Recap: MLP: Friendship Is Magic S1 E5 "Griffon the Brush Off"
Don't you worry your pretty little head about mean old Gilda! Your auntie Pinkie Pie has it all taken care of! Fluttershy: [annoyed]
I'm a year older than you.
Written by Cindy Morrow
With some effort (and a lot of chasing), Pinkie Pie convinces Rainbow Dash to hang out with her, and the two bond playing some harmless pranks on their friends. While Spike, Twilight, Applejack, and Rarity are all fair game, Pinkie is reluctant to do anything to Fluttershy, knowing how sensitive the pony is. She turns a prank on Dash instead, who accepts it with good cheer.
The next day, Pinkie goes to meet up with Dash, only to find that Dash is hanging with an old friend of hers from Junior Speedsters Camp, a griffon named Gilda. Pinkie keeps trying to interject into whatever the two are doing, but Gilda keeps rudely brushing Pinkie off, insisting that Dash doesn't need to hang with any "lame-o" ponies now that she's here. Pinkie is dejected and angry, but when she talks to Twilight about it, Twilight misinterprets it as Pinkie being jealous that Dash is spending less time with her.
After seeing Gilda give the other citizens of Ponyville the same shabby treatment, however, Pinkie is certain Gilda really is a "meanie-pants". It's bad enough seeing Gilda playing a mean-spirited prank on Granny Smith, then stealing from an apple cart, but the last straw is when Pinkie sees Gilda roar
at Fluttershy for bumping into her. The poor, meek pegasus runs off crying.
Pinkie Pie: She's a grump, and a thief, and a bully! The meanest kind of mean meanie-pants there is! I can take it, but nobody treats Fluttershy like that... no one! This calls for extreme measures... Pinkie Pie-style!
Later, Pinkie Pie throws a big party to officially welcome Gilda to Ponyville. Gilda tries to play it cool, especially since her friend Rainbow Dash is there, but after falling victim to a series of pranks she starts to lose her temper and becomes suspicious of Pinkie's intentions.
Gilda: I'm watching you, like a hawk.
Pinkie Pie: Why? Can't you watch me like a griffon?
After one prank too many, Gilda finally flips out and snaps at the other ponies, especially Pinkie and her silly practical jokes... except it turns out Rainbow Dash
was behind all the pranks (which were meant for any guest to stumble into, not Gilda specifically), and Pinkie says she threw the party to get Gilda to lighten up by being nice to her. Rainbow Dash calls Gilda out on bad-mouthing her other friends, but Gilda mocks Dash for being a "flip-flop" and walks out in a huff. Once Dash apologizes for Gilda's behavior, the mood quickly brightens up and all the ponies enjoy the party again.
Later, Celestia receives Twilight's friendship report on being a good friend in the face of bad friends... as well as a pot of disappearing ink
Tropes present in this episode (YMMV tropes can be found here):
- Accidental Public Confession: Gilda's outburst at her Humiliation Conga causes Rainbow Dash to realize her old friend is a much bigger jerk than she thought she was.
- Actress Allusion/Expy: Gilda, who's voiced by Maryke Hendrikse, is what Revy would be if she were in a G-rated setting and you can hear it in her voice a few times. The irony is that Revy (the one from an adult show) has more redeeming qualities and a Freudian Excuse for her actions whereas Gilda (the one from a kid's show), as far as we know, has none.
- Actually Pretty Funny: All of Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash's victims make at least a small begrudged smirk or titter to their prank. Even the pair themselves are in hysterics whenever they're pranked by each other.
- Affectionate Gesture to the Head: When Pinkie Pie reassures Fluttershy that her "auntie" has everything under control. The year-older Pegasus isn't amused.
- Alma Mater Song:
Junior Speedsters are our lives
Sky-bound soars and daring dives
Junior Speedsters it's our quest
To some day be the very best
- Alpha Bitch: Gilda has elements of this trope since she is a bitch and met Dash in a school-like setting.
- Always Chaotic Evil: Inverted. Pinkie assumes that most griffons are not as nasty as Gilda.
- Anthropomorphic Zig Zag: While the show regularly fluctuates with this, this episode has one of the very few instances where a pony is shown running on their hind legs (Applejack, who is throwing apples at the two pranksters with her front legs).
- Bait and Switch: We're led to believe that Pinkie set up the pranks to get back at Gilda. Turns out, Rainbow Dash set them up and not even for anyone in particular; it's purely bad luck that Gilda stumbled into all of them. Pinkie had no notions about getting back at Gilda at all, she just thought that a party might warm her up to the others and cause her to behave a little more nicely. What else would 'Pinkie Pie style' mean?
- Played with in regards to the plot of the episode itself. When Pinkie and Rainbow go on a pranking spree, the episode seems to be setting up for an Aesop on taking pranks too far (a popular one for these sorts of edutainment shows), only for the girls to show that they've already learned this lesson by realizing that Fluttershy is too sensitive to prank. Then it briefly seems to be setting up a different one about Pinkie learning that you can't constantly seek to be the center of your friend's attention, when she has other friends who deserve some attention as well (Twilight calld Pinkie out on this a little), only for that to be avoided as well by the revelation that Gilda really is a jerk. The final Aesop is real friends don't treat your other friends like dirt.
- Balloonacy: Invoked by Pinkie on herself. Gilda pops them.
- Batman Gambit:
- Pinkie Pie sets up a fake prank on Fluttershy (naturally aborted) in order to prank her real target, Rainbow Dash (with the old inked eyepiece gag).
- Pinkie may have pulled this off in such a way as to predict exactly how both Rainbow Dash and Gilda would act.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Gilda acts good-natured and easy going to the ponies whenever Rainbow Dash is around, and then bullies them mercilessly when her back is turned. Gilda's temper and hatred of Pinkie eventually leads her to snap in front of Rainbow Dash and at all of her Ponyville friends at that.
- Brick Joke: Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash pull a prank on Twilight involving invisible ink. At the end of the episode, Twilight recycles the prank on Princess Celestia by sending the (disguised) invisible ink bottle with her letter.
- Buffy Speak:
Pinkie Pie: Maybe Gilda isn't a big meanie grumpy mean-meanie-pants. Maybe I'm just a big jealous judgmental jealous-jealousy-pants.
- Carnivore Confusion: In classical lore, griffons (or whichever of the many spellings one favors) traditionally ate horses. There's a hint that Gilda's omnivorous but she sticks to standard pony fare while in Ponyville (about the only considerate thing she does).
- The Cat Came Back: Pinkie Pie does this in her pursuit of Rainbow Dash. Even flying high up into the air doesn't deter the earth pony.
- Cool Big Sis: Rainbow Dash sees Gilda as this. She soon realizes how wrong she is, and leans herself into the trope by defending Pinkie from her.
- Comically Missing the Point: Spike burrows into a cake, and when Twilight sternly says his name (after all, the cake was for everyone, not a playground for a little dragon), he simply tells her that the cake is amazing.
- Determinator: Pinkie Pie is this with regards to Rainbow Dash; beating a pegasus to places that she shouldn't have been able to get to in the first place.
- Exact Words: Invoked by Pinkie Pie after Rainbow Dash tells her "we'll catch up with you later".
Pinkie Pie: Hi! It's later! And I caught up!
- Fire-Breathing Diner: When Gilda eats one of the vanilla-lemon drops at Pinkie's party. Pinkie Pie immediately pull out a marshmallow on a stick to cook on the stream of flames.
- Funny Background Event: When Princess Celestia receives the first accidental letter from Spike, her eyes are crossed like Derpy's infamous stare.
- After Dash and Pinky abort their prank on Fluttershy; as they walk away, you can see Fluttershy poking at the fake turtle they were going to use with a confused look on her face.
- Good Is Not Dumb: Invoked by Gilda when she's convinced that Pinkie Pie set up the party pranks to humiliate her. The idea that Pinkie genuinely wants to make her happy and be friends is absolutely alien to Gilda.
- Hiccup Hijinks: Pinkie Pie purposely has Rainbow Dash give Spike the hiccups by startling him with a thunder cloud. This has the hilarious aftereffect of Spike sending dozens of scrolls to Princess Celestia by accident.
- Hold Your Hippogriffs: Simultaneously Discussed and Double Subverted in the exchange below.
Gilda: I'm watching you, like a hawk.
Pinkie Pie: Why? Can't you watch me like a griffon?
- Humiliation Conga: Gilda's experience at the Prank Party. Interestingly enough, it was accidental! The pranks were intended for everyone, Gilda's own attitude and desire to be the "star of the show" caused her to end up walking right into all of them.
- And the last "prank" wasn't even a prank: Gilda just assumed she was being pointed in the wrong direction for pin the tail on the pony, and so set off in the opposite (entirely wrong) direction, running into things along the way
- Kick the Dog: Gilda does this whenever Rainbow Dash is away. It was her roaring at Fluttershy and making her run away crying that made her cross the line in Pinkie Pie's eyes.
- Long-Lost Uncle Aesop: Gilda.
- Malicious Misnaming:
- Gilda says "You're dorkin' up the skies, Stinkie Pie!" before telling Pinkie to "buzz off".
- In the Japanese dub, Gilda mocks Pinkie by calling her Inchiki Pai ("Phony Pie").
