Broken Base / My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic

With the fandom as large as it is, infighting is inevitable. Some dividing factors include the Aesop of some episodes coming off the wrong way to some fans, the portrayal of fan-favorite characters, and whether or not Fandom Nods are good for the show.
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    In General... 
  • The most 'In General' thing regarding the show with it's Broken Base is the idea of the show going through Seasonal Rot. There are those who weren't big on several points on season 2, including its season finale episode A Canterlot Wedding. It got worse ever since the start of season 3, causing different members of the fan base to have varying ideas of when the show began to decline in quality. It could have been because season 3 was too short which made the bad episodes stand out more. Or it could be that season 4 had bland writing and lost touch of keeping the characters well developed. Perhaps it was season 5 when the show became lackluster, though it's understandable with season 4 being so good for many that season 5 would be compared to it. Basically anything that isn't season 1 is going to be a hot topic for many fans and ex-fans of the series. And even then...
  • Pick a season. Any season. They're all pretty divisive.
    • Season 1: First Installment Wins or does it pale in contrast to later seasons?
    • Season 2: Was this when the show grew the beard or did Lauren Faust leaving halfway through hurt its chances for development?
    • Season 3: Worst season ever or was it just underrated?
    • Season 4 on two fronts:
      • Best season with many memorable episodes or was the show already past its prime with Twilight becoming an alicorn?
      • This season had a diminished role for the Elements of Harmony with the Mane Six requiring Plot Coupons to restore them. Fans who welcomed this season-long arc thought the Elements of Harmony were overused and turned the Mane Six's villain fights into a boring Curb-Stomp Battle. Then there were fans who were against doing away with such an iconic part of the first three seasons until the battle against Tirek, especially considering they were readily available for Twilight to use on Discord towards the end of Season 3.
    • Season 5 has gotten to be the most divisive by far.
    • Season 6: Was it a good season even if it wasn't the best of the show, a decent/okay but mostly forgettable season with a few too many flawed episodes, or an outright bad season and a case of Seasonal Rot?
      • The characters have been suffering from more Aesop Amnesia in this season. Some fans think it's a good way to learn from their mistakes while others say the storylines have become boring and repetitive because of it.
      • Unsurprisingly, Starlight Glimmer (Warning: You'll be reading a lot on her down below). Starlight has gotten a lot of focus placed on her in this season, including both the season premiere and the finale giving her wide prominence. Is Starlight an interesting addition to the cast, or a really bad Spotlight-Stealing Squad that is another nail in the coffin for the show?
  • As mentioned in the header, fandom nods, meme ascensions, and Ascended Fanon appearing in the show continue to be a hot button topic. Are they cute and clever references to the Periphery Demographic? Or just blatant, lazy pandering by the creators to get cheap laughs and cheers (or any reaction) from the fans, allowing the writers to slack off?
  • After Starlight Glimmer's Heel–Face Turn at the end of the fifth season, a lot of debate amongst bronies rose over the tendency for the majority of the show's villains to be redeemed or otherwise easily forgiven for their actions. Some feel that it fits the overall message of the show on The Power of Friendship perfectly, while others feel that the villains couldn't possibly earn forgiveness for some of the things they've done. Still, others say they don't mind a few villains being reformed — bullies like Gilda, Diamond Tiara and Trixie, in particular — but think that the world-ending threats getting the same treatment goes way too far.
  • Musical-based episodes. Fans who like them say they explore Hidden Depths of the characters and that they showcase the cast's fabulous singing. Then there are fans that think the excessive songs detract too much from the episode's storyline or even act as padding, leading to dragging or rushed plots.
  • Ever since the switch over from The Hub to Discovery Family, the website Equestria Daily has seemed to have hit the panic button on the number of viewers watching the series. This has lead to debates on if the show, being heavily Merchandise-Driven doesn't need to worry about something silly like ratings while toys are being sold, especially if the show is also being sold elsewhere, or if the ratings falling is a sign that Friendship Is Magic is on the way out.
  • The irreversible changes in status quo that have been cropping up for seasons at a time. Some see this as nice additions that keep the show from being too stale for a given amount of time, while others see them as either happening too frequently, or that they change too much without making sure every element of the show has also evolved with it to make it work. It's gotten to the point where some fans who were fine with Season 3 and 4 originally don't like them as much, due to Season 5 and 6 adding even more status quo changes to the point that it's barely the same show it was in Season 1 and 2.
  • Whenever a new season is announced, there are two reactions: one group will be excited to see more of the characters they like, while others will be annoyed, and will wish for the show to end before it suffers the fate of other long-running cartoons like The Simpsons and SpongeBob SquarePants.

    Episodes 
Season 1
  • Fans are divided on Rainbow Dash towards Fluttershy in "Dragonshy". Was she the only sane mare or an insensitive Jerkass?
  • Many fans considered "Feeling Pinkie Keen" the funniest episode of the season 1, but it also drew a great deal of heat due to the Aesop being interpreted as being about religion and atheism.
  • Depending on who you ask, "Look Before You Sleep" is either a funny and simple character-driven delight, or a boring and childish mess, or So OK It's Average.
  • Rarity's characterization in "Sonic Rainboom". Was she right to show off her magical wings to everypony in Cloudsdale and in the Best Young Flyer contest or was she way too selfish and upstaging Rainbow Dash in the process?
Season 2
  • "Lesson Zero" divided fans between those who were willing to chalk up Twilight's Sanity Slippage to Rule of Funny, and those who thought it was a massive case of flanderization, and even a little mean.
  • Either "Luna Eclipsed" was the best episode for Luna or the worst thing about her.
  • In "May the Best Pet Win!", whether or not Rainbow Dash putting the animals through so much danger was fine, even if they were willing. Oddly, a lot of people that feel Rainbow Dash was a jerk for doing so seem to forget or ignore that Fluttershy was just fine with the contest too, even exuberant about it.
  • Even to this day, fans are bitterly divided over loving "The Mysterious Mare Do Well" or hating it, and all of it revolving around how the actions of Rainbow Dash and the Mane Six are interpreted.
    • Mare-Do-Well (who is secretly five of the Mane Six) was either showing Rainbow Dash what a real hero was supposed to be like in the hopes of making her change her ways and saving ponies that Rainbow Dash would have been unable to save on her own, with the disguise as a way of showing her humility, or made a piss poor attempt at teaching Dash anything, instead presenting her with an unbeatable rival and egging her on to dangerous and embarrassing actions, with the disguise as a cowardly and dishonest way of hiding from Dash.
    • Rainbow Dash was either doing good deeds all over Ponyville, acting as a real hero, and basking in much-deserved praise from the citizens, then driven to despair and abandoned by even her most loyal fans because she came across as looking pathetic compared to Mare-Do-Well, or was bragging way too much to the point that it was endangering other ponies, embarrassed herself and ruined her own reputation through nopony's fault except her own, and was too stupid to pick up on the lesson that Mare-Do-Well was trying to teach her until she had it spelled out at the end of the episode.
    • Dash's friends were either having some good-natured fun among themselves and dropping hints to Dash that she would be happier and more successful if she just improved her attitude and acted more like Mare-Do-Well (i.e. humbly and without showboating), or were cruelly mocking Dash and her misfortunes while hypocritically praising Mare-Do-Well (i.e. themselves), fully aware that attacking Dash's competitive personality this way would only cause her grief.
    • When Dash confronted Mare Do Well, she ran off into a series of back alleys. Either Mare Do Well was luring Dash away from the crowd so that the Mane Six could talk to Dash in private and spare her any further humilation, or Mare Do Well was genuinely trying to get away from any confrontation so that she would not be humiliated herself.
  • Derpy's cameo in "The Last Roundup". Was it a nice tribute to the fans of the show, obnoxious pandering to those fans, possibly offensive to disabled people, or all of the above? Things got at least 10 times worse after the editsnote  that were made. AND THAT IS ALL THAT WILL BE SAID ON THE MATTER.
  • Either "Read It and Weep" is a fun romp with a great meta moral for the Periphery Demographic, or spends too much time on a dull Stock Parody.
  • Putting aside Pinkie's song, you either love "A Friend in Deed" because of its' hilarious Looney Tunes-esque gags, or you hate it because it turns Pinkie into an unlikeable Designated Hero MareFilly and having an ultra-contrived happy ending.
  • Angel's treatment of Fluttershy in "Putting Your Hoof Down". It can either come across as funny slapstick or cruelty.
  • To some, "It's About Time" is unpredictable and one of the show's funniest or it's so predictable that it feels like you're getting slapped in the face with how blatant and tedious it is.
  • Fans are divided on the scene in "Ponyville Confidential" where the CMC are shunned by the whole town once their identities get found out somehow, whether everypony's reaction believable or not, and more so, was justified or hurtful.
  • "A Canterlot Wedding - Part 1":
    • Even before The Hub's premiere, a few fans called Executive Meddling on this two-parter, since it concerns a frilly, girlish wedding of two characters only introduced this episode that no one has ever heard of before for the sake of Hasbro's marketing, while other bronies called it a fitting way to end the second season.
    • The debate over Twilight's confrontation with the others likely would have caused the episodes to be Overshadowed by Controversy if not for the action-packed payoff of Part 2. Many feel the others were in the wrong for dismissing her in spite of everything she had done by that point in the series to show she wouldn't make such an accusation baselessly, knowing Cadance well enough so that her suspicions should have been taken seriously, and their not giving Twilight a chance to explain herself more rationally. Others Defend them arguing Twilight has been known to Freak-Out before, she wasn't acting in a way that lived down her accusations of jealousy, and she failed to give any evidence that couldn't be rationalized away (like Cadance forgetting their Secret Hand Shake), giving them enough to justify their dismissal. There's also those that think both sides were equally right/wrong and/or want the others to get over it, since, in the long run, it's a minor plot point compared to the others that happened in the two-parter and the rest of the series.
  • "A Canterlot Wedding - Part 2":
    • DJ-Pon-3's eyes are revealed! ... as magenta, not red, and this was later confirmed by Word of God. Before the confirmation, some vehemently denied it, others assumed it was a trick of the lighting, others still supported it to the point of antagonizing neighsayers, and lastly, there were those who just shrugged and went "At least we know now."
    • Chrysalis defeating Celestia has divided some opinions on Celestia. Either Celestia is still incredibly powerful and Chrysalis feeding on Shining Armor's love really did make her strong enough to defeat Celestia or Celestia is not as strong as she is credited to be. Considering that Chrysalis herself was extremely shocked that she managed to do it and Celestia had been shown to be strong enough to neutralize a spell Twilight produced with little effort, it's likely the former. It should be noted that, even as powerful as she'd become, Chrysalis was visibly straining against Celestia's attack. It doesn't help that Celestia is so judicious in using her magic that fans had mostly been assuming she's a Physical Goddess without much evidence, so the baseline they assumed before this, well, who knows if it's right.
    • Was the false Cadance being dumb by casually acting evil, like snapping at Twilight about her ruining her plans, having a brainwashed Shining Armor with Celestia being none the wiser, and singing her Villain Song in front of thousands of ponies, including Celestia and the ponies she fooled, or does it just fall under the laws of cartoon logic, Musical World Hypotheses and people should just relax?
    • By extension, are the ponies who saw her casually acting evil idiots or we should just relax?
    • When Applejack apologized on the behalf of everyone to Twilight, others sees the apology itself as rushed and half-hearted, and that the others should've contributed by giving a longer, heartfelt apology, and not just Applejack. The others however see the others apologizing as irrelevant since Applejack was the one who told to leave Twilight, she should be the one apologizing as well.
Season 3
  • For "The Crystal Empire - Part 1", some people are split on whether or not Twilight should have regarded the Crystal Empire to the best of her ability. Some think she's thinking rationally, others think she's disregarding thousands of lives as a simple test.
  • Too Many Pinkie Pies spawned a lot of debate surrounding the What Measure Is a Non-Human? aspect of the episode, since the clones (particularly the first one) were capable of learning and had emotions, and that it was made clear zapping them back to the Mirror Pond was a one way trip. Some fans were quick to side with the resolution, claiming the copies were just mindless copies, that they were incredibly destructive and needed to be dealt with, and that they weren't "killed" so much as just sent back to the pond. Other fans felt it was an uncomfortably dark and horrifying resolution, seeing the copies as ponies that were born yesterday and murdered out of convenience, felt particularly bad for the one final copy that was clearly terrified, and that it was incredibly hypocritical of a show called "Friendship is Magic" to end like that considering actual monsters like Discord were instead given a chance and reformed. A cameo in a later episode only served to rekindle this when the Fridge Logic kicks in, as it was shown that said clones really were capable of learning and functioning as individuals.
  • There's a lot of argument over whether the issue of bullying and the aesop of "One Bad Apple" were done well, or in an unrealistic manner, especially in regards to how the CMC got Babs to stop bullying them.
  • Fandom opinion over the treatment of Snips and Snails in "Magic Duel" is sharply divided. Was Trixie's handling of them over what happened the last time we saw her justified or did she go too far in mistreating her biggest fans?
  • "Wonderbolts Academy":
  • "Just for Sidekicks":
    • Peewee's offscreen departure. Some fans were upset at Spike keeping Peewee rather than returning him to his parents and thought this was an Author's Saving Throw. Fans who liked the idea of Spike having a pet though view it as They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character.
    • Spike's treatment in this episode. Some found it funny, others found it unintentionally sad, the latter due to him not being invited to help welcome the inspector.
    • Fans are even divided on Zecora's role in this episode. Granted, her intentions for donating one of Spike's gems to charity were good, but it's hard for fans to decide whether it was an all-around good deed to get Spike to think straight or a major Disproportionate Retribution (considering how some even interpret the way Zecora went about it and compare Spike's greed in this episode to his greed in "Secret Of My Excess", and that this time around Spike's motivation wasn't greed at all but the perfectly justifiable intent of earning some gems to bake a cake). It doesn't help that she leaves Spike to handle the pets alone afterwards, the problem he wanted her to help with in the first place. Even worse, her action becomes even more glaring when the episode's climax reveals that Spike cannot control his hunger for gems.
  • "Apple Family Reunion". The reception of another Applejack centric episode was split down the middle. While it pleased many that AJ finally got another A Day in the Limelight after spending most of Season Two Out of Focus or her centre spotlight stolen, some believe the episode suffered as a result by recycling the Serious Business plot akin to those of Twilight's episodes, but AJ's more reserved personality allowed for less extreme humor and a much more mundane outcome.
  • "Spike at Your Service":
    • The Mane Six's fear of the Timberwolves. They've faced stronger enemies like the Changelings and Discord without hesitation, and the Timberwolves only take one good hit to defeat, so their sudden terror is confusing to some. However, others have pointed out that the Timberwolves are pretty dang fast and nigh impossible to permanently kill. This isn't the first time the Mane Six have fled a fight either (the dragon teenagers come to mind).
    • Many of the episode's problems could be chalked up to its sudden, drastic change from its original concept. On the other hoof, if the What Could Have Been is to be believed, the original version could have been even worse, so it's probably for the best.
  • "Keep Calm and Flutter On":
    • The idea of an episode reforming a big-name villain like Discord had already split the fandom since the synopsis was first released. Upon viewing the episode, many felt that the ending was rushed, but fans are split on whether that ruined the episode or not.
    • Is this a good lesson? How often has playing nice reformed Real Life enemies? On the other hoof, would it have been a good lesson not to reform him? There's no easy answer.
    • Twilight being willing to use a "reform spell" on Discord. Was this perfectly justified given how potentially dangerous he is and seemingly limitless his powers are, or was Twilight dipping into villainy herself considering her last time tinkering with brainwashing and how mind-altering seems to be a power employed exclusively by villains in the show's setting?
  • Opinion is divided over how well "Magical Mystery Cure" pulled off Twilight becoming an Alicorn; whether it felt rushed and filled with too many songs instead of explaining events, or if this was a good way of condensing the plot down into a single episode without sacrificing the story-telling.
Season 4
  • In "Princess Twilight Sparkle - Part 2", was Applejack in the right for sending away Twilight from their quest or was she an idiot? Fans are split on either topic.
  • The very concept that Daring Do is real according to "Daring Don't". This idea alone pretty much split the fanbase with either loving this episode or hating it. While most were perfectly okay with this revelation, others did not like the idea at all, finding it jarring, and even pointless and illogical. Some fans were also unhappy with the amount of fan theories and head canon that this episode jossed, such as the idea that "Twilight's mother is the author of Daring Do" that the IDW comics and Gameloft mobile app hinted.
  • "Flight to the Finish":
    • The episode in general. On one side of the coin, we have fans who are happy Rainbow Dash and Scootaloo got some bonding throughout the episode, and like the moral of the story. On the other side, some believed what made earlier CMC was lost, claiming that the episode pacing was off and the plot involving Scootaloo's flying issues didn't live up to its full potential.
    • While most of Scootaloo's home life isn't explored, this episode finally proves she isn't homeless. Some are pleased by this development, others find it ruins their head-canon.
  • "Power Ponies":
    • Many people really enjoy the episode for all the shenanigans that ensue as a result of the Mane 6 being superheroes. But there are also many people who dislike it for various reasons, such as the gimmicky concept, the excessive Exposition, and the poor explanation for the comic book being magic.
    • Flutterhulk. It's one of the more praised aspects of this episode, yet one of the most criticized. Some loved the juxtaposition of timid, adorable Fluttershy and The Hulk. Yet there were others who lambasted the design as well as her trigger.
  • "Bats!":
    • Was Applejack in the right for wanting to stop the bats or was Fluttershy right for wanting to find an alternate route? Fans seem split on either option, especially since that plot point was quickly dropped in favor of a potentially better one. Fans are split on that as well, half wanting to see that plot be fully developed while the other would rather they do the Flutterbat plot.
    • As for the episode itself: was it a funny and weird little romp with a cool transformation, or was it a silly and ridiculous Idiot Plot that seemed ripped from a fanfic?
  • "Pinkie Apple Pie":
    • Apple Bloom sing-songing something similar to Tara Strong's "Twilightlicious" video popularized by the fandom has set some into "They're pandering to us!" mode, while others like it or are ambivalent to whether it's pandering or not.
    • Goldie's hoarding is played noticeably straight, as is her animal abuse (via neglect, not physical abuse). This gets a negative reaction from some who think it's Played for Laughs, while others find it genuinely amusing. There's also the camp who view it completely straight, since the whole Apple family is visibly shaken by the sight.
  • For "Rainbow Falls", many feel Rainbow Dash was in the right for wanting to go with a team that didn't downright sabotage their own chances at winning by picking not only non-athletes, but ponies that are handicapped at flying. As we were shown in previous episodes, friends are understanding, it's likely they'd have understood it was really important for Rainbow Dash to be in the Equestria Games. Instead, Twilight tells her the very opposite, that she'd offend all of her friends for doing so (Granted, it's shown that Bulk Biceps and Fluttershy would gladly respect Rainbow Dash's choice and Twilight did allow Rainbow Dash to make her own choice). It's only after that we're shown the Wonderbolts to be truly despicable.
    \\ On the other side, Rainbow made a commitment to the Ponyville team and shouldn't decide to switch to a better team just because she doesn't like her chances. Since we're shown that winning isn't of paramount importance to Rainbow (considering she agreed to Bulk Biceps and Fluttershy in the first place on top of passing on the chance to join), and since trying to win at the expense of others is a dick move, as established in Wonderbolts Academy, there's no good reason for Rainbow to join the Cloudsdale team.
  • "Three's a Crowd":
  • "Simple Ways", for focusing on romance. Some don't like it because they feel it violates Lauren Faust's stated intention of the show being No Hugging, No Kissingnote . Others don't mind since it illustrates the general "Be Yourself" moral well. Still others consider it a non-issue due to Rule of Funny.
  • "Filli Vanilli":
    • Pinkie's insensitivity towards Fluttershy. Pinkie's behavior has been a point of discussion whether in character, completely out of character, consistent with past Pinkie characterization (eg: "Griffon the Brush Off" shows a Pinkie much more sympathetic to Fluttershy's fragile nature), or even the fact that Fluttershy effectively does the same to Rainbow Dash in "Sonic Rainboom".
    • Find The Music In You is either an amazing work of quartet singing, or the same sort of lazy writing on par with Firework, Born This Way, and Wrecking Ball.
  • Applejack's overprotective behaviour in "Somepony to Watch Over Me". Some think it's hilarious and made the episode more amusing, others found it annoying and the episode's biggest problem.
  • There appears to be two camps in regards to "Leap of Faith''. There's one camp that likes this episode because of its strong moral, the genuine chemistry dynamics between the Apple Family, and an real moral dilemma on Applejack's part, while the other camp dislikes it because it wastes a golden opportunity for real character growth for Flim and Flam and that the start of the episode feels rather cliched until Applejack starts to have her dilemma.
  • Before "Testing Testing 1, 2, 3" was released, the preview clip of Pinkie Pie's rap song split the fanbase into two camps: those who thought of it as harmless, silly fun and no better or worse than any other song on the show; and those who thought the very idea screams Totally Radical and a dearth of ideas on the writers' part, with Vinyl Scratch thrown in as a half-hearted attempt at pandering. The line was blurred somewhat when the episode came out and showed the rap is a very clear case of Stylistic Suck, especially given the animators went the extra mile to give the visuals during the song a Retraux look of something from a late-80s/early-90s VHS tape (with scan lines, semi-blurry quality, and presenting the scene in a 4:3 aspect ratio as opposed to widescreen).
  • Even before "Inspiration Manifestation" aired, there was some conflict between those who ship Spike/Rarity and were hoping for more Ship Tease and those who don't. Word of God weighed in at a BABScon 2014 panel that them being together at this time isn't appropriate because of his Vague Age, though fans have called foul.
  • The infamous Cloudsdale Anthem scene in "Equestria Games": A Crowning Moment of Funny, a painfully cringe-inducing, or a Cringe Comedy.
Season 5
  • While reception to "The Cutie Map - Part 2" has been mostly positive, some viewers have taken offense to it, claiming that it completely rewrote the established rules and lore about cutie marks (with the fact that one of the episode's writers was M. A. Larson not helping this matter at all).
  • The Too Many Cooks Spoil the Soup aspect of the Mane 6 redecorating Twilight's castle in "Castle Sweet Castle". While some fans either liked it or didn't mind it due to the lesson that is being taught, others have criticized it for having the rest of the Mane 6 come off as idiots who have no idea of what Twilight is interested in (despite knowing her for four seasons) and instead decorate the castle based on their own preferences.
  • "Bloom & Gloom":
    • Was the episode a great in-depth look at the actual fears that ponies may have in terms of finally receiving their Cutie Marks, or does it fall victim to a painfully predictable plot (admit it, you knew Luna was going to show up and save Apple Bloom from her nightmare) that doesn't really do anything to make up for it?
    • This episode also caused a rift between fans due to Babs Seed getting her cutie mark. She had only appeared twice in the show before, both in the third season, with defenders saying the time was right for her while opponents claim they should have explored her crusading in Manehattan more. Fans are also divided on how she got one with little fanfare with some fans saying it was just the episode's way of her getting one. Fans who weren't happy bring up a Zipporwhill, a filly no one had ever seen before, getting her cuteceañera as a plot excuse in "Filli Vanilli".
  • "Tanks for the Memories":
    • Some love the episode for the emotional moments and comedy, others hate it for Rainbow Dash acting irresponsible and mean in her efforts to stop winter, while still others are a mixture of both.
    • Rainbow Dash's song. Fans who loved it thought it was a treat to finally hear a solo song from Rainbow Dash and such an awesome one to boot. On the other hand, fans thought the lyrics about Rainbow intentionally preventing winter were unsettling and that Ashleigh Ball's singing could have been put to better use.
  • "The Lost Treasure of Griffonstone":
    • Re-introducing Gilda and making her a more likable character is this for some fans. While a majority really does like her return and gave her a huge character change, there are still a small number of fans that still won't forgive her for yelling at Fluttershy and making her cry.
    • The ending seems to throw off a lot of people, due to Griffonstone still being in disarray and having no king. Never the less, some are okay with the ending considering how Gilda's going to probably help the Griffon Kingdom become more friendlier and less selfish.
  • "Slice of Life":
  • "Do Princesses Dream of Magic Sheep?":
    • There's some debate over which is better: this episode, or the Nightmare Arc of the IDW comics, since both tackled Luna's insecurities which end up nearly bringing destruction to Equestria. The comic was more focused on the Nightmare Forces and Nightmare Rarity than Luna, yet it brought a face to Nightmare Moon and had Luna confronting her fear more directly. This episode has Luna in a more passive role for the climax that makes it feel more scaled down, but the focus was kept on Luna's character, and the Tantabus being a personification of her guilt rather than the force that made her Nightmare Moon adds to Luna's status as The Atoner.
    • Is Luna's guilt throughout Narm? Or entirely understandable given the situation she's in?
    • Was Luna creating the Tantabus to punish herself justifiable given the harm she could have caused as Nightmare Moon? Or did Nightmare fail to do or show anything that would warrant such?note  Is the resolution powerful and appropriate? Or was it unreasonably quick in dealing with serious self-destructive issue.
  • The treatment of the large pony at the end of "Canterlot Boutique" is divided between those who thought it was hilarious and those who saw it as fat-shaming.
  • "Rarity Investigates":
    • The episode split people down the middle between those who thought that the solution to the mystery was so blatantly obvious that it ruins the episode and people who claim that the mystery wasn't the point to begin with and that Rarity and Rainbow Dash's interactions were the important part of the episode.
    • Rarity's "interrogation" techniques on the royal guards. Fans thought they were either the funniest part about the show or that they were too sexy for a show aimed at little girls.
  • "Brotherhooves Social": The whole concept of Big Macintosh taking part in the Sisterhooves Social by attempting to disguise himself as a mare is either hilarious, or a prime example of Cringe Comedy. Similarly, the fanbase is split over whether the whole plot has a positive message about accepting crossdressers and transpeople, is offensive and in bad taste, and those who feel that the episode really wasn't about any of that anyway since Big Macintosh only dressed in drag as part of a disguise.
  • "The Cutie Re-Mark" gets this in spades along with Tough Act to Follow. You either love it for it's unique and different take on My Little Pony 2-parters, the return cameos of previous villains with King Sombra in particular getting an Author's Saving Throw, the imagery and atmosphere of the different alternate realities, or you dislike it for the lack of buildup, lack of action and stakes, and the fact that the Mane Five and several other characters are Demoted to Extra or out of focus entirely. Then of course, there's Starlight Glimmer (mentioned further down the page). Her backstory, decline from a manipulative Smug Snake Knight Templar to petty one track minded revenge villain, and her very sudden and very quick Heel–Face Turn in the end, which may come off as heartwarming or very cliched and tiresome molasses.
Season 6
  • "No Second Prances":
    • This episode may have set a new record for how many different bases it shattered. Regarding character portrayals, the tone of the episode, and even the morality and intentions of certain characters.
    • Twilight Sparkle was subject to much controversy regarding her behavior and the consequences that came from it. Some fans say Twilight had good, realistic intentions regarding Starlight as a teacher regarding her pupil, while the more harsher critics out Twilight as a massive Hypocrite who put her petty rivalry with Trixie over her student actually making progress and friends, to the point where she is outright called the villain of the episode, and think she was let off the hook way too easily. This also sparked debates and questions regarding Twilight's morality and title. Critics call Twilight a poor excuse of a teacher who needs to relearn her Friendship Lessons, with the extreme critics even calling her downright evil, while the more sympathetic groups believe it's a simple use of Aesop Amnesia and a realistic portrayal of flaws for the Princess of Friendship by the writers, and say it's a welcome change.
    • Trixie's return, and the cameos from Derpy and DJ-Pon3, sparked complaints of pandering. Others just liked seeing the characters again.
    • Twilight not wanting Starlight to befriend Trixie. While some fans feel that her behavior is justified due to Trixie's past appearances and how antagonistic Trixie was upon meeting Twilight in the castle, others felt that it went against Twilight's role of being the "Princess of Friendship", ruining the episode for them. Others see it as at worst a minor bad judgment call from Twilight that was perfectly in character, while others jump to the deep end of thinking she needs to relearn her friendship lessons.
    • This episode sparked a new debate. After Season Five, there were complaints that former villains were forgiven too easily, now there's a new argument that how far must a former villain be rejected for their former actions. Some think this episode went a little too far to the other side of the spectrum, that the "heroic" character becomes a judgmental and hypocritical Knight Templar and a Designated Hero, especially considering Trixie already made peace with Twilight at the end of Magic Duel and how she was hardly ever much of a villain to begin with.
    • Starlight's portrayal continues to be a bit of a crowd divider. Some were symphathetical about Starlight strugling to fit in with her magical powers while lacking in social skills, and were also glad that she wasn't simply being mopey all the time like in the season premiere. Some felt that since this was done at the expense of bringing in characters to the story just to portray them either as uncharacterstically or as unfavorably as possible, the narrative was going out its way to make Starlight look good. Others on the other hand felt that the absurdly skilled neurotic wizard without social skills niche had already been done with Twilight a few seasons ago.
  • "Newbie Dash":
    • As per usual for the fandom, there are camps about the Wonderbolts' behavior during the episode:
      • One group thought that their treatment of Dash was unnecessarily petty (it doesn't help that the nickname they gave her is the same one that her childhood bullies came up with) and that their constant insults were childish and unprofessional. Another group notes that hazing the newbie is a pretty standard tradition in nearly any sort of team based activity (especially as every other member of the Wonderbolts had been through it too). Not to mention that the Wonderbolts weren't aware of all the emotional baggage that the nickname had for Rainbow Dash. A third camp is of the opinion that the hazing the newbie tradition works, but the fact no one bothered to explain (or even try to explain) the tradition to Rainbow until the very end (not even Soarin or Spitfire, who Rainbow is personal friends with) when she brings it up made them look more jerkish than they needed to be. Course Rainbow didn't bother to tell any of them how much it bothered her even when one tried to comfort her about her performance, or ask at all about the other's nicknames. A fourth camp feels the Wonderbolts' actions would have been fine on its own, but their repeated instances of questionable behavior in previous episodes causes a problem by not providing enough of a contrast with the nicknames to make it come off as friendly instead of them being jerks.
    • After five seasons of build up, Dash finally gets to be a Wonderbolt and achieve her dream... and it's devoted to her getting a bad nickname and trying to deal with it. On top of that, the completion of her dream happens in the lead-in to the show. Some feel it's a good episode, as it reflects the first experiences of a lot of people in this type of work; others feel it's a waste of the episode where Rainbow finally reaches her dreams and a lot more could have been done with it. This includes some who liked the episode and found it So Okay, It's Average.
    • Rainbow Dash's impressions of her five best friends became a real sticking point among the fans. Some say that it was a disrespectful and embarrassing moment that brought down the episode while others say it was a very adorable moment that shows how talented she is at mimicking the other five ponies of the mane six.
    • The fact that Starlight Glimmer is mysteriously missing from the episode without any mention or any explanation has rattled a couple cages. Some claim she is irrelevant to the plot, but then at the same time, the other group contend that there was nothing stopping her from showing up in the crowd or in the background, and think it's awfully jarring for a character considered by some people to be the Sixth Ranger to just disappear from existence.
  • Applejack's characterization in "Applejack's Day Off". While she's normally very competent and efficient (as shown in the spa), some fans complain that her Complexity Addiction about her works in the farm is totally Out of Character. Others find it funny.
  • Rarity's characterization in "Spice Up Your Life". Some fans complain that she seems to have forgotten the lesson from "Canterlot Boutique" and conforms the restaurant too easily to Zesty Gourmand's standard. Others, in her defense, say that Rarity is not a chef and she only knows what works in Canterlot (indeed Pinkie found only two customers with her different approach), so she acted in good faith to save the restaurant.
  • "28 Pranks Later":
    • Is this episode a vast improvement over "The Mysterious Mare Do Well" that addresses and fixes/avoids the problems of the former? Or is it just as bad as that episode, if not worse? It doesn't help that just like that episode and several other less popular ones, it's the writer's first script for the show (though at least the story concept is from Meghan McCarthy).
    • The problem ultimately lies with the handling of Rainbow Dash's character. While those who liked the episode liked that it didn't repeat the same problems that plagued MMDW, its detractors didn't like that it came at the cost of Dash holding the Jerkass Ball, especially since her jerkish behavior had been toned down since Season 2. As a result, many feel this episode would have worked much better as a Season 1/2 episode instead.
  • "The Times They Are A Changeling":
    • Spike's musical number. Some think it was Awesome Music and a major step-up from his failure of the Cloudsdale anthem in "Equestria Games", while others thought it was cringe-worthy, largely unnecessary and some even consider it to be an Anti-Climax.
    • Everypony's vehemence that a changeling can't be good, as well as their hostility and panic in regards to Thorax, can seem painfully excessive to some viewers, especially considering the well-known reformations of villains like Starlight Glimmer and Discord. On the other hand, Shining Armor and Cadance in particular have pretty good reasons to feel the way they do considering their last encounter with changelings, so other viewers argue their reactions are realistic. In direct contrast, the anti-climactic ending has many viewers wondering if the ponies fully accepting Thorax (to the point that Cadance brings Flurry Heart right under his nose) after nothing but a quick song was in any way reasonable. Others feel that having both Spike "The Brave and Glorious" and Twilight "The Princess of Friendship" being willing to give Thorax a chance carried enough influence to have it make sense, especially for Cadance and Shining Armor due to their own past experience and Twilight being family.
  • The idea of Starlight using mind control magic on the Mane 5 in "Every Little Thing She Does". Some people feel that they can understand her doing this due to her problems with making friends with others and are willing to let it go for the fun stuff that results and the fact that Starlight isn't being malicious about it, and like that the others were actually openly angry with her and she had to WORK to get them to forgive her. To others, this (and how she's Easily Forgiven for this after she apologizes for it) only adds more hate fuel to somepony who is already a Base-Breaking Character even before this episode aired. A THIRD camp likes it for showing a bit of Starlight's pre-Heel–Face Turn personality, which they felt was lacking, and showing she didn't do a complete 180 and has parts of her old self she still needs to overcome, or rather, allowing the new, good version of Starlight to have some character flaws to work on, just as a student is expected to have. There's a fourth camp that just found the whole thing funny and enjoyed the episode.
