It's time for the second TV Tropes Halloween Avatar Contest, theme: cute monsters! Details and voting here.
Fanfic: The Sweetie Chronicles: Fragments
The Sweetie Chronicles: Fragments
is a My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic
fanfic by Wanderer D.
With Rarity and the other two Cutie Mark Crusaders out of town, Sweetie Belle has started learning magic with Twilight Sparkle. After a magical explosion throws the two of them through The Multiverse
, Sweetie finds herself jumping between Alternate Universes
searching for the eponymous fragments, which contain the shattered
consciousness of Twilight Sparkle.
The story takes place across multiple universes, each of which is the universe of a different pony fanfic.
The current universes to have been visited are, in order of appearance in the story:
An April Fool's chapter begins in OAC&A, then takes Sweetie briefly through the worlds of Doctor Who
, and Megamind
. The next official chapter begins at the same point as that one, but diverges after the first scene.
This fanfic contains examples of:
- Accidental Misnaming: Being called “Sweetie Bells” is the last straw which makes Sweetie Belle realize that Princess Cadance has already been replaced by Queen Chrysalis, even months before the wedding.
- An Aesop: Chapter 2 comes with the Aesop of "Don't lie to your friends".
- And I Must Scream: Twilight Sparkle was turned into a crystal statue, split into a large number of fragments, and thrown across The Multiverse. She's still conscious within the fragments.
- Not to mention the third and fifth fragments have been waiting for two hundred years. The third is pretty chill about it and spent the time learning things from her counterpart. The fifth is adamantly refusing to let the Goddess even touch it. Makes sense given Twilight's predicament in that setting.
- The sixth fragment has been waiting in the middle of a Death Course for several centuries, and is highly unhinged by the time Sweetie and Blueblood find it.
- Sweetie has also started to worry about what might have happened to Spike, since he was one room over when the machine blew up.
- April Fools' Day: The first On a Cross and Arrow chapter that was released.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: “Rarity didn't know what to feel more mortified about... the fact that they were following a bunch of walking, dead and decomposing ponies, the fact that Sweetie was taking this in far too quickly, or the fact that her little sister was about to sing country.”
- Ascended Fridge Horror: A lot of the questions about what happened in Sweetie's home dimension after the explosion start to get asked (and subsequently answered) in Chapter 3.
- Blatant Lies: Applejack's denial of being drunk in Chapter 3.
- Brain Bleach: Silver wants some after Sweetie tells him about the universe where Twilight and Trixie are a couple.
- Sweetie Belle implies she could use some after inadvertently making Cheerilee give the entire class The Talk.
- Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: In Chapter 2, while they're at the castle:
The four fillies, three mares and the incarnation-of-all-that-was-evil-in-ponydom sat down for dinner
- Breather Episode: Not for the audience, but for Sweetie herself in The Best Night Ever. Sweetie's been slowly growing cynical and callous as she progressed at a breakneck pace, because she was keeping the local Sweetie from her life and Twilight needed reassembling. During The Best Night Ever's "Groundhog Day" Loop, she has the time to relax and have a little fun with no consequences, as the entire quest in that universe will only take up a single day of the local Sweetie's time, no matter how many loops she runs through.
- Butterfly of Doom: Fear of it is the main reason that Sweetie doesn't tell Blueblood about Chrysalis; not changing the future is apparently one of the big rules in books on time travel, and she's afraid that breaking it will mess everything up.
- Ultimately, it is revealed that she did tell him. Before she moved on to the next world.
- The explanation she gives to Blueblood in the TPC chapter indicates that she never actually told him due to Chrysalis' malignant brainwash.
- Cain and Abel: Romulus and Remus.
- Cassandra Truth: In Chapter 1, when Sweetie tries to tell Rarity the events of the prologue, Rarity doesn't believe her. Justified because Sweetie herself hasn't figured out that she's in a different dimension yet, so she can't use it as an explanation.
- Cerebus Syndrome: Though there are some dark under tones of the earlier chapters, the earlier chapters still managed to be rather humorous and heart warming. Starting with the Fallout Equestria chapter, things start taking a somewhat more serious tone, but still manages to have some (if rather morbid) laughs in it. Then the best night ever chapter is when Sweetie starts to question if her quest is even possible, and dying several times and spending two years in the Ground Hog Day Loop clearly takes it's toll on her, though she managed to (somewhat) recover from it. And then comes The Immortal Game...
- Collapsing Lair: Romulus manages to break the main support pillar in his lair while trying to get at the ponies, causing the whole thing to collapse.
- Cool and Unusual Punishment: Nightmare Moon's response to realizing that Scootaloo spiked her soup was to set her up for a flight lesson under a Drill Sergeant Nasty.
- Crazy-Prepared: In Chapter 6, Twilight had all the possible tests to prove that she was a time traveller memorized, so that in case she decided to travel back in time and meet herself or the Princesses and got stuck in the past, she'd be able to prove that she was real.
- Death Course: the Maze where Twilight's fragment is hidden in The Best Night Ever. To make matters worse, this fragment is completely bonkers, and cheerfully describes just how Sweetie and Blueblood will be killed by the various traps.
- Dismantled MacGuffin: A kind of weird example since she's actually a living being, but Twilight Sparkle essentially functions as one.
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: Sergeant Smoking Crater.
- Duck Season, Rabbit Season: Nightmare Moon pulls one on Sweetie in Chapter 2.
- Escalating War: The prank war between the Cutie Mark Crusaders and Nightmare Moon in Chapter 2.
- Failed a Spot Check: Applejack misses all of the apple-related food at the meal in Chapter 2 during her initial look at the table.
- Failsafe Failure: The emergency power cut lever on the machine Twilight is experimenting with doesn't actually do anything when the machine starts to blow up.
- Fantastic Nuke: Iridium’s Incandescent Irradiation, which "reproduces a piece of Celestia's sun", but with poisonous light. Sweetie Belle very nearly ends up at Ground Zero. It's completely outlawed in present-day Equestria. Blue Belle either doesn't know that, or simply doesn't care.
- Feminine Mares Can Cook: Played with. Scootaloo is highly embarrassed when her cooking skills are discovered.
- Flashback: Sweetie occasionally has them.
- Go Mad from the Isolation: Twilight's fragment in The Best Night Ever went pretty crazy after a few centuries of solitude. She sits in the middle of The Maze of Death, and gives Sweetie and Blueblood a cheerful commentary on what will happen to them if they make any mistakes dealing with the puzzles she set up there.
- Gotta Catch Them All: Sweetie's overarching goal with the fragments, although she tends to go on tangential adventures along the way.
- "Groundhog Day" Loop: Sweetie also gets sucked into the loop with Blueblood in The Best Night Ever.
- Hammerspace: Twilight, Rarity, and Trixie give Sweetie an enchanted notebook that she can summon and send away at will, no matter which universe she's in. It begins to fill with souvenirs and spells as she travels, and it proves useful in unexpected ways.
- Hidden Depths: Chapter 2's Scootaloo is secretly a great chef.
- Homosexual Reproduction / Babies Make Everything Better: In Chapter 1, Twilight reveals that she went searching for a fertility artifact in the hopes that it would help her and Trixie concieve a foal.
- Hypocritical Humor: In Chapter 2, Nightmare Moon wonders why anypony would want to plunge everything into darkness.
Scootaloo: Besides you, you mean.
- I Do Not Speak Nonverbal: Trixie has some trouble trying to nonverbally point out the magic inhibitor on Twilight's horn to Sweetie.
- I Hate Past Me: Sweetie is less than impressed when she first sees Silver Bell's general inattentiveness. He grows on her over time though.
- I Take Offense to That Last One: Blueblood does not appreciate being called "an arrogant, petty, self-aggrandizing son of a mule"... his mother was a pure-bred unicorn. The rest, he agrees, is fairly accurate.
- Impossible Task: The entrance exam for Celestia's School for Gifted Unicorns in Chapter 2 is a Type 3. Subverted when she fails to hatch the egg, but then double subverted when it turns out she managed to pass anyway.
- Indy Ploy: Trixie's plan while rescuing Twilight in Chapter 1.
- Innocent Innuendo: After getting temporarily aged up and going clubhopping with Blueblood and his Wonderbolt friends, Sweetie Belle manages to smoothly seduce Vinyl Scratch with some very suggestive double entendres. Vinyl is subsequently devastated to learn that Sweetie just wanted to talk about music. Before that, Sweetie Belle tells Blueblood that she's "slept" with Applebloom and Scootaloo, and that her sister had a sleepover with Twilight and Applejack that involved trees, ropes and yelling; Blueblood is not certain whether she's trolling him or a huge pervert. It culminates with Cheerilee having to give her students a very hasty version of "The Talk" (which she managed to avoid in her old timeline).
- Earlier, Sweetie asks Blueblood if he's slept with Octavia... and then points out that she's slept with Scootaloo and Applebloom, referring to sleepovers. And then explains how her sister's sleepover with Applejack and Twilight involved ropes, magic and shouting. He's not entirely certain she's not trolling him.
- Insane Troll Logic: Sweetie somehow reasons that (paraphrased) "Trixie brainwashed everyone in Ponyville, therefore I must have murdered Twilight". It's highly unclear exactly how that logic jump occurs.
- To be fair, she's panicking at that point and thus not thinking clearly.
- Is This Thing Still On?: Sweetie's voice amplification spell after the Crusaders threaten Nightmare Moon in Chapter 2.
- Large Ham: Prince Artemis, especially after he starts pretending to be Anarchy Apollo.
- Literally Shattered Lives: Twilight, after being Taken for Crystal.
- MacGuffin Mare: Inverted with Twilight, who starts as a mare but gets turned into a set of MacGuffins.
- Magibabble: It tends to crop up whenever Twilight or Sweetie (or both) start talking about the spell matrix in Sweetie's notebook.
- Sweetie Belle gets to do it with herself in A Heart of Change, as the Sweetie Belle of that world works out how to communicate to the others and is just as big on studying magic as our Sweetie Belle.
- Mama Bear: Twilight, when Sweetie is almost killed by a werewolf.
Twilight: Nopony, no creature, no monster threatens my student!
- Meaningful Name: Romulus and Remus.
- Mentor Ship: Sweetie Belle develops a huge crush on Dusk Shine, Twilight's gender-swapped counterpart.
- On a more platonic level, she considers Blueblood to be more or less her brother.
- Mission Control Is Off Its Meds: The Twilight fragment from The Best Night Ever is at the center of a Death Course, and has been for quite some time. She's a bit too cheerful about the numerous ways Sweetie and Blueblood will die.
- The Multiverse: Sweetie Belle is jumping around it as she collects Twilight's fragments.
- My God, What Have I Done?: The Immortal Game Rarity has this reaction when Octavia jumps in the way of her attack to save Sweetie, killing her in the process. It only worses when she realizes the filly she nearly killed wasn't a golem and an actual living being, and then again when she finds out that it was a Sweetie Belle from another universe. Unlike most examples, before she could fix her mistake, Sweetie decides to leave the world before talking to her because of what she did, her ability to trust any Rarity in any of the worlds now completely shattered.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Twice in The Immortal Game.
- First Rarity believes Traveller!Sweetie is a golem, (i.e. not a pony) and as such ends up killing the Octavia of that universe when she threw herself in front of Rarity's blade to save Sweetie. This destroyed Sweetie's trust in ANY Rarities for the foreseeable future.
- Then the local Twilight finds a message from Elder Twilight and thus reveals to Sweetie that absorbing fragments is KILLING her Twilight instead of saving her.
- Non-Linear Character: Sweetie is one, albeit in a more complex situation than the basic trope. She's jumping across both time and dimensions, and while each world she visits is different, they tend to follow The Stations of the Canon to at least some extent, which allows her to still know at least the near future pretty well.
- Not Herself: Everypony is generally confused by how Sweetie knows magic when she enters a new dimension.
- Sweetie herself has to deal with this when she jumps into a universe in which she is supposed to be an adult, dead, or both.
- And while Sweetie herself doesn't seem to have noticed, those around her have noticed that she's becoming more like Twilight as she absorbs more fragments.
- Chapter 6's Twilight finally pointed it out to her, and the unique circumstances within that 'verse make Sweetie decide to take a break from her adventuring to try to wind down and become more like herself again.
- Oh, Crap: "Were... creatures?"
- Only Sane Mare: Twilight Sparkle in Chapter 2, especially during the prank war between the CMC and Nightmare Moon.
- Our Werewolves Are Different: Romulus and Remus are wolves which turn into bigger wolves during the full moon.
- Parental Abandonment: In Sweetie Belle's home universe, her and Rarity's parents passed away long ago.
- Phlebotinum Analogy: In Chapter 3, after Twilight's offscreen explanation of why Sweetie always ends up near them in her travels, Pinkie attempts to explain it to Rainbow Dash.
- Plot Coupon: The fragments.
- Pocket Dimension: Where Sweetie stores her notebook.
- Precocious Crush: Sweetie Belle has one on Dusk Shine.
- Psychic Dreams for Everyone: Starting in Chapter 3, Sweetie seems to be having dreams of her home dimension and how badly Rarity is taking the percieved death of her sister.
- Applejack also has one in Chapter 3.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!:
Pinkie Pie: You. Are. Coming. To. The. Party!!!
- Puppy-Dog Eyes: Sweetie Belle is a skilled user of the technique.
- Random Transportation: Sweetie Belle doesn't know what worlds she will visit, only that there will be a Fragment where she arrives.
- Recursive Fanfiction: Natch
- "Best Night Ever" takes it further, as the events of Fragments is now considered canon for the original story and will be referenced in This Platinum Crown.
- TSC events are also canon for "The Light Never Goes Out" and, more recently, "A Heart of Change".
- Required Secondary Powers: Nightmare Moon teaches Sweetie Belle a spell for darkvision so she can actually see when she casts her spell to create darkness.
- Running Gag: Ponies suddenly appearing in front of Sweetie and giving her a Jump Scare. Nightmare Moon starts the trend in Chapter 2, but Pinkie continues it in the 'verses where Nightmare Moon isn't present.
- Say My Name: Nightmare Moon yells "CRUSAAAAADEEEEEERS!" in rage after discovering that the Crusaders painted her room pink.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: Romulus and Remus. They were released by the residents of Marethage in order to steal an artifact which would dramatically help their farming yields.
- Separate Scene Storytelling: The Crusaders' explanation of how they managed to plan their Nightmare Night prank.
- Sequel Hook: Each chapter ends with a brief introduction to what's going on in the world Sweetie just arrived in.
- Shout-Out: Rarity's conversation with Sweetie in Chapter 3 about the ball she gave her, along with subsequent mentions of said ball, are a reference to the fanfic Having a Ball.
- Clueless User and Obnoxious Writer from Wanderer D's various how-to guides appear as the former overmare of the S.T.A.B.L.E. and one of her friends, respectively, in Chapter 5.
- While trying to hide from Chrysalis in Chapter 6, Sweetie Belle remembers a line from "The Spider and the Fly". It doesn't encourage her.
- In Chapter 7, while Sweetie laments how nopony actually remembers anything she does in that world, when she mentions her name, it's the same shade of green as Lyra's name is in Background Pony
- After Sweetie Belle convinces Rainbow Dash and Applejack to compete in the race to enter the Maze of Death, she jokingly refers to herself as the Scion of Chaos.
- In Chapter 7, while trying to explain how knowledge of the future may cause it to change, Sweetie Belle brings up Shadowbolt Captain Fluttershy from Random Elements.
- When Blueblood youthens himself down to help Sweetie recuperate from a traumatic experience, Pinkie Pie thinks he's Prince Leon, an alicorn colt from a non-canon german comic issue.
- Blueblood tells the Twilight fragment that he's married to the present-day Twilight. When she freaks out, he says, "Search your feelings! You know it to be true!"
- Once she hits The Immortal Game universe, Sweetie Belle names her blade Akela, because she feels alone.
- Silver Has Mystic Powers: Contact with silver isn't conducive to werewolfhood; it's used in wards to prevent their initial transformation, and touching it burns them if they've already transformed.
- On the other hoof, Sweetie Belle's opposite gender counterpart in chapter 5 has yet to learn any powers.
- Something Only They Would Say: Allows Sweetie Belle to figure out that Elusive is Rarity.
- Spit Take: Trixie, after Sweetie tells her she's a wanted felon in Chapter 1.
- The Stinger: Each time that Sweetie uses the crystals in a world where she wasn't previously dead/nonexistent, we get a scene of the world's native Sweetie waking up and wondering what's going on.
- Sue Donym: Sweetie tells Spitfire that she's the "Lady of Maripony". She does not mention that the place is a toxic spawning ground for artificial alicorns, or that it exists in another universe.
- Suspiciously Specific Denial: Inverted. Thanks to her status as a Non-Linear Character, Sweetie makes a suspiciously specific prediction about the events of Look Before You Sleep.
- Taken for Crystal: Twilight Sparkle, after the magical time-and-space-machine explodes.
- Take That: In-universe, when Sweetie is found reading Kinetic Fields: From the Simple to the Prismatic:
Trixie: She’s almost certainly Twilight’s apprentice. No other unicorn would force such an innocent filly to sit down and read that!
- Taking the Bullet: Octavia does this when Rarity attempts to kill Sweetie because she thought she was golem in The Immortal Game. See Nice Job Breaking It, Hero above.
- Tar and Feathers: First set as a trap for Nightmare Moon by the Cutie Mark Crusaders, and then reciprocated, in Chapter 2.
- That Was Not A Dream: In the end of the prologue, Sweetie is convinced that the explosion was All Just a Dream after she wakes up in her bed with everything seemingly back to normal.
- She does it again in Chapter 1, after waking up in the library.
- Throwing the Distraction: Not exactly throwing, but Sweetie uses her Prestidigitation spell to distract the werewolf searching for her by causing a slight motion and a whimpering noise in an actually-empty pile of garbage.
- She pulls off the same trick again in Chapter 6, while attempting to hide from Chrysalis.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Princess Celestia's pancakes and Prince Solaris's waffles.
- Transdimensional Age-Up: Sweetie Belle has visited two continuities where she's been dead for over a century. In both cases, she's arrived as an adult. Although she still doesn't have a cutie mark.
- Fountain of Youth: Conversely, in Chapter 6, the world Sweetie ended up in left her physically younger than her actual age.
- Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: Prince Artemis speaks in this before Sweetie Belle informs him of its outdatedness.
- You Have to Believe Me: Said word-for-word by Sweetie when confronted by Scootaloo in Chapter 1.
- You Just Told Me: How Elusive confirms Sweetie's name.
- You Were Trying Too Hard: Sapphire Shores' explanation of why Sweetie fluctuates between being a great singer and being a terrible one.