Recap: My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic S1 E26 "The Best Night Ever"
Everypony gets dressed up for the season finale.
...I've waited all my life... Fluttershy:
...for this moment... Pinkie Pie:
...and I'm not going to... Applejack:
...let it slip by!... Rainbow Dash:
...If it's the last thing I do... Twilight Sparkle:
...I'm gonna make this... All:
...the best night ever!
Written by Amy Keating Rogers
The night of the Grand Galloping Gala has finally arrived! Everyone's excited about it being "the best night ever", and hopes for each of their dreams to come true. To recap: Fluttershy wants to befriend the creatures in the gardens surrounding the palaces, Applejack wants to sell apple-based treats to raise money for the family farm, Rarity wants to meet her Prince Charming, Rainbow Dash wants to meet (and hopefully join) the Wonderbolts, and Pinkie Pie wants to live it up at the biggest party in Equestria. Also, we find out that Twilight Sparkle wants to simply chat with Princess Celestia, while Spike hopes to hang out with his friends and show them around Canterlot. As soon as the group arrives at the palace, though, all except Spike run off to set their plans into motion, leaving him all alone...
At first, things seem to be going all right, and at least somewhat according to what the girls envisioned. However, things quickly go wrong. The party-goers don't appreciate Pinkie's enthusiastic nature; Twilight can't get a chance to really have a conversation with the Princess as the two of them have to greet every single guest; Rarity's object of affection, Prince Blueblood, acts like a complete Jerkass
towards her; all the animals in the garden run away from Fluttershy, who grows more and more impatient as they do so; Rainbow Dash gets to hang out with the VIP crowd thanks to the Wonderbolts recognizing her, but can't get a moment to talk to them and Applejack ends up making only two sales after about an hour at the Gala - one of which was to Rarity. Determined, however, the ponies pledge to make it the "best night ever".
Things quickly get out of hoof, though. When the party goers reject Pinkie's peppy singing and dancing because it isn't "that
kind of party", she assumes that they want her to get even more
aggressive and rowdy. Applejack realizes that no one's been buying her wares because fancier hors d'oeuvres
are available, so she whips up something more sophisticated. Fluttershy, meanwhile, is physically chasing all the animals around the castle grounds, growing steadily more unhinged as she does so
. The whole disaster reaches its boiling point when Applejack carts a huge cake into the ballroom
just as Pinkie does a stage dive into the crowd. Pinkie lands onto the cart, knocking the cake into the air. Prince Blueblood uses Rarity as a shield against the cake, whereupon she thoroughly chews him out for his horrible behavior all night. Cornered, the Prince knocks over a statue, which Rainbow Dash quickly catches, only to knock down several columns in the processnote
. As the dust settles, Princess Celestia and Twilight arrive on the scene, and just when Twilight thinks it can't get any worse, a stampede of wild animals being pursued by a furiously insane(!) Fluttershy rushes in
, causing everyone to panic. The Princess tells Twilight to run, and she does so, her friends following behind. On the way down the stairs, Rarity drops one of her glass slippers. After Pinkie tells her that her prince would surely use it to find her, the horrified Rarity stomps
on the slipper before fleeing in terror.
The girls meet up with Spike, who's been drowning his sorrows in fried pastry and sprinkles at a local doughnut shop
. They all relate what went wrong with their night over a plate of doughnuts, and agree that it was the worst night ever. Just then, Celestia arrives in the shop, thanking the ponies for making it the best Gala ever. Turns out the Gala's always a boring, horrible event, and Celestia invited the six in hopes that they would liven things up a bit, although the chaos that followed wasn't exactly what she had in mind. The episode ends with Twilight realizing that friends can make even the worst situations seem that much better.
Tropes present in this episode (YMMV tropes can be found here):
- Ambiguous Situation:
- Prince Blueblood's use of "one" when he expects Rarity to put her cloak over a puddle:
Prince Blueblood: Miss Rarity! Stop!
Rarity: Oh. Prince Blueblood! How chivalrous.
Prince Blueblood: One would hate to slip.
Rarity: Yes. "One" certainly would.
Prince Blueblood: One's cloak should take care of the problem.
- And again when he expects her to get the door for him.
- And yet again when he expects her to pay for the food.
- Bad Bad Acting: When Fluttershy sets her first trap.
Fluttershy: I'm sooo sorry to have scared you, my friends, but I'm leaving now, so you can all come out! [disappears behind a bush]
- Ballroom Blitz: Call it what you will, but the Gala is clearly a royal ball of some sort and one of the fanciest events in Canterlot... then it all slowly starts to go to hell.
- Barefoot Cartoon Animal: Done oddly in that several of the Mane 6 are shown at various times as wearing shoes on their front hooves, but not on their back hooves.
- Beware the Quiet Ones: Fluttershy, naturally. She's setting traps, indulging in the evil laugh, and unleashing her unforgettable line, "You're going to LOVE ME!". Overlaps with Beware the Nice Ones.
- Bishie Sparkle: Prince Blueblood has this in Rairy's daydream.
- Bookshelf Dominoes: With Columns, leading to the climax.
- Bowties Are Cool: Octavia, Spike, and one apparent incarnation of Doctor Whooves.
- Box-and-Stick Trap: Fluttershy tried to catch a rabbit this way, using (what else?) a carrot as bait. She ended up catching the groundskeeper instead.
- Call Back:
- Carrying a Cake: Twice.
- Soarin' carrying the apple pie; it's saved by Rainbow Dash.
- Applejack bringing a big cake; the tray is kicked by Pinkie Pie, and the cake ends in Rarity's face.
- Caught in a Snare: Fluttershy, self-inflicted.
- Comically Missing the Point: When Pinkie Pie is informed that this is not that kind of party, she takes it in the wrong direction.
Pinkie: Oh! These ponies don't want a party... they want a PAR-TAY!
- Continuity Nod:
- Cringe Comedy: The climax of the episode when the Mane Six all reach the height of their Sanity Slippage. Even Princess Celestia lets her composure slip, and on some level the scene is still funny.
- Crowd Song: The ponies' arrival at the Gala is marked by one of these, which doubles as a Massive Multiplayer Ensemble Number.
- Cut Song: The "Piggy Dance" song featured in "Baby Cakes" was originally meant to be in this episode, longer and to the tune of the "Chicken Dance", but was cut due to time constraints. It apparently wasn't this episode's only too-long Cut Song, either.
- Defied Trope: See Genre Savvy below.
- Disaster Dominoes: How the mane cast ends up destroying the Gala.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: Twilight Sparkle turns an apple into a carriage and some mice into steeds that'll turn back at midnight (though they still look mouse-y instead of being full horses). The mice are promptly scared off by Rarity's cat, and they have to lure a couple stallions into pulling them to Canterlot instead.
- Also Rarity losing her glass slipper, though that turns out quite differently than the story it's referencing.
- When Fluttershy sings to the meadowlark, it's the same melody as Snow White's song. When she finds the groundskeeper instead, he explains that he likes to whistle while he works.
- Spike at the donut shop.
- Don't Ask, Just Run: When the most powerful alicorn in the land must give this advice to the most powerful unicorn in the land...
- Dramatic Thunder: Fluttershy doing her Evil Laugh.
- Drowning My Sorrows / Drunk on Milk: Spike does this with doughnuts. It even comes complete with an I'll Tell You When I've Had Enough! exchange.
- Enemy to All Living Things: This episode inverts Fluttershy's Friend to All Living Things status, because the animals run away from her when she tries to befriend them at the Gala.
- Epic Fail: The gala is a disaster because it was engineered to be so by Celestia.
- Everypony Laughs Ending: At the doughnut shop because they're finally having fun.
- Evil Laugh: Fluttershy. No, really. Really. It's loud. It even gets Dramatic Thunder and a proper Rearing Horse pose... which she has trouble landing.
- Face Hoof: When Twilight worries about losing the mice-turned-horses for the carriage, Rarity does everything but point out the obvious.
- Face Plant: Fluttershy plows face-first into a bush when trying in vain to catch the critters in the garden during Pinkie's song.
- Finish Dialogue in Unison: See the page quote.
- Prince Blueblood is prissy and regal like Rarity, and demonstrates what a jerk she isn't. Where Rarity is generous to a fault despite how she appears, Prince Blueblood is a complete Jerkass who cares only about himself.
- Fluttershy encounters animals that are shyer than her, Pinkie's troubles come from ponies that must party the right way, the guests are too proud to eat AJ's food, Rainbow loses the Wonderbolts to people louder and more attention-seeking, and the schedule works against Twilight.
- Foreshadowing: Twilight's attempt to recreate the fairy tale enchanted-carriage-and-horses archetype is a mild foreshadowing of the gala itself — everything starts off as expected, but falls apart soon afterward...
- Furry Confusion: Twilight's plan to magically create horses to pull everypony's carriage... and Rarity's alternate solution when it goes wrong. Even Spike gets in on the fun when he attempts to direct the carriage.
- Genre Savvy: Pinkie Pie and Rarity, with a twist:
- The Girl Who Fits This Slipper: Defied when Rarity smashes her dropped slipper rather than deal with the prince again.
- Gone Horribly Right: Princess Celestia invited the Mane cast in hopes that they'd liven up the Gala, or at least hoped that they would do so after she knew they were all coming. (The events of "The Ticket Master" make it look less than entirely planned.) They prove so lively that the Gala is destroyed by their antics. However, Celestia still considers this an improvement over how the Gala would have gone without them, so it's a Downplayed version of the trope.
- Groin Attack: Part of Pinkie Pie's "Pony Pokey" performance. Pity the poor piano-playing pony. Even better, his piano playing jumps up a few octaves when he gets hit.
- Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: Lampshaded.
Spike: (knocking) Aw, c'mon, you guys! Let me in!
Rainbow Dash: Sure thing, Spike!
Rarity: Heavens, no! We're getting dressed!
Applejack: Dressed? Er... beg pardon, Rarity, but... uh... we don't normally wear clothes.
- Heroism Addict: Rainbow Dash flirts with this towards the end of the episode. To be precise, she wants the Wonderbolts' attention and so bucks Caesar into the air and catches him on her back (in a very suggestive — for ponies — position). Nopony notices, and she flings him aside in frustration.
- Heroic Vow: The ponies each resolve to make the evening the best night ever.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Fluttershy falls for her own net trap.
- Hype Backlash: The mane cast's failed expectations are an In-Universe example of this.
- "I Want" Song: A variation with "At the Gala". The Mane Six state what they wish to happen at the gala.
- I'll Tell You When I've Had Enough!: Spike and doughnuts.
- It's the Best Whatever, Ever!: The title, and a recurring motif throughout the episode. Even said by Celestia herself at the end.
Celestia: That was the best Grand Galloping Gala ever!
- Love Hungry: Fluttershy when the animals reject her repeated attempts to get close. She gets scary when they ignore her.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
- The Mane Cast's forays into Trying Too Hard to make the night the Best Night Ever universally just make the night worse for them and those around them. Rainbow Dash in particular literally breaks a lot of stuff when trying to save a falling statue.
- Also, Opal scaring away the mice turned horse at the beginning.
- Nightmare Face: Fluttershy pulls off a pretty frightening one at the height of her sanity slippage.
- OOC Is Serious Business:
- Given that Fluttershy is ordinarily one of the sweetest characters on the show... if not the sweetest... it's quite surprising when she goes crazy.
- When Rarity destroys part of her gala getup on being told her prince was sure to find her...
- After the Gala has been trashed and it goes From Bad to Worse when the garden animals start to run amok, Celestia's response is to lean down to Twilight and whisper "Run!"
- Oh Horseapples: The Disaster Dominoes elicit this reaction from everypony (except maybe Celestia). Also, the squirrel Flutterrage catches.
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping:
- It seems that Ashleigh Ball has some trouble singing in Applejack's voice, instead she uses her own singing voice and puts a slight accent on the lyrics that are more spoken than sung.
- Rainbow Dash isn't immune to this either as her voice loses some of its usual rasp although it's barely noticeable.
- Pony Shield: Prince Blueblood makes Rarity into one when a flying cake comes their way. She is definitely not amused.
- Picky Eater: Prince Blueblood and many other stuck-up ponies.
- Pie in the Face: Rarity gets a whole cake in the face thanks to Prince Blueblood.
- Previously On: "At the Gala" is a stealth version of this, since it reminds the audience of all the characters' expectations about the Gala that had been established in "The Ticket Master" (though Twilight's isn't introduced until now). They come with brief imagine shots, updated to feature each pony in her gala dress.
- Prince Charmless: Blueblood. Rarity actually describes him in nearly those words.
- Puddle-Covering Chivalry: When Rarity and Blueblood come upon a puddle, she thinks he will do this for her. Instead, he takes her coat so that he can walk across on it.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: When Psychoshy shows up.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Rarity finally giving Prince Blueblood what for.
Rarity: You, sir, are the most uncharming prince I have ever met! In fact, the only thing royal about you is that you are a royal pain!
