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Debut: "Friendship Is Magic -- Part 2"Ferocious, lion-like monsters native to the Everfree forest. An enraged manticore is one the obstacles Nightmare Moon puts in the way of the main characters while they are trying to reach the Elements of Harmony, making them the very first monsters to appear in the show.
- All There in the Script: The toyline's Elements of Harmony Friends◊ character collection set names the manticore from "Friendship Is Magic — Part 2" Manny Roar.
- Androcles' Lion: Manny Roar, the manticore in "Friendship Is Magic — Part 2", is a straight-up homage to the fable. It is only enraged due to a large thorn in its paw, and once Fluttershy removes it it calms down and lets the main characters pass by unmolested.
- Ascended Extra: Manny Roar the manticore from "Friendship is Magic — Part 2" got a molded toy in the Elements of Harmony Friends character collection set.
- Beware My Stinger Tail: Typically for manticores, they have scorpion tails ending in large stingers.
- Mix-and-Match Critters: They are lions with bat wings and scorpion tails. Some also have horns.
- Non-Malicious Monster: The manticore in "Friendship Is Magic — Part 2" is a clear threat to the main characters, but it isn't motivated by malice or even animalistic instincts like hunger or territoriality. Rather, it's being driven mad by the pain caused by a thorn stuck in its paw, and calms down and becomes much friendlier once Fluttershy removes it.
- Our Manticores Are Spinier: They are large, lion-like animals with bat wings and scorpion tails. Since humans don't exist in the world of MLP, they have fully leonine heads. Some have horns. They generally seem to take the narrative roles lions get elsewhere.
- Punny Name: Manny Roar the manticore.
- Your Size May Vary: Manny Roar the manticore's molded toy from the Elements of Harmony Friends◊ character collection set is on a smaller scale than the ponies' equivalent molded toys.
Ursa Minor and Major
Debut: "Boast Busters"Ursa Majors are titanic beasts with fearsome reputations that the magician Trixie claimed to be able to defeat so as to gain popularity... which resulted in two colts luring a real Ursa to town for Trixie to defeat. Turns out they had the wrong animal — the building-sized monster they found was an Ursa Minor, a baby. Adult Majors are much, much bigger.
- Animalistic Abomination: They're bears. Except they're the size of buildings, grow to be the size of hills, and are quite literally made out of stars.
- Bears Are Bad News: Especially when they’re the size of a two-story building and in a bad mood from being just woken up.
- Celestial Body: They provide the current page picture. The Ursa Major is a bit unusual in that it is a deep purple, instead of the standard indigo, black or blue.
- Constellations: They're essentially puns on the real life constellations Ursa Minor and Ursa Major, the Little Bear (which includes the North Star) and the Big Bear (mostly made of the Big Dipper).
- The Dreaded: Ursa Majors seem to have this reputation. Trixie claiming to have beaten one gets her a lot of attention, and in the end she admits that nothing can defeat an Ursa Major.
- Eldritch Abomination: In a sense, they are very much this. The Minor is a huge blue Energy Being bear that is easily bigger than a house. Its parent, the Major, is a purple, fanged and even larger monster than the Minor, and there are strong implications that the Minor is still an infant. They don't even look like regular animals so much as pieces of the night sky in the shape of bears.
- Energy Being: They may be this, given that they seem to be made of stars and the night sky rather than flesh and bone.
- Lovecraft Lite: The Ursa Minor. It's a gargantuan bear made of stars and it's only going to get bigger and more dangerous with time, but looking at it doesn't drive anypony into insanity, and it was stopped from destroying the town thanks to Twilight Sparkle giving it a bottle.
- Music Soothes the Savage Beast: Twilight's first move against the Ursa Minor is to create a wind that produces music by blowing through cattails, seriously mellowing out the monster.
- Non-Malicious Monster: The Ursa Minor only went into a rampage because of Snips and Snails disturbing it from its sleep.
- Rent-a-Zilla: The Ursa Minor is a bear quite a bit larger than most buildings in Ponyville. The Major is quite likely the single biggest animal in the show.
Red Adult Dragon's Debut: "Dragonshy"
Green Adult Dragon's Debut: "Owl's Well That Ends Well"
Other Dragons' Debut: "Dragon Quest"
Green Adult Dragon's Debut: "Owl's Well That Ends Well"
Other Dragons' Debut: "Dragon Quest"
Voiced by: Vincent Tong (Garble)note , Ashleigh Ball (one dragon in "Dragon Quest")note , Matt Hill (Spear), and Richard Ian Cox (Clump), Blu Mankuma (Basil), Scott McNeil (Reginald)Over the course of the series, dragons of various sizes, colors, and personalities have appeared, usually playing the role of an antagonist. How bad they are, however, depends on the episode and the dragon(s) in question.For tropes relating to Garble specifically, see Friendship Is Magic: Jerks and Bullies.
- Abdicate the Throne: The Dragon Lords, the rulers of the dragons, seem to operate under some sort of term limits — after an unspecified amount of time, they must step down from their position and allow other dragons to compete in the Gauntlet to select a new Dragon Lord.
- Always Chaotic Evil: Zig-zagged. While most of them are apparently inherently aggressive, greedy monsters with a disdain for weaker beings like in Scandinavian myths, they'd rather spend all day napping in their lairs and never seem to go out of their way to torment ponies.
- Ambiguous Gender: Crackle has eyelashes, but "Crackle's cousin" (Twilight Sparkle, Rainbow Dash and Rarity in a dragon costume that also has eyelashes), is assumed to be male by the purple teenage dragon. The other dragons might have not noticed the eyelashes on the costume.
- Armored Dragons: Dragons in armor feature quite heavily throughout "Gauntlet of Fire". Lord Torch is never seen without his black plate armor, and most of the dragons competing in the Gauntlet wear armor as well.
- Bizarre Alien Biology: Aside from breathing fire, they eat gems, have anywhere from ten to four limbs, retractable thagomizers, belly buttons, and head decorations ranging from horns to hair to, in Spike's case, what seems to be a green rooster's combnote . They don't all have that full list of features, so this is also a case of bizarrely wide morphism.
- Blinding Bangs: The purple teenage dragon has these... which may bring up some questions.
- Breath Weapon: As expected, they can all breathe fire, which can be of varying colors.
- The Bully: In most cases they are usually this, with a special mention to the teenage dragons.
- Delinquents: The teenage dragons Spike has the misfortune to meet are mean-spirited enough to smash phoenix eggs for fun.
- Dragon Hoard: The dragons keep hoards of jewels and other treasure, the implication being that these pull double duty as pantries, since dragons eat gems. The teenagers are shown to play a game of "King of the Hoard" when hanging out together.
- Eat Dirt, Cheap: Dragons eat gemstones. This makes their treasure piles more like stored up rations.
- Evil Albino: One of the teenage dragons has white scales and pink eyes.
- Fantastic Racism:
- They look down on ponies in general, particularly the importance they place on "friendship".
- In the comics, they're on the receiving end of it. Spike learns that a number of dragons do live among ponies in Manehattan, but are subject to profiling and prejudice on account of the fact they're still dragons, even though they're perfectly nice unlike most other dragons.
- Gem-Encrusted: Crackle the costume is covered in gems because Rarity designed it, but the real Crackle is also like this.
- Gigantic Adults, Tiny Babies: All the adult dragons seen so far — the dragons from "Dragonshy" and "Owl's Well", Spike during his greed-induced growth spurt, Torch — have been absolutely enormous, as big as houses if not substantially bigger. By contrast, young dragons have been much, much smaller, from maybe twice the size of a pony (Garble and his gang) to around pony-sized (Ember) to the size of a pony foal (Spike).
- Gonk: You know Rarity's ugly, slap-dash dragon disguise? A real dragon looks like that and their name is Crackle.
- Greed: It's their racial trait, and a part of their growing up. "Secret of My Excess" explains exactly why it is that both dragons encountered up to that point had massive hoards of valuables.
- Jerkass: Most of the dragons fall under this, especially the teenage ones. "Basil" is indifferent to the harm it does and the teenage dragons are actively malicious.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: "Basil" is at least willing to be peaceful and reasonable once Fluttershy scolds him.
- Lazy Dragon: The dragon in "Dragonshy" spends most of the episode sleeping on its hoard, and it's stated it will keep sleeping for a century if left undisturbed. The biggest reaction it has to the ponies before Rainbow Dash kicks it in the snout is at most to stretch and go right back to sleep. It only poses a passive threat due to the clouds of smoke it breaths out while snoring.
- Leitmotif: Straight-up rock for the teenage dragons.
- No Name Given: The red and green dragons from "Dragonshy" and "Owl's Well that Ends Well".
- Noble Demon: They may be dangerous and greedy, but the season six episode "Gauntlet of Fire" shows that, while they aren't fond of pony concepts such as friendship and companionship, they have a well-organized hierarchy and would prefer to leave the ponies alone even if they don't really understand their customs. When Ember becomes their new Dragonlord, she's more than willing to create bridges with ponykind and improve the relations between both species.
- Non-Malicious Monster:
- "Basil" is a threat mostly because his snoring is creating a huge cloud of smoke and he refuses to leave until Fluttershy scolds him (for the most part he doesn't even attack the Mane Six until he is provoked).
- "Reginald", on the other hand, is a territorial Jerkass that tries to kill Spike for entering his cave and eating his gems.
- Subverted with Garble, BIG TIME. Most dragons are apathetic at worst towards ponies, Garble actively hates them all and tries to murder a clutch of phoenix eggs for fun.
- Non-Mammalian Hair: While most dragons lack this, the purple member of the gang of teenage dragons has a mop of yellow hair rather than the other dragons' spikes and horns.
- Ocular Gushers: When Fluttershy yells at him for roaring at her friends after Rainbow Dash kicked him in the face, "Basil" bursts into tears which resembles a rainstorm to the tiny ponies.
- Our Dragons Are Different: Bizarre Alien Biology aside, most of the dragons' designs take after the classic European dragon as a basic template, including their characterization as powerful, ferocious monsters with a greedy behavior.
- Palette Swap: The red and green adult dragons are palette swaps of one another that were used in order to save the animation team time.
- Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Especially the teenage dragons. Garble in particular, who seems to be exceptionally malicious even by the standards of his own kind.
- Rent-a-Zilla: The adult dragons are HUGE. The dragon from "Dragonshy" was large enough that his eyes alone were the size of ponies, Spike's giant form towered several stories in the air when rearing on his back legs, and Torch is so big that Ember — who is already twice as tall as most ponies when standing up — is maybe the size of one of his knuckles.
- Shadow Archetype: The gang of teenage dragons is this to Spike. Unlike the kind, helpful Spike, they're a group of violent, bigoted thugs, showing what Spike might have become had he been raised among dragons.
- Technicolor Fire: While most dragons breathe bright yellow fire, more colorful variations exist, including Spike's emerald green flames and Ember's bright pink fire.
- Teens Are Monsters: The delinquent dragons from "Dragon Quest". The full-grown adult dragons only attack when provoked and greed-filled Spike, while destructive, more or less acts out of instinct and avoids lethal force when attacked. The delinquent dragons are full-on Jerkasses and love every minute of it, whether it's ridiculing baby dragons, their utter disrespect for ponies (even Princess Celestia), kidnapping phoenix chicks, or smashing phoenix eggs.
- Vertebrate with Extra Limbs: Besides the standard four-legs-and-two-wings dragon body type, Crackle has four pairs of legs and one pair of wings.
- Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: The adult dragons are very territorial, and the teenagers are disturbingly similar to real-life gangs of bullies.
- Would Hit a Girl: They have no problem attempting to attack the ponies, even if they are female. In "Gauntlet of Fire", Garble has no problems attacking Princess Ember, despite her being both a girl and the current Dragon Lord's daughter.
- Would Hurt a Child: They have no problem harming or threatening Spike, even if he is a baby dragon. The dragon from "Owl's Well That Ends Well" tries to eat Spike, which would be cannibalism. Garble and his gang take this Up to 11, being willing to slaughter a clutch of phoenix eggs for fun.
Debut: "Swarm of the Century"Adorable, colorful and spherical insect-like creatures with ravenous appetites that reproduce asexually. The parasprites came to Ponyville when Fluttershy brought one home as a pet and soon bred out of control, forming a swarm that threatened to eat all the food in Ponyville.
- Big Eater: They eat constantly, and don't appear to be ever sated. The parasprite swarm almost ate all the food in Ponyvile.
- Bizarre Alien Reproduction: The parasprites reproduce by throwing up, the resulting vomit becoming a new parasprite. Rarity appears to be the only one who witnessed this firsthoof, much to her disgust.
- The Cameo:
- The parasprites briefly reappear in "Magic Duel". During the first duel, Twilight briefly summons a brown one to devour the pies Trixie had launched at her. It then coughs up a new blue parasprite before Twilight dismisses them both with her magic before they can become an issue. They also show up in "Leap of Faith", where multiple motionless parasprites appear as part of the hats of some members of the Flim-Flam brothers' audience.
- In "Viva Las Pegasus", one the attractions in the casino's arcade offers parasprite plushes as rewards. In "A Flurry of Emotions", parasprite plushes are also seen being sold in the store Twilight visits.
- Cute Is Evil: Maybe not evil as such, but their cuteness belays a ravenous, uncontrollable and highly dangerous nature. Zecora's description of them provides the page quote of this trope.Zecora: Oh, monster of so little size... is that a parasprite before my eyes?
- Explosive Breeder: The parasprites reproduce by spitting out fully-formed babies, and can so very quickly when food is available — the ones in Twilight's library went from a hoofful to a swarm of dozens thanks to one late-night snack.
- Extreme Omnivore: The parasprites after Twilight cast her spell so they can't eat food. They almost eat Ponyville itself instead.
- Horde of Alien Locusts: The parasprites, while not "aliens" in the sense of being extraterrestrial in origin, very much fit the other aspects.
- I'm Taking Her Home with Me!: Most ponies' first reaction to seeing the adorable, seemingly harmless parasprites is to adopt them as pets and take them home. This proves to be a mistake.
- Killer Rabbit: The parasprites are adorable little creatures, but when they swarm you'd better run for your life and keep any food and valuable belongings away from them.
- Music Soothes the Savage Beast: Pinkie is able to distract the parapsrites from their feeding frenzy by means of a one-pony band, luring them out of Ponyville thanks to the creatures’ evident fondness for music.
- Noisy Nature: They're small insectoid beings, yet they can utter squeals and coos.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: Very. The only one who wasn't taken in by their cuteness was Pinkie Pie, presumably because she had dealt with them before.
- The Swarm: By themselves, they're cute, adorable and seemingly harmless. However, they have a less than endearing way of reproducing explosively and exponentially when fed. The end result is a massive, out-of-control swarm of bug things voraciously devouring any food they can find.
- Debute: "Feeling Pinkie Keen"
- Armless Biped: Its only limbs are its two short, stocky legs. As a result, it's limited to lunging with its heads when it wants to attack, which backfires when its missed attacks send its heads smashing into trees, rocks and the ground.
- Big Ol' Eyebrows: Despite being completely reptilian otherwise, the hydra sports a pair of thick, black eyebrows on each of its heads.
- Blowing a Raspberry: Once the hydra's forced to give up the chase and it starts to head back to its bog, one of its heads turns around, sticks its forked tongue at the ponies and blows them a parting raspberry.
- Cranial Eruption: When one head smashes through the cliffside Twilight is standing on, it sprouts a large, cartoony cucumber-shaped lump that pushes past its scale — and which rather incongruously sports a couple of hairs.
- Knight of Cerebus: "Feeling Pinkie Keen" starts out as a slapstick comedy episode about Twilight trying and failing to figure out Pinkie Pie. Then the characters get to the swamp, the hydra shows up, and the episode shifts to follow the ponies running for their lives from a ferocious monster.
- Multiple Head Case: Four. They seem to have distinct personalities: they occasionally laugh at each other's misfortunes, and one is a bit slower on the uptake than the others.
- Our Dragons Are Different: It resembles a stocky, armless and wingless dragon with a long tail and four heads on snakelike necks. Like its mythical inspiration, it's primarily a swamp-dweller and, while it's not poisonous, it's accompanied by a foul-smelling, choking gas.
- Roar Before Beating: Its four heads let out a loud, collective roar before giving chase to the ponies and Spike, although it takes one head a bit to catch on and roar with the rest. It does this again when one head's lunge misses Twilight and smashes into through a cliff, before charging Twilight down in a rage.
- Use Your Head: Towards the end of the chase, it starts to use its heads like battering rams when charging at the main characters, doing so with enough force to shatter stone.
Debut: "Stare Master"A fearsome, chimeric creature from the Everfree Forest, the cockatrice has the power of turning anyone who looks into its eyes into stone.
- Basilisk and Cockatrice: Cockatrices are creatures with the head and tail of a chicken on a draconic reptilian body, and can turn other creatures to stone with their gaze.
- Don't Tell Mama: The cockatrice was more than willing to leave the Cutie Mark Crusaders alone and revive its victims when Fluttershy threatened to tell its mom about its behavior.
- The Dreaded: You know a cockatrice is bad news when it petrified Twilight Sparkle before it even shows up on screen; Fluttershy acts accordingly.
- Feathered Fiend: The cockatrice is a dangerous birdlike animal that goes around turning people into stone.
- Killer Rabbit: The cockatrice is a silly-looking creature that's part chicken and part snake, something the CMC find downright laughable, but it turns anyone who looks it in the eye to stone.
- Mix-and-Match Critters: It has a chicken head and feet on a serpentine draconic body.Scootaloo: The head of a chicken and the body of a snake? That doesn't sound scary, that sounds silly!
- Red Eyes! Take Warning: Its eyes are solid red, with no visible whites or pupils.
- Staring Down Cthulhu: The cockatrice's gaze will turn anyone who looks into its eyes to stone. Despite this, when it threatens the CMC, Fluttershy is still able to look right into its eyes and quite literally stare it down, forcing it to blink even as it was turning her to stone.
- Taken for Granite: The cockatrice has the ability to petrify other creatures with its gaze.
- Toothy Bird: Although it isn't really a bird, it still sports teeth in its chicken beak.
Debut: "Family Appreciation Day"Creatures made of magically animated wood and branches from the trees of Everfree Forest, they have a wolf-like appearance. In Granny Smith's flashback in "Family Appreciation Day", the howl of the Timberwolves indicate the start of Zap Apple Season, while in "Spike at Your Service", they appear as generally dangerous creatures nopony should mess with.
- Break Out Villain: Ever since their debut, they've been quite popular with fans of the show and have made constant reappereances since then.
- Conspicuous CG: In their first appearance, the Timberwolves were animated like the other characters in Flash. In "Spike at Your Service", they are rendered using CGI, making them stand out from the rest of the Flash animation on the show, but then return to being animated in Flash when they combine to form a big Timberwolf.
- The Dreaded: Ponies are terrified of these things.
- Elemental Embodiment: The Timberwolves can form from ordinary sticks and branches; this further allows them to join together to form a single giant Timberwolf.
- Glass Cannon: The fear Timberwolves invoke imply they can be deadly, but they can't take a hit — they shatter apart with a rock projected by Applejack, and even the giant Timberwolf suffers from choking and its dissipation after a small rock gets stuck in its throat. (They're all bark and no bite.)
- Golem: They're made of wood but appear to be natural creatures instead of artificially made by someone.
- Non-Malicious Monster: Despite how scary and creepy they are, Timberwolves just want to eat and survive.
- Planimal: They are wolf-like creatures made of logs, branches and assorted wooden debris.
- Pulling Themselves Together: If they fall apart or are dashes to pieces, their fragments will simply reassemble back into a wolf. They can even use it to combine into a single larger version.
- Punny Name: They're timberwolves made of actual timber.
- Savage Wolves: The Timberwolves are feared because of their vicious nature, and will attack ponies out of hand.
- Super-Persistent Predator: The possible reason they are still very feared predators; they don't give up easily, and their regenerative abilities mean they'll be back to hunting even if they are destroyed.
- You Need a Breath Mint: One distinctive quality of Timberwolves is their rancid breath — Spike points this out as the flaw in the Mane Six's attempt to create a puppet of one.
Debut: "Hearth's Warming Eve"Winter spirits that feed off of hatred and cause deadly blizzards the more powerful they get. They existed before Equestria's founding and were seemingly destroyed when the three tribes united in friendship, triggering a powerful spell that vanquished them.
- Always Chaotic Evil: Comes with the territory of being personified hate. In "A Hearth's Warming Tail", it's implied that they're the only beings in Equestria that are truly beyond any redemption.
- Animalistic Abomination: They look like horses but they live in the atmosphere, feed off hatred, and generally appear otherwordly.
- As Long as There is Evil: Or Conflict in their case. It's implied at the end of their debut that they will continue to exist as long as ponies are still able to feel hatred and anger, and if those conflicts reach the point that they were over a thousand years ago, the Windigoes will come back...
- Big Bad: Of the Hearth's Warming Pageant and the founding of Equestria.
- Character Overlap: In-universe. The Windigos appear as characters featured in both the "Hearth's Warming Eve" pageant and the A Hearth's Warming Tale story. Of course, it is strongly implied they are not mythical at all, which would make them an example of Historical-Domain Character for Equestria.
- Darker and Edgier: Compared to a lot of antagonists in this show they are more serious, more frightening, and have nothing remotely redeeming about them. They do not speak, and in keeping with the wendigo myths their sole concern is to feed, never satisfied.
- Diabolus ex Nihilo: Where they come from or what their plans are besides feeding off the ponies' hatred is never stated, but they do their plot-wise job of forcing the three races to stop fighting.
- Emotion Eater: Feed off of hatred.
- Eldritch Abomination: The closest things the series has to true Lovecraftian Horrors besides the Ursas, and indeed seem to be worse than them in this regard; they greatly resemble Ithaqua, a beast that came from the mind of H.P. Lovecraft himself. As a further comparison to such abominations, they are mysterious to the point that a number of ponies don't believe they exist, and are themselves seeming eternal and beyond any reasoning with by ponies. Destroying or imprisoning them for good seems impossible, they can only be repelled/banished and kept at bay.
- The End... Or Is It?: They are seemingly incinerated by the friendship powered spell the union between the tribes causes. Although the end implies that they or more of their species are still out there.
- Evil Is Deathly Cold: They are frost spirits that feed off hatred and almost created a frozen planet.
- Family-Unfriendly Death: They seemingly burn to death. It's not that graphic, but it's still pretty unnerving. Albeit it seems more likely they were simply driven away.
- Greater-Scope Villain: "A Hearth's Warming Tail" further confirms them to be this to Equestria as a whole. They are a seemingly eternal and implacable force that will destroy all life in Equestria should the ponies ever give them the opportunity to.
- Harmless Freezing: Only in a sense. That is their ultimate freezing attempt on the Equestrian founders does not appear to be painful or necessarily fatal, their initial victims continuing to argue without even noticing it. However this may cross into A Fate Worse Than Death territory as their victims could be frozen, continuing to feel the hatred they felt at the time and thus continuing to feed the Windigos, unable to do or feel anything else.
- An Ice Person: They can summon blizzards and cause terrible winters, which can freeze entire countries over.
- It Can Think: They're strongly implied, mostly in the Hearth's Warming Pageant, to be sentient and capable of thought. Despite this, they cannot be reasoned with by ponies.
- Kill It with Fire: It was friendship-powered fire, but they're destroyed or maybe repelled by fire nonetheless.
- No Name Given: If they even have individual names.
- Omnicidal Maniac: It's not made clear if they have a plan, but by the looks of it, the blizzards they create could render the world eternally frozen over at best and utterly lifeless at worst.
- The Power of Hate: They feed off of hatred and use it to spread deadly blizzards everywhere they go.
- Punny Name: Windigos cause blizzards.
- Real After All: Their existence is heavily hinted to be more than an in-universe diary tale at the end of "Hearth's Warming Eve". In the in-universe story in "A Hearth's Warming Tail", Snowfall believes the Windigos are fables. She is very wrong.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Word of God has used "windigos" but the closed captions use the "Wendigo" spelling.
- Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: While when it comes to outright malevolence they're not on the level of Sombra or the Changelings, they're still freaking scary for this show. They turned the original pony homelands into a frozen waste in "Hearth's Warming Eve" and would have done the same to Equestria in the in-universe story in "A Hearth's Warming Tail"
- Villainous Breakdown: It's subtle, but when the assistants begin reaching an agreement, one of the Windigos gives them a seemingly panicked Death Glare. When their affirmation strengthens, the Windigos roar with fury and try to make the blizzard stronger, encasing the assistants in ice even faster. This culminates in them screaming and flailing when the friendship fire drives them away.
- Wendigo: Of the Ithaqua-esque variety in the form of beings that can run/walk on air and are associated with ice and winter, rather than the emaciated cannibalistic monsters of Algonquin mythology.
Debut: "It's About Time"A giant three-headed dog that guards the entrance to Tartarus, ensuring that the evil beings trapped there do not escape. In "It's About Time", he runs off from his post and has to be brought back. His temporary absence is hinted at to be what allowed Lord Tirek to escape his imprisonment.
- Big, Friendly Dog: Surprisingly enough, he becomes this once Fluttershy calms him down, happily getting his belly scratched and chasing after a ball.
- The Cameo: He makes one in "Princess Twilight Sparkle -- Part 2", where he's briefly seen standing guard in Tartarus when Tirek is returned there.
- Canis Major: Cerberus is easily the size of most buildings in Ponyvile.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Cerberus may look huge and frightening and monstrous, but he's a force of good, and keeps evil beings trapped in Tartarus.
- Hellhound: He is one of the Guardian type, standing watch at the gates of Tartarus to ensure none of the monsters imprisoned there get out. Physically, he resembles a three-headed black bulldog the size of a two-story house.
- Multiple Head Case: True to Greek myth, he has three heads.
- Non-Malicious Monster: Cerberus is big and scary and can cause a lot of damage, but he's just a guard dog who ran off from his guard post and was easily persuaded to go back once he calmed down.
- Urine Trouble: A jumbo-sized example is narrowly averted in "It's About Time" when Twilight confronts Cerberus, who is standing with his leg lifted over an ice cream store and obviously about to pee.
Vampire Fruit Bats
Debut: "Bats!"Bigger, nastier relatives of Fruit Bats. The Vampire Fruit Bats suck fruit juices and spit out the seeds (which leads to the plants germinating).
- '80s Hair: Some of them sport a furry, white mohawk on their heads.
- Bat Out of Hell: Of the Dire Bat variety — big as birds and ugly as sin.
- Bat Scare: In "Inspiration Manifestation", when Spike enters the locked chamber where the spellbook is kept, a large flock of vampire fruit bats flies past the screen, briefly obscuring Spike. Downplayed in that Spike isn't startled by them — he's as oblivious to them as to every other thing in that scene — but they do serve to highlight the unsettling nature of the place and that the chamber has been abandoned for a long time.
- Beauty Equals Goodness: Subverted. Applejack wasn't lying when she said they were ugly, but that doesn't stop Fluttershy from wanting to defend them.
- The Cameo: A flock of them appears in "Inspiration Manifestation", flying past the camera when Spike enters the chamber where the titular spell is held. They also appear in the teleportation sequence in "Every Little Thing She Does", when Twilight and Starlight briefly pop into a cave where a flock of vampire fruit bats is sleeping.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Downplayed. None of the Mane Six seem to see them as flat-out evil, but Applejack (somewhat rightfully) sees them as nuisances.
- Nobody Poops: In real life, fruit bats disperse seeds by eating fruit, and passing the seeds through their droppings, far away from the parent tree. These bats on the other hand just suck the juices dry and spit the seeds out. Somehow this is helpful to the plants that sprout later on.
- Non-Malicious Monster: They're big and scary-looking, but are not evil and can even be helpful. Fluttershy even lampshades this.
- Planimal: Downplayed; they only have ears that look like leaves, but they're presumably close relatives to regular Fruit Bats, which are more obviously planimals.
- Vegetarian Vampire: Unlike most vampires or real life vampire bats, they don't drink blood — they suck fruit dry of juice instead.
- Debut: "Three's a Crowd"
- All There in the Script: Its name is not mentioned in the episode, as none of the characters know what it is, but was revealed in a tweet by Meghan McCarthy.
- Combat Tentacles: It has three of them inside its "mouth", using them to entangle Twilight Sparkle and Cadance.
- Diabolus ex Nihilo: It shows up out of nowhere when Twilight and Cadance pick the giant flower, attacks them, and after a difficult fight gets sealed back up underground. And just to hammer home that it was something not even Discord was expecting, it pops out of the ground again and sneezes on him.
- Didn't See That Coming: Even Discord was unprepared for the Tatzlwurm; doubly so when he's about to "snap" it away, but then it sneezes on him.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: A more balanced example where mighty Discord, the insane Mad God who more than once held Equestria under his dominion through sheer power alone and previously only stopped by the Elements of Harmony, is laid low by a sneeze from a single monster.
- Eldritch Abomination: A downplayed version. It has a simplistic yet terrifying design, especially its mouth. Even Discord didn't know what it was, and it managed to make him sick.
- Multipurpose Tongue: It has three long, black wormlike tongues, which are fully prehensile and which it uses in combat to grab and entangle its foes, snatching them out of their air and attempting to pull them towards its mouth.
- Our Monsters Are Weird: A massive purple worm with a ruff of fur around its neck, six eyes arranged radially around its head in sets of two, and a three-lobed mouth that opens like a flower to reveal a trio of yellow fangs down the middle of each jaw and a trio of writhing, prehensile wormlike tongues.
- Sand Worm: A massive, wormlike monster that burrows through stone and soil with speed and ease, bursting out to attack potential prey passing above.
- Stock Scream: It lets out a Wilhelm Scream when it's forced back underground; it's easy to miss since the beast's normal roaring sounds are layered on the scream.
Debut: "Somepony to Watch Over Me"
Tiger head: Oh, you don't have to worry about that.A ferocious monster living in a fire geyser swamp, the chimera menaces those who cross its hunting grounds — including Apple Bloom, who unknowingly went into the beast's territory while trying to prove to her sister that she’s mature enough to handle herself on her own.
Goat head: Yeah, you don't have to worry about anything anymore.
Snake head: Because we're going to have our apple pie with a ssside of filly filet.
Goat head: Yeah, you don't have to worry about anything anymore.
Snake head: Because we're going to have our apple pie with a ssside of filly filet.
- Hoist by Their Own Petard: The chimera gets hit with this several times. First, the snake head unwittingly trips the chimera when chasing Apple Bloom around the monster's legs. Later, the snake head gets lodged between two tree branches while the saber teeth of the tiger head get stuck in the trunk of another tree, leaving it completely immobilized.
- Hypnotic Eyes: The chimera's snake head makes these briefly when plotting to eat Apple Bloom, though she never utilizes them.
- Knight of Cerebus: "Somepony to Watch Over Me" starts out as a fairly low-key episode about Apple Bloom feeling smothered by her sister's helicopter parenting... until the chimera turns up, and the episode takes a darker turn as Apple Bloom is forced to flee through a flaming swamp from a monster that wants to eat her.
- Mix-and-Match Critters: The chimera has the forelegs and head of a tiger (as well as saber teeth) the hind legs and a second head of a goat and a snake for a tail.
- Multiple Head Case: It has three heads working independently; a tiger, a goat, and a snake. They refer to one another as sisters, and spend much of their time arguing with each other.
- Palate Propping: What the lion tamer's chair Applejack brings with her is needed for. When the chimera lunges at her, she jams the chair in the tiger's mouth, forcing it open until the beast manages to crush it.
- Sssssnake Talk: The snake head speaks this way, drawing out hissing sounds in its words.
- Swamps Are Evil: The chimera lives in a fire geyser swamp, a stretch of tangled, marshy forest dotted with pools of water that constantly erupt in geysers of flame. The chimera's own presence does quite a lot to make the swamp's even more dangerous and menacing than it already is.
- Vocal Dissonance: While all three heads of the chimera are female, the tiger head's voice is much deeper and more masculine than the others.
- Would Hurt a Child: The chimera's heads have no problem with hunting and eating Apple Bloom, and if anything seem to relish the chance to have a bit of "filly fillet" to go with the apple pies she's carrying.
Debut: "Make New Friends but Keep Discord"
The Smooze is a creature made of green slime. Consuming treasure and other shiny things makes it grow bigger. Its gunk is impervious to magic, but it likes calming music.
- Adaptational Comic Relief: The G1 incarnation of the Smooze nearly causes a Sugar Apocalypse. The new one is more of a comedic nuisance.
- Adaptation Dye-Job: Purple and opaque in the G1 movie, translucent green in the G4 cartoon.
- Adaptational Heroism: Unlike the G1 movie, it isn't actively malicious and just can't help growing and spreading slime everywhere.
- Adaptational Wimp: Subverted. Despite being a Non-Malicious Monster instead of a sapient cataclysm like its G1 self, it's still Nigh Invulnerable and has gained Anti-Magic abilities. It's just much nicer than the G1 version.
- Anti-Magic: It's made of the stuff. A little slime on an alicorn's horn renders them powerless.
- Big Eater: Absorbs things constantly.
- Blob Monster: A sentient blob who likes eating shiny things.
- Cat Smile: It smiles this way after giving Discord an affectionate smooch.
- Eat Dirt, Cheap: While it can technically engulf anything, it seems to prefer shiny jewels and metals.
- Eldritch Abomination: A downplayed and relatively benign example, but the fact that neither Twilight nor Celestia's magic is capable of affecting it should probably be a tip-off that there's something particularly off about it.
- It Can Think: At first it is not certain how sentient the Smooze is, but it kisses Discord after his apology.
- "It" Is Dehumanizing: The Smooze is mostly referred to as "it" or a "thing", including by Discord, who isn't too convincing when he claims that he cares about his guest. The exception is Tree Hugger, who consistently uses male pronouns when talking about it.
- The Juggernaut: The Smooze is both Nigh Invulnerable and Anti-Magic. Given its G1 self's reputation as this trope, this is rather fitting.
- Miracle-Gro Monster: It grows in size with every object he eats.
- Music Soothes the Savage Beast: It stops terrorizing the ballroom and covering everything in goop after listening to Tree Hugger sing.
- Mythology Gag: Just like Tirek, the Smooze is inspired by the character of the same name from G1's My Little Pony: The Movie.
- Nice Hat: The Smooze is particularly dashing in its top hat.
- Nigh Invulnerable: Shares this with its G1 counterpart. It easily re-forms itself after being physically split in half by Discord, and Twilight's magic blasts do nothing to it.
- Non-Malicious Monster: Although its appearance and habits suggest otherwise, it is actually a nice creature. It takes Discord's treatment in stride and enjoys the Gala once everything is settled.
- No-Sell: Magic blasts do nothing to the Smooze.
- Not Evil, Just Misunderstood: It's a legitimately friendly creature, despite its spooky nature. Pinkie Pie adores it.
- Odd Friendship: Does seem to have formed a genuine one with Discord. Any number of questions, including how they met, are left unaddressed.
- Pulling Themselves Together. It gets squeezed in half by Discord at one point — and doesn't even seem to notice. Also, the slime it leaves behind seems to still be a part of the creature; when soothed by Tree Hugger's song, all of it oozes back into the Smooze, including the slime on the guests.
- The Speechless: Makes no other sound than a belch during its screentime.
- Sticky Situation: The Smooze's slime is (thankfully) not corrosive, but it is extremely adhesive. The slime sticks many ponies to the floor, leaving winged ones unable to fly — even Rainbow Dash, despite all her efforts.
Debut: "To Change a Changeling"A monstrous, mole-like creature found in the Badlands. The Maulwurf has been attracted to the Changeling hive by the reappearance of plant life around it, and has been terrorizing the Changelings ever since.
- Aluminum Christmas Trees: While it's much bigger and more brightly colored than the real deal, the Maulwurf is based on the very real star-nosed mole.
- Bilingual Bonus: "Maulwurf" simply means "mole" in German. It would be pronounced "mowl-voorf", though; "mowl" rhyming with "howl".
- The Dreaded: The Changelings are terrified of this thing: they refer to it as "the dread Maulwurf", and the knowledge that it's heading for their hive is enough to send them in a state of utter panic. This is nearly all we know of it until it actually shows up, fairly late in the episode.
