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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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https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/twilightsparklecombinedvector_6.png
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 Starswirl the Bearded.

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    Tropes # to C 
  • 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 a knowledgeable expert on 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.
  • Accidental Misnaming:
    • Twilight has to have Spike remind and correct her about her old friends' names.
    • When she finally confronts Moondancer...
      Moondancer: Look, Twilight Twinkle...
      Twilight: Sparkle.
      Moondancer: Whatever.
  • Actor Allusion: When Spike asks Twilight what the squirrel trying to tell them that Fluttershy is coming is saying, she replies "Do I look like I speak squirrel?" Twilight's voice actor, Tara Strong, was previously the voice of Bubbles of The Powerpuff Girls, who can, in fact, speak squirrel.
  • 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.
  • Affectionate Gesture to the Head:
    • Twilight Sparkle delivers a pat on the head to Rainbow Dash when she tries to figure out the Pegasus's reason for being angry with Applejack. Turns out there was no interpony conflict to begin with.
    • She also delivers one to Joe in "MMMystery on the Friendship Express" albeit while insulting him unintentionally.
    • Receives one when Shining Armor rubs the top of Twilight's head after they finish a scavenger hunt.
  • 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 for Nothing: Subverted in the movie. It appears that Twilight single-handedly renders the quest to find the hippogriffs virtually pointless when, after losing faith in her friends to do anything right, she tries stealing the hippogriffs' magic pearl, turning the queen and the rest of the Mane Six against her. However, the other allies the Mane Six have made over their adventure end up playing an instrumental role in defeating the Storm King.
  • All Your Colors Combined: When post-empowerment Twilight fires magical blasts at Tirek (see the picture at the top), the blast is deep pink (the color of Twilight's magic), but also streaked with golden yellow, dark blue, and sky blue, the colors of the magical auras of Celestia, Luna, and Cadance respectively.
  • Amusing Injuries: Happens to Twilight occasionally, the most notable examples being, "Winter Wrap Up", "Feeling Pinkie Keen", and "It's About Time."
  • And I Must Scream: Twilight experiences this when she turns gray and crosses the Despair Event Horizon, but all she could do was to shed a Single Tear.
  • 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: Just a test? Just a TEST?! Princess Celestia wants to give me some kind of exam and you're trying to tell me to calm down because it's ...JUST A TEST?
    Spike: (grabs a military helmet and some pillows as armor) 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.
  • Anti-Villain: Twilight comes dangerously close to falling into this during the movie. She knowingly manipulates her friends' trust in order to commit theft of a pearl that an entire race relies on. And then verbally lashes out at all of her friends in the scene immediately afterwards. What downplays this example is that she ultimately felt like she had no choice in doing this if she wanted to save Equestria, and she immediately felt remorse after her verbal lashing.
  • Apology Gift: In the episode "Marks for Effort," Twilight bans the Cutie Mark Crusaders from the School of Friendship after she accuses them of deliberately teaching Cozy Glow the wrong things for a test, believing that they did it to get back at Twilight for not letting them become students at the school. But then Twilight soon finds out the truth; Cozy Glow failed the test on purpose, thinking that it would show Twilight that the CMC need to learn more about friendship and let them become students. Twilight then apologizes to the CMC by making them tutors at the school.
  • Apple of Discord: Twilight tries to use her old Smarty Pants doll as one of these. It works after she uses a "Want-It Need-It" spell on it. Far too well. Said doll is working as such even before the spell in question (although not as Twilight intended).
  • The Apprentice: Twilight spends the first three seasons as Celestia's star protege, and eventually gains an apprentice of her own in the form of Starlight Glimmer.
  • 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.
  • Arc Symbol: Twilight's cutie mark, which also matches the symbol for the Element of Magic. When Twilight has her "Eureka!" Moment figuring out how to help her friends, her eyes flash with her own cutie mark. When the Elements blast Twilight, the burn mark left on the floor is shaped like her cutie mark. After her meeting with Celestia, Twilight returns to Equestria as a mote of light in the shape of her own cutie mark.
  • 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.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: By the end of the series, she has becomes the sole rules of Equestria, and by that point has demonstrated multiple times over that she has the personal power to hold that position if necessary.
  • Audience Surrogate: As the central character, to whom Ponyville and its residents are introduced at the same time as to the viewer, she is the 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.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Twilight Sparkle is famous for trying awesome but impractical spells to solve problems, which more often than not prolong or worsen the problem by being so impractical, time and time and time and time again. It actually wasn't until Season 4 that one of these stunts actually worked as intended. A specific example in "Sonic Rainboom": Twilight comes up with a spell that will give her non-pegasus friends wings, so they can join Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy for the Youngest Fliers competition in Cloudsdale. Unfortunately the spell is so draining, she only manages to cast it once, on Rarity, and has to find a simpler cloud-walking spell for the rest of them. Also, said magic wings are made from gossamer and morning dew, and they look stunning but are incredibly fragile.
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning:
  • Awkward First Sleepover: A big rainstorm forces Rarity and Applejack to spend the night with Twilight Sparkle. Twilight uses this as an opportunity to hold her very first sleepover, since she never had one, and therefore is literally by-the-book as she uses a guide on slumber parties to move the plot along. The slumber party gets gradually ruined as the night progresses.
  • 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 Boast: Twilight says one of these when refusing to surrender her Element of Harmony to Sunset, despite the prospect of never being able to return to Equestria.
    Twilight: Equestria will find a way to survive without my Element of Harmony. This place might not if I allow it to fall into your hands. So go ahead. Destroy the portal. You are not getting this crown!
  • 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.
  • Badass in Distress:
    • Twilight Sparkle, who took out an Ursa Minor on her own, is turned to stone by a cockatrice which leaves Fluttershy to protect the Cutie Mark Crusaders and save Twilight.
    • Twilight gets surrounded by magic-sapping plants and is incapacitated while she's trying to reach her friends inside the forest. Once they get the plants away from her, Twilight helps zap them into oblivion even while groggy.
  • Ball of Light Transformation: At the end of "Magical Mystery Cure", Twilight Sparkle returns from the astral plane as a mote of light in the shape of her own cutie mark, before rematerializing as an alicorn.
  • Balloon Belly: Twilight Sparkle sports a bulging stomach after first meeting Applejack's family and being persuaded to stay for brunch.
  • Barrier Warrior: She can create forcefields that she can move as seen in "The Return of Harmony, Part 2", "MMMystery on the Friendship Express" (at around 1:18) and "Ponyville Confidential". At least some of them include Anti-Magic.
  • Batman Gambit: Twilight certainly takes after her mentor in pulling these off.
    • In "Too Many Pinkie Pies" Pinkie and Twilight reason the clones care too much about fun to do boring things even if it means being banished forever while the real Pinkie wouldn't stoop to such lows, so they arrange a paint-watching test that pushes them to the limits only the genuine article can muster.
    • In "Magic Duel" during their rematch, Twilight claims Zecora has given her an amulet even more powerful than the Alicorn Amulet, which she demonstrates with various high-level spells. Trixie steals the amulet for herself and swaps it for her Alicorn Amulet, at which point Rainbow Dash steals the Alicorn Amulet and Twilight reveals the new one is just a worthless trinket. Her "magic" was just sleight of hoof.
    • Twilight leads Nightmare Moon back to the map after she is told to reveal the cause of her time travel abilities. Twilight does this since the dark alicorn is the only one strong enough to get rid of the timberwolves that live in the area now (Twilight was worn out from fighting Starlight and needed time to recharge her magic). Once she clears them out, Twilight teleports herself and Spike to the map and travels back before Nightmare Moon or her guards can catch them.
    • In Seaquestria, Twilight Sparkle sends Pinkie Pie off to play with Princess Skystar knowing it will create the distraction she needs to get the Pearl of Transformation.
  • Beam-O-War:
    • In "Twilight's Kingdom" the climax of Twilight and Tirek's battle escalates into them firing magical beams at one another with all the power they can muster. This results in a stalemate that forces Tirek to try a different tactic, since brute force isn't getting the job done.
    • In "Shadow Play" Twilight and The Pony of Shadows engage in one near the start of the episode when Starswirl proves to be too drained to fight. She wins the first exchange, and the Pony of Shadows is surprised at how powerful Twilight is (stating she is almost as strong as Starswirl), but she isn't strong enough when he tries again. Luckily Starlight adds her own beam to support Twilight and the two overpower him.
  • 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".
    • Twilight once again uses this as her main form of attack when she engages the roc to try to save Rarity and Zecora, albeit with questionable success.
  • Became Their Own Antithesis:
    • In "The Return of Harmony" Twilight gives up on friendship after being abandoned by her friends. Made more noteworthy in that unlike her friends who were brainwashed by Discord, her corruption appears to have occurred naturally.
    • In the movie, by manipulating her friends to commit theft and then angrily lashing out at them afterwards, she became the exact opposite of what she was supposed to represent.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For:
    • The pilot has a hint of this, with Twilight Sparkle at first not wanting to make new friends, only to find out later that "just when I learn how wonderful it is to have friends, I have to leave them." Fortunately, she does ultimately get to stay in Ponyville with her new friends.
    • 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.
  • Bedsheet Ghost: Twilight uses this to scare Rarity and Applejack while telling a Ghost Story.
  • Befriending the Enemy:
    • Twilight Sparkle's redeems Starlight Glimmer by offering her a second chance at friendship.
    • Twilight Sparkle also demonstrates this by showing sympathy for Tempest Shadow and even rescuing her later, despite all of the trouble Tempest caused and the grief she gave her personally.
  • Behind the Black:
    • In "It's About Time" Twilight Sparkle fails to notice the entrance to the Starswirl the Bearded wing of the Canterlot Library, which is just barely off screen, until Pinkie Pie points out that it is right next to them. Twilight immediately questions how she could have possibly missed that; however, this is also justified since she's sleep deprived.
    • In "Surf And Or Turf" Twilight pulls her trophy from the ring toss booth in from stage left. Then, just as quickly, it disappears back into hammerspace. She does the same with the field trip form, unless she's keeping it in her hair.
  • Beneath the Mask: Twilight's, emotionally distant, cynical surface she presents in the pilot is revealed to be hiding a much mellower, kinder, and even humbler mare buried underneath.
  • Benevolent Mage Ruler: As of the series finale.
  • "Be Quiet!" Nudge:
    • When Twilight tries to take leave from Fluttershy after meeting her for the first time, she uses the pretext that her baby dragon needs his sleep. Spike starts retorting "No, I don't—", but Twilight (who is carrying him on her back at the moment) shakes her rump and sends him landing on his tush on the ground.
    • Twilight dope-slaps Spike to shut him up when he's accidentally insensitive in "Hurricane Fluttershy". Twice.
    • When Spike defiantly talks back to Nightmare Moon in "The Cutie Re-Mark", Twilight glares at him and jabs him with her elbow.
  • Berserk Button:
  • The Berserker: After Tirek destroys her library, Twilight gains full control over the power of the other alicorns, and her attitude while fighting has completely changed, becoming more ferocious as shown by the large and destructive laser beams she brings down onto Tirek and charging through large chunks of rock like they are made of cardboard.
  • Best Woman: In the season 2 finale of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Twilight Sparkle's brother Shining Armor asks her to be best mare at his wedding. She hadn't known he was getting married in the first place and was not happy with being kept out of the loop.
  • 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.
  • Beware the Superman: Twilight is a powerful sorceress — one of the most powerful in the setting — who is nonetheless inherently kind-hearted, sensible and responsible, always listening to reason and never using her magical powers frivolously. This episode shows what could have happened if she stopped acting reasonably.
  • 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".
  • The Big Girl: When she's not in a role that requires particular intelligence or leadership, she becomes this naturally by virtue of being one of the most powerful characters in the whole series and is one of the more capable combatants alongside fellow Big Girls Rainbow Dash and Applejack among their group of friends.
  • Big Good: According to Lauren Faust, Twilight Sparkle was originally intended to become Celestia's successor. Over the course of the series, this has more or less actually happened. In earlier seasons, Twilight often played the role of The Leader in various situations and saved Equestria multiple times with the help of her friends. In the Season 3 finale, Twilight becomes an Alicorn princess, and performs some greater royal duties in Season 4; most notably, in the Season premiere Twilight briefly becomes the de facto Big Good when Celestia and Luna temporarily go missing. However, it wasn't until the Season 4 finale that Twilight received her official role to spread friendship across Equestria as the Princess of Friendship, a duty she is to carry out with the help of her friends. In the following seasons, Twilight and her friends continue to spread friendship and peace all over Equestria, even to other species. In the last season, Celestia and Luna retire, and Twilight officially takes over as ruler of Equestria.
  • 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.
  • Big "SHUT UP!": When Twilight's friends are arguing over who should get the ticket, she screams "QUIET!" to break it up.
  • Big "WHAT?!":
    • Twilight gives one in "Spike at Your Service" when Applejack tells her what's been going on, including how she said she was cool with Spike not being her assistant anymore.
    • Gives another one in "Make New Friends but Keep Discord" when Celestia says that the night was a blast because of all the chaos caused by Discord and the Smooze.
  • 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.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality:
    • She considered using mind control magic that reduced the town to shambles and another that sparked a riot to be morally justified if it meant pleasing Princess Celestia.
    • Similarly, she also seems to not have any problem with magically preventing others from moving and then dragging them places.
  • Blue Blood:
    • It is unknown if she was born into that status but she and her family are surely among the supreme elite of Equestria, with Twilight being the personal protégé of Princess Celestia and her brother being at once Captain of the Guard, Prince Consort to Princess Cadance, and Governor of the Crystal Empire.
    • As of the Season 3 finale, she's been "upgraded" and is now officially a Princess, so she has gone from having a relative marrying into royalty to becoming royalty.
  • Blush Sticker: Twilight gets a pair of these when she admits to Minuette not remembering about Moondancer's party.
  • Bookends:
    • The fourth season starts with Twilight struggling to get used to her new role as princess, and ends with her fully embracing the position.
    • The series starts with Twilight moving to Ponyville and ends with her moving back to Canterlot.
    • The final season begins with Twilight struggling to adjust to her eventual role as the new ruler of Equestria, and it ends with her fully assuming the position.
  • 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.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: Twilight has found herself in this situation multiple times when disagreements occur between her and her friends and has had to accept that she is not completely in the right like in "Lesson Zero" "No Second Prances" and the movie.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: Twilight Sparkle claims that as punishment for taking Princess Celestia's pet bird, Fluttershy could be banished from Equestria, thrown into a dungeon, or banished from Equestria and then thrown into a dungeon in the place she was banished to.
  • 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...
  • Break Them by Talking: After coming to the realization that she can't beat Starlight Glimmer in a head-on confrontation, Twilight Sparkle resorts to trying to talk her out of the battle. It's effective enough that, rather than defeating her, Twilight is able to actually swing her to the side of good instead.
  • Broken Ace: Her good track record makes her set 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.
  • Brought Down to Normal:
    • In the first Equestria Girls movie, Twilight goes from a magical Alicorn Princess to an Ordinary High-School Student. She and her new friends get a Magical Girl transformation at the end.
    • This also happens to Twilight when she surrenders hers and the Princesses' power to Tirek.
  • Brutal Honesty: Zigzagged. Occasionally, Twilight can lie or let someone down easily, but for the most part, she'll say exactly how she feels about something or someone exactly how she wants to say it.
  • Buffy Speak: Twilight descends into this during "The Return of Harmony"... mostly due to frustration.
    Twilight: Necklace, necklace, necklace, necklace, and... big crown thingy! Come on everypony, let's go!
  • 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.
  • Busman's Holiday:
    • In "Once Upon a Zeppelin", Spike encourages Twilight to go on the vacation cruise specifically to take a break from her princess duties. Turns out the cruise is specifically designed around princess-themed activities where Twilight has to be the pony in charge.
    • Played for laughs in "Surf And Or Turf"; this is what Twilight says she's doing as she's chaperoning the CMC, but even the CMC are laughing at her excuse of "research" before long. By the end of the episode, when invited to a screeching competition, she drops all pretenses of such.
  • But I Read a Book About It: This is a large part of Twilight's personality. Between Super OCD, checklists to track checking her checklists, and apparent access to L-Space to be able to find a book on anything anywhere. She has a rule book for a "goof-off", for example with Spike claiming that Twilight has a rule book for everything. In "Fall Weather Friends", Grade-A bookworm Twilight Sparkle enters a big marathon, the Running of the Leaves, alongside her more athletic friends Applejack and Rainbow Dash. The two of them scoff when Twilight claims she's read a book on running techniques in preparation for the race, but in the end she manages a respectable fifth place for a first time race by pacing herself, while Applejack and Rainbow Dash end up tied for dead last because the two of them were too preoccupied with making sure the other doesn't win.
  • Butt-Monkey: Shares this role with Spike as she runs into a lot of trouble.
  • Byronic Heroine: Twilight initially started off as this. She was clearly a natural leader and charismatic, but also incredibly withdrawn and incredibly difficult to get to know, who struggled inwardly with her own integrity quite often.
  • Came Back Strong: Twilight's completed version of the destiny spell apparently vaporizes her and she reappears on the celestial plane. After Celestia explains what she's achieved, she's sent back down to the mortal plane as an alicorn princess.
  • 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.
  • Can't Live with Them, Can't Live without Them: Twilight has this relationship 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.
  • Cavalier Competitor: Twilight Sparkle pulls this one off in the episode "Fall Weather Friends." During the big Running of the Leaves race, Applejack and Rainbow Dash develop an intense rivalry and take the race very seriously. Twilight, a first-timer who is quite non-athletic, is seen just strolling along throughout the race, admiring the autumn leaves with a peaceful expression on her face. In the end, Twilight comes in fifth, which isn't a great showing, but her friends come in dead last because they tired themselves out too quickly (on top of being distracted trying to stop each other from winning), whereas Twilight paced herself and saved all her energy for the final stretch. Of course, when a game comes along that she's actually passionate about, like in "A Trivial Pursuit" where she's desperate to keep her Trivia Trot winning streak going, the results are not pretty.
  • Celebrity Is Overrated: As well as popularity. Touched on in "Twilight Time" as Twilight has made it known that while she's a princess, she's still herself and doesn't want any special treatment.
  • Cerebus Retcon: Early in the very first episode, Twilight rudely declines an invitation to an unseen friend's party to focus on her studies. It's treated as a quick Establishing Character Moment for her anti-social attitude, and is all but forgotten when Twilight moves away and makes new friends. Five seasons later in "Amending Fences", Spike reminds Twilight about this incident, spurring her to visit her hometown and try to reconnect with her forgotten friends. Only to find out the main friend in question — who already suffered from social anxiety and low self-esteem — had degenerated to become a bitter and lonely shut-in, because while she was on good terms with the others, she considered Twilight her Only Friend. It also serves as a reflection of the kind of pony Twilight could have become had she never made friends.
  • 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.
  • Characterisation Click Moment: "Lesson Zero" is considered to be where Twilight's Super OCD busybody personality starts to hone in and become the subject matter of most of her limelight episodes.
  • 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.
  • The Charmer: Whatever the situation may be, Twilight is usually shown to be an extremely charismatic individual, ranging from being endearingly dorky to having a warm and comforting presence. She is often able to use her intellect combined with her force of personality and likeability to get others to listen to her and follow her lead.
  • Charm Person: Has a form of this in spells that can alter the behavior of others, like the spell used on the Parasprites and the "Want-It-Need-It" spell.
  • Cheated Angle: Her skunk stripe sometimes switches which side of her mane it's on from shot to shot.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The letters Twilight was writing to Celestia was one an entire season in the making. Discord has Mind Raped the mane six and Twilight has given up. She comes home to find Princess Celestia has been sending her scrolls all day. It turns out they're the letters that Twilight had been sending Celestia the entire previous season. They remind her what her friends mean to her and help her realize how to stop Discord.
    • Twilight and Cadance's "sunshine, sunshine, ladybugs awake" song in "A Canterlot Wedding, Part 1" is the reason Twilight can determine that Cadance is really Cadance in Part 2.