Season 7
  • With "Fame and Misfortune", this was pretty much inevitable, considering it's a giant Take That! at the brony community. Some find the episode to be a fun jab at obsessive fans and a case of Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped, others see it as the writers being petulant over legitimate criticism the show has received — especially where the Mane 6's characterization is concerned. A third group doesn't mind the episode's subject matter, but rather judge the episode as an actual episode, and found the Mane Six's treatment to be a bit too mean-spirited and the entirety of Ponyville to be more than a little unsympathetic. Yet another group argues that the background ponies are at the mercy of the writers and animators, and that the whole experience will blow right over by the next episode.

    The Characters (Base Breaking Characters) 
The Mane 6
  • Rainbow Dash. The base is split between those who think she's a Jerkass due to her arrogance and constant boasting, and those who think she actually has the skills to keep up with her boasts. She's on many fans' "Favorite pony" list, but also on many "Worst pony" lists. The trend of Scootabuse (artwork of Rainbow abusing Scootaloo played for laughs.), Rainbow Factory, Pony.MOV, Friendship Is Witchcraft, and other fanworks that derail her have not helped despite their noncanonicity and not being reflective of her character. There are even some fans who wish she'd be removed from the show permanently, or humiliated in front of her idols (Which has ended up occuring with great frequency, who, with the exception of Soarin' are also divisive as well, ever since a certain episode. To make matters worse, in many stores Rainbow Dash toys are the only ones left while every other pony is sold out or in very limited quantity. Episodes like many early S2 episodes written by Charlotte Fullerton or Merriwether Williams only increased her hatedom. Her status as the Element of Loyalty has also been called into question as episodes such as "The Last Roundup" "and "Three's a Crowd" involve her showing no remorse or having her suffer no consequence for ignoring her friends. Then we have more modern episodes like "Flight to the Finish", "Trade Ya!" and "Tanks for the Memories" which just add more fuel to the fire. She's hated in "Trade Ya!" for the unspeakably heinous crime of accidentally trading her friend away for a book, with very few fans realizing she didn't understand what had happened until it was (almost) too late. If you make a poll on least favourite mane six ponies before Starlight Glimmer showed up, many will say Rainbow Dash. Some have even labeled her as a Designated Hero and think she's even worse than the villains.
  • While many love Pinkie Pie for being a Fun Personified pony whose driving purpose in life is to make others happy, other fans feel that she has a history of making things harder for other characters, such as preventing Twilight from resolving the conflict in "Green Isn't Your Color" because of an arbitrary promise, hurting Luna's attempts to be accepted in "Luna Eclipsed" by pretending to be scared of her, hoarding cider in "The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000", annoying Cranky in "A Friend In Deed", and especially for aggravating Fluttershy's stage fright in "Filli Vanilli". (The flak sparked from that appearance was exceptionally strong.) Her habit of being Innocently Insensitive and often not being called out for it has gained her a Hate Dom, which isn't helped by her being connected with some of the more controversial aesops of the series (Such as "Swarm of the Century", "Feeling Pinkie Keen" and "A Friend In Deed"). In addition, while many find her "random" humor and hyperactivity hilarious, others find it irritating, especially since exactly how scatterbrained she is tends to vary between episodes.
  • Fluttershy. Some fans go through Hype Backlash when it comes to her cuteness, and find her passiveness and cowardliness irritating rather than endearing. Her willingness to stand up for herself and/or her friends also varies, depending on the episode. She also tends to be very easily forgiven by her fanbase. Whenever she does something wrong (like hurting her friends’ feelings, whether on purpose or not), she’s quickly forgiven, yet when any of her friends hurt her, they quickly become targets of unrelenting hate.
  • Twilight Sparkle got a ton of divisive opinions thrown her way after she became a princess at the end of the third season. Some fans love Twilight and think of her as an Adorkable Badass Bookworm who deserves to be the show's main protagonist. Others see her as overpowered with the writers fawning over her and making her flaws told rather than shown. Even ignoring the issue of her being an alicorn princess entirely, Twilight still gets some flak for having the majority of the show's more dramatic moments focused on her. This has led some bronies to accuse Twilight of stealing the spotlight, especially in the two-part episodes.
  • While the majority of fans like Applejack, she and her family are a Spotlight-Stealing Squad to the point where Applejack has appeared in more episodes than any other major character in the show, and it's left some divided on whether it's a good idea or not. While several Applejack fans appreciate the extra attention especially since she was somewhat Out of Focus in the second season, other fans, particularly ones whose favorite pony is one of the other main characters, are starting to get tired of the extra Character Focus she's recently been getting for the last few years, not helped by the fact that more recent episodes where she's had a leading or major supporting role have started receiving more divisive reception.
  • Rarity got hit with this pretty hard in the earlier seasons. Until her Hidden Depths were revealed in "Suited for Success", her most prominent critics labeled her as The Scrappy of the Mane Six, even more so than Rainbow Dash. Many people admitted to hating her at first for being dim, shallow, arrogant and useless — in other words, typical Rich Bitch, the very stereotype she was designed to subvert. Her detractors claimed she wasn't fit to wield the Element of Generosity whenever she lapsed into selfishness and greed, often citing her behavior in "Dragonshy" as an example where she cared more about the dragon's treasures than getting the dragon out of his den. As she was given more time to develop, fans eventually warmed up to her, though others were uncomfortable with her upstaging Rainbow Dash in "Sonic Rainboom" and intentionally trying to avoid Twilight's birthday party in "Sweet and Elite". Fans who have grown to like her have said that in her defense, she learned her lesson in each of those two episodes. Even still, fans either love her for being the Drama Queen of the cast or think she's annoying for the same reason. Her famous whining scene in "A Dog and Pony Show" for example is seen as either her funniest moment or yet another excuse to pick on her over-the-top behavior. Her mannerisms are also subject to this with the fan base saying she's either the most proper or the prissiest of the Mane Six.
    • Starting with the second half of Season 5, Rarity has gotten a lot of focus. While some fans are okay with this, others feel like Rarity has become a Spotlight-Stealing Squad that is overshadowing the rest of the Mane Six.

Starlight Glimmer
  • Starlight Glimmer from Season 5 and later newest addition to the main cast is off the scale in terms of this, with more to be said about how divisive she is than the entire Mane Six. The many examples:
    • In her first appearance she's a major break from the prior arc villains, lacking the size and scope of threat and having seemingly altruistic motives for her actions. Some found a comparatively mundane villain a breath of fresh air after the old two-parter villain formula was getting predictable. Others found her boring compared to prior villains and felt idiocy was the only reason she lasted as long as she did, much like some prior villains. That she is the first major villain to escape consequences and return as the Big Bad has left room for even more divisiveness.
    • In her second appearance her "redemption" broke the base even wider. Some saw Starlight as a spoiled and childish Karma Houdini with a poor excuse for a motive who committed terrible crimes and was given a very shallow Heel–Face Turn presented through an abrupt two minute musical montage while other former villains (Princess Luna, Discord, Sunset Shimmer) took TV seasons/movies to earn redemption and were arguably less evil. Others felt that Starlight was a victim whose motives were understandable, that her redemption fit with the overall theme the season went with, and she was appropriately remorseful for her crimes and has the rest of the series to adequately own up to them. Other fans are greatly disapointed with a villain who started out as a very complex and surprisingly frightening villain (being a ponified take on Harrison Bergeron and all) and feel her shallow motive and abrupt Heel–Face Turn was a complete waste of an interesting villain, with others still feeling that some of the things shown in the montage (her reconciliation with the members of her town being the big one) were great potential episodes of their own flushed right down the toilet. Then, with her newfound status as Twilight's pupil in Friendship, essentially making her a new addition to the Mane Six (Or rather, Mane Seven) makes things extra rough, as some felt it was entirely undeserved and makes her into ascended fan fiction, some are simply embittered that Trixie who has for a long time been seen as a Twilight's rival and candidate for Sixth Ranger didn't get to fill this role, and others yet see her as a blatant Sunset Shimmer Expy, with the exact same role, while others still see it as a new and exciting development for Season 6 and beyond.
