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"I know the legend of the warrior the First Ones called She-Ra. They said she would return to us in the hour of our greatest need to bring balance to Etheria. I never thought she was anything more than a myth. And yet you're here now. And in the uniform of a Horde soldier, no less. You would pledge to stand with us against the ones you once served?[...] Then rise. The Rebellion accepts your allegiance, She-Ra, Princess of Power."
Queen Angella, "Razz"
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She-Ra and the Princesses of Power is a Continuity Reboot of the series She-Ra: Princess of Power released on Netflix and produced by DreamWorks Animation. It is the first installment to be made for its parent franchise in over fifteen years, following the short-lived He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (2002). The show is helmed by Noelle Stevenson, the creator of Nimona and co-writer of Lumberjanes.

The series centers on the orphan Adora (Aimee Carrero), who was raised as a soldier in Lord Hordak's army known as the Horde only to discover one day that, not only is the group she dedicated her life to actually evil, but that she's the destined wielder of a magic sword from a precursor race that can transform her into She-Ra, a legendary warrior princess. Now a member of the Rebellion, Adora must help new friends Glimmer and Bow unite a group of magical princesses and wage battle against the evil Horde for the fate of the planet. Meanwhile within the Horde itself, Adora's former best friend Catra (AJ Michalka), feeling betrayed by Adora's sudden desertion, finds herself steadily climbing the ranks of command to become our heroine's biggest threat.

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The show had a planned out 52-episode run, spread across several seasons. The first season premiered on November 13, 2018. The second season released on April 26, 2019; while the third season was released August 2nd, 2019; the fourth season released November 5th, 2019; and the fifth and final was released May 15th, 2020. note 

You can watch the first teaser here and the first trailer here. The second trailer can be seen here.

Season 1 and 2 spoilers will be unmarked!


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She-Ra and the Tropes of Power!

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    Tropes A-C 
  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: The Sword of Protection is sharp enough for She-Ra to cut marks in solid stone without much effort. It's not too good on finesse, however...
  • Aborted Arc:
    • Near the end of Season 1 Light Hope tells Adora that she must bring balance to the planet and find the remaining princesses while showing holographic representations of at least a dozen princesses (including one that seems to be of the same Cat Girl species as Catra) seeming to indicate that the show will incorporate more characters from the original She-Ra series. Despite this no new princesses are found or added to the cast which gets quite egregious in Season 4 when the entire climax of the plot hinges on all of the princesses connecting to their Runestones so Light Hope can activate the Heart of Etheria and Scorpia is noted to be the only princess remaining who hasn't done so.
    • Adora spends a decent chunk of the show wanting to find her family. It's confirmed in Season 5 that the First Ones are extinct, but Adora doesn't seem to care because she spends the season laser-focused on Catra, and the show doesn't even take the opportunity to have her declare that her True Companions are her family.
  • Abusive Parents:
    • Shadow Weaver is the closest thing Adora and Catra have ever had to a mother, but nonetheless emotionally abused both of them, especially Catra.
    • As Hordak's genetic progenitor, his "brother" Horde Prime is the closest thing he has to a father figure. However, Prime treats his clones as disposable tools. In a flashback, he neck-lifted Hordak and cast him out for being defective. Everything Hordak does thereafter is a futile attempt to earn Prime's affirmation. In Season 4, Prime is disgusted at Hordak's display of free will in conquering Etheria unbidden, and proceeds to Mind Rape and mind-wipe the clone.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Several Horde characters are easier on the eyes this time around.
    • In the 1980s cartoon, Scorpia had sunken cheeks, garish eye makeup, and an angular face. In the reboot, Scorpia is a tall, athletic woman with undercut white hair and a pleasant face.
    • In the original cartoon, Imp was a chubby pig-nosed creature. In the reboot, he looks like a humanoid toddler with blue skin and bat wings.
    • Zig-zagged with Hordak. He's taller, leaner, wears much more tasteful armor, and has a much more pleasant voice than his 1980s counterpart. Also, he has human-like feet now in contrast to the original Hordak's webbed feet, and his facial features are more bat-like than fish-like. However, the 1980s Hordak was healthy and had an athletic build, while this Hordak is thin and sickly underneath his cybernetic armor, with scarring/vitiligo on his arms, shoulders, and back.
    • Horde Prime goes from an Eldritch Abomination in the form of a giant amorphous green cloud to a physically imposing man with a soothing but terrifying voice, and a calm, controlling demeanor.
  • Adaptational Curves: Inverted. Compared to the original show, which used the same slender Impossible Hourglass Figure for all the women, the girls come in a variety of shapes and sizes, all of which look much more realistic (and age appropriate) than the originals.
  • Adaptational Modesty: Just about every character, both female and male, wear less revealing clothing this time around. In particular, She-Ra's Cleavage Window is gone, replaced with a full breastplate.
  • Adaptation Name Change:
    • The Evil Horde is simply called The Horde. Somewhat subverted as it seems that while they don't refer to themselves as evil, everyone else does.
      Bow: Your army is called the Evil Horde.
      Adora: Who calls us that?!
      Bow: [Beat] Everybody!
    • Likewise, the Great Rebellion is simply called the Rebellion.
    • Swift Wind, She-Ra's flying steed, is never called Spirit. He's called "Horsey" before being transformed, and then names himself Swift Wind when the transformation makes him capable of complex thought (and eventually speech).
  • Adaptation Personality Change:
    • Madam Razz was an inept sorceress in the 1980s cartoon, but is a highly competent magic user (if a little senile) in the reboot. Unlike her 1980s counterpart, this Razz also has knowledge of major players and events (the First Ones, Mara, portal catastrophes) that the main characters lack.
    • Catra was a vamp in the original cartoon, but isn't shown using feminine wiles in the reboot. Her personality is angrier, edgier, and more vulnerable in the reboot series.
    • Scorpia is warm and nurturing in the reboot, in contrast to the cruel Scorpia of the 1980s cartoon.
    • Hordak was loud, boorish, and quick to punish underlings in the 1980s cartoon. In the reboot, he's articulate, pragmatic, and coldly efficient.
  • Adaptation Relationship Overhaul:
    • In the 1980s series, Hordak was Adora's adoptive father after taking her as a baby, was proud of her for her skill and military accomplishments, and took it personally when she defected. In the reboot, he took her as a baby but left Shadow Weaver to raise her instead, doesn't care about her, and when she defects, he ignores her and dismisses her as irrelevant.
    • Catra and Adora are friends raised together since they were both babies and largely treated like sisters in the Horde by Shadow Weaver, when before they were just arch-enemies. They end the series as lovers, certainly something the original characters would never do.
    • Bow and Sea Hawk are no longer Adora's love interests. Instead, they are just good friends, with Adora even being a Shipper on Deck for Sea Hawk and Mermista.
    • In the 1980s series, Entrapta was just one of Hordak's minions, and a minor one at that. In the reboot, she's Hordak's collaborator on technology-related projects, his friend, and eventually his love interest.
    • In the 1980s series, Catra and Scorpia hated each other and were bitter rivals. In the reboot, Scorpia becomes Catra's sidekick and sees them as best friends, with more than a few hints of having a massive crush on Catra, while Catra merely finds her useful but annoying.
  • Adapted Out:
    • Adam/He-Man, as well as the other residents of Eternia, have been excised from the story, as they were unavailable for the creative team to use. However, Eternia is referenced in the show as a password for First Ones ruins, so it's implied that there is a connection.
    • Kowl, Bow's talking animal helper, no longer appears in the show. He does show up as a plushie in Glimmer's bedroom.
    • Loo-kee, the child-like creature who hides in each episode of the original series, is referenced by Razz as a friend of hers. He finally shows up once in an appropriate Freeze-Frame Bonus during the last season.
  • Adult Fear:
    • Finding out you were lied to your entire childhood.
    • Losing a spouse and raising one's child as a single parent.
    • Losing a parent.
    • Discovering that one has a chronic illness that can be managed, but never cured. Watching one's body deteriorate from a chronic illness.
    • Experiencing an existential crisis over the direction of one's life.
    • Dementia.
    • Religious extremism/cult trauma. Either being a member or victim to one.
    • Watching a friend or family member go down a bad path, but being unable to reach them or help in any way.
  • Advertised Extra: Netossa and Spinnerella are very prominent in the advertisements for the show and are given equal status to the other princesses, but in Season 1 they are little more than Recurring Extras who only have lines in the final episode. In Seasons 2 and 3, they don't even get that. They do finally get some episode focus in Season 4, but are otherwise mostly absent. Season 5 finally averts this and has the two in a season long subplot.
  • Aerith and Bob: Among fantasy names like Glimmer, Shadow Weaver, Catra, Scorpia, Perfuma, Sea Hawk and so on so forth, there's people called Kyle, Daryll, and George. Adora stands somewhere in between, being a standard feminine name you'd find in real life (It is Latin for "beloved"), but not as common as the latter names.
  • Affectionate Gesture to the Head:
    • When Shadow Weaver is trying to manipulate someone, or has already done so, she will touch their face or hair. She has a habit of tucking in Adora's stray hair. In Season 2, she touches Catra's face when she's trying to get on her good side. In a flashback, she touches young Micah's face after transforming from Light Spinner to Shadow Weaver. In Season 4, she tucks a rose behind Glimmer's ear and touches her face, promising that Glimmer will be a more powerful monarch than either of her parents.
    • Horde Prime also does this, to chilling effect. In "Destiny, Part 2", he touches Hordak's face, but the touch quickly turns into facial groping as he violates Hordak's mind. He also touches Glimmer, Adora and Catra's faces in a manner that feels predatory.
    • Entrapta cheerfully pats Catra on the head when claiming she saved her life. Actually, she's being sent to die in the desert. She pats her on the head again with her hair when forgiving Catra for sending her to Beast Island.
    • In the two-part finale, Adora and Catra are often shown cradling each other's faces, turning the gesture Shadow Weaver has always used on them from a symbol of abuse and manipulation to one of comfort and love, and gently bumping their foreheads together.
    • She-Ra puts her hand on Hordak's cheek in the finale as she expels Horde Prime from his body.
  • Age Lift: A number of characters are made younger than their original incarnations, such as Adora, Glimmer, Bow, and Catra; all of whom looked to be in their 20s or 30s in the original, but are aged-down to late teens in the remake.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: At the end of Season 4 Hordak proudly presents Horde Prime with his accomplishments in a moment he's been looking forward to for years, only for Horde Prime to not care at all and accuse him of forgetting his place, before forcibly reprogramming him.
  • Alien Invasion:
    • The First Ones were alien invaders from outside Etheria who wanted to use the planet's magic power as a superweapon.
    • Horde Prime is the leader of an alien empire that has conquered large swaths of the universe, and has set his sights on Etheria.
  • Alien Sky: Etheria's sky has several moons and more importantly no stars, because it has been trapped in an empty dimension called Despondos.
  • Alternate Reality Episode: Episodes 5 and 6 of Season 3, “Remember” and “The Portal.” The two-part season finale takes place almost entirely in a decaying reality where Adora didn't leave the Horde, Bow is a passive historian, and Glimmer’s father Micah is still ruling Bright Moon alongside Angella. It's later implied that some people (possibly everybody) remembers the portal-reality, although not everyone is sure if it was "real".
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Entrapta has a variety of quirks. As she says, she's "Not good with people, but [she's] good with tech." She's very easily distracted, but can be outright obsessive when it comes to understanding First Ones tech, and doesn't seem to understand or care about consequences outside of the tech itselfnote . She has trouble reading social cues, to the point that she needed to ask whether Mermista was angry after Mermista got through yelling at her, and has No Listening Skills. She doesn't seem to have a concept of morality and had to be outright reminded of which side of the conflict she was on (and why the enemies of that side should be considered her enemies). That said, she's fiercely loyal to those she considers her friends, and once she realizes that there's been a failure of communication, she does her best to resolve the issue, either via explaining herself better or seeking further clarification. And she won't eat food if it isn't tiny. A Season 4 character design sheet outright calls her autistic. Noelle confirmed that Entrapta was autistic.
  • Amulet of Dependency: Entrapta creates a focused power source that allows Hordak's armor to counter his rapidly degenerating body. The downside is that if it's removed he quickly loses all of his recovery and becomes weak and helpless.
  • An Aesop:
    • True friends care about your well-being and support you during difficult times. False friends merely use you to get what they want.
    • People who denigrate others are often overcompensating for their own feelings of inadequacy.
    • No matter how many misfortunes you have experienced in life, you are still responsible for your own choices.
    • Other people (parents, leaders, etc.) may try to decide your path in life, but you are ultimately responsible for choosing your own path, even if it comes with hard sacrifices.
    • The only way to stop yourself from being abused is to get away from the abusers. Trying to endear yourself to people who hurt you or make you feel bad about yourself won't make them nicer, and will often just make the situation worse.
    • Actions have consequences (often, unintended consequences), no matter how well-intentioned those actions might be.
    • People can change if you give them the chance, and it's never too late to do the right thing.
    • There is power in love and friendship, even though it isn't easy to open your heart and be vulnerable. Perfuma embodies this.
    • You can either indulge in power or have the love of your family/friends. You can't have both. Catra finds this out the hard way. She attempted to risk destroying reality just so Adora could lose, which cost her Adora's love and faith in her, and in her obsession with winning the war, she drove away anyone else who cared about her. It isn't until she tries to make a Heroic Sacrifice to save Glimmer from Horde Prime that they start to repair their relationship.
    • As Mara tells Adora, you're worth more than what you can give to others.
  • And the Adventure Continues: In the Grand Finale, after Horde Prime is defeated, Adora and her friends plan to go out and restore magic to the universe.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love:
    Catra to Adora: Don't you get it?! I love you! I always have!
  • Animesque: The art style clearly borrows from 90's Magical Girl anime. This is particularly true on the way the character's eyes are drawn, which really resembles that decade's animes much more than the original She-Ra.
  • Anyone Can Die:
    • At the end of Season 3, Queen Angella makes a Heroic Sacrifice to save Etheria and is trapped in a parallel dimension as a result. The characters react as if she is Legally Dead.
    • Light Hope is destroyed near the end of Season 4.
    • Hordak is mind-wiped by Horde Prime at the end of Season 4. While his body is alive, his memories and personality have been erased. However, he is ultimately brought back at the end of Season 5, where he turns against Horde Prime and, after having his body taken over by the latter, is returned to normal when Adora expels Prime from his body.
    • Shadow Weaver performs a Heroic Sacrifice by saving Catra and Adora from a monster in Season 5.
  • Apocalypse How:
    • The end of Season 3 has a threatened Class 6, when Catra activates a portal which proceeds to nearly take all of local time and space with it.
    • Season 4 reveals that using the Heart of Etheria weapon would destroy Etheria in the process, resulting in a Class X apocalypse for both Etheria and the planet on the receiving end.
    • Season 5 takes it even further as Horde Prime plans to destroy the entire universe with the Heart of Etheria.
  • Arc Symbol:
    • Eyes figure prominently in Season 4. Several times, a character is revealed to be Double Trouble in disguise when their eyes turn yellow and reptilian. Octavia explains that Catra clawed out her right eye as a child. Grox is missing an eye. On Beast Island, when the signal induces despair in Bow, Micah, Entrapta, and Swift Wind, their eyes turn dull. Scorpia's eyes glow red when she connects with the Black Garnet. When Hordak learns that Catra exiled Entrapta to Beast Island, viewers receive a close-up of his eyes filling with tears. Bow fires an exploding arrow that ignites in Hordak's face, causing Hordak to fall to his knees and cover his eyes with his hands. Horde Prime has multiple eyes on the right side of his face which he harvested from his clones, according to character designer Rae Geiger. Horde Prime's clones have green eyes, and Hordak's eyes change from red to green when Prime overrides his mind.
    • Season 5 repeatedly shows close-ups of people clasping hands, showing an overall theme of togetherness and forgiveness.
  • Arc Words: During the finale of Season 3, "Everything is perfect". In the alternate reality, people who don't have their memories keep mentioning that everything is perfect to the people who are getting their memories back.
    • Season 4 has "I can fix this." and "Destiny", for Adora. She states the former multiple times as the situation on Etheria continues to deteriorate and the Horde gains more ground, while her friendship with Glimmer keeps getting more and more strained, with her declaration becoming more and more desperate each time. Glimmer eventually angrily calls her out on this. The latter is from Light Hope's insistence that activating and activating the Heart of Etheria is Adora's, even though it will destroy a huge swathe of the wider universe in service of a war that, as far as we know, ended a thousand years ago.
    • Season 4 also has "I'm coming back for you." Glimmer utters those words while staring at Hordak in the distance, after he led the siege against Salineas. Entrapta also says this line to her mini-mecha on Beast Island.
    • Season 5's two-part finale "Heart" has "I love you."
    • The words "Stay"" and "Promise" often come up during moments that land-mark Catra and Adora's relationship.
  • Artifact of Doom: The Sword of Protection itself turns out to be one in Season 4 with the reveal that it and She-Ra were intended to be the key to the Heart of Etheria superweapon. This leads to Adora destroying it when Light Hope attempts to activate the Heart in the finale to ensure the weapon can't be used, at least for now.
  • Athens and Sparta: Bright Moon is a shining city of hope and freedom, but the Fright Zone is very harsh and dystopian.
  • Babies Ever After:
    • According to a charity livestream by Noelle, Scorpia and Perfuma end up having a lot of kids.
    • Adora and Catra end up having a non-binary child named Finn. They're of Catra's species, but they dye their hair blonde to connect to Adora's heritage.
  • Bad Dreams: Catra starts having dreams of the friends she's discarded after Jumping Off the Slippery Slope in Season 3.
  • Bait-and-Switch: The first episode of Season 2 opens with She-Ra fighting Catra while the others are handling a horde of robots. While the others' fights were real, Adora's was a simulation created by Light Hope. Adora is rather bummed out that Light Hope had to make Catra "so mean", but begrudgingly admits that Catra really would be that cruel.
  • Bait-and-Switch Character Intro: When we first see Scorpia in She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, she appears stoic and menacing. One second later, she excitedly shouts "Kitty!" upon seeing Catra and hugs her, much to the latter's dismay.
  • Bare Your Midriff:
    • Bow's regular outfit exposes his abdomen. When dressed in a tuxedo, he deliberately removes his cumberbund to bare his midriff (which he then regrets as they are in an ice palace). And Adora and Glimmer panic in response to him covering up for his parents. Taken to a ridiculous extreme when even Bow's spacesuit has a little belly window.
    • Huntara wears a crop top that shows off her imposing abs (plus she lives in a hot, dry environment).
  • Bar Full of Aliens: The bar in the Crimson Wastes is full of all sorts of people, as is the nearby smuggler's den.
  • Beast Man: Etheria is populated by many humanoid races, some with animalistic features. Catra is a cat-person, Scorpia has scorpion features, and Hordak has a bat-like nose and ears. Throughout the series, viewers see goat-people, lizard-people, snake-people, moth-people, and even an octopus-woman.
  • Being Evil Sucks: One of the themes. Everyone who goes down the path of evil generally finds themselves alone and miserable, and in Catra's case, increasingly insane, even when they get what (they think) they want. In Hordak's case, it ends in his efforts being All for Nothing and his psychological destruction.
  • Beta Couple: Bow and Glimmer end up being this to Adora and Catra. Like Adora and Catra, Bow and Glimmer are extremely close Childhood Friends, but Bow and Glimmer being raised by good parents allows them to comfortably express their feelings and can generally just enjoy each other's company without overthinking it. Like Catra though, Glimmer has problems with jealousy and can take it out on her friend instead of dealing with it in a healthy way. We also see that like Catra and Adora, a major change causes unresolved issues to surface leading to an angry split that causes even more anger and bad decisions. Though again being more emotionally mature than Catra, Glimmer is able to see the error of her ways faster and apologizes.
  • Betrayal by Inaction:
    • Hordak knew exactly what kind of person Shadow Weaver was, but did not check up on how Shadow Weaver was treating her two young charges. As a result, Shadow Weaver's abuse of Catra and Adora continued unabated through their childhoods.
    • Scorpia did nothing when Catra knocked out Entrapta with a stun baton and arranged for Entrapta's exile on Beast Island. In Season 4, Scorpia's guilt gnaws at her until she leaves the Horde and alerts the princesses to Entrapta's whereabouts.
  • The Big Bad Shuffle: The series starts with a pretty traditional set-up: Hordak is the Big Bad who spends most of his time working in the background, while his minion Catra is a more direct antagonist. Then things get a little complicated. Catra works her way up the ranks until she eventually forces Hordak to acknowledge her as an equal partner. Then it turns out that Light Hope was a bad guy the whole time, and she has her own evil plan independent of the Horde and directly at odds with them. And as soon as She-Ra beats Light Hope, Horde Prime arrives on Etheria, forces Hordak and Catra to get in line, and cements himself as the true Big Bad of the story.
  • Big Damn Heroes: In the Season 1 finale. Everyone is down or on their last legs, including the Runestone, and when it's destroyed darkness will cover Etheria. Cue Mermista and the rest of the Princess Alliance arriving.
    • In Season 5 Shadow Weaver, of all people, pulls this off when she shows up to save Catra from the First Ones final security measure. It's coupled with her Heroic Sacrifice and finally giving Catra what she's always wanted from her mother figure.
    "It's too late for me. But you? This is only the beginning for you. I'm so proud of you, Catra."
  • Big Damn Kiss: After spending most of Season 5, and frankly the series, building up to it, during the climax Catra and Adora finally admit they love each other and share a kiss, which ends up not only saving all of Etheria but their own lives as well.
  • Bitter Sweet Ending: Mara's story to stop the Heart of Etheria from being used a thousand years ago.While Mara succeeds in stopping the First Ones from using Etheria as a weapon to rule the galaxy, it cost not only her life but the lives of most of her friends to do so. Horde Prime mentions he defeated the First Ones around the same time Mara sealed off Etheria which heavily implies that while her actions stopped one tyrant it also allowed another to take their place. Ultimately though, thanks to her and her friends actions, Adora and her friends are able to finish the fight and truly save the universe.
  • Bizarrchitecture: The castle of Dryl, Entrapta's home, is a labyrinth which is ludicrously easy to get lost in, even for people who are not Entrapta. The only beings able to navigate the place without getting hopelessly confused are the robots.
  • Black-and-Gray Morality: How the conflict between Horde Prime and the First Ones is ultimately presented. Horde Prime is pure evil, but it's revealed his opponents did some pretty morally ambiguous things themselves to counter his conquest. That Glimmer nearly walked down the same path to save her friends and home lets you know just how desperate their situation may have gotten.
  • Blatant Lies:
    Catra: "I AM NOT CUTE!"
  • Body Horror:
    • Due to the effects of the Spell of Obtainment, Shadow Weaver's skin is scarred, and her bloodshot eyes have hellish pupils.
    • Hordak's medical condition has left him with vitiligo on his shoulders and back, holes between his radius and ulna bones, and muscle atrophy in his arms.
    • In "The Portal", Catra is corrupted from the collapsing reality inside the portal. Her right arm and the right side of her face are blackened. She gets better after reality is restored.
    • In "Protocol", Lonnie, Kyle, and Rogelio are covered in chemical burns after exposure to the acidic spore storm, with Kyle experiencing the worst damage.
    • In "Destiny, Part 2", glowing First Ones script appears on the arms and faces of princesses with Runestone attunement when the Heart of Etheria is activated.
    • Also in "Destiny, Part 2", Horde Prime has four eyes (three on the right side of his face), all with green sclera.
  • Body Surf: Horde Prime can transfer his consciousness to a new "vessel" in his Hive Mind when his old body gives up the ghost or is killed. He takes over Hordak's body when the latter turns against him and drops him into the depths of his ship, but Adora manages to exorcise him for good.
  • Bond Creature: Swift Wind develops this with Adora, enough that he can track her down if need be.
  • Borrowed Catchphrase: Catra is fond of saying "Hey Adora" to said heroine. When Catra sends some robots to obtain some First Ones technology for the Horde, Adora goes "Hey Catra" to one of them before smashing it.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: In Season 5, Horde Prime starts using chips on the Rebellion and other native Etherians, including Catra, forcing them into his Hive Mind and binding them to his will.
  • Breaking the Cycle of Bad Parenting: Adora and Catra 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.
  • By the Power of Grayskull!: Adora uses the command "For The Honor Of Grayskull!" to transform herself into She-Ra.
  • Can't Kill You, Still Need You:
    • Hordak's desire to punish Entrapta for interfering with his personal research is stemmed after seeing that her additions to one of his devices solved a problem he'd been having, quickly realizing that she's the only being on Etheria able to comprehend his technology and thus help him advance his work.
    • Catra tries to invoke this in "Light Spinner", attempting to convince Hordak that Shadow Weaver shouldn't be killed. Her inability to do this, coupled with Shadow Weaver once again manipulating her in order to escape, leads to Hordak nearly killing Catra instead.
    • Catra tries to invoke this again in Season 5 with Horde Prime, telling him that she's the only one that knows how to use the Heart of Etheria, but Prime just gets what information he needs from Glimmer.
    • After a few attempts to get Adora to cooperate so he can use She-Ra to activate the Heart fail, Horde Prime decides to bypass the need for her and the other princesses by just brute-force hacking past the First Ones defenses around the weapon.
  • Career-Building Blunder: When Catra fails to recapture Adora after the latter's defection, Shadow Weaver takes her to Hordak for punishment and tries to tell Hordak that she's useless and insubordinate. Hordak tells Shadow Weaver that if she's failed to train Catra correctly, that's on her, and promotes Catra to Force Captain in Adora's place.
  • Cassandra Truth:
    • In Episode 7, Adora tries to tell everyone that Shadow Weaver infiltrated Mystacor, but thanks to her manipulation and tricking Adora into displaying worried behavior, the others just tell her she's on edge and needs to rest.
    • While in a version of Bright Moon that exists inside of a Lotus-Eater Machine, Adora is hit with a truth spell, and has to explain what's going on. Despite said spell, she still isn't believed. The caster instead thinks they cast the spell incorrectly.
  • Cast Full of Gay: Apart from Angella, who had a husband and never really gets Ship Tease with anyone, and is not likely to pursue romance any time soon, the Princess Alliance consists of Adora, Spinnerella and Netossa (definitely gay), and Glimmer, Bow, Mermista and Sea Hawk (all Ambiguously Bi). Bow and Scorpia also canonically have same-sex parents (the former being recurring characters and the latter, sadly, presumably deceased). The Horde, outside of Hordak himself, is not notably more heterosexual; nearly all the named Horde characters are at minimum Ambiguously Gay, Entrapta is Ambiguously Bi, and Double Trouble is nonbinary (and, per their voice actor, also gay).
    • The ending removes the ambiguity from several characters. Catra and Adora as well as Scorpia and Perfuma (though more subtle) become a couple, and Kyle and Rogelio are confirmed to have had crushes on each other as well, along with being in a poly relationship with each other and Lonnie meaning they are possibly bi.
    • Jewelstar is a Transgender man.
  • Casting Gag:
  • Central Theme:
    • The overall theme of the series is that there's more strength in unity and teamwork than in isolating yourself from others. Both the heroes and villains explore this theme.
    • Another overriding theme is mistakes and redemption. How do you fix wrongs done in the past, by yourself or by those who came before you? What do you do when you love someone, but they keep doubling down on their bad decisions and refuse to accept responsibility? At what point is someone Beyond Redemption?
    • A recurring theme in Season 5 is violation. Horde Prime violates Hordak's mind by tapping into his memories and mind-wiping him. He also violates the minds of countless Etherians by chipping them. He violates the bodies of his clones and Etherian slaves by possessing them, and to a lesser extent by touching them in unsettling ways. He violates the souls of his clones by programming them to revere him with a fanatical, quasi-religious fervor. He violates Etheria by infecting the planet with a virus.
    • Seasons 4 and 5 focus on separation and reunification.
      • Adora is seemingly separated from her She-Ra persona after she shatters her sword. In Season 5, she learns how to call upon her She-Ra persona and becomes stronger than before.
      • Catra and Adora are torn apart by Catra's actions, but they reconcile and become a couple.
      • Adora and Bow's relationship with Glimmer is torn apart by Glimmer's actions, but they reconcile in Season 5. Glimmer is also physically separated from her friends at the end of Season 4, but is reunited with them in Season 5.
      • Horde Prime's mind wipe separates Hordak's conscious mind from his memories and sense of self. Hordak slowly regains his memories and ends the series a self-actualized man.
      • Hordak and Entrapta are separated from each other, but reunite at the end of Season 5.
      • Entrapta, who spent Season 4 in exile on Beast Island, reunites with Rebellion members in Season 5.
      • Multiple chipped Etherians are separated from their loved ones, both physically and psychologically. When Horde Prime's mind control over them is neutralized, they reunite with their loved ones.
      • Horde Prime separates himself from his own memories whenever he possesses a new vessel, and must interface with his old bodies in order to recall the memories embedded therein.
      • The First Ones separated Etheria from its immense magical power by sequestering magic in the Heart of Etheria. She-Ra takes the magical power into herself and frees it, allowing magic to reanimate the planet.
    • Season 5 also focuses on forgetting and remembering.
      • Hordak forgets his past thanks to two mind-wipes, but his love for Entrapta helps him remember again. In the finale, Hordak remembers saving baby Adora, telling her, "I remember you."
      • Horde Prime's memories are fragmented among his previous host bodies. He cannot remember Mara or She-Ra and must interface with one of his old bodies to access memories of them.
      • Horde Prime wants his subjects to forget his vulnerability to magic on Krytis, but Wrong Hordak remembers that the planet has something to do with Prime's past failure.
      • Chipping causes many Etherians to forget themselves and their loved ones. Removing the chip or severing their connection to Horde Prime allows them to remember again.
      • The enmity between Adora and Catra caused them to forget their love for each other, but they remember their bond in Season 5.
  • The Chain of Harm: Horde Prime cast Hordak aside after years of mistreatment and a refusal to trust him in spite of his capabilities. Hordak then treated Shadow Weaver the same way, and before she served Hordak, she felt treated the same by the leaders of Mystacor. The chain continued to Catra, both when she served Shadow Weaver and when she began answering directly to Hordak, and Catra eventually begins to continue it with her own subordinates. With all three of them, it is shown the abuse they suffered instilled in them a lack of self-worth that results in a refusal to accept failure and inability to emotionally connect with others, and they'll eventually be betrayed by those they mistreated and be left alone.
  • Character Name and the Noun Phrase: The structure of the title is this trope, which funnily enough results in it sounding closer to He-Man and the Masters of the Universe than the original series' subtitle, which only referred to She-Ra.
  • Childhood Friend Romance:
    • Adora and Catra grew up together in the Horde, and are in a relationship by the end of the series
    • Similarly, Bow and Glimmer are old friends, and end up romantically involved in the Grand Finale as well.
  • Child Soldiers: Ages are never given, but Adora and Catra are apparently in their late teens, along with other Horde soldiers, and they are far from the only ones. The Rebellion members are also significantly on the young side, with Frosta being only eleven (and later saying that she's been in charge of her kingdom since she was eight).
  • Cloning Blues: The reason for Hordak's attempted takeover of Etheria. He is a clone of Horde Prime, and was once Prime's top general until Hordak's physical degeneration started setting in. Since Horde Prime despises weakness, Hordak was cast down from his position and sent to the front lines to die; except some sort of portal accident occurred, sending him to Etheria. He began his crusade to conquer the planet to show his "brother" that he is not a defect, and that he is worth something.
    • Hordak further tried to remedy his condition by cloning himself a new body, but it seems all of his attempts turned out defective themselves, and none are seen past a malformed embryonic stage. It was explained by the creators that Imp is one of these failed attempts, being a blend of Hordak’s DNA and some Etherian species.
    • All other members of Horde Prime's army are also clones like Hordak, just without the genetic defects and thus healthier.
    • Horde Prime only vaguely resembles Hordak, suggesting that Hordak is a genetic derivative of Prime rather than an identical clone, though the fact that Prime uses the body parts of clones, namely their eyes, to enhance his aesthetics and can Body Surf into a new clone body "vessel" if his current ones fails or is killed muddies things a bit further.
  • Clothing Switch: A common custom for Etherian married couples. Netossa and Spinnerella exchanged necklaces, flashbacks show that Angella and Micah share earrings, and in Adora's vision of the future she wants, Bow and Glimmer are wearing earrings as well while Catra wears Adora's wing clip. It even gets a symbolic version for Ship Tease when Catra loses her tiara and Adora incorporates it into her She-Ra form.
  • Couch Gag: First used in the fourth season, then multiple times in the fifth season, the opening credits are changed based on which characters are actually on Rebellion's side at the moment.
  • The Coup: In Season 4, dissatisfied with Hordak's side projects and general lack of leadership and concerned about the arrival of Horde Prime, Catra takes the throne by force and makes Hordak take the offensive. Afterwards, the two seem to share de facto authority.
  • Creator Cameo: Several of the guests at Princess Prom are modeled on the show's crewmembers, such as Noelle Stevenson, their wife Molly Ostertag, and storyboarder Diana Huh.
  • Crystal Spires and Togas: All of the princesses except Mermista favor flowing, pastel robes. Mystacor and Bright Moon tend toward crystal and glass in the same palette.
  • Cypher Language: The language of the First Ones, which can be found here. Adora, thanks to her connection to the sword, is the only person capable of reading it within the show.

    Tropes D-G 
  • Dark Is Evil: Played with. The Horde has the Black Garnet, which controls shadows, and which they use for their magic and world domination plans. On the other hand, it's not that the Runestone itself is evil, just that overuse of one Runestone throws the others out of balance, and the Horde has been abusing its powers heavily. When Adora activates the Runestones in the climax of the first season, it throws off the Horde tech siphoning from it.
    • Also, the Horde's fashion sense (in those that seem to express one) trends towards dark colors. The princesses prefer pastels or bright colors and the two that don't (Entrapta and Scorpia) went Horde.
    • Averted with Horde Prime, whose chief colors are white and bright green, and who is the most evil person in the series. When Adora exorcises him from Hordak, however, he appears as a black mass with various eyes.
  • Darker and Edgier: Despite the Lighter and Softer aesthetic, this series is actually darker than its predecessor in most other ways. The show does not shy away from discussions of war crimes, from the Horde's use of child soldiers to its indiscriminate attacks on civilians. Characters on both sides regularly find themselves in near-death situations, while the issues of childhood abuse and mental trauma are constantly touched upon in Catra's character arc and later Hordak's arc. It only gets darker in Season 2. One such episode features Shadow Weaver's backstory, which is pretty dark in itself, from showcasing Norwyn's onscreen death, to the kidnapping of babies. Queen Angella's backstory with Micah touches upon survivor's guilt. Season 4 explores grief after the death of a loved one when Glimmer is left to rule Bright Moon. Seasons 2 and 3 explore the issue of chronic illness when the show reveals that Hordak is seriously ill. Season 4 somehow manages to be darker and edgier than the previous seasons, delivering multiple servings of psychological horror, and Season 5 is even darker.
  • Darkest Hour: Season 4 ends with both the Horde and Rebellion in shambles, Glimmer and Catra taken prisoner by Horde Prime, Hordak getting mind-wiped by Horde Prime, the Galactic Horde Empire converging on Etheria, and Adora destroying the Sword and left shaken and disillusioned after discovering that the First Ones were Evil All Along and that She-Ra was never meant to be anything more than a living weapon for their genocidal crusade to "purify" the galaxy.
  • Dark Reprise: Season 5 features a more somber version of the theme song, sung by AJ Michalka.
  • The Dark Side Will Make You Forget: As Light Spinner, Shadow Weaver was the only magic user at Mystacor that recognized how much of a threat the Horde posed. The others, especially Norwyn, thought that the princesses would handle it. When they refused to listen to her warnings, her frustration and ambition led her to attempt a forbidden spell that turned her into a Power Parasite, twisting her mind in the process. She then killed Norwyn before leaving, and the next we see of her she's joined the Horde herself.
  • Deconstructed Character Archetype:
    • Adora's character arc deconstructs The Chosen One archetype. Adora is a heroic warrior who uses the powers of She-Ra to fight for the liberation of Etheria. However, while She-Ra has great power, Adora still has to learn how to control the power and takes further time to explore their capabilities and master her true potential. Then Seasons 3 and 4 reveal that Adora's ancestors, the First Ones, weaponized Etheria as a tool for genocidal conquest, and She-Ra was meant to be the one who activated it. The mantle of She-Ra was that of someone who would aid in this genocide, their individual personhood was irrelevant. Part of Adora's character development is deciding that she will not be a tool of destruction.
      • She also deconstructs The Atoner. Especially in Season 5 after Horde Prime invades Etheria and she loses the ability to transform for a while, Adora starts reaching Martyr Without a Cause levels, pushing herself to exhaustion and acting like a Leeroy Jenkins because she's that desperate to make up for what she perceives as her mistakes. Catra calls her out on this in "Failsafe", asking Adora what she really wants, and Adora has trouble answering.
    • Catra deconstructs The Starscream. She proves adept at seizing opportunities to further her position and power, but as she gains influence within the Horde, her character flaws (reckless, selfish, desirous of glory) manifest through poor tactical decisions, a lack of loyalty from her subordinates, and ambitious plans that are easily foiled. Further, those same character flaws are the very flaws Shadow Weaver saw in her and why Catra never got recognition or promotion in the first place. Season 5 continues this, as Horde Prime is wise to Catra's past betrayals and and outright rejects her as a willing aide when she starts to suck up to him. Her hanging around powerful villains in an attempt to usurp them gets her mind controlled and nearly killed.
    • The first two seasons set up Hordak as a typical Evil Overlord. As the leader of the Horde, Hordak must cultivate a ruthless, stoic, and unapproachable exterior to keep his minions in line through fear. This also means he cannot show any vulnerability, be it physical illness or emotional shortcomings, and must keep others from getting too close lest they figure out who he is in private. His backstory also explores what factors would drive someone to become an Evil Overlord who lets no one get close to them and is driven to the conquest of a world — namely, someone who was raised in an environment that did not tolerate failure or disobedience, has a poor sense of self-worth, and needs validation and love.
    • Season 4 moves Scorpia from a straight example of a Token Good Teammate to a deconstruction. In earlier seasons, she's a sweet, kind, slightly ditzy person who prides herself on her loyalty, but happens to work for a colonialist military dictatorship. Then comes the episode "Princess Scorpia". Over the course of the episode, she takes the time to process some of the terrible things she's been complicit in and the awful people she serves, decides that being the good person she wants to be and remaining with the Horde are not compatible, and leaves to save Entrapta.
  • Demonization: Horde Cadets are taught that princesses are evil, dangerous monsters who cannot control their powers and wreck everything in their way. The propaganda apparently is so efficient Adora completely freaks out upon her first transformation into She-Ra, being horrified at the idea she might have become a princess herself. Bow directly addresses this in the second season, when all of Adora's ghost stories involve evil princesses. Adora briefly muses why she never noticed.
  • Distressed Damsel:
    • Glimmer is kidnapped by the Horde and tortured by Shadow Weaver in Season 1.
    • Adora gets captured by Catra in Season 3, launching another rescue effort by the Rebellion.
    • Horde Prime keeps Glimmer hostage aboard his ship in Season 5. Catra is a debatable case, as she insists she's not a prisoner.
    • In the series finale, Horde Prime abducts Entrapta. Just when it seems that Hordak freed her, Prime possesses Hordak's body and abducts her again.
  • Distressed Dude: The episode "Boys' Night Out" centers around Bow, Sea Hawk and Swift Wind being taken prisoner by pirates.
  • Dub Name Change: These name changes are all highly appropriate, translating them to a good equivalent in the local language or an equally appropriate name (Entrapta tends to get changed to a tech name).
    • In the Spanish dub: Bow is called Arco, Glimmer is Destello, Catra is Gatia, Entrapta is Tecnia, Perfuma is Flora, Mermista is Sirénida, Frosta is Escarcha, Scorpia is Escorpia, Spinnerella and Netossa are Girela and Reda, Castaspella is Conjuria, Double Trouble is Dupla, Flutterina is Mariposa, Huntara is Cazadora, and the Star Siblings are Astro, Estela and Lucero.
    • In the French dub: Glimmer is Scintilla, Bow is Flechdor, Swift Wind is Fougor, Frosta is Glacia, Perfuma is Jasmine, Mermista is Siréna, Spinnerella is Tournelle, Castaspella is Sorciella, Shadow Weaver is Ténébra, Double Trouble is Doublia, Huntara is Chassetara, the Star Siblings are Stella, Estelle and Joyale, and Peekablue is Irisa.
    • In the Portuguese dub: Bow is Arqueiro, Glimmer is Cintilante, Catra is Gatra, Swift Wind is Ventania, Entrapta is Tecna, Frosta is Glácia, Perfuma is Flora, Mermista is Sereica, and Shadow Weaver is Sombria.
      • In Brazil, Catra becomes Felina, Mermista is Serena and Frosta is Gélida. Perfuma and Entrapta keep their English names.
