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[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Sonic-Rainboom_9934.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:[--[[FlatJoy Yay.]]--] ]]

->'''Rainbow Dash:''' So now that you know the elements of a good cheer, let's hear one.\\
'''Fluttershy:''' ''[inhales]'' [--[[FlatJoy Yay]]--].\\
'''Rainbow Dash:''' ...Ugh! ''[[[FacePalm facehoof]]]'' You're gonna cheer for me like ''that''? Louder.\\
'''Fluttershy:''' [--Yay.--]\\
'''Rainbow Dash:''' Louder!\\
'''Fluttershy:''' [--Yay.--]\\
'''Rainbow Dash:''' ''LOUDER!!''\\
'''Fluttershy:''' ''[deeply inhales]'' [--Yaaay.--]\\
'''Rainbow Dash:''' Ugh... ''[[[FacePalm facehoof]]]'' ''[[[FaceFault falls over]]]''\\
'''Fluttershy:''' [[ComicallyMissingThePoint Too loud?]]

-> Written by M.A. Larson

Rainbow Dash is busy prepping herself for the Best Young Flyers' Competition in the pegasus city of Cloudsdale, with Fluttershy as her hopeful cheering section (easier said than done, considering she usually can't speak louder than a whisper). However, despite her being able to ace all the other parts of her routine, Rainbow can't ''quite'' manage her difficult finishing move: the Sonic Rainboom, a near-impossible move where a pegasus flies fast enough to create a sonic boom and a rainbow at the same time. Despite Rainbow Dash acting cocky about how she can ace the competition (and win the grand prize: a day hanging out with the Wonderbolts!), Rarity detects that the pegasus is a ''lot'' more nervous than she lets on, and talks Twilight Sparkle into finding a spell to allow the wingless members of their circle of friends to go up to Cloudsdale and provide more moral support than Fluttershy can give. Twilight finds a rather difficult spell that will allow her to give a pony wings, and Rarity offers to be the test subject.

The day of the competition arrives, and after an encounter with a few old bullies from flight school (and Fluttershy [[GoYeHeroesGoAndDie botching the die roll on "Make Motivational Speech"]]), Rainbow Dash finds herself on the verge of a nervous breakdown over whether or not she'll win.

->'''Rainbow Dash:''' What do I do?! Everypony is gonna see me fail! The Wonderbolts will never let a loser like me join! Princess Celestia will probably banish me to the Everfree Forest! '''MY LIFE IS RUINED!'''

Suddenly, who should show up but Rarity, sporting a beautiful pair of colorful, translucent butterfly wings. The other ponies show up as well, via Twinkling Balloon, as Twilight was able to find an easier spell to let them walk on clouds. Encouraged by her friends' presence, Rainbow Dash decides to show them around Cloudsdale. As they tour the town, however, Rarity keeps vainly showing off her new wings (ignoring Twilight's warnings that they're extremely fragile), making Rainbow Dash feel even more self-conscious. And as if that weren't enough, Rarity's new admirers suggest ''she'' enter the Best Young Flyers' Competition as well!

And so the competition begins, presided over by not only the Wonderbolts, but also Princess Celestia herself. Rarity and Rainbow Dash get slowly pushed near the end of the show; Rarity is too busy in her dressing room (putting on a rather garish getup), and Rainbow Dash keeps changing the order of the contestants as she still doesn't feel ready. Finally, both ponies have to go on together, despite Rainbow Dash having been reduced to a nervous, shaking wreck. Rainbow Dash tries to go through her routine while Rarity struts her stuff in the air, but Rainbow ends up messing up the first two parts of it, leaving only one chance of saving herself from losing: the Sonic Rainboom.

Meanwhile, Rarity, her ego having inflated to ridiculous levels, decides to fly up as close to the sun as possible, letting the light shine through her wings and covering all of Cloudsdale in colorful light. Almost immediately though, her wings get incinerated in the heat, leaving Rarity to plummet to the ground. Three of the Wonderbolts dive down to save her, but get knocked out by Rarity's wild flailing through the air. Rainbow Dash spots her friend and her heroes in trouble, and flies to the rescue. As she does so, she goes fast enough to not only catch up to them, but to successfully pull off a Sonic Rainboom in the process, surprising the crowd and causing Fluttershy to cheer louder than ever. Rainbow Dash is so busy snatching the falling ponies out of the air that she doesn't even realize what's happened until she starts soaring back to the arena. The crowd starts to cheer as loud as Fluttershy! Having perfected her winning move ''and'' saved the Wonderbolts and Rarity, Rainbow Dash excitedly declares it the "best day ''ever!''"

