----
For shout outs from the IDW comics books, please see [[ShoutOut/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicIDW the comic book series shoutout page]].

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Mythology Gags]]
* Nightmare Moon is trying to bring about TheNightThatNeverEnds, just like [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyTVSpecials Tirek]]. However, while Tirek only seemed to be doing it ForTheEvulz, Nightmare Moon's backstory establishes her as TheResenter.
** Also, according to WordOfGod (and confirmed in the comic book), a hint of BrainwashedAndCrazy as well.
* The Elements of Harmony combine to summon the Rainbow of Light. There's even more of a shout out when they're used to beat Discord. Complete with similar music and a WorldHealingWave.
* In the Pilot, the ponies have to cross a raging river and a rickety bridge to get to a castle, just like in ''Rescue from Midnight Castle''.
* Rarity's butterfly wings in "Sonic Rainboom" and the Glimmer Wings toy ponies are a nod to G1 and G3 winged ponies, the Flutterpony toy line (right down to how they're notorious for having delicate, breakable wings) and the Breezies in particular.
* In "The Cutie Mark Chronicles", the younger Fluttershy's thinner body and legs is also reminiscent of the Flutter Ponies. All she's missing are the delicate butterfly wings... which, of course, can be found on her cutie mark instead.
** Fluttershy has a yellow coat and pink mane and tail, like Rosedust, Queen of the Flutter Ponies - and her original inspiration Posey (who was an earth pony, but otherwise was nigh-identical in appearance, especially in Lauren Faust's early sketches).
* In "Over a Barrel" Spike plays a piano for a show like G1 Spike does in the 1986 My Little Pony Movie.
* Discord's mind rape of the mane cast making them lose their color and become jerks is reminiscent of the Smooze from the Original MLP movie, where touching it made a pony act like a jerk and "lose their twinkle".
* The design of the Fire Ruby in "Secret Of My Excess" looks exactly like the Heart Stone from the original series episode "Crunch the Rockdog".
* Twilight's Twinkling Balloon is actually a shout out to the balloon in MLP G3/G3.5.
** Spike sending a photo of the ponies to Princess Celestia at the end of the opening is a reference to the ponies taking a group picture at the end of the G3 and G3.5 openings.
* Heck, the opening starts with a shout out to every MLP commercial and theme song ever made.
* Almost all of the main cast are amalgamations of G1 ponies from years [[http://www.ghostofthedoll.co.uk/Toys_MLP_Year2.htm 2]] or [[http://www.ghostofthedoll.co.uk/Toys_MLP_Year3.htm 3]] and [[http://msmagazine.com/blog/blog/2010/12/24/my-little-non-homophobic-non-racist-non-smart-shaming-pony-a-rebuttal/ based on the personalities]] that [[AuthorAppeal Lauren Faust]] had given her ponies as a child. Someone put together an influence list [[http://static2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20111008150107/mlpfanart/images/d/d1/History_concept.jpg referencing both the G1 and G3 ponies]] that these were based on.
** Applejack is just a redesigned version of the original. She and Spike are the only trademarks that the creators were interested in using that Hasbro retained from the 80s.
*** Applejack's brother Big [=McIntosh=] resembles the G3 version of Applejack in color and a cutie mark consisting of just one big apple (as opposed to every other version of Applejack having several smaller apples).
** Twilight Sparkle is a fairly direct cross of Powder, Twilight Twinkle and [[http://s893.photobucket.com/user/SajinZero05/media/laurenfausttwilight.jpg.html Twilight]].
*** Her mother Twilight Velvet, seen in "The Cutie Mark Chronicles" and "A Canterlot Wedding - Part 2" as well as in the Wave 4 Blind Bags, is very clearly based on the G1 Twilight, who was intended to be the original main character of ''Friendship is Magic''.
*** Her father resembles [[BilingualBonus Nachtlicht]], a [[NoExportForYou German-only]] Pony from G1, a bit too much for comfort. It could be a genderswap MythologyGag, similar to how Big Mac resembles G3 Applejack. Or just the fact that the name and color scheme fit well into the family theme. The Gameloft game confirms this as Twilight's parents live in "Nightlight Boookbinding"
*** In the first episode Twilight Sparkle gets invited to Moondancer's get-together. This is both a nod to the G1 pony Moondancer and a DevelopmentGag on the fact that Twilight was going to have a variation of [[http://fyre-flye.deviantart.com/art/Star-Gazing-Twilight-255836581 Moondancer's cutie mark]][[note]] It could also be a reference to the G3 Moondancer but considering they're in Canterlot, which is mainly inhabited by Unicorns, it's probably the original Moondancer.[[/note]]
*** Twilight Sparkle can teleport. In G1, Unicorns can teleport (they call it "winking in" and "winking out"). The first Unicorn seen to teleport is G1 Twilight, in the opening theme of "Rescue from Midnight Castle".
** Rainbow Dash is a perfect mix of [[http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3159/2979803235_39d3cee117_z.jpg Sunlight]], [[http://27.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lhcoovylAV1qeuz19o1_500.png Firefly]] and [[http://mylittlewiki.org/w/images/4/46/Rainbowdashcartoon.jpeg her Generation 3/3.5 incarnation]].
*** Background pony [[AllThereInTheScript Sassaflash]] has the same cutie mark as Firefly and [[http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-DPS2Xmwhrpk/TtBFX9oFsGI/AAAAAAAAVew/5kNPTkuw_-8/s1600/15.jpg her appearance in the Blind Bags]] [[YouDontLookLikeYou uses Rainbow Dash's model]].
*** The toyline-exclusive character Flitterheart has nearly identical colors to Firefly, although with a SkunkStripe and different cutie mark, and her blind bag figure is also a Rainbow Dash recolor.
** Fluttershy was originally just SUPPOSED to be [[http://www.mylittleponynews.com/2010/08/gwh4-yellow-pegasus-name-revealed.html Posey]] but Hasbro had lost the trademark on that name.
*** Her cutie mark however is a shout-out to the G2 Pony Sky Skimmer and her name is based on her Generation 3 incarnation.
** Spike being in love with Rarity may be a shout out to G1's Majesty, with whom the original Spike came and Rarity somewhat resembles (although really she's more of an amalgamation of [[http://img815.imageshack.us/img815/7093/mylittleponysparklerbyf.jpg Sparkler]] and Glory from the G1 line).
*** Background pony [[AllThereInTheScript Amethyst Star]] is also similar to Sparkler and [[http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Nbxm-hDvjPc/TtBFZmt9JcI/AAAAAAAAVfg/pcknE-PuU_c/s1600/21.jpg her appearance in the Blind Bags]] [[YouDontLookLikeYou uses Rarity's model]]. [[http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41FgXVAhq9L._SY300_.jpg Her Wave 9 blind bag figure]], which uses Twilight's model, looks even more like G1 Twilight than Twilight Velvet.
*** Twilight's relationship with Spike mirrors Spike's with Majesty back in G1, especially in the British comics.
*** Funny enough, Rarity's mannerisms bear resemblance to those of G3 Rainbow Dash, especially her tendency to call everyone "darling".
** Twilight herself mirrors Majesty in the British comics. Other unicorns could only really do one type of magic, like Fizzy being good at blowing fireworks out her horn, but Majesty had no such restrictions.
** Early concept sketches of Pinkie Pie were just straight up [[http://img96.imageshack.us/img96/6947/mylittleponysurprisebyf.jpg Surprise]]. Her wings were passed on to Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie was given a swapped version of her G3 color scheme.[[note]]G3 Pinkie Pie had a magenta coat and light pink mane; G4 Pinkie Pie has a light pink coat and magenta mane.[[/note]]
*** Both Surprise in her original concept and G3 Pinkie Pie have similar cutie marks with 3 balloons. G4 Pinkie Pie's cutie mark is a combination, using the balloon colors (blue and yellow) from G3 Pinkie Pie and the placement of the concept.
*** The first word out of Pinkie Pie's mouth in the G4 cartoon is "Surprise".
*** It's worth noting that the [[http://derpiboo.ru/100858 original Surprise]] had somewhat greenish blonde hair in the cartoon and Pinkie's mother is white with green hair, though she's not a pegasus.
*** The blind bag pegasus figure Breezie, although named after the G3 Earth pony Breezie, has the colors of G1 Surprise. In the show, one of the unnamed Wonderbolts(whose toy is simply called "Wonderbolts Pony") also has Surprise's colors.
** Every time Pinkie Pie plans a party or does a [[{{Balloonacy}} balloon gag]] she's giving a shout out to the G3 theme song.
--->Let's plan a party with Pinkie Pie\\
Then watch her balloons lift her up to the sky!
--->--''My Little Pony G3 theme song''
*** That part of the theme song is actually a reference to A Charming Birthday in which she is lifted into the air by her balloon charm bracelet.
* The 3rd tier characters Snips and Snails (himself a shout out to the G1 pony [[http://media.photobucket.com/image/my%20little%20pony%20squirmy/Xaniss/My%2520Little%2520Pony/baby_squirmy.jpg Squirmy]]), make up 2/3rds of the ingredients of little boys, the exact opposite of the Sugar, Spice and Everything Nice that created the Powerpuff Girls.
* The twin ponies working at the spa are directly based on the twins of the G1 [[http://mylittlewiki.org/wiki/Surprise_Twins_Pony Surprise Twins Pony]] and/or on the G2 twins [[http://mylittlewiki.org/wiki/Rose_and_Lily Rose and Lily]]. Both sets were [[NoExportForYou only available in Europe]], and Lotus Blossom (the one with the blue coat and pink mane) even has an accent to match!
* Most of the large stallions have unshorn fetlocks like the G1 Big Brother Ponies. Two of these large stallions are in fact big brothers, Big [=McIntosh=] to Applejack & Apple Bloom and Shining Armor to Twilight Sparkle.
* Celestia resembles the G2 Pony design, with a bit of the G1 Beauty Dream Pony thrown in.
* Cheerilee being a teacher is similar to her original unicorn version role in one of the G3 specials, notably ''[[http://www.hubworld.com/watch/610729115001 Crystal Princess: The Runaway Rainbow]]''. Later stories have her mysteriously not a unicorn anymore, but she is the older sister to Scootaloo and knows a great deal of lore and history. So naturally, she is a teacher in FIM, with Scootaloo as one of her students (as well as Scoots' partner in crime Sweetie Belle.)
** Cheerilee had a toy called "Go To School With Cheerilee" which had her as a student in school. Come a few years later and she's a teacher.
** Cheerilee was notably requested by Hasbro to appear in the show due to her popularity from G3.
* The plot of "The Ticket Master" is near identical to a ''My Little Pony Tales'' episode ("And the Winner is..") where one of the ponies wins a pair of tickets to a concert and has to choose which friend to take.
* "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS1E7Dragonshy Dragonshy]]" is about the ponies climbing a mountain to deal with a dragon in a cave, which also happened in the G3.5 special ''Twinkle Wish Adventure''.
** In G3, Spike wakes up from a thousand year nap. In G4, dragons are mentioned to nap for very long, possibly a hundred years or even more.
* "Winter Wrap Up" brings to mind the the opening theme to the the 1986 ''MyLittlePony'' movie:
-->My Little Pony, My Little Pony\\
All in a twinkling spring is here.\\
My Little Pony, My Little Pony\\
When did all the leaves and grass appear?\\
Where there were snowdrifts, now there are no drifts,\\
Nor is the sky overcast.\\
My Little Pony, My Little Pony\\
Winter is over at last!
* In one episode of G1, Wind Whistler had her wings tied during a race, like Rainbow Dash in "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS1E13FallWeatherFriends Fall Weather Friends]]".
