[[caption-width-right:250:the substitutes]]

"Substitute Harmony" is a multi-chapter fanfic of ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' by Blayze Kohime.

Plot synopsis: A strange group of ponies (who just happen to be main characters from the original G1 My Little Pony series) attempt to kidnap the Mane 6 with the apparent intent of stealing the Elements of Harmony. Pinkie Pie is the only one that escapes, and is briefly blamed for the commotion due to a misunderstanding.

Her sisters, Blinkie and Inkie, arrive to help, wrecking Ponyville town square in the process. The events also bring Trixie and Gilda to the town, for various reasons. Oh, and Ditzy's here; she's brought you a letter. When the circumstances end up pushing them all into a group, they are forced to work together to find out where the strange other-worldly ponies have come from and what dark force is leading them.

Read it [[http://www.fimfiction.net/story/706/Substitute-Harmony here]].
!!This FanFic provides examples of:
* AbnormalAmmo: Pinkie Pie's 'cupcake cannon'.
* ApologeticAttacker: Posey apologizes to Fluttershy repeatedly when they first meet, [[spoiler: Especially when she drugs the latter's tea]].
* AxeCrazy: Surprise. '''Sweet mother of mercy, Surprise.'''
* BatterUp: Surprise's WeaponOfChoice is a baseball bat. [[EstablishingCharacterMoment In her first scene,]] [[MoralEventHorizon attacks Mrs. Cake with it, beating her unconsious while laughing the whole time. She later trades it in for a whiffle bat.]]
* BewareTheNiceOnes: It's clear early on Fluttershy's counterpart is Posey. And it's also clear the G1 crew are - changed - enough they're willing to kill if they think they need to, or to avoid getting into trouble. It's not so clear that [[spoiler: Posey will now kill when she ''doesn't'' need to, and when she knows it ''will'' get her into trouble - and she also mirrors Fluttershy's ability to exploit her genuine personality to manipulate others]].
* BigBad: Helios.
* BiggerBad: Discord does not act in this story, nor did he plan any part of the plot. No character in the story is serving him and the one instant where it seems he could benefit gets immediately quashed. But it turns out he's intimately connected with every aspect of what's going on, and even ''in absentia'' none of it would have happened without him.
* BiggerOnTheInside: Pinkie Pie's saddle bags [[spoiler:and the TARDIS]].
* ChekhovsGun: The amulet that Twilight Wish is wearing in the initial scene [[spoiler:turns out to hold a corrupted Rainbow of Light that can be used as a weapon]]
* ConservationOfNinjutsu: [[spoiler: The Mane 6 are beating the G1 ponies in their first battle with them, but in the second round when only Twilight Wish remains for them to fight, she pulls out her ChekhovsGun and decimates them.]]
* CrapsaccharineWorld: [[spoiler:The G1 world of Dream Valley became this.]]
* CurbStompBattle: [[spoiler:The G1 ponies set an elaborate trap for the Substitutes, only to get stomped once the trap is sprung.]]
* DarkIsEvil: Averted. The Prince of the Sun from the other world is the villain, Luna, the Princess of the Night in Equestria, is good; [[spoiler:as is her otherworldly counterpart.]]
** Although Helios ''is'' a black stallion, so DoubleSubverted.
* DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu: [[spoiler: Celestia arriving to restore order and getting her head blown off by Pinkie's friends. She got better.]]
* DullSurprise: Prince Blueblood is rather nonchalant at meeting Helios, even after almost getting [[TeleFrag tele-fragged]] by the latter.
** {{Justified|Trope}}: [[spoiler: Prince Blueblood knew that would happen because, well, Blueblood ''is'' Helios.]]
* EvenEvilHasStandards: Helios attempts to spare non-combatants and goes out of his way to not 'technically' lie, even to his enemies.
** Though his "standards" don't keep him from [[MindRape brainwashing his minions]] as punishment for failure.
* [[spoiler:EverybodyLives: Even one character who was supposed to have already been dead.]]
* GenreSavvy: "This is the part where the villain underestimates the hero and is soundly defeated, right?" Of course, both sides firmly believe the other side is the villain.
* GeniusDitz: Ditzy, especially when we learn that her 'special talent', [[spoiler:bubbles, covers bubbles of all kinds - even space-time ones.]]
* GigglingVillain: Helios briefly [[spoiler:after he licks the crystal that contains Pinkie's Laughter element.]]
** Helios laughs like a mad pony when [[spoiler:the substitute six]] [[NiceJobBreakingItHero release him]] due to the chains being quite ticklish. This ends up subverting the trope, as at the time his hysterical, malicious laughter means nobody really believes this claim... but it ultimately turns out those chains really are extraordinarily ticklish.
** Surprise is of the LaughingMad variant.
* HamToHamCombat: Trixie and Twilight Wish get into this; Gilda complains about it.
