Reality Warper: Pinkie Pie is not only constantly Leaning on or Breaking the Fourth Wall, she can do Offscreen Teleportation, pop out of the most unlikely places, and many more weird things. She once held up six hooves (as a pony she has only four), physically handled an object (a check mark) from her own mental processes, has been on-screen in multiple places more than once, passed a wall by diving under it, appeared in the reflection of a mirror, etc.
Also Discord, who manages to bend Equestria into a virtually unrecognizable, chaotic plane.
Unicorn magic in general seems to have the potential to become this. Many unicorns don't appear to do much more than use their telekinesis plus a "theme" spell or two, but the variety of effects that the real wizards among them can spontaneously create with the right spells (which themselves seem more a collection of random effects than they'd follow any actual system or logic that we ever see) is quite dazzling.
Realistic Diction Is Unrealistic: St- st- stuttering and, um, disfluencies usually only crop up to indicate that someone is nervous (naturally, this happens most often with Fluttershy). The rest of the time, everypony speaks in perfectly formed sentences, even the canonically less educated Apple family.
The computer-based animation actually encourages this. As Ponies can be reused relatively easily versus creating a new character each time, it becomes easier to have Recurring Extras rather than create crowds wholesale.
Recursive Adaptation: Toys → animated series → toys. Hasbro is basing more and more G4 toys, blind bag ponies in particular, on the show. Lauren Faust based the show on her childhood idea of the G1 toys (as opposed to Hasbro's shallow animated versions) plus the names of several G3 ponies. So if you buy a Rainbow Dash toy today, you acquire a toy which is based on a character in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic which in turn is Lauren Faust's interpretation of the G1 toy pony Firefly combined with the name and certain appearance details of the G3 pony Rainbow Dash.
Canadian So Soft talking dolls (at least So Soft Newborn Rainbow Dash) can speak English or French. The Canadian version of the talking Princess Cadance toy likely can as well, judging by its packaging being bilingual.
There are several European special editions with often-exclusive bonus contents, the most prominent of the exclusive bonus contents being brushable non-Glimmer Wings Daisy Dreams with her cutie mark on her right flank (in a 1 + 1 pack with brushable Fluttershy), brushable Rainbow Flash (in a 1 + 1 pack with brushable Rainbow Dash), brushable Skywishes (in the ride along brushable Rainbow Dash set), brushable Star Swirl (in the Rarity's Royal Gem Carriage set), and the orange carriage and purple squirrel (in the Rarity's Carousel Boutique set).
A colt which by the way shares the same name with an earlier generation pony who looks nothing like him and is a filly.
. The odd thing about the former is that Twilight knows her name, despite Twilight still being rather shut-in and having enough trouble dealing with her best friends.
Miss Cheerilee's class is probably the most blatant example; new students, like Featherweight and that random fat colt, suddenly show up and are treated as if they've always been there by the others.*
Since there are only nine seats or so in the room, it's possible that they simply rotate schedules.
The season 2 finale introduces both Twilight's brother, and Princess Cadance. What makes this especially egregious is that Twilight claims her brother was her only real friend before she moved to Ponyville (despite her earlier statements that she didn't have any friends before then), which makes it odd that we never hear about him for the first 2 seasons of the show.
She points out near the beginning of the episode that she hasn't even really thought about him since she left Canterlot. A the end of the "BBBFF" song, the line"I miss him more than I realized" implies she just didn't think about her family at all previously
To be completely fair, this could have to do more with Twilight's intrest areas when it comes to reading. She's much more likely to have picked a book (or twenty) about starswirl the bearded than discord. It's also possible that there isn't much information on him to begin with, being a deity of chaos and all.
Also turned a bit on its head, as during the first episode narration, we are blatantly told that Equestria was ruled by two sisters, blah blah blah, banished to the moon, something Twilight should obviously know as she's the one reading the book. This fact is outright ignored, even as she finds other sources to corroborate. Cut to the end of the pilot, where all of the Mane 6, Twilight included, are stunned that Luna is Celestia's sister. In this case, the problem is that Twilight didn't know that Celestia was the older sister from the legend, and so didn't realize that Celestia and Luna were related.
The show has been very consistent about the events of a thousand years ago having faded into legend, with actual reliable history going back less than a millennium. Why has never been explained, but is assumed to have to do with all the villains from back then.
Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Dragons are the most recurring antagonistic monsters, though it varies between episode and each dragon how antagonistic they are. In the "Dragon Quest" episode, The dragons that get any dialogue are cruel (although this might be because they are decpicted as teenagers). They even go so far as to try to smash a nest of helpless, unguarded phoenix eggs. There's also the hydra from "Feeling Pinkie Keen".
Reptiles aren't Always Chaotic Evil — Spike and Steven Magnet aren't (most of thetime) and Pinkie's pet baby toothless alligator Gummy may also be nice, as while it bites Pinkie (and other characters) regularly, it could just be how it shows affection. However, in "Secret Of My Excess", Spike's transformation into a mindless greedy monster is accompanied by his more blatant reptilian traits: long thin tongue, eye membrane, etc.
Reveal Shot: This show is all about camera dynamics. For example, in "Bridle Gossip", the camera is zoomed into Twilight Sparkle's face as she wakes up to hide the fact that her horn is "cursed" by Poison Joke.
Revisiting the Roots: The series zigzags this by returning to the adventure stories that were seen in the first generation of the franchise in certain episodes, but is mostly comprised of the Slice of Life style seen in most other MLP shows.
Rhymes on a Dime: Zecora, to the point that she does it without even knowing what she'll say next. Discord does this on occasion, too, especially when he's using his "Keepers of the Grove of Truths" puppets.
Riddle for the Ages: Where dowinged unicorns come from, how many of them are there, and are they all royalty or for that matter related? (So far we have the sisters Celestia and Luna, Celestia's apparent niece Cadance, and some unnamed mare who was part of the Hearts And Hooves day myth, all princesses.) As of mid-third season, no episode aired has ever addressed this; even the "Hearth's Warming Eve" pageant, whose story is explicitly set before the reign of Celestia and Luna, already features the winged unicorn motif on the Equestrian flag.
In the third season finale, "Magicial Mystery Cure", Rarity tells Twilight "Why, you've become an alicorn! I didn't even know that was possible," implying this isn't the normal way alicorns are made.
Rousseau Was Right: Almost everybody, pony or otherwise, has at least some spark of decency tucked away somewhere and can potentially be redeemed even if they start out antagonistic; exceptions for whom this statement is at the very least questionable are pretty rare and usually Big Bads. (And even among those, Nightmare Moon/Princess Luna is practically the poster pony for the trope.)
Birds have to keep flapping their wings in order to stay airborne, and hitting anything will cause them to fall — unless you are giving a mid-air high-five to the princess's awesome pet, Philomena.
Even worse, in "Hurricane Fluttershy", Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy high five each other in midair using their wings.
Crossing the sound barrier doesn't create a spectacular light show, it's just extremely noisy — also, any light would reach any witnesses before the audible shockwave, instead of the other way around… unless caused by a rainbow-haired pegasus.
Do note that Equestrian physics might be different from those that apply in the real world.
Well, apparently so, because there is something that allows Rainbow Dash to pull 1670 Gs when she rockets out of the dive at a 90-degree angle in "Sonic Rainboom" and somehow not get ripped to shreds.
A Wizard Did It: The pegasi's flight is explicitly magical in nature. As such, Rainbow can fly ten times faster than any Earth creature despite being just barely aerodynamic enough to glide slightly when jumping.
An adorable, baby fire-breathing dragon is permitted to live in a library full of paper books and scrolls. His fire is known to only teleport scrolls to Princess Celestia rather than burn them, but the same doesn't seem to apply with the book in "Owl's Well that Ends Well".
In "The Cutie Mark Chronicles", when visiting Manehattan, a young Applejack is shown carrying a Bindle Stick — without actually holding on to it, but somehow effortlessly balancing it across her back despite the high end being heavier than the lower end.
The butterflies cushioned downwards, so, let's say terminal velocity rapidly going through 5 half lives before hitting zero, 1/32 of terminal before hitting zero.
Equestria is, for lack of a better term, a nudist civilization, however characters will wear clothing often either as a sign of their occupation (mail carriers wear uniforms, doctors wear white coats, etc.) or as a sign of social status (the wealthy often wear dresses and dress jackets). Applejack lampshades this when Rarity insists on having privacy while getting dressed for the Gala, pointing out "we don't normally wear clothes."
When settler ponies raising apple trees are offered a chance to find out why a buffalo tribe doesn't want them around, while at the same time the buffalo could find out why the ponies planted trees on their land, the main characters get in the way and accidentally push both sides into an actual battle.
When a visiting stage magician brags about how great her powers are and starts humiliating some of the main characters, the character who knows magic like the back of her hoof refuses to do anything because she's afraid of also appearing to be a show-off. (Twilight's insecurity is one of her main character traits.)
A pony-drawn locomotive (that is, a train with a working steam engine being pulled along by horses).
In the episode "Applebuck Season" we see one of the ponies who ate bad muffins throwing up into a bucket. Real horses can't vomit, but cartoon animals do.
Pretty much anything Pinkie Pie does.
In particular, Pinkie Pie once appeared in a mirror to chastise Twilight for telling Spike's not-so-secret secret.
Rule of Glamorous: Many of the outfits that Rarity designs would be worth millions of dollars in the real world due to the sheer amount of precious gemstones that she sews into them. However, even with her talent for finding gems she is still just a small business owner and not a mining tycoon. The implication seems to be that gems are a lot more common in Equestria than real life, and they tend to be much bigger than even Earth's largest precious stones. Mr. and Mrs. Cake even put sapphires on a cupcake as a birthday present for Spike (who, being a dragon, eats gems as a delicacy).
Rule of Perception: Played with in "Call of the Cutie": when Apple Bloom is trying to hide, she chooses several spots that would be in plain sight to anyone actually at the party, but hide her from the viewers.
At the beginning of "Owl's Well That Ends Well", when Rarity walks in front of her, Rainbow Dash randomly starts hovering in order to remain visible to the camera.
The coloured auras that appear around a unicorn's horn while they cast spells or around levitating objects are only visible to the audience. While some spells are visible to the characters, they can't identify a spell caster the way the audience can. This comes up a couple of times at the end of the second season, first rendering a character unable to tell that magic was used, and then to give the audience a clue that the characters can't perceive. This is made explicit in MMMystery on the Friendship Express, when motion without a visible cause is identified as unicorn magic.
Not to mention in "The Return of Harmony", Twilight Sparkle could not see the color fading which was a cue for her friends' corruption, seeing only that her friends have suddenly become jerks and she doesn't know how orwhy.
Spike was able to see that the other five have turned "grey"...
Rule of Seven: According to the tradingcards, there exists a seventh element of harmony: Love, which is attributed to Shining Armor and Cadance. It's not known if this will appear on the show or not.
Rule of Three: Each of the main ponies' cutie marks have something to do with the number three. Applejack, Rarity, Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie have three apples, gems, butterflies and balloons as their cutie marks respectively. The lightning bolt on Rainbow Dash's cutie mark is composed of three colors.
Also, all of the lead characters barring Twilight Sparkle have exactly three syllables in their names.
Also applies to the Cutie Mark Crusaders. There are three of them, and all three have names that consist of three syllables.
There are three types of ponies (Earth ponies, Unicorns and Pegasi), and both the mane cast and the Cutie Mark Crusaders are made up of an even balance between these types.
With the two groups combined, there are three of each.
Story-wise, many episodes rely on a minimum of three ponies regardless of how many are the actual focus characters - "Look before you Sleep", based around Applejack and Rarity, adds Twilight Sparkle to the mix, and "Putting your Hoof Down" has Rarity and Pinkie Pie in a Fluttershy ep.
This often ties in with the concept of the Freudian Trio, especially in Season 1 episodes where Twilight Sparkle usually acted as the Ego (such as "look before you sleep" where Applejack was the Id and Rarity was the Superego). The show likes to invert the freudian trio a lot too, where the central character's behavior is out of balance and two other characters will try to correct them.
Applejack biting Rainbow Dash's tail to stop her when she tries to dash away or charge against a much stronger foe.
Twilight Sparkle also uses her magic to to this a few times as well.
Applejack's habit of shoving food (or hooves) into other pony's mouths to get them to stop talking.
Three earth ponies called Rose, Daisy, and Lily going hysterical and overblowing things out of proportion at the slightest hint of danger. ("The horror... THE HORROR!")
Rainbow Dash has a tendency to… drop in unannounced. Onto your head. Hey, she wasn't called "Rainbow Crash" for nothing.
Twilight becoming slightly neurotic whenever Princess Celestia comes to Ponyville, insisting everything be perfect for whenever Celestia comes to visit, even if it's unofficial.
Taken Up to Eleven in Lesson Zero when she believes her normally flawless work ethic is at risk, a prospect which causes her great distress.
