Western Animation: My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Rainbow Rocks

Why should only Autobots get to rock out?

You're never gonna bring me down
You're never gonna break this part of me
My friends are here to bring me 'round
Not singing just for popularity
Sunset Shimmer

My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Rainbow Rocks is a movie sequel to My Little Pony: Equestria Girls, itself a spin-off of the animated television show My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. It was released theatrically on September 27, 2014, with the television broadcast set for October 17 and the Region 1 DVD/Blu-ray release exactly one month later on October 28, 2014.

Set between seasons four and five of the show, the film picks up after the original one — Twilight Sparkle has gone home to Equestria and is now the Princess of Friendship, while her friends in the human world have reunited and Sunset Shimmer is attempting to make amends for her evil ways despite the school hating her. However, a new threat enters the scene: three new students, Adagio Dazzle, Aria Blaze, and Sonata Dusk. Using some sort of dark magic channeled by their singing, the trio spreads a Hate Plague across Canterlot High, turning a friendly talent show into a Battle of the Bands. With the entire school under their control and the students turned against each other worse than ever, Sunset contacts Twilight in Equestria to ask for her help in defeating the trio and freeing CHS before whatever scheme they're plotting comes to fruition.

As part of the release, a series of eight, self-contained shorts that can be considered preludes for the film (although "Shake Your Tail!" and "Perfect Day for Fun!" probably fit better as sequels) have been released on The Hub's various media channels. All of these are new scenes and are neither part of the film proper nor reused in it (although they get some nods). These include:

  • "Music to My Ears", featuring DJ Pon-3 strutting across town to the rhythm of electro music in her headphones.
  • "Guitar Centered", featuring Rainbow Dash and Trixie competing over a guitar.
  • "Hamstocalypse Now", featuring Fluttershy dealing with rowdy hamsters with the calming sounds of a tambourine.
  • "Pinkie on the One", featuring Rainbow Dash discovering that Pinkie Pie's inexhaustible energy is ideal for a drummer.
  • "Player Piano", featuring Rarity discovering the benefits of a lighter-weight keytar over a grand piano.
  • "A Case for the Bass" featuring Applejack trying to get her bass guitar back after Granny Smith sells it to the Flim Flam Brothers by mistake.
  • "Shake Your Tail!", departing from the character-focused shorts, has the Rainbooms try to decide on a theme for an upcoming school dance. The title song is reused in the film.
  • "Perfect Day for Fun!", showing the Rainbooms having fun at a school carnival before performing for the crowd.

After the film's premiere, three more music video shorts were released on March 31st:

There is also a book, My Little Pony: Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks, written by Perdita Finn, that novelizes these shorts and with additional details for leading into the film. A third book, My Little Pony: Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks: The Mane Event, released in October 2014, is the novelization of the actual film.

This movie is followed by My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Friendship Games, the third film in the franchise.


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    The Movie 
  • 20% More Awesome:
    • The Rainbooms are trying to buy time for Twilight to write the counterspell:
      Twilight Sparkle: Remember, we have to be good enough to make it through but not so good we let the sirens see the magic within us. They could realize we plan to use it against them.
      Rainbow Dash: Got it! Be cool enough to win, but not so cool that we end up showing off the whole ears and tails and rainbows thing. Sooo... about twenty percent less cool.
    • The soundtrack version of Rainbow's song "Awesome as I Want to Be" has the lyrics, "When it comes to makin' music, I'm the ruler / You wish you could be twenty percent cooler."
  • Absentee Actor: The human versions of the Cutie Mark Crusaders show up several times, but Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle are noticeably silent throughout the film, the only lines coming from Apple Bloom.
  • Adaptation Personality Change: Before the Dazzlings offer the CHS students their Apple of Discord, Diamond Tiara, Silver Spoon, and the Great and Powerful Trixie are all seen getting along with everyone else, quite unlike their Equestrian counterparts.
  • Adults Are Useless: Human Luna and Celestia are almost immediately brainwashed by the Dazzlings, ensuring that the Rainbooms have to solve the problem on their own. Aside from a very brief appearance by Granny Smith and Mrs. Cake, they are the only adult characters in the entire film.
  • Advertised Extra: Merchandising and trailers prominently focused on DJ Pon-3/Vinyl Scratch, even having her get her own short. While she does play an important part in the climax, up until that point she only appears in the background of some scenes and is nowhere near as prominent as the advertising would have you believe.
  • Ahem:
    • Rarity uses the euphemistic version when talking to Sunset Shimmer.fun fact 
      Rarity: Oh darling, you have us! And we've forgiven you for your past — ahem — "boo-boos".
    • Also, Twilight Sparkle trying to cover up her crush on Flash:
      Twilight: Flash Sentry was asking about me?!? Ahem — isn't that nice.
  • All Guitars Are Stratocasters: Averted both in the "Guitar Centered" short and the movie itself. Trixie and Sunset Shimmer in the movie play Flying Vs, Rainbow Dash used to play a semi-acoustic (but her new guitar is a Stratocaster), and the shop itself is stocked with all sorts of electric guitars and other instruments with recognizable real-life counterparts, even if their depictions are somewhat stylized.
  • All There in the Script:
    • From the toyline, Photo Finish's band is called the Snapshots, and her bandmates are Pixel Pizzaz and Violet Blurr.
    • Aria Blaze's name is not mentioned in the film, only in the credits.
  • All Your Colors Combined: In the final battle, when Sunset joins the band, adding a seventh color (red) to the friendship rainbow, the Rainbooms reach full power and break the Dazzlings' spell over the crowd, allowing them to use the additional musical power to conjure up a rainbow-beam-firing alicorn avatar and defeat the Dazzlings once and for all.
  • Aluminum Christmas Trees: The instruments Trixie's bandmates are playing look bizarre to some fans who haven't seen any live performances of electronic music. They're a fairly accurate representation of typical portable sequencers.
  • Amplifier Artifact:
    • The ruby pendants worn by the Dazzlings amplify their magic in the human world, allowing them to inflict a Hate Plague on the people with their Mind-Control Music, and gain power through absorbing said negative emotions. Once the pendants are destroyed in the final battle, they lose their magic abilities and can no longer sing in tune.
    • In the climax, Vinyl Scratch's DJ booth and bass speakers act as this for the Rainbooms, quite literally, weaponizing their Magic Music to blast at the Dazzlings' Siren avatars.
  • Animation Bump: Even with the great effects the show has gotten over four seasons, the film still pulls it off. There's a lot of usage of shading from light sources, depth of field including racking focus, camera pans and dollies, and compared to the first film the human characters are more dynamic and expressive.
  • Apple of Discord: The Battle of the Bands becomes this for the students of CHS, fueling their Hate Plague. Vice-Principal Luna practically shines a spotlight on the apple before the opening round.
    Vice-Principal Luna: As this is now a competition, we can only choose one winner. Who is it going to be?
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Adagio Dazzle manages to shut down Sunset Shimmer with just four words.
    Sunset Shimmer: You're never going to get away with this.
    Adagio Dazzle: Why? Because you didn't?
  • Art Shift:
    • The opening credits use black silhouettes of the characters (with only the facial cutie marks and red gems as spots of color). They are also often more stylized, notably with legs ending in pointy tips instead of feet.
    • The ending credits use monochrome still frames of the characters in a more detailed style.
  • Ascended Extra:
    • Human Trixie only appears for a quick cameo in the first film. By contrast, she plays a bigger role here as a member of one of the rival bands the Rainbooms face against, called "Trixie and the Illusions".
    • Unlike the first film, Human Photo Finish speaks in this one. And like Trixie, she leads a rival band.
    • This story marks the first time that Octavia Melody is heard speaking as either a human or a pony. Both versions had previously spoken in the comics.
    • At the end of the movie, DJ Pon-3 has joined the Rainbooms.
  • Ascended Meme:
    • After the Dazzlings escalate the final battle with the Rainbooms, Vinyl's Cool Car/DJ system demonstrates Disco Tech properties similar to the BASS CANNON concept introduced in the fan video Epic Wub Time: Musicians of Ponyville.
    • "20% cooler" finally gets another mention here, once as a joke ("20% less cool"), and once in the extended soundtrack version of "Awesome as I Want to Be".
    • To some extent, Egophiliac's "Inconvenient Trixie" is extremely apt at a few points here.
  • Asskicking Pose: Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie take one just as the group defies the Dazzlings at the party. Pinkie having a cookie in her mouth ruins a bit the effect, though.
  • As You Know:
    • Although there is some debate as to how long exactly the Dazzlings have been exiled to the human world, in the prologue Adagio's discussion about how it is lacking Equestrian magic and Aria's comment about their banishment are something they should know already.
    • Likewise, Sunset Shimmer and the Humane Five discussing the events of the first movie is for the audience's benefit; you'd think Sunset especially wouldn't want to dwell so much on it. Pinkie Pie's intervention is then just rubbing it in, but that's in character for Pinkie.
  • Autobots, Rock Out!: The music builds and becomes noticeably heavier during the climactic fight where the Dazzlings summon their siren forms, in contrast to the pop rock that has been played for most of the movie.
  • Auto-Tune: The Dazzlings' necklaces; see Amplifier Artifact above. Among the necklaces' other powers, they help the Sirens sing in tune with each other. Lampshaded by Sunset Shimmer after the final showdown.
  • Award Bait Song: The end credits song, "Shine Like Rainbows".
  • Bait and Switch: There's a scene where it seems like Flash is going to punch Snips. Turns out all he is doing is grabbing his cup to get more punch.
  • Balloonacy: In the throne room, pony Pinkie Pie is shortly seen riding atop the yellow balloon that she has just inflated.
  • Battle of the Bands:
    • The entire plot involves the Dazzlings turning a friendly musical showcase into this. The song they use to incite the students to this is even titled "Let's Have a Battle (of the Bands)".
    • The pre-finals are illustrated as bands literally blowing their respective opponents away with their music.
    • A literal one happens in the Final Battle when the Rainbooms arrive to defeat them, both sides using Magic Music to fight. The Dazzlings are defeated when Sunset steps in. Adagio lampshades the literalness of the trope when the Rainbooms arrive.
      Adagio: So the Rainbooms want to turn this into a real Battle of the Bands? Then let's battle!
  • Bear Hug: Pinkie Pie gives one to Twilight (and Spike, squeezed between them), lifting her from the ground, while insisting she spends the night at her house.
  • "Be Quiet!" Nudge:
    • Adagio emphatically urges Sonata to shut up as she almost blows their whole plan to Sunset Shimmer when they're being shown around the school.
    • Rainbow Dash has to elbow Pinkie Pie when the latter is questioning Principal Celestia's decision of letting the Rainbooms participate in the finals instead of Trixie and the Illusions.
  • Big "Shut Up!": Sunset Shimmer yelling "STOP! YOU HAVE TO STOP!" at the bickering Rainbooms while their magic is getting drained by the Dazzlings. Somewhat mirrors Twilight's use of the same trope in the first movie.
  • The Blade Always Lands Pointy End In: Not a weapon in this case, but the neck of Applejack's bass guitar lands straight into one of Pinkie's drums during the Disaster Dominoes sequence. It can be seen still there even as the principals announce the winner of the semi-finals.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: After knocking the Rainbooms down during the finale, the Dazzlings' Astral Projections just stand there floating above them instead of trying to finish them off, which gives the heroines the opportunity to counterattack and defeat them.
  • Brick Joke:
    • Before the Humane Five meet the Dazzlings, Sunset Shimmer mentions something "off" about them, and Pinkie Pie starts questioning what she means. Then, after the trio bursts into the cafeteria and hypnotizes the rest of the student body in a sultry manner, Pinkie is the first to speak:
      Pinkie Pie: Ohhh, they're that kind of "off"!
    • During the Humane Five's talk about reaching Princess Twilight, Rainbow Dash assesses they wouldn't most likely have cellphones where she's from. A little later in Equestria, the book where their message appears in is seen glowing and vibrating just like one.
    • Twilight meeting Pinkie in the first film sets up The Stinger; see Call Back below.
  • Broken Ace: Twilight Sparkle is an actual magical pony and a Princess of Friendship with a castle and a long list of defeated enemies. Of course she's going to save the day! In fact she's totally out of her depth, and is too afraid of letting everyone down to admit it.
  • Brought Down to Normal:
    • Twilight Sparkle again. In Equestria, she's a powerful alicorn princess who easily creates an interdimensional portal in Act 1 with just a little Magi Babble. When she crosses over, she has next to no power or magic.
    • This is implied to have happened to the Dazzlings after their siren forms were destroyed and their pendants shattered. They are now unable to sing properly and are booed off the stage by the student body, complete with Produce Pelting.
  • Brutal Honesty: Pinkie is good for it regarding Sunset's time as a villain. Particularly when she says the old her really was terrible; everyone else hems and haws about how to respond while Pinkie gives a cheerful "Yup!"
  • By the Lights of Their Eyes: During "Under Your Spell", the Crusaders are shortly back-lighted as dark silhouettes, but their eyes stay visible.
  • By the Power of Grayskull!: When Twilight first tries using their friendship power to stop the Dazzlings, she joins hands with the Humane Five and shouts "Friendship is magic!" Unfortunately, it's not that easy.
  • Call Back:
    • Sunset Shimmer and the Humane Five recall the time Sunset transformed into a raging she-demon and turned all the students into her personal army of zombies. Several times, in fact, much to Sunset's annoyance.
    • From the pony side, the story starts with Twilight receiving a shipment of books to help fill her new castle after the events of "Twilight's Kingdom".
    • Star Swirl the Bearded is named as the one that banished the Dazzlings from Equestria.
    • Spike and Twilight tell the Humane Five about the events in "Twilight's Kingdom" where she got a castle and a formal title as the Princess of Friendship.
    • Spike and Twilight also tell the Humane Five about the events of "Magical Mystery Cure" where Twilight finished a spell.
  • The Cameo:
    • Beyond Vinyl Scratch, Photo Finish, and Derpy, already present from the first film, and the three Diamond Dog Boys introduced in the "Player Piano" short, we get Octavia Melody, Bulk Biceps, Lyra Heartstrings, Sweetie Drops and Maud Pie (with her pet rock Boulder) as humanized characters, with several participating in the Battle of the Bands.
    • Human Pinkie has a plush Gummy doll.
    • More importantly, there's also Twilight's human counterpart and her Spike, who show up after the credits.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: It's never made clear what Twilight was about to say to Sunset before changing her mind at the end of the kitchen scene. She may have been trying to confess that she doesn't know how to write the counterspell and wanted to ask for Sunset's help.
  • Cast Calculus: Villainesses and heroines alike.
    • For the Rainbooms, a combination of The Magnificent Seven Samurai and the Five-Man Band plus two.
      • Twilight Sparkle is The Leader, the one who would lead and cast the spell.
      • Rainbow Dash is The Lancer, who sees herself as the hero at first.
      • Applejack is The Big Guy, obviously.
      • Pinkie is The Funny Guy, obviously.
      • Fluttershy is The Young Guy, as she is the most frightened by everything.
      • Rarity is The Smart Guy, as she was the one who was the most savvy when it came to how to put on a band performance.
      • Sunset Shimmer is the Token Evil Teammate (in a sense) and The Old Guy, not because she's older than they are (even if she is), but because of her experiences.
    • For the Dazzlings, we have the Freudian Trio and Comic Trio all rolled up in one.
      • Adagio is very easily The Spock (slightly subverting the usual setup) and the Leader, respectively.
      • Aria is The Kirk (being a balance of the logical Adagio and the emotive Sonata) and the Complainer, respectively.
      • Sonata is The McCoy and the Dingbat, respectively.
  • Celestial Body: At the climax, the giant alicorn coming out of the clouds has a body seemingly made of starry sky.
  • Chekhov's Gag: Vinyl Scratch is seen bobbing her head to music on her headphones in the background of "Let's Have a Battle (of the Bands)". This is why she isn't affected by the Dazzlings' spell and is able to help the Rainbooms later on. The "Music to My Ears" short is further allusion to this, as the only time music is not heard loud and clear is when she takes off her headphones.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Fluttershy tries to point out to the rest of the Rainbooms that she has written some songs and asks if the band could rehearse and play them, and it becomes a Running Gag that the band doesn't get to play her song. The Rainbooms, near the end of the film, perform one of Fluttershy's songs to counter the songs of the Dazzlings and break the rest of the student body out of their Hate Plague.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Vinyl Scratch/DJ Pon-3, whose headphones protected her from the Dazzlings' hypnotizing siren song, is the one who frees the Rainbooms after they are locked in the basement by Trixie, and she converts her car into a mobile sound system for the final battle.
  • Circling Monologue: Adagio and Aria do this with Sunset Shimmer while telling her they've learned of her reputation and putting her friendship with the Rainbooms to doubt. Note that there is obviously little space between Sunset and the wall corner, yet they still walk around her for the sake of the trope. Sonata joins in too, although she doesn't exactly master the concept of "circling".
  • The Coats Are Off: Sunset Shimmer deliberately casts aside her leather jacket after picking up the mic in the final showdown. She even has a shoulder-baring halter top for bonus points.
  • Colon Cancer:
    • My Little Pony: Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks
    • It gets even worse with the novel to the film: My Little Pony: Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks: The Mane Event.
  • The Comically Serious: After Snips and Snails' Mic Drop:
    Principal Celestia: Please do not drop the microphones.
  • Competition Freak: The Dazzlings' Hate Plague turns nearly every student into this, but the ones who get the worst of it are Trixie and Flash who both antagonize the Rainbooms throughout the movie and even get into each other's face at times. They both also don't take losing very well.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • While all the students and faculty at CHS that are based on the Mane Six and commonly-seen background ponies are given some character traits that differ from their Equestrian counterparts, they tend to have some things in common.
    • The "Let's Have a Battle (of the Bands)" sequence starts with a wide shot of the cafeteria similar to the one starting the "Equestria Girls (Cafeteria Song)" sequence in the first movie. Fitting, as the two songs are thematic opposites.
    • When Vice-Principal Luna accuses Sunset Shimmer of casting doubt on the new students so the rest of CHS will forget her own actions at the Fall Formal, the first person to speak in Sunset's defense is Rainbow Dash.
    • Fluttershy plays with a ladybug next to the rearing horse statue. In the first movie, one of the first things Twilight saw after coming out of the portal in the statue was a ladybug.
    • Sunset Shimmer begins writing her message to Equestria with an all-too familiar phrase.
      Sunset Shimmer: (lamenting) Been a long time since I've written these words... Dear Princess Celestia...
    • Spike is seen reading a Daring Do book at the beginning of the pony sequence.
    • Twilight learns about the Sirens from the same storybook seen in "Friendship Is Magic - Part 1" and "Twilight's Kingdom - Part 1".
    • Twilight says to Pinkie "Pinkie, you're a genius!", to which Pinkie responds "Yeah, I get that a lot." Twilight has previously said this to her in "Luna Eclipsed" and "It's About Time".
    • A nod to "Music to My Ear" with Vinyl Scratch seen walking in the background of the café just like she did in the short. (It can't be the same moment, though, since Twilight and Sunset are here unlike in the short.)
    • Twilight is still having trouble adjusting to hands; she decides to be the singer of the group since learning an instrument with them would take time they don't have, and we catch her writing with her pen in her mouth in a later scene.
    • Pinkie's expression while playing the theremin is similar to the "creamy frosting" line.
    • AJ and Rainbow Dash are playing a video game based on the humanized version of the Mane-iac seen in the 2014 Annual.
    • As Sunset and Twilight find out, Pinkie has a fridge full of whipped cream. That is to say, creamy frosting.
    • The lyrics of Twilight's "Bad Counter Spell" are a Kirk Summation about defeating villains with The Power of Friendship, similar to the ones she's delivered when the Mane Six used the Elements of Harmony in Equestria.
    • Snips and Snails' rap starts with a similar beat to Pinkie's rap in "Testing Testing 1, 2, 3". Snips' outfit is also similar to the one Pinkie wore in that episode.
    • In the previous film, human Pinkie wished she had some kind of party cannon. Here she rigs her drums to shoot confetti, with the same sound effect as pony Pinkie's cannon.
    • The Crusaders are in human-equivalent versions of the CMC's rock-band outfits from "The Show Stoppers" for their segment.
    • Rainbow Dash makes reference to the "20% cooler" line before performing "Shake Your Tail!" by saying they should be "about 20% less cool". The line is also referenced in the full version of "Awesome as I Want to Be".
    • Fluttershy has stage fright. In fact, her running away from the spotlight as Snips and Snails re-position it mirrors her pony counterpart running from the same in the Imagine Spot from "Filli Vanilli".
    • Sunset Shimmer once again talks to someone in a dimly lit hallway.
    • Fluttershy's lyrics, which we get to hear when the Rainbooms face off in the final battle, are thematically similar to the lyrics in the episode "Filli Vanilli" (both Fluttershy's own song there and the Ponytones' song), in how music can help one express themselves.
    • The Rainbooms get Super Modes with glowing rainbow-striped hair similar to the Rainbow Power in "Twilight's Kingdom".
    • Sunset Shimmer's own transformation to anthropony form is in the same style as the Transformation Sequences of the Humane Six from the climax of Equestria Girls.
    • The final scene where Trixie interrupts Twilight and Flash's moment together has her quoting her final line from "Boast Busters" practically word-for-word (just replace "an Ursa Minor" with "the Dazzlings"). She even ends it with a failed Smoke Out, just like in her debut.
      Trixie Lulamoon: You may have vanquished the Dazzlings, but you will never have the amazing, show-stopping ability of the Great and Powerful Trixie!
    • "Shine Like Rainbows" has lyrics similar to "Let the Rainbow Remind You".
    • The movie even calls back to the comic book arc "Reflections" by showing a book that has a counterpart in Equestria that is affected by changes made to the version in the human world, something that became a plot point during the course of that arc.
    • Near the end of the first movie, Twilight reaches out to Sunset to help her up. Near the beginning of this movie, Sunset reaches out to Twilight.
    • Both movies have a cafeteria song... with opposite messages.
  • Compressed Hair: In the cold open, the Dazzlings manage to fit their rather impressive heads of hair under their hoodies. So blatant it's obviously Played for Laughs. They're even referred to as "Bags of Holding" in the commentary.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Sunset Shimmer writes in her book at the very moment a delivery pony was bringing its double to Twilight. This avoids delaying the narrative by involving Princess Celestia acting as an intermediary.
  • Cool Car: The Bassmobile (or Vinylmobile, DJmobile, Wubmobile, etc.), able to transform into a fully-functional audio management/equalizer and light show system.
  • Counterspell: Twilight Sparkle's strategy to confront the Dazzlings is to write a counterspell song against their siren voices; this is what motivate the Rainbooms to participate in the Battle of the Bands. However, this proves a daunting task even for a magic prodigy like Twilight (for a variety of reasons, including the need to be a song, that she's not in her usual form, in a magic-deprived world and without access to her spellbooks). In the end, they use a song written by Fluttershy and resort to raw Magic of Friendship to counter the Sirens.
  • Cover-Blowing Superpower: Sunset Shimmer is forced to tackle Rainbow Dash when she gets carried away and starts transforming in front of a crowd.
  • Covers Always Lie:
    • Some of the promotional art for the movie shows Trixie or DJ Pon-3 with pony ears and "Rainbow Power" hair. No such thing happens in the film.
    • Various promotional material show Applejack's bass absolutely plain (as seen above), when in the film, it is decked with apples.
    • The box art shows Twilight performing front and center with the Rainbooms, while one poster (also used for the soundtrack) features Twilight Sparkle front and center, engaged in a sing-off with Adagio Dazzle, the leader of the villain trio. While these do indeed happen, Twilight herself does not even appear until over a third of the way into the movie, and her ultimate contribution to the band's success is minimal at best. Sunset Shimmer, the villain from the first movie, is the actual main character in this movie, yet she is completely absent from all promotional art.
    • Even though on said poster Twilight faces Adagio Dazzle, they never speak to each other in the film; the only member of the Humane cast to converse with them is Sunset.
  • Crash-Into Hello: Continuing the Running Gag from the first film, every encounter of Twilight and Flash effectively is this.
  • Cringe Comedy:
    • The Humane Five and Twilight attempting to defeat the Dazzlings with a By the Power of Grayskull! move is one of the most embarrassing moments for the main characters in either universe.
      Rainbow Dash: Uh, weren't there rainbows and lasers and stuff last time?
      Twilight Sparkle: I don't understand. We're all together again. Why isn't this working?
      Spike: You uh, really need to go ahead and do that whole "Magic of Friendship" thing now.
    • Also, the "Bad Counter Spell" Twilight wrote is considered this.
  • Darkest Hour: With the Dazzlings having secured their victory since the first 10 minutes of the movie and remaining on top ever since, and the Rainbooms plus Sunset Shimmer just barely keeping up, it was already looking pretty grim. Then the Dazzlings have our heroines trapped during the finals of the battle of the bands, causing strife and tensions to tear them apart, giving the villains a chance to absorb their corrupted magic to regain their own. If not for Sunset snapping them out of their funk, the ending would have been vastly darker.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Twilight herself edges on this trope. While she definitely plays an important role in the plot, she's mostly brought on-board to help the Humane Five defeat the Dazzlings. In terms of actual story and character development, the film has a stronger focus on Sunset Shimmer than Twilight. During the climax, Twilight proves ineffective for diffusing the group's tensions and defeating the Dazzlings; it's Sunset who actually saves the day on both counts.
  • De-Power:
    • This is why Star Swirl banished the Sirens that would become the Dazzlings to the human world, believing the transition would render them powerless. Shame he forgot to account for the necklaces.
    • In the climax, the Dazzlings's necklaces are smashed, rendering them unable to even carry a tune.
  • Deus Exit Machina: Justified. The original Mane Six save Twilight sit out on another otherworldly adventure knowing they have alternate dimension doppelgangers awaiting on the other side.
    Applejack: Don't suppose we could join you this time around?
    Twilight Sparkle: Better not. It could make things pretty confusing if Canterlot all of a sudden had two of all of you.
  • Disaster Dominoes: Sunset Shimmer tackling Rainbow Dash to stop her from showing pony ears results in them bumping into Twilight, who loses her balance and grab Rarity's keytar by reflex, dragging the latter down in turn and making her involuntarily kick Applejack's bass guitar, which flies over and lands neck-first into one of Pinkie's drums. Then the lights come back, startling Fluttershy into fleeing.
  • Divide and Conquer: The Dazzlings turn the whole school, including the staff, against each other with their Hate Plague-inducing Mind-Control Music, with the exception of Sunset Shimmer, the Rainbooms, and Vinyl Scratch. They also manage to sabotage the mane characters' plans so that they argue and generate further negative emotions for the Dazzlings to feed on. In their backstory as told by Twilight Sparkle, she describes this as their modus operandi, even dropping the trope name.
    Twilight Sparkle: If the sirens had their way, they would have divided and conquered all of Equestria.
  • Door Dumb: Although the door to the room beneath the stage is certainly locked until Spike and DJ Pon-3 opens it, Rainbow Dash and the others would have had a better chance of opening it if they'd tried to pull rather than shoulder it.
  • Do Well, but Not Perfect:
    • The Rainbooms' strategy for the battle of the bands, to unleash their full power in a surprise attack on the Dazzlings. Subverted, see Dramatic Irony below.
    • The Dazzlings use the same approach, as they don't want to reveal their true forms to the students until their power has been fully restored.
  • Dramatic Irony:
    • During the tour Sunset gives to the Dazzlings, a number of the comments they make hint at their evil intentions to the audience, who knows that they're up to no good, but Sunset doesn't know the Dazzlings are evil yet, and is more confused than clued in.
    • Later, the audience knows that the Dazzlings are manipulating things to get the heroes to fight and feed on their magic in order to gain power, but the heroes think the Dazzlings are unaware of their magic.
  • Dramatic Spotlight: During the song "Awesome as I Want to Be", a spotlight shines on each of the Rainbooms one by one, which is normal since they're performing on scene. It becomes significant when, in the middle of the song, all the rays of light focus on Rainbow Dash, who is literally stealing the spotlight with her performance.
  • Dramatic Wind:
    • In the prologue, the Dazzlings' discovery of Equestrian magic in the human world, marking the start of their Evil Plan, is during an appropriately windy night (the same as the climax of the first movie, in fact).
    • The Rainbooms stepping into the fight for the final battle is also accompanied by some dramatic wind blowing their hair and clothes.
  • Dutch Angle: Used frequently on the Dazzlings to show just how "off" they are.
  • Easily Forgiven: Averted with Sunset Shimmer. Played straight with Snips and Snails.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Can be said about Sunset Shimmer, after helping to defeat the Dazzlings, it is shown during the end credits that the other Canterlot High students are finally starting to forgive her and see her as a friend.
  • Editorial Synaesthesia: The hate energy incited by the Dazzlings' songs is depicted as a radioactive-green miasma.
  • Elegant Classical Musician: Octavia Melody. For her pony version it is mostly fandom interpretation, but here it becomes more obvious as she gets the fitting clothes, voice and good looks.
  • Eleventh Hour Ranger:
    • Vinyl Scratch/DJ Pon-3 gives some much-needed last-minute help to the Rainbooms.
    • And after that, Sunset Shimmer leaves the sidelines to join the rest of the Rainbooms in singing against the Dazzlings.
  • Epic Fail:
    • The Rainbooms' initial attempt at using their magic to defeat the Dazzlings fails completely. Even moreso, this proves to Adagio that they are resistant to the Dazzlings' spell, targeting them as the source of the Equestrian magic they seek.
    • Twilight's attempts at writing a musical counterspell are so bad that Granny Smith shoves apple cores in her ears to block it out.
  • Epilogue Letter: Sunset Shimmer writes one on her magic book at the end for Twilight Sparkle, showing that they'll be exchanging messages from now on, Twilight being the friendship mentor and Sunset the student.
  • Everybody Do the Endless Loop: The animation is overall excellent; if it does use a few loops, it's mostly for background characters, and too short to be noticeable. The exception is the distant shot of Trixie and the Illusions at the final concert, whose moves are a bit repetitive.
  • Everything's Better with Rainbows: No surprise here, honestly. As usual for the franchise, the Magic of Friendship is materialized by rainbows. In the climax of the final battle, when the Rainbooms at last get the upper hand over the Dazzlings, it first takes the shape of a rainbow-colored Planar Shockwave that push away the Siren avatars just as they are charging, stun the Dazzlings and wake up their thralls. And then a Pillar of Light rises, combining the colors of the seven friends, including Sunset Shimmer who adds the red hue to it. It coalesces into a multicolored Sphere of Power from which emerges a giant Winged Unicorn with a flowing rainbow as mane, who finally fires a rainbow beam from its horn, blasting away the Sirens and destroying their magic gems. Heavily Lampshaded by both the opening title and closing credits songs "Rainbow Rocks" and "Shine Like Rainbows".
  • Face Palm:
    • Sonata Dusk's stupidity inspires this to both her co-villains at different points, Adagio primarily.
    • Applejack reacts this way to Rarity showing up for the pre-selections in a costume worthy of The Sixties, full of dangling metal shingles.
  • Failed Attempt at Drama:
    • Adagio regularly indulges in some dramatic evil gloating... only to have Sonata ruin it every time by spouting something stupid.
      Adagio Dazzle: (mock surprise) Oh, no! No-one's mingling! It's like... there's some kind of underlying tension that could bubble to the surface at any minute.
      Sonata Dusk: It's the fruit punch, isn't it? I knew I used too much grape juice!
      Adagio Dazzle: It isn't the fruit punch, it's us!