* [[GodCreatedCanonForeigner Toy line exclusive pony]] Sweetie Swirl, a PaletteSwap of Rarity, is colored similarly to Rarity's G3 incarnation.
* The foal that Rainbow Dash rescues from the well in "The Mysterious Mare Do Well" has the same body color (and a near-identical voice) as Lickety Split, who had a musical number involving someone else trapped in a well in the original movie.
* "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS2E10SecretOfMyExcess Secret of My Excess]]" features a [[ViewerGenderConfusion pony]] named Lickety Split and a mare named Junebug.
* In "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS2E13HearthsWarmingEve Hearth's Warming Eve]]" when Rarity (as Princess Platinum) claims Equestria as her own she christens it Unicornia. Unicornia is the name of the unicorns' kingdom from G3 whose princess is named Rarity.
** Fluttershy's character in the play is named "Pansy", which almost sounds like "Posey", the G1 pony Fluttershy was based on.
* The euphemisms and pony-versions of words characters use come from G1, mainly from European canon. Terms like "Pony feathers!" are the most obvious. Applejack in particular liked to use that term in the British comics, and her G4 {{Expy}} often uses it too.
* "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS2E14TheLastRoundup The Last Roundup]]" includes a pony named Cherry Jubilee. There was a G1 pony named Cherr''ies'' Jubilee.
* ''Party Of One'''s plot is unusually similar to a comic in the British G1 comics called "[[http://ponibooru.413chan.net/post/view/115775 A Surprise For Surprise]]''. In the comic, everypony is ignoring Surprise and telling her to leave them alone. Surprise believes they all hate her and runs off, but it turns out they were throwing a party for Surprise. All the ponies the Mane Cast are based off appear in the strip too.
* Flower Wishes, Daisy's name from the toy line, was also the name of a G3 pony.
* The stunt that causes Rainbow Dash to crash in "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS2E16ReadItAndWeep Read It And Weep]]" is, going by the motions of the onlookers' heads as they follow it, Firefly's trademark double inside-out loop.
* Bizarrely, "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS2E18AFriendInDeed A Friend in Deed]]" gives Daisy Jo, the name of a G3/G3.5 pony, to one of the cows from "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS1E4ApplebuckSeason Applebuck Season]]".
* "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS2E21DragonQuest Dragon Quest]]" has quite a bit in common with the ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyAndFriends'' episode "Spike's Search": They both involve a little purple dragon named Spike leaving behind his pony friends to look for his draconic roots, only to fall in with a crowd of trouble-making dragons, which leads him to decide he's more at home with the ponies.
** One of the dragons, Garble, has the same color scheme as Fiery from G1.
* In "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS2E22HurricaneFluttershy Hurricane Fluttershy]]", during the big tornado scene one can see a male pegasus with the color scheme of Firefly, the G1 pegasus who inspired Rainbow Dash.
** Not to mention Fluttershy being in a hurricane, her cutie mark is butterflies. [[Music/{{MUSE}} Butterflies and Hurricanes?]]
* A pony in "Putting Your Hoof" down - [[http://www.reddit.com/r/listofponies/comments/qpup8/earth_pony_f_coatpink_maneblue_eyesblue/ dubbed]] "[[FanNickname Surf]]" by fans - has a blue mane, pink fur, lightning bolt earrings, and looks like she came right out of TheEighties. She seems to be a ShoutOut to Firefly.
* When Fluttershy is cleaning during "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS1E3TheTicketMaster The Ticket Master]]", she hums the G1 theme song. It's easy to mistake it for the ''Friendship is Magic'' theme tune, since they start the same way, but after the "My Little Pony My Little Pony" part, it clearly follows the melody and beat of the next line of the G1 theme tune ("What will today's adventure be?") rather than the rising "Ah" that follows it in ''Friendship is Magic'', though said beat would eventually find its way into the extended version of the ''Friendship is Magic'' theme ("What is friendship all about?")
* In "Applebuck Season", sleep deprivation turns Applejack into a silly pony. Her G1 incarnation was an earth pony forerunner of Derpy (but with apples instead of muffins). A tie-in record was made during G1's run in the UK, one of the songs being the now-memetic "Who's A Silly Pony".
* King Sombra [[spoiler:is turned to crystal and shattered by the Crystal Heart. G1 villain Lavan was killed when a crystal called the Heart of Ponyland provided the power needed to shatter him (after he'd ''already'' turned to crystal).]]
** He also shares more than a passing resemblance to the original Tirek [[spoiler:who was also killed by exploding.]]
* In "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS3E3TooManyPinkiePies Too Many Pinkie Pies]]", one of the duplicate Pinkies rearranges her ''face'' to look like her ''[[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyG3 G3]] counterpart''.
-->"Bet you can't make a face crazier than ''this!''"
* The advert transition screen from "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS3E2TheCrystalEmpirePart2 The Crystal Empire - Part 2]]" is a large bunch of balloons, which bears a resemblance to the Children's Video Library logo; which is basically ''the very first thing you see'' if you play an original VHS copy of Escape from Midnight Castle.
* The Crystal Ponies themselves, in their crystal forms, resemble a G1 line with the same appearance called the Sparkle Ponies.
** Speaking of Sparkle Ponies, Applejack resembles one when she was covered in glitter in "Apple Family Reunion".
* Babs Seed blows her hair out of her eyes like G3's Toola-Roola (incidentally one of only two of G3's Core 7 to not appear in G4 at all; Starsong is the other).
* In ''Sleepless in Ponyville'', [[spoiler:Rainbow Dash saves Scootaloo from death by waterfall]], like in ''The Runaway Rainbow''.
* In "Family Appreciation Day", a rainbow resembling the one from the franchise's original logo appears above the apple tree. Also, a rainbow flies around the apples, like the Rainbow of Light.
* In issue 9 of the IDW comics, a flyer from Canterlot High clearly states "Bring submissions to Megan, Danny, or Molly". It's referring to the human characters in ''MyLittlePonyAndFriends''. The same flyer has the name "Sundance" on it, a G1 pony who Megan was released with several times in the toy line.
** In the same issue a unicorn who has a strong resemblance to Moondancer from G1 pops up. It's also a kick back to episode 1 of the series, where Moondancer is mentioned.
** In the ''same'' issue, there's also several background instances of members of the Mane 6 telling other ponies about an off-screen adventure that apparently was very similar to "The End of Flutter Valley" from the original series (it involved a Sun Stone and giant bees).
* In ''Winter Wrap-Up'', Derpy goes north to find the southern birds--[[PolarBearsAndPenguins just like Megan and the ponies in]] ''[[PolarBearsAndPenguins Baby, It's Cold Outside]]''.
* One issue of the [=IDW=] comics clearly shows Glory, Surprise, and Firefly.
* As of [[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS4E16ItAintEasyBeingBreezies Season 4 Episode 16]], we have Friendship Is Magic's answer to Breezies, which were originally G3-specific.
* The goat head of the Chimera that attacks Applebloom in "Somepony to Watch Over Me" is vaguely similar to Grogar's head.
* "Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3" documents the creation of the Wonderbolts, lead by "General Firefly". This is, per Amy Keating Rogers, a nod to Lauren Faust's online screenname "fyre-flye", which itself was selected by Faust in relation to the G1 Firefly, who inspired the current generation Rainbow Dash.
* In ''[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS4E23InspirationManifestation Inspiration Manifestation]]'', once again, we see Rainbow Dash dressed in style.
* The BigBad of the season 4 finale, "Twilight's Kingdom", is [[spoiler: Lord Tirek, who is named for (and resembles) the villain of the original WesternAnimation/{{My Little Pony TV Special|s}} "Rescue from Midnight Castle".]] Scorpan is mentioned in Lord Tirek's backstory, and both have designs very reminiscent of their original forms. In a larger sense, this two-parter is a celebration of the 30th anniversary (late by one month) of ''My Little Pony'' as a cartoon franchise. The Rainbow Power used to defeat G4 Tirek is a callback to the Rainbow of Light used against his G1 counterpart.
* The mane colors on Sweetie Drops' [[http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-8pw-F25aHiU/U9EQJBXvtSI/AAAAAAAAICc/ipiyaEqpp3I/s1600/Sweetie-Drops-Rainbowfied-Brushable.jpg Cutie Mark Magic]] brushable toy [[YouDontLookLikeYou more resemble]] [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyTales G1 Bon Bon]] than [[http://mylittlewiki.org/wiki/Sweetie_Drops her show and blind bag counterparts]].
[[/folder]]

!!Other Outside References

[[folder:Season 1]]
* Twilight's last name was changed from "Twinkle" to "[[Literature/{{Twilight}} Sparkle]]". When LaurenFaust was [[http://comments.deviantart.com/4/1603670/2216411631 asked]] if the name was an intentional joke, her [[http://comments.deviantart.com/4/1603670/2216416237 response]] was "It passed legal."
* The Cutie Mark Crusaders are suspiciously similar to the "Pre-Teen Sensations" from ''Literature/AreYouThereGodItsMeMargaret'', even to the point that they are waiting for a physical transformation and are trying all kinds of irrational stuff to make it happen. The entire scene where they are deciding on a name is almost exactly how it happens in the book.
* The first outfit seen in the CostumeTestMontage in episode 1 is very clearly the pony version of the Statue of Liberty. In a later episode, we see the statue proper in Manehattan.
* Twilight calls a lovestruck Spike "Casanova", a reference to the RealLife person.
* Pinkie Pie tries to guess who Nightmare Moon is. Her first guess is [[RockyAndBullwinkle "Hokey Smokes"]]. (She also guesses [[Literature/BlackBeauty "Black Snooty"]].)
** Nightmare Moon's exit from her first appearance in the second episode is a shout out to Maleficent's exit in ''Disney/SleepingBeauty''.
** Even Applejack holding back Rainbow Dash from charging Nightmare Moon, even though it suits the two of them so well it hasn't been the only time, has a clear parallel in the same scene, with Flora (red fairy) holding back Merryweather (blue).
** Nightmare Moon's boasting to Twilight after [[spoiler:shattering the elements]] mirrors a line by Maleficent almost exactly.
** Heck, in the beginning of the second episode, they literally take two lines from ''Sleeping Beauty'' almost word-for-word.
* Twilight Sparkle emits the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fgz_poC0V8Y "transporter energize" sound effect from Star Trek]], at about 18:23 of Episode 2. (For those who don't want to wait for a video that's at least that long to load, and then watch all the way to that point, it's when she opens her eyes and they glow.)
* The manticore has a thorn in its paw. The manticore is part lion. Definitely a shout-out to the fable of ''[[AndroclesLion Androcles and the Lion]]''.
** The part of the manticore scene where Rainbow Dash attempts to create a vortex around the beast is ''very'' similar to a battle in ''{{Bionicle}}'' where Lewa Nuva attempted the same move against the [[MixAndMatchCritters Rahi Nui]] (Which is more or less a biomechanical manticore). In both stories, the creature sticks a limb into its enemy's path and sends them sprawling.
* Luna is given a wreath of red and white roses, referring to the Tudor crest used to symbolize peace after the War of the Roses.
* "Ticket Master" includes a Benny Hill-style chase scene, right down to a Suspiciously Similar version of "Yakkity Sax" playing in the background. Like the original, this BGM has been reused for every wacky chase scene throughout the show, twice so far (although the second one is slightly different and actually even closer to the original).
** "[[Film/TheWizardOfOz There's loons and toucans and bitterns, oh my!]]"
** "And then I said '[[{{Animorphs}} Oatmeal? Are you CRAZY?]]'"
** The title is a nod to the US-based ticket provider Ticketmaster.
* The bunny stampede from "Applebuck Season" is a shout out to ''Film/NightOfTheLepus'', a 1970's horror movie.
** And the shot of them swarming around the fallen pony is a clear homage to ''Disney/TheLionKing''.
** And don't forget the line immediately afterward: [[Film/ApocalypseNow "The horror!]] [[Literature/HeartOfDarkness The horror!"]]
** At the start of the episode, Applejack asks Big [=McIntosh=] "are you saying [[Film/TopGun my mouth's making promises my legs can't keep?]]"
* In "Griffon the Brush Off", when Pinkie Pie wants to hang out with Rainbow Dash, their chase scene mirrors Pepe [=LePew=] shorts in most respects, even down to Rainbow Dash's expressions.
** Gilda yells [[MidnightCowboy "I'm walkin' here!"]] when Fluttershy bumps into her.
* In "Boast Busters", Trixie refers to herself as [[TheAdjectivalSuperhero The Great and Powerful]], but is revealed to be a fraud, much like [[Film/TheWizardOfOz Oz]], [[TheMagnificent The Great and Terrible]].
** The same episode includes Snips and Snails making a ''PinkyAndTheBrain'' reference, and when Rarity demands for a mirror to see the mess Trixie made to her mane, she is mimicking The Joker's mirror scene from Tim Burton's first ''Film/{{Batman}}'' movie.
** The shout out to Batman is even more powerful when you realize Rarity is wearing a purple dress, her face is white and her hair is, well, green.
** Twilight calls Spike [[RomeoAndJuliet "Romeo"]] early in the episode.
* In "Dragonshy", the music that plays during the preparation montage – as well as the montage itself – is a combination of references to ''Series/TheATeam'' and ''Series/CharliesAngels''. Additionally, the music that plays during the girls' journey up the mountain is a variation on the theme for ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings''.
** Also, [[Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer Angel doesn't like Spike.]]
* The "Welcome Princess Celest" banner in "Swarm of the Century" is [[https://twitter.com/M_A_Larson/status/257018107003031552 a]] [[https://twitter.com/M_A_Larson/status/257136540210315264 reference]] to ''Film/TheCommitments''.
** During Twilight's SanitySlippage moment, she suggests [[Film/BlazingSaddles building a replica of Ponyville in less than a minute]] in order to keep Princess Celestia from seeing the Parasprite carnage. (WordOfGod [[https://twitter.com/M_A_Larson/status/208088592516513793 confirms]] the reference.)
** Pinkie Pie, after she saves the day and hears about another parasprite infestation: "Well, [[HaveGunWillTravel have tuba - will travel]]."
** Also, Parasprites are just flying versions of [[Franchise/StarTrek Tribbles]].
** Finally, Pinkie's solution for getting rid of parasprites is just a more insane version of the classic folk tale "The Pied Piper".
*** It's also another version of how [=SpongeBob=] got rid of the wild jellyfish in his house in the episode "Jellyfish Jam."
** There is also a {{Gremlins}} reference: After Twilight and Spike wake up to find the parasprites in big numbers, Spike mentions having fed the original creature during the night.
* "Winter Wrap Up" has an ice skating scene similar to the one in ''Disney/{{Bambi}}'', with Spike taking the place of Thumper and Twilight being Bambi.
* "Call of the Cutie":
** There's a sequence at the end with Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo sitting around a table, with the camera mimicking the round-table shots that ''Series/That70sShow'' is known for.
* Twilight's racing number for the Running of the Leaves in "Fall Weather Friends" is [[Franchise/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy 42]].
* In "Suited for Success", Rarity's [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fSbXGsysAAk musical number, "Art of the Dress",]] is directly based on [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1uwV1Wf8tUo "Putting It Together"]] from StephenSondheim's ''Theatre/SundayInTheParkWithGeorge''.
** Rarity seals herself in her bedroom, shouting "[[GrandHotel I vant to be alone]]!" She does it again in "Green Isn't Your Color".
** During the second fashion show, the background music features multiple shout-outs. In the beginning and end, the music takes cues from "''Music/AlsoSprachZarathustra''". Pinkie Pie's segment takes cues from both ''I Want Candy'' by Bow Wow Wow and the ''Cartoon Cartoon'' music from Cartoon Network. Fluttershy's segment is based off of Claude Debussy's ''L'après-midi d'un faune''
** The opening shot of Rarity's house sure looks a lot like [[FostersHomeForImaginaryFriends another show the creator worked on]].
* The entire sequence where Twilight was stalking Pinkie in "Feeling Pinkie Keen" took multiple aspects from Roadrunner and Wile E. Coyote, including gag scientific names, as well as AnvilOnHead and PianoDrop.
** Early on, Twilight asks Pinkie Pie "What in the wide wide world of Equestria are you up to?", another reference to ''Film/BlazingSaddles'' (the original line in the film was "What in the wide wide world of sports...", a reference to the popular ABC television show of the same name).
** When Twilight flips out, her [[{{Pokemon}} fur turns white and her mane turns into a roaring fire]].
* The "Pinkie Sense" itself is a nod to Spiderman's Spidey Sense.
* The swirling blue "whirlpool" accompanying Rarity's transformation in "Sonic Rainboom" is a reference to [[SwanPrincess The Swan Princess]].
** What happens to Rarity's wings at the end of the episode is a direct reference to the {{Greek myth|ology}} of [[IcarusAllusion Icarus]].
* In "Stare Master", Sweetie Belle makes the comment "who wants a hammer on their flank anyway". As a matter of fact, the Wreckers, the Autobot subgroup from Hasbro's other major property {{Transformers}}, have a hammer over their usual Autobot symbols.
** On top of that, in "The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000", there's a background pony with a hammer [[NorseMythology and a lightning bolt]]. on her flank
* In "The Show Stoppers", Scootaloo's failure to find a decent rhyme, frustrated "NEVER, NEVER!", and piano head-desking are lifted straight from Don Music in ''Series/SesameStreet''.[[note]] A character who was dropped because of concerns that children were imitating this behavior.[[/note]]
** The outfits worn by the Cutie Mark Crusaders for the talent show make them look like the Misfits from ''WesternAnimation/{{Jem}}'' (another famous girls' cartoon from TheEighties).
*** The SoBadItsGood style of the CMC's ThemeSong is also a shout out to the Misfits' musical style, that is off-key screaming metal of the 80s, a la KISS.
** The way the Cutie Mark Crusaders are lit when their song begins is an obvious shout-out to the music video for {{Queen}}'s [[http://www.entertainmentgeekly.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/bohemianrhapsody.jpg Bohemian Rhapsody]].
** The audience's reaction to the performance and its unintentional hilarity is almost directly lifted from ''Film/TheProducers''.
* In "A Dog and Pony Show", the diamond dogs themselves speak in a manner similar to Gollum from ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings'' films, have a gangly appearance similar to Gollum, and even refer to the gems as "precious".
** The name "Diamond Dogs" has got to be a shout out to the DavidBowie album. The title song from that album contains the line "The diamond dogs are poachers, and they hide behind trees". When we first see the dogs, they are hiding in a tree and planning to steal the gems Rarity and Spike are collecting.
** In the cold open, the music is reminiscent of ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'' games while Rarity places rupee-shaped gems on her latest dress. The blue one even flies up from an open chest, much like those found in the games. In a related shout-out to Zelda, the Diamond Dogs are similar in shape to Moblins.
** The music that plays when the girls try to get into the rapidly filling holes takes a few cues from the RiteOfSpring.
** At one point, one of the dogs keeps popping up from different holes while Applejack is trying to catch him, while a soundeffect straight from a Whack-A-Mole machine plays.
** The leader of the Diamond Dogs wears a red vest just like the Grundle King's from the 1986 movie.
* In "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS1E21OverABarrel Over a Barrel]]", when Spike walks off in a huff because the girls keep interrupting his sleep, Fluttershy calls him "[[PuffTheMagicDragon Huffy the Magic Dragon]]". Made all the more bizarre by the fact that Fluttershy says it as if she's deliberately making the reference, and Twilight seems to get the joke. This is immediately followed by a gag used in ''Disney/TheEmperorsNewGroove'' – Rarity getting up angrily and scaring the others with her CucumberFacial.
** One of the background ponies is [[VideoGame/{{Sunsetriders}} a blue stallion with]] [[RealMenWearPink a pink hat]].
** The climactic slapstick pie fight near the end of the episode is almost certainly a ''Film/BlazingSaddles'' reference.
** This episode makes at least two shout-outs to the classic Bugs Bunny short "WesternAnimation/BullyForBugs": both the buffalo from this episode and the bull from the Bugs Bunny cartoon sharpen their horns using a grinding wheel, and the buffalo running into an anvil hidden in a hay bale mirrors the bull running into an anvil hidden behind Bugs' red muleta.
** The scene where the buffalo line up along the edge of the cliff before charging down towards the town is a reference to a Creator/TexAvery short to boot.
** There are a couple widescreen closeup shots of the Buffalo chief's eyes that are very [[Creator/SergioLeone Leone-esque]].
** The name of the apple tree Applejack is tending to is named Bloomberg. The mayor of New York City (a.k.a "The Big Apple") at the time of the episode's airing is Michael Bloomberg.
** At one point before the big battle is about to begin, Rainbow Dash tries to think of something in a manner reminiscent of Winnie the Pooh, tapping her hoof to her head repeating "think" to herself.
* "A Bird in the Hoof" has Angel running around with a watch, and Fluttershy eventually remarks [[Disney/AliceInWonderland "I'm late! For a very important date!"]]
** It also has another "Yakkety Sax" chase-scene, with a ''ScoobyDoo'' [[ScoobyDoobyDoors door gag]] and ''AHardDaysNight'' reference thrown in for good measure.
** The scene where Fluttershy tries to get the bird to take the pill. The tactic of dumping birdseed over it, its manner of eating, and even Fluttershy's [[BreakingTheFourthWall smug fourth-wall-breaking look]] are all reminiscent of [[WesternAnimation/WileECoyoteAndTheRoadRunner Wile E. Coyote's tactics to get the Road Runner.]]
** There are a few moments in this episode inspired by RenAndStimpy, including a [[GrossUpCloseUp single up-close shot]] of Philomena's face with crusty eyes.
** The overall plot of the episode is reminiscent of the scene in ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheChamberOfSecrets'' where [[spoiler:Dumbledore's pet bird burns to ash in front of Harry, and Harry thinks he's in deep trouble until Dumbledore reveals that his pet is a phoenix]]. Philomena even looks a fair deal like [[spoiler:almost dead Fawkes.]]
*** Drilled in when Princess Celestia cheerfully states "lovely, isn't she?" and is still quite cheerful when everyone else is horrified, and is clearly enjoying having fun with the other ponies, Dumbledore-style. She even urges on [[spoiler:Philomeena to quit milking the melodrama and rebirth already, just like Dumbledore.]]
** And during Celestia's brunch at the Sugarcube Corner, right when she announces that she must leave because royal duty is calling, the scene looks very similar to "The Last Supper" from LeonardoDaVinci. (Even the number of ponies on screen is exactly twelve and Celestia makes it 13.)
** The little green hummingbird Fluttershy brings in as a friend for Philomena is [[Creator/ErnestHemingway "Humming]][[VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV way"]].
*** This is followed by another instance of Fluttershy (and Hummingway) singing a tune similar to the theme song.
** Pinkie Pie's introduction has her saying [[TheWizardOfOz "Cupcakes and candies and pies, oh my!"]]
* In "Green Isn't Your Color", one of the photos of Fluttershy shows her in [[Franchise/WinnieThePooh Eeyore's]] signature slump.
* "The Cutie Mark Chronicles" had a scene where Filly Applejack watches a pony version of the Statue of Liberty (linking back to Twilight's outfit in the pilot).
