[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/prancing-pony_6365.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:[[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters That's not even all of the G1 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 toyline published and developed by Creator/{{Hasbro}} in 1982, following their 1981 ''My Pretty Pony'' toys. The copyright was finalized in 1983, which is probably why Hasbro counts it as MLP's birthyear and not 1982. The history of ''My Little Pony'' is separated into "generations" based on the toyline. 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 toyline 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/MyLittlePonyTheMovie 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 the generation only lasted a year in the US, though it continued for a few more years in Europe. In addition to being the shortest generation, 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 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 the generations. No villains, conflicts are rare, and there's, well, lots of pink, 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 chibi-forms similar to ''Ponyville'' plastic molds. The chibi-fied 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 current incarnation of the franchise, Generation 4, started in 2010 with the release of the TV series ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' developed by Creator/LaurenFaust. The ponies are now far more cartoony – large eyes, tiny muzzles, and bodies that are proportionally small for their heads – but generally considered adorable 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'', and much of the cast are re-imagined G3 ponies. Faust developed a new setting called Equestria, a FantasyKitchenSink with its own growing mythology and history, with the town of "Ponyville"[[note]]Originally it was going to be set in [[IncrediblyLamePun "Fillydelphia"]].[[/note]] being the home of the series' [[JustForPun mane]] six heroines. On the other hand, unlike the previous incarnations, this one is much more comedy based...except for the times when it isn't.[[note]]Overall, in order to get the biggest audience possible, it tries to both be its own thing while also having episodes that are reflective of said previous incarnations.[[/note]] The comedy-based episodes can range from slapstick comedy to {{parody}}[[note]]Whether it's [[AffectionateParody the affectionate kind]] or [[DeconstructiveParody the deconstructive kind]] depends on both who's writing the episode, and on who is asked. It has even done self-parody[[/note]], and back again [[DependingOnTheWriter depending on who's writing the episode]], something the franchise usually isn't known for in said previous incarnations. In any case, the cartoon became an unexpected hit with a huge PeripheryDemographic, but [[UnpleasableFanbase the less]] [[OpinionMyopia said about that,]] [[ComplainingAboutPeopleNotLikingTheShow the better.]] Hasbro seems happy with the success of G4, and is giving ''Friendship is Magic'' a growing ExpandedUniverse with assorted comics and books. See also the [[Franchise/MyLittlePonyGeneration4 G4 page]].

Contrast Franchise/CthulhuMythos, ''{{TabletopGame/Warhammer 40000}}'' and ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion''.

[[folder:Adaptations]]
[[index]]
!!!G1
* ''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/MyLittlePonyTheMovie'': 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. They followed their own canon based on the toy line.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyTales'': ''My Little Pony'' meets SliceOfLife. Take 1. Different continuity from the previous four.
!!!G2
* ''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.
!!!G3/G3.5
* ''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.
!!!G4
* ''Franchise/MyLittlePonyGeneration4'': The page for the fourth generation in general.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'': ''My Little Pony'' meets SliceOfLife, Take 3, with occasional adventure. This time, well received on levels ''far'' surpassing everyone's wildest imagination.
* ''VideoGame/AdventurePonies'': A {{Web Game|s}} based on ''Friendship is Magic''. A PlatformGame done in [[{{Retraux}} 8-bit style]].
* ''VideoGame/MyLittlePony'': An app from {{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.
* ''Literature/TwilightSparkleAndTheCrystalHeartSpell'': The first in a series of chapter books. The first G4 chapter book.
* ''Under the Sparkling Sea'': A picture book, featuring hand-painted artwork.
* ''Literature/PinkiePieAndTheRockinPonypaloozaParty'': The second in a series of chapter books. The second G4 chapter book.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyEquestriaGirls'': A movie where Twilight 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'', the third G4 chapter book. Not related to the other chapter books.
** ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyEquestriaGirlsRainbowRocks'': A sequel to the Equestria girls where a BattleOfTheBands takes place. The Rock motif is very reminiscent to another of Hasbro's old properties, ''WesternAnimation/{{Jem}}''.
* ''Welcome to the Crystal Empire!'': A young reader's book focused on the eponymous Crystal Empire.
* ''Literature/RainbowDashAndTheDaringDoDoubleDare'': The third in the series of chapter books. The fourth G4 chapter book.
* ''Literature/RarityAndTheCuriousCaseOfCharity'': The fourth in the series of chapter books. The fifth G4 chapter book.
* ''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.
* ''Literature/ApplejackAndTheHonestToGoodnessSwitcheroo''

[[/index]]
[[/folder]]

See also MyLittlePhony for parodies and pastiches.

