Ensemble Darkhorse / My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic
Many background characters in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic
garnered a lot of praise and attention from the Periphery Demographic
, despite several of them not having any lines and a few more only making a few background appearances. Because of this, for the sake of neat archiving, the Ensemble Darkpony characters can be listed here.
There's a tendency to add every character in the show to this page; remember that Ensemble Darkhorse
is a relatively narrow term. Here's a good heuristic: Was the character introduced along with their toy-line
, or given a lot of advertising? Then they were meant to be popular
, and it worked. This isn't bad — plenty of characters are meant to be popular but aren't
— but it's not this trope. But if the character was introduced quietly, with no particular advertising or attention, and then got toys and merchandise well after their debuts
? They're almost certainly this trope. Especially if they got their own episodes.
- Princess Luna, a literal Dark Horse who's part of an Ensemble, appeared for less than a minute in the second episode, said two lines, and wasn't even mentioned again until the first episode of season 2. Fans desperately wanted to see her return, disappointed that a character with such potential was barely utilised, and flooded fan-fiction websites, image boards, and forums with content about her. When she was confirmed to return for season 2, fans were ecstatic.
- And then she did it again, with her A Day in the Limelight episode "Luna Eclipsed", which was received exceptionally well among fans (in no small part due to her hilariously overplayed and lampshaded Flowery Elizabethan English and No Indoor Voice as well as being a prime Woobie trying so hard to be accepted again). The fandom had previously imagined her as being just as awkward and impetuous as she was in the episode, but also as rather meek; everyone abandoned this with a good will after Luna Eclipsed, and Awkward Bombastic Luna is now the only Luna there is.
- Luna's guards are Ensemble Darkhorses. Ponies with bat-wings and much cooler armor than the regular guards, they've only been briefly seen once in the show thus far (though they've cameo'd a few times in the comics). Since next to nothing is known about them, they've become popular OC Stand Ins, and inspired tons of bat pony OC's, including one for one of the show's lead story writers, Mitch Larson himself.
- Nightmare Moon is either another element of Luna's popularity or an entirely different Darkpony herself, depending on whether she is considered a separate character or simply an extension of Luna. The comics have interpreted her to be separate, but the comics are hit-or-miss, and the show's contradicted them before.
- As one of the few recurring male characters, Big Macintosh has a bit of a fan-following. In Season 1 he mostly just had cameos when Applejack was involved, but in Season 2 he became more and more involved with the main & supporting cast. He also proved to be popular enough to receive a blind bag toy, making him one of the first stallions to receive any kind of toy since G1.
- A lot of fans like to ship him and Fluttershy together because they're both quiet, shy and kind types.
- As of season 5 episode 17 we see just how sweet Big Mac is, going to crazy lengths to make Apple Bloom see him as a hero again. He also feels left out with Applejack being the superhero of the family.
- The Grrreat and Powerful Trrrixie has a very impressive fanbase for what was at the time, a one-episode character with little significance, and her prominence in fan works almost reached main character levels. Much like some other darkponies listed here she received a few toys based on her, at first calling her Lulamoon, but then changed to "Trixie Lulamoon". The fanbase rejoiced when she returned in Season 3 to have a rematch with Twilight, in the process making the fan theories to the effect of "Trixie is left a humiliated drifter after the Ursa Minor incident and wants revenge" fully canon. Some fans go so far as to want her to become a more recurring character, and fanfiction often pairs her up with Luna, either romantically or as her own apprentice to parallel Twilight and Celestia. Pairing Trixie with Twilight for the same is also very popular, especially once Twilight became a princess herself.
- Starting in Season 6, she started becoming popular as a friend to Starlight Glimmer, and admittingly, the duo does make a pretty hilarious team.
- A lot of adult fans of the show tend to express interest in Gilda the Griffin. Her hot temper and past times with Rainbow Dash make her a unique specimen to say the least.
- Pinkie Pie's baby alligator Gummy, commonly appearing in many fan works and is one of the most popular pets. His nihilistic state of mind in the 100th episode sealed his spot at number one of the pets.
- Cheerilee is a popular target for fanart and fanfiction from her very first appearance, being a teacher a good excuse to include her in any number of scenarios. Her popularity only grew during season 2, which gave her more screen time and even her own episode, "Hearts and Hooves Day", in which she featured alongside fellow darkpony Big Macintosh.