      Adagio Dazzle: This is it, girls, the moment we've been waiting for...
      Sonata Dusk: (excited) Lunch?!
      Adagio Dazzle: (groans) The chance to get our true Equestrian magic back.
      Sonata Dusk: Oh, right.
    • Twilight and friends' first attempt at invoking the Magic of Friendship is a drawn-out example. Even the music is on it, rising dramatically as they lock hands together and Twilight exclaims "Friendship is magic!"... and then puttering out as nothing happen, and everybody look at them like they're crazy.
    • And of course, there are Trixie's attempts at dramatic exits with a Smoke Out, followed by Pinkie locating her. The second time, she even slips and falls behind the bleachers.
      Trixie Lulamoon: Trixie's okay!
  • Fake Band: Central to the premise. The climax is a magical battle between the Rainbooms and the Dazzlings, and about a dozen other fake bands make appearances of varying lengths.
  • Fanservice:
  • Fictional Video Game: Applejack and Rainbow Dash play one at Pinkie's house, based on a humanized version of the Mane-iac.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • During the song "Let's Have a Battle (of the Bands)", Vinyl Scratch/DJ Pon-3 can be seen in the background paying absolutely no attention.
    • Spike justifies his reason to go with Twilight through the mirror is that she'll never know when she'll need her faithful assistant.
    • Princess Twilight tells her pony friends they shouldn't come to the human world with her because having two of them around would be weird. Twilight's human counterpart is finally seen in the stinger.
    • The Humane Five's arguing throughout the movie.
    • A very subtle hint for things to come — not in the movie, but in Season 5. At Twilight's new castle, Pinkie is seen sitting on Applejack's chair, but there's really nothing odd with that. However Rarity — who's sitting on her own throne — has her cutie mark emblem above it glowing. From the SDCC Season 5 animatic, we know that when all six sit on their respective chairs, they activate a magical map of Equestria.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • The video game AJ and RD are playing at the Slumber Party has a humanized version of the Mane-iac on the cover.
    • As Twilight struggles to write a song, she stares forlornly at a page full of scribbles and doodles... including one of her disembodied head spitting lightning bolts at a crudely-drawn Adagio.
    • While listening to "Under Our Spell", Luna has drawn a heart on her notes.
    • Vinyl Scratch's car (before transforming) has a hood ornament shaped like DJ Pon-3's unicorn counterpart.
  • Fridge Logic:invoked Discussed; the Rainbooms really don't know why their magic only activates when they play music, but they take it in stride since it's pretty cool and so far is harmless. This continues in Friendship Games, where Sunset and the human world Twilight are studying magic to try and figure out that "why".
  • Funny Background Event:
    • When Rainbow Dash talks about her role in the Rainbooms in the band room, Pinkie Pie can be seen wearing a cymbal on her head like a hat.
    • During the "Let's Have a Battle (of the Bands)" song, most of the students are entranced by the Dazzlings... except DJ Pon-3 who's listening to her headphones and is oblivious to this. Becomes an important detail later, however...
    • During the main cast's walk down the hallway to Principal Celestia's office, Pinkie is seen skipping merrily, similar to how her pony self often hops instead of walks.
    • At the party in the gym, when Twilight and the Rainbooms hold hands to defeat the Dazzlings, Pinkie can be seen with a cookie in her mouth and her fist in the air. As the others wonder why their standing together in unity isn't unleashing magic, Pinkie is still seen with her fist in the air, the whole cookie stuffed in her mouth, and crumbs on her chin.
    • As the Rainbooms show disdain towards Rarity's outfit before the first round, Applejack facepalms while the others give an eyeroll...except Twilight who just hangs her head sadly.
  • Gale-Force Sound: When Rainbow Dash repeats "my band" one time too many, the others yelling "OUR BAND!" together is enough to blow Dash's hair back.
  • Gemstone Assault: What Rarity's attack against the sirens looks like, though it might be just as well Pure Energy taking the shape of her diamonds symbol.
  • Gentle Giant: Bulk Biceps' humanized form is pretty much spot-on given his pony self, with a muscular upper body and tiny little wings on his baseball cap. His instrument of choice is a violin, which he plays with a light touch — until his last bow stroke, which blows Snips and Snails off the stage. During the end credits, he lifts Sunset up so she can get Angel down from a high perch.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Both Rainbow Dash and Apple Bloom are seen making the sign of the horns at one point. A common gesture among rockers, true, but also considered to have satanic connotations.
  • Gibberish of Love: Flash and Twilight bump into each other (again) for the first time in this movie at the party before the pre-selections. After he catches her from falling, they stare at each other for a second, and Twilight starts descending into this.
    Flash Sentry: Twilight?
    Twilight Sparkle: Heh heh... bumped... into... always... doing!
  • Girl Group:
    • The Dazzlings are the sexy Idol Singers version.
    • The Rainbooms are the rock band variant, with the Humane Five joined by Twilight Sparkle as lead vocalist, and later Sunset Shimmer.
  • Girl Posse: Several.
    • The Dazzlings look like one, but they are more sinister than usual for this trope.
    • Photo Finish and Trixie Lulamoon have two cronies each respectively, and are also antagonistic — although we don't know how bad they would be without the Dazzlings' influence.
  • Giving Someone the Pointer Finger: Flash Sentry points at Sunset Shimmer when saying "Now that's the bad girl we love to hate!" Harsh considering their history together, but he's Not Himself.
  • Good Colors, Evil Colors: The Dazzlings' power and aura, coming from their gems, glow an evil red. It's contrasted with the Rainbooms, with each of their individual bright colors mixing to form rainbows.
  • Great Balls of Fire:
    • Trixie and the Illusion's rendition of "Tricks Up My Sleeve" ends up with green fireworks firing from the stage (even better, they do look like they come from Trixie herself).
    • The Dazzlings and the Rainbooms fighting a Battle of the Bands results in quite the impressive light show, but here they're using real magic and not just pyrotechnics.
  • Group Hug:
    • How the Humane Five welcomes Twilight when she's back to the school (not including Sunset Shimmer, who backs away).
    • The conclusion following the climax for the protagonists, this time with Sunset Shimmer in the middle.
  • Hammerspace:
    • Where does Rarity get that rack of new outfits for the final performance for the Rainbooms?
    • Not to mention Pinkie Pie pulling out several musical instruments out of nowhere before suggesting them to Twilight.
  • Hair Flip: Rainbow Dash has a rather epic one in "Awesome as I Want to Be".
  • Hand Wave: Pony Applejack Lampshades a possible Plot Hole in the sirens' Backstory — "But Star Swirl must have sent them there ages ago. How come they're just surfacing now?" — to which Twilight simply says she doesn't know and moves on. The opening scene from the Sirens' perspective shows that the events of the first movie brought some Equestrian magic to Earth, and the Sirens hope to use it to restore their full power. The main characters never learn this particular detail.
  • Hate Plague: The Dazzlings' song "Let's Have a Battle (of the Bands)" makes the students uncharacteristically competitive and hostile to one another.
  • Headphones Equal Isolation: DJ Pon-3 is always wearing her headphones. In the background of "Let's Have a Battle (of the Bands)", while the Dazzlings use their music to brainwash the student body, she's seen bouncing to her own music. That means she wasn't affected by the Dazzlings' Mind-Control Music: she ends up freeing the Rainbooms and helping them in the final battle.
  • Heel-Face Turn: Sunset Shimmer proves that hers is legitimate, as she sticks by the Humane Five and Twilight throughout the movie despite her insecurities and joins her power with theirs at the end to defeat the Dazzlings. The end credits show that the rest of the school has started accepting her as well.
  • Heroic BSOD: Twilight is put under lots of stress throughout the movie, the Rainbooms trusting her entirely with coming up a song counterspell to fight the Dazzlings. Toward the end, as the group is tearing itself apart, she buckles under the pressure, admitting that she'd probably wouldn't have finished the counterspell in time, and slumps into a Troubled Fetal Position, unable to ease up the tension between her friends.
  • High School A.U.: Returning again to the humanized world of Canterlot High.
  • Hollywood Magnetism: The cartoon magnets used by Photo Finish are strong enough to lift Rarity (and her heavy dress) from the floor, or rip off her sleeves, but don't have any effect on other metal objects on the stage.
  • Hollywood Tone-Deaf:
    • Twilight's first counter-spell is majorly off-key.
    • The Dazzlings can no longer sing after their gem pendants are destroyed.
  • Hope Spot: Despite Sunset Shimmer interrupting the Rainbooms during the semi-finals, Celestia declares them the winners and would go on to the finals, giving them more time to prepare the musical counterspell. However, their victory is specifically engineered by the Dazzlings, who mind-control Celestia and Luna. This leads to an uproar amongst the student body, who feels they don't deserve it, making their victory a Pyrrhic one. And to top it all off, the Dazzlings manipulate Trixie into trapping them under the stage, thus completing dashing any hope of performing the musical counterspell at least until Vinyl Scratch helps them out.
  • How Is That Even Possible?: Expressed by pony Rarity about Sunset Shimmer managing to contact them through the enchanted book, despite the fact that the connection between their worlds is supposedly still cut off for many moons.
  • Human Hummingbird:
    • Twilight, shortly during the sleepover, while trying to navigate around her sleeping friends without waking them up and almost losing her balance.
    • Pinkie Pie also moves her arms fast enough to make a flapping sound when she angrily complains that their band has become the very opposite of fun.
  • I Am the Band: Rainbow Dash constantly insists that the Rainbooms are her band — after all, she's the lead singer, guitarist, and songwriter, and she named the band after herself.
    Rainbow Dash: I could win this thing as a solo act, and everybody knows it!
  • Idiosyncratic Wipes: The Rainbooms' Transformation Sequence during the final battle are each preceded with brief cutie-mark-based transition wipes (apples, diamonds, butterflies, rainbows, balloons, and a magic star).
  • Immune to Mind Control: The Dazzlings hypnotize the entire school with their enchanted singing, including Principal Celestia and Vice Principal Luna, into turning the initially friendly musical showcase into a Battle of the Bands. However, the Rainbooms and Sunset Shimmer, thanks to the the magic of friendship that was imbued into them in the previous movie, are the only ones in the school who aren't mind-controlled into showing animosity towards their schoolmates; in fact, they devise a plan to try to break the Dazzlings' spell on the rest of the school. Double Subverted into that, due to their arguing over little things along the way, the Rainbooms almost fall into the trap of turning on each other and showing ill-will amongst themselves, thus giving the Dazzlings more energy, until Sunset Shimmer tries to reconcile them and bring the band back together again.
  • Impractically Fancy Outfit:
    • The "fabulous" dress Rarity shows up in for the pre-selections. It's full of dangling metal shingles that, if they nicely reflect every light, also make the thing so heavy Rarity has trouble just walking in it — and render her vulnerable to magnets, to boot.
    • Trixie's costume for the final concert. It's quite fetching and impressive, as fitting for a true showwoman, but also very impractical to make a sneaky exit or climb a walled fence.
  • Improbably Cool Car: Vinyl Scratch's sweet ride. It isn't explained how a high school student, who's seen working part-time in a music shop in the shorts, can afford such a heavily customized Transforming Vehicle.
  • Inertia Is a Cruel Mistress: Exaggerated — if pony Twilight enters the magic portal just at a brisk trot, on the other end she plain and simply fly through the exit, landing a few meters away. This velocity differential might explain why she shortly lost consciousness on her first trip in the previous movie.
  • Informed Attribute: Rainbow Dash and Adagio Dazzle claim that "Shake Your Tail!" and "Under Our Spell", respectively, are not their best songs. Or at least, those are the songs they choose when they're actively trying to not reveal their Magic Music.
  • Innocently Insensitive:
    • Rarity lampshades the crush Flash has on Twilight while Sunset, his ex, is in the same room. To her credit, she is quick to realize this and apologize.
    • Referring back to the last time the Humane Six defeated an evil and nasty creature from Equestria becomes something of a Running Gag. Oh, er, no offense, Sunset Shimmer.
      Sunset Shimmer: (sigh) None taken.
    • By the time Twilight references the incident, Sunset just rolls with it and says she's used to it.
  • Invisible to Normals: It is strongly hinted that only Sunset Shimmer (besides the Dazzlings, of course) can see the negative energy manifesting as a green mist, as she's the only one seen reacting to it. The Rainbooms are easily convinced that there is dark magic at hand from the behavior of their schoolmates in the cafeteria, though. It isn't clear whether Twilight can too; probably, but she's always distracted by other worries when it happens.
  • Ironic Echo: The Dazzlings' Villain Song is the antithesis of the first film's title song. "Equestria Girls (Helping Twilight Win the Crown)" encouraged the students to unite and support Twilight in winning the Fall Formal, while "Let's Have a Battle (of the Bands)" induces a hate plague and a dog-eat-dog competitive attitude, generating negative energy by which the Dazzlings gain power.
  • Is This Thing On?: Just before the finals, Rainbow Dash does the "Check, one two, testing, testing" thing and taps the microphone. Then Sunset Shimmer unwisely raises the volume to the max, causing an ear-splitting feedback on Dash's next try.
  • I've Heard of That — What Is It?: Pony Pinkie Pie pulls one when Twilight explains she suspects the Dazzlings to be sirens, very similar to when Twilight mentioned genealogy to her in "Pinkie Apple Pie".
    Pinkie Pie: NOT THE SIRENS!
    (gets close to Fluttershy and stage-whispers)
    Pinkie Pie: I don't actually know what that is...
  • Jaw Drop: Pinkie's reaction to Sunset Shimmer showing she can play the guitar.
  • Juxtaposed Halves Shot:
    • During "Let's Have a Battle (of the Bands)", in a close-up Aria and Sonata's faces merge to create such a shot (just as they sing "One and the same thing"). Then it split in the middle to reveal Adagio's face.
    • The cover of My Little Pony: Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks: The Mane Event also uses one to illustrate the conflict in the book, with Twilight Sparkle and Adagio Dazzle's half-faces separated by a microphone stand.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Twilight saying to Flash, "We really need to stop bumping into each other like that..."
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler:
    • Sort of. The Transformation Sequences at the end of the previous movie were left out of the trailers for it and thus treated as a spoiler; the teaser for Rainbow Rocks based on the shorts shows the hybrid forms almost right away.
    • Likewise, Sunset Shimmer's Heel-Face Turn from the first movie is in full effect here.
    • Also, one who hasn't seen the Season 4 finale of Friendship Is Magic might be surprised to see Twilight's library tree replaced by a huge crystal castle.
  • Layman's Terms: After Twilight's pony friends are quite baffled by her Magi Babble about how she reconnected the portal, it's Pinkie Pie who somewhat provides an explanation, although in her own hyperactive way.
  • Least Rhymable Word:
    Snips: Everybody knows my favorite color is orange
    My rhymes are so fly, they're better than... um...
    Snails: Than an orange, yo!
  • Let Me at Him!: It's very quick, but at the end of the "Under Our Spell" montage, it looks like Derpy is trying to pick a fight with Bulk Biceps, with Lyra and Bon Bon restraining her.
  • Letting the Air Out of the Band: When Twilight and her friends lock hands together to confront the Dazzlings and she exclaims "Friendship is magic!", the music rises dramatically... before falling flat since nothing happens. Embarrassed silence follows, which is quiet enough you can hear a cough.
  • Logical Weakness: Vinyl Scratch shows that since the Dazzlings use Mind-Control Music to enthrall people, those unable to hear it can't be affected.
  • Love Triangle: Flash Sentry has a rather obvious crush on Twilight, and it's hinted that Sunset may have some residual feelings for him.
  • Magi Babble: Twilight Sparkle's explanation of how she connected the mirror to the other world through the enchanted books. Also a Genius Bonus, see this entry in YMMV.
  • The Magic Comes Back: The events of the previous film seem to have triggered such an event and permanently introduced Equestrian magic to the human world.
  • Magic Music: The Rainbooms now enter their anthropony forms from the climax of the previous film when they play, though they're unaware of why. They come to use it fully during the Battle of the Bands against the Dazzlings, blasting the Sirens' manifestations with showers of cutie-marks-shaped sparkles through their instruments.
  • Magitek: The results of Twilight's jury-rigging of the magic mirror with various parts to connect it up to the castle and Celestia's book.
  • Malicious Misnaming:
    • Aria Blaze refers to the Rainbooms as the "Rainblossoms".
    • Trixie refers to the band as the "Raingoons" and the "Rainbrooms".
  • Marionette Motion: Rarity, during the "Shake Your Tail!" performance, is moved around like a puppet for most of the song, the metallic tassels of her dress stuck to Photo Finish's magnets.
  • Match Cut: Toward the end of "Let's Have a Battle (of the Bands)", we see several students in a succession of Hard Cuts (Trixie, Thunderbass, Snips, Octavia, Watermelody, Normal Norman and Diamond Tiara), each in a position matching the preceding one, thus giving the impression of one continuous movement.
  • Meaningful Background Event: During "Let's Have a Battle (of the Bands)", while everyone is focused on the Dazzlings as they sing their song, Vinyl Scratch can be seen wearing her headphones and bobbing her head to her own tunes, completely oblivious to the Sirens.
  • Mic Drop: Snips and Snails conclude their awful rap by doing one together, generating a squeal of feedback when the microphones hit the floor. Principal Celestia then warns them not to do that again.
  • Midnight Snack: Sunset Shimmer wakes up for one during the Slumber Party, finding Twilight in the kitchen (and nothing but whipped cream in the fridge). She must have licked the cream off her thumb when the camera wasn't on her. And then Maud Pie shows up to feed her pet rock. "Boulder was hungry."
  • Mind-Control Eyes:
    • When Celestia and Luna are under the Dazzlings' spell, their eyes flash a sickly green. This effect strangely does not happen on Flash, Trixie and the students.
    • However, during the final concert, the students' eyes shrink to the size of pencil points when they get invested by the Dazzlings' music.
  • Mind-Control Music: The Dazzlings use their singing to drive people into hostile arguments. They also influence Luna and Celestia into accepting the Battle of the Bands idea and ignoring any warning that dark magic is at work. By the end, they've recovered enough of their power to enthrall and brainwash the whole audience into adoring them.
  • The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body:
    • Spike is once again acting very dog-like in this movie, eating dog biscuits and playing with a dog toy at one point. He's still himself, though, and helpful to the end.
    • Moments after Twilight and Spike arrive in the CHS world, Applejack mentions Flash Sentry, Twilight's crush from the first film. Twilight instinctively twirls her hair with her finger, a uniquely human teenage expression of infatuation.
  • Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: "Rainbow Rocks" and "Awesome as I Want to Be" are the only Rainbooms songs that get up to level 5. The rest of the songs in the movie range from 2 to 4. For a brief moment, the battle between the Rainbooms and the Dazzlings reaches a 7.
  • Moment Killer: Near the end, Trixie interrupts a moment between Twilight and Flash Sentry.
  • Musical Pastiche:
    • Like the "cafeteria song" from the previous movie, the opening theme "Rainbow Rocks" begins with a drum intro similar to Queen's "We Will Rock You".
    • Trixie's "Tricks Up My Sleeve" is sung in a style resembling early Britney Spears.
    • "Awesome as I Want to Be" could almost be a Avril Lavigne or Ramones song.
    • "Shake Your Tail!" borrows the phrase "ignite the light" from Katy Perry's "Firework". Similarly, "the light that ignites" appears in "Shine Like Rainbows", and Sunset's part of "Welcome to the Show" references "Part of Me".
    • Most of the Dazzlings' and the Rainbooms' songs are pastiches of middle-of-the-road Girl Group songs, with the Dazzlings leaning more towards Trance and the Rainbooms favoring Power Pop.
  • Musical World Hypotheses: Of the diegetic type. All of the songs (save for the opening credits) are shown as performed by the various bands, with some songs also showing other scenes (both real within the fictional aspect, or the proverbial Battle of the Bands shots) alongside the band performing. Perhaps the most extreme example is the song Sunset Shimmer performs as she and the Humane Six finally defeat the Dazzlings. Considering the personal nature of the lyrics, it could only have been performed on the spot.
  • Music Stories: Unlike the first movie or the main show, where the songs are of the spontaneous kind, this film and the preceding shorts are true music stories, depicting the Rainbooms' efforts and tribulations from forming a rock band and competing at the musical showcase, with some supernatural complications thrown in the way.
  • Mystical High Collar:
    • Trixie's Impractically Fancy Outfit for the final concert sports an elaborate high collar, fitting with her Cute Witch thematic.
    • Twilight's scenic costume also includes one. Note that it's the only Rainbooms outfit that does.
  • Mythology Gag:
  • Near Villain Victory: By the end of the movie, the Dazzlings have all of CHS under their control with their constant bickering feeding them more magic every time. Meanwhile, the Rainbooms are trapped under the stage and after the various problems amongst each other and being exposed to the hatred of the Dazzling-controlled CHS, they're now at each other's throats while Twilight and Sunset look on helplessly with no idea how to fix this. All of this fueling the Dazzlings even more power than they've ever dreamed of. If Sunset hasn't resolved the Rainbooms' argument, or Spike hasn't fetched Vinyl Scratch to rescue them, the Dazzlings would have won.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • Star Swirl the Bearded sent the Sirens to Earth in an attempt to De-Power them, thus allowing the Dazzlings to cause the havoc they did.
    • Twilight and the now reformed Sunset's actions at the climax of the first film are what gave the Dazzlings the clue that the power they needed exist, and thus the motivation to become the antagonists of this film.
    • Sunset tells the Dazzlings about the band event, and even suggests that they visit Principal Celestia. (Although they might have already known, and precisely chose this day to enroll for this reason; their expressions at this moment are ambiguous.)
    • Sunset stopping Rainbow from transforming and possibly revealing their plan to the bad guys almost gets the Rainbooms kicked out of the competition, and the Humane Five's bickering gets so bad that they start getting affected by the Dazzlings' spell and end up providing them with enough Equestrian magic to almost succeed.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: The humanized Diamond Dogs would look less out-of-place in a Gorillaz clip than in an Equestria Girls movie.
  • No Sell: The Humane Five and Sunset Shimmer are unaffected by the Dazzlings' Villain Song. As is Vinyl Scratch since she's always wearing her headphones. The Humane Five, however, are eventually rendered vulnerable by their own conflicts, allowing the Dazzlings to feed off their magic and reach their full power.
  • Not Helping Your Case: Alright, Sunset, we understand you're emotionally distressed, but furiously telling someone, right in their face, that you didn't push Rainbow Dash mid-performance in a fit of jealous rage... isn't going to convince anyone you didn't push Rainbow Dash mid-performance in a fit of jealous rage.
  • Not Himself: The CHS students under the Dazzlings' spell, becoming confrontational and ultra-competitive. Most notable with Flash Sentry, for whom it's completely at odds with his Nice Guy persona from the first movie. He even snaps once at Twilight Sparkle, making her cry. On the other hand, it's unclear whether Trixie would be any less antagonistic even without the Dazzlings' influence.
  • Nothing Can Stop Us Now: It's word-for-word the final line of the Dazzlings' song before the Rainbooms interrupt. Tempting Fate, much?
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore:
    • It's implied that the events of the last film have permanently introduced Equestrian magic into the other world. Twilight has taken the Element of Magic back, but the human versions of her friends are still able to shapeshift into their anthropony forms and the Dazzlings are able to command stronger magic than they could before.
    • The ending also implies that the rest of the world starts waking up to what's really happening at Canterlot High, in this case in form of none other than the real human Twilight.
  • Not Just a Tournament: With the exception of the Humane Five, the students and faculty of CHS see the Battle of the Bands as a spirited competition. Since they have no knowledge of magic outside the events of the previous film, they could never guess the Dazzlings are using their competitive spirit to fuel their Hate Plague.
  • Not So Different: Sunset Shimmer has gone from being Twilight's Evil Counterpart in the first film to being this. She even starts writing Twilight friendship letters at the end.
  • Not What It Looks Like: When Sunset tackles Rainbow Dash and stops her song to prevent her from ponying up and blowing their plan to the Dazzlings. While the audience knows that Sunset's doing it for the right reason, the school thinks she's gone back to being an Alpha Bitch.
  • Off Like a Shot: Trixie takes the pose just before zipping away after her first failed Smoke Out.
  • Oh Crap!:
    • Trixie has one in her facial expression when Sunset gets right in her face. She looks as though she's afraid to get beaten up, rather than retaining her smug demeanor (though that swiftly returns when Sunset calms down).
    • Two by Sunset Shimmer as she helplessly watches both the corrupt magic from the Humane Five being drained by the Sirens and Twilight going through a Heroic BSOD.
    • The looks on all three Dazzlings' faces as they spot the giant alicorn emerging from the clouds are really not happy ones. And they have an even bigger one after their gems are destroyed and they find out they can no longer even sing.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: During the credits song "Shine Like Rainbows", Rarity completely loses her Mid-Atlantic accent.
  • Open Mouth, Insert Foot:
    • One of Sonata Dusk's many airhead moments.
      Sonata Dusk: We sing, like, all the time! It's how we get people to do what we want.
      (Adagio makes a frantic cutthroat gesture)
      Sonata Dusk: What? What did I say?
    • Sunset Shimmer's friends can't help but bring up repeatedly her not-too-glorious moment as a "raging she-demon" from the first movie.
  • Our Wormholes Are Different: The connection established by Sunset Shimmer's enchanted book with Equestria is illustrated by a very colorful wormhole, which leads to Ponyville.
  • Overcrank: Twilight's microphone dramatically flying in slow-motion until it falls at Sunset Shimmer's feet, during the final battle.
  • Pass the Popcorn: Derpy is indeed seen eating popcorn while watching Lyra and Bon Bon argue with Octavia in the gym.
  • Pillar of Light: As seen in the prologue, the one generated by Sunset Shimmer's transformation in the previous movie does attract some attention. First from the Dazzlings, but also with Twilight Sparkle's human counterpart.
  • Piss-Take Rap: Snips and Snails' attempt. It is as bad as it sounds; having one lyric end on the Least Rhymable Word "orange" doesn't help. Neither does the Mic Drop at the end, complete with feedback.
  • Power Crystal: The three Dazzlings wear necklaces with red gems acting as Amplifier Artifacts, allowing them to use their Mind-Control Music in the magic-deprived human world. The gems are a prominent motif of the movie, notably in the opening credits.
  • Power Floats:
    • The transformation of the Humane Five in their anthropony forms is usually marked by them starting floating, both in the shorts and the movie. Though not always — it doesn't happen when singing "Better Than Ever", notably.
    • In the finals of the Battle of the Bands, the Dazzlings start floating as they're recovering their magic powers.
    • And then, the Rainbooms do the same when they're filled with The Power of Friendship, starting with Sunset Shimmer.
  • The Power of Rock: The first film required the Humane Six to win with The Power of Friendship, but this time they specifically need to save the day with song, which becomes visualized in the final battle.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: "So the Rainbooms want to turn this into a real Battle of the Bands? Then let's battle!"
  • Present Company Excluded: Bit of a Running Gag every time Sunset's past is mentioned.
  • Previously On: The beginning of the opening credits summarizes the first movie; the lyrics of the intro song also allude to those previous events.
  • Produce Pelting: After the climactic battle, once the Dazzlings have lost their magical voices, the CHS students reward their last attempt at singing with booing and throwing fruits and sandwiches.
  • Punch Catch: Rainbow Dash getting overexcited at the Cakes' café and doing some wild karate moves end up with Applejack catching her fist.
  • Putting the Band Back Together: The start of the first trailer puts it this way; not really the case, though, since the "band" technically just formed for the CHS Musical Showcase. Although they do need to get reunited with Twilight Sparkle to have the full cast of the first movie. Pinkie Pie also says the line just before they gear up for the final battle.
  • Rack Focus: A common effect, used to give a more three-dimensional feel to the movie. Notably, at the beginning of the "Awesome as I Want to Be" performance, one side-shot focuses on Rainbow Dash on her guitar enjoying taking center stage, which then shifts its focus to an annoyed tambourine-playing Fluttershy right next to her.
  • Rage Quit: Rainbow Dash, while losing to AJ in a video game during the sleepover, slams on the console.
  • Rainbow Motif:
    • The Rainbooms naturally use this motif, as the band was Rainbow Dash's idea. Their logo is a horseshoe with trails and stars of the seven colors of the rainbow on a black background.
    • The equalizer display in front of DJ Pon-3's transformed car also use six colors of the rainbow in order.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • You can have as genuine a reformation as you want, but people are not just going to forget your past misdeeds, especially when they included turning everyone into zombie slaves for your evil army.
    • Trying to use friendship-powered magic in a universe where magic normally doesn't exist results in nothing happening.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Bulk Biceps daintily plays the violin.
  • Rearing Horse: The giant ethereal alicorn briefly rears over the clouds before blasting the Dazzlings.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Adagio, Aria, and Sonata give one to Sunset Shimmer when she confronts them in the hall and declaring that whatever they are planning, they won't get away with it. The Dazzlings simply scoff at her and call out her own past misdeeds from the first movie, saying that they are not the slightest bit worried about it. Why? Because even if Sunset knows their plot, she can't do anything about it since she's reduced to the school pariah due to her past sins. They continue to rub it in that no matter how hard Sunset tries, people will always hate her and never forgive or forget what she's done. Adagio finishes by mockingly consoling Sunset that no-one will remember her at all by the time she and her fellow Sirens are done with their scheme.
  • Record Needle Scratch: The teaser uses one when it reaches the point mentioning that Sunset Shimmer is part of the "band".
  • Red Sky, Take Warning: After the Dazzlings summon their siren avatars, the sky goes from indigo to a much more threatening red.
  • Reflective Eyes: In the prologue, the Pillar of Light caused by Sunset Shimmer (from the first movie) reflects into Adagio's eyes when she catches sight of it.
  • Reformed, but Rejected: While the Humane Five has befriended Sunset Shimmer and she has mended her ways, the rest of the school is not so forgiving. Considering that she terrorized the school as the Alpha Bitch for quite a while and especially her actions in the first movie (the Fall Formal is something of a Berserk Button), its easy to see why they're not very forgiving. The end credits show that the rest of the school has warmed up to her.
    Flash Sentry: Now that's the bad girl we love to hate!
    Octavia Melody: I knew she was still trouble!
    random student: (off-screen) The real Sunset Shimmer is back!
  • Retcon: The Novelization of the shorts had the name of the bands as The Equestria Girls, but the band is called the Rainbooms in the film proper.
  • Rule of Cool: Yeah, there is absolutely no way DJ Pon-3's transformer car and BASS CANNON could be seriously explained within the context of the movie. Do we care? NO! It's just too awesome.
  • Rule of Three: The "No offense"/"None taken" gag with Sunset Shimmer (see below) happens three times.
  • Running Gag:
    • The Humane Five (and later Twilight) ramble on about issues with the Dazzlings, and comment on how a demon took over the school last time, forgetting that Sunset is standing right next to them. Apologies are quickly offered.
      Applejack/Rainbow Dash/Twilight Sparkle: No offense.
      Sunset Shimmer: None taken.
    • Rainbow Dash calling the Rainbooms "my band", eliciting progressively more annoyed reactions from her bandmates.
    • Trixie's ninja-smoke-bomb disappearing gag.
      Pinkie Pie: She's GONE! (beat) Oh wait, there she is!
    • Having one girl getting something smeared on her face or clothes, and another subsequently wiping it off, happens a few times (as remarked in the DVD Commentary).
  • Self-Demonstrating Song: The Dazzlings' "Under Our Spell".
    We've got the music
    makes you move it
    got the song that makes you lose it
    We say "Jump!" You say "How high?"
  • Self-Deprecation: Word of God is that the gym scene where the Rainbooms attempt (and fail) to call on their powers to defeat the Dazzlings then and there was intended as a joke about how often defeating the villain has boiled down to exactly what they did: join hands/hooves and call on The Power of Friendship for a Deus ex Machina Curb-Stomp Battle. This time, Reality Ensues, and nothing happens.
  • Sensual Spandex: The Crusaders' hard-rocker outfits. Seriously, those are tight.
  • Sequel Hook:
    • Human Twilight appears in The Stinger, and she's got a Board Full of Crazy about the weird goings-on at Canterlot High...
    • Equestria's Twilight has also said that she may return now that she can come and go at will. On top of that, Sunset Shimmer now writing friendship letters to Twilight means this may not be the last we'll see of her.
  • Shaggy Dog Story:
    • Twilight spends most of the movie freaking out over writing a musical counterspell, only to realize at the end that it doesn't matter what they sing to defeat the Dazzlings as long as they do so as friends.
    • It was also pointless for the Rainbooms to become so preoccupied with preventing the Dazzlings from seeing their anthropony transformations, since the Dazzlings already knew from the pre-selections that the Rainbooms were a source of Equestrian magic.
  • Ship Tease:
    • It's made very clear that Flash Sentry still has a crush on Twilight.
    • Despite her denial of it, it's hinted that Sunset Shimmer still has feelings for her ex-boyfriend.
    • Lyra and Bon Bon singing a duet and playing on the piano together. They even lean close together when playing.
  • Shout-Out:
    • During "Let's Have a Battle (of the Bands)", Sonata and Aria dancing behind Adagio makes it look like she has six arms, a common representation for gods in Hinduism.
    • Aria and Sonata's short exchange of slaps over the fruit punch would make The Three Stooges proud.
    • When Rarity is showing off potential band outfits, one of them is styled like The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper band costumes. She even suggests that it may be a bit old-fashioned, so she switches to a Daft Punk-style outfit, complete with a working replica of Guy-Manuel's helmet.
    • When Pinkie notices Trixie hiding, Trixie zips offscreen leaving some hairpins behind, much like Witch Hazel from Looney Tunes.
    • Derpy's bandmates bear a very close resemblance in hair color and style to Shana and Kimber from Jem and the Holograms. Even the one that is like Kimber (with the triangle) has piano key-style decor on her clothes, reflecting on Kimber being the keyboardist for the Holograms. And Derpy's wrap-dress in this scene is similar to Jem's usual wardrobe.
    • "Tricks Up My Sleeve", the song Trixie and the Illusions perform, notably uses the famous Transformers transforming sound effect, best heard on the official soundtrack. Guess the Autobots get to rock out after all.
    • Speaking of Transformers, there would be some serious questions about Vinyl's Bassmobile if Hasbro didn't own the copyright already.
    • The Final Battle between the Dazzlings and the Rainbooms plays out like the "Amp vs. Amp" battle from Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.
    • Also during the Final Battle there is a blink-and-you'll-miss-it reference. The Dazzlings gems glow and red ribbons engulf their bodies, reminiscent of the transformations from Sailor Moon.
    • The Dazzlings' verses during the final concert are similar to "Alejandro" by Lady Gaga.
  • Shown Their Work: As per the DVD Commentary, the animation team spent time to get the appropriate motions for close-ups of when the Rainbooms are playing their instruments to match the parts of the songs, such as the fingering patterns on the guitar necks, Pinkie's drum playing, and Fluttershy's tuning the head on her tambourine.
  • Sickly Green Glow: The Dazzlings feeding on negative energy is manifested as a green mist that is sucked through their necklaces. Although it is probably Invisible to Normals, as only Sunset Shimmer seems to be able to notice it.
  • Sidetracked by the Analogy: From pony Pinkie Pie, as she is wont to.
    Rainbow Dash: I hate to burst your bubble, Twilight, but the connection between their world and Equestria will still be totally cut off for a super-long time.
    Pinkie Pie: Okay, first of all, if there was bubble-blowing going on, why wasn't I told about it?!
  • Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer: Sunset Shimmer is completely absent from the shorts, and her role is downplayed (or flat-out ignored) by much of the promotional material. She's actually among the most important characters in the film.
  • Slasher Smile: During the song "Under Our Spell", the Crusaders sport menacing grins for their performance, but Apple Bloom's and Sweetie Belle's are terrifying.
  • Slumber Party: Pinkie Pie holds an impromptu one at her house with all her friends (including Sunset) so that Twilight Sparkle wouldn't have to sleep in the library again.
  • Smoke Out: Trixie performs this twice to make a showy departure, just like her pony counterpart. And just like her, she flubs it both times.
  • The Social Darwinist: The Dazzlings spread a message reminiscent of Lightning Dust's philosophy, saying that it doesn't matter who you hurt as long as you succeed.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The performance of "Shake Your Tail!" The song is a very upbeat number about getting together for a party, and when it was released as an online short video, the visuals supported this. In the actual movie, the visuals include Rarity and Fluttershy having on-stage breakdowns due to sabotage from the other bands.
  • Spear Carrier: The delivery pony who brings the pile of books to Twilight's castle, including Celestia's phone book.
  • The Speechless: Vinyl Scratch never speaks at all. What really pushes her into this is, in the prequel novel, she communicates to people next to her via text messaging, hinting that she might be completely mute.
  • Spiritual Successor: With the Rock & Roll theme and outfits that would only be at home during The '80s, this particular movie seems to be paying tribute to Hasbro's at-the-time-dormant franchise Jem.
  • Split Screen:
    • A few in "Let's Have a Battle (of the Bands)" for close-ups of the three Dazzlings.
    • Several are used during the "Under Our Spell" montage to illustrate a few rounds of the Battle of the Bands, when two bands are competing. Then they are reunited on the same screen when the winner's music (metaphorically) "blasts away" the loser.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Title: The subtitle "Rainbow Rocks" should be your first clue; Rainbow Dash is the leader of the band, which is called the "Rainbooms", and as always the rainbow is a recurring visual motif. Also a case of Billing Displacement; contrary to the film's advertising, Rainbow is not the main protagonist, or even given all that more prominence than the rest of the Humane Five.
  • Squeaky Eyes: Not systematic, but an audible blinking sound is regularly heard. Notably, preceding the first two "No offense" — "None taken" gags, when the girl who spoke realizes what she just said and blinks.
  • Staggered Zoom: The "Under Our Spell" sequence starts with one centered on Adagio's mouth.
  • Stealth Pun:
    • Sunset Shimmer's magical book, and Celestia's counterpart, allow communication between Equestria and the human world and vibrate like cell phones. They are phone books.
    • Trixie and the Illusions, in all their appearances in the film, only have one song... which is used twice. Trixie is a one-trick pony.
  • Sting: Pinkie Pie does one on her own drums, but unlike in "Pinkie on the One" this time she's using it ironically, as what she says isn't that funny, and from her grouchy expression she knows it.
    Pinkie Pie: She just wants to make things fun! Isn't that what being in a band supposed to be? (plays rimshot)
  • The Stinger: The human world's Twilight has figured out that there's something strange going on at Canterlot High.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: Snips and Snails' performance draws many reactions from the audience from scoffs to horrification, but no-one seems to think highly of it. No-one except Pinkie and Sonata.
  • String Theory: After the credits roll, it is revealed that human Twilight (the real, original human Twilight) has been tracking the occurrences of the two movies using this trope, and all the strings on her board lead directly to CHS...
  • Stuck in Their Shadow: In-Universe example. Twilight thinks Fluttershy's song is good, but Rainbow Dash always puts off rehearsing it. Subverted in the end when Rainbow Dash picks Fluttershy's song for the final showdown.
    Fluttershy: I write songs! You just never let us play any of them!
  • Stylistic Suck: The "Bad Counterspell" song and Snips' and Snails' rap. Many viewers have also observed that the Rainbooms' songs, while not bad at all, are not on par with the Dazzlings', right up until Sunset picks up the mic. This is probably intentional, as a reflection of the Dazzlings being two steps ahead of the Rainbooms for most of the movie.
  • Suddenly Voiced:
    • A few background students get to say a line during the Dazzlings' song "Let's Have a Battle (of the Bands)"note :
      Blueberry Cake: I could beat you!
      Cherry Crash: Ha, you wish!
      Trixie Lulamoon: I so want this!
      Captain Planet: Not if I get it first!
    • Photo Finish was The Voiceless in the first film, but has a brief speaking role during the announcement of the finalists, with the same accent as her pony counterpart.
      Photo Finish: Zis never should haf been you, Rainbooms!
    • Ditto Octavia, who was previously completely voiceless in the series.
      Octavia Melody: I knew she was still trouble!
  • Summon Magic: The final move of the Rainbooms during the Battle of the Bands is very similar to the ultimate attack found in many Eastern RPGs: a gigantic magical beast is summoned to deliver a powerful and decisive strike, in this case in the form of a rainbow-beam-firing alicorn.
  • Super Cute Super Powers: When the Rainbooms battle the Dazzlings' spectral avatars, their magical blasts are depicted as showers of rainbows, diamonds, butterflies, and sparkles.
  • Super Mode: In the finale, the Rainbooms get rainbowfied super modes on top of their anthropony transformations.
  • Surprise Creepy: Twilight Sparkle and Sunset Shimmer have this reaction In-Universe to Maud Pie feeding her pet rock a Midnight Snack.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Sunset is quick to deny actually having had feelings for Flash Sentry when they were dating, and that she doesn't have a problem with him crushing on Twilight, but her down face when Rarity lampshades the crush implies otherwise. However, when Twilight arrives, she seems to be go along with the idea of Flash and Twilight being together.
  • Tempting Fate:
    • Twilight proudly claiming "There isn't going to be a battle of the bands!" to the Dazzlings. Even if it wasn't happening about 30 minutes in the movie, you just know she's doomed herself and her friends to such a battle before the end.
    • The Dazzlings then triumphantly sing "Nothing Can Stop Us Now!" just before the Rainbooms show up to defy them in said Battle of the Bands.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: During the Final Battle, when DJ Pon-3 fires the first salvo with her BASS CANNON, followed by cutie-marks sparkles attacks, the music is a Triumphant Reprise of the theme for the first movie (specifically, from the moment the My Little Pony: Equestria Girls title card is shown on screen).
  • Theremin: Among the instruments Pinkie suggests Twilight should play, she brings out a theremin and plays a haunting tune.
    Pinkie Pie: So magical...
  • Those Two Guys: The "tornado" guy and the "square root of heart" guy, who are seen laughing together during "Better Than Ever", squabbling like all the other students during the tournament, and singing together at the end of "Welcome to the Show".
  • Thrown Down a Well: Just before the final battle, the Rainbooms and Sunset are thrown down a stage trap into a locked room, where their tensions that have been building throughout the film come to a boil, fueling the Dazzlings with enough negative emotional energy to reach full power. Fortunately, Sunset is able to resolve their argument, and Spike, who avoided the trapdoor, fetched DJ Pon-3 to rescue them.
  • Timmy in a Well: Amusingly Inverted Trope with Spike and Vinyl Scratch: he's a talking dog who seeks the help of a speechless human. The Bronies React video for the film indeed makes a Lassie joke out if it.
  • Title Drop: When Twilight and her human friends first attempt to stop the Dazzlings, she shouts, "Friendship is magic!"
  • Title Theme Tune: "Rainbow Rocks", the movie theme tune, Title Drops at the end of the chorus.
  • Trailers Always Spoil:
    • The Hasbro and Shout! Factory trailers and sneak peeks essentially cut up the first 15-20 minutes of the film into individual scenes and snipped some jokes and bridging sequences between them. If you kept up with them before seeing the film itself, you can essentially skip to the point where the group contacts Twilight without missing much of anything.
    • Even worse with the Hub Network/Discovery Family promos, which show Sunset joining the band in the end as well as the final battle between the Dazzlings and the Rainbooms including the transformations of the former.
  • Transformation Sequence:
    • The Humane Six still transform into their pony-human hybrids as at the finale of the first film, but now the transformations are powered by their musical talents.
    • The Dazzlings also get one at the end after draining enough Equestrian magic.
    • As does Sunset when she joins the Rainbooms; hers in particular is very much in the Magical Girl style compared to other transformations.
  • Transforming Vehicle: Vinyl Scratch's car transforms into a DJ booth with several big speakers and a laser light show.
  • Trap Door: Right before the finals, Trixie and her two bandmates trap the Rainbooms under the stage by pulling a lever and opening a trap door right under their feet.
  • Triumphant Reprise:
    • The Rainbooms' part of "Welcome to the Show" is triumphantly reprised after Sunset joins the band and they conjure up a giant Winged Unicorn avatar to defeat the Dazzlings once and for all.
    • Also, the moment in the battle where DJ Pon-3 fires the first salvo with her BASS CANNON, followed by cutie-marks sparks attacks, uses the theme from the first movie (specifically, the part when the My Little Pony: Equestria Girls title card shows on screen) in a more upbeat/rock cover.
  • Troubled Fetal Position:
    • Sunset Shimmer slumps into one after Principal Celestia mentions the Fall Formal, and every student in the gym (save the Humane Five) start glaring at the former school queen.
    • Twilight Sparkle gets into one too when the Rainbooms are trapped under the stage and start blaming each other, and she admits that she couldn't get the counterspell ready and agonizes over how she could have failed like this.
  • Truck Driver's Gear Change: The final chorus of "Welcome to the Show" modulates up a whole step.
  • True Art Is Incomprehensible: In-universe, Derpy's band. It's like Yoko Ono and Bjork had a baby.
  • Uncommon Time: "Welcome to the Show" alternates between 4/4 and 7/8 time.
  • Understatement: When discussing Sunset Shimmer's past deeds, Fluttershy says "You were pretty bad at the Fall Formal." Sunset is a little more honest about it when she bluntly says "A demon. I turned into a raging she-demon."
  • The Unmasqued World: If human Twilight in The Stinger is any indication, the events of the two films are starting to attract outside attention...
  • Unwitting Pawn: Trixie and the Illusions. They're basically regular, neutral members of the student body, but are manipulated into trapping the Rainbooms just before the final battle.
  • Visual Pun: During the Rainbooms' performance of "Awesome as I Want to Be", Rainbow Dash is both metaphorically and literally stealing the spotlight from her bandmates.
  • The Voiceless: DJ Pon-3/Vinyl, Derpy, Lyra, and Sweetie Drops/Bon Bon. Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle also lack dialogue despite the latter's voice actress being credited.
  • Volumetric Mouth: As in the first movie, this effect is sometimes used, most notably by pony Pinkie. Also Those Two Guys singing arms-in-arms in the crowd during the climax.
  • Weirdness Censor: Nobody in the CHS universe is surprised to see and hear Spike talk. Justified with the CHS students, who learned he can talk at the Fall Formal in the previous film, but even Mrs. Cake at the malt shop doesn't notice.
  • Wham Line:
    • On a meta level, "So the Rainbooms want to turn this into a real Battle of the Bands? Then let's battle." This is the moment you realize there's more to the climax than a One-Hit Kill after both sides transform.
    • "No doubt about it, Spike, there's definitely something strange going on at that school."
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: We never find out what happens to Celestia and Luna after the semifinals, as they aren't seen again from that point on.
  • Wide Eyes and Shrunken Irises: The crowd gets these as the Dazzlings enthrall them during their final song.
  • Winged Unicorn: Besides Twilight Sparkle, a gigantic winged unicorn made of the Magic of Friendship materializes at the climax of the final battle, using a beam from its horn to blast away the spiritual forms of the Sirens and destroy the Dazzlings' gems.
  • "World of Cardboard" Speech: Sunset gets two. The first when she realizes it is her place to step in and help the Humane Five stop bickering and resolve their issues. The second comes in song when she joins the Final Battle with the Dazzlings, announcing she's not going to let herself be beaten down when she's trying to change. This leads to her gaining an hybrid form of her own.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: The first thing Twilight Sparkle and friends try against the Dazzlings is use The Power of Friendship the same way that was used to deal with every villain prior. Too bad for them magic doesn't work that way in this universe.
  • WTH, Costuming Department?: Invoked In-Universe when Rarity dons a costume worthy of The Sixties and full of metallic tassels during one set.
  • You Can't Thwart Stage One: Things would have been way easier for the Rainbooms if they had stopped the Dazzlings earlier, when they were at their weakest. They try to just defeat them as soon as they're all together, but The Power of Friendship doesn't activate, prompting them to find a more specific solution they must spend the film working on. In the end, they fall for the Sirens' manipulations, letting them drive a wedge between themselves, which finally allow the Dazzlings to drain a good amount of the Rainbooms' Equestrian magic and regain a large part of their powers. Only then does the real Battle of the Bands start, and the Dazzlings are now very dangerous foes.
  • Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: Sunset Shimmer is enraged and humiliated when The Great and Powerful Trixie praises her for tackling Rainbow Dash in an alleged fit of jealous rage.
  • Your Little Dismissive Diminutive: Like Sunset Shimmer did in the first film, Adagio uses this when she says "We're going to use [Equestrian magic] to make everyone in this pathetic little world adore us."

    Pre-Movie Shorts 
  • Absentee Actor:
    • Twilight is absent from the character shorts, as they are set prior to her arrival.
    • More noticeably, Sunset Shimmer, who should be hanging out with the other girls at this point in time.
  • All There in the Manual:
    • The shorts and their novelization tell how Twilight's human friends came to form a rock band and got their current instruments.
    • The novelization explains Twilight's presence in "Shake Your Tail!" and "Perfect Day for Fun!" as being part of a Fantasy Sequence. Pony Twilight, at home in Equestria, misses her Canterlot High friends and imagines herself having fun with them.
  • Animated Music Video: "Music to My Ears", "Shake Your Tail!" and "Perfect Day for Fun!"
  • Episode Title Card: All the shorts use one, unlike episodes of the series.
  • Excited Show Title!: "Sake Your Tail!" and "Perfect Day for Fun!" have an exclamation mark on the Episode Title Card.
  • The Power of Rock: In the character-focused shorts, the Humane Five transform by playing their respective instruments.
  • Ship Tease: In the novelization, Twilight refers to Flash Sentry as "handsome".
  • Shout-Out: When performing in the two last shorts, Applejack, Twilight Sparkle and Rainbow Dash wear makeup evocative of both the "facial Cutie Marks" the first film's dolls had and the trademarked makeup of KISS.
  • Skirt over Slacks: The Rainbooms' scenic costumes for the two last shorts all feature this element.
  • Transformation Sequence: One for each of the five character-centered shorts. The main point of them can be said to show off how playing music is triggering a transformation to anthropony form for each member of the Rainbooms, along with some other magical effects (at the very least, power floating).
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: In all of the Humane Five-centered shorts, no-one seems to bring attention to the fact that the girls are suddenly regaining the pony ears and pony tails from the previous movie. Then again, no-one really seemed to notice their transformation in the previous movie either.
  • The Voiceless: DJ Pon-3 appears to be this. In the novelization of the shorts, she does not speak at all, instead communicating through text messages even to the people near her, which implies she may in fact be The Speechless.

Music to My Ears
  • Ascended Extra: DJ Pon-3 has an entire short dedicated to her. Quite impressive for a background character who had a total screentime in both the cartoon and first movie of less than two minutes beforehand, and still hasn't verbalized so much as a single sound.
  • Ascended Meme: DJ Pon-3 spends all of the short breakdancing and strutting to electro music (not dubstep) on her way to class.
  • The Cameo: Cranky Doodle Donkey appears as one of the school's teachers.
  • Feet-First Introduction: DJ Pon-3's intro. And yes, she exchanged her boots for sneakers since Equestria Girls.
  • Foreshadowing: This seems like the odd one out of the shorts, focusing completely on Ascended Extra DJ Pon-3 and barely even featuring the Humane Five at all. Cue the revelation at the climax of the movie that she actually has a significant plot-relevant role to play as the Eleventh Hour Ranger. The short also highlights the fact that her headphones constantly blast music that blocks out all other sounds, including Mind-Control Music.
  • Lower Deck Episode: "Music to My Ears" is this for DJ Pon-3.
  • Mickey Mousing: The video is mostly nothing but DJ Pon-3 and the world around her moving in rhythm with electro music.
  • Mime and Music-Only Cartoon: There is exactly one line of dialogue, spoken by Mrs. Cake when Vinyl Scratch takes her headphones off to order something.
  • Mister Muffykins: Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon are shown with a chihuahua carried in a purse.
  • Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: The brostep soundtrack reaches 10.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: DJ Pon-3 just crossing the street? AWESOME!
  • Overcrank: The moment DJ Pon-3 enters the café and until she reaches the counter, the motions slow down along with the music. This doesn't seem to concern Pinkie Pie, however.

