Winter comes to an end, and Ponyville prepares for an annual cleanup to make way for spring. Since the town was founded by Earth ponies, the tradition for cleaning up the snow and planting seeds is to avoid using magic, leaving Twilight Sparkle, a unicorn whose main talents all involve magic, with a dilemma: what can she do that is useful?Twilight decides to ask her friends to see what she can do. First, she goes to see if Rainbow Dash's team needs any help, but since they're all pegasi that are either flying off to retrieve the southern birds or clearing away the winter clouds, Twilight obviously can't go with them. She then goes to help Rarity make bird nests, but ends up creating an absolutely horrible nest that Rarity has to spend a lot of time fixing. Twilight then offers to help Pinkie Pie cut lines into the frozen lakes (via ice skates) to make breaking the ice easier, but she's way too uncoordinated to control herself on skates. Next, she decides to help Fluttershy wake up the hibernating animals, but gets scared off by snakes, bats, and skunks. Around this time, Spike suggests Twilight try using a little magic to speed things up, but Twilight doesn't give in until she decides to help Applejack's team plow away the snow. However, Twilight's spell to make her snowplow move (after her muscles prove unable to budge it) ends up causing it to go out of control, crashing and resulting in an avalanche of snow. Applejack chews out Twilight for using magic, and the unicorn runs off, utterly upset with herself.While Spike tries to cheer Twilight up, an argument over how soon Rainbow Dash's team should clear the clouds for the sun to melt the snow begins to reveal that Winter Wrap-Up isn't going as smoothly as it could, even without Twilight messing up. The mayor bemoans the fact that Ponyville is late for spring every year due to the disorganized way everyone approaches it. Immediately, Twilight gets an idea; after all, she's organized enough to make sure everyone gets their job done! With the help of Twilight getting everyone to do their jobs efficiently and as a team, spring arrives on time, and Twilight is officially assigned "All-Team Organizer", finally ensuring that she has a job to do.
Tropes present in this episode (YMMV tropes can be found here):
This could possibly be explained by the fact that the ponies seem to be on human level intelligence and so he's making an active choice to make that sound the way humans will sometimes whine or make similar noises when scolded.
Alone in a Crowd: Twilight at the end of the song, to represent the fact that, at the time, she really has no place in the wrap-up.
An Aesop: Everyone has a talent and can be useful, no matter how specific their talent is.
Ascended Ear Worm: In Season 4 alone, "Winter Wrap-Up" has gotten two nods to how catchy and popular it is.
Brutal Honesty: Perhaps because Twilight refuses to let him sleep, Spike does not pull any punches when it comes to Twilight's failed attempts at fitting in. He tries to back off when she becomes truly depressed, but even that comes out the same way.
Comedic Sociopath: Spike (somehow) falls asleep on a piece of ice in the middle of a frozen lake. The only response to this is a comment that he's going to be surprised and a laugh at his expense. While we don't know much about dragon biology, cold blooded reptiles can possibly DIE from cold if something like that happened. Even if there was no risk of that, he would at the very least get very sick (which he does).
Crippling Overspecialization: Being a unicorn bookworm from a town filled with unicorns, and thus used to Winter Wrap Up being done by magic, Twilight simply doesn't have any of the skills or abilities needed to physically tidy away the winter, making her a fish out of water in Ponyville's Earth pony-inspired, traditionally mundane version of the celebration. Thankfully, she has other, less physically-oriented skills which come in handy.
Dramatic Spotlight: The start of the song is all about this trope. It's even the trope image!
Epic Fail: Twilight's attempt at creating a bird nest is so bad that the perfectionist Rarity spends much of the remaining day trying to fix it up.
And actually breaks down sobbing in despair partway through.
Pretty much everything Twilight tries to do to help in the Winter Wrap-Up results in this in some fashion until the end.
Apparently, Ponyville's Winter Wrap-Up has been this on a regular basis.
A certain fan-fave pegasus goes north for the southern birds, and apparently went west for them last year.
Face Plant: Twilight falls face-first on the ice while trying to skate on the frozen pond.
Failures on Ice: Twilight's attempt to help score the ice so it will melt go horribly wrong, earning her some teasing from Spike.
Foreshadowing: The only thing Twilight is good at when building her nest is organizing the items necessary to build it.
Likewise, there are hints that the wrap-up is a disorganized mess even before it's called attention to: Twilight is left to find a job completely on her own, and when we see the ponies clearing the fields for planting, the plows are all moving in random directions. One scene had several moving towards EACH OTHER.
Or the lines of Applejack and chorus: "We must work so very hard, it's just so much to do!"
Or the way Pinkie scores the ice.
A subtle one. When Twilight tries to put on her saddle with her hooves, instead of magically, we watch her struggle and, eventually, end up with her saddle falling off her body.
Gosh Hornet: Twilight dislodges a hive by running blindly into a tree.
Ludd Was Right: Shades of this in the episode; Ponyville's Winter Wrap-Up traditionally disallows any magical interference (beyond the innate abilities of pegasi to move clouds), in part due to having been founded by Earth ponies. Meanwhile, Twilight's attempts to use a little magic to help out with the plowing only cause a total disaster and get her angrily chewed out. Finally, Twilight's biggest contribution is not her magical skills, but her ability to organise the chaotic mess that the ill-handled Ponyville wrap-up teams are.
Moment of Weakness: No doubt using magic to make the snow plow move was this for Twilight.
Musical World Hypothesis: The song may be partly the Diegetic version, mostly because they do this every year and this may be the song and dance they do every year. Twilight's solo throws it off a bit.
My God, What Have I Done?: Applejack may have been upset with Twilight for breaking the "no magic allowed" rule, but she clearly didn't mean to hurt her feelings, as shown by her reaction to Twilight running off in tears after being scolded.
Painting the Frost on Windows: The main point of the episode; ponies throughout Equestria have to purposefully manage the turning of the seasons, so the titular Winter Wrap-Up literally brings spring back to each settlement.
Pony Snowball: The result of Twilight's attempt to clear the snow from the fields. Also recurs to an extent when Twilight tries her hand at ice skating, and ends up crashing into Pinkie and Spike.
Red Armband of Leadership: A few ponies can be spotted wearing an armband as well as star patch on their team vest, although its color matches the team color: Rainbow Dash leads the Blue-Weather Team and Applejack leads the Green-Planting team. Although Rarity and Fluttershy are both on the Tan-Animal team, neither of them have one.
Smelly Skunk: Twilight Sparkle ends up in a den of them. The scene then cuts to her receiving a tomato juice bath to get rid of the stench.
Somewhere, a Herpetologist Is Crying: When Twilight wakes Spike in the cold open, he responds with "Mommy? You're not Mommy." Since Spike was hatched from an egg, he would have no concept of "Mommy". note Alternatively, if a hatchling imprints on the first authority figure it sees, this is a subversion; since Princess Celestia showed up to fix Twilight's mess right after Spike was hatched, he would think of Celestia as "Mommy".
Spring Is Late: The ponies have to wrap up winter or else spring will be late. In fact, it has been late every year, until Twilight Sparkle gets everypony organized.
Super OCD: Both Twilight and Rarity show this behavior. Twilight immediately lays out all the components of the bird's nest in an orderly fashion before constructing it, and then later her organization skills help to save the day. Rarity, on the other hand, becomes obsessed with trying to fix Twilight's attempt at the bird's nest, leaving her drastically behind schedule.
What the Hell, Hero?: Applejack gives Twilight a good chewing out after the latter uses magic to help clear the snow from the fields, with disastrous results (although she looks regretful when Twilight runs off in tears).
The mayor gives one to just about everyone else afterwards, since their arguments and bumbling have delayed spring another year round.