What An Idiot: My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic
... but not a cure for stupidity, apparently.
- "In Applebuck Season", Pinkie and Applejack attempt to bake muffins while Mr. and Mrs. Cake are not at Sugarcube Corner. Applejack, unfortunately is tired from apple bucking by herself. Her sleepiness causes her to not understand the ingredients and instructions, causing Applejack to substite potato chips for chocolate chips, regular soda for baking soda, a cup of sour lemon juice for a cup of flour, and earthworms for wheat germ. And that will end up not making a good muffin.
You'd Expect: Pinkie Pie to notice the ingredients not being right (especially earthworms instead of wheat germs) and maybe tell the sleepy Applejack that something isn't right with the ingredients, and stop with baking the muffins, and start over (maybe with her baking the muffins by herself or with another pony that isn't tired). You'd have to be Too Dumb to Live to not notice any disgusting ingredients that aren't right, and Pinkie is a professional baker.
Instead: Pinkie doesn't even notice any of the ingredients being not right, and ends up baking the "Baked Bads", and ends up causing lots of ponies (including Pinkie herself), to get sick!
- In the episode Call of The Cutie, Apple Bloom is in class and Diamond Tiara passes a note to her. Cheriliee (the teacher) catches Apple Bloom and demands her to read the note. She sees the note on the floor and mentions that it’s blank. Diamond Tiara then retorts “Sound like anything else we know? [referring to Apple Bloom's blank flank]” The class laughs at Apple Bloom.
You’d Expect: For Cherilee to scold Diamond Tiara for what she did.
Instead: She does nothing.
Thus: Diamond Tiara's a karma houdini.
- In "Owl's Well That Ends Well", Twilight tells Spike to get a book that she owns about astronomy. When pulling it out of the shelf, Spike accidentally sneezes on it, causing it to burn to ashes. He gets worried about what Twilight would say to him.
You'd Expect: Spike would tell the truth to her.
Instead: He lies and says that he couldn't find it. Later on, he gets scolded by Twilight when she and Owlowiscious find out about this.
You'd Then Expect: Spike would realized that he would have himself to blame.
Instead: He blames it on Owlowiscious and tries to get rid of him by frame him for killing a mouse (which was fake), only to get caught in the act by Twilight.
- In the same episode, Owlowiscious starts doing stuff for Spike at night.
You'd Expect: Spike would realize that he can't do everything at once and would accept Owlowiscious as an assistant to him.
Instead: He gets jealous and tries to get rid of him, but to no avail.
- In "Party of One", the rest of the Mane 6 are avoiding Pinkie Pie and making up false reasons not to attend Gummy the Alligator's after-birthday party (the reason behind this was to create a surprise birthday party for Pinkie Pie, as that day was her birthday). Pinkie interrogates Spike to give her answer why they were avoiding her all day. She then tells Spike "Tell me that my friends are all lying to me and avoiding me because they don't like my parties and they DON'T WANT TO BE MY FRIENDS ANYMORE!", to which Spike literally repeats it to her. Pinkie then takes it as her final answer, and her mane and tail go back to the form it was in when she lived on her parents' rock farm during her childhood, and also becomes severely depressed, believing that her friends don't like her parties don't want to be her friends anymore.
You'd Expect: Spike to notice the fact that Pinkie Pie is severely depressed and clearly needs help, and cheer her up, making her feel better.
Instead: He doesn't even notice the fact that Pinkie is clearly depressed, and just selfishly eats all them gems that he was offered, and Pinkie is left going insane by doing a mock party with inanimate objects. What an Idiot indeed!
- In The Return of Harmony, Part 2, continuing off of the previous episode, Discord has corrupted The Mane Six, except for Twilight Sparkle, he has also given back their wings and horns when declared that "the game is over". So Twilight can use her magic again.
You'd Expect: Twilight to notice the fact that the color change of her friends turning grey as they get Discorded, use her regained magic abilities (i.e. cast a memory spell) to try to fix the situation and try to restore her friends and uncorrupt them right away.
Instead: While Twilight uses her magic to move certain objects, such as Rarity's "diamond" (which is actually a boulder), the Elements of Harmony necklaces and tiara (which is Twilight's) and flipping through her reference guide of the Elements of Harmony, she never even tries to use her magic abilities to restore her corrupted friends, and the situation ends up continually getting worse, up to the point where Twilight loses hope and she gets discorded and turns grey and becomes severely depressed. If Celestia's letters hadn't shown up and Twilight didn't read them, Discord would have triumphed!
- Also in Return of Harmony, Part 2, after Twilight restores her friends in the third act, she confronts Discord, who is ruling Ponyville in chaos.
You'd Think: Discord would notice the fact the Mane 6 have regained their colors and have been restored to their actual elements and simply corrupt them again, saving him from being turned to stone again.
Instead: While he does attempt to grab them psychically, he doesn't notice about their restored selves, gloats them in an unenthusiastic way saying "Fine, go ahead. Try to use your elements, frienemies. Just make it quick.", and suffers the consequences and turns back into stone.
- Another one occurs in "The Mysterious Mare Do Well", where Rainbow Dash becomes quite full of herself due to the attention she gets for her heroism. Her friends don't like how she's turning out.
You'd Expect: They would have tried to talk to or reason with Rainbow Dash.
Instead: The five of them start impersonating as Mare Do Well.
- In "Secret of My Excess", Spike starts demanding presents from others for his birthday until Twilight finds him and gets told to give them back to everyone.
You'd Expect: Twilight would escort Spike to the rightful owners of the gifts.
Instead: She just leaves Spike to do this on his own. This allows him to get more presents.
You'd Then Expect: Twilight would wait until Spike got home before going to bed.
Instead: She goes to bed before he returns and doesn't know that he brought more stuff back until the next morning, which she then finds out that Spike has grown taller and, soon after, his voice gets deeper.
You'd Then Expect: Twilight would either use her magic to change Spike back before he gets too big.
Or: If that doesn't work, teleport herself and Spike to Princess Celestia for assistance.
Instead: She just takes him to a doctor, a veterinarian, and Zecora and only finds out that Spike's greed is causing him to age prematurely, instead of getting both that information and turning him back to normal. Spike soon escapes and tries to steal Scootaloo's scooter.
You'd THEN Expect: Twilight, knowing what giving things to Spike would do, would either use her magic to blindfold him and/or to drag him away from the crusaders.
Instead: She uses a broom to lure Spike away, causing him to get even bigger. She then locks Spike into a room in the library.
You'd THEN Expect: Twilight would put a barrier in the room to prevent Spike from escaping.
Instead: She doesn't, allowing Spike to escape.
- In "Putting Your Hoof Down", after being perceived as too passive by Pinkie Pie and Rarity, Fluttershy enrolls in a self-help course taught by a minotaur named Iron Will. She then engages in overly aggressive behavior, beating up Royal Riff who cut her in line for a taxi, chewing on the Mailpony for giving her the wrong mail and then throwing a tourist to kingdom come for making her drop her mail. Pinkie Pie and Rarity approach her, expressing concern for the New Fluttershy.
You'd Expect: Fluttershy to come to grips, tell her friends she was only tired of being an Extreme Doormat and start apologizing to everypony she wronged.
Instead: She screams at Pinkie Pie and Rarity on the basis they have no right to tell her how she should live her life. She also calls out Pinkie Pie for having a simple mind and accuses Rarity of being petty. Naturally, this upsets Pinkie Pie and Rarity so much that they run away crying. It's only after Fluttershy looks at her reflection in a puddle that she realizes the monster she has become.
- In "Dragon Quest," Spike suffers an early bout of depression because he feels disconnected from his roots and has no Dragon friends or family to speak of. Twilight resolves to help him and they try to find out as much as they can about his origins.
You'd Expect: Twilight or Spike to write a letter to either Princess Celestia or the Canterlot Magical Academy just asking "Hey, where'd that egg come from and why did you just have one lying around?" Or at the very least look into finding a Dragon specialist.
Instead: Spike and Twilight go through every book in Twlight's library and when they find no dragon-related information, Spike decides to join in on a migration of dragons all by himself.
- In "Ponyville Confidential," The Cutie Mark Crusaders' were revealed as Gabby Gums.
You'd Expect: The girls would try to apologize to them in person, err in pony or at least defend themselves to the others that it was all Diamond Tiara's blackmailing them.
Instead: They tried to get more stories from the pissed off ponies, causing the Power Trio to be treated like a pariah. Poor little fillies...
- A moment after that, Diamond Tiara blackmails the Cutie Mark Crusaders because they attempted to stop writing hurtful stories.
You'd Expect: For The Cutie Mark Crusaders to tell Cherilee what's going on to insure they can quit making hurtful stories.
Instead: They don't, and are exposed as Gabby Gums later.
You'd Then Expect: For Cherilee to realize that things are getting out of hand, with the articles hurting feelings and reputations, and do something about it.
Instead: She does nothing, allowing Diamon Tiara to be a Karma Houdini and keep publishing the paper.
You'd Then Expect: That, once the Crusaders are revealed to be Gabby Gums, for Cherilee to investigate why were they making such hurtful articles, or at the very least, ask the editor she appointed why would she allow falsehoods and hurtful things to be published.
Instead: She does nothing.
You'd THEN expect: For anyone, anyone, to go to Cherilee, or even the paper's editor, and demand an explanation.
Instead: They do nothing, and instead turn the Crusaders into pariahs, and yelling at them or even drenching them with rainwater.
- The second season finale, "A Canterlot Wedding", has several "What an Idiot" moments.
- In Part 1, Twilight Sparkle goes to see the bride (and former babysitter) Princess Cadence isn't what she used to be, is acting really rude to her friends and family, and finally discovers something suspicious about her.
You'd Expect: She'll gather clues to back her claim just like in "Mmmmystery On The Friendship Express" and go to Shining Armor or better yet, Princess Celestia privately to voice her suspicions and present her evidence, thus preventing any need for a spectacle. Or she could have at least call Princess Cadence out on how rude she is, that just because it's her wedding there's no reason to act like a Spoiled Brat.
Instead: Twilight accuses Princess Cadence of being evil in front of everypony, including Shining Armor and Princess Celestia, causing Princess Cadence to cry. The result was Shining Armor gave a What the Hell, Hero? speech to Twilight, her friends believing that Twilight was jealous, causing them to shun her, and her mentor became disappointed in her. Thus nearly losing her friendship and respect from them... if not for the fact that this Princess Cadence really was evil.
- In the same episode, Twilight's friends and family were unaware of why Princess Cadence was acting rude around them.
You'd Then Expect: They would question themselves on whether or not Twilight is right about Cadence being evil or not when she said that, and would suddenly be suspicious of Cadence's behavior.
Instead: They completely forget about how much Cadence had been acting like a jerk to them and straight up ignore Twilight anyway, with Shining Armor calling her out for her accusation. The end result? A Changeling invasion on Canterlot after Shining Armor's forcefield weakens. Needless to say, in an In-Universe example, Queen Chrysalis Lampshades this when she calls out the Mane Six on being too caught up in their wedding plans.
- And then there's the fact that Canterlot received a threat.
You'd Expect: Celestia to hold off any sort of event, especially a royal wedding, until they can identify the threat, then either send Shining Armor and the guards after it, or failing that, invite Twilight and her friends to go and take out the threa.
Instead: Celestia decides to hold the wedding anyway, but have the groom constantly cast a shield spell so massive that it's starting to wear on his mental capacity (it's mitigated by the fact that the bride gives him some energy boosts every now and then), increase security to ridiculous degrees (delayed letters and said shield), and then only telling Twilight about the wedding a day before it happens, not mentioning why they had to send it so late. This leads to Twilight looking like a Clingy Jealous Girl, which in turn led to the two other idiot moments above.
- After being alienated from her mentor, friends, and brother and even possibly had their relationship ruined forever. A remorseful Twilight was spotted by Imposter Cadence/Queen Chrysalis.
You'd Expect: Being Dangerously Genre Savvy she is, she could've lied to Twilight Sparkle, saying that everyone disowned her. Driving Twilight into Despair Event Horizon, and told to leave Canterlot at once, or even use this to her advantage and convince her to backstab them. Granted, she could have been wary that Twilight might continue her search and find more evidence on her - but at least she could have teleported her somewhere that's NOT near the real Princess Cadence.
Instead: She plays the Villain Ball and teleports her near the Canterlot Caves, giving Twilight a chance to discover the the real Princess Cadence. Also, what's with leaving the cave guarded by bridesmaids? Could she have picked less efficient guardians? Was brainwashing a few guards too much trouble?
- In Part 2, after Changelings successfully apprehend Twilight and her friends from getting to the Elements of Harmony, they are brought to the Changeling queen, Chrysalis.
You'd Think: Queen Chrysalis would imprison Twilight and her friends in a cocoon just like Celestia, so that she would not able to free Cadence from the cocoon goop and break the mind control spell on Shining Armor. And then Chrysalis would win. The End.
Instead: Chrysalis doesn't even bother trying to imprison Twilight, and she gets caught up in her Villain Song reprisal, allowing Twilight to free Cadence and have her be able to break the mind control spell on Shining Armor, and eventually Cadence and Shining Armor get Chrysalis and her Changelings blasting off again! Speaking of imprisonment...
- And the above moment where Chrysalis lets Twilight free Cadence leads to even more idiocy, as Cadence then cures Shining Armor, and uses her love to power his spell.
You'd Think: Chrysalis would realize that since Shining Armor's love was able to give her enough power to defeat Celestia, she'd try to stop them, imprison all the ponies, and then conquer Equestria unhindered.
Instead: She says "What a lovely but ridiculous sentiment." What do you know, The Power of Love wins.
- In Games Ponies Play, the Mane 6 are sent to greet the Equestrian Games Inspector. They don't have much of a physical description aside from her luggage. They find somepony matching that incredibly vague description.
You'd Think: They'd at least greet her by her name.
Instead: They don't, and spend the entire episode touring with some random mare. It's only by Deus ex Machina that the games inspector didn't get fed up by the random splashings and went to the exact same spa and talked to the same pony who got the greeting she was supposed to get that she based her decision to let the Equestria Games be there that year.
- In the same episode, one of the Crystal Empire attendants gives a description of the Equestrian Games Inspector.
You'd Think: In addition to name, they'd have a semi-detailed and useful description, like pony race, fur color, and Cutie Mark.
Instead: They get a name and the description of her luggage. That's it. The first mare they see with that luggage, they immediately assume she's the Games Inspector.
- In Magical Mystery Cure, Twilight receives an unfinished spellbook and is tasked with finishing the spell on the last page.
You'd Expect: Twilight to just look at the words, and not say them, because several spells are activated by saying them. She could then test the spell in a controlled environment to figure out what it did, then carefully work on fixing it to avoid any potential mishaps.
Instead: She reads it out loud, causing her to unwittingly cast the spell on the spot to find out what it does, thus switching her friends' cutie marks, and therefore their destinies in life.
To make matters worse: There's no counter spell. While this makes sense since the spell itself was incomplete, you'd think a magical prodigy like Twilight would know not to mess around with unfinished spells.
- In "Power Ponies", the Mane-iac just froze and captured the ponies, leaving just Spike left.
You'd Think: That the Mane-iac would also freeze and capture Spike, just in the off chance he does manage to turn the fight around. Even though he doesn't have any super powers, he almost managed to steal the source of her secret weapon that would've defeated the Power Ponies for good.
Instead: She lets him go, thinking that he's powerless, and soon has to suffer the consequences.
- In "Rarity Takes Manehattan", Rarity realizes that she only has ten minutes to get to the fashion show auditions. The show is being held across town, and both Rarity and her dress line need to be there on time, or she'll be disqualified. The dialogue throughout the scene indicates that it is currently rush hour in Manehattan.
You'd Think: Somepony would remember that Twilight Sparkle can teleport over long distances at will if she doesn't feel like pulling rank and Rainbow Dash can reach light-shattering flight speeds from a standstill on demand. Either one of them could get Rarity and her line to the fashion show within seconds, giving Rarity a few minutes to regain her composure before entering.
Instead: They waste time trying to get a taxi for her, and then send the bellhop from an earlier scene to deliver the dresses. Rarity only makes it into the audition by the skin of her teeth, very nearly costing her her spot in the contest.
- Later on, Rarity is distraught after her original entry was plagiarized. Suddenly, she hits upon an idea for an impromptu replacement. The Mane Six then go to work, but soon realize that helping Rarity will jeopardize their plans to see Hinny In The Hills.
You'd Expect: Them to shrug it off and keep working. Rarity is already under pressure and on a hair-trigger temper, and three of the Mane Six have connections to get them a later showing.
Instead: They complain, and Rarity goes nuclear on them.
- Inspiration Manifestation:
- Spike takes a spell book out of the Castle of the Royal Pony Sisters to inspire Rarity, despite all of the warning signs and being told by Owlicious not to do so.
You'd Expect: Spike to listen to the owl and think of a way to inspire Rarity without using magic or maybe bring the book to Twilight first to make sure what he's doing is safe.
Instead: He ignores the owl's pleas and takes it directly to Rarity.
So: Spike shows her the "Inspiration Manifestation" spell.
You'd Then Expect: That Rarity, even in her creative funk, would be suspicious of said spell and think for a moment that Spike's attempt to get her back in the swing of things could have serious consequences.
Instead: She casts the spell and proceeds to wreak havoc in Ponyville.
You'd Then Expect: During Rarity's earlier attempts to "improve" Ponyville, for Spike to point out just how impractical some of Rarity's improvements (i.e. giving Rainbow Dash a dress that prevents her from doing her job handling the weather; fancying a party that's clearly intended for children) are, thus freeing Rarity from the spell before things get too out of hand.
Instead: Spike puts his feelings for Rarity over the flaws in her works and doesn't finally give her the much-needed criticism until after she made a complete mess of Ponyville (to the point that it took three princesses to clean it up) and plotted to do the same in other cities.
- For a couple of clearly-experienced businessponies, neither Rarity nor the puppeteer are having their best days. Rarity's first design is quite literally unusable and entirely based on form over function, and barely lets someone fit into it. You'd think a Tailor would know more about that, but of course, she has to design it the most improbably bad way possible. At the same time, the puppeteer should have at least taken a look through Rarity's usual line of work to give himself an idea of what he could expect; giving an artist a three-word description like "traveling puppet theater" and expecting them to read your mind is a great way to piss your contractor off.
- In "Twilight's Kingdom, Part 1," Tirek has escaped from Tartarus. Celestia sends Discord to catch him, since Discord can sense the magical imbalance that comes when Tirek steals a pony's magic.
You'd Think: She'd also send somepony more trustworthy to accompany him. After all, despite being reformed, he's been shown to still be pretty amoral and hard to control.
Instead: She sends him alone. While he does catch Tirek easily, it only takes a quick talk to bring on a Face-Heel Turn.
- Later, in "Twilight's Kingdom, Part 2," Tirek has grown in power and the princesses decide to transfer their magic into Twilight to stop him from getting it.
You'd Think: Celestia would tell Twilight to go into hiding and take her friends with her until she decides what to do. After all, Tirek can find out about Twilight from Discord, and even without that Tirek's hunting down all ponies anyway.
Instead: Not only does Celestia not instruct Twilight to do this, she forbids her from even telling her friends anything's wrong, banking entirely on Tirek not knowing who Twilight is, despite the points mentioned above. Predictably, Tirek captures Twilight's friends within minutes of learning of their existence, and uses them as a bargaining chip when it looks like Twilight can beat him.
Even Worse: Even without those factors, the Princesses do nothing about the giant stained glass window of Twilight's coronation in the throne room where they are literally waiting to be caught.
Also: When you consider that Twilight with the power of four alicorns can was able to fight Tirek to a stalemate (and this was after he's fueled with the powers of the Ponyville ponies and Discord), you'd think a better plan would have involved her confronting him in a surprise attack while he's busy attempting to drain the others of their magic. After all, Tirek wouldn't be as powerful as he was when he actually did confront Twilight at that point.