** Filly Rarity also (literally) bumps into a rock that resembles the black monolith from [[TwoThousandOne 2001: A Space Odyssey]], musical fanfare included.
*** This part also brings to mind the scene in ''TheRoadToElDorado'' in which the main duo also come before a great big rock (Rarity's complaints about it have a similar tone to Tulio's) after thinking that it led to their main goal (which in both cases, turns out to be true).
** Filly Twilight Sparkle tries to get accepted into "Princess Celestia's School For Gifted Unicorns" and during the admission exam her magical power violently awakens, turning her into a huge danger for everyone and herself, until Princess Celestia herself manages to calm her down and offers herself as her guide so she could learn how to control her immense magical power. The entire scene is a shout out to Franchise/{{X-Men}}, with Twilight as Jean Grey, Celestia as Charles Xavier and the school itself a shout-out to "Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters".
** "There was no talking. There was no smiling. There were only rocks." Think that type of dystopian narration sounds [[Literature/NineteenEightyFour a bit familiar]]?
** The scene in which filly Applejack starts talking about farm life in her "proper" accent seems to be a shout-out to a similar scene in ''Pygmalion''.
* Spike spends a good portion of "Owl's Well That Ends Well" channeling classic [[LargeHam comedically over-the-top]] [[DastardlyWhiplash cartoon villains]], such as [[DudleyDoRight Snidely Whiplash]] and [[WackyRaces Dick Dastardly]].
** When Spike's looking for a new quill, one of the places he looks is in the shower, where Owlowiscious happens to be bathing. This is likely a reference to the JeanCraigheadGeorge book ''There's an Owl in the Shower''.
** When Spike first sees him, Owlowiscious is looking outside and to look at Spike, [[Film/TheExorcist his head does a 180°]] while the lightning darkens and a scary tune plays. As Spike comments "Dude, that's creepy."
* In "Party of One" during her SanitySlippage, Pinkie Pie voices a pile of rocks that she gives the name Franchise/{{Rocky}} and also a [[Creator/SylvesterStallone certain accent]].
** Not to mention that it "calls" Rainbow Dash "Chump!".
** The Cold Open, where Pinkie goes around town acting as a "singing telegram" is a reference to the movie ''Film/{{Clue}}''.
** At the end of the episode, we can see Spike dance like JohnTravolta in ''SaturdayNightFever''.
* The opening of "The Best Night Ever" has Twilight channeling [[Literature/{{Cinderella}} the Fairy Godmother]] by making a carriage out of an apple and horses out of mice, even adding the stipulation that they'll revert by midnight. The ending also includes a bit about one of Rarity's [[TheGirlWhoFitsThisSlipper glass slippers]].
** Of course, [[spoiler:after seeing how much of a douche her dream prince actually is, she [[DefiedTrope destroys the slipper]], not wanting him to find her.]]
** "I love to [[Disney/SnowWhite whistle while I work!]]"
** The big song is a reference to "Ever After" from ''IntoTheWoods'' [[FridgeBrilliance which is sung in the play right before everything goes south.]]
** During "At the Gala", Pinkie's fellow can-can dancers seem a little [[MichaelJackson zombiesque]] and after Princess Celestia flies over Canterlot, it looks distinctively like [[WaltDisney another company's logo.]]
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1Kmct7PlyY#t=1m20s Fluttershy's bird-call]] is lifted note-for-note from Disney/SnowWhite's song [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2j6HI_dno_U#t=1m22s "I'm Wishing"]].
** Fluttershy's maniacal laughing and mentions of "my pretties" are a direct reference to the [[Film/TheWizardOfOz Wicked Witch of the West]]. It even comes with a characteristic lightning strike.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Season 2]]
* "Return of Harmony, Part 1" features a "[[TayZonday chocolate rain]]".
** Discord [[ActorAllusion is pretty much Q as a]] [[BuffySpeak dragon-pony... thing]]. He even has [[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration Q's]] snap-and-star teleport style, as well as the same voice. Yes, that ''is'' John de Lancie himself.
** Fittingly, the hedge maze itself makes a blink-and-you'll-miss-it allusion to [=DeLancie=]'s career.
** Rainbow Dash's [[spoiler:temptation to go "home" during a quest after seeing it in ruins is similar to the same situation with Samwise in Film/LordOfTheRings.]]
** Discord's HypnoticEyes are on loan from [[Disney/TheJungleBook Kaa]].
** Discord saying "Arrivederci" was [[https://twitter.com/M_A_Larson/status/208432260335144960 inspired]] by a line from ''Film/PeeWeesBigAdventure''.
* "Return of Harmony, Part 2" ends with an [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k4wh4FnwiAg almost shot-for-shot]] homage to the ending of ''StarWarsANewHope'', complete with a SuspiciouslySimilarSong version of the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5N6_NWtVxY Throne Room]] [[TropesAreNotBad music]].
** The same episode features a musical homage to TheEmpireStrikesBack: Compare [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFp3E_Nz1iY&t=16m57s this]] to [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SaVz5djS26c&t=5m23s this]].
** Discord also "Force Chokes" the Mane Cast during the final confrontation.
** One background pony making her debut in this episode has [[VisualPun a screw and a baseball]] for a cutie mark. In older cartoons, such as the Daffy Duck short "Duck Amuck", this was the universal sign for "screwball"
** "The Return of Harmony" as a whole [[http://comments.deviantart.com/4/1603670/2209565004 is similar to]] ''WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls'' episode "Mime for a Change".
* In "Lesson Zero", Twilight suffers from SanitySlippage and starts [[Film/TheLordOfTheRings talking to her reflection in a puddle]].
** When Twilight enchants her Smartypants doll, the Cutie Mark Crusaders say that [[ElvisPresley "I want it", "I need it", and "I really like her mane."]]
** One of the tunes late in the episode, when Celestia is talking, comes from [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s80vveaXhH4 The Kings Speech]].
** Celestia's intervention right when her student's magic has gotten ''really'' out of control is ''awfully'' reminiscent of Yen Sid's saving Mickey from the enchanted brooms in "[[Disney/{{Fantasia}} The Sorcerer's Apprentice]]".
* In "Luna Eclipsed", Mr. and Mrs. Cake are dressed as the pony versions of Raggedy Ann and Andy for Nightmare Night.
** There is a background pony (dubbed "Goldengrape" in the script) dolled up in an apparent homage to JAWS. Another (dubbed "Meadow Song") is dressed as [[MortalKombat Ermac]].
** The eye-shaped Nightmare Night decorations (such as [[http://www.hasbro.com/common/assets/Flash/Creative/dad2af6e1c4311ddbd0b0800200c9a66/0f6b55af5056900b1013cd724a8d4018/assets/props/MLP_PropH_SauronBalloon.swf this balloon]]) are based on the [[Film/LordOfTheRings Eye of Sauron.]] The filename even contains the phrase "[=SauronBalloon=]."
** "Nightmare Night, What a Fright, Give me something sweet to bite!" is a play on the Halloween jingle "Trick or treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat!"
** Twilight disguises herself as Star Swirl the Bearded, 'Father of the amniomorphic spell'. Amniomorphic means "bowl-shaping". So, in other words, a bearded, or, [[StealthPun hairy potter]].
*** Twilight's costume also resembles the Sorcerer in [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XChxLGnIwCU "The Sorcerer's Apprentice".]] Apparently, someone at Studio B likes ''Fantasia''.
** Nearly the end of the episode, Luna comes out of a cauldron filled with green goo. Does this remind you of [[TheNightmareBeforeChristmas anything?]]
** When Luna first appears the background music is a mishmash of classics Disney scare themes and the [[StarWars Imperial March]].
* "Sisterhooves Social" includes a line that parodies GoneWithTheWind: [[spoiler:"As Celestia is my witness, I will never go sisterless again!"]]
** Rarity and Sweetie Belle's parents are rather reminiscent of [[WesternAnimation/{{Recess}} Spinelli's parents]].
** After Applejack and Apple Bloom drive sheep into a corral, one of the sheep says "You could have just asked," referencing a scene from ''Babe''.
* In the bowling alley scene at the start of "The Cutie Pox", you can see pony versions of several characters from ''Film/TheBigLebowski'', including Jesus Quintana, Walter Sobchak, Donny, and the Dude.
** Two of them were later named in a licensed mobile game by Gameloft: [[AscendedFanon Jeff "The Dude" Letrotski and Jesús Pezuña]]. The pony resembling Walter was added to the same game for a winter update, but he was called simply "Bowling Pony".
** One shot inside the Apple family's house features a painting in the background that looks like a pony version of Grant Wood's ''[[AmericanGothicCouple American Gothic]]''.
** The statue that Apple Bloom carves is a direct reference to the Renaissance Italian painting [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Birth_of_Venus_%28Botticelli%29 The Birth of Venus.]]
** After a chess-playing cutie mark appears on her, Apple Bloom plays, and beats, a chess-playing pony who looks an awful lot like [[PixarShorts Geri]].
** Apple Bloom first discovers she's forced to use the talents the Cutie Pox gives her with a tap dancing mark, referring to the Hans Christian Anderson story "The Red Shoes".
** The part where Apple Bloom is diagnosed is awfully reminiscent of a typical ''Series/{{House}}'' scene, team and everything.
* In "May The Best Pet Win!", Rainbow Dash's wing becoming trapped beneath a boulder in a canyon is reminiscent of hiker [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aron_Ralston Aron Ralston]], who was trapped in a canyon for five days when a falling boulder pinned his arm.
** After first failing to supply Dash's need for an awesome pet [[ComicallyMissingThePoint with a bunny]], the next thing she brings out is a [[WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes "puddy tat".]]
** The musical number is [[http://www.allspark.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=83445&view=findpost&p=1953006 inspired]] [[http://www.allspark.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=83445&view=findpost&p=1953008 by]] the ''Film/DoctorDolittle'' song [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10AMqdJUcFY "Fabulous Places"]].
** The flight through the gorge, complete with [[StandardSnippet Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries"]], is borrowed from ''Film/ApocalypseNow''.
** The race is a WholePlotReference to [[AesopsFables "The Tortoise and the Hare"]]. Heck, [[http://www.equestriadaily.com/2012/01/we-ponies-my-little-pony-friendship-is.html the working title]] for this episode was "The Tortoise and the Mare".
** At the start of the episode Opal launches from Angel/Gummy/Owlowiscious's mouth [[http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Franchise/Alien "does that remind you of any other strange creature"]]
* Mare-Do-Well owes a lot to Batman's animated series version. The banners resemble the show's opening logo, and the central plot is a WholePlotReference to ''BatmanMysteryOfTheBatwoman''.
** Going back even further than Batman, MMDW strikes a classic Zorro pose immediately following her first appearance.
** The costume, however, is more similar to WesternAnimation/DarkwingDuck.
** During the Rainbow Dash fan club scene, there's a poster in the background that shows Rainbow flying with a starry background and a rainbow streaming out behind her.
** At a couple points in the episode, Rainbow Dash calls herself [[SpiderMan "Your friendly neighborhood Rainbow Dash".]]
*** ''And'' she says [[{{Underdog}} "There's no need to fear..."]]
** She also rescues the filly in the well with [[Film/ANewHope "I'm Rainbow Dash and I'm here to rescue you."]]
** Rainbow Dash's first attempt to stop the runaway coach resembles Peter Parker's first attempt at stopping the elevated subway in ''[[Film/{{Spider-Man}} Spider-Man 2]]''.
** The crane driver is an earth pony version of the pegasus foreman from "Feeling Pinkie Keen", who might look like [[TheFlintstones Fred Flintstone.]]
