Tropes present in this episode (YMMV tropes can be found here):
- Added Alliterative Appeal/Department of Redundancy Department: The Astronomical Astronomer's Almanac to All Things Astronomy
- Adult Fear: Spike running away.
- Affectionate Gesture to the Head: Pinkie Pie gives "little Spikey-wikey" a tousle while all the ponies are congratulating him for being so amazing at the picnic. And Twilight gives him one when telling him she loves him even when he's being a jealous numbskull.
- Balloon Belly: Spike gets one after finding the other dragon's cave and pigging out on a stash of gems.
- Big Ball of Violence: Spike gets in a fight with a chicken. Spike winds up hitting himself as the chicken just walks away.
- Bindle Stick: Spike uses one when he leaves Ponyvile's Library.
- A Bloody Mess: Spike invokes this with ketchup in order to frame Owlowiscious. Twilight catches him in the act.
- Bowties Are Cool: Rarity makes some Gem-Encrusted bow ties for both Spike and Owlowiscious.
- Continuity Nod: While looking for a quill Spike looks into a daisy sandwich, similar to the one that Twilight ordered in "The Ticket Master".
- Crazy Jealous Guy: Spike is so jealous of Owlowiscious that it temporarily makes him a villain.
- Cue the Rain:Spike: Twilight hates me. I'm cold and hungry, tired and lonely; could it get any worse?
[it starts to rain]
- Dastardly Whiplash: Spike, as seen above, carries out his plan to set up Owlowiscious dressed as one of these. He even twirls his mustache.
- A Day in the Limelight: The first episode with a plot centered around Spike.
- Disappointed In You: Twilight to Spike after catching him in the act seen in the A Bloody Mess entry above.
- Do Wrong, Right: Twilight comments that she doesn't know whether it's worse that Spike tried to frame Owlowiscious or that he expected that the extremely poor setup would work.
- Dragon Hoard: Spike angers a full-grown dragon by stealing from its hoard.
- Evil Laugh: Spike gets one, complete with a Dastardly Whiplash getup.
- Forgot About Her Powers: When her scroll gets blown out the window Twilight forgets that she has telekinesis that could grab it. Later when fleeing in a dark cave, she forgets she can use her horn's magic to make light.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar:
- Pinkie Pie's joke about how the punch is Spiked.
- There's also the easy-to-miss shot of Spike briefly holding one of Twilight's frilly saddles like it's a pair of panties.
- Spike using a toy mouse and ketchup to simulate a dead mouse is pretty gruesome for this show.
- Got Me Doing It: Twilight Sparkle hears Spike mishear Owlowiscious's hoots as "Who?" enough that she does it herself at the end of the episode.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Spike suffers from this when he thinks the owl will replace him. (For bonus Stealth Pun points, he's literally a green-eyed monster!)
- Harmless Villain: Spike stoops pretty low when he tries to make it look like Owlowiscious killed the mouse, but he gets caught way too quickly to cause any harm. (Except to himself, indirectly.)
- Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Spike's obviously in the wrong here, but you can't help but feel pity for him.
- Innocently Insensitive: Twilight never realizes how much her actions affect Spike (see the Ironic Echo Cut below). Instead, she thinks she's overworking him and Owlowiscious will make his workload manageable.
- Ironic Echo Cut:Twilight: Spike knows he can't be replaced.
Spike: They're trying to replace me!
- Mood Whiplash:
- The transition from Twilight gently praising Spike as he sleeps to angrily confronting him about the burnt astronomy book is very sudden and shocking.
- The sudden swerve from Spike's zany sitcom antics to the drama of being chased by an angry dragon.
- Ominous Owl: Spike suspects this of Owlowiscious, but then again, he's biased.
- Parrot Expo-what?: Spike's "The Astro-nomo-lomo—what?"
- Poor Communication Kills: Goes both ways. If Twilight had told Spike earlier on that Owlowiscious was serving as her nighttime assistant, or if Spike had told Twilight that he felt that Owlowiscious was taking his place, he might not have gotten so jealous.
- Reality Is Unrealistic: It took time before some Bronies realized Owlowiscious was based on the real name Aloysius. One of the Japanese speed-subbers didn't—Owlowiscious's name is transliterated as アロイシウス, or "Aroishiusu," the closest katakana equivalent to "Aloysius."
- Rock Bottom: The classic "Can it get any worse?" accompanied by a sudden downpour. "I guess that's a 'yes'."
- The Runaway: Spike after he hits rock bottom and leaves with a Bindle Stick.
- Severely Specialized Store: When Spike needs a new quill, he goes straight to Ponyville's quills and sofas store.Spike: But the store is called 'Quills and Sofas'. You only sell two things!
Store Owner: Sorry, Junior. All outta quills until Monday. [beat] Need a sofa?
- Temporarily a Villain: Spike is normally good, but his envy in this episode at the attention Owlowicious is getting drives him to do some very morally objectionable things, such as planting a fake mouse corpse to try to make it look like Owlowicious killed the mouse.
- Twitchy Eye: Spike's first attempt to engage Owlowiscious in conversation gives him one.
- Unmoving Plaid: The quilt Pinkie tosses to Spike when he asked her for a quill has this property.
- Who's on First?: Nearly every conversation Spike has with Owlowiscious ends up this way.
- Wink Ding: Owlowiscious right before the Iris Out at the end.