|Occupation||Student at Canterlot High School |
Rainbooms' rhythm guitarist and back-up vocalist
|Eyes|| Moderate cyan |
Moderate cyan with a black sclera (as a demon)
|Hair|| Vivid crimson with brilliant yellow stripes (Equestria Girls and Rainbow Rocks) |
Brilliant amaranth with light apple green stripes (Rainbow Rocks encore shorts onward)
|Coat|| Light brilliant amber |
Light amber (human)
Brilliant crimson (demon)
|Other names||Daydream Shimmer|
| Cutie mark|
Development and design
An image of human Sunset Shimmer that appears on the back of the Equestria Girls Sunset Shimmer & Twilight Sparkle doll release's packaging was posted online in mid-March 2013.
On March 19, 2013, Meghan McCarthy was asked "Is Sunset Shimmer going to be a Season 4 storyline? The fact that her backstory seems like a show plot" and responded "Nope."  On April 1, 2013, McCarthy wrote as part of an April Fools' Day joke that Friendship is Magic season four episode five would be titled "The Student Becomes the Teacher: The Return of Sunset Shimmer".
In early April 2015, Ishi Rudell stated that Sunset Shimmer's phoenix-like appearance at the end of My Past is Not Today was a visual metaphor  and that "her hair is lighter... We wanted to tone her color intensity down a bit with the design of her new outfit."  In early May 2015, Rudell stated that "Sunset Shimmers [sic] residency has been discussed... Perhaps one day it will be revealed." 
Depiction in films
Sunset Shimmer first appears as the main antagonist in My Little Pony Equestria Girls. She steals Twilight Sparkle's element of magic crown and during a tussle with Twilight, the crown is thrown into the Crystal Mirror that acts as a portal to another world. She then follows the crown shortly after.
Princess Celestia reveals that Sunset was a former student of hers who began her studies not long before Twilight did. However, when she didn't get what she desired as quickly as she wanted, she turned cruel and dishonest, eventually abandoning her studies to pursue her own path. In the human world, Sunset has been living as a human and student at Canterlot High School for some time. She discovers that Fluttershy found the crown and turned it over to Principal Celestia, much to Sunset's annoyance.
After learning that Twilight will be competing against her for the title of Princess of the Fall Formal, Sunset employs various ways to hinder and humiliate Twilight. She has Snips and Snails record embarrassing videos of Twilight struggling to get used to the human world and releases the videos online, and she doctors photos to frame Twilight for ruining the dance decorations. But Twilight's friends help to counter these ploys by improving Twilight's reputation, and Flash Sentry, Sunset Shimmer's ex-boyfriend, helps prove Twilight's innocence.
At the Fall Formal, when Twilight is named princess and given the crown, Sunset has Snips and Snails kidnap Spike and threatens to destroy the portal to Equestria unless Twilight gives her the crown. Twilight refuses to give the crown up, stating that her being stuck in the human world would be worth stopping Sunset. As Twilight's friends commend her bravery and sacrifice, Sunset snaps and attacks her. Despite Twilight and her friends' efforts, Sunset succeeds in getting the crown and puts it on, and a dark magic aura transforms her into a demon. With her newfound powers, Sunset transforms Snips and Snails into similar-looking minions and brainwashes the other students at the school. She reveals that she never intended to destroy the portal and plans to invade and conquer Equestria with her army of teenagers.
Twilight is able to evoke the powers of the Elements of Harmony when her friends move to protect her from Sunset Shimmer's attack. Temporarily given pony-like characteristics, they use the magic of friendship to defeat Sunset Shimmer and return Snips, Snails, and the rest of the students to normal.
As everyone recovers, a beaten and repentant Sunset is reduced to tears and apologizes to everyone she's hurt. She admits to not knowing anything about friendship, to which Twilight says her friends can teach her. Sunset, Snips, and Snails are later tasked by Vice Principal Luna with rebuilding the part of school they had destroyed during their attack.
