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Dethroning Moment: My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic
We just don't know what went wrong.
"Dear Princess Celestia, today I learned to prevent these horrible, awful, and shoddy moments of massive dethroning suck from ever happening."
Even though this is considered to be a surprise Cult Classic, there are some episodes that not even some Bronies could love and tolerate. Please order entries by episode number.
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Timelord Mc Carver: There were a lot of things wrong with this episode's aesop. For one, Gilda just suddenly being cruel to Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie for no reason other to show that she's a Jerkass quickly got on my nerves. Rainbow Dash ardently defending her wasn't helping things either. Had they not overly show how and why she's a Jerkass and gave her some Character Development, this could have been a great episode. Instead, it's on par with Dragon Quest as my least favorite episode in MLP:FiM.
Termina Est: The Mane Cast's (mainly Applejack and Rarity) reaction to Trixie's stage show. I don't view Trixie as having done anything that was actually wrong, and I personally don't see it as any different from Rainbow Dash's bragging (as awesome as she is).
Abra Cadavre: I agree with the above troper, and I normally like the main characters. First off, the opening. Spike and Twilight run into Snips and Snails, who tell them about Trixie. Spike's first response to this is to automatically tell them Twilight is the best unicorn in Equestria, despite the fact that he hasn't even seen a second of Trixie's show. This completely wrecks the episode's aesop about boasting. Next problem, the whole heckling thing. I expected that kind of behavior from Rainbow Dash and Rarity, but Applejack? I'm sorry, but I can't see Applejack being a hypocritical Jerkass. It wasn't even showing Trixie a lesson, it was flat out rude. They've only seen her for a minute or two and immediately assume she's an Alpha Bitch, not even considering the possibility that she could be a nice person when not doing her job. At least Pinkie, Twilight, and Fluttershy had the decency to not say anything. Finally, Spike inadvertently gives Snips and Snails the idea to bring the Ursa Minor to Ponyville, almost destroying it. Twilight's response is to reward them with mustaches. Trixie, the only pony who actually did anything besides Twilight, is cruelly badmouthed while she's standing right there. Overall, the mane six disgusted me in this episode (excluding Fluttershy and Pinkie). If I were in charge of its script, I would have ended it with the hecklers giving Trixie a well deserved apology for all the crap they put her through.
RK Striker JK 5: Boast Busters has good, but it also has a lot of bad. Trixie is a showmare, bragging and boasting to get an audience. It's literally part of her job to do so, and before Dash's heckling, nothing she says is mean or demeaning. She's trying to get ponies there to watch her perform, and quite probably get some bits out of it. She even tries ignoring Applejack and Rarity's snide comments, only reacting when Dash outright boos her for no reason approximately forty-nine seconds into her act! Note she says 'neigh-sayers', plural. She heard what they were saying. They were in the first row and not keeping their voices down at all. It's also hypocritical of the three, as Rarity puts on a fashion show in Suited For Success, Applejack hawks apples daily from 'Call of the Cutie' and Dash's forelegs are probably tired from all the times she pats herself on the back! It was only after "Magic, schmagic, boo!" -oh, yeah, great jab considering two of your friends are magic unicorns-that she reacts. After Snips and Snails bring the Ursa to town-on Spike's suggestion, mind you-her wagon is destroyed. And for a town that she holds no ties to, with at least two avenues of escape, she at least tries against it. Ineffectual, yes. But the effort is there. She could've done nothing. The three who heckled her, who have roots and friends here? They did nothing but shake in fear. And after all is said and done, the three flankholes have the audacity to belittle Trixie's genuine efforts against the star bear. This episode is a prime example of Protagonist-Centered Morality and Disproportionate Retribution. And finally, it's implied that the wreck of her wagon was thrown out, contents and all, by Twilight. ("For starters, you can clean up this mess.") Can you say Designated Hero? I thought you could!
Mic 1988: Trixie is a showmare and magician, right? It's part of her job to boast of her abilities and promise feats unlike anypony has every seen or else no one's going to show any interest in her show or watch her perform. She may have to exaggerate her abilities sometimes, but that's part of the appeal of magicians in real life. And yeah, given all the times the Cast brag about their abilities they've got no right to heckle her onstage while she's trying to perform and make a living. For his sake I hope Harry Hoofdini never bothers to go there. And at least she tried to stop The Ursa Minor even though it didn't work. I didn't see the others do anything to try and stop it, talk about your Fair Weather Heroes.
Gingerman In this episode our six heroes force a sentient dragon out of a cave he has lived in for who-knows-how-long because his smokey snores were threatening to make colorful Equestria all dark and gloomy for a century. I'm not contesting that they were justified in getting him to go, but considering that the Mane 6 are supposed to be united in friendship on account of each having their hearts in the right place at the right times, the execution of it all just...grates. First of all, the dragon was not threatening anyone; he was asleep in his own home, and was not intentionally causing problems, because who can help snoring? He did become mildly aggressive towards the ponies, but only after they walked into his home and in the case of Rarity/Rainbow, tried to steal his treasure hoard/kicked him in the face without provocation respectively. Yeah, great way to introduce yourselves girls. Furthermore, if anything, he looked like he was just trying to scare them off the whole time, not biting at them or breathing actual fire. What would have been a much less uncharacteristically uncaring solution would have been for the ponies to offer the dragon something in return for troubling him, like a valuable treasure, or help him find a better place to live (as it is, they don't even seem to care if he did ever find another home), or even to just give him a little time to take his possessions with him (it's implied he left without his treasure, but frankly that's not a certainty either way). Considering that Spike, another dragon, is supposedly such a good friend to them all I was expecting the ponies to show a little more kindness to the poor guy. Instead, he's wrong, he has to go, it's a victory for the forces of good and of all the ponies it ends up being Miss Tolerance herself, Fluttershy, who uses her gentle persuasion to force him timidly away. The most significant moral of this story? If you don't like your neighbor's snoring, it's totally cool to use violence and intimidation to force them out of their homes, and better yet, you don't gotta care.
Z Squared That... ending... I will never forgive them for it. Not only is it incredibly rushed, but it's mean spirited nature is simply inexcusable! Ponyville is in ruins, everyone is miserable, and Pinkie proceeds to shove it in our faces with the wah wah waaaaahhh trumpet! Gah! Am I the only one who has a problem with this?!
SpidersinyoureyesAnd why did Pinkie have to be so vague and unhelpful? She knew damn well no one would know what she was talking about, it's like all she wanted to do was feel superior to the other ponies. Instead of the morale being "Listen to your friends!" maybe it should have been "Try explaining yourself to others and they will listen to you!"
RAZ: For me, it's the moment where Fluttershy completely ruins the other's work at getting rid of the parasprites by keeping one "because it was too cute!", and this is in spite of the fact that she'd seen first hand how much trouble they can cause and how easily they reproduce. The way the episode greatly decreased her intelligence just to make that stupid little twist work is borderline insulting.
FromtheWordsofBR: Twilight offers to help plow the snow for Applejack and finds it impossible to do it the regular way. Seeing how there's no other choice (but she still wants to help), she has to break Winter Wrap-Up tradition and she casts a spell on the plower to make it go faster. However, the plower goes faster than she is walking and it results in major chaos. Twilight did break tradition, but she literally couldn't do it the regular way! So how does Applejack respond? After she discovers that Twilight used magic, she yells at the poor mare and sends her off running away in tears. Yes, what Twilight did was wrong, and yes, Applejack was frustrated at the time, but did it deserve this much of a treatment? And Applejack never apologizes!
TotalDramaRox97 Diamond Tiara insults Applebloom about her blank flank loud enough for everyone to hear, and everypony laughs at her. And what does Cheerilee do? Nothing, just nothing.
Chimanruler15: On top of this, Apple Bloom completely forgets about Twist after Twist finally gets her cutie mark. Twist does nothing but treat her like a friend throughout the entire episode, even suggesting that they can still go to Diamond Tiara's party together, yet Apple Bloom shallowly blows her off just because she has a cutie mark.
Blue Chameleon: Brushing over the issue that Twilight has to get brutally punished for being skeptical and investigative, the ending of this episode. The rest of the episode is pretty good fun and I can handle the Amusing Injuries, but one or two things drag it down in my eyes:
Fluttershy can talk down a dragon and a manticore and stare down a cockatrice, but her ability to talk to mythological animals suddenly comes up short against a hydra for the sake of the plot. It was a more urgent situation than Dragonshy — surely her Mama Bear instincts would have come to the fore?
The real doozy and Twilight's reaction to what the doozy turned out to be. What was wrong with just having the hydra be the doozy? It would have been a great way for Twilight to learn to appreciate Pinkie's ability. Instead, there's a kick in the teeth for logic, (worded badly too), Mood Whiplash, the sudden defeatism of Twilight, and Pinkie just being too oblivious to everything. The real matter was that Twilight was being a jerkass to Pinkie Pie about it.
No further investigations, no questions asked, not even an expansion or application of the Pinkie sense in later episodes (not until MMDW, where it was used pretty well — lifesaving Pinkie should make a comeback).
Doodler: The same episode, for different reasons. Twilight is trying to take a scientific view on the situation, but she does it horribly. She says that the Pinkie Sense is completely random and sets out to prove it wrong. The Pinkie Sense in not random. If Pinkie's tail twitches, then something falls is a valid hypothesis. What Twilight should have done was get a list down of every Pinkie sensation and combo and what it means, attached Magitek devices to Pinkie to observe her and her predictions for anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, and at the end of an extensive study, drawn her conclusion. Maybe even extracted some DNA from Pinkie to have it examined by pony genetics laboratories. Instead, she declares that they don't exist because Pinkie doesn't choose when it happens. You don't choose when your heart beats, but does that mean your heart doesn't beat? It's one thing to try to avoid positive bias by trying to prove yourself wrong, it's another thing to give up the experiment when you can't.
On The Hill: If the episode had centered around the Cutie Mark Crusaders thinking only of their cutie marks and forcing themselves to work at tasks they hate, then alright. That would be one thing. But they're very clearly enthusiastic about the roles they assign themselves — Scootaloo and Apple Bloom don't want to dance and design sets, respectively, and Sweetie Belle is just flat out afraid to sing in front of a crowd. Even when their lack of natural talents frustrate them, they assist each other and keep on working hard, and in the end they go from a tone-deaf, stumbling, joke of an act to a pretty decent one indeed, stage mishaps aside. Even this wouldn't be so bad if Twilight Sparkle, of all ponies, didn't have the stones to walk up to them, cringe when she hears their plans, and begin to ask them if they're "sure" focusing on something other than their innate talents is such a good idea. That she didn't get to finish and possibly crush their enthusiasm is a miracle. Quite frankly, I could go on and on about this one, but the ultimate aesop is "don't ever try new things and don't work to improve yourself. If something doesn't come easily at first, you aren't meant to do it." And that's absolutely sickening.
