"In the wake of the Nightmare's most pathetic assault on Ponyville yet, Applejack is thrown into an existential crisis, despite her not knowing what the word "existential" means. So when a stranger named Stranger arrives in town, teaching a new way of coupling talent to power using complex machinery, she is quickly suckered in, along with everypony else. Now, it falls to the Most Dependable of Ponies to bring the resulting ruckus down to earth, but can even Applejack's legendary pragmatism stand up to the brain-fizzing horror that is… CONTRAPTIONOLOGY?"
A Crack Fic
the way Crack Fics
should be written, Contraptionology!
is a finished fanfiction by Skywriter
, who also wrote Princess Celestia Hates Tea
. It can be found here
, and it's prequel one-shot story Infernal Machines
can be found here
- AI Is A Crap Shoot: Exactly why did Twilight use Trixie as a template, again?
- The Alcoholic: Applejack's love of drink and brewing is played up to counterpoint her teetotaler Love Interest Bell Pepper. Neither is depicted as right or wrong in their convictions, though.
- Animal Mecha: Angel Bunny builds one.
- Big Damn Heroes: Pinkie Pie saves Applejack from falling with her gyrocopter.
- Bigger Bad: Discord
- Book Burning: A clear sign that Twilight is losing it, when she has the entire content of the library burnt by Spike - to make more room, and because she thinks they disagree with her findings. Seeing as she rebuilds the library in the end and doesn't seem nearly as heartbroken about it as you'd expect a bibliophile to be, she either got replacements, or Spike teleported everything to Celestia instead.
- Brain in a Jar: Twilight
- Chekhov's Gun: Lots of them. A small sampling:
- Applejack learns two phrases in honeybee dance. Later she has to talk to a honeybee hybrid, using one of the phrases.
- Discord, using Stranger von Danger as proxy, makes a Pinkie Promise at the Tesseract Party, despite not having any intention of keeping it.
- Rainbow Dash forgetting what her actual element is is the real reason she was immune to the mad science.
- Iggy the Salamander, and his ability to burn even unburnable things if fed distilled essence of pepper.
- For that matter, Applejack's invention is integral to their final plan despite it having nothing to do with its intended purpose.
- Derpy still holding on to one mostly-spent thundercloud.
- A Day in the Limelight: The entire story is this for Applejack, at least from her perspective. Eventually she learns that she's not as good a leader as Twilight was.
- Deal with the Devil: Never before in fanfiction has quite so much Emotional Torque been infused into the words "Nightmare Delicious".
- Did I Just Say That Out Loud?: Applejack accidentally blurts out her envy of Twilight while facing Nightmare Scoot. In her defense, she was pretty sleep-deprived.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: The extended scene in which Derpy is unable to buck a cloud to Rainbow's satisfaction, forcing Applejack to buck them both at once.
- A Friend in Need: when Applejack makes her deal with the Nightmare it's to save Rainbow Dash's life.
- For Science!
- From Bad to Worse: Things were already pretty bad with most of Ponyville and the Mane Six suffering from SRMD, then along comes chapter sixteen in which Rainbow Dash is apparently vaporized and a badly injured Applejack is about to be killed by Robo-Trixie.
- Gargle Blaster: Applejack's Large Hadron Cider.
- Glory Days: Applejack's realization that her Glory Days are ending, while Twilight's are just starting, is what caused her to flee to Dodge Junction in "The Last Roundup".
- Hidden Depths: Pinkie Pie, doctor of philosophy.
- Honor Before Reason: Pinkie Pie is serious about keeping her Pinkie Promises, even if the fate of Equestria is hanging in the balance.
- The Igor: Spike becomes one, to Twilight's Victor Frankenstein.
- Imposter Forgot One Detail: Cortland is very callous about exterminating pests and unwanted things, when the real one was known for never hurting a fly.
- In Vino Veritas: Applejack discerns that she could make absolute liquid Honesty by making sufficiently (quantum-level) high-proof alcohol, since drunk ponies always speak their mind.
- Insane Troll Logic: A lot of it, but special points to how Applejack intends link Honesty to her Cutie Mark. Absoludicrously, it works.
- Ironic Echo: Derpy throws Applejack's rant from several chapters ago back at her in the epilogue, with Applejack having the same response.
- It Was with You All Along: the link between apples and honesty.
- Journey to the Center of the Mind: Twilight's psychoanalysis spell
- Labcoat of Science and Medicine: von Danger, of course!
- Lampshade Hanging: in the Epilogue, Applejack mentions this is the third time this year they've had to rebuild Ponyville and adds that we're "kind of getting a rhythm for it."
- Large Ham: The Nightmare, which makes ponies rave about making mundane things last FOREVER!, and von Danger, who actually hires Derpy to follow him around with a thundercloud to give his words "the emphasis they require."
- Mad Scientist: Stranger von Danger, of course!
- And the entirety of Ponyville.
- Messy Hair: Stranger von Danger
- Mix-and-Match Critters: Fluttershy's project.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Stranger Von Danger
- Nice Hat:
Rainbow Dash: Come on, admit it. You sold your soul for me and a new hat.
Applejack: That I did.
Rainbow Dash: It is a nice hat.
- No Endor Holocaust: Justified, Discord wants live ponies to play with.
- Noodle Incident: According to Celestia, Berry Punch annihilated all of existence, then remade it again a millisecond later, in response to a massive bender from drinking all of the remaining lemon punch.
- Not-So-Harmless Villain: The Nightmare
- Oh, Crap: You do not break a Pinkie Promise - even if you're Discord.
- Overshadowed by Awesome: Applejack, under Twilight.
- Remember the New Guy: The shy and polite Bell Pepper, and the straitlaced and formal Pepper family.
- Justified in that they have always kept to themselves.
- Science Fair: For Grown-Ups!
- Science-Related Memetic Disorder: Pervasive throughout the entire story. In-story, the field of contraptionology can actively induce this although not nearly as fast as it happens in Ponyville, where Discord is speeding up the process. Lampshaded early when Applejack puts together a Jacob's Ladder for her lab just for the heck of it.
- Screams Like A Little Filly: Applejack certainly does not. It was the Cloppler effect, thank you very much.
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Twilight Sparkle, when she talks in science.
- Pretty much anyone under the spell of contraptionology. Applejack's description of the Clopper effect is a particularly hilarious example.
- Shout-Out: Rainbow Dash's Voigt-Clopff test
- Suspiciously Specific Denial: Twilight, while in complete OCD mode, realizes that Applejack has some idea of Pinkie's education:
Applejack: [...] I ain't all book-learned like you, or apparently, Pinkie Pie, is.
Twilight: drops everything she was telekinetically holding Oh, that Pinkie Pie! Has she been regaling you with some of her random and totally untrue stories again?
Applejack: Uh, maybe?
Twilight: Hoo hoo! What a laugh!
Boy, she was telling me a real whopper earlier today, I don't know, maybe it was the same one she told you! It was just some crazy and, let me stress, totally non-true, story about how she's secretly a doctor of advanced contraptionology with a degree from the Maresachusetts Institute of Technology and how while she was in college she made a mechanical lizard that makes 'squonk' noises and breathes fire when it eats hot food and it came looking for her and that's what started the forest fire last night and so now we have to return it to her thesis advisor in Maresachusetts and that's why we're going on a road trip! It was funny because of how patently not-true it was!
Sound From Kitchen- SQUONK!
- Talking Is a Free Action: Rarity stops running from the mutant bees long enough to complement Applejack on her outfit.
- Unreliable Narrator: Applejack spends most of the story under effects of first sleep deprivation, then three different forms of mind-altering magic. Generally it's made clear to the reader what's going on but the significance often flies over her head as she narrates.
- Villain Decay: The Nightmare, once a genocidal threat to Equestria, is now the terrifying filly of darkness: NIGHTMARE SCOOT! She recovers most of her dignity in the story.