Sunset Shimmer re-appears in Rainbow Rocks, reformed from her villainous ways in the first film. With the exception of the Rainbooms, the rest of Canterlot High bears resentment toward her, and she even resents herself for the actions she'd taken as what she refers to as a "raging she-demon." She even admits to herself and her friends that she never had a romantic interest in Flash Sentry and only dated him to make herself more popular.
When Sunset gives the Dazzlings a tour of the school, she gets a bad vibe from them when Adagio Dazzle gets defensive about her pendant. Her suspicions are later confirmed when the Dazzlings mesmerize the students and faculty with their singing. Using a magical book with her cutie mark on the cover, Sunset sends an SOS to Princess Celestia in Equestria. During Twilight's role as the Rainbooms' lead singer, Sunset acts in a supportive role and keeps an eye on the competition, especially the Dazzlings during the Battle of the Bands. At one point, Sunset confronts the Dazzlings, who try to manipulate her insecurities by pointing out that the Rainbooms were reluctant to allow Sunset into the band.
When the Rainbooms lash out at each other during the final round of the Battle of the Bands, Sunset realizes what the Dazzlings' true intentions are and is able to stop the petty arguing. She even accepts partial blame due to her lack of knowledge on friendship.
When the Dazzlings overpower the Rainbooms during the film's climax, Sunset Shimmer steps up and sings on the band's behalf. Her help not only gives the Rainbooms the strength they need to defeat the Dazzlings, but she also undergoes a half-pony transformation like her friends. Afterward, Sunset joins the band as a singer and guitarist, and she uses her old journal that she communicated with Princess Celestia through to write her friendship lessons to Princess Twilight Sparkle.
During Shine Like Rainbows, the rest of the school now accepts Sunset. The Crusaders walk happily with her after Apple Bloom catches her journal when it falls out of her backpack, and Bulk Biceps helps her get Angel down from a hard-to-reach perch.
Sunset Shimmer is the central focus of the musical short My Past is Not Today, having solo vocals during the titular song. In the song, Sunset sings of how misguided her goals were during the first film and letting go of the past. Likening her reawakening to that of a phoenix, Sunset concludes the song by sprouting fiery magical wings.
Sunset appears throughout the musical short Friendship Through the Ages and has minor vocals during the song. She interacts with the Rainbooms one by one before meeting them in a warm group hug at the end.
Sunset Shimmer appears in Friendship Games, competing on the Wondercolts' team in the Friendship Games' motocross event. She is tasked with keeping magic out of the event, but she gets worried that she might fail at understanding how magic works in the human world and that she doesn't have Princess Twilight to help her with her task.
When human Twilight's device starts gathering magic from the main characters and she releases it under pressure from Principal Cinch, she becomes overwhelmed and corrupted by the power. Sunset uses the device to harness the magic of friendship from her friends to stop Twilight's rampage. In the end, Sunset realizes that she is fully capable of solving her own problems and that she can't always count on someone else to do it for her.
The deleted scenes on the DVD reveal a scrapped subplot of the film about Sunset being homesick for her life in Equestria and considering returning.
In this short, Sunset decides to experiment on her friends to see why they pony up whenever they play music. Unfortunately, she finds her results inconclusive.
In Legend of Everfree, Sunset Shimmer appears as the secondary central character, serving as moral support for human Twilight. At Camp Everfree, Sunset is paired up with Twilight in the Sapphire Tent. While at the camp, Sunset's magic undergoes a dramatic change, and she develops the ability to sense others' thoughts, memories, and feelings through physical touch.
Throughout the film, Sunset helps Twilight come to grips with the dark magic of Midnight Sparkle inside her, and she guides all of her friends in embracing their new magical abilities. She also helps Flash Sentry get over Princess Twilight, and they start over as friends after their bitter breakup.
When Sunset discovers strange goings-on behind the scenes at Camp Everfree, she initially suspects camp co-director and Twilight's crush Timber Spruce. However, she later discovers it to be Timber's sister Gloriosa Daisy. By helping Twilight overcome her fear of Midnight Sparkle, Sunset proves integral in defeating Gloriosa when she is consumed by Equestrian magic. She and her fellow Rainbooms also take part in saving Camp Everfree from closing down with a Crystal Ball fundraiser.