Ever since the debut of the "Pinkie Sense" in Feeling Pinkie Keen, every few episodes, Pinkie Pie has a bout of "Twitchy-tail," which indicates something falling. Every time it has happened outside of that episode, it has always been a flower pot. The first time it happens, there's a perfectly logical reason as to why it fell. Someone opened their window, and knocked it loose. The second time, it happened inside a tent, and it still fell from the sky. No damage to the tent whatsoever. They make sure to lampshade it.
Pinkie Pie: Oh, my fortune telling has nothing to do with my Pinkie Sense, silly. It's only good for vague and immediate events.
*Cue flower pot drop to Twilight Sparkle's head*
Pinkie Pie: Like that, see? *Beat* Where did that even come from?
The Apple family barn has been destroyed, rebuilt and renovated how many times now? (Add another count as of "Apple Family Reunion", where it gets first accidentally wrecked and then promptly completely rebuilt with the help of all the assembled Apples, all within the last few minutes of the episode — underscored by a catchy song-and-dance number, at that.)
Granny Smith always crosses the street during high speed scenes, such as chases and Scootaloo zooming through town.
Twilight Sparkle Tempting Fate by saying stuff like "What could go wrong?"
Sailor Earth: My Little Pony has Loads and Loads of Characters in pretty much all its incarnations, and there's a ton of "OC Pony" fan-art out there. This show in particular has inspired fanfic not only about the "Seventh Element of Harmony", but Evil Counterparts to the Elements (Generosity vs. Selfishness/Greed, Laughter vs. Despair, etc.), usually known collectively as the Elements of Discord.
Trixie making a Heel Face Turn and becoming the Seventh Element is quite common.
Fan favorite Derpy Hooves is often depicted as hanging out with and interacting with the Mane 6. Her fanon-established daughter Dinky is similarily often included with the Cutie Mark Crusaders (despite having been repeatedly depicted with a cutie mark, although it keeps changing).
Besides, as it is a world inhabited by what's deemed to be MANY Ponies, one simply needs a name and a cutie mark... you would be hard pressed to find a brony without a Pony OC.
Sanity Slippage: Happens to every one of the mane six at some point or another.
Even Fluttershy suffers this during "The Best Night Ever" after repeated failures in getting to spend time with the animals at the gardens of the Gala, and even caps it off with an Evil Laugh.
She gets another turn of this in "Putting Your Hoof Down" after getting her assertiveness from Iron Will. Her anger results in her becoming more of a crazy bitch every hour, and increasingly tantrum-prone, paranoid and aggressive.
Schizo Tech: The baseline level of technology in the show is supposed to be evocative of Medieval Fantasy. Most of the buildings in Ponyville are half-timbered, thatched-roof cottages, and Twilight, Spike and Celestia exclusively write with quill feather pens on scrolls. Exceptions to this are Handwaved as Magitek by Word Of God*
Hourglasses, cuckoo clocks, pocket watches, stopwatches and wrist watches.
Modern carnival rides are seen in Twilight's flashback in The Cutie Mark Chronicles, several years before the story is even set!
Photo booths, old-fashioned daguerreotype cameras that can take color photos, and hoof-free cameras with built-in flashes.
Corrective tooth braces, implied crimping irons, walkers with tennis balls on the feet, helium tanks with pressure gauges, hip replacement surgery, microphones, megaphones, telescopes, sewing machines, jackhammers, ice boxes, tape measures, joy buzzers, diving/snorkeling equipment, microscopes, bowling alleys, hang gliders, hazmat suits, stand-up arcade machines, vacuum cleaners...
"Feeling Pinkie Keen" brought confirmed electricity and added a myriad of tech that seems taken from a Frankenstein movie (for when Twilight Sparkle tries to understand Pinkie Pie's ability to predict the future with SCIENCE!).
Fluttershy has a steam radiator heating system in her sod-roof cottage.
Knowledge of comets that seems just a little too advanced for the displayed technology/society so far in "Owl's Well That Ends Well". Though given that Equestria's rulers have dominion over celestial bodies like the sun and the moon, they might have just gotten such information from Luna/Celestia.
The entire town has centralized plumbing, complete with only one shared source for heating water for everypony (Spike managed to use all of it by taking a seven-hour bubble bath).
"The Mysterious Mare Do Well" features a hydroelectric dam with a set of tesla coils (presumably for wireless energy transfer) and a construction site with a mechanical crane (which appears to be made mostly of wood). The dam is shown again in "It's About Time".
"Read It And Weep" Features Technicolor printing of book covers, X-Ray, electrocardiograms(EKG), electric lights and flashlights.
While most of the stuff that features in Pinkie Pie's imagination montage in "MMMystery on the Friendship Express" (especially the James Bond style watch equipped with LCD displays, micro-scale computers and wireless communication) can be dismissed as products of her imagination, the tone at which Twilight points out that there's no laser beam security system imply that lasers do exist, just not here.
Then there's the question of where the idea came from if it was all a product of her imagination. After all, ideas have their roots in reality; nobody would have imagined that watch without at least having concepts of the individual things that make it up...
Faust says that the team tried to leave electricity out of this world as much as possible, except when it would help with the story, or went by Rule Of Cool or Rule of Funny. As seen, they were extremely loose with this rule!
This toy commercial gives us Pinkie Pie's RC Car, and the toys themselves have that and a lot more technology—Applejack has a Farm Truck and a TV, and Canterlot Castle contains a television set, a microwave oven, and a dishwasher. The description of Twinkleshine also implies that movies exist. An upcoming Pony Weddingtoy package will give Twilight Sparkle a car that appears to be a Palette Swap of Pinkie Pie's RC Car.
One of the Polish and Norwegian magazine stories has a sick Pinkie Pie make a phone call to Twilight Sparkle.
The Hub's advertisements for the show have some technology too. The There's a Pony For That commercial shows Twilight Sparkle using a Hub-brand smartphone (complete with pony-themed apps and Internet access), and the Ponygeist◊ billboard shows Pinkie Pie in front of a Hub-brand TV set (which is larger than either of the TVs seen in the toys). An 8-bit video game is seen in this so-titled ad.
Interestingly enough, the aforementioned scene in "A Bird in the Hoof" doesn't bend physics to the degree that most examples of the trope do. If you watch carefully, the characters always come out of a door that's set in the same house (or adjoining house) as they door they went in, until Philomena's grand exit from the scene. Neither does the one in "The Mysterious Mare Do Well", since there are at least four Mare Do Wells involved in the chase scene, one of which can canonically teleport.
Screen Shake: Standard effect for emphasizing an impact, as well as some other things.
Season Fluidity: Aside from the two-part season premieres and second season finale, every episode is a stand-alone story.
Second Place Is for Winners: An ongoing theme of the series is that winning a competition is less important than bonding with your teammates, and that cooperation is better than competition. Winning for its own sake is not usually the point.
In the running of the fall leaves, both Applejack and Rainbow Dash are so focused on defeating each other that they both come in last. Twilight Sparkle places far ahead of what anyone expected... but even she only comes in fifth place, and is quite happy with that.
In the Sisterhooves Social race, Sweetie Belle and Rarity place second, but both are so happy to have reconciled with each other that they don't even care.
In Rainbow Dash's pet race, Rainbow ends up giving the prize (pethood) not to the winner of the race but to Tank, the turtle who stayed by her side and helped her when she was hurt. The falcon, who technically won the race (though not under Dash's terms), accepts this with good grace.
In the cider-making competition, the Apple family loses to the Flim Flam brothers's Wonderful Machine even with the help of the rest of the cast. But because they refused to sacrifice quality for quantity, they win anyway when the other ponies drive Flim and Flam out of town.
The central conflict of "The Last Roundup" occurs when Applejack fails to earn any blue ribbons or prize money at the Equestrian Rodeo, and runs away because she can't bear to return without the money she had pledged to the Town Hall. The others must convince her that they value her more than any victory or ribbon, and that they're just as proud of her even if she doesn't place first.
In the yearly water lift to Cloudsdale, Rainbow Dash initially is gunning for setting a new wing power record. When her best flier and a number of other pegasi fall ill, they are unable to set a new record, but with Fluttershy's help they at least manage to complete the water lift, which is a triumph all by itself.
There's even a sub-example here; Fluttershy's best speed of 2.3 is still considerably below the average of the other pegasi, but because it was enough to put them over the top, they all cheer and celebrate it for her anyway.
Driven home in "Wonderbolt Academy". Lightning Dust may technically have a bit of an edge even over Rainbow Dash because she pushes herself harder while Dash for all her athletic prowess has shown herself to be a bit of a slacker at times — but in the end she still fails and the team leader position goes to Rainbow Dash precisely because Dust is too competitive and too unconcerned about collateral damage as long as she 'wins'.
In "Mare in the Moon", the Cutie Mark Crusaders are seen huddling together in fear of Nightmare Moon. The problem? They supposedly first meet in "Call of the Cutie", eleven episodes later.
It's also entirely possible that they just all ended up huddling together coincidentally, being frightened young fillies looking for any source of safety and comfort. They didn't properly "meet" at this time.
In Twilight's flashback in "The Cutie Mark Chronicles", the egg Spike hatched from is shown to have been purple with darker purple spots. But in "Mare in the Moon", Spike said that he "started out as a cute little purple-and-green egg." (He could've been wrong, though.)
Is it ever stated that that is him? Spike can't be the only dragon with those colors.
It's highly doubted that the showmakers intended it to be any dragon other than Spike.
We never saw the other side of the egg...
Also, in various flashbacks where the moon is visible, Nightmare Moon's silhouette is no longer cratered on the surface... did she escape early?
At the end of "The Ticket Master", when everypony is given a ticket to the gala, they each appear to pick up their tickets via levitation, when the rest of the series shows that this is a talent which only unicorn ponies have.
Note however that the tickets do not possess the purple aura typically indicating unicorn magic. Which means this is either a double Series Continuity Error, or the tickets themselves are magical, and float to their owners.
In "Call of the Cutie", Applejack tells Apple Bloom that she was the last in her class to receive her Cutie Mark. In "Cutie Mark Chronicles" however, she begins her story by saying that she was "even littler than y'all". So... did she get her mark at a relatively old age, or a relatively young one?
Not necessarily an error, if all the ponies in her class got their Cutie Marks young she could have been younger than Apple Bloom and still be the last to get her Cutie Mark. Also, there's no indication of how long Applejack lived with Aunt and Uncle Orange - she may have stayed there long enough to go from being littler than y'all to being a relatively old blank-flank.
Some people have found it amusing to note that every flashback in the episode includes at least one possible continuity error, though all are subject to some degree interpretation. For example, Pinkie Pie's description of her joyless existence on the rock farm and how she learned to smile starkly contrasts the pilot, where she says it was her grandmother who taught her to laugh.
The opening sequence shows Twilight Sparkle and Spike arriving in Ponyville via Twinkling Balloon; in the actual show, they travel there using a Pegasus-drawn chariot. Though this may be more a metaphor for Twilight coming down from Canterlot to Ponyville (becoming more down to earth) rather than a literal retelling. Another possibility is that it isn't her first trip to Ponyville, because the rest of the mane six are waiting for Twilight and Spike when they get out of the balloon.
In "Winter Wrap-Up", Twilight mentions that Ponyville was founded hundreds of years ago. However, in "Family Appreciation Day", It's revealed that Granny Smith was alive (and had her cutie mark, even) during the initial founding of Ponyville. There are three possibilities: Either someone messed up, an intentional retcon was made, or non-alicorn ponies can have a lifespan of over 200 years.
Most toys of Applejack don't include her hat, presumably because it'd be an extra accessory. The ones that do make her hat light blue or pink instead of brown.
In order to be more appealing to girls, nearly every toy version of Princess Celestia is pink rather than white, even though the box depicts her as white. Back when the pink toys were the only ones, Word Of God said "I must admit I'm disappointed Celestia is pink. I'm not sure why they went that way, but my experience with the toy industry (through my Galaxy Girls project) is that you often have to to bow to the will of the 'buyers' — the guys who decide what they are going to put on the shelf in their store. Often they will say things like 'I'll buy 50, but if you make it pink I'll buy 500' and since the toy company makes their profit from the buyer and not the consumer, it makes sense for them to compromise. It's a really stupid, frustrating business."
They also made Princess Luna purplish-hued instead of dark blue and black.
Most of the ponies that come with an animal pet don't have the same pets as seen in the show.
Twilight has an owl instead of Spike, though this may be because Spike is a sapient assistant rather than a pet animal.
Does Spike's jealousy over Owloysius in "Owl's Well That Ends Well" mean the toy was supposed to tie into the episode, or is that just the crew venting?
Now Spike does come with Twilight as part of her Twinkling Balloon play-set. Yay!
The commercial is hilarious because even though the audio makes no mention at all of Spike his toy is featured prominently, as if Hasbro is saying "There! Twilight and Spike, together at last!" Are you happy now? Please buy our stuff!
Speaking of Spike's toy, he comes permanently posed on all fours, and while he does stand like this in the show on occasion, he mostly stands on his hind legs. Only his So Soft Newborn toy has him sit up straight.
Some of the ponies introduced in the toy line are recolors of the Mane Six, while the recolored artwork that appears on the package doesn't match the character the toy was based on. For instance, the toy of Blossomforth is Fluttershy with a white coat and a red-and-green mane, but the package artwork shows Rainbow Dash with the same colors. And when Blossomforth made the jump to the show, she was given a different appearance (probably because it'd be a bit odd to feature a pony looking just like one of the Mane Six).
Conversely, for a very long time there were no toys of many of the background ponies who frequently appear on the show—including no male ponies whatsoever. The eventual stock of male ponies are nearly all Palette Swaps of Big McIntosh (for Earth ponies) or Shining Armor (for unicorns), which makes the background stallions larger than they are in the show.
Among the Blind Bag ponies are several recolors that actually resemble some background ponies in the show, starting with Flower Wishes (called Daisy in the show) Roseluck (called Rose in the show), and Lemon Hearts. As an amusing side note, Fluttershy, Cheerilee, and Trixie Lulamoon are demoted to Rainbow Dash, Applejack, and Rarity recolors! Though, at least Fluttershy is finally set to get her own mold, in a set based on the pilot.
Relatively minor, but one of the first things most fans of the show do after purchasing Twilight Sparkle, Rainbow Dash or Applejack toys is to take a pair of scissors to all that excess mane.
Show Within a Show: Daring Do's story from the episode "Read It and Weep" takes place in a fictional setting from a book Rainbow Dash is reading. Whenever she starts reading it the camera fades and shifts into Daring Do's world and see her in action.
Someone on staff knows their animals. (It was probably Lauren Faust, who said she would have become a biologist if she hadn't gone into animation.)
Horses will sometimes raise one of their front legs in a kicking motion when nervous, which is what Fluttershy does when she encounters Twilight Sparkle in the first episode.
Similarly, horses flick their tails in annoyance to shoo away flies and the like. You can see this happen several times in the series when pony character is annoyed (e.g. Rainbow Dash looking non-nonplussed when the three bullies brag at her during "Sonic Rainboom".)
When Applejack pokes Big McIntosh in the ribs in "Applebuck Season" he responds by raising a haunch and glaring at her. That's an actual threat display by a horse about to kick.
The way the ponies move in general is very well done. When not being exaggerated for comedy, their joints bend in the same places and directions a real horse's would, and they have correctly animated gaits (walk, trot, canter, gallop) consistent with how fast they're moving.
The Ponies move their ears back and snort when angry or frightened, just like real horses do.
If pushed far enough, a disobedient horse will sit down on its rump and refuse to move, exactly like Pinkie does when she refuses to go with Rainbow Dash in "Party of One".
Fluttershy greeted the Manticore cat-style, leaning forward with her nose for a moment.
Sexual dimorphism is accurately depicted in Fluttershy's mallard friends.
The loon in Fluttershy's fantasy in "The Ticket Master" has a red outline on its eye. Red eyes are a distinguishing characteristic of loons.
Zecora's digging goes unexplained, but real zebras dig for water in the same fashion. The same behavior by a horse, however, is another threat display, so the scene actually makes MORE sense — Zecora was probably just nervous and a little thirsty, but the ponies around her misinterpreted her body language as grumpy and hostile.
In the episode "Dragonshy", Fluttershy is shown falling over stiff-leggedly with fear on several occasions... accompanied by the sound of a goat bleating. This may be a reference to fainting goats, a breed of goat which stiffens and falls over when startled.
In the song "The Art of the Dress" many references are made to actual equine anatomy...and then appropriate parts of the dress are shown being designed and constructed for them, making it clear the writers didn't just grab random words from a "Parts of the Horse" chart. "Parts of the Pony," by the way, would be an excellent song in MLP.
While Pinkie may be a little strange, in the episode "Feeling Pinkie Keen", she is shown rolling around in the grass. That's not her being strange; real horses and ponies will roll around in the grass like that.
Pinkie Pie removing wet pie filling from her face by covering it with molten chocolate, letting it dry and chipping it off is how some animals remove wet residues from their face using mud. The problem is, animals that usually do this are carnivores removing blood.
In "The Cutie Mark Chronicles", filly Fluttershy is drawn differently from most other fillies, having proportionally longer legs than her adult self. This is the correct body proportion for young equines. It also applies to other quadrupeds like deers and antelopes too. Other fillies were drawn in what would be more "human" baby proportions.
It also is fairly common for future models to be exceptionally tall and gawky during their early teens. And Fluttershy does have, after all, ze magics.
In "The Return of Harmony Part 2", once the ponies capture brainwashed Rainbow Dash, she starts to snort and flare her nostrils, an activity consistent with real-life horses under duress. Earlier in the first part, a brainwashed Fluttershy swats Twilight with her tail, this is also something horses will do when particularly annoyed.
The ponies' mindsets are also very accurate. Horses are incredibly skittish creatures due to being a prey animal; as a result, they often freak out and panic at anything that frightens them, which shows up as background ponies freaking out.
Little Strongheart from "Over A Barrel" is the correct size and colour of a young buffalo.
The clicking noise Pinkie makes in "Baby Cakes" when she thinks Pound Cake has wandered off is a real sound that horses are trained to respond to.
The goats from "Putting Your Hoof Down" have oblong pupils, just like real goats.
In ''MMMMystery on the Friendship Express, Pinkie Pie scratches herself behind her ear like a dog. Actual ponies and foals will do this when they're young, but are unable to do this once they become fully grown adults.
It could just be a coincidence, but it would appear◊ that potato chips and soda can indeed produce something that could be mistaken for a muffin. (The main problem in that picture seems to be the effects of the melted gummy worms.)
Applejack uses the correct game terminology while playing horseshoes with Rainbow Dash in "Fall Weather Friends".
Fluttershy's "freaky knowledge" of fashion when Rarity presses her for criticism.
Dragons are routinely shown hoarding treasure and eating gemstones. In many myths dragons ingest precious stones in order to fuel their fire.
A rock Rarity is looking at is broken by the effect of Rainbow Dash's Sonic Rainboom. In real life sound waves can break rocks, and they've actually been used to break kidney stones. Also, the writers have shown their geology. Large rocks that are covered in gems when split open? They're called geodes.
A minor one, but in "Luna Eclipsed", Princess Luna speaks in the Majestic Plural.
The Windigos in "Hearth's Warming Eve" are represented with frightening accuracy as spirits of famine and cold that feed off hatred and in-fighting.
Debatable. The "famine and cold" part is correct, but many Wendigo myths involve cannibalism more than hatred and in-fighting. Though this could be Justified with it being a kids' show and all, despite what the fandom says.
Well, when Princess Platinum, Chancellor Puddinghead, and Commander Hurricane grew impatient. They began stamping their hooves on their ground just like real horses when they're annoyed.
The bad guy in Read it and Weep is Ahuizotl, an authentic Aztec creature. Do they really expect kids to get these references?
In Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000 they show a lot of work: Cider season is a very real thing and last only a few weeks, cider has no meaningful shelf life so must be made fresh daily, the cider press shown is a real (and very old-fashioned) model, and the eponymous machine would indeed outperform the Apples' old method by about five to one, as claimed.
In the initial version of a recipes PDF on The Hub's website, the page for Cutie Mark Crusaders Chocolate Popcorn included a Flash Forward (originally fanart drawn by layout artist Kat Stenson long before becoming part of the show's crew) that depicted Apple Bloom, Scootaloo, and Sweetie Belle all grown up with cutie marks.
My Little Pony Friendship is Magic: Adventures in Ponyville is the title of both a game and a DVD.
My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic is both the title of the show and the title of a Novelization of the pilotepisodes of the show.
The Magic of Friendship Storybook, the book The Magic of Frienship[sic] and the Sparkle World story The Magic of Friendship have very similar titles (two of which would be exactly the same if not for a Tyop on the Cover of one of them).
The DVD Celebration at Canterlot and the toy set Celebration at Canterlot Castle have very similar titles. This was most likely intentional, as they're both part of the Target-exclusive Canterlot set of merchandise.
Shrinking Violet: Fluttershy, naturally. Princess Luna also shows a few shades of this in Luna Eclipsed, after the entire town cowers in fear from here, thinking she's still evil, despite her Heel Face Turn.
Sir Swearsalot: It's a kids show so there's no actual cursing, but if one counts the use of phrases like "What the hay...?" or "Oh, horse-apples" as profanity, Applejack has the foulest mouth of the Mane 6 followed closely by Rainbow Dash.
65-Episode Cartoon: Although thereisevidence that the show won't end on this mark like several other cartoons have, Season 3 brings the episode count up to 65, perfect for syndication.
The Heroine: Twilight Sparkle or whomever is playing the main role at the moment.
The Lancer: Each of the cast have their own corresponding opposites within the group and this role will switch depending on which character/s being focused on at the time.
The Smart Mare: Twilight Sparkle usually fills this role due to her nerdiness, organizational skill, and the fact the she lives in a library - thus, she's the mare to go to if one of the cast wishes to inquire about something - but the rest of the cast sometimes fills this role when it come to their own personal expertise, such as Rarity's knowledge of fashion.
Team Mom/Cool Big Sis: Applejack fills this role most of the time (usually in the Team Mom category). Some of the cast becomes this when interacting with younger characters. Each of them are cool in their own way so any of them could fill the Cool Big Sis role.
Sixth Ranger: Twilight Sparkle could fill this role as she is the last pony of the mane cast to move to Ponyville. If the others have been friends with each other before her arrival, then that would make her the sixth member of their group.
The Head: Raritynote Being the head doesn't equal being the leader. And she often uses her wits to get what she wants. Of course, Twilight Sparkle fits as well given her smarts.
The Muscle: Applejacknote Rainbow Dash fits as well.
The Quirk: Pinkie Pienote Twilight Sparkle fits as well.
The Pretty One: Fluttershynote It could be argued that all of them fit this category, with Rarity coming a close second for this role, but process of elimination brings her to this.
The Smart One: Twilight Sparklenote Again, it could be argued as all of them are quite knowledgeable when it comes to their respective expertise/career, but Twilight seems to be the one who frequently plays the role within the show.
The Wild One: Rainbow Dashnote Pinkie Pie fits as well.
Sixth Ranger: Babs Seed becomes the fourth Cutie Mark Crusader. The fandom seems to have accepted this with no complaints.
The crew tries to ensure that Rarity's perfect coiffure is ruined at least Once an Episode.
Word Of God has this to say about putting slapstick into a show for and about girls:
Lauren Faust: What I kinda had to push for in the beginning was making it funny. That was actually really hard, 'cause like even my crew, even the other artists, jumped to this conclusion that it had to be really soft. And I was like, "No, it's funny that that character tripped and fell. Make her hit her face really hard, you know? That's funny!"
Slasher Smile: Pinkie Pie gets a frightening one in "Party of One" when she was playing a party with inanimate objects as her guests. Twilight Sparkle gets several in "Lesson Zero", but most frightening was when she bursts out of the bushes, complete with insane giggling. It didn't help that she was watching the Cutie Mark Crusaders at the time, which gives the impression that she's a... yeah.
Slice of Life: Many of the episodes are like this, at least by Pony standards. The show seldom uses antagonistic characters, so the problems the ponies must overcome are usually those with relationships or their surroundings.
Particularly Slice-of-Life-ish episodes are Look Before You Sleep, The Show-Stoppers, Luna Eclipsed and Sisterhooves Social.
Ponies, zebras, donkeys, griffons, and buffaloes are Body Type 6Civilized Animalsnote Though this might not be entirely accurate as they have displayed feats, intelligence and motivation comparable if not exactly like that of a human yet they still retain a quite a few animal behaviors.. Crosses Funny Animal territory at times especially in comedic situations.
The diamond dogs and the fictional character Ahuitzotlnote The closest thing to classify him as at least. are Body Type 4Petting Zoo People.
Some farm animals like cattle (bulls and cows) and sheep are Body Type 6Talking Animals.
Sliding Scale of Animal Communication: Level 5 - all hoofed animals (and griffons; they have paws and talons) seem to be able to converse freely with the ponies. Pets, monsters and other creatures reach various levels of Intellectual Animal, but generally can't communicate beyond their species.
Fluttershy breaks this occasionally, but she's explicitly stated to be able to understand animals "on a higher level". Probably part of being a Friend to All Living Things.
The one exception to the above appears to be goats, as seen in "Putting Your Hoof Down."
Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Quite idealistic, but with a satisfying dash of cynicism mixed in. For example, in "Over a Barrel", the conflict driving the episode is ultimately easily solved because both sides are basically decent — but at the same time, the idea that it could be solved by singing a cute song that will make everyone love each other is mercilessly mocked. In general, problems often arise because the characters aren't perfect, but there's nothing the Power of Friendship won't solve by the end of the story, even if it involves punching out Cthulhu.
One good example of this series' usage of Mostly-idealistic-but-with-a-dash of cynicism is the ending of "Suited For Success". After a nice show of friendship and a heartwarming moment where Rarity does forgive her friends, she then points out that her career is still ruined. It was then saved by a second chance by Hoity Toity.
Society-on-Edge Episode: The two-parters in general are these in comparison to the rest of the series, catching most major characters off guard in each case. The conflicts in the rest of the series seem mundane in comparison.
The Canterlot Wedding two-parter involved a wedding plan coinciding with a need for increased security due to a mysterious threat against Canterlot. (Turned out it was connected to the wedding, namely due to the involvement of Chrysalis and the changelings in each.)
The King Sombra arc involved the threat of the enslavement of an entire kingdom.
Solid Clouds: Clouds are a strange example. The ponies who can interact with them as if they are solid are pegasi, whose job as a race is to manage the weather and alicorns, who have the properties of all three pony races. Griffons and other flying animals can sit on clouds as well. For most other ponies, clouds act as they would in real life without magical assistance.
The Something Song: Although many of the musical numbers have been given names by the fans, composer Daniel Ingram's website lists many of the songs as "Laughter Song", "The Gala Song", "The Ticket Song", etc.
And Word Of God has hinted that it may have been another more powerful/evil force that corrupted Princess Luna into Nightmare Moon, and helped free Discord.
Then, at the second season finale, there was Queen Chrysalis and her Changeling armada. While perhaps not quite up there with Discord, having made a number of grave mistakes regarding Twilight, she still came very close to succeeding. Her plan on the whole went off without a hitch, her armies defeated the mane cast before they could even get to their greatest weapon, and more importantly, she made a fool of Celestia the whole way through, with both deceit and raw power.
King Sombra's placement is a bit hard to place. While how powerful he truly is is not seen, he displays powerful magic and is strong enough to brainwash the entire Crystal Empire and make it vanish for a thousand years, and required the Princesses to intervene to beat him the first time. And he's most certainly the most competent and dangerous of the villains, and nearly won simply due to how well he planned. So even if he's not as powerful, he may be the most dangerous.
Spell My Name with an S: Besides some character names (see the Characters pages for those), a few other names haven't always been spelled the same by official sources, such as Manehatten/Manehattan.
The show's ending credits list the names of Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle as main characters right from the debut episode. Less of a spoiler given that half the season goes by before they appear again, and viewers wouldn't know who they are until that point.
Also Applejack in "Applebuck Season", when she hit the ground after missing the mark jumping down onto Rainbow Dash's catapult.
Fluttershy in "Luna Eclipsed". While trying to make an escape into her house, Twilight shuts the door, causing her to pancake herself on it.
Squeaky Eyes: Used for some emphasized blinking, as when Fluttershy is being persuasively cute or Pinkie Pie is being ditzily innocent. Besides of this specific trope, eyeballs moving in some notable way also sometimes make noises.
Squee: The best description for the sounds made by ponies when they grin in either contentment or embarassment. In-show, this is Rainbow Dash's reaction every time she's close to the Wonderbolts.
In "The Best Night Ever", before Pinkie Pie starts changing the musical program, the quartet is playing a very subdued version of the second movement of Mozart's Eine Kleine Nachtmusik.
Ride of the Valkyries during the air race in "May the Best Pet Win".
Staring Down Cthulhu: Fluttershy has subdued a dragon (who was so large each of his eyes was around the same size as her body) and a cockatrice (whose gaze was turning her to stone as she did so, but who still gave up first) by staring them down and scolding them. She's even in the trope's image.
Status Quo Is God: Every other episode each of the main cast needs to re-learn how to be a good friend. This might be a meta-Aesop, though — that building and maintaining strong friendships takes constant work. It's even Lampshaded in the aesop of several episodes, such as "The Return of Harmony" and "Sisterhooves Social."
In spite of saving all of Equestria at least twice, no one outside of Ponyville seems to know them. They're on stained glass windows in the castle, for goodness sake! However, they don't seem to make an active effort on showing this off.
When Nightmare Moon was imprisoned in the moon, she appeared as a large dark spot on the moon's surface, and is referred to as The Mare in the Moon. A dark spot on the moon is known as a sea, or in Latin, mare.*
Yes, everypony knows it's pronounced differently, but still.
There's also the more obvious pun behind her name where she's a mare who controls the night, making her literally a Nightmare.
The Wonderbolts are heavily based off of the Blue Angels (and other aerobatics teams), and utilize a winged thunderbolt as their logo. The dark-mirror Shadowbolts used, as their uniform Cutie Mark, a winged skull. A winged skull logo was also used, at one time, by the Hell's Angels. Subtle, but very clever.
The two male ponies, Snips and Snails, are a pun based on the old adage that girls are made of "sugar and spice and everything nice," while boys are made of "snips and snails and puppy dog tails." Given this show's status as a kids' show, it's probably unlikely that we'll see a boy pony named "Puppy Dog Tails," but the other two can work as names in a fictitious environment.
Ironically, the very next colt introduced is the British Pipsqueak... who looks very much like a dog.
Not very stealthy, but Twilight Sparkle really hopes the legend of Nightmare Moon is just an old 'pony tale'.
In the beginning of "Boast Busters", Twilight's magic abilities are referred to as "tricks," and Spike mentions that most unicorns can only do a small amount of magic related to their profession. Which, one might say, makes them "one-trick ponies."
And the other magically skilled pony in the episode is named Trixie. Tricks-y.
The name "Trixie" means "Bringer of happiness". Trixie in an entertainer.
No it doesn’t. But it is a diminutive of 'Beatrix', meaning 'voyager, traveller', and Trixie is a travelling performer.
Applejack's story in "The Cutie Mark Chronicles" details her attempt to move to the city to live with her Aunt and Uncle Orange. The City Mouse/Country Mouse plot is played completely straight, revealing to Applejack that she's nothing like the city folk. It's like comparing Apples and Oranges.
Similarly, she says "I'm so hungry, I could eat..."
In "Over a Barrel", we see a train pulled by several ponies. We just saw the pony express.
In "A Friend In Deed," Pinkie parodies a few lines from the song "Yankee Doodle Boy" (also called "Yankee Doodle Dandy"). In the musical that popularized the song, the "Yankee Doodle Dandy" was a horse jockey.
The song also borrows lyrics from the folk song that inspired it, "Yankee Doodle." What did Yankee Doodle come to town riding on, again?
In "Swarm of the Century," Pinkie plays music to lead pests out of town. She's the Pinkie Pied Piper.
In "The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000", Pinkie and friends hold a Ticket Line Campout to be the first to get that season's Sweet Apple Acres cider...in other words, camping in line waiting for new Apple products.
Steven Ulysses Perhero: Everypony is given a name at birth that will one day reflect their special talent, personality, and / or profession. Characters seem to be pretty Genre Blind to this fact, especially the Cutie Mark Crusaders.
Then again is also subverted sometimes, with ponies like Rarity or Pinkie Pie; their names don't completely match their personality, profession or their cutie mark (the former, while it's true that she had gems as her cutie mark, it seems that in Equestria gems aren't that rare, and the latter, while having the word pink in her name, is almost not feminine at all, and she's not specialized in making pies).
Stock Footage: There's a lot of detail going into the animation for this show, so the animators sometimes reuse objects in different episodes, sometimes leading to a continuity error. For example, in "The Ticket Master", Fluttershy imagines herself befriending Canterlot's wildlife, including various colored jays. Those jays can be seen in a birdhouse near Fluttershy's home in "Party of One", when she and Rainbow Dash are Stereo Fibbing to Pinkie Pie. Also, Twilight Sparkle and Pinkie Pie's gala dresses are in Fluttershy's closet at the beginning of "A Bird in the Hoof".
Perhaps she was just holding them for the time being? Though one would think Rarity would have enough space.
Rarity's boutique also plays host to a violent cat and (on occasion) the destructive force known as Sweetie Belle. Fluttershy seems like a much safer bet.
Sometimes done for laughs, like Rarity's Hollywood-fainting twice in a row in "Bridle Gossip".
Pinkie Pie's "MMM nom nom" eating sound effect is used several times, including more than once in "A Bird in the Hoof".
The squeaky rubber duck noise whenever anypony smiles really cutely. It's been used before in the Beast Wars episodes "Coming of the Fuzors" (Part 2) and "Crossing The Rubicon" as well as the Sponge Bob Square Pants episode "Bossy Boots", and it's also been used in the Doritos Crash the Super Bowl 2013 finalist Road Chip.
Spike will make a similar sound when he's physically abused.
And the crowd-wide gasp that can be heard when Twilight manipulates Fluttershy. Can be heard just before Photo Finish falls backwards.
Pinkie Pie's gasp when she first sees Twilight in the first episode gets used again throughout the show whenever a gasp is needed.
It's also played backwards when Fluttershy inhales before letting loose with a too-quiet "Yay" in the cold open of "Sonic Rainboom".
One of the roars that the Ursa Minor makes is a stock sound effect that was also used for the Mini Battlelord in Duke Nukem 3 D.
Granny Smith angrily yells her groggy "Soup's on!" from the first episode when Scootaloo clips her on her scooter.
The screech Rarity unleashes upon losing her diamond-encrusted purple ribbon in "Lesson Zero" is the same one she lets loose with in "Swarm of the Century", when she finds herself trapped in Carousel Boutique as parasprites actively devour it and everything inside.
In the same episode, we have one of the "impact with wood" sounds from the same game when Apple Bloom trips and falls flat on her face on the way to the stage. It later appears in The Cutie Mark Chronicles when Scootaloo hits a tree branch, and again in Sisterhooves Social when Applejack slams a door with her hoof. Guess the show's staff has been killing some headcrabs lately...
Another one is the contraption Applejack works at in The Last Roundup. The sound it makes as it spins is somewhat common in video games where sliding doors made out of stone are present (Blood and Unreal are two examples).
The sound of Spike's quill on parchment in Dragon Quest is the exact same sound of a note being jotted down in both the Penumbra and Amnesia series.
The famous Wilhelm scream has seen use a few times throughout the series.
Conversely, the second season doesn't really have much of a story arc, which was unfortunate because there was no opportunity to set up Twilight's relationships with Shining Armor and Princess Cadance in advance. However, Season 2 did have three episodes about Twilight becoming paranoid ("Lesson Zero", "It's About Time" and "A Canterlot Wedding") and only being properly so once, but there's no attempt to connect them together.
Also, Spike and Princess Celestia have remarkably similar thought patterns, such as trying to get Twilight to lighten up and make some friends in the pilot, and encouraging the mane cast to hang out together as a group at the Grand Galloping Gala rather than splitting off to do their own things (since the Gala itself is kind of a boring party anyway).
Sudden Anatomy: Applies to pony eyebrows not just on an individual-case basis but as a rule. They don't normally have them, but automatically generate some whenever they wear an expression that needs them. Also unlike the usual case, it's so subtle and looks so natural that it's easy to miss.
Sugar Apocalypse: Discord gives Rainbow Dash a vision of Cloudsdale crumbling away to convince her to throw the game that they're playing. Possibly Subverted in that we never personally see whether it was actually happening or not. Played straight when Discord throws the rest of Equestria into chaos after the "game" ends.
Much like Applejack's vision of the main ponies' friendship ending leaving out critical details, he allows Rainbow Dash to end the game by making the wrong choice - taking the wings. He lets her assume that staying in the game will doom Cloudsdale while in fact it is taking the wings and leaving that would do so as Equestria falls into permanent chaos.
Also in "Dragonshy", a recurring bit of music is reminiscent of the Fellowship leitmotif from the Lord of the Rings films, though only the first couple of bars match well.
"Call to the Post", the standard fanfare opening a horse race, is used in the Running of the Leaves in "Fall Weather Friends", while a Suspiciously Similar Song of the Notre Dame Victory March shows up during the Iron Pony Competition.
Pinkie Pie plays an instrumental song that sounds very similar to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles theme at Twilight's birthday party in "Sweet and Elite".
Earlier in the episode, when Rarity... retrieves Opal for Fluttershy, an adaptation of Ravel's "Boléro" starts up in the background.
In "Hearth's Warming Eve" when all the tribe leaders and their assistants are making up, there are small snippets that are very reminiscent of "Greensleeves" playing.
The Flim Flam Brother's I Am Song / Villain Song is intentionally based on We Got Trouble from The Music Man, down to the crowd chanting "cider" in the same way the crowd chanted "trouble" during the bridge.
"Putting Your Hoof Down" contains a very mildly offkey version of Survivor's "Eye Of The Tiger".
"A Canterlot Wedding" has a song called "Love is in Bloom" which has the exact same chord progression as Katy Perry "Last Friday Night".
The music playing during Twilight's encounter with her future self in "It's About Time" is a remix of "I Am The Doctor" from Doctor Who. Before Future!Twilight appears, the iconic sound of a TARDIS materialising can be faintly heard.
The song "Morning in Ponyville" and its Triumphant Reprise "Life in Equestria" are both very similar, both in tune and thematically, to "Oh What A Beautiful Mornin'" from the musical Oklahoma!