Catra and Adora were childhood friends that grew up together in "The Horde", an evil force fighting against the rebellion and training young cadets and soldiers. Even as children, they were always together. They would play with each other, cheer each other up, explore places in the Fright Zone.One day, they got curious and entered the Chamber of the Black Garnet where Shadow Weaver caught them. She let Adora run, but paralyzed Catra and punished her verbally with intimidating and brutal words. Adora told her to stop, but Shadow Weaver kept on going. When she couldn't take it anymore, Adora jumped in front of Catra, leading Shadow Weaver to let them go. This event seemed to have traumatized Catra, as it's one of the memories she sees in the Crystal Castle.
Catra was always jealous of Adora being everyone's favorite and the best of the cadets, even though she overplayed it and acted like she was fine with being second place. Adora bought it and never noticed how frustrated Catra was. Later in the series, when Catra breaks down because of these suppressed feelings of jealousy, Adora promises that she never loved being the favorite and that it wasn't her intention of making her feel like that, but Catra is suspicious of her statement.
After Adora leaves The Horde to fulfill her destiny of becoming She-Ra, Catra was extremely hurt and felt utterly betrayed, as she thought Adora left her for her new and "better" friends. This plus the constant manipulation and intimidation from Shadow Weaver and Hordak, as well as her finally being able to be the best, she completely turns against Adora and becomes her enemy. As soon as she became Force Captain and was secretly assigned the mission of bringing Adora back, she did everything in her power to do her job, becoming much more forceful and bitter throughout the series and even attempting to take Adora out herself.In the episode "Princess Prom", Catra and Adora share a dance. Catra also shows up in a red/magenta suit to make Adora jealous. During that dance, Catra is shown dancing with Adora. Catra also dips Adora. Later in the episode, when Catra is about to fall off of the cliff, Adora wraps an arm around her waist and pulls her back up. The fact that Adora grabbed Catra's waist instead of her hand says something about their relationship.
Even though that is the case, Catra is shown to still have some empathy and feelings for Adora, which she's trying to hide and suppress as well. One example would be that Catra gave Adora her sword back and let her flee after she rescued Bow and Glimmer. She's also hesitant when they were in the Crystal Castle together, however, she left Adora in there alone after seeing the memories of how much pain she had to through during their childhood.
In the episode Promise, Catra follows Adora into A First One's Temple, where Adora tries to figure out how to heal Glimmer after Shadow Weaver damaged her teleportation powers. Adora senses someone else is here and she throws her sword at a rock where Catra was standing. The administrator detects an intruder and begins shutdown. Adora tells Catra to ask how did she get here. She tells her that a mile high beam of light was shot in the sky and it wasn'</nowiki>t hard to find it and her. They run into the tunnel with a monster behind them and enter a simulator of painful illusions of memories.
Following The Horde's defeat at the Battle of Bright Moon, Catra and Adora become more serious about trying defeat each other's faction. In the episode "White Out" Catra finds out from Entrapta that She-Ra can lose her powers when a First One Data Disk is used against her. When Adora shows up to stop Catra's group from gathering First One tech, Catra uses the Data Disk on the Sword of Protection but is nearly overpowered as an infected She-Ra goes berserk, attacking both friend and foe. Catra panics and calls out for Adora to stop before Scorpia is able to subdued Adora. Scorpia is then put in charge of guarding Adora and while still in her infected mindset, Adora is able to guess the pass code for a door because it is Catra's favorite number. When the facility is attacked by monsters with the same infection as Adora, Catra still refuses to break the Data Disk and give up her hold on Adora.
Adora and Catra don't meet again until after Catra has been sent to the Crimson Waste by Hordak on a suicide mission as punishment for Shadow Weaver escaping. As Catra takes over as the leader of a gang in the Waste, Adora, Bow, and Glimmer begin searching the area of First One tech, unaware Catra is in the area.
Catra and her newly formed gang end up capturing Adora while on a First One's ship. While Catra taunts Adora about taking her back to the Horde to gain favor with Hordak again, she out finds that Shadow Weaver is now in Bright Moon. Knowing that Shadow Weaver has once again chosen Adora over her, Catra becomes so distraught and angry that she throws away the possibility of a happy life in the Crimson Waste with Scorpia, instead deciding to return to the Horde so they can finish their portal weapon and destroy the Rebellion once and for all.
Making good on her word, Catra brings Adora back the Fright Zone and gives Entrapta her sword so that she can open a portal. Even as Glimmer, Bow, and Shadow Weaver come to rescue Adora, Adora still pleads with Catra not to use the machine due to its destruction capability. Unmoved, Catra pulls the lever and opens a portal.
In "Remember", Adora awakens in her bunk in the Fright Zone with Catra, seemingly having never left or joined the Rebellion. Adora is at first somewhat aware that their current reality is wrong but Catra is quick to assure her that all is well, and catches her up current events. Catra takes Adora to the locker room where she and their squad mates present Adora with a cake made of ration bars to celebrate their recent victories.
