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Western Animation / She-Ra: Princess of Power

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"I am Adora, He-Man's twin sister, and defender of the Crystal Castle. This is Spirit, my beloved steed. Fabulous secrets were revealed to me, the day I held aloft my sword and said, 'For The Honor Of Grayskull! I AM SHE-RA!!!'"

She-Ra: Princess of Power is the sister series (literally) to Filmation's He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983). It tells the story of Adora, the twin sister of Prince Adam of Eternia (He-Man, himself), who was kidnapped as an infant to the planet Etheria, and later is given the power to become She-Ra in order to save the planet from its tyrannical ruler Hordak, who is a member of the galaxy-spanning Horde.

Instead of having a nemesis like Skeletor, a disgruntled citizen who spends his days regularly attempting to kick the heroes' royal asses, She-Ra has Hordak, who already runs the planet, which inserts some problems when alien characters comes to visit (and he turns out to be Skeletor's mentor, allowing for even more excuses for crossovers).

She-Ra was made specifically to appeal to girls, which explains the large number of mentally and physically strong female characters, like Adora, Glimmer, and Madame Razz, not to mention the vivacious, Zsa Zsa Gabor-like nature of several of them, daaaaaarling — and quite a number of female villains like Shadow Weaver, Scorpia and Catra. The Big Bad, Hordak, is male, which has multiple implications, especially since Shadow Weaver is his closest and smartest advisor. Male characters are usually portrayed as being comparatively ineffectual just as often as supporting female characters (Glimmer and Bow were the most common victims). Unlike Prince Adam, who often pretended to be cowardly and useless to hide his He-Man persona, Adora was always strong and confident even when she wasn't She-Ra. Furthermore, whenever He-Man pays a visit to his sister (both in crossovers and the Five-Episode Pilot Movie), he generally requires her help in some way. And in the pilot movie, she first captures him by tricking him, then saves him by being She-Ra. Ironically, these aspects have allowed She-Ra to age better in some ways than He-Man, to the point that a reboot of the show titled She-Ra and the Princesses of Power premiered on Netflix on November 13, 2018. Following the completion of the Netflix series in 2020, Prime Video began developing a separate live-action adaptation.



  • 0% Approval Rating: The Horde aren't popular conquerors in their land.
  • Action Figure Justification: She Ra's toyline was a hybrid of action figures and more traditional dolls compared to the previous toyline He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983). Female characters such as She-Ra, Glimmer, and the like came with accessories such as weapons, but also famously had brushable hair. In comparison, female characters in the He-Man toyline were completely plastic molded (though the fact that the likes of Teela and Evil-Lyn kept their hair up in sensible buns makes this a Justified Trope).
  • Action Girl: Adora/She-Ra is one, but since the show was specifically aimed at girls, most of the heroes are strong female characters, which was pretty new at the time.
  • Adaptational Ugliness: In the original comics and doll line, Catra was quite pretty- though she saw herself as being uglier than Adora/She-Ra and turned evil because of it. The cartoon? She has lines on her face and a really irritating voice, though she doesn't seem all that concerned by how pretty she looks and her rivalry with Adora was due to Adora betraying the Horde than over looks.
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  • All Gravity Is the Same: The planet Etheria has the same gravity as Earth, even though it's absolutely tiny by planet standards. It's possible that the planet's magical energies may have something to do with the source of its gravity.
  • Alliterative Title:
    • The subtitle: Princess of Power.
    • Episodes "Of Shadows and Skulls"
  • All Your Powers Combined: In "Of Shadows and Skulls", Skeletor imprisons Hordak and Shadow Weaver in a cage neither of them can escape from on their own. The cage isn't so effective against the two of them together.
  • Amazing Technicolor World: When THIS is the setting's resident master of camouflage, you know this is what you're dealing with.
  • Anachronic Order:
    • Many episodes not only aired out of order, but were produced out of order. This results in situations like Sorrowful appearing a few episodes before he's introduced.
    • Even worse, one episode has Adora go to Light Hope to have her sword repaired. The very next episode has her first learn that Light Hope exists! Justified because She-Ra's learning of Light Hope's existence is shown in flashback mode and that episode was about Madame Razz telling others about that adventure.
  • And Knowing Is Half the Battle: With the exception of one episode, it's always Loo-Kee who does this. note 
  • Animal Species Accent: Catra, the cat-based villain, would often talk with mewls, or emphasizing the purr in perfect, not unlike Catwoman from the 1966 Batman.
  • Arm Cannon: Hordak's most obvious use of his ability to transform his body (or parts of) into machinery.
  • Artistic License – Space: A set of aligned moons on Etheria are apparently also the same aligned moons seen on Eternia, despite being two very different planets (and according to the Five-Episode Pilot, two different universes, which may justify it).
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Glimmer's light magic is this. Her magic is very powerful and has a wide range of useful effects but her magic is so taxing on her that using it in any way tends to render her too exhausted to do anything else.
  • Babies Ever After: The last episode ends with the birth of Swift Wind's baby.
  • Bad Boss: Hordak loves to send minions down the Trap Door and laugh about it. He also regularly claims other people's good ideas (usually Shadow Weaver's) as his own. Unless the idea fails, in which case he will blame one of his subordinates.
    • Horde Prime is even worse. He sent Hordak down the Trap Door for giving him a lame birthday gift.
  • Badass Normal:
  • General Sunder, in his debut, dared Hordak to drop him down a trap door (something usually reserved for Mantenna, Grizzlor, or a random trooper). After a bit of thought, Hordak backed down.
  • Adora herself was never - and is never - the type Adam is in his "civilian" identity; given the nature of the setting, she has to be a capable warrior and leader in both of her identities. This marks a stark contrast from her brother, who as Adam most of the time pretends to be lazy, pampered and generally incompetent in order to throw away suspicions of him secretly being He-Man. Oddly enough, this almost never comes into play in Adora's case - rarely, if ever, does she attract similar suspicions even when both Adora and She-Ra have similar personalities and are obviously never seen together.
