Fan Fic: Rainbooms and Royalty
Rainbooms and Royalty
is a My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic Fan Fic
, the first in the "Dashverse", which is an Alternate Universe
with a rather simple premise: What if
rather than being in Canterlot the the day the Mane Cast earned their cutie marks, Princess Celestia was in Cloudsdale? And instead of taking on Twilight Sparkle as her personal protégé, she took on Rainbow Dash (despite knowing the Pegasus was more inclined to athletics rather than academics)? How would things change? How would they stay the same? What happens when Nightmare Moon returns?
An excellent example of an Alternate Universe Fic
done right. Despite the altered circumstances, all the ponies remain fantastically in-character, the story is not simply an examination of how things are different from the canon but actually has a well-developed plot, and the story in some cases expands upon and fleshes out the canon. This story can also be found at FanFiction.Net
under the pen name Rowanoak23
Has four sequels, May the Best Friends Win
, Hot Heads, Cold Hearts and Nerves of Steel
, Rainbow Triumphant
, and Wedding Bells Bug Hunt
open/close all folders
"Rainbooms & Royalty"
"May the Best Friends Win"
"Hot Heads, Cold Hearts and Nerves of Steel"
- Achilles' Heel: The snow leopards' regenerative ability is located in their heads. By separating the heads from the bodies and keeping them separated, the heroes are able to beat them.
- Adorkable: Rainbow Dash uses this specific term to describe the sight of Twilight sleeping cuddled up with a book, with another one tented on her stomach.
- Adult Fear: Every foal in Ponyville goes missing in one night.
- Aerith and Bob: When Pinkie mentions that her middle name is Diane, Twilight comments that that's not even a word.
- Allohistorical Allusion: Cadance comments on how it's a shame that none of the Elements are tiaras (the Element of Magic is another necklace in this reality).
- A God Am I: Sombra's Start of Darkness was marked by a transition from a mere thirst for power to a god complex. And now he intends to use the life force of the kidnapped foals to transform himself into an alicorn.
- All Love Is Unrequited: Despite having supposedly come to terms with Shining not returning her feelings, Rainbow Dash is still heartbroken when she finds out he's planning to propose to Cadance.
- Ambiguously Evil: Zecora comes off this way at the end when she runs off with the Alicorn Amulet.
- Amplifier Artifact: Turns out, the entire Crystal Empire was designed to be one for Sombra.
- And Now You Must Marry Me: While Sombra lacked anywhere near enough power to force Celestia to marry him, he courted her (after his first wife died in an "accident") with the hope of becoming ruler of Equestria as her consort. Celestia saw right through Sombra and spurned him, which caused Sombra to switch to Luna, seducing her while also playing off her doubts and jealousy to try and turn her on Celestia. Eventually, Celestia realized this, leading to a duel wherein Sombra revealed his true nature, ending with Luna helping Celestia defeat and seal him.
- And This Is for...: Rainbow Dash delivers this with Sombra during their fight.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: As shown in the flashback to Celestia's duel with Sombra, there is a reason the bits stop with her.
- Battle Cry: When the group is going to enter Sombra's palace, Applejack asks if anyone has anything to say for inspiration.
Zecora: There is a seapony battle cry of which I am aware. Cry halibut and let slip the cods of war!
beat of silence as everyone else stares
Zecora: …I said it was a battle cry. I never said it was good, by the by.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: Well, sexual might not be the right word given their ages, but Dinky and Zecora both deduce from the fact that Pip and Alula argue like an old married couple all the time that they like each other.
- Berserk Button: Pinkie invokes this with Fluttershy during the fight in Sombra's castle, telling her to pretend the bushwoolies hurt a bunch of bunnies. It works.
- Big Bad: King Sombra.
- Big Damn Heroes: Zecora shows up just in time to save the foal trio from the bushwoolies.
- Big "NO!": Sombra gives one when Cadance shows up to the Final Battle with the Crystal Heart.
- Big Sister Instinct: Alula, being the oldest of the foals and raised as part of the militaristic Kicker clan, considers herself responsible for protecting Pipsqueak and Dinky.
- Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: When Rainbow Dash is explaining what happened when she, Shining, and Cadance were separated from the group underground:
"We just talked about what was bothering us, we sorted it out, Shiny proposed to Cadance and then we banished an ancient evil that encouraged and fed on our anger and strife."
