Mr. Cake: Now, Pinkie Pie, are you sure you really understand the responsibility of watching over two babies? Pinkie Pie: I can be responsible! Why, "Responsibility" is my middle name! Pinkie Responsibility Pie.
Written by Charlotte Fullerton
At the Ponyville hospital, the Mane Six are gathered to view the newborn foals born to Mr. and Mrs. Cake. Mr. Cake introduces his son, Pound Cake. Then he introduces his daughter, Pumpkin Cake. To everypony's surprise, Pound Cake is a Pegasus and Pumpkin Cake is a Unicorn. Mr. Cake explains it that both he and Mrs. Cake have distant Pegasus and Unicorn ancestors (and quickly wonders if that makes sense). Regardless, Pinkie is so thrilled to have new little playmates, she wants to sing and play with them on the spot, only to get kicked out by Nurse Redheart. Rainbow Dash, Twilight Sparkle, and Rarity warn the Cakes that their babies' pegasus and unicorn abilities may manifest early and wild.A month later, Pinkie Pie is delighted that she finally has the opportunity to sing to and play with the babies... but when it comes to diaper changes and bottles, she doesn't really have a handle on what they need. At the mention of food, Mrs. Cake suddenly remembers they have an extremely large catering order they'd completely forgotten about, having been so distracted with the babies. Although Pinkie volunteers to babysit, the Cakes walk all over Ponyville in search of a babysitter, only to find every other pony unavailable. Pinkie, who has been following all along, repeats that she'd be happy to babysit, and the Cakes reluctantly accept. Pinkie goes wide-eyed at Mrs. Cake's list of babysitting duties, but bravely urges them to leave... whereupon the babies immediately begin bawling.Pinkie Pie tries several things to make them laugh, including peek-a-boo and a stand-up comedy routine, but the only thing that seems to work is dropping a sack of flour over herself, which the babies find hilarious. She has difficulty feeding them (since they won't eat like an older pony would) and getting them bathed, but truly realizes she's in over her head when their diapers need to be changed. When Twilight Sparkle stops by and offers assistance, Pinkie is grateful at first, but becomes insulted when Twilight innocently mentions that she figured Pinkie would need help—after all, some ponies aren't up to taking care of babies. After sternly showing Twilight the door, Pinkie Pie goes from playful Pinkie to responsible Pinkie: no more fun and games.The twins are stunned by Pinkie Pie's stern and responsible attitude, and immediately go to sleep when she tells them to... only to disappear from their crib when Pinkie looks away for just one second! After a frantic search, she realizes that their pegasus and unicorn abilities have manifested; she chases them all over the house, trying to keep up with them, but is clearly disadvantaged both in numbers and in (a lack of) abilities. Pinkie tries more and more drastic ways of keeping them in line, but the babies easily use their talents to get past her. Finally pushed past her limits, Pinkie Pie bursts into tears of defeated frustration; astonished at the sight, the twins come up to her and dump a bag of flour over themselves, and Pinkie stops crying to admit that it is pretty funny.The letter to Princess Celestia, done as a voice-over over a montage of Pinkie cleaning up after the mayhem the twins caused, is a summation of what Twilight originally said: Pinkie had thought being good at playing with kids automatically would make her an A-1 babysitter. She hadn't realized how that didn't make the actual caretaking come naturally, and that somepony's desire for responsibility can outrun their ability to handle it.The Cakes return, braced for the worst, but they are pleasantly surprised to see that their home is clean and sparkling with everything in its place.
Carrot Cake: ...are we in the right place?
They begin to remark on how amazed they are, but Pinkie shushes them because the twins are asleep. The Cakes apologize, complimenting Pinkie on how responsible she is, then ask if she'd like to be their go-to babysitter on a permanent basis. Pinkie, recalling her ordeal, immediately refuses in an Ironic Echo of her original eagerness, but when the babies smile and call her name in their sleep, she instantly relents and tells the Cakes she has some free time on Tuesday.Note:This is the twelfth episode of the second season, but was the thirteenth aired.
Tropes present in this episode (YMMV tropes can be found here):
When Mr. Cake tries to explain how two earth ponies can have two foals, neither of which is an earth pony, he gets a very uncomfortable look. Clearly, one possible explanation for this has already occurred to him!