- She's apparently popular over in Japan, even getting her own slot in the end credits roll call along with the Mane Cast.
- Discord was one of the most popular antagonist, loved or loathed in equal measure, depending on who you ask. He continually pops up in drawings, stories and speculation even long after being sealed away again, an enormous section of the fanbase wanted him to make a reappearance... which was granted in the Season 3 episode "Keep Calm and Flutter On". Not at all hurt by him being a blatant (admitted) Expy of Q, to the point where he's played by the same person. His redemption arc proved controversial, but his popularity's seemingly solidified after the season 4 finale.
- Daring Do, the star of the Book Within a Show that Rainbow Dash becomes a fangirl of in "Read it and Weep". Her being an Indiana Jones expy has made her really popular material for fanfics and art. Many pictures of involving Rainbow Dash have a tendency to include her in some form. (Such as a book or a plushie.) She acquired enough love to have a rather detailed Just For Fun page all to herself, and some fans actually started writing stories based on that page. Yes, this character is popular enough to get an entire metafictional spinoff series out of thin air.
- The Season 4 episode that de-fictionalized the character has caused some conflict in the fandom over whether or not they liked the idea, but she's still a fairly popular character.
- Lightning Dust only appeared in one episode in the third season, but her Villainy-Free Villain status lends her to Draco in Leather Pants treatment. Further, she makes a perfect Evil Counterpart to Rainbow Dash, being just as skilled as her and having a similar personality, only more selfish and reckless. While she hasn't appeared in the show since, it's common to find her depicted as Rainbow's rival in a manner similar to Twilight and Trixie.
- Queen Chrysalis came out of nowhere, only hinted at once (in an online New York Daily News article) during all the crazy hype The Hub and Hasbro did for the season 2 finale, most of which was focused on the other new characters Princess Cadance and Shining Armor (since they're the ones with toys), and took the fandom by storm. All the fanart created literally within a day of her appearance shows just how far being a competent and dangerous (and scary) villain with a unique design and magnificent Villain Song will get you.
- Chrysalis's popularity led her to being the first Arc Villain of the IDW comics. She later escaped her imprisonment at the end of her origin issue.
- Her popularity also was enough to get her an official toy for the 2013 Collector's Line.
- Soarin and Spitfire of the Wonderbolts managed to capture a lot of attention amongst the fanbase when their names and personalities were established in the Season 1 finalenote . Spitfire especially became somewhat of a pinup-girl to the fanart community with many a saucy WW2-style cheesecake image being drawn of her, as well as plenty of fanfics. Spitfire was brought back for another speaking role in Season 2 where she was established as the captain of the Wonderbolts, then again in a Season 3 episode that depicted her as being in charge of the training program for new recruits. Soarin got a cameo in the Royal Wedding where he was seen wearing a dress uniform and dancing with Rainbow Dash and later played a more significant role in "Rainbow Falls"
- The Flim Flam Brothers, whose affability and extremely catchy Villain Song made them stand out amongst other one-episode antagonists. This earned them a few cameos in the comic series, a second appearance in season 4 and a third in season 6.
- Fans of Hulk Hogan and Mr. T became big fans of Iron Will. He tends to appear very often in fan made music videos on YouTube.
- Fluttershy's temporary bat form in the episode, "Bats!" quickly spun-off a lot of fan art and Internet memes. Rarity dubbed the creature "Flutterbat", which the fandom latched onto. There was an explosion of fanworks to say the least. A high-quality, fan-made plushy was sewn within 24 hours. The form appears in the Season 5 Halloween special, and in the IDW comics with bat forms for the rest of the group.
- From the episode "Rarity Takes Manehattan", we're introduced to a pony named Coco Pommel. Her cute looks and sweet demeanor earned her a fanbase and a lot of artwork in hours after the episode aired, plus it's hinted at that she'll return in a later episode. She's without question one of the most popular of the key givers introduced in season 4 (only rivaled by Cheese Sandwich), to the point where a return appearance in season 5 was eagerly expected and did not disappoint.
- Even though not everyone is particularly fond of the Breezies, most people seem to like Seabreeze, a particularly hot-tempered Breezie who not only is the Only Sane Man of the group, but also has a perfectly relatable reason for being mean to his comrades, because he might get separated from his wife and child.
