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Characters / Friendship Is Magic: Twilight Sparkle

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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)
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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 Protagonist (wings sold separately)
Click here to see her human form in Equestria Girls 
Click here to see her as future ruler of Equestria 

"I am her student and I will do my royal duty, but the fate of Equestria does not rest on me making friends."

Voiced by: Tara Strong, Miyuki Sawashiro (Japanese)
Singing by: Rebecca Shoichet

The bearer of the Element of Magic. The protagonist of the series, a unicorn (who later becomes an alicorn) from Canterlot who serves as Princess Celestia's apprentice, and the eventual successor of Celestia and Luna. She's less than thrilled at first about the suggestion that she should try making friends but naturally winds up giving it a shot. She has a natural talent for Magic that goes far beyond what most unicorns are capable of. She's also very intelligent, levelheaded, and organized, making her a great unofficial leader for the Mane Six. However, her neuroses sometimes cause problems. Her Pillar of Old Equestria is Star Swirl the Bearded.


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    Tropes # to D 
  • 100% Adoration Rating: Everyone on the show so far seems to like, or at least not hate, her. Her friends and family all love her, and the Princesses all think she deserves to be an alicorn. Everyone she knows seems to be on at least friendly terms with her, and she has a lot of friends, even if you don't count the rest of the main cast. Even those who were once her enemies, such as Discord, Sunset, Starlight and Chancellor Neighsay soon consider her their friend, while Trixie says she "used to" hate Twilight (and still sometimes enjoys getting under her skin). The only notable exception are main villains like Chrysalis, Tirek and Cozy Glow (who are hating her in part because she's so loved).
  • Absurd Phobia:
    • In "Party Pooped", she's revealed to have an irrational fear of quesadillas and their "cheesiness". It's Played for Laughs but apparently, the only other pony to know of her fear up to this point was Pinkie Pie (whom she didn't tell).
    • The "Starlight the Hypnotist" short reveals she is deathly afraid of ladybugs. This one at least gets some context; a swarm of them got into her house one day, and Shining Armor told her that the spots were extra eyes which they use to spy on you. Played for Laughs when Pinkie inadvertently interrupts Starlight's hypnosis session to announce her excitement for kite-flying. Cut to Twilight intentionally flying a kite with a Ladybug design into the clouds while laughing with an unhinged expression.
  • The Ace: She's very skilled and educated with magic. It also helps that she was able to solve what Starswirl the Bearded couldn't, thus becoming an Alicorn. Sometimes a Discussed Trope:
    Rainbow Dash: [in "The Crystal Empire, Part 2"] Since when does Twilight Sparkle ever fail?

    Rainbow Dash: [in "Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3"] Yeah, well, I'm sure you'll become a good flier in no time. After all, you're good at everything.

