%% SEEN IT BEFORE?: If it happens in different episodes to the same character, you could put the trope in that character's description on the Characters page.
[[caption-width-right:350:[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS1E23TheCutieMarkChronicles And]] ''[[CallBack that's]]'' [[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS1E23TheCutieMarkChronicles how Equestria was made!]] Close Curtain!]]

->''"I can't believe that Princess Celestia chose us to put on the most important play of the season! Do you guys know what an honor this is? For all of us?"''
-->-- '''Twilight Sparkle'''

-> Written by Merriwether Williams

The episode begins with the main characters taking the Friendship Express Train to Canterlot, where they are performing in this year's Hearth's Warming Eve pageant. Despite some backstage bickering over an open window, the mane six quickly start the show...

OnceUponATime, the Pegasi, Unicorns, and Earth Ponies hated each other. The Pegasi, led by Commander Hurricane (played by Rainbow Dash), believed themselves superior because they could control the weather. The Unicorns, ruled by a king who is represented by his daughter Princess Platinum (who the king is and why he didn't come himself is never explained)(played by Rarity), believed themselves superior because they had magic, which they used to move the sun and moon. Both tribes demanded food from the Earth Ponies, led by Chancellor Puddinghead (played by Pinkie Pie).

One year, an inexplicable blizzard came to their land, and the ground was frozen so hard that the Earth Ponies could not cultivate. Neither the Pegasi nor the Unicorns could banish the storm, so the three clans held a summit, trying to figure out a solution. But with the storm raging outside reflecting the ponies' conflict inside, it didn't take long for the leaders to angrily give up and return home. The second-in-commands of each group -- Pegasus Private Pansy (Fluttershy), Unicorn vizier and student of Star Swirl the Bearded Clover the Clever (Twilight Sparkle), and Earth Pony secretary Smart Cookie (Applejack) -- were disappointed at the news.

Individually, each leader decided to leave their desolate wasteland and find a new realm to live. The parties soon found a beautiful paradise with a diverse landscape, beautifully thick clouds, and fertile soil. Unfortunately, they had all chosen the ''same'' land, and soon the fighting between the three leaders resumed with increased fervor. As their bickering increased, the blizzard they had left behind started up once again, forcing the six ponies to seek shelter in a cave.

Even the plight of their situation didn't deter the hostilities; as the blizzard grew worse, the leaders' petty bickering continued, until the ice encroached so far into the cave that the commander, the princess, and the chancellor were frozen over in mid-rant. Unfettered by their bosses, the seconds admitted that they had hoped for peace and friendship. Clover the Clever realized that the blizzard was created by [[{{Pun}} windigos]], supernatural creatures that [[EmotionEater thrive on hate and fighting]], and that the coldness of their hearts had brought the disaster on themselves. Just as the ice was about to completely imprison the seconds, the spark of their friendship suddenly ignited, saving them and driving back the windigos.

Seizing the opportunity, the three nurtured the warmth of their friendship with stories and laughter and singing, eventually thawing out their leaders. With everypony realizing that friendship and cooperation succeeded where arguing and fighting had not, the three tribes agreed to come together in harmony, thus forming Equestria on the principle that all ponies are equal. Cue a closing song, the curtain call, and enthusiastic applause from the audience.

Afterwards, the backstage happiness of the mane six is soured when the still-open window leads them to start bickering over who's at fault. The wind suddenly howls, reminiscent of the windigos. Rainbow Dash quickly closes the window as everyone share a laugh, as the Hearth's Warming magic floats over Canterlot.
'''Note:''' [[OutOfOrder This is the thirteenth episode of the second season, but was the eleventh aired.]]

* AddedAlliterativeAppeal:
** Part of Spike's narration at the pageant.
** Fluttershy plays the Pegasus Private Pansy.
** Twilight Sparkle plays Clover the Clever.
** Rarity plays Princess Platinum.
* {{Adorkable}}: Princess Platinum, flustered over the failed negotiations, plops her crown on upside-down.
