Fluttershy showing Fluttercruel who's the boss then singing her to sleep! Fluttercruel was very wrong to call Fluttershy weak.
And she keeps Fluttercruel around for rehabilitation. Conquering a foreign personality that stands against everything you represent, and letting her keep her own consciousness to make her a better being is not something just anypony can do. And it works.
Works so well, in fact, that Fluttercruel is eventually able to manifest an Element of Kindness. Bonus points to Fluttershy for sowing the seeds of her own salvation by showing kindness to Fluttercruel.
Pinkie Pie gets one of her own in her story of the same series by defeating Angry Pie, a fractured part of her psyche representing her unexpressed pain and anger over what Discord put her through, inside her mental plane. How does she do it? By merging with her Pinkamena personality, and forming Surprise to fend her off, then merging with Angry Pie itself to become a cohesive personality far more stable than anything Pinkie proper has been since the Rainboom.
Also counts as one for the author, for making the new more stable Pinkie Pie still…Well Pinkie Pie! She's certainly more stable and sane, but still her zany, Cloudcuckoolander self!
Wollffeey deserves credit for her awesome voice work during Pinkie's chapter, managing to make each of Pinkie's personalities distinct.
Applejack takes the cake in her own story by being able and willing to stare directly into the Well of Forever, a pool of knowledge that tells all uncomfortable truths as a way to cope with her Brutal Honesty issue with Discord. This is quite a feat on its own, but then she tops herself by jamming her hoof into the pool's safety mechanism when her self control starts to waver, and stares down the Truth until she is forcibly cut off, and she's still game for another round. She spends the night at Canterlot Castle to decompress and the very next day, still with a torn up hoof, she takes it upon herself to use her new insight to help everypony she can get to reassert themselves, and hits a half dozen before sundown. Who is best pony?
One of the things she sees is what happened if Apple Bloom hadn't escaped Sunny Town. The alternate Applejack finds out and pretty much goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge, destroying the town singlehoofedly. Do not mess with Applejack's little sis!
One of the other things she sees is a subtle one. She sees Twilight, during one of the moments that Discord let her remember the past just so she'd suffer more, wrote something down and hide it from him. The next scene has Twilight Tragedy's memories of her past life restored, seemingly without Discord's knowledge, and talking to Apple Bloom and Octavia's descendants. This implies that Bad Future!Twilight manages to somehow out think Discord using his own trick!
Another thing she sees is Future Badass Twilight facing down what's implied to be death!
Furthermore, while talking to Nightmare Whisper, Applejack hints that Twilight is possibly the pony destined to defeat Death.
Rarity fights her PTSD of gems. Not by magic. Not by inner turmoil. But by simply powering through it one psychological step at a time. It's not flashy, but according to Word of God, it's their favorite of the first reharmonized chapters because of the lack of flash.
Twilight gets one in Trixie's reharmonizing by keeping her wits about her through Loneliness' illusion of an insane asylum and catching the fact she'd said her THREE friends, not SIX had brought her there. Loneliness hadn't mentioned Princess Celestia at all, and both things any real doctor taking care of an insane pony would know about her, but Trixie wouldn't.
Trixie gets one by finally breaking free of Loneliness' spell, and coming out of Discord a better pony than when she came in, completely obliterating Loneliness in the process.
The audio adaptation takes this Up to Eleven with the music and the imagery. Loneliness' voice actor also deserves one for just how menacing her performance is!
Luna actually gaining control over her identity as Nightmare Moon when Discord's games threaten to turn her into a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds. And then it's shown that she sent Twilight's letters, due to her sister being Discorded into a useless child, and floats it right under his nose, because "Why the hell not?"
Luna wasn't as lucky as Applejack when she looked in the Well Of Forever, but by taking the full brunt of it and learning the entirety of all Truth and The Multiverse, it's a wonder she's hasn't completely lost it. Consider that she had the entire millennium that she was banished, including the fate of everyone she knew revealed to her in eidetic detail to mull over, and the What Could Have Been. Possibly advance information on Nightmare Moon, depending on how the timeline breaks down.
One of the thing she learns is that G1 Mimic threw down with Discord after he broke down the Rainbow of Light into the Elements, and kicked his teeth in. Granted, it was the last thing she ever did as a solid state of matter, but there's a good reason he only has the one fang.
The fanfiction version makes it even more epic by explaining that Mimic succeeding in wounding Discord served as a Hope Springs Eternal, inspiring Celestia and Luna as well as awakening the Element Of Magic, setting the stage for Discord's downfall. On top of this, Discord had told her that there's no way she could so much as scratch him. After she does, knowing he's going to kill her regardless, she says this;
We finally see this moment in all its glory in "Origins". Its every bit as epic as it was hinted to be, made even more so because Mimic was Celestia and Luna's mother and she went Mama Bear on his flank. And she gets the satisfaction of not only being the only mortal pony to harm Discord in such a way he couldn't heal from it, she manages to utterly destroy his Smug Snake facade for the entire fight without even touching him:
Mimic: One more thing Discord. I think I should tell you. You know the rainbow that connects this world with the world of humans?
Discord: Oh yes. Lovely place. I intend to visit there after I'm bored with this dump.
Mimic: Don't pack your bags. Megan on her side, and Celestia on our side shattered it. You'll never torture another human again.
Meanwhile, during her reign with Celestia, Luna bests a resurrected Tirek on her own for the position of "Bringer of Night and Moon" and claimed his demonic chariot as spoils of war, the one she used to crash Nightmare Night in Ponyville. And it's used for joyriding.
Fluttercruel and Pinkie Pie subduing and calming down the berserk Rainbow Dash. Even more impressive is that Fluttercruel manages to do it non-violently! Well, non-violent for Fluttercruel, anyway. Pinkie Pie's profound yet still in character story is also a big moment for her.
Zecora is the only pony known to shake off Discord's influence under her own self control, and the Manes have to hold her to going to a doctor because she doesn't want them to spend time on her when there are other ponies worse off.
Alexwarlorn, the author, rewrote the opening of the Fluttercruel Reprise chapter to canonize with Luna Eclipse in a matter of hours.
And rewrote four chapters to fit the reveals of "Sisterhooves Social"!
Applejack, Pinkie Pie and Trixie breaking themselves out of Princess Gaia's mind control without magical aid.
How they do it is particularly awesome and perfectly in character: Applejack allows her knowledge of the pool of truth to snap her out immediately, as well as use the truth to fight the illusions. Pinkie Pie uses her Medium Awareness and memories of her Battle in the Center of the Mind to remind herself that something was wrong, and that no matter what, her memories of the best times is enough. And Trixie, well, she gets a little intervention from her Imaginary Friend. "What's with the mallet? What do you mean you're sorry?" WHAM!
Ditzy Doo (Derpy Hooves) going Mama Bear on Princess Gaia's birds to protect Dinky, using a mop as a quarterstaff! Do not touch her little "Muffin" if you know what's good for you!
And she NEVER gives in to Gaia. This display of motherly determination and protection causes Luna to publicly give her the title of "'Greatest Mother and Strongest Willed Pony In Equestria'".
And Pipsqueak being unaffected by the birds because it's implied Luna kept sending creatures of the night (an owl, a swarm of bats and some night-crawling insects) to drive the birds away from her first post-moon friend. She also keeps him safe from the brainwashing fog by having a legion of spiders barricade his door with webs. And even before that, she has given nightmares to his bullies.
It is also implied that Luna may have poured a bit of herself into Pipsqueak, which means he may actually have done all that himself!
The various allies of the Mane Cast doing their best to fend off Princess Gaia's animal army. This includes highlights such as the Wonderbolts managing to take out a full grown dragon and Trixie's mother Morgan taking part in the defense of her hometown.
Especially of note is Philomena as the One-Man Army in protecting Canterlot by incinerating anything that gets close. The royal guards are stunned in fear and awe.
Worth noting especially is Fluttershy's voice actress, who manages to do her Discording point in such a way that it's both absolutely chilling and completely heartwrenching without overselling it. She also deserves props for being able to deliver Fluttershy and Fluttercruel with the same voice but managing to make them sound like completely different characters based entirely on how their lines are given.
The whole Boss Battle against Nightmare Whisper. If NW wants to destroy Applejack, she'll have to get through everypony else first. And the others won't give up in their attempt to save Fluttershy, regardless of how much pain or injury they suffer. Especially Rarity, who fights half the battle using telekinesis to move her own broken legs!
The mane cast end it by summoning the Elements of Harmony? Awesome. Summoning them WITHOUT the Elements themselves?! EPIC!
Not to mention Pinkie guiding Twilight to Nightmare Whisper by using her Pinkie Sense to tell her where the Nightmare's attacks are going to strike, allowing Twilight to dodge them by moving in a set pattern using the floor-stones as a grid.
On top of that, Pinkie intentionally screws up one of her directions for a moment, because if Twilight had gone there immediately, she would have been hit.
Twilight finally breaking out of her Heroic BSOD with an epic"World of Cardboard" Speech. Followed by the rest of the mane cast (minus Trixie) and Fluttercruel giving equally as awesome ones and summoning the Elements of Harmony.
Fluttercruel's return from the Void. She severs herself from Nightmare Whisper, gains her cutie mark, and is revealed, to everypony's surprise, to be a second Element of Kindness. And after Nightmare Whisper tells her that, as a being created by Dissonance, she's likely to be destroyed by being a part of the Element's purification technique she says one thing:
Fluttercruel: At least I can say I went out with a bang.
Nightmare Whisper and Fluttercruel's Stare Off probably counts. Even more impressive is that Fluttercruel wins!
In the last part of "Pearl Necklace", Fluttershy manages to stand in front of a huge crowd and give a speech. As if that weren't impressive enough for a shy Pegasus like her, somepony who still holds a grudge on her throws a rock, nailing her in the head. It takes both of the Flutters to manage it, but they barely flinch and continue the speech.
Alright, it was All Just a Dream, but seeing Celestia use her full-power to defend her subjects from the now evil Luna and winning was pretty awesome, even if she was the Hero Antagonist at the time.
Princess Celestia: I have had a thousand years to prepare for another rogue Alicorn little sister. I hoped and prayed it would not be you. But I am more than ready. ORION!
Applejack and Orangejack growing to accept their differences, realizing that their similarities are more important than those differences, and standing united to battle Nightmare Mirror. Bonus points to Orangejack for calming herself down, fighting with her head, and trading verbal jabs with Mirror, despite never being in actual battle before, let alone versus a Nightmare. Then it turns out that Orangejack can bear the Element of Generosity.
Applejack calling alternate versions of herself that can bear the Elements of Loyalty, Magic, Laughter, and Kindness and thus invoking the Elements to defeat Nightmare Mirror counts as well.
Even more impressive? Luna, and quite a bit of Nightmare Mirror's own words, imply Applejack saved multiple worlds, or at least multiple versions of herself, from Nightmare Mirror by defeating her.
Easy to miss, but We see Twilight Tragedy manage to get through to Greedity and make her perform a Heel-Face Turn.
This absolutely epic piece of fanart for Trixie's Discording. It was also used for the Audio Adaptation.
Sweetie Belle telling off Silver Spoon's mother for calling the Cutie Mark Crusaders urchins and considering them too lowly to be Silver Spoon's friends. She tops it off by ending it on a completely polite note.
Sweetie Belle: My big sister owns Carousel Boutique; we sell to Canterlot and super-stars! Apple Bloom's family founded Ponyville! Scootaloo is apprentice to Best Young Flyers' Reigning Champion and world record holder for Sonic Rainbooms! (forces Scootaloo and Apple Bloom to bow along with her) Madam!