As the day goes on Adora becomes more distressed as her memories return to her, which in turn scares Catra who also seems to be regaining her memories but doesn't want to admit that the alternate reality isn't real or stable. After Catra takes Adora outside to get some air, she talks about about ruling the world together with Adora, however Adora isn't sure she wants that.
Adora sees reality becoming more unstable and tries to convince Catra that they cannot stay but Catra refuses to listen. Desperate, Adora knocks Catra out and carries her away from the Fright Zone as it begins to be erased from existence. Despite Adora's pleading that she doesn't want to lose Catra again, Catra remains too consumed by her anger to listen and the two begin to fight. With the world disintegrating around them, Catra lets herself fall into the light and be erased rather than accept Adora's help.
While Adora continues to search for a way to close the portal and stop their reality from being erased, a corrupted and disfigured Catra re-emerges and attacks her once more. Catra continues to blame Adora for all that has happened until Adora becomes angered and begins fighting back. Once she gains the upper hand they both fall into a rift and Catra disintegrates into nothing. Adora is then only able to restore reality with the aid to Angella, who sacrifices herself to do so. Returning to the moment before the portal opened, Adora destroys the machine. Adora stares down Catra as she makes her retreat and Catra is visibly shaken by the intensity of Adora's gaze.
In episode 1 of season 4, "The coronation," Glimmer is to become queen of Brightmoon because of her mother, Queen Angella's death. Glimmer's aunt, Casta Spella agrees to help Glimmer prepare for her coronation, but ends up stressing her out even more. Adora, Bow, and the other princesses are also trying to help but end up making the situation worse.
Adora is struggling with not being able to transform into She-Ra, as she broke the sword to save Etheria from the Heart. Her and her friends decide to go on a rescue mission for Glimmer on Mara's ship-taking only Bow, Entrapta and herself.
Meanwhile, Catra is trapped on the ship with Glimmer, and has decided to be loyal to Lord Prime, because she thinks it will make her powerful. But she is also feeling lonely. Against Lord Prime's instructions, she keeps talking to Glimmer about Etheria, and how much they both miss it, as well as Adora. Glimmer asks Catra what she really wants, but Catra replies that she plans to work her way up, as there is nothing for her on Etheria. Catra, bored, walks around the Horde ship, and finds a room where clones are transported onto Etheria.
Later, Catra walks up to Glimmer's cell and the guards around it tell her to stay away. She attacks then, unlocks the cell, grabs Glimmer and tells her she is going to get her off the ship. An alarm sounds, and Catra rushes into the room she saw earlier, shoving Glimmer into a glowing green beam.
Horde Prime clones are trying to pound through the door, but Catra has just enough time to send a message to Adora, telling her she is sending Glimmer, that she shouldn't worry about her and that she was sorry for everything. Glimmer is sent out into space, while the clones burst through and pile on top of Catra.
They send her to Lord Prime, and he says how disappointed he is in her, but that he can change her for the better and make her forget about 'Her Adora'. This is the last you see of her for two episodes. Adora grasps onto hope that Catra has changed, and plan back for her-no matter what. After getting fuel crystals, they arrive on the ship. She pretends to be a prisoner and hands herself over to Lord Prime, ordering him to tell her where Catra is. Lord Prime calls Catra by the name of 'Little sister' and she walks forward with short, swept-back hair, white uniform, and green eyes. Just like a clone. Adora weeps, and Lord Prime decides to leave them alone.
Catra, under mind control, starts to attack Adora-who won't fight her. Horde Prime starts to control Catra's body, and Adora pushes her into a wall. The impact makes Catra flash into her true self. Adora tells her that she isn't giving up on her. The wall blows up, and Adora picks up Catra, moving them back out of the way. The cat, herself again, says that she shouldnt have come to save her, as she doesn't matter, but Adora places her hand on Catra's cheek, saying "You matter to me."
Horde Prime starts to take over her again, and keeps flashing in and out of control. Catra calls Adora an idiot, to which she laughs, agreeing. Catra laughs too, almost manically, and Adora tells her they are going home. Catra asks "Promise?" And Adora holds out her hand and says, "I promise."
She reaches out to take her hand, but Horde Prime manages her body again, saying that Catra is only a "creature meant for destruction." Then the chip of her neck gives her an electric shock, making her faint, and fall helplessly into an abyss. Adora, without hesitation, jumps after her.
She crawls towards Catra, and holds her close. Horde clones circle around them, and Adora turns into She-Ra, and destroys them all with Catra on her shoulder. Bow and Glimmer rush in, and she hands and unconscious Catra to them.
On the ship back to Etheria, She-Ra cradles Catra in her arms, crying, and telling her to wake up, and heals them both, forming a rainbow tunnel. Catra coughs awake, weakly smiles and says, "Hey, Adora." Adora laughs and hugs her tightly. Catra, a little shocked, squeezes her back.