    Spike: [in "Equestria Games"] You never let anypony down, so you don't have any idea what that's like.
  • Aesop Amnesia:
    • Just try to count all the times she's forgotten not to freak out over small things. Leave it to her old foalsitter Cadance to give her a long-awaited stress relief method in "Games Ponies Play".
    • Twilight also often forgets that her Element of Harmony — Magic — represents not her magical abilities as a unicorn or alicorn, but The Power of Friendship itself, which is the most powerful magic in all Equestria. This has led her to try and tackle her most important duties and responsibilities by herself — with little success. Though this is averted in "School Raze" where she announces to Rarity that she's "finally" learned that it's okay to count on your friends for help, being more than willing to have them join her in investigating the problem.
  • Agent Scully: Tends toward this despite being a lavender unicorn who can do magic. She justifies this in "Feeling Pinkie Keen" by explaining that true magic as can be done by all unicorns has been boiled down to a science.
  • All Your Powers Combined: In Season 4's finale, she combines the powers of all the other princesses to smash the magic-absorbing Tirek into the ground several times.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Twilight's obsessive nature, workaholic attitude, anxiety attacks, love for schedules and checklists as a way to structure her life, her poor social skills, and her tendency to not pay attention to what's going on around her when absorbed in something heavily imply something.
  • And Knowing Is Half the Battle: At the end of most episodes in the first season, she writes a letter to Princess Celestia describing the Aesop she learned this week. It becomes a Chekhov's Gun when, after her losing faith thanks to Discord in the Season 2 premiere, Celestia sends them all back to break her out of her Heroic BSoD and motivate her to reunite her friends. As of "Lesson Zero", she has been given permission to pass this duty on to anyone around her that learns An Aesop. The concept is revised again in Season 4, where a shared diary replaces the letters since Twilight is no longer a student. The diary is ditched as of Season 5.
  • Angst Nuke: Her tendencies to flare up reaches its limits in the first part of "The Crystal Empire".
    Twilight Sparkle: ...JUST A TEST?
    Spike: Uh... yes?
    [Twilight throws the library in the air]
  • Anime Hair: She has one for the majority of the episode "It's About Time" due to an accident with Spike's fire.
  • Anti-Magic: Her forcefields can cancel out other magic.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: The fact that she's a talking unicorn who can perform magic and uses dragonfire to send letters to an alicorn who controls the rotation of the sun, does nothing to dissuade her from often declaring things she doesn't recognize as bogus and hooey.
    • In "Bridle Gossip", she dismisses the idea that Zecora cursed the group, and declares confidently that ghosts, spirits and zombies are just as ridiculous.
    • In "Feeling Pinkie Keen", she refuses to believe that Pinkie Sense is real, and spends the entire episode trying to disprove it until Pinkie uses it to save her from a hydra.
    • In "It's About Time", she confidently informs her own future self that she is not scientifically possible. Once her future self explains that there are time travel spells, she accepts it and eagerly starts asking questions about the future.
  • Art Evolution: In the movie, she has more detailed ears and eyes (like the rest of the cast), and gains a parting in her mane on either side of her horn, in contrast to her design in the show, where her horn simply pokes straight through her mane. Her Skunk Stripe is also altered slightly, as the lighter purple is found on both sides of her horn.
  • Audience Surrogate: As the central character, to whom Ponyville and its residents are introduced at the same time as to the viewer, she is intended one.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: She places fifthnote  in the annual Running of the Leaves race, despite knowing about racing only from having read books about it.
  • The Baby of the Bunch: After Season 4 and Season 5, she's the newest and youngest princess of Equestria until Flurry Heart is born.
  • Babysitter Friendship: Had one with her babysitter, Princess Cadence, that lasted for years, even into her becoming her sister-in-law.
  • Badass Adorable: She's adorable... and sure can pack a punch! She's one of the most powerful magic users in Equestria.
  • Badass Bookworm: Not only talented at magic, but perfectly capable and willing to lead a charge.
    • She ran right at Nightmare Moon and is clever enough to turn this into a feint and teleport past her.
    • She places 5th in a marathon despite it being her first, using mostly her book-smarts.
    • She tussles against brainwashed Applejack and Pinkie Pie, both earth ponies (which possess greater strength and endurance than a unicorn) in "The Return of Harmony". She wins.
  • Badass Family:
    • She is a certified Badass Bookworm, her brother is the captain of the Royal Guard who possesses one of Equestria's most potent defensive spells. Then he marries Princess Cadance, (who he saves the country with) and Princess Celestia's niece, making her now part of Celestia and Luna's family too. If the Mythology Gag about her mother Twilight Velvet being the G1 Twilight is correct, she counts too.
    • Spike, her adoptive brother/son, can take on three opponents who each outweigh him by a factor of five or more, and NOT get curb-stomped.
  • Barrier Warrior: She can create forcefields that she can move as seen in "The Return of Harmony, Part 2", "MMMMystery on the Friendship Express" (at around 1:18) and "Ponyville Confidential". At least some of them include Anti-Magic.
  • Beam Spam: She can fire beams of destructive magic at enemies practically at will; Pinkie Pie even used her as a living machine gun in "A Canterlot Wedding, Part 2".
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: As of Season 5, Twilight has successfully brought peace to most of Equestria, but has become extremely bored because she has nothing to do anymore. The Cutie Map never seems to summon her into action while her friends often engage in friendship quests without her, causing her to crave adventure. Turns out to have just been a phase though, as the map begins to call on her and she also gets involved with or starts various important political or social events, plus gaining her own student.
  • Berserk Button:
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Twilight is one of the sweetest and kindest characters on the show, but man oh man do you not want to make her mad.
    • In "The Return of Harmony — Part 2", Twilight Sparkle battled with Gray Pinkie Pie and Applejack after they stole her book, resulting in a Big Ball of Violence.
    • Part 2 of "A Canterlot Wedding" knocked this out of the park; she went into a state of Unstoppable Rage over the thought of her brother being in danger and fired several beams around the dungeon Chrysalis trapped her in that could shatter stone. She seemed seconds from killing the real Princess Cadance, thinking it was her impostor.
    • In "Twilight's Kingdom — Part 2". After Tirek effectively nukes Golden Oak Library, Twilight goes utterly berserk. Had Tirek not been invincible at the time, she would have reduced him to not much more than a scorched crater.
  • The B Grade: She doesn't get graded when doing assignments for her mentor, but stresses out whenever she thinks she can't do an assignment in time or pass a test.
  • Big Brother Worship: As a filly, she thought of Shining Armor as her best and only friend (until she hatched Spike). When she came to Ponyville and made new friends they started to drift apart. This is what makes it hard to get others to side with her when she claims that Cadance is evil (she turns out to be right when this "Cadance" turns out to be an imposter), since she did appear to be possessive of her brother in the eyes of her peers for much of "A Canterlot Wedding".
  • Big Eater: In "Twilight Time" she shows off an impressive, if messy, appetite.
  • Big Sister Mentor: Occasionally has moments of being a Big Sister Mentor toward either Spike or the CMC. "Twilight Time" is all about this because she's teaching them.
  • Black Magic: She uses King Sombra's hate-based magic after watching Celestia perform it.
  • Blow You Away: She can create strong gusts of wind.
  • Book Smart: Especially in the early seasons. Many of her early focus episodes involve learning lessons about how not every answer is found in books- in fact, that's one of the main reasons that Princess Celestia sent her to Ponyville in the first place.
  • Bookworm: Her defining characteristic. She lives in a library, is often seen reading a book, always gave Spike books for his birthday, and at least once for Hearth's Warming (to his chagrin), and often brings up something she learned from a book that is relevant to the plot. Also, books are prevalent in all of her flashbacks, and, in the pilot, one pony asks if Twilight does anything but study.
  • Born Winner: She was innately born with unparalleled magical potential, which led to her becoming Princess Celestia's protégé, the bearer of the Element of Magic, and another princess of Equestria. Moderated by making her The Chew Toy in terms of social life and Butt-Monkey in other cases.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: After "Magic Duel", Twilight teleports herself into the post-episode darkness to fix Pinkie Pie's mouth.
  • Break the Cutie:
    • She gets hit with this in both parts of "Return of Harmony". What starts out as the Mane Six finding the Elements of Harmony that can defeat the latest Arc Villain becomes a twisted game of Discord's design where he separately Hate Plagues Twilight's True Companions into their polar opposites which then treat Twilight like dirt. When all of them are corrupted, Discord points out it was Twilight's idea to go to the maze and claimed that her friends' corruption was her fault. When Twilight does figure out where the Elements of Harmony are, her town has already been turned into a World Gone Mad ruled by Discord where her companions get even more vicious to the point of resembling real-life bullies and after finally finding the Elements Of Harmony, they were revealed to be powerless thanks to Discord's earlier mind manipulation of the others. The result is all of Twilight's friends leaving her, making her hit rock bottom and fall victim to Discord's Hate Plague without any brainwashing. Even though the next episode treats Twilight's nervous breakdown for laughs, given all that happened during the last two episodes, it's hard not to think the poor girl truly snapped. Not to mention what seeing Golden Oak Library as a smoking ruin must have done to her. Even if it does result in an epic fight sequence.
    • The movie hits her particularly hard. Not only is she forced to deal with the ungodly stress of being Equestria's last hope against a threat bigger than anything else she's faced, she's constantly frustrated by how her friends are treating the crisis as just another adventure despite what the stakes are. It eventually gets so bad that Twilight tries to steal the Seaponies' prized Pearl of Transformation in a desperate attempt to gain some sort of advantage over the Storm King. When she's caught and called out, she explodes in fury, accusing the Mane Five of treating the fate of Equestria like a joke and calling them terrible friends (but she's not wrong).
  • Break the Haughty: A Lighter and Softer version; she starts as an Ineffectual Loner who believes she simply doesn't have time for friendship and is convinced that Celestia will naturally listen to her concerns. Then Celestia seemingly blows her off, sends her off to run mundane errands, and expects her to make friends in a town where she thinks she's the Only Sane Pony...
  • Broken Ace: Her good track record has also resulted in her having extremely high standards for herself, suffering from neuroses, an Inferiority Superiority Complex and a high order case of Super OCD. If she's not managing to be The Ace, she's convinced everyone will hate her and her very fabric of life will fall apart.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: She's definitely has a major case of OCD, bad social skills (She's getting better), a massive inferiority complex, and it's heavily implied that Twilight would be screwed in housework if Spike wasn't around. She also happens to be the most powerful wizard in Equestria, an extremely skilled leader and scholar, and managed to hatch a dragon egg (a task that was considered impossible, albeit she had gotten startled by the Sonic Rainboom) when she was a little filly.
  • Burning with Anger: Sometimes does it, such as in "Feeling Pinkie Keen".
  • Butt-Monkey: Shares this role with Spike as she runs into a lot of trouble.
  • The Cameo:
    • Most of the time, when Twilight is not the main character, she only makes a background appearance or plays an insignificant role in an episode that doesn't involve her. In Friendship Games, Human Twilight is the main focus while this Twilight doesn't appear until the very end of the film in a post-credits scene.
    • In Black Widow (2021), she appears as a plush toy being held by Yelena in the prologue. However, it's a case of Anachronism Stew, because said prologue takes place in 1995, and Friendship is Magic started in 2010.
  • Can't Live With Them, Can't Live Without Them: Twilight has this relationships with responsibility. She can't live with it because she tends to get stressed out and turns into a Nervous Wreck thanks to her nitpicking, Super OCD, and her fear of failure or disappointing her friends. Similarly, she can't live without responsibilities either as her self-worth is linked to her accomplishments, feeling that she was useless and undeserving of being a princess in spite of her previous heroic actions simply because she did not have a special task like Celestia, Luna, or Cadance.
  • Care-Bear Stare: She uses this ability to show the memories she had with her friends to cure them of the Hate Plague that Discord inflicted on them.
  • Casting a Shadow: She imitates Celestia's shadow spell to activate King Sombra's lock.
  • Catchphrase: "URRRRRGGH!" — her distinctive groan of frustration.
  • The Chains of Commanding: She feels them in Rainbow Rocks. Her Canterlot High friends assume that she'll know exactly what to do and that the Sirens are as good as defeated with Twilight around to help. However, all that does is put pressure on her when she really has no clue what to do and makes her afraid to admit it to them for fear of letting them down. Sunset talks her out of it at the climax, assuring her that no one has all the answers.
