Rarity is oddly a walking CMOH once you know more about her. Plus she may seem a prissy snob but she really does have a beautiful heart when it comes to generosity and help.
In a similar fashion, Pinkie Pie. She may come off as overly hyperactive and talkative at times, but she has made it her life mission to make everyone she knows as happy as she can.
The new opening as of Season 4. Instead of just the Mane Six posing together at the end, we have the CMC (that is, Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo), Mr. and Mrs. Cake, Mayor Mare, Spike, Big Macintosh, Granny Smith, Snips, Snails, and Zecora as well, with Discord inside Fluttershy's cottage and Luna besides Celestia as she receives the message!
Specifically, what Discord's doing inside the cottage. He's standing at the window, watching Fluttershy feed Angel Bunny with the most melting, adoring expression imaginable.
Season 1 - Part 1
Mare in the Moon
Pinkie is so nice that she went out of her way to throw a party for Twilight, even going so far as to invite everypony in town, because she assumed that the new girl didn't have any friends and was feeling lonely.
Also the incredible niceness of Ponyville in general. They're all so ready to befriend Twilight Sparkle as soon as they meet her. There's a sort of neighborly charm to everypony, and it at the very least invokes an odd sense of nostalgia.
An overlooked moment from the very beginning: After the guards drop Twilight off in town, even though she's clearly in a bad mood, she still takes the time to thank the guards in a pleasant tone and calls them "sirs". Just goes to show you, even before she made friends Twilight was a kind pony who treated those around her, even those technically beneath her station, with respect and compassion. She may have been uncomfortable interacting with others, but when she did, she was unconditionally nice to them. The brief smiles that flicker across the faces of the normally stone faced guards cement this.
Elements of Harmony
The summoning of the elements of harmony in episode 2, complete with Twilight Sparkle no longer wanting to be alone and openly stating how glad she was to see and hear her friends.
The reunion of the princesses, where Celestia forgives Luna and accepts her sister's apology. Dawww.
The ponies in Ponyville giving Luna a flower necklace in friendship. Aww...
There's a Freeze-Frame Bonus there, too. If you look closely at Luna's face when she looks at Celestia, you can see her tearing up out of happiness.
Makes valid sense, since the whole point of her Face-Heel Turn was she thought no one liked her or her night. Seeing people were perfectly welcoming and kind to her, despite everything she's done, pretty much relieved Luna's fears she held for centuries.
A Genius Bonus too: the flowers are red and white roses, together, symbolizing reconciliation within the royal family, just as the red-and-white-rose of the Tudors symbolized the reconciliation between Lancaster and York at the end of the War of the Roses.
Twilight realizing that the other five are really her friends. And then she gets it. The spark.
Specifically, the page quote. By turning to Nightmare Moon for those last few words ("... when I realized that you all are my friends!"), she managed to turn a declaration of friendship into a Badass Boast!
"You've been up all night, Spike. You are a baby dragon, after all." Twilight remaining calm long enough for Spike to get to sleep.
Also, Spike's reaction to Twilight coming back at the end of that episode. He pushes his way through the crowd and leaps up to give her a hug. His face sells it.
Let's face it, everyone got at least one at some point during the pilot:
Pinkie Pie throwing a huge welcoming party for Twilight Sparkle because she assumed the new girl in town must be lonely. Helping everyone past Nightmare Moon's illusions also counts.
The way she helps everyone past Nightmare Moon's illusions! It leads to the Mane Six all collapsed from laughter on the forest floor — the group's first real moment of friendship together. The laughter even lasts to the beginning of the next scene.
Applejack risking herself to save Twilight, then calmly reassuring her she'll be OK and helping her be rescued. She also gets one by telling Twilight they're not letting her go on this quest alone and will be by her side through it.
Fluttershy calming the Manticore like a mother calming a child.
Rainbow Dash overcoming Nightmare Moon's Friend or Idol Decision, gladly giving up a chance to live her dream for her friends.
Rarity's first meeting with Twilight becomes Heartwarming In Hindsight when she later cuts off a piece of her tail to give to a sea serpent, proving she'd be the wielder of the Element of Generosity. Throwing everything on the back burner to fix up Twilight's messy mane was actually an early showing of her generosity. Sure she got carried away, but her heart was most certainly in the right place.
The Ticket Master
Spike's total glee at eventually being invited to the Grand Galloping Gala in "The Ticket Master". After an episode of pretending like he didn't care about the Gala.
The rest of the Mane Cast realizing that they'd forgotten Twilight's feelings in the matter and apologizing, deciding their friendship mattered more to them. Made even more emotional by the fact that Twilight decides she didn't want to go if her friends couldn't, proving her friends mattered more to her than the Gala. Even more so when you realize one of the reasons she wanted to go was to see Princess Celestia again.
There's also the fact that Twilight's entire conflict in the episode is based on the fact she loves all her friends too much to choose between them.
Even better is the point where she considers giving both tickets away without the slightest hesitation, only stopping because she realizes that this would still leave out three ponies. She was willing to give up her own chance to go without a second thought if it would make her friends happy.
Griffon the Brush-Off
When Pinkie Pie finds out Dash was about to squirt Fluttershy, she immediately calls her out on it knowing that their most harmless prank (squirting) will hurt Fluttershy. Dash does casually agree.
The entire pranking spree. Really, when is the last time we saw a cartoon character pull a prank that left the victim laughing?
A heartwarming action that does not get reciprocated but still sweet. Pinkie Pie decides she must stop interfering with solid confirmation that Gilda is a thief and bully (to Fluttershy nonetheless), Pinkie decides she must deal with it...by a party in hopes of making Gilda change for the better.
Rainbow Dash, despite her past with Gilda, instantly defends her friends in Ponyville when she reveals her true colors. Special notice in that she specifically points out her friendship with Pinkie Pie.
Fluttershy, after being bullied to tears by Gilda and terrified of being at the party, is shown happily enjoying herself with the others after Dash disposes of Gilda.
Am I the only one who found it adorable how Pinkie Pie was hopping around, trying to catch up to Rainbow Dash? Sure it may come off as stalking, but Pinkie really cares for Rainbow Dash.
After Twilight thinks that she's alienated all her friends by showing vast magical power in defeating the Ursa Minor in "Boast Busters", and she tearfully begs them not to hate her like they did Trixie, the Mane Cast's collective Jaw Drop at the very concept of hating Twilight Sparkle. They honestly couldn't grasp what Twilight was worried about; of course they don't mind her being powerful, she's their friend!
Twilight Sparkle: I'm sorry. Please, please don't hate me!
Rarity: Why, whatever do you mean, darling?
Twilight Sparkle: Well, I know how much you all hated Trixie's showing off with her magic tricks, and I just thought—
Rainbow Dash: Whoa, whoa, whoa. Magic's got nothing to do with it. Trixie's just a loudmouth.
Applejack: All hat and no cattle.
Twilight: So... you don't mind my magic tricks?
Applejack: Your magic is a part of who you are, sugar cube, and we like who you are. We're proud to have such a powerful, talented unicorn as our friend.
Rainbow Dash: And after whuppin' that ursa's hindquarters, we're even prouder.
Fluttershy standing up to the dragon, but later comforting him, in "Dragonshy".
Especially the "you're not a bad dragon; you just made a bad decision" part.
There's also the fact that we see her first solemnly walking back down the mountain after revealing her fear to everyone...then we find out she was hiding behind a nearby rock the whole time. Even though she was completely terrified of the dragon, she never left her friends...
Fluttershy happily tending to the animals (even carrying worms in her mouth for the birds) in the opening.
Look Before You Sleep
Rarity and Applejack making up after arguing like cat and dog for most of the episode was fairly sweet.
Not to mention their make-up hug. Applejack puts cucumbers over Rarity's eyes in an attempt to cheer her up after getting muddy, and Rarity feels around blindly for her so that they can hug.
There's also a moment from Twilight that shows that even back in her Ice Queen days, one of the things she'd always wanted to do was to throw a slumber party.
Sort of a Fridge Brilliance example: evidently, Apple Bloom meant no harm leaving her shrunken older sister on that branch. You could say that, whether or not it was intentional, Apple Bloom may have actually protected Applejack from becoming a bad sister in the sense that Applejack was being overprotective of her and once the truth came out about Zecora, you realize that if Applejack hadn't been that overbearing, she would have let her little sister find out the truth right from the start. Apple Bloom's genuine concern for her big sister and the other ponies in this case is evidenced even further when she's eagerly willing to help Zecora cure them of their ailments and towards the end when the ponies' ailments are cured at the spa, she worriedly looks around when Applejack appears to be missing. Turns out Applejack got her own little bath and shows absolutely no resentment while her friends are in the bigger tub.
Winter Wrap Up
The "Winter Wrap-Up" song.
Twilight: How will I do without my magic? / Help the earth pony way? / I want to belong, so I must / do my best today...!
And its instrumental reprise near the end, when Twilight finds a way to help get the cleanup done on time and the whole town turns out to thank her for it.
This brief exchange in the intro:
Twilight: Spike! Wake up! Spike: *sleepily* ...Mommy?
Becomes significantly less heartwarming when Spike sees that it was Twilight who woke him up and responds in an annoyed tone with, "You're not Mommy."
Twilight and Applejack sharing a hoof-bump during the Earth Ponies' organized snow plowing, which shows that Applejack's forgiven Twilight for the giant snowball incident she caused earlier at her farm.
And since it's made clear that Twilight and Applejack are still on good terms when everypony starts working together, it's highly evident that Applejack apologized for making Twilight cry and earned her forgiveness.
Also worth noting. When Twilight offers her organizing skills to the town, Applejack is shown smiling alongside the other ponies, indicating that despite Twilight's earlier mishap of going against the no using magic rule and her spell ended up creating a bigger mess for the Plant Team's snow plowing, Applejack was willing to give her another chance.
Rainbow Dash taking time out of her day to help some filly she doesn't even know. And her choice of activities for Apple Bloom is very telling: she clearly thought the little pony in front of her was awesome and just wanted to help that awesomeness shine through.
Despite getting her Cutie Mark and leaving Apple Bloom the only one in their class without one, Twist never once stops wanting to be her friend; she earnestly offers to go to the cuteceañera with her like Apple Bloom wanted (though it may have made Apple Bloom feel worse at that point), and dances alongside her right after she, Scootaloo, and Sweetie Belle become the Cutie Mark Crusaders.
Fall Weather Friends
Spike enjoys being the announcer at the Iron Pony competition so much that he wants to do it again for the Running of the Leaves, only to feel bummed out upon discovering that Pinkie Pie has already taken that job, so Pinkie cheers him up by letting him be her co-reporter.
The ending also counts. After a whole episode of watching Applejack and Rainbow Dash try to one-up each other, there's just something nice and serene about seeing the two competitive ponies run together through the autumn leaves.
Applejack: What do you say, friend? Wanna go for another run?
Season 1 - Part 2
Suited For Success
After the first disastrous fashion show, the mane six decided to create Rarity's dress by scratch to make up for their mistakes. Best of all, Rarity was happy about her own dress being made and accepted it.
Rainbow Dash showing her true heart of gold side by apologizing to Rarity for what happened before and Rarity forgives Rainbow Dash.
Feeling Pinkie Keen
It's blink-and-you'll-miss-it, but when running from the Hydra, the four ponies (plus Spike) have to cross a deep ravine. There's a nod to Dragonshy. Fluttershy is terrified of heights but to get herself to make the first jump, she mutters to herself, "A hop...skip...and a jump!" Small, but very sweet.
Twilight tossing Spike to safety before even thinking of her own.
From "Sonic Rainboom", there's just something so wonderful about Fluttershy finally breaking out into loud cheers over seeing Rainbow Dash finally do a Sonic Rainboom. Like a coach/friend finally seeing a friend's work pay off. When you take the Cutie Mark Chronicles into effect as well, Rainbow Dash was probably Fluttershy's first real friend, so in effect, Fluttershy's going wild over seeing her formerly nervous lifelong friend succeed, and that her cheering goes into Squee mode just makes it so wonderful.
If you look closely, Rainbow Dash even tears up a bit when she sees this!
The very scene leading up to the eponymous Sonic Rainboom. RD is making a desperate dash to save Rarity, the rest of the Mane Cast are almost starting to lose hope... and then we see a Mach cone starting to form around RD's forehooves. Cue Manly Tears.
Rarity realizes what a jerk she'd been and apologizes to Rainbow Dash and the others for her selfishness.
Related to this: Even after all Rainbow Dash had put up with from her that whole episode, the moment she realized Rarity was in danger, she immediately came to the rescue without even thinking about it. Heartwarmingly awesome, that bit.
Sure; once the attention goes to her head, she's the cause of half the episode's problems but the reason everypony ends up going to Cloudsdale in the first place is because Rarity recognizes Rainbow Dash's stage fright and insists that they find a way to support her.
She also volunteered to be the guinea pig for a spell that Twilight wasn't sure she could pull off, when nopony knew what the side effects would be. Even PINKIE was too nervous to volunteer!
Fluttershy yelling (Well...the Fluttershy version of yelling...) at the trio of colts that were bullying Rainbow Dash. Admittedly, it's not a great show of power, and it makes them laugh...but this is Fluttershy. That took a lot of guts.
Especially when after watching a certain episode you realize it's almost like Fluttershy's returning a favor.
Rainbow Dash's reaction to meeting the Wonderbolts. Omigoshomigoshomigoshomigoshomigosh...
By the beginning of the Young Flyer's Competition, RD is in the middle of her breakdown induced by nerves and Performance Anxiety. Despite that, however, she calms down a little and smiles when the Wonderbolts make their entrance into the coliseum. It's sweet to see that, although the possibility of failing in front of them scares her to death, Rainbow Dash also genuinely draws a lot of strength from her heroes.
The Stare Master
Fluttershy volunteering immediately to take the girls when Rarity couldn't.
Twilight tells Fluttershy that she's going to the Everfree Forest, to Zecora's. Fluttershy asks her worriedly, "You'll be careful, won't you?" It's the incredible concern in her voice that makes it a CMOH.
The fact that the CMC immediately stop playing and are utterly ashamed of themselves when they break Fluttershy's table. It doesn't last long and their attempt at fixing the table doesn'tgo so well, but it was sweet of them nonetheless.
A Dog and Pony Show
When Twilight Sparkle (reluctantly) agrees to be Spike's noble steed in "A Dog and Pony Show" when he wants to play the knight in armour to save Rarity. She even reared and whinnied!
The scene right before Rarity is kidnapped. Spike fighting off the Diamond Dogs long enough for Rarity to get away is one... And Rarity not running away is another. She wouldn't leave without him.
The scene in which Rarity gives Spike the gem in return for a hard day's work. And on Spike's part too; he's been eyeing the gems since hours before, but can't bring himself to eat one that's from Rarity. And when they need the gem as bait, he gives up his precious present from Rarity in order to save Rarity herself.
Green Isn't Your Color
Fluttershy and Rarity admitting how they really felt about Fluttershy's rise to fame, then reconciling, at the end of "Green Isn't Your Color".
Yes, it made things worse, but Rarity standing up for Fluttershy when the crowd turned on her was still touching.
Rarity's absolute disgust with herself for being as jealous as she is. One part of her is completely, hatefully jealous of her best friend—and she's terrified of it.
Over a Barrel
Fluttershy, of all ponies, glomps Pinkie Pie when she sees her safe and sound returning from the buffalo herd.
A Bird in the Hoof
The start of the episode is just diabetes-inducing sweetness, Fluttershy taking care a of a little mouse with a broken leg & returning him to his little mouse family to the delight of his little mouse child. And she put him in a little wheelchair that she pushes with her nose.
At the party in the beginning of the episode, Rarity is rather paranoid about her dress. Not too far out of character, and definitely very funny. Then you remember that her dress is not only what she plans on wearing to the Gala, but something that her friends made for her.
Twilight probably deserves a mention here when she tries to take the blame for Fluttershy stealing Philomena. Twilight has flown into a panic on multiple occasions at the mere THOUGHT of disappointing Celestia, yet here she doesn't even hesitate to divert Celestia's wrath upon herself in order to protect Fluttershy. Of course, it's Celestia we're talking about, so all was forgiven.
Philomena giving Fluttershy a beautiful feather as an apology for messing with her over the course of the whole episode.
Cutie Mark Chronicles
Within the flashbacks:
Applejack going home after realizing Sweet Apple Acres is where she belongs after all.
Rainbow Dash standing up for Fluttershy, telling off the bullies.
Fluttershy's song, and her comforting the animals after they get scared by the Sonic Rainboom.
The song is heartwarming enough, until you go past the cutesy lyrics and finally get hit that it's about a little girl discovering true nature for possibly the first time.
Particularly enjoyable is Fluttershy's singing going from soft and timid to a strong voice just belting out the song.
Pinkie Pie cheering up her family by throwing her first party.
Rarity's face after she realizes that the rock is full of gems. After being dragged around by her horn and briefly thinking that her destiny was a rock, it's heartwarming to see just how completely and utterly joyful she is when she realizes that it was all worth it.
But the crowning moment is when they all realize that Rainbow Dash helped them all get their cutie marks.
At the very start of the episode, when Scootaloo asks who's the coolest pony in Ponyville, Apple Bloom immediately says "Applejack!" and Sweetie Belle says "Rarity!" The fact that to them, of coursetheir big sisters are the coolest ponies in town, that's just sweetness right there.
A very brief moment, but after Scootaloo exclaims, "You have no idea how much I've been through to hear that story," and eagerly plops down to listen, Rainbow Dash turns to the side a little and gives a genuinely flattered smile.
Owl's Well That Ends Well
The end of "Owl's Well That Ends Well" after Spike and Twilight reconciled (this was after Spike spent most of the episode thinking Twilight didn't love him anymore). This is also the first time Twilight explicitly calls Spike her friend, rather than just an assistant.
It's also incredibly sweet just to hear Twilight outright say that she loves Spike, and to see how important that love is to him.
It's easy to miss, but during the meteor shower, Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle are shown climbing onto their big sisters' backs. Very cute and sweet.
Seeing Spike get as much attention from the girls as he does during that get-together is also pretty enjoyable. Just in case his Butt Monkey status left you wondering if the girls really respected him, this scene shows them all looking at him at the same time and smiling, then Pinkie petting him, then Rarity saying she made a bow-tie for him. Afterwards, Twilight says that's enough, but still, it was clearly very fun for Spike while it lasted.
Party of One
Rarity sticks her head into a trash can just to keep the party a secret is heartwarming. Even more, considering Rarity's own moments of Super OCD in previous episodes.
Pinkie making up with her friends and apologizing for assuming the worst when she finds they were throwing her a surprise birthday party.
Rainbow Dash sees a hay-bale with a glasses-nose-mustache disguise, a jacket, and a ballcap in the middle of the street and doesn't even blink. Just "Hi Pinkie Pie!"
Doubling as a CMOF, Rainbow dragging Pinkie to her surprise party. Even with Pinkie stubbornly refusing to go wrongly thinking that the others are going to abandon her, Rainbow refuses to quit and leave Pinkie. Not only is it great because Rainbow is the Element of Loyalty, but it's also fitting considering the two's friendship as seen in the past.
The timing of this episode's events show that Pinkie Pie's and Gummy's birthdays are only a day apart. It is entirely likely that Gummy was Pinkie Pie's birthday present last year.
The Best Night Ever
It's a small one, but Applejack giving free apple fritters to Rarity and her clearly jerkass date. It's just so sweet.
The part where Soarin' buys one of Applejack's pies the first minute she set up shop. Of course it's only noteworthy in retrospect, after we see that everyone else is too pompous to enjoy Applejack's food. This, combined with their interactions with Rainbow Dash cement the Wonderbolts as the only kind (non-Mane Cast/Celestia) people at the entire Gala.
Everyone hanging out together after their respective horrible nights at the end of the best night ever.
A buzzard of all creatures protectively shielding a squirrel and some ducklings against the insane pony rampaging in the gardens. Say what you will about the garden animals, but they stick together.
Season 2 - Part 1
The Return of Harmony, Part 1
In the opener, right before the walls come up, this is kind of a nice moment.
Twilight: Alright, girls. Let's do this.
All Six: (step into maze) Together!
Fluttershy admitting she's helpless and is lucky to have such great friends is heartwarming in itself. It also lets her resist Discord's initial mind games.
The reveal that Celestia and Luna once wielded the Elements of Harmony together against Discord. As shown in the pilot, only those with a very strong bond with one another are capable of using them, showing just how much the two of them cared about each other...
In hindsight, this also implies a Tear Jerker. We already knew Celestia single-hoofedly wielded the Elements of Harmony to stop Nightmare Moon, which would have been painful enough on its own. But only now do we know that she was essentially taking the ultimate symbol of her bond with her sister, empowered by that same bond, and turning it against her.
Though it swings straight back to heartwarming do to the fact that Luna is normal again and the royal sisters friendship had been fully restored (thanks of course to Twilight and her friends).
The moment when Rarity gives Twilight her umbrella when she'd just said that she didn't want to get out from under it. Element of Generosity, everypony.
Before that, when she came all the way out to the apple farm to offer Applejack some help. Sure she openly hoped her help wouldn't involve her getting dirty, but still.
The Return of Harmony, Part 2
Twilight being inspired to fight Discord by Princess Celestia sending back all her friendship reports.
Not only that, but just how joyful she looks when she regains hope and her color when she figures out what she needs to do to win back her friends and fight Discord.
Twilight returns her friends to normal by reminding them of all the good times they've had together. Even Discord's Mind Rape was no match for how much they all care about each other once they remembered it.
The first thing that Applejack does once freed from Discord's Mind Rape is honestly apologize for her behavior. Twilight accepting it is even more touching.
Applejack: Can y'ever forgive me?
Twilight: I already have.
And what Fluttershy said when she was freed was down right adorable.
Fluttershy: "Oh no! Twilight, Applejack, I just had the worst dream!"
Not just cause it's cute that Fluttershy is so kind, but that being mean to her friends is a nightmare to her. Plus Andrea Libman delivers it in such a sweet tone it just makes the viewer even more glad to see the pegasus back to normal.
Rainbow Dash instantly asks if Ponyville is ok when she's freed, showing her loyalty towards her hometown. This is followed by a wonderful group hug.
Even though it's pretty funny as well, seeing Pinkie Pie her happy, joyful self again after how brutally Discord broke her is pretty touching.
The first thing Rarity does after she comes back is shove the big boulder out the door and deliver a perfect Rarity line that we've all missed. It's also funny.
At the end when they're standing with Princess Celestia, being thanked by the whole kingdom for saving it from Discord and getting the respect they deserved. Not only was it touching to see the heroes rewarded in such a way, but after all they've been through the past two episodes, you know they've earned their happy ending!
Anyone else felt their heart melting when Twilight never truly resented them even after all they did, in spite of their Mind Rape?
The final confrontation with Discord has an element of this trope, along with Crowning Moment Of Awesome. Individually, each pony was just another plaything to Discord. Even though they have the Elements Of Harmony now, they're still facing the reality bending Spirit of Chaos that broke and Mind Raped them just a short while ago. No one could blame them for being afraid. And yet there's not an ounce of fear to be seen in them—even from Fluttershy—now that they've got each other to back them up. The Power of Friendship is powerful indeed.
Twilight: "I'll tell you what we've learned, Discord! Friendship may not always be easy, but there is no doubt it's worth fighting for!"
Fluttershy getting furious when Twilight points out that Discord will win if they don't catch the still corrupted Rainbow Dash becomes this when you realize the most likely reason for her being that angry. Discord spent the last two episode breaking and Mind Raping everyone she cares about and worse, brainwashing her into being extremely cruel to them. Remember what a Mama Bear Fluttershy is when her friends are threatened.
Not only that, but Fluttershy is from Cloudsdale, and Rainbow Dash and she have known each other since they were fillies. So letting Discord permanently mess up her lifelong friend? Unthinkable!
Consider how much Discord is The Sociopath, and it makes even more sense. Fluttershy is the Element of Kindness; Discord does every cruel thing imaginable just for kicks. Besides the fact that she resisted his mind games, it's quite easy to see Discord himself as being anathema to Fluttershy's sensibilities. Besides Twilight (perhaps more), she would have the most reason to loathe him, and the most reason to fight for her friends in defiance of the bastard. If Discord ever returns again, she'd likely - out of love for her friends - be the first to declare him her Arch-Enemy... If there was the slightest chance of getting hm to pull a Heel-Face Turn (unlikely as that is), she'd also most likely be the first to forgive him.
in Keep Calm And Flutter On, that she does.
Although all the restorations of Harmony are heartwarming, there's something about seeing the colors return to Rainbow Dash in particular that's especially heartwarming. She's the most colorful pony in Equestria, so it's only natural to smile when the rainbow returns to her tail and mane.
After Twilight is "un-Discorded", she joyfully levitates Spike into the air and swings him around in her excitement. Spike, already nauseated from having to barf up all the letters Celestia had sent back, is made very uncomfortable by this treatment. But right after that, we see Twilight gently lower Spike into his bed. Even in her elation, she hadn't forgotten completely about Spike's well-being after all.
Discorded Twilight plans on leaving, and she's bringing Spike with her. Even in her darkest hour, she won't abandon him (which makes the S3 opening even sweeter.)
One line from Celestia:
Twilight Sparkle: I'm a bad student! I'm tardy! Princess Celestia: You are a wonderful student, Twilight. I don't have to get a letter every week to know that.
It's even more touching when you remember just what Celestia's approval means to Twilight.
Twilight's friends standing up for her when they think she's going to be sent back to Canterlot for the trouble she caused.
The knowledge that Spike, despite his writer's cramp/cramped claw, wrote a letter to Celestia to tell her that Twilight was losing it and he was worried.
Twilight hugging Spike when she learns about the aforementioned letter is pretty darn adorable, too.
All of the Mane 6 now being allowed to write letters to Celestia.
The simple fact that, all things considered, Twilight's friends didn't do anything wrong. But once they thought Twilight was going to be sent back to Canterlot, they all rushed in and appealed to Celestia as though her entire mental breakdown was their fault alone. Celestia's raised eyebrow suggests she's fully aware of this, too—but ultimately, understanding enough to humor them.
The sheer fact that Twilight's friends pull an epic Big Damn Heroes moment to save Twilight from being possibly punished by Princess Celestia moved many fans. Considering that they are willing to possibly defy their ruler who's basically a Physical Goddess to protect their friend shows how powerful their friendship has become all this time. Pinkie Pie nuzzling Twilight really hits home in this scenario. Twilight hugging Spike in the end also makes this moment powerful.
This is also a shift in focus, if you think about it. Throughout the first season and previous episodes, most of Twilight's letters and lessons learned revolved around how much her friends meant to her. This moment marks the first time we really get to see how much Twilight means to her friends in return, and Pinkie's gentle nuzzle sells that emotion so much.
The reveal that Fluttershy wasn't actually fighting the bear was both funny and touching.
Rarity is also shown asking about Twilight when she walks out her house depressed. Considering how distracted in her work and whimsy she was at this point, and that Twilight wasn't even nearly as bad at that stage, this was a pretty touching note of concern.
Seeing the Cutie Mark Crusaders playing together in the park. It's the first time we see them together and not try to earn their cutie marks. It really shows that despite their original association through trying to gain their cutie marks, they've evolved into close friends.
Pipsqueak, at the end, asking if Luna can come scare them again next year, and telling her "You're my favorite princess ever!" followed by a quick hug before he runs off to tell his friends.
Princess Luna: Can it... be true? OH, MOST WONDERFUL OF... I mean, oh, most wonderful of nights!
The great implication of just what Pipsqueak said to her. Luna, at the very least in her own mind, has always existed in her older sister's shadow; Celestia is the one who everypony adores. So for someone, even a little colt, to declare Luna his favorite princess... one can only imagine what that must mean to her.
Twilight's behavior towards Luna. When everyone else bows down in sheer terror of her, Twilight's first reaction is to try and walk up to greet her personally. Then she spends the rest of the episode doing everything she can to help her. Twilight never once doubted Luna was a good pony.
When Zecora, the former village pariah, is invited to take part in the Nightmare Night festivities. Not just taking part in it, being trusted with the foals and pretty much leading the Nightmare Night festivities for them. It's quite clear she's now fully accepted and trusted by the town.
The fact that the mayor called her "Our friend Zecora" counts for this all on its own.
Pinkie Pie hanging out with the kids was also pretty cute. You know she was in full Cool Big Sis mode that night.
Luna rushing to help Pipsqueak when he falls into the bobbing for apples barrel. It's quite nice to see how protective Luna is towards children.
After the ice has been broken, Luna hanging out with everypony and all of them having fun.
A much more subtle one: Not even for a moment does Rainbow Dash charge at Princess Luna or treat her with hostility, she even tries to play a prank on her, albeit a very poorly timed one, on a night where it's explicitly said that scaring is fun. Considering RD is almost always the first one to charge at villains and antagonists this is really something.
Pretty much all of the interaction between Applejack and Apple Bloom in this episode ranges from sisterly teamwork to concentrated diabetes-inducing adorableness.
Apple Bloom being willing to share her big sister with her troubled fellow Cutie Mark Crusader speaks huge volumes about how close their friendship has gotten.
There's also the fact that she and Applejack willingly gave up being in the Sisterhooves Social so that Sweetie Belle and Rarity can be in it.
There's also the fact that the extremely competitive Applejack was willing to give up being in a competition to help Rarity reconcile with Sweetie Belle.
When Rarity sees what Sweetie Belle used the gemstones for. A decorative heart around a picture of the two of them
"As Celestia is my witness, I shall never be sisterless again!" Awesome and Heartwarming all inspired by one picture.
Applejack and Apple Bloom romping around and having fun while doing chores. You can just tell that A. J. loves being the big sister.
When it's revealed that Applejack and Apple Bloom were in on the whole switch.
Rarity and Sweetie Belle making up in the end is certainly "d'aww"-worthy.
Sweetie Belle: You all did this for me?
Rarity: Us. I did it for us.
The moment Sweetie Belle goes to hug who she thinks is Applejack, and Rarity's white horn is revealed is just... d'aww!
More heartwarming is the fact that Rarity was willing to get covered from head to hoof in mud to make it up to Sweetie Belle for how badly she treated her. Rarity may act selfish at times, but she's the Element Of Generosity for a good reason. When she has to do something to help somepony else, nothing will stop her.
Sweetie Belle hangs around Applebloom and Applejack and is amazed at their good relationship. Cut to Rarity, still bitter from their argument. She begins to falter, begins to come some way towards admitting she may have been wrong...then shakes her head and forgets it. She looks for more diamonds for her latest creation, begins to absolutely fume as she looks for the "stupid picture" Sweetie Belle used so many diamonds for...and she finds that. She puts her hoof to her mouth and gasps, then begins to tear up. That sound you just heard was you, yelling "get back together, ya silly fillies!" at your monitor.
When she finds Sweetie Belle, Rarity looks genuinely worried before she sees her, then absolutely overjoyed. She really was worried for Sweetie Belle and it shows that, despite how she'd acted, she really does love and care about Sweetie Belle.
During the Friendship Report montage, Rarity and Sweetie Belle taking the "apple pie" metaphor to the next level, working together to successfully bake one.
From the same montage, the two of them playing in the rain together. Especially the tender and sisterly way that Rarity looks at Sweetie Belle.
Given their former antagonism (most notably in "Look Before You Sleep"), seeing Rarity honestly taking advice from Applejack counts.
The fact that Rarity's reaction to seeing Sweetie Belle use up her gems is 'find new ones.' The thought of just tearing them back off? Never even entered her mind.
Even when it did, it was already too late.
Well, it did enter her mind, and that was why she was looking for the drawing in the first place. But when she saw what the drawing was, there was no question she'd rather haul hoof and get dirty digging up new gems than do anything to damage it.
Though the point of the episode was for Sweetie Belle and Rarity to reconcile, the image of Sweetie in Applejack's hat and bandana with the apple border behind her was just too cute. Who Wouldn't want to be part of the Apple family for a day?
The fact that while Sweetie Bell was wandering around the Social talking about the competitions, she was constantly saying "oh; Rarity would say/think 'X.'" It might seem mean or angry at first, until you realize that while at the Social all she was thinking about was "What would Rarity think of this?"
Meta example: Derpy's fanon daughter Dinky runs the race with recurring background pony Amethyst Star. What do the fans do? Add her to the Hooves family (usually as Derpy's stepdaughter).
The Cutie Pox
Sweetie and Scootaloo weren't jealous when Apple Bloom got her Cutie Mark.
"Our friend is the most special pony ever!"
Even more heartwarming considering that it's Scootaloo that says, "it's just a cutie mark". Scootaloo is the last Cutie Mark Crusader you'd expect to say that. That one line shows Scoot definitely cares about her friends more than getting a cutie mark.
At the beginning of the episode, the two trying to cheer Apple Bloom up. It was especially sweet that Sweetie Belle turned to her sister to cheer Apple Bloom up right after the Sisterhooves Social.
Applejack, Big Macintosh, & Granny Smith all expressing their happiness at Apple Bloom getting her Cutie Mark. Even more Heartwarming when you realize, save one Freeze-Frame Bonus in Dragonshy, this is the first time since the pilot we actually see the four Apple family members together.
The look of joy on Granny Smith's face when Apple Bloom shared her loopty hoop with her Granny. You can tell it meant a lot to her dear Granny.
Zecora forgiving Apple Bloom for stealing from her after Apple Bloom was sure she'd never want to see her again.
Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle actually having fun bowling despite not getting their Cutie Marks from it. Sweetie Belle's happy grin after getting a gutterball is especially cute.
The reaction of the ponies bowling to the one who gets a bowling ball and pin Cutie Mark was very sweet. The special talents are clearly considered a big deal, but cheering on a stranger for it was pretty heartwarming.
Although mostly a Crowning Moment of Funny, the fact that Pinkie was willing to publicly admit an "embarrassing secret" to try to help Apple Bloom. Sure, she may not be telling the whole truth by the end, but at least she is the only pony who tries to help (though, to be completely fair to Applejack and Twilight, they were on their way to try to find a cure and neither of them had any truths to admit that weren't blatantly obvious).
Also, just the fact that she got so upset over admitting to such a minor little thing, like it was some great felony. For a scene that was mostly a silly joke, it really reinforces what a sweetheart she is.
When the town learns that Apple Bloom has Cutie Pox, most of them panic and either leave town, shut themselves inside, or don Hazmat Suits. Despite this, Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle are among the few ponies who stay outside, despite their inability to help and not knowing what Apple Bloom could be forced to do next. They clearly consider their concern for Apple Bloom more important than their own health and safety.
This episode features a continuation on how much Zecora's image in Ponyville has improved between "Bridle Gossip" and "Luna Eclipsed." During Zecora's introduction, Applejack's the most vocal of the Mane Six of her contempt in Zecora, especiallywhen Apple Bloom is around. Now? Zecora's the first person behind Twilight she turns to for help in finding a cure for Apple Bloom's Cutie Pox, without the slightest trace of reluctance.
May The Best Pet Win
It's a small moment, but Fluttershy looking through the binoculars after literally shoving Twilight away when Rainbow Dash is missing. Funny, but also heartwarming.
The Rainbow Dash Fan Club. The way Scootaloo idolizes her enough to start it even before she becomes a hero to the town specifically instead of "merely" one of the six ponies who saved the world TWICE, and also everyone acting perfectly like little kids who all look up to someone.
Throughout the whole episode, Rainbow Dash has nothing but pure utter loathing for Mare Do Well. After the big chase sequence, she finally pins down Mare Do Well and gets The Reveal for the mysterious heroine's secret identity. It's the other members of the Mane Six. Well, Rarity was just the designer. After Rainbow Dash's initial (and justified) shock, she completely abandons her feelings of hatred and reacts warmly to her friends' efforts. However boastful she might get, Rainbow Dash will always be loyal to her friends first and foremost.
The whole elaborate masquerade up to that point has taught Rainbow Dash absolutely nothing about humility. She's more desperate for attention than ever and seething with jealousy. So what does it take for Rainbow to learn her lesson? About a minute of talking it over with her friends.
Sweet and Elite
Rarity choosing her friends over the Canterlot ponies near the end of the episode.
Rarity: Yes, yes I do know them. They may not be as sophisticated as you Canterlot ponies, but they are my very best friends, and they are, without a doubt, the most important ponies I know.
In spite of that, the aesop of the episode itself. Unlike most kids' shows, the message is never that it's wrong to become successful and popular; only a reminder not to lose sight of yourself and where you came from, no matter how far you go. Fancy Pants is the perfect example: He's highly regarded among Canterlot's elite, and he's actually a pretty nice guy.
Twilight's complete acceptance of the dress Rarity made, which she spent little time on and was worried Twilight wouldn't like it. The hug and Twilight actually looking adorable in it help quite a bit.
Likewise, her acceptance of Rarity mingling with the Canterlot ponies. Rarity and the viewers are both expecting Twilight to be hurt. Instead she's completely understanding of how heavily Rarity's job is influenced by networking.
Celestia giving both a private suite to Rarity, and opening the ballroom for Twilight's birthday. No Trollestia here.
Also one for Twilight, as she was the one who asked Celestia to provide Rarity a place to stay. This is the first time we've seen Twilight ask Celestia for anything, and it's for one of her friends.
Twilight moving her whole party to Canterlot after Rarity says she can't leave, as it's just that important for her to have all of her friends there.
The completely overjoyed look on Twilight's face when Rarity answers the door.
Fancy Pants' approval of both Rarity's friends, whom he considers "charmingly rustic", and the simple dress Twilight wears. After an episode's worth of snobbish, shallow Canterlot ponies, it's a pleasant surprise to see one who is rich, influential, a member of high society, and a niceguy.
The character of Fancy Pants in and of itself is a CMoH. It has previously been established that Canterlot's upper class is seeded with snobs who wouldn't give the time of day to anyone not of their pedigree. Having Fancy Pants, a pony Rarity acknowledges as one of the most influential non-royal ponies in Equestria, act like a true gentleman, even going so far as to tolerate the Mane 6's crashing of the garden party, speaks volumes about the character and the show's dev team.
It's subtle, but seeing Fluttershy finally making friends with some of the animals in the Royal garden was just so sweet.
The fact that, while it was clearly an awkward and embarrassing moment for her, Rarity was perfectly polite and cordial to Hayseed Turniptruck when he became excited after seeing her. It would've been very easy to pretend that she had no idea who he was or get annoyed or angry with him for his over-the-top display, but she doesn't.
Twilight's entire birthday, in fact. She really had a fun day which was not even ruined by Rarity's social conflict. She'll be remembering this particular birthday for a long time.
Manages to be even more heartwarming when you factor in the following: Before coming to Ponyville, Twilight has all but stated she had no friends. Aside from the possibility of her parents arranging something when she was a filly, this birthday party is quite likely the first one she ever had.
Secret of My Excess
Spike giving the fire ruby he's been looking forward to for months to Rarity, the Element of Generosity being on the receiving end for once.
Rarity bouncing across the screen like Pinkie Pie because she's so happy. Aww.
If you pay close attention, Rarity makes a token effort not to try and talk Spike out of his gem. Sure, it fails because well, it's Rarity (both for her own love for gems and Spike's love for her), but still. On top of it, she has it set in a necklace and wears it the rest of the episode.
When Rarity refuses to surrender her ruby to the greedy Spike, she speaks mainly about how her dear friend gave it to her. It's quite clear that she values it because it was an extreme act of generosity from a friend more than the fact it's a rare and glamorous object.
Also, think about this. Nopony could hear her, she was basically all alone with what she thought was a random rampaging dragon. Nopony would ever know it if she were to just hand over the gem to save herself, or at least she has every reason to think that. She doesn't; she tells him exactly what it means to her and how important it is to her. That's something that makes that scene so powerful.
She wears the necklace under her original cape, then turns it into a brooch for the new one in the final scene. About as close to a pony wearing her heart on her sleeve as you can get.
Okay; admittedly it did inadvertently start his transformation, but despite only just finding out it was his birthday and not being one of his closer acquaintances, Cheerilee gives Spike a hat she happened to be carrying simply because "Everypony should get fun gifts on their birthday".
And after he gets the gift, Spike ecstatically gives her a huge hug. The whole scene is just adorable.
Cheerilee is a teacher. Spike is a kid. Her devotion to all children, not just her own, is obvious and quite touching in this scene.
Recognizing that Spike is in trouble, Twilight's first instinct is to take him to a pediatrician rather than a vet. She thinks of him as a child rather than as an animal.
When Spike and Rarity are falling after Spike returns to his normal size, Spike decides, in case they don't make it, to tell her he has a crush on her. But before he can finish his confession, Rarity simply puts a hoof to his mouth and smiles. She knew.
Her eyes tear up as she does. There are a lot of ways this scene could be interpreted, and almost all of them are some variant of CMOH.
More importantly is how Spike starts by saying "If we don't make it..." She cut him off not just because she always knew, but because he made it clear that he thought they were going to die. Even while plummeting through the air, she didn't want him to give up hope. She knew their friends would come and rescue them.
It turns out everyone really did learn their lesson in "Suited for Success," eagerly accepting the new outfits Rarity made for them.
A nice Call Back for Applejack's cape, which has the same green collar as her Gala dress.
Rarity paying Spike's generosity's forward by designing those outfits for her friends.
It's very small compared to some of the other moments in this episode, but the return of Lyra Heartstrings and Bon Bon surely counts for those who've missed seeing them together.
Though more subtle, the fact that Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle both try to help Scootaloo hold onto her scooter while Spike tries to take it, even though they don't understand Spike's sudden urge to steal it - or, for that matter, why he's three times his usual height and suddenly talking in deep-voiced Hulk Speak. All they know is that someone is trying to take their friend's stuff, and they're not letting it happen.
If you pay attention, you hear Spike say that back in Canterlot, he would only get one present from Twilight, for his birthday. While every year he gets a book, and isn't really thrilled about it either, it's still heartwarming to know that every year Twilight got him something special. It really shows the close bond these two must have, and had back in Canterlot. And shows that these two stuck by each other.
Family Appreciation Day
Apple Bloom defending Granny Smith from Diamond Tiara, calling her "the most amazing pony in all of Ponyville" and nuzzling her in class.
Considering that she was ready to laugh at Apple Bloom with Diamond Tiara if Granny Smith did anything embarrassing, Silver Spoon being the first to clap after Granny Smith's presentation was surprising.
Princess Celestia giving the Apple family a plot of land to settle down on, simply because she encountered them when they looked worn out and in need.
When you see Filthy Rich asking for the first 100 jars of jam, it just seems like a usual thing. When you realize that his grandfather fell in love with those jars of jam 100 years ago and founded Ponyville because of them, then it shows that despite his upbringing, he still cares for his grandpappy's roots and the friendship between their family and the Apple's—well minus Diamond Tiara and Apple Bloom—has still stayed strong for all these years.
After tasting some of the Zap Apple Jam at the end of the episode, Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle remark how it's the best Zap Apple Jam they ever tasted, and say that it's probably because Apple Bloom helped out with it. D'awww...
Given that magic is commonplace in this series, it's entirely possible that the jam really does taste better for them because their friend had a hand in its making.
The fact that Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle were instantly willing to help save Apple Bloom from embarrassment (even if their plans failed) counts as well.
It may have just been an egotistical thing, but Diamond Tiara's reaction to her dad's performance. It may have been boring, but it was her father, so she sat there with a big smile the entire time.
For all that Apple Bloom learns, the episode doesn't end with a letter to Celestia. There's something strangely sweet about that, maybe because it shows the genuine care the writers put into this story. They knew it didn't need one.
It's clear that until Diamond Tiara got to her, Apple Bloom never once considered any of Granny Smith's silly little habits anything to be embarrassed about.
This exchange from the ending:
Apple Bloom: My Granny Smith is super special! I just forgot that for a little while.
Granny Smith: Aw, don't fret. I forget things all the time.
Apple Bloom rushing to hug Granny who she previously was so embarrassed by, and hugging her repeatedly and proudly for the rest of the episode.
And finally, the entire wordless epilogue. It says a lot that the familiar Western settlers-type music used here actually fits, even if Ponyville is hardly your average Western town.
Our introduction to the twins, Pound and Pumpkin Cake.
The babies cheering up Pinkie Pie when she finally cracks under the pressure of trying to be responsible.
At the end, when Pinkie is about to balk at the prospect of babysitting again, she overhears Pound and Pumpkin Cake's first words: "Pinkie" and "Pie," respectively. She tears up and changes her mind instantly.
At one point, the babies show that they can already fly and do magic as a Pegasus and a Unicorn. When they do, Pound, the Pegasus colt starts flying. Pumpkin, the Unicorn filly, then starts to levitate herself. Why? So she can be with her brother! It's always adorable when twins are so close like that.
And when they perform a quick moment of synchronized flying/levitation together.
Despite not knowing Mr. and Mrs. Cake as well as Pinkie, the rest of the Mane 6 showing up at the hospital after the twins are born is pretty nice of them.
Sure it went straight to pot pretty quickly, but it was really sweet to see how excited Pinkie was at the prospect of babysitting Pound and Pumpkin, who are essentially her foster siblings.
Not to mention how enthusiastic she was about celebrating the twins being born and becoming a month old.
And the scene of her playing with the foals before the Cakes realize they've got a big job to do. Mr. Cake gives a big smile as he watches them. This is even more touching when you remember, even though Pinkie isn't their child, the Cakes still think of her as such (confirmed by Word of God).
Also, considering Pinkie's own childhood possibly wasn't all that fun , it's quite sweet that she's ensuring that the twins will have the chance to play and laugh while they're growing up.
After everybody (including herself) doubting that Pinkie can actually be responsible, it was nice of the Cakes to acknowledge that she had done a splendid job babysitting and would be their first candidate to watch their kids again.
A lot of the stuff that the twins do is extremely adorable. Except for the crying and the various instances of trouble-making, whenever they're running around excitedly or playing is just too cute for words!
When Pinkie Pie moves the broomstick over to Pumpkin (as a microphone during her stand-up comedy show), Pumpkin looks confused for a while and then leans over to chew on it. Small, but looks insanely cute.
Smart Cookie, Clover the Clever, and Private Pansy's newfound friendship being strong enough to unfreeze themselves, their leaders, and their new land.
The three acknowledging that they are all ponies alike and, as they freeze over, leaning their heads in together — choosing to accept death as friends.
Worth pointing out is that they had no expectation that this would help them at all, and declared their friendship simply so they wouldn't die as pointless enemies.
The song at the end of the play is as much a CMoH as it is an Earworm.
Although part of the moral of the play, Private Pansy explaining that she doesn't truly hate Commander Hurricane for the way she was treated. It's implied that the other beleaguered assistants feel the same way, especially given their reactions after their leaders are thawed.
This quote from Fluttershy: "Applejack, we can always find a way to fix the hole in the roof. If you never came back, we could never find a way to fix the hole in our hearts." Awwwww.
Which even gets Rainbow Dash to shed a few tears and complain that the sappiness is starting to get to her.
Some mailpony stumbles upon the surprise party, on his birthday no less, and Twilight slams the door on his face. Thankfully for him, Pinkie decides to give him a (very big) piece of cake which cheers him right up.
Knowing how much Applejack wanted to earn money for her family last season, it's selfless that she promised to give any money she won from the rodeo to the town to fix town hall's "saggy roof" because she felt that it was only fair to give back to the hometown that has always cheered her on in competitions.
And if you remember Feeling Pinkie Keen, there's no way Derpy wasn't fired after the big cargo spill. Applejack knows Derpy can't pay for the damage, so she volunteers to take on the debt herself.
When RD crashes through the hall's creaky floor, Derpy's first response is "You okay, Rainbow Dash? Anything I can do to help?" Sweet and thoughtful, our Derpy.
Derpy's appearance in the first place is a meta example between the writers and the fans. To elaborate, not only does this scene show that the staff of the series is fully aware of how much the fans love them, but it also shows that they love us right back.
In spite of the controversy, editing it could count, because it shows a sort of apology to the fans who were upset by the name/voice. It shows that they care for all their fans, not just the vocal members of the Brony community.
When the Mane Cast discover Applejack isn't coming back to Ponyville, their first reaction is to drop everything and hurry to Canterlot to find her. There's absolutely nothing they won't do to find out what's wrong with their friend.
The Mane 6's concern and desire to help the Apple family when they continue to fall further and further behind the Flim Flam brothers.
Twilight and Applejack calling the Mane 6 "honorary family" to the Apple family.
Considering how she's been constantly cheated out of cider the entire episode, the fact that Dashie's willing to delay gratification to help the Apple family win is pretty sweet. Note we don't see her doing any contemplating of this, she does without a second though.
Her reaction to the Flim Flam Brothers rubbing in their victory and the fact the Apple Family has lost everything? Try to kick their flanks for hurting her friend. She's Loyalty for a reason.
Not just the Apple family, not just the Mane 6, but the whole town tearing up at the thought of the Apple family being forced out of business. Just goes to show how much everyone really does care.
Enhanced if you consider this part of their motivation for running the Flim Flam Brothers out of town in the end.
During the end of the episode, Rainbow is up next for the cider she'd been wanting since episode's beginning, only to find out the last barrel's been emptied. Again. Rainbow is understandably upset, so what happens next? Pinkie Pie, who had tasted the cider many times before, gives her the mug she had. This gesture proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that Pinkie Pie is, for all intents and purposes, the Element of Laughter. That's what it does; lifts people up when they're down.
And she lets Fluttershy go ahead of her, despite her frustration at getting beaten to the punch—er, cider.
Also, while she's cut off by a frustrated Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy starts saying "I don't mind-" in her sweet and timid voice. While we're left to imagine what she was going to say.
Applejack's letter in of itself was a Crowning Moment of Funny, but the last line is particularly heartwarming when you think about how much Applejack appreciates her friends, noting Applebuck Season in particular.
Applejack: Sure, I could tell you I learned something about how my friends are always there to help me and I can count on them no matter what, but, truth is, I knew that already, too.
There's another, more subtle thing about that letter. The fact that she's pretty much sending a casual (if still a bit heartfelt) letter to Celestia shows just how close she and the Element-Bearers have become.
If you look closely, you can see Rainbow Dash comforting Pinkie Pie after she releases Ocular Gushers in response to Applejack leaving. This is especially sweet considering Pinkie unintentionally tormented her earlier in the episode
Read It and Weep
Twilight and Fluttershy showing up with Rainbow Dash's favorite board game. From their descriptions it seems like they were fully expecting Rainbow Dash to beat them easily and then be smug about it for the rest of the visit - and they were fine with that if it meant cheering her up.
The final shot of Rainbow Dash having fully embraced her love of reading and kicking her legs in excitement at pulling a new book off the giant stack next to her bed.
You know what's really nice? Twilight and Rainbow Dash have now found an activity that the both of them can do together that doesn't require magic powers or flight.
A non-meta example: it's real refreshing to see the nickname "Rainbow Crash" get a much-needed deconstruction.
There's also the moment Rainbow confesses her fear that she's an "egghead," only to find that all her friends reassure her that just because she's found that she likes to read does not mean she's any different inside. After a painful childhood being teased as "Rainbow Crash," it must be gratifying for Rainbow to realize that she has friends who are so firmly non-judgemental and supportive.
Hearts and Hooves Day
When the episode was announced, every fan assumed it would involve the CMC thinking they could get matchmaking cutie marks. But that's never once brought up, showing that they truly had no kind of ulterior motive in making Cheerliee happy.
The fact that the CMC so clearly adore their teacher is pretty heartwarming, too. Nothing says "Best teacher ever" like a giant heart valentine.
Twist and that chubby pony. Sadly at the expense ofthis filly. Now watch as fans make Future Fics dealing with this triangle, with Twist and that filly vying for the attentions of the colt.
Not to mention Cheerilee's dreamy sigh of "He's my special somepony". Even the Cutie Mark Crusaders d'awwed at that!
"Cheerilee is sweet and kind. She's the best teacher we could hope for."
It also says something of their opinion of Big Macintosh. Cheerilee deserves the best, and he's it.
Many of Big Mac and Cheerilee's moments outside of the love potion— sharing a laugh at the girls' efforts to pair them up, drinking a toast to their friendship, and finishing off the day with a picnic together. Whether or not their relationship is romantic, it's still undeniably sweet.
A Friend In Deed
Pinkie reuniting Cranky and Matilda.
Pinkie giving Cranky his new toupee. You expect him to reject it like everything else, given how ridiculous it looks, but instead he sincerely thanks her for it.
These two scenes define a very important element of Pinkie Pie: for all her Innocently Insensitive behavior, she does care when she accidentally hurts somepony's feelings, and will go out of her way to make up for her actions.
The fact that Pinkie knows when everypony's birthday is, and wishes them a happy one, even if it's months away or already happened.
The reason that Pinkie Pie remembers everything about everypony is "everypony's my friend and I love to see my friends smile!"
Pinkie cheering Apple Bloom up during "Smile, Smile, Smile". Apple Bloom's expression as she sits on Pinkie's head absolutely makes that whole sequence work.
Likewise in the same song, Pinkie cheering up Applejack and Applejack returning the favor by lifting her onto her head during Pinkie's impromptu parade.
The fact that the Mane Cast are the ones carrying Pinkie during the parade, it's just a touching visual. Even though ALL of Ponyville are her friends, the Mane Cast are still her True Companions.
Pinkie cheering up the two unnamed fillies during Smile, Smile, Smile.
There's one thing that makes me happy and makes my whole life worthwhile And that's when I talk to my friends and get them to smile
Pinkie playing with the twins and doing her morning workout at the same time.
In a meta sense, the twins showing up again. It would be easy to have them as one-shot characters for a Long-Lost Uncle Aesop. But nope; they're important to Pinkie Pie, and thus they're a part of the show now.
We see Zecora on what's apparently just a casual visit to Ponyville, her friendly relationship with the town now complete.
That Cranky exists at all. How many other shows have a genuinely sympathetic introverted character at all, much less have his polar opposite understand that it's okay to be that way?
Not only that, but he also proves that even the gloomiest of individuals can still find happiness eventually.
It's kind of heartwarming to see other species of animals in this episode. It's just nice to see that Ponyville can be a diverse place with more than just ponies living in it.
Cranky's backstory. He's so grumpy because he lost Matilda years ago and he's been searching for her ever since. And then it becomes double heartwarming when they're reunited at the end.
The brief scene of Twilight and Rainbow Dash hanging out together and reading. It's cute on its own, but it's also nice to see that the lesson Dash learned in "Read It and Weep" hasn't been abandoned.
Putting Your Hoof Down
Rarity and Pinkie Pie going to Fluttershy's house because they were concerned about her and then trying to keep Iron Will from taking advantage of her miserable state even after New! Fluttershy left them both in tears by mocking their passion for designing and parties, respectively.
Rarity and Pinkie tearfully smiling and confirming that Fluttershy is back to her old self and still their friend before instigating a three-way group hug.
While pretty awesome as well as heartwarming, Rarity and Pinkie Pie physically standing up to Iron Will, a minotaur several times the size of either of them, to try to protect Fluttershy from his demands. Turns out that they were wrong about his intentions (he respectably backed down after Fluttershy stood up to him), but they had no idea that would happen.
At the beginning of the first market scene, Bon Bon can be seen on the right, walking towards the background, where Lyra Heartstrings is slumped over a table with a bored/dejected look on her face. The next time they're shown, the two are chatting happily with one another, and they remain together drinking shakes for the rest of the scene. Not only is it an in-universe Crowning Moment of Heartwarming, but whereas every other pony seen is wearing a saddlebag with their cutie mark or something relevant to their interests, Bon Bon's saddlebag's buckle is in the shape of Lyra's cutie mark.
In the same scene, Derpy makes a short appearance behind Fluttershy as she dashes up to the cherry salesman. The buckle on her saddlebag? A muffin. They really do care!
At the start of the episode, when Angel refuses to eat the food first served to him, Fluttershy takes a bowl of salad off the table, presumably her own meal, and serves that to him instead; it's rather touching that she was willing to give up her lunch to feed her number one pet.
Rarity and Pinkie Pie defending each other when New!Fluttershy starts insulting them. Especially when Pinkie Pie defends Rarity after Fluttershy starts mocking her love of fashion. Pinkie immediately goes from being shocked and hurt to telling Fluttershy to "Leave [Rarity] alone!"
It's About Time
Fluttershy taming Cerberus by treating it like a real dog is a mix of this, CMoA, & CMoF.
After Applejack has finished plastering up cracks in the dam, Rarity wipes off some of the concrete with her magic. And later picks out some leaves from Applejack's mane. Seeing two ponies who used to argue get along well with one another is rather sweet.
The episode defies expectations by having all of Twilight's friends, and apparently several others, immediately believe her story about a warning from her future self. After so many cases of Dude, Where's My Respect?, that was really nice to see. They learned their lesson from Lesson Zero and furthermore, it doesn't hurt to fix "loose bolts and leaky pipes."
Pinkie Pie accompanies Twilight and helps her out in the second half of the episode. She has no personal reason to do this at all except to help her friend, even if she is acting a little crazy.
Twilight pushing Spike out of the way when she thinks the disaster is about to happen. Also her motherly concern when he ends up getting a stomachache after eating so much ice cream.
When Spike starts to break down in tears, wondering who he is, Twilight offers to try and help him look for some books on dragons. Sure they didn't succeed in finding anything, but it's the thought that counts.
Also, when he starts to cry again, Twilight tries to wipe away his tears.
Her deciding to let Spike go and find himself.
Twilight, Rarity and Rainbow Dash dressing up as a dragon, to join Spike on the Dragon migration, to make sure he stays safe.
Not to mention the moment when they see Garble and the others threaten Spike, and the dragon disguise comes off. The battle has just gone from three-on-one to three-on-four.
The ending, when Spike says that the ponies are his family, and they all hug him.
In one of the photos at the end, you see little Twilight with baby Spike. It's so sweet to see a photo of those two when they were so young. It pretty much proves that he and Twilight knew each other the moment he was hatched, and were always by each other's side.
Spike refusing to smash the Phoenix egg, and later taking it home with him, and adopting the baby bird "Peewee" as his new friend.
Mainly because he can relate to it, having also been a helpless egg that was hatched into an unfamiliar land.
A poignant moment of Fridge Brilliance, too: Spike now has a friend like himself, a young near-immortal. Celestia and Luna (and likely Philomena) are several centuries older, and the Mane Six are mortal. Peewee, however, is just a few years younger than Spike, and can match his expected lifespan.
It's very heartwarming when Rarity sticks up for Spike, when Rainbow Dash picks on him. Heck her in this whole darn episode is heartwarming.
Rarity in general here is a nice Call Back to "Secret of my Excess". It's adorable that she really cares for Spike's safety.
Cranky Doodle Donkey helping Spike for part of the journey, even if it's a brief scene.
The fact that the other ponies didn't want Spike to leave. Seeing him go through some cases of Dude, Where's My Respect?, it's very sweet to know that they would be very upset if he left.
Rainbow Dash watching the butterfly migration with Fluttershy. It's sweet that she wanted to spend time with her friend even if it meant doing something boring.
And for bonus points, she's carrying around a photo of them spending time together!
Garble, the red dragon, asks Spike if he rides on his mommy's back to the migration, meaning that some baby dragons ride on their mothers' backs when traveling. Not notably heartwarming per se, but remember how Spike rides on Twilight's back.
Garble and Spike's moment together after the dragon party is touching. Garble's assurance that he would "teach Spike all he needs to know about being a dragon" is a heartwarming sentiment - it basically means that Garble is willing to be Spike's surrogate big brother. Spike's never had an older male role model before because he was raised by Twilight (and maybe Celestia). Sadly, he turns out to be a massive jerk.
The indignance that Twilight shows when Garble tosses Celestia's letter into the lava and calls her a namby-pamby pony princess. The fact that she's offended by this show of disrespect shows just how much her mentor means to her.
Seeing the normally brash and bad-tempered Rainbow Dash being gentle with Fluttershy, trying to convince her she's got what it takes to contribute to Tornado Day. It's even more heartwarming if you consider that Dash's Element is the Element of Loyalty, which means that you're always there for your friends! Taken to the max if you understand that Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy have been friends since Fillyhood!
In Fluttershy's current state, her participation would do little to nothing in helping Rainbow Dash break the record, and RD knows this. However, she's still trying her hardest to convince Fluttershy that she's not useless and that she should give it a shot, because lifting Fluttershy's low spirits and self-esteem is infinitely more important to Dash than breaking any record.
When Fluttershy tells Rainbow that she's too scared of failure to join in Tornado Day, Rainbow's first reaction is a disgusted "Well, suck it up, Fluttershy!" until she remembers who she's talking to, and immediately changes her tone, asking her gently what's wrong.
Rainbow Dash: But I need you!
After this fails, she accepts and leaves with a bummed but respectful "Well thanks anyway". Double points in that Fluttershy, despite all the crippling trauma she pointed out all of a second ago, changes her mind out of guilt which overjoys Rainbow Dash.
The joy on Rainbow Dash's face when Fluttershy finally decides to join her in the tornado as they fly side by side. You can tell that all she really wanted was for Fluttershy to join her, whether she had the wingpower or not.
Rainbow Dash's look of utter devastation when Fluttershy flees after realizing she'd only improved her wingpower to 2.3 is on the Tear Jerker page, but the deeper meaning brings it into heartwarming territory. Rainbow Dash is taking no comfort whatsoever from Twilight's assurances that the team still has a solid shot of breaking the record without Fluttershy. Winning-obsessed Rainbow Dash is more concerned with her friend's anguish than setting a record.
Spike: It's okay, Rainbow Dash, you've still got plenty of wing power for your tornado. You'll be able to lift tons of water up to Cloudsdale!
Rainbow Dash: [sighing] If only there were a way to lift Fluttershy out of the dumps.
Especially heartwarming is the way that Twilight and Rainbow Dash were encouraging Fluttershy over her improvement. No, she wasn't anywhere near what they needed to break the record, but they still recognized and cheered on the improvement and hard work that their friend had done in hopes of helping to break the record.
Fluttershy's animal friends convincing her to believe in herself and work through her performance anxiety.
Angel brushing her mane and being the most supportive of all, especially considering what an jerk he was in his last appearance.
Everypony cheering Fluttershy for being the one who gave the tornado enough power to get the water to Cloudsdale for rainy season.
Rainbow Dash putting her arm around Fluttershy, hugging her, and the two high-fiving with their wings.
The fact that Rainbow Dash told Spitfire that Fluttershy is her #1 flyer really shows how much Rainbow Dash believes in her friend.
When Spitfire congratulates Rainbow Dash, she passed the praise, and praise from one of her idols at that, onto Fluttershy.
When it turns out that 8 of the fliers are genuinely sick and they won't be able to break the speed record that Rainbow Dash has been going on about all episode, she immediately decides to forget breaking the record, and simply do their job. For a pony whose passion (in her own words) is winning, it's nice to see her focused more on keeping her team together and providing the service they need to. Then again, you can't expect anything less from the Element of Loyalty.
If you look in the background during some of the crowd scenes, you can see Thunderlane and Rumble standing next to each other. Since they are brothers, it's a nice little detail thrown in from the animators.
The CMC's public apology to the entire Ponyville population.
The coinciding scene of the mane six (bar Pinkie, who presumably didn't hold much of a grudge against them) forgiving the CMC, particularly Fluttershy hugging all three of them at once.
A Fridge Brilliance example: seeing Applejack and Applebloom nuzzle as a sign of forgiveness makes it pretty evident that they later took it up with Big Mac who had also forgiven Applebloom offscreen at some point. Same can be applied to Pinkie Pie forgiving the CMC offscreen as well.
He's even willing to help her feel better after the CMC deliver a copy of their apology letter to her, making it evident that he may have an easily forgiving side to him after all, even towards the CMC.
The Rarity and Sweetie Belle subplot is really sweet with how much she liked Sweetie's work on the paper (Until the reveal and following Tear Jerker) and really seemed to love her company.
Interestingly, Rarity was a lot more understanding than the rest of Ponyville, confronting Sweetie Belle about what she had done rather than outright shunning her.
Rarity: Do you really think writing nasty things and making everypony feel horrible is your destiny?
The "Applebloom Embarrassing Old Photo collection" is positively massive, and when you account for the fact that Applebloom is still a pre-Cutie Mark filly, it just goes to show how much Granny Smith (and likely the other Apples) have cherished her existence.
MMMMystery On The Friendship Express
The look of pure happiness on Pinkie's face when Twilight lets her take over the investigation for finding out who ruined the other bakers' desserts.
A Canterlot Wedding, Part 1
Twilight's memories of her brother and Cadance.
Ever since "The Cutie Mark Chronicles" if not before, most people had the impression that Twilight had been a social outcast throughout her childhood and had no real friends prior to the series premier. When she imagines being sent back to kindergarden, she automatically pictures the children laughing at her. It seemed that her childhood was very sad and lonely. In A Canterlot Wedding, we learn that while she may not have had any friends her own age, she did have an older brother and a foalsitter who loved her, cared for her, played with her and brought her countless hours of joy. The scenes of Twilight as a filly with Shining Armor and Cadance truly are heartwarming.
The whole relationship between Twilight and Shining Armor. Big Brother, Best Friend Forever indeed.
Notice who it is that's helping Twilight cope with her unease about Shining Armor's marriage, helping remind her that her big brother is still the awesome, great, amazing guy with whom she shared her hopes and dreams. Applejack, that's who. Out of all the Mane Six, she's the only one we know of who actually has a big brother to look up to and to share like Twilight has, so it only makes sense that she be there for her friend in this difficult time because she knows she'd feel the same way about Big Macintosh, but would still want to remember that he's always going to be her Big Brother, Best Friend Forever too.
Luna: "Rest, my sister. As always, I will guard the night." Heartwarming for many reasons. Finally, we see what Luna's been doing all the time. Also, it's nice to see the sisters work together.
Probably a minor thing to some, but Rarity and Rainbow Dash (who, out of the mane six, interact with each other the least) sharing a look of glee in their bridesmaids dresses.
Right after fake Cadance expresses her dislike for Rarity's dresses, her bridesmaids pipe up that they love them.
A Canterlot Wedding, Part 2
Cadance singing and telling Twilight about how much she truly loves Shining Armor is one of the most heartwarming things of the episode.
The lyric she sings is beautiful enough by itself to qualify, but it's Twilight's reaction that really sells it as a Heartwarming Moment. It's at this part that it hits Twilight that this is the mare for her brother.
Right after Rainbow Dash saves Fluttershy from three Changelings, she proceeds to pick her up and hug her quickly. It's easy to miss.
Shining Armor and Princess Cadance use The Power of Love to kick Queen Chrysalis' flank. They didn't know that would happen; Cadance was just trying to encourage her husband-to-be to cast a last ditch spell to repel them. Also counts a Moment Of Awesome.
The build-up to the real wedding after Chrysalis' defeat, with Twilight magically adjusting her brother's tux, their parents tearfully smiling, Fluttershy providing music with her birds, the Cutie Mark Crusaders as flower girls and Spike as the ring-bearer.
At the wedding, Twilight has one final question for her beloved brother:
Twilight: Seriously though, I get why the Queen of the Changelings wanted to be with you, but how did you get someone as amazing as Cadance to marry you? Shining Armor: I told her that she wouldn't just be gaining a husband, she'd be getting a great sister too.
Shining Armor and Cadance's slow dance, pony style, at the reception. It is then capped off by Twilight who serenades them by singing "Love is in Bloom."
Shining and Twilight's conversation at the end, when you remember that without Twilight's stubborn love, Cadance would have been dead in the mine, Shining would have remained a mindless puppet of Queen Chrysalis and all of Canterlot would been under the horrific domination of the Changelings.
Shining Armor: Twilight! None of this would have been possible without you, little sis. Love ya, Twily.
Twilight Sparkle: Love you too, B.B.B.F.F. *hug*
What makes this moment even sweeter is how it serves as a refreshing reminder on how they're still on good terms, considering how in the previous episode, we saw Shining Armor bitterly revoke Twilight's status as Best Mare and all but officially withdrew her invitation to his wedding, and Twilight thought she had permanently destroyed her relationship with him. You might even say that it's Shining Armor's way of apologizing to his little sister.
The way Luna and Celestia look at each other at the end of the wedding. Imagine how many weddings Celestia had to attend alone in those 1000 years, but now she has her sister back.
The real Cadance proving herself to Twilight by doing Twilight's beloved fillyhood song and Dance. Equally heartwarming is Twilight's smile, complete with Squee, when she realizes that it's actually Cadance in front of her.
When a weakened Cadance has trouble moving the mine cart, Twilight clears away the rubble and lifts her in. It gets better when you realize that this is where she sings about how much she loves her husband-to-be, who just so happens to be Twilight's brother. Twilight is realizing that she's not helping the bride, she's helping her sister. Other than Cadance's singing, there aren't any words, but the scene is still very powerful.
When The Mane Cast have to redo the wedding preparations with the real Cadance and have the pleasure of working with a bride who sincerely appreciates their efforts. Fake!Cadance is quick to reject Applejack's appetizers. Real!Cadance tries one to see how they taste, then grins and quickly eats another one. Awww!
Applejack hanging out with her cousin Apple Fritter, who helped make the wedding cake. It was kinda nice to see AJ spend time with a family member who is little more than a background pony in the grand scheme of things.
The whole wedding reception was just brimming with heartwarming, especially considering how awful things had been up to that point.
Twilight standing next to Shining Armor as his best mare. D'awww.
Queen Chrysalis saying that Equestria has more love than any place she's ever encountered. It's heartwarming that Equestria is full of love.
While it sucks that it helped Queen Chrysalis overpower Celesetia, it's heartwarming to know that Shining Armor's love for Cadance is so great that it's powerful enough to overcome the pony equivalent of a god.
Celestia congratulating Twilight, saying that the success of the wedding was just as much her victory as it was Shining Armor and Cadance's since she was able to follow her instincts and bring the real Cadance back. After Celestia's cold response to Twilight's outburst at the wedding rehearsal in Part 1, it's touching to see Celestia praise her faithful student.
Some may view this as Celestia's way of apoligizing to Twilight for not trusting her at the Wedding Rehearsal.
Twilight having no ill-feelings towards Celestia because of her cold response. The first thing she does after Chrysalis is defeated is to rush to Celestia to see if she is alright and help her up.
Then Twilight saying that it's not their fault since Chrysalis fooled everypony, most likely meaning that while they still should have listened to Twilight earlier on, it wasn't their fault for not suspecting Chrysalis masquerading as Cadance, since that didn't even occur to Twilight either.
Fridge Brilliance: In light of this, it's quite safe to assume that everypony who shunned Twilight at the end of part 1 each apologized to her one by one offscreen, considering the most likely amount of time it took for the preparations, the real wedding ceremony, and the reception to flow through completely.
The words that Celestia said about Cadance and Shining Armor when the true wedding took place at the end.
Celestia: The strength of their commitment is clear. The power of their love undeniable.
The moment Pinkie Pie pulled Vinyl Scratch/DJ Pon-3 out of Hammerspace. 1, because the finale was just that: a grand finale to an amazing season. 2, because it proves Hasbro and Lauren love their fans by bringing back such a loved background character. 3, because Lyra, Minuette, and Twinkleshine got speaking lines, maybe not as many as Derpy, but they got them. 4, after everything that happened, The Power of Love wins out. Truly, friendship is magic.
"Love Is In Bloom", a fun song describing the wedding as sealing Shining Armor and Cadance's love forever, with a catchy beat to boot; it's a very nice way to end the season.
Twilight Sparkle herself, never a mare who holds a grudge even after all of this happening; something most people, let alone a fictional character are incapable of.
Case in point: even after having her heart crushed by Shining Armor telling her she just shouldn't come to the wedding at all, she was still ready to fight, and maybe even kill Imposter!Cadance for taking advantage of her brother.
To add another point, she also rushes to the defeated Celestia and leads her friends who, moments ago, outright abandoned her. Turn the Other Cheek anyone?
They waited until Luna arrived to start the party, even after she terrorized the town in Luna Eclipsed, not to mention the stunt she pulled in the pilot. All she ever wanted was to be loved as much as Celestia and now she is.
When Celestia has fully recovered after being defeated by Chrysalis, you know everything's cool.
Not only that, but as soon as she is free from the cocoon in which Chrysalis imprisoned her and, as mentioned above, Twilight runs over to help her up, the warmness in her voice when she tells Twilight "Don't worry about me, I'm fine. You have a real wedding to put together." makes it clear that she and her most faithful student are still on good terms, especially after Celestia's ice-cold demeanor at the end of part 1.
The Crystal Empire Part 1
After Twilight's done talking to Celestia about what her test is, she comes out of the castle, and Spike believes that she got a perfect score. It's just so sweet to see that her number one assistant is so sure that she would pass the test.
Another small moment in the scene shows him affectionately tapping her nose with his claw, when he says that she probably got a perfect score. It's a very quick moment, but a cute one nonetheless.
Even though poor Cadance is obviously worried and extremely sleep-deprived, she still warmly welcomes Twilight with their special greeting to each other.
Seeing Fluttershy gleefully skipping with little lambs during the 'Ballad of the Crystal Empire' song is adorable.
The Crystal Empire Part 2
This is an unusual one, but when we see Spike's worst fears it surprisingly isn't that Rarity wouldn't love him, it was being sent away from Ponyville by Twilight forever. What exactly makes this heartwarming is that it shows how much he cares about Twilight and all the other friends he's made in Ponyville, despite what some of them do to him. It shows how much he really cherishes Twilight's companionship, and would be upset if she made him leave. Twilight's response is to hug him and tell him that would never happen. The best part is how he smiles and relaxes instantly at those words.
Another one for Spike is that he's actually the one to save the day, not Twilight. And how do they repay him? By putting up a stained-glass window in his honor. After two seasons of being the Butt Monkey, including him being completely sidelined in both season finales, the writers finally allow the dragon to have his day.
A double-whammy in one moment: Spike refusing to let Twilight find the missing Crystal Heart on her own and Twilight allowing him to come, even though she initially thinks it may ruin her chance of successfully passing her test.
It also shows some nice Character Development for Twilight. Making Celestia proud and advancing in her studies are high priorities for her. Lesson Zero showed what happens when she believes herself to have failed. Here, there's momentary hesitation and some minor angst.
On a related note to the above: Celestia explaining to Twilight why she passed the test. There is no mistaking just how proud Celestia is to have Twilight as her student.
A subtle one, but when Twilight first attempts to cast dark magic to revert the throne room to its appearence in the time of King Sombra, she struggles visibly for a long time before finally managing it - because Twilight has extreme difficulty feeling hate.
Rarity starting the triumphant reprise of Twilight's earlier "Failure Song," with the rest of the Mane 6 following suit.
Special mention goes to Rarity covering Twilight's hoof at one point, demonstrating how proud she is of her.
This line in the song, sung by Rainbow Dash:
Rainbow Dash: Since when does Twilight Sparkle ever fail?
Making the whole thing even better is that the fans had been stuck with the first downbeat version of the song for weeks as one of the few released clips of the season, making the Triumphant Reprise an unexpected treat.
When Rarity sings the first line, Twilight blushes and smiles.
When Spike jumps out of the crystal palace, you hear Rarity screaming as he's falling and see her fainting (without her couch, no less!) While still a scary scene, it's sweet to see that Rarity was terrified of losing her Spikey-wikey, and how much she cares about him.
After Twilight tells the others she passed Celestia's test, Spike runs up to her and gives her a hug, and in return she nuzzles him.
The interaction amongst the Mane 6 was heartwarming in its simplicity. Rarity taking AJ's gentle teasing in stride, Rainbow choosing Fluttershy as a jousting partner (even if it didn't fit Fluttershy's personality at all), the Mane 6 and Spike unhesitatingly following Twilight to the Arctic on their way to a totally unknown land, all of the Mane 6 being so sure Twilight would pass her test in the beginning and literally singing her praises at the end... the magic of friendship is a powerful and moving thing to witness.
Concerned that Twilight is no longer answering his calls, Spike hurries after her down the deep, dark stairway and doing so in spite of being told not to follow or help earlier. He ends up saving her from the illusory "Worst Fears" spell. After this, Twilight tells Spike that he can accompany her on the rest of their quest which , pays off tremendously.
Shining Armor spends 95% of the two episodes hugging or holding Cadance, as she is exhausted from keeping up her love barrier.
The fact that, for the first time in even Celestia doesn't know when, the Crystal Ponies are free. Just imagine how it must've felt for them to see King Sombra meet his end and realizing they're finallyfree of his tyranny.
Applejack making Rarity feel better after she expresses some dismay about losing the crystal effect she so adored:
Rarity: I do so wish it was permanent. Did you see how my mane just absolutely sparkled?
Applejack: But good things are better when they're a rarity. *winks*
Rarity: *smiling* Awww.
Too Many Pinkie Pies
Seeing Rainbow Dash and Applejack tell Pinkie that she doesn't need to worry about who she chooses to spend time with. Most shows would have this situation lead to friends fighting, but not this one. Made more heartwarming when it dawns on you that these two ponies who reassured Pinkie of this are the ones usually at each others' throats competitively.
Seeing Pinkie comfort her first clone after the latter couldn't choose between Fluttershy and Applejack is strangely heartwarming. Yes, the clone is just a facsimile, but Pinkie's reaction showed an amazing amount of empathy.
Pinkie gave Twilight the idea on how to identify and remove the clones... by subjecting all of them to what had to amount to psychological torture. She was so dedicated to keeping her friends that she didn't even notice the last clone disappearing right next to her.
The test that determines who the real Pinkie is proves that she'd sit through anything, no matter how boring, if it meant not leaving her friends. The clones care more about having fun then being with their friends, and they all know that's not the kind of pony the real Pinkie is.
The episode opens up with Pinkie giving Twilight a hug "just because" (and explaining that friendship makes it better). Sure, it screwed up Twilight's spell, but Pinkie's heart was in the right place.
One Bad Apple
The beginning shows Sweetie Belle gets so excited magic sparks fly off her horn for the first time as well as Scootaloo fluttering around with her wings. Our little crusaders are growing up!
Although it may be Harsher in Hindsight, as a Season 4 episode hints that Scootaloo may be a cripple.
When Sweetie Belle again suggests they tell Applejack, both Applebloom and Scootaloo say no. What does Sweetie Belle then suggest? Rarity. The sisters truly have come a long way since 'Sisterhooves Social'. She then suggests Twilight, who she once referred to as "Auntie Twilight" in the comics, showing how much Sweetie respects her sister's friends.
Sweetie Belle suggested Twilight FIRST. That is, after Applejack, the obvious choice as she has authority over Babs, then Rarity, who Sweetie would be biased toward (With good reason). Seeing a Crusader other then Applebloom indicate trust in and respect for Twilight after certain disasterous events was a relief, and very touching.
Babs defending her new friends from Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon is both this and a Moment Of Awesome.
Made more heartwarming when you realize that when Babs first came to Ponyville, it was to escape the constant bullying from Manehattan, so her self-esteem must have been cripplingly low. Now that she does have three little fillies who aren't judgmental that she's a 'blank flank' and love her just the way she is, she finally found the confidence to stand up for both herself and those that she calls her friends.
The CMC, after learning about Babs's bullying troubles in Manehattan, immediately abandon their revenge plan and desperately try to make amends. They do so by pushing Babs out of the way and becoming the victims of their own prank.
When Babs sees that the CMC saved her, she immediately drops all bullying pretense and is genuinely grateful and remorseful.
It's a blink-and-you'll-miss it moment, but seeing Minuette and Twinkleshine sitting together in the cinema is really sweet, considering the last time we saw them, they weren't having such a good time...
In one small scene, Spike tells Twilight that her magic has really improved since they've come to Ponyville, and that the Princess will love her new tricks. It's so cute to see the little guy encouraging, and praising her. He truly is her #1 assistant.
The scene also serves to show us that Spike's right. Our little Twily is growing up!
More Spike - watch the little guy holding and comforting Fluttershy while Twilight is doing her magic with the animals... while still enjoying the show. Good Guy Spike much?
Another Fluttershy one; it's heartwarming to see Rainbow Dash personally nominating Fluttershy for the vital mission, after her attempts to help earlier were all ignored; even if she doesn't seem so thrilled by the thought.
The fact that Rainbow has such great confidence and faith in Fluttershy is also touching considering that back in Season 1, Rainbow only thought that she would slow them down (like in "Dragonshy"). Yet now, she believes Fluttershy to be the best mare for the job. Seeing this nice change of Rainbow's confidence in Fluttershy is pretty touching.
The Mane 6 and Spike, in spite of seeing just how powerful Trixie has become and how cruel she can be in her spells, immediately defending Twilight, determined to never let her be banished.
Trixie's redemption arc coming full-circle as she adds a little spice to Twilight's entertainment for Celestia and the delegates, refers to herself as "The Great and Apologetic Trixie," and asks and receives Twilight's forgiveness and friendship before leaving town in the same manner as Boast Busters.
When Trixie follows her apology and Twilight's forgiveness with a Large Ham proclamation, Twilight rolls her eyes, but gives Trixie a smile anyway. Not only is it nice to see Trixie back to her normal hammy self (almost normal) after spending the episode corrupted by the Alicorn Amulet, Twilight accepts her personality quirks as Trixie just being Trixie, instead of being annoyed by them.
In her normal mix of heartwarming, hilarious, and just a little bit scary, Fluttershy's Mama Bear moments concerning her animal friends at the beginning and end of the episode.
Subtle, but upon discovering that the Alicorn Amulet corrupts the wielder, the rest of the mane six go from overjoyed at discovering the source of Trixie's new-found power to looking genuinely concerned. Even after all Trixie did, they still become concerned at the realization the Amulet is corrupting her.
Also subtle: Trixie is willing to lift the barrier to let the beavers out. Even corrupted by the Amulet, Trixie isn't so evil as to torment innocent animals.
Sleepless in Ponyville
The entire episode can be summed up in the following image. Spoilers.◊
A lot of Rainbow Dash's casual and affectionate behaviour towards Scootaloo during the camping trip definitely counts, even more so after the episode's ending. From her hair tousles and shoulder punches to her proud compliments, you really get the sense that Dash more or less already sees Scootaloo as something akin to a kid sister, which is exactly what Scootaloo wanted in the first place.
Rarity willingly goes with Sweetie Belle on the camping trip. She really did take the lesson from "Sisterhooves Social" to heart.
And during the final scene she first puts on her usual haughty act when Sweetie Belle wants to race with her, then giggles and heads right into it.
The entire final part between Scootaloo and Rainbow Dash. Scootaloo finally tells Rainbow Dash that she was afraid that she'd think of her as uncool for being a scaredy pony and all she wanted was for her to take her under her wing. Rainbow Dash sits down and reveals that as a filly she was just as afraid of the scary story as Scootaloo was and is perfectly fine with taking her under her wing. Seeing Rainbow Dash acting sisterly towards Scootaloo is by far one of the most Heartwarming moments in the entire series.
A subtle example that's also in-universe: Rainbow Dash's face when Scootaloo finally spills the beans. - she's visibly touched at that moment, almost as if to say "Wow, I had no idea." and it makes you wonder if she's been secretly hoping for this the whole time herself...
During the race with Applejack and Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle and Rarity, Rainbow Dash flies through the sky while carrying Scootaloo. Many tears were shed at that scene.
In the end, Scootaloo has one last nightmare with the Olden Pony once again confronts Scootaloo about her rusty horseshoe. This time, however, Rainbow Dash gets her to leave by tossing the rusty horseshoe at her. She and Scootaloo then share a hug.
In a meta sense, this pretty much eviscerates the idea that Rainbow Dash abuses Scootaloo (Called Scootabuse) while canonizing the opposing idea (Called Scootalove), which itself is heartwarming.
Princess Luna's role in the episode. Part of the job of the Princess of the Night is to protect Ponies from their own nightmares.
Scootaloo's reaction to seeing the former "Nightmare Moon" in her dream is one of relief, not fear. Luna's finally got the acceptance she wanted so much.
Another bit of heartwarming: After imparting wisdom to Scootaloo in her dream, Luna manifested herself behind Rainbow Dash in the moon to encourage Scootaloo to conquer her fears, and then appears in a later dream to check up on her, just in case. Let there be no doubt that Luna cares about her subjects just as much as Celestia does.
Related to the above: Luna is first seen wandering through the dream, looking around. It's likely she realized she'd entered a nightmare and was searching for Scootaloo to help her and simply didn't reach her before she woke up. She came back the next night because she saw Scootaloo was having a nightmare the night before and wanted to help her.
Applejack and Rarity making their little sisters feel safe on both nights. And by the end of the episode, Rainbow Dash is able to do the same for Scootaloo.
Applejack and Rarity pulling their sisters close when Rainbow Dash starts telling them the second horror story, knowing how scared they were of the first one.
Rarity even sat on a log rather than her fainting couch so that she could sit with Sweetie. This being Rarity, that's pretty big.
Rarity stroking Sweetie Belle's mane and saying, "Don't worry, you'll be safe with me tonight." D'awws were had.
Applejack's concern for Scootaloo throughout the course of the episode was pretty touching. It's obvious that, even if she's technically just Apple Bloom's sister, she really does stand as another sister for all of the CMC.
The brief shot of Apple Bloom sleeping on top of Applejack, who is in turn sleeping on top of Rarity.
Even though it might be a little bit funny, it's also quite sweet seeing Rarity hugging Thunderlane like she did (partially because of him saving her from falling to her doom).
Pinkie Pie, full stop. From her concern about Dash getting into the Academy, to her refusing to leave the mailbox so she and the rest of the Mane 6 can read and reply to her letter immediately, to her spearheading the campaign to get Dash a care package, she just exudes heartwarming by the truckload.
Rainbow Dash was willing to give up ever joining the Wonderbolts because she thought that continuing to pursue her dream would require her to endanger the lives of her friends, her teammates and other ponies. Rainbow Dash. Who has dreamed of nothing else since practically the moment she was born. That is loyalty.
RD's whole character just really shines through in this episode. She's competitive and cocky, but there's no doubt that she never wants any sort of success at the expense of others, and that she won't hesitate to let go of even her lifelong aspiration if achieving it means she has to do things that she considers plain wrong. Rainbow Dash really is altruistic and heroic in nature, especially when it comes to the stuff that really matters.
It's also clear that, as much as Rainbow Dash likes being the star, what's really important to her is the success of the team. Unlike Lightning Dust, she's not willing to sacrifice the team to ensure her own success. And as a followup to "Hurricane Fluttershy", she demonstrates yet again that she is a natural and conscientious leader who truly cares about those she leads.
Spitfire agrees. It makes the fans realize once and for all that there is a reason she's the leader of the Wonderbolts, and there's a reason Rainbow Dash respects her so much.
The fact Rainbow finally got to take one hoofstep down the path to actually succeeding in reaching her dream. After spending her entire life working towards that goal, she's finally on her way.
During the Cold Open, all five of Rainbow Dash's friends waiting at the mailbox with her for the acceptance letter.
Spitfire deeming Rainbow Dash a worthy leader, and the other pegasi demonstrating their loyalty to and respect of RD by saluting. Especially heartwarming when you notice that several of these pegasi had also worked with Rainbow in "Hurricane Fluttershy".
This spotlighting of Rainbow Dash's leadership potential also manages to highlight another aspect of her character: as the Element of Loyalty, Dash not only demonstrates loyalty, but she inspires it in others.
Now this is a subtle one. When Spitfire was chewing RD out at the beginning and RD stayed stone cold giving the correct response, she gave a small smile; showing that she remembers Rainbow Dash saving her life, but she still had to use the drill-sergeant persona to weed out the slackers and is glad that RD is showing the right response.
Apple Family Reunion
Apple Bloom calling Babs Seed her favorite cousin, showing how much all has been forgiven since her last appearance.
Even more so for how completely overjoyed she is she'll be seeing Babs again.
Her hopping for her return probably helped as well.
Granny Smith mentions a quilt the Apple family's been working on since their first reunion, and as seen in the images flashback, it's done by hoof. That's just an amazingly heartwarming keepsake, since probably every Apple pony has put pieces in.
Several bronies breathed sighs of relief when it's mentioned that Babs is in a new school.
Even better, Babs mentions that there are two blank flanks that want to join the Manehatten Crusaders.
Pinkie Pie, Rainbow Dash, Rarity, and Spike all help Applejack set up the reunion.
Although it also ultimately confirms that Applejack's parents are indeed dead, it is really heartwarming to see them appear in the sky as two shooting stars, knowing that they are still there with their children, even after death.
A lot of the interactions between all of the other Apples, and the photos at the end of the episode involving Applebloom with Babs and Applejack posing with Braeburn. It really gives a sense of how close the Apple family is.
Their mingling during the song, too. For instance, Big Mac dancing with his cousin Babs Seed.
The last verse of "Raise This Barn", sung by the entire Apple Family:
We raised this barn, we raised this barn
Yes, we did
Together we sure raised this barn
Yes, we did
Being together counts the most
We all came here from coast to coast
All we need to strive to be
Is part of the Apple family
An easy-to-miss shot of Applejack sitting on her big brother's back to put up the last of the decorations before the reunion begins.
Apple Bloom sleepily entering Applejack's room to see why she's still awake, and the cozy little scene that follows. It's just a really nice, warm sisterly moment.
The entire episode is really one huge feel-good moment showing how close-knit the entire Apple family is, but it's especially notable and sweet with the three Apple siblings and Granny Smith — the episode ends with the four of them together in their living room and looking through the photo album.
Similar to Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo in "One Bad Apple", one quick shot during Applejack's preparation for the reunion has Apple Bloom bucking a tree by herself. She's growing up, too!
Spike at Your Service
When Twilight gives Spike the day off.
When Applejack saves Spike's life, from the Timberwolves.
When Spike is grateful for this, he tries repaying her, by doing anything for her.
Rarity was willing to eat the disgusting pie, that Spike made, just so she didn't hurt his feelings. She has come a long way: from insulting him for being dirty from taking out her garbage, to actually eating something bad he made, just to spare him from feeling hurt.
In the end of the episode Applejack tells Spike that he didn't have to do all of that work for her, to make her think that he's a noble dragon. They already thought he was!Awww
At the end of the episode, when Twilight is reading her book in the dark, clearly straining to read it, Spike comes in with a lantern for her, and she thanks him for his help. He then hugs her leg, and tells her, he'd do anything for her, and she shows that she is clearly touched by this.
It's a brief moment but when Spike says that Rainbow Dash's impression of a Timberwolf roar was spot on, it cuts to Rainbow Dash hi-fiving Fluttershy, both with the biggest smile on their faces.
A similar brief moment, but Twilight is clearly horrified and ashamed she inadvertently let Spike think he was unwanted and led him to serve Applejack. Up keeping her InnocentlyInsensitive personality, Twilight often takes Spike for granted, but loathes the prospect of having mistreating him.
Keep Calm and Flutter On
Princess Celestia instilling confidence in Fluttershy's ability to reform Discord.
Fluttershy: You really think I can do that?
Princess Celestia: *taking Fluttershy's head in her hoof, and looking her in her eyes* I do.
*Fluttershy smiles, blushes, and turns away*
Fluttershy declares she's being so easy on Discord's pranks "Because that's what friends do," and hugs him. Discord is stunned at the idea that Fluttershy truly considers him her friend, and the end of the episode confirms this was completely genuine.
This is also the first time we actually see Discord smile with absolutely no malice to be seen. Keep in mind that this is Discord we're talking about. This is the same guy who broke and brainwashed Twilight's friends For the Evulz.
Discord's reaction when he realizes, to his own surprise, that Fluttershy's friendship is important to him.
A subtle one, but after tricking Fluttershy into promising never to use the Element Of Kindness against him in exchange for "fixing" Sweet Apple Acres, and winning the freedom to do whatever he wants forever, Discord immediately asks Fluttershy to go ice skating with him. He doesn't instantly go on a worldwide rampage of chaos, he doesn't immediately make Ponyville the chaos capital of the world, he doesn't immediately go around making everyone miserable... He asks his first and only friend in the world to have fun with him. Yes, even before he admitted that she had succeeded in reforming him, she had already succeeded in making him better than he was. This is backed up an even earlier appearance in the scene where he's calling to Fluttershy to join him in water-skiing.
Another one is that Twilight shoots down Discord's attempt to manipulate her fear of disappointing the Princess by saying the Princess trusts them enough to know that if they turn him back to stone, it's because he gave them good reason to. Considering how strong that fear is, it says a lot that Twilight finally understands how hard it is to disappoint Celestia.
Fluttershy pausing to catch a falling Angel Bunny before flying off to meet Twilight.
When Discord tells Angel Bunny that he's playing Fluttershy for a fool, Angel is noticeably infuriated; even more infuriated when he was at his worst in "Putting Your Hoof Down".
Just For Sidekicks
The fact that the ponies trust Spike to take care of their pets, is pretty nice. They know he's responsible, and will try to take care of them (even though he has an ulterior motive for watching them).
Tank gives Rainbow Dash a very looong lick on the cheek. She blushes.
All of the Mane Six's affectionate goodbyes to their pets. They adore each other, and it seriously shows.
Opal being friendly with Rarity, as opposed to making her life painful and difficult.
Later, Rainbow Dash nose rubs Tank; after making sure no one's watching, of course.
This episode proves what whatever animosity was left between Spike and Owlowiscious is gone.
Opal and Tank rubbing heads. It seems they'd become very friendly towards each other.
Later, when Spike is dragging the pets around the train station, Tank is carrying Opal.
The pets sans Angel staying with Spike and not scattering was pretty nice! He may have had ulterior motives for watching them, but none of them felt the need to make his life any more difficult (intentionally anyway).
When Spike calls for order and all the pets to come to him, Winona immediately dashes up in front of him, sitting loyally.
The Cold Open that shows different pictures of Spike and Peewee being together that ends with one of Spike giving him back to his parents.
Although it causes trouble for Spike, Angel Bunny boarding a train to the Crystal Empire just to follow his owner. At the station, he homes in on Fluttershy and charges for her.
Angel Bunny and the other pets forgiving Spike for not taking his job of looking after them as seriously as he should have.
The SECOND he thinks something happened to Tank, Spike dropped everything and ran to the clubhouse.
Pinkie Pie saying "Spike time is the best!" is nice, especially when you consider Spike was feeling a bit left out earlier.
When Rarity gives Spike his jewel for watching Opal, he says it's "Almost as beautiful as the pony who gave it to me."
On Rarity's side of the exchange too. This gem on its own was able to buy an industrial strength dryer. The other gems, despite being large, could not buy anything nearly so expensive. Of the major cast, Rarity and Spike are the only ones that can accurately appraise the value of gems (Rarity being the one who goes around collecting gemstones for her fashion creations, and for Spike a valuable gemstone is a delicious meal). A smaller gem can be worth more than a large one because its size means it is less likely to have flaws. As an example, a flawless Burmese ruby of the same size as the one given to Spike would, depending upon the number of carats in it, be worth something in the neighborhood of fifty thousand dollars. That's more than some people make in a year and Rarity gave that to Spike without a second thought. Rarity is the element of generosity, and don't you ever forget it.
Debatable, gems have never been shown to have monetary value in this show, they're always used for decorations or dragon food. Spike EATS gems, so the size would matter more than the monetary value.
Speaking of background events, in the same scene you can briefly see Big Mac and Cheerilee walking down the road together. Couple or not it's nice to see them hanging out.
Sweetie Belle having a very Rarity-esque bit of Squee at the thought of going to the Crystal Empire.
As Spike is running through the train station, Golden Harvest/Carrot Top and Written Script can be seen sharing a touching reunion or a poignant good-bye. The point is, they're nuzzling.
In the train, it's a brief moment, but when you hear Rainbow Dash saying that "It's a bummer that Spike missed out on all the fun." It shows that she does care about him, and that they do feel bad when he's left out sometimes, even if, in this case, the Mane 6 went through hell mistaking a tourist for the actual games inspector in "Games Ponies Play".
A rather subtle one: the fact that Spike and the Cutie Mark Crusaders managed to work together with the pets in the end really shows that Spike and the CMC are still on good terms, especially after Spike's bitterness towards the CMC when their identity somehow got exposed in "Ponyville Confidential".
Games Ponies Play
Twilight and Cadance finally get do their Secret Handshake when they're not in danger, just like Cadance wished at the beginning of the season.
When the Mane 6 arrive at the spa, Princess Cadance says happily, "There are my girls". It's nice to see that she's gotten close to all of the Mane 6 and not just Twilight.
When Rainbow Dash expresses her regret that Cloudsdale never got to host the Equstrian Games, it cuts to a very brief flashback where we see a filly Rainbow Dash and her father! Although Dash ultimately is disappointed, seeing her so excited and standing on top of her dad is adorable.
In a meta sense, Rainbow Dash frequently is thought of as a case of missing or abusive parents. It's nice to see her spend time with (presumably) her father.
The fact that Rainbow Dash wants the Crystal Empire to host the games because she doesn't want a little filly to feel the same disappointment that she felt when she found out her hometown wasn't hosting the games.
When the inspector declares that the Empire can host the games, amidst the general celebrating you can see Rainbow Dash sweep that same filly into the sky for a huge celebratory hug.
When Twilight Sparkle pulls the other Mane Five towards the palace, she takes a moment to give the filly back the flag she dropped when Rainbow Dash butted in. Small acts of kindness are always worth noting.
The pure delight the tourist takes in her unexpected tour of the Crystal Empire, except the parts when her claustrophobia kicks in. Then she makes sure the real inspector picks the city by describing how well she was treated.
Cadance giving Twilight a long-needed method of stress relief, which prevents another lapse of sanity. No doubt it will be useful when she meets her destiny in the Season Finale.
The best instance is when Twilight explains the situation to Shining Armor, and how it's getting royally screwed up. Shining tells her it's nothing, that it'll end well...
Twilight: I know. I'm not worried. (Beat, as she realizes what she just said) I'm not worried! It works!
When the announcement that the Crystal Empire has won the appointment is made, the elation of the city is powerful enough to activate the Crystal Heart.
Rainbow Dash taking the rap for leaving the real inspector and supposedly blowing the mission. Especially notable since she did so to prevent Twilight from doing so instead, who has a long history of being absolutely terrified of letting down peers.
When greeting the games inspector (or at least whom they THOUGHT was the games inspector), how does shining armor introduce himself? "I'm Shining Armor." not PRINCE Shining Armor. not CAPTAIN shining armor. JUST "I'm Shining Armor". it shows that he's remained humble, despite becoming royalty.
Magical Mystery Cure
After Twilight fulfills her destiny, the first group of people she thanks were her friends, whom she said made it possible for her to be where she is. Broken Base or not, this scene will make you gush with "liquid pride", much like Shining Armor did.
Twilight: A little while ago, my teacher and mentor Princess Celestia sent me to live in Ponyville. She sent me to study friendship, which is something I didn't really care much about. But now, on a day like today, I can honestly say I wouldn't be standing here if it weren't for the friendships I've made with all of you. Each one of you taught me something about friendship, and for that, I will always be grateful. Today, I consider myself the luckiest pony in Equestria. Thank you, friends. Thank you, everypony!
As she says the speech, you can see the other Mane 6 holding back tears and smiling.
In thanking her friends, she waves them out onto the balcony to share the praise of the citizens. She even offers her friends a little bow. Quite a gesture from a princess while her entire nation is watching.
When Twilight becomes an alicorn, Rainbow Dash is overjoyed that she has a "new flying buddy". Heck, the fact that none of the mane six change how they view her one bit, proving Word of God was right. This isn't changing their relationship, they're still her True Companions and nothing will change that.
Celestia and Twilight HUGGING! Although Celestia has always hinted at how much she cares for Twilight (Making random visits just to see her for example) this is the first time since the Pilot that she's shown Twilight physical affection. What makes this moment and the one in the pilot so notable is that, in pretty much every appearance Celestia has had, Twilight is usually too busy worrying about disappointing Celestia for there to be any affection between them!
After appearing to explain the the rest of the Mane Six that Twilight is now a princess, Celestia bows down in respect to her most faithful student.
Listen to Celestia when she addresses everypony upon welcoming Princess Twilight. For a brief moment, you can hear her struggle to hold back her emotions in her voice.
When Twilight suffers from her Heroic BSOD, Spike lifts her spirits, and tells her that he knows that she can fix everything. And he helps her regain her faith in herself. Number one assistant, indeed!
The scene when he pets her head as a way to calm her down.
The mixed up cutie marks are fixed because of just how much the Mane Six care about one another. Twilight's plan is so simple, but so immediately effective.
Fluttershy: But I don't really know anything about animals.
Twilight: But you do know something about Rainbow Dash.
At the start of the song in Fluttershy's cottage (when Twilight sings "A true, true friend helps a friend in need") a squirrel looks up and sees a mouse who's hungry and sad. The squirrel gives the mouse an acorn and the mouse cheers up and smiles.
When trying to do their true job, each pony starts by doing it hesitantly and unsure of themselves. As they succeed in doing it they get more and more confident until at the end they're smiling and joyful. At the same time, the pony they're trying to help is severely depressed (and Rarity and Applejack are in tears), but their spirits are lifted by the sight of their friend helping fix things.
When each pony turns back to normal, they immediately help their friends.
Twilight: It worked! It worked! Oh, I'm so happy you're back to normal! Now we need your help!
(Twilight and Fluttershy sing to Rainbow, telling her to help Rarity)
Rainbow: Uh, what just happened?
Twilight: There's no time to explain, but we need your help. Applejack's trying to make dresses!
Rainbow: Say no more!
(Rainbow sings to Rarity, telling her to help Appleack)
Rarity: (gasps) Oh my, what a terrible dream I had. Or, maybe I'm still having it.
Twilight: Rarity, Pinkie Pie is about to lose the apple farm. We need Applejack's help!
Rarity: Lose the apple farm? Well we can't let that happen, now can we?
(Rarity sings to Appleack, telling her to help Pinkie)
Applejack: Yee-haw! Now that's more like it, what's next?
Twilight: The townspeople are furious, we need the old Pinkie Pie back.
Applejack: I'm on it, I know just the thing.
(Appleack sings to Pinkie, telling her to cheer up the ponies in the town)
In light of Look Before You Sleep, Rarity immediately turning to help Applejack after her cutie mark is restored. The two used to barely tolerate each other, and now you couldn't separate them with a reality-twisting unfinished spell.
Seeing Pinkie Pie start to slowly cheer up as Applejack and her friends help her, especially her giving a smile (the first we've seen from her in the episode), to Applejack. It's been made clear in the past that Pinkie has some insecurities about how her friends feel about her, which makes this moment even more heartwarming.
How overjoyed all of Ponyville is to see Pinkie Pie. That pony really is friends with the entire town. All it takes is the mere sight of Pinkie to instantly cheer up the townsponies. For fans of Pinkie Pie, the enormous cheer the Ponyville residents give upon her restoration is a CMOH to the entire series.
And to top off such an awesome, heartwarming song, this.◊ Nothing will ever break apart the Mane Six. Nothing.
The final spark of magic that turns Twilight into an alicorn princess doesn't come from Twilight's horn. It comes fromherheart.
Also, the looks on her parent's faces which show how proud they are of Twilight.
Angel, for all that he originally had against Fluttershy, is the first to embrace her after she feeds them. Small to say the least, but still heartwarming.
The other animals are also happy after she feeds them. The bear even picks her up and kisses her.
Fluttershy telling Twilight that they all love her. For some strange reason, these two sweet, gentle, mature and socially awkward ponies, have had so little direct interaction with each other, so having Fluttershy be the one to say it was a lovely touch.
For her coronation, Twilight is given her own chariot to ride in...and jumps out to march with her friends instead.
Earlier, during the parade for all of Ponyville, the rest of the Mane Six lift Twilight over their heads...and Twilight promptly lifts her friends up via telekenesis to share the spotlight with her
As Twilight's friends release the full power of the Elements of Harmony on Twilight, all of them start to panic, except for Twilight, who closes her eyes and smiles. She trusts so much in the love of her friends that she knows nothing that's happening in that moment is going to hurt her.
Celestia announced that Twilight has done many amazing things in Ponyville. The one she calls out by name? Reuniting Celestia with her sister Luna.
Also, look at her face when she's on the balcony near the end; there are no tears, but it sure looks like there were going to be.
At Twilight's coronation, if you look, you can see several Crystal Ponies in the background. After a thousand years, they're finally getting involved with the other ponies!
Another interpretation might be that the Crystal Ponies are there out of gratitude for Twilight's role in freeing them from that thousand-year curse. This would be just as heartwarming because it would be an aversion of the Dude, Where's My Respect? attitude that follows the mane six around the rest of Equestria.
After a season long absence, Derpy sneaking in a cameo and giving the audience a wink.
Several cameos, each of them blink-and-you-miss-it. Equestria Daily's episode followup shows her in five separate scenes!
With Pinkie Pie out of usual commission, everypony in Ponyville becomes depressed and upset, even though they don't remember her being any other way. When everypony immediately brightens up and screams her name ("PINKIE!") once she returns in "A True, True Friend," the heart melts. It becomes even more wibbly when you realize that Twilight was going around reminding the mane six what they meant to all their friends and what their friends mean to them. With Pinkie Pie, Twilight reminded her of how much she meant to every single pony in Ponyville.
Also qualifies as a Continuity Nod to the "Smile, Smile, Smile" song, which focuses on the same concept.
Season 4 - Part 1
Princess Twilight Sparkle, Part 1
Twilight and her friends resolving that her new position will not interfere with their friendship.
Twilight also doesn't want her friends to refer to her as a princess, saying it doesn't feel right.
Celestia commenting on how the Summer Sun Celebration is now a time of joy for her and a celebration of her sister's return, rather than a reminder of what she lost as it had been previously.
Celestia promising to always be there for Twilight, and expressing the hope that Twilight will likewise always be there for her. Followed by the two nuzzling each other.
The giddy little smile on Twilight's face when she's showered by confetti from Pinkie's letter.
Twilight flying to Ponyville to help her friends.
Discord congratulating Twilight on becoming a princess, because "You totally deserve it." Even with the cheek-pinching, it actually seems to be a sincere sentiment.
Princess Twilight Sparkle, Part 2
Twilight's friends helping her against the Everfree's attacks.
What's the first thing Twilight does upon solving the problem and releasing Celestia and Luna? Give her mentor and her sister a hug of course!
Twilight knows that she and the other mane six will always be connected even if they don't have the Elements of Harmony binding them together anymore.
It's nice to see that despite his getting her name wrong and mistaking Rainbow Dash for her (though those may have been on purpose), Discord still values Fluttershy's friendship enough to keep himself under control.
To expand on this: Twilight and her friends have just surrendered the one thing (well, things) that could have stopped him if he decided to try to take over Equestria again. Discord realizes this. You can practically see the gears in his head turning, already plotting something devious - and Fluttershy sternly reminds him that if he tries anything, she'll stop being friends with him. And Discord, despite messing with her earlier, despite speaking mockingly about him and the mane six being "friends" earlier, despite being irritating and unhelpful the entire time, despite being a near omnipotent ancient being of chaos...grumpily agrees to back off and poofs on a silly maid outfit to go help clean up. That is the power of friendship.
Plus, he actually pulls a Celestia by holding back a key piece of information so that Twilight can learn a valuable lesson. How outraged he'd be if he knew...
After the ponies save the Tree Of Harmony and leave the Everfree Forest, Discord appears and congratulates them for saving the day complete with adorable crayon drawings of the "Mane Six".◊ It really shows how much being their friend has changed him.
The ancient castle is full of traps and secret panels that were really there because Celestia and Luna could play there when they were foals. Twilight finds Celestia's entry into their shared journal just happy about how much Luna loved the trap-door-slide in the Hall Of Hooves. It's just brings up really adorable mental images.
Even better; it's implied that Celestia built the entire complex of secret tunnels and traps as a gift for her little sister, and kept expanding it when she saw how happy it made them both.
Angel hanging out with Twilight during the episode.
In a similar vein, Fluttershy nuzzling Angel when she finally finds him again.
When Fluttershy injures the tip of her wing, Angel is clearly concerned and gently pats the injured bit to comfort her.
The episode begins with Fluttershy teaching a pair of baby birds how to fly. And the defibrillator's on the right.
Rainbow Dash's friends encouraging her to go and save Daring Do. After many lectures about how Rainbow Dash should hold back her attitude, it's very gratifying to see ponies encouraging her to be more of a hero, a trait that many Rainbow Dash fans love.
Rainbow Dash and Daring Do save the day, and Daring Do offers a hoofbump. Rainbow Dash's response? The Glomp. And Daring Do actually hugs her back and nuzzles her!
Flight to the Finish
Rainbow Dash's speech to Scootaloo after she loses all faith in herself, even more heartwarming is the fact she called her by name instead of "pipsqueak."
Plus the fact that she flat-out said that it doesn't matter (to her or the other Crusaders) if Scootaloo ends up being able to fly or not. Considering that flying is Rainbow Dash's life, her not even hesitating to make it clear that she's not going to stop being Scootaloo's big sister figure over something as trivial as that is pretty damn meaningful. Once you recall how Rainbow was acting towards Fluttershy in "Hurricane Fluttershy" when she turned in a weak performance, and compare how she's acting here, that is a lot of personal growth.
You thought the scene just wasn't heartwarming enough? Sweetie Belle and Apple Bloom start to sing "Hearts as Strong as Horses" again. Scootaloo joins in, regains her spirit, and we get that oh-so-glorious Triumphant Reprise as Rainbow Dash and the Crusaders speed their way to the Crystal Empire. It's enough to move a guy to tears.
Although the scene of Scootaloo being her room was a Tear Jerker since she was throwing away her possessions, the fact she has a room is heartwarming in the fact that it's finally revealed she isn't homeless as many fans thought.
The major Character Development shown for the CMC, that even with them still trying to get their cutie marks, they no longer really care about it and just do it to hang out together.
The CMC helping each other train in the song montage.
When RD asks 'who's the lucky filly?', Diamond Tiara and some other fillies say 'It's me'. What does Scootaloo say? "Maybe it's us!" Including the other CMC right off the bat.
Really, the simple fact that the Crusaders thought that the best way to represent Ponyville was to demonstrate the equality and harmony between the Three Pony Tribes was really sweet.
In the opening, Twilight catches Spike staying up late to read his comic. After reminding him they have to work on the castle in the morning, Spike says he'll go to bed. When he turns off the light, He reaches out for the comic only to find Twilight has it in her magic. Her response...
And earlier that same scene, when Spike is talking about his comic to Twilight (in the way that a young child will talk about a TV show or book to a parent or sibling without realizing that the parent or sibling has no idea what they're talking about), you'd expect Twilight - who was just woken up in the middle of the night - to be annoyed, or say something condescending like "Uh huh, that's nice. Go back to bed, Spike." Instead, she actually smiles and listens, letting him finish talking about it without showing any hints of irritation. Whether she understands (or cares) or not, she was at least humouring him despite the late hour so he didn't feel bad.
She may not understand the comic, but she understands his enthusiasm.
Twilight: Believe me, Spike, if there's anypony who knows what it's like to get lost in a good book, it's me.
The ending when Twilight yells at Mane-iac for saying that the only reason they keep Humdrum (Spike) around is because they feel sorry for him. Twilight tells her that even if they don't always need Spike's help they have faith that he'll save them all, since he always comes through for them.
Earlier, as the helpless Mane Six are being dragged away by Mane-iac's minions, they call for Spike to help them. They believe in him, even if he has trouble believing in himself.
Twilight telling Spike that since they don't need his help cleaning the castle, he can just relax somewhere and read his comic.
When the others are taking a break from cleaning the castle to eat, they look around for Spike to join them first.
When Spike gets sucked into the comic, Twilight immediately lunges into action to try and save him.
A real life one: When Meghan McCarthy was accidentally credited as the episode's writer, she quickly got on Twitter to give credit to the real writer, Merriwether Williams.
During the song where Applejack encourages the others to side with her in terms of getting rid of the vampire fruit bats, Fluttershy's attempt to defend the bats includes a scene involving a bat family, complete with a baby bat that nuzzles with her.
After discovering what's happened to Fluttershy, Applejack becomes so worried about finding a way to return her back to normal that she almost completely pushes her main goal of protecting her crops to the background. She even sacrifices the prize apple she was growing and intending to enter in a contest for the Appleloosa Fair, using it as bait to lure Fluttershy out.
Applejack: ...I just want my friend back.
Rainbow Dash's desire for cider seems selfish at first until you realize that every time she mentioned cider, she said "We" not "I", so she still wants her friends to get cider too, not just for herself.
Despite siding with Applejack over the bats, Twilight was still willing to help Fluttershy find an alternate solution to dealing with the bats.
Despite everyone worrying about Fluttershy, Rainbow still takes to time to console Applejack when she has to give up her prize apple.
Rarity Takes Manehattan
During the song, Rarity shows some kindness to complete strangers, giving a generous tip to the hotel's bellboy and lending her scarf to a fellow tourist. And she and Applejack work together to fix a cab driver's broken wheel.
Her kindness gets rewarded when both the bellhop and the cab driver help get her and her dresses to the show on time.
When Rarity reveals the tickets for the musical, there are seven tickets instead of six because Spike is there too, and we see him with the other mane six throughout the episode. Seeing as how some fans have complained that he gets left out a lot despite being their friend and an important part of the team, and following up from him worrying that he's the useless sidekick in Power Ponies, this is nice. And it makes sense for him to go with them, since it's to support Rarity.
The reason the Mane 5 didn't attend the fashion show, they overslept. Despite how Rarity acted they fully understood she only acted that way because of stress and still wanted to be there.
Coco being inspired to believe in the kindness of others and leaving her job with Suri even though that might have been her only chance at success.
Rarity giving Coco the offer of making the dresses for the next show. Element of Generosity indeed.
Pinkie Apple Pie
When Pinkie Pie is convinced that she related to the Apple family, her first action is to go to Applejack's house, call her "cousin", and hug her.
The Apple Family welcoming Pinkie into their home as though she was a true blue Apple (especially when Applebloom does it: "I have a sister!") is just so sweet. Doesn't hurt for them to do it in song during their road trip.
While we only get to see the tail end of it, it seems that there was a life-coaching conversation between Pinkie and Big Macintosh.
Pinkie Pie knew that the family was arguing in front of her, but tells them that even after all they've been through to get there, they're still together as a family.
Heck, the way that Pinkie Pie so thoroughly and unconditionally embraces every aspect of the Apple family, through the rough as well as the smooth, with nothing but outright joy is incredibly touching.
The fact that even though Pinkie may never truly find out is she's related to the Apples or not, the Apples still consider her to be one anyway. Pinkie even states that she really, really did want to be a part of the family, and upon hearing that, Apple Bloom perks up and anxiously proclaims the same thing without hesitating! So adorable!
Pinkie's lyrics in the song contain the words "You're more fun than the colour pink/Or balloons flying over your favourite drink!" Pinkie more or less described herself (being, well, pink, and not only is her Cutie Mark balloons, but she's prone to hovering over drinks, while affixed to balloons), and her two favourite things, stating that the Apples are more fun than that.
The sheer fact that Big Macintosh, easily the calmest and most stoic of the apple family by far, is being SO openly happy and joyous over the mere thought of welcoming Pinkie into the family, is indeed too sweet to truly put into words.
And the "Eeyup!" he says at the end of the episode, when all the Apple family still consider Pinkie 'an Apple to the core', is the happiest and proudest he's ever said it before!
Four words: Best Family Hug Ever!
While a lot of Bulk Bicep's interactions with cast border on Crowning Moment of Funny, the fact that he spends the rest of the episode enjoying himself with the mane group (with that enjoyment being mutual) shows that although the group are a tight-knit group of friends, they have no problem inviting others as well.
Same can be said later when Derpy joins in. Even if she didn't get to compete, she is still included in the victory shot along with everypony else.
Speaking of which... The return of Derpy Hooves herself!
Remember how Rainbow Dash inspired the other five's cutie marks? Now the same thing happens to her, as sunlight prisms into a rainbow pointing to the Ponyville team's flag.
Fluttershy's behaviour towards Rainbow Dash. Knowing how much Rainbow Dash likes to win, she ends up very dedicated towards getting Rainbow Dash a medal, going so far as to promise to give all the gold medals that the team might possibly win to Rainbow Dash. Then when Rainbow Dash makes her dilemma known, Fluttershy actually encourages Rainbow Dash to leave Ponyville behind and join up with the vastly superior Cloudsdale team. Fluttershy would let Ponyville lose whatever chance it had at winning the relay race if it meant making Rainbow Dash happy. Loyalty really does work both ways.
There's also the fact that she's competing at all, especially when you recall that Fluttershy is terrified of flying where other ponies are looking at her and depending on her, which implies there's a reason she's competing, apart from the desire to win (considering that Fluttershy isn't that competitive at all). She's probably competing in the first place because Rainbow needed three players and everypony else was competing in another event, but you know what? Be damned if Fluttershy isn't there because she wants to be. She's not only perfectly happy to be there, but flat-out excited and eager to compete to the point that maybe it actually doesn't have to do with Rainbow Dash because even if Rainbow left the team, Fluttershy would still compete. Talk about Character Development!
The Cloudsdale cheerleaders rooting for the Ponyville team.
The whole relationship between Rainbow Dash and the Wonderbolts is pretty nice to see. With all the compliments Spitfire and Soarin' give Rainbow Dash, it's clear that they see Rainbow Dash as an equal and Rainbow Dash most likely feels the same way with her much more composed attitude and her casual chewing-out of Spitfire without having any hard feelings after the fact. Dash becoming a proper part of their team might not be far off...
Spitfire being impressed by Dash's boldness yet again.
Spitfire: Huh. Rainbow Dash, you are something. I saw it before at the Academy, and I'm seeing it again here. We could learn a lot from a competitor like you.
After the qualifying rounds are over and all the medals are passed out, Spitfire comes over and gives her Wonderbolts insignia pin to Rainbow Dash. It could be taken as either 'You're working your way up to being a full-fledged Wonderbolt' or 'You understand more about being a Wonderbolt than I do'.
Finally, Rainbow's journal entry:
Rainbow Dash: Oh, I can't deny it. I love to win! But if I ever gotta choose between winning and being loyal to my friends, I'm always gonna choose my friends. 'Cause as much as I love winning, I love them waaaaay more.
Three's A Crowd
Applejack and Rarity willing to make sure that nothing ruin Twilight and Cadance's day, even if it meant taking care of a sick Discord.
Cadance assuring Twilight that while they don't see each other very often, their friendship is unshakable.
Really, just seeing Twilight and Cadance together again in and of itself was nice.
Discord revealing he and Fluttershy send each other letters on a regular basis, and also asking about her whereabouts while heaping on the praise for her.
Even if Discord was faking his illness the fact that Twilight went to the end of Equestria to heal Discord shows that even if they aren't good friends, they're still good enough friends for her to give up a day with Cadance to help him.
He went through this whole thing for Twilight specifically. Jerk Ass move it may have been to interrupt Twilight's day with Cadance for his own interests, that Twilight, personal student of his arch-nemesis Celestia, is his second choice after Fluttershy, is rather intriguing. In it's own twisted and messed up way.
A woozy Discord asks if anyone has a fainting couch, and while Rarity doesn't deliver, Pinkie Pie gathers up a pile of luggage to use for that purpose, and Discord actually seems appreciative.
Later on, her offer to nurse Discord back to health, give him cuddles, and read him stories.
There's something weirdly adorable about the fact that Discord's "Glass of Water" song features one of his requests (read:demands) as "a cuddle with a Pekignese", complete with a miniature Discord cuddling up to a Pekingnese.
For all her nastiness, Diamond Tiara is willing to compliment Pinkie on the planning of her Cuteceañera. Yes, that Diamond Tiara is actually being nice to someone besides her dad!
The first song, where Pinkie is singing about how much she loves making ponies happy with her parties, and the last few songs, where Cheese explains his past and he and Pinkie work together to throw the best party ever, are all adorable.
Pinkie having pictures of all the parties she's thrown for her friends and family.
A retroactive moment can be found in this scene as well. Close examination of Pinkie's family photo shows that even MaudPie is smiling.
The mane six running after Pinkie and reassuring her that she's still their Party Pony, and that Dash's party wouldn't be complete without her.
Cheese Sandwich telling Pinkie the truth about his past. It turns he was actually a shy colt who became a party pony thanks to a party thrown by filly Pinkie. In fact, his rubber chicken friend Boneless was actually one of the rubber chickens Pinkie Pie was juggling during at that party. Eventually, the two come together and throw Rainbow Dash the greatest party ever.
Cheese Sandwich "returning" Boneless to Pinkie. It's pretty much a thank you for turning him into a Party Pony (and even then, he has at least a second Boneless to keep him company).
Just the realization that Pinkie had been a role model and big influence on other ponies' lives ever since she was a filly is both heartwarming and awesome; basically, she had been spreading laughs and happiness for years even without realizing it.
After her participation in 'Rainbow Falls', Derpy gets an 'upgrade' from 'occasional cameo' to recurrent background pony; we can see her in several scenes, and even helps with the party preparations without causing any accident.
In the scene Derpy is drinking from the chocolate fountain Rainbow Dash is seen hugging Tank without bothering to check if anypony's looking.
Cheese Sandwich being genuinely surprised that Pinkie would just hand over her victory over to him and not even rejoicing in his given victory.
At the very end of the episode, during the festival, Trenderhoof dances with... Granny Smith.
The gentle ribbing of Derpygate with Trenderhoof calling her "unappreciated."
Spike throughout the whole episode. We see him doing tons of jobs for Rarity. When he sees her crying he tries to console her. Plus he doesn't even seem mad or upset that Rarity, the girl he has a crush on for 4 seasons, is clearly infatuated with someone else (showing how much he cares about her feelings).
Plus when you think about it, Rarity never made Spike feel like he needed to change who he was to get Rarity's approval, unlike Trenderhoof and how he treated Rarity. Which shows how sincere Spike and Rarity's relationship (platonic or romantic) is.
We all know Applejack isn't usually one for prettying herself up. Now imagine the effort that she must have put into being Apple Jewel; at the very least she'd have had to get her hair done up prim and proper and gotten her work-worn hooves filed and polished to a mirror shine. All that, just for a gentle rib at Rarity to remind her "this isn't you."
Season 4 - Part 2
The opening, with Fluttershy skipping around singing to her animal friends like a bona fide Disney Princess.
All the animals that get adopted because of the fundraiser.
Fluttershy just looks so adorable and happy when she's singing without having to worry about people watching her.
Fluttershy's friends supporting and helping her make the 'baby steps' so she can overcome her stage fright.
Big Macintosh and Rarity agreeing on letting Fluttershy sing one last time despite Mac no longer having a hoarse throat, as they both know by now how much Fluttershy had enjoyed doing it.
Cheerilee fake-swooning over Big Mac and then winking at him is pretty cute too, whether you ship them or see them as Just Friends.
The CMC get upset when they see all the kids outside Diamond Tiara's pool that aren't invited, and say that the party with all of them would be more fun.
The CMC displaying an apology gesture by showing what little bit they learned from Twilight. Scootaloo hands Twilight the fixed scooter, Applebloom grows a tiny flower, and Sweetie Bell using magic to stick the flower in Twilight's hair. It's their way of saying, "We understand if you don't want to forgive us, but we want you to know how sincerely we appreciated your lessons and this is how far we got because of you."
Twilight forgives the CMC at the end, and they really do end up improving.
Twilight is more than happy to let the entire gang of foals into the library, only getting upset when it's clear they're only there for bragging rights.
Seeing Twilight being a Friend to All Children is not only really sweet, it shows how much she's grown since the start of the series.
Then again, Twilight was implied to be the big sisterly type even early on in the series, but seeing it in full force like this is really nice.
The Crusaders treating Twilight with the same friendliness and respect they always have, it's pretty clear her status hasn't changed how the view her. Just like the rest of the Mane Six.
Just hearing Twilight refer to the Crusaders as her friends and vice-versa. A friendship has been implied in earlier episodes, but actually hearing confirmation of it was really satisfying. Especially with Twilight telling the Crusaders she set the event up just for them.
It Ain't Easy Being Breezies
Spike is horribly guilt-ridden over knocking loose the leaf that messed up some of the Breezies' flight path, but Twilight and Fluttershy don't blame him at all and tell him it could have happened to anyone.
Fluttershy rescuing Seabreeze from an angry bee swarm even though he had been a total jerk to her and the others.
Seabreeze apologizing to his fellow breezies and encouraging them to carry on with their mission. He even lets them lean on him for support.
The Breezies finally getting home and being reunited with their friends and family. Especially when we see Seabreeze has a wife and a baby.
Rainbow Dash says she's always wanted to know what it's like to be a griffon, likely a result of her old friendship with Gilda, revealing she still treasures the time that they spent together, despite Gilda turning into a jerk later.
Somepony to Watch Over Me
After Applejack saved Applebloom, she apologizes for being over-protective, and the two reconcile.
Applebloom: So... we good?
Applejack: Little sister, we're always good.
Pinkie and Maud's relationship. The two of them are complete polar opposites in many ways, and not only do they love and accept each other, but they think the world of each other. Even when Pinkie's friends are irritated with Maud's behavior, Pinkie never thinks ill of her.
Later, when Pinkie's friends realize how much Maud really loves Pinkie, they're happy to accept her as a friend, as they all have something quite important in common, their love for Pinkie. Maud accepts their friendship and, even if still keeping her stoic face, Pinkie can tell she's actually happy for this. Before that, Maud also admitted she was happy that Pinkie had so many friends in Ponyville.
After being soundly beaten in a stone-throwing contest, Rainbow Dash swallows her pride and says "I guess you win this one, Maud." It's evident from the forced smile she's sporting that that must've taken a lot for her to say, considering she's stated outright that winning is her passion and she hates losing. But she concedes defeat anyway, being a good sport in the hopes that maybe Maud would warm up to her.
At the end, where it's revealed that Maud has kept every single rock candy necklace that Pinkie has made for her in a box. When Twilight expresses confusion as to why Maud hasn't eaten a single one, Maud just simply says that while she's not a candy lover, she loves her little sister. The fact that she keeps the necklaces, instead of simply throwing them away when Pinkie's not looking, shows just how much they (and Pinkie) truly mean to her.
Maud: I don't really like candy... (smiles) But I do love Pinkie Pie.
At one point during the picnic, Maud takes a bite from her daisy sandwich, she then puts it down and then sets Boulder next to it. She's basically feeding him.
After Maud saves Pinkie from being crushed and helps her down the rock pile, she gives her a small hug after making sure she's okay. Think about that: it wasn't Pinkie Pie that hugged Maud, grateful her big sister saved her life; it was Maud that hugged Pinkie Pie, thankful her younger sister was alive. After spending nearly the entire episode without showing any outward emotion at all, we see that, beneath her dull-as-dishwater personality, Maud does love and care for her family.
Maud usually looks aloof and uninterested, but during the train travel, she takes her time to express something:
Maud: Thank you for coming with me. I don't know how long I'll be gone on my rock research trip. I'm glad I still get to spend some time with you before I go.
It becomes more heartwarming when you remember Maud's Brutal Honesty. If she says she feels glad or happy, even if her expression doesn't change, she's being entirely honest about it; same applies to when she says she's happy for Pinkie having so many friends, and when accepting their friendship offer herself.
Pinkie: I only wanted my friends to get to know my amazing older sister.
A bit of heartwarming crossed with Fridge Brilliance: this episode explains why Pinkie Pie would want a stoic and unemotional pet like Gummy. Gummy reminds Pinkie of her big sister.
For Whom Sweetie Belle Tolls
Sweetie Belle and Rarity reconciling and hugging at the end of the episode. Awwww...
Rarity: But I never did get to see your play. Any chance I can catch encore performance.
Sweetie Belle: Eh, I don't think the play was all that good. To be honest, the costumes were the best part. (hug)
Sapphire Shores referring to Rarity as "her favorite designer." A nice show of appreciation for what Rarity's gone through filling orders for her.
Luna going out of her way to help Sweetie Belle realize that Rarity really was just trying to help her and that she wants Rarity to be happy too, even meeting up with Sweetie Belle outside of her dreams to help her fix the costume.
Luna knowing that Sapphire Shores likes dolphins because they swim with her in her dreams and using that knowledge to help a filly reconcile with her big sister.
Luna helping because she knows what it's like to be jealous of your older sister but she also knows the guilt that comes from hurting someone who never meant to hurt you. Pretty much everything Luna does in this episode.
A small thing, but Spike telling Apple Bloom and Scootaloo to cheer up when they're sad Applejack and Rainbow Dash couldn't stay to see the play is sweet of him. He even offers to get some punch for them.
It's a quick thing, and in the middle of Sweetie Belle doing something she really shouldn't (sabotaging the headdress)... but she closes the box with magic. She's grown up a lot since the first time we saw her.
Leap Of Faith
At the very beginning of the episode, we see the Apple family at a watering hole, with all three siblings happily splashing about and playing together. INCLUDING Big Mac, who has the biggest grin on his face. Is it as adorable as it sounds? Yes, yes it is! In fact, this is probably the very first time we've ever seen all three of the Apple siblings spending some real, quality time together, and it is the sweetest thing ever!
Granny Smith's and Apple Bloom's synchronized swimming routine. Not only was their routine worthy of a perfect 10, you can see very clearly the loving bond shared between a grandmother and her youngest granddaughter. We've seen it before at the end of "Family Appreciation Day", but to see it again here, it's so heart-meltingly beautiful.
When Applejack admitted the truth she never tried to excuse her actions.
Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3
When Rainbow is in the middle of her Heroic BSOD thinking she's never going to achieve her dream, Twilight flies after her to boost her spirits. She points out that Rainbow has shown lots of intelligence and creativity in the past and that she is perfectly capable of learning history.
Everyone in Ponyville collaborating to create a lesson plan that Rainbow Dash will notice subconsciously from the air so she can learn the material for her upcoming test. Including play-acting in costume, giant flash cards, and topiary!
After all her trouble cramming for the test and suffering a massive Heroic BSOD, Rainbow Dash passes. With a perfect score.
A meta example: Amy Keating Roger's decision to name the Wonderbolts' founder Firefly was made to pay tribute to Lauren Faust and her screen name, "fyre-flye" (in turn named after her favorite G1 pony Firefly).
Rainbow Dash going to lengths to get Twilight to call the deal unfair she made with the mare to get the signed first-edition copy of "Daring Do and the Quest for the Sapphire Statue", JUST so she won't lose Fluttershy.
The mare even mentioning that was the sweetest thing she ever heard, once Rainbow Dash explains her convictions.
Most everything involving Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy's relationship in this episode. Fluttershy goes above and beyond to help Rainbow Dash get her book, and Dash gives up the book without a second thought to get Fluttershy back.
Rainbow Dash saying Twilight's old copy of the book is better than the first-edition one because she can read it with all her friends. And then everyone gathers round.
Rarity and Applejack getting each other items that are kind of like the ones they wanted, even though they both thought what the other wanted was silly. Plus Rainbow getting Fluttershy the bird call she wanted.
Fluttershy easily taming the two-headed dog.
Twilight realizing that the old books she didn't read anymore were still special and keeping them.
Pinkie trying to help Twilight get a good deal for her books, even though she went about it all wrong.
A meta example - one of the sales ponies Fluttershy and Dash interact with seems to be in the pony equivalent of a wheelchair. It's never brought up and no one treats him any differently.
The character (named Stellar Eclipse)'s inclusion was actually brought about by the Make-A-Wish foundation. The teen who voiced him, named Sylvain Lavasseur Portelance, has Spinal Muscular Atrophy, and his wish was apparently to voice a character on the show. So DHX studios and the Make-A-Wish foundation worked together to make that happen.
The fact there are Discord shaped lamps being traded implies that ponies are starting to genuinely like him, or at least don't see him as a threat anymore.
Rarity calling Spike "Precious Scales" as a pet name.
Spike refers to his relationship with Rarity as a "friendship", even while he still obviously has a big crush on her.
Spike thinks that Rarity isn't going to like him anymore once he tells her that he doesn't really think that her changes have been good, but once he does she's not offended at all and says he shouldn't be afraid to be honest with her. And this is a pony who usually does not take criticism well (see: the beginning of the episode).
A minor example, but during the beginning of the episode you can see Thunderlane and Rumble, and Diamond Tiara and Filthy Rich together at the fair. It's very sweet to see the brothers and the father and daughter hanging out together. It's especially heartwarming if you focus on Rumble and Diamond Tiara's faces - both of them just look so happy to be spending time with their family.
The Crystal Ponies really honor Spike for saving their kingdom.
Spitfire and Rainbow Dash's congratulatory hoofbump to each other after they finish the relay.
Derpy, even if not competing herself (this was established in 'Rainbow Falls', as only a non-competing pegasus could replace Rainbow), is still part of the Ponyville's delegation, most surely serving as an emergency replacement if necessary, and is treated with the same respect and praise as the other athletes.
Rainbow Dash being encouraging towards her teammates for the relay, even though she admits they probably aren't going to win. That she's totally okay with them getting second place shows a lot of character development.
Twilight secretly lighting the torch in the opening ceremony to save Spike from humiliation. Since it was subtle, it still looked like Spike lit the torch, which kept his image intact.
After the opening ceremonies, Sweetie Belle and Apple Bloom run over to Rarity and Applejack happily and get praised for doing well. Scootaloo runs over to Rainbow Dash, who gives her an affectionate noogie and tells her she did good.
The whole episode is a MASSIVE one for Spike, who has shown self-esteem issues before. Not only is he actually hailed for his actions last time he was at the Crystal Empire, but he saves everybody AGAIN and gets a huge confidence boost despite his messup in the beginning of the episode. It's really sweet to watch for those that feel Spike always gets the short end of the stick.
In fact, Cadance herself, the Crystal Empire's princess, BOWS at Spike's feet. Even Celestia and Luna give him a respectful, small bow after he saves everyone at the stadium. Basically, even Equestria's royalty considers Spike a hero.
Not to mention, Cadance was also a savior of the Empire and with a more public role. But she makes sure that Spike's role is acknowledged.
Even though Spike messing up the song was a very cringe-worthy moment, the fact that all the ponies were cringing along with him in sympathy instead of mocking and laughing at him was nice. And even though most of those in attendance didn't enjoy the song, Pinkie was clearly shown rocking her head back and forth to it and smiling, showing that at least someone liked it.
Twilight's interactions with Spike in the last third of the episode, where she gets him to leave the hotel room and reassure him that messing up once is no big deal. She continues to be supportive after he saves the games and tells him that he shouldn't be so hard on himself.
For characters that otherwise get little interaction with one another, this episode certainly shows that Spike and the CMC are on rather friendly terms. Spike reassures the CMC at the beginning of the episode while they are feeling nervous about their flag carrying task. In turn, they visit him in his hotel room after his humiliating anthem incident.
Twilight's Kingdom Part 1
When Discord makes a joke about him becoming an alicorn princess too, the mane six all look annoyed - except for Fluttershy, who giggles to herself. She's also the only one who looks happy to see him.
All three princesses singing this to Twilight to boost her morale.
When Cadance sings "You're gifted and you are strong", Twilight blushes and smiles.
The reveal that Starswirl was friends with Tirek's brother, and likely was a huge factor in his Heel-Face Turn.
Discord's casual admission to Tirek that he's being helpful for his friends (specifically, for Fluttershy).
Note that in the flashback, Scorpan is wearing a medallion and now Tirek wears the medallion. This implies that Scorpan, despite knowing that his brother had done wrong and deserved to be imprisoned, still loved his brother and gave Tirek a token of his brotherly affection before he departed from Equestria.
Twilight's Kingdom Part 2
When Discord reveals to the Mane 6 that he turned traitor, Applejack, who'd been the most vocally and bluntly opposed to him the entire season, says nothing... because she's too busy cradling the heartbroken Fluttershy.
Shortly after the same scene, when Tirek has just drained the main cast of their magic, and drained Discord, take a close look at Spike. He's holding Rarity. Even in their darkest hour he's still there to comfort her.
A more subtle aspect of the above mentioned moment; the minute she sees the fireball shooting toward her home, Twilight teleports into it, then comes back out with Owloysious in her arms/front hooves. It's very likely that her very first instinct upon seeing that her home was about to be obliterated was to save her pet.
Twilight could have also used a quick spell to save her treasured belongings before the library detonated.
After Fluttershy tells Twilight they're not worth sacrificing her power to save, Discord tells her that she is, and he was too much of a fool to realize it. A more subtle one is that Discord shows hints of remorse and guilt even before Tirek stabs him in the back, showing Fluttershy really has changed him.
When you think about it, even his betrayal shows that he's a changed Draconequus to some extent. How could a manipulator like Discord get played like a fiddle with the same mind games he used to dish out so liberally? His time around the Mane Six has made him more trusting. He probably expected Tirek to be his friend.
Twilight agrees to give Tirek her alicorn magic in exchange for her friends, including Discord.
Furthermore, because Twilight made such a decision of such extraordinary forgiveness and generosity of spirit, Tirek's defeat is made possible.
While it is a case of Discord being Easily Forgiven, it does help that Twilight heard Discord's remarkably heartfelt apology to Fluttershy and the others for his betrayal. Knowing that he truly regretted what he'd done, Twilight refused to leave him to Tirek.
Discord giving Twilight her key. To elaborate, he didn't know that Tirek's medallion could be the final key to the chest. He gave it to Twilight as a sincere display of friendship and gratitude.
Twilight's new castle has six thrones for each of the Mane Six...and next to Twilight's throne is a seventh, smaller one for Spike. The characters may forget his deeds sometimes, but the Tree of Harmony remembers.
Spike and Rarity share a glance when they first try their new thrones.
When Twilight and her friends share a Group Hug in Twilight's new castle, Discord, who feels guilty about helping Tirek, merely waves to them from the doorway. In response, Twilight uses her magic to pull him over so he can join the hug. It's official: Twilight considers Discord a friend!
After Tirek's been defeated, and Twilight's new castle rises, the citizens of Ponyville approach the doors, uncertain of what's happened. Twilight opens and begins singing "Let the Rainbow Remind You" and the entire town breaks out in smiles. Imagine what's going through their minds: the Darkest Hour has just passed, a titanic battle just took place outside of their town...and now they're greeted by their Princess singing them a victory song. Seeing the town's joy as they realize that all is well makes it all worthwhile.
Particularly touching is that the scene includes characters like Photo Finish, Diamond Tiara, and Silver Spoon, who so rarely show that much genuine cheer and happiness. It's just touching to show them so genuinely HAPPY that the ordeal is over.
One blink and you miss it face in the crowd is ZECORA, seemingly finally confirming her as a full-fledged citizen of Ponyville. They've come a long way from Bridle Gossip haven't they?
During the last musical number of the episode and the season, the Rainbow Power released by the Mane Six forms a beautiful rainbow that passes all throughout Equestria. The characters we see it passing? Coco Pommel, Spitfire, Cheese Sandwich, Sea Breeze, Silver Shill and Discord. Aka, everypony (and Breezie and Draconequus) that gave the Mane Six their keys.
The looks on each of their faces when they see the rainbow.
Cocosmiles. After all she went through in "Rarity Takes Manehattan", it's a real treat to see her genuinely happy.
Cheese blowing a noisemaker in response to the rainbow.
It's made even more touching when you consider if Discord was able to make the flowers appear out of thin air, it means his magic was restored by the Rainbow Power along with the ponies. Apparently, the Tree Of Harmony has determined that his Heel-Face Turn is genuine.
The fact that everyone's welcomed him back despite his mistakes counts as pretty heartwarming, too.
Slightly Meta example: Bringing back both Tirek and Scorpan, characters from the very first episode of My Little Pony from 1984. It's a major Book Ends for the franchise to begin and end season 4 with both a villain and a hero from the original...
Another Meta example is the ending song. The rainbow created by the Main Six has always been the equivalent of the original series' Rainbow of Light. "Let the Rainbow Remind You" isn't just a sweet song. It's also, in a way, telling older fans to remember their own childhoods.
The Hub released its extended "Equestria Girls" promo to fansite Equestria Daily first, and included two very big shout-outs to the Periphery Demographic—using the term "brony" and officially dubbing a pony with a popular fanon nickname. And it was also apparently addressed to "The Hub's favorite pony fans"!
One fan of the show has written an essay on an exact reason why the show is so popular. It speaks for itself.
This thread starts out with an Awesome Moment as experienced by the original poster, but then virtually everyone who visits the site shows up to support the poster for having the courage to do it. Made even better when Lauren Faust herself appears.
This interview with Lauren Faust that was done specifically for Equestria Daily. Not only is it awesome to get such an in depth look into the work that went in to just START the series, but at the end, Lauren gives an extremely touching thanks to all the Bronies who support the show. Along with this are the numerous posts in the comments of fans thanking Lauren, the production team, the EQD posters, and the fandom as a whole for everything it means to them. If many of the comments are to be believed, it also counts as a Tear Jerker for many a brony.
The reception of Luna's new mane.
How about the reception of Canon Luna, period? As her "official" introduction approached, pretty much the entire fandom was bracing themselves for waves of "ruined" cries as the result of tons of Fanon being rendered meaningless. She could have easily become a Base Breaker. She didn't.
This needs to be made especially clear: this is the internet, a gathering ground for broken bases, Flame Wars, and fans claiming to know better than creators. Sure the slogan for Bronies is "love and tolerate", but as this fanart pointed out◊, everyone expected the community to be split down the middle over Luna's canon portrayal. The fact that there have been no major incidents or fights, and more over that nearly the entire fandom has embraced Canon!Luna wholeheartedly, is definitely a crowning moment for the fans and what the show means to them.
The single most common response? "Hasbro, just don't make us wait another year for her next appearance, please?" And in season 2's finale, they didn't.
This journal post by one of the show's storyboarders, telling the story of how a soldier stationed in Iraq sent a box of chocolates and bouquet of flowers to the studio as a gesture of appreciation for their hard work.
This is a story of a marine who got into the show via his little sister. It ends with a Fluttershy toy being a pocket protector.
In Cathy Weseluck's interview, you can really tell how much she enjoys working on the show, and how much she loves playing Spike.
She pretty much confirms that Spike sees Twilight as an older sister.
"When I came into Star Trek with Patrick, the Star Trek fan base had already been established. I feel like Iï¿½m at the beginning and watching of a new fan base and I want to invite you who are Trek fans to embrace Friendship Is Magic fans because I discovered that we all have a lot in common."
Dragon:[stunned, muttering] ...love you too, Twilight.
** it just goes to show that, as bronies, Tara is our Queen FOR A REASON!
A fan at Bronycon asked John de Lancie if the Brony community would change Q's views on humanity. In character, he answered
Q: [My Little Pony] has caused humanity to become a kinder, gentler society. Thank you.
Heck, Bronycon 2012 in its entirety is one giant CMOH.
Case in point, this gift the fans gave to Lauren Faust at the end of her panel that Saturday.
A fanart piece showing the Cutie Mark Crusaders all grown up with cutie marks, drawn by layout artist Kat Stenson long before she became part of the show's crew, became Side Story Bonus Art by being used in the initial version of a recipes PDF on The Hub's website. While this Flash Forward art was soon replaced, the present-day art that took its place doesn't disprove it, so even if the G4 series ends before the Crusaders get their cutie marks, we still know that they do get them eventually.
In a Hot Topic "Hot Minute" interview with Rainbow Dash, she is asked who her best friend is. Her response is "All my friends are the best!"
Similarly, Fluttershy's Hot Topic interview showed her being unable to decide who her best friend is.
Pinkie Pie's answer on the best gift she's ever received: "Every single hug I've ever gotten."
When the rumors about Twilight becoming an alicorn princess first started, fan reaction was extremely sour. Then the rumors were officially confirmed, but has the reaction gotten worse? Nope. In fact, the cries of "Ruined FOREVER!" have surprisingly ceased a bunch, and there are more people who are stepping up to defend Alicorn!Twilight and are saying "Wait till the episode airs before freaking out!" It just goes to show how caring these fans are. Even Lauren Faust herself believes they can pull this move off without ruining the show.
On 02/08/13 Hasbro sent a Cease and Desist to the Mane6 development team, effectivly ending development of the Fighting is Magic fan game. To say that the fandom's reaction to this was negative is being extremely kind. The heartwarming part was when Lauren Faust not only expressed sympathy for the devs but she offered the team New OC's for a new game. Granted they wouldn't be Pony OC's but even so the thought most definitely counts here.
Even after all the controversy surrounding a certain pegasus that eventually led to her being phased out of the show, beloved fandom mascot, Derpy Hooves, has made several blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameos in Magical Mystery Cure, after having been absent the entire season. Whether this is either her final send off or a subtle hint that she's returning remains unknown. Rest assured, however, that this gesture did NOT go un-appreciated.
As of "Rainbow Falls," Derpy is again part of the show—see her section above.
Doubling as a Crowning Moment Of Awesome, the response to the financial crisis of the Las Pegasis Unicon on 02/24/13 and the following week (see that entry for more details).
Uberdeathninja is a rather infamous longtime Troll on the My Little Brony image board. On 6-24-13, he trolled this image, not realizing the story behind it (that it was regarding the death of a friend of Tara Strong, one of the voice actors. The person who died was a young child with a brain tumor, who had received continuous support, moral and financial, from the Bronies). After realizing that what he had donewas so far beyond trollingthat even he was disgusted with himself, he gave a heartfelt apology to everyone, admitting that what he had done had crossed so many lines that he knew that he would never be forgiven for it. What happened then?
Uberdeathninja:I appreciate you trying to help, but don't bother. If they decide to forgive me, which is unlikely, it will be a long time before they do. I can apologize all I want, but I didn't make fun of a fanbase, I mocked a dead child who had cancer. If anything, I deserve no forgiveness, not for what I've said.
Nicolas_M:Strangely enough, such comments make me want to forgive you.
UDN spent the rest of the day giving support to the Bronies who expressed sorrow regarding this image. The next day, Uberdeathninja placed another post:
Uberdeathninja:Even if she was a Brony, I feel great sorrow for her loss, and I apologize for trolling on sacred ground. But we should not feel sorrow for her passing, but joy. Though her ailment was lethal, it was held at bay long enough for her to enjoy life, no matter how cut short. Though it was painful, it was, at least, peaceful, knowing many had fought so hard to help her. Though it was heartbreaking, we still smile that she existed, just as she smiles on us that we remember her. I do not revel in death, but I take pride knowing that a kind and loving god, somewhere, has taken her into his arms.
This final exchange is something that truly warms the heart.
Noted Pony-artist PixelKitties is known for her sharp wit and her show-accurate style, so much so that she has recieved commisions from many people involved with the show, including many of the show's voice actors, for various Brony conventions. Most of the time, they usually thank her with signed glossies of her art. But in the case of Sam Vincent, the voice of Flim, he went a step further...by getting the entire cast and crew to sign all the Season 2 posters. This act of kindness and gratitude has not gone unappreciated by PixelKitties, as she recounts the milestones in her time as part of the My Little Pony franchise.
From the 2013 GalaCon in Germany, Andrea Libman (the voice of Fluttershy) took part in an auction, where she would sing "Hush Now, Quiet Now" to the highest bidder. For bonus heartwarming, she even invited the lucky guy on stage so she could sing it to him in person. Awww.
At BABSCon, a first-year pony convention held in April 2014, Nicole Oliver did the following during the two VA panels:
Invited all the kids in the audience to sit at the front of the room
Made sure that any kids who had questions got to ask them first
Let two kids sit next to her on the stage during the second panel
Sang "You Are My Sunshine," in Princess Celestia's voice, to a brony who requested it
Separate from these panels, she visited the children's activity area and read to them from one of G.M. Berrow's books in Celestia's voice.