: I'm just trying to understand how a pony who is supposed to be the Element of Magic could have put on a magic show I'd more expect from a magic kindergarten filly than from somepony who saved the world!
Trixie is rehearsing for the magic show she plans to put on at Eventime. Lyra is helping her, though she's reluctant after Trixie accidentally turned her into a hominoid a few months prior. Trixie has Lyra pick a card, places the whole deck on Lyra's head, then, taking an idea from Raindrops, says she'll throw a knife up in the air so it will land and stab the selected card. Lyra refuses, and makes Trixie throw the knife after she tosses all the cards into the air. Trixie does so, and nails a card, though Lyra can't remember if it's hers.
Later, Trixie verifies that Raindrops will be at her magic show come Eventime. Raindrops gripes about Rainbow Dash's laziness, and also says that Lyra is understandably frightened of Trixie's magic after the hominoid transformation. Trixie sees a lavender unicorn with a book-laden wagon walking into town, but doesn't think anything of it. She and Raindrops also hope that the festival will go better than the last festival in town, when Celestia, also called Corona and the Tyrant Sun, broke out of the sun and tried to take over the world.
That night, Trixie wows an audience of foals with her magic spells. The vendors are doing a brisk business, and while the Apples are, as usual, dominating, Trixie's friend Carrot Top is also able to make some sales, in part due to becoming famous after helping defeat Corona. Trixie then sets up her final trick, calling Dinky Doo to the front, and theatrically reassuring Ditzy that Dinky will be okay. Trixie makes Dinky vanish, but before she can finish the trick, the purple mare from before shouts that Trixie isn't doing real magic, just slight-of-hoof work. Trixie shames her into shutting up, then finishes the trick, which features her carrying Dinky through an illusory nightmarish landscape. The trick works, and the show ends with everyone but the purple pony applauding.
Backstage, Trixie, Ditzy, and Dinky congratulate each other on a job well done. The purple pony intrudes and tells off Trixie for not being a real magician. She addresses Trixie by her full name, which Trixie hates, and says that she came all the way from Manehattan to find the Element of Magic, but was not impressed. Trixie asks for her name, and the pony says she's Twilight Sparkle.
Trixie recalls that Twilight graduated from Luna's magic school with a perfect GPA and a year early. Twilight says that Trixie didn't do any magic. Dinky objects, but Trixie asks to speak to Twilight alone, and manages to convince Ditzy and Dinky to leave. Twilight watches them go, admitting that she's not good with talking to foals, but then accuses Trixie of not casting any real magic (illusions, she says, don't count), and wasting the education she got from Luna. Trixie says that Luna herself advised Trixie to perform more, which stuns Twilight, who says that any foal could have done what Trixie did. They argue over whether magic is more than just spells, with Trixie eventually saying that she's the Element of Magic and was taught by Luna herself, so if they disagree over what magic is, she's probably right. She leaves to go take part in the rest of the Eventime festival.
Raindrops walks by Carrot Top's stand, where she notes that Apple Bloom is glaring at Carrot Top. As usual, the Apples are doing much better business than everyone else. Carrot Top notes that at least her alliance with the Grape family farm, which involves them combining their produce and selling ready-made dishes, is bringing in money that they need (and the Apples, despite Applejack's protests, don't). Trixie comes by, and as she combines an apple, a carrot, and caramel sauce into a makeshift snack, she complains about Twilight. Twilight teleports next to Trixie and continues their argument. Trixie mocks Twilight and calls her jealous several times. She says that she saved the world with unicorn, pegasus, and earth pony magic, and Twilight interjects that pegasi and earth ponies don't have magic. Trixie smirks, as Twilight realizes that she just made herself look like a bigot. She tries to apologize, then teleports away.
Raindrops reminds Trixie of her promise that, if Trixie ever again acts as manipulative and bratty as she did when they first met, she'll buck her. Trixie protests that she didn't do anything, but Raindrops argues that Trixie deliberately antagonized Twilight to make her say something stupid. Trixie admits that she should apologize. Raindrops agrees, then bucks her in the face and sends her sprawling. After checking to make sure she didn't do any permanent damage, Raindrops walks off.
At her wagon, Twilight casts a 'detect magic' spell on the area, and notes with satisfaction that only the unicorns are shown to have any magic. She begins to panic, though, when she can't think of anything special about earth ponies, wondering if she's really a tribalist after all. She reflects on how she's traveled all over the nation to study magic, even restricted magic that she had to break into locked library vaults to access. She wants to learn all about magic, and won't let laws stop her. She realizes that she never showed Trixie any of her magic besides teleporting, and concludes that the whole thing was a test — Trixie, she thinks, has many ponies coming by to learn magic, and only wants to share her secrets with the skilled. Twilight decides that she simply must demonstrate her powers so that Trixie will show her the real magic Twilight is sure she can perform.
Trixie approaches Twilight's wagon, but it's empty. She sees the innumerable books, as well as a journal that only contains information on spells. Trixie reflects that Twilight seemingly has no life at all outside of magic, and feels sorry for her. She finally finds some personal items: two photos, presumably Twilight's parents, and the book Don Rocinante, which Trixie also enjoys. Trixie thinks that her aunt and uncle, who raised her (her mother died and her father was never around) gave Trixie her copy of that book, and is surprised that two ponies who are so different could share the same taste in literature. This makes Twilight seem more real to her, and Trixie sighs that she screwed up again, and hurt another pony who only wanted to learn magic.
Meanwhile, Twilight walks through the Everfree. She knocks a cockatrice out of her way, then finds her way to an Ursa Cave. She casts an illegal mind-control spell on the Ursa, forcing it to sleepwalk according to Twilight's request. She begins to take it back to Ponyville, thinking that a spell of this magnitude will either impress Trixie enough to show her real magic, or, if Trixie really is a fraud, force her to admit Twilight's superiority. Unfortunately, the spell requires so much energy that Twilight falls asleep shortly after teleporting onto its shoulder, and the Ursa is free to rampage at will.
Trixie, waiting for Twilight to return at her wagon, hears screams of terror. She sees the Ursa rampaging through the festival area, as well as Twilight, asleep by its feet. She goes to save Twilight, but Raindrops stops her. They agree to work together, and Raindrops flies up to distract the bear while Trixie turns herself invisible and hurries to save Twilight. She's able to get the mare away from the Ursa and into an alley, where she awakens. Trixie says that Twilight, who knows all about spells, can surely come up with a spell to save them. They agree that teleportation is the best option, but Twilight says she needs five minutes to gather enough energy to move something as big as the Ursa.
Trixie tries to fight the Ursa, but her attempt to hit it with lightning does no damage and screws up her invisibility spell. Trixie dodges underneath it and casts a big light spell, knocking it backwards but also blinding herself. She stumbles around blindly, tripping over the remains of Applejack's stall and realizing that she's too close to the Ursa. Just before it kills her, though, Twilight teleports it away. The purple pony then announces that what she just did is real magic, and collapses.
As the other ponies return to the area, Trixie verifies that no one got hurt. She begins to say that she drove off the Ursa, but seeing Raindrops watching her, she admits that she and Raindrops just helped Twilight. Twilight wakes up as someone cheers that she beat an Ursa Major. Twilight corrects them, saying that the Ursa was just an Ursa Minor, and she'd never have brought an Ursa Major to town. She then realizes that she just confessed to summoning the Ursa, and teleports away. Trixie tells Raindrops that this time, Twilight's humiliation wasn't her fault.
Trixie finds Twilight at her wagon, frantically packing things so she can escape the town. Twilight boasts that she can teleport away from the mob gathered outside her wagon, so Trixie points out that she can have Luna declare her a wanted criminal for wrecking the fairgrounds. Twilight explains that she summoned the Ursa to either pass Trixie's test or prove that she's a fraud. Trixie tells Twilight that magic is about connections, and not just obvious ones like spells, but also subtle ones, like the bonds between ponies. She explains that, in short, friendship, not just spells, is magic. She offers to explain to Luna that the mess was partly her fault, and that Twilight can also take responsibility for her actions. Twilight refuses to believe her or take responsibility, and teleports away.
Later, Trixie writes to Luna to tell her all that happened. She admits to goading Twilight on, and asks her to go easy on the other unicorn. She leaves her house and finds Twilight's wagon, sitting with the rest of the wreckage from the festival. She decides to look through it to see if any of Twilight's books could be useful for her shows, or for other ponies who show up and want magic lessons.
Back in Canterlot, Luna summons Captain Shining Armor to her room. Shining Armor is Twilight's brother, and the son of Viceroy Night Light, who rules the province of Latigo which borders several neighboring states.Once there, she tells him about what happened in Ponyville, and informs him that she'll need to have Twilight arrested, and she's assigning both the Guards and the elite Shadowbolts to the job, since Twilight is such a strong mage. She explains that not only did Twilight wreck a large part of the town, but she used highly illegal magic that she could only have learned from breaking into secured library vaults. She can't overlook those crimes, even from the daughter of such a renowned family. Luna says that she'll do what she can to have the newspapers not trumpet the event, but she does require that Shining Armor contact Luna and the appropriate forces if Twilight attempts to contact him. She says that Twilight will likely have to be in prison, or at best, house arrest, for the next several years. She also tells Shining Armor to take some vacation. Shining Armor leaves, distraught.
- Bizarre Taste in Food: Trixie once again eats something that disgusts everypony else, and is even pleased when it gets knocked onto the grass, as that just gives it an even zestier flavour.
- Call Back: This episode takes place on the night of the Eventide Festival, which was previously
- Characterization Marches On: Raindrops punching Trixie is quite an alarming and jarring scene if you've first read the webisode Never Give Up, which was written well after Boast Busted but occurs earlier in the series chronology.
- Continuity Drift: Most continuity drift is forgivable considering that Boast Busted was the first episode made, but the seventh chronologically. One noticeable oddity is that Twilight's Finder's spell involves an incantation, which were established in the earlier episode Helping... Hands? to be unnecessary for unicorn magic.
- Continuity Nod: Lyra is still reluctant to help Trixie practice magic after the events of Helping... Hands?.
- Trixie first got the idea for the knife-throwing card trick from a sarcastic comment by Raindrops in Griffon Over the Line.
- Ironic Echo: Trixie's line "Was there ever any doubt?" has a very different connotation here than in the real show episode.
- Mistaken for Racist: Twilight accidentally says something that makes her sound like a unicorn supremacist.