Golden Sandslash: The episode begins with Spike and Rarity looking for gemstones. Why would Rarity pick Spike to help her? She knows (or can likely assume) that he'll just eat them. That's kinda what dragons do. Even if no one else would help her, and she didn't want to get her hooves or mane or coat dirty, she can just levitate the gems, right? She's a unicorn. Then the Diamond Dogs kidnap her and flood the holes with dirt so that her friends can't follow her. How did the Diamond Dogs know that Rarity had friends? This seems like an unnecessary step that they would not know to take. Unless it was a precaution, in which case, they should have filled the holes before the other main characters got there. They don't know when Rarity's friends are going to show up, or even if they would show up. We then see that the Diamond Dogs made Rarity work in forced labor — great message for a kid's show. Rarity then starts whining, which was the most annoying thing ever. I know that the point is to annoy the Diamond Dogs, but it annoys the audience too. And if your goal is to get your audience to hate you, then good luck keeping an audience for very long. Then the Diamond Dogs let her go, which is the biggest insult of all. I've never kidnapped a woman before, but I would think that the #1 rule is: "If you can't stand to see a woman cry, don't kidnap women." And they let her keep the gems. These are seriously the most Harmless Villains ever. They're completely incompetent, and I expect a lot more out of a show as good as My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.
fierystage: The utterly blatant Politically Correct History, in allegorical form, of the entire episode. Depicting something that in reality was a millions-killing genocide as a simple misunderstanding that could have been reconciled with proper communication (not to mention that infamous pie fight!) is not just inaccurate, it's downright insulting and offensive. Not to mention the numerous Unfortunate Implications of depicting the buffalo as hostile and the settler ponies as wholesome and innocuous up until the end.
Martod: This is the only episode that I almost can't stand to watch when it airs in reruns. Trying to nurse someone back to health and watching all of your techniques just make them worse isn't funny; it's horrifying. The fact that it happens to Fluttershy makes it even worse—After we're told that Pinkie won't play any pranks on Fluttershy because she's too sensitive, we get an entire episode of Philomena playing a prank on her that's much meaner than anything Pinkie or Rainbow Dash would have done. And all Philomena gets in punishment is Celestia lightheartedly telling her to stop fooling around.
rubyrose: While I don’t think this episode is as bad as other bronies think, it does still leave a bad taste in my mouth. I mean, it's nice to see some development on Spike and Twilight's relationship, since we don't usually see these two interact with each other as friend or casually. It's usually her asking him to do some chores, and he listens to her. He works so hard and doesn't ever get much appreciation for it, so it was nice to see him get some much deserved attention in the beginning of the episode.
But it quickly became very sad when that attention was taken away by Twilight's new, chore snatching co-assistant Owloysius. The worst part though, was when Spike's crush Rarity (who had just the night before given Spike a seemingly heartfelt gift of a beautiful bow tie) passed an exact replica of Spike's bow tie to that random owl she had literally just met! I can't imagine how Spike must have felt after that. And to top it all off, all the other ponies shower the owl with all the compliments that they'd usually give Spike.
Eventually they do realize that he may be jealous, but Twilight dismisses it, saying that he knows that he couldn't be replaced. Excuse me? It was clearly obvious that he was very spiteful of the owl, but rather than listen to her friends, and even ask him about how he feels, she simply brushes it off, just because she assumes that everything is fine. And then, when he tries to frame the owl (clear evidence that he was jealous) she scolds him. She was in the right to do it, since it was wrong to do, but she didn't even get his side of the story as to why he did it. And afterwards, she leaves the house, and leaves him upset. Gee, nothing could go wrong right?
Well, Spike runs away, bumps into a vicious dragon, and nearly gets killed, but the owl and Twilight save him. I will admit that it was nice to see her apologize for being insensitive, but what about the other ponies? They never showed up to see if Spike was okay, or was it implied that they even bothered looking for him. It was clearly daytime by the time he left, which gave plenty of time for Twilight and the others to find out he was missing and all look for him together. But we only see Twilight save him. Not only that, but none of the other ponies apologized for being insensitive to him, or not even trying to make him feel better when they knew that he was jealous.
I know the moral of the story is that there should be love for all friends, but the moral doesn't work, when it seems like Spike isn't even getting his share of love. All the ponies push him to the side, and shower the owl with the same compliments and respect in a day (that's right, all of Spike’s hard work was outdone in literally a day, by an owl they just met!), and that Spike could easily be replaced. The idea was okay, but the execution was just clumsy.
Disco Glacier: That was just plain mean of the other characters to lock Pinkie Pie out of the loop, seeing the emotional distress it was causing her. As much as Id love a good surprise party, the secret should not be so heavily guarded that it convinces the recipient that they are unwanted. The excuse “I’d thought she’d be more excited [about the party]” doesn’t really work, as earlier in the episode, the mane cast looked as if they were fearing for their lives when they were defending the secret from an increasingly enraged Pinkie. Worse, all of the blame was put on Pinkie for how she felt, rather than taking into consideration their adamant secret-keeping drove her to this point; a simple We’re sorry for how you felt would have worked just fine. If it had one redeeming trait, it did give Pinkie Pie the Character Development she needed, but did so in a heart-wrenchingly frustrating way.
Robotnik: The same episode, for different reasons. It really calls Pinkie Pie's character into question. No one can be cheerful all the time, but no stable person does... that. She doesn't seem hurt and frustrated as much as downright homicidal; real effort was put into making her look insane, with the music, the disturbing reflection of Applejack in her Death Glare, and the background changes during her breakdown. To make things worse, it could have had an entirely different, much more appropriate Aesop; given Pinkie's unintentionally obnoxious behavior at Gummy's party and wanting to throw him another the very next day, the lesson could have been "Sometimes your friends need a break and you need to be a little more considerate. They still like you."
Moe Dantes: The short version is the whole premise is just off. And now, the long version: The show is about these cute little ponies who get into and out of hijinks and come away learning valuable life lessons, most of their stories involve things that could conceivably happen in everyday life (if you make large allowances for Looney Tunes logic). And then all the sudden we have a two-parter where the mane cast are Celestia's private little superhero team, and they're being tasked with stopping the Equestrian version of Loki? The massive Genre Shift this episode does is just off-putting and it feels like it derails the characters and setting too much for me to find enjoyment in it. Additionally, another problem I have is with the episode's morality. With most other villains, you get to see why they're bad and how they need to be either stopped or redeemed. Gilda was given a chance and still turned out mean. Nightmare Moon was a roundabout ploy to free Luna from evil forces, the buffalo and the settler ponies had to compromise... but with Discord, it's just "Celestia says he's evil, therefore he is" and there's no attempt to give him a chance or see if he really means harm before they go trying to defeat him. It almost comes off like the guy is forced to defend himself, and in a show that preaches love and tolerance, this kind of thing is unbearable.
ABRICK: I had a lot of complaints about The Return of Harmony two-parter in general, but the one moment that really sucked was when Applejack actually bothered to listen to a bunch of Obviously Evil talking apple piles. Note that she wasn't under Discord's control at that point, and she knows that Discord is a master of illusion and deceit powerful enough to take away (or at least create the illusion of taking away) horns and wings from a pony, and yet she does not even consider the talking apples to be untrustworthy or something Discord made. The only way this moment could not be a Idiot Ball of ungodly proportions is if Applejack thought Discord wouldn't be stupid enough to make a obvious trap, and even then that's Golden-age Superboy levels of brain fart.
Fantazindy: I guess it's pretty mutual around here that the ending was seriously too rushed... and it pretty much shortchanged everybody of what could have been a battle of epic proportions. The only action scene in that episode was really just trying to turn Rainbow Dash back to normal... but other than that, nothing. In fact, the middle showed signs that the whole thing was rushed: they could have made the middle much more emotional, since Twilight losing her 'magic' element would have a rather huge impact to the viewers. Then there was the turning everypony back to normal sequence... which again, was rushed. I can't help but feel relieved this was not the season one finale... it would have shortchanged everybody everywhere from what could have been something exciting and epic. Considering how consistent MLP's quality is this was a big letdown.
CC Prime: I realize a lot of people will disagree with me, but I found this to be the absolute worst episode of the entire goddamn series. As for why... well, there are a lot of reasons. First off, the very premise itself is rather flimsy — Twilight has gone a week without solving some kind of crisis and preparing a lesson on friendship? So, let me get this straight... she's honestly expected to find crazy shit to solve every single week? What the hell does she do in her spare time? Does she even have any? However, that part is nothing compared to my main complaint about the episode, namely the "characterization" of Twilight and the rest of the Mane Cast throughout... or rather, the lack thereof. Practically every joke relies on either Flanderizing the hell out of characters until they're reduced to nothing but ridiculous caricatures or themselves (Twilight's extreme OCD and descent into psychosis, Rarity's one-note couch gag, Big Mac speaking in nothing but "Eeyup"s and "Nope"s), or making them do insane, exaggerated shit that reads like something out of a book of brony cliches and in-jokes (the "Rainbow Nuke" scene, Fluttershy going all Spetsnaz-CQB on the bear). I enjoy watching this show because it usually entertains me with its witty writing and likable characters; this episode, on the other hand, resorted to falling back on a bunch of cheap, crass gags that would not look out of place in an episode of Invader Zim or The Ren & Stimpy Show, not at all like the cute, optimistic series I'd come to love. And that doesn't even cover the ridiculous jumps in logic that showed up later in the episode, like having a bunch of random characters like Mayor Mare and Big Mac just happen to be hanging around the same park as Twilight. And, no, I did not find "friendly Twilight" funny at all; the disturbing behavior and fucked up facial expressions just made her look like some kind of deranged stalker, and the latter simply increased the aforementioned resemblance to Ren and Stimpy. Overall, I'm not sure if the episode in general was some kind of hamfisted attempt at appealing to the older brony crowd or something, but if it was... I sincerely hope that future ones attempt it in a different way. MLP should stick to its strengths, rather than try to be "edgy" or whatever.
vexusdylan: Took the words right out of my mouth. This show is normally pretty good, but this episode seemed like it was just made for bronies and feels out of place with the rest of the series. I'm not gonna lie, I really thought the show was gonna jump the shark at that point.
Not A Jackal: It's actually worse than that- the episode had to be written over a year before it aired, which means they made it before bronies were a thing. Which means that this episode was still intended for it's target audience of young girls.
Novus Wulf: Y'know, forget what I said about Season One (entry already removed)... this was the worst episode of the season hands down. Not even the others listed above or below come close to how a truly reviling, disgusting episode this is. The best part? It's a Microcosm of nearly every misstep Season 2 had — mishandled Aesops, Character Derailment, Forced/Ascended Memes in an attempt to pander to the Brony Crowd (for why else would Fluttershy be mauling a bear, or the "Rainbow Nuke" scene) — the list goes on.
Oddlyweird: I'm surprised no one has yet mentioned this one. For me, it left a real bad taste in my mouth for a few reasons. It seems everyone in Ponyville has forgotten that Luna isn't evil anymore (or forgotten they had a huge celebration to honor Luna for turning good again) because they're all scared by her (except for Twilight and Pinkie). This includes the main cast too, as if they weren't at the celebration themselves! Then there is Pinkie, I know she is just trying to scare the kids but she's doing it right in front of Luna when she doesn't want to be seen as scary. She knows Luna isn't bad too which doesn't make her reasoning behind scaring people any better. Also, the fact Luna uses the Royal "We" way of speaking bugs me some. It was funny but even then, why would she speak like so even though Celestia doesn't use it herself and they are around the same age. As a Luna fan, this episode disappointed me.
Capsarc: What really bugged me about this episode was the fact that Nightmare Night even existed. Alternate Character Interpretation aside, Celestia has always been a benevolent, caring ruler, almost to the point of being Crystal Alicorn Jesus. The first thing she does when Luna is cured is embrace her, welcome her back to the family and put on a big celebration for her. Then we find out that there's been a holiday that does nothing but turn her sister into a boogeyman who eats children, and for a thousand years Celestia does nothing to try and improve her sister's reputation or preserve her good name. What the hell, Celestia? Sure, you could say that she didn't want to create a revisionist history but there's a difference between a fair treatment of a bad person and outright demonification.
Revelo: Pinkie's behavior really got on my nerves in this episode too. Never mind the fact that there had been a celebration in Ponyville to celebrate Luna's redemption ages ago and that everyone bar Twilight and Pinkie seemed to forget that in the meantime. Never mind that Luna surely has had enough time to get used to any changes that happened over a thousand years. The fact that the element of laughter seems to be completely unaware that shes hurting Luna's feelings and having fun at her expensive without coming up to her and explaining just what Nightmare Night is all about just makes it worse, especially that she riles up the children to go along with it becomes hard to swallow when you see how sad Luna is getting at just wanting to fit in, it's insensitive and completely terrible behavior by a pony who is supposed to exist to make others smile. And just when it looks like Twlight is finally going to call her out for that mean behavior she grabs hold of the Idiot Ball and declares Pinkie a genius. While scaring can be fun, Twilight would have been completely justified saying to Pinkie "Why didn't you explain that to us at the starting of the celebration?!" It would have made the episode a lot less awkward and made Luna the butt for far less jokes.
Trickymander: This is why I hate Pinkie Pie so much. As someone who has been seen as a freak before, I can feel for Luna, and the very fact that Pinkie wanted to scare ponies 'cause of the holiday does not help. Pinkie Pie should have at least some notes that she was hurting Luna; she pretty much scared the whole town, causing them to fear Luna. It reminds me of a rumor spreader that spreads rumors about a new kid, causing him to be lonely. And for what, fun? Uhh, I don't think anyone was having fun but her, so shut up Pinkie Pie.
Blazar: The fact that Luna ended up getting the lesson, when the one who really needed it was Pinkie Pie. First of all, it was painfully obvious that Luna had no idea Pinkie's scaremongering was supposed to be all in good fun, and Pinkie's failure to realize just how hurtful she was being went entirely against character given her warning to Rainbow Dash not to prank Fluttershy back in Season 1, and the implication here is that she either didn't notice how hurt and frustrated Luna was, or she just didn't care — which has Unfortunate Implications for her character either way. In a way, the fact that Luna managed to have genuine fun joining in later made it worse, since Luna could have been saved a whole lot of hurt if Pinkie had only bothered to tell her the point of Nightmare Night earlier. Given that Pinkie Pie has already had at leasttwo missed Aesop about explaining herself, one would think that the lesson from this episode would be "Don't make fun of someone unless you're sure that she's in on the joke." After tolerating the entire episode, I gave a cheer when it looked like Twilight was finally about to deliver it — only to watch in disbelief as she turned around and declared Pinkie a genius, as if the fact that Luna had been hurt didn't matter at all.
Rahkshi 500: I know many people will really disagree with me on this, but I found this episode to be horrible. First of all, I fully agree that Rainbow Dash was full of herself and I am all for her learning a lesson in humility. However, I strongly disapprove on what was done to achieve that. Her bragging at the beginning was relatively harmless and Ponyville didn't mind it, let alone not being bothered by it. They wanted to take pictures and interview her for crying out loud. Her friends are the only ones bothered by it, but they don't talk to her, console her, reason with her, or even warn her of the consequences. Instead, they decide to take her down a peg just because they were annoyed. All of the following events can be traced back to this fact. If they tried to reason with Dash and she doesn't listen, then the other 5 would be more justified in what they did and Dash would've definitely deserved what happened to her, but that's not what happened. While their actions and interventions did save lives, they're also what made Dash progressively become more frustrated and desperate into doing stuff like breaking the dam and bothering other ponies over trivial matters. After all of this they still think they're showing Dash how to be a real hero and not brag, yet their motivations were not hero-like at all and they were bragging about Mare Do Well's (aka their) accomplishments for no reason other than to hammer it into Dash's head that she should be more like Mare-Do-Well. The whole thing was completely unfair to Rainbow Dash and it made the other 5 into arrogant and self-righteous jerks.
Mc Gillicutty: You've gotta love the Aesop, too: if one of your friends isn't living up to your moral standards- or if they're just getting on your nerves- don't talk to them about it; lie to them and attempt to manipulate them into changing their behavior!
Drgonzo: Since no one else here has brought it up, I guess I will: Did anyone else find the premise a little contradictory to Spike's character, especially given the events leading up to the main conflict (Spike extorting presents from people). We open the episode with Spike drooling over a big-ass gem he plans to eat for his birthday, but instead he gives it to Rarity to make her happy. Ok, fair enough, we've established Spike's generous nature. But then he almost immediately turns around and starts demanding presents from everyone in Ponyville. Did Spike hit his head or something in the between giving Rarity the gem and his birthday party? In fairness, I probably would have less of a problem if the scene with the gem had been removed, or rewritten so that Spike told Rarity to fuck off instead of giving her the gem, but it really does seem like Spike becomes a completely different character.
Tropers/lilburn2013: Dragons age via greed. What disturbs me about this is that no other sentient species is shown to be so weak to a vice.
Tropers/Mesousa2877: The whole plot of the episode basically involves Applebloom thinking that Granny Smith might do a speech, which, considering her usual behavior, might embarrass her for an assignment for her class on Family Appreciation Day. One of my problems with this episode is how Applebloom is pretty much not being faithful to Granny Smith simply because she's a little weird. Seriously, Applebloom? Second, Granny seems a tad overexaggerated in the weird department in the first half of the episode to the point where they make her ridiculously naive, and isn't even hearing when she's mocked. There's a difference on ignoring people and then there's being stupidly oblivious. Third, I honestly didn't find the history of Ponyville interesting due to the episode just being boring and yawn-inducing. It was just a really bland episode that doesn't even have any major laughs or even tries, it just... exists.
Hyperion 5: What really annoyed me about this episode is the way in which Pinkie Pie literally threw Twilight out of the shop after Twilight turned up offering to help her with the Cakes. Now, fair enough, Twilight was somewhat condescending to Pinkie, but so what? She clearly didn't mean to, and if I was thrown out (metaphorically) by my friends every time I unintentionally insulted them I'd have pretty much no friends. So basically, Twilight shows up, and volunteers to help Pinkie, something which Pinkie clearly needs, and which Twilight didn't have to do if she hadn't wanted to (remember in the first few episodes of Season 1 when she wanted to do as much as she could on her own without anypony else). And Pinkie's response? To blow an unintentional negative comment out of proportion, and kick Twilight out. If you are offered help when you need it, YOU TAKE IT, rather than trying to go it alone and risking disaster. They even could have put in An Aesop about how it's okay to ask for help when you need it (as they did back in Applebuck Season), but no, instead they just made Twilight out to be a jerk, Pinkie out to be irrational, and the whole episode suffered for it.
Pio The Pony: There is the plot hole of Equestria's flag when it is first founded. The flag depicts Celestia and Luna circling each other with the moon and the sun. The main problem? At this point, the Princesses may not have even been born or seen Equestria yet. It's implied that they didn't come into power until after they defeated Discord for the first time, either. Perhaps, because it is a play, it's the modern flag, but if that is true, it would be nice to get some kind of confirmation.
Lilfut: My main issue with Hearth's Warming Eve was the pacing. It seemed very obvious to me that the writers were rushing for the Aesop. In particular, why didn't we get to actually see the peaceful times before the blizzard? Why did they have exactly one summit before deciding to find new frontiers? This was made all the worse by the good elements of the episode — the Deep Immersion Acting, the exploring of the Verse, the Awesome Music... Maybe it was Christmas Rushed?
Maniacaldude: I really, really despise the historical aspects of this episode, not just because it made no sense whatsoever and doesn't connect to any of the previously established backstories (and I really detested the backstory aspects for "The Cutie Mark Chronicles" and "The Return Of Harmony," anyways), and not just because it never bothers to explain how any of this nonsense ties together, but because of the whole idea of the pony races originally having very little tolerance for each other. Basically saying, this felt like a heavy racism undertone. In a show targeted towards young kids. The other factors added to my hatred, but since I dislike racism in general, the idea of including the notion of racism in what should be a friendly and funny show about ponies just disgusts me. I might be reading too deep into this, or I might be disappointed about things not going the way I would have wanted them to, but even then, this idea made me lose faith in the people currently running this show.
CJ Croen 1393: I was offended by RD's behavior in the redub. In the original scene, she was noticeably annoyed by Derpy's clumsiness, like we would all expect. In the redub, she's simpering and sympathetic. So Rainbow Dash is allowed to be a jerk to her best friend Pinkie and her good friend Rarity but just because Derpy might have a disability she's exempt? Great job Hasbro. You decided to say that you don't discriminate against disabled people by saying that they need special treatment. I have Asperger Syndrome and I honestly don't think Derpy has any mental handicaps (the eyes count as a physical one) but if she did wouldn't be a better Aesop for kids to see that people don't have to get special treatment and always be absolved from blame just because they're different? Honestly, it's this type of thing that causes kids to think that if they pretend to be disabled they'll get to do whatever they want without any consequences. And that's just awful.
Broken Shell: For me, it was the sheer absence of effort of the redub! The woman who voiced RD didn't even sound in character! I honestly thought it was a fan dub when I first watched it! I can get over Hasbro erring on the side of caution about the whole Derpy thing, but I can't forgive complete and utter lack of quality. Studio B knew they were screwed either way over this, maybe appearing to give a flying crap about it would've softened the blow?
Dthe B: I was legitimately pissed off at the revelation that everypony left Rarity and Pinkie Pie to fend for themselves in the desert! That is a move of such profound jerkassness that I'm both at a loss for words and wouldn't blame Rarity and Pinkie if they broke off contact with the other four.
BT Isaac: The pinkie promise. At first Pinkie is genuinely pissed at Applejack, but immediately forgives her after realizing that she didn't technically broke her promise. So what were kids supposed to learn? That it's okay to break a promise as long as you do so via Loophole Abuse?
Shining Armor 87: This episode required an ungodly amount of flanderization. One shining example of this was the scene where they use Pinkie as a mean of interrogation to Applejack, a.k.a. she rambles and rambles until Applejack literally begs to confess everything as long as she shuts up. The main problem with this was that it was Rainbow Dash who came up with the idea. The same Rainbow Dash who not only is perfectly unannoyed with Pinkie, but appreciates this aspect of her ("Pinkie Pie, you are so random!" — RD in Griffon The Brush Off). And later, who was one of the two ponies RD refused to go back to get? Pinkie. And Rarity's last line implied this was deliberate. It required a ton of flanderization to both make RD be so jerky as to do these two things, and to make Pinkie so annoying just so the viewer could see why it drove AJ insane.
RA2: So Applejack "didn't learn anything" from the events of this episode? That hardly sounds like something to brag about given what happened today. They claim to value customer relations over getting rich, and yet they let Pinkie Pie buy out a very large portion of their stock. Do the not see the correlation between that and losing the support of the whole town (the Element of Loyalty included)? It's a shame that Applejack abhors "fancy mathematics" so much, because otherwise she would have noticed that the Flim Flam Brothers' offer was actually quite generous. Sure the Apples only keep 25% of profits, but if that machine can more than quadruple their sales (and there's no question it can), they still come out ahead. Not to mention the hundreds of mare-hours that are suddenly freed up. They can go on all day about how machines are evil and all that, but when the alternative is angry customers and barely making ends meet, it's hard to sympathize with their plight. And the economic follies continued in droves, the Flim Flam brothers' threat to compete should not have scared them — were they not just a second ago bragging about their superior quality? If they're so confident, why not let Ponyville vote with their hooves? Granted it's a dangerous move, but think about it, it makes no sense logistically for the Flim Flams to make good on their threat; between costs of imports and machine maintenance, they'd never be able to undercut the ones who A, can boast "locally grown", B, hold a virtual monopoly on Ponyville's apple supply, and C, are already charging exponentially less than what ponies are willing to pay note I think it's reasonable to assume that, seeing as demand far exceeds supply, and ponies camp out for days on end to secure a place in line. The only "competition" they can do is to pick up the deadweight loss from the Apple Family. With that in mind, wagering their only leverage is just about the worst move they can make. They almost lost the farm because they foolishly agreed to challenge the Flim Flam brothers on sheer volume rather than quality — we had already established they couldn't win on that. And the only reason they still own Sweet Apple Acres is because the Flim Flam brothers screwed themselves over thrice, first by not realizing that their lead was probably wide enough that they could still win without sacrificing quality, second by allowing Applejack to change the terms from her family competing to all of Ponyville competing, third by serving the ponies cider from one of the bad barrels made late in production rather than the good barrels made earlier. And her argument about having superior quality is moot, they never actually discredited the machine's quality-control mechanism. How can she be so smug when everything worked out by luck?
Fairfield: There is also the issue that her family, the original limits of the competition terms, really didn't win. Only by having her pals join the workforce did Applejack get ahead, and while Flim and Flam were stupid to let Applejack change the terms, Applejack didn't appear much better; the whole thing just seemed selfish of her. At the very least, this episode could have ended with the rather mature Aesop that business competition is good for everyone because it prompts all competitors to try harder, but with Flim and Flam leaving and the Apple Family's monopoly maintained, they will not have such an incentive to overproduce next season and likely be faced with the same shortages. Finally, why are you vilifying industrial consumerist capitalism in a show that wouldn't have existed without it?
No Tengo Dinero: Pinkie Pie. She buys up gallons of cider, all for herself, when she knew that there would likely be a shortage, she then proceeds to rub it in Rainbow Dash's face when she doesn't get any. I know it could be just Pinkie not thinking, but how exactly do you stoop to that level of thoughtlessness towards a friend you've known for such a long time? And this is the pony that's supposed to find joy in making other people happy.
Ogodei: I agree. This episode really went out of its way to hate capitalism or the nature of business or something (which means a lot coming from me, who would choose Karl Marx over Ayn Rand any day of the week), but as others on this entry have commented, there was a clear failure on the Apples' part to meet the needs of the market before the Flim Flam Bros came into the picture. The writers went out of their way to make villains of the Flim-Flams in a way that really didn't make sense, playing up the Apples' luddite tendencies in a positive light. It's the Aesop that really hurts the episode, however, with Applejack smugly asserting that she didn't learn a thing, when the episode's real lesson could have been "innovation isn't always a bad thing, but innovation should not be an excuse for greed," because the competitive threat posed by the Flim-Flams forced the Apples to make their system more efficient by hiring outside help, allowing them to meet the demand of the market, but no, Status Quo Is God and the Apples' outdated system simply has to be the right way to do things.
Shadow200: Honestly, this whole mess could've been avoided if they just limited it to a mug per person as there was still a long list of Ponies who didn't get to any thanks to Pinkamena Diane "Town Drunk" Pie buying up so much and rubbing it in and being smug about it afterwards. With Friends Like These... huh?
Arix: So Applejack, you were "right all along"? This comes despite the fact that the machine was clearly producing far more cider in a much faster, more efficient manner than the Apples were - it took the Apples an additional five ponies and having all nine of them working their absolute hardest to even begin to catch up with the machine's capabilities. Which would be okay, if the hoof-made cider was of a noticeably superior quality... which it wasn't. Going by Granny Smith's reaction to trying a cup of the Flim Flam cider during the song, the Flim Flam cider was just as good, if not better, quality (or if it was worse, it was not nearly noticeable enough). The Flim Flam cider only got worse when they had to sacrifice their quality control to keep up the numbers... something that wouldn't happen in a normal business day. So the machine produced more cider, better cider, much more efficiently... and Applejack still believes she was right all along?
jokergirl: So, let's count the plot problems here: 1) F&F were never a competition to the Apples, since the Apples were selling out all their stock anyway and still failed to meet demands. 2) Where did F&F's apples come from? The Apple family are the owners of the biggest apple farm in sight. They could have just sold them apples as raw material, or 3) since the F&F cider tasted just as good, they could have made a deal with them to use their technology and share the profits and everyone would be happy. Conclusion: If AJ would have just stopped and considered things for a second instead of going with "They're not us, so they must be evil!!1one!", she could have made a lot of profit from the situation and a valuable ally out of the inventive, hard-working Flim-Flam brothers.
Don East: I used to like Pinkie Pie, my second favorite pony overall behind Fluttershy. But as Season 2 progressed, I started to dislike her, namely how she was Flanderized from being a silly pony to hyperactive Mare Foal who won't shut up. The moment that solidified my disdain for the character was in this episode. The episode started out good, with a really good musical number in the first act and the events in the second act seemed to make this episode into a deconstruction of Pinkie's character as Cranky Doodle Donkey was repelled by Pinkie's usual antics. And then in the third act, Pinkie just so happens to know that Matilda, a donkey introduced in the opening scene is Cranky's lost love who has NOT moved on from him despite not seeing him for years,just so happen to live in Ponyville this entire time,and because of this, Cranky accepts Pinkie's friendship. What. The. Fuck? Seriously, what is this bull crap. You just can't set up this episode with a more mature than usual moral yet give some ultra-contrived happy ending. And no, even though she wrote a letter to Celestia at the end, that doesn't justify the fact that she got her way in the end. I'm now convinced that the writers like Pinkie Pie too much to put her in any real crisis, anything that might lead her to develop away from being the one-dimensional Genki Girl of the group, and an overall Creator's Pet. Way to waste a perfectly good story by giving it a crappy ending, Amy Keating Rogers.
faiteslebruit: Agreed, that episode really bummed me out. If it had ended in any way other than that fairy tale happy ending Pinkie Pie would have become one of the biggest jerks in television history. If she didn't just happen to know Matilda she would have just shoehorned herself into someone's life who clearly didn't want to know her, destroyed all of his precious memorabilia, and reminded him of the worst experience of his life. The writers made sure Pinkie Pie really lucked out in this episode.
Roxor: "A Friend In Deed" was bad enough to make me stop watching the show (although I did make it through one more episode after this one out of sheer momentum). First we have to deal with a song which is way too long to enjoy in a voice which induces headaches, then Pinkie spends most of the episode acting like a school bully (seriously, her constant annoyance and fake "I don't know what you're talking about" act is classic bully behavior), then right when we expect her to get her comeuppance, the writers let her off the hook with an Ass Pull so huge it would involve volumes of waste comparable to that handled by a sewage treatment plant. Where was the "Reason You Suck" Speech the whole episode had been building towards? Where was the friend to ask What the Hell, Hero?? Or, even more importantly, where was Pinkie realizing My God, What Have I Done?? We got none of that. All we got was the Creator's Pet getting a happy ending via Deus ex Machina and an Aesop of "you can get whatever you want if you're sufficiently annoying". We're just going to get an epidemic of kids who don't know when to give up because of this, aren't we?
animefanboy67: I hate to say this, but I agree with you, because I love Pinkie a lot and I think she can do no wrong. I thought everything was great. It had a great song and everything, and then came in Cranky. The things that happened from that point on with her and Cranky really went downhill. She was acting more crazy than normal, trying to get this stranger to like her. Next time, she should take Twilight's advice and leave someone alone. To sum it all up, this is one of the episodes where Pinkie went through flanderization.
Psi Basilisk: There are a lot of problems with this episode, but for brevity I'll focus on the set up. The episode starts off with Angel the bunny slapping Fluttershy in the face because he was unhappy with the salad she gave him. Angel has been impatient before and even bratty at times, but he was never a domestic abuser. Anyways, Fluttershy has to go out and get ingredients to make this insanely complex salad Angel wants. What follows is basically a cringe worthy Humiliation Conga for poor Fluttershy, as literately all the background ponies become jerkasses for no reason and push her around, cut in front of her, jack up prices for ingredients to a ridiculous extreme (10 bits, and later 20 for one cherry!) and insult her. This results in Angel throwing Fluttershy out of her own house because she couldn't make the damn salad perfectly since she couldn't buy the overpriced cherry (please note that everything else about the salad was perfect, it just didn't have a cherry). This horrid scenario was probably done so that Fluttershy would be motivated to go to an assertiveness training class but honestly it seems that the writers forgot what show they were writing. Why is Angel such a violent Jerkass to Fluttershy when he has been protective of her in the past? Why does everyone hate Fluttershy all of a sudden? Fluttershy has never been the most assertive pony but she was never tormented to this extent by so many characters at once. There have been mean characters on the show but they were the exception not the rule.
Marox XIII: What has me writing this entry is the entire scene where she's chewing out Pinkie Pie and Rarity. Not just berating them but attacking them verbally where it hurts the most: their lives. Calling their destined pursuits "frivolous?" Telling them they're wasting their lives on something so unimportant that nopony gives a flying fuc-oh right, feather about? Excuse me Ms. Flutterbrute, but that's how they make a living, compared to being shut-up in a cottage taking care of animals for no profit. I know this episode was to show off how bad it is to go overboard with being assertive and whatnot, but the whole scene just feels waayyy out of place for Fluttershy to say. (Seeing Pinkie Pie and Rarity run away with a face full of tears didn't help matters either.) Even though justified through her assertiveness training, she's not the kind of pony to belittle and mentally break her friends. Overall, not only was the scene cringe-inducing, but handled very poorly. This really put FS down on the my pony tier list for me, and the episode ultimately leaves a sour taste in my mouth.
