderbolts flight squadron to be their go-to pony any time they needed someone with a set of wings. Subverted as the series has gone on though, not only with Fluttershy gaining confidence and becoming a stronger flier but also with Twilight Sparkle and eventually Spike gaining the innate ability to fly as well.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl:
    • While considerably more tomboyish than Pinkie, she gets along with her fairly well.
    • Also plays this role in relation to Fluttershy.
  • Tomboyish Voice: Downplayed. Her voice is feminine enough (not that this has stopped fans from thinking she's male), however it's slightly more boyish-sounding than the other mares.
  • Tomboy with a Girly Streak: Her tomboyish-ness is one of her most well-known traits; crude mannered, little interest in her appearance (other than looking "awesome" of course), very interested in sports, etc. "Ponyville Confidential" even shows that she's very touchy about having someone giving her a "hoof-icure". Her girly streak gets longer in Season 6, she isn't above being in a fashion show, wearing a dress at a gala or going to the spa but she draws the line at getting a hooficure. "Applejack's "Day" Off" reveals that Rainbow Dash has been secretly visiting the Ponyville Spa for sometime (her regular appointment at the spa is for a "pampered muzzle massage and indulgent hooficure"). Her famous line "20% cooler" was even referring to a dress.
  • Too Fast to Stop: Quite often. Only Pinkie Pie's shown to catch up to her, though only with Rule of Funny. Inverted by the Sonic Rainboom which seems to allow her to turn on a dime at over Mach 1.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: A subtle example that builds up over the seasons. While still an abrasive egotist, a lot of Rainbow Dash's lessons concerning her arrogance and consideration for her friends have stuck, her altruism is on display a lot more and she even musters occasional gentle moments towards others (most notably with Scootaloo and Fluttershy, the latter of which she could barely tolerate initially). Note that this was only after briefly having Took a Level in Jerkass in Season 2, due to having her key flaws more prominently focused on. It did her a lot of good in the end. Especially prominent in Season 7. Compare the Rainbow Dash of "Dragonshy" to the Dash of "Campfire Tales"; she's much more able to balance her "awesome and proud of it" mentality with being openly kind and considerate of others' fears and insecurities. Ego she may have, but Dash consistently takes lessons about compassion to heart.
  • Trademark Favorite Drink: Cider; she's been seen going nuts over it every time it's been mentioned.
  • True Blue Femininity: Inverted. She has a blue coat and partially blue mane, but she's the least feminine of the mane cast, as an action-oriented and hotheaded tomboy.
  • Tsundere: Considering how much she Took a Level in Jerkass/Kindness when dealing with her friends, and especially with her pet tortoise Tank, this definitely qualifies. She's also a Type A around Applejack and Fluttershy before mellowing out in Season 2. She even says a classic tsundere line in "Just for Sidekicks". She insists that she's not hiring Spike to watch Tank because she's worried about him but because he might slack off. Cue Luminescent Blush.
  • Vertebrate with Extra Limbs: A pegasus.
  • Weather Manipulation: Her day job is controlling Ponyville's weather.
  • We Used to Be Friends:
    • With Gilda in "Griffon the Brush Off". They have a falling out when Gilda has an aggressive outburst toward Dash's Ponyville friends, especially Pinkie Pie. That ends their friendship for a long while, though they eventually reconcile in "The Lost Treasure of Griffonstone".
    • Also with Lightning Dust in "Wonderbolt Academy", after Dash realizes how self-centered and dangerous Lightning Dust is. This one sticks, as they remain rivals in "The Washouts".
  • Wolverine Publicity:
    • Not only has she inherited Firefly's personality but she seems to have inherited this trope as well. She shows up on almost every single official t-shirt and was the focus of hyping up "Cutie Mark Chronicles", a popular episode expanding on the mane cast's backstory.
    • The Wall Street Journal agrees.
    • She and Applejack were also featured in spots promoting "Hearts and Hooves Day"; an episode neither of them were in.
    • She has replaced Pinkie Pie as the franchise's representative in 2018.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: In "Tanks for the Memories" she is willing to completely halt the seasons if it means spending more time with her pet tortoise, Tank, even getting a sort of Villain Song. She could also be a Well-Intentioned Extremist. This is the same pegasus who couldn't stand how slow her tortoise was at first and cried Tender Tears when winter happened anyway. She didn't get her wish but accepted that Tank would be back in spring.
  • The Worf Effect: Mostly in the comics. In Friendship is Magic #2, Dash was defeated, in a single panel no less, by a spider monster roughly the size of her and in The Good, The Bad, and the Ponies storyline, Dash was ragdolled in a single hit by Longhorn.
  • You Don't Look Like You: The Rainbow Dash toys don't really look like Rainbow; Toy RD's mane is only 4 colors (the blue and purple being in her tail instead), her coat is rather grayish-blue, and her Cutie Mark is always backward. The Blind Bags only screw up the cutie mark.


Video Example(s):


Time To Be Awesome

Rainbow Dash encourages Captain Celaeno and her crew to rekindle their adventurous spirits and help them save Equestria from the Storm King by singing the song "Time To Be Awesome".

How well does it match the trope?

3.86 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / PepTalkSong

Media sources: