* AngstWhatAngst: The ponies that were transformed into [[BalefulPolymorph baleful ponymorphs]] and were made to assist Tirac bring in TheNightThatNeverEnds sure don't seem too broken up about it at the end of ''Rescue from Midnight Castle''.
** FridgeHorror comes into place. Considering the later incarnations, maybe they've just become used to horrible things happening to them. (Or they just don't remember any of it).
* AnimationAgeGhetto: Thanks to this, people are still surprised at how dark the first special was almost thirty years after it was made.
* {{Anvilicious}}: The anti-drug message of ''Escape from Catrina'' is... unsubtle.
* ClicheStorm: As good as the original special was, it is also this. An EvilOverlord is trying to TakeOverTheWorld and only a PluckyGirl KidHero and her RagtagBunchOfMisfits friends can stop him using a powerful {{Macguffin}} given to them by a absent-minded wizard.
** The same goes for the follow-up.
* ComplainingAboutShowsYouDontWatch: It's MyLittlePony. This was inevitable. These also sometimes get this treatment from fans of the [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic newest incarnation]].
* CompleteMonster: [[BigBad Tirek]] is a [[VileVillainSaccharineShow surprisingly vile creature]] from a show that's supposed to be a little girl's show. A demon of a centaur, Tirek was the ruler of the Midnight Castle, and planned to send Dream Valley into a state of eternal chaos. To do so, he used a sack containing magical spells in it to essentially torture and transform young ponies into his hideous, winged dragons which he could then use to pull his Chariot of Darkness. He's also amazingly violent. This is shown whenever his henchman Scorpan [[YouHaveFailedMe failed him]]. He would threaten to have Spike's [[OffWithHisHead head cut off]] if he ever screwed up again, which makes it even more disturbing in that Spike was a child, and therefore it meant that he [[WouldHurtAChild had no limits to who he had to hurt in order to get his way]].
* ContestedSequel: To a lot of fans either everything that came after these two specials, or just anything after ''Rescue from Midnight Castle'', period.
* EarWorm: a good chunk of the songs are very catching and will stay with you long, long after you've watched these. In particular the opening themes.
** ''Shoo be doo shoo shoo be doo!''
* EnsembleDarkhorse: Firefly. Spunky tomboy with guts and attitude? Check. Being voiced by Sandy Duncan also doesn't hurt.
** Mr Moochick: this character is fondly remembered by many fans of the series as one of its finer points. Being voiced by Tony Randall probably helped.
** Applejack, too, considering she was only in "Midnight Castle" but later got a song and a few generations later became one of the main characters of ''[[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic Friendship is Magic]]''.[[note]]Of course, this was in part due to legal reasons. Applejack is apparently the only pony from G1 that Hasbro kept the trademark for.[[/note]]
** Tirek is also surprisingly popular with the ''Friendship Is Magic'' fans. [[spoiler:The creators eventually brought him back in said series.]]
** Medley, Bow-Tie, Glory, Twilight, Moondancer, and Ember all have garnered their place amongst fandom.
** And of course Habbit, the Moochick's long-suffering rabbit assistant.
* FanPreferredCouple: [[TomboyAndGirlyGirl Firefly and Medley]] have been gaining a bit of support in more recent times.
* FirstInstallmentWins: ''Most'' of G1 fans consider ''Midnight Castle'' (and sometimes ''Catrina'') to be high point of the cartoons that were made at the time. With its slick animation, [[VileVillainSaccharineShow menacing and competent villain]] Tirek, AntiVillain Scorpan, and awesome climax...it's not difficult to see why.
* GannonBanned: It's Rescue ''at'' Midnight Castle not Rescue ''from'' Midnight Castle.
* GirlShowGhetto: Uh-huh.
* GirlsNeedRoleModels: The likely reason for Megan's existence. She's quick, spirited, and despite her own fears happens to be TheChosenOne who saves the day from EvilOverlord Tirek.
* HePannedItNowHeSucks: Expect anyone who dislikes ''Midnight Castle'' to get this treatment, even if they did have a well thought-out reason why.
* HypeBacklash: A lot of fans hype these two specials up a lot as proof that not all of the G1 cartoons were terrible. Expect this to happen from time to time.
* MemeticMutation: The Seaponies and their "Shoo-be-doo, Shoo-Shoo-be-do!"
* MoralEventHorizon: Tirek crosses it in his whole pans. He even coined the trope TheNightThatNeverEnds.
** Catrina almost crosses this when she attempts to kill a Bushwoolie and Baby Moondancer. Rep saves the former, and regarding the latter, he stops her and makes her change her ways just in time.
* SacredCow: ''Midnight Castle'' is this to G1 fans without doubt. ''Catrina'' to a lesser extent.
* SeinfeldIsUnfunny: To a lot of [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic FiM]] fans. Though these specials were pretty edgy for MyLittlePony at the time, the current incarnation has taken everything these specials were and made them the standard for the franchise.
* {{Shipping}}: With the advent of ''Friendship is Magic'', shipping and HoYay has become a popular phenomenon in the pony fandom. So pairings like Firefly and Medley, Bowtie and Applejack, [[CrackPairing Megan and Scorpan]], Twilight and Moondancer, and of course Catrina and Rep have begun popping up.
* SomeAnvilsNeedToBeDropped: Though the delivery of the Anti-Drug [[AnAesop aesop]] of ''Catrina'' was [[{{Anvilicious}} heavy-handed]] and [[FantasticAesop fantastic]], one can still appreciate it, since [[DrugsAreBad drugs really are bad]] for both the mind and body.
* SoOkayItsAverage: Tends to be the lowest opinion of these specials.
** SoCoolItsAwesome: Tends to be the highest opinion of these specials.
* TastesLikeDiabetes: Well ''duh''.
** Played with, actually. We mustn't forget about our CompleteMonster of a bad guy who gets ''[[FamilyUnfriendlyDeath torn to pieces]]'' at the end.
* TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodCharacter: In ''Midnight Castle'', both Tirek and Scorpan.
** The former was a ''very'' EvilOverlord with intentions of ushering an [[TheNightThatNeverEnds age of eternal darkness]] and thus rule Ponyland and possibly Earth for eternity. To do it, he put the local enchanted creatures through [[PainfulTransformation painful transformations]] and constantly [[KickTheDog kicks]] his right hand goat-man, Scorpan around without relent and with threats of [[OffWithHisHead decapitating]] his only friend Spike. Scorpan himself was formerly a prince who had previously been enslaved by a previous conquest by this guy. He only got one half-hour to show his stuff, and he spent most of that time sitting on a throne.
** As for Scorpan, while the special itself did make great use of him as a rare MyLittlePony AntiVillain / AntiHero ('''Type II''') who unwillingly serves his evil master inspite of his own good nature. He ultimately undergoes a HeelFaceTurn once Tirek has [[TheDogBitesBack kicked him a few too many times]]. After this, he is never seen again and he never undergoes anymore CharacterDevelopment.
*** Once he actually undergoes the HeelFaceTurn, he accomplishes precisely bugger-all.
** Most of the ponies, too. Firefly, despite all her WolverinePublicity during G1, never appeared again in the cartoons. She would have made a perfectly fine protagonist for [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyTheMovie the movie]] and [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyAndFriends series]], however Hasbro wanted to [[MerchandiseDriven promote the newer toys]].
* ToughActToFollow: If you start watching the G1 cartoons starting with these, you may be less than impressed with anything that followed after.
** Perhaps a bit unfair. Though it would take until G3 for the animation to get back to the original's quality, many of the series villains are quite menacing and the likes of Grogar and Lavan could give Tirek a run for his money.
* TrueArtIsAngsty: Tends to be considered among the best things put out by the My Little Pony franchise because of its darkness.
* ViewerGenderConfusion: Applejack is still a girl in ''Midnight Castle'', but the gravelly voice can make it hard to tell.
* WhatDoYouMeanItsForKids: A mild example, but no one who flipped onto the station to watch this could've have expected to '''''BEHOLD THE POWER OF DARKNESS'''''.
* WhatDoYouMeanItWasntMadeOnDrugs: To some viewers, the Sea Pony dance number exemplifies this.
* WinTheCrowd: Pretty much why these were created.
* TheWoobie: Scorpan, Spike, and Ember is the first special.
** Rep, Sundance, and Baby Moondancer in the second.
* WhatTheHellCastingAgency: PaulWilliams as Catrina's henchman.