Guitar Centered
  • Aside Glance: From Pinkie Pie, not surprisingly: she winks to the audience at the end, with an Iris Out closing on her eyes.
  • Behind the Black: Trixie is nowhere to be seen in the music shop, nor there is any hint she's coming in from the other characters, until the very moment she grabs the double-necked guitar along with Rainbow Dash.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Pinkie shows Rainbow a banjo and a tuba, two instruments her pony version could play in "Swarm of the Century".
    • Rainbow Dash does what can be only be described as a "Sonic Rainstomp", producing a similar effect as her counterpart's Sonic Rainboom.
  • Convenient Color Change: During her "shred-off" with Trixie, Rainbow Dash goes "full pegasus" and her Transformation Sequence also transforms the guitar she borrows for the contest, making the body a shiny sapphire-blue and the neck red with lightning bolts. Rainbow decides to take this guitar rather than the double-neck model she and Trixie were competing over, and it keeps its new appearance in the movie.
  • Duels Decide Everything: Rainbow Dash and Trixie have a "shred-off" to decide who gets to buy a coveted double-necked guitar. RD wins, only to let Trixie have first crack at the guitar since she came to like the one she used against her.
  • Eyed Screen: For Trixie, by mean of Split Screen during the shred-off.
  • Foreshadowing: This short highlights the fact that a literal Battle of the Bands can occur (as happens during "Under Our Spell" and the finale of the film) as the force of music impacts both Trixie and Rainbow Dash as they play against each other.
  • Giving Someone the Pointer Finger: Trixie, to enhance her dramatic statement: "You'll pay for that, Rainbow Dash!"
  • Iris Out: The short finishes with one, closing up on Pinkie Pie's face.
  • Literal-Minded: Pinkie Pie shows as much when Rainbow Dash leaves Trixie with a guitar neither of them can afford (well, either that or she's just rubbing it in):
    Trixie Lulamoon: You'll pay for this, Rainbow Dash!
    Pinkie Pie: No, silly! If you want it, you'll have to pay for it.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: Rainbow Dash forfeits the double-necked guitar to Trixie after their guitar duel; Trixie has only so much time to savor her "victory" before realizing her prize costs $12,000.
  • Reality Ensues: Rainbow Dash lets Trixie have the chance to buy the double-neck electric guitar they were competing over... but Trixie can't afford it. Naturally, the flashiest, most elaborate guitar in a store is also the most expensive one.
  • Reflective Eyes: When Rainbow Dash catches sight of the double-necked guitar, it reflects in her eyes.
  • Shout-Out: "Guitar Centered" in title is most likely a nod to the Guitar Center chain of music stores.

