But Fluttershy, you have a wonderful talent dealing with all kinds of animals. Fluttershy:
Yes. Because they're not dragons. Rainbow:
Oh, come on
! We've seen you walk up to a horrible manticore like it was nothing! Fluttershy:
Yes. Because he wasn't a dragon. Pinkie Pie:
Spike is a dragon! You're not scared of him! Fluttershy:
Yes. Because he's not a huge, gigantic, terrifying, enormous, teeth-gnashing, sharp-scale-having, horn-wearing, smoke-snoring, could-eat-a-pony-in-one-bite, totally-all-grown-up
Written by Meghan McCarthy
A sleeping dragon's smoke is disrupting the skies of Equestria, and Princess Celestia gives Twilight Sparkle the task of getting it to move on. Most of her friends are eager to help, save for Fluttershy
, who keeps trying to tell Twilight she's too scared to face a dragon (to be honest, she's scared of a lot of things — heights, falling leaves, her own shadow...) Twilight ignores Fluttershy's reluctance, insisting that she has to come along because of her unique talent with animals.
The Mane Six set out, but once they reach the mountain the dragon's taken up residence in, Fluttershy's wings lock up in fear, leaving Applejack to literally drag her up. As they continue making their way up, Fluttershy continues to be a burden, slowing the group down and accidentally causing a rockslide which further delays their progress.
The ponies finally reach the dragon's cave, ready to confront the sleeping beast. Well, almost ready; Fluttershy refuses to go any closer, finally blurting out that she's afraid of dragons. Even when her friends point out that she's faced a manticore and that she's not scared of Spike (granted, he's a baby
dragon), she knows what she's afraid of and won't change her mind. Twilight gives up and decides to proceed without Fluttershy's help. She tries being diplomatic with the dragon, asking him nicely to leave, but it doesn't work. Rarity tries charming him, but her tactic fails when she looks a bit too longingly at the dragon's hoard
of gems. Pinkie tries laughter and...well...you can see where this is going. Things take a turn for the worse when Rainbow Dash tries to settle the issue head-on; the dragon gets angry and knocks everypony to the ground, save for Fluttershy, who's been hiding.
As it turns out, that
was a bad idea.
The meek little Pegasus gets so angry at the dragon that she completely forgets her fear and flies up to face it, speaking to it sternly and letting him know once and for all that you do NOT
hurt her friends. Fluttershy gets so intimidating that the dragon actually breaks down and cries
. Returning back to her calm and nurturing self, Fluttershy comforts the dragon, and tells him nicely that he has to leave. As the dragon flies off to find somewhere else to nap and the clouds of smoke get cleared up, Twilight writes to the Princess about what she's learned that day. Meanwhile, Rainbow Dash gets spooked by Pinkie imitating a dragon's roar and Fluttershy reassures her that "not everypony can be as brave as me"...right before a leaf lands on Fluttershy, scaring the daylights out of her.
Tropes present in this episode (YMMV tropes can be found here):
- All Animals Are Dogs: The dragon whimpers like a puppy after Fluttershy stands up to it. No wonder; it certainly seems like the natural reaction in the circumstances.
- Answer Cut: The dragon gives a loud roar immediately after Fluttershy's lines at the top of this page, sending her into further timidity.
- Aside Glance: Rainbow Dash after Fluttershy apologizes to the dragon for the former's kicking him.
- Badly Battered Babysitter: Spike is left behind to tend to Fluttershy's animals. Angel the bunny proves especially difficult.
- Best Out of Infinity: Either Rarity really sucks at Tic Tac Toe or Pinkie Pie is really good at it.
- Berserk Button: Because you do NOT, we repeat you do NOT. HURT. FLUTTERSHY'S FRIENDS!
- Beware the Nice Ones: When Fluttershy's friends are hurt by the dragon, she becomes absolutely terrifying!
- Bullying a Dragon:
- A literal example. Rainbow Dash learns the hard way that telling a dragon that is several orders of magnitude bigger than her to get lost and then kicking it in the face is never a good idea.
- Fluttershy defied the trope by pointing out that just because the dragon could kill the Mane Six doesn't give him the right to, and that he could have handled being kicked by Dash (which barely annoyed him) better.
- Captain Obvious: Lampshaded by Rainbow Dash:
Fluttershy: It's so—so—high!
Rainbow Dash: Well, it is a mountain!
Fluttershy: It's so—so—steep!
Rainbow Dash: Well, it is a cliff!
- Characterization Marches On/Character Development:
- While Rainbow Dash's irritance with Fluttershy's meekness has popped up many times afterward, her disinterest and almost naked contempt in keeping her around seems somewhat out of place compared to later episodes; the most jarring example is when Dash says "Not your fault" to Rarity while fixing the dirtiest look at Fluttershy, as if she's really saying "We know who's to blame here." Nowadays, Rainbow is often shown enthusiastically trying to bulk Fluttershy up, and at least is respectful to her and knows when to back off if Fluttershy genuinely is too scared to do something.
- Fluttershy also is less of a coward in future episodes, including never being afraid of her own shadow again.
- Compressed Vice: Fluttershy's fainting goat tic, especially when we've seen her take several scares in the second season without it ever popping up again.
- Continuity Nod: Fluttershy's face-off with the Manticore in the second episode is mentioned. It's one of the only nods to the pilot episodes given, at least in Season 1.
- Death Glare: Fluttershy cows the dragon with one. This is the first time we see "The Stare".