    • One of these is how Twilight receives her key. In "Twilight's Kingdom, Part 2", the medallion Tirek gives to Discord as a sign of "trust" turns out to be Twilight's key, which Discord gives her after she shows she still considers him a friend after his betrayal.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Twilight's ability to replicate magic that other unicorns know after being shown a demonstration will pay off in later seasons.
  • 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.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Twilight Sparkle of all characters in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic is one of these as seen in Magic Duel. What's a pony to do when she can't best an opponent fair and square? Cheat, of course! Bonus points in that she uses deception, stage magic, and sleight of hand (hoof?) to beat the now magically superior Trixie (who at that point was a retired Stage Magician).
  • Combined Energy Attack: In Twilight's Kingdom" she unleashed the combined power of all four alicorns onto Tirek after he destroys her library.
  • Combo Platter Powers: Thanks to her talent literally being magic itself, Twilight's has demonstrated the following abilities: levitation, gravity manipulation, laser beams, force fields, teleportation, telekinesis, hair growth, thought manipulation, bringing inanimate objects to life, sensing gems under the ground restoring memories, summoning, generating heat, manipulating water, producing smoke, freezing things in place, transforming ponies into other creatures, illusion casting, light emission, love inducement, physically entering books, increasing the volume of her voice, a form of visual and audio recording, trapping things in crystals, and dark magic. Since gaining her wings, she also appears to have increased in natural durability and strength.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: In her mad search for a friendship problem to solve, Twilight reacts with glee when she thinks Rarity is having a crisis, and again when she thinks Rainbow Dash is angry at Applejack. And when Twilight thinks she sees Fluttershy attacking a bear and snapping its neck, her only reaction is "Of all the days she had to stop being such a scaredy pony, she had to pick today!"
  • 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.
  • Commonality Connection: Many of her friends bonded with her after connecting in some regard despite their seemingly varied personalities.
    • From Pinkie Pie. Both have completely opposing demeanours and preferences, however, it is shown she can be just as giddy and excitable about her work as Pinkie can be meticulous and Serious Business about arranging fun.
    • From Discord of all people. The rebellious and self-centered prankster of chaos is a tremendous contrast to the no-nonsense and altruistic Princess of Friendship, but they both challenge each other as the cerebral, educated member of the group, and tend to cause a lot of problems for themselves with their occasional hubris and childish temperament. Discord also takes perverse pleasure in systematically demonstrating Twilight is capable of irrational jealousy in "What About Discord?", just as he had been in a previous scenario.
  • Commuting on a Bus: After serving as protagonist in the first film and Decoy Protagonist in Rainbow Rocks, Twilight takes a back seat in the Equestria Girls franchise, with Sunset Shimmer becoming The Heroine and Twilight's human counterpart becoming a major character. Pony Twilight appears in The Stinger of Friendship Games (her final time physically entering the human world), acts as The Ghost in Legend of Everfree and Magical Movie Night, then has larger supporting roles in Forgotten Friendship and Spring Breakdown (both instances taking place fully in Equestria) and a brief cameo in Sunset's Backstage Pass; the latter three see her primarily acting in a Voice with an Internet Connection capacity, providing crucial plot information about a given Equestrian artifact or source of magic that leaked into the other world. She also appears in some of the Summertime Shorts as a human, but these are Interquels taking place during the events of the first film.
  • 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.
    • Also of a sort to the CMC, in "Surf And Or Turf" she not only acts as a chaperone but gently leads them and helps them when they need it. Much like in "Twilight Time", it's clear the CMC are close friends with her and look up to her much like their own sisters (surrogate in Scootaloo's case).
  • 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".
  • Costume-Test Montage: Twilight has to go through one against her will, courtesy of Rarity, naturally.
  • Counterspell: Twilight Sparkle's strategy to confront the Dazzlings is to write a counterspell song against their siren voices; this is what motivates the Rainbooms to participate in the Battle of the Bands. However, this proves a daunting task even for a magic prodigy like Twilight (for a variety of reasons, including the need to be a song, that she's not in her usual form, in a magic-deprived world and without access to her spellbooks). In the end, they use a song written by Fluttershy and resort to raw Magic of Friendship to counter the Sirens.
  • 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!
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Being a unicorn bookworm from a town filled with unicorns, and thus used to Winter Wrap Up being done by magic, Twilight simply doesn't have any of the skills or abilities needed to physically tidy away the winter, making her a fish out of water in Ponyville's Earth pony-inspired, traditionally mundane version of the celebration. Thankfully, she has other, less physically-oriented skills which come in handy.
  • Cultured Badass: Twilight Sparkle never found a book she didn't read and is totally dedicated to academia, and she will be as violent as the rating will allow when a danger presents her with no alternative.
  • 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.

    Tropes D to H 
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Her first name is Twilight, a period where the day and night intersect, she has a dark colored coat of fur, 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.
  • Death Glare:
    • Twilight gives Applejack one when she asks Applejack to help Luna fit in.
    • She also gives one to Discord to show defiance when he gives her half of a friendship pendant as appreciation for his Secret Test of Character. Discord lampshades it.
      Discord: Why the angry eyes?
  • Deconstructed Character Archetype: Twilight Sparkle resembles a common Smart Girl protagonist, but her intellect and no-nonsense behavior are exaggerated to the point of being a Super OCD perfectionist prone to mental breakdowns over the smallest slight, meaning she is just as often reliant on her friends' support as being the Only Sane Man to arguments.
  • Decoy Protagonist:
    • The episode "A Canterlot Wedding" has Twilight be the main character until the final act, which has the real Cadance earning her happy ending.
    • She also 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 Heroine 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.
  • Deflector Shields: Twilight Sparkle can conjure these with her magic. They're quite powerful, too, as she can even block Discord's power (although she was wearing the Element of Magic in that instance).
    • In "Ponyville Confidential", Twilight Sparkle creates a domed field over the whole Golden Oak Library to keep out unwelcome guests, like the Cutie Mark Crusaders who embarrassed her in their school's newspaper.
    • In the season 4 finale, with her power boosted by the other three alicorns, Twilight can generate a shimmering aura that protect her against Tirek's energy blasts as well as his brute strength — including when he throws her into a mountain, and then bull-rushes her through said mountain. Unfortunately, Tirek can also create such a personal shield (thankfully for him, or Twilight's first salvo would have vaporized the villain), meaning the fight ends in a stalemate.
    • In "Every Little Thing She Does" Twilight and Starlight's magic training in the beginning include magical barriers, and we see several types on display. First Starlight conjures a personal round shield (Captain America-style), then Twilight creates a hemispherical bubble, followed by Starlight encasing herself in a crystal-shaped field.
  • 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 Heroine 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.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Twilight Sparkle leads her new-found friends into battle successfully against Nightmare Moon, a Sealed Evil in a Can Mad God.
  • Disappointed in You:
    • In the episode "Owl's Well That Ends Well", Spike was already on edge from being worried that Owlowiscious would replace him as number 1 assistant, and in turn, take away some of the admiration that went towards him, and when Twilight Sparkle finds out that Spike lied to her about the book he was asked to get, she says he is very disappointed in him.
    • Princess Celestia throws this at Twilight Sparkle when she accuses Princess Cadance of being evil with flimsy, easily explained "evidence". This is after having, throughout the episode, expressed anger and resentment towards her brother about not being told about the wedding sooner, causing the whole thing to come off as petty and childish on Twilight's part. Once it turns out that Twilight was correct and Cadance has been replaced by a villain, everypony's quick to apologize.
    • Though kept understated in "Twilight Time", Twilight makes it evident she does not approve of the kids only wanting to hang out with her for popularity purposes.
    • In the episode "Every Little Thing She Does", Twilight comes home to find her student, Starlight Glimmer, has resorted to mind control in an attempt to make her friendship lessons go more smoothly. She tells Starlight that she's less mad than disappointed to find her taking such a huge step backwards.
    • In "School Daze" when it comes down to it, Twilight is ultimately more upset than angry about Cozy Glow's true colors and remorseless attitude towards her actions.
  • The Dissenter Is Always Right:
    • In "Bridle Gossip", almost all of Ponyville believes that Zecora is an "evil enchantress", fearing her so much that everyone hides indoors every time she comes to visit. When the main six all come down with mysterious maladies, most of them assume Zecora put a curse on them. Twilight Sparkle along with Apple Bloom are the only ones who remain skeptical; Twilight in particular pokes holes in her friend's reasoning, and insists that curses aren't real. By the end, Zecora is proven to be innocent, and in fact, she's trying to brew a cure for the main six's ailments. Ironically, this happens almost immediately after circumstantial evidence finally convinces Twilight that Zecora really is dangerous.
    • In "A Canterlot Wedding - Part 1", the main six are called to help plan Princess Cadance's wedding. Twilight Sparkle, the only one of the group who knows Cadance from her childhood, is taken aback when Cadance doesn't seem to remember her—and she gets more suspicious as Cadance exhibits Bridezilla behaviors quite unlike the kind pony Twilight remembers. But Twilight's suspicions fall on deaf ears as the rest of her friends, and the groom and Princess Celestia, just write off Cadance's behavior as the effects of pre-wedding jitters. Just as Twilight begins to doubt herself, Cadance captures and imprisons her, proving Twilight was right to be suspicious all along. The followup episode reveals that the real Princess Cadance had been captured and replaced by the shapeshifter Queen Chrysalis. And when Chrysalis is on the verge of victory, she rubs salt in the main six's wounds by lampshading how no one believed the one pony who was correct about her from the start.
      Queen Chrysalis: It's funny, really. Twilight here was suspicious of my behavior all along. Too bad the rest of you were too caught up in your wedding planning to realize those suspicions were correct!
    • In "What About Discord?", Twilight becomes jealous when all her friends had fun with Discord over the weekend that she spent indoors re-shelving her library, and she gets particularly upset at all the inside jokes they keep laughing at. She eventually thinks Discord put her friends under a spell—and when she says this aloud, her friends are offended that she would suspect Discord like that. Twilight finally admits her jealousy and apologizes. And as Discord gloats that Twilight has learned a valuable lesson, he lets slip that he really did (non-magically) manipulate Twilight's friends into excluding her over the weekend, specifically to make her feel jealous. The others are not amused.
    • In "No Second Prances", Twilight is mentoring the former villain Starlight Glimmer, and she disapproves of Starlight befriending another former bad-pony, the Great and Powerful Trixie, suspecting that Trixie might be manipulating Starlight for her own ends. Starlight eventually gets fed up with Twilight's meddling and calls her out on being so suspicious of Trixie. Twilight is suitable ashamed—and then Trixie lets slip that she really did just befriend Starlight for the sole purpose of getting back at Twilight. (Although she grew to genuinely appreciate her bond with Starlight.) It's an odd case where Twilight the dissenter is both right and wrong: Twilight still apologizes to Starlight for trying so hard to control her, while Trixie apologizes to Starlight for living down to Twilight's low expectations of her.
  • 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.
  • Doing It for the Art: In-universe, Twilight hoof-stitches the borders on her Starswirl robes, even though she's a unicorn and could have done it with magic.
  • Drama Queen: Twilight Sparkle's sanity is not always quite where it should be, and her Super OCD can easily develop into Drama Queen tendencies, especially when things start getting out of control. It's potentially contagious, too.
  • Dramatically Missing the Point:
    • In Twilight's Kingdom Part 1, since Twilight's Element of Harmony is Magic, both she and Rarity assume that the lesson Twilight would have learned to get her key involved a difficult magical task, and not The Power of Friendship... even when Twilight acknowledges that the Magic in the Element of Magic is the Magic of Friendship from the beginning of the show.
    • Twilight herself falls victim to them when she insists on the Mane Six following EEA guidelines to the letter in their classes, except, as the Mane Six lament once she leaves, there's nothing in the book about teaching virtues like Loyalty and Honesty. Twilight is trying to run the School of Friendship as a proper education facility, not realizing the intention of the school doesn't roll up to that model.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: Multiple In-Universe examples.
    • First, Twilight not taking kindly to Spike's joking nicknames for the ponies' Poison Joke-afflicted ailments. Of course, it's later deconstructed at the end when the Mane Six learn that the effects are just harmless, even if somewhat ironic, jokes played on them. Second, albeit unintentional, when ** Twilight realizes that the effects of the Poison Joke are just little jokes played on them, the shrunken Applejack takes great offense to the "little" part, most likely due to being overly sensitive about being small.
    • Twilight Sparkle repeatedly calls out Rainbow Dash for using a thundercloud to prank the ponies. Subverted when Princess Luna retaliates by doing the same to Rainbow.
    • Twilight also has this reaction to Pinkie Pie after she tells her she's pretending to be scared of Luna.
    • When Twilight instructs her to make a new friend, Starlight jokingly suggests magically enslaving the citizens of Ponyville and forcing them to be her friends. Twilight is not amused, and immediately chastises her for it.
  • 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.
  • Easily Condemned: Right after Twilight accuses Cadance of being evil and brainwashing Shining Armor, she gets quickly disproven and banned from the wedding. Everyone in the room then turns against Twilight and walks out on her without giving her a chance to explain properly despite all the good she has done for them over the two seasons, and this incident not being too dissimilar to the breakdowns she had that they experienced in the past. At the same time, it didn't cross Twilight's mind that the Cadance at the wedding might be fake and assumes that she just became evil after seeing her show uncharacteristic signs, even though she had happy memories of her when she was just a filly.
  • Easily Forgiven:
    • Minuette, Twinkleshine, and Lemon Hearts are quick to forgive Twilight for being a bad friend and leaving without a word, saying they were used to her running off to focus on other things. Averted with Moondancer; it takes a whole episode before she accepts Twilight's apology.
    • In "Surf And Or Turf" everyone in Mount Aris and Seaquestria loves Twilight, despite the last time she was there she tried to steal their Pearl of Transformation. The attempted theft is never even mentioned. Justified in that Twilight is the reason they are free now.
  • Elemental Powers: She has several of them thanks to her status as a Red Mage but most of them are non-weaponized spell versions.
  • 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.
  • Epic Fail: Pretty much everything Twilight tries to do to help in the Winter Wrap-Up results in this in some fashion until the end. In particular, her attempt at creating a bird nest is so bad that the perfectionist Rarity spends much of the remaining day trying to fix it up, breaking down sobbing in despair partway through.
  • Equippable Ally: She's been used as a machine gun in fights.
  • Establishing Character Moment: When we first meet Twilight in "Friendship is Magic Pt 1", she's studying with her friend/assistant Spike, who's trying to get her to relax, and is shown to be uninterested in making friends and a bit insensitive sometimes.
  • 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.
  • "Eureka!" Moment: During Twilight's fight against Nightmare Moon, the villain destroys the stones that were meant to be the Elements of Harmony. It seems as if The Bad Guy Wins and Twilight's journey was All for Nothing... until she remembers said journey with the other ponies. When they unite, Twilight acknowledges and appreciates their talents and reliance towards one another and accepts their friendship. This restores the Elements to their former glory and they use their power to finally defeat Nightmare Moon.
  • 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.
  • Evil Counterpart: Twilight has had a few of these.
    • My Little Pony: Equestria Girls gives us Sunset Shimmer, a former student of Princess Celestia. Unlike Trixie, Sunset is actually a perfect counterpart to Twilight as Sunset couldn't give two flips about studying, believed herself to be superior, would go so far as to use underhanded tricks to shatter friendships and ruin other people's fun for her own sake. Oh, and turning into a friggin' demon might have a factor in this.
    • Twilight gains another one in Season 5 named Starlight Glimmer. Both seek to spread friendship across the land, but Twilight offers genuine friendship while Starlight offers a false one through brainwashing. Twilight studies and trains to overcome her limitations and encourages others to do their best, while Starlight became bitterly jealous of others and so found a spell that can take away the talents of others, so nopony can ever be better than her. While Twilight became a new Princess of Friendship in Equestria, Starlight became a sociopathic dictator in a False Utopia town, with aspirations to take her message outside of her town. It also reflects in their backstories. Twilight Sparkle has had friends, social status, and guidance since youth and had the benefit of being a magical prodigy mentored under the tutelege of Princess Celestia, not to mention her special cutie mark connection with the other Mane Five. Starlight Glimmer on the other hand, has had no such fortune whatsoever. As a filly, Starlight had minimal guidance, no special cutie mark connection and in fact suffered a broken friendship due to her closest friend receiving his cutie mark, and was forced to have pretty much spend most of her life alone, which led to her increasing bitterness and hatred towards cutie marks and talents. It's even lampshaded when the two meet, as Starlight becomes increasingly jealous and resentful of Twilight's talent and fortune, to the point where Starlight develops a personal vendetta against Twilight and her friends that grew even stronger after the Season 5 premiere. Twilight Sparkle understood Starlight's plight and takes it upon herself to befriend Starlight and teach her about Friendship as her own mentor.
    • Both Twilight and Cozy Glow understand the value of friendship and brought together a group of uncommon people together, but Twilight does this for the benefit of others, while Cozy Glow only sees friendship as a source of power to be used for her own benefit.
  • Expendable Alternate Universe: Twilight defies this trope in Equestria Girls. While her main objective is to retrieve her crown where her Element resides from Big Bad Sunset Shimmer, she also quickly makes a friendship with her counterparts. This becomes a plot point when at the film's climax, Sunset threatens to destroy the portal connecting the two worlds if she doesn't give her the crown. Twilight reasons she'd stay to help them, even if they'd both be doomed to never return to Equestria, since Sunset would be free to hurt her friends either way. Her bond with her new friends is strong enough to summon the Elements of Harmony and defeat her One-Winged Angel form. Only when she ensures that her friends would try to show Sunset Shimmer kindness after stripping her of power, does she cross back to Equestria. Nor does she forget this world after leaving, coming back in the next movie to help her human friends and a reformed Sunset Shimmer confront the next magical threat.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: In the series finale, her mane and tail have changed to be similar to Celestia and Luna's signifying how she is now the ruler of all of Equestria.
  • Expressive Hair: Twilight's tail when she finds Celestia's guards are looking for Philomena.
  • 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.
  • Eyepatch After Time Skip: Currently provides the page image for this trope in the episode "It's About Time". Twilight Sparkle encounters a future version of herself sporting a skintight suit, a bandanna, an eyepatch, and a scar on her cheek (actually a Spy Catsuit, a bandage, a therapeutic eyepatch, and a paper cut, respectively. The eyepatch in this case was from being blinded by looking at the sun through a telescope).
  • Eye Recall: A rare inversion occurs when Twilight is remembering her memories with Cadance; the camera zooms out of young Twilight's eye when the flashback begins, then it zooms in on her eye as it cuts back to the present.
  • Eye Pop: When Twilight spots Starlight Glimmer talking to the young bullies and Fluttershy, her eyes pop out inside the binoculars she's using (along with a klaxon sound).
  • The Eyes Have It: When Twilight uses her spell to enter a book, she manifests as an animated illustration.
  • Facepalm: Twilight applies her hoof to her face multiple times over the course of the series in response to the events surrounding her.
  • 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.
  • Failsafe Failure: Borders on Lampshade Hanging. Twilight learns a "failsafe spell", which she believes will counter the wacky weather plaguing Ponyville. It fails. She says, "My failsafe spell... failed!"
  • Failures on Ice: Twilight's attempt to help score the ice so it will melt go horribly wrong, earning her some teasing from Spike.
  • Famed In-Story: According to Twilight Sparkle and the Crystal Heart Spell, stories of her magical ability have been spreading throughout Equestria.
  • Family Theme Naming: Twilight's family shows this, following a light theme: Twilight Sparkle is the most obvious, but there's also Shining Armor, Twilight Velvet, and Night Light. Shining aside, they also seem to follow a nocturnal naming scheme.
  • 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 Nuke: The first magic blast fired by a superpowered Twilight Sparkle at Tirek explodes into a mushroom cloud on impact. And unlike previous examples of this trope in the series, where it was Played for Laughs, this one is completely serious, emphasizing Twilight's blind rage and sheer fury of her attack.