Lord Darkcaller: What made me a bit upset was the fact that they made a nerdjoke in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic! I mean, come on! This isn't a Disney/Nickelodeon sitcom! I watch this show to get away from those jokes! That really took me by surprise and left me with a bad taste in my mouth.
The Majestic Color: This episode is my least favorite episode and a big DMOS, big time, why?, Because everyone in this episode is an asshole, the town is an asshole because everyone who Fluttershy interacts with is a dick to her & Fluttershy is an asshole because of what she did with Rarity and Pinkie by insulting their life dreams, and Rarity/Pinkie Pie are assholes in the begining by flirting with a nerd to get stuff and scamming a shop person, and Iron Will is a lesser asshole and might be the most likeable character in this episode, bite me, Putting Your Hoof Down.
Storm Requiem: I'm probably in the minority here, but I really, really disliked this episode. Why? Because, just my opinion, but the episode seemed like a totally pointless rehash of old Twilight-centric episodes. And I'll be honest here: I don't like Twilight Sparkle. She comes off as an annoying, Know-Nothing Know-It-All and a Creator's Pet, but I was still willing to give this episode a try and now I wish I hadn't bothered. Where was the character development? I mean, Twilight Sparkle walked away from that whole time-travel thing learning not to worry about stuff? Isn't that, like, what about 50% of her episodes focus on anyway? Ticket-Master? Lesson Zero? Evidently, the lesson is not sticking. The episode had a really good potential premise, and instead it's wasted on some totally pointless, wacky hijinks. I feel guilty for even writing this because I am a Brony/Pegasister/whatever, but seriously, that episode has got to be in competition for my least favorite of season 2. The episode was hyped up to be really cool, because you know, time-travel, guys, and I even thought it might contain some foreshadowing for the series finale. But it just utterly screams a filler episode, and for a mostly slice-of-life cartoon, you have to be doing something really wrong for me to be shifting around impatiently waiting for something to actually happen. Twilight is supposed to be smart (or so she's constantly telling everyone), so why didn't it occur to her to, I don't know, break the timeloop? Surely it's not that hard to brush your own mane? And she just lets Spike eat ice-cream with Spike's justification that it's "future Spike's problem". Um, isn't Twilight supposed to be taking care of Spike? Who just lets their kid eat ice-cream all day? Not only that, but several moments in the episode did go wrong, and some of it was much more interesting that the episode's conclusion. Talk about They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot. And there's the total inconsistency with Fluttershy's abilities. We're expected to believe that she can talk down the three-headed dog, a Cockatrice and a Manticore, but not a Hydra, Dragon or Ursa Minor? It just seemed stupid, not to mention another blatant attempt at giving Fluttershy a Took a Level in Badass moment, (like the totally ridiculous "bear neck-snap" scene in "Lesson Zero"), but really it just feels like they introduced a monster and then immediately wasted the idea by Handwaving it away. And the fact the Mane Five took Twilight seriously this time is a nod to how they dismissed her in "Lesson Zero", but then it seems like they might as well have not bothered, because Twilight's concerns were totally irrational and she isn't really chased up on on this despite all the unnecessary safety measurements Ponyville took for a disaster that never happened. And we're supposed to keep siding with Twilight, like in "A Canterlot Wedding", ignoring episodes like this one where's she's shown to be in the wrong or handed the Idiot Ball and nobody cares, just because she's the lead character. It just makes her so unlikeable to me. Also, Princess Celestia is just weirdly okay with Twilight breaking into the library and using a spell to manipulate time? Really? What happened to Celestia actually stepping in to tell Twilight when she's being stupid?
terlwyth: This episode could've had sooo much potential, except that only the teenagers noticed Spike, and since there wasn't an authority to claim the traditions, we don't know if those teens were trolling Spike or completely honest, and then the Mane Cast rescue Spike and the whole thing gets forgotten after retrieving the Phoenix egg.
Fossilsdadada: Same for me, for both the above, and one other reason: During Spike's scared little ramble with Twilight in the beginning episode about where he came from and who he is, the first thought that came into my head was that we were finally, finally, going to meet Spike's parents, find out how he got into that basket at Celestia's place, and, being a huge dragon fan in general, maybe be given a little more insight on what the culture of the dragons of this show is like. And so, after getting myself more excited than I've been since The Return of Harmony that we were finally going to be given a tearjerking/heartwarming backstory on one of my favorite characters, I was given... an episode about bad influences. I was disappointed. Very.
CrazyLuigi: I third the notion of potential wasted for this episode in particular (although the wasted potential problem also fits in for "Putting Your Hoof Down", it felt a bit more egregious here). Even though I personally really despised the episode "Trade Ya!" (as well as "Spike At Your Service"), those were mainly due to the fact that they had overdone plots that did nothing new with them and at times almost made things worst for the show instead of better (plus "Trade Ya!" had a very unengaging synopsis that left very little imagination going on for it). However, for an episode like "Dragon Quest" (and the preview clip showcasing Spike questioning who he is), I would have expected Spike to have this journey into the land of dragons to find out a bit more about not just himself, but also the species of dragons in general. Yet instead of doing that, it just has him go into teenage male stereotypes and forces us to think this is how dragons truly are when we've only looked at one side of the species in general. Plus, didn't Dragonshy have a dragon that didn't know what he was doing was harming other creatures' habitats and left in peace after hearing Fluttershy say her words to him? Now keep in mind that wasted potential isn't the big thing that makes me hate something; I enjoyed the Equestria Games despite it focusing a bit more on Spike than the Games themselves as an example. It's only when the story devolves into something that could be best described as having negative connotations that makes me dislike an episode from this show in particular, including having one of the worst anti-climaxes of the show (arguably It's About Time had a just as bad one) and a pointless side character that would only be introduced here and never show up again because of a later episode's notes. Really, just being more focused on the kind of garbage it displayed was what not only made me want to consider it one of the worst (if not the worst) episodes of the show alongside Putting Your Hoof Down for reasons already mentioned above, but also left me with a very rotten taste in my knowing we really could have had something greater in store instead.
Edman 24: You have to love the Fantastic Racism here, too. It was noticeable in this series before, but here it's pretty much hammered hard. One group of Dragons are immature jerks, so that means all dragons are a waste of time with Spike rejecting who he is. There have been several instances of Ponies being obnoxious jackasses (Including the Mane 6), so can we automatically write off ponies as being jackasses? There's Reptiles Are Abhorrent, and then there's just insulting my intelligence.
batmany: The ending was the DMOS for me. To make a long story short, Spike "adopts" a baby phoenix (named "Peewee") after refusing to smash the egg said phoenix was in. Oh, did I say "adopt"? The correct term is "kidnap". I know this is supposed to parallel Spike beieng raised by ponies. But, there's one little problem with this. It's explicitly stated that no one knows where Spike came from (which means either his parents are dead, or they abandoned him (most likely by accident). Spike, on the other hand, knows who Peewee's parents are and could've easily given them their offspring back. Hey, Spike? I think you should return Peewee to his parents and write a letter to Celestia on why kidnapping is not a good lesson to teach the kids at home. note I know the show addresses this in season three, but at the time this was aired, there was no indication such would happen.
Psi 001: When Rainbow Dash tries to get Fluttershy to watch the dragon migration, she tramples her, saying "I said NO!" It may have worked better if they hadn't given Rainbow Dash another blatant Jerkass Has a Point moment just beforehand by pointing out Fluttershy had previously dragged her to the Butterfly Migration in a near identical scenario (except RD begrudingly suffered it in silence) and what was supposed to look like RD goading her past breaking point was just her pointing her out as a Hypocrite. That was the thing that outraged Fluttershy to the point of violence? Really?
Calamity 2007: This episode has a serious problem with it. The episode starts out good enough with the Cutie Mark Crusaders looking for another way to get their cutie marks and deciding to join the newspaper, who is headed by Diamond Tiara who after writing about an embarrassing incident involving Snips and Snails wants them to write gossip stories under the guise Gabby Gums; eventually the townspeople gets upset when the privacy is invaded. This all goes downhill when Rarity finds out the truth about Gabby Gums, and suddenly everyone in Ponyville treats the CMC like outcasts! This goes to ridiculous proportions when Applejack refuses to talk to even her own sister (besides for "yeps" and "nopes") while Big Mac literally tells her to "Go away!" and Rainbow Dash literally putting a raincloud over their heads! It was horrible to see three children go through this stuff and also jarring since earlier the three have shown that they're starting to regret gathering these stories and are mostly because of peer pressure and blackmail. Sure everything ends fine in the end and it didn't ruin me from enjoying the episode but it's still shocking that the "adult" ponies could treat children this way.
Some New Guy: Between Big Mac's rant, Twilight's over-reactive force field, and Rainbow Dash and Angel attacking them, this was arguably one of the darkest segments of the entire series. Not to mention it reeks of Character Derailment. The entire town basically traumatized three children, who were already hurting because of what they've done, completely ignoring that Diamond Tiara had essentially blackmailed them into publishing the embarrassing stories and photos. Look, I get that the town was angry and disappointed that the CMC would publish such "slander", but there is a fine line between being disappointed and outright abuse.
Laundry Laudanum: There is an obvious line between being reasonably upset at someone and acting like a petulant child when you're a full-grown adult. I can understand Rarity's and even Applejack's reasons for their bitterness towards the trio (having your own sister saying such things about you publicly is undoubtedly an awful experience, and reading someone's personal diary is never okay), but to go so far as for every single citizen of Ponyville to completely shun and in some cases verbally lambast them? I don't think they did anything abhorrent enough to deserve such a punishment. Overreaction, much?
Moguera: While the reactions of the various ponies don't bother me so much, what does bother me is the Aesop that is missed by all the supposed adults in the series; namely that most of them clearly enjoyed Gabby Gums and passed off the gossip as harmless fun until it was their butts on the firing line. They seemed apparently unable to relate cause and effect and fail to realize that their demand is what caused Gabby Gums to go out of control. And while the episode ends with the CMC learning their lesson and Diamond Tiara getting her comeuppance, there seems to be no lesson learned by the other ponies who essentially encouraged the victimization of their neighbors until it was their turn. Talk about hypocrisy.
Psychopulse: Ponyville Confidental started off okay in the beginning, but once they're exposed as Gabby Gums, everything goes downhill. Even though what the CMC did was wrong, they showed no sympathy and were basically being a bunch of pricks and hypocrites who are never called out on their actions for enjoying the column in the first place, making it a Broken Aesop. Besides that, some of the actions were uncalled for, especially Rainbow Dash's raining on them. Really, the entire moment reeked of Dude, Not Funny! and What the Hell, Townspeople? in one go. The apology letter was a cop out way to end it all, which didn't perk up the mood even after Diamond Tiara gets punished for her actions. Thanks a lot, writers. I hope you never make another episode like this again.