- Fans have desperately been wanting to see Pinkie's siblings make an appearance on the show, so when one finally did in the form of Pinkie's older sister Maud Pie, it should come as a surprise to no one that she'd earn a fan base long before her episode even aired! She's unique considering her personality is the polar opposite of her sister's, while still possessing the eccentricity you'd expect from a Pie. Thanks to her popularity she received multiple appearances in the show and also a brief surprise cameo in Rainbow Rocks.
- Pinkie's other sisters Limestone and Marble Pie (previously known as Inkie & Blinkie) have quite the following among Bronies despite only appearing in a flashback as fillies until well into Season 5. Some fans were a bit upset that we ended up meeting the later-revealed third sister Maud Pie in the show before we got to see Limestone and Marble in the present day. As mentioned above there was a lot of speculation for a while when Octavia debuted that she and Inkie were the same pony, which in a weird way may have helped boost the sisters' own popularity. They have a popular Ask a Pony blog centered around them, Inkie has a song, and there's lots of fanworks that speculate what they're like in the present day.
- Tirek might be an interesting case as in he was popular before he was even introduced, and for that matter, even before Friendship is Magic was made, remembered fondly by G1 fans for his sheer creepiness. In accordance with this, fanfics have long made a name of him as something to be feared. As of the finale, that fear was well placed.
- Some fans are interested in seeing Tirek's brother, Scorpan, as well, who was mentioned in the Season 4 finale but never revealed.
- His origin issue shown Tirek cared little to take over his father's kingdom, and was more interested in the magic eating practiced by the exiled hermit in a nearby cave.
- Season 5 introduced 4 ponies, Party Favor, Sugar Belle, Double Diamond, and Night Glider, nicknamed Equal Four who quickly impressed fans when they provided assistance to the Mane 6 after they were Brought Down to Normal during the opening 2-parter. Notably, Party Favor has already a few memes based on him (and not to mention getting shipped with Pinkie Pie) and Sugar Belle had a full fan-plush commissioned both less than a day after the fifth season's premiere.
- Even before her premier "Make New Friends But Keep Discord", Tree Hugger amassed a following due to her hippie vibe and completely relaxed attitude. Much of the fandom has designated her as The Stoner and her name makes her prime shipping fuel for Fluttershy.
- Moondancer has an interesting relationship with this trope. While she was mentioned in the very first episode, she was never seen; the only lines mentioning her stated she was throwing a party that Twilight rejected in order to save the world. For a long time, she was essentially an O.C. Stand-in for Twilight's Canterlot friends. But come Amending Fences, Moondancer is revealed to be a bookish, sweater-wearing meganekko who was absolutely traumatized by Twilight's rejection. The sheer woobieness of the character, plus the callback to Twilight's original Adorkableness, sent her skyrocketing in popularity.
- Princess Ember, introduced in "Gauntlet of Fire" and the first-ever female dragon with a name and a major speaking role seen on the show, had a large amount of fan art within one day of her debut. Being a Princess with a cool design probably helped.
- Ember is also a popular ship for Spike almost rivaling Rarity!
- Mrs. Shy, Fluttershy's mom, had fanart even before her first appearance in "Flutter Brutter".
- Saffron Masala from "Spice Up Your Life", thanks to her unique design and colorful personality.
- Sky Stinger and Vapor Trail quickly gained a huge fan base and spawn off a ton of fan arts due to the great chemistry the two of them have together. Needless to say, they are popular for shipping. Vapor Trail is clearly the more popular of the two because of how similar she is to Fluttershy.
- If you thought Nightmare Moon was hard core, the Season 7 episode, "A Royal Problem", introduced us to Princess Celestia's evil counterpart: Daybreaker! Needless to say, she has inspired many fan works as well.
- Applejack's parents, Bright Macintosh and Buttercup (nee Pear Butter). By the time of their debut, they had already been the subject of years' worth of speculation and fanon. After "The Perfect Pear", the general consensus is that they acquitted themselves magnificently.
- Toola Roola and Coconut Cream, the fillies in the B storyline of "Fame and Misfortune". Them getting over their fights with each other through reading friendship lessons endeared them to the mane cast and the audience, becoming the only truly nice characters introduced in the episode. It also helps that the two are references to the G3 franchise, with Toola Roola having the same cutie mark.
Nearly every single
background character is given at least a name by the fans, if not an entire personality and history (especially if they have a unique design), and they'll receive fanart within a day of airing. Below are above & beyond the most popular and the ones the fandom is most familiar with.
- No discussion on Ensemble Darkhorses can even be started without mentioning Derpy Hoovesnote , the Recurring Extra that's gotten the most love from fans and the show's staff. In a background shot of episode 1, a grey pegasus pony with wonky eyes was spotted, and swiftly Derpy was born, a strange but surprisingly competent mailpony who loves muffins, often derps reality, and in spite of her difficulties is very friendly and hard-working. In "Feeling Pinkie Keen", she managed to become a combination Ascended Meme/Ascended Extra, Lauren Faust herself said "She can be Derpy if everyone likes" (during production of season one, none of the background ponies had official names), and in season 2 she got her own little gag scenes. Not bad considering her googly eyes were just a random joke thrown in by one of the animators.
- Her astronomic popularity even extends to other background ponies. When a unicorn filly with similar coloring was spotted it led to the creation of Dinky Hooves, Derpy's daughter. One of the few things fans agree is that Derpy and Dinky are a happy family (sometimes married to Time Turner/Dr. Hooves, mentioned below), and Dinky is the most popular child character outside the Cutie Mark Crusadersnote with tons of fanart and fanfics involving the two, often resulting in hearts being melted.
- Her popularity reached it's apex in "The Last Roundup", where the first scene after the credits featured Rainbow Dash actually having a whole slapstick routine with her, where she gets several lines and is explicitly addressed as "Derpy". However, when "The Last Roundup" suddenly disappeared from iTunes, then later restored with Derpy's scene modified with tweaked dialogue (she was no longer referred to by name and had a different voice), the fandom absolutely exploded with panic and anger towards Hasbro, displaying the sheer level of reverence that had been given to the pony. Ultimately the explanation for the change was that there were complaints Derpy was a stereotype of the mentally disabled, and the arguments about this among the fans were often heated and ugly.
- Official merchandise is not safe from the power of Derpy. She has a 2012 limited-edition pony for San Diego Comic-Con and the Orlando MLP Fair (complete with derped eyes and muffin box art), the Midtown Comics exclusive cover of the comic book series (there is, of course, a half-eaten muffin), and a set of vinyl molded figures of Derpy released by Hot Topic (all the thousands of figures made of Derpy sold out in four minutes!).
- Fans were taken by surprise in the episode "Rainbow Falls", where she made a surprise appearance as Rainbow Dash's replacement for the Equestria Games making her more popular with the fans than ever.
- Before that, she had a few blink and you'll miss it background appearances in the season 3 finale, "Magical Mystery Cure".
- She has made several appearances in Rainbow Rocks as well.
- Derpy also pops up in the iOS game as a surprise, albeit unnamed, character who gives you extra bits and gems when you find her. She was likewise made an unnamed cameo in Rarity and the Curious Case of Charity, where she delivers Rarity's acceptance letter, displaying enough of her fan traits that it was blatantly obvious who it was.
- She played a very big role in the episode, "Slice of Life", and according to the end credits of that episode, she was officially given the name: "Muffins", which got mixed reactions from the fans.
- Another background foal got added to the fanon family (as Derpy's son or younger brother) after appearing with Derpy in The Cart before the Ponies, a Derpy-like colt the fans have dubbed Crackle Pop or Derby Hooves.
- Lyra Heartstrings, a mint-colored unicorn with a lyre cutie mark, who gained the attention of the fanbase by often being seen hopping up and down with an excited look on her face as if she's mugging for the camera or engaged in a Funny Background Event, most notably sitting or otherwise acting in a semi-human-like manner. It became one of the fans' (many) memes to depict Lyra as the pony equivalent of an otherkin, wanting in one way or another to be human. She was nicknamed just "Lyra" by the fandom (a name adopted by WeLoveFine), then officially named "Heartstrings" by Hasbro, which led some fans to Take a Third Option and call her "Lyra Heartstrings". Then Hasbro finally used this name as well. After two seasons of complete silence in the English versionnote , she finally got to speak a few lines in "A Canterlot Wedding", along with Minuette and Twinkleshine, two other well-liked background ponies.note
- Lyra often appears alongside a pony that appears to be an Expy of Bon Bon from My Little Pony Tales (and is fan nicknamed as such, although merchandise now officially names her Sweetie Drops), originally due to the way their colorations complement each other (as is standard practice with the placement of background ponies in crowd shots). This circumstance resulted in a lot of fan works depicting the two together in some way, whether as best friends, roommates, or romantic partners. And while Bon Bon doesn't get nearly the same amount of attention on her own as Lyra does, the two together are the most widely accepted pairing, and basically the OTP of the fandom. Yet another aspect of fanon that has been recognized in official media, such as being intentionally placed together in the famous Comic Con poster◊ and participating in Funny Background Events in several episodes (such as "Secret of My Excess", where they share one with Derpy).
- Bon Bon does have one bit of notoriety among the fans: she is easily the most talkative of the background ponies. To date, she has spoken in five separate episodesnote , each time with a totally different voice. This has led to the fanon meme that she is or aspires to be a voice actor, which was turned on it's head in episode 100, which revealed her as a secret agent.
- Time Turner/Dr. Hooves, a male Earth pony with an hourglass cutie mark and spikey brown hair that reminded some fans of David Tennant, spawned endless Doctor Who crossovers and the fanon that Equestria has (or had) their own version of Time Lords. Word of God says his look initially was a coincidence; his fandom interpretation was alluded to by his manning the hourglass in "The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000", lording over time in a way, and by one of the official trading cards that says he is responsible for "pretty much all things timey-wimey." "Dr. Hooves" or "Doctor Hooves" was originally spelled as "Doctor Whooves" (which is Ascended Fanon, unlike his other Fan Nickname "Doctor Whoof"), but its letter W was removed, thus Writing Around Trademarks of The BBC. However, the box of his vinyl figure lists him as "Doctor Whooves" - how they got that around the trademarks is anyone's guess.
- During the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, the BBC seemingly were aware of Doctor Hooves, it seems they don't have a problem with it.
- The comic series has had multiple covers and background jokes related to him being the Doctornote , and since it was acknowledged by the BBC they've even put a reference to it in the actual show. In the episode "It Ain't Easy Being Breezies" there's a shot of him wearing 3D glasses like the 10th Doctor did in one episode and hanging out with a female pony named Roseluck, who has a similar name to the 10th Doctor's first companion (Rose Tyler).
- Then, he was finally voiced in episode "Slice of Life", when he is given a (British Accented) speaking part, is shown to be a mad scientist who has studied time travel, and has an exceedingly long scarf. Plus, he hangs out with Derpy.
- One particular episode has a grey pony with the exact same Cutie Mark. It's worth noting that he shares the 11th Doctor's hairtstyle.
- A female DJ unicorn that appeared for less than five seconds in "Suited For Success", doing nothing but turning on music and bobbing her head, garnered a huge following, generally called Vinyl Scratch due to the name given to her by Lauren Faust herself when she drew a commission, though other fans prefer her stage name that was spawned at the same time, "DJ P0N-3" (Twilight Sparkle herself addressed her by the latter name in a Season 6 episode.) The "DJ Pon-3" name was acknowledged in The Hub's Equestria Girls and There's a Pony For That commercials, and she's one of the few extras to receive her own official t-shirts and a brushable toy. She eventually returned in "A Canterlot Wedding - Part 2", this time showing what color her eyes are underneath her Cool Shades (the most popular fan theory was that her eyes were red – they turned out to be magenta)note
- Her popularity has earned her a more prominent role in the second Equestria Girls movie, even getting to be the star of the first of eight short features that were released with the movie, "Music to My Ears". Not only that, but she's arguably had the most significant time onscreen, playing a key role indirectly arriving at the climax to help the cast.
- Octavia, one of the musicians who first appeared in "The Best Night Ever" (the cello/bass player), obtained an enormous amount of attention from fans, with stories and drawings galore, and even her own theme music; pretty amazing considering she had pretty equal screentime with her bandmates. Her resemblance to one of Pinkie's sisters also fueled a lot of Wild Mass Guessing for a while (see below). She's since appeared on the Comic-Con 2011 poster/desktop background, gained a Palette Swap in "Luna Eclipsed", returned to the show during "Sweet and Elite", been included in the Valentine version of Card Creator, and been featured on the licensed shirts and art print Musical Pony Battle, Octavia Disdainful Glance, and Dancing Ponies.
