[[quoteright:350:[[FanArt http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/varwwwclientsclient1web2tmpphpWs1xMB_3083.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:[[VideoGame/MassEffect2 "I've got reach, and you've got flexibility!]] [[CatchPhrase We should bang.]]"]]


''[[http://www.fimfiction.net/story/28239/The-Life-and-Times-of-a-Winning-Pony The Life and Times of a Winning Pony]]'' ([[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/8154888/1/The_Life_and_Times_of_a_Winning_Pony also available at FF.Net]]) is a ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' fanfic by Chengar Qordath. The story tracks the life and times of Cloud Kicker, a fun-loving EthicalSlut with a tendency to have lots of random sexual encounters and end up in wild misadventures. The story weaves reasonably well into actual episode screentime, and also is unique in pointing out some of the [[Main/ThePowerOfFriendship cronyism]] inherent in Equestrian society.

Side-stories and recursive fanfiction for this fic have been written by numerous authors, and these are collectively referred to as "the Winningverse". They range from the comic tale of Pinkie Pie's attempts to make a romantically dense Rainbow Dash realize her affections, to the more serious story of Derpy Hooves running off to Ponyville after being kicked out from her family for an unplanned pregnancy. There is also a series of stories (beginning [[http://www.fimfiction.net/story/209825/a-moment-in-the-sun here]]) focusing on Sunset Shimmer during and after her stint as Celestia's student, centering mostly on her adventures in [[WretchedHive Freeport]], and which are related to the main Winningverse mostly by a shared setting and backstory, although the narratives are quite separate.

The side stories are collected [[http://www.fimfiction.net/group/758/folder/2663/1/the-winningverse here]].

This fanon universe also splits off into five {{Alternate Universe}}s:

* [[http://www.fimfiction.net/group/758/folder/2664/1/the-deadderpyverse The Dead-Derpy-Verse]] - Cancer kills Derpy, who leaves behind two daughters and Rainbow Dash as godmother.

* The [[http://www.fimfiction.net/story/164340 Phoenix]] [[https://www.fimfiction.net/story/189487 Empire]] - Splitting off not long after ''The Lunar Rebellion'', the Phoenix Empress, ruler of a much different Equestria at the time of the show, is born when a misunderstanding leads to Celestia accidentally crippling Sunbeam Sparkle, and the only way to fix it is if Celestia gives her immortality and her dominion over the Sun to Sunbeam, thereby cementing Sunbeam as the new ruler of Equestria. Currently, ''Tales of the Phoenix Empire'' is leading up to the Empire's version of Nightmare Moon's return.

* [[http://www.fimfiction.net/story/156971 The Road]] [[http://www.fimfiction.net/story/187581 Not Taken]] - A pair of "WhatIf" one-shots where Fluttershy and Cloud Kicker did '''''NOT''''' break up over the Flight Camp incident. They got married instead and had a daughter. Also, Sparkler was adopted by Cloud's mother instead of Derpy.

* ''[[http://www.fimfiction.net/story/159438 The Incredibly Loyal Heart Of a Winning Pony]]'' sees Cloud taking Rainbow Dash's place during the [[http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS1E1MareInTheMoon pilot]] [[http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS1E2ElementsOfHarmony episodes]], and carries the day just as well as Rainbow Dash.
** It has an [[http://www.fimfiction.net/story/159438/7 alternate]] [[http://www.fimfiction.net/story/159438/8 ending]] where [[spoiler:Cloud's guilt over running out on the Guard ruins everything at the critical moment, forcing Celestia to intervene and kill Luna]]. Ironically, this is what convinces Cloud to accept her commission to the Guard.

----
[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Core stories]]
* ActionGirl: Cloud Kicker has some moments of this, thanks to her military training.
* AffectionateNickname: Cloud Kicker calls Fluttershy "Eepysqueak" as that was what she thought her name was when they first started talking.
** In the present, but before they make up, it's become a bit of a BerserkButton for Fluttershy (as much of one as it can get with Fluttershy) as it reminds her of the Flight Camp incident, which she still blames herself for.
* {{Asexuality}}: Rainbow Dash. According to Cloud Kicker, Rainbow's relationship with Pinkie is the first romance she's ever had.
** [[spoiler:In chapter 9, it is revealed that there may be a physical reason for Dash's lack of sexual activity.]]
** It's made blatantly clear through Dash's narration in ''[[IdiosyncraticEpisodeNaming The Incredibly [Adjective] [Noun] of Rainbow Dash]]'' stories that she's a complete dunce when it comes to anything related to physical intimacy. Early in the latter, she's reasonably sure Cloud Kicker's reference to "pie" is an innuendo, but doesn't care.
* BadlyBatteredBabysitter: Cloud Kicker winds up becoming one after somehow ending up in charge of Dinky, Alula, and the Cutie Mark Crusaders.
* BelligerentSexualTension: Applejack and Rarity, to the point that arguing and foreplay are virtually indistinguishable.
* BewareTheNiceOnes: Blossomforth is usually a pretty nice pony, but she can very fearsome when properly riled.
* BlackSheep: Cloud Kicker feels like one to her family for dropping out military school and not carrying on the family tradition.
* BloodFromTheMouth: Played seriously [[spoiler: when Cloud Kicker gets her ribs broken]].
* BreakoutCharacter: The author wrote a previous fan fiction, ''The Incredibly Dense Mind of Rainbow Dash''. WordOfGod: 'Somehow, Cloud Kicker and Blossomforth really managed to steal the show in terms of what I enjoyed writing. To heck with [=RainbowPie=], Cloud Kicker/Blossomforth is my new OTP. In fact, I will e-mail cupcakes to the first person who writes a good Cloud Kicker/Blossomforth story. Pinkie Promise.' Note that [[PortmanteauCoupleName RainbowPie]] was the actual primary ship being built in the fic.
* BrokenPedestal: Seeing [[spoiler:Derpy]] physically lash out in anger is enough to severely shake Sparkler's faith in her.
* BullyHunter: Cloud Kicker does not like bullies.
* ButLiquorIsQuicker: Blossomforth makes a very clumsy attempt to seduce Cloud Kicker after she gets drunk.
* CantHoldHerLiquor: Blossomforth is apparently a lightweight. She also can't keep her mouth shut.
* CatFight: Blossomforth and [[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS2E19PuttingYourHoofDown New Fluttershy]] get into a particularly nasty one.
** The fight between Rainbow Dash and Cloud Kicker from their flight camp days is a ''brutal'' aversion. [[spoiler:The sum total of the resulting injuries included a concussion, broken face bones, a broken leg, broken ribs, a dislocated wing, an eye injury, a collapsed lung, and a GroinAttack so vicious that it ended the fight and caused serious internal injury and near fatal bleeding]].
* CatchPhrase: Cloud Kicker almost always refers to sex as "banging." [[OOCIsSeriousBusiness When she doesn't. Non-dramatic, by the way]], [[spoiler: "And then we made love"]] is the sweetest sentence in the entire fic.
* CerebusRetcon: Rainbow Dash' crashing is usually treated as a RunningGag. [[spoiler: It's not so amusing anymore when it's revealed to be happening due to an eye injury that could possibly blind her.]]