The Cutie Mark Crusaders, Spike, and Silver Spoon managing to travel through time. Keep in mind this is a group of fillies and a baby dragon who manage to do travel through time on accident.
Golden Tiara/Screwball's escape attempt, including effortlessly circumventing the security system including two electric fences, making the orderlies and doctors look like fools. Also she beats a Cockatrice so easily it seems like she's planned it out ahead of time: 1 Closes her eyes. 2 Runs AT it. It's not used to that. 3 Grabbed it's neck and head. 4 Ran for a river, which she could hear even with her eyes closed. 5 Faced it down towards the water and forced its' eyelids open. It is promptly Taken for Granite.
While "Generational Transitions" has quite a few, one impressive one is Pinkie fusing the spirit of her deceased best friend Minty with G1 Twilight, creating Twilight Sparkle. Let's put this in perspective, Pinkie, intentionally or not, is personally responsible for The Hero!
The survivors vs Strife.
The author himself get's an awesome moment for somehow managing to make the friggen' G3 ponies look absolutely Badass.
Strife vs Celestia.
From the Optional Canon, we get Cadence. You know how Cadence is a Badass Princess in Canon? Well, in this universe, she defeated Havoc, a GOD of Social Fears (well his avatar) all on her own. The indication from Celestia being that this was the only plausible explanation on how she managed to be reborn into the POV Universe.
Worth noting is that this carries off of Origins, where Cadence performed a You Shall Not Pass on Havoc to allow her three sisters to escape to Equestria.
It's an Alternate Timeline, but Shady: Line of Fate has Luna managing to pull Shady into Discord's nightmare as a result of Surprise accidentally triggering her magic falling on her in her sleep. Thanks to Shady's intervention, Good!Discord is able to summon Destruction's power, supercharged with his memories of his friends and family, against Evil!Discord using Havoc's avatar's power. It's outright stated that Havoc's power should have still won out against Destruction's, but Good!Discord's bond with his family made it powerful enough for the two to cancel each other out instead, taking Evil!Discord with them.
It's a minor example and nothing comes of it, but one has to give credit to Dr. Hoof Wave in "Different From Everypony Else", where it's shown that within minutes of encountering Discord, he managed to accurately deduce his family situation and diagnose it as the cause of his insanity and cruelty. And this is after it was shown that his colleagues have no real respect for his methods, proving that he's a bit of a Bunny Ears Doctor. Of course, Discord being Discord, afterwards he immediately discords the unfortunate Hoof Wave into a nihilist who doesn't even believe that rational thought exists.
Considering that it's been like a nightmare for years without hope, for the griffons still to have the moral and internal fortitude to still do an I Am Spartacus is very admirable. (Even if Traitor Dash still might have seen through it)
Queen Cadence vs the Mane 6. Queen Cadence gets some hits, but does a good job of showing why the Goddess of Harmony is not to be taken lightly. Highlights include using Fluttercruel's own weapons to electrocute her, tricking Twilight Tragedy into being rendered unconscious by lightning, and using Rarigreed's own rock armor to defeat her.
Just to clarify, she takes on all six of the corrupted Element bearers, and wins. She even manages to restore Twilight to her non-discorded state. Unfortunately, Discord himself then sneak attacks and kills her, before re-discording Twilight.
The play performed by the Sea Ponies actually deconstructs the Evil Overlord List, showing exactly how the items on the list can fail, and even a Genre Savvy Evil Overlord can be hoisted by his own petard.
Dark World!Twilight finally freeing herself from Discord's taint with Cadence/Trixie's help after a thousand years of being Discord's slave/toy. And she caps off her She's Back moment with an epic"World of Cardboard" Speech. It's honestly one of the most epic moments in the entire fic, and that's really saying something.
Twilight: I leave behind Tragedy, Master's tool, I leave behind Sparkle, Discord's toy, I am simply Twilight The Unicorn. I am me. I have magic to do and tragedies to face. I'm done hiding in the cage I've made for myself and those around me…I'm finally free. And I have some friends to make.
When trying to get Liarjack to see the light, Apple Bloom enlists a little help from one of the gods. Which one? Celestia's father! The wise father of all Alicorns. Talk about going to the top for help!
We get another moment with Epilogue!Applejack escaping Like a Badass out of Hell from Entropy's realm, thanks to the power of Love Redeems with her sister Apple Bloom. And it's only here that she is able to finally accept the Element of Kindness as her new self.
While it's an Offscreen Moment of Awesome, it's still worth mentioning. Laughter!Applejack's world is one where Destruction didn't cause the end of civilization during G2 but the paradise of G3 never happened. This results in a world were an Ancient Conspiracy is keeping Earth Ponies in the dark about Unicorns and Pegasi, Pegasi are keeping the Unicorns in the dark about Griffins, and Dragons and Alicorns are keeping themselves hidden from everyone. And a group of Stallions In Black erase memories to keep up The Masquerade. Well Laughter!Applejack's version of the Mane Cast (with Pinkamena not having an Element but still being a big help) while still in high school, manage to completely tear down the masquerade, destroy the Stallions In Black's organization, and apparently have several other misadventures. Even though we only hear about it, it's still awesome.
Another example worth mentioning is Magic!Jack. Yes; that's right; apparently there's a universe where Applejack is injured so badly in an accident that she can never applebuck again, so she turns to books, takes an interest in magic, and learns how to perform Unicorn-style magic, to the point that she becomes the Element of Magic. That shouldn't be possible, which makes it even more awesome.
In Dark World 10, Twilight, AJ, and Rarity get Derpy patched up, and then help her permanently get rid of the crow constructs Discord created to pursue her and Dinky. They use a giant tornado to suck the crows and the dirt generating them up and throw them through a dimensional tear into Ponythulu's domain. And then send a tip for baking them into a pie. Oh, and Derpy is the new Element of Loyalty. Discord had better call Forest Lawn.
"Omake Hearth's Warming Eve" is primarily a CMOF, but it's still impressive how Santa Hooves manages to break into Discord's castle, bypassing every death trap and shrugging off everything Discord and the Chaos 6 throw at him, just to give them their coal and/or gifts, every single year. And then, when Discord demands to know why he doesn't just eliminate Discord, and why he keeps coming, Santa replies with a Death Glare and comments:
"Because that's not what this special holiday is for. And I bother because…it's always worth reminding you that you aren't the final word in power."
Even more awesome is the fact that by becoming the Element of Generosity, and not denying or suppressing his instincts to do so, he pretty much tore Discord's beliefs about him to shreds in the process.
Bonus points: during the aforementioned speeches, he figured that Discord was ultimately trying to prove the two of them Not So Different. Spike's actions prove that, in the end, Spike is simply better than Discord.
The Badass Boast that Banana Pie gives on behalf of the entire Apple/Pie clan when they promise to protect Dinky while Derpy goes with the others to fight Discord.
"They'd have to get through every Apple and Pie alive to so much as touch her. And anyone who tries will walk away on crutches!"
The reveal that during the early days of Discord's reign, Dinky somehow managed to perform the memory spell and restore Derpy.
Dark World 15: Rancor's Big Entrance into the mortal world is pretty impressive.
Dark, but Traitor Dash killing a rebel dragon and fighting off groups of rebel changelings and hippogriffs at the same time, not letting any of them stop her from reaching her goal.
The Duel of Tears is as awesome as it is heartbreaking, watching Traitor Dash go all out in her attempt to kill Twilight, and Twilight fighting her off. Highlights include TD revealing that she's been holding back her power for a thousand years and becoming Ender Dash, Twilight changing into a Pegasus in order to fight back evenly, Derpy managing to hold her own for most of the fight, and in a more subtle but still awesome example, Rainbow Dash being redeemed by the memory spell and talked out of despair by her friends.
Derpy and later Apple Pie breaking free of Traitor Dash's Pony Puppets power. When Dash tries to use it on Derpy again, this bit of awesome happens:
Followed by Twilight helping her weaponize it with the Royal Canterlot Voice to wipe out the entire army. Even The Voice has to compliment her on that one.
The entire group fighting together as a unit for the first time against Discord's defense grid. Even Apple Pie gets in on the awesome by squeezing into the turrets and pulling their wires out.
Apparently once in the past, The Master invaded Equestria and defeated Discord, Cadence and all of the Chaos 6 before the Valeyard defeated him with a "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
The entire fight with the Valeyard. First off, there's how Crazy-Prepared he is (though having a time machine helps with most of that), with the kicker being Twilight tries to use the memory spell, only for a duplicate construct of the Valeyard's personality to implant itself in her mind and take over. Though this is quickly followed by one on Twilight's part when she fights its control long enough to tell her friends to smash her head to destroy the construct; she grows a new one free from its control.
Twilight even manages to trick the infection inside her head into revealing itself to her friends.
Earlier, the Valeyard turns Derpy into a Manchurian Agent and tells her to kill the others. Applejack uses an illusion of the Valeyard to break her out of it.
Then, when the Valeyard manages to discord Derpy and Apple Pie, Derpy manages to un-discord herself by remembering all her good times with the Doctor. And seeing this allows Apple Pie to come back from the brink as well.
The Valeyard tries to set off bombs he implanted in the Elements of Harmony via time travel, Rarity absorbs them into herself to save them, then seals her body in rock to minimize the damage.
Twilight gets one directly after by tricking the Valeyard into teleporting an exploding rock right in his face thinking it was Rarity's regenerating Element of Desire.
Derpy refusing to stay down, even as the Valeyard is practically melting the Elements' brains with sonic attacks and he's hitting her to try and make her stay down. This gives the group the time needed to foil the Valeyard's attempt and turn things around.
And then, how the Valeyard is taken down — Derpy remembers something the Doctor told her once, which makes her realize that the Valeyard is using a template to maintain his personality after regeneration, which Applejack and Rarity quickly deduce is being hidden by illusion around his neck. As the Valeyard has an Oh Crap, Twilight neutralizes the Valeyard's sonic attacks, allowing Derpy and Rarity to take it from him — and then throw it away, as Rarity instantly realizes it's a decoy. Then she locates the real one inside his body, rips it out, and destroys it, leaving him vulnerable. This is then crowned by Derpy going into a Tranquil Fury and beating the Valeyard to death, letting him regenerate back into the Doctor. It's as awesome as it sounds.
Apple Pie gets one too by kicking the Valeyard in the face, stunning him and setting up Derpy's assault.
Rancor gets one in "Love/Hate Bedlam part 2", where she becomes the first character to be completely unaffected by the voice's attempts to manipulate her, to the point of realizing that its presence is unusual (as opposed everyone else, who just accepted it). She then gets a meta one, as she systematically Josses every single theory as to the voice's identity.
Apple Pie being the first one to land a hit on Rancor.
Rarity going into a Tranquil Fury and promising to kill Fluttercruel for all the evil she's done, especially to Fluttershy.
Heck, Rarity managing to shoot down every lie Fluttercruel tried to tell about Fluttershy without batting an eye. Then there's herresponse to Fluttercruel attempting a Not So Different on her, managing to pinpoint Fluttercruel's loneliness over the fact no one else is a psycho like her.
Fluttercruel: At LAST you get it!
Rarity: No; I don't 'get it', you sad filly. You kill for thrills. I'd do nothing if you just stopped. I'm nothing like you. And that hurts, doesn't it? To know just how alone you really are.
Angry Pie gets one in a flashback, when it turns out that she is the one who killed Discord's League of Auxiliary Minions, for threatening one of her adopted foals.
