A My Little Pony Generation 4 movie made by the same studios as Friendship is Magic, set between that show's third and fourth seasons.The concept is simple enough; take the characters of the hit TV show My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and put them in high school. Now the Mane Six must deal with things such as peer pressure, planning for school dances, popular girls with attitude problems, and yes...even boys.Sounds simple, right? Did we mention the pastel-colored ponies are now pastel-coloredhumans?This spin-off franchise is something of a grand experiment for Hasbro and their attempt to break into the growing market of alternative dolls. Can you have My Little Pony without the Pony? Is Friendship still Magic? Right now, those questions are a matter of debate, but Hasbro certainly hopes so.The movie centers around Twilight Sparkle and Spike going into an Alternate Universe when the Element of Magic is stolen by Princess Celestia's former apprentice Sunset Shimmer, turning into a teenage human girl and a talking dog respectively in the process. Along the way Twilight meets human versions of her friends from Ponyville, all of whom turn out to despise each other, and a blue haired fellow who seems like a nice enough guy. With the help of her new friends in this strange new world they must find the crown and change the destiny of the two parallel worlds.See the firsttwo trailers.The movie was written by Meghan McCarthy, premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival on June 15, 2013, and had a limited theatrical run at over 200 US & Canadian theaters in June and July of the same year. It was released on DVD & Blu-ray in the US by Shout! Factory on August 6, 2013 and will be released on DVD in other markets worldwide, and will air later still on The Hub on September 1st, 2013.IDW put out a prequel comic as the first issue of their My Little Pony Annual series, with the 8 page short about Sunset Shimmer's origins printed early in IDW's MLPFIM #9 variant at 2013 SDCC.Not to be confused with the commercial for Friendship is Magic or the parody YouTube videos of the same name.
Tropes present in this film:
Absentee Actor: Despite being initially set in the Crystal Empire, and with Princess Cadance present, Shining Armor is nowhere to be found, either in the Crystal Empire or in human formnote This notably marks the first time we get an appearance from Cadance but not her husband. Princess Cadance is also the only main character present in the film without a human equivalent.
Accidental Pun: Snips and Snails kidnap the puppy version of Spike thereby completing their trio.
Adaptational Villainy: Human world Snips and Snails are a lot more dangerous and malicious than their young pony world counterparts.
Sunset Shimmer in the toy line doesn't have any implication of being malicious or vengeful.
Age Lift: Several characters from Friendship Is Magic, including the Cutie Mark Crusaders, Snips and Snails, and a few other younger cast members from are aged up to at least resemble high-school freshmen. Conversely, other characters, including the mane six - all adults who live on their own and in some cases even run their own businesses - are aged down to meet this criteria.
All There in the Script: During Twilight and Fluttershy's discussion of the Fall Formal Princess, Fluttershy says that the previous girl to go up against Sunset was utterly humiliated, but she never says who it was. According toWord of St. Paul, it was Rarity, though a few lines imply that it was her.
Alpha Bitch: Sunset Shimmer. Humiliates anyone who stands in her way to become Fall Formal Princess? Check. Segregates the entire school into smaller social groups to ensure they don't band against her? Check. Destroys long-lasting friendships just for kicks? Check.
Alternate Self: Twilight Sparkle meets AU counterparts of her friends who are attending high school together. AU Pinkie asks Twilight if she had a twin since she vaguely recalls having seen someone similar with a purple and green dog named Spike in the city, confirming that an AU counterpart of Twilight does exist.
Amazing Technicolor Population: The human characters still use the ponies' wide array of color schemes. Interestingly enough, a few characters do have normal looking skin tones, particularly Applejack, Sunset Shimmer, and Flash Sentry (but in the case of the first two, this is only due to their pony counterparts' coat colors). Big McIntosh actually averts this by having a peach skintone, and similarly Cheerilee and Luna have more an inverted coat/hair color scheme; all three have dark coats that even if lightened a bit as used across the board for the others would still be overly dark on screen.
Big Mac does get a reddish tone to his skin near the beginning of the lunchroom scene, but it reverts back to peach later on in the same scene.
Ambition Is Evil: The cause of Sunset Shimmer's fall from grace with Princess Celestia.
A God Am I: The lure of power that comes with becoming an Alicorn and ruling Equestria blinds Sunset into believing she can do no wrong.
Amulet of Concentrated Awesome: Twilight's Element of Magic serves this function in the human world. While unicorn magic is nullified going through the portal, the Element retains its power through the transition.
Animal-Eared Headband: Worn by the human Applejack, Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie, Rarity, and Rainbow Dash as part of the school's cheerleader/mascot outfits, along with makeshift pony-like tails worn around their waists.
Apple of Discord: Long before Twilight arrived, Sunset Shimmer broke the friendship of the human versions of Applejack, Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie, Rarity, and Rainbow Dash through misinformation. Rainbow Dash was given the wrong date for Applejack's bakesale, Pinkie Pie was told via text to throw a huge party that would scare Fluttershy's animals, and Rarity was told via emails that Pinkie Pie didn't need help setting up decorations for various school functions due to having enough volunteers only to learn later Pinkie set the decorations all up by herself.
Attack of the Political Ad: Sunset's video of Twilight. Even down to using color-negative shots at the most goofiest moments with heavy musical beats.
Audience Shift: Compared to its parent series, this iteration is geared towards older girls, mostly between the ages of 8 to 12.
Big "Shut Up!": Twilight shouts "STOP!" when her friends' arguing becomes too much for her to put up with.
Big "WHAT?!": Human!Pinkie delivers two in a row when Twilight tells her friends that the Fall Formal must be moved to tomorrow night because Sunset Shimmer ruined Pinkie's decorations for the formal. She tries to do it a third time when Twilight insists the formal must go on tonight, but Applejack slaps her hand across Pinkie's mouth.
Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Sunset Shimmer's mode of operation, at least when she is dealing with someone she can't intimidate into submissionnote She can pretty much boss any of the students around, and since the faculty isn't featured much in this movie. You see it once or twice, and it's pointed out by Applejack.
When human Fluttershy first meets Spike, she remarks that she would love to know what he or other animals were thinking. No points for guessing what she asks immediately upon finding out Spike can talk.
A double whammy: Sunset Shimmer tells human Snips and Snails to get dirt on Twilight like they did for 'the last girl who thought she could challenge me'. Later, human Fluttershy remarks that Shimmer did the same thing to someone who ran against her at the 'Spring Fling' dance. Turns out it was human Rarity, who at the end of the movie, remarks that she expects an apology for 'last spring's debacle'
Care Bear Stare: In the finale, the girls hit Sunset with a giant Rainbow blast which transforms her back to normal, bawling and apologizing for what she did. Very much like the rainbow-brainwash-beam from the Trope Namer franchise.
Cat Smile: In a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment during Pinkie's solo in the "Helping Twilight Win the Crown" musical, Pinkie manages to give a faint one while moving towards the camera.
Celestial Deadline: The portal only remains open for three days, and then closes for thirty moons when the moon reaches its peak on the third day.
Chaos Architecture: Canterlot High for a brief moment - Twilight sees roughly five windows on one wall, yet when she runs towards the school, runs past a lot more than five.
Continuity Cameo: Besides the Mane 6, clearly humanized versions of Celestia and Luna (as principals) the Cutie Mark Crusaders, Snips and Snails, Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon, Big McIntosh, Cheerilee (as a librarian), Granny Smith (as a lunch lady), Mr and Mrs. Cake (as coffee shop owners), Photo Finish, DJ Pon-3, and Trixie all show up throughout the movie. Even a humanized version of a certain blond and gray mare with wonky eyes shows up in the lower right corner of the screen during the "Helping Twilight Win the Crown" number, and at the end of the credits with a muffin in her hands.
Contrived Coincidence: Events on both sides of the mirror require an unbelievable amount of good timing, none of which can be said to be planned by any one party. The Fall Formal just happens to lie within the active period of the mirror, the mirror happens to be in the Crystal Empire, Twilight happens to have been summoned there for an all-princess summit during the same time, and Sunset Shimmer somehow knows all of this and is able to track down Twilight within the castle despite living in a world which (as far as is made clear) has absolutely no magic except the portal which is rarely active.
Cool Car: Flash Sentry shows up to the dance in a black muscle car, with lightning bolt decals and his T-shirt emblem/cutie mark emblazoned on the hood. And just for kicks, it's similar in design to a modern Ford Mustang.
Cool Crown: Twilight's crown, which turns out to be a redesigned Element of Magic.
Twilight Sparkle in spades. Justified in that it took some time to get used to a completely new human body.
There are a few times that Fluttershy gets hit with things thrown at her.
Dangerously Genre Savvy: Sunset Shimmer at least gets points for trying, but in the film proper she doesn't really qualify. Prior to Twilight's arrival, she sabotaged the friendship of the Mane Five to make sure they couldn't threaten her efforts to get the crown (in the same way that Twilight does once they're reunited).
Designated Love Interest: Flash Sentry has been accused by many of being nothing more than an excuse for Twilight to have a crush on someone. Are they wrong? Well...
Deus ex Machina: The climax reveals that Twilight doesn't even need the other five elements to be present to tap into their power; Seems like the power of the bond Twilight shared with the human versions of her friends (and she's known these humans...what, like two days???) was sufficient to not only allow Twilight to reclaim the powers of the Element of Magic but also summon the powers of the other five elements...which has no basis in the show's actual canon and was never alluded to previous to its use.
Dope Slap: Spike does this to Twilight when Twilight says "everypony" instead of "everybody" while talking with Human!Fluttershy.
Sunset Shimmer has two. After the first one, there was speculation she would be a major character in Season 4 of Friendship is Magic, only to be JossedbyWord of God. No one said she wouldn't be in Equestria Girls instead.
She first appeared as a pony toy displayed at the 2013 New York Toy Fair and released with the description "Sunset Shimmer knows a magical path to faraway adventures! Years ago, she was also a student of Princess Celestia."
One of the armored purple Crystal pony stallions first appeared with Pegasus wings in the disc art of Shout! Factory's Friendship is Magic DVD Adventures in the Crystal Empire, alongside an also-Pegasus-winged Palette Swap.
Twilight's attempt to fly at the start of the film was previously shown in her Hot Topic Hot Minute video, released about two months before the film.
Easily Forgiven: Comparatively. Though forgiven, Sunset doesn't get off that easy as she, Snips, and Snails are forced to fix the giant hole she made in the school entrance, brick by brick. Considering all the stuff she pulled, which involved up to and including attempted murder, this is getting off pretty easy.
Effortless Amazonian Lift: Two jocks help Twilight lift a nearby table, then stop and look on slack-jawed as Applejack passes by easily carrying a similar sized table under one arm.
Entertainingly Wrong: Human!Pinkie Pie initially suspects that Twilight Sparkle is hiding something... namely, that she has psychic powers.
Even Evil Has Standards: Sunset has Snips and Snails kidnap Spike to get Twilight's attention, then immediately releases him when the chase leads to her. She never would have hurt Spike, it just seemed the most expedient method to get Twilight to meet her.
Executive Meddling: Surprisingly subverted, despite what some of the fans would have you believe. Other than being told to "make a movie where the ponies are girls in high school", the cast and crew were pretty much given free reign to do whatever they wanted with it.
Fatal Flaw: Sunset Shimmer's is Greed and Pride. When she was still Celestia's star pupil, things weren't progressing as quickly as she wanted them to, so she became bitter and angry. She eventually found the magic mirror and disappeared from Equestria. On the other side, she established herself as the Alpha Bitch of the school. Not content with controlling the school, she stole Twilight's crown so she could amass an army of brainwashed teenagers with which to take over Equestria.
Fisher Kingdom: Twilight's arrival in the human world is accompanied by her transformation into a human herself.
Fish out of Water: Unsurprisingly, Twilight Sparkle has some trouble adapting to being human.
Flaming Hair: Sunset Shimmer's hair stands up to resemble flames when in her demon form, and flares up briefly when she delivers a Breaking Speech to Twilight.
Flash Mob: The Humane Six set up one in the school cafeteria to get everyone to vote for Twilight.
Foreshadowing: Sunset Shimmer hints at her plan early on when she claims that Twilight wouldn't have been much safer in Equestria than she is in the human world.
When Snips remarks, "Yeah! In Equestria..." it seems like he's just blindly repeating Sunset Shimmer without really knowing what she's talking about. However, this hints that Snips and Snails were fully aware of Sunset Shimmer's plan to take over an alternate world, which was confirmed when they were turned into demons along with Sunset.
Four-Fingered Hands: Sunset Shimmer and Snips and Snails get these when transformed into demons. Otherwise averted with the rest of the human characters.
Gale Force Sound: Human!Pinkie does this with a plastic megaphone during the cafeteria song.
Genre Savvy: As explained to Spike while ironically looking like a fool to a passerby when she explaining it, Twilight knows that the explanation that she is actually a pony princess from another world looking for a crown that so happens resembles the Fall Formal prize is a too far-fetched story by comparing to what would happen if a human tried explaining their own origins if they came to Equestria. Twilight's suspicions are confirmed when even the rest of the Humane 5 don't believe this when Pinkie guesses it correctly until Spike talks.
Getting Crap Past the Radar: Early on, Human!Twilight trips and falls onto all fours as the football jock walks by. In the background, he turns around to look while grinning.
Good Wings, Evil Wings: Sunset Shimmer's One-Winged Angel form gives her red, tattered bat wings, which she then passes on to Snips and Snails. Twilight, Rainbow Dash, and Fluttershy receive brightly colored, feathered wings.
How Did You Know? I Didn't: Twice, both involving Pinkie: First, when Twilight prepares to confess to her human friends who she really is and what she's doing there, Human!Pinkie says it for her instead, uncannily right down to the very last detail; Pony!Pinkie later does the exact same thing when Twilight appears to have a crush on a guard pony because he reminds her of Flash Sentry. Both times, an exchange like this happens:
Twilight Sparkle: How did you know about that? Pinkie Pie: Just a hunch!
How Do I Shot Web?: In contrast to the ending of the season 3 finale, Twilight can't seem to manage to fly more than a few feet off the ground, and only then for a few seconds. Getting her wings to remain folded during sleep is also an issue. Likewise, adapting to walking as a human takes some time.
Human-Focused Adaptation: The first My Little Pony G4 movie, the first theatrically premierednote A limited 200-or-so screen release provided by cinema advertising fulfiller ScreenvisionMy Little Pony movie since 1986... and the plot is about human versions of ponies. Although it isn't played totally straight since the characters have been transformed or re-imagined as humans, rather than introducing completely new human characters.
Humanity Ensues: The inhabitants of the other world are humans, albeit ones with technicolor skin. Ponies from Equestria get turned into one upon arrival as seen with Twilight Sparkle and Sunset Shimmer. Spike gets a variation on this by being transformed into a dog.
Hypocrite: Applejack calls Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy, and Rarity out for bickering with each other for something the other supposedly did instead of moving on. When Rarity points out that Applejack still has a grudge against Rainbow Dash, AJ says it's different because RD made a liar out of her.
Sunset is this, as well. She confronts human Fluttershy at one point, telling her she shouldn't take things that don't belong to her. This is, of course, after Sunset herself went through all the trouble of stealing Twilight's crown and stealing the cheap replica that would have been the crown for the Fall Formal.
I Choose to Stay: When Sunset Shimmer threatens to destroy the portal between worlds if Twilight Sparkle doesn't give her the crown and go home, Twilight chooses to stay, believing Equestria will find a way to survive without her and the Element of Magic, while the human world might not if Sunset gets her hands on the crown.
It later turns out Sunset was merely bluffing about destroying the mirror. Twilight does eventually go home after everything is said and done.
I Have No Idea What I'm Doing: When Spike questions how Twilight plans to become Princess of the Fall Formal, Twilight "enthusiastically" says, "I have no idea!"
The Illegible: When Twilight signs up for the fall formal Pinkie Pie can barely read her writing. Of course, this is only because she's not used to having hands.
I Never Told You My Name: Twilight addresses the human versions of Pinkie Pie and Applejack by name despite them not saying anything beforehand. From this, Pinkie Pie erroneously concludes Twilight is psychic.
In Spite of a Nail: The human world, despite being basically magic-free and technological development being drastically greater than the pony world, has the human counterparts of the various characters taking on more or less similar roles. The Mane Five (sans Twilight) were all friends prior to Sunset Shimmer sabotaging their relationship, and have all fallen into roles fitting those of their counterparts. The Cutie Mark Crusaders are still friends, their desire for cutie marks translated here as similar ill-conceived attempts at being popular. Celestia and Luna run the school. Even Twilight's counterpart being absent fits with Twilight herself not coming to Ponyville until made to do so.
Interspecies Romance: Both Twilight Sparkle and Sunset Shimmer are technically ponies from Equestria transformed into humans, and one of them had dated Flash Sentry (human) in the past while the other was being hit on by him, with implied reciprocation.
There's also Dog!Spike's obvious crush on Human!Rarity, as well as his crush on Pony!Rarity as a dragon.
In the Hood: Sunset Shimmer uses this while stealing the crown.
Jerkass Realization: It's clear that the human versions of Twilight's friends feel this way when they realize Sunset Shimmer is the one who ruined their friendship. It's especially evident with Applejack as she guiltily admits she stopped talking to Rainbow Dash altogether instead of questioning her about that suspicious e-mail falsely saying the softball team would be coming to AJ's bake sale.
It's also apparent that the when the Humane 6 pulled a Care Bear Stare against Demon!Sunset Shimmer that this was the result.
Keep Away: The girls toss the crown between each other to keep Snips and Snails from grabbing it for Sunset Shimmer. It backfires when Twilight fails to check her throw.
Kick the Dog: Sunset Shimmer pulls off this trope so many times, ranging from bullying to framing Twilight to attempted murder, that some fans actually consider some of them to be her Moral Event Horizon. Which may be why they don't buy her redemption.
Knight of Cerebus: Believe it or not, Sunset Shimmer. Her bullying is by far the cruelest displayed by any character in the series proper so far. Not only that, once she gains her demoness form, she turns Snips and Snails into demons, mind controls the entire student body as her own personal army, and comes dangerously close to actually killing Twilight.
Let Me Get This Straight: Applejack says this after she and the others find out Twilight is a pony princess from Equestria.
Loyal Phlebotinum: Sunset Shimmer is able to use Twilight's crown to go One-Winged Angel and perform other assorted magic. When she tries to incinerate Twilight and her friends, however, the crown protects and empowers them to defeat Sunset.
Made-for-TV Movie: Announcedassuch by John A. Frascotti attheHasbro New York Toy Fair 2013 Investor Event, though its premiere date, theatrical release date, and DVD & Blu-ray release date all turned out to precede its television airdate.
Noodle Incident: What did happen at last year's Spring Fling, and what exactly was the heinous thing that Sunset Shimmer did to the girl running against her, strongly implied to be Rarity?
Noodle People: The human forms, where Twilight's stomach is only slightly thicker than her neck.
Averted with Celestia and Luna, who have more realistic proportions. Maybe it's just all the gangly teens?
No Ontological Inertia: The Magical Girl transformations of Twilight's human friends vanish the second the portal closes, cutting the human world off from Equestria. Possibly justified as it also cut them off of the magical source that powered the transformation
The One Guy: With Spike being a (talking) dog in the Alternate Universe and no other major male character from the series appearing in this rolenote a human Big McIntosh makes a couple of cameos and Shining Armor is completely absent, Flash Sentry fills this spot in the movie.
One-Winged Angel: After putting on Twilight's crown, Sunset transforms into a demon-like figure. She also transforms Snips and Snails into demons.
Pilot Movie: One of Hasbro's "Equestria Girls" trademarks includes "Entertainment services, namely an on-going animated television series for children" and an article in Kidscreen magazine's February/March 2013 issue claimed that "A new companion series called Equestria Girls is set to air this spring, sending the pony heroes on a mission to a new world where they take on human form." The editor of Kidscreenstated that Equestria Girls is a completely separate show that will have no bearing on My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.
Playing with Fire: As a demon, Sunset Shimmer tries to roast the the Mane Six with a giant fireball. It fails when the crown shields them independently of Sunset's will.
Poor Communication Kills: Sunset Shimmer's efforts to break up the human versions of Twilight's friends would have been easily foiled had they actually discussed what happened instead of pointing fingers at each other.
Portal Slam: Human!Pinkie smashes into the statue while chasing Twilight when she returns to Equestria.
Precious Puppy: Spike gets turned into a baby dog instead of a baby dragon. Human world Rarity and Fluttershy find him adorable.
Prehensile Hair: Human!Pinkie can pop the cap off a bottle of cider with her forelock.
A Pupil of Mine Until He Turned to Evil: Sunset Shimmer was Celestia's pupil before Twilight Sparkle. Celestia explains that she ran away when she wasn't able to gain power as quickly as she wanted. The tie-in comic clarifies that it was her interest in the mirror, and her belief that it could somehow turn her into a princess, that eventually drove Celestia to suspend her studies since she was clearly too selfish to ever become one.
Putting the Band Back Together: At the start of the film, the human versions of the Mane Six all utterly despise each other for various reasons thanks to Sunset Shimmer, and Twilight has to convince them to let go of their hatred and get along.
Race Against the Clock: Twilight only has three days to get her crown and get back to Equestria before the portal closes again for thirty moons (2.5 years).
Rage Breaking Point: The girls finally let out all their frustration after they all (sans Rainbow Dash) offer to help Twilight win the crown right after the latter's humiliation at the hands of Sunset Shimmer.
Rapid Fire No: Twilight delivers one after Flash asks her out to the Fall Formal, making it look like she rejected him. Her response was actually towards the Fall Formal being moved past the Celestial Deadline. She clears it up later.
Flash Sentry: One "no" would've been fine!
Rapunzel Hair: The Mane Six's hair is already long enough, but their hair grows even longer to simulate tails when they undergo their transformations.
Reality Is Unrealistic: A vending machine with peanut butter crackers? Actually - that's not entirely uncommon.
"The Reason You Suck" Speech: Upon realizing that Twilight has followed her into the human world, Sunset smugly tells her that she's had more than enough time to take over the school, and Twilight can't hope to stop her in a world she is utterly unfamiliar with.
Twilight returns the favor, telling Sunset that despite having the Element of Magic on her head, she completely failed to understand and wield its true power, a power which the human Mane 6 was able to use even without Twilight wearing the crown.
Remember the New Guy: Sunset Shimmer. Celestia mentions that she was her former student around the time when Twilight started. Despite this, Twilight has to be told who she is. The IDW comic showcases Twilight in a background shot (with Cadance) sans Cutie Mark, and Sunset escaped into the other world near the end of the comic, so Twilight was likely a replacement for Sunset.
Averted with Flash Sentry, who is introduced as a new member of the castle guard.
The Resenter: Towards the end of the movie, it becomes clear that Big Bad Sunset Shimmer is jealous of Twilight Sparkle, because Twilight managed to earn and achieve everything Sunset could not: the power, adoration, and crown that Twilight had never asked for yet Sunset had always desired. Her reaction to the way Twilight's friends praise her as a princess and her insistence that the crown is hers, shows that resentment and inches her closer to her Villainous Breakdown.
Sadistic Choice: Sunset tells Twilight that if she gives her the Element of Magic, she'll be able to return home to Equestria. If she doesn't, Sunset will smash Twilight's only way home. Twilight chooses the latter, reasoning that while Equestria will be able to protect itself without her, there will be no one to oppose Sunset if she leaves. This turns out to be calling Sunset's bluff, as she needs the portal to invade Equestria.
Satellite Character: Spike is characterized in this film mainly by his incredible loyalty and devotion to Twilight. In a perfect example of Tropes Are Not Bad, he is also hilarious and plays a huge part in helping Twilight adapt to her new body and surroundings.
If anything, other characters fit this trope a little more.
Satellite Love Interest: Flash Sentry. He looks nice, helps Twilight twice, plays a guitar, generally seems to be a Nice Guy, was Sunset Shimmer's ex-boyfriend, and his equine counterpart is a guard in Cadance's castle. And that's all we ever know about him.
Save Both Worlds: Twilight has to get her crown back from Sunset, both because it could do harm to that world and without it the other Elements have no power.
Secret Test of Character: Rainbow Dash insists on a game of one on one soccer before she'll help Twilight. Rainbow Dash utterly curbstomps Twilight. She agrees to help anyway because the point wasn't to see if Twilight could beat her at soccer, but to see if Twilight had the resolve and the courage to face an obviously superior opponent if she needed to in order to do what she felt was important.
Ship Tease: In the human world, Twilight develops a crush on Flash Sentry and they dance together at the High School Dance. The movie ends with Twilight going back to Equestria and bumping into Flash's pony counterpart, a member of the Royal Guard. She blushes and her friends tease her a little. A tease, because Word of God says Flash Sentry won't be in Season 4 of FiM.
At the very beginning, when Pinkie is defining "nervicited," the transformation sound effect from Transformers is used as she uncurls from the ball. Her unfolding moves, while appearing awkward for a pony, resemble the transformation sequences of the Transformers as well.
The way Fluttershy introduces Twilight to the various high school cliques in the cafeteria is similar to the scene in Mean Girls.
Sunset Shimmer dismissively refers to Twilight and Spike as "Princess Celestia's prized student [...] and your little dog, too!"
One of the related videos on the Youtube clone when the CMC are checking their video's comments is from Pound Puppies.
When the Mane 6 start cleaning up the gym, Twilight tosses out brooms, which the other 5 catch — except for Fluttershy who winces and turns her back, letting the broom hit her instead. Jayson Thiessen confirmed this as a shoutout to a similar scene from Arrested Development.
The aforementioned Sadistic Choice is very similar to the one Tachyon gave Ratchet in "Tools Of Destruction", both being offered to go to their true home and refusing because they know said home can protect themselves but if they leave there will be no one to stop the villain.
The beginning of the "Helping Twilight Win the Crown" number, with students banging on the cafeteria tables, may be a reference to thisCold Open from Cheers where the bar patrons start singing "We Will Rock You" the same way.
The Main Six's transformations are very reminiscent of Sailor Moon.
Two people who look similar to Tsubomi and Erika from Heart Catch Pretty Cure appear multiple times in the film. The Tsubomi look alike can be clearly seen in the scene where Sunset Shimmer is about to tell Luna about how the gym got messed up. Then, the same character appears with the Erika lookalike in the cleaning the gym musical number.
Derpy's dance with a muffin in the end credits somewhat resembles how the person in the Dumb Ways to Die PSA who sold their kidneys danced.
The Stinger: At the very end of the credits, a certain blond-haired, gray-skinned, wall-eyed girl is seen dancing with a muffin.
Stock Scream: A Wilhelm scream is heard when Demon!Sunset attacks the school.
Stock Sound Effect: The laughter heard when the Mane Six arrive at the Canterlot High Fall Formal is the same clip of laughter heard at the end of Pinkie Pie's "Giggle at the Ghosties" song.
Taking the Bullet: During the final showdown with Sunset Shimmer when Sunset throws a fireball at Twilight, all of the HuMane 5 leap around Twilight to shield her. Fortunately the Power of Friendship keeps them from getting hurt.
Talking Animal: Spike in the human world. This is apparently not normal there.
There Are No Adults: Played straight with the human world — aside from Principal Celestia and Vice-Principal Luna, the only other adults are cameos with no effect on the plot (Granny Smith, Cheerilee, and Mr. & Mrs. Cake). The absolute lack of parents is puzzling; the total absence of law enforcement after the giant fire-demon demolishes the front of the school totally boggles the mind.
Third Act Misunderstanding: When Flash Sentry asks Twilight out to the Fall Formal after it gets delayed a day, Twilight panics that she's going to miss her Celestial Deadline to return home and says "no" dozens of times. Flash, of course, mistakes this as a rejection. Downplayed, as it neither detracts from nor adds to their relationship, and Flash just asks again later, whereupon the confusion is cleared up.
This Is Something Shes Got To Do Herself: Celestia insists that Twilight alone has to find her crown, since all of her friends going through the portal could upset the balance between the worlds (the resulting twin scenario at least would have been quite awkward). Spike ends up diving through anyway.
Two-Teacher School: Canterlot High has Principal Celestia, Vice Principal Luna, Cheerilee who can be seen writing on a blackboard in a class and who helps Twilight in the library, and Granny Smith as a lunch lady. Other than that, there's way more students than these four faculty members.
Unusual Ears: Some promotional art and the dolls give the girls pony ears. They're part of a Magical Girl style transformation during the movie's climax and go away once Twilight returns home.
Unusually Uninteresting Sight: The film ends with The Mane Six and Sunset Shimmer going through magical transformations and having a showdown in full view of everybody. Note that this is a universe where magic is thought not to exist. The students and faculty seem to take this in stride, though they're a little weirded out by Spike.
Urban Fantasy: While there doesn't seem to be magic in this otherwise contemporary, Earthlike alternate universe, the fact that the main character and villain get there by magic in the first place arguably qualifies it as this from the get-go—not to mention the fact that her dragon sidekick is still fully capable of speech in dog form. The trope is fully embraced in the climax when Sunset Shimmer goes One-Winged Angel and the Main Six get Magical Girl transformations.
Vague Age: In Equestria, there is a pretty substantial age gap between Twilight and Sunset, about the same as Twilight and Shining Armor. On "Earth", they can pass for the same grade. Similarly, the Mane 5 are all working adults in Equestria but still in High School in the other world.
Vengeful Vending Machine: Twilight's first encounter with a vending machine in the human world goes this way, not because the machine is broken, she just doesn't know how to use one and nearly ends up bucking it in frustration.
Villains Blend In Better: Sunset Shimmer doesn't stand out like Twilight Sparkle does in the human world. This is justified as Sunset has already spent a lot of time getting to know the human world, probably the entire period of Twilight's apprenticeship to Celestia given the former's unfamiliarity with Sunset.
Visual Pun: Flash's car, while not distinctly resembling any specific make and model, is clearly a pony car.
When Snips and Snails arrive in the library to spy on Twilight, they sneak off to get good vantage points. Snips slides along the wall, opening and closing his legs like scissors, and Snails slides along the ground, like a snail.
When the mane six go through their transformation, their hair styles gain pony tails.
When Twilight's crown is stolen, she goes ape.
Volumetric Mouth: Pinkie Pie is briefly seen with one during the argument with Fluttershy and Rarity.
We Will Not Use Photoshop in the Future: Sunset Shimmer frames Twilight for the destruction of the Fall Formal decorations through an incredibly crude forgery using cutouts and a photocopier. Even MS Paint would have produced equally convincing forgeries without leaving evidence for Flash Sentry to find. Gets doubly weird when you remember that she's already used a video editing program comparable to Adobe Premiere.
The Novelization does have them using photo editing technology, but they still leave evidence behind in the form of the original photos so Luna can compare them the to altered ones.
We Used to Be Friends: The human versions of the Mane 6 (minus Twilight) used to be friends with one another until events orchestrated by Sunset Shimmer drove them apart.
Winged Humanoid: Sunset Shimmer, Snips, and Snails all gain bat-wings when they transform into demons. Human!Twilight Sparkle, Rainbow Dash, and Fluttershy also gain wings when they're powered up by Twilight's crown.
With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Sunset Shimmer seems to take a few levels in psycho when she finally gets the crown and is transformed by its magic. Prior to this, she was nasty but had somestandards and operated on a more rational level.
Drummer: Did that dog just talk? Woah, weird! Spike: Seriously? The talking dog is the weird thing about all this?!
You Can't Thwart Stage One: It's no surprise that Sunset Shimmer does get the crown eventually. She only gets to keep it for a few minutes, though.
Your Little Dismissive Diminutive: At the climax, Sunset Shimmer says that she's not interested in ruling "this pathetic little school", and she still has her eyes on Equestria.
Your Princess Is in Another Castle: Almost literally. The students vote Twilight the Fall Formal Princess and she receives the crown, but Sunset Shimmer manages to swipe it from her after a tussle with the Mane Six, Snips, Snails, and Spike.
Youthful Freckles: Human Cheerilee gains these (normally lacking on her pony form). It is most likely to help establish her age as a younger teacher, not too far outside the age that the Mane 6 as humans would be, compared to the more mature looking Principals Celestia and Luna.