  • Baleful Polymorph: In the second episode, "Beast Island", Madam Razz accidentally turns some Horde Troopers into sheep.
    Madam Razz: Oh deary my, I meant sleep, not sheep!
    Broom: I think it worked even better.
    • In the episode "Friendship", Shadow Weaver turns two Horde Troopers into white rats after they failed to prevent Adora from escaping a cell on Beast Island.
  • Broken Heel: Interestingly, while Bow is the one who trips over a vine (as they're running from a monster), this plays out just like the classic female version, including how he just lies there waiting for rescue instead of trying to get up and keep running. (Although technically, the monster just offscreen teleported to in front of him anyway, so maybe he thought it was useless by that point to run anywhere.)
  • Broken Pedestal: Adora grew up sheltered and thinking the Horde were the good guys, but He-Man manages to stir some doubts she can't ignore. She heads out to see what goes on outside the Fright Zone, seeing various Hordesmen terrorizing harmless villagers.
  • Captain Crash: Or in this case, "Madame Crash". Anytime Madame Razz shows up, especially in the Whispering Woods, she is often bound to make crash landings, usually prompting the other Twiggits to "warn" everyone that Madame Razz is coming.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Hordak to a hilarious degree.
    Hordak: It's not nice to cause trouble for the evil horde! MWAHAHAHA!

    Hordak: (to Skeletor) Your evil is almost on par with my own.
  • Catchphrase: Madame Razz's "Oh dearie my!"
  • Cat Folk: In the episode "Magicats", She-Ra and Catra stumble upon a civilization of magical cats. It turns out Catra's mask was stolen from their Queen, who looks like Catra's feline form.
  • Clark Kenting: Much like her brother, Adora's "disguise" is almost nonexistent (slightly longer hair and possibly a bit taller), and given how she used to work for Hordak, one has to wonder just how smart the villains actually are. It's actually worse in the mini comics, however, as the artist never bothered to create a unique outfit for Adora so she wears the exact same clothes; the only change when transforming to She-Ra is that her tiara flips upside down as a mask (as the toy itself could do), but even this was inconsistent. Yet somehow no one knew Adora was She-Ra.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Queen Castaspella seems to have a thing for good-looking males (discreetly, that is). Adora shows a bit of a Big Sister Complex when she catches her friend eyeing her twin brother Adam.
  • Chew Toy: Mantenna's sole purpose seems to be a stooge for Hordak to abuse when he has to blow off steam, usually via one of the trap doors in his throne room. (Although, there was one episode where Mantenna got enough of a backbone to use said trap door on his own boss in retaliation, but quickly high-tailed it out afterwards.)
  • Comes Great Responsibility: Bow learned this lesson when he abused the power of a wand he took from Shadow Weaver in "Bow's Magical Gift". However, the biggest problem wasn't how he used the power but how often he used it.
  • Complete-the-Quote Title: One episode is titled "He Ain't Heavy" which makes very little sense unless you're familiar with the phrase "He ain't heavy, he's my brother" (derived from a hit song by The Hollies). The plot involves Adora needing to rescue Prince Adam (her brother) from the Horde. Adora ends the episode with the other half of the quote.
  • Continuity Snarl:
    • A big inconsistency that should have been caught: when He-Man goes to Trolla (Orko's home world) he reverted back to Adam and had to say his transformation phrase backwards because magic worked differently there (Orko is an extremely talented magician in Trolla, for example). However, She-Ra had no problems when she went there in "The Greatest Magic". Orko's greatness is treated inconsistently in the parent show as well — he is originally a hyper-competent mage known as "Orko the Great" on Trolla, which is one of the reasons why Dree Elle was so taken with him, until his uncle first cropped up and Orko's back story got changed.
    • One episode has Tung Lashornote  working for Skeletor — despite other episodes showing him to be part of the Horde. That inconsistency was even more glaring by the fact Tung Lashor bore the Horde crest even in that episode.
  • Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: Hordak is very similar to Skeletor in a lot of ways, such as being a hammy Bad Boss who abuses his underlings. However, Hordak loathes magic, as he considers it too unpredictable and chaotic. He much prefers his science and technology. Even when he does use magic (his shapeshifting), he uses it to turn his body (parts) into mechanical/technological things.
  • Contrasting Sequel Main Character: Adora/She-Ra has a lot of the same qualities as her brother, but she distinguishes herself by leading a rebellion instead of defending a stable kingdom. She sometimes has to settle for hit-and-run attacks and minor victories. Adora also doesn't have to act like a lazy royal, so she gets to come up with plans and consistently have the other characters' respect.
  • Cool Helmet: She-Ra's headdress is a crown with wings on the side; almost a Cool Crown, which may be the point.
  • Cool Horse: Adora's horse Spirit. And he becomes an even cooler horse (Swiftwind, actually a winged unicorn) when she transforms into She-Ra.
  • Copied the Morals, Too: In "Enemy with my Face", Shadow Weaver conjures a kind of golem named Melog, makes it replicate She-Ra's powers and orders it to battle She-Ra. The plan works at first, but it backfires on the Horde when She-Ra notices Melog copied her personality as well and convinces the creature to switch sides.
  • Crossover: Characters from He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983) appear in several episodes.
  • Dark Action Girl: Since the show was aimed at girls, not only are most of the heroines Action Girls (as mentioned above), but quite a number of the villains are Action Girls, whether through general butt-kicking or in Shadow Weaver's case, actually being a very competant Second to Hordak.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Madam Razz would fit the roll of the typical Wicked Witch - an old hag who uses cauldrons and weird magic, who flies a broomstick - but she's on the heroes' side.
  • Disappeared Dad: Glimmer's father, the absent King of Bright Moon, is the subject of one episode, and returns during said episode.
  • Distaff Counterpart:
    • She-Ra to He-Man, much to Skeletor's dismay.