* In "Sweet and Elite", a painting in an art gallery is inspired by Creator/SalvadorDali's Persistence of Memory.
** Twilight's awkward dancing at the Canterlot ponies' party mirrors a scene in ''Series/{{Seinfeld}}''.
** The underscore as Rarity soaks Opal in water is a reference to Ravel's famous piece "Bolero".
** The design of the blimp that Rarity helps see off in her musical number evokes [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaLinksAwakening the Wind Fish]].
** The overworked bellhop pony seems to be based on the Squeaky Voiced Teen from ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons''.
* The music in the cold open of "Secret of My Excess" is inspired by [[Disney/{{Fantasia}} The Sorcerer's Apprentice]]. This music recurs several times throughout the episode, including a sequence when Twilight lures Spike back to the library by baiting him with a ''broomstick''.
** The re-shelving scene seems slightly similiar to [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hfahp4J_-_o this scene]].
** In addition to King Kong references above, the presence of a giant rampaging lizard has a tendency to make one think of Godzilla. His roar is almost directly lifted from that franchise.
** The scene where Rarity's tears fly upward as she and Spike free-fall seems reminiscent of ''Anime/SpiritedAway''.
** Twilight teleporting Spike back to her to clean his cheek, yet another allusion to Doctor Who.
** Spike's monstrous corruption after greedily demanding extra birthday presents is similar to the fall of [[Literature/LordOfTheRings Smeagol]].
** Applejack's line "Twilight, get my rope" [[https://twitter.com/M_A_Larson/status/206946823976386560 is]] [[https://twitter.com/M_A_Larson/status/206947977338699776 a]] [[https://twitter.com/M_A_Larson/status/206948599895040001 reference]] [[https://twitter.com/M_A_Larson/status/206948801242595328 to]] a Pace Picante sauce commercial from the '80s.
* In ''Family Appreciation Day'', Apple Bloom gets called "Half Pint" when wearing the same bonnet Laura "Half Pint" Ingalls wore.
** At the very beginning of the episode, Granny Smith is running around in the middle of the night causing a huge ruckus in direct reference to the famous Midnight Ride of Paul Revere.
* The scene in "Baby Cakes" where Pinkie suddenly sees Pound Cake walking along the ceiling may be a nod to, of all things, the film version of ''Literature/{{Trainspotting}}''.
** The following line:
--->'''Pinkie Pie:''' [[Creator/StevenWright The other day I used spot remover on my dog, and now I can't find him!]]
** Pinkie's line about how the crib is only for "[[WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons sleeping, napping, and on occasion, with permission, a pretend old-timey Western fort!]]"
** Also, a bath toy that appears in the episode looks like WesternAnimation/SpongeBobSquarePants.
* A part of the soundtrack of ''Hearth's Warming Eve'' comes from the opening of the ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jsmZeo1Tc9A Exodus]]'' theme.
** The ColdOpen for this episode has the mane cast riding a train into a town while poking their heads out with it snowing around them is a lot like the intro for [[WesternAnimation/SouthPark another cartoon.]]
** The fire of friendship is a heart that looks similar to the background of the intro of ''[[PowerPuffGirls The Powerpuff Girls]]''
* At one point in "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS2E14TheLastRoundup The Last Roundup]]", the chocolate line scene from ''ILoveLucy'' gets [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFj9Cxt4oD8 the pony treatment]], only with cherries.
** Rainbow Dash asks if Applejack met [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wild_Bill_Hickok Wild Bull Hickok]] and [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calamity_Jane Calamity Mane]] while competing at the rodeo.
** The music playing through AJ's training sounded an awful lot like [[Series/{{Bonanza}} Bonanza's Opening Theme]]
** And the one during the Mane 6's search for Applejack in Dodge Junction sounds very similar to the Hammer Bros. theme from ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros3''.
** Several lines/characters in Dodge City bring to mind {{Gunsmoke}}.
* In The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000, Flam calls out Granny Smith on being a chicken, [[Film/BackToTheFuture to which she responds by saying "What did you call me, sonny?", looking backwards with pure anger in her eyes]]. The camera angle is even similar to the Biff scenes.
** "And besides, nopony calls Granny a chicken."
** The Flim Flam brothers look a bit like Harold Hill from ''TheMusicMan'', and their big musical number is reminiscent of the song "Trouble".
** One of the background ponies has a [[NorseMythology Mjolnir]] cutie mark (before [[DependingOnTheArtist switching to a sandwich cutie mark in the very next shot]]).
* In "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS2E16ReadItAndWeep Read It and Weep]]", the ''JustForFun/DaringDo'' book Rainbow Dash reads is based on ''Franchise/IndianaJones'', with the "step on the right tiles" puzzle from ''[[Film/IndianaJonesAndTheLastCrusade Last Crusade]]'' and a direct nod to the ''Film/{{UHF}}'' parody of the idol scene.
** The scene with Rainbow Dash bouncing the ball off the wall was taken right from ''Film/TheGreatEscape''.
** Ahuízotl is the name of a Mexica hueitlatoani (emperor), and also a mythological creature from Mexica mythology: a dog-like creature with hands in its front legs and a hand on its tail.
** The last scene when Ahuízotl caress the kitty comes from [[Film/JamesBond Ernst Stavro Blofeld]].
** Right before Rainbow hits the ground, Pinkie Pie exclaims "Ay-yi-yi-yi-yi!", a la Alpha 5 of ''MightyMorphinPowerRangers''.
** The mental patient who sneaks out of a hospital to indulge in the latest hijinks elsewhere. Now, are we talking the barking pony, or [[Series/TheATeam Murdock?]]
** The music playing when Rainbow Dash is contemplating whether to pick up the book is a homage to The Never Ending Story.
** A subtle one, but the entire episode is about a ReadingRainbow!
* Cranky's snowglobe in "A Friend In Deed" is clearly based on the one from the infamous final episode of ''StElsewhere''.
** One of Pinkie's guesses as to what the "C" in C.D.D. stands for is [[TheMarxBrothers "Chico"]].
** Cranky's name and species, as well as the ending music, are a giant reference to the song YankeeDoodle, particularly the first verses. Likewise, Pinkie's "Cranky Doodle Donkey" song is a reference to "Yankee Doodle Boy" from ''YankeeDoodleDandy''.
* The music that accompanies Iron Will's first appearance in "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS2E19PuttingYourHoofDown Putting Your Hoof Down]]" is a play on Eye of the Tiger from ''RockyIII''.
** The music that plays when Fluttershy [[spoiler:realizes her assertiveness has gone too far]] is almost exactly like [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1d4C1ZQKmw4 The Lonely Man]] from the ''Series/TheIncredibleHulk''. What is more, it plays as Fluttershy walks down a road slowly, away from the camera.
** Iron Will says "I pity [[FunetikAksent da]] [[JustForPun foal]]" at one point, a shout out to Creator/MrT and his {{catchphrase}}.
** [[ALoadOfBull Iron Will]]'s seminar is in the middle of a corn maze, which is a ClassicalMythology ShoutOut to the story of Theseus and the Minotaur.
** Fluttershy's way of dealing with Mr. Greenhooves overwatering her petunias just might be a reference to [[http://youtu.be/Kd4jSTBhYDw L'Arroseur arrosé]], the first comedy film ever made.
** Pinkie's haggling and later her handling of Iron Will when coming to collect his fee from Fluttershy [[RabbitSeasonDuckSeason would make Bugs Bunny proud]].
** This episode's premise is similar to the ''WesternAnimation/SpongebobSquarepants'' episode "Walking Small". The writer also worked for that series.
* In "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS2E20ItsAboutTIme It's About Time]]", Twilight Sparkle [[Franchise/MetalGear wears a headband, an eye-patch, and sneaks around in a black bodysuit]], and her time-travelling spell is reminiscent of the ''Film/{{Terminator}}''.
** The music playing during her conversation with herself (both in the beginning of the episode, and when the same scene is revisited at the end) is a remix of "I am the Doctor", a piece of ''Series/DoctorWho'' music. Also, Future Twilight's appearance is preceded by a sound similar to the one heard when the TARDIS materializes. (A key being rubbed against a piano string, incidentally.)
** When Twilight, Pinkie and Spike circle around to where they started while sneaking around the Canterlot Archives, Spike says "[[Music/TheWall Isn't this where we came in?]]"
* "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS2E21DragonQuest Dragon Quest]]"'s [[VideoGame/DragonQuest name]].
** One of the teenage dragons resembles a [[WesternAnimation/HowToTrainYourDragon Gronkle]].
* In the episode ''Hurricane Fluttershy'', Spike asks Twilight Sparkle what a squirrel says. She says, "[[PowerpuffGirls Do I look like I speak squirrel?]]".(Twilight Sparkle is voiced by Tara Strong, who also voiced Bubbles)
* In Ponyville Confidential, Rarity asks Sweetie Belle [[Creator/GaiusJuliusCaesar "Et tu, Gabby Gums?"]].
** [[CitizenKane Citizen Tiara]], anypony? Diamond Tiara addresses the rest of the students from behind a podium in front of a giant-sized portrait of herself, and turns the Foal Free Press into a success based on yellow journalism. Fortunately for her, she's still young enough to avoid Kane's DownerEnding and learn from her mistakes... [[StatusQuoIsGod maybe]].
*** Her scenes also contain nods to John Jonah Jameson of the Daily Bugle from {{Spiderman}}.
* "[=MMMMystery=] On The Friendship Express is direct homage to [[spoiler:MurderOnTheOrientExpress]], and borrows several plot elements, including the ending.
** Donut Joe's antics as Pinkie imagines them are based off the ''Film/JamesBond'' series of films. Gustave is portrayed as a DastardlyWhiplash-type villain, and Mulia is portrayed as a [[Creator/AkiraKurosawa Kurosawa]]-esque ninja.
* Andrew Francis is a captain of the guard, Kathleen Barr voices an evil queen commanding a legion of insectlike creatures... [[{{Bionicle}} seems familiar...]]
* The Changeling Queen's plot to take over Canterlot is similar to Ursula's plot to take over the sea in Disney/TheLittleMermaid. Both disguise themselves as [[spoiler:the bride, both possess the bridegroom, and both get a VillainSong where they sing about their plans into a mirror!]]
** [[spoiler:The end of the fight scene between the Changelings and the Mane 6 resembles that of one of the shows Lauren [[WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls previously worked on]].]]
** [[spoiler:The False Princess Cadance's OneWingedAngel transformation into Queen Chrysalis seems to [[Disney/SleepingBeauty take a few pages out of Maleficent's book]].]]
** The manner in which [[spoiler:the Changelings are defeated seems reminiscent of the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-RHPmpOM_V8 Stardust film adaptation.]]]]
** Or possibly the way [[spoiler:[[GGundam Domon Kashu and Rain defeat the Devil Gundam]] with the [[ThePowerOfLove Sekiha Love Love Tenkyoken]]]].
* The way Shining Armor's shield looks and works is quite reminiscent of the shield that was put up to protect [[Franchise/HarryPotter Hogwarts]] in ''Film/HarryPotterAndTheDeathlyHallows, Part 2''.
* When [[spoiler:impostor]] Cadance is singing her half of the duet, we see the chandelier in her chamber--straight out of the {{Myst}} library.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Season 3]]
* In the [[http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=946725347899 preview clip]] for "The Crystal Empire", Pinkie Pie's night-vision goggles look quite a lot like the ones worn by [[VideoGame/SplinterCell Sam Fisher]], only in gold and yellow. Also, when Pinkie startles two of the Crystal Ponies, when she says "A spy?! How did they know?!", if you listen carefully you can hear a very slight musical cue that sounds awfully similar to the ''Film/JamesBond'' theme.
* The first episode deals with a magical kingdom that has a powerful device/object that is hold sacred by its inhabitants. Suddenly, an evil man/creature tries to seize this power to himself and ultimately corrupts the land because of his evil heart, turning it into a wasteland and the castle into his tower, leading the goddesses to seal him away only to return after many years and try to seize this power once again. Gee, [[Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda where have I heard this before?]]
** The powerful object is also [[SuperPaperMario a crystal shaped like a heart]].
*** And the place where it resides looks like [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eiffel_Tower another tall structure]].
** The scene where the crystal heart returns and protects the city is similar to the ending of AtlantisTheLostEmpire, right down to the magic force field.
* The whole plot actually shares a lot of elements from Atlantis. The city's general layout, the fact it was lost for a long time, amnesiac citizens, a missing page in the otherwise complete guidebook to the civilization, which details how the power crystal which protects the empire works. Uh huh. Totally a coincidence.
* Shining Armor's appearance when he arrives at the station may pretty well be the ''Franchise/StarWars'' ShoutOut one can find in every season opener.
* A crystal palace growing out of a chilly Arctic ice desert [[Franchise/{{Superman}} has been done before]].
* King Sombra's horn tip being sheared off by Cadance's magical barrier is somewhat reminiscent of ''Film/TenaciousDInThePickOfDestiny''.
* The Crystal Heart, when it powers up, shares the same sound effect as the [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUvR2PhElc0#t=02m59s Proton]] [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WzLobQxY6gg#t=0m34s Pack]] from {{Ghostbusters}}.
* The circle of crystals that Twilight gets trapped in towards the end of part 2 seems rather reminiscent of the bubble of destructive magic Odette and Jean Bob are trapped in towards the end of ''TheSwanPrincess: The Mystery of the Enchanted Kingdom''.
* The pony who declares "She is correct!" after Twilight gives the square root of 546 during "The Failure Song" is named [[BillNyeTheScienceGuy Professor Bill Neigh]].
* In One Bad Apple, during a montage, a (slightly modified) rendition of Series/TheATeam theme can clearly be heard.
* When Babs occupies the CMC's treehouse, Sweetie Belle cries like [[KidsNextDoor Numbuh 3]]
* In the opening of One Bad Apple, one of Apple Bloom's outfits includes glasses with [[{{Transmetropolitan}} one rectangular lens and one round lens]].
* Twilight's training with Zecora in "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS3E5MagicDuel Magic Duel]]" shares some similarities with the one [[TheEmpireStrikesBack Luke]] once went through, taking place in the [[TheLostWoods local lost woods of sorts]], having a mentor who puts a lot of emphasis on concentration and likes to [[RhymesOnADime talk funny]], down to the training itself involving levitating objects while standing on water - and failing due to similar distractions. Not to mention that Trixie's dark cloak and red magic aura make her look very much like a Sith Lord.
** The whole episode centers around a powerful magical object that slowly drives Trixie insane, [[Literature/TheLordOfTheRings just like a certain golden ring drives a hobbit insane]].
** The Mayor being stuck in a cage in the center of the town surrounded by evil brings [[VideoGame/{{Diablo}} Deckard Cain]] to the minds of many viewers.
** Ponyville is trapped beneath a dome, where nopony can get in or out? A power-hungry leader taking full advantage of everything? The hero is cast out and unable to help? The entire town is in fear and powerless against said leader? Said leader has a vendetta against the protagonist? [[UnderTheDome Quite a few have caught the similarities to a certain book and television adaptation...]]
*** This is also a reference to {{The Simpsons}} movie.
* In "Sleepless in Ponyville", the scene where Scootaloo tries to run away from the Headless Horse is reminiscent of the last part of Disney's ''TheLegendOfSleepyHollow'' and the final shot of Scootaloo and Rainbow Dash flying is similar to the final shots of the Superman movies.
** Heck, the title is a nod to ''Film/SleeplessInSeattle''.
** Princess Luna [[Film/{{Inception}} comes into ponies dreams]].
* [[WholePlotReference Wonderbolt Academy is very]] ''Film/TopGun''.
** The mustached instructor pegasus accompanying Spitfire very closely resembles a pony version of Viper from Top Gun.
** Pinkie's subplot with the mailbox brings to mind an episode from [[WesternAnimation/SpongebobSquarepants another show]] Merriwether Williams wrote for.
** Pinkie Pie appearing right behind the other ponies ''while they were still watching her from a distance'' could be seen as a nod to [[Manga/JojosBizarreAdventure Dio Brando]]who was able to move and appear great distances while people's eyes were still trained on him, or even move victims.
** Even though, the roles of protagonist and TheRival (and loyal second) are inverted from ''Film/TopGun'', and Lightning Dust's attitude toward team flying is more like Maverick, her mane nonetheless bears a more than passing resemblance to [[TheEighties Iceman's haircut]].
** Spitfire's DrillSergeantNasty speech at the beginning of the episode is evocative of Gunnery Sergeant Hartman's from ''Film/FullMetalJacket''.
** [[Film/TheWizardOfOz "IT'S A TWISTER!"]]
** One of Spitfire's uniform badges closely resembles the rank insignia from the ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' episode "Future Imperfect", while the three red pips underneath it are very reminiscent of the stars worn by [[Literature/HonorHarrington Royal Manticoran Navy]] officers to denote their previous hyperspace-capable starship commands.
* "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS3E8JustForSidekicks Just For Sidekicks]]" starts with Spike singing a variant on Creator/BillCosby's [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3trDL5MWlw "Dad is Great"]] song.
** Spike tying up all the animal companions into a ball form and rolling them around can be seen as a nod to the ''Katamari'' games.
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keep_Calm_and_Carry_On Keep Calm and Flutter On]].
** "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS3E10KeepCalmAndFlutterOn Keep Calm and Flutter On]]": The living tableware scene is a pretty clear [[Disney/BeautyAndTheBeast Beauty and the Beast]] shout out, down to the design of the gravy boat.
** Discord's [[ExactWords "making himself at home"]] involves a [[{{Film/Inception}} room rotating on itself.]]
* The season finale episode [[Music/TheBeatles Magical]] [[MagicalMysteryTour Mystery Cure]]
** "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS3E13MagicalMysteryCure Magical Mystery Cure]]": In the opening musical number two stallions lift Twilight down from a table where she was dancing and she runs forward. It's very reminiscent of the big dance scene at the end of ''DirtyDancing''.
*** The whole opening number is reminiscent of the opening of ''Disney/BeautyAndTheBeast'', with Twilight taking Belle's place on a morning walk through town.
*** Its ending is highly similar to the end of the Temporal Cold War arc of ''StarTrekEnterprise'', [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XaMTaQypino as seen here]].
*** The name of the episode itself is a shoutout to the album [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magical_mystery_tour Magical Mystery Tour]] from a [[Music/TheBeatles certain well known band]].
*** The music for the episode borrows heavily from classic Hollywood and Broadway musicals.
*** "Morning in Ponyville" bear a more than passing similarity to "Oh, What a Beautiful Morning!" from ''Theatre/{{Oklahoma}}''.
*** "Celestia's Ballad" is reminiscent of Disney {{Award Bait Song}}s.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Season 4]]
* The Tree of Harmony has a strong resemblance to the [[Film/TheLordOfTheRings White Tree of Gondor]].
* When the sun and the moon are both in the sky at the same time during the season premiere it bears a striking resemblance to the sky seen during the Sekigahara conflict in VideoGame/SengokuBasara.
* The third episode is entitled [[Franchise/{{Castlevania}} Castle-Mania]] and features the [[VideoGame/CastlevaniaLordsOfShadow Pony of Shadows.]]
* Episode four featured Ahuízotl once again with a {{Mayincatec}} culture as well. One of the artifacts was called the "Tenochtitlan basin"[[note]]Tenochtitlan was the capital city of the Mexica empire, although they mispronounced it, since it's "teh-nosh-tee-tlan"[[/note]]. Dr. Caballerón's appearance and approach to archaeology mirror those of Indiana Jones character René Emile Belloq, who also sold artifacts for personal profit, and the whole episode is inspired by IndianaJonesAndTheKingdomOfTheCrystalSkull.
** Daring Do's nome-de-plume is a spoof of Creator/JKRowling.
** Also if you look at the cover of the new book at the end of the episode you can see that Rainbow is wearing baseball cap making her Daring Do's [[Film/IndianaJonesAndTheTempleOfDoom Short Round]]
* Episode 5:
** A blink-and-you-miss-it of [[Series/DoctorWho Time Turner standing with Roseluck]].
** They show up again in Episode 16, this time with Time Turner [[Recap/DoctorWhoS28E12ArmyOfGhosts wearing 3D glasses]].
** A training montage that includes [[Franchise/{{Rocky}} a lot of running, punching, climbing stairs and cheering on top of them.]]
* Episode six, Power Ponies, features a spoof of Film/TheAvengers and JusticeLeague. The main villian, the Mane-iac, is a parody on [[Franchise/SpiderMan Dr. Octopus]], [[Franchise/{{Batman}} The Joker and Poison Ivy]] (and possibly [[WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls Sedusa]]), Pinkie has super speed, akin to Franchise/TheFlash, Fluttershy loses her temper like The ComicBook/IncredibleHulk, Rainbow Dash controls the weather like [[Franchise/XMen Storm]], Applejack has a lasso like Franchise/WonderWoman, Rarity has a gem that creates shiny things like Franchise/GreenLantern, and Twilight has a freezing beam ([[WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls like another show had]]). Spike is merely put as [[Franchise/{{Batman}} Robin]], and although his character was just there for comic relief, and also as TheLoad and a TagalongKid, he ended up being TheChessmaster due to his insight on the comic books themselves.
* Episode seven, "Bats!" features a scene with Rarity in a special suit trying to catch a bat. The bat spits out an apple that lands on her "helmet" and licks the juice off it, like in TheEmpireStrikesBack, where Leia is attacked by a winged monster while inside an asteroid.
** Pinkie yells "[[Film/SesameStreetPresentsFollowThatBird follow that bat]]"!
*** Pinkie's scream of "run for your lives!" is similar to the one Denethor said in [[Film/TheLordOfTheRings The Return of the King]].
** The ponies have [[Franchise/{{Batman}} light signals]] to use if something fishy goes on.
** Let's see. Trying to brainwash critters into not destroying your crops, only to develop the urge yourself (with InvoluntaryShapeshifting to go with it)? [[WesternAnimation/WallaceAndGromit Sounds familiar]].
* In [[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS4E8RarityTakesManehattan "Rarity Takes Manehattan"]], Rarity improvises a new fashion line out of drapes, rugs and other objects in her hotel room, similar to the way that Maria made play clothes for the Von Trapp children out of the drapes from her room in ''Theatre/TheSoundOfMusic''.
** The stallion Rarity gives a flower to has a [[https://derpibooru.org/514373 cutie mark that looks like Grumpy Cat]].
** Another stallion [[http://derpiboo.ru/515878 appears to be a 4chan reference.]]
* A FreezeFrameBonus happens in "Pinkie Apple Pies" when a [[https://derpibooru.org/523302?scope=scpec79c9a7bd84e92ab2f7d07fba281ebbd88154736 ponified Slenderman pops up in the background for a few frames]]. [[https://twitter.com/MMeghanMcCarthy/status/422483110215696385 Meghan McCarthy herself has admitted she had no idea about this one]], meaning it was likely a joke put in by a rogue animator.
** [[VideoGame/SeriousSam Also]], [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rAd9rZirhw "AAAAAH yourself"]].
** The song "Apples to the Core" starts with random things hitting the wagon leading up to the music, like a certain [[AGoofyMovie father and son trip to a fishing pond did]].
* In [[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS4E10RainbowFalls "Rainbow Falls"]], [[{{Franchise/Rocky}} Mickey Goldmill]] trains the Wonderbolts.
** The Wonderbolts get an ATeamMontage with the same music as the previous examples.
* [[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS4E11ThreesACrowd "Three's A Crowd"]]:
** The song sequence has plenty of references, some moving so fast that you could easily miss them:
*** When Discord asks for codfish oil, the cod bears a striking resemblance to Big Mouth Billy Bass.
*** Discord, Cadance, and Twilight dressed in [[Literature/HarryPotter Hogwarts uniforms]] (complete with Twilight in glasses).
*** Discord, when asking for lozenges, standing in a hilly field with a pony in lederhosen playing the sousaphone, like the Ricola ads.
*** [[Disney/{{Pinocchio}} Discord wishing upon a star]].
*** [[Disney/{{Aladdin}} Discord rubbing a familiar lamp]]... while blue... singing the ListSong... [[DerangedAnimation with wild and almost random things popping up and around him and the two ponies...]] and the mess disappears at the end of the song in a whirlpool of color.
*** [[Franchise/StarWars Discord holds up the glass in a triumphant fashion in space, while Twilight and Cadance look on]].
*** [[{{Flashdance}} Discord pouring water on himself]].
** Discord's song itself sounds like it could belong in a GilbertAndSullivan production.
** Discord at one point dresses like the HunterSThompson-inspired character Raoul Duke played by Johnny Depp in ''Literature/FearAndLoathingInLasVegas'', down to the shirt, glasses, and hat. (This being a kid's show, the cigarette is replaced by a lollipop.)
** Discord folds a map into a paper hat and puts it on Twilight's head, reminding some viewers of Woona from the {{Blog/Moonstuck}} tumblr blog.
** The Tatzlwurm is basically a [[Film/{{Tremors}} Graboid]], with three prehensile tongues and an equal number of jaws. It also reminded a lot of people of [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker Molgera,]] which was itself inspired by the Graboids.
** After the Tatzlwurm's attack, and Discord reveals he's well, he comes out in [[RiskyBusiness just a shirt and a pair of underwear]].
** Discord's thinking tree looks like something straight out of a DrSeuss drawing.
** Discord's preferred method of travel looks like it came from [[Film/ThreeHundred Xerxes']] engineer's notepad.
** When Twilight and Cadance are blasting the Tatzlwurm, their horns make the same sound as a [[Series/DoctorWho Dalek's laser]].
** Discord, getting sick for real, is similar to [[Disney/TheSwordInTheStone Mad Madam Mim]]'s own defeat by illness. Additionally, he breaks out into spots in a similar manner to Mim's own symptoms.
** That Tatzlwurm isn't the only giant worm that [[VideoGame/MassEffect3 defeated a god-like entity.]]
* Pinkie Pride's opening song "Pinkie the Party Planner" has Pinkie singing and the town singing back, which is very similar to "Belle" from ''Disney/BeautyAndTheBeast'',
** Pinkie sings "dale dale dale, no pierdas el tino, porque si lo pierdes, pierdes el camino", which is the typical song that Mexicans sing while a kid[[note]]it's not like in movies and TV shows, when kids form a group and bully on the thing with each carrying a stick. The actual piñata-breaking is done one by one[[/note]] flings his stick trying to hit the piñata.
** Young Cheese Sandwich is a reference in/joke to WeirdAlYankovic's earlier image when he had poofy hair and glasses.
** Also most of Cheese Sandwich's lyrics in the final showdown are in Polka form, which WeirdAlYankovic is infamous for.
** The hat and poncho Cheese Sandwich wears in the beginning of the episode is reminiscent of a hat and poncho worn by one of [[Creator/ClintEastwood Clint Eastwood's]] [[Film/AFistfulOfDollars most iconic roles.]]
*** The Western shout-outs keep coming, as HighNoon is name-dropped later and Pinkie declares, "make it [[ThreeTenToYuma 3:10 to Goof-Off!"]]
* In "Leap of Faith", Silver Shill resembles [[Film/BackToTheFuture George McFly]].
** One of the injured ponies is wrapped entirely in bandages while also wearing sunglasses over his eyes, a 'la Film/TheInvisibleMan.
* In "Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3":
** Filthy Rich pays Big Macintosh with a [[PulpFiction glowing briefcase.]]
** Pinkie Pie [[TheFreshPrinceOfBelAir begins to rap]] to tell the story of the Wonderbolts. [[{{Retraux}} The image quality gets lower and is no longer widescreen]], as if it was [[TheNineties recorded on a VHS tape]].
** Afterwards, when Rainbow Dash tries to do the rap herself, she [[https://derpibooru.org/594423 emulates]] Music/SnoopDogg's famous dance from the "Drop It Like It's Hot" video.
* ''[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS4E23InspirationManifestation Inspiration Manifestation]]'':
** The sequence when Spike takes the book from the pedestal is played out very similarly as to when [[Disney/{{Aladdin}} Aladdin takes the Genie's lamp from the Cave of Wonders]].
** Another one occurs when Rarity exclaims that she's so excited. Spike's response? "[[Series/SavedByTheBell I'm so scared.]]"
** Rarity's insistence on keeping the book brings to mind a certain [[Literature/TheLordOfTheRings character obsessed with a ring.]]
** The puppeteer, while voiced like WCFields, is dressed very much like Gene Wilder's [[Film/WillyWonkaAndTheChocolateFactory Willy Wonka]] down to the orange and purple colour scheme.
** The crystal armour Rarity gives Spike looks similar to the armour worn by the titular robot of the ''Franchise/MegaMan'' video games.
*** Or the Diamond Armour from ''VideoGame/{{Minecraft}}''.
** The magically-augmented birdhouse has a [[Creator/HarlanEllison shoe closet]].
** Let's see: something that increases your creativity, but at the same time increases your dependency? [[Litterature/TheTommyknockers Where did I heard that before?]]
* ''[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS4E24EquestriaGames Equestria Games]]'':
** When Spike sees his crystal statue, he imitates Creator/BarbraStreisand from ''Film/FunnyGirl'' saying, "Hello, gawgeous."
** When Spike's unable to light the torch, Twilight notes [[Film/{{Apollo13}} "Equestria, we have a problem."]]
** Spike's recital of the Cloudsdalean anthem was not unlike [[Creator/RowanAtkinson Rowan Atkinson's]] [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oWGZdYNpaSo recital of Ode To Joy]] or [[Film/TheNakedGun Frank Drevin's attempt at the National Anthem]].
*** And the pan across the horrified audience is from ''Film/TheProducers''.
** Technical issues at the opening ceremonies aren't unheard of since the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympic Games also had technical issues in their opening ceremonies.
** The costume of the female representative from Maretonia resembles one worn by [[Film/ThePhantomMenace Queen Amidala]].
* ''[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS4E25TwilightsKingdomPart1 Twilight's Kingdom, Part 1]]'':
** For a long time, the villain is reduced to a weakened form, shadow of his former self, and then he sustains himself by preying on unicorns... wait, are we talking about Lord Tirek, or [[Literature/HarryPotter Lord Voldemort]]?
*** You might as well add in [[Anime/DragonBallZ Cell]] too.
** When Tirek first steals power from the unicorn stallion, [[Film/TheGodfather the barrel of oranges he was carrying spills out onto the street]].
** Discord makes his entrance à la Film/MaryPoppins.
** He performs the typical shout out to ''Film/{{Patton}}'' when addressing the Mane Six while in a highly decorated military uniform (while wearing DouglasMacArthur's corncob pipe, ironically enough).
** He also takes off on Blythe Baxter's electric scooter from ''WesternAnimation/{{Littlest Pet Shop|2012}}''.
** The way he avoids Tirek's attack is by splitting his head in two, much like [[Film/Terminator2JudgmentDay the T-1000]].
** Tirek refers to Discord's role as friend to the Mane Six as "pony [[Film/ApocalypseNow errand boy]]."
** When Discord hauls in some captured ponies with a fishing line, he is dressed ''exactly'' like [[Film/{{Jaws}} Quint]].
** The screechy sound of Tirek's devouring power is the shriek of the Film/{{Aliens}}' queen.
** The flag of Maretonia looks like the artificial [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palm_Islands Palm Islands]] in Dubai.
** The way Discord and Tirek set up a magic show to drain magic out of the entire audience in the theater is reminiscent of Creator/HPLovecraft's short story "Nyarlathotep" -- "...and in the sputter of his sparks there was taken from men that which had never been taken before yet which shewed only in the eyes."
* ''[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS4E26TwilightsKingdomPart2 Twilight's Kingdom, Part 2]]'':
** A brief one, but Twilight Sparkle letting Owlowiscious go is similar to ''Film/HarryPotterAndTheDeathlyHallowsPart1''.
** When Discord and Tirek capture the Mane 5 and Spike, Discord notes that he [[TheWizardOfOz got her little dragon too]].
** The final battle against Tirek is obviously gleaning from ''Anime/DragonBallZ''. Which also makes it an OutOfGenreExperience.
** Just before the big fight, Twilight's takeoff from the ground is similar to Superman taking off in ''Film/ManOfSteel'', including with the rocks shaking moments before she blasts off.
** Another shout out to Superman's comics and movies is how a crystal piece (in this case a chest) buries itself on the ground and makes a large, fully formed crystal building to emerge.
** When Twilight [[spoiler: saves Owlowiscous from the library before it is destroyed by Tirek, and sends him off flying to safety]], it's much like the sequence in {{Avatar The Last Airbender}} where Aang faces off against Fire Lord Ozai and sends [[TeamPet Momo]] flying off to safety. The fact that both Tirek and Ozai are both RedAndBlackAndEvilAllOver really stresses this point further.
** Twilight getting stuck in a rock crevice is one to ''Manga/OnePiece'' as Luffy has a bad habit of this happening during fights with a BigBad. Unlike Luffy though, Twilight can just teleport out.
** The throne room in Twilight's castle has a low dais reminiscent of the [[KingArthur Round Table]] at its center, surrounded by thrones for the Mane Six [[TheOneGuy and Spike]].
*** Spike's smaller, less ornamented (i.e., no cutie mark) throne next to Twilight's is a bit like the throne of the [[Franchise/TheLordOfTheRings Steward of Gondor]].
** When using his power, Tirek manifests a fireball, hovering between his curved horns. This makes him resemble {{Comicbook/Hellboy}}, who would [[http://i.imgur.com/qLtvztG.jpg manifest a fiery crown hovering between his curved horns]] on the occasions that he tapped into his full power as the Prince of Hell.
*** It's also been pointed out by fans that the fireball looks similar to [[http://i.tcgplayer.com/59828.jpg the gem between Nicol Bolas' horns]] from MagicTheGathering.
*** It also somewhat resembles the Eye of Sauron from the ''[[Franchise/TheLordOfTheRings Lord of the Rings]]'' trilogy.
** The Mane Six's Rainbow Power is similar to the "Sailor Planet Attack" in ''Sailor Moon'', even replicating the overhead shot as the ponies power up.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:No Celebrities Were Harmed]]
* Hoity Toity is a clone of German designer Karl Lagerfeld (with Tim Gunn's accent).
* Photo Finish is ''Vogue'' editor Anna Wintour (with Karl Lagerfeld's accent).
* The manly tennis player pony ("[[FanNickname Ace]]") in "Call of the Cutie" and "Luna Eclipsed" is based on Andre Agassi (before he started shaving his head).
* The backstage manager at the Best Young Flyer competition ("[[FanNickname Lucy]]") in "Sonic Rainboom" who later appears as a unicorn with a different cutie mark in "Putting Your Hoof Down" is based on [[Series/ILoveLucy Lucille Ball]].
