Recap / My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic S5 E3 "Castle Sweet Castle"

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This castle is going to need some serious feng shui.

"Let's all work together to make this castle shine!"
Rainbow Dash

Written by Joanna Lewis and Kristine Songco

After helping Fluttershy clean off the animals at her cottage, Twilight insists on staying longer, drying off Angel Bunny (after intentionally getting him muddy) and dusting Fluttershy's shelves, despite Fluttershy's hints that it's time for Twilight to leave. Twilight does, but not before she announces to a puzzled Fluttershy that she'll be going to help Pinkie Pie prepare pancakes for the next day's breakfast at Twilight's castle. The next morning, Pinkie mentions to the others over breakfast that Twilight stayed up all night helping her, thus explaining why Twilight is asleep in her chair. Applejack, Rarity, and Rainbow Dash recount their own stories of Twilight's odd behavior—digging extra holes while helping AJ, taking a whole afternoon to sort jewels for Rarity, and even repeatedly racing and losing to Rainbow Dash. They conclude that Twilight is avoiding something and confront her about it when she wakes up. Twilight admits that the castle doesn't feel like home after the destruction of the Golden Oak Library by Lord Tirek. Twilight's friends offer to redecorate the castle while Twilight cleans herself up and gets a day at the spa to relax with Spike, which Twilight accepts.

The remaining five take to redecorating the castle, but each of them tries to add her own unique brand of what feels like "home" to her. Spike returns, having left Twilight at the spa for a while longer, only to find that everything is a complete mess. Rarity tells Spike to stall Twilight until sunset while they figure something out, and Spike returns to the spa. Twilight's friends argue about what needs to stay and what needs to go, while Twilight and Spike take longer at the spa and stop by the remains of the Golden Oak Library.

The other five first start by taking out objects one at a time, but soon come to disagreements on the absolute essentials, eventually taking out everything they started with, leaving the castle exactly as it was before. Discouraged that their offer will appear to have been for naught, they realize they weren't really working together. They start reminiscing about all the good times they had at the library, which suddenly gives Rarity an idea. While Spike continues to stall Twilight while ostensibly looking for a new bed, the rest of the Mane Six dig up the stump of the Golden Oak Library and hang it up in the throne room as a chandelier, ornamented with crystals that show images of the good times they had there and on other adventures. Moved to tears, Twilight hugs her friends, saying that it's just what the castle needed. As they head into the dining room to celebrate with cake, Twilight finds that the once-bare room has been completely redecorated, which Rarity admits is her work. The others in turn own up to adding their own personal touches to other rooms in the castle — individually and tastefully this time.


Tropes:

