Storyline And Aesop Reactions And Interpretations / My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic

  • Alternate Aesop Interpretation:
    • "Winter Wrap Up" seems to have the message "If you have no talent, and are good at nothing, go into management" (or "managers are incompetent at everything except bossing people around"), even though Twilight wound up the All-Team Organizer because she actually is good at getting things organized (and everypony else stinks at it).
    • "Suited for Success" provides the explicit moral of "don't look a gift horse in the mouth", and the implicit moral of "if you hire a professional to do a job, let THEM do the job they're paid for."
    • "Feeling Pinkie Keen" was interpreted by many as the triumph of religious dogma over skepticism. According to Lauren Faust, this was totally unintentional, and she was a little freaked out when folks on DeviantArt started complaining about it.
    • The moral of "The Show Stoppers" was probably intended to be "Be Yourself, and embrace your natural talents," but to some fans it came off as "Don't waste your time trying new things. Just stick to what you're good at, even if you hate it." Or maybe that "things you do in your spare time for fun are most likely to be the things you're really good at."
    • "A Dog and Pony Show" can be misinterpreted as "Whining will make everyone bend to your whims!" Or alternatively, "If someone accuses you of whining, pull the Rarity card!"
    • "Cutie Mark Chronicles" is about "be patient and be yourself and you'll learn who you are", and "Sweet and Elite" is about "don't be ashamed of where you come from" but both have the sub-lesson of "city people are shallow, snobby, and sneer down their noses at anything outside their experience, so don't let their opinions sway you."
    • "Owl's Well That Ends Well" and "Lesson Zero" both have "if you blow off your friend's concerns/feelings/freakouts, it will cause more trouble", which apparently means Aesop Amnesia as Twilight learned it in the first and then freaked out in the second.
    • "Lesson Zero" has the lesson the CMC should've learned: "If someone offers you something you really don't want, you can politely turn it down and not trying to dance around avoiding accepting it to avoid hurt feelings. Honesty is the best policy."
    • The moral of "Cutie Pox" is about having patience and that good things come to those who wait. While this is a valid aesop, it's not exactly the real aesop of the episode, which was earning what you want and not cheating by taking short cuts and being dishonest.
    • "Hearth's Warming Eve":
      • The pageant seems rather anti-authoritarian, depicting all the rulers of the pony tribes (be they aristocracy, the military, or elected officials) as selfish, stubborn, and/or incompetent.
      • Fridge Brilliance: No matter one's race, color, or creed, we all question the sanity of upper management (at least sometimes). Notice that the "assistant" ponies bonded over shaking their heads at their superiors' foolish actions.
    • "A Friend In Deed" seems to teach kids "Social trial and error can lead to friendship."
    • "The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000" could be taken to teach the lesson that market competition is a good thing, because it was clear that, the way things were, the Apples were unable to serve the needs of the market. The Flim-Flams were definitely bad, but them introducing competition did force the Apples to innovate and make enough cider for all.
    • Inspiration Manifestation:
      • Constant praise actually can stifle your artistic integrity and it's alright to take some criticism now and then. Just roll with the punches and adjust when you need to.
      • Your usual artistic style isn't always what the customer needs; try to think of the client's context. At the same time, you can's just assume the artist/contractor knows exactly what you want or need when placing a special order. Be specific!
    • "Griffon the Brush Off" and "Green Isn't Your Color" set us up to believe the aesops "a prank is only fun if everybody is laughing" and "don't be jealous" are coming. Twilight instead ends the episodes with "a bad friend will eventually make themselves known" and "be honest about your feelings." Both are decent aesops which fit their episodes and could also be a subversion or double subversion of stock aesops.
    • "The Mysterious Mare Do Well" could be said to not only preach "You shouldn't let glory go to your head and turn you into a braggart", but also "Fame is fleeting", based on how quick the ponies of Ponyville were to celebrate Mare Do Well and almost completely ignore Rainbow Dash. And given that Mare-Do-Well is actually four of the other members of the Mane Six, who manage to accomplish more than Rainbow Dash could alone, it teaches a lesson about the Power of Teamwork.
    • A different Aesop that can be taken from the episode "Hearts and Hooves Day" than the one given at the end can be taken as "You don't NEED a 'very special somepony' to be happy, even on a day dedicated to having one."