* Mulia Mild's name, career, and voice are all based on Julia Child.
* The Royal Wedding of Shining Armor and Princess Cadance is a shout out to the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, down to the red coat and blue sash that Shining Armor wears (not to mention the ''shamrocks of the Irish Guards'' on his collar!) and the timing of the episode (close to Will and Kate's 1st anniversary).
** Gets even more obvious, when you realize that the AnimationLeadTime is one year!
* [[http://andypriceart.deviantart.com/art/My-Little-Pony-issue-1-Cover-A-and-B-322494026 Cover]] [[http://i.newsarama.com/images/MyLittlePony-01-CvrB.jpg B]] (and by extension, the [[http://www.midtowncomics.com/store/dp.asp?PRID=1231790 Midtown Comics]] [[http://amymebberson.tumblr.com/post/32541492661/mlp-1-variant-cover-for-midtown-comics-derpy-can variant cover]]) of the upcoming Issue #1 of [[ComicBook/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicIDW IDW's comic books]] includes a cameo by The Hoof Beats, who appear to be the pony equivalent of Music/TheBeatles.
* The ponies from TheHub's WebGames ''[[http://www.hubworld.com/my-little-pony/shows/friendship-is-magic/games/mlpfim-ponymaker The Fabulous PonyMaker]]'' and/or ''[[http://royalwedding.hosting-hasbro.com/fashion.html Rarity's Bridal Boutique]]'' can [[http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=330044987044590 look like]] Music/LadyGaga if the player designs them that way.
* In episode "Putting Your Hoof Down", the motivational speaker (and minotaur) Iron Will is voice-acted to mimic and parody Anthony Robbins, life coach and motivational speaker.
* One of the background characters was eventually dubbed "Time Turner" by the staff after fans noticed he looked like David Tennant's portrayal of The Doctor from ''Series/DoctorWho''. A few of his appearances (and one of his collectible cards) directly reference lines or scenes from episodes in which Tennant played the Doctor.
** Expies of the Doctor as portrayed by John Pertwee, Peter Davison, and Matt Smith have also appeared in-show, and they have the same cutie mark as Time Turner.
* In "The Last Roundup" there are several shout out to the classic western series {{Gunsmoke}}. The city of Dodge Junction is named after Dodge City and Cherry Jubilee bares a strong resemblance to brothel owner Miss Kitty.
* The title [[spoiler: and the plot]] of "Filli Vanilli" is in reference to the 90s band Milli Vanilli, who lost their Grammys due to having someone else sing their songs behind the scenes while the two frontmen took credit.
** The Ponytones may also be a ShoutOut to a South African band named The Parlotones.
* Coco Pommel's name and looks are based on Coco Chanel.
* Cheese Sandwich IS WeirdAlYankovic, to the point of looking exactly like him and even being voiced by him.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Collectable Card Game]]
The trading card game is loaded with references:
* A few references to the grandfather of the [=CCG=] genre itself, ''MagicTheGathering'':
** The ultra-rare card [[http://ponyhead.com/cards/209 Heart's Desire]], which gives a player a big one-shot boost of action tokens for winning a face-off, is clearly inspired by the infamous GameBreaker [[http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=600 Black Lotus]]. The flavor text even quotes a pony named Lotus Blossom saying, "The black variety of this herb is particularly rare!"
** The flavor text for [[http://ponyhead.com/cards/cn145/pie-family-rock-farm Pie Family Rock Farm]] makes a reference to the mechanically-similar card [[http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=247316 Howling Mine]].
** The first expansion is named "Canterlot Nights", possibly in reference to Magic's first, "Arabian Nights".
* The [[http://derpicdn.net/img/2013/12/4/489246/large.jpeg Dr. Hooves]] (aka Time Turner)'s card has a subtitle "Unblinking", referring to the episode "Blink" and, more subtly, the Weeping Angels, which appeared in that episode.[[note]]The Weeping Angels are statues which will attack anybody in sight, but are immobile as long as they're being looked at. Blinking gives them just enough time to move.[[/note]] The flavor text of the card includes an apparent nonsense string of letters, but since has been revealed to be a Sharky’s Vigenère cipher, using the key word "WHO", and translating to "BAD TIMBERWOLF", a play on both the MLP Timberwolf creatures and the Doctor Who arc word "Bad Wolf".
** The second Dr. Hooves card in the Canterlot Nights expansion is subtitled "Just In Time", and has flavor text alluding to the Doctor's original meetings with Amy Pony (though played here by Roseluck), about the Doctor being 12 years late, from "The Eleventh Hour".
* The [[https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BeHg-h4CUAE08TD.jpg:large Brown Parasprite]] card's flavor text asks [[MontyPythonAndTheHolyGrail "What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen parasprite?"]].
* The flavor text of [[https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BdjGv3KCUAAkfmp.jpg:large "Royal Guidance"]] includes the quote [[Film/{{Spider-Man}} "With great power comes great responsibility."]]
** In the same vein, the flavor text of [[https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Bb3apSoCIAAkEBK.jpg:large "Foal Free Press"]] has the quote "Pictures! I want pictures of ponies!"
* Some of the cards related to Pinkie Pie, such as [[https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Bc3pPuxCEAABg6P.jpg:large "Ridiculous Outfit"]] quote from her [[TheArtOfWar "The Art of Fun"]].
* There is an event card titled [[Anime/SonicX Gotta Go Fast]].
* One of the Problem cards is called "[[Recap/StarTrekS2E15TheTroubleWithTribbles The Problem With Parasprites]]"
* Pipsqueak's card flavor text is a [[AChristmasStory warning about having an eye poked out with a Red Rider sword]].
* The flavor text on Snips' card is "[[AreYouPonderingWhatImPondering Are you pondering what I'm pondering?]]". Snails' card, in reply, "[[PinkyAndTheBrain I think so, Snips, but burlap chafes me so.]]"
* "Joe's Doughnut Shop"'s flavor text, "''Do you have any bear claws?'' - Cheese Sandwich", is a reference to "Albuquerque" by Music/WeirdAlYankovic (who voiced Cheese Sandwich). Another card, "Critter Stampede" quotes Cheese Sandwich with another line from "Albequerque", "''Hey, you've got weasels on your face.''"
* Photo Finish's card has a subtitle of [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UIIuzXjEBLA "Picture Perfect Pony"]], Golden Harvest's card in the Canterlot Nights expansion is [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2z5eizH0u1I "Beyond Her Garden"]].
* "Purple Waters" flavor text is not-so-very subtle about it's nod to the band PinkFloyd. (Even adding the common surname for Roger Waters.
* Cloudchaser's card comments on how "Stormwalker" could have been a cool name; this is a nod to an error made in the "Elements of Harmony" book that named her as "Stormwalker", a leftover from the animation resources.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Other]]
* Even the ''advertising'' for the show gets in on this.
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pTPqjKk_xCo This commercial]] features "Equestria Girls", a commercial-exclusive Pinkie Pie song, which is a direct riff on [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F57P9C4SAW4 "California Gurls"]] by Music/KatyPerry (ft. Music/SnoopDogg).
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rKjBViIt-y8 This commercial]] features part of [[Film/{{Meatballs}} "Are You Ready for the Summer"]] as sung by Pinkie Pie, [[WesternAnimation/DanVs Dan]], and [[WesternAnimation/TransformersPrime Megatron]].
** There's also [[http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=244821235535321 this billboard]] [[http://www.equestriadaily.com/2011/06/pony-billboard-sighted.html in Los Angeles]] that is a parody of a billboard advertising ''Film/{{Bridesmaids}}''.
*** That was followed by [[http://www.equestriadaily.com/2011/10/new-billboard-on-october-3rd.html a new ad on the same billboard]] parodying Film/{{Poltergeist}} to promote the second season.
** And in the vein of older iPhone commercials... [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p50-oWY1pFE There's a pony for that.]] It even includes a pony for fan-blog [[http://www.equestriadaily.com/2011/07/high-quality-theres-pony-for-that-video.html Equestria Daily]].
** And now there's a new ad parodying ''MadMen'' in the [[http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-lYppZHD4A6M/TwnP5Npti2I/AAAAAAAACTE/_MzEmNBOoOs/s1600/image.jpeg Los Angeles newspaper]].
** And Now We have [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmzRSKArGOU this]]:
--->'''Narrator:''' Without them the Grand Galloping Gala would be neither Grand nor Galloping. They are [[Advertising/TheMostInterestingManInTheWorld The Most Interesting Ponies in the World]].\\
'''Pinkie Pie:''' ''(in a Spanish accent)'' I don't always watch tv, but when I do, I prefer ''My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic''.\\
'''Twilight Sparkle:''' Stay pony, my friends.
** For Easter Sunday in 2014, there was [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZtNGcdhXlSE a commercial for a Hub Sunday Sing-Along]]. What better way to do it than to have Pinkie TitleDrop a song from [[Disney/{{Frozen}} the movie phenomenon that brought sing-alongs back thanks to its astounding popularity]]?
-->'''Pinkie Pie:''' So get ready to [[CrowningMusicOfAwesome let it go]] and sing your heart out!
* The [[TheMerch officially licensed shirts and bags]] have a lot of shout outs. [[http://www.welovefine.com/product.php?id_product=905 This shirt]] is inspired by illustrator Hajime Sorayama, and may also be a reference to [[SugarWiki/RobotUnicornAttack something else]]. It should be noted, however, that the shirts by We Love Fine are not designed in-house by Hasbro, but instead by designers who specialize in pop culture, as well as featuring contest-winning designs submitted by fans.
* Pretty much any town or city mentioned in the show and/or shirts other than Ponyville is a direct reference to some location from real life. Canterlot is based on Camelot and Canterbury, Fillydelphia on Philadelphia, and so on.
* In the Season 2 finale, Spike is shown playing with wedding cake figures of Princess Cadance and Shining Armor. Guess which two ponies are going to be in an upcoming play set together?
* [[http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-7l4DuhsDAHY/T9fryT92qHI/AAAAAAAAtGI/tcn5pk32HtA/s1600/3.jpg A poster]] that showed up at Hasbro's booth at a licensing expo was adorned with, in [[Film/ThisIsSpinalTap familiar]] writing, the caption of ''This is Vın̈yl Scratch''.
* Pinkie Pie in general is a ShoutOut to the ''WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes''.
* In the comic detailing the Nightmare Forces attacking Ponyville, you can briefly see Time Turner/[[FanNickname DoctorHooves]] holding a [[DoctorWho Sonic Screwdriver.]]
** Also his trading card (which was where his name was first revealed) declares him to be a time keeper. In charge of 'keeping Ponyville's clocks in sync, setting the hourglass for cider competitions, and pretty much all things [[TimeyWimeyBall timey-wimey']].
** The name Time Turner may even be an alias, since in the official guide, his name is listed as Doctor Hooves. Due to the whole 'Timey-Wimey' bit, it may be inferred that either this is a different iteration of the character, or he may have changed his name if he regenerated. Fanon, after all, holds that Doctor Hooves ''is'' The Doctor himself!
** In "Zen and the Art of Gazebo Repair", Time Turner is seen holding a pocket watch out to Derpy, saying [[Recap/DoctorWhoS29E8HumanNature "This watch is me."]]
* Fluttershy's Cutie Mark resembles the shirt Hannah, Sid's sister, wore in the original ''ToyStory''. The only major difference seems to be they have blue instead of purple on them.
* WordOfGod reveals that Discord ''was'' inspired by [[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration The Next Generation]] character Q. (some Fanon declares them to be one and the same).
[[/folder]]
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