* AesopAmnesia:
** Before the pageant with Rainbow Dash and the lesson of "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS2E8TheMysteriousMareDoWell The Mysterious Mare Do Well]]".
** The mane six forgetting the moral of the play that ''they just performed''. Good thing it did not last long.
* AllThereInTheManual: Literature/TheJournalOfTheTwoSisters serves as a {{Sequel}} to this episode, featuring the same characters and clearing up a lot of the details, such as the genders of the characters (all are mares except for [[CrosscastRole Commander Hurricane]], who is a stallion)
* AmbiguousGender: Of the characters played by the mane six, only Princess Platinum has a clearly stated gender. Commander Hurricane is particularly unclear--Fluttershy as Private Pansy refers to him/her both as "sir" and "her". He is identified as a stallion in Literature/TheJournalOfTheTwoSisters.
* AndIMustScream: The leaders of the pony tribes are frozen alive in ice.
* AreWeThereYet: Parodied when Princess Platinum as she and Clover search for a new land. [[LampshadeHanging Clover pushes a branch to reveal the castle, pointing out she'd only been walking five minutes.]]
* AwesomeMcCoolname: Commander Hurricane. For a different variant of "awesome," Clover the Clever and Smart Cookie. It's like naming someone "Brilliant Mc-Rational the Calm-Headed."
* {{Backstory}}: For the country of Equestria.
* BeleagueredAssistant: One for each ruler.
* BigBad: The Windigoes of the Equestrian CreationMyth. They are rather unique examples as well; rather than ''causing'' the conflict, they decide to ''manipulate'' and exacerbate the conflict to [[EmotionEater get what they want]].
* BigBallOfViolence: The pony tribes fighting over the food.
* BloodKnight: Commander Hurricane seems a bit ''too'' eager to conquer their new homeland.
* TheCaligula: Chancellor Puddinghead is/was a downplayed version of this trope; authority figure that is scatter brained and pompous but not at all dangerous and more nutsy to the point of ineffectiveness than disturbingly crazy.
* CallBack: Clover the Clever was the student of Star Swirl the Bearded, who was first mentioned in "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS2E4LunaEclipsed Luna Eclipsed]]."
* TheCameo
** Jet Set and Upper Crust make an appearance, looking as stuck-up as ever.
** The Cutie Mark Crusaders appear on the train platform and in the front row of the audience, and Scootaloo freezes her tongue onto a giant candy-cane pole.
** Derpy Hooves gets scolded for appearing out from nowhere. She appears twice more: once in the top window of the Friendship Express Train's Ice Cream Train Car (like in the second season theme song), and then at the very end after the pageant.
* CastingGag: In-universe. The roles that the mane cast play are identical to their real life personalities (if less pleasant, in the case of the leaders):
** Twilight plays a studious and quiet scholar.
** Fluttershy is quiet and timid.
** Applejack is level-headed and down-to-earth.
** Pinkie Pie plays a {{Cloudcuckoolander}}.
** Rainbow Dash plays a loud and brash warrior.
** Rarity plays a snobbish princess.
** Spike, who is an important part of the main cast but often an outsider and observer of most of the action, is the narrator.
* CharacterExaggeration: The three leaders are essentially the same as their actresses, but with [[{{Flanderization}} the negative aspects of their strongest personality traits exaggerated.]] As a result the three assistants take their actresses' [[OnlySaneMan beleaguered qualities]] up a notch as well, acting even more frustrated and snarky than normal.
* CharacterizationMarchesOn: It's rather difficult to reconcile Fluttershy's performance in the play with her crippling stage fright seen in "Hurricane Fluttershy" and "Filli Vanilli."
* ChimneyEntry: Chancellor Puddinghead enters her own house via the chimney. Partly because the front door is snowed in, and partly because she's [[CloudCuckoolander strange like that.]]