    • The trailer to "Every Little Thing She Does" where Starlight brainwashes the Mane Five to solve friendship problems is throwing even more divisive opinions her way. Starlight's haters pounced on this, saying this negates her being Rescued from the Scrappy Heap and that she'll be a Karma Houdini due to the season finale relying on her saving Equestria. A shrinking vocal minority doesn't mind it, claiming that Twilight did this in "Lesson Zero" to the point of getting an entire town brawling and had to be bailed out by her friends. Others felt that "two wrongs do not make it right", I.E., someone else doing a bad thing again shouldn't get special treatment for it, and are quick to point out that while Twilight did do that, she was a national hero who had proven her heroism and good intentions time and time again, not a recently reformed criminal who had spent a lifetime of doing wrong and was already given far more leeway and forgiveness than she deserved. The other side comes back and contends that Starlight had legitimately good intentions as well, and she just messed up and is good demonstration of character flaws she as a real student, still needs to work on. Not only that, but they also point out Starlight took responsibility and actually had to work to earn forgiveness from the others, negating her Karma Houdini status.
    • Starlight being shown to be very good at complex magic at the beginning and during "Every Little Thing She Does" was treated by some people first, as a good setup for her knowing how to combine several spells to achieve the effects of Mind Control later on and second, a good way to show her confidence/reliance on her magic to solve her problems in contrast to her poor social skills. For some people however, Starlight continuing to be able to pull increasingly more powerful spells that were previously considered impossible to do normally, note  which are otherwise considered very powerful for the setting or which mimic other ponies (even in-universe fictional superheroes') special talents is making these ponies abilities, talents and uniqueness seem redundant note  while making her own arsenal of abilities seem even more special and absurdly powerful for seemingly no particular reason and that Social Anxiety isn't big enough of a character flaw to balance it all out.
    • When the synopsis for the Season 6 Finale was revealed, Starlight became even more of a base breaker when it was revealed she is taking center stage to rescue the mane six from "the return of Equestria's greatest threat". Some are excited at the prospect of the "unlikely team of heroes" she is to assemble, equating it to a pony Suicide Squad and feel this is a perfect finale to her season-wide character arc and will cement her status as reformed and absolved of what she did as a villain. Others feel that having a fourth premiere/finale centering around her is simply too much, especially considering the Season 5 Finale was focused entirely on her and Twilight Sparkle with the rest of the cast getting bit parts at best and how much prominence she has already been given in Season 6 and that her getting to take the main character slot for an entire two-part finale above the official main characters just reeks of favoritism. Of course the rift only got worse when the plot essentially involves the entire cast, that is all the royalty and the Mane Six, being thoroughly Worfed without explanation: some are quick to agree that not showing it and/or it happening was a Necessary Weasel to devote time to the actual plot, with others feeling it validates complaints that the narative is shilling Starlight Glimmer by weakening or making other characters look worse.
    • Starlight Glimmer's existence has created a simmering inner fan rivalry between her and Sunset Shimmer. It started somewhere around Starlight's introduction when Sunset fans became very vocal about Starlight, mostly claiming her to be a lousy replacement who "stole" Sunset's role as Sixth Ranger in the show, while the other side argues that Sunset Shimmer has only appeared in the Equestria Girls movies and never in the show proper, therefore making it impossible for her role to be actually "stolen", even if her character arc and personality makes her look like a Suspiciously Similar Substitute. Then somewhere along the line the Starlight camp adopted their oppositions habit of bringing up the other character out of the blue and comparing them, which usually leads to the more diehard fans of the two trying to downplay their own champion's past or recent transgressions, while trying to demonize the other. The constant back and forth has lead to calls of Hypocrisy, biased morals and insufferable self-righteousness being thrown all around the board and the same arguments being repeated over and over again, leaving both sides embittered towards one another, and the people who happen to enjoy both characters (or who don't just give a damn about either) tired of the amount vitrol that mentioning one or the other can bring when discussing the show.
    • ... which segways nicely into her confirmed appearance in the upcoming Equestria Girls specials, which sparked an explosion of cheers from one side of the fandom who are happy to see her EQ design and a character they like finally appearing alongside the Humane Six. Of course, this sparked an explosion from the other side of the fanbase who are fearing she's going to replace or overshadow Sunset Shimmer, or are simply embittered because of how much prominence she's already been given in the main series.
    • The writers' decision to make Starlight only appear in episodes she's the focus of. Some feel it's fine and helps not force her into places she doesn't belong, others find it jarring and denies her more chances to show her character and feel like part of the show, and of course her sizeable hatedom is thankful for it because they already feel she's been given far too much exposure and prominence this season and feel it's a breath of fresh air and a return to normalcy. Of course, that hasn't stopped Starlight from making a Cameo in "Spice Up Your Life" and "Top Bolt", so there's that as well.
      • With Season 7 they've started to give her non-cameo appearances outside her own friendship lessons, but not as the main attraction of the story. In addition to possibly helping her fit in to the show overall, this can also been as an effort to placate complaints that usually whenever Starlight is preset in a story, she tends to hog the spotlight away from everyone else. Of course this is also a double-edged sword since it means even more Starlight than ever, much to the chagrin of her sizeable hatedom.
    • Because the Season 07's teasers suggested that the premiere would finally say goodbye to Starlight, the fact that it ultimately didn't at all has re-ignited the whole discussion across the community.
    • After her Heel–Face Turn the staff has certainly tried to perform some damage control with the stories that involve her — which has arguably improved her standing to some extent — but whether these attempts have been enough to lead Starlight being outright Rescued from the Scrappy Heap completely, been in the right direction but not enough, have given rise to new issues, tried to fix them from the wrong angle or just focused on the wrong issues is still something that lents you different types of answers from person to person.

Others
  • A lot of bronies were immediately taken with Spike, who was quickly adopted as the Audience Surrogate of the cast, apparently because he's The One Guy. Some of the tension may be due to the fact that he's written as more of a comedic sidekick. While some fans admire him for his Butt-Monkey status, others don't appreciate how often he is used for Comic Relief, often claiming They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character. It hasn't helped that he is shown to have some amazing abilities, like swimming in lava and fire breath that can melt locks or stadium-sized pieces of ice, Hidden Depths, and a rather mysterious backstory. Many episodes with him as the central character are often disregarded due to him acting like a complete moron, while episodes where he isn't the focus usually have him as The Reliable One. Other fans abhor him being The Chew Toy, referring to the slapstick he goes through as "Spikeabuse" and feeling that the sheer amount of it he's subjected to is unfunny at best and downright meanspirited at worst. However, many fans are in agreement that Season 6 is finally giving him some good spotlight episodes.
  • Fans are divided on the Cutie Mark Crusaders. Are they a fair deviation from the Mane Cast or are they given too much exposure? Also, their approach to getting their cutie marks has been divided ever since their talents are hinted at in "The Show Stoppers". Their divisiveness has increased with each season with fans getting tired of them getting denied their cutie marks and not being allowed to grow up. However, with them finally getting their cutie marks in Season 5's "Crusaders of the Lost Mark", fans are almost unanimous in believing that it was a good thing. The rift became over whether they should have gotten their cutie marks sooner, and with fans split over whether their talent of helping others find their destiny was a good and creative idea or a cop-out that tossed out established abilities that had been built up since season 1 as potential special talents.
  • Of all the royal princesses, Princess Celestia is probably the most divisive character of the show. Many fans found her boring and uninteresting which invoked the three common meme trends (Trollestia, Molestia, and Tyrantlestia) in fanart, fanfiction, threads, etc., while others found her to be the most deep character of the series. While there hasn't been much backstory given to her in the show itself, the IDW comics do expand on her character quite a bit, making her The Woman Wearing the Queenly Mask. Her actions in the Reflection Arc of the comic series also show that she was almost blindly impulsive and selfish in her younger days. This has lead to a split that made some fans question how much Celestia deserves to be the ruler of Equestria, while others say that her status as The Atoner makes her far more interesting.
  • Princess Cadance. Fans either like her personality and overall character or dislike her for her bland characterization and lack of development on the show. And there are also some who are to this day still bothered that she was introduced into the show as an alicorn without explanation. They feel that her alicorn status diminishes the monumental presence of both Princess Celestia and Princess Luna, as well as takes a lot of the impact out of Twilight's ascension into alicorndom. Other times she is disliked for entirely different reasons.
  • Fans are as divisive on Cadance's husband, Shining Armor. In his first appearance, fans either accepted him for being Twilight's Cool Big Bro or weren't pleased that he was introduced as such without any explanation. His Badass Decay has also been questioned with each appearance afterward, especially considering his status as captain of the Royal Guard. While some fans defend that he can't beat every Big Bad, opponents cite his uselessness as wasted potential. His crying at least Once a Season sure isn't helping his case.
  • Trixie. She's either liked or disliked for being a pompous, arrogant showmare. Those who defend her claim she's defined by those traits and it's how stage magicians like her make a living. On the other hand, she's an obnoxious jerk who thinks she's better than anypony else. Fans have somewhat became more accepting after her second appearance where she apologizes to the citizens of Ponyville for the way she acted under the Alicorn Amulet.