* CerebusSyndrome: While ''Life and Times'' started as a bit naughty romantic comedy, it gets more and more drama-driven by time, with some serious [[CerebusRetcon character backstories]] and a complicated LoveTriangle, only getting more serious the closer its story arc gets to [[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS2E25ACanterlotWeddingPart1 The Canterlot Wedding]].
* ClusterFBomb: Dropped by Rainbow Dash at the beginning of chapter 16, immediately followed by a ShoutOut to the page quote for this trope.
* CombatPragmatist: Cloud Kicker has been through military school. She uses a pegasi version of krav maga.
* CharacterDevelopment: Blossomforth has slowly been developing a thicker skin in response to Cloud Kicker's teasing.
* ChildhoodFriends: Cloud Kicker, Derpy Hooves, Rainbow Dash, and Fluttershy are all old friends from Flight School.
* ChildhoodFriendRomance: Cloud Kicker and Derpy Hooves.
* ChildrenAreInnocent: Dinky is so cute and innocent that her appearances border on TastesLikeDiabetes.
* ChivalrousPervert: Cloud Kicker sees herself as such. Actual results... vary
* TheClan: The Kicker family is big and almost all of them are in the military.
* ConflictBall: Everyone gets hit with shades of this in chapter 16, from Rainbow Dash growing incredibly violent and Blossomforth uncharacteristically trying to pick a fight with Derpy, with bug insults coming from both sides. However, it appears something else is at work here.
** In later chapters, there's a growing tendency for characters to get into arguments, along with the trend for those involved to end on bad terms.
* CoolBigSis: Cloud Kicker tries to be one to her little sister, Alula.
* DeadpanSnarker: Blossomforth, when she's not being [[LuminescentBlush embarrassed]] by Cloud Kicker.
* DentedIron: It seems a life of constant crashing head-first into things is finally taking its toll on Rainbow Dash. She has a breakdown in chapter 10.
* DidTheyOrDidntThey: It's left unclear if Cloud Kicker actually banged Princess Luna or if it was just a drunken sex dream.
** The author has pointed out that even if it was a dream, it may have actually been Luna anyway, due to [[DreamWeaver dreams falling under the domain of night.]]
* DisproportionateRetribution: Pretty much all of the cast who know about it agree that Cloud Kicker was being incredibly stupid when she [[spoiler: slept with Blossomforth behind Derpy's back.]] However, they also agree that [[spoiler: Derpy punching Cloud Kicker in the face in a fit of thoroughly uncharacteristic rage]] was going way too far.
* EthicalSlut: Cloud Kicker, to the point of actually having a list of rules.
* EveryoneIsGay: All of the Mane 6 are gay, and mostly every other girl is too. In fact, only one couple is heterosexual. [[note]]It's Big Macintosh[=/=]Cheerilee, and they aren't even together yet in their story.[[/note]]
* EvilMatriarch: Nimbus Gust comes across this way.
* {{Expy}}: Cloud Kicker takes several cues from Creator/CharlieSheen, including [[IdiosyncraticEpisodeNaming using tweaked versions of some of his more infamous quotes as chapter titles]].
* ExtremeOmnisexual: Not only does Cloud Kicker have an interest in both genders, but also claims to have been involved with just about every intelligent species in the show.
* FantasticArousal: Wingboners (a Pegasus unfurling their wings when aroused) are present.
* ForegoneConclusion: Near the end of "The Pony Who Doesn't Fit Into Their Little Box", Chrysalis gives Cloud Kicker the following offer: giving up Shadow's armor in exchange for having her and her loved ones leave Canterlot unharmed. She then leaves to go gloat about her victory of taking over Canterlot. [[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS2E26ACanterlotWeddingPart2 You are invited to guess what happens next.]]
** Cloud and Blossom were stated to be the OfficialCouple of the fic, even though they don't become official until [[spoiler:the final chapter]].
* GilliganCut: Sparkler makes a Pinkie Promise that she has no romatic interest in Cloud's cousin Star Kicker. "Less than two hours later, I caught Star and Sparkler making out behind the equipment building. So much for Pinkie Promises."
** Cue Pinkie Pie confronting Sparkler nearly the same way she did Applejack in "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS2E14TheLastRoundup The Last Roundup]]"
* GodzillaThreshold: Anything that justifies taking Shadow's armor out of the vault at the Kicker Compound. Which includes [[spoiler:[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS2E26ACanterlotWeddingPart2 the battle with the Changeling swarm]] once word reaches the Kicker Compound that [[TheWorfEffect Princess Celestia is down]], though Shadow rejects Cloud and things work out without the armor anyway]], and [[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS4E26TwilightsKingdomPart2 Tirek's attack on Equestria]], though [[spoiler:it's unknown if Storm kept Shadow's armor afterward]].
* GoodBadGirl: Cloud Kicker.
* GroinAttack: When it is delivered by a horse, it matters not if you are male or female. PlayedForDrama, since [[spoiler:Cloud's desperation kick on Rainbow Dash resulted in Rainbow being unable to have kids. Ever]].
* GrumpyBear: Blossomforth can be rather grouchy times.
* GrowlingGut: Pretty much every time eating is mentioned.
* HappyEndingMassage: Rarity inadvertently sets one up for Cloud Kicker.
* HasTwoMommies: An occasional rumour in-universe surrounding Derpy's natural daughter, and a certain mare who was hanging around her at the time. While feasible in-story, it's only available 'when some very high-level and hard-to-get (not to mention expensive) unicorn magic was involved, or when the Magic of Love gets tossed into the mix. A one-night stand between two pegasi wasn’t likely to include either of those factors. Not that crazy rumors have ever been deterred by a few inconvenient facts.
** Rainbow Dash with her AmazinglyEmbarrassingParents, and her method of conception gives a shred of credibility to the rumors stated above.
* HeroicBSOD: In the wake of [[spoiler:discovering her mother's mangled corpse and killing the Changeling responsible]], Cloud spends the entirety of Chapter 17 in a near-catatonic, emotionless state.
* HiddenDepths: Cloud Kicker insists that she has them. [[spoiler:To be fair, she actually does.]]
* HiveDrone: This is the nature of most of the Changeling race, with the vast majority of the swarm being puppets under [[HiveQueen Chrysalis’]] control.
* HiveMind: The changelings have the variant where a single consciousness is distributed across the entire species, with Chrysalis serving as an {{Avatar}} of sorts, essentially being the hive mind’s self-aware consciousness.
* HiveQueen: Chrysalis. Better justified than with other examples of this trope, since she isn’t a crucial node whose destruction damages the whole swarm. Rather, she’s essentially the conscious portion of the HiveMind itself, and destroying her simply means she’ll have to make herself a new body.
* HypocriticalHumor: Cloud Kicker tells Derpy off because she made Fluttershy cry, when she overheard Derpy implying that she was going to steal Cloud Kicker from her. Once she kicks Derpy out, Cloud sleeps with Fluttershy and discusses running away to get married afterwards. To be fair to Cloud, though, her only intent was to comfort Fluttershy. The sex... simply just happened.
* IBangedYourMom: Cloud Kicker uses this to force a stalemate in parental sex squick while talking with Sparkler... the adopted daughter of Derpy.
