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Characters / Friendship Is Magic: The Mane Cast

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The Main Cast: Twilight Sparkle, Fluttershy, Rarity, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Spike, Starlight Glimmer, the Cutie Mark Crusaders
Supporting Cast: The Princesses (Princess Celestia, Princess Luna), Mane Family Members, the School of Friendship, Ponyville, Other Locations, Animal Companions
Antagonists: Major Villains (Queen Chrysalis, King Sombra, Lord Tirek, Cozy Glow), Dangerous Creatures, Jerks and Bullies, Redeemed Antagonists (Discord)
World of Equestria: Races, Historical Figures, The 2017 Movie, Expanded Universe (IDW Series), Toyline Exclusive, Miscellaneous
Minor Characters: One-Shots, Other Characters, Background Ponies (Common Background Ponies, Special Background Ponies, Other Background Ponies)
Equestria Girls: Heroines (Sunset Shimmer), Villains, Supporting Cast
Our heroines and Spike.note 

The Mane Six. These are our heroines. From trying to get along at a slumber party to defeating Physical Gods of darkness and chaos, these girls overcome just about any obstacle with the Magic of their Friendship. They're cute. They're awesome. They're the embodiment of the Elements of Harmony.

Oh, and Spike and Starlight Glimmer are here too.

For the tropes that set apart their human counterparts of Equestria Girls from the pony characters, see the entries on the series' protagonist characters subpage.

Character-Specific Pages:

Tropes shared by multiple Mane Characters:

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  • Action Girl: All the main ponies are prepared to get into a fight and handle themselves well if they have to.
  • All-Loving Hero: All of them, but especially Twilight and Fluttershy. They are caring and kind to others, very forgiving and are always willing to give someone a second chance, even if they were once bitter enemies. Even Rainbow Dash is one the kindest and emotional friends you'll know, especially by Season 4, she's just a more snarky example than most. Considering their main goal is to spread friendship across Equestria and not destroy it and create enemies, it makes total sense.
  • Amazon Brigade: This is especially true when compared to the main characters of previous generations: G1's ponies seemed to be helpless without Megan and G3's ponies had no villains to begin with.
  • Badass Adorable: All of the Mane Six are cute ponies that have accomplished tasks that may seem impossible for most ponies; and even saved Equestria several times from monsters and other evil gods. Starlight Glimmer in particular pulled together a group of misfits to rescue the Princesses, the Royal Family as well as the Mane Six from the vengeful Queen Chrysalis.
  • Badass Crew: Even without the Elements of Harmony, they are all very capable fighters with powerful abilities that other ponies can only dream of having. Needless to say, it would be unwise to underestimate them.
    • Twilight Sparkle is a magical prodigy whose immense knowledge and ever-increasing list of spells allows her to take down and incapacitate entire armies when sufficiently provoked — and she becomes even stronger when becoming an alicorn princess, gaining the power to fly at high speeds and adding even more powerful magic to her arsenal.
    • Rainbow Dash is a strong, cloud-walking, Lightning Bruiser pegasus with Weather Manipulation powers — up to and including Blow You Away, Shock and Awe and Making a Splash — and enhanced flight who can fly fast enough to break the sound-barrier and create massive rainbow explosions that can raze builidings or even turn herself into a deadly rainbow nuke.
    • Fluttershy is another pegasus who typically doesn't like to fight but she is the embodiment of Beware the Nice Ones as when she gets angry she can fly fast enough to catch up to Rainbow Dash and is a Beast Master who has an entire army of animals that she can summon who are loyal to her and will protect her with their lives. She can even pacify and bring to her side deadly creatures like massive dragons, Cockatrice, Cerberus and Manticores by simply staring and shouting at them.
    • Rarity is very dainty, fashionable and feminine but she has no problem getting her hooves dirty in a fight being a Kung-Fu Wizard and Lady of War who can one-shot changelings with a solid right-hoof and her usage of magic becomes progressively stronger over the course of the series, having mastered the use of Mind over Matter and Projectile Spell magic and she even learns how to create gem barriers like her Equestria Girls counterpart.