  • An Aesop: It doesn't matter what kind of home one lives in; it is the good memories shared between friends which makes one feel more at home.
  • Aesop Amnesia: The lesson from "Suited for Success" about not forcing your design ideas on others is ignored so that the ponies can decorate the castle in their own personal style.
  • Aluminum Christmas Trees: Tiny ornaments that hold memorable scenes seem unlikely today, but small keychains holding a photo slide and loupe used to be common mementos at tourist destinations.
  • Amusing Injuries: After an "extra strength, hot stone, deep tissue massage" by Bulk Biceps, Spike walks home very stiffly, grunting in pain and making cricking noises with each step.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": Twilight saying she needs to give Angel a bath.
  • Balloonacy: Averted with Pinkie Pie, a frequent target of this trope, in the Hard Work Montage. At one point, she has several balloons tied around her barrel, but their lift on her is negligible.
  • Best Out of Infinity: How Twilight wasted time racing against Rainbow Dash, complete with nonsensically even numbers.
    Rainbow Dash: She just kept going! "Best out of ten. Best out of twenty. Best out of a hundred!"
  • Big Fancy Castle: Big enough that it can feel unsettling to be all alone in, as Twilight finds out. All those big empty hallways, cold floors and echoes make it not very inviting to live in. The other girls soon realize this and try to make it more homey and inviting.
  • Bigger on the Inside: From the outside, Twilight's Castle doesn't seem that much bigger than the Golden Oak Library. From the inside, it can fit the base of the Library in just one room.
  • Bizarre Taste in Food: Played with when Pinkie brings in her Seven-Layer What's-That-Flavor Mystery Surprise Cake. She says that the decorations on one layer might be chocolate chips or spicy black beans.
  • Blush Sticker: A blink-and-you'll-miss-it example: When the chipmunks accidentally rip Rarity's curtains, she gets one.
  • Booby Trap: Pinkie Pie hides confetti cannons around the castle as part of her initial redecorating attempt.
  • Brick Joke:
    • Pinkie mentions that she lost a measuring spoon in the batter, saying that "somepony's going to get a very special pancake." A bit later, after some discussion about Twilight's behavior, Pinkie scarfs down a stack of pancakes and spits out the measuring spoon.
      Pinkie: I win!
    • Pinkie's hidden confetti cannons continue to startle everyone (including Pinkie herself) throughout the episode. They even remain after everything else from the initial redecorating attempt gets thrown out, due to the fact that even Pinkie can't remember where she hid them.
  • Brutal Honesty: As always, Spike can be counted on to give his unfiltered opinion. After the first attempt at redecoration, Twilight's friends were all too polite to say it was terrible, so they appreciate his input. He does it again when Twilight is too polite to say outright that the castle halls are completely unchanged.
  • Call Back:
  • Carrying a Cake: Pinkie Pie has a cake balanced on her head when one of her hidden confetti cannons goes off.
  • Comically Missing the Point:
    • Pinkie Pie raves about how great the castle is while pretty much spelling out everything Twilight has a problem with, which she realizes upon finishing.
    • Twilight's friends decide to redecorate the castle so Twilight will feel at home. Not only do they all choose things that make them feel more at home, the end of the montage reveals they're all redecorating the same room, which results in a hilarious mish-mash of clashing themes.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • We see the inside of the Quills and Sofas store for the first time. Turns out they also sell beds.
    • The Mane Six reference several of the good times they had at the Golden Oaks Library, and put images of them on the chandelier for Twilight.
    • Rainbow instantly latches on to Applejack's offhand mention of cider.
    • At the pancake breakfast, Pinkie Pie messily digs into her food, coming out of it with a whipped cream beard.
  • *Crack!* "Oh, My Back!": Spike makes cricking noises with every step he takes after the above-mentioned deep tissue massage by Bulk Biceps.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Part of the problem with the failed first attempt at decorating the palace is that, because the group is so excited to be helping Twilight (as well as the fact that they're trying to get it done before she comes back), they don't coordinate with each other or plan ahead.
  • Distinction Without a Difference:
    • When Fluttershy notices the trophies Rainbow Dash set up in the hall:
      Fluttershy: Are these your trophies?
      Rainbow Dash: I prefer to think of them as everypony's trophies but with my name permanently etched onto them.
    • Rarity sniffs one of Applejack's quilts, then heaves:
      Rarity: Are these cloaks vintage?
      Applejack: Nope, just old!
  • Dramatically Missing the Point: It takes Twilight's friends a while to realize that they aren't redecorating for her so much as themselves. Fluttershy is the first to get it.
  • Dynamic Entry: Bulk Biceps bursting through the wall.
  • Escapism: Twilight exhibits this, working herself to exhaustion by performing mundane tasks with her friends and racing with Rainbow Dash (despite losing every time) all to cope with the loss of her old library home.
  • Everybody Laughs Ending: The episode ends with the Mane Six and Spike laughing at yet another one of Pinkie's jokes about how well she hid her confetti cannons.
  • Face Palm: Twilight does this in response to Spike's stalling tactics over selecting the right bed.
  • Faceplant: Twilight ends up doing this to her food when she falls asleep during breakfast with the rest of the Mane Six.
  • Fluffy Dry Cat: Twilight vigorously dries off Angel Bunny with a towel after giving him another bath, resulting in his fur puffing up seconds after the towel is removed.
  • Food Porn: Pinkie Pie's pancake breakfast looks delicious, and special care was given for each girl's plate to look unique.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: As Spike wanders into the dining room just after waking up, he can be seen carrying a crude Rarity plush doll.
  • Gagging on Your Words: Rarity tries to come up with a polite way of describing Twilight's disheveled appearance. When Fluttershy suggests "frazzled", Rarity claims that it's exactly the word she was looking for.
  • Gift-Giving Gaffe: Five ponies want to gift the sixth with home decorating as a present. They say they'll do it "together", but what they end up with is one room packed full of each of their own personal stylistic preferences and nothing that appeals to Twilight's sensibilities.
  • Green Thumb: Applejack manages to get flowers to grow in dirt she lays down in the castle near instantly, perhaps the most impressive display of Earth Pony magic to date.
  • Group Hug: The Mane Six share one when Twilight expresses her approval of the memory chandelier in the main chamber of the castle.
  • Hard Work Montage: Showing the initial attempt to spruce up the castle, resulting in the Gift-Giving Gaffe above.
  • Hint Dropping: Fluttershy tries this to get Twilight to leave.
  • Idiot Ball:
    • All the ponies who decorate with their own taste instead of Twilight's in mind, on top of all decorating the same room. Rarity has it the worst, since as a designer she should know the importance of pre-planning the design for such a big project.
    • It never seems to occur to Spike to simply tell Twilight that her friends need more time rather than make up several excuses for detours and errands.
  • I Have to Wash My Hair: Or rather, "I have to wash your hare". Twilight pushes Angel into the mud so that she'll have to clean him off instead of going home.
  • It's All About Me: The rest of the Mane Six decorate the castle based on their own preferences instead of Twilight's. Naturally, Rainbow Dash gets the worst of this.
  • Jeweler's Eye Loupe: Twilight is seen wearing one in the flashback of her rearranging Rarity's gems.
  • Literal-Minded: Rarity asks Spike to make sure Twilight doesn't come back to the castle, and he complains that they live there. She rolls her eyes and clarifies make sure she doesn't come back until sunset.
  • Love Floats: Once again, Spike starts levitating, surrounded by Heart Symbols, when Rarity sweet-talks him.
  • Messy Hair: Twilight suffers this to epic proportions; not only is her mane more disheveled than it's ever been, but it's got mud and twigs in it as well. Rarity uses a mirror to point this out to Twilight as a reason to go to the spa.
  • Mood Whiplash: The girls start reminiscing about the great times they had at the Golden Oaks Library, only for Pinkie to ruin the moment by bringing up its untimely fate.
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore: The main problem that kicks off the episode, with Twilight trying and failing to adjust to her new castle and the loss of the library treehouse.
  • Off Model: When Twilight flies out of Fluttershy's cottage, she has the standard pegasus wings instead of her alicorn wings.
  • Oh, Crap!: Spike's reaction when he sees that Bulk Biceps is his masseur at the spa.
  • Oh, No... Not Again!: Apparently, Bulk Biceps smashing through the wall of the spa is a common occurrence.
    Aloe: Oh, I hate it when he does that.
  • Overworked Sleep: After Twilight over-zealously helped her friends on their chores, she ends up covered in mud and using pancakes as a pillow at breakfast.
  • Pec Flex: Bulk Biceps uses this to grab Spike between his pecs and carry him off.
  • Real Men Wear Pink:
    • Spike has no qualms about going to the spa to have his claws done.
    • Similarly, Bulk Biceps working as a masseur.
  • Retcon: At the end of The Journal of the Two Sisters, Twilight wrote that she's delighted by her "beautiful, sparkly and colorful castle," but here we see that until now, she doesn't like living in it very much. Of course, it's entirely possible that enough time has passed for the "new home" excitement to wear off.
  • Reveal Shot: During the main "Make This Castle a Home" song, the Mane Five are showing working together to spruce up the castle with their own decor, all appearing to work together and getting along (for example, Fluttershy adding birdcages where AJ has set up an animal pen). As they finish the song, the camera pulls back to take in the cacophony of what their individual contributions have led up to, and there's a Beat before the commercial break to let the viewer take this all in. After the break, the characters immediately realize what they've done.
  • Running Gag: As seen in several episodes before, a cranky Angel Bunny hops back inside Fluttershy's cottage and slams the door, locking her out.
  • Ship Tease:
    • Spike apparently sleeps with a Rarity plushie. And nopony thinks this is weird (maybe she sewed it for him herself?).
    • There was also the way Rarity persuaded Spike to stall Twilight by batting her eyes at him in a seductive manner.
  • Shout-Out:
    • When shopping for a new bed, Spike apparently complained about previous beds being too hard, too soft, and too lumpy.
    • To Oedipus Rex: one of the items Rarity removes from the castle is a Daring-Do poster with the subtitle "Riddle of the Sphinx".
    • Bulk Biceps smashing through the wall and shouting "YEAH!" is reminiscent of the Kool-Aid Man ad campaign.
  • Sidetracked by the Analogy: Applejack says she and the others will "make this place feel cozier than hot cider on a rainy day." All Rainbow Dash hears is cider.
  • Suddenly Voiced: Aloe, the pink pony who works at the Ponyville spa, speaks for the first time.
  • Super OCD: Twilight spends an entire afternoon rearranging a single gem drawer (which contained only 12 gems that all look exactly the same). However, it turns out that she was mainly doing it to waste as much time as possible.
  • Tempting Fate: Pinkie Pie mentions that her pancakes are "Any Berry-Any Chip Surprise," the "surprise" being that she lost a measuring spoon in the batter and somepony is going to get a very special pancake. Guess who finds it.
  • Tender Tears:
    • Spike sheds a Single Tear when he and Twilight visit the remains of the Golden Oak Library.
    • Twilight when she sees the chandelier.
  • There Was a Door: Bulk Biceps enters by bursting through the wall and then exits by going through the wall again instead of using the nearby door or the first hole.
  • The Thing That Would Not Leave: Twilight is overly clingy with her friends in her attempts to avoid going back to the castle, to the point where they all complain about it at the pancake breakfast.
  • Too Many Cooks Spoil the Soup:
    • Each of Twilight's friends tries to bring her own flair to Twilight's castle, but they have conflicting ideas of what Twilight would appreciate.
    • Things go better when they only add a few touches to one room each. Rarity's elegant additions to the dining room are the only ones shown, but the descriptions of additions to other rooms (rustic decor in the kitchen, posters of a literary hero in the library, plush toy animals in the bedroom) are all room-appropriate.
  • Touché: Rainbow Dash responds in this way when she's forced to acknowledge her own part in the failed decorating attempt.
    Rarity: Well I didn't do anything wrong. I did exactly what I would do if this were my home.
    Rainbow Dash: But it's not your home! It's Twilight's home!
    Rarity: Where she keeps all her Rainbow Dash trophies?
    Rainbow Dash: Touché.
  • Trivially Obvious:
    • When trying to avoid talking about how awful their shared attempts at decorating the castle turned out, everypony resorts to half-hearted compliments of their efforts.
      Rarity: My my, Applejack, bringing the outdoors inside, it's... earthy.
    • Upon returning home at the end of the day, Twilight observes that the castle's entrance hall hasn't changed a bit:
      Twilight: Oh, I, uh ... love what you've... done with the place. You did such a good job of... preserving the integrity of the original design.
  • Waking Non Sequitur: After falling asleep in her food, Twilight wakes up with a pancake draped across her face and blurts out "I'm pancake — I mean, awake!"
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: Aloe's vaguely French-ish accent, in sharp contrast to Lotus' not-Slavic one.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: Touched upon. While the castle is her new home, Twilight still can't help but miss the Golden Oak Library since she's been living there for so long since coming to Ponyville.

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