The Ballad of Twilight Sparkle is a romantic comedy fanfic for My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic written by Gravekeeper.The story starts on a typical day in Ponyville, aside from the fact that Twilight Sparkle is recovering from a big hangover. Oh, and she's just been called away to Manehattan to talk with the Great and Powerful Trixie (who Twilight had been searching for ever since her dramatic departure from Ponyville) and the folks at Metro-Goldwyn-Brayer about a movie Trixie is making... about Twilight. Meanwhile, Rainbow Dash is hiding in Twilight's cupboard from Applejack after their night of drunken revelry got a little out of hoof, Rarity is running around dressed like a warrior mare, Spike is worried for his friend/big sister figure, Fluttershy is dodging the paparazzi again, and Pinkie Pie is... well, Pinkie Pie, only more so.So... Yeah. It's a typical day in Ponyville.Hilarity, misunderstandings, romance, legal complications, and other craziness ensues as Twilight is dragged into the wild world of show business... as well as a budding relationship with Trixie.
Brass Balls: The opinion of everyone at the MPD regarding Det. Gummy Horseshoes and Officer Bobby Flathoof when they request an audience with Princess Celestia about Rarity using her balloon to get into Manehattan. As part of a criminal investigation which could result in naming the Princess as an accomplice.
Opinion seemed split: half of the police force thought the two investigators were only stopping briefly in Canterlot before continuing their journey straight to the Moon; the other half believed that the sheer atomic weight of Flat-Hoof and Horseshoe's solid plutonium reproductive organs would make escape velocity all but impossible.
Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: Rainbow Dash mocks Miss Spelling by calling her Four-Eyes, then Butt-Face, then Four-Butt-Eyes-Face.
Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Rainbow Dash, attorney. Devastatingly good at it, despite - or possibly because of - acting like Rainbow Dash.
Twilight Sparkle: Hey, what happened to your illeism? Trixie: My what?!
Trixie has a similar reaction to Twilight calling Princess Celestia a "polymath" in chapter 14, as does Applejack.
Charm Person: What Rarity thinks may be going on with Twilight and Trixie to justify her friend's interest. Interestingly, Rarity seems to imply that she's done so herself in the past, albeit as something she regrets to this day.
Chaste Hero: Twilight Sparkle is more clueless about romance than she ever was about friendship.
Continuity Nod: Fluttershy is pestered by a horde of paparazzi ponies who recognize her from her modeling career in "Green Isn't Your Color". Later, she makes use of Pinkie Pie's hay-bale disguise from "Party of One".
Date Peepers: First Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie (with a reluctant Trixie in tow) eavesdrop on Applejack and Rainbow Dash confessing their feelings. Then Pinkie, Fluttershy, and Applejack follow Trixie and Twilight around on their first date (though Twilight insists it's Not a Date).
Death Glare: Apparently, Fluttershy's "The Stare" works on ponies as well. Trixie gets a close-range full-strength one, and it reduced her to a terrified, sobbing wreck.
Determinator: Trixie wants to learn Twilight's teleporting spell, but it being instinctual to Twilight and her alone, there is absolutely nothing recorded on how to reproduce the spell. After seeing it enough times to recognize that it's actually 5 spells being cast at the same time, she painstakingly reverse engineers the effect and gathers enough power for the jump, holding the key spell in standby for 15 minutes while she got everything else sorted out.
Twilight: I swear, this has never happened to me before!
Drinking Contest: Between Fluttershy and Big Macintosh. Fluttershy wins! And rake in quite a few bits from ponies betting against her (even depleting Applejack's allowances enough to make her wonder how she will ever pay for Twlight's restaurant food)
Everypony Can See It: Pinkie Pie claims that everyone in Ponyville's been waiting for Applejack and Rainbow Dash to admit their mutual crushes on each other. Twilight and Trixie's feelings are apparently equally transparent.
Exact Words: In chapter 13, Spike points out that everypony promised not to follow Trixie on her date with Twilight Sparkle. The others respond that they're not following Trixie, they're following Twilight.
Face Doodling: Spike ends up on the receiving end of this in chapter 9.
Field of Blades: Rarity conjures one up while trying to pass off the weapons she confiscated from the Cutie Mark Crusader Dragon-Slayers as a new fashion statement.
Jail Bake: In Chapter 15, poor Ditzy Doo gets caught by the cops trying to deliver a cake from the Cutie Mark Crusaders, one with a file and a blowtorch in it, to Rarity.
Last-Second Word Swap: On arriving at the Manehattan Public Library, Twilight starts to ask for books on the study of love, but realizes that would be far too embarrassing with Trixie around, and ends up asking for books on "long-distance teleportation" instead.
Magi Babble: Twilight does this all the time around Trixie, from going on an extended tirade about how Pinkie Pie can't cast magic, to explaining five separate theories from physics in the course of attempting to explain how her teleport spell works.
Mundane Made Awesome: Twilight's teleportation - which seemingly no pony has ever managed to duplicate - is actually a combination of five simple playground spells that most unicorns learn as kids.
Mythology Gag: The Cutie Mark Crusaders' brief attempt to get dragon-slayer cutie marks by going after Spike is a reference to the G1 My Little Pony episode "The Would-be Dragonslayer" in which G1 Spike was briefly in a similar plight.
Narcissist: Trixie's defining trait, obviously, but used to highlight her growing attraction to Twilight in Chapter 15, when Trixie realizes that the last "Cutie Mark Area" she'd spent so much time studying before Twilight's was her own in the mirror.
Noodle Incident: After Cheerilee is drafted into babysitting the Crusaders, she spends most of the night saving them from the Everfree Forest and getting chased by monsters. Of course we don't get to see that.
Apparently Pinkie Pie built Ponyville (or so she claims) to house all her friends after her parents kicked her off the farm, due to something that involved introducing them to two ponies she was having an open relationship with.
Not So Stoic: Gummy Horseshoes used to have a reputation for being an unflappable, unbeatable cowboy cop who never loses her cool. Until she had to deal with Rarity. And Rainbow Dash. And Ditzy Doo.
Not What It Looks Like: Rainbow Dash accuses Trixie and Miss Spelling of trying to brow-beat Twilight into signing over the rights to her name for Trixie's movie. It certainly looks bad, but Twilight leaves in distress before they can explain their intentions.
This seems to happen a lot in this story. In Chapter 4, after a drunken fling between Applejack and Rainbow Dash, Dash is upset when she overhears Applejack tell Rarity to let Rainbow Dash know she's "not that kind of mare." 5 chapters later, it turns out that AJ was talking in terms of chivalrynote "Ah ain't the kinda mare to just love 'em and leave 'em, Rainbow Dash.", not sexuality.
Rarity's Shield-Maiden Chic draws a lot of this. The only one who doesn't react negatively is Spike, who's thinking something else.
Applejack: 'Is that a fashion statement or a declaration of war?'
Perp Sweating: Attempted and failed by the MPD with regards to Ditzy Doo. Ditzy is just too random for the usual tactics to work, on top of her being somewhat Genre Savvy due to watching a lot of cop shows.
Punny Name: Including Pegasus pilot Holly Diver and corporate lawyer Miss Spelling.
Show Within a Show: Trixie's movie, "The Brave and Beautiful Glitter Dawn". As Applejack jokes, "instead of writin' a love letter or sendin' [Twilight] flowers, ya'll wrote her a love movie?"
Springtime for Hitler: Miss Spelling accuses the studio of trying to bury Trixie's movie so it fails and they can exploit a tax loophole.
Tastes Like Purple: Twilight remarks to herself that teleportation makes everything "taste blue for a while afterward".
Title Drop: "The Ballad of Twilight Sparkle" is the name of Trixie's new roadshow, the one that inspired the movie which forms the basis of the plot.
The Unreveal: In chapter 10, Rainbow Dash hints that Trixie is just a stage name, but is quickly hushed by Trixie before she can say her real name out loud (it starts with a "B", but that's all we know as of chapter 13).
The Other Wiki states that (at least among us humans) "Trixie" is a shortened/diminutive of "Beatrice" or "Beatrix".
Those Two Ponies: More or less what Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy have been relegated to.
Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: Rarity is not proud of having single-hoofedly beaten up a small batallion of security guards. Rainbow Dash could not be happier to be her friend.