    • Applejack is a hard-working Earth Pony who has incredible Super-Strength that she mixes with her enormous talent with her lasso and allows her to lift up giant boulders and launch them across the horizon and deliver blows (mainly kicks due to being a Kick Chick) of incredible power and is also a skilled and fast athlete that rivals Rainbow Dash.
    • Pinkie Pie may seem like a normal Earth Pony at first glance but she is actually a borderline Reality Warper who can break the fourth wall, extend her hooves and limbs, store and summon massive objects like her powerful party cannon from seemingly out of nowhere, can defy laws of gravity and physics, can move faster on the ground than Rainbow Dash can fly, can see into the future with her Pinkie Sense, can split her body into small bits and come back together like nothing happened, can levitate in the air, can move her hair around like a living being to grab and swat people and objects away, make things as large as thicker than average books sink into her hair to the point of being unseen and dig by having her hair spin around like a drill, teleport large distances at will as well as much more.
  • Badass Teacher: They've saved Equestria several times and in Season 8, open a school to teach friendship.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Especially Twilight and Fluttershy. They are all pleasant and supportive towards others, but don't push their buttons. Discord and Tirek learned that the hard way. They will be quick to forgive and give you a second chance afterwards however. Starlight Glimmer's introduction to the team alone can attest to that. Also their reformation of Discord (even though it took time for most of them to eventually truly consider him a friend). Pinkie, who seems to go out of her way to subvert this trope, seems to be the only exception to this.
  • Break the Cutie: They all experience this at some point, the most prominent example is when Discord corrupts them one-by-one in "The Return of Harmony" two-parter.
  • Break the Haughty: At the same time, there are a lot of times where all of them (even Pinkie and Fluttershy) act overconfident at best, and they receive proper comeuppance for it.
  • Brutal Honesty: Rainbow Dash, Applejack, and Starlight Glimmer have a tendency to do this. One episode about Applejack in particular was centered around her going too far in her honesty.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Each and every one of them have their own unusual quirks, habits, and flaws. However, they are extremely skilled at their unique special talents, and are a competent team that saved Equestria multiple times. They are also relied on by several members of Ponyville in running important celebrations and events. The season 5 finale showed multiple awful futures on what would've happened if they had never met.
  • Character Development: The cast has undergone character development as the series has gone on:
    • Twilight has become less socially awkward, and more cheerful and confident; Fluttershy more assertive; Rainbow Dash less arrogant, more caring and more genuinely confident (rather than mere bravado); Applejack more willing to accept the help of others; Rarity more willing to get her hooves dirty; Spike being kinder and more intelligent; and even Pinkie Pie has had more of her character revealed. Several of them have also gotten closer to achieving their dreams or otherwise risen in social standing; Rarity has seen success in the fashion world as well as in upper-crust socialization, Rainbow Dash goes from idolizing the Wonderbolts to becoming a Wonderbolt herself, and Twilight became an alicorn and the Princess of Friendship.
    • Rarity and Dash have also become closer to many of their friends, or have seen marked changes in how they relate to them. Dash with Pinkie Pie, Scootaloo, and Fluttershy. Pinkie Pie was initially pegged by Dash as annoying, Fluttershy as a weak burden, and Scootaloo was largely unnoticed. Rarity with Spike, Sweetie Belle, Applejack and Fluttershy. With Spike she has grown more affectionate with him in a rather sisterly manner, with Sweetie Belle she seems to have grown more patient, with Applejack more understanding of their differences and less forceful with Fluttershy but still encouraging her to go outside of her comfort zone.
    • In Season 4, the characters demonstrate that even though they can make the same mistake more than once (e.g., Pinkie's insecurity in "Party of One" and "Pinkie Pride", or Fluttershy's performance anxiety in "Hurricane Fluttershy" and "Filli Vanilli"), they're able to recover from them faster than they did previously.
    • Starlight Glimmer is introduced as a very cynical, selfish and manipulative dictator who didn't really care for others, with a very dangerous Berserk Button that was easy to push. However, with the help of the Mane Six, little by little she becomes a lot more socially aware, kind, receptive and friendly. Part of her ongoing development is also learning to rein in her trigger-happiness with magic, when she's faced with a problem.
  • Circle of Friendship: When they activate the power of the Elements of Harmony, and later their Rainbow Powers, they form this.
