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Western Animation: My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks
Why should only Autobots get to rock out?

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 School, 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.

Six teaser clips for the film were released by Hasbro leading up to the film's official release:

As part of the release, a series of eight, self-contained shorts that can be considered prequels 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 not part of the film proper (nor reused in the film). These include:

  • "Music to My Ears", featuring DJ Pon-3 strutting across town to the rhythm of dubstep 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 Humane Six trying to decide on a theme for the upcoming school dance to the tune of the title song.
  • "Perfect Day for Fun", showing the Humane Six having fun at a school carnival before performing for the crowd.

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 film and related shorts provide examples of:

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    The Film 
  • 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.
  • 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.
    Rarity: Oh darling, you have us! And we've forgiven you for your past — ahem — "boo-boos".
  • All There in the Manual: From the toyline, Photo Finish's band is called the Snapshots, and her bandmates are Pixel Pizzaz and Violet Blurr.
  • Aluminum Christmas Trees: At the bandstand before the final battle, Fluttershy has her tambourine on a drum stand. While this is uncommon — about as uncommon as playing a guitar with a bow — it is hardly unheard of among tambourinists.
  • 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. The gems are a prominent motif of the movie, notably in the opening credits.
    • In the climax, Vinyl Scratch's DJ booth and bass speakers act as this for the Rainbooms, basically 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 Sunset Shimmer up with just four words.
    Sunset: You're never going to get away with this.
    Adagio: Why? Because you didn't?
  • Art Shift:
    • The opening credits use black silhouettes of the characters (with only the facial cutie marks as spots of color). They are also often more stylised, 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.
  • 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 lyrics of "Awesome as I Want to Be".
  • As You Know:
    • Although there is some debate as to how long exactly the Dazzlings have been banished in 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.
  • The Atoner: Sunset is genuinely trying to change for the better.
  • 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
  • Awesome McCoolname: The trio of antagonists, Adagio Dazzle, Sonata Dusk, and Aria Blaze.
  • Bait and Switch: There's a scene where it seemed like Flash was going to punch Snips. Turns out all he was doing was grabbing his cup to get more punch.
  • Batman Gambit: The means by which the Dazzlings convince Trixie to trap the Rainbooms, preying on her ego after "forcing" her loss to the Rainbooms.
  • Battle of the Bands:
    • The entire plot involves the Dazzlings turning a friendly rock concert 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 Bad: Adagio Dazzle, the leader of the Dazzlings, with Sonata Dusk and Aria Blaze acting as her Co-Dragons.
  • 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: Ohhh, they're that kind of "off"!
    • Twilight meeting Pinkie in the first film sets up The Stinger; see Call Back below.
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 turned 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 as from 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 Dogs introduced in the "Player Piano" short, we get Octavia, Bulk Biceps, Lyra and Bon Bon, 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.
  • Captain Obvious: Aria's line "I wish we had never been banished to this awful place!" seems a little shoehorned in for the sake of exposition. They do hang a lampshade on it when Adagio sarcastically says "Really? I love it here!"
  • Changing Clothes Is a Free Action: It certainly is for Rarity. All it takes for her is to lean behind a rack of clothes to don the Sgt. Pepper outfit, and a cut to Applejack talking to change into full Daft Punk gear.
  • 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 effected by the Dazzlings' spell and is able to help the Humane Six later on. The "Music to my Ears" short is further allusion to this, as the only time dubstep 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 they will get to her song "later". The Rainbooms, near the end of the film, sing one of Fluttershy's songs to counter the songs of the Dazzlings and break the rest of the student body out of their "hatred trance".
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Vinyl Scratch/DJ Pon-3, as mentioned above.
  • Circling Monologue: The Dazzlings do this to Sunset Shimmer while telling her they've learned of her reputation and putting her friendship with the Humane Six to doubt.
  • 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.
  • Co-Dragons: Aria and Sonata act as Adagio's second-in-commands.
  • 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.
  • Comic Trio: The Dazzlings have aspect of this as well. Adagio leads, Aria complains, and Sonata just does as she's told. Unlike usual Comic Trio schemes, Adagio serves as the Only Sane Man of the group rather than Aria.
  • 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.
  • Compressed Hair: In the cold open, the Dazzlings manage to fit their rather impressive heads of hair under their hoodies.
  • 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.
    • The Dazzlings' message is similar to Lightning Dust's Social Darwinist ideology.
    • Sunset Shimmer begins writing her message to Equestria with an all-too familiar phrase.
      Sunset: (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.
    • 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 Eclisped" 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. (I 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 makes reference to her "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 spotlights as Snips and Snails reposition them 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 Humane Six 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".
    • 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 "Ursa Minor" with "Dazzlings"). She even ends it with a failed Smoke Out, just like in her debut.
      Trixie: You may 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.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Sunset Shimmer writes in her book at the very moment a guard was bringing its double to Twilight.
  • Cool Car: The Vinylmobile, 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.
  • 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.
  • Dangerously Genre Savvy: The Dazzlings are smart enough to go after the human Luna and Celestia before they can stop the villains. After the Rainboom's failed attempt to stop the Dazzlings early in the film, Adagio figures out they have magic and manages to manipulate them into arguing after a manipulated Trixie traps them so she and her cronies can feed on their magic, making it a Near Villain Victory.
  • 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 Humane Six 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 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.
  • The Ditz: Sonata Dusk, who is also Sarcasm-Blind.
  • 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 Wind:
    • In the prologue, the Dazzlings' discovery of Equestrian magic in the human world, marking the start of their Evil Plan, is on an appropriately windy night.
    • 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.
  • Eleventh Hour Ranger: Vinyl Scratch/DJ Pon-3 gives some much-needed last-minute help to the Rainbooms.
  • Emotion Eater: The Dazzlings, like the Windigoes, feed off of The Power of Hate (or "negative energy"). Aria even refers to the meager fare they're able to get from inducing a Hate Plague in a restaurant as "fast food" and complains that she wants a "meal".
  • Enthralling Siren: Per Word of God, the Dazzlings' are based on the sirens of Greek mythology. It turns out they actually are Sirens from Equestria.
  • Epic Fail:
    • Twilight's attempts at writing a musical counterspell are so bad that Granny Smith shoves apple cores in her ears to block it out
    • Their 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, targetting the Rainbooms as the source of the Equestrian magic they seek.
  • Establishing Character Moment: The first we see of Adagio Dazzle and her band (from the teasers), they enthrall the student body with their sultry singing, getting everyone to turn what had been a friendly gathering into a hyper-competitive scene, all while arrogantly mocking anyone to best them.
  • Everything's Better with Rainbows: No surprise here, honestly. As usual for the franchise, the Power 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 fire off, 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.
  • Evil Counterpart:
    • The Dazzlings to the Rainbooms: the Rainbooms are normal girls who have received Equestrian magic to help fight villains; the Dazzlings are exiles from Equestria seeking Equestrian magic to grow stronger. The Rainbooms are friends that are letting small disagreements drive them apart; the Dazzlings can't stand each other but work together to get what they all want. Their contrasts are best demonstrated by their first number, "Let's Have a Battle (of the Bands)", a dark mirror to the first movie's "Equestria Girls (Cafeteria Song)". The latter is an upbeat song whose lyrics encourage the students to come together, cooporate and be themselves, while the former is a hypnotically slow melody that encourages competition, hate, and says that an It's All About Me attitude is perfectly fine. In the climax, they absorb Equestrian magic from the Rainbooms to induce their own magical transformations, gaining pony ears, ponytails, and wings, but all with a decidedly more demonic design than the Rainbooms.
    • Adagio is also an evil version of the now reformed Sunset, and Sonata acts a lot like Pinkie Pie.
  • Evil Diva: The Dazzlings, who use their music to bewitch and control the entire school through a Battle of the Bands.
  • Face Palm:
    • Sonata Dusk's stupidity inspires this to both her teammates 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 metal dangling bits.
  • Failed Attempt at Drama:
    • Adagio regularly indulges in some dramatic evil gloating... only to have Sonata ruins it every time by spouting something stupid.
      Adagio: (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: It's the fruit punch, isn't it? I knew I used too much grape juice.
    • 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 falling flat 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: Trixie's okay!
  • Fanservice:
    • The Dazzlings have their Form-Fitting Wardrobe, Hartman Hips and Sexy Walk.
    • During the slumber party, Sunset Shimmer squirts whipped cream on her thumb, wearing pajamas that show off her Impossible Hourglass Figure while slipping off one shoulder.
    • The Crusaders' version of the hard-rocker costumes from "The Show Stoppers" looks like Sensual Spandex.
    • Sunset's shoulderless top at the end, as well as the Rainbooms' costumes in general.
  • Fashionable Asymmetry: The Rainbooms' costumes for the climax have leggings of two different colors on each leg.
  • Fictional Video Game: Applejack and Rainbow Dash play one at Pinkie's house, based on a humanized version of the Mane-iac.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • 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.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • 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.
  • Freudian Trio: The Dazzlings. Adagio, the obvious leader, doesn't go the traditional route of being The Kirk/the ego of the group, instead being The Spock/the superego. As well, Sonata is the obvious McCoy/id, doing a lot less thinking and saying what's on her mind most of the time she's on screen. Aria balances the two out, having a better head on her shoulders than Sonata, but still being more emotive and frank than Adagio.
  • Funny Background Event:
    • When Rainbow talks about her role in the Rainbooms in the band room, Pinkie 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.
  • Gale-Force Sound: When Rainbow Dash repeats "my band" one time too many, all the other yelling "OUR BAND!" together is enough to blow Dash's hair back.
  • Gentle Giant: Bulk Biceps's 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 helps Sunset and Fluttershy get Angel down from a high perch.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: The Dazzlings pulling out all the stops for the final musical battle begins with their eyes glowing bright red.
  • 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.
  • Good Costume Switch: A downplayed version. Sunset removes her leather jacket during the Battle of the Bands to reveal a shoulderless top that no longer sports her cutie mark. While that's all her outfit changes, it's enough to signify the completion of her Heel-Face Turn from the previous movie.
  • 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.
  • Green Eyes: Adagio and her friends' eyes briefly flash green when at the height of using their song to pit the students against each other. The eyes of their victims likewise flash green on occasion.
  • 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 did Rarity get that rack of new outfits for the final performance for the Humane Six?
    • Not to mention Pinkie Pie pulling out several musical intruments out of nowhere before suggesting them to Twilight.
  • 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. This means later she can free the Rainbooms and help them in the final battle.
  • Heel-Face Turn: Sunset Shimmer proves that hers was 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.
  • Hidden Depths: Sunset can shred out a pretty good guitar solo.
  • High School AU: 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.
  • Hollywood Tone-Deaf: How the Dazzlings sing after their Amplifier Artifacts 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 counter-spell. However, their victory was specifically engineered by the Dazzlings, who had manipulated Celestia and Luna. This leads to an uproar amongst the student body, who felt they didn'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 counter spell at least until Vinyl Scratch helps them out.
  • Human Hummingbird:
    • Twilight, shortly during the sleepover, while trying to navigate around her sleeping friends without waking them up.
    • 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 Great!" Song:
    • "Awesome as I Want to Be" for Rainbow Dash, who implies that you'll never be quite as awesome as her.
    • "Tricks Up My Sleeve" for Trixie, who's even less complimentary about her competition than Rainbow:
      Trixie: Don't mean to brag, don't mean to boast, but I'm a six-course meal and you're just burnt toast!
  • 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!
  • Impractically Fancy Outfit: The "fabulous" dress Rarity shows up in for the pre-selections. It's full of dangling metal bits 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, too).
  • Improbably Cool Car: Vinyl Scratch's sweet ride. Even sweeter in that it turns into a fully equipped DJ booth with four bass speakers and a light show!
  • Incredibly Long Note: That's how the Dazzlings activate the Make Me Wanna Shout power of their Siren avatars — by holding a very high note until their foes are crushed.
  • 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.
  • I Resemble That Remark: Sunset Shimmer yelling "It wasn't a fit of jealous rage!"... very angrily, and right in Trixie's face.
  • 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.
  • It's All About Me: Rainbow Dash has to constantly be reminded that the Rainbooms is not just her band and one of her songs is just her singing about how awesome she is.
  • 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...
  • 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. 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.
  • Large Ham: "The Great and Powerful Trrrrrixie," as should be expected. She's chewing the scenery in about every one of her spoken scenes.
  • 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.
  • 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 you better... uh... um...
    Snails: Orange, yo!
  • Let Me at Him!: It's very quick, but in 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.
  • Literal-Minded: Sonata Dusk. Made worse by the fact both Adagio and Aria are relentless Deadpan Snarkers. You'd think she'd have learned after all the time spent with them.
    Adagio: Told you someone would give them a shove.
    Sonata: She didn't shove them. She pulled the lever.
    (Adagio facepalms)
    Aria: (sigh) Go back to sleep, Sonata.
  • 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 Makes You Dumb: Flash's crush on Twilight makes him take several levels in Adorkable.
  • 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 anthro 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 sparks 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".
  • Meta Fiction: A common fan complaint about the first film is that Rainbow Dash didn't get much to do compared to the other four of the Humane Five, mostly existing to be the sixth member of the heroines and say "awesome" when appropriate. This movie of course has the subtitle "Rainbow Rocks", showing her expanded role, and a subplot is her getting a big head about being the leader of the Rainbooms and acting like It's All About Me.
  • 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.
  • Mid-Air Bobbing: The Dazzlings, after they start Power Floating during the final battle, keep bobbing up and down, somewhat mirroring their usual sensual sway.
  • 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). And then Maud Pie shows up to feed her pet rock. "Boulder was hungry."
  • Mind-Control Music: The Dazzlings use their singing to drive people into hostile arguments. 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 acting very dog-like in this, eating dog biscuits and playing with a dog toy a one point. He's still himself, though, and helpful to the end.
  • 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 rank at about 3-4.
  • Musical Pastiche:
    • 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 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".
    • Most of the Dazzlings' and the Rainbooms' songs are pastiches of middle-of-the-road Girl Group pop songs.
  • Musical World Hypotheses: Of the digetic type. All of the songs (save for the opening and closing 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.
  • Mythology Gag: This isn't the first time ponies turned humans have had a Battle of the Bands plot... just look at My Little Pony Tales.
  • 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 hadn't resolved the Rainbooms' argument, or Spike hadn't fetched Vinyl Scratch to rescue them, the Dazzlings would have won.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • 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 motiviation to become the antagonists of this film.
    • Sunset tells the Dazzlings about the band event, and even suggests that they visit Principal Celestia.
    • Plus 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.
    • 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.
  • No Name Given: Aria Blaze's name is not mentioned in the film, only in the credits.
  • 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.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: Apparently, the Dazzlings have never heard of the phrase "Keep your hands to yourself" as they stroke practically everyone in the cafeteria during "Let's Have a Battle (of the Bands)".
  • 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 anthro 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.
  • Of Corsets Sexy: Aria Blaze's couture includes a corset under her torn-sleeve jacket.
  • Oh, Crap:
    • 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.
    • Two earlier ones 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.
  • 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.
  • Pass the Popcorn: Derpy is indeed eating popcorn while watching Lyra and Bon Bon argue with Octavia in the gym.
  • Pillar of Light: As it happens, the one generated at the climax of the previous movie did attract some attention.
  • 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.
  • Power Floats:
    • The transformation of the Humane Five in their anthro pony 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.
  • Powers Do the Fighting: The way the Dazzlings fight the final battle. They stay on the stage and sing while the spirit manifestations of their true Siren forms attack the Rainbooms.
  • 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 Canterlot High students reward their last attempt at singing with booing and throwing fruits and sandwishes.
  • Punch Catch: Rainbow Dash getting overexcited at the Cakes' café and doing some wild moves ends 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, although they do need to be reunited with Twilight to have the full cast of the first movie. Pinkie Pie also says the line just before they gear up for the final battle.
  • Rage Quit: Rainbow Dash, while losing to AJ during the sleepover.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Really 700 Years Old: The Dazzlings are looking pretty young for Sirens who were trapped on Earth 1000 years ago or so.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Bulk Biceps daintily plays the violin.
  • Rebel Relaxation: Sunset Shimmer waits for the Dazzlings in a dark hallway in this position.
  • Record Needle Scratch: The teaser uses one when it reaches the point mentioning that Sunset Shimmer is part of the "band".
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Rimshot: Pinkie Pie does it on her own drums, but unlike in "Pinkie on the One" this time she's using it ironically, as what she said wasn'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)
  • Rule of Fun: Pinkie Pie invokes this twice as the main reason for joining a band.
    Pinkie Pie: Hey! Anybody here remember fun? I'll give you a hint: it's the exact opposite of being in the Rainbooms!
  • 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 commenting on how a demon took over the school last time, forgetting that Sunset is standing right next to them. Apologies are quickly offered.
    • Rainbow Dash saying "my band" about the Rainbooms, eliciting progressively more annoyed responses from her bandmates.
    • Trixie's ninja-smoke bomb disappearing gag.
      Pinkie Pie: She's GONE! (beat) Oh wait, there she is!
  • 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 this. In reality, this is not a good plan, and this time things will be different.
  • 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 won't be the last we'll see of her.
  • Sexy Walk: Every time the Dazzlings perform, their moves ooze sensuality.
  • 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. The Rainbooms also became pointlessly preoccupied with preventing the Dazzlings from seeing their anthro-pony transformations, but the Dazzlings already knew from the beginning 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 (the one with the triangle) has piano key-style decor on her clothes, reflecting on Kimber being the keyboardist for the Holograms.
    • The Final Battle between the Dazzlings and the Rainbooms plays out like the "Amp vs. Amp" battle from Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.
    • "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.
  • Showgirl Skirt: Part of Trixie Lulamoon and Aria Blaze's scenic costumes for the final concert.
  • 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 and Pinkie's drum playing.
  • 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.
  • A Sinister Clue: Played with. Trixie plays guitar left-handed. She isn't a villain in the film, but she's the character that the Dazzlings manipulate into tripping the trap door that traps the Rainbooms under the stage.
  • 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.
  • Sore Loser: While playing a video game together, Rainbow unplugs Applejack's controller just as it looks like AJ is about to win.
  • Spiritual Successor: With the Rock & Roll theme and outfits that would only be at home during The Eighties, this particular movie seems to be paying tribute to Hasbro's currently-dormant franchise Jem.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Title: The subtitle "Rainbow Rocks" should be your first clue; Rainbow Dash is the leader of the band, the band 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.
  • Staggered Zoom: The "Under Our Spell" sequence starts with one centered on Adagio's mouth.
  • Stealth Pun: 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.
  • 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:
  • Surprise Creepy: Twilight Sparkle and Sunset Shimmer have this reaction In-Universe to Maud Pie feeding her pet rock a Midnight Snack.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Adagio is constantly frustrated by the shenanigans of Sonata and Aria, and continually speaks to them as if through clenched teeth. That, and she actually calls them idiots.
  • 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.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: The Dazzlings, particularly Aria and Sonata, don't always get along.
  • Theme Naming: The Dazzlings have musically-styled first names, while their last names are light-based phenomena.
  • Theremin: Among the instruments Pinkie suggests Twilight should play, she brings out a theremin and plays a haunting tune.
    Pinkie Pie: So magical...
  • Third-Person Person: The Great and Powerful Trixie just wouldn't be the same without this quirk.
  • Title Drop: When Twilight and her human friends first attempt to stop the Dazzlings, she shouts, "Friendship is magic!"
  • 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, as does Sunset when she joins the Rainbooms; Sunset's in particular is very much in the Magical Girl style compared to other transformations.
  • 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.
  • 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 begins admitting that the song counterspell would just never have been ready in time.
  • Uncommon Time: "Welcome to the Show" alternates between Common 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. She's basically a regular, neutral member of the student body, but is manipulated into trapping the Rainbooms just before the final battle.
  • 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. Vinyl might even be The Speechless. In the prequel novel, she doesn't speak, communicating through text messages.
  • Wham Line: "No doubt about it, Spike, there's definitely something strange going on at that school..."
  • Winged Unicorn: Besides Twilight Sparkle, a gigantic winged unicorn made of the Power 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.
  • 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."

    The 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.
  • 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.
  • All Drummers Are Animals: Pinkie Pie, who literally channels Animal when she's put behind the drums for the first 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.
  • Animal-Eared Headband: The horse-ears headbands and tails from the first movie make a comeback during the party in "Shake Your Tail!"
  • Answer Cut: In "Pinkie on the One", 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.
  • 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 "Music to My Ears" breakdancing and strutting to dubstep on her way to class.
  • Aside Glance: From Pinkie Pie, not surprisingly: she winks to the audience at the end of "Guitar Centered", with an Iris Out closing on her eyes.
  • Asleep in Class: Probably a habit for Rainbow Dash, considering it just takes a demonstration of Twilight Sparkle's suggestion for a classroom-themed party for her to fall asleep.
  • 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, "She probably just wants to make a grand entrance." Cue the doors bursting open with Rarity being carried in on a grand piano by the humanized Diamond Dogs.
  • The Cameo:
    • In "Music to My Ears", Cranky Doodle Donkey appears as one of the school's teachers.
    • Discord appears as a stuffed toy prize in "Perfect Day for Fun".
    • Derpy appears in "Perfect Day for Fun", along Flash Sentry, Trixie, Cheerilee, Granny Smith, Luna, DJ Pon-3, the Crusaders and numerous other characters from the first film.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • "Guitar Centered":
      • 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.
    • "Player Piano" introduces the humanized version of the Diamond Dogs from "A Dog and Pony Show". Once again, they are played like a fiddle by Rarity.
    • "A Case for the Bass":
      • 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".
    • "Shake Your Tail!":
      • 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.
    • "Perfect Day for Fun":
      • 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.
  • 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 give the guitar away to Trixie since she came to like the one she used against her.
  • Epic Fail: In "Hamstocalypse Now", 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.
  • Eyed Screen: During the shred-off in "Guitar Centered".
  • Face Palm: Applejack at the end of "A Case for the Bass", when Granny Smith ponders since when did she play the bass.
  • Feet-First Introduction: DJ Pon-3 in "Music to My Ears". And yes, she exchanged her boots for sneakers since Equestria Girls.
  • Finger Framing: Rarity at the beginning of "Shake Your Tail!"
  • Flower in Her Hair: Part of the hula-dancer costumes for Pinkie's decor idea in "Shake Your Tail!"
  • Foreshadowing: "Music to My Ears" 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 dubstep that blocks out all other sounds, including Mind-Control Music.
  • Funny Background Event: In "Hamstocalypse Now", 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.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: In the "Perfect Day for Fun" short, 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 in "Perfect Day for Fun".
  • Idiosyncratic Wipes:
    • Several are used in "Shake Your Tail!", from the characters crossing the screen, to flowers and paper planes covering it, to RD pulling a rainbow-colored banner from the ceiling.
    • In "Perfect Day for Fun", it's mainly the girls' cell phones which are used for screen wipes.
  • Instant Cosplay Surprise: In "Shake Your Tail!", 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.
  • Iris Out: "Guitar Centered" finish with one, closing up on Pinkie Pie's face.
  • Literal-Minded: Pinkie Pie shows as much in "Guitar Centered" when Rainbow Dash leaves Trixie with a guitar neither of them can afford (well, either that or she's just rubbing it in):
    Trixie: You'll pay for this, Rainbow Dash!
    Pinkie Pie: No, silly! If you want it, you'll have to pay for it.
  • Mickey Mousing: "Music to My Ears" is mostly nothing but DJ Pon-3 and the world around her Mickey Mousing to dubstep.
  • Mind-Control Eyes: The hamsters in "Hamstocalypse Now" gets swirly eyes as soon as they hear Fluttershy's tambourine.
  • Mime and Music-Only Cartoon:
    • "Music to My Ears". There is exactly one line of dialogue, spoken by Mrs. Cake when Vinyl Scratch takes her headphones off to order something.
    • "Shake Your Tail!" and "Perfect Day for Fun" have the title song as the only audio, though the latter has AJ speak one line that rhymes with the lyrics.
  • Missed Him by That Much: The Humane Six are separated into three groups of two in "Perfect Day for Fun", and half of the short is about them trying to meet up.
  • Mister Muffykins: In "Music to My Ears", Diamond Tiara is shown to own a chihuahua she carries in a purse.
  • Mundane Made Awesome:
    • DJ Pon-3 just crossing the street? 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.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Throughout "Shake Your Tail!", the Humane Six have been trying out different party themes according to their own preferences. In the end, they just combine them all and rock out.
  • Photo Booth Montage: In "Perfect Day for Fun", 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: In "Perfect Day for Fun", 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: In "Perfect Day for Fun", 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").
  • The Power of Rock: In the character-focused shorts, the Humane Five transform by playing their respective instruments.
  • Pyrrhic Victory:
    • In "Guitar Centered", 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.
    • It happens again in "A Case for the Bass". 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)
  • Reality Ensues: In the "Guitar Centered" short, 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.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critters: The hamsters in "Hamstocalypse Now".
  • Rimshot: Pinkie does this at the end of "Pinkie on the One" 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.
  • Ship Tease:
  • Shout-Out:
    • 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.
    • "Guitar Centered" in title is most likely a nod to the Guitar Center chain of music stores.
    • "Hamstocalypse Now" in title to Apocalypse Now.
    • A herd of ridiculously cute hamsters with varied personalities, wearing clothes and having anthropomorphized fun together? Just like with those Kids Next Door....
    • After Pinkie completes her drum solo / transformation sequence in "Pinkie on the One", 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 for "Pinkie on the One", 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.
    • 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.
  • Shown Their Work: For "Pinkie on the One", 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.
  • Skirt over Slacks: DJ Pon-3 joins Rainbow Dash on this fashion statement, though with leggings instead of bike shorts.
  • Split Screen: Lots of them in "Perfect Day for Fun", as the Mane Six are separated into three pairs and looking for each other at the carnival.
  • 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.
    • The Diamond Dogs (portrayed as humans) appear in a subservient role to Rarity in the "Player Piano" short, never uttering a word.
  • Watch Where You're Going!: In "Shake Your Tail!", Pinkie and Twilight smashes heads when they're both trying to catch a basketball and ends up too focused on it.
  • Wingding Eyes: In "Player Piano", the humanized Diamond Dogs' eyes turn gem-shaped at the sight of Rarity.

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