* IDontWantToRuinOurFriendship: Presumably the reason one of Cloud Kicker's rules is that friends are off-limits for relationships.
** It's also why Cloud won't sleep with any of Rainbow Dash's friends.
-->'''Cloud Kicker''': The boss might be friends with some real hotties, but banging one of them would get real messy real fast. The boss and I have a good thing going, and I’m not gonna mess it up just for one night of meaningless sex.
* IfYouEverDoAnythingToHurtHer: "You feather things up with Derpy and I'll kill you."
* IdiosyncraticEpisodeNaming: Every chapter title follows the format of: "The Pony (Adapted Charlie Sheen Quote)"
* ImColdSoCold: [[spoiler:Dash]] goes into shock from blood loss after [[spoiler: almost getting disemboweled with a vicious kick]]
* InnocentInnuendo: Cloud Kicker, at a party, chats up Derpy. The conversation turns to 'eating muffins'. After being reminded of innuendo, Blossomforth figures Derpy was talking about actual baked goods. Naturally ... they spend several minutes putting together muffins. Then they clean up the leftover batter, up to when Derpy accidentally spills some. [[SubvertedTrope All of it lands on very lickable parts of herself, and nowhere else.]]
* IThinkYouBrokeHim: Cloud Kicker has a tendency to break Blossomforth when she's teasing her.
* ItsAllAboutMe: Cloud Kicker can be a little self-centered at times.
* LadykillerInLove: Cloud Kicker in regards to Derpy. She was downright shocked when she found herself turning down two offers for three-ways.
* LethalHarmlessPowers:[[spoiler:Light refraction spells can be used to create pretty light shows, focus light for long range observation... or cut enemies into smoking chunks with ''laser beams''.]]
* LikeAnOldMarriedCouple: Cloud Kicker and Blossomforth.
** Said word-for-word by Nurse Redheart.
* LoveTriangle: Blossomforth is Cloud Kicker's best friend hoping for a RelationshipUpgrade, Derpy is currently in a very loose relationship with Cloud Kicker.
** Though Blossomforth insists that it's a case FriendVersusLover.
** [[spoiler:After Chrysalis is defeated, Cloud finally makes things official with Blossom, and '''''FINALLY''''' gets Fluttershy all the way back at the same time. Sadly, it seems Derpy opted out.]]
* MilitaryAcademy: Cloud Kicker went to one for four years, but dropped out shortly before graduation. Specifically, [[spoiler:She ran off in the middle of the graduation ceremony.]]
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: [[spoiler:In [[WholeEpisodeFlashback chapter 9]], Fluttershy went to Rainbow Dash for sex advice, which resulted in RD and Cloud kicker nearly killing each other. Fluttershy breaks down crying and muttering this.]]
** Rarity when she finds out about Cloud's HappyEndingMassage.
* MilitaryBrat: Both of Cloud Kicker's parents are in the Equestrian Royal Guard, as is most of her extended family.
* MySisterIsOffLimits: Applejack tries to run Cloud Kicker off the farm when she catches her talking to Big Mac.
* NeverMyFault: Rainbow Dash's huge ego makes it impossible to apologize to Cloud Kicker for firing her in a fit of anger. She does want Cloud Kicker to come back, but she refuses to accept the job after picking apart how Rainbow just wants to make herself not look bad in front of everypony else.
* NoHoldsBarredBeatdown: Cloud Kicker unleashes one in Chapter 5.
** Back in flight school, Rainbow Dash and Cloud Kicker got into a fight over [[PoorCommunicationKills a serious misunderstanding]]. [[spoiler: Between the UnstoppableRage of one and CombatPragmatist tendencies of the other, they managed to cause each other life-threatening injuries.]]
* NoodleIncident: Something happened between Cloud Kicker and Fluttershy that destroyed their childhood friendship.
** [[spoiler:No longer hidden, as of Chapter 9. Fluttershy and Cloud Kicker became a couple in flight school. Then Fluttershy [[PoorCommunicationKills created a misunderstanding]] that started a fight between Rainbow Dash and Cloud Kicker that left both with life-threatening injuries. Then Fluttershy panicked and broke up with Cloud Kicker as she was being flown to the hospital.]]
** Also, the Lunar Rebellion. All that's really been established about it is that it happened 900 years ago, it started in Cloudsdale, and Cloud Kicker's family was one of the few pegasus families to remain loyal to Celestia. This is now being covered in a sidestory titled after the aforementioned rebellion.
** "This rope can hold a weight of a stallion the size of Big Macintosh, suspended from the ceiling."
* NotSoStoic: Derpy usually displays almost saint-like calm and composure. Then [[spoiler: [[BerserkButton Blossomforth tries to take Cloud Kicker from her.]]]]
* ObliviousToLove: Played incredibly straight by Rainbow Dash in the story's prequel. [[spoiler: Averted by Cloud Kicker; she's well aware of Blossom's interest, but [[IDontWantToRuinOurFriendship has been deliberately ignoring it]] in the hopes that Blossom would get over her crush]].
* OddFriendship: Cloud Kicker and Blossomforth have one. [[spoiler: And it gets an upgrade at the end.]]
* OneSteveLimit: Cloud admits at one point that name duplication has been an issue in her clan, since there are only so many names one can combine with "Kicker" that still sound good.
** The Lunar Rebellion also feature Nimbus Kicker as a character, while Cloud Kicker's mother is named Nimbus Gust.
* OrphanageOfFear: Where Sparkler, Derpy's adopted child, came from.
* PercussiveMaintenance : [[spoiler: Ever since her and CK's punch-up back in flight camp, Rainbow Dash's eye rolls back in her head every so often, and giving herself a smack is the only thing that will reset it. She nearly knocks herself insensate in chapter 10. [[DentedIron it seems to be taking it's toll...]]]]
* PoorCommunicationKills: [[spoiler:Almost literally back in flight school.]]
* {{Reconstruction}}: To an extent, Cloud Kicker is a reconstruction of the "Charlie", from TwoAndAHalfMen, character type. She's actually relatively nice, and clearly has rules she follows, and isn't exploiting people.
* RecursiveFanfiction: The page image for one. The author actually posts any FanArt of his works on his blog.
* RedOniBlueOni: Cloud Kicker is red, Blossomforth is blue.
* ResurrectiveImmortality: Chrysalis, by virtue of being the consciousness of the changeling HiveMind, can simply spawn a new physical body for herself if her old one is destroyed. She’ll exist as long as the changeling race does.
* SexForSolace: Cloud Kicker and Blossomforth finally do the deed [[spoiler:in the wake of Cloud's mother being found dead at the hands of a Changeling Infiltrator]].
* SexIsGood: Cloud Kicker's general philosophy and how she explains her lifestyle choices.
* SexyDiscretionShot: Heavily utilized to keep the fic from entering mature territory.
* ShoutOut: Perhaps unsurprisingly given one of the author's [[Fanfic/MyLittleDenarians other works]] there are one or two references to ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles''.
** The thing of mares' tails involuntarily twitching when they're aroused, seen when Sparkler is teased about her developing relationship with Cloud's cousin Star, is taken from FanFic/{{Xenophilia}}.
* StraightMan: Blossomforth often takes this role to Cloud Kicker.