  • Character Development:
    • During the two-part pilot, she started out as a somewhat asocial loner who wouldn't be caught dead working with others, although she is polite enough. Over the course of that episode she learns the value of friendship and she is now often seen working with or helping her friends. Her original attitude sometimes re-surfaces but this is usually a result of stress or academic override.
    • In "The Summer Sun Setback", Twilight shows that she has finally overcome her habit of stressing out over big responsibilities, handling the organizing of the Celebration (and even sabotage caused by Chrysalis, Tirek and Cozy Glow) with calm ease.
    • At the beginning of season nine, the idea of taking over ruling Equestria from Celestia and Luna is so daunting that she can barely think straight, unable to consider herself worthy of the position. By the time of "The Ending of the End", she has grown confident enough in herself and her impending ascension that she is perfectly calm on what would be her coronation day, to the point where she teases Rarity by saying she needs a "marshmallow-eating contest" gown.
  • Character Tics:
    • She has a few linked to her obsessive-compulsive nature, slightly bigger when she's panicking. She'll pace around, and sometimes Teleport Spam around the room (usually at least once she'll appear right in the face of whoever she's talking to/at).
    • Also one only seen in the Equestria Girls movies once she's turned into a human: she often holds her hands bent at the wrist and with the fingers coiled, as if she'd still have hooves.
    • Following her transformation into an alicorn, Twilight has developed a tendency to flap her wings whenever she gets excited.
  • Cheated Angle: Her Skunk Stripe sometimes switches which side of her mane it's on from shot to shot.
  • The Chew Toy: Expect her to be on the receiving end of a lot of accidents as soon she starts questioning facts, attempts to fit in, or figure out things, such as in "Winter Wrap Up" and especially "Feeling Pinkie Keen", and "Lesson Zero". Her Chew Toy status is played for major drama in "The Return of Harmony — Part 2".
  • Child Prodigy: Even as a filly, Twilight was unusually adept at learning new spells. In the Power Incontinence scene referenced below, Princess Celestia — a physical goddess — says she has never seen so much raw talent for magic in a pony before.
  • The Chosen One: The Season 4 premiere reveals that the Element of Magic and the Tree of Harmony have always had the six-pointed star shape that Twilight's Cutie Mark eventually manifested as her cutie mark. Together with the five smaller stars around it, Twi's cutie mark literally depicts the elements of harmony.
  • City Mouse: The pilot and a few Season 1 episodes revolve around Twilight getting acquainted with Ponyville and its traditions, with varied success.
  • The City vs. the Country: Her initial plot arc is a downplayed version of this. She's sent from Canterlot to Ponyville in part to prepare for a celebration held there, but is also told to make friends while there. She resents having to do this and focuses on work instead, but by the end of the pilot, she's warmed up to her newfound friends and wishes to stay with them. It took the resurrection of an ancient Sealed Evil in a Can to make her understand that.
  • Classical Anti-Hero: In Season 1 and early Season 2, peaking in "Lesson Zero"; Twilight is insecure, asocial, aloof, and filled with a mixture of self-doubt and arrogance. After "Lesson Zero" she experiences Character Development and no longer really fits this trope, save for the occasional relapse.
  • Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: While most characters play this to Pinkie Pie, Twilight is her most prominent foil.
  • Color-Coded Characters: Her name is Twilight, so naturally she's lavender. She also tends to dress up in blue, which reflects the color of the night sky.
  • Color-Coded Wizardry: Her horn and objects affected by her magic glow when she uses her magic. Her magic color starts as lavender and matches the color of her coat, but is later changed for a magenta color that matches the center of her Cutie Mark and her mane's Skunk Stripe. Her mother and big brother have the same magenta magic aura, so it may run in the family.
  • The Comically Serious: Any time she attempts to look dignified and intellectual, expect it to be ruined by some other ponies' antics or her own hidden goofiness.
  • Competition Freak: In "A Trivial Pursuit", Twilight was obsessed with becoming Trivia Trot three-time champion before the competition starts. It gets so bad that she sets up Pinkie to be disqualified because Twilight believes she is dragging her down.
  • Condescending Compassion: Twilight has a habit of annoying or baffling others with this type of attitude, sometimes insisting on helping others with problems (or at least ones she perceives) because she doesn't think they are bright enough to handle it without her.
  • Control Freak: Though not obnoxious, per se, her over attention to detail and occasional annoyance with her friends leads her to be insistent on her own direction of things. She also has nagging tendencies, something Spike knows all too well.
  • Cool Aunt: To Flurry Heart. Deconstructed when she accepts the responsibility of babysitting her for an afternoon in order to invoke this trope; trying to juggle Flurry Heart and her busy schedule for the day results in mass chaos and stress for her and Spike.
  • Cool Big Sis: Vacillates between this and Parental Substitute toward Spike, with "Sparkle's Seven" in particular portraying them as surrogate siblings.
    • She also became one to Starlight when the latter came to live with her as her friendship student.
  • Cool Crown:
    • Unlike the other five Elements of Harmony (which are necklaces), her Element of Magic is a "big crown thingy". It's later retooled when she is crowned as a princess of Equestria. This one seems to be one for more formal cases, as she wears it during the Equestria Games and the trade fair.
    • In the Season 4 premiere, after the Mane Six give their Elements back to the Tree of Harmony, she gets a new crown. She stops wearing such after Season 5.
    • She receives a new crown during her coronation as new ruler of Equestria, created by Celestia and Luna merging both of theirs together.
  • Cool Teacher: She is one to the Cutie Mark Crusaders in "Twilight Time", and later becomes one to Starlight Glimmer. Later still, she becomes this to the students of the School of Friendship (to the point where they (with a nudge from Cozy Glow) revolt against Chancellor Neighsay for declaring that he will be taking over the school, and that Twilight's "reign" is over). She also becomes this for Luster Dawn in "The Last Problem".
  • Crazy-Prepared: With a bit more emphasis on the crazy than some; Twilight is very well-read and has a variety of spells for when she needs them, or knows she can look up the spell in her library. And if there's something important coming up, she will go berserk making sure she's ready for it. In "The Crystal Empire, Part 1" she's seen rushing to gather anything she might need for Celestia's test, and informs Spike she's going to need him to quiz her on everything she's ever learned. There's also this bit from "Pinkie Pride".
    Twilight: All right, everypony. According to my official goof-off rulebook...
    Rainbow Dash: She actually has a goof-off rulebook?
    Spike: Are you kidding? Twilight can find a rulebook for everything!
  • Cry Cute: Even in her initial Sugar-and-Ice Personality, Twilight's vulnerable side could break hearts.
  • Curtains Match the Window: Both her eyes and mane stripes are purple.
  • Cute and Psycho: Twilight is a Cute Bookworm extraordinaire and the Only Sane Mare in Ponyville most of the time, but multiple episodes showed that she can be more unstable and dangerous than the rest of the Mane Six combined, with one scene from "Lesson Zero" taking the trope to an art form.
    Twilight: HIII, GIRRRRRLS!
  • Cute Bookworm: In Hot Topic and The Hub's Hot Minute interview with her, she says that reading is both one of her three favorite subjects (the other two being magic and reading about magic), and, when pertaining to Starswirl the Bearded, one of her favorite hobbies.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Her first name is Twilight, a time period of the night, and she can use magic that's more or less Black Magic, but she can also use magic to create light like most unicorns and she's a decent girl most of the time.
  • Deadpan Snarker: In the earlier seasons, due to her initial role as Straight Mare, she tends to respond to the other characters' insanity with a selection of dry zingers and sarcastic remarks. However, while this lessens over time, her somewhat sarcastic sense of humor never quite goes away, and she can really let others have it when she wants to.
  • Decoy Protagonist: She serves as one in both My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Rainbow Rocks, where Sunset Shimmer's Character Development ultimately takes center stage, and for the My Little Pony: Equestria Girls sub-series as a whole, where Sunset Shimmer supplants her as The Hero by the end of the second film. She doesn't even appear in the third movie, replaced by her human counterpart. She does make a cameo during the stinger before the credits, though.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Non-romantic example; during the pilot, she was a Knight in Sour Armor, being aloof and unsympathetic to her future friends. She grew out of it but has occasional relapses, such as "Feeling Pinkie Keen" and "Lesson Zero" — after all, Ponies Are Flawed.
  • Deity of Human Origin: A downplayed, non-human example. She becomes a princess at the end of season 3, putting her at a god-like status along with the other princesses.
  • Demoted to Extra: Her role in the Equestria Girls series has gotten progressively smaller over the course of the films. She's The Hero in the first, a slight Decoy Protagonist in the second, and has only a small cameo in the third. Since then, she's only had supporting roles in the Forgotten Friendship, Spring Breakdown, and Sunset's Backstage Pass specials, providing Sunset with needed information (through their magic journal and a couple of visits to Equestria) and helping her get back on good terms with Princess Celestia.
  • Depending on the Writer: Like the other ponies, Twilight has a consistent characterization, but the level of certain personality traits fluctuates from episode to episode, most often based on Rule of Funny:
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: Twilight takes her duties to Celestia as Serious Business, be it academics or saving Equestria, to smallest details. Coupled with her Super OCD, Twilight believes that Celestia is a perfectionist that will reject her at the slightest mistake in spite of knowing her more intimately than most of her subjects. Her worst fear was revealed to be Celestia denouncing her as her student and she was reluctant to accept being a princess if it meant no longer being her student. Even with them being equals, Twilight still finds every reason to hang out with her mentor again, except that she is not as tense as before.
    • Since the finale of Season 4, Twilight now is feeling insecure about her role as a princess due to not having a special task like Celestia, Luna, and Cadance in spite of her previous accomplishments before or after her ascension (saving Equestria when not even Celestia or Luna could at the time), to the point of feeling like she didn't belong. She even went as far as to declare herself to defeat Tirek, and even went as far as to try to open the chest so that she could do the feat instead of Discord (who was tasked with his capture) just to prove her mettle as a princess. She eventually snaps out of it when she becomes the Princess of Friendship after Tirek's defeat.
    • She occasionally has relapses when the map in her castle announces a friendship problem, feeling excited and then disappointed that she was not chosen to do the task. She even sulks angrily when she is not chosen to help Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie in solving a friendship problem in Griffonstone, deciding to stay at her castle and not go there, in spite of her previous desire to go there, simply because the map didn't choose her to go, in spite of having the chance to visit even when she was not a part of the solution.
    • This trait seems to have faded after Twilight took on Starlight Glimmer as her student, but gets Zig-zagged in the Season 7 premiere episode "Celestial Advice" where she absolutely dreads having to let Starlight go on her own to continue her studies because Starlight has become such an important part of her life and has given her a lot of the meaning that she's been looking for. She does cool off after some advice from Celestia reveals that she had the exact same issue about sending Twilight to Ponyville and when Starlight reveals that she doesn't want to leave Ponyville just yet, but it does show that she still has the issues, it's just that the focus of them have shifted off of herself and onto Starlight.
    • In season 8, she's taken on a new purpose: Being headmare of the School of Friendship, teaching students from far and wide about the magic of friendship.
    • And in the series finale, she achieves the ultimate Rank Up and is crowned as the new ruler of Equestria to succeed Celestia and Luna.
  • Determinator: When she wants to do something, she'll keep trying no matter what. For better or worse.
  • Deus Exit Machina: She starts getting hit with this a lot in Season 5; she has been left out of two adventures so far, with the second explicitly stating that her snapping her metaphorical fingers and fixing everything would have ruined the lesson. She is also caught up in her own problems during My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Friendship Games and is unable to reach the heroes until well after the situation has been resolved.
  • The Ditherer: Such as when she's trying too hard to keep things in order.
  • Ditzy Genius: She's so smart that she can name all the stars in the sky, and recite the square root of 546 to eleven decimal places, but so ditzy that she needs a reference guide to understand how to throw a slumber party, and doesn't know what a pillow fight is.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Zig-zagged. Unless the episode explicitly involves her doing her duties as a princess, everyone seems to forget and/or not notice that Twilight is a royal alicorn. This becomes less and less frequent over time as her princess status becomes more widely known.