- Don't Look Down: Spoken unwisely to Fluttershy as she's jumping over a chasm, although since she's not using her wings one would think she was surely going to fail the leap anyway if she did now. Fortunately, the distance between the cliffs, which had hitherto never been shown both at the same time, is then revealed to be short enough that she just ends up balanced with back and front hooves on different sides.
- Dragon Hoard: Rarity mentions that the only thing shinier than a dragon's scales are the jewels they use to make their nest.
- Eyedscreen: The Letterbox format during the Mane Six's Lock and Load Montage.
- Rainbow Dash shows her impatience for Fluttershy's fussing by facehoofing three times, the first being a double facehoof.
- Angel does a facepaw when he just can't get through to Fluttershy.
- Funny Background Event: When Pinkie Pie is counting ponies to see how many balloons she'll need for her latest party, we see Lyra Heartstrings sitting with Shoeshine on a bench... except while Shoeshine is laid out across it, Lyra's slouched down sitting on it in a way that is decidedly un-pony-like. This one scene has launched the entire fandom's "Lyra desire to be human" attributes to the character.
- Good Is Not Nice: Rainbow Dash is focused on her mission rather than on diplomatic affairs, so one should not expect her to be courteous towards Fluttershy.
- Grumpy Bear: Rainbow Dash acts this way around Fluttershy, constantly calling her The Load and being rude.
- Hair-Trigger Avalanche: Accomplished with a rockslide instead of snow.
- Hammer Space: Pinkie's saddlebags; not only is she ready with an "invitation" for Fluttershy to climb the mountain, but she's managed to fit her entire "package" disguise within it.
- Hint Dropping:
[Angel Bunny coughs] Fluttershy:
Are you okay? [Angel coughs again] Fluttershy:
Are you coughing because you have a carrot stuck in your throat? [Angel coughs again, now clearly annoyed] Fluttershy:
Do you need some water? [Angel lets out a cough that a 20-pack-a-day smoker would be envious of, and points Fluttershy's head skywards] Fluttershy: Is it because of that giant cloud of scary black smoke?! [Angel throws a carrot at the back of Fluttershy's head, and glares at her] Fluttershy:
I'll take that as a yes.
- Leeroy Jenkins: Rainbow Dash's entire "plan" boils down to rushing into the cave and kicking the dragon in the face.
- Lock and Load Montage: Which is simultaneously a Shout-Out to both The A-Team and Charlie's Angels.
- The Load: Fluttershy until the end. This is Lampshaded by Twilight at the beginning, as she acknowledges that, with her phobia towards everything, she'll be a nuisance along the way, but in the end Fluttershy is the only one who can speak with the dragon, making her presence a necessity.
- Nervous Wreck: Fluttershy becomes one, which causes all the issues that slow down the entire group.
- Plot Tailored to the Party: Spelled out by Twilight when they are about to face the dragon as to why they are all there.
- Pun-Based Title: Concerning the dragon and Fluttershy's importance to the plot.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!:
Fluttershy: You do NOT! HURT! MY! FRIENDS!
- Reflective Eyes: Fluttershy's eyes reflect Pinkie hop-skip-and-jumping over the chasm.
- Reveal Shot: Only one side of the chasm Pinkie sings her song at is onscreen at one time until Fluttershy accidentally looks down while jumping across it, to avoid revealing that it's actually not wide at all.
- Running Gag: Apparently, pegasi are part fainting goat.
- Skewed Priorities: Rarity, upon realizing the fabulous trove of gems the dragon's sleeping on.
Rarity I was this close to getting that diamond!
Twilight You mean "getting rid of that dragon"?
Rarity ...Oh, yeah, sure.
- Staggered Zoom: As Fluttershy explains her fear of adult dragons, the camera pulls back from the cave in steps, eventually showing the whole mountain, each step punctuating her list of objections.
- Staring Down Cthulhu: In one of the most badass examples ever, a small yellow-pink pony, who is usually a Shrinking Violet, stares down a creature whose eye is bigger than she is and makes him cry.
- Team Mom: Applejack's tendencies toward this really shine in this episode, such as comforting and encouraging Fluttershy.
- That Reminds Me of a Song: Twilight asks the others to help Fluttershy across a crevasse, leading to Pinkie instantly bursting into a (very silly) song about jumping across crevasses. This only serves to shorten Twilight's rapidly fraying temper.
- Verbal Judo: Fluttershy stops the dragon from attacking by talking to him.
- Violence Discretion Shot: We never see what happened to Pinkie Pie and her party gear.
- Visual Pun: When Pinkie tries to convince the dragon to leave, she dresses up in an odd costume centered around a birthday present. Her birthday suit, if you will.
- Vocal Dissonance: The dragon to some extent. His roars are certainly fitting, but after being berated by Fluttershy, his "But that rainbow one kicked me!" and crying were juuuust a bit on the dopey side.
- Wasn't That Fun?: Pinkie Pie's reaction to the rockslide that nearly kills them: "Woohoo! Let's do it again!"
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Fluttershy may be afraid of a lot of things, but non-pony creatures are not usually among them — with adult dragons being a huge exception. By the end, Rainbow Dash has temporarily acquired some of the same fear after catching a glimpse of what happens when you charge one.
- "Yes"/"No" Answer Interpretation: Between Fluttershy and Angel:
Fluttershy: *gasp* Because of that giant cloud of scary black smoke?
Angel: [throws a carrot at her head, looks annoyed]
Fluttershy: I'll take that as a 'yes'.