After the celebration, Rarity apologizes for stealing the spotlight and being too vain and prideful, and Rainbow Dash and the others forgive her, regretting only not being able to meet the Wonderbolts when they were conscious. At that moment, who should show up but the Wonderbolts themselves, who thank Rainbow Dash for saving them. To make things even better for the already excited young pegasus, Princess Celestia shows up to declare Rainbow Dash the winner of the competition. The Princess then turns to Twilight, asking if she's learned anything about friendship lately, and Twilight decides to let Rarity declare the [[AnAesop Aesop]] of the episode: that one should "keep your hooves on the ground" and be supportive of your friends. Meanwhile, Rainbow Dash is approached by her old bullies, who apologize for the way they treated her, and want to hang out. Rainbow Dash turns them down, saying that "I've got plans!" as she flies off with two male members of the Wonderbolts…

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!!Tropes present in this episode (YMMV tropes can be found [[YMMV/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS1E16SonicRainboom here]]):
* AbsenteeActor: Spike.
* AcquiredSituationalNarcissism: Rarity becomes entranced with the temporary wings Twilight gives her and soon forgets why she wanted them in the first place; going so far as to enter the competition herself just to show them off. At least she realizes in the end that she lost her head and regrets it.
** It starts early. When the other non-pegasi are amazed at Cloudsdale in general, Rarity is admiring her wings.
* BlazingInfernoHellfireSauce: Ingested liquid rainbow acts like this, as demonstrated by Pinkie.
* TheCameo: [[RecurringExtra Recurring Unicorn]] Lyra Heartstrings makes a notable cameo in this episode as the only non-pegasus outside of the Mane Six (and Celestia) to appear in Cloudsdale. Apparently she knows the cloud walking spell too!
* ChekhovsGun: Twilight specifically cautions that the wings she gives to Rarity are fragile during their tour of Cloudsdale.
* ConstructionCatcalls: GettingCrapPastTheRadar on multiple levels.
* CrisisMakesPerfect [=/=] DieOrFly: Rainbow Dash struggles to pull off the title maneuver while practicing for a flight competition. Come the day of the competition, Rainbow Dash is finally able to pull off the Sonic Rainboom successfully to save Rarity and the Wonderbolts from falling to their deaths.
* EarlyBirdCameo: This episode is the first appearance of Spitfire and (outside of fantasy sequences) Soarin', though we wouldn't learn their names or more of their personalities until "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS1E26TheBestNightEver The Best Night Ever]]".
* EasilyForgiven: The three bullies that were probably mocking Rainbow Dash for years, even though they willingly apologize. That said, Dash was in a rare mood after her victory.
* [[{{Facepalm}} Facehoof]]: Rainbow Dash does two concerning Fluttershy's cheering, the second accompanied by her [[FaceFault flipping over]].
* FlatJoy: Fluttershy's cheering. Until the end, that is. From quiet to loud, she has mastered cheering loudly.
* [[ForgotAboutHisPowers Forgot About Her Powers:]] Twilight can levitate an Ursa Minor for miles and effortlessly stop Rainbow Dash in midflight, but she does nothing to stop Rarity and the Wonderbolts from falling to their deaths (e.g. gradually slowing them down and then hoisting them back up). Celestia presumably has at least the ability to do that much and likely far more, but she too never intervenes.
* FromBadToWorse: Rarity's wings are gone and she's plummeting from a great height through Cloudsdale (Which cannot support her since she's not really a Pegasus) to the ground below. Then, in her panicked flailing, she knocks out the Wonderbolts, who are trying to save her. Now Dash has to rescue ''four'' ponies.
* GoYeHeroesGoAndDie: Both Fluttershy and Rarity's attempts to give Dash confidence actually wind up driving her to a breakdown.
* GravityIsAHarshMistress: After Rarity's wings burn up, she hangs in the air long enough to make the OhCrap face before falling.
* {{Homage}}: Rarity's wings burn up [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Icarus when she flies too close to the sun]].
* IcarusAllusion: Twilight Sparkle makes some magical wings for Rarity, warning her that they are very delicate. Ignoring this, Rarity enters a flying competition, deciding to fly as high as possible so that the sun would shine through her wings and cover Cloudsdale in colorful light. The sun burns her wings up, and Rarity plummets nearly to her death, being saved only at the last moment by Rainbow Dash.