  • While the season 4 finale was well received in general, fans are divided on the designs of the Mane Six's Rainbow Power forms design-wise. Some feel they look awesome, others think they look garish and silly. The same can be said for Twilight's new castle.
  • Among the villains, King Sombra is generally the most controversial one. While many fans think he did not get enough screen time to be an interesting character and hate the fact that he hardly says a word during his two episodes, others argue that while it is true he does not do much during the episode, the few things he DOES do have a big enough impact on their own. He has since been seen in a much more favorable light and garnered a lot more love as of the Season 5 finale, with many fans agreeing his Bad Future sequence made him the most bad-assed villain in the entire series.
  • Upon his introduction, Discord was immediately adored by the fan base for his whimsical villainy, trickster personality and mish-mosh appearance. Being voiced by John de Lancie helped his cause tremendously. Then in "Keep Calm and Flutter on", his second appearance, he underwent the makings of a Heel–Face Turn. This split his fans between those who welcomed it, expecting him to fight alongside the mane cast and those who thought he was better as a villain, thinking such reformation was rushed at best and forced at worse. Every appearance after that has been equally divisive, with some questioning whether or not his crossing over was genuine (especially considering his actions in "Twilight's Kingdom").
  • Sunset Shimmer, as her fanbase tends to come hand in hand with fans of the Equestria Girls spin-off, a divisive idea in the fandom since their inception. Some fans love her character arc and development, others find her a boring Evil Counterpart character. Another point of contention concerns demands to see her cameo in the main series or even permanently join the Mane Six, versus wanting to see her kept contained to the films for various reasons. The addition of Starlight Glimmer to the cast in Season 6 only added fuel to the fire, with some of Sunset's supporters seeing Starlight as a pale copy of Sunset that got the position Sunset should have.
  • Spitfire is becoming this as of late, due to her actions in both Wonderbolts Academy and especially Rainbow Falls. There are some parts of the fanbase who demonize Spitfire and make Soarin a total Woobie who has since been saved by the true love of Rainbow Dash. Though for RD haters, they demonize them both and have Soarin fall for a very kind OC. Look on the comments of any pony video featuring Spitfire and for every "Spitfire is awesome!" comment you see, there'll be at least 5 more "Spitfire is a complete and utter douchebag." or "Soarin is the only good Wonderbolt." It's gotten to the point where Spitfire has quickly become one of the most divisive characters in the show and is on par with Rainbow for both one of the most liked and most hated ponies.
  • Angel Bunny, despite many thinking he's The Scrappy, is also this. Believe it or not, he has fans. A large vocal minority will defend his actions and explain that he might have an anger problem similar to Rainbow Dash. It doesn't help that it's been shown he does genuinely care for Fluttershy and has helped her as many times as he's hurt her, if not more. Not only that, but there are some people who like him for all the wrong reasons (him serving as a karmic punishment to Fluttershy, acting as a mouthpiece for Fluttershy haters, thinking Fluttershy deserves to be abused) and people not batting an eye when other ponies mistreat Fluttershy, particularly Bon Bon and the teenage Alpha Bitch ponies. And of course there are those who think he's the worst thing on the show and should be killed off in a gruesome way.
  • Diamond Tiara. At one point, she was one of the show's least liked characters with a minority fan base. While she was disliked for constantly picking on the Cutie Mark Crusaders for no apparent reason, her defenders claimed that she wasn't as bad as any of the show's major villains. Then came "Crusaders of the Lost Mark" where it was finally explored why she bullied the Crusaders and even became their friends by the episode's end. In response to her reformation, fans either finally respected the character or thought it was Freudian Excuse that was an even worse Ass Pull than Babs Seed's (mentioned below).
  • Silver Spoon. Fans were divided on whether or not she had her own free will from Diamond Tiara and her Pet the Dog moment in "Family Appreciation Day" amplified that thought. Critics still pointed out "One Bad Apple" and "Flight to the Finish" where she acted just as bad, if not worse, than Diamond. Then in "Crusaders of the Lost Mark", Silver Spoon gained the respect of her haters when she finally told off Diamond for bullying the Crusaders. By the episode's end, she and Diamond became friends with them.
  • Babs Seed. Her Freudian Excuse for bullying the crusaders (she was also a bullying victim in her hometown of Manehattan) has been mixed. Some fans feel the way she was treated back at home was bad enough while others think the crusaders should have given her comeuppance for it. Babs appears in one more episode in Season 3, then is virtually unheard of until Season 5's "Bloom and Gloom" where she unceremoniously got her cutie mark, dividing the fan base even further.
  • Owlowiscious. Fans are divided whether he's a cool and funny character who needs more appearances or a Replacement Scrappy to Spike's place. Spike fans were also put off by how much better Twilight seemed to treat him (in contrast to how Spike tends to be treated) and feel that Spike was fully justified in feeling jealous and angry. However, "Just for Sidekicks", where he acts more friendly toward Spike, may have redeemed him for some.
  • Flash Sentry is quite possibly the biggest Base-Breaking Character in all of MLP. When he was introduced, the fandom erupted due to Twilight developing a crush on him. Some jumped on what was possibly the first canon pairing of the Mane 6 while others argued that MLP had done just fine without romance and didn't need it now. Added on that Flash in the movie barely did anything, barely had any personality, and barely did anything to earn Twilight's affections caused haters to accuse him of being nothing more than a bad OC, while fans accuse the haters of being upset that Flash stole their 'waifu'. Fighting further continued with fans wanting Flash to come back and be more developed while haters wanted Flash gone, period. The writers have apparently noticed the controversy Flash has caused and have steadily moved him further into the background as the movies have gone on.
  • Even Big Macintosh isn't safe. Fans have quarreled over two Season 5 episodes where he was given feminine characteristics, namely the Princess Macintosh scene in "Do Princesses Dream of Magical Sheep?" and his crossdressing in "Brotherhooves Social". Fans who defend these have said he has had this characterization since "Lesson Zero" where he obsessed over Twilight's old Smarty Pants doll even after he was taken out of his trance. Detractors have seen this uprising as chickification of the cast's most prominent stallion at best and insensitive to transgender people or cross-dressers at worst.
  • Shining Armor and Princess Cadence's foal, Flurry Heart, divided the fandom even before the season started:
    • The foal is an alicorn. Fans who don't like this feel it invokes even more Uniqueness Decay for alicorns. There are now five in the show and to make matters worse, such births are now canon, lessening the achievement that Twilight and Cadence earned their ascensions. Fans who don't mind it claim Shining Armor and Princess Cadence have the genetics to produce such offspring, and Celestia and Luna were also born as such.
    • Her appearance. Since Art Evolution has apparently set in and baby ponies now seem to all have large watery eyes rather than the solid eyes they used to, fans have been split into a Fatal Four-Way. Some like the new look claiming the old one was creepy, some like the old look claiming it was cuter, some are just bitter that they changed it at all, and of course some just don't care either way. Somehow Babyjack passed with little fanfare, but this one? Nope.
    • Her name. Some appreciate the name, some wish they had stuck with the name Skyla that was given to a previous alicorn princess foal toy, and some simply wish they hadn't picked a name that sounds just a little too much like Product Placement for a certain fast-food chain.
  • Fluttershy's brother Zephyr Breeze is a manipulative jerk with crippling fear of failure, sure, and no one's really supposed to like him until the end, but the fandom's a little split over whether he's funny enough to justify it or if he's just an annoyance and spoiled the episode. Considering how true to life his situation was, this likewise made a few fans cringe.
  • The changelings' new appearance at the end of To Where And Back Again caused one hell of a fatal-three-way between fans. Some adore the new design feeling it's a wonderful Call-Back / Shout-Out to the Flutterponies and that it reflects their no longer "corrupted" way of life. Others find the designs to be hideous with gaudy features and nauseating color schemes that match the absolute worst OCs the fandom has to offer, with that joke was made within an hour of this revelation and others describing Thorax's new appearance as a "gay fairy moose". The third group feels it completely negates the ponies' acceptance of Thorax despite his appearance and the prior existing "Don't judge A Book by it's cover" lesson inherent to both prior stories involving them, and felt it would have made their Heel–Face Turn far more valid if they didn't have to change their appearance to be seen as "good".

    The Movies 
  • My Little Pony: Equestria Girls and its entire sub-franchise. Fans were and are pretty divided over the idea of a High School A.U. and the simple fact of doing My Little Pony without the Pony. At the announcement, some were cautiously optimistic, others proclaimed it to be the worst idea ever, and some have just ignored it regardless. This has not changed much with the release of the movie with opinions varying from "better than expected" to "generic and contrived".