- Breaking the Fellowship: Not broken, thankfully (at least not yet), but after seeing Shining Armor ignore her injury in favor of looking after the unharmed Cadance and, worse, trying to convince the group to avoid traveling (and putting off saving the foals) until Cadance's minor injuries heal, Dash begins to suspect that Shining is willing to put Cadance ahead of everypony. This coupled with Rainbow's bruised ego over everypony apparently treating her as a foal, her It's All My Fault syndrome after Dinky's kidnapping, and the tension between the rest of the group due to Cabin Fever, harmony is in increasingly short supply.
- Reaches a head when they're hiking through a blizzard, as all their issues come to a head. Fortunately (sort of), things are defused when they trigger one of Sombra's border booby traps and have to focus on not getting killed. Then the ground under Shining, Cadance, and Rainbow collapses, sending them underground and separating them from the others.
- It's implied and suspected by Fluttershy that some outside force may be ramping up tensions between members of the group when she hears several of her friends voice uncharacteristically unpleasant thoughts.
- As it turns out, Fluttershy was right — Sombra was using some Windigos to affect the group. Fortunately, Rainbow Dash getting hurt by Sombra's booby trap causes her, Shining and Cadance to resolve their problems, which banishes the Windigos.
- Cabin Fever: This begins to set in during the train ride, so Pinkie starts a "sleepover" with pillow fights and truth or dare.
- Can't Kill You, Still Need You: Even though it's agreed by majority vote that they should return the stolen life force to the foals, even though this will kill the defeated Sombra, the heroes find that they can't do so without repairing the crystal array he used to leech the life force to begin with. The only one who knows how to do this is Sombra himself. See Heroic Sacrifice.
- Chick Magnet: Shining Armor. Dash is still crushing on him, and the rest of the Mane Six (save Twilight) find him very attractive, with Pinkie being the most blatant about it.
- Children Are Innocent: Dinky, Pip, and Alula discuss several things they've heard Cloud Kicker say, and completely misunderstand what they mean (thankfully).
- Composite Character: It seems Sombra is incorporating elements from both his canon self and G1 villain Grogar.
- The Corruption: When Rainbow Dash gets the Alicorn Amulet off Sombra, she uses it to kick his flank... and then quickly goes Drunk with Power.
- Conservation of Ninjutsu: The Mane Six have a much easier time fighting the combined might of Sombra's minions in his palace than they did fighting the smaller groups on the way there.
- Determinator: Twilight is so determined to help her friends fight Sombra's minions that she's able to force her magic to a point that it overwhelms Sombra's magic-blocking crystals.
- Driven to Suicide: Cadance, after seeing her worst nightmare. Fortunately, Dinky — guided by Princess Luna — is able to snap her out of it.
- Epic Fail: During Truth or Dare, Twilight is dared to hogtie Rarity. Somehow, she ends up tying them together.
- Everypony Can See It: By this point, Rainbow Dash's new crush on Big Macintosh.
- Pipsqueak and Alula's crushes on each other are pretty apparent to Dinky and Zecora.
- Everything's Squishier with Cephalopods: Pip, Alula, and Dinky are attacked by a giant squid in an underground lake in the mines they're trapped in, but fight it off.
- Fastball Special: During the fight in Sombra's palace, a bushwoolie compacts a snow leopard and throws it at Rainbow Dash. She returns the favor by throwing the leopard back into a group of bushwoolies.
- Later in the same fight, Pinkie gets Fluttershy to do this with her.
- Female Gaze: Zecora has no problem letting Shining Armor take the lead — she appreciates the view.
- Fire-Forged Friends: Rainbow Dash and Cloud Kicker first really became friends when defending Fluttershy from bullies at flight camp.
- Forbidden Chekhov's Gun: Shining Armor warns everyone that the fuel crystals for their train explode if overpowered. The group later uses a bunch of them to blast an entrance into Sombra's palace.
- Foreshadowing: Zecora gives Cadance and Shining Armor a bit of prophecy that seems to promise a future appearance by Discord in this series.
"When Night has been overthrown and Fear is passed, you shall know Chaos at last."
- Freak Out: Shining Armor has a humorous one when he isn't able to open the safe containing the Elements of Harmony.
- He has a much more serious one when he thinks Rainbow Dash isn't taking the search seriously, and later when he thinks she's trying to get rid of Cadance.