  • Classical Anti-Hero: The entire Mane Cast and even Spike are this to varying extents. At the start of the series (just to put it as short as possible), Fluttershy is a Lovable Coward with zero self-confidence, Rainbow Dash is an arrogant slacker, Rarity is a self-absorbed drama queen, Applejack is as stubborn as a mule, Pinkie Pie has crippling abandonment issues, Twilight Sparkle is a neurotic shut-in who gets way too worked up over things, and Spike is an immature Dogged Nice Guy. That said, their good qualities far outweigh their bad and countless episodes are dedicated to them learning lessons or changing for the better.
  • Color-Coded Characters:
    • Twilight is associated with the coming of the night, so Twilight Sparkle is purple and mainly has dark colors. May also indicate how Purple Is Powerful. Purple was also especially a royal color in the Roman Empire because it was hard to make. note  Guess what she becomes.
    • Pink is a cheery fun color, so Pinkie Pie is well... pink.
    • Rarity is a white color while having a dark purple mane, leading to a regal appearance.
    • Rainbow Dash loves to fly, so naturally her colors represent the day sky. Her body is sky blue while her mane and tail are rainbow-colored.
    • Fluttershy is timid, so naturally, she's yellow. The pink flowing mane and tail also shows her more feminine side. Her colors are also evocative of springtime.
    • Applejack's colors (orange body and blond mane) seem to imply that she's been out working in the sun for a long time. They may also represent the colors of the autumn harvest.
    • Spike's colors, green and purple, are homages to both his boyish, naive nature (green) and his friendship/little-brother ness to Twilight (purple). Also green is his greed.
    • Starlight Glimmer is a purple unicorn with a dark purple mane. She is also immensely powerful with magical abilities that rival Twilight Sparkle's. Starlight also has a little teal in her color scheme, to represent her bright creativity (in regards to her innovative magical abilities).
  • Cool Big Sis:
    • Applejack and Rarity have little sisters who both look up to them and think they're the coolest ponies in town. See our page on the episode "Sisterhooves Social" for a note on the slightly rocky start to Rarity's Cool Big Sis status, though. She makes it up.
    • Pinkie Pie, being that she is friendly to nearly everypony, is naturally this to all of the younger characters.
      • When Apple Bloom is down in the dumps about not getting her cutie mark, she invites her to bake cupcakes.
      • When Spike wants to help announce a race, but sees that Pinkie has already taken up the position, she invites him to co-announce.
      • On Nightmare Night, she chaperones all the fillies and colts.
      • She enjoys playing with the baby Cake twins. She also learns to be more nurturing when she's tasked with babysitting them while mom and dad are away on business.
      • She even tries to this with Fluttershy who, being a year older, is not amused.
    • Fluttershy herself gets the admiration of the Cutie Mark Crusaders after saving them from a cockatrice.
    • Rainbow Dash is this in Scootaloo's eyes, although this is also averted by Word of God, who says that she probably wouldn't be the best big sister in the world. However she gets moments of this towards Fluttershy in later episodes and officially becomes Scootaloo's surrogate big sister in "Sleepless in Ponyville".
    • Twilight Sparkle acts as a Cool Big Sis towards Spike, but their relationship may be more mother/son-like than Big sister/Little brother-like.
    • The Mane Six become a group of cool big sisters to newcomer Starlight Glimmer, who while she is around their age, Starlight has an extremely limited outlook on friendship compared to them. Twilight Sparkle in particular is literally Starlight's teacher. Starlight is also the only one on the crew who treats Spike as an equal or even a superior.
  • The Cutie: All of them, but especially Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie. Yes, even Rainbow Dash.
  • Damsel in Distress:
    • Thanks in part of Discord's brief Face–Heel Turn, The Mane Five (sans Twilight) including Spike, are held captive by Lord Tirek in the Season 4 Finale.
    • In the Season 6 finale, thanks to a vengeful Queen Chrysalis, all six of the Elements of Harmony, along with Spike, are kidnapped alongside Celestia, Luna, Cadance, Shining Armor, and Flurry Heart, in revenge for Chrysalis' defeat at the Royal Wedding to pave the way for a full-scale invasion of Equestria by the Changelings.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Starlight Glimmer's first interactions with the Mane Six were... not pretty to say the least. Starting out as a ruthless and sour dictator of a False Utopia town, to season-long Arc Villain enemy of the Mane Six, to almost destroying their friendship (as well as Equestria, unintentionally) out of revenge, to surrendering and being forgiven by the Mane Six and becoming the team's Sixth Ranger and pupil to Twilight Sparkle.
