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How Tara Strong became a brony’s best friend
The voice of Twilight Sparkle meets her Internet fans.
It’s one thing when a user teases Twitter anonymously. But when high-profile voice actress Tara Strong deliberately provoked her fanbase, tens of thousands of followers took note.
Late last week, Strong, the voice of Bubbles from The Powerpuff Girls, Dil from Rugrats, and Twilight Sparkle from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, among others, began sending suggestive tweets paired with innocuous photos of her characters to her 18,101 followers.
“I do look pretty cute in this shot…” she tweeted with a photo of Bubbles in a pink dress.
“One more … me totally naked!” she tweeted with a photo of Timmy from Fairly Odd Parents. This netted more than 50 retweets.
The 39-year-old actress tweeted that she knew she was teasing her fans, but was unaware of the terms they used to describe it.
That alone was enough to get immortalized in an Internet comic strip.
However, when Strong tweeted suggestive fan art of Twilight Sparkle, her male My Little Pony fans—you know, those bronies you keep hearing about—galloped to spread sexual messages all over the actress’s timeline.
Caught by surprise, Strong deleted the tweet.
“Well … today I’ve learned that some people REEEAALLLY LOVE cartoons … like more than friends,” she tweeted afterward.
A few days later, Strong appeared to have recovered. She posted a second photo of the pony in a bikini.
The deleted tweet lives on at Equestria Daily, the brony community’s largest news site.
“Tara Strong gets us,” wrote one commenter, who proposed inviting her to the brony community’s semi-annual convention. “Can we please get this woman to Bronycon? Clearly this fanbase and Tara were meant to be.”
Fandom often speaks its own language. After devotees of a TV show spend hundreds of hours creating fan art, fan fiction, memes, and a lexicon of terms to discuss it, they don’t expect original content creators to recognize their derivations. Strong’s willingness to participate in her fans’ derivative works set a new standard for community interaction on Twitter.
“I’m gonna give up trolling for Lent,” reads her most recent tweet.
Her fanbase certainly won’t be happy with that.
Lauren Rae Orsini is a web culture reporter who specializes in anime and the business of fandom. Her work has been published by Forbes and Business Insider.