The Mixed-Up Life of Brad
is a My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic
fanfic by DGD Davidson
(originally based loosely on the trailer and fan speculation for then-upcoming My Little Pony Equestria Girls
Brad is a teenaged boy in love with the adorably awkward girl, Twilight. So much, in fact, that when she reveals that she's actually a pony princess from another world, he agrees to follow her back into Equestria so that they may live together as ponies forever.
Things don't go so well, however. For one, Brad unexpectedly remains human after passing through the portal—and to make things worse, Twilight is now technically guilty of seducing and kidnapping a citizen of a foreign nation.
A more or less light-spirited romance fic with a worldbuilding element. Warning — some Equestria Girls
The Mixed-Up Tropes of Brad:
- Alternate Universe Fic: Being based off the incomplete information from the first trailer alone leads to this. For one, "Brad" is actually a Fan Nickname, as his canon name Flash Sentry was not known back then.
- Arranged Marriage: They are rather common among pony nobility. Thanks to the talents of Cadence, who can make ponies fall in (or out) of love as needed, they are happier than human arranged marriages.
- Author Tract: DGD really doesn't like pony/human romances, and is rather put off by the sheer volume and popularity of the stuff in the fandom.
- Bedmate Reveal: Brad, Luna and Rainbow Dash spend the night fighting nightmare monsters in the dream realm, but Brad gets struck by a monster and forgets what was going on all night. Cue him waking up and finding out—much to his horror—that he's in bed with two female ponies.
- Big Damn Heroes: Twilight, when Brad is being interned in the Crystal Empire. Subverted—she isn't planning on actually freeing him, because they have nowhere to escape to, anyway. She just wants to get a chance to talk to him. Even after she knocks out the guards, Brad has to persuade her to follow through and actually break down the door.
- Cool Airship: Celestia's Solar Barque and Luna's Selenic Maiden.
- Deliberate Values Dissonance: Invoked. The constant clashes of social values between Brad and Pony society are meant to examine human social behavior (since DGD views ponies as allegories meant to examine human behavior through hypothetical personifications of non-humans).
- Fantastic Nuke: Twilight explicitly compares Celestia's sun-moving ability to the atomic bomb, as the princess can use the threat of "burning a kingdom off the map" to keep other countries in check.
- Fish out of Water: Brad needs a lot of time to learn about the culture and biology of Equestrians.
- Have a Gay Old Time: In-universe—Brad is nonplussed to hear Luna asking if she should "arouse" him from the bed.
- Humans Are the Real Monsters: Twilight notes that Equestria, compared to the human world, is a place which has a very low crime rate and barely knows murder, and doesn't even know the concept of rape.
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: All chapter titles include the name "Brad" and tend to be puns on something.
- Interspecies Romance: Between Brad and Twilight, this is what the fic's all about. It is implied, however, that they cannot be truly happy together for this very reason, especially since Brad doesn't find Twilight's pony form appealing.
- I Want Grandkids: Celestia asks this of Cadence (who is the closest thing she has to a daughter.) Cadence responds by revealing that she's indeed carrying a foal.
- The Nose Knows: Scent-based communication is a very major part of pony culture, with each scent having a specific meaning. Brad, being human and lacking the proper sense organs, is shut off from most of the conveyed information.
- Punny Headlines: All of the chapters are titled in 'Brad' puns.
- Shout-Out: Luna taking Brad to fight nightmare monsters in the Deeper Slumber has a lot of references to the Dreamlands of the Cthulhu Mythos, and later to The Night Land.
- Take That: The author states in a blog that part of the motivation for him writing this story, was to highlight the absurdity of pony/human romance that is rampant among HIE fanfiction. Which was even more blatant in another story he wrote, Mating Customs of Species Equus Parvus.