    • Madame Razz to Orko, and the two have since become close friends.
    • Bow to Teela.
  • Distressed Dude: Bow, and even He-Man in the pilot.
  • The Dog Bites Back: In "A Loss for Words", Mantenna jumped at the opportunity to drop Hordak down the same trap door Hordak usually drops him down. Unfortunately, he forgot Hordak could fly.
  • The Dragon: Imp qualifies as this more than others due to him being the most favored by Hordak. Skeletor used to be this to Hordak.
  • The Dreaded: Horde Prime for everyone. The only one who doesn't fear him is Skeletor. Skeletor is ambitious enough to challenge Horde Prime in his bid to take over the universe.
  • Dystopia Justifies the Means: Etheria may look like a beautiful place to live, but ever since the Horde took over, the planet has turned into this. Hordak makes it a point that he hates all that is beautiful, and uses the Fright Zone as a model of how things should look.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: In story continuity order, Flutterina and Peek-A-Blue appear in the episode "Enchanted Castle" before their respective official introductions in season 2. note 
  • Ear Wings: Kowl, who seems to be a hybrid of a koala and an owl (hence his name), and uses his ears as wings. Although his flight appears to be magic and quite apart from how he flaps his ears. Note how, in "The Secret of the Sword", his response to getting startled is to freeze — and he just stay there sitting frozen in mid-air.
  • Easily Forgiven: Sure, Adora used to be one of Hordak's highest-ranking officers, but as soon as they find out she's the twin sister of this guy who showed up a couple of days ago claiming to be a prince from another world / dimension, she's quickly given full access to the Rebellion's leadership. Of course, Bow did suggest trying to hold her hostage as leverage against Hordak.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Horde Prime's appearance as nothing but a huge cloud of black mist with a giant mechanical arm (and being described as having two heads!) constantly surveying his/its galactic empire in an enormous starship/warship, and givenhis/its predilection for utilizing monsters/demons/sorcerers/cyborgs/cyborg sorcerers as minions, leads to this impression. However, one episode reveals Horde Prime has a human (or human-looking) son. Mattel's recent revival toy series gave Horde Prime a humanoid form... presumably because trying to market a toy of a big cloud would've been somewhat difficult.
  • Elemental Powers:
    • Mermista not only is a siren able to change her fish tail into normal legs, she also has hydrokinetic powers.
    • Glimmer has light powers, Frosta has ice powers, Perfuma controls earth, and She-Ra is implied to have power over air (she can use her breath as a weapon, and she owns a winged unicorn).
  • The Empire: The Horde, and they rule the entire galaxy.
  • The Emperor: An unusual case with Frosta, who is the Ice Empress, but she rules over a fairly small kingdom. Played straight however, with Horde Prime.
  • Engineered Heroics: In "A Lesson In Love", Shadow Weaver summons a Giant Spider to attack Flutterina and her mind-controlled minion Kevin saves her from it, causing Flutterina to trust him and lead him to the Rebellion. Kevin eventually shakes off the mind control and becomes a hero for real.
  • Episode Title Card
  • Even Evil Has Standards: In "Into the Dark Dimension", She-Ra risks her life to help Hordak escape with her back to Etheria. Hordak actually calls off the Horde's attack on the Rebels and grants them safe passage back to the Whispering Woods in return.
  • Eviler Than Thou: Skeletor is this to Hordak in the episode Horde Prime Takes a Holiday and in My Friend, The Enemy. Basically, almost every time Skeletor appears, Hordak falls before him.
    • This actually reverses itself from the mini-comics where typically Hordak was the one taking a lead over Skeletor
    • Hordak is technically more successful in that much of Etheria is under his control, whereas Skeletor is consistently defeated on Eternia. However, the backstory shows that Hordak did try to conquer Eternia, but Randor's army and the magic at Castle Grayskull beat the Horde back so decisively that they preferred to focus their attention elsewhere. Skeletor loses a lot, but he's still considered a persistent threat to Eternia. In effect, Hordak benefited more from facing less powerful opponents on Etheria, which may explain why Skeletor frequently gets the better of him.
  • Expy:
    • The title character of the "Huntara" episode was patterned after a mix of Grace Jones and Storm, as she appeared during the time the episode was produced.
    • The Twiggets might by expies for The Smurfs.
    • Sorrowful is one of Cringer.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Shadow Weaver. She studied alongside Castaspella before making a deal with the Horde to increase her powers.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: Well, the Great Rebellion did manage to make a lot of headway in the series, like freeing slaves, and constantly demoralizing the Horde. Unfortunately, no closure was ever obtained toward that goal (because if they ever won, there wouldn't be another episode). On the whole, the series just didn't go on long enough to require closure.
  • The Faceless: Both Shadow Weaver and the Horde's ultimate leader, Horde Prime.
  • Fake Faint: In the pilot, Princess Adora pretends to faint to convince Skeletor and his cronies that she's a helpless, timid royal. Humiliations ensue for the poor creeps when the ruse is revealed.
  • Fanfare: The intro theme song.
  • Fantastic Racism: The people of Etheria hate trolls, to the point where they rejected the troll's offer of help during the invasion of the Horde! This makes Adora VERY angry when she sees it.
  • Faux Action Girl: There are several of these in the show:
    • Bow himself borders on Faux Action Guy.
    • Glimmer. Initially, she is supposed to be the leader of the Great Rebellion, looked up to by everyone, but she quickly turns out to be totally useless in combat, being defeated by one freaking Mook without any sort of effort whatsoever.
  • Feed the Mole: In "Birds of a Feather", Kowl's cousin Red-Eye sought employment at the Horde and Shadow Weaver used a spell to enable Red-Eye to see and hear what Kowl does. She-Ra took advantage of this to give the Horde misleading information.
  • Feminist Fantasy: An early example of an action series aimed at a female audience, providing young girls with many badass heroines and positive portrayals of femininity as a source of strength, even if most of the women did have cleavages you could lose your keys in. Little surprise the generation that grew up on She-Ra became the audience for other examples of kick-ass women in fiction such as Buffy and Xena.
