A My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic fan fiction by Daemon of Decay.When Twilight Sparkle slipped beneath the covers last night everything had been fine. She had friends whom she loved, a teacher she adored, and a bright future ahead of her. But when she woke up, her blankets and quilts had been replaced by hospital gowns and padded restraints. Everything is wrong and nothing makes sense; even her friends have changed. The doctors, they keep telling her she is sick, that none of it was real and it was all in her head. But they’re lying. She remembers a life far beyond the hospital walls. She couldn't have made it all up on her own. They must be lying… right?Read it here. It also has its own Ask a Pony here.
This fanfic contains examples of:
- Accent Slip Up: Applejack's accent is more toned-down than her main series' counterpart, however she'll slip into her thicker accent when angry.
- Adaptational Badass: One of the therapists has flying speed and agility rivaling a Wonderbolt. Who is this therapist? A young Pegasus mare named Scootaloo.
- Adult Fear:
- Pinkie burning her family's home and half her flank as a filly, while trying to bake a cake for her family.
- Age Lift:
- Scootaloo is an adult in this story.
- They have no known ages in the cartoon, but within the fanfic itself Applejack and Rarity received this. They're several years older than Twilight remembers.
- Inverted with Pinkie, Rainbow Dash, Twilight, and probably Fluttershy. According to Twilight, she is meant to be nineteen however in the asylum-universe she is seventeen. They're all of high school age.
- All Just a Dream:
- According to the doctors of Broadhoof Memorial, most of Twilight's life has been this.
- In chapter 8, Twilight has woken up back in her library, and assumes that the hospital was just a bad dream. But someone comes to try and prove her wrong...
- Alternate Universe: Where (seemingly) a majority of Asylum takes place.
- Armor-Piercing Question: Therapist Scootaloo, to Rainbow Dash: “And if you get hurt, then what would happen to Fluttershy?”
- Bad Boss:
- Nurse Ratchet. It says something, that the orderlies are so scared of her, they panic whenever something goes that isn't their fault.
- Dr. Rose is very manipulative when dealing with his employees.
- Berserk Button: Whatever you do, don't hurt Fluttershy in front of Rainbow Dash. Rainbow Dash WILL hurt you. For that matter, don't even try to interact with her since Dash is likely to take it the wrong way.
- Big Bad: It's someone. It's difficult to say who or what it is for sure, (or even if it's all just in Twilight's head) but the closest we have to this trope is either Other Twilight, or the "plague doctor". Or, if it isn't real, the Shadow menacing Equestria.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing:
- Nurse Ratchet tries to come off as a kind and caring pony, but it only takes a couple of moments talking to her to realize how coldhearted, cruel, and condescending she actually is.
- Dr. Rose seems to be similar in that regard.
- Character Exaggeration: Done deliberately with Rainbow Dash's protectiveness of her friends and aggression and Fluttershy's shyness and cowardice. Both have trauma related reasons for their exaggerated personalities.
- Cuckoo Nest: Twilight is in a psychiatric hospital and is told she is crazy. However, she doesn't believe them.
- Control Freak: Nurse Ratchet scares the living daylight out of Twilight and almost causes Pinkie to have a mental breakdown, for the horrible offense of running in the halls.
- Dysfunction Junction: Considering the story takes place in a psychiatric hospital, this is inevitable.
- Doorstopper: As of May 2016, it's just south of 200,000 words, and still unfinished.
- Driven to Suicide: Fluttershy tries to kill herself after one of her birds is accidentally killed. But, she fails.
- Every Scar Has a Story: Pinkie Pie has a nasty one on her cutie mark. She got it after accidentally starting a house fire when trying to make a cake for her first party after seeing the Sonic Rainboom; her father barely got her (and the rest of the family) out safely, and she developed an intense fear of hurting other ponies when she attempts to make them happier.
- False Friend: It is revealed that Dr. Rose is only acting like he believes in Applejack and is using her desire to prove Earth Ponies can be doctors to manipulate her. Though, this could just be in Twilight's head.(After reassuring Applejack, that she can prove Earth Ponies' can make it in the medical field)
Dr. Rose: That's what I get for hiring an Earth Pony with a chip on her shoulder.
- Fantastic Racism:
- Rarity accuses Nurse Ratchet of this.
- This is also why Applejack has trouble with her career choice as a doctor, and what Dr. Rose uses to probably maybe manipulate her.
- Foreshadowing: In chapter 12 we are introduced to Rarity, Twilight's caseworker, who gets into an argument with Applejack about Nurse Ratchet; specifically, her views on Keratotomies, calling her a 'heartless butcher'. Later in the chapter, Twilight asks Rarity why she stopped being a fashion designer, and is told she 'had her reasons'. She then inquires after Sweetiebelle, offering to donate her old Smarty Pants doll to her. Rarity seems deeply offended and rushes off. In chapter 17, we learn that a Keratotomy is the Unicorn equivalent of a lobotomy- removing the horn, along with the part of the brain that channels magic. It is a common procedure, and could happen to Twilight if her treatment fails. Then, at the very end of the chapter, it is revealed that Sweetiebelle underwent such a procedure and is now a drooling vegetable.
- Hidden Depths: Dr. Rose reveals that he served as a medic in Saddle Arabia and implies having to make tough choices regarding which ponies he operated on, is what lead to his cold the ends justifies the means philosophy. Probably...
