Follow TV Tropes

Following

Characters / She-Ra and the Princesses of Power ⁠ Catra

Go To

Main Character Index | The Rebellion (Adora, Glimmer) | The Horde (Catra, Hordak, Shadow Weaver, Horde Prime) | Other Groups (Entrapta, Double Trouble)

Catra, Force Captain

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/catradebuthq.png

Catra's new outfit after becoming co-ruler of the Horde 

Catra's Horde Prime outfit 

Catra after being freed from Prime 

Voiced by: AJ Michalka (English), Juliet Donenfeld (English, young)additional voice actors 

Advertisement:

"Hey, Adora."

Catra is Adora's childhood best friend and enemy throughout the show. They grew up together as cadets in the Horde, but their friendship ends when Adora defects and joins the Rebellion. Betrayed by Adora leaving her behind, Catra takes the opportunity she is offered to rise in the ranks of the Horde Army. They become enemies on each side of the war, and their complex relationship is the core of the series.


    open/close all folders 

    A-B 
  • Absurdly Sharp Claws: While she herself is never depicted as being all that physically strong, her claws can cut through metal and concrete with ease, including Adora's armor.
  • Adaptational Angst Upgrade: In the original series, she didn't have to deal with being mistreated by an abusive parental figure, an abundance of self-worth and jealousy issues, and the seemingly unrequited love from a childhood friend.
  • Adaptational Badass: Despite lacking her original counterpart's ability to transform into a panther, this Catra is a far more intelligent and capable fighter, being able to go toe-to-toe with She-Ra and effectively taking over the Horde by season four.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Unlike in the original, this version of Catra pulls a straight Heel–Face Turn in season five.
  • Adaptational Intelligence: Catra is far more intelligent than her 80’s counterpart, her smarts becoming apparent in her skills at manipulating friend and foe alike, outsmarting She-Ra and the Princess Alliance or Hordak at several points. She combines these manipulation skills with her talent for strategy and through this, almost managed to defeat the Princess Alliance during season four.
  • Adaptational Sexuality: In the original series she flirted with Sea Hawk, but in this new series though the only person she is shown to have an explicit attraction to is Adora. It is also doubtful she knows who Sea Hawk even is in the new series, and she definitely would not like him if she did.
  • Adaptational Superpower Change: In the original series Catra had a magical mask that allowed her to transform into a panther and she could control cats. In this series her mask is decorative and instead she is a Cat Girl with all of the powers that go with it (enhanced senses, Absurdly Sharp Claws, dexterity etc). In season five once she bonds with Melog she can control it to a certain extent and can also become invisible with its illusionary abilities.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: In the original series, Catra had black eyes. Here, she has heterochromia, with her right eye being blue and the left being yellow.
  • Adaptation Species Change: In the original series, Catra was a human who could use her mask to shapeshift into a panther, among other powers. This version appears to be a magicat although Word of God has never confirmed this one way or another. She has a mask, but it doesn't do anything.
  • Affably Evil: In general, she is just a happy-go-lucky girl like Adora, and she later feels like she doesn't even know her anymore. Unfortunately, subverted by season three, and even worse in season four. After Shadow Weaver leaves her for Adora, Catra snaps. She becomes erratic, nearly destroys reality just to one-up the princesses and get revenge on Shadow Weaver, and exiles Entrapta for refusing to help her do it. Season four has her get even worse, becoming outright abusive towards everyone around her and growing more and more paranoid as the season progresses. The finale has Double Trouble — who she had come to trust and rely on — finally point out these traits to her, but fortunately by season five, she reverts back to her happy self again.
  • Affectionate Nickname:
  • Age Lift: Catra was an adult woman in the original, but here she's in her late teens (around 17-18), ending the series in her early twenties (around 20-21).
  • All for Nothing: Catra has spent her entire life in the Horde, fighting to conquer Etheria. In season four, she and Hordak come very close to succeeding while working as a team. However, Catra's miscalculation results in the Horde army being kneecapped by a Rebellion ambush, undoing everything that Catra worked for. When Hordak learns that Catra exiled Entrapta and lied to him about it, he attacks her, meaning that all her efforts to earn his respect were for naught. When Horde Prime rebukes and mind-wipes Hordak, Catra realizes that conquering Etheria wouldn't have made any difference anyway.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Besides having an abusive mother figure in Shadow Weaver, Catra also wasn't well-liked by her peers sans Adora. Not that she made an effort to open up to anyone else besides Adora.
  • Alternate Catchphrase Inflection: For most of the series, she greets her old friend with "Hey, Adora," in a flirty or mocking tone. When Horde Prime reveals his newest victim, Catra steps into the light and instead says, "Hello, Adora."
  • Always Second Best: To Adora. While Catra took pains to hide this attitude, it eventually comes to the surface after Adora leaves the Horde. Shadow Weaver constantly treating Catra as The Unfavorite made this attitude exponentially worse.
  • Amazon Chaser: Implied. Catra has a noticeable Crush Blush when she first sees Adora's new She-Ra form, which is more muscular than the last, and Adora herself, while not massive, is very clearly athletic and stands taller than Catra by half a head.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Catra's skin (or fur) is a shade darker compared to Adora's. According to Stevenson, Catra is a woman of color and the crew discussed her being a mestiza Latina but her race is not explicit on the show.
  • Ambiguously Human: Well, Ambiguously Etherian in this case. While the planet has a lot of different humanoid and not so humanoid sentient species, Catra is the only Cat Person on all of Etheria that looks the way she does. A Freeze-Frame Bonus in season five shows a group of cat people, presumably Magicats from the original show, who look and dress almost exactly like Catra, fighting Horde Prime on another Planet. It's possible that Etheria was colonized by various different species, and then Mara sealed the planet off in Despondos for 1000 years. Catra is most likely related to the cat people/Magicats that got stuck on Etheria.
  • Ambition Is Evil: Her official bio says as much. Catra couldn't care less whether she fights for good or evil; becoming the top of the food chain is all that matters, or so she thinks.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: She gives one to Adora in series finale "Heart Part 2" when Adora appears to be dying. It's enough to make Adora snap out of it and return the declaration.
    Catra: Adora! Please! You have to wake up! You can't give up. You've never given up on anything in your life. Not even me. So don't you dare start now! [...] I've got you. I'm not letting go! Don't you get it?! I love you! I always have! So please, just this once, stay!
  • Anti-Villain: Her cruelty and selfishness largely stems from constant domestic abuse by her closest maternal figure, she generally treats her subordinates well, but she still has a motivation of power above all else and takes great joy emotionally manipulating and upsetting people.note  She stops qualifying in season three, when she nearly destroys reality in an attempt to one-up Adora, and becomes increasingly ruthless and uncaring of her soldiers. After going through hell, she pulls a Heel–Face Turn in season five.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: In "Failsafe", she asks Adora what she wants.
  • The Atoner: Season five sees Catra attempt to make up for all she's done.
  • "Aww"-choo: Her sneezes are very cute, much to the amusement of Adora, Bow, and Glimmer.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Played for Drama with her relationships with Scorpia and Entrapta as, despite often getting exasperated by them, she genuinely cares about them. However Catra only seems to realize how much she cares after she does something to damage the relationship (her emotional turmoil over Adora leaving does not help matters either). In season three she impulsively tasers Entrapta to prevent her from warning Hordak about the dangers of the portal and then sends her to Beast Island to cover her tracks. She suffers from guilt and nightmares throughout season four over what she did to her causing her to lash out at any mention of Entrapta's name and tell Scorpia that they aren't friends. Eventually Scorpia leaves the Horde and losing the last friend she had causes Catra to spiral out of control and leave her a nervous wreck desperately trying to conquer Etheria to compensate for her pain. Fortunately neither Scorpia or Entrapta hold a grudge against her and, by the Grand Finale, seem to have forgiven her for how she treated them putting their friendship in a better place.
  • Babies Ever After: According to a charity livestream by ND, she and Adora eventually have a non-binary child named Finn, who is Catra's species, but dyes their hair blond to connect to Adora's heritage.
  • Badass in Distress: She becomes this on several occasions in the series.
    • In season 2, Hordak punishes her for lying with his gravity generation device, nearly choking her to death.
    • In season 3, she is kept in a cell as Hordak decides to send her to Beast Island before Entrapta intervenes and convinces him to send her on a mission to the Crimson Waste instead. However, her trip there only begins in distress, as she eventually manages to turn things around, take over the Waste, find Adora and steal her sword.
    • She takes this trope up to eleven in season 5 after she is taken by Horde Prime, stripped of her freedom and immunity as a Horde commander, and left to evaluate her life choices and reflect on where she went all wrong.
  • Bad Boss: In season four. She forces her Horde subordinates to fight to the point of exhaustion, stretches their forces thin, and refuses to let anyone in on her plans apart from Double Trouble, who's a hired hand with no real loyalty to her.
  • Batman Gambit: Heavily in Princess Prom. Catra's plan is executed flawlessly due to her foreseeing the ways Adora would act around her. Distracting Adora and separating her from the action, along with exploiting the Rebellion's good side and friendships, always prove to work well for Catra. Until season four when Glimmer outsmarts her by using Double Trouble.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For:
    • By season four, she wanted Hordak to make her his co-leader. Once she forces him to do so, she becomes a Bad Boss who stretches Horde forces thin and treats her colleagues so poorly that several leave the Horde. Her machinations blow up in her face at the end of the season, when Hordak attacks her and the Horde army is brought to its knees by a Rebellion ambush.
    • Her desire to never lose again almost comes true when she joins Horde Prime, a being who, through his fearsome empire, never lost in his endeavors. Unfortunately for her, Horde Prime doesn't think very highly of her nor is he interested in sharing any of the power he's consolidated. Moreover, interacting with Prime allows her to really see that always winning isn't all it's cracked up to be.
  • Because I'm Good At It: Catra's reason for staying with the Horde boils down to the fact that it's the only life she's ever known, and based on the direction she's been going all the way up to being Hordak's second-in-command, she believes it's because all the ruthlessness she's exhibited has paid off. But, as Double Trouble points out, Catra may be good at being ruthless, but her heart isn't in it.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me:
    • Catra's love for Adora stems from the fact that she was the only one who ever cared for her. The other recruits and horde soldiers can't stand her and Shadow Weaver is outright abusive to her.
    • When Adora defected, it left Catra feeling no one cared about her, at least until she got close to Hordak. Unlike Shadow Weaver, Hordak showed Catra the recognition she had always wanted and not only that encouraged her to become greater.
    • In the third season, this gets subverted hard. Scorpia is probably the only character to genuinely see Catra as a friend and only wants her to be happy, going out of her way to ensure Catra's alright. However, when Catra realizes Shadow Weaver went to Bright Moon and abandoned her for Adora, she instantly tries to break things off with Scorpia.
  • Becoming the Mask: She was able to criticize the Horde at first, but after Adora left she decided their toxic ideology was right, and stayed in it even as it kept hurting her. Unfortunately, it soon becomes clear that abstaining from Shadow Weaver's power games was the only thing keeping Catra sane, and now that she's stopped...
  • Being Evil Sucks: Doubling down on villainy has cost Catra more than she'd like to admit. By the end of season three, Catra has alienated everyone who cares about her, and all she has to show for it is getting back to where she started on the food chain. During season four, she begins to realize this as basically everyone Catra knows decides that putting up with her abuse is not worth it. Even after ascending the ranks to the top of the Horde, Catra's still miserable and lonely. Double Trouble even points out to Catra during their "The Reason You Suck" Speech that Catra never really wanted the things she burned all her bridges to get. Hell, she doesn't even like the Horde that much; she only stayed because it's all she knows, and sees Adora leaving the Horde as leaving her (despite Adora wanting Catra to come with her).
  • Belated Love Epiphany: Platonically, but she only realizes that she did care about Entrapta and Scorpia after ruining her friendships with both of them — sending the former to Beast Island when she tried to stop Catra from opening the portal, and treating the latter like crap all throughout season 4 until she finally departed to join the Rebellion.
  • Berserk Button: In season three, learning about Shadow Weaver's defection kicks off her Villainous Breakdown, and after that the phrase "Adora's right" leads to her most vicious actions. In season four, it's being reminded of Entrapta and the portal incident at the end of Season 3, which she feels slightly guilty about.
    • In season five, it's revealed that she doesn't like being called cute.
  • Beyond Redemption: Adora tries numerous times to turn Catra to the side of good, or — at the very least — get her to leave the Horde. This gets consistently thrown back in Adora's face. After Catra loses all sense of self-preservation and almost causes The End of the World as We Know It to get the ultimate revenge on Shadow Weaver and beat the Rebellion, Adora tells her point blank that she is done trying to get through to her, because she went too far. Come season five, she proves Adora wrong when she performs a Heel–Face Turn to save Glimmer from Horde Prime, and upon being rescued and freed from him helps the heroes defeat Prime. She basically spends two thirds of the season as The Atoner.
  • Bifauxnen: Wears a suit for the ball in episode eight, and it looks good on her. In the series finale, the vision of Catra from Adora's dream future also wears a suit (albeit one that’s less elaborate) as opposed to Adora's more feminine attire.
  • Big Bad: Takes over this role from Hordak in season three, activating the portal and keeping Entrapta from stopping him. In the end, he's easily manipulated by her despite being the Horde's leader. She, along with Hordak both lose this position to Horde Prime at the end of season four.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: At the start of season four she attacks Hordak in his throne room, rips out the crystal powering his exoskeleton, and forces him to make her an equal partner in the Horde to take down the Rebellion. Their relationship eventually falls apart at the end of the season once her lie about Entrapta is revealed and Horde Prime arrives to take over.
  • Big Bad Slippage: While Catra has always worked for the Horde, for most of season one her status as an antagonist is more ambiguous. She has several non-hostile interactions with Adora and her primary motivation is just to get her friend back. At the end of "Promise," however, Catra fully commits to being a villainess determined to defeat Adora, and she only gets more ruthless and powerful from there. By season four she's the most threatening antagonist of the show. At least, until Horde Prime arrives.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Like Hordak, for all the threat she poses she's absolutely nothing compared to Horde Prime, and her attempts to become his Dragon once he finally enters the scene quickly backfire.
  • Big Ego, Hidden Depths: Catra often comes across as having a severe case of Small Name, Big Ego going on. While she is smart and competent, she tends to overestimate herself; the moment she is (or thinks she is) in control of a situation she turns smug and arrogant, taunting and belittling everyone who opposes or even vaguely disagrees with her... and when the situation inevitably get out of her control she instead goes full hostile and blames everyone except herself. As the series goes on, though, it gets increasingly obvious that Catra is a psychological mess. She has a terrible self-image, mostly thanks to years of emotional abuse from Shadow Weaver, and tries to cope by drowning her self-loathing and insecurity in exaggerated arrogance.
  • Bound and Gagged: More like webbed and gagged. In "Promise", Catra is attacked by a giant robot spider which ties her up and gags her with its rather slimy webbing. Luckily, she manages to escape by using her claws to rip apart the webbing and then the spider.
  • Boyish Short Hair: After Horde Prime brainwashes her via chipping, he has Catra's hair cut very short and slicked back to represent uniformity with the rest of his forces. After she's freed from his control, it becomes messier, giving Catra this look.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: In season five, she gets chipped by Horde Prime and turned into his blindly obedient servant.
  • Brainwash Residue: Even after it's removed her time spent controlled by Horde Prime's chip leaves her with flashes of information her brain held whilst connected to his Hive Mind, like that Krytis is a planet.
  • Brainy Brunette: Catra has brown hair and has proven to be a cunning tactician.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: What we see of her as a kid shows that, when not being terrified of Shadow Weaver, she was a vicious little kid, picking a fight with Octavia and scratching one of her eyes up.
  • Breaking the Cycle of Bad Parenting: She and Adora both suffered under Shadow Weaver's abuse, and she was the closest thing they had to a mother. According to a post-finale charity stream, when they have their own child, Finn, they do their best to make sure that they know that they're loved and have the childhood that the two of them were deprived of.
  • Break the Haughty: Catra is relatively sympathetic through seasons 1-2, but by the end of season three she is completely broken by Shadow Weaver betraying her to escape and head to Bright Moonnote , leaving her to bear the brunt of Hordak's fury and being sent on a hopeless mission in the Crimson Waste. After a brief Hope Spot in the desert, once she returns to the Fright Zone she mistreats her subordinates, condemns Entrapta to Beast Island, lies to Hordak about Entrapta's whereabouts, and nearly destroys Etheria in a crazed, suicidal attempt to get the ultimate win uncaring of the cost, which ultimately leads to Angella being trapped between dimensionsnote . In her corrupted state she tries to blame Adora for everything, even mocking her over how the world's destruction will be her fault. Adora refuses to be blamed for something she didn't do and pummels her.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Catra initially slacks off during her Horde squad training and gets her teammates to do all the actual work. It's implied that this comes from being micromanaged by Shadow Weaver, as well as a lack of drive as a result of feeling overshadowed by pre-defection Adora. When Catra gets more latitude to act on her own, she becomes far more efficient.
  • Butch Lesbian: At Princess Prom and in Adora's dream future the Butch to Adora's Femme. Her relationship with Adora is... complicated, to put it mildly. She never shows romantic interest in any male characters, and her interactions with Adora (especially at the Princess Prom) have unsubtle romantic overtones. Several episodes also examine how betrayed and hurt Catra feels about Adora leaving the Horde. Even after trying to kill Adora, Catra is still a mess of mixed emotions about it. By season five, after pulling a Heel–Face Turn, Catra finally admits to herself that she's in love with Adora, giving an Anguished Declaration of Love in the series finale. Adora returns the affection, culminating in a Big Damn Kiss that revives her.
  • Byronic Heroine: Catra is one of the few female characters who possesses several Byronic qualities: pride, cynicism, a Dark and Troubled Past, emotional conflict, a charismatic presence, and eventually, her love for Adora is what officially kicks in her redemption arc.
Advertisement:
    C-D 
  • The Caligula: She veers dangerously close to this territory after becoming Hordak's Dragon-in-Chief. Nearly ending the world was the standout, but her paranoia, anger, and overall abuse towards her underlings does not do her any favors. She single-handedly drives at least four people (Scorpia, Kyle, Rogelio, and Lonnie) out of the Horde — five if you count Double Trouble, though their motives are more pragmatic.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: In season three, she insults Hordak in front of a unit of Horde soldiers, calling him a "failure" and insisting that he needs people like Shadow Weaver and herself to run the Horde because he cannot or will not.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: In general, it’s not easy for Catra to say how she feels towards others.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Played With, as can be seen in Above Good and Evil. She's been aware that the Horde are evil for several years, but she doesn't particularly care as long as she can reach the top of command. It's ultimately subverted, because she believes her own motives are justified.
  • Catchphrase: "Hey, Adora." It starts out as affectionate, but after they part ways it's usually said mockingly or threateningly.
    • In season two, Adora turns this back on her. After defeating some of the Horde's robots, Adora climbs to the top of one, says "Hey, Catra", and smashes the camera.
    • In season four, she uses a modified version of this at the start of a chilling scene. "Hey, Hordak."
    • In season five, evidence that she's been mind-controlled by Horde Prime is shown when Catra says "Hello, Adora" instead of "Hey, Adora". It goes back to being affectionate after Adora saves her.
  • Cat Girl: Instead of a humanoid woman who can turn into a cat, now she's a full-time Beastman cat-person. She can be heard purring when in a particularly good mood, and curls up at the foot of a bed like a cat. Her hair also vaguely resembles a lion's mane. Is it any wonder Shadow Weaver thinks Catra is Adora’s pet?
  • Cats Are Mean: She takes an almost vindictive pleasure in hurting her enemies and is a cat-themed being.
  • Cats Are Snarkers: Catra occasionally snarks at people, like in season five when asked by a Prime clone why Glimmer wasn’t in her cell:
    Catra: “She (Glimmer) wanted to get some fresh air, didn’t you princess?”
  • Cats Hate Water: Catra hates being on a boat. It's later shown that she's also unhappy with snow. In season five, it's shown that Netossa's plan for dealing with her is spritzing her in the face with a spray bottle, then capturing her in an energy net when she freaks out. In the same episode, she faces off against a brainwashed Mermista and gripes about having to fight the water-based princess. It probably didn't help that Horde Prime made her take a dip in a pool of clone life force when he brainwashed her.
  • Cats Have Nine Lives: ND revealed a headcanon of theirs on Twitter that Catra has a degree of Resurrective Immortality — possessing nine lives that she burned through over the course of the series:
    1. She lost her first life dropping off the cliff in Princess Prom.
    2. She loses her second life being webbed up and dragged through the mirror by the spider mech in Promise.
    3. She loses her third life when suffocated by Hordak in Reunion.
    4. She loses her fourth life falling into the portal's void in Remember.
    5. She loses her fifth life by being vaporized by the portal in The Portal.
    6. She loses her sixth life when she is being electrocuted and launched into a wall by Glimmer in Pulse.
    7. She loses her seventh life when she dukes it out with Hordak in Destiny Part 2
    8. She loses her eight life as punishment for helping Glimmer escape in Corridors.
    9. She loses her last life when being electrocuted and falling off Horde Prime's throne pedestal in Save the Cat. This would've been her outright death had she not been revived by Adora, who reset her life counter.
  • The Chains of Commanding: After getting promoted at the end of season one, Catra has to deal with a lot of paperwork and logistics. It gets worse in season four, where she's second only to Hordak himself. Turns out climbing the ranks of The Empire is hard, but actually running said Empire is even harder.
  • The Chain of Harm: She is not the first nor the last in her chain, merely the most prominent example in the series. Because of Shadow Weaver's favoritism towards Adora and outright refusal to acknowledge her own efforts, Catra develops a massive complex for external approval, while at the same time believing that she does not deserve love, leading her to react towards either validation or rejection with anger and hatred. Once Catra comes into power, she begins to do the same to those under her, especially towards her friends. Shadow Weaver herself received similar treatment from the Sorcerer's Guild and Hordak got the same from Horde Prime.
  • Character Development: Catra starts the series as an angry and insecure mess who bottles up her feelings, lets them fester, wants all of Adora's attention, and slowly but surely breaks down after her best friend joins the Rebellion. She then pushes those closest to her away, using and discarding them like tools because that was what she was taught, and violently rejects any form of help (especially from Adora) just to hurt the people who love her back the same way she loved and was hurt. In season five, after seeing how far she fell in her quest for power, being saved from Horde Prime, learning that Adora doesn't hate her despite everything she's done, and bonding with Melog, Catra ends the series in a much better place. She learns to not be so angry all the time and to express her emotions in a much healthier way, and tries to be nicer to others. She also finally realizes that, just because Adora may have other priorities, that doesn't mean that she doesn't care about her and decides to help Adora rather than hinder her because of her jealousy.
  • Character Tics: Hugs her arms to herself whenever she feels uncomfortable. Also, in Season 4 she has the tendency to brush her hair back the times she starts to feel her control on the situation slip.
  • The Chessmaster: Catra is a cunning, powerful strategist, capable of outmaneuvering the situation to her advantage and remaining several steps ahead of others. Her military strategic brain is one of the only reasons the Horde is able to stand against the magical powers of the princesses.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: In the series finale, she gets together with her childhood best friend, Adora.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: After Adora defects, Catra develops a nasty habit of throwing her allies under the bus, and it only gets worse as time goes on. It reaches its nadir when she sends Entrapta to what she thinks is a certain death because Entrapta dared to disagree with one of her decisions, and threatened to go over her head and tell Hordak what was going on. She then threatens Scorpia with the same fate if she tries to interfere. Both of these women have been nothing but kind to her, and the realization that Catra is a pretty terrible friend hits Scorpia like a ton of bricks. Even Catra's eventual Heel–Face Turn starts with her deciding to betray Horde Prime to protect Adora.
  • Cleavage Window: Not very noticeable, but both her season four and five outfits include a small one, but it’s placed in such a manner that it doesn’t show anything, except her fur.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: She has always loved Adora, who was also her lifeline in the Horde, and has been known to react badly if Adora made other friends. Even when they were children, Catra attacked Lonnie after Adora became friends with her, and then shoved and scratched Adora in the face when she tried to apologize. She eventually learns to grow out of this trope.
  • Clipped-Wing Angel: After falling into the World-Wrecking Wave, she climbs back out with the right side of her body entirely black, covered in Volcanic Veins, and speaking with the Voice of the Legion. It doesn't do Catra much good against a righteously-angry Adora, who knocks Catra out with a Megaton Punch to the face.
  • Clothing Switch: Adora's new She-Ra form has a crown that resembles her mask after she loses it, and in Adora's vision of the future in the Grand Finale, Catra is wearing Adora's wing pin.
  • Combat Pragmatist: When facing off against a stronger opponent, Catra does not meet force with force, but rather attacks their weak point.
    • Catra subdues Shadow Weaver by smashing the gem in Shadow Weaver's mask that bound her to the Black Garnet.
    • During her fight with Tung Lashor, Catra threw sand in his eyes and kicked him into quicksand while he was temporarily blinded.
    • Catra attacks Hordak by knocking out the lights in his sanctum, pouncing on him, and tearing out the First Ones crystal that stabilizes his cybernetic armor.
    • She relentlessly exploits Adora's lingering affection for her in order to hurt her without Adora meeting her with maximum power, and has no problem evening the odds with things like Entrapta's corrupted First One disc. It's no coincidence that her biggest win in the first season was at Princess Prom, where Adora didn't have access to her sword and her friends were distracted.
  • Comic-Book Fantasy Casting: With her short hair in Season 5, Catra resembles ND Stevenson's wife Molly Ostertag without glasses. Molly and her own family has joked about this on occasion, though personality-wise she's quite the opposite of Catra.
  • Commander Contrarian: In Season 5, Catra almost always complains about every plan the Rebellion has, especially since they have a tendency to wing it more often than not. Then again, Catra herself has never been good at coming up with a solid plan, especially when you take into account her disastrous management of the Horde.
  • Composite Character: In the original series, Lonnie was Adora's friend in the Horde. Here, it's Catra, besides serving for her role in the original as well.
  • Control Freak: Growing up, Adora was all Catra had when Shadow Weaver abused them, but it came to a point where Catra has at times acted possessive of Adora, monopolizing her time at the cost of forming friendships with others her age. When Lonnie was a newbie, Catra hit her because she didn't want to lose Adora as her best friend. After Adora left the Horde, Catra was furious she was doing well with her new friends, while Catra was left to suffer under Shadow Weaver. Between Shadow Weaver never giving her respect and refusing to accept Adora's decisions, Catra was more than determined to get ahead so that she can always be in control, starting with removing Shadow Weaver from power. That said, Catra was willing to see the universe burn if she can't get her back, which costs her her friendship with Adora. Bitter over the incident, Catra manipulated Hordak into making her an equal partner, so that she could double down in defeating the Rebellion by any means necessary. However, Catra ends up treating her subordinates like crap, stretching them thin, and overworking them, that they slowly leave her.
    Catra: Are you kidding? I've got control of Adora, I am NOT giving that up!
  • Cool Kid-and-Loser Friendship: By the Horde's warped standards, Catra was the "loser" in her and Adora's friendship. When the latter left, Lonnie corners Catra, hissing that she doesn't have Adora to protect her anymore.
  • Crossing The Burned Bridge: Catra spends most of the series betraying everyone who was ever close to her in her quest for power. However, halfway through Season 5, after being captured by Horde Prime, Catra decides to invoke Redemption Equals Death by heroically sacrificing herself to save Glimmer, fully expecting to be executed or mind-wiped by Horde Prime for her trouble. When the Best Friend Squad decide to rescue Catra anyway, she berates Adora for going through so much effort for her, as she didn't want to be saved. Adora quickly surmises that the real reason Catra didn't want to be saved was that she didn't want to face all the people she hurt, and Catra would only be hurting her further just by not being around anymore. Adora then tells Catra point-blank that she needs to suck it up and deal with her emotions like an adult, not keep hiding out in her room like a child; Catra soon realizes she's right.
  • Cry into Chest: Catra does this to Adora after Adora rescues her from Horde Prime, brings her back to life, and hugs her after them having been enemies for so long.
  • Cute Little Fangs: And they fit her cat aesthetic, as well as her general personality pretty well.
  • The Cynic: Catra is aware that everything the Horde told the cadets was a lie, but doesn't care because she never trusted anyone to begin with. She also disregards and takes pleasure in breaking down the Rebellion's belief in The Power of Friendship.
  • Damsel in Distress: Played With on numerous levels in season five with a dash of Badass in Distress. Justified since while Catra is teleporting Glimmer out of Horde Prime’s ship, she has to fend off several clones and only barely manages to send Glimmer away before she’s overpowered and taken into custody. Deconstructed: Horde Prime proceeds to mindwipe her and turn her into one of his puppets. Prime then simply waits for Adora to come and save Catra, whereupon he pits the two of them against each other, with a few glimpses of Catra pleading Adora to get out and abandon her. After Catra has been saved, she shows signs of PTSD from the traumatic experience, especially bad since Prime still has a link to her mind.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Catra was abandoned as a baby and raised by the Horde. She was the victim of abuse and manipulation from Shadow Weaver, and her only friend was Adora.
  • Dark Magical Girl: Definitely qualifies, being a tragic Evil Counterpart to the heroine who eventually pulls a Heel–Face Turn and even gets together with her.
  • Deal with the Devil: By the end of season four, Catra makes a bargain with Horde Prime for her loyalty and the use of Etheria’s superweapon in exchange for sparing the planet, and her life.
  • Deconstructed Character Archetype: Of The Starscream. Catra is good at recognizing weakness in her superiors and capitalizing on them to undermine them and seize power for herself. However, the same character traits that make her act this way — being a selfish, reckless, disloyal glory hound — is then reflected in her leadership when she's in a position of authority: she treats her subordinates poorly and doesn't bother trying to earn their loyalty, makes poor long-term tactical decisions, and focuses on over-ambitious plans that are easily foiled. This behavior also means she gets a reputation for treachery and scheming that causes others to distrust her. In Season 5, Horde Prime warns her that he knows she got close to Shadow Weaver and Hordak to learn enough about them to usurp them, and he will not make that same mistake and won't fall for her usual tricks, so Catra realizes she's just as much his prisoner as Glimmer is and Prime will never let down his guard around her.
  • Defiant to the End: After getting Glimmer to safety, Catra is captured by the Horde and brought before Horde Prime. He makes it clear that she is now well and truly out of his good graces; Catra quite literally laughs in his face.
    Horde Prime: You were beloved in my sight... and this is how you repay me.
    Catra: [laughs] What did you expect? After all, us Etherians are "so very emotional".
  • Demoted to Dragon: Both played straight and Inverted by the end of season one. True she's no longer the central antagonist, going from being in charge of her unit to under a direct superior, but that's because she's been promoted and is now The Dragon to Hordak himself. By the end of season four, she's demoted much, much lower to being Horde Prime's lackey. Her attempts to be Horde Prime’s Dragon doesn’t last however.
  • Depending on the Artist: Catra's hands and feet change periodically between episodes from looking like normal human digits with long nails to being more beast-like and clawed, then back again. It usually depends on how threatening the artists want her to look in a scene.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Catra being disowned by Adora after attempting to open a portal that would destroy reality. Catra believed Adora would never take her back, which ultimately led her to burn her bridges with others in the Horde. After that, she ended up joining Horde Prime because she had nothing to lose.
  • Determinator: Though not on the same level of the likes of Adora and Glimmer, it's still pretty impressive her determination. Special notes of surviving being erased at the fifth episode of the third season and being beamed by Hordak.
  • Detrimental Determination: Her Determinator mindset is a double-edged sword for her, and her inability to see when her stubbornness is a bad thing says quite a lot about her poor mental state, as she'll keep going to score victories even when putting others in danger. It also means she has a hard time admitting she was wrong and tends to double down on toxic behavior. One example includes Catra's complete inability to listen to reason when Entrapta concludes the portal experiments are too dangerous to continue because it would catastrophically rip reality apart, leading Catra to sentence Entrapta to Beast Island and then activate the portal just to spite everyone who has ever doubted her, to the point of annihilating her friendship with Adora. In Season 4, Catra's determination to defeat the rebellion at all costs does more harm than benefit to her and the rest of her subordinates; her inability to compromise leads her to treat everyone like crap when they don't deliver results, causing many including Scorpia, and later Lonnie, Kyle, and Rogelio to leave her due to her lack of concern for their lives.
  • Deuteragonist: Her personal journey drives the plot just as much as Adora's and quite a few episodes put much of the focus on her, even more than Glimmer or Bow.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Catra is hardly ever shown wearing anything on her feet. This includes while wearing a very nice suit. Naturally, as a Cat Girl, this is so she's more agile when climbing and can use the grips of her nails to scale walls. Instead, she wears a bodysuit or leggings that expose her toes and heels. However, Catra has worn shoes in very cold climates, suggesting she will wear shoes if she absolutely has to, but she prefers to not have them.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • Catra shows a clear pattern of always seeing the world in absolutes; if Adora befriended somebody else, that meant she wasn't choosing Catra anymore. As little kids, Catra attacked Lonnie and lashed out on Adora until Adora reassured her that she was still her friend. This pattern of behavior could be traced back to Shadow Weaver's warped world view of absolutes: "If you chose somebody else, then you are discarding me and my worth."
    • Catra's Suicidal Cosmic Temper Tantrum at the climax of the Season 3 Finale comes across as a murder-suicide. After Catra starts to make a new life for herself out in the Crimson Wastes, her new happiness is shattered the instant she learns Shadow Weaver joined the Rebellion and is working with Adora, and she rushes back to the Horde to activate an unstable portal to crush them, despite being warned how unstable it is. Even when Adora tells Catra to her face that reality is unraveling around them, Catra spitefully declares that she doesn't care, as she'd rather be erased than let Adora "win." Given The Reveal that Catra has loved Adora since they were little kids, and her festering jealousy of Adora's "new friends" in the Rebellion, Catra can easily come across as a bitter ex who feels betrayed and wants revenge, and would rather they both be dead and gone than let her ex live happily with someone else.
    • Catra and Adora have a pretty textbook example of a codependent relationship: One where Adora is the "savior"/giver to Catra's "victim"/taker. Due to Shadow Weaver frequently threatening to severely punish or "get rid of" Catra unless Adora assumed responsibility for her, which put pressure on Adora to always protect and nurture Catra even when the latter was deliberately misbehaving (like slacking off during training or lashing out at other Horde cadets), while Catra in turn grew to rely on (and resent) Adora's care and protection.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Shadow Weaver learned it was not a smart move to mistreat Catra for all those years, especially when Catra knows about Shadow Weaver's mind games. Not only does Catra sever Shadow Weaver's connection to the Black Garnet, but she earns a Klingon Promotion for it.
  • Do Not Taunt Cthulhu: After saving Glimmer and getting captured, Catra mouths off to Horde Prime, daring to get cheeky with the galactic conqueror. In return, Prime has her brainwashed, goes through her memories, turns her into a puppet and uses her as bait for Adora. To add insult to injury, Prime acts as if he’s done her a huge favor!
    Horde Prime: (to Adora) I have made [Catra] anew. I saw her mind, so ensnared in grief, and rage, and pain, and I brought her to the light.
  • Doorstep Baby: According to a post-season five charity livestream, Catra was abandoned this way to the Horde as a baby some time after Adora ended up there.
  • The Dragon: Becomes Hordak's second-in-command in the first season-finale, by betraying and overthrowing Shadow Weaver.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: Even though she answers to Hordak, Catra is a much more immediate and recurring threat to Adora and her circle. She’s also the one who effectively runs the Horde, while Hordak spends most of his time cooped up in his lab. Eventually she gets sick of just being Hordak's second in command and forces him to make her an equal partner at the start of season four.
  • Dramatic Dislocation: After being brainwashed by Horde Prime, while Catra is fighting against Adora, the latter manages to put Catra in an armlock, restricting her movement. Prime makes Catra dislocate her own arm (while not showing any form of pain or discomfort) to both get out of the armlock and to viciously claw at Adora.
  • Driven to Suicide: Played straight and quite realistically in the season four finale. Catra loses Hordak's trust, all of her friends, and the entire war, losing her grip on her sanity throughout the entire experience. After Double Trouble appears and tells her they've betrayed her, in addition to calling her out on how she has nobody to blame her misfortunes on except herself, Catra is left with nothing and hopelessly lies against some debris. When Glimmer confronts Catra, she tells her to just finish her already, and even goads Glimmer into doing it. Although, other events prevent her from both biting it then, and giving up on herself.
  • Dude Where Is My Respect: Catra was raised alongside Adora and watched as Adora grew to be a great Horde soldier, gain the respect of her fellow soldiers, get praised constantly as well as special treatment by Shadow Weaver while always getting put down and scolded by the latter. All she wants in the end is to be seen as equally special like Adora. In season three, she actually gets a chance at this by gaining Scorpia's friendship and loyalty and conquering a desert gang, which she takes over and becomes the leader of. But by then, her jealousy of Adora and desire to take revenge over Shadow Weaver abandoning her become too strong and she throws her chance away. Lampshaded by Scorpia who points this out to her, shortly before Catra snaps and tries to destroy the world, because she can't stand seeing Adora win again.
  • Duality Motif: Her right eye is blue, like Adora. When she goes fully off the deep end in season three, the entire right side of her face becomes distorted black, symbolically severing her ties to Adora.
  • Dub Name Change: To keep the pun, her name is "Gatia" in the European Spanish dub, and "Gatra" or "Felina" in the respective European and Brazilian Portuguese dubs.

    E-I 
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: It's a long, brutal road, and Catra nearly dies in the final season, but she finally redeems herself and finds her goodness, joining the Rebellion and helping save the universe. As a result, she ends the show with friends, a home, and reconciles with Adora — who then becomes her girlfriend!
  • Easily Forgiven: The princesses and the Rebellion are divided on this. Catra and Adora grow back as close as they used to be because of their shared history and the fact that Adora always knew Catra had good in her. Glimmer and Entrapta are willing to give her a second chance because they know firsthand just how easy it is to make a terrible mistake, and Scorpia is just happy to be friends with her again. The other princesses, and the rest of the Rebellion, are much slower to trust her until she's shown that she's changed.
  • Et Tu, Brute?:
    • Catra sees Adora's Heel–Face Turn as her Only Friend turning her back on her. It eventually gives way to Self-Serving Memory as it becomes clearer that Catra is deluding herself.
    • In the season four finale, she's distraught to learn that Double Trouble betrayed her, as she had come to consider them a friend (despite herself).
  • Even Evil Can Be Loved:
    • Part of what humanizes Catra as a villainess is that she still has one good person who cares about her. Adora still cares for her; she has never forgiven herself for leaving her and everything she had to go through and apologizes to her. Since leaving the Horde, Adora tries to redeem and help Catra and still believes Catra has some good left in her. Subverted as of the season three finale. After Catra proves she is willing to destroy Etheria and all life on it just to deny Adora victory, Adora finally realizes she isn't responsible for Catra's choices, and decides she's done trying to reason with someone so spiteful, However in season five it's Double Subverted as while Adora has given up on actively trying to reform Catra she reveals that not only does she not hate her but in fact is in love with her the entire time, and that’s what hurt her the most about Catra’s descent into true villainy.
    • Scorpia also gets in on this, trying her best to make Catra happy and is the last person left to still care about her. But even she has her limits and ends up leaving Catra in season four when she realizes her care for Catra isn't reciprocated. Luckily, they reconciled at the end of season 5
    • Double Trouble exploits this. They tell Catra point-blank that they're Only in It for the Money, but Catra still comes to consider Double Trouble a friend anyway. When Glimmer pays Double Trouble to ruin the Horde, Double Trouble mocks Catra for thinking there was any sort of connection between the two of them; they only treated her nicely because they were being paid to.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones:
    • Deconstructed. She does have quite a bit of fondness for her best friend Adora and is in fact outright in love with her, however despite her feelings she couldn't bring herself to abandon the Horde when Adora defects, despite the later's repeated urging to do so and the emotional pain of staying behind ends up having a profoundly negative affect on her psyche, particularly her incorrect belief that Adora abandoned her. In addition, And after that power was all that mattered. Furthermore, her own selfishness spiraled to the point that Adora has had it with her hurtful behaviors.
    • Season two shows that despite all the resentment and hate for what she did, Catra still loves Shadow Weaver and wants a relationship with her. Sadly this is used against her. Even then, Catra can’t help but notice how much Shadow Weaver wasted her life. If anything, seeing Shadow Weaver sacrifice herself only further awakened her to how short and precious life is to be making these kinds of choices, which is what Catra’s been trying to get across to Adora.
  • Even Evil Has Standards
    • Catra narrowly stops Horde Prime from destroying Etheria at the end of "Destiny, Part 2", and looks disgusted at how Horde Prime is touching Glimmer's face.
    • During the dinner scene, Catra doesn't eat a bite of the gelatin dish after Horde Prime tells Glimmer that the world that produced it no longer exists.
    • Despite her ugly history with Hordak, she's horrified when Hordak goes through the purification ritual in "Corridors", though partly because it meant she’d be next if she screws up.
    • Catra knows that Glimmer's future will be a bleak one if she remains on board the Velvet Glove, so she helps Glimmer escape to Adora's ship.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Catra doesn't quite understand Adora's idealism and willingness to save everybody, as well as how she relies on friends rather than herself. The director has cited it as the core tragedy of the show.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Glimmer. Both feel inferior due to their upbringing and desire to prove their worth to their mother figures. However, Glimmer's insecurity leads her to be a positive force in the world, develop new bonds despite her issues, and constantly push Adora towards heroism; in addition, she is able to talk about her issues with Angella. Catra is far more destructive in her pursuit of acknowledgment and obsession with Adora, doesn't seem to be aware of friends she makes along the way, and Shadow Weaver is too abusive for any mending of fences to be possible despite her best efforts. Especially after season four, in which Glimmer goes off the rails a bit and begins exhibiting a lot of Catra's worst habits, even sounding similar to her while arguing with Adora, and taking steps that risk destroying the world to get a win; it's made most obvious when the First One weapon starts firing, and the runes that appear on Glimmer are dominant on her right side - much like Catra's void corruption.
  • Evil Former Friend: Adora and Catra were actually good friends. Played with in that the friendship doesn't become former because of a Face–Heel Turn, but because of a Heel–Face Turn. And Catra is very much upset by it.
  • Evil Laugh: An interesting variant, as Catra likes to use her laugh in a mocking way. When she feels in control of a situation, she'll smugly laugh at the other party, just to show how pathetic she thinks they are. Even when this proves to be a supremely bad idea.
  • Evil Is Petty: Catra attempts to destroy reality all because she refused to let Adora win.
  • Exact Words: Catra repeatedly denies that she likes Adora. The truth is, it's not because she likes Adora, it's because she LOVES her.
  • Exhausted Eye Bags: Downplayed in season four, as they're not emphasized, but in both the title card and during certain moments throughout some episodes Catra has noticeable bags under her eyes due to a combination of stress and nightmares that make her look back on her biggest regrets, namely shocking Entrapta and sending her to Beast Island, opening the portal, and irreparably damaging her relationship with Adora.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change:
    • Catra's hair becomes less unkempt and more straight in season four, showcasing her need for absolute control. She also cut off the highest tufts of hair behind her ears because she began to see all her more cat-like traits as signs of weakness after Shadow Weaver manipulated her by showing her affection at the end of season two.
    • In season five, Horde Prime gives her neat, slicked-back Boyish Short Hair as part of keeping her under his control. After she's freed, she lets it curl out to show her restored independence, which also serves to give her a more classically 'heroic' haircut to signify her Heel–Face Turn.
  • Expressive Ears: Her ears tend to move around and help accent her moods.
  • Failed a Spot Check: A tragic version. In season four, Catra is so distracted with all the things going wrong in her life that she doesn't even realize that Scorpia has left her.
  • False Friend: Especially to Scorpia and Entrapta, who did think of Catra as their friend, if not a dysfunctional one. Offscreen, they have spent some quality time together, which Scorpia took pictures of. But Catra is quite manipulative in the relationship. She did manipulate Entrapta into sticking around, and Scorpia's devotion to her makes her the perfect Yes Woman in her eyes, to the point that Scorpia became an Extreme Doormat to her. However, Catra would sooner throw them under the bus if they don't agree with her. When Entrapta's calculations lead her to decide opening the portal is not a good idea, Catra decides to have her sent to Beast Island. Seeing Catra's behavior take a dip in Season 4, Scorpia at first thought Catra was just having one of those days, and believed that if Catra was a real friend, she would still come around even if Scorpia screwed up. After making up a lie that she accidentally damaged Emily's memory bank, Catra calls her useless, leading Scorpia to realize Catra was never her friend and decides to ditch her for good.
  • Fangs Are Evil: As a Cat Girl, Catra has sharp fangs and sometimes uses them as a weapon. She's also Adora's most personal and consistent enemy.
  • Fantastic Racism: She drops several hints that she suffers from this, always hinting that she feels that one of the reasons that Adora left is because she was "not like her" or Glimmer and Bow.
  • Fatal Flaw:
    • Her huge self-worth issues. Catra thinks she's just too badass for emotions on the surface. Underneath that, however, is an insecure girl who's struggling to get, or even express the need for even an iota of validation from those around her. Denying her hopes of being respected, or making it appear as if you're abandoning her, is a good way to send her spiraling and crumbling, which results in her bottling up how just hurt she feels and soldiering on, until it's already blown up in her face. In later seasons, it worsens. Catra interprets the most well-meaning advice, like Adora trying to comfort her after any time Shadow Weaver hurts her, as her being condescending to her. Instead of listening, she just clings tighter to her new source of validation and her desire to win, even to the point of selling herself and Etheria out to Horde Prime.
    • Jealousy brings out the worst in her. Her obsession with control and the past, her codependency with Adora and her inability to understand the responsibility she holds in her own life all stem from her abusive upbringing. On numerous occasions, she's given the opportunity to change, and fails to do so because of perceived slights towards her, which causes Catra to dig herself in deeper and make things worse. Later on, this is compounded by her cowardice and inability to accept responsibility for her mistakes.
  • Faux Affably Evil: REALLY falls into this during seasons three and four.
  • Femme Fatalons: Kitty's got claws, and uses them in combat. They're sharp enough to cut through solid metal.
  • Fighting from the Inside: When Horde Prime has her mind-controlled in season five she is able to fight the control a little bit, thanks to the chip getting damaged in her and Adora's fight. Just when it looks like she will be able to fully fight it, Horde Prime takes her over and forces her off a ledge.
  • Five Stages of Grief: After Adora’s defection to the Rebellion, Catra goes through this behavior:
    • Denial: Catra holds on to the false hope that Adora will come back to the Horde one way or another. She even keeps Adora’s She-Ra identity a secret and tells Shadow Weaver that Adora’s defection is “just a phase”.
    • Anger: Catra has a meltdown on Adora’s bed in the barracks when she scratches the bedding and Adora’s drawing on the wall.
    • Bargaining: Catra believes that Adora’s defection is actually a phase for a while. She tries to get Adora to come back to the Horde by telling her that being She-Ra can’t be what Adora wants.
    • Depression: Catra gives up on Adora coming back in the Promise episode after she convinces herself that Adora’s never cared for to begin with. By Season 4, she ends up feeling empty even as the Horde is winning, and is shaken when she finds out that Scorpia has also defected. Then, Double Trouble points out Catra’s flaws in her relationships, telling her it’s her fault for driving away everyone who’s ever cared about her. After losing Adora and everyone she’s ever cared about including herself, Catra asks Glimmer to finish her off when the queen finds her.
    • Acceptance: Catra begins to understand and accept the choices Adora’s made in life, and how she herself is also to blame in their relationship. With that, Catra decides to apologize for the first time in her life, and decides to teleport Glimmer off of Horde Prime’s flagship so that Adora can rescue her, at the risk of her own life.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: With Glimmer in the final season. They bond over being stuck together on Prime's ship and it leads to them joining forces after Catra's Heel–Face Turn as she sacrifices herself to get Glimmer off the ship.
  • Flat-Earth Atheist: Even as all the trappings of a grand heroic destiny form around Adora, Catra refuses to believe that She-Ra is anything more than a "laser light-show". This is because if she accepted fate exists, she would have to confront her fears that it dehumanizes her and that Adora was justified in leaving Catra to serve a greater cause.
  • Forgiven, but Not Forgotten: Adora is naturally unsure about whether or not to trust Catra again after she saves Glimmer's life, as she is still hurt by Catra's actions from two seasons prior, but she goes to save her from Horde Prime anyway and, once Catra stops pushing her away and actively shows she wants to be a better person, they become thick as thieves again and eventually act on their feelings for each other. It helps that Adora was never able to actually hate Catra in the first place, and just figured she couldn't save her from herself: ultimately, she will never fully understand how Catra could have done what she did to destroy reality and will still be hurt from it. Plus, Adora realizes she doesn't have to be lenient with Catra all the time, and there's nothing wrong with bluntly disagreeing with her when it truly matters.
    • According to Word of God, this also ties into her being Easily Forgiven by Glimmer and Entrapta: both princesses recognized how they were not so different in that they've all made potentially world-destroying mistakes they'll have to live with, even if others forgave them.
    • Throughout the final season, the other princesses who only knew her as a Horde soldier are naturally more wary of her. Perfuma holds the biggest grudge for her mistreatment of Scorpia and Frosta decks her the first time she sees her. It's only after Catra shows that she has changed and helps to save the world that the other princesses let go of their grudges against her and treat her like a friend.
  • Fragile Speedster: She's not all that strong or tough, but she's almost impossible to hit because of her excellent agility, making her a surprisingly even match for some of the show's biggest powerhouses.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Outside of Adora, whose love for Catra proves to be completely unconditional, Catra doesn't seem too popular with the other cadets, only tolerated because she's Adora's friend and is very capable. Later, the others keep around her because she is their boss now; the only people who seem to actually like her are Scorpia and Entrapta, and eventually Entrapta forks off to Hordak. And even Scorpia gets sick of Catra's bad behavior after a while. This is averted for the most part in season five following her Heel–Face Turn as, while the various members of the Rebellion are justifiably wary if not outright hostile to her at first due to her past actions and lingering jerkish tendencies, they all quickly come to accept her upon discovering her Hidden Heart of Gold.
  • Freudian Excuse: Twofold, both pretty straightforward. First, Catra has been trampled on her entire life by those stronger than her, like Shadow Weaver and Hordak. She wants to take over the Horde so she'll be the strong one doing the trampling. Second, Catra's self-destructive obsession with Adora is because Adora has been Catra's rock her entire life. Shadow Weaver raised Adora and Catra so that whenever Catra was punished, it was Adora's responsibility. Because of this, Catra never takes responsibility for her own poor decisions and will often heap all of the havoc and suffering she causes onto Adora.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: She was just another Horde squad member before being promoted to squad captain and later Hordak's own second-in-command. Granted, she was always an outstanding cadet, aside from her behavior, despite how much Shadow Weaver dismissed her. In season four, after defeating and almost killing Hordak, she coerces him into making her co-ruler of the Horde.
  • Furry Reminder: Somewhat unusually for a mostly human Cat Girl, her feline side is often evident. She often does cat stuff like getting jumpy if she thinks there's a mouse nearby, frizzing her tail up when startled, curling up when she's asleep, sleeping at Adora's feet like a housecat, purring when she's happy and hissing when angry or scared. She also sniffs Entrapta out of a vent. It's also joked about how Catra and Adora's dynamic, where Adora is the most important person in her life even though she refuses to admit it and feels deeply hurt when Adora doesn't prioritize her but is mad at her for making her feel like that and lashes out at everyone especially the person she was missing thus extending their separation, is extremely catlike behavior.
  • Gasp of Life: More like a cough of life after Adora rescues her from Horde Prime and resets her lives.
  • Generation Xerox: Not in a literal sense, since she is not biologically related to Hordak, but in the sense that she was raised by Hordak's Evil Horde. Both characters struggle with feelings of failure and desperately want to prove themselves to an authority figure (Hordak for Catra, Horde Prime for Hordak). Both characters turn down opportunities to start new lives, preferring to go back to their old lives in an attempt to redeem themselves (Catra turns down an opportunity to stay in the Crimson Waste as a gang leader, while Hordak turned down an opportunity to start a new life when he crashed on Etheria.). Both characters have little interest in the minutiae of running an empire, preferring to focus on matters immediately relevant to them. Both characters feel betrayed by someone they cared about and trusted (Adora for Catra, Entrapta for Hordak at the end of season three).
  • Good Costume Switch: After Catra’s Heel–Face Turn, her default outfit is a combination of her seasons 1-3 and 4 outfit, without any insignia or iconography, showing she’s no longer a Horde officer.
  • Green-Eyed Monster:
    • She had always been in Adora's shadow due to Shadow Weaver’s mistreatment of them. But she seemed to manage it because Adora also happened to be her best friend and they made promises to be together. The moment Adora was made the Chosen One when she became She-Ra and she defected to join the Rebellion, Catra felt betrayed, and the resentment over being second-best boiled to the surface and gradually got worse every season, until she was ready to do anything, including seeing the literal world end herself, than let Adora win. She also resented the Rebellion partly because, in her mind, Adora chose them over her. She grows out of this in season five, going against Horde Prime saving Glimmer and sending her back to Adora and Bow at the risk of her own life. By the end of the series ensuring Adora's safety becomes her main goal, and she'd much rather see Adora alive and happy with someone else than lose her forever.
    • Catra knew that Shadow Weaver kept her around only because Adora liked her, and though Catra liked Adora back, she also felt reliant on Adora favoring her in order to be safe in the Horde. Thus, Catra became very jealous whenever Adora made other friends. As little kids, Catra hit Lonnie and shoved Adora to the floor out of fear that Adora would leave Catra for Lonnie. While Catra took Adora's defection as a personal betrayal and abandonment, Catra resented Glimmer and Bow due to her jealousy of Adora's "new friends." Catra eventually grows out of this in the second half of Season 5, at first grudgingly tolerating the "Best Friend Squad", though later becoming genuine Fire-Forged Friends with them.
    Shadow Weaver: I've kept you around this long because Adora was fond of you, but if you ever do anything to jeopardize her future, I will dispose of you myself.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Catra just has the worst temper imaginable. She starts working on it in Season 5, much to Adora's delight]].
  • Hannibal Lecture: Attempts to deliver one of these to Adora in the season three finale, claiming that everything bad that's happened in the series, up to and including Catra trying to destroy reality, is entirely Adora's fault.note  Adora disagrees.
  • The Heavy: As if her placement in the opening weren't enough of an indication. Catra is the more visible antagonist of the series despite being subservient to Hordak.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Season five has her finally join the heroes.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: Throughout the early episodes of season five, Catra constantly says that no one loves her, no one should love her, if they do they're idiots, and that her life is meaningless. She thinks Adora hates her, and even as they patch things up over the season there are still hints that she doesn't feel worthy of the reconciliation. It's not until the climax, with Adora telling her she loves her that Catra realizes she was wrong.
  • Her Own Worst Enemy: Is she ever! Although she's clearly been dealt a rather bad hand by fate, many of Catra's worst problems stem from her arrogance, refusal to take blame, Lack of Empathy, back-stabbing tendencies, and inability to get out of her own way. One by one, her faults drive away anybody who cares about her, and loses the confidence of her underlings, too. She ends season four without any friends or allies left, and Double Trouble smugly points out that ultimately, she's only got herself to blame. Granted, she herself fully acknowledges this halfway into Season 5, blaming herself for Etheria being overtaken by the Galactic Horde and her losing her loved ones. Getting another "Reason You Suck" Speech from Glimmer surely helped.
  • Hidden Heart of Gold: Catra feels much more than she lets on. It speaks volumes of how big her heart is when she can't help but feel some kind of sympathy for Shadow Weaver, but years in the dog-eat-dog world of the Horde kicked it deep within herself. The only person that wasn't privy to it was, probably, Adora, and when she left it was only natural for Catra to hide her vulnerabilities even more. This is even further supported by ND Stevenson’s message on Twitter, as he says “Catra is a Hufflepuff trying to be a Slytherin. Like a mean Hufflepuff, though.”
  • Hollywood Tactics: In season four, Catra spreads troops too thin, meaning that the Horde is left in shambles after a single Rebellion ambush. Catra also treats her troops disrespectfully, resulting in several defections.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: She gets hit with this in season four. She refuses to tell any of her cadets what, exactly, is going on or what her plans are, even Lonnie — who, while not having a great history with Catra, has always been a good and loyal soldier. She even cuts off Scorpia, who adores her and would do anything to help her. Who does she choose to trust? Double Trouble. The spy and mercenary who makes it very clear from day one that their loyalty is up for sale. This turns out about as well as you'd expect.
  • Humble Goal: It's pretty clear that the fake reality of the last two episodes of season three is a glimpse of Catra's (and Adora's, as they were the two people closest to the portal) true desires. She's not a Force Captain, or a Commander, nor does she have any particular position of power. In her (then) perfect world, she gets along with other cadets in the Horde, Shadow Weaver cares for her, and, most importantly, Adora never left and they're equals. The real reason she tries to desperately claw her way to the top of the food chain is because she's been taught that it's the only way to survive and be seen.
  • Hyper-Competent Sidekick: Comes to believe she's one to Hordak, which she lets him know in no uncertain terms at her punishment. As she sees it, Hordak is so obsessed with his portal experiments he barely pays any attention to the day to day running of the Horde and as a result, wouldn't know how to run it without Catra (or someone like her, like Shadow Weaver). Notably, Entrapta offers Hordak all sorts of evidence to show that the Horde's efficiency has improved since Catra took Shadow Weaver's place in an effort to get Hordak to spare her, suggesting there might be some truth to this.
  • Hypocrite:
    • Catra often berates Adora for being a "people-pleaser," especially to Shadow Weaver, yet Catra loves exploiting this trait in Adora to get her to do what Catra wants, whether it's going on a joyride in a stolen vehicle, or making mistakes in the Rebellion.
    • Catra felt betrayed and abandoned when Adora ran off to the Rebellion since finding the sword, which is an understandable perspective considering the fact that Adora only realized the Horde's true nature after seeing them hurt defenceless strangers despite having seen them mistreat Catra, her best friend, all her life. However, Catra doesn't appear to reciprocate the loyalty she expects from Adora. In fact, she and Adora made a promise to look out for each other and never be separated. Such a promise entails that that loyalty goes both ways, and Adora has kept her side of the promise by wanting and trying to to get Catra to leave the Horde. Catra refused every chance Adora gave her to rejoin her, and opts to stay with the Horde, evidently lacking the loyalty to Adora that she demanded of her. It's not until the fifth season that Catra realizes this.
  • Icy Blue Eyes: Downplayed. Catra's right eye is blue and at her worst she has proven to be ruthless, cold, and vicious.
  • If I Can't Have You…: Her hostility toward Adora and her Suicidal Cosmic Temper Tantrum at the end of season three are revealed to be this, mixed with the despair brought on by Shadow Weaver's betrayal. Given that she loved Adora from a young age and felt personally betrayed and abandoned when Adora defected to the Rebellion, Catra decided that if she couldn't have Adora as her only friend on her own terms, she would crush the Rebellion and Adora with it so no one else could either.
  • Ignored Epiphany: After Double Trouble's Breaking Speech in the season four Finale, it seems like Catra has finally hit rock bottom and has no choice but to improve. But instead, at the beginning of season five, she tries to get in with Horde Prime the way she had with Hordak. When Glimmer calls her out on it, Catra blows her off, calling herself "a survivor", which belies her own cowardice. It isn't until Catra realizes that if Adora makes it to Prime's ship, Adora will be killed for good and likely Catra too that Catra finally decides to improve and do "one good thing in her life" .
  • I Just Want to Be Loved: Deep down, all Catra really wants is the love and approval of those around her, particularly from Adora. In the alternate "ideal" portal reality, Catra wasn't the Horde's second-in-command, Force Captain, or a leader of any sort, but instead she had friends, Shadow Weaver's approval and Adora by her side. Power and control were never what she really wanted. Her time at Horde Prime's flagship made her see that Adora loved her more than she had ever known, and had her back when things went bad for her. Catra realizes she threw it all away. A scrapped version of the script had Horde Prime telling Adora that he saw everything about the two of them when he chipped her and forced his way into her memories. As he puts it:
    Horde Prime: "You always wanted more. But all she ever wanted was you."
  • Important Haircut:
    • In season four, along with a new outfit, Catra's hair is more neat and tidy than her usual Wild Hair and she has cut off her ear tuffs. Word of God has stated that Catra cut off her tuffs after Shadow Weaver played with them before manipulating her to escape prison. Her neater hair likewise symbolizes her desire to control every aspect of her life. Thus, once her life starts going out of control, her hair comes undone symbolizing her Sanity Slippage.
    • In season five most of her hair is shorn off after she is chipped and controlled by Horde Prime thus symbolizing her being forcibly recruited into Prime's desired ideal of perfection and losing her individuality. After she is freed she gives her Boyish Short Hair a messy treatment giving her back her identity from her previous Wild Hair while also symbolizing her taking a new step in her life to become a more emotionally healthy person.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: A major cause of Catra's intense hatred to Adora is all the preferential treatment that Adora got from Shadow Weaver, while Catra was abused and seen as worthless. Even with Shadow Weaver no longer in her life, Catra feels the need to beat Adora to prove herself better than her.
  • Insecure Love Interest: She's been in love with Adora for years, but, even after everything they've been through together and all they've done for one another, she doesn't believe her feelings are reciprocated. This ties into her self-loathing and inferiority complex, and why she takes Adora leaving the Horde so personally.
  • Insult of Endearment: Fondly calls Adora and idiot on a couple of occasions, first when Adora goes to rescue her in Horde Prime's ship despite being told to keep away, and the next right after her Anguished Declaration of Love manages to bring Adora back from the brink of death in the series finale.
  • Internalized Categorism: Catra’s abusive upbringing by Shadow Weaver has led her to believe only successful people deserve happiness. She resented Adora for having the chances she was never given. Adora being The Chosen One made Catra believe Adora seemingly ended happier because of her new station in life while Catra is left basking in the dust, struggling to finally win. This all gets turned on its head when Catra finds herself at the mercy of Horde Prime, who has always equated perfection and happiness with success. Catra finds out the hard way how shallow this way of thinking is, and it’s enough to lead her stock happiness in more than just conquest and defeating enemies.
  • Interspecies Romance: Becomes an Official Couple with Adora, a descendant of the First Ones.
  • Irony: Despite her intense hatred for princesses, the only people Catra has ever been able to get close to have all been princesses.
  • It's All About Me: Has a serious problem with this, partly due to being treated as an expendable burden by Shadow Weaver. Catra believes that she has to fight twice as hard just to be kept around, and thus has learned to prioritize herself, her safety, and her agenda above all others. While she may have a tragic reason for behaving so selfishly, this doesn't diminish the harm she causes, and takes Adora's defection from the Horde to protect innocent civilians hurt by the system they both actively participated in as a personal betrayal just for starters. She starts to grow out of this eventually, but she’s still got a long ways to go.
  • It's Personal: She was largely apathetic to the war but became much more invested after feeling betrayed by Adora defecting. From her point of view, she broke their promise to always look out for each other.
    J-P 
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Post-Heel–Face Turn. Catra may have turned on Horde Prime but she's still rough around the edges. And not shy about pointing out flaws in people and/or plans.
    • Catra gripes about legitimate flaws in the trio's planning and sarcastically wonders how they won against the Horde so many times.
    • In season five, episode eleven Catra's... more suspicious tendencies are quite useful when figuring out that Shadow Weaver's hiding something. It also leads to her asking an Armor-Piercing Question when Adora has developed full-blown Chronic Hero Syndrome without considering her own desires.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: In season five upon her Heel–Face Turn. She's still rough around the edges and not above putting sarcastic quips, but she's now trying to be nicer to others and atone for her past misdeeds.
    • Even before that, she showed multiple times that, deep down, she has lots of love to give. Her and Adora being each other's emotional support during their cadet days is one example, as is her pleading Scorpia to leave her alone at the beginning of season three, least she gets her in trouble as well, or trying to protect Entrapta from being seen in Hordak's lab; though that gets turned on its head when Hordak and Entrapta become lab partners. Then there's the fact that she kept personally caring for Shadow Weaver during her imprisonment and was giddy with childlike glee at the prospect of working together as equals, not realizing she's being used.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Catra's gone from being kind of a jerk to nigh-on unforgivable actions like almost destroying all reality in her insanity and desire to hurt a world that, in her eyes, has done nothing but hurt her her whole life. At that point, all that mattered to her wasn't winning, but that would fail.
  • Kick the Dog: One of Catra's lowest points is that, as her sanity decays, she scratches Entrapta's pet robot Emily.
  • Kick the Morality Pet: She grows so paranoid and unhinged in Seasons 3 and 4 that she mistreats and threatens even Scorpia, the only person willing to give her a chance at that point, for protesting.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch:
    • Her besting Shadow Weaver, rendering her powerless, is very satisfying both for Catra and the viewers considering everything the witch has put her through.
    • After enduring repeated abuse from Hordak in season two, Catra happily takes multiple opportunities to inflict emotional pain on him. She insults Hordak in front of a unit of Horde soldiers, calling him a "failure". She also lies to him about Entrapta, telling him that Entrapta betrayed him by letting the princesses into his sanctum. The former is definitely deserved. The latter, not so much.
    • Catra defeats Hordak by tearing the First Ones crystal out of his cybernetic exoskeleton and forcing him to make her co-ruler of the Horde. That said, this one isn't so much due to her mistreatment as she wants the currently despondent overlord to get the war effort going again.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: Catra goes as far as to destroy all of reality, including herself, just to defeat Adora once and for all. When Adora manages to Set Right What Once Went Wrong, Catra can tell from Adora's Death Glare that she's officially given up on trying to redeem Catra. Even her current mental state, Catra knows she should retreat while she still can after losing so badly.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Catra mocks the princesses for their “bleeding hearts” and “power of friendship” and continuously exploits their relationships to her favor, yet her ultimate defeat in season four happens directly after she is abandoned and betrayed by the people closest to being her friends, Scorpia and Double Trouble.
  • Laughing Mad: In season three, a sign of Catra's Sanity Slippage is occasionally breaking out into low-pitched broken laughter. Once it becomes clear that Adora is coming close to beating her, this gets significantly more intense.
  • The Leader: Catra is an exceptional leader, even if she's under someone else's command for most of the series. She combines the Mastermind's cunning with the Charismatic leader's ability to get people to follow her, and after getting some experience under her belt, proves to be far more effective than Shadow Weaver at the minutiae of management. Starting in Season 3, due to extended Sanity Slippage, she starts declining as a leader and discarding or pushing away the people she used to lead.
  • Lean and Mean: Catra has a fairly lean stature, and she's not a nice person.
  • Lecherous Licking: Gives Glimmer a slimy lick in episode 15 to get Glimmer to let her go. Granted, it’s more out of reflex.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: In episode one, when Adora warns her that they need to save enough fuel to get back in their "borrowed" vehicle, she says that it's a problem "for future Adora and Catra". She grows out of this later as she begins to take her career more seriously and actually proves herself dangerously cunning and more aware of the importance of the bigger picture than Shadow Weaver herself.
  • A Lighter Shade of Black: The show likes to highlight Catra's better traits by setting her against worse villains.
    • Catra's frequently at odds with and compared to Shadow Weaver, and she's rightfully treated as the one who deserves our sympathy. It helps that, as the show's resident abuser, Shadow Weaver is directly responsible for most of Catra's hang-ups. Unsurprisingly, this doesn't change much when Shadow Weaver joins the Rebellion, as she's still an unrepentant monster who joined the good guys for selfish reasons. Sure, Shadow Weaver is more mature, but she still carries that baggage of being abusive. When she and Catra meet again, it's framed as Catra's abuser coming back for one more round.
    • Catra and Hordak have an interesting dynamic with this trope. Initially, Catra is obviously the more sympathetic of the two; Hordak is a violent Evil Overlord and a Bad Boss who created the system that helped drive her to villainy and she's a sympathetic figure. However, while Hordak is undeniably awful to Catra, we are later shown Hordak being genuinely kind to the people he loves, especially Entrapta, learn that he himself is a sympathetic character, and that his toxic system is the result of his own horrific upbringing in Horde Prime's cult, meaning he's just another link on The Chain of Harm. In the end, the show makes a point not to pick a side in their conflict, with them instead both being depicted as confused, broken people.
    • Catra comes off this way with Double Trouble. Like Catra, Double Trouble manipulates and hurts others, but unlike her they don't even have a Freudian Excuse that motivates them to do it, and they also never apologize for their actions.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: Deconstructed on Catra's end, as she clearly made Adora her One And Everything from an early age. Adora was her Only Friend, as Catra failed or outright refused to play nice or try to get along with any of the other Horde cadets. As a result, when Adora left Catra slowly but steadily undergoes a Sanity Slippage all series. It's only once she's finally open to try new and genuine friendships that are not built on her exploiting them (Scorpia and Entrapta) or bribing them (Double Trouble) that Catra finally starts to recover mentally enough to express her feelings for Adora in a more healthy and less toxic and codependent way.
  • A Lizard Named "Liz": In this case, a Cat Girl named Catra.
  • Lonely at the Top: In Season 4, she gets almost everything that she's worked for, becoming Hordak's only trusted advisor and equal, and with the help of her spy, Double Trouble, she conquers most of Etheria. However, the more she climbs up the ranks, the more she loses her soul and her sense of self, admitting out loud that she thought winning would feel better.
  • Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places: Does she ever! Catra repeatedly rejects Adora's offer to join the Rebellion, barely tolerates Scorpia and Entrapta, and is openly hostile to Lonnie, Kyle and the others when she doesn't treat them like Cannon Fodder, yet Catra spends all series chasing after the affection and approval of Shadow Weaver, Hordak, and Double Trouble, which just feeds into her self-worth and abandonment issues. Until she FINALLY joins Adora halfway through the last season.
  • Love Cannot Overcome: Throughout the series, Catra's obvious childhood affection for Adora is not enough to convince her to leave the Horde (which makes her miserable) to join the Rebellion, nor overcome her childhood resentment at Adora being Shadow Weaver's favorite and the Horde's preferred soldier over her. Subverted in the second half of the last season, when love FINALLY redeems.
  • Love Hungry: A driving force for the core conflict throughout the series. Catra wants to be Adora's only companion and is unwilling to compromise on this no matter the consequence. She would rather see Adora suffer and even destroy Etheria than share Adora's friendship with anyone else, in no small part due to the fact that Adora was her lifeline in the Horde. She does start to move on from this following her Heel–Face Turn.
  • Love Makes You Evil: Since it was revealed she has always been in love with Adora, this means she spiraled into villainy because of losing her. When Adora defects and joins the Rebellion, Catra is unable to see it as anything but betrayal and abandonment. While Catra was aware the Horde was evil and she herself was subjected to its regular abuse and torture, she remained a soldier because she wanted to stay by Adora's side. And because Adora promised her that they'd be safe as long as they stay together, Catra chose to continue to endure the Fright Zone's grueling everyday life in the hopes that one day she and Adora would get to choose the life they wanted together. However, once Adora recognizes the Horde's wrongdoings only after witnessing fear and pain being inflicted onto others, Catra doesn't understand why Adora had never extended her the same amount of empathy. In "Promise", after Light Hope traps the two of them in a simulation of their Horde memories in order to have Adora "let go" of Catra, Catra irrationally jumps to the conclusion that Adora never truly cared for her at all in the first place. Catra compartmentalizes the heartbreak of Adora's betrayal into one spot of blame: herself for being weak. As a result, she starts working harder in the Horde to rise in the ranks and prove herself as strong and worthy with a single-minded goal to win, no matter the cost, even if it meant The End of the World as We Know It.
  • Love Redeems: It's her love for Adora and the memory of Adora's love for her that spurs her official Heel–Face Turn.
  • Made of Iron: She-Ra slams her into a cliff hard enough to crack solid rock, and she shrugs it off like nothing happened not a minute later. In the finale, she also survives getting blasted by the immense magic of the Heart of Etheria.
  • Madness Makeover: During her Sanity Slippage, Catra's hair becomes unkempt, falling into her face. She corrects it most of the time, but during her Villainous Breakdown, she leaves it unkempt, giving her a more psychotic appearance.
  • Manipulative Bitch: Catra's definitely unstable, but she does know how to use charm and deception to her advantage as well. This is shown when she effortlessly convinces Entrapta to join the Horde via using her own understanding of feeling abandoned, how she distracts Adora during the Princess Prom as her subordinates play their part, and how she convinces an emotionally damaged Hordak that Entrapta has betrayed him, when the reality it's Catra who's turned on Entrapta and sent her to Beast Island.
  • Masculine–Feminine Gay Couple: Downplayed with Adora. They both are fairly even when it comes to femininity but Adora wore a dress and Catra a suit to the Princess Prom. In terms of personality, Catra is more emotionally closed off and temperamental than Adora. Also, Adora's possible future visions shows her wearing a feminine white dress while Catra wears another suit. On the other hand, Adora is the one that fits the more stereotypical "jock" image both in mentality and body while Catra is much more seductive and her shape is more conventionally feminine and... well, cat-like.
  • Messy Hair: Catra has wild, untamed hair that resembles a lion's mane. Flashbacks show that she had it even as a child. In Season 5, it's cut short and slicked back when she's brainwashed by Horde Prime.
  • Military Maverick: Even by Horde standards, Catra's exceptionally insubordinate. She routinely ignores orders to do whatever she wants, and is constantly mocking her own superiors. Only the fact that she consistently gets results keeps her in command positions.
  • Mirror Character:
    • She and Glimmer are repeatedly shown to have similar issues with jealousy and a desire to prove themselves to a parent figure; it's just that Glimmer has a relatively healthy support structure and a parent figure who isn't a genuinely awful person, and Catra really doesn't have either of those. When the loss of Angella, the manipulations of Shadow Weaver and Double Trouble, and Glimmer and Adora's own issues combine to leave Glimmer without a support structure, Glimmer becomes even more Catra-like, throwing similar barbs at Adora, becoming similarly ruthless and manipulative, and even taking similar risks to the survival of the planet; fittingly, this ends with both Glimmer and Catra imprisoned by Horde Prime, who wouldn't have even known Etheria existed if neither of them had pulled the trigger on potentially world-ending disasters.
    • Both Catra and Adora have a crippling lack of self-worth and they both think they make very bad decisions, the difference is how they act on these beliefs: Adora tries to make herself useful and fix even the mistakes she hasn't committed, while Catra doubles down on her villainy because it's the only thing she knows and it grants her security and power. Also, they're both VERY oblivious when it comes to their mutual feelings for each other.
    • She and Hordak have much in common, even if neither one would admit it. Both characters are victims of abuse. Both are obsessed with earning affirmation from an authority figure, and both ultimately fail to do so. Both experience heartbreak over perceived betrayal by the women they love, and both throw themselves head first into conquest to cope with their anguish.
      • In season five, both are subjected to the terrifying purification ritual and enslaved by Horde Prime. Both find salvation in their devotion to the women they love. Both of their lives are saved by Adora/She-Ra.
  • Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal:
    • A twisted and tragic version. She takes Adora's defection as a huge personal betrayal, as Adora had been her one support structure in a life of abuse from their mother figure, not to mention that Catra's in love with Adora. Because of this, every time Adora attempts to make peace, Catra violently rejects it, mocks it, and pays it back with pain, and every one of Catra's attempts to counter and sabotage Adora's efforts are less about serving the Horde's goals, and more to to hurt Adora the way that she was hurt. Even when Adora is attempting to prevent the end of the world, Catra would rather destroy the world just to spite her. Sure enough, once Catra is almost successful destroying reality followed by her trying to avoid Adora's and her friends' wrath, it's made clear that it's her own fault for being cast out by Adora and that Adora has every right to be upset with her.
    • Of course, there's her betrayal of Shadow Weaver, who belittled and abused her her entire life.
  • Morton's Fork: Even after nearly hitting the Despair Event Horizon at the Season 4 Finale, Catra still falls back to her old tricks at the start of Season 5, fully intending to cozy up to those in power to betray or usurp them. However, Horde Prime makes it clear that he will never trust or let his guard down around Catra, and all but states that she will eventually be killed or assimilated like everyone else in Etheria once she's outlived her usefulness. Catra is then at a crossroads, neither of which she can hope to get out of unscathed: stay on Horde Prime's good side and extend her own life/free will as long as possible, or do "one good thing in her life" by freeing Glimmer and invoking Horde Prime's wrath much sooner. She chooses the latter.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Downplayed, but she's considered attractive by multiple characters in the series (Scorpia, Adora and even, implicitly, Glimmer), wears skin-tight clothing to help her move more easily, and has quite the sinuous, feminine figure, as well as a rather curvy rear which we get some nice views on.
  • Murder-Suicide: Her Suicidal Cosmic Temper Tantrum in the Season 3 Finale comes across as this. When Adora tries to warn Catra that the unstable portal she opened will wipe out all of reality and erase them with it unless they shut it down, Catra reveals that she knows and doesn't care: She'd rather wipe out all of reality, Adora and herself included, than let Adora "win." When Adora tries to shut it down anyway, Catra completely loses it and attacks Adora, trying to stop her from shutting down the portal that would kill them both, all so Adora would "lose" at something for once.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: Platonic version in the first few seasons, where Catra becomes hell-bent on crushing the Rebellion, and Adora's "new friends" Bow and Glimmer specifically, out of jealousy that Adora (seemingly) chose them over her, with a clear intent to force Adora to come crawling back with her "new friends" gone. Not so platonic when it's revealed that Catra has loved Adora since they were little kids.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Throughout season four, we see that the events of season three have left Catra mentally scarred at how far she went. She is unable to sleep, ends up having nightmares when she does, and any mention of the portal or Entrapta sets her off in a rage. Eventually, after all her allies get sick of her abuse and leave, plus a breaking speech from Double Trouble, Catra is so broken she actually wants Glimmer to kill her.
  • My Instincts Are Showing: She apparently left half a mouse in a shoe once. Adora still teases her about it. She also HATES being sprayed with water, her tail poofs out when she's tense, her claws instinctively flex when she's angry or worried, and so on.
  • Mysterious Animal Senses: She has an enhanced sense of smell and reflexes.
  • My Way or the Highway: Catra in spades. She wants Adora as her Only Friend within the Horde, and reacts very badly whenever Adora makes other friends (like Lonnie when they were little, or Glimmer and Bow in the present) or wants to leave the Horde. Part of her Character development in S5 is learning to accept the Rebellion, Princesses, and Best Friend Squad as a means to keep Adora around. Catra also feels this way about Scorpia and Entrapta, grudgingly tolerating their presence only as long as they obey her as subordinates. Once they disobey (like Entrapta in the S3 Finale) or question her (like Scorpia) she reacts very badly.
  • Natural Weapon: Catra doesn't need magic or a weapon, just her razor-sharp claws and teeth.
  • The Neidermeyer: By Season 4, Catra adopts this attitude and treats all the Horde grunts like crap, putting her needs and desires above the well being others. She sends even cadets to risk life and limb and will not tolerate failure even if it's due to circumstances beyond their control. Suffice it to say, her leadership was rather disasterous from the start. Unsurprisingly, many soldiers including Scorpia end up defecting and deserting the Horde because they can't stand Catra's cruel, selfish behavior.
  • Never My Fault: It is certainly one of her main flaws and it grows increasingly stronger throughout the seasons. While she is a victim of abuse, Catra develops a self-destructive, unhealthy attitude as a trauma response, which makes her reactive and defensive to everything happening to her, including her own mistakes. This derives, in part, from her abusive childhood: as pointed out in this tumblr post.
    • In season 3, Catra uses the phrase, "You made me do this" twice, once with Shadow Weaver, and again with Adora in the portal reality, blind to her own culpability.
    • Double Trouble calls her out on it in season 4 in their "The Reason You Suck" Speech. When Catra is already at her lowest point feeling Lonely at the Top, they point out that people "are not the problem" and it's her who's driven them away.
  • Nice Mean And In Between: Catra is definitely the Mean to Scorpia's Nice and Entrapta's In-Between. Catra is a jerk who's easily jealous and selfish. Scorpia is kind, and easygoing. Entrapta is eccentric and sometimes Innocently Insensitive, but is otherwise a decent person.
  • Nice to the Waiter: By Season Four. The more paranoid she gets, the more she treats her underlings like expendable cannon fodder, with no regard for their safety or well-being. This blows up in her face, big time in the finale of Season 4.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: In season two any time Catra does anything remotely kind she ends up punished severely for it. In trying to save Shadow Weaver's life she ends up used and Shadow Weaver escapes, then when confiding to Scorpia that she's scared about Hordak finding out, his minion hears this and reports back to a very angry Hordak.
  • Nonchalant Dodge: Has a habit of doing this during 1-on-1 combat to frustrate Adora or Glimmer. It usually works... until The Gloves Come Off and her opponent kicks it into next gear.
  • No Challenge Equals No Satisfaction: Despite her never ending frustration at losing to Adora, she seems to come to this realization upon spending enough time with Horde Prime (the one being who never loses) and seeing just how empty (and insufferable) she would be if she constantly won.
  • Non-Uniform Uniform: Subverted. Like Adora, she uses a different version of the uniform that the other cadets use, but it later is shown that the clothes she wears aren't a uniform at all, Catra refuses to use the uniform and wears those clothes.
  • The Nose Knows: Finds Entrapta hiding in the vents by smelling her out.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: At least when it comes to Adora. Which is ironic when she is more then a little annoyed at Scorpia's clinginess. She also tends to be this with Entrapta, constantly stroking the other girl's hair.
  • Not Brainwashed: She has always been totally aware of the Horde's real intentions and that the propaganda was just that. She was actually surprised that Adora was gullible enough to have believed that they weren't the bad guys.
  • Not in This for Your Revolution: She doesn't actually care about the Horde's ideals at all, or even believe in them that much. She's entirely fine with the idea of aiding the Horde in conquering the world and oppressing entire nations of innocent people if it means she and Adora are going to be one of the people calling the shots afterward. This is the source of the rift between her and Adora, as the latter found the Horde's actions unacceptable once she learned of them, while Catra, growing up being much more heavily abused, had known all along and didn't see why Adora was making such a fuss about it.
    • While she does have personal reasons to hate Horde Prime, and she wants to free Etheria of his control like everyone else, season five shows that most of her fighting isn't so much to defeat the Horde as to keep Adora from killing herself.
    • To be precise, while it's vaguely implied that Catra has some degree of remorse for the harm she caused to civilians while leading the Horde, her main motivation in the final season seems to be trying to make up for the pain she caused Adora by trying to finally fulfill the promise she and Adora made to look out for each other. To, her credit, she is shown to care about the others as well and is trying to make up for hurting them (especially Scorpia and Entrapta).
  • Obviously Evil: Somewhere between this and Obliviously Evil. Catra knows the Horde is evil and relishes the harm she causes at its top ranks, though Catra also doesn't really believe the things she's done are wrong per se. As far as she's concerned, she has her reasons.
  • Oblivious to Love: Doesn't seem to quite get that Scorpia has a massive crush on her, likely because she is already in love with Adora. She was also unaware of Adora's mutual feelings for her due to being an Insecure Love Interest until Adora spelled it out for her.
  • Official Couple: She and Adora cross over to this in the series finale when they confess their love to each other.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Catra goes hard into this territory in season three as she gradually loses touch with her sanity. She decides killing every person on Etheria (including herself) is worth it just because that would mean Adora wouldn't win. It's what finally gets Adora to stop trying to actively reform Catra and leave her to her fate. That said, Catra clearly only does this in the throes of a breakdown and doesn't show any omnicidal intent after.
  • Once Done, Never Forgotten: Adora likes to tease her about an incident involving a mouse, which apparently happened a long time ago, but which Catra is still twitchy about.
  • Only Sane Woman: She's usually the most pragmatic and goal oriented in the groups of people she finds herself being a part of. She's the one that keeps bumbling sweetheart Scorpia and scatter-brained Entrapta focused on the task at hand. Once she joins the Best Friend Squad, she expresses her stupor at how they survived this long without coherent plans.
  • Paranoia Gambit: During the Princess Prom, she walks around menacingly, knowing that Adora wouldn't be able to shake off suspiciousness and follow her all night. However, Scorpia was the one setting off traps; Catra herself was just distracting Adora, otherwise not doing anything but mingling at the party.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Her friendships in general. Catra's a really good friend in spite of herself, and she's willing to put herself on the line for the people she cares about. For example, when she discovers that Entrapta has entered Hordak's laboratory uninvited, she runs in and apologizes profusely to Hordak in an attempt to protect Entrapta. This can even extend to Adora after their falling out, though her motives are more complicated than simple kindness.
    • She tries to comfort Shadow Weaver in her own way, which really sticks out given their history. It's revealed in season two that Catra personally brings Shadow Weaver her meals, even if she's not very nice about it.
    • In season three, she says several kind things to Scorpia, although whether this is because she genuinely appreciates Scorpia or wants to cement Scorpia's loyalty is unclear.
    • Catra, in her own way, does genuinely try to help Hordak in season four, even though she's responsible for Entrapta's disappearance in the first place. While their partnership very much starts on the wrong foot, the two end up being mainly supportive of one another throughout, with her even attempting to give him a Rousing Speech at one point.
    • In season five, she helps Glimmer escape from the Velvet Glove, at great cost.
    • Despite being uneasy in season five, Catra, while aboard the Velvet Glove, tries to make conversation with the mind-wiped Hordak. When this goes horribly wrong, she is visibly horrified by his torture.
    • Reassures Netossa that Spinnerella will be fine once her chip's removed.
  • The Power of Hate: By season three, Catra's jealousy and resentment of Adora has become so extreme that she'll willingly let herself die rather than let Adora help her in any way, and even claw herself back from being erased from existence, just so she can attack Adora again.
  • Promoted to Love Interest: Catra was not Adora's love interest in the original minicomics, nor the television that spawned from it, that role was filled by Bow in the former and Seahawk in the latter.
  • Psychological Projection:
    • Adora's betrayal of the Horde hit Catra hard, and she uses any opportunity she can to justify her assumptions about it. Catra thinks that Scorpia was shunned by the other princesses for looking different, is quick to believe Adora abandoned Entrapta, and calls Adora out for treating her as a sidekick. There are some elements of truth in all those, but it's clear that Catra automatically tries to think the worst of Adora.
    • Even before Adora left the Horde, it's clear that Catra projected her own dreams and desires onto her. Despite Adora's obvious Chronic Hero Syndrome, Catra thought Adora already knew the Horde were evil conquerors. When Adora asks how Catra could stay with the Horde knowing they're evil, Catra casually reveals that she intends to climb the ranks with Adora so they can be the ones in charge, despite it being painfully obvious to the viewer that Adora never wanted to be a ruthless conqueror who bullied those weaker than herself. When Adora reveals as much, defects from the Horde, and begs Catra to come with her, Catra treats Adora leaving the Horde as a personal betrayal against herself and their supposed shared dream of ruling together, rather than taking a moment to realize she had just assumed that Adora shared her ambitions and values.
  • Psycho Supporter: Catra combines her possessive and controlling attitude towards Adora with a ruthless protectiveness. Catra is just that crazy about it, and can't keep her emotions in check, that she would often drive other potential friends away from Adora. Additionally, she believes Adora would be better off if she stayed in the Horde.
    R-T 
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Adora finally has enough of Catra blaming her for everything. In the climax of season three, Adora tells Catra she herself is responsible for her actions and that she needs to start being responsible for them.
    • Double Trouble delivers an even harsher one in season four, calling her out for continually driving other people away and then getting angry at them for being driven away. It leaves Catra borderline suicidal.
    • She gets the dubious honor of intimidating someone with a "The reason I suck" speech, turning their own attempt at intimidation back at them by explaining that a) she's familiar with the intimidation routine, b) it only works on people who have anything to lose and c) her victims should have paid more attention to Catra's compatriot who just moved into position for a backstab.
  • Rebel Relaxation: She has a habit of doing this, even after her Heel–Face Turn.
  • Rebellious Spirit: Catra's always had a dislike for sticking to the rules, both due to her nature and the way she was raised, uncaring for what taking responsibility for something meant since she would be punished either way. As Adora says, she's never listened to anyone in her life.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: Her season four outfit switches out the orange and red for red, darker red, and black. And fittingly enough she is at the height of her villainy while wearing this outfit.
  • Redemption Equals Death: In Season 5, Catra tries to invoke this by helping Glimmer escape Horde Prime, fully expecting to be executed or mind-wiped for it, as Catra wants to do "one good thing in her life". Deconstructed when the heroes rescue Catra anyway. She berates them, stating that she specifically didn't want to be saved. Adora is put off at first, but soon figures out that the real reason Catra didn't want to be saved was partly because she felt she didn't deserve it, that no one would forgive her but also because Catra didn't want to face all the people she'd hurt during her series-long Sanity Slippage.
  • Redemption Rejection: Adora asks Catra to leave the Horde and join the Rebellion throughout the series, but Catra turns her down each time. Finally subverted in season 5, when Catra realized her past mistakes and freed Glimmer from Horde Prime to prevent Adora falling to Horde Prime's trap.
    • Before Adora defects, she tells Catra that she doesn't have to go back to the Horde, but Catra sees Adora's decision as a personal betrayal.
    • In the Promise episode, Adora tells Catra that she can join the Rebellion because she knows Catra isn't a bad person, but before Catra can answer, Light Hope conjures up memories from their past in order to turn Catra against Adora and drive a final wedge between them so Adora can be a better weapon. It works, as Catra refuses Adora's offer and leaves Adora literally hanging off the ledge of Light Hope's simulation.
    • In the Remember episode, Adora once more begs Catra to help her fix reality, saying everything will be alright as long as they stay together. But Catra's memories of their promise return and she rejects Adora, saying that she is never going to join her.
  • Reformed, but Not Tamed: In season five sure she's fighting with the heroes now but she's still scrappy and sarcastic, smug and aloof, closer to her personality when in the Horde before Adora defected.
  • Rejection Projection: Catra often pushes people away, refusing to join Adora in the Rebellion and treating Scorpia terribly until she deserts. This causes her to suffer and she gradually becomes a paranoid wreck, angry at everyone for leaving her alone. In the fourth season finale, Double Trouble plainly lays it out that Catra's the only one at fault for her position, albeit via a massively cruel Shapeshifter Guilt Trip.
    Double Trouble: People have hurt you, haven't they? They didn't believe in you. They didn't trust you. Didn't need you. Left you. But, did you ever stop to think maybe they're not the problem? It's you. You drive them away, Wildcat.
  • Relationship Sabotage:
    • In Season 2, she worries that Hordak's friendship with Entrapta will threaten her position and safety in the Horde. When Entrapta gets in the way of opening the portal, Catra knocks out her and arranges for her to be sent to Beast Island. Later, she lies to Hordak about Entrapta's whereabouts, telling him that Entrapta is the one who let the princesses in.
    • In Season 4, she hires Double Trouble specifically to do this to the Rebellion, driving a personal wedge between them in addition to thwarting their plans.
  • The Resenter: Part of what drives her character. She was resentful of Adora always being better than she was, and she was resentful of Adora helping her, believing that Adora just wanted to make her weak so that she could play the heroine and save her. She also resented Entrapta over how quickly Hordak accepted her, which may have played a part in Catra exiling Entrapta to Beast Island in season three.
  • Retractable Appendages: In her fight with the spider-robots it's shown that she can make her claws longer at will.
  • Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: Catra was under extra scrutiny after Horde Prime discovered her treason against Hordak, and Catra visiting Glimmer and then helping her escape proved his suspicions that he sentenced her to be chipped.
  • Rival Turned Evil: Catra and Adora were childhood friends, friendly rivals and unknowingly loved each other as they trained as Child Soldiers by the Horde. Unlike Adora, Catra fully understood that they were the bad guys, but she didn't care as long as she and Adora stuck together. So when Adora left to join the Rebellion, Catra saw it as a personal betrayal. Repressed resentment came bubbling up to the surface, and she spent most of the rest of the series lashing out at Adora in any way she could.
  • Sad Clown: One of the reasons Adora loves Catra is because she was a light in the very dark place that was the Horde, managing to joke and play around with Adora even though she had it worse than anyone.
  • Sanity Slippage:
    • As of season three, she's losing it after being betrayed and exploited by the umpteenth time by Shadow Weaver. Catra is willing to wipe the entire universe out of existence, herself included, just to keep the Rebellion and Adora (who, in her eyes, welcomed Shadow Weaver with open arms and no repercussions in their ranks) from having even the slightest of victories over her anymore.
    • In season four, she breaks down further when Scorpia defects as she grows stressed, overwhelmed and paranoid of her own failings. When even Double Trouble leaves her with a "The Reason You Suck" Speech, she is left nearly completely broken and waiting for Glimmer to apprehend her, even goading the queen to kill her.
  • Secret Test of Character: Combines with Hoist by Her Own Petard in the season two finale. Hordak finds out about Shadow Weaver's escape from the Fright Zone, but he asks Catra about it to test her. Afraid of demotion and his punishment, Catra lies to him, and he tortures her with his gravity generation device.
  • Seven Deadly Sins: Catra has displayed traits of all seven sins.
    • Sloth: She refused to put effort into training as she believed nothing she could do would ever let her escape Adora's shadow and often takes the easy way out.
    • Envy: Catra resents Adora for having glory and being popular.
    • Greed: She seeks to ruthlessly climb up the ranks of the Horde for more power.
    • Pride: She demands respect from everyone in the Horde as well as all of Etheria and hates Adora for taking the spotlight.
    • Wrath: She's got a short fuse, often lashes out in violence and brutally attempts to wipe out all of reality just so she can never lose.
    • Gluttony: She hungers for power, love and attention, and will do so through violent and self-destructive means.
    • Lust: Her affection for Adora has often reached unhealthy and destructive levels, to the point where she tried to destroy the universe in part, because she didn't want to be without Adora.
  • Sexy Cat Person: A Cat Girl who is quite cute and looks good in a tuxedo, and tends to wear skintight outfits. Throughout the show, despite her being an Unkempt Beauty type of person, characters like Scorpia and Adora show open attraction to her. Glimmer is implied to find Catra sexy when an episode has her imagine Catra as a typical Femme Fatale. In season five, Bow is quite happy to tell Catra to her face how cute she is.
  • Shadow Archetype: It is subtle; but considering their temper, insecurities and so forth if Catra grew up with healthier parenting and something remotely resembling a support network... she would be a great deal like Glimmer.
  • Shameful Strip: Not seen, but like her Traumatic Hair Cut, it is heavily implied. In "Save the Cat", a brain-washed Catra is dressed in a white Horde outfit, though it’s never revealed if she was forced to strip and dress, or if she was stripped and dressed by Horde Prime's clones.
  • Shock and Awe: Besides her catlike claws, strength and agility, she sometimes uses a Horde standard-issue stun baton.
  • Shoo the Dog: Quite literally shoos Scorpia away from her prison in "The Price of Power," believing Scorpia's attempts to help will only result in Scorpia suffering Hordak's wrath alongside her. Lampshaded by Scorpia a couple of episodes later.
    Scorpia: You pushed me away in order to save me. It just brought us closer together!
  • Signature Headgear: Catra is known for her trademark scarlet cat-styled headpiece that she's never seen without. She wears it even at formal events and even when she's sleeping at times. Catra loses it mid-season five.
  • Significant Wardrobe Shift:
    • Season four sees her outfit go darker: exchanging reddish-purple leggings ripped at the knees for dark burgundy/black leggings slashed at the middle of the thighs, her orange and brown top for a red and black one (with an opening in the middle and a single sleeve that extends into a fingerless glove on her right arm), and a black fingerless glove on her left arm. This outfit, along with her cutting off her ear tufts, emphasizes Catra's desire for more control over her life and deciding to no longer play second fiddle to Hordak by forcing him to make her an equal partner. She also becomes a lot darker and more malicious, doubling down on her villainy to compensate for her guilt.
    • Season five gives her a combination of her season 1-3 outfits with the above mentioned one, to symbolize her Heel–Face Turn.
  • Single-Target Sexuality: Catra has been in love with Adora since they were children and never shows any interest in anyone else, to the point of appearing Oblivious to Love when anyone other than Adora shows interest in her... not that she notices Adora's interest either, at least not until it's spelled out to her.
  • Sinister Scraping Sound: Her claws can mark concrete and metal, usually with just that sound. Bonus points for incorporating it in a Breaking Speech where she left long scratches on a stone bar while walking along it.
  • Sixth Ranger: After her Heel–Face Turn, she becomes a 4th member of the Best Friends Squad.
  • The Slacker: Subverted. At first, Catra seems to be this, frequently skipping classes and not taking her training seriously. However, it quickly becomes apparent that Beneath the Mask she is actually quite ambitious and works harder than anyone to achieve her goals. She just pretends to be lazy because if she were honest about how hard she tries then she'd also have to admit she has always been second best to Adora. She drops the act entirely in "Promise".
    Catra: I'm not afraid of Shadow Weaver anymore and I'm a better Force Captain than you would've ever been.
    Adora: You always said you didn't care about things like that.
    Catra: Well, I was lying, obviously!
  • Slasher Smile: She wears large and evil-looking smiles when she's feeling particularly devious, like the one in her page picture.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Zigzagged. According to Entrapta, under Catra's leadership the Horde's efficiency as an army rose in several areas, and when she tries she can be a very cunning tactician and schemer. The problem is that Catra isn't quite as good at these things as she'd like to think; her arrogance ruins her ability to learn from her mistakes and take advice from others, and her smug pride when she wins can prevent her from properly leveraging her new advantage. Catra is a clever and dangerous woman, but the same ego that makes her so dangerous is also a limiting factor on how effective she could really be.
  • Smug Snake: Like many high-functioning Smug Snakes, Catra is capable of many moments of ingenuity, scheming, and cleverness, but her smugness and overconfidence are prone to biting her in the tail.
  • Sour Outside, Sad Inside: Catra's sarcastic, devil-may-care, "don't give a shit", attitude hides a deeply sad and traumatized girl who has always lived in the shadow of her best friend Adora while secretly being in love with her but convinced she would never love her back and desperately wants to be acknowledged by someone. When she doesn't get what she wants she lashes out violently because she doesn't have the emotional maturity to deal with her problems in a healthy way which only makes things worse for her. It's only after her Heel–Face Turn that she starts to work past these issues.
  • The Starscream: In season four, Catra defeats Hordak by ripping the First Ones crystal out of his cybernetic exoskeleton, then coerces him into making her co-ruler of the Horde. At the end of the season, once her betrayal of Entrapta is revealed and Hordak attacks her, she decides she doesn't need Hordak anymore and tries to murder him. It becomes a moot point once the Etherian Horde is wiped out by the Rebellion and Horde Prime arrives to show them both who's boss.
  • Starter Villain Stays: Catra starts out as a typical starter villainess, being little more than an Elite Mook with some baggage regarding Adora. However, instead of disappearing as soon as Hordak shows up, she quickly rises through the ranks to become The Dragon and eventually a co-leader. The protagonists also treat Catra as the main threat they have to defeat. However, Horde Prime turns out to be the real Big Bad and Catra pulls a Heel–Face Turn.
  • Stopped Caring: In season three, by the time she gets sent to the Crimson Wastes to find First Ones tech, Catra has just stopped caring about how she gets what she wants anymore.
  • Suicidal Cosmic Temper Tantrum: She tries to wipe out all reality, even herself, in a violent tantrum just to one-up Adora at last.
  • Super Gullible: Her desire to be heard means she has a bad habit of trusting those who only pretend to listen to her/value her or have conditional to no loyalty to her, like Hordak, and later Double Trouble and Horde Prime.
  • Super Reflexes: Catra is incredibly fast and agile and it's thanks to these skills that she can face She-Ra one-on-one despite being significantly weaker than the warrior woman. However, she does have her limits, as when she infects the Sword of Protection with a piece of corrupted First Ones technology, the now completely berserk and uninhibited She-Ra came extremely close to seriously injuring or killing her several times before Catra finally decided to say Screw This, I'm Outta Here.
  • Super Senses: Justified. Catra is a Cat Girl and thus has similar skills as a cat, such as, enhanced hearing and smell.
  • Super Strength: She does not come close to matching She-Ra or Scorpia's physical strength, or Hordak's more advanced battlesuit weaponry; but she is much stronger than anyone her size has a right to be, and can drive her claws through metal. She's even strong enough to destroy Hordak's arm cannon with a single kick in "Destiny, Part 2".
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Since Adora left, the only company she ends up with are a couple of dummies in the form of Entrapta and Scorpia, who are both always engaged in their little antics.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: It's clear she doesn't hate Shadow Weaver half as much as she claims. She certainly resents her intensely and enjoys seeing her humiliated, but seeing Shadow Weaver in genuine distress actually seems to evoke a little sympathy. Not that Shadow Weaver appreciates it.
  • Terrible Trio: At the end of the first season, she forms one with Scorpia and Entrapta. In season four, it's with Double Trouble and Scorpia...until Scorpia leaves, anyway.
  • Teen Genius: Catra's greatest strength is without a doubt her strategic mind. The Horde starts working better than ever under her command, at least until she starts growing paranoid, and everytime the Rebellion wins a battle, it's just because the princesses have more raw power rather than a coherent strategy. She's able to push bigger and stronger foes in a corner by simply waiting for the right opening to attack. As for the teen part, she starts the series at about 17 or 18 years old.
  • The Unchosen One: Regardless of what Catra believes, she always finds herself in mystical places barred to everyone but She-Ra (the tower in "Corridors", the Heart in the eponymous episode) because she can't leave Adora alone. The main difference between Mara and Adora is that Mara never had a Catra to make her care about things other than her duty.
  • Token Competent Minion: Catra is the only member of Hordak's forces who manages to help him make headway in his plans for conquest. Shadow Weaver might have counted, but she was actually sabotaging Hordak's efforts until she could find a way to stop him permanently.
  • Tomboy: Even moreso than Adora, such that she is more into fighting and has a more roguish style. In “Princess Prom” she prefers a suit/tux with her headpiece.
  • Tomboyish Voice: Has a raspy and boyish voice.
  • Too Clever by Half: Catra is extremely intelligent and an excellent strategist, but by the time season four comes around it all comes crashing down spectacularly. Her constant victories and real progress in wiping out the Resistance overextends the Horde's logistics and leaves it's armies isolated inside enemy territory. Her people management also suffers from her arrogance, her ego causing her to drive away all her competent allies in the belief that she doesn't need any of them. As a result, Hordak turning on her leaves the Hoard leaderless, preventing her from even attempting to respond when her forces are subjected to a massive counter attack and completely wiped out.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Not like Catra was a saint before, but season four has her become more hostile towards others since the portal incident, as she believes that if she finally manages to win the war, then all the awful things that she's done will have been worth it and she'll finally be seen. Catra starts treating others disrespectfully, not taking Scorpia's advice and gives her crap when she doesn't give her what she wants, and she sends three young cadets to risk life and limb to meet deadlines, yelling at them for a situation beyond their control.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Season 5 has her forced to confront her past misdeeds, work on a myriad of issues, and mature into a better person.
  • Tragic Keepsake: It's heavily implied that Catra kept Adora's blanket throughout the whole series. Her new Force Captain room comes with its own set of beige bedding, but she insists on using a blue one all cadets use. She used to hide in Adora's bed since she was a kid and would wrap herself up in it. In the first episode, when we see that Catra sleeps at the foot of Adora's bed, the blanket she's supposed to use is pretty clearly in the upper bunk. Of course, knowing what we know by the end of the series, it wouldn't be all that surprising.
  • Tragic Villain: The most prominent and iconic example in the entire series. Catra is a villainess by the show's later seasons, from mistreating her subordinates and betraying others to even attempting to wipe out reality. That said, most of the bad things Catra does are the result of horrific childhood abuse and the meritocratic military society she was raised in, she's very codependent with Adora and perceives her leaving as a betrayal and she is also unwilling to join her due to various factors. In addition, Catra clearly wants validation and approval, but is often so self-destructive or impulsive that she ruins her opportunities for it, not helped by her self-focus blinding her to what she really wants or the fact that Shadow Weaver and to a lesser extent Hordak mistreat her even as the conflict goes on, driving her to only fear for her safety and become worse and worse in attempts to secure her position. With all the suffering she goes through, Catra is clearly a tragic figure no matter how bad she becomes.
  • Traumatic Haircut: Not seen but heavily implied. After rescuing Glimmer from Horde Prime, the next time Catra is seen, her hair is cut, meaning that Horde Prime cut it off when he took control over her with his mind-control chip.
  • Troll: Whenever Catra is messing with people she's also trolling them by poking fun at them and pushing their buttons. Like when she threatened to kill Entrapta and didn't mention that the inventor was happily working with the Horde just to rile up Glimmer.
  • Troubled Abuser: Very troubled. Catra lashes out and torments Adora, someone she cares deeply about, quite often, feeling deeply betrayed even as Adora begs her to join the Rebellion. She's consistently abrasive and dismissive toward Entrapta and Scorpia, who go out of their way to try and be friends with her. That said, Catra is abusive due to Shadow Weaver's horrible parenting, desperation for validation, and codependence, feeling abandoned by Adora, and she's not all bad despite her toxicity... but that still doesn't mitigate the harm she causes others. Growing out of this is a big part of her character arc.
  • Tsundere: On her better days, Catra will go out of her way to be nice to someone... while keeping her gruff demeanor and insisting it's not a big deal. She even uses the "it's not because I like you" excuse with Adora. Her words to Adora in the final episode are very telling. "I love you, I always have. So please, just this once, stay!".
  • Two-Faced: In the finale of season three, half of her face and her right arm are blackened by exposure to the collapse of reality itself. She manages to drag herself out before she's completely consumed.
  • Tyke-Bomb: She was raised in the Horde before becoming Force Captain after Adora's defection.
    U-Y 
  • Ultimate Job Security: Despite many serious blunders and insubordinate behavior after becoming second-in-command, Catra has kept her position out of a combination of being critical to the Horde's management in Shadow Weaver's absence and finding opportunities to make up for past failures. It gets to the point where, right after Hordak wants her dead and the Etherian Horde crumbles, Catra almost immediately finds a place in the original Horde when it reaches Etheria. That gets rather complicated when Horde Prime finds out about Catra's treachery from Hordak's memories. Once Catra reminds him again he won't get far without her if he wants to reactivate the Heart of Etheria, Horde Prime asks if she is willing to serve him, and Catra swears loyalty out of fear of her own life if she tries any funny business.
  • The Unapologetic: Catra does occasionally recognize when she's hurt someone but refuses to acknowledge and apologize for what she's done and mostly stews in her guilt. She begins to grow out of this in the third episode of season five.
  • The Unfavorite: Shadow Weaver made it no secret that she heavily favored Adora, treating Catra more like Adora's ill-behaved pet cat than a daughter.
    • Season 2 has her fearing becoming this again when she sees her position being jeopardized by Entrapta's bonding with Hordak.
    • Season 3 gives Catra a chance to start over in the Crimson Wastes. In less than a day, she takes control of a gang from Tung Lashor, captures Adora, and appears to be poised to finally be in control. Scorpia even mentions that it's the first time she's ever seen Catra genuinely happy. However, once Catra learns that Shadow Weaver is still favoring Adora in spite of all of that, Catra immediately turns her back on this chance, vowing to "crush" the Rebellion.
  • Ungrateful Bitch:
    • Scorpia's affections and Entrapta saving her from being executed by Hordak didn't stop her from violently threatening Scorpia and knocking out and banishing Entrapta when they attempt to stop her from opening the portal which could destroy reality itself, in the third season finale.
    • Even Adora realized this later on; Adora cared for her and treated her as well as she could, but Catra attempting to destroy reality, which would result in her death as well, made her see she was taken for granted, as if her love meant nothing to Catra.
  • Unluckily Lucky: Catra is often screwed over by factors outside her control, or by her own weaknesses. But she's a cat, so she always lands on her feet. When Adora defects from the Horde, Catra loses to her, but Shadow Weaver takes the blame and Catra's promoted. Freeing Shadow Weaver and getting betrayed has her sent on a snipe hunt...that she manages to accomplish. She fails to destroy the world, but in the wake of her failure, she forces Hordak to accept her as co-leader. Even Horde Prime taking over the Etherian Horde doesn't ruin her, as she manages to weasel her way into lackey status. At that point, her luck's running out, though: Horde Prime doesn't trust her, and brainwashes her when she tries yet another betrayal.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: In season five, she recognizes Hordak among the Galactic Horde clones, addresses him using his name, and reminds him of his old life on Etheria. This directly leads to Horde Prime subjecting Hordak to a second mind wipe in the form of a terrifying "baptism".
  • Vengeance Feels Empty: She'll never admit it publicly, but even after, thanks to her, the Horde comes within inches of winning the war, she still isn't happy. Winning isn't nearly as fun as she'd thought it would be. Unfortunately, it doesn't occur to her that maybe the reason is because she's driven away everyone that cares about her.
  • Villain Has a Point: For all of her misdeeds and Never My Fault behavior, Catra can make valid points.
    • Her anger at Shadow Weaver taking credit for her successful mission of capturing Glimmer, Bow, and the Sword of Protection is quite understandable, as Catra did all the work and planning. As such, when Hordak scolds Shadow Weaver for losing all three in the rescue, Catra's mocking smirk towards the dark wielder is karmic.
    • Catra accuses Adora of never protecting her in a way that would anger Shadow Weaver. When Adora denies this, Catra rightly points that Adora did nothing to protect her when she defected.
    • She was right to point out how wrong it was of Shadow Weaver to abuse her, an orphaned child who was in her care.
    • Though she puts a selfish spin on it, Catra isn't wrong that Adora has a martyr complex.
    • She calls Hordak a failure to his face, claiming that he wouldn't know how to run the Fright Zone without someone like Shadow Weaver or herself. Given Hordak's hands-off approach to the day-to-day operations of the Horde, she's not wrong.
    • Catra presumes that Horde Prime is not tolerant of failure and he wouldn't be pleased if Hordak failed to conquer Etheria by the time he arrived. So Hordak should stop focusing on his "vanity projects" and focus on destroying the Rebellion. Hordak doesn't deny it, in fact the audience has already seen that Horde Prime's lack of patience for weakness is why he banished Hordak in the first place.
    • In "Destiny, Part 2", she tells Hordak that he's lying to himself if he thinks that Horde Prime will care about a "defect" like him or carry out any of his wishes on Etheria. She was motivated by anger when she made the remarks, but she wasn't wrong. Unfortunately, the irony of this is quite lost on Catra when she thinks she can survive, earn favor and get out unscathed if she kisses up to Horde Prime.
  • Villainous Breakdown:
  • Villainous Crush: "The Heart, Part 2" reveals Catra has always been in love with Adora, her main enemy for the first four seasons.
  • Villainous Friendship: Played With throughout the series as, even after Adora leaves, Catra is able to form new relationships in the Horde. However as she starts doubling down on the villainous part of the trope she begins losing the friendship part:
    • Catra forms a Terrible Trio with fellow Force Captain Scorpia and new recruit Entrapta and, while she often gets annoyed by their antics, she has moments where she shows that she genuinely does appreciate their company and likes them. However as the seasons go on a combination of factors leads her to lash out against them, eventually causing her to impulsively shock Entrapta and send her to Beast Island. Later on her guilt causes her to become a tyrant to her men and Scorpia eventually leading to her friend deciding that she can't help Catra anymore and leaves the Horde. Scorpia leaving ends up doing a number on her psyche and turns her into an angry paranoid wreck. It's only after all three Heel–Face Turn, and Catra starts actively trying to become a better person, that the three become friends again.
    • In season four, she forms a bond with Double Trouble likely to fill the void of Entrapta's loss in her life and starts to become emotionally dependent on them. The shapeshifter meanwhile seems to have some fondness for Catra as well and at one point goes out of their way to save her life. However they make it clear multiple times that their first loyalty is to their paycheck, a fact that saddens Catra. At the end of season four they give her a brutal "Reason You Suck" Speech before departing the Horde after revealing that they betrayed her leaving it up in the air how much they ever cared about her (though according to DT's voice actor they did have fondness for Catra, enough to be Brutally Honest anyway).
    • Also in season four, albeit only to a certain extent, she takes co-leadership of the Horde by force, and she and Hordak develop a bit of a genuine rapport, with Double Trouble at one point implying that Catra actually wants Hordak's trust. It never reaches the level of true friendship, and Hordak tries to kill her after learning that she exiled Entrapta to Beast Island.
  • Villainous Rescue: She saves Glimmer's life - along with the lives of everyone on Etheria - by convincing Horde Prime to not wipe out the planet and instead keep it as his personal superweapon. It's partly self-serving, but it buys the good guys some time.
  • Villain Protagonist: She-Ra's most personal foe, and also the show's secondary protagonist. She becomes the primary antagonist in the second half of season three.
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend: Even before she made it official with Adora, Catra was very protective over her. Season five demonstrates this trait the most, as she roughly manhandles Shadow Weaver so she could stop Adora's Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Any time when they are on the same side or not actively trying to kill one another, Catra's relationship with Adora is a lot like this. Often she will insult Adora's intelligence while Adora will tease Catra anytime she expresses her feelings. They also play wrestle a lot.
  • Voice of the Legion: After being partially erased in the season three finale, her voice gains a reverb effect.
  • We Used to Be Friends: She and Adora were each other's rock and safe place in the Horde, but when Adora joined the Rebellion she felt personally abandoned, and their rivalry only got more bitter as they kept fighting.
  • Weak, but Skilled: While Catra lacks She-Ra's incredible strength, she is still Adora's equal in hand-to-hand combat, and far faster then her even as She-Ra.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Played for laughs. Netossa completely incapacitates Catra by spraying her in the face with a water bottle. Just like a regular cat.
  • "Well Done, Daughter!" Girl: Downplayed. She doesn't particularly like Shadow Weaver, and her approval overall doesn't mean that much to her, but Catra does get quite upset that she continues to favor Adora and refuses to acknowledge her own accomplishments. Season 2 really hammers home that what Catra wants more than anything is to be acknowledged by some form of authority figure. Except that when she is acknowledged by an authority figure, she finds that it means nothing to her without anyone she cares about to share it with...
  • Whip It Good: In season three, she steals a whip from Tung Lashor and uses it as her weapon. But she ends up losing her whip when Glimmer disintegrates it in "Pulse".
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: She hates water, on account of being a cat-person. Though Scorpia gleefully talking about how a single disaster could kill them probably wasn't helping.
  • Why Did You Make Me Hit You?: Given that Catra has loved Adora since they were small children, Catra's behavior toward Adora has strong shades of this. Having believed since infancy that Adora was the only one who cared about her, as little kids, Catra had shoved and scratched her once when she first got close with Lonnie. In the present, Catra frames Adora joining the Rebellion as personally betraying and abandoning Catra, and justifies her more ruthless actions against Adora as something Adora brought on herself for personally betraying and abandoning Catra. Adora rejecting this narrative and putting Catra in her place marks a significant shift in their relationship.
  • Wild Hair: Catra's hair is unkempt and all over the place for most of the series to emphasize her wild nature. Ironically wherever her hair gets neat it's actually a bad thing. In season four it gets a bit longer and much more well-groomed as she tries to keep tight control over everything around her, even herself. She has also become a tyrant lashing out at everyone around her to hide her pain. Notably, the times it gets messier, it's when her mask cracks and she becomes emotionally vulnerable. In season five, after being turned into a chipped drone for Horde Prime, her hair is cut short, slicked back, and neat. Her hair coming loose during her fight with Adora emphasizes her Fighting from the Inside. It's even acknowledged in Adora's ideal future wherein an older Catra has her hair in a messy ponytail and jokingly considers Glimmer wanting to brush it as a form of torture.
  • With Friends Like These...: Catra in her dynamic with Scorpia and Entrapta is very bossy and treats them like crap even though they consider her a friend.
  • Woman Scorned: Season 5 reveals that Catra has loved Adora since they were kids, so most of her antagonism against Adora throughout the series stemmed from feeling personally betrayed, rejected, and abandoned by her. (Also seeing Adora as Always Someone Better.)
  • Won the War, Lost the Peace: As Catra herself notes in season three, even when she wins a fight, something always conspires to make it a Pyrrhic Victory at best. She describes it as "I win a fight, I lose the war." Catra's consistent losing streak drives her so insane that she attempts to destroy all of reality, all for the sake of not letting Adora win.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Though she does love Adora deep down, having been raised by Shadow Weaver and being The Un-Favorite of the two gave her a horrible inferiority complex. So when Adora ends up joining the rebellion to fight against the Horde, after having promised to always be there for her, Catra becomes willing to join Hordak as his second-in-command in his conquest of Etheria, and even destroy all of Etheria and everyone in it, including herself, as long as it means she wins out over her.
  • Would Rather Suffer:
    • More specifically, Catra would have rather died than live with the fact that Shadow Weaver is one of the good guys and is now on their side with Adora. Along with wanting to win, this is one of the main reasons Catra is blind with rage in the Crimson Waste and later refuses to stop activating the portal rather than listen to reason and leave the Horde, endangering not only herself but the universe as well. It was the knowledge that Shadow Weaver is in Bright Moon that sets Catra off, and her downward spiral into irrationality is only made worse when Shadow Weaver returns as a “good guy” holding Glimmer’s hand and tortures Catra with magic. After that, Catra is beyond listening to anyone.
    • More generally, despite Adora being her Only Friend growing up and Catra herself being indifferent to the Horde's ideals, Catra chooses the Horde over leaving with Adora all series even though it makes her miserable. Even as Catra starts to realize Being Evil Sucks and it's Lonely at the Top around Season 4, she continually chooses being miserable in the Horde over making the necessary changes to be happy. It takes Scorpia leaving and a brutal "The Reason You Suck" Speech from Double Trouble for Catra to start to grow out of this mindset.
  • Yellow Eyes of Sneakiness: Downplayed. Catra's right eye is yellow and she's a cunning, sly strategist.
  • Young Conqueror:
    • She, a teenager sent on a Suicide Mission, shows up in the Crimson Waste, a completely lawless wasteland overrun by gangs of bandits, armed only with Scoripia, her own combat skills, and sheer force of personality. Less than a day later, she's taken over the place, and the others in the Waste are acknowledging her as the best leader they've ever had. Scorpia proposes they abandon the Horde and stay, since Catra actually fits in very well and seems happy. Sadly, that's not how things work out.
    • In season four, she forces Hordak to make her his equal partner, and together, they come within inches of winning the war. If it weren't for Double Trouble's treachery, they'd have been able to ambush Bright Moon without anyone being able to defend it.
Advertisement:

Top