Game Pak: "It's okay to gossip, but when you gossip about me, I'll ostracize you, and everyone else should, too!" was the moral of this episode. I seriously consider this episode to be the worst My Little Pony creation in the world. Even G3 was better than this episode.
Blue Flame 724: I have to say, that I was a bit underwhelmed by Part 1. I know Remember the New Guy isn't a horrible trope, but I just couldn't feel anything towards Shining Armor. He's a cool guy and all, but establishing that he was pretty much Twilight's brother seemed like it was pushing it. Also the way Twilight accused Cadence seemed a bit uncharacteristic of her. After the previous episode, where she spent time not jumping to conclusions, she just decides to accuse her because she's meaner than usual. I empathized with her, but her methods just seem like Lesson Zero again. The thing that ticked me off the most was the shunning of Twilight. Yes, she was unreasonable, but just abandoning her doesn't solve much either. Especially Celestia's blatant lack of understanding.
Wiresandstuff: I was concerned about how the second season finale would turn out, with it apparently introducing two new Mary Sue-ish characters with shoehorned life-long connections to Twilight, but I had faith in the production team and hoped for the best. It seemed my fears had been quelled by the mid-point of part 2, with the introduction of a menacing new antagonist complete with villain song, and possibly one of the best action sequences of the whole series. What irked me about this episode, however, was the way in which the conflict was resolved; with Princess Celestia and the mane six captured and changelings running rampant around Canterlot, Cadence and Shining Armour use their love for one another to fuel a shockwave that sends all the changelings flying out of the city (Queen Chrysalis allows them to do this, scoffing at the concept despite using that same love moments ago to defeat Celestia). Now my problem isn't the use of the Power of Love in and of itself (as if the Power of Friendship as any less sappy), but with the Elements of Harmony, at least we got to see Twilight bond with each of her friends and learn about their virtues. Here, we're given two undeveloped characters, told they love each other because, um, they're both nice, and their love is powerful enough to set off the spell. I think the writers did their best with what they were given to work with, but this just feels like a really lame way to wrap things up.
Psyga315: I point to a part that a lot of people don't seem to think is a bad moment: The last scene before the climax. Okay, here we have it: Our heroines are beating up the Changelings like the previews showed us, they rush to get the elements... only to just give up within a single commercial break. I'm sorry, what? Oh, that previous army of Changelings were a cake walk, but add a few dozen and suddenly "Oh no! We can't beat them! Guess Canterlot is doomed!". Heck, the way they entered the altar after getting captured looked like they barely put up a fight! Now, why do I label this as a Dethroning Moment of Suck? Well, because it not only makes that entire climax pointless, but it's like the writers were hammering in the idea that Twilight and her friends were never the heroes of this story, but rather this character that, if she was made by a fan of the show rather than the writers or staff, would have been laughed off as a Mary Sue along with Shining Armor. This also led to some other moments that sucked ("She fooled everyone.", "My love will give you strength." and "Did I miss anything?") but didn't deserve a larger mention. There maybe other moments down the line that might suck harder than this, but the thing is, I doubt those moments will make me downright hate a newly written character because of it. Yes. This moment made me hate Cadence, because even the writing staff want to make sure that everyone is too powerless (or in the case of one certain character, apparently too goddamn lazy to do anything and arrive only when it's all over) to stop the Villain Sue except for this one character that somehow saves the day for ass-pulled reasons. I doubt any moment will top that, hence why I make this my Dethroning Moment of Suck. Even though I have completely accepted it and my hate for it has been greatly reduced, this still will be my Dethroning Moment of Suck, simply because nothing else had made me so upset at the show longer than this had.
Peteman: This two-parter really comes across as a Mary Sue fanfic, with a massive dose of Remember the New Guy as we have two important and powerful characters in Twilight's life being jammed with no foreshadowing despite the Mane Cast's repeated visits to Canterlot. To top it off, Chrysalis' line about Shining Armor's love being so massive that it let her beat Celestia came across as blatant Character Shilling, as this character we've never met can only beat what is supposed to be an immensely powerful individual using the massive love another character whom we've never met before has for a third character we've never met before. I'd have much rather have Chrysalis take Celestia out in a sneak attack than have that annoying dribble about Shining Armor's love.
Allsmileysfly: For me, A Canterlot Wedding was the Dethroning Moment because it felt very out of character for Twilight to storm into the wedding rehearsal and accuse Cadence of being evil, considering that in the last episode she solved Pinkie's dessert mystery by not leaping to conclusions! I suppose it might be justified because Shining Armor was her brother and she seemed to be protective of him, but still.
Solidus Trigger: The wedding just left a bad taste in my mouth. We finally get to see Celestia in action, and she goes down without much of a fight. Shining Armor and Cadence in general felt like characters out of a Self Insert Fic, and Chrysalis came off as more of an annoyance than a menacing villain. Also, Luna's cameo just screams "Wasted Potential".
James Picard: Dear lord, did Part 1 stink! We start out with massive amounts of Remember the New Guy, complete with a bland musical number. Then Canterlot is under more security than America post September 11th because a threat has been made. Except that's all the knowledge we're given! We don't know who made this threat, what they want, or what they're threatening to do! And if Shining Armour needs to focus on maintaining the force field, then why the heck is he getting married now?! It can wait! And then we're introduced to another character we're supposed to like simply because Twilight does. Even though in the flashback she's shown using mind-control to make ponies love each other, and in the present is Most Definitely Not a Villain. Then, when Twilight finally figures it out, and tries to stop her, her brother, who is supposed to be her BBBFF, effectively disowns her! She's trying to protect you, and you disown her?! Why!? This whole episode stank, and clearly needed some rewrites.
Tropers/Umbrage: I agree with almost everything said above, but the worst thing (for me) is that most of the problems could've been avoided if they just didn't involve the other Mane 5 past the opening scene. First of all, they were awkwardly shoehorned into the plot (Cadence didn't have a dress made until a day before the wedding?). The Remember the New Guy stuff would've been fine if they actually took the time to give Shining Armor and Cadence some quality screen time and character development. Instead we get scenes from the non-Twilight cast that waste most of the first episode, and for what? So they can act like jerks to Twilight and do a fight scene that while cool, is ultimately useless to the plot. It would've been better if they cut them out and focused on the new characters, maybe give Luna some time in the spotlight too. As great as the fight scene was, I'd gladly trade it to see the royal sisters fighting side by side. Twilight is also completely out of character. The episode right before this one established her as a competent detective, yet she doesn't even try to find proof of Cadence being evil. Which brings us to the most disappointing villain in the show's history. I understand that villains sometimes have to make mistakes. But Chrysalis is soooooo bad. She does everything possible to ensure her own demise. First off, she chooses to reveal herself and imprison Twilight just when she's lost all hope and nobody believes her. Why? Then we have the laughable prison. Yes, keeping two highly skilled magicians unchained in a cave with three mooks as guard is a fine idea. But through random luck, Chrysalis' plan goes off without a hitch, her changelings invade (by the way, how come nobody saw the hordes of evil black warriors massing outside the protection spell?) and all hope is lost. And then she lumps all the people who stand a chance at beating her into one room, doesn't blink an eye when one gets freed, and openly scoffs at the idea of using the exact same power she used to defeat Celestia against herself. Worst. Villain. Ever. Design was cool, but the plot required her to have an Idiot Ball the entire time. And these aren't big issues really. They had a great idea for a two-parter, but chose to squander it on the non-Twilight Mane 5 and musical numbers that added nothing to the plot or background.
Eyeshield: The worst part for me was when the Mane 6 and Celestia abandon Twilight. SA gets a pass because mind control. Maybe Rarity and Fluttershy, because they're generosity and kindness. But Applejack and Rainbow Dash, who are the Elements of Honesty and Loyalty, abandoning Twilight without even asking why she questioned her own foalsitter on her brother's wedding? And then Celestia, fucking Celestia, her mother figure, just dismissing her? No! It would become halfway believable if Chrysalis wasn't an enormous jerk, but she was. I can take Shiny and Cadance. But this moment, regrettably one of the most popular due to the emotions it evokes (I can understand this...), was pretty much the worst of the wedding.
Vanguard 1505: The entire 2-parter was quite underwhelming, and that's being nice. For what was supposed to be an epic battle of young heroes protecting an ancient forgotten empire from a truly evil force fans can only describe as Satan Pony, the entire episode was more about Twilight learning another lifelong lesson which Celestia couldn't spell out for her from the beginning, and we wasted two episodes for her to learn that in the end, she can't always be the hero. King Sombra was hyped up to be the most evil and darkest villain in the history of MLP, but upon watching his debut and very anti-climatic defeat, I can't help but feel he was only created to be killed off so Spike could get a moment in the spotlight. For what little we know about him, we weren't offered an explanation about his history, where he came from, how a simple unicorn became so freaking powerful, why Celestia and Luna turned him into a shadow monster (which for all intents and purposes probably made him even worse), how he got free from his imprisonment and what his ultimate motivations were for trying to enslave the Crystal Empire yet again. We spent too much time focusing on the Crystal Empire festivities and Twilight trying to pass some kind of test, which honestly felt more like a dick move on Celestia's part instead of just telling Twilight what she needed to do to protect innocent lives. And as said before, in the end, all we got was a lesson that could've been saved for another single 20 minute length episode. The episodes focusing on Discord and Queen Chrysalis didn't need these, so why did we now? And if we did need it, what was the point of Sombra even being a major villain if his true potential wasn't going to be exploited?
Sothalic: It doesn't matter how many times the implications of what happened to the clones hit by Twilight's spell are theorized upon, and what would had happened if the real Pinkie was hit, the fact remains the supposedly well-taught and careful pony fired a dangerous, perhaps even lethal spell with reckless abandon without any safety measures. No secondary test in case the last Pinkie turned out to be braindead and unable to react to anything, no study of the effects of the spell. Twilight assumed the real Pinkie, a friend she is supposed to know isn't known for her willpower and focus would, faced with the threat of banishment/death, act as she told her. Switch the banishment spell for a gun and we've got something that looks like a particularly vicious trap from the Saw series. Twilight wasn't acting anywhere near what she should had, no safeties, no second thoughts at banishing the real one, just fire away, over and over, and expect your friend to "Win" the game.
Deckard Canine: It's hardly the first time a kid show has clumsily mishandled the issue of physical bullies (I'm looking at you, Ghost Writer), but that doesn't make it any more tolerable. Vengeful violence against a bully, especially in the form of a trap that only a bully could fall for, is not bullying in itself. It certainly doesn't make you as bad as the bully, provided that it's not Disproportionate Retribution. Babs squandered my potential sympathy by doing far more than it took to be a friend to Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon; not only did she greatly up the ante on bullying, but if the musical sequence is any indication, she enjoyed doing it even when her friends weren't around. The episode preaches that telling grown-ups, or at least threatening to, is the only acceptable way to deal with bullies. In Real Life, that tends to result in either no change or an increase in bullying. Heck, the show even undermines the message: When Apple Jack finally caught Diamond and Silver trash-talking the CMCs, she did absolutely nothing but simmer, leaving the reprisal to Babs. (The fact that no adult ponies ever acknowledged any bullying before doesn't help.)