  • Ass Pull: Twilight becoming an Alicorn could have worked, but the final thing she did, to become worthy, was creating new magic, when that was never brought up before as being such a big deal. This gets really grating when the writers online said this episode was written a year before it was made, so no opportunity was taken for Foreshadowing in the rest of the season.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • Inverted in what fans have dubbed "Derpygate", where the creators of the show changed the voice acting in a scene in "The Last Roundup" where beloved background pony Derpy Hooves is given spoken lines. A small group of parents protested this scene, finding it offensive (the name "Derpy" and the voice acting, which was a misunderstanding where the VA thought the character was male). The studio took the original episode off of iTunes and replaced it with one where Derpy's voice was changed and her name was not mentioned. This was the point where the fandom revolted, leading to quite a few webpages calling for the scene to be changed back. Eventually, the creators apologized to both sides. After being absent for most of Season Three, Derpy was finally re-inserted during the season finale. The Powers That Be later said that Derpy's disappearance for most of season three was done to make her triumphant return in "Rainbow Falls" more triumphant.
    • "Magic Duel" addresses Trixie being a Designated Villain in her debut, showing how excessive the consequences she faced were, and, due to how much worse she was under the Alicorn Amulets influence and her regret afterwards, showed she wasn't really that bad.
    • At the end of "Dragon Quest", Spike takes Peewee, a baby phoenix, from his parents and adopted him. Many fans complained about the kidnapping and the Broken Aesop because the same episode began with Spike complaining about not knowing where he comes from. In "Just for Sidekicks", it is revealed that Spike returned the phoenix to his parents (in a series of briefly-seen photos of him doing so.) However this again has not been unanimously welcomed, due to how abrupt this felt, leading to some people thinking They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character.
    • The notorious picture of the Elements in the pilot's opening sequence that looked nothing like the real things gets explained in "Princess Twilight Sparkle - Part 2": they really did look like that at the time.
    • A lot of the fanbase wasn't happy with how Season 3 portrayed Spike as being quite incompetent (in "Spike at Your Service" he causes massive damage whenever he tries to help, and in "Just for Sidekicks" he screws up pet-sitting so badly that he ends up on a train in another country). As a result, the season 4 episode "Power Ponies" is pretty much based on the premise that Spike is helpful and the rest of the cast don't view him as The Load.
    • "One Bad Apple" got some criticism that Babs being bullied herself wasn't enough of an excuse for how big a jerk she was to the CMC. But in "Rarity Takes Manehattan" we get confirmation of just how much worse bullying can be in Manehattan, while keeping in tone to its In-Real-Life counterpart.
    • A number of fans were angry that Spike wasn't invited back to the Crystal Empire in "Games Ponies Play", even though he was the one who saved it. "Equestria Games" reveals that Spike is considered a hero throughout the entire kingdom. It also gives him a lot of appreciation, something that, according to the fans, almost every Spike centered episode — including Equestria Girls — after the Season 3 Premiere seriously lacked.
    • For those opposed to Twilight becoming an alicorn princess, a commonly cited argument was that it felt like the show was putting Twilight above her friends, which they felt not only seemed like favouritism from the writers, but went against the show's defining theme of friendship. The revelation in "Twilight's Kingdom - Part 2" that Twilight's friends including Spike will apparently be ruling alongside her in her role as the Princess of Friendship may be an attempt to address this.
    • Many fans have complained that Discord's sudden Heel–Face Turn from "Keep Calm and Flutter On" was too rushed, heavy-handed, and sappy. "Princess Twilight Sparkle - Part 1" seems to have Retconned this by presenting him as still being the gleeful and sarcastic Troll he's always been, thus throwing how genuine his turn was into question. Then the season finale does a much more convincing job of making the turn stick, as Tirek talks him into turning evil again, only for him to realize how empty their partnership is compared to his friendship with Fluttershy, and come crawling back to her after Tirek betrays him.
    • For those who were rubbed the wrong way by the season premiere's and "Magical Mystery Cure"'s implications of Cutie Marks, Luna affirming that a Cutie Mark is simply a representation of who a pony truly is (as opposed to simply their power or destiny) in "Bloom & Gloom" can come as this.
    • Trouble Shoes from "Appleoosa's Most Wanted" isn't the first pony to be characterized as a klutz. Interpreting his klutziness as a talent seems to be an attempt at making a certain gray/blond pegasus mare look more acceptable to viewers who took offense to her initial characterization.