When Pinkie momentarily loses track of the foals toward the end of the episode. Any real parent could tell you how terrifying it is for their children to vanish, even for a few moments. It doesn't help at all that one of the things Pinkie sees as she's looking around the room is an open window...
Pinkie resorts to this when the twins' diapers need changing.
Pinkie Pie: Uh-oh. Smells like somepony needs me to changey-wangey their diaper-wiper right now-a-wow.
Also, when the babies pull their disappearing act:
Pinkie Pie: Be a good little girl, Pumpkin-Wumpkin, and stay in your crib for your pal Pinkie-Winkie.
Badly Battered Babysitter: As soon as the Cakes leave, Pinkie learns just how stressful babysitting can be. Especially when one of the babies is a Pegasus with super strength and the other is a Unicorn who can levitate and phase through solid objects.
Big Ball of Violence: Ensues when Pinkie has to try to wrangle both babies to change their diapers behind a drawer. It ends with Pinkie wearing both diapers and both foals gleefully naked.
Not to mention the fact that Pound has a brown mane and beige fur, both of which are shared with neither of his parents. Of course, as this is a children's show it's probably safe to assume that the children are legitimate, as previous episodes have shown us pony biology's weird (neither Twilight Sparkle nor Pinkie Pie have colors anything like their parents). Also, twins who are different races from each other cannot be explained so easily. Now, if both were pegasi or unicorns... in fact, that's likely the reason why they weren't; the writers wanted to tease, not outright confirm, the idea of infidelity.
The rubber chicken from "Dragonshy" makes a return.
Rarity's refusal to babysit hearkens back to both "Stare Master" and "Sisterhooves Social". She's not good with children, and likely has already had her fill of babysitting with Sweetie Belle over the years.
Covered in Gunge: As part of the flour Running Gag, Pinkie gets coated in soppy dough after getting sprayed with bath water and then dumping a bag of flour on herself (quite reluctantly, as a matter of fact, knowing the outcome of this gag).
Cuteness Proximity: The Mane Six in the beginning, but Pinkie most of all: she barges in the nursery and breaks into song for the newborns. Thankfully, Nurse Redheart was there to firmly remind Pinkie that the babies were trying to sleep.
Determinator: Pinkie Pie becomes this in her responsibilities towards the babies after Twilight makes a well meaning yet condescending remark that "some ponies just can't handle the responsibility" of caring for babies. She continues to be this right up until her breakdown.
Economy Cast: Out of all of Ponyville, the Cakes only ask the Mane Six for help on-screen. Some of the choices do make sense (Fluttershy and Applejack particularly), but some choices make you wonder if there is a lack of local foalsitters in Ponyville.
Epic Fail: Changing diapers must be learned, and doing so on twins requires additional dexterity; however, Pinkie managing to get one on her own hips and another on her head denotes a special brand of incompetence.
Rainbow Dash, Rarity and Twilight mention at the beginning of the episode that Unicorn and Pegasus foals can manifest their respective abilities very suddenly. Take a guess what happens at the end of the episode.
Pinkie, while following the Cakes around Ponyville, keeps saying "Pick me! I'd love to babysit!" and takes repeated poses of cuddling/rocking non-babies (a bunny, a book, apples) in diapers. After they get the "no" from Rainbow Dash, Pinkie, having grown a touch bored, juggles the cloud baby she was cuddling, and misses. When it drops to the ground, she glances around quickly and then dashes away. This shows right away that Pinkie might not be the best of choices for a babysitter.
Pumpkin's chewing habit starts immediately after she's introduced in the hospital nursery and Pound's pounding habit begins at the twins' first month birthday.
Friend to All Children: Pinkie is very good at playing games with the baby ponies. Taking care of them and keeping an eye on them is a completely different story, though she eventually gets the hang of that, too.
The twins do not crawl, they walk (and run) just like real foals can right after birth.
Pinkie clicks her tongue when searching for Pound. (Humans do this too, but usually with pets rather than other humans.)
Getting Crap Past the Radar: The explanation of how two earth ponies gave birth to a pegasus and a unicorn. While it is Hand Waved as them having distant relatives who were a pegasus and unicorn respectively, one of the distant relatives wasn't actually related to them by blood at all.
