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Recap: My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic S1 E3 "The Ticket Master"

Twilight: You're not doing this for the ticket, are you?
Fluttershy: Oh, no! I'm doing this because you're my very best friend. Right, Angel?
(Angel Bunny glares at Fluttershy)
Fluttershy: Oh... yes, we are just doing this for the ticket.

Written by Amy Keating Rogers and Lauren Faust

Twilight Sparkle receives two tickets from Princess Celestia to Canterlot's Grand Galloping Gala, Equestria's biggest social event. Unfortunately all five of her new friends want to go: Applejack wants to drum up business for her family's apple farm so she can afford to fix up a few things around the homestead; Rainbow Dash wants to go so she can show off for the Wonderbolts, a troupe of acrobatic fliers who are scheduled to perform at the Gala; Pinkie Pie is the sort of party animal who would jump at a chance to go to "the most amazing, incredible, tremendous, super-fun, wonderful, terrifically humongous party in all of Equestria!"; Rarity dreams of meeting her true love at the Gala la Cinderella; and Fluttershy wants to see the royal gardens in Canterlot and all the exotic birds and animals kept there.

With all five of her friends arguing over who gets the ticket, Twilight can't bring herself to disappoint any of them by choosing one as her guest. Unable to think straight on an empty stomach, Twilight's efforts to get lunch are further interrupted by her friends trying to butter her up for the ticket: Rainbow Dash makes a hole in a rain storm so Twilight doesn't get rained on, Rarity offers to give Twilight a makeover, Applejack plies Twilight with home-baked goods (which Twilight, even as hungry as she is, finds herself unable to accept in good conscience), Fluttershy and her animal friends straighten up the library and Pinkie throws a party in Twilight's honor. When word gets out that Twilight has an extra ticket to the Grand Galloping Gala, Hilarity Ensues (as does a big chase scene) with Twilight forced to flee from a mob of ponies trying to bribe her into taking them along.

Twilight escapes the mob, only for her friends to confront her one last time. Twilight finally gives up and admits she can't choose who to take along because she doesn't want any of her friends to feel left out. Feeling guilty, her friends all give up their claim for the extra ticket and Twilight has the tickets sent back to Princess Celestia with a note of explanation. She's pleasantly surprised when Celestia responds with a letter reading "Why didn't you say so in the first place?" and extra tickets for her and all her friends. There's even one for Spike, who's pleased as punch despite his earlier claims that he wasn't interested in "any of that Girly Gala Gunk". As a way of apologizing, the other ponies decide to satisfy Twilight's growling tummy by taking her out to dinner.


Tropes:

  • Added Alliterative Appeal:
    • The Grand Galloping Gala itself.
    • When Pinkie is listing things that are at the gala.
    • Spike gives us "Girly Gala Gunk".
  • Aggressive Categorism: When the Mane Six share a group hug over Twilight's decision to return her "plus one guest" invite to the Gala, Spike becomes visibly ill. Applejack attributes it to him being a boy, but it's actually because he's about to belch up a letter from the Princess.
    Applejack: Well wallop my withers, Spike! Isn't that just like a boy; can't handle the least bit of sentiment.
  • Apple of Discord: The ticket causes the Mane Six to argue over who gets it.
  • Audience Surrogate: For the Periphery Demographic. Spike acts as this in more than one episode, but it's especially apparent here when he's completely overcome with glee at getting his ticket to the Gala which he had previously spent the entire episode stubbornly insisting that he had no interest in attending because it was too girly.
  • Background Halo: Rainbow Dash, looking through the hole in the clouds.
  • Big "YES!":
    • Rarity, fantasizing about the prince: "Our eyes would meet. Our hearts would melt. Our courtship would be magnificent. He would ask for my hoof in marriage. And of course I would say...YES!!!"
    • Rainbow Dash when everyone else has given up on asking for the ticket and she thinks that means she can have it.
  • Buffy Speak: Applejack apologizes on behalf of the group for being so gung-ho about getting the ticket that they didn't notice how "un-gung-ho" they were making Twilight feel.
  • Captain Obvious: Rarity.
    Rarity: Twilight! It's raining.
    Twilight Sparkle: (sitting in the rain, completely soaked) No, really?
  • Could Have Avoided This Plot: Princess Celestia's response after she gives Twilight enough tickets for her and all her friends is that Twilight could have just asked for more tickets.
  • Dynamic Entry: Rainbow Dash, as usual, but Pinkie also does one to Twilight.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: This episode was apparently the first episode written and produced. It shows. Here are a few examples:
    • Spike doesn't show interest in Rarity.
    • Rarity's voice sounds different.
    • Applejack's voice is slightly higher-pitched.
    • Teleportation seems harmful.
    • Non-unicorn ponies can levitate the tickets.
  • Everyone Chasing You: When the whole town hears about the ticket.
  • Fairytale Wedding Dress: Rarity wears a suitably elegant one in her Imagine Spot.
  • Furry Reminder: Twilight pulls the petals off a flower as she tries to decide which of her friends to give the ticket to. Then she eats the petals.
  • Growling Gut: Twilight's stomach growls throughout the course of the episode. Seven times, to be exact.
  • Healthcare Motivation: Applejack's motivation for going to the Grand Galloping Gala is to get enough money to replace Granny Smith's hip, among other things.
  • Imagine Spot: Twilight's friends each get one as they fantasize about attending the Gala.
  • Minsky Pickup: "Pinkie's Buttering Up Song" starts with this.
  • Noodle Implements: We never actually see them, but Rarity putting Twilight in a pretty saddle and Spike in a paige uniform has the distinctive sound of power tools, underscoring earthshaking crashes, and sundry whinging.
  • Parental Bonus: When the crowd of Ponyville residents give Twilight even more offers for her ticket, one says "I'll do your taxes!"
  • Personal Raincloud: In a literal inversion, Rainbow Dash opens a hole in the clouds so it rains on everyone except Twilight.
  • Puppy-Dog Eyes: Rainbow Dash gets a slight case of this during her initial effort to convince Twilight to take her along to the Gala.
  • Running on the Spot: Twilight briefly does this when she decides to run away from the crowd of ponies who are trying to offer her favors in exchange for the ticket.
  • Say My Name: Twilight's reaction to Pinkie's blatant attempt at buttering her up.
    Twilight Sparkle: PIIIINKIIIIEEEE!
  • Seven Minute Lull:
    Pinkie Pie: ...[[ and then I said "Oatmeal? Are you craz—" ...oh.
    • The Japanese dub has Pinkie blurting out the similarly Non Sequitur, "Your back is itchy? Isn't that kind of weird?"
    • In the Italian dub she says, "Tell me one thing: Where do you put the colored drinks?"
  • Shout-Out:
  • Story Arc: This is the beginning of the Grand Galloping Gala story arc, which continues in "Suited for Success" and "The Best Night Ever".
  • Sweet and Sour Grapes: To avoid having to pick any of her friends over the others, Twilight gives up both tickets and sends a letter to Celestia explaining that she won't be attending the Gala. Celestia immediately responds by sending enough tickets for everyone, including Spike.
  • Take Me Instead: Inverted when each of Twilight's friends gives up on taking the extra ticket.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: In-Universe. Right when the girls group-hug after Twilight gives up the two tickets, Spike gags as he gets ready to cough up Celestia's reply. Applejack calls him out for being unable to take the sappy stuff.
  • Teleportation Sickness: Twilight accidentally teleporting herself and Spike is a lot rougher on him.
    Spike: Uehhhh... Warn me next time you're going to do that...
  • Theme Tune Cameo: Hummed by Fluttershy while cleaning. Also a Mythology Gag as that's the G1 theme tune she's humming.
  • Yes-Pony: Twilight's friends perform various favors and services for her in their blatant attempts to get her spare ticket.
    Fluttershy: Well... hello, Twilight. I hope you don't mind. We're all doing a little spring cleaning for you.
    Twilight Sparkle: It's summer.
    Fluttershy: Oh... well, better late than never, right?
  • "Yes"/"No" Answer Interpretation: Applejack tries to interpret Twilight's rumbling stomach as a positive answer to her offer of (a bribe of) something to eat, and even after she rants about how she doesn't want any unwanted favours and runs off, Applejack refuses to give up hope: "So, that's a 'maybe'?"


Alternative Title(s):

The Ticket Master