Mythology Gag / My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic

  • Nightmare Moon is trying to bring about The Night That Never Ends, just like Tirek. However, while Tirek only seemed to be doing it For the Evulz, Nightmare Moon's backstory establishes her as The Resenter.
  • The Elements of Harmony combine to summon the Rainbow of Light. There's even more of a shout out when they're used to beat Discord. Complete with similar music and a World-Healing Wave.
  • In the Pilot, the ponies have to cross a raging river and a rickety bridge to get to a castle, just like in Rescue from Midnight Castle.
  • Rarity's butterfly wings in "Sonic Rainboom" and the Glimmer Wings toy ponies are a nod to "G1" and "G3" winged ponies, the Flutterpony toy line (right down to how they're notorious for having delicate, breakable wings) and the Breezies in particular.
  • Rarity escapes her kidnappers in "A Dog and Pony Show" by annoying them until they're begging her friends to take her back — the same strategy used by Danny and Surprise in the very similar "The Great Rainbow Caper."
  • In "The Cutie Mark Chronicles", the younger Fluttershy's thinner body and legs is also reminiscent of the Flutter Ponies. All she's missing are the delicate butterfly wings... which, of course, can be found on her cutie mark instead.
    • Fluttershy has a yellow coat and pink mane and tail, like Rosedust, Queen of the Flutter Ponies - and her original inspiration Posey (who was an earth pony, but otherwise was nigh-identical in appearance, especially in Lauren Faust's early sketches).
  • In "Over a Barrel" Spike plays a piano for a show like the original Spike does in the 1986 My Little Pony Movie.
  • Discord's mind rape of the mane cast making them lose their color and become jerks is reminiscent of the Smooze from the Original MLP movie, where touching it made a pony act like a jerk and "lose their twinkle".
  • The design of the Fire Ruby in "Secret Of My Excess" looks exactly like the Heart Stone from the original series episode "Crunch the Rockdog".
  • Twilight's Twinkling Balloon is actually a shout out to the balloon in the "G3" toy line.
  • Heck, the opening starts with a shout out to every MLP commercial and theme song ever made.
    • If one listens carefully to the very end of "Make New Friends But Keep Discord", the last seven notes of the BGM is extremely close to the "I'm so glad you're my friend" lyric from the old G1 toy commercials.
  • Almost all of the main cast are amalgamations of previous ponies from years 2 or 3 and based on the personalities that Lauren Faust had given her ponies as a child. Someone put together an influence list referencing both the "G1" and "G3" ponies that these were based on.
    • Applejack is just a redesigned version of the original. She and Spike are the only trademarks that the creators were interested in using that Hasbro retained from the 80s.
      • Applejack's brother Big Macintosh resembles the "G3" version of Applejack in color and a cutie mark consisting of just one big apple (as opposed to every other version of Applejack having several smaller apples).
      • AJ's sister Apple Bloom has a personality inspired by "G1" Ember, the colors of "G3" Candy Apple, and the art and design talents of "G3" Toola-Roola.
    • Twilight Sparkle is a fairly direct cross of Powder, Twilight Twinkle and Twilight.
      • Her mother Twilight Velvet, seen in "The Cutie Mark Chronicles" and "A Canterlot Wedding - Part 2" as well as in the Wave 4 Blind Bags, is very clearly based on the original Twilight, who was intended to be the original main character of Friendship is Magic
      • However, T.V.'s Special Edition Blind Bag figure has a color scheme and cutie mark more similar to "G1" Glory than the original Twilight.
      • Her father resembles Nachtlicht, a German-only Pony from "G1", a bit too much for comfort. It could be a genderswap Mythology Gag, similar to how Big Mac resembles "G3" Applejack. Or just the fact that the name and color scheme fit well into the family theme. The Gameloft game confirms this as Twilight's parents live in "Nightlight Boookbinding"
      • In the first episode Twilight Sparkle gets invited to Moondancer's get-together. This is both a nod to the "G1" pony Moondancer and a Development Gag on the fact that Twilight was going to have a variation of Moondancer's cutie marknote  On top of that, the pony saying this looks a lot like "G1" Moondancer herself. (Or rather, Baby Moondancer. But that's who most people think of when they think of Moondancer, because the adult version was a blink-and-miss background pony. Recently, the comics introduced a Moondancer who looks just like that one. Presumably, this is who the other Moondancer lookalike, now known as Twinkleshine, was referring to. They share a scene in the comic, which is Hilarious in Hindsight: the "G1" Moondancers, despite supposedly being mother and daughter, never appear together.)
      • Twilight Sparkle can teleport. In My Little Pony 'N Friends, Unicorns can teleport (they call it "winking in" and "winking out"). The first Unicorn seen to teleport is "G1" Twilight, in the opening theme of "Rescue from Midnight Castle".
    • Rainbow Dash is a perfect mix of Sunlight, Firefly and her third series incarnation.
    • Fluttershy was originally just SUPPOSED to be Posey but Hasbro had lost the trademark on that name.
      • Her cutie mark however is a shout-out to the second toy line Pony Sky Skimmer and her name is based on her third series incarnation.
      • The original Fluttershy has the butterfly cutie mark, too. If Lauren Faust says she's based on Posey, well, she oughta know, but Sky Skimmer is the single pony she resembles most closely, with the exact colors and the butterfly CM.
    • Spike being in love with Rarity may be a shout out to the "G1" Majesty character, with whom the original Spike came and Rarity somewhat resembles (although really she's more of an amalgamation of Sparkler and Glory from the first toy line).
      • Background pony Amethyst Star is also similar to Sparkler and her appearance in the Blind Bags uses Rarity's model. Her Wave 9 blind bag figure, which uses Twilight's model, looks even more like "G1" Twilight than Twilight Velvet.
      • Twilight's relationship with Spike mirrors Spike's with Majesty back in the original show, especially in the British comics.
      • Funny enough, Rarity's mannerisms bear resemblance to those of "G3" Rainbow Dash, especially her tendency to call everyone "darling".
    • Twilight herself mirrors Majesty in the British comics. Other unicorns could only really do one type of magic, like Fizzy being good at blowing bubbles out her horn, but Majesty had no such restrictions.
      • It's easiest to see Twilight Sparkle's origin in the UK comic's Twilight, not the cartoon version: Comic Twilight is very reclusive, only seen at night and hiding in a magical mist when she must travel by day. And she, too, had an incredible range of spells unrestricted by the one-per-special-talent rule or the usual level of power seen with other unicorns. She was highly trusted by Majesty (and good luck finding the mysterious mare in the magical mist you're anyone else!) and was sometimes the only one who could handle something that would be a threat to anyone (or everyone!) else. Can you think of a Twilight who highly trusted by the godlike leader, has magic far above and beyond what other unicorns have, and (until recently, in terms of her life) doesn't socialize?
      • There's also the other Twilight in "G1", a pegasus from "Flight to Cloud Castle." She is purple like Twilight Sparkle, and her cutie mark is a candle; an identical one is found on Twilight Sparkle's door! Especially now that she's an alicorn, she seems a fusion of the three Twilights: the magic and relationship with the ruler of comic Unicorn Twilight, the body color and wings of Pegasus Twilight, and a cutie mark and hair colors based on the G3 Earth Pony Twilight Twinkle. The three Twilights of the three races, all in one!
    • Early concept sketches of Pinkie Pie were just straight up Surprise. Her wings were passed on to Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie was given a swapped version of her "G3" color scheme.note 
      • Both Surprise in her original concept and "G3" Pinkie Pie have similar cutie marks with 3 balloons. Friendship is Magic Pinkie Pie's cutie mark is a combination, using the balloon colors (blue and yellow) from "G3" Pinkie Pie and the placement of the concept.
      • The first word out of Pinkie Pie's mouth in Friendship is Magic is "Surprise".
