Written by Chris Savino
Rarity's got a big order to fill at her boutique, and her little sister Sweetie Belle keeps getting underhoof. Fluttershy shows up to drop off a freshly-groomed Opalescence, but things get hectic again when Apple Bloom and Scootaloo show up for the big Cutie Mark Crusader Sleepover the girls have been planning, and Sweetie Belle shows off the capes she'd made for her and her friends. Unfortunately, said capes were made with the special gold fabric Rarity had been using, forcing the frazzled unicorn to pull an all-nighter to get the order done, and preventing her from chaperoning the sleepover. Fortunately for the CMC, Fluttershy volunteers to let them stay at her house, despite warnings from both Rarity and Twilight that the Crusaders might be more than Fluttershy can handle.
This quickly proves to be the case, as the Cutie Mark Crusaders proceed to turn Fluttershy's house upside down with their efforts at finding their special talent and making their cutie marks appear. Nothing seems to work, whether it's Cutie Mark Crusader Chimney Cleaners, Cutie Mark Crusader Creature-Catchers, or Cutie Mark Crusader Carpenters, and poor Fluttershy is run ragged trying (and failing) to calm them down; the Crusaders prove to be even too savvy to fall for the "Shh" game trick.
Fluttershy: I'm the world champ, you know. I bet you can't beat me! [grins sheepishly and then holds her breath]
Scootaloo: I lose!
Sweetie Belle: Me too!
Apple Bloom: Me three!
Finally, Fluttershy tries to put the Crusaders to bed with a lullaby, but Sweetie Belle insists in joining in, and as good a singer as Sweetie is
, her version is rather more energetic and a good deal louder
, loud enough to startle Fluttershy's chickens out back. The Cutie Mark Crusader Chicken-Herders try (and fail) to round up the birds, and Fluttershy is forced to use "The Stare
" on the chickens to subdue them and get them back in the coop.
Later that night, the Crusaders are just settling down for bed (or so they let Fluttershy think), when they notice one of Fluttershy's chickens has broken loose and wandered off...into the Everfree Forest
. They sneak out to chase down the wayward chicken, but Fluttershy quickly discovers they're gone and tries to track them down. Then Fluttershy runs into Twilight, who had earlier gone to visit Zecora...only to discover her Unicorn friend has been turned to stone!
Turns out there's a cockatrice on the loose. When Fluttershy tries to warn them, however, the Cutie Mark Crusaders are dismissive of the beast based on its silly-sounding description.
Apple Bloom: Why, if I ever saw one of them cock-a-thingies face-to-face, I'd laugh at how silly it was!
They quickly change their tune after witnessing the beast turn its petrifying powers on Fluttershy's chicken... followed by it going after them! Fortunately, Fluttershy is able to use "The Stare" to not only scare off the beast, but brow-beat it into turning Twilight and the chicken back to normal, earning her the respect and gratitude of the Crusaders after saving them. The next day, all is well, Fluttershy has learned her lesson about biting off more than you can chew, and Twilight has learned once again not to underestimate Fluttershy.
Tropes present in this episode (YMMV tropes can be found here):
- Absentee Actor: Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, and Spike are nowhere to be seen in this episode.
- A Day in the Limelight: This episode mainly focuses on Fluttershy and the Cutie Mark Crusaders.
- Added Alliterative Appeal: Everyone of the Crusader's new jobs begins with "C" - Creature Catchers, Carpenters, Coalminers, Chicken Herders, Cottage Cleaners, Chicken Rescuers
- Adult Fear: The CMC disappear during the night and go into the Everfree Forest. That would unnerve any babysitter.
- The All Solving Hammer: The only tool the Crusaders use to "fix" Fluttershy's broken table.
- Argument Of Contradictions: Apple Bloom and Scootaloo do this. "Maybe that's our special talent: arguing." "Is not!" "Is too!" "Is not!" "Is too! Anything yet?" "Darn." A YouTube video parodies this by having the logo of Fox News appear as the cutie mark, suggesting that this is the type of behavior the network encourages with its style of reporting.
- Audible Sharpness:
Sweetie Belle: Ooh, ooh, oh, oh, oh, oh! Maybe I can be good with animals, too!
Opalescence: [Shing!] [smirks as though she'd just eaten Hummingway]
- Babysitting Episode: Fluttershy offers to watch the Cutie Mark Crusaders, greatly underestimating how energetic they can be. She eventually does earn their respect and obedience by saving them from a monster in the Everfree Forest.
- Badass in Distress: Twilight Sparkle, who took out an Ursa Minor on her own, is turned to stone by a cockatrice which leaves Fluttershy to protect Cutie Mark Crusaders and save Twilight.
- Badly Battered Babysitter: Fluttershy is exhausted by the CMC. Rarity also experiences this when Sweetie Belle wrecks her workroom, and implies that she's been through it before with the trio.
- Beyond the Impossible: Fluttershy wins a staring contest with a cockatrice, i.e. a creature that turns ponies to stone by staring at them.
- Boss in Mook Clothing: The cockatrice doesn't look threatening, but its ability to petrify anything makes it one of the most dangerous monsters in the show.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: When Sweetie Belle says "I know this one!", she looks directly at the camera instead of at Fluttershy.
- Brick Joke: The Japanese dub does one with Fluttershy claiming to be the "world shush champion" - by the end of the episode, the Cutie Mark Crusaders declare her the "world stare champion".
- Catch Phrase: "CUTIE MARK CRUSADERS SHOUTING WHAT THEY'RE GOING TO DO AT THE TOP OF THEIR LUNGS! YAY!" Mercifully, it didn't stick, though they're still very well known for it in the fandom.
- Cat Smile: Bonus points for it being from an actual cat.
- Comically Missing the Point: Sweetie Belle, the point of a lullaby is to lull.
- Cute, but Cacophonic: The Cutie Mark Crusaders, who almost seem to insist on screaming their desires as much as possible. Of particular note was Sweetie Belle, who managed to invoke Oh Crap/This Is Gonna Suck from the others (see below).
- Death Glare: In-universe, Fluttershy's Stare is infamous before this episode. It's a plot point.
- Delayed Causality: Opal giving a claw swipe to Sweetie Belle's mane and the severed bang falling two seconds later.
- Disaster Dominoes: Sweetie Belle's attempts to help Rarity during the Cold Open make a big mess.
- Don't Tell Mama: Fluttershy threatening to tattle to the Cockatrice's mom makes it revert her and Twilight to normal.
- Epic Fail: The Cutie Mark Crusaders attempt at fixing Fluttershy's table; it no longer resembles a table.
- Foreshadowing: Sweetie Belle's well-intentioned but disastrous attempts at helping Rarity become a major plot point in a later episode.
- Go Through Me: Fluttershy orders the Crusaders behind her then stands between them and the Cockatrice to protect them.
- Holy Halo: Appearing on the Crusaders' heads each time Fluttershy refers to them as "sweet little angels" (talking first with Rarity, later Twilight). They raise enough of a ruckus to drive her crazy.
- It's Quiet... Too Quiet: This is how Fluttershy realizes the Cutie Mark Crusaders have snuck off into the Everfree Forest.
- Just in Time: Downplayed. You see that Fluttershy is rapidly turning to stone, covering half of her body, but in the next scene the transformation is put to a halt (even turning the transformation backwards a little) and the stone breaks without reaching her neck.
- Mama Bear: When the CMC are threatened by a cockatrice, Fluttershy brow beats it into backing off.
- Mix-and-Match Critters: "A cockatrice! It's a terrifying creature with the head of a chicken and the body of a snake...." However, the cockatrice as it appears also has bat wings and two legs, which make it look more like it has the head of a chicken and the body of a wyvern.
- Mood Whiplash: The first half or so of the episode is fun, funny and light but when the Crusaders go off into the forest and Fluttershy goes after them, it takes a genuinely creepy and suspenseful turn.
- Off Model: Scootaloo's wings are missing during the scene where the CMC chase the chickens.
- OOC Is Serious Business: We all know Fluttershy normally can't raise her voice to save her life. So when, during the chickens scene, she shouts "GIRLS!!", it's clear that she's run out of patience.
- Parrot Expo-what?:
Fluttershy: There's a cockatrice on the loose!
Apple Bloom: A cocka-what-now?
- Psycho Strings: When Rarity realizes what Sweetie Belle did to her golden silk that she needed for a big order.
- Sidetracked by the Analogy: Rarity confesses she's bitten off more than she can chew with her big dress order. Sweetie Belle points out that she's not eating.
- Squee: Fluttershy makes one. It's become ungodly popular.
- Staring Down Cthulhu: Initially averted as Fluttershy shivers and won't look at the cockatrice, but when she has to, she stares it down so hard that, it gives up and concedes to her demands out of fear.
- Stuffed into the Fridge: Played with upon the reveal of the petrified Twilight Sparkle.
- Super Speed: Sweetie Belle sewed the lining into her CMC capes in the five seconds between Rarity showing off the sheet of golden fabric and Apple Bloom and Scootaloo showing up.
- Surprise Creepy: Starts out with Rarity and later Fluttershy becoming a Badly Battered Babysitter and the Cutie Mark Crusader's antics... Then Fluttershy finds Twilight turned to stone...
- Taken for Granite: This is what makes the cockatrice so dangerous. (Perhaps unrelated, but thankfully, the petrification doesn't start at the eyes, or Fluttershy's Death Glare wouldn't have worked as long as it would have.)
- Theremin: The sound effect accompanying Fluttershy's Death Glare.
- This Is Gonna Suck: May not be as bad as expected, but the faces Scootaloo◊ and Apple Bloom made◊ when Sweetie Belle offered to sing says it all.
- Title Drop:
Scootaloo: [to Fluttershy] You're like the Queen of Stares!
Cutie Mark Crusaders: You're the Stare Master!
- Too Many Cooks Spoil the Soup: The cause of the CMC's failed attempt to repair Fluttershy's table. (If it wasn't implied one of them would have been perfect to do the props in "The Show Stoppers", it could just be concluded they're all bad at improvised carpentry.)
- Totem Pole Trench: Performed by Scootaloo and Apple Bloom.
- Truck Driver's Gear Change: Sweetie Belle's rendition of "Hush Now, Quiet Now".
- Twitchy Eye: Rarity near the beginning, upon witnessing the mess left by Sweetie Belle, and later Fluttershy, once she's back at her cottage with the Cutie Mark Crusaders…and she realizes what she got herself into.
- Wacky Sound Effect: Despite having only hammers to fix the table, we hear a saw and a jackhammer as the CMC attempt to revive it.
- With Catlike Tread: Sweetie Belle's rendition of the lullaby; she has quite a powerful instrument.