    Tropes E to L 
  • Emperor Scientist: She becomes a princess after demonstrating her skill and knowledge of magic.
  • Enlightenment Superpower:
    • She gains her alicorn form by realizing how to complete Starswirl's unfinished spell, which came from realizing how much her friends meant to her.
    • In the series finale she realizes the true nature of the Elements of Harmony, summoning their power herself before channeling them through all three groups (Mane Six, Pillars of Equestria, and Student Six) that are strongly linked to them, magnifying the power before using it herself to defeat three super-empowered villains.
    • In general one can tell Twilight has achieved an "enlightened" state of power when her eyes start glowing white and her mane and tail begin to move and flow like Celestia and Luna's do. She tends to levitate as well.
  • Equippable Ally: She's been used as a machine gun in fights.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: If there is one thing that she can't bear, it's the betrayal from her friends.
    • In the two-parter episode, "The Return of Harmony", she felt this way when one by one, her friends were brainwashed by Discord and refused to help fight Discord for her.
    • She shows this reaction again in "A Canterlot Wedding" after her brother, friends, and mentor turn their backs on her for saying that Cadance is evil. Subverted in this case since her being dismissed for accusing Cadance leads her to rethink her accusations and suffer a Jerkass Realization. Even after she was revealed to be right and the others show their remorse, with Applejack being the one to apologize on everypony's behalf, she made it clear in that she doesn't hold it against them. The real Et Tu moment came when she realizes that the fake Cadance she is apologizing to is evil, confirming her suspicions moments before she is dragged down to the abandoned cave in the underground.
    • In "School Raze -- Part 2", she reacts this way to Cozy Glow's betrayal, sadly asking her why she did it and lamenting that she was unable to teach her student the true virtues of friendship.
  • Even the Loving Hero Has Hated Ones:
    • In the early parts of their Heel–Face Turn, Twilight Sparkle still hated Discord and Trixie. This was largely because, in spite of turning from actual villainy, they still tended to act like smug jerks towards her, and often used this as a means to take advantage of her, knowing the official Princess of Friendship would be self-conscious about looking like a grudge-bearing Hypocrite if she pulled a Heel–Face Door-Slam on them. Despite this, Twilight still had moments of compassion towards them after they realized this didn't pay off, leading their relationship to become relatively warmer (if still somewhat vitriolic).
    • In "Friendship University", Twilight has nothing but contempt for the Flim-Flam Brothers, who have constantly tried to swindle the citizens of Ponyville out of their money in the past (and in this instance, have opened their own friendship school to compete against Twilight's own). Flim and Flam take advantage of this by claiming Twilight is a hypocrite who's threatened by a little "friendly" competition.
  • Expy: Of G1 Twilight. The cartoon even (jokingly) implies that Twilight Sparkle is the daughter of the original Twilight. Her coloring also resembles that of Twilight Twinkle from G3.
  • Failed a Spot Check: A recurring flaw with Twilight, who, while very intelligent, has a very one-track mind when set upon a task, which sometimes leads her to miss important but blatant points (both comically and dramatically) or act hasty or insensitive.
  • Famed in Story: According to Twilight Sparkle and the Crystal Heart Spell, stories of her magical ability have been spreading throughout Equestria.
  • Fangirl: She is one for the unicorn wizard Starswirl the Bearded;
    • She dresses up as him for Nightmare Night in "Luna, Eclipsed".
    • She and Princess Cadance attend the Starswirl the Bearded Travelling Museum in "Three's a Crowd".
    • In "A Hearth's Warming Tail", she briefly goes on a tangent about how skilled and knowledgeable he was, before Spike snaps her out of it.
      Twilight: It was said of Snowfall that she was almost as studied as Starswirl the Bearded. Almost, since everypony knows that Starswirl was an expert at everything from transfiguration, dimensional calibration, teleportation—
      Spike: We get it, Starswirl's awesome.
    • In "Shadow Play", she's determined to free Starswirl and his fellow Pillars of Olde Equestria from Limbo, ignoring the possible risks. This leads to the Pony of Shadows being freed also, something Starswirl admonishes Twilight for. Twilight becomes so desperate to prove herself to her idol that she doesn't protest when Starswirl scoffs at Starlight's suggestion that Stygian can be redeemed (which Starlight calls her out on).
  • Fantastic Science: In a world where magic is real and measurable, it can also be studied as a science, which is what Twilight spends a lot of her time doing.
  • The Finicky One: Of the highest order. Twilight has been known to start riots and rips in time due to her anal retentiveness.
  • Finish Dialogue in Unison: In Rainbow Rocks, Sunset's and Twilight's bonding moment during the Midnight Snack at the sleepover is finished with Sunset joining in on the last sentence.
    Sunset Shimmer: Well, that doesn't stop them from expecting it.
    Twilight Sparkle: Which only makes things harder because the last thing you want to do is...
    Twilight Sparkle and Sunset Shimmer: ...let everybody down.
  • Flanderization:
    • In the first season, Twilight was orderly and no-nonsense, but to a fairly lucid degree, a lot of it owed to her inexperience with social life. By the start of the second season her meticulous habits are exaggerated to cartoony measures, with a lot of gags based on her Super OCD neuroses. Inverted in other aspects, she has become far less acerbic and more outgoing and friendly, for example.
    • Her rivalry with Trixie fell into this as of Season 6. At first, Twilight was so uninterested in it that the whole plot of "Boast Busters" was to convince Twilight to stand up to her for her friends. Then "Magic Duel" has Twilight stand up to Trixie only because she was an actual danger. Now Twilight is shown to be genuinely envious of Trixie for her friendship with Starlight Glimmer. Though she may just be looking out for Starlight, and doesn't believe Trixie is the best influence for her.
  • Flat-Earth Atheist: She's shown to be one in "Feeling Pinkie Keen" where she didn't believe in Pinkie's Pinkie Sense, or many of the weird things that happened in Ponyville despite the fact that she uses magic (which she claims is different from other "Mumbo Jumbo") and is the personal student of a Physical Goddess. Her views changed and she became more accepting of the unexplained by the episode's end.
  • Flying Firepower: After becoming an alicorn, she combines her new pegasus flight with her preexisting ability to fire magical beams from her horn.
  • Forgot About His Powers: There are SO many moments of troubles she faces that could have easily been solved by her just using her magic. The only mitigation may be that we are never really told how most of Twilight's powers work in any real detail, what their limits are, etc. Also, a number of times where she tries a huge magical solution (such as with the Vampire Bats or Parasprites) it tends to backfire.
  • Forgotten Phlebotinum: She fails to use her teleportation for most of the first season, starting after "Applebuck Season".
  • Fountain of Youth: At the end of "Ail-icorn", Zecora's remedy for her spring allergies has the unfortunate side effect of turning her into a foal.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Melancholic: introverted, organized, and high expectations.
  • Freak Out: She's prone to falling into nervous breakdowns during times of great stress or strife.
  • Friendless Background: In the first episode, it's shown that "she's more interested in books than friends". Some hints later on show it might not have been quite that simple. In "Look Before You Sleep", she reveals she's "always" wanted to have a slumber party. In any case the first episode showed that her studies were certainly getting in the way of having a social life, even if she might have wished for one when not occupied with something else interesting as in that episode. "Amending Fences" shows that the mares who invited her to Moondancer's party did legitimately consider her a friend, but Twilight was too caught up in her own world to notice.
  • Friend or Idol Decision: In the end of Season 4, Tirek, noting they are at a stalemate in magical power, tells her to surrender or he will kill her friends, Spike, and Discord. While glaring hatefully at the villain, she picks Friend and gives up her magic. Tirek initially releases all but Discord, but at Twilight's insistence he releases Discord to.
  • Funny Afro: She temporarily has one after Rainbow Dash messes up her mane in the first episode.
  • Funny Schizophrenia: She ends up this way for the majority of "Lesson Zero". When she starts her insane rambling, she twitches and moves awkwardly every time.
  • Future Me Scares Me: The entire premise of the episode "It's About Time" is her fear concerning Future Twilight.
  • The Gift: Her special talent is magic itself, allowing her to learn any type of magic.
  • A Girl and Her X: A young lady and her baby dragon. She hatched Spike as the entrance exam for a magic school, but he's more like her sidekick/little brother/son.
  • Girls Like Musicians: Flash Sentry, her crush in the human world, is introduced as an attractive guitarist with a band. He even helps Twilight win prom-queen by playing, which leads to a shot of her gleefully admiring him.
  • Go-Getter Girl: She had always strived to be the best she can as a mage-in-training and as an apprentice to Princess Celestia over relationships with others prior to meeting the other five. On the downside, this led to her having little ability to connect with others, but on the upside, she's a natural-born leader and very intelligent and talented.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Her eyes occasionally glow stark white as a side effect of using especially powerful magic, such as her Power Incontinence episode in her flashback in "The Cutie Mark Chronicles" and any time she uses the Elements of Harmony.
  • Good Is Not Nice: While she was more than willing to save Equestria at the start of the series, she starts out as very asocial and aloof towards everyone, but she becomes much nicer towards others after the second episode, evolving into more of the lines of...
  • Good Is Not Soft: She's normally calm, friendly, and helpful, but when Queen Chrysalis gloated that she has her brother, Twilight had no problems trying to fry her with her laser-beam attack.
  • Good with Numbers: In part 1 of the season 3 premiere "The Crystal Empire", Twilight gives the square root of 546 as 23.36664289109.
  • Gravity Master: She can reverse gravity for herself.
  • Greater-Scope Paragon:
    • She becomes this to the Equestria Girls series by Friendship Games, being who The Hero Sunset Shimmer looks up to for guidance and assisting in magical maters beyond their abilities or knowledge. But by then she's so busy with her responsibilities as a princess in Equestria she only rarely can do more than stay in touch with them if even that much. Sunset's Character Development in Friendship Games is learning to take care of problems herself rather than wait for Twilight to do so.
    • In A New Generation, she is long deceased, but the new protagonist Sunny Starscout works to uphold her ideals and bring the magic of friendship back to Equestria.
  • Growing Wings: She grows a pair of wings when she becomes an alicorn at the end of Season 3.
  • Growling Gut: This is something of a running gag in "The Ticket Master", where her stomach is constantly growling from hunger thanks to the rest of the Mane 6 keeping her from eating due to bothering her for tickets to the Grand Galloping Gala.
  • Grumpy Bear: While she's not pessimistic in general, she's cynical and no nonsense in personality, and has a grouchy temper if riled up enough. However, she can switch between cynical and naively optimistic at the blink of an eye.
  • Guile Hero: She outwitted Nightmare Moon with a feint, unraveled all of King Sombra's Crazy-Prepared protections on the Crystal Heart, and used smoke and mirrors to deceive a professional magician.
  • Guilt Complex: If others see fault in her, they're immediately right.
    • She blames herself entirely for her friends' abandonment in "A Canterlot Wedding" and Discord's corruption of them in "Return of Harmony", and is prone to high standards and a sense of inferiority when she doesn't meet those massively high standards.
    • When the stress of the parasprite invasion finally gets to her and her tortured psyche (briefly) snaps.
    • In "The Return of Harmony, Part 2", she crosses the Despair Event Horizon (though unlike most examples, she snaps out of it later, so it's more of a Heroic BSoD).
    • A psychotic one over the course of "Lesson Zero".
    • In general she has a near textbook case of Responsibility OCD, a form of this born from an overwhelming desire to protect and care for others (in this case, her friends and family) that can lead to extreme feelings of guilt and shame when she inevitably can't live up to her own standards.
  • The Hero: Her first scene is her taking action to save Equestria from an ancient evil (Nightmare Moon) and from that time forward she continues to protect her new home, Ponyville, spread the Magic of Friendship etc.
  • Heroic BSoD:
    • She suffers a huge one in "The Return of Harmony, Part 2", when she is finally broken by Discord and turns grey. She snaps out of it after reading the letters she sent to Princess Celestia one season earlier.
    • For a brief moment in "Magical Mystery Cure" she falls into one, but she snaps herself out of it quickly.
