Recap: My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic S4 E18 "Maud Pie"
These sisters have a rock
I just know that my best Ponyville friends and my best sister friend are gonna become bestest friends!
Written by Noelle Benvenuti
The Mane Six have been summoned to Sugarcube Corner, very
early in the morning, by an anxious Pinkie Pie, who wants them ready for a long session of rock candy testing. As they recover from the sugar overload, she explains that her older sister Maud is coming to spend a week in Ponyville before she leaves for school (she's working on her "rocktorate"), and that it is their tradition to exchange candy necklaces to celebrate their bond. Pinkie plays up Maud's good qualities, hoping that her best friends in Ponyville will become equally close to her favorite sister. Unfortunately, when Maud Pie joins them for an afternoon picnic, they find her to be quiet, reserved, and interested only in rocks. Pinkie obliviously chatters about how much fun it will be when all of them get together to make the candy necklaces, while the Mane Five wonder what to make of Maud's chilly demeanor.
Each of the five attempts to bond with Maud over their shared interests: Rarity tries to design her a dress, Fluttershy shows her forest animals, Twilight looks up poetry, Applejack makes some apple cider, and Rainbow Dash challenges Maud to a rock-throwing contest. In every instance, Maud's cool and excessively literal-minded reactions stymie them. The Mane Five are forced to admit that they just don't feel any sort of connection to Maud at all, and they reluctantly inform Pinkie that they wouldn't feel right making best friend necklaces with someone who isn't their friend. Pinkie accepts this with obvious disappointment.
Pinkie decides to find something all of them can enjoy together. She assembles her sister and friends in front of an obstacle course designed for everypony's interests, including a huge rock slide for Maud with a giant boulder at the top. Pinkie races through it to demonstrate, only to get her hoof caught in the rock slide. As she tries to pull free, the boulder comes loose and tumbles down on Pinkie. Maud abruptly comes alive. She dives through the course, crushes the boulder to rubble under her hooves, and escorts Pinkie safely back to earth. The Mane Five are beyond relieved to see her safe, but Maud tells Pinkie that she's decided to cut her trip short and spend the rest of her vacation at the Pie family rock farm. Pinkie races after her. It's then that Twilight realizes that the Mane Five and Maud do have something in common: their love for Pinkie.
Maud and Pinkie return to the rock farm, where they find their friends waiting for them with enormous sacks of rock candy. Both sides apologize for trying to force a friendship, and Twilight explains that they should have just bonded over their shared affection for Pinkie Pie. Later, when Maud is boarding her train for school, everypony gives her a rock candy necklace and bids her goodbye. Pinkie immediately starts eating hers, but Maud quietly reveals to Twilight that she's never eaten any of her own. As she puts her newest necklace into a little box with all the others, she explains that she doesn't really like candy — but she does love Pinkie Pie, finally breaking into a warm smile.
- Absentee Actor: Spike is nowhere to be found in this episode.
- Aerith and Bob:
- A name like Maud doesn't quite belong with names such as Pinkie or Fluttershy. It may or may not be a pun on "mud pie", which is both a dessert and a possible commentary on Maud's personality (that is to say, she's as dull as mud).
- Fan names for Pinkie's other two sisters are "Inkie" and "Blinkie". So we'd have Inkie, Blinkie, Pinkie, and Maud, similar to the old poem about Wynken, Blynken, and Nod, or the ghosts from Pac-Man: Inkie, Blinkie, Pinkie, and Clyde.
- An Aesop: Sometimes two people just won't be able to connect because they're worlds apart, no matter how much they want to, but sharing a common friend can be enough to be friends.
- Affectionate Gesture to the Head: Pinkie Pie gives one of these to Fluttershy in a rather condescending way, after telling the latter she couldn't give the secret ingredient to her rock candy away.
- Aluminum Christmas Trees: Pet rocks are a thing.
- Art Shift: Pinkie's flashback of her and Maud is done in crudely animated crayon drawings on lined paper (which Pinkie draws on the fly).
- Badass Bookworm: Not only is Maud getting a "rockorate" (a scientific degree of some sort) and writing her own poetry, but she can also reduce rocks to rubble almost instantly.
- Balloon Belly: Rainbow Dash gets one after eating too much rock candy, as do the other ponies.
- Beat: The episode plays strongly on the use of awkward pauses and timing after many of Maud's revelations to create comedic tension between her and the other Mane 5.
- Beware the Quiet Ones: Maud. Despite her icy demeanor and personality, she demonstrates the lengths, and strength, she would go for her family when Pinkie was in danger.
- Beyond the Impossible: Lampshaded by Rarity after Maud pummels the boulder to dust with her bare hooves moments before it hits Pinkie Pie; justified by Fluttershy as Big Sister Instinct.
- Big Damn Heroes: Maud saving Pinkie from the rock slide.
- Big Eater: See Funny Background Event below. He's just a tiny pebble, but Boulder apparently devoured an entire sandwich in a few moments.
- Big Sister Instinct: Maud may be emotionless and not much of a thrill to be around, but she does love Pinkie and will protect her from harm.
Rarity: ...and the way she smashed that huge rock into dust?! How in Equestria did she do that?
Fluttershy: Pinkie Pie was in trouble! Maud would move mountains for her if she had to.
- Call Back:
- Canon Immigrant: Maud Pie, who was only previously mentioned in Pinkie Pie and the Rockin' Ponypalooza Party as Pinkie's third, older sister, is the main focus of this episode.
- Character Shilling: Pinkie Pie's description of Maud to the other Mane Mares amounts to an In-Universe example of this, with Informed Attributes that Maud supposedly has in common with each of Pinkie's friends. While some of the traits are true (such as her Brutal Honesty), others are exaggerated heavily or in a completely different context.
- Chaos Architecture: Pinkie's bedroom is on the first floor of Sugarcube Corner in this episode, instead of in the cupcake-shaped tower on the top floor as it normally is.
- Chekhov's Skill / Foreshadowing:
- Maud's ludicrous strength as demonstrated during the pebble toss with Rainbow Dash comes in handy when saving Pinkie from a falling boulder. Consider that she also chews down on a rock crystal dropped from Rarity's hat without much effort.
- Played for Laughs in the final scene, when the Mane Six give her the necklaces they've made. Rainbow's is a giant lightning bolt, so heavy that she can barely drag it and the tip scratches the train station platform, but Maud has no trouble staying upright once it's around her neck.
- The Comically Serious: Maud is practically the hippomorphic ponification of this trope. She reacts to EVERYTHING with an indifferent expression, flat tone, and noncommittal attitude, whether it's just after saving her sister from an avalanche or explaining to the other ponies how she's not expressive like Pinkie is.
- Companion Cube: Boulder, Maud's pet rock.
- Continuity Nod:
- Pinkie ends up getting her hoof stuck in between some rocks, much like Applejack in "Spike At Your Service".
- Fluttershy's hummingbird friend Hummingway, introduced in "A Bird in the Hoof", appears again.
- The diagram of the mystery box returns from "Twilight Time".
- Maud first appeared in "Pinkie Pride", in a photo of Pinkie and her previously-seen family members from "The Cutie Mark Chronicles".
- Cool Big Sis: Pinkie certainly thinks so, and considering how fast Maud saved her from the rock slide, it's not without justification.
- Cool Helmet: The Pickelhaube Maud dons during the obstacle course rescue.
- Creepy Good: Maud is seen this way by Pinkie Pie's friends when they try to get to know her.
- Creepy Monotone: Maud's way of speaking. Think Raven, Daria, or Mai in pony form minus the snark. Or Eska without the Yandere.
- Cringe Comedy: Maud and Pinkie have individual scenes with the other Manes, each having Maud reacting in a manner that the other Mane character in the scene takes offense to or question Maud's reaction (even if Maud was acting sincere in her own way), but dare not say anything harsh in from of Pinkie, ultimately leading to them being honest but embarassed to tell Pinkie that they don't think they can be friends with Maud.
- Cue the Sun: Discussed in the cold open, but not shown, as the events of the scene play out before sunrise.
Celestia hasn't even raised the sun yet!
(wipe to a rooster snoring on a fence rail
- Cute Bruiser: Maud manages to throw a rock so hard that it causes a minor shockwave, and quickly reduces a boulder to rubble before it can crush Pinkie. Makes sense, considering she worked on a rock farm.
- Damned by Faint Praise: Maud declaring that AJ's mulled apple cider tastes like apples is actually a bit of a slap to the muzzle.note
- Didn't Think This Through: Pinkie tries to build an obstacle course containing her friends and sister's favorite things, ending with a rock slide for Maud, which nearly falls on her as she's demonstrating the course to her friends.
- Dude, Where's My Respect?: Maud meets Twilight Sparkle, Princess of Magic, and her 5 savior-of-Equestria friends. In reaction, she blinks. (Justified since she's an Emotionless Girl.) And when Twilight tells the others why Maud might be "intimidated", it's because there are so many ponies who are already great friends. Royalty and world-saving can't possibly be intimidating!
- Dull Surprise: This is Maud's default expression regardless of what she's actually feeling.
- Eat Dirt Cheap:
- Maud seems to have no problem eating rocks.
- Pinkie's rock candy is literally made from rocks and lots of sugar.
- Emotionless Girl: Maud Pie is a textbook example of the repressed variant. Even after rescuing her sister from a self-inflicted rock slide, her emotional state is betrayed only by her voice rising slightly in pitch and volume.
- Everything Makes a Mushroom: Maud's rock throwing is on par with firing off a Fatman.
- Expressive Mane: Pinkie's, as usual. Her mane and tail deflate slightly when her friends tell her that they haven't been able to relate to her sister.
- Extreme Omnivore: Maud casually chews up and swallows a gemstone that accidentally got dropped into a muffin basket with no apparent ill-effects, only remarking that "It's crunchy."
- Faux Horrific: Rainbow Dash's reaction when Maud says she isn't into competition.
- Flat Joy: Maud Pie showing her enthusiam for everypony making best friend rock candy necklaces.
) Pinkie Pie:
What's wrong? Rarity:
Sorry, darling. I think we all just thought she'd be a bit more excited about this. Pinkie Pie:
Are you kidding me? I've never seen her more excited
in my entire life!
- Freeze-Frame Bonus:
- Maud's cutie mark is visible for a few frames◊ when she'd in the midst of saving Pinkie. It's a rock. Not just any rock, but Tom.
- During the scene in Rarity's shop, when Pinkie hugs Maud for a split second you can see her grimace. For those who have siblings its easy to interpret as "I don't really enjoy this, but you're my sister and I love you so I tolerate it" type expression making it double as a Moment of Heartwarming.
- Funny Background Event:
- At the picnic, Maud takes a few bites of her sandwich, and then sets it down, and pushes Boulder her pet rock at it. The scene briefly switches to closeups where AJ offers Maud a muffin, but by the time the shot pulls back, the sandwich is gone and Boulder is all alone on the picnic blanket.
- Maud says that she and Pinkie show their emotions differently, while Pinkie cartwheels past her.
- Giant Wall of Watery Doom: The shockwave from the rock Maud throws causes a tsunami when it reaches the pond.
- Goth: From her dark style of dress to the monotonous way she speaks, it's pretty safe to say that Maud fits the Gloomy Goth archetype.
- Graceful Loser: Rainbow Dash takes being beaten by Maud in rock throwing with only mild annoyance.
- Head Pet: Gummy climbs over Maud a few times and ends on her head at one point.
- Heel Realization: The Mane cast felt terrible after hurting Pinkie's feelings by saying to her that they couldn't really consider Maud a friend.
- Help, I'm Stuck!: Pinkie gets her hoof stuck in the rock slide she built just as it starts to fall apart.
- Ironic Name: Boulder. He's a tiny pebble.
- It's All About Me: Rainbow Dash makes a huge rock candy necklace shaped like her own cutie mark.
- Leitmotif: Or should we say, lack thereof. Every time, Maud appears on screen, or even speaks, there is absolutely no background music. This is especially evident in her introduction, when all you hear is Tank's motors rotating.
- Let's Get Dangerous: Maud, when Pinkie is endangered by the avalanche.
- Literal-Minded: Maud, in spades. For instance, after stating that she is only interested in expressing herself through fashion (as opposed to fashion in general), when Rarity asks her what her frock is saying, she points out that "It doesn't talk. It's a dress." Her literal-mindedness even compels her to put on the Pickelhaube and kneepads and run through the entire obstacle course the way Pinkie intended it to be run in order to rescue Pinkie, rather than go straight to the rock slide which was right in front of her. It's a good thing she was able to do all that at Super Speed.
- Long-Lost Uncle Aesop: Maud is introduced for the sole purpose of teaching the Mane Six that their shared love of Pinkie Pie is reason enough for them to consider Maud a close friend, even though they share no common interests with her.
- Mathematician's Answer: After Maud throws a rock miles away with enough force to make a tidal wave.
Rainbow Dash: Woah! How'd you do that?
Maud: I threw it.
- Meaningful Name: Maud is a gray kind of plaid, matching her color. Alternatively it's short for "maudlin", which means "weakly emotional". On its own, it's an Old Germanic name that means "might" or "strength", which also references her physical power (which makes it fitting that she's wearing a Pickelhaube when she saved Pinkie from the rock slide). Her full name, Maud Pie, sounds like "mud pie", which is apropos to her personality towards the Mane Six (i.e., as boring as mud).
- My God, You Are Serious: When visiting Rarity's, Maud picks out a filthy dishtowel as a bit of cloth for herself. Rarity assumes she's joking. She isn't.
- Nice Hat: Rarity's giant hat creation is a subversion. Nopony else seems to be impressed by it, and she isn't quite satisfied with it either.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Pinkie Pie tries to invoke this with an impromptu obstacle course she calls "PinkieRainbowRariTwiAppleFlutterMaud FunTime!", combining all her friends interests into one activity they can enjoy together. It doesn't go as well as she'd hoped.
- Non Indicative Name: Twilight gushes over a poet named Flourish Prose. "Prose" specifically means writing that isn't poetry.
- No Social Skills: Maud doesn't seem very interested in making friends. She's mostly interested in rocks. She implies in the end that this isn't so much a lack of interest as having difficulty expressing her emotions to others.
- No Smoking: In the poker arrangement in part of Pinkie's course, a rabbit is holding a carrot in his mouth like it is a cigar.
- Not So Stoic:
- Maud spends much of the episode as an incredibly drab Emotionless Girl, but when Pinkie nearly gets crushed by a boulder, she races to save Pinkie three times as fast as the others.
- And she actually raises her voice (slightly) when scolding Pinkie.
- And at the end, she cracks a smile when she says how much she loves Pinkie Pie.
- Offscreen Teleportation: The rest of the Mane Six somehow manage to make it to Pinkie's rock farm with huge bags of rock candy before Pinkie and Maud arrive on the train. Although it's entirely possible they literally teleported.
- Only Sane Mare: Rainbow Dash calls out the others for taking Boulder so seriously.
Rainbow Dash: HE'S A ROCK!
- OOC Is Serious Business: Maud drops her emotionless stoicism the instant Pinkie Pie is in danger.
- Out-of-Genre Experience: This episode's tone is a little different from the usually cartoon-y tone most other episodes seem to follow. Its comedy is more cerebral or even bordering on cringe worthy.
- Overly Long Gag: Maud's introduction. She is taking her time moving toward the Mane Six, slooooowwly...
- Bonus points that the only audio heard during this is very faint hoofsteps over the soft helicopter sounds of Tank's flying device.
- Oh, Crap: The moment when Twilight realizes that she is about to have to sit through over one thousand poems about rocks.
- Parental Bonus: Rainbow Dash paraphrases Winston Churchill:
- Maud Pie's name is a pun on "mud pie".
- Pinkie says that Maud is stopping by Ponyville before leaving to get her "rocktorate" in rock science.
- In Maud's second poem, she describes rocks as making her "sedimental".
- Red Oni, Blue Oni/Sibling Yin-Yang: Maud is the Blue Emotionless Girl to Pinkie's Red Genki Girl.
- Remember the New Guy: When Pinkie's family was seen in a flashback in "The Cutie Mark Chronicles", there was no sign of Maud. However we see a photo of those events in "Pinkie Pride", and a younger Maud is there with the rest of the family. It also helps that she was mentioned, though unnamed, in Pinkie Pie and the Rockin' Ponypalooza Party, watching over the Rock Farm while the rest of the Pies travel to Ponyville.
- Rock Joke: One of the gems from Rarity's hat falls into the basket of muffins. This later turns out to be what Maud picks to eat.
- Running Gag: Whenever Maud seems interested in anything... it's a rock.
- Secret Ingredient: According to Pinkie, the secret ingredient to her rock candy is a special kind of rock that Maud discovered.
- Shaped Like Itself: Maud's poetry (see Suckiness Is Painful, below) eloquently gets around to saying a rock is like a rock.
- Fluttershy's hummingbird friend Hummingway.
- One of the mannequins (ponnequins?) in front of the obstacle course has Geordi LaForge's visor on it.
- The obstacle course Pinkie makes is quite evocative of the Nickelodeon classic Double Dare.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: Serious, stoic Maud is basically the opposite of Pinkie.
- Snipe Hunt: The game of "Camouflage", where Maud sends the Mane Six to look for Boulder, which she said she'd hidden among a field of similar gray rocks. It turns out Boulder was in her pocket the whole time. This is implied to be something Maud regularly did to Pinkie in order to get rid of her temporarily. Rainbow Dash's reaction is Dude, Not Funny!
- Spiders Are Scary: Subverted; the spider Fluttershy introduces Maud to looks intimidating, but it quickly turns out to be a real sweetheart as it offers her a flower.
- Squee: Pinkie does one twice when talking to the rest of the Mane Six at Sugarcube Corner prior to Maud's arrival, and again when describing the obstacle course to the others.
- Stealth Pun:
- There's a kind of spider that lives only in Ponyville and, despite looking threatening, are actually really nice. This would make them friendly neighborhood spiders.
- Maud fishes Boulder out from a fold of her dress, so she has a rock in this pocket.
- Stunned Silence: Maud often provokes this, especially after she saves Pinkie with her adept rock-demolishing skills.
- Suckiness Is Painful: Maud's poetry gives the Vogons' poetry a run for their moneynote , as Twilight visibly cringes when she listens to it.
- Sugar and Ice Personality: Maud. There are only three times in the whole episode when she expresses any emotion: a blink and you'll miss it look of worry when Pinkie first gets stuck in the rock pile, her determined expression when she rescues Pinkie, and later is her smile at the very end when she tells Twilight how much she loves her little sister.
- Super Strength: Maud can toss and split boulders with her bare hooves, and it's likely Fluttershy isn't being metaphorical when she muses that Maud would move mountains for Pinkie.
- That Makes Me Feel Angry: Maud, blank-faced and in a monotone, says, "It makes me happy knowing that Pinkie Pie has such good friends."
- Truth in Television: Pinkie Pie says she and her friends need to find the perfect flavor of rock candy "so I have time to make more", after which Twilight mentions Maud is only staying for a week. It actually takes about a week for rock candy crystals to grow from a supersaturated sugar solution.
- Understatement: Maud deadpans a huge one:
Maud Pie: I don't know if you've noticed, but, I don't show my enthusiasm for things quite the same way my sister does.
- Useless Protagonists: In a moment when Pinkie gets trapped in a mountain-pile of rocks and is in danger of a boulder falling and crushing her flat, the rest of the Mane Six do nothing but stand by and scream warnings to Pinkie. Granted, they do start running to save her alongside Maud — they simply stop because they're so dumbfounded by how much faster Maud is — but it's easy to miss, and one can't help but notice how they didn't try to save her sooner.
- What Did You Expect When You Named It ____?: The Rock Slide. Bonus points for teetering precariously.
- What Were You Thinking?: Maud asks this of Pinkie after rescuing her, which is the only time she ever comes close to raising her voice.