  • The direct sequel, Rainbow Rocks is generally seen as an improvement over the first one, but not really enough to redeem the spinoff in the eyes of some fans, while others believe it's a real redemption for the spinoff series as a whole. The general reaction ranges from "It's better than the first one" to "A step in the right direction".
  • Now there's the third movie, The Friendship Games. After Rainbow Rocks impressed plenty of people, Friendship Games had some lofty expectations to look at. Fans of course are split. Some regard it as an Even Better Sequel, a downgrade to its predecessor, or the third party: Friendship Games is the Surprisingly Improved Sequel to its predecessors due to doing something completely different instead of sticking to the Status Quo.

    The Comics 
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (IDW):
    • The quality of the comic:
      • Some enjoy it for its World Building and having stories and content the show itself wouldn't dare try to get away with, while others describe them as poorly written fanfiction. Numerous differences in characterization, a different tone from the show, and the extremely heavy-handed references (both to the fandom and other media) don't help matters.
      • Some find fault in the numerous mistakes the comics seem to be making lately such as typos and terminology errors, using clip art photoshopped into panels and clips taken directly from the show and movies to save effort, and the considerable debacle surrounding the production and release of Friends Forever #24. Others believe they're honest and harmless mistakes that aren't much worse then the shows, and it's simply nitpicking by the comic series Hatedom, detracts from more justifiable critiques at worst, and that the overall quality of the artwork and writing (usually) more than makes up for it.
      • After artist Andy Price declared that the comics are completely canon with the show, this created a schism between fans who fiercely gather evidence to insist they are, fans who fiercely gather evidence to insist they are not, and fans who want the comics to be their own separate continuity as they feel it gives them more freedom to do things the show either can't or won't do and don't think the comics need the, for lack of a better word, "approval" of being canon. Show staff on the other hand were very careful to not give a definite answer, and as things stand now it's quite clear there's no communication between comic and show staff as they each contradict the other quite regularly, guaranteeing that base is going to remain broken for a very long time. The Times They Are A Changeling seemingly torpedoing much established about changelings in the comics has really kicked up fresh arguments, with defenders arguing that Chrysalis could have easily lied about their origins in her Fiendship issue and that the changelings could choose to either feed passively on love or drain their victims to lifeless husks, with detractors using this as fuel to shove the comics firmly into non-canon territory.
      • The minimalist designs given to some characters in the backgrounds, such as this and this. Is it a cute, clever, and comical thing to slip into the background that adds a bit of spice to the scene, or the artists being lazy and putting zero effort into a background character which detracts from the whole scene?
    • The existence of the Nightmare Forces for some, who prefer the idea of Nightmare Moon being a corrupted Luna rather than a different entity possessing her, feeling it cheapens her Start of Darkness. There's a Hand Wave they do this via More Than Mind Control, so Luna's fall to darkness could still be in part because she was corrupted by her own dark emotions, and thus leave the tragedy intact. Whether it does so or not is a matter of debate.
    • The first Annual issue showing more of pre-redemption Sunset Shimmer also got this. While appreciated for giving her much-desired backstory, it showed her being just as unsympathetic as in Equestria Girls, disappointing those who hoped she would be given a Freudian Excuse or reason to believe her Heel–Face Turn was real or deserved. The 2014 Holiday Specials focus on Sunset having to further prove her reformation came off as an attempt to address that, but created its own debate regarding whether or not her treatment during it was justified.
    • The Reflections Arc. Some like Celestia's romance with Mirror Sombra, others feel it was a case of Strangled by the Red String due to being poorly written, or that romance shouldn't be in the series. Some loved the ending as a tragic end to the romance, others cried it was a Deus ex Machina and seems to be an inter-dimensional invoking of Status Quo Is God. There's also the Mane Six being Flanderized and shoved aside to focus on the Celestia and Sombra romance, Star Swirl's personality not fitting what the cartoon established about him (particularly Celestia's claim "he did not understand friendship"), and the alternate world actually not being explored much, with the alternate incarnations of characters beyond Sombra, Luna and Celestia only being inconsequential cameos. There are also fans that thought the first issues were fine, but the final issue was an Anti-Climax and wraps up with no significant Character Development for Celestia and the mentioned Deus ex Machina ending.
    • The Seige Arc. Whoo boy. It continued on from Sombra's Fiendship Issue where his portrayal as a Tragic Villain Driven to Villainy was almost universally loved (even the comic's Hatedom admitted to liking it), except halfway through it shifted tone violently from a dark and serious plot to one that was very comical and lighthearted (with the CMC able to battle the Umbrum using slapstick and cartoon physics, among others), and ended with King Sombra fully reformed, recieved by the princesses as a hero, and given a "happily ever after" ending with his Love Interest / Morality Pet Radient Hope. Half the readers felt this was the pinnacle of terrible writing, effectively negated everything that happened in his Fiendship issue, that Radient Hope was horribly portrayed, Sombra had done far too many horrible things to be forgiven like that and didn't deserve a happy ending, and that it had the misfortune of following the Season 5 Premiere which gave Sombra a Badass Portrayal as an irredeemable monster who was using mind-controlled innocent slave civilians as his own army to thrash Equestria. The other half felt he was still a redeemable victim all this time, that he deserved his redemption and a happy ending after everything he had suffered, that it blew his portrayal in the show clear out of the water, and that it ended on a beautiful heartwarming note. Either way, what definitely didn't help it's case was that it directly referenced the heavily contested Reflections Arc mentioned above, which some fans even felt was a not so subtle Take That! against those who had criticized it.
    • The Cattle Rustlers arc (#25-26) quickly establishes that Twilight will not use her powers directly against any non-magical citizen of Equestria, otherwise the situation would be resolved in just a few panels (this is even lampshaded in the second issue). This has created debate if that's a legitimate approach to considering her magical strength. Not helping this is the fact that in a previous issue from the "My Little Pirate: Friendship Ahoy" arc {Issue's 13-14} actually did have her use magic on hostile ponies, with claims of self-defense being debatable.
  • The design of the pony's armor from Guardians of Harmony being lifted directly from fan artist Equestria-Prevails earlier works, and it being done by the already divisive Jay Fosgittnote  is probably a hotter topic than the plot of the comic itself. One chunk of the group were quick to call foul play and call the artist out for stealing the designs of a fan artist without crediting him, with another claiming it to simply be proof of laziness and lack of standards on IDW's part as the image was likely lifted from Google without realizing it wasn't official, while a third group defends and praises it as a (intentional or not) fandom nod instead. The artist publicly stating he was happy his designs made it into an official work and that he himself was a fan of Fosgitt's work helped to quell some of the arguing, but it's still one heck of a stirred up hornet's nest that likely won't quiet any time soon.
  • My Little Pony Micro Series:
    • Issue #8. Several fans felt that Inkwell ended up stealing Celestia's spotlight in her own issue, while others felt that there was still enough time and character dedicated to Celestia to still be considered in the issue's spotlight.
    • Fans often disagree on whether certain issues were any good or not. Only the Rarity and Luna stories get universal praise, though plenty of fans enjoy all ten issues.
  • My Little Pony: Friends Forever:
    • While some fans think #10 was a great issue and Iron Will needed to return after he was such a compelling three dimensional antagonist, Fluttershy didn't obtain the Jerkass Ball again like "Putting Your Hoof Down", others believe Rainbow Dash and Angel's behaviour in this comic was almost callous, making two characters who were originally likeable into mean-spirited pranksters at best and callous remorseless Jerkasses at worst.
  • #11:
    • The art style is either regarded as cute chibification or grotesque balloon animals.
    • The actual story about Spitfire getting a Freudian Excuse and Rainbow Dash being a Cool Teacher to a group of young flight camp foals is divisive. It's either seen as one of Rainbow Dash's kindest moments or seen as OOC for the usually brash impulsive speedster.
  • #18: Fans are divided as to whether or not this was a good issue. Some fans argue Rainbow and Fluttershy got a lot of bonding, the ending was heartwarming especially from Spitfire, who previously held the Jerkass Ball in both Friends Forever #11 and Rainbow Falls, and they still love the artstyle from 11 (Jay Fosgitt returning) that they consider to have improved significantly. Others argue the artstyle still makes the ponies look like deformed balloon animals, Rainbow didn't figure out what Fluttershy was so nervous about until the very end, and that the Alpha Bitch pony was needlessly cruel.
  • My Little Pony: FIENDship is Magic:
    • The Tirek issue; some like how it shows his personal life, mentor, and family, while others feel it's too rushed and doesn't reveal much. Not helping is the prior issue's Tough Act to Follow status.
    • The Sirens issue over being lighter and more joke-heavy than the first two issues. Some enjoyed the humor, others criticize it for diluting the series' Darker and Edgier draw.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/BrokenBase/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic