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Twilight the Third is a My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic Alternate Universe fic with a simple premise: due her entrance exam to Celestia's School for Gifted Unicorns going differently, Twilight Sparkle is now Equestria's greatest thief in the style of Lupin III, following in the footsteps of her mother and grandmother and chased by none else than Shining Armor.

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  • Alternate Universe: Twilight is a thief with Gilda and Maud Pie (who was formerly an assassin), Rarity is a famous and rich fashion designer and a thief herself, Rainbow Dash is already in the Wonderbolts and used to have a romantic relationship with Gilda, Fluttershy has received a higher education and is first seen taking care of Lord Rust's Faberge birds outside Equestria, Spike was accidentally killed during Twilight's entrance exam, and Sunset Shimmer is still in Equestria (even if there's no trace of her in the records for a few years) with the title of Grand Magus, and indirectly caused Spike's death.
  • Character Check: As much as the situation has changed, our characters are still not so different from their canon selves: Twilight Sparkle is still Adorkable and loves learning (and completely managed to miss that Shining Armor and Cadance are dating even when it's almost literally slapped in her face), Maud Pie still loves her family above everything else (and sent them all the money she made as an assassin to help with their economic troubles), Shining Armor is still Twilight Sparkle's loving brother, and Rarity is still exactly the same except she's a thief on the side and very rich.
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  • The Chessmaster: Subverted with Celestia: she has plans and is trying to manipulate some ponies (including Twilight Sparkle and Sunset Shimmer) into activating the Elements of Harmony and defeat Nightmare Moon, but they never do as expected.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Twilight Sparkle, who constantly hits on every cute mare she sees and especially Rarity. Best shown when Rarity flat-out told her she's straight:
    "So is spaghetti until it gets wet!"
  • Demoted to Extra: Most of the Mane Cast has only brief appearances, at least until the Nightmare Moon arc.
  • Destructive Saviour: Grand Magus Sunset Shimmer:
    "Any sign of Sunset?"
    "Is everything on fire?"
    "No."
    "There's your answer."
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Grand Magus Sunset Shimmer managed to immobilize Nightmare Moon. Granted, she had help and nearly died before pulling it, but she did it.
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  • Dramatic Thunder: Saying "castle" in the Everfree Forest has this effect.
  • The Dreaded: Maud Pie to anyone who knows her, and for good reasons:
    "You idiot! Maud Pie is a professional assassin! She's killed more ponies than some wars!"
  • Everything's Louder with Bagpipes: Pinkie Pie's sax:
  • For Want of a Nail: The nail being that Sunset Shimmer apparently returned on her own from the human world and reconciled with Celestia, thus on the fateful day of the Sonic Rainboom Celestia was in Cloudsdale, and Sunset Shimmer dealt with the incident at the School for Gifted Unicorns, leading to Spike's death.
    • In Spite of a Nail: Twilight, Rarity, Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie still ends up as bearers of the Elements of Harmony alongside Gilda and Maud.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Anything demanding the attention of the Grand Magus Sunset Shimmer.
  • Gold Digger: Amazingly enough, Blueblood. Turns out he's very bad with money...
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Grand Magus Sunset Shimmer's reputation for setting everything and everyone on fire during her job is wildly exaggerated, as shown the one time she was seen in action and didn't set on fire anything that didn't NEED to be set on fire.
  • Impoverished Patrician: Turns out that Prince Blueblood is this, having spent all the money his father left him, and wants to blackmail Rarity into marrying him to have the money he needs.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: How Twilight, her band and Pinkie Pie reacted to their Nice Job Breaking It, Hero! moment (see below).
  • In the Blood: Two families:
    • Thievery is in the Twilight family: Twilight Velvet was a thief who was never caught, Night Light is implied to have been her accomplice after their first meeting (in which she stole his wallet), and Twilight Twinkle, Twilight Sparkle's grandmother, was an amazing and daring thief who stole pretty much the entire family fortune and even a kiss from Celestia.
    • Turns out that money problems and marrying a rich mare to deal with them is something that Blueblood's family has been doing for many generations.
  • Mythology Gag: As Equestria's Grand Magus, Sunset Shimmer has a gold scepter with a sculpt of her smiling face on top.
  • Never Live It Down: In-Universe, Shining Armor and Celestia aren't going to let Sunset forget what happened at Twilight's entrance exam anytime soon.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Why Twilight failed the entrance exam to the School for Gifted Unicorns: seeing the rampaging dragon, Sunset Shimmer barged in and hit it with a fireball powerful enough to make it fall, scaring Twilight to the point she nearly fell to her death and turned Spike back into a hatchling right before he hit the rocks.
    • Sunset Shimmer also has a tendency to improvise and cause trouble, as mentioned by Celestia. Only time will tell if what she did it to the Elements of Harmony is another example.
    • Twilight Sparkle and her band plus Pinkie Pie delivered two of the Elements of Harmony to Nightmare Moon. In all fairness, they thought they were working for Celestia.
  • Original Flavor: Amazingly enough, manages to feel like a series of episodes of both My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic and Lupin III.
  • Redemption Rejection: Twilight refused the pardon she had been offered by Celestia after her role into exposing what was going on at Canterlot Prison, as those very events left her greatly mistrusting of ponies trying to reform her.
    • After defeating Nightmare Moon, Twilight gets a number of rewards including a pardon. As Twilight walks away, Rarity notices she stole Celestia's tiara.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Blueblood starts out as one to Rarity. Of course, he's actually after her money.
  • Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist: Shining Armor is the guardspony chasing Twilight, trying to apprehend his sister for her own good. He's also willing to suspend the chase and join forces to deal with more dangerous criminals-or inflict a Humiliation Conga on Blueblood.
  • What If?: Invoked by Celestia, who wonders what would have happened had things been different with Twilight.
  • White Sheep: Turns out, Shining Armor is the only honest pony in his family, much to his embarrassment when he finds out.
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