Twilight Sparkle: Sounds like somepony has a little bit of a crush.
Written by Josh Haber
The Ponyville Days Festival, a celebration of the founding of Ponyville, is three days away, and several ponies have applied to be Master of Ceremonies. When everyone gathers in the village center to see whose proposal has been accepted, Rarity is delighted to be named the winning pony. She has decided to put together a high-class festival focused on "small town chic," featuring a cider tasting, a formal gala, and a fashion show — very ambitious and demanding stuff. But the main source of Rarity's nervous excitement is the upcoming arrival of Trenderhoof, a travel writer (and her Celeb Crush), who is so fashion-forward that he "knows what's going to be hot even before it's tepid."With Twilight in tow, Rarity meets Trenderhoof at the train station and instantly dissolves into giddy antics; despite this poor start, Trenderhoof seems to be impressed with Rarity and the small town charm of Ponyville, especially Sweet Apple Acres. But when he catches a glimpse of Applejack, hard at work as usual, he becomes instantly smitten, calling her the "pony of his dreams". Rarity's heart breaks.Trenderhoof's clueless but persistent advances annoy Applejack, who has nothing in mind except finishing her chores and getting Sweet Apple Acres ready for the cider tasting. But Rarity decides that it has become a competition, and she sets out to reclaim Trenderhoof's attention by going more "country". Dressed in her rural best, she returns to Sweet Apple Acres and unconvincingly claims that she's always had a "rustic" side, even attempting to plow fields and buck apples. Alas, Trenderhoof still has eyes only for Applejack. Rarity decides to double down. She completely overhauls the festival's theme from "small town chic" to "Simple Ways", puts on unflattering country clothes, lets her mane go neglected, and tops it all off with an exaggerated Southern drawl. Applejack, thoroughly exasperated, tells her to stop the country pony act and just be herself, but Rarity insists that it's a legitimate aspect of her personality and not something she's doing just to impress Trenderhoof.At Sweet Apple Acres, Rarity is inflicting her "Simple Ways" outfits on a few fillies when "Apple Jewel" arrives. Carrying herself in an over-the-top imitation of Rarity's fashionista sensibilities, Applejack pretends that her posh pony persona is just how she's always been. Rarity makes a heroic effort to maintain the farm-filly act, but when Applejack's beautiful gown gets splashed with mud she can't take it any longer and reverts to her real self. She confesses that she was so caught up in trying to impress Trenderhoof that she was denying who she really was. By the time Trenderhoof himself shows up, announcing his intentions to move to Ponyville for its "rustic charm," Applejack and Rarity have reconciled, and they join forces to talk him out of it.After returning her Ponyville Days festival theme to "small town chic", Rarity writes in the Mane Six's journal that you should never change who you are to try and impress someone: if they don't like you for who you are, it's their loss. The high-class affair goes off without a hitch, and Trenderhoof even gives Rarity a rose at the height of her fashion show.
All Love Is Unrequited: Spike still has his crush on Rarity, who has a crush on Trenderhoof, who gets a crush on Applejack, who would really like to be left alone. In the end, no-one ends up with anyone.
Granny Smith is on the committee to choose who will plan the party, and Rarity describes Sweet Apple Acres as the place where Ponyville started, references to the Apple Family founding Ponyville in "Family Appreciation Day".
Rarity asks Spike how he could know about having an unrequited crush — to which he makes an irritated Aside Glance — then she hastily backtracks. "Secret of My Excess" confirmed that she knows about his crush on her.
Flanderization: In-Universe, Rarity goes a bit overboard in trying to duplicate Applejack's style that she becomes a borderline stereotype of a country hick. AJ decides to fight fire with fire by overplaying Rarity's usual quirks.
Funny Background Event: Trenderhoof tries to buck a tree, which gets an apple stuck on his horn. Then he eats it.
When Trenderhoof first sees AJ, who has built up a sweat after bucking apple trees, he experiences a vision of her, in one scene, of her just having bitten into an apple, leaving her face covered in sweat and her lips covered in apple juice, staring at the camera with bedroom eyes. This shot has very sexual implications if taken out of context.
There's some more playing with the idea that Sweet Apple Acres' cider is alcoholic when Rarity arranges a tasting of it, set out exactly like a wine tasting.
Rarity and Trenderhoof put a rather suggestive emphasis on the phrase "au naturel."
Special focus is given to Applejack’s rear during her "modeling".
Gross-Up Close-Up: A mild example when "bumpkin" Rarity shows that her hooves are cracked and dry from working in the fields.
Rarity is surrounded by a flurry of hearts when she looks at Trenderhoof.
And then, is Trenderhoof's turn to produce hearts when seeing Applejack.
Hipster: As is evidenced by his name, Trenderhoof is always on the lookout for the latest "authentic" experience to turn into a fad travel destination.
Impossibly Tacky Clothes: Applejack incredulously asks "What are you wearing?" when Rarity shows up at Sweet Apple Acres in her first attempt at dressing up to buck & haul apples, implying her outfit looks ridiculous (not to mention utterly impractical as work duds). Then there's her second attempt...
Trenderhoof, especially when he's talking with Applejack. He mentions that he ate four apples of a variety thought extinct, and mentions "the mundane, the simple, and the unappreciated" while pointing to specific ponies.
Rarity, when she laments about how it feels to be in love with someone who's in love with someone else... to Spike.
It's All About Me: Trenderhoof spends most of his conversations with Applejack and Rarity talking about himself and his travels. He does try to get Applejack to tell him about herself but she just wants him to leave her alone.
Oh Crap: After Rarity snaps out of it and apologizes after getting mud on Applejack's dress, she asks her where she got it from, whereupon AJ hesitantly reveals it's one of Rarity's. Trope ensues.
Rarity: (frantically shaking Spike) I need three gallons of boiling water and one ounce of detergent stat!
Ojou Ringlets: Applejack sports a pair of curly sidetails when dressed as Apple Jewel.
Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: In-Universe; Tabitha St. Germain gives quite a convincing portrayal of Rarity faking a Southern twang and occasionally slipping into her real accent. At times she begins to sound like a younger Granny Smith; not surprisingly as she's also voiced by Tabitha St. Germain.
Opposites Attract: When travel writer Trenderhoof is attracted to the down-to-Earth farm girl Applejack. Averted with Rarity, though, who's a fair bit like Trenderhoof and is attracted to him.
Pimped-Out Dress: Applejewel's dress. Also Rarity's at the beginning and end of the episode, but that's normal for her.
Pink Boy, Blue Girl: Trenderhoof is one of the more effeminate stallions, while Applejack is one of the more tomboyish mares.
Remember the New Guy: Rarity claims she's had a crush on Trenderhoof "EVER SINCE THE BEGINNING OF TIME!!!", but the only crush we've heard her mention before was for Prince Blueblood.
Sanity Slippage: Rarity, having adopted a "country" personality, breaks down more as AJ mocks her by posing as a Southern Belle, to the point where Rarity willingly jumps into a mud puddle.
Rarity: (in a southern twang) I LOVE BEIN' COVERED IN MUD!
Shout-Out: Rarity's newer "Simple Ways" feels like a city slicker doing a sillier version of the old TV country music variety show, Hee Haw (in which normally more metro actors would appear as guests on and would try to act "yokel").
The Simple Life Is Simple: Rarity's and Trenderhoof's understanding of life on the farm is limited at best. At one point they talk about how much they love farm life and apple hauling in front of Applejack, who has doubts of their sincerity, let alone their aptitude for farming.
Applejack: (whispering) Maybe you two should try it sometime.
Skewed Priorities: Rarity... sort of. She was more interested in impressing her crush than getting ready for the Ponyville events.
Skyward Scream: During Rarity's freakout at the train station, which gets everypony within earshot gawking at her.
She Cleans Up Nicely: This isn't the first time it's happened with Applejack, but when she becomes "Apple Jewel"...
Without farm life, there'd be such disparity These thoughts I think with great clarity Apples high to the sky She's the one of my eye That fruit-hauling pony named... Applejack!* In case you haven't noticed, this is a limerick.
Swapped Roles: Rarity and AJ begin acting like each other, though AJ does so to mock how silly Rarity is acting.
Take That: During Trenderhoof's spiel, he mentions "the unappreciated"... and points to Derpy. Whether this is a dig at Hasbro or to Bronies (or is just straight-up ironic or Hypocritical Humor) is up in the air.
Title Drop: When Rarity changes the theme of the festival, she names it "Simple Ways".