Just For Fun / MLP Dragonfire

"For generations we've wandered the stars, searching for a place where we can all live in harmony. None of us knows when that day will come. But we do know this: as long as there is discord in the universe, we will fight. I serve onboard the Celestia, and tonight we ride. Quarter Tech, Mark: 'Dragonfire', Division M-6. You can call me Spike."
Spike

In the far future, the planet Equestria has been the center of the known universe, rapidly expanding its denizens through the stars while maintaining harmony within its own biosphere. In its prime, Equestria's intergalactic influence could be felt throughout the galaxy and peace prevailed. That all changed when a mysterious chaotic force consumed the planet, forcing its citizens to seek refuge aboard its Lunar colony. For generations life on the colony proved stable, but the Equestrians knew they had to find a new home planet before the chaos returns if there was any chance or survival. Thus begins the adventures of the crew of the SS Celestia as they search for a new homeworld and a way to combat the discord of the universe once and for all.

Dragonfire is a Space Western spinoff of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic developed in direct response to the show's Periphery Demographic. Set in an Alternate Universe where the ponies are human and science and technology have superseded magic, this series allows for much more mature storytelling and character development in ways the original series could never tell. Originally told through the eyes of Spike, here a young space cadet of Draconian blood, the series soon expanded its focus on the entire crew of the SS Celestia and their exploits on finding a new world while facing their own conflicts in a true Space Opera fashion.

It was first hinted at on April 1st 2014 by the Hub via this promo and has since become The Hub's biggest sleeper hit.

For more information on this epic space adventure, click here. 


Tropes present in this series:

  • Abandoned Hospital: Subverted. It’s not abandoned. We just dimmed the lights for saving power.
  • Ace Pilot: Pegasi and Seadwellers have enhanced innate 3D orientation. Used to briefly justify the dogfight-style intership combat.
  • Accidental Murder: he grabbed a knife to protect himself, only to cut his attacker’s throat in a struggle.
  • Acting Unnatural: Pinkie P Ie is told to act ‘normally.’ Unfortunately, it stands out. Turns out, this was part of the plan.
  • Adaptational Badass: Just about everyone who had a counterpart in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.
  • Adult Fear: One episode had a child predator as the subject of a witch hunt. Even more terrifying? She wasn't working for any external or internal factions.
  • Adventure Archaeologist: Daring Do.
  • Adults Are Useless: Subverted. Because most of the time they have too much at stake to let something slip past. Double-subverted as this may actually lead them to make a mistake because they were focused on not doing one particular thing.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Strongly averted with Celestia, to the point where characters are more worried about the biological crew as opposed to her.
    • Normal AIs go through stages of rampancy, with the potential to become metastable. Celestia was metastable from the moment of her creation. Duplicating this is something many would love to do.
    • Revenant appears to play this straight but ends up being heartbrokenly subverted.
  • All Just a Dream: instead of maintaining an expensive prison system, they implant several years of incarceration directly into the minds of offenders over the course of a few hours, who then wake up and find out they haven’t lost several years of their life. However, the memories and experiences feel real and stays with them.
  • Alien Non-Interference Clause: It exists, but unlike Star Trek, is meant to be more of a guideline than an unyielding law.
  • Aluminum Christmas Trees: A gun which folds and shoots paper airplanes?
  • Always Someone better: Talon Team is made of the best cadets from the academy with all the special privileges and training an lite unit would receive, but this reputation and undoing ends up being their undoing.
  • Anger Born of Worry: "I want to hug and strangle you at the same time." Twilight to Spike when she finds him alive in the finale.
  • Am I Just a Toy to You?: Spike talks with Rarity about his crush on her.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: The characters look very similar to Equestria Girls counterparts.
  • Amazon Brigade: Most of the crew aboard the Celestia are female. Spike is the only consistent male of the crew. Aside from Big Mac, of course.
  • Anyone Can Die: Anyone. The most heartbreaking is probably Derpy's demise at the hands of Discord.
  • Alternate History: An April Fools episode had them finding the actual Equestria.
  • All There in the Manual: A Fighting Ships of Shattered Equestria, several maps with hidden messages, and several in-universe Wild Mass Guessing rumor collections.
  • Animesque: Appears to be taking cues from Trigun and Cowboy Bebop, as well as countless mecha anime, not to mention Nanoha for how it treats magic.
  • Ancient Conspiracy: Scraps of data suggest that Equestria itself was responsible for the Collapse due to experiments with Chaos.
  • And Then What??: One of the more noticeable divisions is between those who believe that they should abandon their old homeworld once they find a new one and those who think they should reclaim it. And that's not even considering those who believe it's better to just wander forever.
  • And the Adventure Continues: How the series finally ends.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: Numerous, the titular dragonfire among them.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: If someone as honorable as you accepts this corruption, what hope is there for the rest of us?
  • Arms Dealer: One of the many services the Flim Flam Brothers provide.
  • Artifact of attraction: in an interesting double subversion, the artifact in question doesn’t have any innate attracting powers, but people still want it for personal glory.
  • Ascended Extra: Knight Fury was supposed to be a one-off character in the middle of season 1. He ended up becoming one of the most compelling characters outside of the mane six.
  • Ascended Fanon: Lyra's Mark.
  • Ascended Fridge Horror: Notice that there were no Unicorns or Pegasus in Story of the Blanks? When the RTF finds Sunnytown, they find the mutilated corpses of uniceros and pegasi with "No Freaks" branded into their skin.
  • Audience Surrogate: Being much younger than the rest of the crew, Spike is meant to be this.
  • Awful Truth: Equestria’s history seems to be about half things the crew doesn't think Spike is ready to hear; naturally, as the viewpoint character, he ends up learning about them anyway.
  • Awesome, yet Impractical: Some of the RTF's equipment has to be carefully used due to lacking the infrastructure to replace it. Often they have to make due with less advanced technology.
  • Ballroom Blitz: How the war between the Minotaurs and Griffins started.
  • Balance of Power: Krastos prefers to Zerg Rush his enemies, while Sunset Shimmer has smaller forces, but they are more powerful and skilled.
  • Bash Sisters: Rainbow Dash and Applejack, both on foot and in the air. When they mounted the Scorcher on Dash's ship, who else would they get as her gunner?
  • Beleaguered Bureaucrat: Lunar Colony civilians sometimes give the impression of being between this and Obstructive Bureaucrat.
  • Benevolent Conspiracy: Supposedly responsible for the Celestia's and Lunar Colony's survival.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Discord is frighteningly akin to The Joker with Q's power.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: Maud Pie trains a cow to behave like a horse well enough that she places third in a tournament.
  • Bilingual Bonus: The language that Zecora and her crew are speaking is Esperanto. Rhyming Esperanto.
  • Black and Grey Morality: The biggest difference between the Pragmatic Evil Sunset Shimmer and the For the Evulz Krastos, The Gluemaker.
  • Black and Grey Morality: they do end up exploring the dehumanizing nature of war and how even good people will sometimes choose simple survival over deeply held beliefs.
  • Black Hole Sue: Despite being in only 14 episodes and having 30 minutes of spoken dialogue, fans feel this applies to Knight Fury.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Played straight. While dead bodies show up in the series more frequently than one would expect, the only time that one sees actual blood is from superficial injuries.
  • Body of bodies: Discord creates one from an escape craft’s passengers. “I haven’t made one from an entire planet. Yet.”
  • Bottle Episode: Two to three a season, despite being an animated series. One that stands out the most is "Lockdown" in Season 3, which (after a brief setup) switches back and forth between two sealed rooms: One with Spike and Rarity, and one with Pinkie... alone.
  • Brick Joke: Of Clevingerian proportions. In the first episode, as part of a Funny Background Event, Apple Bloom manages to trigger a teleporter malfunction that causes a barrel of volatile drive waste to disappear. Two seasons later, it's brought up in a Freeze-Frame Bonus gag that they STILL don't know what happened to that barrel, and the guys at Environmental Containment are paranoid about what'll happen if it reappears someday. And then in the finale... four seasons later... the inevitable happens.
  • Broad Strokes: The creators have stated that they want to reference and/or reimagine all of the My Little Pony franchise, including the earlier generations, exclusive toylines, and various expanded universe materials.
  • Broken Pedestal: The Alicorns were known as as proud advanced peaceful people who created the modern Equestrians in their image. In actuality, they were more akin to the Draka and the Ori
  • But What About the Astronauts?: Inverted, as there are rumored to be survivors on Equestria.
  • Capture and Replicate: The replacement is so perfect a copy that it has the original’s own memories and emotions, doesn’t know it’s supposed to be working for someone else, and disrupts the scheme by feeling something is amiss.
  • Celebrity Paradox: One of the planets they run into is the home of the Power Ponies.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Fluttershy's 'Extreme Knitting', Rainbow Dash's Sonic Rainboom.
  • The Chessmaster: Discord has these tendencies, but it's been implied to not as good as he claims to be to hide that he's not as omniscient.
  • Child Soldier: Part of the fifth season is a massive deconstruction of Ender's Game, by showing what kind of commander Battle School would create, how strife promotes distrust and ultimately disloyalty, and that it's entirely possible to be a bully and be tactically competent.
    • In one instance, a prodigy taunts the leader of his attackers about not facing him in a fair fight. The Bully agrees, but still gangs up on the prodigy.
  • City of Adventure: the Lunar Colony.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: THE ENTIRE SOUNDTRACK.
    • The sixth-season episode "Twilight Run" features a breathless chase across a Death World that allegedly, but not actually gets far, far worse after dark. There is no dialogue from the first 45 seconds until the last two minutes of the episode; the soundtrack more than makes up for the forced character silence.
  • Combat Medic: Knight Fury, in sharp contrast to Fluttershy.
  • Combat Pragmatist: The Equestrian armed forces. Considering their low numbers, it's needed.
  • Command Roster: The crew of the Celestia
  • Conspiracy Theorist: Lyra Heartstrings (Mark: Harper). Though she can end up being Entertainingly Wrong or Right for the Wrong Reasons.
  • Continuity Lock-Out: Despite seasonal clip shows, it can still fall into this.
  • Corralled Cosmos: Zig-Zagged, because while their navigation maps for Equestria are accurate, they often end up going into unexplored space.
  • The Corruption: Cutie Pox. Especially considering humans aren't supposed to get it. At all.
  • Cosmic Horror: Whatever alien entity consumed Equestria is usually depicted as this. There are hints that whatever it was was not malevolent, but fleeing from something greater.
  • Creepy Good: Special Forces, Sunset Shimmer
  • Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: Zig-Zagged. While some people play it straight, others seem to have no major issues. In the end, it seems that it depends on the mental state of the individual and how they choose to behave.
  • Darker and Edgier: The Expanded Universe tends towards this. Especically the Precursor Series.
    • Season 3 and later, with its plots involving petty politics and the terrible aspects of war, as well as its less rosy portrayal of the Equestria. Unlike most other examples of this trope, however, the show never fully abandoned the idealism of the rest of the franchise even in its darkest moments.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: This trope flourishes in the show, especially common among the crew. It's actually kinda hard to find a character who doesn't had one. Then again, it also points out that their past is not today.
  • Decon-Recon Switch: Towards the Power of Friendship. While sometimes it does not work, it can still help for the better.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Spacers believe any who have biological pets on spaceships are either exceptionally rich or exceptionally profligate with resources.
    • Equestrians are considered adults at the age of 12. Not the case in pre-Collapse times.
    • With Mixed-Race children and dual citizenship possible, some of the Fantastic Racism seems pointless.
  • Doctor’s Orders: F Luttershy once removes Twilight from command.
  • Doomed Home Planet: What the planet Equestria was reduced to long ago.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Thorax's switching between Male and Female pronouns calls into mind the struggles of Genderfluid individuals.
  • Draconic Humanoid: Spike is basically this, though the more Draconic bits of him won't really show until maturity.
  • Dracolich: Arakmaha, a later Knight of Cerberus
  • Dramedy: Oh, absolutely. The show is notorious for how fast and effective it is at being alternatively funny, sad, and heartwarming within its short run-time.
  • Durable Deathtrap: They are less ancient than expected, but many have repair mechanisms to stay 'fresh.'
  • Eldritch Location: Unreality bubbles, areas where reality stops having the same physical properties as the rest of the universe. Popping them is dangerous, yet can provide invaluable resources.
  • Elevator School: The primary schools are massive, combining preschool along with Kindergarten to 12th grade. Justified in that there's only so much space, and it's easier to put all the facilities in one section rather than having multiple schools.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Luna herself. Obviously.
  • Epic Tracking Shot: seen as part of the opening.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Say what you will about the Flim-Flam brothers being smugglers and hustlers, they are still brothers who love each other.
  • Explosive Decompression: Averted with the death of Scootaloo's mother.
  • Extreme Multilingual: When Rarity has a nightmare, she cries out in several languages.
  • Fake Ultimate Hero: In the sense that he's not ultimate or charming, Blueblood.
  • Fantastic Racism: While mostly gone, there is still currents of distrust and condescension between vanilla humans, Uniceros, and Pegasi.
    • Played straight with the Changelings, especially thanks to Queen Chrysalis' radical faction. Even Changelings who wish to live peaceful lives are distrusted.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Discord.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: What they become by the end of the series.
  • Five-Man Band: Defiant Voyager, Calm Day, Mammoth Sequoia, Danger Close, Knight Fury, Crimson Typhoon
  • Forgotten Phlebotinum: Heavily averted. There are an insane number of instances where at the end of an episode the protagonists have in their possession some fantastic new piece of technology, which will never be used or mentioned ever again.
  • Frying Pan of Doom: Big Mac's "Red Gala," which is used like Captain America's shield in one infamous scene.
  • Flaunting Your Fleets: How the pilot begins, shown as archival movies.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Portable Augmented Construction Kit (PACK)
  • Future Imperfect: Many of the post-collapse remnants have incomplete knowledge about the state of the Pre-Collapse Galaxy.
  • Gambit Pileup: Happens no less than eight times during the course of the show, including once during the planning of Scootaloo's surprise birthday party.
  • Genre Shift: The two short seasons that closed out the show are still Space Opera flavored, but lean towards Slice of Life dramedy.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: "Those real or did you pay for them?" Twilight's Captain Pips
    • Dragonfire loved doing this, and was more successful than any cartoon shy of - perhaps - Rocko's Modern Life.
    • Averted with the season four episode "When We Dance". Surviving storyboards have finally shown why it was cut - and it seems arbitrary at best given the rest of the content that got through.
  • A God Am I: Lampshaded. “What is it about terraforming that gives people a god complex?”
  • Good Old Ways: Zig-zagged, as some of them are necessary for survival, others are just doing it for the sake of holding onto power.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: Season 3 is based around this in finding the parts to build the Celestia 2.0.
  • Going Cosmic: It was already known for this, but in the final season, it goes uptoeleven.
  • Generation Ship: What the Lunar colony became to everyone on Equestria.
  • Graying Morality: From the start, the later seasons started falling into this.
  • Great Off Screen War: Between the Fall and the arrival of the Lunar Colony.
  • Grey and Gray Morality: Many of the Equestria remnants, the Celestia and Lunar colony included, have their darker sides.
  • Gun Nut: Defiant Voyager
  • Ham and Deadpan Duo: The main crew of the celestia fall into this, with different roles played depending on the situation.
  • Harmful to Minors: Spike is gradually exposed to more and more horrors as the series progresses. The arc did a number on him in particular.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Deconstructed, showing that Survivor's guilt occurs afterwards, it can be rendered meaningless, and the people who look forward to this are not particularly stable.
  • Horned Humanoid: The Uniceros are a humanoid race with horns that allow them to tap into their psionic abilities.
  • Human-Focused Adaptation: Every equine from Friendship is Magic is reimagined here as human or humanoid alien. The other races in Equestria are also reimagined as humanoid, but tend to have more alien/bestial features.
  • Humans Are Flawed: Just like every other sentient.
  • Humanoid Abomination: The Smooze. Worse, is that he turned himself into one entirely voluntarily, without any external influences.
    • Discord also qualifies most of the time.
  • Horrifying the Horror: The prime strategy of the special forces fleet.
  • Hostile Terraforming: The terraforming process wasn’t hostile per se, but because it left ongoing due to the collapse, it caused massive planetary damage.
  • Hit So Hard the Calendar Felt It: The Current Calendar date is 711 After Fall, which itself came about several years after the Fall itself.
  • I Am Spartacus: Snips and Snails.
  • If You Taunt Him, You Will Be Just Like Him: many alien races will needle Equestrian ships about their morals and values in an effort to see the Equestrian betray them by acting in a way that's the least bit undiplomatic. Apparently the Equestrians has to respect everybody else's morals, values, and cultural practices, but nobody else is ever expected to honor the Equestrians back.
  • Incompatible Orientation: Very, very subtly implied between Octavia and Vinyl Scratch in the fifth season.
  • Infinite Supplies: averted. Even with high efficiency recycling systems. When they sacrifice a shuttle for a distraction, they are short one until they get a new one days later.
  • Insane Admiral: Only one exists in the entire series.
  • Insane Troll Logic: The Morningstar Confederation doesn't believe that the Celestia and Luna are direct remnants of Equestria because they don't match the mental images the Morningstar Confederation had of them.
  • Insectoid Aliens: The Changelings. Averted for the majority, with Chrysalis and her swarm being a group of fanatics. Furthermore, they were engineered from humans.
  • Interspecies Romance: Shining Armor and Cadence.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Some of us don't have the resources to get our next meal, let alone fight the chaos.
  • Kaiju: Various enemies make use of them. There's also about a one-percent chance that adult draconians will become this.
  • Kansas City Shuffle: Displayed brilliantly in the fifth season opener. So you know there's a saboteur that wants to con their way onto the ship and wreak havoc. You also know they know how you operate perfectly, and have planned for any reasonable reaction to you finding out about this. What do you do? Leave Pinkie in command so that any precautions they've taken will be useless.
  • Knife Nut: Flash Sentry, though it's implied he was faking it at first in the hopes of looking tough.
  • Legacy Character: Twilight wonders if the Celestia will one day inspire another vessel.
  • Leitmotif: Most of the main characters have one. Expect at least a few notes of it to show up when changing to that character's point of view.
    • Spike's is a short steel guitar chord progression in E minor.
    • Twilight's is a soft violin piece.
    • Fluttershy's is a short woodwind piece, although it's hard to tell which instrument it was played on. Clarinet, possibly? Alto sax?
    • Rarity's is a four-note sequence that sounds like it ends too soon - deliberately, according to Word of God.
    • Applejack and Rainbow Dash's leitmotifs harmonize perfectly when played together; the former is a banjo riff, the latter played on sharisam.
    • The leitmotif for the changelings is absolute silence. When the ambient soundtrack suddenly cuts out...
    • The leitmofif for the Special Forces leans towards a harsh industrial dubstep, combined with primal screaming in the background.
  • Limited Wardrobe: A lot of the background characters also have several different outfits they change between.
  • Living Legend: Ardavaka is one to the dragons. Even when Celestia and Luna speak to her, they address her as "Ma'am."
  • Locked Out of the Loop: As time went on, it became increasingly clear that the Crew were doing their best to try to keep the darker side of their history from Spike, though he learned more as he's usually forced into situations where certain details can't be avoided.
  • Lost Technology: Much of the Lunar Colony and Celestia is far less advanced than what was available to Equestria at the peak of it's glory.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Kept in check by Anyone Can Die.
  • Long Runner: 7 full length seasons of 26 episodes and 2 half-length 13 episode seasons. Helped greatly by having a clearly defined opening, middle, and end ahead of time.
  • Lower-Deck Episode: Stories set on the Lunar Colony tend towards this.
  • Lovecraft Lite: The series attempts to come off as this. Not to say that the Lovecraft aspects aren't truly horrifying.
  • Love Potion: Viciously deconstructed, shown to be nothing more than glorified date rape drugs.
  • Mad Scientist: Played straight for the most part, but double subverted in one case, where she appeared to be mentally sound in how they approach using and handling the efforts of their mad science and logically explained their reasons for doing so, and doubly subverted by the fact that their logic was often severely distorted or paradoxical.
  • Madness Mantra: 'Struggle. Endure. Suffer. Life.'
  • Magic by Any Other Name: Humans are absolutely militant about this. No matter how scientifically-inexplicable something is, or if that something can outright change the laws of physics at will, it is still not "magic". Referring to it as such will provoke an immediate negative response and denial. Technobabble, even if it is completely unsupported by evidence, will invariably be accepted as an explanation before "magic" will. Things which would be considered "supernatural" in real life such as Psychic Powers or Reality Warpers are still regarded as scientific in nature, even though Federation science cannot explain them. Which is why talking about the limitless power of "thought" is acceptable, but using the m-word will get you an earful of Flat Earth Atheism.
  • The Main Characters Do Everything: Justified due to low numbers, but later averted once their population has built up.
  • Magitek: Though they're closer to the tech side than appearances would suggest.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Half of the brass in the series qualify as this Including Twilight by the end of the third season.
  • Manly Tears: Big Mac and Spike as they cremate Spike's father.
    • Spike isn't great at this, though. Most of the time he averts the trope with outright blubbering if he's going to cry.
  • Me's a Crowd: A mad scientist clones Pinkie Pie. 950 million times.
  • The Migration: The entire series focuses on the Equestrians searching for a new homeworld.
  • Mile-Long Ship: The Celestia itself. Version 2.0 is much bigger
  • Military Maverick: Many of the soldiers would fall under this in modern militaries, but the system is set up so that they still have a respect for the chain of command. Plus, considering their low numbers, they can't afford to be picky.
  • More Than Mind Control: lampshaded by Sunset Shimmer. “I’d rather people be inspired by me instead of me influencing them.”
  • Mundane Luxury: Thorax considers sleeping in a bed as opposed to a cryogenic chamber as a generous gift.
  • Musical Gag: In "Harmony and Dissonance", Twilight tells Flash that her duties as captain keep her from returning his affections. As she walks away, he plays a few notes on his guitar; it's the opening of Nazareth's "Love Hurts".
  • Nanomachines: Rock Farms are used to grow what could be considered magical Tiberium
  • Name's the Same: Some episodes share titles with that of Friendship Is Magic.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Tirac the Annihilator, Grogar the Neverborn.
  • Never Give the Captain a Straight Answer: Averted for the most part. When played straight, it’s for a very, very good reason.
  • Never Say "Die": Averted strongly. In fact several times characters mock people for dancing around the subject.
  • Necessary Evil: The Draconian Caste system is allowed to exist due to their massive contributions to the New Equestrian Republic.
  • Noble Demon: Sunset Shimmer.
  • No OSHA Compliance: If this has been played straight, the situation is either really, really, really bad, and/or Chaos.
  • No S Uch T Hing as H.R.: understandably limited considering the loss of their homeworld and civilization. But averted in later seasons when the population starts increasing.
  • Not in Front of the Kid: The Crew seems to constantly tries to shelter Spike from aspects of Equestrian history that she considers too mature for him to handle.
  • Not Now, Kiddo: At first played straight with the Crew and Spike, then averted big time due to Character Development.
  • One World Order: Equestria was very monolithic, but appears to have had a lot of internal tensions even before the fall.
  • Our Mermaids Are Different: The Seadwellers resemble mermaids. Deepdwellers look more humanoid, and despite their name are usually found in more coastal waters.
  • Once an Episode: A count of the RTF's population appears in the opening credits.
  • The Paranoiac: Starlight Glimmer
  • Parents as People: A central tenet of the show: just because someone has become a parent/caretaker, it doesn't stop them being a person with their own goals, virtues and hangups — and it doesn't mean they're reduced to the role of bystander while the next generation go off and do important things. However, as the show progresses it also becomes clear that even the best parental figures are imperfect: their jealousy, insecurity, emotional distance or irresponsibility won't magically vanish because a child has turned up. Even parents have to address their own issues
  • Perfect Pacifist People: Played For Drama:
Starlight G Limmer’s followers are shown to be very cruel and cold in their pacifism. Many races, which could be peaceful if given the means, would be driven to war by them because they believe that only they are worthy of being pacifists, and that other races would just screw it up. When it's pointed out to them that other races being pacifistic would be a good thing for them, they insist that their society would be "flawed" and only they can be "perfect" pacifists. Psychoactive Powers: Magitech abilities and their use seem to be keyed to the user's emotions.
  • Planet of Hats: How many of the planets in the galaxy are portrayed, often mirroring the other races in Equestria.
  • Platonic Life Partners: Applejack and Rainbow Dash fit the bill by season four.
  • The Power of Friendship: A central theme of the show is that friendships are very important, and even though there can be hardships, they are still worth having.
  • Powered Armor: From Space Emergency Suits to ones built for Kaiju.
  • Properly Paranoid: Deconstructed to show that this can lead to being actually paranoid
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: deconstructed with dragons, as it leaves holes for many supporting roles, such as the doctors, factory workers, miners, teachers.
  • Purposely Overpowered: By the latter half of Season 2, the Celestia and its crew come off like this. Justified to show the scale of the threats they face in comparison to other members of the fleet.
    • Not that it helps as much as you'd think by the time the finale rolls around.
  • Racial Remnant: Though Equestria is long gone, the descendants of the original refugees have done their best to keep all of their traditions alive.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Big Macintosh is a surprisingly good chef, to the point where an unofficial punishment for the Special Forces is being banned from his cooking.
  • Reset Button: averted for the most part. Damage can carry and accumulate over time.
  • R Eality E Nsues:
    • Asking someone to marry you when you’ve only known them for a month is highly stressful for them.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: A surprising high number exist, though the Equestrians have the lead.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: A frequent setup for playing characters off each other, though the exact pairings change Depending on the Writer. Rainbow Dash and Applejack will occasionally switch roles in this dynamic over the course of a single scene.
  • Retgone: A major source of paranoia when ontological weapons appear. "Was it always that way yesterday?"
  • Rewatch Bonus: Dragonfire often has hints in the dialogue and background that can be connected to things that are revealed later.
  • Robots Enslaving Robots: The Cyberhids do not seem to realize that this doesn't make other AIs sympathetic to their situation.
  • Rotating Protagonist: While the series is clearly named after Spike, an equal number of episodes also focus on the rest of his crewmates.
  • Rubber-Forehead Aliens: The Equestrians are split up into three races: Humans, Uniceros, and Pegasi. All three races are essentially the same save the horns and wings respectively.
  • Sapient Ship: The Celestia, who often takes form of a Spaceship Girl.
  • Scenery Porn: The series has gained a name thanks to its gorgeous artwork. In all honesty, it's rare to ever find words to describe how gorgeous most of this cartoon's scenery is.
  • Schizo Tech: Many remnants have lost much of the Pre-Collapse technology. Others have enhances various aspects. Some even create technology Pre-Collapse Equestria never created.
    • Veers into Zeerust sometimes, albeit deliberately. 8-tracks are still popular on Luna Colony.
  • Science Fantasy: What the show eventually evolves into by the end of the Third Season.
  • Seasonal Rot: Averted, surprisingly. Fans were worried about what would happen when the show was unexpectedly renewed for two additional "short seasons" after the end of season seven, but the producers were able to keep things fresh by focusing on character arcs.
  • Settling the Frontier: What the Equestrians ultimately hope to do once they find a new homeworld.
  • Ship Tease: Mostly Spike and Rarity in the early seasons. More drifts in as time goes on, although given that the cast is 90% female, it's done fairly subtly.
    • ...except when Gilda is involved. Ye GODS.
  • Shout-Out: Where do we begin?
  • Shut Up, Kirk!!: The special Forces have no problem admitting when they've messed up, and let the Celestia's crew have it when they mess up.
  • Shrug of God: Is Dragonfire a distant future to Equestria Girls or not? The creators provide hints for both cases. Following the release of Rainbow Rocks, they have yet to change their opinion.
  • So Last Season: In a bit of Leaning On The Fourth Wall, Discord's crippling of the Celestia.
  • Sociopathic Soldier: Due to their low numbers to begin with, the RTF's soldiers are gradually becoming this. It says something about their situation when most of them are merely of the Broken Variety.
  • Soft-Spoken Sadist:
    • On the heroic side, Knight Fury
    • On the villainous side, Eternal Abyss.
  • Space Age Stasis: Nope! Even though the Fall and the countless years since have been hard on the galaxy, various advances have been made, even if it were uneven.
  • Space People: The Equestrians have become this, only knowing about life on a space colony.
  • Space Marines: Led by Big Macintosh.
  • Space Opera
  • Starfish Aliens: The Alicorns. Some of their creations were calculated over 311 trillion years ago.
  • State Sec: even the high-minded Equestrians have one, though more subtle than expected.
  • Stepford Smiler: Subtle, but the RTF knows that almost everything they knew and loved is long since lost.
  • Strawman Has a Point
    • The Void Sharks believes that they should adapt a nomadic lifestyle in order to keep ahead of the Chaos.
    • The Furious Stars believes that they should fight the Chaos, irregardless of what it is.
    • The Rose Azure believes that more unity is needed in order to survive, and that colonizing a planet would help their chances.
  • Stuck in Their Shadow: Blueblood was second to Twilight Sparkle in many aspects.
  • Subspace Ansible: Lacking in the early seasons due to a loss of infrastructure,but appears later. They even laugh it off when someone complains it takes 15 minutes to get a message from someone on the other side of the galaxy.
  • Super Prototype: Zig-zags between being played straight and deconstructed with the Celestia, showing that the advanced technology might not be worth the lack of stability and bugs. Averted entirely with the Celestia 2.0.
  • Surprise Creepy: The show is usually a dark, yet ultimately optimistic Science Fantasy, which makes the occasional foray into terrifying all the more effective.
  • Stress Vomit: Spike mentions almost succumbing to this in "Serious Spike."
  • Talking Down the Suicidal: Spike to Rarity. Who goes through with it later anyway. But survives. And needs therapy.
  • Take That!: The creators of the show didn't like many aspects of Star Trek, and it shows.
    • Another episode showcases the dislike of the New Battlestar Galactica finale, especially considering the Inferred Holocaust.
  • Take a Third Option: Zigzagged, as while they do have the third option, many times they end up failing the first two.
  • Technobabble: Surprising minimal, though the infamous "Reverse the polarity of the neutron flow" stands out.
    • Lampshade Hanging abounds whenever Pinkie starts lapsing into technobabble. She openly admits that it doesn't mean anything, but "it sounds so science-ey!"
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: As their Rag Tag Fleet grows, they have former enemies trying to work together.
  • That's No Moon!: Played with, as their moon itself now doubles as a mobile space colony.
  • There Are No Therapists: Averted. There are several on board the Celestia, and this is technically part of Fluttershy's job description.
  • Throw It In: “And three suicides” was a line recorded by accident.
  • Time to Step Up, Commander: A frequent device is to have a member of the secondary bridge crew or even the counselor forced to take command when the captain is knocked out or cut off from the rest of the ship.
  • Time Skip: Used for effect.
    • Used at the end of the fourth season to highlight that the Celestia 2.0 is back.
    • Used between the end of the Seventh Season and the 2 half seasons which followed.
  • Tin Man: Celestia. "I lied about the self destruct. There's no countdown."
  • To Be Lawful or Good: One of the most common sources of conflict in the series. Lawful doesn’t necessarily mean moral. And even when a course of action is lawful and moral, circumstances may prevent it from being carried out.
  • Used Future: Zigzagged, as while there are areas of Luna that look this way, it was revealed to be a deliberate choice. When the older tech works perfectly after decades and decades without anything more than regular cleaning, you don't mess with it.
  • Too Spicy for Yog Sothoth: The Special Forces' modus operandi.
  • Trouble from the past: Many things which were disturbingly commonplace in the pre-Fall Equestrian Civilization have horrific impacts.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Powered Armored soldiers are a surprisingly common sight dashing in and out of restaurants.
  • Vague Age: Most of the characters. Word of God and several deleted scenes attribute this to lingering effects of ancestral gene modifications designed to extend one's lifespan. It also explains how Granny Smith can be canonically over 200 years old (barring a Series Continuity Error).
  • Values Dissonance: Considering the Lunar Colony is all that remains of Equestrian civilization, their reactions to many things after the Fall provide much of the drama.
  • Velvet Revolution: Several pieces of in-universe evidence suggests the fall itself started as one.
  • Vestigial Empire: Despite the destruction of Equestria, its galactic influence is still present throughout the galaxy via its colonies.
  • Wagon Train to the Stars: What the Celestia serves as, though the Lunar Colony is never far behind.
  • The Worf Effect: The Fire Magnet (really, that's its name) has a tendency to be the target of the newest threat of the week/story arc.
  • War Is Hell: Done more subtly by showing that there are good people on both sides of a conflict, who, while not wanting to fight, have good reasons for not being on the losing side of wars.
  • We Have Become Complacent: One of the major attitudes before the fall.
  • Wham Episode: Several, but discovering that Twilight is technically Spike's mother is up there on the list.
    • The second season finale counts as this as well. The Celestia is blown to scrap, no fewer than four major characters are dead or presumed dead, Celestia herself - the AI - only survives because Twilight risks her neck to retrieve her AI core, and then we get to the end of the episode...
    • The season 3 finale. The Celestia 2.0 is launched.
    • The Series Finale. Just, the finale.
  • Wham Line: "Hello Me." Sunset Shimmer to Celestia.
    • "Twilight... there are less than twenty thousand Draconians left. Do you think they would give us any egg, let alone one that had been fertilized to practice magic on?"
  • Wham Shot: The last shot of the season 1 finale's Stinger is of Sunset Shimmer.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: The series is capable of serious topics, such as Child Soldiers, the use of Drones in warfare, and how one deals with death and mourning.
  • What You Are in the Dark: "It's easy to be good if you're rich, powerful, or have nothing on the line. When you have to make a serious sacrifice, then you find out what you really are." This actually ends up being a Nice Job Fixing It, Villain! for Spike.
  • Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: Even given the odd naming scheme, names like Anathema, Careless Whisper, Danger Zone, Tragic Accident stand out.
  • Whole Plot Reference: Dirge is one for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine’s Duet.
  • Winged Humanoid: The Pegasi look just like humans. With wings.
    • Appear in Feathery (vanilla), Leathery (Bat), and Insect (Flutter) variants.
  • You Cannot Grasp the True Form: Though most people play this straight concerning higher ranked Chaos, some are Too Dumb to Fool, or too apathetic to care.
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