An eight-page featurette included with My Little Pony Annual 2013, titled The Fall of Sunset Shimmer, details Sunset Shimmer's last days as Princess Celestia's student.
Like Twilight Sparkle, Sunset Shimmer is a magical prodigy. However, unlike Twilight, she's quite boastful and condescending toward others, despite Celestia's lessons about humility. Celestia shows Sunset the Crystal Mirror; in it, Sunset sees herself as a powerful Alicorn—one who could rule Equestria. Sunset briefly sees something else in the mirror, but Celestia guides her away from it before she gets too curious. During the weeks that follow, the mirror is all Sunset can think about, and Celestia repeatedly tells her that she'll learn about the mirror and other lessons "when [she's] ready".
Not convinced, an undeterred Sunset Shimmer begins researching the mirror in a dark magical library behind Celestia's back but is soon caught by the princess and her royal guards. Sunset berates her teacher for hiding such magic from her and demands to be made a princess. Celestia refuses, saying that being a princess must be earned, and removes Sunset from her position as her student and banishes her from Canterlot Castle. She has the royal guards escort Sunset out of the castle, but Sunset overpowers the guards and escapes through the mirror.
As Celestia has the mirror moved to her throne room, Sunset Shimmer emerges in the human world as a teenage girl.
In the Equestria Girls comic of IDW's Annual 2013, Sunset Shimmer interviews the human counterparts of Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy, Rarity, Rainbow Dash, and Applejack for a story for the school paper, but her expression at the end of the comic suggests a far more sinister motive.
In the My Little Pony: Equestria Girls Holiday Special comic, Sunset Shimmer has no one close to be with during the holidays. Her friends cheer her up with a series of slumber parties. In the wake of this, an online persona named "Anon-a-Miss" starts making disparaging posts and comments about Canterlot High students in social media, and Sunset is the prime suspect. Through Twilight Sparkle's advice, Sunset convinces her friends that she isn't "Anon-a-Miss". Later, when "Anon-a-Miss" is revealed to be the Crusaders, Sunset forgives them for their misguided actions.
Sunset Shimmer is featured as the main antagonist in the My Little Pony Equestria Girls film screenplay novelization My Little Pony: Equestria Girls: Through the Mirror. In chapter 18, "Back to Equestria", "Twilight had noticed Sunset going around the gym, apologizing to several students. Luckily, most of them had no idea what she was talking about because they'd been in a trance during her little fiery tantrum. But it still showed that she wanted to change."
Sunset Shimmer is featured as a protagonist in the Rainbow Rocks film screenplay novelization My Little Pony: Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks: The Mane Event. In chapter 20, "Battle of the Bands", her half-pony transformation includes wings.
Sunset Shimmer is featured as the main protagonist in Sunset Shimmer's Time to Shine. Wanting to find her place in a world without magic, she decides to become a "magic investigator" and study her friends' pony transformations in great scientific detail. She also helps her friends organize a school fundraiser to raise money for new Wondercolt uniforms.
Sunset Shimmer is featured in the novel Twilight's Sparkly Sleepover Surprise. She meets up with human Twilight Sparkle multiple times in the novel.
Sunset Shimmer is in Hasbro's Equestria Girls app.
Of Hasbro's online games, Sunset Shimmer appears as a human in the Equestria Girls game See Yourself as an Equestria Girl, appears both as a pony and as a human in the Equestria Girls game Dash for the Crown, appears as a pony in the game Memory Match Game, and appears as a human in the Equestria Girls games See Yourself as an Equestria Girl - Rockified and V.I.F.
Hasbro online descriptions
On April 26, 2015, Hasbro's My Little Pony Facebook page referred to Sunset Shimmer as Princess Cadance's former student, edited the post twenty-one minutes later to instead identify Sunset Shimmer as a version of Princess Cadance, and re-edited the post thirty-two subsequent minutes later.
Hasbro.com Equestria Girls description
Sunset Shimmer rules Canterlot High with an iron hoof...uhh hand. There’s no one in the school more feared, manipulative and dishonest than her. And she doesn’t care who she has to intimidate, frighten, or push around to keep it that way. But this year, there’s a new challenger, and Twilight Sparkle might be the one who finally dethrones her.
Hasbro.com Rainbow Rocks description
A loyal friend with a good heart, Sunset Shimmer is always looking out for what’s best for the Rainbooms. She made some mistakes in the past, but now she wants to prove to everyone they can trust her.
Hasbro.com Rainbow Rocks Encore description
Sunset Shimmer is a former bully turned nice. Now she’s ready to mend[sic] her friendships and cheer on their band, despite feeling out of place sometimes. Will she ever feel like part of the group? Stay tuned.
Hasbro.com Friendship Games description
Even though Sunset Shimmer is fully integrated into the Equestria Girls group, she still has insecurities about where she belongs, but the rest of the Mane 6 friends consider her to be one of them.
Legend of Everfree description
She likes to do things her own way! Even though Sunset Shimmer is fully integrated into the Equestria Girls group, she still has insecurities about where she belongs, but the rest of the Mane 6 friends consider her to be one of them.
An Equestria Girls human doll of Sunset Shimmer was released with another such doll of Twilight Sparkle and other items, including an element of magic crown accessory. Sunset Shimmer's description on the back of the release's packaging reads, "Her striking sense of fashion steals a lot of attention!"
Two human Sunset Shimmer dolls have been released for My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks: one in a fashion set with an extra outfit and a "Time to Shine" doll with wings.
Another two human Sunset Shimmer dolls have been released for My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Friendship Games: one being a "Sporty Style" and the other one being a "School Spirit" doll.
At least two human Sunset Shimmer dolls have been released for My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Legend of Everfree: a "Boho Assortment" variant and a "Crystal Wings Assortment" variant. Both dolls were first revealed at Hasbro's 2016 Toy Fair.
Miniature, articulated dolls of Sunset Shimmer were released in late 2016 as part of the "Equestria Girls Minis" lineup.
On the respective front and back of a printed insert bundled in the Barnes & Noble Special Edition of the chapter book My Little Pony: Equestria Girls: Sunset Shimmer's Time to Shine, a letter to Sunset Shimmer from Rarity includes some concept art of human Sunset Shimmer wearing her rock star dress and a letter to Rarity from Sunset Shimmer includes a draft of the song My Past is Not Today.
Throughout the first film, Sunset Shimmer is shown to be self-absorbed, condescending, manipulative, and dishonest. She frequently insults and belittles others and thinks little of it. According to human Fluttershy, Sunset makes life miserable for "anyone who stands in her way." As a result, most of the Canterlot High School student body is afraid of her. She is also not above making threats and blackmail in order to realize her goals.
When Sunset puts on the element of magic, she transforms into a demonic visage of herself. While in this form, she becomes more ruthless, going so far as attempting to dispose of Twilight. After she is defeated, Sunset Shimmer becomes immediately repentant and apologizes for her actions, appearing to renounce her prior dishonest and unkind ways.
In the second film, Sunset Shimmer has completely discarded her old self and starts believing in friendship, being kind toward others and befriending former enemies. She is also deeply repentant for her actions in the first film, referring to her transformed self as a "raging she-demon". However, she suffers from a lack of confidence, keeping silent in situations she feels it isn't her place to speak up and falling prey to the Dazzlings' taunting. During the final battle, she finally overcomes her insecurities and joins the Rainbooms in defeating the Dazzlings, gaining a half-pony form in the process. By the end of Rainbow Rocks, Sunset starts writing friendship reports to Princess Twilight using the book she once used to communicate with Princess Celestia.
By the third film, while Sunset has managed to fully integrate herself into the group and take mentions of what she did in the past with good humor, she also harbors a fear of losing her school's newly gained trust, and she becomes deeply depressed when she believes she has let them down, despite their assurances. She also becomes increasingly irritated and stressed by her struggles to understand how magic works in the human world, briefly snapping at her friends at one point. When Sci-Twi endangers her friends, Sunset's anger explodes as she berates Twilight for meddling with forces she doesn't understand, taking her own frustrations and self-doubt out on her. However, she immediately regrets her harsh words and reaches out to Twilight in friendship by the end of the film.
In the My Little Pony: Equestria Girls Holiday Special comic, Sunset Shimmer displays a forgiving and compassionate side when she forgives the Crusaders for framing her as the rumormonger "Anon-a-Miss".
In Sunset Shimmer's Time to Shine, Sunset displays a considerable level of intelligence, being ahead of her friends and classmates in school and smart enough to develop various computer applications. Her affinity for science and research is also seen in The Science of Magic, where she explains she prefers a hands-on approach to studying magic over "studying ancient books".
- "Sorry it had to be this way... princess!"
- — To Twilight Sparkle, My Little Pony Equestria Girls
- "Twilight Sparkle wants to be your Fall Formal Princess. What does it say about our school if we give someone like this... such an important honor?"
- — Voiceover in an anti-Twilight Sparkle video, My Little Pony Equestria Girls
- "Spoiler alert: I was bluffing when I said I was going to destroy the portal. I don't want to rule this pathetic little high school; I want Equestria! And with my own little teenage army behind me, I am going to get it!"
- — My Little Pony Equestria Girls
- "I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. I didn't know there was another way."
- — My Little Pony Equestria Girls
- "Hmpf. I have better things to do than socialize. I'm going to re-read Advanced Elemental Magical Practices and then practice for my advanced summoning spells exam. What are you studying for? Nothing, that's what."
- — The Fall of Sunset Shimmer
- "I deserve to stand beside you and be your equal... if not your better. Make me a princess."
- — To Princess Celestia, The Fall of Sunset Shimmer
- "Believe me... I've got everything I need to know about you."
- — My Little Pony Annual 2013
- "A demon. I turned into a raging she-demon."
- — Referring to her transformation, My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks
- "I've changed! I'm in a much better place now!"
- — To the Dazzlings, My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks
- "Ever since you started this band, you've been letting little things get to you. I never said anything because I didn't feel like it was my place, not when I was so new to this whole friendship thing. I still have a lot to learn, but what I do know is that if you don't work out even the smallest problems right at the start, the magic of friendship can be turned into something else."
- — My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks
- "I don't think anyone is supposed to have all the answers. But you can count on your friends to help you find them."
- — To Twilight Sparkle, My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks
- "Dear Twilight,
How are things in Equestria? It's been pretty normal here at Canterlot High since you left, which, to be honest, is a welcome change. Things have been so crazy ever since I stole your magic crown and snuck through the portal from Equestria. Believe it or not, I'm glad you followed me back to this strange new world with no magic. With the help of your new friends, you won over the student body and managed to beat me to become Princess of the Fall Formal. Even when the magic in the crown turned me into a powerful demon, you wouldn't back down. It was only after I saw the true Magic of Friendship you and your friends possessed, I realized the error of my ways.
Little did we know, Star Swirl the Bearded banished the evil sirens to this world ages ago. And once they sensed the magic you released at Canterlot High, they showed up as new students. I could tell right away there was something strange about them, and when almost everyone in the school started turning on each other, the girls and I knew we were gonna need your help. To battle a musical threat like the sirens, we needed a musical counter-spell. I wish you told us you were having trouble writing it. We all just assumed it would be easy for you. The sirens almost managed to tear our friendship apart and use our magic against us, but, fortunately, our friendship was too strong to break. I guess I've learned a lot from you girls, because I finally found my voice and stood next to you fighting the sirens with our song of friendship and acceptance.
Thankfully, no more villainous plots to take over Canterlot High have popped up. Although, there is still a good bit of magic around the school. I've been conducting some experiments to figure out why it works differently here than it does in Equestria, but, so far, the results are inconclusive. It would be great to talk things through with you before the upcoming Friendship Games. We're competing against the Crystal Prep Shadowbolts, and it's all anyone can talk about lately.
Write me back when you get a chance.
- — Equestria Girls Special Look Back
- "You're more than my friends—you're my family. You know me better than anyone. Ask yourself: would the Sunset Shimmer you know—the real Sunset Shimmer, the person I am now—would she do this?"
- — My Little Pony: Equestria Girls Holiday Special
- "You just have to memorize the formulas and the reactions and the periodic table and all the elements, and be able to predict reactions, and check your answers, and do all the math without making a mistake. That's all."
- — Sunset Shimmer's Time to Shine
- "Back when I was Princess Celestia's student, I learned best by going out into the field and actually doing something. Studying ancient books is fine for some people, but I like to solve magical mysteries by rolling up my sleeves and getting my hooves — er, hands dirty."
- — The Science of Magic
- "Am I the only one who thinks this is overkill?"
- — My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Friendship Games
- "Take my hand, Twilight. Let me show you there's another way... just like someone once did for me."
- — My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Friendship Games
- "We pony up when we're showing the truest part of ourselves. I was so busy waiting for someone else to give me the answers that I gave up looking for them myself."
- — My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Friendship Games
- "Actually, I've been thinking about it. I know the magic in Equestria's dependable, but there's something cool about not knowing what it's gonna do next."
- — My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Friendship Games deleted scene
- "When I touched your hand, I could see things. I could understand why you were leaving. My new magic...! This is my new magic! This is incredible!"
- — My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Legend of Everfree
- "Girls, we can't just brush these powers aside because it doesn't seem like the ideal time to get them. What if it turns out that they could actually make things better?"
- — My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Legend of Everfree
- "When you're having a bad day talking to your BFFs will make it ok. When having a good day talking to your BFFs will make it great!"
- — Text message, Hasbro.com
- ↑ Katrina Hadley (2015-09-26). Daydream Shimmer. For your records.. Twitter. Retrieved on 2015 October 15.
- ↑ MMeghanMcCarthy: RT “@FangzWithaZ: Is Sunset.... Twitter (2013-03-19). Retrieved on 2013 May 13.
- ↑ MMeghanMcCarthy: Episode 405 is called "The.... Twitter (2013-04-01). Retrieved on 2013 May 13.
- ↑ Ishi Rudell (2015-04-01). Ishi Rudell on Twitter: "@Marimo0Marimo the Phoenix transformation was just a visual metaphor 😉". Twitter. Retrieved on 2015 April 3.
- ↑ Ishi Rudell (2015-04-02). Ishi Rudell on Twitter: "@nhSnork think of them more like music videos. No sunset shimmer does not have the power to turn into a Phoenix. That was more of metaphor.". Twitter. Retrieved on 2015 April 3.
- ↑ Ishi Rudell (2015-04-02). Ishi Rudell on Twitter: "@KTonarella Yes her hair is lighter... We wanted to tone her color intensity down a bit with the design of her new outfit.". Twitter. Retrieved on 2015 April 3.
- ↑ Ishi Rudell (2015-05-04). Ishi Rudell on Twitter: "@Luis4Castillo yes, Sunset Shimmers residency has been discussed... Perhaps one day it will be revealed.". Twitter. Retrieved on 2015 May 12.
- ↑ Timeline Photos. Facebook (2015-04-26). Retrieved on 2015 April 27.
- ↑ Sunset Shimmer - MLP: Equestria Girls Character Bio - Rainbow Rocks. Hasbro.com. Retrieved on 2014 July 31.
- ↑ Sunset Shimmer - MLP: Equestria Girls Character Bio - Friendship Games. Hasbro.com. Retrieved on 2015 July 27.
- ↑ Sunset Shimmer - MLP: Equestria Girls Character Bio - Legend of Everfree. Hasbro.com. Retrieved on 2016 July 11.
- ↑ My Little Pony Equestria Girls Sunset Shimmer and Twilight Sparkle Figures. Amazon.com. Retrieved on 2013 June 18.