* LimbSensationFascination: Rarity winds up obsessing over how better things are now that she has her wings, instead of cheering Rainbow up, which only increases the stress the pegasus's currently undergoing. She loves discovering how to fly and create patterns with the light through her rainbow wings.
* MagicAIsMagicA: After she's rescued by Rainbow Dash, Rarity has to sit in the Twinkling Balloon; she hasn't had the cloud-walking spell cast on her.
* NoEndorHolocaust: A construction Pegasus lets his jackhammer get away from him while [[ConstructionCatcalls mackin' on Rarity.]] It bores straight through the cloud he was working on. It probably ruined someone's day when it landed...
** [[WhatMightHaveBeen Though considering this is a cartoon, it's easy to imagine somepony being hit on the head and looking up to the sky in confusion.]]
** The shockwave from a Sonic Rainboom at ground-level should have levelled trees and houses for miles. A sonic boom is a continuous occurrence, being generated by the supersonic object; it doesn't just happen once the sound barrier is breached.
* NotTheFallThatKillsYou: Nor is it the 2000 G-forces you would get from a 90-degree turn with that small a radius at Mach 1. Apparently, the Sonic Rainboom somehow alters the laws of physics.
** According to WebAnimation/DeathBattle, she was actually going around Mach 10...
* OhCrap: Accompanied by quiet "uh-oh"s.
** Rainbow Dash realizes that she won't be able to pull off the Sonic Rainboom during practice.
** Rarity discovers her wings have just evaporated.
* OohMeAccentsSlipping: Fluttershy's voice doesn't really lend itself to loud cheering, so AndreaLibman pretty much just uses Pinkie Pie's voice for Fluttershy's loud, excited cheer.
** Similarly, when Pinkie tastes the rainbow, her voice becomes much higher, making her sound like Fluttershy.
* PaintingTheFrostOnWindows: When in Cloudsdale, the Mane Six visit a weather factory, where the pegasi create snowflakes and rainbows.
* PolkaDotPaint: Pinkie Pie dips a hoof in the liquid rainbow and it retains seven distinct stripes of color, despite dripping off her hoof. She then ''licks'' it...and [[FireBreathingDiner starts breathing multicolored fire!]]
* PunctuatedForEmphasis:
--> '''Rarity''': For I! Am! Rarity!
* ScreenShake: Particularly noticeable and somewhat unusual in this episode when it's caused by Rainbow Dash shouting.
* SchizoTech:
** Pinkie's foam "#1 ''finger''". Of course, this ''is'' [[RealityWarper Pinkie]].
** The announcer at the Best Young Flyers' competition is wearing a wireless microphone.
* SciFiWritersHaveNoSenseOfScale: Snowflakes are apparently individually hoof-crafted by pegasi in the weather factory. At the rate we see them working, even with the comically oversized snowflakes in the factory, it would probably take all of Equestria to make the snow that falls on Ponyville on the first day of winter. Entirely PlayedForLaughs, of course.
* ShoutOut: When Pinkie Pie tastes the rainbow, her face goes through color changes and fiery breath, similarly to the more notable effects of the prairie oyster in ''{{Asterix}} and the Laurel Wreath''.
** When Rarity says she still needs time to prepare, the turn goes to a blonde-maned colt who seems just a ''little'' too eager to prove himself...
--> "'''[[{{LeeroyJenkins}} Let's do this!]]'''"
** The music during Rarity's performance is [[SuspiciouslySimilarSong similar to]] the Waltz from Tchaikovsky's ''SwanLake''.
* StealthPun: Pinkie Pie decides to [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skittles_(confectionery) "taste the rainbow"]] but finds it [[BlazingInfernoHellfireSauce not to her liking.]]
** Rainbow Dash hits a wall of air in her first attempt to do the Sonic Rainboom. Evidently, she couldn't break the sound barrier.
* StockSoundEffect: Fluttershy's loud inhale in the teaser is Pinkie Pie's gasp played backwards. Since they have the same actress, it doesn't stand out much.
* TapOnTheHead: Rarity's flailing when she was falling from Cloudsdale punched out three of the Wonderbolts.
* TastesLikePurple: Playfully inverted. Apparently, liquid concentrated rainbows (in the most literal sense) taste incredibly spicy, even for Pinkie Pie! [[FridgeBrilliance And it's no wonder]]: real rainbows are refractions of light, so a concentrated mouthful of the stuff would taste like ''FrickinLaserBeams''.
* ThinkingOutLoud[=/=]AsideComment: Both Rainbow Dash and Rarity think out loud about what they're doing next in their practice or performance, and each looks at the audience on one occasion while doing so.
* TroubledFetalPosition: Rainbow Dash ends up like this when her anxiety gets the better of her.
* UncannyValleyMakeup: Rarity really overdoes it on the makeup before the Best Young Fliers competition.
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