  • Five-Episode Pilot: Released first in March 1985 as a movie, The Secret of the Sword. That following September, aired as five episodes to kick off the series.
  • Foreign Money Is Proof of Guilt: In one episode, Imp plants Horde coins in Kowl's bed to make it look like Kowl is a Horde spy.
  • Functional Magic: There are several practicing wizards and sorceresses on the show, many with very specific areas of expertise. Adora's sword also counts since, like Adam, she can't transform without it and when the crystal within it is broken in one episode she can't transform at all. This is, of course, carried over from He-Man.
  • Genius Serum: The Crown of Knowledge from the episode of the same name is supposed to give its wearer an enhanced intellect. An apprentice butcher kidnaps Kowl to guide him to it because Kowl knows the story of the crown, hoping to escape what he feels is a humdrum life. The Crown is ultimately lost before it can be tested when the pursuing Horde cheat their way past the logic puzzles protecting the artifact's location and cause a cave in.
  • Give a Man a Fish...: "The Price of Freedom" addresses it when villagers that She-Ra previously helped are at risk of being re-enslaved by the Horde. When She-Ra leaves to get the rest of the Great Rebellion and He-Man is incapacitated by Hordak's newest weapon, most of the villagers panic over having no one to help them.
    Villager: I am ashamed of you people. You said you wanted freedom, but when it becomes difficult, you become frightened. Freedom is the most valuable thing we can have. It never comes easy; we have to work for it. We can be grateful for the help of She-Ra and He-Man, but we should never expect it. We can never have freedom unless we can count on ourselves, so let's get to work and get out of this mine.
  • Gold Makes Everything Shiny: She-Ra's outfit is white with gold decoration, and her boots, bracelets, and headdress are gold.
  • Good Feels Good: How She-Ra justifies saving the life of even someone like Hordak.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Hordak actually takes orders from a galactic overlord named Horde Prime.
  • Healing Hands: Another of She-Ra's less frequently-employed powers. When it does appear, it is usually used on Swiftwind or another animal, such as the episode with the colony of winged unicorns.
  • Heel–Face Turn:
    • Adora herself, in the five-part pilot, goes from Force Captain for The Empire to leader of La Résistance.
      • Heel Realization: The above trope is played with in that Adora herself was never really evil. "Spells of control" or not, she had been raised thinking that the Horde were the rightful rulers of Etheria. He-Man, of course, helped her to discover otherwise (although it did take some time since Shadow Weaver had cast (another) spell of control when Adora tried to confront Hordak about it..
    • Sea Hawk goes from pirate aiding The Empire to pirate aiding La Résistance.
  • Heritage Face Turn: Learning He-Man is her brother is the final factor forcing Adora's Heel–Face Turn.
  • Heroes Want Redheads:
    • A gender-flipped version between Adora and Sea Hawk.
    • Adam once expressed a good bit of interest in Castaspella.
  • Heroic Willpower:
    • Adora used strong force of will to break from Shadow Weaver spell that was forcing her to serve the Horde.
    • Peekablue when she kidnapped and put under the Hordes control tried to break free through her willpower a couple of times before She-Ra helped freed her for good.
  • The High Queen: Angella, the queen of the kingdom of Bright Moon, and the face of the Great Rebellion.
  • Hollywood Tactics: The Great Rebellion should never even have gotten off the ground, considering how poorly their first big action against the Horde goes. They ignore Mantenna - the guy who can take out their entire attacking force with one Eye Beam - and instead disable Scorpia, who may be strong, but can only take on one or two soldiers at a time. They either weren't smart enough to prioritize properly, or (if they didn't know their enemy's capabilities) attacked without any decent intelligence on them. Either way, they should have lost the whole war at the same time it started, if it weren't for He-Man.
  • Hurricane of Puns: Well she is He-Man's sister — and She-ra is far, far worse about this than He-man ever was. He-man occasionally gets off a good pun, but is frankly quiet, for lack of a better word, most of the time. She-ra, on the other hand, never seems to shut up with her puns. Ever.
  • Hypnotize the Captive: For as many times He-Man was captured in the pilot, Adora would be hypnotized. In fact, Adora was originally hypnotized into serving the Horde.
  • I Am Spartacus: In "Book Burning", the Horde sends Tung Lashor to teach lies to kids at school. When one of the kids denounces his speech as lies and Tung Lashor demands to know who did it, all kids (minus the one spying for the Horde) claim to be the one.
  • I Don't Pay You to Think: In "Jungle Fever", Grizzlor reports to Hordak that Adora escaped through a ventilation shaft, saying that he "had no idea".
    Hordak: You're not supposed to have ideas!
  • Impossible Hourglass Figure: Adora has one, whether as herself or as She-Ra. So does Glimmer, and even the villainous Shadow Weaver. Actually, other than Madame Razz and the Twiggits, pretty much all the female characters have this.
  • Insane Troll Logic: In "Wild Child", the crops start dying. The villagers automatically accuse a pack of wolves of causing this just because they are there and attack them. Adora and Bow both point out that doesn't make any sense.
  • I Owe You My Life:
    • "Into the Dark Dimension" has both She-Ra and Hordak sent to another dimension and forced to work together to escape. She ultimately saves his life, despite his attempt to betray her. Back in Etheria, he lets the rebels escape because he's a Debt Detester.
    • Averted in "My Friend, My Enemy" after Hordak is saved. He won't remember any of this ever happened, so he can't even fume over owing She-Ra one.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: Shadow Weaver was quite beautiful before her powers were increased by the Horde.
  • Knockout Gas: Villain Hordak sprays one of the heroes with some sleep gas from his Swiss Army Hand. The hero gets off an exclamation and keels over. Hordak then comments that he's going to have to have a word with his scientists; the victim shouldn't have had time to say anything before succumbing.