  • Depending on the Writer: While the Mane Cast all have consistent defining traits, the extent they are played or exaggerated varies from episode to episode. This can make all the difference between them playing The Straight Mare or a Cloudcuckoolander (both of which all seven have played at least once).
  • Determinator: These are some stubborn ponies. See their respective pages for more detail.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: They have defeated two Physical Gods, an Alien Invasion, an Eldritch Abomination tyrant, and a tyrannical centaur with the combined magical power of the entire country (including the Princesses and Discord), all incredibly powerful threats to Equestria. In an ironic twist, Starlight Glimmer, as a perfectly normal unicorn, managed to briefly defeat all of the Mane Six with the help of her villagers in her debut appearance. So does Cozy Glow, a perfectly normal Pegasus filly.
  • Distinctive Appearances: The two Tomboy ponies (Rainbow Dash and Applejack) lack bottom eyelashes while the girlier ponies (Rarity, Fluttershy, and Twilight Sparkle) have them.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?:
    • By Season 4, the cast has saved Equestria multiple times, got publicly honored and knighted by Celestia the second time, restored Princess Luna to her true self after a thousand years, reformed a Mad God, and Twilight is now an alicorn Princess. Yet no-one outside Canterlot ever seems to remember any of this unless it's a plot point. Spike gets this worse than the others, as he's the Zoidberg in the "My Friends... and Zoidberg" dynamic of the group — on the off occasion they're recognized as heroes, he's usually forgotten.
    • Deconstructed in "Cutie Re-Mark" where Starlight Glimmer doesn't comprehend how the Mane Six needed to gain their cutie marks and friendship to prevent the ruin or destruction of Equestria.
    • Averted in "Flutter Brutter" where Zephyr Breeze has major insecurities both over his own failures, and his sister being a national hero.
    • Averted and Deconstructed in "Fame and Misfortune", where the Mane Six become overnight sensations when they publish their friendship journal for other Ponies to read, but become constantly pestered and harassed by Loony Fans.
  • Embodiment of Vice: When corrupted by Discord in "The Return of Harmony", they start acting the complete opposite of the Elements they represent:
    • Applejack becomes deceitfulness;
    • Pinkie becomes apathy and cynicism;
    • Rarity becomes greed and envy;
    • Fluttershy becomes spite/cruelty;
    • Rainbow becomes betrayal and aloofness;
    • Twilight briefly becomes severance and isolation.
  • Embodiment of Virtue: They each represent one of the Elements of Harmony, which lets them harness the Elements against villains.
    • Applejack represents honesty;
    • Pinkie represents laughter;
    • Rarity represents generosity;
    • Fluttershy represents kindness;
    • Rainbow represents loyalty;
    • Twilight represents magic, which in this setting is The Power of Friendship.
  • Ensemble Cast: Twilight is undoubtedly the main character of the show, but she is no more likely to be the focus of an episode than the other five (excluding Spike).
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: Rainbow Dash and Applejack, who prefer to solve problems with melee combat, are the Fighters; Rarity, who often solves problems with guile and deception, and Fluttershy, who is by nature very discreet, are the Thieves; meanwhile the super-OP sorceresses Twilight Sparkle and Starlight Glimmer are obviously the Mages.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: While all the ponies had broad knowledge of the others' existence beforehand, and some were explicitly shown to have known each other (such as Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash going to the same Flight Camp), it's also implied that some of them wouldn't have associated with each other prior to the series (such as Applejack and Rarity), so for most of them, their first significant activity together was saving the world from Nightmare Moon.
  • Foil: Each one of the seven contrasts each of the other six in some way; as shown here. Some Foil pairings are more prevalent than others, however:
    • Applejack and Rarity clash frequently because of their slob vs. snob, down-to-earth pony vs. sophisticated unicorn dynamic. Amusingly inverted when they switch roles in "Simple Ways".
    • Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy. Both are pegasus ponies from Cloudsdale and have known each other since childhood, but they couldn't be more different. Brash versus shy, combative versus delicate, etc. As a result, Rainbow Dash often tries to push Fluttershy into being more outgoing, while Fluttershy tries to make Rainbow Dash more sensitive (by inviting her to watch a butterfly migration, for example).
    • Twilight Sparkle and Pinkie Pie. The former is a logical, by-the-book(s) pony who treats magic like a science, while the latter regularly defies the law of physics (and of magics!) by sheer personality, leading to no end of frustration from Twilight when she's trying to make heads or tails of it.
    • Twilight Sparkle and Starlight Glimmer. Very powerful when it comes to magic, but held different views of how friendship should be. By the end of Season 5, however, Starlight is starting to become more like Twilight after becoming good.
  • A Friend in Need: Obviously since My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is a show centered around The Power of Friendship and Love Redeems, it probably doesn't need to be explained in detail that most of the major characters would go above and beyond for a friend, with standouts being the responsible ones like Twilight and Applejack or the sociable ones like Pinkie Pie and Rarity, to name a few.
  • Genki Girl: When any of them get excited over something, stand back.
  • Handwriting as Characterization: "Fame and Misfortune" reveals that each of the Mane 6 had a different way of writing in their friendship journal. For three of them, this involved their handwriting reflecting their personalities: Fluttershy wrote very small as to avoid taking up too much space; Rarity wrote in perfect calligraphy, and Rainbow Dash wrote with so much passion she left rips in the paper.
  • Hidden Depths: One of the greatest things about this cast is the fact that they all have different dimensions to their personalities.
  • Humans Are Flawed: A good part of their appeal is that while they are sweet ponies at heart, each has one or more cardinal flaws that she needs to learn to work on Once per Episode. Unfortunately, Discord knows every one of them.
  • Humble Hero: The girls are perfectly aware they save Equestria from powerful villains and threats on a regular basis, but they never brag about their deeds and always do it out of sheer love for their land, family and friends. Rather than being celebrated for their exploits, they would rather hang out and have a good time together like the True Companions they are, even if Rainbow Dash does have the occasional Glory Seeker moment. "Fame and Misfortune" deconstructs the idea, in which the Mane Six really don't appreciate the crazy amount of attention they receive from their "fans".
  • Idiot Ball: In the Slice of Life stories, each pony tends to take turns either causing or solving the big conflict or hazard for the episode, usually according to their personality.
  • Large Ham: Some are more apparent than others (e.g. Rarity and Rainbow Dash rarely aren't), but all of them like Chewing the Scenery when the time fits.

  • Magical Girl Warrior: Any time there is a villain that requires a fight to put down, expect them to be this with a high chance of friendship-powered laser beams.
  • Manchild: The main characters are all responsible young adults (with the possible exception of Pinkie Pie). Their behavior, on the other hand, often ranges from emotionally immature (generally, to set up a lesson in friendship) to downright childlike. For example, take the following bon mot from cosmopolitan fashion designer and social climber Rarity, upon hearing that a game of Pin the Tail on the Pony is starting: "Oh, my favorite game! Can I go first? Can I have the purple tail?"
  • Masculine, Feminine, Androgyne Trio: They can be divided into two of these. Mix and match as you please, but each form of gender expression needs one character as listed below:
    • Masculine: Rainbow Dash is sporty and competitive, and Applejack is a hardworking farmer.
    • Feminine: Fluttershy is caring and sweet, and Rarity is glamorous and dainty.
    • Androgynous: Twilight Sparkle is smart and level-headed, and Pinkie Pie is wacky and free-spirited.
  • Meaningful Name: All of the Mane Six's (and Spike's) names describe some aspect of of their personality and/or appearance.
  • Ms. Vice Girl: All the main characters are supposed to have both flaws and strengths. Many of the flaws are more weaknesses than vices, and/or clearly the less dominant side of the character, but some fit this trope:
    • Twilight Sparkle is meticulous and scientific, making her very efficient as The Smart Guy of the group and suggesting a down-to-earth opinion, but also an obsessive perfectionist and a tad cynical and easily aggravated.
    • Rainbow Dash has a very headstrong attitude (albeit one which hides her fear of not living up to her own expectations) often making her brash, insensitive and prideful. However, she is also determined, an extremely loyal friend and a rather good jester.
