Western Animation: My Little Pony 'n Friends
"My Little Pony...My Little PonyMy Little Pony and Friends is an animated TV series that was released by Claster Television, Inc. and produced by Marvel Productions and Sunbow Entertainment, in the year 1986 and ran until 1987. It was based on the toyline of the same name. This came out a few months after The Movie. This series ran for two seasons. It was an Animated Anthology, featuring quarter hour shorts. The first half of the show would have an episode of ponies, and then the second half would feature an episode of their Friends: "Glo Friends", "Moondreamers", and "The Potato Head Kids". Yes, the series was very Merchandise-Driven. As the result, the pony episodes often ran as television serials, as did the other shorts.
What will today's adventure be?
My Little PonyÖMy Little Pony
Will there be exciting sights to see?
Where will you wander? Hither and yonder
Letting your heart be your guide
My Little Pony...My Little Pony
Iíll be there right by your side
Iíll be there right by your side"
What will today's adventure be?
My Little PonyÖMy Little Pony
Will there be exciting sights to see?
Where will you wander? Hither and yonder
Letting your heart be your guide
My Little Pony...My Little Pony
Iíll be there right by your side
Iíll be there right by your side"
—The opening theme song for the series.
My Little PonyThis incarnation of My Little Pony was set in a world called Ponyland. Though its continuity was... lax, all of the stories take place within it. The basic framing structure of the show was that the ponies are magical creatures living idyllically in Dream Valley, part of Ponyland (or Ponyland, part of Dream Valley - no two writers agreed on this point). Originally, the ponies resided in Dream Castle during the Half-Hour TV Specials, but after The Movie (and the creation of that playset) they moved into Paradise Estate. In fact, Dream Castle is never seen at all during the course of the series.Ponyland is a Magical Land "on the other side of the rainbow". The rainbow is basically hinted to be a doorway between the human dimension (Earth) and theirs. Ponyland is populated by Bushwoolies, Sea and Flutter ponies, Grundles, bee-people, talking pigs, giant terriers, bird-dog hybrids, zebra-people, evil storm clouds, elves, bigfoot-like people who build forests, and monster weeds, among other, weirder things. Humans are often seen, and live in a Medieval Europe-style society. The ponies are assisted in their adventures by a teen named Megan; her siblings Molly and Danny; Spike the Baby Dragon; and the Moochic, a scatter-brained gnome wizard with mushroom motif, and his Beleaguered Assistant, Habit the Rabbit.Being a fantasy-esque weekday afternoon cartoon, the episode plots were adventures, normally focused on a Victim of the Week requiring the ponies' help to defeat some Big Bad. The weirdness — and the overt scariness of some of the villains — kept the show from being as dangerously cute as one might naturally assume. Some episodes did not involve sugar apocalypses, though, and rather focused on more mundane plots (relatively speaking), such as using one's imagination to have fun, scavenger hunts, taking care of a giant dog, dealing with bullies, and mending friendships after a feud once escalated to ice cream warfare.The episodes focused on My Little Pony ran for 65 episodes in total. There were 16 multipart serials, each 2-4 parts long with the sole exception of the ten-part pilot, and 9 stand-alone episodes, as well as two 2-part serials compressing the My Little Pony TV Specials.As mentioned above, show continuity was not the strongest point. The show officially follows on as a sequel to My Little Pony: The Movie (as the ten-part pilot makes clear, since it's about the witches Hidea, Reeka, and Draggle wanting revenge for the foiling of the Smooze), and both of the My Little Pony TV Specials obviously take place before the movie, but were serialized as the last episodes of the first and second seasons, respectively. Not helping matters is that most official DVD releases tend to be simple conversions of the original grab-bag episode-featuring VHSs, further jumbling the 27 storylines.
Glo FriendsThe premise of the Glo Friends is that they are community of small, glow-in-the-dark insects that live in Glo Land, a magical kingdom located in the middle of a forest. Their homes are built near the Glo Pond, from where they harvest a substance known as Moondrops. These Moondrops literally drip down from the moon and the Glo Friends collect them and take them back to Glo Ponds in plastic bags. These buckets are then emptied into the lake. Apparently, Glo Pond is an artificial body of water built and maintained by the Friends, themselves. Anyway, these Moondrops are what sustains them and enables their ability to glow in the dark.At one point, the pond springs a leak and the Glo Friends have trouble finding replacement Moondrops to refill the pond. If they fail, they will cease to glow in the dark. Why is it important that the Glo Friends glow? Because it's in their name?The Glo Friends live a peaceful existence, and is continually threatened by Starnose, the leader of the Moligans. They are a group of mole-like monsters that wish to abuse the Glo Friends' ability to light up the night. The Moligans were banished from the kingdom of Moleslavia by King Mole for several crimes which include mob action, robbery, looting, cheating, and unlawful digging. The Moligans have been living underground and planning revenge against King Mole ever since their banishment. They are short-sighted, so they were unsuccessful in their attempts to harvest gold from some nearby mines. As such, the Moligans have attempted to enslave the Glo Friends to power their lanterns, allowing them to see in the darkness of the mines, harvest the gold and then buy out the kingdom of Molslavia. Apparently these guys have never heard of oil lamps before.Glo Friends ran for 26 episodes, and had 3 serials. Only 10 of those were stand alone episodes, with Ten Episode Pilot and 2 other serials.
Moondreamers:The Moondreamers are a group of celestial people led by Crystall Starr, the designer of the stars. They operate out of their HQ in Starry Up, which appears to be a fortress floating out in the emptiness of space and has many, many highways made of Applied Phlebotinum that converge there. Crystal Dragon Jesus only knows where they all lead. Whimzee is another important figure among the Moondreamers, as she uses her imagination to create dreams for Dreamcasting. So naturally, she's having problems getting this done. She once accidentally brings her dream, a dreamkin, into reality where it wreaks havoc in Starry Up despite its adorable appearance. On another occasion, she actually loses her imagination and needs to go on a journey to find it, engaging in a duel with the supposed queen of imagination and is nearly killed for her trouble. The jobs of the other Moondreamers are to help Whimzee create these pleasant dreams and then deliver them to Earth's children.Each of the others Moondreamers also fulfills the rule in literally running the known universe manually. The Moondreamers themselves seem to come in two varieties: Christmas Elves and Fully Dressed Cartoon Animals.The Big Bad of the series is Queen Scowlene, who torments the everyone with her nightmare crystals, because she herself can't get any sleep.The story begins with two tagalong kids, Blinky and Bitsy, traversing one of the space highways to Starry Up to become Moondreamers. After a bit of trouble getting in, the two accidentally unleash Sealed Evil in a Can Queen Scowlene while tagging along to watch how they make dreams. Nice job breaking it kids.Moondreamers ran for 16 episodes with 2 serials.
The Potato Head KidsIn this series, Mr. Potato Head plays the role of The Mentor to the Kids of the title, who regularly meet at their clubhouse. Mrs. Potato Head also made an appearance. These segments tended to focus more on Slice of Life stories rather than fantasy-adventure like the other three did.It ran for 23 episodes with no mutlipart episodes. This was the least popular segment of the show, but it has its fans.
My Little Pony And Friends provides examples of:
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- An Aesop: once per episode on all these shows. Check the folders of the individual shows for specific details.
- Animated Adaptation: Of four toylines.
- Animated Anthology: There were two episodes per airing, and four intellectual properties showcased.
- Apocalypse How: The My Little Pony, Glo Friends, and Mondreamers segments showcased every delicious flavor of this trope to the point where it crossed right into The World Is Always Doomed.
- Big Bad: Starnose in Glo Friends, Queen Scowlene in Moondreamers, and different ones in different episodes or serials of My Little Pony.
- The '80s: Perhaps a no-brainer, but in truth you will be hard pressed to find a more 80s show than this.
- Five-Episode Pilot: Two of the shows had these, only theirs were ten episodes long due to the Two Shorts format.
- For My Little Pony it was "The End of Flutter Valley".
- For Glo Friends it was "The Quest".
- Merchandise-Driven: Like whoa!
- Opening Credits Cast Party: The series Title Theme Tune was essentially this.
- Protagonist and Friends
- Quarter Hour Short: Yep, and to make room for animated adaptations of no less than four toylines.
- The Renaissance Age of Animation
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: Pretty much the vast majority of the cast all across the board. In fact, the show's purpose was to make cartoons out of Hasbro's cutest toylines.
- 65-Episode Cartoon: The show's entire run.
- Stock Footage: This show was notoriously guilty of reusing animation footage.
- Television Serial: Thanks to the show being quarter hour shorts.
- Title Theme Tune: The main show had one that encompassed all the properties showcased, and each show had their own specific theme tune that played as well. So this show sported no less than five theme songs over the course of just one 65 episode season.
- Two Shorts: First My Little Pony, and then one of three others shows.
- Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: All of them except for The Potato Head Kids. While My Little Pony is the most infamous for this, all the shows were full of horrible monsters right next to the cuddly protagonists. Like a D&D monster manual covered with Lisa Frank stickers.
- The World Is Always Doomed: See Recycled Script for more details. The writers were absolutely in love with this scenario. They used and abused it in as many as episodes all across the board as they could get away with. The only aversion to this the show ever had was in the Potato Head Kids segment, which was more based in Slice of Life than in fantasy-adventure.
My Little Pony
- '80s Hair: Both here and in the movie above for two female humans, and here for one male pony. Draggle's hair is this with some late '70s in her hair as well. To a lesser extent, Megan's little sister Molly also has '80s hair. Nightshade is a pony with an afro.
- Adaptational Attractiveness: Often played straight in that the cartoon looked better than the source toys. Averted when compared to the original pilot, which had much sharper animation and the series simplified it (and often went Off Model).
- Angry Mob Song: "We're Gonna Make You Sorry" from Part Two of "Bright Lights".
- Anthropomorphic Shift: It's more subtle than in Tales, but compared to the Pilot the Ponies act less like Ponies. They sleep in beds, sometimes walk on two legs, don't move as much like horses, don't have animal behaviors like licking each other, etc
- Always Close: As one troper said about "The End of Flutter Valley", "For the love of Pete, it's 'almost sunset' for five hours."
- An Aesop: From "The End of Flutter Valley":Sting: I used to fly, but I wasn't very good. So I just don't do it anymore...Morning Glory: Gee...if we only did things that we were good at, we'd never try to make ourselves better. I think you should try again!
- And I Must Scream: Ponies are turned into glass, ice, and stone over the course of the series.
- Animated Anthology: Like whoa.
- Anything That Moves:
- Prince Charming (a human), flirts with human and Pony alike (bringing a new level to Furry Confusion) — and Heart Throb reciprocates... But keep in mind that Prince Charming was THE Prince Charming from the books, and he was only acting in character, while Heart Throb was a hopeless romantic living her lifelong dream. After a while, both of them realize that the situation is awkward and politely call it quits.
- Arbitrary Skepticism: In "The Ghost of Paradise Estate", Megan calms the frightened Baby Ponies with the assurance that monsters exist only in their imagination. In a world with witches, unicorns, dragons, Fairies, trolls, et cetera. Yeah... She's actually right, despite strong appearances to the contrary.
- Baby Talk: The Baby Ponies talk like this to varying degrees, depending on the Baby Pony. Some, like Baby Heartthrob, will speak in fragmented sentences, while another Baby Pony will speak with a childish lisp.
- Bad Boss: Squirk, Grogar, Queen Bumble, and Lavan. The latter two resulted in some rebellion.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: Accidental misuse of the magic coins from the four-part serial of the same name can have devastating results. Case in point, Baby Lickety Split wished for it never rain again, causing a drought to the point where the sea ponies had no water to swim in.
- During "The Prince and the Ponies", the First Tooth Ponies were jealous of how much attention the Newborn Twins were getting, and sang that they'd be happy if bad things happened to them. The song included the line "I'd have no regrets, if someone bought them collars and turned them into pets", which is what ended up happening.
- Beauty Is Never Tarnished: In "The Glass Princess", the Raptorians shave three Ponies bald — and their hair grows back immediately. There's some jazz about the hair being magic but...
- Bee People: The bees in "The End of Flutter Valley", led by Queen Bumble.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: Hydia and Queen Bumble in the 10-part "The End of Flutter Valley".
- Big Damn Heroes: Megan and Northstar in the climax of the Big Damn Epic, "The Return of Tambelon".
- Big Eater: Reeka returns, and there is also Queen Bumble.
- Broken Aesop: Partially, in the episode "Fugitive Flowers"; while there is enough weight on the stated "don't judge a book by its cover" aesop that it works, one can't deny the Fridge Logic that the Crabnasties really did not do themselves any favors in that episode. Looking ugly is one thing; deliberately ripping a swathe of destruction through Dream Valley and ignoring any attempts to communicate with you is quite another. If the Crabnasties had apologised for their destructive search and explained their reasons, the Ponies might not have been so quick to assume Beauty Equals Goodness upon meeting the Flories. Though, the episode also has an Accidental Aesop — Poor Communication Kills. As stated above, while the ponies were at fault for presuming "pretty flories = good and ugly crabnasties = bad", the crabnasties were also at fault for not trying to communicate with the ponies.
- Having the word "nasties" in their name doesn't really help them either.
- The Cassandra: Honeysuckle in "The End of Flutter Valley."
- Casting a Shadow: Erebus and Zeb specialize in stealing shadows to increase Erebus' power.
- Casts No Shadow: The victims of Zeb and Erebus' shadow stealing fall into this. It also leaves them weak and sick.
- Cliffhanger: Pretty much every episode with a plot that can't be resolved in just over ten minutes. This must have been a pain for the writers; at exact intervals of only about ten minutes, there had to be something to make a dramatic to be continued moment, even in stories that were as long as the actual theatrical film.
- Combined Energy Attack: How the Princess Ponies manage to defeat Lavan.
- Crapsack World: What Ponyland used to be before the ponies came along. Its mentioned by the witches of the Volcano of Gloom that evil used to reign supreme, and we even meet a few of those ancient evils: most notably Grogar and Squirk.
- Darkest Hour: 3/4ths into "The Return of Tambelon", the heroes' multiple plans have all failed spectacularly, they have all been captured by Grogar's forces, and he's started a ritual to banish them to the Realm of Darkness.
- Part 8 of the End of Flutter Valley has everyone captured and Honeysuckle apparently dead.
- A Day in the Limelight: The Princess Ponies get their own story arc.
- Did You Think I Can't Feel?: Wind Whistler suffers from this when the other ponies accuse her of being unfeeling for her usual stoicism during the episode Crunch, the Rock Dog when she favors strategy and logic over acting rashly in light of the titular villain turning everything he touches into stone.
- Easily Forgiven: The protagonists never held a grudge against the genuinely repentant.
- Even Evil Has Standards: "Baby It's Cold Outside".
- Evil Overlord: Tirek, Grogar, and Lavan to name a few.
- Evil Matriarch: In this corner, returning Big Bad Hydia. In this corner, Bee Queen Bumble.
- Eye Scream: The Twinkle-Eyed Ponies were a group of Unicorns and Earth Ponies with gems for eyes. They looked cute and beautiful, until an official comic explained that they used to live as slaves underground, mining for gems for the evil Jewel Wizard. The long, long exposure to darkness ruined their eyes, leaving them blind and helpless, but after they got rescued by Applejack, an explosion stuck magic gems on their eye-sockets, which accidentally restored their vision. Yeah, not so cute anymore, eh?note
- Feathered Fiend: The Raptorians, King Charlatan.
- Find the Cure: In The Golden Horseshoes, it's... well, horseshoes. Magic ones.
- Flanderization: Draggle became much less smart in the show.
- Flat Joy: The Troggles that Grogar forces to celebrate their victory over Ponyland make half-hearted celebratory sounds.
- For Science!: The Gizmonks from "The Great Rainbow Caper". Even they don't know what some of their inventions do.
- Furry Confusion: Zeb in "Bright Lights" is a pretty jarring presence, given that he's the only fully-anthro, fully-clothed biped among the equine characters. Though we will admit, he's also the only zebra we ever see on the show.
- Genre Blindness: If there's such a thing as Dangerously Genre Blind, the ponies fall under this.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: In "The End of Flutter Valley," one of the spells Draggle reads while searching for "landslide" is "landmine".
- Giant Enemy Crab: The Crabnasties, who are huge, ugly crab-creatures introduced smashing and tearing their way through the forests of Dream Valley, apparently to persecute cute sapient flower-critters called Flories. Subverted in that the Crabnasties are actually good guys; they're out to stop the Flories because they drain the life from the soil and create barren wastelands when left to themselves.
- Good Is Not Soft: While the heroes are very forgiving, the genuinely evil villains normally end up being Killed Off for Real.
- Heel-Face Turn: Princess Porcina, Knight Shade and, amazingly, Queen Bumble.
- Before Queen Bumble, her Dragon Sting is convinced to perform one of these by Morning Glory teaching him to fly.
- Human-Focused Adaptation: Averted; despite the presence of Megan, Molly, and Danny, the focus is usually on the ponies.
- Leitmotif: "Shoo-be-doo, shoop-shoop-be-doo!"
- Literal Genie: The titular "Magic Coins", and the literal Literal Genie in "Through the Door", who starts rambling about meteorology when asked to make the weather "perfect":Genie: I also need to know the prevailing wind speed, and the percentage of the color orange in the sunset.Lickety-Split: Look, all I want is a perfect day! What's so difficult about that?
- Loads and Loads of Characters: A rotating cast, due to the need to promote as many toys as possible. "The Return of Tambelon" tries to squeeze them all in, and thus features more than forty characters in forty minutes.
- Loads and Loads of Races: Between humans, five different pony species, grundles, bushwoolies, and others, the TV specials and movie had already started this trend. The cartoon kept it up - every other episode, the protagonists encountered members of a previously unmentioned race.
- Lotus-Eater Machine: The witch Somnambula uses this to lure ponies in and steal their youth to make herself young and increase her powers. It starts out as her simply being a Master of Illusion, but as her power increases, she's able to make her illusions real.
- Lyrical Dissonance: "We Are the Flutter Ponies". An upbeat, gentle song about the flutter ponies easily crushing the villain of the week.
- Magi Babble: In "Bright Lights," Galaxy theorizes that, since those who have had their shadows stolen become sick and weak, "the loss of their shadows must be an outward sign of some loss of substance."
- Magical Land: Ponyland
- Master of Illusion: Somnambula starts out as this, but once she's stolen enough youth from her targets, she becomes capable of making them real.
- Minion with an F in Evil: Seen often the series' villains, such as Draggle and (to a lesser extent) Reeka to Hydia, Knight Shade to Zeb and Arabus, Sting to Bumble, or Prince Edgar to King Charlatan. "The Glass Princess" inverts the trope, as the Raptarians are far more dangerous than Porcina, who mostly suffers from a Lack of Empathy.
- Moral Dissonance: In "The End of Flutter Valley", Inept Mage Draggle is depressed because she can't do evil magic right. The Ponies promise to teach her some good Pony magic if she'll set them free. After seeing some demonstrations via song, Draggle agrees to let them out...and they trap her in a net and wander off.Fizzy: Gee, what a shame. Bye Draggle, see ya!
- Though at least, after the ponies are recaptured and Hydia and Reeka blamed Draggle for her incompetence in a harsh way, the ponies defended her by admitting their fault.
- To make this worse, earlier on, Morning Glory successfully redeems Queen Bumble's second in command Sting by teaching him how to properly fly, and he becomes an ally.
- Motor Mouth: Whizzer (the pink pegasus pony with three beany caps as a cutie mark) is generally portrayed as one, if inconsistently. She both talks and flies fast.
- Mythology Gag: TJ received a slight redesign that makes him resemble the first My Pretty Pony.note
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: "Fugitive Flowers". The ponies rescue the desperate Flories from the pursuing Crabnasties, only to discover later that the former are escaped convicts, whereas the latter are a heroic police force. Oops.
- Oh Crap!: Grogar gets one when he hears the ringing of the bell which is the one thing capable of defeating him.
- One Steve Limit: Averted. In Flight to Cloud Castle, enter... Twilight! But it's not that Twilight, unless the one from that first special who is the inspiration for that other Twilight you might've heard of somehow lost her horn and gained wings, a whole new color scheme, and a candle cutie mark instead of stars.
- One-Winged Angel: Pluma, Lavan.
- The Flories also do this. They start out in a weakened, tiny and cute state. But once they've devoured enough food from their surroundings, they transform into gigantic, monstrous forms.
- Our Dragons Are Different: Lampshaded in both "Spike's Search" and "Through the Door"
- Our Souls Are Different: Implied to a very eerie effect in "Bright Lights".
- Personality Swap: "Mish Mash Melee"
- Pet the Dog: While Hydia's cruel even to her daughters, she admonished Reeka for wanting to really punish Draggle—though it's implied she wanted to do the punishing.
- Pity the Kidnapper: In "The Great Rainbow Caper", Danny and Surprise help convince the Gizmonks to let them go by making a huge mess of their laboratory.
- Plot Tailored to the Party: In particular, the powers of "The Magic Coins" fit the needs of the story with ridiculous precision.
- Polar Bears and Penguins: In "Baby It's Cold Outside", guess which direction the Ponies go to find the penguin King Charlatan?
- The Power of Rock: In a few cases, the obligatory song would be worked in as a plot point.
- Rain Dance: Done by Cherries Jubilee and Spike to try to induce a downpour in The Magic Coins after Baby Lickity-Split unwittingly made a wish on one the said coins for the rain to stop and never return.
- Rapid Aging: The ponies caught in the illusions of "Somnambula" are very much older by the time the Big Brother Ponies reach them.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Hot-tempered Honeysuckle and sweet, kindly Morning Glory of the Flutter Ponies.
- Reality Warper: The Flashstone is essentially capable of making its user one of these to some degree.
- Refugee From Storyland: The inhabitants of the Land of Legends in the episode "Through the Door".
- Rescue Romance: Subverted in "Flight to Cloud Castle". Garf's attempts to rescue Ariel are motivated by this, but Ariel herself does not actually fall in love with him just because of the rescue.
- Riddle of the Sphinx: "Sweet Stuff's Treasure Hunt" and "The Golden Horseshoes". In the latter case, it's used to bargain with a mole-man who likes junk and riddles. The ponies get their horseshoe in exchange for a riddle he doesn't know. It works, since humans are mostly unknown in Ponyland.
- Scooby-Doo Hoax: Despite the series being set in a world full of unicorns, dragons, and every kind of monster imaginable, the titular Ghost of Paradise Estate turns out to be merely a shape-shifting bird.
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Peach Blossom. Naturally, Wind Whistler speaks her language just fine. Everyone else is left scratching their heads.
- Shaming the Mob: Knight Shade's mother saves the characters this way in Bright Lights part 3.
- Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: Semi-averted. The Big Brother Ponies are very Bishōnen and look just like the girls aside from a different mane style, unshorn fetlocks, and "masculine" Cutie Marks. If anything they look more feminine than the girls, several of them even being pink colored.
- That Reminds Me of a Song: Every episode contained a song, and most of them were just busy filler.
- The only exception being one of the four episodes comprising the Return of Tambelon arc. An awkward break between scenes suggests a song was planned - but with so much going on, there was no time left for it.
- Ironically, "Rescue from Midnight Castle", the episode revision of the first special, actually cuts out the song "A Little Piece of Rainbow" from the special.
- This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman: The Glass Princess did this for Shady. The writers were known to go out of their way to try to justify's Shady's existence. Over the course of the show, she is shown to be clumsy, terrible at sports, not all that bright, not very brave, and more of a place holder on whatever she was in than any actual help. Yet despite the presence of Gusty, Magic Star, and Megan, she's the one who saved the day.
- To Be Continued: The multi-part episodes lack them in the Disney Channel / DVD versions.
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight:
- The Ponies themselves! Not once do any of the one-off characters wandering into Dream Valley/Ponyland say anything to the effect of, "Oh my gosh, Unicorns are real?"
- It's been shown that the rest of the world of Dream Valley is just as full of (semi) anthropomorphic animals, bizarre monsters, and magical artifacts. To them, the place is pretty normal. Megan, who's from Earth, was caught off guard the first time she met a talking, flying pony in the first special, but she adapted quickly. And in the movie, she had told her siblings about them at one point (off screen), so they were prepared when they met the ponies... Though the fact they believed her stories is its own oddity...
- It's possible that Danny and Molly believed Megan because she was their older sister who had always tried to be as honest as she could with them so they were prepared to believe the fantastic because she had always been truthful with the mundane.
- "Your sister is not lying, and anyone can see she is not mad, so ... you should assume she is telling the truth."
- Vain Sorceress: Porcina from "The Glass Princess".
- Villain Decay: Hydia and her daughters prove much less of a threat to the Ponies in the show than in the movie.
- Villain Song: Quite a few. The best ones are probably "You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet" from "The Ghost of Paradise Estate" (which is a borderline Disney Acid Sequence given the way Squirk uses his dark magic), the excellent Nightmare Retardant "There's Nothing Quite Like Shadows" from "Bright Lights" (just reading the lyrics should do), and "Here's to Power" from "The Quest of the Princess Ponies".
- Weaksauce Weakness: The unicorns' teleportation abilities would be a whole lot more useful if they could "wink" through walls. Or cages. Or nets.note And yet they have no problem using it while playing tag or hide and seek.
- What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?:
- Pegasi can fly. Unicorns teleport and each have a unique elemental or psychic power. Earth Ponies... can run and jump real well. And occasionally bake. With hooves.
- The Flutter Ponies once mentioned, while grounded, that they weren't great runners, so it could be useful under the right circumstances.
- The Worf Effect: Gusty is the most combat oriented of the ponies, so in order to show that the villains mean business, something bad usually happens to her.
- The World Is Always Doomed:
- The possibility that Dream Valley or surrounding areas will be rendered uninhabitable crops up nine times in twenty-eight stories.
- Additionally, those were most of the multi-episode stories, so they represent the bulk of the episodes.
- Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: Not as bad as the specials, but when there are villains, they take the scare factor Up to Eleven.
- The Unfavorite: Draggle. While both Draggle and Reeka are disappointments to their mother, Draggle is clearly shown to be the least favorite due to her struggles with magic and her sensitivity. At one point, Hydia exclaims, "There are plenty of other witches! Why did I have to get Draggle?"
- The Voiceless:
- Sundance. Like many other characters, her voice actress from The Movie did not return for the TV series. Unlike the other characters, they never cast anyone to replace her! And thus Sundance appears in dozens of episodes without saying a word.
- The Flutter Pony Lily.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: See "Genre Blind" above. But one scene that stands out is in "Through the Door", where Paradise (just as a reminder, she is a winged pony from a Magical Land) asks, "Why can't my life be more like a fairy tale?" Um...
- The Ace: Glo Bug. The bravest of the Glo Friends and always leading the charge into battle and never one to let innocents get hurt.
- An Aesop: Several.
- Be Yourself: Skunk Bug. He's The Pig Pen and often very stinky. However, his best friend Go Clutterbug wouldn't have him any other way and convinces him to stay just the way he is.
- Green Aesop: The actions of the Moligans and Red Ant Army's mining activities are a constant threat to the environment.
- All Love Is Unrequited: In the case of Glo Bashfulbug's feelings for Glo Bug.
- Anachronism Stew: Bamboo Technology, baseball caps, wooden huts, and plastic bags.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: The reason why the big bads were banished from Moleslavia. Their crimes includes mob activity, theft, and digging without permission.
- Garden Ant launches an all out campaign against the Moligans because they were eating the plants in his garden.
- Bad Boss: Driver, leader of the Red Any Army.
- Bad Butt: Glo Bug. He is what passes for a Bad Ass in this series.
- Bamboo Technology: The Glo Friends have the natural resources of the forest at their disposal, yet are able to make modern appliances and others conveniences and make them work.
- Berserk Button: Calling Nails, a female Moliga who values beauty, "ugly witch" will incite her rage.
- Ruining Gardens Ant's garden will trigger his.
- Big Bad: Starnose, leader of the Moligans. Their goal is to capture Glo Friends and put them inside lanterns so that they can mine for gold.
- Blanche, Wicked Witch featured in the original TV special.
- Big Eater: Glo Bedbug, when she isn't sleeping.
- Bioluminescence Is Cool: The Glo Friends. A big part of their selling point was that they were critters that glow.
- Cannot Spit It Out: Glo Bashfulbug. She has an attraction to Glo Bug, but never knows how to say it.
- Cliffhanger: Much like the Pony segments, any conflict that wasn't solved in ten minutes ended with one of these. Though, the Glo Friends cliff hangers actually tended to be less severe than the former's.
- Contrived Coincidence: Glo Butterfly believes she can cast magic, but all her "tricks" are this trope.
- Cowardly Lion: Glo Bashfulbug. Her "lack" of courage borders on Informed Attribute.
- Dowsing Device: The Glo Friends use what look like dousing rods with crystals on the end to find the much needed Moon Drops.
- The Dragon: Rook, Driver's crow second-in-command.
- Dumb Muscle: Smasher, another Moligan.
- Eccentric Mentor: Glo Frog. He's a mysterious old miser who gives advice to the Glo Friends using nigh inane riddles along with several other odd habits.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Most of the names of the Glo Friends were indicative of their personality traits.
- Fantastic Light Source: The Glo Friends, themselves, and both the Red Ant Army and the Moligans want to use this fact to their advantage.
- Felony Misdemeanor: If the Glo Friends ever run out of Moondrops, they will cease to glow in the dark. Why is this a bad thing? Frankly, we have no idea.
- They seem to get very weak and can't used their glowing powers well, if they don't drink their Moondrops.
- Friend to All Living Things: The Glo Wees. They ever have a book that allows them to communicate with nature.
- Furry Confusion: So, we have the Glo Friends and Moligans, who wear clothes, and various talking animals that don't. Huh.
- Getting the Boot: The method by which the Moligans are banished by King Mole.
- Gold Fever: The Moligan's motive, pretty much. It's bad enough that they're willing to harm innocent creatures and the environment to get it, too.
- This applies to Driver and his Red Any Army, too.
- Good Colors, Evil Colors: The Glo Friends and others good guys are brightly colored whereas the Moligans and other villains tend to be earthy toned.
- Good Morning, Crono: Any episode involving the ever-lazy Glo Bedbug.
- Grumpy Bear: Glo Snail.
- Heavy Sleeper: Glo Bedbug, should not come as no surprise.
- Hedge Maze: The Glo Friends end up having to pass through one of these in The Quest.
- As a matter of fact, most of the voice actors from the My Little Pony segments also provide the voices of Glo Friend characters.
- Hidden Elf Village: Glo Land, which is deep in the woods.
- It's All About Me: Nails, of the Moligans is very selfish and egocentric.
- The Klutz: Glu Clutterbug, who is always falling into traps and getting his friends into trouble.
- King Mole, too. The dude manages to fall out of his seat several times just trying to get up.
- Leeroy Jenkins: Glo Bug.
- Loads and Loads of Characters and Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer: Many of the Glo Friends were showcased in the series, but no where near all of them.
- Mad Scientist: Excavator, a Moligan who is always coming up with new ways to inflict harm For Science! and with science.
- The Mafia: The Moligans are The Theme Park Version of this.
- Magical Land: Glo Land
- Molslavia, from the Moligans were banished, too.
- The Mentor: Glo Grannybug, the oldest and wisest of the Glo Friends. She is especially this to Baby Glo Worm.
- Minion with an F in Evil: Scoop of the Moligans.
- The jesters of the Red Ant Army.
- Mole Men: The big bads, the Moligans.
- Nice Hat: Glo Bopbug. A top hat, in fact.
- Our Fairies Are Different: The Glo Wees. They glow like the Glo Friends and serve as caretakers of nature.
- The Pig Pen: Skunk Bug. With a name like that...
- Plucky Girl: Baby Glo Worm, the youngest member of the cast.
- The Power of Friendship: Well duh. This is that kind of show, after all.
- Power Source: Moondrops, which are harvested from Glo Pond.
- The Quest: The title of their first episode, in fact. The Glo Friends embark on a mighty quest to refill their pond. Yeah...
- Saving Christmas: The plot of a rare TV special The Glo Friends Save Christmas, which actually predated the series. Can be seen here.
- The Glo Friends had to free Santa from the clutches of an evil witch named Blanche.
- The Storyteller: Glo Grannybug.
- Strong Ants: The Red Ant Army.
- Surrounded by Idiots: Excavator, who is pretty much the only genuinely intelligent Moligan.
- Talking Animal: The Glo Friends had several companions that were these.
- Tomboyish Ponytail: Scoop.
- Token Good Teammate: Scoop of the Moligans. She's the only nice one.
- Voice Changeling: Rook the Crow could give Iago a run for his money with this skill.
- Weapon of Choice: Slugger Bug is rarely seen without his trusty baseball bat. This being a child friendly show, though, he was never allowed to go Batter Up on anyone, though. ...It kind of defeats the purpose, actually.
- What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: The Glo Friends...glow. Yeah...
- They used their glowing powers to melt a giant Ice cage in the winter(once they were able to circle together, holding hands) in Glo Friends Save Chritmas and they manage to help heal a giant tree and have it bloom flowers again("Love will Light the way!").
- Wicked Witch: Blanche. In the orignal Glo Friends Save Chritmas special, she traps Santa and his reindeer in order to stop Christmas from happening.
- The Worf Effect: Glo Bug, naturally. Whenever somebody needs to get beaten to show how dangerous the villains are, it's always the resident Bad Butt Glo Bug who takes the beating.
- Alliterative Name: Bucky Buckaroo and one-off character Carter the Cosmic Cartographer from "The Star of Stars". For Added Alliterative Appeal, the latter is described as someone who "makes maps."
- American Accents: While everyone else has standard Midwest accents, Bucky Buckaroo has a Texan one...or Cajun, the voice actor could never seem to settle on one or the other. To his credit, though, it rarely ever seemed to outright slip.
- An Aesop: one for every episode!
- Applied Phlebotinum: Whatever it is that runs all the Moondreamers' stuff.
- Artifact of Death: Whimzee's Imagination. Whimzee's ability to creat dreams is Imagination, which if misused can kill both her and others. This fate is just narrowly avoided several times.
- Bad Butt: Anyone unimpressed with Glo Bug might find Bucky Buckaroo a bit more competent by comparison.
- Berserk Button: Do not question the importance of the Moondreamers in the presence of Sparky Dreamer!
- Big Bad: Queen Scowlene.
- Big Good: Crystall Starr.
- Bioluminescence Is Cool: For some reason, the Moondreamers glow in the dark. Yet unlike the Glo Friends, they don't seem to need to regularly recharge their batteries. Looks like someone is in need of a recipe exchange.
- Chekhov's Gun: Combined with Chekhov's Lecture and Briar Patching in "Whimzee, Come Home!" In that episode, Whimzee thought she'd lost her imagination, so her mentor sent her into the Cave of Imagination, "the ultimate test". Before she goes in, he tells her to remember that "Nothing is forgotten. Nothing is ever forgotten." Just beyond the cave entrance, she falls down to the cave proper down below, and starts walking backwards upon landing. She realizes everything is backwards in that section until she crosses a line. Later, when she and Celeste are fleeing from the cave's nasty resident queen, she remembers her mentor's words and heads back the way they came, crossing over into the backwards section. She begs the queen not to push them down a bottomless black pit. The queen conjures the pit, but when Whimzee jumps down (while holding Celeste's hand), they go up.
- Christmas Elves: The Moondreamers that are human in appearance pretty much look like children.
- Cool Big Sis: Dream Gazer. She is the eldest and wisest of the Moondreamers and the others often turn her to for wisdom
- The Dragon: Scowlene's daughter, Scowlette.
- For the Evulz: Scowlene's reasoning for wanting to take over and destroy Starry Up? Because its there. Also its something to do. The Mind Rape of children at least has jealousy of their sleep as an additional motivation.
- Fully Dressed Cartoon Animal: Some of the Moondreamers.
- Furry Confusion: Okay, so we have Roary and Ursa Major, who are a pair of talking animals that walk on all fours and don't wear clothes, and then you have the non-human-looking Moondreamers, which are fully dressed cartoon animals. Huh.
- The Heart: Crystall Starr.
- Hover Board: The Hover Bike variety. The Moondreamers and other entites of the cosmos typically get around on the science-y/fantastical highways of space on these.
- I Just Want to Be Special: Blinky and Bitsy. The whole reason they went to Starry Up was to become Moondreamers, and for this reason.
- The Igor: Igon. A weird three-legged troll creature that's one of Profesor Grimace's experiments Gone Horribly Wrong.
- In Name Only: Crystall Starr is supposed to be the Moondreamer's leader, yet she is never shown ever actually taking command like one would expect.
- Improbably Cool Car: While the other Moondreamers drove around on hover bikes, Bucky Buckaroo had a car that could leave the space highways and explore uncharted territories.
- Insufferable Genius: Sparky Dreamer is a know-it-all who takes great pride in her intellect and tends to be very strict about rules and regulations.
- Then again, she's the one who often has to fix other peoples' messes and the one time she disobeyed the rules and let two dimwits into Starry Up a Sealed Evil in a Can was unleashed. So perhaps her attitude is just a might bit justified.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Sparky Dreamer. She's an Insufferable Genius, cranky, and a very strict rule enforcer. On the flipside, she'll never turn down someone in need of help and her reasoning for wanting everyone to follow the rules is pretty justified, since the Moondreamers pretty much run the universe on manual pilot.
- The Mentor: Dream Gazer, the eldest and wisest Moondreamer. Also the Sandman, who taught Whimzee how to create dreams.
- Mad Scientist: Professor Grimace.
- Make a Wish: The Moondancers grant wishes made off shooting stars, too.
- Moondreamers Can Breathe In Space: ...In fact, everyone seems to be able to, not just the Moondreamers.
- Nice Job Nudging It Hero: Blinky and Bitsy accidentally nudge a freaking manhole cover, which somehow causes it to come loose, and that's what starts all of the Moondreamers woes from the first episode of the series on.
- Mrs. Fixit: Sparky Dreamer, again. Crosses into Wrench Wench and Gadgeteer Genius.
- Non-Human Sidekick: Some of the Moondreamers seems to have some kind of fantastic animal sidekick that accompanies them everywhere.
- The One Guy: Bucky Buckaroo. There are actually a few other guys on the show, but most of the time it's just Bucky representing the male gender.
- Only Sane Man: Crystall and Sparky seem to get this role a lot.
- Physical God: The Moondreamers, themselves. They are a race of supernatural beings the manually run the universe.
- Schmuck Bait: On one of the Moondreamers' many roads to and from Starry Up, there's a manhole cover. A manhole cover. IN SPACE!. Admit it. You'd open it up and take a look.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: Queen Scowlene, sort of. Apparently, a manhole cover keeps her out of Starry Up, yet she is able to go anywhere else in the universe before then. How does it all work? Uh, because there's a manhole cover IN SPACE!.
- Shape Shifter Showdown: A battle akin to the one in Disney's The Sword in the Stone occurs in "Whimzee, Come Home!" between Whimzee and the Queen of Imagination courtesy of magic amulets.
- Spoiled Brat: Scowlette, Scowlene's daughter. Despite this, the former is still fiercely loyal to the latter.
- Sufficiently Advanced Alien: The Moondreamers, again. Compounding their Physical God status, they also have a lot of machinery that allows them to run the universe.
- Tagalong Kid: Blinky and Bitsy.
- Talking Animal: Roary and Ursa Major.
- Theme Naming: Bucky Buckaroo. Go ahead. Guess what his overall appearance, personality, and motif are.
- What Does This Button Do?: The tagalong kids ask this about a manhole cover IN SPACE!, which somehow kept Queen Scowlene and her minions out of Starry Up, the Moondreamers' home. Naturally, they somehow manage to accidentally loosen it despite complying to Bucky Buckaroo's order not to open it.
- Weaksauce Weakness: Queen Scowlene is allergic to animal hair.
- "Well Done, Daughter," Girl: Scowlette is all about pleasing mommy, at any cost. Any cost.
- Yandere: Princess Scowlette, who was willing to kill to please her mother.
- You Gotta Have Every Hair Color Imaginable: The Moondreamers are all about this trope, having pink, red, and just about every other colored hair you can imagine.
The Potato Head Kids