- Octavia and Vinyl Scratch/DJ-Pon3 also form the fandom's second OTP, despite having never being shown in the same episode at the time. Be it through an Odd Friendship, familial relations, romance, or being roommates, these characters will always have some relationship with each other when depicted in the fandom. This was given a nod in season 5, which showed them as music judges in a dream sequence, and ultimately became accepted canon shortly after in the 100th episode, which has them sharing a house in Ponyville together.
- Octavia became Suddenly Voiced in Rainbow Rocks courtesy of Kazumi Evans, who later reprised the role in the 100th episode. She even sounds British, as in most popular interpretations.
- Golden Harvest (nicknamed Carrot Top), a yellow earth pony with an (usually) orange mane, gained some popularity due to a popular fan comic depicting her as Derpy's roommate or best friend. Fanon usually has her as the Straight Mare to Derpy's goofiness (which got a Fandom Nod in "Luna Eclipsed") and there's a Running Gag about Derpy constantly emptying her fridge. Notably, she is one of the background ponies that's spoken the most in the series and has a memorable gag scene in "Boast Busters" where her hair is briefly green, so that probably helps her popularity a bit.
- Berry Punch (aka the Overprotective Parent Pony), a pink/purple earth pony with grapes for a cutie mark, is known for hastily dragging what might be her child inside in "Bridle Gossip" and drinking directly out of a punch bowl in "Call of the Cutie". The latter has led to her being depicted as The Alcoholic in fanon, an idea apparently shared by the storyboard artists when they put her into the scene, as revealed during an interview. She often gets paired with Minuette (see below) due the two singing together on a hill during the "Winter Wrap Up" song.
- A common participant in the "Brushie Brushie" meme is Minuette, a blue background unicorn who shares the same character model with Sea Swirl and an hourglass cutie mark similar to Time Turner/Dr. Hooves' Fun Fact Many fans call her Colgate for her toothpaste-like striped hair and the associated meme, and even has her own fan-made theme. Very rarely, you'll see her named Romana, named after a Time Ladynote who accompanied the Doctor for a while, because apparently having an hourglass cutie mark means you're a Time Pony. She may even have gotten her own Fandom Nod in "Luna Eclipsed" when she appeared in the episode wearing what looks like a dental surgeon◊ costume for Nightmare Night (A pony holiday equivalent of Halloween).
- After the episode "Amending Fences" where she has a major role, the fans find her very adorable.
- Though much less so than most others listed here, it's worth mentioning the female earth pony who appears on screen for about two seconds, floating through the air past Twilight Sparkle in "The Return of Harmony Part 2". As with Derpy, the overall weirdness of this character seems to have caught fans' imagination. Dubbed "Screwball", due to her cutie mark of same, she features in the occasional fanfic, including the very popular Daddy Discord video and accompanying song.
- The pegasi duo of Cloudchaser and Flitter managed to stand out quite a bit for the fans with their noticeably unique appearances. The two are often portrayed as being close sisters or friends in the fandom and spawned off quite a bit of fan material from artwork and blogs to repainted customs of existing figures and even some fan-created games, and the former made a return appearance in a season 3 episode.
- Pegasus brothers Thunderlane and the colt Rumble are also popular, perhaps due to being the only known pair of brothers on the show aside from Flim and Flam. These two often are shown interacting together with Cloudchaser and Flitter.
- The fans really latched onto Pipsqueak for a couple of reasons. One, he's one of the only colts in the show with actual lines. Two, he has a very unique design and distinctive voice. Three, In-Universe, his favorite princess is Luna, one of the show's Darkhorse-iest ponies. In fan works, he's usually portrayed as a juvenile Quintessential British Gentleman and tends to get Shipped with Dinky Doo a lot. Shippings with the CMC aren't that uncommon either.
- She had a rather prominent appearance in one of Twilight Sparkle's flashbacks,◊ but Sibsy's ponysona Wild Fire was recognized by fans almost immediately. This led to fan◊-art◊, and even a video or two. And that's not counting the obligatory Ask a Pony blog, her little fandom of her own, and the number of fanfiction written involving her.
- Bulk Bicepsnote YEAH!!! is very popular and instantly recognizable due to being one of the most uniquely designed pegasi around. YEAH!!! His every appearance pretty much calls for a YEAH!!! from everyone watching.
