Web Animation: Equestria Girls

A series started by YouTube user ZXInsanity, and expanded upon by users Blarghalt and Jake Whyman. It is, first and foremost, an absurd parody of the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic Spin-Off of the same name (If you're unaware, it's that alternate High School A.U. where the ponies are humanized).

As far as parodies go, it's unique in that it predates the movie it's lampooning by four months, when the only information available was a few pieces of concept art, so that's what was used. Also, all the voices are generated by text-to-speech programs. note 

Watch them if you dare.

This series provides examples of

  • Anthropomorphic Food: The apple, while not exactly anthropomorphic, is sentient, as is its arch-enemy, the orange.
  • Apocalypse How: Applejack and a giant apple fusing together causes "The Appling", which Pinkie decides she must stop.
  • Berserk Button: Don't stand in front of Twilight for five hours and explain in excruciating detail how superior you are to her in every single respect. Trixie learned this the hard way.
  • Big Bad: The Reapers, and later The Apples. Then, even later, Hasbro.
  • Big Damn Movie: "Day of the Flutter" by MrDeLoop, relatively speaking. In contrast to the standard entries in this "canon" which run anywhere from 3 seconds to 11 minutes (but usually about a minute or two) and tend to be animated dada comics at best this one clocks in at a whopping 37 minutes and features an epic battle between godlike forces. It also successfully weaves together many of the disparate plot threads cooked up by each of the individual creators. Oh, it's still a complete Mind Screw, but it's a more coherent one than usual.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Twilight was quite visibly indoctrinated for several episodes. She appears to have gotten better.
  • Brick Joke: "Guess who just got their driver's license?"
  • Butt Monkey: Brad.
    • Everyone.
    Except Luna. -ZX
  • Canada, Eh?: "Caring Cradle" features Queen Chrysalis as part of the Socialist Empire of Canadia.
  • Cerebus Rollercoaster: What originally started as a one-off comedic parody of a movie that might not have even existed has escalated into 30+ videos with several ongoing Storylines, Character Arcs, and an Interconnecting Continuity by multiple creators.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: "Cosmonaut Quincenera" and "Dawn of Shimmer", while still comical, are slightly darker in tone.
  • Clip Art Animation: The main six ponies (plus Trixie) are cutouts of leaked official concept art. Every other Ponyverse character, including those who appear in the actual movies (but whose art was not leaked), is a fanmade vector. Everything else is random clip art and stock backgrounds.
    Celestia and Luna's vectors were used long before we had any idea of what they looked like in the film. Hence the weirdness. -ZX
  • Credits Gag: Almost all the videos end with fake credits, usually containing names of celebrities or someone fired.
    • Jake Whyman (who started as a fan of ZXInsanity's videos before making his own) typically works the other two parodists - ZX and Blarghalt - into his credits, inevitably with absurd job titles. Those two in turn have responded in kind.
  • Crossdressing Voices: Fluttershy has a male voice in ZX's first episode. In all her later appearances, she has a female one. She gets her original voice back in "Day of the Flutter"... sort of... it's complicated.
    • Bon-Bon's voice switches between male and female. Mid-line.
  • Cyborg: Luna is actually a cyborg ninja.
  • Depending on the Writer: ZXInsanity usually portrays Twilight as some being of dark energy, or at least just strange and creepy. In other videos, she's either a Cloud Cuckoolander or a Ridiculously Average Girl.
    Twilight was supposed to be a servant of The Reapers indefinitely, but I ran out of ideas/jokes for her and thought it better if she was just the average main character (Well, what passes for average in these things!). -ZX
  • The Dragon: "Dawn of Shimmer" reveals Queen Chrysalis is one to Lauren Faust. Their mission: Take down Hasbro.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Pinkie Pie
  • Fan Nickname: Invoked, played with, and inverted. In the very first episode, "Brad" was used for the stereotypical love interest mainly because it was the most generic guy name anyone could think of. When it turned out that the real Equestria Girls film had just such a guy in it, fans immediately started calling him "Brad" before his name (Flash Sentry) was revealed, and sometimes after. Meghan McCarthy even tweeted about it!
    • So common was this meme that by the time Flash actually appears in the parody series, he's only referred to as "Not-Brad".
  • Fate Worse Than Death: Twilight thinks Chrysalis's Horse-O-Ween costume needs work, so she banishes her to The Zone of Eternal Horror. The queen is actually pretty disappointed by what she sees. ...Until Johnny Test starts playing in the background.
  • Half-Pony Hybrid: Applejack is apparently part Gardevoir.
  • Halfway Plot Switch: "Politics" starts out with Twilight finding out she's a princess, then joyfully rampaging through Equestria. Afterwards, the story turns its attention to an apple and an orange about to face off in a duel, but are interrupted by Elmo.
  • Huge Rider, Tiny Mount: Both "Spike's Chill Evening" and "Vengeance, Thy Name is Apples" have Spike serve as transportation for Twilight despite being less than half her size.
  • Insistent Terminology: Partly to lessen confusion with the actual movie, partly because why not, the supertitle of these videos ("EQUESTRIA GIRLS") is always capitalized.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Sunset Shimmer. While not particularly menacing, when she makes her first appearance in "Dawn of Shimmer", the episode starts getting darker.
  • Limited Animation: You can't get much more limited than this.
    • The characters "talk" by bouncing up and down, as like a child playing with a toy; their expressions rarely if ever change (in Blarghalt & Jakewhyman's episodes; facial expressions do change in ZX's).
    The characters' expressions usually change when something dramatic or important is happening. These moments seem to have been happening more and more recently. No idea why. -ZX
  • Medium Awareness: Happens a few times over the course of the series. For example, in "Barncoming" when Rarity complains about the absurdly short duration of a montage (literally two seconds), or in "Rainbow Rocks" when Rainbroccoli Dash seems to know they are in a video series.
  • Mind Screw: You'll seriously go "What just happened?" after watching these. No, it won't make much (if any) more sense if you watch them multiple times.
  • Montage: A two-second one in "Barncoming".
  • Non-Indicative Name: The title of "Poverty" implies it will be a, well, Broke Episode. It's not.
  • Official Fan-Submitted Content: Invoked. ZX has thus far welcomed others coming in and adding to his "canon". JakeWhyman in particular started making his videos because he was a fan, and quickly became the third member of the creator pantheon. A few fan-made episodes are counted as part of the "complete saga", including one in Spanish.
  • The Omniscient Council of Vagueness: Vinyl Scratch appears to be a member of one serving as the liaison to the SPORK-COM Project.
  • One-Winged Angel: Sunset Shimmer has this weird Cyborg form, and the apple has some kind of form with a Nice Hat and beefy arms.
  • Only Sane Man: Rarity and Fluttershy are probably the most normal of the cast.
  • Original Character: Chrysalis has an entire army of them, most of which look like they were made with this creator.
  • The Other Darrin: Invoked and played with. In "Brag Busters", Bon Bon randomly switches between female and male voices, often in the middle of a line. This is a reference to how her voice in the show is never consistent.
    • The three main creators all use different text-to-speech options for the character voices (Applejack, however, is oddly consistent). Even within one creator's episodes, a character's voice may change.
    This is entirely Intentional. We're in contact fairly regularly and could organize the voices out if we wanted. But I don't think organization and planning is really at the heart of this series! -ZX
  • Perky Goth: Fluttershy appears to have become one as of Rainbow Rocks. And boy can she belt out a mean Five Finger Death Punch cover.
  • Running Gag: The descriptions on ZXInsanity's episodes frequently suggest that they are leaked/stolen footage.
  • Shout-Out: In The Great Appul War: Part 1, Spike says "Any more bright ideas, Einstein?"
  • Single-Episode Handicap: "Hospital Visit", where Twilight and Rarity get their Les Yay on.
  • Super Mode: The giant apple fused with Applejack has one in "Barncoming". It has a hat and beefy arms. Pinkie Pie also has one: Pinkieshiro. There is also Super Saiyan Gummy.
  • The Unintelligible: Granny Smith, on the rare occasions she has anything to say, "speaks" using audio clips of Scatman John. Also, the giant apple and the Reapers only communicate by odd vibration sounds, though they at least are subtitled.
  • They Killed Kenny: Brad dies or gets hurt a lot.
  • Throw It In: Invoked. If one of the three main creators does something the others like, chances are it'll be referenced in the others' videos. Best example is Brad being Nicolas Cage; Jake Whyman came up with the idea and ZXInsanity declared it canon. Or Applejack only saying "Apples", which was Blarghalt's idea (In ZX's early episodes, Applejack did not speak).
  • Token Human/Roger Rabbit Effect: Brad is a cutout of a live-action human (usually Nicolas Cage).
  • The Quiet One: In "Sweet and Ballet", Applejack's only line is "Apples".
    • In fact, all Applejack ever says is "Apples".
  • Unexplained Recovery: Spoofed in "Vengeance, Thy Name is Apples". At the end of the episode, JakeWhyman and Blarghalt (or at least their avatars) confront ZX demanding to know why he killed off Applejack. He tells them not to worry, as he's already found a satisfying and logical solution to bring her back. Cue Applejack miraculously poofing back to life with no explanation whatsoever to rapturous applause from the rest of the cast.
  • Wham Episode: "Vengeance, Thy Name is Apples". Applejack actually talks!
    • Earlier, "Dawn Of Shimmer". Discord is thought to have been killed, comes back to life and takes out Sunset via Heroic Sacrifice. Then, an audio-only clip at the end has Chrysalis reveal she's been working for Lauren Faust.