* HealingFactor: All alicorns, it seems. It isn't automatic: we see multiple examples of alicorns prioritizing something over healing themselves. But it also doesn't require having a functional brain to choose to invoke it.
* HeelFaceTurn: [[spoiler: As is typical for MLP, every villain in the story ends up becoming good after their defeat. Yes, even Helios.]]
* HeroicSacrifice: [[spoiler: Oddly by Helios, via throwing himself into the time rift to save Selene. He didn't die, but he thought he would.]]
** Earlier, Celestia's response to being attacked is so oriented towards protecting everybody else she manages to instinctively save the lives of [[spoiler: two different groups of enemies doing self-destructive things she ''didn't consciously notice'']].
* LampshadeHanging: Helios is fond of this. For instance when he breaks a truce and attacks Luna:
--> '''I know this is stereotypically villainous of me, but...think fast!''' (blasts Luna with magic)
* LesYay: An InUniverse example; At least part of Gilda's motivation to rescue Rainbow Dash is because of her romantic inclinations towards her. She takes it surprisingly well when Ditzy informs her that Dash [[IncompatibleOrientation doesn't swing that way]] and only regrets not confessing her feelings to Dash so she could hear it herself.
* MadnessMantra: Quoth Surprise, while clobbering Mrs. Cake with a bat: "'''NO WITNESSES! NO WITNESSES!!'''"
* MindRape: Helios' 'conditioning'.
* NoodleIncident: Whatever happened between Helios and [[spoiler:Doctor Whooves]] at some point in the past.
** This is not the first time that Ditzy has been involved in the accidental release of a banished villain from its imprisonment.
** Also whatever the 'grounding' was that Blinkie and Inkie referred to. (If it isn't a ShoutOut to Series/SabrinaTheTeenageWitch, referring to being buried up to your neck in the ground.)
* PragmaticVillainy: Helios at his worst. He's not entirely sane, but remains mostly rational and entirely goal-focused. His motive for villainy in the first place is that he doesn't trust that he can attain his goals by moral or ethical means. At the same time he's [[GenreSavvy very much aware]] both of the self-defeating nature of evil and of the nature of the Elements of Harmony. [[spoiler: (He ''made'' them, after all.)]] So as much ''as is practical'', he demonstrates honesty, kindness, and generosity, shows loyalty to his allies, and takes care to retain laughter and playfulness. As it turns out, enough so [[spoiler: the Elements can't touch him; he's neither evil enough nor threat enough to ponykind]].
* RagTagBunchOfMisfits: The e[[IncrediblyLamePun pony]]mous substitutes include [[CloudCuckoolander Pinkie Pie]], her similarly crazy sisters, Blinkie and [[EmotionlessGirl Ink]][[MadBomber ie]], [[TheDitz Ditzy]], [[JerkAss Gilda]] and [[SmallNameBigEgo Trixie]].
* ReversePolarity: Ditzy advises Trixie to reverse the polarity because it always works.
* SealedEvilInACan: Helios. [[spoiler: Though slightly different in that he wasn't exactly evil prior to being sealed; rather the being sealed itself made him evil.]]
* StableTimeLoop: [[spoiler:The substitutes end up waking up Helios in the past, causing him to attempt to kidnap the mane 6 in the future, which causes them to go back in time to wake him up to begin with.]]
* ShoutOut: After [[spoiler: regenerating her [[YourHeadAsplode previously destroyed head]]]], Celestia gives a surprisingly inelegant exclamation.
-->'''Celestia''': [[Film/MenInBlack Do you have any idea how much that stings?]]
** Pinkie's sisters, Blinkie and Inkie, are the names of the ghosts from PacMan.
* TakeMeInstead: [[spoiler:Luna attempts this after Helios captures Celestia.]]
* TeleFrag: [[spoiler:Helios attempts to do this to Luna.]]
** Blueblood almost suffers this, but accidentally on Helios' part. Blueblood even uses the trope name.
* TheDragon: Twilight Wish. It's made very clear she's set above her friends, both authorized to threaten them and allowed to know when the threat is empty (because they have to both try hard and fail).
* TheOnlyOneAllowedToDefeatYou: Trixie's initial reasoning for wanting to help rescue Twilight Sparkle.
* UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans: The G1 ponies are under the impression that they will get to live in a better society if they succeed.
* WeHaveReserves: Subverted, Helios will risk the success of his plan if he must to protect the lives of his minions [[spoiler:like when he rushes to rescue Firefly and Surprise.]]
* ZeroPercentApprovalRating: The reason for Helios' initial banishment; his subjects were rather harsh.