Dark World Part 20: Angry Cruel Love is jam packed with them:
Spike holds his own against Rancor by embracing his Genius Bruiser and Badass Bookworm tendencies, even throwing in an obscure Call Back to his hoof wrestling matches at Trixie's party. He even tickles her into submission!
The Rarity VS Fluttercruel showdown in its entirety:
Rarity yet again shoots down Fluttercruel's Not So Different accusations and even gets in a nice Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: The only pony who can save you is Fluttershy . . . and since I can't bring her here, I'm going to send you straight to her.
In "Off Da Rails", Fluttercruel is trying to break the Elements of Harmony by pointing out they're ultimately selfish hypocrites who are willing to forgive their friends anything (even trying to kill them), but are perfectly willing to kill those they don't know for the same crimes. Rarity and Twilight shoot this down by partially agreeing with it, admitting their faults, but also saying that friendship is more complicated than that.
The Elements of Harmony and a copy of Destruction's power (fired by Rarity) reacting and obliterating Odyne!Cruelty's body. When she then tries to Body Surf into Twilight, Pinkie('s ghost) knocks her away, and Fluttershy's spirit shows up to restrain her daughter long enough to hit her with the Elements again, banishing her from the mortal plane and even destroying the piece of Havoc in her in the process.
As if that wasn't awesome enough, it gets followed up by Fluttershy traveling to the Draconequi realm and staring down all of Discord's siblings and Havoc and telling them that she has the right to take Cruel with her and teach her a better way to use her concept. Havoc is impressed enough by this he lets her go.
The author gets one for managing to make Fluttercruel sympathetic, and making it work.
"My Little Alicorn" has Twilight get a pretty epic Shut Up, Hannibal! to the Nameless Passenger for telling her to kill the sea pony that's trying to take two of Celestia and Luna's feathers.
Twilight: From what Applejack told me about her redemption, Applebloom's ghost took a feather already on orders from their…Father, so it must be safe. And I'm not a murderer. That's why.
During the final confrontation with Discord, Twilight breaks away from the Nameless Passenger's script by refusing to give into her hate and stopping the others from beating the already dying Discord to death, saying there's no point in fighting him when he's already lost. In doing so, it's implied she's broken a "Groundhog Day" Loop.
Followed up on in the following chapter when she actually does break the loop by finally shaking off the Passenger's influence and refusing to restart the loop. This forces the Passenger to try and possess Twilight, only to be forced away by her friends' care for her.
The above also counts as one for Discord. He had Twilight use her Memory Spell on him so the memories would show her what resetting time would really do, Out Gambiting the Passenger in the process. On top of that, he Trolls the Passenger by forcing her to endure several hundred pictures of him mooning himself set to a continuous loop while Twilight sees the memories.
"Give A Reason" has Twilight and the others continuing to shoot down Nightmare Paradox's lectures even when Paradox takes Twilight to a Pocket Dimension. Twilight even turns a few back on her. Paradox doesn't listen, but it was still awesome.
Sparkler confronting her grandmother over her attempted murder of her daughter (and Sparkler's mother), Ditzy. Her grandmother rants and raves about how Ditzy was a "failure" and an "embarrassment", but Sparkler has none of it, completely telling her off and reaffirming her love for her mother.
The continuing battle between the Dark World Mane Six (and their allies) and Nightmare Paradox's Psycho Rangers has some quite awesome moments:
Paradox is stopped from taking advantage of the previous chapter's cliffhanger by Rainbow Dash and the Princesses arriving in time to fight them off and free the others from their various imprisonments.
Spike and Apple Pie are tag-teaming Nightmare Mirror, who tries to Break Them by Talking, pointing out that Apple Pie is just a Promoted Fangirl in over her head, and Spike is a freak (being a generous dragon) who Rarity wouldn't look at twice if he wasn't an adult. However, Apple Pie merely laughs off her situation, and her cheerfulness empowers Spike, who says he likes being unique, and doesn't care why Rarity's with him as long as she is.
Rainbow Dash hits Paradox so hard she actually manages to break off her White Mask of Doom... which reveals that in a previous loop, an attack from Alicorn!Trixie scarred Paradox's face so badly it left a Wound That Will Not Heal.
The group causes enough damage to the Nightmares that they're forced to retreat back into Paradox. Afterwards, the Benevolent Interloper points out that Paradox is on her last legs.
Minty Pie finally catches up with the group, and when Paradox tries to incinerate her, she jumps out of the way and uses Paradox's own attack to destroy the time-reset spell Paradox has been trying to get Twilight to use. Twilight is stunned at how good her combat reflexes have become.
She also deserves credit for staying so calm in the fight, even when Paradox almost kills her a couple of times.
As well as cutting off Twilight's horn to stop Paradox's attempt to corrupt Twilight into a Nightmare.
The epic conclusion to Dark World's Final Battle: Twilight distracts Paradox with a speech, before throwing her soap box in Paradox's face, followed by the heroes attacking the distracted Nightmares and mortally wounding them... only for Paradox to rewind time and undo the damage. But then, Discord calls Paradox from the afterlife and Trolls her into the start of a Villainous Breakdown, ending with telling her that he was just a distraction. At this point, it turns out that Twilight wanted Paradox to undo the last attack, so that she could copy her time powers. Then, combined with her link with Minty Pie, Twilight is able to summon theG1, G2, G3 and G4 (pre-Reign of Chaos) Mane Casts, tapping into their Elements of Harmony as well as reactivating the Princesses', giving the heroes six sets of Elements to use. For final measure, Twilight's parents (still plants) restrain Paradox, allowing the heroes to deliver the final blow, which seemingly destroys the other Nightmares and depowers Paradox, starting the process of fusing her with Twilight in order to turn Twilight into an Alicorn.
"You have power over time? The magic between friends transcends time, space, reality, death, beyond all barriers! Friendship doesn't just pierce the barrier between life and death, but all barriers, everywhere! This is a friendship that pierces the walls between worlds! We've been made, unmade, and remade, but the links we've forged between our souls are all still here! You have six Elements of Harmony that are absolute? We have six sets of hearts beating together in harmony! You have a gallery of Nightmares? We have a herd of FRIENDS! I'm not scared. Not with all of you by my side. And neither are they scared by my side!"
More impressive? Twilight had no idea her parents were going to do that! This means that Twilight's plan was to overpower the Nightmare's Elements in a Beam-O-War. It didn't happen, but still, that takes guts after seeing what they can do!
Twilight not only completing her Alicornification, but helping Rarity undertake her own, in the process releasing a World-Healing Wave that removes the last of the negative traits of Discord's chaos from the world.
While it's also a Tear Jerker, there's the duel between Amicitia and a younger Cadence, who's convinced that magic is inherently evil and wants to prevent it entering the universe, at the dawn of time. Amicitia manages to No Sell all of Cadence's attacks for a while, before Cadence manages to overpower her... causing Amicitia to stop holding back and nearly kill her, forcing Cadence's Light of Existence to be reborn as a mortal, presumably causing her to change her mind and become the kinder pony seen in the rest of the series. In any case, Havoc and Rancor were thoroughly impressed.
Havoc Himself gets one. He outright admits that at the dawn of time His Concept currently has no purpose, meaning, at the time, He's essentially powerless (or at least considerably weaker). When Amicitia tries to call Him out on not interfering, He's not even phased and gives a perfectly acceptable explanation for why He didn't and why He was there with Rancor in the first place that even the Alicorn of Twilight Sparkle has no choice but to admit is correct and accept.
Of course, this is followed by a series of events that are just straight up awesome (and quite a few are heartwarming): Amicitia turns much of existence into a Stable Time Loop, among other things turning out to be the Benevolent Interloper, helping herself in the past (as well as being the one who taught Dark World Dinky the Memory Spell); is the one who led Firefly to the Rainbow Bridge and convinced her to ask Megan for help, setting the events of G1 in motion; protected a BSODing Celestia during the Alicorn/Draconequi War, and helped her, Luna, and Galaxia escape to the mortal world.
The battle with Makarov's forces in part 6 of Shining Armor's Arc. Despite being badly outnumbered and outclassed technologically, Shining and the few griffins with him successfully hold off and take down a large number of deer Mooks. Then when Shining fights Makarov himself, he does hold out long enough for his troops to show up in large enough numbers to scare the Hooviets off. And for a villainous angle, Makarov deserves some credit for kicking Shining's ass.
That's also not to mention the moment where Shining pulls a fast one on Makarov for insulting Celestia, and say that THAT is an insult to get upset over.
Running Gag saving the group investigating a magic surge (several Misfit squads, Cadence and the hoofmaidens, and the Doctor) from an inbound group of Hooviet soldiers and mercenaries by tapping into their radio frequency and impersonating Makarov, sending them in the other direction. It's so impressive that not only does Garnet give him a Big Damn Kiss (upgrading them from "just friends, honest" to Official Couple in the process), but Cadence promotes him on the spot.
In Shining Armor 15, Shining manages to project a force field that covers the entire village that his and Mother Deer's forces are in and keep it up even after being hit by over 200 rounds of Hooviet artillery. This is enough to cause Makarov to have a small scale Villainous Breakdown.
Cadence gets an awesome moment when she taps into the harmony between the members of Misfit Actual and the Rebels in order to kick Makarov's flank, all while singing a The Villain Sucks Song, which acts as a Shut Up, Hannibal! to the Breaking Lecture he had been giving. Makarov pulls an Actually a Doombot, but it's still impressive, especially when she then picks the robot up and throws it out of the village to explode harmlessly.
And of course, there's the Invincible leading a Gunship Rescue to drive off the Hooviets.
Cadence gets a subdued one in Shining Armor 16-2: the group is in a Hooviet-allied nation and, in disguise, attends a play depicting Hooviet propaganda views about Equestria. Slipping into Tranquil Fury, Cadence drops their disguises, letting the actors know that they just spent two and half hours insulting the home nation of a diplomatic party. She then politely compliments them on producing such a wonderful parody, forcing them into the choice of either defending it as a straight play (thus admitting that the Hooviets are jerks) or going along with it being a parody (thus admitting it as propaganda.
The chapter also has Misfit Actual being completely defiant even as Makarov has them all tortured.
Makarov, of all beings, gets one in the fight when he takes down several enemy ships with a rocket launcher and a katana. He also causes a dragon to explode in the process.
In 17.2, Pandora shows up to verbally bitch-slap Makarov, followed by nullifying his Plot Armor and letting all the plot holes he's created catch up with him, putting him and his forces at a severe disadvantage against the allied forces.
Said allied forces include Tiamat, Bahumat, and Celestia herself delivering some literal Wrath of God down on the Hooviets.
17.3 just keeps racking up the awesomeness, including but not limited to: Shining and Dima downing Makarov's helicopter with the clever use of rockets, the allied forces taking out several Hooviet tanks (Including a Mammoth tank), curbstomping one of Makarov's Alicorn cyborgs, Shining and Gilda taking out a cyborg Diamond Dog, and the reunited Misfit Actual — despite being bloody and beaten — not even hesitating to join Shining in going after Makarov's superweapon.
A subtle one, but Garnet had minimum supplies to work with and was herself beat up, but still managed to save Gag's life and patch Misfit up fairly well and seemed to have worked herself quite hard in the process. Shining is impressed.
And even more in 17.4:
Ellis and Zangief take out a Cyborg with a combination of grenades and a rocket, while Thunderchild and Running Gag take out another by directing lightning.
Meanwhile, Shining gets through to the third of Makarov's Alicorn Cyborgs, allowing her to retake control long enough to activate the self-destruct of Makarov's Skyfall superweapon removing both it and herself from Makarov's use.
