In the MOG35–55 induced EAE model, autoreactive Th17 cells that accumulate in the central nervous system acquire Th1 characteristics via a T-bet dependent mechanism. It remains to be determined whether Th17 plasticity and encephalitogenicity are causally related to each other. Here, we show that IL-23 polarized T-bet−/− Th17 cells are unimpaired in either activation or proliferation, and induce higher quantities of the chemokines RANTES and CXCL2 than WT Th17 cells. Unlike their WT counterparts, T-bet−/− Th17 cells retain an IL-17hiIFN-γneg-lo cytokine profile following adoptive transfer into syngeneic hosts. This population of highly polarized Th17 effectors is capable of mediating EAE, albeit with a milder clinical course. It has previously been reported that the signature Th1 and Th17 effector cytokines, IFN-γ and IL-17, are dispensable for the development of autoimmune demyelinating disease. The current study demonstrates that the “master regulator” transcription factor, T-bet, is also not universally required for encephalitogenicity. Our results contribute to a growing body of data showing heterogeneity of myelin-reactive T cells and the independent mechanisms they employ to inflict damage to central nervous system tissues, complicating the search for therapeutic targets relevant across the spectrum of individuals with multiple sclerosis.