Hamstocalypse Now
  • Epic Fail: Fluttershy asks Rarity to keep watch on the otherwise tame hamsters while she cleans their habitat. Rarity causes the hamsters to break out into chaos because she felt the need to design cute little outfits for them and making some jealous of others. Also, she named them.
  • Funny Background Event:
    • One of the hamsters rides on the kitty cat like a cowboy.
    • In another shot, one hamster in a suit and tie proposes marriage to another in a dress with a ridiculously large ring, which she promptly smacks away.
  • Mind-Control Eyes: The hamsters get swirly eyes as soon as they hear Fluttershy's tambourine.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Fluttershy is thrilled to be cleaning the hamster habitat; she even signed up for the job months in advance.
  • Music Soothes the Savage Beast: The hamsters are entranced by Fluttershy's tambourine, which she uses to herd them back into their enclosure, thus triggering her Transformation Sequence.

Pinkie on the One
  • All Drummers Are Animals: Pinkie Pie, who literally channels Animal when she's put behind the drums for the first time.
  • Answer Cut: Rainbow Dash and others are in the cafeteria, with Rainbow worried by who can be their drummer, all while Pinkie is bouncing around the table, banging out a rhythm with utensils across glasses, dishes, and her friends, when inspiration suddenly strikes Rainbow. Cut to Pinkie laying down a wicked drum solo.
  • Covered in Gunge: Rainbow Dash first gets splashed by chocolate batter, and later covered from head to toes in glitter dust, in both cases thanks to Pinkie Pie.
  • Shout-Out:
    • After Pinkie completes her drum solo / transformation sequence, she spends a few moments breathing heavily, her hair a mess and her tongue hanging out, the same as one Animal would do.
    • In the cafeteria scene, one of the geek characters is apparently reading 4chan on his laptop; 4chan is typically credited with being where the brony fandom originated even if entirely not intentional.
  • Shown Their Work: The phrase "on the one" (which James Brown often used to cue his band) means that the first beat of each measure should have a heavy drum accent. This pattern is uncommon in popular music, which typically emphasizes the second and fourth beats. Thus, a song that is "on the one" is strange and unusual, a perfect way to describe Pinkie.
  • Sting: Pinkie plays a Rim Shot at the end as a response to Rainbow Dash.
    Rarity: What ever made you think of Pinkie for the drums?
    Rainbow Dash: I dunno. Guess I just have a sense for these things.

Player Piano
  • Awesome but Impractical: Rarity wants to incorporate a grand piano into the band's songs, but getting it across campus to the rehearsal hall proves too much of a hassle, even with the Diamond Dogs doing the heavy lifting. She gets around this problem by switching to a keytar.
  • Big Entrance: The four friends are waiting for Rarity to practice, and Applejack comments, "That gal probably just want to make some sort of grand entrance." Cue the doors bursting open with Rarity being carried in on a grand piano by the humanized Diamond Dogs.
  • Continuity Nod: The short introduces the humanized version of the Diamond Dogs from "A Dog and Pony Show". Once again, they are played like a fiddle by Rarity.
  • Hair Reboot: Rarity's hair is a mess after having pushed the wheel-less piano for a while. When she "vamps up" to call for the Diamond Dog Boys' help, though, it gets back to perfect just by smoothing it with her hand.
  • The Voiceless: The Diamond Dogs (portrayed as humans) appear in a subservient role to Rarity, never uttering a word.
  • Wingding Eyes: The humanized Diamond Dogs' eyes turn gem-shaped at the sight of Rarity.

A Case for the Bass
  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: Flim and Flam try to make a 50,000% profit (selling AJ's bass for $1,000 from AJ's quoted price of $2). Their excuse is that they need to cover their overhead and transportation costs. AJ manages to talk them back down to $2 in exchange for crier services.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • As in Equestria, Granny Smith is the one in this universe to get Applejack into hot water with Flim and Flam, in this case having sold Applejack's bass to them.
    • One of the items Flim and Flam try to sell is a brain-activity sensor similar to the one Twilight used on Pinkie in "Feeling Pinkie Keen".
  • Convenient Color Change: A subtler version than with Rainbow Dash occurs. As Applejack transforms, her bass gains some decorative etching, a pair of F-holes, and an apple on its body, and smaller apples between the frets. This appearance also carries over to the movie.
  • Face Palm: Applejack at the end, when Granny Smith ponders since when did she play the bass.
  • Hair Reboot: The Flim-Flam Brothers' hair (and mustache) are blown straight by Applejack's guitar solo, but they get it back to normal just by shaking heads.
  • Lean and Mean: Though it can be argued how villainous they are, the human versions of the Flim-Flam brothers are very tall and thin. It's quite notable because the design of male characters in the movies isn't usually that skinny.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: When Applejack proves her ownership of her bass, Flim and Flam propose a trade instead of the $1,000 sale price. What does it entail? Applejack playing her bass outside as an advertisement for the Flim Flam Brothers pawn shop. To add insult to injury, she has to wear a banana outfit as well.
    Granny Smith: Since when do you play the bass?
    Applejack: (face palm)
  • Shout-Out: Three record albums hung on a wall in Flim and Flam's store are distinctly similar to the prism of Pink Floyd's The Dark Side Of The Moon, the banana of the Andy Warhol-inspired color for the Velvet Underground's first and Self-Titled Album, and the cover of Wilco's "AM". Framed film posters in the back of the store looks much like that for Jaws and Batman.

Shake Your Tail!
  • Animal-Eared Headband: The horse-ears headbands and tails from the first movie make a comeback during the party.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • In the second verse of the song, Pinkie Pie, Rarity, and Applejack have lyrics reflecting their Equestrian counterparts' elements of Laughter, Generosity, and Honesty, respectively.
    • The Wondercolts' horse-ears headbands and tails from the first movie make a comeback during the party.
  • Finger Framing: Rarity makes this gesture at the beginning of the music video.
  • Flower in Her Hair: Part of the hula-dancer costumes for Pinkie's decor idea.
  • Idiosyncratic Wipes: Several are used, from the characters crossing the screen, to flowers and paper planes covering it, to RD pulling a rainbow-colored banner from the ceiling.
  • Instant Cosplay Surprise: Pinkie Pie dresses all her friends (and herself) as hula dancers (including grass skirts and leis) in a flurry of flowers, and they at first look puzzled by this.
  • Mime and Music-Only Cartoon: The title song is the only audio.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Throughout the music video, the Rainbooms have been trying out different party themes according to their own preferences. In the end, they just combine them all and rock out.
  • Offscreen Crash: When Pinkie Pie is sent flying from the mechanical rodeo bull, we see the other girls cringing as she crashes. In truth she landed into hay bales and is unharmed (and delighted).
  • Watch Where You're Going!: Pinkie and Twilight smashes heads when they're both trying to catch a basketball and ends up too focused on it.

Perfect Day for Fun!
  • The Cameo: Discord appears as a stuffed toy prize.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Applejack beats Rainbow in the "Test Your Strength" game just like in "Fall Weather Friends".
    • A Discord plushie freaks Fluttershy out.
    • Cheerilee and Big Mac walk side-by-side once more.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: The second picture taken in the photo booth shows Twilight might be groping Applejack, much to AJ's dismay.
  • Human Hummingbird: Rainbow Dash, shortly, when about to fall from the scene. Note that she's flapping both her arms and her wings.
  • Idiosyncratic Wipes: Here it's mainly the girls' cell phones which are used for screen wipes.
  • Mime and Music-Only Cartoon: Again, the title song is the only audio, though it has AJ speak one line that rhymes with the lyrics.
  • Missed Him by That Much: The Rainbooms are separated into three groups of two, and half of the short is about them trying to meet up.
  • Photo Booth Montage: The photo booths are the meeting place of the girls, and when they're finally together, a few pictures of them fooling around inside are shown.
  • Picture-Perfect Presentation: There is a zoom on a poster announcing the Rainbooms performing, which transition to the band actually on stage. Inverted with the ending shot, with the group picture zooming out to show it is on the screen of Twilight's phone while the girls are on the Ferris wheel.
  • Pop-Up Texting: The main characters try to find a common meeting place at their school carnival. As they communicate via text, they have pop-ups indicating what they are saying, although they only do this through symbols, with no actual words displayed in the pop-up (e.g. "Butterfly Star @ Photo Booth" means "Fluttershy and Twilight Sparkle are near the photo booths").
  • Ship Tease: Big Macintosh and Cheerilee can be seen walking together. Since Big Mac is (apparently) a student and Cheerilee a teacher though...
  • Split Screen: Lots of them as the Humane Six are separated into three pairs and looking for each other at the carnival. With the last one, though, the separation disappears to show they're back together.

    Post-Movie Shorts 
  • Animated Music Video: Each short is one.
  • Art Evolution: Subtle details, but some things have evolved since the movie.
    • Beyond Sunset Shimmer's change in wardrobe, her hair also looks more desaturated than before (especially obvious when she's standing next to her brightly colored pictures from the first movie).
    • The characters having boot-shaped feet, even when in sandals, is changing for something more anatomically correct (notably seen with Sweetie Drops in "Life Is a Runway" and Pinkie Pie in "Friendship Through the Ages").
  • Episode Title Card: Very fancy ones, just like with the previous shorts.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Sunset Shimmer has been added to the ponies-to-humans Eye Catch at the end of each short, to the right of Twilight. This can be easy to miss, since it's otherwise identical to the end of the opening for the first movie.
  • Good Costume Switch: Sunset has a new outfit in the shorts after cementing her Heel-Face Turn at the end of the film proper, consisting of a turquoise blouse (matching the color of her eyes) with a translucent yellow skirt, blue leggings, a new pair of black boots with higher heels and a new black jacket with shorter sleeves, both with orange trim.
  • Promotion to Opening Titles: A variation. The ponies-to-humans Eye Catch at the end of each short now has Sunset's silhouette added to the left of Twilight.

Life Is a Runway
  • The Cameo: Roseluck and Amethyst Star get human versions. Bulk Biceps, Derpy, Lyra and Bon Bon (already shown in the film) also appear.
  • Continuity Nod: Rarity walks out in the same outfit she used for the final concert of Rainbow Rocks.
  • Costume Porn: The whole short, naturally, being all about Rarity getting the fashion show of her dreams.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: The dresses for Bon Bon, Roseluck and Amethyst Star are close matches to those of the post-Rainbow Rocks doll releases for these characters. Lyra's is far different (which in reality is much more rainbow-crazy).
  • Fanservice: Rarity's fashion show, giving new outfits to several fan favorites and having them do a Sexy Walk, can hardly be described as anything else.
  • Instant Cosplay Surprise: Rarity has an Imagine Spot where she can simply point at others and dress them in her fashions in an instant, giving Derpy, Cheerilee, Lyra and Bon Bon fresh new outfits. Pony Rarity can do this for real, so it can take the viewer a moment to remember that human Rarity can't outside an Imagine Spot.
  • Sexy Walk: Rarity seriously shakes her hips on leaving the boutique. And all of her impromptu models too, once on the runway. Of course, that's how fashion models are supposed to move.

Friendship Through the Ages
  • '80s Hair: As fitting with the style of her segment, Pinkie Pie sports a very '80s-ish crimped side ponytail hairstyle, looking pretty much pixelated.
  • Be Yourself: Applejack's segment has her say this, with Sunset moving on from duplicating Applejack's dance moves to doing some of her own, illustrating this.
  • Bohemian Parody: Among the many musical shout-outs throughout the short, the part following the individual segments where the girls are singing together in the shadow and their faces are lighted one by one is clearly inspired by the start of "Bohemian Rhapsody".
  • Continuity Nod: For her segment, Rarity is wearing the same Sgt. Pepper-style vest she tries once in the movie, although along a more complete outfit.
  • Costume Porn: Whatever you think of the Rockin' Hairstyles dolls line, those designs look great once animated.
  • Crowd Surfing: Sunset Shimmer indulges in this during Rainbow Dash's Punk Rock part.
  • Diegetic Switch: It looks like that, in their respective scenes, Twilight (on the piano), Fluttershy (on the tambourine) and Applejack (on her bass) are the one playing, but the music continues even when they stop. Would be the case for Rainbow Dash too, except she has backup guitarists.
  • Everybody Do the Endless Loop: Shows up for a bit towards the end.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: For a second and a half in Pinkie Pie's segment, she wears her Gummy plushy as a scarf.
  • Genre Roulette: The short does this with music genres, with each segment from the Rainbooms being based off a different type of music. Twilight Sparkle's is classical, Fluttershy's is folk, Rarity's is pop, Rainbow Dash's is punk, Applejack's is country, and Pinkie Pie's is new wave.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: During Rainbow Dash's segment, it really looks like one of the boys (Heath Burns to be specific) supporting Sunset Shimmer while she's Crowd Surfing has his hands lingering a bit to cop a feel.
  • Group Hug: One concludes the music video, once again with Sunset Shimmer in the middle.
  • Idiosyncratic Wipes: The short has one between every different singer segment: flying dandelion seeds, a flower stem seguing into Rainbow Dash's guitar neck, guitar bits flying around, an apple-shaped iris out, the image getting pixelated and blocks falling down, photograph flashes... and finally, a record rolling around with Sunset Shimmer's face in the center.
  • Making a Spectacle of Yourself:
    • Rarity has large sunglasses with purple-tinted lenses as part of her costume.
    • Pinkie Pie is briefly seen with heart-shaped shutter shades.
  • Musical Pastiche: Each individual segment is in a specific music style, from various time periods as the title alludes.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Pinkie Pie is dressed to a tee like '80s Cyndi Lauper, fittingly.
  • Opera Gloves: Part of Twilight Sparkle's "classical music" costume.
  • Rockers Smash Guitars: Rainbow Dash ends up smashing a guitar during her Punk Rock segment. Note that it isn't her favorite one she acquired in "Guitar Centered".
  • Shout-Out: The short is saturated with musical shout-outs, each related to the music homaged.
    • The intro also musically resembles "Let It Go".
    • Fluttershy's segment is straight out of The Sound of Music, with a bit of Disney Princess vibe.
    • Rarity's is making a two-fer reference to The Beatles, with her costume coming from Sgt. Pepper while the background is typical of Yellow Submarine.
    • Pinkie's borrows general elements of the '80s, including at one point using Saved by the Bell-type backgrounds. She also reaches to extract Sunset from a glowing grid into cartoon form, similar to visuals of A Ha's "Take on Me". At one point, her lyrics invoke Andy Warhol's expression "15 Minutes of Fame".
    • The concluding A Cappella ensemble references Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody", as mentioned above.

My Past Is Not Today
  • Call Back: The short features a couple flashbacks and call backs, mostly to the first movie. Notably, we see Sunset Shimmer taking off the wall the three pictures of her former victories as Princess of the Fall Formal and throwing them in a trash can.
  • The Coats Are Off: Sunset does this a second time with her brand-new jacket.
  • Continuity Nod: Sunset Shimmer casts her jacket off again.
  • Cue the Sun: It goes from sunset to sunrise in two minutes from the beginning to the end of the music video.
  • Flashback: Two flashbacks from before the Rainbow Rocks events are used:
    • The first is reused footage of Demon-Sunset's Defeat Means Friendship from Equestria Girls.
    • Then, we have a subsequent scene of the students spurning Sunset Shimmer, with the exception of the Humane Six.
  • Hot Wings: Sunset Shimmer manifests phoenix-like wings at the end. The exact meaning of this has yet to be revealed.
  • "I Am Becoming" Song: Sunset Shimmer sings about leaving her former self behind for a more promising future, refusing to be defined by her past deeds.
  • I Hate Past Me: The song is all about Sunset Shimmer rejecting her villainous past and any lingering sway it has over her, even chasing away a reflection of her demonic form and throwing the pictures of her past Fall Formal victories away. And that's not even mentioning all The Phoenix symbolism, especially the Hot Wings she manifests as the sun rises.
  • The Mirror Shows Your True Self: Sunset Shimmer sees her reflection in the glass dome of the school library becoming that of her demonic form, before angrily chasing it away.
  • The Phoenix: Sunset takes on a form with flaming bird-like wings at the end, after singing about atoning for all her sins. The imagery literally demonstrates putting her old life behind her as part of completing her full Heel-Face Turn. The lyrics even directly mention the phoenix.
  • Power Floats: Sunset Shimmer starts floating toward the end, even before acquiring Hot Wings.
  • The Power of the Sun: Sunset gains her Hot Wings as the sun rises. Fitting, given her cutie mark and The Phoenix symbolism in the song.
  • Rule of Symbolism: There's a lot of symbolism and references revolving around The Phoenix as Sunset casts off any lingering sway from her dark past and rises into the air with Hot Wings as the sun comes over the horizon.
  • The Shadow Knows: The Episode Title Card shows Sunset Shimmer's shadow shaped like her grinning demonic form.
  • Shout-Out: Sunset Shimmer has a Super Saiyan-style hairdo and pose when she transforms at the end.
  • Stealth Pun: "My Past Is Not Today", a Sunset Shimmer song, starts out with her framed by... the sunset. And at the end, she's literally shimmering.
  • Stock Footage: Footage from the climax of Equestria Girls is used as a flashback.