AmicidiBeowulf: Agree, but the most frustrating thing is how wrong Bab's Freudian Excuse is handled: she showed to be an even bigger bitch than Gilda, not to mention a Dirty Coward who backstabbed the three who were more than willing to be friends with her (bonus points in vileness for one of them being her relative) out of fear of two bullies... when she and the CMCs were outnumbering said bullies 2-1. Of course they're pissed at her, but then Applejack ass-pulls out a last-minute sob-story and they immediately forgive her for all of the abuse. It fails the aesop because the Freudian Excuse is supposed to explain why a character is a Jerkass or is evil, not to be a moral free-pass. If they were informed earlier and confronted Babs about that, resulting in her having a Character Development and apologizing, that would have been a good episode, instead it fails to deliver.
Ansem Paul: For me the warped Aesop: Kids, if you tell a teacher or your parent all the bullying will instantly cease! Which fridge logic tells you will be immediately broken with Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon. But it gets better. "Never try to fight back against a bully or that will make you just as bad, even if you've been physically assaulted several times! The adults will handle it, and if they don't... too bad!" I really hope the person who wrote this had been homeschooled or something, because dear gawd, that is a terrible, terrible lesson.
Fat Pat: The ending of this episode upsets me more than anything else on the show. We just learned that you shouldn't handle bullies by being a bully yourself. So what do our protagonists do when Diamond and Silver show up? Push them in the mud, which we literately just learned not even five minutes ago is the wrong thing to do. A well written ending would have had the the CMC question why Diamond and Silver are so mean and resolve to find out and try to befriend them. Instead status quo is hung on to, even though it defeats to entire purpose of the whole episode.
Shmelluloid Studios: Something about this episode just didn't sit well with me. Not the episode as a whole mind you, I liked the idea of Trixie coming back and being a legit threat. But what ended up bothering me was the ending, Twilight's solution to the whole problem. She's angry at Trixie for cheating, wants to defeat her in the name of honor and decency, and what does she do? She cheats to defeat her, using smoke and mirrors, special makeup effects and help from all her friends. And Trixie just suddenly decides to be good because Twilight cheated. Um... hooray?
bregalad: I was really pissed off about how this episode treated Fluttershy. First, she's seen panicking when Twilight performs her magic trick, in spite of all the critters enjoying themselves - even though it's her special talent to be in tune with them. Then, she's completely ignored by her friends, showing absolutely no signs of assertivity. And when she's sent to the Everfree Forest, she behaves like a spineless coward, instead of being, y'know, shy. It feels that the writers sacrificed her entire character for some cheap laughs.
Silverblade2: The whole episode's character portrayals. I really can't stand every single episode written by Merriwether Williams but I think this episode is her worst so far since TMMDW. Spike got a huge Flanderization. His clumsiness and his love of work reached an absurdly high level. Not to mention that the "Dragon Code" is an obnoxious Asspull (Spike's had been rescued several times prior to this). As usual in Merriwether's episodes, the mane six act like manipulative cunts. Even if it was intentional, the anticlimactic battle in the end was very displaced.
No Spoilers Plz: Since the abhorrent character derailment has been talked about, I'll save my entry for the conclusion. We get a rather surprisingly decent build up to what we believe will be an epic showdown rivaling that of the one at the beginning of the episode with this huge timberwolf. And then they chuck a pebble down its throat. That's literally all that happens. The damn thing isn't even on screen for thirty seconds. It's the kind of wasted potential that makes an episode hard to watch more than once.
Trickquestion: It's a Spike episode, so of course the little guy gets dragged through the mud as usual. But in addition Spike is shown to have had to give up Peewee, the one being besides the Princesses who won't turn to dust as he ages. But after putting up with all of Angel Bunny's typical bad behavior and learning a lesson about letting greed and gluttony overwhelm him (a lesson rather out of character for the honorable hard worker seen in the last Spike episode) Spike absentmindedly eats his last gem, which he had intended to bake in a gem cake. After he had learned his lesson and gone through the wringer. This kind of cruelty being played for comedy may be at home in shows like Ed Edd and Eddy, but is completely out of place here and goes against everything Friendship is Magic stands for.
Caellach Tiger Eye: For me, it's the fact that for no good (given, at least) reason, he's not invited to the Crystal Empire with the girls. Even though he was critical in saving it from King Sombra last time. Just so we can have two back-to-back episodes (not that I dislike the idea, but we could've had a better reason than... well, what currently stems as no reason). Jeez Cadance, way to show some gratitude! ... Oh, and about Spike's bringing Peewee back? While it does rectify the Accidental Family-Unfriendly Aesop of kidnapping "Dragon Quest" created, it shows the unfortunate fact that Spike ends up with no pet, while all the girls still keep theirs. Yes, we know he's a Butt Monkey, but could you please tone it down a bit, writers? And show him a little respect, already — Spike deserved to come to the Crystal Empire more than any of the Mane Six besides maybe Twilight!
Super Saiya Man: I'm inclined to agree. This has to be the worst episode of this season. We've had great episodes (The Crystal Empire Two-Parter, Magic Duel, Wonderbolts Academy, Sleepless In Ponyville), we've had good episodes, and we've had boring episodes, but this is the worst of the bunch due to the Character Derailment Spike's gotten, his exclusion from going to the Crystal Empire, and his loss of PeeWee. And he couldn't even make the cake he wanted to make all episode at the end!
Big Klingy: I never thought I'd find myself adding an entry to this page, but it looks like it's come down to it. I agree with everything said above. I probably don't need to say anything that hasn't been said before, we all know what Spike went through in this episode. Now, the whole Butt Monkey thing could have been funny, had this episode not began with him being refused an invitation to the very Empire he saved. With that one detail, the entire meaning of the rest of the episode is changed. Remove that, make this episode stand-alone (which I presume was the writers' intention, seeing the episode's original planned airdate) and you would have had classic Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist flair, kinda like "Feeling Pinkie Keen". But that's not what happened. Instead, you get someone desperately looking for something, anything, to go right in his life, and not even being allowed that. I've been there. I've felt that myself, and let me tell you, it it not funny, in the slightest. Worse still, I also know first hand that that feeling combined with an unrequited crush can lead to very serious mental and self-esteem issues. I always saw Spike as a kind of Audience Surrogate, but this time it hit a little too close to home for my tastes, and it terrified me. I may just be overthinking things, but evoking these kind of feelings in an episode meant to be Played for Laughs is still not a good sign regardless.
On a less-personal note: This episode also served to undo all the Character Development Spike got in "The Crystal Empire". That episode was supposed to the moment where he finally Took a Level in Badass, stopped being "just a sidekick" and became an equal to the rest of the Mane 6. And in this, not only is he back to being a No Respect Guy and Butt Monkey like before, but they take away his pet, one of the main signs of his equality with the other main characters. Way to backpedal on the Character Development, guys.
Alue14: This is actually the first time I felt sucked during this ep. After almost a whole season, we get to see Cadence again. You would pretty much think that they finally were going to tell us how she became an alicorn or how her youth was besides the foal sitter of Twilight and stuff like that, but nope: They spend the whole episode with Rarity trying to make her fucking ceremonial headdress! Like we fucking care! I haven't felt this before, but it's becoming clearer and clearer that Cadence's role in the future episodes will contain of nothing more than for her to stand around, be pretty and wave her hooves or hand or whatever! I'm beginning to think that Cadence will be like her two aunts. They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot and Fanfic Fuel indeed! Not that there's anything wrong with the latter, of course...
Kubu: And the plot! By the founders, it's the most clichéd drivel to be ever passed off as an episode of Friendship is Magic. It's just another mistaken identity comedy of errors, and it's not even done well. The plot revolves around the Mane 6 failing to realise that the mare they tour around the Empire isn't the mare they're looking for, but it doesn't work for these reasons: One, why would you send people off to collect a VIP and only tell them that they'll be carrying a floral suitcase? That's not exactly an obscure pattern for luggage. You're just asking for them to mix things up. Two; the green-maned pony has a chicken for a cutie mark. The Mane 6 were given plenty of opportunity to make a note of that, so why did they assume a pony with poultry as a special talent would have anything to do with a sports ceremony? Three; when a character who has been established as cold and stuffy is prancing around the town with excitement, you do not assume she is tricking you; you assume you have the wrong mare. And it never occurs to them to just ask their guest until they've wasted the whole day trying to impress her. So, in summary, the entire setup of the episode relies on smart mares acting like total morons.
GenkiMan: Something that also bugged me is the mare they mistake for Ms Harshwhinny is she's never given a name, instead the fandom gave her fan names such as "Ms Peachbottom" or "Chickadee". I wouldn't mind if it were just another background pony, but this is a pony we basically spend the entire episode with. Even when Twilight asks her if she's Ms Harshwhinny, instead of saying "No my name is X" she just tilts her head in confusion. Writers, if you're going to introduce a character and have the episode focus on them, at least give them a name.
InTheGallbladder: As much as I love the show, some of the post-season 1 episodes have been utterly cringe-inducing. This was the worst of them by far. First of all, the key conflict would have practically resolved itself were there half a brain between the mane six. Second, Pinkie Pie (my former favorite—she provided some of the best moments of even otherwise poor episodes) is too flanderized to be remotely entertaining or enjoyable. Last, but least, Twilight Sparkle's subplot brings back the same character flaw she usually has in storylines based on her overcoming a character flaw.
MetallicMaxilla: I love this show. I want it to be great, and most of the time it is. Even in the less well-regarded episodes I can find something about it I like, and whilst the third season has admittedly been mediocre I still believe it is one of the better cartoons currently on TV. However, this is one of the very few instances in which I was actually frustrated watching the show, and it stands out as by far my most disliked episode of the whole series. This is especially bad because it's the sister story to an episode I actually really liked ("Just For Sidekicks"). First, a redeeming quality; though my overall opinion towards the Royal Couple is mixed at best, I actually found them to be the best part of the episode. They got a little more character moments in and I like the continuity nod of Cadance teaching Twilight stress-release breathing (I often find people accusing the Royal Couple of "ruining the series", but I disagree as their roles in the series as a whole are usually fairly minor). However, their characters are still quite flat and their roles are again limited to a plot device. The subplot involving Cadance and Rarity is boring and does nothing to help expand the Royal Couple's characters, but the A-plot is utterly grating. I actually found myself having to pause the episode several times just to get over the plot-guided stupidity of the Mane Cast. The tourist pony character is a one-note joke that gets old really fast, not to mention her plot device status in the episode and the shoehorned and pointless claustrophobia thing in an attempt to define what little character she had... whilst before we had great one-shot characters like Photo Finish, Cherry Jubilee or even Sapphire Shores, it's a real step down to see the tourist pony and Ms. Harshwhinny be wasted so badly. Not even the art design, usually one of the best parts of the series, can save this episode; it's supposed to make me want to buy Crystal Empire playsets but everything just looks artificial and hollow with barely any life or charm, like Disneyland during the last hour before closing. When the Crystal Empire was introduced it looked okay, but in this case they might as well have set the episode in Canterlot. It's just a very bad episode, on par with what people used to think of when they heard the words My Little Pony.
fluffything: This episode is flawed in so many ways. Too many songs (at least "A Canterlot Wedding" had time to set up plot between songs), too rushed, no real conflict (not only does Twilight instantly realize she is the one who caused the problems, but she manages to fix it within mere minutes with no effort). It really would've benefited from being a two-part season finale. However, that's not my main issue with it. No, the main problem I have with this episode is this: None of the parties responsible for the nearly life-ruining cutie mark swap face retribution. Celestia doesn't even show guilt. Let me just say that I have no problem with Princess Twilight in general. It's a silly idea, yes, but it works in its own way. But of all the routes they could have taken to Twilight Sparkle's coronation, this was in no way the best.