-->'''Smart Cookie:''' Wouldn't it have been easier to use the door, Chancellor?
-->'''Puddinghead:''' Maybe for you, Smart Cookie. But ''I'' am a chancellor. I was elected because I know how to think outside the box. Which means I can also think ''inside the chimney''. Can you think inside a chimney?
* ChristmasEpisode: Or Equestria's analogous holiday, anyway. The decor is ''very'' Christmas, though the holiday itself is more like a combination of Thanksgiving and a national founding day.
* CompressedHair: Pinkie Pie somehow manages to keep her tail neatly stuffed inside her costume.
* ContinuityNod:
** While riding the Friendship Express Train to Canterlot, Fluttershy says she's so excited she feels like shouting and gave a small, barely audible "woo hoo!", similar to "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS1E16SonicRainboom Sonic Rainboom]]" and "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS1E20GreenIsntYourColor Green Isn't Your Color]]" when her attempts were equally as meek.
** Pinkie Pie lifts up Twilight, who is trying to pull Fluttershy out of a box with the use of magic, by her face. Clearly upset, Twilight yells "PINKIE!" in the exact same manner as in "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS1E3TheTicketMaster The Ticket Master]]", where Pinkie's antics had also been unhelpful to Twilight.
** The stained glass windows depicting the Mane cast defeating Nightmare Moon and Discord, seen in [[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS2E1TheReturnOfHarmonyPart1 both]] [[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS2E2TheReturnOfHarmonyPart2 parts]] of "The Return of Harmony", are shown in the hall where the pageant is being held.
* CreationMyth: A variant; while the story enacted in the play does not detail the creation of the ''world'', real-life scholarship would recognise in it all the elements of a creation myth, much like it does in the ancient Roman myth about the founding of the city of Rome, to which the same observations apply. The play starts with an initial state of chaos and details how what is currently understood as the cosmos was created to replace it, at the same time giving mythological justification to current values and why they must be preserved to maintain the order of things. It's even (re-)enacted ritually, which is an important complement to mythological thinking in RealLife.
-->'''Spike:''' ''[narrating]'' It was a strange and dark time, a time when ponies were torn apart... by hatred.\\
'''Audience''': {{GASP}}\\
'''Spike:''' ''[aside, to the CMC]'' I know, can you believe it?
* CrossCastRole:
** Commander Hurricane is addressed as male during the play.
** Clover the Clever is male and is played by the female Twilight Sparkle.
* CrowdSong: Everypony joins in singing a holiday carol at the end of the play.
* DeadpanSnarker
** Smart Cookie to Chancellor Puddinghead.
-->'''Puddinghead:''' I mean, how would we survive if I just suddenly shut up?\\
'''Smart Cookie:''' Heaven forbid that should happen, your Chancellorship.
** Clover the Clever also has shades of this.
* DiabolusExNihilo: The Windigos come out of nowhere with little explanation for what they're doing, and force the three races to band together.
* DramaticSpotlight: On Spike.
* DrillSergeantNasty: Commander Hurricane behaves this way towards Private Pansy, and is the only pony Pansy admits to hating -- or rather, really really really really really really really really really disliking.
* DullEyesOfUnhappiness: The Earth Ponies had a bad case of them (combined with sickly bags under their eyes), as did the Unicorns, but at a lesser grade. Life wasn't easy, oh no.
* EmotionEater: The windigos are able to become stronger the more negative emotion there is around them.
* EmpathicEnvironment: Due to the Windigos' presence, the blizzard grows worse as the three tribes' fighting grows worse.
* EndlessWinter: The episode revolves around this. Evil Windigoes are the cause, attracted by the different species' distrust and discontent toward each other. It causes famines so awful that the leaders of each tribe, with their respective assistants, migrate to a new land - but the Windigoes just follow them ''there'', too. It's finally stopped when the bossy, hateful leaders become encased in ice, and their three assistants amicably make amends.
* EverythingIsBetterWithPrincesses: One of the six real characters present in the play is Princess Platinum, daughter of the king, who represents the unicorns as if she's as good as is their ruler. There's no explanation for why she's doing it instead of the king himself, who never shows up. It's either a case of [[RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething royals who actually do something]] vs. [[PiratesWhoDontDoAnything Royals who don't do anything]], vs. PoliticallyActivePrincess and it was [[TheFace her duty to go to the meeting as his representative.]]
* EvilIsDeathlyCold: The windigos are icy beings that feed on hatred and create winter to make all suffer.
* EverybodyLaughsEnding: A very short segment of laughter occurs after Rainbow Dash finally agrees to shut the window.
* FacePalm: Done by Clover the Clever when the three leaders are fighting over a mere rock.
* FailedASpotCheck
** A three-way one as the three rulers all get through their speeches declaring the future Equestria to be their new home, before each realizes the other two are nearby. Could be due to the events happening in a simplified way in a play.
** They also don't realize that the blizzard is catching up to them as they argue. Chancellor Puddinghead doesn't notice the land is being covered in snow until after she's already made a small pile of snowballs and thrown some at the other leaders.
** Inside the cave, the leaders don't notice are being gradually frozen when they argue.
* FamilyUnfriendlyDeath: The windigos are ''burned to death''. Sure, it's not that graphic, but it's still a bit unsettling.
* {{Fanfare}}: Princess Platinum and Commander Hurricane have theirs blown on trumpets as they enter; Chancellor Puddinghead's has hers blown on kazoos.
* FantasticRacism: Prior to the events dramatized in the pageant, the three races had no appreciation for one another.
** Unicorns saw the earth ponies as 'dirty peasants' and the Pegasi as 'ruffians'.
** Pegasi saw the unicorns as freaky and {{Squishy Wizard}}s and the earth ponies as servants.
** Earth Ponies saw both unicorns and Pegasi in a BewareTheSuperman light with unicorns as snobs as well.
* FantasyCounterpartCulture: Pegasi, as usual, have a Greek bent to their architecture and garb. Their leader is also a commander, suggesting a militaristic culture reminiscent of ancient Sparta. Unicorns and earth ponies both borrow from medieval European cultures, although unsubtle class discrepancies can be seen between them (Earth ponies look like stereotypical [[TheDungAges Dung Ages]] peasants, while the unicorns can be described as a more romanticized High Middle Ages sort). The unicorn society may also be based off Athens, and Ithaca for the earth ponies.
* FantasySequence: The story cuts back and forth between the stage show with props and curtain, and the mythologised story being told in full environment with the full landscape (but with the mythical characters still being played by the Mane Six).
* FauxHorrific: Everypony reacts in shock to the fact that the ponies once all hated each other. Sure, it's not a nice thing at all, but the way it's shown as a completely foreign thought lampshades the SugarBowl aspects of modern-day Equestria.
* FinishDialogueInUnison:
-->'''Chancellor, Commander, and Princess:''' We must find a new land!
** Later...
--> '''Chancellor, Commander, and Princess:''' We found our new home!
* FireOfComfort: The physical manifestation of ThePowerOfFriendship is the Fire of Friendship.
* FisherKing: If hatred spreads throughout the land, the windigos turn a communal version of this into a InvokedTrope.
* FlatJoy: Fluttershy, as usual. "Woo hoo."
* FloweryElizabethanEnglish: Spike narrates the pageant with this.
* {{Foil}}: Each of the leaders' assistants acts as a foil to the leader themselves:
** Private Pansy backs down from conflict whenever possible compared to the aggressive Commander Hurricane.
** Smart Cookie is down-to-earth and reasonable compared to Chancellor Puddinghead's off-the-wall loopieness.
** Clover the Clever is calm and collected compared to the often-hysterical Princess Platinum.
* FootPopping: Pinkie's back right pops when she hugs Rainbow Dash on stage.
* ForcedPerspective: As Platinum and Clover are seeking new lands, Platinum gasps and points out a raging river that they have to cross, with the camera providing a close-up of these dangerous waters. The next shot pulls back enough to show that this "river" is merely a small, narrow creek.
* ForegoneConclusion: A longer but less detailed version of the story of Equestria's founding had already been told in the [[IOSGames iOS app]] ''[[http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/my-little-pony-twilight-sparkle/id465213808?mt=8 Twilight Sparkle: Teacher for a Day]]''.
* {{Foreshadowing}}
** Those monster horses you saw near the beginning? They're windigos, creatures who feed on hatred.
** Also foreshadowed by the fact the Pegasi still control the weather and yet a blizzard occurs without warning.
** The open window blowing in the chilly air while the ponies were arguing among themselves alludes to the entire history described in the pageant.
* FramingDevice: The play serves as one to the story itself, with the mane six playing the founding ponies of Equestria.
* FunnyBackgroundEvent
** Scootaloo ends up with her [[TongueOnTheFlagpole tongue stuck to a cold candy cane prop]].
** Derpy Hooves peeks out from the curtains just before the show starts, and then from backstage is berated for doing that.
* {{GASP}}: Everypony's reaction to the fact that the ponies once all hated each other.
* GenderFlip: Commander Hurricane was portrayed by Rainbow Dash, but the Journal of the Two Sisters book states the real Commander Hurricane was ''male''.
* TheGeneralissimo: Commander Hurricane
* GladIThoughtOfIt: Chancellor Puddinghead's response to her secretary suggesting "Earth" instead of "Dirtville".
* GoOutWithASmile: When the three assistants realize there's no escaping their fate, they decide to become friends before their end so they can at least die as friends instead of meaningless enemies. [[ThePowerOfFriendship This was a]] [[CircleOfFriendship very wise move.]]
* GoYeHeroesGoAndDie: When Rarity tries to encourage Fluttershy out of her stage fright. It almost works.
-->'''Rarity:''' Fluttershy, darling, there's nothing to be all nervous about.\\
'''Fluttershy:''' No?\\
'''Rarity:''' Of course not! All across Equestria, ponies are preparing their own pageants for Hearth's Warming Eve in their own towns. It's tradition.\\
'''Fluttershy:''' So you're saying they'll be too busy to come to our play?\\
'''Rarity:''' Well, no. We're in the Canterlot pageant, the biggest, most important production in all of Equestria. A lot of ponies will be coming to watch us!\\
'''Fluttershy:''' A lot?\\
'''Rarity:''' Hundreds!\\
'''Fluttershy:''' ''Hundreds?''\\
'''Rarity:''' Maybe even thousands!\\
'''Fluttershy:''' ''[runs and hides in a box of decorations and props]''
* GracefulLadiesLikePurple: Rarity's princess dress is purple and makes a great deal of her refinement and lady-like status.
* HarmlessFreezing: Even though all six ponies are imprisoned in ice by the windigos (just a few moments for the assistants, but implicitly several hours for the leaders), none of them are damaged after they break free.
* HeelRealization: The three assistants realize their own hatred and FantasticRacism for each other is wrong, once they see just what it's caused in the form of the windigos.
* HellishHorse: The windigos, malevolent winter spirits that appear as spectral horses.
* HypercompetentSidekick: Private Pansy, Clover the Clever, and Smart Cookie are all far more rational and intelligent than their "brute" of a Commander Hurricane, their "snob" of a Princess Platinum, and their "numbskull" of a Chancellor Puddinghead. They also are the ones who end up saving the day when their leaders get temporarily taken out of commission.
* ICanSeeMyHouseFromHere: Fluttershy claims she can see her ''future'' house from where she and Rainbow Dash claim "Pegasopolis".
* AnIcePerson: The windigos use ice powers to freeze their victims.
* InsaneTrollLogic: Chancellor Puddinghead is fond of dispensing this to justify her plans, though she prefers to call it "thinking outside the box".
* InstantIceJustAddCold: All the leaders become encased in ice, and the followers to the leaders are almost victims of this as well.
* JustInTime: When Twilight, Fluttershy and Applejack get their whole body frozen, Twilight finally casts her spell that frees them and destroys the windigos.
* KillItWithFire: ''[[ThePowerOfFriendship Friendship-powered]]'' fire to be exact.
* TheLancer: The second-in-commands are more reasonable {{Foil}}s and trusted companions to their superiors.
* LargeHam
** Spike slips into this a bit during his narration.
** All three pony tribe leaders are equally dramatic, just in different ways.
* LeaningOnTheFourthWall: One of Derpy's cameos involves her waving at the "audience".
* LemonyNarrator: Spike occasionally goes off script during his narration of the play, making {{aside comment}}s and riffing on [[AddedAlliterativeAppeal alliterations]] describing how the Windigos had turned Equestria's [[ItsAlwaysSpring lovely weather]] into another frozen wasteland.
* LiteralMinded: Chancellor Puddinghead as played by Pinkie Pie, such as her "thinking inside the chimney" bit. Difficult to tell if that's just Pinkie or part of the role itself.
* TheLoad: During the search for a new land: Princess Platinum to Clover the Clever, Chancellor Puddinghead to Smart Cookie and Private Pansy to Commander Hurricane (quite literally in Platinum and Pansy's cases).
* LosingHorns: Play after "thinking inside the chimney" line.
* MadeOfGood: The heart-shaped beacon of the Fire of Friendship, which still burns to the present.
* MeanCharacterNiceActor: Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, and Rarity all play unkind, xenophobic historical figures:
** Rainbow Dash, a loyal friend and reliable source of help, plays Commander Hurricane, a [[GeneralRipper violent, foul-tempered]] [[TheGeneralissimo military dictator]]. Inverted only in that Dash can be a bit lazy at times and Hurricane definitely isn't.
** Pinkie Pie, an eccentric but competent and kind pony who only wishes to spread happiness, plays Chancellor Puddinghead, a [[TheCaligula delusional, egotistical]] [[PresidentEvil duly elected tyrant]].
** Rarity, a generous, understanding (if a bit narcissistic) businessmare who always wants her friends to be the best they can be, plays Princess Platinum, a [[GodSaveUsFromTheQueen condescending, petty]] [[RoyalBrat heir to a dynasty]].
* MeanBoss: All three rulers abuse, belittle, and ignore the advice of their assistants.
* MeaningfulName: Most of the names of the characters in the play. Rarity's character is Princess Platinum, which is a very rare metal. A true Rarity, as it were. Rainbow Dash as Commander Hurricane (powerful and dangerous), Chancellor Puddinghead (a dessert like pie, as well as implying a lack of smarts), Fluttershy as Pansy (which is a word used for a weak or shy person), while Twilight as Clover the Clever and Applejack as Smart ''Cookie'' (doubling as ThemeNaming with ''Pudding''head) are self-explanatory.
* MetaphoricallyTrue: Interestingly, the insults the three leaders yell at each other before being frozen would actually be ''accurate''--if they restricted the insults to each other rather than to the races as a whole. Commander Hurricane calls earth ponies "numbskulls", and this is a pretty good description of Chancellor Puddinghead. Princess Platinum calls pegasi "brutes", and Commander Hurricane ''is'' a brute. Finally, Chancellor Puddinghead calls unicorns "snobs", which fits Princess Platinum rather well.
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: The three assistants have this reaction when they realize the tribes' hatred and FantasticRacism is what brought the windigos' winter on both their original homeland and the new one they sought to replace it.
* MythologyGag
** Rarity plays the role of an annoying princess who intends to claim some new lands and found the kingdom of "Unicornia". G3 Rarity ''was'' the annoying princess of the kingdom of Unicornia.
** Spike speaks with a British accent, much like his G3 counterpart.
** "Clover the Clever" was the name of one of the main ponies in ''My Little Pony Tales''. There was also a male G2 pony named "Clever Clover".
* {{Mythopoeia}}: The ShowWithinAShow establishes an ancient history/mythology for Equestria.
* NationalAnthem: Looking at the lyrics and its placement within the play, it sounds likely that "A Circle of Friends" is in fact the Equestrian national anthem.
* NeverMyFault: A personality trait of every leader. After the meeting to try and find a way to stop the blizzard, each leader returns home blaming the others for its failure, despite the fact that they're just as much to blame as they are. They continue this when they're driven into the cave at the episode's climax, blaming each other for their current situation and making no mention of their own actions.
* NiceHat
** On the ride to the pageant, Rarity's basically wearing a full-blown Christmas tree on her head. She isn't certain if it's festive enough.
** Almost everypony involved gets one as part of her costume: crown (Rarity), Roman-style military helmet (Rainbow Dash), another one also heavily inspired by both ancient Macedonian and Renaissance-style helmets (Fluttershy), Tyrolean hat (Applejack), pudding bowl (Pinkie Pie). Twilight Sparkle, who has to make do with a ragged hood, is the only one left out.
* NoSenseOfDirection: The Chancellor thinks she's supposed to wear the map in order to know where to go. She also thinks she can wear the map upside-down since the Earth is round. After she passes off the map, she manages to fall off a cliff, something she narrowly avoided while still wearing it.
* NothingIsScarier: Partial example; the Windigos appear very early on in the pageant, with no explanation as to what they are, where they came from, why they're causing the storm or if they're even supposed to be ''real'' and not simply a form of symbolism. It isn't until the climax that Clover the Clever explains to the characters and the viewers what these strange creatures are.
* OhCrap: The assistants have this reaction to the windigos. Clover the Clever gets a double dose when she realizes ''what'' they are.
* OohMeAccentsSlipping: Spike uses an accent while narrating the play, but [[NotEvenBotheringWithTheAccent drops it when offering commentary on the story.]]
* PeaceConference: The summit between the rulers of the three tribes. [[ViolenceIsTheOnlyOption No tribe was willing to make any concessions]] and the summit failed miserably.
* PimpedOutDress: Princess Platinum's [[RequisiteRoyalRegalia regal outfit]] includes one. Although it looks like a PimpedOutCape, she refers to it as her gown.
* {{Pluralses}}: Pinkie as Chancellor Puddinghead is confused about the plural for "Pegasus": "Pegasusususes".
* ThePowerOfFriendship: The moral of the play and once again the go-to method of [[DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu taking out]] {{Eldritch Abomination}}s.
* ProphecyTwist: Clover the Clever predicted that the pony tribes would eventually reach an agreement. The tribe leaders, however, weren't the ones who did it; it was their assistants.
* {{Proud Warrior Race Guy}}s: The Pegasi are like this, Commander Hurricane especially.
* PunnyName: "Hearth's Warming Eve" is the story of the conflicting pony factions joining together in friendship; when the windigos' ice melts, the three leaders have warmed hearts. In addition, the fact that the ponies lit a fire that first night, was a literal hearth warming -- or the closest thing to one that could be managed in the middle of a cave in a blizzard.
* RedOniBlueOni: See CastingGag and {{Foil}} entries above: In the play, each leader is a red oni to their underlings' blue, but in terms of the Mane cast participating these roles, this highlights the normal characters' red-blue pairings: Pinkie to Applejack, Rarity to Twilight, and Rainbow to Fluttershy.
* RoyalBrat: Princess Platinum, until her CharacterDevelopment.
* RuleOfSymbolism
** Due to the windigos, the blizzard turns the land as cold as one's heart.
** The Fire of Friendship manifests as a magical flame in the shape of a heart, which continues to shine atop of the castle.
** Spike also mentions that as the leaders thaw, their hearts are also warmed, making them more friendly to each other.
* RunningGag: Fluttershy gets stage fright and Rarity makes it worse by pointing out how thousands of people will be watching, much like in "Sonic Rainboom" and "Green Isn't Your Color."
* SceneTransition: The episode regularly transitions between the prop-heavy setting of the play and the actual settings they represent.
* ServileSnarker: Clover the Clever and Smart Cookie both display this towards their respective leaders.
* ShoutOut
** The cave scene is reminiscent of the poem ''[[http://www.poetryoflife.com/the-cold-within/ The Cold Within]]''.
** The fiery heart resembles the one used in [[WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls another show that Faust worked on]].
* SnowballFight: The three leaders briefly get into one until they realize that there's a snowstorm coming.
* SpaceWhaleAesop: Love thy neighbor, or else a trio of malevolent ice spirits will cover the world in an apocalyptic ice age.
* SplitScreenReaction: Used both times in association with FinishDialogueInUnison above to show the three leaders coming to the same conclusion. PlayedWith on its second use when the three, announcing the new land as their own, discover they are all claiming the same piece of land less than twenty feet from one another.
* [[StraightMan Straight Mares]]: The three second-in-commands to their leaders.
* StealthPun: Rainbow Dash got (at least) 20% cooler in 10 seconds flat. Just not the type of "cool" she'd likely want.
* StockSoundEffect: Twilight's scream of Pinkie's name early on in the episode is the exact same way she said it in "The Ticket Master".
* SugarApocalypse: Hatred, fights and disharmony brought an ice age that destroyed the old world and forced the three Pony races to work together and accept each other to survive. The final scenes of the episode strongly hinted that this could happen again if ponies start fighting again.
* SurpriseCreepy: Considering this was an episode centering around a normal play, it's kind of a shock when [[EldritchAbomination the windigos show up]]. Made creepier by the fact the first few times we see them there's ''no explanation at all'' and we don't get one until the climax.
* ThereWasADoor: When the leaders return home to report the results of the failed summit, Chancellor Puddinghead chooses to enter through the chimney rather than the front door. She never noticed that the door was snowed in anyway and justified her entrance with more InsaneTrollLogic.
* ThisIsMySide: The ponies fight for territory within the cave. Princess Platinum even asserts that an invisible line already exists to mark off their territory. Then they even fight over a small rock that sits on one of the lines.
* TongueOnTheFlagpole: Scootaloo and another filly get their tongues stuck to a giant candy cane.
* VisualPun: Chancellor Puddinghead wears a hat that looks like pudding. A literal pudding head.
* WhamShot: The first appearance of the Windigos. Their presence is completely unexpected and the first sign that there's more to the pony tribes' strife than just a little bad weather, not to mention that they aren't named or explained until the climax.
* WhatCouldPossiblyGoWrong: Chancellor Puddinghead says this of her brilliant plan to find a new land.
* {{Wendigo}}: The creatures that freeze over everything by the FantasticRacism and hatred found by the three pony races are called windigos, a spelling variant of "Wendigo", but they have little to do with the original cannibalistic spirit. The closest they can make it to that is being {{Emotion Eater}}s. They have more in common with [[Franchise/CthulhuMythos Ithaqua]], also known as the Wind-Walker and the Wendigo, who ''is'' associated with snow and ice.
* YouMeanXmas: Hearth's Warming Eve instead of Christmas Eve, obviously, but the background instead celebrates the founding of Equestria rather than the birth of a savior like our Christmas. The "peace on earth" and "goodwill" parts are definitely part of the story and lesson.
''... [[CallBack and that's how]] [[UnreliableNarrator Pinkie Pie]] [[ComicallyMissingThePoint got her Cutie Mark!]]'' [[BrickJoke Maybe one day we'll tell you about how Equestria was made!]] [[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS1E23TheCutieMarkChronicles It's a real gem!]]