Spike: Rarity... woods... jewels... dogs... hole... taken... SAVE HER!
Written by Amy Keating Rogers
Sapphire Shores, the Pony of Pop, has just commissioned Rarity to design five costumes for her upcoming tour. There's just one problem; Shores wants them to be covered in gems, and Rarity had just gone through the last of her stock. In order to satisfy Shores' order, she goes gem-hunting with Spike in a nearby quarry. While Rarity casts Detect Gem with her horn, Spike digs up the caches of gems she finds.As they are getting ready to return, however, the two are ambushed by the Diamond Dogs, a trio of Gollum-esque dog-men. They've taken notice of how easily Rarity is able to find gems, and so have decided to kidnap her and force her to find gems for them. Despite Spike's best efforts to fend them off, he is outnumbered and outmatched, and Rarity is dragged underground.After several imagination scenes, Spike and the other ponies head underground to rescue her, thinking she must be in great danger. Meanwhile, the Diamond Dogs order Rarity to start finding gems for them. Slowly, however, she starts getting on their nerves: When the dogs tell her to dig up the jewels, she refuses to more than scratch the ground little by little, on account of her having had a "pony-pedi"; when they force her to pull a cart to carry around the gems, she proceeds to criticize her captors' nails, breath, overall hygiene, etc. and when they start complaining about the whining...
Rarity: I am not whining; I am complaining! Do you want to hear whining? [in higher-pitched voice]Thiiis is whiiiiining! Oooo, this harness is too tiiiight! It's going to chafe! Can't you loosen it? Oh, it hurts and it's so rusty! Why didn't you clean it first? It's going to leave a stain, and the wagon's getting heavy, WHY DO I HAVE TO PULL IIIIIIIT?!
The dogs cave into Rarity's demands to treat her better at first, but then try to re-assert their authority over her. However, Rarity refuses to pull any passive-aggressive punches, and the whining starts to grate on the Diamond Dogs even more.Meanwhile, Spike and the other ponies are getting closer to where Rarity's being held, only to be stopped by a group of Diamond Dog guards. After successfully bucking them into submission, the group charges into the dogs' lair, only to be met by Rarity's frazzled captors. The dogs demand that they take Rarity back, as they can no longer take her whining and complaining. Rarity arrives, stating that her friends are just in time to help her carry the huge cartfuls of jewels she's collected. As the group heads back home, with enough gems in tow to fill Sapphire's order, Rarity relates how she had the Diamond Dogs wrapped around her hoof, teaching everyone that even a ladylike pony can get herself out of a sticky situation.
Tropes present in this episode (YMMV tropes can be found here):
Accidental Kiss: Barely averted; Spike nearly kisses Applejack while in the middle of a fantasy about saving Rarity from the Diamond Dogs.
Badass Adorable: A rare time Spike shows impressive physical prowess. He briefly takes on all three Diamond Dogs so Rarity could escape. The effort was all for nothing, though still worthy of this trope.
Rarity: I would appreciate it if you'd stop calling me "pony". I am a lady, and I wish to be addressed as such, so you may call me "Miss", or "Rarity", or "Miss Rarity".
Lost in Translation: In the German dub, where it becomes something like "'Lady,' 'Rarity' or 'Valued Rarity.'"
Call Back: We saw Twilight Sparkle invoking an What Would X Do? in "Feeling Pinkie Keen" regarding Rainbow Dash. In this episode, Twilight and Rainbow can be seen pulling a simultaneous charge at the Diamond Dogs without so much as an afterthought.
Canis Major: The Diamond Dogs and the Dig Dogs are bigger than the ponies, and much bigger than the only other dog shown in the series (Winona).
Chain of Ponies: When Spike gets pulled in after baiting the Diamond Dogs with a gem he saved, Applejack tried to pull him out, but before she slides in as well, Twilight follows but... you get the idea. Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy join in the chain, then just as the latter is pulled in, Pinkie Pie joins the chain because, hey, it looks like a fun ride!
Curb-Stomp Battle: The Diamond Dogs easily outmaneuver the rest of the mane cast when they try to use the holes. The mane cast in turn fight off the Dig Dogs with surprising ease. Spike imagines one as part of his heroic fantasy.
Cute, but Cacophonic: While Rarity normally has a lovely voice, if she's trying to be verbally irritating then her whining voice becomes weaponized.
Cut Lex Luthor a Check: The Diamond Dogs have a mine that is loaded with gems. Rarity desperately needs gems. If the Dogs had approached Rarity with a deal to give her, say, 20% of the gems that she locates and they dig up, and generally treated her acceptably, everyone could have gone home with a lot of gems. Instead, Rarity gets everything. Maybe if the Diamond Dogs weren't really, really stupid... Furthermore, Rarity had absolutely no problem simply finding them gems when she thought that's all they wanted. If they hadn't tried to make her their prisoner forever, they still would've ended up better off in the end.
Damsel in Distress: Played with; this is how the others picture Rarity in their Imagine Spots. In truth, Rarity had her kidnappers "wrapped around her hoof the whole time."
Damsel out of Distress: Not only does Rarity rescue herself but reverses the situation and puts herself in charge.
Face Paw: Spot does this twice. Rover does a slower version while moaning.
Foreshadowing: Shades of this when Rarity designates a dig site at the base of a cave formation, causing a stalactite to fall on two dogs. This hints at Rarity getting out of her situation by using her wits.
Flashback Cut: Played for Laughs. Before a commercial break, just after Rarity's abduction, Spike lets off his Big "NO!". After the commercial break, Spike has gathered the other Mane cast, racing to the rescue, but then leads to a quick flashback scene, with Spike arriving in Ponyville, panicked and out-of-breath, uttering the quote at the top of this page to convince the mane cast to help.
Food As Bribe: Rarity pays Spike in gems for helping her (which he eats), although he's so infatuated with her he'd do it for free.
Fractured Fairy Tale: In a sense, Spike's fantasy of rescuing Rarity counts as one. The usual scenario is of a knight on a white horse rescuing the princess from the clutches of an evil dragon. In Spike's fantasy, the dragon is the knight and the princess is a white horse (er... unicorn).
Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: While the Diamond Dogs are surprisingly sly in holding off the other ponies, they are ultimately oafish weasels that are brought to their knees by the greater horror that is Rarity's whining, at one point even correcting themselves when they think they offended her.
If jumping straight into a fight with a manticore in the pilot wasn't big enough of a hint, this episode showed that Rarity is more than capable of taking care of herself, and she didn't even need to resort to violence to do so.
This is also one of the few times we see Spike fight, and although he isn't able to prevent Rarity from being kidnapped, his performance is surprisingly impressive.
The rest of the Mane Cast get a moment when they easily defeat the Dig Dogs that try to enslave them (even Fluttershy).
Redundant Rescue: By the time the heroes arrive to save her, Rarity has already saved herself and subdued the Diamond Dogs.
Remembered I Could Fly: It's not until Spike suggests Twilight copy Rarity's gem-finding spell that she remembers Rarity taught it to her previously. Justified; Twilight was worried about Rarity and there had never been a need for her to use said spell, so forgetting that she knew it is forgivable.
Running Gag: "Doomed Rarity" fantasy sequences, and Spike's attempts to steal Rarity's gems.