    • "Slice of Life":
      • Bon Bon/Sweetie Drops being an undercover secret agent provides an explanation for why her voice has been different in subsequent speaking roles — she'd have experience adopting different voices as part of a disguise. Also, while she was called Bon Bon for some time, the loss of the trademark means that for a while now, her merchandise has been sold under the name "Sweetie Drops." This episode canonizes both names.
      • Some fans were upset about Featherweight being a Karma Houdini in "Ponyville Confidential." Here he gets sprayed with ink, just like Diamond Tiara's punishment in that episode.
      • You can really feel everyone involved trying not to make a repeat of Derpygate. She has a more feminine voice that fits her personality better than Tabitha's initial Saving Throw, she's a more relatable screw-up than the Walking Disaster Area she was before, and she has a lazy eye problem rather than either being permanently "derped" or normal.
      • The inconsistent depictions of background ponies living in both Canterlot and Ponyville, at least with regards to Minuette, Twinkleshine, Lemon Hearts, and Lyra Heartstrings, is given a convenient Hand Wave in "Amending Fences". Lyra apparently moved from Canterlot to Ponyville around the same time as Twilight, and the three who stayed in Canterlot come to visit her, and she visits them in Canterlot, too. This same explanation could be extrapolated to account for most any background character that appears in multiple towns — they visit friends living there.
    • "Do Princesses Dream of Magic Sheep?":
      • For those who felt the Nightmare Forces from the comics devalued Luna's being The Atoner, this episode qualifies, given the Tantabus is the literal embodiment of her guilt.
      • Also, fans have long wanted to see the God-Emperor princesses cut loose, but anytime something that would require the level of power we expect from those who control the sun and moon — and hear of them having used in the distant past — shows up, they end up suffering The Worf Effect, or never acting beyond exposition duty at all. Not today, as we truly get to see Luna take action, showing herself quite powerful though not without limits. One sequence was much like fans have discussed wishing had happened at times like "A Canterlot Wedding"; a role that lets the Princesses not seem so useless by holding down the fort in one way while still needing the Mane Six. In this case, Luna's mindlinking the entire city, which limits, but doesn't fully eliminate, her ability to act directly.
  • Designated Hero:
    • In "Boast Busters", Rainbow Dash, Applejack and Rarity comment on Trixie showing off when she first performs for Ponyville. After Rainbow Dash heckles her, the three then accept Trixie's challenge and show off their own talents in the process.
    • Many consider the entire Mane Six to be this in "The Mysterious Mare Do Well". Rainbow Dash was being portrayed as a hero with too much ego. The other Mane Five's response was seen by many fans as just as bad as how Rainbow Dash acted. They saved ponies just to make Rainbow Dash look bad, got all of Ponyville pissed at her (though partially her fault), and put Rainbow Dash into a depression.
    • Pinkie Pie in A Friend In Deed. Her antics against Cranky Doodle Donkey really made her come off a fully aware and selfish jerk out to fill her personal friend quota rather than the Innocently Insensitive character who just wants to make others happy she is usually portrayed as. The Family-Unfriendly Aesop, Pinkie not getting called out or facing any real reprocussions and the resolution definitely didn't help matters either. Because of this, viewers found it very difficult to feel happy for Pinkie and Cranky Doodle Donkey, the character we're supposed to dislike, definitely came out as the more sympathetic character to some.
  • Designated Villain: For Trixie, this trope is played straight once and later deconstructed twice.
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop:
    • The episode "The Mysterious Mare-Do-Well" came under a lot of fire because its aesop was interpreted by some as "If your friend lets their ego get the upper hand, you should go behind their back to show them up and humiliate them." The message snaps in half when you realize that the rest of the Mane Six were bragging about their contributions to Mare-Do-Well's list of heroic deeds just to rub Rainbow Dash's nose in it. While that scene is problematic, this is misrepresenting the episode a bit — none of the Mare-Do-Wells interfered with any of Rainbow Dash's rescues, only intervening after she'd screwed up, and we also see other signs of them trying to avoid her being humiliated (Twilight enabling her to pull herself out of the flood, or leading her into a secluded alley to make the reveal).
    • "One Bad Apple": It's not okay to stand up to a bully, no matter how much they push you around and no matter how badly they've been bullied themselves. It just makes you even worse than them.
    • In "Green Isn't Your Color", Rarity confesses to Twilight that she is horribly jealous of Fluttershy's success as a supermodel, while Fluttershy herself later confesses to Twilight that she hates being a model and she's only doing this because Rarity told her she wanted her to. However, Twilight is tongue-tied because she promised both of them not to tell anyone. Instead of having her get the two of them in a room together and telling them the truth to stop both of them from being miserable, however, Twilight instead tries to help Fluttershy ruin her reputation as a model — only for Rarity, under the impression that Fluttershy liked modelling, to try and save it. The moral of the story is "Being able to keep a secret is important, but you should never be afraid to share your feelings with a friend", but it comes across more as "Even if you know people are hurting because of the secrets you keep, you shouldn't tell the truth and instead hope things will resolve themselves".
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • In the pilot episode, Twilight says "All the ponies in this town are CRAZY!" By the end of the season, every mane character has suffered a nervous breakdown at some point. And then in the season 2 episode "Lesson Zero", Twilight goes completely (if temporarily) over the edge.
    • In "Bridle Gossip", Spike gives Rainbow Dash the nickname "Rainbow Crash", due to her temporary clumsiness. In "Sonic Rainboom", we learn that this was the very name Rainbow Dash's childhood bullies labeled her with for years. However, "Read It and Weep" shows it may not be a completely undeserved title.
    • Seven months after "Hurricane Fluttershy" aired, most of the United States' Mid-Atlantic region was devastated by Superstorm Sandy.
    • The whole Scootaloo/flightless bird jokes from within the show and fandom become less funny, if they aren't to some already, now that the S4 episode "Flight to the Finish" has Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon making fun of Scootaloo for not being able to fly.
    • One scene in "Family Appreciation Day" has a bee land on Apple Bloom's nose while Granny Smith is harvesting honey. Four seasons later, Apple Bloom is revealed to be allergic to bees.
  • Genius Bonus:
    • Knowledge of astronomy and a close look at the Ursa Major's tail in Boast Busters may tip you off early that it's actually an Ursa Minor.
    • The scene in "Winter Wrap Up" with the two hedgehogs embracing and accidentally sticking each other with their spines is a reference to the hedgehog's dilemma theory of psychology. Fans of the popular anime Neon Genesis Evangelion, which often references the hedgehog's dilemma, have not let this go unnoticed.
    • Look at the chalkboard in the beginning of "Call of the Cutie". These kids are learning damn astrophysics! Or at least physicsnote  and vector calculusnote .
    • Gilda's maltreatment of the ponies actually borders on Fridge Brilliance when you realize that in mythology, griffons and horses were mortal enemies.
    • Rarity (albeit accidentally) re-enacts the Greek myth of Icarus at the Young Flyer's Competition.
    • At the end of the second episode (part two of the pilot), "The Elements of Harmony": two foals lay a wreath of red and white roses around Princess Luna's neck. This might seem like a conventional way of honoring and welcoming a princess, but consider that, at the end of the War of the Roses, Henry VII took as his symbol a red and white rose, combining the Lancastrian red rose and the Yorkist white rose. So red and white roses together are a symbol of reconciliation following a civil war within a royal family for control of the kingdom, or principality in this case.
    • "The Best Night Ever":
      • Spike mentions Princess Celestia has a golden apple tree. In certain Greek and Norse mythos, golden apples grant immortality.
      • They are also, in Greek mythology, a symbol of DISCORD... one golden apple in particular led to the Trojan wars, and the sacking of Troy — and the death of a dozen or so legendary Greek heroes.
      • The Apple(s) of Discord return in the second season's first episode, where they are used to sow discord among the mane six, fittingly, right at the start of the challenge.
    • Discord, in the second season premiere, is very similar to Apep from Egyptian mythology. Both were giant lizard serpents, both were embodiments of chaos, and both were the greatest enemies of the sun (Celestia and Ra, respectively). Additionally, Apep was overthrown and imprisoned for his evil by Ra - much as Celestia overthrew and imprisoned Discord in the backstory.
    • Twilight's mentioned Star Swirl the Bearded created an "amniomorphic spell". "Amnio-" as a medical term deals with the fetus, so "amniomorphic" potentially deals with the development of babies, which is essentially what Twilight did when she hatched Spike.
