Call Back: In "Sonic Rainboom", Rainbow Dash says that the day of the event is the "BEST. DAY. EVER!" In "A Canterlot Wedding: Parts 1 & 2", when talking about/performing a Sonic Rainboom for the wedding, she comments "BEST. WEDDING. EVER!"
The rainbow that flies through Equestria in Twilight's Kingdom Part 2 is seen by everyone who gave the Mane Six their keys - Coco Pommel, Spitfire and the Wonderbolts, Cheese Sandwich, Seabreeze, Silver Shill, and Discord last of all.
In "Look Before You Sleep", they're shown making (and eating) s'mores. Modern day marshmallows contain gelatin, which is derived from animal hides and bones.note Gelatin can also be made from horse's hooves, so the ponies might even be engaged in cannibalism! Historically, however, marshmallows were made from mucilaginous root extracts of the marsh-growing African mallow, Althaea officinalis, AKA the marsh mallow plant, and modern Vegan marshmallows use fruit pectin to provide protein instead of gelatin.
In "Griffon the Brush Off", Fluttershy is being greeted from the lake by some fish smiling at her, which means that fish in Equestria are at least partially sentient (like Angel the bunny) and some of them are apparently friends with Fluttershy. Then in the beginning of "Dragonshy", we see Fluttershy feeding dead fish to her pet ferrets.
In classical mythology, Griffons ate mostly horses.
Fluttershy doesn't deliver the vegetables, one of her helpers does. Really, this is just another example of the poor organization of the event. When Fluttershy is shown feeding ferrets, she feeds them fish.
In "Fall Weather Friends", after Applejack ties up Rainbow Dash's wings, she says "Trussed up like a turkey!" The only way for her to make that comparison...
The ponies raise cattle, which vaguely makes sense because they can be milked. They raise chickens, presumably because eggs are a necessary component of many of the apple pastries they bake. But in "The Show Stoppers", we see that ponies farm pigs. Pretty sure ponies don't eat bacon... (Word of God says that the pigs needed somewhere to live, and ponies really like truffles.) Plus pigs can be used as "garbage trucks" — they eat the leftovers.
Fridge Brilliance: Swine manure is an excellent fertilizer for bushes and trees. What do the Apple family have in job lots?
In the scene where Applejack tries to decide what she is supposed to eat first in "A Bird in the Hoof", one of things on the table is a ham sandwich. Interestingly, there were no truffles in sight in spite of the fact that the guest of honor was the princess.
In "Owl's Well That Ends Well", Spike noted that owls do eat mice and he actually uses that knowledge in an attempt to frame Owlowiscious.
Slightly oblique take on this, but the show makes very clear that Equestrians write on parchment rather than paper. They do seem to use a LOT of the stuff so questions must be raised as to where they get it. Maybe the cows will their skin to the state upon their natural deaths.
Season 4 shows us carrot hot dogs, so they are veggie dogs after all.
Cast Herd: (Technically, cast Strings, Blessings, and Constellations) First off, you've got the mane six ponies and Spike. The Cutie Mark Crusaders form a Power Trio with a smaller version of the mane group, having an earth pony, pegasus and unicorn, with the latter also falling into Tomboy and Girly Girl. Big Mac tends to show up mainly around his sisters and the rest of his family; the same goes for Granny Smith. Even the background ponies fall into this, with Rose, Daisy and Lily Valley tending to show up around each other.
Subverted in that neither of Ashleigh's characters have had a song to themselves yet when every other mane character has at least one, although Rainbow Dash comes pretty close with a duet with Fluttershy and both of them had their own verse during "At the Gala".
As of "Apple Family Reunion", where Applejack gets a song. However, the song has a rather simplistic rhythm (seeing as how it is a song to Square-Dance to, this is justified.), and the fans were a little disappointed in it, but no one yet has critiqued Ashleigh's singing in that particular song.
Andrea only provides Fluttershy's singing voice; Pinkie's is done by Shannon Chan-Kent.
Though she has sung as Pinkie twice (the Welcome Song in "Friend in Deed", and dueting with "Weird Al" Yankovic for "The Goof-Off" in "Pinkie Pride") and rapped for "The Rappin' History of the Wonderbolts" in "Testing, Testing 1, 2, 3."
In Bats!, there's an Applejack/Fluttershy duet which is later joined by the entire Mane 6.
Spike was often the Butt Monkey of earlier seasons, with Series 3 having several entire episodes revolving around him hilariously failing at things. In Series 4, Spike has a series-long character arc revolving around self esteem issues and feeling useless.
Season 1 has "The Ticket Master" immediately following the two-part premiere, "Dragonshy" sandwiched between the significantly less dark "Boast Busters" and "Look Before You Sleep", "Sonic Rainboom" and "Show Stoppers" book-ending "The Stare Master", and "Party of One" in-between "Owl's Well that Ends Well" (which isn't completely sunny either) and "The Best Night Ever".
Season 2 follows up both "Return of Harmony"s and "Lesson Zero" with "Luna Eclipsed", follows up "Secret of My Excess" with "Family Appreciation Day", sandwiches "Dragon Quest" with "It's About Time!" and "Hurricane Fluttershy", and puts the light and fluffy "MMMystery on the Friendship Express" right before the finale, the latter half of which is basically distilled nightmare fuel.
Season 4 begins intense with the premiere, stays steadily action-oriented through the next five episodes, save for "Flight to the Finish" which still had heavy drama. Then it settles back down into one comedy-focused episode after the other with some light character development...only for the season finale to hit and bring with it the most intense scenes ever seen in the show.
Character Exaggeration: Used lightly in later episodes (which focus more on individual characters, as opposed to the initial stories which focused more on the whole ensemble and their bonds) and so intensify some of their defining quirks for Aesops and obstacles. Perhaps most noticable is Twilight Sparkle, after growing out of her Fish out of Water status in Ponyville; Twilight-centered episodes focused more on her overcoming her (originally more subtle) neurotics and fears of failure, establishing her as a Super OCDNervous Wreck. Most examples are kept balanced by proper Character Development, however, and their other traits are still used prominently, preventing them from Flanderization.
Chaste Toons: According to Rarity, Princess Celestia has a nephew, which should raise an eyebrow considering that it would either imply that he is Luna's son (even though she spent the last thousand years sealed in the moon) or that there is another divine sibling we don't know about. Lauren Faust eventually explained by saying that he was a very distant relative on Celestia's mother's side, "about 52 times removed, roughly speaking".
In Applejack's and Rarity's case, they have children hanging around who are their little sisters rather than nieces, but play a similar role.
However, we have now seen Pinkie Pie's and Rarity's parents (once each) and Twilight Sparkle's parents (thrice). Twilight Sparkle's mom, Twilight Velvet, has also appeared in the toy line, though you wouldn't know who she is without recognizing her from the show.
And now we even have baby ponies, incidentally showing that pegasi, earth ponies and unicorns can mix and a pony can have any combination of the three kinds of ponies.
Cheap Gold Coins: Bits, despite most likely being named after the horse tack, are these.
The show has one an entire season in the making. Discord has Mind Raped the mane six and Twilight has given up. She comes home to find Princess Celestia has been sending her scrolls all day. It turns out they're the letters that Twilight had been sending Celestia the entire previous season. They remind her what her friends mean to her and help her realize how to stop Discord.
Twilight and Cadance's "Sunshine, sunshine, ladybug's awake" song in A Canterlot Wedding Part 1 is the reason Twilight can determine that Cadance is really Cadance in Part 2
The second season finale has Pinkie's "I never leave home without my party cannon!" statement return when she pulls it out of nowhere to wield against mooks. This took 17 episodes to return. Also a technique utilized half a season prior (in the ancient past in universe) to defeat the Windigos is used to defeat the Big Bad, only using The Power of Love in place of The Power of Friendship.
In the very end of ''The Crystal Empire, Part 2", Luna pulls out a black book. There's no focus on it so you probably wouldn't pay attention to it until you rewatch the episode after seeing the season 3 finale, where the book is sent to Twilight and she is asked to complete a spell in it.
In Equestria Games, the anti-magic field later prevents magic-using ponies from helping out with magic during the ice cloud incident.
In Twilight's Kingdom Part 2, the medallion Tirek gives to Discord as a sign of "trust" turns out to be Twilight's key, which Discord gives her after she shows she still considers him a friend after his betrayal.
The first episode introduces Applejack's little sister Apple Bloom in passing during the extremely crowded Apple Clan reunion. Later on, there's a brief shot of her with two other fillies. Later in the season, Apple Bloom plays a key role in the events of "Bridle Gossip", and gets the spotlight in "Call of the Cutie", which also officially introduces the other two fillies, Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle.
Big Macintosh and Granny Smith from the family reunion; the former seems well on his way to becoming a regular.
When Twilight first arrives in Ponyville, a pink mare gasps and bolts. Turns out she's bolted to organize a welcome-wagon party.
An episode-specific example: "A Friend in Deed" introduces a donkey named Matilda early on. She turns out to be Cranky's lost love.
Near the beginning of "Keep Calm and Flutter On", Discord casts a spell that causes a group of beavers to become mean-spirited and they later appear near the end and build a dam that causes Sweet Apple Acres to flood.
Averted in Twilights Kingdom Part 2, bordering on subverted for some viewers. Scorpan helped defeat Tirek in the first place, so one would expect Celestia to send Twilight to... Not look for him. Or even mention asking him for help at all. Odd.
In It's About Time, Cerberus, guardian of Tartarus, appears as part of a small joke. He returns in Twilight's Kingdom and it is explained that his brief absence is what caused Tirek to escape in the first place.
Turns out Fluttershy has a surprising knowledge of sewing, as evidenced when she was forced to tell Rarity what was "wrong" with her dress in "Suited For Success". This skill allowed Fluttershy and the others to finish Rarity's dress at the end of the episode.
In "Dragonshy", Rainbow Dash is shown playing with a ball and skillfully bouncing it off her head. Later, during the Iron Pony competition in "Fall Weather Friends", she uses her skill to easily win the ball-bouncing challenge.
Twilight spent the entire first season writing reports back to Celestia with what she's learned about friendship. In "The Return of Harmony, Part 2", Celestia snaps Twilight out of Discord's spell... by sending back copies of all her reports, so that reading them will remind Twilight that friendship is worth fighting for.
In "Bridle Gossip", the Mane Six walk through Poison Joke plants despite Zecora's warning. The effect they have on Fluttershy is causing her to have a deep, manly voice, but it is eventually cured along with the others' ailments. Three seasons later in "Filli Vanilli", Big McIntosh loses his voice the day before he is supposed to perform with the Ponytones singing group. To save the show (and the group's subsequent appearances), Fluttershy drinks a Poison Joke potion from Zecora so she can sing in Big McIntosh's place behind the scenes while he lip-syncs.
In "Pinkie Pride", we see Pinkie's sister Maud Pie as a filly in a photo six whole episodes before Maud - now grown up - shows up in person.
In Twilight's Kingdom Part 2, Celestia's reason for sending Discord after Tirek was that he could sense the magical disruption caused by Tirek's Mana Drain. When the Princesses transfer their magic to Twilight, Discord is able to sense it, but doesn't tell Tirek.
In Inspiration Manifestation, you can almost imagine Tabitha St. Germain desperately trying to hold back the maniacal laughter in her rant at the end, especially with the omnious bells chiming in the background.
Rarity: ...until there isn't an inch of Equestria that hasn't been utterly transformed bymy! creative! GENIUS!
In "Over a Barrel", the crowd's reaction to Pinkie Pie's song is stunned silence, broken only by Spike's somewhat-desperate applause and the cry of a hawk.
In "The Cutie Pox", after Spike blabs about how Apple Bloom has contracted the titular disease, which scares nearly everyone in Ponyville into hiding, a tumbleweed blows by and a hawk can be heard screeching in the distance.
In "Baby Cakes", Pinkie's attempt to cheer the twins up with stand-up comedy elicits this. There's also the sound of someone coughing.
In Equestria Games, following Spike's attempt at the anthem, the giant stadium is quiet, save for the cries of a lone baby, and Pinkie's echoing "Nailed it!"
Chocolate Baby: Vaguely implied: Cup Cake (earth pony) gives birth to a unicorn and a pegasus. Her husband Carrot Cake (also earth pony) gives an explanation involving far-back genetics and a relative who isn't even related by blood. Once he finishes the explanation he gives the audience a nervous Aside Glance and says, "That makes sense, right?"
The mane six defeat Nightmare Moon in this exact way, though it takes the Elements of Harmony to create the "friendship beam." They do roughly the same thing to Discord at the end of part 2 of "The Return of Harmony".
In the "Hearth's Warming Eve" episode, it's revealed that the founders of Equestria also used this, by accident, to destroy the Windigos, a group of spirits who feed off ofThe Power of Hate and were attempting to freeze the world. Instead of the rainbow from before, it forms a flaming heart that incinerates the Windigos. It would appear that weaponized friendship is the method of choice in Equestria for dealing with Eldritch Abominations.
Civilized Animal: While previous pony cartoon series had been leaning towards Funny Animal from Tales onwards, Friendship is Magic fits this portrayal; the ponies can talk, live in houses, and in some cases have jobs, but are otherwise quite equine in behavior, eating hay, grass, and flowers and using their mouths (or occasionally magic or wings) to manipulate things.
Cliff Hanger: At the end of the first half of every two-part episode. More specifically, the premiere episode of all three seasons, plus the second to last episode of Season 2. They also sometimes like to set up mini-cliffhangers going to commercial breaks.
The Coconut Effect: Being a setting populated by sentient equines, the show uses the old "two coconuts banging together" sound effect in interesting ways. For example things that would normally involve hand sound effects are replaced by the coconut sound effect to reflect the fact that the characters are hoofed creatures who are using their forelegs as a substitute for hands.
Color-Coded Wizardry: Though present since Season 1, the unicorns' magic has clear distinctions in their aura colors from "Lesson Zero" on, usually matching the color of the unicorn's eye color or cutie mark. For example, Twilight's is dark pink, Celestia's is bright yellow, and Luna's is clear blue.
Demonstrated in the episode Sweet and Elite, when a unicorn with a pink magic aura picks up a bag and passes it to Rarity—the aura changes from pink to blue.
Also serves as a subtle hint in A Canterlot Wedding, Cadance's magic is blue in Twilight's flashback, but green in the present day.
In the episode "Boast Busters," a unicorn named Trixie comes to town claiming to be incredibly powerful and capable of vanquishing the dreaded Ursa Major. Most of the ponies don't buy it, but two young colts fall for her story and proudly defend her. Spike tells them that unless they actually see her pulling off the feats she claims, they shouldn't believe her. They take this as a cue to find an Ursa Major and bring it to town so Trixie can defeat it in front of everyone. Bad idea.
In "The Show Stoppers," The Cutie Mark Crusaders enter the school talent show hoping to get their cutie marks, but each tackles something they're not suited for (and that another one of them is perfect for). They do actually win an award, but don't get their cutie marks. They realize they failed to get their marks because they neglected their true talents, but decide that their actual calling in life must be comedy, since they won Best Comedy Act.
Scootaloo: Argh! These namby-pamby stories aren't getting us any closer to our cutie marks! They're all about 'finding out who you are' and boring stuff like that!
Let's just save time and say the CMC pretty much embody this trope every time they appear in the show, because instead of cultivating the talents they're actually good at, they spend all their time trying every random activity they can think of. Like Wile E. Coyote, they've gotten so obsessed with the short-term goal ("catch the roadrunner" / "get a cutie mark") that they've lost sight of why they wanted to accomplish the goal in the first place.
In "Party of One" Pinkie Pie throws a birthday party for her toothless pet alligator Gummy, and her friends have a delightful time. though she's a little overeager during the party. The next day, she invites them to an after-birthday-party party that afternoon. All five of her friends decline the invitation. The viewer is led to assume they turn her down because two parties in two days is a too much partying, but they're actually planning a surprise party for her own birthday, which she forgot due to being wrapped up in her own plans for the second party. Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash collaboratively lie, hilariously building the worst excuse of the bunch.
Pinkie Pie: Something strange is definitely going on around here, Gummy. Sure Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy had to house-sit for that vacationing bear, but what are the chances all my other friends would have plans this afternoon too? Rarity (the fashionista) has to wash her hair? Applejack (the farmer) has to pick apples? Twilight (the student) is behind on her studies, and has to hit the books? The more I think about it, the more those are starting to sound like… (gasps) excuses!
Fluttershy: Why Rarity, it's so lovely! Rarity: I know! (whips her restored tail) I'll never part with it again! Fluttershy: No, your necklace.
In "Owl's Well That Ends Well", Twilight lectures Spike about all the trouble he's been causing because he's jealous of Owlowiscious, telling him "This is not the Spike I know and love!" A dejected Spike interprets this as meaning Twilight doesn't love him anymore, and prompts him to run away from home.
"Over a Barrel": Applejack's apple tree Bloomberg gets this treatment. She buys it a private sleeping car in a train and reads it bedtime stories. Spike gets into the act when he bunks with Bloomberg to get away from the girls' night-time chatter, and apologizes in advance to the tree if he starts snoring. (This may be justified if he snores fire, however.)
"Party of One": Pinkie Pie has a nervous breakdown when she thinks her friends don't want to come to her parties anymore. She sets up a pile of rocks ("Rocky"), a sack of flour ("Madame Le Flour"), a bucket of turnips ("Mr. Turnip"), and a piece of lint ("Sir Lintsalot") as her new friends, and tries to throw a party with them. Pinkie Pie does their voices so well that she even gets Rainbow Dash to argue with the rocks. The most noticeable sign of Pinkie's deepening depression and insanity is that at first, she pretends that "Rocky", "Madame Le Flour" and the rest are talking to her by nudging them back and forth to create the illusion of movement. When they give her the Armor-Piercing Question, she loses any sanity she had left and her party guests seem to start moving on their own. And then the camera zooms out to reveal that the "party guests" are still inanimate, as always...
In "The Returnof Harmony", Rarity is brainwashed by Discord into thinking a boulder is actually a giant diamond. She becomes increasingly obsessed with and protective of it, and starts calling it "Tom".
In "Lesson Zero", Twilight Sparkle introduces her cherished childhood toy "Smarty Pants": a raggedy old stuffed pony doll with a notebook and quill. Twilight casts an enchantment spell that makes everypony in town to be attracted to the doll, leading to a large fight between all of them over it. After the spell is lifted, every pony loses interest and leaves the doll behind, except for Big Macintosh who is (for some unexplained reason) still attracted to it and ends up running away with it.
In "Pinkie Pride", Pinkie's rival Cheese Sandwich has a rubber chicken he calls "Boneless", which he talks to and carries with him on his travels around Equestria.
Downplayed Trope in Inspiration Manifestation. Rarity considers the book to be an actual person, which Spike admits is pretty creepy. That said, she's never seen to try and interact with it, nor is she all that upset when the book is destroyed. (Though that's mostly because she didn't need the book by that point.)
Composite Character: With the sole exception of Applejack, the six mane characters are a composite of a Generation 1 pony and a Generation 3 pony. Rainbow Dash, for example, has the wings and personality of the Gen 1 pony Firefly, and the color scheme (more or less) of the Gen 3 pony Rainbow Dash. Faust couldn't use the names of the Gen 1 ponies, due to Hasbro having lost the trademark to all of them but Applejack and Spike, so the use of Gen 3 ponies for extra inspiration is her Writing Around Trademarks. Full explanation here.◊
Discord is a very literal example of this, being a mish-mash of just about every creature known to man.
The Novelizations in general, since many of them are either storybooks that come with toys or short stories published in different countries' magazines.
The Canadian live show. It managed to squeeze part of "The Ticket Master", part of "Applebuck Season", part of Part 2 of the pilot, part of "Winter Wrap-Up" and part of "The Best Night Ever" into a 30-minute play (which took place over an entire year).
In "The Elements of Harmony", as Twilight Sparkle is reading the last known location of the Elements of Harmony, the scene dissolves from the library into the location as she (and the other ponies) say "...the Everfree Forest!" Pinkie Pie does another one at the end of the episode:
Pinkie Pie: Hey, you know what this calls for? (transitions to Ponyville) A party!
Pinkie Pie pulls another one in "Applebuck Season" as the ponies try to figure out how to show their appreciation to Applejack for saving Ponyville from a stampede. This cut apparently lasts a week.
Constructed World: Despite a few slip-ups of writing such as a few mentions of France, Equestria is part of a world that is very different from our own with its own features.
Continuity Nod: Quite a few, which is unexpected for a show where the episodes are supposed to be watchable in any order.
In Applebuck Season, Applejack explains to Twilight that her huge family was only in town for the Sun Festival (the pilot episode), which is why she's the only one left on her farm that's strong enough to harvest the orchard after Big McIntosh hurts his back.
During Dragonshy, Rainbow Dash mentions the ferocious manticore that Fluttershy befriended during the pilot episode.
In Suited For Success, Rarity is creating the dresses that she and her friends will wear for the Grand Galloping Gala announced in episode 3. Some of these dresses can be seen in later episodes (Rarity wears hers at the beginning of A Bird In The Hoof). The Gala itself is the season finale.
In Green Isn't Your Color, Rarity states that she "vants to be alone" when she is upset over Fluttershy's popularity. She said the same thing in Suited For Success, after a failed fashion show made her a laughingstock in Ponyville. While sorting through dresses for Fluttershy to try on, she tosses aside several outfits which appeared in prior episodes.
In the first episode, one of the dresses Rarity has Twilight try is a Statue of Liberty outfit. In "The Cutie Mark Chronicles", we learn that a pony version of the Statue of Liberty actually exists in their world.
The straight-haired version of Pinkie Pie seen in Cutie Mark Chronicles reappears in Party of One when Pinkie Pie convinces herself everypony is avoiding her because they no longer like her parties.
Also briefly in The Best Night Ever as she tries to straighten it for the Gala. But because she's happy, it goes poofy again immediately.
And once again in Magical Mystery Cure, where she is miserable due to being stuck with Applejack's destiny.
And Zecora, debuting in Bridle Gossip, establishing the context for her cameo one episode later in Swarm of the Century. She's also mentioned (but not seen) in Stare Master; visiting her for tea is Twilight's reason for going into the Everfree Forest that night.
In Boast Busters, Snips and Snails are shown to be awe-struck by Trixie's magic skills. In The Show Stoppers, they attempt to stage a magic show of their own.
The Return Of Harmony, Part 2 features two short segments with several clips taken from previous episodes, when Twilight and Applejack's memories are being restored.
Another nod to "Bridle Gossip" was made in the Season 2 episode The Cutie Pox. Seems Zecora hasn't forgotten her initial treatment by Ponyville's inhabitants.
In The Mysterious Mare Do Well Pinkie Pie says she used her Pinkie Sense (from Feeling Pinkie Keen) to save the construction workers. She then immediately gets a twitch and pushes Rainbow Dash out of the way of a falling flower-pot. Pinkie Sense then gets brought up again during It's About Time, where Pinkie is doing a fortune telling routine. Twilight asks Pinkie to use her Pinkie sense to predict the coming disaster, but Pinkie says she doesn't use her Pinkie sense for that. Pinkie then immediately gets a twitch and a flower-pot falls on Twilight.
All of them are listed on the recap page for any episode.
In The Return of Harmony Part 1, Sweetie Belle corrects Applebloom by telling her "victoryful" isn't a word. Scootaloo asks "What are you, a dictionary?" In Family Appreciation Day, Applebloom rapidly lists synonyms for "embarrassed", prompting Scootaloo to ask her the same question (the same recording was even used).
Possibly the most subtle is from the season 3 finale, Magical Mystery Cure. Check how long it takes for Rainbow Dash to clear the skies after Rarity has been screwing up Rainbow Dash's job.
One definitely worth mentioning is the insane pony that barks like a dog in It's About Time. Fast-forward to Just For Sidekicks in Season 3, and we catch a glimpse of the same pony who has since recovered a great deal and is on her way to being fully sane.
In the episode, Shining Armor is wearing his captain's armor for the first time since A Canterlot Wedding.
Derpy, despite not competing herself, is still part of Ponyville's delegation, as shown in Rainbow Falls, probably as an emergency replacement in case it's necessary.
Pinkie Pie is the only person in the audience who enjoys Spike's rendition of the Cloudsdale anthem. She even shouts "Nailed it!" at the end. This is an inverse of the scene from Over a Barrel, where Spike was the only person in the audience to enjoy Pinkie's "You Gotta Care, You Gotta Share" song.
Tirek's brother Scorpan is shown in the story flashback to go off with a unicorn wizard; though the name is not said, this is clearly meant to be Star Swirl the Bearded, based on similar imagery from "Three's a Crowd".
Once more, Fluttershy is the only one of the Mane Six to find Discord's antics rather amusing.
Princess Celestia using the elements of Harmony on her own to banish Nightmare Moon in "Princess Twilight Sparkle" is presented this way, with the other five Elements channeling their power into the Element of Magic for a massive beam.
In Twilight's Kingdom Part 2, the Mane Six's new friendship powered Wave Motion Gun manifests this way, blasting Tirek with six individual beams of light before they combine into one powerful blow that defeats him, takes back the stolen magic, locks him back in Tartarus, and releases Celestia, Luna, and Cadance from Tartarus when their own magic is restored.
Discord fashions himself quite an evil-looking throne - a dark gray and deep red color scheme, a stylized skull shape with pointed teeth at the top, and a huge pair of antlers sprouting from the skull for added demonic imagery - and plops it right in the middle of Ponyville so that he can observe the chaos he's wrought firsthand.
In Equestria Games, the four princesses each have their own elaborate thrones at the Games, emblazoned with stylized renditions of their cutie marks. This is similar to the VIP seating for the heads-of-state at the Olympics, including the leader of the host nation.
At the end of "Twilight's Kingdom," Twilight gains a castle in Ponyville after the library is destroyed. It contains seven thrones arranged in a circle - a full-sized one for each of the Mane Six, set with their cutie marks, and a smaller seventh one for Spike next to Twilight's.
Cool House: All six ponies live in some sort of Cool House (not surprising given that one of the show's jobs is to sell the playsets those houses are based on).
Twilight lives in a library built into a giant hollow tree, with an observatory on top, a balcony a little farther down, and a bizarre laboratory in the basement.
The library is destroyed during "Twilight's Kingdom," but she eventually gets an even cooler house to replace it: a castle built of crystal and styled to resemble the old tree.
Rarity lives at her business, the Carousel Boutique, which is styled to resemble an ornate antique merry-go-round, complete with horses.
Pinkie Pie lives at Sugarcube Corner, a bakery whose roof resembles a heavily decorated gingerbread house with two cupcakes stacked on top.
Oddly, the apartment itself is kind of bare, for reasons speculated upon in this wiki's Wild Mass Guessing page (Pinkie has one all to herself).
Fluttershy lives in a large sod-roof cottage near the Everfree Forest. The entire property, inside and out, is filled with houses and shelters for an assortment of small animals, plus the house itself is covered with beautiful plants. It's reminiscent of a Hobbit hole.
Rainbow Dash lives in a floating house made of clouds... that looks like a small Greek palace, with rainbow waterfalls on either side.
Applejack and her family live in a house/barn on the edge of their sprawling apple orchard.
Applejack's old clubhouse becomes one after Apple Bloom fixes it up for the Cutie Mark Crusaders' use in record time. It has drawbridge-style ramp that can be pulled up and even sprouts an observatory in later appearances.
Costume Porn: Almost anything Rarity designs (with some glaring yet justified exceptions), particularly the dresses she and her friends wear to the Grand Galloping Gala.
Cowardly Lion: Obviously, this trope applies to Fluttershy. Perhaps not so obviously is how it pertains to Rarity. Rarity is often depicted as selfish, egotistical and more then a little bit snobbish. But she is the Element of Generosity. She wants everything, but she chooses to give it instead, because she knows that is the right thing to do. In fact, Rarity is the pony who most often has to really try to do the right thing, instead of it being just natural for her.
The trailer for the DVD The Friendship Express claims that it's the show's first DVD release. While it is the first of Shout! Factory's releases and the first DVD to be available online, it's actually the fifth DVD to be released in the US, following the toy-pack-in MiniDVD The Ticket Master, the Target-exclusive DVD Celebration at Canterlot, the DVD Adventures in Ponyville, and the toy-pack-in MiniDVD Applebuck Season.
On The Hub's Facebookpage, they called Rainbow Dash's Nightmare Night costume from "Luna Eclipsed" a Wonderbolt costume instead of a Shadowbolt costume, and on their own site, they initially called Discord a dragon instead of a Draconequus (or Dragonokis, as they misspell it).
Hub advertisements for the Castle Creator game available on Hasbro's website and their own website describe it as a game in which you select a pony to explore the Canterlot palace with and dress them up in various costumes. Footage of the game accompanying this description shows it to be nothing like that.
The infamous "My Little Racist, Homophobic, Smart-Shaming Pony" article on Ms. Magazine's website, which stated that a pony's coat color were metaphors for race and/or sexual orientation—Word of Godstates that they never are or were intended to be—as well as claiming that Twilight Sparkle completely gave up her studies under the princess in favor of a stereotypically girly life in Ponyville. (Not only is life in Ponyville anything but girly and bland, Twilight's original problem wasn't that she was studying at all; it was that she was studying to the exclusion of anything resembling a social life.) Given the context, it was obvious that she stopped watching at the end of the opening credits.
A Daily Dotarticle treated the fan misconception that Hasbro has no official pony plushies as fact. A then-small number of official (officially licensed, at least) plushies actually do exist, the first few of which were released over a year before the article was published.
The mule in "Applebuck Season" and "Hurricane Fluttershy" is voiced by co-director James "Wootie" Wooton.
One of the animators Holly Giesbrecht slipped in her OC pony Holly Dash into the background for a brief moment in "Swarm of the Century". Some fans might know said pony better as Tutti Frutti.
In "A Canterlot Wedding" Sibsy's ponitar makes an appearance as a wife arguing with her husband about a hooficure... until Princess Cadance uses her magic to alter the situation for the better. Sibsy, a.k.a. Sabrina Alberghetti, is a storyboard artist for the show.
Series composer Daniel Ingram voices the stallion getting a scarf in Rarity Takes Manehattan.
The most clear cut example is probably the episode "Maud Pie", where Pinkie's sister visits town and the cast has a horrendously difficult time attempting to get to know her better due to her extreme stoicism.
Equestria Games has the scene where Spike interrupts a medal ceremony to insist on singing the gold medal-winner's anthem. Only after Shining Armor announces this to the crowd does Spike realize that Cloudsdale (not Ponyville) won the gold for that particular event. Spike doesn't know any of the words to Cloudsdale's anthem. As he ad-libs, the camera cuts multiple times to the audience, who are just as embarrassed as Spike is. One unicorn even yanks his top hat down to cover his entire head.
Pinkie Pie is a Cloud Cuckoo Lander and loveable marefoal whose special talent is throwing parties. Normally her use of Cartoon Physics is limited to visual gags in the show, but when she starts using it to save ponies' lives from a crumbling construction site, relentlessly pursue a pony who can fly, and to pull a cannon out of nowhere during a fight, she becomes an unstoppable borderline Reality Warper.
Cultural Translation: The Japanese dub inserts a few references to Japanese culture. For example, in "Applebuck Season", Applejack mishears "tasuke (help)" as "shiitake", a kind of Asian mushroom. In "Feeling Pinkie Keen", when Spike backs out of Twilight's house with the sound of a truck backing up, the Japanese dub adds him saying "Bakkushimasu, gochuui kudasai (Backing up, please be careful)", a sound clip that accompanies large vehicles backing up in Japan. In "Cutie Pox", instead of speaking French, Apple Bloom talks in formal Japanese. In "Putting Your Hoof Down", the old pony who cuts in front of Fluttershy mishears Fluttershy's "warakomi" (cutting) as "waraboshi" (wooden chopsticks).
And of course, there's the disappointing showdown between Princess Celestia and Queen Chrysalis in "A Canterlot Wedding".
In Twilight's Kingdom Part 2, Twilight and Tirek's first fight is evenly matched, but once the Mane Six get their hooves on the Rainbow Power, a few beams of magic is all it takes to shrivel and seal up Tirek once and for all and get Celestia, Luna, and Cadance back from Tartarus.
Curtains Match the Window: A few ponies, such as Derpy or Scootaloo, have the standard version of this. It also turns up in a different form starting in season 2, with several unicorns often having the auras seen when using their magic match their eye color. Examples include Rarity, Sweetie Belle, and Trixie when affected by the alicorn amulet (but not without it, when her magic is a brighter shade than her eyes)
Cute and Psycho: Fluttershy currently provides the page quote. Pinkie Pie, Princess Luna and Twilight Sparkle would all probably benefit from a trip to the therapist's couch as well.
Cuteness Overload: The Brony Community constantly joke that they die from Fluttershy's cuteness.
The ending to Season 2 was this. At the reception of the wedding, Twilight Sparkle nods to Pinkie Pie, who, with a sound like a squealing teddy bear, dashes behind a DJ station and proceeds to pull up Vinyl Scratch/DJ Pon-3, who then starts the music, and with it, the party.
And within the show, two-parters, such as "Friendship is Magic", note (wherein Nightmare Moon tries to make night last forever; dire when you consider the implications to plants) "The Return of Harmony", note (wherein Discord temporarily manages to spread a fair bit of chaos and damage the mane characters' friendships with each other) "A Canterlot Wedding" note (wherein Chrysalis disguises herself as Princess Cadence, then imprisons the actual Cadence in a cave, to marry Shining Armor and use his love to power a changeling invasion) and "The Crystal Empire", note (wherein King Sombra, a tyrant who formerly enslaved said empire, is about to return) involve scenarios much more dire than those of most of the show's episodes. Among those two-parters, though, "Friendship is Magic" is considered milder than the other three.
Darkest Hour: The season 4 finale "Twilight's Kingdom". At the end of the first episode, Discord has performed a Face-Heel Turn, joined Tirek, and was helping him drain ponies of their magic. Following this, Tirek invades Canterlot, and attempts to drain the Princesses of their magic, but they've given it to Twilight. Following this, Tirek banishes the three to Tartarus, arrives in Ponyville to drain the Mane Six minus Twilight of their power, drains Discord of his power, blows up Golden Oaks Library, and after failing to overpower Twilight in battle, trades her the power she has for the lives of her friends, and finally drains her too. With this, any force that could stop Tirek has been Depowered and is now helpless. If not for a Deus ex Machina, the show was pretty much over by this point.
Averted in the stories involving Queen Chrysalis and King Sombra.
A Day in the Limelight: Every member of the primary cast get their fair share of star time throughout the series run. But more often than not, one or more members of said cast get featured more prominently than others. For those keeping tab:
On a different note, the background ponies are generally silent with occasional brief lines, but once in a great while they'll get a bit of extended dialogue, usually (but not always) all in one scene. Specific examples include:
Babs Seed is a more-or-less straightforward example, even though the CMC can't really be said to have 'defeated' her per se.
Trixie left town humiliated at the end of Boast Busters, but by the end of her second appearance, Magic Duel, she is genuinely remorseful for how she let things get out of control under the Alicorn Amulet. She makes peace with Twilight Sparkle and leaves Ponyville this time by choice.
Referenced by Discord at the climax of Return of Harmony pt 2. Discord, not realizing the Mane Six had shaken his control and reconnected with the Elements of Harmony, sarcastically dared them to use the Elements to defeat him, saying "Fine, go ahead; friend me. Just make it quick." Ironically, he would be reformed by Fluttershy later on, being literally defeated by friendship.
In the show's official companion guide Jim Miller & Meghan McCarthy discuss this, noting that, while they want to teach kids that some bad people will be your friends if shown kindness, others will still be jerks no matter how kind you are to them.
Also, the Astronomical Astronomer's Almanac to All Things Astronomy.
In episode 10, Fluttershy claims to have "tried begging, and pleading, and beseeching, and asking politely" to control the parasprites.
Depending on the Writer: Some aspects of pony culture change from one episode to another. The usage of 'somepony' 'nopony' and 'everypony' fades in and out depending on how much the writer is paying attention (or cares.)
Also, in some episodes such as The Show Stoppers and Green Isn't Your Color, the pony audience applauds by stamping their hooves on the ground, which makes a lot of sense. In other episodes, such as Hoity Toity in Suited For Success, they applaud like humans: clapping their hooves together with their front legs in the air, despite how unsuited pony anatomy is to that movement.
Applejack says this in "Swarm of the Century", when the voracious parasprites, instead of eating her apple crop, ate her barn instead.
The two things that Discord hadn't planned for were Celestia breaking Twilight out of her Heroic BSOD by sending her the letters her student had sent her the entire previous season and Twilight somehow reuniting her friends and breaking them out of Discord's Mind Rape so they could use the Elements Of Harmony to defeat him. The former is likely an Unknown Unknown he couldn't have expected and the latter is a Known Unknown: he knew about who was involved but hadn't forseen how they could do anything to stop him at that point.
After Chrysalis's true form was revealed in front of Celestia and her plans explained, it was obvious that Celestia wasn't going to stay still about it. What wasn't obvious was that the queen of the Changelings had already gathered enough strength to beat the Princess. Not even Chrysalis expected that!
Done heartbreakingly so in Twilight's Kingdom Part 2 when Discord turns against the other ponies and captures the Mane Six (save for Twilight). Discord mentions that they should have seen it coming, only for a heartbroken Fluttershy to admit she hadn't at all — she was so convinced her friendship with him was ironclad, she never thought he'd turn his back on her. This turns into an Ironic Echo when Discord himself is betrayed by Lord Tirek and Applejack tells him the same exact thing.
Celestia and Luna rose up against and defeated a spirit of chaos to free Equestria from his tyranny over 1000 years ago. While they are Physical Goddesses in their own right, Discord is a near omnipotent Reality Warper whose power far outclasses theirs, so it still counts.
The ponies that founded Equestria managed to take out the Windigos, a group of powerful spirits threatening to freeze everything that was feeding on their hatred. As always, this involved blasting it with weaponized friendship.
On iTunes, the episodes are slightly stretched, losing bits of the left and right sides of the screen. The first 28 episodes also have noticeably faded color, with following episodes still being a bit off.
According to a review, the first two German DVDs look gray-washed compared to iTunes.
Disney Villain Death: Queen Chrysalis and her army in "A Canterlot Wedding Part 2" most likely apply. Although many believe they will return, the distance they fall is greater than both of Twilight's near-fatal falls (as listed below) put together (especially when you look at the changeling falling directly toward the ground).
According to the comic, they survived and began to plot revenge.
Digital Piracy Is Evil: Averted - Hasbro has been very forgiving in allowing episodes to be uploaded to YouTube (now within hours of being broadcast the first time), used in remixes and video parodies, and the like. There have been cases where some episode videos have been taken down, but they are not sustained efforts, and suspected to be Trolling from other sites (since anypony can submit a "takedown request" under any name at YouTube). Hasbro's may be a case of having no idea what to actually do about it: one Hasbro exec even acknowledged they haven't seen anything like this in 25 years. Without Hasbro's laissez-faire approach, it is unlikely the show would have had the following that it did.
The Merchandise-Driven nature of the show probably contributes to this. The true revenue source is the toys, not the cartoon, so distributing the cartoon online is basically giving Hasbro free advertising. Now that DVDs of the cartoon are being sold around the world, Hasbro has a little more incentive to clamp down on distributing the show, but their only real action seems to have been the shutting down of a major archive which stored every single episode in HD.
Strangely, while they seem to be okay with the sharing of the actual episodes, Hasbro has come down HARD on fan parodies such as Friendship is Witchcraft.
It's not strange if you consider the fact that the actual show is geared towards kids of about 6, and there are a lot of parents who DON'T monitor what their kids do online, thus could easily stumble upon the more vulgar fan parodies. People fail to realise that Friendship is Witchcraft can be legitimately offensive to people (not just for being uncouth), just like Derpy is and was to the Moral Guardians. It makes perfect sense that they come down on that harder than they do the actual show.
Nightmare Moon's vow to bring about The Night That Never Ends was because her pony subjects enjoyed the daytime her sister brought, but didn't appreciate the nights she created.
To add further perspective on why this is disproportionate retribution, creating a night that never ends means depriving everyone of the sun, which means no crops grow, nobody gets any natural heat, and everyone either freezes to death or starves! Nightmare Moon would have inadvertently killed everyone just to get more attention!
It's a highly contested point among the fandom, whether the mane 5's actions in the episode "The Mysterious Mare Do Well" went too far in simply trying to humble Dash a little.
Fluttershy may have gone a little too far when applying her assertiveness training in "Putting Your Hoof Down".
Magic Duel is all about this. Twilight exposes Trixie's lies about her having defeated an Ursa Major (which has the unfortunate effect of ruining Trixie's career, but Twilight had no intention of doing that) and shows herself to be more powerful than "The Great and Powerful Trixie". Trixie returns with a magic-boosting amulet and humiliates Twilight's friends (and actually mutilates Dash and Pinkie magically), defeats Twilight, and banishes her from Ponyville. She then takes over the town, enslaves the ponies, tortures Snips and Snails by making them drag her around on a wheel-less wagon, and generally goes Caligula. It turns out that most of the crazy is caused by the evil amulet, and losing it makes her regain her senses after a while.
It's also revealed that similar disproportionate retribution happened to Trixie herself. Since a single lie told to shut up hecklers lead to her entire career and reputation being completely ruined, an apparent stint of poverty and homelessness and being forced to do manual labour to scrape a living. While revenge against Twilight is unwarranted, as she didn't really do anything, its hard not to see how she could be frustrated by her bad fortune even before putting the amulet of insanity on. And unlike Twilight's situation, which goes away once Trixie has been stopped, none of that has been changed...
This was actually the main driving point of "Lesson Zero"... in Twilight's mind. She ends up freaking out, thinking that because she forgot one letter to Celestia, she was going to get sent back to Magical Kindergarten.
In Twilight's Kingdom Part 2, Twilight has trouble performing even the most basic magic after the power transfer, blowing up the door to the Golden Oaks Library simply by trying to open it and briefly teleporting to random spots all across Equestria. It isn't until Tirek comes after her that she gets a handle on her power, if only because she's no longer trying to hold it back.
Does This Remind You of Anything?: In the episode "Bridle Gossip", the poison joke plant robs Twilight of her magic powers. This is shown by having her unicorn horn go limp.
The episode "Bridle Gossip" does this with the lesson of not judging books by their cover. The main plot of the episode focused on the cast misjudging a zebra they knew nothing about, believing she put a curse on them. The doubled Aesop comes in when Twilight (who, ironically, had been denying the idea of a curse) dismisses the book that ultimately proved to have their cure due to misreading its title, "Super Naturals" (as in herbal remedies), as "Supernaturals" (as in the supernatural that she'd been debunking).
The season 4 episodes where the Mane Six receive their keys to the chest at the Tree of Harmony seem to involve both the Mane character and a Character Of The Day learning a lesson related to their respective Elements of Harmony.
Double Meaning: It's easy to assume that Twilight is the Element of Magic simply because of her incredible magic potential; the real reason behind this is because she is friendship personified.
Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: Didn't expect to see this trope, did you? Completely averted in "A Canterlot Wedding" storyline, where Shining Armor being tricked and Mind Raped into marrying fake-Candace is treated with all the horror and disgust that is appropriate for the situation. Of course, as the people involved are his baby sister and real fiancee.
In Party of One, Rainbow Dash first casually says "Hi, Pinkie Pie" to a disguised Pinkie... before freezing on the spot with her mane and tail hair completely straight when she realizes (she was trying to avoid her today...).
In Twilights Kingdom Part 2, Tirek has a delayed reaction on passing before the window mural showing Twilight rising as an alicorn, stopping in mid-evil gloating.
Domino Revelation: Magic talking ponies/mules/zebras/etc, griffins, manticores, dragons, sea serpents, hydras, changlings, and many many other magical beasts exist.
Dragon Hoard: Dragons are greedy by nature and hoard things as an instinctive behavior. While their avarice is not restricted to treasure, they are especially covetous of gems — because these are dragon food.
Also parodied in "Party of One": Pinkie Pie draws the (wrong) conclusion that her friends have all turned against her from her interrogation of Spike, and declares so in a Dramatic Spotlight. Then it turns out the light comes from the lamp she used to interrogate him with, as he turns it off.
Drop-In Character: Done frequently. Though an Ensemble Cast show, whoever is the central character of the episode in question will frequently find themselves badgered by uninvited guests. Aloof Grumpy Bear Twilight Sparkle is naturally the most frequent victim to this, most often from Pinkie Pie (who has a tendency to bring a party load of other Drop In Characters along with her) and Rainbow Dash, who often crashes into someone's house.
Spike acts like he's getting drunk on doughnuts with extra sprinkles in "The Best Night Ever". Then again, He's a baby dragon that eats gems. Different foods affect him differently than ponies.
Dub-Induced Plot Hole: The German dub of the show has Twilight Sparkle introduce herself to Rainbow Dash as simply Twilight in the first episode to keep the lip flaps in sync. This is all well and good... until Rainbow refers to her by her full name towards the end of the scene.
Dude, Not Funny!: Spike is an in-universe example. He makes jokes at the most inopportune moments much to the chagrin of his friends.
Rainbow Dash's pranks are also seen as an In-Universe example. She sometimes pulls pranks at the wrong time and often gets yelled at for it. Incidentally she uses this to notify that pranking Fluttershy is anything but funny (they have otherwise been pranking every other character). This is what later tipped off Pinkie that Gilda has all of Dash's jerk, but none of her heart.
Meta-wise, this is the reaction Derpy spawned and why her scene was altered.
All six of the mane cast (andSpike) are essentially living superweapons, having fought against Nightmare Moon, Discord (then being very publicly knighted by Celestia for the latter), Sombra, and the entire changeling army. Rarity is quickly becoming a well-know fashion designer, Fluttershy had a brief but successful career as a model, Rainbow Dash is the fastest pony alive and won the Best Young Flier's competition (saving three ponies in the process) after performing a Sonic Rainboom (another feat only She can perform), and Twilight, in addition to being the protege of the princess is also part of the royal family through her brother. All of them had star roles in the biggest performance of the "Hearth's Warming Eve" tale in Equestria. Still, no one even seems to recognize them, and upperclass ponies are exceptionally snobby around them, dismissing all six because of where they live.
Even the residents of Ponyville fall into this, as while they hold the mane six in very high esteem it's "only" for their far more mundane day jobs and not, you know, saving the town from a rampaging Ursa Minor, being choked by dragon smoke, or Cerberus. Yes, that Cerberus.
Fluttershy seems to get this harder than anyone else, since she's such a quiet-voiced shrinking violet. As said above, she's a national hero, was a famous model, and shows compassion to just about every pony she meets. The one time she's seen mingling with ponies in town to do shopping they treat her particularly nasty, going far enough to actively scam her on the price of goods and even butt her out of line. No wonder she tends to prefer the company of animals over other ponies...
Played for Laughs for Spike. He tends to do a lot of menial labor for the mane 6, without any hesitation, and yet they hardly thank him, and generally order him around or ignore him. While in spite of it all, they do on occasion give him some respect (it never lasts long), in Owl's well that Ends well, the owl manages to gain more respect and attention from the mane 6 in one day than he did in his time in Ponyville. He then gets a stained glass window to commemorate his assistance in defeating Sombra and saving the Crystal Empire... and then it takes a turn right back to this trope when he's not invited back to assist the Ponies in getting the Empire approved for the Equestria Games.
On the other hoof, the rest of the Elements of Harmony besides Twilight are supposed to be Equestria-wide heroes. Why do they have to sit way down in the stands below Mayor Mare, Fancypants, Fleur Dis Lee and Cherries Jubilee?
Card Creator has unused (and in at least one case, updated) Nightmare Night files from Castle Creator. Also, the winter files that used to be used by the game still exist on Hasbro's site as well as on The Hub's site (even though they were only ever used on Hasbro's site).
Dysfunction Junction: A light example. Every mane character has had her turn at going completely around the bend, some more extreme than others. Particularly, it tends to happen when a character finds their special talent, marked by their Cutie Mark, just not working how they'd expect.
"The Return Of Harmony" has all of the mane cast (excluding Twilight) go insane AT ONCE.
Aside from the various (and numerous) breakdowns; each character has some pretty serious personality quirks that cause them serious issues. Fortunately, Character Development has them recognizing and managing their dysfuctions, growing into more stable and functional ponies as the series goes on.
Twilight Sparkle is an neurotically obsessive perfectionist and control freak, who measures her self-worth by the approval of her mentor, Princess Celestia, and always assumes the worst possible outcome for all perceived short-comings. She suffers a full-on psychotic break in "Lesson Zero" as the result of her over-exaggerated sense of failure.
Pinkie Pie, aside from her hyperactive, exaggerated Genki Girl, and Cloud Cuckoo Lander traits, has a desperate need to be appreciated; to the poitn where she is is incapable of handling any perceived rejection. This results in her frequently violating others' personal space and privacy; and in extreme cases causes her to revert to a profoundly depressed and introverted state, most notably in "Party of One".
Applejack's stubbornness and inability to handle failure causes her to badly overextend herself on multiple occasions; and culminates in her deciding to leave Ponyville entirely, and abandon her friends, after failing to take first place in a major competition in "The Last Roundup".
Rainbow Dash covers a profoundly insecure personality with exaggerated bravado. Pierce that shell, and she becomes a whimpering ball of performance anxiety with a sense of failure nearly as exaggerated as Twilight Sparkle's.
Fluttershy's extreme introversion, crippling shyness, and general door-mat-ness hides a violent temper and pathological need for the affections of "lesser" creatures; as demonstrated in "Best Night Ever".
Rarity is possibly the least dysfunctional of the Mane Six; but repeatedly lets her greed and vanity get the best of her; completely overshadowing Rainbow Dash's attempt at a Day in the Limelight in "Sonic Rainboom", and sabotaging her attempts to charm the Monster of the Week in "Dragonshy".
Even Secondary characters are not free from seriously character flaws. Princess Celestia is not above manipulating the mane six, among others, for her own amusement (hence her "Trollestia" moniker. Princess Luna is at least as insecure and desperate for affection as any of the mane six. Spike's issues can be mostly dismissed as simple immaturity; but suffers his own breakdown when he believes he may no longer be number one in Twilight Sparkle's affections in "Owl's Well That Ends Well".