    • Applejack is very neighbourly, hard-working and altruistic with a high moral code. However she could also be very prideful, which could make her confrontational, self-righteous and incredibly stubborn when crossed. Her care for her friends of family also makes her very reliable and motherly, but it also exacerbates her flaws since she has enormous fears of having anything bad happen to them or letting them down.
    • Rarity is superficial and likes attention far too much, but in spite of this is actually very considerate (most of the time), and even the superficiality ties to her artistic calling, making it actually less superficial (and is just as often manifested as a desire to help others look fabulous too).
    • Pinkie Pie occasionally doesn't listen to others who have a better assessment of how to handle a problem or who question her own ability to deal with things. She also deals with actual or perceived rejection extremely poorly, either completely breaking down or becoming a Determinator to the extent that she disregards all concerns for personal choices or privacy. That said, she never, ever intends to do anything but ensure that everybody has a great time.
    • Fluttershy is somewhat meek and even cowardly, and sometimes would rather ignore problems that need to be decisively dealt with. Because she's also hesitant to call out others on their bad behavior, she can also act as a bit of an enabler to less moral characters like her spoiled pet bunny Angel or reality-bender and house guest Discord. Generally, though, she's a naturally kind pony who wants to help her friends and the local wildlife.
    • Spike is rude and greedy (dragons are hoarders by nature, after all), but also loyal, hardworking, and considerate.
    • Starlight Glimmer is kind and helpful but also very meticulous and logical. Starlight tends to get so wrapped up in her own logic that she will make decisions regardless of ethics or how others around her may feel about it, thus coming off as heartless and potentially creating even worse problems. This still works to her advantage, as Starlight is very good at recognizing problems and finding solutions to make things better, and even consider factors the others may not see.
  • Nice Girl: These ponies are some of the nicest characters on the show, Twilight, Fluttershy, and Pinkie especially. The few times they do act as jerks, it's usually due to them being Innocently Insensitive or them carrying the Jerkass Ball.
  • Not My Lucky Day: Whichever pony's turn it is to have A Day in the Limelight, expect them to drive themselves into a grand scale Humiliation Conga from one of their shortcomings or oversights. Even outside that, all seven characters have occasional Butt-Monkey roles.
  • The One Guy: Even though he's not a pony, Spike is the only recurring male member in this cast.
  • One Extra Member: Even though there are technically eight of them (previously seven), the group is generally referred to as "The Mane Six", even when Spike or Starlight Glimmer are around.
  • The Only One: Especially applicable around the Canterlot Royal Guards.
  • Only the Chosen May Wield: Only the Mane Six can wield the Elements of Harmony. Celestia and Luna, while they once did, can't anymore. Spike and Starlight Glimmer cannot either, because they simply don't have an Element.
    • The one time that someone who wasn't already chosen to wield an Element tried to use one, the magic overwhelmed them with darkness.
    • In "The Mean 6", Queen Chrysalis creates evil clones of the Mane Six to try and use the Elements of Harmony. Turns out the Elements aren't so easily tricked, and the evil clones are turned into ordinary pieces of wood by the Elements' power.
  • Pals with Jesus:
    • They are close to Princess Celestia, due to one of them (Twilight) being her personal student.
    • For the 'pals' part this is literally the case by the Season 3 finale, after Twilight becomes an alicorn princess.
    • Starlight Glimmer, now after becoming Twilight's pupil.
  • Party of Representatives: The six main characters count two of every primary type of pony — two earth ponies, two pegasi, and two unicorns, alongside a young dragon. After the third season, one of the unicorns becomes an alicorn instead.
  • Personality Powers: Justified in the case of their connection to the Elements of Harmony in that each pony displays the trait named by the Elements of Harmony.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: These ponies may be little, but they've all displayed impressive feats of strength, with Applejack and Rainbow Dash as the top contenders. And Twilight's vast array of magic powers are nothing to sneeze at. Heck, most (fan-made) measurements put the average female pony at between "3 to 4 feet tall", the height of a young human child; yet ponies can do physical feats even the strongest men in the world could not feasibly do: kicking trees to break off the apples, taking shots from a dragon that can fit them all on its head and not die, and various other feats.
  • The Power of Friendship:
    • While it's of course also a main theme of the show in general, these six ponies in particular are capable of some pretty amazing feats whenever they remember to set aside whatever minor differences they may have that episode and work together as friends. The ultimate last-resort expression of that is, of course, using the Elements of Harmony to deliver a combined energy attack capable of easily defeating Physical Gods (complimentary World-Healing Wave optional), though it's worth keeping in mind that this has so far proven truly necessary only twice in the show's run.
    • This is pretty much how Starlight Glimmer became a friend to the Mane Cast. Twilight Sparkle didn't shoot her with magical beams, but stopped her by talking her down and conversing with her. The Mane Six then saw Starlight's potential, and brought her in as an apprentice in the magic of friendship. Starlight doesn't mind, since what she really wanted was friends, so it was a win-win.
  • Prehensile Tails: Their tails have all somewhat functioned as extra limbs. Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash in particular are quite skilled with them; Fluttershy uses her tail to play a fictional sport called buckball.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits:
    • They're a graduate student taught by a Physical Goddess, a baby dragon with ambiguous heritage, a stubborn apple farmer, a hyperactive baker, a brash sound barrier-breaking flyer, a prim and proper fashion designer, and an overly shy animal caretaker. Not only have these True Companions defeated two gods with their Elements of Harmony, but Celestia seems content with letting them take care of a stubborn dragon whose smoke threatens Equestria.
    • Starlight Glimmer is all about this, as she was a misfit who turned into a dictator who ran a False Utopia, and after her Heel–Face Turn seems to have a knack for befriending other characters who could be considered social outcasts.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Such pairings exist between all members of the mane cast. From most red to most blue, the cast would be as follows: Pinkie Pie, Rainbow Dash, Applejack, Spike, Rarity, Twilight Sparkle, Starlight Glimmer, and Fluttershy. This is given the following evidence (the Red Oni is listed first followed by the Blue Oni):
  • Sanity Slippage:
    • As showcased here, everypony in the Mane Six has danced on the further edges of sanity at least once in the series. More frequently, Twilight is prone to freaking out if her Obsessively Organized tendacies kicks in, and Rarity is very prone to histrionics when things look bad.
    • Starlight Glimmer has already shown right off the bat that her sanity is very fragile to the point of being bipolar, jumping between calm and seething rage at the blink of an eye. Starlight also has her own brand of being Obsessively Organized makes Twilight's look sane.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely:
    • They all looked wonderful in their dresses at the Grand Galloping Gala.
    • Their dresses for the royal wedding in the Season 2 finale suited them nicely as well.
    • Spike looks rather dashing in a tuxedo.
    • Rarity makes Starlight Glimmer a black dress in the Season 5 finale. It's very adorable on Starlight as you'd expect.
  • Shrinking Violet: Fluttershy and Starlight Glimmer are this. Fluttershy has worked on her shyness and has steadily become a little more confident since the beginning, Starlight on the other hand was at first very confident, but became a Shrinking Violet after her Heel–Face Turn, since she is relearning everything she thought she knew.
  • Sixth Ranger: Starlight Glimmer, not pictured, was added to the Mane Cast in the Season Five finale. In Season Six, she is given a new place to live in the Friendship Castle with Twilight and Spike. In Season Seven, Starlight even gets called by the Cutie Map, just like the others. In Season Eight, Starlight is the Guidance Counselor of the Mane Six's Friendship School.
  • Superior Successor: They're actually the third group of heroes associated with the Elements, and they've proven to be their better in one key way: they don't let each other reach the breaking point where one member falls into darkness due to their emotions, as was the case with both Luna/Nightmare Moon and Stygian/the Pony of Shadows. Instead, they stick by each other and pull each other back before they can get close. In fact, the Mane Six reversed the trend and rescued a pony from darkness/villainy and made them a new member of the team. In this case, it's Starlight Glimmer (the Mane Six's parallel to Luna/Stygian), while it's Sunset Shimmer and the human Twilight for their Equestria Girls counterparts.
  • Super Mode: More or less what the Rainbow Power amounts to.
  • Strawman Ball: When not pulling the Idiot Ball itself, it is usually one of these characters that will give a negative opinion of how to handle the Aesop of each episode. This is shared pretty evenly between all seven due to spotlight rotation, though Twilight Sparkle and Rainbow Dash, being the more cynical and temperamental of the bunch, represent this slightly more often.