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • Twilight is the only character to subvert this in "Bridle Gossip." Zecora is feared by the ponies of Ponyville, who close their shops and get off the streets when she comes to town once a month. Very slightly softened by the fact that the primary reason for this isn't because she's a zebra, but because she lives in a creepy forest and thus is thought to be a witch (in fact, only one of the mane cast even knows what a zebra is at the start of the episode). But while this is not really intentional, the "don't judge people by their appearance" lesson is given loud and clear. Twilight however, knows what a zebra is perfectly well and doesn't judge her based on that. It's how Zecora's actions appeared that tricked her.
    • In "Celestial Advice" Twilight fears sending Starlight to the Dragon Lands because some dragons aren't exactly fond of ponies. Naturally, the example her fantasy uses to represent this is Garble, who grabs Starlight and dives into a lava pit with her. Also Twilight fears a changeling will trick the others into thinking Starlight is racist against them.
  • 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.
  • Fatal Flaw: Twilight Sparkle's history of being a model student makes her an extreme by-the-book perfectionist. Her obsession with order causes a lot of trouble in "Lesson Zero", going crazy because she thinks she's going to be late with her weekly friendship report, which she thinks will cause her to be sent back to magic kindergarten for missing what amounts to one homework assignment. She's also extremely devoted to plans and timesheets, which is a personality trait often associated with this trope. She was once up at three o'clock in the morning, obsessing that her schedule didn't leave her any time to plan next month's schedule.
  • Figure It Out Yourself: Twilight's preferred teaching style — she won't show Scootaloo how to assemble the unicycle, but she can tell her where to find the book to learn how to do it. (She's probably following Celestia's example.)
  • The Finicky One: Of the highest order. Twilight has been known to start riots and rips in time due to her anal retentiveness.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Twilight Sparkle didn't want anything to do with five other quirky ponies who want to be friends with her, even the fact that they're all willing to accompany her through the Everfree Forest. However, the ensuing adventure helps her connect with them and actually start regarding them as her True Companions.
  • Flaming Hair: Twilight's mane and hair turn into flames when she is Burning with Anger.
  • 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.
  • Flashy Teleportation: Twilight's teleportation spells have a flash at their destination point on arrival.
  • Flying Firepower: After becoming an alicorn, she combines her new pegasus flight with her preexisting ability to fire magical beams from her horn.
  • Flying on a Cloud: After gaining her wings, Twilight can walk on clouds and drag them to mimic this effect, like other pegasi. Even before that, she was capable of casting a cloud-walking spell.
  • Foil:
    • Twilight and Pinkie can act as foils for (or be foiled by) any of the other characters because they're both "outsiders" — Twilight because she's the protagonist who often serves as the lone, sane commentator to everything that happens, and Pinkie Pie because she really is inscrutably crazy.
    • Twilight, who is afraid of others perceiving her as arrogant due to her magical prowess, inadvertently found a rival in Trixie, who likes to outshine everyone despite being an entirely average practitioner of magic.
    • Twilight Sparkle gains a foil in the Season 5 premiere "The Cutie Map" in Starlight Glimmer. Both are Super OCD leaders of their respective towns and powerful magic users, but Twilight mostly leaves everyday life and affairs to the older and wiser Mayor of Ponyville, stepping in when there's a major catastrophe, and her OCD is limited and (mostly) controlled to her personal life, while Starlight's OCD is extreme and controls every single aspect of her town's life. Twilight is the Princess of Friendship and understands that differences (both talent-wise and personality-wise) between ponies can bring them together and even the best of friends have arguments, while Starlight is a dictator over her small town that believes that everypony else needs to be equal and happy all the time and eventually turns out to be a hypocrite as she had kept her cutie mark. Twilight rules out of love, respect, and dedication, and has strong friendships with those who truly love her in return, while Starlight rules out of fear, brainwashing, and imitation and loses the support of her followers once her hypocrisy is revealed.
    • "Amending Fences" has Moondancer — not malevolent but opposing all efforts to befriend her, as she ends up in a similar position — who has similarities to Twilight Sparkle if Twilight had stayed where she was and become even more of a grump dedicated only to studying instead of learning the value of friendship. In flashbacks before they diverted, she is mostly a Palette Swap of Twilight, but at the time of the episode, she has subverted the inherent style of the design with uncouth nerdiness.
  • Forgot About Her 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".
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Melancholic: introverted, organized, and high expectations.
  • Fountain of Youth:
    • Subverted in "Magic Duel". Age spells can only be performed by the highest-level unicorns. Trixie is able to turn Snips into a baby and Snails into an old stallion with her magic boosted by the Alicorn Amulet; Twilight Sparkle, on the other hand, is unable to reverse it. In order to rid Trixie of the corrupting amulet, Twilight fakes it by claiming to have an equally powerful artifact while having Granny Smith and Sweetie Belle impersonate Applejack and Rarity respectively.
    • Twilight pulled it off for real in the flashback from "The Cutie Mark Chronicles", though, but not intentionally and actually an inverted example of this trope; during her entrance exam to magic school, she was startled and lost control of her magic, turning the not-yet-hatched Spike into an adult dragon.
  • Freak Out:
    • Happens to Twilight Sparkle in the episode "Lesson Zero". When she realizes she doesn't have a weekly friendship lesson to present to Princess Celestia, she grows increasingly crazy trying to find one, culminating in a fully-loaded Freak Out the likes of which have never been seen on the show before (which is saying something, given the show's other examples).
    • In "Testing, Testing, 1,2,3", Rainbow Dash accurately describes Twilight's tendency to "get all freaked out about tests".
      Rainbow Dash: Your freak-outs are so epic, you sing whole "freak-out" arias about freaking out!
    • By the Season 9 premiere, "The Begining of the End", Twilight's friends all know her tendency towards this when she's saddled with a heavy responsibility so well, that they've nailed it down to a "process" which they call "Twilighting".
  • Freudian Couch: Twilight has to substitute a bench for an actual couch, but otherwise pulls it off exactly. Add in her half-moon glasses and her impromptu hairdo changes into a Prim and Proper Bun.
  • 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:
    • This is how Twilight passes the test in "The Crystal Empire". She has the choice to either try to escape Sombra's trap and deliver the Crystal Heart to Cadance alone, following Celestia's test verbatim, or rely on Spike, who is outside the trap and closer to the Heart. Twilight chooses the latter, Spike saves the day, and Twilight learns the meaning of selflessness.
    • 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.
  • Friendship Moment:
    • Pretty much the entire reason for the show. Just one example is in part 2 of the series premiere, "Elements of Harmony", when Twilight hears her friends coming to back her up against Nightmare Moon and figures out how to activate the seemingly-destroyed Elements and awaken the sixth one.
    • Speaking of Nightmare Moon, when Luna makes her bombastic appearance in "Luna Eclipsed," everyone is terrified of her, since she was little more than a scary story for a thousand years. Twilight tries to be friendly, and the first sign that it's working is when Luna compliments her on her historically accurate costume (which no one else recognized).
  • Friend to All Children: She's eager to act as a mentor to the Cutie Mark Crusaders and is very kind and accommodating to her younger fans. In "A Flurry of Emotions", her problem is that she wants to both spend time with her baby niece and read to sick children at the hospital.
  • Gatling Good: Pinkie grabs Twilight and uses her as a gatling gun. However, in an unusual inversion of this trope, Twilight's head does not spin — but Pinkie turns her tail like a crank to fire, just as with the original, manually operated Gatling guns. Purists will tell you the Gatling is not the only mechanically-cranked machine gun, although it is by far the best known, nor do all of the others have rotating barrels. This is as much a Shout-Out to the original Gatling's mechanism of fire as anything else.
  • Genre Blindness: Twilight has a case of this, when she doesn't notice anything off when her friends become the opposite of their elements (and they become a lot greyer) when she encounters them in the maze.
  • Gentleman and a Scholar: Twilight Sparkle is this most of the time, but tends to slip up whenever it will suit the plot.
  • 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.
  • The Gloves Come Off: Twilight Sparkle is largely pacifistic and tends to lean in favor of sealing away foes or swaying them to the side of good. When sufficiently pushed, particularly when her friends or family are threatened, the gloves will come off pretty quick and she'll start blasting projectile spells to blast her foe into submission.
    • "Princess Cadance" (actually Queen Chrysalis) is on the receiving end of one of these in "A Canterlot Wedding" (it's unclear if Twilight was going for killing blows or not), as is Lord Tirek and Starlight Glimmer. As King Sombra learns in the Season 9 premiere, she has absolutely zero qualms with outright killing a foe if that's what it's going to take.
    • In "The Hooffields and McColts", Twilight tries very hard to settle things peacefully between the two feuding families, by talking it out and staying rational, rather than using her powers or princess authority. However, when she's hit by a cupcake in the face during the big brawl, you can tell that she's fed up with the fighting. Next thing, she's using a massive immobilizing spell encompassing all the belligerents in the field.
  • 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.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Early seasons have a pattern of Twilight Sparkle's spells working a bit too well for her own good:
    • In "Swarm of the Century", she casts a spell to stop the swarm of parasprites from eating all the food in Ponyville. And it works — the parasprites start eating everything except the food.
    • Played with in "The Best Night Ever". Princess Celestia invited Twilight Sparkle and her friends to the Grand Galloping Gala to liven it up. They end up being so lively that the party is destroyed. The thing is, Celestia still considers her plan Going Horribly Right an improvement over what the Gala would have been like without their interference.
    • Twilight's "Want-it-Need-it" spell, seen in "Lesson Zero". She uses it to create an Artifact of Attraction to cause a conflict that she can "solve". It works all too well when all of Ponyville is dragged into the mess.
    • Yet another of Twilight's spells messes up in "Bats!" Twilight's plan to use Fluttershy's Stare to stun the bats and stop them from eating all the apples works, but it turns Fluttershy into a vampire bat/pony hybrid.
  • 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.
  • 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 Heroine 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.
  • Guile Heroine: 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.
  • Hairstyle Inertia: The mane she had as a filly is just a smaller version of the same she has in the present.
  • Hard Work Hardly Works: It should be noted that Twilight zig-zags this trope; she spends her entire life studying magic to the exclusion of all else (except friendship) to become as powerful as she is, but Celestia took her on as a student because she already knew the significance of Twilight's Cutie Mark and set her on the path to fulfilling it. So basically Twilight worked pretty hard studying magic, but this was largely immaterial because she was only picked because she was the Chosen One who won the Superpower Lottery.
  • Head Desk:
    • In "A Friend in Deed", Twilight Sparkle bangs her head against a tabletop when Pinkie Pie insists on trying to befriend Cranky Doodle Donkey, despite Twilight trying to convince Pinkie that maybe he just wants to be left alone. Twilight had a book in front of her at the time.
    • In "The Hooffields and McColts" she has no desk, but once Twilight gets frustrated by the Hooffields and McColts' circular logic, and concludes she just can't find the root of the problem, she simply slams her face on the ground.
    • In "Shadow Play", Twilight smacks her face (rather hard) on her study table after this tirade:
      Twilight: I just unleashed ultimate evil and doomed Equestria because I was obsessed with meeting my idol! Why wouldn't I be okay?! [BUMP]
    • In "The Point of No Return" Twilight slams her head into the librarian's desk when the librarian tells her the book returns office is in the basement, "because of the shame".
    • She later does it again in the same episode on a bar top when trying to figure out why Dusty Pages was upset about the prospect of returning to her old job at the library.
  • The Heart: When Twilight becomes the Princess of Friendship, she becomes the Heart and ambassador for all of Equestria.
  • Helping Would Be Killstealing: Twilight is repeatedly on the receiving end of this trope in regards to her relationship with Celestia:
    • This trope actually kicks off the show: Celestia could keep teaching and supporting Twilight normally, as she has for the past few years, and Twilight would naturally grow into a famous mage, beloved by Equestria's ruler and goddess. But then she would become dangerously isolated from other ponies, unable to ask for help or work in a group, and she would forget how to relax and have fun. Hence, Celestia sends her to study in the peaceful country town Ponyville, away from Celestia, where Twilight will basically have to bond with ponies in order to get anything done — and certainly to fight off the evil, other goddess-pony, who is breaking out of her prison…
    • In the end of the Season 4 premiere, Discord reveals that he planted the seeds thousands of years ago that sprouted and attacked Ponyville, and had he bothered to say something they could have solved the problem much sooner. When Twilight asks why he didn't speak up, he more or less references this trope.
      Discord: And rob you of a valuable lesson of being Princess? What kind of friend would do a thing like that, hm?
  • Hereditary Hairstyle: While Twilight didn't adopt the colors of her mother's mane, the shape is almost exactly identical.
  • The Heroine: 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.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: Twilight Sparkle has shades of this, particularly in "Boast Busters;" she's afraid of defeating a Small Name, Big Ego character in a magical contest simply because she doesn't want others to think she's showing off. This later comes into effect in "Lesson Zero," where Twilight begins mentally unhinging because she hasn't sent in her weekly friendship report and fears getting sent back to magic kindergarten, or possibly to the moon. Never mind all her positive findings before then.
  • Heroic Spirit: The series never dwells on it for too long, but there are moments when it's easy to notice the immense strength of Twilight Sparkle's resolve. She's been through several situations and sudden challenges that an ordinary person might not even live through, but they barely even slow her down.
  • 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.
  • Hidden Purpose Test:
    • In the season 3 premiere of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Princess Celestia tests Twilight Sparkle to aid Princess Cadance in protecting the Crystal Empire from King Sombra, and specifically instructs her to fulfill this task by herself. When Twilight walks into a trap that renders this impossible, she passes the duty of saving the empire to Spike, who she only brought along on the condition he not lift a finger to help her. When Twilight comes back thinking she's failed her test, Celestia reveals the real test was to see if she was willing to sacrifice her self-interests for the needs of others, which she naturally passed.
    • In My Little Pony: Equestria Girls, Rainbow Dash is willing to help Twilight Sparkle win the crown... on the condition that she get five soccer goals before Rainbow does. It goes about as well as you'd expect, considering it's Rainbow vs. Twilight, and a Twilight who has no magic and isn't quite used to human locomotion, to boot. Rainbow helps her anyway, because the true test was if Twilight would try to the very end, even if it seemed — and in this case, was — hopeless, a trait that had already been tested in Equestria, and would stand her in good stead through the rest of the adventure.
  • 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.
  • Honesty Is the Best Policy: When Spike thinks he can light fires with his mind and tries to do it again, Twilight takes him aside and explains that she lit the torch for him instead of letting him keep thinking that he has psychic powers or something. If she hadn't told him the truth right away, he would probably have gotten himself into big trouble somehow. It does make sense since there's already been at least two episodes this season about the importance of telling the truth, and one was right before this one.
  • How Do I Shot Web?:
    • In the Season 4 premiere, she has trouble flying with her new wings.
    • Twilight has to raise the sun and lower the moon now when she has Celestia's and Luna's magic. It's a bit shaky, but she manages.
  • Humble Heroine: 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.
  • Hypnotize the Captive: When the CMC start arguing over Smarty Pants, Twilight casts the "Want It, Need It" spell which brainwashes them into loving it so much they argue over it more.

    Tropes I to M 
  • I Believe I Can Fly: Twilight could previously levitate with her magic for a few brief moments, before eventually gaining wings all together.
  • Idiot Ball:
    • Held by basically every member of the Mane Six in "Bridle Gossip", but especially Twilight. After spending half the episode reassuring everyone that Zecora is not an evil witch and their afflictions aren't a curse, she suddenly just decides to go along with everyone else's unfounded rumors after observing nothing other than extremely shaky circumstantial evidence. And this isn't even counting how none of them took time to bother putting two-and-two together regarding Zecora's warning and the bright, blue flower they were all practically bathing in.
    • Twilight also has this in "Secret of My Excess" for never considering the possibility of researching dragon life cycle prior to this episode, and by extension Celestia for either similarly not doing research or, more likely, allowing Twilight to take him to Ponyville without informing her of the specifics of such. Later justified as of "Dragon Quest"; apparently since dragons are so rare, no-one ever bothered to research them to any degree, which raises its own questions.
    • Twilight (falsely) comes to the conclusion that her friends have been brainwashed by Discord, so she gets a magic potion from Zecora that will remove the spell. Twilight then explicitly makes it obvious to her friends' faces that she thinks they have been brainwashed by Discord, and tells them the drink she's serving will help remove the spell. Which is the last thing Twilight should be telling a person she suspects to be under mind control.
    • Twilight grabs firm hold of it in "Celestial Advice" when Discord claims that she needs to develop a new plan for Starlight Glimmer instantly, discrediting all the work Twilight's had her do yet. This is at least the fourth time Discord has pulled a trick like this: in "The Return of Harmony" and "Princess Twilight Sparkle" (the second and fourth season premieres, respectively) it was Played for Drama, while "Three's a Crowd" was a lighter take on it. But in every case, the formula is the same: Discord insinuates that Twilight has made a bad decision; Twilight immediately panics and starts planning worst-case scenarios, rather than questioning whether or not the literal embodiment of chaos might be lying; and it turns out that Discord was, for either villainous or trolling purposes, making her doubt herself. You'd think she'd be used to the scheme by now.
  • 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 Hate Past Me: Future Twilight is frustrated by her past self's refusal to calm down and listen to what she has to say.
    Twilight: I can't believe I just did that!
  • 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.
  • I'm Not Here to Make Friends: Twilight's brush-off when Celestia sends her to Ponyville, believing she didn't listen to her warning about Nightmare Moon and thinks making friends is a waste of time from her studies (as quoted at the top). Well, guess what? Nightmare Moon can only be defeated by the Elements of Harmony, which are powered by friendship.
  • 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.
      Twilight: [in "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.
  • I Need to Go Iron My Dog:
    • In the episode "Boast Busters", Twilight is afraid of being labeled a braggart, and so balks at using her magical skills to one-up a boastful unicorn. She finally beats a hasty retreat by claiming, "I think I hear my laundry calling."
    • In "Twilight's Kingdom - Part 2", Twilight, who is trying to control her new powers gained from the other three princesses, says "Gotta go...somewhere...else." to avoid talking to Spike.
    • In "No Second Prances" this is Twilight's pretext for walking out from the dinner with Celestia and her guests, to go looking for Starlight Glimmer, isn't too convincing.
      Twilight: If you'll excuse me, I need to check the kitchen. Maybe she got lost among the... uh... ARTICHOKES!
  • 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 sometimes, 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.
  • 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.
  • Insane Troll Logic:
    • Twilight's fears in "Lesson Zero" amount to this. To paraphrase her thought process: "If I'm late with this single assignment, Celestia will make me take a test. Students who don't pass this test get sent back a grade. Since Celestia is the ruler of Equestria, she holds me to a higher standard and will send me all the way back to Magic Kindergarten." Spike lampshades how ridiculous this is.
    • In "It's About Time" Twilight first assumes that Future Twilight's warning is dire simply because of her appearance, and then goes through four phases to avert the future: Do something to try to stop it, do nothing to cause it happen, use magic to try to figure out what happens, and use science to try to figure out what happens. Finally, she decides the only way to stop the disaster is to stop time itself so Tuesday morning never comes.
  • 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".
  • Instant Expert: While attempts to learn spells tend to be hit or miss, she's been shown to perfectly duplicate anything she's witnessed directly. Examples include being able to teleport properly after seeing Nightmare Moon do it once, and learning dark magic simply from watching Celestia do so during a presentation. In the latter instance, at least, it took considerably more effort on her part than the princess needed.
  • 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.
  • Internalized Categorism: Twilight Sparkle, thinks that her friends will hate her for using her considerably large magic stockpile like they hate Trixie. This is especially noticeable in her determination not to use magic even when injured in a Serial Escalation fashion in Winter Wrap Up, because it's expressly banned and she wants to be of some use.