An extensive guide to the toy line and a detailed episode guide for all the pre-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.
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!!The ''MyLittlePony'' franchise provides examples of:

* AdaptationExpansion: The cartoons and comics.
* AllGirlsLikePonies and [[CoolHorse Cool Ponies]]: Well, duh.
* 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 the G4 ''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.
* {{Animesque}} The redesign of the G3 series, which some fans disliked initially, since the series seemed like a return to form.
** The original two specials were this, especially the Catrina one (it showed with the humans, who looked {{Shojo}}), since they were made in Japan.
* 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 fix this, however:
** G1 sometimes has villains use the phrase mockingly, and in some episodes it was implied that 'Little Pony' was their species name.
** ''Friendship is Magic'' occasionally has characters use the phrase as a term of affection.[[note]]And as self-ShoutOut to the franchise.[[/note]]
* BabysittingEpisode: An early episode, ''The Ice Cream Wars'', has a group of ponies babysitting for the First Tooth ponies. [[ThatRemindsMeOfASong They even sing about it!]]
* ChestInsignia: The franchise's trademark "cutie marks" are possibly the only example of ''hip'' [[strike: insignia]] branding.
* 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 noteworthy case was Wind Whistler. In the UK, she's a scatter-brained [[TheDitz ditz]], in the cartoon she's TheSpock and TheStoic.
* 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 was a case of LoopholeAbuse. 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 (the viewers) are a princess too!"
** ''SomethingPositive'' had [[http://www.somethingpositive.net/sp05282008.shtml an interesting take on it]]...
** ''Friendship Is Magic'' has Princess Celestia, whose title actually understates her role which in practical terms is [[GodEmperor God-Empress]]. 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. The third season finale gives us Princess [[spoiler:Twilight Sparkle]].
* 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.
** The current series has a great visual shout-out to the Rainbow of Light in the pilot, when the [[spoiler: Elements of Harmony are activated.]]
** Also, Rainbows are actually manufactured in factories in G4 by the Pegasai 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 generations (sometimes with slightly changed names), colors are reused often (especially in G2) and NamesTheSame is very common. However, it isn't quite ''{{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 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.)
* FlatCharacter: Varying characters to various degrees. The toyline bios don't help, ever since G2 they've been saying less and less about the characters.
* 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 (somewhat simplified) cutie marks, 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.
* 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, from 3.5's ''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 media, we get ''one'' episode with the Big Brother Ponies. G4 has at last a larger male-to-female ratio. ''Tales'' averts it entirely, with the main cast female but male classmates and two-parent families as secondary characters.
* IntimateMarks: Of a sort. A pony's cutie mark is on their flank.
* {{Manchild}}: Most of the Ponies are adults, but most act barely more mature than the Fillies.
* 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. The current series tones this down. But from the original series there an episode where Galaxy is dressed in a Cheerleader costume apropos of absolutely nothing at all—except making us aware that there are such costume sets available in the store.
* TheNightThatNeverEnds: More than once, a villain has had eternal night as the goal. The first TV special, "Escape from Castle Midnight."
* NoHuggingNoKissing: In other series than G3 there's the occasional romance, but other than that and [[spoiler:one post-wedding kiss in G4]] 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 Mac 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 male pronouns on the packaging (she's a girl in all other media and merch.)
* 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.
* 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. In the comics for G1, there were other baby dragons like Spike. Apparently dragons can also be pets in G1, and such as Spike is a pet to Majesty in most medias other than the cartoons. (However, 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.) In G3, Spike is over 1000 years old but still looks like a baby.
* {{Pegasus}}: Pegasi are one of the three main pony races.
* RuleOfGlamorous
* ShoutOut: The idea that unicorns can teleport was borrowed from DungeonsAndDragons. In the G1 cartoon, it was something ''all'' could do (not so the specials, where it was Twilight's 'thing.')
* SugarBowl: The setting could not be more magical and happy -- normally. And then the BigBad [[MonsterOfTheWeek of the Week]] shows up...
* TheMillenniumAgeOfAnimation
* TheRenaissanceAgeOfAnimation
* 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.

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