  • Large and in Charge: Horde Prime. Judging by what we see of him, he's clearly a colossal being who dwarfs Hordak and his other underlings.
  • Large Ham: Hordak. His snarling, guttural growl is clearly meant to contrast with Skeletor's high, needling cackle. It ended up giving him quite a few scenery-chewing scenes.
  • Lawful Stupid: Adora before her Heel–Face Turn. She never questioned her Obviously Evil boss' motives and saw him as the rightful ruler of the planet. Rather justified in that she was under the control of Shadow Weaver's magicnote , but it doesn't explain why she calls herself good instead of evil, since Hordak openly brags that he is.
    • A later episode explains that her nanny Shakra taught her about the values of goodness (or at the very least implies that she did)
  • A Leech named Leech: He has the ability to drain the energy of anyone he touches, hence both his name and appearance.
    • Madame Razz's talking broomstick is simply called "Broom", while "Kowl" is implied to also be the name of his species.note 
  • Leotard of Power: As with He-Man's series, most of the Action Girls wear one.note 
  • Little Guy, Big Buddy:
    • For the heroes we have Kowl, who's big buddy is Bow.
    • The villains have Hordak and Imp. Imp is about the only creature Hordak will stick up for and Imp is always Hordak's first supporter.
  • Lost Voice Plot: In one episode, Shadow Weaver steals voices. That causes even more problems than she expects, since one of the people affected is Adora, who cannot say her transformation phrase as a result.
  • Loves My Alter Ego:
    • Bow has a crush on She-Ra but ignores Adora.
    • Sea Hawk has a crush on Adora but merely respects She-Ra as a fellow warrior. Unlike the above, Adora is quite happy with it.
    • Most of the girls express an interest in He-Man but don't have much regard for Adam, except for Castaspella who openly hits on both (not realizing they're the same person).
  • Imp, who not only fools characters on the show, but also the viewers with his disguises.
  • Would Loo-Kee count? He doesn't actually impersonate anything but his skill with camouflage does allow him to hide from everybody.
  • Shadow Weaver disguised herself in at least one episode.
  • Meaningful Name: Almost everyone's names come from their powers and abilities.
  • Mecha-Mooks: The Horde Troopers, sometimes. The series varied between treating them as armored soldiers (and major jerks), or as (poorly programmed) combat robots.
  • Mini Dress Of Power: She-Ra's outfit.
  • Modesty Towel: Mantenna wears one, along with a shower cap, in the beginning of "Flowers For Hordak", after being summoned while he was in the shower. Thanks to his multiple legs, he's forced to hold onto the edge of the towel, instead of tucking it inside of himself. It's also thanks to this that he ends up losing the towel at the last moment when he is dropped down the trap door.
  • More Than Mind Control: How Adora was shaped by Hordak and Shadow Weaver into their Tyke Bomb.
  • Morph Weapon: She-Ra's sword, which she could change at will into a shield, lasso, or other implement.
  • Most Common Superpower: She-Ra, along with some of her allies, are pretty buxom.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Adora, but even more so as She-Ra.
  • Mundane Utility: Hordak once turned his arm into a vacuum cleaner.
  • Never Say "Die": Surprisingly averted for a cartoon around this time. While death wasn't mentioned as often as it could have been (Hordak wanted to capture and enslave rebels more than kill them), if a character is thought to be dying or dead the show isn't shy about saying so.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Bow proudly announces himself as a rebel to the Horde troopers he just fought in the bar, resulting in The Horde invading the village and taking everybody as slaves.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain:
    • In "Horde Prime Takes a Holiday", if not for Skeletor trying to take over Horde Prime's warship, Hordak would have frozen She-Ra and He-Man. To top it all off, Hordak gets in trouble for something Skeletor did.
    • Hordak and Skeletor unknowingly do it to each other in "Loo-Kee Lends a Hand". If not for Skeletor's plan to capture Prince Adam, who knows how long would it take Loo-Kee to find Prince Adam and ask for his help or how much damage the Horde would have done by then? Also, if not for Hordak freezing time for the rebels, Loo-Kee wouldn't have gone to Eternia and ruined Skeletor's plan to break into Prince Adam's bedroom.
    • The rebellion would probably never learn how the Horde was using Kowl to spy on them if not for Red-Eye bragging about that.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Bow bears a strong resemblance to Errol Flynn from The Adventures of Robin Hood. The fact that he's an archer just adds to the allusion.
  • Nonhuman Sidekick:
    • Kowl assumes Orko's role.
    • Swift Wind does so for Battle Cat.
    • Broom is this for Madam Razz, also an Animate Inanimate Object.
    • On the villains' side is Imp and Mantisaur.
    • Also Shadow Weaver had a little bird creature she was fond of, and Kowl's cousin Red Eye had the position for an episode.
  • Obviously Evil: The EVIL Horde, [snort] MWAHAHAHAHAHAAAA!!!
  • Oh, Crap!: In one episode, Skeletor overthrows Hordak and traps him. As Skeletor begins ordering the other villains around, Imp demands they stand up to him. Instead, the villains realize that Hordak isn't around to protect Imp anymore. Cue a panicked Imp fleeing for his life.
  • Only One Name: As with He-Man's series, most characters have either only one name, including Light Hope, and Tung Lashor, who have two part names, but otherwise fit the trope, although there are characters such as Madame Razz, and Angellanote  who is usually referred to as "Queen Angella".
  • Opening Narration: It is almost identical to the one from He-Man, except that every place He-Man says "power," She-Ra says something different. E.g., "Fabulous secret powers were revealed to me" -> "Fabulous secrets were revealed to me"; ... "By the power of Grayskull!" -> "For the honor of Grayskull!"; ... "I have the poweeeeer!" -> "I am She-Raaaaa!"; ... "I became He-Man, the most powerful man in the universe" -> omitted entirely. Insert feminist rant here.

    Also, while He-Man describes the Sorceress, Man-At-Arms and Orko as the only people to know his identity (which is true during his show), She-Ra describes Light Hope, Madam Razz and Kowl as three among those who knew hers. Justified by the fact her identity is obviously easy to deduce by those who know He-Man's. Even if one doesn't count them, Light Hope later told Loo-Kee the secret so he could "lend a hand". Also, the episode "Darksmoke and Fire" implies that Granamyr knew the secret 1000 years before He-Man and She-Ra were born.
  • The One Guy: Bow. Biologically, that is. Behaviorwise, he fits in as one of the girls most of the time, and Sea Hawk takes up the role of The One Guy more often.
  • Orcus on His Throne: While clearly a force to be reckoned with, and possessing a Flagship that can devastate Etheria and overpower He-man and She-Ra, Horde Prime never confronts them himself, leaving the task to Hordak. Being a galactic ruler of many worlds, it's understandable that a single planet with a few rebels doesn't warrant his immediate attention.
  • Outside-Context Problem: In the Five-Episode Pilot, He-Man is this for the Horde. They're so used to facing normal citizens or people with defensive magical abilities that they can't handle a guy with Super Strength. He effortlessly smacks around a few of their top generals and totals their equipment; they only manage to subdue him because he was distracted trying to talk to Adora.
  • Overly Long Tongue: Tung Lashor. Often he uses it to clean objects or grab things, and Hordak yells at him for such a disgusting display. It has also been used to tie him and his companions up.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: She-Ra never hides her face, uses Adora's sword, and is never seen together with Adora. Bow and the others don't even seem to wonder how she knows when they need her help.
  • Parental Substitute:
    • After Adora realizes the Horde are the bad guys, she calls out Hordak and Shadow Weaver. Shadow Weaver tries to calm her by pointing out she's been "like a mother" to her. By the same token, Hordak was essentially a substitute for Randor.
    • Turns out her nanny Shakra is a much straighter example. Before meeting her real parents, Shakra was closest to a mother Adora ever had.
  • Parents Know Their Children: In the pilot, it's established that Princess Adora was kidnapped as an infant. When Prince Adam brings the now-adult Adora into the throne room, King Randor and Queen Marlena immediately recognize her. Man-At-Arms also recognizes her.
  • Peacock Girl: Peek-A-Blue and her psychic tail.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: She-Ra's dress has gold decorations, including a large symbol on the bodice, with a crystal in the center.
  • Pink Product Ploy: To the point where the first release of Swiftwind was colored pink, despite being white in the show. Collectors convinced the toymakers to allow the next release to be colored properly.
  • Pity the Kidnapper: One of the most amusing episodes featured this; Perfuma is captured by the Horde, and Hordak at first demands that She-Ra surrender herself in exchange for Perfuma's release, but Light Hope urges her not to agree to his demands. This proves good advice. Perfuma then proceeds to annoy everyone (especially the audience) with her sing-songy voice, decorate the Fright Zone with flowers, and even coerce the Horde-Troopers into dancing (in a conga line no less). Hordak quickly changes his demands, saying She-Ra can have her back if she simply comes to get her. She still heeds Light Hope's advice, and eventually, by the end of the episode, he begs She-Ra to take her back, paying the rebels three months' worth of supplies in return.
  • Poke the Poodle: Hordak is bad enough normally, but this line of villainy might fit more with Monty Python:
    Underling: Shall I have the rebel dogs taken to a cell, mighty one?
    Hordak: Yes... an uncomfortable one!note 
  • The Power of Love:
    • In the beginning, after finding out about having a twin brother, Adam/He-Man, through the Sorceress, Adora uses her newfound love for her brother to break Shadow Weaver's spell over her for good when she saw him in trouble.
    • In "The Greatest Magic", Orko is able to communicate telepathically with his girlfriend Dree Elle and then channel his magical powers into her to help her escape imprisonment, even though she was trapped in an Anti-Magic field that would normally make this impossible. Orko's uncle Montork explains this was done through their love, because love is the greatest magic.
    • In "A Lesson In Love", Kevin is able to break free from Shadow Weaver's mind control when he sees his crush Flutterina in danger.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Skeletor won't tolerate Hordak threatening Eternia or even setting foot there, which has brought them to blows in a couple episodes. Eternia is Skeletor's to conquer and no one else's.
  • Pretty in Mink: Some of the toys had fur-trimmed outfits.
  • Race Lift: Huntara was originally designed to have brown skin but they were forced to make her purple by Executive Meddling.
  • Rainbows and Unicorns: Swift Wind is a Winged Unicorn with rainbow-colored wings.
  • Raised by Orcs: Adora, who was raised by the Horde.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Horde Prime is over 500 years old.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: The troll king, in spite of the persecution his people face, is always willing to hear She-Ra out.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Shadow Weaver's eyes turn from yellow to red during one of her spellcasting animations.
  • Red Is Heroic: She-Ra wears a red cape.
  • Refuse to Rescue the Disliked: When Skeletor tricks Hordak into eating a doomberry pie, She-Ra talks her friends out of that mentality to get them to help him.
  • Remember the New Guy?:
    • Or "Girl" in this case. A number of characters including Castaspellanote  and Frosta just suddenly appear as members of the Rebellion, though it is likely that some amount of time has passed between episodesnote .
    • Perhaps the biggest example is Lonnie, a one-off character who had been Adora's second-in-command when Adora was still the Horde's force captainnote 
  • La Résistance: She-Ra leads "The Great Rebellion" against Hordak's forces.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Vilified: The Great Rebellion, so very much.
  • Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: In "Of Shadows and Skulls", Shadow Weaver is so tired of being mistreated by Hordak she helps Skeletor to overthrow him. Skeletor rewards her by locking her up inside the same cage they locked Hordak in.
  • Ridiculously Human Robots: The Horde soldiers. They even sneeze when pepper is thrown at their helmets, fer Greyskull's sake!
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something:
    • Angella, the Queen of Bright Moon, and her daughter Princess Glimmer are the leaders of the Great Rebellion. Angella's husband also counts.
    • Queen Castaspella is a magic-wielding royal on the side of good.
    • And of course there's Adora, who has the advantage of acknowledging being the Princess of Eternia and not having to employ Obfuscating Stupidity like her brother Adam. note 
  • Running Gag: Hordak dropping Mantenna down a trap door...sort of.note 
  • Sapient Steed: Swift Wind for She-Ra, Broom for Madam Razz; both talk, and the latter also counts as an Equippable Ally.
  • Save the Villain: She-Ra has saved Hordak and the other villains more than once simply because she hates to see anyone suffer.
  • Sean Connery Is About to Shoot You: Hordak does shoot you in the title sequence.
  • Secret-Keeper: Like her brother, Adora had three, as explained in the Opening Narration
    Adora: Only a few others share this secret. Among them are Light Hope, Madame Razz, and Kowl.
  • Secret Secret-Keeper: When She-Ra got stranded in the past, Granamyr read her mind to be able to understand what happened.
  • Seers: Peek-A-Blue
  • Separated at Birth: Adam and Adora, as shown in the pilot, making her his Long Lost Twin.
  • Series Goal: Like She-Ra says in the intro, "to free Etheria from the evil forces of Hordak".
  • Shadow Archetype: Castaspella and Shadow Weaver were friends before the latter was brought to the Dark Side.
  • Showgirl Skirt: The "Ready in Red" outfit could be worn like a cape or this.
  • Sign of the Apocalypse: Grizzlor has had an idea!
  • Silver Fox: Despite her screechy, creepy voice, green clawed hands and a totally cloaked face, the Wicked Witch Shadow Weaver has, on numerous occasions, been noted to have quite the body. note 
  • So Proud of You: Randor when Adam brings Adora home. Especially notable considering all the times Adam got scorn for seemingly being an irresponsible prince.
  • Sorceress Queen:
    • Castaspella, Queen of Mystacor, and Angella, Queen of Bright Moon.
    • She-Ra/Adora and Glimmer also had magical abilities, but they're princesses.
  • Spanner in the Works: This is Loo-Kee's role in both of his Day in the Limelight episodes and the reason he becomes involved with the plots therein. Arguably more identifiable in the first one.
  • Speaks Fluent Animal:
    • She-Ra is shown in the pilot to have the ability to communicate with animals, although this ability rarely appears in the series proper.
    • The wild child of the title episode can speak to the creatures that rescued her, presumably being taught by them.
  • Spin-Off: Of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe
  • Spinoff Sendoff: Begins with He-Man journeying to Etheria to find Adora and give her the Sword of Protection, allowing her to become She-Ra and to do a Heel–Face Turn; going from a Force Captain of the Horde to leader of the Great Rebellion.
  • Spirit Advisor: Light Hope, the guardian of the Crystal Castle, may qualify for this. The Sorceress still has this role.
  • Stab the Sky: As with He-Man, this is how Adora starts her Transformation Sequence.
  • Stable Time Loop: When He-Man first met Granamyr, Granamyr told him he has heard of him. It's likely that him reading She-Ra's mind when she traveled to Eternia in the past led to that moment.
  • Stalker Shot:
    • This is how Loo-Kee's games for the And Knowing Is Half the Battle at the end of each episode. Loo-Kee would recall the scene where he'd been hiding and, after giving a final chance to find him, reveal his hiding spot. While most of the hiding spots were fairly easy once you knew the scene, quite a few were much harder to find.
    • Typically Imp was shown when he went spying on the Rebels, retaining his blue coloring so the audience could keep track of him. In two notable episodes, "A Loss For Words" and "The Mines of Mondor", he's only revealed AFTER the Rebels have had an important conversation with no previous warning to the audience. Helped by the fact he had shed his natural coloring to assume his disguise.
    • In the second episode of the series, "Beast Island," Glimmer, Bow, Madame Razz, and Battlecat manage to make it to Beast Island to save He-Man. They fully believe their infiltration has gone undetected, but a panning out of the shot reveals Grizzlor is watching them on a security camera.
  • The Starscream: When Hordak abandoned Skeletor at the time Adora was kidnapped as a baby, Skeletor sold him out as a final "Screw You" to his mentor. Of course, this was only half the victory, and he still has unfinished business with Hordak. In two episodes, especially "Of Shadows and Skulls", he does succeed in stealing Hordak's place as Horde Commander, but it doesn't last.
  • Statuesque Stunner: She-Ra, naturally. She seems to gain a foot in height when she changes from Adora, though this is likely due to the crown and the boots.
  • Stock Animal Name: Adora's horse is named Spirit.
  • Superman Stays Out of Gotham: Well, it's obvious here that Adora's brother and his own team can't be there to help all the time, but there's little explanation why (other than her desire to do it herself, as well as He-Man having to stop Skeletor from conquering Eternia) seeing as the Sorceress can send either sibling to the other's world any time they want. (He did appear as a recurring guest character.)
  • Superheroes Wear Capes: She-Ra's outfit includes a short, red cape.
  • Swiss Army Tears: Hordak is disappearing to death by the doomberry pie Skeletor gave him, but he is saved by She-Ra's tears in the episode "My Friend, the Enemy".
  • Swiss Army Weapon: Hordak's arms. Most likely Shapeshifter Weapon, since he himself can also morph into a rocketship with a nose cannon. He also demonstrated morphing his entire lower body into a large drill and burrowing to escape (after morphing both of his hands into suction cups too, like what Leech has).
  • Sympathy for the Devil: Though they are archenemies, She-Ra is the only person who has ever cared enough about Hordak to cry for him.
  • Take Our Word for It: In "The Price of Power", Shadow Weaver showed her face to a boy who wanted to be her apprentice. The boy's reaction suggested the face to be hideous but the viewers were never given a chance to see for themselves.
  • Take That!: During the Christmas Episode, She-Ra and He-Man take apart some gigantic evil transforming robots.