Minuette: "My friends would lose me forever. I'd be replaced by a monster who I can't trust to still be their friend. I can feel it. A darkness...You have no heart."... But how could I ever trust my friends with somepony with no heart? You're right, I'll do anything for my friends. And that includes NEVER becoming you."
Minuette: No. I. Am. Minuette. Colgate (hurls fob watch across the room)
20: Shining managing to escape from the Wolf when it comes after him with quick thinking.
A minor one, but a scene with the CMC showed that Kyubey was in this universe trying to do his "make a contract with me and become magical girls (or rather, fillies)" nonsense with them... only for the Wolf to come in and (after undoing Scootaloo's contract) erase him and "[sever] the race of fairies' connection to this universe". If you know anything about Puella Magi Madoka Magica, then this should rival erasing Makarov for you.
21: Cadence managed to save the Invincible and the crew from Discord's chaos with her memory spell, in the process saving Shining's life when the driven mad doctors give him an overdose by letting them fix it.
Lyra, Bon Bon, Moth, Twinkle Shine, and Minuette managing to sneak into the castle and break Chrysalis' control of Moon Dancer and resolving to do their part to stop Chrysalis. Bonus points for being the first ones to throw a wrench into Chrysalis' works so far.
Lemon Hearts: HOW'S THAT FOR AN ANGRY MOTHER LEMON?!
Blueblood of all ponies rescuing Cadence and bringing her to interrupt the Wedding.
While she still in the end, Celestia gets bonus points for winning the Beam-O-War this time around and giving Chrysalis a nasty head wound. She only doesn't end things then and there because A) she had to hold back so not to hurt the innocent ponies crowding the room and B) Chrysalis Playing Possum to give herself the opening to counterattack.
Likewise, Luna gets one by being seconds away from blowing Chrysalis' head offand would have too, if Shining hadn't been brainwashed.
Starlight Sparkle actually managing to wound Chrysalis, however minor, in a moment of Mama Bear rage. It didn't work, but it took serious guts.
And of course Twinkle Shine and company being the Big Damn Heroes at the end of the chapter.
Applejack gets one as well. While being brainwashed by Chrysalis, trapping her in an And I Must Scream situation, she's tempted to become Nightmare Mirror to make it stop and stop Chrysalis...but ultimately manages to resist the temptation, knowing that it'd just make things worse on everypony else. Applejack resisted going Nightmare despite being in an abolutely horrible situation, being forced to act completely contrary to her Element in every way, something Fluttershy wasn't able to do.
Queen Chrysalis versus Makarov. Chrysalis for how well she fairs and Makarov for leaving Chrysalis battered and badly wounded during the fight.
Luna managed to save all the ponies launched with her from falling to their deaths while being launched hundreds of miles. Also counts as Crowning Moment of Heartwarming for showing even in a situation like that, the Princesses care for their subjects.
The Mane Six, with help from the Hoofmaiden's group, managing to fight their way out of the Wedding Hall and escape.
Lemon Hearts' Angry Mother Lemon proving strong enough to hold off General Hercules.
Misfit Actual deserves credit for being able to keep a level head despite the situation they're in and managing to escape the situations they end up in during the wedding with quick thinking.
In particular is Thunderchild's fight with Carpenter Bee, ending with him using his mastery of lightning to electrocute Carpenter into submission. Particularly in the revised version where they have a sword fight first.
The heroes' group managing to escape the changelings. Highlights include Pinkie Pie invoking Scooby-Dooby Doors to finally give them the slip and the mysterious Cobweb using an electrical trap to knock out half their pursuers.
Moth finally managing to overcome her cowardly nature and reveal herself to the group so she can give them intel. Cadence standing up for her also counts. Depending on your perspective, the heroes giving her a beatdown in anger for what her cowardliness did can also count.
How the heroes manage to free Twilight from Chrysalis' control — by providing a distraction for the Changelings (including Rainbow Dash performing a Sonic Rainboom indoors), they give Cadence the chance to get through to Twilight with nothing but her love for her.
The Pegasus Interviewer convincing the suspicious Wonderbolts of the truth about the invasion and getting them to side with her, using nothing but logical reasoning.
Chrysalis gets a villainous one when it turns out she was prepared for Twilight being freed by Cadence, having implanted an illusion spell in her mind to make her think Cadence was Chrysalis, so she'd kill her.
Of course, this is then countered by another heroic CMOA, as Cobweb turns out to be a disguised Trixie, who realized something was wrong after Chrysalis' attempt to break her, and came back in disguise to undermine her. She then fights defensively well enough to match Twilight, long enough to get Cadence inside her head to free her from Chrysalis' spell.
The Crusaders getting dangerous in order to save Spike, managing to take down two Changeling adults via having Scootaloo use the Puppy-Dog Eyes technique learned from Applebloom as a distraction, then knocking them out with heavy books from behind (with a Groin Attack thrown in for good measure with one of them). And then they cover their escape by summoning a water elemental (they were aiming for a fire one, but it still counts).
Silver Axe/Tongue gets one the same chapter. Lemon Hearts jumps the gun, the group is arguing over what to do. What does he do? To go from 'Doting Parent' to 'Badflank Guard', Curbstomp a Changeling trying to attack him in two moves, and tell the group to get their act together. He spends the rest of the mission calling the shots and does so very well.
Misfit Actual and their allies managing to take down Digger Wasp, one of Chrysalis' Co-Dragons, thus cutting off the Changelings' communications network. Though Digger Wasp deserves credit for managing to fight well enough that the whole squad is needed to take him down.
Dawn, Noon, and their allies managing to corner Dusk and pin her down long enough to free her from Chrysalis' control. Bonus points for actually managing to outsmart her, when one of the traits she represents is Twilight's intellect.
Though it also counts as Nightmare Fuel, seeing Applejack use her Truth Vision on Twilight's friends to send them staggering.
Getting into a stare versus stare with Fluttershy so intense they both consider going Nightmare simply to stop Chrysalis. All the more impressive for AJ given that this is all happening while she's under old Locust Legs' complete control at the time!
Applebloom lest herself get 'dragon mailed' by Spike to save her big sister from Chrysalis — and it works!
And then AJ uses her Truth Vision on Chrysalis and actually hurts her for the first time in this arc, making it probably one of THE most satisfying things seen in a long time in this arc.
The fight between Twilight and Shining Armor.
In the Orange Butterfly chapter two amazing things happen. First of all, Scootaloo saves Sweetie from Queen Chrysalis. How? She FLIES! And YEARS earlier than her Dark World version! Go Scootaloo!
She then manages to not only take down the changeling coming after her, but cut him, which is really hard to do.
Rarity freeing her sister from Chrysalis' mind control is both this and heartwarming.
Likewise is the reveal that Scootaloo's big moment above resulted in her getting her cutie mark.
Misfit Actual and their allies facing off against Kabuto.
Weaver ending the fight by copying Kabuto's One-Winged Angel process in order to fight him long enough for Garnet to develop a counteragent to reverse it, depowering him. For bonus points she knew that without his modifications, it's Cast from Lifespan nature would likely make it a Heroic Sacrifice.
Gag knocking Kabuto out after Garnet's concoctions causes a Karmic Transformation that turns him into an Earth Pony.
Garnet treating Weaver after she's revealed to be a changeling, even allowing Bombardier to shapeshift into Gag and use her mind magic to get the love required.
Misfit Actual and the other remaining guards showing up to help Trixie's group fight Hercules Beetle, making the changeling desperate enough to go One-Winged Angel.
Ellis using a homemade bazooka to damage Hercules' supposedly invincible shell.
There's the simple fact that Hercules takes 10 powerful ponies and several of Lemon Hearts' Familiars fighting him all at once and at the end of the chapter has the upperhand. The Interviewers calling him the 'second most dangerous Changeling in existence' was Not Hyperbole.
The group taking Hercules down by repeatedly hitting him with alternating heat and cold attacks, weakening his armor enough to destroy it completely. On the other hand, Hercules deserves credit for still going afterwards even though he can barely stand, only stopping when they knock him down and he's too weak to get back up.
Cadence challenging Chrysalis/Cadenza for the position of Changeling Queen.
When Luna's guard shows up to help hold off the Changelings during Cadence and Cadenza's fight, the Changelings use special counters for guard moves. One guard, Average Joe, counters by adapting to their counter, pointing out in an actual battle that style of fighting doesn't work so well.
Sadly it's primarily an Offscreen Moment of Awesome, but as shown in "Origins", after the Class 2 apocalypse at the end of the G2 era, Patch was tasked with scouring the world for the seven pieces of the Rainbow of Light, and succeeded in regaining them. And this included taking on Grogar, who according to Word of God is basically a Darkseid expy in this universe.
We get to see this in her entry in "Gaiden: 7 Dreams/Nightmares", along with taking on various other warlords and criminals who had possession of the shards of the Rainbow of Light. She also ended up fighting the dragon Basil (who was at his prime thanks to his shard), and beat him into submission, forcing him to recognize her as his master.
Sweetheart's 7 Dreams/Nightmares chapter reveals that during the lead-up to the casting of the world changing spell, some corporate ponies — fearing a loss of profit caused by a world where everyone gets what they want — sent some thugs after Sweetheart's family in order to intimidate her friends into stopping the spell. Sweetheart's husband Teddy proceeded to put them all in the hospital.
While not seen onscreen, the Sea Ponies get one for building the Rockin' Beats a huge sea side stadium to perform in during their tour. Why does this count? They manage this without having forelimbs. Melody is impressed by their cleverness.
Bright Eyes' 7 Dreams/Nightmares chapter has an action that is both awesome and heartwarming. During the G3 apocalypse, Bright Eyes/Zipzee's dedication to and love for her fellow Breezies was strong enough that she was able to break Discord's spell on them that had changed them all into Parasprites. More to the point, while doing so she was fighting off what appeared to an attempt by Entropy Herself to drive her past the Despair Event Horizon.
Later, in the Nightmare section, Bright Eyes, having lost her memory, reveals she knows Lancer is her husband despite not remembering it. How? Via Sherlock Scan.
Bright Eyes: You've been concerned and protective of me from the start. I felt hurt when you were hurt and I know we're not identical twins. That means you were either my husband, a friend, or my brother. Sweetheart didn't find us being together strange at all. So that rules out stranger. You've been struggling with being close to me but not being too close. So that rules out family. You weren't possessive of me, so that rules out stalker. You might have just been a friend who was pinning for me and my husband died in whatever disaster happened. But you weren't acting ashamed or hesitant like this was your big chance. And I feel safe around you, the first thing I called you was 'White Knight', which means I felt safe around you before and I remember your voice calling to me. So you must have had some great meaning for me. Oh and our wedding rings are identical.
From Clover's Nightmare section; the group are waiting to possibly get into the base controlled by General Ripper (yes, he is based off the Trope Namer). Clover stands up to the insane general, leading him to throw a punch at her...that knocks off Dazzle's wig (poor mare lost her mane in the disaster). The General proceeds to scream that she's bald. This was a very bad idea. General Ripper finds himself being thrown through the air and into his own troops. Due to Clover's good luck, this ends up destroying Ripper's supply stockpile and foiling his 'fight' against the Unicorns and Pegasi before it could ever start.
Side Stories/Recursive Fanfiction
Sunset Shimmer got her Cutie Mark by raising the Sun as a little Filly
And in all honesty, leaving aside any personal views on quality, managing to produce something as large as the Wedding Arc in a rather short space of time is quite an achievement no matter how you look at it.