  • In the End, You Are on Your Own: Twilight has this happen to her frequently, though it actually gets played with:
    • In Crystal Empire Part Two, Twilight believed she had to recover the Crystal Heart alone to defeat King Sombra as part of a test from Princess Celestia. In the end, Twilight realizes that this is stupid, says Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!, and when she isn't sure she'll be able to save the day in time, has Spike grab the Crystal Heart and bring it to Princess Cadance. Which, naturally, was the point all along; Twilight isn't alone, and it was all ultimately implied to be either a Secret Test of Character, or simply that Princess Celestia agreed with Twilight's reasoning that it was the right thing to do.
    • In Equestria Girls, Twilight could not bring her friends to the human world without disturbing its natural balance... so instead she gains help from her friends' human counterparts.
    • In Twilight's Kingdom Part Two, she had to hide the other three princesses' alicorn magic from not only Tirek but also her friends as well, right up until she solo'd the giant centaur to avenge the destruction of her library. However, in the end, she trades her alicorn magic to save her friends, even Discord, and received her final key that allowed her and her friends to unlock the Rainbow Power. Then, they use the Rainbow Power to defeat Tirek, restore everypony's magic, and even build themselves a new castle to replace Twilight's library.
  • Ironic Echo:
    • One five seasons in the making: In the very first episode of the series, Twilight is irritated about all the "annoying" ponies trying to make friends with her (unaware this is a Secret Test sent by Celestia to defeat Nightmare Moon):
      Twilight: I just need to be alone so I can study without a bunch of crazy ponies trying to make friends all the time.
    • Then, in the Season 5 episode "Amending Fences", Twilight is trying to repair her friendship with Moondancer, whom she accidentally put off friendship back in that first episode:
      Moondancer: I just need to be alone so I can study without some crazy pony trying to make friends, alright?!
  • It's All About Me: Downplayed, but Twilight wanting to defeat Tirek is more out of self-validation regarding her worth as a princess rather than the right thing to do. Similarly, her wanting to open the chest is more out of desire to defeat Tirek before Discord does. She drops the attitude once Celestia calls her to inform her about Discord's betrayal.
  • It's All My Fault:
    • In "Dragon Quest" Rainbow Dash and Twilight beat themselves up over Spike deciding to stay with the dragons forever, simply because they didn't stop him from leaving on his quest when they had the chance (Twilight more so since she outright encouraged him to go).
    • In "A Flurry of Emotions" Twilight admits that the trouble Flurry Heart caused was all her, Twilight's, fault for not giving her the attention she needed.
    • In "Fame and Misfortune" Twilight blames herself for everyone arguing and making her friends miserable, but Starlight says it's everyone else's fault for missing the point of the journals and behaving so badly.
    • In the 2017 movie, after being abandoned by her friends, Twilight Sparkle breaks down in tears and blames herself for effectively ruining Equestria's last hope.
    • In "School Daze" Twilight felt this way when she admits to Cozy she forgot to teach her about the true meaning of what friendship really is.
      Twilight: Friendship is powerful, but power isn't why you make friends. I'm sorry I didn't teach you that.
    • In "The Beginning of the End" Twilight takes all the responsibility for Sombra tricking the Mane Six into leading him to the Tree of Harmony, citing it as proof that she's not ready to lead.
  • "I Want" Song:
    • Twilight's verses in "Winter Wrap Up."
      I want to belong so I must
      Do my best today
      Do my best to-daaaaaaaaaay...
    • Twilight also laments that she doesn't have any actual duties in the opening verse of "You'll Play Your Part".
  • 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.
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • Well, not really jerkass, but Twilight's initial freak-out over Fluttershy taking Philomena without permission is justified. Key word being initial, everything after the Guards come looking for Philomena is over-reacting.
    • While Twilight's rant to her friends after getting them kicked out of Seaquestria might have been harsh, she has been the only one in the group taking their quest seriously, while the others have been treating it as a vacation. Pinkie Pie caused them to draw a whole bunch of hostile attention to themselves in an unfamiliar place by shouting in the street to ask if anyone could lead them to Mount Aeris (along with getting the group to put their trust in Capper, a random person on the street that they literally just met), Rainbow Dash firing off a Sonic Rainboom drew Tempest and her goons right to them, and in general they completely forgot what they were supposed to be doing.
  • 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 sometimes, this is usually toned down in later episodes where her rudeness is more accidental and she is far more outgoing and friendly.
  • Keeping Secrets Sucks: Twilight nearly loses it trying to keep Spike's crush on Rarity, Rarity's jealousy, and Fluttershy's woes a secret. She eventually loses it and blurts out the first one after the other two are told.
  • The Kirk: She's generally at the balance between being emotional and logical, hence why she's the unofficial leader of the six.
  • 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.
  • The Leader: Leadership is one of Twilight's main secondary abilities, thanks to her organizational skills and level headedness. She serves as a Mastermind Type and Level-Headed Type leader for her group of friends, and even for the whole town of Ponyville sometimes.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: Twilight Sparkle is the neurotic nerd of her friend group, with her having to learn social skills being the initial driving force of the series. But if you threaten her, her friends, or her town, she'll remind you that she's a magic prodigy who had the tutelage of a solar god-empress before ascending herself. This is especially the case when she temporarily gains the powers of every other alicorn, delivering an anime-style beatdown that would not be at all out of place in Dragon Ball Z.
  • Like Brother and Sister: Depending on the Writer, Twilight's relationship with Spike slides between this trope, Platonic Life-Partners, and Twilight being a Parental Substitute toward Spike. One constant throughout all these interpretations is that they are utterly inseparable, to the point where the Season 3 premiere establishes Spike's greatest fear as being Twilight not needing him anymore and sending him away.
  • Like Parent, Like Child:
    • Or "Like Father, Like Daughter"; Night Light enjoys bingo because of how the numbers are organized. Twilight inherited her love of organization from him.
    • Twilight Velvet levitates herself, Shining Armor, and Flurry Heart at the same time. Apparently Twilight Sparkle and Shining Armor got their magical strength from their mom.
  • Literal Metaphor: Twilight rejects the book Super Naturals without reading it, insisting that "the supernatural" categorically doesn't exist. At the end, she learns from Zecora that Super Naturals is actually a reputable text about natural remedies. So in the episode where the mane six learn not to jump to conclusions based on superficial evidence (i.e. "Don't judge a book by its cover"), Twilight also learns a lesson about judging literal books by their covers.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: Twilight both has one and is one.
    • Spike's life utterly revolves around Twilight. One of his first focus episodes had him clueless about what to do when Twilight finally gave him a day off, and his greatest fear is revealed to be her revoking his "assistant" status and casting him out of Ponyville because she doesn't need him anymore.
    • Twilight Sparkle, meanwhile, revolves the majority of her life on the approval of Princess Celestia, her own greatest fear being that character's rejection. One instance implies Twilight may have gone completely insane without her and Spike's intervention.
  • Long-Range Fighter: In contrast to Rainbow Dash when entering combat, she usually prefers to fire laser beams from a distance rather than get up close and personal.
  • Loner-Turned-Friend: At the very start, Twilight Sparkle is focused on her studies to the exclusion of nearly all social interaction. When Nightmare Moon usurps the throne and threatens to plunge Equestria into eternal night, Twilight tries to find the artifacts necessary to stop Nightmare all by her lonesome, but five other ponies insist on helping her. By the end of the second episode, Twilight realizes the six of them have become Fire-Forged Friends, and this epiphany proves necessary to defeat Nightmare Moon. From this point forward, Twilight becomes a firm believer in the Magic of Friendship, although her lack of prior social interactions later leads to some awkwardness between her and her new friends.
  • 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.
  • Luminescent Blush:
    • Twilight gets one in "Lesson Zero" when she thinks she's being made fun of by the rest of the Mane Six.
    • She has another one in "Magic Duel" after Spike brings up the snowball incident.
  • 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.
  • Magical Star Symbols: Her special talent is magic, and her cutie mark is a six-pointed magenta star surrounded by five little white stars.
  • 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.
  • Magic Misfire:
    • Happens in the episode "Too Many Pinkie Pies", where Twilight is trying to turn an apple into an orange. Pinkie Pie slams into her twice whilst she's attempting it, leading to both a jaybird and a frog being turned into orange hybrids. The frog-orange becomes important near the end of the episode.
    • Her attempt to tamper with the parasprites in "Swarm of the Century" makes the situation worse, the Want It, Need It spell in "Lesson Zero" causes a mess so big Celestia has to step in and ending up having to drive home the aesop of the day, and another attempt to adjust the natural behavior of animals start up the main plot in "Bats!"
  • Magnetic Hero: Twilight Sparkle barely walks into Ponyville before her friends-to-be start flocking around her. She's even deliberately trying to keep them at a distance due to her mild antisocial tendencies (at first), but the magnetism is too great. They're not taking no for an answer.
  • 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.
  • Meaningful Echo:
    • Attempted by Twilight in "Rainbow Rocks". In the previous film Flash jokingly said "we need to stop bumping into each other like this" after they bumped into each other a second time. After bumping into him for a second time in this film Twilight says the same line herself, but Flash ignores her due to being under the Dazzlings' spell.
    • In Part 1 of "The Cutie Map", Twilight mentions that they were sent to help the village, Starlight insists that maybe it's the other way around (they came so the village could help them). In Part 2, Twilight hopes the villagers have taught the run-away Starlight something. But Party Favor humbly insists that it was the Mane 6 who taught the villagers something.
  • 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.
  • Measuring the Marigolds:
    • Twilight is essentially a scholar of magic (and is fairly interested in history). She is repeatedly enthusiastic about her studies and is regularly disappointed and occasionally shocked, when others don't show the same level of interest in these things as she does.
    • In "Feeling Pinkie Keen" Twilight tries to figure out how the Pinkie Sense works. She questions Pinkie about its mechanics, hooks her up to a machine, and then observes her to collect empirical data. The problem was she didn't want to study this new and fascinating magic but rather disprove it because she believed it to be closer to superstition than magic. In the end, she decides to give up and stop trying to figure out how it works. Pinkie herself already had it "down to a science", so to speak, she just didn't know what triggered it.
    • In "What About Discord" Twilight attempts to scientifically define what made the others' experiences such a good bonding moment. Discord eventually tells her it's impossible to quantify something like that.
  • 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.
  • Mess of Woe: Rare female example. The more Twilight descends into despair, the more disheveled her appearance and general surroundings become.
  • Messy Hair:
    • Twilight's mane and tail become more messed up the further she descends into insanity.
    • Twilight also suffers this to epic proportions in "Castle Sweet Castle" but this time it's due to physical activity rather than stress; not only is her mane more disheveled than it's ever been, but it's got mud and twigs in it as well. Rarity uses a mirror to point this out to Twilight as a reason to go to the spa.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Mistaken for Spies: While Twilight is searching for information on the Elements of Harmony, Rainbow shows up, backs her into a corner, and accuses her of being in cahoots with Nightmare Moon (which, since Twilight knew what was going to happen at the Summer Sun Celebration, was an understandable assumption). Fortunately, Applejack recognized Twilight was on their side, got Rainbow to back off, and let the newcomer explain herself.
  • Mobile Shrubbery:
    • In "Feeling Pinkie Keen", Twilight briefly follows Pinkie around while hiding in a shrub. Subverted in that Pinkie knows Twilight is doing so but is pretending not to notice.
    • In "No Second Prances" Twilight tails Trixie and Starlight using a shrub she moves with her. She also hides DJ Pon-3 in another shrub.
  • 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.
  • Ms. 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.
  • Ms. Vice Girl: Normally even-tempered, Twilight sometimes has problems with being grouchy and dismissive when something's bugging her. She also has an insensitive streak.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Despite her obvious sanity slippage, it somehow still doesn't seem at all out of character that Twilight thinks it's awesome that her childhood doll comes with her own notebook and quill for when you want to pretend she's doing her homework.
  • Mundane Utility: Twilight occasionally uses her teleport to save merely a few steps.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: Slight inconsistency about this is shown in that Twilight Sparkle can't move a plough without magic (unlike the larger stallions), but can carry around a rock several times her volume.
  • My Greatest Second Chance: Twilight deeply regrets the way she left her old friends, especially Moondancer, who Twilight learns became a reclusive shut-in after Twilight failed to come to her party. The moment this dawns on her, she decides to go out and fix things between them.
  • 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 Significance Sense Is Tingling:
    • 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.
    • When Spike decides to ask Twilight what to do about the delegates from Manehattan and Whinnyapolis, she instinctively pops awake, sensing something needs to be scheduled. However, she's too tired to be coherent and collapses after dispensing a Waking Non Sequitur.

    Tropes N to P 
  • 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 Tics: The nerdy obsessive-compulsive Twilight Sparkle has a few, slightly bigger ones 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).
  • Nervous Wreck: When her neurosis reaches its worst it correspondingly shows in her appearance.
  • New Transfer Student: Twilight Sparkle actually arrives at Canterlot High School through a Portal Door that connects to a Magic Mirror in Equestria. But of course she can't tell people that. So she uses this trope as her cover story. Even Principal Celestia accepts this, despite not having seen any transfer paperwork.
  • 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 sometimes, 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.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: She temporarily gains this, but it later turns out to be of little help to her, given her opponent has it as well. In the episode "Twilight's Kingdom –- Part 2", during their battle, Twilight throws Tirek into the ground so hard he's buried under several feet of rubble. He shows no sign of injury afterward. Twilight also takes her share of hits during the fight (at one point being driven through a mountain) but her shields are powerful enough to shrug it off without any visible damage. This eventually convinces Tirek to negotiate instead, as two Nigh-Invulnerable fighters makes for a rather pointless battle.
  • The Night That Never Ends: Defying this trope is the purpose of Twilight's adventure in the series premiere. It does indeed end after she manages to defeat Nightmare Moon with the help of her friends.
  • Noisy Shut-Up: In "Fame and Misfortune" the only way Twilight can quiet the crowd of fans and critics is to magically amplify her voice and shout "Listen to me!"
  • No-Nonsense Nemesis: A heroic version. After Tirek destroys her library, she wastes no time and holds absolutely nothing back in her attempts to defeat him.
  • No-Sell: In "Twilight's Kingdom, Part 2": Until she voluntarily surrenders it, Tirek is unable to drain Twilight of the combined power of the Princesses' alicorn magic. Though likewise, Tirek shrugs off everything Twilight throws at him.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: "Testing, Testing 1, 2, 3" has Twilight Sparkle qualify for this trope along with Rainbow Dash. There's shots where they are right in each other's faces. Especially Twilight when she's trying to get Rainbow Dash to study.
  • 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 Helping Your Case:
    • Even before she became suspicious of Cadance, Twilight's grouchy attitude and possessiveness of her brother, along with her history of freaking out does nothing to help her in trying to sway her friends to her side.
    • Starlight forces Twilight into contradicting herself when she prevents the Rainboom by genuinely reforming the bullies picking on Fluttershy, to which Twilight then has to try to explain to them why they should be bullies and naturally doesn't get very far.
    • Twilight trying to talk filly Rainbow Dash into doing a Sonic Rainboom isn't helped by her being an adult alicorn ranting about time travel, which creeps Rainbow Dash out to the point that she just flies away.
  • 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".
  • Not so Above It All: Twilight Sparkle likes to regard herself as the Only Sane Mare: her first impression of the citizens of Ponyville is "All the ponies in this town are crazy!" However, Twilight frequently displays lapses in judgment either due to her social awkwardness or her almost-obsessive need to make a good impression on her mentor, Princess Celestia.
    • Twilight goes from being perfectly reasonable and scolding the others for being silly to thinking Zecora really is a wicked witch on remarkably little evidence.
    • In "Rainbow Falls" she gets so pumped by the Ponyville team's success that she breaks into Pinkie's cheerleading routine, rainbow wig and all.
    • In "What About Discord" despite being the Princess of Friendship by this point, Twilight is jealous that her friends had fun with Discord without her. It's deconstructed when Twilight points out she should be above it all because she is the Princess of Friendship, and tries bottling up her feelings as a result.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Is on the receiving and giving end of one in the 2017 movie.
    • After capturing Twilight Sparkle, Tempest Shadow claims that friendship failed Twilight after her friends abandoned her when times got tough, just like Tempest's friends did her. Twilight responds that friendship didn't fail her; she failed friendship.
    • Twilight asks Tempest why she serves the Storm King when she's a pony, the same as Twilight. Tempest who's mostly played it cool up until that point, hotly replies she's not like Twilight or other ponies... Immediately before launching into her Villain Song.
  • Not the Fall That Kills You…: Twilight Sparkle falls for quite a while before Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy grab her in mid-air, without any damage, in Part 2 of the pilot.
  • Oblivious Guilt Slinging: When the CMC take Twilight out for lunch, Twilight spends the lunch telling them how honored she is to be spending time with young students who enjoy learning for learning's sake. The CMC have nervous smiles on their faces the whole time, since they're actually using Twilight to boost their popularity with their classmates.
  • 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.
  • Occam's Razor: In "Bridle Gossip" Twilight suggests that Zecora might just be making soup in the cauldron... then assumes differently when Zecora wonders aloud where Apple Bloom is.
  • Odd Friendship: Twilight Sparkle is an introverted scholar who literally had to be coerced into making friends to combat the threat of The Night That Never Ends. Pinkie Pie is a manic extrovert, whose inability to shut off or slow down poses the danger of turning off most ponies (most notably the quick-tempered Rainbow Dash, who now counts Pinkie as one of her closest friends).
  • Of Corset Hurts: Twilight has this reaction when Rarity is trying to secure a saddle on her.
  • Offered the Crown: In the final season Twilight is offered the opportunity to rule over all of Equestria after Celestia and Luna announce their retirement, which Twilight accepts in the series finale.
  • Off-Model: Sometimes her alicorn wings become the normal pegasus wings as an animation error.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome:
    • In "It's About Time", Twilight sets out to return Cerberus(!) to the gates of Tartarus(!!), so that all the evil creatures that are imprisoned there won't break free and destroy Equestria(!!!). And all we get to see is Spike waking up next morning and remarking that Twilight should go on epic adventures more often.
    • In "Inspiration Manifestation", we don't get to see Luna and Cadance join Twilight to restore Ponyville; we only hear Twilight saying that it happened.
  • Oh, Crap!: Has had this reaction multiple times over the series:
    • In "A Bird in the Hoof", Twilight's expression when she sees Princess Celestia's royal guards at Fluttershy's doorstep after Fluttershy kind of birdnapped Celestia's pet bird Philomena is a perfect example of this.
    • In "The Best Night Ever", Twilight Sparkle makes the mistake of saying, "Well, it can't get any worse." Cue the ominous rumbling, the mad scrambling of everypony else in the room, and Fluttershy smashing the front door open. Homefilly. Is. PISSED!
    • At the end of "The Return of Harmony, Part 1", Twilight, the only one of the Mane Six whom Discord hasn't corrupted, is utterly horrified that they lost his challenge because of Rainbow flying away and breaking the "no wings, no magic" rule (which he tempted her to do in the first place), thus letting Discord able to spread his chaos.
    • In "Lesson Zero" Twilight has a huge sanity destroying conga of "Oh Crap" moments as her sources for friendship problems dry up more and more and she risks being "TARRRR-DYYYYYY" with her weekly letter to Princess Celestia.
    • In "Magical Mystery Cure", Twilight Sparkle's song about how everything is awesome and that nothing could possibly go wrong screeches to a halt when Rarity accidentally drops a rain-cloud on her head, and has Rainbow Dash's cutie-mark on her flank.
      Twilight: Everything is not going to be fine!
    • In "Princess Twilight Sparkle, Part 1", when Twilight flashbacks to Luna's rising as Nightmare Moon (initially thinking it was Luna turning into Nightmare Moon a second time), her wings, that were previously up, fold down. That might be an Alicorn sign of going "OH CRAP!" in her mind.
    • Twilight when she flies right at the hoof of Tirek while trying to get away from him. Even moreso when she teleports back to the library, thinking she's a good distance away and watch Tirek through a telescope only for him to turn in her direction and send a fireball her way. And her library goes up in flames.
    • In "Amending Fences", Twilight has this reaction when she realizes her blowing off Moondancer's party invitation caused her to become antisocial like how she was in the past.