- Button Mash may very well be the king of this trope. He appears for all of two and a half seconds in the beginning of 'The Perfect Stallion' song. He does not speak, he is not named, all we see of him is a colt playing on an arcade machine. A dedicated fan - Shadyvox (of Yu-Gi-Oh GX Abridged infamy) - made a pilot episode starring him that made a surprisingly large fandom for the colt. His popularity unfortunately seems to have drastically lost enthusiasm after his and many other of Jananimation's videos got into a complicated legal mistake by Hasbro, though he still features in the odd fanfic and art piece.
- Fleur dis Lee appeared twice in one episode and spoke one line, and yet seems at least as popular as her assumed husband, Fancy Pants, who has his own entry above.note It probably helps that she has an unusual design — she's a normal unicorn, yet she has the taller, longer body shape normally only used for alicorns.
- Silverspeed, a silver-maned pegasus with a bow-and-arrow cutie mark, and one of the few background ponies to be named in-show, has only briefly appeared in two episodes, but is popular enough to have recieved a variety of fan art and an Ask-a-pony Tumblr page. Given every darkpony gets one of these however, it's not saying much.
- Neon Lights/Rising Star, the spiky-maned Cool Shades-wearing Canterlot unicorn, is shipped with Vinyl Scratch almost as often as Octavia is, with his Collectible Card Game card saying that Vinyl thinks "his music is pretty sick", and he has a blind bag figure as of Wave 11.
- There's also the spa ponies, Aloe and Lotus Blossom. Their designs and frequent cameos helped contribute to their popularity.
- Maren/March/Marge/Margo/Fargo the Whinnyapolis Delegate is probably the most popular from amongst the delegates. She's eye-catching with her Russian-style winter outfit and cup of coffee cutie-mark.
- Canterlot Boutique had a large ensemble of uniquely-designed darkponies as customers at Canterlot Carousel, but among the most popular were the Bright and Goth sisters, especially due to their resemblance to Starfire and Raven.
- Then of course, there is the enormously big fat pony who randomly comes in and asks for the Princess Dress.
- The Hooffields and McColts brought us the three McColt mares with cutie marks of different types of saws, hence the collective Fan Nickname "The Saw Sisters", who drew a crowd of fans with their nonstandard body types and manestyles.
- Apocalypse Dash, the battle-scarred alternate version of Rainbow Dash from the Crystal War Timeline in The Cutie Re-Mark, Part 1. Fire-Forged Friends with the Pie sisters, and has clearly seen plenty of action, and is implied to be even more badass than her mane timeline counterpart—which takes a lot of doing.
- Flutter Brutter had a Link pony (officially named "Quarter Hearts") which got the attention of quite a few. Needless to say, video game fanatics were ecstatic at the amount of fanfic fuel this entails, especially if you draw Epona as an MLP pony.
- The episode "Top Bolt" introduced us to Angel Wings, a pegasus with a visually striking design and an adorable moment where she wonders if Rainbow Dash actually flew her wings off once. Her Darkhorse-ness was increased when it was revealed that she was the creation of a little girl made official though the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
- Human Twilight after her appearance in The Stinger. This was well before her role in Friendship Games sealed her popularity, turning a retread of the first episode of the series into something more and showing a potential path her pony self could've ended up taking.
- While the Retcon to Nightmare Moon's nature has been mixed, her latest incarnation, Nightmare Rarity, is easily the most popular thing to come out of the comics, impressive given she only appears halfway through her story and is a huge spoiler. Helping is that she has a cool, attractive character design, is savvy enough to know it and remain a serious threat despite lacking her previous incarnations power, and some of the comics most epic and emotional moments came out of her confrontation.
- Luna's pet opossum, Tiberius, beat out all (save Gummy) as the most popular pet, despite only appearing in the comics. Many have called for him to be a character in the actual show.
- Mirror Sombra was generally well received for being Tall, Dark, and Handsome, having better development then most of the characters originating from the comic, plausible romantic chemistry with Celestia and getting a emotional powerful heroic sacrifice.
- Despite being an Advertised Extra, Mirror Chrysalis has gotten a lot of love for her adorable, and being comically/brilliantly opposite to her already darkhorse main universe self.
- Mina the dragon got this for being a brilliant stand-in to the series fandom.