My Little Phony
The '80s fad days to The New Tens, My Little Pony has been etched in popular culture as a saccharine toy line for young girls who love horses. Parodies and homages typically are shows within a show featuring Always Female pastel ponies (or other pastel animals) who can talk and have cutesy names. Flank/Rear Insignias are common but not a requirement. With the popularity of Friendship Is Magic with older audiences — partly because the series subverts the image of the original — parodies have begun taking after it and are often more positive than previous depictions (or just poking fun at the fact that there is an older audience). Subtrope of Bland-Name Product. Not to be confused with cheap knockoffs of the show or toys, or with iPhony... Well, ok, maybe just this once.
open/close all folders
- Nissan's 2011 Pôneis Malditos ("damned ponies") campaign in Brazil.
- A Sega commercial circa Christmas 1994 had a dad go into a department store after his son asked for "Sega Genesis or Game Gear", repeating the names out loud to himself but accidentally confusing the words as he passes other displays. At the end, he stops and asks, "Mega Pegasus for Reindeer?" while standing in front of a display for "My Precious Pegasus". Watch it here.
- This◊ Belch Dimension Comics cover. Notably, it preceded the actual MLP:FIM comic book by three months and had Spike portrayed by a dog a good year before the release of My Little Pony: Equestria Girls.
- Inside the MLP:FIM universe itself, there's a franchise aimed at little fillies called "My Tiny Gecko".
- The Annual 2014 issue features a side story based on the superhero group the Power Ponies (for which, in the TV show, the main cast briefly fill in the roles); they end up defeating the villains thanks to the advice from a television show about how friendship is magic: My Little Donkey. All the characters being donkey versions of the Mane Six.
- The Annoying Orange comics have an example of this with "My Little Baloney", to go with the food puns the series is known for. Equestria Daily featured this comic for some reason.
Horses, Death felt, shouldn't grin. Any horse that was grinning was planning something.
- Susan, Death's granddaughter in Soul Music, gets a "My Little Binky" toy for her third birthday from her grandfather, modeled after his pale horse, Binky. Her parents return it, fearing that it will make her a less "normal" child.
- In Hogfather, when Death is acting as the Disc's Santa-counterpart, he's suspicious of the toy horses he's handing out:
Live Action TV
- One of the Once an Episode Parody Commercials on The Aquabats! Super Show! featured a toy like this called the Scruffy Scruff, except the toy was exceptionally ugly. The kids in the commercial played with and adored it as if it were just as pretty as its real-world counterpart.
- One sketch in a fifth-season Horrible Histories episode included the Victorian My Little Pit Pony. This doll described what life was like for horses that worked in coal mines, including breathing coal dust and getting stuck in tunnels. They only came in one color: black.
- Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! had a fake advert for "Candy Tails", horse tail hair coated in candy and braided for children to attach to their hair and lick the candy coating off. A tie-in My Little Pony-esque Candy Tails animation was there too, showing happy colorful talking horses who can't wait to get their tails chopped off to be turned into Candy Tails. Unusually for this trope, it is an old male horse who gets the most lines in the segment.
- ''Roland Rat: Superstar" had a Parody Commercial spot for "My Little Warthog", with the tagline: "To have, to hold, and to smell"
- In Fresh Off The Boat, Jessica tells her sons about wanting a Sparkle Time Beauty Horse as a child and not getting one because of her strict household. She claims that even though they had brittle hair and burned to touch and every five toys had a human face, they were the hottest toy in her neighbourhood.
- Maria collects "My Precious Pony" dolls in the Backyard Sports games.
- In Red Faction: Armageddon, one of the many weapons a player can equip is "Mr. Toots", a cutesy, colorful unicorn about the size of a small dog who is wielded by being slung over the player's shoulder and having his belly squeezed to make him fart. Of course, since he farts super-destructive rainbow colored lasers, he classifies as a Lethal Joke Item.
- Crystals Pony Tale for the Sega Genesis is a whole game involving this.
- Strangely enough, Dungeons of Dredmor's blacksmithing kit. "'My Little Anvil' Junior Smithing Kit. Smithing is magic!"
- Team Fortress 2 added the Balloonicorn in the Pyromania update, along with goggles that make everything appear as a Candy Land, and the Pyro's bubbleblower (flamethrower) sprays rainbows (napalm) over all the other characters.
- There's also the Magical Mercenary. Complete with voice lines from most of the classes when you have it equipped. "Unicorn erectin' a dispenser!"
- In Phoebe and Her Unicorn, Phoebe is a fan of the cartoon Pastel Unicorns and has a bunch of the toys. In a few strips (like on March 17, 2013, and on August 11, 2013) she discusses recent plot developments from the show, and they're barely-veiled references to actual episodes of Friendship Is Magic.
- In Rhapsodies, Shilo's daughter, Bonnie, enjoys playing with her ''Pony Pals'' play set which includes the throne room of the Pony Ruler, the Pink Unicorn!
- In Draconia Chronicles, we have My Little Dracony: Togetherness is Magical, which is immensely popular despite being intended for dragonlings; so much so that it's implied that even prisoners of war are allowed to watch it (although it's stated to be anti-tiger propaganda rather than a 30-minute toy commercial)—and they like it too(!).
- In Homestuck:
- First is Maplehoof. Instead of buying pony toys for her daughter, Rose's mother went all the way to buying a live pony. Its name and a heart mark on the flank follow suit with the style of the show.
- And then there is Dirk Strider, who watches the actual show without any phony-ness and has posters to show for it. He may or may not be a fan of the show itself (irony is a strange mistress) but he admits to loving Rainbow Dash. Like his creator, Dirk is obsessed with horses in general.
- Paradox Space, a spin-off of Homestuck, features Sweet Bro playing with a magenta / rainbow colored unicorn in "Pones" (also known as "Ponie"). Hella Jeff thinks that this means Sweet Bro will want to be the back of his horse costume.
- Tagger the Beaver from Nip and Tuck is a fan of "Bitty Pretty Pony"; this is used to settle a dispute with his rival via Mutually Assured Blackmail. Later, we see that Tagger is a hipster about it.
- Flare has "Dolf and the Pretty Pony", supposedly written and illustrated by Flare and her sister when they were little girls.
- GastroPhobia has a kingdom of civilized ponies who are clearly a parody of My Little Pony
- Nella's Epic Poney Soap Opera from The Nostalgia Chick. It contains a Bastard Boyfriend Anti-Villain Domestic Abuser, an inevitable saintly wife who is The High Queen and a Love Martyr to boot, a naive innocent woobish son with a few schoolfriends with disabilities, and a schoolteacher who is also "sometimes a whore, one with a heart of gold".
- The Welcome to... web series frequently mentions MLP and its fandom by name. However, one gag from "Welcome to Tumblr" involves a large number of humorously misnamed fandoms, and MLP is mentioned as My Last Prognosis, a pony-themed medical drama.
- Moshi Monsters has the "My Little Mutant" toys that can be bought as decorations for rooms. They look like the classic ponies...with six legs.
- The inevitable Fun T-Shirt versions such as "My Little Zenomorph".
- The forum RP A Shock To The System has a "Your Tiny Horse doll", as a loot drop on an Undead Child.
- An episode of Recess has the tomboyish Spinelli being forced to watch "My Furry Unicorns".
- In Teen Titans Go!, Raven and Robin have been shown to enjoy "Pretty Pretty Pegasus". These are Actor Allusions; The former is voiced by Tara Strong, who also voices Twilight Sparkle, while the latter is voiced by Scott Menville, who voiced Danny.
- For bonus points, one of the ponies in Pretty Pretty Pegasus is named Sparkleface, probably alluding to Twilight Sparkle, and another is named Butterbean, probably referring to Fluttershy and/or Butterscotch.
- A playful jab is even taken at the show's older fanbase. At one point, we see a chubby adult male background extra wearing a Pretty Pretty Pegasus T-shirt.
- Littlest Pet Shop (2012) has a "My Small Squirrel" reference in episode 25. Like the Teen Titans Go! example above, this one is also an Actor Allusion; Blythe Baxter's voice actress is Ashleigh Ball, who voices both Applejack and Rainbow Dash.
- DW from Arthur has been shown to enjoy "My Fluffy Unicorn". She owns a doll she calls Uni. Despite the name, the only characters shown are winged unicorns, not standard ones.
- Martha Speaks has an Imagine Spot which stars "My Fluffy Puppy". It's used to give an aesop against Merchandise-Driven products. Its also another Actor Allusion, this time for Tabitha St. Germain, who voices the titular Martha (She currently voices Rarity, Princess Luna, and a few others. Also, she has voiced other pony characters in past incarnations of My Little Pony).
- An episode of Time Squad has a cute-looking pony, with hearts for a Cutie Mark, attacking Buck.
- Pony Puff Princess is a recurring gag in Dexter's Laboratory, and the ponies were actually villains in one of the sillier episodes. The franchise also appears in The Powerpuff Girls.
- Speaking of The Powerpuff Girls, in the Christmas Special "The Fight Before Christmas", the Mayor asks Santa for a "My Little Horsie" doll, the joke being that he's a grown man. What makes this even funnier is that Lauren Faust worked on this episode.
- MAD has several:
- My Little War Horse: Pinkie Pie in a crossover with War Horse.
- Thunder-LOL-Cats: Lion-O vs. memes, Ponies included.
- Cowboys and Alien Force: An Applejack ersatz in a Mind Screwy crossover that also involves Ben 10: Alien Force, stretchy bands and multiple title cards.
- Rainbow Dash and Bernstein: Rainbow Dash replaces the titular puppet of Crash And Bernstein.
- My Little Pwny: The most direct parody. A Parody Commercial of ponies causing nothing but trouble (especially of the "painful to humans" variety).
- The Adjustment Burro: Twilight Sparkle starts dating Eeyore, in a mashup of Winnie-the-Pooh and The Adjustment Bureau.
- Exaggerated online, where someone made a fan episode called MAD Ponies, which consisted of every single pony and horse-related skit or joke that was in the show at the time.
- Robot Chicken had a sketch advertising My Little Pony: Apocalypse Ponies, a toy line modeled after the Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
♪"My Little Pony, Apocalypse ponies, punish mankind for their sins..."♪
- The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy has "My Troubled Pony", combining colorful ponies with an over-the-top Soap Opera. It is Grim's favorite show (second to Dora the Explorer) but, unfortunately for him, it was Cut Short. Considering the fandom of grown men that the My Little Pony franchise has since attracted, this also could count as a case of Hilarious in Hindsight.
- The Show Within a Show "Lunacorns" in The Penguins of Madagascar is Private's favorite TV program.
- Transformers Animated features the villain Professor Princess, who flies on a toy unicorn.
- Metalocalypse does this too:
Nathan (to Toki): Do you have your 'My Little Disemboweled Pony'?
- The Bob's Burgers episode "The Equestranauts" has Tina as a fan of the eponymous cartoon horse show. The show pokes fun at "bronies" when Tina is surprised to find that most of the participants at Equestria-Con are middle-aged men obsessed with The Equestranauts. Then one of these "Equest-icles" cheats Tina out of a rare toy, so her father Bob has to "go undercover".
- One of the "Mabel's Scrapbook" shorts for Gravity Falls features the gang from the Mystery Shack sneaking into a theater showing the movie "Pony Heist".
- An episode of The Amazing World of Gumball featured a DVD called "A Pony's Tail". It is depicted as being so terrible unearthly forces try to stop people from seeing it. Ironically, Carrie watches it by mistake and actually likes it.
Carrie: Is it wrong for a punk-rock chick who lives in a haunted malevolent mansion to be touched by the magical friendship of a pony?
- A gag in the beginning of an episode of The Simpsons had a video camera with the words "My Little Sony" on it, complete with the rainbow that forms the G1 My Little Pony logo.
- The 2015 reboot Danger Mouse episode "Pink Dawn" contains the titular evil princess riding a giant pony who looks suspiciously like Twilight Sparkle.