Abstract Apotheosis: The Minor Arcana Alicorns are all this, being mortals who became Concepts. The Magician Alicorn (Dark World Twilight) and the Draconequus of Cruelty (Dark World Fluttercruel) did this as well.
There's Derpy's biological mother, who tried kill her when she was just a foal.
Accidental Pun: Luna's filly alternate self who plays with Pip is called Moonlight. That is, she's moonlighting as a normal filly. Word Of God is that this was completely unintentional.
Likewise, the fact that Discord turned Blueblood into a literalDefrosting Ice Queen (well, Princess), which lead to him fulfilling the actual trope, has been said by Word Of God to be accidental.
Achilles' Heel: Turns out the Eldritch Abominations imprisoned in Tartarus are vulnerable to a mixture of the blood of a member of Nature's Law and Nature's Fury due to rejecting existence. This also strips them of their immortality and lets them be destroyed, which the one Celestia and Luna fought found out too late.
Makarov's is that his powers weaken if he's enraged or taken off guard, as well as the fact Shining Armor is Immune to Fate.
Trixie's mother, Morgan actively defends Hoofington from Princess Gaia's army. and, from what we see, is a pretty powerful Unicorn when she fights.
Derpy Hooves defending her daughter from Princess Gaia's forces, anyone?
Despite being insane, Screw Ball/Golden Tiara certainly counts. Breaking out of the heavily guarded insane asylum she's kept in is childs play for her the first time. The second time when her Mama Bear side finally kicks in? She not only kicks everypony's flanks who tries getting in her way, she kills a Cockatrice and a Timber Wolf bare hoofed!.
Actually a Doombot: In 15 Part 2, after getting a beatdown by a supercharged Princess Cadence, then shot in the head by Dima, it's revealed that Makarov was a robot. Justified, as it's implied it was Makarov until he was shot and he just used his powers to put a robot in his place at the last second.
The G1 My Little Pony series pony, Mimic. What is she like in this timeline? The only mortal pony to ever injure Discord and the reason he's missing that tooth by kicking him thousands of times in the face at the speed of sound! Sure, she died horrifically afterwards, but give the girl some credit!
G3 Pinkie Pie, Thistle Whistle, Sky Wishes, Star Catcher, Wysteria, Rarity, Spike, and Minty, though all of them had to Take a Level in Badass. Everyone but Pinkie and Minty managed to give Strife, a Physical Goddess and Reality Warper on par with Discord, a run for her money and actually scare her at one point. Pinkie and Minty beat Luna, though she was weakened at the time, she was still a powerful Physical Goddess at the time. Oh, and Star Catcher was mortal incarnation ofCelestia.
While Canon!Cadence turned out to be pretty badass herself, this universe's version managed to fight Havoc's avatar! with an implication she actually won. It's not yet been explained how the present Cadence came to be, however.
Adorkable: Luna is this a good bit during her second sidestory.
While just another bullet in a long list of horrors, Trixie fighting her awakening as an Element of Magic laser targets that special nerve of paranoia and fear for those who those who ever had to deal with that sort of emotional crisis forwhateverreason.
There's also the fact that Rainbow Dash now fears Scootaloo's real parents will come and take her away from her.
Bright Eyes' Gaiden Story contains a lot of this, particularly from Lancer's perspective. His wife lost his memory, forgetting who he is and their time together and, as a result of a complete accident, he has to live in constant fear of her being lynched for the disaster with the possibility of ponies taking Revenge by Proxy on their children (which almost happens on the day his second child is born).
There's also Bright Eyes' recovered memory of being lost in the woods as a filly and nearly being killed by a pack of coyotes while her parents had no idea where she was. Thank goodness that deer spirit showed up when she did...
Dark World!Fluttershy's entire situation in "Fluttercruel's Punishment". No matter how much she wants to protect her daughter, others rightfully desire to punish the child for her crimes. In the end, Fluttershy is forced to admit her daughter was a psychopathic Serial Killer and a monster who harmed others, and allow her to be punished for her crimes.
Affably Evil: Princess Gaia is a polite, gentle, and friendly host to the Mane Cast. Of course she is still Fluttershy after all
Havoc, Entropy, and the Father all take disguises during Starlight's Trial, but none of Them seem to be doing it for this reason. Havoc is doing it to appeal to Starlight's pride, the Father is likely doing it out of fairness (since His true form would likely reveal He was on Starlight's side), and Entropy because...Havoc drug Her there and made Her do it.
According to Word Of God, the courtroom from Starlight's trial (actually the realm of Judicium, the Alicorn of Judgment) was an example of this trope.
Afraid of Needles: Twinkle Shine is apparently terrified of needles, when the Shining's group needs to get vaccinations before arriving in Zebrafrica she is clearly hesitant to get hers, and apparently ran away at some point during it. Shining himself also seems to have this fear as well, though he at least has good reasons why. According to Godzillawolf, the beta reader who suggested the joke, he did it as a Take That Me to himself, as he's this trope in real life.
After the End: Turns out the present world is the result of a Class 2 Apocalypse of the G1/G2 world. Pony POV Series Gaiden: Seven Dreams/Nightmares takes place in this world.
The Dark World Arc probably counts as well, seeing as Discord's ruled the world for a thousand years.
The Ageless: Celestia and Luna, though they actually have Nigh Invulnerable immortality. Everypony in the G3 world had this, however, thanks to an ancient spell. Unfortunately, giving birth to Star Catcher broke the spell on her mother, Star Maker, and resulted in her aging and dying while all around her remained the same. Pinkie was included in this, but its safe to assume she's lost it.
Alas, Poor Villain: Destruction. Despite being literally addicted to destruction, he was also the most sympathetic of them, as he hated his addiction and wished he didn't have it at all. His desire in the war was to cause so much destruction he'd finally be rid of it once and for all. Him being killed and eaten by his own brother is extremely tragic.
Kind of hard not to feel sorry for the Master in the Dark World, who the Valeyard subjected to the same thing Discord did. What's worse, according to Word Of God, the Valeyard's claim to keep killing him until he gets a good personality was just an excuse to kill him over and over again.
Despite spending a thousand years massacreing entire families with no remorse, following Discord's orders without protest, and generally being the biggest Jerkass in the Dark World, It's pretty hard not to pity Angry Pie when Twilight gives her a HUGE No-Holds-Barred Beatdown in "Cold Hoof Blues". By the end of the chapter, Angry Pie is crying and begging her foals to forgive her for failing to succeed in her task to bring them back to life. Even the other heroes (whom Angry Pie just tried to kill) are shocked and horrified by Twilight's actions.Thankfully, they manage to talk Twilight down and she ultimately redeems Angry Pie with a reverse Memory Spell (showing her Twilight's memories instead of her own).
Similarly, it's hard not to feel bad for Dark World Fluttercruel, even after all she's done, when she watches Discord get literally stabbed in the back by Rancor, which she simply cannot comprehend. She ends up crying and pleading with Discord to absorb her to heal himself. It shows that despite all else, she's still a foal who deeply loves her father and doesn't want him to die. What's she like by the end of the final fight with her? A broken little child who by that point knows her actions were wrong but is too driven by her Undying Loyalty to her father to make a Heel-Face Turn.
Dark World!Discord as well, who wanted nothing more than to save Fluttercruel, but Paradox won't let him, ever. While at the beginning of the "Groundhog Day" Loop he was an unrepentant monster, by the time we've seen him, he's been trapped for several hundred million years in his own Ironic Hell and wants to pull a Heel-Face Turn, but Paradox is forcing him to remain an Evil Overlord. Seeing him actually tell Twilight not to stop the No-Holds-Barred Beatdown the rest of the mane cast are giving him because he deserves it and making them promise not to do the same to Mad Tiara and Screwball (his own family he has left) makes him rather sympathetic.
"Nightmare World: Broken Mirror" does this with Nightmare Mirror in an Alternate Universe were she won. After a thousand years ending with her having managed to remove the concept of deceit from the world...she shuts down her defenses and lets the Princesses capture her without a fight because she won't lie, because she's the 'Cruelest of Truths', she can't hide from the fact she's a criminal who did horrible things to make her dream world a reality. Despite succeeding, her methods of obtaining it mean even she can't deny the evil she's done.
Alien Geometries: Discord's castle in the Dark World. It constantly shifts both exterior and interior, seemingly as much of its own will as of Discord's, and many of its rooms seem dedicated to psychologically breaking ponies for Discord's amusement. Oh, and for bonus points, one room is a void that leads to Ponythulu's domain.
Pandora's Realm also has them, being a giant nonsensical labyrinth.
All Just a Dream: Luna wakes up, gets told by Celestia her night out with Pip has gotten her painted as a molester by the tabloids, has an arguement with Celestia at a guardian party, kills and revives Pip as an immortal zombie, turns evil again, tries to murder her sister, only for Celestia to break out her ultimate weapon and fight back. Luna gets bisected by a spear and... wakes up in her chariot next to Pip. It's left unrevealed as to rather or not this was a vision of a possible future or simply a nightmare, either way, it teaches her a lesson she really needed to learn.
All There in the Script: The audio adaptation refers to The Voice in the Dark World chapters as "the Nameless Passenger" for the sake of having something to refer to it as in the credits. Likewise, its Good Counterpart is referred to as "the Benevolent Interloper".
Always Chaotic Evil: Subverted. Despite Discord being purely evil, being born of Disharmony does not automatically make one evil. This is a major plot point in Fluttercruel's story arc. It's also revealed that Discord was simply one of a group of Draconequi, but seems to be the only truly evil one of the bunch. We see some of the others in "Generational Transitions" and some of them are downright nice. Even Destruction, a Mad Bomber who loves blowing things up, has some degree of empathy for the ponies. Discord was having the time of his life doing whatever he pleased in a universe that was going to be destroyed anyway.
Not to mention that in "AJ's Dream," Liarjack (or one version of her) was shown to wield the Element of Kindness.
Also subverted with Diamond Dogs. The original trio actually end up entering a business venture with Rarity and Shining Armor reveals there are even some very loyal ones in the Guard. Completely subverted in Dark World were they were hyper evolved by contact with the Heart of Ponyland and became monks.
Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Twilight and Shining Armor's, at least their mother. For one thing, she published a book...about a Harem ComedyIn Space. While Cadence and her hoofmaidens apparently enjoyed it enough that they all read it, Shining and Twilight are both humiliated by its mention (Shining more so for accidentally giving her the idea to put it in space).
Dark World!Rarity is described as this after her Heel-Face Turn and getting a bath, due to hauling around Tom and tons of other rocks around for centuries in addition to being one of Discord's Co-Dragons making her physically powerful. While Spike doesn't care about her appearance, it's definitely a plus.
Apparently, Discord created an island of Amazonian mares...who all look like Shady.
And I Must Scream: Discord shares the same fate as his canon self. Ironically, being Taken for Granite is normally a subversion in this universe. It is actually surprisingly pleasant for the average person, you just peacefully contemplate your place in the universe, mentally compose poetry, and generally remain in a peaceful, zen-like state and aren't even traumatized when you're freed. It's only this for Discord because he can't stand being sane and peaceful, so it's torture for him.
A voluntary case in Nightmare Whisper, who reveals that the pain and suffering that she bears has already killed her twice, but she keeps using her power to bring herself back to life so she may continue to bear it.
Celestia's description of what she would have done to Fluttershy if she had inadvertently killed all of the unborn foals of Equestria. "I would have torn out your soul... and sealed you away for a lifetime per every life you had ended. In the sun, your soul five thousand miles below the surface. Able to feel everything."
You know how Dinky was turned into a muffin in Epilogue? Dark World 14 reveals that she was conscious the entire thousand years!
Dark World!Discord was on the receiving end of one by Nightmare Paradox. Spent what amounts to several hundred million years trapped in a "Groundhog Day" Loop that always ends with his and Fluttercruel's deaths. He considers being Dragged Off to Hell and killed several billion times by his family as punishment for his crimes relaxing compared to it.
To put this in perspective, according to a Loose CanonRecursive Fanfiction, the Valeyard considers his fate less horrific than what Paradox did to Discord. The Valeyard is saying this while in Hell.
Sweetheart's little sister Cream ended up suffering this in Sweetheart's Gaiden story. The explosion ended up 'locking her in', meaning her body was paralyzed to the point she couldn't even speak, but she was completely aware and conscious of everything. Including being dragged off and torn apart by mutants created by the explosion, taking this trope literally in that she literally couldn't scream. Worse in that because of her condition, they may simply went straight to eating her alive.
Another potential candidate for this trope is Nightmare Mirror in the Dark World. Her very status as the Cruelest of Truths means that she is fully aware of all of the flaws in the Dark World, and unlike the other Nightmares, she knows that the ponies are all living beings, no matter how much Nightmare Paradox insists that they're all just unimportant NPCs who aren't even real. This means that assuming she gets purified by the Elements of Harmony, she is going to be hit extra hard by Heroic BSOD combined with My God, What Have I Done?, and will probably become The Atoner even more then the other Nightmares. It's eventually revealed that Mirror is completely aware of just how horrific the Nightmares' actions are and they're earning an eternity in Hell for it, and even the thought that the end result will prove The Extremist Was Right isn't enough to make her stop hating herself for it.
Makarov's 'Alicorn' Cyborgs. The moment that Shining frees the first one, Yablokovodka, she breaks down sobbing and Mother Deer implies she was completely aware the entire time and Shining killing her had been a Mercy Kill.
When Makarov Ret Gones the Changelings with his Reality Warper powers, the story cuts to Ponyville where Moth, a benign Changeling living with Lyra and Bon Bon, is left invisible and incapable of interacting with them, but capable of hearing them talk about her 'death' while she's helpless to do anything about it. The scary part is Makarov does this casually.
When Shining breaks Makarov's antler off and later when the Lights begin leaking out, he starts hearing the voices of Makarov's victims begging him to kill Makarov. The implication is everyone that Makarov has consumed is suffering one of these!
Animesque: The audio-adaptations have recently been taking a step in this direction, complete with an official opening theme that's actually shortened for each installment and title cards!
Anti-Hero: Trixie after her Heel-Face Turn. She's undoubtly on the good side, but she's still got a lot of issues to work around and is willing to use methods that aren't exactly heroic to get the job done.
Anyone Can Die: Zigzagged in the Shining Armor Arc. Once the final battle Makarov begins, characters both major and minor start dropping like flies. However, due to the nature of Makarov's defeat, they're all resurrected once he's dead.
Razzaroo from the G3 universe wrote one as her final act, being allowed to finish by Pandemonium due to it being her final work. In The Stinger, Twilight gets her hooves on it thanks to the Interviewer.
Bon Bon the First's diary, which details the aftermath of the destruction of civilization Destruction triggered to prevent the G3 universe from being created.
Apologetic Attacker: We don't see it, since it's happening in Trixie's head, but Princess Starflower apologizes before smacking Trixie on the head with a mallet to snap her out of Princess Gaia's Lotus-Eater Machine.
Princess Gaia/Nightmare Whisper herself is also one.