    • She enters into a big one in "The Ending of the End", after Discord admits that he set up the Mane Six's defeat of Sombra in order to boost her confidence. Because of this, she loses faith in her abilities, and starts to think nothing the Mane Six ever accomplished mattered in the long run.
  • Heroic Resolve: Twilight's true potential level of power is implied to often be impaired by frequent self doubt, an unwillingness to fight, sympathy for her enemy, etc. When she is able to push past these things she usually displays force far greater than her regular already prodigy-level abilities. The best example perhaps being in the season 9 premiere, where after Discord's apparent Heroic Sacrifice and uplifting speech imploring her to embrace her identity as the Embodiment of Magic, Twilight proceeds to repeatedly hold her own against Sombra's attacks while drawing only from her own magic, and ultimately (with her friend's support) drawing out full force harmony magic without the actual Elements of Harmony.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: She willingly sacrifices not just her magic, but the magics of Celestia, Luna, and Cadance, in order to free her friends, Spike, and Discord from Tirek. The fact she would make this for Discord, even after he just betrayed them all, moves Discord and sets in motion Tirek's final defeat.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • Despite her history of not socializing by choice, she reveals in "Look Before You Sleep" that she's dreamed about throwing the perfect slumber party and is innocently enthusiastic about getting the chance to try her very first one. This being Twilight, she has a guide to ensure she does everything by the book.
    • She has some sewing ability, having hoof-stitched the robes on her Starswirl the Bearded costume for Nightmare Night.
  • Honorary Princess: In "Magical Mystery Cure", after fixing a magical crisis, Twilight Sparkle Ascends to a Higher Plane of Existence and comes back as an alicorn. At which point Princess Celestia declares this makes Twilight a Princess as well. The episode ends with Twilight's coronation.
  • How Do I Shot Web?: In the Season 4 premiere, she has trouble flying with her new wings.
  • Humble Hero: Wants nothing to do with being associated with the greatness of her deeds. Rather, she wants to be viewed as an ordinary unicorn, unlike her Shadow Archetype Trixie and her foil Rainbow Dash. On the other hoof, Twilight's character also sets the difference between plain out narcissism and well-intentioned self-righteousness, and sometimes can't resist acting haughty due to her role as Celestia's apprentice and very often considering herself the Only Sane Mare. This lets her serve as a Foil to Sunset Shimmer. Twilight's humility is shown when she is content being Celestia's student, never desiring more than to learn and help others, and never thought of herself as truly better than others. Sunset's arrogance is shown when she only thought of herself, desired more and more power, and thought herself better than everypony else because of her status, and was never content with merely being Celestia's student. However, the greatest difference comes down to their thoughts on gaining the position of princess. Twilight never desired the crown yet proved deserving of it, while Sunset coveted the crown yet proved undeserving of it.
  • Hypocrite: In "Feeling Pinkie Keen", while following Pinkie to spy on her (Pinkie was aware the whole time, but Twilight didn't know that), Spike shows up and Twilight berates him for "sneaking up on ponies". Spike calls her out on it, though.
  • I Can't Dance: "Sweet and Elite" shows us that dancing is one of the many social activities she's yet to master, though she doesn't really seem to care.
  • An Ice Person: In "Power Ponies", she gains the ability to shoot freezing beams as the Masked Matterhorn.
  • I Choose to Stay: By the end of the two-part pilot, she decides to stay in Ponyville with her new friends.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: In the 2017 movie, she attempts to steal the Pearl of Transformation from the seaponies, even though her friends were close to working something out with Novo and Skystar, and justifies it by saying it was needed to save all of Equestria.
  • I Just Want to Be Loved: She obsesses over the idea that others might hate her for any reason whatsoever. This comes from her The Perfectionist tendencies, but also from a surprisingly low self esteem and a secret belief she isn't good enough for others.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: Defied at first; she doesn't want friends when she first comes to Ponyville and it isn't until she hears them come looking for her just as she's facing Nightmare Moon all by herself that she truly realizes how much she needs them.
  • Image Song: The Theme Tune Extended (included as a sing-along on the DVD The Friendship Express, and partially included elsewhere) can be seen as one for Twilight.
  • Incredibly Lame Fun:
    • A bookworm through and through, Twilight considers re-shelving library books, doing research, or "a crazy weekend of studying" the height of entertainment.
      "The Crystal Empire, Part 1": "A research paper! I love research papers!"
    • Her favorite toy growing up was "Smarty Pants", a homemade donkey doll that comes with a notebook and quill so you can pretend she is studying. Not only does she think this was a great toy, she thinks it was so great that offering it to some young fillies will naturally cause them to fight over it. (Eventually they did... after she cast an Artifact of Attraction spell on it.)
    • In "What About Discord?" she treats holing herself up in the library to re-organize books for three days straight with the same sort of enthusiasm usually reserved for a spa weekend or trip to the beach.
  • Indifferent Beauty: It's implied that she's considered very attractive (even before becoming a princess), but she's too focused on books to give much thought to her appearance.
  • Ineffectual Loner: Other ponies make clear efforts to reach out to her before the plot kicks off, but she blows them off, albeit politely even though she had an urgent matter to deal with.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: Twilight can be condescending and arrogant about her intelligence over the others at times, and frequently badgers others over tasks; however, it's revealed that she has brought herself up with very high standards to upkeep, and is absolutely terrified of disappointing peers or friends (and especially her superior, Princess Celestia). She had a mental breakdown when she was off schedule for a single task.
  • Informed Flaw: In My Little Pony: Best Gift Ever, Twilight's friends and Shining Armor acknowledge that she goes into a "meltdown" every Hearth's Warming Eve. While a Freak Out is nothing new for Twilight, the special is the first time she was seen acting in such a way around Hearth's Warming specifically.
  • Innocently Insensitive: She doesn't realize her feelings are necessarily feelings anypony else will share, and she doesn't realize her point-blank bluntness hurts feelings. Justified because Twilight doesn't have a lot of experience dealing with ponies yet.
    • When she was losing her grip in "Lesson Zero", it didn't occur to her that anypony else would think that her Smartypants doll, that comes with accessories for doing homework, wasn't a great toy.
    • In "Secret of My Excess", Twilight is embarrassed to realize that the books she's given Spike for his birthday every year were not appreciated as birthday presents by the little dragon.
    • In the episode "Baby Cakes", she offers to help Pinkie Pie babysit the Cake Twins because she states Pinkie can't handle the job alone, thus offending Pinkie despite her sincere desire to help.
    • In the episode "The Last Roundup", when the mail pony shows up at Applejack's surprise party and thinks that the party was for him because it was his birthday, Twilight takes Applejack's message from him and slams the door in his face without a second thought. Luckily for the mail pony, Pinkie gives him a slice of cake for his birthday.
    • In the episode "Amending Fences" we find this facet of her behavior had worse consequences than she likely ever imagined when it came to one of her unappreciated friends in Canterlot who suffered from low self esteem. Conversely her other old friends were so used to her being innocently insensitive that they weren't all that bothered when she moved away without saying goodbye. In summary one can say that before moving to Ponyville she was FAR more innocently insensitive.
    • Spike is by far the most frequent victim of this. While she means well towards Spike, he is usually the brunt of her neurotics and terrible attention span, which raises from irritating or neglecting him to outright physically abusing him by accident. "Spike At Your Service" is pivoted by her being too fixated to pay attention to him. When she finds out what she's put him through, while she doesn't say anything, her expression says it all.
  • Innocent Prodigy: She took up studying magic in the first place because she adored Celestia, not for power or vanity or anything like that.
  • In-Series Nickname: She's mostly referred to as "Twilight". Her closer friends tend to shorten her name to "Twi", and her brother calls her "Twily".
  • Insufferable Genius: She is the most intelligent of the main cast and (often) shows a lot more common sense. However, her neurosis can be irritating to the others, she can be a bit smug and prideful if over-aware of her logic, and she's an apt Deadpan Snarker. Overall, she does a decent job of keeping these traits at tolerable levels.
  • Intelligence Equals Isolation: She's very smart, even as a child, but she didn't care that much about making new friends.
  • Iron Butt Monkey: As shown in "Feeling Pinkie Keen", though with Rule of Funny at work, she can take a lot of damage and still keep on going.
  • I Work Alone: Her attitude during the pilot but after her Character Development she prefers working with others.
  • Jack-of-All-Trades: Most unicorns can only learn a handful of magic related to their special talent, which got them their cutie mark. Being that Twilight's cutie mark is the symbol of the Element of Magic, her special talent is magic itself, thus she has unparalleled versatility in the variety of spells she could potentially learn. She's also become this in terms of all basic pony skills, having become an alicorn means she gains the strength of an Earth pony and the ability to fly like a Pegasi. It is shown she has not yet surpassed top tier examples such as Applejack and Rainbow Dash in their respective abilities, however.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: She arguably began somewhat as this in the pilot and select early episodes, where she was noticeably more acerbic and condescending. While her pompousness does reappear at times, this is usually toned down in later episodes where her rudeness is more accidental and she is far more outgoing and friendly.
  • The Kirk: She's generally at the balance between being emotional and logical, hence why she's the unofficial leader of the six.
  • Kirk Summation: To Discord in "The Return of Harmony, Part 2" by breaking down his argument against friendship.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: Usually depending on whether or not she's in Grumpy Bear mode. She's never truly mean, but she can be rather sarcastic when stressed or casually insensitive. Lampshade this, and she'll immediately be horrified and start begging you not to hate her.
  • Knight Templar Big Brother: Or "Knight Templar Little Sister" in her case. In "A Canterlot Wedding", after Queen Chrysalis imprisons her in the Canterlot Caves, Twilight sees the real Cadance whom she thinks is Queen Chrysalis in disguise and tackles her to the ground preparing to attack her until Cadance proves to Twilight that she's the real Cadance.
  • Large and in Charge: Downplayed. After she became an alicorn, while she is the protagonist, she is now only slightly taller than her friends. She also runs the Castle of Friendship in Ponyville after it’s introduced in the Season 4 finale. Played straight in the series finale; enough time has passed that she's now grown to match Princess Celestia for size, and she's moved into Canterlot Castle as the ruler of Equestria following the retirement of Celestia and Luna.
  • Large Ham: Despite being one of the more introverted ponies, she seems to have gained an amusing fondness for Chewing the Scenery. She leads the entire town into song and dance in "Magical Mystery Cure" for example.
  • Lawful Stupid: During "School Daze, Part 1", she insists on doing everything by the book despite the fact that the students and teachers alike are becoming bored out of their mind, the EEA guidelines are demonstrable failures, and the students only start to truly learn what she's trying to teach once they go "bye, book" and begin doing their own thing.
  • The Leader: Leadership is one of Twilight's main secondary abilities, thanks to her organizational skills and levelheadedness. She serves as a Mastermind Type and Level-Headed Type leader for her group of friends, and even for the whole town of Ponyville at times.
  • Legendary in the Sequel: While all of the Mane Six are known as the "Guardians of Harmony" in My Little Pony: A New Generation, Twilight's cutie mark is an Arc Symbol. It's on Sunny Starscout's book, multiple stain-glassed windows, and a symbol of the unity between the three tribes. Zipp Storm even mentions Twilight as a legend who united all of Equestria together, and Sunny's dad tells her Twilight's history as a bedtime story.
  • Loony Friends Improve Your Personality: She's made a better person when forced to make new (some definitely bizarre) friends.
  • Lovable Nerd: She starts out as socially awkward, and after she learns to socialize, she's still depicted as being organized to a fault and as a compulsive learner whose joy of studying is absolutely adorable.