- Hope Spot:
- Twilight would sometimes get a sense of comfort from elements of the world she woke up in that are more familiar to her world, before it hits her with a cold reminder that she isn't in her world anymore. One example is when she sees Pinkie Pie for the first time (since she first woke up in the hospital) and is relieved that she is the same pony (sans her now always straight hair) she knew from Ponyville. The one difference that killed it was a massive scar covering Pinkie's cutie mark.
- Chapter 12 ends with Twilight hearing Princess Celestia's voice in the bathroom.
- Hypocritical Humor: Rainbow telling Twilight not to make fun or bully her or Fluttershy, while calling her an Egghead and pushing her.
- Insane Equals Violent: As seen in Chapter 6, Rainbow Dash is a good example of this, shown to be throwing soup in Dr. Applejack's face, and then attacking her for pretty much no reason.
- It's All About Me: Twilight believes Dr. Rose is just a Manipulative Bastard, trying to get his name in the medical textbooks. Of course, whether she is right is a little less clear.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Though her intentions are not clear, The Other Twilight wasn't exactly wrong when she told Twilight she was using and accidentally hurting her friends, to achieve her goals.
- Kudzu Plot: Thanks to the story's slow pacing, lots of characters haven't had all their behavior explained yet. See also All Just a Dream and Ontological Mystery.
- Living Emotional Crutch: Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash are very attached to each other but barely react positively towards others.
- Malevolent Masked Man: The "plague doctor". Though Daemon of Decay hinted that he may not be malevolent-by which we mean that when one user suggested that because the possible "Shadow" that may or may not be real qualified as a plague, he might be trying to help, Daemon of Decay simply said "I wonder..." and then posted an image of Celestia with a trolling expression. So it could go either way.
- Manipulative Bastard: Dr. Rose... probably. Also, Twilight repeatedly tries to manipulate ponies to get what she wants.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Twilight and all of Equestria could be at the mercy of some kind of shadow... or she could just be crazy. Who knows?
- Man In The Mirror Talks Back: Occurs in chapter 5.
- Mythology Gag:
- Silver Glow is a pony from both G2 and G3, though considering she's a unicorn she's likely based on the G2 incarnation.
- Toola Roola from My Little Pony G3 is an art teacher.
- Older Than They Look: According to a comment of the author's, Fluttershy is 43, although this was a joke by the author.
- Only Sane Man: Pinkie Pie, believe it or not. Out of all of Twilight's friends, she is the only one who acts just like her canon counterpart.
- Ontological Mystery: In a way.
- Power Nullifier: Twilight and the other Unicorn patients have a cap on their horn that prevents them from using magic. This of course prevents Twilight from easily escaping the asylum.
- Recursive Fanfiction: This has inspired a few.
- Shout-Out: Nurse Ratchet shares the name of the Big Bad from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and is about as pleasant.
- Slasher Smile: What Other Twilight is portrayed with in fanart.
- Smug Snake: Dr. Rose, much to Twilight's displeasure, seems to take joy in proving her wrong and flaunting his superior possession.
- Stepford Smiler: Twilight quickly figures out that all the nurses and doctors seem to be trained to have these.
- Teasing Creator: Daemon of Decay manages to keep the audience guessing right the way through as to whether the hospital is real, and she is insane, or there's something more sinister going on.
- Through the Eyes of Madness: Twilight constantly sees things that can not be real. That is, unless she's really crazy.
- Whole Episode Back Story: Most of chapter 3 has Applejack explain how she became a doctor and became Twilight's friend in this world.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist:
- Dr. Rose's methods are highly questionable, but it is to make sure that no unicorn ever has to be "cured" by a Keratotomy. At least, it seems for now.
- Arguably Twilight as well, as she repeatedly uses manipulative tactics and other morally questionable actions to try to prove herself right, but only because it's what she believes has to be done to save Equestria.
- Wham Line:
“Would you like that, Sweetie?"
- Spoken by Rarity as Twilight sees her attending to a catatonic earth pony or at least hornless filly:
"Please, just call me Scootaloo.”
- Later on:
- What the Hell, Hero?: After Twilight manipulates Pinkie Pie into breaking the rules and snaps at her, for trying to walk away, the latter has this to say.Pinkie: You’re a bad pony.
Pinkie: You tricked me into doing something I didn’t want to. You stole something from Doctor Rose. And you hit me. You didn’t used to do that. Whatever Doctor Rose did to you made you all different and stuff, and now… now you’re a bad pony.
Twilight: Now Pinkie Pie, you can’t really believe that, We’re best friends, remember? We’re fighting to save Equestria. We’re the good guys.
Pinkie: I don’t like fighting this evil shadow. I liked it better when we were knights. That was more fun. When I was Lady Pinkie of the Order of Pie, and you were Princess Sparkle, the Wizard in the Tower, and we fought monsters and saved stallions in distress and had fun, You never got angry then. Can’t we go back to doing that?
Twilight: Pinkie. Have you believed anything I told you?
Pinkie: Of course I believe you! You’re my bestest friend, and bestest friends never lie! It’s just… we used to be knights, and scientists, and librarians. We had fun. But ever since this shadow thing turned up, everything has changed. Now you’re lying to the doctors, and sneaking into offices, and getting all meany-face, and it’s just not the same! I don’t think this shadow pony thing is changing your friends. I think it’s changing you, making you a bad pony. My Twilight wouldn’t yell or lie or steal or hit me! I want my Twilight back.
- You Wake Up in a Room: The way the fic starts. Also, while Twilight retains all memory of her life as Celestia's student, any memory of having been living in an asylum for (presumably) a decade is completely nonexistent.