Goo Goo Godlike: The Cake Twins are capable of using magic and flying nearly as well as adult unicorns and pegasi. And if Rainbow Dash and Rarity's comments at the start are any indication, many pegasus and unicorn children do this as foals. Given Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo, it seems that this is something that is only temporary, as child-aged pegasi and unicorns are much weaker flyers and magic-users or it could be that they learned how to control them as they get older. The in story explanation for why this is is unknown. The real explanation is Rule of Funny.
Half-Pony Hybrid: Averted. Both Mr. and Mrs. Cake are not pure Earth Ponies, but it doesn't show to look at them. Also, the children are either a Unicorn or a Pegasus, not a mix of both. Given that there are only three hybrid ponies in Equestria, the Physical Gods Celestia, Luna, and Cadance this is presumably standard.
Heroic BSOD: The job proved too much for Pinkie and she eventually breaks down crying.
Hidden Depths: No-one expected flighty, wacky, zany, bouncy and all-party-all-the-time Pinkie Pie to be able to be responsible; the Cakes wouldn't choose her as a babysitter until all alternatives were exhausted and Twilight showed up because she thought Pinkie was in over her head. Pinkie was insulted by the latter but then realized it was true and finally surprised herself when she proved capable of it.
Innocently Insensitive: Pinkie Pie is insulted when Twilight accidentally implies she doesn't think Pinkie is responsible enough to care for the babies. Twilight, of course, is bewildered at why Pinkie has suddenly reversed course and asked her to leave when she was happy to have the help a second ago.
Ironic Echo: When the Cakes finally ask Pinkie to watch the babies (as she'd been begging them), she sarcastically remarks "I'll have to check my schedule.", offended by the implication that she can't handle the responsibility. At the end of the episode, when the Cakes ask her to be their regular babysitter, Pinkie (traumatized from the experience) panics a little and says the same line (before finally relenting due to how fond she is of the babies).
Jaw Drop: When Pinkie finds out Pumpkin Cake can levitate toys with Unicorn magic. She was carrying Pound Cake with her teeth at the time, so the Jaw Drop also lets him go.
Jumping Out of a Cake: The cake for the babies' zeroth birthday gets smushed in Pinkie's face when Nurse Redheart scolds her to keep quiet. But the cake for the babies' one month anniversary? Pinkie goes all out, with party hats, horns, and jumping out of the twins' cake, destroying it.
Mare Child: Pinkie's marefilly nature is what initially makes the Cakes hesitant to pick her as the foals' babysitter.
Mood Whiplash: The foals are running wild, and it's hilarious! The foals are missing, and it's terrifying! The sequence with Pound Cake skittering around on the ceiling goes past Adult Fear to straight-up supernatural horror.
Morton's Fork: The Cakes end up with the option of having Pinkie foalsit or not having a foalsitter.
My God, What Have We Done?: Pound Cake and Pumpkin Cake both get one near the end, when they finally realize that they've gone too far with their over-the-top, free-spirited antics at Pinkie's expense.
Mythology Gag: Flour-covered Pinkie is quite reminiscent of her original character design, based on Surprise from G1.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Pinkie was more than ready to accept Twilight's offer to help... until Twilight's unintentionally condescending remark motivated Pinkie to prove how responsible she could be.
Nopony Poops: Foals do, but then pooping babies is hardly out of the ordinary where animation is concerned.
No Social Skills: Twilight doesn't appear to even notice how much she offended Pinkie Pie, even as Pinkie is kicking her out of the bakery. Makes sense, as Twilight is still learning about sociability.
Not Even Bothering with an Excuse: Rarity when the Cakes ask her to babysit. Four of the ponies asked to babysit have an excuse for not helping. The fifth one, Rarity, just outright refuses.
Nothing Is Scarier: There's nothing in the brief "horror" sequence, except for a moving shadow that's very obviously Pound Cake and Pumpkin Cake ostensibly not disappearing. Try not to be spooked by it.
Pound and Pumpkin start crying the second their parents leave, and it just builds for Pinkie from there. Justified in that babies can and do suffer from separation anxiety, freaking out when their parents leave them for more than a few minutes.
First Pinkie Pie bursts out of the twins' cake and then she conducts a two-pony comedy routine with herself.
She doesn't take it well when the twins start pulling it on her, however.
Old Dark House: Temporarily for one scene, Sugarcube Corner takes on aspects of this when Pinkie Pie is in a darkened hallway with curtains waving silently from a breeze coming through a window, and the only sound is one of the foals sucking on a rubber chicken.
Oral Fixation: Pumpkin Cake seems to like chewing on non-food items.
Panicky Expectant Father: Normally, Mr. Cake keeps an impeccable aspect, but when his twins are finally born, he looks as if he were returning from war, with his messy hair, untied bowtie and unshaven stubble.
Parental Bonus: The halfassed explanation (and pinched expression) Mr. Cake gives for his wife having cross-species twins seems like he's trying to convince himself his wife's not cheating on him.
Pie in the Face: While Pinkie was being dragged through the shop By Pound Cake, even commenting on the flavor of said pies.
Pink Girl, Blue Boy: The color of Pumpkin Cake's and Pound Cake's respective blankets and baby chairs.
Pride: Interestingly, instead of a straight-up "she really doesn't get that there's a difference between playing with babies and taking care of them, and finds it involves actual difficultyAesop, Pinkie does know there will be work, and being taken for a total airhead who can't handle such things is fightin' words. Most notably, once she realizes just how deep she's in, Pinkie starts to accept Twilight's help, but the suggestion that she isn't cut out for responsibility snaps her right back into I-don't-need-anybody mode. She shoves Twilight out and slams the door behind her.
Psycho Strings: When Pinkie's shadowy ceiling stalker is finally revealed.
The "giving birth to a unicorn and pegasus" part exists for how much worse it can make things for Pinkie. Having two babies to get into trouble can fit under the same hand wave.
The rules of physics suddenly start applying to Pinkie just as the twins begin to make things difficult. Note that she was shown with a cloud in a diaper, something that only Pegasus ponies should be capable of. (Obviously the diaper was for pegasi, that's why it could contain a cloud.)
Rule of Three: Nurse Redheart shushes Pinkie Pie three times before finally kicking her out of the nursery.
Pinkie Pie getting covered in flour to amuse the babies. Lampshaded three times, making this another example of Rule of Three.
Every time one of the Mane 5 declines to babysit for the Cakes, Pinkie pops up cradling whatever the pony was occupied with (Twilight's book, Applejack's apples, Angel...).
Say My Name: Pound and Pumpkin murmur "Pinkie" and "Pie" respectively in their sleep, their first intelligible words on-screen. This is what makes Pinkie agree to foalsit for the Cakes on a regular basis.
Scooby Stack: The Cakes and Pinkie looking in on the sleeping twins.
The whole sequence of Pinkie trying to control the super-powered twins is highly reminiscent of Kari the babysitter's ordeal in Jack-Jack Attack.
Super OCD: Twilight, of course; she's writing a report on all the reports she's written and impulsively straightens out the toys on the floor.
Superpowerful Genetics: Unicorn and Pegasus traits can manifest in the children of two Earth Ponies, even if said ancestors are several generations removed. This appears to be particularly true with Mrs. Cake's Pegasus ancestry. It's described as being her "great aunt's second cousin twice removed," which would require her genes to travel three generations back in time and then cross over a relationship-by-marriage to reach Mrs. Cake.
On top of that, for babies, they're a lot stronger than they should be. For example, school-age unicorn filly Sweetie Belle doesn't learn to use magic until season four. And other than the levitation we see most unicorns using, your average unicorn, as explained in Boast Busters, can do one thing in line with their special talent - at this point that phasing trick should be impossible.
Stealth Insult: Pinkie takes Twilight's attempt to reassure her as this.
Take That: Pinkie's "Oink!" song sounds exactly like the repetitive and condescending dreck in so many shows aimed at young children. Even at one month old, the foals cringe, slack-jawed in disbelief◊, and are finally driven to tears by how bad it is.
Wall Crawl: Pound Cake seems to be doing this on the ceiling until Pinkie spots his wings. Pinkie has to use suction cups to try and catch him.
Weirdness Coupon: While a well-known Pinkie Pie trait, an instance specific to this episode is Twilight's non-reaction to Pinkie wearing diapers on her hip and head.
Wild Magic: Baby Unicorn/Pegasus traits are crazy powerful. Pumpkin Cake can levitate toys and herself, and turn obstacles intangible on a whim. Pound can fly and generate enough thrust with his wings to drag the full-grown Pinkie all over the house.