    Tropes M to P 
  • Mad Libs Catchphrase: In first seasons, she has "____, you're a genius!" She notably says it to Pinkie Pie a few times, once to Zecora, and once to Spike.
  • Madness Makeover: Typically, she's the Only Sane Pony. However, when she has a bad case of stymied OCD... you get the trope image.
  • Magical Girl: She fits a lot of the criteria (being a prodigy in magic and using powers over friendship) of a traditional version of this trope.
  • Magic Librarian: She's a powerful magic-user and the librarian and a resident of the Golden Oak Library, which holds books about magic and monster lore.
  • Mama Bear:
    • She's willing to stand up to dragons whenever Spike is in danger.
    • In the season 4 finale, she immediately rushes to save Owlowiscious when the library is blown up by Lord Tirek.
  • Master-Apprentice Chain: She learned magic from Princess Celestia, who in turn learned from Starswirl, and teaches magic and the Magic of Friendship to Starlight (and later, the students at her School of Friendship). In the final episode, she's taken on a personal student of her own, Luster Dawn.
  • The Matchmaker: In Issue #94 of the IDW comics; After hearing Pinkie mention Cheese Sandwich multiple times while the party pony goes over her ideas for the Festival of the Two Sisters, Twilight (with a knowing smile on her face) offers to call in Cheese to help Pinkie with her work.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • In the first two episodes, Twilight eventually brings peace to the two ponies representing night and day. "Twilight" is the time when night and day briefly intersect. Additionally, the book on the Elements of Harmony talks about a "spark" needed to ignite their power; this ends up being Twilight Sparkle. Plus she is responsible for reconciling night and day in the form of fixing Princess Luna, freeing her from being Nightmare Moon. Later she becomes a princess herself, complimenting the day/night motif.
    • In a physical and literal standpoint; she is lavender, which is usually the perceived color of a twilight sky (the middle part where day and night intersect), and she has stars for a cutie mark, which represents the few stars that you might see during this time period.
  • Mental Health Recovery Arc: Downplayed. One multi-season arc of Twilight Sparkle revolves around her learning to deal with her anxiety. She starts out prone to fits of anxiety but over the course of several scenes learns tactics to help soothe her panic attacks. By the time of her ascension to ruler of Equestria, her anxieties are all but gone.
  • The Mentor: Serves as one to Sunset Shimmer (in Equestria Girls), Starlight Glimmer (from season 6 onwards), and Luster Dawn (final episode).
  • Metamorphosis: Downplayed. All that really changes about her when she becomes an alicorn is that she has wings, a longer horn, is taller and has more powerful magic. Played straight in the series finale, in which she's grown to match Princess Celestia's height in the years following her coronation as ruler of Equestria.
  • Mike Nelson, Destroyer of Worlds: The antics caused by her perfectionism and Super OCD sometimes get the better of her, causing her to abuse her magic and make the situation end in disaster.
  • The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body:
    • Despite not being used to her human form in the Equestria Girls films, she occasionally demonstrates some surprisingly human behavior that seems to imply this trope. For instance, when Flash Sentry is brought up in Rainbow Rocks, she quickly begins twirling her hair between her fingers in a manner very much like a typical schoolgirl.
    • After being turned into a foal at the end of "Ail-icorn", she starts crying.
  • Mind over Matter: She's a particularly strong telekinetic. She can simultaneously levitate a humongous bear and a huge water tower.
  • Minored in Ass-Kicking: Asskicking isn't her day job, but she's more than powerful enough to do so if need be.
  • Mission Control: Effectively becomes this for Sunset Shimmer in later Equestria Girls entries, quickly researching and providing details on magical artifacts or characters Sunset and her friends encounter through their two-way communication book.
  • Modest Royalty:
    • Twilight has been characterized as a Humble Heroine several times in the series, and in "Sweet and Elite" she loves the simple dress Rarity made for her saying that the simple and practical outfit was a perfect match. Both characteristics are a good fit for this trope.
    • Season 4 shows that Twilight refuses to dress for the role (not using her crown, walking on bare hooves rather than gold or silver shoes, or not adding any other regalia to her appearance) at least when she can avoid doing so, and she still isn't comfortable with all the attention she's getting as royalty. It's definitely telling that she prefers to keep her wings folded, whereas most ponies with wings (alicorns included) are happy with keeping their wings open.
    • Even after her coronation, she continues living in the library rather than a castle. Until Tirek blows it up.
  • Motifs: She tends to be associated with stars to go along with her name.
  • Mr. Exposition: Twilight often informs the audience on what's happening in the episode due to her knowledge, though in the first season, the inverse is just is likely to happen.
  • Mr. Vice Guy: Normally even-tempered, Twilight sometimes has problems with being grouchy and dismissive when something's bugging her. She also has an insensitive streak.
  • Multicolored Hair: Dark indigo with a purple and pink streak.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • In the first part of "A Canterlot Wedding", she realized that she made the bride cry, and was afraid that no-one was going to forgive her. In this case she was right.
    • Quoted in "Lesson Zero" after her "Want It Need It" drives everyone into a brainwashed frenzy.
    • In "Magical Mystery Cure", when Starswirl's unfinished spell switches the destinies of the rest of the Mane Six.
    • She has lighter Jerkass Realizations in other episodes, eg. after wrongly spearheading a vendetta against Zecora in "Bridal Gossip" or losing Spike as an assistant after obliviously brushing him off in "Spike At Your Service".
    • This is her reaction when she realizes that she unintentionally ruined Moondancer's life by not showing to a party that Moondancer was hosting.
    • She has this reaction in the 2017 movie when her actions cost them the last chance they had of stopping the Storm King when the Seaponies were about to help them, and she takes her built up frustrations out on her friends by saying things would be better if she didn't have friends like them.
  • My Instincts Are Showing: In My Little Pony: Equestria Girls, while human, she tries to eat an apple without her hands because that's what she does as a pony.
  • Nerd Action Hero: In her day-to-day life she serves as a librarian and a diplomat, but, should the need arise, she is more than capable of showing that she is one of the most powerful magic users in the setting.
  • Nerds Love Tough Schoolwork: In Spike at Your Service Celestia assigned her 12 books to read over the course of one weekend. Instead of anxiety, she settled in for a great weekend.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Justified, as she is usually seen studying and learning new things (magical and otherwise). She can improvise spells as well, though this does not always work out so well.
  • Nervous Wreck: When her neurosis reaches its worst it correspondingly shows in her appearance.
  • Nice Girl: As of the later seasons, she's a sweet-natured, protective, and friendly character.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!:
    • Her attempt to use magic to stop the Parasprites from eating all the food in town causes them to start eating the town instead.
    • When she tries to use magic to clear a field during the "Winter Wrap Up", it results in the plow going out of control and causing the part of the field already plowed to be covered up again.
    • In "The Return of Harmony, Part 1", she figures out Discord's riddle... only to fall into his trap. It turns out she took it too literally and as a consequence, she leads her True Companions on a wild goose chase that results in all of them getting broken and Brainwashed by Discord. In her defense and knowing Discord, figuring the riddle correctly would probably not have made a difference.
    • In "Lesson Zero", she decides if she can't find a friendship problem to solve, she'll make one to solve. Cue the whole town fighting over her old Smartypants doll she enchanted with a "Want It, Need It" spell she isn't able to disenchant.
    • In "Magical Mystery Cure", she tries out an unfinished spell and messes up her friends' Cutie Marks and destinies.
    • In "Bats!", her attempt at fixing the vampire bat problem that's been plaguing Applejack's farm accidentally gives Fluttershy a dash of vampirism.
    • In Rainbow Rocks, her victory over Sunset Shimmer indirectly caused the Dazzlings to locate a source of magic in the human world to regenerate their powers and conquer the planet.
    • In "Shadow Play, Part 1" her over-enthusiasm for releasing the Pillars of Equestria (and Starswirl the Bearded in particular) causes her to ignore the fact that it would also release the Pony of Shadows. This is despite Starlight warning her that the original spell was done the way it was for a reason.
  • Nice to the Waiter:
    • Upon her arrival in Ponyville, she politely thanks the guards that had been pulling her chariot, calling them "sirs". This is despite the fact that she is currently in a very sour mood over being sent to Ponyville in the first place. It serves as one of her Establishing Character Moments, proving that while she may be a bit obsessive and thoughtless at times, she is a good pony at heart.
    • Averted as part of a Running Gag in "Magical Mystery Cure" and other episodes when she receives packages from the mailpony and always shuts the door in his face without thanking him, because she instantly becomes distracted by whatever item he brings.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: Minor case. After becoming an alicorn, she's slightly taller (or at least more upright) than the other mares in the series. Her curves are a bit longer like her horn is. Parodied in "Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3" where she takes offence to a very lanky scribble of her by Rainbow Dash. Averted with her human design in Equestria Girls, which is no different than that of the human versions of her friends, or even her human counterpart.
  • No Social Skills:
    • Because of her solitary life, she starts out like this. Making friends lets her start improving.
    • In "Look Before You Sleep", she runs her first slumber party straight out of the book to ensure success. It works, sort of.
    • In "Baby Cakes", she casually tells Pinkie Pie that she knew Pinkie wouldn't be up to babysitting the twins by herself and fails to pick up on the fact that Pinkie is offended by this statement.
  • Not Quite Flight: Her magic forcefields can do this. "The Crystal Empire" shows her suspending herself in midair with magic, similar to what's previously been seen with Pumpkin Cake. Upgraded to true flight in "Magical Mystery Cure".
  • Obsessed Are The List Makers: Examples are her slumber party and in "Lesson Zero", in which she makes a list of the things she needs to make a list. It comes in handy in "Winter Wrap Up", as she's the only pony there who knows how to prioritize.
  • Obsessed with Perfect Attendance: In "Lesson Zero," Twilight has a mental breakdown because she doesn't have a letter about friendship to send to Celestia, despite promising to send one every single week, and is paranoid that she'll get sent back to magic kindergarten because of it, resulting in serious Sanity Slippage as she struggles to find something to write about in time. At the end, Celestia assures her that it's okay that she didn't have a letter on time, and she doesn't even need to send a letter every week.
  • Off-Model: Sometimes her alicorn wings become the normal pegasus wings as an animation error.
  • One of the Boys: Before the pilot, Twilight had more male friends (Spike and Shining Armor) than girls (the only one being Princess Cadance). The IDW comics even revealed that as a filly, she sometimes played Ogres & Oubliettes along with her brother, Shining Armor, and his friends (who were high school-aged stallions at the time) from Canterlot Academy.
  • Only Sane by Comparison: Like every other character with so much as a speck of sanity over the others, the show seems very fond of displaying her own flaws and making her do something odd or undignified whenever she gets too high a pedestal. For that extra touch of Deconstruction, most of Twilight's flawed episodes revolve around her stubbornness causing accidental chaos and winding herself up into nervous breakdowns, all usually just to prove her opinion is saner than everyone around her. Notably in "Lesson Zero", when she approaches her friends for help on completing her weekly friendship report and they dismiss it as a trivial problem, Twilight believes she is the only one who understands just how dire the situation truly is, but the audience clearly sees that it is Twilight who is bottoming out on sanity. Her myopic perspective results in disaster.
  • Only Sane Man: Generally the voice of reason compared to her friends.
    • Most obvious in the pilot where her first impression of Ponyville comes from Pinkie Pie. Lampshaded by her in the first part:
      Twilight: All the ponies in this town are CRAZY!
    • Made even more obvious in "MMMystery on the Friendship Express" when Twilight, relegated as The Watson to Pinkie's Sherlock Holmes role, shoots down Pinkie's ridiculously wild accusations so often that they exchange roles with no argument from Pinkie.
    • Inverted during "Look Before You Sleep", where she's so intent on throwing a perfect slumber party that she insists on consulting a guidebook for everything. Justified in that she's never experienced one before and is unfamiliar with all of the classic trappings. She doesn't even know what a pillow fight is! She also wonders if a tree falling through her window is part of the procedures, but we'll just blame that on the probable concussion.
    • Exaggerated when all the other ponies were Brainwashed by Discord.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: In the 2017 movie, she gets so angry at her friends that she tells them that she would be better off without friends like them. When the Princess of Friendship says something like that, you know something is wrong.
  • Pals with Jesus: She's the personal apprentice of Celestia, became a good friend of Luna during the events of "Luna Eclipsed", and had Cadance for a foal-sitter and later a sister-in-law. "Friendship University" reveals that she's become pen-pals with Starswirl the Bearded.
  • The Paralyzer:
    • In "Castle Mane-ia", she uses her telekinesis as a mass paralysis spell, freezing each of her panicking friends' bodies in place but allowing their eyes and mouths to move. She also frequently immobilizes Rainbow Dash by just freezing her tail.
    • Taken Up to Eleven in "The Hooffields and McColts" where she freezes two feuding families long enough for Fluttershy to talk them out of it. It's obviously putting a big strain on her, though.
  • Parental Substitute: Can be seen as a mother or sister figure to Spike knowing that she hatched him as part of passing the entrance exam at her school as revealed in "The Cutie Mark Chronicles" and also following the events in "Owl's Well That Ends Well". The parental skills are further supported by her remarks to Pinkie in "Baby Cakes". She seems to know well what babies need. The IDW comics #40 shows she was taking care of him when he was a baby and his crib stood in her room. In "Father Knows Beast" Spike mentioned twice he was raised by Twilight and later he breaks her heart saying she's jealous of him having a real parent now. Her response and earlier remarks show that she, in fact, sees herself as a parent.
  • Parents as People: Her relationship with Spike leans her as the surrogate variety of this. While Spike is more an assistant, she hatched (effectively gave birth to) him and was enlisted to take care of him. For the large part Twilight is respectful and compassionate to Spike and tries to treat him more as a friend and co worker than a servant. However Twilight's very easily fixated personality leads to her often being insensitive or negligent to Spike by mistake, or sometimes outright accidentally abusive (eg. injuring him while performing spells or sorting items). She is usually repentant whenever she realises this mistake, unfortunately, being her, this doesn't happen a lot.
  • Passing the Torch: Receives such from Celestia and Luna in the final season when they announce their eventual retirement and make her their successor.
  • The Perfectionist: Twilight Sparkle with a heaping side-helping of Super OCD. She has the version of this you find in Real Life in people who did very well in early schooling... and thus never got used to getting less-than-perfect scores. The mere thought of not having a friendship lesson prepared for Princess Celestia and being tardy causes a meltdown that results in her brainwashing half the town in an attempt to engineer a friendship problem.
  • Personality Powers: You might not think that the bearer of the Element of Magic and one of the most powerful magic users in the show would be a logic-based skeptic, but here magic is logical because it works how you expect it to work.
  • Person As Noun: In season 9, it is revealed that Twilight's habit of stressing out has been referred to by her friends as "Twilighting".
  • The Philosopher King: She effectively becomes this after attaining alicorn-hood because she did so by completing a spell and her special task a princess is spreading the Magic of Friendship.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Qualifies twice.
    • Despite living in the Ponyville library and functioning as its librarian, she seems to have no library duties aside from caring for the books, because nopony ever comes in to borrow them.
    • Zig-zagged with her duties as a princess. She seems to only be needed for official functions when one of the other princesses isn't available, or it's some big event that demands all of them be present. Otherwise, she's living the exact same life as she was before and seems to have no particular responsibilities. Given the arrival of her castle at the end of Season 4 and the teaser for Season 5, her role as princess is to spread the magic of friendship.
  • Plucky Girl: When her neurosis doesn't get the best of her she can be astoundingly determined and optimistic in grim situations.
  • Playing with Fire: She can spark a candle, and one time she literally seems to catch fire in anger.
  • Power Copying: Unicorns use magic spells associated with their special skill. Twilight's special skill is magic, allowing her to learn spells used by any other unicorn.
    • In the pilot, she uses teleportation right after being subjected to it by Nightmare Moon. It gets better and better through the show; In "Ticket Master", her second subsequent use, it leaves her and Spike a bit charred, but by "Dragon Quest", she's able to pop around within the library without a thought, and has but a little difficulty in moving herself, Rarity, Rainbow, and Spike, all running at full speed, safely away from danger.
    • In "A Dog and Pony Show" when she copies a spell used by Rarity, though Rarity did teach her how to do it.
    • Her "Want It, Need It" spell used in "Lesson Zero" may play on Princess Cadance's love-infusing magic that she saw as a filly. Alternatively, if Cadance merely made them remember that they loved each other and why then the spell she used to un-Discord her friends could be derived from it.
    • Within both "Ponyville Confidential" and "MMMystery on the Friendship Express", she's seen to have a shield spell, which appears to have come directly from her brother, Shining Armor.
    • In the Season 3 premiere, she learns what can best be described as unicorn dark magic simply by watching Celestia do it once.
    • Season 3 also shows that she has limits to what she can copy. While she can figure out how to cast a spell from seeing it once, that doesn't mean that she has the magical clout to make it work or cast it successfully.
    • In the Season 5 premiere, she copies Starlight Glimmer's shield spell. Starlight even complains that it took her years to learn it.
    • In the Season 5 finale, she copies Starlight Glimmer's crystal prison spell after being trapped in it once. Using Starlight's time-travel scroll might also count, but how that bit of magic works in comparison to conventional unicorn magic is unclear.
  • Power Incontinence: A flashback reveals that the awakening of Twilight's magic immediately turned her into an immense danger to everyone and herself, up to and including turning her own parents into potted plants. Her attempts at using magic to rectify a problem have about a 50% chance of going this way. She qualifies as Pony of Mass Destruction during these moments.
  • Pragmatic Hero: While diplomacy is almost always her first option, she's willing to dirty her hooves if pushed that far, sometimes with lethal intent.
    • She's very vocal about not trusting Discord when he's let out of his prison in "Keep Calm and Flutter On", wearing her Element of Harmony and advising her friends to do the same, willing to send him back to his stone prison if he stepped out of line.
    • Her battle with Lord Tirek at the end of Season 4 has Twilight unleashing all of her magic power in an attempt to stop him, ignoring that this had the real possibility of killing him.
    • In the 2017 movie, she's willing to steal the Pearl of Transformation from Seaquestria in order to gain an advantage over the Storm King. Though that was due to a large amount of stress on Twilight's part, she still fully intended to go through with it.
  • Pride: Clearly takes a lot of pride in having Celestia as her mentor. However, she's afraid of being seen as too prideful after witnessing how ponies react to Trixie's bragging. By the end of "Boast Busters", she explains to Celestia and Spike that she's learned it's fine to take pride in your talents and put them to use when appropriate, as long as you aren't a braggart or a show-off about them.
  • Princesses Prefer Pink: The gown she wears when crowned Princess is mainly pink.
  • Professional Butt-Kisser: She has a desperate need to please Princess Celestia and goes to the most insane of lengths to do so.
  • Projectile Spell: One of her offensive spells is a beam of destructive magic.
  • Properly Paranoid:
    • In "A Canterlot Wedding", she's only one who thinks the behavior of "Princess Cadance" is suspicious. On the one hand, this is Justified, as none of the others knew Cadance well enough to know her behavior was unusual. On the other hand, if the others had taken her concerns and accusations more seriously as they learned in "Lesson Zero", then all the chaos that followed could have been prevented.
    • She's against Starlight becoming friends with Trixie in "No Second Prances", fearing Trixie would be a bad influence on her. She turns out to be partially right, as Trixie had initially befriended Starlight just to get back at Twilight and made her ditch a very important dinner with Princess Celestia without informing Twilight.
  • Pstandard Psychic Pstance: She does a hoofed version in the opening sequence of "Secret of My Excess".
  • Psychic Powers: Has telekinesis like all unicorns (albeit said telekinesis is orders of magnitude more powerful than most), and also has limited telepathy, as seen in "Swarm of the Century" and "The Return of Harmony".
  • Purple Is Powerful: She's a lavender unicorn, has purple eyes, and is one of the most powerful magic users in the show.