    • In "The Cutie Re-Mark, Part 1", Twilight has this reaction immediately after Spike does upon finding Starlight at the castle, right after they dismiss the idea she could be coming back for revenge.
    • Twilight along with Spike get an even bigger one when Starlight begins destroying the scroll.
    • In "Applejack's Day Off", Twilight offers to help Applejack by feeding the pigs. Applejack gave her a list of instructions. Twilight was convinced that it would be easy until Spike show her the long list of instructions.
    • In "A Royal Problem", every status report Starlight gives Twilight elicits an even bigger Oh, Crap! from the latter than the previous one did, culminating in the report of Starlight's desperate measures (swapping the Princess' cutie marks), whereupon Twilight completely loses it.
    • Twilight following Tempest's Troubled Backstory Flashback at the climax of her Villain Song, followed by an even bigger one as she sees more of the Storm King's army attacking Equestria as she absorbs the song's message.
    • Twilight in part 1 of "School Raze" when Neighsay shuts down the school.
  • Ominous Message from the Future: What Twilight initially thinks the aborted message from her future self was. Turns out to not be so ominous after all. Not that Twilight allowed her future self to get a word in edgewise to find out.
  • Once per Episode: The show initially had Twilight Sparkle write a letter to Princess Celestia telling her what she's learned about friendship that week. The third episode of the second season actually invokes and simultaneously deconstructs this, with Twilight going progressively more insane as she realizes that she hasn't learned any friendship lesson yet, believing that a failure to send in a report will get her kicked back to Magic Kindergarten. From that point on, the reports are infrequently written by various characters before being completely phased out by the fourth season.
  • Once More, with Clarity!:
    • In the episode "It's About Time", Twilight Sparkle gets a message from her future self. Future Twilight keeps trying to warn Present Twilight about some disaster, but keeps getting interrupted so she can't finish the message ("Whatever you do, don't—" [vanishes]). Twilight freaks out because she doesn't know what the warning was about. She goes crazy until she realizes what the message her future self was trying to tell her: Don't worry about the future. There was no real danger or disaster beyond Twilight's own obsession over it. Future Twilight was just going back in time to tell Past Twilight to not freak out, but since she couldn't finish telling her, Past Twilight freaked out.
    • Another example occurs across two Synchronous Episodes. In the first episode, Spike goes on a madcap adventure trying to look after his friends' pets while they're away until he winds up on the same train as his friends. Not knowing Spike is there, Twilight makes a comment that Spike should be doing a great job as long as he stays calm and collected, inadvertently teaching him a lesson in leadership and responsibility. When that scene plays again from Twilight's perspective at the end of the second episode, it turns out to be a summation of a lesson Princess Cadance taught her on remaining calm under pressure instead of freaking out like she normally would.
  • One Head Taller: After ascending to alicornhood, she becomes slightly taller than all of the rest of her friends. By the series finale, the height difference has become a lot more noticeable as Twilight's alicorn form has upgraded.
  • One-Hour Work Week: Twilight Sparkle is one of the Mane Six members alongside Applejack and Rarity to avert this, (Celestia's student, seen studying more often than not; has also been shown to work as a caretaker and librarian of the library she lives in).
  • 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.
  • One-Woman Army: Twilight is the personal protégé of Princess Celestia, perhaps the most well-read unicorn in history, and the Element of Magic. And then she becomes an alicorn princess. She's one of the most powerful characters in the series.
  • 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 Woman: 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.
    • Averted in a larger sense in that, while Twilight is typically the sanest cast member, she does not go around complaining about the quirks of the others. Instead, she tries to fit in.
    • She is however often rather snarky and can get extremely frustrated and neurotic when one or more of her friends' antics are becoming extremely detrimental. On some occasions however, it is this very attitude that actually leads her to underestimate others and act Not So Above It All. She also has one of the most notable examples of a pony actually going insane.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
    • In "Lesson Zero" when the most rational pony in Ponyville is coming up with a completely irrational plan and acting like it's completely reasonable, you know something bad is going to happen. She snaps out of it pretty quickly, though.
    • In "A Canterlot Wedding" Twilight initiates a song to talk about her brother. Since this is normally Pinkie Pie's thing, it shows how much Shining Armor means to her.
    • In "Twilight's Kingdom" the usually kind-hearted, easily forgiving, compassionate Twilight Sparkle does her best to outright kill the Big Bad, unloading everything she's got on him in Tranquil Fury and no longer holding back. It only serves to emphasize that this time, she went utterly berserk, like never before.
    • 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.
    • In "School Daze" Twilight Sparkle, who is famous for turning the other cheek, doesn't protest to Cozy Glow being locked up in Tartarus for her crimes (although her showing no remorse may have had something to do with that).
  • Orbital Shot: Twilight has one in part one of "Twilight's Kingdom" as she is looking up at the princesses flying around her during their Pep-Talk Song.
  • Order Versus Chaos: The episode "Feeling Pinkie Keen" has Twilight Sparkle as Order and Pinkie Pie as Chaos. Twilight is the Element of Magic, and firmly believes that everything has an explanation, even magic (since it works in ways you direct it in, and creates the expected effect). Pinkie is the Element of Laughter, and despite being an earth pony, is seemingly able to bend space and glimpse the future due to the Rule of Funny.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: One can argue nearly every pony is overshadowed to some degree as a result of Twilight Sparkle's ever increasing Super Power Lottery. Even Rainbow Dash, a Super Speed enhanced flier and Cute Bruiser with weather manipulation powers, looks underwhelmed by Twilight, who can teleport at whim, lift or paralyze subjects or objects of large form without a sweat, fire magical lasers from her horn, use countless other kinds of magic as the plot demands, and now also has the ability to fly following her ascension to princess. It is probably for this reason that all actionized two parters feature Twilight as the main hero, with the other demoted to assistants or bystanders.
  • Overworked Sleep:
    • For Twilight Sparkle, being a princess doesn't always mean time for tiaras and parties, and often ends up requiring to save the realm from outright destruction. After planning the events for the royal summit and welcoming the delegates for the grand unveiling of the big-ass crystal statue, she falls asleep in exhaustion on a pile of books. Spike then takes over her duties for the afternoon, which kinda doesn't work out and leads to taking advantage over responsibilities, a broken pipe spilling gallons of water, allergic flowers, an angry mob, and a broken statue.
    • In another episode, after helping her friends on their daily chores to the point of overdoing it just to avoid staying at her new crystal castle, Twilight falls asleep in a pile of pancakes, with bits of mud from yesterday after helping Fluttershy for the animal bath.
      Twilight: I'm PANCAKE! I mean, awake...
  • Ow, My Body Part!: Twilight yells "AH! My eye!" after accidentally looking at the sun through a telescope.
  • Pacinga Trench: While planning for next year's plans, Twilight paces around a statue and eventually digs a groove on the ground through her pacing.
  • 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.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise:
    • Twilight's Bedsheet Ghost disguise in "Look Before You Sleep" only covers her face and upper torso but it still manages to startle Rarity and Applejack.
    • "Friendship University" has Twilight Sparkle infiltrating a rival friendship school in a "costume" that consists of a sticky note over her cutie mark and an eyepatch. No effort is made whatsoever to obscure the fact that she's an alicorn, of which only five exist in the whole country.
  • Paranoia Gambit: Future Twilight accidentally doing this is what kickstarts the plot of "It's About Time."
  • 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.
    • Exaggerated 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.
  • Pensieve Flashback:
    • In the episode "The Return of Harmony, Part 2", Discord shows Twilight one of these (using his Reality Warper abilities) to show her the riddle he gave her near the beginning of her quest, in order to reveal that she was taking it the wrong way the whole time and he was Just Toying with Them.
    • In the season 4 premiere "Princess Twilight Sparkle", Twilight drinks a potion provided by Zecora that allows her to peer into Equestria's past. She sees Celestia's battle with Nightmare Moon, then Celestia and Luna's original confrontation with Discord, then finally Celestia and Luna finding the original Elements of Harmony at the Tree of Harmony.
  • People Puppets: Twilight's attempt to prematurely end Fluttershy's career is to manipulate her body into doing boorish things, such as picking her nose.
  • Percussive Therapy: Twilight attempts to Invoke this with a pinata at a party by giving Moondancer the bat to swing at it. Moondancer hits the pinata once, but then brandishes the bat at her old friends while giving Twilight a vicious verbal beat-down. Fortunately, it still leads to an emotional breakthrough.
  • 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".
  • Person of Mass Destruction: "Twilight's Kingdom" showed just how dangerous Twilight can be when her power is at its full potential and she's not holding any of it back.
  • The Philosopher King: She effectively becomes this after attaining alicorn-hood because she did so by completing a spell and her special task as a princess is spreading the Magic of Friendship.
  • Photographic Memory: Twilight reconstructs the Spell of Relic Reconstitution after glancing through it once, which is lampshaded by her friends when she doubts her ability to do so. Sunburst, who reads through Twilight's reconstruction, seems to concur that she was accurate. The only reason why it fails is because an ancient and powerful relic like the Crystal Heart, which has been around for millennia, including the early years of Equestria when Celestia and Luna took the throne, requires more than just another spell to fix it.
  • Physical God: Zigzagged. On her own, Twilight definitely wasn't this. After ascending to alicornhood, she gained even more powerful magic but nothing godlike. In "Twilight's Kingdom" she temporarily gains this status by having the power of all four alicorns, but it's relinquished by the end of the episode. By the series finale, she has control over the sun and moon, but not naturally like Celestian and Luna did, and while her physical form has grown, it's never revealed if her magical power grew along with it.
  • Pie in the Face:
    • In "Magic Duel", Twilight defies this by summoning a parasprite to eat the pie.
    • In "The Hooffields and Mccolts", Twilight is hit by a stray cupcake in the face during the big brawl. As she was already running out of patience with all the fighting, this happens to be the last straw.
      Twilight: EVERYPONY FREEZE!
    • Twilight really doesn't stay long in the timeline where Discord is victorious, but it's enough to get hit on the head by a pie falling from the sky.
    • In the 2017 movie, Twilight Sparkle gets entirely covered in buttercream cake from Pinkie Pie fine-tuning her giant "Easy Bake Confetti Cake Cannon".
  • Pinball Projectile: Twilight nearly fries herself casting a spell in a cave full of reflective gemstones. She learns her lesson because all of her subsequent spells blow up the crystals.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Despite not being exceptionally fit, her magic blasts have the power of a tank gun.
  • 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.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: Twilight Sparkle's relationship with Spike.
  • Play-Along Prisoner: How Twilight tricks Nightmare Moon into clearing out timberwolves and escaping back through the map in "The Cutie Re-Mark".
  • Playing with Fire: She can spark a candle, and one time she literally seems to catch fire in anger.
  • Politically Incorrect Hero: Inverted and then subverted in "Bridle Gossip". Initially, Twilight is the only member of the Mane Six to give Zecora the benefit of the doubt, rather than falling to blind prejudice. Later on in the episode, she later becomes convinced with the rest of them that Zecora truly is evil, but it's based on circumstantial evidence rather than due to her race, and after learning the truth, she drops this completely.
  • Poor Communication Kills: In the episode "A Canterlot Wedding" Twilight Sparkle notices her brother's bride acting suspiciously in a number of ways, but the most sensitive way she can express this is to burst in on the wedding rehearsal shouting that "SHE'S EVIL!" which only makes everyone turn against her. The lack of messages given to Twilight about the wedding early on due to heightened security, making her find out about the wedding just a day or two away from the actual wedding might have contributed to this. Twilight's lack of evidence might also be justified in the sense that she had no possible way of collecting any in this case, let alone any that could not be contradicted. Especially annoying because the episode immediately prior featured the lesson "Don't jump to conclusions'' and Twilight should have had it fresh in her mind.
  • Popcultural Osmosis Failure: On the receiving end. In "Luna Eclipsed", Twilight Sparkle dresses up as her idol, the legendary wizard Starswirl the Bearded, for Nightmare Night. She gets annoyed when the only person to recognize that name and look is Princess Luna, who had lived for thousands of years and actually knew the wizard. Twilight has several scenes complaining about how famous Starswirl was and how he helped shape their society.
  • Portal Book: Twilight uses a spell that allows her to enter Moondancer's book and talk with her. It is Moondancer's fascination with learning this spell that allows Twilight to help Moondancer open up to friendship.
  • Power Creep, Power Seep: Twilight exhausts herself a lot faster in the episode "Magic Duel", visibly sweating after levitating some ordinary forest critters. It's somewhat justified in that case she is having to control lots of small creatures moving in different directions.
  • 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 Echoes: Twilight yelling "EVERYPONY FREEZE!" gets a lot of echo on the last word. No surprise considering the sheer power of the ensuing spell.
  • Powerful and Helpless: In "The Cutie Remark", all of Twilight's magical power can't stop Starlight from destroying Equestria, since Starlight has set it up so any time Twilight attempts to time-travel, she will too. Twilight's only choice is to talk Starlight down by dragging her into the Bad Future she caused.
  • Powerful, but Inaccurate: Twilight's attempts at engaging Starlight in direct combat, even lampshaded by Starlight herself.
    Starlight: You've really gotta work on your aim!
  • Power Glows:
    • When Twilight realizes she has to use the Elements of Harmony to help her friends reclaim their destinies, she glows with an aura matching the gem in her tiara; Spike shields his eyes with his forearm, indicating that the glow is diegetic.
    • During Twilight's transformation into an alicorn she gets surrounded by a bright purple light in the shape of her cutie-mark. Earlier in the episode, that very same power glows makes it look as if it burned Twilight into a pile of ash, much to her friends' terror.
    • In "Twilight's Kingdom Part 2" Twilight sparks with electricity occasionally as a result of being supercharged by the other Princesses.
    • When Twilight first receives the combined power, as well as when she tries to lower the moon and raise the sun, her body glows and her hair turns more ethereal, with a glow about her. Basically, she comes to look more like Celestia and Luna, and is visibly reining in the transformation with force of will (she was given the power to hide it from a magic-eating villain, so turning into a double-size pony with hair made of energy like her godlike mentor wasn't the plan.)
  • 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.
    • A milder example occurs in "The Ticket Master" when, accosted by a crowd of ponies who want her ticket to the Grand Galloping Gala, Twilight Sparkle unexpectedly teleports herself and Spike away to the library. Twilight is merely surprised, but Spike ends up shocked... rather literally.
    • As her Sanity Slippage gets worse in "Lesson Zero", she starts to Teleport Spam without even apparently realizing it during the picnic with her friends.
    • In "Twilight's Kingdom, Part 2", Twilight has trouble performing even the most basic magic after the power transfer, blowing up the door to the Golden Oaks Library simply by trying to open it and briefly teleporting to random spots all across Equestria. It isn't until Tirek comes after her that she gets a handle on her power, if only because she's no longer trying to hold it back.
  • The Power of Hate: In "The Crystal Empire" Twilight, in a fit of frustration, uses dark magic to keep King Sombra's door from moving, which causes the door to Mind Rape her.
  • Power Makes Your Hair Grow: By the end of the series, her hair has grown to be as long as Celestia and Luna's and if she isn't the most powerful character in the setting, she at least has to be in the top ten by that point.
  • 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.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: Averted. Twilight attempts this towards Cerberus, but Fluttershy calms the beast down before she can dish it out.
    Twilight: Hey Cerberus! You look like you could use some obedience training. Magic obedience training!
  • Pretty Princess Powerhouse: Twilight takes after Celestia and Luna in being a royal figure who battles against ancient evils.
  • 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.
  • Princess Protagonist: Starting from the fourth Season onward, main character Twilight earns the right to become an alicorn and is dubbed the "Princess of Friendship", effectively becoming this trope.
  • The Problem with Pen Island: Twilight misreads the title of Super Naturals as "Supernaturals".
  • 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.
  • Prompting Nudge:
    • In "A Bird in the Hoof" Twilight gives Fluttershy a "make noise" nudge, to try to get her to help in covering up the sound of Philomena's coughing so the Royal Guards don't hear.
    • In "Top Bolt" Twilight elbows Rainbow Dash while they are confronting Vapor Trail about her helping Sky Stinger, urging the pegasus to be the one explaining the situation.
  • Properly Paranoid: While Twilight's paranoia is usually played for laughs, there are sometimes it turns out to be justified.
    • 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.
    • Twilight figures that something funny is going on with her friends and Discord. She erroneously chalks it up to Discord casting a spell on her friends, who call her out on her error. However, it turns out Discord did manipulate events by intentionally leaving Twilight out of their weekend. Twilight's friends quickly let him know that this is not cool.
    • In the 2017 movie this initially played straight and then deconstructed. In Klugetown, even as her friends are taken in by Capper's charm, Twilight clearly doesn't trust him. The airship crew were forced into a situation where trusting their rekindled spirit was not a sure thing. So Twilight was primed to expect the "seaponies" to not be worth trusting as well. However, Twilight's lack of trust comes back to bite her in the tail.
  • The Protagonist: The pilot two-parter is told from her perspective and she is effectively the leader of the main characters, making her the primary character of the series. This tapers off in later seasons so the writers don't have to wedge her into every episode.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: Twilight Sparkle often dips into this, and often with no justification, such as becoming so obsessed with greedily winning a prize at any cost despite scolding Rainbow Dash and Applejack for this on two separate occasions, or being a Trickster Mentor by making Rainbow Dash do a job she doesn't want to do to teach her a lesson despite being thoroughly upset with Discord for doing this to her, again, on two separate occasions.
    • In the "Boast Busters", Twilight magically zips Spike's mouth shut. Later in "Magic Duel" (coincidentally Trixie's reappearance), Trixie uses a cursor to remove Pinkie's mouth. Trixie's act is presented as evil, but not Twilight's (in Twilight's defense, Trixie left Pinkie like that for a while), nor was Twilight's not bothering to actually restore Pinkie's mouth until the ending for the sake of a gag.
    • Deconstructed in "No Second Prances." When Twilight began mentoring the reformed villain Starlight Glimmer, she encouraged her to start making friends. She was horrified when her choice of friend wound up being Trixie, causing Twilight to attempt to break them up. Starlight (who wasn't here for either of Trixie's earlier episodes) asks what exactly about Trixie is so terrible, especially since Twilight claimed to have forgiven her at the end of her last appearance. The fact that Starlight's own crimes were far, far greater in scope than Trixie (who at her worst was being influenced by the Alicorn Amulet) actually causes her to have second thoughts about Twilight, and wonder how sincere her own forgiveness was. Despite their concerns about Trixie proving correct, Twilight realizes it still unfairly hurts Starlight and Trixie by damaging the redeeming relationship they developed and immediately helps them reconcile and apologizes.
  • Proud Scholar Race: Unicorns have a reputation as being intelligent magic-users, and Twilight takes it up since she's the apprentice of Celestia.
  • Protagonist Power-Up Privileges: Early on most unicorns only had "a little magic that related to their special talent", while Twilight Sparkle basically won the Super Power Lottery since her talent was magic. This gave her borderline god-tier magic powers in a world where most unicorns were limited to telekinesis and a single talent-related spell (like Rarity's gem-finding spell), especially since Twilight Sparkle was able to learn other pony's talent spells just by seeing them. This would eventually be balanced out with the introduction of characters like Sunset Shimmer and Starlight Glimmer as well as an apparent retcon to the unicorn's power limitations by having characters like Rarity teleporting and conjuring magic shields, though not without also turning Twilight into an alicorn thus giving her the power of a pegasus and allegedly an earth pony.
  • Pseudo-Romantic Friendship: Although Twilight is very close to all her friends, her relationship with Sunset Shimmer seems to be the closest out of all of them. They're often gazing into each other's eyes, complimenting one another, blushing at each other, and even singing a duet together in the battle against the Dazzlings while holding hands. It's very easy to assume that they care more about each other than one would think.
  • 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".
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Twilight gets a few, usually hinting at her mental state.
  • Purple Is Powerful: She's a lavender unicorn, has purple eyes, and is one of the most powerful magic users in the show.
