Ho Yay: My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic
Context: Because without it MLP is a show about 5 lesbian ponies, a pimp named Spike and a pink serial killer.My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic has an Improbably Female Cast and is based around close relationships. It was almost inevitable to have at least some Ho Yay, with or without Shipping Goggles
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Rainbow Dash with Pinkie Pie
Happens with Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash so many times it's easy to lose count, jokes about the latter's rainbow-coloured mane aside.
- "Griffon the Brush Off" plays exactly like Pinkie Pie trying to vie for Rainbow Dash's attention after her old flame shows up. It even starts with something very closely resembling Pepe le Pew chasing Penelope Pussycat, complete with Pinkie doing his little love hop sound as Rainbow sprints off, where Pepe would grope and mouthrape her until she broke free. Ninjaed! Netflix's description of the episode says that Pinkie becomes a "third wheel" between Gilda and Rainbow. This includes Gilda (see below) violently preventing Pinkie from intruding on her time with Rainbow, and Twilight outright stating she thinks Pinkie is jealous of Rainbow and Gilda's relationship. And at the end, after Gilda reveals herself to be a total bitch, Rainbow reaffirms that she'd much rather be with Pinkie.
- Pinkie's Rainbow Dash obsession is revisited in later episodes; it's almost a running gag that she's Rainbow Dash's Stalker Without A Crush (with similar themes to a stalker with a crush), with Pinkie affectionately calling her "Dashie" (something almost nopony else does), following her damn near everywhere (particularly in "Over a Barrel" and "Party of One"), and having a severe case of No Sense of Personal Space even by Pinkie standards.
- In "Party of One" the pony sent to fetch Pinkie for her surprise party is Rainbow Dash, entering with a brief shot showing Rainbow Dash's face framed in the heart on Pinkie's door. Rainbow Dash tries to force Pinkie Pie to move by shoving her forehead in Pinkie Pie's butt, Pinkie then sits on Dash's face, and Rainbow Dash says they'll have to do it "the hard way".
- Right at the end of "The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000", Pinkie offers one of her mugs of cider to a really crushed Rainbow Dash after the poor Pegasus finds the cider running out yet again. Throughout most of the episode, Pinkie acts extremely oblivious to Dash's annoyance at not being able to get any cider, and while gushing about the cider she just drank, Pinkie leans further and further onto Rainbow Dash, until she's literally draped over Dash's back.
- The infamous "wingboner" incident in "Over a Barrel", where Rainbow Dash's wings are tucked against her body and then suddenly splayed to the side after Pinkie reveals her showgirl outfit.
- "Read It And Weep" opens with an equally wide-eyed, smiling Pinkie and Rarity watching mesmerized as Rainbow performs a bunch of impressive flying tricks, like a couple of drooling fangirls.
- In "Too Many Pinkie Pies" Pinkie initially is unable to choose between Applejack and Rainbow Dash for the afternoon, but once she has her first clone immediately chooses to be with Dashie herself and sends her clone to Applejack. Rainbow Dash is willing to be far more patient with Pinkie's antics than she normally would be for other characters, even as she states she just wants to relax while Pinkie is being her usual self. In response to this, Pinkie actually goes quiet, something she almost never does unless things are serious.
Pinkie Pie: At least we'll still be together!
- All throughout "Wonderbolts Academy", Pinkie becomes increasingly stressed while Rainbow is off at the academy, unable to spend time together, and almost devolves into a state of paranoia and depression very similar to her previous Sanity Slippage. At the end of the episode, when the others have been saved by Rainbow Dash, Pinkie happily jumps into Rainbow's forelegs and glomps her tight.
- In "Daring Don't", Pinkie hugs Dash and rubs up against her for far longer than is strictly necessary, before Dash pushes her away.
- Pinkie Pie is infuriated when she thinks Rainbow Dash has been hurt in "Rainbow Falls", and threatens payback on who/whatever hurt Dash. In the episode, she also acts as the Ponyville Team's single cheerleader, and loudly cheers on Dash as she flies the relay race.
- In "Pinkie Pride", Pinkie and Dash hold hooves right before Pinkie pins Dash to the ground and ends up in quite an interesting position. Pinkie spends the whole episode desperately trying to impress Rainbow Dash and make her happy, only stopping when she realized that her efforts were only making Rainbow Dash less happy. She also treats Rainbow Dash's "birthaversary" as a very serious matter, moreso than most of her parties.
- In My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Rainbow Rocks, the human counterparts of the cast have a slumber party at Pinkie Pie's house. Everyone else is sleeping on the floor, but Rainbow Dash is in the bed with Pinkie.
- In "The Lost Treasure of Griffonstone" Dash and Pinkie are the only two chosen by the map to go to the griffon city. Even inanimate objects ship them!
Rainbow Dash with Fluttershy
Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy, Childhood Friends for longer than any of the other mane six members have even known each other, are frequently shown to be very close.
- "Sonic Rainboom" opens with Fluttershy recapping "the elements of a good cheer" that Rainbow Dash has been teaching her: "loss of control", "screaming and hollering", and "passion". It's given out of context with no explanation until afterwards, so it kinda sounds like she and Rainbow Dash are talking about... something else.
- Their first meeting (as shown in "The Cutie Mark Chronicles") is straight out of a Rescue Romance, with Rainbow rushing in to protect Fluttershy from the bullies tormenting her, and Rainbow herself saying that she was "defending Fluttershy's honour".
- In "May The Best Pet Win," Fluttershy starts the song with, "Rainbow, my dear..." — a song the two spend the next three minutes singing together, often throwing their arms around each other, grabbing the other by the shoulders, or leaning very close in the other's face. Later, letting the tortoise compete in her contest is all-too-obviously the very last thing rainbow Dash wants to do, but when Fluttershy pleads with her with those adorable puppy-dog eyes, you can tell she's gonna give in (which she does).
- A Running Gag in the play performed in "Hearth's Warming Eve" (casting by Princess Celestia) is Fluttershy's character jumping into Rainbow's character's arms.
- "The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000" opens with Rainbow Dash barging into Fluttershy's room and pulling the blanket off of her as she lies in bed, causing the latter to blush and cover her chest (albeit rather pointlessly). Rainbow Dash also deciding to cut Fluttershy in on her deal to hoard cider (over all her other friends) says a bit, as does Rainbow letting Fluttershy go ahead of her in line.
- "Hurricane Fluttershy" is utterly full of Ship Tease for them. Rainbow Dash can stay amazingly patient and understanding of Fluttershy's nerves, while Fluttershy can work herself up enough to overcome her fears for Rainbow's sake. One particular line from Twilight Sparkle helps seal the deal. "Do it for Rainbow Dash", indeed.
Fluttershy: I'll do it.
- Rainbow at one point tells a distraught Fluttershy "But I need you!" while dramatic, emotional music plays. Then, after Fluttershy runs off, Rainbow Dash reaches out with her hoof, her disappointment and frustration mimicking a lover being disappointed in their other half. Fluttershy's breakdowns themselves seemed to be a combination of self-doubt and being upset for disappointing Rainbow.
- Rainbow took no comfort whatsoever when told by Spike and Twilight that they could break the record. All she could think about was Fluttershy's despair.
- Throughout the episode, Rainbow was oftentimes making intimate physical contact with Fluttershy. Hugging her, bringing a foreleg around her shoulders, touching her cheek, holding her at arm's length, and even sharing the equivalent of a high five.
- Fluttershy showing up at the site of the reservoir during Tornado Day, just to give Rainbow moral support. Despite that she felt terrible and didn't even want to participate in the slightest, she still showed up to support her.
- Rainbow almost immediately turns the praise to Fluttershy when Spitfire was congratulating her, even going as far as referring to Fluttershy as her "number one flyer". It's a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming for so many reasons and really shows how much Rainbow cares about Fluttershy.
- There's also when Rainbow first asks for Fluttershy's help, leading to this now infamous exchange that sounds like Fluttershy confirming a certain lifestyle choice, and Rainbow being overjoyed to hear it. She's saying "I'm game," but that's not always how it sounds.
Rainbow Dash: You will!?
Fluttershy: I will.
Rainbow Dash: You're gay!?
Fluttershy: I'm gay.
Rainbow Dash grabs Fluttershy and flies through the air holding her.
Rainbow Dash: ALRIGHT!
- "Dragon Quest" opens (what is it with these two and episode openings?) with Rainbow Dash and Twilight Sparkle trying to get Fluttershy to go see the dragon migration, when Rainbow Dash mentions when she and Fluttershy went to go see the butterfly migration together. Casual outing between friends, or really boring date? On top of that, Dashie has a picture of them on the migration trip together that she has been carrying around. Photo to remember the date, perhaps? (While probably unintentional, Rainbow's line of vision in that photo is actually directed right at Fluttershy's cutie mark. So she actually was watching butterflies, just not the ones passing in the air.)
- During the attack of the changelings in "A Canterlot Wedding - Part 2", Rainbow Dash almost kisses Fluttershy on the nose when helping her up. What sells this is that Fluttershy briefly closes her eyes as though she expected to be kissed.
- "Keep Calm and Flutter On" not only has Rainbow acting more like a jealous and overprotective girlfriend when she sees Fluttershy being nice to Discord, but Fluttershy also called her "Dashie", something she never did before.
- "Daring Don't" has yet another opening with the two. An excited Rainbow Dash constantly touches Fluttershy in some manner, right to holding her hooves.
- "Magic Duel" had an especially sweet moment when Rainbow displayed unwavering faith in Fluttershy's abilities.
- There was a bit going on between them in "Rainbow Falls", such as Fluttershy (along with Bulk Biceps) being part of Rainbow's three-pony pegasi relay team, and saying she was competing for Rainbow (and Ponyville, as well).
- In "Trade Ya" Fluttershy does everything in her power to make Dash happy by getting her the Daring Do book she wanted, and when Dash realizes she's traded Fluttershy for the book she immediately fights to get her back and doesn't give the book a second thought. Plus she gets Fluttershy the bird call she wanted at the end.
- At the end of "Rainbow Rocks", when Twilight is departing the human world, human!Fluttershy is seen holding human!Rainbow Dash’s arm.
- There are a few moments between the two of them throughout the movie. Most especially is human!Rainbow finally choosing one of human!Fluttershy's songs to perform.
- When Dash is sulking because of Tank and refusing to talk to anyone about it, Fluttershy knows exactly what to say to get through to her and make her deal with the situation so she can move on.
- "Friends Forever #18" has the two go to their flight camp reunion. At the climax of the story, Fluttershy ducks under the table they're sitting at (itself a rather suggestive image), and Rainbow goes after her. Fluttershy pours her heart out about how awful flight camp was for her, and Rainbow consoles she's moved on from that and is still very cool in her own ways. The scene is topped off by Fluttershy giving Rainbow a tight hug, their mouths so close they almost kiss. Also, while they were each invited separately, it could be inferred the two attended the reunion as a date.
Rainbow Dash with Applejack
Rainbow Dash and Applejack's Vitriolic Best Buds routine shifts into Slap-Slap-Kiss on occasions. On a side note, you might notice a trend here with Rainbow...
- "Fall Weather Friends" might as well have been called "Belligerent Sexual Tension: The Episode", with the two going to ever greater lengths to best the other and prove their superiority. Even the lesson at the end wasn't that they were constantly competing, but them taking it too seriously was threatening their relationship, and the episode ends with them galloping off into the sunset together. It also features a very exploitable split-second shot of Applejack leaping onto Rainbow's back as they near the finish line.
- In "Bridle Gossip", Applejack fashions a crude set of bit-and-reins and rides an upside-down flying Dashie around.
- In "The Mysterious Mare Do Well" Rainbow Dash "immortalizes" Applejack as her best friend, in the process bringing their faces very close together (which is conveniently obscured by a camera flash). So close, in fact, that it can easily mistaken for them kissing.
- In "The Last Roundup", Rainbow Dash is depicted as the one pony closest to Applejack, including being the first one to notice when she's lying, and tackling her at the end of the chase scene, with a briefly triumphant expression.
- Their human counterparts, when compared to the other girls post-break-up, the way Applejack talks about Rainbow Dash makes her sound like a bitter ex-girlfriend. The two are also the only ones to apologize to each other on-screen and they even seal it with a hug.
- In "Castle Mane-ia", when Rainbow Dash feels a hoof around her, she grins at the thought of it being Applejack. Meghan McCarthy left a comment on it.
- When AJ is forced to sacrifice her prize apple in "Bats", Rainbow is the only member of the group who actually takes a moment to console her over it (as opposed to say, Twilight, who was the one responsible for Fluttershy's transformation in the first place).
- In "Return Of Harmony Part 2" a newly restored Dash tackles AJ to the ground and pins her down (to ask what the situation is, but still).
- Issue 25 of the comic opens with the characters riding a train to Canter Creek. While AJ appears to be reading something, Rainbow is slumped against her, fast asleep and wearing her hat.
- In "Applebuck Season", during AJ's award ceremony, some of the characters take it in turns to compliment Applejack's hard work and kind offers to help them out. Then Rainbow (and this is early season one, pre-Character Development, major narcissist Rainbow, bear in mind) comes in and begins gushing, nay, fangirling over AJ and how awesome her athleticism is. It's pretty much the same tone she uses when talking about the Wonderbolts.
- Make New Friends but keep Discord first shows Applejack appearing to have No Sense of Personal Space around Rainbow, happily using her tail as a tissue when getting choked up (with Rainbow only appearing mildly annoyed). Then later at the Gala, Rainbow suggests that they "hit the dance floor" as a way of getting away from Discord.
- In the opening song of Rainbow Rocks, "Better than Ever", the girls all sing about how things have improved between them and the school at large. Then we get the start of the second verse:
Rainbow: There was a time we couldn't see past the differences.Applejack: That separated you and me and it left us on our own.
- Obviously they're referencing their argument from the first film, but consider this. In the first film there was no indication that the two had any falling out with the rest of the group and stopped being friends. Yet apparently they seem to consider that not being with each other is tantamount to being completely alone.
Our heroine, in her unending quest for friendship, can get very close to the ponies around her.
- As pictured above, in "Lesson Zero", Twilight Sparkle asks Rainbow Dash not to "hide her feelings" by cupping her face with both forehooves in a manner that could be interpreted romantically when taken in combination with her words. Humorously, the context is that Twilight is actually talking about Rainbow Dash's feelings towards Applejack.
- Near the end of the episode Pinkie Pie nuzzles Twilight, the only pony to do so. (Twilight also nuzzled Applejack and Rainbow Dash respectively in "Dragonshy" and "Over a Barrel".)
- "May the Best Pet Win!" has some amusing Accidental Innuendo in this scene:
Rainbow Dash: (to the pets) Alright, now these games will determine which one of you has the most important qualities I'm looking for in a pet. Speed, agility, guts, style. Coolness. Awesomeness. And radicalness.
Twilight Sparkle: Aren't those all the same thing?
Rainbow Dash: You would think that, Twilight. And that's why you would never qualify to be my pet.
Twilight: Rainbow Dash! Were you following me?
- "The Ticket Master" has Rainbow hovering by Twilight when asking about the ticket along with this line:
Rainbow Dash: Yes-I mean no-I mean, maybe!
- In "A Canterlot Wedding Part 2", Twilight asks Shining Armor how he managed to get Cadance to marry him. He says that he mentioned that if she did, she'd get an "awesome sister". So Cadance married a guy just to get closer to his sister?
- In Part 1, Twilight's first reaction to reuniting with the fake Cadance is to wiggle her rump in her face. Later, the real Cadance returns the favour, although the actual wiggling occurs off-screen. (Sure, It Makes Sense in Context, but wow.)
- In "Three's a Crowd" Twilight makes quite a big deal over how happy she is that she and Cadance will get to spend time together, and how frustrated she is that Discord tries to get between them.
- During the "You'll Play a Part" song from "Twilight's Kingdom - Part 1", Cadance tells Twilight "You're gifted and you are strong," at which Twilight blushes.
- Twilight is intensely reverent of Princess Celestia, well beyond even the usual level of grovelling obedience most ponies display towards her, and is utterly terrified of disappointing her or seeming "unworthy" in any way (as shown in "Swarm of the Century", "Bird in the Hoof", and especially "Lesson Zero").
- In her flashback in "The Cutie Mark Chronicles", Twilight says that Celestia raising the sun was "the most amazing, most wonderful thing [she's] ever seen," and was the inspiration for her to pursue both magic and research as passions.
- Twilight says she wants to go to the Grand Galloping Gala to talk magic with Celestia, but she has already been regularly doing this by sending friendship lessons by Spikemail◊. Their wording for each other can be interpreted as more than professional:
Princess Celestia: Well, I want you right by my side the entire evening, so we'll have plenty of time together.
Twilight Sparkle: That's just what I was hoping you'd say.
- They later get their chance for a dance together at the end of Make New Friends but keep Discord, as Celestia cheekily pushes Twilight onto the dance floor after all the trouble with Discord was resolved.
- "The Crystal Empire - Part 2" shows that Twilight's worst, deepest fear is Celestia rejecting her and no longer being able to be her student.
- When Twilight sees Celestia in the alternate dimension she gets transported to after finishing the spell in "Magical Mystery Cure", her first reaction is to run over and give her a hug. Even when Twilight is transformed into an alicorn princess, she is upset at first, because she thinks she won't be Celestia's student anymore.
- Now that Twilight is a princess and no longer her student, the hugs give way to a PDA in "Princess Twilight Sparkle: Part 1".
Princess Celestia: You may no longer be my student, Princess Twilight, but I hope you know that I will always be here if you need me. Just as I hope that you will always be there when I need you.
- After Cadence, Luna, and Celestia transfer their magic to Twilight for safekeeping in "Twilight's Kingdom Part 2", Twilight's first instinct upon recovery is to rush over and hug the exhausted Celestia comfortingly. She's even crying as she does so.
- In "MMMMystery on the Friendship Express", Pinkie and Twilight take turns to roleplay as Sherlock Holmes and Watson (famous for their own Ho Yay), and even share the Bubble Pipe! (Though Twilight makes sure to clean said pipe before using it, so that specific moment may be deliberately subverted.)
Twilight: ...And this is the book I got on the day I met you.
- At the end of "Feeling Pinkie Keen" the two of them are holding their hoofs together while they're reconciling.
- Pinkie and Twilight get a bit at the end of "Trade Ya" when Pinkie reminds Twilight of the sentimental value of the books she's trying to get rid of.
- In "Luna Eclipsed", Twilight lures Pinkie into a dark alley with candy, and when she's out of view of the crowd she jams her against a wall with a hoof to her mouth and tells her "No shrieking. No screaming or squealing either." Twilight then shows Pinkie she isn't alone, at which point Pinkie flees in terror, prompting Twilight to tackle her and pin her to the ground. note
- At the very end of "The Crystal Empire - Part 2", Rarity winds up holding Twilight's hoof.
- Trixie and Twilight have amazing Foe Yay in "Magic Duel", and by the end of the episode they manage to become friends.
Twilight Sparkle: I can't stop thinking about Trixie!
- During "Dragonshy" Applejack saves Twilight's life from an avalanche and gets a neat little nuzzle in return for her heroics.
- The Equestria Girls version of Twilight is surprisingly flirty in the "Perfect Day for Fun" short. First she drags Fluttershy around the carnival by the hand as though they're on a date. When the group has gotten together and they're all taking pictures in the photo booth, one picture depicts what can only be described as Twilight copping a feel! She has her hand very clearly touching Applejack's chest (who in response looks very shocked). Finally at the end, the group ride a ferris wheel together and Twilight has her arm around Fluttershy's shoulder, again in a very "date-like" way.
- "Amending Fences" reveals that Moondancer, the pony whose party Twilight blew off in the pilot, was turned into a bitter loner by her not showing up. Many fans pointed out that this is a rather extreme reaction to a friend not coming to a party, but not so much if Moondancer was secretly in love with her.
Twilight Sparkle with Sunset Shimmer
- From My Little Pony: Equestria Girls, Twilight and Sunset Shimmer have enough chemistry it's easy to forget that Twilight technically has a ''male'' crush. Then the sequel took this and ran away with it, to the point Flash seems an afterthought to the blooming friendship Twilight and Sunset share.
- Sunset's status as the Big Bad in the first film allows for Foe Yay as well as Ho Yay, particularly since Sunset seems to want to steal Twilight's life because she's jealous of her.
- The moment Twilight returns through the portal, Sunset seems to be expecting Twilight to take her hand, but shies away from her because she feels unworthy to be around her.
- With her still being an outsider to the Humane Five, Sunset is at her happiest in the film when she's talking to Twilight, and seems more comfortable around her than the others. The look on her face when Twilight compliments her on thinking of a method to counter the Dazzlings' spell has to be seen to be believed◊.
- During the film's climax, Twilight calls out for Sunset's help against the Dazzlings, and Sunset steps up next to her and helps Twilight to her feet as they begin to sing. Then they fall into a duet together...
- At the end of the film, Sunset writes to Twilight "Dear Princess Twilight. Missing you already, and I hope you'll be back soon."
- The crowner of it all is the sleepover, while they are both up at night, equally stressed by the day's events in the kitchen, where the two of them have a moment of personal bonding.
Sunset Shimmer: "Hey, Twilight. You're up late."Twilight: "Just looking over the counter-spell. We only get one shot at this. It has to be perfect."Sunset: "We really are lucky you're here."Twilight: "That's what everyone keeps telling me."Sunset: (casually glancing at Pinkie's fridge) ) "Who could possibly need this much whipped cream?" (glances back to Twilight) "Must be nice to have everyone always looking to you for answers to their problems... instead of waiting for you to cause a problem."Twilight: "Just because everyone expects something from you doesn't mean it's guaranteed to happen."Sunset: "Well, that doesn't stop them from expecting it."Twilight: "Which only makes things harder because the last thing you want to do is..."Both: "...let everybody down."
- Said kitchen scene also includes Twilight calling out to Sunset, as if to say something private before she goes to leave, then backs down and says "nevermind." Can't Spit It Out, much?
- That's also not getting into Sunset's pyjama top falling off her shoulder as she squirts whipped cream onto her thumb as they talk. The imagery there speaks for itself.
- At the start of the music video Friendship Through the Ages, a very elegantly dressed Twilight is playing a grand piano, which Sunset is sitting on watching her. They stare into each other's eyes smiling, and then Twilight gets up and for a moment, it seriously looks as though she's moving to take Sunset's hands in order to dance with her. She doesn't, but strokes Sunset's arm, which isn't without implications of its own. The classical piano music used for the segment, and the imagery, give it a noticeably more romantic tone than the rest of the song where Sunset interacts with the other five.
- Rarity has a notable tendency to be physically affectionate with other girls, and freely throws around flirty eyes and intimate dialogue as part of her 'camp fashion designer' persona. Still, there are a few examples that stand out.
- The Tomboy and Girly Girl dynamic between Applejack and Rarity sometimes borders on romantic tension, particularly in "Look Before You Sleep". One scene includes them sharing a bed, and when they're frightened by the thunder — and later by Twilight's ghost story — the first thing they do is grab each other in panic.
Rarity: Oh, I just so wish it [the crystalization] was permanent! Did you see how my mane just absolutely sparkled?
- In "It's About Time", Rarity works alongside Applejack when they help to repair the Ponyville dam, and she even goes so far as to mop off◊ AJ's perspiration! And then after scouting the perimeter, she picks the leaves out of AJ's mane - did the leaves get in there while they were looking for "new positions", one wonders?
- In "The Crystal Empire - Part 2", we have this exchange:
Applejack: But, good things are better when they're a "rarity" (winks).
Rarity: Awwwwwww (giggles).
Rarity: (speaking to Applejack) ...You probably know me better than I know myself.
- The Rarity issue of the the micro series comics shows Rarity going on vacation... and bringing along a picture of Applejack to put on her nightstand.
- In Equestria Girls during the Rainbow Dash 'wub' face scene, Rarity is clasping Applejack's arm like one does on a romantic walk or for a date. Ironic since it's Prom Night. And when the girls transform back to their normal selves, Applejack can be seen holding Rarity's hand.◊
- Applejack and Rarity both hate it when the other isn't themselves in "Simple Ways", and they both mention how much they know each other.
- Applejack and Rarity spend the whole day in "Trade Ya" arguing over a trade each one wants, taking all their collected items to trade, but instead of trying to convince the other that their item is more important they instead argue that the other should go get their item. In the end neither get their wanted item and instead trade half their stash to get an item similar to what the other wanted.
- In Issue #25 of the main comic series, Rarity gushes over Sheriff Tumbleweed's hat, which Applejack points out is the same as hers with a quite irritated look, just like someone dealing with an Oblivious to Love crush. Or who suspects their partner's eye is wandering, whichever you prefer.
- Rarity and Applejack head to the Gala together in Make New Friends but keep Discord, with vaguely disgruntled expressions as the Cutie Mark Crusaders run past excitedly, as though they were on a date that was being disrupted by the need to babysit their little sisters.
- In "Green Isn't Your Color" Rarity seems more upset and jealous about Fluttershy's career forcing her to miss a (for lack of a better word) date with Rarity than Fluttershy accidentally becoming part of the fashion spotlight instead of her.
- In "Putting Your Hoof Down" Rarity repeatedly calls Fluttershy "sweetie".
- "Filli Vanilli" shows Fluttershy and Rarity giving an adorable nuzzle. Both episodes feature Rarity putting a lot of effort into trying to gently coax Fluttershy out of her shell, compared to most of the other characters who are usually either far more blunt about Fluttershy's hang ups if not outright oblivious.
- The start of "Sweet And Elite" features Rarity profusely kissing Princess Celestia's hooves, thanking her for everything. For her part Celestia looks highly uncomfortable with the affection... while nervously glancing between Rarity and her bed.
- In the first episode, "Mare in the Moon", Rarity drags Twilight to her house to forcibly dress her in several dresses, and starts gushing over her after learning she's from Canterlot, and gets really close to her cheek to cheek saying they're going to be "the best of friends".
- The final scene of "The Crystal Empire" involves Rarity starting off the 'Twilight is awesome' song, making goo goo eyes at her throughout, and eventually cuddling with her inside a heartshaped window.
Lyra Heartstrings with Sweetie Drops/Bon Bon
Sweetie Drops/Bon Bon and Lyra Heartstrings, two background mares who appear together in many episodes, are widely assumed to be either best friends or a couple. Bon Bon's eyes are emerald and Lyra's eyes are golden, more intense hues of the other's coat, as if to hint each only has eyes for each other. Second season episodes include apparently deliberate nods to this phenomenon:
- Wide shots of the town common early in "Hearts and Hooves Day" feature a number of pony pairs standing around. Lyra and Bon Bon are among these pairs, though there's another Bon Bon paired with Shoeshine.
- During "Putting Your Hoof Down", when Fluttershy was at the market, Bon Bon was wearing a saddlebag with Lyra's cutie mark◊ as a decoration. Lyra was also sighted seated and slouched forward at a table with a somewhat grouchy expression◊. Later in the scene, Bon Bon is sighted seated with Lyra at the table, and the green unicorn has cheered up considerably◊. Whatever she was unhappy about, clearly Bon Bon being there makes it all better. Word of God has confirmed that that one was intentional (though not necessarily romantic).
- The comic con poster showing many season one characters deliberately puts them together, looking towards each other and smiling.
- In a Funny Background Event in "Secret Of My Excess", Bon Bon and Lyra are standing very close together and appear as if they're going to kiss... and then Derpy pops out of a nearby well◊, ruining the moment.
- My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Rainbow Rocks gives us this image◊ of their human counterparts smooshing their faces together as the two play a piano duet.
- The episode "Slice of Life" has them saying that they are best friends; however, they keep giving each other bedroom eyes and their interactions feel like a married couple.
Lyra: [sad background music] B-b-but the lunches! The-the long talks! The benches we sat on! [starts to cry, ears fold down] None of that was real?!Bon Bon: It was all real. You're my [puts hoof on Lyra's cheek, while Lyra leans her head on it and puts her own hoof on Bon Bon's "arm". At this point they're nose-to-nose and looking straight into each other's half-lidded, *very* seductive-looking gazes] very. Best. Friend.
- The fact that they keep Lampshade Hanging their "best friends" status multiple times makes it seem like it's explicitly intended to be a case of Suspiciously Specific Denial to invoke Is That What They're Calling It Now? reactions from the fans.
- On top of that, it takes the status of their canon relationship from "they stand next to each other about two or three times per season" to "they're best friends who give each other more loving gazes and gentle caresses than any of the canon married couples, share their deepest secrets, and possibly live together."
- In Party Pooped Bon Bon is seen placing a flower in Lyra's hair◊.
- In Do Princesses Dream of Magic Sheep?, Lyra and Bon Bon show up in the dream fused together, Catdog style. They don't seem to mind.
- In "One Bad Apple", Scootaloo gleefully rubs her rear end against Babs Seed's flank, topped off by Scootaloo's wings snapping open.
- A blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment in "Fall Weather Friends", in which Derpy Hooves (before the animators started intentionally derping her eyes) drops a rose, which Fluttershy just happens to catch.
- Fluttershy reaches near Even the Girls Want Her status in "Green Isn't Your Color". Rarity wants her to model for her in the first place because "nopony is going to have [Fluttershy's] elegance and poise". Twilight says that "on her own Fluttershy could never do something unattractive" (hence her plan to use magic and make her do something unattractive). Photo Finish spends almost her entire appearance fan-girling over Fluttershy ("Yes! Even her sneezes are graceful!"). And the main reason Fluttershy hates being a model is the hordes of mostly female fans that flock to her wherever she goes.
- The ending of "The Return of Harmony Part 2" is a shot-for-shot homage to the ending of Star Wars: A New Hope. Complete with Applejack winking at Princess Celestia in imitation of Han winking at Leia.
- In "The Last Roundup" Mayor Mare seems to be checking out Applejack during her speech, and later when the latter boards the train.
- Cherry Jubilee resembles an old western "madam" stereotype, and said of Applejack "I can always use a pony with quick hooves and a strong back". It doesn't help that there is a brothel in Nevada that was once named "Cherry Patch Ranch".
- The end of "The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000" features two stallions standing close and drinking cider together, one of whom has a rainbow for a cutie mark.
- In "Hearts and Hooves Day", Twist gives her holiday card to a gray colt, and they hug. This visibly disappoints another filly (Tootsie Flute), who had been looking in their direction. Was that filly hoping to give her card to the colt, or to Twist? Meanwhile, yet another filly (Princess Erroria) gives her holiday card to Diamond Tiara, who seems surprised by this attention.
- In "Best Night Ever", Pinkie invades the personal space of a number of mares during her "Pony Pokey" song. The most infamous moment is probably the bit where she rubs her head on another mare's behind.
- In "Hearth's Warming Eve", Princess Platinum seems very close to her assistant/advisor Clover the Clever. Platinum yells out "Clover the Clever! I NEEEEEEEED you!" in Clover's introduction. Later, she tells Clover she doesn't mind it when Clover "stoops down" for her (yes, she's talking about crossing a stream, but hiding implications behind stuff like this is prime Radar material), before riding Clover across said stream while Clover is wearing a bridle. After the leaders thaw out, the Pegasi and Earth ponies share hugs and high-fives; Platinum and Clover, however, nuzzle. Since the ponies are also portraying the characters in a play, this could be considered another Rarity/Twilight moment.
- In this clip of "Hurricane Fluttershy", two mares can be seen cuddling each other with big grins on their faces. A few seconds later Flitter and Cloudchaser give each other a pretty tender hug.
- Gilda has the same raspy voice and passion for athleticism that leads so many fans to think Rainbow is a Lesbian Jock, coupled with an extreme level of jealousy that quickly turns violent when Pinkie tries to get anywhere near Rainbow. She thinks a series of relatively harmless pranks are deliberate attempts by Pinkie to drive her away so she can keep Rainbow for herself, but when Rainbow reveals she was the one who set up the pranks Gilda is furious, and demands that Rainbow choose between them now. When Rainbow doesn't choose her Gilda is visibly hurt, and leaves immediately after tossing out a half-hearted insult.
- Increased in "It Ain't Easy Being Breezies," where Twilight shows that she can now change anyone's species. Rainbow's immediate reaction after the first demonstration is "I've always wanted to be a griffin."
- "The Lost Treasure of Griffinstone" ups the ante with Pinkie/Gilda shipping.
- Scootaloo has major Hero Worship towards Rainbow Dash, frequently to an obsessive level ("I'll do whatever you want!"), with "Sleepless in Ponyville" basically being "Scootaloo stresses out attempting to impress her crush." It's mostly justifiable by Scootaloo wanting Rainbow to be her big sister, but Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle don't display anywhere near the level of awe and admiration for their sisters that Scootaloo does for Rainbow.
- Since "The Mysterious Mare Do Well", she's literally fangirling over Rainbow Dash whenever she has a chance to be with her. When Dash was wavering a flag as a demonstration in "Flight to the Finish", Scootaloo watched with sparkles in her eyes. And once we see Scoots' house, guess which pony she has multiple posters of?
- "The Mysterious Mare-Do-Well" begins with a meeting of the Rainbow Dash Fan Club, with the first order of business being coming up with a word to properly describe Rainbow Dash's awesomeness ("awesome" just isn't good enough.) Naturally, Scoots is the leader of said fan club.
- In "Keep Calm and Flutter On" Celestia has so much faith in Fluttershy's abilities she's confident she'll be able to induce a Heel-Face Turn in the local Mad God. One part of the scene even looks very much like wedding vows if taken out of context.
- "Read It and Weep" opens with Rarity and Pinkie Pie swooning as they essentially watch the "dazzling" Rainbow Dash work out. Twilight soon joins them.
- In "Daring Don't" Rainbow Dash openly proposes herself as a housewife to A.K. Yearling, the author of the Daring Do books she is a fan of. After she learns A.K. is Daring Do, she tagsstalksalong and violates her personal space quite often◊.
Twilight Sparkle: A.K. Yearling just might be my favorite author. I know everything about her. Where she grew up, where she studied literature, where she wrote the first Daring Do book...
Rainbow Dash: Where she lives?
Twilight Sparkle: Uh... no, though I could probably find out somehow. Why?
Rainbow Dash: Don't you get it? The new book is obviously delayed because she needs help dealing with whatever everyday nonsense is distracting her from spending her every living breathing second writing! So I– I mean, fans like me, can get to read the new book ASAP! Think about it! We could help her with her laundry, buy her groceries, cooking her meals, whatever! Now, who wouldn't appreciate that?
Twilight Sparkle: Hmm, I don't know... What she probably wants most of all is respect for her privacy.
Rainbow Dash: She can always just say no.
Twilight Sparkle: Mmh... I suppose you're right...
Rainbow Dash: Of course I am. So... how's about getting that address?
- This episode, the 69th in the series, centres around one of the Rings of Scorchero that Daring Do hid in a book at home. Daring Do and Rainbow Dash go looking for
athe ring, as it gets stolen. The former disguises herself and buys it back, but another foe catches her:Ahuizotl: The ring, Daring Do! Give it to me!
Daring Do: Now, Ahuizotl, you know I love you, but I can't give you the ring 'til I've properly proposed.
- Ahuizotl's gang take her and bind her in the fortress until the ponies find them and break up their ring-placing ceremony. Daring Do and Rainbow Dash are left at the altar with the
lastfirst ring in their hooves◊ which they fly off with◊. They smash the ring; Daring takes out a hoof but Rainbow hugs her; Daring hugs her back and nuzzles her◊.
- The writing of fourth season episodes was already completed by the end of the third season in 2013 February. In January, Rainbow's VA Ashleigh Ball released this instagram◊ of her and Brianna Armour tied at the wrists in wedding costumes, at a past Burning Man, likely in 2011. Could the episode be designed after them?
- This episode, the 69th in the series, centres around one of the Rings of Scorchero that Daring Do hid in a book at home. Daring Do and Rainbow Dash go looking for
- In "Twilight Time", when the crowd of fillies start snapping photos of the CMC with Twilight, Scootaloo starts posing, including pulling Sweetie Belle to her side like they're a celebrity couple.
- Apparently, Scootaloo watches Apple Bloom sleep, and thinks she does everything "with sass".
- Applejack protectively holding Fluttershy after Discord betrays their friendship and causes her to cry in "Twilight's Kingdom."
- In Equestria Girls an unnamed male athlete◊ character helps out a male techie◊, also unnamed, who is about to fall off a ladder◊ during the cleanup before the Fall Formal. The characters return in Rainbow Rocks, shown◊ together◊ whenever they appear throughout the film (including with their arms around each others shoulders◊ in the finale).
- In Equestria Girls, Twilight is the only one Celestia touches◊.
- At the start of the "Battle of the Bands" song from Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks, Adagio Dazzle walks past several students (both male and female) and, um... strokes them all in a rather sensual way. There's extra emphasis placed on her cupping Trixie's chin.
- During "Under Our Spell", Human!Luna can be seen in a blink and you'll miss it moment drawing a heart while looking at the Dazzlings... as a crusher would look upon a poster of their favorite celebrity.
- During "In Our Town", Starlight Glimmer strokes Twilight's face. The only reason that this isn't under Twilight is the fact that Starlight has No Sense of Personal Space and gets up in the face of one of her female followers while rearranging her mane.
- In "Castle Sweet Castle" Bulk Biceps and Spike, courtesy of the "extra strength, hot stone, deep tissue massage".
Bulk Biceps: YEAAAH!! Let's DO this, little dragon! *Uses a Pec Flex to pick Spike up*
- "Make New Friends but Keep Discord" has Fluttershy and Tree Hugger. Fluttershy uses her +1 ticket to the gala to invite a pony she hit it off with while on a trip to see the Breezies, giving it the distinct feeling of a date. It doesn't help that she's the only main cast member whose guest isn't a family member (AJ, Rarity, and Pinkie all bring their sisters, and RD brings Scootaloo, who's basically a sister to her anyway). Throughout the episode, Discord acts like a jilted lover and gets pissed when he sees Fluttershy rest her hoof on Tree Hugger's shoulder. Not to mention that their hug after Discord lets Tree Hugger go doesn't really look platonic. The icing on the cake is the fact that there's a rather long-running inside joke in the fandom about how Fluttershy is secretly a tree, making Tree Hugger's name a Double Entendre.
- The first line of the final song, "Shine Like Rainbows" in Rainbow Rocks sounds incredibly shippy. It's not 100% clear whom Applejack is singing to, but it seriously sounds like the beginning of a declaration of love.
Applejack: Once upon a time,you came into my world and made the stars align...
- Vinyl Scratch and Octavia Melody is a very popular couple in the fandom, but the two had not even been in the same scene together for four straight seasons. That is until "Slice of Life", which revealed the two live in the same house. On top of that, the two get into a rather passionate rehearsal, sharing rather suggestive looks and smiles◊ and, at one point, Octavia's collar nearly comes off. It's almost borderline G-Rated Sex.
- "Do Princesses Dream of Magic Sheep" has a scene where Pinkie Pie uses her Offscreen Teleportation powers to get into Applejack's bed, then falls asleep next to her.
Outside show media
- The Theme Tune Extended (included as a sing-along on the DVD The Friendship Express) has such wonderful character puns, sung from Twilight's perspective, such as "Once smitten, twice Fluttershy", "You are the Applejack of my eye", "A heart that shines so beautiful, a Rarity to come by", and perhaps best of all, "As easy as Pinkie Pie."note
- In Adventures in Ponyville, when the player's (female) pony talks to any of the Mane Six, they'll sometimes say "Pony up!" to her. Unlike everything else they say to her, the speech balloon used for "Pony up!" is lined with a couple of hearts, making it seem like the Mane Six are casually flirting with the player's pony.
- In the standalone version of Rainbow Dash's game from Adventures in Ponyville, when the player's (female) pony helps her (also female) friend up, hearts appear over said friend. (The hearts are most likely just a replacement for Adventures in Ponyville's Friendship Sparkles, but nothing in the game actually indicates this.)
- The top-right panel of the third page of the extremely Off Model Sparkle World story Rain, Rain Go Away!
- The German magazine comic Der Stern der Winterträume, Scanlated as The Star of Winterdreams, ends with the Mane Six sleeping together by the fireplace. Rainbow Dash is on her side, turned towards Applejack.
- Box-art◊ for some of the toys includes Rainbow Dash looking at Pinkie Pie while their faces are framed together in a heart symbol.
- The Crystal Empire toyline has a set with Pinkie and Fluttershy sharing a tub.
- In the ◊, DJ Pon-3/Vinyl Scratch is a bit too close to Octavia. It even looks like she's kissing her nape!
- WeLoveFine released some Valentine's Day (or should we say Hearts & Hooves Day?) themed t-shirts, and two of them include Rainbow Dash apparently getting a valentine from Pinkie or Derpy. Clearly, the official shirt for Pinkie/Dash shippers everywhere. Meghan McCarthy even bought the shirt, and wore it around at Los Pegasus.
- There is a placemat(?) featuring Pinkie and Twilight looking at each other inside a heart shape with many smaller hearts around them.
- For World Pride Day, Ashleigh Ball posted some Appledash fanart that she had signed personally.
- This toy from Hasbro has the ability to create characters from the show and then mix and match them. They use some of the fandom's Portmanteau Couple Names to describe the examples, including Appledash and Flutterpie.
- At the 2015 San Diego Comic Con panel, the actors and creators asked what their favourite fan ships were. Most of them claimed not to have any, but Ashleigh Ball claimed to really like Appledash. Also she and Andrea Libman did an brief improv session as their various characters, ending as Lyra and Bon Bon talking about how important their "friendship" was. Also Bon Bon was apparently upset at Lyra constantly staring at Applejack...