Spaghetti Boy: Honestly, the episode really really made me think "... Seriously Hasbro?" They Just Didn't Care. No, it's not because of the whole "Twilight Sparkle is an Alicorn" thing... but I was really unnerved by the singing voices. I know they sometimes have different voices for the voice actors when they sing... but what some other companies (like Disney) understand that Hasbro apparently doesn't is that if it's going to be a musical, the singing voices shouldn't sound like completely different people. Only Pinkie Pie and Celestia seemed to be even somewhat consistent, and even then, it was mostly Pinkie. I know it's not the fault of the voice actors, but come on.
soundlessMion: My interest in MLP has already been declining, but this episode almost completely sealed it. It was horribly rushed. The intro itself was fine, even if dove straight into the conflict. That could've easily been developed. It was right after Twilight had seen everyone and their screwed destinies that she had nearly immediately figured out the cure. Sure, it seems believeable, given Twilight's knowledge, but when it comes to storytelling, you're obligated to give more about what happens to the characters, be in in a crisis due to the conflict, or in a crisis trying to solve the conflict. The plot idea is fine. The way it was written was not. The rushed-ness caused a lot of issues. It could've been expanded upon way more. The pacing was horrible. It felt like we just understood the switched cutie-mark problems when Twilight goes and immediately fixes everything over the course of a single musical number. It's possible to do this in song, as many successful musicals will show, but most musicals are way longer. This gives the musicals time to show the plot, backstory, situation, conflict, etc. They wasted too much potential with this plot because they wanted to cram Alicorn Twilight into this 30 min. episode with the Cutie Mark plot. Enjoyability is highly subjective. Writing, however, does have some objective standards.
Heavy Metal Snail: Alright, I can't believe that I'm posting here because even when the show was bad, it was still more of a matter of it wasn't as good as other episodes. But this episode is quite honestly the worst episode in the show's short history. To restate what others have said, it was horrifically rushed. They were able to burn what could've served as the plot for one 22 minute episode in a grand total of 10 minutes with the rest of the episode being devoted to Alicorn Twilight. Now I understand that this is a big deal and that they can't just say "Oh she's a Alicorn, hooray! *cue happy credits music*" but there a disproportionate amount of focus on Twilight becoming an Alicorn than there was for the main conflict of the episode. Twilight's spent far more time trying to solve much more mundane problems. They devoted almost an entire episode to figuring out who ate a goddamn cake and they can't even spare half of one for their lives being completely altered? And not to mention the songs. I usually like the songs in the show but these were subpar and there was too many of them. I counted at least six which means that every 3 and half minutes there was a song which meant it took away from actually trying to build conflict and tension and actually try to make a compelling plot. I understand that they had a limited amount of time but honestly, this episode was such a failure in basic writing that it was almost insulting. It was a piss poor attempt at a season finale. It had little conflict, godawful pacing, an overdose of songs, and a disproportionate amount of time focusing on Twilight becoming an Alicorn. This whole plot desperately needed two parts. It just was too much for one part. So overall, worst episode ever.
Therizino: I was mainly pissed at this episode because, like others think, it was rushed. I know that writers are doing their best, but honestly, my main problem is the way they handled AliTwilight: they didn't give us enough input. Practically all the marketing was based around it, and they just shoehorn it in at the last few minutes. I'm not objecting to the design and I'm not objecting to Twi becoming a princess, but I am objected to them making the fandom worried, because we have no clue what her life is gonna be like: is she gonna live in Ponyville still? is she actually princess of anything? is her becoming an Alicorn going to affect her life in any way whatsoever? We have no clue, and in my opinion the writers should have taken the time to answer these questions. I know this just the beginning of a 3-parter, but still.
Ezekiel: Not for the first time, this episode features Applejack getting screwed over by her friends and then apologizing for it. Fluttershy is thoroughly wrong in this episode on more than one level and yet the writers choose to use all possible imagery to portray her as being right. She makes multiple claims that neither she nor the audience has any way of knowing are true. Bear in mind, tending apple trees is both Applejack's job and her passion. She has a secondhand account of how disastrous the bats can be from Granny Smith, while Fluttershy admits she has no experience with the creatures. Applejack is not illiterate, so there's no way she wouldn't have studied these pests knowing what a threat they could be. Add to all this, any experts in the audience won't be backing Fluttershy because in real life, fruit bats are extremely destructive and can wipe out an entire orchard, with no long-term benefits to be had. But even allowing the assumption that Fluttershy's statements were true, her advice is still completely impracticable, as she urges Applejack to think of the long-term instead of the short-term. It has been established that the farm depends on all available revenue, to the extent that a modest decrease in profits from cider sales alone would put them under; she can't afford to give up any of her orchard to the bats, and yet that's exactly what she does because apparently putting the farm that keeps an entire town from starving before the comfort disease-ridden tree-killing vermin makes you a bad friend. Also, Space Whale Aesop: If one of your friends has a ridiculous moral objection to your efforts to protect your livelihood, do what she says or she'll turn into a vampire.
Deadpan29: Adding to the points raised above, many of the benefits listed by Fluttershy would be benefical only to trees in the wild, not a commercial apple orchard. Trees in an orchard are generally planted in specific locations for specific reasons. Having bats spread seeds randomly would be counter productive. Additionally, trees in a commercial orchard are normally grown fron cuttings, not seeds, to preserve a desired set of characteristics. Growing a tree from a seed is a lot of time and effort for a genetic crapshoot when it comes to the fruit the tree will eventually produce.
Toggaf: I found this to be hands down the worst episode in the series. What started out as an excellently well-presented and believable rift between the group of friends and could potentially have become one of the best turmoils to present in a childrens show was subsequently ditched by using magic. And by magic I actually mean they decide to just brainwash the bats instead by taking away the significant part of their being. What follows is an extremely lazy and dull 12 minutes of Fluttershy flying back and forth. But my main emphasis is how despite presenting a balanced argument on how to treat the bats at the beginning of the episode which causes a rift between the group was quickly resolved by resorting to the morally bankrupt decision of brainwashing the helpless animals.
I Like Turtles: Everybody's characters except for Twilight and Derpy were either awful or Flanderized. Even Pinkie wasn't funny in this episode. This one also made Rainbow Dash seem terrible. She's the Element of Loyalty, and she was considering (in front of Twilight) that she should ditch her friends to join the Wonderbolts team.
Chaos Heart 77: For me the worst part was Spitfire and the other Wonderbolt's treatment of Soarin. They didn't bother to check if he would be okay in time for the race, they just blew him aside in favor of a potentially better flier. So they basically prioritized winning the race over their "friend's" feelings. They, Spitfire in particular, did seem to learn their lesson at he end, but because they came up with that little scheme in the first place, I wouldn't blame Dash if Spitfire (and the Wonderbolts as a whole by extension) became a broken pedestal for her after that.
HeyMama555: The problem I had with this episode was that it had all this build up that went absolutely nowhere. As soon as Discord arrived, I knew he had to have ulterior motives. Then when the plant was mentioned, I figured that either it would hold some power that Discord wanted, or that there was a specific reason why Discord wanted the two Princesses at the very edge of Equestria. So Twilight and Cadance pull out the plant, have an epic fight with a monster, bring the plant back to Discord... and then we find out that Discord was faking sick and did everything just so he could ruin Twilight and Cadance's day together. Now granted, Discord is The Trickster, so it's not unlike to pull stunts, but in the past, he at least had a reason, whether it be to break the Element Bearers (The Return of Harmony), to set himself free (Keep Calm and Flutter On), or to teach the mane six about The Power of Friendship (Princess Twilight Sparkle), but here he did it just so he could be a dick and ruin Twilight's day. Even for the God of Chaos, that seems a little childish and pointless.
Yellow Apelsz: I thought the episode was alright, I wasn't the biggest fan of it but I didn't think it was bad. The only thing that really bothered me about the episode was Pinkie Pie. Yes, she's weird. Yes, she's over the top. Yes, she's hyperactive. But a fucking balloon distracts her from talking to Fluttershy, because They Just Didn't Care. A fucking balloon is how she's written out of the episode, and her parting line is "I wonder where these keep coming from" or something like that when she fucking saw Discord make it. No. Pinkie is a kook, she is strange, she is absentminded at times, but she is NOT stupid. That alone soured my viewing, and I'm sure I actually would've liked the episode a lot more, despite its flaws, but the way Pinkie was handled in this episode just killed it for me.
Midna: "Testing, Testing 1-2-3". Pinkie Pie rapping. (In a Stylistic Suck pastiche of '90s "thug4lyfe" videos, no less.) Even if I did like rap/hip-hop music, I would still consider this the worst song in the entire series by a wide margin - in a series renowned for the high quality of its original soundtrack, this especially sticks out like a sore thumb. While it wasn't bad enough to make me stop watching the series entirely, it (coupled with the earlier live-action Boneless and Gummy cutaways in "Pinkie Pride") did utterly convince me that the Friendship is Magic I grew fond of years ago is dead. Gone forever are the good-natured, if often silly, tales of cheerful cartoon ponies living Slice of Life stories in an quaint yet adventurous pseudo-medieval world, here to stay is zany Animaniacs-esque gag-based silliness in an over-the-top cartoon adventureland with enough Schizo Tech to rival Super Mario Bros.. Couple this with the popularity of both this sequence and the aforementioned live-action shots in the fandom, and this steady slide into Denser and Wackier shows no sign of slowing down. Simply put, while FiM is still a lot better than just about every other animated show on television, it just isn't the show I know and love anymore. It's lost its charm. The magic is gone.
Megatronacepticon: OK, so the Equestria Games have been built up over the past season and a decent chunk of the previous season. We had an episode focussing on the opening, we had an episode focussing on Ponyville's Team, and now we're finally here for the Games themselves, what do we get? Spike being a butt-monkey again while the Games take place in the background. Sorry writers, but you don't spend over a season hyping something up only to push it into the background in favour of retreading an overdone plot that wasn't funny the first time.