  • Putting the Band Back Together: In "The Return of Harmony", Twilight's goal after she's re-energized by her own friendship reports is to find her corrupted friends and 'fight for her friendship'.
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    Tropes R to S 
  • 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 à la 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.
  • Real-Life Super Powers: Even when in situations where magic would be of little to no use, Twilight has still shown herself to be capable through her intelligence and charisma.
  • 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.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure:
    • Twilight is this for Spike, being the main adult figure in his life. She pulls him back when he starts to go out of line.
    • Twilight is more than happy to help the Cutie Mark Crusaders learn but she can't do it for them. She also forgives them after they demonstrate their skills at the end of "Twilight Time".
    • Twilight acts as one in "Trade Ya!" to oversee the proceedings. It's the duty of the Princess on Duty to make sure every deal is fair. Rainbow invokes this in order to nullify her trade.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Has been on the receiving end of multiple of these:
    • In "A Canterlot Wedding", Twilight Sparkle receives one from her brother Shining Armor after she accuses his bride-to-be Princess Cadence of being evil on their wedding day although she was right all along. And sure enough, Cadence's impostor Queen Chrysalis gives a smug one to everyone else for being too focused on the wedding to realize Twilight was correct, allowing her plan to go through.
    • Discord drops one in "Princess Twilight Sparkle", aimed at the titular princess. He calls out Twilight for leaving her friends behind to "keep her own precious princess self out of harms way". Whether he did this just to mock her or genuinely help her is anyone's guess, though.
    • In "Amending Fences", Moondancer launches a vicious tirade against Twilight when she tries to throw another party to make up for the one she skipped in the first episode, which she didn't realize was so important to Moondancer at the time. Moondancer even breaks down in tears halfway through while angrily screaming at her.
    Twilight: Please, you've got to let me make this up to you!
    Moondancer: And you think this is gonna do it, huh?
    Twilight: Uh... yes?
    Moondancer: Well sure, why wouldn't it? That was only the first time I put myself out there, and then you didn't even bother to show up! Then you left town without saying goodbye, even though we were supposed to be friends! [tearing up] I was humiliated! I felt like I wasn't important! I never wanted to let myself be hurt like that again! [points to Minuette, Twinkleshine, and Lemon Hearts] Those three finally convinced me that I had value, that other ponies might like me and want to be my friend, and you! Didn't! Show! UP!!! AAGH! [breaks down crying]
    Twilight: You're right. This party can't make up for the way I hurt you, but please, don't let my mistake be the reason you can't make friends with anypony else!
  • The Redeemer: Being the Princess of Friendship, Twilight Sparkle has the highest track record of reforming previous villains, forgiving and succeeding with Starlight Glimmer, Sunset Shimmer, Tempest Shadow, and Stygian (with some pushing from Starlight).
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Twilight's eyes turn red when she is Burning with Anger.
  • 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.
  • Reflective Eyes:
    • Done in part 1 of the premiere "Friendship is Magic" as Twilight observes the full moon as Nightmare Moon prepares to escape.
    • The Crystal Heart is reflected into Twilight's eyes as she advances toward it.
    • In the Grand Finale, Twilight's eyes reflect the magic auras of the villain trio when in their clutches, just before Rarity's Big Damn Heroes moment. They also reflect the face of Fluttershy later on while she is reassuring her in the Crystal Empire.
  • Remembered I Could Fly: It's not until Spike suggests Twilight copy Rarity's gem-finding spell that she remembers Rarity taught it to her. It's justified as Twilight was worried about Rarity and there had never been a need for her to use said spell, so forgetting that she knew it is forgivable.
  • Remote Body: In "A Royal Problem" Twilight uses a spell to possess a ballerina music box in Starlight's room to remotely monitor her progress. She offers to teach it to her.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Replacement Goldfish: For Princess Celestia. While it's not her entire motivation, part of the reason Celestia took her under her wing was as an opportunity to make up for her failure with Sunset Shimmer.
  • Repression Never Ends Well:
    • In the 2017 movie, Twilight has been trying to hold in her frustration with her friends for treating this life-threatening adventure like their regular everyday adventures. When Pinkie calls her out on not having faith in them, Twilight reaches the limit of her patience and yells that she'd be better off without them. This results in Pinkie being devastated, and the Mane Six leaves Twilight alone as she can only sob over what she has said.
    • In "Horse Play", Twilight invites Princess Celestia to take part in her play, only to realize that Celestia can't act at all. She tries to hide this from her mentor, on top of dealing with many other problems, until finally, she explodes and rants about how Celestia is "the worst actress in the history of Equestria" - with Celestia listening from behind the curtain.
  • Required Secondary Powers:
    • This is actually explained quite handily by Twilight Sparkle. She says that all unicorns have a little magic that helps them with whatever special talent they have, despite not being especially talented in magic. For instance, in Twilight's case, her special talent is magic, essentially giving her endless possibilities in using it. Even so, she has to learn the spells and master them, or risk a variety of negative side effects (for example, a failed teleport scorches Spike in "The Ticket Master", an animation spell goes spectacularly haywire in "Winter Wrap-Up", and the gem-hunting spell she learnt from Rarity in "A Dog and Pony Show" behaves slightly differently). She's explicitly shown studying to make sure she can cast her spells properly in "Boast Busters", and hints from later episodes imply that she also learnt some spells from other unicorns in her life, friends and family alike.
    • As demonstrated by Twilight in the Season 4 premiere, controlling flight is not a very easy skill to grasp. Even when she does manage to get into a somewhat stable flight, she finds out the only brakes she has are the ground.
  • 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.
  • Reverse Psychology: Twilight uses this in attempting to get the CMC to fight over Smarty Pants before engaging her magic spell on the doll.
  • Revision: The season 2 finale introduced Twilight's older brother, who had never been seen or mentioned before that point.
  • The Rival: Trixie considers Twilight to be this to her in both "Magic Duel" and "No Second Prances" though Twilight herself thinks differently.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: Twilight lapses into this in the Nightmare Moon future when explaining that she needs to go back to the past to fix the present, possibly from spending time with Zecora in the previous timeline.
    Twilight: I have to get back to the map so I can stop Starlight from changing the past, because every present I come to is worse than the last!
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: In "A Canterlot Wedding", Twilight's older brother Shining Armor is engaged to her former foalsitter Princess Cadance, who is exhibiting odd behavior, leaving her suspicious. She comes to the conclusion that Cadance is evil, but this in turn causes her to be banned from the wedding. However, it turns out her suspicions were right all along, but for an entirely different reason — "Cadance" is the Changeling Queen Chrysalis, who was gaining her power by feeding on Shining's love, and the real Cadance had been imprisoned under Canterlot.
  • 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.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: In "Twilight's Kingdom - Part 2", once Tirek blows up the Library, Twilight stops trying to hold her magic back and instead goes all out in trying to stop him.
  • Romanticism Versus Enlightenment: The message of the show is decidedly romantic at first glance; emotions and friendship are important, and the Enlightened main character must learn that lesson repeatedly. However, it's not quite that simple; Twilight Sparkle's perspective is shown as having its flaws, but she's far from "always wrong", and her task-oriented character, intelligence and logical skills help save the day at least as often as they cause problems for her. The actual moral tends to be that the Enlightenment needs to give Romanticism its due, but that doesn't make it a bad thing.
  • Rousing Speech: Twilight gives one to Nightmare Moon, upon realizing that she and her friends are the bearers of the Elements of Harmony and prepare to defeat her once and for all.
    Twilight: You think you can destroy the Elements of Harmony just like that? Well, you're wrong—because the spirits of the Elements of Harmony are right here! [...] Applejack, who reassured me when I was in doubt, represents the spirit of... HONESTY! Fluttershy, who tamed the manticore with her compassion, represents the spirit of... KINDNESS! Pinkie Pie, who banished fear by giggling in the face of danger, represents the spirit of... LAUGHTER! Rarity, who calmed a sorrowful serpent with a meaningful gift, represents the spirit of... GENEROSITY! And Rainbow Dash, who could not abandon her friends for her own heart's desire, represents the spirit of... LOYALTY! The spirits of these five ponies got us through every challenge you threw at us!
    Nightmare Moon: You still don't have the sixth Element! The spark didn't work!
    Twilight: But it did — A different kind of spark! I felt it the very moment I realized how happy I was to hear you, to see you, how much I cared about you. The spark ignited inside me, when I realized that you all... are my friends!
    [the sixth element appears]
    Twilight: You see, Nightmare Moon, when those Elements are ignited by the...the spark, that resides in the heart of us all, it creates the sixth Element: The Element of... MAGIC!!!
  • 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.
  • Rule of Symbolism: When Twilight is fully broken, a tear falls from her eye, leaving a small puddle in the shape of a broken heart.
  • Rule of Three: Story-wise, many episodes rely on a minimum of three ponies regardless of how many are the actual focus characters — "Look Before You Sleep", based around Applejack and Rarity, adds Twilight Sparkle to the mix. This often ties in with the concept of the Freudian Trio, especially in Season 1 episodes where Twilight Sparkle usually acts as the Ego (such as "look before you sleep" where Applejack is the Id and Rarity is the Superego).
  • Rules Lawyer: During the episode "A Trivial Pursuit", Pinkie Pie has put herself and Twilight Sparkle way behind in Trivia Trot due to being such a Cloudcuckoolander. In order to get back in the lead, Twilight starts using her in-depth knowledge of Trivia Trot regulations to nitpick the other teams' minor infractions. Subsequently, Twilight is able to have Pinkie disqualified, allowing Twilight to partner with the much smarter and more level-headed Sunburst, as allowed by the rules. Eventually, Sunburst throws this back at her, trying to get Twilight disqualified and making Twilight realize what she's done.
  • Running Gag:
    • Twilight becoming slightly neurotic whenever Princess Celestia comes to Ponyville, insisting everything be perfect for whenever Celestia comes to visit, even if it's unofficial.
    • Taken Up to Eleven in "Lesson Zero" when she believes her normally flawless work ethic is at risk, a prospect which causes her great distress.
    • Also, Twilight Sparkle Tempting Fate by saying stuff like "What could go wrong?"
  • 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.
  • Sacrificial Lion: Played With in "The Cutie Map"; of all of the Mane Six to be the first to lose their cutie mark, who honestly expected Twilight?!
  • Sadistic Choice: She is forced into making one when Tirek forces her to choose between giving up her alicorn magic in exchange for the lives of her friends.
  • 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.
  • Scary Stinging Swarm: Twilight Sparkle has disturbed a bee's nest and been covered with stings twice: in "Winter Wrap-Up" and "Feeling Pinkie Keen". Rainbow Dash was chased by a swarm of bees in "Fall Weather Friends", but managed to get away from them. Interestingly, there's a beehive hanging from one of the upper branches of the library where Twilight lives.
  • Scavenger Hunt: Shining Armor sends Twilight on one to prepare her for a surprise announcement. According to Twilight, Shining Armor always set them up for her when she was a filly.
  • 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.
  • Schizo Tech: Twilight's basement lab, complete with flashing lights, computers, scientific equipment, and more. It fulfills the typical Mad Scientist Laboratory, and is Played for Laughs.
  • Science Cannot Comprehend Phlebotinum: Twilight runs herself ragged trying to analyze/disprove Pinkie Pie's "Pinkie Sense". In the end, she gives up and admits that maybe the "Pinkie Sense" can't be analyzed (which turns out to be the "doozy" that Pinkie predicted would happen). The point is that it exists, even though Twilight doesn't understand how it works.
  • 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".
  • Screw the Rules, I Make Them!
    • At the end of "School Daze", when Twilight Sparkle needs to get EEA approval to open her school and fails in part due to the guy doing the approving being a racist jerk and in part due to the school having some safety and quality concerns. She ultimately decides to just open the school anyway, in spite of the rule that even a princess can't go against the EEA's decision, knowing full-well nobody is willing or able to actually enforce the rule and prevent her from making up a new one on the spot that allows the school to open:
      Twilight: It's not an EEA school. It's a friendship school with its own rules. I should know. I wrote the book!
    • This is how Rockhoof gets his job as a keeper of the tales. Bonus points since Twilight is the Headmaster of the School of Friendship. And a Princess too.
      Twilight: As the Princess of Friendship, I'd like to appoint you as Equestria's official keeper of tales!
      Spike: Can you do that?
      Twilight: [shrugs] Eh?
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here:
    • While trying to present her speech in "Applebuck Season" after being interrupted by Rainbow, Pinkie and Fluttershy, Twilight pauses and no one interrupts this time...then she notices the Mayor watching her patiently. Fed up, Twilight declares, "Never mind!", and stomps off, leaving the Mayor to do her speech in her place.
    • The future where Tirek rules has Twilight and Spike almost instantly running away. Not surprising, seeing as Tirek is mostly just stomping around destroying stuff.
    • In Discord's Timeline, Twilight decides to leave the moment a pie falls on her head, being too irritated at the time to deal with Discord, his chaos, and what he was doing to Celestia and Luna right in front of her eyes at that moment.
    • In the 2017 movie, while the rest of Celaeno's crew and much of the Mane Six join in on Rainbow's number, Twilight just leaves.
  • Second Place Is for Winners: Twilight Sparkle is glad to have made 5th place in "Fall Weather Friends." After all, as she says, it'd be odd to get first place on her very first try.
  • Secret Identity: Twilight had to keep the transferred magic a secret from her friends because, as Celestia points out, letting them know would put them at great risk.
  • Secret-Keeper: Takes on this role for both Fluttershy and Rarity in "Green Isn't Your Color" though she is barely able to keep it together right up until the very end.
  • Secret Test of Character:
    • The whole reason she was sent to Ponyville to make friends was that Celestia knew Nightmare Moon was coming and friendship is requiered 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.
  • Security Cling:
    • In "Castle Mane-ia", all of Twilight's friends end up clinging to her as she goes to investigate who's been messing with the trick organ in the old Castle of the Two Sisters.
    • When the Tatzlwurm emerges from the hole (after Discord explains he's been faking illness), Discord clings to Twilight as she and Cadance back up from the wurm.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy:
    • In "Lesson Zero", Twilight disappoints and angers Celestia with her attempts to avoid disappointing and angering her.
    • All of Twilight's worrying results in her acquiring all the ominous physical differences that Future Twilight had.
  • Serial Escalation: Twilight started off as a regular unicorn who while powerful, still didn't hold a candle to some of the other more powerful magic wielders out there. Through a lifetime of hard work, determination, and her own natural talent, she ends up ascending to alicornhood and becoming the ruler of all of Equestria at the end of it all.
  • 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.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong:
    • In "It's About Time". Twilight gets visited by a future version who looks like she comes from a warzone, but never learns why (because she keeps interrupting her future self with irrelevant questions) and has to figure out what's going to go wrong and prevent it. In the end, it turns out nothing bad happened at all, and she worried herself sick the whole week for nothing. So she goes back in time to tell her past self not to get worried unnecessarily…
    • In the season 5 finale, "The Cutie Remark''. Twilight has to fight Starlight Glimmer and undo all the damage she has done to the past and restore the present. Ultimately, Twilight stops fighting and grabs Starlight to the next time loop which ends up breaking her badly.
  • Shadow Archetype: Twilight Sparkle has had several over the course of the show. Just like her, they're all unicorns with prodigious magic skills, but all contrast with Twilight in different ways: Trixie is a boastful unicorn who loves showing off her magic, which is contrast to Twilight's modesty. Sunset Shimmer was once a student of Princess Celestia, but wanted to be a princess and craved power, unlike Twilight. Starlight Glimmer is a unicorn who can remove cutie marks on a whim and did so to bring about her own twisted version of harmony so she's the only one who was "special". Then we have Moondancer, a childhood friend who is basically Twilight if she rejected the idea of friendship entirely and continued focusing only on her studies.
  • Shaming the Mob: Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon mock the CMC after their skill displays fall flat. It takes one sentence for Twilight to return it back to sender.
    Diamond Tiara: Look who's not the princess's entourage anymore!
    Silver Spoon: Guess they didn't come here to learn after all!
    Twilight: Well, neither did any of you.
    [Tiara, Spoon and the other fillies leave sulking]
  • Sheathe Your Sword: In "The Cutie Remark", Princess Twilight is forced to do this with Starlight Glimmer as every time she fights, the timeline change gets worse and worse. Instead, she forces her opponent to confront the consequences of time travel by dragging her into the final future, an empty wasteland with no explanation. Starlight has a Villainous Breakdown over it that eventually leads to her revealing her Freudian Excuse and eventually having a Heel–Face Turn.
  • She Is All Grown Up: During Twilight's coronation ceremony, her parents are barely able to keep themselves together seeing how far their daughter has come.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!:
    • Done to Nightmare Moon in "Elements of Harmony", with a blast of Holy Hand Grenade.
    • Twilight gets another epic one in the season two premiere. She weaponizes her normal And Knowing Is Half the Battle speech into this.
      Twilight: I'll tell you what we've learned, Discord! We've learned that friendship isn't always easy, but there's no doubt it's worth fighting for!
    • During the final issue of the comics, when Princess Ceridwen threatens that the ponies' continued resistance will only end in the destruction of their home.
      Twilight: There are things more important than a home. Maybe, after this is all over, we'll have a chance to show you.
  • Signature Move: Telekinesis could be considered this for Twilight Sparkle. Although it's very basic magic used by all unicorns, Twilight's potency with it is unequaled and she uses it constantly for absolutely everything, from holding a pen to transporting kaiju-sized giant bears. When in battle, her signature move is a purple blast of energy which she tends to spam a lot.
  • Silenceof Sadness: Twilight Sparkle finally crosses the Despair Event Horizon after the Elements of Harmony fail to activate against Discord. She silently and sullenly trudges back to her home at the library, barely responding when Discord shows up to taunt her.
  • Simple, yet Awesome: Twilight likes Rarity's unfinished dress for her birthday because it is plain and practical.
  • Singing Voice Dissonance: Her speaking and singing voices sound slightly different, due to having two voice actors.
  • Single Tear:
    • Sheds one in "The Return of Harmony".
    • She sheds another one at the end of "BBBFF," lamenting what she sees as the growing distance between herself and her brother.
  • Sixth Ranger: Twilight Sparkle could fill this role as she is the last pony of the Mane Cast to move to Ponyville. If the others have been friends with each other before her arrival, then that would make her the sixth member of their group.
  • Skewed Priorities:
    • In "Lesson Zero" Twilight spends the episode looking for someone with a problem she can solve so she can write her usual letter to Princess Celestia about it. Seeking out the timid Fluttershy as a likely source she witnesses her beat down and Neck Snap a bear (actually part of a massage) and her response is to lament that she doesn't have any friendship problems, and walk off without a second thought.
    • In "Magic Duel", Twilight could give Pinkie back her mouth after Trixie has been rendered harmless and defeated, but she's too busy explaining how the elaborate ruse was pulled off, and then performing for the Saddle Arabians.
    • In "Gauntlet of Fire" Twilight's enthusiasm about researching draconic culture makes her briefly forget about helping Spike.
    • In "A Health of Information" just before they head out on their quest, Twilight points out that they should pack some food. Fluttershy states that she packed some of the cauliflower bites that Spike made. Twilight is briefly crestfallen that none of her own sweet potato muffins made it into the bag (Spike liked them so much, he ate the whole batch).
    • In "The Best Gift Ever" while in the midst of dealing with the out-of-control pudding, Twilight briefly takes the time to brag about the recipe. Shining Armor has to yell at her to get things back on track.
  • Skyward Scream: A really happy one done by Twilight near the end of "The Crystal Empire" when she announces she passed.
  • Slapstick Knows no Gender: The most notable example of this for Twilight was the episode "Feeling Pinkie Keen", in which Twilight's repeated attempts to observe and document Pinkie Pie's alleged powers of clairvoyance resulted in a constant string of Looney Tunes-esque shenanigans, up to and including having a flower pot, an anvil, a hay wagon, and a piano fall on her in one scene.
  • 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.
  • Slave to PR: In "Once Upon a Zeppelin" Twilight is dismayed to find herself being the center of attention on what was supposed to be a family outing. She only wanted to spend time with her family, but can't refuse the attendees since she has an obligation as a Princess to spend her time with them, especially when they paid for their chance to interact with her.
  • Sleepwalking: In "The Big Mac Question", Discord mentions that he once found Twilight "sleep-trotting" through Ponyville.
  • The Smart Gal: Twilight Sparkle takes this role frequently, though it's subverted more often than not due to her lack of real world experience. She's certainly capable of some Awesomeness by Analysis however, along with some hardcore exposition.
  • 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.
  • Smug Super: Twilight Sparkle, who's otherwise quite a nice person, accidentally dips into this time and time again. Sometimes it causes problems, like when she innocently tells Pinkie Pie that she knew Pinkie couldn't handle babysitting without her help (Pinkie does not take it well, unsurprisingly), while other times it serves to show she's Not So Above It All like when she scolds Rainbow Dash and Applejack for being too competitive or Discord for being a Trickster Mentor to her only to turn around and do both these things herself.
  • 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.
  • The So-Called Coward: Though no one directly accuses Twilight of being a coward when she refuses to rise up to Trixie's challenge, her development later on otherwise fits this trope.
  • So Proud of You: Has been on the receiving end of this many times.
    • In "A Canterlot Wedding", Celestia commends Twilight for managing to bring the real Cadance back and save the day by trusting her instincts and persisting in the face of doubt.
    • And again in "The Crystal Empire". Princess Celestia makes it quite clear that she couldn't be prouder to have Twilight Sparkle as her personal student after Twilight deliberately disobeyed Celestia's stipulations for passing the test in order to ensure that King Sombra is defeated once and for all.
    • Celestia to Twilight, again, in "Magical Mystery Cure". This time in song.
      ''You've come such a long, long way
      And I've watched you since that very first day
      To see how you might grow
      To see what you might do
      To see what you've been through
      And all the ways you've made me proud of you"
    • In "Celestial Advice" and "A Royal Problem" she gets to be on the delivering end towards Starlight.
  • 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.
  • Spanner in the Works: Twilight Sparkle served as this in "A Canterlot Wedding", as Queen Chrysalis didn't count on Twilight having such a close bond with the real Cadance. Her cold, snobbish behavior towards Twilight caused her to become suspicious, and though Twilight is unable to give her friends solid evidence that something's wrong, Twilight's actions and Chrysalis' attempt to get rid of her allow the real Cadance to escape imprisonment, reunite with Shining Armor, and use their love to defeat the Changeling army.
  • 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.
  • Squashed Flat: Happens to Twilight when she's hit by a door in "Feeling Pinkie Keen" and "Fame and Misfortune".
  • 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.
  • Squishthe Cheeks: Twilight Sparkle is the queen of this trope. Twilight gets her cheeks squished more than almost every other character in the show. Ponies tend to move into close proximity to her face and squeeze her cheeks or press them against their body. Villains tend to put their hands on Twilight as well, also leading to this trope.
  • 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 three 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.
  • Stalker Without A Crush:
    • In "Feeling Pinkie Keen", Twilight stalks Pinkie Pie from the bushes (with binoculars and a safari hat, no less) in order to conduct a scientific study of her behavior. Pinkie is perfectly aware of what Twilight is doing but plays along anyway.
    • In "A Royal Problem" Twilight Sparkle is really invested in making sure Starlight doesn't screw up her mission to Canterlot, and through most of the episode, possesses a music box figurine to learn what's going on from Starlight. When Starlight is done and the sisters have reconciled, she immediately teleports in to get all the details, under the pretext that she was just bringing Starlight's toothbrush (which looks more like it belongs to Spike).
  • 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".
  • Stepford Smiler: In "Twilight's Kingdom, Part 2", when Twilight tries to reassure Spike that everything's fine, she forces a big, insincere grin to her face.
  • 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.
  • The Storyteller: Has played this role in both "A Hearth's Warming Tail" and "A Flurry of Emotions".
  • 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.
    • Surprisingly, this is inverted in "The Hooffields and Mccolts" with Fluttershy serving as this to Twilight Sparkle throughout the episode. Twilight is too focused on solving the problem by-the-book through following her notes to see the bigger picture.
  • Straight Man and Wise Guy: Twilight Sparkle is the Straight Girl to Pinkie Pie's Wise Gal.
  • The Strategist: Twilight tends to make The Plan for the others and is an excellent fighter when she plans out her fights.
  • Straw Vulcan: Twilight is so obsessed with logic that she fails to see that the Pinkie Sense is a repeatable, reliable ability that Pinkie Pie simply can't control.
  • Strong as They Need to Be: Twilight Sparkle's telekinetic strength varies quite a bit. At one point, she lifts a two-story-house-sized bear and large water tower simultaneously, then later in the series, struggles to pull Fluttershy out of a box, even with the help of her friends.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Twilight Sparkle and her mother are pallet swaps of each other.
  • Sucks at Dancing: She has some pretty awkward dance moves, as seen in "Sweet Elite".
  • Suddenly Shouting: "My friends... HAVE TURNED INTO COMPLETE JERKS!!!!!"
  • Sufficiently Analyzed Magic: Twilight's rationale for why unicorn magic is believable, and the "Pinkie Sense" isn't; unicorn magic is something that is practiced and studied while the Pinkie Sense is random and innate.
  • Summation Gathering:
    • Near the end of the episode "MMMystery on the Friendship Express", Twilight Sparkle calls for one of these after finding clues to who sabotaged the cake Pinkie Pie was guarding.
      Mulia: Erm, why are we all here again?
      Twilight: [entering the room] I bet you're wondering why you're all here again.
      Joe: She's good.
    • Done again in "Too Many Pinkie Pies" after the Pinkie clones have been rounded up in the town hall.
  • 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.
  • Surprise Slide Staircase: "The Crystal Empire" has an odd inverted example. When faced with an impossibly tall spiral staircase, Twilight Sparkle pulls off an impressive Dungeon Bypass by casting a spell to invert her gravity, and sliding up the slope on the bottom of the stairs.
  • 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.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • In the series' two-part premiere, "Mare in the Moon" and "Elements of Harmony", Nightmare Moon shows up at the Summer Sun Celebration and announces her intention to bring about The Night That Never Ends. Twilight Sparkle then confronts Nightmare Moon in front of the crowd, and announces that she knew about the prophecy of Nightmare Moon's arrival. While a brave move, it suffers a few big drawbacks:
      • Twilight quickly loses her nerve against the larger and more powerful pony. Twilight may know who Nightmare Moon is, but that doesn't get her very far. Before long, Nightmare Moon shoots down most of the Royal Guard and escapes, with Twilight unable to do anything about it.
      • Rainbow Dash gets suspicious about how Twilight knew exactly when and where Nightmare Moon was going to show up, so she aggressively confronts and accuses Twilight of working for Nightmare Moon. While Applejack gets Rainbow to back off and allows Twilight to tell her side of the story, the rest of the Mane Six still demand Twilight to explain how she knows what's going on. In order to clear up any suspicion, Twilight is forced to explain both how she came across the prophecy of Nightmare Moon's arrival and that she was trying to find the Elements of Harmony.
    • When Twilight participates in the Running of the Leaves in "Fall Weather Friends", Rainbow Dash and Applejack assume Twilight will struggle due to her generally unathletic nature. When the two tie for last place (due to their attempts to sabotage each other), they see Twilight with a medal. They both initially assume that she won, but Twilight explains that she only came in fifth place. She had never been in a race before, after all, and the only reason she did as well as she did was because she paced herself.
    • At the Grand Galloping Gala, Twilight can't spend any time with Princess Celestia, because even as Celestia's personal student, Celestia is too busy greeting all the guests and is mobbed by other ponies with the same goal in mind. Twilight tries to help Celestia with greeting the guests, but she tires out quickly due to being unaccustomed with having to greet guests.
    • Twilight (along with her friends) attempt to slip into the palace unnoticed in "It's About Time" with laughably bad sneaking, which the guards don't notice. When she is finally caught trying to jimmy open a door... the guard greets her and unlocks it for her. Twilight has been in the palace many times before by virtue of being Celestia's personal student, so she has full authority to come and go as she pleases. The guards weren't being mind-numbingly stupid (for once), they were simply doing their patrols while paying her no mind.
    • In "Princess Twilight Sparkle", Twilight is learning how to fly from Rainbow Dash... and is doing a rather terrible job of it. Magical wings or not, Twilight doesn't have years of experience in flying like most pegasi, and she's already shown to be unathletic. It takes her most of the season before she can even reliably fly in a straight line.
    • In "Amending Fences", Twilight's last-ditch effort to apologize for snubbing Moondancer's party from the first episode is to throw another party, even bringing her "secret weapon" Pinkie Pie, whose immediate answer to nearly any problem is a party. Moondancer's response? She rips into Twilight for thinking that could possibly make up for all the heartache she felt, since that party was meant to help Moondancer lower her guard and make new friends. Fortunately, Twilight went the extra mile and invited other ponies who care for Moondancer to prove that one failed attempt at making friends doesn't mean she's all alone. This is what convinces Moondancer to accept Twilight's apology. The context of why Moondancer is angry is also important. She's not just angry because Twilight snubbed her party; she's angry because Twilight moved to another town without telling her Canterlot friends, severed all contact with them, and essentially forgot they existed. Even though Twilight thinks that Moondancer will welcome her with open arms, Moondancer thinks that Twilight is a fair-weather friend, which Twilight cops to when Moondancer gives the aforesaid speech.
    • In "All Bottled Up", Twilight and company attempt to solve a puzzle room in record time. Once they find the key in record time, they break out into a song and dance number before opening up the door and officially breaking the record. This costs them the chance to break the record, something that's even lampshaded by the announcer. Celebrating a victory before it's actually achieved backfires more often than not, and singing is not a free action.
    • While in Seaquestria, Twilight tries to steal the Pearl of Transformation while using her unknowing friends as a distraction. However, because the Pearl is a treasured object, the throne room has a security system - which she sets off, resulting in her and her friends getting kicked out of Seaquestria.
    • Twilight wants to open a school to help teach everyone about the magic of friendship. However, she first has to get approval from the Equestrian Educational Association (EEA) to do that and make sure that she follows a strict set of guidelines. Even after all of her paperwork is in order, the school only gets provisionally approved until the EEA actually sees the school after it's been up and running for a few days.
    • Twilight sinks into a deep depression because her school is rejected. The rest of the Mane 6 try to cheer her up by giving her presents, sweets, and hugs, but she drives them off because things like that aren't going to help her get through having her dream crushed. She only gets better when Starlight Glimmer steps in and talks about it with Twilight, and states why following the EEA rules was stupid in the first place.
    • The teachers having the best intentions and intending to develop as time goes on does not impress the EEA, who expect most of them to already have some level of experience, and the chancellor's actual motivations don't negate these concerns. Twilight has to use her authority as a princess to declare "friendship schools don't need EEA approval" and sidestep their authority.
    • Twilight's "disguise" consists of an eyepatch and a sticky note covering her Cutie Mark. While Rarity was able to fool other ponies with her more elaborate disguise, Film and Flam don't buy Twilight's disguise for a second.
      Flim: Twilight Sparkle! Did you really think an eyepatch was enough of a disguise?
      Twilight: No! I didn't!
    • While Twilight's friends are excited over the prospect of ruling Equestria together, Twilight has doubts on whether she's ready for such a responsibility, as she has no formal training in ruling. When Starlight tries to reassure Twilight about taking on Celestia and Luna's responsibilities as rulers of Equestria by pointing out her success with the School, Twilight points out that running a school is much less difficult than running a nation.
    • A long overdue library book doesn't result in a Shockingly Expensive Bill for Twilight Sparkle, because the library caps off the overdue fee after a month. The reason they don't tell anyone about this is to keep patrons from taking books for too long. Even then, the book Twilight has is so old that by the time she tries to return it, it's out gone of circulation because of newer editions being printed.
    • In the first Equestria Girls movie, Twilight is a quadrupedal horse that turns into a bipedal human being after going through the magic mirror. Not being used to walking on two feet, Twilight spends the majority of the first act getting the hang of acting how humans actually act, such as trying to figure out how to walk and how technology works — particularly with computers in the library. Sunset uses the latter incident to her advantage by recording embarrassing videos of Twilight and posting them on the internet to smear her chances of becoming princess of the fall formal.
    • In Rainbow Rocks, after Princess Twilight returns, she and the Rainbooms join hands together in the gym where the Dazzlings are, with Twilight shouting "Friendship is magic!"... and nothing happens. The DVD commentary claims that this was intentionally done to make fun of how often The Power of Friendship was used as a Deus ex Machina in the show.
    • In Friendship Games, Sunset gets worried when Princess Twilight hasn't been answering her book messages recently. When she talks to her friends about this, Applejack and Rarity point out that Princess Twilight is a princess. Chances are, she's going to be busy with her own duties in Equestria, and the Rainbooms can't expect Princess Twilight to drop everything she's doing to pop into their world all the time, especially if it's for something as relatively minor as the Friendship Games. She was busy with something, even if it wasn't obvious within the film: trying to fix Equestria's timeline from being destroyed by Starlight Glimmer.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Twilight initially feels this way about Ponyville after she meets the ponies in charge of the celebration. She warms up to them later on.
    Twilight: All the ponies in this town are crazy!
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial:
    • In the episode "A Canterlot Wedding" at one point Applejack asks whether Twilight might be acting possessive of her brother, Shining Armor. Twilight angrily retorts, "I am not being possessive, and I am not taking it out on Cadance!" Nopony had mentioned the second part. This probably contributes to them later taking Cadance's side when Twilight accuses her of being evil.
    • At the end of "A Royal Problem", when Twilight pops up in Canterlot, she immediately and vehemently insists she wasn't worried about Starlight. Cue disbelieving looks from both Celestia and Luna.
  • Stranger Danger: An odd version happens in the fifth season finale, "The Cutie Re-Mark". In an attempt to avert For Want of a Nail and get the filly Rainbow Dash to perform the Sonic Rainboom, Twilight flies up to join her and tells her about everything. However, since Twilight is still one with No Social Skills and all of time/space is on the line, she comes off as incredibly creepy, causing Rainbow Dash to fly away and allow For Want of a Nail to hit again.
  • 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.
  • Sympathy for the Devil:
    • Even after all the evil stunts she pulled, Twilight Sparkle still pitied Starlight Glimmer after learning her entire motivation was being left a Broken Bird after her close childhood friend moved away. Twilight's forgiveness and offer to help her rediscover the meaning and value of friendship is what triggers Starlight's Heel–Face Turn.
    • Twilight feels compassion for Tempest after learning about her Dark and Troubled Past and feels all the more strongly about the necessity of friendship. Ironically, this was supposed to be Break Them by Talking.

    Tropes T to Z 
  • Tail Slap: Twilight swats a parasprite like a fly with her tail after they have completely lost their cuteness factor to her.
  • Take a Third Option: "The Cutie Remark, Part 2" presents Twilight with a problem. Her attempts to Set Right What Once Went Wrong have been futile due to Starlight Glimmer stopping her at every turn. Thus Twilight can either stop trying to stop Starlight and let the future go to hell or she can keep going back in time and fighting Starlight forever. Instead, Twilight grabs Starlight and brings her to one of their possible futures, a barren wasteland. It sets off Starlight's Villainous Breakdown, allowing Twilight to talk her down.
  • Taken for Granite: Becomes a victim of this in "Stare Masters" courtesy of a cockatrice, only saved thanks to Fluttershy intimidating said cockatrice into reversing it.
  • Taking the Heat: Twilight tries to shift the blame from Fluttershy onto herself for Philimena's death, on the premise that Celestia will go easier on her. Fortunately, Fluttershy refuses to let her take it, and Philomena regenerates at that moment.
  • 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.
  • Talking the Monster to Death: In "The Cutie Re-Mark", she has to do this to stop Starlight Glimmer: All attempts to stop her with brute force fail to make any progress, so Twilight has to show Starlight the dangers of altering history to get her to stand down.
  • Talking to Themself: Twilight does this in "Lesson Zero" with a puddle.
  • 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.
  • A Taste of Their Own Medicine: In "A Trivial Pursuit", after Twilight intentionally gets Pinkie Pie disqualified from a game of Trivia Trot due to seeing her as a threat to her winning streak, she gets paired up with Sunburst, who wants to preserve his "correct answers" record. In doing so, he refuses to let Twilight answer questions, causing her to accuse him of trying to get her disqualified...which makes her realize she had done the exact same thing to Pinkie.
  • Tearful Smile: Does this upon realizing that five quirky ponies, who insisted on helping her in her quest in the premier, are indeed her friends.
  • Technician Versus Performer: Twilight Sparkle and Applejack do have similar parallels. Both have extensive knowledge of their respective fields, magic and farming, respectively. But while Twilight's knowledge comes from years of intense study and research (techincian), Applejack's comes from years of practical experience (performer).
  • Tele-Frag: Twilight pops a beach ball by teleporting into it. She technically expands inside of it, which is good since the ball was a lot smaller than her.
  • Telepathy: One of her powers is to connect mentally with others.
  • Teleportation Misfire: In "Twilight's Kingdom - Part 2", when trying to get the hang of her boosted powers, Twilight's attempt at teleportation sends her to random spots all across Equestria.
  • Teleportation Rescue: She saves Owlicious from her exploding library through this by mere moments.
  • 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.
  • Teleporter Accident: Averted in "Twilight's Kingdom" but it comes close. Twilight's Power Incontinence teleports her all over Equestria, and despite the distances involved, she only ends up stuck between two rocks on the last jump. This is also the first time she uses the word "teleportation" to refer to this ability.
  • 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.
    • Also in the first episode, as told by the page quote, she claims, "The fate of Equestria does not rest on me making friends." As it turns out, she needed to make friends in order to activate the Elements of Harmony and defeat Nightmare Moon.
  • 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.
  • This Is Something She's Got to Do Herself: The Season 3 premiere had this for Twilight, who must retrieve the Crystal Heart to save the empire. Subverted in the end, as Twilight got trapped and had to get Spike to finish the quest instead. She falls into this situation a few more times, such as retrieving her Element of Magic in an alternate universe or taking on all the powers of the Princesses to take down Tirek. Ironically, the pony who told her to do this alone is the same pony who told her to learn the magic of Friendship.
  • Time to Unlock More True Potential: In "Magic Duel", Trixie runs Twilight Sparkle out of town by beating her with the help of an Amplifier Artifact of Doom, which enables her to perform magic normally available only to the highest level unicorns; Twilight is known to have immense magical potential, but it's shown here that she hasn't yet gotten the skill to perform the most advanced spells. Twilight seeks training with Zecora, who teaches her more about magic. Subverted: Whatever Twilight may have learned, she doesn't use any new skills in the rematch, rather relying on trickery and help from her friends to give the appearance of doing impossible things with magic, ultimately part of a Batman Gambit to get Trixie to relinquish the artifact.
  • Time to Step Up, Commander: Twilight is clearly very uncomfortable and reluctant at finding herself in charge after Celestia and Luna disappear in "Princess Twilight Sparkle", though she quickly puts that aside and focuses on the situation at hoof.
  • Title Drop: Twilight's preferred method of address to the CMC. She seems to be emulating her mentor Princess Celestia, who refers to any group of ponies younger than herself (i.e., everypony) as "my little ponies".
  • To Hell and Back: Lampshaded in "It's About Time". After disaster-proofing Equestria, Twilight comments that "Future Twilight looked like she'd been through a horrible ordeal." Moments later, she's off on an "epic adventure" to return Cerberus to the gates of Tartarus.
  • 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).
    • She is slightly tomboyish in comparison to Pinkie Pie, who is a bubbly Genki Girl.
    • The snarky, studious and unkempt Twilight (for example, Twilight claims the pink streak is not a fashion choice but a natural part of her hair, and she admitted in one episode to not caring how it looked) is also the tomboy compared to the vain and narcissistic, somewhat flamboyant Trixie's girly girl, especially considering how many times Trixie's been seen in the spa. The two are minor rivals of sorts in the show, and Trixie's overbearing boasting and image hyping often drives Twilight crazy.
  • Tomboy Princess: As of Season 3's finale. While she's only slightly tomboyish, her focus on her studies is, relatively speaking, not quite as conventionally feminine as Rarity's fashion design, Fluttershy's animal care, or Pinkie Pie's catering, making her more tomboyish than average, at least as far as the main 6 characters go. She's certainly the most tomboyish of the princesses; Celestia and Cadance are each clearly shown to be acting according to the in-universe traditions for royal behavior of the lands they have authority over, and Luna thinks she is.
  • Tomboy with a Girly Streak: She's a deadpan snarker with a confrontational personality, has intellectual interests that aren't feminine compared to most of her friends, serves as the Team Dad to her friends, has a love for adventure and strategic planning, hasn't been shown to care much about her physical appearance, and along with Rainbow Dash and Applejack is one of the most capable combatants, and one of the quickest to utilize physical force when necessary. However, when she gets excited about something, she will occasionally squeal with excitement in a very girlish way, occasionally obsesses over boys like Flash Sentry, and when attending grand events will wear dresses like all the rest of her friends.
  • Too Clever by Half: Twilight Sparkle can fall into this trap. She has an innate desire to be perfect, falling into Super OCD quite often. She was acknowledged by Princess Celestia as having the most potential of any unicorn Celestia had ever met; even when outclassed, Twilight outsmarted Nightmare Moon and defeated Discord with The Power of Friendship. Twilight has studied magic her whole life and is one of the most knowledgeable magic users in the world. However, Twilight is so terrified of failure that her perfectionism causes Sanity Slippage whenever things start going pear-shaped, especially if she thinks it will cause Celestia to be disappointed with her.
    • In "Lesson Zero", Twilight's perfectionism caused every bit as much chaos as one of the Big Bads. She basically became the episode's Villain Protagonist, reaching the point where she accidentally caused a city-wide riot so as not to potentially fail before realizing how far she'd gone.
    • Twilight also tripped herself up in "It's About Time", when she used a time travel spell to go back in time and warn herself not to worry, thus causing herself to worry to begin with.
  • Too Fast to Stop: In "Twilight's Kingdom – Part 2", after Twilight Sparkle receives the power of four alicorns, her flying speed puts Rainbow Dash's to shame, but she has a hard time controlling it. Stopping involves leaving long gouges in the earth with all four hooves, in one instance ending up with a bump against Big Bad Tirek's legs.
  • 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)!
    • In "Shadow Play - Part 2", the Pony of Shadows states that Twilight is "almost" as powerful as Star Swirl. During "The Ending of The End - Part 2", she manages to knock a powered-up Tirek down with a single blast to the face; in the previous episode, Star Swirl was unable to harm Tirek at all, even with Mistmane's help.
  • 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).
  • Toy-Based Characterization: She's such a huge nerd that her favorite childhood toy (shown in "Lesson Zero") was Smarty Pants, a stuffed donkey who "even comes with her own notebook and quill, for when you want to pretend she's doing her homework!"
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Twilight Sparkle once devoured some hayburgers and horseshoe-shaped fries like a shark tearing into a seal, at one point using another burger to wipe the ketchup from the last two burgers off her face, and then that burger goes down the hatch in two bites.
  • Tragic Heroine: Twilight eventually becomes one herself after she turns gray from a failed fight against Discord. Fortunately, she recovered from it.
  • Tranquil Fury:
    • After finding out the CMC and the rest of the fillies only took classes to hang around a princess, her response is very minimal and passive but blatantly disapproving, so all of them can immediately tell Twilight Time is over.
    • In the season four finale, Twilight Sparkle is utterly silent in her big fight against Lord Tirek and holds nothing back, blasting him every thaum of magical power she has and clearly trying to outright kill him for what he did.
  • Traumatic Superpower Awakening: A fairly mild example occurs in "The Cutie Mark Chronicles". Young Twilight Sparkle has to take an entrance examination to get into the School for Gifted Unicorns. She repeatedly fails the magic test which has been set up for her, leading her to become increasingly nervous, tense, and embarrassed. Then a large explosion — the sound of Rainbow Dash's first Sonic Rainboom — occurs in the distance. Getting startled by the sudden noise when she is already strung tight as a wire triggers an enormous burst of random magic to burst from her horn.
  • 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.
  • Trivially Obvious: In "Castle Sweet Castle", upon returning home at the end of the day, Twilight observes that the castle's entrance hall hasn't changed a bit:
    Twilight: Oh, I, uh ... love what you've... done with the place. You did such a good job of... preserving the integrity of the original design.
  • Troubled Fetal Position: Twilight does this on a bench in "Lesson Zero", but the way she strokes her tail at the same time is unexpectedly cute.
  • 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 streak.
  • 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 in Your Badge: When Twilight Sparkle reports her findings about the return of Nightmare Moon to Princess Celestia, the response is that she should stop reading those dusty old books... which Twilight thinks is essentially taking her off the case. This is in fact a plan meant to ensure that Twilight defeats Nightmare Moon.
  • 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".
    • Downplayed in Rainbow Rocks, where she's shown to be hesitant to reciprocate when ex-villain Sunset Shimmer extends her a hand, hurting Sunset's feelings. The two bond the following night over their shared fears of disappointing those around them, however, and by the end of the film Twilight accepts Sunset as a true friend.
  • Tutu Fancy: Averted in "A Royal Problem." Ballerina Twilight is depicted wearing a perfectly ordinary leotard, tutu, and pointe shoes laced up over the ankles, and her mane is in a Prim and Proper Bun, making her much less fancy than the typical music box ballerina, but more like an actual ballerina.
  • 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.
  • The Unchosen One: In the end, the one who saved the Crystal Empire was Spike, despite talk that it would be Twilight.
  • 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.
  • Unkempt Beauty: Twilight sports a rugged bed head in "Bridal Gossip" that looks pretty good, while her disheveled manecut in "It's About Time" (courtesy of misapplied dragon fire) makes her look badass.
  • Unnecessary Combat Roll: Twilight makes gratuitous use of combat rolls in "It's About Time" to stay out of sight of the guards, while Pinkie Pie and Spike just walk normally. It turns out the guards are aware of them the entire time but ignore them since Twilight and her friends are always welcome in the palace, which makes the rolls even more unnecessary.
  • 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 demonstrated 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.
  • The Unsmile: Twilight has several of those, they get worse the more she slowly loses her grip on her sanity.
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: In "Testing Testing 1, 2, 3," Twilight calls the other ponies and tells them she has a plan to help Rainbow Dash. The audience (and Rainbow Dash) don't get to hear what the plan involves until after it has been successfully executed.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Twilight can dip into this if her overreacting goes a bit too far.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Twilight assumes the Canterlot Archives will be heavily guarded and thus she'll need to sneak in, hence the Spy Catsuit. She seems to have completely forgotten that it isn't out of place for Celestia's personal student to be seen there. Additionally, the guard pony and Celestia don't bat an eye at seeing a disheveled Twilight in torn catsuit acting like she is in a spy movie. Celestia even compliments her "new" hairstyle.
    Twilight: Why isn't anypony surprised to see me sneaking around in here?
  • Utility Magic: In "The Hooffields and Mccolts", Twilight Sparkle uses a simple spell to amplify her voice enough that she's heard from both mountaintops.
  • Villain Protagonist: Slowly devolves into this over the course of "Lesson Zero", finally culminating when she brainwashes the entire town. Fortunately she snaps out of fairly quickly after that.
  • Victory Is Boring: By the time of Season 5, Twilight has successfully brought peace to the vast majority of Equestria, but has become extremely bored because she feels she has nothing to do anymore.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Twilight Sparkle has shades of this with Rainbow Dash. Given that Twilight is probably the most deadpan of the snarkers, and Rainbow does most of the things she has done without thinking (as well as the nerd-jock stigma), they both like to rib on each other from time to time. However, both of them respect each other and their abilities (Rainbow thinks Twilight has awesomeness during "Castle Sweet Castle") and know they can depend on each other in a crisis.
  • Voice of the Legion: Occasionally, Twilight will use the Royal Canterlot Voice to draw attention to herself when necessary.
  • Waking Non Sequitur:
    • In "Castle Sweet Castle" after falling asleep in her breakfast, Twilight Sparkle wakes up with a pancake stuck on her horn, hanging over her face, and blurts out "I'm pancake— I mean, awake!"
    • In "Princess Spike", Twilight is getting some much-needed rest after staying up for three straight days. When Spike tries to wake her for some advice, she tells him not to worry and that he should "just put the hay in the apple and eat the candle."
    • In "A Health of Information", Twilight Sparkle is awoken from a nap by Fluttershy, and shouts "Non-stick pans!"
  • Walking Spoiler: There's no getting around the fact that she became a Princess at the end of the third season. Her new wings are dead giveaways. Nor the fact that she becomes the sole ruler of Equestria in the series finale.
  • Walk on Water: She can use her magic to stand on still water.
  • Warrior Princess: Becomes a princess after season 3 and still very much retains the warrior aspect
  • Was Too Hard on Her:
    • In "A Flurry of Emotions", Twilight Sparkle gets angry at her infant niece Flurry Heart for throwing a magical fit at the hospital and scolds her for going awry with her magical powers, causing Flurry to become terrified of her aunt. Immediately, Twilight realizes what she said and apologizes to Flurry, realizing she should have been more attentive to her.
    • In "Marks For Effort" as the CMC are walking out of her office in shame, Twilight one at point has an almost regretful expression, implying that she thought that maybe she went too far in punishing them.
  • The Watson: In the episode "MMMystery on the Friendship Express", Pinkie Pie forces Twilight Sparkle (normally The Smart Guy) into the role of "my lowly assistant who asks silly questions with obvious answers." When Pinkie's methods (which largely consist of making wild, baseless accusations) prove ineffective, Twilight manages to get Pinkie to switch roles. Once Pinkie starts to understand the importance of getting all the facts, they switch again so she can solve the mystery of who ate all the other desserts on the train.
  • Welcome Back, Traitor: Goes both ways. Twilight herself didn't hold a grudge against her brother, friends and mentor for turning their backs on her. They themselves in return welcome her back as their friend without a problem.
  • "Well Done, Daughter!" Girl:
    • She idolizes Princess Celestia and desperately seeks her approval. Her crippling fear that she will disappoint the princess makes her freak out in "Lesson Zero", even if it's just her arriving minute late on one assignment. For more than two seasons Twilight is entirely oblivious to how 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 sometimes. 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).
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Twilight Sparkle of all characters borders on this, given her tendency to resort to Brainwashing for the Greater Good in "Lesson Zero" and "Keep Calm and Flutter On", and otherwise coming up with very consequential solutions to problems like wanting to freeze time in It's About Time. The closest she's ever gotten to causing irrevocable damage is attempting to steal Seaqustria's pearl.
  • Well-Intentioned Replacement: In the Season 3 premiere, the cast hosts a festival for the Crystal Ponies based on information found in a history book. The book lists the centerpiece of the festival the "Crystal Heart", so Twilight carves one... only to find out later that the Crystal Heart is a magical artifact that can protect the Crystal Empire from being enslaved by an evil unicorn, who's currently knocking on the door. A good chunk of the premiere from that point on consists of the cast trying to keep everyone away from the fake heart while Twilight and Spike try to get a hold of the real deal.
  • We Used to Be Friends: In "Amending Fences", Twilight is shown to have drifted so far apart from her old friends at Canterlot that she can't even remember their names. As soon as this dawns on her, she immediately sets out to fix things. While most of them are willing and eager to reconnect, her closest friend Moondancer wound up holding a deeply seated grudge because Twilight brushed off her one attempt to be more social and then left without saying goodbye, which caused Moondancer to isolate herself in her books and studies much like Twilight herself used to do. After Moondancer finally vents her pent up frustrations at Twilight, the two patch things up.
  • What's Up, King Dude?: While Celestia and Luna are fairly well-guarded, Twilight lives in the town library (at least until said library is destroyed) and regularly goes about her business in Ponyville normally to the point that it's actually a pretty rare occasion when someone actually does treat her with the reverence you'd expect a princess to get. Her friends and their families in particular seem to mostly ignore the fact that she's technically royalty and treat her like anybody else. It's justified here, as most ponies already knew her before her coronation, and she's not really inclined to make them treat her differently. As Princess of Friendship this is basically her job.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • She doesn't say it out loud, but Celestia's angry glare and stern Full-Name Ultimatum to Twilight when she shows up in "Lesson Zero" serves as this. Doubly so considering this is only the second time we've ever even seen Celestia angry. (The first was Discord escaping his statue.)
    • Twilight gets a heavy one at the end of the episode by Shining Armor after she accuses Cadance of being evil, sending her out of the room crying, on bases he can easily counter. Twilight reacts badly to this, but it turns out she was right to accuse her.
    • Twilight gives a minor one to Shining Armor when he didn't tell her ''in person" that he was getting married.
      Twilight: How dare you not tell me in person that you were getting married? I'm your sister for pony sake.
    • Twilight gives a milder one to Rainbow Dash as well when she confronts Dash about training with both teams.
      Twilight: It's not easy practicing with two teams, is it?
    • When Twilight tries convincing her friends that Discord has put them under a spell, they rebuke her — not only for accusing him of doing something evil, but also for assuming that they wouldn't catch him doing it.
  • What Were You Thinking?:
    • Spike asks Twilight this after she sacrifices all of the alicorn magic within her to free him, the Mane Five, and Discord.
    • Is given this again by Applejack after the Mane Six get kicked out of Seaquestria because Twilight tried to steal the Queen's pearl.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: For Nightmare Night Twilight dressed as Starswirl the Bearded, complete with a fake beard.
  • 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).
  • Wide Eyes and Shrunken Irises: Twilight whenever she starts to go insane.
  • Wildlife Commentary Spoof: Twilight does one while observing Pinkie Pie. She wears a safari hat and uses binoculars.
  • Wild Magic:
    • When Twilight Sparkle (one of the most powerful in modern memory) got her Cutie Mark, her uncontrolled magic turned her parents into houseplants, turned a baby dragon into a giant dragon, and came close to leveling the royal palace.
    • In "Ail-icorn", Twilight's sneezes are causing uncontrollable bursts of magic that have random effects on whoever is hit, including Rarity's hoof growing wheels, Fluttershy being teleported and coming back freezing, Applejack randomly flying around and Rainbow Dash making wacky sounds instead of speech.
  • Wingding Eyes: When Twilight begins to sing the closing song "Love is in Bloom", a few stars twinkle in her 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 Her 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 Friends Like These...: Said word-for-word by Twilight when dealing with her corrupted friends.
    Twilight: With friends like you, WHO NEEDS... enemies?
  • 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.
  • Word, Schmord!: In "Bridle Gossip" Twilight, waking from a restless night, dismissively mumbles "curses schmurses."
  • The Worf Barrage: In the episode "Twilight's Kingdom, Part 2", in a curious example of both sides of a fight using this, neither Twilight nor Tirek (each more powerful than ever before) can do much damage to the other aside from slamming each other around during their huge, epic battle scene. Tirek has to resort to trickery in order to get what he wants.
  • The Worf Effect: Despite being a powerful sorceress, the Monster of the Week occassionaly defeats her so that another one of the main characters can defeat it, or fail a spell to make way for someone more powerful like Discord.
  • Workaholic: Twilight Sparkle is so obsessed with her "friendship reports" that she drives herself crazy in one episode after being unable to find a problem she can solve to complete her report, and had no problem reading 12 books in a single weekend.
  • Worrying for the Wrong Reason: In "Look Before You Sleep", Twilight is concerned about a giant tree branch crashing into her house because it isn't in the slumber party book.
  • Would Hurt a Child: When Twilight seeks to create a friendship problem to solve, she targets the Cutie Mark Crusaders. Who were, just before Twilight appeared, laughing and playing with a beach ball and generally being the most innocent and adorable fillies in Equestria. The Mood Whiplash when Twilight shows up is quite disturbing.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy:
    • In "Lesson Zero" Twilight goes to most of her friends expecting to fulfill her assessment with one of their usual problems. Rarity in some sort of peril?... nope. Applejack and Rainbow Dash bickering?... nuh-uh. Fluttershy having a nervous breakdown over some new daunting experience?... not quite.
    • In "A Canterlot Wedding" Twilight easily picks up on the cues that Cadance is up to no good — but immediately jumps to the conclusion that she must've turned evil. The notion that her former favorite foal-sitter who suddenly acts as though they never met before might be an imposter never occurs to her until she finds the real Cadance in the next episode.
    • The first thing Twilight Sparkle and friends try against the Dazzlings is use The Power of Friendship the same way that was used to deal with every villain prior. Too bad for them magic doesn't work that way in this universe.
    • In "What About Discord", Twilight assumes that her friends were Brainwashed because of Discord's influence, as done once before. This is proven to be false.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Twilight spends "What About Discord" denying her own bitterness over being left out by her friends because she thinks the Princess of Friendship should be above such pettiness. Her friends and (in an underhanded way) Discord tell her that jealousy is a perfectly normal feeling no one should be ashamed of, so long as they are able to admit and express it rather than pretending to not having feelings of jealousy.
  • You Are in Command Now: A minor variant in the season four premiere. The Royal Guards tell Twilight that she's in-charge due to being the only available princess (Celestia and Luna are missing, and Cadance is occupied with ruling the further along the north Crystal Empire, leaving her unavailable in short order). This is a minor example due to her leaving immediately after giving only an order or two.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Twilight attempts to change the future in order to prevent a perceived catastrophe, only as the days progress, signs keep appearing in the form of injuries, leading Twilight to believe the catastrophe is still on its way.
  • You Have to Believe Me!: Twilight doesn't appear to do a good job of explaining why Cadance is evil to the rest of the wedding party (except for the spell she cast on Shining Armor, which was explained away) only because Cadance started crying, making Twilight look possessive and unstable in the eyes of her peers and alienate her from the group.
  • Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: In "Princess Twilight Sparkle", Discord sarcastically praises Twilight for leaving her friends in the Everfree Forest while she stays. This leads to her returning to the forest.
  • 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.
  • Your Worst Nightmare: In the Season 3 premiere, King Sombra turns out to have set a trap like this to prevent anypony else from getting to the Crystal Heart. Twilight Sparkle falls into it and sees a vision where Princess Celestia angrily tells her she failed her test and she should just give up on her magical studies.
  • You Were Trying Too Hard:
    • In "The Crystal Empire", Twilight only passed the test set to her by Celestia by giving up on passing the test for the sake of defeating Sombra.
    • After Twilight becomes an alicorn, it's implied this is why she has trouble flying. Notably, in the "Princess Twilight Sparkle" two-parter, she seems to do a lot better when she's not constantly focusing on it. Twilight complains that she can never get her wings to work the way she wants them to, and Rainbow Dash tells her that it'll just come to her eventually. This was partially the reason why they decided to send Twilight away. In the climax, when Twilight is more focused on fixing the tree than flying, she's able to fly up and hover with ease, after which she no longer has any trouble with it.
    • "The Crystalling Parts 1 and 2" has Twilight Sparkle setting up friendship lessons for Heel–Face Turn-ed Starlight Glimmer, but sets it up in her OCD way, methodically planned out and set up. The end result is that Starlight, when first confronting her old friend Sunburst, can barely confront him over her own past. However, when the lesson goes through without Twilight's incredible list, Twilight feels that she failed Starlight, only for Spike to reassure her and tell her exactly this trope.
    • In "School Daze", Twilight's attempts to follow things "by the book" takes all the fun out of classes for both the students and their teachers, and makes the students cranky enough to get into fights with each other. When the students skip class and do things their own way they all become friends pretty quickly.

 
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Twilight Sparkle

When the Mane Five come together in front of the Unity Crystals, their magic merges with the crystals to reveal a message from Twilight Sparkle, the legendary Princess of Friendship from the previous generation of the My Little Pony franchise.

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