* TapOnTheHead: Discussed - at one point Cloud Kicker finds herself in a situation where she needs to disable a pony without causing injuries and she finds her options very limited.
* TheFirstCutIsTheDeepest: Chapter 9 kinda gives us an explaintion why Cloud Kicker doesn't want to have a romantic relationship.
* TheTease: Teasing Blossomforth is practically Cloud Kicker's hobby.
* ThemeNaming: Cloud Kicker's family engages in this.
** As are the chapter titles.
* ThreatBackfire: In Chapter 16:
-->'''[[spoiler:Changeling!Nimbus Gust]]''': I suppose I should thank you, though. I admit, some of my plans did not develop entirely to my satisfaction, and the fact that you found my papers earlier than planned was unfortunate. However, I’m sure my queen will overlook such minor affairs when I present her with the corpse of one of the Element Bearers.
-->'''Rainbow Dash''': Over my dead body!
-->(''{{Beat}}'')
-->'''[[spoiler:Changeling!Nimbus Gust]]''': [[DeadpanSnarker That would be the idea in presenting your corpse, yes]].
* TranquilFury: Cloud Kicker's reaction when Derpy is insulted.
* {{Tsundere}}: Blossomforth is very much so for Cloud Kicker.
* TwinThreesomeFantasy: When Rarity arranges an apology, ''Rarity arranges an apology.'' Well, [[GoneHorriblyRight accidentally]].
* UnusualEuphemism: Cloud Kicker certainly enjoys Derpy's muffins.
* UptightLovesWild: Part of what drew Blossomforth to Cloud Kicker.
* UnresolvedSexualTension: Rarity and Applejack. Also possibly Cloud Kicker and Blossomforth.
* VictoriousChildhoodFriend: [[spoiler: Fluttershy and Cloud finally hook back up after Chrysalis is defeated, forming a threesome with Blossomforth, whose official relationship with Cloud was also finalized then, but was a ForegoneConclusion by WordOfGod.]]
* VillainOverride: [[HiveQueen Chrysalis]] can possess any Changeling in her swarm, even shapeshifting to make them look like herself, something she does when she has to be in more than one place at the same time--for instance, [[spoiler:trying to get Cloud Kicker and her group to surrender while at the same time gloating over a defeated Celestia.]]
* VitriolicBestBuds: Cloud Kicker spends a lot of time poking fun at Blossomforth, who eventually starts giving back as good as she gets. Despite that they're still best friends.
* WellDoneDaughterGirl: Cloud Kicker seems torn between striving for her family's approval and insisting she doesn't care about it.
* WeUsedToBeFriends: Cloud Kicker and Fluttershy. Chapter 9 tells us why, and it's not cleared up until later.
* WhamEpisode: [[spoiler:Chapter 6 has Cloud Kicker pull Blossom's crush on her out into the open during a fight that seems to have torn their friendship to pieces]].
** And then we have Chapter 9...
** At the end of Chapter 15: [[spoiler:Cloud Kicker's mother has apparently betrayed Equestria, and she intends to kill her.]]
** The next chapter then hits us with a double-whammy: [[spoiler:the traitor Nimbus Gust is actually a Changeling Infiltrator... who has already killed the ''real'' Nimbus Gust and dumped her body in a cave]].
* WhamLine: In-universe, Derpy saying "I love you too" when CK tells her she turned down not one, but two threesomes.
** The last line of Chapter 8. [[spoiler:"Fluttershy was the first pony I ever banged."]]
* [[WhatTheHellHero What the Hay Best Friend?]] / TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: [[spoiler:In Chapter 6 Blossomforth starts out by calling Cloud Kicker out on her tendency to be a bit self-centered and inconsiderate, but but before long it morphs into something nastier, and then things get worse.]]
* WillTheyOrWontThey: Cloud Kicker and Blossomforth. [[spoiler: They do, and Fluttershy joins in.]]
** Applejack and Rarity, too. [[spoiler: They did. ... Eventually.]]
* YourCheatingHeart: When they start to get serious, Derpy starts to fear this about Cloud Kicker. She did admit to loving both of them, and she had spent most of her time with either of them instead of Derpy, after all. When Derpy expresses her concern to Cloud about her lingering feelings, Fluttershy overhears [[OcularGushers and breaks down crying]], thinking herself the reason for Derpy's stress. Cloud Kicker angrily kicks Derpy out [[HypocriticalHumor and then sleeps with Fluttershy]], making the whole thing a SelfFulfillingProphecy.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Winningverse side stories]]
* AddedAlliterativeAppeal: A couple of story titles, such as ''Princess Twilight's Profoundly Peripheral Protector'' and ''Princess Twilight's Protector and the Prankster Pests''.
* BrainwashResidue: Cheerilee is worried her feelings for Big Macintosh might be this.
* BreadEggsBreadedEggs: When Twilight is startled out of an eavesdropping spell in ''Princess Twilight's Profoundly Peripheral Protector'', she awkwardly tries to claim she was distracted due to thinking about "magic and friendship, and the magic of friendship."
* CurseOfTheAncients: Normally a given considering it’s Applejack, but one in ''The Incredibly Blitzed Night of Rainbow Dash'' is particularly impressive ''and'' lampshaded.
--> Applejack: “That dadgum sidewindin’ hornswaglin’ sodbustin’ tree-poundin’ corn-shuckin’ blockheaded barn-razin’ scruffy-lookin’ nerf-herdin’ bushwhackin’ cracker-croakin’ yellow-bellied galoot! What the hay is he thinkin’?”
--> Lyra: “Wow. That was some authentic frontier gibberish.”
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: ''The Incredibly Dense Mind of Rainbow Dash'' was originally written as a one-shot story without any indication of starting an all-out SharedUniverse, and thus contradicts some of the [[CharacterizationMarchesOn later established backstories]]. It was afterwards rewritten to fit the current Winningverse canon, but the original version was also kept for comparison.
* EnthrallingSiren: The [[Myth/SlavicMythology rusalka]] (essentially a ponified Slavic mermaid), whose singing hypnotizes ponies into dancing with it to alleviate its loneliness. This tends to lead to the ponies’ deaths, either through exhaustion or when the rusalka kills them on a whim.
* TheFairFolk: The rusalka in [[http://www.fimfiction.net/story/127803/1/the-incredibly-thrilling-investigation-of-storm-kicker/the-adventures-of-skunk-mane-and-stalker-mare “The Incredibly Thrilling Investigation of Storm Kicker”.]] It looks like an earth pony, but just slightly... [[UncannyValley wrong]], and it’s described as a trickster spirit that uses what appears to be a form of vocal glamour/mind control to turn ponies into thralls, which it’s perfectly happy to kill if they, say, [[FelonyMisdemeanor miss a dance step]], [[ForTheEvulz or if it gets bored]]. It apparently considers this a [[BlueAndOrangeMorality justifiable way to alleviate its loneliness.]]
* ForWantOfANail: ''Incredibly Loyal Heart'' [[note]]Move this to that folder when it is created.[[/note]] explores the question of [[WhatIf how things would have gone]] if Cloud had been the Element Of Loyalty instead of Rainbow Dash.
** And its [[BittersweetEnding alternate ending]] shows what would have happened if the Elements Of Harmony had '''''FAILED''''' against Nightmare Moon in the pilot of [=FiM=].
* GoneHorriblyRight: The Free Minds were created by Chrysalis to have more independence and personality than regular Changelings, to serve as better infiltrators. This worked a bit too well--they had enough independence to resent being slaves to Chrysalis' will, and rebelled.
* GrumpyBear: In her story, Raindrops is a typical example.
* HetIsEw: Apparently. There are hardly any heterosexual couples, Applejack actively guards Big Macintosh from courting mares, and since magic can help with same-sex conception, some family trees are filled entirely with females.
* HeroOfAnotherStory: Since most of the side stories take place simultaneously and sometimes intersect, the POV characters are all this to each other.
* IdiosyncraticEpisodeNaming: A good deal of the Winningverse stories are titled as some variant of "The [adverb] [adjective] [noun] of a [character name/descriptor]"
* InvoluntaryDance: Ponies who hear a rusalka’s song are forced to dance with it until they miss a step and the rusalka kills them, or until it gets bored and kills them anyway.
* LikeParentLikeSpouse: Rainbow Dash's mother Surprise and her fillyfriend Pinkie Pie are... remarkably similar. She doesn't seem to notice.
** And when she does, she freaks out at [[OedipusComplex the idea of]] [[ParentalIncest dating her mom]] until Twilight and Pinkie calm her down.
* MindControlMusic: The rusalka’s song in “The Incredibly Thrilling Investigation of Storm Kicker”, which hypnotizes ponies and turns them into thralls under the rusalka’s control.
* MythologyGag: Rainbow Dash's parents are the G3 Rainbow Dash and Surprise, a G1 pony that was the inspiration for Pinkie Pie.
* NoodleIncident: Apparently, after a drunken bender, Lyra once somehow ended up hanging from a statue of Celestia, asleep, and with her tail tied to her horn. Storm still isn’t sure how that happened.
* RogueDrone: The Free Minds, changelings created by Chrysalis to have actual personalities rather than being extensions of the HiveMind, so as to be better infiltrators. They eventually got fed up with what was essentially slavery, rebelled, and broke away from Chrysalis' swarm.
* ShoutOut: In ''The Incredibly Blitzed Night of Rainbow Dash", Rainbow claims she's [[Disney/{{Mulan}} swift as a coursing river, got all the force of a great typhoon, and all the strength of a raging fire]].
** Later in the same story, when Applejack gets mad at Big Mac, she calls him (among other things, see CurseOfTheAncients above) [[Franchise/StarWars “scruffy-lookin’” and “nerf-herdin’”]].
* TorturedMonster: The rusalka in “The Incredibly Thrilling Investigation of Storm Kicker”, which uses MindControl to enslave ponies in order to alleviate its crushing loneliness. {{Deconstructed}}, as it’s stated that even though a TorturedMonster is tortured, it’s still a monster. It doesn’t matter why the rusalka is enslaving and killing ponies, only that it is.
* UnusualEuphemism: Rarity refers to Cloud Kicker's fondness for banging as "socializing".
[[/folder]]


[[folder: ''The Lunar Rebellion'']]
* AGodAmI: The Avatar’s worldview in a nutshell, although “A God’s Avatar Am I” might be a more accurate term.
-->“I am an alicorn, a higher state of being. I am faster, stronger, smarter, and simply better in every conceivable way. I am Luna reborn, her will made flesh and Equestria’s liberation.”
* AndThenWhat: Used by Celestia to deliver an intellectual beatdown on Apple Tree, illustrating that his positions - while valid concerns - are also immensely complex problems without the easy solutions he advocates.
* BackFromTheDead: In Chapter 1 of Acendant Shadows, [[spoiler:Shadow herself.]] Arguably a borderline case, since heart and lung activity ceased, but it’s implied brain death was not reached.
* BlingOfWar: The unicorn nobles, to a ridiculous degree. At one point, Shadow half-jokingly wonders if they plan to achieve victory by blinding the enemy with the light reflecting off of their adornments.
* BloodMagic: Practiced by the lunar cultists. Among other things, they can use [[HumanSacrifice pony sacrifices]] to [[spoiler:turn a normal pony into Nightmare Moon’s Avatar.]]
* BreadEggsMilkSquick: Midnight’s reasons for wanting to be grown up.
--> Midnight: I think I would like to be an adult more than a child. Then I could do as I pleased. Like stay up all night reading, eat ice cream when I wished, or call upon great magical forces to smite my foes and make them lament the day they crossed me.
* CannibalismSuperpower: Hags can increase their power by devouring one another.
* DeathOfAThousandCuts: Invoked. The Order of Sol Invictus deliberately employs this technique to confront dangerous foes. In Interlude 5, this is used to [[spoiler:capture Rightly Doo.]]
* DramaticIrony: In a last-ditch attempt to keep Shadow from defecting to Celestia's cause, Cyclone says that if she does, the Kickers will forever be remembered as "blackguards and betrayers, lead into infamy by a madmare". In the Winningverse's present, the Kickers are remembered as the only clan that remained loyal during the Rebellion, and Shadow is one of Equestria's greatest heroes.
* ExactWords: Early in the Gathering Shadows, [[spoiler:Shadow Kicker promised a Griffon Archduke that she wouldn't castrate or flay him if he revealed where the remaining pony captives were, not that she wouldn't have him hung if she found out he'd killed said pony captives and eaten from their corpes.]]
* EvilChancellor: {{Averted}}. The story appears to set up [[TheArchmage Sunbeam Sparkle]] as this at first, what with her ruthless pragmatism, love of LoopholeAbuse and dislike for Princess Celestia's gentler touch. However, she remains loyal to Celestia throughout the story, making her more of a TokenEvilTeammate.
* FootnoteFever: The Lunar Rebellion is presented as the most recent edition of Shadow Kicker’s in-universe memoirs as edited by Cloud Kicker, and is liberally interspersed with Cloud’s running commentary as she alternatively provides useful exposition or her own opinions of the various goings-on.
* GrayAndGreyMorality: Both sides of the conflict have reasons to fight, and neither are exactly guilt free. [[spoiler:It shifts more towards BlackAndWhiteMorality by the third act, as Nightmare Moon and her followers take control of the rebel side using blood magic and [[HumanSacrifice pony sacrifice]].]]
* HumanSacrifice: In the epilogue of Rising Shadows, [[spoiler: archmagi Copper Spark and Piercing Cry are sacrificed by the lunar cultists to power the spell that turned Bright Charger into the Avatar of Nightmare Moon.]]
* {{Hypocrite}}: Swift Blade calls Celestia a tyrant who is only concerned with the well-being of one tribe (the unicorns) over the rest of Equestria and denounces Sunbeam as a monster for performing atrocities in the name of grim necessity. [[spoiler:He later performs atrocities as bad as, if not worse than, Sunbeam’s on much shakier grounds, and openly promotes Pegasopolian interests and welfare over those of the unicorns and earth ponies.]]
* IDidWhatIHadToDo: In the second Manehattan Crisis chapter, this is Swift Blade’s rationale for [[spoiler:burning the Earth Pony governing body alive and replacing it with a puppet government.]]
* ImAHumanitarian: [[spoiler: Turns out that, 900 years before the show, Griffons partook of pony meat when they took them prisoner. Too bad this seals an Archduke's fate when Shadow finds out.]]
** ''Midnight's Shadow'' gives us [[spoiler:Grandmother Carrot and the other hags in her coven]].
* KickTheDog: In the epilogue of Rising Shadows, when Bright Charger (who has already started becoming less and less sympathetic by this point) learns that one of her twins has died in battle against [[TheArchmage Sunbeam]], and that the other, realizing that he could only retreat or die a pointless death, fled. Her response?
--> “[…] Is it not better that one of us survives?” “Would that the better of my sons had.” Mother struck him full across the cheek. “Instead he died so that thou might live.”
* KlingonScientistsGetNoRespect: During the time of the Lunar Rebellion, pegasi are almost exclusively a warrior culture. Swift Blade, one of the ephors (major clan leaders), is skilled in strategy and logistics, but is looked down on by the others for not possessing their prowess in personal combat.
* LegendaryInTheSequel: Shadow Kicker. By the time of the Wininningverse present, she even has a religion dedicated to her.
* LighterAndSofter: The side story ''[[http://www.fimfiction.net/story/333814/the-great-snowball-war The Great Snowball War]]'' is a story involving Midnight participating in a snowball fight with foals and going overboard to win, eventually involving the other significant players from the Lunar Rebellion [[spoiler:including Princess Celestia herself]]. It's a rather lighthearted slice of life story that shows a glimpse of what old Equestria is like without war and politics looming over.
* LoopholeAbuse: Sunbeam Sparkle employs this frequently, with others noting they have to phrase things carefully and deliberately when making terms with her. For example, when Sunbeam enters an honour duel with a pegasus that she completely outclasses and Celestia orders her not to kill him, Sunbeam instead mutilates him so thoroughly that he takes his own life some time later.
* MotiveDecay: The rebels. They start out championing democracy, self-rule, and freedom from tyranny, and make sure to fight and campaign with honor. Eventually, they start to tend more towards championing Pegasus rule, and freedom from non-Pegasus tyranny, while using increasingly dubious tactics to promote their cause. [[spoiler:Ultimately, they become nothing more than a front for lunar cultists seeking to bring back Nightmare Moon.]]
* NightmareFetishist: Midnight Sparkle. Her reaction to a unicorn lieutenant who made the mistake of [[BullyingADragon trying to pick a fight with]] Shadow Kicker was to excitedly ask him if he's going to die.
* NotQuiteTheRightThing: One of the first moves of the Ephorate during the Lunar Rebellion is to assist the Earth Pony populist movement in overthrowing the upper class elite and forgiving the debt of working farmers, which Celestia had previously refused to do. Shortly thereafter, we see exactly why she thought it was a bad idea: unable to collect on the money owed to them, the banks of Manehattan almost immediately go bankrupt. The new Earth Pony government, meanwhile, proves to be as uneducated, stubborn, and shortsighted as they are idealistic, and have absolutely no idea how to handle the situation.
* OldMaster: Played straight by characters like Grandmaster Crossguard and Steel Striker. Played with more interestingly by Shadow Kicker; although she's still far from old, she is implied to be in her mid-forties or so. Despite being extremely experienced, skilled, and battle-hardened, it's noted more than once that she's not quite as fast, durable, or strong as she used to be. When forced into a direct confrontation with the extraordinarily gifted and physically in-her-prime [[TheAce Lance Charger,]] she needs to use [[CombatPragmatist every dirty trick in the book]] to keep up.
* OohMeAccentsSlipping: Sunbeam tends to revert to her working-class accent when angry.
* PeekABangs: Sunbeam’s mane covers her left eye.
* PrinciplesZealot: Fair Deal, the provisional chancellor of the aforementioned Earth Pony populist movement, who refuses to compromise with the magnates in any way, even if it’s the only way to get the funds to finance the revolution he’s fighting, or to prevent a civil war among the Earth Ponies. [[spoiler: This gets him and his lot killed when pre-Avatar Bright Charger authorizes Swift Blade to do whatever is necessary to get what the Lunars need from him.]]
-->'''Fair Deal''': Neigh, I say. I am not backing up, not one step, ''ever.''
* ProudWarriorRace: The pegasi, to even greater degrees than what was shown [[MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS2E13HearthsWarmingEve in canon]]. Their entire culture is dedicated to supporting their army in some form or another, their system of morals was clearly created to apply to war and the battlefield first and foremost, and they’re obsessed with personal honor.
* RapePillageAndBurn: The Avatar uses the possibility of this as a threat to try to force Shadow to convince Celestia to surrender Canterlot, claiming that it’d be impossible to control victory-drunk soldiers seeking retribution for a long, hard siege and the deaths of close companions.
--> “If I take the city by storm, half of it will burn to the ground, and a year later most of the surviving mares shall have new pegasus foals.”
* RedHerring: Throughout Rising Shadows, it’s hinted that the pony who would become the Avatar of Nightmare Moon is [[spoiler:Lance Charger. Nope! She dies by accidentally swallowing some tanglehoof, and Bright Charger becomes the Avatar instead.]]
* RevengeBeforeReason: In chapter twelve of Rising Shadows, [[spoiler: Bright Charger attempts to murder Shadow under a flag of truce for the latter’s perceived murder of her daughter, never mind that a) she has nothing more than circumstantial evidence for this claim, and b) she willfully breaks a truce to do this, doing incredible damage to the rebels’ cause and credibility in the process.]]
* SinkOrSwimMentor: In chapter 7, Celestia purposefully refrains from interfering in a fight between her subordinates, hoping they will learn to work it out themselves. [[spoiler: It backfires disastrously, the argument escalating nearly to the point of violence rather than simmering down and continuing to erode their confidence in her leadership.]]
* SoulJar: Shadow’s Armor, which contains an imprint of her mind [[spoiler:and served as a much more literal example when Celestia temporarily stored Shadow’s soul in it when the latter died.]]
* TeethClenchedTeamwork: How Shadow and Sunbeam work together... [[CharacterDevelopment at first]].
* {{Unperson}}: ''Damnatio memoriae'', a posthumous punishment in [[strike:Imperial Rome]] Pegasopolis during the era of the Lunar Rebellion. A pegasus who has particularly shamed their clan is completely expunged from their clan's records after death.
* WellIntentionedExtremist: Swift Blade is essentially one who got his facts wrong. He honestly believes that Celestia is a tyrant, that Nightmare Moon was banished unjustly and should be returned to power, and that Equestria would be genuinely better off as a military dictatorship. Even if he were right, that still doesn’t excuse [[spoiler:allying with [[BadPowersBadPeople warlocks and lunar cultists]], violently overthrowing other governments, and using [[BlackMagic blood magic]] to turn a fellow ephor into the Avatar of Nightmare Moon.]]
* WhamEpisode: The twelfth chapter and the epilogue of Rising Shadows: [[spoiler: Shadow Kicker is by all appearances dead, and Bright Charger has become the Avatar of Nightmare Moon.]]
* WhamLine:
** In The Manehattan Crisis I chapter:
--> [[spoiler: Swift Blade: ‘Tis simple, Skilled. We are to launch a coup ‘gainst Chancellor Fair Deal.]]
** At the end of the prologue of Ascending Shadows:
--> [[spoiler:Bright Charger/The Avatar: “How can it be that Shadow Kicker lives?!”]]
* WouldHurtAChild: Sunbeam is {{Flanderized}} in-universe for this after it's made public that she used a colt as an unwitting suicide bomber against his warlock father, earning her the unofficial title "Foal-slayer" amongst the nobility.
* WrongGenreSavvy: Most characters act like they’re in a fairly realistic military low fantasy story with GrayAndGreyMorality. [[DownplayedTrope They’re not exactly wrong]], especially in the early part of the story, but this is still part of the BlackAndWhiteMorality high fantasy setting of My Little Pony, and discrepancies show, especially in how a lot of ponies assume that Nightmare Moon’s rebellion was just a dynastic power struggle, and Celestia killed Luna and covered it up. The Wrong Genre Savvyness start to show more as the story goes on and the Gray and Grey start to markedly lighten and darken.
* YourApprovalFillsMeWithShame: Almost word-for-word in chapter 7, [[spoiler: when Sunbeam Sparkle congratulates Shadow Kicker over defusing a very tense confrontation between Sunbeam and Rightly Doo.]]
[[/folder]]


[[folder: "Dead Derpy Verse"]]
* ChildrenAreInnocent: Dinky, ''oh so much'', in "From the Mouth of Fillies" and its sequel "Changes".
* DrivenToSuicide: [[spoiler: Sparkler stops eating and drinking after Derpy's funeral and throws away her food to cover it up. While it's not clear if it was an intentional suicide attempt or just a side-effect of depression, the end result is that she nearly dies before Rainbow Dash figures out what's going on.]]
* PleaseWakeUp: When Dinky finds her mother's body in ''Changes'', she thinks Derpy is just sleeping and cuddles up with her. Then she realizes she ''won't wake up'' and this trope happens.
* ThePlotReaper: While not ''technically'' an example, this ''does'' solve the Cloud Kicker/Blossomforth/Derpy love triangle.
* PromotionToParent: In "Changes" Rainbow Dash finds herself no longer acting as the world's greatest baby-sitter, but a mother, and isn't quite prepared to cope with the promotion ''and'' the death of one of closest friends.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: ''Road Not Taken'']]

* AnArmAndALeg: Rainbow Dash lost one of her hind legs defending a town from a dragon attack during her stint in the Long Patrol.
* ForWantOfANail: In Chapter 9 of ''Winning Pony'', we see Cloud Kicker and Fluttershy break up over the former's fight with Rainbow Dash during Flight Camp. This AlternateUniverse explores the "WhatIf" of how things would be if Cloud and Fluttershy had '''''NOT''''' broken up. Other examples include:
** Rainbow Dash briefly joins the Guard before being forced into early retirement due to a hind leg getting mangled to the point of amputation.
** Sparkler's foster mother becomes Nimbus Gust, not Derpy, creating Sparkler Kicker instead of Sparkler Doo.
** Cloud Kicker does not fly out on the Guard, rising to the rank of Major as of the original one-shot.
** Rarity and Applejack are ex-wives, as Applejack kept sponging off Rarity's success to fund Sweet Apple Acres, which no longer exists as of the original one-shot due to the Apples going bankrupt after Rarity divorces AJ.
** Cloud Kicker and Fluttershy eventually marry and have a daughter, whom Rarity and Rainbow Dash are tasked with watching over in the original one-shot while Cloud and Fluttershy go out somewhere.
* HappilyAdopted: In this continuity, Sparkler is Cloud and Alula’s adoptive sister, after being adopted by Tornado Kicker and Nimbus Gust after [[spoiler:Nimbus rescued her after her foster father broke her leg.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder: ''Phoenix Empire'' stories]]
* AltumVidetur: Apparently, Old Unicornian is known to us as Latin, and was the spoken language back when [[spoiler:Nightmare Moon was banished, hence her gratuitous use of it when she possesses Just Cause after he is cornered by Strumming and Lyra]].
* AncientConspiracy: The Circle, founded by Celestia not long after she abdicated, led by Cadance in the Present, and Twilight Velvet is a member. According to Cadance, [[spoiler:when she tries to recruit Rainbow Dash]], the Circle's purpose is to "keep Sunbeam honest." That is, to keep her from JumpingOffTheSlipperySlope and becoming the tyrant many feared she would after her Ascension.
* BadassTeacher: [[spoiler:Rarity as the Sapphire Guardian, the Phoenix Empire's version of Mare-Do-Well.]]
* BigBrotherIsWatching: The Ministry Of Heart, led by Lyra's father. Doubles as TheMenInBlack.
* ClassifiedInformation: Whatever the hell Lyra was doing in the Everfree, or at Cloudsdale and Appleoosa, before she was assigned to [[spoiler: Aedile Pinkie Pie's assassination]]. To the extent that, when Strumming asks her about it on behalf of her uncle, Lyra's father, who is the [[BigBrotherIsWatching Minister Of Heart]] himself, Lyra says that, if the Minister Of Heart doesn't know about whatever their intelligence says she was doing, then the orders must have come from the Empress herself, which would mean that both Strumming and Minister Heartstrings are overstepping and risking getting into scaldingly hot water with Sunbeam by prying into "a top-secret matter of Imperial security" which is blatantly relevant to Nightmare Moon's return and Sunbeam's attempts to locate and recruit this universe's versions of the Mane 6.
* ForWantOfANail: [[spoiler:An unusually harsh training session between Sunbeam and her daughter Midnight makes Celestia hastily jump to the conclusion that Sunbeam was either [[AbusiveParents actively abusing Midnight]], or [[StartOfDarkness starting down that road]]. As a result, Celestia attacks Sunbeam, crippling her. Later, Sunbeam reveals to Celestia that she is SecretlyDying of her wounds, and Celestia realizes the only way to save her is for her to Ascend and become an Alicorn. Sunbeam expects to replace Luna, but Celestia double-crosses that idea and instead has Sunbeam replace '''''HER''''' instead. Introducing... the Phoenix Empress!]]
* MarriedToTheJob: Lyra Heartstrings, to the point where she now answers directly to Empress Sunbeam and doesn't have much of a social life, which worries her father and cousin to the point where, after she joins the Phoenix Cult, they investigate her and are blocked by the ClassifiedInformation above.
* MeaningfulName: The Ministry Of Heart, a sort of FamilyBusiness in that the headship is passed down through House '''''HEART'''''strings. The incumbent Minister in the Present is revealed by Strumming Heartstrings to be her cousin Lyra's father.
* MyCountryRightOrWrong: [[spoiler:Rarity has sold out to Sunbeam in exchange for a special license that eliminates any trouble she'd have with the usual law enforcement.]]
* OhCrap: [[spoiler:Cadance when Sunbeam reveals that she knows about [[AncientConspiracy the Circle]], and that Cadance herself is the current leader, hence why [[KickedUpstairs she's being given the title of "aedile" and relocated up north]] to settle a dispute that will conveniently last just long enough for whatever Sunbeam has planned for Nightmare Moon's return to bear fruit.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Sunset Shimmer stories]]
* AdultFear: In ''The Hunted'', Kukri’s parents have to deal with the fact that there’s something that can pass any defense, is unhinged at best and actively sadistic at worst, has very likely ties to someone who wishes their family harm, and seems to have a marked interest in their eleven-year-old daughter.
* BlackMagic: Mind control and [[TheNecromancer necromacy]] are specifically stated to be illegal black magic. Unlike other cases, black magic here is not stated to be [[TheDarkSide inherently corruptive or addictive]]--rather, it’s more of a case of SlowlySlippingIntoEvil, since dark magic provides such quick, easy, and (at first) cost-free options, it becomes too tempting to indulge in to resist.
* DarkIsEvil: In ''Freeport Venture: The Hunted'', Kukri swiftly develops this view, since [[ThingsThatGoBumpInTheNight the Monster]] prefers to attack in the dark.
* DidntThinkThisThrough: Sunset Shimmer starts out with the tendency to jump into things without properly thinking her plans through. For instance, she didn’t really put a lot of thought into what she was going to do after leaving Celestia beyond “head as far away from Equestria as possible”, something she only realizes when she arrives at [[WretchedHive Freeport]] with little money, no contacts and no means to make either.
* DramaticIrony: The Equestrian Intelligence Service intends to keep tabs on Sunset on the off-chance she might go off the deep end and, say, [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyEquestriaGirls return to Equestria as a false alicorn at the head of an army of brainwashed minions]] or something like that.
--> Sunset Shimmer: “Yeah, there’s no way that would ever happen.”
* EldritchAbomination: The demon in Freeport Venture: Auction Night is positively Lovecraftian.
--> There were tentacles. There were claws. There were gaping mouths full of needle-like teeth. And none of them were arranged in anything remotely resembling natural or sane anatomy.
* ElementalEmbodiment: Numerous elemental spirits appear, and in their natural state they seem to be formless beings inhabiting their native element, but can adopt and maintain physical form as long as they're in contact with their element. They're usually seen when they've been bound by magic to serve as magical security systems, such as a wood spirit bound within a door or a stone spirit in a wall. So far, stone, air, wood, water and metal spirits have all appeared or been mentioned.
* EvenBadMenLoveTheirMamas: The feared pirate Metal Mome was apparently rather fond enough of his mother, Granite Mome, to name his ship, the Granite Heart, after her. Insulting his mother is also one of the few ways to get him visibly pissed.
* ExactWords: In the penultimate chapter of ''The Freeport Venture'', Sunset accepts the Council of Thirteen’s offer to destroy Metal Mome’s golems and all existing notes on how they were made. [[spoiler:She never said anything about the very detailed memories she gained from Mome’s mind, though.]]
* {{Foil}}: Starlight Glimmer is one of sorts to Sunset. Both are very powerful unicorns, both are extremely dedicated to a goal (equality or alicornhood) and won’t shut up about it, and both have gone back on their ideals when faced with imprisonment (Starlight using her family’s wealth and connections, Sunset [[spoiler:using dark magic]]). The main difference is Sunset is more aware of her failures and much less of a hypocrite.
* HealingFactor: The Monster has one. [[spoiler:It only works as long as its target is afraid of it.]]
* HeWhoFightsMonsters: It’s mentioned that warlock hunters are the likeliest demographic for becoming warlocks themselves.
* {{Hypocrite}}: Starlight is one in much the same way she is in canon, since her motivation for making everypony equal is pretty obviously a way to make sure nopony’s better than her rather than actually helping ponies, as she claims. When she robbed a bank to give the money to the poor, claiming entirely altruistic reasons, she kept three quarters of the money for herself.
* InSeriesNickname: Strumming likes to call Sunset “bacon-mane”.
* InsistentTerminology: Kukri is not a grub. She’s eleven-and-a-half years old.
* JustFollowingOrders: Strumming would really like to be friends with Sunset, it's just that she has orders to spy on the runaway [[spoiler:and later confine/keep an eye on/recapture her. Later, when Sunset uses DarkMagic while escaping, [[SarcasmMode she ''must'' be a warlock and thus ''obviously'' seeking to be the next King Sombra]].]] [[note]][[spoiler:Strumming's superiors are dicks.]][[/note]]
* MageTower: Sunset ends up building one made of obsidian to live in in Freeport, partly because it’s traditional, partly because it means she has to buy less land.
* MindRape: Most forms of mental magic edge at least somewhat into this. For a specific example, in The Freeport Venture there’s [[spoiler:Sunset destroying Metal Mome’s mind and reducing him to a permanent vegetable state.]]
* TheNicknamer: The independent changelings/Free Minds are a bit odd about names, and prefer to use titles or nicknames on most occasions. They refer to themselves as “this one”, other Free Minds are some variation of “the other one”, Chrysalis is “the Old Mind”, ponies are nicknamed with constructs of their name and gender (such as “the Shimmer-mare” or “the Heartstrings-mare”), and Celestia is “the White Pony”.
* NotSoSafeHarbor: Freeport, run by greedy merchant-princes and with guards so corrupt they are expected to supplement their income with bribes, is a notorious haven for BlackMarket deals in every sort of banned good, a hotbed of espionage and counterespionage, and a nest of organized piracy.
* ThingsThatGoBumpInTheNight: The Monster in ''Freeport Venture: The Hunted''. Numerous species of such beings are stated to exist.
* TomeOfEldritchLore: The Black Codex, written by a cabal of warlocks and lunar cultists during the Lunar Rebellion and containing information on every form of BlackMagic in existence.
* ProperlyParanoid: When Strumming approaches Sunset Shimmer humbly, apologizes for her earlier antagonism, offers her food, and [[OOCIsSeriousBusiness doesn't try to steal any for herself]], Sunset promptly assumes the meal has been poisoned. [[spoiler: She's right, but Strumming does want to reconcile, and is JustFollowingOrders, however reluctantly.]]
* ShoutOut: One of the perks Strumming lists for being a spy is the right to be really snooty about ordering your milkshakes [[Franchise/JamesBond shaken, not stirred]].
* SlowlySlippingIntoEvil: BlackMagic works this way, rather than being [[TheDarkSide actively addictive]]: at first, a pony might use dark magic to escape an otherwise hopeless situation, then maybe use it in another dangerous or desperate moment, eventually using it more readily and more often, without necessarily realizing what’s happening. Eventually, it starts becoming their preferred recourse to issues, and by then there’s no turning back.
* UnskilledButStrong: Starlight Glimmer. She has plenty of raw magical power, perhaps as much as Sunset herself, but she doesn’t have any proper training in how to use it effectively. Her temper problems don’t help, either.
* WretchedHive: Freeport is a NotSoSafeHarbor ruled by greedy merchant-princes, its guards are so corrupt they are actually expected to supplement their income with bribes, most people prefer personal blood feuds to get “justice” anyway, and it’s a haven for mercenaries, spies, and legalized piracy. There’s a fairly good justification for why a major port city is allowed to go on like this--it sits on an archipelago right between Equestria, Gryphonia, and Zebrica, meaning none of the nations can make any move on it without the other two seeing it as a threat.
[[/folder]]


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->"[[GamerPoop We'll bang, OK?]]"
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