Recap / My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic S5 E10 "Princess Spike"

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Being a pony princess ain't easy, especially if you're a male dragon.

"Okay, so maybe I did get a little carried away in making decisions. But it's not like anything bad happened."
Spike (said literally seconds before something bad happens)

Story by Jayson Thiessen and Jim Miller
Written by Neal Dusedau

The Grand Equestrian Pony Summit is being held in Canterlot, an event for species from all over Equestria to come together as one, symbolized by a giant crystal statue made of gems brought by the various delegates. After being awake for three straight days to organize everything, Twilight Sparkle is completely exhausted. After the opening ceremony, a very groggy Twilight goes to a tower in Canterlot Castle to get some rest before going back to her duties. Princess Cadance charges Spike with making sure Twilight's nap isn't disturbed so that she'll be well rested once the welcoming reception begins. Spike agrees, and starts keeping watch.

Spike begins to stop any and every loud noise in Canterlot in the hopes of not waking Twilight up, including stopping a polo game, a worker from cutting down dragon sneeze trees, and a maintenance worker from repairing a water main. However, two delegates appear at Twilight's tower, both having been booked to speak in the same hall at the same time, and they want Twilight to decide what to do about it. Spike briefly wakes Twilight up to ask her what to do, but Twilight is still so groggy that her answer makes no sense. In a panic, Spike just tells the two delegates that Twilight said to share the hall. This satisfies the two delegates, and they leave. Soon, more and more ponies begin showing up asking how to solve various problems with the summit, with Spike speaking on Twilight's behalf for all of them. After the line has dispersed, Spike reasons that he can do many of Twilight's tasks so she won't have to worry about them, though the thrill of his word having some force behind it means he wants to complete them all.

While Spike does complete many of the tasks, Cadance warns Spike not to let the power go to his head, since being a princess requires a lot of hard work. Spike initially agrees, but then quickly begins slacking off, getting massages, paintings, and bowls of gems. Finally, in the main hall, Cadance tells Spike that he's been abusing his authority, but Spike assures Cadance everything is fine. Just then, a ball from the moved polo game causes one of the dragon sneeze trees to fall over, bursting the water main and flooding the main hall. Even with the water drained, the dragon sneeze trees cause Spike to have an allergic reaction with a fiery sneeze that destroys the gemstone statue. Though Cadance manages to close the water main with crystal magic, the main hall has been completely ruined.

An angry mob of ponies, led by Fancy Pants, see the disaster and intend to storm into Twilight's room to complain. Spike tries to explain himself, but the mob won't listen. Spike just manages to beat the mob and locks the door to Twilight's room, but she wakes up soon after. Though well-rested, the door opens, and the mob calls out Twilight on the horrible decisions she apparently made. In the main hall, Twilight sees what Spike's decisions have caused, and he admits he was acting on his own without Twilight's permission to the assembled ponies. He apologizes for not getting into the spirit of the summit, and that he'd made what was meant to be ponies coming together as one all about himself. Touched by Spike's confession, the gathered mob rebuilds the hall and fixes the statue. However, one of the ponies gives Spike a bouquet of dragon sneeze flowers, causing him to get ready to sneeze at the statue again as Twilight, Cadance, and the delegates there recoil in horror...

*cue happy credits music*


Tropes:

  • Big "SHUT UP!": Spike lets out one when many pony delegates crowd the stairway to Twilight's bedroom and all talk at the same time.
    Spike: By order of Princess Twilight, BE QUIET! (echoes off)
  • Broken Aesop: The moral of the story is presented as "don't let power go to your head", but the problems that occur in the third act stem from the well-meaning but ill-informed decisions Spike made before he started misusing his power. On the other hand, his abuses of power (getting food for himself, commissioning a painting of himself, etc.) have effectively no consequence.
  • Brooklyn Rage: The Manehatten delegate speaks with a New York accent.
  • The Cameo: Among the summit delegates are the pony OCs of IDW Publishing's Andy Price and Katie Cook.
  • Canada, Eh?: The pony trimming the dragonsneeze trees has a definite Canadian accent.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The Dragonsneeze trees, the moved polo game, and the broken water main.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The polo ponies after their game is moved.
  • Continuity Nod:
  • Disaster Dominoes: An errant ball from a relocated polo game, several top-heavy trees, and a cracked water main cause the hall to be flooded and the statue to break.
  • The Door Slams You: Happens to Spike when Cadance bursts into Twilight's room looking for him.
  • Drunk with Power: Spike as a result of being put in charge.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: One major driving force behind Spike's behaviour is that he wants some of the respect and admiration that Twilight and the other princesses get. The crowd interrupting his speech at the opening of the event with "We love you, Princess Twilight!" definitely didn't help.
  • Easily Forgiven: Except for getting yelled at by the delegates and apologizing to them, Spike suffers no consequences at all for his bad decisions and abuse of power. The delegates even put the statue back together themselves after seeing that he hasn't got a clue of how to do it.
  • Everyone Hates Mimes: Averted. Everypony seems to be enjoying the mime that Spike observes through his telescope.
  • Exhausted Eye Bags: When Princess Twilight addresses the delegates at the opening festivities, her eyes are carrying some luggage from her three sleepless nights. It comes through in her voice as well.
  • Fascinating Eyebrow: Cadance does this when expressing doubt about Spike's claims as to his motivations for acting in Twilight's stead.
  • Fantastic Racism: One of the delegates has the nerve to tell Spike he doesn't need advice from a dragon.
  • "Fawlty Towers" Plot: Spike lies about the decisions coming from Twilight to two delegates, and the situation snowballs from there.
  • Furry Confusion: Some of the Canterlot ponies are playing polo; though in this version, they each are their own mount and striker.
  • Furry Reminder:
    • Twilight wakes with a sharp neighing sound, exactly like a real horse would if startled.
    • The way Cadance shakes herself dry after climbing out of the water flooding the ballroom.
  • Gemstone Assault: Cadance seals the broken water main using magically grown crystals.
  • Golden Mean Fallacy: The delegates from Manehattan and Whinnyapolis are scheduled for the same hall at the same time to give speeches on their local economies. Spike's solution is for them to share the hall; this doesn't end well.
  • Heroic R.R.O.D.: Twilight overexerts herself with the preparations for the summit to the point of complete exhaustion.
  • Instant Awesome, Just Add Dragons: Defied when Spike attempts to offer his assistance to the delegates in the Cold Open, who are mostly there for the Princesses and the summit itself.
  • Interrupted by the End: Spike being handed a bouquet of dragon sneeze flowers right after the Citizens of Equestria Statue had just been reassembled.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Spike originally started acting as if he had Twilight's authority to help her sleep and fix a problem, but it then went to his head.
  • Lying Finger Cross: When Spike tells Cadance that he's using Twilight's authority to improve the summit, he crosses his claws behind his back.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": The looks on Twilight, Cadance, Fancy Pants, and all the delegates as they recoil upon seeing Spike gearing up to sneeze after his Dragon Sneeze allergies are triggered again by unintentional accident at the end of the episode.
  • Mona Lisa Smile: The Leonardo da Vinci pony lookalike has a ponified version of Mona Lisa as a cutie mark.
  • Meaningful Look: Princess Cadance's body language — in addition to her tone — clearly indicates she's aware Spike's done something wrong.
  • Minnesota Nice: The Whinnyapolis delegate (and Expy of Marge from Fargo) speaks with a clear upper-mid-west accent.
  • My Significance Sense Is Tingling: Played for laughs. When Spike decides to ask Twilight what to do about the delegates from Manehattan and Whinnyapolis, she instinctively pops awake, sensing something needs to be scheduled. However, she's too tired to be coherent and collapses after dispensing a Waking Non Sequitur.
  • Mythology Gag: The title comes from a line from the Generation 3 video Princess Promenade where at the end Wysteria allowed everyone to be a princess, even that incarnation of Spike.
  • Nerd Glasses: The pony talking to "Princess Spike" about the gems in the statue has glasses with a broken bridge, held together with scotch tape.
  • Non Sequitur, Thud: Princess Twilight, just before passing out on a pile of books.
    Princess Twilight: I just need a quick nap... napkin! Tell the delegates I'll...
  • No OSHA Compliance: Early in the episode, Spike has to deal with a worker pony that's using a jackhammer. Said worker pony isn't even wearing eye/ear protection and has the standard cartoon deafness problem of yelling all his sentences.
  • Oh, No... Not Again!: Spike has this reaction when he realizes the bouquet he's been handed near the end of the episode is composed of Dragonsneeze blossoms, leading into the Oh, Crap! moment with the Royal Sisters-In-Law, Fancy Pants, and the delegates.
  • Overworked Sleep: After planning and working the summit for three days, Twilight falls asleep in a pile of books.
  • Parenthetical Swearing: Spike mutters "Ah, bless me" after accidentally knocking over the big gem statue with his Sneeze of Doom.
  • Perma-Stubble:
    • The pony with the jackhammer attempting to fix the broken water main looks like he could use a shave.
    • Andy Price's OC also has a bit of stubble, carrying over from how he draws him character in the IDW comics.
  • Plot Allergy: The "dragon sneeze trees" are trees that have flowers that make Spike sneeze and accidentally knock the statue down.
  • Poor Communication Kills: A scheduling error caused two delegates to have the same hall for their speeches.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Even an event planned by a master organizer like Twilight is going to have a number of issues pop up, and planning an event as big as the summit leaves her completely exhausted.
    • Spike tells two double-booked delegates to just share the same hall at the same time. Later, ponies complain that the hall was overcrowded and the speakers ended up shouting over each other, and nopony could hear what the other was saying.
  • Recognition Failure: The delegates and citizens seem to have no idea who Spike is, even calling him a "random dragon" at one point.
  • Schizo Tech: The episode shows modern-day chainsaws, jackhammers and even underground water main pipes.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: Spike lets out a really shrill scream when Twilight suddenly wakes up.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Sistine Steal: At one point, Spike forces a painter to portray him in the style of Michelangelo's Creation of Adam (only with floating gems in place of God).
  • Smash to Black: Spike nearly sneezes again after getting a bouquet of dragon sneeze flowers... and then the episode ends.
  • Sneeze of Doom: Spike's sneezing from the dragon sneeze flowers destroys the gem statue. He gears up for another one after the delegates put it back together again.
  • Take a Third Option: When two delegates accidentally get scheduled for the same hall, Spike has them share it.
  • Tempting Fate: Spike does this right before the water main breaks, then again right before his sneeze knocks over the gem statue.
  • Time Passes Montage: With slight editorial allowance, this happens when Spike is mediating all the disputes of the delegates lined up outside Twilight's room.
  • Title Drop: Spike chuckles about being called "Princess Spike" while guarding Twilight's room. There's another title drop later when a pony he's meeting with says that he'd prefer to meet with Twilight directly, and he says that she can call him "Princess Spike" if it makes her feel better.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom:
    • Cadance, of all ponies. It wasn't until she mentioned the possibility of abusing Twilight's name for personal gain that Spike actually did anything selfish. While he certainly made terrible decisions before this point, they were well-meaning and Spike believed he was actually helping Twilight in some manner.
    • Spike himself, unwittingly setting up the Disaster Dominoes that cause the ballroom to be flooded.
  • Waking Non Sequitur: When Spike tries to ask Twilight what to do about the scheduling problem, she tells him to "just put the hay in the apple and eat the candle". She then immediately goes back to sleep.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: It's not that extreme, but Cadance manages to figure what Spike is doing and calls him out on it, and he then admits he got a bit carried away.
  • World Building: The delegates from Manehattan and Whinnyapolis discussing their scheduling snafu is the first time any mention is made of economic policy in Equestria at any level of government.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS5E10PrincessSpike