    Tropes Q to Z 
  • Rage Breaking Point: It takes a lot to get her angry, but when she reaches her limit she becomes very scary.
    • In "Feeling Pinkie Keen", she finally snaps after suffering as the Butt-Monkey for the whole episode and Pinkie claims the Hydra that almost killed them wasn't the "doozy" her Pinkie Sense predicted. She literally bursts into flames ala Rapidash, which actually makes Spike, Pinkie and Applejack scared for a moment, before calming down.
    • When Tirek destroys her home, she instantly attacks him with everything she's got, fighting him to a standstill.
    • In the 2017 movie, she slowly becomes frustrated when her friends don't take the situation seriously, treating it like another regular adventure instead of realizing all of Equestria and their very lives are at stake. When her attempt to steal the Seaponies' Pearl of Transformation fails and she gets them all banished from Seaquestria, her friends calls her out on her actions and not trusting them while she calls them out for their irresponsbile behavior. This finally causes Twilight to snap and she shouts back that none of them have made things any easier for her and things would be better if she didn't have friends like them.. Though she regrets what she said immediately afterward.
  • Rags to Royalty: The Cinderella type. Starting out as a studious bookworm, her friendship lessons lead her to follow her destiny and become an alicorn princess.
  • Reality Warper: Twilight has the range of effects but not quite the raw power of someone like Discord. She has turned an animal into a fruit and switched around the cutie marks of her friends, effectively changing their destinies. In both cases, it was done by accident. In the short "Ail-icorn", her spring allergies resulted in her firing magic uncontrollably whenever she sneezed, resulting in Rarity sprouting wheels on one hoof, Fluttershy briefly being teleported somewhere very cold, Applejack floating off the ground, and Rainbow Dash's voice being replaced by random sounds.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni:
    • She's the Blue Oni to the rest of the Mane Five, except for fellow Blue Oni Fluttershy.
    • She also acts as the red oni to Cadance's blue oni.
    • Her and Sunset being Foils to one another, Twilight is the humble and timid blue oni to Sunset's ambitious and brash red oni, both figuratively and literally in terms of hair color.
  • Renaissance Man: She's skilled in magic, chemistry, mathematics, history, neuroscience, physics, even athletics. The only thing she's consistently bad at is arts and crafts.
  • Renowned Selective Mentor: She was just trying to get into the royal academy. One magic overload later, she's studying directly from Princess Celestia.
  • Requisite Royal Regalia: She's unique among the princesses in that she chooses to forgo wearing it after her coronation. She only takes it back up when she is acting in an official princess role.
  • Resigned to the Call: Played with in the first episode; she's ready to stop Nightmare Moon when she reads about a prophecy about her return, but when Celestia told Twilight to make friends, she was against it, but went along with her orders while expecting her to realize Nightmare Moon is more important. It eventually turns out that making friends is required to defeat her.
  • Rightly Self-Righteous: Twilight is one of the saner ponies of the group, and is very vocal about it. However, most instances she gets particularly arrogant or pushy about it are a sign she'll end up Not So Above It All.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: A source of worry for Twilight. While she continues to help out against threats like Discord's plunderseeds in the premiere, Twilight herself observes that her role as princess doesn't really amount to much more than smiling and waving at official functions for most of Season 4. In the season finale she learns (or rather, she chooses) what her role as princess will be.
  • Sacrificed Basic Skill for Awesome Training:
    • Twilight's magical skill is off the chart, but she's a social misfit and painfully incompetent at basic manual labor.
    • Downplayed later on. In the first episode of Season 2, she lifted a huge rock ("Tom"), and in the last episode, she pushed a mine cart by herself.
    • She also showed her physical abilities when she placed fifth in "Fall Weather Friends". Yes, she used Awesomeness by Analysis to give herself an edge, but she needed to be in decent shape to keep up. Plus, it was her first race.
  • Sanity Slippage: Gets hit with this more often than the rest of the mane cast. Particularly in "Lesson Zero" when she was paranoid about not having a friendship problem to solve and ends up creating an Apple of Discord with her Smarty Pants doll.
  • Sanity Strengthening: Cadance teaches her a breathing exercise that proves useful in helping her remain calm.
  • Schedule Fanatic: Most notably seen in "It's About Time", where she's obsessed about how she's going to make time to make next month's schedule because she didn't leave any room to do so in this month's schedule.
  • Science Wizard: Twilight Sparkle is incredibly adept at casting spells with unicorn magic, but also frequently displays interests in scientific research, such as conducting research to find a scientific explanation for Pinkie Pie's "Pinkie Sense" in "Feeling Pinkie Keen".
  • Secret Test of Character:
    • The whole reason she was sent to Ponyville to make friends was that Celestia knew Nightmare Moon was coming and the friendship is needed to activate the Elements of Harmony and defeat her.
    • Though she didn't have a test revolving her magic unlike her friends in Season 4, she got one testing the magic of friendship in the Season 4 finale by Tirek. She willingly surrenders all the alicorn magic to him in exchange for freeing her friends, even Discord, who presents her with Scorpan's medallion as a gift of true redemption. Said medallion turns out to be her key to the Chest of Harmony, and with that, they unlock the chest and receive the Rainbow Power within to defeat Tirek once and for all.
    • In "The Ending of the End", it is revealed that Discord arranged for the villains to team up and attack Equestria so that Twilight could defeat them, and thus feel as though she was ready for anything being the new ruler of Equestria would bring.
  • Serious Business: Since her teacher is Celestia, a.k.a. the ruler of all Equestria herself, Twilight takes her studies very, very seriously. As seen in "Lesson Zero", the mere idea of failing an assignment and disappointing her teacher (which would surely be cause to send her back to... MAGIC KINDERGARTEN!) is stressful enough to unhinge her. Spike and the others lampshade this now and then.
  • Seriously Scruffy: She has a tendency to turn into a disheveled mess whenever stressed or preoccupied. She usually ends up turning her library inside out in the process. Exaggerated in "Lesson Zero" (where forgetting to write a letter causes her to go completely insane).
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Not to an excess, but she has a more advanced vocabulary and more correct grammar than her friends. This makes her a Foil to Rainbow Dash and Applejack, both of whom tend towards Buffy Speak, and to Pinkie Pie, who is a Cloudcuckoolander. She plays it perfectly straight in "Hurricane Fluttershy" and Rainbow Rocks, with Spike and Pinkie, respectively, providing Layman's Terms translations.
  • Singing Voice Dissonance: Her speaking and singing voices sound slightly different, due to having two voice actors.
  • Skunk Stripe: She has a purple and a pink streak in her mane.
  • Slasher Smile: She gets a too-wide, twitchy grin paired with shrunken and misaligned eyes in "Lesson Zero" when she goes off the deep end while spying on the Cutie Mark Crusaders.
  • Sleepwalking: In "The Big Mac Question", Discord mentions that he once found Twilight "sleep-trotting" through Ponyville.
  • Smoking Barrel Blowout: In early seasons, after she casts a lot of or difficult magic, she tends to get thin wisps of smoke coming from her horn.
  • The Snark Knight: She's a lighter example due to being new to maintaining friendships and being generally nicer than other cases of this trope.
  • "Sorcerer's Apprentice" Plot: Sorta. Sometimes she performs amazing feats of power, but she often also spectacularly messes up spells and makes everything much worse.
    • When she tries to stop parasprites from eating all the food in Ponyville, the spell makes them eat the buildings instead.
    • In another instance, enchanting a plow to clean up snow on its own made the plow go out of control, making the mess worse when it ends up causing an avalanche that ruins everyone else's work.
    • In "Lesson Zero", Twilight tries to create a problem she can solve using the "Want It, Need It" spell on a doll, which quickly affects every pony in town. The ensuing riot prevents her from disenchanting the doll.
  • The Spock: When not being The Kirk, she takes a very logical and scientific view on the world. She refuses to believe in anything that doesn't seem to make sense.
  • Squee!: Being allowed into the restricted section of the library and hundreds of unread books makes Twilight absolutely ecstatic. She's reduced to a kid in a candy store, eagerly diving into every book she can find so she can read them all.
  • Squishy Wizard:
    • "Winter Wrap Up" openly displays how much weaker she is than an average Earth Pony and that she is rather klutzy with her hooves (unable to ice skate well or construct a bird's nest without the help of magic). Applejack and Rainbow Dash also state she is physically unfit for the race in "Fall Weather Friends". She gets the last laugh by coming in fifth while they tie for last.
    • She seems to have averted this by Season 2 as she can carry a boulder twice as large as herself, push a minecart, and holds her own against an army of Changelings.
    • Averted in Season 4 as she was able to go head to head with a powered-up Tirek. By this time though, she's an Alicorn, a race said to embody traits of all 3 races (In this case the Strength of an Earth Pony), meaning it's probable she just got stronger physically due to this alone.
  • Stable Time Loop: In "It's About Time", Twilight is visited by Future Twilight (who has a very worn down appearance) trying to warn her about a Bad Future in a week, however she keeps getting cut-off by Past Twilight before she explain what it is. Twilight spends the whole week worrying and trying to prepare for the future, but no matter what she does she keeps making the future happen as her appearance keeps matching that of Future Twilight. Eventually Future Twilight realizes there is no disaster and her ridiculous appearance was the result of her paranoia in preventing a disaster, so she goes back in time and tries to warn her past self not to worry, only to fail to warn her past self in time. Turns out it was Future Twilight's failed attempts to tell Past Twilight not to worry which caused Twilight to worry about a disaster and making her appearance more and more ridiculous in the first place.
  • Stealth Pun: Her cutie mark is a star surrounded by five smaller stars. She's Celestia's "star student", as well as the "star of the show".
  • Stellar Name: "Twilight" is the time when day and night briefly intersectnote . During this time period, you may see a few stars in the sky. Stars are known to "sparkle".
  • Story-Breaker Power: Played with. She can learn any kind of magic and has amazing strength magic-wise, but her lack of practicing and an over-reliance on analysis over battle skills (not to mention her tendency to panic under stress) can leave her vulnerable.
  • Straight Man: Played with; she usually plays this role with Pinkie Pie since she often has to deal with Pinkie's antics, but there are almost as many times where she learns from Pinkie's eccentric but friendly qualities as the latter learns from Twilight's logical but blunt ones.
  • The Strategist: Twilight tends to make The Plan for the others and is an excellent fighter when she plans out her fights.
  • Sucks at Dancing: She has some pretty awkward dance moves, as seen in "Sweet Elite".
  • Summon Magic: She summons a parasprite to eat up Trixie's pies in "Magic Duel". She banishes it as soon as it does its job and before it can multiply out of control.
  • Supernatural Is Purple: She is mostly lavender and she is a powerful sorceress-in-training.
  • Super OCD: On and off; often whatever happens to be funnier. Alternately leaves her library in an unholy strewn mess and then applies neurotic meticulousness rivaling Rarity's in cleaning it.
    • In "Winter Wrap Up" she goes to help Rarity makes bird's nests, when Rarity dumps a pile of straw, sticks, and ribbons in front of her; when the camera pans away for two seconds and then goes back, Twilight has sorted the ribbons and sticks into rows, and separated the straw into piles according to color.
    • "Lesson Zero" shows just how bad this can get when she fails to keep a schedule. She goes insane when she realizes she hasn't submitted her weekly friendship letter to Celestia, and resorts to using magic to cause a conflict so she can resolve it and write to Celestia about it.
    • She makes checklists for everything. Including checklists of items she needs to make checklists for. She then lists "complete making a checklist" on those checklists, and at the bottom of the checklists includes reminders to double-check and triple-check the checklists to make absolutely sure she didn't miss anything.
    • In "It's About Time", she stayed up all night worrying about not having left time in this month's schedule to make a schedule for next month.
    • In "Spike at Your Service", she gets so wrapped up in reading specially assigned books that she doesn't hear Applejack enter the room and yell at her. Then Applejack goes to her desk and nudges one of her ink wells out of place, behind her back, making a small tinkling sound; Twilight instantly snaps to attention and takes notice. Applejack apologizes for scaring her and Twilight forgives her while moving over to the desk to nudge the ink well back into position.
