Principal Abacus Cinch is a female human and the main antagonist in My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Friendship Games. She is the headmistress and Principal of Crystal Prep Academy. In the film, she is determined to 'uphold a reputation' by making sure Crystal Prep always beats Canterlot High in the Friendship Games. She gets her world's Twilight to compete, blackmailing her by threatening to deny an application to a program she wishes to enter. In the end, she forces Twilight to unleash all the magic to win the last game event, but the plan backfires as Twilight turns into a villain craving magic. When she is defeated, Cinch demands Celestia to forfeit under threat of telling the school board. However, when she realizes that nobody will believe her and her 'reputation' would be destroyed if she does so, she leaves in defeat.
Principal Cinch appears in the film My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Friendship Games as the principal of Crystal Prep Academy. She demonstrates great pride in her school and its reputation as the undefeated winners of the Friendship Games every four years—so much pride, in fact, that she views rival institute Canterlot High School's recent boost in athletics and academics as a threat. In order to maintain Crystal Prep's reputation, Cinch forces her brightest student Twilight Sparkle to compete in the Games, going as far as to threaten revoking Twilight's application for an independent study program to ensure she competes.
During her visit to Canterlot High School, Cinch displays considerable disdain toward the school and its choice of Games competitors, comparing their selection process to a "popularity contest." She interrupts the welcome party that the school holds for their rivals to assure everyone that Crystal Prep will win the Games like it always has.
During the Tri-Cross Relay event of the Games, Cinch witnesses Twilight's amulet open a dimensional rift and release a carnivorous plant, and she watches Rainbow Dash pony up. She accuses Principal Celestia of cheating, and when Celestia suggests ending the Games in a tie, Cinch refuses, determined to prove that Crystal Prep can win regardless of the presence of magic.
In the final round of the Games, Cinch and the Shadowbolts pressure Twilight into releasing the magic from her amulet and using it against the Wondercolts, justifying it as fighting fire with fire. Her hubris results in the creation of Twilight's evil alter ego Midnight Sparkle. As Midnight slowly destroys the world around her, Cinch retreats into hiding.
After Twilight is returned to normal, Cinch demands that Principal Celestia forfeit the Friendship Games, citing Canterlot High's unfair advantage of using magic. However, the Shadowbolts turn on their principal and blame her for Twilight's wicked transformation. Cinch says that she plans to report the incident to the school board, but Celestia, Vice Principal Luna, and Dean Cadance inform her that no one would believe her story. In an effort to save face, she leaves the school with calm dignity. She last appears in a photograph with Dean Cadance and the Shadowbolts during the film's end credits.
Throughout the film, Cinch's scenes are often musically accompanied by a rather sinister-sounding tango.
Principal Cinch is the haughty principal of Crystal Prep Academy. She takes pride in her students and reputation, especially the awards that her school receives when winning the Friendship Games. She also considers the human Twilight Sparkle her most prized student because of her test grades.
However, Cinch is very competitive and arrogant when it comes to opposition. She accepts nothing less than perfection from her students, as seen during ACADECA, and she shows no reservations in resorting to underhanded tactics to preserve her school's image, such as exploiting her students and cheating. She is also somewhat cowardly, leaving her students behind when she perceives Midnight Sparkle to be a monster. She can also be dubbed a hypocrite for her quote of it not being important of the outcome of the Friendship Games, but a reputation of her school winning is important enough.
According to Dean Cadance, Principal Cinch is "highly allergic" to dogs.
Role in the series
Principal Cinch has not made much of an appearance, but her Equestrian counterpart is the principal of a magic school in the Crystal Empire, and is actually only partially like her EG counterpart, but still proven as firm and stern as her, and is the adopted sister of the more-mean Duke Rough Diamond before he was kicked out for hate crimes against Changelings, including Thorax. Aside from that, her only planned appearance in the EG Universe is in the 200th Chronicles Episode Special The New Tallest Talltales EVAH!, where in one story she has somehow managed to prove the existence of magic to her world by stealing and displaying the power of a geode from Gaia Everfree's Equestrian magic reservoir, at first out of revenge for her defeat in Friendship Games, which at first made people like Coo feel like that was not like her for being such a sore loser. But it's later revealed that she was actually possessed by an Equestrian poltergeist named the Shroud Master, who granted her a long-forsaken wish of payback by punishing Canterlot High for her defeat, and using that to easily sway her into having him take her body. Thus, possessed by the spirit, Cinch gained proof of magic by spying on Canterlot High at Camp Everfree and taking the geode. But this was actually a plan of the poltergeist to return to Equestria and exact his revenge for being banished in the first place, and it would be up to the Lodge to stop him, all with help from Cinch herself because she not only admits that she didn't originally want it to go this far, and admits full responsibility for causing Sci-Twi to be easily traumatized to that point by Midnight Sparkle, a fact that Shroud learned by reading Cinch's mind, just not guessing that such a thing was so frightening and nightmarish to her until he used a mental spell on Sci-Twi that she, as a human, wasn't immune to, and even explains why she was so determined to withhold a reputation: When she was a student at Crystal Prep, she was a grand athlete who had friends who were affected so heavily by losing a competition, she later helped them win Crystal Prep's first Friendship Games, and in order to prevent something hurtful from happening to more people, she was determined to make sure Crystal Prep always wins, that way she won't have to worry about problems like what her friends suffered. While they graduated and left the city, Cinch stayed behind and became principal, vowing to honor her friends by doing anything to keep Crystal Prep a reputational school.