- Fast Tunnelling: While it spends most of its on-screen time above ground, it digs away extremely quickly once it decides to flee at the end of episode. At the very least, it digs fast enough to take its entire sizeable bulk underground in a second or so, while leaving nothing more than slightly raised edges around the hole in the way of detritus.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Thorax and Pharynx defeat the Maulwurf by tricking it into hitting and even biting itself.
- Mighty Roar: This is the maulwurf's reaction after Starlight blasts it with her magic, which seems to make it more furious than anything else.
- Mix-and-Match Critters: The Maulwurf is an enormous mole-like monster that's described by Starlight as "half-mole, half-bear, half-raging-pile-of-claws". The end result is a colossal star-nosed mole with a bearlike or apelike build. In addition, its teeth seem to be those of burrowing rodents such as pocket gophers.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Once the Changelings figure out they can hurt it by tricking it into beating itself up — and especially after it gives itself a very painful bite on its own arm — it decides to cut its losses and run for it, leaving the hive and its plants behind.
- Stop Hitting Yourself: This turns out to be the trick to defeating the Maulwurf — since the only thing that can hurt it through its thick hide are its own attacks, Thorax and Pharynx goad it into slapping and biting itself by hovering next to it or standing on it and dodging before it can hit them.
- Super Toughness: The Maulwurf has a very thick hide, allowing it to all but ignore anything from physical blows to thrown boulders to magic blasts. The only things that do significant damage to it are its own blows and bites.
Debut: "A Health of Information"Blue-and yellow swarming insects native to the Hayseed Swamp, flash bees are immune to the effects of swamp fever, and their honey can be used as a cure for the disease. However, actually getting that honey is complicated by both the bees' highly aggressive natures and their electrified stingers, as both Meadowbrook and Fluttershy found out.
- Artistic License – Biology: The flash bee colony in "A Health of Information" consists of aggressive males who sting intruders to protect the queen bee. In real life, only female bees (workers) have stingers, and the only duty the males (drones) have is to mate with the queen. Also, they are able to sting without leaving their stinger fatally embedded in their target's body, which bees cannot do in real life. Of course, in real life, bees also have no electric powers, so these might just be other characteristics of the species.
- Bee Afraid: Flash Bees combine all the qualities that make swarms of real-life bees as frightening as they are — the constant droning noise, an extremely aggressive and territorial nature, sharp and painful stings and the sheer numbers they can put into each attack — with the delightful addition of their ability to charge their stings with electricity.
- Dressing as the Enemy: This turns out to be the trick to getting past them and to their honey. Meadowbrook and, later, Fluttershy observed that the male bees are much less aggressive around the queen. Thanks to its blue and yellow stripes and the feathers at its base, Meadowbrook's mask turned out to resemble the colors and ruff of the queen bee closely enough to calm the flash bees down and allow its wearer to retrieve their honey.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: Fluttershy comes up with her disguise plan after seeing a male flash bee cuddling with Meadowbrook's mask, which resembles the queen bee. When one considers that the role of real-life male bees is to impregnate the queen, this bee's motions suddenly become a lot more suggestive.
- Insect Gender-Bender: The workers of the colony are explicitly referred to as being male, with only the queen being female, whereas in real life bees every member of the colony is female except for the breeding drones.
- Insect Queen: While the queen of the flash bee hive is not seen commanding or ordering the other bees about, she is shown wearing a crown, as well as standing on a raised, throne-like dais in the center of the hive.
- No-Sell: They are completely immune to Fluttershy's Stare, seemingly out of nothing more than bloody-minded aggressiveness. Twilight's magic also fails to have any effect in calming them down.
- Shock and Awe: Their stingers are electrically charged, adding an extra painful zap to their stings. Their swarms are also visibly charged with electricity, with sparks coming off of them as they fly. Their stingers even look like little lighting bolts.
- Stock Beehive: Their beehive resembles five yellow donuts stacked on top of each other, thin at the top and bottom and fat in the middle. Its opening is on the "donut" in the middle, and for some reason it's shaped like a cloud.
- The Swarm: They don't appear to be any threat individually, but are a serious obstacle in large groups. They aren't even rendered individually when swarming — the whole swarm is a single, blue-and-yellow, electrically charged mass attacking as a single entity.
Other Various Monsters
Along with the ponies, Equestria is home to various monsters. Most of them live in the Everfree Forest, an enigmatic place which is apparently free from the control of the rest of Equestria. Some of them are intelligent enough to be reasoned with while others are not. They have served as obstacles for the ponies from time to time.
- Adaptational Heroism: In the original Aboriginal myths it came from, the Bunyip is often described as a ferocious, malevolent, predatory beast with a taste for human flesh that lives in swamps, billabongs and creeks. Here, it is instead a friendly, sea-dwelling herbivore with a calm behavior.
- All There in the Manual: According to its designer, Kora Kosicka, the yeti seen near Yakyakistan is named "Snowbutt McTwinkles".
- Bears Are Bad News: The Bugbear is a six-limbed, insect-winged bear-like monster so dangerous and aggressive that it was apparently necessary to imprison it in Tartarus.
- Bigfoot, Sasquatch and Yeti: On her way to Yakyakistan, Pinkie encounters a quadrupedal yeti living in a cave in the northern mountains, which is later referred to as pony-eating. Unlike the usual simian depictions, this one looks more like a bear/canine type of beast. May qualify as Fridge Brilliance if it's a nod to those skeptics who believe that sightings of sasquatches and similar creatures are misidentified sightings of bears rearing up on their hind legs.
- Big, Friendly Dog: The Orthrus in "Trade Ya!" is a friendly, seemingly good-natured dog easily the size of a pony.
- Cats Are Mean: There are two major feline-inspired monsters in the series, the lion-like manticores and the tiger-like chimeras. Manticores seem to have a friendly side and can get along with ponies, while chimeras, on the other hand, are ferocious predators willing to eat little fillies. (Albeit the book Princess Luna and the Winter Moon Festival has Luna peacefully reasoning with a chimera who didn't want to share its winter shelter with a manticore, leading to a fight between the two). "Castle Sweet Castle" from season 5 has a cover of a Daring Do book where she comes across a Sphinx, though it is not until season 7 that we see one, and then only as a (almost certainly true) legend.
- Composite Character: The Bunyip's love for cucumbers may be a reference to the well-known Kappa of Japanese folklore.
- Everything's Better with Dinosaurs:
- The slingtail, a type of creature which resides in the Dragon lands, looks like a cross between a ceratopsian and an ankylosaur, whith fur covering its back.
- The Cold Opening of "The Fault in our Cutie Marks" also has a filly named Petunia Paleo discovering the fossil remains of a "spiny-backed ponysaurus", which is, apparently, a dinosaur/pony hybrid. Don't ask us how is that possible.
- Fearsome Critters of American Folklore: Jackalopes often appear as background fauna. They get along well with normal rabbits.
- Hellhound: Yes, even here! Besides Cerberus, Orthrus is a kind of dog you can just up and buy, if you're up to training it.
- Knight of Cerebus: Not to the extent of the Arc Villains, but some creatures such as cockatrices, timber wolves, and the chimera make episodes that were lighthearted before their appearance dip into horror movie territory.
- Misplaced Retribution: Perhaps. A Big Lebowski allusion at the end of "Slice of Life" implies that the Bugbear killed Donny in the attempt to get to Bon Bon.
- Misplaced Wildlife: An in-universe example; in "Campfire Tales", Applejack mentions that fly-ders are native to the Luna Bay areanote , and don't usually travel so far from their home. She suggests that they may simply have been drawn to the camp site by the group's food.
- Mix-and-Match Critters: Many of them, including manticores (lions with bat wings and scorpion tails), chimeras (body and head of a tiger, plus a goat head and a snake for a tail) and flyders (spiders with fly wings).
- Multiple Head Case: Quite a lot of the monsters seen in the show have more than one head. Most — like the hydra from "Feeling Pinkie Keen", the orthrus and Cerberus — just have more than one head of the same kind (snake, dog and dog, respectively), while the chimera has a tiger head, a goat head and a snake head for a tail. The degree of independence seems to vary, but in most cases the heads have separate identities — one of the hydra's heads seems a little slower on the uptake than the others, and the chimera's often argue and bicker.
- Nature Is Not Nice: These creatures are dangerous, but for the most part are only hungry or territorial, not actively evil.
- Never Smile at a Crocodile:
- One of the creatures that live in the Everfree Forest is a cragadile, a giant crocodile made out of rock that tries to eat the main characters when they try to cross the pond it lives in.
- The Cipactli, a gigantic pony-eating crocodile serving as an ancient temple's guardian monster.
- Rainbow Dash and the Daring Do Double Dare introduces Colossa-Gators, gigantic alligators about the size of an Ursa Minor with red-eyes and iridescent scales.
- Noisy Nature: Oh yeah. Whenever they chase their prey, the monsters constantly keep roaring, growling, snarling and making all types of sounds. Might be justified by the fact these are, well, mythical monsters we're talking about. Special mention goes to the Hydra, which rises ominously from the swamp and lets out a thunderous roar once it corners the ponies in Feeling Pinkie Keen. Heck, one of its heads even gets a little delayed and roars with the others when it notices them.
- No Name Given: With the exception of Cerberus, Manny Roar and Snowbutt McTwinkles. Even the parasprites who are briefly taken in as pets don't get named.
- Our Monsters Are Different: Most of the creatures are taken directly from real-life mythology, but they have their own flavor to them.
- Our Monsters Are Weird: Oh yeah, from wolves made of wood, crocodiles made of stone, yetis that look like bears, and several downright bizarre beasties, the legendary menagerie of Equestria is truly unique, to say the least. And don't get us started on the things which live in Discord's dimension and in the Scariest Cave in Equestria...
- Palate Propping: In "Rock Solid Friendship", Pinkie has to use a jack to force open a quarray eel's jaws so that she can retrieve Maud from the creature's mouth.
- Planimal: The Fruit Bats, bats made of fruit.
- Punny Name: Manny Roar the manticore.
- Rent-a-Zilla: Many of the monsters are huge beasts, but some creatures like Ursas, Colossa-Gators and some dragons reach downright kaiju sizes.
- Sea Monster: Sea serpents like Steve Magnet are sapient and friendly. "Gauntlet of Fire" features another kind of sea serpent which ressembles an abyssal fish.
- Shock and Awe: The (possibly real, possibly not) twittermites, insects that create localized lighting storms when they swarm.
- Slippery as an Eel: The quarray eels, which are apparently a huge, predatory species of land-dwelling fish. Like true morays, they make their home on the caves in the rocky crevices of Ghastly Gorge and hunt down whatever passes near their lair.
- Spiders Are Scary: The flyders. They're spiders with insect wings, meaning they can fly, and move in swarms. They can shoot webbing with enough accuracy to tangle a fleeing pony's legs and at one point completely cover a campsite with webbing in a matter of minutes. They're also highly aggressive, and seem to consider ponies to be food. When a huge swarm attacks during a camping trip in "Campfire Tales", the characters are visibly — and admittedly justifiably — terrified of them.
- Spider Swarm: The flyders in "Campfire Tales", which attack Applejack, Apple Bloom, Rarity, Sweetie Belle, Rainbow Dash and Scootaloo in a massive swarm, unlike how solitary real-life spiders would behave. They quickly overwhelm the campers through sheer numbers, biting anyone they can reach and trying to web them up. Applejack implies they would have tried to eat them if they had managed to overwhelm them.
- Stock Sound Effects: Most of their roars are generic sounds made by the one and only Frank Welker.
- The Swarm:
- Generally, if small, arthropod-like creatures show up, they're very likely to attack in huge swarms.
- Apple Bloom's dream sequence in "Bloom & Gloom" features twittermites, electrogenic insect pests. They're not significantly dangerous alone or in small groups — a pony with the right equipment and special talent can neutralize even a small swarm with ease. However, they become extremely dangerous if allowed to spread out of control — a large enough swarm can create thunderbolts capable of destroying buildings with one strike.
- Yowies and Bunyips and Drop Bears, Oh My: Tri-horned bunyips, large and vaguely doglike sea monsters with three horns in a row down their snout and fondness for cucumber. Interestingly enough, bunyips in Australian folklore are freshwater dwellers and carnivores, unlike the show's saltwater herbivores.