    • She's also shown to take an inordinate amount of pleasure in the physical act of sorting things. In "The Saddle Row Review", for instance, she starts out trying to subtly nudge Rarity into letting her sort and organize the stock for her new boutique, but in short order ends up desperately begging her to let her organize the clothes. During said organization she comes up with a better method than the one she had been putting into practice, and is excited because that means she gets to start over; by the time she's done, she summarizes her methods thusly:
      Twilight: The whole place organized by style, cross-referenced by size, and reverse-indexed by fabric. She'll be able to find anything in three seconds flat! [sighs and gives a satisfied smile] It was some of my best work.
  • Superpower Lottery: Since her special talent is magic itself, she isn't limited by a specialized set of tricks like other unicorns are and can instead any magic she pleases. She combines this with considerable magical muscle, making her one of the most powerful and versatile spellcasters in the series.
  • Swiss-Army Superpower: Her magic. Sure, spells have some vague rules, but she specializes in every kind of magic and has an enormous amount of raw power. The only story-wise limit for her magic might be that she can't do an outright Deus ex Machina.
  • Symbol Motif Clothing: Her dress for the Grand Galloping Gala is decorated with stars, and she has a star around her chest at the Canterlot Wedding.
  • Talented, but Trained: Her teleporting in particular gets stronger and more advanced through the series. By the last season, she can safely teleport a foal standing next to her without teleporting herself.
  • Tarot Motifs: In "Magic Duel", she uses telekinesis to levitate a bunch of animals above her head in the form of an infinity symbol, bringing to mind the Magician card which symbolizes not the protagonist and trickery; fitting, considering that's what she used to stop Trixie from using the Alicorn Amulet in that episode.
  • Team Dad: Sometimes she takes this role with Spike and the other ponies. While Applejack is the Team Mom, Twilight picks up the other responsibilities of the group.
  • Telepathy: One of her powers is to connect mentally with others.
  • Teleportation with Drawbacks: One of her signature spells, with a burst of light when used. Unlike previous My Little Pony series, she is one of the very few unicorns with the ability to teleport that we've seen, the others being her mentor Princess Celestia, Nightmare Moon, fellow Celestia student Sunset Shimmer, Starlight Glimmer, and Trixie (after lots of trials and errors). Strangely, when she first teleports Spike with her, he comes out slightly singed. She says she did it by accident in that instance. Her skill in teleporting increases as the series goes on. Since "Secret of My Excess", it has been shown that Twilight is capable of teleporting others to her and with her. She teleports long-distance in "Dragon Quest", and it also establishes that her teleportation is not a Story-Breaker Power because long-distance and group teleportation takes too much energy to do regularly or rapidly.
  • Teleport Spam: Twilight has a tendency to warp around erratically or excessively when flustered. In "Applebuck Season", her frustration grows to the point that she stops walking to keep up with her friend and serial-teleports instead. In "Lesson Zero", she gets so stressed that she teleports across her room several times. In "The Crystal Empire, Part 1", Twilight incorporates a series of teleports in quick succession as part of her dance during "The Failure Song".
  • Temporarily a Villain: She serves as the antagonist in "Lesson Zero" due to stress-induced Sanity Slippage over not have anything to write a friendship letter about and deciding to create a conflict to solve.
  • Tempting Fate: She seems to have an unfortunate habit of asking whether things could possibly get worse. They always do.
  • Terrible Artist: Whether it's her inability to make a birds' nest in "Winter Wrap Up", the ugly rock candy necklace she made in "Maud Pie", her stick-figure doodle of her head spitting lightning bolts in Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks, or the crude drawing on the cover of her guidebook in "The Lost Treasure of Griffonstone", Twilight is always shown to be really bad at arts and crafts. (This contrasts with Sunset Shimmer, who is an excellent artist.)
  • This Explains So Much:
    • When she tells the CMC that her favorite toy as a filly was a doll with homework accessories, they aren't surprised.
    • When Starlight Glimmer learns about the "Sibling Supreme" contest held between her and Shining Armor as foals (in which their accomplishments were measured with gold stars on a chart), she invokes this response:
      Starlight: Guess that explains your love of charts... and so much else.
  • Token Minority: She's the only alicorn amongst the Mane Six.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Tomboy to fellow princess Cadance's Girly Girl. Twilight is a Deadpan Snarker with a confrontational personality and is more focused on studying and logical, intellectual pursuits. She's also more likely to get involved in the action when things get serious. Cadance is about as feminine as you can get, is a lot more regal and polite, and is literally the princess of love. Cadance is also a pink (feminine) Alicorn, while Twilight is purple (neutral) with only a tiny highlight of pink in her hair (which she claimed in "Twilight Time" was natural and not dyed in by choice).
  • Took a Level in Badass: While she's certainly already powerful, in the Season 4 finale, after absorbing the powers of the other Princesses, she proceeds to fight Lord Tirek, who had already assimilated the magic of every other pony in Equestria plus Discord, to a draw (in a Dragon Ball Z-style throwdown no less)!
  • Took a Level in Cheerfulness: She used to be a cynical, antisocial loner. As of Season 5, she's almost as big a nice girl as Pinkie Pie.
  • Took a Level in Idealism: She never believed in the power of friendship until her adventures with her friends made her understand why Good Feels Good.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: In the pilot, where she initially learns about The Power of Friendship. She continued taking levels as the series went on; In the early seasons, she had frequent moments of Innocently Insensitive (usually by being too wrapped up in her studies to notice what was happening around her), and could be condescending and cynical towards others while arguing her own opinions. But over time, she has developed a great capacity for compassion, empathy and forgiveness. She's been known to sympathize (and even make peace) with those who have gone out of their way to antagonize her (such as Discord, Trixie, and Starlight Glimmer).
  • Trickster Mentor: She's this to Rainbow Dash in "2, 4, 6, Greaaat", placing her in charge of the cheer squad in order for her to learn that even if she doesn't care about something, she should still care about her friends that do and can enjoy working with them on it.
  • True Blue Femininity: Her Grand Galloping Gala dress and her cape are navy blue. Her early concept would've also had dark blue hair with a light blue Skunk Stripe.
  • Tsundere: Type B in the premiere. She's a Nice Girl around Celestia, Spike, and her family, but her newfound friends set her off.
  • Turn the Other Cheek: Twilight isn't the type of mare who holds a grudge towards anyone.
    • She instantly forgives her brother, her friends, and her mentor for disbelieving and abandoning her in "A Canterlot Wedding", saying it wasn't their fault since the Big Bad had successfully fooled everyone, even though Twilight had been brought to tears by their actions.
    • Likewise, she forgives Trixie for her reign of terror over Ponyville in "Magic Duel", recognizing that Trixie's over-the-top evil was the result of her being Drunk on the Dark Side from the Alicorn Amulet. This is a downplayed example, as later episodes show Twilight remains wary of Trixie and worries about the Toxic Friend Influence she could have on Starlight Glimmer.
    • In "Twilight's Kingdom, Part 2", her extraordinary act of forgiveness towards Discord enables her to save Equestria when all hope is lost.
    • In "The Cutie Re-Mark" Starlight Glimmer engaged in Time Travel shenanigans which were explicitly engineered to personally hurt Twilight and created several Bad Futures for all of Equestria. Twilight not only forgives her, but actually takes her on as a student, recognizing Starlight's amazing potential. Notably, in "The Crystalling" she summarizes this decision — and the others by implication — by saying that she's "not one to dwell on the past".
  • Twitchy Eye: She tends to get this sort of eye tic when vert stressed or anxious. In "Lesson Zero", she's worried about letting Celestia down by being late with her Friendship Report and gets this, twitchy ears, a teeth-grinding slasher smile, and a mussed-up mane due to really, really losing it.
  • Undying Loyalty: She's Princess Celestia's "most loyal and faithful student". In "The Crystal Empire", it's revealed that her greatest fear is Celestia abandoning her.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: She's the most magically powerful unicorn in the whole show, as is repeatedly pointed out. The "Unskilled" comes from the fact she often only practices a new spell until she can pull it off right in practice once, and then moves on to the next, more difficult spell. This practice severely limits the practical and effective use of her stronger spells in helping her with her day-to-day problems, which sometimes comes back to haunt her when the obstacles she faces require high-level magic and her power backfires or falters on the field. The 'strong' portion of this trope refers to her magical abilities; she is the physically weakest of the six (or rather was, becoming an alicorn has given her some measure of earth pony strength), but can often use her intelligence (or magic) to help in situations where strength isn't an option.
    • This is taken Up to Eleven in the Season 4 finale, where she temporarily gains the powers of Celestia, Luna, and Cadance on top of her own. She's shown to have horrible control and can barely make her magic do what she wants it to, but she's just so insanely strong that she matches up equally against Lord Tirek — who, in addition to his own magic, has the stolen magic of all of Equestria and Discord.
    • In Season 8, Twilight defends a weakened Starswirl from the Pony of Shadows in a Beam-O-War and wins. The Pony of Shadows stated that she's almost as strong as Starswirl was. Given that Starswirl is a legendary sorcerer, The Arch Mage, and basically the setting's version of Merlin, that is some pretty high praise. While she may lack Starswirl's experience, she is definitely a powerhouse.
  • Unwanted Assistance: Her attempt to use magic to clear up the snow during Winter Wrap-up just undoes the work every other pony already completed, severely angering team leader Applejack and so badly shaming Twilight that she runs off crying.
  • Wacky Parent, Serious Child: When Twilight switches off from Straight Mare mode such as in "Lesson Zero" and "It's About Time", she becomes the wacky parent to Spike's serious child.
  • Walk on Water: She can use her magic to stand on still water.
  • Wave-Motion Gun: In the Season 4 finale, after absorbing the powers of the other Princesses, her magic beams turn into a destructive laser cannon.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy:
    • She idolizes Princess Celestia and desperately seeks her approval. Her freak out in "Lesson Zero" is caused by a crippling fear that she will disappoint the princess if she's so much as a minute late on one assignment. For more than two seasons Twilight is entirely oblivious to the fact that Celestia's love for her is unconditional and that she couldn't be more secure in Celestia's affections if she were the Princess' own daughter.
    • She plays this towards Spike at times. Her occasionally dismissive and easily distracted behavior sometimes leaves Spike feeling unappreciated as her assistant. This is more Innocently Insensitive behavior than anything however (the one time she outright lost him because of it she was visibly guilt-ridden and frantic to get him back).
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?:
    • If "Winter Wrap Up" is anything to go by, she is terrified of snakes and bats.
    • "Party Pooped" reveals her crippling terror of quesadillas.
    • "Starlight the Hypnotist" reveals that Twilight has a childhood fear of ladybugs, brought on by a swarm of them infesting the family home (and made worse by a young Shining Armor claiming that the insects' dot markings were really Extra Eyes).
  • Winged Unicorn: She becomes an alicorn princess in the Season 3 finale "Magical Mystery Cure", with a toyline centered around it, and over the show's run spends considerably more time as an alicorn than as a unicorn.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: Sort of. She's a young adult, but she has been shown to be much more effective at leading than the (seemingly) old gray mayor of Ponyville.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Perks: Like all unicorns, she uses magic for just about everything (where appropriate) and she gets more perks than most unicorns because she can use any type of magic.
  • The Worf Effect: Despite being a powerful sorceress, she is occasionally defeated by the Monster of the Week so that another one of the main characters can defeat it, or fail a spell to make way for someone more powerful like Discord.
  • Your Size May Vary: After turning into an alicorn, Twilight is depicted as slightly taller than the average pony. However, this can vary anywhere between looking a bit more upright to incredibly lanky. Parodied in one episode where she takes offence to a incredibly gangly doodle of her by Rainbow Dash, saying she isn't that tall. Meanwhile, some promotional art features her with the same proportions as her unicorn form (often due to being modified early art), and her Equestria Girls human form is no taller than most of the other girls.


Video Example(s):


Keep Calm and Flutter On

Twilight Sparkle is rather surprised at the arrival of Princess Celestia alongside the petrified Discord.

How well does it match the trope?

4.2 (10 votes)

Example of:

Main / WithDueRespect

Media sources:

Main / WithDueRespect