  • Talking Animal: Talking ponies.
  • Token Trio:
    • For the first three seasons of the show, the main characters make up two trios in their group of six — two pegasi, two earth ponies, and two unicorns (and one dragon).
    • This is changed up at the end of Season 3, after which we no longer have two unicorns, but one unicorn and one alicorn. However, there are now three ponies with wings and three without.
    • It's changed up again at the end of Season 5, as Starlight Glimmer joins the cast, restoring the dual unicorns, leaving us with an alicorn, two earth ponies, two pegasi, and two unicorns (the one dragon is still there).
  • Town Girls: Two of each version — shy, animal-loving Fluttershy and fashion-obsessed Rarity as femme; boisterous party girl Pinkie Pie and studious intellectual Twilight Sparkle as neither; and tough, hardworking farmer Applejack and brash, athletic Rainbow Dash as butch.
  • True Companions: Despite their differences, it's clear they have a strong bond between them and it grows stronger throughout the series.
  • Vague Age:
    • They're all at least young adults, as they all have jobs and hold major roles in Ponyville community activities like Winter Wrap-Up. Emotionally, however, Lauren Faust stated they're "young adults with a maturity level of anywhere from 12-18", which explains such things as Twilight's appreciation of slumber parties, Rarity's thinking like a fairy tale, etc. This is consistent with having the same personalities as their high-school age human selves.note  This is further complicated by the show using the same character model for almost any character between their teens and advanced old age, making it difficult to estimate a character's physical age from appearance alone.
    • Their relative ages are also vague, with the only concrete data being Fluttershy older than Pinkie by a year, and likely older than Rainbow Dash (she seemed in that lanky puberty stage while Dash was still a filly during the flashback in "Cutie Mark Chronicles"); the rest are all relatively the same age from the same episode otherwise. The same episode shows that they all got their Cutie Marks, roughly equivalent to hitting puberty, within minutes of each other.
    • Spike is constantly referred to as a "Baby Dragon", but emotionally acts more like a preteen. He has a full-time job with pretty extreme hours, is out of whatever mandatory education exists in Equestria (most likely home-schooled), and the residents of Ponyville and beyond treat him like an adult pony. Keep in mind full-grown dragons are hundreds of times his size and are implied to live for centuries or more, and his size and biological age seems a function of Greed and also reversible.
    • The IDW comics states it's been 20 years since the Mane Six got their cutie marks. This puts them at late-twenties to early-thirties with Spike (who hatched when Twilight got her mark) at 20. It has been around at least five years since the start of the seriesnote  putting them at early-mid twenties and teen back then respectively. Note that the twenty years was only in the description, which have been known to be inaccurate.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: The Mane Six get on each other's nerves sometimes with both their flaws and viewpoints, but when the chips are down, they're there for each other. The most obvious pairings are:
    • Applejack and Rainbow Dash are regularly downright friendly with each other, given their similar tomboy styles, but their competitive and prideful natures sometimes pushes them into this kind of relationship.
    • AJ also has shades of this in her relationship with Rarity — they'll regularly argue, mock each other and bring up each other's most embarrassing moments, but if one of them needs help with something important, the other is there.
    • Twilight has shades of this with Rainbow Dash as well. Given that Twilight is probably the most deadpan of the snarkers in their group, and Rainbow Dash does the most of the things done without thinking (not to mention the obvious nerd-jock stigma), they both like to rib on each other from time to time. However, both of them respect each other and their abilities (Rainbow even said she thinks Twilight's awesome during "Castle Sweet Castle") and they know they can depend on each other in a crisis.
  • The Worf Effect: In the Season 6 finale, "To Where and Back Again", the Mane Six are caught completely off-guard and kidnapped by a vengeful Queen Chrysalis, wanting revenge for her defeat at Cadance and Shining Armor's Royal Wedding, alongside Celestia, Luna, Cadance, Shining Armor, and Flurry Heart as well. No reason is given as to how easily they were kidnapped during those few hours Starlight was out of Ponyville with Trixie.
  • Would Hurt a Child: In the series finale, the six have no qualms about using physical force to subdue Cozy Glow. Given that she's an Enfant Terrible hopped up on alicorn-level power, this is somewhat justified.