Appease the Volcano God: Mentioned in Bright Eyes' chapter in a Call Back to My Little Pony Tales. Back in the present, Twilight and Pinkie ask Luna if there actually are volcano gods. She replies that while there are deities who qualify (some of which she's related to), none of them require pony sacrifices, that was a Lava Demon thing.
Almost all the stories end with the pony in question accepting her new position, declaring "I'm free." In the Discorded Series, this is normally a bad thing, but in the Reharmonized Series, it's a good one.
There's an arc SONG in the form of the three "So Many Wonders" reprises. The first is about Fluttercruel's happiness over being free from Fluttershy and able to see the world, second is a Villain Song by Princess Gaia used to hypnotise ponies into her vision of the world, and the final is a Triumphant Reprise at the finale of the arc, Fluttershy and Fluttercruel singing together about how their worldview has changed for the better.
"Dying is easy, living is hard" for the entire series, but especially the Dark World. While in the main series it deals with overcoming what Discord did to them, in the Dark World it's about living with what you've done and the world you live in.
"Forgiveness is not earned, it's given" for the Dark World. In addition to the above theme, Forgiveness is an overarching theme, both being able to give it and being able to accept it.
"Sweet Music" for Melody's 7 Dreams/Nightmares Gaiden story, both the song and the words. First it's part of Melody's fame, then it is the name of her daughter but the song itself is something that must be kept quiet or it'll get the family killed (Melody was made The Scapegoat for the disaster). In the end the song and the words come to represent Melody's legacy, which lives on her in descendants Rarity and Sweetie Belle.
Armor Is Useless: Subverted. The Shining Armor Arc has armor which, while not COMPLETELY invulnerable, has protected its wearer from more serious injury. It's just Shining Armor's shield spells are more effective so they're more frequently used.
Subverted even more so later on when the special armor he obtains as a gift from Pandora saves him from a sniper round to the chest and later stops Gilda from being killed instantly by Makarov, allowing her to perform a Last Breath Bullet that destroys the Iron Curtain.
Rarity: Dash…we all have a choice…Ours is to save the world…I've chosen to want you back as my friend…But what do YOU want to do?
Dark World!Rainbow Dash later returns the favor after ripping out her own Element to snap Rarity out of her own self-delusion. Also a Call Back to Rarity trying to forcibly take it when Rainbow was suicidal.
Rainbow Dash:Not so hot when you have to do it the dirty and ugly way is it?
Twilight: What does hurting a monster who's already dying and no longer a threat to anything DO? Payback? Retribution?
Dark World!Discord manages to do this to himself by proxy of asking the question to Twilight and hearing her answer, making him realize there's one choice he can make to stop Paradox's "Groundhog Day" Loop plan.
Discord: ...Twilight...what would you say if I said I never had a choice?
Twilight: ...I'd say you were wrong. You always have a choice.
The Breezies were taken directly to Heaven by Abbatissa, the Alicorn of Prayer, as opposed to being remade or erased, with the exception of Daisyslow and Zipzee, who stayed with Rainbow Dash, becoming Derpy and Fluttershy respectfully. It seems be partly because of their selfless personalities and partly because Zipzee managed to perform a miracle to break Discord's spell on the Breezies. They also got to take Breezie Blossom with them due to Divine Intervention literally answering Zipzee and Daisyslow's prayers, though Abbatissa makes it clear it's only because of very unique circumstances that that was possible.
Fluttercruel fights her way back fromThe Void to confront Nightmare Whisper after being doomed to non-sentience, because she truly cares for Fluttershy as a parent and a friend and doesn't want her last thought to be that she led Fluttershy to evil.
Trixie to some degree, as all the things she'd not felt guilty about now cause her a great deal of it.
Dark World!Applejack after her Heel-Face Turn. While Twilight has this too, Applejack's is more pronounced as she wants to earn her place in Pony Heaven next to her sister.
ALL of the Dark World Mane Six count after each has had their respective Heel-Face Turn really.
Dark World!Discord, due to having long since had a Heel Realization during the "Groundhog Day" Loop and only being evil because Nightmare Paradox is forcing him to. When Rancor throws a wrench in her works, Discord Out Gambit her and gets Twilight to see his memories to give them a chance to stop her. When we next see him in the afterlife, Discord has already sent apology letters to Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy and is willingly allowing his family to punish him.
Audio Adaptation: A very large fanproject presently in the works is making one of these. Yes, the entire fanfic from start to finish... already available in two languages note English and German, nontheless.
Author Appeal: Kendell2, the co-author of the Shining Armor arc, is a huge fan of Super Sentai and Kamen Rider. Once he became the co-author of said arc, numerous references to the two series started cropping up in the arc.
Every military leader in Shining Armor's story, including Shining himself, Master Chief Spartan, and General-Admiral Makarov, is more than capable of keeping a lot of flank.
Awful Truth: Applejack willingly steps up to see this by looking into the Truth in order to fully understand the thing that Discord used to break her. She learns a lot of harsh truths, but ultimately uses them to help everypony. It also causes her to become a Living Lie Detector as a result.
The Corrupted Six in the Dark World timeline are this to varying degrees. While Angry Pie and Fluttercruel are your typical "bloodthirsty psycopaths who get off on murder and torture" insane, the others have more subdued forms on insanity. Twilight Tragedy is chronically depressed and down, physically incapable of seeing joy or hope in anythinguntil her meeting with Apple Pie, Liarjack is physically incapable of telling any truth at all until her reunion with Applebloom, and Greedity is a deranged Attention Whore who literally lusts over a pile of rocks. The only one who isn't insane in some way is Traitor Dash, but that doesn't stop Discord from tormenting her and forcing her to be his lapdog.
In Reharmonization, Discord made Archer arrow-crazy and both Silver Spoon's father and Golden Harvest literally Ax-Crazy.
General Admiral Makarov, the Big Bad of Shining Armor's Arc. 'Send a small army to try and kill them' is his default reaction to you not knowing his name.
Back from the Dead: Apparently happened to Tirek offscreen over 1000 years ago. The Rainbow Of Darkness regenerated and brought him back to life with it, after which he challenged Luna for the title of ruler of the night. While we don't learn the details, Luna won and claimed his chariot as her prize.
One of the Recursive Fanfictions contains a more back from the nonexistence example. After being RetGoned from the Pony POV universe by Entropy for refusing to become a Nightmare, Neo Stream is "reborn" in...the Garry's Mod verse!
It should be noted this is normally a defied trope; Mortis apparently specifically has a rule against this happening and is said to have good reason for it. Celestia and Luna's second life on Earth is specifically said to be cheating and something that normally wouldn't happen. How Tirek did it is presently unknown.
Mortis permits Queen Libra to do this with all those who died as a result of Discord's evil in Dark World who desire to come back (those who die of old age or unrelated causes couldn't). Among them are Granny Smith, Scootaloo, Gilda, Magica, Poison Apple, Tom, and Sparkler. Sadly Applebloom and Sweetie Belle died of old age, and couldn't be resurrected, while Pinkie Pie died of Rapid Aging and Fluttershy has those that still need her.
Dima, Gilda, and the rest of Makarov's victims all are restored when he's destroyed. Justified as Makarov's erased from history, repairing all the damage he'd caused, including those who's lives he ended.
Backup from Otherworld: The Dark World Arc has the loved ones of the mane six return from beyond the grave to help guide the mane six back from their corruption. Cadence (possibly Trixie, it's kind of unclear) help Twilight, Apple Bloom helps Applejack, Sweetie Belle helps Rarity, and Scootaloo helps Rainbow Dash. Though out of all of them, Sweetie Belle is the only one to physically manifest, in the form of one of Rarity's golemns. Later on, Roseluck, a former companion of the Doctor, returns during the fight with the Valeyard using the same method as Sweetie Belle and actually physically joins in the fight (though her physical form is destroyed) and guides Rarity to the Valeyard's regeneration template, as well as entering his body and helping restrain him.
Dark World!Fluttershy returns to hold back Cruelty's spirit after her second body's destroyed, allowing the heroes to use the Elements to banish her from the mortal plain. Pinkie Pie also does this, since she died during the battle, but her spirit blocks Cruelty from possessing Twilight, setting up Fluttershy's.
During the Final Battle with Nightmare Paradox, Discord distracts the Nightmare to give Twilight time to power up the final spell to defeat her once and for all. By calling her on Anarchy's cellphone from the afterlife. And Trolling her until she's so enraged she forgets she's in the middle of a battle.
Rota Fortuna: You should leave all the same. Or would you rather I 'kick your flanks', as she so eloquently put it, again?
Subverted with Shining Armor in 17.2. Shining tries to make one after escaping Makarov's clutches, but it falls flat when the Griffins he's talking to have no idea what he's talking about. Double Subverted when Makarov's flagship blows up in the distance and confirms his boast.
Sandgriff: We thought you were being held in that fortress.
Shining Armor: Makarov threatened my little sister, so I blew it up.
Sandgriff: ...The completely intact fortress to the south?
Shining Armor: Uh, sorry, it was a big ship, I forgot it was a ship.
Natasha: Eh, easy mistake, it was pretty much a flying fortress.
Shining Armor: It's still bad flank I blew it up, right?
Frost: Blew what up?
He does get a good one the following chapter, however, after rescuing the rest of Misfit Actual.
"Epilogue" shows one where Discord won and rules the world. It's not pretty.
It turns out there's a Bad Futurefor the Bad Future in the futures Nightmare Paradox comes from where Twilight goes Nightmare and erases Dark World to continue the "Groundhog Day" Loop she trapped Discord in. From what we see, the set up for some of those is worse than the Dark World in that typically either some or all the mane cast minus Twilight dies fighting Discord or there's planet wide destruction and death in some fashion.
We see another one in Luna's second sidestory. Luna turns evil again, kills and revives Pip as an immortal undead, and attempts to kill Celestia, killing a number of innocent ponies in the process, only for Celestia to ultimately kill her to protect Equestria. Turns out it was All Just a Dream, or at least a vision of a possible future.
To some degree the present is this, particularly for the Deer. The Shadow of Chernobull was released from Pandora's Box and became General-Admiral Makarov, who altered history so that the Hooviet Empire never collapsed, resulting in not only a horrific military dictatorship remaining in power for 20 years longer than it should have, but all the atrocities that Makarov and the Hooviets have caused since. The goal of the Rebels and Shining is to lure the Wolf to Makarov so it can erase him from existence and Set Right What Once Went Wrong.
Badly Battered Babysitter: The two Night Guards Luna leaves in charge of the four Day Guard Pegasi turned foals end up this way.
Baleful Polymorph: Discord did this to a great many ponies. During her adventure in Canterlot, Applebloom somehow ended up being unwillingly transformed into a Sea Pony. Even Applejack isn't sure how that even happened.
Bargain with Heaven: Joining the Royal Guard seems to work this way. It involves being infused with a bit of the Princesses power (each do half) with a bit of transformation involved, more for Luna's than Celestia. However, the contract is very thorough about this (at least in Luna's case, it's in big bold letters across two pages in size 40 font, complete with before and after pictures) and applicants know exactly what they're getting into.
Batman-Gambit: How Celestia convinces Trixie to stop fighting her awakening Element Of Magic.
Battle in the Center of the Mind: Pinkie Pie has one against an evil fractured piece of her personality called Angry Pie caused by Discord's corruption. The final battle with Loneliness takes place in the center of Trixie's mind, which has been rendered a Crapsack World by Loneliness' taint.
Be All My Sins Remembered: Despite the fact there are a great many ponies who love her for what she did, Fluttershy outright says in her speech she'll accept rather whether ponies choose to love her for the good she did or hate her for the bad.
Fluttershy: I didn't do everything right, I did bad things I don't know if I'll ever stop regretting. Some ponies won't ever forgive me for those things and maybe they're right to. I'm sorry for those things, but I wanted to help ponies, and it looks like I did. And I'm happy I was able to. And for everyone hearing this, if you'll take me back for what I accomplished, I'll accept that. If you won't take me back for what I did, I'll accept that too. I make no excuses, what I did I did and I was being a foal.
Being Evil Sucks: In the Epilogue/Dark World timeline, Liarjack, Traitor Dash, and Twilight Tragedy all hate what they've become, but Liarjack and Traitor Dash can do nothing about it, while Tragedy has effectively given up all hope and feels her service to Discord is all she has left. Averted with Angry Pie and Fluttercruel, who not only embrace their newfound evil, but relish in it.
The Nightmare Manacle and Mirror in Paradox's group Psycho Rangers are the same way; Manacle still loathes herself possibly worse than Traitor Dash did and Mirror? She's completely aware of how horrific the Nightmares' actions are and knows they're earning a spot in Hell for it. The only thing she has left is the idea The Extremist Was Right and their world in the end will be worth it.
Derpy: You pill hate yourself, won't blue, Rainbow Dash?
Nightmare Manacle: I never stopped!
Beneath the Mask: Underneath what appeared to be the perfect Princess Gaia was a suffering monster: Nightmare Whisper.
Beneath that? Fluttershy in torture devices, holding all the suffering and pain of Equestria in herself.
Better Than New: Happens to Pinkie Pie during her week long slumber after she finally crashes from going a week without sleep. She wakes up able to think clearly and say things so profound (though still in character) that even Twilight is incapable of arguing her points. This happened because during that time she performed a Split Personality Merge.
Shining Armor and Princess Cadence. Despite being very nice Reasonable Authority Figures who would very much prefer a peaceful resolution to any conflict, do not harm innocents around either of them. General-Admiral Makarov found this out the hard way with Cadence when she powered up using the bonds of Misfit Actual to stop him from slaughtering a village and curbstomped him. Shining? He crushed a Diamond Dog to death when it killed his uncle in front of him and when Makarov tried to repeat it with Twilight, smashed Makarov's Doomsday Device and almost crushed him to death.
Natasha, the sniper among the Rebel Deer, has a modified sniper rifle that shoots 14mm rounds (which are Heavy Machine Gun rounds). It's named Sasha.
Makarov has a massive horncannon of his own. It's gold plated. It gets progressively more gaudy as the story progresses.
Big Bad: Loneliness for the overarching plot with fixing Trixie. She's an entity that was keeping Trixie from being saved after Discord broke her. When Twilight enters Trixie's mind to free her, she ends up trying to kill her repeatedly to keep Trixie under her clutches until she's finally destroyed by Trixie rejecting her. Unfortunately, Discord's Mind Rape on Diamond Tiara causes her to free him and let him take over as the main villain.
However, before his arc happens, Fluttershy's Superpowered Evil Side Princess Gaia/Nightmare Whisper serves as the Big Bad for her self titled story arc.
"Origins", being a prequel, naturally has Discord as the Big Bad.
As of "The Real Hoof Blues", it would appear The Voice is the Big Bad of which he spoke. She even makes an attempt to corrupt Twilight into a She Who Fights MonstersNightmare. It is later revealed that she's a version of Twilight who already became what she tried to make Twilight into and Twilight's potential future self, Nightmare Eclipse/Paradox.
Then, Discord is stabbed In the Back by Rancor, who steals Destruction's power back and leaves him mortally wounded. He gives his power and the power of Havoc's Avatar to Fluttercruel. She then becomes the Dragon Ascendant and attacks the heroes of her own free will with the motivation of using the Elements of Chaos to save her father's life.
Sharp Spear in the last leg of Melody's '7 Dreams/Nightmares' Chapter. Even if he only appears in person for one scene, he's still more or less responsible for nearly everything bad that happens to Melody's family after her daughter's birth due to his Fantastic Racismincluding basically kidnapping her daughter and unlike the villains in Patch's tale, is the only antagonistic force in the storyline.
D___t's Shadow of Existence in Bright Eyes' Nightmares section. He tries to devour Zipzee at the end of G3 by forcing her over the Despair Event Horizon so he could take her infant Concept and become real again. After that failed, he spent the entirety of the Nightmares section stalking her, trying to increase her feelings of depression and fear to do the same before finally trying to take her Concept by force to become real, forcing her to destroy him completely.
Dark World!Rainbow Dash does this twice during the battle with Odyne!Cruelty, first by shattering her Ultimate Stare and saving the group, then by plowing through several walls and delivering a Sonic Rainboom tackle to Cruelty's back to save Rarity.
Does so again, accompanied by the Princesses (who she flew up into space to recharge directly from the sun and moon), during the Final Battle, arriving in time to save the group from Paradox and her Psycho Rangers.
In Bright Eye's Gaiden Story, Logan saves Lancer and Bright Eyes from an Ahool using the Yellow Shard of the Rainbow of Light to calm it down before it can kill Lancer.
Later its revealed that some kind of deer deity saved Bright Eyes from some coyotes when she was a filly, which caused her to develop her environmentalist views.
The Big Damn Kiss: Garnet gives on to Running Gag after he uses his language skills to trick some Hooviet mercenaries into going the wrong direction, allowing Misfit and the Doctor to escape without a fight. To add to the awesomeness, Cadence promotes him on the spot.
Bigger Bad: Discord. He's already been put back in his can before the Reharmonizing series begins, but the aftermath of his actions have had deep and lasting effects on everypony.He eventually breaks free and becomes the Big Bad proper for the finale.
The Nameless Passenger/Nightmare Eclipse/Paradox turns out to be this for the Dark World, as while Discord is the primary villain, it's only because of her actions he's allowed (and to some degree forced) to remain the Big Bad, as otherwise he'd have been defeated or turned goodcycles ago.
Father Deer presumably for the Shining Armor Arc, given he's Makarov's boss. Subverted in that Makarov is more than he appears and the Father Deer is simply a figurehead.
In the alternate Story Of The Blanks timeline where the bone fiends got Apple Bloom, Applejack "proceeded to tear Sunnytown to its foundations and [buck] the head off of any zombie pony that got in her way."
The Dark World Series eventually ended this way. The world is saved, the Chaos Six have all been redeemed, Spike and Rarity are Happily Married, the ecological damage from Discord is fixed, and Queen Libra is permitted to bring back anyone who died from Discord's evil if they desire it. However, Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie, Applebloom, and Sweetie Belle were Killed Off for Real, Twilight and Rarity have become Alicorns to make it possible, meaning they've given up any chance of ever being reunited with their loved one in Pony Heaven, and Twilight has to leave to perform her duty as Concept of Magic and Happy Endings.
The Nightmare Granfalloon timeline. Yes, half the mane cast are dead, and Granfalloon's rampage caused a lot of pain, but Golden Tiara is sane again and reunited with her family, meaning that Diamond Tiara won't let Discord out of his prison again. On top of that, Word Of God confirmed that Fluttershy in this timeline never becomes Nightmare Whisper.
Depending on how you look at it, "Generational Transitions" ends like this. Yeah, the G3 world ended, but the universe was saved from dying for good, meaning a new one will take its place. Plus, even though Minty died Pinkie saved her from being deleted, allowing her to live on as part of Twilight Sparkle, and was saved from deletion herself.
Havoc: I Heard Your Rant About Villains Not Playing By The Rules 325,285,347 Times, Your Claim About Perfection 186,032 times, Your Speech About Life 432,874,222 times, Your Declaration Of Controlling The Universe 987,873,365,321 Times But Your Final Speech Was Something New For Once.
Nightmare Eclipse's claim she chose her name for eclipsing Celestia and Luna and exceeding them is considered this by the Dark World!Mane Cast. She also claims to be above all the other Gods and outright states she's going to destroy the Goddess of Fate.
Blue and Orange Morality: The Draconequi have a form of this. Their role in creation makes it impossible for them to have the same moral framework as Alicorns and ponies, but they still have a form of love that allows them compassion and they do each have some degree of empathy and compassion, without which they'd be...well, Discord. They also enjoy chaos because they're born from it. But even by their morality, Discord's is black and doesn't so much enjoy causing chaos as the suffering he inflicts while doing so.
Also applies to Dragons (minus Spike) and Diamond Dogs. Both of which are stated to be instinctively greedy beings and thus their form of morality revolves around it, but neither are not completely selfish or immoral. They consider their loved ones possessions, and thus extend their protectiveness of their possessions to them. Diamond Dogs also are willing to die for their pack (including adopted members).
This is the entire reason that the world is scared to death of Maasailand. The country simply have somewhat inverted perceptions of what other cultures think of as symbols of good and evil. So what they think makes them look like a peaceful, beautiful place to live makes them look like Mordor to the rest of the world.
Book Ends: The first glimpse of hope we see for the Dark World is Apple Pie saying "Hey, even in the darkest of times you hav'ta find something to laugh about!". She and Twilight say it again as their goodbye to one another as Twilight leaves Dark World after they've finally saved it.
Applejack: It involved Applebloom spookin' every Pegasus in armor around, a royal fountain, Applebloom needin' to redefine her meanin' of 'public bath' . . . and Ah think the ghost of a Hippocampus and a lost family locket but Ah kinda ain't sure 'bout them details.
Discord: "Oh, but you all LOVED it when Princess Gaia did it! Don't worry, Shadows-Who-Watch, I'm sure you'll be delighted to see me one again doing to all Equestria what I've done to Diamond Tiara! Isn't that right, my little pony?"
Breather Episode: The first half of the Penultimate episode comes right after the climatic, and terrifying, battle with Loneliness and Fluttershy going all Nightmare Moon, but is just, for all intent and purposes, the cast just getting to know the "One and Only Trixie".
Also, New Game Plus. In between the first part of Mind Games, which is a tense 3 part series about Onyx Tiara healing while Diamond Tiara seeks to restore Discord, and the rest of the mind games which will arc into the finale arc, we have a brief interlude letting the author link the episodes not yet covered into the main story. There are certainly serious moments, but the overall tone is MUCH Lighter in comparison.
"Different From Everypony Else" is set immediately after "New Game Plus", but was published between the last two installments of Mind Games. It has its dark moments, but is ultimately very heartwarming, and even the dark moments don't compare to the content of Mind Games.
"ecnarbmemeR-Remembrance", a rather normal, lighthearted episode following Shining Armor was published right after the Darkest Hour of the Dark World Arc. While there are some creepy aspects, it's pretty much just a relaxing little chapter.
"Family Reunion" is about as lighthearted as it gets in the Dark World arc: before meeting the Apple/Pie family to recruit Apple Pie as the new Element of Laughter, Twilight and the gang decide to make themselves look more presentable by taking a bath; Hilarity Ensues as they try to bathe Rarigreed, the filthiest of the gang after spending a thousand years wallowing in rocks and dirt. Even their meeting with the family that follows goes over fairly smoothly (that is, as smoothly as things can get after some of the family members greet them with a few cautionary explosives).
"Retcon-Struction Blues" is sandwiched between two Dark World Chapters, one being the beginning of an all out brawl between Discord's remaining minions and the heroes, and the other being the continuation of that battle and a major Wham Episode. The chapter itself is about Twilight reconciling with the CMC from the Smartypants Incident.
Shining Armor Part 11 is a short, uncomplicated story about the trip to, and the group enjoying their first day in, the zebra nation Zamura. This comes right after all the drama Shining went through in Columbia, and is posted right after the Dark World Mane Cast confront Nightmare Eclipse/Paradox.
"A Day at the Circus" is simply the mane six and the CMC enjoying a day at the circus. While it's a Loose CanonRecursive Fanfiction, the author fully intended it to be one of these for everyone, from himself and Alexwarlorn and the audience to the characters themselves.
Brick Joke: In Shining Armor's story; in part 1, during Blueblood's Verbal Backpedaling (after insulting Twilight in front of Shining), he says he was actually thinking of a Twilight Sharkle, who he then accidentally says is a shark. In part 11, a Major Dawn Sharkle is briefly mentioned, and the unit she's in has a title that spells SHARC.
Earlier in the Columbia saga, it's mentioned the country has 'no singing zones' due to random musical numbers causing traffic jams. Later on, Cadence's hoofmaidens had their own crazy adventure ending with them being arrested for singing in a no singing zone. Also, in part 11, before arriving in Zebrafrica, Cadence reassures the group no such law exists in Zebrafrica.
Rainbow Dash is terrified of this happening with her if it becomes known that she abandoned the game in the maze to save Cloudsdale of her own free will.
Turns out, Spitfire had the same fear, after the repeated failures of the Wonderbolts to help in an actual emergency. She also shows concern what she tells Rainbow Dash about herself might do the same. She's wrong, and Rainbow tells her that she and the Wonderbolts are heroes, because their actions inspire others and, at the very least, they're still her heroes.
Kind of happens to Pandora when Strife tells her their brother D___t wasn't the good Draconequus she idolized and was instead a Well-Intentioned Extremist by Dragonequus standards.
Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: Type two. Thistle Whistle rams Strife head on with all her power to save Sky Wishes...and shatters every bone in her entire body, killing her. Though she did save Sky Wishes' life and Strife even acknowledges her bravery for the act.
Brought Down to Normal: Dark World!Celestia and Dark World!Luna, due to their magic being drained during their imprisonment. While they can probably recharge, at present they're powerless until then.
Bullying a Dragon: As one commenter points out, the Hooviet-Dragon war occurred because the Hooviets did this literally, and the end result was the destruction of the entire southern half of their empire.
Call Back: More have been showing up as the Dark World storyline comes to a close, especially in Part 20. Spike's hoof wrestling skills first mentioned way back during Trixie's party are what keep him alive against Rancor. Fluttercruel's ultimate technique is the same as her mother's: The Stare.
Odyne!Cruelty uses a version of Strife's Devil Blades Serpents attack called Strife Tribute: Hell's Gate Hydra.
Remember the Parasprites? They're what Discord turned at least some of the Flutterponies into!
Twilight is actually a fusion of the G1 Twilight Sparkle and Pinkie's best friend Minty, and is that way because Minty died right in front of Pinkie and had her spirit transferred into the G1 Twilight by Pinkie.
Mild example: turns out, Celestia secretly sent backup, in the form of a Black Ops SAS team, to shadow Twilight and her friends in case they couldn't defeat Nightmare Moon.
Shining Armor: It started cutting through my riot shield with a bucking CHAINSAW that popped out of its back! Who equips a cyborg diamond dog with a chainsaw?!
Chaos Is Evil: Subverted for the most part. While Discord, the Anthropomorphic Personification of Chaos, is evil, he's not inherently evil, and did not start out that way. The rest of his family, despite embodying Natures Fury and being chaotic, are actually important parts of keeping the universe running smoothly and all have at least some concern for life. Any threat they pose is simply them doing their jobs. Discord is the exception, as he decided It's All About Me and decided to take over Equestria and turn it into his own personal playground.
Also subverted with the Elements of Chaos. Despite Discord brainwashing the Dark World mane six to use them to act as his Co-Dragons, using them in such a way is their incomplete state. Their completed state comes from realizing both sides of the Element (good and bad), and once they do so, the Mane Six perform a Heel-Face Turn and become Phlebotinum Rebels.
Applebloom's adventure in Sunny Town was first mentioned in Applejack's Reharmonizing as one of the things Applejack saw in the Truth. During the Princess Gaia Arc, the citizens of Sunny Town appear in Princess Gaia's castle as her servants.
We find out in "Black Pearl" that Celestia has an alias called Sunny Day. She shows up in this alas in "Playtime" to distract the foals heading to Princess Gaia's castle.
Earlier in Dark World, Twilight (in response to one of the Valeyard's attacks) immunized the group to near every poison she was able to. Odyne!Fluttercruel is composed of mostly poisonous animals, and this immunity serves as an advantage during their fight with her.
Ruby, who is mentioned repeatedly when it comes to Sunny Town. During "Playtime", a mysterous song snaps Applejack out of it so she can see through Princess Gaia's illusion. It's later hinted by Applejack to have been Ruby.
The Interviewers, who seemed to just be a narrative device in the beginning, have gradually grown more and more important to the story, to the point of dropping hints to the characters to lead them in the right direction and giving Twilight Sparkle Razzaroo's Apocalyptic Log, something that isn't supposed to even exist in this timeline.
Tom's last shard saves Dark World! Rarity from being killed by Fluttercruel.
Earlier in Bright Eyes' Nightmare section, it's established Lancer trained Bright Eyes to use a sword as bonding and continues to do so to help her survive in the post apocalyptic world. This ultimately enables her to defeat Cruel Eyes/D___t's Shadow of Existence in a sword fight at the end.
Child by Rape: Given how disturbingly close to actual rape that Discord's Mind Rape is described, Fluttercruel counts, as she was born from Discord's Mind Rape of Fluttershy. As if Discord doing this to Fluttershy wasn't horrible enough without this mentle image.
Whats worse — this is confirmed as what actually happened, for all intents, literally, as of Chapter 93 : Love Hate Bedlam.
Clones Are People Too: Despite being a twisted copy of Fluttershy, Fluttershy believes Fluttercruel has a right to be her own pony and how she was "born" doesn't matter. Fluttershy has a talk along these lines with Fluttercruel after Fluttercruel nearly performs a Heroic Sacrifice to defeat Nightmare Whisper, pointing out that, even though she's a copy, Fluttercruel managed to earn a unique Cutie Mark. Celestia then proceeds to give Fluttercruel the ability to switch places with Fluttershy at will so she can live her own life. "Trixie's Last Hurdle" reveals that they even threw her a Cute-ceañera to celebrate earning her Cutie Mark.
Alright, so she's not a "clone" per se, but Fluttercruel sees herself as just a knockoff of the real Fluttershy, not truly alive and completely unable to be a unique individual simply because of how she was created. This causes her a great deal of heartache because she really wants to be.
Subverted after she realizes she's real, regardless of whether or not she's a copy. When as part of their 'punishment', Luna brings up the possibility that Fluttercruel is a severelyMind Raped Fluttershy and "Fluttershy" is the copy, they don't care, they're both real, why should it matter which one of them is the "original"?
Screwball is an even bigger one than Pinkie, though she actually is crazy.
Coitus Ensues: Inverted. Bright Eyes finally decides to have sex with Lancer for the first time after losing her memory. Not only does Bright Eyesrefuse to go in detail about it other than saying it happened, it's a plot point because it triggers her memories of their relationship together.
Cold-Blooded Torture: Nightmare Whisper's entire existence. Not only is she strapped with all manner of torture devices and in agonizing pain, she's enduring the suffering of all of Equestria the whole time. All of this is pretty much self inflicted.
After the battle with Nightmare Whisper, Fluttershy still holds onto the suffering, not wanting to release it back into the world (and she also feels she deserves it as punishment for her actions). Later Pinkie Pie helps Fluttershy bear it to ease her suffering.
Confusion Fu: Very common, with Discord (naturally), Pinkie Pie, and Dark World!Applejack being prime users due to their powersets. Part of what makes Dark World!Derpy an effective combatant is she has an unpredictable flight pattern. Dark World!Twilight gradually learns to make good use of this and even suggests it as the best method of fighting Discord because he's not expecting chaos to be used against him. It'd actually be a shorter list to name characters who don't use this at some point.
Likewise, Twilight Sparkle is a literal fusion of G1 Twilight and G3 Minty.
The G3 ponies who were recycled into G4 versions of themselves usually resulted in this, except for the cases who got regular reincarnation instead.
Conspiracy Theorist: Onyx Tiara believes that door handles and tooth brushes are tools of the unicorns and their gryphon co-conspirators to keep hard working Earth Ponies at a disadvantage. He's also convinced that Celestia's good nature is a "mask that hides the Tyrant beneath" that every negative event in Equestria's history can be traced back to her. That, or its a unicorn/pegasus plot.
Continuity Nod: It's mentioned in the Shining Armor Arc that Zebra, Deer, and Minotaurs can see visions of other worlds and access knowledge they otherwise couldn't in locations where nine leylines converge and that one of the locations where this happens is in the Everfree Forest. This is later mentioned in Bright Eyes' Gaiden Story as a possible reason for Zecora having dreams about her past lives Kimono and Ms. Hackney.
Cool Down Hug: Used by Pinkie Pie to calm down Rainbow Dash when she slips so far back into her self loathing she loses it.
Cool Pet: In addition to the canon ones, we finally see what Luna has for pets. What are they? Windigos! They provided the "special effects" for the Hearth's Warming Eve play.
Cosmic Retcon: The Alicorns and Draconequi were originally in charge of this according to veryLoose Canon, but only if a universe was on the verge of entropy and needed a drastic overhaul if there was any hope of saving it. They retconed the G3 universe into the G4 universe because it was on the verge of dying if they didn't.
More like destroying the G3 universe and rebuilding it completely as G4 Equestria. The Draconequi function similar to Shiva the Destroyer, demolishing the aging universe to clear space for its recreation. Discord apparently liked his job too much and started destroying for the sake of destruction. Anarchy implies the Alicorn's job is the "recreation" side of the coin.
Crossover: The original My Little Pony TV Specials, My Little Pony And Friends, My Little Pony Tales, and My Little Pony G3 all play some role in the story. Due to the Rainbow making Paradise Estate Ponies immortal until they left willingly, the Paradise Estate group who fought Discord during his first reign was composed of characters from the first three. Pinkie Pie is LITERALLY G3 Pinkie, and G1 Applejack was the Bearer of the Element of Laughter when Applejack called for aid from her alternate selves. However, so far there hasn't been a total team up between all the groups, so it isn't a Crisis Crossover just yet.
Create Your Own Villain: Back when she was still in her A God I Am phase (before mellowing out a lot), Luna gave Tirek the Rainbow of Darkness so he could try and prove his love to her. During her and Celestia's reign, Tirek returned to life and ended up having a battle with her for dominion over the night.
Celestia didn't make Discord a monster, but she taught him how to plan and ultimately accidentally helped him discover he was a sadist. She also left him to be punished by his family for helping her bring the Windigos to Equestria, causing him to keep a grudge against her.
Crisis Crossover: The G1, G2, G3, and G4 (pre-Reign of Chaos) Mane Casts are all brought to the present by Twilight the Unicorn during the Final Battle of Dark World, each using a set of Elements (along with the present mane cast and the Princesses) to defeat Nightmare Eclipse once and for all.
Implied to be what it took for the entity that would become Makarov to be defeated for the first time in the Realm of Legends where it took the form of an Alicorn Princess. While the actual battle is unseen, she's shown to have taken an army of fictional characters including Paul Bunyan and Daring Do to defeat and restrain her so Pandora could remove it's stolen Lights and seal it away.
Cruel and Unusual Death: After kicking one of his teeth out, Discord becomes so enraged at Mimic that he lacerates her with the tooth before finally slamming her into paste.
Literally every single death in the Transitions arc.
Cry for the Devil: "Everkind Forest" makes the zombie ponies from Story Of The Blanks seem downright tragic. The Princess Gaia brainwashed them to forget their actions, but whenever they look into Applejack's eyes, they remember. Their reaction is just heartbreaking.
Origins manages to invoke this for freakin' Discord! In the the later chapters, it's revealed that, in order to reach Equestria, he incarnated himself as a mortal draconequus born to G1 pony Shady; she raised him like a mother and it was heavily implied that, growing up, he wasn't anything worse than mischievous and actually got along well with Celestia and Luna when they did the same. More to the point, when his spirit starts to awaken, he is utterly terrified of it and actively resists it happening for a time. It's made all the worse because we, as readers, know he's going to fail.
There's also the Dark World!Mane Cast vs. Discord's army ofMooks. It's so one sided Rarity and Applejack manage to have Casual Danger Dialog while kicking flank. Special note goes to the Shadow-Beast-Of-The-Third-Unresolved (which was probably the most normal thing there) and the giant-cyborg-spider-vampire neither of which even get to attack before getting taken out by Pinkie Pie pulling an Offhand Backhand with her party cannon and Apple Pie using a Logic Bomb respectively.
Shortly before that, we have Proto-NightmareTwilight vs Angry Pie. The battle is extremely one sided and by the end, Twilight, after being brought back to her senses, is left wondering how many times over she would've killed Angry Pie if she weren't immortal and Angry is left near catatonic.
In Melody's '7 Dreams/Nightmares' chapter Rancor, while visiting the past, gets out of hand and Mortis, who's watching her at the time, has to step in. He easily disables her by paralyzing her with acupuncture in a couple seconds.
In the second half, Melody's daughter, Sweet Music, steps up to defend a unicorn named Spell Circle from three colts who are bullying him. Despite being a blank flank filly, she beats the crap out of all three and sends them running home with a warning that if she catches them doing it again, she'll tell everypony in town they got beat up by a girl.
The Dark World!Mane Six's first encounter with Paradox's Psycho Rangers ends with everyone but Twilight disabled in one hit each and ends the chapter on a cliffhanger.
Makarov does this to Natasha and Thunderchild in 15, simply dodging the former's sniper round and redirecting the latter's lightning bolt at her, before blowing up his thundercloud with a BFG (though both survive). This prompts Cadence to power up using the bonds of Misfit Actual and the Rebels and return the favor.
The Wolf vs Makarov/The Shadow Of Chernobull. Makarov makes it flinch once and the Death Dome slows it down briefly...that's it. The rest of the 'fight' is the Wolf ripping him to shreds and his blows failing to even hurt it.
Cursed with Awesome: Fluttershy Sharing a Body with Fluttercruel isn't nearly as bad as it sounds. Fluttershy quickly catches on to how useful having a second, more assertive person to help her out in difficult spots can be.
Cut Away Gag: During the battle between Dark World!Spike and Rancor, Rancor says that Spike would make a good Champion for her. Spike asks who'd want to be her champion and it cuts to a pony version of Lobo fighting Superstallion in a city, implying Lobo is one of Rancor's Champions.
Later, Dark World!Discord asks Pinkie to marry him. Pinkie turns him down, saying it'd take a zillion years for her to reform him. The scene cuts to an Alternate Universe a zillion and one years later where Discord gives up evil and kisses his wife.
Cuteness Proximity: Pinkie Pie can't resist Filly Zecora's cuteness. While the others don't gush like she does, they do find her extremely cute.
Cut Song: Rarity had a song written for her by one of the Beta Readers to be used in "Pearl Necklace", but the author ultimately couldn't fit it in and included it as a What If? scene. It's a reprise of "Art Of The Dress" covering her relationship with Diamond Tiara that would be used to get through to Pinkie.
Daddy's Little Villain: Epilogue!Fluttercruel is this to Discord; she's the loyalist of the discorded Mane Six, and he in turn refers to her as his "little princess" and actually cares about her, to the point of ordering her to retreat from a fight with Queen Cadence because the latter is powerful enough to actually harm her.
Fluttershy quickly realizes that just because Fluttercruel was made by Discord doesn't mean she's evil like him. She's right.
"Applejack's Dream" implies that Liarjack becomes an Element Of Kindness in the Bad Future. We finally see this come to pass in Dark World.
Maasailand is Dark Is Not Evil: The Country. The red and black color-scheme and scorpion motif? In their culture they're symbols of love and peace and the Brotherhood of the Scorpion are actually pacifists. Even their Manticores are cute, docile, and vegetarians. It just happens that symbols of evil in most cultures happen to be symbols of good and peace in theirs.
The Dark Side Will Make You Forget: Twilight Tragedy and Rarigreed had both forgotten the ones they once loved while being controlled by Discord in Dark World. Whether it was Discord's brainwashing or their own way to cope with it isn't known.]
Fluttercruel gets one of Fluttershy's "So Many Wonders" song... Sort of. While it's not as sweet as Fluttershy's version, it's far from dark.
Fluttercruel tries to sing Fluttershy's lullaby in a desprate attempt to snap Fluttershy out of her Nightmare mode, but doesn't get the chance.
Princess Gaia's Villain Song is a true Dark Reprise of "So Many Wonders", this time being used as a siren's song to hypnotise Applejack. Instead of focusing on how wonderful the world outside is, it's focusing on happy they'll be by forgetting everything and coming to join her in her Lotus-Eater Machine forever.
Made even better when we discover she's lying to herself about what she is as much as everyone else.
Deadpan Snarker: The Equestrian Royal Guard suggests this as the appropriate response to certain circumstances;
Shining Armor: ...the Royal Guard Regulations state in Rule Four Hundred and Nine, that 'in face of overwhelming stupidity, an officer is permitted to deploy sarcasm'(I appreciate the Princess' understanding of our position).
Deal with the Devil: Diamond Tiara made one with Discord to carry out a ritual in order to free him. What was his side of the deal hasn't been revealed just yet, but given who he is, it's unlikely she'll get what she wanted out of the deal.
It probably has something to do with her insane mother Golden Tiara aka Screwball, who was the only happy pony during Discord's brief reign since to her the world finally made sense.
Celestia made one with Entropy, Discord's mother, to get the means to end hatred on Earth. The only thing she COULD give Entropy was the memory of an alicorn had to come crawling to her for help. Unfortunately, while Entropy didn't exactly trick her, the reflections provided to carry out her desire ended up becoming the Windigos to acomplish Celestia's wish.
Death Glare: Fluttershy's Stare, as expected. She can also use it as Nightmare Whisper. Unfortunately for her, so can Fluttercruel.
Decon-Recon Switch: While the fic deconstructs the simplicity and easy answers inherent in a children's show, the central themes of the series such as The Power of Friendship and the value of honesty, generosity, laughter, loyalty and kindness are constantly reaffirmed even after having seemingly been torn down.
It also deconstructs the "the three pony sub-races are now in harmony" aspect of the show's Hearth's Warming Eve play. The actions and attitudes of Onyx Tiara and Silver Spoon's mother show that many, many Earth Ponies are still very bitter over how the Unicorns and Pegasi once treated them.
Then reconstructs it by revealing its not as widespread as Onyx acts like it is and Silver Spoon's family were mainly humoring Onyx, and Onyx eventually realizes his racism nearly ruined his life.
"Retcon-struction", ironically, deconstructs the events of Lesson Zero. Twilight has been mentally torturing herself out of guilt for the riot she caused and desperately tries to make up for it, even after everypony already forgave her. It takes getting called out by Silver Spoon and a heart to heart with Trixie before she finally lets go of her guilt.
Pretty much every chapter of the original Reharminozation series involves deconstructing the whole "and everything went back to normal" ending of Return of Harmony. Fluttershy is confronted with the fact that Fluttercruel is now an entirely new entity and resolves to raise her herself. Rainbow Dash is haunted by her decision to abandon her friends and is completely unable to understand why they just welcomed her back as a friend so quickly. The whole Tom incident has given Rarity a severe, crippling fear of all things related to gems, diamonds in particular. Applejack becomes obsessed with telling the truth. Pinkie becomes so obsessed with parties and happiness that she puts her mental and physical health at life-threatening risk. Trixie is so affected by Discord's Breaking Lecture that the World-Healing Wavehad no affect on her at all, and even after everything was restored, she remained so catatonic that she literally couldn't survive on her own and needed to be cared for by her family like a paraplegic vegetable (Though this turns out to be mainly due to Loneliness possessing her). Twilight's Sanity Slippage in "Lesson Zero" is made into having been because of Discord's torture of her. However, being a Decon-Recon Switch fic, they all recover and turn out stronger for it.
Defeat Equals Friendship: After being browbeat into submission, Fluttercruel becomes a valuable ally for Fluttershy. Even when she takes control, she's not outright mean and cruel to Fluttershy, she just wants to actually enjoy life for a change.
This pays off during the battle with Nightmare Whisper, as Fluttercruel cares enough about Fluttershy to return from beyond to save her.
To some degree, this applies to Trixie learning to accept the Mane Cast's friendship.
The Cutie Mark Crusaders attempt to do this with Silver Spoon. Thanks in part to the Princess Gaia incident, they succeed.
Defusing the Tyke Bomb: This is what Fluttershy does, teaching Fluttercruel that she is so much more than a cruel parody of Fluttershy.
Despair Event Horizon: Twilight after her memory spell backfires on Nightmare Whisper, forcing her to experience all the suffering and pain Nightmare Whisper had absorbed. Trixie pulls her back with the memory spell. It then turns out that Nightmare Whisper can fire a beam of pure suffering from her mouth to make anyone it hits experience this, which she uses on Rainbow Dash. Thankfully, the memory spell works again that time.
Determinator: The entire mane cast during the Final Battle with Nightmare Whisper. Absolutely nothing will stop them from saving Fluttershy. Trixie gets electrocuted and has a rib broken, Applejack gets glass daggers lodged in her back, Pinkie Pie gets cut up being thrown through a stained glass window, and Rainbow and Twilight both end up getting Mind Raped, but refuse to quit. But Rarity takes the cake by using telekinesis to keep moving after having her legs broken!.
Also,Diamond Tiara resists Princess Gaia's song through willpower and Self-Deprecation, though it's encouraged by Discord shouting into her mind.
Discord: "IGNORE IT! ONLY BAD LITTLE FILLIES WHO DON'T CARE THAT THEIR MOTHER STAYS SICK FOREVER LISTEN TO THAT SONG! IGNORE IT! YOU ARE NOT TO THINK ABOUT IT OR PAY ANY ATTENTION TO IT AT ALL!!!"
Did We Just Have Tea with Cthulhu?: Ponythulhu is surprisingly polite and friendly for an Eldritch Abomination, to the point Dark World!Twilight makes a note to be friendly to send him a friendly note after throwing the blackbirds that spent the last 1000 years torturing Derpy into his realm, providing him with a recipe for them.
Shining Armor once set in to a diplomatic meeting between Celestia and Queen Tiamat. He comments how surreal it was to witness the sun goddess having a polite conversation over tea with a five-headed dragon so massive her tea cups are bigger than most buildings.
Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: The mane six's previous defeats of Nightmare Moon and Discord, of course, but they add two to the count with the defeat of Nightmare Whisper and Applejack teaming up with five alternate versions of herself to defeat Nightmare Mirror.
There's also G1 Mimic managing to bust out Discord's tooth permanently and perform a successful You Shall Not Pass. She may have died, but she still managed to wound him in such a way no one has been able to do before or since.
Pinkie and Minty managed to defeat Princess Luna with a musical number during the Cosmic Retcon of G3. Even though Strife had weakened her, that's still a great accomplishment.
Cadance managing to defeat Havoc's Avatar. It may not have been NEARLY as strong as the real thing, but that's still impressive.
The Paradise Estate Ponies, even taking into account they had three Alicorns supporting them (all three were considerably weaker than him), managed to defeat Discord in a straight up fight with the Rainbow Of Light. Unfortunately, Galaxia decided to shatter him, allowing him to Body Surf into a new body.
Dark World!Spike manages to get the upperhand on Rancor, the Draconequus of Violence, Passions, and Anger, and force her into retreat temporarily. She is a young Draconequus, but still.
There's also an Alternate Universe Rainbow Dash being shown killing Pinkie's Nightmare, Nightmare Granfalloon.
The Dark World Mane Six managing to defeat Odyne!Cruelty, first destroying her body (unfortunately killing Sparkler in the process), then by blasting her soul with the Elements, banishing her from mortal reality.
One that occurs offscreen was a mortal Pegasus, armed with the Concept Killing Spear, managed to kill the demigod Cupid, permanently due to having a personal hatred of love. Unfortunately for said Pegasus, said demigod was the son of Venus, who descended to the mortal plain in an Unstoppable Rage...
Bright Eyes manages to defeat Discord's older brother D___t in a sword fight and kill him Deader than Dead. True, it was simply his Shadow of Existence, but its still no small feat and is implied to have possibly saved existence from an insane Concept coming back into existence.
There was also Dark World!Discord forcing Nightmare Paradox to endure several thousand pictures of him mooning himself in the mirror set to a loop while Twilight sees his memories from the Memory Spell. While this did help Twilight by not letting Paradox see what memories she got (causing her to be more cautious in the fight), it seems Discord mainly did it just to piss her off after enduring an And I Must Scream fate at her hooves for so long.
There's also one of the fics' iconic moments when G1 Mimic pulls off a You Shall Not Pass on Discord. She knows its going to get her killed, but does it to let the others including Celestia and Luna, her daughters get away. She then exploits this trope by telling Discord the way to Earth has been destroyed, trapping him in Equestria, causing him to have a Villainous Breakdown that gives her an edge. Her last words also qualify, as after shattering his tooth permanently, she spits his own claim she wouldn't be able to scratch him back in his face before he kills her.
Disability Immunity: Laughter!Applejack's world's version of Pinkamena has multiple personalities (though apparently in a far more stable form), which rendered her immune to the Stallions In Black's memory wiping spell, as the other personalities would remember what the one that got wiped forgot.
Disc One Final Boss: Loneliness serves as the main antagonist for the story arc about saving Trixie but meets her end when Trixie breaks free and accepts her Element Of Magic. Before the chapter is over, Discord has been freed from his prison once again to take over as the main villain. However, before they have to deal with him, Princess Gaia serves as the Big Bad for the penultimate story arc.
Divine Intervention: The Fires of Friendship that destroyed the Windigos was Fauna Luster lending Her power when Clover, Smart Cookie, and Pansy forged a friendship in spite of their impending deaths and the racial hatred so prevalent in their world. According to Celestia, while Fauna Luster always has Her power offered, very few mortals have ever managed to actually open the door for Her to intervene. Also, the Elements of Harmony use The Power of Friendship to tap into Her power as well.
After most of the Breezies are taken directly to Heaven by Abbatissa, the Alicorn of Prayer, Zipzee and Daisyslow want to send Breezie Blossom, their home, with them. Abbatissa tells them to pray, which they do, and their prayers are answered.
In a way, Dark World!Discord's Backup from Otherworld moment qualifies, seeing as he is a God and did so using his brother's aid.
General-Admiral Makarov believes he's succeeded in becoming a God and thus beyond the reach of the Wolf. He spends a few minutes taunting it and punches it in the face. It replies by slashing him, causing his stolen lights to begin leaking out and ultimately erases him from existence. Granted, it was going to erase him anyway, but he probably didn't do himself any favors clopping it off.
Doomed by Canon: Inverted. After Applejack stares into the pool of Truth and gains the ability to discern lies at a glance, Luna makes it pretty explicit that her sense of Truth will drive her nuts if the canon timeline diverges too much from the POV-verse. Fortunately, that's taken care off by the Crisis Crossover of all the other staple AJ's of the multiverse teaming up and taking out the most evilest AJ with alternate AJ's based off of the other Elements of Harmony.So that happened.
Dragged Off to Hell: The ponies from Sunnytown are dragged back to the town's boundaries in this fashion.
Almost happens to Dark World!Applejack when Shadows of Oblivion try to drag her to Entropy's Realm.
Dark World!Discord is ultimately dragged off to Entropy's realm through the wound Rancor left in him. Though, by his words, he may consider this a better fate than the one he was presently experiencing.
Dramatic Irony: Twice now the readers have known something about the current Big Bad the characters don't, such as Fluttershy becoming Nightmare Whisper and Discord's plan to escape.
During "Modern Major Evil Overlord", the story crosses over with one of the Recursive Fanfiction pieces when Twilight Tragedy inadvertently redeems an alternate universe's Discord. Anyone who read said fanfic will recognize the scene, but Twilight has no idea she's doing anything more than thinking to herself.
During the next chapter "Lemons N' Flint Rocks", has it as well, in a similar fashion. Apple Pie is talking with Twilight Tragedy, but has no idea she is, as Tragedy is disguised as an Earth Pony filly named Half-Light Dawn. She unknowingly, thinking she's just talking to a normal filly, ends up triggering a Villainous BSOD in Tragedy.
Drunk on Milk: Saltwater apparently has the same effect on ponies as an alcohol. In the "Black Pearl" chapter, Fluttercruel/Fluttershy end up getting drunk on it, in part because Fluttershy doesn't drink normally. It's revealed the next chapter that they drunk so much that it would've gotten Princess Celestia drunk!
Dying Moment of Awesome: This universe's version of Mimic was killed fighting Discord when he appeared in Equestria for the first time, knocking out his tooth in their fight. According to Princess Luna, she's the only one to ever successfully injure Discord in battle, and she didn't even have the Elements Of Harmony.
A previous loop that saw Trixie become an Alicorn. While Paradox defeated and likely killed her, Trixie went down fighting and left a Wound That Will Not Heal in the form of a fourth degree burn on Paradox's face that's the reason for her White Mask of Doom.
Saharnoj Vaty, the third of Makarov's Alicorn Cyborg Co-Dragons, managing to fight off Makarov's control with The Power of Love she has for her sister long enough to self-destruct and destroy Makarov's Skyfall weapon. As the Interviewers point out afterwards, she beat Makarov in the best way possible: by proving he was wrong to believe love was weak.
Dima sacrifices himself to save Gilda's life when Makarov attempts to kill her as part of his 'script'. Realizing he's crippled even if he survived, Dima refuses medical attention so he can ruin Makarov's planned climax with his death in order to enrage and weaken him. The result enrages Makarov so badly that for a second the entire base flickers and Makarov suffers a temporary Glamour Failure. When Makarov appears again, for the first time in the entire story that Makarov's composure doesn't suddenly snap back to confidence and he's still in a psychotic rage.
Eagle Land: Columbia, both in being a fairly obvious United States counterpart, and, well, being full of Griffins. Though oddly enough, writer's notes indicate the country actually called Eagleland is an England expy. It is also full of Griffins, and despite claims otherwise, neither the Doctor nor Running Gag are Queen there.
Earn Your Happy Ending: Perhaps the central Tenant of this fic. Life is hard, we will make mistakes. Bad things can arise from good intentions, and sometimes the best of loves can be lost to the whims of fate. However, if you own up to your mistakes, trust in each other, never give up and believe in The Power of Friendship, anyone can change, and reach exactly what they needed.
The Seven Dreams/Nightmares side stories tend to work towards this as well. While the Nightmares are dark, so far every member of the G2 mane cast has managed to have a relatively happy ending.
G2!BonBon manages to survive, raise her niece, and ultimately her journal becomes an Apocalyptic Log preserving aspects of Pony civilization, just as she intended.
Patch manages to recover all the Shards of the Rainbow of Light, overthrowing multiple Evil Overlords, starting a family and being Happily Married to Buddy, and ultimately reuniting with her Bright Glow.
Melody discovers that her hard work throughout her life essentially saved music and preserved it for the future, and her song "Sweet Music" continues to modern day along Rarity's family line.
Bright Eyes is probably the best example. After losing her memory in the explosion, she spends many years gradually regaining her memories. Once she does, she's forced to fight against Cruel Eyes/D___t to prevent him from reconstituting himself and threatening existence by consuming the infant concept within her. But she manages to destroy him, reignite her friendship with Moki, and lives the rest of her life successfully bringing back Earth Pony Magic and enjoying her time with her husband and their family. The last scene shows her and Lancer reenacting their first date in the afterlife, their journey complete.
This is essentially the point of the Dark World Series, to see if the Dark World Mane Cast can finally end Discord's tyranny. And they succeed. After a thousand years in Discord's World of Chaos, having to literally fight their friends to redeem them, Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie dying, having to defeat several deities and other dangerous enemies, and finally fight a Mad God leagues stronger than Discord to put an end to a several hundred million year old "Groundhog Day" Loop, the Bad Future is saved, all the Chaos Six (including Fluttercruel ultimately) are redeemed, Rarity (or rather Queen Libra) and Spike are Happily Married, and even Discord finds redemption.
The Earth Prime Theory: "Applejack's Dream" establishes the existence of a "Heart World" from which the Pony POV Series world and all other Alternate Timelines diverged from and which anyone still connected to are effected by, implied to be the main series timeline. However, in an interesting twist, it is possible for a world to "break off" and continue on its own without any connection to the Heart World. The plot of that chapter involved preparing for the possibility that would happen so as to prevent Applejack from going insane and turning into Nightmare Mirror in the even that it did.
This bites Nightmare Eclipse in the flank when her plan has basically made her the Heart World Nightmare Eclipse, and tied all her other selves to her. Meaning defeating her defeats them all.
Subverted: While Fluttershy and Fluttercruel are forgiven, Princess Luna gives them a severe royal punishment for their misdeeds as a result. And not only do some ponies not forgive Fluttershy, she outright says she may never forgive herself.
Also brutally surverted with the Sunnytown Ponies, who, because they've not accepted responsibility for their murder of Ruby, are still cursed when Princess Gaia's spell is broken.
Played straight with the Dark World Mane Cast. After Twilight's, Applejack's and Rarity's Heel Face Turns, the Apple/Pie family accept them as allies and help them despite the fact that they spent 1000 years serving Discord and killing hundreds if not thousands of ponies, dragons, and changelings for him. Justified considering what Discord did to them, plus random transformations are regular occurrences in Dark World, so the explanation they were brainwashed into his Co-Dragons wouldn't garner as much scrutiny as it would before Discord. It should also be noted they already considered Applejack a saint due to her good deeds.
Discord is depicted as such in this story. Equestria was a peaceful place (implied to possibly be the G1 world) until he descended on it and began his reign of chaos and destruction. He's so chaotic that even the Truth can't comprehend him.
His parents, Havoc and Entrophy are even more this trope. Entropy's pupil absolutely dwarfs Celestia and she's a being that Celestia absolutely refuses to describe in detail to Twilight. Havoc, embodiment of mass hysteria, is described as every nightmare everypony ever had or ever will have whose voice would leave a mortal pony a horrified wreck. Entropy erasing Havoc from existence then him willing himself back into existence is their version of one member of a bickering couple shoving the other. Also, the Windigos are tiny fragments of Entropy.
Celestia and Luna's parents also qualify, though they're benevolent and won't drive ponies insane if seen in their true form, just really, really confuse them. Another trait about all four Elders is, according to Word Of God, they're multiversal singularities, meaning, unlike their children, there's only one of each of them in the entire multiverse, the different versions are merely aspects of the same being.
Another example was during the Alicorn and Draconequi War, Entropy commanded all the Shadows of Existance in her realm to merge together into a monster named Legion. While we don't see much about it, we see what such a creature could look like thanks to another universe.
Nightmare Whisper, Princess Gaia's true form.
There's also Nightmare Mirror, Applejack's Alternate Self and potential Superpowered Evil Side. Not only is she massive, her appearance is constantly shifting and she's covered in eyes that force those who see them to face painful truths about themselves.
While he began as an Equineoid Abomination, by the time General Admiral Makarov reveals his true form, it's mutated into one of these: a gigantic vaguely Equine shaped mass of wailing shadows that seem to look at Shining that's features are constantly shifting with no pattern or reason to it with eyes made of an unearthly white light. The sight is so horrifying Shining Armor has a Freak Out both times he glimpses it. Think about everything that's happened to Shining and that's really saying something.
Eldritch Location: Discord's castle in the Dark World is implied to be this for most of the arc, and it's finally confirmed when the heroes try to use the Elements of Harmony on it (as an attempt to cut short their war with Discord), and it grows legs and runs away. Thing is, it seems to be as neutral as it is chaotic, since Applejack talks it into letting them get through to Discord by promising to not purify it (which would essentially kill it). Subverted after Queen Libra takes power, as she removes the Chaos, but keeps its sentience and ability to move.
Dark World in general probably qualifies, considering Discord made it a nonsensical hell hole where things are never the same two days in a row and apparently it raining water is considered a shocking event. Since Ponyville was the Chaos Capital, it had it worse.
The spirit world is essentially this as well. Time as we know it doesn't exist, Law of Conservation of Mass doesn't apply, and it's possible to exist in multiple places at once (no time travel involved).
Entropy's realm of Oblivion also qualifies, featuring a starless sky, floating blocks of ice every where, an ocean literally made of chaos, and is all an extension of Entropy Herself. It can be assumed the same applies for the other Elder's realms.
Pandora's Realm. It's a nonsensical labyrinth with bookcases floating everywhere, stairways going every direction but the right way, and various fictional characters running all over the place.
Elemental Absorption: Concepts can recharge their power by getting close to the thing they represent in action. This is shown by Rancor being immune to physical violence (she can only be harmed by things that don't count as violence or being tricked into hurting herself) and being able to recharge herself by going to Neighpon and absorbing the passion radiating from some kind of card game in progress. Dark World!Celestia and Luna have Rainbow Dash fly them into space so they can recharge directly from the sun to get back in the fight with Nightmare Eclipse/Paradox.
Eleventh Hour Superpower: Shining Armor gets special, stronger armor and a similarly strong riot shield from Pandora and unlocks his true power in 17.1-17.2, giving him a much needed boost to turn the tide against Makarov. Later the rest of Misfit Actual and Gilda get the armor as well.
Empathic Environment: After her Heel-Face Turn in the Dark World, Twilight awakens to find her room covered in plant life (the two potted plants that her parents were turned into by Discord having grown to cover the room), with birds singing and the ceiling broken away to let the sky appear overhead.
The Empire: The Hooviet Empire, an expansionist, deer-run Expy of the Soviet Union (with elements borrowed from Nineteen Eighty-Four), which seem set up as the antagonists of Shining Armor's side story.
End of an Age: The G2 world is shown as a Golden Age of Pony civilization, and we've so far seen two different perspectives — first Celestia's, and now the seven main characters of G2 — on how Destruction nuked it back to the Dark Ages to prevent the erased G3 world from coming to be again.
Enemy Mine: Twice in the Dark World, the Changelings were forced to side with Discord's forces against a bigger threat. Though the first time backfired on them, they apparently were smarter about it the second time.
Long ago, a group of extradimensional invaders attacked the pony verse. Their goal was to force all life into becoming their playthings and twisting reality into a never-ending hell. This was enough that Fauna Luster and Entropy agreed they needed stopped (stated to be the one time in all of creation They ever agreed on anything. Fauna Luster ordered four of Her children to defeat the invaders while Entropy ordered the Draconequi to stand guard and keep them from escaping.
Enemy Within: Fluttercruel is a subversion, as not only does Fluttershy defeat her Badass Pacifist style, she becomes a valuable ally. Even when Fluttercruel gets out, all she wants to do is actually live for a change and not be stuck inside Fluttershy all the time. Played straight with Angry Pie from Pinkie Pie's story and Loneliness from Trixie's. Unlike the other two, Loneliness' creation is implied by Word Of God to be something else besides a foreign entity introduced by Discord or a fractured piece of Trixie's personality.
Played straight again with a villain, Nightmare Whisper-her true form has a ruby containing a filly version of her that eggs on her Knight Templar qualities, and even turns on Fluttercruel when the latter gets a body of her own. It's later revealed that it's the repository of all the negative feelings Princess Gaia devoured, and a warped version of Flutterrage.
Cruel Eyes/D___t from Bright Eyes' Gaiden story. Since she was the mother of the G3 world, Bright Eyes' had an infant concept inside her, which D___t's Shadow of Existence wanted to take so he could exist again.
Enemy Without: An inversion for Fluttercruel and Nightmare Whisper, as Fluttercruel literally severs her connections to Nightmare Whisper and enters the battle to aid the heroes. What follows is an epic battle of wills between two Fluttershies: one that was good and corrupted into evil and one that was created evil and taught to be good.
Nightmare Eclipse/Paradox, as opposed to the other 'Super Nightmares' (Whisper and Mirror), she looks like a normal, if dark and menacing, Alicorn. However, the fact she's a several hundred million year old evil that's reset the timeline over and over again, along with her occasional habit of speaking with a Voice of the Legion when singing or pissed off, makes the normalcy just that much more disturbing.
Discord, obviously, but also Angry Pie, the personification of Pinkie Pie's supressed emotions at what discord put her through, and Loneliness.
In Pinkie Pie's Side Story, we discover he has a brother named Anarchy and their parents are Havoc (mass hysteria) and Entropy (heat death). Apparently theres seven siblings, but only him and Anarchy have appeared. Strangely, while he's far from a nice guy, Anarchy was actually trying to save the universe with the Alicorns. It's implied that Discord was off turning the Flutterponies into paraspritesFor the Evulz at the time.
Pinkie's "Butterflies" chapter reveals that he has a sister named Strife, who embodied conflict, natural selection, and competition. While not exactly a nice guy, she's far from evil and plays the Final Boss of the G3 timeline simply to give the survivors a chance to fight for their survival instead of fading away with no chance at all. We also see his brother Destruction, embodiment of disaster and well...destruction and Pandemonium, whom we don't really find out what she's the spirit of, though she says she's also known as Desire and prefers to be called Pandora, and inspires artist but can't understand why she tends to drive artists insane.
Epic Fail: Any time Shining Armor tries to shoot something due to him being an absolutely horrible shot.
Apparently, Ellis and a friend of his actually Shining himself tried to make a cider still for one of their superiors once. They ended up making a mass driver by accident.
Dark World!Discord and Fluttercruel genuinely love each other, to such a point that they grieve when one thinks the other is dead or dying and Fluttercruel has a complete breakdown when Discord is mortally wounded by Rancor. According to Nightmare Eclipse/Paradox, she's the only reason he even tries to beat her anymore.
Discord also begs the Dark World!Mane Six not to hurt Screwball and Mad Tiara/Diamond Tiara, who are his nieces. He even sends the two of them away with specific orders to never try to fight the mane six for his death because they'd not stand a chance and likely die.
Despite all the evil, horrible things they've done, Nightmare Paradox and her Psycho Rangers seem to genuinely love each other as friends, to the point they can still use the Elements of Harmony. Paradox has even been looking for a Nightmare Rarity because of what it'd mean to Banneret. Nightmare Banneret and Mirror also still care for Rarity and Apple Pie as well, but not enough to spare them (though its implied Mirror may have spared her Apple Pie in some way).
Everyone Has Standards: Despite running on Blue and Orange Morality, the Draconequi still have things they consider horrible. All of them hated the idea of the Windigos winning to the point it's one of the few things they seemed unanimously agreed on. Anarchy is not happy with Discord's Evil Overlord tendencies (an immortal king with an unending reign of tyranny does not sit well with the Spirit of Revolution and Freedom) and Strife sincerely considers every being has a right to fight for its survival. Even by their standards, Havoc's Avatar went insane and D___t was a Well-Intentioned Extremist.
Out of all the Draconequi, Rancor is the only one who doesn't hate Nightmare Eclipse for one reason or another. Entropy is unclear, just that she's slightly less apathetic.
Zombies are apparently extremely common in Dark World (though not Zombie Apocalypse common) to the point they're treated like any other dangerous animal.
Everything Trying to Kill You: Dark World tends to be like this, considering its a World of Chaos were Pony-Eating Rocks are common. That said, the ponies adapted and now blowing up monsters is considered a household choir.
Said almost word for word by Twilight in regards to Discord, siting how their victory was only possible because of this trope.
Luna's sidestory reveals it was Nightmare Moon who cursed Sunny Town for killing Ruby. She thought Ruby would be thankful for her doing this and tells her she can either pass on or join her. Ruby chooses to stay in Sunny Town and try and help break the curse. Nightmare Moon is completely shocked that Ruby could forgive those who murdered her and try to help them find their redemption.
Nightmare Eclipse/Paradox is incapable of believing Discord could actually have good in him. She also is at a loss to explain how an iteration of Trixie obtained Alicornification and was able to leave a Wound That Will Not Heal on her.
Played horrifically straight when it comes to Nightmare Eclipse/Paradox compared to Discord. We see from past loops Discord saw her as a momentary distraction and wasn't that concerned about her in the early loops, only on getting her out of the way so he can continue his games, perhaps even happy to have 'start overs' when he lost. Cut to several hundred million years worth of time loops later, Discord's little more than a tortured Puppet King who considers being killed several billion times by his family as punishment for his crimes relaxing compared to the torture she put him through and is only still evil because she won't let him perform a Heel-Face Turn. Paradox herself? An Omnicidal Maniac who's erased Dark World and everyone in it so many times she can't even remember how it started or the names of any of the 'NPCs' she's Ret Goned. Inuniverse, everyone who knows what she's done justifiably considers her worse than Discord, including Discord himself.
Evil Is Hammy: Judging from the trailer, Discord, Loneliness and the Serial Killer obsessed with dolls are all set to be this in the audio version of "Reharmonized".
Evil Overlord List: Brutally (and hilariously) deconstructed during the Dark World Series, when the Seaponies put on a show about Discord's war with Grogar — Grogar apparently followed the list to the letter, but Discord just took advantage of the new pattern that was created used every rule against him.
Evil vs. Evil: Narrowly subverted. Under the stress of Discord's mind games, Luna comes dangerously close to turning back into Nightmare Moon to fight him. She manages to avoid giving in just in the nick of time before she could completely lose herself to the darkness.
At some point in the Dark World timeline, Grogar returned and once more tried to conquer Equestria, leading to a war between him and Epilogue!Discord. Given their respective M.O.s, this also qualifies as an all-evil example of Order Versus Chaos.
Also from the Dark World, the Master vs the Valeyard at some point in the past.
Another subversion in Shining Armor 18.1. It turns out Minuette is the Master using a fob watch. The Master tried to convince her to open the watch during Makarov's war so he could defeat Makarov. However, Minuette manages to resist opening the watch.
Discord said that Cloudsdale wouldn't collapse if Rainbow Dash went to rescue it. It didn't, Discord drove them all insane and made Rainbow Dash watch.
Just after having told everyone in Cloudsdale, very loudly, broadcasting a huge picture of Rainbow Dash in the process, that Rainbow Dash was the one who saved Cloudsdale by dooming the rest of Equestria.
Cheerilee tells the foals in her care "the Princess" has ordered them brought to her castle for safety. She never said Celestia or Luna's name and she turns out to be Princess Gaia's Dragon, possibly of her own free will.
When Applejack looks into the Truth, we see a large number of alternate universes, including the Bad Future presented in epilogue. In a subversion, Applejack is actually heartbroken by the fact the children she had in the "Orangejack" universe won't exist because she didn't take that path. Celestia reassures her that they do exist in that timeline.
In "AJ's Dreams" many other alternate universes are seen (including several ones where other members of the Mane Cast have become Nightmares or are otherwise evil/crazy). At the end of the battle against Nighmare Mirror (herself an alternate version of Applejack), Applejack and Orangejack meet many alternate versions of themselves, including ones that bear different Elements of Harmony (Orangejack herself can bear the Element of Generosity).
Defied for Nightmare Eclipse/Paradox. She discovers after her final defeat that her fusing with every Nightmare Purgatory at birth means that all other Nightmare Eclipses that could/will/did exist share her same fate, meaning there are no alternate timelines where Eclipse wins.
Expy / Generation Xerox: Magica, a brave filly from the Dark World killed during the raid on the ponies practicing magic in Ponyville, bears a number of similarities to Trixie — and her name fits the next-gen naming system.
Face Death with Dignity: Mimic can be seen as doing this. Instead of running and hiding, she sacrifices herself to hold off Discord, knowing she'll die but happy she saved her friends and daughters.
The G2 Mane Cast more or less accept their fate's with dignity in the end, at least the ones who saw it coming. Clover is the only one who refuses to accept she's dead.
Dark World!Pinkie Pie realizes after being purified, her Element of Rage is dying and thus decides to devote what time she has left to protecting her friends and loved ones and helping save the world.
Princess Luna in her second sidestory. Driven by her protectiveness of Pipsqueak, Luna confronts Celestia over what should and should not be "natural," and leads her to accidentally kill Pip. She then raised Pip as undead and tries to murder Celestia, killing several ponies in the attempt. Fortunately, it was All Just a Dream.
Fake-Out Fade-Out: Pinkie manages to do a version of this at the end of Clover's Gaiden chapter by bringing the group back when it looks like the scene was over so she can arrange for Princess Gaia's G3 village to be completed as an amusement park.
Fake-Out Opening: Several chapters begin with a fake title designed to hide the true nature of the chapter from the viewers, the real title only revealed after The Reveal. Normally the fake title and beginning of the chapter hides a rather serious chapter:
Nights Princess Luna is actually "Nights: Luna's Nightmare" and depicts a nightmare Luna has about turning evil again over Pip.
"Happy Cake Adventure" is actually "Generational Transitions Part 1", which shows us an apocalypse.
"Party At Canterlot Caste" is actually "Daybreak", as it depicts the transition between the Darkest Hour and things in the Dark World starting to take a turn for the better.
Some of the upper class Earth Ponies in Ponyville have some degree of racism towards Unicorns and Pegasi, including Diamond Tiara's family.
There's also some degree of racism towards mixed race unicorns among pure blooded ones. Trixie really hates this one and is implied to have been a victim of it. Her dream world has all things promoting this are ordered to be destroyed and she nearly loses it when called a half-dirt unicorn.
Surprise, surprise...there's also racism towards Earth Ponies as well according to Word Of God stated here.
It's implied that this is far less rampant than is previously suggested in the story (at least not in the middle- and lower-classes). Trixie exaggerates its prevalence to justify her lying about her true nature.
Fantasy Pantheon: The world has a rather sizable Pantheon, which includes Celestia, Luna, and Discord. There were actually 20 Alicorns and 5 Draconequi all of whom are Physical Gods while there are four Elders who are real gods. Alicorns are referred to as Nature's Law and Draconequi Nature's Fury. Due to just how many of the Alicorns there are, only one other than Celestia, Galaxia, gets a main role at any point, but Word Of God has given them all names. The others are Abbatissa, Imperatrix, Cadence, Rota Fortuna, Justitia, Venus, Leo Fortis, Turris, Mortis, Pensilis, Currus, Morning Star, Eremo, Puerillis, Princeps, and Judicium. The Draconequi are, other than Discord are Destruction, Strife, Pandemonium, and Anarchy. The Elders are Havoc and Entropy, the parents of the Draconequi, and Fauna Luster and her mate (not named in story), the parents of the Alicorns.
It may be even larger than that, considering the existence of Ponythulhu, Queen Tiamat (the mother Goddess of the dragons), and possibly Father Deer (the alleged god of the Hooviets). A deer goddess of some sort appears in Bright Eyes' Gaiden story as well, though she goes unnamed.
The Federation: As shown in Shining Armor's arc, Equestria's neighbor and ally the United Republics of Colombia (obviously an expy of the United States), which started out as an alliance of many of the griffin clans (though not all of them). Though that said, there's a large population of non-griffins — heck, many of their presidents have been ponies, with at least one zebra and a minotaur holding the office at some point.
Fiery Coverup: In the Shining Armor arc, break-ins at the Embassy and a University in Zebrawa were mainly aimed at destroying something using an advanced and unrecognised incendiary device (Implied to be a type of thermite), and seemingly succeed... but could just as easily have actually stolen the "destroyed" items. Not to mention that four others after whatever was at the university attacked a lab assistant, and then were found dead: the skilled nature of how they were killed revealing a lot more about the skills of the people breaking in than anything else.
Princess Gaia's songbirds are explicitly stated to be a part of her, and she doesn't seem to be all that upset by their loss.
It turns out that the Princess Gaia the Mane Cast were talking with was just an illusion of the real creature that she'd become, Nightmare Whisper.
The Final Temptation: An edit to Bright Eyes' Gaiden chapter has Cruel Eyes/D__t's Shadow try to do this with one simple sentence as his last attempt to get her to see things his way. Bright Eyes still turns him down, but admits that it hurt to do so because of how much she wanted it.
Cruel Eyes: But Starlight would be alive again because Patch believed she was still alive.
First Name Basis: Rarity's full name is Rarity Belle, but she doesn't go by her full name much at all, even professionally.
Dima only refers to General Admiral Makarov by his first name Solomon, stating Makarov is a name given in honor, and Makarov doesn't deserve it.
Fission Mailed: When the sheer despair of Nightmare Whisper threatens to Discord Twilight, the story seems to abruptly end...
A/N: Meh. I think I'll just end the story there, in fact, I think I'll end the entire series right here. Who actually cares about this series anyway? It's all just garbage. Nothing but fan service and rip-offs. And I'm just tired of the whole thing anyway. It's not like anyone would NOTICE if this series suddenly stopped.
Only for Trixie to restart it by using the memory spell to pull Twilight back.
Dark World has a scene were it appears Nightmare Paradox wins, kills the Mane Six, and gets Twilight to replace her. The scene cuts to Pinkie Pie and company still playing the video game version, implying this was either them losing the game. There's also glitches in the scene, such as Fluttercruel being presence when she's dead, meaning it may have simply been a previous timeline.
Fix Fic: Sort of. The fic doesn't change canon events, instead it writes around them, providing background information that explains the events of the canon a bit better using details from the fic's canon. For example, Fluttershy was terrified on Nightmare Night thanks to Fluttercruel joking around with her and Rainbow Dash's behavior in the "Mysterious Mare-Do-Well" was trying to cover up her Heroic BSOD over how she dealt with Discord's Sadistic Choice. The author typically updates after a new episode has come out to fit it into the fic's canon. Thus far, it's actually a pretty good example of doing thisright.
An in-universe example: Pinkie Pie tries to repair the damage Discord caused to the other ponies (and especially herself) by taking her normal personality and cranking it Up to Eleven, partying continuously without sleep for almost three weeks. During her Battle in the Center of the Mind, Pinkamena helps her realize that she has been essentially flanderizing herself since she got her cutie mark by splitting off those parts of her personality she didn't want to deal with. Upon realizing this and under attack by her own anger, Pinkie performs a Split Personality Merge and finally frees herself from Discord's influence.
Another in-universe example: in the "AJ's Dream" chapter, Luna explains that ponies turn into Nightmares when they allow one facet of their personality to consume them completely.
Fling A Light Into The Past: During a fan sequel to Epilogue, Twilight Tragedy uses a spell to send her thoughts back in time, warning her past self about Discord's trap and reminding her about the lessons she learned about friendship, thus enabling Twilight Sparkle to overcome her trials and set in motion the events of the main series.
Foil: Ironically, Fluttercruel manages to be her own foil. Epilogue!Fluttercruel is heavily implied to be a Complete Monster whose deeds ware so terrible that Twilight Tragedy refuses to tell us them (despite being perfectly willing to describe every other horrific detail about Discord's reign). This only serves to show how much of a jerk present Fluttercruel isn't in compairson to what she could have become.
In Shining Armor 16 Part 2, General-Admiral Makarov forces Shining to what him deliver a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown to the rest of Misfit Actual, including subjecting Thunderchild to Electric Torture and blowing Running Gag's wing off. Worse? It's revealed in the end that he was allowing Cadence to watch the whole timethrough a song bird before shooting it.
Taken Up to Eleven in 17.1 when Makarov forces Shining to watch him start his world war, commit genocide, and try to kill Twilight. This backfires when he pushes Shining too far, however.
Foregone Conclusion: The fact that the G3 Universe dies and Celestia/Star Catcher was unable to stop Strife had already been established before "Generational Transitions" started. Doesn't make it any less of a Tear Jerker though.
In "Origins", we already knew Discord becomes Evil Overlord of Equestria, Mimic dies fighting him and busts out his tooth, and Celestia and Luna discover the Elements to defeat him. How it all got to that point, however, is pretty interesting...
The third chapter of Dark World is a flashback to Queen Cadence'sLast Stand against Discord and the corrupted Mane Six. Since it's a) a flashback, and b) the Epilogue timeline, we know that she's going to lose and die. Which she does.
Seeing as Shining Armor's arc is his backstory and explaining where he's been during all the events leading up to present (and he had a very small cameo at the end of Mind Games), we know he's going to survive everything he goes through. However, this may be subverted by the fact his past and future are both in flux due to him being Immune to Fate.
Discussed and subverted in Dark World pertaining to Rancor knowing Twilight in the future (from Twilight's perspective). Both Nightmare Paradox and the Benevolent Interloper state this does not mean Twilight and company are destined to defeat Paradox and Paradox could just as easily give Rancor the ribbon after winning, meaning the future is still in flux.
In the "Black Pearl" chapter, Luna describes how ponies who join the royal guard are gifted with a minute fragment of their commanding princess' essence, undergoing some physical changes as a result. This is exactly what happens to Cheerilee when she becomes Princess Gaia's Knight, and Ditzy Doo is offered the same position a little later.
When Rainbow Dash becomes unable to handle the fact that loyalty toward one thing means betrayal of another, she begins to transform into a Nightmare, but her friends are fortunately able to talk her down and return her to normal. However, when Fluttershy cannot deal with the cruelty inherent in nature, her friends are not there, and she transforms into Nightmare Whisper.
During her transformation, Fluttershy is shown growing blutterfly-like wings. When we first see Princess Gaia, she's described as having feathered wings, forshadowing the Princess Gaia we see isn't the real one.
Princess Gaia: "Oh sweetie my sweet little foal... mommy already feels the price for everyone else's happiness. So don't go worrying your little head over some arbitrary cosmic balance my little foal, let mommy worry about it."
Earlier in the Final Battle against General-Admiral Makarov's forces, Shining survives a sniper round to the chest thanks to the armor Pandora gave him. Later, Gilda gets shot in the chest by Makarov's Desert Deer Pistols. While it still mortally wounds her, the armor weakens the blow and lets her to hang long enough to destroy the Iron Curtain.
Forgiveness: One of the overarching themes of the Dark World Series.
The Father of All Alicorns also gives this to the truly repentant, even saying the above mentioned Arc Words to Starlight after she states she doesn't deserve forgiveness.
It's stated in the Shining Armor Arc that ponies take forgiveness QUITE seriously, to the point that saying something is unforgivable carries a lot of weight and he only declares Makarov's actions beyond forgiveness after seeing him attempt to slaughter an innocent village and condemn ponies to an And I Must Scream fate as his Co-Dragons.
For the Evulz: In one of the Mind Games chapters, Discord sings a Villain Song about why he does what he does. After going through some rather silly reasons, he basically sums it all up with, "Why do I really do it? Because I can."
For Want of a Nail: Apparently, the nail was Twilight. From what can be gathered, the only thing different between the "Epilogue" timeline and the Reharmonizing timeline is in the Epilogue timeline is that Twilight broke in the maze while she didn't in the real one. One piece ofRecursive Fanfiction explores how this might be possible. Discord was playing a "game" with Celestia that if he broke all the mane cast in one goal, he'd turn Celestia and Luna into gold and silver statues. In Epilogue's timeline, he succeeded, meaning that Celestia and Luna were turned into statues before Luna could send Twilight her letters back so she could save the world.
Also, the other nail is Applejack. Due to her insistence in this story that the truth always be faced head on, this changed the plot of "The Last Roundup" DRASTICALLY, so that the reharmonized timeline had to break off from the heart world to become its own universe.
Discord's decision to utterly break Trixie is arguably a third. The aftermath basically derails the episode "Magic Duel" in its entirety.
Rancor's advent in the Dark World was this to the "Groundhog Day" Loop, throwing things so far off Nightmare Eclipse's script that it allows Discord to throw another wrench in the works and force Eclipse to expose herself to the mane six.
After Dark World!Twilight became Princess Amicitia Zorya Spes Equestria, a Physical Goddess and one of the Major Arcana, this is how she gives the Fix Fic treatment to numerous grimdark stories, including Cupcakes, Rainbow Factory, Cheerilee's Garden, and Pages Of Harmony. Or at least the Pony POV Multiverse counterparts. For Cupcakes, she has Gummy be a Spanner in the Works that knocks the stale cupcakes with a parasprite larva in then to the ground, and when Pinkie Pie is tempted to eat them anyway, she gives her a reminder that she was raised better than that (keeping her from ingesting the larva, which would have driven her insane). For Rainbow Factory, she gives Rainbow Dash the courage to report how rainbows are really being made to the authorities. Unfortunately, while Rainbow Dash is hailed a hero in Equestria for doing it, She's seen as Cloudsdale's Biggest Traitor for her actions For Cheerilee's Garden, she has Berry Punch and Ruby pay Cheerilee a visit for some impromptu counseling. And for Pages Of Harmony (possibly, Word OF God is vague which mad scientist Twilight it's supposed to be), she tells Twilight Sparkle that she would lose far more then she would gain by vivisecting her friends, which convinces her to tell Spike to get her some professional psychiatric help.
Dark World!Celestia and Dark World!Luna both had this done to them by Discord, Celestia more than Luna due to Laser-Guided Amnesia.
Four Lines, All Waiting: The current status of the fic is this: In line 1, we have Shining Armor's backstory (which Alex has stated will eventually get to this series's version of the events of "A Canterlot Wedding"). In line 2, there's the Dark World story trying to give the "Discorded Ponies" series a happy ending. In line 3, we have the side story that tells the tale of the main G2 ponies both when they entered G3 and After the End of G2. In line 4, we have the Reharmonized Series proper, currently on hold with Discord about to be released, while the back and side stories finish up.
As of July 2013, 7 Dreams/Nightmares has finally completed.
During the battle with Nightmare Whisper, Twilight attempts to use the memory spell to help Fluttershy. This backfires and results in a mental attack so devastating that the author considers giving up writing the story. Thankfully, Trixie breaks both Twilight and the author out of it.
Happens again in "Butterflies" when Fluttercruel knocks out one of the interviewers for getting a little too personal with the questions.
The characters' motivation for fighting Nightmare Whisper is not necessarily that what she was doing was terrible (as the characters had different opinions on that) but rather to save Fluttershy from herself. This is especially true for Rainbow Dash, Rarity and Fluttercruel, as the former two decide that they must try to kill their dearest friend (as they figure that Fluttershy would rather be dead than see what she has become and that they are good enough friends to do what must be done to help Fluttershy) and Fluttercruel will stop at nothing, sacrificing herself if necessary, to see Fluttershy restored to her former self.
After the battle with Nightmare Whisper, the heroes convince Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie to release pain and suffering back into Equestria so they wouldn't have to see their friends endure the torment any longer. Once again, there is disagreement among the characters whether or not this was the "right" choice, but not a single one of them is sorry that Fluttershy decided to let go (though it is hinted that Pinkie felt that holding on to everything should have been her responsibility, rather than Fluttershy's).
Friendly Sniper: Private (and later Lance-Corporal) Captive Audience from the Shining Armor Arc. Despite being a skilled sniper, he's also a nice guy who Shining would have no problem if he wanted to as Twilight out.
Natasha, a Deer Sniper, is another example. She's generally polite and easygoing, but is probably a more serious sniper than Audience is.
From a Certain Point of View: During Onyx Tiara's discording, already surrounded by lookalikes of Golden Tiara, he rejects : Screwball/The real Golden Tiara with the words: "Begone, parody!", which is correct, if one were to interpret the 'thing' as acting completely different from lookalikes posing as his wife.
The Pegasus Despot from Patch's entry in 7 Dreams/Nightmares — before the collapse of G2 society, just some fat nerd. Afterwards, the Evil Overlord of a city, ruled by the brainwashing power of a fragment of the Rainbow of Light.
The Nameless Passenger turns out to be Dark World!Twilight's potential future self and Superpowered Evil Side Nightmare Eclipse/Paradox. She's so consumed by her desire for revenge, she's turned Dark World into a "Groundhog Day" Loop to torture Discord for eternity, not caring how many ponies pay the price in the process. She even refers to Twilight as 'myself' or 'me' and desires to force her to become her to continue the cycle. To say Twilight isn't happy with this potential future is an understatement.
Dark World!Rainbow Dash has this reaction to encountering her own Nightmare, Nightmare Manacle, among Paradox's Psycho Rangers.
Gate of Truth: Well...the Truth. However, it seems there's little to no way to actually control what knowledge you get, and staring into it for too long can have nasty side effects. Applejack's staring into it ended up turning her into a Living Lie Detector.
Gem Heart: The Dark World!Mane Six have the Elements of Chaos replacing their hearts.
Tom, being a stone statue given life, has one as well.
Genius Bruiser: Dark World!Spike, while now a fully grown and super strong dragon, has also had a thousand years to read up on multiple subjects, including fighting styles and tactics. This especially shows up in his fights with Tom and Rancor.
Genius Loci: Discord's palace in Dark World. Earlier it was implied to have some degree of awareness in how it rearranges itself, then it was confirmed later it's fully sentient with desires of its own and even capable of being reasoned with. Applejack manages to reason with it so it will remain a neutral party in the upcoming showdown with Discord, in order to prevent another hedgemaze situation. It even does a Pinkie Promise.
The realms of the Four Elders are all extensions of themselves as well. According to Word Of God, anyone you encounter in Pony Hell may either be another doomed soul, or Havoc just playing around.
Genre-Busting: This is a Fantasy/Action/Psychological Drama/Meta-world Building/Philosophical/Coming of Age fanfiction
Glamour Failure: Princess Gaia's illusion is nearly perfect, convincing all of her friends of who she is. Even the Element of Honesty cannot find any lies when looking into her eyes. That is, until Applejack realizes that she doesn't see any truth in Gaia's eyes, either.
Twilight Sparkle manages to break free of Loneliness' illusion by realizing the "doctor" talking to her mentioned three friends, not five, and didn't realize Twilight was Princess Celestia's apprentice, something any true doctor taking care of an insane pony would know.
Twilight had recent experience with actual insane asylums while helping mental/psychological casualties of the Day of Discord. And soon recognizes this "asylum" and "doctor" as being Theatrical versions; the sort of things a showpony with no actual experience would portray.
In Luna's second sidestory, some things are intentionally off in her nightmare or don't make sense as a version of this for the reader, foreshadowing the reveal that it's All Just a Dream.
God Is Flawed: Celestia and Luna are both flawed beings who have made their fair share of mistakes. Luna, however, tends to need to be pushed a lot harder to actually admit to hers, another of her flaws. Subverted, at least by Celestia and Luna's word, with their Parents.
The sidestory depicting Pinkie Pie's backstory and how she knows of the G3 timeline has Anarchy, Discord's brother, and an alicorn rewriting the G3.5 universe into the G4 universe, erasing several ponies from existence in the process and warping others into new versions of themselves. This is a last resort to stop the universe from ending all together and the alicorn explains to Pinkie Pie this was the last resort option.
On top of that, Destruction's subsequent triggering of a Class 2 Apocalypse of the G2 world to prevent the Class X-4 Apocalypse that happened in the G3.5 universe from ever happening.
During the battle with Nightmare Whisper when she and Rainbow Dash are essentially the only two heroes still standing, Twilight Sparkle, at a complete loss as to what she can do, begins reciting the lessons about friendship that Fluttershy has learned with no expectation that anything could come of it. Fortunately, Fluttercruel hears Twilight and realizes that Fluttershy needs help.
Celestia during Luna's nightmare, when Luna turns evil again and tries to kill her. After nearly being killed herself, begging her sister to stop, Celestia is left with no choice but to fight back and try to kill her rather than let Equestria be ruled by a tyrant.
The existence of the SAS (Equestrian Black Ops, essentially) is built on this — due to the ponies' natural dislike of violence, the SAS' stance of "shoot first, ask questions later" is an absolute last resort.
Celestia states that a situation being dire enough for the Elders to interfere directly in the mortal plain would be such a case due to such a disaster needing to outweigh the amount of collateral damage one of them would bring with them by doing so. To put this in perspective, the Windigos and Discord wasn't nearly close to that threshold. Not even Nightmare Paradox qualifies, and Fauna Luster states that only a threat to every timeline and universe would be enough to outweigh the collateral damage of an Elder's direct intervention.
Sensing Nightmare Eclipse/Paradox causes Dark World!Luna to ask Rainbow Dash to fly her and Celestia up into space so they can recharge directly from the sun and moon (having been completely drained during their imprisonment), something that's extremely dangerous, even for an infinitely regenerating immortal like her (hence why she hadn't even considered doing this before then).
It turns out that Equestria actually has a specific protocol for when this has been crossed and the Princesses' direct intervention is to be called for, including Kaiju attacks. Fittingly, it's called Article 1954.
Golden Age: The civilization presented in G2 is treated as this for Ponykind before it unfortunately ended due to Destruction having to nuke the world to advert a worse apocalypse from happening. As pointed out, the G4 civilization is just now starting to recover some of the capabilities they had, while others are still far off.
Good All Along: Well, more like Chaotic Neutral all along but still. Discord's brother Anarchy seems to be an antagonist throughout a Loose Canon Side Story... Then it's revealed he's only doing it because he has no choice and the universe is on the verge of entropy if he doesn't. Subverted with Discord, who is revealed to be a Jerkass even by Draconequi standards and is busy turning Flutterponies into parasprites For the Evulz at the time.
It turns out the apparent Hooviets that had been following Shining around in scenes were actually Anti-Hooviet Rebels trying to get ahold of him. They were simply using Psychic Static that made them appear to be Hooviets due to Makarov's powers.
Good Feels Good: Trixie quickly discovers at the party Pinkie Pie throws for her that she actaully likes having the mane cast as her friends who honestly like spending time with her for who she is (except Rainbow Dash at first, but even she warms up to Trixie). There's good reason she sings the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic theme with the mane cast.
Good Thing You Can Heal: The Dark World!Mane Six are immortal, having a very effective Healing Factor (destroying or removing their Element of Chaos is the only thing that can kill them). As such, when three of them are redeemed, they have no problem using themselves as shields for their non immortal teammates or making use of their immortality in other ways. This comes in handy since Rarity and Applejack's abilities both require taking someone else's injuries onto themselves, which are promptly healed by their regeneration.
Groin Attack: Diamond Tiara ended up giving one to Pocket Watch while escaping him in Canterlot.
General Admiral Makarov gave Shining a pretty brutal one during their first fight. Even though Shining was wearing armor, he still got bruising from it. While Played for Drama at the time, it later gets Played for Laughs when Minuette is examining him.
Later, we find out that while he was on a date with one of his ex-girlfriends, he fell asleep in the middle of her boring story, resulting in her giving him one of these. He's grateful she wasn't an Earth Pony.
"Groundhog Day" Loop: In "New Game Plus", Pinkie references this by saying she only has one chance to get things right with the events of "Mmmystery On the Friendship Express" and can't count on one of these happening.
The final confrontation with Dark World!Discord implies that he's been stuck in one for quite some time.
The Guards Must Be Crazy: The guards watching Discord in the Canterlot Gardens Maze have surprisingly little discipline.
Trixie, being a showpony, is more than willing to resort to underhanded tricks to get the better of the group's enemies. A good example is "playing the villain" to distract Cheerliee by holding a filly hostage to give the others an opening. Naturally she had no intention of going through with it, but Cheerilee didn't know that.
Orangejack: You and big brother dearest are Elements Of Honesty, I'm still a liar.
Gunship Rescue: Just when it looks like Makarov's forces are going to kill Shining's squad in Liberty City, Master Chief Spartan shows up with reinforcements and shuttles to successfully fight them off.
Half Pony Hybrid: Fluttercruel is implied to be, spiritually, a Pegasus/Draconequus hybrid, due to being Discord's daughter by Fluttershy. Though since she's Sharing a Body with Fluttershy, her body is completely pony.
Virgacorns (Unicorn/Zebra hybrids) and Hippogriffs (Pegasus/Griffon hybrids) play a big part in Dark World, due to Discord's actions resulting in Zebras and Unicorns gradually becoming one species, Pegasi and Griffons doing the same. Donkeys and Earth Ponies did the same, but it's far less noticeable.
Kweupe, the guide for Shining Armor's stay in Zebrawa, is a Virgasus (a Pegasus/Zebra hybrid). As Shining points out, this is probably part of the reason she has a job as a guide for non-locals.
Ham-to-Ham Combat: Between Traitor Dash and Twilight during the Duel of Tears, after the latter changes into her pegasus form, Half-Light Noon.
Happens again later when Dark World!Rainbow Dash comes face to face with Nightmare Manacle.
Heart Drive: The Dark World Mane Six have had their hearts replaced by the Elements of Chaos. So long as their Element of Chaos isn't destroyed, they have Complete Immortality and can regenerate from nearly anything. Their personality and memories are also stored in the Elements, as beheading only temporarily disables them while they regenerate a new head and their memories and personality are downloaded into their new brain.
The Dark World!Mane Cast eventually make one. Surprisingly, so does Discord.
Heel Race Turn: The Changelings (minus Chrysalis) in the Dark World, thanks to Cadence. They're no longer parasites but symbiotes who live in peace with ponies and protect them from Discord.
Hellish Copter: Most non-Hooviets think helicopters, the favoured Hooviet counterpart to light airships, are dangerous to the crew as well. Sure enough, a fair few examples crash, are shot down, or filled with cheese instead of Petril. Er, Petrol. However, given they're still heavily armed and/or possibly full of armed deer, they're still not taken lightly.
Anarchy, Discord's brother, is actually trying to save the universe along with his kind and the Alicorns and is just doing what absolutely has to be done to stop entropy from happening. In fact, he actually kind of liked how the G3 universe was before things started going dying. It's only because we're seeing him from Pinkie Pie's perspective that he seems to be a villain like his brother.
Princess Celestia in Luna's second sidestory, after Luna turns evil again. Since we're seeing it from Luna's POV, Celestia is portrayed as the enemy, despite the fact she's trying to protect Equestria from the now evil Luna's tyranny. Of course, it turned out to be All Just a Dream.
Seemingly Invoked by Strife, though she and the other Draconequi and Alicorns all count. Her final words to Celestia imply the reason she played the role of the bad guy for the survivors of the G3 world is to give them the chance to fight for their survival because she believes the right to fight for your survival is something no one should have taken from them, even if they couldn't win.
Cadence in the Epilogue timeline, who's become Queen of the changelings and is leading them in a resistance against Discord — since we see things from the POV of the discorded Mane Six, she's seen as the bad guy.
Rainbow Dash practically spends the entire fic up until her True Healing chapter in one of these over how she handled Discord's Sadistic Choice.
Twilight spends half the fight with Nightmare Whisper in one, unable to come up with any plan because they're fighting an already suffering Fluttershy, causing her to freeze up. It takes her inability to act causing Rarity to be seriously hurt to make her break out of it somewhat. It isn't until Fluttercruel's words make her realize the Fluttershy's true motivations that she breaks out of it completely.
Spitfire is in one after both Discord's breaking of the Wonderbolts, including her, and the Wonderbolts' inability to actually do anything heroic when they try to. Rainbow snaps her out of it by reminding her she and the other bolts are heroes in a different way.
Heroic Sacrifice: StarSong sacrificed herself by forcing Anarchy to erase her instead of Pinkie Pie.
Fluttershy is willing to bear all the pain and suffering in Equestria so other ponies do not have to feel it (and also because she accepts it as punishment for her actions). This will probably destroy her, as she acknowledged (when she was Nightmare Whisper) that the pain had killed her twice already. Pinkie later joins Fluttershy in this, both to help Fluttershy bear the burden and because she feels it would be a crime against the Element of Laughter to allow suffering back into the world. Ultimately subverted, as the others are able to convince Fluttershy and Pinkie to let go.
Subverted with Fluttercruel. While it seems like she's going to die after firing the Elements of Harmony at Nightmare Whisper, but Fluttershy saves her.
G3 Thistle Whistle rammed Strife full speed, killing herself but saving Sky Wishes' life in the process. Strife even shows her respect for the act, calling her the "bravest pegasus to ever live" and promising to have Pandemonium compose a sonnet in her honor.
Epilogue!Cadence taking on Discord and all of the corrupted Mane Six in order to give her changeling subjects a chance to escape, and ultimately being killed.
G2 Bon Bon's sister Misty sacrificed herself to save her daughter from the explosion resulting from Destruction sabotaging the world reformatting spell by shielding her with her own body.
Dima does this by Taking the Bullet for Gilda and being mortally wounded in the process. He then proceeds to refuse medical attention to permanently derail Makarov's script by robbing the psycho of the chance to kill him himself, enraging and weakening Makarov to the point Makarov suffers a momentary Glamour Failure.
Hero of Another Story: Pretty much every alternate reality mane cast seen in the truth. Laughter!Applejack seems to fit the most, as her adventure was completely different than the mane cast's. Liarjack also qualifies, because we only saw a tiny piece of her part of the Vision Quest, we see the rest later.
Minty Pie becomes this in the latter part of Dark World, undergoing her own serious of adventures in the caverns under Ponyville while trying to reach Discord's castle. We see bits and pieces, but not nearly enough to fully understand what's going on.
Commander Bond from the Shining Armor Arc, who's often conducting his own important work offscreen.
Dima and the rest of the Rebels also count. While Shining was having his own adventure, they've been undermining and fighting against Makarov and the Hooviets offscreen for a while before they finally team up with the main group.
Shining Armor himself qualifies in comparison to the Mane Cast. His story also includes trying to save the world from a reality bendingEquinoid Abomination trying to take over creation.
Luna states at the end of Clover's Gaiden Story that she and Celestia took care of one of the Eldritch Abominationssealed in Tartarus when it escaped, something Twilight was unaware of. We see this in a Loose Canon side story, where it's revealed the Guard was also involved and took down the cult that summoned it. It's also stated either the Guard, the Princesses, or both deal with most of Equestria's problems and the mane six are only called in if the threat requires the Elements of Harmony to defeat.
Hidden Depths: The Shining Armor Arc reveals that Iron Will used to be in the Guard before becoming a motivational speaker.
Applejack's Healing chapter, Discord's love of restoring Twilight's memories to let her suffer before reverting her to her brainwashed state allowed her to write down and hide something during one of these moments. We don't see what this is, but the next scene Applejack sees has Twilight Tragedy talking to Applebloom and Octavia's descendants, now remembering her old self despite still being Discorded. This implies that, even in the universe where he won, Discord may ultimately lay the foundations of his own downfall.
Discord's love of chaos makes him overlook Princess Luna sending Twilight her letters back when she says it's to "give a dragon indigestion", thinking it makes no sense and is therefore perfectly alright for her to do... BIG mistake.
What's better? He was the one that told her she had enough magic left to send a letter in the first place!
Twilight nearly has this happen to her when she tried to use the Memory Spell on Nightmare Whisper. The feedback from all the sorrow Whisper had absorbed nearly drives Twilight over the Despair Event Horizon.
Homage: Several to Puella Magi Madoka Magica (of which Alex is a fan), most notably the Nightmares as a whole resembling the Witches in how they're created, with Fluttershy's transformation into Nightmare Whisper mimicking Sayaka's transformation into a Witch and an alternate Rarity having a freak out matching up to Mami's. Nightmare Paradox also has elements of Kriemhild Gretchen. Word Of God has admitted the "Groundhog Day" Loop was inspired by Homura's in the series as well.
According to Word Of God is that Queen Libra, Rarity's Alicorn self, is inspired off Homura's potential Witch, who was classified as the Witch of the Mortal World...except, you know, she's not evil.
Hooviet Superscience: The Hooviet Empire has quite a few advanced technologies, even by a real world comparison, including tripods and cyborgs. Justified by the fact their leader is a reality bending Imagination Demon.
Star Catcher manages to summon the Rainbow Of Light to use against Strife and Pinkie manages to save Minty from Luna...Then Minty dies and Strife reveals her true strength.
The Dark World!Mane Six are Storming the Castle. They've beaten and redeemed Traitor Dash, killed the Valeyard (causing him to regenerate back into the Doctor), torn apart Discord's defensive line, and manage to convince the Castle to remain neutral in the coming conflict. Just when it seems everything is going their way and it looks like they'll save everyone, it's revealed Fluttershy's essentially dead (though in Pony Heaven) and Fluttercruel is merely using her body. Then during the showdown with Discord's remaining minions, it looks like the heroes have the upperhand, Rarity killing Fluttercruel and Spike gaining the upperhand on Rancor...then Angry Pie rips Twilight's Element out and leaves her to die of Rapid Aging.
In Shining Armor chapter 15, Not The Fall That Kills You, after meeting up with Mother Deer and La Résistance that she was leading against the Hooviets, they had to protect a village from the Hooviets. Shining Armor had just barely managed to protect the village from three volleys fired by all eight guns, then, via a radio they heard Baikal, from the Hooviet army, say that they were starting to run low on ammo...then he said that by run low, they only had enough for two hundred rounds.
Hope Springs Eternal: A major theme in the Dark World Arc, with it being said that as long as there's still hope, there's still a chance to save the world and the only one that can truly destroy someone's hope is themselves.
At the end of the Dream part of Bright Eye's Gaiden story, Zipzee's absolute refusal to give up hope in the face of despair ultimately triggers what Abbatissa, the Alicorn of Prayer, calls the G3 World's last miracle; breaking Discord's spell on the Breezies Discord turned into Parasprites.
Hostile Show Takeover: After Shining was captured in 16, the next chapter has Makarov take over renaming it the 'Cervicorn POV Series Makarov Arc.
How Much Did You Hear?: Twilight asks this of Zecora after it's discovered she was listening to Twilight, Pinkie, and Luna read Bonbon's journal and thus about the G2 and G3 Apocalypses. The answer? All of it. Though it turns out Zecora isn't as freaked out as they expected; she already believed in Reincarnation so now she just knows who she was reincarnated from (Ms. Hackney and Kimono).
Hypocrite: Rainbow Dash freely acknowledges the irony in how she ignores the good advice she keeps giving Scootaloo about dealing with her perceived betrayal of her friends.
Hypocritical Heartwarming: When Luna brings up Fluttershy's outburst at the Gala, Fluttercruel responds by saying "Hey! I'm the only one who gets to stab Shy' where it hurts!"