[[caption-width-right:350:[[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters That's not even all of the original cast.\\
Nor is it 1/4th of the full cast.]]]]

->''"My Little Pony, My Little Pony, what will today's adventure be?''
->''My Little Pony, My Little Pony, will there be exciting sights to see?"''
-->--[[EarWorm Theme song]] for the ads and almost all incarnations.

[[LongRunner Long-Running]] multimedia franchise that started humbly with a large horse doll with a brushable tail and mane made of doll hair.

Originally created by Bonnie Zacherle, ''My Little Pony'' officially started out as a toy line published and developed by Creator/{{Hasbro}} in 1982, following their 1981 ''My Pretty Pony'' toys. The legal stuff was finalized in 1983, which is probably why Hasbro counts it as ''MLP'''s birthyear and not 1982. The different incarnations of ''My Little Pony'' are commonly separated into "generations", as classified by collectors, based on the toy line. It is a history of friendships, of cartoons of varying degrees of sweetness, of little girls achieving their dreams and of grown men defying gender roles.

"Generation 1" started humbly with the release of six pony toys in 1982. Very soon, the toy line became a hit of absolutely enormous magnitude, and quickly became a highly recognizable part of pop culture. To this day, even after all the relaunches and re-imaginings of the franchise, the original 1980's toys remain what most people among the general population immediately picture when they hear the phrase "''My Little Pony''". The toyline was eventually followed by [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyTVSpecials two Television specials]], one in 1984 and another in 1985, and a [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyTheMovie1986 feature-length movie]] in 1986. A TV series, ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyAndFriends'', was released later the same year and ran for [[SixtyFiveEpisodeCartoon two seasons]] before being cancelled in 1987. These cartoons all took place in [[SugarBowl Dream Valley]], part of Ponyland (or Ponyland, part of Dream Valley no two writers agreed on this point) where the ponies with the help of a young girl named Megan often have to fight off some MonsterOfTheWeek. Contrary to what one might expect from a work of fiction based on the sugary sweet toys (and contrary to the perceived image of the franchise that the public seems to hold), these cartoons were mostly based around the theme of adventure, and featured some surprisingly dark and lethal villains, especially in the earliest episodes. There were also comics released in the UK that used the same characters but had their own canon. The toys themselves often had short stories pertaining to the ponies in the box.

In 1992 Hasbro released ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyTales'', a SliceOfLife series which was set in its own continuity and ran for a single season. Often mistakenly referred to as "G2", it's technically still part of "G1", even though it has nothing to do with the various Dream Valley/Ponyland cartoons. The show took place in a universe pretty much identical to our own with the obvious exception that everyone is a multicolored pony, and focused on things normal kids deal with. It notably set the trend of having the main setting be a town called Ponyville.

"Generation 2" actually began in 1997 when Hasbro gave the toys a major redesign. The toys were now taller, slender, and more "horse-like". The new designs were not well met, and this version only lasted a year in the US, though it continued for a few more years in Europe. In addition to being the shortest lived toy line, "G2" is notably the only one without an AnimatedAdaptation, though there were comics and a [[VideoGame/MyLittlePonyFriendshipGardens video game]].

Hasbro went back to the stockier builds in 2003, marking the beginning of "[[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyG3 Generation 3]]". Instead of a TV series, Hasbro opted to release a series of DirectToDVD movies and shorts. The setting is once again Ponyville, but this time with a slight fantasy element to it. "G3" is known for being the [[LighterAndSofter lightest]] and "pinkest" of all the incarnations. No villains, conflicts are rare, and there's, well, lots of pastel colour, but it had a certain charm to it. Regardless of the quality of the animated adaptions though, "G3" proved to be a well needed financial success after the poor reception to "G2". In 2007, Hasbro made the controversial decision to reduce the number of characters, in a franchise long known for LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters, to seven. This led to a "soft reboot" which retained the original "G3" look and was called "Core 7" by fans. Another "soft reboot" a year so so later, which fans call "G3.5", featured the "Core 7" ponies in forms similar to ''Ponyville'' plastic molds. The reboot was not well received, and the cartoons in particular were met with criticism. The era finally came to an end in 2009 after the release of ''Twinkle Wish Adventure'' of "G3.5", and ''Once Upon a My Little Pony Time'' which is linked to the "Newborn Cuties" variant of Core 7. At this point most casual observers had written Ponies off, but it wouldn't be the end of the franchise.

Not by a long shot.

The most recent, and insanely popular, incarnation of the franchise is classified by collectors as "Generation 4", which started in 2010 with the release of the TV series ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' developed by Creator/LaurenFaust. The ponies were noticeably redesigned from their decreasingly realistic proportions, sporting large eyes, tiny muzzles, [[PuniPlush bodies that are proportionally small for their heads]], and {{Moe}} quirks but generally considered cute nonetheless. At its core, ''Friendship Is Magic'' is something of an AdaptationDistillation for the previous cartoons. It has the fantasy and adventure elements of "G1", the SliceOfLife stories of ''Tales'', much of the cast are re-imagined "G3" ponies , and episodes typically feature life lessons about friendship at the end of most episodes. Faust developed a new setting called Equestria, a FantasyKitchenSink with its own growing mythology and history, with the town of Ponyville being the home of the series' [[JustForPun mane]] six heroines. Stories range from comedic slice of life to family-friendly adventures. In any case, the cartoon became an unexpected hit with a ''colossal'' PeripheryDemographic. Hasbro seems happy with the success of the show, and is giving ''Friendship is Magic'' a growing ExpandedUniverse with assorted comics and books. See also the [[Franchise/MyLittlePonyGeneration4 Generation 4 page]].


!!!1st Incarnation ('N Friends)
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyTVSpecials'': These are a pair of half-hour TV {{pilot}}s that started it all. Fair warning, they are both DarkerAndEdgier than one might expect of this subject matter. In one, the ponies face an EvilOverlord who happens to be the trope namer for TheNightThatNeverEnds, and in the other they face a violent, drug-addicted mage. Yes. Really.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyTheMovie1986'': After the pilots, we have this. In this movie, a trio of semi-competent witches cover all of Ponyland in the Smooze, a living wave of concrete which blankets the lands. Will the ponies be able to stop it? Oh. There's also a subplot about Baby Lickety-Split and Spike being on the run after they ruin a ballet recital.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyAndFriends'': This is a direct sequel to the movie. This series featured the ponies going up against more villains and other life-threatening situations.
* ''ComicBook/MyLittlePony'': Two unrelated sets of comics ran throughout "G1".
* A number of books unrelated to the comics or cartoons that were based on the toys.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyTales'': ''My Little Pony'' meets SliceOfLife. Take 1. Different continuity from the previous four.

!!!2nd Incarnation
* ''VideoGame/MyLittlePonyFriendshipGardens'': A RaisingSim in which you get to raise a little pony. Surprisingly addictive and fun.
* A set of comics released only in Europe.

!!!3rd Incarnation
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyG3'': DirectToDVD movies and shorts. ''My Little Pony'' meets Slice of Life. Take 2. Not very well received in general but it has its fans.
* ''Once Upon a My Little Pony Time'': The two animated shorts starring the Newborn Cuties (in this case, the babyfied version of Core 7 ponies). Wasn't well received.
* Numerous books seemingly set in a separate continuity from the cartoon.
* Several comic books based off the toy canon.
* A kid's stage show starring people dressed in pony costumes.