In "Taking Control", Catra is having nightmares about her time on the ship, just like Adora was about losing She-Ra. Adora walks in to comfort her, and goes to place her hand on her, but pulls away, as she knows things aren't fully resolved between them. Catra snaps, telling her the flashes are about Adora. All Adora tries to do is help, but Catra acts bitter towards her, and they end up arguing. Catra claims that everyone hates her, to which Adora replies "I never hated you." Catra's face falls into slight regret for a second, but she just tells Adora to leave her alone. She does, as Catra's ears droop as she stares longingly after her.
Adora vents about Catra to Glimmer, clearly annoyed that she hasn't changed. They decide to enter an asteroid field to hide from Horde ships, and Catra has another flash. Adora thinks the ships know where they are from tracking Catra's chip, so she takes Entrapta to get it out of her. Catra is scared that something will happen to her, and Adora, irritated, pins Catra's wrist to the wall and tells her they are going to do it, and if Catra wants, she'll never have to see her again. Catra grabs Adora's wrist before she walks away, and slides down her arm to hold her hand, begging her to stay. Adora blushes.
Just as Entrapta tries to remove the chip, Catra has an idea to find out what Horde Prime is planning, as she is still connected. Adora is very clearly worried, and places her hand on Catra's shoulder-who then holds her hand on top. Catra realises he is taking over Etheria by chipping them all. Adora holds her hands, and they hold onto each other for dear life when the ship gets hit. Adora easily transforms into She-Ra, and Catra stares at her, red, with her mouth gaping open. Entrapta gets the chip out, and Catra apologises for everything she's done. She-Ra comes back safely, and they gather round to eat dumplings Glimmer has made. As Catra walks in, they welcome her into the circle.
In Perils of Peekablue, Adora tries to summon She-Ra again. Glimmer and Bow join her, trying to boost her esteem, whereas Catra jumps on her lap, sprawling out on the chair, mocking her and waving her tail in Adora's face. When she later moves away, Adora looks a little sad, but joins her at the window and talks about going home. They get a transmission from Perfuma, telling them the Rebellion is over, and that Horde Prime is waiting for them.
Adora and Catra fight a little over how they are going to get past a blockade of horde ships. Adora elbows Catra in the arm jestingly, which makes them both smile. The team discover that Krytis, a planet, is Horde Prime's weakness so they decide to go there. Bow talks about how cute Catra's space helmet is, and she tries to pull it off, but struggles, making everyone laugh. When she manages to get it off, Adora is still laughing, and Catra stares and blushes, clearly fascinated with her laugh.
Catra finds a magical figure that shapeshifts into a big cat. Over comms, Adora panics, but when they find her, she calms down and gets protective of Catra. Bow calls her cute again, and Catra snaps at him, causing the magical entity to turn defensive and angry. Both of them calm down, and Catra tells them she's trying to work on being kinder and calmer. Adora proudly replies "Aawh, you are?" Catra growls again, but takes a deep breath and repeats her sentence, a little less snappy, telling Adora the entity responds to emotions. Adora quickly befriends the big cat, then it tries to speak to Catra, telling her what happened on Krytis all those years ago, and that it's name is Melog.
They take Melog onboard, and it turns their ship invisible, so they can get past the Horde ships. So they can reach Etheria.
When Adora couldn't transform into She-Ra, she knew the only way to stop Horde Prime was by sacrificing her life. She told Catra to try to get away, in an attempt to save her. Adora held her head close to Catra's, claiming she could still save everyone. Even then, Catra refused to leave Adora's side, despite the fact she knew it would kill them both. As the failsafe began to activate, Adora was screaming in pain as she fell to the floor. Catra held her close. She tried to keep Adora awake, but she couldn't.
As Adora dreamt, she imagined herself in her "perfect future." It was clarified recently by storyboard designer Rae Geiger that Adora was imagining her and Catra as married, using Catra's mask on She-Ra with Adora's jacket pin in Catra's future outfit. These types of details were used for other couples in the show, such as Glimmer and Bow, Angella and Micah, and Spinnerella and Netossa.
In Adora's perfect future, she looked into a waterfall as Catra and Glimmer rushed in. As Glimmer was trying to brush Catra's hair, Catra hid behind Adora. Near the end of her dream, Catra held out her hand to Adora, asking "You coming?" Adora smiled at her, and when she tried to take her hand, Catra glitched away.
Adora continued to see reality in a slightly different way. She could hear what Catra was saying, but the way she saw Catra and how she talked was different than how she was in reality, with Catra reaching for her hand instead of cradling her. Catra screamed for Adora to wake up. Catra told Adora "You can't give up. You've never given up on anything in your life, not even me, so don't you dare start now." Adora claimed she failed, but Catra said she wouldn't let go.
Catra confessed to always being in love with Adora. She wasn't looking for Adora's reciprocation, she was trying to give Adora another reason to try to live. Catra asks her to stay, and to Adora, she's shown to be screaming and reaching for her hand, while in reality Catra is speaking softly. Adora grabs her hand, and she wakes back up in Catra's arms. Adora asks "You love me?" and Catra calls her an idiot. Adora looks at her fondly, says she loves her too, and they kiss.