    Swiftwind: They're changing into other forms! What evil robots!
    • One episode had Glimmer take on a new hairstyle, looking similar to the cast of Jem. The episode is spent with every other character pointing out ugly her new style is.
  • Tempting Fate: In "Into Etheria", after getting a meal at a tavern, Cringer comments that he's starting to like this strange new world he and Adam are in. That's when some Hordesmen show up.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: It seems not even a discussion via monitor means safety for Hordak, as Horde Prime's mechanical hand comes through the screen to really warn him that he better shape up or else.
  • The Worf Effect: While He-man is quite effective and powerful in his home show, and generally works very well with his sister, he's in trouble almost every time he's by himself in Etheria. It doesn't help that he doesn't have access to his vehicles, and She-Ra has some extra powers.
  • Time Travel: Hordak and Modulok once tampered with the dimensional portal to get rid of She-Ra. They got her stranded in Eternia's past. 1000 years before she was born if Granamyr was correct. Granamyr helped her to Get Back to the Future.
  • Tongue Twister: In "The Stone in the Sword", Hordak expects his doom balloon to destroy the Whispering Woods, "faster than you can say, 'Horrible Hordak headed a herd of hideous Hordesmen!'".
  • Too Spicy for Yog-Sothoth: Perfuma turns out to be this when captured by the Horde. Listen to her voice for 30 seconds, and you'll begin to understand why spending a day with her would be a bit much.
  • Transformation Name Announcement: "I am She-Ra!"
  • Transformation Sequence: "FOR THE HONOR OF GRAYSKULL!!!" Adora to She-Ra. Unsurprisingly on a show geared to appeal to girls, this one is flashier and sparklier than He-Man's.
  • Transforming Mecha: Hordak transform himself into a Rocket, Wheeled Top-Spin, Tank-Mecha and other forms...
  • Trick Arrow: Bow's specialty, not unlike Green Arrow.
  • Tyke Bomb: Adora
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Subverted with Hordak, of all people. After She-Ra risked her life to save his, Hordak ordered his troops to stand down and allow the rebels safe passage out of the Fright Zone. This act surprises everyone, including Hordak himself.
  • Unique Pilot Title Sequence: In the first few episodes, a male announcernote  reads the Opening Narration. After Adora becomes She-Ra, she reads a new version of the narration.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension:
    • Adora had this with Sea Hawk, who snogged her twice in one episode. She even deliberately locked herself behind bars (after performing several rescues as She-Ra) so that he could bust in and carry her out over his shoulder. But the relationship never went anywhere.
    • Possibly complicated by the fact that She-Ra's relationship with Bow was equally undefined.
  • Vader Breath: This is how Shadow Weaver speaks.
  • Verbal Tic: The bad guys have plenty of tics to go around.
    • Hordak's "snorty-snorty-snortiness"
    • Catra purrs a lot. She also makes other cats sounds as well, not to mention the fact that she rolls her rs.
    • MMMMMMantenna stretches his MMMMMM'snote .
    • Leech constantly makes sucking sounds whenever he speaks. note 
    • Shadow Weaver begins every sentence with a raspy exhale, à la Darth Vader.
  • Villain Decay:
    • The Monstroids were portrayed as very menacing androids, handily disabling She-Ra and sending Hordak and co packing without any resistance. Scheming to draw out and challenge Horde Prime himself, they seemed leagues above the usual villains, only to be defeated by He-Man, She-Ra, and their cutesy machine friends with ease, belying their powerful introduction. A subsequent episode has them taking orders from Hordak and be much less intelligent and formidable than before.
    • Early episodes portrayed Mantenna as a comical, yet formidable threat towards the Rebels. This was dropped soon after in the series, where he plays the comedic lackey that suffers the most.
  • Villain World: The Series Goal, as stated by Princess Adora/She-Ra is "to free Etheria from the evil forces of Hordak". The galaxy Etheria is located in is ruled by Horde Prime.
  • Vocal Dissonance: Spirit / Swift Wind has the voice of a Guttural Growler, which strongly contrasts with his appearance and personality.
  • Warrior Poet: Bow the archer is an accomplished musician.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Hordak suffers this twice over in "My Friend, My Enemy" after he's poisoned by Skeletor and at risk of fading away forever. His old mentor won't lift a finger to help, due to Hordak turning evil and corrupting his lessons. Skeletor cares nothing for their former friendship, either, saying Hordak would've gladly tried to do this to him. It all makes She-Ra pity Hordak even more.
  • Where Does He Get All Those Wonderful Toys?: Hordak never runs out of robot henchmen or war machines. Somewhat justified by being the resident dictator of the planet, but you have to wonder where the manpower comes from. It's actually addressed a few times; Hordak orders his robots from Horde World. He even complains a few times that he ordered well-trained robots and got incompetent idiots.
  • Wild Child: The name of an episode and Title-Dropped by Bow in relation to the character of the week, though he meant it as a compliment.
  • Winged Humanoid: Queen Angella; Flutterina.
  • Winged Unicorn: Swift Wind when powered up.
  • Woman Scorned: Catra often flirted with Sea Hawk back when he was on Hordak's side, which he ignored. When Sea Hawk fell for Adora, Catra was really mad.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Played for laughs when Orko is captured by the Horde. Shadow Weaver's spells don't work on him, and Hordak's mind sweeper blows up after trying to scan him. This leads them to conclude that Orko is an extremely powerful being worthy of study on Horde World instead of an Inept Mage from a dimension with very different physics.
    Orko: Man-At-Arms always said no one could figure me out.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): She Ra


Skeletor says "wat"

Hordak explains to Skeletor that the latter was involved in an incident involving the kidnapping a baby (which he does not recall), that the baby is a traitor, and that the baby was a princess, all without much in the way of preamble or context.

How well does it match the trope?

4.67 (24 votes)

Example of:

Main / FlatWhat

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