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My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic: Tropes C to D
Tropes A-B | Tropes C-D | Tropes E-K | Tropes L-P | Tropes Q-S | Tropes T-Z

My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic provides examples of the following tropes:

     C 
  • 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 Cameo:
  • Cape Snag: Technically, a wing snag.
    • There was a slight cape snag in Stare Master, where Scootaloo's cape caught on Fluttershy's fence.
  • Captain's Log: Twilight's letters to Princess Celestia on the Aesop of the episode. Granted, unlike most examples, this happens at the -end of each episode, but the basic idea is the same.
    • Used to deliver the episode's Aesop, rather than the Mr. Exposition variety.
    • As the series progresses, other characters get a chance to write about what they've learned - first in letters to Celestia, then in a shared journal.
  • Care Bear Stare: Essentially how the Elements of Harmony work, and how Twilight Sparkle restores her friends after Discord's Mind Rape in the previous episode.
  • Carnivore Confusion: In "Over a Barrel", Pinkie Pie's song confirms that they're all vegetarians, but she mentions a hot dog eating contest in "Fall Weather Friends". That's veggie dogs... riiight?
    • 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  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.
    • In an apparent inversion, in "Winter Wrap Up", Fluttershy delivers a load of vegetables to a couple of wild ferrets. A fan artist on /co/ named "shuffle" came up with a rather dark explanation for how this makes sense.
      • 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.
    • "Sisterhooves Social" shows Rarity making fried eggs.
    • 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.
  • The Cast Showoff: Andrea Libman (Fluttershy/Pinkie Pie) and Ashleigh Ball (Rainbow Dash/Applejack) provide their own singing voices. Ashleigh in particular is the lead singer of the band Hey Ocean. There's a reason why fans love Rainbow Dash's singing.
    • 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.
  • Catapult Nightmare:
    • Happens to Rainbow Dash in the episode "May the Best Pet Win", after being awoken from a crazy dream in which she is menaced by a mash up of several of her friends' pets.
    • In Twilights Kingdom Part 1, Celestia does this when she gets the vision of Tirek returning. Luna then comes in to confirm it wasn't just a nightmare.
  • Censored for Comedy: Every instance of the word "loser" is blanked out when "Boast Busters", ""Call of the Cutie", or "Party of One" (though not "Sonic Rainboom", "The Return of Harmony Part 2", or "Hearth's Warming Eve") airs on Treehouse TV. Needless to say, this makes sentences containing that particular word sound more dirty.
  • Central Theme: Friendship is Magic!
  • Centrifugal Farce: The Dizzytron in Wonderbolts Academy
  • Cerebus Retcon:
    • 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.
    • In "It's About Time", Cerberus leaves the gates of Tartarus, where the most evil beings in all of Equestria are imprisoned. The whole thing is Played for Laughs when Fluttershy tames him like a cute puppy. Then Twilights Kingdom Part 1 along to reveal that Tirek, the most catastrophic threat Equestria has faced yet, managed to escape while he was gone.
  • Cerebus Rollercoaster
    • 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 OCD Nervous Wreck. Most examples are kept balanced by proper Character Development, however, and their other traits are still used prominently, preventing them from Flanderization.
  • Chase Scene: Complete with Benny Hill-esque background music. Twice. Another two chase scenes are in the style of Pepé Le Pew.
  • 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.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • 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.
  • Chekhov's Gunman:
    • 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.
  • Chekhov's Skill / Hobby:
    • 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.
    • Twilight Sparkle is shown as very organized in "Winter Wrap Up". It comes in handy when she's not allowed to use her unicorn magic to help clean up the winter weather in preparation for spring, but eventually learns the clean-up efforts of her friends and neighbors are horribly disorganized.
    • Applejack's herding skills in "Applebuck Season" resurface five eps later in "Swarm of the Century".
    • 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.
  • Chewing the Scenery:
    Rarity: ...until there isn't an inch of Equestria that hasn't been utterly transformed by my! creative! GENIUS!
  • Chirping Crickets:
    • 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!"
  • Chroma Key: Was apparently used in episodes 1 and 6 at least, judging by their story galleries.
  • 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?"
  • Circle of Friendship:
    • 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 of The 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.
    • In Twilight's Kingdom Part 2, the Mane Six open the box produced by the Tree of Harmony, giving them Rainbow Power. Opening the box is done by standing in a circle around it and turning all six keys at once, giving it this effect. They then follow this up with a new Friendship powered Wave Motion Gun to defeat Tirek and seal him back in Tartarus. The ending implies their upgrade comes with the ability to do this at will.
  • The City Narrows:
    • Trixie goes through an alleyway to find a shop that sells the Alicorn Amulet.
    • In Twilights Kingdom Part 1, this is where Tirek begins stealing magic from unicorns.
  • 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.
  • Clark Kenting: A.K. Yearling IS Daring Do!
  • 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.
    • For instance, this.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Pinkie Pie, in spades.
    Pinkie Pie: And then I said 'Oatmeal, are you crazy?
    "I like pudding..."
  • 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.
  • Cold Opening: While all the episodes are almost exactly 22:00 each, the openings vary, with "The Crystal Empire Part 1" being the shortest at 29 seconds and "Look Before You Sleep" being the longest at 2 minutes 51 seconds.
  • Colon Cancer: The iOS game My Little Pony: Twilight Sparkle: Teacher for a Day
  • 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.
    • "The Crystal Empire - Part 1" introduces Black Magic that has a unique black-and-purple-and-green aura regardless of the user's own magic aura color.
    • In "Magic Duel", the Alicorn Amulet gives Trixie a red magic aura instead of her usual color.
  • Comic Book Adaptation:
    • Has its own page.
    • While not comic books of their own, at least eleven short comics have been printed in a German My Little Pony magazine published by Panini.
    • A licensed My Little Pony/Transformers Prime Comic Creator Kit manufactured by Buzz Products and distributed by Singapore Airlines includes at least three short MLP comics.
  • Comically Missing the Point:
    • 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 "Stare Master" Fluttershy (finally) gets the Cutie Mark Crusaders into bed and starts singing them a lullaby. Sweetie Belle notes that she knows the song and, when when asked to join Fluttershy, proceeds to raise the roof.
    • 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.
    • Done once again by Scootaloo in "The Cutie Mark Chronicles":
      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!
    • Even before that, in the second episode...
      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.
  • Companion Cube:
    • "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 Return of 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.
    • In "Maud Pie", the titular character has a small pet rock ironically named "Boulder". This is the third rock-based companion cube depicted in this series.
    • 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.
  • Compressed Adaptation:
    • 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).
  • Conflict Ball: Shows up in a few episodes. "Look Before You Sleep" particularly comes to mind.
    • Merriwether Williams' use of this trope seems to be the main criticism against her writing style.
  • The Conscience:
    • Spike often attempts to provide common sense to Twilight Sparkle when she is more apt to ignore her own in favour of book smarts.
    • In Inspiration Manifestation, Owlowiscious functions as this for Spike.
  • Conspicuous CG: In a few of the toy commercials:
  • Continuity Cameo: The villain of the Season 4 finale should be instantly recognizable to anyone familiar with G1.
  • Continuity Creep: Season 3 experienced a higher level of continuity from previous seasons, due to several acting as continuations of previous episodes.
  • Conversation Cut: Used several times throughout the show:
    • 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.
    • The cold open in "Green Isn't Your Color" is basically a series of these.
  • 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 "Griffon the Brush Off", Rainbow Dash says in a playful and friendly tone, "Pinkie Pie, you are so random!" A few episodes later, in "Swarm of the Century", Rainbow Dash says the same thing in an irritated voice.
    • 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 "Feeling Pinkie Keen", Fluttershy remembers the jumping advice that Pinkie Pie gave to her during "Dragonshy" and, thanks to it, manages to escape from the Hydra chasing her. In the same episode, Twilight Sparkle uses the same approach that Rainbow Dash used when facing the dragon in "Dragonshy" on said Hydra.
    • In "A Dog and Pony Show", Applejack mentions that Rarity won't even touch mud unless it's imported, a nod to the mud masks in "Look Before You Sleep".
    • 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 "Call of the Cutie", Rainbow Dash gives Apple Bloom a little bit of Karate training. In "The Show Stoppers", Apple Bloom incorporates Karate into her "dance".
    • At the beginning of "A Bird in the Hoof", the dresses from "Suited For Success" can be seen hanging in Fluttershy's closet. In a later scene, Rarity is wearing hers.
    • 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.
    • In "Sonic Rainboom", Rainbow Dash mentions that she's broken the rainbow barrier once before, "a long time ago". In "The Cutie Mark Chronicles", we get to see how it happened.
    • In "The Best Night Ever", the Wonderbolts recognize Rainbow Dash from the events of "Sonic Rainboom". The entire episode also serves as one giant nod to everypony's Imagine Spots about the Gala way back in "The Ticket Master". During her attempts to befriend the animals at the garden, Fluttershy remembers the advice Twilight gave her in "A Bird In The Hoof". Additionally, this episode features the dresses created in "Suited For Success" and has a brief appearance of Pinkie Pie's straight hair from "Party of One."
    • 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.
    • In "Lesson Zero", Twilight's messed up bird nest from "Winter Wrap Up" can be seen.
    • 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.
    • During the musical number in "Sweet and Elite", Rarity attends an opera in the same dress she wore at the Grand Galloping Gala.
    • In "A Friend In Deed", Rainbow Dash is shown in Twilight's library reading a Daring Do novel, a hobby that she picked up in "Read It And Weep". We see her with a Daring Do novel again while hanging out next to the pool in "Too Many Pinkie Pies"
    • 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 Inspiration Manifestation, Spike mentions Owlowiscious' bow tie that Rarity made for him in "Owl's Well That Ends Well".

      During the prologue, various pony families are seen together setting up the fair, including Thunderlane and Rumble, Diamond Tiara and Filthy Rich, Sweetie and her (and Rarity's) parents (without their vacation clothes), and Dinky and Amethyst Star.
    • From Equestria Games:
      • 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.

        *** Spike wishes that Twilight had some way to turn back time. Twilight does, in fact, know a spell that does something quite similar, and she looks like she's seriously considering using it.
      • Spike's in-universe Memetic Mutation of the "easy peasy" couplet.
    Spike: Easy peasy Cider Squeezy!
    • Twilight being brutally honest with Spike regarding the torch lighting ceremony could be considered a nod to the previous episode's Aesop.
  • Converging Stream Weapon:
    • 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.
  • Cool Chair:
    • 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 Horse: Rainbow Dash, among others.
  • 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.
  • Cool Train: The Friendship Express Train.
  • 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.
  • Cowboy Bebop at His Computer:
    • 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 Hasbro's My Little Pony Facebook page, they said that The Hub's Royal Wedding Web Games are also available on Hasbro's own My Little Pony site and that one game has you "help Pinkie Pie create a yummy cupcake treat for the guests" (the only Pinkie Pie game of the bunch being the non-cupcake-related DJ Pinkie Pie).
    • On The Hub's Facebook page, 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.
    • TV listings' synopses of "Suited For Success" and "The Mysterious Mare Do Well" respectively refer to Rarity and Rainbow Dash as male. More recently, Season 3's "Apple Family Reunion" episode synopsis gives the same gender confusion treatment to Applejack.
    • Hasbro's website misidentifies the basic brushable Cheerilee toy's animal friend as a snail, despite the toy's packaging correctly identifying it as a ladybug.
    • An insert included with Madman Entertainment's Australian DVDs misidentifies toy line exclusive pony Ploomette as Pinkie Pie.
    • 80sTees.com's two versions of Mighty Fine's Wonderbolts shirt have a mistake in their product descriptions misidentifying an unnamed Wonderbolt as Fleetfoot, despite both of those Wonderbolts appearing at the same time in "The Best Night Ever". Though to be fair, Fleetfoot is only identified via a Freeze-Frame Bonus.
    • ToyWiz.com evidently thinks that the unnamed "Wonder Bolts pony" is Spitfire, despite both of those Wonderbolts appearing at the same time in "The Best Night Ever".
    • A New York slideshow misidentified Sweetie Belle as Berry Punch and Apple Bloom as Rose.
    • 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 God states 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.
    • "If you're not 7, there's a good chance that you are unaware of the latest 'My Little Pony' re-boot".
    • NPR seems to think that (like the previous MLP cartoon) FiM is just a 30-minute ad, which makes it obvious that they just assumed "MLP = Merchandise-Driven" (which it is, but that doesn't make it bad) and didn't bother to look into it at all.
    • A Daily Dot article 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 Princess Celestia character profile video claims that Celestia is "the only pony with a unicorn horn and pegasus wings". The first two episodes introduce Princess Luna/Nightmare Moon, who is also an alicorn.
  • Crapsack World: Equestria temporarily became this during "Return of Harmony, Part 2".
  • Crazy Cat Lady: Pinkie Pie is worried that Rarity might become one in "Suited for Success"
    Applejack: Well, we can't just leave Rarity like this.
    Pinkie Pie: She'll become a crazy cat lady!
    Twilight: She only has one cat.
    Pinkie Pie: Give her time...
    • Goldie Delicious is one in "Pinkie Apple Pie".
  • Crazy-Prepared: Pinkie Pie never travels anywhere without her Party Cannon, and has balls and eye patches stashed all over Ponyville in case of "ball emergencies" or "eye patch emergencies".
  • Creator Cameo:
  • Credits Gag: In "Keep Calm And Flutter On", the credits list Tabitha St. Germain as the one who provided the voice to the gravy boat. It should be pointed out that the gravy boat was mute, except for panting like a dog.
  • Cringe Comedy: The show occasionally delves into this.
    • 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.
  • Crossover:
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass:
    • 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.
    • In Equestria Games, Spike shows himself to be inept at his assigned tasks in the Games, for varied reasons, but when his abilities are really called for, he steps up and delivers without batting an eye.
  • Crowd Song: "Winter Wrap Up" from the episode of the same name, "At the Gala" from The Best Night Ever, "The Heart Carol" from Hearths Warming Eve and "The Flim Flam Brothers" Villain Song from The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000. There's also "Smile" from A Friend In Deed, and from Magical Mystery Cure, "A True True Friend" becomes one at the end, as well as the "Behold, Princess Twilight Sparkle" song.
  • Crush Blush: Spike blushes after receiving a kiss from his crush Rarity.
  • Crystal Spires and Togas - The Crystal Empire has the look down, but whether they are that magically advanced remains to be seen.
  • Cucumber Facial: First appears as part of the sleepover in "Look Before You Sleep", in which Rarity accurately explains its purpose; Applejack eats hers, of course. Later, Rarity has them in the spa scene of "Green Isn't Your Color", and when sleeping on the train in "Over a Barrel".
  • 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).
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • In ''Sleepless In Ponyville'' the "fight" between the Headless Horse and Princess Luna is very one-sided.
    • 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.

    D 
  • Death Glare: Of all ponies, Fluttershy has one. She's used it to stare down a dragon, a cockatrice, and a few chickens.
    • This helps explain part of her shyness — she can't really control it and doesn't want to be overbearing.
    • Pinkie Pie in "Party of One". She spends a big part of the episode with a Death Glare on, especially when she confronts Applejack at her farm, or by the end of the episode before the surprise party.
  • Death World: Equestria is this to the breezies, when even falling accorns are a serious enviromental hazard.
  • Decomposite Character: G3's Rainbow Dash was split between G4's version of Rainbow Dash (who has her name and look) and Rarity (Who has her fashion-conscious personality and accent [albeit a pacific accent instead of a wholly British Accent])
  • Deconstruction: This show does this a lot often.
    • "Lesson Zero" deconstructs Twilight Sparkle's OCD problems.
    • "The Mysterious Mare Do Well" deconstructs Rainbow Dash's arrogance and pridefulness.
    • "Hurricane Fluttershy" deconstructs Fluttershy's issues with her shyness. Also, "Putting Your Hoof Down" deconstructs her role of an Extreme Doormat.
    • "One Bad Apple" deconstructs the issues of bullying.
  • Defanged Horrors: Episodes that are meant to be scary usually go for this.
  • Defeat Equals Friendship: Averted surprisingly often. While Princess Luna (AKA Nightmare Moon) was redeemed at the end of her story arc, it's really rare for show antagonists to befriend the Mane Six in the end. Gilda, the Flim-Flam Brothers and Queen Chrysalis left (or were forced out of) town at the end of their episodes, King Sombra was destroyed in his, and Lord Tirek was sent back to Tartarus.
    • Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon usually end their stories humiliated by their own actions, but are nothing more than schoolyard bullies anyway. Still, for being probably the only recurring antagonists in the series thus far, very little has been done to redeem them.
    • 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.
    • While Discord ended his first arc Taken for Granite and definitely not redeemed, he returned in Keep Calm and Flutter On and was brought around to the good side. "For the most part"
      • 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.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: In "The Cutie Mark Chronicles", Rarity says the ponies have been "BFFs Forever".
    • 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.)
  • Descriptiveville: The ponies all live in Ponyville, as part of the larger equine population of Equestria.
    • Also, Fillydelphia, and the Pegasus-only city, Cloudsdale.
  • Determinator: Despite her Shrinking Violet personality, Fluttershy is definitely shown, time and time again, to have some real tenacity.
    • Try not smiling around Pinkie Pie. Let's see how long you last. She'll make you, even if it takes months.
  • Determined Homesteader: Granny Smith's family founded Ponyville.
  • Didn't See That Coming:
    • 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.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Twilight Sparkle leads her new-found friends into battle successfully against Nightmare Moon, a Sealed Evil in a Can Mad God.
    • 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 mane Cast eventually manages to do the same.
    • 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.
  • Digital Destruction:
    • 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 Death: Chief Thunderhooves in "Over a Barrel", when he is struck down by an unknown assailant during the war between the Buffalo tribe and the Appleloosians. A taste of the apple pie splattered on his face revives him, though.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • Disapproving Look:
  • Discard and Draw: The mane 6 unlock Rainbow Power after Twilight sacrifices her magic in the Season 4 finale.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Some ponies appear to be under the impression that Princess Celestia practices this. She does not.
    • 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".
    • Applejack once called Mr. Beaverton Beaverteeth a nuisance. His response? Building a dam to flood Applejack's home, followed by using several swear words against her. Luckily, Fluttershy was able to convince him to stop.
    • 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.
  • Does Not Know His Own Strength:
    • Derpy Hooves. She's also The Klutz. Needless to say, it's a recipe for disaster.
    • In "A Canterlot Wedding," Queen Chrysalis is shocked to find that consuming the love between Princess Cadance and Shining Armor has given her enough power to defeat Princess Celestia in a one-on-one Wizard Duel.
    • 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.
  • Do I Really Sound Like That?: According to this interview, Andrea Libman, the voice of Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy, isn't very fond of listening to her own voice.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: Averted with Twilight Sparkle, Pinkie Pie, and Rarity, but played straight by Rainbow Dash, Applejack, and Fluttershy.
  • Don't Ask, Just Run: As seen in the episode "The Best Night Ever", when Fluttershy bursts into the room — disheveled, wild-eyed and chasing a horde of scared animals while demanding their love — and Princess Celestia herself tells you to run, you'd better do it.
  • Double Aesop:
    • 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.
    • In Twilight's Kingdom Part 2, Discord learns that friendship truly is magic, and Twilight learns that friendship is more important than the combined magic of all the alicorn princesses.
  • 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.
  • Double Take:
    • 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.
  • Dope Slap:
    • In "Hurricane Fluttershy", Twilight Sparkle gives a dope-slap to Spike (flattening the green fin atop his head) for being Innocently Insensitive to Fluttershy.
    • Twilights Kingdom Part 1:

      AJ does one to Spike when he complains about the simple job Twilight does at the beginning of the episode, then tries to backpedal on his statement.

      Rainbow Dash tossing Discord's "alicorn princess" crown from his head is also quite close to this.
  • Down on the Farm/Everytown, Equestria/Flyover Country: Ponyville tends to be regarded as this, especially in Canterlot.
  • 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.
  • Drama Queen: Rarity provides the page image for this.
  • Dramatic Spotlight: In the songs "Winter Wrap Up" and "Find a Pet".
    • 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.
    • Gustave Le Grand has a similar lamp on hand for his Eclairs.
  • 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.
  • Drunk on Milk: The episode "Over a Barrel" suggests that salt licks are the equivalent of hard liquor.
    • We don't know what Twilight thought she was drinking in the pilot, but the scene pretty much speaks for itself.
    • 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.
  • Dub Name Change: The Japanese version refers to the "Mare on the Moon" as "Moon Pony" or "Tsuki no Pony" a possible reference to the East Asian legend "Tsuki no Usagi (Moon Rabbit)".
    • Sweet Apple Acres is referred to as Sweet Apple Farm.
    • The Japanese version also changes the Everfree Forest to "The Forest of No Return".
    • The Grand Galloping Gala is simply called "Dance Party" in the Japanese version.
    • Poison Joke is called "laughing grass"
    • Parasprites are called Pakupakumushi (Munch Munch Insects)
    • Running of the Leaves is called the Falling Leaves Marathon
    • Hummingway is called Hemingway, presumably to avoid copyright issues due to a character from a Japanese game also being named Hummingway
    • Smarty Pants is called Oshare-Pants-kun (Stylish Pants).
    • Mare-Do-Well is called Dark Mare, possibly to fit better as a homage to The Dark Knight
    • Family Appreciation Day is called Family Speech Day.
    • The Zap Apples are called "Biribiringo" which is a combination of the Japanese words "biribiri" (an onomatopoeia for electricity) and "ringo" (apple).
    • The CMC's newspaper alias is changed from Gabby Gums to Gabby Chat.
  • Duck Season, Rabbit Season: Pinkie Pie does this to a produce selling pony and Iron Will in "Putting Your Huff Down."
  • 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.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: The show being about the everyday life of the cast intersected with Saving the World arcs, this comes up in quite often : for example, it's much harder to make a plot about learning to Be Yourself despite social pressure when social pressure is nearly inexistent because everyone considers you a hero.
    • All six of the mane cast (and Spike) are essentially living superweapons, having fought against Nightmare Moon, Sombra, Discord (then being very publicly knighted by Celestia for that one), 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.
    • This is briefly averted for Twilight in season four's opening. Being a princess in own right, she's well respected and looked to for advice during a crisis, and the guards are prompt to ask for her command. This is further shown in Twilight Sparkle and the Crystal Heart Spell, which reveals that stories of her magical ability have been spreading throughout Equestria. Then comes Rarity Takes Manehattan where she can't even get Rarity a taxi, and Daring Don't, where Daring Do still doesn't seem to recognize any of them.
    • After several seasons of being the resident Butt Monkey, this is finally averted for Spike in Equestria Games - it turns out that he's known throughout the Crystal Empire as "Great and Honorable Spike the Brave and Glorious", is seen as a Living Legend and receives preferential treatment, since he played the key role in retrieving the Crystal Heart.
      • 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?
  • Dummied Out:
  • DVD Commentary: Shout! Factory's Amazon exclusive Season 1 4-DVD set has audio commentaries on the episodes "Friendship is Magic, part 1", "Friendship is Magic, part 2", "Winter Wrap Up", "Suited For Success", "The Show Stoppers", and "The Best Night Ever", including people like Hasbro executives Brian Lenard and Robert Fewkes, supervising directors Jayson Thiessen and James "Wootie" Wootton, art director Ridd Sorensen, composer Daniel Ingram, and voice cast members such as Tabitha St. Germain, Andrea Libman, Cathy Weseluck, and Nicole Oliver.
  • Dynamic Entry: Rainbow Dash does this a lot, from her very first appearance on the show. Pinkie Pie has occasionally been known to do likewise.
  • 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".


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