Can multiple ponies (especially unicorns) have the same talent? Could another unicorn have Twilight's talent for magic, for example?

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    This one is a toughie. The show is careful not to show two identical cutie marks (except in S3 E3, S3 E13, S5 E1 and E2), but on the other hand, we don't know what the special talent of most ponies is. (The most infamous example is Diamond Tiara, leading to a lot of fan speculation.) For example, do Flim and Flam have the same special talent? How about Mr. Cake, Mrs. Cake, and Sugar Belle, who are all bakers? Aunt and Uncle Orange? Braeburn and Granny Smith? Rainbow Dash, Soarin, and Lightning Dust (who all have lightning bolt in their cutie marks)? Pinkie Pie and Cheese Sandwich? – b_jonas May 6 '15 at 7:17
  • Note in particular that even the temporary dumb-bell lifting cutie mark Apple Bloom gets from the Cutie Pix looks different from the dumb-bell cutie mark of the bully from S1 E16. – b_jonas May 6 '15 at 7:31
  • We might know more about this by autumn, given that the theme of Season 5 is supposed to be “cutie mark magic”. – b_jonas May 6 '15 at 18:34
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    I was wrong. The two spa ponies, Lotus and Aloe have exactly the same lotus flower cutie mark, and we had already known this back when I wrote the above comments. – b_jonas Jun 14 '15 at 20:21
  • S6 E16 shows two crystal ponies that are palette swaps of each other and have exactly the same cutie mark in the same color. That's probably just an animation error. mlp.wikia.com/wiki/… – b_jonas Aug 21 '16 at 18:07

Yes, to an extent. Ponies can have very similar talents, with very similar cutie marks. However, since everypony is unique in some way, so too are their talents, and therefore cutie marks.

One example we see of two ponies sharing similar talents are Flim and Flam.

Flim and Flam

They both share a similar talent for scamming other ponies out of their bits salesmanship, and their cutie marks are very similar, complementary even. You'll notice though that their cutie marks are not identical, despite their very similar talents.

One more recent, and perhaps even better example of ponies having similar talents (and similar Cutie Marks) which we see in a later episode of season 5 is

the Cutie Mark Crusaders.

These ponies share a similar talent of

helping other ponies discover their special talents.

and again, we see this reflected in their similar cutie marks:

the CMC's cutie marks

Notice again though that while these ponies' cutie marks are similar, they also have some differences that reflect the ways in which their talents are somewhat different.

There are numerous other examples of this in the series, with ponies who have similar talents, but not identical ones. Both the Apple family, and the flower ponies (Daisy, Lily, and Rose) come to mind.

So in the example you gave of Twilight, I would say that other ponies could share a similar talent for magic (with perhaps even a similar cutie mark) as Twilight, but nopony could have the exact same talent for magic that Twilight has, and similarly, no two ponies could ever share the exact same cutie mark.

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There is some evidence that two ponies can't have the same special talent, but none that completely clears this up. In particular, some ponies refer to special talents as “unique”.

  • Twilight Sparkle says “After all, every pony is unique and individual.” in S4 E21.
  • She also says “Everypony has unique talents and gifts” in S5 E2.
  • Cheerilee says “Discovering what makes you unique isn't something that happens overnight” in S1 E12.

About Twilight Sparkle in particular, I'm quite sure that nopony shares her unique talent. Princess Celestia vouches for that in S1 E23, saying “I don't think I've ever come across a unicorn with your raw abilities.”

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    Twilight Sparkle got her cutie mark for her abilities in magic. Are you saying that noone else in all of Equestria is good at magic? – phantom42 May 6 '15 at 15:02
  • There is, I think, a distinction to be made between raw power in magic, and special talent, and the Princess appears to be referring to the former. This is reinforced by her being unsure about it: if it was a question of all special talents being unique, surely she would be well aware that of course she'd never come across somepony with Twilight's special talent. – Nathan Tuggy May 6 '15 at 17:47
  • @phantom42: No. All I'm saying is that nopony else in all of Equestria has more talent in magic than Twilight Sparkle. Other ponies may be better in magic if they practice more and have more experience. For example, Princess Celestia might currently be better at magic than Twilight, because Twilight hasn't had a thousand years of practice yet. The Great and Powerful Trixie was better at magic than Twilight during S3 E5, but not because she was more talented, but because she had supernatural help in the form of a dark magic artifact. – b_jonas May 6 '15 at 18:37
  • @b_Jonas The question wasn't about the amount of talent, simply the type of talent. Twilight just seemed like a good example because it would be more likely for another to have a talent for something broad and common like "magic" as opposed to, say, " finding gems". – Lord Tick May 6 '15 at 22:28

No pony has COMPLETELY identical cutie marks, not even the spa ponies Lotus and Aloe. One has a white flower outlined in blue, the other is a white flower outlined in pink. The crusaders have the same shield with different pictures in the center. All cutie marks have some small variation, kind of like identical twins. While very similar, or ALMOST identical none are 100% identical. Hope that helps.

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What about the stallions in the Galloping Galla? There were a lot of them with the same cutie mark, and they all seemed to be colored the same way.

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