- Morality Chain: Pinkie acts as this to RD in their pranking spree, insisting to avoid pranks that wouldn't be funny for the victim. As shown later on, RD's good-natured friends in Ponyville have much stronger influence on her personality than Gilda.
- Morality Pet:
- Rainbow Dash is literally the only pony whom Gilda showed any amount of civility towards during her stay in Ponyville. She was even willing to be a little self-sacrificing around her too, as she agreed to sing the Junior Speedsters chant despite obviously hating it (and finding it embarrassing), purely because RD wanted to sing it.
- In the midst of their pranking escapades, both Pinkie and RD acknowledge that, despite pranking everypony else in town, Fluttershy, with her low self-esteem, wouldn't react well to getting pranked.
- Mythology Gag: to the G3 theme song. We "plan a party with Pinkie Pie" and "watch her balloons lift her up to the sky."
- Never Hurt an Innocent: Although their pranks are generally harmless, Pinkie stops Rainbow Dash from pulling a prank on Fluttershy because she's far too sensitive. Similarly, Pinkie shows a great deal of concern towards Spike after they prank him into a fit of hiccups. It's only when Spike laughs it off that she and Rainbow Dash give themselves the okay to laugh back. This is important to Pinkie's pranking philosophy: You don't prank someone who won't get the joke. Dash is a little more liberal about it than Pinkie, but agrees that Fluttershy is off-limits.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Subverted. Gilda and the audience are led to believe that the party is a ruse by Pinkie Pie to get back at Gilda with a series of pranks, but it turns out her intentions were exactly what she said they were and all the pranks were from Dash.
- Overly Pre-Prepared Gag: Some of the pranks set up by Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash veer into this. For instance, painting over so many apples in Applejack's orchard — it must have taken hours.
- Pet the Dog: For all the crap she pulls, it's easy to overlook the fact that Gilda obviously cares about Rainbow Dash.
- The Prankster:
- Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash. They also have a good sense of humor about becoming the victims themselves.
- Celestia if "wrong ink" is interpreted to mean she owns a bottle of disappearing ink herself (though the one she uses clearly pops in with the scroll).
- Red Pony, Blue Pony: The pranking spree is one of the very rare occasions where Pinkie is the blue (to Dashie's red).
- Right for the Wrong Reasons: Rainbow Dash about Gilda in the end. Freaking out at the party is the least of Gilda's sins, and Rainbow might not judge her so harshly for it if she knew her thought process (Humiliation Conga orchestrated by an antagonistic Pinkie Pie). However, if she knew the actual reason, she'd also have had an inkling about what a jerk Gilda was being behind her back. In the end, Rainbow's uncharitable interpretation about Gilda's talk about being "cool" and "lame" is right even though calling all the pranks lame could have had the opposite meaning that it's lame to be mean to people.
- Shout-Out: Pinkie Pie's calm determination to follow a fleeing Rainbow Dash all over the place, her knack for showing up wherever Dash ends up, and especially her simple bouncing gait, all add up to an homage of every Pepe Le Pew cartoon ever.
- Stalker Without a Crush: This episode has Pinkie Pie following Rainbow Dash around in a fairly cheerful way. Dash finds this slightly annoying at worst, but also amusing.
- Subverted Suspicion Aesop:
- Gilda's true character is pretty obvious, but between Twilight and Rainbow avoiding all the flying dogs she'd been kicking, there is a conflicting view. Pinkie doesn't have to go far down the path of potentially unfair suspicion once the possibility is pointed out.
- Gilda suspects Pinkie of victimizing her with a Humiliation Conga of pranks that were all set up by Rainbow Dash for various guests. Gilda was just unlucky activating every single one.
- Teleport Spam: In the most stealth punny way possible. Spike + dragonfire-hiccups - scrolls = tons of junk mail for Celestia!
- Theme Tune Cameo While gathering up a bunch of scrolls, Spike can be heard humming the theme song to the show.
- Those Magnificent Flying Machines: Pinkie Pie's "crazy contraption".
- Tranquil Fury: Unusually Rainbow Dash, who deals with Gilda's true colors solely with collected, stern words.
- Watch Out for That Tree!: As Dash is flying away from a running and shouting Pinkie.
Iím in the middle of something. Pinkie Pie:
But... Rainbow Dash:
I said, not now
! [THUD] Pinkie Pie:
I was going to tell you to look out for that mountain.
- We Used to Be Friends: Gilda and Rainbow Dash at the end. Now...they're enemies.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: Twilight suspects Pinkie of being jealous of Gilda. See Bait and Switch above.
- X-Ray Sparks: When Pinkie Pie uses a joy buzzer on Gilda.