- Genius Ditz: For all her randomness, Pinkie proves that growing up on a rock farm leads to vast knowledge of crystalline formations in rock and how to break them.
- Going in Circles: Dinky, Alula, and Pip experience this in the caves.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Subverted. Rainbow Dash is upset about Shining Armor's relationship with Cadance, but isn't actively jealous. Heck, she actually likes Cadance, and can't bring herself to be mad at her.
- Though she does seem to be a bit jealous of Cadance's close relationship with Twilight.
- After they beat the Snow Leopards, Shining Armor says something that implies that he believes this about Rainbow Dash.
- Sombra encouraged this attitude in Luna in order to try and turn her on Celestia. Even after his defeat, it stuck, leading to her fall.
- Groin Attack: Celestia pulls this off during her flashback fight with Sombra. Rainbow Dash is impressed... and apparently she was taking notes, because she does the same during her own fight with him.
- Heroic BSOD: Ditzy slips into one when she realizes Dinky's gone. Rainbow Dash is bordering on one as well.
- Rarity and Applejack are hit pretty bad as well, but they and Dash pull themselves together when Celestia tasks them with finding the foals.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Performed by Sombra of all ponies. After the Elements of Harmony depower him and restore him to his pre-Alicorn Amulet personality (selfish Jerkass, but not evil), Rainbow Dash convinces him to restore the stolen life force to the foals, leaving himself in stasis until such time as Celestia figures out how to save him.
- He Who Fights Monsters: Rainbow Dash nearly becomes this when she uses the Alicorn Amulet against Sombra. Fortunately, Dinky talks her down.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Sombra gets hit with this during the climax: The Alicorn Amulet, which he made to increase his powers, interferes with his ritual transformation into an actual alicorn, keeping him from attaining godhood. And when he ditches it to try the ritual again, Rainbow Dash grabs it and starts kicking his flank.
- Hollywood History: Celestia reveals that the Hearth's Warming Eve tale is this. The actual unification of the three pony tribes in Equestria, and its consolidation under a strong central government, took years.
- Hope Spot: See Your Worst Nightmare.
- Humiliation Conga: Rainbow Dash experiences this during the slumber party. First, embarrassing stories about her childhood are told; then, in rare fit of assertiveness, Fluttershy dares her to kiss Cloud Kicker when they return; and finally, after accidentally outing Twilight as a childhood bedwetter, she performs an embarrassing childhood dance. Since this all takes place in front of Shining Armor, her crush, it stops being funny when Cadance notices how hurt Dash looks, but she is interrupted before she can investigate.
- "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Dinky does this when Rainbow Dash is corrupted by the Alicorn Amulet.
- It's All My Fault: Rainbow Dash's reaction to Dinky being taken. Applejack and Rarity feel likewise for losing their sisters.
- Innocently Insensitive: Shining Armor expresses his intention to marry Cadance to Rainbow Dash. While he saw this as a sign of trust and faith in Rainbow, she was just starting to get over her crush on him. To say that it hurts her is an understatement.
- Cadance, meanwhile, thanks Rainbow Dash for inadvertently helping her and Shining become so close when they were younger. As you can imagine, Rainbow is conflicted over that.
- Jaw Drop: The group's reaction to Pinkie's Genius Ditz moment.
- Let's Split Up, Gang: When the heroes get into Sombra's castle, the Mane Six go after Sombra himself with the Elements of Harmony, while Shining Armor, Cadance, and Zecora go in search of the Crystal Heart, which will purify his presence from the Crystal Empire and keep him from reforming after his defeat.
- Make It Look Like an Accident: When Sombra pushed his wife to her death.
- Manipulative Bastard: Sombra. Sombra, seeking to become ruler of Equestria, feeds Luna's jealousy and insecurities in order to seduce her. With horror, Rainbow Dash, who is witnessing this memory, realizes she is witnessing the birth, or at least nurturance, of Nightmare Moon.
- Mama Bear: Both Ditzy and Cloud Kicker insistently try to join the expedition to the Crystal Empire to rescue the foals (the latter even breaks out her old Guard armor and wing blades), but Rainbow Dash convinces them to stay.
- Applejack and Rarity make it clear what they'll do to the ones who took their sisters away. Likewise, Rainbow Dash is going to hurt whoever took Dinky.
- Metaphor Is My Middle Name: According to Pinkie, her full name is Pinkie Diane Rock Responsibility Pie.
- Military Brat: Alula Kicker.
- Mythology Gag: Rainbow Dash says that when she finds who took the foals, she's going to use love and tolerance on them. She then introduces her front hooves as "Love" and "Tolerance", respectively.
- Never Live It Down: In-Universe, Cadance never lets Shining Armor forget the night he accidentally walked into the mares' bathroom at the castle and was caught by Luna.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: A side effect of Sombra draining the foals' lifeforce is them aging up into adults, basically creating an army capable of fighting off his minions, already inside his castle.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Rainbow Dash does this to Sombra when corrupted by Alicorn Amulet.
- Noodle Implements: Pinkie's plan for moving the crystal blocking Dash, Cadance, and Shining apparently involved a trumpet and lederhosen.
- Noodle Incident: Whatever happened when Celestia met Cloud Kicker.
- And the time in Flight Camp when Ditzy Doo accidentally set a cloud on fire.
- According to Pip, she also once did so to some applesauce.
- Nobody Poops: Alula is convinced that evil ponies don't use the bathroom, because it's not in any of the famous stories.
- Oblivious to Love: Shining Armor is unaware that Rainbow still has lingering affections for him.
- One-Winged Angel: Sombra's ritual turns him into an alicorn... but his Alicorn Amulet ironically blocks the flow of magic and means his power boost is negligible.
- Overnight Age-Up: All of the abducted foals get a dose of this as a side-effect of Sombra's ritual. It gets reversed when Sombra is convinced to return the stolen life force.
- Parental Substitute: Dash's position as Dinky's godmother has tones of being like a second mother by this point.
- The Peeping Tom: Pinkie tries to peek on Shining Armor when he's in the train shower. Rainbow Dash would have tried too if Pinkie hadn't ruined her alibi.
- Plot Armor: After escaping and surviving various monsters, death traps, malevolent spirits and and a spell designed to drain power and facing the unicorn who cast it in alicorn form Shining Armor points out how lucky nopony was killed.
- Potty Emergency: Rainbow Dash has never wet herself, but having a small bladder meant that she feels the call to nature more frequently, going as far to "go" in a potted plant during a state function.
- Dinky while in the caves. Alula tells her to go behind a rock, which she does despite finding it gross.
- Powered by a Forsaken Child: Sombra's plan for the abducted foals involves sacrificing them to empower himself.
- Power Nullifier: Sombra's black crystals block magic.
- Precision F-Strike: Rarity, of all ponies, via Symbol Swearing, when the group finally confronts Sombra.
- Puppy-Dog Eyes: Rarity gives these to Shining Armor in order to get him to let her "improve" his uniform. He caves immediately.
- Dash did this to him all the time when she was younger.
- Race Lift: Dashverse Cadance is a unicorn rather than an alicorn or pegacorn.
- Real Stallions Wear Pink: Shining tries to defend the pink color of his shield. Everyone else just laughs.
- Rewrite: Part way through the story, the author became dissatisfied with the Stalliongrad subplot, so wrote it out.
- Rotating Arcs: The story spends a bit of time alternating between the Mane Six (and Shining Armor and Cadance) on their way to the Crystal Empire, and the trio of Pipsqueak, Alula, and Dinky (later joined by Zecora) in the caverns underneath Equestria, before they eventually meet up.
- Royal Blood: The Crystal Empire is surrounded by a magic barrier that can only be bypassed by Sombra himself or one of his bloodline.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: Sombra, of course, though he's out by the time the story starts. And back in at the end, though he's arguably not evil anymore by then.
- When the Elements of Harmony and the Crystal Heart are used to destroy Sombra, the Windigos end up sealed in a crystal cage.
- Seinfeldian Conversation: Pip tricks the two bushwoolie Mooks into having one (whether stew or quiche is better) in order to distract them long enough for the foals to escape.
- Shaped Like Itself: Dinky calls her favorite blanket "Favorite".
- Shout-Out: While wearing her Sherlock hat and pipe, Pinkie says "Looks like we've got a mystery on our hooves, gang."
Bushwoolie 1: Did we order this meal to go?
Bushwoolie 2: No, why?
Bushwoolie 1: Because there it goes!
"Hey, we are not fat! It’s this fur, it makes us look...poofy."
- During a battle with the bushwoolies, their reaction to getting lectured by Twilight is a cross between the Diamond Dogs facing Rarity's whini-complaining in "A Dog and Pony Show" and the Rat Creatures listening to Fone Bone read Moby-Dick.
- When one bushwoolie grabs Applejack, Rarity scream at it to "GET YOUR FILTHY HANDS OFF HER, YOU DAMNED DIRTY BEAST!"
- Rainbow Dash and Cadance sing "Rainbow Connection" at one point.
- When the two of them and Shining get over their issues in the cave, it causes a fire heart to form, which quickly grows three times its size.
- When Pinkie thinks Sombra's got zombies working for him, she asks for someone to get her a chainsaw and stick it on her hoof.
- When Pinkie hears about the bushwoolies considering baking the foals into pastries, she says that's stupid and disgusting, and asks who would ever consider doing that.
- And Pinkie again (Noticing a pattern here?) saying that the wall they have to get to (The Fourth Wall) is the best wall, and when you're on top of it you can burn bad comics.
- Celestia and Sombra's duel in the flashbacks is one big shout out to Transformers: The Movie.
- The author evidently loves to make references to this, as evidenced by having Applejack quote Hot Rod in chapter 12: “It ain’t hard to knock ‘em down! It’s getting them to stay down that’s the trick!”
- Chapter 13: Rainbow Dash paraphrases one of Soundwave's cassettes with the line "HEY! Nopony calls Shining Armor unchrusimatic!"
- Later, Rainbow Dash use Rumble's line of "First we crack the shell, then we crack the nut inside!" just before smashing through a crystal wall between her and King Sombra's room.
- And after that same wall grew back after Rainbow Dash had broken in, leaving her alone with King Sombra, Pinkie Pie pulled out a new weapon to use on the wall: The Pinkie-Pico Hammer.
- Chapter 20: Shining Armor asks Zecora if she has any special zebra magic that can help them get the artifact they're after. Her reply:
- Singing in the Shower: Shining Armor does this at one point on the train ride to the Crystal Empire. So bad is he that Rainbow, under the assumption that he is being attacked and horrifically injured, bursts in to rescue him.
- Sixth Ranger: Zecora seems set to take this role again.
- Slumber Party: On the train, the Mane Six, Cadance, and Shining Armor have one.
- Snowlems: The snow leopards are made of actual snow, with razor-sharp icicle teeth and claws.
- Soul Jar: Sombra has infused the entire Crystal Empire (and through their connection, the crystal ponies) with his essence, turning the whole thing into a container for him.
- Spotting the Thread: Dinky is able to tell that the Ditzy she's with isn't really her (actually it's part of a dream she's stuck in) because she doesn't act like her at all.
- Spit Take: Rainbow's reaction to Dinky innocently asking her, "Are you and Mommy banging?" Both the question and the timing of it were Cloud Kicker's idea.
- Start of Darkness: When Rainbow Dash is face-to-face with Sombra, he subjects her to a series of flashbacks that reveal how he gradually went from a snobbish unicorn Prince into a sociopathic monster with aspirations of godhood.
- Those same flashbacks also reveal that Sombra was at least partially responsible for Luna's transformation into Nightmare Moon, by encouraging her jealousy of Celestia.
- Storming the Castle: The Mane Six, Shining, Cadance, and Zecora blasting a way into Sombra's castle and then fighting their way through his minions to reach him.
- Stupid Sexy Twilight: Rainbow Dash's reaction to seeing Twilight shake her rump during her Secret Handshake with Cadance.
- Trinary says that this is mainly a gag, and that this comment reflects the narrator's thoughts rather than Rainbow's.
- Take a Third Option: During a pillow fight, Twilight can't choose between hitting Shining or Cadance, so she hits Pinkie instead.
- Taking the Bullet: Rainbow Dash knocks Cadance out of the way to avoid being hit by crystal shards from one of Sombra's traps, but ends up hit herself.
- The Tease: Cadance has shades of this.
- Those Two Bad Guys: The bushwoolie pair the foals encounter first in the tunnels, then in the palace.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: Shining Armor. Justified in that he's entrusted with a mission that involves leading the love of his life, Princess Cadance, into certain danger, but its no excuse for him exploding at Rainbow when she seems to not be taking the mission seriously. Or when he completely ignores Rainbow's injury to fuss over the completely unharmed Cadance (who herself is getting fed up with his overprotectiveness), or when he criticizes Rainbow for convincing Cadance and the rest of the group to travel to rescue the foals before Cadance can "heal".
- Jerkass Realization: When Rainbow Dash is injured by Sombra's booby trap, he realizes how he's been acting and is ashamed of himself.
- Token Trio: Dinky (unicorn), Pip (earth pony) and Alula (pegasus).
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Alula and Dinky, respectively.
- Trash Talk: Celestia, surprisingly, during the flashback to her duel with Sombra. Rainbow Dash is impressed.
- We Need a Distraction: During the fight in Sombra's palace, Twilight asks Pinkie to distract his Mooks so that she and the others can figure out how to break down the barrier between them and Sombra's chamber. Pinkie accomplishes this by saying what a distraction she is and then leading the chasing Mooks all over the chamber. Then she "delegates" to Applejack by sticking her in a Pinkie Pie suit and having the Mooks chase her. (And no, AJ doesn't know how it happened either.)
- What You Are in the Dark: When the group is attacked by one of Sombra's traps and Cadance is cornered, Rainbow Dash seriously considers letting her get killed by it... and is so horrified by the thought that she immediately dives in and saves her (at the cost of being injured herself).
- World-Healing Wave: When the Elements of Harmony and the Crystal Heart are used together, Sombra is depowered, his taint is removed from the Crystal Empire, and his Windigos are sealed away.
- Would Hurt a Child: Sombra kidnaps the foals of Ponyville and several other towns so he can feed off their life forces to become stronger.
- The bushwoolies have no problem attacking and trying to eat the foals.
- You Are in Command Now: Rainbow Dash tells Cloud Kicker she's leaving her in charge of Ponyville while she's gone... and then reluctantly admits that she doesn't really have any real authority.
- It later turns out that the Mayor heard about this, though, so when Guard forces arrived to protect the town in case of another attack, Cloud Kicker ended up getting put in charge.
- You Are Too Late: After Sombra uses his memories to explain his plan to Rainbow Dash, he reveals that he's already started the spell to drain the life force from the kidnapped foals.
- You! Exclamation: When Rainbow Dash finally confronts Sombra.
- Your Worst Nightmare: Used against Cadance when she is made to confront her worst fear. She is first shown a vision of Shining Armor marrying Rainbow Dash, but in seconds she points out all of the reasons why this is a pathetic attempt, dissolving the illusion and claiming the Crystal Heart. However, when she tries to use the Heart along with the Mane Six using the Elements of Harmony to defeat Sombra, it shatters and Sombra kills both Rainbow Dash and Twilight. Shining Armor blames her for not having enough love to power the Heart, resulting in his sister's death, and this true vision of her worst fear starts to fade only after she is planning to take her own life with a shard of the shattered Heart.
- Acquired Situational Narcissism: Rainbow Dash gets a case of this due to the competition and her celebrity status, and her Inferiority Superiority Complex.
- Boring Invincible Hero: One of the themes addressed in the story. What's the point of a competition when everybody knows Rainbow Dash is going to win?
- The Cameo: Lightning Dust and Gilda show up in a gym training for the competition, with Iron Will as their trainer.
- Celestia shows up at the end of the story to comfort Rainbow Dash on deciding to Opt Out of the competition.
- Can't Act Perverted Toward a Love Interest: Cloud Kicker teasingly suggests joining Rainbow in her bed at one point. Rainbow jokingly accepts, but does so in a deadpan and faux sincere manner in order to trick Kicker into thinking that Dash genuinely was taking her up on her offer. This causes Cloud Kicker to blush and stutter like a school filly.
- Cassandra Truth: Rainbow Dash's foalhood bullies refuse to believe that "Rainbow Crash" ever really pulled off a Sonic Rainboom. She proves them wrong in the end.
- Embarrassing Old Photo: Rainbow Dash's dad Cyclone shares a photo album of Dash's foalhood photos with her friends.
- Foregone Victory: Rainbow Dash's skills are such that no other contestant has a chance at winning. And they realize it, which disheartens the other contestants nearly to the point of ruining the competition. This contrasts with the canon, in which Rainbow Dash had yet to demonstrate that she could genuinely pull off a sonic rainboom.
- For Want of a Nail: Since Rainbow Dash managed to recreate the Sonic Rainboom much sooner than in canon, she has celebrity status in Cloudsdale, and doesn't have any confidence issues (initially). And she ultimately backs out of the competition in order to be true to the principles it was founded on.
- Guilt Complex: Rainbow Dash's mother Firefly, herself a skilled flier, never made it the Wonderbolts because she chose to prioritize raising Rainbow Dash. Rainbow Dash learned about this at a young age from her father, who was unaware of the effect it had on her. Namely, part of Rainbow's motivation for joining the Wonderbolts is to atone for Firefly having to give up on her dream.
- Heel Realization: For a certain value of heel; Rainbow does realize that she's let her ego get a bit out of control.
- Hometown Hero: Rainbow Dash.
- Humiliation Conga: The stallions who bullied Rainbow Dash as a filly, and who do it again when she shows up for the competition, ultimately get theirs at the end of the story: Dash not only does a Sonic Rainboom in front of them, but the shockwave knocks them into a cloud wall, where they get stuck face first. The others decide to leave them there, while Pinkie hangs a sign that says "Free Spanks" over their rumps.
- Incompatible Orientation: Cloud Kicker is revealed to be genuinely in love with Rainbow Dash, but Rainbow Dash is heterosexual and assumes that Cloud Kicker's flirting is due entirely to her flirtatious and promiscuous nature.
- Inferiority Superiority Complex: Cloud Kicker believes this is why Rainbow Dash tends to have such a big ego. She's correct, too. The mocking she received at the hooves of bullies in the past and the fact that nopony believed (at first) that she pulled off a sonic rainboom are something that is constantly on her mind and drives her to do so well during the competition.
- It's All About Me: Rainbow briefly lets her new fame get to her, partly in attempt to bolster her Inferiority Superiority Complex. When she reencounters her old flight camp bullies, she once again suffers a crisis of confidence, and tries to compensate with obnoxious gloating.
- Ladykiller in Love: Cloud Kicker confesses to Twilight that she actually is in love with Rainbow Dash. She's terrified that since she lacks a special connection to Dash like the rest of the Mane Six or Derpy, Dash will end up leaving her behind.
- Mythology Gag: Rainbow Dash's mother is Firefly, the G1 pony Rainbow Dash's personality was based on.
- When Celestia gives Dinky the gossamer wings spell so she can fly like her mother and Rainbow Dash for a day, Rarity later complains about not having a chance at them herself (as happened in canon).
- No Challenge Equals No Satisfaction: Rainbow's opinion on the Best Young Fliers competition.
- Opt Out: Though it is one of the hardest things to do in her life, Rainbow Dash ultimately decides to not compete in the Best Young Fliers competition, realizing that while she'll win, the lack of competition will ruin the contest and make it a mockery of what its supposed to be: a venue for the best young fliers to show their skills. Its not supposed to be the Rainbow Dash show. The very competition and display of skill that inspired her to strive to be the best would be gone. Instead, she leads the other contestants in putting on a fantastic aerial show, and announces her intent to compete next year. While she'll undoubtably win, she will no longer be hyped as much as she previously was, and the other contestants will understand that this is a contest to display their abilities and retain their confidence. In private, after forfeiting the competition, Rainbow is stricken with guilt over the arrogance she had previously displayed, and the feeling that by forfeiting she is letting her friends and her parents down.
- Potty Failure: Rainbow Dash's cloud was always damp when she was a foal. She's afraid that her father would tell her friends that it was due to her being a bedwetter. He doesn't, but somehow Pinkie Pie discerns her fear anyways. Dash vehemently insists that it was actually due to the cloud's humidity. Her friends don't believe her, which is ironic, as Word of God says that Rainbow was telling the truth.
- She Is Not My Girlfriend: Rainbow Dash insists this about Cloud Kicker. It only encourages her friends to tease her more. Unlike many other cases of this trope, however, Rainbow genuinely does not have any romantic or sexual feelings toward Cloud Kicker, as Word of God and Dash's previous crush on Shining Armor say that Rainbow Dash is straight. Tragically, Cloud Kicker privately reveals to Twilight that she actually is in love with Rainbow Dash.
- Smooch of Victory: Cloud Kicker gives Rainbow Dash one.
- Stealth Hi/Bye: Celestia does this to the group near the end of the story.
- Tickle Torture: Rainbow Dash's parents do this to her near the end of the story.
"Wedding Bells Bug Hunt"