    • Also in "Luna Eclipsed", Luna keeps using old-fashioned, "formal" versions of the second-person personal pronoun: thou, thee, thy, thine, etc., even though she supposedly wants (much like her sister, in a way) a closer, warmer relationship with her subjects. But actually, thou, thee, thy, and so forth are actually the informal, personal versions of the second-person personal pronoun, much like "tu" in French or Spanish, or "du" in German. You, your, and so forth are the formal forms. When Luna addresses the other ponies as "thou," she's basically saying that she considers them to be close friends.
      • This makes sense if you consider that she has been trapped in isolation for a thousand years. Thou, thee, thy and thine are Early Modernnote  English, which was still in use a thousand years ago.
      • Which is also why she would not know the meaning of the word fun (in this case amusement) which in the real world has only had that meaning since the 1700s.
    • Both Princesses wear collars. Celestia, who wears the larger collar, is older, more mature, and more experienced... and has bourne (and still bears) most of the burden of ruling Equestria. Luna, whose collar is much smaller, is the younger, less mature, and more impulsive sister... and is still adjusting to 1000 years' worth of progress. Factor in the purpose and benefits of the real-world horse collar harness, and decide for yourself if the symbolism was intentional or not.
    • If you have any interest in color theory, Celestia's mane might be of great interest to you. Sky Blue is the main color, and one of the stripes bears a shade of cyan called Celeste. The third color present is Orchid, a shade of magenta. Why Orchid? Because the orchid is one of the flowers representing the Chinese Four Gentlemen. It symbolizes spring, the season in which the sun warms the earth so life can continue.
    • In "It's About Time", Twilight is seen looking over a chalkboard covered in equations, which are apparently real equations for the effects of time dilation.
    • Oh, how is this for genius: in "A Canterlot Wedding - Part 1", during the song "B.B.B.F.F", there is actually a double meaning (which Daniel Ingram has confirmed):
    The song is in the key of Db Major (just like "Winter Wrap Up"!) . That means that the root chord is a Db major chord. Usually, a Ab major chord will lead into a Db major. This is the V-I chord progression and it is also known as the Authentic Cadence (stick with me here). Now, it seems to resolve to a sadder chord at the end of the phrase. Instead of ending on Db major around 1:16, it lands on Bb minor: the relative minor of Db major. Now, when a chord progression seems to be heading to the root chord but lands on the relative minor instead, that is called a...
    ...
    Also worth noting, listen to how Twilight sings the last "forever" in the song. Her little cadenza (I am seriously not making these words up) quotes the opening notes of the theme song.
    • Daring Do's grey-scale tail and mane (at least as imagined by Rainbow Dash) incorporate the "colours" of a rare phenomenon known as a moonbow.
  • Glurge: While the show does seem to make a rather commendable effort to avoid this trope a lot of the time, it sometimes can't resist falling into it due to its cutesy nature and sometimes easily re-enterpretable Aesops. Faust has even admitted to some stories.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Considering the episode was produced long before Cupcakes was written, Pinkie Pie's psychotic break in "Party of One" is rather eerie, doubly so considering Rainbow Dash is the pony to visit her during her episode.
    • The entire story presented in "Hearth's Warming Eve" becomes really creepy for those who are familiar with the mythology surrounding Wendigos.
    • In the Canterlot Wedding two-parter, the need for increased security at the wedding seems a bit more eerie in light of the issues with insufficient security at the London 2012 Olympics. Keep in mind that the Canterlot Wedding was based off the Royal Wedding between William and Kate... Which also happened in London.
    • Rainbow Dash's attitude towards Fluttershy in "Dragonshy" seems out of place compared to future episodes such as "The Cutie Mark Chronicles" and "Hurricane Fluttershy".
    • In "It's About Time", Twilight is repeatedly concerned about a possible disaster in the future. As we find out much later on, a disaster was brewing ever since Cerberus temporarily left Tartarus.
  • Idiot Plot:
    • "Look Before You Sleep" has Applejack and Rarity fighting like children for the duration of the episode. Their bickering over an incomplete job trimming tree branches before a rainstorm spills over into Twilight Sparkle's first slumber party and nearly ruins her night. However, Twilight isn't any better in this episode. She becomes so infused with her slumber party guidebook that she thinks it can somehow solve the problem of a giant tree branch in her bedroom.
    • "Swarm of the Century": see Poor Communication Kills on the Western Animation page.
    • In "Fall Weather Friends", Rainbow Dash uses her ability to fly to cheat in various events. Until Applejack points it out, none of the ponies think it unfair, and neither do they bother rerunning the events she cheated in. Let's face it, when even Twilight Sparkle doesn't object to Dash LIFTING APPLEJACK INTO THE AIR DURING A TUG OF WAR, this trope is definitely in play.
    • In "The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000", the Flim Flam brothers are either holding the Conflict Ball or the Villain Ball, but either way a lot of what they do triggers one of these. If either of them had possessed an ounce of business sense, or at least hadn't been so arrogant during the contest, the episode would have been much shorter.
    • The plot of "Games Ponies Play" relies on the cast not realizing that the pony they greeted at the train station wasn't the games Inspector. It's an understandable mistake at first, as they're in a rush, but as the episode goes on they grow increasingly more oblivious to the fact that the pony they're escorting around doesn't resemble the inspector at all, as well as the fact that despite spending the entire afternoon with her, no-one ever thinks to refer to her by name. If any of them had thought to ask her name (or if the pony in question had thought to introduce herself), the mistake would have been caught within five minutes. Also, the problem could have been completely avoided in the first place if the Mane Six had been given a description of the games inspector's cutie mark (they had instead been told to look for a pony with flower-print luggage).
  • It Was His Sled:
    • Princess Luna became Nightmare Moon, Nightmare Moon was defeated and turned back into Luna. There are toys of her and she came back in one episode of Season 2 (she even gets mentioned in the Season 2 première). The reveal at the end of the second episode isn't much of a spoiler anymore.
    • "Games Ponies Play" ends with Spike, the Cutie Mark Crusaders and the pets hiding from the Mane Six while they're on the train back from Ponyville after Applejack suspects that something's wrong. The problem is its companion episode, "Just for Sidekicks", had already aired by that point and it revealed that they avoided detection.
    • The Season 3 finale, namely the ending where Twilight becomes a princess has been widely and openly discussed long before the relevant episode's airdate.
    • The Season 4 finale where Lord Tirek destroys Golden Oaks Library now that Twilight has been living in her own castle since the start of Season 5.
    • The Cutie Mark Crusaders getting their cutie marks in "Crusaders of the Lost Mark".
    • Starlight Glimmer's Heel–Face Turn at the end of "The Cutie Re-Mark" which also does this to her other featured two-parter "The Cutie Map" from Season 5.
  • Less Disturbing in Context: Fluttershy's song from "The Cutie Mark Chronicles" includes the lines "Oh, what a magical place!/And I owe it all to the Pegasus race!" If heard out of context and without the accompanying visuals it may sound like Fluttershy is propagating Pegasus supremacy. It doesn't help that the mentions of wild animals, bees, and trees might be mistaken for a reference to "Tomorrow Belongs to Me"...
  • Nightmare Fuel coupled with Fridge Logic: Many of the situations in the series, although portrayed as saccharine, in reality would be nightmare fuel. Some examples that come to mind are the mind rape of the Mane Six by Discord (as well as implied with everypony in Equestria), or the Nightmare Moon arc's threat of eternal night.
  • Paranoia Fuel: Anypony you see on the screen may be a changeling. Any one at any given time. Much worse in-universe. There's a joke about the repeated background ponies.
    Season 1: Recycled drawings.
    Season 2: Changelings.
    Season 3: Mirror Pool clones.
  • Rewatch Bonus: After seeing Twilight become a Princess, watching the all the previous episodes gain a new perspective on how effectively Princess Celestia was able to prepare her for that role ever since she first showed up at Celestia's school.
    • Rewatch the CMC's episodes were Diamond Tiara was the antagonist again with the knowledge she has an abusive mother who constantly puts immense pressure on her and encourages her bad behavior and you might find more than a few things a lot harder to watch now, and some of her actions take on a completely different context.
  • Seasonal Rot:
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped:
    • The entire point of "Bridle Gossip" about not judging a book by its cover is very important considering how prevalent people are immediately judged or stereotyped for their outward appearances, even if they are good people inside.
    • Also the entire point of "One Bad Apple", considering that bullying is on a monumental rise in this day and age.
  • So Okay, It's Average: The opinion of many fans about "Owl's Well That Ends Well", largely because it aired a week after the more widely-loved episode "The Cutie Mark Chronicles".
    • Some fans also felt this way about "The Best Night Ever", while others thought the episode was awesome. Amusingly enough, part of the lesson for that episode was not getting your expectations up too high.
    • Back when "Look Before You Sleep" first aired, the reaction was so lukewarm that most fans just went back to discussing "Dragonshy" until "Bridle Gossip" aired.
  • Strawman Has a Point:
    • The Canterlot Elite in "Sweet and Elite" are depicted as smug elitists for treating the ponies from Ponyville as boorish hicks. In addition to the Mane Cast's disruptive behavior at the Grand Galloping Gala (the highest profile national annual party), Rarity's friends crash and trash the Canterlot Garden Party (the second highest profile national annual party), making one wonder if the reputation for being boorish hicks is at least somewhat deserved. Indeed, for the Gala, Celestia deliberately invited the main characters in hopes of "livening up" the party, and afterwards claims it was the best one in a long time BECAUSE the party ended in a disaster because of their antics.
    • Similarly, in "Bridle Gossip" the viewer is supposed to find the cast's suspicions of Zecora to be unfounded and based on misconceptions. The problem is that while they go a bit overboard, their suspicion isn't entirely unfounded as 1) Zecora lives in a forest that's infamous for being full of dangerous creatures, 2) Zecora is a zebra, a species that none of the cast members have ever seen before and have no frame of reference for, 3) Later episodes confirm that there are all sorts of dangerous creatures and persons in the setting, 4) Zecora's behavior doesn't exactly help her case; she shows up wearing a cloak with Glowing Eyes of Doom and when she comes around she just sort of walks around aimlessly rather than making any attempt to communicate. In light of that, it isn't really that odd that the townfolk are a bit wary of her. It's especially true in AJ's case; it's not exactly surprising that she'd want to keep her little sister from following a stranger into a dangerous forest.
    • In "Bats!", Applejack is treated as being in the wrong for wanting to oust the vampire fruit bats entirely rather than coming to a compromise. However, anyone who's ever worked on a farm knows that pests can utterly ruin a crop, and as Sweet Apple Acres is generally treated as being a bit unstable financially, Applejack's concerns about the bats being a threat to her livelihood are completely valid. It's compounded by the fact that an infestation had happened in the past, and the farm had barely survived.
    • Spike's Heroic Self-Deprecation in "Equestria Games" is perfectly justified. His little anthem shtick was probably extremely offensive towards anyone from Cloudsdale (they were not entertained: they didn't laugh, and, judging by the audience's reactions, they seemed furious), while the heroic actions he can take credit for basically amount to being in the right place at the right time — any other pony would have probably done the same. Other ponies trying to chalk it up to him senselessly being self-conscious, outright ignoring how he humiliated himself in front of thousands of spectators (along with how long it took him to light the torch, followed by his embarrassing failure to light the picture he signed on fire) is somewhat bewildering.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes:
    • Any time Pinkie Pie starts singing. Thankfully, her songs are presented in an ironic fashion; breaking into song impromptu is one of Pinkie Pie's personality quirks in-universe. The rest of the cast reacts appropriately ("Tell me she's not..." "She is."). Thus, instead of being the Narm that one might expect from this franchise, this subtle Fourth Wall lampshading allows the Periphery Demographic to feel at ease watching the show.
    • You think Pinkie Pie's songs are that? When Fluttershy sings, it's the equivalent of syrup flooding the room!
    • In general, watching this show has been known to cause cavities. Try as it might, the show still cannot resist being cute and adorable.
    • The fact that the six main ponies have had nervous breakdowns tends to lessen the sweetness.
    • The whole show could be considered a huge subversion/aversion (compared to expectations), which is why it has the popularity and fanbase that it does.
    • Still, the theme song... Let's just say it remains embarrassing.
      • And yet still pretty catchy at the same time.
      • Some people think it's okay. That said, some people do feel a need to turn down the volume when someone's in the room for the theme song (although the sound for it being balanced louder than the rest of the show might have something to do with that).
      • When the "Teens React" show used the intro, the reaction from both the teens and the bronies responding to that was fairly predictable.