    • In the Romanian dub: Bow is Arc, Glimmer is Rază, Catra is Felintra, Swift Wind is Vifor, Entrapta is Captanta, Mermista is Sirenista, Frosta is Glacia, and Shadow Weaver is Mreajna.
    • Hordak is changed to Hordax in the Indonesian dub.
    • Madam Razz becomes Rosa in the Norwegian dub.
    • Castaspella is Trollarella in the Swedish dub.
    • In the Spanish, Latin American, and Portuguese dubs, Angella is named Ángela (a common feminine name in those countries).
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: The heroes have to go through a lot in the series, but by the end Horde Prime is defeated, Etheria and the universe have been saved, Hordak regains his memories and reunites with Entrapta, and Adora and Catra finally admit their feelings for each other and become a couple.
  • Easily Conquered World: When Horde Prime learns exactly what Etheria is, he wastes no time blockading the planet, deploying his army to the surface and placing it in lockdown so that the heroes can’t escape.
  • Easily Forgiven:
    • In Season 4, the Rebellion welcomes Scorpia after an initial period of distrust, despite Scorpia's long history of serving the Etherian Horde.
    • In Season 5, it makes sense that Adora goes back to save Catra after Catra saves Glimmer and works with her to defeat Horde Prime, but it's surprising how quickly and easily every single character forgives Catra for all of her deeds despite almost destroying the world on purpose. Leaving Adora to fall to her death in Season 1 isn't mentioned either nor does Glimmer confront her about being responsible for the death of her mother. This may be due to time limitations however, since Season 5 only had thirteen episodes.
    • At the end of Season 5, in spite of everything Hordak has done, She-Ra exorcises Horde Prime's consciousness from his body without harming him, and the two share a Held Gaze. After Hordak's joyful reunion with Entrapta, nearby Rebellion members don't seem offended by his presence. However, this is all in the final moments of the show as the Rebellion is distracted with celebrating and Mermista's concern does imply there will be a conversation about Hordak in the near future.
    Mermista: "So are we all just like... okay with this?"
  • Empathy Doll Shot:
    • When the Horde destroys Salineas, a child's doll is seen amongst the wreckage.
    • Adora also makes it a point to give a child her She-Ra doll back while helping them escape the Horde's destruction.
  • The Empire: As usual, the Horde is the evil empire bent on world domination that the heroes are fighting against. And Hordak's army is just a tiny wayward splinter of a much, much larger force.
  • Epic Flail: One of the weapons Glimmer appropriated to her private armory (seen in Episode 13) is a warhammer head attached to a chain. Swift Wind takes one look at it and falls deeply in love.
  • Equal-Opportunity Evil: Most of the characters Hordak works closely with - Shadow Weaver, Catra, Entrapta - are female (as opposed to Horde Prime and his all-male clone army), and the Horde employs plenty of other women. Hordak isn't even bothered by the fact that Entrapta is a princess as long as she's useful to him. His soldiers come from a variety of different species as well. Inversely, the Rebellion is exclusively led by women and, at first, its forces appear exclusively human.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Hordak took baby Adora back to the Horde with him when he found her alone in a field. He also raised other orphans in the Fright Zone infirmary.
    • Huntara might be a ruthless bandit, but she was appalled by the Horde's actions and left the Horde in disgust.
    • Entrapta seems confident that Hordak wouldn't activate the portal machine if he knew doing so might destroy the planet.
    • In Season 5, Catra is horrified when Hordak is subjected to the purification ritual, despite their ugly history. Catra also knows that Glimmer's future on board Horde Prime's ship is a bleak one, and she helps Glimmer escape at great personal cost.
    • In Season 5, Hordak disobeys Horde Prime's order to kill Entrapta, and turns on Prime instead.
  • Evil All Along: The First Ones are revealed to be Nazi-esque, having created She-Ra's sword and the Heart of Etheria to use as weapons so they could bring "order" to the galaxy. Which is exactly what Horde Prime is trying to do.
    • The reprogrammed version of Light Hope who's been in control since the start of the series. She's the one who made sure one of Hordak's portals brought Adora to be the new She-Ra.
  • Evil Smells Bad: The tie-in book Island of Magical Creatures has Adora comment that the Fright Zone has a distinct aroma of burning garbage. Given that the Fright Zone is horribly polluted, Adora may actually be low-balling it.
  • Evil Welcomes Defectors: Shadow Weaver joined the Horde after defecting from the Mystacor sorcerers. After Gadgeteer Genius Entrapta is mistakenly thought dead by the Rebellion, she becomes a member of the Horde, and Hordak welcomes her in. Even so, Entrapta joins less because she feels betrayed and more because the Horde has better access to First Ones tech.
  • Evil vs. Evil: Season 5 reveals that Horde Prime and the First Ones fought each other a lot in the past, both trying to rule the galaxy, and both had a bad habit of stripping planets of resources to fuel their war machines. Prime eventually won, apparently because Mara sending Etheria to Despondos kept there from being a new She-Ra for a thousand years.
  • Evolving Credits:
    • The Season 4 opening credits change slightly to reflect the changes in the series. It updates Catra and Glimmer to their new designs, and the Horde splash image is changed to having Scorpia looking distraught, Lonnie, Kyle and Rogelio looking over their shoulders warily, Hordak with his new arm-cannon, the inclusion of Double Trouble and Horde Prime, and as a Freeze-Frame Bonus, Entrapta with her new insectoid mask from Beast Island. Flutterina and a hologram of Mara are also shown standing with the rest of the Princess Alliance in the final shot, taking the places of Entrapta and Queen Angella, respectively.
    • The title cards during the theme song changes several times over the course of Season 5 to reflect changes in the cast and other character dynamics, such as which characters are currently under Horde Prime's control and which ones are still with the Rebellion. After Catra's Heel–Face Turn halfway through the season, the biggest change to the opening in the show's run occurs — the Blade Lock between Catra and Adora uses their Season 5 designs, and instead of Catra growling at a scowling Adora and pushing her back, the two smile at each other and Adora steps back on her own.
  • Explosive Decompression: Averted. When Catra beams Glimmer into space, her tears start spilling out of her, but otherwise she's fine for the ten seconds or so it takes to rescue her.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change:
    • Glimmer changes her hairstyle to something more mature and feminine when she becomes queen.
    • Catra's hair is cut short when she's reconditioned by Horde Prime, and this sets off a redemption arc.
  • Family-Friendly Firearms: The Horde uses laser batons similar to the ones from Andromeda, and they seem only to give a "knock you down" zap instead of actually killing people. They also morph into trench clubs. Tanks and gunboats use laser guns, not proper cannons. They don't lose their menace however, since the tech gap between them and the heroes is vast with the Rebellion equipped with weapons like swords and bows.
  • Fangs Are Evil: The only characters so far with sharp teeth are either Horde, ex-Horde, or unaffiliated hostiles.
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • There are strong undertones of this in the Equal-Opportunity Evil propaganda from the Horde. A lot of the images that show up to Adora is that the princesses are subjugating the Lizard Folk and people with animalistic traits such as Catra. Catra hints that she has been isolated because of this, saying that Adora running away is because she "found people like her" and the princesses only care about people "like them". This thread is apparently dropped around Season 2.
    • Scorpia claims that she never fit in with the other princesses, presumably because of her status as a scorpion-woman. Subverted in Season 4 when Scorpia defects from the Horde and finds that the other princesses accept her.
  • Fatal Flaw: Keston John claims that Horde Prime's only weakness is that he's not afraid of anything, his god-complex making him reckless.
  • Feet of Clay: All three of the major Etherian Horde villains are pathetic in some way, their considerable talents notwithstanding.
    • Shadow Weaver is a knowledgeable sorceress and a competent administrator. However, due to the effects of the Spell of Obtainment, she has no innate power and must draw magical power from a Runestone, ground Mystacor crystal, or a magically endowed person. She also seeks influence not through her own achievements, but by manipulating children and teenagers.
    • Hordak created the Etherian Horde from the ground up, is a powerhouse on the battlefield when equipped with his arm cannon and cybernetic exoskeleton, and has a brilliant mind for logistics, science, and engineering. However, his public persona — an intimidating, dominant warlord who appears muscular — is a fabrication hiding a sickly and insecure man underneath. What makes him truly pathetic is that his identity and self-worth are completely bound up in Horde Prime, a tyrant who does not deserve his loyalty and does not appreciate his efforts. He has gambled all of his self-respect on earning Horde Prime's approval, like a child seeking his father's affirmation. He expects Prime to conquer Etheria and punish his enemies, despite knowing exactly what kind of man his progenitor is.
    • Catra is driven, adaptable, impressive in hand-to-hand combat, and has a brilliant tactical mind. However, like Hordak, she's driven by an unhealthy need for validation. Despite getting everything she thought she wanted in Season 4, she's miserable and mentally unstable. She taints all of her personal and professional relationships with jealousy, manipulation, deception, and cruelty, driving everyone away until she is truly alone in the world at the end of Season 4. The fact that she's in love with Adora, but doesn't think that Adora reciprocate these feelings just makes her issues worse.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: The core Best Friend Squad of Adora, Glimmer, and Bow, respectively.
  • The Final Temptation: Played with in the Grand Finale. When she's trying to reach the Heart of Etheria while dying of poison, Adora begins to hallucinate an idyllic future with her friends which Catra has to snap her out of. Unlike most examples of this trope, though, it's not something she has to reject as selfish and impossible - it's something she has to remember to fight for rather than simply fantasising about, and it's implied to be how all their lives actually do pan out after the end of the series.
  • Forbidden Zone:
    • The Crimson Wastes, a desert wasteland utterly inhospitable to everything that sets foot in it. Even the Horde don't go there. It's filled with quicksand, trees that freeze you solid if you touch them, and giant multi-headed snakes. Oh, and hordes of gangs fighting for control.
    • Also Beast Island, where the Horde sends people as a punishment. No one has ever come back from it. It is filled with dangerous mutated monsters and a droning noise that saps your willpower until you stop trying to escape while vines entrap your body. It was used by the First Ones as a dumping ground for hazardous materials, as well as to hide information they didn't want anyone finding.
  • Force and Finesse:
    • What any conflict between Adora and Catra comes down to, with Adora being a physical powerhouse as She-Ra and more competent with weapons while Catra relies on her agility, dexterity, and claws to inflict damage while giving Adora the runaround.
    • In Season 4, Hordak and Catra also demonstrate this dichotomy. Hordak's cybernetic armor gives him Super Strength, and he's a powerhouse when equipped with his Arm Cannon. However, Catra's agility ends up securing her victory over him, twice.
  • The Force Is Strong with This One: Shadow Weaver could sense something special about Adora the moment she laid her eyes on the infant.
  • Form-Fitting Wardrobe: Many characters wear very tight, quasi-futuristic clothing, but for the most part it manages to avoid being sexualized.
  • Frills of Justice: Subverted. Long hair aside, She-Ra is not only still an Action Girl, she appears almost masculine in design. This was pointed out several times by those comparing the reboot to the original's far more feminine appearance.
  • Gaia's Lament: The Horde and their activities are having a negative impact on Etheria's environment. By the end of the first season the Horde has partial control over the Runestones holding Etheria together, enabling them to inflict terrible damage.
  • "Gaining Confidence" Song: Scorpia goes undercover at an ultra-exclusive Bad-Guy Bar to find Prince Peekablue to help out with the Rebellion. She accidentally winds up on stage and is forced to maintain her cover by pretending to be a performer. She's pretty shaky at first, but quickly gets the hang of it despite presumably improvising the entire song.
  • The Gift: Much of the dysfunctional family dynamic between Adora, Shadow Weaver and Catra springs from this. Adora visibly had The Gift from day one. Shadow Weaver and Catra do not, and so have to scheme and cheat to achieve the things Adora can do through sheer excellence. This makes Shadow Weaver desperate to control Adora so as to make up for her own failings, and Catra equally determined to beat and show up Adora to prove that Shadow Weaver was wrong to ignore her. Also, Shadow Weaver's Start of Darkness was at least partly caused by her realizing that her young pupil Micah had The Gift and she didn't.
  • The Glomp:
    • Catra, but only to Adora. She doesn't like touching other people. With Adora she does not hug, she tackles.
    • Entrapta throws herself at Hordak in the finale after Horde Prime is purged.
  • God Is Evil: Horde Prime is comparable to the Christian concept of God as a pure white omniscient being who demands absolute devotion from his followers who serve as vessels for his will after an initiation ritual that strongly resembles a baptism. He even tells Catra "you are still beloved in my sight" which is a paraphrase of Isaiah 43:4.
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: All of the kingdoms have a way to do this, usually through their respective Runestones. During the climax of Season 1, Angella is able to send a distress signal and the other princesses answer during Bright Moon's Darkest Hour.
  • The Good, the Bad, and the Evil: The Rebellion are Good, led by the Princess Alliance who believe in The Power of Friendship. The Horde are Bad, being a world-conquering army, but mostly consisting of decent, but flawed people. Season 5 introduces the Evil faction, the Space Horde, consisting of Horde Prime's clones who are connected to a Hive Mind.
  • Gratuitous Princess: Any girl with a connection to a Runestone (which grants them magical powers) is referred to as a princess. Most of them are explicitly in the line of inheritance for their nations (or ruling already), but many others are not. Adora never had any kingdom and Entrapta has no Runestone and no magic (unless you count her hair), yet both are still referred to as princesses. Even Scorpia, who gave up her Runestone and her kingdom, is still called a princess and invited to Princess Prom.
  • Great Big Library of Everything: Turns out Bow's family owns one, featuring the largest collection of Etherian First Ones artifacts on the planet, as well as several books and scrolls on the subject of She-Ra. It's honestly a wonder the Horde hasn't pillaged the place yet.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Horde Prime created Hordak and inadvertently set him on a path to end up on Etheria, and Hordak's primary motivation for most of the series is getting back to him. He stops being this in Season 5, taking the Big Bad role for the rest of the show.
    • The First Ones were the ones who created the Heart of Etheria to use as a weapon, and made the Sword of Protection to ensure that She-Ra would be forced to activate it, but they were all but wiped out by Horde Prime, with Adora being their only known remaining descendant, leaving Light Hope as the one who tries to complete their dark designs until the climax of Season 4.

    Tropes H-M 
  • Heart of the Matter: Season 4 revealed the existence of the Heart of Etheria, a piece of First Ones tech at the center of the planet designed to focus Etheria's natural magic into a devastating super weapon. Stopping it from going off, and destroying Etheria as well, was the focus of the Season 4 finale.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Most major antagonists in the series go through this, though some of them do so only moments before their death. The list includes Scorpia, Light Hope, Lonnie, Kyle, and Rogelio, Double Trouble, Catra, Shadow Weaver, and even Hordak.
    • Hazy Feel Turn: For three of these villains who “turn good”, it’s left more ambiguous whether they had an actual change in morality or if their abandonment of the villains was purely out of convenience. Double Trouble, Shadow Weaver, and Hordak.
      • Double Trouble joined the villains in the first place because they were Only in It for the Money, and it’s the same reason they leave the villains later. Seeing as they later tried to join Horde Prime and only left because it wasn’t entertaining enough, it’s pretty obvious that they will still jump on opportunities to side with evil if the money and the thrills are there. Despite this, they did look concerned for Scorpia later on when she put her life in danger, and did contribute to the fight against Horde Prime. So they may have developed a little more empathy, but this is unconfirmed.
      • Shadow Weaver continues to be manipulative and power-hungry even after deserting the villains, and she only left in the first place because they kicked her out. Even her Heroic Sacrifice can be interpreted as her forcing Catra and Adora to forgive her in the easiest way possible, sparing her of going through the work to actually become a better person the way that characters like Catra, Glimmer, and Entrapta had to do it. Still, her making the sacrifice at all and definitely mellowing out to some degree after losing her position indicate she may have truly developed some positive qualities.
      • Hordak may have turned on Horde Prime in the finale, but his turn was much more motivated by a fight for his own independence than actually caring about other people. That is, excluding Entrapta, who he did clearly grow to care for, considering his first act of outright defiance was to save her. Still, he and Adora seem to forgive each other once the finale is over, and with both his Freudian Excuse of trying to impress his brother being gone as well as having Entrapta as a true Morality Pet going forward, he probably did grow into a better person.
      • Similarly, Lonnie, Kyle and Rogelio leaving the Horde isn't really about them wanting to be good so much as just wanting to survive. They've seen the deteriorating state of both the Horde as a whole and the stability of its command structure, and they're getting out while they still have their skins and sanity intact.
  • Hesitant Sacrifice:
    • Mara admits to Adora in Season 4 that although she knew it was the right thing to do, she really didn't want to die, and she had hoped that Adora would never be in the same position that she was.
    • Adora struggles with this trope as She-Ra, especially in Season 5 when the Failsafe puts her life at risk and she tries to convince herself that she's okay with sacrificing herself for Etheria, even when she's clearly scared and her friends think it's unfair she has to die in order to protect everyone else.
  • Highly Visible Password: After discovering Adora can read the language of the First Ones, George and Lance are eager to show her a mysterious orb in their collection with a single word on it: Eternia. Speaking this word activates the orb, which promptly transforms into an elemental and wrecks the library trying to retrieve the Runestone shard that is also present.
  • History Repeats:
    • Razz implies that that she's seen what the Horde has been doing to Etheria happen before. Season 4 confirms that like the Horde, the First Ones wanted to use Etheria's magical power for evil ends.
    Razz: Ah, it's the same old story, dearie. Wicked people destroy what they cannot control.
    • In "Destiny, Part 2", Adora refuses to be a tool of destruction and stops the Heart of Etheria, just as Mara did a thousand years before.
  • How Do I Shot Web?: Adora learning how to transform initially took some effort, and she never learns how to use the full extent of her powers. Light Hope informs her that it will take years to fully master her powers and Adora considers leaving the Rebellion to actually do this before Swift Wind talks her out of it. She has some similar issues reconnecting to her She-Ra powers after the sword is destroyed.
  • Hurricane of Puns: Bow and Catra engage in a feline-themed punfest during his Season 2 Imagine Spot.
  • I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: Beast Island (which, apparently, has at least one ferocious beast on it). It's the Horde's go-to dumping ground for powerful opponents and minions who've screwed up royally, from which no one returns. It eventually makes an appearance in Season 4, where Shadow Weaver reveals that it's not as bad as the Horde said it was. It's so much worse.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Happens a lot in Season 5 because Horde Prime realized pretty quickly that Etherians wont go full out on their friends so he implants mind control chips on have the population and any princess he gets his hands on. It starts with Catra but quickly spreads to others, there are varying degrees of this working, most of the time it just slows the one being controlled down enough to be either escaped from or to knock them out.
  • Idiot Ball: Several characters display uncharacteristic idiocy in Seasons 4 and 5 in order to move the plot forward.
    • Members of the Rebellion allow Flutterina — actually Double Trouble in disguise — to learn sensitive information and accompany them into combat situations, despite the fact that she's a child with no combat skills.
    • Hordak trusts Catra after she lied to him in the past and after she yanked the First Ones crystal out of his armor and sat on his throne.
    • In Season 5, Horde Prime keeps Hordak close to him, despite the fact that Hordak's feelings for Entrapta and memories keep returning, and despite the fact that Prime should know this through his telepathy. In "Heart, Part 2", he orders Hordak to kill Entrapta and has the nerve to be surprised when this sends Hordak over the edge into outright rebellion.
  • I'm Having Soul Pains: Several times, mostly caused by Shadow Weaver.
    • The magic restraints that Shadow Weaver places on Glimmer cause her great pain if she attempts to teleport out of them.
    • And then when Glimmer eventually pushes past it and teleports out anyway, her powers later start to intermittently "glitch". She tells Bow it doesn't hurt much, but her wincing, and Bow himself, say otherwise.
      Glimmer: [hugging Bow] Nrgh, I'm glitching again aren't I?
      Bow: It hurts so much...!
    • And then again when Shadow Weaver uses Glimmer as a source of magic. It was with consent this time, but that doesn't stop Shadow Weaver's draining Glimmer from being painful.
    • Finally, a non-Shadow Weaver example when The Heart of Etheria is activated. And this time it's not just Glimmer affected but all the princesses, though as the conduit for the massive amounts of magic Adora's Soul Pains seem the most intense.
  • Impersonation-Exclusive Character: In Season 5, it turns out the character we see using Peekablue's name and bragging about his abilities as part of a flashy show isn't the real one, but the spy Double Trouble, milking Peekablue's "brand" for all it's worth. The real Peekablue is never seen.
  • Incest Subtext: Adora and Catra were raised by Shadow Weaver, who has been referred to as their mother at least once in the show, and some fans of the show have called the two adoptive sisters. The show itself has never referred to the two as anything but Childhood Friends and in the series finale they become lovers. Official supplementary material like books and toys on the other hand have quite often referred to them as sisters.
  • Infernal Background:
    • In "Fractures", Glimmer is standing before a roaring fireplace when she confines Adora and Bow to the castle.
    • In "Mer-Mysteries", Hordak is shown standing on a rock formation with flames behind him, having just destroyed Salineas. Later, in "Destiny, Part 2", he fights Catra in the Fright Zone's foundry, with molten metal in the background.
  • Insignificant Little Blue Planet: While not Earth, it is revealed Hordak thinks of Etheria this way. He's from another world and he dismisses Etheria as a backwater world with primitive technology and natives who are so ignorant that out of the many worlds he's been to, they are the first to be completely unaware that they are not alone in the universe. It seems the only reason why he's trying to conquer Etheria is because he's stuck there and is desperately trying to find enough technology to open a portal so he can leave.
  • Interspecies Romance: We get a couple of these throughout the show.
    • Angella and Micah, an immortal purple angel married to an Etherian sorcerer.
    • Kyle and Rogelio, a regular Etherian human who has a crush on an Etherian lizard man.
    • Hordak and Entrapta, a clone of an ancient alien of unknown origin in love with an Etherian Princess.
    • Bow and Glimmer, a regular Etherian in love with a Half-Human Hybrid.
    • Adora and Catra, a First One in love with a Cat Girl of unknown origin.
  • Ironic Name: The Sword of Protection turns out to be the activation key of an immensely powerful, planet-wrecking superweapon.
  • It's Personal with the Dragon: Hordak is, without a doubt, the Greater-Scope Villain, but Adora has a personal relationship with both of his most prominent Dragons: Shadow Weaver is an abusive parental figure, and Catra is a former best friend/possible love interest.
  • King in the Mountain: She-Ra is a warrior foretold to return to Etheria in its hour of need.
  • Lampshade Hanging:
    • In "Roll With It", Scorpia asks who Rogelio is. Lonnie explains that he's the lizard guy, and then Scorpia asks what his deal was. This lampshades how Rogelio never seemed to do much and how he was never referred to by name on-screen until that very episode.
    • When Double Trouble reports Bow's injury, they mock Bow's decisions.
    Double Trouble: [shifted to look like Bow] My abs! The most vulnerable part of my body that I refuse to cover!
  • Last Kiss: Angella kisses her husband on the cheek before she flies away and the fake reality collapses, knowing she'll never see him again as she believes him dead. She also kisses Adora on the forehead before sacrificing herself inside the portal.
  • Light Is Not Good:
    • First Ones tech is usually brightly colored, to say nothing of the appearance of the She-Ra sword and transformation, and what abilities it gives the unambiguously good Adora, but the First Ones used Etheria as a weapon to "cleanse" the galaxy, and Light Hope firmly believes in their mission, albeit because she was forcibly reprogrammed to believe in it.
    • In contrast to the Horde on Etheria and Hordak, Horde Prime has white as the main component of his color scheme, but he's one of the most evil characters in the show.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Characters always wear the same outfit, except for special occasions.
  • Literal Cliffhanger: Due to often being used as something of an allegory of their relationship, Adora and Catra find themselves in such situations often throughout the series. Adora almost always catches Catra before she falls or pulls her back up when she does. Catra on the other hand will either let Adora or herself fall, but only if given time to think (as her gut reaction is to grab Adora's hand). Season 5 shakes it up a bit as when Catra falls off Horde Prime's throne platform Adora fails to catch her, but then follows her despite not knowing the danger. Later in the season finale, Catra reaching out for Adora and telling her she loves her is framed in a way that evokes the imagery of a cliffhanger, being the first time Catra tried to save Adora from falling.
  • The Lost Woods: The Whispering Woods, which stand between the badlands of the Fright Zone and Bright Moon. It's a mysterious place which futzes with any scanners that enters, and the landscape seems to shift and change, getting visitors lost and turned around, which is why the Horde have never managed to get through it. Whether this is because of tech or magic is unclear, but there is a large First Ones structure hidden in the middle.
  • Love Redeems:
    • In Season 5, Catra's love for Adora goes a long way in driving her redemption.
    • Also in Season 5, Hordak's love for Entrapta persists after two mind wipes. He disobeys Horde Prime's order to kill Entrapta, turning on Prime instead.
  • Magic Versus Science: Downplayed. The Horde is very tech-based, and the Fright Zone is a blighted industrial hellscape, while the Rebellion is very magic-based and each princess has a base built according to a different natural theme (Frosta has an ice palace, Perfuma lived in a forest, etc). However, the Horde will use magic when convenient (case in point, Shadow Weaver) and the Rebellion has tech-savvy members like Bow and, later, Entrapta. Interestingly, the First Ones seem to have been blended the two with their Magitek Organic Technology. It later is revealed that the princesses' "magic" is in fact technology so advanced that it may as well be magic (and/or Magitek), and the Runestones that give them their power are in fact the nodes of a planet-encompassing circuit that maintains the balance of natural forces in Etheria. Entrapta then uses this knowledge to drain power from the other Runestones and funnel it into the Black Garnet by way of Horde technology, showing that Horde tech might be a lower-level imitation of First Ones technology. Thus, it would be fair to say that this is more of a case of Clark's Third Law Vs Science.
    • Horde Prime is a powerful and dangerous being whose power and empire are all based on technology. In fact, magic, which he cannot properly understand or control, is his weakness, which he tried to cover up. Even when trying to harness the magic of the Heart of Etheria as a weapon, he just resorts to brute-force hacking the First Ones technology used to control it in order to bypass the need to use She-Ra and the elemental princesses to activate it, and he's defeated when Adora used the freed magic from the Heart to exorcise him from Hordak's body, ending his reign of terror once and for all.
  • The Magic Comes Back: In the series finale, Adora releases the magic trapped in the Heart of Etheria back into the planet, and plans to restore magic to the rest of the universe in the future with her friends.
  • The Magic Goes Away: Turns out to be what has been actually happening to Etheria in general and the universe at large thanks to the First Ones. They'd been stripping other planets of their magic to craft the Magitek weapons they needed for their war, and Etheria itself is one of the last planets in the universe that still has some. Moreover, thanks to the Heart of Etheria, the planet's own magic has actually been waning. Releasing the magic at the end of the series causes Etheria to quite literally awaken with its own natural lifeforms, and Adora plans to bring magic back to the rest of the universe as well.
  • Magitek: The She-Ra sword is a mix of magic and technology created by the First Ones. It even has a circuit pattern near the tip of the blade, and gets infected by a computer virus at one point.
  • Man of a Thousand Voices: Keston John performs the voices of Hordak, Horde Prime, all the Galactic Horde clones, Grizzlor, Admiral Scurvy, Cobalt, and Mermista's herald.
  • May the Farce Be with You: This series takes a lot of cues and themes from the from the Star Wars films, which is unsurprising as Noelle Stevenson is known to have been a huge fan of the franchise and even states that Star Wars is more or less in everything she does. The series centers on a rebel princess fighting against an evil empire and whose enemy happens to be a loved one whom she tries to bring back to the light. That being said, the series deconstructs the Chosen One, Hero's Journey, and Quest for Identity themes seen throughout Star Wars in a way that would be more relatable.
  • Meaningful Echo: In "Huntara", after Hordak tells Entrapta about how his physical imperfections led to his fall from grace, Entrapta tells him that as far as she's concerned, "imperfection is beautiful". In "Failsafe", she echos the line, this time referring to Hordak's returning memories and feelings.
    Hordak: Go. Maybe then these memories, these imperfections will leave me.
    Entrapta: Remember, your imperfections are beautiful!
  • Meaningful Name: Yes. Bow uses a bow. Glimmer creates sparkles. Angella is immortal and has wings. Scorpia has pincers and a stinger tail. Mermista can turn into a mermaid. Frosta is An Ice Person. Sea Hawk is a sailor. Swift Wind flies on the wind. Hordak leads the Horde. Shadow Weaver incorporates shadows into her magic. Castaspella is a sorceress. Imp looks like an imp. Catra is a Cat Girl. Entrapta's castle is filled with traps. Spinnerella creates whirlwinds. Netossa... tosses nets, which even she lampshades. Horde Prime is the leader and progenitor of the galactic Horde clones. The only exceptions are Adora/She-Ra, whose name doesn't mean much beyond being the Distaff Counterpart of He-Man and thus relating to her Super Strength, Perfuma whose name is only tangentially related to her Green Thumb powers, and the mooks with faces: Lonnie, Rogelio, and Kyle.
  • Memorial Statue: After Entrapta is thought to be dead following the raid on the Horde capital, Perfuma creates a plant statue in her honor. No answers to whether it got taken down after Entrapta turned out to have not only lived, but defected to the Horde.
  • Mildly Military: Aside from the Mooks and Hordak, the only serious soldier in the Horde is Adora herself. Catra is the worst offender, routinely blowing off training exercises and sassing her commanding officer, but the cadets play games on duty, Scorpia is a kind-hearted goof who doesn't really know what she's involved in, and Shadow Weaver treats orders from Hordak as mild suggestions. Hordak would really be better off if he fired the entire bunch and rebuilt the Horde from the bottom up.
  • Minidress of Power: Adora still wears a short skirt as She-Ra, albeit with Modesty Shorts underneath, likely to avoid the need to use the Magic Skirt trope. Her new She-Ra form in Season 5 has full pants/tights instead.
  • Multicultural Alien Planet: Etheria presents several kingdoms with different cultures and multiple humanoid species, for example the kingdom of Plumeria is a forest inhabited by New Age hippies, while the kingdom of Snows is mountainous and always frozen.
  • Mythology Gag: See the separate page.

    Tropes N-P 
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name:
    • Season 3 reveals that the intergalactic Horde has conquered entire galaxies, and is manned by genetically related clones of one man.
    • Season 4 reveals that the First Ones wanted to purge all "impure" life from the galaxy. Etheria and the She-Ra mantle were appropriated by the First Ones for this purpose, as Adora discovers to her horror.
  • Never Say "Die": Zigzagged. When the group believes a character to be dead, they avoid the word properly, either referring to them as "gone" or "lost" (and then they have to further explain that they meant "gone-gone"), but since die and kill is used in other circumstances (if infrequently), this feels more like the characters avoiding spelling things out when the trauma is too raw for them rather than the writers trying to keep the word from their audience. To keep things from getting too dark though, the bad guys often give orders to "take out" or "dispose of" people.
  • New-Age Retro Hippie: The spirit of this trope is the Kingdom of Plumeria's hat.
  • Ninja Maid: Played with. Entrapta's staff have no formal combat training, but with Bow's help discover that their normal domestic skills are actually highly effective at fighting crazed robots.
  • "No More Holding Back" Speech: Catra's speech to Shadow Weaver about how her years of abuse at Shadow Weaver's hands trained her to eventually defeat and usurp her is a rather twisted, villainous version of this trope.
  • No One Should Survive That: Since She-Ra is a children's cartoon, situations that would cause injury or death in real life do not harm the characters.
    • In "The Beacon'', Emily uses her laser canon to blast through a wall to reach Entrapta. No one in the room is injured from being within a few feet of a massive explosion. Also, Emily's blast was hot enough to melt a hole in the metal, but none of the characters suffer ill effects from the heat or fumes that would have logically resulted.
    • In "Protocol", Lonnie, Kyle, and Rogelio sustain chemical burns all over their bodies from exposure to the spore storm. The next time they appear in Season 4, they're healthy and have no visible scarring.
    • In "Destiny, Part 2", Catra is in close proximity to several explosions triggered by Hordak's arm cannon, but is almost completely unharmed.
    • Most egregiously, in "Destiny, Part 2", Hordak takes a punch to the jaw, has the power source ripped out of his cybernetic exoskeleton, has part of a building fall on him, and takes an exploding arrow to the face. By the time Horde Prime beams Hordak aboard his ship, Hordak is exhausted but somehow still going!
  • No OSHA Compliance:
    • A viewer with an eye for detail will notice that the Fright Zone is full of dangerous areas. Walking paths suspended several stories off the floor have no railings, for example.
    • In Hordak's sanctum, experiments often result in electrical circuit overloads and the occasional explosion.
    • The Velvet Glove's main room has a large platform and walkway suspended in midair with no railings.
  • Non-Heteronormative Society: Etheria is a world where queer people are extremely common and never judged on it. In fact, among the major characters of the story, many are queer and it's never seen as odd. Even the villains seem to be pretty much OK with it.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • Catra and the mouse. Whatever happened, Adora refuses to stop teasing her about it.
    • Entrapta refers to multiple explosions when she reprogrammed Emily.
    • Mermista and Sea Hawk's relationship is full of these. He got them kicked out of the dolphin social because he challenged the doorman to a duel, set their gondola on fire in the tunnel of love, ruined the Cephalopod Literary Society, almost died the first time they met (apparently at Mermista's hands)...
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore: Season 4 disrupted the status quo of Etheria in massive ways.
    • The Horde destroys the kingdom of Salinas, leaving Mermista devastated.
    • King Micah is alive and back in Bright Moon.
    • The Horde is in shambles after a major Rebellion victory, several major Horde characters have defected, and swaths of the Fright Zone have been destroyed in the fight between Hordak and Catra. Both Hordak and Catra have lost everything.
    • Adora learns that her ancestors, the First Ones, were genocidal conquerors who wanted to use Etheria as a weapon. She breaks her sword.
    • Light Hope is destroyed.
    • Scorpia connects with the Black Garnet and gains lightning powers.
    • By helping Scorpia to connect with the Black Garnet, Glimmer unwittingly activates the Heart of Etheria, pulling Etheria out of Despondos and drawing the attention of Horde Prime.
    • Horde Prime, the sociopathic leader of a massive space empire, has appeared on the scene and is determined to use Etheria as a weapon for his conquests. Glimmer, Catra, and Hordak have been taken captive on board his ship.
    • The climactic scene in "Destiny, Part 2" strongly implies that Hordak is a rogue drone, and that the "flaw" that offended Horde Prime was actually his free will. Prime mind-wipes him as punishment for exercising autonomy. His body is alive, but "Hordak" has left the building.
    • The game has now changed; the Rebellion has gone from liberating Etheria to saving the universe from Horde Prime.
  • Not So Different: If Double Trouble is to be believed, neither Adora nor Catra are very good actors.
  • Obliviously Evil: Adora grew up in a training complex in the Fright Zone with only Horde propaganda to educate her about the world. She's horrified upon seeing firsthand that the Horde is the oppressor and not defender.
  • Oddly Small Organization: Everyone. The Princess Alliance fighting in a war of planetary conquest against the Horde consists of only the seven princesses and Bow, with even the local guards usually doing less than random bystanders. The Horde has plenty of Faceless Mooks, but in the end, The Main Characters Do Everything, up to the point that Catra lampshades they might as well hunt down Adora despite that not being in the mission profile because Adora is always after the same stuff they are.
  • Off-Model:
    • Catra's claws constantly switch between their standard black and flesh-colored from shot to shot.
    • In Seasons 1 and 2, Hordak's face looks wildly different from scene to scene, and even within the same scene. However, the animators mastered his facial model by Season 3, after which his face looks more consistent.
    • In "Huntara", the vitiligo on Hordak's shoulders looks different from scene to scene. Initially, the dark blue vitiligo looks like veins, but in a subsequent shot, it looks thicker and more wavy.
    • The edge between the red and white sections of Rogelio's uniform seems to move up or down his torso from one shot to the next, and in some cases even between frames in the same shot. His gloves suffer a similar fate; sometimes they end at the knuckle, sometimes they extend further down his fingers, and sometimes they're not even gloves, just wristbands.
  • Official Couple: Adora and Catra end the series confessing their love to one another and becoming a couple. Other pairs also become couples, including Glimmer and Bow, Sea Hawk and Mermista, and Entrapta and Hordak. According to this tweet, Kyle and Rogelio also end up with each other... and with fellow former cadet Lonnie.
  • Old Magic:
    • The language of the First Ones hasn't been spoken in a thousand years, but Adora is able to read it without having learned it. The magic sword that allows her to transform into She-Ra, as well as other First Ones "technology," is also this.
    • It turns out the First Ones actually used their technology to weaponize the even older magic of Etheria. They also altered the She Ra line, containing their power within a sword so the First Ones could control them. Their tampering also weakened all the magic in Etheria, which becomes a major plot point in season 5.
  • One of the Girls: Bow, whose only friend for a long time is Glimmer. He eventually becomes Adora's close friend, and gets along casually with the other princesses. He does have one male friend/target of admiration, Sea Hawk, but his female friends vastly outnumber that. Justified as Bow is Glimmer's childhood friend and he specifically works for the Rebellion, where the strongest combatants are magical princesses. The Feminist Fantasy nature of the show does little for Bow in this regard, as he is the only constant male presence in the show, and one of only eight men in the series who have names or do anything of any real importance on either side. Of those eight, two of them are his fathers who only appeared in two episodes, one is a semi-recurring character who is barely recognized as contributing anything to the show by anyone other than Bow (Sea Hawk), while another was presumed dead for over a decade (King Micah), or else are part of the Horde (Hordak, Rogelio, and Kyle). Horde Prime doesn't appear until the end of Season 4, and Swift Wind is a horse— not to mention he only appears in random episodes, and often contributes nothing to the show proper.
  • The One Where Everyone Dies: After Catra activates a faulty portal, reality begins collapsing in on itself, resulting in people, places and even time itself sporadically vanishing. Eventually, only Adora and Queen Angella remain, the latter sacrificing herself to shut down the portal and save everyone.
  • Only the Chosen May Wield: Zigzagged. The mystical powers of Sword of Protection can only be used by Adora, but there is nothing stopping ordinary people from carrying it or wielding it as a normal sword. It's unwieldy due to its size, but still quite sharp.
  • Organic Technology:
    • Some First Ones tech seems to fall into this. For example, the disc in "System Failure" infects Entrapta's robots with almost organic-looking tendrils, and it even manages to infect Adora through the She-Ra sword. In Episode 12, Entrapta figures out this applies to all First Ones tech.
    • Horde Prime's "dreadlocks" are prehensile cables that he uses to interface with his cybernetic clones.
  • Out of the Frying Pan: Season 4's ending. The Fright Zone lies in ruins, Hordak is defeated, the Heart of Etheria is no longer going to destroy the planet, and Etheria is freed from the Despondos dimension. However, Horde Prime has arrived with all his armada and he knows about the Heart.
  • Overly Long Hug: A non-comedic example when Scorpia agrees to help Glimmer and gives her a hug. Glimmer clings on so tight and for so long, even Scorpia, a noted Cuddlebug herself, comments on it. After spending most of Season Four struggling with her her mother's death and her newfound status as queen, and inadvertently pushing her friends away with her behavior in the process, the hug (from a woman who used to be her enemy, no less) is the first moment of physical affection and support she's had in quite awhile.
  • Palette-Swapped Alien Food:
    • When Glimmer dines with Angella, their dinner consists of Earth-like foods in pastel shades of pink, blue, and purple.
    • Horde Prime's dinner with Glimmer and Catra includes blue aspic and a lurid pink and purple brisket.
  • The Paragon Always Rebels:
    • Adora was one of the Horde's most dedicated and skilled recruits before her Heel–Face Turn.
    • Shadow Weaver was once Light Spinner, one of the most powerful sorceresses of Mystacor. When the leaders of Mystacor refused to listen to her about the rising threat of the Horde, she worked a forbidden piece of dark magic called the "Spell of Obtainment" with Micah's help, granting her even greater power at the cost of becoming a magical parasite and twisting her mind. She then left and eventually joined the Horde.
  • Parental Abandonment: There's an epidemic of dead or missing parents in this series, leaving the war between good and evil to be fought mostly by emotionally-vulnerable teenagers.
  • Parental Favoritism: Shadow Weaver makes no secret of the fact that she prefers Adora over Catra. When Catra directly asks why she was The Un Favourite, Shadow Weaver admits that Catra reminds her too much of herself, and that if she had a rough life, Catra didn't deserve any better.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Netossa and Spinnerella, up until the Season 1 finale, do absolutely nothing of note. Lampshaded by Bow.
  • Pity the Kidnapper: The second episode of Season 2 features Glimmer and Bow successfully capturing Catra, planning to use her to trade for Entrapta. Catra proceeds to spend the lion's share of the episode being The Load while playing mind games with the duo.
  • Plain Palate: Everybody in the Horde likes the grey ration bars.
  • Planetary Core Manipulation: The Heart of Etheria is an ancient Superweapon created by the First Ones, who engineered it to absorb and store massive amounts of magical energy in the planet's core so She-Ra can harness it.
  • Planet Spaceship: Zig-zagged. Although Etheria is a normal planet, during her research, Entrapta discovers that the First Ones built technology throughout the entire planet to control it and teleport it if need be.
  • Play-Along Prisoner: While being interrogated, Entrapta repeatedly frees herself to examine some bit of technology, then puts herself back in her shackles when her curiosity is satisfied. In her case, it's probably because she doesn't realize she should be trying to escape.
  • Polluted Wasteland: The Fright Zone, headquarters of the Horde. Nestled between some sinister mountains, it's a blasted, smog-choked wasteland covered by the Horde's sprawling machines.
  • Polyamory: After the finale, on her Twitter account, creator Noelle Stevenson confirmed to another user that not only are Horde cadets Kyle and Rogelio are "a thing", but they are also dating fellow cadet Lonnie in a poly relationship.
  • Poor Communication Kills:
    • Glimmer and Angella's greatest problem is the fact that since King Micah's demise, they have trouble communicating with each other. Glimmer is overwhelmed by the pressure of following in her immortal mother's footsteps, while Angella is overprotective of her daughter as she tries to prove herself. They do sit down and talk eventually, which allows them to have a healthier relationship.
    • This dominates Season 4, with both Adora and Glimmer thinking they're the Rebellion's leader and that the other doesn't truly understand what's at stake. With Angella gone, Glimmer becomes queen. First she's unable to voice how she wants to rule the kingdom, and Adora is too focused on making sure everything is "perfect" to actually listen to Glimmer. This is resolved, but creates cracks, wherein Adora thinks she's the leader since she is She-Ra, and Glimmer thinks she's the leader because she's queen. When Glimmer starts taking Shadow Weaver's tutelage, Adora is worried that she is learning dark magic and Shadow Weaver is tricking her, while Glimmer is trying to reach her full potential so she can lead her people better. When there is a Friend Or Idol decision about Entrapta versus a powerful weapon, Adora wants to rescue Entrapta so she can investigate the weapon first, while Glimmer wants to use the weapon and then rescue Entrapta. Throughout these arguments, both have valid points and concerns, but while both sides are willing to listen, neither side explains themselves very well, and every time they walk away thinking that they are in the right and the other is being unreasonable.
    • This even spills over to the villain side. While Hordak and Catra's abuse is the primary drive, their lack of communication quickly alienates their allies, and Double Trouble uses this to create a Spanner in the Works. Hordak simply takes Catra at her word that Entrapta betrayed him, without investigating further.
  • Power Crystal: The Runestones in the various kingdoms, which are the source of the princesses' elemental powers. The She-Ra sword has its own portable one in the hilt. Glimmer shares the Moonstone with her mother, limiting her ability's power and stamina. The Horde has also captured one of the Runestones, the Black Garnet, which was surrendered by Scorpia's family. Thus she has no innate magical connection to it. This changes at the end of Season 4, where she gets Shock and Awe powers.
  • The Power of Love:
    • After Adora broke the Sword of Protection, it is her love for Catra that allows her to become She-Ra again. In the series finale, Catra's love for Adora gives her the strength to overcome Horde Prime's virus.
    • Despite two mind wipes, Hordak's memories of Entrapta return. In the series finale, his love for Entrapta allows him to shake off Horde Prime's control. Prime orders Hordak to kill Entrapta, but he fires his arm cannon at Prime instead, reclaims his name and identity, and drops Prime off a platform to his physical death.
    • On more than one occasion, a loved one or friend is able to help someone resist Prime's mind control chips.
  • Power Parasite: The "Spell of Obtainment" that Shadow Weaver/Light Spinner used is described as turning the caster into a "magical parasite". It would certainly explain why she was dependent on the Black Garnet to recharge her powers.
  • Precursors: The First Ones, the first settlers of Etheria and creators of the She-Ra sword. They disappeared a thousand years ago, leaving only their technology and scattered ruins.
  • Princesses Rule: Zigzagged. Mermista, Entrapta, Perfuma, and Frosta all rule their kingdoms for one reason or another, which makes them by technicality queens despite being referred to as princesses. Then there are princesses like Glimmer, whose mother is the queen of Bright Moon, and Scorpia, whose family is no longer the ruling body.
    • When Glimmer is crowned queen in the Season 4 opening episode, she is afterwards always referred to as Queen Glimmer.
  • Production Throwback:
    • The rainbow Netflix logo is similar to the Filmation logo that preceded the original series.
    • When She-Ra looks at herself after transforming the first time, she is briefly in a similar pose to the 80s She-Ra.
    • Glimmer has a plush Kowl in her room.
    • Razz pulls out a Lookee hand fan.
    • In Season 2, Bow has an Imagine Spot in which the characters are dressed like their 80s incarnations and Catra transforms into a panther.
  • The Promise:
    • When Catra and Adora were very young, Adora promised Catra that they'd always look out for one another and nothing bad would happen as long as they had each other. It's a promise that Catra clung to their entire lives, but to Adora it's most likely an innocently forgotten childhood memory. A Call-Back to this promise is made in "Remember", right before Catra doubles down on her commitment to opposing Adora. In the series finale, Catra recalls the promise one last time when she follows Adora into the Heart of Etheria to protect her.
    • In Season 5, as a Call-Back to this original promise, Adora promises Catra on Horde Prime's ship that she'll take her home. Adora takes this promise very seriously.
    • Razz is still clinging to a promise Mara once made her about baking a pie together. It turns out to be an Empty Promise, since Mara doesn't expect to survive the day. A thousand years later, Razz does bake a pie with Adora and brings it to the wreckage of Mara's ship.
  • Protagonist Title: The name of the series not only refers to She-Ra, but also the other members of the Princess Alliance.
  • Psychological Horror: Season 4 delivers several helpings of this.
    • "Hero" reveals why Razz seems senile. She's being shunted back and forth between two different time periods at random moments. She gets confused as to what time period she's in and whether she's talking to Adora or Mara. Her disorientation at being toggled between two different time periods can be interpreted as an allegory for dementia.
    • Beast Island, the island to which the Horde exiles powerful enemies and screw-ups, wears away visitors' willpower by preying on their deepest pain and insecurities. Vines then absorb visitors who have lost the will to resist.
    • Horde Prime uses mind control to deny his clones free will, personalities, and even names. He's capable of entering their minds and probing their most intimate memories. Most frightening of all, he can perform a mind-wipe on any of his clones, as he does to Hordak at the end of Season 4.

    Tropes R-S 
  • Queer Colors: She-Ra's power is often associated with rainbows — she and all the other Princesses are each associated with a certain color, and when they join forces and use their abilities in tandem, they glow in their designated color and together make a huge rainbow. The current She-Ra, Adora, is revealed to be in love with Catra, and finding out it's mutual is what ultimately saves her life in the series finale.
  • Race Lift:
    • Bow now resembles a Black-coded human.
    • Likewise, Mermista is now the Etherian equivalent of South Asian.
    • Scorpia is now the Etherian equivalent of Mixed white/East Asian.
    • Sea Hawk is the Etherian equivalent of East Asian.
    • Frosta may be the Etherian equivalent of Inuit.
    • Castaspella and Micah are now the Etherian equivalent of East Asian.
  • Ragnarök Proofing: While the She-Ra sword and some other bits of First Ones tech have stood the test of time, most of it is in disrepair, if it works at all. The First Ones building the group takes shelter in early on starts falling apart when the security system tries to go into lockdown, the Sea Gate is failing and losing its connection to Salineas' Runestone due to lack of maintenance, and the disc Entrapta found was so corrupted that it unleashed a computer virus that even infects the She-Ra sword. Light Hope is mostly functional, but still glitchy.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits:
    • The Princess Alliance is made up of these, with each princess (and Bow) being their own unique personality.
    • Catra's team is this as well, being comprised of a Cat Girl with a chip on her shoulder, a Scorpion Girl who's ruled by her whimsy and a Mad Scientist Girl with comically few people skills. In Season 3, she recruits two desert bandits from the Crimson Wastes into her team as well.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • In the last episode of Season 3, Adora berates Catra for trying to pin all of the world's problems on Adora herself.
      Catra: You made me this! This is all your fault!
      Adora: No, it's not! I didn't make you pull the switch! I didn't make you do anything! I didn't break the world. But I am going to fix it. And you? You made your choice! Now live with it! [hits Catra with a Megaton Punch, knocking her out]
    • Catra snaps at Hordak in front of everyone that he does a bad job of running the Fright Zone because he's nearly always hiding in his sanctum doing experiments.
    • Double Trouble gives quite a few of these after their introduction in Season 4, but their most vicious one is easily the last one. Double Trouble uses their shapeshifting power to break Catra's spirit, saying that Catra has no one to blame but herself for being so lonely and miserable. It works so well that when Glimmer finds Catra, the Despair Event Horizon has hit Catra in full force, to the point that Catra doesn't even care if Glimmer kills her.
  • Rebellious Princess: The princesses are literally part of a group called the Rebellion. They themselves lead the Rebellion as the Princess Alliance.
  • Red Is Heroic: Adora wears a red cape as She-Ra, like in the original series, and a red jacket as part of her everyday ensemble. Inverted however, with the Horde, whose uniforms are various shades of red, much like the robes of their resident sorceress Shadow Weaver.
  • Related in the Adaptation: Castaspella is related to Angella and Glimmer in this series. She is the sister of Micah, Angella's dead husband and Glimmer's father.
  • Relationship Upgrade:
    • After five seasons Catradora becomes canon when they finally admit they love each other in the series finale.
    • The same happens for Glimmer and Bow in the finale.
  • The Reveal:
    • Adora isn't the first She-Ra. There have been many.
    • That Hordak isn't a local to Etheria is hinted at several times, but it's toward the end of Season 2 we learn he isn't actually there on purpose. He's trapped.
    • Hordak is a clone of Horde Prime, and is trying to impress him by conquering Etheria. "Destiny, Part 2" strongly implies that he is a Rogue Drone with free will.
    • Mara wasn't insane. She hid Etheria in Despondos to protect the universe from the Heart of Etheria superweapon.
    • The First Ones were not benevolent colonists. They were a genocidal empire that sought to destroy "impure" life in the galaxy.
  • Running Gag:
  • Same Content, Different Rating: The content rating for the show is listed as M18 in Singapore.
  • Sanity Slippage:
    • Light Hope hints that this is what caused Mara to deviate from her destiny. Subverted in Season 3, when Adora learns that Mara wasn't insane and had legitimate reasons for hiding Etheria in Despondos.
    • In Season 3, Catra experiences this after her jealousy toward Adora pushes her to the breaking point. She activates the interdimensional portal, fully aware that it will destroy all of Etheria, herself included. Catra doesn't care, because she just wants to beat Adora at something.
    • In "Coronation", Catra's lie about Entrapta's supposed "betrayal" has utterly broken Hordak's spirit. He broods in the wreckage of the portal machine, demonstrates unsound judgment, and reacts violently to the mere mention of Entrapta. He regains his mental stability for most of the fourth season, but attacks Catra in a berserk rampage after learning that Catra exiled Entrapta to Beast Island for nothing.
    • Catra experiences a protracted one over the course of Season 4 due to lingering guilt over sending Entrapta to Beast Island and opening the portal as well as the pressure of running the Horde and trying to win the war. It only gets worse after her Bad Boss tendencies cause Scorpia, probably the last true friend she has, to abandon her causing her to become paranoid, suffer from mood swings, and break down into tears. She then overcompensates by working the Horde overtime to defeat the Rebellion in the desperate hope that it will make her feel better.
  • Schizo Tech:
    • The Horde has access to sophisticated computers and weaponry but relies on a paper filing system. The technologically advanced Horde also exists alongside the less technologically advanced Etherian kingdoms. Justified, for the most part, by the Horde's extraterrestrial origins; Hordak has the technology to use battle robots, Hover Tanks and cloning because he brought it with him.
    • Even discounting the Horde and sticking to the kingdoms, Bright Moon mostly has medieval/Renaissance tech (Bow's tracker and Trick Arrows are the highest-tech things we generally see), Salineas has wind-powered ships... and Dryl has robots. The closest thing we get to an explanation is that Entrapta lives there.
  • Secret Identity: Averted, in contrast with the original series. Everyone knows that Adora is She-Ra (and if they don't, she'll make sure to transform in front of them). Also averts Secret Identity Identity; being She-Ra doesn't change her personality in any way, and she still considers herself Adora, just taller and stronger. Her friends still often call her Adora in her She-Ra form as well.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy:
    • With a tint of Dramatic Irony. A Running Gag is how Entrapta constantly gets separated from the other princesses because of her inability to sit still. The one time when she intentionally stays put so she can be more easily found, they just assume she didn't make it out of the Horde's base and leave her for dead.
    • In Season 2 Catra thinks she's in danger because Hordak doesn't trust her, despite what she's been able to accomplish for him. Shadow Weaver even advises Catra that she'll have to be smarter and better than Shadow Weaver herself in order to stay in Hordak's good graces. At the end of the season, just like her predecessor, Catra attempts to lie and hide the fact that she's lost Shadow Weaver from Hordak, only to realise that, just like with Shadow Weaver, Imp has already informed Hordak what happened. Needless to say, Hordak is not at all interested in placing his trust in yet another SIC who lies to him to cover up her mistakes. So in an effort to prove herself competent and trustworthy, Catra inadvertently proves she actually can't be trusted.
  • Set Swords to "Stun": Played with. She-Ra mostly just bashes people with the flat of her sword to this effect, as between her strength and the sword's mass, it typically knocks soldiers out in one hit, but sometimes she sort of just parries opponents, which sends them flying.
  • She Is All Grown Up: Three years pass between Seasons 1 and 5, and all the characters look grown by the final season, with sharper jaws and taller builds. One of the most obvious examples is Adora, who bulked up considerably after living in Bright Moon and eating proper food instead of ration bars only. Just look at those shoulders.
  • Ship Sinking: The slim hopes of Mara/Razz shippers did not survive the Season 4 episode "Hero", which shows the two of them interacting - and confirms that she was exactly the same apparently senile old lady to Mara as she is to Adora because Razz is unstuck from time in weird ways. Mara's interactions with her are less "romantic" and more "Mara visits her beloved adoptive grandmother, who's succumbing to dementia".
  • Ship Tease:
    • Catra and Adora, as their relationship both before and after Adora defected is a huge portion of the show's emotional drive. Leaving aside the endless tackling, teasing and easy distracting. They have so much we had to make a separate page just to cover it all.
    • Scorpia and Catra. Scorpia has a massive crush on Catra, and Catra finally begins to show appreciation for Scorpia in Season 3 before threatening Scorpia in the last episode of the season.
    • Seasons 3 and 4 also include some unresolved romantic tension between Hordak and Entrapta, of all people.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Smurfette Principle: Inverted, as Bow is the only male main character of the Princess Alliance.
  • Soldier vs. Warrior: This is the dynamic between the Rebellion and the Horde. Horde troopers are often seen training, performing drills, posses uniform equipment, and often approach things with strategy. Those of the Rebellion are more free-spirited, and tend to wing it. They focus on quality over quantity and have more diverse talents and skills.
  • Squish the Cheeks: Happens occasionally.
  • Stalker Shot:
    • Imp will usually be there when someone does something that might be a problem for Hordak and they're completely oblivious of his presence in the room.
      • In Season 1 "Light Hope", when Entrapta wants to experiment on the Black Garnet and Catra tells her she can get it for her, the camera cuts to a different angle of the room revealing a little bit of Imp in the shot and then the camera switches again to show a better view of Imp who then leaves to report what he saw to Hordak.
      • In Season 2 "Reunion", after Catra reveals to Scorpia that Shadow Weaver escaped and she has to find her before Hordak learns the truth, Scorpia tells her they'll find her together and they'll keep it a secret, until the camera cuts to inside an air vent where Imp was watching them the entire time and leaves to report to Hordak.
    • In Season 5 "Perils of Peekablue", Mermista, Scorpia, Perfuma and Sea Hawk are having a meeting in their tent about going undercover to recruit Prince Peekablue to help them find Adora and her friends to warn them about Horde Prime implanting Etherians with mind-control chips, but with the reveal that Spinnerella is one of chipped victims, the camera zooms out from their tent to reveal she heard their whole plan and then walks off.
  • Still Wearing the Old Colors:
    • Despite her defection from the Horde, Adora still wears her old outfit from her time there when not transformed into She-Ra, the only concessions being the removal of Horde symbols. Even her dress from the "Princess Prom" episode has the same color scheme. In a tweet, Noelle Stevenson revealed that there was a cut joke where Adora did in fact change outfits after Bright Moon and the Rebellion took her in... and she found a jacket identical to her old one (minus the symbols) in a pile of clothes.
    • Scorpia and Catra are in the same boat as Adora after their defections in Seasons 4 and 5.
  • Suicide Mission: In the Season 3 premiere, Hordak sends Catra on a mission to the Crimson Wastes to retrieve some First Ones tech. Catra protests that nothing survives out there, and Hordak says "Exactly". This is Catra's punishment for lying to Hordak.

    Tropes T-Y 
  • Take My Hand: A running theme during the first season was Catra and Adora having to prevent each other's fall using this method, with different results. It comes up in later seasons as well, though much less frequently. Season 5 though has a recurring theme of various characters taking each other's hands, mainly Catra, to show off the character growth.
  • Talking Animal: Swift Wind gains the power of speech from She-Ra. Bow, Glimmer and Adora all freak out when they hear him speak for the first time.
  • Teens Are Short: Adora and her friends are stated by the showrunner to be around 17-18, but are all several times shorter than any adult character.
  • Terraform: The First Ones didn't just settle Etheria, they infused it with their tech, the Runestones for the princesses being focus points, and the powers of the elemental princesses being a way to balance the energy flows.
  • There Are No Therapists: There's a reason that one of the fandom's most popular memes is "My Baby Needs Advanced Therapy".
    • The Horde is particularly bad about it; Catra's issues are basically just left to fester and develop into full subscriptions until she goes screaming off the deep end and tries to end the world.
    • Likewise, Hordak has no access to professional help in the Horde after he incorrectly believes that Entrapta betrayed him and spirals into a depression in "Coronation".
    • Bright Moon is a far healthier environment by any measure, but it is telling that neither her True Companions nor her liege lady give any thought to seeking a professional's help in keeping Adora's martyrdom complex, self-esteem issues, and PTSD symptoms down to a dull roar.
    • Even Bow suffers from this, confessing that he's sick of always being upbeat and working to keep the gang together, when he's got his own problems to deal with and is exhausted by battles and bickering friends.
    • Similarly, Glimmer gets shoved into a position of high authority while still grieving the loss of the most important person in her life, and then people are surprised when this turns out badly. It turns out that a couple of hugs from your True Companions are no substitute for actually learning how to deal with grief constructively.
  • ¡Three Amigos!: Adora, Bow, and Glimmer form the Best Friend Squad for most of the series, until Catra joins them at the end.
  • Time Zones Do Not Exist: Characters in different kingdoms across Etheria will always be in the same timezone, no matter how illogical. During the final battle in season five, characters are seen fighting all over Etheria at night. However, the Fright Zone is always shown at nighttime.
  • Transformation Sequence:
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The first official trailer pretty much tells you all you need to know about the series.
  • True Love's Kiss: Adora and Catra share one in the Grand Finale, which triggers the Failsafe and releases the magic of the Heart. In short, their kiss saves the world.
  • Tuck and Cover:
    • Scorpia protects Catra this way when Emily blasts through a wall with her laser canon to reach Entrapta.
    • In "Huntara", Hordak protects Entrapta this way during a lab explosion.
  • Two Girls to a Team: Inverted. Bow and Sea Hawk are the only male members of She-Ra/Adora's group, while Hordak and Imp are the only male members of the core Horde group.
  • Unreliable Narrator:
    • Scorpia states that her family welcomed the Horde and willingly gave Hordak the Black Garnet. However, a brief flashback shot to Horde soldiers stealing the Black Garnet, as well as the state of her family's royal hall in "Princess Scorpia", reveals that this is propaganda that was fed to Scorpia. Her kingdom was simply the first territory conquered by the Horde.
    • Inconsistencies in Hordak's flashback in "Huntara" and the events of "Destiny, Part 2" suggest that his account of his past may be inaccurate or incomplete. First, Horde Prime looks very different in Hordak's flashback and in person. Second, Hordak's flashback suggests that his cloning flaw was what angered Prime, but when the two men meet at the end of Season 4, Prime is angered by Hordak's displays of individuality and free will.
  • The Unreveal: When the show ends, a number of minor questions remain unanswered, including Catra's species (not a single other cat girl or boy appears), why Entrapta's hair is prehensile, where Adora's biological family is, what became of the First Ones, what happens to Horde Prime's clone army after his death, or whether Angella will ever escape from being trapped between dimensions. It also leaves a lot of Horde Prime's backstory vague, though judging from some of his dialogue it must have been awful.
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee:
    • Catra does this in Season 4, where the audience is never told what her plans are until the end, and even in-universe, she keeps her plans secret. Most of them end up being successful.
    • Glimmer pulls off a few of her own, both inspired (at least partly) by Shadow Weaver. One to root out the mole in "Mer-Mysteries" and one in the finale.
  • Uriah Gambit:
    • In the third season premiere, Hordak sends a disgraced Catra to find First Ones technology in a dangerous wasteland in the hope that she will die trying.
    • In the next episode, it turns out Hordak himself was on the receiving end. Once a defective clone of Horde Prime, the latter sent him to the front line to die. However, Hordak ended up pulled into a portal leading to Etheria.
  • Valley Girl: No one princess is this trope, but most of them have aspects of this type of character split among them. Though Mermista's accent and general demeanour are most reminiscent of the stereotype.
  • Villain Forgot to Level Grind: On the first visit to the Crystal Castle, the spider security system is a terrible threat to the Best Friends Squad. In Season 4, when Glimmer returns alone to the Castle, she's a veteran combat Princess who easily annihilates the spiders.
  • Villainous Badland, Heroic Arcadia: The Horde makes its headquarters in a hivelike mass of smog-shrouded industrial sprawl that would give Greenpeace members fits, situated inside a massive crater in the center of a desert wasteland, the whole of it under a perpetually yellow sky and collectively referred to as the Fright Zone. A far cry from the idyllic, peaceful fairytale woodlands, villages and castles where the heroic factions live.
  • Villainous Face Hold:
    • Catra pulls a couple of these against Adora, touching or tilting up her face to assert dominance.
    • Huntara tilts up Adora's chin with her sword at one point during their fight.
    • Horde Prime grasps Hordak's face as the latter kneels helpless before him.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: Bow had to throw up after he had Mara's spaceship fly crazy maneuvers because he had no idea how it works.
  • War Is Hell: It's made clear that the Rebellion has suffered casualties in the past, like Glimmer's father King Micah, and the Horde has no issue attacking innocent villagers.
  • Warrior Prince: She-Ra, as well as others she brings into her team, are a gender-flipped example.
  • We Used to Be Friends: In this version, Adora and Catra were originally squadmates and best friends. But naturally, once Adora takes up the mantle of She-Ra and refuses to return to the Fright Zone this causes a falling out and they become bitter enemies, with Catra becoming Force Captain. This comes to a head at the end of Season 3 with Catra willingly trying to destroy Etheria just to prevent Adora from "winning." It takes a Heroic Sacrifice from Queen Angella to fix things, and afterword, She-Ra appears to have decided that Catra has just used up the last of their friendship and as such will be treated like any other villain instead.
  • Wham Line:
    • A minor one in "The Sword: Part II", when Adora reveals with distress to Catra that the Horde are the true villains, and that the two of them have been brainwashed from a young age. Catra plainly notes that she's been aware of their villain status since they've been kids, setting the stage for their dynamic for the remainder of the series.
      Adora: This is wrong. They've been lying to us. Manipulating us. Hordak, Shadow Weaver, all of them.
      Catra: [Beat] DUH! Did you just figure that out?
    • Another one near the end of "Promise", after Catra and Adora relive a traumatic memory:
      Catra: Why do you think I gave the sword back in the Fright Zone? I didn't want you to come back, Adora!
    • In "Huntara":
      Hordak: You want to know what I am? I am a clone! A clone of the emperor of the known universe, Horde Prime.
    • The alternate version of Micah in "The Portal" almost gets one.
      Alternate! Micah: Angie. Angella, wait. I'm not-
    • "Destiny Part 2", after Etheria is pulled out of Despondos, and the True Horde arrives.
    Hordak: Horde Prime... he's here.
    • "Save the Cat" has Hordak uttering a single word that shows the audience that Horde Prime's mind control techniques are neither permanent nor infallible.
    Hordak: Entrapta?
    • "Heart Part 2", a more heartwarming and long waited one:
    Catra: Don't you get it?! I love you!
    • Sea Hawk gets one in "Heart Part 2" as well:
    Chipped!Mermista: Why are you like this?
    Sea Hawk: Because I love you, dearest.
  • Wham Shot:
    • At the end of "Taking Control" when Spinnerella's hair moves from her neck and the audience is shown a familiar chip on the back of her neck.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • The fates of many of the minor characters were not explored in Season 5. For example, Lonnie, Rogelio and Kyle leave the Horde at the end of Season 4, and are later seen with Imp in the Crimson Wastes in a brief shot in Season 5. It is unknown if Imp reunites with Hordak, or what life Lonnie, Rogelio, and Kyle make for themselves at the end of the series.
    • The unnamed princesses whose images Light Hope showed to She-Ra in first season episode "Light Hope" never appear in later seasons, nor do they join the Princess Alliance.
    • We never find out where exactly baby Adora came from when Light Hope pulled her through the portal. The implication is that some of the First Ones survived the war with Horde Prime, but nothing else is known about them or their fate.
    • We never learn if anything happened to the noble lizard that Adora accidentally empowered while trying to learn how to become She-Ra.
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?:
    • Queen Angella speaks with a British accent, unlike anyone else in her kingdom. Horde Prime and many of his clones do so as well.
    • Razz speaks with a vaguely eastern European accent.
    • Hordak speaks with something between an American and British accent. Which makes sense as his "brothers" speak with a British accent, so his probably bled thanks to time spent on Etheria.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Cute?: In-Universe Horde propaganda holds that rebels, especially princesses, believe this and attack the Horde members just for being different or too ugly or too monstrous. Scorpia mentions that she "never fit in" with the other princesses, Catra assumes this was part of Adora's mindset for defecting and convinces Entrapta that this was the reason the princesses abandoned her. In reality, no rebel has been shown to have such a prejudice, as their main beef with the Horde is all the killing, pillaging, conquering and destroying their homes. Meanwhile, Entrapta was abandoned because the others thought she died during the infiltration mission.
  • Wilhelm Scream: Briefly heard during the episode "Princess Scorpia".
  • Working Out Their Emotions: The Horde strongly discourages any signs of weakness, including displays of emotion or illness. So, hitting things, training, or hiding in your room are the only viable options if one can't keep it together.
  • World of Action Girls: Every woman in this universe is combat capable, even if it's not their main job or even if they're outright pacifists.
  • World-Healing Wave: In the Grand Finale, Adora releasing the magic of the Heart of Etheria causes a wave of magic to rejuvenate Etheria and cover the Velvet Glove in plant life until it effectively becomes a giant tree.
  • You Are a Credit to Your Race: Hordak doesn't think much of Etheria's natives, even his own troops, dismissing them as primitive, but he becomes impressed by Entrapta's intelligence and perseverance.

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Scropia

With her endless amounts of kindness, Scorpia is the nicest member of the Horde being friendly to everyone, and almost more of a hero than a villain.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

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