      • It's worth noting that the original Surprise had somewhat greenish blonde hair in the cartoon and Pinkie's mother is white with green hair, though she's not a pegasus.
      • In the show, one of the unnamed Wonderbolts(whose toy is simply called "Wonderbolts Pony") is colored similar to Surprise and "G3" Breezie.
      • The trading card officially makes her Surprise. However, due to trademark loss, calling her that on a toy is impossible, and in the show could be a bit problematic.
    • Every time Pinkie Pie plans a party or does a balloon gag she's giving a shout out to the third series theme song.
      Let's plan a party with Pinkie Pie
      Then watch her balloons lift her up to the sky!
      My Little Pony third series theme song
      • That part of the theme song is actually a reference to A Charming Birthday in which she is lifted into the air by her balloon charm bracelet.
  • The 3rd tier characters Snips and Snails (himself a shout out to the "G1" pony Squirmy), make up 2/3rds of the ingredients of little boys, the exact opposite of the Sugar, Spice and Everything Nice that created the Powerpuff Girls.
  • The twin ponies working at the spa are directly based on the twins of the "G1" Surprise Twins Pony and/or on the "G2" twins Rose and Lily. Both sets were only available in Europe, and Lotus Blossom (the one with the blue coat and pink mane) even has an accent to match!
  • Most of the large stallions have unshorn fetlocks like the "G1" Big Brother Ponies. Two of these large stallions are in fact big brothers, Big Macintosh to Applejack & Apple Bloom and Shining Armor to Twilight Sparkle.
  • Celestia resembles the "G2" Pony design, with a bit of the "G1" Beauty Dream Pony thrown in.
  • Cheerilee being a teacher is similar to her original unicorn version role in one of the 2000's animated specials, notably Crystal Princess: The Runaway Rainbow. Later stories have her mysteriously not a unicorn anymore, but she is the older sister to Scootaloo and knows a great deal of lore and history. So naturally, she is a teacher in FIM, with Scootaloo as one of her students (as well as Scoots' partner in crime Sweetie Belle.)
    • Cheerilee had a toy called "Go To School With Cheerilee" which had her as a student in school. Come a few years later and she's a teacher.
    • Cheerilee was notably requested by Hasbro to appear in the show due to her popularity from "G3".
  • The plot of "The Ticket Master" is near identical to a My Little Pony Tales episode ("And the Winner is..") where one of the ponies wins a pair of tickets to a concert and has to choose which friend to take.
  • "Dragonshy" is about the ponies climbing a mountain to deal with a dragon in a cave, which also happened in the "G3.5" special Twinkle Wish Adventure.
    • In "G3", Spike wakes up from a thousand year nap. In Friendship is Magic, dragons are mentioned to nap for very long, possibly a hundred years or even more.
  • "Winter Wrap Up" brings to mind the the opening theme to the the 1986 My Little Pony movie:
    My Little Pony, My Little Pony
    All in a twinkling spring is here.
    My Little Pony, My Little Pony
    When did all the leaves and grass appear?
    Where there were snowdrifts, now there are no drifts,
    Nor is the sky overcast.
    My Little Pony, My Little Pony
    Winter is over at last!
  • In one episode of the original series, Wind Whistler had her wings tied during a race, like Rainbow Dash in "Fall Weather Friends".
  • Toy line exclusive pony Sweetie Swirl, a Palette Swap of Rarity, is colored similarly to Rarity's "G3" incarnation, and her cutie mark is similar to "G1" and "G3" Cotton Candy.
  • Aura, the filly that Rainbow Dash rescues from the well in "The Mysterious Mare Do Well" has the same body color (and a near-identical voice) as Lickety Split, who had a musical number involving someone else trapped in a well in the original movie.
  • "Secret of My Excess" features a pony named Lickety Split and a mare named Junebug.
  • In "Hearth's Warming Eve" when Rarity (as Princess Platinum) claims Equestria as her own she christens it Unicornia. Unicornia is the name of the unicorns' kingdom from the third series whose princess is named Rarity.
    • Fluttershy's character in the play is named "Pansy", which almost sounds like "Posey", the "G1" pony Fluttershy was based on.
  • The euphemisms and pony-versions of words characters use come from "G1", mainly from European canon. Terms like "Pony feathers!" are the most obvious. Applejack in particular liked to use that term in the British comics.
  • "The Last Roundup" includes a pony named Cherry Jubilee. There was a "G1" pony named Cherries Jubilee.
  • Party Of One's plot is unusually similar to a comic in the British comics called "A Surprise For Surprise''. In the comic, everypony is ignoring Surprise and telling her to leave them alone. Surprise believes they all hate her and runs off, but it turns out they were throwing a party for Surprise. All the ponies the Mane Cast are based off appear in the strip too.
  • Flower Wishes, Daisy's name from the toy line, was also the name of a "G3" pony.
  • The stunt that causes Rainbow Dash to crash in "Read It And Weep" is, going by the motions of the onlookers' heads as they follow it, Firefly's trademark double inside-out loop.
  • Bizarrely, "A Friend in Deed" gives Daisy Jo, the name of a "G3" pony, to one of the cows from "Applebuck Season".
  • "Dragon Quest" has quite a bit in common with the My Little Pony 'n Friends episode "Spike's Search": They both involve a little purple dragon named Spike leaving behind his pony friends to look for his draconic roots, only to fall in with a crowd of trouble-making dragons, which leads him to decide he's more at home with the ponies.
    • One of the dragons, Garble, has the same color scheme as Fiery from the original series.
  • In "Hurricane Fluttershy", during the big tornado scene one can see a male pegasus with the color scheme of Firefly, the "G1" pegasus who inspired Rainbow Dash.
  • A pony in "Putting Your Hoof Down" - dubbed "Surf" by fans - has a blue mane, pink fur, lightning bolt earrings, and looks like she came right out of The '80s. She seems to be a Shout-Out to Firefly.
  • When Fluttershy is cleaning during "The Ticket Master", she hums the original theme song. It's easy to mistake it for the Friendship is Magic theme tune, since they start the same way, but after the "My Little Pony My Little Pony" part, it clearly follows the melody and beat of the next line of the original theme tune ("What will today's adventure be?") rather than the rising "Ah" that follows it in Friendship is Magic, though said beat would eventually find its way into the extended version of the Friendship is Magic theme ("What is friendship all about?")
  • In "Applebuck Season", sleep deprivation turns Applejack into a silly pony. Her "G1" incarnation was an earth pony forerunner of Derpy (but with apples instead of muffins). A tie-in record was made during the "G1" run in the UK, one of the songs being the now-memetic "Who's A Silly Pony".
  • King Sombra is turned to crystal and shattered by the Crystal Heart. "G1" villain Lavan was killed when a crystal called the Heart of Ponyland provided the power needed to shatter him (after he'd already turned to crystal).
    • He also shares more than a passing resemblance to the original Tirek who was also killed by exploding.
  • In "Too Many Pinkie Pies", one of the duplicate Pinkies rearranges her face to look like her "G3" counterpart. She's promptly blasted into oblivion
    "Bet you can't make a face crazier than this!"
  • The advert transition screen from "The Crystal Empire - Part 2" is a large bunch of balloons, which bears a resemblance to the Children's Video Library logo; which is basically the very first thing you see if you play an original VHS copy of Escape from Midnight Castle.
  • The Crystal Ponies themselves, in their crystal forms, resemble a toy line from "G1" with the same appearance called the Sparkle Ponies.
    • Speaking of Sparkle Ponies, Applejack resembles one when she was covered in glitter in "Apple Family Reunion".
  • Babs Seed blows her hair out of her eyes like a similar character named Toola-Roola (incidentally one of only two of the "G3" Core 7 to not appear in Friendship is Magic at all; Starsong is the other).
  • In Sleepless in Ponyville, Rainbow Dash saves Scootaloo from death by waterfall, like in The Runaway Rainbow.
  • In "Family Appreciation Day", a rainbow resembling the one from the franchise's original logo appears above the apple tree. Also, a rainbow flies around the apples, like the Rainbow of Light.
  • In issue 9 of the IDW comics, a flyer from Canterlot High clearly states "Bring submissions to Megan, Danny, or Molly". It's referring to the human characters in My Little Pony 'n Friends. The same flyer has the name "Sundance" on it, a "G1" pony who Megan was released with several times in the toy line.
    • In the same issue a unicorn who has a strong resemblance to Moondancer from G1 pops up. It's also a kick back to episode 1 of the series, where Moondancer is mentioned.
    • In the same issue, there's also several background instances of members of the Mane 6 telling other ponies about an off-screen adventure that apparently was very similar to "The End of Flutter Valley" from the original series (it involved a Sun Stone and giant bees).
  • In Winter Wrap-Up, Derpy goes north to find the southern birds—just like Megan and the ponies in Baby, It's Cold Outside.
  • One issue of the IDW comics clearly shows Glory, Surprise, and Firefly.
  • The Season 4 episode It Ain't Easy Being Breezies introduced Friendship Is Magic's version of the Breezies, insect-winged fairy ponies which were originally specific to the third series.
  • The goat head of the Chimera that attacks Applebloom in "Somepony to Watch Over Me" is vaguely similar to Grogar's head.
  • "Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3" documents the creation of the Wonderbolts, lead by "General Firefly". This is, per Amy Keating Rogers, a nod to Lauren Faust's online screenname "fyre-flye", which itself was selected by Faust in relation to the original Firefly, who inspired Friendship is Magic Rainbow Dash.
  • In Inspiration Manifestation, once again, we see Rainbow Dash dressed in style.
  • The Big Bad of the season 4 finale, "Twilight's Kingdom", is Lord Tirek, who is named for (and resembles) the villain of the original My Little Pony TV Special "Rescue from Midnight Castle". Scorpan is mentioned in Lord Tirek's backstory, and both have designs very reminiscent of their original forms. In a larger sense, this two-parter is a celebration of the 30th anniversary (late by one month) of My Little Pony as a cartoon franchise. The Rainbow Power used to defeat Tirek in Friendship is Magic is a callback to the Rainbow of Light used against his original counterpart.
  • The mane colors on Bon Bon's Cutie Mark Magic brushable toy more resemble "G1" Bon Bon than her show and blind bag counterparts. This after they were forced to start selling her toys as "Sweetie Drops," once the trademark on "Bon Bon" was lost.
  • The season 5 episode "Make New Friends But Keep Discord" features a Friendship is Magic version of the Smooze!
  • The pegasus Night Glider from the Season 5 premiere shares her name and color scheme with a "G1" Earth pony, although they have different cutie marks.
  • In the trailer for the 100th episode, Derpy sounds very much like "G3" Minty, the previous's generation's ditzy pony, who, uncoincidentally, was also voiced by Tabitha St. Germain.
    • Also, as in My Little Pony Tales, Bon Bon is worried about what might happen if somepony knows her secrets.
  • Starlight's childhood friend Sunburst shares his name and design with one of the G1 Big Brother ponies.
  • Derpy accidentally breaking a Hearth's Warming ornament in A Hearth's Warming Tail recalls Minty's accidental breakage of the Here Comes Christmas Candy Cane in the G3 special A Very Minty Christmas. (Both Derpy and Minty were played by Tabitha St. Germain.)
  • In "A Flurry of Emotions", Twilight Sparkle reads some sick colts and fillies the story of "Gusty the Great" (named for a G1 pony who appeared in a few episodes of My Little Pony and Friends), who had an encounter with "the treacherous Grogar", a villain from the My Little Pony and Friends episode "The Return of Tambelon".
  • In the Season 7 episode "Fame and Misfortune", the two earth pony fillies whose friendship issues spark the plot, Toola-Roola and Coconut Cream, are named after characters from the third generation's cartoon.