- Retcon: Rainbow now just wants to hang out with the Wonderbolts rather than upstaging them.
- Rock Bottom: Twilight: "Well, it can't get any worse." Cue the rumbling of a stampede.
- Rule of Glamorous: The only reason anypony would wear hoofwear that could be destroyed by stepping too hard.
- Sanity Slippage: Fluttershy. Who'd have guessed?
Fluttershy: You're... going... to LOVE ME!!!!!
- Sapient Steed: It turns out that ponies don't appreciate the coach driver (an overenthusiastic Spike) whipping them.
- Serious Business: The stallions used to pull the Mane 6's carriage really don't like being whipped.
"If you weren't friends with our neighbor Rarity..."
- "At the Gala" has quite a few similarities to "Ever After" from Into the Woods. "Into the Gala to meet, to sell, to find, to prove, to whoop, to talk...."
- The song between Fluttershy and the meadowlark is straight-up the same melody as Snow White's during her "I'm Wishing" song. And then when she finds the gardener pony, he explains that he enjoys whistling while he works.
- When Rainbow Dash saves Soarin's pie from falling, the background sound is the famous "bionic sound" used in The Six Million Dollar Man during similar Bullet Time/Over Crank heroic moments.
- Fluttershy's attempt to trap a critter and its resulting backfire would land her among the ranks of Elmer Fudd and Wile E. Coyote.
- The˙fruit-based carriage and mice turned into horses is reminiscent of Cinderella. See Genre Savvy above.
- The way Celestia flies between Canterlot's towers, leaving a sparkling arc behind her, is very reminiscent of the intro logo used in Disney movies.
- Spontaneous Choreography: On part of everyone during "At the Gala".
- Squee: Quite literally Rainbow Dash's reaction to finally getting to hang out with the Wonderbolts.
- Suspiciously Apropos Music: Pinkie's "Pony Pokey" song is played over scenes of the other ponies trying to have a good time at the Gala, with the lyrics matching up to their situations and actions very well.
- They Clean Up Nicely: Spike is amazed by how the girls look in their outfits.
- Tempting Fate: Twilight and Celestia walk into the grand hall to find it devastated, and with four of the Mane Cast surveying the results of the recent bout of Disaster Dominoes. Twilight can't help but utter the classic phrase, "Well, it can't get any worse!" Cue Fluttershy with a horde of frightened animals
- Title Drop: Several times over the course of the episode.
- Truck Driver's Gear Change: "At the Gala", before and after Twilight's verse, and "Pony Pokey", before each of the second through fifth verses.
- Twitchy Eye: Fluttershy when she chases the animals around the castle.
- Two Scenes, One Dialogue: Happens to the Mane Six themselves in six scenes with one dialogue.
- Uncanny Valley: In-Universe. This is everypony's reaction when Twilight transforms Fluttershy's mouse friends into slightly mouse-faced horses to pull their carriage.
- Upper-Class Twit: Prince Blueblood has all the smug arrogance combined with the lack of wit and sophistication that the trope requires.
- Waistcoat of Style: Pinkie and Rainbow's dresses have these.
- Wanting Is Better Than Having: The Aesop of the episode is that the Mane Six's dreams of the gala were far superior to the gala itself.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: A quite literal example in that we never find out what happened to the mice/horses that were originally going to pull the carriage after Opal scared them off. Twilight made a passing mention just before Opal's entrance that the spell only lasts until midnight, as appropriate of her genre stealing... so, they most likely returned to Fluttershy's entourage the next morning. Also, Twilight turns four mice into horses, but we only see three run away after Opalescense pounces.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: A lot of the cast's problems come from assuming that they're in a Fairy Tale rather than an Aesop comedy.
- Xanatos Gambit: Princess Celestia had one going on. Either she got to spend the evening with her star student (making the boring party at least slightly more bearable), the mane cast would make the party more interesting, or (as what happened) the mane cast would make things so "interesting" that the boring party would be over faster. Let's see... Celestia's party got cut short by a spectacular case of Disaster Dominoes courtesy of Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie knocked her guests out of their starched shirt complacency, her Prince Charmless of a nephew got a well deserved "The Reason You Suck" Speech and she got to spend some quality time in a relaxed late-night restaurant with the mane cast. Yup, a winner is Celestia.
- Yandere: Oh, Fluttershy. This is the source for her infamous meme, "You're going to LOVE ME!"