!!!4th Incarnation (Friendship is Magic)
* ''Franchise/MyLittlePonyGeneration4'': The page for ''Friendship is Magic'' in general.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'': What happens if you inject ''My Little Pony'' with fantasy adventure, the usual SliceOfLife style, and a dash of AnimeTropes. This time, well received on levels ''far'' surpassing everyone's wildest imagination.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyEquestriaGirls'': What happens if ''Friendship is Magic'' is shifted to [[HumanityEnsues a high school setting in the human world]]. Originally controversial, but has grown in reception with fans.
** ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyEquestriaGirls2013'': A movie featuring Twilight Sparkle as she travels to a world where [[HumanityEnsues she is transformed into a human]] and [[HighSchoolAU attends High School]] with [[AlternateSelf her friends re-imagined as humans]]. Also a novelization: ''Through the Mirror''.
** ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyEquestriaGirlsRainbowRocks'': A sequel to Equestria Girls where a BattleOfTheBands takes place. The Rock motif is very reminiscent to another of Hasbro's old properties, ''WesternAnimation/{{Jem}}''.
** ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyEquestriaGirlsFriendshipGames'': A sequel to Rainbow Rocks where the school faces another in the titular friendship games, which include Archery, Motocross, and Roller Derby.
** ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyEquestriaGirlsLegendOfEverfree'': A sequel to Friendship Games where the class attends Camp Everfree and strange things start happening.
** ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyEquestriaGirlsMagicalMovieNight'': A sequel to Legend of Everfree consisting of three separate stories.
** ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyEquestriaGirlsForgottenFriendship'': A sequel to Magical Movie Night featuring Sunset Shimmer trying to find out [[LaserGuidedAmnesia why no one remembers her as a hero]] and still believes her to be a villain.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyTheMovie2017'': A movie based solely on the TV series. While the Equestria Girls Spin-Offs are Direct-to-TV/Direct-to-DVD, this will be the series' first actual feature film.
* ''VideoGame/AdventurePonies'': A {{Web Game|s}} based on ''Friendship is Magic''. A PlatformGame done in [[{{Retraux}} 8-bit style]].
* ''VideoGame/MyLittlePonyGameloft'': An app from Creator/{{Gameloft}} based on ''Friendship is Magic''.
* ''ComicBook/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicIDW'': A comic series from Creator/IDWPublishing that premiered in November of 2012. It has original stories with the same tone as the show.
** ''ComicBook/MyLittlePonyMicroSeries'': A companion series also from IDW that spotlights different characters from ''Friendship is Magic''. Ran for ten issues from January to December 2013.
** ''ComicBook/MyLittlePonyFriendsForever'': Another companion series from IDW begun in January 2014, focusing on interactions between characters.
** ''ComicBook/MyLittlePonyFiendshipIsMagic'': A companion miniseries from IDW released in 2015, focusing on the origins of the villains.
** ''ComicBook/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicLegendsOfMagic'': Another companion series from IDW begun in April 2017, focusing on exploring [[WorldBuilding the setting backstory]].
* A series of chapter books focusing on each of the main characters. See the "G4" franchise page for details.
* ''Literature/TheJournalOfTheTwoSisters'' : A {{Defictionalization}} of the diary of Princess Celestia and Luna during the start of their reign, along with the diary written by the main characters during season 4.
* ''TabletopGame/MyLittlePonyCollectibleCardGame'': A TradingCardGame based off ''Friendship is Magic''.


See also MyLittlePhony for parodies and pastiches.

An extensive guide to the toy line and a detailed episode guide for all the toys before "G3" series can be found at (naturally) [[http://www.kimsites.net/dreamvalley/index.html Dream Valley]]. [[http://www.etherella.com/scrapbook/ Etherella's Scrapbook]] has info on the ponies, along with info on them in the cartoon and comics.

!!The ''My Little Pony'' franchise provides examples of:

* AdaptedOut:
** Over half of ponies probably never appear in comics, books, or cartoons due to the ''huge'' amount of characters. They have to compress them to a core dozen background characters and even fewer major characters. Characters from "oddball" lines such as the Twice as Fancy ponies, So Soft ponies, and Sparkle ponies were almost always excluded from adaptations, possibly due to their unusual looks. This is especially common with ''Friendship Is Magic'', which contains a lot of CanonForeigner cartoon only ponies while toy charaters like Firecracker Burst or Cupcake never even appear in the background (though it could be {{justified|trope}} in that it's easier to create a random background character than research toy designs).
** None of the G1 dragons besides Spike have ever appeared in animated format. They were prominent in the 80s UK comics but not elsewhere. Similarly, most non-pony characters such as Kingsley or Creamsicle were never adapted.
* AdaptationExpansion: The cartoons and comics expanded from the admittedly fairly detailed toy descriptions, more so in the earliest incarnation when more information was supplied by said toys.
* AllGirlsLikePonies and [[CoolHorse Cool Ponies]]: Well, duh.
* AllThereInTheManual: The "G2" ponies' personalities (G2 as opposed to ''Tales,'' which is the second show but still considered part of "G1" because it's before the first overhaul of the toyline.) The toy packaging goes farther than any other line to tell what the characters are like because it is not supported by a TV show. Even "G1" and its longer packaging stories, between describing some adventure and mentioning ''another'' pony in hopes you'd buy ''her,'' sometimes ended up telling you very little about what the pony in your hands is like. "G2" packaging bios may have been shorter, but they were ''all'' about telling you who this pony was as if it were the only chance there'd be to do so; because for the most part it was. Some ponies appear in the "Friendship Gardens" game, and there ''was'' a comic series, in the vein of the "G1" comics and just as [[WhatDoYouMeanItWasntMadeOnDrugs cracktastic]] but sadly nowhere near as long-lived.)
* AlphabeticalThemeNaming: The franchise's three (unrelated) named zebras: Zeb[[note]]from the "G1" ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyAndFriends'' episode "Bright Lights"[[/note]], Zig Zag[[note]]from the "G1" toy line[[/note]], and Zecora[[note]]from ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' series and toy line[[/note]].
* AlternateAnimalAffection: Mainly only used in the "G1" series' and pilot. The ponies would nuzzle and lick each other for comfort, as real horses do, which comes off as a little LesYay since most medias compare that to romantic kisses.
* AmazingTechnicolorWildlife: Traditionally, the only colors to ''not'' be used for ponies (odd variations aside) are black, brown, and grey. ''Friendship is Magic'' is the first to truly incorporate these colors as well, though somewhat limits it to its male ponies, who aren't nearly as colorful as the females.
* AmericanKirbyIsHardcore: Inverted, when you compare the series to those issued by Takara in Japan in the 80s. The Japanese toys were cuter than the main line and were [[AnthropomorphicShift bipedal]].
* {{Animesque}}:
** The G1 tv specials were animated by Japanese studios, giving them an accidentally animesque look.
** The design of G3 ponies are essentially G1 designs with an animesque coating.
** G4's cartoon and comics are animesque in style more than character design. They take inspiration from MagicalGirl works.
* AnthropomorphicShift: The ponies have never gone full FunnyAnimal (though G3 was close to it and the Japanese-only Takara ponies are bipedal) but they have gotten more anthropomorphic with time. Compare early G1 books and the first special with later G1 works: Early on, the ponies lived in barns instead of sleeping in houses, they licked each other for affection, and they were treated more like {{Talking Animal}}s or {{Partially Civilized Animal}}s than they later would. As G1 progressed, the characters became increasingly humanoid in their personalities and preferences. They also began wearing clothing and were into contemporary culture, but still they almost never used their hooves as hands. G2 dialed back on their anthropomorphic traits but G3 brought them back even worse. They acted like {{Civilized Animal}}s and somehow were able to use their hooves as hands. ''Friendship Is Magic'' is in a middle ground similar to late G1--they have {{Furry Reminder}}s and rarely move in a humanoid manner (especially in early episodes) but socially behave in an anthropomorphic manner.
* ArtifactTitle: The title really only makes sense for the toys, given that the ponies in the cartoons are not little, nor do they belong to anyone. There have been some efforts to justify this, however:
** "G1" sometimes has a villain use the phrase mockingly, and in some episodes it was implied that 'Little Pony' was their species name. When compared to horses, the characters are also rather small (being ''ponies'' after all).
** ''Friendship is Magic'' occasionally has characters use the phrase as a term of affection. [[BigGood Princess Celestia]] does this the most often, and she tends to be [[LargeAndInCharge the largest person in the room]].
* CarnivoreConfusion: Certain ponies invoke this. Munchy has hot-dogs on her Cutie Mark and can make hot dogs appear. They're magic hot dogs but it's never specified if they are meat related or not. Horses can and do occasionally eat meat though. Averted in G4, where the ponies are all explicitly shown to be vegetarian.
* ChestInsignia: The franchise's trademark "cutie marks" are possibly the only example of ''hip'' insignia.
* UsefulNotes/TheDarkAgeOfAnimation
* DependingOnTheWriter: The UK comics/cardback stories and American cartoon/cardback stories contrasted each other most of the time, and so most personas were very different across the ocean. A few cases are:
** A noteworthy case was Wind Whistler. In the UK comics she's a scatter-brained [[TheDitz ditz]], in the American cartoon she's TheSpock and TheStoic. According to her back card, the comic personality is truer to her original personality.
** Even moreso Lickety-Split/Baby Lickety-Split: In the movie she introduces herself as "I'm Lickety-Split, a baby pony" and is called by name with and without the "Baby" prefix. In the show, her Cutie Mark changes between three and six ice cream cones at times - sometimes from one shot to the next - but she doesn't act or get treated like a different character. Near the end, she is drawn with an overbite to match the "First Tooth Baby Pony" toy of her out at the time. In the comic, Lickety Split is depicted as Baby Lickety Split's mother as the toyline intended, and First Tooth Baby Lickety Split is her near-identical cousin.
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness:
** G1 is the only generation to contain humans alongside ponies. The books featured random children, the toys had Megan and her little sister Molly, and the G1 cartoons added CanonForeigner and TheOneGuy Danny (Megan's and Molly's brother) Eventually humans were phased out and don't seem to exist in the same universe as the ponies anymore.
** AnthropomorphicShift has caused this to occur to ponies early into G1. Characters ''never'' lick each other anymore.
** Year One only contained Earth Ponies. Other races weren't introduced until Year Two.
** The first foals such as Ember and Lucky didn't follow the "Baby [x]" naming conventions and had no parents. Ember doesn't even have a Cutie Mark.
** G1 was the only gen to feature elaborate lines throughout most of the years. Future gens didn't have gimicky lines like Twinkle-Eyed ponies or Sparkle ponies.
** Very early on dragons were treated as servants or even pets. Later on they became treated more on par with ponies and are instead assistants.
* EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses:
** In the eighties, we had the Princess Ponies. There was a grand total of twenty princesses released in the toyline, and that's excluding the queens Majesty and Rosedust. And excluding the many, many, many royal non-pony characters that showed up in the fiction. The early "G3" line held off on Princesses for a few years. And then, according to the card backs, it turned out that ''every'' Pony is a Princess. For the curious, this refers a case of LoopholeAbuse in one of the DTV movies - not wanting to be her friends' ruler just because she found a flower that was the symbol of office, "Princess" Wysteria ended up coronating ''everybody'' so they'd be equals again. And everybody means everybody - in the ending of ''[[http://www.hubworld.com/watch/610729116001 The Princess Promenade]]'' it is declared in song "We're glad that everyone's a princess. That's you and you, and yes it's true, that you [pointing at screen] are a princess too!"
** ''Webcomic/SomethingPositive'' had [[http://www.somethingpositive.net/sp05282008.shtml an interesting take on it]]...
** ''Friendship Is Magic'':
*** Princess Celestia, [[JustTheFirstCitizen whose]] [[PrincessesRule title]] ''seriously'' understates [[GodEmperor her role]]. She was going to be a queen, but Hasbro didn't want that because (according to Lauren Faust) Disney's use of "queen" has [[GodSaveUsFromTheQueen made that title sound evil]].
*** The second episode brought us Princess Luna, who shares the same sort of powers and responsibilities as Celestia, and the second season finale gave us Princess Cadance, who... was a bit of a letdown in terms of power in her debut, when compared to the first two. Her role is eventually better defined; as ThePowerOfLove personified, she's basically Pony Cupid and when she combines her magic with that of ''her'' true love, Shining Armor, their power increases exponentially and a major HeartBeatDown is in order. The third season finale gave us a fourth princess, too.
*** (StrongerWithAge is in effect for the princesses. Their newest addition, although a magical prodigy in her own right, is smaller and weaker than the other three; Cadence was also noticeably smaller in flashbacks from about fifteen years ago. Both of the junior princesses have some growing to do before they can match the power of the millenia-old Royal Sisters...)
* EverythingsBetterWithRainbows:
** The Ponies' main weapon is a magical item called the Rainbow of Light. There's also a rainbow connecting Ponyland and Megan's home.
** G4 has a great visual shout-out to the Rainbow of Light whenever the Elements of Harmony are activated. The ''Equestria Girls'' movies and the Rainbow Power upgrade in the season four finale show that the element-bearers no longer need the actual trinkets to summon it if they're in, well, ''harmony.'' It still has to be earned, though.
** Also, rainbows are actually manufactured in factories in ''Friendship is Magic'', by the Pegasi that control the weather. In addition, Rainbow Dash's mane is rainbow colored, and leaves behind a streak of rainbow light when she travels from place to place.
* {{Expy}}: Characters are often brought over from previous versions (sometimes with slightly changed names), colors are reused often (especially in My Little Pony Tales) and NamesTheSame is very common. However, it isn't quite ''Franchise/{{Transformers}}'': name reuse is ''quite'' often throwing a name that was still trademarked at a new character. (For example, "G3" Rarity is an irresponsible filly and "G3" Rainbow Dash is TheFashionista and calls everyone "Darling." FIM Rarity is basically "G3" Core 7 Rainbow Dash, while FIM Rainbow Dash is an athlete whose personality is ''nothing'' like her namesake; "G1" Firefly and ''Tales'' Patch are seen as her counterparts.) A character is often neither named or colored like her ''true'' counterpart from a past incarnation. However, certain archetypes keep turning up. You'll find your bookworm, your daredevil and prankster, and someone who's so kindhearted that sometimes being ''too'' soft is a ''problem.'' She just won't be under the same name or in the same colors.
* FlatCharacter: Varying characters to various degrees. The toy line bios don't help, ever since "G2" they've been saying less and less about the characters. The ''Friendship is Magic'' cartoon heavily averts this, contributing to its popularity amongst critics. The ''Friendship is Magic'' toyline on the other hand tells you next to nothing about toy-exclusive ponies.
* FurryReminder: It's likely unintentional however feral horse bands are mostly female with only one or two stallions and likely several colts. This could explain the lack of males. Adaptations portray the stallions as living separate from the females.
* GenerationXerox: "G1" had baby ponies that were {{expies}} of adult ponies with "baby" added to the name. They were nigh identical in both design and personality and had (somewhat simplified) cutie marks. The main difference is that they were just a bit smaller. You'd think they were simply [[SpinoffBabies the same characters but younger]], but they were marketed as the daughters of the adult ponies, with a couple of them shown in this role in the cartoon. A UK comic gives their origin as younger versions of the adult ponies, created from a magic mirror, and shows ''all'' of them with their adult counterparts much more often.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: Several G1 ponies such as "Applejack" and "Pina Colada" (renamed "Hula Hula" in the UK) were named after alcoholic drinks.
* HeelFaceTurn: Happens with roughly half the villains.
* ImprobablyFemaleCast: As a brand aimed at girls, there aren't all that many guys around. Only five or so exist in "G2", and there is [[http://i.imgur.com/afyvU.jpg one male pony]] in all of "G3", a background pony from the "3.5" ''Twinkle Wish Adventure''. "G1" has about fifty male ponies (which is nothing compared to the number of female ponies) and quite a large number of non-pony male characters, but in actual animated media, we get ''one'' male pony guest star early on and ''one'' episode with the Big Brother Ponies late in the game. ''Friendship is Magic'' has at last a larger male-to-female ratio, but even so they'll be mostly background ponies, with Spike and Big Macintosh the only guys who are seen with regularity - even if the fandom's love of {{Recurring Extra}}s means that to ''us'' those background guys are more than crowd filler. ''Tales'' averts it entirely, with the main cast female but male classmates and two-parent families as secondary characters.
* InvisibleParents: Baby ponies are epidemic but their fathers are almost never mentioned. G3 doesn't even ''have'' males yet baby ponies exist. Some ponies such as Ember and the G3 baby ponies also have no known parents.
* ItWillNeverCatchOn: Franchise creator Bonnie Zacherle's attempt to pitch the idea was originally met with this response from Hasbro, who felt girls were more into cooking than ponies and had to attempt multiple times before finally making the original figures that started it all.
* LaterInstallmentWeirdness:
** G3 ditched the "baby ponies" naming convention that had existed since G1 near the end. The first few ponies were "Baby [x]" but eventually they scrapped the "baby" part,
** The "core 7" reboot of G3 started the trend of a few ponies being the main characters. G4 followed suit. Though misc. ponies get released, the toyline mainly focuses on the Mane Six. G4 is also the first line where the cartoons are the main canon. Though the writers still [[ExecutiveMeddling get influenced by Hasbro]], the toys are merchandise for the cartoons instead of the other way around.
* {{Manchild}}: Most of the ponies are adults, but most act barely more mature than the fillies. The maturity levels of the cast go back and forth, as one day it'll be about Rarity traveling to another city herself to further her career as one of Equestria's premier fashion designers, and another will have her and Applejack having a sleepover. Only ''Tales'' nails down how old the characters are and has them act like it.
* LongPants: A variation since they hardly wear clothes. They do this trope with'' hooves'', with legs being the same color all the way down to the bottom of their feet. Certain male ponies in ''[[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic Friendship Is Magic]]'' are exceptions however.
* MerchandiseDriven: No. Kidding. However, ''[=FiM=]'' is far more independent from toy lines.
* UsefulNotes/TheMillenniumAgeOfAnimation
* TheNightThatNeverEnds: More than once, a villain has had eternal night as the goal. The first TV special, "Escape from Castle Midnight'' uses this with Tirek, as did Nightmare Moon in ''Friendship is Magic'' as a MythologyGag.
* NoHuggingNoKissing: In other series than G3 there's the occasional romance, but other than that and [[spoiler:one post-wedding kiss in G4]] and the Happy Families line in G3 it fits this trope. Romance is especially rare in this franchise due to the ImprobablyFemaleCast. Same-sex romance won't fly in a kids' show, so there's nobody ''to'' pair characters with outside ''Tales'' for the most part; even ''FIM'' tends to keep male characters outside Big Macintosh and Spike (who'd [[PrecociousCrush like to avert this trope with Rarity]], but it's not happening) strictly as crowd filler. It's to the point that when Hasbro wanted to produce wedding toys, they used Glory and Moondancer, and just referred to Glory with [[GenderFlip male pronouns]] on the packaging (she's a girl in all other media and merch.) Cue the jokes about gay marriage having been legal in Equestria since TheEighties. It becomes even more confusing why so many ponies have foals but the fathers are never mentioned. The G1 comics handwaved this by saying they're clones, but it's unknown if that explanation is G1 comic-only or not.
* NonstandardCharacterDesign:
** Ember has the honor of being the ''only'' pre-G4 pony without a Cutie Mark. She was the first "baby pony" so she's [[EarlyInstallmentWeirdness different]] from future ones (for example, she is not called "Baby Ember" and there is no "adult Ember" to go along with her). It's possible that the idea that ponies aren't born with Cutie Marks from G4 is a MythologyGag to Ember. They released versions of Ember with Cutie Marks however they were mail order exclusive and aren't her canon designs.
** G2 ponies and Dream Beauties are lanky like horses rather than the more stocky, Shetland pony-esque designs the series usually has.
* OffModel: In both the toys (endless regional variations) and the Marvel Animation Studios cartoon (endless animation mistakes; see DrinkingGame below). Though to be fair, it occurs in every version of the franchise.
* OneSteveLimit: Utterly nonexistent. Even within the same generations ponies will share a name or have similar names. There's also baby ponies being named after their mothers.
* OurDragonsAreDifferent:
** In-verse Spike finds this out in ''Spike's Search'', where he meets dragons that aren't like him; they're large, green, round, and mean. In the pilot special Tirek had dragons which were different from Spike, though at the end, the "Stratadons" and other monsters were transformed back into the harmless animals, ponies, [[spoiler: and human]] they'd once been by the Rainbow of Light.
** In G1 there were other baby dragons besides Spike, however they were only ever adapted into the comics. Apparently dragons can also be pets in "G1", and as such Spike is pet (or at least servant) to Majesty in most medias other than the cartoons. (However, in the comics he's just as fully sentient, and treated more as a child than a pet, basically having the same relationship with her that he has with Twilight Sparkle in ''FIM''. "G1" Comic Spike also has other dragon relatives he sometimes visits, whereas every other Spike is the only dragon around.)
** In "G3", Spike is over 1000 years old but still looks like a baby.
* {{Pegasus}}: Pegasi are one of the three main pony races.
* UsefulNotes/TheRenaissanceAgeOfAnimation
* RomanticTwoGirlFriendship: Close female friendships are a staple of the franchise, especially in G3.
* RuleOfGlamorous
* SeahorseSteed: No actual ''riding'' was involved, but it nevertheless bears mentioning that the original cartoon got in on the act as well with the Seaponies, their debut involving an infamously trippy musical number.
* ShoutOut: The idea that unicorns can teleport was borrowed from ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons''. In the original cartoon, it was something ''all'' could do (not so the specials, where it was Twilight's thing only.)
* SuddenNameChange: In G1 the flank marks on characters were called "symbols". In G3 this was changed to "Cutie Marks". It wasn't until G4 that they were given an in-series explanation. In previous gen ponies just happened to be born with them.
* SugarBowl: The setting could not be more magical and happy -- normally. And then the BigBad [[MonsterOfTheWeek of the Week]] shows up...
* TitleThemeTune: The infamous one, which has undergone endless variations to its lyrics over twenty-five years; plus four other theme songs created for the "Friends" part of ''My Little Pony 'n Friends'' (see below).
* {{Unicorn}}s: They can use magic, but it's not as super-effective as you'd think: most unicorns have one power based on their special talent. In G1, where the SugarBowl is ''always'' under threat of doom, this falls under WhenAllYouHaveIsAHammer, with the amazing power to ''make bubbles'' shown to be more useful than you think.
* WhatMeasureIsANonCute: Subverted with surprising frequency; dragons, Grundles, Crab Nasties etc.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: The 80s cartoons are typically full of LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters that change every episode, so this is bound to happen. It's especially bad in the Pilot to the whole franchise; the Ponies in that pilot are never seen again in animation, even the ones that just run around and don't speak. Sometimes a main-character pony will have the baby version of her (see GenerationXerox) shown once ever, or a main-character baby pony will have the adult version shown once ever - if they're really supposed to be mother and daughter, it's clear SocialServicesDoesNotExist in Dream Valley.