    • The ending to "The Cutie Mark Chronicles" was even further on the sweet side than usual for this show, but well-written enough for come off as a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming. It didn't stop Scootaloo and Spike from Lamp Shading how sappy it was, though.
      Spike: Gross! When did you get so cheesy?
    • Some have noted that "Baby Cakes" is this trope, at least, up until the Nightmare Fuel-inducing sequence when Pinkie loses the babies.
  • They Plotted a Perfectly Good Waste: Much of Season 4 was met with complaints that Twilight being a princess barely seemed to have any impact on the show, so fans questioned why the quite controversial development was done in the first place. This paid off in the season finale, where Twilight herself seriously questions why she was made a princess, and the true answer is revealed.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • In Dragon Quest Spike wants to learn about dragons during "The Great Dragon Migration". Good, but then the plot goes into him being picked on teenaged dragons, earning their respect and then finding out they're just mean bastards. It could have been better spent building a mythology of the place of dragons in Equestria and add in that the bullying subplot could have just been easily done with stallions in Ponyville.
    • An episode about Rainbow Dash breaking her wing? That's an amazing idea! Think of the drama she would go through, wondering when she would fly again, being forced to live the life of an Earth pony until it heals... or it could be about her getting addicted to reading. Uh, sure, that might work too, I guess.
    • The premiere of Season 3 could have been awesome. It concerns the return of a long forgotten empire, the coming of an ancient evil ruler and Twilight and friends tasked to help save the empire alongside Shining Armor and Princess Cadance. Too bad that the entire two-parter kept its focus on almost everything but said ruler, who had fewer lines than certain background characters and very little screentime. Plus, the Aesop for the episode certainly didn't warrant a two-part special.
    • The Season 3 finale too. Just imagine all the great material that could be derived from the characters' lives being swapped around, and then sigh because we only get to see it for a few minutes before Twilight figures out how to fix the situation.
    • The Season 4 arc involving the Equestria Games missed a great opportunity, with no related episodes airing during the real-world Olympics.
    • Equestria Games: The synopsis and subsequent airing of this episode has led to complaints of the Equestria Games arc culminating in a Spike episode rather than putting the focus on the games themselves. Ironically, considering that the complaints to the first episode of the Games arc were that Spike wasn't getting enough focus in the form of him not being invited back to the Crystal Empire.

      Considering the tourist mustang's speed and stamina in Games Ponies Play - not to mention the fact that Shining Armor was training a Crystal Empire team on a steeplechase course - it's a shame that no hoof races were shown.
    • To Where and Back Again: A season finale about other characters besides the Mane Six saving the day has potential. But the only characters that show up are Starlight, Trixie, Thorax, and Discord, two of which were only introduced within the last two seasons. Considering the fact that Rebecca Shoichet was already doing voice-work in those episodes, wouldn't this have been the perfect opportunity for Sunset Shimmer to finally be introduced into the series proper, just in time to help save her homeland and thus make up for her mistakes in the pony world?
  • Values Dissonance: The Japanese dub completely changed "Griffon the Brush Off"'s aesop from "rather than try to influence who your friends spend time with, you yourself should try to be a good friend, and trust that the true face of a false friend will eventually be revealed through their behavior" to "if someone's being mean, don't retaliate." However, both these lessons are useful and can actually work hand in hand: jumping the gun and retaliating immediately will only get in the way of the truth revealing itself.
    • The Japanese dub also toned down Rainbow Dash's arrogant behavior, especially in "Boast Busters", where the moral is to not to be arrogant. This is because arrogance is viewed especially negatively in Japan, and if one of the heroes were to be shown to be too prideful in their abilities, then this could cast them in bad light.
  • We're Still Relevant, Dammit!
    • Season 4 has been accused of this, due to references to internet memes from a pony with a Grumpy Cat cutie mark in "Rarity Takes Manehattan" to a ponified Slender Man appearing in the background of "Pinkie Apple Pie". note 
    • Pinkie Pie's rap number in "Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3" appears to be a parody of this trope.
      Pinkie: Commander Easyglider was the real cream of the crop—
      Twilight: Pinkie! Stop rapping! That isn't gonna help Rainbow!
      Pinkie: Well I suggest you put down your silly cards of flash
      For I know that they cannot help our good friend Rainbow Dash!
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/StorylineAndAesopReactionsAndInterpretations/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic